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 Posted: Sun Mar 16th, 2008 05:00 pm
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debjimlued
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Hello - we're new and from Central Jersey.

We have a question re: Gettysburg

As the Iron Brigade turned off the Emmitsburg Rd. at the Codori House we read they dropped all their back packs, bed rolls etc. as they turned left into the fields.

What ever happened to this stuff? Who picked it up and where did they take it to?

Thanks



 Posted: Mon Mar 17th, 2008 12:54 am
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ole
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First, welcome.

Pure speculation, but I suspect there were a whole bunch of Rebs happy with their new backpacks and bedrolls -- at least for a while.

ole



 Posted: Mon Mar 17th, 2008 01:18 pm
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PvtClewell
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Maybe the stuff is still there and is waiting to be purchased at The Horse Soldier. :)

Interestingly enough, the books I have — 'The Iron Brigade', 'Giants in Their Tall Black Hats', 'On Many a Bloody Field' and 'A Brotherhood of Valor' only mention that the men unloaded their baggage at the Cordori farm and not much else about what happened to the backpacks and bed rolls. Lost to history, I guess.

I've now forgotten where, but somewhere on the internet I read a passage that the Iron Brigade left its baggage and unessential personnel at the Cordori farm. Like Ole, I can only speculate what that means, but maybe the unessential personnel took care of the equipment. I guess the real question is what is 'unessential personnel?' Staff officers? Camp followers? Dan Sickles? I have no clue.

But more than likely, the stuff was probably left there to be recovered by somebody else. Wasn't it government issue anyway? After all, there was plenty more where that came from.



 Posted: Mon Mar 17th, 2008 01:51 pm
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j harold 587
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With nothing to base it on except pure conjecture The survivors from the Iron Brigade probably reclaimed their property post retreat from the village. They were experienced veterans who no doubt knew the were to be here for a while. The Codori farm should have still been Union property that first night. I beleive for most of the battle it was at least technically controled by the northern troops. Veteran troops of any war do not loose contact with their gear easily. I am still amazed with the fact that they doubletimed it all the way to the north side of town and then went into line of battle and still gave a good account of themselves. They were a tough bunch of midwesterners.



 Posted: Mon Mar 17th, 2008 04:58 pm
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susansweet
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Pvt. , Dan Sickles ?   lol  you made me laugh right out loud at that one . 



 Posted: Mon Mar 17th, 2008 05:02 pm
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debjimlued
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How long do you think it would have taken those 5 regiments to double time from Cordori Farm to the Seminary building?

We're going to try it the weekend after Easter...but it's only 2 of us - not 5 regiments which would have been _______men?

Thanks



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 Posted: Mon Mar 17th, 2008 07:08 pm
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PvtClewell
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According to Alan Nolan in his book 'The Iron Brigade,' the unit had 1,883 effectives on the morning of July 1, 1863.

By the end of the day, about 600 survivors were posted in the saddle of land between Culp's Hill and East Cemetery Hill. (There's a small IB marker there.) It was a hard day. What's that, about 65 percent casualties? Geez.

I'm guessing the distance between the Codori farm and the Lutheran Seminary is about 1.5 miles as the crow flies. Given they had to cross what was essentially the uneven ground of what would become Pickett's Charge and some up-slope running, I'd guess it would take about 15-20 minutes or so back in the day. But I don't know how fast double time is (Is it jogging? Faster?), and you might have to factor in an adrenaline rush as they head into combat, not to mention the urgency of the emergency they faced.

Even after they get to the seminary, they still have about a quarter-mile to cross to get to their posting in Herbst Woods.

For you to do it might take longer because you have to cross some areas of busy traffic as well as some private property, fences and who knows what else. But please report back when you do — I'd be curious as to how long it took you.

And this got me to thinking about their left-behind equipment. By the end of the day, after nearly eight hours of brutal combat, and still on alert at the base of Culp's Hill, I seriously doubt they were worried about recovering their backpacks and bedrolls. But I could be wrong.

Hey, maybe Pickett got 'em. Wasn't he at the Cordori Farm on July 3?

Bama,
According to Nolan, the Iron Brigade had 2,100 men at Brawner Farm in August, 1862, and that was for just four regiments. The 24th Michigan was added to the brigade at Fredericksburg.

Last edited on Thu Mar 20th, 2008 11:49 am by PvtClewell



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 Posted: Tue Mar 18th, 2008 04:13 pm
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David White
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Full strength a regiment was supposed to be 1,000 men but after diseases and the firing started the numbers seemed to go down to averageing in the 400s for both sides. At places like Antietam and late 64 early 65, after months of hard fighting, the numbers were less than that.



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 Posted: Wed Mar 19th, 2008 11:33 pm
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Don
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Hopefully this is of some assistance.

'Normal' or 'quick' time, then as now is time and a half. At double-time, they would have been moving about a mile every 15-20 minutes (some of those hills are pretty long going cross-country). Call it 35-40 minutes to the Seminary, I'm guessing. Remember, even without packs they would still be carrying rifles and ammunition. I'll leave it the reenacting smart folks to be exact, but I'd guess they were still carrying 25 pounds or so between uniforms and equipment. Can't recall the weights of rifles and 40 rounds or so per man.

