Saturday, February 26, 2011

Color Sergeant George A. Simpson & the 125 Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry at Antietam

 The 125 Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry was recruited in Blair, Huntingdon and Cambria Counties in response to President Lincoln’s call for 300,000 men July 1862.  The regiment was organized and trained at Camp Curtin before mustering into federal service for 9 months at Harrisburg, PA., on August 16, 1862 and departing for Washington the same evening.  By August 18th the new recruits were in Virginia, first  at Hunter’s Chapel and then at Fort Bernard where they remained until September 6, 1862.  On the 6th they marched to Rockville, MD were the regiment was brigaded with the 5th Connecticut, 10th Maine, 28th New York, 46th, 124 and 128th Pennsylvania and attached to the 1st Brigade, 1st Division, 12th Corp, Army of the Potomac, commanded by Major General Joseph K. F. Mansfield.  The corp left Rockville on the 6th and  headed west arriving east of Antietam Creek in western Maryland on September 16.  
On the evening of September 16, 1862 the 125th Pennsylvania crossed Antietam Creek  at fords near the upper bridge.  They camped on George Line’s farm, east of the Smoketown Road and  about a mile in the rear of Major General Joseph Hooker’s lines.  At dawn the regiment moved out with the rest of the 12th Corp toward where Hooker’s troops were engaged with Confederate soldiers.  The men deployed in Samuel Poffenbeger’s woods and marched in a southwesterly direction toward where the Smoketown Road intersects the Hagerstown Pike.  After exiting the East Woods the regiment was fired on by the 5th Texas which resulted in the death of private James Hunter of Company A.  The regiment continued their advance, finally ending up in the West Woods where they were hotly engaged and finally, after suffering heavy losses,  forced to retreat.  
As documented in History of the One Hundred Twenty-Fifth Pennsylvania Volunteers 1862-1863, published in 1906:
“In the retreat from the said west woods, the regimental colors of the 125th were saved through bravery worthy of special mention. The color-sergeant, George A. Simpson, was shot and instantly killed and five of the color guard went down; then 
Eugene Boblitz, of Company " H," rescued and carried them for a distance, when he was badly wounded and handed them to Sergeant Walter W. Greenland, of Company "C,"  from whom Captain Wallace received them, and carried them to the rear of the battery which we were ordered to support. Meanwhile men were falling thick and fast as leaves in autumn. 
Hospital Steward J. Fletcher Conrad, stated to the writer that when attending an encampment of the Grand Army of the Republic, a few years since, he met a Confederate officer, who detailed the circumstances of the carrying of the regimental 
flag by Captain Wallace, and said that the Captain must have led a charmed life, as one hundred rifles were aimed at him without effect.”

Casualties for the 125th in their baptism of fire were heavy, 5  killed, 42 wounded and 17 missing.  A number of the dead including Color Sergeant George Simpson are buried at Antietam National Cemetery.  

On September 17, 1904 the 125th Pennsylvania Volunteers held a reunion at Antietam Battlefield and dedicated a monument to the regiment.  This monument is west of and behind the Dunker Church.  The granite monument, as described in Pennsylvania at Antietam published in 1906,  “A Color Sergeant with his regimental flag partly unfurled to the breeze, with eagerness written in every line of his manly face and lithe body, with hand on the sword by his side, ready to spring forward at the command to lead his comrades anywhere and everywhere they are ordered to go”  bears the likeness of Color Sergeant George A. Simpson.

