June 28, 2013

Gettysburg is Coming...

Gettysburg is just around the corner, and we all are anticipating July 1, 2 and 3rd for the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg! 

I will be visiting Gettysburg in August, but the National Park Service has set up a live webcam on Pickett's Charge, so you can still be part of the action, while at home! 

For more information, please contact me at

June 27, 2013

The Civil War; By Ken Burns

The Civil War; By Ken Burns

I have started the endeavor of watching the Ken Burns documentary, The Civil War. It is a total of 660 minutes on 6 discs and will take a while to watch. I have finished one disc, and am going onto the second one. 

I will write a really long response after I watch it all! 

Movie: Civil War Combat

Civil War Combat; America's Bloodiest Battles

A few days ago, I rented this movie from my local library, with other Civil War DVDs. This movie I put into my DVD player first, because it looked the most interesting, and by far, the shortest among all of them. I only had a couple hours to watch something that night, so I went with this one, which was the shortest at 200 minutes. If you have not noticed before, Civil War movie are all really long, for example, Ken Burns, Civil war is 660 minutes long. Now, lets get to the movie itself.

This movie was a 2 disc set and each disc had 2 different topics on it. The first one had the "Hornets Nest at Shiloh" and "Bloody Lane at Antietam". This disc was the most interesting, in my opinion. It had reenactments of the battle, and it showed the battle tactics that the officers of the armies took. It mainly focused on the flaws of the plans on both sides, starting with Lee and then to Grant, but after that it went to the lower ranking officers. In Bloody Lane at Antietam, it talked immensely about the entire battle for a while and the went right into Blood Lane. 

If you take a look at the blog post, Antietam, you can see pictures of Bloody Lane that we actually walked in. Bloody Lane was a wagon route that the local farmers used to bring there crops into town, and over a long time, the road sank into the ground 5 feet in some places. 

The Hornets Nest at Shiloh, I am not as familiar with it as I am Antietam, but looking from the reenactments, I can really tell why they called it the Hornets Nest. In the movie, they really made it seem like every 2 seconds, someone, or either side was killed. 

In conclusion, I really believe that this movie, Civil War Combat; America's Bloodiest Battles was a true and accurate description of what really happened over 150 years ago on some of these battles. We are not looking forward to the 150th anniversary of the BATTLE OF GETTYSBURG this July 1, 2 and 3rd.     

December 10, 2012

Thinking Question?

I brought up this amazing question about Hitler today in English class, but I was thinking about the Civil War when i asked this, but it relates to Hitler as well. It is as follows: 

"Why was Hitler considered a monster, if he was only doing what he thought was right, for him and his country?"
             ~James A. Brino

I brought this up in class thinking about what Abraham Lincoln said in the Gettysburg Address more than 150 years ago. In the Gettysburg Address, A. Lincoln says, 

"...that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."
          ~A. Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln was saying in this speech, that the men that fought here are not going to die, and be sent to hell, he was saying, that these people were fighting for what they believed in, and you can not blame them for doing that. 

Let me put it in simpler terms, The Union soldiers thought that the confederacy were the bad guys, and needed to get killed, but the Confederate soldiers thought that the Union soldiers were the bad guys, and needed to die. 

Do you see the problem that we are facing. Each side thought they were doing what was right, but when we look at it 150 years ago, it is very different, compared to what they were looking at back then. 

Let me tie back to Hitler, In WWII, Hitler was just doing what he thought was right, and what would benefit his country, so in a way, A. Lincoln is saying that Hitler should not go to hell, or die in vain, because he was fighting for what he thought was right.

Please feel free to comment, or send me an email at,  if you would like to explain your side of the story.

J. Brino

Brino Civil War Museum

Hello Everyone,
If you did not know, I started a Civil War Museum, and we just had our first reception to mark the grand opening. Here are some picture:

August 9, 2012

Article for The Civil War Trust

I had the great pleasure to visit Antietam National Battlefield with a group of History professors and buffs in April 2012. We were there for “Connecticut Day” at Antietam National Battlefield. I have been to two National Battlefields, Gettysburg and Antietam, and let me say, Antietam and Gettysburg are two very different places. Yes, granted, they are both as important as each other, but there is one very important thing you cannot over look. It’s how commercialized Gettysburg is compared to Antietam. Gettysburg is the battle that everyone knows, but I believe that Antietam is looked over when studied in school, and in history text books.
As a result of the Battle of Antietam, Abraham Lincoln issued the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation. I believe that President Lincoln issued the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation because of two reasons. The results of the Battle of Antietam and Abraham Lincoln simply being fed up of how long the war was taking.
With Antietam’s 150th anniversary coming up in September, it’s not going to a huge celebration and hoop dido like Gettysburg next summer, but it will still be an amazing event. Antietam National Battlefield is an amazing place to visit. I highly recommend, if you even have the opportunity, to explore what Antietam has to offer.
Antietam Nation Battlefield is the most well preserved battlefield in the country, and it’s the same exact story with the town of Sheperdsburg, surrounding the battlefield. It looks almost exactly the same way it did 150 years ago, when the battle took place. The town has been said to be “Frozen in Time”. That’s how much of the town is preserved.
With the 150th anniversary coming up, we will all be keeping the Civil War and the Battle of Antietam in our thoughts.     

