Discussion in 'To Appomattox' started by becks, Oct 4, 2010.
Oh good grief, KHale.........
And I guess THAT GUY will show up at Ft. Pillow dripping with blood.
No, I have high hopes that it's going to be done right some day. This may well be the one.
Actually, read my note to Michael....I think so, too!
I certainly hope so too... would be a welcome change!
As far as documents, paperwork and writing materials that are painfully well researched, I recommend Mr. Bob Sullivan of Sullivan Press. (www.sullivanpress.com); E-mail: email@example.com
Michael A. Schaffner, of the Yahoo Group called "ScrivenersMess" is an accomplished re-enactor dedicated to authenticity of clerk impressions, to which would be present in any headquarters, writing orders by hand for Grant, Grant's staff and his headquarters. I am under the impression that Mr. Schaffner is well connected to other clerk/staff re-enactors to which one may have a portable press to which would have been present in Grant's headquarters as well as printing the documents for the Confederate surrender at Appomattox. Yahoo Group is free to join. Mr. Sullivan as well as other well known historians are members of this Yahoo Group.
Third U.S. Infantry Reenactors are well connected, to which might be helpful in any re-enactment advice. They have been extremely helpful to me.
Historian Kim B. Holien, at Fort Meyer, (Arlington) Virginia is extremely detailed as far as historically correct and, has been a re-enactor for many years. Wrote a detailed account of "Balls Bluff." Not only did he include the battle but the collateral effects, after affects to include Congressional involvements. You are welcomed to write him at P.O. Box 22485, Alexandria, Virginia 22304. He has been featured on PBS in regard to historical matters. His hand made kepi is featured in the movie "Gettysburg" on Major Sorrel. It is my understanding that Mr. Holien coordinated big re-enactment events, been a member of the re-enactment community for over 30+ years, historian for the U.S. Army for over 30 years and author. He is picky about details too.
Willard Hotel in Washington, D.C., was where General Grant when in town made his headquarters. The room number and other information might be available. The present Willard Hotel is a replacement of the Civil War version of the Willard. However, their archival photographs and perhaps interior room of Grant's room might be worthy of the 'set' wherever you choose to create it. In addition as President, Grant used the Willard's lobby to meet individuals and the believed source of 'lobbyist' was coined from this.
President Grant was alleged to be a frequent visitor to the Clifton Hotel. (In the town of Clifton, Virginia - Fairfax, County. The hotel survives and turned into a dining place however, there are some historical buildings there remaining, along an active railroad track.
Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Museum cooperated with the making of the movie "Gods and Generals." They ran the train in Baltimore Maryland area however, more importantly used historically authentic locomotives and cars/coaches.
Actor Robert Duvall, to whom played General Lee in "Gods and General" is also a Virginia resident. He has blood ties to the Lee family on his mother's side. He has also been most active in efforts to save the battlefields around Chancellorsville, Spotsylvania and The Wilderness. In makeup as Lee, he is darn scary close to General Lee's death mask. Mr. Duvall is spoken with great respects around Virginia's re-enactment community as he has been so giving in many ways, to include adding the Lee family little known quirks and private inter-family knowledge. Regardless, if he is used or not--his historical investment into these areas is beyond personal but, professional as well.
President Lincoln's presentation of the commission to the rank of Lieutenant-General, was made in a surprisingly plain manner. It was written in script on plain paper and not on a certificate. So, this must have been hastily done by the Executive Mansion's 'in house calligrapher.' I did research as to whom wrote this certificate however, the Chief Calligrapher to the White House (a term not used during the Lincoln Administrative or some time to follow), could not proffer a name of who wrote Lieutenant-General Grant's commission. Copy of said commission is online access at the U.S. Library of Congress' web site and on the Executive Mansion's stationary.
The best ever book I found on military placements at the battle of Gettysburg, was in the book called "Great Maps of the Civil War," to which the interior panorama map of the battlefield of Gettysburg made by General G. Warren (Engineer), signed by General Meade and other generals involved, is the most accurate map I personally have seen. Our "Gettysburg" forum may be worthwhile to look through.
