Tuesday, January 22, 2019

New and Noteworthy: Maryland, My Maryland, Your Maryland, Our Maryland

Maryland, My Maryland: music and Patriotism During The American Civil War,  James A. Davis, University of Nebraska  Press, 390 pages, 10 photographs, 22 illustrations, bibliographic notes, bibliography, index, $55.00 hardcover

From The Publisher: 
Historians have long treated the patriotic anthems of the American Civil War as colorful, if largely insignificant, side notes. Beneath the surface of these songs, however, is a complex story. “Maryland, My Maryland” was one of the most popular Confederate songs during the American Civil War, yet its story is full of ironies that draw attention to the often painful and contradictory actions and beliefs that were both cause and effect of the war. Most telling of all, it was adopted as one of a handful of Southern anthems even though it celebrated a state that never joined the Confederacy.

In Maryland, My Maryland: Music and Patriotism during the American Civil War James A. Davis illuminates the incongruities underlying this Civil War anthem and what they reveal about patriotism during the war. The geographic specificity of the song’s lyrics allowed the contest between regional and national loyalties to be fought on bandstands as well as battlefields and enabled “Maryland, My Maryland” to contribute to the shift in patriotic allegiance from a specific, localized, and material place to an ambiguous, inclusive, and imagined space. Musical patriotism, it turns out, was easy to perform but hard to define for Civil War–era Americans.

About the author:  James A. Davis is a professor of musicology at the School of Music, State University of New York at Fredonia. He is the author of Music along the Rapidan: Civil War Soldiers, Music, and Community during Winter Quarters, Virginia, 1863–1864 (Nebraska, 2014) and editor of several books, including The Arts and Culture of the American Civil War.

Table of Contents:
Introduction: Patriotic Music and the Civil War
1. Maryland and the Coming of War: Bargain Patriotism and the Need for an Anthem
2. Spring 1861: The Pratt Street Riot and the Birth of a Song
3. “Maryland, My Maryland”: Lyrics, Music, and Publication
4. Fall 1861: The Cary Invincibles, Flags, and Symbolic Patriotism
5. Spring 1862: Marylanders, the Military, and Regionalism
6. Summer 1862: Tropes, Class, and the Rise of an Anthem
7. Fall 1862: Antietam and the Battle of Parodies
8. Spring 1863: pows, Civilians, and Military Patriotism
9. Summer 1863: Gettysburg, Slavery, and the Patriotism of Sacrifice
10. Fall 1863: Women, Hospitals, and Diverging Audiences
11. 1864: Monocacy and the Victory of Song over State
12. 1865: Performing Patriotism and Nostalgia after Appomattox
Epilogue: “Maryland, My Maryland” after the War
Notes, Bibliography, Index

Monday, January 14, 2019

News: The Enigma of the CSS Hunley's Sinking: Something New

A broken ballast tank pipe might have sunk the Confederate submarine H.L. Hunley.That’s the latest discovery by the Clemson University conservators working to restore the doomed vessel. The scientists found a roughly 1-inch gap where the pipe should have been mounted on the side wall of the submarine. If the pipe broke off the night of the Hunley’s historic mission, it may have contributed to the sinking of the sub and the loss of her crew, according to an announcement Monday by the group Friends of the Hunley. The intake pipe was meant to fill the forward ballast tank with water.  Because the hull is rounded, the pipe had to be forced into position, so it was under pressure from the beginning, said Clemson University Archaeologist Michael Scafuri. “You pushed it up and then locked it in place,” he said.

Still, the find does not solve the mystery that has haunted the historic sub for more than 150 years: Why did the crew not make it back to shore?

The hand-cranked 40-foot-long Civil War craft became the world’s first successful attack sub by sinking the Union blockade ship Housatonic off Sullivan’s Island on Feb. 17, 1864. The Hunley rammed a powder explosive into the Housatonic’s hull, detonating in a massive explosion.
While the crew signaled they planned to return by reportedly flashing a blue lantern light toward shore, they never appeared.  The sub and crew remains inside were found and later recovered 4 miles offshore in 2000. The crew was buried at Magnolia Cemetery in Charleston.

