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Civil War Times: March 1999 Letters

Originally published on HistoryNet.com. Published Online: September 23, 1999 
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Civil War Times
Civil War Times

The Fighting Irish

Upon reading James Callaghan's article "Red on Green" (December 1998), I was amused to see a mention of the wounding of Lieutenant Seneca G. Willauer of the 116th Pennsylvania during the Union's ill-fated assault at Fredericksburg. Seneca survived this wound, was promoted to captain three months later, and went on to earn a brevet as a major just before the end of the war. He lived until the ripe old age of 82. His brother, Sam, a corporal in the 116th, died of wounds received in the same battle. I also would like to thank Mr. Callaghan for mentioning that the 116th did not fight under a green flag at Fredericksburg. To this day there is a reenactment group that insists on using an incorrect green flag.

James Willauer
Warminster, Pennsylvania

I just finished reading James Callaghan's article "Red on Green." While the article was excellent, I was taken back by one of the photo captions, which read, "at the battle of Cold Harbor, Virginia, the legion was decimated; its few survivors joined other units." Few things can be further from the truth. The Corcoran Irish Legion survived intact as a brigade for the duration of the war, despite grievous losses. Furthermore, when the Irish Brigade was disbanded in June 1864, the Irish Legion was the only Irish brigade in Federal service during the summer and fall of 1864. The remnants of the Irish Legion were mustered out of Federal service in June 1865 under Brigadier General J.P. McIvor, who had been captured at First Bull Run at Michael Corcoran's side.

Christopher-Michael Garcia
Aboard the U.S.S. Saipan
in the Adriatic Sea

I don't believe the men in the photo on pages 60 and 61 in the article "Red and Green" to be Michael Corcoran's officers. They seem to be dressed in their best military uniform of the time. Look at their boots; they shine. These men are being schooled on gun placements. I think these are men in officers' training before being assigned to their units. Look at the officer second from right with his right forearm in his coat. I strongly believe this man is George Armstrong Custer. What do you think?

Otie Turner
cst@top.net

Not So Statuesque

I am a big fan of General James Longstreet. I begged my parents to take me to Gettysburg so I could see the new memorial. When I saw it, I was disappointed. The man on the horse looked nothing like Longstreet, the body was not in proportion to the horse, and the monument was not even on a pedestal. A great general like Longstreet should have a respectable monument and be honored appropriately.

Christopher Chadzutko
Bay Shore, New York

What's In The Name?

In reading "Custer's First Stand" ("My War," December 1998), I was struck by the name of his company commander, Major Innis Palmer. The commanding general of Fort Bliss, Texas, in 1941 was Major General Innis Palmer Swift. Possibly he was a distant relative of Major Innis Palmer, or perhaps Swift's parents had been impressed by the major.

Tom Flammang
El Paso, Texas

Another Famous LeMat

I'd like to add an addendum to Stuart W. Sanders's excellent article "LeMat" (December 1998) that perhaps the most (in)famous owner of a LeMat on the Secesh side was Captain Henry Wirz of Andersonville Prison. It was often mentioned by writers of the time and place.

Dan Morrison
Demarest, New Jersey

Lunch At The Trenches

It was with great pleasure that my husband and I read David A. Norris's article on the battle at Boon's Mill, North Carolina ("Battle in the Buff," December 1998). For the past 12 years, we have been driving down North Carolina Route 158 to Jackson, and we have always timed our ride so we could eat lunch at the trenches at Boon's Mill. Our only knowledge of the battle was the highway marker, but we had enough curiosity to climb over the guardrail across the road and poke around in the underbrush. Now, thanks to Mr. Norris, we know something of the action there and who was involved.

Carolyn B. Rawlings
Roanoke, Virginia

A Call For Help

On behalf of the Burrillville Historical and Preservation Society in Rhode Island, I am requesting information on how to acquire a Civil War monument for our community. While many communities throughout New England boast Civil War monuments on their village greens, our community has none. We have no idea where to look or even begin this process. Any information that could help us would be greatly appreciated. Please contact us at the society at P.O. Box 93, Pascoag, RI 02859.

Mark A. Pierre


One Response to “Civil War Times: March 1999 Letters”


  1. 1
    Ken Havran says:

    Innis Palmer Swift was the grandson of Innis Newton Palmer and the son of Susan Palmer and General Eben Swift. Innis Newton Palmer was breveted to Major General and retired as a Colonel after a long career. Major General Innis Palmer Swift commanded I Corps at Luzon under General MacArthur.



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