Book Chat
Covered With Glory
The 26th NC Infantry at the Battle of Gettysburg
Rod Gragg

This chat took place in the Civil War Home Chatroom on 2/26/06 and covered Chapter 11 and Epilogue

2/26/2006 9:24 pm (et) ks: So are we going to go for it now that we have 3 present who've read the book?

2/26/2006 9:25 pm (et) Basecat: If you want, we can.

2/26/2006 9:25 pm (et) jimtno: Folks I read the scroll back a little bit. I too am sorry that more people are not here. This book is about a very special regiment and part of the Battle of GB that is near to my heart. You can ask Base, When I am down there I have to visit the boys from the 24th Mich. and the 26th NC.

2/26/2006 9:25 pm (et) Vickie: I'm a lurker on this one.

2/26/2006 9:25 pm (et) Vickie: Sunday book chat lurker.

2/26/2006 9:26 pm (et) Vickie: I will be reading "A Little Short of Boats" for Sundays :-)

2/26/2006 9:26 pm (et) jimtno: Ah Yes Balls Bluff.

2/26/2006 9:27 pm (et) ks: So will I, Vickie. Got my copy of the book from Jim this past weekend. :)

2/26/2006 9:27 pm (et) MAubrecht: Good evening. Just dropping in. Don't let me interrupt.

2/26/2006 9:28 pm (et) jimtno: I don't think you are interrupting. I don't think we have started.

2/26/2006 9:28 pm (et) ks: Actually we're just getting started, Michael. Hello to you. :)

2/26/2006 9:28 pm (et) MAubrecht: Perfect timing then. Nice to "see you all".

2/26/2006 9:28 pm (et) Basecat: Just to add to Jim's post, the idea here to do this book on this regiment is because of their involvement in 2 of the most famous attacks at Gettysburg, and one can even say of the entire war. Think the thing folks should remember, 800 plus of them started on Herr's Ridge on July 1st. After Pickett's Charge on July 3rd, there was less than 100 left. Something to ponder on when we are walking those fields in June.

2/26/2006 9:30 pm (et) jimtno: Base, I think one company by the time the battle is done, is down to one man... And even he is "walking wounded"... Company F. IIRC

2/26/2006 9:31 pm (et) Basecat: Jim...Yep...Only a Sergeant remained from Company F. They added to the company after day one with cooks and other non combat personnel...but for the most part that company was wiped out.

2/26/2006 9:31 pm (et) jimtno: Folks, I promise you, when we do the "CHARGE", you will stand by their monument just short of the wall, and go, NO WAY! ....... It leaves you shaking you head.

2/26/2006 9:32 pm (et) Basecat: And some folks will say no way to dispute how far they supposedly went. :)

2/26/2006 9:33 pm (et) MAubrecht: Pickett lost approx. 500 (67%) - Petigrew lost 470 (60%) - Trimble lost 155 (52%) - so the total would be 62% killed - amazing casualties and a dent in the ANV that could not be replaced.

2/26/2006 9:34 pm (et) jimtno: Base, Whether the monument is in the wrong location, or what, I dont really care at this point. But to get just over 9 STEPS from the wall, a mere 27 to 30 FEET from the wall, oh my ...............

2/26/2006 9:34 pm (et) Basecat: Sorry folks...Bit discombobulated here.. We are talking about Chapter 11 "Unconquered in Spirit".

2/26/2006 9:34 pm (et) MAubrecht: IIRC 26th North Carolina lost 100% and Company F has 12 men total.

2/26/2006 9:34 pm (et) MAubrecht: Oops sorry - I'll be over here observing. :)

2/26/2006 9:35 pm (et) Basecat: Jim...I know you feel that way, and I feel that way, but one of the problems I have with some folks, the need to, according to them to pinpoint where and how far they got. Could never understand why that should be a focus, but what do I know.

2/26/2006 9:35 pm (et) Basecat: Mike..Nah, add what you can..Please..:)

2/26/2006 9:36 pm (et) jimtno: Buseys/Maretins regimental strengths and losses has the 26th NCs losses at 687 out of 880. .....

