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Re: Muster dates

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  • dean_essig
    Thanks Gerry! That jives with my notes, I m still curious how they managed to become respectfully drilled in so short of a period of time. Other regiments
    Message 1 of 10 , Jan 31, 2008
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      Thanks Gerry! That jives with my notes, I'm still curious how they managed to become
      respectfully drilled in so short of a period of time. Other regiments (with a few more days
      or a week or so) of extra time to prepare were woefully unprepared for battle (like the 13
      NJ).

      I must have run into a reference along the way that suggested they had a fine commander
      or other experienced officers and NCOs that were in a position to get them ready.

      I think I'll have to dig up their regimental history and see if I can figure out why.

      --- In TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com, "G E Mayers" <gerry1952@...> wrote:
      >
      > Dean,
      >
      > IIRC, and Bill can confirm, but the 17th Michigan was green in
      > the sense of never being in battle before. But they are drilled
      > fairly well for a rookie unit going into combat, as opposed to
      > many of the nine month units actually taking the field at
      > Antietam. The 13th NJ for example had not had chance to learn how
      > to load and fire until they actually did so under fire during the
      > battle. Ezra Carman, who was their colonel and wounded during the
      > action, is the same Ezra Carman who spent many years after the
      > War as the unofficial official historian of the battle and wrote
      > the famous manuscript Jake Pierro and Tom Clemens have,
      > independently, been working on.
      >
    • G E Mayers
      Dear Dean, Bill Christen, who is much more knowledgeable about the Seventeenth Michigan than myself, might be able to answer these new questions than I.
      Message 2 of 10 , Jan 31, 2008
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        Dear Dean,

        Bill Christen, who is much more knowledgeable about the
        Seventeenth Michigan than myself, might be able to answer these
        new questions than I.

        However, IIRC (and this is totally off the top of my head), the
        17th Michigan actually had been mustered in longer but had not
        yet been accepted, again IIRC, into Federal service. That lag
        afforded the officers of the regiment to spend the needed time in
        properly drilling the unit before their being called into active
        service.

        Again, Bill Christen will be the proper person to answer this
        question about the unit being able to take the field in a great
        manner and go into combat on September 14th at Fox's Gap. BTW,
        there is a market to the unit not far from the site of the Wise
        Cabin on South Mountain near Fox's Gap.

        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: "dean_essig" <dean_essig@...>
        To: <TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Thursday, January 31, 2008 10:19 PM
        Subject: [TalkAntietam] Re: Muster dates


        Thanks Gerry! That jives with my notes, I'm still curious how
        they managed to become
        respectfully drilled in so short of a period of time. Other
        regiments (with a few more days
        or a week or so) of extra time to prepare were woefully
        unprepared for battle (like the 13
        NJ).

        I must have run into a reference along the way that suggested
        they had a fine commander
        or other experienced officers and NCOs that were in a position to
        get them ready.

        I think I'll have to dig up their regimental history and see if I
        can figure out why.

        --- In TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com, "G E Mayers" <gerry1952@...>
        wrote:
        >
        > Dean,
        >
        > IIRC, and Bill can confirm, but the 17th Michigan was green in
        > the sense of never being in battle before. But they are drilled
        > fairly well for a rookie unit going into combat, as opposed to
        > many of the nine month units actually taking the field at
        > Antietam. The 13th NJ for example had not had chance to learn
        > how
        > to load and fire until they actually did so under fire during
        > the
        > battle. Ezra Carman, who was their colonel and wounded during
        > the
        > action, is the same Ezra Carman who spent many years after the
        > War as the unofficial official historian of the battle and
        > wrote
        > the famous manuscript Jake Pierro and Tom Clemens have,
        > independently, been working on.
        >
      • dean_essig
        17th Michigan... found it! Gallgher _The Antietam Campaign_ pg 156 The 17th commenced forming in late May 1862 and spent the summer drilling under Col. James
        Message 3 of 10 , Jan 31, 2008
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          17th Michigan... found it!

          Gallgher _The Antietam Campaign_ pg 156

          "The 17th commenced forming in late May 1862 and spent the summer drilling under Col.
          James E. Pittman, the state paymaster. Although not mustered into Federal service until
          August 21, the Michiganders should not be considered true rookies. Pittman's drill and
          discipline left the regiment in a "very credible condition." well prepared for the action on
          September 14 that highlighted the difference training made in combat effectiveness."

          The chapter "Volunteers of '62" was where I got a number of the regiments included in my
          list of "green" regiments. I'll go through it again and see if any of the mistaken ones are
          mentioned.
        • G E Mayers
          Dear Dean, I have that volume also. You might wish to check out the excellent essay on the Sunken Road fighting as many of the green units in the Second Corps
          Message 4 of 10 , Jan 31, 2008
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            Dear Dean,

            I have that volume also. You might wish to check out the
            excellent essay on the Sunken Road fighting as many of the green
            units in the Second Corps wound up involved in that nasty piece
            of work....

