6th North Carolina Ravine

4 10 2020

From August 11 to August 27 this year I posted several letters from members of the 6th North Carolina Infantry describing the regiment’s actions, and specifically their approach to the battlefield. As I was transcribing them, I sent a note to Friend of Bull Runnings (FOBR, a truly worthless title I bestow on folks who have been helpful to the site but, hey, it’s a title nonetheless) John Hennessy:

Working my way through some 6th NC stuff, and for not the first time I’m running across references to the regiment emerging from a “rugged ravine” to come upon Sherman’s (Ricketts’s) battery.

Any idea what ravine they’re talking about?

His response:

The ravine–yes. Just S-SE of Griffin’s guns is a ravine at least some of the 6th used, though it’s only “rugged” on a relative basis. A Pittsburgher wouldn’t even notice it. But on that field, it’s fairly apparent if you walk the ground, which is today pretty well choked with trees. You can see it well on Google Earth, connecting the park and the community college. It points straight toward Griffin’s guns.

Of course, the 6th probably had a front a couple-hundred yards long. The ravine is short and narrow, and so probably most men never saw it. Of course if you look at Google Earth, you can see there is a pretty steep rise to the right of the ravine which those of the 6th not in the ravine would have encountered as they moved forward.

John obligingly provided this map:

6th NC Map





Coming Up!

4 10 2020

Just a couple of housekeeping things.

On Thursday, Oct. 15, I’ll be speaking about McDowell’s Plan to the Rufus Barringer Civil War Roundtable in Pinehurst, NC. This will be my fourth trip to this fine group. The state has limited attendance to 25 and members get first dibs, so if you’re thinking of stopping by check with them first. We’ll be turning this into a mini vacation with my NC in-laws.

Having some time on my hands the other day, I flipped through S1, V2 of the ORs and marked all the correspondence associated with First Bull Run. I think I’ll start posting those soon (I label them “Official Correspondence” to differentiate from personal letters, which for some reason I first labeled “Private Correspondence,” even though much of it was intended for publication in newspapers – I should probably fix that, but have to figure out a simple and efficient way).

Still plenty of newspapers to look at, and I have one letter from a private in the 18th VA that was subsequently purchased by the NPS. I received a copy before they purchased it, and was in the process of transcribing, but they’ll be sending me a transcription from the much clearer original soon. Good stuff in it. Thanks to readers Tim Smith of Joliet, Il., and Patrick Schroeder of Lynchburg, Va.

Two interviews of authors of new books in the works, so be on the lookout for them.