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Those Damned Black Hats! The Iron Brigade in the Gettysburg Campaign download epub

by Lance J. Herdegen


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On the first day at Gettysburg, General John Buford's cavalry were engaged by forces in the division of Harry Heth.

On the first day at Gettysburg, General John Buford's cavalry were engaged by forces in the division of Harry Heth. They held their own for awhile, but the numbers pressing against them were too much for them to hold all morning. At that point, General John Reynolds, commanding the First Corps, arrived, moving the troops of his First Division onto the field.

Those famed Black Hats-The Iron Brigade in the Gettysburg Campaign Lance J. Herdegen. The 2nd Wisconsin was the senior regiment of the Iron Brigade because it was mustered in first.

The Iron Brigade-an all-Western outfit famously branded as The Iron Brigade of the West-served out their enlistments entirely in the Eastern Theater. Hardy men were these soldiers from Indiana, Wisconsin, and Michigan, who waged war beneath their unique black Hardee Hats on many fields, from Brawner's Farm during the Second Bull Run Campaign all the way to Appomattox. In between were memorable combats at South Mountain, Antietam, Chancellorsville, Mine Run, the Overland Campaign, and the grueling fighting around Petersburg

The Iron Brigade in the Gettysburg Campaign. by Lance J.

book by Lance J. The Iron Brigade in the Gettysburg Campaign.

Lance Herdegen is the award winning author of several books and articles on Civil War topics. His latest book is The Iron Brigade in Civil War and Memory: The Black Hats from Bull Run to Appomattox and Thereafter. His previous book, Those Damned Black Hats: The Iron Brigade in the Gettysburg Campaign, won the Army Historical Foundation’s Distinguished Writing Award for Battle/ Operational History.

Herdegen's latest work includes The Iron Brigade in Civil War and Memory: The Black Hats from Bull Run to Appomattox and Thereafter, and the award winning Those Damned Black Hat: The Iron Brigade in the Gettysburg Campaign. Beaudot's latest book is The 24th Wisconsin Infantry in the Civil War: The Biography of a Regiment. It was awarded the Milwaukee County Historical Society's Gambrinus Prize.

During the subsequent Maryland Campaign, the 6th attacked Turner's Gap in the Battle of South Mountain, and then suffered considerable casualties battling Hood's Texas .

During the subsequent Maryland Campaign, the 6th attacked Turner's Gap in the Battle of South Mountain, and then suffered considerable casualties battling Hood's Texas Brigade in the . Miller cornfield at Antietam. 6th Wisconsin attacking at Turner's Gap, 1862. Herdegen, Lance . "Those Damned Black Hats!" The Iron Brigade in the Gettysburg Campaign, Savas Beatie LLC, October 2008. Service with the Sixth Wisconsin Volunteers (1890) at the Internet Archive.

The Battle of Gettysburg, July 1, 1863

The Battle of Gettysburg, July 1, 1863. The Battle of the Wilderness, May 5, 1864. The Battle of Globe Tavern. The Black Hats fought on in 1864 through the bloody Overland Campaign, the Petersburg siege, and Appomattox Court House. It was determined sometime after Appomattox that the Iron Brigade had suffered a higher proportion of battle deaths than any such unit in the Federal armies. Despite that grim statistic, however, the Iron Brigade is probably more celebrated today than a century ago. The reason for being overlooked is more one of distance than deliberate slight.

