Saturday, May 31, 2008

News--Harpers Ferry, WV Gets $122 Millon Weapons Center

Byrd Visits New Firing Range: Senator, Officials Celebrate Opening Of Harpers Ferry Facility, Beth Henry, Journal-News Staff, May 31, 2008.

U.S. Sen. Robert C. Byrd has helped funnel more than $122 million into Harpers Ferry’s state-of-the-art training facility for U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and he isn’t finished yet. Byrd visited the site for a special ceremony Friday, where two events were wrapped into one. Byrd and U.S. CBP Commissioner W. Ralph Basham participated in a ribbon-cutting for the center’s new Firing Range Complex, while they helped celebrate groundbreaking for construction of the facility’s Leadership Academy.

“Today, the efforts of hundreds of people are spread before us like a blessing,” Byrd said to the crowd of more than 300 federal leaders and community members who gathered for the afternoon ceremony inside one of the firing ranges. He said he started securing funding for the Advanced Training Facility in 1999, and he is proud that he has obtained nearly $123 million in design and construction dollars for the center’s construction. That funding was supplemented by more than $26 million from Customs and Border Protection.

“That ain’t chicken feed,” Byrd joked, getting one of many rounds of applause. He also received standing ovations when he arrived, when he was introduced and when he finished his 15-minute speech. In addition to discussing the center’s importance to the nation’s security, Byrd also pointed out the significance of the site’s location near Harpers Ferry, where one of only two U.S. Armory and Arsenal facilities was built in 1799. It operated there until 1861, when it was closed to prevent its capture during the Civil War.

“Now, more than 200 years later, a new top-of-the-line firing range complex has emerged in the same geographic vicinity,” he said. “Here, much-needed firearms training will be available for the men and women on the front lines of protecting the borders and economy of this great nation.” The Firing Range Complex covers 65,000 square feet, with five different ranges designed for rifles and handguns. It also includes classrooms, weapon cleaning areas and firing range control rooms.

During the ceremony, Basham praised Byrd’s leadership and vision, and said the Customs and Border Protection’s training center would not have been possible without him. “In this age of global terrorism, it is essential that those sworn to protect the borders of our nation are fully trained and prepared to do so,” Basham said. “We are extremely proud of this first-rate training facility, which would not exist were it not for one single driving force — Sen. Robert C. Byrd.” The firing range center was open for tours following the ceremony, while Byrd met with a long line of well-wishers who wanted to shake his hand and take pictures.

The 124-acre Advanced Training Center sits along School House Ridge off U.S. 340 near Harpers Ferry, and it opened in August 2005. The center features a range of training environments, including facilities such as a land border crossing, airport terminal and marine and urban areas. The center also includes an administration building, welcome center and classrooms. Byrd said the facility is the first in the nation to provide advanced law enforcement training specifically for Customs and Border Protection efforts.

Besides the CBP Leadership Academy, other planned facilities include a warehouse and a dormitory complex. The academy will provide a range of training for officers and agents, and the more than 600 new supervisors who are added to Customs and Border Protection each year. The agency has more than 50,000 federal employees, making it the nation’s largest group of armed federal law enforcement officers.

Wes Windle, the acting director of the Advanced Training Center, said he’s been thrilled to watch the center expand with cooperation from Byrd, the CBP, Harpers Ferry National Historical Park and police agencies from throughout the region that also use the facility. “I’m just astounded with what we’ve been able to do,” Windle said after the ceremony . “For me, working in this type of facility is just phenomenal. ... The CBP has a great, great home here.”

Contact: Staff writer Beth Henry can be reached at (304) 725-6581 or

Text Source:

Photos: Top--U.S. Sen. Robert C. Byrd, D-W.Va., and U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner W. Ralph Basham, left, cut the ribbon for the grand opening of the Firing Range Complex and the groundbreaking of the Leadership Academy at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Advance Training Center on Friday afternoon in Harpers Ferry. (Journal photo by Martin B. Cherry)
Bottom--Gary Kable observes the targets used in the new Firing Range Complex in the new 124-acre facility. U.S. Customs and Border Protection is a component of The Homeland Security Department. (Journal photo by Martin B. Cherry)

News---Vicksburg Post Celebrates 200th Anniversary of Jefferson Davis' Birth; His Mansion/Presidential Library Reopens

Jefferson Davis Bicentennnial, Gordon Cotton, Vicksburg Mississippi Post, May 14-24, 2008.

This year is the 200th anniversary of the birth of Jefferson Davis, who was born in Fairview, Ky., on June 3, 1808, and at the age of 2 moved with his parents to Rosemont Plantation near Woodville, Miss. In 1835, Davis moved to Warren County where he spent the most productive years of his life. This is a series of 11 articles about Davis as a local Citizen.

May 14, 2008 Brother's home lured young couple to Warren County

May 15, 2008 Political career started with a one-day campaign, and a loss at the polls

May 16, 2008 Varina was met on an errand, and courtship followed

May 17, 2008 Washington and war with Mexico kept time at Brierfield brief

May 18, 2008 Brierfield lush and productive in years before the war

May 19, 2008 Locals first to cheer reluctant-yet-confident president

May 20, 2008 Union general's wife curious about husband's classmate

May 21, 2008 Mutual fondness clear on final visit

May 22, 2008 Last stop at Brierfield complicated by illness

May 23, 2008 Unexpected tributes were also unequivocal

May 24, 2008 Local friends, distant ediorialists offered tributes

Source of Articles:
Also Beauvoir Plantation, Jefferson Davis' retirement home was severly damaged by Hurricane Katrina.

The house is reopening in June. Go to the Beauvoir's wwwsite at and read the scanned newspaper story of the rebuilding of the house.

News---Gettysburg Country Club, Site of Confederate Attacks on McPherson Ridge, In Bankruptcy

Gettysburg Country Club Goes Belly-Up, Alex J. Hayes, Gettysburg Times, Friday, May 30, 2008.

The doors of the Gettysburg Country Club are locked, but the organization’s board members say they are working diligently to make the shutdown temporary. “There are several different irons in the fire, so to speak, three or four,” said board member Tom Campbell. “Most of them are pretty sensitive, so we can’t really talk about a lot of details.”

Thursday’s shutdown is the latest development in the club’s financial saga. Members were informed recently the organization owes several thousand dollars in back taxes. Susquehanna Banks, M&T Bank, People’s Bank and Northwest Bank plan to foreclose on the Chambersburg Road property June 2 because mortgage repayments lag. Campbell would not discuss if refunds will be issued to members.

“In all honesty, we do have different target dates to open certain facilities,” he said. “If certain things fall into line and get in sync, the facilities will be open. Until we know for sure that we can’t, we are holding. General Manager Isaac Davis assures all staff will be paid today for time they worked.

“Our staff is our number one priority,” he said. “They have been here to support us and we appreciate that.” The club’s members voted this week to allow the eight-member board to subdivide, sell or lease all or a portion of the club’s assets. Previously, any such decisions required approval by a majority of the entire membership. The National Park Service hopes to obtain a scenic easement, or an outright purchase, of the club’s 120 acres of land, Gettysburg National Military Park spokesperson Katie Lawhon confirmed last week.

There are also possibilities of outside businesses leasing or owning the clubhouse and a sale of the entire facility to create a semi-private club, board members said. Board member Nate Hockley said the board is not releasing the target reopening dates because it does not want to give members “a sense of false hope.” The problem began when the members decided several years ago to open a new clubhouse. None of the board members interviewed for this report held seats on the club’s board of directors at that time.

“The membership voted overwhelmingly to build the new clubhouse,” Campbell said. “There were cracks in the walls (of the old clubhouse) that were visible and the social aspect of the club deteriorated to the point there wasn’t New Years Eve parties here; there weren’t social events.”

The facility opened April 2007 and offered a full-service restaurant, banquet facilities and pub fare. The members were accustomed to a “soup and sandwich bar,” and the new offerings did not sell as well as the club’s board hoped. “When it first opened, the general manager at the time went 100 percent – full service, every day; which we learned since, in a new enterprise like that, may not be the way to go,” Campbell said. When the general manager was replaced in August 2007, the board and new manager, Davis, realized the dire financial situation.

Campbell, Hockley, Board President Jon Miller and board member Eric Aumen say the situation was not solely the manager’s fault. “It wasn’t that the general manager ran it this way and that was the wrong way, or this happened,” Hockley said. “Things really were not in sync. One thing led to something else, which led to something else.”

Campbell also attributed the club’s problems to the decline in the housing market. He said club members knew current membership could not support the new clubhouse, but numerous housing projects in the area meant there was a good possibility membership would rise. “The feeling was, you build this facility and the members will come,” he said. Trying to improve the situation, the club’s board placed a $600assessment on the approximately 300 members.

“This is something country clubs do all the time when they need additional revenue,” Aumen said. “It is usually a lot more than $600, but we wanted to make it affordable.” Instead of the club being able to add approximately $180,000 to its cash flow, it went further in the red. “At that time, we lost 40 percent of our members,” Campbell said.