Another valuable resource is the authentic and 113 year old book "Under Both Flags," [Graham 1869], where there are some photographs there that have unique views. U.S. Army Military Archives in Pennsylvania, has at least three copies. In this book, is a chapter on the eulogy proffered by Colonel Marshall (former staff of General Lee). It is the only documentation of Marshall's participation at General Grant's funeral service. [ "Colonel Charles Marshall's Eulogy of General Grant"; Page 128-130, with Col. Charles Marshall's photograph at the time]
Anderson, Nancy Scott The generals : Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee New York, Wings Books, 1994
Badeau, Adam Military history of Ulysses S. Grant, from April, 1861 to April, 1865 New York, 1868-1881
Dana, Charles A The life of Ulysses S. Grant : general of the armies of the United States Springfield MA, Gurdon Bill & Co., 1868
Lewis, Lloyd Captain Sam Grant Boston, Little, Brown, 1950
General /President U.S. Grant's son, General Frederick Dent Grant, U.S.A,if memory serves me correctly, wrote a book about his father and his horses called "Grant's horses". Grant's son accompanied General Grant on several occasions and detailed many behind private facts, to include the details of when General Grant's known horses were used and when they came into Grant's ownership/control and out of them. As an equestrian myself, it drove me to distraction in regard to Gettysburg and Gods and Generals, the wrong horse color or size of horses for the actor, e.g. General Jno. Buford's mount was a grey horse named "Grey Eagle" and was his "comparison horse" (riderless horse) lead behind his casket at his Washington, D.C. funeral. General Longstreet's Irish bred Thoroughbred named "Hero." Grant's famous mount Cincinnati was presented to him in 1864. When Colonel Grant rode into Springfield, Illinois, in 1861, he was astride a white horse named Methuselah. Horse was unfit and "Jack" made his debut` with Colonel Grant, described as: A cream-colored horse, with black eyes, mane and tail of silver white, his hair gradually becoming darker toward his feet. He was a noble animal, high spirited, very intelligent and an excellent horse in every way. He was a stallion and of considerable value. General Grant used him until after the battle of Chattanooga (November, 1863), as an extra horse and for parades and ceremonial occasions. At the time of the Sanitary Fair in Chicago (1863 or '64), Colonel Grant gave him to the fair, where he was raffled off, bringing $4,000 to the Sanitary Commission. A vary generous thing to do. We call Jack's color now days as a 'buckskin' horse. Soon after he was made brigadier-general. (Aug. 1861). At the battle of Belmont (November 7, 1861), his horse was killed under him and he took his son's pony. The pony was quite small and my father, feeling that the commanding general on the field should have a larger mount, turned the pony over to one of his aides-decamp. (Captain Hyllier) and mounted the captain's horse. The pony ,was lost in the battle. No name on Captain Hylier's horse). The next horse that my father purchased for field service was a roan called "Fox," a very powerful and spirited animal and of great endurance. This horse he rode during the siege and battles around Fort Donelson and also at Shiloh. At the battle of Shiloh the Confederates left on the field a rawboned horse, very ugly and apparently good for nothing. As a joke, the officer who found this animal on the field, sent it with his compliments, to Colonel Lagow, one of General Grant's aides-de-camp, who always kept a very excellent mount and was a man of means. The other officers of the staff "jollied" the colonel about this gift. When my Grant saw him, he told the colonel that the animal was a thoroughbred and a valuable mount and that if he, Lagow, did not wish to keep the horse he would be glad to have him. Because of his appearance he was named "Kangaroo," and after a short period of rest and feeding and care he turned out to be a magnificent animal and was used by Grant during the Vicksburg campaign. No specific color on him however, posed with his other mounts, he was a dark bay