July 13, 2012

More Quotations

I was going through the book that I received from my towns public library, "The Oxford Dictionary of Civil War Quotations" and I found one quotation from Stephen Douglas. Stephen Douglas was a Us Senator from Illinois. Here is a little background information on Douglas from

In Congress, though one of the youngest members, he at once sprang into prominence by his clever defense of Jackson during the consideration by the House of a bill remitting the fine imposed on Jackson for contempt of court in New Orleans. He was soon recognized as one of the ablest and most energetic of the Democratic leaders. An enthusiastic believer in the destiny of his country and more especially of the West, and a thoroughgoing expansionist, he heartily favored in Congress the measures which resulted in the annexation of Texas and in the Mexican War -- in the discussion of the annexation of Texas he suggested as early as 1845 that the states to be admitted should come in slave or free, as their people should vote when they applied to Congress for admission, thus foreshadowing his doctrine of "Popular Sovereignty."

The quotation that I really liked was this:

        1. "Every man must be for the United States or against it. There can be no neutrals in this war; only patriots-or traitors".
                        ~Speech in Chicago, May 1, 1861

I believe that this is 100 percent true. I think that Douglas was trying to say something to the border states, but not directly say something, because if any border state decided to move to one side or another, it would terrible for any side.

More soldiers means more guns. More guns mean more balls flying at one time. More balls flying  at one time means more people will be killed or wounded at one time. 

July 12, 2012

If Your Looking for Great Books...

Hello Everyone.
     Today, I received an email from a small publishing company named Savas Beatie. They are an independent publishing company specializing in general and military history titles. A number of our award-winning titles have been selected for the Military and History book clubs. 

     I have checked out their website and what books they offer, and they have a huge selection not just about the Civil War, but every part of History.

      One book that the Representative offered was, The Maps of Antietam: An Atlas of the Antietam (Sharpsburg) Campaign, including the Battle of South Mountain, September 2 - 20, 1862 by Brad Gottfried.

Here is some information about the book:

This magisterial work breaks down the entire campaign (and all related operational maneuvers) into 21 map sets or "action-sections" enriched with 124 original full-page color maps. These spectacular cartographic creations bore down to the regimental and battery level. The Maps of Antietam includes the march into Maryland, the Harper's Ferryoperation, the Battle of South Mountain (Fox's Gap, Turner's Gap, and Crampton's Gap), operations in PleasantValley, the Confederate withdrawal to Sharpsburg, the Battle of Antietam, the retreat across the Potomac River, and the sharp fighting at Shepherdstown. Click here for more information: and here to watch the book trailer:

   Check out there website:

Savas Beatie LLC
P.O. Box 4527
El Dorado Hills, CA 95762
Voice: 916.941.6896 (9-5, Pacific Standard Time)
Fax: 916.941.6895

Interesting Quotations

I went to my public library today, and I picked up a couple book,of course all Civil War books,but the one that I starting looking at first was "The Oxford Dictionary of Civil War Quotations." The book is set up wonderfully. It has a name, and the Civil War quotations that they said, and underneath the quotation, there was a sentence of when the quotation was said or wrote, compared to a major event during the Civil War era. Let's start with a couple of my most favorite quotes from the beloved President, Abraham Lincoln.

(A little fact, Abraham Lincoln did not like his first name, so in most letters that he wrote, he would sign his name, A. Lincoln)

This is the Signature that Abraham Lincoln would use, when he signed, Informal documents.

1. "Slavery is founded in the selfishness of man's nature-opposition to it in his love of justice. These principles are an enternal antagonism; and when brought into collision so fiercely, as slavery extension brings them, shocks, and throes, and convulsions must ceaselessly follow."

             ~Speech in Peoria, Illinois, October 16, 1854

2. "I do not stand today pledged to the abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia."

             ~Speech in Freeport, Illinois, August 27, 1858

3. "To the best of my judgement I have labored for the, and not against, the Union."
              ~Speech at Springfield, Illinois, October 29, 1858

After I examine some other quotations, I will post them.

This is the Front cover of the Book.

June 24, 2012

Article for the Civil War Courier

Here it is...

It is such a great experience going to a Civil War National Battlefield. If you ever have the chance to go to Antietam National Battlefield, in Maryland, it's a trip you will never forget. I had the chance to go to two National Battlefields, Gettysburg and Antietam, and both of them were awesome. I had the opportunity to go to Gettysburg with my Boy Scout Troop last summer. Gettysburg was the first National Battlefield I visited and I thought it was amazing, with all the gift shops and the restaurants. I thought all National Battlefields were going to be the same, but when I arrived at Antietam National Battlefield, things were different.

