Rev. Robert Lowry to Rev. George Webb Dodge, Chaplain, 11th New York Infantry, Before the Battle

6 03 2023

Yankee Morals.

Maj. W. L. Hubbard, Adjutant of the Seventh Regiment of Georgia Volunteers, has favored us with the following. It speaks for itself:

W. L. Hubbard, Esq., Adjutant 7th Georgia Regiment:

Dear Sir: Below I hand you copy of letter from Rev. Robt. Lowry, of Brooklyn, New York, to Rev. G. W. Dodge, Chaplain of Ellsworth’s Fire Zouaves. I wonder if the boys are “spilin’ for a fight” now. if so, as dick Swiveller* said, “plenty more at the same shop; a large assortment always on hand; such customers promptly supplied:”

Yours truly,


No. 63, Portland Avenue,
Brooklyn, July 12, 1861.

Dear Bro. Dodge: Your welcome letter reached me two weeks ago. I have been away a week, so have seemed neglectful of your epistle. I was very glad to hear from you, and have thought of you frequently since we parted on Broadway, after the purchase of that knife and revolver. If a bullet from the latter had been honored with a lodgment in the traitor Jackson’s vile carcass, it would have been a pleasant piece of information. I am very much afraid your boys are not to have a serious brush with the rebels within the unfortunate three months of their enlistment. It will be a dry rain with them, if they make a return march up Broadway without having had a real grand tug with the foe. It will be like running the machine to a fire, and finding the fire out. I hope, for their own sakes, they may have a chance to do a big thing with those infernal traitors, before they get home. It would be delightful to see the boys in fierce array, spilin for a fight, and no fight on hand.

We have great confidence in Gen. Scott up here, and we have confidence in prompt measures, also. There are some rebel batteries too close to Federal lines to make it particularly honorable or creditable. I think the boys would like to take those posts by the contract, and give good security for the prompt performance of all engagements, and assume all risks. I do not know but that wars, generally, could be more rapidly and completely disposed of by the contract system, than in the old fashioned way. All the munitions of war, as well as the Commissary Department, are under the contract system, and you get gloriously cheated and sold out generally. Suppose you were permitted to look for your own subsistence, and do up the rebellion at so much for the job. I think in that case, the rebel Congress would never meet in Richmond, and would not the Fire Zouaves be there “to see” and have a big finger in the pie? Methinks so. Do you think it would be worth while to correspond with Gen. Scott on the subject? I am anxious to have those Palm-Leaf Nabobs gloriously whipped; so thoroughly, that, for a generation to come, they will be glad to hold a Northerners horse for a sixpence. I wish you and the boys could be in at the death. Can’t you all hold on to the end? No doubt you have longings for the good things of Broadway restaurants and the better comforts of home. But it is not often that freeborn Americans have an opportunity to fight and die for such a country as this. Had you not all better stay till you wipe the thing clean, and then you can tell your children a tale that the angels themselves would love to listen to. I suppose if you could only put a bullet through some contractors and commisarys, you would be more happy than you are. Some of them, at least, ought to be sent over the Potomac astride a log. It is unpardonable, that when thousands of men have laid themselves on the altar of their country, a few graceless, soulless scoundrels should disaffect a whole army by this diabolical contract robbery.

A member of Duryea’s Regiment told me, the other day, he had not had 30 cents worth of provisions in a week, in the face of the fact the Government provides 30 cents worth per day for each man. The unmitigated wretches that cause such a state of things, are a thousand times worse than open traitors, fighting in the rebel army. I wish you could give them all a fair hanging, and hold a court martial in their cases afterwards.

