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GENERAL HENRY WARNER SLOCUM, USA - History

GENERAL HENRY WARNER SLOCUM, USA - History


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BORN: 1827 in Delphi, NY.
DIED: 1894 in Brooklyn, NY.
CAMPAIGNS: First Bull Run, South Mountain, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Chickamauga and March to the Sea.
HIGHEST RANK ACHIEVED: Major General.
Henry Warner Slocum was born on September 24, 1827, in Delphi, New York. After attending Cazenovia Seminary in New York, he taught school, and was admitted to the US Military Academy at West Point. Graduating in 1852, he fought against Seminoles in Florida, and was stationed at Fort Moultrie, South Carolina. Resigning to practice law, he moved to Syracuse, New York. Slocum served as county treasurer, state legislator and state militia officer. After Fort Sumter fell in 1861, Slocum became colonel of the 27th New York Infantry. He took part in the First Battle of Bull Run, and was seriously wounded. After he recovered, he was given brigade, then divisional command. Commissioned major general of volunteers as of July 4, 1862, Slocum was involved in the fighting in a number of battles and campaigns, including South Mountain, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville and Gettysburg. After participating in the Battle of Chickamauga, he and his troops were sent south as the Army of the Tennessee. After some controversies about leadership, Slocum ended up commanding the XX Corps, then led the Army of Georgia in 1864 for the March to the Sea. Slocum resigned from the service in September of 1865, and returned to Syracuse, New York. After running unsuccessfully for New York secretary of state, he moved to Brooklyn and practiced law there. He was elected to the US House of Representatives for three terms, and served on the board of the Gettysburg Monument Commission. Slocum died in Brooklyn, New York, on April 14, 1894.

Henry Warner Slocum

Henry Warner Slocum (24 September 1827-14 April 1894) was a Union Army Major-General during the American Civil War and a member of the US House of Representatives (D-NY 3) from 4 March 1869 to 3 March 1873 (succeeding William E. Robinson and preceding Stewart L. Woodford) and from 4 March 1883 to 3 March 1885 (succeeding Lyman Tremain).


Contents

Slocum was born in Delphi, a hamlet in Onondaga County, New York. He attended Cazenovia Seminary and worked as a teacher. He obtained an appointment to the United States Military Academy at West Point, where he did well academically—considerably better than his roommate, Philip Sheridan. He was commissioned a second lieutenant in the 1st U.S. Artillery on July 1, 1852. He served in the Seminole War in Florida and at Fort Moultrie in Charleston Harbor, married Clara Rice in 1854, Ώ] and was promoted to first lieutenant on March 3, 1855. He resigned his commission October 31, 1856, and settled in Syracuse, New York. ΐ]

Slocum had studied law while bored at garrison duty in the army. He was admitted to the bar in 1858 and practiced in Syracuse. He served as the county treasurer and was elected to the State assembly in 1859. During this period he also served as an artillery instructor in the New York Militia with the rank of colonel. Α]


Henry W. Slocum

Henry Warner Slocum began his military career after graduating from the United States Military Academy in 1852. He entered into service as a 2nd Lieutenant in the artillery, and was stationed in Florida to fight against the Seminole Indians, as well as Charleston Harbor. He resigned from the military in 1856, and began to practice law, which he had learned while serving on garrison duty.