Since the recovery, the sub has been undergoing conservation work at the Clemson University-run Warren Lasch Conservation Center in North Charleston on the grounds of the former Naval Base and Shipyard. It’s open for tours on weekends. Researchers are still trying to determine what happened or if the pipe began spewing water into the cramped compartment.  “There are no signs of panic,” Scafuri said, no evidence that anyone tried to jam something in the pipe to clog the spill, or empty ballast to counteract it. “If this happened the night of the attack, how come no one responded?” he said.

The stressed pipe could have fractured at any point in the odyssey of the submarine. The pipe could have separated gradually as the Hunley lay on the ocean bottom. One way or another, the pipe is a major new clue. It would take only 50 to 70 gallons to sink the sub, said researchers at the University of Michigan, who partnered with Clemson and the Office of Naval Research on the Hunley investigation. The pipe could have disgorged that in only three minutes. “Unfortunately, there are no easy answers when investigating what led to a complex 150-year-old sinking. Still, (the pipe) is a very significant discovery that will help us tell the full story of the Hunley’s important chapter in naval history,” Scafuri said.

“We’re trying to recreate a landmark event in submarine technology,” he said. “You will never know 100 percent what happened,” Scafuri said. “What we’re trying to do is get as close as we can to what happened.” The find came as the researchers cleared away the last of the concretion, a rock-hard crusting of accumulated sand, shell and organisms, from the inner and outer walls of the sub.
Among other recent discoveries with the concretion removal:
  • A tooth found near where crew member Frank Collins is thought to have sat. Collins was buried alongside crew mates in 2004.
  • A complex gear system that eased the effort of the crew cranking the submarine.
The concretion removal involved at least two years of physically demanding work by conservators curled in up in the confines of the crew compartment and taking care not make mistakes or drop tools that would damage anything.

The removal “was a slow and challenging task for all of us involved,” said Johanna Rivera-Diaz, a Clemson University conservator spearheading the project. “But the ability to get an up-close look at the true surface of the submarine after all this time has made it entirely worth it.”
Now mostly cleaned, the sub will sit in a conservation bath for about five years to preserve the metal and ready the vessel for permanent public display some day.

Full Text Source: Post and Courier  January 14 2019

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Where Valor Proudly Sleeps: The Fredericksburg National Cemetery's Story

Where Valor Proudly Sleeps: A History of Fredericksburg National Cemetery, 1866-1933, Donald C. Pfanz, Southern Illinois University Press, 253 pages, 40 illustrations, appendices, bibliographic notes, bibliography, index, $26.50.

Civil War Librarian:The SIU Press' Engaging Civil War Series'  continues to offer public history titles on topics less frequently covered by other university and popular publishers. Visitors to the Fredericksburg Military Park have often stood in the Sunken Road with their back to a hillside and have thought 'well this is it.'
Little do they realize that at the top of the hill behind them is the Fredericksburg National Cemetery which is the final resting place for over 15,000 United States soldiers. Most of the soldiers died during the Civil War, but there are about 100 20th century soldiers and a few of their spouses.

The Union Civil War soldiers buried here include those who died of illness in the camps around Fredericksburg, in the four major battles around Fredericksburg as well the Mine Run and North Anna campaigns. Only about 20% of the soldiers are identified. Confederates who died in the Fredericksburg area were interred in other cemeteries in Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania. In July 1865, Congress authorized the establishment of a National Cemetery in Fredericksburg to honor the Federal soldiers who died on the battlefields or from disease in camp. The site chosen was Marye's Heights, the formidable Confederate position which had proven so impregnable to repeated Federal attacks on December 13, 1862.

Pfanz's splendid work describes wartime and postwar burials, the demand to create this cemetery and the the final implementation of the plan. The author pays attention to the care given by the superintendents, the cemetery employees, Memorial Day commemorations and the supervision of the National Park Service. Where Valor Proudly Sleeps will serve as a model of future public history narratives. The writing style is accessible to advanced placement history students and the general public.

