Pages, Letters, Programs

15 01 2008

In keeping with the split personality of this site – it serves as both a blog and a repository for First Bull Run data (see the Pages section on the right) – I posted three official reports over the weekend.  Since I usually don’t post on the weekends, I’ve decided to put up this type of data (these types of data?) on Saturdays and Sundays.  I figure that way all the reports will be up this year, and I can start on the correspondence as well.  Other pages I’ll be working on are regimental biographies and MOH winners in the battle.

ororke.jpgIn related news, I received in the mail from a good friend a transcription of a letter written by Lt. Patrick Henry O’Rorke of his experiences during the battle.  O’Rorke graduated first in the USMA class of June 1861, and served as an aide on BG Daniel Tyler’s staff that summer.  He’s best known for his heroics and death on Little Round Top at Gettysburg on July 2, 1863 (you’ve probably rubbed his bronze nose there on occasion).  It’s a great letter, but there’s a problem: I have no idea where the original is deposited.  This makes the letter difficult to use.  So, if any of you out there have any idea what letter I’m talking about, please drop me a line.

In related-related news, I have tentatively determined that the role of the two USMA classes of 1861 in the battle will be the subject of my next round table program.  Don’t get excited: I don’t have any takers yet.  If you’re interested, leave a note on the Speaking Dates page.

About these ads

Actions

Information

12 responses

16 01 2008
Mike Peters

Harry,

Have you contacted 140th NY historian Brian Bennett? He may be able to help. I will check his O’Rorke bio.

Respectively,

Mike

16 01 2008
Mike Peters

Harry,

What was the date of the letter? Was it addressed to his brother Tom?

Mike

16 01 2008
Harry Smeltzer

Mike,

Scott Hartwig pointed me to Bennett, too. In the 140th history, Bennett cites O’Roke’s papers as held by an unnamed, private individual. A little odd…

The letter is dated July 28th, 1861 and is addressed to “Dear Brother”.

16 01 2008
Mike Peters

Harry,

There is a July 24th letter to O’Rorke’s brother Tom that Rev. Robert F. McNamara quotes in “Gettysburg Centenary Recalls Heroism,” an article that appeared in the 28 June 1963 issue of the City Catholic Journal.

In the letter O’Rorke tells Tom that he was “about the first of the class within striking distance of the enemy.”

Like the 140th regimental, the bibliography of Bennett’s O’Rorke bio states that the diary & letters of Paddy are in private hands.

Mike

16 01 2008
Mike Peters

Harry,

The full title of the article is “Gettysburg Centenary Recalls Heroism of Rochesterian.”

Mike

16 01 2008
Harry Smeltzer

Mike,

Odd, the difference in the date. That could be a typo in either case. On the verso of page 1 this letter states: “…I went out with another member of my class Mar. Audenried on a scouting party towards Fairfax…I mention this to show that myself and Mr. Audenried were the first of our class within the enemy’s line of pickets, and that we had the first sight of the enemy.” This describes an event that occurred prior to June 16th. I mentioned Audenried here, and you can follow the link to Brian Downey’s longer post from there.

Anyway, it appears that we are talking about the same letter. Can you give me the full cite?

Thanks.

16 01 2008
Mike Peters

Harry,

McNamara, Rev. Robert F.”Gettysburg Centenary Recalls Heroism of Rochesterian.” City Catholic Journal (June 28, 1963), pp. 18-21.

Let me know what Mr. Bennett says.

Respectively,

Mike

16 01 2008
Harry Smeltzer

Mike,

I was thinking along the lines of how McNamara cited the letter…

Man, I’m a demanding SOB…BTW, I have no idea how to contact Bennett, as I own none of his books.

16 01 2008
Mike Peters

Harry,

I don’t have the article. Sorry. I have O’Rorke’s bio & only have the footnote/bibilography citations, which I’ve mentioned. All I have are the quotes from said letter.

The first quote is the one stating that he was “about the first of the class within striking distance of the enemy.”

Re: action in & around Blackburn’s Ford, he wrote to brother Tom that he was under a perfect hail storm of bullets, continuous & incessant.”

Of action on Henry House hill, where he had a horse shot from under him & a minnie ball go through his coat, he told Tom, “I don’t think I shall ever be shot. I never expect to get into hotter fire than I was under last Sunday.”

Mike

16 01 2008
Mike Peters

Harry,

I will sewnd you Brian Bennett’s contact information in an E-mail.

Mike

8 02 2008
Bull Run MOH and Other Stuff « Bull Runnings

[...] made about as much progress on the O’Rorke letter as I’ll likely make.  I’ll type it up and get it posted here as well…it will be the [...]

11 05 2008
O’Rorke’s Letter « Bull Runnings

[...] the First Bull Run campaign, came to me from my friend Dr. Thomas Clemens of Keedysville, Md. (see here for an earlier article).  The transcript was given to him by the late Brian Pohanka of Alexandria, [...]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s




Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 869 other followers

%d bloggers like this: