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The faces of Antietam

Discussion in 'Battle of Antietam / Sharpsburg' started by Mdiesel, Oct 7, 2014.

  1. Mdiesel

    Mdiesel First Sergeant

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    I thought it would be interesting to get a mixed demographic of short bio's of men from different walks of life & backgrounds that fought at Antietam.

    This idea came to me after reading this excerpt from an article by Ted Alexander:

    "The two armies that fought at Antietam represented a cross section of the American population. The soldiers were primarily from small towns or rural backgrounds. Union regiments claimed more urban enlistments. Around one-fourth of the Union troops were from New York.

    Pennsylvania was the next largest group. Nearly 25 percent of Lee’s army was from Virginia, with Georgia representing a close second at about 21 percent.

    Although the Civil War is generally viewed as a conflict between white Anglo-Saxon Protestants, a close examination reveals an interesting ethnic makeup among Johnny Rebs and Billy Yanks alike. Traditional groups such as the Scots-Irish and ‘Pennsylvania’ Germans could be found on both sides. Many Southern soldiers from both ethnicities in the Shenandoah Valley shared cultural, economic and kinship ties with the same groups in south-central Pennsylvania. The influx of immigrants from Germany and Catholic Ireland was well represented, particularly in the North, with units such as the Irish Brigade and the German 5th Maryland (Union) and 20th New York.

    All these units acquitted themselves well at Antietam.
    The famed Iron Brigade boasted Germans, Norwegians and Métis (men of French Canadian and Indian descent). Indeed, recent research by Iron Brigade scholar Lance Herdegen has uncovered the existence of at least two mulattos who passed for whites and were serving in the ranks. Jews could be found in both armies. The 5th Maryland (Union), made up almost entirely of German immigrants, fought at Bloody Lane. Their commander was Major Leopold Blumenberg, a Jewish immigrant from East Prussia. Among the Confederates opposing the 5th Maryland in the Sunken Road was the 12th Alabama. Captain Adolph Proskauer, another Jewish immigrant from Prussia, served with the 12th and was seriously wounded in the battle.

    Even a solid ‘Anglo’ command like the Texas Brigade had its minorities. Captain Decimus et Ultimus Barziza of Company C, 4th Texas, was the son of Italian immigrants. His name in Latin means ‘the tenth and the last’ (apparently his mother had had enough of child rearing when he came along).

    Both Louisiana brigades in Lee’s army were very cosmopolitan. Besides Louisiana French of both Creole and Acadian (Cajun) descent, the ranks were filled with men from all over the world. One study has shown that at least 24 nationalities were represented in these regiments, including Greeks, Italians, Mexicans, Brazilians and men from Martinique. The 12th South Carolina contained a number of Catawba Indians."

    http://www.historynet.com/battle-of-antietam


    Ted Alexander mentioned the German Jew, Leopold Blumenburg so I decided to begin with short bio of him.

    He was a Respected leader in Baltimore's large German community. A Prussian Jew, Blumenburg had resigned from the Prussian Army due to the bigotry/anti-Semitism he experienced there. He found that others of less merit were promoted while he could attain no rank higher then that of a junior officer. He immigrated to the United States looking for better opportunities in 1854.

    The Jewish community could be as divided as any other over the question of politics, secession or slavery. Rabbi's would argue merits of one side or the other just as the Christian Ministers of the day did.

    Blumenburg attended Temple at Har Sinai whose Rabbi David Einhorn, was an active abolitionist. Blumenburg himself became an outspoken proponent of abolition & union. During the secession crisis & the fall out from the Pratt Street Riot in Baltimore, he lived under threat of being lynched & needed a full time body guard. During this time Blumenburg put his clout in the German community & past military experience to good use for the cause of union. He helped recruit the 5th Maryland Volunteer Infantry to answer Lincoln's call for men to suppress the rebellion. He would serve as the Major of that fine regiment.

