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Today’s post is written by Dr. Greg Bradsher and is the continuation of last week’s post.
On April 9, 1863, President Lincoln met Tartar. On that day the President reviewed I Corps (commanded by Maj. Gen. John Reynolds) of the Army of the Potomac and freed slaves serving in the army on a plain two miles back from the Rappahannock River, directly opposite of Fredericksburg. After Stewart had passed in review, riding Tartar, he was sent for in order to allow the President to look at the horse’s wound. As soon as Lincoln saw it, he said to the general officers about him: “This reminds me of a tale,” which he proceeded to relate to their great amusement, but Stewart was not near enough to hear what it was. But Lincoln’s little son Tad, mounted on a pony, followed Stewart and insisted on trading horses. Stewart told him he could not do that, but he persisted in telling Stewart that his papa was the President, and would give him any horse he wanted in trade for Tartar. “I had a hard time.” Stewart later recalled, “to get away from the little fellow.”
Less than three weeks later, Stewart and Tartar were back at war. Battery B was engaged at Fitzhugh’s Crossing on April 26, Pollock’s Mill Crossing from April 29 through May 2, and at the Battle of Chancellorsville on May 4-6. Tartar and the battery now moved north toward Maryland and Pennsylvania as a result of General Robert E. Lee moving his army up the Shenandoah Valley in that direction.
The day before Battery B reached Gettysburg, Tartar was lamed by running a nail into one of his forefeet and did not go into the battle. Battery B, however, saw considerable action. It went into action at Gettysburg on the afternoon of July 1, and was severely engaged, barely escaping capture, and finally fell back to Cemetery Hill. The next day it was hard at work under a very heavy fire, and, continuing in position, had the same experience July 3. This battle resulted in Stewart and another officer being wounded, and 32 men and 32 horses killed, wounded and missing. Stewart was promoted to First Lieutenant on July 3.
In the pursuit of General Lee’s forces after the battle, Tartar could not keep up with the Battery, and Stewart left him with a farmer on the road, with a note stating what command he belonged to and other information about Tartar. The battery, following after the Confederates, engaged them at the Battle of Funkstown, Maryland on July 11 and at Warrenton, Virginia on July 23. In August, one of Stewart’s friends informed him that he had seen Tartar tied up with General H. J. Kilpatrick’s Cavalry Division. Stewart went and retrieved him. Tartar and the battery would next see action at Haymarket on October 19 and at Mine Run on November 30. After that it was a relatively relaxing winter for the battery and Tartar.
But in early February the battery was back in action. To distract attention from a planned cavalry-infantry raid up the Peninsula on Richmond, the Union army, with Battery B, forced several crossings of the Rapidan River on February 6-7, 1864. The battery moved from the First Corps to the Fifth Corps in March 1864, then commanded by Major General Gouverneur K. Warren. Then the battery and Tartar participated in General Grant’s offensive against the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia, fighting first at the Battle of the Wilderness, May 5-7, and at Spotsylvania Court House, May 12.
It was that at this battle that Isaac Vandicar, who served as Stewart’s orderly, and as such had taken care of Tartar, was mortally wounded. Some of his battery mates started to carry him away from the field in a blanket when he said, “I want to see the Old Man!” They called Stewart, who came to him and said, “Van, my poor boy, what can I do for you?” “Nothing, Captain,” replied Ike, with perfect composure, “I know I must die, but I wanted to say good-by to you, and I want you to see that ‘Old Tartar’ has good care after I am gone!” Vandicar would die that day. Stewart was honored by brevet to Captain August 1, 1864 for gallant and meritorious service in the Battle of Spotsylvania Court House and during the campaign before Richmond.
The battery would see action at Po River on May 20, at North Anna River on May 23, at Totopotomy Creek on May 25, at Bethesda Church on June 1-4, at White House on June 15, and at the battle before Petersburg on June 18. It remained in that vicinity the rest of the year. Stewart was brevetted a Major on August 18, 1864 for gallant and meritorious service in the battle on the Weldon Railroad, Virginia, a few days earlier. Tartar and the battery took part in a fight at Hatchers Run October 28, 1864 and participated in General Warren’s Raid on Weldon Railroad on December 7-12.
