Book: The 47th Indiana Volunteer Infantry - A Civil War History by David Williamsoncategories: Book, James R. Slack, Chaplain Samuel Sawyer, 47th Indiana, Lambdin P. Milligan, Treason Trials, Champion Hill, Vicksburg, New Orleans, Mobile, Texas-Mexican History, Juan N. Cortina, Civil War
David Williamson, Ph.D.about this book: After completion of "The Third Battalion Mississippi Infantry and the 45th Mississippi Regiment: A Civil War History," I turned my attention to the long-delayed history of the 47th Indiana Volunteer Infantry, my great-great grandfather Pvt. Eli E. Rose's regiment. Much of their history is based on letters from the front written by their chaplain, Rev. Samuel Sawyer, an interesting character in his own right, as well as letters from enlisted men and from the newly emerging profession of newspaper reporter (the "Bohemian Brigade") to a variety of newspapers; but the bulk of my information comes from some 120 letters written by their organizer and commander, then Colonel James R. Slack, to his wife, Ann, from 1862 to 1865.
Part of the Federal forces who opened the Mississippi River, the 47th Indiana fought in some of the bloodier battles in the West (Port Gibson, Champion Hill, and Vicksburg); they also spent much of the war skirmishing and guarding occupied territory in Tennessee, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Alabama.
Aside from recounting their battle history and army life in the occupied South, I focused on the social and political context of life on the home front, which, for those interested in things or events other than battles, includes the stuff thrillers are made of: violent antiwar activity, espionage, sabotage, conspiracy, treachery, intrigue, military trials, and a precedent-setting Supreme Court habeas corpus case (Ex Parte Milligan), which then Colonel James R. Slack became involved in and that remains relevant in today's so-called "war on terrorism."
The 47th Indiana's post-war occupation of Shreveport, LA, and General Slack's post-war assignment to Brazos Santiago and Brownsville, TX, is also covered. This includes an in-depth discussion of the historical ties between the U.S. Army and President Benito Juarez's Liberal forces then fighting to oust the French from Mexico, and his controversial general at Matamoros, Juan N. Cortina.
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Other books by David Williamson, Ph.D.
• Book Review: Slack's War - Selected Civil War Letters of General James R. Slack, 47th Indiana Volunteer Infantry, to ...|
• Book Review: The 47th Indiana Volunteer Infantry - Court-Martial Case Files by David Williamson|
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