    The 5th Maryland's baptism of fire was one hell of a baptism! On September 17th 1862 the 5th Maryland was the center on Brigadier Gen. Weber's brigade as it plodded across the undulating fields of the Roulette Farm at Sharpsburg MD. With a regiment of New Yorkers on the left & the 1st Delaware on the right these men would be the first to assault the Confederate position in the enemies center. An enemy counseled by a sunken farm lane.

    The 5th Maryland advanced with its massive 6 ft tall 300 lb German color barer in the center. His steps so measured & precise that all those around him surged ahead, the alignment of the brigade soon appearing like a crescent bent toward the awaiting enemy. They surged forward with unloaded muskets trusting to turn the enemy out with 'cold steel'.

    This was an excepted practice of the day. It was believed that a man with a loaded gun would stop to fire & thus retard the momentum needed to break an enemy with the bayonet.

    Knowing his only weapon was his bayonet, it was hoped, a soldier would charge across that deadly space between the lines with reckless abandon. Thus taking the enemy position more swiftly. Weber's brigade would pay a terrible price for using this tactic. They would attempts to take the sunken lane with the bayonet would be repulsed three times!

    John B. Gordon would recall the sight of the entire first line of Federal troops mowed down by the Confederate fire. "My rifles flamed and roared in the Federals faces like a blinding blaze of lightning accompanied by the quick and deadly thunderbolt. The effect was appalling. The entire front line, with a few exceptions, went down the consuming blast."

    As the casualties mounted Blumenburg found himself in momentary command of the 5th Maryland. His men were reforming on the crest of the slope and lay down to load & return fire into the Rebel position. During this time Blumenberg would suffer a grave thigh wound and be carried from the field. The 5th would eventually be replaced by other units of successive Federal brigades attacking the sunken lane.

    Blumenburg's wound crippled him for the rest of his life. He would continue to serve the Union but was never again able to take a field command. He would later become the Provost Marshal of Maryland's Third District.

    His loyalty to the Union was rewarded by the brevet rank of Brig. General. His Antietam wound would never properly heal & Leopold Blumenburg finally died from its effects in 1876.

    image.jpg
    Leopold Blumenburg
     

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  3. ErnieMac

    ErnieMac Captain Forum Host Trivia Game Winner

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    Blumenburg's 5th Maryland was brigaded with the 1st Delaware and 4th New York in the 3rd Brigade of Brigadier General William French's Third Division of Major General Edwin Sumner's Second Army Corps. The brigade commander, Brigadier General Max Weber was a German emigrant from the Grand Duchy of Baden. Trained as an officer in the grand Duke's Army he sided with the revolutionaries in the Revolutions of 1848, serving as a colonel under the command of Franz Sigel. Weber, along with many other Forty-Eighters, fled to the United States and settled in New York City where he became the propriater of the Hotel Konstanz.

    With the outbreak of the Civil War Weber took a commission as Colonel and, in conjunction with numerous other German Americans in the New York City area, organized the 20th New York Infantry. The regiment was otherwise known as the "Turner Rifles" because a large part of the men were recruited from German-American Turner gymnastic clubs. The 20th New York was a 2-year regiment assigned to duty in the North Carolina - Virginia coastal areas. Weber was promoted to the rank of Brigadier General in May, 1862, and served in the newly formed Seventh Corps in Southeastern Virginia until detached to the Army of the Potomac just before Antietam.