2/26/2006 9:36 pm (et) ks: While I appreciated Chapter 11's following the story through the rest of the charge and the retreat, what I most appreciated was the story of other subsequent post battle scenarios inclusions. Falling Waters is a good example. I was totally unaware of the charge by Custer's cavalry there. Interesting addition to the book for me.

2/26/2006 9:37 pm (et) jimtno: 78 %

2/26/2006 9:37 pm (et) ks: BTW have any of you been to Falling Waters (have *I* been to Falling Waters???). Are there markers at the site??

2/26/2006 9:37 pm (et) MAubrecht: Yes that would be more believable, but still a terrible attrition rate

2/26/2006 9:38 pm (et) ks: May seem odd to ask that last, but sometimes when I've been to CW sites where I'm not well read, I go into CW overload. ;)

2/26/2006 9:38 pm (et) Basecat: One thing this chapter points out, the retreat of the 26th was not the pell mell fleeing as mentioned by some of the Virginia regiments. Think Gragg found quite a bit of evidence that for the most part the retreat was an orderly one. I like to remind my Virginia friends, that some of their boys ran like hell as well...but when I do so...I get the "This Yankee is going to Hell" look.:)

2/26/2006 9:38 pm (et) jimtno: Its the highest of any in the ANV. It would be the highest for either Army if you excluded the 1st Minnesota.

2/26/2006 9:40 pm (et) Basecat: ks..For the most part, the cavalry did most of the chasing after the battle was over. Custer and Buford especially were heavily involved in harassing the Confederate retreat. As for Falling Waters, I have been there, but can't recall if I saw any markers denoting what occurred there.

2/26/2006 9:40 pm (et) MAubrecht: Believe me we in the old dominion have no problem accepting a retreat (we just like to think of it as "reverse deployment".

2/26/2006 9:41 pm (et) jimtno: Base, I have always been struck by the thought that they would turn around and face the enemy, back peddling that way. Why? Didn't want to be shot in the back. .. Lets see I just saw a lot of my comrades cut down, and I am going to worry about being shot in the back? Nah I don't think so.. I would be running like H*ll

2/26/2006 9:41 pm (et) Basecat: Mike...:) Was talking about certain reenactor types I know...but I like reverse deployment...;)

2/26/2006 9:42 pm (et) MAubrecht: Either that or we say they were running home for dinner (which happened to be down south)

2/26/2006 9:42 pm (et) Basecat: Jim...Agreed but different era...and you have to remember, those in the regiment were from the same area, and God forbid if tales of cowardice were told to folks back home.

2/26/2006 9:42 pm (et) ks: Book makes a point to include mention of some CSA soldiers retreating facing the Federals and firing shots in a sullen (believe that's one of the words used) manner. Found it interesting that Gragg mentions that many veterans refused to acknowledge defeat at Gettysburg, They preferred to see it as their having won Day 1 and having a bad day on Day 3. ??

2/26/2006 9:44 pm (et) Basecat: ks...Just think defeat was not really known by that army, and hard to comprehend. Even after the mauling that army received at Sharpsburg, those involved on the Southern side refused to admit they were beaten.

2/26/2006 9:44 pm (et) jimtno: Think about the guts it would take to do that! Exposed. And the Yankees at the wall, well just unleashing Volley after volley even as the attack wound down. Especially the 12th NJ. They were still firing even when the majority of the attackers had gone back across the wall. Buck and ball didn't have much more of an effective range then maybe 100 yards.

2/26/2006 9:45 pm (et) ks: Interesting too that those same veterans are said to have viewed Vicksburg as the greater loss.

Basecat, I agree with you. Reading the quotes from veterans it's obvious they didn't comprehend and refused to admit defeat. At least true for many.

2/26/2006 9:45 pm (et) Basecat: Jim, which makes me wonder how folks can say the 26th did not get as close as they did, because scores of them were wounded by the limited range of the Buck and Ball ammo.

