Monday, January 26, 2009

But O! How I Would Love To Be a Citizen

I was actually reading some comments on another forum today discussing soldiering in the American Civil War versus the relatively "new" idea of us Civil War Historians feeling the need to really understand the "citizen" before becoming the soldier in the ranks. While thinking about this, The Civil War Letters of Joshua K. Callaway came to mind. Callaway enlisted in the 28th Alabama as a first sergeant in March 1862, was promoted to second lieutenant in October 1862, and was killed on November 25, 1863, during the fight on Missionary Ridge. One of the most interesting aspects of Callaway's term of service is his outlook on serving in the Confederate Army and the 180 he pulls in less than a year. On April 25, 1862, Joshua writes to his wife, Dulcinea, concerning his love of military service.
You need not be afraid of my suffering from exposure: our tents are very comfortable. In short I am enjoying myself finely. I had much rather be here that teaching school. And then, in addition to my fun, the Yankees are advancing upon us, but what kills my fun from that quarter is, we can't get into the fight (8-9).
Less than a year later, on March 17, 1863, Callaway writes home again. This time, his story has changed from an excited boy, itching for a fight, to a somber man, longing for hearth and home.
The Regiments are filling up considerably and I think they will be sundered soon. I don't know though that it will do me any good. I don't care anything about promotions. I wouldn't give a fig to be a Lieutenant general, if it were not for the sake of the big pay. But O! How I would love to be a citizen-- a school teacher (75).
I believe we all can learn a thing or two from Joshua Callaway's letters of life. Although there were some who longed to serve the Confederacy until its dying day, most soldiers were like Callaway. They longed for action, but once "the elephant" and camplife became an everyday reality, they longed to go home and take up their previous trades.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Appearance of Longstreet's Men

Longstreet's Corps made an impression on the Western soldiers they encountered and more than one recounted the appearance of Longstreet's men, over the years several stories have been told about where they aquired their new suits, for those who are unfamiliar with this, Longstreet's troops wore light blue pants and dark blue-gray jackets. The following sheds a little light on this and also shows that it wasnt exclusive to Longstreet's men, but the Army of Northern Virginia as a whole;

"I heard it from a courteous member of General Lee's staff, who has recently inspected the army, this its fighting condition never was better, and that its comfort is duly cared for a its health all that could be desired. I, myself, can bear witness to the truthfulness of all that can be said of the morale and spirit of this army just now. It is, I humbly submit, the most agreeable news that I can communicate to the home folks, that the Army of Northern Virginia is being supplied cap a pie with new outfits; and I hazard nothing in saying that in looks and spirit, out troops are today in nothing behind the condition of the army when it entered Pennsylvania; and yet, so silently has this metamorphising process been conducted, and so quietly is each department discharging its duty, that you can scarcely realize how so great a change has been wrought in so short a period."

That account is from the August 30, 1863 issue of The Charleston Mercury. It should also be noted that Longstreet's men boarded the trains south on September 7th, 1863.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Seminar in the Woods Update

For those who are interested, here is an update from Dave Powell on the March Seminar in the Woods.


Here is an update to the Study group, and reminder that if you are interested, please make your reservations early.

Here is a link to the Study group detail:

As usual, feel free to pass it around to any interested parties

Also, on Thursday night, March 12th, there will be an open meeting to allow for public input for the new General Management Plan for the CCNMP.
The meeting will be held between 4 PM to 8 PM, Eastern Time, at the Walker Pavilion, Coolidge Park,on the North Shore/in North Chattanooga

It's an open meeting, you can walk in late. The format will be one of "stations" where you will have a chance to interact with various NPS officials concerning the future use of the military park. We need to talk to as many people as we can, and impress upon them the continued interest we have in keeping the focus on the parks as MILITARY Parks - their original and most important mission.

If you can attend, please do so.