    Weber's service in the Army of the Potomac was short lived. Leading the front line of French's attack on the Sunken Road he was severely wounded in the right arm. French would write of him in his Official Report "The gallantry and coolness of General Max Weber excited the admiration of the whole command. With consummate skill and judgment he led the attack, and left the field reluctantly, severely wounded." It would be the spring of 1864 before Weber returned to the field in the Shenandoah Valley when he was appointed to command the defenses of Harper's Ferry. In July of that year he fended off Jubal Early's raid on those defenses. Weber resigned his commission on May 13, 1865, and served in a number of government positions after the War including American Consul in Nantes, France, and Collector of Internal Revenue in New York City. He died on June 15, 1901.

    untitled.png
     
  4. 28thNewYork

    28thNewYork First Sergeant Silver Patron

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    The 28th New York was present at Antietem and engaged during the morning of the battle.. As the result of previous actions, primarily at Cedar Mountain, it had been reduced to a mere 65 (that's an intended two-digit number) organized into four companies. In it's brief time in action, it suffered another 12 losses. Of those 53 remaining, two were my great grandfather's brothers, one of whom had been taken prisoner at Cedar Mountain and had subsequently been paroled. Both had been born in Prussia and had immigrated as young children.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2014
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  5. Mdiesel

    Mdiesel First Sergeant

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    Dr. William Proby Young Jr. was a proud American who had grown up in Portsmouth Virginia. In the late 1850's Young left home for medical school enrolling at Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia. After graduation he remained in Philadelphia and became an assistant physician in the hospital for the mentally ill.

    In 1860 the adventurous young man joined a voyage to Liberia sponsored by the American Colonization Society. The goal of this society was to establish an African colony populated by free African Americans. As the ship doctor Young looked after the health of both crew & hundreds of ex-slaves.

    Out on this voyage the young doctor's nationalistic pride and patriotism a show in his journal. Young wrote,"And this is the glorious fourth, the day in which every American rejoices in his Nativity, and expends his patriotism in the discharge of fireworks and spread-eagle speeches. Nothing about our ship gives evidence of the occasion. The captain hasn't even hoisted the Star-Spangled Banner. Says he 'don't think anymore of the Fourth of July than any other day at sea.' I'd run up my banner if it was full of holes and didn't show but one star. This idea of letting the fourth pass without the least notice is a really painful."

    Little did Dr. Young know but that within the following year his country would be torn by the reaction to Abraham Lincoln's election and the secession of multiple southern states.
    With the eventual secession of Virginia, William Proby Young chose loyalty to Virginia. In the 1862 he joined the Confederate Army and received a commission as assistant Surgeon. He was assigned to the 4th Georgia infantry.

    Antietam would be his first major action. His service was selfless & heroic.
    The fourth Georgia regiment was a part of Ripley's brigade of D. H. Hill's Division. This brigade was had spent the night of the 16th September on the Mumma Farm. With the outbreak of fighting the next morning Ripley found his men exposed to the fire of the Rifled Federal guns to the East across Antietam Creek. He wrote, "The enemy from his batteries on the eastern bank of Antietam open a severe enfilading fire on the troops of my command, the position we had been ordered the occupy being in full view of nearly all his batteries. This fire inflicted serious lost before the troops were called into positive action, the men lying under it, without flinching, for over an hour, while the enemy plied his guns unceasingly."

    More severe action was to come. As Gen. Hood's wrecked division was retreating from the cornfield, Gen. Jackson called on D.H. Hill to send reinforcements. With this Ripleys brigade was ordered to their left, from Mumma's farm (just south of east woods) & toward the Hagerstown Pike.
    As is brigade move forward Ripley would be shot in the neck command would fall on George Doles. Doles would lead to brigade across the Smoketown Road & sweep through the triangular shaped pasture just south of the Bloody Cornfield. This had the effect of preventing a vast & gaping hole in the Confederate line between East & West Woods.

    The 4th Georgia found itself in line on the left of the brigade & adjacent to the Hagerstown Pike. The fighting was bloody work & the causalities high. In this Maelstrom assistant surgeon William Young behaved with conspicuous valor. As the men dropped he was there to treat them. Although wounded himself Young remained on the line tending to his comrades.
    Young would remain with the wounded of the 4th Georgia after the battle. He ambulatory William Young voluntarily became a POW in order to continue caring for his wounded soldiers. It was once written that, "he was truly a brave man, and never hesitated to go into the hottest fire on the field of battle in the discharge of duty."

