Number 7 (September 2006)

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Civil War Times, Volume 45, Number 7 (September 2006)
Civil War Times, Volume 45, Number 7 (September 2006)

74 Pages

Page 7
Turning Points: Dr. Letterman’s War by Jeffry D. Wert
Army surgeon Jonathan K. Letterman instituted a system to expedite removal of wounded from the field of battle to hospitals and medical stations. Appointed medical director of the Army of the Potomac in June 1862, Dr. Letterman soon improved the health of the army and increased the number of supplies available to surgeons and doctors. In August 1862, he created an ambulance corps for the AotP. As mentioned earlier, Letterman created a three tiered system to remove the wounded from the field of battle, first to field stations, then to nearby homes and hospitals, and eventually to large general hospitals in cities. This system was first tested at Antietam, and worked fairly well. It was later copied by other Union armies and made standard late in the war.

Page 11
Irregulars: Engineers by Eric Ethier
Eric Ethier covers the engineers of both armies in the latest edition of Irregulars. Engineers were used to build pontoon and other bridges, create lines of defense, oversee siege operations, and act as sappers and miners during such sieges. The U.S. Army had less than 1,000 engineers during the war, and these men were supplemented by several volunteer regiments of engineers. The Confederacy created several engineer regiments of their own. Engineers also employed units of “pioneers”, regular units trained to use axes and other equipment, when larger jobs required more manpower.

Page 13
Gallery: A Soldier to Make General Lee Proud submitted by Dr. Elizabeth Hoole McArthur
Axalla John “Zell” Hoole joined the Confederate 8th South Carolina at nearly the age of 40, much older than most of the men who participated in the war. He had received an excellent education in South Carolina despite the early death of his father, and he and his bride moved to Kansas in the 1850s to try to legally influence its admission as a slave state. After this failed, the Hoole’s moved back to South Carolina. Zell Hoole participated in many of the 8th’s fights, including First Bull Run, in the Peninsula Campaign, the Seven Days, Harpers Ferry, Sharpsburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, and Chickamauga. In the spring of 1862, he was elected the Lt. Colonel of the 8th. Hoole was killed at Chickamauga on September 20, 1863, leaving behind his wife and four children. Sadly, the last child was born five days after the Lt. Colonel died.

Page 15
My War: ‘What I Thought At Antietam’ by James J. and Patience P. Barnes
John Rankin, a private in the 27th Indiana, here writes an extraordinary memoir entitled “What I Thought At Antietam.” In it, Rankin attempts to give a 100% truthful account of what was going through his mind as his division of the Federal XII Corps advanced on Hood’s Division. He relates many things which other men would have never thought of uncovering in that day and age. Rankin concludes that many men struggled with staying to fight and possibly die, or running and attempting to live for another day.

Page 21
Behind the Lines: Letter From Civil War Times
The Underdog Days of Summer
In what appears to be a new version of the editor’s column, the Army of Northern Virginia’s performance at Antietam despite long odds is discussed. However, the reader is cautioned not to dismiss the Army of the Potomac or its leaders at the same time. The AotP had lost quite a few experienced men in the earlier battles in Virginia in 1862, and much of their numerical superiority came in the form of green, newly recruited regiments. In addition, talented men such as Isaac Stevens, Phil Kearny, and Jesse Reno, had been recently killed. These were men who might have been appointed to corps command, an area filled with new and inexperienced men.

Page 22
Two Great American Armies: The Opposing Forces At Antietam by Ted Alexander
Ted Alexander discusses the strengths and weakness of the Army of the Potomac and the Army of Northern Virginia on September 17, 1862. Both armies were facing significant structural challenges on the day of battle. The author first compares McClellan and Lee, moves on to the ethnic makeup of the armies, and then discusses each army in detail. The Army of the Potomac was an amalgam of no less than four separate forces, far different than it had been on the Virginia Peninsula during the Seven Days. McClellan had the II, V, and VI Corps from the original AotP with him at Antietam. Joining them were II and III Corps from the Army of Virginia, which became the XII and I Corps, Army of the Potomac, respectively. The IX Corps was a combination of Burnside’s expeditionary force that had attacked the North Carolina coast earlier in 1862 and Jacob Cox’s Kanawha Division from the mountains of West Virginia. To make matters worse, many of the regiments (and in two cases even divisions) had just been assembled only days or even hours before the fight. The fighting quality of this army was very uneven from unit to unit. Lastly, there were quite a few new corps commanders (Hooker, Cox, Mansfield) going into their first action in that capacity. Clearly the Army of the Potomac was not in its best shape on September 17, 1862. In stark contrast to this polyglot force was the Army of Northern Virginia. Every one of Lee’s regiments had seen at least one major battle, and many had been in multiple fights. The average Confederate regiment was much smaller than its Union counterpart, due in part to the heavy fighting it had seen. Confederate leaders, from wing command on down, were also experienced. Lee could count on superb leaders such as Jackson, Longstreet, Hood, and the Hills to fight his battles. As usual, the Yankees were better clothed than the Confederates, though in some cases the reverse was true, especially considering the Confederates had just captured the Union supply depot at Harpers Ferry. Again as was usually the case, the Federals were better armed than their Rebel counterparts. Most carried the 1861 Springfield rifled musket. At least one estimate says the number of smoothbores in the Army of Northern Virginia was as high as 30%. The Army of the Potomac had an artillery advantage as well, both in the number and hitting power of its guns. The Yankee army was undergoing a reorganization on the fly as the four separate forces which composed the army came together. However, the Confederates were also facing a reorganization, with the added negatives of having fewer and weaker guns, and bad fuses for their shells. The Confederate cavalry was used and organized better than their Union counterparts at this stage of the war, but they were more poorly armed. In terms of supplies, the Union was in much better shape at Antietam. The Union was faced with the burden of burying the dead and caring for the wounded, an enormous task. As these “two great American armies” came together on September 17, 1862, they were clearly not facing their own image in the mirror.