After the fight I'm pretty certain they would have recovered their gear, or as much of it as possible. Their most important possessions, and their food for the day, would have been in those rucksacks. As j harold observed, veterans don't lose contact with their gear easily, as the supply wagons (or trucks these days) never seem to be nearby when you need stuff. As very experienced campaigners on a dozen or more battlefields by gettysburg, they would have known this. Honestly, I'm a bit surprised that they shed them in the first place.

Union regiments started at 1,000 men each (10 companies of roughly 100, plus HQ staff), then dwindled from there. For a unit that had fought as much as the Iron Brigade, the numbers sound pretty accurate. Remember, volunteer regiments for the most part didn't receive individual replacements. When more troops were needed, the state raised another regiment or two. After two years of casualties, disease and desertions, all five regiments would have been whittled down pretty well.

For more info on army regulations and the size of regiments and such, I recommend http://www.usregulars.com. He's done a fantastic job with the site, and there's a wealth of information there.



 Posted: Thu Mar 20th, 2008 01:37 am
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PvtClewell
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Don,

Upon further review, I think you might have got the timing pretty close.

Using the only documented rate of march I'm aware of — Sedgwick's 35-mile march to Gettysburg in 19 hours — breaks down to 1,140 minutes divided by 35 miles equals 32 minutes per mile. It was a forced march, so I don't know if they took 10-minute breaks for every hour of march, although I would assume so. Anyway, with breaks, they're marching at 27 minutes per mile.

Using Sedgwick's rate of march as a model, the Iron Brigade is doubletiming it over 1.5 miles so — just guessing — I'll arbitrarily knock their rate down to 20 minutes per mile, and thus up to 30 minutes for the entire 1.5-mile distance. But it surely wasn't 1.5-miles in a direct line, and Harry Pfanz says they took several paths to the seminary. Then there are the other variables — fatigue, adrenaline, sense of urgency, terrain, weight of rifles and ammo — so the 35-40 minutes sounds pretty darn good. Nice job. )(90

I'm still not certain about them recovering their equipment. The IB was virtually overrun in its last stand in front of the seminary, and they're trying to avoid capture, or worse, when the line finally gives. There's mass confusion all around Gettysburg, and I doubt the survivors are thinking of going back to the Codori farm at this moment. While I agree it's hard to separate a solider from his equipment, would not the average soldier carry his most personal valuables — carte de vistes, letters, Bibles — on his person and not in his rucksack? I'll guess that one of the first things the survivors do when they are posted at Culp's Hill is fall asleep from exhaustion.

Besides, the rest of the Union army is quickly forming on Gettysburg by the end of the day and any equipment they needed was readily accessible.

But I could be wrong.

Last edited on Thu Mar 20th, 2008 11:48 am by PvtClewell



 Posted: Thu Mar 20th, 2008 02:11 am
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ole
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But I could be wrong.
Don't think you are wrong, NCO Clewell. That was my take from the get go. You said it better.

ole



 Posted: Thu Mar 20th, 2008 02:33 am
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Rebel Yell
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I agree, PvtC...I believe that the area where the IB discarded packs and such was not in the path of the retreat from Seminary Ridge on 01 July. And I believe that the union forces were moving as quickly as possible to Cemetery Hill to bother picking up loose packs. However, is it possible that the guards left behind with the packs were able to remove them to a safer location???



 Posted: Fri Mar 21st, 2008 12:01 am
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Don
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I'll concede the rucksacks, but where would they put such things on their persons? I'm not an expert on period uniforms, but don't remember many pockets.

I'm not debating, simply asking. Now that you've brought it up, I think it's an interesting question. But as Ole will tell you, that usually just involves holding up something colorful or shiny....



 Posted: Fri Mar 21st, 2008 04:09 am
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PvtClewell
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Don,

Good question. I know nothing about uniforms, but I did find this site:

http://www2.inxpress.net/jwedeward/original_frock_coat.htm

Considering that we're speaking specifically of the Iron Brigade, which made frock coats and Hardee hats famous, I chose this particular page. Frock coats apparently had tons of pocket space in the tails. Trousers perhaps at least two pockets. Shell jackets apparently no pockets. Overcoats and sack coats may have had at least breast pockets. Maybe our reenactor friends can help us on this.

And it looks like you could carry an entire change of clothing in those Hardee hats. :)



 Posted: Fri Mar 21st, 2008 05:34 am
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susansweet
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One of reenactor friend would reach inside his sack coat and pull out all kinds of things.  He carried his picture of his wife made into a CDV, and many other things.

I know one hardcore and I am always amazed what he pulls out of pockets in his coat.  He stops by the Drum booth at reenactments .  He is always sharing something he has with him.  Sometimes I am not sure where he has pulled items out of his jacket. 

Those Hardee Hats would carry many things in them wouldn't they?.  :D

Susan



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