After a peaceful winter, Battery B and Tartar were back in action at Lewis Farm, near Gravelly Run March 29, 1865, at Quaker Road on March 30, at White Oak Road on March 31, and at the Battle of Five Forks on April 1. The Confederate loss at Five Forks prompted Lee to abandon his entrenchments around Petersburg and begin the retreat that led to Appomattox. On April 9, Lee, finding himself and his forces being surrounded, surrendered his army. Battery B and Tartar were there. Perhaps he might have seen General Grant’s horse Cincinnati or General Lee’s horse Traveller.
The battery and Tartar moved to Washington, D.C. in May and took part in the Grand Review of the Army on May 23. Until August, the battery remained in Washington, D.C. on garrison duty.
By the fall of 1865 most of the batteries of the 4th Artillery Regiment had been dismounted and the regiment was performing garrison duty. Headquarters were at Fort McHenry with batteries at that post and in various locations in Washington, D.C., Virginia, Maryland, and Delaware. At some point in 1866 Battery B was sent to Fort Leavenworth. Stewart continued in Regular Army service, and was appointed Captain, 18th U.S. Infantry Regiment on July 28 1866. When leaving Battery B he left Tartar with the battery. Stewart would serve with the 18th Infantry Regiment until retired on March 20, 1879.
What became of Tartar? He probably did not follow Battery B into the field in 1867 when it was engaged in a campaign against the Cheyenne Indians. He probably ended his service at Fort Leavenworth where his career in the Army had begun in 1857.
, Army of the Potomac
, Battery B
, Battle of Chancellorsville
, Battle of Five Forks
, Battle of Funkstown
, Battle of the Wilderness
, Bethesda Church
, Cemetery Hill
, Fitzhugh's Crossing
, Fort Leavenworth
, Fort McHenry
, General H. J. Kilpatrick
, Gravelly Run
, Hatchers Run
, Isaac Vandicar
, Lewis Farm
, Major General Gouverneur K. Warren
, Major General John Reynolds
, Mine Run
, North Anna River
, Po River
, Pollock's Mill Crossing
, President Abraham Lincoln
, Quaker Road
, Rapidan River
, Rappahannock River
, Robert E. Lee
, Spotsylvania Court House
, Tad Lincoln
, Totopotomy Creek
, Weldon Railroad
, White House
, White Oak Road
Today’s post is the first part of a two-part story told to us by Dr. Greg Bradsher. Look for part two next week!
In early July 1857, Captain John W. Phelps, commanding officer of Battery B, 4th Regiment of Artillery, at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, was acquiring horses for his battery for its planned expedition to Utah. One of the horses acquired, a four-year-old named Tartar, was assigned to Sergeant James Stewart. Stewart, born in Edinburgh, Scotland on May 18, 1826, immigrated to the United States in 1844. He enlisted as a private in the United States Army October 29, 1851.
On July 19 the battery started on its trek to Utah, part of a force consisting of two regiments of infantry, Phelps’s battery, a heavy artillery battery, and subsequently, six companies of the 2nd Dragoons. In late September before reaching Green River, Tartar was taken sick with distemper. He was abandoned by Stewart when the army expedition left its Green River camp and moved on to Fort Bridger. Fortunately for Tartar, some Indians found him and nursed him back to health. In the following spring, Brevet Brigadier General Albert Sidney Johnston, commanding the Department of Utah, offered $30 apiece for abandoned horses and mules branded “U. S.” that were returned to camp. Stewart was at the tent of Maj. Fitz-John Porter, the command’s Assistant Adjutant General, one morning that spring when two Indians came in with a couple of horses, one of which he recognized as Tartar. They said they had found him during the fall at Green River, and that they had used him all winter to haul tent-poles. Stewart took him over to the Battery, where Phelps remarked that “he had fared better with the Indians than the other horses had with the Battery.”