The loss of membership dues, added to existing problems, equaled seriou trouble. “If we didn’t have the loss of members that we realized, we wouldn’t be here right now talking with you (this reporter). There would be no problem; it would be a profitable enterprise. Because of the folks who quit over a $600 assessment, we went down,” said Campbell.

The board then kicked-off a $13,000 advertising campaign with hopes of recruiting new members. Monthly memberships, with a year commitment, were reduced to $200 from $283. Packages that provided access to only the pool and/or tennis courts were also introduced. “That was 26 newspaper ads; one every other day for 50 days; 200 radio ads and a 5,000-piece direct mail drop,” Hockley said. Like the assessment plan, the marketing campaign failed miserably.

Why board members spent so much time and effort into saving a club they do not have significant financial interest in may baffle some; but to Campbell, Hockley, Aumen and Miller, the answer is simple. “My parents were members here and I grew up here. To me, summer is Gettysburg Country Club,” Campbell said. Aumen and Miller found it a great place to meet people when they moved to the area a few years ago.

“The great thing about it is, there are people I wouldn’t necessarily invite over to my house, but I enjoy coming to the club and I enjoy seeing them,” Aumen said. Even though the doors are closed, the four say they will work “day and night” to reopen. Even if the banks foreclose June 2, they will still have six months to a year to figure out a plan, Miller said.

If those efforts are fruitless, the four have no idea what they will do. “We will tell you when we get there,” Hockley said. “Right now, we are going to paint the picture that we are going to turn this thing around. We will give it 120 percent.”

Contact Alex Hayes at



CWL: The Country Club is between Herr's Ridge and McPherson's Ridge; the club's eastern border is Willoughy's Run. The Country Club was built on Heth's advance. In a decade after the battle, a hotel featuring mineral waters was built on the site. The mineral springs hotel was developed into the country club during the next century.

Additional News Story: Hanover Evening Sun

Friday, May 30, 2008

News---And The Segway You Came In On

Horse tours, walking tours, auto tours and Segway tours. Is Gettysburg the first battlefield to have Segway tours?
Check out

Eastern Battlefield Tour: approx. 1.5 hours)
The tour route takes us to the East side of the battlefield. Although less well-known, it was the site of many pivotal engagements on each of the three days of the battle.
Visit: East Confederate Avenue
Spangler's Spring
Culp's Hill
Observation Tower
East Cemetery Hill
Soldier's National Cemetery ...and many other sites and memorials along the route

Western Tour Approximately 2.5 hours
Visit: Lutheran Theological Seminary
Seminary Ridge
McMillan Woods
North Carolina Memorial
Virginia Memorial (start of Picketts Charge)
Pitzer Woods / Longstreet Headquarters
The Peach Orchard
The Wheatfield
Devil's Den
Little Round Top
Cemetery Ridge
Pennsylvania Memorial
High Water Mark / The Angle / Copse of Trees
Meade's Headquarters
Brian Barn
National Cemetery ...and many other sites and memorials along the route.

For the Eastern Tour: $45 and for the Western Tour $65.00 per person.

Escorts and Guides:
Both tours include an audio tour that was designed and narrated by a Licensed Battlefield Guide. The tour is directed by a staff escort and takes a prescribed route which includes at least four rest stops plus photo opportunities.

Staff escorts are not Licensed Battlefield Guides and, under the rules of the National Park Service, are not permitted to answer questions about the Battle of Gettysburg. Reservations are recommended but walk-ins are permitted if staff and equipment are available.

For a Licensed Battlefield Guide, add $15.00 per person. A group of 4 or more is required or a minimum guide fee of $60 applies. The group may include others outside your party. A live guide requires a reservation.

Skill level: Training and helmets are provided at no additional charge. Minimum age is 16.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Off Topic---House To House in Saigon, 1968

House to House: Playing The Enemy's Game In Saigon, May 1968, Keith Nolan, Zenith Press, 368 pp., maps, photographs, index, glossary, bibliography, $24.95.

Keith Nolan's House To House: Playing The Enemy's Game in Saigon, May 1968 relies on nearly 200 participant interviews from 12 units engaged in the post-Tet Offensive attack on Saigon. His book is one of the best descriptions of Vietnam combat CWL has read. The writing relies on the words of the soldiers, some of which are very personal. Descriptions of small units engaging the enemy in urban warfare and descriptions of both heroic and disappointing leadership are fairly balanced. The accounts of the Vietnamese civilians caught in the crossfire are stunning; the use of testimony of the medical staff, the civilian news reporters and both army and civilian photographers is incisive in a manner not often presented in combat books. In particular, the account of a massacre of news reporters in a jeep, as narrated by a survivor is stunning.

Incidents of combat causalities inflicted by friendly fire are presented with the actual causes of the friendly fire; in one instace the drop mechanism on a helicopter rocket launcher malfunctions with disastrous results.

The black and white photographs are selected both from division archives and personal collections; many photographs were taken during combat. Those photos from the Ken Pollard Collection are particularly striking. One in particular stands out. Ken Pollard, a combat photographer, is pulled out of a street and into cover after being wounded. The soldier who is pulling Pollard out of the street is Ransom Cyr, a fellow combat photographer, who was killed by a sniper upon immediately reaching cover with Pollard.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Forthcoming---The Rifle Musket in Civil War Combat: Reality and Myth

The Rifle Musket in Civil War Combat: Reality and Myth, Earl J. Hess, Modern War Studies Series, University Press of Kansas, 288 pp., $29.95. September 9, 2008.

The Civil War's single-shot, muzzle-loading musket revolutionized warfare--or so we've been told for years. Noted historian Earl J. Hess forcefully challenges that claim, offering a new, clear-eyed, and convincing assessment of the rifle musket's actual performance on the battlefield and its impact on the course of the Civil War.

Many contemporaries were impressed with the new weapon's increased range of 500 yards, compared to the smoothbore musket's range of 100 yards, and assumed that the rifle was a major factor in prolonging the Civil War. Historians have also assumed that the weapon dramatically increased casualty rates, made decisive victories rare, and relegated cavalry and artillery to far lesser roles than they played in smoothbore battles.

Hess presents a completely new assessment of the rifle musket, contending that its impact was much more limited than previously supposed and was confined primarily to marginal operations such as skirmishing and sniping. He argues further that its potential to alter battle line operations was virtually nullified by inadequate training, soldiers' preference for short-range firing, and the difficulty of seeing the enemy at a distance. He notes that bullets fired from the new musket followed a parabolic trajectory unlike those fired from smoothbores; at mid-range, those rifle balls flew well above the enemy, creating two killing zones between which troops could operate untouched. He also presents the most complete discussion to date of the development of skirmishing and sniping in the Civil War.

Drawing upon the observations and reflections of the soldiers themselves, Hess offers the most compelling argument yet made regarding the actual use of the rifle musket and its influence on Civil War combat. Engagingly written and meticulously researched, his book will be of special interest to Civil War scholars, buffs, re-enactors, and gun enthusiasts alike.

Text: From Publisher

Forthcoming---Comrades In Arms: Loyalty, Betrayal, Heroism, Cowardice and Survival

Heroes and Cowards: The Social Face of War , Dora L. Costa and Matthew E. Kahn, National Bureau of Economic Research Publications, 304 pages, Princeton University Press, $27.95, January 1, 2009.

When are people willing to sacrifice for the common good? What are the benefits of friendship? How do communities deal with betrayal? And what are the costs and benefits of being in a diverse community? Using the life histories of more than forty thousand Civil War soldiers, Dora Costa and Matthew Kahn answer these questions and uncover the vivid stories, social influences, and crucial networks that influenced soldiers' lives both during and after the war.

Drawing information from government documents, soldiers' journals, and one of the most extensive research projects about Union Army soldiers ever undertaken, Heroes and Cowards demonstrates the role that social capital plays in people's decisions. The makeup of various companies--whether soldiers were of the same ethnicity, age, and occupation--influenced whether soldiers remained loyal or whether they deserted. Costa and Kahn discuss how the soldiers benefited from friendships, what social factors allowed some to survive the POW camps while others died, and how punishments meted out for breaking codes of conduct affected men after the war. The book also examines the experience of African-American soldiers and makes important observations about how their comrades shaped their lives.

Heroes and Cowards highlights the inherent tensions between the costs and benefits of community diversity, shedding light on how groups and societies behave and providing valuable lessons for the present day.

Text: from publisher

CWL---Critics of the Lincoln Memorial Insult It's Designers Intelligence

A Misunderstood Monument: Critics of the Lincoln Memorial Instult its Designer's Intelligence, Andrew Ferguson, The Wall Street Journal, May 24-25 2008, p. W12.

