Errata, revisions, and suggested additions


I apologize for any and all mistakes of fact or argument in this book. There are sure to be many, especially given the multiplicity of contradicting assertions from both participants and observers. For some others, there is no excuse. Omissions of material that should have been included are also listed here. Some suggested revisions strengthen the book’s arguments or supplement the original citations. I’d appreciate notice of any errors that you find in the book or on this website.

Page Quote or issue Erratum, revision, or omission
3 “And a general did more fight.” “And a general did more than fight.”
12 “President James Polk, backed by believers in manifest destiny, instigated a fight in 1846 by sending troops across the Nueces River—the accepted border between Texas and Mexico proper—and then further south toward the Rio Grande.” The Nueces was the originally accepted border between Texas and Mexico proper. The Mexican government had repudiated Santa Anna’s treaty (he was a prisoner-of-war at the time he signed it). But then the second president of the Texas Republic claimed the Rio Grande as the border, and the United States supported this stance later, while instigating the war against Mexico.
41,43 Maps of Belmont Camp Johnston, at Belmont, is referred to correctly in the text, but on the two maps it is wrongly named “Camp Jackson.”
51 “captained by Charles M. Scott” Charles Scott was apparently only the pilot, but he referred to himself after the war, at least, as Captain Charles M. Scott. Ulysses S. Grant referred to him as “Captain Scott” in an official message just nine days after the battle of Shiloh.
111 “A naval officer on the gunboat Lexington recorded that John Ramm passed Crump’s heading down toward Savannah that morning and ‘reported fighting’ at Pittsburg. John Ramm was probably a  mistaken reference either to John Warner or John Raine,” The original ship’s log from the gunboat Lexington at the National Archives confirms the mistaken reference in the Official Records to the transport John Ramm and that John Raine was the boat thought to be passing down off Crump’s Landing at 9 a.m. It is still possible that the naval officer was confused and that this was John Warner instead (although William Rowley contended that Warner headed back upstream after meeting Tigress, while the Lexington’s log indicates that the Raine kept steaming downriver).
128 “Sherman’s division, moreover, lost much of its artillery on Sunday, as did McClernand’s and Hurlbut’s. . . . Several relatively fresh units went unused, including Birge’s sharpshooters, who had guarded Snake Creek bridge on the 6th.” Grant’s negligence as a commander is substantiated by William Pfaender’s statement about the five guns of the 1st Minnesota Battery: “On the morning of the 7th, when the hostilities were to be renewed with the aid of the reinforcements from Buell’s army, the lieutenant commanding reported to General Grant in person, who was just coming up the road from the landing with his staff, and was by him directed to remain at the position pointed out until he would send orders, which, however, did not come, and so we remained in the reserve during the second day’s fight.” Both Union armies, particularly Buell’s, were certainly lacking artillery on April 7th. Much of Grant’s had been lost or left behind.
143 “The official numbers surely undercounted the true cost, as hundreds of men succumbed to their wounds after the initial lists were compiled, swelling the already ghastly toll.” A letter written to the National Tribune noted that, although the official count had no officers listed as killed from David Stuart’s 55th Illinois, one lieutenant died of his wounds on April 9th and another on April 19th, while a captain died on May 12th. It added two to the count of officers wounded, as well.
150 “Ord, a supporter of slavery and the West Point pal of Sherman and Halleck, had won a small fight at Dranesville, in the Shenandoah Valley.” Dranesville, Virginia, is actually in Fairfax County, not far from Washington, DC.
235 “Hillyer reported the death of over one hundred women and children just ten days into the siege, and the rebel commander tried again to remove them from the besieged town. Grant refused them permission to leave.” I should have added that Hillyer had exaggerated the number of civilian deaths, which were probably between ten and twenty.
239 “An unattributed dispatch to his newspaper, the Chicago Times, almost certainly by Cadwallader, was datelined 10:00 p.m. from Satartia on the 6th and reported that ‘Grant arrived at dark … and returned immediately,’ making it very likely that Cadwallader had contact with him.” Cadwallader’s account is strengthened by entries in Linden’s and Rattler’s ship’s logs, which prove that Diligent was up past Satartia before Grant had even embarked downstream and that Diligent was with the gunboats about the time that Grant arrived from downriver.
241 James H. Wilson “simply noted, ‘Genl. G. intoxicated!’” in a diary entry for June 7th. Certain Grant biographers try to impeach Wilson’s assertion by using Cadwallader’s timetable, wherein Grant only returned to headquarters at midnight, and maintaining that it may have been written on the 8th. Beyond the illogic of using a supposed fabrication, as they call it, in building a defense, a diary entry written a day later is hardly impaired as evidence.
