James Maynard Shanklin and the Civil War - Research Paper

A Note From Your 42nd Web Host:

This research paper below was submitted by Brandon Barrett who, as a Senior majoring in history at the University of Southern Indiana, wrote this paper to fulfill his academic requirement  in a seminar course that looked at the social and political history of the U.S. between the years 1815-1891.  Brandon used some of the information presented elsewhere on this web site for some of his references.  I am very pleased that the information on this site was used for such a purpose.  I asked Brandon if he would be willing to share his paper with all of you, and he agreed.  Oh, by the way, he received a grade of 100% on the paper.  It is an excellent paper.  Good job Brandon!!  If you feel so inclined, send Brandon an e-mail and let him know that you appreciate his work.  His e-mail address is barrett25@hotmail.com

James Maynard Shanklin and the Civil War

By Brandon Barrett 

            The Civil War was a trying time for both the government and citizens of the United States.  The conflict touched a majority of Americans living between 1861-1865 in one way or another.  In the early stages of the war, President Lincoln called for 75,000 men to join the United States Army and suppress the rebelling Southern states.  The president’s call for manpower was immediately heard, and men from all over the Northeast and Midwest joined in staggering numbers.  The Union met the president’s aims and prepared for a quick and easy victory.  However, the northerners did not take into account the determination of the rebellious Confederates.

            Indiana met the quota from President Lincoln in providing troops for the war.  Volunteer infantry regiments formed throughout the state in 1861.  By the war’s end, 173 regiments totaling more than two hundred thousand men would serve over the course of four years.  Indiana’s governor, Oliver P. Morton, led the call to arms in the state.  Governor Morton asked Southwestern Indiana to produce a regiment--a call taken with patriotic fervor.  The new 42nd Indiana Volunteer Infantry Regiment was comprised of men from six counties.  From the regiment’s entry into service on 9 October 1861, 1,475 men would fill the ranks of ten companies.  Spillard F. Horrall, an officer in the 42nd, gave a detailed primary account of the regiment in his book published in 1892. 

            James Maynard Shanklin served as a leading recruiter and inaugural officer in the 42nd from Evansville.  Over a span of fifteen months, he wrote a plethora of colorful letters to his new bride, Eliza McCutcheon.  Kenneth McCutchan edited and published these letters in 1988 to provide a detailed account of a soldier in President Lincoln’s army.  Overall, Shanklin lived the same everyday life in camp in comparison to Union regulars, with only a few differing experiences.  The information provided by Shanklin in his letters does not overtly contradict the experiences of other soldiers provided in secondary literature. 

              Nine aspects of Shanklin’s experiences during the war can easily compare to existing secondary literature, excluding his personal life before the war and during the three battles he fought in.  Of these nine aspects, historians study two primary topics within the Civil War: politics and religion.  The seven secondary topics consist of events smaller to the overall spectrum of the Civil War: recruiting skills; letters; arrest; time in prison; changes in attitude; food; and health.

            An abundance of secondary literature about soldiers’ lives during the Civil War exists.  Joel H. Silbey is a leading historian in the field of politics during the Civil War.  Shanklin was a “War Democrat” and his actions with those Democrats compare to the information in A Respectable Minority by Silbey, and Thomas E. Rodgers’, Ph.D. dissertation entitled Northern Political Ideologies in the Civil War Era.  Steven E. Woodworth and James McPherson have written on the topic of religion in the Civil War and Shanklin’s religious attitude mirrored, in many areas, to that of the common soldier.  Shanklin littered his letters with references to God.  Two key secondary sources provide a look into the secondary topics involving Shanklin.  Bell I. Wiley’s The Life of Billy Yank and James I. Robertson Jr.’s Soldiers Blue and Gray provide an in-depth look at Union soldiers during the conflict.     

            The 42nd Indiana Volunteer Infantry Regiment experienced a rapid recruiting stage in the beginning of the regiment in 1861.  Governor  Morton called on his large amount of male human capital in Indiana to form regiments to fight in the emerging conflict.  James G. Jones took the initiative in Southern Indiana and was assigned the Colonelcy of the regiment, and he in turn assigned Charles Denby and James M. Shanklin as recruiting commissioners.  Men from six Southwestern Indiana counties--Daviess, Gibson, Pike, Spencer, Vanderburgh, and Warrick--composed most of the new regiment.  The fairgrounds just outside Evansville, Indiana, named Camp Vanderburgh, was chosen as the rendezvous site.  As the site was being sought, orators set out all over the First Congressional District--composed of the six counties--to renew the spirit of patriotism in Southern Indiana men.[1] 

            The renewal of spirit spread by the orators resulted in obtaining the maximum number of men for a regiment.  On 9 October 1861, the official entrance into the United States service took place at Camp Vanderburgh.  The regiment fulfilled its duty and served until 21 July 1865.  The volunteer total would eventually include 1,475 rank and file men.  The regiment consisted of ten companies listed A-K, excluding J.  Three men served the supreme rank of colonel in the regiment in four years, followed by five lieutenant-colonels, five majors, three adjutants, two quartermasters, three chaplains, two surgeons, and two assistant surgeons.  Each of the ten companies themselves had captains, first lieutenants, and second lieutenants: Company A-five of each; Company B-two captains, three first lieutenants, four second lieutenants; Company C-three captains, five first and second lieutenants; Company D-five of each; Company E-three captains, six first lieutenants, four second lieutenants; Company F-three captains, five first and second lieutenants; Company G-four of each; Company H-four captains and first lieutenants, three second lieutenants; Company I-two captains, four first and second lieutenants; Company K-three captains and first lieutenants, four second lieutenants.

            Of the 1,475 men in the regiment, each company also had one first sergeant, four sergeants, eight corporals, two musicians, and a wagoner.  The only numerical differences in the regiment were the number of captains, first and second lieutenants, as well as privates and recruits.  Companies A, C, E, and G had the highest number of privates with 82 each, followed by Company F with 81, Companies B and I with 80, Company D with 78, Company K with 76, and Company H with 74.  Company K had the largest number of recruits with 124, followed by Company B with 106, Company I with 104, Company E with 98, Company F with 91, Company A with 88, Companies D and G with 82, Company H with 77, and Company C with 73.[2] 

            In the first weeks at Camp Vanderburgh, Lieutenant-Colonel Charles Denby, who had received a military education, took the lead to drill the officers and they in turn drilled the privates.  The first movement of the regiment took them to Henderson, Kentucky.  While there, they experienced full drill, dress parades, camp guard, and picket duty.  The regiment camped in Henderson until February 1862 and moved on to Calhoun, Kentucky.  The regiment encountered its first skirmish at Wartrace, Tennessee on 11 April 1862.  Only Companies A, C, I, and K engaged with the rebels.  The 42nd only saw action in two more battles in 1862.  On 8 October 1862, the regiment met a rebel force at Perryville, Kentucky, and from 30 December to 3 January at Stones River.