During the remainder of 1858 and the following two years, Tartar and Battery B had a relatively easy time in garrison at Camp Floyd, half way between Salt Lake City and Provo. In 1860, however, the battery guns were left at Camp Floyd, and the personnel of the Battery formed into a provisional company of cavalry, doing duty in keeping open the mail, emigrant, and pony express routes between Salt Lake City and Carson City.
In July 1861, Battery B, then under the command of Captain John Gibbon, received orders to come East. After a march across the plains the battery reached Fort Leavenworth on October 1. The battery remained there until October 4, when it started for Washington, D.C., first by riverboat on the Missouri River and then by railroad, reaching its destination in mid-October. There it camped on Capitol Hill. Stewart, who by then was the battery’s First Sergeant, was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant on November 15, 1861. About this time Captain Gibbon was appointed chief of artillery for Brigadier General Irvin McDowell’s division of the Army of the Potomac, while still continuing to command his own Battery B, which was assigned to the defense of Washington, D. C. until March 1862.
In mid-March the battery moved to Manassas, Virginia and the following month advanced on Falmouth, Virginia. In June 1862, Battery B was assigned to the 4th Brigade, now commanded by Brigadier General of United States Volunteers John Gibbon, 1st Division, 3rd Corps, of Major General John Pope’s Army of Virginia. The Battery and Tartar saw duty at Falmouth and Fredericksburg until late July when it moved against Confederate forces for the first time at Orange Court House on July 26. It engaged the enemy at the Battle of Cedar Mountain August 9, at Rappahannock Station August 21-23, at Sulphur Springs August 25-26, and at Gainesville August 28. The battery saw action at the second battle of Bull Run August 29-30, during which time Tartar was struck by a shell, carrying away his tail, and wounding both hips. At first Stewart thought he could not use Tartar anymore, and turned him into a small field of a farmyard. The next morning however, Tartar jumped the fence and followed the Battery.
When the Armies of the Potomac and of Virginia were combined under General George B. McClellan in September 1862, Battery B and Gibbon’s Infantry Brigade (“the Iron Brigade”) were assigned to the 1st Corps under Major General Joseph Hooker. The battery fought gallantly at the Battle of South Mountain at Turner’s Gap, Maryland, September 14, and in the Battle of Antietam September 17. During the latter battle the battery was in the thickest of the fight, with Stewart’s section of the battery being the first Union guns deployed into the Cornfield. The battery was crucial in helping to stop the charge of Confederate General John Bell Hood’s Division. The battery commanding officer, Capt. Joseph B. Campbell, was wounded, and thirty-nine men and thirty-three horses killed and wounded. Command of the battery fell to Lieutenant Stewart, who would command the battery the remainder of the Civil War.
Tartar and the battery moved back to Falmouth in the fall and took part in the Battle of Fredericksburg December 13-15, as part of the First Corps’s 1st Division, commanded by Brigadier General Abner Doubleday. During this battle Tartar was again wounded, and after that it was difficult to get him to stand under musketry fire. The battery would remain at Falmouth until April 1863. It was a time of rest and a chance for Tartar to meet President Abraham Lincoln.
Look for the rest of Tartar’s tale next week! Information regarding Battery B, 4th Artillery during its sojourn to Utah (1857-1860) and during the Civil War can be found in the Records of United States Regular Army Mobile Units, 1821-1942, Record Group 391; Records of United States Army Continental Commands, 1821-1920, Record Group 393; Records of the Adjutant General’s Office, 1780′s-1917, Record Group 94; and, the War Department-produced The War of the Rebellion: a Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, published by the United States General Printing Office, 1880-1901. Information about the battery and ‘Tartar’ can be be found in Augustus Buell’s“Cannoneer.” Recollections of Service in the Army of the Potomac (1890).
TAGS Albert Sidney Johnston
, Army of the Potomac
, Augustus Buell
, Camp Floyd
, Captain John W. Phelps
, Carson City
, Department of Utah
, Fitz-John Porter
, Fort Bridger
, Fort Leavenworth
, Green River
, John Gibbon
, Orange Court House
, RG 391
, RG 393
, RG 94
, Salt Lake City
, Sergeant James Stewart
Today’s post is written by David Langbart.