When the Civil War broke out, Slocum was made Colonel on May 21, 1861 of the 27th New York. He led the regiment under General David Hunter at the First Battle of Manassas. He was wounded during the battle, and when he recovered, Slocum was promoted to Brigadier General on August 9, 1861, then to Major General on July 25, 1862. He commanded troops during the Peninsula Campaign, as well as the Seven Days Battles. During the Battle of Second Manassas, Slocum was essential to covering General John Pope as he and his men retreated from the field. He led throughout the Maryland Campaign, where he commanded during the Battle of South Mountain, but was held in reserve during the Battle of Antietam. After the Battle of Antietam, Slocum was appointed to lead the XII corps. He led the corps into the Battle of Fredericksburg, but was not engaged, and then at the Battle of Chancellorsville, where his corps suffered heavy losses. Slocum then commanded his division during the Battle of Gettysburg, where he received some criticism for not moving his division quickly enough and being indecisive. After the Battle of Gettysburg, Slocum and his XII corps were sent into the Western Theatre under the command of General Joseph Hooker. Slocum had a very strong mistrust of Hooker, and tried to resign from his command. President Abraham Lincoln refused the resignation, and instead allowed Slocum to be in charge of protecting the Nashville & Chattanooga Railroad. Slocum was then assigned to the District of Vicksburg, where he served until he was placed in command of the XX Corps after the death of General James B. McPherson near Atlanta. On September 2, 1864, Slocum and his corps were the first to enter the city of Atlanta after it fell. Slocum then went on to participate in the Carolina Campaign with General William T. Sherman, where he fought in the battles of Averasborough and Bentonville. After the surrender of the Confederacy, Slocum commanded the Department of the Mississippi until he resigned on September 28, 1865.

After the war, Slocum moved back to New York and served three terms in Congress.


Fort Slocum: Gone Now These 50 Years

Thus the New York Times for 1 Dec. 1965. In fact, a century plus a little. A series of civilian real estate deals put its roughly 80 acres in the hands of Thaddeus Davids. He raised Jersey cattle there. By the late 1850’s most trees had been cleared, and a dock accommodated large picnic excursion boats. It was thus pre-adapted when, in mid-1861, the 3rd Regiment of the nascent Irish Brigade organized its first military use, Camp Carrigan. The Irish left for the front in December. The next year Simeon Leland leased it from Davids, with an option to buy. Leland quickly struck the same deal with the War Department, which quickly threw up a makeshift hospital, De Camp General. With post-War draw-down, the site was nearly abandoned. In 1867, however, the War Department exercised its option to buy, and the post became Davids’ Island Military Reservation.

In effect, then (during the year of Ft. Sumter) Davids’ Island seceded from Westchester County and the civilian real estate market. When (at the outset of Vietnam) it returned to civilian life, its reemployment prospects would be diminished greatly.

The Camp was a hospital after Gettysburg, also a prison camp for Confederates. (It was relatively benign: the original “Club Fed,” when most were, in the words of the standard history, “Portals to Hell.”) By the early 1870’s the 8th Infantry was rebuilding itself there, headed West for the end of the Indian Wars. Its commander was complaining already that the wooden buildings, thrown up during wartime emergency, were falling to pieces. The Army closed the post in 1874.

It reopened in 1878, as the Principal Depot of the General Recruiting Service. All the soldiers who enlisted for the Indian Wars from east of the Mississippi passed through. From the 1880’s a permanent post was built, deliberately in brick rather than in wood, under the supervision of QM Capt. George Hamilton Cook. He was the Christopher Wren of Davids’ Island his construction remained the architectural core of the post until its final closure.

The island became a Fort in 1896, named for Gen. Henry Warner Slocum. From 1890 it was included in the national program of massive coast artillery fortification. The big guns soon became obsolete, and were deactivated in 1907. Ft. Slocum continued to recruit. In Dec. 1917, the little island post was overwhelmed by last-minute enlistees hoping to stay ahead of the draft. New Rochelle pitched in to house the overflow.

After the Great War, Ft. Slocum was almost closed once again in 1922 it survived by a combination of recruiting activity and the New Deal. The Civilian Conservation Corps (“Roosevelt’s Forest Army”) and the Works Progress Administration were accommodated there. So was every soldier sent overseas to the foreign territories acquired in the wake of the Spanish-American war. Look at any photo of Hawaii being bombed in 1941, or of Corregidor or Bataan: every one of those men passed first through Ft Slocum, NY.

By WWII the Army had learned from Slocum’s experience in WWI. It was no longer overwhelmed by recruiting responsibilities. More spacious mainland recruit camps (such as Kilmer and Shanks) were cloned from Slocum, while the island itself became a specialized cog in the massive New York Port of Embarkation: both a processing center for troops being sent to the European Theatre, and the training center for NYPOE itself. Typical of WWII, Slocum saw the future, and it worked: from 1943 its WAC detachment integrated women into the Army (from which women never subsequently have reported absent) in 1944 a Black soldier, Pvt. Duckworth, devised the Jody Call (an enduring piece of military culture, “I don’t know, but I’ve been told…”). The post fielded a very gifted musical ensemble, the 378th Army Service Forces Band.

