Portrait paintings of Richard Henry Rush (1825 – 1893) and his wife Susan Bowdoin Yerby (1829-1889) done about 2 years after their marriage in Baltimore.

The Rush family had been prominent in Philadelphia since before the Revolution.

Richard was Colonel of his Lancers – the 6th Pennsylvania Cavalry – from 1861 to 1864, and he led a 2 regiment brigade, his 6th and the 4th Pennsylvania Cavalry, on the Maryland Campaign of 1862.


Paintings by Thomas Sully (1783-1872).

A showing of Sully portraits, including Susan’s, was held at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia in 1922. Complete contents are found in the Catalogue (online from the Internet Archive).

James Gardner took this photograph at Brandy Station, VA in December 1863. The men in it are identified (left to right) as:

Captain Samuel A McClellan(d) – Battery G, First New York Light, 1861-65, formerly 2nd Lieutenant of Busteed’s Chicago Battery. He was with the 2nd Corps in Washington DC in September 1862 and not on the Maryland Campaign.

Captain J (Jacob) Henry Sleeper – 1st Lieutenant First (“A”) Battery, Massachusetts Light Artillery, 1861-62; Captain 10th Battery 20 Sept 1862-1865. He may have been in Maryland with Battery A, part of the 6th Army Corps; they were in reserve at Antietam.

Captain O’Neil W Robinson, Jr. – commanded the 4th Battery, Maine Light Artillery on the Maryland Campaign. Major and Artillery Chief, 2nd Army Corps in 1864. He died 4 months after this photograph was made, at home of disease, exactly 40 years old.

Alfred Waud – famed combat artist and newsman. Was present on the field and sketched extensively at Antietam.


This digital image is from Gardner’s original wet collodion glass plate negative, now in the collection of the Library of Congress.

Emory Upton graduated 8th in the May class of 1861 from the US Military Academy at West Point and was immediately at war. And he was very good at it.

For the whole of his 20 year military career thereafter he was recognized as a superior combat leader, tactician, and military thinker, and was rewarded by accolades and rank well beyond his peers.

He was a Captain and led an artillery battalion of the Sixth Army Corps on the Maryland Campaign of 1862, was made Colonel of the new 121st New York Volunteer Infantry about a month later, and had command of a brigade by July 1863 at Gettysburg. He was particularly noted for proposing successful new assault tactics which he first attempted against the Mule Shoe salient at Spotsylvania Court House, VA on 10 May 1864.

Here he is in the uniform of a Brigadier General of Volunteers, that appointment dating from two days after that Spotsylvania attack.

By the end of the war in 1865 he had commanded the First Division of the Sixth Corps in Virginia, and the 4th Division of Wilson’s Cavalry Corps in Alabama and Georgia.

He rose quickly in the Regular Army after the war, too, jumping from Captain of Artillery (1865) to Lieutenant Colonel of Infantry in just a year. He was Commandant of Cadets and instructor at West Point from 1870 to 1875 and appointed Colonel of the 4th US Artillery in 1880. Along the way he’d written 3 well-received books about military tactics and theory and was working on a fourth.

Tragically, he died “by his own hand” in his quarters at the Presidio in San Francisco on 14 March 1881, apparently tormented by migraine headaches. A San Fransisco Chronicle reporter speculated freely about the cause of his suicide:

(touch to see the complete article)


General Upton’s photograph is from the Library of Congress.

The clipping above is in the National Archives among Letters Received by the Commission Branch of the Adjutant General’s Office, 1863-1870, online via fold3.

Another in a series.

Francis Effingham Pinto was in the grain storage and transport business in Brooklyn before and after the Civil War. He had been successful as a merchant since about 1850, when he decided to sell supplies to ’49ers in California rather than mining gold himself.

He was appointed Lieutenant Colonel of the 32nd New York Infantry in May 1861 and on 13 September 1862 was temporarily assigned to command their sister regiment, the 31st New York Infantry as they approached South Mountain in Maryland – the 31st having no field officers (Colonel, Lt. Colonel, Major) of their own present.

He was in command of the 31st at Crampton’s Gap on the 14th and at Antietam on 17 September, but did he also lead the 32nd New York Infantry at Antietam?

The New York State monument (1919) on the battlefield lists Colonel Roderick N Matheson and Major George F Lemon (both also longtime Californians) in command of the 32nd at Antietam. They certainly led the regiment in action at Crampton’s Gap on 14 September, but both were mortally wounded there and obviously not at Antietam 3 days later.

