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3657Re: [TalkAntietam] South Mountain markers-Nagle's brigade

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  • Joseph Pierro
    Sep 13, 2007
    • 0 Attachment

      As it happened, the issue doesn't appear to have been anything particular to Nagle. (If it had, I suspect they would have just voted him down.) They turned an entire sheaf of promotions, without voting on any of them, back to Lincoln on proceedural grounds.

      The record reads as follows:

      "The Senate proceeded to consider the following report:

      "'The Committee on Military Affairs and the Militia, to whom were referred the nominations of the several major-generals and brigadier-generals and hospital chaplains appointed since the last session of Congress, find no law authorizing said appointments, and recommend that the nominations be returned to the President; and

      "'Resolved, That the Senate agree to the said report.'" (Senate Exec. Journal, 37th Cong., 3d sess., February 12, 1863, 128)

      The nomination that went to Congress does indeed bear a date of rank (Sept. 10, 1862), but the communication itself, as I mentioned before, is dated December.

      The available evidence is clear that Nagle had learned of his appointment (and hence was entitled to call himself a brigadier general) before the campaign ended. It is most likely, but not 100% certain, that he found out prior to going into action on Sept. 17.

      Where the issue gets a bit cloudy, and hence why it would be of interest to know the date on which something was transmitted from Washington with the news that he had been appointed by the preisdent, concerns South Mountain.

      In the narrative portion of Carman's manuscript, he never mentions Nagle by rank. (It's always, "Nagle's brigade," and the like.) Only in his Table of Organization does he give a rank, listing him as "Colonel." On the War Dept. tablet on the battlefield, however, Nagle is listed as a brigadier general, suggesting that Carman altered his views regarding Nagle's status on the 17th.

      It is possible, however, that Nagle should be properly be designated as a colonel at South Mountain. Even if Lincoln did issue the commission on the same day that Nagle was to take rank (Sept. 10), the only available evidence to come to light thus far (the report of his division commander, Samuel Sturgis) suggests that word of the promotion had not yet reached the army prior to the fighting at Fox's Gap.

      This would correspond to the manner in which the editors of the OR saw the issue. On their compiled list of casualties at South Mountain, Nagle appears as a colonel (v. 19, pt. 1, p. 186), while on the similar list for Antietam (v. 19, pt. 1, p. 197) he's listed as a brigadier general.

      ----- Original Message ----
      From: Harry Smeltzer <hjs21@...>
      To: TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Wednesday, September 12, 2007 9:12:09 PM
      Subject: Re: [TalkAntietam] South Mountain markers-Nagle's brigade


      Yes, I'm aware that appointment dates and dates of rank are not necessarily the same. What I should have said was, according to Eicher & Eicher, the appointment date would have been the same as the date of rank. I'm assuming that the date of rank would have been included in the nomination sent to Congress.

      Do you have any idea why the first nomination was not confirmed? I would imagine it probably had something to do with the fact that the nomination and backing recommendations had their genesis in McClellan's command.


      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Joseph Pierro
      To: TalkAntietam@ yahoogroups. com
      Sent: Wednesday, September 12, 2007 8:56 PM
      Subject: Re: [TalkAntietam] South Mountain markers-Nagle' s brigade


      Thanks for that. I've seen E & E, but I'm not sure they have the right information. It's clear from the Congressional record that 9/10 was the date he was to take rank. What's NOT clear is whether or not Lincoln APPOINTED him on 9/10 (the appointment date and the date at which an officer take rank are not necessarily the same; the latter often predates the former). To date I haven't been able to find any primary document verifying that fact.

      If Lincoln DID appoint him in September 1862 (and it seems evident that he did), it wasn't premature for him to sign with the rank of a general officer. In the absence of a Congress, the appointment acts (and Richard Sommers at Carlise confirmed this for me) much like a recess appointment would today.

      Sometime between Sept. 10 and Sept. 20, word got to Nagle that he had been appointed a general officer (and from a source of credible enough authority that Sturgis took to referring to him as "Colonel (now General)" by Sept. 22.

      What I'm trying to find out (if the paper trail still exists) is WHERE and WHEN Nagle got that info in September 1862.


      ----- Original Message ----
      From: Harry Smeltzer <hjs21@comcast. net>
      To: TalkAntietam@ yahoogroups. com
      Sent: Wednesday, September 12, 2007 4:26:20 PM
      Subject: RE: [TalkAntietam] South Mountain markers-Nagle' s brigade

      Nagle's first BG USV commission expired without confirmation on 4/3/1863.
      He was not nominated until 12/23/1862: had he been confirmed, his date of
      rank would have been the same as his appointment date, 9/10/1862. He was
      nominated again on 3/10/1863, and confirmed 3/13/1863. Appointment date was
      3/23/1863 to date from 3/13/1863.

      So, his signing of reports as BG was at the very least premature.

      This is all in Eicher & Eicher.


      -----Original Message-----
      From: TalkAntietam@ yahoogroups. com [mailto:TalkAntieta m@ yahoogroups. com] On
      Behalf Of Joseph Pierro
      Sent: Wednesday, September 12, 2007 4:15 PM
      To: TalkAntietam@ yahoogroups. com
      Subject: Re: [TalkAntietam] South Mountain markers-Nagle' s brigade

      Thanks, Tom. I didn't THINK there were any at Fox's, and the only ones I
      recall at Turner's were a few VERY general ones along the National Pike,
      across from the Mountain House.

      I'm at the NA right now digging through Nagle's CMSR and the Commissions
      Branch files trying to pin down the date on which he was actually appointed

      The commission was TO RANK Sept. 10, 1862, but it could have been issued
      anytime between then and Sept. 20 (the date on which he starts signing his
      reports "Brigadier General"). The 48th PA's monument says he received the
      commision on the 17th, but if there's one thing I've learned in my study of
      the Civil War, it's never to trust anything chisled into stone. :)

      The earliest mention of the appointment in the Congressional record is a
      letter from Lincoln submitting it to Congress on December 23, 1862 (but if
      that letter represents the actual appointment, then Nagle was either very
      psychic or very presumptuous) . That date must be when Lincoln finally got
      around to submitting the appointment to Congress (it had been out of session
      from July 18 to Nov. 30, 1862).

      If anyone has a lead, I'm all ears (and much obliged)!


      ----- Original Message ----
      From: Thomas Clemens <clemenst@hagerstow n
      <mailto:clemenst% 40hagerstowncc. edu> cc.edu>
      To: TalkAntietam@ <mailto:TalkAntieta m%40yahoogroups. com> yahoogroups. com
      Sent: Wednesday, September 12, 2007 2:16:52 PM
      Subject: Re: [TalkAntietam] South Mountain markers-Nagle' s brigade

      There are no cast iron markers at Fox's Gap. I don't recall seeing one for
      Nagle's brigade at Turner's either, but would not stake my life on that

      Thomas G. Clemens D.A.
      Professor of History
      Hagerstown Community College

      >>> "joseph_pierro" <joseph_pierro@ yahoo.com> 09/12/07 1:40 PM >>>

      Does anyone happen to know if there's one of those Carman-era iron
      markers at Fox's Gap that covers Nagle's brigade in particular?

      If there is one, does anyone know how it lists his rank? I'm curious
      to know if it says "Brigadier General" (as at Antietam) or "Colonel."

      (I'd ask Steve Stotlmeyer, but I don't have his email. If anyone does
      and would be willing to pass it along, I'd be much obliged!)


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