Prior to the permanent military-industrial complex identified by Eisenhower, the US Army faced the problem that once it won the war, it lost the peace. Victory brought drastic reductions-in-force. Davids’ Island faltered after 1865, and did close in 1874 it was threatened with closure in 1922 and this happened again in 1946. The Army Air Corps (soon to become the Army Air Forces and then the US Air Force) swooped in (like New Rochelle’s own Mighty Mouse) to save the day. Fort Slocum morphed into Slocum Air Force Base, headquarters of the First Air Force. But in 1949, the USAF left too, and the post closed once again.

“FORT SLOCUM TO BE REACTIVATED” read the headline in the New Rochelle Standard-Star, 16 Nov. 1950. This was good news, for New Rochelle and Westchester County because many of the civilian employees who had run the post during the War, could now continue to do so during the Cold War. The joint-services Armed Forces Information School, along with the US Army Chaplain School, moved over from Carlisle Barracks, PA. AFIS almost closed in 1954, but was reorganized instead into the US Army Information School. The addition from 1955 of a battery of the 66th Artillery, NY-15, equipped with the new NIKE Ajax missiles gave additional raison d’être. But Ajax became obsolete, there was too little room for the new larger Hercules missiles, and the battery left in 1960 organizational expansion of the Chaplain School from 1958 drove it likewise to seek more space at mainland Ft Hamilton in Brooklyn in 1962 and by 22 March 1963 JFK’s Pentagon announced closure. It did close, 50 years ago, on 30 November 1965, as the (once again) joint-services Defense Information School moved to Ft Benjamin Harrison, IN.

This closure proved final. Various ambitious development dreams and schemes all fell by the wayside. A ferry was impractical a bridge, impossible. The physical plant fell into ruin. A series of fires including the Great Fire of 22 April 1982 damaged much of what was left. Historical status notwithstanding, from 2005 to 2008 the US Army Corps of Engineers, at the behest of the City of New Rochelle, demolished almost all that remained.

The Irish Brigade and the Civil War, the Indian Wars and the World Wars, the New York Port of Embarkation, powerful artillery defenses of New York Harbor and America’s rise to globalism after the Spanish-American War, from black powder to nuclear deterrence, gender and racial integration, New Rochelle’s major link to the abolition of slavery, the closing of the frontier and American national expansion beyond: 50 years on, Fort Slocum is barely a memory and whatever will it be 50 years hence?


Major General Henry Warner Slocum, U.S.V.

(Front): Major General
Henry Warner Slocum, U.S.V.
1826 - 1894
In command of right wing
of the Army of the Potomac
at the
Battle of Gettysburg
July 1,2,3, 1863
"Stay and fight it out"
Gen. Slocum at Council of War, July 2, 1863
erected by State of New York, 1902
(Back): Major General Henry Warner Slocum, U.S. Vols. Cadet U.S. Military Academy July 1, 1848. 2nd Lieut. First Artillery July 1, 1852. 1st Lieut. March 3, 1855. Resigned October 31, 1856.

Col. 27th N.Y. Infantry May 21, 1861. Severely wounded Bull Run July 21, 1861. Brig. Gen'l. of Volunteers August 9, 1861. Assigned to command of 2nd Brigade, Franklin's Division, Army of the Potomac September 4, 1861 and to command of the 1st Division, 8tj Corps May 18, 1862.

Maj. Gen'l. U.S. Vols. July 4, 1862. Assumed command of 12th Corps October 20, 1862. Temporarily commanded the right wing of the Army of the Potomac, consisting of the 5th, 11th, and 12th Corps April 28-30, 1863. In command of the right wing of the Union Army composed of the 5th and 12th Corps at Gettysburg July 1, 2, 3, 1863.