Lieutenant Colonel Pinto’s cemetery biography suggests he took charge of both units at Antietam. The definitive answer is probably in Pinto’s own History of the 32nd Regiment, New York Volunteers, in the Civil War, 1861-1863, and personal recollection during that period, which he published in 1895, but I’ve not found a copy yet.

Returning to Pinto’s civilian life after the war, here’s a lovely illustration of a floating grain elevator and F.E. Pinto’s grain storage buildings in Atlantic Basin, Brooklyn, NY in 1871.


Colonel Pinto’s photograph is from the MOLLUS Massachusetts album, online from the US Army Heritage and Education Center, Carlisle Barracks.

The picture of Pinto’s stores in Brooklyn is from Harper’s Weekly of 20 May 1871 and was shared online by Maggie Land Blanck.

This fine James F. Gibson photograph is now in the collection of the Library of Congress. He took it on 14 May 1862 at Cumberland Landing, VA.

Seated: Col. Joseph J. Bartlett (formerly identified as Andrew A. Humphreys), Henry Slocum, Wm. B. Franklin, Wm. F. Barry and John Newton. Officers standing not indentified. African American child seated in front.

Four of the five identified officers were also at Antietam in September 1862 …

Joseph J. Bartlett – Colonel, 27th New York and commander 2nd Brigade, First Division, Sixth Army Corps at Antietam.

Henry Slocum – former Colonel 27th NY; Major General, USV and commander of the First Division, Sixth Corps at Antietam.

William B. Franklin – Major General, USA and commander of the Sixth Corps at Antietam.

William F Barry – Major, USA and Brigadier General, USV – Chief of Artillery, Army of the Potomac up to 27 August 1862; he was in the defenses of Washington during the Maryland Campaign.

John Newton – Major, USA and Brigadier General, USV and commander of the 3rd Brigade, First Division, Sixth Corps at Antietam.

USS Monocacy (c. 1890)

3 March 2023

Antietam survivor Martin J. Casey served through the war with Batteries A and B of the First Maryland Light Artillery and soon after, in 1866, enlisted in the US Navy. He served mostly on the Asiatic Station over nearly 25 years, on at least 8 ships, including this one.

She’s sidewheel gunboat USS Monocacy, pictured here in about 1890 “in Chinese waters.” She was named after the 1864 battle near Frederick, MD and was launched in Baltimore soon after it, in December 1864. She had an exceptionally long career in the Pacific, in continuous US Navy commission until sold to a Japanese firm in 1903.

Machinist Casey was scalded – presumably by steam from a burst boiler or line – while aboard Monocacy sometime in the 1870s and bore scars on his abdomen, left arm, and over his left eye afterward. He had a couple of tattoos also, of a dancing girl and a “naval emblem”.


More about USS Monocacy’s history is online from The Naval History and Heritage Command, source also of the photograph of the ship.

Casey’s service and details like his scarring and tattoos are from enlistment records in Returns of Enlistments of 13 April 1878 (Washington, DC) and 11 June 1887 (Mare Island, CA), online from fold3.

This stunning object is the hilt of a highly decorated United States Model of 1850 Foot Officer’s Sword presented by the men of his battery to Captain John Davis Frank in February 1862.

Even more amazing is that the same men were near mutiny just a month or two later due to his abusive treatment of them.

He may have learned that harsh leadership style during his nearly 13 years of pre-war Regular Army service (1848-1861), during which he was promoted from Private to First Sergeant of Battery A, 2nd United States Artillery. Fortunately, he was able to unlearn it with some personal counseling from his Corps Commander Major General Edwin Sumner.


The sword pictured here was sold by Heritage Auctions in 2012 for about $5,000.

In his invaluable manuscript history of the Maryland Campaign of 1862, General Ezra Carman asserted that Captain Nathaniel W. [H.] Harris commanded the 19th Mississippi Infantry at Sharpsburg on 17 September 1862 and was wounded in action there.

If he had been there he would have been the senior officer present, as all 3 field officers were absent sick or wounded.

But he was not there. He later wrote that he was absent [f]rom the 15th of September 1862 to 5th October 1862; cause – wound received at 2nd battle of Manassas. It’s not clear where he was from about 30 August to 15 September, but probably not with his unit then, either.