            The 42nd Indiana fought in twenty battles and approximately 100 skirmishes.  As the war dragged on, the 42nd engaged in much more heavy and sporadic action than it had in the first year of service.  Beginning on 16 August 1863, the regiment fought in five major campaigns.  After passing the Cumberland Mountains and Tennessee River, the Chickamauga Campaign began on 16 August and lasted until 22 September.  The major battle in this time span took place between 19-21 September at Chickamauga.  The siege of Chattanooga, 24 September-23 November, took place between this first campaign and the second.  The Chattanooga-Ringgold Campaign spanned only four days, 23-27 November, with battles occurring at Lookout Mountain, Mission Ridge, Ringgold Gap, and Taylor’s Ridge.  On 28 January 1864, after the veterans re-enlisted for the remainder of the war, they all received veteran furloughs.  The regiment marched to Indianapolis where Governor Morton held a parade reception in their honor.[3]

            In 1864-1865, the 42nd did battle in three key campaigns.  The Atlanta Campaign began on 1 May 1864 and lasted until 8 September 1864.  Key battles in this period included the battle of Resaca 14-15 May, Peach Tree Creek 19-20 July, and the siege of Atlanta 22 July- 25 August.  The 42nd participated in one of the most decisive and destructive campaigns during the war--Sherman’s March to the Sea.  The Sherman campaign lasted from 15 November to 10 December, during which the troops destroyed everything in their paths.  From January to April 1865, the 42nd participated in its final campaign, the Campaign of the Carolinas.  After the South surrendered, the 42nd marched to Washington D.C. to take part in the Grand Review on 24 May 1865.  The regiment returned to Louisville, Kentucky and dispersed on 21 July 1865.[4]

            After twenty battles and 100 skirmishes, the 42nd Indiana lost almost half of its men.  Of the 1,475 rank and file men, the whole number killed, wounded, and taken prisoner was 629.  Officers killed on the field totaled four; men killed on the field, 86.  Officers wounded in battle totaled fourteen; men wounded in battle, 443.  Eleven officers were taken prisoner compared to 89 regulars.  Men discharged for disability totaled 218.[5]

                One of the men in the 42nd Indiana, James Maynard Shanklin, wrote many letters to his wife.  Shanklin grew up in a prominent family who lived the majority of their lives in Evansville, Indiana.  His father, John, was born in County Donegal, Ireland and landed in New York City in 1815.  Eight years after his arrival in the states, he opened up a dry goods store in Evansville with the help of a Mr. Moffatt.  Over thirty years in the dry goods business, John’s reputation grew and he became one of Evansville’s leading merchants.  John dabbled in other business ventures, including real estate, and shipping regional agricultural products to New Orleans.  A religious man, John helped establish a local Presbyterian church.  He passed his religious values on to his son, as observed in young James’ letters to his wife during the Civil War.  James’ mother, Philura, moved to Evansville from Princeton, Indiana in 1831.  She was one of the area’s first female school teachers in the area.  The two prominent Shanklins had four children who survived into adulthood: James; Malvina; John Gilbert; and George.[6]

            Blessed with an above average intelligence, James Shanklin graduated from M.W. Safford’s Male Academy in Evansville, and summarily enrolled at Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Indiana at the tender age of fourteen.  Thanks to his intellectual capabilities and his father’s fortune, Shanklin gained entrance into Wabash at such a young age.  By reading the letters he sent to his wife Lizzie, one senses his intelligence encapsulated in the eloquent writing he possessed.  Once at Wabash, however, Shanklin decided he was not quite ready for college and returned home for two years.  As the years passed, Shanklin traveled in the East, and returned to Wabash, but dropped out yet again.  He eventually enrolled at the University of Michigan and lasted a year before he decided to set out for the West.  Shanklin ended up in Nebraska City, Nebraska but did not find his fortune.  In the letter written to his father in 1856, James seems to have been involved in buying real estate much like his father had done in Evansville years before.  In a letter, he asked his wealthy father to send him money to buy land.  He stated “at least, if you do not wish to buy lots here [Nebraska City], I hope you will give me assurance of assistance in a year from now, provided I can buy on reasonable terms.”  In the last sentence he stated “Don’t think I am getting too fond of money--when a man sees a fortune laying loose under his feet, it’s a matter of course that he should want to pick it up.”[7] 

            In 1856, Shanklin returned to Evansville and participated in his sisters wedding.  Among the attendants was Eliza McCutcheon of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania who often visited her uncle Samuel Orr, a pioneer businessman of Evansville.  The two courted each other and later married on 7 December 1859 and took up residence with his parents.  In 1857, Shanklin took to reading law and gained admission to the bar the same year.  Shanklin entered politics, and in 1860 he became a candidate for the state legislature on the Democratic ticket, but lost to James E. Blythe.  When the war started, he became a “War Democrat” and his political views resonated in his letters.  In 1861, Lizzie gave birth to their first child, Robert French.  Sadly, however, Robert would have no siblings.  Just nine months to the day of his son’s birth, Shanklin enlisted in the 42nd Indiana Volunteer Infantry Regiment and thus the small family’s happiness would be forever gone.[8] 

            On 14 April 1861, the Civil War began at Fort Sumter in South Carolina.  As the news reached Evansville, Shanklin made his thoughts about the ensuing war and the role he intended to play known to all.  Shanklin, the young prosecutor, stood up and addressed the court stating that “at this moment matters of grave importance await every patriot.”[9]  During his speech on the war, he stated “I, for one, shall enter the conflict in defense of my country’s flag.”[10]  From this point on until 6 May 1863, Shanklin endured hundreds of miles of marching, three battles, vast amounts of time in camp, and four months in a Confederate prison.

            As a skilled orator, Shanklin quickly realized his calling as a recruiter.  According to Kenneth P. McCutcheon, he went from town to town making speeches at patriotic rallies.  A Cannelton, Indiana newspaper wrote “’his effort was extremely brilliant, eloquent, sarcastic, and polished.  He drew with great power a beautiful picture of the Temple of American Liberty.’”  In his speech to the public, Shanklin must have aroused a good deal of emotion by the following statement, “God of heaven, forbid that the flag of the stars and stripes should ever be dishonored…the American soldier has felt that death has no sting nor the grave victory to him who dies for his country’s honor--no, no; it must never be dishonored.”  Due to his popularity, Shanklin was recommended to Governor Morton for the position of major in one of the forming regiments.  Shanklin was offered a major’s commission; however, the regiment in which he was to serve did not yet in exist.  As a major in the army, he received a salary of 169 dollars per month compared to a privates 13 dollars per month.  On 23 October 1862, after the battle of Perryville, Governor Morton appointed Shanklin Lieutenant Colonel of the 42nd Indiana.[11]

            Shanklin’s method of giving colorful speeches as a recruiting tool was common in the Union.  According to the historian Bell Wiley, mass meetings were standard feature for recruiting.  At these meetings, “leading citizens joined prospective officers in regaling audiences with oratorical outbursts full of allusions to country and flag…”[12]  Two factors possibly helped Shanklin in the recruiting process.  According to the historian Reid Mitchell, family honor was a powerful incentive and men frequently spoke of going to war to protect their families which was common in the North and South.  The other factor was a man’s responsibility.  Mitchell states that “fighting was a man’s responsibility--if one did not fight one was less than a man.”[13]  He also notes “men may very well have fought during the Civil War for reasons having less to do with ideology than with masculine identity.”[14]  One of Shanklin’s largest gatherings to hear his patriotic speech was in Washington, Indiana where 1200 to 1500 had joined.  Less than twenty days after the speech, 118 men from Daviess County enlisted and created Company “G” of the 42nd Indiana.[15]

