The 1st Georgia Regulars and 1st Minnesota Infantry at Antietam: A Kindness in the Cornfield

The 1st Georgia Regulars’ Sergeant William Andrews and the 1st Minnesota’s Sergeant Sam Bloomer traveled from very different worlds, and over many miles, to share a moment of grace and humanity amidst the terror of Antietam’s bloody Cornfield. This is that story…

By David A. Welker

1st GA William AndrewsFirst Sergeant William Hill Andrews traveled a long way to reach Antietam’s Cornfield. Born on 15 April 1838 in Fort Gaines, Georgia, in the state’s southwest corner, little else is known of his childhood beyond that he was literate. He apparently worked as an overseer before the war but when Georgia seceded from the Union in January 1861, William and his brothers quickly joined the army. “Being a firm believer in the doctrine of state’s rights and secession, I considered it my duty to shoulder a musket in defense of my home state, which I put into execution by joining the Fort Gaines Guards…,” William explained after the war. Anxious for the fight and judging the Guards unlikely to leave the state, by 26 February William transferred to serve as a corporal in the 1st Georgia Regulars.  [1]

The 1st Georgia Regulars was one of two state infantry regiments authorized by Georgia’s secession convention and quickly transferred to Confederate national service. Although recruited chiefly from Atlanta, Brunswick, and the counties of Glynn and Montgomery, recruiters blanketed the state for volunteers – including near William’s home at Fort Gaines. After training at Georgia’s Fort Pulaski and Tybee Island, in July the 367-man regiment traveled to the Richmond, Virginia area and was assigned General Toombs brigade. Missing the First Battle of Manassas, fall and winter 1861 found the regiment in the Confederate fortifications in Centreville—William spent Christmas with his brothers, E. M. and J. D. Andrews in the 9th Georgia and W. L. Andrews in the 1st Georgia’s Company M—departing on 1 March. Serving under Toombs during the Siege of Yorktown, the Regulars returned to Richmond to defend against McClellan’s advancing Union forces.  [2]

On 20 June 1862, the 1st Georgia Regulars were unexpectedly transferred to Brigadier General George T. “Tige” Anderson’s Brigade—which William attributed to the 1st’s officers’ bitterness over Toombs’ micromanagement—joining the 7th, 8th 9th, and 11th Georgia regiments. The 1st got off to a rough start with Anderson by briefly mutinying—caused probably by lingering resentment from their undesired transfer and a poorly-timed pay shortfall—but quickly earned its reputation back during fighting at Garnett’s Farm. Fighting during the Seven Days Battles restored the 1st Georgia’s reputation and acceptance in Anderson’s brigade, which saw action at Gaines’ Mill, Frazier’s’ Farm (Glendale), and Malvern Hill.  [3]

1GA Regulars Flag

The 1st Georgia Regulars’ Regimental Colors

Attached to Longstreet’s Command as part of the division under Major General D. R. Jones, the 1st and Anderson’s brigade joined in the chase of John Pope’s Union Army of Virginia, participating in battles at Thoroughfare Gap on 28 August, Second Manassas on 29-30 August, and Ox Hill (Chantilly) on 1 September, before taking a much-needed rest. By 7 September, however, the 1st Georgia Regulars were heading north, crossing the Potomac into Maryland.

After pausing briefly at Frederick, Maryland, the Regulars withdrew westward, settling into the force holding Crampton’s Gap, the southernmost of the three passes in which Longstreet deployed his force to slow McClellan’s rapidly-advancing Union army. In reserve during the 14 September Battle of South Mountain, the 1st Georgia Regulars suffered little in that Confederate defeat and withdrew heading west the next morning – but without Sergeant Andrews, who had departed earlier on a mission of mercy to help wounded Lieutenant F. B. Palmer find medical care in Boonsboro. Awakened from an exhausted sleep on the roadside, Andrews rejoined the Georgia Regulars – heading for Antietam.  [4]

