Vol. II Review

And here is the review for Vol. II:

The Mary­land Cam­paign of Sep­tem­ber 1862 Vol­ume II: Antietam

Ezra A. Car­man, edited and anno­tated by Thomas G. Clemens

Savas Beatie, 2012, 670pp., $37.50

ISBN: 978–1-61121–114-6

Image cour­tesy of amazon.com

The clas­sic off The Mary­land Cam­paign of Sep­tem­ber 1862 has long been con­sid­ered a clas­sic in mil­i­tary lit­er­a­ture but some­thing which has been miss­ing in the doc­u­ment is anno­ta­tions. Upon read­ing pri­mary sources, there are some ques­tion­able things which have been writ­ten in these accounts, but with a good anno­ta­tion, the errors are cor­rected and sources prop­erly. Thomas G. Clemens has pro­vided these anno­ta­tions and are an excel­lent way to re-read this classic.

Ezra Ayres Car­man was born in Oak Tree, New Jer­sey and attended the West­ern Mil­i­tary Acad­emy in Ken­tucky. Dur­ing the Civil War, he fought with New Jer­sey units and faced some of the fiercest fight­ing through­out the war includ­ing the Bat­tle of Anti­etam. After the war, he was appointed to the Anti­etam National Ceme­tery Board of Trustees and the Bat­tle­field Board. Thomas G. Clemens has spent years study­ing the Mary­land Cam­paign and gained his doc­tor­ate at George Mason Uni­ver­sity. He has writ­ten a myr­iad of mag­a­zine arti­cles and has appeared in doc­u­men­taries along with being a licensed tour guide at Anti­etam National Bat­tle­field. Also, he is an instruc­tor at Hager­stown Com­mu­nity Col­lege and also founded the Save His­toric Anti­etam Foundation.

Much of vol­ume one deals with the Bat­tle of South Moun­tain and the process of reach­ing the bat­tle­field of Anti­etam. With­out vol­ume one, vol­ume two does not make much sense but both works stand as clas­sics. In order to appre­ci­ate the full con­text of Carman’s work, both vol­umes need to be read and with Clemens’ anno­ta­tions aid the work in the best way pos­si­ble. Thomas G. Clemens has per­formed a labor of love and his notes on the Bat­tle of Anti­etam are quite exten­sive. Through­out the text, there are quite a few good his­toric maps and the text is also fueled with many good pho­tographs of the field. The Bat­tle of Anti­etam is one of the most ter­ri­fy­ing expe­ri­ences from the Civil War and is con­sid­ered the blood­i­est day in Amer­i­can his­tory. In all of the works on the bat­tle, there are few which do not men­tion the work done by Ezra Car­men and since he was present at the bat­tle, the pri­mary source can be seen as more accu­rate than oth­ers. With­out the words of Clemens, there could be some con­fu­sion on the part of the reader not quite famil­iar with the bat­tle­field of Anti­etam or the rest of the Mary­land Campaign.

The Mary­land Cam­paign of Sep­tem­ber 1862 Vol­ume II: Anti­etam, stands on its own as a great work of Civil War lit­er­a­ture, but is more appre­ci­ated with both vol­umes. I highly rec­om­mend this book to any­one who has an inter­est in the Mary­land Cam­paign or is just inter­ested in the Bat­tle of Anti­etam. This in depth work by a Civil War vet­eran brings the hor­ror of the bat­tle­field to the reader and the anno­ta­tions of Clemens bring acad­e­mia to the work. These two vol­umes will be hailed as the great­est edi­tion of Carman’s work and a great addi­tion to the annals of Civil War history.

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Review

This nice review of Vol. I & II was just sent to me. Thought I’d share it.

The Mary­land Cam­paign of Sep­tem­ber 1862 Vol­ume I: South Mountain

Ezra A. Car­man, Edited and Anno­tated by Thomas G. Clemens

2010, Savas Beatie, 576 pp., $37.50

ISBN: 978–1-932714–81-4

Image Cour­tesy of Barnes and Noble

Much has been writ­ten about the Mary­land Cam­paign sur­round­ing the Bat­tle of Anti­etam, but there have always been the clas­sics. As it is with clas­sics, espe­cially clas­sics which were writ­ten right after the war, they run out of print and are quite dif­fi­cult to get your hands on. For the longest time, I had heard of the great nar­ra­tive which Ezra Car­man had writ­ten on the entirety of the Mary­land Cam­paign but was never able to get it. That was, until Thomas G. Clemens and Savas Beatie released the work in an anno­tated fashion.