    William Proby Young heroics & bravery would recieve mention in D. H. Hill's official report of the Battle.

    Dr. Young would be exchanged & return to the fourth Georgia infantry where he would remain until the surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia to Appomattox.


    image.jpg


    http://antietam.aotw.org/officers.php?officer_id=2532

    One wounded man of the fourth Georgia was third Lieut. John Gay of Company B. As was his duty on this day, he had stood three paces to the rear of the battle line in the role of file closer. He was struck by minie ball which left a gaping hole in his chest. He fell unconscious where he had stood, "completely unaware of the hell that's world around him." Amazingly he would survive despite a sucking chest wound (such were the wounds Dr. Young had to treat while under fire).
    Lieut. John Gay would eventually return to the ranks of the fourth Georgia and there serve out the rest of the war. Sadly he would be mortally wounded in the attack on Fort Stedman in 1865, mere weeks before the surrender at Appomattox.

    image.jpg
    Lt. John Gay

    http://antietam.aotw.org/officers.php?officer_id=2541

    Info. Found in:

    Coddington, "Faces of the Confederacy"

    John Michael Priest, "Antietam: The Soldiers Battle"

    Ezra Carmen's Maryland Campaign Vol. 2 Antietam
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 7, 2014
  6. Mdiesel

    Mdiesel First Sergeant

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    image.jpg


    Irish Medal of Honor recipient and founder of the oil company that would one day become Exxon.

    Lieutenant
    John Joyce Carter
    (1842 - 1917)
    Home State: New York
    Unit: 33rd New York Infantry

    Before the Antietam Campaign:
    "John Joyce Carter was born June 16, 1842, in Westport, Ireland, the son of John Carter, a wealthy storekeeper, and Cecelia Joyce Carter. Unscrupulous relatives and others lost his father's estate in a mill speculation. They then married off John's only sister, Honora ... to a 19-year-old cousin who was going to America on a sailing ship [c. 1845]. The youngsters cooked their scanty food on the open deck of the ship. "

    In the Antietam Campaign:
    As 2nd Lieutenant, Company B, he was awarded the Medal of Honor for his initiative and bravery at the battle on 17 September 1862.

    The remainder of the War:
    He later served as Captain, Company D, in the 1st New York Veteran Cavalry, beginning 10 October 1863.

    After the War:
    He had a men's clothing business in Titusville (PA) in 1865. In 1877 he sold and went into the oil business. "Col. John J. Carter, an oil operator of Pennsylvania, came to West Virginia in 1893, and on his own account bought producing oil properties in Tyler Co., West Virginia ... On May 1,1893, The Carter Oil Company was incorporated and organized as a subsidiary of the Standard Oil Company (New Jersey) ... The main office was at Titusville, Pennsylvania, until August, 1915, when Col. Carter ... retired ..." (and the Company moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma).

    [The company eventually became Exxon]

    His papers, Diaries of a Titusville, PA oilman's travels, 1876-1916. 45 volumes, are in the West Virginia State Archives (listing), Charleston, WV .

    Birth Date: 6/16/1842 Place of Birth: Westport, IRELAND
    Death Date: 1/3/1917 Burial Place: Woodlawn Cemetery, Titusville, PA"

    http://antietam.aotw.org/officers.php?officer_id=986

    Medal of Honor Citation:
    "While in command of a detached company, seeing his regiment thrown into confusion by a charge of the enemy, without orders made a countercharge upon the attacking column and checked the assault. Penetrated within the enemy's lines at night and obtained valuable information."

    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_J._Carter

    The best I could find about the combat of the 33rd NY comes from Ezra Carman. The 33rd was on the right flank of Irwin's Brigade which approached the West Woods sometime after 12 noon. They were advancing to the right of Smoketown road. Through mistaken orders the New Yorkers were advancing with flanks exposed to Rebels in the West Woods. The Rebels sallied out of the woods & sent volley fire ripping into the Federal ranks. It is my estimation (for lack of better sources then I have at this time) that this is the likely time of Lt. John J. Carter's "countercharge" with his company.