Relinquished command of the 12th Corps April 18, 1864 and on April 27, 1864 assumed command of the Military District of Vicksburg, which he held until August 14, 1864.

the 20th Corps August 27, 1864 and the left wing of Sherman's Army known as the Army of Georgia, November 11, 1864. Assigned in orders dated June 27, 1865 to command of the Department of the Mississippi, Headquarters at Vicksburg which he held until relieved September 18, 1865 and on September 28, 1865 Gen'l. Slocum resigned from the Army and was honorably discharged.

Erected 1902 by State of New York.

Topics. This memorial is listed in this topic list: War, US Civil. A significant historical date for this entry is July 1, 1863.

Location. 39° 49.146′ N, 77° 13.476′ W. Marker is in Cumberland Township, Pennsylvania, in Adams County. Memorial is on Slocum Avenue, on the left when traveling west. Located on the Stevens Knoll section of the Gettysburg National Battlefield Park. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Gettysburg PA 17325, United States of America. Touch for directions.

Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Stevens' Battery (within shouting distance of this marker) East Cemetery Hill (within shouting distance of this marker) 24th Regiment Michigan Volunteer Infantry (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line) 7th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry (about 400 feet away) 18th Miss. Inf. (about 500 feet away) The Thirty Third Massachusetts Infantry (about 500 feet away) 2nd Wisconsin Regiment

(about 700 feet away) 6th Wisconsin Regiment (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Cumberland Township.

Also see . . . Reports of Maj. Gen. Henry W. Slocum. From the Official Records. Slocum's reports include an exchange between himself and General Meade, commanding the Army of the Potomac, with regard to the particulars of the reports. These provide a glimpse of the politics of high command in the Army at this time of the war. (Submitted on December 5, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.)


Henry Slocum

The monument to Major General Henry Slocum is south of Gettysburg on Slocum Avenue. (Stevens Knoll tour map) It was dedicated on September 19, 1902 by the State of New York.

About the monument

The monument is a bronze equestrian statue created by sculptor Edward Clark Potter. Potter made a number of equestrian statues but is best known for the lions in front of the New York Public Library. Slocum’s statue weighs 7,300 pounds and stands 15′ 6″ tall. It rests on a 16′ tall base of Barre granite designed by A.J. Zabriskie. Large bronze inscribed tablets are inset into the base on each side.

Tablet from the monument (click to enlarge)

From the front of the monument:

Major General
Henry Warner Slocum, U.S.A.
1826-1894
—-
In command of the Right Wing
of the Army of the Potomac
at the
Battle of Gettysburg
July 1, 2, 3, 1863
—-
“Stay and fight it out”
Gen. Slocum at Council of War July 2, 1863

Erected by the State of New York 1902

From the rear of the monument

Major General Henry Warner Slocum, U.S. Vols.
Cadet U.S. Military Academy July 1, 1848. 2nd Lieut. First Artillery July 1, 1852. 1st Lieut. March 3, 1855. Resigned October 31, 1856.

Col. 27th N.Y. Infantry May 21, 1861. Severely wounded Bull Run July 21, 1861. Brig. Gen’l. of Volunteers August 9, 1861. Assigned to command of 2nd Brigade, Franklin’s Division, Army of the Potomac September 4, 1861 and to command of the 1st Division, 8tj Corps May 18, 1862.

Maj. Gen’l. U.S. Vols. July 4, 1862. Assumed command of 12th Corps October 20, 1862. Temporarily commanded the right wing of the Army of the Potomac, consisting of the 5th, 11th, and 12th Corps April 28-30, 1863. In command of the right wing of the Union Army composed of the 5th and 12th Corps at Gettysburg July 1, 2, 3, 1863.

Relinquished command of the 12th Corps April 18, 1864 and on April 27, 1864 assumed command of the Military District of Vicksburg, which he held until August 14, 1864.

Assumed command of the 20th Corps August 27, 1864 and the left wing of Sherman’s Army known as the Army of Georgia, November 11, 1864. Assigned in orders dated June 27, 1865 to command of the Department of the Mississippi, Headquarters at Vicksburg which he held until relieved September 18, 1865 and on September 28, 1865 Gen’l. Slocum resigned from the Army and was honorably discharged.

