Book Chat
"Harvard's Civil War:
The History of the Twentieth Massachusetts Infantry Regiment"
Richard E. Miller

This chat took place in the Civil War Home Chatroom on 11/16/08 and covered Chapter 11.

11/16/2008 9:03 pm (et) 20thMass: Tonight we are discussing Chapter 11 of Richard Miller's book Harvard's Civil War.

11/16/2008 9:04 pm (et) 20thMass: Please refrain from using the PM function during chat

11/16/2008 9:04 pm (et) 20thMass: Paul Revere returns to the regiment to take command of the regiment.

11/16/2008 9:06 pm (et) shapbruin: Tough beat for Revere, he walked into a near-mutiny.

11/16/2008 9:06 pm (et) Widow: Will somebody explain why they shunned and snubbed Col. Revere?

11/16/2008 9:07 pm (et) Susansweet: This was a sad chapter, I almost burst into tears several times

11/16/2008 9:07 pm (et) Susansweet: Macy was a gentleman about Revere position I thought.

11/16/2008 9:07 pm (et) Widow: After all he'd been through, I just didn't get why they didn't want him.

11/16/2008 9:08 pm (et) Susansweet: Yep I bet it will , I cried when I read Cushing at Gettysburg too.

11/16/2008 9:08 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: Revere left the regiment, then returned with a promotion.

11/16/2008 9:08 pm (et) shapbruin: Also, he had been away from the regiment for months, missed Fredericksburg and 2nd Fred, plus the men wanted Macy (or Abbott).

11/16/2008 9:09 pm (et) Susansweet: But Macy or Abbott would not have been appointed if Revere hadn't been.

11/16/2008 9:09 pm (et) Susansweet: Governor would never have named them commander.

11/16/2008 9:09 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: Right, Susan, but the men didn't know that.

11/16/2008 9:09 pm (et) Widow: OK, I understand your words, but not their treatment of him.

11/16/2008 9:10 pm (et) Susansweet: Would have named Shepard or Putnam and the men would have really been angry then.

11/16/2008 9:11 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: I'm actually getting tired of their attitudes. When they aren't fighting and have time on their hands, they turn into a bunch of spoiled brats.

11/16/2008 9:12 pm (et) Widow: Miller made it clear that some of those men were from conservative Boston families who didn't like Gov. Andrew. Wow, the politics within the politics!

11/16/2008 9:12 pm (et) shapbruin: What does everyone think would have happened to the regiment if the Gettysburg campaign hadn't started, in light of the letter to Gov Andrew about Lt. Paine.

11/16/2008 9:13 pm (et) Babs: Linc, I agree. I like the book but I have lost a lot of respect for these guys.

11/16/2008 9:13 pm (et) shapbruin: This is one of the most fascinating things to ponder about this regiment; there was about to be a mutiny.

11/16/2008 9:13 pm (et) Widow: Shap, I don't follow you.

11/16/2008 9:13 pm (et) 20thMass: There would have been a mutiny if Paine hadn't been killed. He was worse of the worst.

11/16/2008 9:13 pm (et) mobile_96: Babs, officers....or the men.

11/16/2008 9:13 pm (et) Babs: Officers.

11/16/2008 9:13 pm (et) shapbruin: There was a petition signed by all but the commissioned officers and the men of Lt. Paine's company demanding his removal from command.

11/16/2008 9:14 pm (et) shapbruin: That's about 80% of the regiment revolting.

11/16/2008 9:14 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: You don't think they really would have mutinied, do you?

11/16/2008 9:14 pm (et) Susansweet: Regiment would have totally fallen apart if Gettysburg hadn't changed their focus .

11/16/2008 9:14 pm (et) shapbruin: Hard to know, that's the interesting question.

11/16/2008 9:15 pm (et) Susansweet: Might have been some friendly fire.

11/16/2008 9:15 pm (et) shapbruin: The issue completely disappeared from everyone's correspondence as soon as they pulled out of Falmouth June 26th.

11/16/2008 9:15 pm (et) shapbruin: Gov Andrew never acted upon it, either.

11/16/2008 9:15 pm (et) shapbruin: And Paine stayed in command

11/16/2008 9:15 pm (et) Widow: What? From gentlemen?

11/16/2008 9:15 pm (et) 20thMass: I find it strange that the officers never do much about the Paine situation.

11/16/2008 9:15 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: These guys felt that rewards and promotions should be on merit according to my notes. That is, merit for THEM, the gentlemen, certainly not for the Germans or commoners.

11/16/2008 9:17 pm (et) Widow: Yes, LF, a meritocracy for the elite.