                      125th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry Monument

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Honoring Union Soldiers: The GAR and it's Affiliates

The Grand Army of the Republic, a fraternal organization composed of union veterans of the civil war,  was founded April 6, 1866 at Decatur, Illinois.  Amongst other things, the GAR's, influence lead to the creation of Old Soldiers Homes in many states which eventually evolved into the Department of Veterans Affairs.
There were several affiliates to the GAR including the Ladies of the Grand Army of the Republic, which was made up of women who were wives or blood kin of union veterans, and the Woman’s Relief Corp, Auxiliary to the GAR, which welcomed women who were not related to veterans.   These organizations supported union veterans, their widows and orphans and in addition to other charitable works also erected monuments throughout the nation in honor of union soldiers.  There are a number of these monuments in Idaho.   

                  photo courtesy of Idaho State Historical Society

This statue of President Abraham Lincoln rests on a granite base given to the state of Idaho on February 12, 1815 by the Ladies of the GAR, Department of Idaho.  The statue was originally placed in front of the Old Soldiers Home in Boise.  It was later moved to the VA Hospital.  In 2009 on the 200 anniversary off Lincoln’s birth the statue was relocated and rededicated south of the capitol. The statue designed by Alphonso Pelzer is one of six replica of the oiriginal cast in 1898 and placed in Lincoln, New Jersey.   
This monument, which cost $137, was erected at Pioneer Cemetery in Boise, Idaho and unveiled on May 9, 1896 by the Woman’s Relief Corp of the GAR, Phil Sheridan Post.  It is dedicated to the memory of the unknown union dead.

Another monument dedicated to the unknown dead by the Fremont Post of the Woman’s Relief Corp, Auxiliary to the GAR, is found at Riverside Cemetery in Emmett, Idaho.  

This monument was erected by the Phil Sheridan Post, Woman’s Relief Corp, Auxiliary to the GAR in 1923 in memory of the union veterans of the civil war.  The monument stands prominently over graves of union veterans buried in the “Silent Camp” section of Morris Hill Cemetery in Boise, Idaho.   

Friday, February 18, 2011

Disaster at Packhorse Ford: The Corn Exchange Regiment's Baptism of Fire

Shiloh and I often walk along the towpath of the C & O Canal which extends for 184.5 miles along the east side of the Potomac from Georgetown to the headwaters of the Ohio River.  We park below the bridge at Shepherdstown and amble downriver, usually to Packhorse Ford, before turning around and heading home.  Packhorse Ford, also called Botler’s and/or Blackford’s Ford is a historic crossing on the Potomac River approximately 1 mile downstream of Shepherdstown.   On the evening of September 18 and early morning of September 19th, following the Battle of Antietam, the badly bloodied Army of Northern Virginia crossed into Virginia via this ford.  Union troops followed and the Battle of Shepherdstown was fought here on September 19 and 20, 1862. 

                                               Packhorse Ford  from the Maryland side of the River

The Battle of Shepherdstown seems to be another footnote in history that little is known about although the book “Shepherdstown: Last Clash of the Antietam Campaign September 19-20, 1862” helps to rectify that.  The tragedy of the Battle of Shepherdstown lies with the 118th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry Regiment better known in history as the Corn Exchange Regiment  because they were sponsored by the Corn Exchange of Philadelphia, PA. 

The Corn Exchange Regiment was recruited at Philadelphia in early August 1862 following Lincoln’s call for another 300,000 men.  The regiment trained at Camp Union  before being mustered into federal service on August 30, 1862 and heading to Washington. On September 12, the newly minted soldiers of the 118th Pennsylvania were incorporated into the 1st Brigade, 1st Division 5th Corp, Army of the Potomac under Major General Fitz John Porter.  They marched with the Army of the Potomac to western Maryland where they were held in reserve during the Battle of Antietam.  On September 19, the regiment march west with the 5th Corp toward the Potomac in search of the retreating Army of Northern Virginia.  They bivouacked near the river on the night of the 19th and were up early on the 20th with orders to cross the river and engage the enemy.  

