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Hartwig's talk on Iron Brigade

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  • rotbaron@aol.com
    I attended GNMP Ranger Scott Hartwig s talk at Eastern PA CWRT (Allentown, PA) meeting last night. There were about 140 people in attendance. His topic was
    Message 1 of 7 , Feb 5, 2003
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      I attended GNMP Ranger Scott Hartwig's talk at Eastern PA CWRT (Allentown,
      PA) meeting last night. There were about 140 people in attendance.

      His topic was 'Iron Brigade in the Cornfield'. His talk lasted 90 minutes and
      was very good. He provided an overview of the regiments as their first battle
      at Brawner's Farm and entered the Antietam Campaign.

      Using plenty of letters and other accounts, Scott captured the scene as they
      encamped north of the Poffenberger Farm on the night of Sept 16. He then gave
      a detailed account of the brigade's advance and fight at the Cornfield. His
      primary accounts were from Rufus Dawes and other members of the 6th WI.

      I took a few notes and will post additional comments later.

      With a long drive home, I left as the Q&A was underway (mostly Gettysburg
      questions). I had wanted to ask Scott if he is indeed working on an Antietam
      book and also his thoughts on origin of the Iron Brigade's naming (having
      read Tom Clemens' excellent essay on that subject).

      Tom Shay - Cressona, PA
    • Tom Clemens
      Tom, Scott is indeed writing a multi-volume work on the Maryland Campaign and some of the Eastern PA folks have read drafts. I have sent him some stuff and
      Message 2 of 7 , Feb 5, 2003
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        Tom,
        Scott is indeed writing a multi-volume work on the Maryland Campaign and
        some of the Eastern PA folks have read drafts. I have sent him some
        stuff and heard bits and pieces of his thoughts. It will be very good.
        It will be a nice complement to Joe Harsh's books because Scott will
        focus on operational and tactical issues more that Joe does, and less on
        strategy. I know he has re-thought some things after seeing Joe's
        books, but is not intimidated by them.
        Also, he is aware of my work and agrees with the conclusions. That was
        part ofthe reason I wrote teh teasing message a while back.
        BTW, I was in Milwaukee a few weeks ago to speak to the CWRT there. I
        sat next to a man whose father was in the Iron Brigade of the West, and
        Lance Herdigan personally presented me with a pin making me an honorary
        member of the Iron Brigade Society. He had a smile so big you could
        barely see his shoes!
        Tom Clemens

        rotbaron@... wrote:

        >I attended GNMP Ranger Scott Hartwig's talk at Eastern PA CWRT (Allentown,
        >PA) meeting last night. There were about 140 people in attendance.
        >
        >His topic was 'Iron Brigade in the Cornfield'. His talk lasted 90 minutes and
        >was very good. He provided an overview of the regiments as their first battle
        >at Brawner's Farm and entered the Antietam Campaign.
        >
        >Using plenty of letters and other accounts, Scott captured the scene as they
        >encamped north of the Poffenberger Farm on the night of Sept 16. He then gave
        >a detailed account of the brigade's advance and fight at the Cornfield. His
        >primary accounts were from Rufus Dawes and other members of the 6th WI.
        >
        >I took a few notes and will post additional comments later.
        >
        >With a long drive home, I left as the Q&A was underway (mostly Gettysburg
        >questions). I had wanted to ask Scott if he is indeed working on an Antietam
        >book and also his thoughts on origin of the Iron Brigade's naming (having
        >read Tom Clemens' excellent essay on that subject).
        >
        >Tom Shay - Cressona, PA
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
        >
        >
        >
      • rotbaron@aol.com
        In a message dated 02/05/2003 9:24:00 PM EST, clemens@crosslink.net writes:
        Message 3 of 7 , Feb 7, 2003
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          In a message dated 02/05/2003 9:24:00 PM EST, clemens@... writes:
          << Scott is indeed writing a multi-volume work on the Maryland Campaign and
          some of the Eastern PA folks have read drafts. >>

          Great news to hear!

          As time permits, I'll post some additional notes from Scott's recent talk.

          The Iron Brigade brigade advanced in Closed Columns By Division at about 4:45
          AM as the first streaks of daylight appeared. He stated the corn was 7-8 feet
          high. As the men began their firefight at south end of the Cornfield, Union
          artillery (from across creek) began falling short and caused the 6 WI plenty
          of casualties

          One part of the talk that I found interesting was his details on the
          deployment and advance of the Iron Brigade's skirmish line. The skirimish
          line was divided into two sections.He criticized the section that was
          commanded by a Captain Hoo (Scott pronounced it 'hoo' so my spelling is
          likely way off). He noted that this section failed to aggressively advance
          and it's poor performance stood out in comparison with the rest of the
          Brigade's men.

          The other skirmish section (under Captain Kellogg) did outstanding work.
          After the Cornfield fight and Hood's attack, the remnants of Iron Brigade
          rallied to the north. Kellogg pulled together a bunch of stragglers.
          Doubleday (division commander) rode up and asked what regiment this was.
          Kellogg replied that it was men of several regiments. When Doubleday
          commended what he assumed were men of Wisconsin; Kellogg corrected him and
          stated these are not Wisconsin men, as Wisconsin men never run.

          Scott noted the quality of men in the Iron Brigade can be seen in the
          extremely low number of men missing just four weeks after Antietam.

