Showing posts from June, 2017

Hector Tyndale at Antietam

     In the course of doing some preliminary for a future book containing the Civil War memoirs of Captain Alfred E. Lee of the 82nd Ohio, I came across an incredible memoir from one of his brigade commanders, General G. Hector Tyndale of Philadelphia. Gen. Tyndale, promoted from the rank of lieutenant colonel to brigadier general based on his stellar battlefield performance at Antietam, later commanded a brigade in the 11th Corps in late 1863- at this time he selected Capt. Lee to serve on his brigade staff. Lee and Tyndale worked together until 1864 when the Tyndale's health forced him to resign his commission. General George Hector Tyndale Formerly Lieutenant Colonel of the 28th Pennsylvania Vols.      Hector Tyndale was no stranger to Ohioans- he led a brigade at Antietam which included the 5th, 7th, and 66th Ohio regiments; as the lieutenant colonel of the 28th Pennsylvania, Tyndale assumed command of the brigade a little more than a week before leading it into action a

Jim Stinchcomb in the Business at Chickamauga

    By the time of Chickamauga, Captain James W. Stinchcomb of the 17th Ohio Volunteer Infantry was something of a minor celebrity. The 41-year-old Lancaster, Ohio attorney and War Democrat possessed both staunch courage and a fine pen, and during the previous winter, Stinchcomb had sent a letter home denouncing the Copperheads that resonated with the homefolk (and Republican newspaper editors) such that his letter was reprinted in newspapers throughout the state and triggered a flood of resolutions and letters from the army supporting Stinchcomb's stance on continuing the war.      But Jim Stinchcomb was no mere camp fire poet; his indomitable courage was on full display during the Battle of Chickamauga. As related in this letter to his wife Lou, the 17th Ohio went into action early on the morning of September 19, 1863 where it took part in the famous bayonet charge of the 9th Ohio that recaptured the guns of Battery H, 5th U.S. Light Artillery (see previous post regarding the los

72nd Ohio at the Battle of Brice's Crossroads June 10, 1864

     The Battle of Brice's Crossroads was fought on June 10, 1864 and proved to be one of Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest's signature victories. A Union expedition of roughly 10,000 men under the command of Gen. Samuel D. Sturgis set out from Memphis, Tennessee with the aim to occupy Forrest's attention and keep him away from raiding Union supply lines in Tennessee that were supporting Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman's drive into Georgia. The expedition marched across northern Mississippi and on the morning of June 10th, Union cavalry clashed with Forrest's command at Brice's Crossroads near Baldwyn, Mississippi.       The Federal cavalry commander, Gen. Benjamin Grierson, aimed to develop the Confederate force then fall back to a line that Gen. Sturgis would form with the supporting infantry, the idea being to preserve the infantry and let Forrest attack an entrenched force. Command confusion (or Sturgis' ambition to score a quick and easy victory) made that plan

On Corn Bread and Christmas Dinners in 1861 Kentucky

In the course of doing Civil War research, I have often come across letters or accounts that provide a fascinating little window into regular life in the 1860s. Recently I came across these two stories while transcribing the letters of Captain James Stinchcomb of Co. B, 17th Ohio Volunteer Infantry. While neither story changes our larger view of the war, they are a delicious little slice of "real life" that all of us can relate to. Capt. Stinchcomb's regiment was stationed in Kentucky during the winter of 1861-62 and one of the things that he noticed was the Kentucky preference for cornbread versus wheat bread- wheat bread being a far more popular article in his home state of Ohio. He wrote his wife on January 4, 1862 as follows: "The dark and bloody ground is not very good although it produces pretty good corn crops, but little wheat comparatively speaking. The inhabitants all love corn bread. They use wheat bread about as often as we use corn bread in Ohio. There

72nd Ohio Infantry Flag Captured at the Battle of Shiloh

72nd Ohio Volunteer Infantry Flag at Shiloh  This afternoon, I had the opportunity to visit the Sandusky County Historical Museum in Fremont, Ohio. Among the artifacts scattered throughout the museum is the original regimental battle flag of the 72nd O.V.I. This flag was captured during the battle of Shiloh and there is a fascinating story of the flag being lost, then returned to the survivors of the regiment in October 1896. This flag was presented to the regiment by the mayor of Fremont in January 1862 as the regiment was leaving Camp Croghan to head south to war. It was entrusted to Sergeant Gustavus H. Gessner of Co. H. During the skirmish at Crump's Landing on April 4, 1862, Gessner received a neck wound and went into the hospital; the flag was left furled in his tent. At the outset of the Battle of Shiloh two days later, Co. H was on picket duty and the company commander Captain Samuel A.J. Snyder (who under arrest for shooting a squirrel in camp and consequently left