Ezra Ayres Car­man was born in Oak Tree, New Jer­sey and attended the West­ern Mil­i­tary Acad­emy in Ken­tucky. Dur­ing the Civil War, he fought with New Jer­sey units and faced some of the fiercest fight­ing through­out the war includ­ing the Bat­tle of Anti­etam. After the war, he was appointed to the Anti­etam National Ceme­tery Board of Trustees and the Bat­tle­field Board. Thomas G. Clemens has spent years study­ing the Mary­land Cam­paign and gained his doc­tor­ate at George Mason Uni­ver­sity. He has writ­ten a myr­iad of mag­a­zine arti­cles and has appeared in doc­u­men­taries along with being a licensed tour guide at Anti­etam National Bat­tle­field. Also, he is an instruc­tor at Hager­stown Com­mu­nity Col­lege and also founded the Save His­toric Anti­etam Foundation.

I should make one thing clear about this work. It is not a reprint. So many times when clas­sics are reprinted, that it all they do, but this one is not one of those works. Clemens anno­tates the whole doc­u­ment with mod­ern sourc­ing and exten­sive foot­notes. Pub­lished in two vol­umes, the first deals with the Bat­tle of South Moun­tain and some of the pre­lim­i­nary details of the cam­paign while the sec­ond deals with the Bat­tle of Anti­etam. The anno­ta­tions through­out not only give us an up to date look into the Mary­land Cam­paign with mod­ern sources, but a look into the mind of Car­man as he was writ­ing the work. Clemens tells us who Car­man was more likely to paint in a greater light because of his expe­ri­ences in the war and the pol­i­tick­ing going on between Lin­coln and McClel­lan through­out. While Car­man states that this was not just a bat­tle against armies, but a bat­tle between the high com­mand in Wash­ing­ton, Clemens adds that to tell us that not all was easy for the com­man­ders. One of the aspects of the cam­paign which is largely ignored is the action taken at Harper’s Ferry before the Bat­tle of Anti­etam and here, Car­man places it in his nar­ra­tive. The details of the cap­ture of Union sol­diers at the gar­ri­son is greatly impor­tant to the study of the cam­paign and here, it is given explicit detail through both the nar­ra­tive of Car­man and the anno­ta­tion of Clemens.

The Mary­land Cam­paign of Sep­tem­ber 1862 Vol­ume I: South Moun­tain is a great addi­tion to any Civil War library and is highly rec­om­mended for any reader. The excel­lent map sys­tem used in the book is a great aid to the nar­ra­tive and the anno­ta­tions are sec­ond to none. This is an excel­lent print­ing of this clas­sic and goes to show that there is more to write about when it comes to the Mary­land Cam­paign even if it is through anno­ta­tions. Thomas G. Clemens has done a fan­tas­tic job and has per­formed a labor of love by pour­ing his knowl­edge into this text. Highly recommended!

http://www.gettysburgchronicle.com/book-reviews/the-annotation-of-a-classic

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Volume Three

The third, and last, vol­ume of Carman’s man­u­script is now in the hands of Savas-Beatie. No word yet on pub­lish­ing date, but I hope later this year. It includes a chap­ter on the bat­tle of Shep­herd­stown Ford, and chap­ters sum­ming up the cam­paign, and also sup­ple­men­tal infor­ma­tion on the pre­lude to the cam­paign. A large por­tion of it is also a Bio­graph­i­cal Dic­tio­nary of every­one Car­man men­tioned in his nar­ra­tive, and also any vet­eran whose mem­oirs I cited in doc­u­ment­ing how Car­man knew what he wrote. In addi­tion to the com­man­ders this dic­tio­nary lists many com­mon sol­diers and junior offi­cers; peo­ple you will not find on Wikipedia! I’ll keep you posted on the progress towards pub­li­ca­tion, and will get back to post­ing more here too.

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Letter from Capt. John Frank, Battery G, 1st NY Art.

Frank wrote sev­eral let­ters to the Bat­tle­field Board, help­ing to locate its posi­tion on the field. below is a type­script of one of those letters.

