Photography days 8,9 and 10 are done

I have finished days 8 and 9 of photography for my project.  Last Saturday was day 9 and I spent the day at Pickett’s Mill and photographed the reenactment.  It was a great reenactment and came home with some really great images.  I have already had the image of the cannons firing made into an 11 x 14 print.  It looks great, can not wait to frame it.

I finished up day 10 today.  I took the boys with me back out to Pickett’s Mill, where I made images of the Federal Lines and Battery.  We had a nice hike and the rain held off for us.  I also worked my way back down County Line Rd. and made a few images of where the lines extended toward Acworth. 

Pickett’s Mill Reenactment Images

Here is a link that will take you to the images I made this past weekend at the Pickett’s Mill 150th Anniversary Reenactment.  When you open the link you will also see a gallery for the Resaca Reenactment.

War Was Here Images

I have only edited or altered a few of the images in these galleries.  I will be picking out the best shots later and adding a special gallery selected images that are my favorites. 

Pickett’s Mill Reenactment: Cannon Fire

     I thought this shot was really cool and wanted to share it with all of you.  It is straight from the camera.  All I did was crop to 8×10 and add the copyright at the bottom.  I did not adjust anything. 
Both cannons were firing at the same time.  These are 12 pounder Howitzers placed at the location of Key’s Battery during the battle.

150 Years Ago Today: The Battle of Pickett’s Mill

May 27th, 1864,
     After suffering heavy losses at New Hope Church and failing to break the Confederate line, General Sherman again tries to out flank General Johnston’s Confederate Army.  Sherman orders General Howard to send Wood’s 3rd Division of the IV Corps, Johnson’s 1st Division of the XIV Corps, and McLean’s 3rd Brigade of Schofield’s XXIII Corps, on a flanking march in an easterly direction, to find the right end of the Confederate line.  They hope to find the exposed right end of the line and attack.  
     General Johnston figured out what the Federals were attempting, and began shifting troops from his left to the right.  He moved Hindman’s Division from the far left of Hood’s position and placed them on the far right.  This began the extension of the Confederate line to the right.  Johnston then moved General Cleburne’s Division of Hardee’s Corps to the right of Hindman.  This extended the Confederate line even further to the right. Cleburne began to dig in on a ridge line running east toward Pickett’s Mill.  This was the end of the line with the exception of Kelly’s Cavalry being used as a screen put in place beyond the end of the line.
     Generals Howard and Wood began their march east to find the Confederate right as they were assigned.  The terrain was difficult at best.  It was described as jungle by some.  It is hilly with deep ravines and lots of underbrush.  After traveling some distance the made their first attempt to find the Confederate right, but as they approached the lines the realized they were approaching the rear of the Union lines.  They needed to push further east before turning again.  After moving about a mile east of this point they turned again and found what the thought was the Confederate right. They reached the area of Pickett’s Mill around mid afternoon. Howard began to form Wood’s and Johnson’s Divisions for attack.
     Meanwhile, Cleburne’s scouts reported the movement of the Federals toward the end of the Confederate line.  He began deploying further to his right and also deployed several artillery batteries.  He place Lucius Polk’s Brigade on his left, Govan’s Brigade in the center and Granbury’s Brigade on his right and the Cavalry screen beyond Granbury. 
     Wood deployed with Hazen’s 2nd Brigade in the front with Gibson’s 1st Brigade following them and Knefler’s 3rd Brigade behind them.  Johnson deployed with Scribner’s 3rd Brigade in front and aligned with Gibson’s Brigade.  He then placed King’s 2nd Brigade following Scribner and Carlin’s 1st Brigade behind King.  The formation they were using is called a “Column of Brigades” and each Brigade should follow the other closely as to over whelm the enemy with their numbers.  The order to attack was given around 4:30pm.  Hazen moved forward, but the dense undergrowth along, with the terrain, caused the lines to come apart and become spread out.  Gibson’s Brigade did not immediately follow Hazen.  Hazen’s men drove in the Confederate pickets and started moving up the steep sided ravine.  They were attacking the left and center of Granbury’s Brigade.  They thought they were attacking the end of the Confederate line, but Cleburne had been fast enough to extend it to his right.  Hazen came under heavy fire and point blank artillery fire from Key’s Battery.  Hazen began moving left toward an old cornfield.  This movement had been anticipated by Cleburne, who had sent several regiments of Govan’s Brigade further to the right and just past Granbury, to block the Federals.  After losing over 450 men, Hazen was withdrawn and only then was Gibson put in.  He suffered a similar fate and suffered heavier losses, over 650.  Kneffler’s Brigade was finally sent in, but with the purpose to only cover Gibson’s as he withdrew and recovered the wounded. Scribner was delayed in his attack by the cavalry pickets, who held high ground across the creek.  He sent a couple of regiments to push them back and finally made it to the cornfield where he was hit by a counter attack from a reserve force that had been sent to reinforce Clerburne.  Sribner held his own for a short time before falling back as well.
     The battle began to subside around 7:00pm, but skirmishing continued into the night.  Cleburne directed Granbury to make a night time assault to probe the location of the Federals and clear his front. They captured over 200 Union troops and drove back many more to their original positions.  Total Union casualties are reported as being 1732 while the Confederate casualties were reported at 448.  It was a rather lopsided victory for the Confederates. 
     This is my favorite battle of the campaign, I’m not sure why, but maybe because the battlefield is so well preserved and you can walk through it and really see where events took place.   I recommend going to visit the battlefield if you get a chance.  Here is a link to their website:  Pickett’s Mill State Historic Site.  They are having a special event this weekend with reenactments.  It should be a really great event.  Also, if your interested in learning of the details of the battle, check out this book:  The Battle of Pickett’s Mill, Along the Dead Line, by Brad Butkovich.

