Preview: Schmutz, “The Bloody Fifth”

3 08 2016

Layout 1Just what we need – another regiment known as “The Bloody.”

The bloody book in question this time is new from Savas Beatie, “The Bloody Fifth”: The 5th Texas Infantry Regiment, Hood’s Texas Brigade, Army of Northern Virginia, Vol. 1: Secession to the Suffolk Campaign, by John F. Schmutz. They’re not into the whole brevity thing when it comes to book titles these days, are they?

Schmutz, as you may recall from this interview, is the author of what I think is the best of the recent deluge of books on The Crater, succinctly dubbed The Battle of the Crater: A Complete History. So, expectations for Bloody are high in this quarter.

As you can gather from the title, this is the first installment of a multi- (two) volume work on the regiment, which the promo materials claim saw action in “nearly every significant battle of the Eastern Theater” (except, of course the most significant – please refer to the name and mission of this blog).

Here’s what you get: 281 pages of text with footnotes; Company Organization Profiles appendix; Dramatis Personae appendix; index. I’m guessing the bibliography will be published with Volume II. George Skoch maps and a light sprinkling of photos – mostly portraits – included.





A Reminder – And a Teaser

8 06 2016

Note in the video above John Hennessy discusses the significance of the move of the batteries of Griffin and Ricketts from Dogan’s Ridge to Henry Hill. It’s a move that has been emphasized by many as one of the reasons for the Federal failure that day. As part of the next Bull Runnings tour (date to be determined), we’ll take a closer look at the use of the Federal artillery on July 21, 1861, with an examination of all the positions taken that day – including (hopefully) Dogan’s Ridge, where we did not go in April – and a discussion of their relative advantages and disadvantages. Guest guides TBA.





Tour Update 4/10/2016 – NEW MAPS!!!

10 04 2016
hwmap

A Harper’s Weekly Map That Will Surely Make You Go “Hmmm…”

Hello all you attendees! Our featured guide for the tour (13 days away!), John Hennessy, has forwarded applicable maps from his new edition of An End to Innocence. These are the maps you should bring with you, as opposed to those I posted here on Friday. Of course, one can never have too many maps in general, but what with all the walking we’ll be doing I would think you’d want to carry as little as possible.

Click on the link below and print or store these maps as you did the others, and if you have time compare them two sets. There are subtle and not-so-subtle differences, and in a way you can trace how Hennessy’s thinking on the battle has evolved over the decades. They may look a little out of proportion in your browser, but will print OK.

Tour Handouts #2 (Most Important)





Tour Update 4/8/2016 – MAPS!!!

8 04 2016

Below you’ll find a link to the maps from John Hennessy’s first edition of An End To Innocence. These are not the same as the maps in the new edition, but for now I’m making them available to you so you can print them out or download them to your mobile device and have them along for the tour. And as always, check back here often for updates that may include additional documents.

Tour Handouts #1

10- Dave, Zack, John in Saunders Field shelter

No Battlefield Tour Is Complete Without Maps That Make You Go “Hmmm…”

 





Notes on “Early Morning of War” – Part 1

7 04 2016

downloadI know, it’s been a while. But, just like writing, maybe examining a reading can benefit with the passage of time. Here’s how this is going to work: as I read Edward Longacre’s study of the First Battle of Bull Run, The Early Morning of War, I put little Post-Its where I saw something with which I agreed or disagreed, or which I didn’t know, or which I did know and was really glad to see; essentially, anything that made me say “hmm…” So I’ll go through the book and cover in these updates where I put the Post-It and why. Some of these will be nit-picky for sure. Some of them will be issues that can’t have a right or wrong position. Some of them are, I think, cut and dry. So, here we go:

Prologue: Page 4 – Here we have Abraham Lincoln, three months after the attack on Fort Sumter (July, then), fretting over a recurring dream (you know, the one in the boat) and “the coming passage of arms” between “the forces fated to meet at Manassas.” But he also mentions a “presumed superior strength of the Union forces” in that coming fight. I have to wonder, what presumed superior strength is the author talking about here? Plans submitted to AL in June assumed meeting an enemy of at best equal numbers.

This idea of an expectation of outnumbering and overwhelming the rebels at Manassas is a recurring assumption in First Bull Run literature. But the facts just don’t back it up, as I’ve discussed before. See, for example, this post.