    Unfortunately I couldn't find a source that directly proves it but this seems likely as this was the 33rd NY's roughest patch of fighting. Irwin's Brigade was then pulled back to the protection of the swale near the modern visitor center by 1pm.
     
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  7. Patrick H

    Patrick H Captain

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    Very interesting info on Lt. Carter. I think this is a great concept for a thread.
     
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  8. Mdiesel

    Mdiesel First Sergeant

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    Thanks Patrick, but I gotta admit this thread is a bit selfish on my part. I've always been fascinated by Antietam & this provides me with a excuse to dig around & find otherwise obscure participants. Glad you like it. :smile:
     
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  9. Mdiesel

    Mdiesel First Sergeant

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    image.jpg


    "Charley" King like to play a drum when he got home from school. This past time was his favorite diversion from school work and chores. The boy could play quite well. It was said that his father would often find the lad sitting up in bed & "marking time" on the head board with his drumsticks.

    Charley was the eldest of the five children of Pennell & Adeline King. They lived in the town of West Chester, PA. The Civil War began when Charley was only 12 yrs old. With the outbreak of hostilities the boy was caught up in the excitement & begged his father for permission to join the army as a drummer boy.

    Pennell King adamantly refused to give his son permission but young would not Be easily dissuaded. Charley so impressed Capt. Benjamin H. Sweeney of company F 49th PA with is drum skills that Capt. Sweeney agreed to speak to the boys father.

    Sweeney talked to Pennell and explained that the drummer boys would not actually go into battle but most likely tend to the wounded in the rear. Furthermore, Sweeney promised to except personal responsibility for Charley & keep the boy from harm.

    The king's finally relented & gave permission & Charley enlisted at age 12 into the 49th PA.

    At Antietam the 49th Pennsylvania was located on the Miller Farm in support of the first battery NY Light Artillery just north of East Woods. It was shortly after midday & there was no serious fighting on this part of the battlefield.

    Only the smattering of Artillery fire as gunners were reminding the enemy of their presence. Tragically one of these rounds exploded within the ranks of company F 49th Pennsylvania. Several soldiers were wounded and a piece of shrapnel struck young Charley King and passed through his body. Comrades affectionately carried him from the field & tended to him as best they could but Charley King's wound was mortal.

    The young boy would die three agonizing days later on Sept. 20th, 1862.

    One can only imagine the anguish of Pennell King as he traveled to Sharpsburg to retrieve the body of his oldest child... Still so very young.
    Charley King was 13 years & 5 months old when he fell mortally wounded at the Battle of Antietam.

    This information found in William A. Frassanito's "Antietam: The Photographic Legacy of America's Bloodiest Day"
     
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  10. AUG351

    AUG351 Captain Forum Host

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    Recently read this article on MOH recipient Major Thomas W. Hyde of the 7th Maine Volunteer Infantry.

    After the Union army punched through the center of the enemy line at Bloody Lane during the Battle of Antietam, a company of the 7th Maine was called up to attack Rebels who were harassing a battery from their positions at Henry Piper's farm. Perplexed by the order from Third Brigade commander William Irwin, 7th Maine Major Thomas Hyde asked him to repeat it. To send a company of men against what probably was many times its number was insane, the 21-year-old officer thought.


    But Irwin, a 44-year-old officer who was known to enjoy a strong drink or two, was adamant. In fact, he upped the ante.

    "That is not enough, sir; go yourself; take your regiment and drive them from those trees and buildings," Irwin emphatically said, according to Hyde. For emphasis, he repeated the order several times and pointed to the farmhouse and barn on the Piper farm.