Andrew Ferguson, author of Land of Lincoln, notes that four score and six Memorial Days ago, the ribbon was cut on the Lincoln Memorial with Robert Lincoln, and Presidents Howard Taft and Warren Harding officiating. The designers of the 1922 outdoor sculpture did not foresee that it would be interpreted as imperialist propaganda. Ferguson notes Lewis Mumford's remarks. "One feels not the living beauty of our American past, but the mortuary air of archaeology" and "Who lives in that shrine, I wonder---Lincoln... or the generation that took pleasure in the mean triumph of the Spanish America [War] and placed the imperial standard in the Philippines and Caribbean?"

Today many critics have drank from Mumford's fount. Kristopher A. Thomas , author of The Lincoln Memorial and American Life understands the memorial to be "a confection of a cultural and political elite bet on stripping Lincoln of his earthly imperfections." For Thomas and others who Thomas quotes, the memorial's designers were political reactionaries who induced a politico-cultural program into the memorial for the purpose of controlling the populace by sedating it with a mythology.

Ferguson assures the readers that the designers were as intelligent and worldly as the critics. A North Carolinian architect and a Yankee sculptor rejected proposals to idealize Lincoln's visage and dress him in clothes other than plain civilian attire. (CWL---Lincoln in a toga, like Washington in the Museum of American History?)

The designer wanted Lincoln seated, not standing like military commanders, with a reflective and contemplative expression on his face. With hair uncombed, a crooked tie, tension in his hands and the eyes not quite symmetrical, the designer's Lincoln is certainly not stripped of his earthly imperfections. For Ferguson, the memorial is not a starry-eyed, naive expression of imperialism but a subtle and natural expression of awe.

Ferguson quotes Harding's dedication speech to reinforce this opinion. Lincoln "was a very natural human being with the frailties mixed with the virtues of humanity. There are neither supermen nor demigods in the government of republics. It will be better for our conception of government and institutions if we will understand this fact." The truth of this statement for Ferguson is found on the walls of the memorial. There are no hidden codes of imperialism in the monument. "In the Gettysburg Address, in which Lincoln reminded his country that it potential for greatness lived in its founding proposition." The memorial is large and is perfect in form and scale because it honors "not just a man but a proposition---an idea that no wised-up debunker can hope to deflate."

Monday, May 26, 2008

Off Topic Fiction---Ernest Hemingway's Nick Adams Stories

The Nick Adams Stories, Ernest Hemingway, Paperback, 272 pages, $14.00, and Simon & Schuster Audio; Unabridged edition $29.95.

The Nick Adams Stories collection was published in 1972, eleven years after Hemingways' suicide. I encountered them a year later as an undergraduate enrolled in a Hemingway/Faulkner seminar. The simple, newspaper-like sentences were crisp, clear, declarative. In 1973, if queried about my future I would have said 'newspaper writer'.

The stories were collected from previous anthologies: In Our Time and Men Without Women and literary journals. Arranged in the chronological sequence of Nick Adams life, these stories show the character from early childhood, through the Great War, and into parenthood. The first section, The Northern Woods, describes a child's experience of fear (Three Shots), birth and suicide (Indian Camp) and disappearance of the Native Americans (three stories).

Currently anthologized stories come from Part II: Light of the World, The Battler, and The Killers. In Parts III, IV, and VI, short story writers' models appear: Now I Lay Me, Big Two Hearted River, The Three Day Blow, and Fathers and Sons. Also, The Nick Adams Stories have been made into a film, Adventures of a Young Man in 1962. Paul Newman can be recognized under a boxer's ravaged face from the segment, The Battler.

In this audiobook, Stacey Keach does a fine job of carrying Nick's and all the other voices. A quibble: the bass viola interludes between the stories drains, deadens and distracts from Keach's work.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

News---School Students Embrace Wills House in Gettysburg

Student Donations Put "The Finishing Touch" Campaign At The $25,000 Mark, Katie Lawhon, Main Street Gettysburg Association publicity release, May 23, 2008.

Donations from the students of the Gettysburg Area School District have put Main Street Gettysburg’s Finishing Touch Campaign at the $25,000 mark. The campaign, which kicked off in February, has a $35,000 goal and will support the historic David Wills House in downtown Gettysburg.

“The campaign is about more than fundraising – we are engaging students in every grade level, and developing creative ways to help them learn and embrace the rich history that surrounds them here in Gettysburg,” said Dr. Bill Hall, Superintendent of the Gettysburg Area School District, and co-chair of the campaign.

The Finishing Touch involves students in fundraising and educational projects, students creating artwork that will be sold at auction, and construction of a large scale model of the David Wills House. Main Street Gettysburg is partnering with Gettysburg Schools and the Gettysburg Times and News Publishing Company on the campaign.

The partnership is raising $35,000 for the final detailed paintwork on the exterior of the historic structure, which is on the National Register of Historic Places. The red painted bricks on the outside of the Wills home were outlined by a stencil of white paint, highlighting each of the mortar joints. Any additional funds raised will go toward a Finishing Touch scholarship project for students.

Main Street Gettysburg will operate the David Wills House as a museum in partnership with the National Park Service. David Wills’ home was the center of the immense clean-up process after the Battle of Gettysburg and where President Lincoln put the finishing touches on the Gettysburg Address. The speech transformed Gettysburg's community from a place of devastation to the symbol of our nation's new birth of freedom. The museum will feature six galleries, including two rooms restored to their 1863 appearance: Wills' office as he received letters from families looking for loved ones after the battle and began planning for the cemetery and its dedication; and the bedroom where Lincoln stayed and prepared to deliver the Gettysburg Address.

The David Wills House Grand Opening is scheduled for February 12–16, 2009, and is an official event of the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission. Preview events are scheduled for November 21, 22, and 23, 2008. More than 90,000 visitors a year are expected to visit the site,vwhich is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Main Street Gettysburg is a nonprofit organization dedicated to historic preservation and economic revitalization of Gettysburg for the benefit of its citizens, businesses, and visitors. Main Street Gettysburg is partnering, leading, and investing in Gettysburg future. To contribute to the Finishing Touch, send a tax-deductible contribution to Main Street Gettysburg. For more information contact Main Street Gettysburg at 717/ 337-3491, or visit the website

Text Source:

Publicity Source: Deb Adamik, Main Street Gettysburg Association, 717.337.3491


Friday, May 23, 2008

CWL---Gettysburg, The Official Records and The Army of Northern Virginia. Author Corrects CWL

CWL welcomes corrections to statements. Dr. Ben Dixon of SUNY College at Oneonta, New York and author of Learning The Battle of Gettysburg: A Guide to the Official Records sent CWL a gracious email communication. Below are Dr. Dixon's remarks:

First, let me say how thankful I am for your wonderful website “Civil War Librarian.” I frequently consult it for your readings and opinions on books and news on the Civil War. However, please allow me to offer a slight correction regarding your review of me book, “Learning the Battle of Gettysburg: Guide to the Official Records.”

On May 11, you kindly wrote:

“Happily perusing Benjamin Dixon's new Learning The Battle of Gettysburg: A Guide to the Official Records, I asked "For Gettysburg, Is the Army of Northern Virginia Represented in the Official Records?" The answer was found on pages 136-144. Of what I found this is a summary of Army of Northern Virginia's Reports in the OR:
Of three infantry corps, all three corps reports are missing.”

If you look on pages 136 – 144, I do give the OR pages for all 3 Corps reports (Longstreet’s 1st Corps Report OR 2: 357; Ewell’s 2nd Corps Report OR 2: 439; and Hill’s 3rd Corps OR 2: 606).

By chance did you mean to say, “Of FIRST infantry corps, all three DIVISION reports are missing” (which would be true).

Yes, Dr. Dixon, CWL did intend to write that all three division reports of the Longstreet's Corps are missing. After querying the listserv, it is reported that the First Corps' division reports are in Supplement to the Offical Records that are offered by Broadfoot Publishing.

CWL encourages students of the battle to locate and use Dr. Dixon's inexpensive book offered by Thomas Publications that opens the OR as a primary source in a unique way. I use a compact disk copy of the OR and Learning The Battle of Gettysburg: A Guide to the Official Records and Dr. Dixon's work has increased both CWL's speed in locating sources and checking footnotes in Gettysburg books.

News----The Unprotected Battlefield: Adams County Land Conservation Effort

The Unprotected Battlefield: Conservationists Fight ot Prevent Development o9f Privately Owned Land With The National Park, T. W. Burger, The Harrisburg Patriot-News,May 21, 2008

The town is famous because it was under fire in 1863. Gettysburg National Military Park, with 6,000 acres of Civil War battleground, continues to be under assault. More than a year ago, it was the threat of a slots casino being built nearby. A few months after that plan was snuffed, someone else suggested building an amusement park four miles away. Now, sights are on the private land within the park.

A study done this year shows that 1,054 acres -- one out of every five acres in the park's boundary -- are unprotected from development. The nonprofit group that operates the Gettysburg visitors center bought an 80-acre farm this month within the boundary and donated it to the National Park Service. The George Spangler Farm was in the middle of the Union line during the three-day Battle of Gettysburg in July 1863. It was used as an artillery and ammunition support facility and field hospital. The Gettysburg Foundation paid owners Ronald, Richard and Clarence Andrew $1.9 million for the farm.