I had a once in a lifetime opportunity to visit Antietam National Battlefield, with Central Connecticut State University, and the Connecticut Civil War Roundtable. We went for Connecticut Day at Antietam National Battlefield on April 21, 2012. They dedicated all the Connecticut Monuments on the battlefield. When we arrived in the town, and the battlefield, it was a little strange. There were no huge restaurants or stores, there was not even a gift shop anywhere around. That’s because they have done an outstanding job preserving the town, and the battlefield, as the way it was 150 years ago, when the battle really took place.

When we took the tour with the National Park Service Ranger, he said, that the battlefield that we are looking at right now, looked exactly the same 150 years ago, if you ignore the small monuments, scattered on the edges of the battlefield. That is why Antietam National Battlefield is said to be the best preserved battlefield in the United States.

I had wonderful experiences in both National Battlefields, and with the Civil War Community. Each and every person that studies the Civil War cares, and seeks to preserve the saying," THAT GENERATIONS TO COME MIGHT KNOW THEM". Please visit, for more information on me, and what I studied.

James A. Brino

It's Coming...

I am in the final steps to finishing the article I told you about that I was writing for the CIVIL WAR COURIER. I will put the WHOLE article up tonight... I know I said you would have to buy the magazine when it came out, but was thinking about it, and I said, what the heck....I just let them read it all.

Stay tuned, this article is going to be amazing!

The Only Way to Really Learn, is to See

One thing that has stuck with me over the years, is something that one of my teachers, Mr. Leger said to me. We had just come back to the hotel after a jam packed day at the Antietam National Battlefield, and he said to everyone in the group.

"You can read textbooks in class about a topic. Then you could watch a movie about the topic, then you can hear someone say a presentation about the topic, but the only real way to learn about the topic, and really connect the pieces together, is to go their, and see in person, what you are studying about."
~Joel Patrick Leger
         *U.S History Teacher, Southington School System

I just wanted to share that with all of you, because when he said that to us, it really changed the way I learn, and the way I think about things.

June 23, 2012

Antietam National Battlefield

This next National Battlefield, that I will explain, is the complete opposite of Gettysburg. For one was the most bloodiest single day battle in American History. And Gettysburg was the bloodiest 3 day battle, so it is a little different their, but the big difference is the surroundings. Like  explained about Gettysburg, there is so much tourism, and everyone knows the Battle of Gettysburg on July 1,2 and 3rd, 1863, but Antietam is so much different from Gettysburg. The Town of Sharpsburg, surrounding the National Battlefield is almost identical to the way it looked 150 years ago. It is like the town is frozen in time. Yes, granted, there are some new building and churches, but, it almost looks the way it did when the battle took place on September 17, 1863. Our National Park Service Ranger, when we took the tour of the battlefield, said, that if you take the monuments off the battlefield, that's what is would have looked like 150 years ago. He also said, that the Gettysburg Monument Committee, tried taken money from the Antietam Budget, because they thought the Battle of Gettysburg was more important. But, a few months later, the NPS or the National Park Service, said no, that every battle in extremely important.

 Antietam is the best preserved battlefields in the United States, and Gettysburg is trying to do the same, as I mentioned in the Gettysburg National Battlefield Post, Gettysburg National Battlefield .

If you would like to vistit Antietam, One of the Best Preserved Battlefields, Visit the National Park Service website for more information. Antietam; NPS

In this Picture, you can really tell how open it is, and how difficult it would have been to bring Canons.

June 22, 2012

Gettysburg National Battlefield

The Gettysburg National Battlefield, is one of the most commercialized battlefields in the country. Every where you look, there is a gift shop, or a restaurant, that is trying to "Get Rich Quick". In the past 10 year a lot has changed. The National Park Service and The Civil War Trust, has been buying residential and commercial houses and businesses that were not actually there on July 1,2 and 3, 1863 and tearing them down and planting grass. So, more and more, the town of Gettysburg, is looking the way it did 150 years ago. The Civil War Trust, ( , has also been trying to do the same exact things for a lot of the other National Battlefields. There is an ongoing project to save 14 acres of Chancellorsville. The 14 acres were associated to General Stonewall Jackson's famed flank on May 2, 1863. To donate or "give an acre", as a gift, please visit,

June 21, 2012

Huge Shout out

I would like to give a huge Shout out to my friends at the CIVIL WAR COURIER! In their next issue, there will be an article that I will be writing! This is an awesome opportunity for not just me, but or the whole Civil War Community! I will put up a sneak peak when I am finished, but you will have to buy the issue to read the whole thing!! If you would like to see the CIVIL WAR COURIER website,