11/16/2008 9:17 pm (et) Susansweet: Speaking of them leaving Falmouth, would it have hurt them to have put a map in showing their route ?

11/16/2008 9:17 pm (et) shapbruin: Susan, yeah, I agree with you. Check out "The Maps of Gettysburg"

11/16/2008 9:18 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: Use the map on page 30.

11/16/2008 9:18 pm (et) Widow: Susan, I agree, it would have helped.

11/16/2008 9:18 pm (et) mobile_96: Babs, agree with you on the officers.

11/16/2008 9:18 pm (et) shapbruin: Can you imagine pulling off nearly a 30 mile march in one day in those conditions, that gear, footwear.

11/16/2008 9:18 pm (et) Susansweet: Duh , thanks Fan I forgot about that map. exactly what I wanted .

11/16/2008 9:19 pm (et) shapbruin: Mobile and Babs, remember though, it took a sadist like Paine to ever elicit much complaint from anyone.

11/16/2008 9:19 pm (et) mobile_96: Was done in the West.

11/16/2008 9:19 pm (et) Pvt Miles: I have wondered about the seeming low morale of the XI Corps, which was composed largely of German immigrants. This book explains a lot.

11/16/2008 9:19 pm (et) Widow: Shap, no I can't. That's the rate Jackson's men covered to get to 2nd Manassas. You can't sustain that pace.

11/16/2008 9:19 pm (et) Susansweet: Don't have the Maps of Gettysburg and not allowed to buy any books for a few months until I catch up.

11/16/2008 9:20 pm (et) amhistoryguy: Soldiers like to complain, especially about their officers. When there is merit in the complaint, real problems are just around the bend. Some officers have been know to use the complaints from the men about them to give the men something to be united about. Not saying this is the case here, it's not. But it is important to keep in mind that resistance to the officers isn't always mutiny in the making. Just a thought.

11/16/2008 9:20 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: It's kind of hard to feel you're worth much when your camping out and your officers are staying in a fancy house in Falmouth.

11/16/2008 9:20 pm (et) 20thMass: Susan, that could be a couple of years.

11/16/2008 9:21 pm (et) shapbruin: AHG, the difference here is that petition. I think that sort of thing is illegal under military justice.

11/16/2008 9:21 pm (et) Susansweet: shhhh Coly I am working on it.

11/16/2008 9:21 pm (et) Widow: LF, I think most understood that RHIP. They didn't expect to have the same as the officers. Often the officers were outside too, when on the march.

11/16/2008 9:21 pm (et) Susansweet: Didn't the officers try almost the same thing against Hooker in Army of Tennessee or was it Bragg.

11/16/2008 9:22 pm (et) Widow: Susan, it was Bragg, and that was a big flap. Not a little regimental squabble.

11/16/2008 9:22 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: Widow, I would NEVER make it in the Army!

11/16/2008 9:23 pm (et) Widow: Lincoln Fan, me neither. Not on foot or horseback :=))

11/16/2008 9:23 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: I think it was Bragg, from the Davis book.

11/16/2008 9:23 pm (et) Susansweet: Poor Dr. Perry.

11/16/2008 9:23 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: I would desert as soon as they wanted to unplug my reading lamp.

11/16/2008 9:23 pm (et) Susansweet: Thanks Fan , I know they didn't like either one.

11/16/2008 9:24 pm (et) Susansweet: Trying to help everyone on the march he gets kicked by his own horse.

11/16/2008 9:24 pm (et) Widow: Och, that hurts a lot. I've been kicked, was bruised for weeks.

11/16/2008 9:25 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: What about the punishments they gave during the courts-martial - no pattern to them.

11/16/2008 9:25 pm (et) Babs: Lucky for him the horse found the regiment.

11/16/2008 9:25 pm (et) Susansweet: Good thing Macy went back for him.

11/16/2008 9:26 pm (et) Widow: LF, yes, it was as if they couldn't decide how to punish good soldiers for misbehaving.

11/16/2008 9:27 pm (et) 20thMass: Lee did a good job with discipline so why they had problems I don't know.

11/16/2008 9:28 pm (et) shapbruin: Coly, remember how many times the regiment had received new troops by mid 1863. I think much of what Lee had taught had been lost.

11/16/2008 9:28 pm (et) Susansweet: Thought it was funny the comment about Meade that there was so much of the old McClellan style. Makes you know in hindsight this isn't going to work.

11/16/2008 9:28 pm (et) Widow: 20th, after Lee left the attitude or style was different.

11/16/2008 9:28 pm (et) shapbruin: Susan, how what wasn't going to work?

11/16/2008 9:28 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: Susan, I was just typing that exact sentence.