Gettysburg National Military Park Superintendent John A. Latschar called the purchase an important step in protecting the battlefield. But in early April, the National Parks Conservation Association released the first comprehensive look in decades at development threats to land within national parks. The report highlights 55 parks and included a case study on Gettysburg National Military Park.

The National Park Service estimated that the Gettysburg park's top acquisition priorities are 119 acres of private property within its boundary that are for sale for about $3.6 million. While a March poll performed by Peter Hart Research Associates said 77 percent of voters think the federal government should protect national parks by buying private land within them, the work is being done, at least in Gettysburg, by individuals and nonprofit groups.

Dean Shultz, 69, owner of Gettysburg Engineering, owns a stone pre-Civil War house on the banks of Rock Creek. It was used as a field hospital during the war and has bloodstains on its floor planks to prove it. Shultz is a co-founder of the Adams County Land Conservancy, which, with other organizations, has preserved more than 500 acres in and around the battlefield. Shultz and his wife, Judy, own 100 acres of battlefield ground. He said the property will be protected but didn't want to discuss details.

His company office is on battlefield ground, and it's portable. "It's a mobile home, and when I don't need it anymore, it will be hauled away and the ground returned to the deer," he said. Shultz said most people assume that private land within the park is automatically safe from development. But "these inholdings are privately owned, and they can be developed in any way that the local municipalities permit," he said.

The Gettysburg park spreads across five municipalities, with a wide range of zoning. Its boundary was established in 1990. The National Park Service has a policy not to use eminent domain to take private property, even within that boundary. "On that basis, no municipality can turn down a project just because it's within the boundary. That's why those inholdings are not protected," Shultz said. The preferred method of dealing with the private land is for the park service to purchase the development rights -- easements -- if only because that is less expensive than purchasing the properties outright, park service spokeswoman Katie Lawhon said.

Lawhon said she could not say exactly how many, or even if any, properties were in process of sale or easements. The good news is the park service frequently gets calls from property owners who would like to sell. The bad news is that there's nothing in the piggy bank, Lawhon said. "We've had no money for the past several years," she said.

The last time Congress put anything into the park service's pocket for land acquisition at Gettysburg was in 2001. The proposed federal budget for 2009 has $2.2 million, but that's not in the bag, Lawhon said.

T.W. BURGER: 255-4123 or

Text Source:

Photo of Dean Schultz by Chris Marks

CWL Offers Complimentary Login and Password To Alexander Street Press' Four Amazing Online Collections

At your fingertips, how about an American Civil War collection that contains 65,000 pages drawn from 49 periodicals, including 15 campaign newspapers, most of them illustrated—3,720 issues published from 1860 to 1865?

Or how about searching, and being able to retrieve 70,000 contemporaneous photographs, along with nearly 30,000 highly graphical wartime recruiting posters, envelopes, and ephemera?

While looking primary sources for your regiment, how about working through an extraordinary electronic collection includes 100,000 pages, including 4,000 pages of previously unpublished material?

Would you use an online resource for researching the individuals, regiments, and battles of the American Civil War, with indexed, searchable information on 4.3 million soldiers and thousands of battles, together with 15,000 photographs?

Wish you had access that contains all of the more than 4,600 known regimental rosters, 3,461 regimental chronicles, and 1,010 officer profiles?

So you don't work for or are located near a major research university. Hmm. . .

Go to and login: american with the password: bicentennial.

Alexander Street Press offers four databases including The American Civil War Research Database™ which may be a nearly definitive online resource for researching the soldiers, regiments, and battles of the American Civil War. Originally created by Historical Data Systems, Inc., the database contains indexed, searchable information on over 4 million soldiers and thousands of battles, together with 15,000 photographs. With thousands of regimental rosters and officer profiles, the database will continue to grow as new information is loaded bi-annually.

In addition to 222 volumes of rosters published by the state Adjutants Generals, the database includes the military records for every soldier in the collection as well as Official Records, pension index records, 1860 census records, Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) records, Roll of Honor records, Medal of Honor records, and regimental histories. This information has been compiled from personal items, graveyards, and newspaper reports.

The American Civil War Research Database™ includes a record for virtually every soldier who served in the war. There are descriptions of thousands of battles, with detailed multi-page battle orders and reports for significant battles such as Shiloh, Antietam, and Gettysburg.

Database users can examine the military record for each soldier, or even search the entire research collection by soldier, regiment, state, and battle. The database also allows users to trace the war effort using critical statistics including average age, method of entry into and exit from the military, war engagements, and associated loss and prisoner statistics. Researchers can go below the big picture to analyze the details of specific regiments where they saw combat, their casualty statistics, and the effects of disease. They can also use census information to decipher the impact on a particular soldier's hometown.

The Analysis Charts tools, a distinctive feature of The American Civil War Research Database™, lets you identify a large-scale trend and then focus down to the regiment or individual soldier. Dozens of charts and graphs can be viewed through a single interface that allows for an immediate visual understanding of complex data. For example, users of this query tool can view a chart analyzing death by disease and can then explore the Regimental Casualty Analysis and the Regimental Assignment charts to research this subject further.

Historical Data Systems, Inc., a Massachusetts-based company whose focus is the American Civil War, created the database. Alexander Street is pleased to present the library version of The American Civil War Research Database™.

A second database Images of the American Civil War: Photographs, Posters, and Ephemera, presents the dramatic imagery of nineteenth-century Americana as experienced from the social, military, and political perspectives. At completion, the collection will present 75,000 images drawn from archives around the country, documenting the camp and battle experiences of Union and Confederate soldiers of all ranks, time spent in hospitals and in prisons, civilian life in cities and towns close to and far from the front lines of war, and the demeanor of the politicians whose decisions could bring the nation together or tear it apart. Many of the images in the collection were captured by famous and lesser-known innovators working with the burgeoning medium of nineteenth-century photography. Additionally, graphical content such as envelopes, song sheets, recruiting posters, imprints, and cartoons give users the ability to research how wartime America illustrated their times visually. With Images of the American Civil War: Photographs, Posters, and Ephemera, researchers and students can now see the moments—both monumental and mundane--that occurred as the nation stood divided.

Regular updates of Images of the American Civil War: Photographs, Posters, and Ephemera ensure an ever-expanding trove of fully-searchable images. Most of the materials have been gathered from extensive archives of nineteenth-century Americana. Partnerships with these archives allow the collection to bring forth previously unpublished photographs and posters to further scholarship of the Civil War. All images are organized around key broad subject areas in the field, allowing users to proceed directly to visual narratives of social, political, and military aspects of the war. Additionally, each image contains a short contextual note and is indexed for available data such as photographer, year, and setting. The result is a widely searchable database that gives researches unprecedented access to the highly visual record of the Civil War experience.

The American Civil War: Letters and Diaries database and Illustrated Civil War Newspapers and Magazines database are the third and fourth databases included in Alexander Street's collection of four primary source resources. CWL is unsure how long this free subscription will last for non-institutional users. The wwwsite and passwords were sent to CWL pass on to readers and librarians with budgets. CWL encourages patrons and librarians to use the wwwsite while it is availabe and then lobby public and private institutions to add this database to their collections.

Photo: United States Christian Commission headquarters, 1864, Virginia

Text Source: Content descriptions of the databases are provided by the publisher.

Monday, May 19, 2008

News--- Gettysburg NPS Prepares To Level Buildings Then Landscape Ziegler's Grove's 45 Acres at Cost of $10 Million

Gettysburg battlefield: Rehabilitating Cemetery Ridge, Erin James, Evening Sun Reporter, May 17, 2008.

Map in hand, park ranger Karlton Smith lays an index finger on one rectangular shape he trusts to orient visitors with their historic surroundings. "This building's actually McDonald's," he says. "That's a good marker." Seconds later, an outstretched arm points toward the modern-day structure as it stands in real life on Emmitsburg Road - across the street from where Smith stands on Cemetery Ridge, a chunk of land on which hundreds were killed and wounded during the Battle of Gettysburg.

The use of 20th-century developments as reference points is one way Smith said he has been able to help visitors better understand what happened here in 1863. But it's a teaching method that could someday be considered passé. For several years now, the Gettysburg National Military Park has been carrying out plans to "rehabilitate" some of the land within its 6,000-acre boundary.

Trees have been removed from places they didn't exist in 1863, when Civil War soldiers fought on open land. Telephone poles and utility lines have been relocated underground so as not to impede on a history student's perspective. The overall goal is to make the battlefield again look as it did in 1863 - or, at least, as close as possible. Next on the project list is 43.5 acres of land where the former Visitor Center and Cyclorama building are located.