From the publisher: Many books discuss in great detail what happened during Civil War battles. This is one of the few that investigate what happened to the remains of those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Where Valor Proudly Sleeps explores a battle’s immediate and long-term aftermath by focusing on Fredericksburg National Cemetery, one of the largest cemeteries created by the U.S. government after the Civil War. Pfanz shows how legislation created the National Cemetery System and describes how the Burial Corps identified, collected, and interred soldier remains as well as how veterans, their wives, and their children also came to rest in national cemeteries. By sharing the stories of the Fredericksburg National Cemetery, its workers, and those buried there, Pfanz explains how the cemetery evolved into its current form, a place of beauty and reflection.

About the Author: Donald C. Pfanz has written five books, including Richard S. Ewell: A Soldier’s Life and War So Terrible: A Popular History of the Battle of Fredericksburg. In his thirty-two-year career with the National Park Service, he worked at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania County Battlefields Memorial National Military Park, Petersburg National Battlefield Park, and Fort Sumter National Monument.

Monday, January 07, 2019

New And Noteworthy; The Dunker Church on the Antietam Battlefield, A Clear and Concise History

September Mourn: The Dunker Church of The Antietam Battlefield, Alann Schmidt and Terry Barkley, Forward and Appendix by Ted Alexander, 155 pages, 3 maps, 60 black and white images, bibliography, index, Savas Beatie Publishing, $19.95.

Civil War Librarian: Among the things that are taken for granted by frequent visitors to Civil War battlefields are the wartime structures that have been preserved by the National Park Service. The Dunker Church has even been on a U.S. Postal Service stamp.

The authors have done a splendid job of describing how the Dunker Church, on the Antietam Battlefield, was first built, used a a worship center, shot up during the battle, used briefly as a first aid station during and after the battle, used again as a worship center, destroyed by both souvenir hunters and high winds, stored in a garage and finally rebuilt on the battlefield. Though it was not the intention of the authors, they have put the building in a new field of American Civil War studies: the natural environment of the war and the desolation it created on the natural environment.

Additionally, the authors have placed the church building and its worship community in the social environment of the war. The Dunkers, their beliefs and practices, their agricultural methods and markets, and their social conduct are cogently and concisely presented and discussed in September Mourn.

All of this is accomplished in 155 pages, the authors do not belabor any on point or story.   The authors do not use jargon to describe the Dunkers, their beliefs and practices.  As part of a worship service was footwashing practiced?  Is that the single mode or the double mode? Schmidt and Barkley describe this event and its intended outcomes in just three pages.  The narrative style allows the story to be accessible to readers in high school and up. For those looking for a model of public history writing which sets forth the story of a community and its religious beliefs, or social and environmental history, September Mourn is a fine example.

The Authors: Alann Schmidt spent fifteen years as a park ranger at Antietam National Battlefield and presented hundreds of programs on the Dunker Church to park visitors, Civil War seminars, community groups, churches, and Brethren Heritage tours. Alann earned degrees from the University of Pittsburgh, Shippensburg University, Shepherd University, and the Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science. While illness forced him into early retirement, he still serves as a pastor for the Churches of God and helps foster pets for rescue groups. He and his wife Tracy (and their many cats) live on their family farm near Fort Littleton, Pennsylvania.

Terry Barkley served as archivist and museum curator at Bridgewater College in Virginia, a Brethren-related institution and holds degrees and a graduate certificate from the University of North Alabama, The Citadel, University of Alabama, and Harvard University. He retired in 2012 as director of the Brethren Historical Library and Archives (BHLA) at the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Illinois. That same year he delivered the 150th anniversary commemorative lecture on the Dunker Church of Antietam Battlefield at the Annual Conference of the Church of the Brethren in St. Louis. Terry has also lectured in the Dunker Church at Antietam National Battlefield. He is an independent scholar and musician and lives in Lexington, Virginia. This is his fourth book.

