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Has Anyone Read _That Body of Brave Men_?

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  • Brett Schulte
    I picked up Mark Johnson s _That Body of Brave Men: The U.S. Regular Infantry and the Civil War in the West_ on eBay several months ago, and I m about 250
    Message 1 of 3 , Dec 18, 2006
      I picked up Mark Johnson's _That Body of Brave Men: The U.S. Regular
      Infantry and the Civil War in the West_ on eBay several months ago,
      and I'm about 250 pages in. Has anyone else on the group read this
      one? I'm enjoying it immensely. Johnson essentially covers the "New"
      Regular regiments which served in the West (15th, 16th, 18th, and 19th
      U.S.) with the Army of the Ohio and the Army of the Cumberland. He
      also happens to give an overview of the campaigns these units fought
      in. The maps are excellent, going down to regimental level for the
      areas where the Regulars were involved. Johnson uses a lot of the
      letters and diaries of the men too, so we get to know them in detail,
      their motivations, fears, and feelings on various topics.

      Anyone else have an opinion on this one way or the other?

      Brett S.
    • DPowell334@AOL.COM
      In a message dated 12/18/2006 9:29:26 P.M. Central Standard Time, brett@brettschulte.net writes: I picked up Mark Johnson s _That Body of Brave Men: The U.S.
      Message 2 of 3 , Dec 19, 2006
        In a message dated 12/18/2006 9:29:26 P.M. Central Standard Time, brett@... writes:

        I picked up Mark Johnson's _That Body of Brave Men: The U.S. Regular
        Infantry and the Civil War in the West_ on eBay several months ago,
        and I'm about 250 pages in. Has anyone else on the group read this
        one? I'm enjoying it immensely. Johnson essentially covers the "New"
        Regular regiments which served in the West (15th, 16th, 18th, and 19th
        U.S.) with the Army of the Ohio and the Army of the Cumberland. He
        also happens to give an overview of the campaigns these units fought
        in. The maps are excellent, going down to regimental level for the
        areas where the Regulars were involved. Johnson uses a lot of the
        letters and diaries of the men too, so we get to know them in detail,
        their motivations, fears, and feelings on various topics.

        Anyone else have an opinion on this one way or the other?

        Brett S.

         
        It is an exceptional regimental (or is that brigade-amental?) In any case, it is a first rate unit history, told with detail and an eye for the larger picture. In my own area of expertise, Chickamauga, his account is first rate - I have a few quibbles with what happens on the 20th.
         
        The Chickamauga chapters are an outgrowth of an earlier article that appeared in Civil War Regiments, which took exception with Peter Cozzens' opinions about the Regulars in his own "This Terrible Sound." Cozzens was none to kind. In this sense, there is a small hint of defensiveness that creeps into Johnson's narrative from time to time, but it is not at all a detraction.
         
        You are certainly correct about the tactical narratives and maps - they are exceptional for a unit history, and go beyond the immediate perview of just the command in question. I also like it for the detailed history of the formation and background of the men who make up the new Army regiments, and how the brigade retained such a sense of RA strack despite the fact that by and large, they were volunteers cut from the same cloth as the rest of the regiments around them.
         
        I think the actual combat history of the Regular Brigade is solid, if not exceptional. They were a good brigade, if not the Grenadier Guard of the AOTC. There are several brigades in the army that do better, and are more steady in adversity, but not many.
         
        So yes, I like the book a lot.:)
         
        Dave Powell
      • Brett Schulte
        ... ... Thanks for the comments Dave. I had a suspicion you might have read it, given your interest in Chickamauga. :-) Brett S.
        Message 3 of 3 , Dec 19, 2006
          --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, DPowell334@... wrote:
          <SNIP>
          > So yes, I like the book a lot.:)
          >
          > Dave Powell
          >

          Thanks for the comments Dave. I had a suspicion you might have read
          it, given your interest in Chickamauga. :-)

          Brett S.
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