11/16/2008 9:28 pm (et) Susansweet: Meade leading the army.

11/16/2008 9:29 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: The rest of the comment about Meade was that they were glad to be in the hands of an honest and God-fearing gentleman. Oh, c'mon.

11/16/2008 9:29 pm (et) Widow: Maybe in the sense that Meade was a proper gentleman, and Hooker wasn't.

11/16/2008 9:30 pm (et) Susansweet: Exactly Fan.

11/16/2008 9:30 pm (et) Widow: LF, I believe those qualities were terribly important to the army. At least to some. They couldn't respect Hooker, even if he was the better soldier.

11/16/2008 9:31 pm (et) Widow: Better and more aggressive than Mac, I mean.

11/16/2008 9:31 pm (et) shapbruin: Widow, I agree with the first part, though I would argue that Meade was an outstanding general.

11/16/2008 9:31 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: Why couldn't they respect Hooker and why, tell me, was he replaced after Chancellorsville. How many times did McClellan screw up.

11/16/2008 9:32 pm (et) Susansweet: Shap I have read that about Meade that he was a good general.

11/16/2008 9:32 pm (et) Pvt Miles: At the beginning of the chapter, I thought the comment attributed to US Grant about Hancock was interesting. It seems to me that it may suggest something other than an affirmation of Hancock’s competence.

11/16/2008 9:32 pm (et) Widow: Pardon me, shap, I fumbled my explanation of what THEY thought about Meade, not my own opinion.

11/16/2008 9:32 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: What page Miles.

11/16/2008 9:33 pm (et) Susansweet: Pvt Miles I am not sure which it is.

11/16/2008 9:33 pm (et) Pvt Miles: p. 243

11/16/2008 9:33 pm (et) Susansweet: Depends on how you read it I guess and what one thinks of Hancock when you read it.

11/16/2008 9:33 pm (et) Widow: LF, Hooker requested to be relieved. I think he lost his nerve at C'ville and couldn't take on Lee again.

11/16/2008 9:35 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: Got it, page 243 "he is never mentioned as having committed in battle a blunder for which he was responsible. Good one..

11/16/2008 9:35 pm (et) 20thMass: The 20th were under excellent commanders at Gettysburg. Hancock as Corps commander, Gibbon as division commander and Colonel Norman Hall as brigade commander.

11/16/2008 9:35 pm (et) Babs: Hooker also got knocked silly when a porch pillar hit him in the head.

11/16/2008 9:35 pm (et) Susansweet: Sure glad we have all of Henry Ropes letters to tell the story.

11/16/2008 9:36 pm (et) shapbruin: Coly, good point.

11/16/2008 9:36 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: I always liked Hancock. He certainly led from the front at Gettysburg.

11/16/2008 9:36 pm (et) 20thMass: Hall never gets the credit he is due.

11/16/2008 9:36 pm (et) shapbruin: I'll say it again, you should write a book about him...

11/16/2008 9:36 pm (et) Susansweet: Hancock was great at Gettysburg. A friend of mine wrote a book called Between the farm lanes, Hancock 2nd day I think , Dave Schultz.

11/16/2008 9:37 pm (et) shapbruin: Susan, that's a great book. You know the author?

11/16/2008 9:37 pm (et) Widow: Susan, I have it, but in the "to read" stack.

11/16/2008 9:37 pm (et) mobile_96: Another Getts book to add to my lists

11/16/2008 9:37 pm (et) Susansweet: Yep he is a member of our round table. One of the founders.

11/16/2008 9:37 pm (et) 20thMass: I would love to write a book on Hall I just am not a good writer.

11/16/2008 9:38 pm (et) Susansweet: He is a savant on artillery at Gettysburg.

11/16/2008 9:38 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: Susan, how many rooms does your "to read" stack fill?

11/16/2008 9:38 pm (et) Susansweet: Four and I have read Dave's book.

11/16/2008 9:39 pm (et) Widow: The 2nd Corps arrived on July 1 but didn't fight until the 2nd, am I right!

11/16/2008 9:39 pm (et) shapbruin: Right.

11/16/2008 9:40 pm (et) shapbruin: They were just near Taneytown the night of July 1.

11/16/2008 9:40 pm (et) Susansweet: Poor Albert Holmes , taking his shoes off to walk and blood running down his pants legs from chaffing.

11/16/2008 9:40 pm (et) shapbruin: Hard to know how much the men knew about what happened on the first day.

11/16/2008 9:40 pm (et) Widow: Thousands of men, waiting their turn that night.

11/16/2008 9:40 pm (et) 20thMass: That was a grueling march.

