Lieutenant-Colonel Arthur J. L. Fremantle

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JAGwinn

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From the book From Manassas to Appomattox: Memoirs of the Civil War in America by Longstreet
LT.COL. ARTHUR J. L. FREEMANTLE COLD STREAM GUARDS.jpg

About this time we entertained a distinguished visitor. An officer of the British service, Lieutenant-Colonel Arthur J. L. Fremantle, of the Coldstream Guards, brought letters from the Secretary of War to General Lee and myself. He was seeking opportunity to observe the campaign as a non-combatant; he travelled with us, divided his time between general head-quarters and head-quarters of the First Corps, cheerfully adapted his tastes to the rough ways of Confederate soldiers, and proved to be an interesting companion. To avoid the blockade he came to the Confederacy through Mexico. He gave a graphic account of his experience in Texas and[Pg 344] travel after crossing the Rio Grande to the interior in a two-horse hack. The drivers of his conveyance were Mr. Sargeant and Judge Hyde, two characters whom I had met years before while in army service on the Texas frontier. They called their team Grant and Sherman, and enjoyed their glorious rides down the smooth slopes of the prairie roads, as they rattled their heels upon the box of the hack and plied their team, Grant and Sherman, with whips and oaths. But the great novelty to him was the position of the judge. In England there are few judges comparatively, and those of high estate. To find an American judge playing assistant to a hack-driver was refreshing, and Colonel Fremantle thoroughly enjoyed it. I now have the pleasure to salute our genial war-time visitor as governor at Malta and Lieutenant-General Sir Arthur James Lyon Fremantle, K.C.M., G.C.B., and to offer congratulations to Her Most Noble Majesty upon her worthy subject.
 
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TomV71

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I am already at page 132 of Fremantle's book when he has arrived in Mobile. I dont know why I have never gotten around to read this before.
The first part of the trip through Texas can be a little tiresome though, but the book gets better and much more interesting as soon as he arrives in Mississippi during the Vicksburg Campaign. I got some very interesting observations of the southern spirit, how blacks felt the war, quotes from Confederate Generals and many other aspects.
I highly recommend reading this.!
 
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Polloco

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I do intend to see if our local library can order this book for me. Never got around to reading it but have been hearing some good things about it. I hear there is a quote in this book somewhere about my great great grandfathers regiment while Freemantle was crossing Texas. One way to find out!
 

TomV71

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I do intend to see if our local library can order this book for me. Never got around to reading it but have been hearing some good things about it. I hear there is a quote in this book somewhere about my great great grandfathers regiment while Freemantle was crossing Texas. One way to find out!
He mentions some Texas regiments, but mostly by their commanders name. Btw, it works fine reading the book from the above link, as long as you use a computer/laptop (not smartphone) and zoom a little. It's a really interesting book. Cant stop reading, except for some short breaks resting my eyes.
 
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Polloco

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Thanks for the tip, I had intended to try that link but a large screen I dont have. My eyes couldnt take it for long on a small screen. I'll wait for the book. I dont remember the quote but I think its either how the regiment was the most diversified or the best drilled. I'll find out in due time.
 

Rusk County Avengers

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Fremantle's book is a good one, especially with his detailed accounts of everything from uniforms, to terrain, and I wish he didn't have to omit his own descriptions of forts for the good reasons he gave.

Only thing about it, is him having such an eye for detail and putting it down in his diary in such detail, everything from surroundings to meetings, I can't help but think these weren't the innocent casual observations of an observer committed to paper by a tourist, even one with a military background it seems more than warranted. Unless he just wanted to go down as a famous English explorer, I suspect he may have really been on something of a fact finding mission his government just in case. If it had come down to it his observations would have been valuable in the British military's hands.

Not saying he definintly was, or Britain was considering entering the War, just a suspicion he was making the detailed observations for a "just in case" type of deal and that he was doing so under orders. Again a suspicion he was after reading his book, because its almost like a report in a lot of ways.
 
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TomV71

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Of the many friendships Fremantle made while in the Confederacy, one of the most enduring was with General Longstreet. The general invited Fremantle to stay with his staff during the campaign. Fremantle described Longstreet as ‘a thick-set, determined-looking man.’
He also speaks highly of General Polk.
But concerning Longstreet and Lee, Fremantle wrote that "the relationship between Lee and Longstreet was quite touching. They are almost always together".
Almost a little cute in a way. :D
 

TerryB

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Fremantle's book about his civil war experience is available for free right here on archive.org.
I love his book. One of the paperback versions has photos of him in which he almost looks like Billy the Kid.

The movie "Gettysburg" did a terrible parody of him, as if he really would wear his British uniform. The teacup and saucer was like turning the pie after hitting him in the face with it.
 
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Polloco

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I'm kind of surprised, Fremantle is not in the book "Who's Who in the Civil War". There are many people who were neither soldier nor politician who are in that book. I sort of thought He may be also.
 

67th Tigers

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Captain & Lt Col Freemantle was the junior captain in 2nd Bn, Coldstream Gds. As junior captain he didn't yet have a company, the battalion was established for an extra captain as an ADC. He was on leave from his position as ADC to Major-General Ridley, commanding Dublin District.

Guards officers had a dual rank. They were expected to detach large numbers of officers to fill out staff posts.
 
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Iain S

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Captain & Lt Col Freemantle was the junior captain in 2nd Bn, Coldstream Gds. As junior captain he didn't yet have a company, the battalion was established for an extra captain as an ADC. He was on leave from his position as ADC to Major-General Ridley, commanding Dublin District.

Guards officers had a dual rank. They were expected to detach large numbers of officers to fill out staff posts.
Hi

I am not sure the bit about being an ADC is actually correct. If you look at Hart's Annual Army List for 1863, Arthur Lyon Fremantle is listed under the Coldstream Guards section on page 212, as Capt & Lt Col. On page 213, under Coldstream Guards Lts & Capts, is his younger brother FitzRoy William Fremantle. If one then looks at page 468 in the same publication, it is FitzRoy who is listed as ADC to Major General Ridley. (See extracts attached.)

This is entirely consistent with Arthur's career who had already been a battalion adjutant and then from 1860-62 had been Assistant Military Secretary in Gibraltar, so would be unlikely to take the retrograde career move of becoming an ADC.

Hope this helps.

Army List Extracts 1863.jpg
 
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