What has become of Congress down your way. It looks like Old Abe was sound on the goose. $400,000,000 and 400,000 men ought to lay this little trouble on the shelf for all time to come. Part of the money ought to be expended in the erection of a continuous gallows around the Capitol grounds, to be thickly strung with seed rebels, from Jeff, the arch traitor, down to microscopic Twiggs, the most contemptible of them all. Tell the boys do hold on – a few more pork rations and hard crackers, and you will have the pleasure of opening the avenues through the ranks of the fighting rebels, and hearing prayers under the scaffold of traitors of “upper ten.”***

Give my best regards to Hosford****. He is a good fellow, with a mother and sisters who love Christ. I think he wants to be a christian. I hope the solemn surroundings of a soldier’s life have not failed to impress him with a need of a preparation for eternity.

I am comfortably fixed in Brooklyn – an advance in every respect over the old spot. Secession is an infection, you see.

Glad to hear from you at any time. May your braves return with many scalps.

Yours Fraternally,


This hopeful epistle from one who professes to be a disciple of Him who preached “peace upon earth and good will to man,” was picked up with the port folio of the Rev. Dodge, who lost it near my house in trying to Dodge our cavalry.*****

(Atlanta, Ga) Southern Confederacy, 9/10/1861

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*A character from Charles Dickens’s The Old Curiosity Shop

** Unknown

***A 19th century term referring to the 10,000 wealthiest citizens of New York City.

****Pvt. Samuel E. Hosford of Co. E.

*****Rev. Dodge was captured at First Bull Run.

William L. Hubbard at Ancestry

William L. Hubbard at Fold3

George Webb Dodge at Ancestry

George Webb Dodge at Fold3

George Webb Dodge at FindAGrave

Robert Lowery at FindAGrave (possible)

Samuel Hosford at Ancestry

Samuel Hosford at Fold3

Samuel Hosford at FindAGrave

Unit History – 7th Georgia Infantry

2 06 2022

Was formed in May, 1861, at Atlanta, Georgia, and in June moved to Harper’s Ferry, Virginia. Its members were raised in the counties of Coweta, Paulding, De Kalb, Franklin, Fulton, Heard, and Cobb. Assigned to Colonel F. S. Bartow’s Brigade, Army of the Shenandoah, it was active in the fight at First Manassas. In April, 1862, the regiment had 611 effectives and served under the command of G. T. Anderson until the end of the war. It participated in the campaigns of the Army of Northern Virginia from the Seven Days’ Battles to Cold Harbor, except when it was detached with Longstreet at Suffolk, in Georgia, and at Knoxville. The 7th was not involved in the Battle of Chickamauga. It was active in the long Petersburg siege south and north of the James River and later in the Appomattox Campaign. It reported 153 casualties at First Manassas, 147 during the Seven Days’ Battles, and 120 at Second Manassas. Losses were light at Fredericksburg and Gettysburg, but from April 14 to May 6 there were 98 disabled, and from August 1 to December 31, 1864, the unit had 56 killed or wounded. On April 9, 1865, it surrendered with 24 officers and 164 men. The field officers were Colonels George H. Carmical, Lucius J. Gartrell, William W. White, and William T. Wilson; Lieutenant Colonels Moses T. Almon, James F. Cooper, and John Dunwoody; Majors Lemuel B. Anderson, E. W. Hoyle, John F. Kiser, and Horace H. Witt.

From Joseph H. Crute, Jr., Units of the Confederate States Army, p. 88

Corp. Philip B. Simms, Co. K, 7th Georgia Infantry, On the Morning of the Battle

5 02 2022

Letter to Col. Simms from his Son.

Manassas, July 21st, 1861.

Dear Father: I write you a few lines before going into the battle-field. The cannon is now loudly pealing forth its thunders, and our Regiment is under orders to move. Friday there was a fight here. We killed 1,000, took 500 muskets, 100 knapsacks, 150 hats, 23 prisoners, killed a Lieutenant Colonel, and took seven hundred dollars in gold, with a map of the surrounding country, having all its roads and paths plainly laid down. At Winchester, we received orders to march to this point, and immediately set out, marching all night, and reached here Saturday night. * * * * * * Everything is now in an uproar and confusion, so that I can’t write.