WINNER FOR OPERATIONAL / BATTLE HISTORY, 2008, ARMY HISTORICAL FOUNDATION DISTINGUISHED BOOK AWARDThe Iron Brigade--an all-Western outfit famously branded as The Iron Brigade of the West--served out their enlistments entirely in the Eastern Theater. Hardy men were these soldiers from Indiana, Wisconsin, and Michigan, who waged war beneath their unique black Hardee Hats on many fields, from Brawner’s Farm during the Second Bull Run Campaign all the way to Appomattox. In between were memorable combats at South Mountain, Antietam, Chancellorsville, Mine Run, the Overland Campaign, and the grueling fighting around Petersburg. None of these battles compared with the “four long hours” of July 1, 1863, at Gettysburg, where the Iron Brigade was all but wrecked.Lance Herdegen’s Those Damned Black Hats! The Iron Brigade in the Gettysburg Campaign is the first book-length account of their remarkable experiences in Pennsylvania during that fateful summer of 1863. Drawing upon a wealth of sources, including dozens of previously unpublished or unused accounts, Herdegen details for the first time the exploits of the 2nd, 6th, 7th Wisconsin, 19th Indiana, and 24th Michigan regiments during the entire campaign. On July 1, the Western troops stood line-to-line and often face-to-face with their Confederate adversaries, who later referred to them as “those damned Black Hats.” With the help of other stalwart comrades, the Hoosiers, Badgers, and Wolverines shed copious amounts of blood to save the Army of the Potomac’s defensive position west of town. Their heroics above Willoughby Run, along the Chambersburg Pike, and at the Railroad Cut helped define the opposing lines for the rest of the battle and, perhaps, won the battle that helped preserve the Union.Herdegen’s account is much more than a battle study. The story of the fighting at the “Bloody Railroad Cut” is well known, but the attack and defense of McPherson’s Ridge, the final stand at Seminary Ridge, the occupation of Culp’s Hill, and the final pursuit of the Confederate Army has never been explored in sufficient depth or with such story telling ability. Herdegen completes the journey of the Black Hats with an account of the reconciliation at the 50th Anniversary Reunion and the Iron Brigade’s place in Civil War history.“Where has the firmness of the Iron Brigade at Gettysburg been surpassed in history?” asked Rufus Dawes of the 6th Wisconsin. Indeed, it was a fair question. The brigade marched to Gettysburg with 1,883 men in ranks and by nightfall on July 1, only 671 men were still to be counted. It would fight on to the end of the Civil War, and do so without its all-Western makeup, but never again was it a major force in battle.Some 150 years after the last member of the Iron Brigade laid down his life for his country, the complete story of what the Black Hats did at Gettysburg and how they remembered it is finally available.

Comments: (7)

Benn
The Iron Brigade (or the Black Hats) was one of the great fighting units of the Union Army of the Potomac. One unique factor was that all the regiments for the brigade came from the West--Indiana, Michigan (the 24th Michigan joined the brigade later in its existence), and Wisconsin, and the troops were proud of that. Their inaugural battle as a brigade was a toe-to-toe exchange of fire with the Stonewall Brigade at Brawner's Farm (or Groveton). And they held their own. They, according to one story, earned the sobriquet "Iron Brigade" at South Mountain, as General George McClellan allegedly noted that the brigade was made of iron. But its legend culminated at the great battle fought at Gettysburg--when the unit was pretty much wrecked.

What makes this book special is its human perspective. Using letters, diaries, etc., we get a much more ground level view of the men in the Iron Brigade--from pri8vates to regimental leaders. It is a wonderful match for Nolan's early 1960s volume, "The Iron Brigade." Where does the title come from? Comments attributed to some Confederates advancing up McPherson's Ridge at the first day of Gettysburg. . . . They thought they were fighting militia and dismounted cavalry. When the saw the high black hats (Hardee hats) of the brigade, it is alleged that one of the southerners cried out: "There are them black hatted fellows again. Tain't no militia; it's the Army of the Potomac."

On the first day at Gettysburg, General John Buford's cavalry were engaged by forces in the division of Harry Heth. They held their own for awhile, but the numbers pressing against them were too much for them to hold all morning. At that point, General John Reynolds, commanding the First Corps, arrived, moving the troops of his First Division onto the field. He personally arranged for the Iron Brigade to take on an advancing Confederate brigade under Archer. He was killed, but the Iron Brigade routed their counterparts. And bought precious time for the Army of the Potomac. As the day wore on, the Union forces could not stand the pressure from North and West; the brigade retreated sullenly, making a final stand on Seminary Ridge before the Union forces finally broke. Only remnants of the Iron Brigade remained. Yet the survivors stubbornly participated over the next two days.

The story of the Black Hats continues, as a much reduced force, having Eastern units swell its ranks. Thus ended their sense of uniqueness as a Western unit. Although the brigade continued after Gettysburg, it was no longer a major fighting force as it had been.