    [​IMG]
    Major Thomas Hyde of the 7th Maine earned the Medal of Honor
    for his heroics at the Battle of Antietam.
    (Photo: Maine State Archives)

    And so the depleted 7th Maine, numbering 166 soldiers, marched over and around the bodies of Rebels in Bloody Lane, through Piper's apple orchard and toward the farmer's house and outbuildings. It was about 5 p.m. on Sept. 17, 1862.

    "Every private in the ranks knew that a fearful blunder had been made," a post-war history noted, "but as obedience is the first duty of a soldier they advanced promptly."

    As Hyde suspected, the attack proved to be a disaster.

    After the 7th Maine chased Rebels from the orchard and pushed down a hill toward the Piper farm buildings, Hyde saw four enemy battle flags and quickly realized that his little regiment was indeed vastly outnumbered. A regiment of Rebels fired from behind a stone wall and an enemy battery fired grape shot into the Maine soldiers, who were mauled from three sides.

    Unsupported by the rest of the Union army, Hyde skillfully directed a retreat back through the orchard. The regiment's losses were terrible: 12 killed and 60 wounded. Only one officer survived unscathed. A captain and a lieutenant each had three bullets holes through their uniforms. Hyde and another officer had their horses shot out from under them.

    "I drove the enemy from the trees and buildings Col. Irwin ordered me to clear," Hyde wrote in his official report, "but for want of support was unable either to push on after his line was pierced or to hold the position that was gained. I cannot make exception for special mention. Where all behaved so nobly, and obeyed orders so readily, distinction would be invidious."

    In his official report on Sept. 22, 1862, an officer noted that Hyde "led his regiment into action with spirit and courage, handled it under severe fire with judgment, and retired in compact order and with a steady front.

    "Conduct like this requires soldierly qualities of the highest order."

    The soldier who wrote the report, William Irwin, the man who ordered the attack, had been removed of his brigade command four days earlier. He returned to the 49th Pennsylvania but resigned his commission in October 1863. A month after the war was over, he ironically was named brevet brigadier general for his actions at Antietam. Mentally deranged, Irwin died in a Kentucky insane asylum in 1886.

    On April 8, 1891, Hyde received the Congressional Medal of Honor for his heroics in helping lead what was left of his regiment to safety at Antietam.

    http://john-banks.blogspot.com/2014/10/antietam-panorama-7th-maines-futile.html

    Thomas W. Hyde was Born in Florence, Italy to parents who were natives of Bath, Maine. Hyde graduated from Bowdoin College in 1861 and then from Chicago University.

    Hyde began his Union Army service on April 2, 1861, as a major in the 7th Maine Volunteer Infantry Regiment. On February 26, 1863, he became Assistant Inspector General of the Sixth Corps of the Army of the Potomac.
    He was promoted to lieutenant colonel on December 1, 1863 and in 1864, Hyde became provost marshal general of the Sixth Corps. On September 24, 1864, Hyde transferred to the 1st Maine Veteran Volunteer Regiment and was promoted to colonel on October 22, 1864. He commanded Brigade 3, Division 2, VI Corps of the Army of the Shenandoah between October 30, 1864, and December 6, 1864, and the same brigade in the Army of the Potomac from December 6, 1864, when the Army of the Shenandoah returned from its detached duty to the Army of the Potomac, until June 28, 1865. Despite this service, Hyde did not receive promotion to full rank brigadier general.

    Starting in 1873, Hyde served three terms in the Maine Senate, including two as president. He became mayor of Bath in 1878 and in 1884 he founded Bath Iron Works, becoming general manager of it in 1888. Hyde wrote Following the Greek Cross (1894) and Recollections of the Battle of Gettysburg (1898).