About Henry Slocum

Henry Warner Slocum was born at Delphi, New York on September 24, 1826. He graduated from West Point with the class of 1852, and served against the Seminoles and in Charleston Harbor. In 1856 he resigned his commission to practice law, settling in Syracuse and becoming a state legislator and a colonel in the state militia.

Slocum became Colonel of the 27th New York at the outbreak of the war. He was wounded at First Bull Run. After he recovered he was given a brigade and then a division in Franklin’s 6th Corps. After Antietam he was given command of the 12th Corps, which performed well at Chancellorsville, although Slocum scathingly criticized Hooker.

Slocum has been criticized for delaying his arrival at Gettysburg while sending his troops on ahead on the first day. He knew that as senior corps commander he would assume command if he arrived before Meade. He did command the army for about six hours in the evening of July 1, until Meade arrived after midnight. Slocum was responsible for holding the right flank of the army. He successfully defended it against repeated attacks by Ewell’s Confederate 2nd Corps.

After Gettysburg

The 12th Corps was one of two corps of the Army of the Potomac chosen to go west under Hooker’s command following the Union debacle at Chickamauga . Slocum immediately sent in his resignation. It was refused. A compromise was achieved where Slocum and a part of his Corps would operate independently of Hooker.

When Hooker eventually resigned (over being asked to serve under former subordinate Oliver Howard) Slocum was called to take over the 20th Corps, which was the first Union unit enter Atlanta. Slocum commanded the left wing of Sherman’s Army (the Army of Georgia) on the March to the Sea.

After the war Slocum practiced law in Brooklyn and served three terms as a Democratic U.S. congressman. He also served on the Board of the Gettysburg Monument Commissioners. Henry Slocum died in Brooklyn in 1894

Location of the monument to Henry Slocum at Gettysburg

The monument to Major General Henry Slocum at Gettysburg is on the north side of Slocum Avenue. It is about 70 yards southwest of its intersection with Williams Road. (39°49󈧌.9″N 77°13󈧠.5″W)


Slocum's Division, Sixth Army Corps

U.S.A.
Slocum's Division, Sixth Army Corps.

Maj. Gen. Henry W. Slocum, Commanding.
September 17, 1862.
Slocum's Division followed Smith's in its march from near Crampton's Pass on the morning of the 17th, and, upon reaching the field, occupied the ground from which Smith was just advancing: Torbert's Brigade in the center on either side of this road Newton's Brigade on the right connecting with Hancock, and Bartlett's Brigade on the left extending beyond the Cemetery and into the low ground between Mumma's and Roulette's. Beyond supporting the Artillery the division was not actively engaged.

It suffered slight loss from artillery fire and remained in position until the morning of the 19th.

Erected by Antietam Battlefield Board. (Marker Number 71.)

Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: War, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the Antietam Campaign War Department Markers series list. A significant historical month for this entry is September 1599.

Location. 39° 28.781′ N, 77° 44.564′ W. Marker is near Sharpsburg, Maryland, in Washington County. Marker is on Smoketown Road, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Sharpsburg MD 21782, United States of America. Touch for directions.

Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance

of this marker. First New Jersey Brigade (here, next to this marker) Sixth Army Corps (a few steps from this marker) Smith's Division, Sixth Army Corps (a few steps from this marker) Jackson's Command (within shouting distance of this marker) Battery D, 2d U.S. Artillery (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line) Batteries A and C 4th U.S. Artillery (about 300 feet away) Battery F, 5th U.S. Artillery (about 400 feet away) Battery A (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Sharpsburg.

Regarding Slocum's Division, Sixth Army Corps. This marker is included on the East Woods Virtual Tour by Markers see the Virtual tour link below to see the markers in sequence.

Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. Slocum's division Markers.

Also see . . .
1. Antietam Battlefield. National Park Service site. (Submitted on March 6, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.)

2. 1st Division, VI Corps. The Division was heavily engaged at the Battle of Crampton's Gap on South Mountain a few days before Antietam. But at Antietam, as indicated on the marker text, was only lightly involved. (Submitted on March 6, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.)