****

por 16937 p1Color Sergeant Samuel Bloomer traveled a long way to reach Antietam’s Cornfield. Born on 30 November 1835 in the village of Engi, in Glarus Canton, Switzerland, Sam emigrated with his family in 1846. Settling first in St Louis, Missouri, the family moved to Stillwater, Minnesota Territory in 1848. Little is known of Samuel’s childhood, although he apparently worked as a carpenter before the war. An ardent Unionist—he’d joined the “Wide Awakes” Republican paramilitary youth group in 1860—Sam and his cousins responded to President Lincoln’s first troop call, enlisting at Fort Snelling in April 1861 in the Stillwater Guards militia. By 29 April, though, the Guards merged into the newly-formed 1st Minnesota, becoming the nucleus of Company B, and Sam was appointed a corporal.  [5]

Organized at Fort Snelling on 29 April and mustered into Federal service for three years on 10 May, the 1st Minnesota arrived in Washington by train on 26 June, greeted by one of Minnesota’s two congressmen bearing refreshments. The next day the regiment moved to a new field camp and the men took turns visiting the capital city for sightseeing when not drilling and adapting gradually to army life. It was a leisurely time that was not to last…

On 16 July the 1st Minnesota packed its gear, marching to Alexandria before moving gradually west until arriving at Centreville on the 19th. At 2:00 a.m. on 21 July the regiment formed to march toward what all expected to be the singular battle of this certainly-short war just west of Bull Run. Supporting Ricketts’ Battery on Henry House Hill, the Minnesotans held on for what must have seemed like hours amidst the maelstrom of charges and counterattacks. As Confederates surged ahead in what became the final, victorious advance, Company G’s Lieutenant Messick ripped the regiment’s colors from its staff to save it from capture—not the only time their beloved colors would suffer this fate—before joining the Union retreat that dissolved into a panicked run. Sam Bloomer emerged from his first battle with a slight head wound and the awareness that this was going to be a longer war than first expected.  [6]

After spending the winter of 1861 peacefully at Camp Stone, guarding the Edwards’ Ferry crossing on the Potomac, the 1st joined McClellan’s Army of the Potomac heading to the Virginia Peninsula on 29 March, 1862. Attached to the II Corps under Major General Edwin Sumner, Brigadier General John Sedgwick’s Second Division, and the First Brigade under Brigadier General Willis Gorman, the 1st marched through rain and mud before joining McClellan’s needless siege of the Confederate position near the Revolutionary War battlefield. Once the Rebs withdrew—having delayed to prepare before Richmond—the Minnesotans joined the advance toward the Confederate capital, participating in the 31 May Battle of Fair Oaks (or Seven Pines).

The 1st Minnesota was engaged in many of the Seven Days battles near Richmond. During the 29 June 1862 Battle of Savage Station, Sam Bloomer grabbed the regiment’s fallen colors from its wounded bearer. Separated for five hours in the swirling confusion of battle, Bloomer safely returned the colors to a very relieved regiment—losing a flag was a greater shame than defeat—and was instantly promoted to serve as the regiment’s new Color Sergeant in recognition of his bravery. In this role Sam carried the flag in action during the battles at Glendale, White Oak Swamp and Malvern Hill on the Peninsula Campaign.  [7]

 

1MN National

The 1st Minnesota’s first national color, probably the one Sam Bloomer carried

On 28 August, the 1st Minnesota stepped ashore in Alexandria from the steamer Mississippi, which had carried them away from the Peninsula. Almost immediately they marched west toward the firing all heard underway on the old Manassas battlefield, arriving too late to participate in the Second Battle of Bull Run. Still exhausted from reaching this point, the 1st covered Major General John Pope’s retreating defeated Army of Virginia. Engaging in two costly twilight skirmishes near Vienna, Virginia performing this role—it cost four men dead and five wounded—the men dropped exhausted into camp near Tennalytown on 4 September.  [8]

After a brief few days’ rest, the 1st Minnesota and the entire II Corps departed Washington, headed northwest deeper into Maryland in search of Lee and his invading Confederate army. Arriving in Frederick, Maryland just after the 14 September Battle of South Mountain, Sam Bloomer and his pards crossed the mountain the following day and passed the night beyond Boonsboro. Early on the 16th, Sam Bloomer and the 1st Minnesota marched through Keedysville – heading for Antietam.

****

William Andrews and the rest of Anderson’s brigade waited in the Confederate center throughout the early morning, as the battle raged. Posted amidst gravestones on Cemetery Hill providing infantry support to the Washington artillery there, they endured the morning’s artillery barrage. Although the battle-tested veterans ignored the shells, Sam and his friends found cruel, if enjoyable, hilarity watching the regiment’s terrified surgeon race fearfully for safety; each nearby burst pushed the doctor into another panicked direction change, while the boys offered their laugh-ridden “encouragement.”  [9]

Late morning, General Lee directed Anderson’s brigade left toward the sound of the firing to support Jackson, probably in response to General Hood’s earlier plea for assistance. Marching northward, Anderson’s brigade paused briefly to “unsling knapsacks,” dropping them into piles by regiment, before starting forward again guided by Hood himself. Hood led them around his scattered division to the immediate north of the Dunker Church, when the general departed to lead other Confederate troops into place. Tige Anderson’s brigade appeared at just the right moment, bringing to the field some 478 men and at nearly the same moment Lee’s main body of promised reinforcements appeared.  [10]

Those reinforcements—McLaws’ and Walker’s divisions—similarly had done almost no fighting this day and were ordered to Jackson’s center around 9:00, probably also in response to Hood’s plea for help. Although Hood’s fight in the Cornfield was lost by the time McLaws and Walker were put in motion—McLaws from the center behind Lee’s headquarters; Walker from the still-placid Confederate right—they would now play for Jackson the role they’d been unable to perform for Hood.

****

Sam Bloomer and the 1st Minnesota waited in the Union center throughout the early morning, as the battle raged. Then, as Sam recorded in his diary, “about 7 oclock we fell in line, forded Antietam Creek, marched about 1 mile, formed in line of battle & advanced through fields, woods & over fences & over the field where the Battle commenced early in the morning & which field was covered with dead & wounded of both sides.”  [11]

Sam and the other soldiers of Sedgwick’s II Corps division of 5,698 men and two batteries marched in the three, parallel division formation they’d used since leaving their bivouac of the previous night, with Gorman’s brigade forming the left-most column and Dana’s and Howard’s brigades to the right. They pressed on quickly until within a mile or so of the East Woods where they halted briefly to deploy in a battle front, probably in response to nearing the sounds and sight of battle beyond the East Woods.  [12]

Now deployed for battle, Brigadier General Willis A. Gorman’s brigade formed the first line; the right held by the 1st Minnesota, with the 82nd New York, 15th Massachusetts and 34th New York to the left. Second in line was Brigadier General Napoleon J. T. Dana’s brigade and Brigadier General Oliver O. Howard’s brigade formed the third line. Sumner intended the three brigades to move closely together while advancing, leaving only 50 to 75 yards between each brigade, maximizing their mass and striking power during the rapid advance, which began shortly after 9:00 in the morning.

Entering the Cornfield only intensified the Rebel artillery fire Sam and Sedgwick’s other men endured. Even so, it was the sight of so many I and XII Corps men littering the Cornfield which burned indelible scenes into their minds. Corporal Edward Walker from the 1st Minnesota’s Company D remembered, “Our men and Secesh lay as they fell, many begged us for a drink of water, others telling us not to tread on them and it was difficult to march over the ground without stepping on some man. We passed a spot were Secesh had their line of battle and the dead lay in rows as they fell. I never could have believed [it] had I not seen it. Here we passed fragments of regiments that had been in the fighting in the morning, they cheered us as we passed.”  [13]

Perhaps it was the shock of seeing the Cornfield or Gorman’s haste to get underway, but the brigade’s four regimental color guards hadn’t removed their flags’ protective cases before starting forward. Seeing this, Sumner reportedly raced to the center of the 1st Minnesota’s line, roaring “In God’s name, what are you fighting for?! Unfurl those colors!” In a flash, Color Sergeant Sam Bloomer tore the case from his charge and Gorman’s Minnesotans advanced to the West Woods guided by their streaming national color.  [14]

Facing no opposition, Gorman’s brigade passed swiftly through the Cornfield, guiding gradually to the right – away from the Dunker Church and toward where Patrick’s brigade was posted. Soon Gorman’s men came upon their first physical obstacle – the Hagerstown Pike fences. “We now crossed the turnpike, had to climb two fences, this was the place they were last drove from, the fences are perfectly riddled with bullets. Our men lay thick here, it was a hard place to carry,” wrote the 1st Minnesota’s Corporal Walker. Thanks to the sacrifice of those I and XII Corps men, this formerly-impossible obstacle was no longer a deadly impediment to the advancing 1st Minnesota and Sedgwick’s Division.  [15]

Once across the Hagerstown Pike’s second fence, Gorman’s men caught their first significant rifle fire. One of these rounds hit Sam Bloomer, ripping apart his knee and driving him to the ground just west of the fence. So swift was Gorman’s advance that no one stopped to help him or to pick up his precious national flag. Alone, Sam dragged himself to the shelter of a tree near the Dunker Church, where he tore the flag from its staff and hid it in his blouse.  [16]

West Woods map detail 2

Without the 1st Minnesota’s colors, Gorman’s regiments quickly redressed their lines, returned fire, and pressed on into the West Woods. Shortly, Dana’s and Howard’s brigades swept over the same ground and into the West Woods. Pressing to the western end of the woods, Sedgwick’s Division was on the verge of breaking Jackson and Lee’s line. Victory was in sight…

****

Bill Andrews and the 1st Georgia Regulars, along with the rest of Anderson’s Brigade, were the first Confederate reinforcements to reach the West Woods’ southern end. Soon McLaws’ Division arrived from the south with 2,725 men and seven fresh guns, quickly sweeping away the 125th Pennsylvania and 34th New York—which had stumbled into the southern end of the West Woods—and slammed into the open left flank of Sedgwick’s Union division, driving it away in confusion. Within 15 minutes, the Union had handed the prospect for victory at Antietam back to the Confederates.  [17]

West Woods fighting

Fighting in the West Woods

Sargent Andrews recalled “As the head of the column rose the ridge the enemy opened fire on them. The regiment was ordered to right wheel into line which was promptly executed under the enemy’s fire and on reaching the crest of the ridge opened fire… Before reaching the woods the enemy’s sharpshooters opened fire on us. General Anderson ordered his brigade sharpshooters to the front. The brigade reached the fence and tore it down making breastworks of it when we were ordered to lie down.”  [18]

“As I jumped over the fence and cast my eyes to the front I saw directly in front of me the stars and stripes[.] [H]ow defiant that flag looked as it unfurled to the breeze then gradually wound itself around the staff to be lifted again by the powder exploding around it. Right then and there I thought it would be the greatest feat of my life if I could topple that flag in the dust by shooting the color bearer. In placing my rifle to my shoulder I pressed the trigger, but instead of the colors falling my gun snapped[. M]y feelings can better be imagined than described. I had to pick the tube, and recap before I knew what was going on about me.

On looking up I saw that the line had passed me[. T]he order to charge had been given and I saw …several other officers with swords aloft calling on the men to follow them. The line had fired about two volleys when ordered to charge.”

“The enemy were generally routed leaving the ground covered with the dead and wounded (I was on many battlefields during the war but never saw the ground covered so thick with the fallen) it then became a tree to tree fight. Anderson’s Brigade sweeping everything before it.”  [19]

****

Though wounded, Sam Bloomer had a perfect view of the disaster. “Had not been at the fence more than 15 minutes before a most terrific fire was poured into the left of our brigade from the rear & front & which fire came quickly down the line to the right where we were. The firing was very light for a time but I knew I had to go to the rear for I was shot in my leg just below the knee. I had just got behind a large tree when the whole line was ordered to fall back, which they did leaving me behind.” If that wasn’t bad enough, things suddenly became worse for the wounded sergeant.  [20]

“The advance of the secesh soon made their appearance & passed by me but did not go a great ways further but formed their picket line about 40 rods in front of me & shortly their line came up & formed just where our line had stood, which left me about 40 rods in front of their line.”  [21]

First Sergeant Andrews, too, had an ideal view of these events, albeit from the opposite perspective. “It seemed like it was only a few minutes that we were driving the enemy out of the woods, it being a total rout as the last squad I saw only amounted to three men. When our brigade was nearly through the woods a staff officer dashed down the line and ordered our line to fall back as the South Carolina boys had failed to move the enemy in their front and we were in a position to be cut off.”

“The line ceased firing about faced and returned to where we jumped the fence, I never returned with the line but kept on with a number of others to the fence.”

****

The battle was over for Bill Andrews and Sam Bloomer, but both men had a date to keep with fate.

Sam spent the time since his wounding early in the West Woods fight with his back to a tree—still hiding the 1st Minnesota’s flag in his blouse—praying that shells and flying splinters wouldn’t finish off what having his knee blasted apart had started. “A wounded prisoner, I was left on the field all day & the shot & shells of both armies playing in or about there all day cutting off limbs of trees & tearing up the ground all around me & which made it a very dangerous place. But as luck would have it, I got through safe.”  [22]

What got Sam “through safe” wasn’t luck, but the act of an unlikely protector – Bill Andrews. The Georgian recalled that “In the fight I had fired forty-five rounds all of my ammunition so I scrambled around until I soon had a good supply on hand and was ready for another racket.”  [23]

“While I was engaged hunting cartridges, the enemy moved a battery up somewhere in the field in our front and commenced shelling the woods, several bursting near me. I saw not far from me a wounded yankee. He was sitting on the ground with his back to a tress. He had been shot through the thigh,” Bill recalled, “but was taking it as cool as if it had only been a scratch…”. “As I got within 15 feet of him a shell burst between us. I dodged, and he laughed at me. Told him I could not help dodging when the shells burst to near me.”  [24]

“Walked up and squatted down by him. He had his pants ripped up to here he was shot, and was bathing his wound with water from his canteen.” “He told me he was the color bearer of the 1st Minn. Regiment…” “Wondered to myself if he was the color bearer I was so anxious to shoot in the first of the fight. Have no desire to harm him now. He is wounded and should do anything in my power to aid or assist him. Strange that while he was on his feet I would have killed him if I could, but now he is down at my mercy, have no animosity towards him.”  [25]

Then, amidst the shelling, “…we had quite an argument about what we were fighting for. He claimed he was fighting for the Union I told him he was fighting for the negro.” Sam was also anxious to “know how we treated our prisoners of war.” Then, ‘[a]n officer…called and asked if I would take a position with several others, on our left.” Before returning to duty, though Bill piled up some cordwood around Sam, who later recorded that this kindness saved his life because “I have no doubt that more than a hundred bullets struck that barricade.”  [26]

The unlikely, instant friends parted company – presumably forever.

****

Once more on his own, Sam Bloomer remained there until Thursday night, when Confederates carried him to a barnyard where he remained another night. He next went to the hospital at the Hoffman farm, were “about 8 o’clock A M the doctors put me up on the table & amputated my right leg above my knee. And from then the suffering commenced in earnest… During his time as a captive the “Secesh were quite gentlemanly toward me, but they took from me my sword which was a present to me from Lieut Muller, likewise two revolvers for which I did not care so much.”  [27]