2/26/2006 9:45 pm (et) MAubrecht: ks- you have to look at it as the ANV for all intensive purposes was pretty much undefeated in the war up to that point. They had just pulled off Chancellorsville and felt invincible. This (IMO) is one of the biggest factors in their defeat as Lee was almost arrogant in a self-defeating manner.

2/26/2006 9:46 pm (et) Basecat: As for Vicksburg...loss of the army out there was devastating, and not easily replaced.

2/26/2006 9:46 pm (et) jimtno: KS a great point btw. Its hard to imagine they thought that way. And especially had badly mauled they were on Day 1

2/26/2006 9:46 pm (et) jimtno: Mike another great point.

2/26/2006 9:47 pm (et) Basecat: Jim...Thing is...they won Day One...How they could think that on Day 3 is hard to understand.

2/26/2006 9:47 pm (et) jimtno: True.. Base, True.

2/26/2006 9:47 pm (et) MAubrecht: Even though the failed to take any high ground of value, were operating "blind" without Stuart, and planned the most desperate and disastrous charge in the history of war, the Confederates still felt that they had the advantage. Only AFTER Gettysburg, did they start to feel that they too were just as vulnerable. After "beating the odds again and again" they thought they were in the home stretch towards independence.

2/26/2006 9:48 pm (et) Basecat: Mike...will also add...stubbornness is a factor for many in the ANV...Just read how they felt when told they were to surrender at Appomattox...

2/26/2006 9:48 pm (et) jimtno: And folks, you have to see this ground for not only day1 but Day 3.. This regiment had the HARD duty. Flat open land, no swales in their path to reform, rest and prepare to move on. Flat open ground all the way.....

2/26/2006 9:49 pm (et) MAubrecht: You would think (logically) that an army on "foreign soil" outnumbered, outgunned and outpositioned (if that's a word) would be cautious - but they took the opposite stance and it hurt them deeply. Yes good point. These boys were beyond "soldiers" IMO and felt they were following their commanders to the gates of Heaven.

2/26/2006 9:49 pm (et) Basecat: Jim, add the flanking fire by the 8th Ohio on the left of their lines, it is amazing more casualties did not result on that part of the field for the Confederates.

2/26/2006 9:49 pm (et) ks: Michael, yes, that sense of arrogance/invincibility sure comes through in the read. And that mindset made (for me anyway) the account of Hays and his aides riding up and down the lines trailing the captured CSA flags over the "bloodied earth" much easier to understand. I mean from the standpoint of why the Federals would have taken that action...

2/26/2006 9:50 pm (et) MAubrecht: I think the Federals were frustrated and eager for payback.

2/26/2006 9:51 pm (et) Basecat: truth in the rumor that the Federals yelled out Mickey D's instead of Fredericksburg after the attack was over..;)

2/26/2006 9:51 pm (et) jimtno: Mike, You are making the points that I have tried to share with every one, Folks who have not studied this like we have , just give me a blank stare.

2/26/2006 9:51 pm (et) ks: Absolutely, and that's easily understood. I'd not previously read about Meade going up and down the line asking repeatedly if the Confederates had really retreated.

2/26/2006 9:52 pm (et) MAubrecht: If you spend as much time in the study of the ANV - you learn the good the bad and the ugly.

2/26/2006 9:52 pm (et) jimtno: KS, Kinds of startles you doesn't it? Meade was even doubting that the attack had been repulse.

2/26/2006 9:52 pm (et) Basecat: ks..which is a good point, as I don't think he really believed they had...Many passages of those involved fully expected the attack to be resumed soon.

2/26/2006 9:53 pm (et) Basecat: Mike...Eli Wallach...;)

2/26/2006 9:54 pm (et) MAubrecht: I will not even begin to take any of the honor away from the northern forces at Gettysburg - they were tremendous - however never before has an opponent made it so easy for their foe as the Confederates did for the Yankees at G'burg. Meade was such a cautious man, very smart IMO, but rarely given credit for letting Lee "come to him". Laying back and waiting for the ANV to try to take the hills. It was a lesson in patience. Eli Wallach what a handsome gentleman :)

2/26/2006 9:56 pm (et) jimtno: Mike, This is what I can't understand about the Lee apologists. They keep ignoring Lees on word, "Its all my fault, we must rally men, !"

