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Re: [TalkAntietam] Longstreet's cannon crew--fact or fiction?

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  • G E Mayers
    Dear Larry, I skimmed through the account and will read it more closely at another time. However, if I might comment... 1. Confederate Veteran had a bad habit
    Message 1 of 7 , May 11 6:24 PM
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      Dear Larry,

      I skimmed through the account and will read it more closely at
      another time. However, if I might comment...

      1. Confederate Veteran had a bad habit of taking whatever any
      veteran wrote, without insisting on checking the facts. Thus,
      some rather wild tales have been told by veterans years after the
      fact. Remember the old story about how the passage of years
      improves one's "memory"?

      2. I believe it is fairly well established that the "Battery
      Longstreet" incident did indeed happen and that it happened in
      the area of the Piper Farm Orchard somewhere near the Piper Farm
      Lane, and most likely somewhere near the farmstead or at least
      between the farmstead and the Hagerstown Turnpike. (Sorrel
      mentions it in his memoirs as do other sources not directly
      connected with Longstreet's staff.)

      3. Regarding that abandoned brass piece, Priest mentions it in
      his Antietam book. IIRC it was Lt Ham Chamberlayne who wrote
      about the experience of firing that abandoned brass piece down
      the Piper Lane at the Federals; the brass piece had been found
      near the Hagerstown Pike. In any case Longstreet would not have
      been pulling the lanyard of an artillery piece!

      Hope this helps!



      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: "eighth_conn_inf" <eighth_conn_inf@...>
      To: <TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Monday, May 11, 2009 5:43 PM
      Subject: [TalkAntietam] Longstreet's cannon crew--fact or
      fiction?


      Probably most of us agree that Longstreet's famous cannon crew
      fired from near the Hagerstown Pike. But has it been settled that
      he and his staff did crew a cannon? I thought so until I ran
      across the following in the "Confederate Veteran:"

      246 Confederate Veteran August 1893.

      REMINISCENCES ABOUT SHARPSBURG.

      "Many errors drop into history by inadvertence and imperfect
      knowledge of facts. In reading an account of the battle of
      Sharpsburg by a Virginian, I find he is in error. In speaking of
      the great danger that at one time threatened General Lee's
      center, which was held by Gen. D. H. Hill, he states the
      withdrawal of General Rhode's brigade made a great gap through
      which the enemy rushed in great numbers, and to check them
      General Hill led a squad of stragglers in person, and General
      Longstreet was seen working a piece of artillery on the field to
      save the day. I was in this engagement at that point with General
      Anderson's brigade of North Carolinians and did not see any
      troops withdrawn, but I did see that the right and left of our
      division were swept away by the deadly fire centered upon us, our
      General was wounded and taken from the field, all our field
      officers killed or wounded with the exception of Col. R. Tyler
      Bennett of the 14th .North Carolina, who was in command of the
      remnant of our brigade at that time of the battle. His regiment
      had the good fortune to come into line in the " bloody lane,"
      which was a depressed road. Two regiments, 14th and 4th North
      Carolina, occupied this lane and found it, comparatively, a safe
      place to fight from, and the enemy in our front were unable to
      dislodge us. Federal lines of great strength had been pressed
      upon us from the first of the engagement until after midday and
      were repulsed by our deadly fire. We were just getting ready to
      receive three heavy lines in our front, when an officer from the
      right came to us in great haste and informed our Colonel that we
      were flanked at that point, and called our attention to a column
      coming perpendicular to our rear. Then Col. Bennett ordered us to
      fall back, which was done under a murderous fire from front and
      flank. When I reached the pike leading from the " burg" to
      Hagerstown, I found only four of our regiment together, Sergt. P.
      D, Weaver, Lieutenant Hanny, Colonel Bennett and myself, but
      quite a number of stragglers behind a rock fence along the pike.
      At this point a brass piece left by the road, which these four
      officers, with what help they could get from the stragglers,
      pulled to the top of the hill and loaded it, which they had just
      accomplished as a soldier rode up and inquired what they were
      trying to do. He was informed in a few words that they wished to
      fire the gun at the advancing line, then in a short distance of
      them. The soldier jumped from his saddle and fired the gun,
      throwing the shot into the enemy's front line, which caused them.
      to halt and lie down at once. This unexpected shot, I think,
      created the impression that we had a masked battery behind the
      rock fence. We fired three shots at them before their
      sharpshooters drove us from the gun. This delay gave General Hill
      time to get his reserve artillery on points behind us, which
      opened with great vigor on the enemy. It was then that General
      Hill rode forward to us and ordered us to get the stragglers into
      line in front of the rock fence, and headed us in person to a
      charge on the enemy in our front, who delivered a galling fire
      which sent us to the rear in great disorder, but our troops
      rallied later, recaptured a portion of our original line and held
      it until night came and closed the battle of Sharpsburg. I did
      not see General Longstreet pulling and firing a cannon on the
      field, but remember that the soldier who helped us fire the gun
      told us he belonged to Longstreet's staff. General Longstreet had
      all he could do to look after his own line, which was being
      heavily pressed in front, and Jackson on our left was fighting
      overwhelming numbers. This was the turning point of the battle
      and firing of that deserted brass piece saved General Lee's army
      from being cut in two, with Longstreet to the right and Jackson.
      to the left and D. H. Hill pressed into the river.