A terrific view of the individuals within the Iron Brigade as well as a good account of their exploits. If interested in unit histories--especially those looking at the individuals within the unit--this is first rate.
Cordann
This book was a great if easy read for anyone interested in the Civil War. Actually, however, I would like to rate the book as five stars minus.

First, what is good/great: The author puts a heavy amount of human interest into a story that could be essentially dry, particularly due to the amount of scholarly research the work displays. I found myself sincerely interested in what happened to the Iron Brigade personnel and read quickly to find out. That's why I titled my review in terms usually only given to suspense novels. In addition, the action at Gettysburg was easy to follow and the maps helped significantly. Checking the brigade's action with the OR, I found that the author's account was fully supported. I am always impressed by a work that can be quickly checked and its veracity supported by contemporaneous accounts and reports. Indeed, the Iron Brigade sacrificed itself on the first day of Gettysburg to pave the way for the Union army's ultimate victory. Whether Reynold's death caused the brigade to suffer higher casualties is an interesting controversy, but there is no doubt at all that the brigade earned itself the highest possible honors in the battle. There is much here to learn and digest, and the reader will come away the better for reading this book.

On the other hand, allow me to indicate what I thought needs to be fixed for a second edition: The action of the Brigade at Gainesville should be expanded fully as Gainesville was a really remarkable fight that greatly impressed the Confederates. The wounded were left on the battlefield to suffer for two days while the battle of 2nd Manassas raged over them, and this story should include their trials. The same is true for the Iron Brigade at Turner's Gap where Gibbon adopted the novel formation of advancing his two lead regiments, the 7th Wisconsin and 19th Indiana, in ten columns of two men abreast. At Gainesville the Iron Brigade left 30% of its number on the field as dead or wounded, at Turner's Gap they lost about 280 men out of the slightly more than 1100 that went into the battle. I understand these fights were not in the main theme of this book, but they significantly impacted the Iron Brigade, and almost any book about the brigade is incomplete without them. In addition, the author takes us well beyond Gettysburg to the reunions and many personal stories after the war, so the book is hardly only about the Iron Brigade at Gettysburg.

Last, and certainly least, there are a few typos in the book, like "Pettigrew Brigade" rather than "Pettigrew's Brigade" but they were not so egregious as to be distracting. I include this comment only in rebuttal to the reviewer who gave the book only two stars.

I heartly recommend this book to all and commend the author for writing it. I would, however, like to see a single book covering the whole history of the Iron Brigade as above. The author's research and scholarship is impressive as well as his writing, and an expanded book would be most welcome.
Khiceog
This book has a lot of interesting anecdotal stories on the history of the Iron Brigade, arguably the most famous Union army brigade of the Civil War. The book is mostly told from the perspective of the individual soldiers, the officers and men who made up this famous unit.

Although the book starts prior to the battle of Gettysburg with some history of when each regiment started, how they came together and the battles prior to Gettysburg, it really doesn't get started until that fateful date of July 1, 1863, when the Iron Brigade held up AP Hill's Corps on McPherson Ridge and Seminary Hill until the remainder of the Union Army could arrive on Cemetary Hill. Of special interest are the charge of the Wisconsin 6th regiment and the battle between the 24th Michigan and the 26th North Carolina. Both of these events are covered in lots of detail from the perspective of individual soldiers. The Iron Brigade was truly wrecked in this action, having lost 1212 men from its complement of 1883 prior to the battle. Although it fought afterwards in the Army of Potomac, it was never again the force to reckon with that it was on that date.

Post the action on July 1, the book continues with the experiences of the soldiers who were wounded during the action, and the ones who fought on (and survived or did not the war). It also provides a history of the reunions that occurred into the 20th century.

If you are a reader interested in the Civil War, I highly recommend this book to you. It is based upon individual soldiers experiences and appears to be well researched.
Those Damned Black Hats! The Iron Brigade in the Gettysburg Campaign download epub
Americas
Author: Lance J. Herdegen
ISBN: 1932714480
Category: History
Subcategory: Americas
Language: English
Publisher: Savas Beatie; First Edition edition (September 30, 2008)
Pages: 368 pages