Book Review: Co. Aytch: Maury Grays, First Tennessee Regiment

Co. Aytch:  Maury Grays, First Tennessee Regiment or  A Side Show of the Big Show
By Samuel Rush Watkins

Most of the books I have read are history book and are specific to a time and location or specific to a particular battle with maps, photos, directions, and land marks.  I decided to take a departure from that and settled upon the memoirs of a foot soldier in the Army of Tennessee.

This was written about 20 years after the war and you are reminded of it regularly throughout the book.  He goes on to say how he is not writing a history of what happened, but is relaying the experiences and thoughts of a Private in the Confederate Army.  He does a very good job of this and covers every thing from the daily life to the thrill of battle and the agony of defeat.  Samuel paints a very horrific picture of the conditions they lived in and of the aftermath of battle.  He served throughout the entire war and saw action in a great number of battles, including the Atlanta Campaign.

I really enjoyed this fairly quick read at only 220 pages.  You can find it free online in a pdf format or on your Nook for a dollar.  It is full of funny tales and interactions and heartbreaking stories from the battlefield.  If you want to know what it was like for the common soldier on the front lines during the Civil War, then this is a must read book.  There are a great may personal diaries and memoirs out there and I think I will be reading some more.  I really enjoy the personal side of it.

Book Review: The Battle of Pickett’s Mill, Along the Dead-Line

The Battle of Pickett’s Mill, Along the Dead-Line
By Brad Butkovich
Published by The History Press

I purchased this book at Pickett’s Mill State Historic Site during a Civil War History talk by the Author Brad Butkovich.  After the talk, he took us on a walk through part of the battlefield and described the events that took place there.

I have finally had a chance to finish the book and I have to say that it is very well written and an exciting read.  He covers all the action of the engagement and the events in the area leading up to the battle in great detail.  I really enjoyed the personal accounts from soldiers and officers that were in the battle.  That really shows the great amount of research that went into this book.  Not just regimental histories, etc, but reading personal diaries and letters of those that were there.  There is nothing like the first hand account of those engaged. 

One of the best parts of the book is the introduction.  It is short, but the information that it includes about how the Union Army and the Confederate Army named and numbered units is very valuable.  It has confused many people over the years and now, to have it written and explained so well, is an invaluable addition to the book.  I also like the inclusion of the complete Order of Battle.  The book is annotated and has a fantastic bibliography for those that would like further reading. 

Brad has just finished his new book on the Battle of Alatoona Pass and it should be available by June.  I am really looking forward to it as I enjoy his writing style and the amount of detail he includes.

If your interested in a copy of The Battle of Pickett’s Mill, Along the Dead-Line, it can be purchased at the Pickett’s Mill State Historic Site or through Amazon.The Battle of Pickett’s Mill, Along the Dead-Line

Pickett’s Mill Location Scouting

Went out to Pickett’s Mill and New Hope Church with a friend today, to do some location scouting.  It was cold!  I’m looking forward to spring.  Here is an image from our walk on the battlefield.  It was taken from the approximate position of the 15th and 49th Ohio as they were facing the Confederate Line across what was once a wheat field.  The Confederate Line was just beyond the tree line at the far end of the field.  There is a road just beyond the tree line down the left of the image.

Even though it was cold, the sun was out and the wind was not blowing so it made for a good day of hiking.  I was able to pick out some good locations to come back and photograph in May.

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