Lieutenant Richard C. Shannon of the 5th Maine Infantry was assigned as aide-de-camp to Major General Henry W. Slocum, commander of the First Division, 6th Army Corps, in March 1862. Although a well-educated young man, he was still learning his profession as a staff officer in August and September 1862.

Shannon left behind some wartime diaries which, although not especially dramatic as narrative, offer insight into his day-to-day experience in the field.

Of particular interest to me is this field notebook/diary he had with him on the Maryland Campaign.

It is a flip-page style that he probably carried in his pocket, and he used it both as a traditional diary – writing a brief summary of each day’s activity – and as a working notebook to keep orders, names, maps, and other things he needed to remember.

I’ll pull out some pages to give you a flavor, here. Click on any of them to expand for easier reading.

I should be doing something else, but got pulled off track by a trooper of the 3rd Indiana Cavalry, James Williamson, who was killed in a little-known cavalry skirmish at the Quebec Schoolhouse near Middletown, MD on 13 September 1862.

His regiment’s historian, former Corporal William N. Pickerill wrote a fascinating account of that ‘desperate little cavalry battle’ for a newspaper in 1897, and put it in his regimental History in 1906. Because of him, I’ve spent the last couple of days putting names and faces with some of the men who were there.

While looking into the cavalry action at Quebec Schoolhouse (near Middletown, MD 13 Sept 1862) and some men of the regiment, I noticed this plaque for the 3rd Indiana Cavalry on their monument on the Antietam Battlefield.

I’m sure this is news only to me, but it turns out that half of the regiment – the East “wing” or battalion – was with the Army of the Potomac and at Antietam. It consisted of Companies A through F and was commanded by Major George Chapman.

The West wing (Cos. G,H, I, & K) was in the Army of the Ohio and was in the vicinity of Perryville, KY in the fall of 1862, then under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Jacob Buchanan.

I think Major Chapman’s name should have been on that monument instead of Colonel Buchanan’s. What do you think?


The 3rd Indiana Cavalry monument is online from the Antietam National Battlefield Park.

The 1863-64 photograph of (then) Colonel Chapman is from the Library of Congress.