Quote of the Day April 13, 2012

Territorial Map of Minnesota

“Since that time a cavalry and an infantry regiment have been offered to me, which I declined. They are Pennsylvania troops and maybe it would have been better for me to accept a regiment from my state, but I have been a long time with the Minnesota people and they know me.”  Captain Alfred Sully writing in a letter home of his preference for command of a Minnesota regiment.  He would become the third commander of the First Minnesota Volunteer Infantry on March 4, 1862 and lead them in battle on the Peninsula and in the Maryland Campaign.  Sully served at Fort Ridgely during the 1850s.  From the First Minnesota Volunteer Infantry website:  http://www.1stminnesota.net/SearchResults.php3?ID=1240

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Quote of the Day March 13, 2012

Henry J. Hunt

“If I remember aright the much quoted and much admired expression of a great writer was, that “the condition of a soldier should be one of honorable poverty.” This is true enough, I hope however in applying it to our case the adjective will not be lost sight of.” Lieutenant Henry Hunt, future artillery commander of the Army of the Potomac in a March 11, 1844 letter to his mentor and friend James Duncan bemoaning a push by Congress to cut the pay of officers in the Regular Army. Found in The Man Behind the Guns A Military Biography of General Henry J. Hunt, Chief of Artillery, Army of the Potomac by Edward G. Longacre. New York: DeCapo Press, 2003, page 42.  Originally from HJH to Lt James Duncan, Mar 11, 1844, Duncan Papers, USMA-L.

Quote of the Day March 12, 2012

Alfred Sully

“He was, we understood a regular and came direct from active service in the West. He did not attempt to ‘put on any style’; there was no effort to display and self-assertion; he gave but few orders, and they were in as few words as possible and in but an ordinary, commonplace way. Of course he was talked over and judgement passed on him, and long before night,  I heard several assertions to the effect that “he would do,” but I am inclined to think that most of the boys felt like reserving their opinions until better acquainted.” Sergeant James Wright of the First Minnesota Infantry recalls the arrival of the new regimental commander Alfred Sully in March of 1862.  Found in No More Gallant a Deed – Civil War Memoir of the First Minnesota Volunteers. By James A. Wright. Edited by Steven J. Keillor. St Paul: Minnesota Historical Society Press, 2001, page 104.