03 June 2008 by Published in: Research and Writing 1 comment

I think that I have mentioned that J. D. and I are going to do a three-volume study of cavalry operations during the Gettysburg Campaign. We’re hoping that it’s going to end up being the definitive study of these operations, as Steve Stanley, who does the great maps for America’s Civil War and Hallowed Ground magazines, has agreed to do the maps for this project for us.

Tonight, I put together some prior materials that I’ve written on the June 9, 1863 Battle of Brandy Station just to see what I’ve got. A prior book of mine, The Union Cavalry Comes of Age: Hartwood Church to Brandy Station, 1863 included two chapters and a total of about 21,000 words on Brandy Station. In the five years since that book was published, I’ve acquired a great deal more primary source material.

Some of it is published material in the form of some new books that come out, such as the excellent new volume of the memoirs of several of Stuart’s horse artillerists that was just published by Bob Trout. Some of it manuscript material that has surfaced, either because I’ve found it from my own research, or because others have forwarded things to me because they think I’d be interested in them. Others are excellent contemporary newspaper accounts.

The point is that while the chapter in the new study will be based on what’s in my earlier book, I’ve got enough good new material that these chapters will end up looking quite different. And I guess that’s really what it’s all about: making good use of all of that excellent new material that always seems to surface. I’m just grateful for the opportunity to do so.

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  1. Valerie Protopapas
    Wed 04th Jun 2008 at 9:26 pm

    Eric, if you’re reporting on Brady Station, the following may be of some interest to you. It is from the lecture I gave on Mosby to the North Shore Civil War Roundtable:

    Yet, Mosby’s command made material inroads on the enemy. During a six-month period in 1864, he killed, wounded, or captured 1,200 Federals and took more than 1,600 horses and mules, 230 head of cattle, and 85 wagons and ambulances and it must be remembered that Mosby skirmished with few men, the largest number he ever led into battle being approximately 300 on the Berryville Wagon Train raid of August 13th, 1864. Yet, the Count of Paris, a staff officer in the Union army states, quote:

    “In Washington … General Heintzelman was in command, who … had under his control … Stahel’s division of cavalry, numbering 6000 horses, whose only task was to pursue Mosby and the few hundred partisans led by this daring chief.”

    Regarding this, Mosby notes in his War Reminiscences, quote:

    “If Pleasanton had had those 6000 sabres with him … on June 9, 1863, in his great cavalry combat with Stuart at Brandy Station, the result might have been different. Hooker had asked for them, but had been refused, on the ground that they could not be spared from the defense of Washington.”

    Mosby also includes General Hooker’s testimony before the committee on the conduct of the war, quote:

    “I may here state that while at Fairfax Court House my cavalry was reinforced by that of Major-Gen. Stahel. The latter numbered 6100 sabres, and had been engaged in picketing a line from Occoquan River to Goose Creek… The force opposed to them was Mosby’s guerrillas, numbering about 200 {Mosby puts in the phrase, quote: “not over thirty men”}; and, if the reports of the newspapers were to be believed, this whole party was killed two or three times during the winter. From the time I took command of the Army of the Potomac there was no evidence that any force of the enemy, other than that above named, was within 100 miles of Washington City; and yet, the planks on the chain bridge were taken up at night during the greater part of the winter and spring.”

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