As told in the “History of the Corn Exchange Regiment 118th Pennsylvania Volunteers From the First Engagement at Antietam to Appomattox”, September 20 dawned bright and clear, the sun shone with mellow autumn radiance, the dew glistened on grass and leaves and the Old Potomac was calm and placid when the 118th formed on the west bank and began crossing the river.  The regiment crossed the river with other from the 5th Corp and were soon hotly engaged with veterans of A. P. Hill’s Light Division.  An order was issued to retreat which was either not received or ignored by the commander of the 118th Pennsylvania.  The regiment, which had never fired a shot prior to September 20, were hotly engaged with the rebels and soon found out their newly issued Enfield rifles were defective.  The Corn Exchangers fought bravely but were soon routed and forced to retreat down a steep embankment on the Virginia side of the river and across the river, while under fire.  The casualties were heavy, of 800 engaged the regiment lost 64 killed, 124 wounded and 94 missing in their baptism of fire.  
 At least eight soldiers from the Corn Exchange Regiment, including Ephraim Layman, are buried at Antietam National Cemetery in Sharpsburg, MD.  May they rest in peace in hallowed ground.

 Ephraim’s baptism of fire is described in the "History" cited above.  It typifies the experience of many soldiers in the Corn Exchange Regiment on September 20, 1862.
“Ephraim Layman, of (Company) I, had escaped from the bluff uninjured.  While hurrying along the edge of the river he was shot through the body and fell with his feet in the water. He lay in the same position until the following afternoon, when, under the flag of truce, he was removed to the Maryland side and subsequently taken to the hospital at Sharpsburg. There, a few hours after the ball had been extracted, he expired. Layman had not yet reached his majority. He was of excellent family, and enlisted from motives of the purest patriotism. His early training, earnest purpose and firm determination to be foremost in answer to all demands of duty, were indicative of a promising future.”

Monday, February 14, 2011

Least We Forget: Honoring American Soldiers on St. Valentine's Day

This bright sunny morning, which happens to be Saint Valentine’s Day, found Shiloh and I hiking the trails near Burnside Bridge on Antietam National Battlefield.  Birds were singing and spring was in the air although I expect it is at least a month away.   Burnside Bridge is an idyllic place and one can easily forget the tragedy that occurred here on September 17, 1862.  On that day in the vicinity of the bridge and in the hills and swales to the west 13,800 Union Soldiers of the 9th Corp of the Army of the Potomac were engaged in a horrific battle with 7,150 Confederates from Jackson and Longstreet’s command from the Army of Northern Virginia. There were 3,720 casualties, which included dead, missing and wounded soldiers.  This is only a fraction of the total casualties for the day which totaled 22,717 Americans and gives the Battle of Antietam the dubious honor of being the single bloodiest day in American history.

One can easily forget the suffering and sacrifice that occurred here when a hint of spring is in the air and Antietam Creek flows peacefully through the three arches of the historic rock bridge that spans it.  One also looses sight of the fact that these men and boys who were husbands, fathers, sons and brothers were also someone’s Valentine too.  So today in honor of Saint Valentine and in memory of those brave soldiers who perished here lets remember a few of them who rest in hallowed ground at Antietam National Cemetery, Sharpsburg, MD.

 Private John Hallowell, Company C, 51st Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry.  Mustered in 9/13/1861.  KIA, 9/17/1862, Battle of Antietam.   Grave # 3723.

Private Henry Shultz, Company F, 51st Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry. Mustered in 10/16/1861. KIA, 9/17/1862, Battle of Antietam. Grave # 3582.
Corporal James Dowling. Company G, 51st Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry. Mustered in 10/17/1861. KIA 9/17/1862, Battle of Antietam. Grave # 3583.
Private Peter Burke, Company K, 48th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry. Died 11/14/1862. Grave # 4041.

