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.

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.
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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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).
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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Nice compliment

I was thrilled today when I read in the lat­est Civil War Mon­i­tor that Vol. II of the Car­man man­u­script was given Hon­or­able men­tion by Dr. Ethan Rafuse, US Army Com­mand & Gen­eral Staff Col­lege Pro­fes­sor, in the Best Books of 2012 col­umn. Very thrilled about this.

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Critical praise for Vol. II

Dim­itri Rotov, whose Civil War Book­shelf reviews are frank and objec­tive, had these nice things to say about Vol. II:
Tom Clemens’ sec­ond vol­ume of anno­tated Ezra Car­man is out, The Mary­land Cam­paign of 1862, and it weighs in at 668 pages, for a total of 1189 pages includ­ing Vol­ume 1.

The first vol­ume cov­ered the cam­paign up to the bat­tle and this vol­ume addresses the bat­tle itself.here, moreso than in Vol­ume 1, Clemens’ dis­cur­sive foot­not­ing really comes into its own.

For exam­ple, I com­pared the same sub­sec­tions of a chap­ter from Joseph Pierro’s one-volume edi­tion (516 pages total) of Carman’s work with Tom’s Vol­ume II. The chap­ter is “The Burn­side Bridge” which Joe changed (for some rea­son) to “The Rohrbach (Burn­side) Bridge.”

In this matched com­par­i­son of pas­sages of the same length, the Pierro book shows four foot­notes, all of the type

McClel­lan to Thomas, Oct. 15, 1861, 31

Pierro’s sparse notes are intended to cor­re­late some of Carman’s mate­r­ial to out­side sources such as the OR. A dis­cur­sive note from Pierro’s book might spend a sen­tence or two on the impli­ca­tions of mis­spelling Duryee as Duryea.

Clemens also has four foot­notes, two of them short and two longer. Here is his ver­sion of Pierro’s note (shown above):

McClellan’s Octo­ber 15 report, ibid., p. 31. This lan­guage is notably absent from his August 1863 report.

You see the value, imme­di­ately, even in Clemens’ short­est notes.

In the matched pas­sages, Car­man describes the ter­rain around the bridge call­ing out a spot where four Union bat­ter­ies were located. Clemens’ foot­note says how Car­man likely devel­oped the dis­tance data. He also records, with inter­est­ing cita­tions, that Car­man is the only source for putting Roemer’s bat­tery at the bridge site on this day. Very nice points and not mir­rored in Pierro’s book, where notes have been pressed into a dif­fer­ent kind of service.

In the pas­sage address­ing McClellan’s order to attack over the bridge, Clemens gives an ele­gantly com­pact, mas­ter­fully edited note that embraces where Car­man got his lan­guage for the nar­ra­tive describ­ing this inci­dent; high­lights of the con­tro­versy regard­ing the tim­ing of the order; and he men­tions a major con­tri­bu­tion to the study of this con­tro­versy in 2007 by our friend Moe D’Aoust.

Pierro did us good ser­vice bring­ing a Car­man edi­tion pub­lic when there was none but the best is the enemy of the good. You have to buy Clemens’ Car­man for the notes. They are superb.

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