horse. During the campaign and siege of Vicksburg, a cavalry raid or scouting party arrived at Joe Davis' plantation (the brother of Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederacy) and there captured a black pony which was brought to the rear of the city and presented to Grant's son. The gait of the pony was so delightful that he directed that he be turned over to the quartermaster as a captured horse and a board of officers be convened to appraise the animal. This was done and my father purchased the animal and kept him until he died, which was long after the Civil War. This pony was known as "Jeff Davis." After the battle of Chattanooga, General Grant went to St. Louis, where his son was critically ill from dysentery contracted during the siege of Vicksburg. During the time of his visit to the city he received a letter from a gentleman who signed his name "S.S. Grant," the initials being the same as those of a brother of General Grant's father, who had died in the summer of 1861. S.S. Grant wrote to the effect that he was very desirous of seeing General Grant but that he was ill and confined to his room at the Lindell Hotel and begged him to call, as he had something important to say which my father might be gratified to hear. The gentleman (S.S. Grant -no relationship), would never be able to ride again, that he would like to give his horse to him; that he desired that the horse should have a good home and tender care and that the only condition that he would make in parting with him would be that the person receiving him would see that he was never ill-treated and should never fall into the hands of a person that would ill-treat him. This promise was given and General Grant accepted the horse and called him" Cincinnati." This was his battle charger until the end of the war and was kept by him until the horse died at Admiral Ammen's farm in Maryland, in 1878. ("Cincinnati" was the son of "Lexington," the fastest four-mile thoroughbred in the United States, time 7:19 3/4 minutes. "Cincinnati" nearly 'equaled the speed of his half-brother, "Kentucky," and Grant was offered $10,000 in gold or its equivalent for him, but refused. He was seventeen hands high, and in the estimation of Grant was the finest horse that he had ever seen. Grant rarely permitted anyone to mount the horse --two exceptions were Admiral Daniel Ammen and Lincoln. Ammen saved Grant's life from drowning while a school-boy. Grant says: "Lincoln spent the latter days of his life with me. He came to City Point in the last month of the war and was with me all the time. He was a fine horseman and rode my horse 'Cincinnati' every day."). About this time (January, 1864) some people in Illinois found a horse in the southern part of that State, which they thought was remarkably beautiful. They purchased him and sent him as a present to General Grant. This horse was known as "Egypt" as he was raised, or at least came from southern Illinois, a district known in the State as Egypt, as the northern part was known as Canaan. (There is a photo of Jeff Davis, Egypt and Cincinnati posed).
Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker - Lookout - acquired at Chattanooga and named for a battle of that campaign, stood seventeen hands high and was cherished by Hooker. There are photos of "Lookout" in some Civil War books and Library of Congress.
Brig. Gen. George G. Meade - Baldy - wounded at First Bull Run and at Antietam, this horse later took Meade to Gettysburg and a promotion. Philadelphia's Old Baldy Civil War Round Table helps to commemorate the memory of the horse. Photographs also survive. (Search U.S. Library of Congress' Civil War Horses).
Col. Philip Sheridan - Aldebaron - an early mount of Sheridan, gave way to a gelding named Rienzi. After taking him on his famous ride to Winchester, the name of the animal was changed to that of the town. Winchester (or Rienzi) was so revered that when he died, his stuffed body was presented to the Smithsonian Institution.
William T. Sherman - Lexington - possibly the favorite of Sherman, who also rode Dolly and Sam.
Maj. Gen. George Thomas - Billy - named for Sherman, this was the bay war horse of Thomas.
