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Killing Stonewall Jackson, p. 24 | The Bounty Brokers, p. 18 VOL. 2, NO. 1

{ A N E W L O O K a t A M E R I C A’S G R E A T E S T C O N F L I C T }




+ $5.99


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CONTENTS “It was not possible to conceive of such a disgraceful surrender … than was made at San Augustin Springs.” FEATURES

Birth of a Demon





Despite his devastating sweep through Georgia and the Carolinas, William Tecumseh Sherman enjoyed a surprisingly warm postwar relationship with the South. In 1881, Jefferson Davis put an end to that. BY THOM BASSETT

Sketches of War: “Life Studies of the Great Army” by Edwin Forbes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 Debuting a decade after the guns fell silent, Edwin Forbes’ collection of copper etchings captured life in the Union army and marked the pinnacle of the renowned war artist’s career.

Dying in the Desert



In July 1861, as more than 600 Union soldiers and civilians fled from Confederate cavalry in the New Mexico Territory, they battled natural— not military—forces in the desolate Southwest. BY MEGAN KATE NELSON

The Spy and Robert E. Lee: Gettysburg’s “Lost” Order, June 28, 1863 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54 Contrary to popular belief, the Army of Northern Virginia’s venerable leader did not stumble blindly into what would turn out to be one of the Civil War’s most significant battles.  BY ALLEN C. GUELZO

2 . . . . . Editorial: . . . . . . We Have a Winner! 3 . . . . . Dispatches: . . . . . . Letters to the Editor 4 . . . . . Salvo: Facts, Figures & . . . . . . Items of Interest TRAVELS: A Visit to Winchester VOICES: Critters in Camp PRIMER: Civil War ID Tags PRESERVATION: Battle Apps FIGURES: Shot Wounds Analyzed IN FOCUS: The Bounty Brokers Q&A: Author Jessica James 22 . . . . Casualties of War: . . . . . . The Children of Confederate Labs 24 . . . . Battlefield Echoes: Killing . . . . . . Stonewall Jackson 62 . . . . Books & Authors: The Books that Built Me by Harold Holzer Musings of a Civil War Bibliophile: The Virtues—and Vices—of Early Confederate Biographies by Robert K. Krick 72 . . . . Parting Shot: Not-So . . . . . . Bulletproof Vests

COVER ILLUSTRATION: William Tecumseh Sherman by Riccardo Vecchio.



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editorial editorial


EDITOR-IN-CHIEF . . . . . . . . .

Terry A. Johnston Jr. CONTRIBUTING EDITORS . . . . . . . . . . Laura June Davis

Angela Esco Elder EDITORIAL ADVISORS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Stephen Berry

We Have a Winner! IN OUR LAST ISSUE, we announced an essay contest inspired by Weirding the War, a recent anthology edited by Steve Berry, one of the Monitor’s editorial advisors. The book, as its subtitle indicates, explores “stories from the Civil War’s ragged edges,” and we thought it might be fun to ask for our readers’ “weirdest” Civil War-related anecdotes. Many of you took us up on the challenge, and after much deliberation, we’ve settled on a winner: Frank Grzyb of Portsmouth, Rhode Island, who detailed the strange coincidences he encountered while researching the final resting place of several hundred Union soldiers who died in a Rhode Island hospital but were buried in Brooklyn. Frank will receive a copy of Weirding the War, signed by Steve and several other contributors, and his winning essay will soon be available at our website ( So congratulations, Frank. Job well done!

Patrick Brennan John Coski Judith Giesberg Allen C. Guelzo Amy Murrell Taylor BOOK REVIEW EDITOR . . . . . . . . . . Matthew C. Hulbert COPY EDITOR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jennifer Sturak ART DIRECTOR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Patrick Mitchell

( DESIGNER . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Ashley Bond O’Brion ADVERTISING DIRECTOR . . . . . . . . . . . Zethyn McKinley (559) 492 9236 CIRCULATION MANAGER. . . . . . . . . . . . . Howard White WEBSITE . . . . . . . . . . DIGITAL HISTORY ADVISORS . . . . . . . . . M. Keith Harris

FINALLY, A FEW ANNOUNCEMENTS. Harry Smeltzer, one of the Monitor’s digital history advisors and founder of one of our favorite Civil War blogs, Bull Runnings, brought it to our attention that the nonprofit Save Historic Antietam Foundation (SHAF)—on whose board of directors he sits—will offer an annual stipend up to $2,500 for scholars interested in researching some aspect of the 1862 Maryland Campaign. It strikes us as an excellent idea, one that should spur original research into this important period of the conflict. For more information on the award, which will be bestowed in honor of the late Civil War scholar Joseph L. Harsh, visit the SHAF website: We’re also excited that the Richmond-headquartered Museum of the Confederacy plans to open its long-planned new branch in Appomattox, Virginia, at the end of March. The original museum—through its rich collections of documents and artifacts, numerous lectures, and engaging student programs—has for many years done an excellent job promoting Civil War history and education, and we have no doubt that the new Appomattox location will continue this important mission admirably. For more information on both branches, go to the museum’s website:

Kevin M. Levin Robert H. Moore II Harry Smeltzer SUBSCRIPTIONS & CUSTOMER SERVICE


Curtis Circulation Company The Civil War Monitor [ISSN 2163-0682/print, ISSN 2163-0690/online] is published quarterly (4 times per year) by Bayshore History, LLC (P.O. Box 428, Longport, NJ, 08403). Subscriptions: $21.95 for one year (4 issues) in the U.S., $31.95 per year in Canada, and $41.95 per year for overseas subscriptions (all U.S. funds). Postmaster: send address changes to The Civil War Monitor, P.O. Box 567, Selmer, TN 38375-0567. Views expressed by individual authors, unless expressly stated, do not necessarily represent those of The Civil War Monitor or Bayshore History, LLC. Letters to the editor become the property of The Civil War Monitor, and may be edited. The Civil War Monitor cannot assume responsibility for unsolicited materials. The contents of the magazine may not be reproduced in whole or part without the written consent of the publisher. Copyright ©2012 by Bayshore History, LLC ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.






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dispatches dispatches

Kudos Congratulations on a great magazine! It seems the other popular Civil War publications are becoming much too “politically correct” for my liking. As a proud East Tennessean with both Confederate and Union ancestors, I deeply appreciate your approach to Civil War history. Keep up the great work! Glenn Land via email

I picked up your magazine at the PX in Kandahar, Afghanistan, and loved it. Keep up the good work. Baylen Forcier Richmond, Virginia

Great magazine. I only wish it were published more frequently! But I certainly am satisfied with the way it is. As a matter of fact, I’m really happy I found it and subscribed. After I showed the latest issue to a couple of friends, they subscribed too. Best wishes for the Monitor in 2012! Tony Ostrowski Chicopee, Massachusetts

Black Men in Blue I really enjoyed your photo article on African-American Civil War soldiers [“Black Men in Blue,” Vol. 1, No. 2]. One of the soldiers featured, Second Lieutenant James Monroe Trotter, was the father of William Monroe Trotter, a lifelong Civil Rights activist who cofounded the Boston Guardian newspaper and was one of the founders of the NAACP. John H. Whitfield via email

Faded Glory First of all, excellent magazine. I found the article about the struggles of returning Union veterans [“Faded Glory,” Vol. 1, No. 2] to be very interest-

ing. It seems that we’ve learned little over the years about how to properly treat soldiers after they come home. As I used to tell my students, we need to learn from our history in order to avoid repeating the mistakes of the past. Wayne Page Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada

Baking for the Cause Thank you for the very rare photo of a federal bakery [“In Focus,” Vol. 1, No. 1]. You might be interested to know that in April 1864, two government bakers in Washington, D.C., Jacob Scheibe and Frederick Wittig, organized a group of their coworkers to lobby for pay raises and threaten a strike. Both men were arrested, convicted of “obstruction of government departments,” and sentenced to two years in prison. President Lincoln reviewed the sentences and approved them, raising some doubts about his legendary compassion. The cases may be read in the National Archives, Record Group 153, folder NN1959. Thomas P. Lowry via email




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SALVO Facts, Figures & Items of Interest



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IN THIS SECTION Travels A VISIT TO WINCHESTER . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

Voices CRITTERS IN CAMP . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10

Primer CIVIL WAR IDENTIFICATION TAGS . . . . . . . . 12

Preservation BATTLE APPS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14

Figures SHOT WOUNDS ANALYZED . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16

In Focus THE BOUNTY BROKERS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18



AUTHOR JESSICA JAMES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20

☛ Major General Philip Sheridan rallies Union troops during the Battle of Opequon—better known as the Third Battle of Winchester—in this painting by Thure de Thulstrup. The battle, fought on September 19, 1864, resulted in a decisive Union victory. For more about Winchester, turn the page.



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travels travels

Destination: Winchester, Virginia

JOHN FOX , a former army of-

ficer and longtime Winchester resident, is the author of Red Clay to Richmond: Trail of the 35th Georgia Infantry Regiment (2004) and The Confederate Alamo: Bloodbath at Petersburg’s Fort Gregg (2010). PATRICK FARRIS , Adjunct Professor of Anthropology at Shepherd University and chair of the Cedar Creek and Belle

Grove National Historical Park Federal Advisory Commission, lives in Winchester’s Historic District with his wife and three children. JERRY HOLSWORTH was born in Dallas, Texas, but has lived in Winchester for 26 years. He is an archives assistant at Winchester’s Handley Regional Library and the author of Civil War Winchester (2011). DREWRY’S BLUFF

Stonewall Jackson Museum

BEST SLEEP | J O H N FOX | The George Washington Hotel 1 , originally built in 1924, but recently restored. This elegant, but reasonably priced, hotel is located next to the historic downtown area. | PATRICK FARRIS | The Nancy Shepherd House Inn 2 on Loudoun Street is nestled in a block of centuries-old homes in the city’s Potato Hill neighborhood, and the Old Waterstreet Inn 3 on Boscawen Street offers period charm. | J E R R Y H O L S W O R T H | Just north of town, the Holiday Inn at the intersection of Route 522 North and Route 37 (Winchester’s bypass road) is advantageously situated on the Second Winchester Battlefield. BEST FAMILY ACTIVITY | J.F .  | Young kids will like the Shenandoah Valley Discovery Museum 4 on the downtown walking mall plus the playground area at nearby Jim Barnett Park 5 . Older children and adults will not want to miss the Old Court House Civil War Museum 6 , used as a jail and hospital by both the Union and the Confederacy. Four blocks away is Stonewall Jackson’s Headquarters Museum 7 , located in the house Old Jack used when he was commander of the Valley District in 1861-1862. |  P. F.  | Any family visiting the city


WINCHESTER, VIRGINIA, may have witnessed more of the Civil War than any other town in the country. Located at the northern end of the Shenandoah Valley, the rich agricultural corridor whose many farms provided sustenance to the Army of Northern Virginia, Winchester found itself the frequent object of Union and Confederate forces vying for control of the vital region. The opposing armies clashed repeatedly in and around the town throughout the course of the war; by its end, Winchester reportedly changed hands over 70 times, 13 of them in one day. Interested in visiting Winchester? To help plan your trip, we’ve enlisted a handful of locals—individuals who live in, work in, or are otherwise intimately familiar with the historic city—to offer their personal suggestions for what to see and do. Our experts:




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George Washington Office Museum

should be certain to enjoy the Loudoun Street Pedestrian Mall 8 , a twoblock stretch in the center of the city. The mall is lined with cafés and restaurants to satisfy every taste, as well as coffee shops, wine shops, museums, art galleries, antique stores, jewelers, and toy stores. There is something for everyone at this downtown locale. | J.H.  | The Museum of the Shenandoah Valley 9 , which covers the entire history of the region, offers much to see and do. It’s a special place. BEST TIME TO BE HERE | J . F.  | The Valley landscape seems to transform for me in June or October. Amid the full greenery of early June or October’s vivid colors, it takes little imagination for me to sense that I have time-traveled back to the 1860s. | P. F.  | Spring, without a doubt. The Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival, held between late April and early May, consists of a diverse series of cultural, musical, and athletic events, as well as parades, craft and car shows, communal breakfasts, and formal dinners. It’s the perfect way to get outside and mark winter’s end. | J .H.  | I enjoy fall the best. There’s always something going on that centers on the area’s history. The annual Civil War weekend, held every September,

Patsy Cline House

Amherst Diner

is a perfect way to learn about Winchester during the war. CAN’T MISS | J.F.  | A great spot is the Marker-Miller Orchards, located on Cedar Creek Grade about five miles out of town. You can pick your own seasonal fruit, and they have a great store filled with pies, cookies, and other Valley products. Surrounded by high ground, the scenery is superb. | P.F.  | The site of Fort Loudoun 10 , a structure designed by none other than

George Washington and located on North Loudoun Street, is definitely worth a visit. The outline of the fort, with its walls and bastions, is discernable with a tour guide, and the fort’s history is synonymous with the 18th-century history of Winchester. Contact the French and Indian War Foundation to arrange a tour. | J .H.  | The walking tour of the Third Battle of Winchester is something most visitors overlook. It’s a long hike, five to six miles, so be prepared if you decide to try it. ☛ {Cont. on next page}



travels travels

BEST OF THE BATTLEFIELD | J.F.  | I’m partial to the view from atop Pritchard’s Hill on the Kernstown Battlefield. The efforts of the Kernstown Battlefield Association, which maintains the site, ensured the preservation of these 300 scenic acres of hallowed ground. | P.F.  | The Winchester National Cemetery 11 and the adjacent Stonewall Confederate Cemetery 12 each represent the final resting place for more than 2,500 soldiers. The two well-maintained cemeteries, replete with monuments to the fallen, lie across Woodstock Lane from one another on ground contested during the final stages of the Third Battle of Winchester. | J .H.  | I enjoy the Kernstown Battlefield. It’s the only preserved battlefield in Frederick County, and is pristine. BEST-KEPT SECRET | J.F.  | The Patsy Cline Historic House 13 just opened for tours. Patsy lived in this house on South Kent Street as a teenager and young adult, and it is full of her memorabilia. | P.F. | The grounds of the Glass-Glen Burnie Foundation 14 , which include the Glen Burnie Historic House, home of

Winchester founder James Wood, as well as the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley. Another great location for families. | J.H.  | George Washington’s Office Museum 15 , built around the small log building the general used as an office while directing the construction of Fort Loudoun. It tells the story of a George Washington almost nobody knows. BEST BATTLEFIELD COMPANION | J . F.  | With six major battles around

Winchester Navigator LODGING



610 Battle Park Dr.; 540-869-2896

103 E. Piccadilly St.; 540-678-4700



401 National Ave.; 540-825-0027

618 S. Loudoun St.; 540-247-5073



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N. Loudoun St., between Piccadilly & Cork Sts.



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Union Jack Pub

Winchester from 1862 to 1864, there is no definitive book that covers all. Gary Ecelbarger’s “We Are In For It!” (2002) portrays the First Battle of Kernstown well. All three battles of Winchester are briefly covered in Brandon Beck and Charles Grunder’s The Three Battles of Winchester: A History & Guided Tour (1988). Theodore Mahr’s The Battle of Cedar Creek (1992) and Jeffry Wert’s From Winchester to Cedar Creek (1987) provide excellent battle

VIOLINO RISTORANTE ITALIANO 181 N. Loudoun St.; 540-667-8006

3035 Cedar Creek Grade; 540-662-1980



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534 Redbud Rd.; 540-542-1326

419 Gateway Dr.; 540-662-2788

1490 N. Frederick Pk.; 540-722-0992




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Winchester in the Civil War particularly well are Garland Quarles’ Occupied Winchester, 1861-1865 (1976) and Richard Duncan’s Beleaguered Winchester: A Virginia Community at War, 1861-1865 (2007). It is important to understand that the real story here is the town, not the battles. Trust me on that one.

The George Washington Hotel

studies of the fall 1864 fighting. |  P. F.  | Ecelbarger’s “We Are in For It!” is an excellent account of the First Battle of Kernstown. For the Battle of Front Royal and the First Battle of Winchester, Ecelbarger’s Three Days in the Shenandoah: Stonewall Jackson at Front Royal and Winchester (2008) is a must-read. | J.H.  | Two books that tell the story of

BEST EATS |  J . F.  | Amherst Diner 16 has great breakfasts in a cozy atmosphere. Brewbaker’s 17 on the walking mall has good lunch or dinner burgers, and just a block away is the restored Union Jack Pub 18 with British food and the best beer selection in town. | P. F.  | The atmosphere at Piccadilly’s Public House 19 is always alive and fun—possibly because they have their own brewery. Violino’s 20 is the best bargain you will ever find for fine Italian dining. And Thai Winchester 21 is

Third Battle of Winchester Walking and Hiking Path

not only my personal favorite, but was voted the favorite restaurant in Winchester in 2011. | J.H.  | I love Italian food, and my favorite place is Venice Italian Restaurant. If you’re hungry for a burger, however, try Foster’s Grille—they have the best in town.


TO LEARN MORE CALL: 931-964-3700 OR 800-552-3866




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voices travels travels voices

Critters in Camp

“Lice by the fourteen hundred thousand million infest Andersonville. A favorite game among the boys is to play at odd or even, by putting their hand inside some part of their clothing, pull out what they can conveniently get hold of and say ‘odd or even?’ and then count up to see who beats. Think this is an original game here. [N]ever saw it at the North.” ANDERSONVILLE PRISONER JOHN L. RANSOM, OF THE 9TH MICHIGAN CAVALRY, JUNE 15, 1864


“[C]amp lice … are the soldier’s pest.… The other night after supper I was sitting by the fire smoking a cigar, when I felt something twitch at my pants’ leg. I looked down and there was one of the ‘crumbs’ with a straw in his mouth, standing on his hind legs and working his claws round like a crab on a fish line. I gave a kick at him, but he dodged it and sticking up his cigar squeaked out,


“The ants here … have an affinity for human flesh and are continually reconnoitering us. I kill about 200,000 per day. Also knock some 600 worms off of me…. I pick enough entomological specimens off me every day to start a museum.” ILLINOIS VOLUNTEER CHARLES WRIGHT WILLS, JUNE 13, 1864


“I keep your picture hanging in my tent, where I can lie on my bed, that is, on the ground, and gaze at it and get sentimental, and fight flies. Speaking of flies, the Egyptian plagues, although they had locusts, and lice, and frogs, I believe, were a failure, because they did not have flies. Such swarms of them as infest our camps, drawn here by the debris of a great army, you can not conceive of.” CAPTAIN WILLIAM PENN LYON, 8TH WISCONSIN INFANTRY, TO HIS WIFE, JULY 21, 1862 SOURCES: JOHN L. RANSOM, ANDERSONVILLE DIARY (AUBURN, NY, 1881); LEMUEL ABIJAH ABBOTT, PERSONAL RECOLLECTIONS AND CIVIL WAR DIARY, 1864 (BURLINGTON, VT, 1908); OLIVER WILLCOX NORTON, ARMY LETTERS, 1861-1865 (CHICAGO, 1903); STEPHEN MINOT WELD, WAR DIARY AND LETTERS OF STEPHEN MINOT WELD, 1861-1865 (CAMBRIDGE, MA, 1912); ALEDIA C. LYON, ED., REMINISCENCES OF THE CIVIL WAR (SAN JOSE, CA, 1907); MARY E. KELLOGG, ED., ARMY LIFE OF AN ILLINOIS SOLDIER (WASHINGTON, DC, 1906); JOHN D. BILLINGS, HARDTACK AND COFFEE (BOSTON, 1887).