Give my love to my dear mother, sister and brother. I may never see you again, but I hope to do so, as I do not believe that I shall get killed.

Write me and give me the news from my dear old State, and especially from my friends at home.

Truly and ever, your son,
Philip B. Simms

N. B. We had ten killed in the fight the other day. The news comes that we are whipping them this morning.

P. B. S.

(Atlanta, GA) Southern Confederacy, 7/28/1861

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Phillip B. Simms at Ancestry

Phillip B. Simms at Fold3

Phillip B. Simms at FindAGrave

Image: Pvt. Nathaniel Mann Calder, Sr., Co. D, 7th Georgia Infantry

1 02 2022
Nathaniel Mann Calder, Sr. Source

Nathaniel Mann Calder, Sr. at Ancestry

Nathaniel Mann Calder, Sr. at Fold3

Nathaniel Mann Calder, Sr. at FindAGrave

Pvt. Nathaniel Mann Calder, Sr., Co. D, 7th Georgia Infantry, On the Battle

1 02 2022

Extract of a letter from N. M. Calder, Esq., to his wife, dated at Manassas, July 22:

Dear Lucretia: I hasten to inform you that our son, Nat*, and myself are safe. Nat was struck with a bomb in the breast. His tin cup saved his life. He fell and remained there for some time. When he recovered, our regiment had left the place, and he was lost from me. – He attached himself to a Louisiana Regiment, and fought desperately. He was near being taken prisoner, but escaped by jumping on an artillery horse. I was struck by three balls, but, thank God, not hurt seriously.

The field of battle presented a horid scene. To see hundreds of human beings lying dead, and in the agonies of death, crying for water, was truly distressing. I took two of the poor creatures out of the sun and gave them some water. They were our enemies.”

(Atlanta, GA) Southern Confederacy, 8/1/1861

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* Pvt. Nathaniel Mann Calder, Jr., was also in Co. D, 7th Georgia Infantry

Nathaniel Mann Calder, Sr. at Ancestry

Nathaniel Mann Calder, Sr. at Fold3

Nathaniel Mann Calder, Sr. at FindAGrave

Pvt. (Dr.) Asbury Smith Mayson, Co. E, 7th Georgia Infantry, On the Battle

29 01 2022

Extract of a letter from Dr. A. S. Mayson, Assistant Surgeon in the 7th Regiment:

Manassas, July 23, 1861.

My Dear Wife: After several days of excitement, I seat myself to let you know that I am still living. We arrived here from Winchester on Saturday. On Sunday morning about 7 o’clock, the cannonading commenced about four miles distant, and we received orders to march immediately. The 7th and 8th Georgia Regiments were the first to reach the field. The 8th Regiment was rushed into a position, by Col. Bartow, from which they had to retreat, in which they were almost shot to pieces. James George, was shot through the abdomen, and then taken prisoner. He was afterwards re-taken from them by us, brought to the Junction, and died. Joel Yarborough was wounded – not seriously, and Mr. Orr was killed on the field. Brother William * was shot through the fleshy part of the thigh. I don’t think he will suffer much.

None of the Powder Springs Company was killed, though Captain Moyer was wounded in the head, and it is thought will die.

I have eaten but two regular meals since Sunday. I never did as hard a day’s work in my life as on that day. I dressed wounds all day, until 1w o’clock at night. Then I went to the battle-field and hunted the dead and wounded till day; and I did not leave the field till last night. All day to day, I have been dressing over the wounds of our soldiers, and I am hungry and sleeping.

Tell Dr. Hoyle that his brother, Eli, was the first man that rushed upon Sherman’s battery. When the command for a charge was given, he jumped upon one of the cannons, killed the man that controlled it, took his sword, knife and spur, and kept his position until the enemy fled

But I must close. May Heaven Bless you.
A. S. Mayson

We were shown a biscuit, all the way from Manassas, of the Doctor’s kneading and baking, which shows that he is an adept in the culinary art as well as in dressing the wounds of soldiers; and were informed that he labored every way to render the sick and wound comfortable, and succeeds better than any of the cooks in fixing up good things for the sick. – Men who thus labor for the good of their fellow-men, are worthy of everybody’s esteem.