Another little known 'tid bit' of information -- though Charles Goodyear patented rubber in 1834, uses were limited. Rubber ponchos, blankets were used but, not as pencil erasers quite yet. Lead was made of graphite and small cube of baked bread was used to 'erase' pencil marks. Dip pens were used, I believe Grant's dip pen is on display somewhere. Erasers for ink looks like a scalpel and when the ink is dry, it is scrapped off. Paper was made of cotton rag (Crane Stationary is 100% cotton rag) the ink sat on the surface. Smoother paper was introduced during the war which also reduced the need for cotton rags in making paper. Ink was "Iron Gall" which is very acidic and will eat through things like nibs, paper where it is heavier, e.g. dots, etc., so it looks like worms/bugs have invested when in fact it is the acid. Ink was also made by using soot in the fireplaces. "Moon Palace" ink will give the look of Iron Gall ink without the acid eating affects/effects on your props, costumes, etc. Highly recommended by calligraphers who wish to be authentic, as well as the calligraphers at the White House. (Paper and Ink Arts has a good healthy supply of such ink, to include pre-mixed Iron Gall Ink should you require it). I will also mention "combination pens" were made in the years 1850's onward. They come in different configurations however to qualify, it must have a mechanical pencil and dip pen portion that sides, in and out of the barrel or, to detach from the main holder as to re-attach either the pencil or the dip pen. I have approximately 20 examples of these pens. Traveling ink wells were often made of wood, the examples of said inkwells are on the "ScrivenersMess" Yahoo web site. Reproductions are available and copy the pattern of these wood traveling inkwells. Headquarters would have bottled ink in great quantities as to fill their inkwells found in their headquarters desks and personal campaign writing slopes.
Hopefully, this may be helpful to you.
Respectfully submitted for consideration,
M. E. Wolf
I am with Ole, i look forward to it but do not think a complete realistic can be had. To much of that era is gone or not affordable to be made in any quanity. Just dont use locomotives that are from the wrong era please, dont hook the artillery horses directly to the cannons please, and please please do not show quartermaster wagons with the driver in the seat of the wagon. Last but not least by any means do not show men having limbs removed while biting on musket balls. Thank you.
Well you cant be completely realistic, but you can be better than say Gettysburg and Gods and Generals, films like Ride with the Devil, Glory, and the largely unknown, Histoy of the Campaign that failed are so great as far as feel and look. Now, things that can be done, and were done with Band of Brothers, The Pacific, etc, was getting the right physical look and age for soldiers. Although I am/was a "stitch nazi", I would be happy to see at least the right patterns and the right fabric being used, as well as looking at pictures of real CW soldiers to get the right way to wear the clothing. Not that difficult, and one thing we are taught working for the NPS is to never underestimate the knowledge of the public, and to always strive to do it right. So, even though many in the public might not know a first national from a stainless banner, etc. I still think you need to do it right, its not that much of a cost and why do it wrong when you can do it correctly.
I'm thinking Michael is getting more advice than he asked for. I'd be happy if the extras weren't fat old guys, but where do you find skinny young ones? Them you have to pay scale. There are darn few young, skinny reenactors who can take a couple of weeks off to be in a movie. That's for old fat guys. And the music goes round and round, and it comes out here.
The average soldier was young, about 23, and not tall, about 5' 6 or 7" and about 143 pounds wet. They're hard to find anymore unless you dip into the teener population. And then you don't want to see all those zits and the constant woody.
I do wish you well, Michael, but I do not envy you.
Might be cheaper in the long run. Is there a large CW Union reenactment group in Romania. Apparently, they have the lock on skinny young men.
Ole, Cold Mountain pulled it off, you dont have to use reenactors. Also, even if you do, you get a core group of young guys that are in the close ups and thin guys for middle background, then there are the wonders of what a computer can do. It can be done, Band of Brothers and the Pacific did it for WWII. Also, although average heighth was smaller, it wasnt abnormal to have folks around 6'0, look at the British Grenadiers. Also, below is a pic of one of the best living history programs we have ever done at Chickamauga.
Also, although I had issues with clothing, when I worked on Andersonville, that classic TNT film, they used a lot of college kids and other skinny types for extras and deep background.
Also, the new Redford film, the Conspirator, had weight restrictions.
FOX’S REGIMENTAL LOSSES
The muster-rolls also state the nativities of the men; from which it appears that, in round numbers, out of 2,000,000 men, three-fourths were native Americans. Of the 500,000 soldiers of foreign birth, Germany furnished 175,000; Ireland, 150,000; England, 50,000; British America, 50,000; other countries, 75,000.