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USS Constitution

Mount Vernon

Grant Memorial


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primer primer

Getting to Know Civil War Identification Tags “THE DEAD WERE … unrecognizable except by medals or letters found upon them,” noted Union soldier George Allen of the bodies strewn on the ground after the July 1864 Battle of the Crater. Soldiers on both sides often carried or wore such “medals”—what today would be considered “dog tags”—so that their bodies might be identified if the worst befell them. These identification tags came in a variety of styles, sizes, and materials; some were store-bought, others homemade. Here is a sampling of the many kinds of ID used by Civil War soldiers.

1 Among the more popular discs readily available for purchase by

Union soldiers were those that bore the likenesses of notable military leaders. This brass disc, worn by Rhode Island volunteer Simeon Hersey, carries the image of Union general George McClellan. Like most soldiers who wore such discs, Hersey had his name, regiment, company, and hometown stamped on the opposite side.

3 Some identification badges, like this colorful one worn by Indiana cavalryman D. H. Jones, made clear not only its wearer’s name and regiment, but also his branch of service.



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7 Discs that included patriotic slogans or imagery were also popular with soldiers. This “Against Rebellion 1861” disc belonged to James Riley, a member of the famed Irish Brigade.

5Some soldiers, like the 11th New Jersey

Infantry’s William Holsey, wore their identifications discs suspended from a pin of some kind. Holsey’s pin bears the image of Philip Kearney, a Union general killed at the Battle of Chantilly in 1862.

1 “Company letter” badges—like this one

worn by William T. Bradley of the 6th Connecticut Infantry’s Company F— highlighted its wearer’s company designation. Bradley did not survive the war, dying of wounds he received in battle at Bermuda Hundred, Virginia, in May 1864.

7 Some soldiers created

their own identifiers. A member of the 137th New York Infantry carved this ring—which bears his initials and regiment— from bone.

1 Many soldiers wore badges designed

to be pinned to their clothing, not worn around the neck. E.H. Shaw, a company cook in the 4th Massachusetts Infantry, wore this elaborate shield-shaped badge during the war.

5 State pride often factored into disc design. A member of the 14th Pennsylvania Infantry wore this copper William Penn disc, which bears the likeness of the commonwealth’s founder.

SOURCES: George H. Allen, FortySix Months with the Fourth R. I. Volunteers (Providence, RI, 1887); Larry B. Maier and Joseph W. Stahl, Identification Discs of Union Soldiers in the Civil War: A Complete Classification Guide and Illustrated History (Jefferson, NC, 2008). Images courtesy of the Military & Historical Image Bank (



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preservation travels travels preservation

Yep, There’s Even an App for That President, Civil War Trust

WE’VE ALL BEEN THERE: You arrive at a battlefield park for the first time, only to find that the guided tours started 15 minutes ago. You’d hoped for a fuller experience than the self-guided driving tour, but for whatever reason— a tight schedule, unenthused traveling companions—waiting for the next program isn’t an option. In the past, you’d have been out of luck. But thanks to the innovations of 21st-century technology, you now have options. The Civil War Trust’s free Battle Apps are GPS-enabled, multimedia tours of key battlefields for smartphones.

They include video segments, period and modern imagery, detailed topographical maps, orders of battle, and detailed battle chronologies—all designed to deepen your understanding of what occurred on various Civil War battlefields. Imagine standing on a battlefield and calling up a vivid account of the fight that occurred beneath your feet, or watching the action ebb and flow around that very spot on an animated map. This isn’t to say that technology will replace the value of interacting with trained, on-site interpreters. Still, the Trust’s Battle Apps are a revolutionary step forward—no longer will battlefield travelers have to piece together the story of a battle by reading a few wayside markers. Battle App users ☛ The Trust’s Chancellorsville Battle App in action.

can truly customize their own journeys, spending time on the topics that matter to them. Another benefit is that Battle Apps can cover the entire battlefield as it existed in the 1860s, with “virtual signs” in places where the National Park Service could never erect a permanent, physical marker—busy street corners in downtown Fredericksburg, for example. Why did the Trust decide to take on such a project? The answer is simple: I’ve been on some amazing battlefield tours over the years, and I wanted to make that educational experience available to others. I’m proud to say that, so far, more than 35,000 people have taken that opportunity and enjoyed it—we’re averaging a better than 4-star review. Since we’ve begun offering apps for both Apple and Android, the two most popular smartphone platforms, the top question we get is, “What about my favorite battlefield?” The short answer is: We’re working on it. An incredible amount of effort goes into each product, from researching each location to designing the high-tech interface, and we are unwilling to sacrifice quality for expediency. Our current Battle App lineup includes Bull Run, Chancellorsville, Fredericksburg, and Gettysburg. Apps on Malvern Hill, Cedar Creek, and Petersburg are in the works. Please visit to learn more about this quickly growing series. EDITOR’S NOTE: Look for regular preservation news and updates from the Civil War Trust in future issues. To learn more about the organization and how you can help, visit






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The years 2011 to 2015 mark the 150th Anniversary of the American Civil War. Chambersburg Civil War Seminars and Tours will commemorate the “Sesquicentennial� with seminars in 2012 that correspond with events of 150 years ago.

April 20-22 “Gray Ghosts, Raiders and Bushwhackers: Partisan Warfare 1861-1865� Hagerstown Hotel and Convention Center, MD Featuring tours, talks and panels with Mosby authority and author Horace Mewborn, premier Battlefield guide Ed Bearss, Union cavalry expert Marshall Krolick and many others. Saturday bus tour of “Mosby’s Confederacy,� visiting sites such as Loudon Heights, Miskell’s Farm, Mt. Zion Church where Mosby organized his command, the site of the famous “Greenback Raid� and many other sites associated with the legendary “Gray Ghost.�

July 25-29 “Antietam: The Bloodiest Dayâ€? Four Points Sheraton, Chambersburg, PA Tours, talks, panels, exhibits, and demonstrations Featuring - Ed Bearss, Robert Krick, Ethan Rafuse, Ted Alexander, Tom Clemens, Richard Sommers, Dennis Frye, Susannah Ural, Steve Recker, John Schildt, Keven Walker and many others. Tours of Lee’s advance from Leesburg to Frederick, The Army of Northern Virginia at Sharpsburg, Rodman’s Advance from Snavely’s Ford, Historic Farmsteads of the Battlefield and more‌ Dinner in the Historic Mumma Barn

September 28-30 “The Battles of South Mountain: September 14, 1862� Four Points Sheraton, Chambersburg, PA Talks, panels and bus tour with Ed Bearss, John Hoptak, Tom Clemens and others. Bus tour includes stops on private property not usually open to the general public.



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figures travels figures travels

By the Numbers: Shot Wounds Analyzed AMONG THE MYRIAD QUESTIONS addressed by the compilers of The Medical and Surgical History of the War of the Rebellion—the comprehensive, multi-volume study of Union sick and wounded prepared under the supervision of the army’s surgeon general and published between 1870 and 1888—was this: Where on the body were men most likely to be wounded when shot, and to what outcome? The following graphics represent an overview of their findings. One important caveat: These statistics pertain to wounded soldiers who were evacuated to hospitals, not those killed outright or left on the field for dead, a fact that likely means that injuries to the trunk—usually the most fatal and difficult to treat—are underrepresented.





SEAT OF INJURY (pe rc e nt o f t o ta l c as e s ) HEAD, FACE AND NECK

CAUSE OF INJURY/PROJECTILE TYPE (pe rce nt of t o t al case s)








SEAT OF INJURY (m o rt a l i ty r a te )















SOURCES: The Medical and Surgical History of the War of the Rebellion, Part III, Vol. II (Washington, 1883); Alfred Jay Bollet, “Amputations in the Civil War,” in Guy R. Hasegawa and James M. Schmidt, eds., Years of Change and Suffering: Modern Perspectives on Civil War Medicine (Roseville, MN, 2009). Thanks to Dillon J. Carroll, Jim Schmidt, and Craig Swain for their assistance.




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( 800) 748-9048 WWW.CORINTH.NET Corinth Visitors Bureau



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in in focus focus

Civil War Swindlers: The Bounty Brokers

Presented by the CENTER FOR CIVIL WAR PHOTOGRAPHY, a non-profit organization devoted to collecting, preserving, and digitizing Civil War images for the public benefit. To learn more about the CCWP and its mission, visit:


OF ALL CIVIL WAR profiteers, arguably none were held in lower regard than bounty brokers—men who found recruits for the Union army and took a cut of the cash that communities paid volunteers to help encourage enlistment. Motivated by profits, not patriotism, unscrupulous brokers employed guile, misinformation, and even force to convince individuals—naïve young men and immigrants chief among them—to enlist under their supervision, and then pocketed most, if not all, of the new soldiers’ bounty money. Brokers also routinely encouraged the illegal yet profitable practice known as bounty jumping, in which men enlisted, deserted, and enlisted again in another locale, so as to secure multiple bounties. Before long, the rampant corruption and criminality that pervaded brokers’ ranks drew the ire of the northern populace. As the exasperated editor of the Cleveland Herald wrote in December 1863, “Cannot something be done to stop this nefarious practice?” In this rare image, thought to be taken near New York City’s waterfront, a motley group of bounty brokers poses outside their recruiting headquarters. It is hard not to envision these men soon back to work, scheming to line their pockets at the expense of unsuspecting, or unwilling, volunteers.




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Author Jessica James Has a Noble Cause GETTYSBURG NATIVE JESSICA JAMES hadn’t planned on writing a novel—that is, until she became fascinated with John Singleton Mosby, the legendary Confederate cavalryman whose partisan ranger unit wreaked havoc on Union forces in northern Virginia during much of the war. The result was Noble Cause, James’ self-published wartime novel about a Mosby-like Confederate raider named Alexander Hunter and the woman messenger turned Union scout who confounds both his military plans and his senses—but never his loyalty to the cause. First published in 2008 as Shades of Gray, then republished under its new title—and with a new ending—in 2011, James’ book became an bestseller and has garnered nearly a dozen literary awards, including the 2011 John Esten Cooke Award for Southern Fiction and the 2011 Next Generation Indie Award for Best Regional Fiction. James herself was featured in the 2010 book 50 Great Writers You Should Be Reading on the strength of her debut novel. Here, James talks to the Monitor about her book and its Civil War roots. —JENNY JOHNSTON HOW DID YOU FIRST COME ACROSS MOSBY’S STORY? I majored in veterinary technology with a concentration in horses in college, which led me to my dream job at a horse hospital in Leesburg, Virginia. Unfortunately, working with sick and injured horses every day was not something I was cut out for. But it was while living in Leesburg that I first learned about Mosby. His name is everywhere in that part of Virginia; there’s even a heritage area named after him. His notoriety roused my interest, so I read his memoir, as well as memoirs written by his men. The more I learned about Mosby, the more my interest grew. Inspired by his daring exploits, I started writing fictionalized bits and pieces—and kept on writing. Eventually, I realized I had enough for a book. WHAT IS IT ABOUT MOSBY THAT DREW YOU IN? I think it was his charisma and the

boldness of his command that kind of swooped me away—just the mystery and the romanticism that even his men wrote about. An added twist is the fact that he had an independent command, as Hunter does in the book; he wasn’t under the same controls that other military officers were. Of course, he was also married and had eight kids—so that part I didn’t use. But in doing my research, I made a point of visiting pretty much every site I could find where Mosby put his foot. I visited a house, now privately owned, Jessica where Mosby once crawled James out the window into a tree to escape capture. The tree is still there, though the tree limb is not. I also slogged down a dirt lane and through a cow pasture to find the site of his headquarters, which had been burned by Union troops in 1864. It’s just a chimney and a foundation now, but I could still feel the history that took place there. HAD YOU WRITTEN FICTION BEFORE?

No. After I left the horse hospital, I went back to school for a degree in journalism and became a newspaper reporter, and later an editor, in the Gettysburg area. Short, objective sentences were my bread and butter—so I worried that writing historical fiction, where the language is much more florid, would be quite a leap. But I think it worked to my advantage that the Civil War has been a backdrop of sorts for most of my life. I’ve always been fascinated by that era of our history. And after reading so many newspaper articles, personal war accounts, diaries, and memoirs, the process just began to flow and it felt very natural. It doesn’t hurt that I am surrounded by hallowed ground that inspires my imagination and my writing. YOU ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED THE BOOK AS SHADES OF GRAY. NOW IT’S BEEN RE-RELEASED AS NOBLE CAUSE. WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE? The main difference is the ending. Shades of Gray had a realistic wartime ending. But I received a lot of letters from readers who wanted a happier outcome. I think they wanted to be able to continue writing the story of Hunter and Andrea in their minds, and the first ending didn’t allow that. Also, after Shades came out, a publisher who wanted to acquire the book had the same thought and asked me to rewrite the last few chapters. While I didn’t stay with that publisher, I liked the change and decided to self-publish the new edition myself, just as I’d done with the first. WOULD YOU CATEGORIZE NOBLE CAUSE AS ROMANCE? HISTORICAL FICTION? I don’t like calling it a romance. Not to



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The author’s inspiration: Colonel John Singleton Mosby

criticize that genre, but I’d prefer “romantic historical fiction” or just historical fiction. From my heart, what I wanted to get across more than anything was the honor and the conviction of the time—and that there were no right or wrong answers to the war. People fought for what they believed in, and often that involved great sacrifice. So it’s a love story—but it’s also much more than that.


DOES ALL THE PRAISE YOU’RE RECEIVING SURPRISE YOU? It’s surprising but also deeply gratifying. I get a lot of letters from readers who tell me I kept them up all night reading, which I consider a tremendous compliment. I’ve also gotten emails from teenagers and from men who say they couldn’t put it down. Of all the honors the book has received, the most personally humbling is the John Esten Cooke Award. Cooke was an aide to General J.E.B. Stuart and also a fiction author— actually, he was one of the most important literary figures of 19th-century Virginia. I’ve read and admired his writing; I even made a point to visit his grave when I was in Virginia. So to win an award named after him was a true honor. WE HEAR YOU’RE WORKING ON ANOTHER CIVIL WAR NOVEL? Yes. It’s called Above and Beyond, and it’s another Confederate tale. The main woman character is a Virginian who pretends to be a unionist—even her friends and family believe it—but she’s actually a Confederate spy. I’ve written about three-quarters so far, but I don’t know the ending yet. I’m going to try to make it a happy one, though!



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T 1:20 p.m. on July 3, 1861, the citizens of Richmond were startled by the low rumble of what sounded like a cannon being discharged. Joseph Laidley, the new chemist at the cartridge factory known as Confederate Labs, had blown himself up in his headquarters. The building itself was all but gone, its timbers “wrenched, twisted, and broken.” Laidley’s assistant had been thrown across the yard and seemed insensible. Laidley’s scattered remains presented “one of the most horrible objects of mutilated humanity which it is possible to conceive,” according to the Richmond Daily Dispatch. His head was missing above the lower jaw and beard. His arm was missing below the elbow. “The poor man’s brains” looked “as if they had been torn by a superhuman agency from the skull and splashed to the floor” a few yards distant. His hand

was found on the grounds of the nearby Tredegar Iron Works. A part of his face was discovered 300 yards away on a bank of the James River. It was, said the Dispatch, “a scene of rare horror.”¹ Confederate Labs was in the business of producing such scenes, obviously. Over the course of the war its shot and shells would mangle many Union soldiers in ghastly similar ways. Richmond papers didn’t make this connection, however; it’s likely that no one wanted to admit that such “scenes of rare horror” were about to become commonplace. One snooping reporter did

discover other unsafe conditions on the Lab’s grounds, however. At the factory itself, where a few hundred men, women, and children worked at assembling cartridges, the floor was covered with gunpowder that could easily spark as the nails in the soles of men’s shoes shuffled across the floor. “Don’t be astonished to hear of that part of the town [being] blowed to the devil,” the Dispatch told its readers. (After alarming the public and enraging the War Department, the Dispatch quickly reversed itself. “The utmost care is taken to prevent accidents,” the paper assured readers, and “stringent regulations … are rigidly enforced by the officers in charge.”)² But the paper had been right the first time. The Confederacy’s need for ordnance was voracious, and there was neither time, nor experience, nor will to create a system that would keep workers safe. On September 26, 1861, a locomotive at the nearby Petersburg Depot kicked a spark into a rubbish heap of cartridge paper still dusted with powder residue. The ensuing fire swept all the way to a fence that surrounded the Labs, touching off “a general stampede among the women and children engaged in making cartridges, several of [whom] were severely bruised in their efforts to escape from the building.” The fire was eventually contained, but workers clearly knew that they would be lucky to get through the war alive. “The desire to get out of the way, in expectation of a grand blow up was universal,” reported the Richmond Examiner. “It matters not how careful the managers of the ‘Laboratory’ may be,” noted the Richmond Whig, “it is a dangerous place, filled as it is with powder,




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and surrounded by furnaces, forges and steam engines. We adhere to the opinion, expressed some time ago, that the labor employed in making cartridges should be divided, so that in the event of an explosion, the loss of life would not be so great. It is risking too much to congregate several hundred people in one building, exposed, as this is, to the possibility of a grand blow up.”³ Confederate Labs came one step closer to its “grand blow up” on January 27, 1862. A small clutch of boys sat at the back of the building “ramming fuses”— pressing gunpowder into tubes—when an act of friction set first one fuse and then all of the surrounding, powder-laden air on fire. The resulting concussion blew out all the windows in the building, which fortuitously allowed both the fire and the men on the second floor to escape. The boys were not as lucky. All eight were “very badly burnt,” and three of them “were so disfigured … as to be unrecognizable.” Two had run in flames to the James River and plunged themselves in. Another had run through the streets until all of his clothes burned off. Two would die of their injuries, but still the Dispatch could report, and not without right, that given the quantity of ex-

plosives concentrated in a single place, the most shocking thing was that “the loss and suffering was so little.” Everyone seemed to know that the “grand blow up” was still to come. Confederate Labs was a giant time bomb that all could hear ticking.⁴ At 11:20 a.m. on March 13, 1863, the “dull, prolonged roar” that everyone both feared and expected finally rolled out over the city of Richmond. Confederate Labs had by then taken over Brown’s Island in the James River, where it became a sprawling compound with separate buildings and departments for the construction of fuses, small-arms cartridges, artillery ammunition, and other ordnance. In Building No. 1, Mary Ryan, an 18-year-old Irish immigrant, had been filling “friction primers” (tubes of powder that helped detonate the main charges of a cannon) and found one stuck to a varnishing board. Hoping to loosen it, she smashed the board against a table three times. When the board came down the third time, she set off an explosion that sent her to the ceiling. She was on her way back down when the whole building detonated. “The apartment … was blown into a complete wreck,” marveled the Examiner, “the roof lifted off,

☛ Richmond’s Confederate Labs, located on Brown’s Island in the James River, as it appeared at war’s end.

and the walls dashed out, the ruins falling upon the operatives.”⁵ Building No. 1 was almost entirely staffed by women and girls, many of them the teenage daughters of the immigrant and working families living in the lower-class neighborhoods near the factories. As the sound they had long dreaded poured in upon them, these mothers and fathers descended upon the island in droves. “The most heart rending lamentations and cries issued from the ruins from the sufferers rendered delirious from suffering and terror,” reported the city’s papers. “No sooner was one helpless, unrecognizable mass of humanity cared for and removed before the piteous appeals of another would invoke the energy of the rescuers.” A dozen bodies were removed from the rubble; 30 girls were found alive but “suffering the most horrible agonies, blind from burns, with the hair burned from their heads, and the clothing hanging in burning shreds about [them].” Others were found later, or partially, ☛ {Cont. on p. 70}