            Two other specific accounts deal directly with Shanklin’s ability to deliver patriotic speeches.  On 14 May 1862, Shanklin sent a letter to Lizzie which he discussed his delivery of an upcoming speech in Fayetteville, Tennessee.  The speech would test his oratory skills because several Union men wanted him to speak to local Confederate civilians.  At first he reluctantly consented to the speech because he believed the people at home would hear about the speech and assume he could not help his habit of speaking.  Shanklin referred to a new order instituted in the military for the purpose of sending a soldier to make a “stump” speech to Southern locals.  He stated “I shall give them a touch about Jackson, and try to disabuse their minds in regards to the intentions of the army and the people of the North in carrying on this war.”  From Shanklin’s point of view, the Southern people believed the war had direct correlation to the ideals of the Abolition Party, and the slaves would receive freedom.  Shanklin believed that if the Union were restored, the states would never have another rebellion.  Later in the letter, he finally stated “both sides have found out that it costs too much blood and treasure, to attempt to settle by arms those questions which should be left to the ballot box.”  Shanklin never got the chance to speak to the local rebels due to the close proximity of the rebel cavalry.[16]

            Six months later, on 13 November 1862, Shanklin put his recruiting skills to work again by going back to Indiana to recruit men into the 42nd Indiana.  Three hundred and thirty-five men in the regiment were on the sick list according to Shanklin in his letter to Major-General Rousseau.  Shanklin stated he had recruited the largest section of the 42nd Indiana and could fill the ranks to capacity better than anyone else.  Colonel James G. Jones, who commissioned Shanklin to recruit in October 1861, also wrote a letter to Rousseau.  He stated that if any man could bring back absentees or add recruits it was Shanklin, and he would be pleased to have him detailed to Indiana.[17]  Rousseau replied, and gave permission for Shanklin to report to Governor Morton and proceed in obtaining recruits for the 42nd Indiana.  Shanklin reported twelve days after the date of that letter.  No word exists if Shanklin made the trip back to his home state, but the next letter was dated 9 December 1862, twenty-six days after he wrote to Rousseau.

            The speech Shanklin gave in Washington, Indiana in October 1861 had significance in that he made his pro-war feelings known.  Shanklin gave a “Democratic War Speech,” or a “War speech by a Democrat.”  His reputation as an impressive speaker with some celebrity known outside his own district; compared with the likes of other prominent War Democrats such as Stephen A. Douglas and John A. Logan, who brought people from near and far to hear him speak.[18]

            Shanklin discussed the nation and politics in a few of the letters he wrote to his wife.  In a letter dated 24 January 1862, Shanklin discussed his thoughts about the nation by writing, “It is certainly the most wonderful of all Nature’s wonders--life--and Nations, how strange they are--millions of men living under one government, and suddenly making savage war on each other.”  Although he favored the war and had confidence in a Union victory, he worried about the outcome as evident when he wrote, “I will not allow myself to doubt our success; but it seems to me that the Country is almost ruined in any event.”  In one instance after the battle of Wartrace, his men had a small victory and he described the atmosphere of battle very much like a large Democratic meeting.  In a 27 April 1862 letter to his wife he devoted one paragraph to his thoughts on the “Young Americans,” the Democrats who supported Stephen A. Douglas for president before the war.  Their platform included expansionism and the annexation of Cuba.  Shanklin criticized these Democrats, stated the United States needed a new era of manners and morals.  If the Union could destroy the Young Americans’ spirit, it would accomplish one great good.  According to Shanklin, their arrogance and boasting gradually led to the spread of the same traits in a vast amount of the American citizenry.  Despite Shanklin’s words, the heightening of American power after the war would only encourage the superior attitude Americans displayed toward the rest of the world.[19] 

            In general, the Democratic party of the Union in the early 1860s opposed the Civil War.  Their opposition to the Republicans had no effect because “the Democrats had proven to be weak and ineffective at the moment of the nation’s greatest danger.”[20]  The Democrats believed “the Republican party [was] a sectional conspiracy guilty of intensifying, for its own nefarious purposes, sectional tensions within the Union.”[21]  They felt the only way to preserve the Union was for northerners to support the Democrats and oppose those trying to destroy it.  The Democrats also lashed out at preserved racial feeling of Republicans involving race.  They charged the Republicans had dedicated themselves to promote the interests of African-Americans at the expense of whites.[22]  As the war commenced, a faction in the Democratic party emerged known as the War Democrats.  According to historian Joel H. Silbey, “the War Democrats who left the party in 1861 and 1862 over its commitment to oppose the Lincoln administration remain an elusive group, difficult to pinpoint in numbers, or in places of concentration,…”[23]  Like Shanklin, other War Democrats believed they had to side with ethics and leave their party for war.  After seven months into the war, Shanklin told his wife, “if I did not know that our cause is just and righteous, I could not stand the life of a soldier.”[24]

            Shanklin shared characteristics with War Democrats.  According to historian Thomas E. Rodgers, “many of the leaders who switched used the War Democracy as a half-way house on their way to the Republican party.”[25]  Since Shanklin adamantly supported the war, he may have switched parties: however, his life ended tragically premature.  Other factors had commonality among War Democrats.  Rodgers states that “’formal education and reform-oriented religion appear to have created cross-pressures toward the Republican party.’”[26]  A majority of War Democrats belonged to a group known as the Victorian culture, made up of wealthy and well-educated men.[27]  Shanklin had all these qualities when the war began, thus making him a prime example of a War Democrat.  The War Democrats’ position did not change throughout the war, and they continued to condemn the alleged treasonous activities of their formal colleagues.[28]  With all the fervor of supporting the war, the War Democrats did not do well among Democratic voters. 

              From reading all of Shanklin’s letters to his wife, one can easily gather the depth to which religion governed his life.  Religion, in general, played a major role for soldiers of both the North and South throughout the war.  However, not all soldiers agreed with godly obedience.  Shanklin belonged to the Walnut Street Presbyterian Church in Evansville which his father had helped build.  According to historian Steven E. Woodworth, “Presbyterians, Baptists, and Methodists were generally more conservative, with Methodists being the most zealous and careful in ordering their private lives.”[29]  The Presbyterian Church split during the war, but according to historian James I. Robertson, Jr., the Civil War did not cause the spilt.  The church separated over theological issues earlier in the century.  Robertson, Jr. states that “the northern-dominated New School Presbyterians strongly backed the Union in 1861, while the Old School Presbyterians just as ardently supported the Confederacy.”[30] 

            For many soldiers in the war, religion remained a personal matter rather than a crusade for Christ.  Robertson, Jr. noted that army chaplains had the primary responsibility of maintaining the spiritual well-being of the soldiers.  Army chaplains received officer status on both sides.[31]  The chaplains did not always have the attention of the devoted soldiers.  Due to the reluctance of most accomplished clergy in the North and South to abandon their peaceful existence in their hometowns, a shortage of chaplains existed at the beginning of the war and became worse.  Many soldiers--including Shanklin--read the Bible and prayed alone because of the insufficient number of chaplains.  Shanklin did not speak of attending church services in any of the letters to his wife.  In an early letter dated 13 December 1861, he touched on the singularity of the seventeenth chapter of Ezekiel, but would discuss more thoroughly in later letters.  This chapter prophesizes rebellion.  Verse eighteen cautions, “’Seeing he despised the oath by breaking the covenant, when, lo, he had given his hand, he shall not escape.’”[32]  Shanklin spoke about the blessed promise of the Bible, and compared it to a refreshing cordial when man reads it feeling depressed and weary.[33]  He believed God would always comfort anyone who wished he could live nearer to Him. 

