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 Posted: Tue Dec 27th, 2011 01:46 am
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Klink
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Casual CW observers who know any Regiments are familiar with at most the 54th Mass and the 20th Maine.

Why these two?

(There were 20 other Massachusetts regiments in the Fox Fighting 300 and 10 more Maine units in Fox's listing.)

 

Last edited on Tue Dec 27th, 2011 01:49 am by Klink



 Posted: Tue Dec 27th, 2011 02:00 am
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pender
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Klink wrote: Casual CW observers who know any Regiments are familiar with at most the 54th Mass and the 20th Maine.

Why these two?

(There were 20 other Massachusetts regiments in the Fox Fighting 300 and 10 more Maine units in Fox's listing.)

 


Why these two?

20th Maine : Little Round Top.

54th Mass : 1st Union black Regiment.

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 Posted: Tue Dec 27th, 2011 02:22 am
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Klink
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Pender:

Knew this, though the 1st SC Colored was the first Black Regiment, formed by David Hunter in November of '62.  Paddy O'Rourkes 140th NY took more casualties on LRT than tjhe 20th Maine.

I think its unfair that these 2 Units who fought well, get so much more press than other, more deserving Regs.

 



 Posted: Tue Dec 27th, 2011 02:38 am
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pender
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20th Maine gets the credit for saving the day at Little Round Top by making the bayonet charge. 140th New York did not make the charge.

54th Mass is more recognized than the 1st S.C. I would say the media of the day had alot to do with it.  Also two of Fredrick Douglass's sons served in the regiment. Robert G. Shaw's parents were wealthy abolitonist and Fort Wagner added to their popularity. If you are talking modern day the movie Glory is a reason. Most history of the 54th give them as the first black Regiment.

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Last edited on Tue Dec 27th, 2011 02:53 am by pender



 Posted: Tue Dec 27th, 2011 05:12 am
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Hellcat
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Remember today you're looking at pop culture helping to make a name for certain units. Before The Killer Angels, Gettysburg, and Glory how many people who had not really studied the war would have known anything about the 20th Maine or the 54th Mass? The Killer Angels helped to introduce the 20th Maine to a wider audiance but it was when the novel was turned into the movie Gettysburg that the regiment really became known to most folks.. The same was true of the 54th, it was really Glory that introduced the regiment to most folks. Thousands of folks had been visiting Boston Common for nearly a hundred years and likely most didn't have much of a clue about the significance of Augustus Saint-Gaudens Robert Gould Shaw Memorial until after the movie came out.

Units such as the 13th Penn. Reserves (the Bucktails) and the 26th NC could easily be more well known to folks who study the war, but most folks have little clue who they were. Yet should they be featured prominentlyin books and movies they could become quite famous to a much wider audiance.



 Posted: Tue Dec 27th, 2011 11:32 am
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Mark
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I think you nailed it Hellcat. The 20th ME at Little Round Top was an interesting side-note to the battle before Michael Shaara and Ken Burns made them famous. The movie Glory is responsible for most of the 54th MA's fame today, though they did receive a significant bit of contemporary press coverage because they were the first FREE black regiment sent south. So, in short, better publicity!

Mark

Last edited on Tue Dec 27th, 2011 11:33 am by Mark



 Posted: Thu Dec 29th, 2011 08:57 am
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Hellcat
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Thinking about it I think certain units are better known than individual regiments and more likely for folks who don't really study the war very much to know of. The Irish Brigade. The Iron Brigade. The Stonewall Brigade. Pickett's Division. Mosby's Rangers. Berdan's Sharpshooters. The Orphan Brigade. It's more like the name causes some units to be more likely to stand out more than say the 33rd Virginia or the 69th NY.

Maybe it's just that the numbers kinda turn most folks off which really causes modern publicity to make certain regiments stand out even more. Or maybe the names a unit is given romanticizes them more. And off course some units are more known for a particular event which is what makes them better known today than other units are. Pickett's Division, obviously we all know where the name comes from. But what if the attack were known as Trimble's Charge instead of Pickett's Charge? I mean the average person learn's only about Pickett's Division being involved in the attack so had the attack come down to us as Trimble's Charge the average person would be more likely to know of Trimble's Division and have little to no clue about Pickett's.

 



 Posted: Thu Dec 29th, 2011 09:40 am
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csamillerp
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i agree with hellcat, that was a good point. But i still believe Chamberlain was given too much credit. Not saying what he did wasnt amazing but every regiment that held their ground on little round top while outnumbered and short on ammunition deserves the same prestige as the 20th maine.



 Posted: Thu Jan 12th, 2012 02:52 pm
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bschulte
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The 20th Maine also gets credit for being on the very end of the entire Union line. Confederates get past their flank and bad, bad things could have happened to the entire AotP. Fair or not, that and a lot of the other things mentioned all play a role in their popularity.



 Posted: Fri Jan 13th, 2012 03:04 pm
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Yes, named regiments are better known. Also, most "known" regiments were in the Eastern theater. The Eastern press had a lot to do with awareness of certain regiments.



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 Posted: Fri Jan 13th, 2012 06:28 pm
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HankC
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Given the usual nature of becoming famous - desperate battle - most regiments would have but a single opportunity for fame.

However, here are a few that come to my mind with famous commanders, nicknames or other incidents:

1st U.S. Sharpshooters - Berdan's sharpshooters

26th North Carolina – almost wiped out at Gettysburg

13th Pennsylvania – the Bucktails

14th Brooklyn - those 'red legged devils'

Louisiana Tigers – commanded by Rob Wheat, so famous a battalion that soon all Louisiana soldiers were (and are) known as Tigers

6th Massachusetts - attacked in Baltimore

Washington Artillery – well photographed and chronicled artillery battalion

11th New York - the Fire Zouaves, commanded by Elmer Ellsworth

1st Minnesota – virtually massacred at Gettysburg

48th Pennsylvania – dug the mine at Petersburg

124th New York - The Orange Blossoms



 Posted: Fri Jan 13th, 2012 07:09 pm
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Mark
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I came across a regimental nickname that I liked the other day in E.H. Rhodes's journal: The 37th Massachusetts Regiment "is a new Regiment in our Brigade and is called the 'iron clads' because when they arrived every man had a steel plate in his vest..."

Mark



 Posted: Sat Jan 14th, 2012 01:23 am
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What about Hawkins' Zouaves, the 9th NY Infantry Regiment named for Rush C. Hawkins?

Also I'm not entirely certain the Berdan's Sharpshooters was just the 1st US Sharpshooters. I've seen things claiming it was the 2nd US Sharpshooters and things claiming it was the 1st US Sharpshooters. Then there's the reenactors website (http://www.berdansharpshooters.com/) which says that Berdan's Sharpshooters were both the 1st and 2nd USSS.

Last edited on Sat Jan 14th, 2012 01:24 am by Hellcat



 Posted: Mon Oct 22nd, 2012 10:25 pm
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Darryl
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My last duty station was Brunswick, Maine and I used to pass the Chamberlain house every day on the way to work. Visited it several times and enjoyed the experience.



 Posted: Tue Oct 23rd, 2012 10:14 am
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Hood's Brigade (aka Texas Brigade) made up of the 1st, 4th, 5th Texas, and the 18th Georgia (until after the Battle of Antietam), and then the 3rd Arkansas after Sharpsburg/Antietam were considered Lee's elite shock troops. They secured victory for Lee at Gaines Mill. Paid a heavy price at Sharpsburg. Plus as Lee's army was collapsing at the Wilderness they came up with Longstreet and saved the day by stopping the Union forces. They started out the war with 5,000 strong and by Appomattox the brigade was down to less than 600.



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