Examination Boards

Officers in the Regular Army, especially veterans of the Mexican War, had “a regular’s contempt for ‘fancy volunteers.’”  Men like George McClellan denigrated untrained and undisciplined volunteer officers as the dregs of society, kicked out of “county courthouses, & low village bar rooms.”  Unyielding in his disdain, McClellan sought to double the number of officers…

Col. John Lemmon – A Colonel at War with his Men – Conclusion

The War Department order dismissing captains John Ordner, Henry Pratt, Wilkerson Paige and Layton Baldwin, along with lieutenants William Snyder, Aaron Bliss, Luther Barney, Henry Field, John Hart and Theodore Weed came down while the Cavalry Corps, including the 10th New York, was on the Stoneman Raid; the convicted officers did not learn of their…

Petitions from the Home Front

I continue, when time allows, to search the many letters written to Austin Blair, Michigan’s wartime governor, which are held in the Burton Historical Collection, Detroit Public Library.  Civilians, rather than soldiers, wrote some of the most intriguing letters in the collection.  In many cases, the civilians, usually men with some standing within a community,…