(Atlanta, GA) Southern Confederacy, 8/1/1861

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Asbury S. Mayson appears in records as a private in Co. E. This does not preclude him from performing the duties of an assistant surgeon, but he was not on the rolls as such.

* Pvt. William C. Mason, Co. B, 7th Georgia Infantry.

Asbury Smith Mayson at Ancestry

Asbury Smith Mayson at Fold3

Asbury Smith Mayson at FindAGrave

5th Sgt. William M. Glenn, Co. K, 7th Georgia Infantry, On the Battle

28 01 2022

Another Letter from Billy Glenn.

Manassas Junction, July 26, 1861.

Dear Father: You have doubtless been very uneasy about me, fearing that I was killed or wounded. I assure you I came out perfectly unharmed, and I am in the best of hopes that this war will come to a speedy close. When that Yankees that are left get back home and take the scales off the eyes of their fellows in regard to Southern men’s feelings in this war, it will be hard to rally men enough to meet us again, for it was the most complete victory ever gained on this continent.

Our Seventh Regiment was in the thickest of the fight, the left wing especially, of which our company (the Davis Infantry) formed a part, was highly spoken of by Beauregard. – We captured, by a series of charges, Sherman’s celebrated battery. We turned their own cannon against them, killing nearly all their engineers and horses. We were engaged with the best men they had, including Ellsworth’s Zouaves. All those New York Fire Zouaves were killed but about two hundred. We also had the regulars to contend with. The prisoners say we fought not like men or soldiers, but like devils, and that God is surely on our side. We all know it to be so, for nothing in the world but a Divine power could have saved us from being out done. We were almost surrounded by treble our number. We fought like lions, and no man seemed to care a straw for his life, preferring death to defeat.

I was standing by Mr. Puckett’s side when he was shot through the breast.

I am proud to be able to say that I was in that great battle – not for the honor of the thing, but to know that I did my whole duty for my country.

There is no used in trying to describe the consternation and panic of the foe after they were routed. The papers have told you something of that. The funniest thing was that most of their big men – Congressmen – and some two or three hundred ladies in carriages, had come out to greet their officers with their smiles and kisses, and the soldiers by the waving of their little hands, and to have a grand pic-nic after they had conquered us. Imagine their surprise and mortification, when these heroes of theirs whom they had come out to cheer, encourage, and bless, came back in all haste, filled with consternation and running for their lives! Some without guns or knapsacks, coats and shirts off, shoes and hats lost, pitching headlong through them, running over women, carriages and everything in their way; and then closely followed by our cavalry, cutting and slashing them at every jump, and taking prisoners by the hundreds!

The prisoners and wagons are coming in yet every hour and sent off by the car load to Richmond.

All the wounded are well cared for. Tell Mrs. Wm. T. Wilson, that Mr. Wilson is not in a dangerous condition. I helped him off his horse and gave him water from my canteen, and took his boot off. He got on his horse and went to the cars. He rallied and encouraged the men long after he was shot, and he is a whole regiment himself in time of battle.

Well, I won’t say any more about the fight this time. You must not be uneasy about me, for if I get wounded I will be well taken care of, and if killed, I will die for my county.

Your son, WM. GLENN

(Atlanta, GA) Southern Confederacy, 8/6/1861

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William M. Glenn at Ancestry

William M. Glenn at Fold3

1st Sgt. Angus Campbell McPherson, Co. K, 7th Georgia Infantry, On his Wound and Recovery and Casualties

27 01 2022

Letter from Sargent McPherson, of the Davis Infantry, to his Brother J. McPherson, Esq.

Richmond, July 26.