Both the 48th and the 51st Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry Regiments were engaged in the fighting at Burnside Bridge.  The 48th suffered 60 casualties including 8 killed, 51 wounded and 1 missing.  The 51st  lost a total of 120 men, 21 killed and 99 wounded.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Phoenix R. Briggs: The Story of Sherman and the Old Corporal

I feel I have know Phoenix Randolph Briggs since childhood, probably because as a youth I  stood in the two room log cabin he built with partner John C. Fox and then have watched the structure slowly deteriorate until it became an unrecognizable pile of decayed logs and scattered shingles.  As a graduate student working on a MA in History I delved further into his life while writing a history of the Marshall Lake Mining District in Idaho County, Idaho.  Recently I discovered Phoenix was a civil war veteran and had been admitted to the Old Soldiers Home in Boise, Idaho dying there at the age of 73 in 1911.  I made a pilgrimage to find his grave at Morris Hill Cemetery in Boise and placed a flag there on Memorial Day.   This is his story as it has unfolded before me over more than 40 years.   

Phoenix was born near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania December 29, 1837 the eldest child of Thomas and Margaret (Hamilton) Briggs.  His father had immigrated to the U. S. from Ireland.  His mother was of Scottish ancestry.  The Briggs moved to New Jersey for a short time. In 1842 the family went west to Illinois and settled in Mercer County where Thomas took up farming.  By 1950 there were seven children including 4 boys (Phoenix, Anamuel, Daniel & George ) and three girls (Elizabeth, Margaret & Maria).  
Phoenix was educated in Illinois & became a carpenter.  In August 1862 while living in Berlin farming he enlisted in Company C 102nd Illinois Volunteer Infantry with 92 other men and officers from Mercer and Rock Island County.  At the time of his enlistment and election as one of 18 company corporals Briggs was 25 years old and stood 5 foot 10 inches tall.  He had sandy hair and grey eyes.  
The 102 Illinois Volunteer Infantry Regiment was mustered into federal service September 1-2, 1862.  In October the regiment was attached to Brig. Gen. William T. Ward’s Brigade of Brig. Gen. Ebenezer Dumont’s 12th Division, Army of the Ohio, commanded by Don Carlos Buell.  The regiment marched through Kentucky to Gallatin, Tennessee where they spent the winter and spring of 1863.  In June 1863 the 102nd moved to LaVergne, Tennessee where they guarded railroads  until February 1864.  In February the 102nd joined up with Maj. Gen W. T. Sherman’s Army Group in northern Georgia, later participating in the Atlanta Campaign and the March to the Sea and through the Carolina’s. The regiment participated in the Grand Review in Washington D. C., before mustering out and being discharged in Chicago Illinois June 14, 1865.
After the war Phoenix lived in Iowa and Missouri.  He married, started a family, and in 1879 moving to northern Nebraska where he declared for a homestead. By 1900 he had divorced his wife Martha and was living in Dixie, Idaho with his mining partner John C. Fox. 

On June 7, 1902 partners Fox and Briggs located two quartz mining claims, the Sherman and the Old Corporal.  These claims and a handful of others including the Sherman # 3-5 and the Old Corporal # 2, were developed by Fox and Briggs until Phoenix’s death in 1911.  The claims, which were sold by Phoenix’s son to Leif T. Holte in 1915, ultimately became the Golden Anchor Mine which was one of Idaho’s top lode gold producing mines while operated by Holte and again in the 1930’s.  The mine ceased operations with the outbreak of WWII and has only seen limited development and/or assessment  work completed since then. 

                                               600 Level Crosscut Golden Anchor Mine 1978

I never thought much about the names Briggs had given to his mining claims until I found out in 2009 he was a civil war veteran and had marched to the sea with Sherman.  Then everything came full circle and the names came to symbolize the significance of both the mining profession and the civil war in both Phoenix Brigg's life and my own.  