11/16/2008 9:41 pm (et) Widow: Shap, they could hear the guns and see the casualties coming back, they knew it was a BIG one, maybe the biggest.

11/16/2008 9:41 pm (et) shapbruin: One that gets nowhere near enough credit.

11/16/2008 9:41 pm (et) 20thMass: The 2nd Corps got in the fight on the 2nd day when Sickles decided to take matters into his own hands.

11/16/2008 9:41 pm (et) shapbruin: Widow, I'm with you. Imagine the trepidation they felt when they moved up to Cemetery Ridge.

11/16/2008 9:41 pm (et) shapbruin: Then watched and heard the battle start rolling towards them.

11/16/2008 9:42 pm (et) Susansweet: Good old Sickles . . . ugh!!

11/16/2008 9:42 pm (et) Widow: Trepidation, maybe. But desire for revenge. "Fredericksburg, Fredericksburg!"

11/16/2008 9:42 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: Jackson's marches are legendary but I've never heard one described so painfully.

11/16/2008 9:42 pm (et) Susansweet: My favorite quote a Meeting of chance had become an engagement of choice.

11/16/2008 9:42 pm (et) shapbruin: Jackson's marches are overrated in my opinion.

11/16/2008 9:43 pm (et) shapbruin: Never had the significance of what II Corps pulled off.

11/16/2008 9:43 pm (et) Widow: Right, Susan, neat turn of phrase.

11/16/2008 9:43 pm (et) 20thMass: The cloud of dust making it hard to breath must have been very tough.

11/16/2008 9:44 pm (et) Widow: Shap, the Army of the Potomac did NOT overrate Jackson's marches. They oughtta know.

11/16/2008 9:44 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: I like that quote also, Susan. I don't think they had the thirst for revenge until they saw the stone wall and the same guys on the other side of it.

11/16/2008 9:44 pm (et) Pvt Miles: Hard marched were experienced by most Union Corps prior to Gettysburg.

11/16/2008 9:44 pm (et) shapbruin: LF, the thirst for revenge was with the regiment since they stormed and sacked Gettysburg...

11/16/2008 9:45 pm (et) Susansweet: Right Pvt Miles

11/16/2008 9:45 pm (et) shapbruin: Sorry, meant Fredericksburg.

11/16/2008 9:46 pm (et) shapbruin: Then, on July 3, like Abbott said, "we knew we would give them Fredericksburg"

11/16/2008 9:46 pm (et) Susansweet: Is the Pegram mentioned Willie?

11/16/2008 9:47 pm (et) 4eyes: Wainright states that the march north thru Maryland then Pa was a hard march they didnt have much time to stop and bathe and take care of horses.

11/16/2008 9:47 pm (et) 20thMass: No way Pickett's men had a chance.

11/16/2008 9:47 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: That's the quote I was thinking of, Shap

11/16/2008 9:47 pm (et) 4eyes: He never ever thought they would "Have a fight" on July first.

11/16/2008 9:47 pm (et) Widow: Miller mentioned several times that the regiment was getting war weary. Yeah, when you're losing or retreating with nothing gained. This time, at Gettysburg, they saw victory and the weariness left them - for a while.

11/16/2008 9:48 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: Somewhere in the book it mentioned that someone bathed every day in a river.

11/16/2008 9:48 pm (et) Susansweet: Started to almost cry when Revere got shot as he went around encouraging his men.

11/16/2008 9:49 pm (et) shapbruin: Hard to imagine how the regiment was able to hold it together after losing its commanding officer then one of its most beloved lieutenants.

11/16/2008 9:49 pm (et) 4eyes: Wainright stopped at a farmhouse just over the Pa line to have his horse reshod as he lost 2 shoes and never gave a second thought to closing on Reynolds near gettysburg though only 4 miles away.

11/16/2008 9:49 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: Would have been nice if Revere would have died knowing he had the respect of his men.

11/16/2008 9:49 pm (et) shapbruin: Then had 30,000 troops bear down on them.

11/16/2008 9:49 pm (et) Pvt Miles: Revere was one I admired.

11/16/2008 9:50 pm (et) Widow: Shap, you just "put your head down and you win."

11/16/2008 9:50 pm (et) Susansweet: Me too Fan and I agree Pvt Miles.

1/16/2008 9:51 pm (et) shapbruin: If anyone is looking for a more detailed look at the 20th at Gettysburg, check out "Isn't This Glorious".

11/16/2008 9:51 pm (et) shapbruin: Fantastic book, just posted my review on my blog.

11/16/2008 9:51 pm (et) Susansweet: Then reading about Henry Ropes death really got to me.

11/16/2008 9:51 pm (et) shapbruin: Excellent maps.