The average height of the American soldiers, as shown by the records of the recruiting officers, was 5 feet 8 1/4 inches. The men from Maine, Indiana, Iowa, Missouri and Kentucky, were slightly above this figure. The West Virginians averaged 5 feet 9 inches in height. The general average would have been greater had it not included the measurements of recruits from 17 to 20 years of age, who evidently had not attained their full stature when their measurement was recorded. Out of about 1,000,000 recorded heights of soldiers there were 3,613 who were over 6 feet 3 inches, and among them were some who were over 7 feet.(+) By selecting from the whole Army, there could have been formed regiments and brigades of tall men which would have surpassed the famous giant-guards of Frederick the Great.
But tall men proved to be poor material for a long, toilsome campaign. When, after a hard, forced march, the captain looked over his company at nightfall to see how many men he had with him, the "ponies" who trudged along at the tail of the company were generally all there; it was the head end of the company that was thinned out.
The records of the weights of the soldiers are incomplete; but, such as they are, they indicate that the average weight was 143 1/2 pounds.
The descriptive lists show also the color of hair, from which it appears that 13 per cent. of the soldiers had black hair; 25 per cent. had dark hair; 30 per cent., brown hair; 24 per cent., light; 4 per cent., sandy; 3 per cent., red; and 1 per cent., gray hair.
Also, that as to color of their eyes, 45 per cent. were blue; 24 per cent. were gray; 13 per cent. were hazel; 10 per cent were dark; and 8 per cent were black.
Also, that in complexion, 60 per cent. were light; 33 per cent. were dark; and 7 per cent. were medium.
From statements as to occupation, it appears that 48 per cent. were farmers; 24 per cent. were mechanics; 16 per cent. were laborers; 5 per cent. were in commercial pursuits; 3 per cent. were professional men; 4 per cent. were of miscellaneous vocations.
O.R.--SERIES III--VOLUME V [S# 126]
CORRESPONDENCE, ORDERS, REPORTS, AND RETURNS OF THE UNION AUTHORITIES FROM MAY 1, 1865, TO THE END.(*)--#26
DOCUMENT NO. 11.
Historical report of the operations of the Office of Acting Assistant-Provost-Marshal-General, Illinois.
OFFICE ACTG. ASST. PROV. MAR. GEN., ILLINOIS,
Springfield, August 9, 1865.
Brig. Gen. JAMES B. FRY,
Provost-Marshal-General, Washington, D.C.:
GENERAL: In compliance with the request contained in your communication of April 27, 1865, I have the honor to submit the following historical report of the operations of this office since it commenced business, with such remarks and suggestions as my experience and observation may seem to warrant.
TABLE NO. 8.--Showing measurements of chest, heights, ann ages of recruits and substitutes accepted, as classified into Americans and aliens, white Americans and colored Americans, white aliens and colored aliens, examined from July 4, 1864, to April 30, 1865.
A Number accepted. F Greatest measurement at expiration. K Average age of all examined.
B Average measurement at inspiration. G Least measurement at expiration. L Greatest age of any examined.
C Average measurement at expiration. H Average height of all examined. M Least age of any examined.
D Greatest measurement at inspiration. I Greatest height of any examined.
E Least measurement at inspiration. J Least height of any examined.
-----------Measurement of chest.---------- -----------------Height.------------------ ----------Age.------------
Class. A B C D E F G -------H----- -------I----- -------J----- K L M
In. In. In. In. In. In. Ft. In. Ft. In. Ft. In. Years. Yrs. Yrs.