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AY 2, 1863, had gone well for Confederate general Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson and his Second Corps of the Army of Northern Virginia. It was the second day of fighting around Chancellorsville, Virginia, and the Union’s Army of the Potomac, under the command of General Joseph Hooker, was battered and in disarray. That morning, Jackson had led his 28,000 troops on a bold flanking maneuver, then followed it up with a crushing assault on Hooker’s right flank that afternoon. Before long, Jackson was threatening to roll up the entire Union line. But as sunlight gave way to darkness, the Confederates, exhausted from a long day of marching and fighting, began to waiver. Disorganization and confusion tinged the jubilation as some Confederate regiments struggled

to make sense of the shifting situation. The ever-aggressive Jackson, however, was not ready to give up on the day. In sight of a decisive victory, he pushed his subordinate commanders to organize for a rare night attack.¹ Hooker’s only route of retreat, United States Ford across the Rappahannock River, was within reach, and Jackson was determined to cut him off. At approximately 8:45 p.m., with a full moon rising overhead, a restless Jackson conferred with some of his staff officers, then rode out beyond his skirmish line to determine the position

and strength of the Union force. As Stonewall and his staff moved slowly and quietly past the forward line of the 18th North Carolina Infantry, none of the regiment’s officers was aware of the group’s movement, a fact that would ultimately prove disastrous.² During their investigation, Stonewall and his officers came within earshot of the reorganizing Union regiments. After a few moments of eavesdropping on the Yankees preparing hasty defenses in the dark, Jackson turned the group around and slowly headed back toward Confederate lines. Although it was relatively quiet on their Mountain Road route, sporadic gunfire sounded up and down the line as the Federals began to probe the new Confederate positions. The echoing shots heightened the anxiety within the ranks, and the Rebels stared nervously into the shadows of the moonlit woods before them. As Jackson led his group back along the road, few words were exchanged, but the riders must have been heard as they closed in on the positions of the 18th North Carolina. Just as Stonewall turned south on the Plank Road, a single shot rang out from nearby. Then a volley of musket fire erupted from the positions of the 7th North Carolina, aimed at what they believed to be a Union cavalry patrol. Within seconds, the woods filled with gunfire as the riders clung to their startled, sprinting horses. Jackson was shot three times— in his left arm, his left wrist, and right hand.³ His staff officers rushed to his aid, stunned to see their iconic leader so severely wounded. They began tending to his wounds there, but with Union artillery rounds landing nearby, he was soon sent on a painfully bumpy twohour ride to an impromptu field hospi-



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tal out of the range of enemy fire. Stonewall Jackson spent the next seven days fighting for his life. After doctors amputated his left arm, the general fell ill with pneumonia, which ultimately proved too much to overcome. On March 10, with his wife and closest aides at his side, Jackson uttered his famous last words: “Let us cross over the river and rest under the shade of the trees.”⁴ The Confederacy had scored a resounding victory at Chancellorsville, but it lost its greatest tactician and battlefield commander. That he had been mortally wounded by friendly fire made his passing that much more difficult for his soldiers, and the whole of the South, to bear. THE EVENTS LEADING to Stonewall Jackson’s death may have been tragic, but they were certainly not surprising. Jackson was one just one (albeit the most famous) of several thousand Civil War combatants killed or wounded by friendly fire. Given the chaos and mis-

communication that surrounded combat of that era, friendly fire incidents were part of the war’s daily business. Of course, this fact did little to mitigate the psychological impact of such events, especially for those who pulled the trigger. Friendly fire incidents would only become more prevalent in America’s 20th-century conflicts. Weapons became more lethal, and the potential for deadly miscues increased. The emergence of aerial bombing brought the greatest mechanism for the accidental engagement of friendly troops, as evidenced so clearly during World War II. A painfully poignant example occurred on the night of July 11, 1943, during Operation Husky, the Allied invasion of Sicily. A convoy of 142 C-47 cargo planes filled with paratroopers from the 504th Airborne was approaching the island when it was mistakenly fired upon by U.S. Navy ships and anti-aircraft positions on the ground. American paratroopers positioned on nearby Biazza Ridge watched in horror as 23 planes

☛ This Kurz & Allison lithograph shows General Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson (at right, on black horse) receiving his mortal wounds at the Battle of Chancellorsville. In reality, he was fatally injured by friendly fire on a nighttime reconnaissance ride.

were shot down, killing 141 American soldiers and pilots.⁵ Even on today’s digital battlefield, with vast amounts of energy and resources directed toward achieving “situational awareness” for America’s armed forces, friendly fire incidents continue. During Operation Anaconda, the first major military operation in Afghanistan in 2001, an Air Force C-130 gunship accidentally engaged a ground convoy of U.S. and friendly Afghan troops on the ground. One U.S. soldier and three Afghans were killed, and many more were wounded.⁶ It was a sobering reminder that even modern military technology and information systems cannot completely cut through the so-called fog ☛ {Cont. on p. 71}



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Despite his devastating sweep through Georgia and the Carolinas, W I LLIA M TEC UMS E H SH E R MAN

enjoyed a surprisingly warm postwar relationship

with the South. In 1881, Jefferson Davis put an end to that.





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☛ A scene from Canal Street in New Orleans during the 1879 Mardi Gras festivities.

and the bitter, vitriolic debate between Sherman and Davis that followed—that southerners began to turn against him. By this time, many southerners had elevated Davis to a living symbol of their lost nation, and Sherman’s acerbic attacks on Davis and repeated defenses of the Union cause eventually led postwar southerners to reinterpret Sherman’s wartime actions. That is, Sherman’s position in southern memory as a rapacious monster is rooted more in what happened after the war than during it. The fight between Sherman and Davis in the 1880s did not just obscure the origins of Sherman’s infamous reputation. It has also led many to overlook that Sherman embraced much of the way of life celebrated in Lost Cause mythology. While Sherman was a northerner by birth, his associations, beliefs, and values made him deeply sympathetic to the antebellum white southern way of life.⁵ It’s a paradox of the Civil War that Sherman, the Confederacy’s bitter, avenging enemy, was also in many respects a thoroughgoing southerner.

HERMAN WAS BORN in Lancaster, Ohio, on February 8, 1820. His father died suddenly when William was nine, leaving his mother impoverished and unable to care for her 10 children. Sherman was sent to the home of a family friend, U.S. Senator Thomas Ewing Sr., who raised him to age 16, then secured him an appointment to West Point. Sherman excelled at this institution steeped in southern attitudes and values, graduating sixth in the class of 1840.⁶ He spent the next several years at army posts in Florida, Alabama, South Carolina, Georgia, Missouri, and Louisiana, where he came to know life as lived by aristocratic white southerners. While he didn’t have a uniformly positive view of southern elites—once calling the young men he socialized with in Charleston the “worthless sons of broken down, proud Carolina families … all trash”—Sherman nonetheless enjoyed life among them.⁷ Sherman resigned his commission in 1853 and embarked on a series of spectacularly unsuccessful business ventures. Old army friends helped him secure the position of superintendent of the nascent Louisiana Military Academy (forerunner of today’s Louisiana State University) in 1859. Before beginning his duties late that year Sherman was confident that his “opinions on slavery are good enough for this country,” and it didn’t take him long to prove to the leading citizens of Louisiana that he shared their


The famed Civil War general arrived in New Orleans during Mardi Gras on February 24, 1879, as a part of a wide-ranging tour across the South. Soon thereafter he received an official summons from “Rex,” the masked king of the festivities (in actuality, James I. Day, a local insurance executive). Before a large, appreciative crowd, Day thanked the general “for dignifying the occasion with his presence.” At a banquet that night he further honored the general by making him a “Duke of Louisiana” and “praising his part in the late war.” A favorite adopted son of New Orleans, the former Confederate John Bell Hood, shared a theater box with his fellow general and gave a speech that praised him in glowing terms. The next day the feted general again appeared with Day, and the men drank champagne to each other’s health before 10,000 cheering southerners. At the grand ball that night the Mardi Gras king once more summoned the general to thank him for coming to New Orleans. Throughout his visit to Mardi Gras, William Tecumseh Sherman was “saluted with unbounded enthusiasm at the South’s greatest popular event.”¹ It might surprise many people today that Sherman was New Orleans’ honored guest after the Civil War. After all, haven’t white southerners always hated Sherman for his marches across Georgia and the Carolinas, when his swarming army, so the story goes, inflicted terror and atrocities on defenseless civilians? Historian and Sherman biographer John Marszalek offers a vivid summary of this mindset: “Of all the supposed evil Yankees, William T. Sherman is clearly considered the damnedest…. Is there any Confederate supporter who does not have a Sherman story to relate: about alleged rapine, pillage, arson, or some other kind of destruction and violence?”² That may be how Sherman is remembered, particularly in the South, but his celebrated presence at Mardi Gras wouldn’t have startled many in 1879. Long after the war Sherman was actually very much a persona grata throughout what had been the Confederacy. He was warmly received on several trips across the South and was on good terms with many ex-Confederates who had opposed him on the battlefield. In fact, for the first decade and a half after the Civil War, his most severe criticisms came from fellow unionists motivated by personal animus and professional jealousy.³ While southerners might have strongly disagreed with Sherman over the justifiability of secession or whether Robert E. Lee was a greater general than Ulysses S. Grant, virtually none of them publicly accused Sherman at that time of the crimes now associated with his campaigns.⁴ It wasn’t until the 1881 publication of Jefferson Davis’ memoirs—




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☛ A romanticized portrait of slavery in America, created circa 1841. While Sherman didn’t idealize the institution, his views on slavery were much closer in tune with southern masters than northern abolitionists.

beliefs and values.⁸ At a Baton Rouge dinner party hosted in early 1860 by Governor Thomas O. Moore, Sherman was politely invited to explain his views on slavery. While those who knew Sherman personally held him in high regard, others were concerned that the state’s only college was run by a northerner whose congressman brother was seen across the South as an abolitionist. After reassuring everyone that his brother had no intention of ending slavery, Sherman declared that the people of Louisiana “were hardly responsible for slavery, as they had inherited it.” Further, while the well-being of field slaves might depend on “the temper and dispositions of their masters and overseers,” Sherman thought slaves who worked in family homes were “probably better treated than any

slaves on earth.”⁹ When he went on to say that he favored keeping slave families intact and allowing slaves to read and write, in order to increase their value as property, a fellow guest pounded the table in excited support. Sherman was “glad to be thus relieved, because at the time all men in Louisiana were dreadfully excited on questions affecting their slaves.”¹⁰ But Sherman had, if anything, understated his views on race and slavery. For one thing, Sherman was nothing less than a white supremacist. “All the congresses on earth can’t make the negro anything else than what he is; he must be subject to the white man,” Sherman wrote his wife in July 1860. “Two such races cannot live in harmony save as master and slave.”¹¹ Otherwise, “[w]hen negroes are liberated either they or their masters must perish.”¹² In another 1860 letter, this time to his antislavery brother-in-law regarding Sherman’s plans to bring his family to Louisiana, he crassly joked about becoming a slave master himself. Making light of the problems he anticipated in keeping white servants, he wrote that his wife, Ellen, “will have to wait on herself or buy a nigger. What will you think of that— our buying niggers?”¹³ Blinded by his implacable racism, Sherman could see no worthwhile moral or political debate to be had over slavery. Even if slavery was disappearing in much of the world, he reasoned, history had forced this institution on the South, and its continued prosperity depended on embracing it. “Theoretical notions of humanity and religion,” he flatly declared, “cannot shake the commercial fact that their labor is of great value and cannot be dispensed with.”¹⁴ Still, slavery did trouble Sherman in one way: He grew increasingly worried in the 1850s that political fights over it would threaten the Union’s stability. His response was to wish, however unrealistically, that both sides would calm down and accept slavery as it existed. “You can readily understand that I am sick of this war of prejudice,” Sherman wrote to a Louisiana friend during a trip back to Ohio in September 1860. “Here the prejudice is that planters have nothing else to do but hang abolitionists and hold lynch courts. There, that all the people of Ohio are engaging in stealing and running off negroes. The truth is that they both do injustice to the other.”¹⁵ Further, Sherman argued, southern and northern extremists alike failed to see the virtues of the status quo: “[I]f all would forget and mind their respective interests, it would be found that slave and all other property are now at a most prosperous standard.”¹⁶ Sherman was apparently blind to the brutal nature of slavery, but he didn’t idealize the institution. In fact, he once confessed a wish that it had never existed because of the social and political “mischief” it caused.¹⁷ But slavery did exist, and Sherman held that slavery as practiced in the antebellum South worked to everyone’s benefit (or at least to the benefit of those who counted in Sherman’s racist calculus). Just days before the Civil War began, he




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would write to a friend in Louisiana that he considered “the practice of slavery in the South … the mildest and best regulated system of slavery in the world, now or heretofore.”¹⁸ Sherman was occasionally as angry at southern hotheads as he was at abolitionists, but he nonetheless displayed a clear sympathy for the southern side in the growing schism. He thought that northerners’ protests against slavery were hypocritical, asserting that as a rule “northern men don’t care any more about the rights and humanities of the negroes than the southerners.”¹⁹ In addition, attempts to limit slavery in the territories would cause only needless resentment in the South. The disputed areas weren’t conducive to building an economy based on slave labor, so “[n]o sensible man with liberty of choice would think of taking his slaves there. Consequently all this clamor about rights in territories is a theoretical one.”²⁰ All in all, Sherman, as he expressed in an 1859 letter to his brother-in-law, was emphatic that the South should be allowed to make its own decisions regarding slavery and then “receive its reward or doom.”²¹ Sherman thus anticipated by two years Jefferson Davis’ famous plea that the South simply be left alone. To that end, Sherman made clear more than once that he would defend the slaveholding states against their enemies—meaning slaves and their abolitionist allies—so long as they remained within the federal union.²² Thus, in January 1861, when it was clear Louisiana would follow the cotton states out of the Union, Sherman had no choice but to leave the state—and his position at the military academy. He could not accept disunion under any circumstances. But his departure showed how close he had become to the southerners around him. “You cannot regret more than I do the necessity which deprives us of your services,” Governor Moore wrote Sherman.²³ For his part, at a final academy ceremony, Sherman bid farewell to each of his cadets individually, then turned to the assembled faculty but was unable to speak. After a moment, Sherman placed a hand over his heart and choked out, “You are all here.”²⁴ Sherman’s affinities for the South notwithstanding, he passionately believed the Confederacy must be destroyed and did his best to strip away its will and capacity to fight. His view of the Union cause is succinctly expressed in a September 1864 communiqué to the mayor of Atlanta: “We don’t want your negroes, or your horses, or your houses, or your lands, or any thing you have, but we do want and will have a just obedience to the laws of the United States.”²⁵ Once the war ended, Sherman immediately worked toward a reconciliatory peace. On April 29, 1865, he wrote to John Rawlins, Grant’s chief of staff, that “[t]he South is broken and ruined, and appeals to our pity. To ride the people down with persecutions and military exactions would be like slashing away at the crew of a sinking ship.”²⁶ Even before writing this letter, he’d already proved his commitment to a soft peace, by offering such favorable surrender terms to Confederate general Joseph E. Johnston that he was publicly suspected in the North of being a traitor.²⁷ During Reconstruction, Sherman’s political conservatism and unchanged racism led him to closely align with the white southerners he’d

☛ Confederate general Joseph E. Johnston surrenders his army to Sherman on April 26, 1865. Sherman’s terms drew cries of protest in the North, where they were deemed too generous.

spent four years fighting. He believed the nation should return to a kind of pre-Civil War state of affairs—without, of course, contention over slavery.²⁸ To that end, political power must be reserved for those who could responsibly exercise it, and for Sherman this meant a whitesonly franchise: “The white men of this country will control it, and the negro, in mass, will occupy a subordinate position as a race.” While it was important to “secure them the liberty now gained,” social and political equality between the races was not possible “in our day, even if at all.”²⁹ Sherman thought this arrangement would benefit the nation as a whole and newly freed blacks in particular. “We should aim for the sake of the future,” Sherman wrote a friend in July 1865, “to keep power and influence in the hands of the most energetic and stable race, white.”³⁰ After all, voting requires “an understanding almost equivalent to the ability to make laws,” a capacity Sherman could not conceive of blacks possessing.³¹ Further, he was convinced that blacks intuitively understood their limitations even if their Radical Republican allies did not: “The Negroes don’t want to vote. They want to work and enjoy property, and they are no friends of the Negro who seek to complicate him with new prejudices.”³² While he eventually came to distance himself from President Andrew Johnson’s political methods, Sherman remained a strong supporter of Johnson’s staunchly pro-southerner approach




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to Reconstruction. When Johnson ordered the return of South Carolina land Sherman had confiscated from whites in January 1865, Sherman approved, claiming it had all been the doing of Radical Republican Edward Stanton, then President Lincoln’s secretary of state.³³ Johnson’s rejection of the Freedmen’s Bureau Act, which allowed the federal imprisonment of whites who discriminated against blacks, caused Sherman to declare, “[A]s I am a man of peace, I go for Johnson and the Veto.”³⁴ Such legislation constituted “an attempt to place the negro on a par with the whites” and could only “produce new convulsions” in a nation that, Sherman felt, needed social and political stability above all else. Finally, Sherman was concerned about worsening violence against southern blacks only to the extent that it weakened Johnson’s ability to thwart his congressional foes. He hoped that white southerners would “at least make it seem mean and contemptible to shoot a negro because he is black. Unless that is done and done soon, it is idle … to attempt an apology or excuse to ward off the measures of the extreme Radicals.”³⁵ Sherman’s political bonds with ex-Confederates were not the only way he re-established ties with the South after the war. In December 1866 he returned from a diplomatic mission to Mexico by traveling through Louisiana and Mississippi on his way home to St. Louis. In a letter to his brother, Sherman recalled thinking he might “hear some things that would not be pleasant”; instead, “many people met me all along the road in the most friendly spirit.”³⁶ In Jackson, surrounded by the desolate chimney stacks and destroyed railroads that were reminders of his last visit, Sherman found himself greeted by Mississippians who “evinced their natural curiosity” about the Union hero, “nothing more.”³⁷ This visit through the South strengthened Sherman’s conviction that the government should adopt a patient, conciliatory policy toward the defeated Confederates. Sherman returned to Louisiana in 1869, this time to Alexandria to visit the military academy he’d helped establish 10 years earlier. Although he had been warned that people in the area might have strong anti-Union feelings, Sherman said that “not a word or look reached me but what was most respectful and gratifying.”³⁸ In fact, his old friends “did all they could to make us welcome,” including covering Sherman’s steamboat fares and hotel bills.³⁹ Sherman was pleased to see the many books and maps he’d donated to the college library, as well as a portrait of him in full military regalia hanging in the school’s main hall.⁴⁰ The trip that took Sherman to Mardi Gras in 1879 was part of a larger fact-finding tour

across the South in his capacity as head of the U.S. Army. Despite his earlier travels, Sherman was curious to see what the rest of the South’s “attitudes and prospects were some fourteen years after the war’s end.”⁴¹ This trip included a visit to Atlanta, something Sherman had been reluctant to undertake only a few years earlier. He would have no reason to be concerned about his reception there. Newspapers reported that “[a] sort of light, good humor pervaded the crowd” waiting for Sherman’s train; as it pulled into view someone yelled out “Ring the fire-bells! The town will be gone in 40 minutes!”⁴² When Sherman walked to his nearby hotel he was accompanied by Atlantans who, while “spiced up with curiosity to see the man” who had burned their city, seemed entirely respectful.⁴³ During his three days there Sherman toured much of Atlanta and the surrounding area. He so liked what he saw that he was happy to comply with a request to publicize his praise for the region. In a letter reprinted in newspapers across the country, he recounted receiving “everywhere nothing but kind and courteous treatment from the highest to the lowest.”⁴⁴ Even E. Merton Coulter, as much a Lost Cause historian as any of the 20th century, had to acknowledge in 1931 that for years after the Civil War, Sherman “had a friendly regard for the South, the region he had so thoroughly devastated in war, and the South was not without a certain friendly feeling toward Sherman.”⁴⁵ Still, there were limits to Sherman’s southern travels. In September 1879 he refused an invitation to a soldiers’ reunion in North Carolina. As he explained in another letter reprinted in many newspapers, he could not accept “the proposition that Confederate and Union men were alike worthy of celebration for the terrible history of 1861 and 1865.”⁴⁶ Sherman declared that he would be honored to attend any event that cultivated “feelings of friendship and respect [among] fellow citizens of the United States,” but he could not in good conscience be present anywhere the Confederate cause would be praised as glorious and sacred.⁴⁷

