I am humbled and gratified to have received over 90,000 visits to Antietam Voices and 50,000 visitors to South From the North Woods. I have been really busy these days and sadly have neglected my two friends but I will be back soon. I have been doing lots of research on West Pointers at Antietam, the Regular Army artillery batteries, and of course my quote collection as well. Please stay tuned and thanks for your interest.
“Why in the Nation, General Marcy, couldn’t the General have known whether a boat could go through that lock before spending a million dollars getting them there? I am no engineer, but it seems to me that if I wished to know whether a boat would go through a hole or a lock, common sense would teach me to go and measure it. I am almost despairing at these results. Everything seems to fail. The general impression is daily gaining ground that the general does not intend to do anything.” In a rare display of temper Abraham Lincoln chews out McClellan’s chief of staff Randolph Marcy at the White House on February 27, 1862 after learning that the canal boats sent up toward Harpers Ferry did not fit into the locks because the engineers failed to measure them before hand. From George B McClellan – The Young Napoleon by Stephen Sears. New York: Ticknor & Fields, 1988. Page 158.
“I certainly have been dissatisfied with the slowness of Buell and McClellan; but before I relieved them I had great fears I should not find successors to them who would do better; and I am sorry to add that I have seen little since to relieve those fears.” Abraham Lincoln on November 24, 1862 in a letter to Carl Shurz. From George B. McClellan Shield of the Union by Warren G. Hassler. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University, 1957. Page 323
Today in the middle of reviewing A Brotherhood of Valor by Jeffrey D. Wert, the comparative study of the Stonewall Brigade and the Iron Brigade, I added quote 4000 to my database. I really wanted to hit this milestone before I dropped off the grid for a few days and work at Antietam National Battlefield during the 150th anniversary. Interestingly, it was not a quote about Stonewall. I have a lot of them. It wasn’t about the Cornfield at Antietam where these two brigades squared off. It was about Richard Garnett and the reaction of the Stonewall Brigade when Jackson relieved him of command and preferred court martial charges against. That is a little far afield from Antietam but this project sometimes takes me from the hills and fields around Sharpsburg to personalities who while they fought or otherwise participated in the Maryland Campaign, did not play the role that the likes of Lee, and McClellan played. I am going to keep going strong on this project. Maybe there is a book somewhere in there some day, but for now, this process is helping me to learn more about the Maryland Campaign than I would have believed possible when I started this about 3 1/2 years ago. Keep checking back here for once the quotes are “captured” I have to transplant them here to a format where they can be accessed and reviewed.
Tomorrow is the start of the 150th and a four day sprint of activities at the Battlefield. The weather promises to be great so come out.
Stephen Vincent Benet recounts the futility and frustration of smoothly translating a military plan of execution into the hard and cold reality of battle as he describes the Battle of Bull Run in his poem John Brown’s Body.
“I prefer your acts to speak for themselves, nor does your character or reputation require bolstering by out-of place expressions of my opinions.” Robert E. Lee chides Jeb Stuart in a May 11, 1863 when Stuart apparently complains that Lee’s report on Chancellorsville does not give Stuart full justice for his actions there. From Cavalryman of the Lost Cause by Jeffry D. Wert. New York: Simon and Schuster, 2008 page 232. Originally from a letter from R.E. Lee- to JEBS, May 11 1863, Stuart Papers, Huntington Library.
“get the machinery of the office working, the rats cleaned out, and the rat holes stopped we shall move. This army has to fight or run away; while men are striving nobly in the West, the champagne and oysters on the Potomac must be stopped.” Edwin Stanton to Charles Dana describing his actions on taking over as Secretary of War, January 24m 1862. From How the North Won by Herman Hattaway and Archer Jones. Urbana: University of Illinois Press 1983 page 92. Originally from Recollections of the Civil War by Charles A. Dana. New York: 1898, page 4.