                 Yours truly hand tramming at the Golden Anchor Mine in 1989.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Those Honored Dead: Confederate Soldiers Buried at Shiloh

It has often been said to the victor goes the spoils.  This was true in the civil war and often the spoils included the dead and wounded of the vanquished foe and/or the army that had retreated from the field.  Since bodies deteriorated quickly in many climates it was imperative that the dead be buried as expeditiously as possible.
On many a battlefield it was common to inter dead from both union and confederate forces in trenches regardless of who was charged with the burial.  This was true after the Battle of Shiloh.  The union forces that held the field on April 8, 1862 buried both friend and foe in trenches as recounted by a soldier from the 18th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry:  “I saw one grave containing one hundred and thirty-seven dead rebels, and on one side of it another grave containing forty-one dead federals.  Several other trenches were in view from that spot.”  
Most union soldiers were later disinterred and reburied in the Shiloh National Cemetery which was established in 1866.  There was no provision for reburial of the confederate dead in national cemeteries therefore most of them remained interred on the field of battle although there are 3 confederate graves in the national cemetery at Shiloh.
There are five known confederate burial trenches at Shiloh National Military Park, which are monumented, and at least a like number of burial trenches who’s location is not precisely known. 

This burial trench is south of Cavalry Road several hundred yards west of the junction of Cavalry Road and the Hamburg- Savannah Road and is designated on the Shiloh National Park Trail Guide Map as site # M-021.

This burial trench is west of the Corinth Road and the trace of Sherman Road, which is currently being reconstructed, and is designated on the Shiloh National Park Trail Guide Map as site # M-022.

This trench is is designated on the Shiloh National Park Trail Guide Map as site # M-023  and is located at Tour Stop 5. 

This trench is northeast of Rea Springs and is designated on the Shiloh National Park Trail Guide Map as site # M-024.  

This trench is located on the south edge of Rea Field and is designated on the Shiloh National Park Trail Guide Map as site # M-025.  

Monday, February 7, 2011

Colonel Everett Peabody: Savior of the Union Army at Shiloh?

Everett Peabody was born in Springfield, Massachusetts on June 13, 1830, the second of six children descending from William Bourne Oliver Peabody and Elizabeth Amelia White Peabody.  He attended Burlington College before matriculating to Harvard where he graduated with a degree in civil engineering in 1849.  He worked in railroading in Massachusetts before moving to Missouri where he was employed by the St. Joseph Railroad and later the Platte County Railroad.  
Peabody was living in St. Joseph, Missouri with his wife Susannah Amanda Ratliff Peabody, whom he had married in March 1858, when the civil war erupted.  He joined the cause and was mustered in as Major of the 13th Missouri Volunteers.  He was wounded and later captured in the September 13-20, 1861 “Siege of Lexington, Missouri”, an engagement between union forces and pro-confederate Missouri State Guards.  After being exchanged  Peabody took remnants of the 13th Missouri and formed the 25th Missouri Volunteer Infantry Regiment.  
In March 1862 the 25th Missouri was assigned to Brigadier General Benjamin Prentiss’s 6th Division of the Army of the Tennessee and directed to report to Pittsburg Landing on the Tennessee River.  The 25th was brigaded with  the 21st Missouri, 12th Michigan and the 16th Wisconsin.  Peabody, who was now a colonel, assumed command of the brigade. 
In early March 1862 union forces under Major General Charles F. Smith and later Major General Ulysses S. Grant were assembling at Pittsburg Landing in preparation for a march on the railroad town of Corinth, Mississippi.  There were 5 divisions of the Army of the Tennessee encamped at Pittsburg Landing in March 1862 with Peabody’s Brigade in one of the most advanced positions.  By early April there were indications the confederate forces had left their stronghold at Corinth and were marching to intercept the union troops.  The union high command at Pittsburg Landing downplayed the reports of their pickets and skirmishers and were, for the most part, unprepared when the Army of  Mississippi under Albert Sydney Johnson attacked early in the morning of April 6, 1862.
Peabody was not one of those misled by his superiors including Benjamin Prentiss and W. T. Sherman's lack of concern.  Before dawn on April 6, 1862 he sent forces from his brigade on an early morning reconnaissance to feel out the confederate position.  This forward group ran into the confederates in Fraley Field & the Battle of Shiloh was started.   Peabody's diligence provided an early warning system for the rest of the union command which enabled them to form lines of battle and counter the confederate attack.


