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3624Re: Any ideas on this book?

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  • Scott Hann
    Sep 1, 2007
      Joe, thanks for the exhaustive answer to my question. Quite
      frankly, I am far more familiar with Bachelder's correspondence with
      Gettysburg veterans than I am with the government-funded manuscript
      he wrote. I feared that the Carman work would merely rehash sources
      previously published, but apparently this isn't the case. Can you
      estimate the amount of material that is "fresh," that is, material
      that hasn't been published previously in either the O.R.'s or
      regimental histories?

      I enjoyed reading your article in America's Civil War. I too made a
      contribution to the issue; more than a dozen photos from my
      collection were used in the magazine.

      When the publication date nears I'll be sure to ask for an
      autographed copy of your book.

      Best wishes,

      Scott D. Hann


      --- In TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com, "James W. Durney" <JWD2044@...>
      wrote:
      >
      > --- In TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com, Joseph Pierro
      > <joseph_pierro@> wrote:
      > >
      > > Like all good studies of any battle, Carman's narrative draws
      > heavily from the OR. It's not (and Tom Clemens, who knows the
      Carman
      > manuscript as well as anyone will, I think, back me up on this)
      > simply a cut and paste of the ORs into a chronology the way
      > Bachelder's "history" is. (The Gettysburg "history" truly is
      nothing
      > more than the ORs re-arranged in chronological order; how
      Bachelder
      > got away with charging the Federal government $50,000 and then
      handed
      > them essentially what they ALREADY PUBLISHED is beyond me.)
      > >
      > > Carman, in contrast, wrote a full narrative history of the
      campaign
      > (the Confederate army doesn't even cross the Potomac until well
      over
      > the 100th handwritten page), and he drew from other sources--
      > published and otherwise (in addtion to his many interviews
      conducted
      > during his work for the Antietam Battlefield Board. Not only does
      it
      > cover the full political and military context, but it addresses
      all
      > the strategic, operational, and tactical aspects of the entire
      > campaign. It isn't simply about September 17. (The original work
      > was divided into two volumes. The battle of Antietam itself isn't
      > treated until volume two.)
      > >
      > > It also contains some rather detailed and well researched
      chapters
      > calculating effective strengths and losses, which still stand up
      as
      > one of the most comprehensive studies of that issue. (He makes a
      > powerful--and damning--case that much of the Army of the
      > Potomac's "present for duty" strength never made it into the fight
      on
      > September 17--even from those units that were engaged.)
      > >
      > > One of the many problems with the original manuscript, however,
      is
      > Carman oftentimes didn't give his source (and when he did, he
      > frequently gives only a fragmentary citation--like, "The historian
      of
      > the regiment writes . . . "--forcing the reader to discover for
      > himself what the specific source is). As editor, one of my tasks
      was
      > to go back and, to the extent possible, reverse engineer the
      entire
      > manuscript, locate the actual sources used in every instance, and
      > then provide a complete citation for each (and also double check
      > Carman's transcription against the original quotation--which
      doesn't
      > always match. Often the errors are simply cosmetic, but in a few
      > instances--which I address in relevant footnotes--the revisions
      > materially alter the MEANING).
      > >
      > > Now there are also two massive collections of Carman's
      > correspondence with veterans (in the Nat'l Archives and the NY
      Public
      > Library). That correspondence (save for quoted excerpts used in
      his
      > narrative) doesn't appear in the book I'm editing. (The book is
      > massive enough as it is, 500,000 words; the correspondence alone
      > would probably fill a few volumes.) There's a lot of wonderful
      > material throughout those letters (the previously unpublished
      after-
      > action report of the 23d New York that appeared in the September
      > issue of Civil War Times comes from the Carman papers in the
      National
      > Archives), but many of them deal only with where troops were, not
      > what they did. (Remember that Carman's mission was to figure out
      > exactly where to place the markers on the battlefield. His
      primary
      > concern was spatial, not temporal--and that emphasis comes across
      in
      > the types of questions he asked.) Many of the "letters" are
      really
      > nothing more than keys to the maps that
      > > accompany them. (Carman used to send people a section of the
      base
      > map and then ask them to fill in where the regiment bivouacked,
      where
      > it formed line, where it advanced to, etc.). In the NA, the maps
      by
      > and large are with their letters. At the NYPL, however, some
      > archivist appears to have made the disastrous decision to separate
      > the maps from the letters, effectively rendering many of both
      > useless.
      > >
      > >
      >
      >
      > This is what I was looking for, Thank you!
      >
      > James
      >
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