. A collection of markers interpreting the action of during the Battle of Antietam around the East Woods. (Submitted on March 8, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.)

4. Henry Warner Slocum. Henry Warner Slocum (September 24, 1827 – April 14, 1894), was a Union general during the American Civil War and later served in the United States House of Representatives from New York. During the war, he was one of the youngest major generals in the Army and fought numerous major battles in the Eastern Theater and in Georgia and the Carolinas. (Submitted on October 24, 2015, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.)


The General Slocum Fire: On This Day, June 15

Today marks 112 years since the sinking of the General Slocum, the worst maritime disaster in New York City history.

The General Slocum, named after a Civil War general, Henry Warner Slocum, was built in 1891. On June 15, 1904, St. Mark’s Evangelical Lutheran Church—a German American church on the Lower East Side—chartered the steamer for an annual picnic outing on Long Island to celebrate the end of Sunday school for the year. It was one of the congregation’s most beloved and popular events, and the vessel was filled with more than 1,300 passengers, mainly women and children excited for the day ahead. Soon after the Slocum left the pier at East Third Street, a small fire broke out and spread quickly.

Many factors worked together to make the disaster more deadly. As the ship burned, Captain William H. Van Schaick did not head toward the closest shore, but instead headed to an island, fanning the flames as he increased speed. Most of the passengers, like many Americans, did not know how to swim, and those who jumped off the ship were weighed down by their heavy clothing. The ship’s life vests, meanwhile, were made of rotted cork that quickly disintegrated in the water, and the life boats were found to be immovable. The ship did not hold regular fire drills, and the crew was woefully unprepared for such an emergency. In the end, approximately 1,021 passengers and crew members perished, leaving only 321 survivors.

The disaster made front-page news all over the country . Newspapers such as the New York Times printed long and detailed accounts of the fire and its aftermath, including rescue efforts by onlookers, policemen, and even the nurses and patients of North Brother Island’s hospital. The front page of the June 16, 1904, edition of the New York Tribune at right shows photographs of (clockwise from top right) the pastor of the Lutheran church, the Rev. George C.F. Haas, who lost his wife and daughter the ship before and after it sank Captain Van Schaick and the scene at North Brother Island, where victim’s bodies washed ashore.

In the ensuing trial, eyewitnesses and survivors testified against Captain Van Schaick, crew members, the Knickerbocker Steamboat Company, and the company’s director, Frank Barnaby. All were acquitted but the captain, who was found guilty of criminal negligence and sentenced to ten years in prison. Van Schaick was eventually pardoned and released halfway through his sentence by President Taft.

The General Slocum disaster took an enormous, irreparable toll on the German American community of the Lower East Side, which had already been slowly migrating uptown to the Upper East Side of Manhattan. The loss of so many family members, neighbors, and friends struck the community at its heart, and created a final incentive for many to leave.

Soon after the fire, President Roosevelt named a commission to investigate the disaster. A re-inspection of all steamers revealed the slipshod nature of the work of the US Steamboat Inspection Service. The commission recommended major reforms in the USSIS as well as in shipbuilding, fire prevention and containment, and crew training.


GENERAL HENRY WARNER SLOCUM, USA - History

General Joseph K. Mansfield General Henry Warner Slocum General Alpheus S. Williams General John W. Geary

The following are so me important original XII Corps histories.

Please click on the links below for histories of the XII Corps.

Twelfth Corps, from: Regimental Losses in the American Civil War , Chapter VIII, pp. 87-90, by William F. Fox, 1889

Winchester, Port Republic Cedar Mountain Manassas Antietam Chan-Cellorsville Gettysburg Wauhatchie Lookout Mountain Missionary Ridge Ringgold.

The corps that never lost a color or a gun. When its designation was changed to the Twentieth, it still preserved unbroken the same grand record. The veteran divisions of Williams and Geary wore their star-badges through all the bloody battles of the Atlanta campaign and the Carolinas, and still kept their proud claim good, marching northward to the grand review with the same banners that had waved at Antietam and Lookout Mountain -- with the same cannon which had thundered on the battle-fields of seven states.