    Hyde died on November 15, 1899 at Fort Monroe, Virginia, after a short illness. He was buried in Oak Grove Cemetery, Bath, Maine.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2014
  11. FahanParish

    FahanParish Private

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    I don't have a photo - but thanks to an NYT article reporting on the battle posted previously on this forum by M. Diesel I have mention of Thomas Davis, a corporal in the 51st Pennsylvania . He joined up with his two brothers, Stephan Davis and Henry Clay Davis. Their unit went south with Burnside in 1862 participating in several battles prior to Antietam. After several failed attempts to take and hold the bridge called 'Burnside's Bridge', the 51st Pennsylvania and 51st New York were asked to take up the task.

    The parents of these three brothers were part of a group of Baptists who founded a new congregation for abolitionists Baptists. Their father was a miller - none of the three had a high school education but all had completed grammar school. Thomas was an apprentice carpenter at the time he joined up.

    Thomas was killed in the charge to take the bridge but until I read the NYT article, I never knew where but the reporter mentions seeing his body on the east side of the bridge. His brother Stephan was killed in the first assault on Petersburg and Henry C. survived the war, moving to Denver, Colorado after the war, never marrying.

    None of the three have descendants. Their bios aren't those of people who had much but the courage to serve a cause they believed in.
     
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  12. FahanParish

    FahanParish Private

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    One more at Antietam who once did have a photo taken of himself in his uniform but the photo drifted off into the large family he had after the war.
    George Washington Fulton, Willistown, Chester County Pennsylvania was a farm boy who also served in the 51st Pennsylvania and was in the charge that finally took Burnside's Bridge.
    During the war his mother and sister wrote him very short letters speaking of everyday events on their small 10 acre farm. One letter from his sister asked him for the name of his general as she said it was the fashion now to name babies after generals and their mother was expecting one - who when born was named Reno for General Jesse Reno.

    The letters usually ended with "I have no more to add" but if the letter was from his father there was always a request to send a bit of his money home. George Washington Fulton came home from the war, married and had 12 children.
     
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  13. Brian Downey

    Brian Downey Cadet

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    Hi FahanParish - I'd like to add GW Fulton to my list of those at Antietam. Do you have those letters now? Is that how you know he was at Antietam? Thanks in advance for any help,

    Brian
     
  14. Pvt.Shattuck

    Pvt.Shattuck Sergeant Major

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    Lt. Col. John Lemuel Stetson, 59th NY, died leading a charge at the West Woods. A search party made up of Stetson's old comrades from my GG Grandfather's 16th NY (where he had served as Captain before his promotion and transfer to the 59th) found, buried, and marked the location of his body. Stetson's father came down from NY to retrieve his son's remains. He wrote a letter which was later published describing his anguish and the events of the journey. http://walkingthewestwoods.blogspot.com/2009/11/and-i-stood-among-strangers-john-lemuel.html
    The 16th regiment arrived at Antietam late on the afternoon of September 17th after a forced march from South Mountain where they had experienced heavy casualties. They slept on arms near the Dunker Church where one man was killed by sniper fire. I have always wondered whether my ancestor was therewith them. He enlisted as a replacement on August 13th and appears on the muster roll in September and October.
     
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  15. Mdiesel

    Mdiesel First Sergeant

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    Excerpt taken from William A. Frassanito's, "Antietam: The Photographic Legacy of America's Bloodiest Day."

    image.jpg

    "Depicted in these...photos are clusters of bloated, decomposing corpses only two days after they have been killed. Who are these men? What were their names? How old were they? Where were they from? Were they married, or single? The questions are legion.

    Although it would be impossible in this instance to determine the personal identity of any individual body, I nevertheless had access to the complete Antietam casualty list for at least one of the regiments of Starke's brigade, the Tenth Louisiana. The chances are great at many of the dead on that list are bodies in Gradner's five photographs.
    The Tenth Louisiana suffered heavily at the rail fence on the morning of September 17.

    image.jpg

    According to the list of names, twenty-two members of that regiment were killed at Antietam.