            Northern soldiers had no shortage of Bibles.  The North had plenty of printing capacity and could have easily imported materials from abroad.  The American Bible Society, headquartered in the Union, had such an abundance of Bibles that it sent shipments to the South including 20,000 New Testaments to Memphis.[34]

            Shanklin made many references to the Union and wondered how or if God would preserve it.  According to Reid Mitchell, pious soldiers envisioned the war as divine punishment for national sins and a purification process for the nation.  One soldier believed “the war itself was God’s dealing with the American people, a means of discipline those who had fallen away and forcing them to recognize divine authority.”[35]  Shanklin thought along the same lines, but less drastic, when he discussed the Young Americans and the beginning of a new era of manners and morals for the country.  He also mentioned that if God had not received the glory He deserved, He may have humbled them yet more.[36]

            By reading Shanklin’s letters, Woodworth correctly specifies how a vast majority of Northern soldiers believed God was taken for granted in support of the Union’s cause.  In a letter from 27 April 1862, Shanklin prayed for a decisive battle, and that God would defend the divine right of the Union to win.  He also believed in the success of a general advance of all the Union armies in early 1862, which God might grant would end the war.[37]  In a 17 April 1862 letter, he also wanted God to grant the Union armies and the two great coming battles an overwhelming triumph.  If triumphant, the South would submit.  In the next paragraph, Shanklin stated the justness in their cause, boundlessness of their power, and the good God would soon give overwhelming triumphs as to settle the war.[38]  One sentence by Shanklin stands out uncharacteristically from the rest of his letters and would fit into the small minority of those who believed God did not help the Union.  Shanklin stated “my daily prayer is that He will speed the right, and I always pray that if our enemies are right that they may succeed, and if we are right that our triumph may be speedy and overwhelming.”[39]  This was the only mention by Shanklin in his letters that the enemy could possibly have a just cause in the war.  Woodworth also brings up the idea that “sometimes the faith of soldiers was simply that God was using the war to accomplish his purpose but that those purposes--not necessarily emancipation or the punishment of anybody--were probably unknowable at the present time.”[40]

            Fatalism loomed as an important aspect of religion men dealt with during the Civil War.  Fatalism is the acceptance of the belief that all events are predetermined.  This idea helped nerve soldiers without giving way to fear in the extremely dangerous realm of combat.  Two types of fatalists existed in the Civil War: pessimists and optimists.  Pessimists faced the fact that if it was God’s will for them to die in battle, they could do nothing to stop the coming death.  The pessimists believed God willed their survival and He could take it at anytime.  After these soldiers accepted death, many devout Christians wrote to family members and reassured them of a certain reunion in heaven.  The optimists had an attitude more positive than the pessimists.  Optimists accepted God could possibly call them home.  One soldier remarked “’The God who protects me in the peaceful walks of everyday life, can… as well preserve us in the battle’s front as in the shade of our own fig tree.’”[41]

            Shanklin fit the optimist role in four key passages in the letters to his wife.  Not only did Shanklin believe God would protect him so he could return home, but he also prayed God would shield his brother-in-law from danger in the hour of battle so he could return home.  In a letter written by Lizzie, she asked God to spare Shanklin’s life so he could return to their happiness he left.  He displays his optimistic outlook in a 6 April 1862 letter.  Shanklin hoped the time would roll by fast and “I may once more be seated on the little old porch in front of the house with you by my side and little Robbie, walking up and down the pavement.”  He next stated how thankful he would be if only God spared them both.  In another instance, Shanklin discussed a furlough by stating “I do not want leave of absence--when I return home, if God spares me so to do, I want to go home for good.”  Shanklin anxiously awaited hearing his wife’s future plans and, if she went to Pittsburgh, he hoped God would spare him to go after her.  Although Shanklin professed he would never take a furlough, he received one for ten days from Major-General Ambrose E. Burnside after his release from Libby Prison.  Only six days after he arrived in Evansville, he succumbed to a fatal disease of the throat and died within twenty-four hours.[42]

            Shanklin had many notable thoughts and experiences on and off the battlefield including his letters, battles, arrest, prison, resignation, food, and health.  He wrote about All of these topics in the letters sent to his wife, with some topics written about more than others.  By analyzing these topics and bringing in secondary sources, one can piece together facets of soldier life in the camps and on the battlefield. 

            Shanklin wrote 53, if not more, letters to his wife between the dates of 14 November 1861 and 7 May 1863.  Historian James McPherson states the Civil War armies were the most literate in history to that time because of the thousands of letters written by soldiers during the war.  According to Bell I. Wiley, “A civilian who visited many units in the autumn of 1861 reported that some regiments of 1000 men had for weeks sent out an average of 600 letters a day.”[43]  The 42nd Indiana had 1,475 men at its height, so its average may have reached somewhat higher levels.  Soldiers wrote letters under all kinds of conditions.  In winter quarters, soldiers usually had access to desks.  While on the move, the soldiers had to improvise with what they had.  For one example of an extreme condition to write in, Wiley notes many Yankees continued scribbling even amid the confusion of bullets screaming by their heads.  As an officer, Shanklin had the luxury of writing on a desk most of the time. 

            The form and content of the soldiers’ letters varied with the background and character of the writers.  Most letters fell in between two extreme ends of the writing spectrum.  Some letters stood as models of literary excellence while others had so many misspellings they appeared almost undecipherable.  Favorite topics of Yankee soldiers included “battles, about which they wrote a great length; health; the weather; the land and people of Dixie, especially the Negroes who were a source of unusual curiosity; camp doings; rumors of future movements; food; and officers.”[44]  Shanklin wrote on each of the popular subjects, some more than others. 