OTWITHSTANDING HIS closeness to southern whites regarding a host of racial and political matters, Sherman’s refusal to attend the North Carolina reunion shows that, in many ways, the Civil War never ended for him. He devoted much of his postwar life to ensuring an accurate remembrance of the conflict in public memory.⁴⁸ He was motivated partly out of a deep concern for his own legacy; after all, if the Confederate view of the war prevailed, Sherman would be denied what he considered his rightful place in history. But he was equally concerned that “the great Unionist achievement in preserving the nation” be properly acknowledged.⁴⁹ The North’s victory, Sherman would say and write many times, had preserved America’s core principles and values. In 1887 he went even further, asserting that “[t]hey may call it otherwise, but it was a holy war, a war in the interests not only of America, but of the whole human race.”⁵⁰ As such, Sherman held, “[w]e the victors must stamp on all history that we were right and they wrong—that we beat them in Battle as well as argument, and that we must give direction to future events.”⁵¹ Sherman dedicated tremendous energy to giving that direction. In his 1875 memoirs (and a slightly revised 1886 edition) and in thousands of interviews and speeches, he relentlessly promulgated his view of the Civil War. In the 1870s and ’80s Sherman fought as aggressively against those with differing war views as he did against Confederates in the 1860s. With the significant exception of Jefferson Davis, though, Sherman didn’t have to wage a war of words against southern memoirists. While




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many discussed Sherman’s campaigns at length, they were notable for their relative restraint in criticizing his hard war tactics.⁵² These memoirs simply don’t portray Sherman as a bloodthirsty merchant of terror and death. A prime example is John Bell Hood’s Advance and Retreat, posthumously published in 1880. A brief examination of how Hood portrays Sherman makes clear how unusually malignant Davis’ view of Sherman was. To be sure, Hood—who had opposed Sherman in the fight for Atlanta—disapproved of Sherman’s campaign against the vital southern city. Sherman violated “the laws which should govern nations in time of war” in shelling Atlanta, evacuating the remnant of its civilian population, and subsequently burning much of it, Hood writes, and he offers many pages of densely cited legal authority in support.⁵³ This legalistic approach is matched by a measured, even analytical, tone, as this passage shows: “And whereas I marched out at night, allowing [Sherman] the following day to enter the city, unopposed, as he himself acknowledges, and whereas no provocation was given by the authorities, civil or military, he can in no manner claim that extreme war measures were a necessity.”⁵⁴ Hood’s account of Sherman’s Atlanta campaign, therefore, is much closer to a legal brief that alleges wrongdoing than an outraged condemnation of atrocities.⁵⁵ While he writes that Sherman violated the laws of war and caused unwarranted suffering, Hood doesn’t argue that Sherman is guilty of wanton cruelty or barbarism. Memoirs like Hood’s played an important role in shaping public opinion in the South. Even if these books criticized Sherman, often severely, “because the Southern generals who faced Sherman portrayed [him] as a professional, the people of the South mostly accepted Sherman as their former generals had.”⁵⁶ G. Mason Graham, one of the Louisiana Military Academy’s administrators when Sherman was superintendent, spoke for many southerners in an 1875 letter published by the New Orleans Picayune: “Whatever repugnant acts the necessities of war may have enforced on him, I … am satisfied that his sympathies are with the South in its struggles for peace, quiet, restoration, and self-government.”⁵⁷ But Sherman’s relationship with the South would begin to change dramatically following the 1881 publication of Jefferson Davis’ mammoth defense of the secessionist cause, The Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government. Davis’ attempts at character assassination, and Sherman’s equally harsh rebuttals, constituted the most protracted and bitter of Sherman’s public disagreements with ex-Confederates.⁵⁸ Even toward the end of Sherman’s life, when he sought to reconcile with as many old enemies as possible, Union and Confederate, he continued feuding with Davis.⁵⁹ This was indeed an “irrepressible conflict”: Both men were easily angered and provoked, unshakably convinced they were right, and committed to advocating endlessly for their radically incompatible views of the history and meaning of the Civil War. Sherman’s memoirs appeared before Davis’ account and say relatively little about the Confederate president, which might itself have been a kind of insult. The only direct attack came when he mocked Davis (in language that is restrained compared to what Sherman would eventually use) over Davis’ repeated public discussion in September 1864 of Hood’s plans to move his army north into Tennessee after the fall of Atlanta, effectively leaving Georgia to Sherman. Davis “made no concealment of these vainglorious boasts,” Sherman wrote, “and thus gave us the full key to his future designs.” Indirectly referring to his devastating March to the Sea, Sherman smugly concluded that “I think we took full advantage of the occasion.”⁶⁰ Davis had worse, much worse, to say about Sherman when his turn came. He called Sherman’s decision to remove Atlanta’s civilian population after the city’s surrender unparalleled in modern warfare. “Since

☛ Unlike his fellow former Confederate John Bell Hood (above, as he appeared during the war), Jefferson Davis (right, c. 1885) used his memoirs to excoriate Sherman’s Civil War record.

Alva’s atrocious cruelties to the noncombatant populations of the Low Countries in the sixteenth century, the history of war records no instance of such a barbarous cruelty as that which this order designed to perpetrate.”⁶¹ The brutality worsened once defenseless women and children were outside the city, when they were stripped of their few remaining possessions by Union soldiers.⁶² Davis made perfectly clear whom he considered responsible for these depredations, thundering that Sherman had issued an “inhuman order” and that the “cowardly dishonesty of its executioners was in perfect harmony with the temper and spirit of the order.”⁶³ Davis next turned his attention to the burning of Atlanta and Sherman’s subsequent march to Savannah. He claimed Sherman deliberately and “utterly destroyed the city by a fire” in which “[n]ot a single house was spared, not even a church.” The line of Sherman’s march was marked by “[s]imilar acts of vandalism” in every town or village the army encountered. In Davis’ account, the March to the Sea proved that Sherman was something less than fully human: “The arson of the dwelling houses of noncombatants and the robbery of their property … made the devastation as relentless as savage instincts could suggest.”⁶⁴ Davis’ outrage only grew when he discussed Sherman’s February 1865 occupation of Columbia, South Carolina. The former president luridly described the march north from Savannah as




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“The history of war records no instance of such a barbarous cruelty as that which… [Sherman] designed to perpetrate.” —Jefferson Davis




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identifiable by “the burning dwelling houses and by the wail of women and children pitilessly left to die from starvation and exposure in the depth of winter.” After Columbia’s surrender, Sherman and his troops turned it into a place of hellish suffering, in which “the defenseless city is burned to the ground” and its helpless citizens—a call for readers to picture virtuous Confederate women—“subjected to outrage and insult of a character too base to be described.”⁶⁵ In sum, Sherman was a monster guilty of “an act of cruelty which finds a parallel only in the barbarous excesses of Wallenstein’s army in the Thirty Years’ War.”⁶⁶ Sherman might not have been describing Davis when he wrote it, but a letter to a friend after the war nonetheless captures his attitude toward the unrepentant secessionist. Sherman had no patience, he said, for southerners who condemned the so-called “vandalism of the Yankees.” After all, southerners started the war; they also “dared and defied us to come south, threatening to kill and mutilate us.” So Sherman felt only “contempt” for anyone who subsequently “whined and complained of the inevitable consequences of their own acts.”⁶⁷ It’s not surprising, then, that Sherman didn’t wait long before striking back against Davis. The opportunity arose at a reunion of the Army of the Potomac in Hartford, Connecticut, in June 1881. Other speakers included Mark Twain and Secretary of War Robert Lincoln, but Sherman delivered the keynote speech at a “grand banquet” on the evening of June 8.⁶⁸ He began by confessing that he hadn’t read Davis’ book, which had appeared that spring, but only seen “copious extracts” and thus wasn’t sure whether it deserved to be taken seriously. He then launched into a point-by-point response that betrayed his deadly intent. Sherman accused Davis of being too late with his rhetoric of condemnation for the Atlanta campaign. Comparing the Union seizure of the city to “Alva’s atrocious cruelties in the Netherlands” might have been fine in

☛ Responsibility for the burning of Columbia, South Carolina (depicted above), became a major point of contention during the postwar feud between Sherman and Davis.

1864, Sherman allowed, because then “extraordinary language was needed to arouse the sinking energies of his people.” But to use it now, years after the war, “is simply absurd.” Judging by what Sherman said next, Davis’ criticisms of the civilian evacuation particularly incensed him. He emphatically declared that “[n]ot a man, woman, or child was harmed in that removal” and “not a single piece of property broken or molested.” As proof Sherman read at length from the official report of a Confederate officer assigned by John Bell Hood to help oversee the evacuation and who also, according to Sherman, “bore public testimony to the kindness of the [Union] escorts.” Moreover, Sherman could not let Davis’ accusations of inhumanity go unaddressed. He said it was not only “eminently humane to remove a noncombatant population from the theatre of war,” but that such actions also hastened the end of the conflict, “which Mr. Davis, according to his own accounts, would never have terminated as long as he could have saved his own life.” This was a charge Sherman felt com- ☛ {Cont. on p. 67}




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John F. Marszalek, “Celebrity in Dixie: Sherman Tours the South, 1879,” The Georgia Historical Quarterly 44 (Fall 1982): 378, 380.

26 Sherman’s Civil War: Selected Correspondence of William T. Sherman, 1860-1865, ed. Brooks D. Simpson and Jean V. Berlin (Chapel Hill, 1999), 884.


John F. Marszalek, “Was Sherman Really a Brute?” Blue and Gray Magazine 7 (December 1989): 46.

27 Memoirs, 677-732; Fellman, Citizen Sherman, 238-56.


Wesley Moody, Demon of the Lost Cause: Sherman and Civil War History (Columbia, 2011), 35-60.



There were exceptions, of course. South Carolina man of letters William Gilmore Simms published a series of newspaper articles just weeks after the destruction of Columbia in February 1865 that accused Sherman and his men of intentionally burning down the city and inflicting widespread terror. A City Laid Waste: The Capture, Sack, and Destruction of the City of Columbia, ed. David Aiken (Columbia, 2005). Robert K. Murray, “General Sherman, the Negro, and Slavery: The Story of an Unrecognized Rebel,” The Negro History Bulletin 22 (March 1959): 125.


Lloyd Lewis, Sherman: Fighting Prophet (New York, 1932), 54-55.


Quoted in Michael Fellman, Citizen Sherman: A Life of William Tecumseh Sherman (New York, 1995), 19.



General W.T. Sherman as College President, ed. Walter L. Fleming (Cleveland, 1912), 77. Ibid.

10 Memoirs, 140-41. 11 College President, 241. 12 Home Letters of General Sherman, ed. M.A. DeWolfe Howe (New York, 1909), 229. 13 Ibid., 124. 14 College President, 88. 15 Ibid., 291. 16 Ibid. 17 Citizen Sherman, 74. 18 College President, 376. 19 Ibid., 241-42. 20 Ibid., 290.

28 John Marszalek, Sherman: A Soldier’s Passion for Order (New York, 1993), 364. 29 The Sherman Letters, ed. Rachel Sherman Thorndike (New York, 1894), 263. 30 Quoted in Marszalek, Sherman, 366. 31 Sherman Letters, 261. 32 Home Letters, 353. 33 Marszalek, Sherman, 368. 34 Quoted in Lewis, Fighting Prophet, 587. 35 Quoted in Marszalek, Sherman, 372. 36 Sherman Letters, 287.

“transcends, in studied and ingenious cruelty, all acts ever before brought to my attention in the dark history of war” (Ibid., 230). It’s possible that the discrepancy between this letter and his memoirs is partly explained by the postwar help Sherman gave Hood during a period of serious financial need, but, it’s unlikely that’s the whole story. The description of Sherman’s campaign set out in his memoirs reflects probably Hood’s more considered view of the matter. It’s implausible that if Hood really considered Sherman to have been the guilty of atrocities he would have asked for Sherman’s help after the war, much less publicly praised Sherman during the 1879 Mardi Gras. Instead, it appears that Hood after the war held Sherman in some professional and possibly even personal esteem, which wouldn’t have been possible if he considered Sherman guilty of unparalleled wartime evil.

37 Ibid.

56 Moody, Demon, 65.

38 Ibid., 328.

57 Quoted in Marszalek, “Brute,” 48.

39 Ibid., 327.

58 Fellman, Citizen Sherman, 304.

40 Sherman would visit the college again in 1871 and 1879, as well as help it secure a number of buildings and grounds when it relocated to Baton Rouge in 1886. Boyd, “Sherman,” 414.

59 Ibid., 402.

41 Marszalek, “Dixie,” 369. 42 Atlanta Constitution, January 30, 1879. 43 Ibid. 44 St. Louis Globe-Democrat, February 11, 1879.

60 Sherman, Memoirs, 508. 61 Jefferson Davis, The Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government 2 vols. (New York, 1881; reprint, Da Capo Press, 1990), 476. 62 Ibid., 476, 478. 63 Ibid., 478. 64 Ibid., 483.

45 E. Merton Coulter, “Sherman and the South,” North Carolina Historical Review 8 (January 1931): 53.

65 Ibid., 531-32.

46 St. Louis Globe-Democrat, September 16, 1879.

67 Marszalek, “Brute,” 48.

47 Ibid. 48 Marszalek, Sherman, 460. 49 Ibid., 461. 50 Ibid., 470. 51 Ibid., 461. 52 Moody, Demon, 62.

66 Ibid., 533.

68 “A Rebel Rebuked,” Daily Inter Ocean, June 9, 1881. All quotations in the following three paragraphs are from this article. 69 Quoted in Marszalek, Sherman, 472-73, 475. 70 Quoted in Moody, Demon, 90-91. 71 Quoted in William J. Cooper Jr., Jefferson Davis, American (New York, 2000), 672. 72 Moody, Demon, 91.

22 Ibid., 44.

53 John Bell Hood, Advance and Retreat (New Orleans, 1880; reprint, Secaucus, NJ, 1985), 236, 229-42.

23 Memoirs, 149.

54 Ibid., 237.

74 Quoted in ibid.

24 David F. Boyd, “Gen. W.T. Sherman: His Early Life in the South and His Relations with Southern Men,” Confederate Veteran 18 (September 1910): 413.

55 It isn’t that Hood was incapable of such impassioned rhetoric. In September 1864 he protested Sherman’s plans to evacuate Atlanta civilians in order to make the city a military depot. Hood wrote to Sherman that the proposed evacuation

75 Sherman, Memoirs, 608-09.

21 Ibid., 89.

25 Sherman, Memoirs, 495.

73 Marszalek, “Dixie,” 382.

76 Quoted in Marszalek, “Brute,” 48. 77 Boyd, “Sherman,” 409. 78 Ibid., 414.




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sketches of war “Life Studies of the Great Army” by Edwin Forbes

A HALT IN LINE OF BATTLE The line having advanced and driven the enemy, whose dead are lying in front, is “dressing up,” while a reinforcing column can be seen coming over the hill in the distance. Shells from the enemy’s batteries are bursting in the air.



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“EVERY PICTURE SEEMS to carry me back to my life in the Army of the Potomac, every sketch is true, every line is correct in drawing, every incident is characteristic. What more can I say?” ¶ So wrote former Union general Alexander S. Webb after viewing Edwin Forbes’ “Life Studies of the Great Army,” a collection of 40 copper etchings based on the renowned artist’s wartime illustrations and displayed at the Philadelphia Centennial Exhibit in 1876. Forbes, a native New Yorker who had followed the Union army as a “special artist” for Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper, spent the immediate postwar years completing the drawings and transferring them to copper plates. The result—sampled over the following pages, with Forbes’ original descriptions—was the crowning achievement of his career.



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THE PONTOON BRIDGES The army crossing a river and closing up in column on the hill, while the advance is pushing into the woods, which have caught fire from exploded cartridges.

AN ADVANCE OF THE CAVALRY SKIRMISH LINE Clearing the way while the main body is moving forward in support.



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A NIGHT MARCH The army going into action through the pine woods. In the foreground a tree has been fired to give light for the march, and over the distant woods dense volumes of smoke are rolling up, the underbrush having caught fire from burning cartridges.

A LULL IN THE FIGHT A scene behind the breastworks. Officers and men are grouped about the guns, while some of the latter are playing cards, cooking, and amusing themselves generally. In the center of the picture a squad of prisoners is seen coming in from the front under guard.



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THE OUTER PICKET LINES A general view overlooking the enemy’s country.



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COFFEE COOLERS A party of stragglers from the column which is seen marching over the hill in the distance. These are the men who always shirked a battle, and were to be found with their regiments only when rations were to be served out, at a safe distance from the enemy.

FALL IN FOR SOUP—COMPANY MESS A scene in winter camp, giving a general idea of the style of huts built and occupied by the troops. A wagon train is coming down the road from the distant camp on its way to the depot for storage.



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TRAFFIC BETWEEN THE LINES Pickets trading for coffee and tobacco between the fortified lines during a truce. The enemy’s works (protected by abattis and chevaux-de-frise) are seen in the background, with groups of soldiers on the parapet.

OFFICERS’ WINTER QUARTERS Waiting for dinner after dress parade. In the doorway the sergeant of the guard is seen reporting to the officer of the day.



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THE REVEILLE ON THE LINE OF BATTLE Representing the line of battle at daylight. The regimental bugler stands on the crest of the hill playing the reveille to arouse the troops, who are lying on the ground wrapped in their blankets. In the middle distance a battery is seen in position with “caissons” and “limbers” to the rear.



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TATTOO IN CAMP A moonlight scene. The regimental drum-corps is beating “tattoo,” the signal for the men to retire to their tents. “Taps,” the signal for “lights out,” follows half an hour later.

SOURCES: Edwin Forbes, Thirty Years After: An Artist’s Memoir of the Civil War (New York, 1890; reprint, Baton Rouge, 1993); Index to the Reports of Committees of the House of Representatives for the Second Session of the Forty-Eighth Congress, 1884-85 (Washington, 1885), I: 2440. All images courtesy the Library of Congress.