      Salisbury, N. C. July 18, 1893."

      I also recently ran across an article by D.B. Rea of the First
      North Carolina Cavalry "Cavalry Incidents of Maryland Campaign"
      from the January 1895 Maine Bugle which describes the Quebec
      School House fight in a totally different way from others I have
      read. This account is more than just a different perspective so
      it will be interesting to square it with Pickerill's detailed
      telling from the Union perspective.

      Larry
    • Thomas Clemens
      Larry, Wm. Owen s In Camp & Battle with the Washington Artillery says it happened, see the Sharpsburg chapter. Owen is usually regarded as reliable.
      Message 2 of 7 , May 11 6:32 PM
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        Larry,
        Wm. Owen's In Camp & Battle with the Washington Artillery says it happened, see the Sharpsburg chapter. Owen is usually regarded as reliable. Longstreet mentioned it in his memoir, p. 250, so I'd be loathe to discard it based solely on a CV article. Reading both accounts they may not be mutually exclusive.
        I'd like to see the Quebec School House account.


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


        >>> "eighth_conn_inf" <eighth_conn_inf@...> 05/11/09 5:43 PM >>>
        Probably most of us agree that Longstreet's famous cannon crew fired from near the Hagerstown Pike. But has it been settled that he and his staff did crew a cannon? I thought so until I ran across the following in the "Confederate Veteran:"

        246 Confederate Veteran August 1893.

        REMINISCENCES ABOUT SHARPSBURG.

        "Many errors drop into history by inadvertence and imperfect knowledge of facts. In reading an account of the battle of Sharpsburg by a Virginian, I find he is in error. In speaking of the great danger that at one time threatened General Lee's center, which was held by Gen. D. H. Hill, he states the withdrawal of General Rhode's brigade made a great gap through which the enemy rushed in great numbers, and to check them General Hill led a squad of stragglers in person, and General Longstreet was seen working a piece of artillery on the field to save the day. I was in this engagement at that point with General Anderson's brigade of North Carolinians and did not see any troops withdrawn, but I did see that the right and left of our division were swept away by the deadly fire centered upon us, our General was wounded and taken from the field, all our field officers killed or wounded with the exception of Col. R. Tyler Bennett of the 14th .North Carolina, who was in command of the remnant of our brigade at that time of the battle. His regiment had the good fortune to come into line in the " bloody lane," which was a depressed road. Two regiments, 14th and 4th North Carolina, occupied this lane and found it, comparatively, a safe place to fight from, and the enemy in our front were unable to dislodge us. Federal lines of great strength had been pressed upon us from the first of the engagement until after midday and were repulsed by our deadly fire. We were just getting ready to receive three heavy lines in our front, when an officer from the right came to us in great haste and informed our Colonel that we were flanked at that point, and called our attention to a column coming perpendicular to our rear. Then Col. Bennett ordered us to fall back, which was done under a murderous fire from front and flank. When I reached the pike leading from the " burg" to Hagerstown, I found only four of our regiment together, Sergt. P. D, Weaver, Lieutenant Hanny, Colonel Bennett and myself, but quite a number of stragglers behind a rock fence along the pike. At this point a brass piece left by the road, which these four officers, with what help they could get from the stragglers, pulled to the top of the hill and loaded it, which they had just accomplished as a soldier rode up and inquired what they were trying to do. He was informed in a few words that they wished to fire the gun at the advancing line, then in a short distance of them. The soldier jumped from his saddle and fired the gun, throwing the shot into the enemy's front line, which caused them. to halt and lie down at once. This unexpected shot, I think, created the impression that we had a masked battery behind the rock fence. We fired three shots at them before their sharpshooters drove us from the gun. This delay gave General Hill time to get his reserve artillery on points behind us, which opened with great vigor on the enemy. It was then that General Hill rode forward to us and ordered us to get the stragglers into line in front of the rock fence, and headed us in person to a charge on the enemy in our front, who delivered a galling fire which sent us to the rear in great disorder, but our troops rallied later, recaptured a portion of our original line and held it until night came and closed the battle of Sharpsburg. I did not see General Longstreet pulling and firing a cannon on the field, but remember that the soldier who helped us fire the gun told us he belonged to Longstreet's staff. General Longstreet had all he could do to look after his own line, which was being heavily pressed in front, and Jackson on our left was fighting overwhelming numbers. This was the turning point of the battle and firing of that deserted brass piece saved General Lee's army from being cut in two, with Longstreet to the right and Jackson. to the left and D. H. Hill pressed into the river.