1MN Bloomer Postwar

Sam Bloomer later in life

Left behind when Lee’s army retreated on 19 September, Sam was later moved to Union hospitals in the rear until being discharged for disability on December 2, 1862, when he returned to Stillwater, Minnesota. After recovering there, Sam returned to military life and accepted a lieutenant’s commission in the Veteran Reserve Corps, the unit for disabled veterans still able to serve; he was finally mustered out on September 19, 1866.  [28]
Sam worked a variety of job throughout the rest of his life, spending time as a guard at Stillwater Prison, an insurance agent, a farmer, a sewing machine salesman, the Washington County Treasurer, and founder of a summer camp on Minnesota’s White Bear Lake.  [29]
1MN Bloomer Grave 3Sam’s personal life was, unfortunately, troubled. Rejected after proposing to a local girl during his recovery, on the rebound he married Matilda J. Burns on December 6, 1863 and together they had four children. In September 1875 he caught Matilda in an adulterous affair; divorcing her in 1878, he received custody of the children. In 1882 Sam married Ellen Pressell, with whom he finally found lasting happiness.  [30]
Active in the Grand Army of the Republic veterans’ organization throughout his life after the war, in 1905 Sam once again carried the 1st Minnesota’s flag in the ceremony opening the new state capitol building. Samuel Bloomer died on October 4, 1917 and lies in Stillwater’s Fairview Cemetery marked by a statue depicting him bearing the 1st Minnesota’s flag.  [31]
Once back with the 1st Georgia Regulars, First Sergeant William Andrews remained in Tige Anderson’s brigade with his regiment through the 13 December 1862 Battle of Fredericksburg, after which the 1st Georgia left the northern Virginia theater forever. Ordered to Florida, the Regulars were assigned to G.P. Harrison’s Brigade, Department of South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, and fought at Olustee. During the summer of 1864, it was stationed in the Charleston area and later saw action at Savannah and in North Carolina. The Regulars endured until the bitter end, sustaining considerable casualties throughout the war—only 45 officers and men remained when the 1st Georgia Regulars surrendered in 1865 with the Army of Tennessee.

1st GA Andrews GraveBill Andrews returned to Georgia, settling in Dawson—roughly 40 miles northeast of his hometown of Ft. Gaines—working as a carpenter and then in farming. He married Amanda Avent and together they had a son and two daughters after moving to the Atlanta area. In 1888 Amanda passed away and in 1896 the Andrews family moved to Sugar Valley, Georgia. It was here that Bill began working on memoirs of his Civil War service, the first of which were published in the Atlanta Journal on 23 February, 1901. By 1909, he’d returned to Atlanta area—perhaps to be near his children, given his failing health—passing away after an extended illness on 14 November, 1920. William Andrews lies in Atlanta’s Hollywood Cemetery, sharing a plot with his oldest daughter’s family.  [32]

Although it’s not clear if they ever met again, these two very different men forever shared a moment in time, when kindness and human compassion appeared—albeit briefly—amidst the hatred and horror of fighting in and around Antietam’s bloody Cornfield.

Endnotes:

[1]  William H. Andrews, Richard M. McMurry, ed. Footprints of a Regiment: A Recollection of the 1st Georgia Regulars, 1861-1865 (Atlanta: Longstreet Press, 1992), p. 2, pp. 4-5.
[2]  Andrews, Footprints of a Regiment, p. xi, 6, 9, 13, 15.
[3]  Andrews, Footprints of a Regiment, pp. 36-38, 53-54.
[4]  Andrews, Footprints of a Regiment, pp. 59-74.
[5]  Peter J. DeCarlo, “Bloomer, Samuel (1835–1917)”. MNopedia; Minnesota Historical Society.
[6]  Richard Moe, The Last Full Measure: The Life and Death of the First Minnesota Volunteers (New York: Avon Book, 1993), pp. 34-64.
[7]  DeCarlo, “Bloomer, Samuel (1835–1917)”. MNopedia; Moe, Last Full Measure, p. 87-90, pp. 120-124.
[8]  Moe, Last Full Measure, pp. 172-176.
[9]  Andrews, Footprints of a Regiment, pp. 74-75. Andrews mistakenly dates the artillery duel to September 16.
[10]  Ezra A. Carman and Joseph Pierro, Ed. The Maryland Campaign of 1862; Ezra A. Carman’s Definitive Study of the Union and Confederates at Antietam. (New York: Routledge Books, 2008), pp. 256-257; Ezra A. Carman and Thomas G. Clemens, Ed. The Maryland Campaign, Vol. II: Antietam (California: Savas Beatie, 2012), pp. 179-183; OR, Vol. XIX, Pt. 1, p. 909.
[11]  Kenneth Carley, Minnesota in the Civil War: An Illustrated History (Minnesota Historical Society, 2006), p. 20.
[12]  OR, Vol. XIX, Pt. 1, p. 305, pp. 310-311, p. 313, p. 314, p. 315, pp. 319-320.
[13]  Catherine H. Vanderslice The Civil War Letters of George Washington Beidelman (New York: Vantage Press, 1918), p. 102.
[14]  Carman and Pierro, Ed. The Maryland Campaign, p. 261; Carman and Clemens, Ed. The Maryland Campaign, Vol. II, pp.193-194. I include this famous quote reputed to Sumner with some trepidation. It appears to have first appeared in Carman’s manuscript but he does not provide a source and both Pierro and Clemens indicate that the source of this quote remains unidentified. The story may be apocryphal but might just as likely be true. Given all the critical reviews of Sumner’s performance, it seems unlikely that anyone—Carman included—would fabricate material to improve Sumner’s reputation, so I have included it with qualifying language.; Moe, Last Full Measure. p. 120, pp. 180-181.
[15]  OR, Vol. XIX, Pt. 1, p. 313.
[16]  Moe, Last Full Measure, p. 181.
[17]  OR, Vol. XIX, Pt. 1, p. 858.
[18]  Andrews, Footprints of a Regiment, pp. 78-79.
[19]  Andrews, Footprints of a Regiment, pp. 79-80.
[20]  Carley, Minnesota in the Civil War, p. 20.
[21]  Carley, Minnesota in the Civil War, p. 20.
[22]  Carley, Minnesota in the Civil War, p. 20.
[23]  William H. Andrews “1st Georgia Regulars Through the War Between the States,” 1891. Andrews wrote this 16 page account, probably for his family, and although it tracks with the published account, it lacks many of the details included in the longer manuscript, later published serially in the Atlanta Journal (published in 1992 as Footprints of a Regiment). Like many such postwar accounts written with the public and publication in mind, Andrews’ Journal account includes some “fanciful recollections” which are either certainly or probably untrue. For example, he reports in the Journal version that Bloomer claimed during their brief meeting to have carried the colors at First Bull Run—which is not the case, suggesting Bloomer never claimed this—and that Bloomer commented that “if he thought [he was fighting for the negro] he would never soldier another day,” another probable fabrication. I have used both versions—judiciously—and included separate quotation marks within the same paragraph to denote use of the different versions.
[24]  Andrews “1st Georgia Regulars Through the War Between the States;” Andrews, Footprints of a Regiment, pp. 80-81.
[25]  Andrews “1st Georgia Regulars Through the War Between the States;” Andrews, Footprints of a Regiment, pp. 80-81.
[26]  “1st Georgia Regulars Through the War Between the States;” Andrews, Footprints of a Regiment, pp. 80-81. It’s unlikely Sam Bloomer was the color bearer Andrews fired at because Bloomer was wounded before his regiment entered the West Woods, while Andrews’ 1st Georgia Regulars arrived only after Sedgwick’s Division was deep into the woods.
[27]  Robert E. Denney, Civil War Medicine: Care & Comfort of the Wounded (New York: Sterling Publishing Co., 1995), pp. 157-160; Andrews, Footprints of a Regiment, pp. 180-181; Carley, Minnesota in the Civil War, p. 20.
[28]  DeCarlo, “Bloomer, Samuel (1835–1917)”. MNopedia.
[29]  DeCarlo, “Bloomer, Samuel (1835–1917)”. MNopedia.
[30]  DeCarlo, “Bloomer, Samuel (1835–1917)”. MNopedia.
[31]  DeCarlo, “Bloomer, Samuel (1835–1917)”. MNopedia.
[32]  Andrews, Footprints of a Regiment, p. xiii-xiv, 187.

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