Friday, May 28, 2010
John Mullen (F) and William M Roads (G).
Lieutenant EJ Hooker (A), Fist Sergeant E Homan (A), Martin Schopp (A), GW Carroll (A), William Schultz (A), J Hassen (A), William Morris (A), Captain L Kuhlman (B), Sergeant O Gron (B), P Leob (B), Julius Miller (B), Joseph Seibold (B), Daniel Heinz (B), Charles Weber (B), William Hornell (B), M Reif (B), GL Heiks (C), John Blair (C), H Waymiere (C), W Watkins (C), Thomas Westerman (C), Corporal William Prentiss (D), SM Beasby (D), L Slagle (E), M Hannahan (F), Charles Vanshoick (F), Daniel Logan (F), James Day (G), JA Thornton (G), Thomas Scott (H), James Wallace (H), D Millhizer (H), DM Hana (H), H Stiver (H), E Finly (H), James Piles (H), H Gordon (I), W Taylor (I), J Lunon (I), CW Nelson (I), M Dessellen (I), A Gamble (I), JS Murphy (K), A Crowley (K), HP Chambers (K) and John Mercer (K).
John Bolender (B).
 Reports of Officers in Relation to a Recent Battle at Pittsburg Landing. Millwood, NY: Kraus Reprint, 1977. Originally published as U.S. 37th Congress, 2nd session, 1861-1862. Senate. Executive Documents Printed by Order of the Senate of the United States for the Second Session of the Thirty-Seventh Congress, 1861-62. 6 vols. Washington D.C., 1861. pp 252-3
Thursday, May 27, 2010
1st Nebraska Infantry
John Raggensack (B), Sergeant W.P. Swiggett (F), Sergeant James E. Cox (H) and Corporal John Benson Thompson (I).
William H. Bates (A), Algernon H. Pratt (A), James S. Sweine (A), Albert E. Tegrio (A), Corporal Henry Buhren (B), John Hanson (B), Mathew Meryen (B), Chase (C), Curtis (C), Corporal James C. Miller (C), Corporal William H. Tucker (C), First Lieutenant Lee P. Gillett (D), Second Lieutenant Charles Provost (D), First Lieutenant S.M. Curran (E), Charles Dunk (E), J.R. Hutton (E), Sergeant Reeves (E), F. Rittenhouse (E), J. Scoles (F), Smith P. Tuttle (F), Captain John McConihe (G), First Lieutenant T.J. Weatherwax (G), John Beard (H) and Levi Sager (H).
 Reports of Officers in Relation to a Recent Battle at Pittsburg Landing. Millwood, NY: Kraus Reprint, 1977. Originally published as U.S. 37th Congress, 2nd session, 1861-1862. Senate. Executive Documents Printed by Order of the Senate of the United States for the Second Session of the Thirty-Seventh Congress, 1861-62. 6 vols. Washington D.C., 1861. pp 68-9
Friday, May 21, 2010
For whatever reason I decided to respond to him instead of ignoring him and asked him what those changes were. He claimed the army command commanders as McClellan, Pope, McClellan, Burnside, Hooker and Meade. I pointed out that Pope was never in command of the Army of the Potomac and McClellan never was removed from command. His response was citing a letter from McClellan that he felt he was a man without an army. I don't doubt he felt that way but he was never officially removed from command. Of course the author should discuss this incident in the book but he should also make clear that the Army of the Potomac troops serving under Pope were a temporary attachment, although if Pope had won the Battle of Second Manassas it might have been made permanent.
A secondary point if one wanted to quibble is that the changes of McClellan, Pope, McClellan, Burnside, Hooker and Meade is only five changes. The author stated six changes. When I first heard six changes I was pretty sure he was going to include Pope as an army commander. I wondered though if he would call McDowell the first army commander (while technically incorrect most historians have listed him as such) or if he would claim that Grant was really the army commander in 1864-65 as Meade's influence on army movements was severely curtailed.
The changes the author claims for general-in-chief are even more bizarre. I could think of Scott, McClellan, Halleck and Grant. The author claims it as Scott, McClellan, Lincoln, Halleck, Lincoln and Halleck, Lincoln, Lincoln and Halleck, Grant. General-in-chief refers to the senior army officer, Lincoln was not a general and President, he was commander-in-chief. Lincoln was very hands on, Halleck complained that he was really a military advisor implementing the wishes of Lincoln and Stanton. There was a period between McClellan and Halleck that there was no general-in-chief, but to call Lincoln that is an error. The author would need to explain in the text that Lincoln operated without a general-in-chief for awhile. Also I do not remember a time when Halleck was suspended from command as general-in-chief or that Lincoln said "we're now co-general-in-chief."
Was the marketing email simply over stating facts to make the number of changes more impressive? Maybe. I'm worried though that when given a chance to back pedal and explain that he really knew that Pope was not a commander of the Army of the Potomac and that Lincoln was not general-in-chief the author refused and doggedly stuck to his guns that he was right on all counts. It makes me worry that there are similar errors in the other command and structure changes enumerated in the book.
I confirmed through amazon that it is a self-published book, which by itself doesn't set off red flags but one of the benefits of using a publishers is that many others read the book before its published. In this case I think peer review was missing.
Needless to say I will not be buying this book. If my local library happens to get a copy I'll probably look at it but I definitely would not use it as a source until I made an extended effort to confirm anything he said.
Enough people have emailed asking for the title, so I'll add it here as well. The book in question is "The Ever-Changing Leaders and Organization of the Army of the Potomac" by George S. Maharay. I have also since requested the book thru ILL, only one copy was listed on worldcat which is probably not a good sign.
Thursday, May 20, 2010
Having the papers online is a fantastic resource. It helped me solve two riddles almost immediately. One was that at Shiloh the first staff member to give Lew Wallace an order was A.S. Baxter. All sources only use his initials, its a small riddle but I wanted to use his full name in a project if possible, and I found it (Algernon). The second riddle was that I had a source that claimed Grant wrote a letter to Alfred Mathews, but I did not know when. The letter appeared in a footnote in the Papers which I would not have had the patience to search for manually but now that the Papers are digitized online it took only a few minutes to solve that riddle.
I'll use it a lot on future research projects. In the past the only copy I knew of locally was a half hour drive downtown. I hardly ever have the time anymore to get there so this is a really helpful resource for me.
To search the collection yourself click here
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Monday, May 17, 2010
They did this in conjunction with the publication of "The Battles of Chickamauga and Chattanooga and the Organizations Engaged" by Henry Boynton, edited by Timothy B. Smith. Smith has basically combined three Boytnon books into one volume and provided some other notes on Boynton. I have not held a copy of Smith's version yet, I knew he was working on it but did not realize it was out already. I actually do have Boynton's other books but I would like a modern reprint so I don't have to worry about ruining my 100 year old versions.
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
And of course there is the more important things like trying to get ready for the baby. The doctor intends to induce labor at the end of June so a July 1st birth is quite likely. The nursery is nearly ready. We've been waiting for the crib to arrive, apparently we selected the slowest company in the world, this Saturday it'll be 17 weeks since we ordered it. Then I can hang some pictures and shelves on the walls and get things finished. Last weekend was the baby shower so now most things we need are here. I think all we're really missing is a high chair and we can wait on that for a little while.
Things should clear up next week after the round table presentation. And then hopefully by the end of the month the manuscript will be complete. So once I start to free up times for better posts the baby will come and the blog will be the furthest thing from my mind. I'll try to build up a supply of posts so that there won't be a precipitate drop off here in July.
Thanks for your understanding.