            Shanklin took part in only three battles during his fifteen months in the field with the 42nd Indiana.  After three months of winter quarters in Kentucky, the 42nd advanced on Nashville, Tennessee between 10-25 February 1862.  On April 11, Shanklin and his troops met the rebels at Wartrace, Tennessee.  He wrote a letter to Lizzie on 13 April 1862 giving her an account of the battle.  Shanklin pointed out General Andrew Jackson had encamped on the very ground in 1812 and 1813 when in pursuit of the Indians.  Shanklin had 197 men to guard two bridges the railroad used.  He discussed in detail the ground on which they had set up their encampment.  Shanklin made the acquaintance of a pro-Union local who informed him of the approaching rebel cavalry.  After going back to bed at 4:00 a.m., he awakened with the 42nd’s drums commencing to beat for reveille while simultaneously hearing his men shout the rebels were coming at them.  Shanklin counted over forty bullet holes in his tent before he made it out only to see the rebels fifty yards away in a full sprint toward the Union tents.[45]  Shanklin calmed his men down and had them fall into rank and commence firing.  The battle lasted thirty minutes and resulted in four men killed, five dangerously wounded, and more than thirty slightly wounded.  Shanklin noted everyone gave him great praise and the men said they would go anywhere with him.  In the aftermath of the praise for victory, Shanklin’s role in the skirmish resulted in his arrest. 

            In a letter from 4 June 1862, Shanklin explained to Lizzie he had been put under arrest after a review of his role in the battle of Wartrace.  The issue revolved around the charge Shanklin was careless and neglectful of duty since he was caught off guard by the rebels in the early morning.  Major-General Don Carlos Buell sent the orders of arrest, although Shanklin never said who had turned him in.  He noted every officer and soldier would testify he had used the greatest caution by having pickets out in every direction.  He confidently proclaimed his innocence, “I shall unquestionably be acquitted triumphantly because the truth is on my side, and both Gen’l Lytle & Mitchell are satisfied that everything possible was done.”  On 20 June 1862, Major-General O.M. Mitchell sent a letter to D.C. Buell stating he had investigated the case fully and found Shanklin had pickets and sentinels well posted and he had anticipated the attack for days.  Mitchell closed by pleading “I hope you will order the release of Major Shanklin, as it is impossible to get any witnesses other than those of the Forty-Second, five of whom I have examined.”  If the men loved Shanklin as much as he believed, none would have turned him in.[46] 

            Court-martials were restricted for use only by commanders of armies or departments.  General court-martials consisted of five to thirteen officers and legal punishments included death, imprisonment, confinement on bread and water, solitary confinement, hard labor, ball and chain, forfeiture of pay and allowances, discharge from the service, reprimand, and--in cases of noncommissioned officers--reduction in grade.[47]  The most common of all offenses was absence without leave.

            Another serious offense was misbehavior before the enemy, similar to Shanklin’s case.  Wiley noted officers guilty of serious offenses received lighter penalties than enlisted men charged with the same offenses.  Since the making of arrests were usual officer functions, “commissioned personnel sometimes were inclined to consider themselves a mutual protective association and hence beyond the reach of the disciplinary code.”[48]  Shanklin did not mention his fate of the arrest to Lizzie in the letters after 4 June.  However, he participated in the battle of Perryville and earned a promotion after the battle.

            The second battle Shanklin took part in occurred on 8 October 1862, one year after the formation of the regiment.  Three days after the battle, Shanklin wrote to inform his wife he had been wounded in the battle.  Nine days after the battle, Shanklin wrote a detailed account.  On the morning of October 8, Shanklin and his men marched to Perryville with the sound of rebel artillery in the distance.  Upon arrival, his men received orders to support the Union battery: then a second set of orders called for them to retrieve water from a ravine between cannonading by the two armies.  Jokingly, Shanklin mentioned what a quandary they would face if the rebel cavalry would swarm on them in the ravine.  His premonition came true when the rebel cannon moved from its original position, undetected by the Union forces.  The rebels “immediately poured down a volley of musketry, and the cannon which we had thought silenced commenced sweeping the ravine with a terrible shower of grape.”[49] 

            The scene plundered into chaos according to the intricate detail Shanklin penned.  He could not hear the barking of the orders, but noticed the steep bluffs of the ravine would make perfect targets if the men went up.  They were soon ordered up the steep bluffs and Shanklin said “as for myself I really did not expect to get out alive, and I regard it as a miracle how the regiment even did get out so well.”  After making it to flat land, a piece of shell struck Shanklin on top of the head, knocked him down instantly, and stunned him completely.  Two men immediately carried him off to the hospital.  He informed Lizzie that if the shell had struck him one-half inch lower, death would have resulted.  He then closed the letter with “God is very good.”  While at the hospital, Shanklin heard rumors of his death, and several times that the major of the 42nd had been shot through the head.  The enemy retreated the next morning.  Shanklin made sure to tell his wife the regiment did not fall back in disorder.  He praised the 42nd Indiana, “their magnificent, desperate and wild charge, cheering as they went, is pronounced by all as one of the most splendid of the whole war.”  The charge he spoke of took place after he left the field.  He received a promotion to lieutenant colonel after the battle.[50]

            A week later, Shanklin’s tone on recounting the battle took a complete turn.  The battle, he said, had turned into a terrible blundering affair, and had almost ruined Rousseau‘s division.  He reiterated they did not retreat, they just followed orders.  Shanklin criticized the generals in charge.  He stated “Rousseau is trying to make a great deal of capital out of the fight,…”  He said Buell “is the most stupendous failure on record ancient or modern, and it is to be hoped will be immediately removed.”  Shanklin got his wish.  By engaging only nine of twenty-four divisions in the battle and losing the opportunity for a victory, public opinion turned on Buell and General Rosecrans expediently replaced him.[51]

            Shanklin fought his final battle at Stones River (Murfreesboro) on 30-31 December 1862.  Due to his capture, he did not give a detailed account of the battle as he did the first two battles.  According to S.F. Horrall, the Union troops numbered 41,400 under General Rosecrans against 11,739 Confederates under General Bragg.[52]  The battle was a Confederate tactical victory, but their inferior numbers led to a withdrawal and thus a Union victory in actuality.  Horrall noted Shanklin employed a picket guard the night before battle who reported rebel artillery setting up.  Major-General Thomas denied Shanklin reinforcements and ordered him to hold positions at all hazards.  The rebels attacked and overpowered Shanklinin the cover of darkness.  Under the impression the rebel force had greater numbers than it actually did, Shanklin called for a retreat and was soon captured. 

            On 3 January 1863, Shanklin wrote a letter telling of his capture.  He told Lizzie the Confederacy could not grant him parole because a recent order prohibited parole to officers prior to exchange.  Shanklin instructed her to immediately write Governor Morton and request him to enter his name on the exchange list.  He said that he would soon go to Chattanooga and then on to Vicksburg: and that Confederates treated him well, but he needed more clothing.  According to Robertson, Jr., a clothing shortage loomed as widespread misery.  Shanklin would not make it to Vicksburg because his final destination landed in Virginia.  Three days later, he wrote to Lizzie about his stopover in Chattanooga and the upcoming voyage to Atlanta.  He noted the beauty and charm of Atlanta.  Just over a year later, General Sherman would destroy the city with the help of the 42nd Indiana.[53]