11/16/2008 9:52 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: Wasn't that what Pains was supposed to have said just before he was hit.

11/16/2008 9:52 pm (et) Susansweet: Hurrray for maps.

11/16/2008 9:52 pm (et) shapbruin: Of all the things this regiment accomplished, helping to seal the southern lip of the Confederate breakthrough at Copse of Trees is probably the greatest.

11/16/2008 9:52 pm (et) shapbruin: LF, yes.

11/16/2008 9:52 pm (et) Susansweet: Yes he was supposed to have said that but then others said he said nothing.

11/16/2008 9:53 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: We should buy the book for the maps.

11/16/2008 9:53 pm (et) Susansweet: lol good idea.

11/16/2008 9:53 pm (et) Susansweet: no no no . no more books.

11/16/2008 9:53 pm (et) Widow: LF, one book about the 20th Mass is enough for me. :=))

11/16/2008 9:53 pm (et) 4eyes: Shap they have a cool monument.

11/16/2008 9:54 pm (et) shapbruin: my favorite monument!

11/16/2008 9:54 pm (et) 20thMass: I agree. I Love That Monument!

11/16/2008 9:54 pm (et) cskuzel: I've met the authors of Isn't This Glorious... In my opinion, this is the best and most researched account of the 20th's involvement at the Copse of Trees on July 3rd.

11/16/2008 9:54 pm (et) Widow: The pounding from the artillery would have driven me insane. I think it's called "shock and awe."

11/16/2008 9:54 pm (et) shapbruin: Puddingstone, a structure made of all sorts of different rocks pressed together into an unbreakable obsttacle. A brilliant metaphor for this group.

11/16/2008 9:54 pm (et) 20thMass: The story behind it is moving.

11/16/2008 9:55 pm (et) 20thMass: Would love to meet them Carol.

11/16/2008 9:55 pm (et) Susansweet: Millers telling of the Pickett so called charge is the best I have read. I could understand who was where when , but then I have read several books about the charge by now .

11/16/2008 9:55 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: Back to the battle on July 3, the South had almost 100 pieces of artillery on Seminary ridge and there were only 28 on Seminary Ridge. The book also says there were about 100 more on Culps Hill and Little Round Top. Could the firing on the rebel flanks have made up for the lack of artillery in the center?

11/16/2008 9:55 pm (et) Widow: Not so much the fear of getting killed, but the concussion from the exploding shells. After a while your brain turns to jelly.

11/16/2008 9:55 pm (et) shapbruin: CS, that's really cool. I spoke with Ed Root on the phone before my lecture.

11/16/2008 9:55 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: Sorry, 28 on Cemetery Ridge.

11/16/2008 9:57 pm (et) shapbruin: Abbott wrote how the men never got used to artillery fire.

11/16/2008 9:57 pm (et) 20thMass: If you fire from Culp's Hill you will be firing over your own men.

11/16/2008 9:57 pm (et) shapbruin: How about the men facing that fire from a trench dug with one shovel!

11/16/2008 9:57 pm (et) 20thMass: LRT was to far I believe.

11/16/2008 9:57 pm (et) Susansweet: That's what happened to Ropes.

11/16/2008 9:57 pm (et) Susansweet: He got hit with friendly fire

11/16/2008 9:58 pm (et) shapbruin: ONE! In hindsight, that seems criminal.

11/16/2008 9:58 pm (et) 20thMass: Can't blame them Mark. hearing the cannon and not knowing if one was headed toward you.

11/16/2008 9:59 pm (et) Widow: shap, they still hadn't figured out to entrench EVERY time.

11/16/2008 9:59 pm (et) Babs: I remember going on a ranger talk at GB and the ranger talking about those guys digging with whatever they could, spoons, etc.

11/16/2008 10:00 pm (et) Susansweet: That must have been an amazing sight to see those men step out of the woods and head over the fields toward the union line.

11/16/2008 10:00 pm (et) Widow: Those that did explode did plenty of damage.

11/16/2008 10:00 pm (et) Widow: The rest just rolled around on the ground like a , well, a loose cannon ball.

11/16/2008 10:01 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: Have someone kneel behind the stone wall at the Angle, then walk away several yards, turn around and you can't see anyone behind the wall. Those guys never knew what hit them.

11/16/2008 10:01 pm (et) Babs: Why were the Vermont troops on the Union left turned at a right angle? Good strategy or good luck?

11/16/2008 10:02 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: I always read that Lees artillery overshot its mark, but this book says over 50% of the artillery was destroyed.