Page 33
Philadelphia: The Economy of War by Richard A. Sauers
Philadelphia, the second largest U.S. city at the time of the Civil War behind only New York, was a major business center tied as much to the South as it was to the North. All of that changed after the start of the war. Many Philadelphia firms contributed to the Union cause, supplying uniforms, supplies, weapons, and other equipment to Northern soldiers. Philadelphia’s banks proved to be an unexpected financial base for the North during this time as well, also shipping coal to other Northern cities from the coal mines of eastern Pennsylvania.

Page 38
Friends to the Death by Jerry W. Holsworth
Confederate Brigadier General David R. Jones and Union Colonel Henry W. Kingsbury were good friends and brothers-in-law…fighting on opposite sides during the Civil War. Early in the war, both men were present at First Bull Run and during the Peninsula Campaign and the Seven Days. Shortly after the campaign ended, Kingsbury was appointed to command the 11th Connecticut Infantry, and he would soon find himself facing his friend’s small Confederate Division across Antietam Creek, with Burnside’s Bridge in between. Kingsbury’s regiment was ordered forward as skirmishers to the bridge, and Kingsbury was hit four times, including what proved to be a fatal wound in the abdomen. The Union forces eventually crossed the Antietam and were pushing Jones’ men into Sharpsburg, but a flank attack by the newly arrived division of A.P. Hill saved the day. D.R. Jones, however, wasn’t smiling. He had learned of the death of his friend through prisoners of the 11th Connecticut. Jones was never the same after that day, says Holsworth, asking to be relieved of command of his division and dying of a heart attack in January 1863 at the age of 39.

Page 46
An Officer and an Indian by Patrick T. Seccia
George Washington Grayson, a Confederate officer and Creek chieftain, is the subject of this article by Patrick Seccia. Grayson, of mixed Creek and white Southern blood, had a much better education than many of his tribe. When the war started, Grayson initially resisted the call to arms. His father had died, and he as the oldest son was able to earn money to support his family. Eventually, though, taunts from those questioning his courage led Grayson to join the Confederate cause. He fought in many battles in Indian Territory, including Honey Springs and Cabin Creek. By the end of the war, no one was questioning his bravery any more. In the postbellum years, Grayson served the public as a politician, eventually becoming Chief of the Creek tribe in 1917. Grayson started writing his autobiography in 1908, twelve years before he died. Eventually this was published in 1988 as A Creek Warrior for the Confederacy: The Autobiography of Chief G. W. Grayson.

Page 56
In Their Footsteps: Harpers Ferry by Jay Wertz
Jay Wertz’ latest “In Their Footsteps” takes a look at the numerous Civil War site in and around Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. Major sites and centers include the NPS Visitors Center for the Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, the Kennedy Farm, Charles Town, the John Brown Museum, the armory engine house, the remains of the Shenandoah Canal, the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park, Bolivar Heights, Maryland Heights, among others.

Page 66
Civil War Times Album of the Late War
This edition of the “Civil War Times Album of the Late War” covers the hypothetical situation of having a living Isaac Stevens and Jesse Reno actin as Union corps commanders at Antietam, a coded message from Maj. Gen. Fitz John Porter to Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan, a letter from a Confederate surgeon to his wife after Second Bull Run, and the Kearny Patch and Medal.

Page 68
Reviews: Books and Other Media
Books reviewed in this issue:

1. Patriotic Treason: John Brown and the Soul of America by Evan Carton
2. The Battle of Hampton Roads: New Perspectives on the USS Monitor and CSS Virginia edited by Harold Holzer and Tim Mulligan

The Classics:

1. Diary of a Southern Refugee During The War, by A Lady of Virginia by Judith W. McGuire

Page 74
Frozen Moment: Freedom’s Calling Card
Two young children attending one of the Free Schools of Louisiana are depicted in this issue’s frozen moment on a carte-de-visite from 1863. The picture is an example of “materials distributed and sold throughout the North to raise money for, and awareness of, that effort.”


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