            The final destination for Shanklin was Libby Prison in Richmond, Virginia.  Of the 150 military prisons operating during the Civil War, only 20--including Libby--gained infamy for their squalid conditions.  Libby sat on the banks of the James River, and was widely known for its creation out of several Richmond warehouses into prison compounds, making it one of five such prisons built.  The five prison structures included coastal fortifications, enclosed barracks, old buildings converted, clusters of tents enclosed by high fences, and barren stockades with no shelter except for what the prisoners built.  According to Robertson, Jr., Libby stood three stories high in front and four in the rear as the land fell away toward the river.  The prison held as many as 1,200 Federal officers during the war and became known for draftiness and vermin.  Throughout the war, captured officers and enlisted men always had separate quarters in the idea enlisted men would act subversively without orders from officers.  Prisoners had transport to the prisons via rail, boat, or foot--all of which Shanklin experienced.[54]

            In a 15 March 1863 letter to Lizzie, Shanklin made note to the fine status of his health.  However, a 7 May 1863 letter from Annapolis, Maryland discussed the realities of life in Libby Prison.  He stated he had passed through a very severe ordeal, and he felt utterly downcast and broken.  His health remained “good enough” but he felt a distaste for food and drink.  Shanklin described the prison as a dungeon housing 110 men, with scarcely any light, the edifice crawling with vermin, and then concluded that he could not write what he really saw.  For two and a half months, he never set foot outside the prison.  He almost grew insane before finally relapsing into indifference and misery.  If not for his wife and child, he believed death may have served as an acceptable exit.  In the final paragraph, he discussed his self censorship about the true conditions in the prison because the rebels would not have sent his letters.  Shanklin told Lizzie her ignorance was bliss because truth would have made her wretched.[55]  Although released, Shanklin gave no word on how or why.

            Shanklin experienced conditions common for prisoners in both the North and South.  Food remained the main issue of discontent.  A New England officer at Libby commented his rations “’consisted of about twenty-two ounces of bread and thirty ounces of meat for one week….’”  Shanklin did not mention the lack of food in his few letters about the prison.  Filth in all stockades bred epidemics of fleas and lice.  Another prisoner at Libby stated “’I was painfully aware that ownership of my clothing would be disputed by other occupants, inch by inch…men during the warm days would remove all their clothing, and to get temporary relief from their bloodthirsty tormentors.’”  With the issue regarding the overabundance of vermin in prison, a Rhode Islander commented “’that the boys said they [rats] had regimental drill.’”  Lack of nourishment and proper sanitation, plus limited medical facilities and short supplies of medicine led to widespread sickness.  Shanklin somehow managed to escape illness in the prison.[56]

            Although Shanklin eagerly poised himself to fight in the early days of the war, as the conflict progressed his attitude progressively changed.  Beginning in a 6 April 1862 letter, the talk of resignation sporadically surfaced in following letters.  Shanklin wrote about himself and Colonel Denby growing tired of Colonel Jones and how they would like nothing more than to resign.  In the same paragraph, he wrote that over exposure to sunlight caused his eyes to hurt and that he might need to leave his choice of occupation.  However, he could not because he felt people would gossip about the resignation.[57] 

            In a letter dated 25 April 1862, Shanklin toyed with the idea of resignation because General Mitchell had treated him “unhandsomely” about a matter involving a horse.  In a letter Lizzie wrote to her husband, she devoted a paragraph to his possible resignation.  She wrote he should not resign because it might injure him in the future, as men who resigned without cause turned into fodder for slander.  Boredom spread into a cause for resignation talk because Shanklin said life grew wearisome with the lack of reading materials such as books or newspapers.  In a 16 August 1862 letter, Shanklin discussed he had applied for an appointment in one of the new regiments forming and if he failed ,”I shall feel that I have been passed by undeservedly, and shall as soon thereafter as possible tender my resignation,….”[58]  He sought a higher position in a new regiment due to his belief an opportunity to travel home for a few days would come with the transfer.

            In a 9 Decemeber 1862 letter, Shanklin wrote of his displeasure with General Rousseau and said he would resign at the first opportunity he received.  His reasons for his resignation included dissatisfaction, discontent, and mismanagement.  In a 14 December 1862 letter, two weeks before the battle of Stones River, Shanklin stated “while the enemy is right in our front, I hate to resign, but am only going to wait a reasonable time for them to leave.  I am more and more anxious to get out of the service.”[59]  In his final letter to Lizzie, after release from Libby Prison, Shanklin said he would go home if granted a leave of absence or not.

            According to Bell Wiley, “the spirit of the fighting forces dropped markedly after a few months of conflict and thereafter rose and fell periodically until the end of the war.”[60]  Boredom of camp routine, discomfort from heat and pests, and inability to engage in a battle that would end the war all led to dips in morale.  Wiley noted loss of confidence in leadership resounded as a recurring theme in many letters, similar to Shanklin’s complaints about the 42nd Indiana’s leaders.  All soldiers had to deal with issues such as health, attitudes of civilians, hardships, the Emancipation Proclamation, and home circumstances during the war.  Shanklin’s three main reasons he called for a resignation were health, problems with superiors, and the ultimate desire to leave for home and live with his new wife and child. 

            Although food shortages plagued both armies of the North and South, Shanklin did not complain much about a lack of food.  According to Wiley, food shortages most commonly developed during periods of rapid movement and active fighting.  For the 42nd Indiana, scarcity of food did not pose a problem in the beginning.  Over the course of nearly a year and a half, the regiment fought in only three battles, camped for three full months in Kentucky, and four months in Alabama.  These long periods of stay allowed shipments of food to arrive and, thus, the 42nd had an adequate amount of rations.

            In all of Shanklin’s letters, few involved the topic of food.  He briefly described three main additional sources of food that supplemented army rations.  The first involved Shanklin asking his wife to send him food through the mail.  In one letter, Shanklin asked Lizzie to send a box of apples because the ones in Nashville sold for the princely sum of five cents apiece.  On another occasion, Shanklin received the wrong box of goods.  Shanklin wrote to Lizzie he could not locate the cherries, oysters, prunes, oranges, tomatoes, or canned fruit he asked for.  He then instructed her to send him an inventory of what she actually sent in the box.  The box belonged to one of Shanklin’s friends, Jim Orr, and it contained two kegs--one of lard and the other eggs, butter, sweet potatoes, dried peaches, baking yeast, lemons, and apples.[61]  Shanklin confided he wrote a letter to Orr giving him permission to consume the contents of the box Lizzie sent, and that he would eat Orr‘s.  According to Robertson, Jr., one popular method of supplementation came in the form of food parcels sent from home as Shanklin had done; but long delays and rough handling of food packages rendered the contents all but useless most of the time.[62]  Wiley informs “soldiers letters reveal a considerable flow of boxes, packed with all sorts of food, originating in every loyal state and extending to all areas where Federal troops were encamped.”[63]

            According to Shanklin, a second supplement to rations arrived in food given from Union supporters in the South.  In one instance, Shanklin found several Union citizens in Shelbyville, Tennessee who kept them supplied with fresh eggs, butter, bread, and turkeys.  He believed his health improved greatly and felt as well as he ever had.  In a second instance, Shanklin came upon a field full of hay in Nashville and hoped to put his horse in a nearby stable.  He made his request to the stable’s owner, Mr. Evans, and went back to camp.  On the way out, Mr. Evans asked for his name because his wife wanted to send breakfast.  The next morning he received butter cakes, fine butter, sweet broiled ham, muffins, mush, golden syrup, and milk--finer provisions than army rations.[64]  Wiley notes Yanks did occasionally supplement army rations by eating at Southern tables and “whatever the nature of the meal thus obtained, it afforded relief from camp offerings and was consumed with relish.”[65]