11/16/2008 10:02 pm (et) mobile_96: Where did the shrapnel come from that hit Macy. and Paine was also supposed to be hit with shrapnel. The Confederates didn't have cannon advance with them in the charge, and it was not likely that the Union cannon would be firing on their own men??

11/16/2008 10:02 pm (et) shapbruin: Strategy, they swung out as the charge came on.

11/16/2008 10:02 pm (et) shapbruin: So did the (I think) 8th Ohio on the N edge.

11/16/2008 10:03 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: Good question, Mobile. Book says shrapnel was used for medium range. Could a cannon have exploded?

11/16/2008 10:04 pm (et) Babs: Shap, I didn't realize the move was later.

11/16/2008 10:04 pm (et) Widow: Mobile, the Confederate artillery reached well to the top of Cemetery Ridge. A shell explodes, shrapnel everywhere, Ropes gets nailed.

11/16/2008 10:05 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: 8th Ohio is our local regiment. Monument is north of the angle I believe.

11/16/2008 10:05 pm (et) shapbruin: Mobile, probably a bit of speculation of what projectile did what to whom.

11/16/2008 10:05 pm (et) Susansweet: Says he was hit by heavy shell fire from confederate batteries supporting Pickett's charge.

11/16/2008 10:05 pm (et) shapbruin: Especially at the Copse of Trees.

11/16/2008 10:05 pm (et) Susansweet: Ropes was killed by Union shrapnel.

11/16/2008 10:05 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: Thanks, Susan.

11/16/2008 10:06 pm (et) mobile_96: Another point, page 272, 2nd par. says that during the dash to the corpse of trees, the regiment took heavy shell fire from the batteries supporting Pickett's men. Means that the Rebs would have been actually firing on their own men.

11/16/2008 10:06 pm (et) amhistoryguy: If the Union guns were firing over Union troops, the Union troops were subject to being struck by sabots separating from the projectile.

11/16/2008 10:06 pm (et) 4eyes: Mobile both Alexander and Wainright state that the initial Reb volleys were very accurate so maybe that's when they got hurt.

11/16/2008 10:06 pm (et) Babs: Rebels line was much wider than the Union's. Why did they funnel to the center? Why didn't they wrap around the union line. The enfilading could have been the other way to.

11/16/2008 10:06 pm (et) shapbruin: Man, you guys know a TON about artillery!

11/16/2008 10:07 pm (et) mobile_96: Only way they could support with artillery was to move the artillery with Pickett's men, something they didn't do.

11/16/2008 10:07 pm (et) Widow: AHG, and the occasional misfire that explodes when it leaves the gun.

11/16/2008 10:07 pm (et) Susansweet: Ropes was reading Dickens and shrapnel went though his back.

11/16/2008 10:07 pm (et) shapbruin: Babs, they used the Copse of Trees as something to home in on to concentrate the power of the charge.

11/16/2008 10:08 pm (et) mobile_96: However, the 20th didn't move to the corpse until it was broken by the Rebs, not during the bombardment.

11/16/2008 10:08 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: They funneled to the center because that's where Lee thought the Union line was weakest.

11/16/2008 10:08 pm (et) Widow: Babs, Lee's plan was to concentrate on the center with everything he had. He figured it was the weakest part of the Federal line.

11/16/2008 10:08 pm (et) Susansweet: Dave is my Artillery expert when we all get together.

11/16/2008 10:08 pm (et) 20thMass: Well RE Lee was wrong.

11/16/2008 10:08 pm (et) Susansweet: Surprise surprise.

11/16/2008 10:09 pm (et) shapbruin: Lee in that moment demonstrated a fatal flaw: inability learn from one's mistakes. He tried the same thing at Malvern Hill.

11/16/2008 10:09 pm (et) mobile_96: And Macy and Paine were hit about that time, not during the bombardment, but afterwards, during the the breakthrough.

11/16/2008 10:09 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: It's like Fredericksburg in reverse. Lee allows the North too much time to gather strength behind the wall before attacking.

11/16/2008 10:09 pm (et) Susansweet: It was very much like Malvern Hill.

11/16/2008 10:10 pm (et) mobile_96: Who wrote "Isn't This Glorious"?

11/16/2008 10:10 pm (et) cskuzel: Ed Root and Jeff Stocker.

11/16/2008 10:10 pm (et) shapbruin: Still, we have to be careful to think the battle was over before it began. To hear Abbott tell it, it was touch and go for quite awhile.

11/16/2008 10:11 pm (et) mobile_96: Thank you.

11/16/2008 10:11 pm (et) Susansweet: Marcy and Paine were dashing to the corpse of trees when hit.

11/16/2008 10:11 pm (et) shapbruin: CS, I'd love your opinion on my blog post about the book.