Peabody was wounded several times in the early morning phase of the Battle of Shiloh, the mortal wound occurring close to where his mortuary monument now rests on the battlefield.  Following his death his remains were taken to Springfield, Massachusetts for reburial in the Springfield cemetery.        

                                                          (Headstone photo courtesy of Angie Robinson)     

Saturday, February 5, 2011

2nd Wisconsin at Antietam: Beetown Boys Side by Side

There are more than a dozen soldiers from the 2nd Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry buried at Antietam National Cemetery which is not surprising as the regiment was in the thick of the fighting on the northern sector of the battlefield on the morning of September 17, 1862.  The regiment had 150 men when the fighting started and lost 91 before days end.  Two of the casualties were Private Robert S. Stevenson and Corporal George W. Halloway. They rest side by side at Antietam National Cemetery. 

Both Halloway and Stevenson were from Beetown, Grant County, a lead-zinc mining region in southwestern Wisconsin.  Halloway enlisted on April 22, 1861 and Stevenson on May 20, 1861. They were mustered into Company C with other Grant County men on June 11, 1861.  After mustering in the regiment proceeded to Washington and was soon brigaded with the 13th, 69th and 79th New York under Colonel W. T. Sherman.  Their baptism of fire occurred at Blackburn's Ford at the Battle of 1st Bull Run. In May 1862 the regiment was brigaded with the 6th, and 7th Wisconsin and the 19th Indiana under the command of Brigadier General John Gibbon.  They fought at Brawner's Farm on August 28, 1862 and South Mountain on September 14, 1862, loosing heavily in both engagements before moving on to Antietam. 
In the debacle that was 1st Bull Run Private Stevenson made a name for himself.  His exploits are described in the History of Grant County Wisconsin published in Chicago in 1881. "During the panic that ensued throughout the army, the regiment became detached into scattered groups. Just here one of the members of Company C, George L. Hyde was wounded in the mouth by a ball which passed through the neck. Lieut. Dean and Orderly Gibson assisted him to a place of comparative safety. James Gow, Color Sergeant of the company, hearing of his friend's condition, and being an exceptionally powerful man, went to his assistance, leaving the colors in charge of George Stephenson, a member of Company C, from Beetown, who found it difficult to keep up with the rest and retain the flag. He was charged by some cavalry, but managed to put a fence betw'een him and them. Seeing his danger and the impending disgrace from the loss of the colors, Richard Carter, one of the musicians, and his brother, George B. Carter, threw away their instruments, secured a rifle each and a few cart- ridges, and "rallied 'round the flag." After four or five attempts to increase their number in the presence of the enemy, a dozen or more of their comrades came to their assistance, and together they beat the cavalry back and secured their flag, and marched on to the vicinity of Centerville."
At Antietam Private Stevenson was in a field hospital when the battle started.  In Quiner’s Military History of Wisconsin published in Chicago in 1866 his actions are described as follows:  “Private Robert Stevenson, of Company C, Second Wisconsin, who carried of the regimental flag, on the first Bull Run battle field, and bore it on the 29th and 30th of August, 1862, on the same bloody field, sprang from his bed in the field hospital at Antietam, when he heard the skirmishing on the morning of the 17th, and pushed on alone to find his regiment. It was under fire — he reported himself to his Captain (Halloway), saying: — " Captain, I am with you to the last;" and took the colors, which he held till he was shot down, pierced with seven bullets. Corporal Holloway was mortally wounded at the same time. When found, after the battle, their bodies were lying with their heads resting on their knapsacks.”

Now they rest in peace side by side at Antietam National Cemetery.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Headstone of Civil and Indian War Veteran Brevet Brigadier General Marcus A. Reno, Custer National Cemetery.

