Those Damned Black Hats!: The Iron Brigade in the Gettysburg Campaign [NOOK Book]

Overview

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 ...
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Those Damned Black Hats!: The Iron Brigade in the Gettysburg Campaign

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Overview

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. 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, and winner of The Army Historical Foundation Distinguished Writing Award for Operational / Battle History, 2008. Drawing upon a wealth of sources, including dozens of previously unpublished or unused accounts, Herdegen details for the first time the exploits of the 2nd, 6th, and 7th Wisconsin, 19th Indiana, and 24th Michigan regiments during the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 now available in paperback.

WINNER: The Army Historical Foundation Distinguished Writing Award for Operational / Battle History, 2008

REVIEWS: ". . . brings to life the story of the men who sacrificed so much. . . . Herdegen is able to weave all of the letters and personal accounts into a seamless story that is hard to put down. . . . a great tribute to the men who served in one of the most famous units in the Civil War." Collected Miscellany, 1/2009

About the Author: Award-winning journalist Lance J. Herdegen is the former director of the Institute of Civil War Studies at Carroll University. He previously worked as a reporter and editor for the United Press International (UPI) news service covering national politics and civil rights. He presently is an historical consultant for the Civil War Museum of the Upper Middle West.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781611210385
  • Publisher: Savas Beatie
  • Publication date: 9/30/2008
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 521,844
  • File size: 8 MB

Table of Contents

Foreword viii

Introduction and Acknowledgments ix

Chapter 1 A Black Hat Brigade 1

Chapter 2 I Cannot Stand it to Fight 13

Chapter 3 He has Gone to Stonewall's Funeral 17

Chapter 4 Greenhorn Patriots 21

Chapter 5 To be Shot Like Sheep in a Huddle 29

Chapter 6 The Iron Brigade of the West 39

Chapter 7 Bad News About the Rebs 43

Chapter 8 A New Regiment and a Veteran Battery 51

Chapter 9 The Black Hats 57

Chapter 10 A Young Lieutenant and a Fair Maid 67

Chapter 11 King's Pet Babies 73

Chapter 12 I Will Fight Them Inch by Inch 81

Chapter 13 It's Those Damned Black Hats! 87

Chapter 14 One Sword is All I Need on This Line 101

Chapter 15 Fire by File! Fire by File! 109

Chapter 16 What Became of That Sword I Gave You? 121

Chapter 17 I Can Stand it No Longer 129

Chapter 18 Yelling Like Demons 135

Chapter 19 I Grew About a Foot and a Half 143

Chapter 20 In a Tight Place 147

Chapter 21 We Left Behind the Rebel Flag, That Dearly Bought the Prize 155

Chapter 22 Are you Satisfied With the Twenty-fourth? 161

Chapter 23 Our Best and Bravest 167

Chapter 24 The Finger of God Paralyzed his Brain 175

Chapter 25 This Battle Will go by the Name of Gettysburg 179

Chapter 26 A Shot From a Smoothbore Gun 187

Chapter 27 The Old Army had Come to Itself Again 195

Chapter 28 They Have Played Their Hand Long Enough 201

Chapter 29 I Guess He is All Right on the Fight Question 213

Chapter 30 No Man Can Fight Surrounded by Cowards 221

Chapter 31 The Trust Imposed Upon Them 231

Chapter 32 The Chance of a Lifetime 237

Chapter 33 Glorious Remembrance 243

Epilogue: An Unknown. July 1, 1997 258

Appendices 260

Notes 273

Bibliography 302

Index 309

Maps

1 Iron Brigade Route to Gettysburg 45

2 The Iron Brigade Reaches the Field 91

3 Cutler's Brigade Against Davis' Brigade 93

4 Archer's Brigade vs. The Iron Brigade 95

5 The 6th Wisconsin Charge on the Railroad Cut 111

6 Confederate Attack on McPherson Ridge 136

7 The Last Stand on Seminary Ridge 151

8 The Culp's Hill Line 170

9 The 6th Wisconsin and 14th Brooklyn Defend Culp's Hill 184

10 The Pursuit of Lee's Army 205

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2011

    Lance herdegens grandaughter

    Awesome book grandpa

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 26, 2011

    A very good book about an important group

    I did not know what to expect or what contribution this book would make. After all, I have Nolan's definitive book on the Iron Brigade. Yet, what this book did was to make this Brigade human. Great stories about the 3 days at Gettysburg. What was also interesting is that author takes the Iron Brigade and explores what happened to many of its members and the Brigade after the end of the Civil War. All in all, a highly recommended read, especially for those interested in either Gettysburg or the Iron Brigade.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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