Smith stands on a small piece of the entire project area, situated between Taneytown and Emmitsburg roads. It includes Ziegler's Grove, several historic structures and part of Cemetery Ridge. Because of the restaurant's proximity to the battlefield, Smith could actually be using McDonald's as a landmark for many more years. The restaurant is located in the borough of Gettysburg, outside the park's boundary, and not included within the project area. Park officials have said there is no intent to stretch "rehabilitation" into the borough.

But other modern structures will soon be removed from Smith's repertoire of visitor-orienting landmarks. Plans call for the demolition of both the Visitor Center and Cyclorama building and their parking lots, the underground relocation of 6,700 feet of power lines and a restoration of the landscape as it once was.

Park spokeswoman Katie Lawhon calls the upcoming rehabilitation project the most "comprehensive" and "complex" of all. But before anything changes, the Gettysburg National Military Park needs for Congress to allocate more than $2.5 million in federal project funds. The total cost of the project is estimated at more than $9.5 million, but the Gettysburg Foundation has committed $7 million from fundraising efforts.

The park is relying on Congress to make up the balance, and it's requesting that the funds be included among the 2009 allocation of Centennial projects for parks nationwide. In 2016, the National Park Service turns 100 years old. Park service officials and preservation groups are pushing Congress to commit millions dollars for hundreds of park improvement projects nationwide to be completed before that birthday.

Almost $25 million in federal funds were committed to the initiative this year for a total of 110 improvement projects at 76 different parks. Gettysburg is not on this year's list, but officials have requested that the Cemetery Ridge area be included on the 2009 list. If the Gettysburg battlefield is going to return to a look more 1863 than 2008, Congress needs to pay up, Lawhon said. "We couldn't do it without funding," she said.

This diagram shows the outline of the 43.5 acres of Cemetery Ridge planned for rehabilitation. It details plans for reconstructing the area to look much as it did during the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863. (Graphic Courtesy National Park Service)

Almost 145 years ago, men in blue uniforms stood and fought for three days on this land, in defiance of a Confederate Army that lined a distant tree line and the town below. When thousands of those soldiers marched across the field of Pickett's Charge on July 3, 1863, the southern portion of this 43.5 acres was crucial to the Union's victory. The northern part was considered the key to the Union line, though that's difficult to discern with all the modern development.

"This area has seen a lot of action," Smith says while standing on the northern end of Cemetery Ridge, just west of the Cyclorama building. Nearby stands the statue of Union Gen. Alexander Hays, whose brigade fought on this land, much of which was transformed into parking lots and welcoming centers for tourists between the 1930s and 1960s.

Smith gestures toward the Cyclorama building, where an artillery battery supporting Hays was posted. That building - built in 1961 and designed to house the 19th Century circular painting that depicts Pickett's Charge - is scheduled for demolition, though a lawsuit was filed last year by the Recent Past Preservation Network to stop the razing. It's just one example of what wasn't there in 1863 - and what the park service would like to eliminate in 2009.

In addition to demolishing the two buildings, the park wants to eliminate most of the parking lots, sidewalks and other modern intrusions. About 6,700 feet of power lines along Taneytown Road from Steinwehr Avenue to Granite School House Lane will be relocated underground. And some things removed will return - including seven monuments placed by veterans of the war but relocated during the construction of the Cyclorama building.

Stone walls built by soldiers, which once ran through what are now parking lots and sidewalks, will return. Some trees will be removed, others planted - all to resemble what the land looked like during the battle. When all the work is done, someone sitting at McDonald's on Emmitsburg Road will be able to look up the hill and see the National Cemetery, Smith said.

In 1863, much of this 43.5 acres of land - with the exception of Ziegler's Grove - was used for agricultural purposes, Smith said. Hay, wheat and corn were planted here, he said. The crops are unlikely to return, but meadow grass will be planted in its place, Lawhon said. That's because "rehabilitation" is different than "restoration." Restored land would return to exactly how it once was; rehabilitated land, however, is meant to resemble what once was. "Rehabilitation means we're just trying to give people a sense of what it looked like at the time of the battle," Smith said.

Smith talks about the way tree removal at Devil's Den has helped park rangers and battlefield guides explain each army's sight lines during the battle. He hopes the park's project will do the same for rangers explaining the action on this piece of the battlefield. "It's a lot easier to try to imagine," he said. "It brings things in a little bit closer."

There is no guarantee that the Gettysburg National Military Park will get the $2.5 million worth of federal funds in 2009 as they've requested. But the project has already been endorsed by the Department of Interior for potential Centennial funds. In fact, it was actually Gettysburg officials who requested the project be placed on the list of 2009 projects, rather than 2008 projects, Lawhon said.

"Because we had our hands full of the museum opening, we asked for it to be pulled," she said. The list of National Park Centennial projects this year includes $187,500 federal funds committed to another Pennsylvania park, the Valley Forge National Historical Park. That money will go toward two educational programs and the creation of a new trail near George Washington's headquarters site.

The most money committed to one park project in 2008 is $4.5 million for the construction of Wisconsin Avenue Plaza at the Georgetown Waterfront Park in Rock Creek Park, in Washington, D.C. Lawhon said that Gettysburg park officials hope to begin the rehabilitation of the Cemetery Ridge area in 2009, assuming they get the funds needed to do the work.

Now that the huge undertaking of opening the new $103-million Gettysburg Military Park Visitor Center and Museum has been completed, there may be the time to do it.
And Lawhon said she takes the endorsement of the Department of the Interior as an indication that Gettysburg is on the national radar as a priority. "That's kind of like making a short list," she said.

For Enlarged Diagram:

Text Source:

: Top--Evening Sun; Bottom--Gettysburg National Military Park

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

New In Paper---"Ma Rats" ? Notions of Self Government 1789-1865

Self-Government, The American Theme: Presidents of the Founding and Civil War, Will Morrisey, Rowan Littlefield Publishers, 290 pp $29.95 (Paper)

Americans introduced themselves to the world by declaring their independence. They recognized that their "unalienable rights" were secured by institutionalized government that derives its just powers from the consent of the governed. In Self-Government, The American Theme, Will Morrisey defines the concept of self-government and tracks its permutations in the ardent writings of key American presidents. He shows how the transition to a more powerful national state was managed on political soil where "self-government" was not an indigenous crop. Morrisey considers the genesis of "self-government" in the political thought of the founding U.S. presidents, comparing their understanding of the term with that of President Abraham Lincoln and Confederate States of America President, Jefferson Davis.

In this text Morrisey aptly demonstrates how the regime of the founders was replaced by a much more statist regime during the Civil War. He offers salient interpretations of the writings of the key presidents of founding and civil war periods, and interpretations centered on the key word, "self-government". This book is an essential contribution to the understanding of early American history and politics.

Table of Contents
Self-Government and the Founding Era: Prospects and Contingencies
Self-Government and the American Father: George Washington
Self-Government and the Fiery Spirit: John Adams
Self-Government as Natural Right: Thomas Jefferson
Self-Government and the Antebellum Era: Crisis of the Self Divided
Self-Government and Secession: Jefferson Davis
What Is "The New Birth of Freedom"? Abraham Lincoln
Conclusion: Davis and Lincoln Compared
Conclusion: Self-Government, The American Theme

About the Author
Will Morrisey is assistant professor of history and political science at Hillsdale College.

Text: from publisher

Forthcoming in Paperback---Treason in 1775 and 1860

"Whom Can We Trust Now?": The Meaning of Treason in the United States, from the Revolution through the Civil War,Brian F. Carso, Jr., 262 pp., Rowan Littlefield Publishers, $50.00. (paperback expected in late 2008)

For several hours in August 1787, the delegates to the Philadelphia Convention debated the two sentences defining treason that would serve as the only criminal law in the U.S. Constitution. As storied and controversial as this ancient crime was, the meaning of treason for the new democratic republic was difficult to foresee. Historian and lawyer Brian Carso demonstrates that although treason law was conflicted and awkward, the broader idea of treason gave recognizable shape to abstract ideas of loyalty, betrayal, allegiance, and political obligation in the United States. Taking an interdisciplinary approach, Carso begins by exploring the nature of loyalty and betrayal in a democratic republic, using examples ranging from Socrates in Plato's Crito to the dilemma of Robert E. Lee in 1861 and the trial of Timothy McVeigh in 1997. Turning to legal history, the study considers the historical antecedents of the Treason Clause of the U.S. Constitution and examines the utility of American treason law as it was applied in a variety of cases, most notably in the 1807 trial of Aaron Burr, in which Supreme Court Justice John Marshall used twenty-five thousand words to explicate the Treason Clause. Finding that the antinomies of treason law in a democratic republic make successful prosecutions against treason nearly impossible, Carso turns to the political, intellectual, and cultural realms of civic life to identify and to explain the broader meaning of treason. The study investigates the perpetual condemnation of Benedict Arnold and the many ways treason animated civic discourse during the Civil war. By examining editorials, sermons, histories, orations, art, literature, and political cartoons, Carso identifies how the meaning of treason engaged the public imagination in a variety of compelling forms and instructed citizens on loyalty and betrayal outside the courtroom as much as within it.

