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3636Re: [TalkAntietam] Re: Any ideas on this book?

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  • Joseph Pierro
    Sep 3, 2007
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      That is true, to a point. Forming a definitive order of battle for Antietam is in some sense subjective.

      Particularly when it comes to certain Confederate units, the numbers in the ranks can drop to such a small fraction of the units typical effective strength that it's a judgment call whether to credit that unit (as a unit) for being on the field.

      Then too, EVERY attempt to quantify strengths and losses in any CW battle is speculative. No one can produce a precise accounting. Carman, at least, goes into great detail in explaining the methodology he used to compile his figures, which gives subsequent historians comething concrete to work with or challenge.

      ----- Original Message ----
      From: G E Mayers <gerry1952@...>
      To: TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Monday, September 3, 2007 6:59:50 PM
      Subject: Re: [TalkAntietam] Re: Any ideas on this book?

      Dear Joseph,

      There are, as you and Tom Clemens both know, as well as Dr Joseph
      Harsh, some problems with Carman's strength assessments and units
      present on both sides at Antietam/Sharpsburg . Harsh has mentions
      of units that had at least some token representation during the
      battle that Carman left out entirely from the overall OOB for
      both sides.

      Yr. Obt. Svt.
      G E "Gerry" Mayers

      To Be A Virginian, either by birth, marriage, adoption, or even
      on one's mother's side, is an introduction to any state in the
      Union, a passport to any foreign country, and a benediction from
      the Almighty God. --Anonymous
      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "Joseph Pierro" <joseph_pierro@ yahoo.com>
      To: <TalkAntietam@ yahoogroups. com>
      Sent: Saturday, September 01, 2007 11:26 AM
      Subject: Re: [TalkAntietam] Re: Any ideas on this book?

      > 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.
      > ----- Original Message ----
      > From: Scott Hann <wutheringheights@ comcast.net>
      > To: TalkAntietam@ yahoogroups. com
      > Sent: Saturday, September 1, 2007 10:10:21 AM
      > Subject: [TalkAntietam] Re: Any ideas on this book?
      > Sid Meier's Antietam wargame is bundled with excerps from the
      > Carman
      > manuscript. For the most part, they seem to be reports from the
      > Official Records that were cut and pasted. Joe, how will your
      > work
      > differ? Will it be akin to the Batchelder Papers and include
      > correspondence between Ezra Carman and Antietam veterans?
      > Thanks,
      > Scott
      > --- In TalkAntietam@ yahoogroups. com, "joseph_pierro"
      > <joseph_pierro@ ...> wrote:
      >> --- In TalkAntietam@ yahoogroups. com, "James W. Durney"
      >> <JWD2044@>
      >> wrote:
      >> >
      >> > The Maryland Campaign of September 1862: Ezra A. Carman's
      > Definitive
      >> > Study of the Union and Confederate Armies at Antietam
      >> > (Hardcover)
      >> > by Joseph Pierro (Editor)
      >> >
      >> Lol, James! What do you want to know about it?
      >> --Joseph Pierro
      > ____________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _
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