Author Talk: Michael Russert, We Were Marched Hither and Thither

Please join us for an author talk with historian Michael Russert, who will discuss his book We Were Marched Hither and Thither:The 123rd New York in the Gettysburg Campaign.

"We were marched hither and thither" is a fitting title for the 123rd NYS Vols. in the Gettysburg Campaign. The adventures during the month long trek of the rural farm boys from Washington County, New York is related through their own words. A majority of primary sources and photographic images have not been used previously. On the road to Gettysburg, the provincial farm boys captured descriptive images of the landscape of Virginia and Pennsylvania. Most of these men had never been more than twenty miles from home.It is fascinating to read the different viewpoints of the marching citizen soldiers. For example, the accounts of the men of the execution of three deserters are interesting to compare, especially the contrast of the boys in the ranks to their commanding officer's commentary, Colonel Archibald McDougall, a lawyer by trade. The colorful commentary concerning local inhabitants along the line of march tend to be reflective, and amusing.The text of this study, in addition to portraying daily soldier life, provides analyses of several controversial events focused on July 1st. First, Slocum's Corps in the Pipe Creek Circular; second, The Howard / Slocum Affair; finally, the presence of Williams's Division on Ewell's flank, which prevented Confederate movement on Culp's Hill. The majority of this study is an examination of the battle for the lower crest of Culp's Hill. The text is accompanied by ten maps created by Brad Gottfried. The use of the XII Corps by commander of the Army of the Potomac, as a mobile reserve unit that marched hither and thither, is an important aspect of the narrative. The detailed account in which the Washington County boys constructed a stockade defensive wall is instructive, as is the skirmishing outside the wall once the lower crest was seized. The author has named this area, where a rare skirmish-line monument was located, "The Shelf." The fascinating concluding chapter explores the manner in which the veterans selected their monument, considered one of the most artistic on the battlefield.

Event date: 

Tuesday, July 12, 2022 - 6:00pm

Event address: 

Battenkill Books
15 E. Main St.
Cambridge, NY 12816

Author Photo: