Some Generals (Buford, Huger, Imboden, EK Smith, Zook)

Update April 2012:  He’s back.  Thank goodness!  Now subtitled Civil War Generals in Black and White, but with very similar layout and still at the address generalsandbrevets.com.  Thank you,  Mikel.

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Original post of 30 Jan 2010, “Generalsandbrevets Gone”:  As I’m sure you know by now, the excellent web gallery Generals of the American Civil War is offline. The site was a comprehensive online collection of photographs of very nearly every Confederate and Union General (about 1,000 individuals) – plus most of the 1,400 Federal officers who were made General by brevet. It had operated since 2001 as generalsandbrevets.com, and I remember it being up under another url for at least a couple of years before that.

When I first noticed the loss back in March 2009, I asked site owner and collector Mikel Uriguen about it by email. He could only tell me that he could no longer keep it going. I asked if I could help in any way. I also offered to host and maintain the site on his behalf, but have no further reply.

On the original site he wrote:

I’d like to introduce myself. My name is Mikel Uriguen and I live in Bilbao, a city in the Spanish Basque-Country. I’m a long-time enthusiast of the American Civil War. On this site I’ve tried to collect pictures of every general officer of the War. It’s usually interesting to put a face with a name.

In another section of this site you’ll also find the pictures of those officers appointed to brigadier or major general by brevet.

I realize that this type of site might be a little dull to some visitors. But we have to remember the real value of data-base sites: they assemble related material (in this case pictures) in an organized way and offer it to those who are interested.

He’s absolutely right about the tremendous value of his online collection. For that reason, I’m having trouble simply accepting that it’s gone. I think it’s too useful to too many people to let it go extinct.

As an experiment in PHP programming I’ve prototyped a database-backed site that might reprise the concept of generalsandbrevets. I have excess capacity on my own server and I could make some time over the coming months to re-gather and index the photos and push them into the database. It wouldn’t be difficult with a good picture “scraping” script – or help from online friends. Given that all the pictures he so carefully collected and posted are in the public domain, there’s no legal reason I couldn’t build another website home for these Generals’ faces.

The problem, of course, is that it was Mikel’s site – and his image collection – and he’s chosen (or been forced) to take it down. The reasons are none of my business, and his privacy is key. I feel I’ve already intruded enough and don’t want to badger him again.

So. What to do, what to do. Swoop in like some kind of vulture? Just let it drop?

Either of my readers have a thought?

First Minnesota at Antietam

12 February 2011

I’ve been enjoying a fine online resource on the First Minnesota Volunteer Infantry from Wayne Jorgenson and Chuck Barden. They’ve accumulated a considerable database which looks to cover all the members of the Regiment and shares the significant information they’ve found about each from service records and other documents. They display war-era photographs of more than 250 of the men. Phenomenal.

Sam Bloomer, Color Sergeant, 1st Minn Infy (1862, Minn Hist Society)
Color Sergeant Sam Bloomer, 1st Minnesota Infantry (c. 1862, Minnesota Historical Society)

Of particular note for students of the Battle of Antietam is a specialized search which returns links to pages for each of the more than 100 men from the First Minnesota wounded in action there. Sergeant Bloomer, above, was one of those – shot through the knee in action with Sedgwick’s Division in the West Woods.

This is fantastic material, and I’ll be mining it for AotW as I have the chance. I highly recommend a visit.

[Press release, reposted from TalkAntietam]

PARK SERVICE STUDY AFFIRMS LOCATION & SIZE OF SHEPHERDSTOWN CIVIL WAR BATTLEFIELD

In an update of the 1993 Report on the Nation’s Civil War Battlefields, the Civil War Sites Advisory Commission (CWSAC) has provided information that sites the location of the 1862 Battle of Shepherdstown and provides more information about the actual size of the core of the battlefield. The report concludes that the core of the battlefield, as defined, is 1,534.4 acres; 1,034.64 acres in West Virginia (WV) and 499.76 acres in Maryland (MD). More importantly, the study concludes that the potential National Register boundary amounts to 4,259.32 acres; 2,502.71 acres in WV and 1,756.61 acres in MD. The report notes that four WV battlefields, including the Shepherdstown site, “have the largest percentages of Study Area land to land potentially eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places land. The ABPP (American Battlefield Protection Program of the National Park Service) believes that all of these battlefields should be viewed as higher priorities for preservation.

Edward Dunleavy, speaking as President of the Shepherdstown Battlefield Preservation Association Inc. (SBPA) stated that: “this report should finally put to rest the insistence by some that the battle took place only on the bluffs over looking the Potomac River. Not only was the fighting over a large area of northern Jefferson County, the importance of the battle is not to be under-estimated. General Robert E. Lee intended to continue the Maryland Campaign and, on September 19, 1862, after retreating from MD, issued orders to the Army of Northern Virginia to cross the Potomac back into MD at Williamsport. An important reason that Lee changed those orders and retreated south was the Battle of Shepherdstown which convinced Lee that the Union Army of the Potomac was pursuing his troops aggressively. Two days later President Abraham Lincoln was able to issue the Emancipation Proclamation.”

Shepherdstown Battlefieldclick to see larger image

The Civil War Battlefield Preservation Act of 2002 directed “the Secretary of Interior acting through the American Battlefield Protection Program (ABPP) of the National Park Service, to update the … (CWSAC) Report on the Nation’s Civil War Battlefields.” Funding for the update was provided by Congress in Fiscal Year 2005 and 2007.Early this month the report for WV was released and provided information about each battlefield relative to the size of: 1) the study area; 2) the core area; and 3) the potential National Register boundary area.

“The Study Area represents the historic extent of the battle as it unfolded across the landscape.” It contains the area in which the troops were maneuvered and deployed immediately before, during and after combat. In the case of the Battle of Shepherdstown, the study area totals 4,549.21 acres; 2,792.6 in WV and 1,756.61 in MD. “Historic accounts, terrain analysis and feature identification inform the delineation of the Study Area boundary.”

“The Core Area represents the areas of fighting on the battlefield. Positions that delivered or received fire, and the intervening space and terrain between them, fall within the Core Area.” This is frequently described as “hallowed ground”. “On current WV maps,” Dunleavy stated, “this area is approximately from Teague Run in the west to Rattlesnake Run in the east and as far south as Engle-Moler Road and Aspen Pool Farm. In MD, the area runs from Ferry Hill in the west to about Millers Sawmill Road in the East and approximately 3/8 of a mile north of the Potomac.

SBPA continues to focus on trying to save the “core” of the “core” or about 300 acres. “Our focus is on that area where most of the fighting occurred in WV”, stated Dunleavy, “it remains in relatively pristine condition and would be perfect for a Civil War Battlefield Park, not only preserving `hallowed ground’ but encouraging heritage tourism in Jefferson County.

Dr. Thomas Clemens, a noted Civil War historian, a Board member of SBPA and the President of Save Historic Antietam Foundation (SHAF) commented that “much of the battlefield site in MD is included within the C & O Canal National Park. In addition, many historians view the Shepherdstown Battle as the end of the Battle of Antietam and the SHAF has been active for more than 20 years in preserving battlefield land in MD.”

A copy of the CWSAC report can be obtained at: http://www.nps.gov/history/hps/abpp/CWSII/CWSIIStateReportWV.htm

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For Immediate Release – February 17, 2010
Shepherdstown, West Virginia

For more information, contact:
Edward E. Dunleavy
President,
Shepherdstown Battlefield Preservation Association Inc.
(917) 747 – 5748

The Shepherdstown Battlefield Preservation Association Inc. (SBPA), organized in 2004, is a non-profit, Section 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to saving and preserving the site of the 1862 Battle of Shepherdstown. SBPA has preserved 84 acres by way of conservation easements granted by members who own property on the site. For more information and to purchase the book entitled: Shepherdstown: Last Clash of the Antietam Campaign September 19 – 20, 1862 ; please visit www.battleofshepherdstown.org