        Salisbury, N. C. July 18, 1893."

        I also recently ran across an article by D.B. Rea of the First North Carolina Cavalry "Cavalry Incidents of Maryland Campaign" from the January 1895 Maine Bugle which describes the Quebec School House fight in a totally different way from others I have read. This account is more than just a different perspective so it will be interesting to square it with Pickerill's detailed telling from the Union perspective.

        Larry
      • richard@rcroker.com
        For what it s worth, I used Owen extensively in researching No Greater Courage because the historians at the F Berg park recommended it so highly. ... From:
        Message 3 of 7 , May 11 8:37 PM
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          For what it's worth, I used Owen extensively in researching "No Greater Courage" because the historians at the F'Berg park recommended it so highly.


          ----- Original Message -----
          From: Thomas Clemens
          To: TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com
          Sent: Monday, May 11, 2009 9:32 PM
          Subject: Re: [TalkAntietam] Longstreet's cannon crew--fact or fiction?





          Larry,
          Wm. Owen's In Camp & Battle with the Washington Artillery says it happened, see the Sharpsburg chapter. Owen is usually regarded as reliable. Longstreet mentioned it in his memoir, p. 250, so I'd be loathe to discard it based solely on a CV article. Reading both accounts they may not be mutually exclusive.
          I'd like to see the Quebec School House account.

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

          >>> "eighth_conn_inf" <eighth_conn_inf@...> 05/11/09 5:43 PM >>>
          Probably most of us agree that Longstreet's famous cannon crew fired from near the Hagerstown Pike. But has it been settled that he and his staff did crew a cannon? I thought so until I ran across the following in the "Confederate Veteran:"

          246 Confederate Veteran August 1893.

          REMINISCENCES ABOUT SHARPSBURG.

          "Many errors drop into history by inadvertence and imperfect knowledge of facts. In reading an account of the battle of Sharpsburg by a Virginian, I find he is in error. In speaking of the great danger that at one time threatened General Lee's center, which was held by Gen. D. H. Hill, he states the withdrawal of General Rhode's brigade made a great gap through which the enemy rushed in great numbers, and to check them General Hill led a squad of stragglers in person, and General Longstreet was seen working a piece of artillery on the field to save the day. I was in this engagement at that point with General Anderson's brigade of North Carolinians and did not see any troops withdrawn, but I did see that the right and left of our division were swept away by the deadly fire centered upon us, our General was wounded and taken from the field, all our field officers killed or wounded with the exception of Col. R. Tyler Bennett of the 14th .North Carolina, who was in command of the remnant of our brigade at that time of the battle. His regiment had the good fortune to come into line in the " bloody lane," which was a depressed road. Two regiments, 14th and 4th North Carolina, occupied this lane and found it, comparatively, a safe place to fight from, and the enemy in our front were unable to dislodge us. Federal lines of great strength had been pressed upon us from the first of the engagement until after midday and were repulsed by our deadly fire. We were just getting ready to receive three heavy lines in our front, when an officer from the right came to us in great haste and informed our Colonel that we were flanked at that point, and called our attention to a column coming perpendicular to our rear. Then Col. Bennett ordered us to fall back, which was done under a murderous fire from front and flank. When I reached the pike leading from the " burg" to Hagerstown, I found only four of our regiment together, Sergt. P. D, Weaver, Lieutenant Hanny, Colonel Bennett and myself, but quite a number of stragglers behind a rock fence along the pike. At this point a brass piece left by the road, which these four officers, with what help they could get from the stragglers, pulled to the top of the hill and loaded it, which they had just accomplished as a soldier rode up and inquired what they were trying to do. He was informed in a few words that they wished to fire the gun at the advancing line, then in a short distance of them. The soldier jumped from his saddle and fired the gun, throwing the shot into the enemy's front line, which caused them. to halt and lie down at once. This unexpected shot, I think, created the impression that we had a masked battery behind the rock fence. We fired three shots at them before their sharpshooters drove us from the gun. This delay gave General Hill time to get his reserve artillery on points behind us, which opened with great vigor on the enemy. It was then that General Hill rode forward to us and ordered us to get the stragglers into line in front of the rock fence, and headed us in person to a charge on the enemy in our front, who delivered a galling fire which sent us to the rear in great disorder, but our troops rallied later, recaptured a portion of our original line and held it until night came and closed the battle of Sharpsburg. I did not see General Longstreet pulling and firing a cannon on the field, but remember that the soldier who helped us fire the gun told us he belonged to Longstreet's staff. General Longstreet had all he could do to look after his own line, which was being heavily pressed in front, and Jackson on our left was fighting overwhelming numbers. This was the turning point of the battle and firing of that deserted brass piece saved General Lee's army from being cut in two, with Longstreet to the right and Jackson. to the left and D. H. Hill pressed into the river.

          Salisbury, N. C. July 18, 1893."

          I also recently ran across an article by D.B. Rea of the First North Carolina Cavalry "Cavalry Incidents of Maryland Campaign" from the January 1895 Maine Bugle which describes the Quebec School House fight in a totally different way from others I have read. This account is more than just a different perspective so it will be interesting to square it with Pickerill's detailed telling from the Union perspective.

          Larry





          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • richard@rcroker.com
          And also -- Ted Alexander read my manuscript (this has been years ago) for To Make Men Free and made no changes to the Longstreet Battery section. ... From:
          Message 4 of 7 , May 11 8:39 PM
          • 0 Attachment
            And also -- Ted Alexander read my manuscript (this has been years ago) for "To Make Men Free" and made no changes to the Longstreet Battery section.
            ----- Original Message -----
            From: G E Mayers
            To: TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com
            Sent: Monday, May 11, 2009 9:24 PM
            Subject: Re: [TalkAntietam] Longstreet's cannon crew--fact or fiction?





            Dear Larry,

            I skimmed through the account and will read it more closely at
            another time. However, if I might comment...

            1. Confederate Veteran had a bad habit of taking whatever any
            veteran wrote, without insisting on checking the facts. Thus,
            some rather wild tales have been told by veterans years after the
            fact. Remember the old story about how the passage of years
            improves one's "memory"?

            2. I believe it is fairly well established that the "Battery
            Longstreet" incident did indeed happen and that it happened in
            the area of the Piper Farm Orchard somewhere near the Piper Farm
            Lane, and most likely somewhere near the farmstead or at least
            between the farmstead and the Hagerstown Turnpike. (Sorrel
            mentions it in his memoirs as do other sources not directly
            connected with Longstreet's staff.)

            3. Regarding that abandoned brass piece, Priest mentions it in
            his Antietam book. IIRC it was Lt Ham Chamberlayne who wrote
            about the experience of firing that abandoned brass piece down
            the Piper Lane at the Federals; the brass piece had been found
            near the Hagerstown Pike. In any case Longstreet would not have
            been pulling the lanyard of an artillery piece!

            Hope this helps!

            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: "eighth_conn_inf" <eighth_conn_inf@...>
            To: <TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com>
            Sent: Monday, May 11, 2009 5:43 PM
            Subject: [TalkAntietam] Longstreet's cannon crew--fact or
            fiction?

            Probably most of us agree that Longstreet's famous cannon crew
            fired from near the Hagerstown Pike. But has it been settled that
            he and his staff did crew a cannon? I thought so until I ran
            across the following in the "Confederate Veteran:"

            246 Confederate Veteran August 1893.

            REMINISCENCES ABOUT SHARPSBURG.

            "Many errors drop into history by inadvertence and imperfect
            knowledge of facts. In reading an account of the battle of
            Sharpsburg by a Virginian, I find he is in error. In speaking of
            the great danger that at one time threatened General Lee's
            center, which was held by Gen. D. H. Hill, he states the
            withdrawal of General Rhode's brigade made a great gap through
            which the enemy rushed in great numbers, and to check them
            General Hill led a squad of stragglers in person, and General
            Longstreet was seen working a piece of artillery on the field to
            save the day. I was in this engagement at that point with General
            Anderson's brigade of North Carolinians and did not see any
            troops withdrawn, but I did see that the right and left of our
            division were swept away by the deadly fire centered upon us, our
            General was wounded and taken from the field, all our field
            officers killed or wounded with the exception of Col. R. Tyler
            Bennett of the 14th .North Carolina, who was in command of the
            remnant of our brigade at that time of the battle. His regiment
            had the good fortune to come into line in the " bloody lane,"
            which was a depressed road. Two regiments, 14th and 4th North
            Carolina, occupied this lane and found it, comparatively, a safe
            place to fight from, and the enemy in our front were unable to
            dislodge us. Federal lines of great strength had been pressed
            upon us from the first of the engagement until after midday and
            were repulsed by our deadly fire. We were just getting ready to
            receive three heavy lines in our front, when an officer from the
            right came to us in great haste and informed our Colonel that we
            were flanked at that point, and called our attention to a column
            coming perpendicular to our rear. Then Col. Bennett ordered us to
            fall back, which was done under a murderous fire from front and
            flank. When I reached the pike leading from the " burg" to
            Hagerstown, I found only four of our regiment together, Sergt. P.
            D, Weaver, Lieutenant Hanny, Colonel Bennett and myself, but
            quite a number of stragglers behind a rock fence along the pike.
            At this point a brass piece left by the road, which these four
            officers, with what help they could get from the stragglers,
            pulled to the top of the hill and loaded it, which they had just
            accomplished as a soldier rode up and inquired what they were
            trying to do. He was informed in a few words that they wished to
            fire the gun at the advancing line, then in a short distance of
            them. The soldier jumped from his saddle and fired the gun,
            throwing the shot into the enemy's front line, which caused them.
            to halt and lie down at once. This unexpected shot, I think,
            created the impression that we had a masked battery behind the
            rock fence. We fired three shots at them before their
            sharpshooters drove us from the gun. This delay gave General Hill
            time to get his reserve artillery on points behind us, which
            opened with great vigor on the enemy. It was then that General
            Hill rode forward to us and ordered us to get the stragglers into
            line in front of the rock fence, and headed us in person to a
            charge on the enemy in our front, who delivered a galling fire
            which sent us to the rear in great disorder, but our troops
            rallied later, recaptured a portion of our original line and held
            it until night came and closed the battle of Sharpsburg. I did
            not see General Longstreet pulling and firing a cannon on the
            field, but remember that the soldier who helped us fire the gun
            told us he belonged to Longstreet's staff. General Longstreet had
            all he could do to look after his own line, which was being
            heavily pressed in front, and Jackson on our left was fighting
            overwhelming numbers. This was the turning point of the battle
            and firing of that deserted brass piece saved General Lee's army
            from being cut in two, with Longstreet to the right and Jackson.
            to the left and D. H. Hill pressed into the river.