Lamar­tine
Fond du Lac Co Wis.
Dec 28th [18]99
Genl. E.A. Car­man.
Dear Sir:
In reply to yours of the 16th Inst. stat­ing the dif­fi­culty of locat­ing my Bat­tery on Sept 17/[18]62 I have the honor to state that under the cir­cum­stances I am com­pelled to go into details, even at the risk of being con­sid­ered tire­some. I desire it to be dis­tinctly under­stood, that the points of the com­pass as well as the hours of the day are merely guess­work, the remain­ing state­ments are facts, as I now remem­ber them. Shortly after sun­rise on that day Sumner’s Artillery, under com­mand of Maj. Clark, 4th U.S. Arty. crossed what was des­ig­nated to me the upper Bridge of the Anti­etam, after a slow march of about two hours the Col­umn was brought to a long stop in a piece of tim­ber to await orders. While Maj Clark was assign­ing posi­tions to the lead­ing Bat­ter­ies we heard to roar of bat­tle on our right flank. About 9 A.M Kirby’s Batty I 1st U.S. Arty, that day under Lieut. Woodruff, came from the direc­tion of the com­bat, one of the offi­cers claim­ing to be out of ammu­ni­tion.
I imme­di­ately rode up to the brow of the ridge about ¼ mile to our right flank, found that part of the field with­out a man or a gun, three Con­fed­er­ate Brigades, returned from their defeat of Sedg­wick reform­ing down on the flat North of the Dunker Church Woods with the evi­dent inten­tion of advanc­ing under­cover of the ridge to crush French’s flank on the oppo­site slope of the ridge; to pre­vent that move I rushed my Bat­tery up on the ridge, the only Artillery then opposed to me being a Bat­tery of 6 Brass Guns on a hill about 800 yds in my front, and very poorely [sic] served, per­haps for want of ammu­ni­tion. In less than 15 min­utes a four gun Bat­tery appeared on the front and left of the Rebel Infantry open­ing a sav­age attack at about 900 yards. This fail­ing to drive my Bat­tery out of posi­tion another four Gun Bat­tery opened to my left from the Woods north of the Dunker Church at about 800 yds inflict­ing con­sid­er­able dam­age, but one of my per­cus­sion shells explod­ing a Cais­son, and another shell dis­mount­ing a gun of Batty no 2 and send­ing it out of the field, enabled me to bring the full force of my 6 Napoleons to bear on Batty no 3 which was presently silenced, two of the Guns being found dis­mounted the next day. While engaged by Bat­ter­ies No 1 and 2 I was informed that through the spe­cial efforts of Maj Clark the 6th Maine had been sent to my sup­port, and after the fir­ing ceased I pro­ceeded with one of my Guns to the high­est part of the ridge about 80 Rods to my right to dis­lodge a Rebel Skir­mish line behind the stone fence inclos­ing [sic] a corn­field and run­ning along my front. In mov­ing that gun I encoun­tered a New York Bat­tery (likely Cowan’s) on the extreme end of the Ridge about 80 Rods to the right of my Bat­tery. I may be per­mit­ted to men­tion that this is the only and sole con­nec­tion I formed with the noted Corn­field, as my line of fire against Bat­ter­ies No 1 and two ranged over, and that against No 3 ranged along the edge thereof. About this time the gap between my Bat­tery and French’s Divi­sion was closed by Hancock’s Brigade; the ground over which I manou­vered [sic] was either pas­ture or ele­vated mead­ow­lands.
I am pos­i­tive that the 6th Maine when I first viewed the reg­i­ment was some 30 to 60 paces to my right, lay­ing in a shal­low ravine run­ning down to our rear.
Respect­fully
Your obdt Servt
Jno. [John] D. Frank.

Obvi­ously he is incor­rect about Cowen and the 6th ME, and I wel­come your thoughts about who he did see.

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Corrections

Sev­eral read­ers have answered my request for cor­rec­tions to my edit­ing of Carman’s man­u­script. I have pre­pared a doc­u­ment titled Errata Vol. I, which is posted below. I will con­tinue to add cor­rec­tions as they appear, and my thanks to all who sought to improve/correct this book. The point is to make these vol­umes as accu­rate as pos­si­ble and my feel­ings are not dam­aged by read­ers point­ing out my shortcomings.