Americans 1,616 35.10 33.17 44.0 29.5 42 26 5 7.39 6 4 5 0 24.58 44 16
Aliens or foreign born 139 35.49 33.60 41.0 30.0 39 27 5 6.35 6 6 5 0 27.05 43 18
Total number accepted 1,755 35.13 33.20 44.0 29.5 42 26 5 7.31 6 6 5 0 24.78 44 16
White Americans 1,383 35.05 33.04 42.5 29.5 41 26 5 7.45 6 4 5 0 24.43 44 16
Colored Americans 233 35.43 33.91 44.0 30.5 42 29 5 7.05 6 4 5 1 25.45 44 18
While aliens or foreign born. 138 35.48 33.59 41.0 30.0 39 27 5 6.32 6 6 5 0 27.09 43 18
Colored aliens or foreign born. 1 36.50 35.00 36.5 36.5 35 35 5 10.00 5 10 5 10 21.00 21 21
Total 1,755 35.13 33.20 44.0 29.5 42 26 5 7.31 6 6 5 0 24.78 44 16
[end of excerpt]
Note: It should be mentioned that the movie "Gettysburg" started with an inferior historian and was replaced with Brian Pohanka (Virginia resident, featured on History Detective, in credits, appeared as General Webb in the movie,now deceased). It is my understanding that there was so much filmed, e.g. the heavy sergeant stopping 2nd Lt. Harrison (Longstreet's informant), that they had to use what they had. The most out right bad editing is in "Gods and Generals" where the film was reversed causing the swords on everybody to appear on their right--when in fact the sword hangs off the left hip, as not to bang or interfere with the rider mounting. Tan lines of men's wrists with wrist-watches and rings was also a 'moment breaker.'
Leaving out 'little details' of the featured 'star' and 'weight' of the purpose of the film, such as General Grant's being arrested twice for speeding, April 11 and July 1, 1866, as he was still the 'Commander of the Army"--was fined $5.00 each time in Precinct Court (Present day building of D.C. Court of Appeals and then Metropolitan Police Headquarters, jail, court and city hall). In 1877, Officer William H. West, a Union veteran and then Police Officer caught now President U.S. Grant speeding westbound on M. Street between 11th and 12th. Dragged the officer who was holding the bridle some 50 feet, and didn't realize the 'racing buggy and horse was The President, until they all came to a stop. Story goes in the MPDC, that Officer/Private West started to apologize and Grant told the officer; "Do your duty!" Private/Officer West then impounded his horse and buggy, arrested Grant however when at the Precinct there was such confusion that there were no rules/regulations concerning a President arrested for speeding. So, Grant wasn't booked or charged but, given a $20.00 fine, horse and buggy remained impounded and Grant walked back on foot to the Executive Mansion. [Reference The Metropolitan Police Department of Washington, D.C. 1861 to 2011; 150th Anniversary Edition; page 17--Officers (active/retired) advanced edition and limited production. (Not sure if it will be for public consumption)-M. E. W. - MPDC retired]
Just some thoughts.
Respectfully submitted for consideration,
M. E. Wolf
Thank you for your message
I've been tied up these last three weeks writing a producing an episode of CSI (Las Vegas). This is all super information and I am thrilled to receive it. The more detail the better! Thank you very, very much. I will contact Sullivan, Schaffner and Holien et al at the appropriate time. Everyone of your suggestions will be explored, I can promise you.
Here's a question for you and others. Is there a source available that goes into visual and specific detail on all the many flags, how they appeared how many would be in a line of battle, which ones, etc. I have a creeping suspicion that say with Gettysburg and Gods and Generals they just scratched the surface and the flags are under represented.
Yours truly and let's keep in touch,
At one point someone suggested another blog I should introduce the project on. I can't find that message and I'd like to make good on my promise to do that. Could you refresh my memory?
I would recommend looking at the Echoes of Glory series which includes Arms and Equipment of the Confederacy and Arms and Equipment of the Union. Osprey Publishing also has a trilogy included in its Men-at-Arms series entitled Flags of the American Civil War.
Caution, becks. Chasing flags will lead you into a morass. It's one thing to be historically correct -- as often as possible -- but if you get into Regimental flags, you'll get into company flags. Write around them. No one will know the difference anyway.
Well, you dont have to get into company flags, they were only used early in the war and with only a few exceptions never carried into battle. For a general overview, this site is fantastic, http://www.confederate-flags.org/ Although you might not worry about specific to each regiment flags, although Gettysburg and Gods and General did, one thing I can think of that will cause great howling from CW buffs is seeing the ANV Battleflag or the Naval Jack being carried at Shiloh, Vicksburg, or Chattanooga.
Don Toriani needs to be the uniform expert.
Separate names with a comma.