Saturday, October 26, 2013

"Hooker in Command"

I have neglected the blog this summer and fall in order to concentrate on the latest new section of my website history of the 13th Mass.

Last week I posted the latest new pages.  These 3 pages cover the regimental history of the 13th Mass in detail from April 1, 1863 - June 11.  This includes the Chancellorsville Campaign.

In April, General Joseph Hooker was in command of the Army of the Potomac, carefully planning a new spring campaign and getting the army in good condition. 

Page 1 of the new section, contains accounts of the many reviews of the army by  Hooker and President Lincoln.  Colonel Leonard is commanding the brigade and the regiment receives a compliment from the commanding general, "They Are The Best Looking Regiment I Have Seen."

Highlights of this page include John S. Fay's description of the visiting First Family and John B. Noyes reporting from headquarters on enemy deserters, bush-wackers and Contraband brought before General Marsena Patrick's "Bureau of  Military Information."

Two stand alone essays are on the page.  Dog lovers will not want to miss the story of Sallie, the famous mascot of the 11th PA Inf.  The article on Sallie is the original authorized write up supervised by Brevet-Brig. General Richard Coulter, commander of the unit, published in Bivouac Magazine, 1885.

Also on the page is a short article on dashing and daring, Professor Thaddeus S.C. Lowe and the Balloon Corps.  My wife and I believe Professor Lowe to be the original inspiration for the 'Wizard of Oz' character, but that is merely conjecture on our part.

Page 2 of this section covers the Battle of Chancellorsville, and the part played in it by the 13th Mass.  Don't miss Sergeant George Henry Hill's letter written from the trenches in mid-campaign, May 5.

Page 3 of the section has the not to be missed memoirs of Sergeant John S. Fay.  Fay was struck by a shell April 30, 1863, opposite Fredericksburg, at Fitzhugh Crossing.  The shell killed two others, Captain George N. Bush, and Lt. William Cordwell.   Fay's wounding is described by Austin Stearns and George Hill and Charles Leland on page 2.  Two alert comrades immediately tied tourniquets around Fay's arm and leg, and carried him up the hill to the Fitzhugh House Field Hospital, where Surgeon Allston W. Whitney, saved his life.  On Page 3, Fay himself describes his ordeal,  - when the Field Hospital was captured by Confederates in mid-June. Fay and several other unfortunate inmates where transported to Libby Prison in Richmond, Va. 

The narrative for the section ends June 11th, as the regiment received orders to march north in what was the beginning of the Gettysburg Campaign.

There are also updates and slight corrections to the outline 1863 page.  Here is the link.  Hope you enjoy the new history.