The headstone of Marcus Albert Reno, Custer National Cemetery, Little Bighorn Battlefield, Montana. When Reno died March 30, 1889 of cancer he was buried in an unmarked grave at Glenwood Cemetery in Washington D.C. In 1967 his body was exhumed and reburied at the Custer National Cemetery on September 9 with full military honors. The grave, # 1469, is located in Section C near the flagpole.
Marcus Albert Reno was born November 11, 1834 in Carrollton, Illinois.   Reno attended the U S Military Academy at West Point (1851-1857), graduating 20th in a class of 38. He was brevetted second lieutenant, 1st Dragoons (1st U. S. Cavalry), on July 1, 1857, and assigned to duty in Oregon prior to the Civil War.
Reno served in the Union Army in the Civil War.   As a captain in the 1st U. S. Cavalry he saw limited action in command of four companies at the Battles of South Mountain and Antietam. Reno was wounded at Kelly's Ford in Virginia on March 17, 1863, and was given the brevet rank of major for gallant and meritorious conduct. Four months later, he served during the Gettysburg Campaign.  Reno participated in the 1864 battles of Cold Harbor, Trevilian Station, and Cedar Creek. After serving in a variety of staff positions, he was brevetted lieutenant colonel in October 1864. In December 1864, Reno became brevet colonel of the 12th Pennsylvania Cavalry, later commanding a brigade against John S Mosby's partisan rangers. On March 13, 1865, he was brevetted brigadier general for "meritorious services during the war."
Following the Civil War Reno remained in the army and in 1866 was assigned to duty at Fort Vancouver in Washington Territory.  In 1868 Major Reno was transferred to the 7th U. S. Cavalry.  He participated in the Battle of the Little Bighorn in eastern Montana on June 25-26, 1876.  Controversy surrounded Reno's performance in this battle which resulted in the death of Lt. Colonel George A. Custer and over 250 solders under his command.  A Court of Inquiry in 1879 cleared Reno of any wrong doing at the Battle of The Little Big Horn however he still could not  escape the controversy and cloud on his name and actions.  He began drinking as his military career soured which lead to court martial proceedings and ultimately a dishonorable discharge from the army in 1880.  Many years after his death Reno was cleared of all charges initially brought up in the court martial and posthumously granted an honorable discharge. 
Brevet  Brigadier General Marcus Reno is the highest ranking officer  and also  the only officer of the 7th U. S. Cavalry  buried at Custer National Cemetery.  

Monument on Reno- Benteen Hill, Little Big Horn Battlefield.  The Reno- Benteen Battlefield, where this monument is located, is approximately 5 miles south of Last Stand Hill.  Reno and his troops retreated here on the afternoon of June 25, 1876 following their unsuccessful attack on the Indian village in the valley west of and across the Little Big Horn River from this site.  Reno was later joined by Captain Frederick Benteen and his command.    The combined commands established defensive works here that were attacked by the Indians late on June 25 and early on June 26, 1876. The Indians left the battlefield in the evening on June 26.   On June 27, 1876 troops under the command of  General Alfred Terry and Colonel John Gibbon arrived at the Little Big Horn Battlefield to the great relief of Reno and his command.   

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Headstone of Private Milo J. Waterhouse, Company K, 2nd Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, Antietam National Cemetery, Sharpsburg, MD.

Headstone of Private Milo J. Waterhouse, Company K, 3rd Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry at Antietam National Cemetery, Sharpsburg, MD. Private Waterhouse was WIA on 9/17/1862 at the Battle of Antietam while fighting with the 3rd Brigade, 1st Division, 12th Corps, Army of the Potomac through D. R. Miller's cornfield. He died on 9/17/1862. Extant info in "Bivouacs of the Dead" listed him as M J Waterhouse, Wisc. Through researching NPS "Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System" and Wisconsin regimental rosters I was able to obtain more information on Milo including his full name, rank, muster in date, regiment and date of death. This information is included on a Group post on Flickr "Antietam National Cemetery" and will soon be added to the Flickr Group "Graves of Veterans of the American Civil War".

Remembering those honored dead who gave their last full measure of devotion as we approach the 150th Anniversary of the American Civil War. May all our soldiers rest in peace.