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dying in the desert



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☛ The Organ Mountains, in the New Mexico Territory, as they appeared in 1894. An illfated band of Union soldiers and civilians marched across this parched wilderness during the summer of 1861.

In July 1861, as more than 600 Union soldiers and civilians fled from Confederate cavalry in the New Mexico Territory, they battled natural—not military— forces in the desolate Southwest. BY MEGAN KATE NELSON NEW MEXICO STATE UNIVERSITY LIBRARY, ARCHIVES AND SPECIAL COLLECTIONS.



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UST FOUR DAYS AFTER green Union troops fled the fields of Manassas Junction, Virginia, in humiliating defeat, U.S. regulars under the command of Major Isaac Lynde skirmished with Lieutenant Colonel John Baylor’s 2nd Texas Regiment Mounted Rifles in the tiny town of Mesilla, in the New Mexico Territory. The engagement was brief and indecisive. Afterward, Lynde withdrew his soldiers to Fort Fillmore, the Union’s southernmost military installation in New Mexico, 40 miles north of El Paso and just outside of Las Cruces. Finding its defenses sorely lacking, however, Lynde deemed the outpost too vulnerable to attack and gave the order to evacuate. Sometime after 1 a.m. on July 27, 1861, around 500 soldiers and over 100 women and children departed Fillmore, moving northward along the Rio Grande toward Fort Craig, a more secure Union outpost more than 100 miles away. As Lynde’s party neared the town of Las Cruces, the major ordered the column to instead take the road to Fort Stanton, which headed off across the high desert valley to the east; Lynde had come to believe that Stanton, not Craig, was “the most practicable point to reach, and was reported to be threatened by the enemy.” As the sun rose, the Union column became clearly visible to Baylor, who had been keeping watch from a rooftop in Mesilla and ordered his Confederates in pursuit. The Texans quickly caught up to Union stragglers at a pass in the Organ Mountains and drove them into the mining town of San Augustin Springs. Lynde and his officers, who had been at the head of the column and were therefore among the first to reach San Augustin Springs, attempted to rally their exhausted men. When it became clear that they could form only a single company in defense, Lynde sent word to Baylor, asking for terms of surrender.¹ Ten days later, when some 400 Union soldiers—paroled by their Confederate captors—staggered into Fort Craig, the Union army was on the verge of losing control over southern New Mexico. Lynde’s subordinate officers wasted little time affixing the blame for the debacle on their commander, filing irate reports attesting to the major’s cowardice, his apparent fear of the mounted Texans, his tolerance of women and children at Fillmore (which slowed the pace of the march), and his mercurial behavior in the moments before the surrender. Both his men and other officers in the Union army—in addition to politicians in Washington—deemed Lynde’s actions “unaccountable” and potentially treasonous.² They were incredulous that Lynde would capitulate to Baylor when his soldiers outnumbered the Texans three to one. “It was not possible to conceive of such a disgraceful surrender,” one U.S. officer reported in disgust, “than was made at San Augustin Springs.”³After several months of accusations and affidavits, General-in-Chief George McClellan, in a rare moment of agreement with President Lincoln, dropped Isaac Lynde from the rolls of the army for “abandoning his post—Fort Fillmore, N. Mex.—on the 27th of July, 1861, and subsequently surrendering his command to an inferior force of insurgents.”⁴ Yet it was not the major’s cowardice or the “inferior force of insurgents” that had led to the Federals’ surrender. From the moment Lynde decided to abandon Fort Fillmore to the last, limping steps his soldiers took into Fort Craig 10 days later, the group’s inability to adapt to the “difficulties and seductions of the desert” brought about this “disastrous” event so early in the war.⁵


The desert Southwest was not an ideal place to conduct large-scale military operations. But its location and rich resources attracted both Union

and Confederate armies during the Civil War’s early months. In April 1861, the New Mexico territory had eight U.S. forts, which had been constructed along El Camino Real and the Rio Grande after the conclusion of the MexicanAmerican War. The roadway and the waterway were both routes and meeting places for those traveling between Mexico, the United States, and the western territories in the 1840s and 1850s, and the outposts had offered protection for American traders and migrants making their way toward new futures in the West. U.S. Army officials had also garrisoned small companies of troops at each fort, who rode out in pursuit of the Mexican bandits and Native Americans who saw these travelers and their wagon trains of supplies as opportunities for plunder. This military presence meant that by 1861, there were large quantities of government stores and supplies along the Rio Grande, a ne-



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☛ The tiny town of Mesilla, in the New Mexico Territory, where Union and Confederate forces clashed briefly in July 1861.


cessity for any long-term campaigns. Confederate politicians and generals had their eyes on these, and on the newly established transportation corridors between the New Mexico Territory and their ultimate goal: California. “California had to be conquered, so that there would be an outlet for slavery,” argued Confederate general Henry H. Sibley. “[W]ith New Mexico, Arizona, California, and Utah there would be plenty of room for the extension of slavery, which would greatly strengthen the Confederate States.”⁶ Some ardent secessionists coveted the northern states of Mexico as well, and from there, an expansion of slavery into the Southern Hemisphere. The region’s gold and silver mines, particularly in California, were another powerful incentive. In order to secure these territories, Confederate leaders anticipated the support—both military and financial—of New Mexico residents, Utah Mormons, and multiple

Native American tribes, whom they assumed were “natural” enemies of the U.S. government. Once their armies established a foothold in the New Mexico Territory, they reasoned, volunteers would flock to the Confederate cause.⁷ To make these western dreams come true, Confederates needed to capture those eight U.S. forts. The closest installation to the Confederate base at Fort Bliss was Fort Fillmore, just over the Texas-New Mexico border. Construction of Fillmore had begun in 1851; three years later the fort contained nine buildings, two large storehouses for weapons and provisions, and seven smaller structures including barracks and a hospital. All were built of a mixture of adobe (the sand-clay-straw-water mixture used for thousands of years in the American Southwest) and small stones pulled from the desert sands. These inexpensive structures were strong defenses against small bands of Native American or Mexican raiders armed with rifles. But when Isaac Lynde first arrived at Fillmore in late June 1861, several things worried him. First, the fort did not have an exterior wall as a first line of protection. Second, while adobe was a resilient building material, it was no match for the more sophisticated weaponry carried by Confederate troops: A six-pound cannon shot would have punched huge holes in the fort’s buildings. Third, “the Fort was so placed



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as to be indefensible against artillery,” Lynde wrote, “being commanded “got among the men and there were a few cason three sides by sand hills within easy range of a six-pounder.”⁸ The ma- es of intoxication.”¹⁷ Several months after the jor was not the only one to note this vulnerability; Captain F.J. Crilly, surrender, Union lieutenant colonel Benjamin an assistant quartermaster stationed at the fort, felt that “Fillmore was S. Roberts was still outraged about this elean untenable position” as it was “surrounded by hills which were within ment of the debacle. “I am merciless enough to easy cannon range of every spot in the garrison.”⁹ charge all our misfortunes in this Territory to Also worrisome was the fact that fresh water was more than a mile drunkness [sic],” he wrote angrily to Colonel away, with the only path to the Rio Grande meandering through sand Canby in October. “Lynde’s surrender was, I hills and thick groves of cottonwood trees.¹⁰ The U.S. Army officials who believe, consequential upon whiskey!”¹⁸ Many chose Fort Fillmore’s location likely believed that this sheltered posi- commentators—including New York Tribune tion would offer protection from raiders trying to spot it from afar and editor Horace Greeley—would also blame lifrom dust storms that periodically ravaged the area. Perhaps they did quor for the weakened state of Union soldiers not fully reckon with the amount of energy it would take soldiers—even on the march from Fort Fillmore.¹⁹ The alcothose equipped with wagons for hauling—to complete a daily three-mile hol may indeed have been partially to blame, round trip to fetch water. And they definitely but because of its dehydrating efdid not foresee a war fought with long-range fects more than the soldiers’ drunkEdward Canby and accurate artillery, weapons that could not enness or disorganization. And as only destroy the fort’s buildings but also enthey turned away from the cool, able siege warfare. Without access to water, swift Rio Grande and entered the Fort Fillmore’s denizens could survive only high desert en route to Fort Stana few days at most under siege. Indeed, Capton, heat and lack of water would tain Crilly considered the fort’s position to exacerbate their dehydration and be so unfavorable that he thought its soldiers lead, in many cases, to their deaths. would be better off fighting from “strong defensive points along the river … from which DUST, DELIRIUM, AND A DEADLY THIRST four times their number could not have driven them.”¹¹ Fort Fillmore, Las Cruces, and After withdrawing from his brief clash San Augustin Springs all sat in the with Baylor’s Texans at Mesilla, Lynde set his northernmost reaches of the Chimen to work digging fortifications around Fillhuahuan Desert, a high-altitude more’s buildings. By nightfall, however, Lynde zone of aridity and semi-aridity concluded that even these improved defenses that extends from southern Mexcould not stand up to the Confederates’ weapico into central New Mexico. This ons.¹² He felt some anxiety about the decision ecosystem is about 8,000 years old, to abandon the fort; it was an important salient in the Union’s military and by the 1860s it exhibited features associatstrategy to hold the New Mexico Territory. Edward Canby, the colonel ed with the “shrub-steppe”—sandy, rocky soil commanding in the Department of New Mexico, had initially sent orders anchored by dispersed clumps of sagebrush, to concentrate men and supplies at Fillmore, where troops could inter- low shrubs, and intermixed grasses. The Rio cept Confederate soldiers marching northward from Texas. On the day Grande Valley in this part of New Mexico is Lynde evacuated, Captain Alfred Gibbs was heading there from Albu- wide and mostly level with rolling desert land querque with 100 head of cattle.¹³ But Canby had also instructed Lynde to along its borders (such as the sand hills borretreat from the fort if necessary, giving Lynde reason to believe that “as dering Fort Fillmore); its elevation varies, but the commander of the Southern District of New Mexico, I had full author- averages more than 3,000 feet. It’s typically dry ity … to abandon the post if I thought it for the good of the country.”¹⁴ and sunny, and the temperatures can swing By concentrating provisions at Fillmore, Canby had unintention- wildly from day to night. Excepting the Rio ally made the fort a target; John Baylor chose to attack it in order to Grande, water sources are few, usually small resupply himself with provisions and weapons, both of which he needed springs that bubble up from underground aquito launch further Confederate assaults in the Southwest.¹⁵ Lynde knew fers. Twelve miles east of Las Cruces, the volthat the fort’s excess supplies were a liability; he could not take them canic Organ Mountain range rises up in jagged with him on the retreat, and he could not leave them behind for the peaks more than 8,500 feet above sea level.²⁰ In Confederates to capture. In his order of evacuation, issued at 10 p.m. 1861, the Fort Stanton Road crossed the sandy July 26, he determined that “all property, of whatever description, pub- plain between the river valley and the Organ lic and private, that cannot be transported will be destroyed as far as Mountains and wound precipitously upward, practicable.” Soldiers were to take only what they could carry, five days’ gaining more than 2,000 feet before reaching rations, and one blanket.¹⁶ Medical supplies were among the stores to San Augustin Pass at 5,719 feet. San Augusbe destroyed, although assistant surgeon J. Cooper McKee’s request to tin Springs sat five miles northeast of the pass burn them was refused. McKee subsequently “made the destruction as and beyond it lay the Tularosa Basin and 275 complete as possible without the aid of fire,” and much of what was square miles of towering gypsum dunes, which saved (accidentally or not) was whiskey. This and other medicinal liquors from the heights of the pass looked like a huge,



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On July 25, 1861, just four days after the devastating Union loss at Bull Run, Union and Confederate forces clashed in the small town of Mesilla in the New Mexico Territory. Union forces withdrew after the indecisive fight to nearby Fort Fillmore, which their commander, Major Isaac Lynde, soon deemed unsuitable for defense and ordered evacuated. On July 27, Lynde, 500 soldiers, and 100 women and children set out for Fort Craig, but soon changed course and headed east toward Fort Stanton. Confederates under Colonel John Baylor caught up with the column at San Augustin Springs. Baylor marched his prisoners back to Las Cruces, where he paroled them on August 2. The survivors then struck out for Fort Craig, which they reached four days later.

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white, inland sea. It was into this “wholly mineral landscape,” with its sandy soils, infrequent shade, and lack of water sources, that Lynde’s column marched in late July.²¹ Although he believed it “practicable” to head to Fort Stanton, Lynde admitted later that he “had not personal knowledge of the road” and relied on his officers for topographical information. He was led to believe that “the first day’s march would be 20 miles to San Augustin Springs.”²² The distance was closer to 25 or 30 miles, and around five of those miles were steep vertical ascents up the western face of the Organ Mountains. They did know that there was little to no water along the route, and Lynde’s officers had made sure to pack containers of water in the supply wagons, most of which brought up the rear. As they swung onto the Fort Stanton Road, the Federals followed a narrow path carved through fine particles of desert soil and small rocks. The soil was parched; only about 1½ inches of rain had fallen during the previous month.²³ Therefore, Lynde’s followers created huge plumes of dust in their wake as they trudged along. Light summer winds and clear skies kept the dust clouds hovering in the air above them, marking their path for everyone to see. And unluckily for them, John Baylor was looking.²⁴ After confirming Lynde’s location from his rooftop perch in Mesilla, Baylor and about 150 of his cavalrymen gathered water supplies, found and saddled up a local guide named Barnes, and set off in pursuit of the retreating Federals. They rapidly closed the distance not only because they were on horseback (just a small percentage of Lynde’s men were mounted, and almost none of the civilians) but also because the marchers were slowing down considerably. The participants who recorded their experiences of the retreat remembered that the march was proceeding fairly briskly and in an organized fashion until sunrise, when it became “excessively” and “intensely” hot.²⁵ It was likely a pleasant 70 degrees during the first five or six miles of their trek, but the temperature would have risen rapidly once the sun came up. By 10 a.m. it was probably in the mid-90s.²⁶ And as the sun began to beat down on the open road, the air temperature was “made doubly hot reflected by the sand.”²⁷ There was not much respite from the sun’s scorching rays along the Fort Stanton Road. Captain Crilly remembered that men fell out of the ranks in droves, “each man trying to save himself from the terrible heat,” seeking “the shade of the bushes, which were so small as to cover scarcely their heads.” Union commissary officer Alfred Gibbs, who had left his 100 head of cattle at Point of Rocks (about 45 miles away) and galloped “off the road and across the country” when he heard about the retreat, reached the column as it wound its way up to San Augustin Pass. To his dismay, he found “under the bushes by the side of the road over 150 men” who were lying helpless, “unable to rise or carry their muskets and useless and disorganized in every way.” Even those who made it to San Augustin Springs collapsed upon arrival. When the Confederates approached and Lynde looked around to gather his soldiers, “many were lying under the bushes near the Spring, totally unable to rise.”²⁸ Anyone walking unprotected—or even riding on horseback at a walking pace—cannot hope to withstand the desert’s summer temperatures for long. The human body can survive large drops in its internal temperature, but even small increases can be fatal. Resting can help, but only if you’re in a cool spot, out of direct sunlight. Absorbing the sun’s rays into bare skin can produce as much heat as the exertion of walking. And dehydration can make things worse, weakening a body already suffering from temperature fluctuations. On a 95-degree day like July 27, 1861, a soldier lying partially in the shade without water would have seen his temperature increase by two degrees per hour. Heatstroke would occur when his body temperature reached 105 degrees, resulting in convulsions, unconsciousness, or death.²⁹

As the horses and mules began to struggle in the sands of the Fort Stanton Road, most of the supply wagons carrying water lagged far behind the column. To make matters worse, once Lynde reached San Augustin Springs at the head of his column, he found “the supply of water so small as to be insufficient for my command.”³⁰ As men and women fell by the wayside, the “whole Infantry Command can hardly be said to have had an organization; it was stretched for miles along the line of march.” Captain Crilly attempted to organize the men to face the Confederate pursuit but gave up, and decided to ride for San Augustin Springs and bring water back to the column. He “pushed forward into Camp to get the mules from the wagons that had already reached there, and had been watered. I started them back, and also had all the canteens and kegs filled that I could carry, which I took back with me in a light wagon to give to the men lying along the road.” Crilly was shocked to see the state of his friend Lieutenant George Ryan, who was struggling toward the pass. “I had great fears for his recovery,” he remembered. He dispensed canteens to Ryan and “to what men I met,” continuing at his task until he saw the first of the Confederates reach the summit.³¹ When Baylor and his men caught up to the Union column, they found at its rear “famished stragglers, endeavoring to make their way to water.” Even the Confederate commander was moved to help. “Finding most of them dying of thirst,” he later wrote, “we gave them the water we had, and were compelled ourselves to go to a spring in the mountain for water.” Baylor’s guide, Barnes, led him to the spring, where they found 24 Union men, collapsed around the pool after drinking their fill. As they reached the summit of the pass, the Confederates had a full view of the five miles of road between them and the town of San Augustin Springs. Along its entire length were “fainting, famished soldiers, who threw down their arms as we passed and begged for water.”³² It is unclear how many men and women died along the Fort Stanton Road on July 27. Lynde surrendered 410 soldiers to Baylor that afternoon, and according to participants, around 500 had started from the fort that morning.³³ If this is true, the Union soldiers’ mortality rate on this retreat was 18 percent, incredibly high even compared to the bloody Civil War battles to come. There are no records of the more than 100 women and children who marched and rode along and how many may have staggered off into the sagebrush to die. Those who died likely succumbed to a combination of heatstroke and ☛ {Cont. on p. 69}



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Isaac Lynde to Asst. Adjt. General, August 7, 1861, in United States War Department, The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records 129 vols. (Washington, 1880-1901), Series I, Vol. 4, 5-6 (hereinafter cited as OR; all references are to Series I, Vol. 4, unless otherwise noted); Ray C. Colton, The Civil War in the Western Territories: Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah (Norman, 1959), 14-16; George Henry Pettis, The California Column: Its Campaigns and Services in New Mexico, Arizona, and Texas during the Civil War (Santa Fe, 1908), 8-9; Statement of F.J. Crilly, [1865], in John P. Wilson, When the Texans Came: Missing Records from the Civil War in the Southwest, 1861-1862 (Albuquerque, 2001), 41-46; Statement of Major Isaac Lynde, n.d., in Wilson, When the Texans Came, 46-50; John R. Baylor to Captain T.A. Washington, September 21, 1861, OR, 17-20.

W. Willis, Introduction to Wildlife and Fisheries: An Integrated Approach (New York, 1996), 266; Janice Emily Bowers, Shrubs and Trees of the Southwest Deserts (Tucson, 1993), 3. 21 Peter Stark, Last Breath: The Limits of Adventure (New York, 2001), 256. 22 Lynde to AAG, August 7, 1861, OR, 5; Lynde in Wilson, When the Texans Came, 48. 23 This rainfall amount is about average for the Las Cruces area in July (Malm, “Climate Guide, Las Cruces” [Tables 1 and 4], 1, 3, 4, 9). 24 Baylor to Washington, September 21, 1861, OR, 18.