11/16/2008 10:11 pm (et) Widow: The description of the casualties afterward was so sad.

11/16/2008 10:11 pm (et) Babs: Mobile doesn't mind having more than four books in his "to read" pile.

11/16/2008 10:11 pm (et) cskuzel: I've toured the Copse of Trees with them ... they gave me a personal tour of their research last year and this year.

11/16/2008 10:12 pm (et) 4eyes: Quit so Shap and much of the ANV didnt think it was over till they got down around Williamsport.

11/16/2008 10:12 pm (et) 20thMass: Even though he was a brat it was sad to see Paine killed.

11/16/2008 10:12 pm (et) mobile_96: You mean Mt. MustReadSoon ??

11/16/2008 10:12 pm (et) cskuzel: I'll check out your blog post.

11/16/2008 10:12 pm (et) Susansweet: lol

11/16/2008 10:13 pm (et) Susansweet: That must have been great to get a personal tour.

11/16/2008 10:13 pm (et) 4eyes: They thought they gave Mead such a licking that he would not come down south for "quite some time."

11/16/2008 10:13 pm (et) cskuzel: Even though I think it is unlikely, I've wondered if Paine wasn't killed by his own men.

11/16/2008 10:13 pm (et) Susansweet: I keep saying I would love to go with Dave to Gettysburg to have him show me where the artillery was.

11/16/2008 10:13 pm (et) Susansweet: Interesting thought Csk

11/16/2008 10:14 pm (et) Susansweet: An oops.

11/16/2008 10:14 pm (et) cskuzel: It was ... I contacted them as a descendant of a 20th MA soldier, and they were more than happy to meet and give me a tour.

11/16/2008 10:14 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: That would be a wonderful trip. I know 2 people that would like to go, one of them is me.

11/16/2008 10:14 pm (et) Widow: Last Saturday my RT followed Lee's retreat from Gettysburg. Cool to read about the 20th Mass while thinking about that excursion.

11/16/2008 10:14 pm (et) Susansweet: Wish I had gone to Mt. Aurburn Cemetery when I was in Boston visiting my brother.

11/16/2008 10:14 pm (et) 20thMass: I don't think they killed him Carol. To much at stake at the moment and I believe other officers saw him go down.

11/16/2008 10:14 pm (et) shapbruin: CS, I really doubt it. Things were so chaotic, the regiment was disordered. Abbott said everyone was fighting "on their own hook" Trying to stay alive and push back the Rebels were probably much more pressing concerns. Plus, when he was shot, he was hit multiple times.

11/16/2008 10:15 pm (et) cskuzel: I agree, but it is an interesting thought, especially in light of that petition.

11/16/2008 10:15 pm (et) cskuzel: Very true.

11/16/2008 10:15 pm (et) shapbruin: CS, I agree with you. BTW, who are you a descendant of?

11/16/2008 10:15 pm (et) Susansweet: That area was a madhouse. I read Cushing at Gettysburg and he was in his own hell there

11/16/2008 10:16 pm (et) cskuzel: Private Oliver S. Bates, 20th MA Company A ...

11/16/2008 10:16 pm (et) shapbruin: Amazing.

11/16/2008 10:16 pm (et) Babs: Did he survive?

11/16/2008 10:16 pm (et) shapbruin: Do you have any mementos from his service?

11/16/2008 10:16 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: It's an interesting thought, cs, but at the moment they were just trying to stay alive and win a battle.

11/16/2008 10:17 pm (et) cskuzel: He was wounded at Gettysburg, but I haven't been able to determine how severely. He survived some of the most intense battles of the war, and was wounded June 24th at Petersburg while on picket duty. He died two months later from complications of amputation of left leg

11/16/2008 10:18 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: Was at the Cushing place in Wisconsin this summer. Did you ever go there, Dave.

11/16/2008 10:18 pm (et) cskuzel: I wish I had mementos of his service, but I don't. I've been trying to track down letters, but to no avail.

11/16/2008 10:18 pm (et) Susansweet: How sad to survive all that way and then die of amputation.

11/16/2008 10:18 pm (et) amhistoryguy: The Park ?

11/16/2008 10:19 pm (et) Babs: cs, My sympathies.

11/16/2008 10:19 pm (et) Susansweet: There is a home in Wisconsin for Cushing?

11/16/2008 10:19 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: Was at Cushing's place in Wisconsin this summer. Where you ever there, Dave?

11/16/2008 10:19 pm (et) cskuzel: The interesting thing about him, is that the first time I went to Gettysburg, I knew nothing about his service, but was drawn like a magnet to the Angle. Then later I found out that I had a relative who fought at that location at Gettysburg

11/16/2008 10:20 pm (et) amhistoryguy: Cushing's lived in Delafield Wisconsin for a time.