    They ages of those twenty-two ranges from Pvt. Peter Collins of company D, from Saint Landry Parish, a laborer in civilian life, who was twenty at the time of the battle, to Sgt. John Thompson of Company H, from New Orleans, formerly a sailor, who was forty-four. Sergeant Thompson was the only one on the list who was married.

    image.jpg

    Louisiana was the melting pot at the time of the Civil War, and units from that state typically contained a high percentage of men born in foreign countries.

    More than half the members of the Tenth who were killed at Antietam, such as the following, were born outside the United States: Pvt. David Holmes, aged 27... A painter born in Ireland; Sgt. Joseph Joyce aged 33... A shoemaker born in England; Pvt. Henry Friday aged 29... A baker born in Germany; Pvt. Juan Tacon aged 29... A laborer born in Mexico; Sgt Alexander Feuga aged 21... A cook born in France; and Pvt. Christopho Salomicho aged 41... A sailor born in Greece.

    image.jpg

    Many of these men were living and working in New Orleans at the time of the wars outbreak. Others were native born farmers. Like Cpl. Joseph Auge aged 24; Cpl. John Sloan aged 27 and J. H. Jackson, aged 35.

    The personal tragedy surrounding the death of each of these men was of little concern to the union soldiers who buried them in mass graves sometime within 48 hours after Gardner left this sketch of the Hagerstown pike.

    image.jpg

    And yet each of these mangled, bloated corpses, stiffening by rigor mortis in a variety of often grotesque poses, represents the termination of roughly 20 to 40 years of human experience. For Christopho Salomicho this experience began in far-off Greece during the 1820s. For John Sloan it began on a small Louisiana farm during the year 1835. These men all shared their one last experience along the turnpike fence at a place a few, if any, had ever heard of before September 1862."
     
  16. Miles Krisman

    Miles Krisman Corporal

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    There is an excellent history of the 10th Louisiana Infantry...."Lee's Foreign Legion" by Thomas Walter Brooks and Michael Dan Jones.
     
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  17. ErnieMac

    ErnieMac Captain Forum Host Trivia Game Winner

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    The following map is taken from the Antietam on the Web site. It shows the 59th New York on the left (bottom) flank of Gorham's Brigade, the front line of Sumner attack.
    http://antietam.aotw.org/maps.php?map_number=5

    map_attack_seq_5.gif
     
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  18. Mdiesel

    Mdiesel First Sergeant

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    The 59th NY didn't stand a chance. They moved into a position in which they received fire from front & flank. Then with the confusion & literal "fog of war" produced by black powder weapons they received "friendly" from the rear! Every soldiers nightmare!
     
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  19. Mdiesel

    Mdiesel First Sergeant

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    Thanks, I'll have to look it up :smile:
     
  20. ErnieMac

    ErnieMac Captain Forum Host Trivia Game Winner

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    DEATH OF LIEUT. COL. STENSON.
    From a. letter of Hon. LEMUEL STENSON, of Clinton, to a friend in this city, we learn that his son Col. JOHN L. STETSON, of the 59th N. Y. V., fell mortally wounded while gallantly leading his regiment in the terrible battle of Antietam. He was struck in the front by a Minnie ball. Col. STETSON'S regiment went into action with less than 400 men. It lost in killed 47; wounded 143; 13 of 21 officers were killed or wounded. The venerable father, after narrating the mournful incidents of his son's death, utters the following language, worthy of a Roman citizen in the best days of the Republic: " But I am departing from my purpose—the curse of mankind—war, is upon us; and yet it is only by war—vigorous, earnest, resolute war —war to the knife—war in the minds and hearts of our people at home, as we see and feel he horrors of the front and in the track of battle, that can save our nationality and preserve to us, or recover for us the decent respect of mankind."

    http://dmna.ny.gov/historic/reghist/civil/infantry/59thInf/59thInfCWN.htm
     
  21. rhettbutler1865

    rhettbutler1865 Colonel, CSA Cavalry Silver Patron Trivia Game Winner

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    Really illuminating post! Thanks!
     

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