            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: "dean_essig" <dean_essig@...>
            To: <TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com>
            Sent: Thursday, January 31, 2008 10:38 PM
            Subject: [TalkAntietam] Re: Muster dates


            17th Michigan... found it!

            Gallgher _The Antietam Campaign_ pg 156

            "The 17th commenced forming in late May 1862 and spent the summer
            drilling under Col.
            James E. Pittman, the state paymaster. Although not mustered into
            Federal service until
            August 21, the Michiganders should not be considered true
            rookies. Pittman's drill and
            discipline left the regiment in a "very credible condition." well
            prepared for the action on
            September 14 that highlighted the difference training made in
            combat effectiveness."

            The chapter "Volunteers of '62" was where I got a number of the
            regiments included in my
            list of "green" regiments. I'll go through it again and see if
            any of the mistaken ones are
            mentioned.
          • dean_essig
            Yes, and the section on logistics was very helpful as well!
            Message 5 of 10 , Feb 1, 2008
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              Yes, and the section on logistics was very helpful as well!

              --- In TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com, "G E Mayers" <gerry1952@...> wrote:
              >
              > Dear Dean,
              >
              > I have that volume also. You might wish to check out the
              > excellent essay on the Sunken Road fighting as many of the green
              > units in the Second Corps wound up involved in that nasty piece
              > of work....
            • Bill and Glenna Jo Christen
              Posted by: dean_essig dean_essig@yahoo.com dean_essig Gallagher cites Ida V. Brown Michigan in the Civil War as the source for the drilling information. I
              Message 6 of 10 , Feb 2, 2008
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                Posted by: "dean_essig" dean_essig@... dean_essig

                Gallagher cites Ida V. Brown Michigan in the Civil War as the source for the drilling
                information.

                I take it you are arguing that they should fall into my "green" category (along with the
                other limited service time regiments)? I rather wish they had more service at Antietam to
                add to their good performance at South Mountain to make the evaluation clearer.
                Dean,

                Brown's Michigan Men in the Civil War was first published in 1959 as a bulletin of the University of Michigan's Historical Collections. Miss Brown was the archivist. It was updated again in 1977. It is a descriptive index to over 500 collections of letters, diaries or other material related to Michigan during the Civil War, which can be found at UM's Bentley Library in Ann Arbor. There are over thirty collections that pertain to the Seventeenth Michigan. I have read them all and would have to dig through my files to find out the exact quote, but I do not recall one off hand. I am, as it happens, preparing a talk for later this summer on the first six months in the life of the regiment and the fighting at South Mountain.

                There is a passage in Michigan in the War compiled by Michigan Adjutant General. John Robertson in 1882:
                "The organization of the regiment commenced under the direction of Colonel James E. Pitman, then State Paymaster, whose excellent drill and discipline enabled the regiment to leave for the front in a very creditable condition" [1]

                [1] John Robertson, comp., Michigan in the War (Lansing: State of Michigan, 1882), 374.
                By the end of July 1862, only 500 recruits for the regiment had arrived at the Detroit Barracks. Colonel Withington did not take command until 11 August. Uniforms and equipment were not issued until four days before the regiment left Detroit on 27 August 1862. There is no record that any target practice occurred before the regiment left for Washington, D.C. or during the week the regiment was at Fort Baker before being ordered to join the Ninth Army Corps. They were cutting wood.

                I would agree that the regiment was schooled in military drill, but it had little experience with their weapons (mostly Lorenz rifle-muskets).

                The score card:
                South Mountain: 27 killed, 114 wounded (Company A was detached and remained in Frederick--returned to the regiment by 16 September). The regiment was steady under fire, made a charge in the afternoon, helping to rout Drayton South Carolina Brigade.
                Antietam: 18 killed, 87 wounded . The regiment was steady under fire at the Sherrick farm and then participated in a charge towards Sharpsburg near the Rohrbach Mill (below and south of the National Cemetery today) late in the afternoon. There is an unconfirmed story that a Confederate regiment was waving what appeared to be the US National Colors and the Seventeenth's movements was not a charge but a plain advance.

