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Re: [TalkAntietam] Re: Muster dates

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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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