Dear Brother: Having a fine opportunity to write you a letter, I hasten to make use of it.

As you see, I am in Richmond – came down yesterday, with one of my comrades, from Manassas, (Alonzo Sneed – I suppose you know him,) who was wounded in the foot by a grape shot. I am also slightly wounded in the head, by a Minie rifle ball. It was only a ”tip,” but the tip went into the skull, but without any fracture. I did not think it went to the bone, until about an hour abo, with two glasses, I could, with a pair of scissors, probe top the bone without pain.

The particulars of the battle you will find in the Richmond papers, fuller than I can give them; but I will say that it was a terrible, bloody battle, and I was in it. I have seen the horrors of war, in all its blood and terror. My curiosity is satisfied; but I am as anxious to again brave its perils to defend our country and repel her invaders.

A man who has never witnessed the carnage of a battle field, can form no idea of its terror and grandeur. It is true, that during the intense excitement of the conflict, the sight of a man being shot down by your side, or another mangled by a bomb, does not affect you; but, after all is over, and you walk over the field of strife, you have time to consider and reflect on the horrid scenes around you – here a man, perhaps your friend, with a bullet through his heart, cold in death, others torn and mangled – some dead, some dying, others wounded beyond hope of recovery – mutilated bodies and parts of bodies – it is horrid to contemplate, especially when you remember that, amid all this carnage, you was one of the actors, and only the smallest partition of bone was between you and death.

The Yankees were so badly whipped that they did not ask permission to bury their dead, nor take charge of their wounded. We did so, but many of them were in a deplorable condition before we could render any assistance. * * * * Such scenes were at first was sickening, but they were so numerous that we soon got “used to it.”

It was my full intention, before I ever know what a battle was, to take charge of any of my particular friends who should get hurt and spared. I expected the same from them. Sneed, I am sure, would have spent all he had and his time for me, had there been occasion. I shall do for him all in my power. I have brought him here, and have him in one of the most noble mansions I was ever in. He has a room to himself, fitted up in the most magnificent style. We are now in the care of Mr. Thomas W. Dudley, sergeant of the city of Richmond, who has offered to take charge of us both until there should not be the least sign of a wound on us, and would be happy to take charge of as many more as his house would hold, without fee or reward, except the pleasure of serving the protectors of his country. The good lady says we shall be considered as her children as long as we are under her care.

I have been pleased with the kindness and hospitality shown soldiers all through Virginia, who seem to view with each other in doing all they can for us, except at Harper’s Ferry, where I believe the people would have betrayed us, if they could.

I suppose you have heard of the death of Jhon A. Puckett. There never was a braver man on a battle field than he, or one with a kinder heart in the camp. He was shot dead while shouting and encouraging the boys, who followed him as they would a father. His death is much lamented by the whole company. Mr. Bagwell was also killed on the field. Of the Davis Infantry, two were killed, and eleven wounded. I should like to give you a detail of my past few weeks, which has been pretty rough, if hard marching, and actual starving occasionally, be considered rough.

Tell everybody that I am yet alive, and expect to be in at the big battle at Alexandria before long.

Ever your brother,

(Atlanta, GA) Southern Confederacy, 8/2/1861

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Angus Campbell McPherson at Ancestry

Angus Campbell McPherson at Fold3

Angus Campbell McPherson at FindAGrave

Image: Lt. George Hunter Carmical, Co. A, 7th Georgia Infantry

17 05 2021


Lt. George Hunter Carmical, Co. A, 7th Georgia Infantry (Contributed by Rick Allen)

George Hunter Carmical at Ancestry

George Hunter Carmical at Fold3

George Hunter Carmical at FindAGrave

George Hunter Carmical Bio Sketch 

Interview: Richard M. Allen, “Anderson’s Brigade Rosters”

18 07 2018



Rick Allen giving a tour of Anderson’s Brigade at Gettysburg

Richard M. “Rick” Allen has been a friend for a while, and an e-quaintance for much longer. He has recently published, with Savas Beatie, a four volume set of rosters for the Georgia Regiments (7th, 8th, 9th, & 11th Infantry) of G. T. Anderson’s brigade. It’s a wonderful set of books that amounts to a collection of mini-biographies of the thousands of men who served during the lives of the regiments. I’m enjoying the heck out of them. Rick graciously took the time to talk about the project. You can order your own copies right here.