Unfortunately, I’ve not yet found who did, in fact, command the regiment at Sharpsburg.

Here’s Harris’ statement in an extract from the second of a 7 page military resume he submitted on 2 January 1864 at the request of (Anderson’s) Division Headquarters, probably relating to his pending appointment to Brigadier General and permanent command of Posey’s Brigade.

(touch image to see the whole page)

Most of the pages are now illegible. Only the first two, detailing his dates of promotion and absence are clear. The rest report his “campaigns, battles, and skirmishes” – I wish I could read them.

I found this document among the papers in his Compiled Service Records, at the National Archives, online from fold3.

17 year old Private Elisha S Fargo of the 7th Maine Infantry was slightly wounded at Antietam in September 1862, but was not so lucky at Spotsylvania Court House, VA in May 1864. He was reported wounded there and missing afterward – vanishing from the record. It is likely he was killed.

In 1881 his name was listed on the new Civil War memorial in Augusta, ME dedicated to the men of that city who never came home …

In honor of her heroic sons who died in the War for the Union and to commend their example to succeeding generations


The plaque above is on one side of the monument, and was photographed for the Historical Marker Database (HMDB) by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, PA.

Adjutant and later Quartermaster of the 23rd North Carolina Infantry V.E. (Vines Edmunds) Turner wrote the brief history of his regiment for Walter Clark’s Histories of the Several Regiments and Battalions from North Carolina, in the Great War 1861-’65 (Vol. II, 1901).

Here are a couple of excepts from his experience on the Maryland Campaign of September 1862:

[at Fox’s Gap on 14 September]

… Colonel Christie seeing that a still stronger force which was advancing against him could, while engaging his front, envelop his left, sent his Adjutant, V. E. Turner (the writer of this) to apprize General Garland of the situation. Finding that Garland had fallen, the Adjutant, making his way towards the rear of the Thirteenth and Twentieth, delivered the message to Colonel McRae, then in command of the brigade. Colonel McRae having no horse or Staff (General Garland’s Staff having gone off with his body) had no means of immediate communication with General Hill, and was unable to fill the gap and to avert the disaster apprehended by Colonel Christie.

The returning Adjutant after almost running into the hostile lines, reached the position of the Twenty-third just as it was abandoned. Colonel Christie, with his short, weak line, hopelessly enveloped and enfiladed, and seeing capture sure if he remained longer, had ordered the regiment to withdraw. This withdrawal, as it had to be precipitate in the extreme, was effected in great disorder down the steep and bewildering mountain side …

[at Sharpsburg on 17 September]

The Twenty-third regiment was here able to muster but few men, many being barefoot and absolutely unable to keep up in the forced marches over rough and stony roads. The brigade which since Garland’s fall, had been under the command of Colonel McRae, of the Fifth, went into action with Colquitt’s brigade in the Confederate center, and were advancing in perfect steadiness under a heavy artillery fire from the opposite hills, till the unaccountable “run back” occurred. This happened as follows: The Federals advanced against us in dense lines through a corn field, which concealed the uniforms, though their flags and mounted officers could be seen plainly above the corn tassels. As the blue line became more distinct, approaching the edge of the corn field, which brought it in our range, we commenced to fire and effectively held it in check. But some of Early’s men, who had come from the corn field, begged us not to fire, saying that their men were in our front. Some one in a regiment to the right of us also shouted: “Cease firing. You are shooting your own men.” Hands were also seen waving the line back. This confused the men. The artillery fire grew constantly hotter. Several of the regiments, nearly exterminated at Williamsburg, Seven Pines and Malvern Hill, had been recruited with raw men, largely ignorant of discipline and of the machine-like duties of a soldier.

At this the regiments on our right began to fall back, straggling through the woods in our rear. But we could plainly see that we were not firing on our friends, and in our front the enemy was firmly held in check, till we found that they were moving on our flank unopposed. This compelled us to retire, which was done in good order, considering the circumstances. The greater part of our regiment stopped in a sunken road (the famous Bloody Lane) and joining the main line there, fought the remainder of the day. General Hill says distinctly that the Twenty-third was kept intact and moved to the sunken road.


Clark’s Histories are available online from the Internet Archive: Vol I | Vol. II | Vol. III | Vol. IV | Vol. V

Captain Turner’s picture here is from Clark as well.