Table of Contents
"What is a Traitor?" Loyalty, Betrayal and the State
"A Republic, if you can Keep It" The Evolution of Treason in America, 1620-1787
"Seasons of Insurrection" Early Rebellions and the Trial of Aaron Burr
"The Damnation of His Fame" Benedict Arnold and the Cultural Punishment of Betrayal
"With Malice Toward None" Treason, Amnesty, and the Language of Betrayal During the Civil War

About the Author
Brian F. Carso, Jr., holds graduate degrees from the University of Rochester, SUNY Buffalo School of Law, and Boston University, where he received his PhD in American Studies. A practicing attorney, he has held public office in both county and state government. He is currently an assistant professor of history at College Misericordia in Dallas, Pennsylvania.

Text: from publisher

New---Henry W. Slocum: The Now Not-So-Forgotten Union General

Sherman's Forgotten General: Henry W. Slocum, Brian C. Melton, Shades of Blue and Gray Series, Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 2007. xi + 292 pp. Illustrations, tables, notes, bibliography, index. $44.95 (cloth), ISBN 978-0-8262-1739-4.

Reviewed for H-CivWar by Gerald J. Prokopowicz, Department of History, East Carolina University

The Now Not-So-Forgotten Union General

In their quest to find something new to write about the battle of Gettysburg, Civil War authors have curiously overlooked the men commanding the seven infantry corps that comprised the bulk of the Army of the Potomac. Winfield Scott Hancock (II Corps) and Dan Sickles (III Corps) have been the subjects of excellent modern biographies, but John Reynolds (I Corps), George Sykes (V Corps), John Sedgwick (VI Corps), Oliver O. Howard (XI Corps), and until now Henry W. Slocum (XII Corps) have not received serious biographical treatment in the last forty or fifty years, if ever. With Brian Melton's solid biography of Henry Slocum now on the shelves, it's three down, four to go.

Civil War aficionados best remember Slocum, when he is remembered at all, for his role at Gettysburg, but Melton indicates in his title that there is more to the story. He begins by briefly tracing Slocum's prewar career, including graduation from West Point in 1852, resignation from the stagnant prewar army in 1856, and success as a businessman and investor in Syracuse. In 1858 Slocum was elected as an antislavery Republican to the state legislature, and was sufficiently prominent to receive a commission as colonel of the 27th N.Y. when war broke out in 1861. He received a wound at First Bull Run, was promoted to brigadier general, and subsequently led a brigade, division, corps, and wing of the Army of the Potomac. Two months after leading his troops on the field at Gettysburg, Slocum was transferred west with the XII Corps, to serve at Chattanooga under William T. Sherman and eventually in the march to the sea.

How could someone who participated at a high level of command in so many important campaigns be accurately described as a "forgotten general?" One reason is that Slocum left few documentary traces of his career. The author takes the reader into his confidence in a forthright introduction that reveals the difficulty of finding source material. There are no substantial collections of Slocum's papers, and historians have written little about him, with the exception of his role at Gettysburg.

A second reason Slocum has been forgotten is that he was something of a military chameleon, taking on the characteristics of whichever officer he happened to be serving under. In the Peninsula Campaign, he displayed a McClellan-like devotion to drill and pessimism about victory, as well as a tendency to overestimate the size of Confederate forces opposing him. He nonetheless did well enough in command of a division to earn a promotion to major general, and in the Antietam campaign his small but significant victory at Crampton's Gap brought him command of XII Corps. When McClellan was replaced by Ambrose Burnside, who was in turn replaced by Joe Hooker, Slocum tended to emulate his new leaders, in particular showing some of Hooker's battlefield aggressiveness as well as much of his penchant for army politics. Slocum considered Hooker a "worthless loafer" (p. 94) and a "braggadocio and drunkard," (p. 95) and after the battle of Chancellorsville he devoted himself to getting Hooker removed from command of the Army of the Potomac, just as Hooker had maneuvered to remove Burnside. Slocum's effort, like Hooker's, was successful; the army replaced Hooker with George Meade just before the battle of Gettysburg.

Slocum's performance at Gettysburg is the one moment in his career that has attracted substantial attention from historians, little of it favorable. In the late afternoon of July 1, 1863, he led the XII Corps onto the battlefield, too late to prevent the defeat of I and XI Corps. Melton argues that an acoustic shadow prevented Slocum from hearing the sounds of battle clearly, and that in any case he delayed his march at Two Taverns only for a few hours, not a whole day as some detractors of "General Slow-come" have written. Melton convincingly defends Slocum against charges of sloth or cowardice, but acknowledges that his cautious advance reflected the continuing influence of McClellan's command style. On July 2, Slocum executed Meade's ill-judged order to reinforce the Union left wing by moving almost all of XII Corps away from the army's right flank, leaving it dangerously exposed, another move for which historians have blamed Slocum. Melton's explanation of Slocum's performance verges on the kind of Monday morning quarterbacking that fills the pages of too many traditional Civil War military histories, but does effectively exonerate him by showing both that he was following Meade's orders, and that by the end of the day he had returned to Culp's Hill and stabilized the situation.

When the XI and XII Corps received orders to transfer to Tennessee in September 1863 under the command of Joe Hooker, the move put Slocum once again under his old enemy. Both generals complained to Lincoln, until Slocum was finally given a new assignment as the military administrator of Vicksburg, Mississippi. Not until Hooker resigned in a fit of pique at the height of the Atlanta campaign was Slocum recalled to his old corps. Serving under Sherman, Slocum again adapted to his environment and became a proponent of a hard war against Southern property. He led the left wing of Sherman's army on the March to the Sea, by far the largest force he had commanded.

After the war, Slocum again served as a military administrator in Mississippi, where he zealously enforced the rights of the recently freed former slaves, but his political sympathies were evolving toward his former foes. He resigned from the army in September 1865 and joined the Democratic Party, effectively committing what Melton describes as "political suicide." He spent the rest of his life in Brooklyn, where he was involved with the construction of the famous bridge named after the city, and served a term in Congress, but for the most part he simply faded away, overlooked by Republican historians and journalists who wrote him out of their accounts of the war because of his political defection afterward. Melton's sturdy biography may not be enough alone to rescue Henry Slocum from the fate of being "Sherman's forgotten general," but in taking the focus away from Slocum's moment at Gettysburg, it at least reminds the reader that there was much more to his career.

: H-NET BOOK REVIEW, Published by (May 2008)

Copyright (c) 2008 by H-Net, all rights reserved. H-Net permits
the redistribution and reprinting of this work for nonprofit,
educational purposes, with full and accurate attribution to the
author, web location, date of publication, originating list, and
H-Net: Humanities & Social Sciences Online.

Photos: Top--Library of Congress, Bottom--University of Missouri Press

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Forthcoming This Month---The Rest of the Gettysburg Campaign was One Continous Fight

Authors, J.D. Petruzzi and Michael F. Nugent, and Eric Wittenberg have launched the wwwsite for One Continuous Fight: The Retreat from Gettysburg and the Pursuit of Lee's Army of Northern Virginia, July 4-14, 1863. The book is scheduled to be released during the latter part of May. Two noted, and by CWL appreciated, authors are enthusiastic about the trio's accomplishment.

“It is fair to say that [Wittenberg, Petruzzi, and Nugent] have combed the countryside more thoroughly than Albert Jenkins’ cavalry to bring their readers scores of previously unpublished soldier accounts of the retreat and extensive fighting encompassed within it… [This book] is one of the most original, most deeply researched, and one of the most scholarly works to come out on the Civil War in many years.” (from the Foreward, Ted Alexander)

“[The authors] have brought together an impressive array of primary materials, so that much of the action unfolds in the words of those who were there… The authors of this book have taken the time and care to get the story right and the tour directions correct; I encourage you to take full advantage of both.” (from the Preface, Noah Andre Trudeau)

Here's the table of contents of One Continuous Fight:

Chapter 1: A Vast Sea of Misery: The Wagon Train of the Wounded
“As many of our poor wounded as possible must be taken home.” -- Robert E. Lee

Chapter 2: The Retreat of the Main Confederate Army Begins
“Genl Meade never brought his ‘rascally virtue’ of caution to a better market than when he let us alone—for we should probably have given a good account of him.” -- Maj. Campbell Brown, Confederate Gen. Richard Ewell’s staff

Chapter 3: July 4: The Midnight Fight in the Monterey Pass
“It was one of the most exciting engagements we ever had.”
-- Capt. James H. Kidd, Custer’s Michigan Brigade

Chapter 4: Meade’s Pursuit Begins
“I wonder if Napoleon or even Robt. Lee were our commander this evening would they pursue a defeated army in this cautious, courteous way?”-- Federal officer

Chapter 5: The Confederates Garrison Williamsport
“The Rebel army is in a bad state & there is not telling how they are going to get out of it.”-- Col. John B. McIntosh, 2nd Federal Cavalry Division

