Thursday, February 5, 2009

Alright, I admit it: I have had LUST in my heart for the last year and a half....:

NO!!! Not that kind of lust! ...had you going for a minute there though didn't I!!!

Actually I have been drooling over a map on-line for a year and a half. YOU WHAT? You have been lusting over a Civil War Map? Maaannnn, you're sick. You've gone around the bend.

Well, yeah but...

O.K., O.K., I finally bought it and I am not ashamed! I am, a Civil War Addict. ahhhh, now that feels better. I can't tell you what a relief it is to get that out in the open. FEEEWWWW!


What I bought was a map of the Washington D.C. Defenses of U.S. Army circa 1861. Illustrating the locations of Civil War fortifications including forts, batteries and other strategic emplacements.

You see, now I can hold a letter from James Gilmour to his brother Robert in my hand and say: "On this day, at this location this letter was written and this is what was happening at the time."

Click on Image to Enlarge.

General Irwin Mc Dowell's 1st division, 2nd Brigade

consisted of the 2nd New York, 1st & 2nd Ohio and the 2nd Artillery.

They were lead by Brig.Gen. Schenk at the Battle of 1st Bull on July 21, 1861

Here is a transcript of a letter written while James Gilmour was stationed here 11 days before The First Battle of Bull Run, also known as the First Battle of Manassas:

Balls Crosroad


July 10th

Dear Brother

I now write to

let you know that have been

waiting for your letter in

answer to my last but it has

not arived yet, it seemed that

your last letter was on the way

coming when mine was going

& as you stated in your last

that you were going to the

thought that you did not get

it as it was adressed to the store

instead of 4th* street but I will

a dress this one for the store

as I supose you to be back by

this time, this is a mistake as I see

yours was dated june 30th But I

will make it all right;

I was glad to hear that you

were in good health & also

that you were contracted on in the


store as work is hard to be got

in the city The prinsopal

reason for me writing now is that

we have recieved orders to

march to Richmond & as we

will have to fight our way

through I thought I would

let you know that how I was

getting along we now form part

Brigade Commanded By

Gen. Skank** it consists

of the first and second Ohio

Regts. 3 Conn. & our own

the 2nd of New York we wer[e] recieved

on munday & expects to march

to night or at day Break tomarrow

Morning. They next Brigade

after us consists of the 79th

Hilander the 13 of Rochester N.Y.

71 N.Y. & a Regt. from Wis.

I was delighted to see the

movement of the Brigade

& we got the Prais[e] of the

Bystanders for being the

cleanist Regt. of the 4


bu[t] it is a hard thing to Keep

clean clothes where we have 3

feet of Dust on one half of the

week & 4 feet of mud the other.

we have very hot weather

here at Presant, but what

goes worse with us is the gales

& Tempests that comes on all

at once we had a storm the other

night. it swept away our tent

wet our clothes & dunked ourselves prity

well but we are getting used to it

now. ***Frank is in good health

& wishes to be remembered to you

in the Kindest manner we are

all ready for fight. & the plan

we have adopted for getting dressed

quick in case of an alarm is

that we still sleep on with our

clothes & our cartridge Box under

our head & as a general thing

our Brave Partner in our Bosem

I mean our Muskets~

You may rest content about

me. I Trust God is with


us. & if he is with no who

can be aganst us

Please write as soon as

this comes to hand & let me

know how you are getting

along & how you spent the 4th

as for mine I spent it

at doing gard Duty as that is

the Run of duty we see most of

at Present

I must conclude hoping

that these few lines will find you

injoying good health

Do not think it strange if you

do not have an answer to your

letter as we do not know when

we may be located

but please write soon

I remain your

affectionate Brother to Death

James Gilmour

Please give my love to

all in the kindist manner

write soon.

*4th Street in Manhattan, New York City; was where they lived.

** This was really Gen. Schenk; but, this is James' actual spelling. Obviously, he was I am sure, unaware of the connotation that it holds today. I leave it as he wrote it for authenticity's sake, and also because it amuses me to think that from everything I have read of the enlisted men's opinion of him after Bull Run: I believe that if they had known what Skank connotes today, they may well have spelled it this way on purpose.

*** Frank Perry was James' tent mate and friend throughout the his war experience. Frank was the only soldier mentioned in James' letter's from his Original Company to have survived the War after being wounded at the Battle of Antietam.


Next summer Devin and I plan to hike the C&O "Patomack" Canal "Toe Path". We intend to take a Canal Boat from Georgetown west to about Great Falls, then hike along the Tow Path to Whites Ferry where we will cross to visit "Balls Bluff". Then we will take in Poolsville where James was Camped for some time. Next a Bus ride to Harpers Ferry to visit the Museum. (James was stationed here also. Truth is he was stationed all along the Potomac at various times.) Then I would like to travel south to find the location of the "Battle of Fair Oaks" where he was killed in Battle and later buried.


No comments:

Post a Comment