          Tom Shay
        • NJ Rebel
          Tom, Great post about Scott s talk. However, the time of when the Iron Brigade began advancing seems a little odd to me, particularly when most accounts state
          Message 4 of 7 , Feb 7, 2003
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            Tom,

            Great post about Scott's talk. However, the time of when the
            Iron Brigade began advancing seems a little odd to me,
            particularly when most accounts state the Federal advance
            began at first light, which would be between 5.30 and 6.00
            am.... South Mountain is the largest geographical block to
            the sun in the morning in that area, as you well know.

            Very respectfully,
            Your humble and obdt. servant,
            G. E. (Gerry) Mayers,
            Private,
            Nelson's Signal Company,
            Longstreet's Corps

            A Proud American by Birth, Southern by Choice!

            "I know of no fitter resting-place for a soldier than the
            field on which he has nobly laid down his
            ." --General Robert Edward Lee

            Explore some little known facts of the War of the Rebellion!
            The current feature may be found at
            http://www.us-civilwar.com/picketline.html
            To see earlier articles, kindly go to:
            http://www.us-civilwar.com/njrebel
          • rotbaron@aol.com
            In a message dated 02/07/2003 9:52:11 AM EST, gerry1952@fast.net writes:
            Message 5 of 7 , Feb 7, 2003
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              In a message dated 02/07/2003 9:52:11 AM EST, gerry1952@... writes:
              << However, the time of when the Iron Brigade began advancing seems a little
              odd to me, particularly when most accounts state the Federal advance
              began at first light, which would be between 5.30 and 6.00 am. >>

              Perhaps he meant that they began their hurried assembly into formation at
              that time and not necesarily took their first steps towards the south? Scott
              noted that when the troops encamped, they had no idea as to their surrounding
              geography. The troops were wet but so exhausted that many references comment
              on their deep sleep. Their early awakening was initiated by officers who were
              notified that Reb batteries were spotted on Nicodemus Hts and they were
              in-range.

              FYI..for the past 8+ years, I've parked at the Cornfield around 6 AM and
              walked along the pike to the North Woods to join the 7 AM anniversary hikes.
              I recall that one can see fairly well by 6:30 AM (if there is no fog), so
              wouldn't be 5:30 AM in 1862 timekeeping?

              Of course we all know that any time references to hours/minutes during battle
              are commonly inaccurate.

              Tom Shay
            • david lutton
              Tom, The time question aside. If I may, did Scott touch on Battery B s participation in the cornfield action? David Lutton Hollidaysburg Pa ... From:
              Message 6 of 7 , Feb 7, 2003
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                Tom,

                The time question aside. If I may, did Scott touch on Battery B's
                participation in the cornfield action?

                David Lutton
                Hollidaysburg Pa
                ----- Original Message -----
                From: <rotbaron@...>
                To: <TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com>
                Sent: Friday, February 07, 2003 10:17 AM
                Subject: Re: [TalkAntietam] Hartwig's talk on Iron Brigade


                > In a message dated 02/07/2003 9:52:11 AM EST, gerry1952@... writes:
                > << However, the time of when the Iron Brigade began advancing seems a
                little
                > odd to me, particularly when most accounts state the Federal advance
                > began at first light, which would be between 5.30 and 6.00 am. >>
                >
                > Perhaps he meant that they began their hurried assembly into formation at
                > that time and not necesarily took their first steps towards the south?
                Scott
                > noted that when the troops encamped, they had no idea as to their
                surrounding
                > geography. The troops were wet but so exhausted that many references
                comment
                > on their deep sleep. Their early awakening was initiated by officers who
                were
                > notified that Reb batteries were spotted on Nicodemus Hts and they were
                > in-range.
                >
                > FYI..for the past 8+ years, I've parked at the Cornfield around 6 AM and
                > walked along the pike to the North Woods to join the 7 AM anniversary
                hikes.
                > I recall that one can see fairly well by 6:30 AM (if there is no fog), so
                > wouldn't be 5:30 AM in 1862 timekeeping?
                >
                > Of course we all know that any time references to hours/minutes during
                battle
                > are commonly inaccurate.
                >
                > Tom Shay
                >
                >
                >
                >
                > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                >
                >
                >
              • rotbaron@aol.com
                In a message dated 2/7/03 8:05:47 PM Eastern Standard Time, ... David, Indeed, Scott did mention the battery, but nothing beyond the standard history as told
                Message 7 of 7 , Feb 7, 2003
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                  In a message dated 2/7/03 8:05:47 PM Eastern Standard Time,
                  dunkerch@... writes:
                  > If I may, did Scott touch on Battery B's participation in the cornfield
                  > action?

                  David,

                  Indeed, Scott did mention the battery, but nothing beyond the standard
                  history as told by Sears and other authors. He noted the battery deployed on
                  a rise near Miller Farm and then Stewart's section was ordered forward to the
                  next rise (to the astonishment of the gunners, as that spot was amid the
                  infantry firefight). The forward position is where the guns sit today. As the
                  Rebs approached the section, they began preparing to limber. Gibbon saw this
                  and ordered them to continue firing (he realized the Reb would shoot the
                  horses and their retreat was doomed). Scott recounted their use of
                  double-canister and Gibbon's adjusting of the gun (alas, no mention of
                  MOH-winnner Johnny Cook).

                  I'm sure you await Scott's book with as much eagerness as I do!

                  Tom Shay




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