Chapter 6: July 6: The Battle of Hagerstown
“We’ve got them now, boys... Charge!” -- Jeb Stuart

Chapter 7: July 6: The Battle for Williamsport
“[I] quickly organized a small force of dismounted, sick, and wounded men who were along with the train and who snatched up arms and ammunition as could be found… I managed to inspire the men with confidence and led them in.”-- Lt. Col. William Delony, Cobb’s Legion Cavalry

Chapter 8: July 7: In Full Pursuit
“The boys are confident that we will whip Lee’s Army so that he will not be fit to do anything more for some time to come. We have good news all the while from our pursuing forces.”-- Sgt. Ellis C. Strouss, 57th Pennsylvania Infantry

Chapter 9: July 7: Skirmish at the College of St. James and the First Battle of Funkstown “[T]he road of slumbering wrath was marked here and there by cleft skulls and pierced bodies…” -- Brig. Gen. William E. Jones, Confederate cavalry brigade commander

Chapter 10: July 8: Heavy Fighting at Beaver Creek Bridge and Boonsboro
“They are all bully boys, and they don’t fear the Rebbs a bit… Gen. Buford says…the only fault he finds with us is that he can’t stop us when once we get the Rebbs to running.” -- 8th Illinois cavalryman

Chapter 11: July 9: Sniping Along the Lines
“The game of war went on with determination on one side and desperation on the other.”-- Member of the Federal Iron Brigade

Chapter 12: July 10: The Second Battle of Funkstown
“Our brigade seems to be doing all the fighting. As usual.”
-- Samuel Gilpin, 3rd Indiana Cavalry, Col. William Gamble’s brigade

Chapter 13: July 11: The Armies Jockey for Position
“Mr. Yank would have smelt powder & ball before getting us out of the breastworks.” Confederate infantry officer

Chapter 14: July 12: The Second Battle of Hagerstown
“Call no council of war. It is proverbial that councils of war never fight.”
-- General-In-Chief Henry Halleck to George Meade

Chapter 15: July 13: A Frustrating Day Spent Waiting
“We hope Lee can’t get away but his neck is slippery and we can only count on him when we get him.”-- Sgt. Frank Saunders, 6th New York Cavalry

Chapter 16: July 14: The Crossings at Williamsport and Falling Waters
“Old Virginia never looked so sweet and inviting.” -- John J. Shoemaker, Stuart’s Horse Artillery

Chapter 17: The Federal Advance and Aftermath
“It is enough to say that although [Lincoln] was not so profoundly distressed as he was when Hooker’s army recrossed the Rappahannock after the battle of Chancellorsville, his grief and anger were something sorrowful to behold.”
-- Noah Brooks, newspaper correspondent and friend of President Lincoln

“Covering the retreat of an army is not a fun thing to do. It was one continuous fight until we reached Hagerstown, Md.; and even after that, for we had skirmishes everyday until Gen. Lee crossed the Potomac.”
-- Pvt. L. T. Dickinson, 2nd Virginia Cavalry


Appendix A: Driving Tour of the Retreat from Gettysburg
Appendix B: Driving Tour of the Wagon Train of Wounded
Appendix C: Gettysburg and Retreat Order of Battle

One Continuous Fight includes endnotes, a bibliography, and an index.

Check out the site; the portal page is sharp!,

New--Diehard Rebels: The Confederate Culture of Invincibility

Diehard Rebels: The Confederate Culture of Invincibility, Jason Phillips, Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2007. ix + 257 pp. Illustrations, notes, bibliography, index. $34.95 (cloth), ISBN 0-8203-2836-7.

Reviewed for H-War by Susannah Ural Bruce, Department of History, Sam Houston State University

Why They Fought On: New Interpretations of Confederate Soldier Ideology

After the overwhelming Confederate defeats at the battles of Franklin and Nashville in 1864, Union General John Schofield puzzled over the determination exhibited by the Southern forces so late in the war. Years later, he reflected, "'I doubt if any soldiers in the world ever needed so much cumulative evidence to convince them that they were beaten'" (p. 115). It is this astonishing resolve that inspires Jason Phillips's Diehard Rebels. Part of the work is grounded in classic soldier and combat ideology studies, like Gerald Linderman's Embattled Courage: The Experience of Combat in the American Civil War (1987), Reid Mitchell's Civil War Soldiers (1988), and, more recently, James McPherson's For Cause and Comrades: Why Men Fought in the Civil War (1997). But, Phillips argues that scholars need to approach the subject differently if we are to understand "why thousands of men continued to fight for cause and comrades despite the long odds of 1864 and 1865" (p.3). Phillips sees the essential question as not "what they fought for" but rather "why they fought on" (p. 3).

In fairness, Linderman, Mitchell, and McPherson recognized the difference between these issues, but Phillips, offers something new. He does this by narrowly focusing his study on the years from 1863 through 1865, and restricting himself to wartime correspondence to avoid any false postwar memories or motivations. Within these tight confines, Phillips packs a wealth of source material. He admits that his study favors literate officers, but Phillips insists that their convictions were quite similar to those of the enlisted men. He clarifies, though, that diehard rebels were not typical Southerners. Rather, "They were often more privileged, more educated, and more attached to slavery than their fellow citizens were" (p. 4). Phillips compensates for these limits by incorporating a broad swath of material from soldiers serving in the Army of Northern Virginia, the Army of the Tennessee, and the Army of the Trans-Mississippi.

Diehard Rebels follows a thematic rather than chronological path with each chapter focusing on a key to Phillips's explanation of Confederate "culture of invincibility." Born during the Second Great Awakening, these soldiers, like the South, Phillips argues, were defined by their Protestant faith and their confidence that God smiled upon them and the Confederacy. That faith sustained the men and clarified the often incomprehensible. As Phillips explains,"triumphs proved God's favor and presence among Confederate legions; defeats confirmed God's love by chastening Rebels for their sins" (p. 187). Through it all, the Confederates' will to fight was sustained by their faith in God and their trust in God's faith in them.

In chapter 2, Phillips contends that the Confederate dehumanization of federal forces and Northerners in general also sustained their fighting spirit. While this tool is not unique to Southern soldiers, Phillips still proves its effectiveness for Confederate troops, and argues that their images of the enemy may have been more extravagant than most. Blending newspaper cartoons and popular songs with poetry from letters and diaries, Phillips shows how "many Confederates considered total war campaigns and the proliferation of black troops' evil portents of the South's future should the rebellion fail" (p. 74). The result, he argues, was a belief that anything, including death, was better than surrendering to such a foe.

Chapter 3 explains how the environments of camp and battlefield sustained the Confederate will to fight. Even in the face of defeat, Phillips's diehard rebels pointed to large numbers of Union dead as evidence of their ability to continue the war. Phillips cites strong combat leadership and close bonds forming in the intensity of conflict as additional factors that led Confederates to misrepresent casualties in letters, and maintain a blind faith in their best officers. Chapter 4 builds on this concept with an analysis of camp rumors that soldiers readily believed. Phillips shows how "during the nadir of Confederate morale, diehards intoxicated each other with gossip of improbable victories, northern disasters, and foreign intervention" (p. 117). This theme of faith and reliance on illogical outcomes continues through chapter 5, which studies Confederate soldiers in the final four months of the war and into the period of Reconstruction. In some ways, the themes of all previous chapters converge here as religious faith, negative caricatures of the enemy, rumors, and the bonds between soldiers sustained Confederates in early 1865. Quotes echo Sergeant Marion Fitzpatrick's pledge to his wife in Georgia that "'Yankees may kill me but will never subjugate me'" (p. 153).

It was this determination, a blend of all of the motivations outlined in Diehard Rebels, that carried Confederates into the period of Reconstruction. Phillips concludes that the Southern soldier "did not come home victorious; he did not come home humbled. Johnny came marching home with a loaded pistol. He came home an unconquered loser, armed with wartime convictions that shaped his postwar identity, ideology, and actions" (p. 179). These values and attitudes guided diehard rebels through the remainder of 1865 and in the years that followed. They helped Southerners to introduce and sustain the myth of the Lost Cause and allowed Confederates to win the peace that defeated Reconstruction, created Jim Crow, and defined the New South.

There are some minor weaknesses to the work. While there is a certain timelessness to the soldier experience, it is dangerous to compare the ideology of American soldiers in World War II with those of Confederates. At one point, Phillips does this to underscore the concept of diehard rebels fighting, at least in part, for their fellow soldiers. More perplexing, though, is Phillips's decision to prove this by quoting a WWII veteran speaking long after that conflict (just as he did General Schofield in the example that opens this review). One could make the case that scholars have tossed out valuable sources in the trendy animosity toward memoirs, but Phillips has already insisted that "postwar accounts cannot answer wartime questions" (p. 4). Clearly opposed to the evidentiary use of postwar memories, he cannot now cite one to support an argument. On a different theme, Phillips argues at several points that readers must resist the temptation to view Confederates' determination as "absurd or a mystery," and he insists that "Diehard Rebels were not insane, delusional, or bombastic" (pp. 189, 4). Phillips may be creating a bit of a straw man here. Surely scholars are well past such warnings about the Confederacy and Confederate ideology.