From The Publisher:  The Dunker Church is one of the most iconic structures of the American Civil War. Surprisingly, few people know much if anything about its fascinating story or the role it played within the community of Sharpsburg and its importance during and after the Battle of Antietam. September Mourn: The Dunker Church of Antietam Battlefield by Alann D. Schmidt and Terry W. Barkley rectifies this oversight in the first book-length study of its kind.

On September 17, 1862, two mighty armies grappled across the rolling hills, fields, and woodlots surrounding Sharpsburg, Maryland. The combat left more than 23,000 Union and Confederate soldiers killed, wounded, or captured, repulsed Lee’s invading Virginia army, and paved the way for the Emancipation Proclamation. Ironically, in the epicenter of that bloodiest day in American history stood a small whitewashed building dedicated to peace, equality, and the brotherhood of man.

The German Baptist Brethren, or Dunkers (Dunkards) as they were colloquially known, built the Mumma Church of the Manor congregation in 1853 just nine years before Antietam. In addition to being a house of worship with important ties to the local community, the history of the Dunker Church is interwoven with such notable figures as Stonewall Jackson, Clara Barton, Abraham Lincoln, and even Mark Twain. The structure was heavily damaged during the battle, housed torn bodies as a hospital in its aftermath, and suffered a complete collapse before undergoing the long and arduous process of being rebuilt.

Schmidt’s and Barkley’s impressive September Mourn is based upon years of meticulous research from both a Church of the Brethren (Dunkers) and a National Park Service perspective. The authors establish the importance of the structure to Sharpsburg and its citizens, its role during the battle and its aftermath, and how it helped establish tourism and education for future generations of Americans.

The Dunker Church can finally take its place alongside the Alamo and Shiloh churches as one of the most notable houses of worship in American military history. September Mourn: The Dunker Church of Antietam Battlefield is a must-read for anyone interested in the full story of the monumental battle and the community who lived through it.

Friday, January 04, 2019

New and Noteworthy: The Natural Environment and Soldiers on Campaign in the South

War Stuff: The Struggle for Human and Environmental Resources in the American Civil War, Joan E. Cashin, Cambridge University Press, 258 pages, 24 illustrations, bibliographic notes, bibliography, index, paperback, $24.99.

Civil War Librarian: Cashin's focus is upon Northern and Southern attitudes toward human and material resources needed by both civilians and soldiers. It appears that official polices had little impact on restraining armies which were on the march. Soldiers, once civilians before the war had generally experienced a rural lifestyles.They had in common, for the most part, the values of  community life and stewardship.

 Both sides exploited fully the South's human resources regarding work skills and both sides destroyed and wasted and the material resources of the South. On both sides contained some men who tried to protect civilians and conserve material resources of the region in which they campaigned.  Cashin's evidence shows that at the brogans on the ground level  neither side functioned very efficiently as it struggled to supply troops throughout the four seasons.

Cashin offers a brief but satisfying historiography of the recent studies of natural environment and material resources during the American Civil War. She reviews the several possible answers to the question 'Was the American Civil War a total war?' and 'What was John Popes' July 1862 orders and what were his expectations that they would be fully followed?'  Readers may conclude that the orders, for the most part, only described what the  soldiers were already doing in practice.

People, food, timber and habitat (farms and homes) are addressed in War Stuff as well as the natural resources and people in 1861 in the South. The final break down and losses which came during 1864 and 1865 in the South are adequately covered. Hunger, deforestation and destruction of urban and rural homes are interwoven to demonstrate the nearly complete exhaustion and desolation of the South at the end of the war.

Cashin's narrative is well organized and smoothly accessible for readers who are enrolled in advanced placement American History courses and college students. War Stuff should be read side by side of Robert Wystra's At the Forefront of Lee's Invasion: Retribution, Plunder and Clashing Cultures on Richard S. Ewell's Road to Gettysburg.  CWL would welcome Cashin's thesis being examined within with the context of the Army of Northern Virginia's invasions of Maryland and Pennsylvania. 