The organization of the Twelfth Corps may be considered as dating from the General Order of March 13, 1862, under which the corps formation of the Army of the Potomac was first created. By that order, five different corps were constituted, one of which, composed of the divisions of Williams and Shields, and commanded by General Banks, was designated as the Fifth. These divisions were then operating in the Shenandoah Valley. On the 26th of June, the President ordered that "the troops of the Shenandoah Department, now under General Banks, shall constitute the Second Army Corps" of the Army of Virginia. On September 12th, General Order 129, it was ordered that its designation be changed to that of the Twelfth Corps, and that General Joseph K. Mansfield be placed in command.

In the meantime the corps had done considerable hard fighting under its former title. Shields' Division won a brilliant victory over Stonewall Jackson at Kernstown, Va., on the 23d of March, and Williams' Division fought well at Winchester, May 25th, while on Banks' retreat. The battle of Cedar Mountain was also fought by this corps, alone and unassisted and, although defeated by the overwhelming force of the enemy, the record shows that the two divisions did there some of the best fighting of the War. In that battle the divisions were commanded by Generals Williams and Augur loss, 302 killed, 1,320 wounded, and 594 missing total, 2,216, out of less than 6,000 engaged. This loss fell on four brigades, Crawford's Brigade losing 867 men out of 1679, reported by Crawford as "present in engagement." At Manassas the corps was held in reserve.

It participated in the Antietam campaign under its proper designation, as the Twelfth Corps, with the veteran Mansfield in command. Its division and brigade organization was the same as at Cedar Mountain General George S. Greene had succeeded General Augur in the command of the Second Division. Its depleted columns had been strengthened by the accession of five new regiments of volunteers, fresh from the North, three of which were composed of Pennsylvanians, enlisted for nine months only. The corps now numbered 12,300 present for duty, including the non-combatants it contained 22 regiments of infantry, and 3 batteries of light artillery. It was the smallest corps in the Army.

It was not engaged at South Mountain, although it marched thither in plain view of the battle which was raging on the mountain's side, ahead of its dusty columns. At Antietam, it entered the fight early in the morning, and carried a position near, and in front of, the Dunker Church. General Mansfield fell, mortally wounded, while deploying his columns, and the command of the corps during the battle devolved on General Williams. The two divisions lost in this battle, 275 killed, 1,386 wounded, and 85 missing total, 1,746, out of about 8,000 present in action.

The vacancy caused by the death of General Mansfield was filled by the appointment of Major-General Henry W. Slocum, a division general of the Sixth Corps, who had already achieved a brilliant reputation by his services on the Peninsula, and at the successful storming of Crampton's Gap. The Twelfth Corps remained in the vicinity of Harper's Ferry until December, when it moved into Virginia, and made its winter-quarters at Stafford Court House.

The brunt of the battle of Chancellorsville fell on the Third and Twelfth Corps and yet amid all the rout and confusion of that disastrous battle the regiments of the Twelfth Corps moved steadily with unbroken fronts, retiring at the close of the battle without the loss of a color, while the corps' artillery, after having been engaged in the close fighting at the Chancellor House, withdrew in good order, taking every gun with them. In this campaign Slocum's troops were the first to cross the Rapidan, and the last to re-cross the Rappahannock. The corps at this time contained 30 regiments of infantry, with 5 batteries of light artillery, numbering in all 19,929 present for duty, Its losses at Chancellorsville amounted to 260 killed, 1,436 wounded, and 1,118 missing total, 2,814. The hardest fighting and heaviest losses fell on Ruger's and Candy's brigades. The divisions were commanded by Generals Williams and Geary.