2/26/2006 9:56 pm (et) ks: Based upon his past experience with Lee, fully his response is understandable. Just not something I'd really thought about prior to reading Gragg's book. BTW (if I may move into the EPILOGUE) I so appreciated Gragg's post war accounts of what happened with people we'd come to know in this book. Puts a good finish on the read.

2/26/2006 9:56 pm (et) Basecat: "Steadfast To The Last" which is the epilogue shows what those described in the book did after the Battle of Gettysburg. To me, the interesting tale there is how Burgwyn's family had to fight to get Henry's remains out of PA, so he could be reburied in NC. Shows what a stubborn SOB Stanton could be as well.

2/26/2006 9:57 pm (et) jimtno: Base, Stanton truly was a stubborn, SOG.

2/26/2006 9:57 pm (et) Basecat: Jim..IMHO...forgiveness was not a word in his vocabulary.

2/26/2006 9:58 pm (et) MAubrecht: Well I did a review of Tom Carharts book "Lost Triumph" in which he details a subsequent cavalry attack that was supposed to happen during the infantry attack at Picketts Charge. He has good data, but many people dispute his findings. Lee was a genius, but geniuses still make mistakes and Lees biggest fault IMO was not redeploying south - forcing the Federals to follow them toward Washington and then decide when and where the fight would take place. Instead he took a chance - a big chance - in a manner that went against all of his training and principles and it bit him.

2/26/2006 9:59 pm (et) jimtno: KS, this is probably the most teary eyed part of the book. When you get down to the human level,. These were common folks, a lot just like their descandants, who I have met.

2/26/2006 9:59 pm (et) ks: Burgwyn, Nan Devereux, John Randolph Lane, Zebulon Vance...heck even the Eli Setser (that champion marble shooter of Company F) account was interesting.

2/26/2006 10:00 pm (et) Basecat: For the lurkers out there...John Jones, who took over for the 26th NC after Lane was wounded and Burgwyn was killed, never made it home to NC. He was killed on May 6th, 1864 at the Battle of the Wilderness.

2/26/2006 10:01 pm (et) Basecat: Michael, Have read many a diatribe about Carhart's book, but that's how I am stubborn, as I will have to read what he says before I blast him, as some have done for only reading parts of the book.

2/26/2006 10:02 pm (et) Basecat: ks..The Devereux family stuff was indeed one of the better parts of the epilogue. Good information there, and liked the fact that a photo of their house was included in the book.

2/26/2006 10:02 pm (et) MAubrecht: He's a West Point man and decorated vet. We have a "friendly relationship" and he is good guy. His book is good and will have readers "reevaluating" what they believe but I can't say if its 100% correct. People will be of different minds about - but he writes a very logical argument.

2/26/2006 10:02 pm (et) jimtno: Having sat down with folks who have had the stories passed down about the recent unpleasantness, (Yep they still call it that in NC), and have them with the emotion, twinkle in their eyes and talk about the family experiences, the book just brings those memories flooding back.

2/26/2006 10:04 pm (et) Basecat: Michael...Not one to blast books here...Yes, I may disagree, but problem with some in the CW community, they go way over the edge in their diatribes about a lot of things, as you well know.

2/26/2006 10:05 pm (et) jimtno: I think out of the book and having reread it for the upteenth time, the epilogue really got me. Just found my eyes tearing up........

2/26/2006 10:05 pm (et) MAubrecht: Yes I do. Many people have more emotion vested in these books than others and I can't fault anyone for debating or challenging or disagreeing with any book. I've had some people blast my stuff. Its what makes history such an intimate and passionate subject.

2/26/2006 10:06 pm (et) Basecat: Jim...You do know the unofficial motto of Muster is "There Is No Crying At Muster!"..Yeah, we stole that from Tom Hanks..;)

2/26/2006 10:07 pm (et) Basecat: Michael...Just some of the comments are way to vindictive for me. I know it is a serious subject, but a subject taken way too seriously at times, if that makes sense.