11/16/2008 10:20 pm (et) amhistoryguy: I visited Cushing Park many years ago.

11/16/2008 10:20 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: Sorry, the computer stuck I guess. No home, but a park on the site of his birthplace and a couple of monuments. The park is in Delafield.

11/16/2008 10:20 pm (et) Susansweet: I remember that then the family moved back to Massachusetts

11/16/2008 10:20 pm (et) Babs: cs, I had that happen at Ft Niagara.

11/16/2008 10:21 pm (et) cskuzel: Funny how that happens.

11/16/2008 10:21 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: I try to leave a flag on that cannon every trip to G'burg.

11/16/2008 10:22 pm (et) amhistoryguy: Howard was killed during the Apache wars in Arizona after the war.

11/16/2008 10:22 pm (et) Susansweet: I was standing at the site of Libby Prison having a friend take my picture, all of a sudden I had a funny feeling and just burst into tears. My great grandfather had been there.

11/16/2008 10:22 pm (et) 20thMass: Maybe the Boston Public Library can help you find his letters, Carol.

11/16/2008 10:22 pm (et) cskuzel: Tried there ... will keep on trying

11/16/2008 10:22 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: I wish there was more of Libby Prison to see, but that must have been a moving experience.

11/16/2008 10:23 pm (et) Widow: At the end of the chapter I was pleased by the way the survivors asked their families to help the other families who'd lost someone. I hadn't considered how the communality of the regiment extended back home as well.

11/16/2008 10:23 pm (et) Susansweet: It was.

11/16/2008 10:24 pm (et) cskuzel: It did ... after the death of my ancestor his sister married ... she named her first son Wendell Holmes Warner

11/16/2008 10:24 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: I agree, Widow, but again, was it just within their group? I'd like to think that included everyone in the regiment. I know Lee kept up with everyone.

11/16/2008 10:24 pm (et) Babs: I burst into tears at the almshouse cemetery in Gettysburg (Barlow's field) to see the graves of those who had no one to bury them.

11/16/2008 10:24 pm (et) shapbruin: wow

11/16/2008 10:25 pm (et) Widow: LF, yes, your'e right. Not just long-time friends, but the families of the others, from all over.

11/16/2008 10:25 pm (et) Susansweet: I just read that Holmes had two uniforms in his closet when he died with a note in the pocket that the blood on them was his blood from in battle.

11/16/2008 10:25 pm (et) Susansweet: 70 years after the war.

11/16/2008 10:25 pm (et) shapbruin: Susan, where did you read that?

11/16/2008 10:26 pm (et) 20thMass: I read that too.

11/16/2008 10:26 pm (et) Susansweet: It was a trivia question and I found the answer somewhere on line when I googled Holmes.

11/16/2008 10:27 pm (et) Susansweet: I loved Macy's father's statement about his losing his left hand was the best limb to lose.

11/16/2008 10:27 pm (et) Susansweet: Since he was right handed .

11/16/2008 10:27 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: Yeah, well us lefties feel differently.

11/16/2008 10:28 pm (et) Susansweet: Fan my brother is one of you.

11/16/2008 10:28 pm (et) 20thMass: Of the 13 officers in the 20th that were present at Gettysburg 10 were either wounded or killed.

11/16/2008 10:29 pm (et) Susansweet: So three were still whole at the end of the battle

11/16/2008 10:29 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: I hope that was the most the regiment will ever lose.

11/16/2008 10:29 pm (et) 20thMass: Abbott, Perkins and Summerhayes were the only ones to get out not wounded.

11/16/2008 10:30 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: Oh, glad to hear about Abbot. I like him.

11/16/2008 10:30 pm (et) 4eyes: Do they say what they ate that day or nite?

11/16/2008 10:30 pm (et) Susansweet: Sorry to interject something modern but my friend who was evacuated from the fires is back home, his home was safe . He is the post commander for Sons of Union Vets . Good man

11/16/2008 10:33 pm (et) 20thMass: I believe we can end the book chat for the night.

11/16/2008 10:34 pm (et) Susansweet: Good Job Coly

11/16/2008 10:34 pm (et) Babs: Nice one Coly.

11/16/2008 10:34 pm (et) 20thMass: Next week we will discuss Chapter 12 and 13 which is 71 pages.

11/16/2008 10:34 pm (et) 20thMass: Thanks everybody for participating.

11/16/2008 10:35 pm (et) cskuzel: Thanks everyone ... great chat ... have a good night