            Salisbury, N. C. July 18, 1893."

            I also recently ran across an article by D.B. Rea of the First
            North Carolina Cavalry "Cavalry Incidents of Maryland Campaign"
            from the January 1895 Maine Bugle which describes the Quebec
            School House fight in a totally different way from others I have
            read. This account is more than just a different perspective so
            it will be interesting to square it with Pickerill's detailed
            telling from the Union perspective.

            Larry





            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • eighth_conn_inf
            All--thanks for the input. I wonder if the post war Lost Cause anti-Longstreet bias had something to do with the report along with the usual poor memory of the
            Message 5 of 7 , May 12 4:42 AM
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              All--thanks for the input. I wonder if the post war Lost Cause anti-Longstreet bias had something to do with the report along with the usual poor memory of the writer or the "axe to grind" mentality?

              Tom: here is a link to the Google Books campaign 2 of the Maine Bugle; if it doesn't work, I can e-mail you a Word document with the article in plain text vice PDF; the schoolhouse fight starts on page 121:

              http://books.google.com/books?id=XfVYAAAAMAAJ&dq=maine+bugle&printsec=frontcover&source=bl&ots=hruGUjWbXe&sig=LYlZggYvEfgGvAPCGbXmNTBgiBU&hl=en&ei=aFoJSvHYHIKItgfNk5HtCw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1#PPA121,M1

              There is an account in SHSP, vol. 25, page 148, "The Charge at Burkitsville" in an article "The Beau Sabreur of Georgia" which also says that Hampton participated in the fight. It is interesting that Pickerill in his 1898 newspaper article didn't know about the earlier SHSP and Bugle articles.