CCNMP Study Group 2009 Seminar in the Woods
Mission Statement: The purpose of the CCNMP Study Group is to create a forum to bring students of the American Civil War together to study and explore those events in the fall of 1863 that led ultimately to the creation of the Chickamauga-Chattanooga National Military Park. The intent is to use the indispensable resource of the park itself as an outdoor classroom to promote learning and study of the battles for Chattanooga, and to build interest for an annual gathering that will in time examine all aspects of the Campaigns for Chattanooga. Additionally, we hope to bring students and serious scholars, both professional and amateur, to the field to share insights and knowledge about the battles.
Tour Leaders: Jim Ogden, Park Historian, and Dave Powell
Date: Friday, March 13, and Saturday, March 14, 2009.
Note: Friday’s tours will involve a tour bus. We will be charging a small fee for use of the bus. See below.
Friday Morning: 8:30 a.m. to Noon. Minty vs. Johnson, September 18th, 1863.By Bus, we will examine the opening engagement of the battle, as Bushrod Johnson and Nathan Bedford Forrest collided with Minty’s Cavalry Brigade. Stops will include Ringgold, Peeler’s Mill site, Peavine Ridge, Reed’s Bridge, and conclude at Jay’s Mill. This land is in private hands, but we will have ample opportunities to dismount and walk some of the terrain in question.
Park at the Visitor‘s Center. The bus will depart and return from there.
Friday Afternoon: 1:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Rosecrans in Command, September 17th to 20th, 1863.By Bus, we will trace Union Commander William Starke Rosecrans’ movements on the field between September 17th and 20th, discussing his command decisions and the information he had at the time. Stops will include Crawfish Springs, Wilder Tower/Widow Glenn’s, the Visitor’s Center, and the Dyer Orchard HQ site.
Park at the Visitor’s Center. The Bus will depart and return from there.
Saturday Morning: 8:30 a.m. to Noon. Hindman vs. Sheridan, morning of September 20th.On foot: We will examine the attack of Hindman’s Division on Sheridan’s Federals, after Davis’ division is overwhelmed. We will discuss the fighting in South Dyer Field, the storming of Lytle Hill, defeat of Lytle and Walworth’s Brigades, and end with Wilder’s repulse of Manigault’s Rebel Brigade.
Park in the gravel lot by Recreational Field.
Saturday Afternoon: 1:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Hindman assails the end of the line: Horseshoe Ridge, September 20thOn Foot: Horseshoe Ridge provides a dramatic conclusion to the battle of Chickamauga. We will discuss the movements of Anderson’s, Manigault’s and Deas’ Brigades as they make their final attack on Horseshoe Ridge.
Park at Snodgrass Hill.
Cost: Beyond the fee for Friday’s Bus, there is no cost for tour participation. Meals lodging, transportation, and incidentals, however, are the individual’s responsibility.
Tour Departures: All tours will meet at the Chickamauga Visitor’s Center at the designated start time, and will depart from there after some brief overview discussion. We will board the bus or car caravan to the designated parking area, and from there, we will be on foot. We will be on foot for up to three hours, so dress and prepare accordingly. Tours will depart rain or shine. Participants are responsible for their own transportation, and should plan accordingly. All tours are designed to be self-contained, so participants who cannot attend the full schedule are still welcome to join us for any portion of the weekend.
Lodging and Meals: Everyone is responsible for their own lodging and meals. There are many hotels in the greater Chattanooga area, for any price range. The closest are in Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia, with the least expensive in Ringgold. Each tour is designed to leave at least 90 minutes for lunch, and there are several family and fast food restaurants within minutes of the battlefield. There are designated picnic areas near the Visitor’s Center, for those who wish to bring a lunch and eat on the field.
What to bring: Each tour will involve extensive walking. Proper clothing and especially footgear is essential. Dress in layers, wear sturdy, broken-in walking shoes or boots, and be prepared for some rain, as spring can be quite wet in North Georgia. We will be walking on dirt and gravel trails, uncut fields, and through stretches of woods. The ground will be wet and muddy in places. Bring your own water and snacks.
Reading up on the subject: Many people like to prepare in advance for these kinds of events. I suggest the following works might be of help.
Cozzens, Peter. This Terrible Sound. University of Illinois, 1992. The best modern study of the battle.
Gracie, Archibald. The Truth About Chickamauga. Morningside, Reprinted 1987. For the veteran Chickamauga student only. Gracie’s narrative is incoherent, disorganized, and mistaken in many places. However, his focus is central to Saturday Afternoon’s tour, and his work contains a wealth of primary source accounts that are not found anywhere else. We will be discussing many of the same topics Gracie examines.
Woodworth, Stephen E. Six Armies In Tennessee: The Chickamauga And Chattanooga Campaigns. Lincoln, Nebraska. University of Nebraska Press, 1998; an excellent overview campaign study.
Woodworth, Stephen E. A Deep Steady Thunder: The Battle Of Chickamauga. Abilene, Texas. McWhiney Foundation Press, 1998. Concise but very useful account of the battle, designed as an introduction to the action. 100 pages, very readable.
Note: Friday’s Tours will be by Bus, as we move from site to site. While the tour itself is free, we do have to pay for the bus.
Pre-registration Fee: $35 Due by February 1st, 2009.
After November 5th, 2008, send to:FRANK CRAWFORD34664 ORANGE DRIVEPINELLAS PARK, FLORIDA 33781
Make checks payable to: Frank Crawford.
Frank will hold your payments. If you pay by check, note that Frank will not cash those checks until we have sufficient entries, so that if we have to refund, Frank will simply send your checks back to you.
Please also note that this fee is NON-REFUNDABLE after February 1st, 2009. Once we are committed to the bus, we will be charged the booking fee.
On-site Sign up Fee: $40
We MUST have 20 attendees registered and Paid by Feb 1st, or we cannot reserve the bus. Once we confirm the minimum, you will be able to join the tour the day we depart, for late add-ons. If we do not meet the minimum, we will car-caravan for Friday’s tours.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Our Sister Site

A bit of a slow time for us here right now, so I thought I would link everyone to another fine blog concerning Antebellum matters, headed by our own Chris Young, Check it out.