Errata Vol. I
p. 123 – fn. 12. A closer read­ing Hitchcock’s pub­lished diary estab­lishes that the only offer of com­mand made to him was in March of 1862. This applies to the same ref­er­ence by Car­man on p. 143, fn 57, and p. 145, fn. 61. (Thanks to Stephen Sears for point­ing out this and sev­eral other errors.)
p. 128 – fn. 20. Addi­tion – The offer of com­mand was made to McCel­lan at his rented quar­ters, he then went to his office on Penn­syl­va­nia Ave. to talk with his staff.
p.143 — McClel­lan was given com­mand on the field army on Sept. 5, not 6. This mis­take also appears also p. 274.
p.145 – fn. 61. Clar­i­fi­ca­tion — Pope thought he was still in com­mand, and said so, but no offer to com­mand this field army was for­mally made.
p. 162 – fn. 88 – the last quote, begin­ning “he never said aught…” is found in Memo­r­ial Addresses on the Life and Char­ac­ter of Alpheus S. Williams, A rep­re­sen­ta­tive from Michi­gan, deliv­ered in the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives and Sen­ate. 45th Cong. 3d sess., 1878–1879 (Wsh­ing­ton DC: Gov­ern­ment Print­ing Office, 1880) Mr. Willits of MI, p. 30.
p. 166 – near bot­tom of the page, George Chapman’s mid­dle ini­tial is H, not A. Also incor­rect in index, p. 494.
p. 184 – fn. 44. The note men­tioned was actu­ally sent Sept. 10, not 11. See McClel­lan Papers and Hal­leck to McClel­lan OR 19, pt. 2, p. 280, “yours of the 10th…”
p. 244 – near bot­tom of the page, John Graham’s mid­dle ini­tial is H, not A. Also incor­rect in index, p. 501.
p. 270 – fn. 119, Capt. Don Piatt, not Paitt. Also incor­rect in index, p. 511.
p. 274 –p. 288 – fn 15 – Stephen Sears cor­rected me on this dis­patch to Franklin, point­ing out that it is intact in McClellan’s HQ let­ter­book and the sep­a­ra­tion is likely due to the Offi­cial Records edi­tors fol­low­ing elipses in the ver­sion sub­mit­ted for the ORs. So there likely was no ulte­rior motives for the sep­a­ra­tion.
pp. 279–82. Stephen Sears argues this inter­pre­ta­tion of the tim­ing of McClellan’s telegram to Lin­coln. It is beyond the scope of this work to parse the details at length but after read­ing much on the topic I think enough evi­dence exists to believe the telegram was sent later than noon, but I can­not regard it as 100% cer­tain.
p. 312 – the chart of casu­al­ties was incor­rectly spaced as per­tains to the 2nd & 12th VA Cav­alry. The for­mer had 1 killed and 2 wounded, and the 12 had 2 killed and 3 wounded. The total Miss­ing is 603, not 602.
p. 374 – fn. 64. Addi­tion — Wilcox’s tar­di­ness was due to his divi­sion being ini­tially marched toward Turner’s Gap and deployed before recall­ing the troops and march­ing to Fox’s Gap.
p. 411 – fn. 72. The note to McClellan’s wife was a telegram, not a let­ter, McClel­lan Papers.
p. 422 – fn. 93. Cor­rec­tion, Col. Thomas Key was the brother of Major john Key, who was dis­missed for his trea­so­nous talk. This inci­dent is dis­cussed at length in Vol. III and even more thor­oughly in William Sty­ple, McClellan’s Other Story (Kear­ney NJ: Belle Grove Pub­lish­ing, 2012).
INDEX
p. 495 – Col. Melvin Clark the 36th OH was omit­ted. He is men­tioned on p. 331, and Col. John Clark is not men­tioned on that page.
– Maj. Cole’s first name was Henry A., not C.C.
p. 498 — James Cooper was not the same man as James H. Cooper. The for­mer is men­tioned on pp. 27–8, the lat­ter on p. 451.
p. 499 – Jef­fer­son Davis was incor­rectly placed above Henry Davis and Has­brouck Davis, out of alpha­bet­i­cal order.
p.501 – Capt. Cary Grimes was con­flated with Col. Bryan Grimes. Cary is men­tioned on pp. 297 & 300, Bryan on 332(n) and 467.
p.503 – Capt. William Hexamer’s name is mis­spelled, and thus out of alpha­bet­i­cal order.
p. 504 – Alfred Iver­son Sr. & Jr. were con­flated. The for­mer is found on p. 68 & 68(n), the lat­ter on p. 467.
p. 508 – Ambrose Dud­ley Mann was con­flated with Capt. Daniel P. Mann. The for­mer is found on p. 68 & 70, the lat­ter on p. 447.
p. 511 – Lt. Col. David Mor­ri­son, 79th NY Inf. was omit­ted from the idex, he appears on pp. 334 & 454.
Lt. Col. Mounger is only men­tioned on p. 461.
p. 513 – Capt. H.M Ross is only men­tioned on p. 468, the p. 300 nota­tion refers to Col. Tom Rosser.
p. 516 – Gen. Isaac R. Trim­ble was not in the MD Cam­paign, and the ref­er­ences to him are con­flated with Col. William H. Trim­ble, 60th OH Inf. The ref­er­ences to Isaac are pp.19–19(n), 32–32(n), and 463, all oth­ers are to William.
p. 514 & 520 – Capt. J.C. von Sehlen is cor­rectly listed on p. 514, except the ref­er­ence on p. 248 is omit­ted. The list­ing for Van Sehlen on p. 520 is incor­rect and should be deleted.

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