2/26/2006 10:07 pm (et) jimtno: Ah come on.......... How am I NOT going to get emotional,...... Remember the last time I talked to a large group about Warren? Geezzzzzzz, I was wiping my eyes and blowing my nose for an hour afterwards. :-)

2/26/2006 10:07 pm (et) ks: Jim, you should also know that motto came about in response to the consistent emotional response of a certain person to people and events AT muster. ;)

2/26/2006 10:08 pm (et) Basecat: Hmm..Thought you were allergic to the weeds up there Jim...;)

2/26/2006 10:08 pm (et) MAubrecht: I would like to add this - I know what that feels like to see someone so emotionally touched on a subject that it really starts to affect you. I never felt that way about anything Civil War related until I got to know the Daughters of the Confederacy. Touched me - where I was only a "cold" observer before.

2/26/2006 10:08 pm (et) ks: A certain Garden Stater, I should say. ;)

2/26/2006 10:09 pm (et) jimtno: Ah my reputation proceeds me! Giggle.

2/26/2006 10:09 pm (et) Basecat: Michael...Funny you should mention that, as we have a couple of posters in here who have spoken before the Daughters..and had the same reaction as your last post.

2/26/2006 10:09 pm (et) MAubrecht: Jim are you one of those crybaby dudes?

2/26/2006 10:09 pm (et) Basecat: Jim...Yeah..that's who KS was talking about...:)

2/26/2006 10:09 pm (et) MAubrecht: You know the ones who cry while your trying to watch Full Metal Jacket. :)

2/26/2006 10:09 pm (et) jimtno: Its a good thing I am going down there before the muster, that way I can vent when I see the destruction of the three monuments. Grrrrrrrr.....

2/26/2006 10:10 pm (et) ks: No, a fellow GARDEN STATER proceeds you. ;)

2/26/2006 10:10 pm (et) jimtno: Full Metal Jacket? Nah "SHe Wore a Yellow Ribbon"... Nah that gets me going. Giggle.

2/26/2006 10:12 pm (et) MAubrecht: Yes ks - I have zero ancestory in the war and never truly felt any of the sentiment - to me it was always subject matter - then I met these ladies who I swear are just as southern as the belles in the 1800's and the most reverant and respectful and knowledgable women you would ever want to hang out with. - Whoa it is OK to cry during John Wayne movies "The Dark Command" is on AMC right now...

2/26/2006 10:12 pm (et) jimtno: From "C" Troop, Lest we forget".... Gets me every time..

2/26/2006 10:12 pm (et) Basecat: As mentioned earlier...Am gonna try again to contact Mr. Gragg for a Q & A session in here for next Sunday night. If that can't be done, I just wanted to thank all for their participation in this book chat on the 26th NC. Hope all enjoyed the book.

2/26/2006 10:13 pm (et) jimtno: Base, Thank you for leading the Chat.

2/26/2006 10:13 pm (et) MAubrecht: Yes thank you for letting me butt in. I always enjoy my time here.

2/26/2006 10:15 pm (et) ks: Zero ancestry involvement in the war here as well, Michael. Did discover last year that my husband had some GG (forget how many "greats") uncles in Iowa Infantry and Cav units.

2/26/2006 10:16 pm (et) MAubrecht: I wish you all a great evening and will be back tomorrow. :)

2/26/2006 10:16 pm (et) ks: Night, Michael.

2/26/2006 10:16 pm (et) jimtno: My only verified connection is one John Dougherty, 30th Regiment Co I NJ Vol. and also Clarkes Battery B. Peach Orchard GB.

2/26/2006 10:17 pm (et) Basecat: You are all welcome. As mentioned earlier, KS and I are gonna do more work on getting the word out about these chats. What that means is we will be taking a break for a few weeks until that is completed. Resumption of the chats will be announced in a timely fashion, and will give all enough time to pick up a copy of the books that will next be discussed.