George Henry Pettis, “The Confederate Invasion of New Mexico and Arizona,” Battles and Leaders of the Civil War 4 vols. (New York, 1887), II: 103; W.B. Lane to Mrs. [Alfred] Gibbs, July 30, 1861, in Wilson, When the Texans Came, 41; Crilly in Wilson, When the Texans Came, 46; Alfred Gibbs to Edward R.S. Canby, August 6, 1861, OR, 7-8; Statement of J.C. McKee, August 1861, OR, 11; I.N. Moore to Adjt. General’s Office, September 1, 1861, in Wilson, When the Texans Came, 109.

25 Malm, “Climate Guide, Las Cruces” [Table 6], 2, 12; Crilly in Wilson, When the Texans Came, 43; Lynde in Wilson, When the Texans Came, 48; Lynde to AAG, August 7, 1861, OR, 5; “The Surrender of Fort Fillmore, New Mexico—The Treason of the Officers,” [Leavenworth, Kansas] Daily Conservative, October 19, 1861, in Wilson, When the Texans Came, 50.


Moore to AGO, September 1, 1861, in Wilson, When the Texans Came, 109.

27 Crilly in Wilson, When the Texans Came, 43.


L. Thomas [by order of Major-General McClellan], November 25, 1861, OR, 16.


Edward R.S. Canby, General Orders No. 31, August 27, 1861, OR, 3.


T.T. Teel, “Sibley’s New Mexican Campaign—Its Objects and the Causes of its Failure,”Battles and Leaders of the Civil War, II: 700.


Colton, The Civil War in the Western Territories, v-vi, 3-4, 6, 9.


Lynde in Wilson, When the Texans Came, 46; Lynde to AAG, August 7, 1861, OR, 5.


Crilly in Wilson, When the Texans Came, 45.


10 Lynde in Wilson, When the Texans Came, 46; Lynde to AAG, August 7, 1861, OR, 5. 11 Crilly in Wilson, When the Texans Came, 45. 12 Lynde to AAG, August 7, 1861, OR, 5. 13 Gibbs to Canby, August 6, 1861, OR, 7. 14 Canby to Lynde, July 14 and 20, 1861, in Wilson, When the Texans Came, 35, 37; Lynde in Wilson, When the Texans Came, 48. 15 The other three defense centers were Forts Craig, Union, and Stanton. Latham Anderson, “Canby’s Services in the New Mexican Campaign,” Battles and Leaders, 698; Colton, The Civil War in the Western Territories, 3-4; Lynde in Wilson, When the Texans Came, 46.

26 Malm, “Climate Guide, Las Cruces” [Table 1], 1, 4.

28 W.B. Lane to Mrs. Alfred Gibbs, July 30, 1861, in Wilson, When the Texans Came, 41; Gibbs to Canby, August 6, 1861, OR, 7; Statement of Isaac Lynde [n.d], in Wilson, When the Texans Came, 49. 29 Stark, Last Breath, 139-147. 30 Lynde to AAG, August 7, 1861, OR, 6. 31 Crilly in Wilson, When the Texans Came, 44. 32 Baylor to Washington, September 21, 1861, OR, 18. 33 J.H. Potter, Recapitulation of Troops Surrendered at San Augustine Springs, N. Mex., July 27, 1861, OR, 15. 34 W.J. McGee, “[The Phenomena of Desert Thirst]” (1906), as synopsized in “Desert Thirst as a Disease,” American Medicine 12 (May 1906): 51-52. 35 Stark, Last Breath, 254-256, 259, 267, 274, 283. 36 Crilly in Wilson, When the Texans Came, 43-44. 37 Lynde to AAG, August 7, 1861, OR, 6. 38 Lynde in Wilson, When the Texans Came, 48; Lynde to AAG, August 7, 1861, OR, 6. 39 Gibbs to Canby, August 6, 1861, OR, 7. 40 Gibbs to AAG, November 7, 1861, OR, 10. 41 McKee, August 16, 1861, OR, 13. 42 Crilly in Wilson, When the Texans Came, 45.

16 Lynde, General Orders No. 37, July 26, 1861, in Wilson, When the Texans Came, 40; Colton, The Civil War in the Western Territories, 15.

43 Gibbs to Canby, August 6, 1861, OR, 8.

17 McKee to the S-G, August 16, 1861, OR, 11-12; Crilly in Wilson, When the Texans Came, 43.

45 Baylor Report, August 3, 1861, OR, 17.

18 Benjamin S. Roberts to Canby, October 5, 1861, in Wilson, When the Texans Came, 130. 19 Greeley quoted in Colton, The Civil War in the Territories, 15. 20 Norman R. Malm, “Climate Guide, Las Cruces, 1892-2000” (Las Cruces, 2003), 1; Charles G. Scalet, Lester D. Flake, and David

44 Baylor to Washington, September 21, 1861, OR, 19.

46 Colton, The Civil War in the Western Territories, 17. 47 Colton, The Civil War in the Western Territories, 16-18; Baylor to Washington, September 21, 1861, OR, 19. 48 Pettis, “The Confederate Invasion,” 104; Colton, The Civil War in the Western Territories, 19-20; Canby to AAG, August 4, 1861, OR, 2; Canby, General Orders No. 31, August 27, 1861, OR, 3.



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The Spy a n d Rob e r t E . L e e G e t tys b ur g ’s “L o s t ” O r de r, Ju ne 28, 1 8 6 3

The Spy and Robert tysburg’s “Lost” Order

Contrary to popular bel Army of Northern V able leader did not stum into what would turn out to of the Civil War’s most sign battles. By Allen C. Guelzo




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Contrary to popular belief, the Army of Northern Virginia’s venerable leader did not stumble blindly into what would turn out to be one of the Civil War’s most significant battles. By Allen C. Guezlo

and Robert E. Lee: Getg’s “Lost” Order, June 28, 1863

to popular belief, the orthern Virginia’s venerader did not stumble blindly ould turn out to be one ar’s most significant

Allen C. Guelzo


☛ Union soldiers (foreground) repulse advancing Confederates on the third day of the Battle of Gettysburg. The failed Rebel assault, known as Pickett’s Charge, crested at The Angle, a point in the Union line that many later characterized as the high-water mark of the Confederacy.




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Gettysburg … as circumstances might direct.” When Longstreet himself rode over to Lee’s headquarters “early in the morning” of the 29th, he found that Lee had already been in action and ordered “a change of direction of the head of our column to the right.”² Hence, as the Great Legend goes, “the report of a single scout, in the absence of cavalry,” galvanized Robert E. Lee to move the Army of Northern Virginia toward Gettysburg. From his temporary headquarters near Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, Lee hastily issued a recall order to the corps he had sent under Richard Ewell to menace Harrisburg, and to the division under Jubal Early that Ewell had directed to York. Two days later, at Gettysburg, Lee’s rapidly concentrating forces blundered into the battle that cost the Confederacy the Civil War. And Jeb Stuart thus became the first face in the Gettysburg rogues’ gallery (to be joined shortly by Ewell and Longstreet). “Had Lee had all of his cavalry in Pennsylvania, the irrepressible conflict would not have taken place at Gettysburg,” wrote Fitzhugh Lee, one of Stuart’s brigade commanders—and a nephew of Robert E. Lee.³ BUT DO STUART AND his “wild ride” really deserve such blame? John Mosby, who commanded a battalion of Confederate “partisans” (a polite name for guerrilla fighters) for Stuart, would always insist in later years that Lee learned more about enemy movements “through individual scouts and not by using cavalry.” In fact, claimed Mosby, “When General Lee passed Hagerstown [Maryland] on the 26th he knew that the bulk of Hooker’s army was north of the river and holding the South Mountain passes. … The spy, therefore, only told General Lee what he knew.” What Lee missed in Stuart was Stuart’s presence, not his information-collecting. As Mosby added, the Confederates “were not blind—they knew the enemy held Gettysburg,” and “a body of cavalry could have done no more” in detecting them. And Henry Harrison was hardly the only Confederate spy relaying information to the Army of Northern Virginia. Other Confederate agents were passing in and out of Union lines; the Army of the Potomac’s westward cavalry screen caught two of them, Will Talbot and William Richardson, and hanged them after a drumhead trial. And entirely apart from clandestine operatives, Confederate signallers had a wide vista from points along South Mountain from which to mark Federal troop movements.⁴ Above all, Lee already knew that the Union army was at Frederick on the morning of June 28, and perhaps as early as the evening of June 27, since he wrote to Ewell at “7.30 a.m.” on the 28th (from Chambersburg) that “General Hooker


THERE IS A GREAT LEGEND of the Battle of Gettysburg, and it runs something like this. In the summer of 1863, Robert E. Lee and the Army of Northern Virginia staged an ultimate “all-or-nothing” invasion of Pennsylvania to bring the Civil War to its climax. Unhappily for Lee, his principal officers lost the campaign for him. In this Great Legend, the trouble begins when Lee’s cavalry, which should have provided the eyes and ears Lee needed, galloped off on an ill-conceived glory ride, led by their headline-hunting commander, J.E.B. Stuart, and lost touch with Lee completely. This forced Lee to wander blindly around the Pennsylvania countryside until his army blundered into the enemy’s Army of the Potomac at Gettysburg on July 1. This almost accidental encounter was then botched in succession by two of Lee’s three infantry corps commanders, Richard Ewell and James Longstreet. Ewell, it was said, failed to pursue the retreating Yankees on July 1 and allowed the Army of the Potomac to occupy the key heights of Cemetery Hill and Culp’s Hill, south of the town of Gettysburg. Longstreet was accused of letting his indifference and selfish disagreement with Lee sabotage the great attack on July 3 known as Pickett’s Charge, which could have won the battle for the Confederates. It has been Stuart’s failure, however, that has provided the highest form of drama, since the Gettysburg battle need never have happened at all had Stuart not taken the cavalry of the Army of Northern Virginia on what Longstreet called a “wild ride around the Federal army,” and thus deprived Lee, except “by surmise,” of the information he needed about the movements of the Army of the Potomac. The lack of news from Stuart—wherever he was—lulled Lee into believing that the Union army “had not yet left Virginia.” But then, a shadowy Confederate spy, Henry Thomas Harrison, arrived at Lee’s headquarters on the evening of June 28 with the information Lee needed. And from there, so the Great Legend goes, things went nowhere but downhill for the Confederacy. “Truly,” wrote Longstreet’s chief of staff, Moxley Sorrel, “[Harrison’s] report was long and valuable.” As it should have been, since Harrison was an experienced intelligence agent who had been specifically assigned to Longstreet’s staff by the Confederate War Department to locate and infiltrate the Union army, and report to Longstreet on its movements. The spy had a complete account for Longstreet of all of the Army of the Potomac’s movements from the time it left the Rappahannock line until the night of June 26, just 48 hours before. In particular, he had even more recent news about the command of the Union army, the “removal” of the Union army’s commanding general, Joseph Hooker, and the appointment of George Meade as Hooker’s replacement. Longstreet was at once “on fire at such news,” and sent Harrison with an aide, John W. Fairfax, to rouse Lee from his headquarters tent nearby in Messerschmidt’s Woods. Lee listened to Harrison’s report with “great composure and minuteness,” then sent for his secretary, Charles Marshall.¹ According to Marshall, Lee had spent the day planning for “General Ewell to move directly upon Harrisburg” with two divisions of his corps, supported by Longstreet’s corps. Ewell’s remaining division, under Jubal Early at York, Pennsylvania, would seek a means to cross the Susquehanna and come up behind Harrisburg. Meanwhile, Ambrose Powell Hill and the Army of Northern Virginia’s remaining third infantry corps would advance “to the Susquehanna, and, crossing the river below Harrisburg, seize the railroad between Harrisburg and Philadelphia.” Now, however, Harrison’s report disclosed that the Army of the Potomac was much closer than they expected—in fact, it had crossed the Potomac and reached Frederick, Maryland, less than 40 miles away. As Marshall explained, Lee was compelled by this unanticipated peril to “countermand the orders to General Ewell and General Hill, and to order the latter to move eastward on the road through Cashtown and




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“Had Lee had all of his cavalry in Pennsylvania, the irrepressible conflict would not have taken place at Gettysburg.” FITZHUGH LEE




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☛ According to the Great Legend, the decision by Confederate cavalry leader J.E.B. Stuart (right) to take his force on “a wild ride around the Federal army” left Robert E. Lee without his eyes and ears, relying on “the report of a single scout, in the absence of cavalry,” in his decision to move the Army of Northern Virginia toward Gettysburg.




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was reported to have crossed the Potomac, and is advancing by way of Middletown, the head of his column being at that point in Frederick County.”⁵ This dispatch has created endless headaches in reconstructing the sequence and causes for Lee’s turn toward Gettysburg, since it contains directions that are difficult to reconcile with the Great Legend, making Harrison’s report Lee’s first inkling of the nearness of the Army of the Potomac.

☛ Union cavalry scouts near Gettysburg, 1863. Some, like Confederate partisan John Mosby, thought army commanders like Lee learned more about enemy movements “through individual scouts and not by using cavalry.”

Headquarters Army Of Northern Virginia, Chambersburg, June 28, 1863—7.30 a.m. Lieut. Gen. R. S. Ewell, Commanding Corps: General: I wrote you last night, stating that General Hooker was reported to have crossed the Potomac, and is advancing by way of Middletown, the head of his column being at that point in Frederick County. I directed you in that letter to move your forces to this point. If you have not already progressed on the road, and if you have no good reason against it, I desire you to move in the direction of Gettysburg, via Heidlersburg, where you will have turnpike most of the way, and you can thus join your other divisions to [Jubal] Early’s, which is east of the mountains. I think it preferable to keep on the east side of the mountains. When you come to Heidlersburg, you can either move directly on Gettysburg or turn down to Cashtown. Your trains and heavy artillery you can send, if you think proper, on the road to Chambersburg. But if the roads which your troops take are good, they had better follow you. R. E. LEE. General.⁶


This dispatch poses three problems: First, Lee seemed to be perfectly aware on the morning of June 28 that the Army of the Potomac was at Frederick, and that elements of it were already heading toward Middletown, Maryland, as part of Joe Hooker’s short-lived scheme to snip Lee’s lines behind him. Second, it appears that Lee had sent an earlier letter to Ewell, written “last night” (June 27), with the same information. And third, Lee directed Ewell to turn his corps around and “move in the direction of Gettysburg, via Heidlersburg, where … you can thus join your other divisions to Early’s” division— and this, 15 hours before Lee could have had any interview with Harrison. Of course, it is always possible that the June 28 order, as collected and published decades later in the Official Records (O.R.), is misdated and actually went out on the morning of the 29th, after Lee had digested Harrison’s report. But if so, and if Robert E. Lee’s motivation for recalling Ewell and Early was the intelligence brought by Harrison alone, then any dispatch Lee sent on June 29 would have identi-

fied General Meade as the commander of the Army of the Potomac, not General Hooker, unless this too is a mistake. And since the O.R. adds that the dispatch was “Noted in letter-book as copied from memory” by Colonel Charles Venable, Lee’s aide and inspector-general, a mistake is not beyond possibility—although it does begin to weight the mistaken-date supposition down with yet another supposition.⁷ It is also worth adding that a note from Richard Ewell (located in the Henry McClellan Papers at the Virginia Historical Society) warned Early on the afternoon of June 28 that “Genl Lee seems inclined to concentrate about Chambersburg, so that I don’t know yet whether I move towards Harrisburg or not….” Therefore, there appears to be some communication about a recall between Lee and Ewell before the June 28 letter and before Harrison’s appearance.⁸ Unhappily, no trace of this earlier dispatch (presumably written on the night of June 27) has survived, but such a June 27 dispatch would at least correspond to Lee’s statement “I wrote you last night” in the June 28 dispatch, and might even correspond to a June 28 letter written by Ewell’s staff mapmaker, Jedidiah Hotchkiss, describing to his wife how “Gen. Lee wrote to Gen. Ewell that he thought the battle would come off near Fredericks City or Gettysburg.” What is more, Ewell’s warning note to Early on the afternoon of the 28th may have been the one described by Major Joseph Coleman Alderson of the 36th Virginia Battalion, who galloped off with “five trusted men” as an escort on June 28, and arrived at midnight on the morning of the 29th to deliver a message about a recall to Early at York.⁹ The recall orders’ arrival times shed further light on this question. In his official report, Ewell pegged the receipt of the formal recall (the dispatch dated June 28 in the O.R.) to 9 a.m. June 29, just as he was ready to begin operations against the Harrisburg defenses, and his other two division commanders, Robert Rodes and Edward Johnson, noted the beginning of their exodus from Carlisle on the 29th. This, however, would have given Lee only the pre-dawn hours to get a message 30 miles northward, from his field headquarters near Chambersburg, to Ewell at Carlisle. It is just barely possible that Lee wrote the order in the wee hours of the 29th rather than the 28th, after the interview with Harrison, to be received by Ewell near Carlisle by 9 a.m.—but only just. Early received his own version of the formal recall order through Ewell “on the evening of the 29th” from the hand of Lieutenant Elliott Johnston,




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Ambrose Powell Hill

who was normally attached to the brigade staff of Brigadier General Richard Garnett but who was serving at that moment as a “volunteer aide-decamp” to Ewell. Johnston would have covered 25 miles to reach Ewell, but would have had at least six hours of prime daylight to do so. Beverley Robertson, whose cavalry brigade had been left behind to watch the gaps of the Blue Ridge, also managed to get his orders to move on Gettysburg on the 29th, even though he was more than 40 miles away at Ashby’s Gap.¹⁰ It should be possible, therefore, to reconstruct the sequence of Lee’s recall instructions in the following pattern, without imposing a series of “mistakes” to support the supposition that Harrison served as Lee’s first and only warning that the Army of the Potomac was near: Lee writes to Richard Ewell (I wrote you last night) on the evening of June 27, describing the possibility of a turn down to Chambersburg/Gettysburg. This dispatch has not survived, as noted earlier.

Lee decides to issue detailed recall instructions on the morning of June 28, and dictates the order recorded in the O.R., but which is only recopied by Charles Venable in Lee’s order-book from memory.

Longstreet sends Harrison to Lee between 10 p.m. and midnight on June 28.

Ewell alerts Early to the possibility of a recall “to concentrate about Chambersburg” through Major Alderson on the afternoon of June 28, based on the June 27 dispatch.

Ewell receives Lee’s formal recall order of the 28th on the morning of June 29, and sends Lieutenant Johnston to Early with instructions “to move back, so as to rejoin the rest of the corps on the western side of the South Mountain.”