            The final supplement Shanklin described food from local African-Americans in Fayetteville, Tennessee.  While in town, Shanklin said the Negroes brought butter and “we get chickens and lettuce, and eggs; and some of the niggers have promised Maj green peas and new potatoes in a day or two.”  He believed they were in the best place they had been where provisions of the kind were so easy to be had and “if we were with the main army of course such things would be exceedingly scarce, and so that is a little benefit we enjoy by being absent from the division.”  Shanklin and his men must have known of the food shortages most of the Union army experienced.  Wiley notes some bought food from settlers or natives, as Shanklin had, who mainly surfaced just after pay day.[66]

            Foraging served as the most common method of supplementing army rations, a practice absent in Shanklin’s letters.  This practice drew on the rebel civilians as Union soldiers offered no money for the confiscated goods.  Regularly appointed groups led by officers operating under authority confirmed by higher commanders conducted the foraging.  The most notorious foraging expeditions had connections to Sheridan’s valley campaign of 1864 and Sherman’s march through Georgia and the Carolinas.  The soldiers lived very well and “some professed to tire of the rich fare of chickens, turkeys, hams, and honey and to long for the plainer offerings of the subsistence department.”  As for no mention of foraging by Shanklin, Wiley notes the relative rarity in primary documents of this sort of living at the expense of Johnny Reb.[67]

            Health was an important topic for soldiers during the Civil War including Shanklin.  For the most part, Shanklin discussed his and the regiments health sparingly during the first year they served.  According to Reid Mitchell sickness, ranging from minor to fatal, plagued the country dwellers North and South as they crowded into military camps.[68]  In the Federal army, four persons died of sickness for every one killed in battle, and deaths from disease totaled twice those resulting from other known causes.[69]  Bell Wiley notes the heaviest incidence of disease came early in the war and units suffered most during the first few months of their service.  Men had such eagerness to join the war that they did not take precautionary measure of having the necessary vaccinations.

            Early on, before the 42nd Indiana left Kentucky, Shanklin complained of only two personal health related problems--boils and dysentery--and of an epidemic of measles which spread through the regiment.  In a 22 December 1861 letter, Shanklin noted he had three boils festering on his left leg which gave him particular fits.  Shanklin also discussed measles.  In a 13 December 1861 letter, he noted some of the regiments in camp had suffered severely from them, and other unspecified diseases, but he believed the general health was improving.  However, twelve days later, he stated the regiment “is going full headway through the measles; the measles are rather getting the best of it.”[70]  According to Wiley, measles usually struck first in epidemic proportions as the 42nd Indiana found out.  Medical reports backed up the conclusion attacks occurred most frequently within a few months of a unit’s organization, and when a large amount of new recruits joined.[71]  Measles showed a preference for the winter months, as was the case for the 42nd Indiana, and ran its course in three or four weeks.  Almost a year later on 3 September 1862, Shanklin mentioned he enjoyed excellent health.

            Poor health generally resulted in pitching of camps in swamps, lack of adequate garbage disposal, neglect of personal cleanliness, inadequate clothing and shelter, and poor food and water.  For an example of cleanliness among the 42nd Indiana, George Kirkpatrick noted many did not wash their faces for two full weeks and they all looked like “Digger Indians.”  As for Shanklin, he did not complain much about these factors except for the mention of dirty water.  Diarrhea and dysentery struck most heavily during the early months of the conflict.  According to Medical Department statistics, between May 1861-July 1866, a total of 1,739,135 cases of diarrhea and dysentery accounted to 57,265 deaths.[72]  In a letter to Shanklin from his wife dated 3 March 1862, Lizzie discussed she heard he had dysentery and suffered from bilious attacks and informed him that she would send him blackberry root cordial to take so it would not turn into typhoid.[73]  According to Wiley, opium was widely used, along with strychnine, turpentine, castor oil, camphor, ipecacuanha, laudanum, and blue pills of mercury and chalk as cures for dysentery.[74]  Shanklin addressed his health in his next letter stating he had weakened from continual diarrhea, had no appetite, a dry taste filled his mouth, and suffered with an extremely disordered liver but was able to be up and about.  He said he had a bottle of bitters, made out of wild cherry bark, ginseng, and whiskey with a little iron in it.  Wiley notes syrup of wild cherry and whiskey as standard treatment for malaria. 

            Civil War soldiers, including Shanklin, frequently complained about incompetent surgeons.  State governors commissioned surgeons and their assistants.  However, many appointments were “based on political influence rather than on professional accomplishment and, while most of the regimental surgeons appear to have been well-meaning, a considerable number were utterly incompetent.”[75]  Even in the war’s first year, one could find many highly skilled doctors could be found for each worthless doctor, and the passing of time brought steady improvement.  The 42nd Indiana had the services of a low quality doctor.  In only one letter from 6 May 1862, Shanklin discussed their surgeon in the following sentence, “the regiment was in a very reduced condition, and we shall have charges preferred against our surgeon, who is miserably inefficient upon which he will doubtless be removed.”[76]  Shanklin did not get his wish and the regimental surgeon, William D. Taylor, remained with the 42nd Indiana until his enlistment expired at the end of 1864.

            Following his release from Libby Prison, Shanklin received a ten day furlough and returned to Evansville.  He had an appointment to give a speech discussing his experiences in the South on 26 May 1863, but the Evansville Journal on May 25 sadly reported Shanklin’s death.  The Journal reported he sat in their office on Thursday, May 24, and was in “full glowing health, and interested and thrilled us with his experiences and views of the battle of Stones River and his sojourn in Richmond.”  According to the Journal, he died “by some fatal disease of the throat, … which terminated his life in less than 24 hours” and defied all medical treatment.  In a 27 May article, the Journal accounted the funeral procession as one of the largest that ever marched through the streets of Evansville.  The rich velvet covered coffin was wrapped in an American flag inscribed with the names “Wartrace, “Perryville,” and “Stones River.” During the funeral ceremonies, a battery of artillery from Henderson went to the Kentucky shore, opposite Evansville, and fired minute guns.  He was laid to rest in the Oak Hill Cemetery.  A fitting poem concluded the Journal’s obituary of unusual length--nearly two columns:

            “Though the battle may rage and war’s thunder rattle,

            No more, no more, on his steed shall he sweep o’er the plain;

            He sleeps his last sleep, he has fought his last battle,

            No sound shall awake him to glory again.”[77]

            The tragic end to Shanklin’s life left the town of Evansville in shock.  Having fought in only three battles, he had not yet reached his full potential as an officer in the 42nd Indiana.  In the five major campaigns that followed his death, Shanklin may have soared up the ranks in the regiment due to his bravery and likeability among his men.  However, during his time before and during the war, Shanklin made a name for himself through his experiences.  He was a rarity among the political scene as a War Democrat.  Shanklin’s patriotic feelings ignited a spark which led to his ability for recruiting volunteers when the conflict began.  He expressed how religion also played a dominant role in his life before and during the war in his letters.  Shanklin believed God’s power rested on the side of the Union and He would bring victory and a safe return home.  Shanklin correctly interpreted these premonitions but did not live to see the Union victory he had so longed for since the war erupted.  Shanklin unwittingly wrote his memoirs when he penned letters to his wife, spent time in an infamous Confederate prison, nearly resigned his commission as an officer because of the disheartening effects of the war, and combated food shortages and the contagions of disease.  Kenneth P. McCutchan has committed James Maynard Shanklin’s life to paper, and if one peruses his book, the reader will experience the life of a soldier during the Civil War.  