But these points are minor. Phillips succeeds brilliantly in accomplishing his goal to "tell us more about southern culture and warfare in general than about Confederate defeat," though I think he has done that nicely as well (p. 4). Diehard Rebels will make an outstanding addition to any course on the American South or the U.S. Civil War era.

Source: H-NET BOOK REVIEW, Published by (May 2008)

Copyright (c) 2008 by H-Net, all rights reserved. H-Net permits
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Photo: Library of Congress, Battle of Antietam, Hagerstown Pike, Confederate Dead

Sunday, May 11, 2008

CWL----For Gettysburg, Is the Army of Northern Virginia Represented in the Official Records?

Happily perusing Benjamin Dixon's new Learning The Battle of Gettysburg: A Guide to the Official Records, I asked "For Gettysburg, Is the Army of Northern Virginia Represented in the Official Records?" The answer was found on pages 136-144. Of what I found this is a summary of Army of Northern Virginia's Reports in the OR:

Of three infantry corps, all three corps reports are missing.

Of the auxiliary corps (artillery, ordinance, cavalry) there are
two of three are there with the cavalry report missing. Did Lee
command the cavalry corps while Stuart and his division were away?

Of the First Corps divisional (infantry/artillery) reports, all of
Longstreet's divisional reports are missing.
Of the First Corps' 15 brigade reports, 14 are missing.

Of the Second Corps 4 divisional (infantry/artillery) reports,
there are zero missing.
Of the Second Corps 18 brigade reports, only one is missing.

Of the Third Corps 4 divisional reports, none are missing
Of the Third Corps 18 brigade reports, only one is missing.

Why does the First Corps have all these missing reports?


News---Gettysburg Monuments Project Trust Passes Halfway Mark

Readshaw’s Pennsylvania Gettysburg Monuments Project Trust Passes Halfway Mark, State Rep. Harry Readshaw, D-Allegheny, ,
House Democratic Communications Office, May 9, 2008.

The Pennsylvania Gettysburg Monuments Project begun by state Rep. Harry Readshaw, D-Allegheny County, has passed the halfway mark in its drive to endow trusts for the future maintenance needs of the more than 140 monuments and markers to the Pennsylvanians who fought in the Civil War battle.

Readshaw today announced the organization has turned over to the trust about $30,000 raised in the past year. The deposit brings the trust amount to $250,000. The goal is $431,000 to pay for such routine work as cleaning the stones and their bronze features and re-pointing mortar.

The perpetual maintenance trust was begun after Readshaw raised $160,000 to ensure that current repairs needed by the monuments were funded. Those repairs have included replacement of broken features, such as the new hand put on the 114th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry Zouave on Little Round Top, one of the most photographed monuments in the park. One hand and the end of the rifle the soldier is loading had been missing for decades, possibly due to a lightning strike. Money was also provided to replace bronze features vandals ripped from the 90th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry monument several years ago, though the Park Service has not yet made the repairs.

In 2006, Readshaw’s Raiders, as the representative and his monument preservation supporters have come to be called, reacted swiftly in providing the Park Service funds to repair the bronze memorial on Emmitsburg Road that honored the 114th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry after it was toppled by vandals and provided seed money for campaigns to restore two New York and Massachusetts monuments shattered by the same vandals. “The monuments project has been a refreshing break from the partisan politics in Harrisburg, as it has always enjoyed sweeping bipartisan support,” said Readshaw. “Most of the monuments were originally put up by the survivors of the battle to ensure that the story of their struggle, their losses and their ultimate triumph is there for future generations to visualize.

“Everyone who has assisted the Monuments Project should feel honored that they have been able to play a role in handing these ‘icons of freedom’ on to yet another generation of Americans and ensure they that will remain for many more to come."
In addition to individual contributions, the Pennsylvania Gettysburg Monuments Project is assisted by the annual Preservation Ball sponsored by the Victorian Dance Ensemble in the Rotunda of the Pennsylvania Capitol Building each March and the annual Ride to Gettysburg held by the Alliance of Bikers Aimed Toward Education (A.B.A.T.E.) of Pennsylvania each September.

Individuals or groups wishing to donate to the Gettysburg Battlefield Monument Trust can do so directly through the Adams County National Bank, Trust Department, P.O. Box 4566, Gettysburg, PA 17325. More information about the Pennsylvania Gettysburg Monuments Project can be obtained by calling Readshaw’s Harrisburg office at 717-783-0422 or by e-mail at

SOURCE: Jay Purdy, House Democratic Communications Office
Phone: 717-787-7895 Email:


CWL: Note 3rd and 4th Paragraphs---Without checking a map, I am pretty sure the 114th Pennsylvania (Zouave) monument is across from the Sherfy Farm house, near the Peach Orchard as shown in the photograph.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Off Topic Novel--- Heart Shaped Box: Beware of Ghosts Offered Over The Internet

Heart Shaped Box, Joe Hill, William Morrow Publishing, 384 pp., $24.96, hardcover, and Harper Fiction Publishing, 366 pp., $7.99 paperback.

A spoiled Goth rock star buys a dead man's suit, advertised with a ghost included, over the Internet. By page 205 in the paperback edition, the author reveals what this reader learned very early in the story: "In time Jude (the 50+ heavily bearded rocker) had developed something like an immunity to the condition of feeling stupid. So when he paused, it wasn't out of a reluctance to speak but because he honestly didn't know what to say."

Jude Coyne, aging head-banger, comes with baggage: a coke-addled brain, a live-in groupie who was a former pole-dancer, a business manager who gave his sister a hot shot of heroin, an abusive father who hates rock and roll and takes a hammer to Judes' fingers at a very early age and this father is now on his deathbed. The Ghost comes with baggage: formerly a army intelligence off icier in Viet Nam whose daddy handled snakes during worship services, formerly a step-father who raped his step-daughters and who had designs before he died on his grand-daughter. One of his victims was a live-in group of Jude Coyne; the other victim is the advertiser of the suit with the ghost. These coincidences pile up every third or fourth chapter. With the pace and descriptive style of a graphic novel, Joe Hill's story is reminiscent of Stephen King's early novels and like-wise this reader sees a C+ movie being belched from Hollywood.

Now, why did I read Heart Shaped Box? 1.) The reviews. 2.) I like classic horror and have shelf of it with my several shelves of classic detective fiction. 3.) I was sick with a three-day cold. But I don't regret that I did read it. Though the characters are simple-minded and emotionally dull, there were elements of the plot I enjoyed. How does one kill a ghost whose purpose in the afterlife is to kill you and your friends? How does a step-father carry his sociopathology successfully into the afterlife? How do the dead take revenge on the dead? All interesting questions, if you suspend some of your disbeliefs about the nature of the afterlife. So, I have Joe Hill's short story collection, 20th Century Ghosts, in a second hand paperback edition and will get to it sometime when I'm sick.

News---Lincoln Sites: $1 Million A Year For 15 Years For Illinois' Lincoln Trail

Federal Money Will Help Central Illinois Promote, Develop Lincoln Sites, Kenneth Lowe, Herald and Review, Springfield, Illinois.

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin said Monday that Congress' approval of a plan to bring $15 million in grants to Illinois historic sites will help develop the resources to tell Abraham Lincoln's story. Durbin spoke with reporters in the atrium of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield as students viewed the museum's exhibits. "When I stand here and look at this museum, I think back 18 years ago when this was an idea," Durbin said. "The idea that there are hundreds of thousands of people streaming through those doors each year is an indication that this was the right idea."

If signed by President Bush, the money will go to the Looking For Lincoln Heritage Coalition, which has earmarked the money to give to Central Illinois communities in 42 counties for the development of historical and tourist attractions having to do with Lincoln. Counties that would receive money include Macon, DeWitt, Douglas, Logan, McLean, Tazewell, Sangamon, Piatt, Moultrie, Shelby, Coles and Woodford.

Nicky Stratton, associate director of the coalition, said the federal money does not carry with it any mandates on what the historical sites must do. "What happens is, communities will come to us with projects, and the idea is not for us to use this money, but to share it with those communities that can develop something really interesting," Stratton said.

Durbin said the investment in Illinois communities should create a good return in a tough economic time. "This may turn out to be an economical vacation to come down to our part of the world here and take the family on a tour through these communities," Durbin said.

Some sites affected by the grants:

- Thomas and Sarah Bush Lincoln Log Cabin Historic Site (pictured)

- Mount Pulaski and Postville State Historic Sites

- Vandalia Statehouse

- Lincoln Doubles Debate Museum in Charleston

- Macon County Log Court House

- Richard J. Oglesby Mansion in Decatur

- Lincoln Trail Homestead State Memorial in Decatur

Kenneth Lowe can be reached at