In effect, Harrison’s report did not alert Lee to a Union movement, but confirmed Lee’s decision to turn and concentrate on the ChambersburgCashtown-Gettysburg area. Nor, it has to be said, did Lee’s behavior indicate alarm over either the movements of the Army of the Potomac or the accession of George G. Meade to its command. Even as Jubal Early was marching on York, Lee had already disclosed to Isaac Trimble, an unattached general who accompanied Lee as a possible substitute for any Confederate commanders put out-of-action on the campaign, his intention to turn away from the Susquehanna as soon as it was clear that the Army of the Potomac was being lured northward, and “attack the advance of the enemy wherever found with a superior force and throw it back in confusion on the main body.” However he had learned this, by June 27, Lee believed that


Joseph Hooker

George Meade

Richard Ewell

the Army of the Potomac had strung itself out so far in pursuit that he was now facing the situation he had always kept in the back of his mind as a possibility: a Union army disjointed enough by its frantic catch-up march to permit Lee to turn, concentrate, and beat their heads in one by one, with all the odds in his favor. And given that Hooker had indeed spun off three of his corps into an ultimately fruitless advance toward Frederick and Harpers Ferry on June 27, Lee was not wrong. Nor was he apprehensive: Porter Alexander, one of Longstreet’s artillery officers who “was encamped close by” Lee on the afternoon of June 30, remembered “a long visit at his headquarters … & I recall the conversation as unusually careless & jolly.” He appraised Meade with remarkable accuracy when he learned that Meade was now in command: “General Meade will commit no blunder in my front, and if I commit one he will make haste to take advantage of it.” It was an elegant way of saying that George Meade would likely do nothing rather than run the risk of doing something. And rather than wait to be hunted by the Yankees (which is what Longstreet believed Lee had promised back in Virginia), Lee went hunting himself for the climactic victory he had always wanted. “Ah! General, the enemy is a long time finding us,” Lee remarked to John Bell Hood when Longstreet’s junior division commander stopped by to pay his respects. “If he does not succeed soon, we must go in search of him.” And he had a fairly good idea of where the searching should begin. “We will not move to Harrisburg, as we expected,” Lee announced to his staff on the afternoon of the 29th, “but will go over to Gettysburg and see what General Meade is after.”¹¹ THIS IS NOT, at first glance, the most critical argument ever made about Gettysburg. It is more like the crack in the teacup that opens up an entirely different perspective on the arguments that really are critical. To begin with, it reinforces Mosby’s assertion that Lee was not wandering about the south-central Pennsylvania countryside, blinded by Stuart’s absence. Lee pulled information from a variety of clandes-




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tine sources, of which Harrison was only one. Nor was his decision to concentrate at Gettysburg made hastily; if anything, Lee had already planned for a concentration along the line between Cashtown and Gettysburg, and was prepared to fight a major battle as the Army of the Potomac straggled up into view. What Lee had not expected was for the lead corps of the Union army, under John Reynolds, and its cavalry screen under John Buford, to beat him to Gettysburg itself. Re-thinking the Great Legend also helps us understand a fundamental point about the uses of cavalry in the American Civil War: The U.S. Army did not, in the 1860s, have a substantial cavalry tradition. As the British military writer George Twemlow wrote in 1865, “Cavalry is an expensive and highly valuable arm,” and before the war, the expense invariably outweighed the value in the eyes of Congress.¹² The mounted forces that both Union and Confederate armies deployed were virtually without exception light cavalry, rather than the line-cracking, rout-inducing heavy cavalry used by European armies. As such, their performance was limited largely to two roles: raiding and screening. Although much is made of Civil War cavalry (and Stuart’s cavalry in particular) as “the eyes and ears of the army,” in truth, even light cavalry was (as Mosby insisted) an extremely clumsy tool for acquiring intelligence, and yielded information only indirectly, by cavalrymen picking up stragglers or capturing isolated signals detachments. Civil War cavalry was much better at preventing intelligence-gathering by an enemy, through mobile and flexible screens that prevented the penetration of clandestine agents and the movement of civilians, and by fending off enemy cavalry and thwarting signals observers. This does not exculpate Jeb Stuart for his poorly planned “wild ride.” It was, as Porter Alexander wrote, “bad play to let our cavalry get out of touch & reach of our infantry,” if only because the “first axiom of war is to mass one’s strength.”¹³ Lee may have received all the intelligence he needed from other sources. But on July 1, Lee required more than anything else a screening force that could brush aside the Union cavalry screen erected by John Buford around Gettysburg. Without Stuart, the Army of Northern Virginia entangled itself in a fight whose dimensions Lee underestimated from the first shot, and that escalated in the climactic battle of the 1863 summer campaign, and the war. ALLEN C. GUELZO is the Henry R. Luce Professor of the Civil War Era at Gettysburg College, and is completing a book on the battle of Gettysburg for Knopf/Random House.


Gilbert Moxley Sorrel, Recollections of a Confederate Staff Officer (New York, 1905), 163-164.


Charles Marshall, An Aide de Camp of Lee’s (Boston, 1927), 218-219; Charles Marshall, “Events Leading up to the Battle of Gettysburg,” Southern Historical Society Papers 24 (January-December 1896): 225-227; Lee to Samuel Cooper (July 31, 1863, and January 20, 1864), in U.S. War Department, The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies 129 vols. (Washington, 1890-1901), series one, vol. 27 (pt 2), 307, 316; James Longstreet, “Lee in Pennsylvania,” Annals of the War Written by Leading Participants North and South (Philadelphia, 1879), 419. In a variation on this encounter written by Fairfax to Custis Lee in 1896, Major Fairfax escorts Harrison to Lee, only to have Lee refuse to speak with him, settling instead for a summary of Harrison’s information delivered by Fairfax; see Douglas S. Freeman, R.E. Lee: A Biography (New York, 1936), 3:60-61, and Lee’s Lieutenants A Study in Command (New York, 1943), 3:49n52.


James Longstreet, “Lee’s Invasion of Pennsylvania,” Battles and Leaders of the Civil War, eds. R.U. Johnson and C.C. Buel (1884-1888; reprint, New York, 1956), 3:250-251; F. Lee, General Lee (New York, 1905), 267.


John Bakeless, Spies of the Confederacy (1970; reprint, New York, 1997), 312317; John S. Mosby, “Stuart and Gettysburg,” SHSP 24 (January-December 1896): 350-351, and “Heth Intended to Cover His Error,” SHSP 37 (JanuaryDecember 1909): 371-372; Eric Wittenberg, “John Buford and the Hanging of Confederate Spies During the Gettysburg Campaign,” Gettysburg Magazine 18 (July 1998): 10-11.


John S. Mosby, The Memoirs of Colonel John S. Mosby (1917; reprint, Nashville, 1995), 220-221, 234-235, 236, 243.


Lee to Ewell (June 28, 1863), in O.R., series one, vol. 27 (pt 3), 943


This is the conclusion adopted by Randolph McKim in “A Reply to John S. Mosby,” SHSP 37 (January-December 1909): 210-212, by Jesse Bowman Young, The Battle of Gettysburg: A Comprehensive Narrative (New York, 1913), 144-151, by Stephen Sears in Gettysburg (New York, 2003), 134, by Scott Bowden and Bill Ward in Last Chance for Victory: Robert E. Lee and the Gettysburg Campaign (Cambridge, MA, 2001), 157, by Col. W.S. Nye in Here Come the Rebels! (Baton Rouge, 1965), 345, and by Edwin Coddington in The Gettysburg Campaign: a Study in Command (1968; reprint, Dayton, OH, 1979), 188-189, 654.


Jubal Early to Henry B. McClellan (Mss1 M1324a7), in Henry Brainerd McClellan papers, Virginia Historical Society.


Coddington, Gettysburg Campaign, 654; Jason Mann Frawley, “Marching Through Pennsylvania: The Story of Soldiers and Civilians during the Gettysburg Campaign” (Ph.D dissertation, Texas Christian University, 2008), 179; J.D. Alderson, “Lee and Longstreet at Gettysburg,” Confederate Veteran 12 (October 1904): 488; Robert White and B.T. Johnson, eds., Confederate Military History: A Library of Confederate States History, Written by Distinguished Men of the South: Maryland and West Virginia (Atlanta, 1899), 2: 139-141.

10 John S. Mosby, Stuart’s Cavalry in the Gettysburg Campaign (New York, 1908), 117-121; “Report of Lieut. Gen. Richard S. Ewell, C.S. Army” and “Reports of Maj. Gen. Edward Johnson, C.S. Army” (September 30, 1863), in O.R., series one, vol. 27(pt 2), 443, 452, 503; George Davis, “The Strategy of the Gettysburg Campaign,” Papers of the Military Historical Society of Massachusetts (Wilmington, NC, 1989), 3:406-407; Douglas Craig Haines, “Confederate Command Failure at the Blue Ridge,” Gettysburg Magazine 35 (July 2006): 22-23. 11 Isaac R. Trimble, “The Campaign and Battle of Gettysburg,” Confederate Veteran 25 (May 1917): 211; Edward Porter Alexander, Fighting for the Confederacy: The Personal Recollections of General Edward Porter Alexander, ed. Gary W. Gallagher (Chapel Hill, 1989), 230; George Cary Eggleston, A Rebel’s Recollections (New York, 1878), 145-146; Bowden and Ward, Last Chance for Victory, 163; John Bell Hood, Advance and Retreat (New Orleans, 1880), 55; Dr. J.S.D. Cullen to James Longstreet (May 18, 1875), in Longstreet, “Lee in Pennsylvania,” Annals of the War, 439; Freeman, R.E. Lee, 3:64; Emory Thomas, Robert E. Lee: A Biography (New York, 1995), 293. 12 Colonel George Twemlow, Considerations on Tactics and Strategy (London, 1865), 7. 13 Alexander, Fighting for the Confederacy, 228.




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Books & Authors

MUSINGS OF A CIVIL WAR BIBLIOPHILE: THE VIRTUES— AND VICES—OF EARLY CONFEDERATE BIOGRAPHIES ROBERT K. KRICK THE MID-WAR DEATH of Stonewall Jackson precipitated a flurry of biographical sketches that reached print within a remarkably short interval. A mere 50 days after the general’s demise, a New York advertisement offered a 240-page, hardbound biography of the dead legend. Publications quickly followed from presses in Richmond, London, Augusta, Montreal, and—of all unlikely places— Halifax, Nova Scotia.

The spate of contemporary books included many highly intriguing to collectors, especially those of Confederateimprint pedigree. They all afford a valuable look at Stonewall’s popular image, of course, but little more than that. The biography by novelist John Esten Cooke, kinsman and staff officer to Jeb Stuart, is the best of that very early lot, despite extensive defects. Cooke was distributing copies by August 1863, three months after Jackson’s death. Two early major biographies, though, warrant attention still, after all these years, for primary evidence on Jackson and Robert E. Lee. Neither resonates smoothly on modern prose palates and attitudes, but both supply important details. The Rev. Robert Lewis Dabney attained wide acclaim for his Presbyterian theological discourses, both written and spoken, but cannot be adjudged anything better than an abject failure during a stint as Stonewall Jackson’s chief of staff in 1862. In the field he proved pedantic, impractical, selfimportant, and widely scorned, or at best ignored. Although Stonewall never recognized it, Dabney created far more

problems than he solved, and exacerbated other things best left alone. As an early biographer of Jackson, though, Dabney brought incomparable advantages to the job. He had seen some of what he described at very close range, and knew almost all of the actors in the events under discussion. At Dabney’s solicitation, eyewitnesses produced detailed narratives of famous moments—the deathbed scenes at Guiney Station, for instance. Much of that manuscript correspondence survives in the Southern Historical Collection at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dabney printed such things verbatim, or nearly so, without attributing them. Today we would deride that kind of technique, but it surely does supply important primary evidence in gratifying extent. Richmond Presbyterians published two editions of a memorial sermon about Jackson by Dabney in 1863, but at 32 pages, neither constituted much of a biography. The Rev. Dr. had completed his big biography by 1864, when the first of two volumes appeared in London: Life of Lieut.-Gen. Thomas J. Jackson (Stonewall Jackson). Oddly, the thicker companion volume (527 pages, compared to 333 for Volume I) did not come off the London press until 1866. By that time, Dabney’s more familiar one-volume New York edition also had reached print and sold with enough gusto that the book remains quite common a century and a half later. An all-but-unknown attempt to put Dabney’s major work into Confederate print faltered at the end of the war. In 1865, a publisher in Greensboro, North Carolina, familiar for its line of school books, printed a fragment of Volume I, titled precisely like the 1864 London edition. Two surviving copies both reach only page 16. Perchance they were intended as a prospectus? Or maybe the publisher started in earnest and foundered concurrently with the rest of his nascent country? Unmistakably and unfortunately, Dabney’s narrative reflects its creator: page after page of prose waxing relentlessly pietistic—painfully so for the sensibilities of most modern auditors. It also claims some things for Jackson beyond the merits of the case. Nonetheless, Dabney’s perch at the right hand



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of his subject makes his biography a certifiable classic. A similar case can be made for an 1872 Lee biography. Emily Virginia Mason (1815-1909) earned wide acclaim during the war for her diligence nursing Confederate soldiers at White Sulphur Springs and later in Charlottesville, then Richmond. Her public-spirited endeavors and her personality won Emily friends in high places. A southern woman with close ties to the Confederate White House called Emily “agreeable and cultivated … an especial spot of sunshine.” As a fellow resident of Lexington with the Lees, and an intimate friend

of Mrs. R. E. Lee (to whom, by permission, she dedicated the biography), Mason had an inside track on information about the general. She used that access to good effect in writing what sounds like an insignificant work, but in fact includes important content: Popular Life of Gen. Robert Edward Lee (Baltimore, 1872). Although the relationship remains virtually unknown today, Emily Mason’s propinquity to Lee and his headquarters also included a strong blood tie: Her sister Laura married General Robert H. Chilton, Lee’s chief of staff. Mason’s extensive quotes from secondary sources—Pollard, Chesney,

☛ Confederate general Thomas J. (“Stonewall”) Jackson

Cooke, McCabe, et al—of course serve no modern purposes whatsoever. What stands out is her substantial use of rich primary material: numerous Lee letters, prewar, war-date and postwar; an antebellum manuscript memoir book that Lee kept; an extremely useful 1865 letter about the “Lee to the Rear” episode at the Wilderness; and lots of General Orders from headquarters, Army of Northern Virginia (a source not readily available even today, unlike the equivalent series from Richmond’s Adjutant and Inspector General’s Office). Seventeen original engravings by Adalbert Volck—some of them very striking—bedizen Popular Life, adding to the attraction of a fat book (428 pages) handsomely produced, especially in the publisher’s leather edition. Southern reviews, of course, hymned the Mason book’s virtues; most northern periodicals ignored it. By September 1872 The Old Dominion had a copy and applauded Mason’s “graceful pen” and declared (not entirely accurately) the biography devoid of “fulsome flattery.” Mason’s other literary output included an important editing job on a 1782 journal of a Virginia girl and Southern Poems of the War (1868). Bibliolaters will pursue all of the



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early biographical literature with cheerful zeal. Readers interested in Jackson and Lee, even if mercifully free of the bibliomania gene, will find plenty of merit in the early works by Robert L. Dabney and Emily V. Mason. ROBERT K. KRICK, chief historian (retired) at the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park, has written 18 books on the Civil War, including Stonewall Jackson at Cedar Mountain (2001) and The Smoothbore Volley That Doomed the Confederacy (2004).

THE BOOKS THAT BUILT ME HAROLD HOLZER I’VE TOLD MY “books that built me” story often—in print, in person, and on television—yet I welcome the chance to do so again (with apologies to those who have heard it before). It’s the story of a chance assignment that launched a lifetime career. I was a fifth-grade student in a public elementary school in Queens, one of New York City’s remote “outer boroughs.” (Translation: It was still magically rural 55 years ago.) I had recently transferred to a newly built school a few blocks away from my home. One morning, our amazing new teacher, Henrietta Janke, brought in a floppy felt hat overflowing with folded pieces of paper. Each one, she announced, bore the name of a famous historical figure—mostly dead white men, as I recall. We were each to pull out

a name, proceed to the school library to do research, and prepare a two-page biographical composition. That was the day I “met” Abraham Lincoln—the name scribbled on the piece of paper I chose from Mrs. Janke’s hat. Upstairs, I browsed the tall open stacks in the biography section, intimidated by the volume of titles. But, again by fate or some stroke of luck, I found myself drawn to a shiny, jet-black book jacket that announced its title in vivid yellow type: The Lincoln Nobody Knows by Richard N. Current. No one knew less about Lincoln than I did. But on the pages inside, I not only discovered the man, I found beliefs and misconceptions meticulously explained, analyzed, and sometimes corrected by a master of wise understatement and blunt, informed opinion. Richard Current’s 1958 masterpiece did nothing less than inspire me toward a lifetime of passionate interest in the sixteenth president. I spent the next few years clipping and saving every article on Lincoln I could find. Every February 12 brought a bounty of material, all vividly illustrated: the inevitable New York Times Magazine appreciation, the annual New York Daily News Coloroto Magazine cover illustration, and more. The Lincoln image was now emerging in my young brain as a subject of particular interest. Not surprisingly, the next book to capture my obsessive attention

was Stefan Lorant’s Lincoln: A Picture Story of His Life, the first large-size chronology of photographs of Lincoln, recently expanded into a beautifully orchestrated pictorial biography. Yes, the school library had a copy, but a weather-beaten 1952 original. I wanted the 1956 “revised and enlarged” edition for my own—even if it cost $7.95. In 1962, I inveigled my sisters to buy it for me as a bar mitzvah present, but in those days, isolated Queens kids enjoyed scant access to the book market. Amazon was three decades in the future, Barnes & Noble was a textbookonly store in faraway Manhattan, and the nearest mom-and-pop bookshops were a 45-minute bus ride away in the distant “metropolis” of Flushing. So I found one such emporium in the Yellow Pages and ordered by phone—then called repeatedly to check up on the elusive book when its delivery was delayed. When it finally arrived, my world grew exponentially. With Lorant and Current in hand, I found my direction: Lincoln as he was seen and heard. And I’ve pursued this path ever since. Of course, there were other highly inspiring titles along the way: Carl Sandburg’s four-volume Abraham Lincoln (1939), of course, poetic and magisterial, however romanticized; Benjamin Thomas’ masterful Abraham Lincoln (1952), the one-volume biography that



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Recently Reviewed Books at For in-depth reviews of the latest Civil War titles, visit our website’s book blog, The Bookshelf ( Recently reviewed works include:

Creating a Confederate Kentucky: The Lost Cause and Civil War Memory in a Border State

The Battle of the Crater: A Novel




Confederate Invention: The Story of the Confederate States Patent Office and Its Inventors

The Enemy Within: Fears of Corruption in the Civil War North

Quantrill at Lawrence: The Untold Story







Remixing the Civil War: Meditations on the Sesquicentennial ED. BY THOMAS J. BROWN





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boasts the best description ever written of Lincoln’s daily routine; David Donald’s Lincoln Reconsidered (1947), a jolting dose of revisionism that I read before I’d even absorbed the “isms” that needed revising; an early treasure of quotes assembled by Archer Shaw called The Lincoln Encyclopedia (1950); and two hugely influential titles by Rufus Rockwell Wilson, Lincoln

itage Picture History of the Civil War (1960), which brought it all together for me: Lincoln, the war, and the artists who recorded all. Then one hot summer, while I was working for my father as a roofer, we learned that a neighbor near his office wanted to sell a little reprint of William Dean Howell’s 1860 Lincoln campaign biography—another precious volume to me because it’s the one my dad wanted me to have (the negotiations were intense!), and because once I finally appreciated it for reasons other than his generosity, it opened yet another new door: biography as propaganda. A final shout-out goes to the History Book Club. It offered the nine-volume Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln (1953) for only $5.95 and an agreement to purchase four more books in the coming year. I don’t remember the next four, but I’ve been using the same edition of Collected Works to write my own books ever since. The books and authors that built

in Portraiture (1935) and Lincoln in Caricature (1903). In these I found the groundbreaking work on iconography that I would later spend three decades revising myself! Oh, yes, along the way, Bruce Catton came along, plus The American Her-

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☛ Harold Holzer (left) and Richard N. Current in 2007.

me eventually came full cycle. I was honored to get to know Stefan Lorant in the early 1970s. My wife and I visit-



ed his beautiful Massachusetts home, saw his Lincoln collection, and visited his study in the nearby woods, where the book I loved had been born. The Hungarian-born Renaissance man also took us to Daniel Chester French’s nearby studio, where in a room filled with clay models of the Lincoln Memorial and other iconic sculptures, we were shown a bust by French’s daughter—of Stefan Lorant! An extraordinary man. He knew Hitler, too, well enough to earn a cell in a Munich prison the very day the Fuhrer came to power (where he encountered his own first Lincoln book—a better story than my own, I admit). To complete the circle, I must happily add that for more than 30 years I’ve had the privilege of knowing Richard N. Current, now 99 years old. I own all his books, of course, on subjects ranging from carpetbaggers to the first shots at Sumter to the history of typewriters. But no book in my library means more than the beautifully preserved first edition of the first and most influential Lincoln book I ever encountered, black dust jacket tattered but intact, and inscribed by the author I revere above all others: “To my friend Harold Holzer—whose work is so beautifully making known the Lincoln nobody knows. Richard N. Current.” If only. HAROLD HOLZER, chairman of the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Foundation, has authored, coauthored, or edited 42 books on Lincoln and the Civil War.