Primary Sources

Horrall, Spillard F.  History of the Forty-second Indiana Volunteer InfantryChicago, IL: Donohue & Henneberry, Printers, Engravers, and Binders, 1892.

Shanklin, James Maynard.  Dearest Lizzie: The Civil War Letters of Lt. Col. James Maynard Shanklin.  Edited by Kenneth P. McCutchan.  Evansville, IN: Friends of Willard Library, 1988.

Secondary Sources

Ligget, Kristopher and Larry Ligget.  “42nd Regiment Indiana Infantry.”  Indiana in the Civil War.  1995-2004.
<http://www.indianainthecivilwar.com/rgmnt/42ind.htm> (8 April 2004).

McPherson, James M.  For Cause and Comrades: Why Men Fought in the Civil War.  New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 1997.

Mitchell, Reid.  Civil War Soldiers: Their Expectations and Their ExperiencesNew York, NY: Viking Penguin, Inc., 1988.

Mitchell, Reid.  The Vacant Chair: The Northern Soldier Leaves Home.  New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 1993.

Robertson, Jr., James I.  Soldiers Blue and Gray.  Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina Press, 1988.

Rodgers, Thomas E.  Northern Political Ideologies in the Civil War Era: Western Central Indiana, 1860-1866.  Ph.D. diss., Indiana University, 1991.

Silbey, Joel H.  A Respectable Minority: the Democratic Party in the Civil War era, 1860-1868.  New York, NY: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., 1977.

Wiley, Bell I.  The Life of Billy Yank: The Common Soldier of the UnionNew York, NY: Charter Books, 1962.

Woodworth, Steven E.  While God Is Marching On:  The Religious World of Civil War Soldiers.  Lawrence, Kan.: University Press of Kansas, 2001.


[1]  Spillard F. Horrall, History of the Forty-second Indiana Volunteer Infantry (Chicago, IL: Donohue & Henneberry, Printers, Engravers, and Binders, 1892), pp. 24-25.

[2]  Ibid., pp. 27-93.

[3]  Ibid., p. 206.

[4]  Kristopher Ligget and Larry Ligget, “42nd Regiment Indiana Infantry,” Indiana in the Civil War (1995-2004)  <http://www.indianainthecivilwar.com/rgmnt/42ind.htm> (8 April 2004).

[5]  Horrall, p. 261.

[6]  James M. Shanklin, Dearest Lizzie: The Civil War Letters of Lt. Col. James Maynard Shanklin ed. Kenneth P. McCutchan (Evansville, IN: Friends of Willard Library, 1988), pp. 1-2.

[7]  Ibid., pp. 3, 9, 10.

[8]  Ibid., pp. 15-20.

[9]  Ibid., p. 22.

[10]  Ibid., p. 22.

[11]  Ibid., pp. 23, 26, 28, 180.

[12]  Bell Wiley, The Life of Billy Yank: The Common Soldier of the Union (New York, NY: Charter Books, 1962), p. 21.

[13]  Reid Mitchell, Civil War Soldiers: Their Expectations and Their Experiences (New York, NY: Viking Penguin, Inc., 1988), p. 18.

[14]  Ibid., p. 18.

[15]  Shanklin, p. 30.

[16]  Ibid., p. 202.

[17]  Ibid., p. 242.

[18]  Ibid., p. 29.

[19]  Ibid., pp. 63, 78, 180.

[20]  Joel H. Silbey, A Respectable Minority: the Democratic Party in the Civil War Era, 1860-1868  (New York, NY: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., 1977),  p. 4.

[21]  Ibid., p. 26. 

[22]  Ibid., p. 27.

[23]  Ibid., p. 56.

[24]  Shanklin, p. 195.

[25]  Thomas E. Rodgers, Northern Political Ideologies in the Civil War Era: Western Central Indiana, 1860-1866  (Ph.D. diss., Indiana University, 1991), p. 433. 

[26]  Ibid., p. 434.

[27]  Ibid., p. 434.  

[28]  Silbey, p. 57.

[29]  Steven E. Woodworth, While God Is Marching On: The Religious World of Civil War Soldiers  (Lawrence, Kan.: University Press of Kansas, 2001), p. 87.

[30]  James I. Robertson, Jr., Soldiers Blue and Gray (Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina Press, 1988), p. 171.

[31]  Ibid., p. 174. 

[32]  Shanklin, p. 45.

[33]  Ibid., p. 11.

[34]  Woodworth, p. 166. 

[35]  Reid Mitchell, The Vacant Chair: The Northern Soldier Leaves Home (New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 1993), p. 19.

[36]  Shanklin, p. 88. 

[37]  Ibid., p. 77.

[38]  Ibid., p. 169.

[39]  Ibid., p. 169.

[40]  Woodworth, p. 263.

[41]  James M. McPherson, For Cause and Comrades: Why Men Fought in the Civil War (New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 1997), pp. 63-64, 66.

[42]  Shanklin, pp. 97, 150, 194, 214.

[43]  Wiley, p. 183.

[44]  Ibid., pp. 184-185.

[45]  Shanklin, p. 161.

[46]  Ibid., pp. 210, 212.

[47]  Wiley, p. 194.

[48]  Ibid., p. 212.

[49]  Shanklin, p. 229. 

[50]  Ibid., pp. 230, 233.

[51]  Ibid., p. 238.

[52]  Ibid., p. 253.

[53]  Ibid., p. 256.

[54]  Robertson, Jr., p. 194.

[55]  Shanklin, pp. 271-272.

[56]  Robertson, Jr., pp. 199, 200.

[57]  Shanklin, p. 150.

[58]  Ibid., p. 214. 

[59]  Ibid., p. 248.

[60]  Wiley, p. 275.

[61]  Shanklin, p. 143.

[62]  Robertson, Jr., p. 72.

[63]  Wiley, p. 231.

[64]  Shanklin, p. 251.

[65]  Wiley, p. 233.

[66]  Shanklin, p. 205. 

[67]  Wiley, pp. 234, 236. 

[68]  Mitchell, p. 60.

[69]  Wiley, p. 124.

[70] Shanklin, p. 55.

[71]  Wiley, p. 133.

[72]  Ibid., p. 136. 

[73]  Shanklin, p. 105.

[74]  Wiley, p. 137.

[75]  Ibid., p. 130.

[76]  Shanklin, p. 192.

[77]  Ibid.,  pp. 275-276.


Return to Letters, Diaries, and Misc. Information Page

Return to 42nd Home