Public comment about what is now called the lack of transparency about U.S. foreign policy is not a new phenomenon. The issue goes back to at least World War II, if not before. Recognizing that it needed to better inform the public about its activities, in 1948, the Department of State’s Office of Public Affairs issued informational guidance (reproduced below) on the steps it took to keep American citizens informed. This was for officials involved with public liaison activities to use in explaining matters to the public. In addition to enumerating the ways in which the Department made information available, most of which carry on today, the guidance also noted the reasons that information could not be made public. With one exception, the rationales for withholding information remain almost the same today. Only “Mechanical limitations” have largely gone by the wayside; the advent of the Internet and the World Wide Web now make it possible to issue information almost immediately.
Surprisingly, one thing not mentioned in the list of informational products produced by the Department is the series Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS). Published since 1861 and ongoing, FRUS is a selection of documents from the files of the Department of State, the White House, and other agencies that together provide an overview of U.S. foreign policy. By the late 1940s, the volumes were being published about 16 years after the events documented. Nonetheless, the documents published in the series provided (and continue to provide) the public with information about the historical antecedents to current U.S. foreign policy.
Source: Office of Public Affairs, Information Memorandum 19: INFORMATION ON FOREIGN POLICY, November 18, 1945, Information Memorandums, 1948-1952, Entry A1-1374, RG 59: General Records of the Department of State, National Archives.
Due to the Federal Government shutdown, the National Archives (www.archives.gov) is closed. We are unable to post or participate in any of our social media channels during this closure. All National Archives facilities are closed, with the exception of the Federal Records Centers and the Federal Register until the Federal government reopens.
Today’s post is written by Dr. Greg Bradsher.
In reviewing some text that we plan on adding to the International Research Portal for Records Related to Nazi-Era Cultural Property in conjunction with albums containing photographs depicting looted art work, Robin Waldman had a comment after she looked at the following:
[Colonel Robert Storey, an American prosecutor at the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg, addressing the court on December 18, 1945, after having introduced 39 albums as a United States Exhibit]
I should like to refer, while Your Honors are looking at these [the albums], just to the aggregate totals of the different paintings. Here are the totals as shown by Document 1015(b)-PS, which is in the document book. As they are totaled, I don’t think Your Honors need to follow the document; you can continue looking at the books [albums] if you like.
[citing an Einsatzstab Reichsleiter Rosenberg (ERR) report]
Up to 15 July 1944 the following had been scientifically inventoried:
21,903 Works of Art: 5,281 paintings, pastels, water colors, drawings; 684 miniatures, glass and enamel paintings, illuminated books and manuscripts; 583 sculptures, terra cottas, medallions, and plaques; 2,477 articles of furniture of art historical value; 583 textiles (tapestries, rugs, embroideries, Coptic textiles); 5,825 objects of decorative art (porcelains, bronzes, faience, majolica, ceramics, jewelry, coins, art objects with precious stones); 1,286 East Asiatic art works (bronzes, sculpture, porcelains, paintings, folding screens, weapons); 259 art works of antiquity (sculptures, bronzes, vases, jewelry, bowls, engraved gems, terra cottas).
Storey told the judges that they did not have to look at Document 1015(b)-PS as the numbers were totaled. Robin Waldman did look closely at the numbers, and contacted me with the comment, “Greg, The numbers don’t add up.” She was correct.
So, I looked at the published transcript of the tribunal (Volume 4, page 89) and found it contained the same apparently incorrect information. Then I went to the stacks and looked at the original unpublished transcript. It was the same text.
I then asked my colleague Sylvia Naylor if she wanted to solve, if possible, the inconsistencies between the total number of art works and the sub-totals. It seemed like something fun to do on a Friday afternoon. She agreed, always eager to go on archival detective forays to the stacks.
Before we went to the stacks to look at United States prosecution document 1015(b)-PS, I took a look at Volume 1 of Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression, a multi-volume work produced after the Nuremberg trial in 1946 by the staff of the Office of Chief of Counsel for the Prosecution of Axis Criminality. I believed the chapter entitled “The Plunder of Art Treasures,” might have some explanation why the numbers did not add up. Here is what was written:
(4) Works of Art (West). The Robert Scholz report declared that:
‘During the period from March 1941 to July 1944, the Special Staff for Pictorial Art brought into the Reich:
29 large shipments including 137 freight cars with 4,174 cases of art works.’ (1015-PS)
The report stated that a total of 21,903 art objects of all types had been counted and inventoried, and stated:
With this scientific inventory of a material unique in its scope and importance and of a value hitherto unknown to art research, the Special Staff for Pictorial Art has conducted a work important to the entire field of art. This inventory work will form the basis of an all-inclusive scientific catalog in which should be recorded history, scope and scientific and political significance of this historically unique art seizure. (1015-B-PS)
The following is a summary of the inventory attached to the report:
Hand-made art objects………5,825
East Asiatic objects……….1,286
The report stated that the above figures would be increased since seizures in the West were not yet completed and it had not been possible to make a scientific inventory of part of the seized objects because of the lack of exports. (1015-B-PS)
The total was still 21,903, but the number of paintings had increased from 5,281 to 10,890.
So Sylvia and I went to the stacks to look at File 1015(b)-PS. We reviewed both a translation and a photostat of the original German-language report by Scholz. They both indicated 5,281 paintings. Now I know one cannot always trust numbers in government reports, of any country, but if the total was indeed 21,903 the number 10,890 found in the published volume cited above seemed to be the correct number to make the sub-category totals add up. As long as we were in the stacks we decided to look at the French language version of File 1015(b)-PS, which the French prosecutors had submitted as a French exhibit (RF-1323). We found that it was the same, except in French, as the document in the United States prosecution files. So we went back to the folder containing File 1015(b)-PS. We found File 1015(gg)-PS, which was identified as an undated and unsigned inventory of artworks. The document did not indicate it was an attachment to some other document. In translation it contained the same sub-category numbers as in the File 1015(b)-PS, but provided the following information, regarding paintings:
Oil Paintings 3,027
Persian miniatures 49
Glass paintings 19
Books and manuscripts 55
So part of the mystery was solved regarding the total number of paintings, a number with the others that would add up to 21,903. But we could not figure out what combination of numbers above were used to make 5,281 in the actual report. The only clue was a footnote to Engravings that indicated: “In enumerating engravings in portfolios, the sheets were counted individually. In bound volumes the engravings were consider as one number.” I guess it is possible, if one knew the number of portfolios and number of bound volumes, one could make some combination of numbers to come up with 5,281.
Just to make sure I had not missed anything I went back to Volume 1 of Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression, to the chapter entitled “The Plunder of Art Treasures.” I looked at the end of the chapter where relevant documents are listed, along with the volume and page where they are reprinted in translation. It provided the following information:
1015-GG-PS Inventory of art objects-attached to a report (Document 1015-B-PS), Volume III, p. 670.
I quickly looked at that volume and page number and found the translated document. It was the same as 1015-GG-PS in the stacks in the folder labeled 1015-PS. I then went back to Volume I of Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression and looked at what was said about the document. There in black and white was “The following is a summary of the inventory attached to the report.” I probably should have looked at it more closely the first time I looked at it, but I was more focused on the number 10,890. So, File 1015-GG-PS was an attachment to File 1015-B-PS. That being the case, Robin, the numbers do add up. It is unfortunate that Colonel Storey before the International Military Tribunal in December 1945 did not reference File 1015-GG-PS, but perhaps in 1945 it was not clear that the inventory was an attachment to the report. However, in 1946, when Volume 1 of Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression was published the link between the two documents was made.
So what was learned from this exercise? First, one should not necessarily trust any government-produced numbers, published or otherwise. Second, there is no substitute for looking at the records, even if to verify published versions of it. And third, it pays to look carefully at what you are reading.
Click on any image below to enlarge. Document is from RG 238 in the series “United States Evidence Files, 1945-1946″ (National Archives identifier 305264).