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Birth of a Demon


☛ {Cont. from p. 34} pelled to repeat later in his speech. In contrast to his own attempts to save civilian and combatant lives by bringing the war to the quickest possible conclusion, Davis wanted in April 1865 to turn the war from something fought by “grand organized armies into one of partisan guerrillas.” Such a long and pointlessly bloody conflict, Sherman declared, would have been “an unpardonable crime against humanity.” Further, and no doubt to the delight of his audience, Sherman claimed Davis was openly dishonest in his portrayal of what happened in Columbia. He relied heavily on the findings of the 1872 international commission that determined which American and British citizens could pursue claims for loss of property during the war. After hearing testimony from both Union and Confederate witnesses, the commission decided that the blame for fires that destroyed a large section of Columbia could not be assigned to either side. Therefore, Sherman said, it was “simply infamous” for Davis to blame Sherman for the fire and to assign him guilt for supposed atrocities in South Carolina. Sherman concluded that Davis’ comparison of him with Alva and Wallenstein was nothing but “the fruit of his pompous vanity, for the likeness is about as wide of probability as his own resemblance to Julius Caesar.” Sherman and Davis would exchange similarly vicious ad hominem charges for the next several years. At various times Sherman called Davis “a simple monomaniac,” the “impersonation of all that was wicked” in the Civil War, and “the impersonation of treason and hate.” He even wrote that Davis was “the type of a class that must be wiped off the face of the earth,” a form of eliminationist rhetoric Sherman often resorted to when feeling supremely indignant.⁶⁹ For his part, Davis characterized Sherman as nothing but a “vain man” suffering from the “hallucination that he is a great general” and the leader of “an organized gang of plunderers.”⁷⁰ When Sherman

William Tecumseh Sherman, as he appeared in the 1880s.

“[Sherman is]… the impersonation of all that was wicked.” Jefferson Davis

alleged in 1884 that Davis had plotted against the federal government while still a U.S. Senator, Davis demanded that he produce proof of the charge or “wear the brand of a base slanderer.” After Sherman claimed the evidence, which he said was a letter written by Davis himself, had been destroyed in the 1871 Chicago fire, Davis said that Sherman was “remarkable” because “he is not only willing to lie, but does

not feel degraded by the detection.”⁷¹ Sherman’s war of words with Davis had an immediate effect on how southerners viewed him. In November 1881, shortly after he publicly savaged Davis in his Connecticut speech, Sherman attended the Atlanta International Cotton Exposition. His reception this time was markedly cooler than during his 1879 visit. South Carolinians came down by the trainload to protest



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Sherman’s presence, and threats were made to burn the general in effigy.⠡² While Sherman praised the region as thoroughly as he had two years earlier, the Atlanta Constitution published excerpts of Davis’ book, including the damning comparison with Alva.⠡³ The most the paper would allow regarding the protests against Sherman was that none “need ‌ fear that Atlantans will do anything to disgrace the name of the state, lower its dignity, or sacrifice the least particle of respect due its history or traditions.â€?⠡⠴ Over time the divide widened between Sherman’s immediate postwar standing in the South and his longterm reputation. Southerners came to remember Sherman only as the general who said his “aim ‌ was to whip the rebels, to humble their pride, to follow them to their inmost recesses, and make them fear and dread us.â€?⠡⠾ It became inconceivable that an exConfederate could write to Sherman, as Marcus Wright did in 1883, that “I, in common with the Army commanders of the Confederate armies, ‌ always had the highest appreciation of you as a General during the war,

but we learned after the war to admire and respect you [even more] for your earnest dispositions to make real peace.â€?⠡⠜ A stark example of the change in how southerners had come to view Sherman appeared in the September 1910 issue of Confederate Veteran (then the most popular magazine in the South). It included a lengthy tribute to Sherman by David F. Boyd, who taught at the Louisiana Military Academy under Sherman and during the war served as an officer with Stonewall Jackson. On the basis of their long friendship, Boyd endeavored to show that Sherman “loved the South when the war came‌. Nor did he ever lose his love for the South.â€?⠡⠡ Following Boyd’s essay the editors explained why they published an encomium to the South’s now most hated enemy: “the purpose is to show his inconsistency with whatever ‌ kindness at heart Boyd may attribute.â€? In other words, Confederate Veteran treated an essay in praise of Sherman as a golden opportunity to remind its readers of why he deserved only condemnation by true southerners. “[A]s to General

Sherman, his association with representative men of the South makes his villainous deeds all the more reprehensible‌. He was not only bitter during the war, but ‌ seemed unrelenting against the prostrate people whom he had professed to esteem.⠡⠸ Sentiments like these show that Davis’ rhetorical salvoes had struck home. Sherman’s reputation lay in ruins across a South that had been devastated in war and was now increasingly dependent on Lost Cause mythology. The Union general who was respected and even admired by his foes in the field, and who so strenuously advocated for a soft peace after withdrawing the hard hand of war, would be forgotten by generations of white southerners. A demonic Sherman took his place and would live on in southern memory, conjured by Davis’ bitter incantations from the ashes of war fires long grown cold.

THOM BASSETT is writing a novel about William Tecumseh Sherman and the destruction of Columbia, South Carolina, in February 1865. He teaches at Bryant University in Smithfield, Rhode Island.

George Henry Thomas As True as Steel "RIAN!3TEEL!7ILLS “At long last, here is the definitive biography of George Henry Thomas. . . . An exciting, stirring, splendid achievement.�—Emory M. Thomas, author of Robert E. Lee “History has rightfully elevated Thomas into the pantheon of the four greatest Union generals in the Civil War—shoulder-to-shoulder with Grant, Sherman and Sheridan. In this exhaustively researched and well balanced work, Wills, one of our finest historians and biographers, shows us why.�—John C. Waugh, author of The Class of 1846: From West Point to Appomattox—Stonewall Jackson, George McClellan and Their Brothers “Delving into one of the most enigmatic personalities of the Civil War, Wills artfully explores the complexities of Thomas’s cold nature, his excessive self-reliance, and his utter disdain for politics, as well as his total commitment to duty and his tenacity on the battlefield. This is Wills at his best and a major contribution to our understanding of Northern victory in the western theater.�—Larry J. Daniel, author of The Days of Glory: The Army of the Cumberland, 1861–1865 !PAGES !!PHOTOGRAPHS !!MAPS !#LOTH!

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Dying in the Desert

☛ {Cont. from p. 52} t h i r s t . D y i n g of thirst is a terrible ordeal, coming on slowly but steadily in five phases, each phase corresponding to increasing amounts of water depletion. In the early 20th century, a naturalist and museum director named W.J. McGee began to study the phenomenon of desert thirst after meeting a Mexican man who had lost a fourth of his body weight traveling more than 150 miles through the Gila Desert in Arizona. McGee noted that “desert ratsâ€? in the Southwest had colorful yet physiologically accurate names for each phase: Clamorous, Cotton-mouth, Shriveled Tongue, Blood Sweat, and Living Death. The first three phases were survivable, but by the final two phases, “there is no alleviation but the end.â€?Âłâ ´ A person walking in the hot sun without water could progress through these phases in as little as seven hours; the loss of water and sodium through sweating causes blood volume loss and

brain cell swelling. Sufferers who have reached the Shriveled Tongue stage begin to stumble as they walk, have intense headaches and hallucinations, and ultimately begin to experience seizures. They will drink just about anything to wet their mouths, including urine and blood—human or animal.Âłâ ľ Captain Crilly came to this horrible realization when he encountered several dehydrated soldiers at high noon on the 27th: “it was beyond anything that it was possible to imagine; many of the men became absolutely insane. Some wandered off the road and died; one party killed a dog and drank his blood.â€?Âłâ ś The high desert’s climate and summer temperatures—and the Federals’ inability to adapt to it—explain why the retreat from Fort Fillmore disintegrated along the Fort Stanton Road. The evidence also suggests that Lynde was suffering from desert-induced afflictions that hampered his ability to lead his troops effectively. The major reported that when he arrived at San Augustin Springs he “became so much exhausted that I could not sit upon my horse, and the command proceed-

ed without me.â€?Âłâ ˇ After he rested for a bit, Lynde headed back toward San Augustin Pass with water for his men but “became so much exhausted from fatigue and excessive heat that I could sit on my horse no longer, and I had to stop and dismount.â€? He sat on the roadside for what he characterized as “some time,â€? returning to the town only slowly, and on foot. He claimed to be “suffering from such intense pain in my head as to be almost blind.â€?Âłâ ¸ Many of his officers were chagrined at Lynde’s bizarre behavior. When Alfred Gibbs arrived after his sweaty ride from Point of Rocks, Lynde ordered him to take 70 men and use the two companies of infantry still on the Fort Stanton Road to hold off the pursuing Confederates. To Gibbs, this plan made no sense. “It will be well here to mention that the infantry had been marched up to noon 20 miles without water,â€? he protested. “This was the rear guard on which I was ordered to rely. Major Lynde had not seen it for several hours.â€?Âłâ š Throughout the day, Lynde continued to send Gibbs confusing and contradictory orders: “He told me that I might water my command and horses ‌ while


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DEAR SALLIE ‌ The Letters of Private James Jewel, Echols Light t Artillery, Oglethorpe County, Georgia




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I was doing so, Major Lynde sent me an order not to move. While watering, Major Lynde sent me word that I could leave for Fort Stanton if I chose. Before I could mount I received another order not to move from camp.”⁴⁰ J. Cooper McKee’s report was even more damning. When the surgeon told Lynde that Texans were in their rear, Lynde reportedly “grinned in an imbecile way and said, ‘Ah, indeed!’” McKee also noted with disgust that he watched Lynde walk back to town after dismounting, and it was “the d—dest kind of slow walk.”⁴¹ These accounts suggest that Lynde was nearing the third stage of desert thirst. His symptoms—the intense headache, the lack of coordination, the exhaustion, and the confused and contradictory orders—all point to dehydration and heatstroke. In his account of the fiasco, Captain Crilly claimed that after he gave his fellow soldiers water, they were “refreshed” and “eager and ready for a fight.”⁴² But the days after the surrender belie this assertion. The already low supplies of water at San Augustin Springs gave out entirely and Alfred Gibbs reported “a great suffering for want of water.”⁴³ In a letter to a fellow Confederate officer, John Baylor complained that he had been “delayed at the place of surrender for two days on account of the condition of the enemy.”⁴⁴ It took the Fort Fillmore men that long to recover enough strength to march back over San Augustin Pass and to Las Cruces as prisoners of war. During this time, the Texans became the Union soldiers’ water carriers.


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For the 410 soldiers who survived the Fort Stanton Road, their desert walk was not over. Baylor decided to parole them after they arrived in Las Cruces because he did not think he could guard them and simultaneously turn to face fresh Union troops, whom he anticipated would arrive at any moment.⁴⁵ The paroled Federals left Las Cruces on August 2 and marched more than 100 miles to Fort Craig in four days. Although they moved northward along the Rio Grande (any horses were now in the hands of the Confederates) and therefore had supplies of fresh water, they had very few provisions. There were reports of insanity and blood drinking on this march as well.⁴⁶ The Confederates, for their part, triumphed in the wake of the Union surrender. By the fall of 1861 they had seized Fillmore’s remaining supplies and then Fort Stanton, which Union troops abandoned after the news of San Augustin Springs came by express. They confiscated horses and men in addition to federal drafts total-

Casualties of War

☛ {Cont. from p. 23} or not at all. Meanwhile, “mothers rushed wildly about, throwing themselves upon the corpses of the dead and the persons of the wounded, trying to recognize in the disfigured features the lineaments of a daughter … calling out their names.”⁶ The reality of what they were doing—creating devices whose sole purpose was to maim—had finally come

Letter from General “Stonewall” Jackson pertaining to death of valued officer of Battle of Kernstown.

ing $17,000, which Lynde’s commissary Captain Plummer had been holding.⁴⁷ Because of these developments, and the toll that the desert had taken on Union troops, the Confederates were nicely situated for a successful assault on Fort Craig in February 1862. While these developments were humiliating for the Union army, they did serve to shock Canby out of his stupor in Santa Fe, and he began to harass the governors of the New Mexico and Colorado territories for volunteers. He also ordered the commanders of New Mexico’s remaining Union forts to begin building stronger earthworks for successful defense against Confederate light artillery. Canby even went so far as to order Fort Union be moved “from its old location under the mesa” farther east into the plains “and converted into a fieldwork.” Ultimately, Canby hoped that, for Union soldiers and citizens, San Augustin would “be remembered only as a watchword and an incentive to renewed exertions for the honor of their country and their flag.”⁴⁸ Union troops did finally suchome to Confederate Labs. The homefront had produced its own battlefield, with all the attendant gore. But like most battles, this one had fallen hardest on the backs of those who were the most socially expendable and the least able to pay. By April 4, a new building had been raised, and Confederate Labs was again ticking along at full capacity. STEPHEN BERRY is associate professor of history at the University of Georgia. He is the author or editor of four books on America in the Civil War era, including House of Abraham: Lincoln and the Todds, A Family Divided by War (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2007).



Member: MSS, UACC, CSA, SCV, APS BRIAN & MARIA GREEN P.O. Box 1816, CWM Kernersville, NC 27285-1816 ψ*E\


“Horrible Catastrophe,” Richmond Dispatch, July 4, 1861. See also Laidley’s obituary in the American Journal of Pharmacy XXXIII (September 1861): 479-480.


“Terrible Explosion,” Richmond Dispatch, January 28, 1862.


“Terrible Laboratory Explosion on &VS[RρW-WPERHξ&IX[IIR*SVX]ERH*MJX] Persons Killed and Wounded—Horrible Scenes,” Richmond Examiner, March 14, ӗӞӜә7IIEPWS*VERO):ERHMZIVIH Civil War Diary of General Josiah Gorgas (Tuscaloosa, 1947), 25-26.



“Caution Necessary,” Richmond Dispatch, July 8, 1861; “The Manufacture of Cartridges, &c.,” Richmond Dispatch, July 13, 1861.

ә σ%PEVQSJ*MVIτRichmond Examiner, SeptemFIVӘӝӗӞӜӗσ4ERMGEXXLI'EVXVMHKIW*EGtory,” Richmond Whig, September 27, 1861.



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The History Press ceed in turning back the Texans, defeating them at Glorieta Pass in late March 1862. And as General Henry Sibley’s men retreated down the Rio Grande, they too succumbed to the “seductions of the desert.” Thirty percent were lost to heatstroke and dehydration on their way back to El Paso. The evacuation of Fort Fillmore, the deadly march on the Fort Stanton Road, and the Confederate pursuit and Union surrender at San Augustin Springs were the opening salvos in the Civil War in the Southwest—the Bull Run of the Desert. And like that eastern conflict, these early events did not bode well for Union troops in the New Mexico Territory. Despite their victory over Sibley, for the next three years they struggled with Confederate irregulars, Native American bandits, and Mexican secessionists. And all the while, the desert, with its scorching suns and parched landscape, remained their greatest adversary in this national conflict fought in—and for—the western territories. MEGAN KATE NELSON is a lecturer in History and Literature at Harvard University. She is the author of Trembling Earth: A Cultural History of the Okefenokee Swamp (University of Georgia Press, 2005) and the forthcoming Ruin Nation: Destruction and the American Civil War (Georgia, 2012). This essay is part of a new project, tentatively entitled Long Walks: The Nature of the Civil War in the American Southwest. The author would like to thank Tony Penna and Paul Sutter for their comments and suggestions on previous drafts.

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James I. Robertson Jr., Stonewall Jackson: The Man, The Soldier, The Legend (New York, 1997), 726-727.


Ibid., 727.


Ibid., 728.


Ibid., 752-753.


Ed Ruggero, Combat Jump: The Young Men who Led the Assault into Fortress Europe, July 1943 (New York, 2004), 322-323. Earlier that night, German bombers made a number of runs targeting Allied positions in southern Sicily and ships just off shore. The C-47 convoy arrived overhead less than an hour after the last German air raid.


Sean Naylor, Not a Good Day to Die: The Untold Story of Operation Anaconda (New York, 2005), 200, 205; Les Grau and Dodge Billingsley, Operation Anaconda: America’s First Major Battle in Afghanistan (Lawrence, KS, 2011), 169-171.


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Not-So-Bulletproof Vests ALTHOUGH IT’S NOT WIDELY KNOWN, Civil War soldiers did have access to personal body armor. The steel-plated devices, such as the one below (found on the body of a Union soldier killed at Gettysburg), were meant to be worn under uniforms. They came in various styles, and soldiers could purchase them from a number of manufacturers, one of whom boldly claimed his product would “double the value and power of the soldier.” In truth, they were cumbersome and heavy, which contributed to their limited use during the war. But the most significant drawback was their dubious performance: While the vests did repel some bullets, they were far from invincible.





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unc Introducing UNC Press Civil War Ebook Shorts press S H O RT S

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THE BATTLE OF VICKSBURG A UNC Press Civil War Short, Excerpted from Vicksburg: The Campaign that Opened the Mississippi

michael b. ballard The Vicksburg campaign was among the longest of the Civil War, lasting from 26 May 1862 to 4 July 1863. This Civil War Short provides a compelling narrative of the final six weeks of the campaign, which reminds us the outcome at Vicksburg was met with as much celebration and relief in the North as the Gettysburg victory, and it should be viewed as equally important today. 177 pages, 10 illus., 2 maps $9.99

THE MORTAL WOUNDING OF STONEWALL JACKSON A UNC Press Civil War Short, Excerpted from Chancellorsville: The Battle and Its Aftermath, edited by Gary W. Gallagher

robert k. krick Originally published as “The Smoothbore Volley That Doomed the Confederacy” The stunning Confederate victory at Chancellorsville came at an enormous cost: an estimated 13,000 Confederate casualties. The most prominent, of course, was Stonewall Jackson, who was wounded by friendly fire and died several days later, on 10 May 1863. This Civil War Short presents Robert K. Krick’s authoritative investigation into the incident that caused Jackson’s death. 38 pages, 6 illus., 2 maps $2.99

THE BATTLE OF FREDERICKSBURG A UNC Press Civil War Short, Excerpted from Fredericksburg! Fredericksburg!

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ON PICKETT’S CHARGE A UNC Press Civil War Short, Excerpted from Pickett’s Charge in History and Memory

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Issue 3  
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