Saturday, December 27, 2014

The Rest of the Story

Perhaps you are not guilty of this, but sometimes I become so fixated by a unit’s role in a single battle that I don't even consider what the rest of their service was like. For example, Captain Frank Sands’ 11th Ohio Independent Battery Light Artillery was wrecked at the battle of Iuka, Mississippi, with losses of 19 killed or mortally wounded, 32 wounded, and 3 missing. Over the Christmas holiday, I purchased a copy of Ohio At Vicksburg by W. P. Gault (1906). While looking through the book, I came across the sketch of the 11th Ohio and learned that the unit began its service in Missouri, and then after participating in the Vicksburg campaign it was transferred to Arkansas where it fought at Little Rock; “In this short but decisive engagement the battery expended about 100 rounds of ammunition” (Ohio At Vicksburg, p. 279). The battery served during part of the Camden Expedition, but its combat service essentially ended with the Little Rock action. The shuffling of Federal troops into and out of the trans-Mississippi would make a rather interesting study, in my opinion.

By the way, I purchased Ohio At Vicksburg at Recycled Books in Denton, Texas. If you are ever in the north Texas area be sure that you stop by the store because it has hundreds of Civil War books for sale plus nearly a half million more books in other categories. 

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