262 “West Pointer Captain Horace Porter, son of a former governor of Pennsylvania, entered headquarters before Wilson . . .” Although his writing implies otherwise, Porter included a drawing in his book that shows him entering Thomas’ headquarters with both James H. Wilson and Charles A. Dana already present. That would reduce somewhat the value of his comments.
275 “Richard Anderson” (in last paragraph) That should read, “Patton Anderson.”
275 “At dusk, Confederate General Richard Anderson arranged for his subordinate, Arthur Manigault, to recapture the lost position.” That should read, “Patton Anderson.”
300 “Cleburne had little more than a half hour to make dispositions but, as usual, he made then well.” It should read, “he made them well.”
336 “The victim of a rebel ruse, ‘virtually the entire’ 7th Pennsylvania surrendered,” It should read, “7th Pennsylvania Reserves”
341 “North of the road, Wadsworth’s division and a brigade from Robinson’s had moved to this sector and ripped into the enemy’s right flank.” As the map immediately above this sentence clearly shows, the “right flank” should be the “left flank.”
356,358 “Brock Road would have been left unguarded against an incursion by W.H.F. Lee’s cavalry” . . . “Clashing with W.H.F. Lee’s dismounted horsemen behind barricades
and trees felled across Brock Road”
Fitzhugh Lee held Brock road against Sheridan’s cavalry, not W.H.F. (William Henry Fitzhugh) Lee.
360 “Hooker made a similar mistake at Chancellorsville, by sending Pleasonton away and leaving the army bereft of cavalry patrols and reconnaissance.” That should read, “George Stoneman”
366 “The outflanked federals routed.” It may be better to say that, “The outflanked federals ran.”
378 Federal advance against Resaca The book could have mentioned that, in the cover-up of Sherman’s failure to seize Resaca, Dodge contradicted his own official report of how it took three days to reach Ship’s Gap from Chattanooga by later claiming that his advance brigade did it in one.
393 “His ten thousand cavalrymen and their Spencer carbines, even with tired mounts, could have helped turn back the mounting rebel counterattack.” “His ten thousand cavalrymen and their breech-loading carbines, even with tired mounts, could have helped turn back the mounting rebel counterattack.”
422 “At Lee’s direction, troopers under Wade Hampton and W.H.F. Lee rode along the rail line heading west, paralleling Sheridan’s column.” It was Fitzhugh Lee, and not W.H.F. (William Henry Fitzhugh) Lee.
427 Confederate battery at Baylor’s Farm “Another rebel battery sat unlimbered on the road beyond. Kautz deemed the position too daunting for his horsemen and let the infantry do the work.” This should state, instead, that “Another section of the rebel battery arrived later and unlimbered on the road beyond.”
429 “The ‘very formidable’ defenses succumbed, wrote Rawlins, to Smith’s ‘very successful’ attack, which also relieved the his doubts about Black soldiers.” The second “the” in this sentence should be removed.
441-42 Battle of Jerusalem Plank Road It would be better to state that, “The next day, a column from the Sixth Corps reached the railroad . . . .” to clarify the timing.
442 “The federals unwisely tried to escape north, and Lee’s horsemen and Mahone’s foot soldiers routed the expedition the following day in combat at Ream’s Station.” That should more explicitly state, “and Fitzhugh Lee’s horsemen . . . .”
446 “On July 5th, he deterred an attack by Breckinridge’s two divisions, led by Robert Rodes and Stephen Ramseur.” It should read, “Early’s two divisions”
463 “Southside Railroad” Known as both the “South Side Railroad” and the “Southside Railroad,” the former is preferred. The map, however, uses “Southside Railroad,” which is different from the text.
465–66 Catton changes his story about the Crater Similar to Bruce Catton’s other revisions—where his Grant biographies reversed earlier and more negative opinions of the General, Catton withdrew a critical comment concerning the Crater. In A Stillness at Appomattox, Catton wrote: “Grant got impatient, and at last he told Meade to have Burnside make his charge regardless: something had gone wrong with the mine, and there was no use waiting any longer.” Almost every writer since, including Catton in his own Grant Takes Command, remained silent on Grant’s reckless order to send the men over a live mine, although a few pointed to Meade as the culprit.
470 “W.H.F. Lee’s cavalry” It was Fitzhugh Lee, and not W.H.F. (William Henry Fitzhugh) Lee.
470 “Lee did not allow the provocation to go unpunished.” With Lee in overall command, Beauregard managed operations south of the James, with A.P. Hill conducting the operations against the federals on the Weldon Railroad.
