Showing posts from November, 2017

Standing like pillars of adamant: the 61st Ohio at Freeman's Ford

     The Battle of Freeman’s Ford, Virginia was fought August 22, 1862 along the banks of the Rappahannock River in one of the opening thrusts of the campaign which culminated with the Second Battle of Bull Run. Stonewall Jackson was busily working his way along the south bank of the Rappahannock in an attempt to get around the right flank of General John Pope’s Army of Virginia when scouts reported the movement to General Franz Sigel. Sigel directed divisional commander Carl Schurz to reconnoiter across the river to determine the enemy’s strength, and if possible, to disrupt the movement of Confederate forces. Major General Carl Schurz      “I selected Colonel Schimmelpfennig’s 74 th Pennsylvania,” wrote General Schurz. “Schimmelpfennig forthwith forded the river, the water reaching up to the belts of the men, ascended the rising open field on the other side, crossed a belt of timber on top of it and saw a large wagon train of the enemy moving northward apparently unguarded.

Opening the Cracker Line- Battle of Wauhatchie with Alfred E. Lee

This week is a sneak preview of my upcoming book entitled Alfred E. Lee's Civil War due out January 29, 2018 through Columbian Arsenal Press. Capt. Alfred E. Lee, Co. E, 82nd O.V.I. Alfred Emory Lee was a 23 year old graduate student (and budding attorney) at Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware, Ohio when he chose to help recruit for Company I of the 82nd Ohio Volunteer Infantry. Lee was elected first lieutenant and saw action with his regiment at McDowell, Cross Keys, the Virginia campaign (Cedar Mountain and Freeman's Ford), and Second Bull Run before being promoted to captain and transferred to Company E in the fall of 1862. The 82nd Ohio was attached a divisional provost guard for the 3rd Division (Schurz) XI Corps during the Chancellorsville campaign and took part in resisting Jackson's flank attack on May 2nd (Lee's account of that action is phenomenal and is in the upcoming book). After Chancellorsville, the 82nd Ohio was placed in Wladimir Krzyzanowski

On the Peninsula with Berdan's Sharpshooters

     While my research and blog is generally focused on Ohio soldiers and their contributions to the Civil War, I occasionally come across items from soldiers of other states that pique my interest and inevitably lead to a research project. Such is the case with the letters of Adjutant Ira Smith Brown of the 1st United States Sharpshooters. I came across Brown's series of letters in the Yates County Chronicle , and an impressive set of correspondence he left behind. Brown wrote frequent, almost weekly, letters to his hometown newspaper and provide a detailed view of soldiers life during the Peninsula campaign. That Brown was serving with Berdan's Sharpshooters makes his perspective somewhat unique and a pleasure to read. Adjutant Ira Smith Brown, 1st U.S. Sharpshooters      I was doubly interested in Brown's story when I learned that following the Second Battle of Bull Run, he was commissioned as adjutant of the 126th New York Volunteer Infantry, a new regiment that was

Fulton County Historical Museum

In northwest Ohio, we are fortunate in that most counties have a county museum dedicated to preserving something of the history of the region. For the next few posts, I'd like to highlight some of these local treasures and while my primary interest is the Civil War, many of these museums offer a host of insightful and intriguing exhibits covering all phases of 19th and 20th century history. The first museum I would like to highlight is the Fulton County Historical Museum located in Wauseon, the county seat of Fulton County located about 30 miles west of Toledo. As an avid railfan and particularly a buff of the old New York Central, my sons and I have been visiting Wauseon for many years as the rail depot is one of the finest example of NYC station architecture left on the old main line to Chicago. Wauseon has done a nice job also paying tribute to the sacrifices of its areas soldiers who served in the Civil War. Fulton County in 1860 was a raw rural county just a few years remo