              Larry

              --- In TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com, <richard@...> wrote:
              >
              > And also -- Ted Alexander read my manuscript (this has been years ago) for "To Make Men Free" and made no changes to the Longstreet Battery section.
              > ----- Original Message -----
              > From: G E Mayers
              > To: TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com
              > Sent: Monday, May 11, 2009 9:24 PM
              > Subject: Re: [TalkAntietam] Longstreet's cannon crew--fact or fiction?
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > Dear Larry,
              >
              > I skimmed through the account and will read it more closely at
              > another time. However, if I might comment...
              >
              > 1. Confederate Veteran had a bad habit of taking whatever any
              > veteran wrote, without insisting on checking the facts. Thus,
              > some rather wild tales have been told by veterans years after the
              > fact. Remember the old story about how the passage of years
              > improves one's "memory"?
              >
              > 2. I believe it is fairly well established that the "Battery
              > Longstreet" incident did indeed happen and that it happened in
              > the area of the Piper Farm Orchard somewhere near the Piper Farm
              > Lane, and most likely somewhere near the farmstead or at least
              > between the farmstead and the Hagerstown Turnpike. (Sorrel
              > mentions it in his memoirs as do other sources not directly
              > connected with Longstreet's staff.)
              >
              > 3. Regarding that abandoned brass piece, Priest mentions it in
              > his Antietam book. IIRC it was Lt Ham Chamberlayne who wrote
              > about the experience of firing that abandoned brass piece down
              > the Piper Lane at the Federals; the brass piece had been found
              > near the Hagerstown Pike. In any case Longstreet would not have
              > been pulling the lanyard of an artillery piece!
              >
              > Hope this helps!
              >
              > 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: "eighth_conn_inf" <eighth_conn_inf@...>
              > To: <TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com>
              > Sent: Monday, May 11, 2009 5:43 PM
              > Subject: [TalkAntietam] Longstreet's cannon crew--fact or
              > fiction?
              >
              > Probably most of us agree that Longstreet's famous cannon crew
              > fired from near the Hagerstown Pike. But has it been settled that
              > he and his staff did crew a cannon? I thought so until I ran
              > across the following in the "Confederate Veteran:"
              >
              > 246 Confederate Veteran August 1893.
              >
              > REMINISCENCES ABOUT SHARPSBURG.
              >
              > "Many errors drop into history by inadvertence and imperfect
              > knowledge of facts. In reading an account of the battle of
              > Sharpsburg by a Virginian, I find he is in error. In speaking of
              > the great danger that at one time threatened General Lee's
              > center, which was held by Gen. D. H. Hill, he states the
              > withdrawal of General Rhode's brigade made a great gap through
              > which the enemy rushed in great numbers, and to check them
              > General Hill led a squad of stragglers in person, and General
              > Longstreet was seen working a piece of artillery on the field to
              > save the day. I was in this engagement at that point with General
              > Anderson's brigade of North Carolinians and did not see any
              > troops withdrawn, but I did see that the right and left of our
              > division were swept away by the deadly fire centered upon us, our
              > General was wounded and taken from the field, all our field
              > officers killed or wounded with the exception of Col. R. Tyler
              > Bennett of the 14th .North Carolina, who was in command of the
              > remnant of our brigade at that time of the battle. His regiment
              > had the good fortune to come into line in the " bloody lane,"
              > which was a depressed road. Two regiments, 14th and 4th North
              > Carolina, occupied this lane and found it, comparatively, a safe
              > place to fight from, and the enemy in our front were unable to
              > dislodge us. Federal lines of great strength had been pressed
              > upon us from the first of the engagement until after midday and
              > were repulsed by our deadly fire. We were just getting ready to
              > receive three heavy lines in our front, when an officer from the
              > right came to us in great haste and informed our Colonel that we
              > were flanked at that point, and called our attention to a column
              > coming perpendicular to our rear. Then Col. Bennett ordered us to
              > fall back, which was done under a murderous fire from front and
              > flank. When I reached the pike leading from the " burg" to
              > Hagerstown, I found only four of our regiment together, Sergt. P.
              > D, Weaver, Lieutenant Hanny, Colonel Bennett and myself, but
              > quite a number of stragglers behind a rock fence along the pike.
              > At this point a brass piece left by the road, which these four
              > officers, with what help they could get from the stragglers,
              > pulled to the top of the hill and loaded it, which they had just
              > accomplished as a soldier rode up and inquired what they were
              > trying to do. He was informed in a few words that they wished to
              > fire the gun at the advancing line, then in a short distance of
              > them. The soldier jumped from his saddle and fired the gun,
              > throwing the shot into the enemy's front line, which caused them.
              > to halt and lie down at once. This unexpected shot, I think,
              > created the impression that we had a masked battery behind the
              > rock fence. We fired three shots at them before their
              > sharpshooters drove us from the gun. This delay gave General Hill
              > time to get his reserve artillery on points behind us, which
              > opened with great vigor on the enemy. It was then that General
              > Hill rode forward to us and ordered us to get the stragglers into
              > line in front of the rock fence, and headed us in person to a
              > charge on the enemy in our front, who delivered a galling fire
              > which sent us to the rear in great disorder, but our troops
              > rallied later, recaptured a portion of our original line and held
              > it until night came and closed the battle of Sharpsburg. I did
              > not see General Longstreet pulling and firing a cannon on the
              > field, but remember that the soldier who helped us fire the gun
              > told us he belonged to Longstreet's staff. General Longstreet had
              > all he could do to look after his own line, which was being
              > heavily pressed in front, and Jackson on our left was fighting
              > overwhelming numbers. This was the turning point of the battle
              > and firing of that deserted brass piece saved General Lee's army
              > from being cut in two, with Longstreet to the right and Jackson.
              > to the left and D. H. Hill pressed into the river.
              >
              > Salisbury, N. C. July 18, 1893."
              >
              > I also recently ran across an article by D.B. Rea of the First
              > North Carolina Cavalry "Cavalry Incidents of Maryland Campaign"
              > from the January 1895 Maine Bugle which describes the Quebec
              > School House fight in a totally different way from others I have
              > read. This account is more than just a different perspective so
              > it will be interesting to square it with Pickerill's detailed
              > telling from the Union perspective.
              >
              > Larry
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              >
            • eighth_conn_inf
              Found a reply in a CV 1894 magagine re Longstreet s battery: THE CRISIS AT SHARPSBURG . A correspondent from Salisbury, N. C., gives some interesting
              Message 6 of 7 , May 19 6:22 AM
              • 0 Attachment
                Found a reply in a CV 1894 magagine re Longstreet's battery:

                "THE CRISIS AT SHARPSBURG .