472 “Ord’s Eighteenth Corps overran Fort Harrison and the nearby lines, while the U.S. Colored Troops of the Tenth Corps launched bloody assaults around New Market Heights.” The U.S. Colored Troops of the Eighteenth Corps, fighting alongside the Tenth Corps, spearheaded the assaults around New Market Heights.
473 “Hoke’s division assailed Butler’s far right and routed Kautz’s cavalry but, in pressing further, the charge of the ‘Texas Brigade’ failed, and this counter-offensive died.” With Hoke’s division on its right, Field’s division assailed Butler’s eastern flank and routed Kautz’s cavalry.
500 “Disregarding timely warnings, Schofield sent only George Wagner’s division of David Stanley’s corps to guard Spring Hill, where it resisted the first rebel incursions.” I was not severe enough on John M. Schofield, as he disregarded Thomas’ orders to strengthen Spring Hill until he was safe at Franklin (OR 45:1:1137). This further contradicted Schofield’s claim that George Thomas had little or nothing to do with his operations against Hood.
512 “With some of Wilson’s troopers curling around the rear, the rout of the previous day was repeated.” I could have mentioned that James H. Wilson’s cavalry was armed with Spencer repeaters, making them a particularly powerful flanking force.
542 “George Pickett and W.H.F. Lee, enjoyed a fish bake a mile to the rear.” It was Fitzhugh Lee, and not W.H.F. (William Henry Fitzhugh) Lee.
545 “Southside Railroad” Known as both the “South Side Railroad” and the “Southside Railroad,” the former is preferred. The map uses “Southside Railroad,” which is different than the text.
551 “Later, the couple fantastically maintained that, after John Wilkes Booth spied the family heading to the Washington railroad terminal, one of the assassin’s gang actually targeted General Grant on the train. The anonymous executioner supposedly wrote Grant a few days later and “thanked God he had failed.” But the General omitted mention of this extremely relevant affair in testimony shortly thereafter.” Although there are many pieces of circumstantial evidence given in support of this assassination attempt, it merely seems to be another tale that grew in the telling. Atzerodt testified that Booth stated at 8:00 p.m. that “he himself should murder Mr. Lincoln and General Grant.”
554 “According to Grant’s Memoirs, much of the death and devastation involved in these three expeditions should have been avoided:” Having mentioned Sheridan’s at the start of previous paragraph, I should explicitly list the expeditions of Wilson, Canby, and Stoneman so as to preclude any confusion.
571 “The very first law he signed . . .” In “the very first law he signed,” the Act to Strengthen Public Credit, the bonds were tax-free, to boot.
578 “Attorney General Amos T. Akerman remained just one year, as Grant felt ‘uneasy about Akerman’s zeal’ against the Ku Klux Klan, along with pressure from Secretary ‘Columbus Delano in behalf of Collis P. Huntington and Jay Gould’ (of all people). Further cabinet-level malfeasance featured . . .” “Further cabinet-level malfeasance” makes it seem as if Akerman were in some way malfeasant. He was the administration’s point man on Civil Rights. President Grant, in forcing Akerman’s resignation, evidently to help railroad industry friends, demonstrated his lower priority in protecting the Black population.
624 Endnote 9 Adding a citation, PUSG 1:117, would further contradict Grant’s supposed good feelings for the Mexican people. He had written, “I have never yet seen a place where I would as leave be stationed as at Monteray if the population was an American one.”
634 Endnote 58 That should read “N.Y. Herald, February 5, 1862.”
676 Endnote 130 Adding a citation, OR 31:2:745, would point the reader to the basis for the assertion that, “Almost a third of Stewart’s men became casualties, and three-quarters of those were captured or missing.”
679 Endnote 137 As opposed to merely sealing the victory at Chattanooga, it has been capably argued that Hooker’s assault on Missionary Ridge from the vicinity of Rossville Gap was a necessary precursor to the success of Thomas’ frontal attack. See Bob Redman’s website: http://www.aotc.net/Chattanooga.htm
726 Endnote 30: “Secretary Stanton unjustly condemned and worked against several Union commanders, including William Rosecrans, Fitz John Porter, and John McClernand.” William Marvel’s amply documented biography, “Lincoln’s Autocrat: The Life of Edwin Stanton,” exposes the ugly depths of the Secretary’s character. But Stanton had his favorites, as well, giving great support to General Grant.
770 Index: “Cavalry Corps (U.S.)” The entry in the Index for “Cavalry Corps (U.S.)” should be changed to “Cavalry Corps (AotP)” to distinguish it from the Cavalry Corps in the western theatre.
786 Index: “Marines” missing from the Index The two mentions of the Marines in my book (on Page 524) in the second engagement at Fort Fisher did not make it into the Index.