Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Booknotes: Ohio at Antietam

New Arrival:
Ohio at Antietam: The Buckeye State’s Sacrifice on America’s Bloodiest Day by Kevin W. Pawlak & Dan Welch (Arcadia Pub and The Hist Press, 2021).

From the description: "Among the thousands who fought in the pivotal Battle of Antietam were scores of Ohioans. Sending eleven regiments and two batteries to the fight, the Buckeye State lost hundreds during the Maryland Campaign's first engagement, South Mountain, and hundreds more "gave their last full measure of devotion" at the Cornfield, the Bloody Lane and Burnside's Bridge."

The participation of Ohio units, leaders, and men in the Antietam battle is the focus of Kevin Pawlak and Dan Welch's Ohio at Antietam: The Buckeye State’s Sacrifice on America’s Bloodiest Day. Chapters in the book address the role of Ohio regiments at South Mountain with the Kanawha Division, the Cornfield and West Woods attacks of Tyndale's Brigade (the fellow bookended by Cox and Crook on the cover art is Major Orrin Crane of that brigade), and the Eighth Ohio's assault on Bloody Lane with Kimball's Brigade. A pair of chapters explore the fighting on the Union left commanded by Ambrose Burnside, their focus being on the Ohio brigades of Crook and Ewing. The text is supported by an abundance of photographs (of individuals, graves, landscapes, and monuments) as well as a handful of detailed maps.

More from the description: "Many of these brave men are buried at the Antietam National Cemetery. Aged veterans who survived the ferocious contest returned to Antietam in the early 1900s to fight for and preserve the memory of their sacrifices all those years earlier." The second to last chapter presents a selection of stories of individuals buried at Antietam National Cemetery (also attached is a table of burial information for the Ohio slain). The final chapter briefly addresses Ohio remembrance and commemoration of the 1862 Maryland Campaign, while the volume's appendix offers a short history of future president William McKinley's Civil War service at Antietam and elsewhere.

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