                A correspondent from Salisbury, N. C., gives some interesting reminiscences of the battle of Sharpsburg, and corrects an error in the VETERAN for August, 1893 [in part by quoting Longstreet]:

                The timely use of the deserted brass piece by four officers of Longstreet's staff, instead of the Fourteenth North Carolina Regiment, saved Gen. Lee's army from being cut in two, with Longstreet to the right, Jackson to the loft, and D. H. Hill pressed into the river. Gen. Longstreet sustains him in this part of his official report: "As I rode along the line with my staff, I saw two pieces of Washington artillery (Miller's battery), but there were not enough men to man them, the gunners had been either killed or wounded. This was a fearful situation for the Confederate center. I put my staff officers to the guns, while I held the horses. It was easy to see that if the Federals broke through our line there, the Confederate army would be cut in two and probably destroyed, for we were already badly whipped and were only holding our ground by sheer force of desperation." That little battery shot harder and faster, with a sort of human energy, as though it realized that it was to hold the thousands of Federals at bay, or the battle would be lost. After a little, a shot came across the Federal front, plowing the ground in a parallel line, another and another, each coming nearer and nearer their line. This enfilade fire, so distressing to soldiers, was a battery on D. H. Hill's line, and it soon beat back the attacking column. The Richmond papers, just after the battle, gave Gen. Longstreet and his staff all the credit of saving Lee's army, at that time. Gen. McClellan lost the chance of his life by not reenforcing and pushing his center just then."

                The preponderace of the evidence agrees that some of Longstreet's staff did man some guns while he held their horses.

                Larry

                --- In TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com, "eighth_conn_inf" <eighth_conn_inf@...> wrote:
                >
                > All--thanks for the input. I wonder if the post war Lost Cause anti-Longstreet bias had something to do with the report along with the usual poor memory of the writer or the "axe to grind" mentality?
                >
                > Tom: here is a link to the Google Books campaign 2 of the Maine Bugle; if it doesn't work, I can e-mail you a Word document with the article in plain text vice PDF; the schoolhouse fight starts on page 121:
                >
                > http://books.google.com/books?id=XfVYAAAAMAAJ&dq=maine+bugle&printsec=frontcover&source=bl&ots=hruGUjWbXe&sig=LYlZggYvEfgGvAPCGbXmNTBgiBU&hl=en&ei=aFoJSvHYHIKItgfNk5HtCw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1#PPA121,M1
                >
                > There is an account in SHSP, vol. 25, page 148, "The Charge at Burkitsville" in an article "The Beau Sabreur of Georgia" which also says that Hampton participated in the fight. It is interesting that Pickerill in his 1898 newspaper article didn't know about the earlier SHSP and Bugle articles.
                >
                > Larry
                >
                > --- In TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com, <richard@> wrote:
                > >
                > > And also -- Ted Alexander read my manuscript (this has been years ago) for "To Make Men Free" and made no changes to the Longstreet Battery section.
                > > ----- Original Message -----
                > > From: G E Mayers
                > > To: TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com
                > > Sent: Monday, May 11, 2009 9:24 PM
                > > Subject: Re: [TalkAntietam] Longstreet's cannon crew--fact or fiction?
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > > Dear Larry,
                > >
                > > I skimmed through the account and will read it more closely at
                > > another time. However, if I might comment...
                > >
                > > 1. Confederate Veteran had a bad habit of taking whatever any
                > > veteran wrote, without insisting on checking the facts. Thus,
                > > some rather wild tales have been told by veterans years after the
                > > fact. Remember the old story about how the passage of years
                > > improves one's "memory"?
                > >
                > > 2. I believe it is fairly well established that the "Battery
                > > Longstreet" incident did indeed happen and that it happened in
                > > the area of the Piper Farm Orchard somewhere near the Piper Farm
                > > Lane, and most likely somewhere near the farmstead or at least
                > > between the farmstead and the Hagerstown Turnpike. (Sorrel
                > > mentions it in his memoirs as do other sources not directly
                > > connected with Longstreet's staff.)
                > >
                > > 3. Regarding that abandoned brass piece, Priest mentions it in
                > > his Antietam book. IIRC it was Lt Ham Chamberlayne who wrote
                > > about the experience of firing that abandoned brass piece down
                > > the Piper Lane at the Federals; the brass piece had been found
                > > near the Hagerstown Pike. In any case Longstreet would not have
                > > been pulling the lanyard of an artillery piece!
                > >
                > > Hope this helps!
                > >
                > > 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: "eighth_conn_inf" <eighth_conn_inf@>
                > > To: <TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com>
                > > Sent: Monday, May 11, 2009 5:43 PM
                > > Subject: [TalkAntietam] Longstreet's cannon crew--fact or
                > > fiction?
                > >
                > > Probably most of us agree that Longstreet's famous cannon crew
                > > fired from near the Hagerstown Pike. But has it been settled that
                > > he and his staff did crew a cannon? I thought so until I ran
                > > across the following in the "Confederate Veteran:"
                > >
                > > 246 Confederate Veteran August 1893.
                > >
                > > REMINISCENCES ABOUT SHARPSBURG.
                > >
                > > "Many errors drop into history by inadvertence and imperfect
                > > knowledge of facts. In reading an account of the battle of
                > > Sharpsburg by a Virginian, I find he is in error. In speaking of
                > > the great danger that at one time threatened General Lee's
                > > center, which was held by Gen. D. H. Hill, he states the
                > > withdrawal of General Rhode's brigade made a great gap through
                > > which the enemy rushed in great numbers, and to check them
                > > General Hill led a squad of stragglers in person, and General
                > > Longstreet was seen working a piece of artillery on the field to
                > > save the day. I was in this engagement at that point with General
                > > Anderson's brigade of North Carolinians and did not see any
                > > troops withdrawn, but I did see that the right and left of our
                > > division were swept away by the deadly fire centered upon us, our
                > > General was wounded and taken from the field, all our field
                > > officers killed or wounded with the exception of Col. R. Tyler
                > > Bennett of the 14th .North Carolina, who was in command of the
                > > remnant of our brigade at that time of the battle. His regiment
                > > had the good fortune to come into line in the " bloody lane,"
                > > which was a depressed road. Two regiments, 14th and 4th North
                > > Carolina, occupied this lane and found it, comparatively, a safe
                > > place to fight from, and the enemy in our front were unable to
                > > dislodge us. Federal lines of great strength had been pressed
                > > upon us from the first of the engagement until after midday and
                > > were repulsed by our deadly fire. We were just getting ready to
                > > receive three heavy lines in our front, when an officer from the
                > > right came to us in great haste and informed our Colonel that we
                > > were flanked at that point, and called our attention to a column
                > > coming perpendicular to our rear. Then Col. Bennett ordered us to
                > > fall back, which was done under a murderous fire from front and
                > > flank. When I reached the pike leading from the " burg" to
                > > Hagerstown, I found only four of our regiment together, Sergt. P.
                > > D, Weaver, Lieutenant Hanny, Colonel Bennett and myself, but
                > > quite a number of stragglers behind a rock fence along the pike.
                > > At this point a brass piece left by the road, which these four
                > > officers, with what help they could get from the stragglers,
                > > pulled to the top of the hill and loaded it, which they had just
                > > accomplished as a soldier rode up and inquired what they were
                > > trying to do. He was informed in a few words that they wished to
                > > fire the gun at the advancing line, then in a short distance of
                > > them. The soldier jumped from his saddle and fired the gun,
                > > throwing the shot into the enemy's front line, which caused them.
                > > to halt and lie down at once. This unexpected shot, I think,
                > > created the impression that we had a masked battery behind the
                > > rock fence. We fired three shots at them before their
                > > sharpshooters drove us from the gun. This delay gave General Hill
                > > time to get his reserve artillery on points behind us, which
                > > opened with great vigor on the enemy. It was then that General
                > > Hill rode forward to us and ordered us to get the stragglers into
                > > line in front of the rock fence, and headed us in person to a
                > > charge on the enemy in our front, who delivered a galling fire
                > > which sent us to the rear in great disorder, but our troops
                > > rallied later, recaptured a portion of our original line and held
                > > it until night came and closed the battle of Sharpsburg. I did
                > > not see General Longstreet pulling and firing a cannon on the
                > > field, but remember that the soldier who helped us fire the gun
                > > told us he belonged to Longstreet's staff. General Longstreet had
                > > all he could do to look after his own line, which was being
                > > heavily pressed in front, and Jackson on our left was fighting
                > > overwhelming numbers. This was the turning point of the battle
                > > and firing of that deserted brass piece saved General Lee's army
                > > from being cut in two, with Longstreet to the right and Jackson.
                > > to the left and D. H. Hill pressed into the river.
                > >
                > > Salisbury, N. C. July 18, 1893."
                > >
                > > I also recently ran across an article by D.B. Rea of the First
                > > North Carolina Cavalry "Cavalry Incidents of Maryland Campaign"
                > > from the January 1895 Maine Bugle which describes the Quebec
                > > School House fight in a totally different way from others I have
                > > read. This account is more than just a different perspective so
                > > it will be interesting to square it with Pickerill's detailed
                > > telling from the Union perspective.
                > >
                > > Larry
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                > >
                >
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