Giants in Their Tall Black Hats

Giants in Their Tall Black Hats

Essays on the Iron Brigade
Edited by Alan T. Nolan and Sharon Eggleston Vipond
Distribution: World
Publication date: 11/1/1998
Format: cloth 256 pages, 13 halftones, 1 line drawing
6.125 x 9.25
ISBN: 978-0-253-33457-2
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"Editors Alan Nolan and Sharon Eggleston Vipond's insightful essays provide fresh perspectives on the Iron Brigade's exploits, detailing military and political events in the words of actual combatants." —Military Review

Originally called “The Black Hat Brigade” because the soldiers wore the regular army’s dress black hat instead of the more typical blue cap, the Iron Brigade was the only all-Western brigade in the Eastern armies of the Union. From Brawner Farm and Second Bull Run to Chancellorsville and Gettysburg—the Western soldiers earned and justified the proud name Iron Brigade. And when the war was over, the records showed that it led all federal brigades in percentage of deaths in battle. These essays, by some of the best known historians of the brigade, spotlight significant moments in the history of the Civil War’s most celebrated unit.

Author Bio

ALAN T. NOLAN is the historian of the Iron Brigade and a native Hoosier. He is Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Indiana Historical Society, a Fellow of the Company of Military Historians, and a founder and former President of the Indianapolis Civil War Round Table. Since its original publication in 1961, his classic history The Iron Brigade has been named by Civil War Times Illustrated as one of the “100 best books ever written on the Civil War.” He has also written Lee Considered: General Robert E. Lee and Civil War History (Main Selection of the History Book Club and Book of the Month Alternate Selection), the contemporary novel As Sounding Brass, and has contributed essays to The First Day at Gettysburg, The Fredericksburg Campaign: Decision on the Rappahannock, and a 1996 anthology on Robert E. Lee. He is the author of articles in such publications as Civil War Times Illustrated, Civil War, Indiana Magazine of History, Virginia Cavalcade, Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, The American Historical Review, and Gettysburg Magazine. He has lectured widely on Civil War topics, including at the Smithsonian Institution and various colleges and universities, and has been granted an honorary doctorate from Indiana University (1993) and the Nevins-Freeman award by the Chicago Civil War Round Table (1994). He has appeared in The Civil War Journal series on cable television’s Arts and Entertainment Network. An attorney and graduate of Indiana University and the Harvard Law School, he lives in Indianapolis, Indiana.
SHARON EGGLESTON VIPOND was born and raised in northwestern Wisconsin. She is a graduate of the universities of Wisconsin and Minnesota with undergraduate degrees in history and English and a doctorate in communications. A member of the Milwaukee Civil War Round Table, Iron Brigade Association, and Wisconsin State Historical Society, she works as an educational technology specialist for Oracle Corporation and lives with her husband and family in Woodstock, Georgia.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
List of Maps
List of Tables
Editors’ Acknowledgments
Introduction, Alan T. Nolan and Sharon Eggleston Vipond
1. John Brawner’s Damage Claim, Alan T. Nolan
2. “They Must Be Made of Iron”: The Ascent of South Mountain, Kent Gramm.
3. “I Dread the Thought of the Place”: The Iron Brigade at Antietam, D. Scott Hartwig
4. John Gibbon and The Black Hat Brigade, Steven J. Wright
5. “The Dread Reality of War”: Gibbon's Brigade, August 28-September 17, 1862, Alan D. Gaff and Maureen Gaff
6. “Like So Many Devils”: The Iron Brigade at Fitzhugh’s Crossing, Marc Storch and Beth Storch
7. John F. Reynolds and The Iron Brigade, Lance J. Herdegen
8. “A New Kind of Murder”: The Iron Brigade in The Wilderness, Sharon Eggleston Vipond
9. The Iron Brigade Battery: An Irregular Regular Battery, Silas Felton 10. In Peace and War: Union Veterans and Cultural Symbols - The Flags of the Iron Brigade,
Richard H. Zeitlin