Monday, October 15, 2018

Did Alexander Gardner photograph Charles Tew's corpse in the Sunken Road?

     Charles Tew's story is compelling. Daniel Harvey Hill called him "one of the most finished scholars on the continent, and had no superior as a soldier in the field."(1) Indeed he was. Tew graduated first in his class from the South Carolina Military Academy (The Citadel today) in 1846, became superintendent of the South Carolina Arsenal Academy in 1854, and founded his own military school in Hillsborough, North Carolina in 1859.
Charles Tew, courtesy of the North Carolina Museum of History
     Colonel Tew commanded the 2nd North Carolina Infantry at the Battle of Antietam. This regiment occupied the left of George B. Anderson's brigade in the Sunken Road. During the fight, Anderson, Tew's superior officer, was wounded and carried from the field. Word reached Tew of his ascendance to command. Immediately upon receiving it, Tew fell with a bullet to the head, mortally wounded. He later died on the battlefield.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Which Federal Brigade suffered the most casualties (proportionately) at Antietam? An Imperfect Analysis

   Civil War arithmetic is never an exact science--let's get that out of the way first. Hence, the information below is likely an imperfect analysis of the posed question: which infantry brigade in the Army of the Potomac suffered, proportionately, the greatest number of casualties on September 17, 1862?
The attack of Fairchild's Brigade was sketched in the battle's aftermath