Showing posts from January, 2019

A Buckeye at Appomattox: Joseph C. Brand Distributed Rations to Lee's Army

“The whole scene was so imposing and its contemplation so grand that the mind could not comprehend it.”      Joseph Carter Brand was born January 5, 1810 in Bourbon County, Kentucky into a family of abolitionist sympathies. He moved to Champaign County, Ohio in 1830 to engage in business with his uncle Dr. Joseph S. Carter; he married Lavinia Talbott in 1832 and had nine children, three of whom served in the Civil War. Captain Thomas T. Brand served with the 18 th U.S. Infantry an d was badly wounded at Chickamauga which ended his wartime service; William A. Brand succeeded his father as quartermaster of the 66 th Ohio Infantry, while his youngest son John accompanied Joseph in the 1864-65 campaigns in the East. This was truly a family that valued service to one’s country. Captain Joseph Carter Brand      Joseph Brand had gained local notoriety not only for his business sense, but for his unflinching opposition to slavery. Before the Civil War, Brand’s home on Reynold

Indexing the Urbana Citizen & Gazette

I recently completed one of my most gratifying indexing projects in tackling the Urbana Citizen & Gazette . This newspaper, the Republican organ of Champaign County edited by Joshua Saxton, proved to be one of the best newspapers in the state for its frequent publication of soldiers’ correspondence. The Champaign County Public Library recently made available its issues of the C&G online in a format similar to one used on Chronicling America; while the scans in some cases are not nearly as crisp as what I’ve grown used to on Chronicling America, they were mostly clear enough to transcribe and the sheer expanse of issues available (the entire Civil War period is available online) makes this resource a tremendous boon for devotees of soldiers’ correspondence. Champaign County had a total of three newspapers titles during the Civil War era: the Republican Urbana Citizen & Gazette , the Democratic-leaning Urbana Union , and the Urbana Free Press which ran through early

"Maverick's" Journal of the Chancellorsville Campaign

My blog posts have been few and far between of late because I have been hip deep in working on several book projects, the foremost of which, Army Life According to Arbaw: The Civil War Letters of William A. Brand of the 66th Ohio Volunteer Infantry , will be published later this spring. William A. Brand enlisted in  Co. G of the 66th Ohio in the fall of 1861 but shortly after the regiment left the state in January 1862 he was assigned as a clerk in the quartermaster department of the regiment working for his father Joseph C. Brand. The 24 year old attorney possessed a keen eye for detail and a nimble pen which he used to describe his regiment's service through three years of war.  Army Life According to Arbaw is set for release in late March by Columbian Arsenal Press. Here's the latest version of the cover.  The process of transcribing and editing Brand's voluminous letters ( Arbaw will feature over 80 of his wartime missives) has truly been a pleasure, and o ne of

General Buckland Explains the Battle of Shiloh

I have heard it said that we historians have been re-fighting the Civil War ever since  the sound of the guns faded out, and I suppose this is true, but in our defense we can truthfully say that we are merely continuing the fight waged by the veterans themselves. Much of the re-fighting was driven by a desire on the part of the men to correct popular misconceptions engendered by the slap dash journalism of the time and  Today's blog post is a good example of that.   Brigadier General Ralph Pomeroy Buckland (Ohio MOLLUS album) In a postwar article written by Brigadier General Ralph P. Buckland, formerly of the 72nd Ohio Infantry, Buckland tries to correct some of the "false history" and lore that grew up concerning the beginning of the Battle of Shiloh. In particular it was the sensational reporting by Whitelaw Reid of the Cincinnati Gazette that put Buckland and his men in a very unsavory light, claiming that they were surprised in their tents and bayonetted befor