1st Lecture: The Battle of Big Bethel
Speaker: Erick Bush
The Battle of Big Bethel, 10 June 1861
The first planned land battle of the Civil War was fought at the Battle of Big Bethel on June 10, 1861, over five weeks before the Battle of First Manassas (Bull Run). This lecture explores the key aspects of Big Bethel to include leadership, intelligence, infantry, artillery, fortifications, and planning, which set the foundation for future operations in the Peninsula Campaign in 1862.
Erick Bush is a military historian with a specialization in the Civil War in Alabama and Virginia. His areas of focus in Virginia include the Battle of Big Bethel, the role of intelligence and artillery in the Peninsula Campaign, and the early development of ironclads. His particular areas of specialty in Alabama include the ironclads built in Selma, Alabama's series of ironworks, and Wilson’s Raid in 1865. He has previously lectured to Civil War Round Table groups, history groups, and military professional development activities in England, Ohio, Alabama, Texas, Virginia, and New York. Additionally, he has developed and led military staff rides and history tours focused on the Battle of Big Bethel, Civil War Intelligence, the French & Indian War in Central New York, and the Siege of Fort Stanwix/Battle of Oriskany.