BR: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

RMA: Not much to tell really. I’m an only child and a 1990 graduate of the Maryland Institute of Art, where I received a B.F.A degree in what was truly a unique environment. Not having the sense to be a Graphic Arts major, we Fine Art types took our degrees and went on to work in just about any field excepting Art. In my case, I’ve spent most of my work career in the field of warehousing and purchasing, pretty much because I was always good at organizing things.

BR: What got you interested in the Civil War? Who/what were your early influences?

RMA: I come from largely military family; my father served, my uncles, both grandfathers, the whole shebang. I was lucky to have a father who enjoyed taking trips to battlefields and who instilled in me some sense of appreciating history. We spent many of my childhood trips on various battlefields, much to my mother’s dismay. My earliest influences were common, Tucker, Catton and Foote, but my initial fascination with the Civil War probably had as much to do with those great battle drawings with the little soldiers in The Golden Book of The Civil War as anything else. I was amazed by those drawings. It’s funny how often you hear that as an influence, but it absolutely was in my case.


The Golden Book of the Civil War

BR: So, how did you settle on Anderson’s brigade for this study, and why did you only publish the Georgia regiments?

RMA: From about the late 90’s I started to get fascinated with Anderson’s Brigade mostly because at the time, it was like looking into a black hole. I’m primarily a Gettysburg guy, and there was always this kind of blank between Kershaw and Robertson. It seemed as if Anderson and Semmes just got sucked into the Rose Woods and that was that. You’d hear about Anderson in the Wheatfield fight of course, but it was usually just a passing reference with no real meat on the bone. The more I looked into this situation and the more tours I took, the more this pattern of emptiness repeated itself. Also, around this time, in following the line of the brigade’s attack on July 2, I became very interested in the terrain they had to cross and the particular set of circumstances that made their task so difficult. Nobody else really seemed to be doing much on the brigade, so after a few years of tentative learning, I finally decided that I would “adopt” them. This led to my serious interest in these regiments and I spent about 15 years learning all I could about them.

As you referenced in the above question, the original idea was to create a Roster for every unit that ever served in what would become G. T. Anderson’s Brigade. Taking things chronologically, that starts with Bartow, so I first made a Roster for the 4th Alabama Infantry, which was attached to Bartow’s Brigade before it transferred to Bee before Manassas. That roster turned out well as the 4th AL has a great deal of information out there and a very complete set of CSRs [Compiled Service Records]. The next Roster I made was for the 1st KY Infantry……which you really have to do by battalion as they weren’t consolidated into a regiment for some time……so I next made three battalion rosters for them. These Rosters are not much, as the 1st KY only existed for less than a year, so this Roster is not really anything to brag about, but they have one. These two rosters and one for the Wise Artillery (which was frequently attached to Anderson’s brigade early in the War) served as my training grounds. By the time I got done these 2400 or so men, I had a good idea of what I was doing. I knew I would have much more meat on the bones with the Georgians coming up, and with some skills behind me, the next rosters I did were the 9th, 11th, 8th and 7th GA in that order. I think these turned out very well, but they were more work than even I expected. By the time I was done the 8th Georgia, I knew that I only had one roster left in me, so I knew the 7th would be my last. This effectively trashed the original idea of my making a roster for every unit in the brigade because I saw no way I could complete a roster for the 1st Georgia Regulars, 10th Georgia Battalion and 59th Georgia Infantry on top of what I had already done. The thought of 3000 more men to document was just too much. I was burned out. Six regiments and an artillery battery are apparently my limit.