From the Publisher:
In this path-breaking work on the American Civil War, Joan E. Cashin explores the struggle between armies and civilians over the human and material resources necessary to wage war. This war 'stuff' included the skills of white Southern civilians, as well as such material resources as food, timber, and housing. At first, civilians were willing to help Confederate or Union forces, but the war took such a toll that all civilians, regardless of politics, began focusing on their own survival. Both armies took whatever they needed from human beings and the material world, which eventually destroyed the region's ability to wage war. In this fierce contest between civilians and armies, the civilian population lost. Cashin draws on a wide range of documents, as well as the perspectives of environmental history and material culture studies. This book provides an entirely new perspective on the war era.

From noted scholar in the field of environmental/military history:  "Expertly researched and beautifully written, War Stuff is a must-read for anyone interested in the Civil War and for all who wish to understand the fascinating, complex ways that war (any war) can fundamentally alter the manner in which humans interact with each other and with the natural world. Integrating material culture, environmental history, and war and society studies, Cashin’s book is a tour de force that will shape Civil War studies for years to come"                                                                                            Lisa M. Brady, author of War Upon the Land: Military Strategy and the Transformation of Southern Landscapes during the American Civil War

Thursday, January 03, 2019

Clara Barton's Civil War: Between Bullet and Hospital, Donald C. Pfanz,   248 pp, 30 illustrations, appendices, bibliographic notes, bibliography, Westholme Publishing, 2018,  $28.00 hardcover.

Civil War Librarian: Most other works on Clara Barton's American Civil War service accept and rely upon, at face value, her own tales about herself. Pfanz's reading of Stephen Oates' A Woman on Valor found that Oates' portrayal of Barton as a "heroine of mythical proportions." Checking the Oates' footnotes set off alarm bells for Pfanz and he decided to "dig out the original sources, peel away the self-manufactured legend and determine for myself what she really did during the war.;

While a National Park Service staff historian, he had read "thousands of letter and memoirs written by Union soldiers, and not one of them so much as mentioned Barton. Pfanz asked "How does a historian get at the truth when his subject is so firmly steeped in legend?"  The author reevaluated the source material of Barton's own recollections and the text of her many speeches after the war.

In Clara Barton's Civil War: Between Bullet and Hospital Pfanz offers a more realistic and historically grounded account of Barton's work during the war. Readers will likely be both somewhat surprised and more appreciative Clara Barton's actual accomplishments. Checking primary sources against Barton's own post-war testimony, Pfanz concludes that Barton overstated her the dramatic elements of her accomplishment. But in the course of the book, he provides an accurate account of her service that in the end needed no burnishing.

Clara Barton's Civil War: Between Bullet and Hospital narrative is accessible to both adults and advanced placement middle school and high school students. Pfanz's work also offers a fine introduction to the historian's process of finding the actual event among the recollections of the participants.

From the Publisher:
“I always tried to succor the wounded until medical aid and supplies could come up—I could run the risk; it made no difference to anyone if I were shot or taken prisoner.” So recorded Clara Barton, the most famous woman to emerge from the American Civil War. In an age when few women worked in hospitals, much less at the front, Barton served in at least four Union armies, providing food and assistance to wounded soldiers on battlefields stretching from Maryland to South Carolina.
Thousands of soldiers benefited from her actions, and she is unquestionably an American heroine. But how much do we really know about her actual wartime service? Most information about Barton’s activities comes from Barton herself. After the war, she toured the country recounting her wartime experiences to overflowing audiences. In vivid language, she described crossing the Rappahannock River under fire to succor wounded Union soldiers at Fredericksburg, transporting critical supplies to field hospitals at Antietam, and enduring searing heat and brackish water on the sun-scorched beaches of South Carolina.

She willingly braved hardship and danger in order to help the young men under her care, receiving in return their love and respect. Most of Barton’s biographers have accepted her statements at face value, but in doing so, they stand on shaky ground, for Barton was a relentless self-promoter and often embellished her stories in an effort to enhance her accomplishments.
In Clara Barton’s Civil War: Between Bullet and Hospital, distinguished historian Donald Pfanz revisits Barton’s claims, comparing the information in her speeches with contemporary documents, including Barton’s own wartime diary and letters. In doing so, he provides the first balanced and accurate account of her wartime service—a service that in the end needed no exaggeration.