At Gettysburg, the Twelfth Corps distinguished itself by its gallant defence of Culp's Hill. At one time during the battle, the corps having been ordered to reenforce a distant part of the line, Greene's Brigade, of Geary's Division, was left behind to hold this important point. While occupying this position on Culp's Hill, with no other troops in support, Greene was attacked by Johnson's Division, but the attack was successfully repulsed. The details of this particular action form an interesting chapter in the history of the war. Still, some of Johnson's troops effected, without opposition, a lodgment in the vacated breastworks of the Twelfth Corps, and upon the return of those troops a desperate battle ensued to drive the Confederates out. After a long, hard fight the corps succeeded in re-occupying its works. On no part of the field did the Confederate dead lie thicker than in front of the Twelfth Corps position. Johnson's Division, containing 22 regiments, lost in this particular action, 229 killed, 1,269 wounded, and 375 missing total, 1,873. To this must be added whatever loss occurred in Smith's, Daniel's, and O'Neil's brigade,-- containing 14 regiments,-- which were sent to Johnson's support. The Twelfth Corps, containing 28 regiments, lost 204 killed, 810 wounded, and 67 missing total, 1,081. General Slocum was in command of the right wing at Gettysburg, which left General A. S. Williams, of the First Division, in command of the corps General Thos. H. Ruger of the Third Brigade, First Division, took Williams' place as commander of the "Red Star" Division General Geary commanded the "White Star," or Second Division.

The Army followed Lee into Virginia, the Twelfth Corps joining in the pursuit, and pushing forward until it reached the Rappahannock. While encamped there, on the 23d of September, 1863, the Eleventh and Twelfth corps were detached from the Army of the Potomac and ordered to Tennessee as a reinforcement for Rosecrans. The two corps were placed under command of General Hooker. Arriving in Tennessee, Geary's Division moved to the front, while Williams' Division was stationed along the railroad from Murfreesboro to Bridgeport. Geary pushed on in order to effect a junction with the beleaguered army at Chattanooga. On the night of Oct. 27th, his division, the "White Stars," bivouacked in Lookout Valley, in an advanced and isolated position, where he was attacked at midnight by a part of Longstreet's command. But Geary had taken proper precautions against surprise, and the enemy were defeated, Geary receiving in this affair a prompt and gallant support from part of the Eleventh Corps. General Thomas, commanding the Army of the Cumberland, stated in his official report that "the repulse by Geary's Division of greatly superior numbers who attempted to surprise him, will rank among the most distinguished feats of arms of this war."

The midnight battle of Wauhatchie was followed in the next month by the brilliant victory at Lookout Mountain, where the "White Star" Division fought its famous battle above the clouds. Geary was assisted in this engagement by Whitaker's Brigade, of the Fourth Corps, one of Whitaker's regiments, the Eighth Kentucky, being the first to plant its flag on the summit of the mountain.

In April, 1864, the designation of the corps was changed to that of the Twentieth. Generals Williams and Geary still retained command of their divisions, and the men still wore their Twelfth Corps badge. This badge (the star)was adopted by the reorganized corps. The new organization was formed by the consolidation of the Eleventh and Twelfth corps, to which was added some minor commands. The action of the War Department in striking out the Twelfth Corps number was stupid, unnecessary, and unjust. If done out of consideration for the Eleventh, it was a mistake for the men of that corps expressed themselves freely that, their own divisions having been broken up, they would have gladly taken the Twelfth Corps title as well as its honored badge. They knew that corps they had fought by its side. They knew nothing of the Twentieth.

Upon the discontinuance of the Twelfth Corps, General Slocum was assigned to the command of the District of Vicksburg, but resumed the corps command--of the Twentieth Corps--during the Atlanta campaign, General Hooker having been relieved. Slocum afterwards commanded the Army of Georgia while on the March to the Sea, and in the battles of the Carolinas. He was, pre-eminently, one of the ablest generals of the war he made no mistakes wherever he was in command, everything went well. His troops had unbounded confidence in his ability, and always went into action with perfect confidence they felt that with him, there would be no surprise, no rout, no defeat.

The Twelfth Corps was small, but was composed of excellent material. Among its regiments were the Second Massachusetts, Seventh Ohio, Fifth Connecticut, One Hundred and Seventh New York, Twenty-eighth Pennsylvania, Third Wisconsin, and others equally famous as crack regiments all of them with names familiar as household words in the communities from which they were recruited.



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