BR: Describe if you will the biographical rosters, their format, and the rationale for that format.

RMA: The Rosters I created are pretty much the books I would love to have been able to read 15 years ago…except they didn’t exist. They are essentially based on the same format used by Lillian Henderson in her epic Roster of Confederate Soldiers of Georgia, but with much more information. I used a basic template like Henderson, and I tried to write in as detached and clinical a manner as possible while expanding the scope of Henderson’s effort. Breaking the men down into chronological rank, a process I termed as “slotting”, is really the most radical departure from Henderson’s format, but I thought that was an important and unique addition. It also damned near drove me crazy.

BR: Can you describe your research and writing process? What sources, paper and digital, did you use most frequently? How long did the whole thing take to complete?

RMA: The rosters were all done in a Word file and constantly adjusted through three distinct steps. Henderson first, then the massive amount of CSR information was added, and the third step was “everything else.” The rosters began with just the names in Henderson’s Roster, so that would be the skeleton of the entire work. As I would come to learn, what you find in Henderson is not always what you find in the CSR; in fact, quite often, there are major differences. Most of these differences can be resolved, but only by looking at the totality of an issue. In other words, you find clues in the most unlikely of places and you would never know they were there unless you looked at EVERYTHING. Records are sometimes mixed and contradictory, and there are notes on cards relating to entirely different people within the company or regiment that can solve an issue. Until you look at everything, especially as it relates to rank slotting, you are playing Jenga in the dark. Slotting was by far the most challenging aspect of these books. Frequently, on a project like this, you are at the mercy of long dead First Sergeants. Some company records were very detailed, and some were not. Figuring out how things fit together was most of the work. What could not be satisfactorily resolved was footnoted as such. By way of adding meat to the bones, these days we are lucky enough to have access to the CSRs online and essentially, these Rosters are probably 75% information that can be found in an individuals CSR. By far the largest amount of information comes from there, but it is quite a chore to organize in light of every other source. The other 25 percent comes from a combination of sources, including Henderson, the US census, Georgia Historical Societies, the National Archives, my own research material, war-time and post war rolls, webpages, period newspapers, burial information from the Sons of Confederate Veterans and and material contributed by Henry Persons from his archive. Once all that information was assimilated, it was a matter of my editing all the information into the existing format. It was rather like throwing everything at the wall, then making sense of it by subtraction.

BR: What were some of the most surprising finds you turned up in your research?

RMA: The most poignant things were the deaths by disease. I knew the statistics, but until you go through a regiment man by man, I don’t think you can appreciate the variety of ways death was visited on these young men. The emotional impact was accumulative. You can really get strangely attached to a person or a group when you are clearing the dirt off their tombstones every day and I think the sense of responsibility was a little surprising to me.

In the lighter vein, I was totally shocked by how many Georgians had some variant of the first name Greenberry.

[FWIW, here’s a letter from a Virginian named Green Berry right here in the Bull Runnings resources!]

BR: How has the book been received? Any demographics on sales thus far?

RMA: I think for those who have seen the books, they have been received very well. I never had any illusions about creating a best seller or even something most casual students of the CW would need in their collections. Not everybody likes licorice either, but the ones that do, really like it. For the average reader, I’m pretty far in the weeds on this project, but these are very narrowly focused reference books, so I always knew that would be the case.

As simple as it sounds, I really take all my satisfaction from the fact that nobody will have to stand on a battlefield ever again and wonder who these regiments were. That’s why I made them.

BR: What’s next for you?

RMA: What is next? Well, I won’t be pumping out some new book every six months, I can tell you that. I’m satisfied with my contribution and I think my hat will hang on these Georgians for better or worse. Having completed 17 years with Anderson’s men, I did all I could for them and I willingly pass the torch. The next big thing for me is taking the trip I always wanted to take.

Lord willing, I’ll be headed to the west of Ireland for two weeks next April.