The author also notes earlier in the same paragraph that AL was hoping for a “complete victory at minimal cost in Northern and Southern lives” [emphasis mine]. This is tantalizing and something I’ve considered in trying to understand just what Irvin McDowell wanted to accomplish in the campaign (another assumption typically pulled from the air). That is, how did AL’s hopes for a “soft war” and a quick reconciliation, if indeed he hoped those hopes, impact McDowell’s game plan? Unfortunately, the author really didn’t examine this in much detail, even later (see this post for more thoughts on this).

Wow, that was just one Post-It. This could take some time. I have no schedule for this – guess you’ll have to check back here every…single…day.





New Bull Run Article in Civil War Times

5 04 2016

3John Hennessy, featured guide for Bull Runnings’ upcoming tour of the battlefield of First Bull Run, has an article on medical care at the battle in the new issue of Civil War Times.

That Sunday evening…the battlefield heaved and twitched under the weight of carnage. Hundreds of wounded men lay on the field, some of them struggling to breathe or signaling for help. Around them lay hundreds more, frozen in death. The nearly 900 dead men on the Matthews, Henry, Robinson and Chinn farms shocked observers by their sheer number. July 21, 1861, had been the deadliest day in America’s short history.

Check it out.





Tour Update – 4/4/2016 PLEASE READ

4 04 2016

Just an update. Please read the list below. If you are coming on the tour and your name is on the list, no problem. If your name is on the list and you are NOT coming on the tour, please let me know. There is a waiting list and it would be pretty selfish of you to leave your name on this list if you know you’re not going to show. And I will be taking attendance at the tour, so if you don’t show you will pay the consequences. I just haven’t determined what those consequences will be just yet.

If you’re not on this list, let me know and I will put you on the wait list.

1 Anderson, James
2 Anderson, Roy
3 Backus, Page Gibbons
4 Banks, John
5 Baumgarten, Ron
6 Bednarek, Kat Zalewski
7 Bellefeuille, Scott
8 Booker, Bob
9 Brace, Kim
10 Brand, Gary
11 Burden, Jeffry
12 Carson, Dan
13 Ciasullo, Ron
14 Conroy, Dianne Fox
15 Cummings, John
16 Cunard, Jan Hyland
19 Dail, Sean 2
20 Dennis, James
22 Dittoe, Tom + 1
23 Errett, Paul
24 Fuller, John
25 Franklin, Albert
26 Galloway, Michael
27 Gottert, Mike
28 Gottfried, Linda
30 Greer, Jackie + 1
31 Greevy, Jay
32 Gueverra, Mark
33 Hall, Clark B.
34 Harper, Joseph
35 Hennessy, John
36 Hamann, Carlos
37 Herring, Rod
38 Johnson, Brad
39 Kammerer, Brian
41 Kaptek, Rob + 1
42 Kathman, Debra
43 Keating, Stephen
44 Kenepp, D. Scott
45 Killian, Aaron
46 Lafleur, Joe
47 Langbart, David
48 Laudenslager, Sam
50 Leckenby, Dawn + 1
51 Leupold, Tom
52 Lewis, Richard
53 Liebler, Shelly
54 Massey, Jeff
55 McGregor, Douglas
56 McLean, Jim
57 Mcmorrow, Myles
58 Miller, Bruce
59 Mitchell, Brian
60 Mitchell, Celia
61 Morgan, Jim
62 Morton, Patrick
63 Mueller, Benjamin
64 Mueller, Jullian
65 Musick, Mike
66 Nank, Thomas
67 Oakes, Douglas A
68 O’Brien, Robert William
69 O’Neil, Keith
70 Orrison, Rob
71 Pawlak, Kevin
72 Pellegrini, Mike
73 Peterson, Doug
74 Phillips, Rick
75 Redd, Rae Andrew
76 Reilly, Steve
77 Rich, Patricia Petersen
78 Rosebrock, Jams
79 Russell, Bill
80 Sagle, William
81 Smeltzer, Harry
82 Smith, Teej
83 Stinchcomb, Earl
84 Swain, Craig
85 Taylor, Paul
86 Tinnon-Massey, Norma
87 Weihs, Kelly
88 Wichtendahl, Kyle Francis
89 Williams, Jim








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