Donald C. Pfanz is a graduate of the College of William and Mary. In his thirty-two-year career with the National Park Service, he worked at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania County Battlefields Memorial National Military Park, Petersburg National Battlefield, and Fort Sumter National Monument. He is a founding member of the Association for the Preservation of Civil War Sites (now the Civil War Trust) and has written six books about the Civil War, including Richard S. Ewell: A Soldier’s Life and War So Terrible: A Popular History of the Battle of Fredericksburg.

Wednesday, January 02, 2019

New and Noteworthy: Marching, Plundering and Payback with Ewell's Corps in Maryland and Pennsylvania

At The Forefront of Lee's Invasion: Retribution, Plunder, and Clashing Cultures on Richard Ewell's Road To Gettysburg, Robert J. Wynstra, Kent State University Press, 2018, 352 pp., 39 illustrations, 5 maps, bibliographic notes, bibliography, index, $49.50.

Civil War Librarian: Students of the Gettysburg Campaign are well served by Robert Wynstra's At The Forefront of Lee's Invasion. He fully integrates the Confederate cavalry's reconnaissance efforts with the progress of Ewell's corps' march from June 10 to July 1.The positive and negative attributes of the corps' division and brigade commanders as well as cavalry commander Albert Jenkins' are fairly presented. Diaries, letters and recollections by infantrymen, cavalrymen and their commanders are on every page. Wynstra's offers splendid, rarely seen photographs collected by county historical societies. Also, dominating the story are the civilian accounts of their encounter with Ewell's troops.  The author discusses Lee's directives regarding the difference between fair seizures of private property, plundering, and theft, Ewell's understanding of the directives, and the troops constant hunger along with the replacement of worn out uniforms and brogans. Also, included are the issues of collecting African Americans for their return to slavery and white civilians resistance to that collecting.  The Pennsylvania emergency militia's localized and haphazard encounters with the invasion are not neglected by the author. Wynstra's At The Forefront of Lee's Invasion is a splendid effort and achieves a bit of suspense in regard to the Confederates' approach to Gettysburg. If, before the battle, another week had been available  . . . .

From the Publisher: After clearing Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley of Federal troops, Gen. Robert E. Lee’s bold invasion into the North reached the Maryland shore of the Potomac River on June 15, 1863. A week later, the Confederate infantry crossed into lower Pennsylvania, where they had their first sustained interactions with the civilian population in a solidly pro-Union state. Most of the initial encounters with the people in the lush Cumberland Valley and the neighboring parts of the state involved the men from the Army of Northern Virginia’s famed Second Corps, commanded by Lt. Gen. Richard S. Ewell, who led the way as Lee’s veteran soldiers advanced north toward their eventual showdown with the Union army at the crossroads town of Gettysburg.

The move to the North lasted for nearly a month and encompassed the major battle at Winchester, Virginia, with more than 5,000 casualties; five skirmishes with more than 100 men killed, wounded, and captured in each; and several other minor actions. Civilian property losses in the North amounted to several million dollars. The interactions along the way further laid bare the enormous cultural gulf that separated the two sides in the war. As Robert Wynstra explains, Ewell and his top commanders constantly struggled to control the desire among the troops to seek retribution for what they perceived as Federal outrages in the South and to stop the plundering, working to maintain strict discipline in the army and uphold Southern honor.

Despite the yearly flood of books on Gettysburg, the Confederate advance has been largely ignored. Most books devote only a few pages or a single short chapter to that aspect of the campaign. In this new study, Wynstra draws on an array of primary sources, including rare soldiers’ letters and eyewitness accounts published in local newspapers, manuscripts and diaries in small historical societies, and a trove of postwar damage claims from the invasion to fill in this vital gap in the historiography of the campaign.