                I estimate the strength of the unit was around 750 on 14 September (Company A detached, sick left behind and a few stragglers and deserters). The leadership (field & staff and company officers) was a factor in overcoming the lack of experience. Ironically, at Spotsylvania (May 1864), this same battle-tested regiment (of no more than 250 men at the time), would suffer a severe loss and have its colors captured along with nearly half of it soldiers. Here too, the leadership would play a roll (Withington had resigned in March 1863 and the colonel in May 1864, Constance Luce did not have the same leadership rating or approval of the men. The lieutenant colonel, Frederick Swift (a captain at South Mountain and Antietam), under Luce was later awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions at Campbell's Station, Tennessee. But of course this was beyond the timeframe of your game.

                Bill

                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • dean_essig
                Bill, That settles it with some authority, especially the material about the lack of training their arms before the battle. Good unit, not yet trained. FWIW,
                Message 7 of 10 , Feb 2, 2008
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                  Bill,

                  That settles it with some authority, especially the material about the lack of training their
                  arms before the battle. Good unit, not yet trained.

                  FWIW, the park's files give the regiment 525 men at Antietam, the marker at South
                  Mountain says they had 500 there (before the losses).

                  Dean

                  --- In TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com, "Bill and Glenna Jo Christen" <gwjchris@...>
                  wrote:
                  >
                  > Posted by: "dean_essig" dean_essig@... dean_essig
                  >
                  > Gallagher cites Ida V. Brown Michigan in the Civil War as the source for the drilling
                  > information.
                  >
                  > I take it you are arguing that they should fall into my "green" category (along with the
                  > other limited service time regiments)? I rather wish they had more service at Antietam to
                  > add to their good performance at South Mountain to make the evaluation clearer.
                  > Dean,
                  >
                  > Brown's Michigan Men in the Civil War was first published in 1959 as a bulletin of the
                  University of Michigan's Historical Collections. Miss Brown was the archivist. It was
                  updated again in 1977. It is a descriptive index to over 500 collections of letters, diaries
                  or other material related to Michigan during the Civil War, which can be found at UM's
                  Bentley Library in Ann Arbor. There are over thirty collections that pertain to the
                  Seventeenth Michigan. I have read them all and would have to dig through my files to find
                  out the exact quote, but I do not recall one off hand. I am, as it happens, preparing a talk
                  for later this summer on the first six months in the life of the regiment and the fighting at
                  South Mountain.
                  >
                  > There is a passage in Michigan in the War compiled by Michigan Adjutant General. John
                  Robertson in 1882:
                  > "The organization of the regiment commenced under the direction of Colonel James E.
                  Pitman, then State Paymaster, whose excellent drill and discipline enabled the regiment to
                  leave for the front in a very creditable condition" [1]
                  >
                  > [1] John Robertson, comp., Michigan in the War (Lansing: State of Michigan, 1882), 374.
                  > By the end of July 1862, only 500 recruits for the regiment had arrived at the Detroit
                  Barracks. Colonel Withington did not take command until 11 August. Uniforms and
                  equipment were not issued until four days before the regiment left Detroit on 27 August
                  1862. There is no record that any target practice occurred before the regiment left for
                  Washington, D.C. or during the week the regiment was at Fort Baker before being ordered
                  to join the Ninth Army Corps. They were cutting wood.
                  >
                  > I would agree that the regiment was schooled in military drill, but it had little
                  experience with their weapons (mostly Lorenz rifle-muskets).
                  >
                  > The score card:
                  > South Mountain: 27 killed, 114 wounded (Company A was detached and remained in
                  Frederick--returned to the regiment by 16 September). The regiment was steady under
                  fire, made a charge in the afternoon, helping to rout Drayton South Carolina Brigade.
                  > Antietam: 18 killed, 87 wounded . The regiment was steady under fire at the Sherrick
                  farm and then participated in a charge towards Sharpsburg near the Rohrbach Mill (below
                  and south of the National Cemetery today) late in the afternoon. There is an unconfirmed
                  story that a Confederate regiment was waving what appeared to be the US National Colors
                  and the Seventeenth's movements was not a charge but a plain advance.
                  >
                  > I estimate the strength of the unit was around 750 on 14 September (Company A
                  detached, sick left behind and a few stragglers and deserters). The leadership (field & staff
                  and company officers) was a factor in overcoming the lack of experience. Ironically, at
                  Spotsylvania (May 1864), this same battle-tested regiment (of no more than 250 men at
                  the time), would suffer a severe loss and have its colors captured along with nearly half of
                  it soldiers. Here too, the leadership would play a roll (Withington had resigned in March
                  1863 and the colonel in May 1864, Constance Luce did not have the same leadership
                  rating or approval of the men. The lieutenant colonel, Frederick Swift (a captain at South
                  Mountain and Antietam), under Luce was later awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions
                  at Campbell's Station, Tennessee. But of course this was beyond the timeframe of your
                  game.
                  >
                  > Bill
                  >
                  > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  >
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