Latest “Faces of War” Column: The “Hornet’s Nest Brigade”

John Herman BorgerMy latest Civil War News ”Faces of War” column is now available. 1st Lt. John Herman Borger and his comrades in the Twelfth Iowa Infantry repelled wave after wave of Confederate attacks from their position in a sector of the Shiloh battlefield that would later become known as the Hornet’s Nest.

An excerpt:

Although outnumbered, Borger and his fellow Iowans had the advantage of superior ground. William P. Johnston described it in the biography of his father, Confederate Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston, who suffered a mortal wound during the battle. “Here, behind a dense thicket on the crest of a hill, was posted a strong force of as hardy troops as ever fought, almost perfectly protected by the conformation of the ground, and by logs and other rude and hastily-prepared defenses. To assail it an open field had to be passed, enfiladed by the fire of its batteries.”

Read the full story.

My New Role as Publisher of Military Images Magazine

dave-ron-handshakeThis weekend Dave Neville (pictured, right) and I signed an agreement to finalize my purchase of Military Images magazine. Today I am delighted to share the news with all of you. MI was founded in 1979, and since then has enjoyed a long tradition of excellence in bringing to light rare military portrait photographs. Key to success has been the contributions of collectors, and I’ve been in contact with many of them to continue their relationship with the magazine.

My wife, Anne, will play a major role in the magazine, and I am grateful for her love and support. I simply could not take this responsibility on without her.

Here is the press release posted on social media today:

ARLINGTON, Va. — Historian David Neville has called it quits after a decade at the helm of Military Images. Neville, who has owned and edited the publication since 2003, sold the magazine to Ronald S. Coddington of Arlington, Va., in early August.

Coddington, who is familiar to Civil War News readers as the author of “Faces of War,” takes over as publisher and editor immediately. “Military Images has a long tradition of excellence in bringing to light rare military portrait photographs, and I am thrilled and honored to have the opportunity to guide MI to the next chapter in its life,” reports Coddington. He adds, “The magazine continues to play a key role in preserving the visual record and stories of citizen soldiers in America, and is a key source for information about uniforms and other aspects of the military. In the current digital age, with so much new material surfacing, it is more important than ever to have a publication that showcases and interprets these important images.”

Harry Roach founded the magazine in 1979. He set a mission to document the photographic history of U.S. soldiers and sailors from the birth of photography in 1839 through World War I, although the vast majority of published images date from the Civil War period. Roach sold the magazine in 1999 to Philip Katcher, from whom Neville purchased it four years later.

Regular contributors to MI include some of the most respected and knowledgeable collectors in the country, including Michael J. McAfee, John Sickles, Chris Nelson, David Wynn Vaughan, Ron Field, and Ken Turner.

“I’m excited to continue working with all of our contributors, and to invite new faces with a passion for military photography to participate,” notes Coddington, who can be contacted at militaryimages@gmail.com or militaryimagesmagazine.com.

A Union Captain Trades His Sword for a Musket at Stones River

WatermanMy latest Civil War News profile is now available. Capt. Richard Mason Waterman of the Thirty-first Indiana Infantry fought courageously at Stones River, where he was captured by Confederates.

An excerpt:

Waterman, “with some of his men were surrounded in the cedar thickets,” according to a newspaper account. “When he was satisfied that his capture was a certainty he pulled his shoulder straps off and hid his sword and side arms, and claimed to be a hospital steward” when questioned by his captors. The article noted, “His action was considered no reflection upon his bravery, but was always considered sharp by his fellow officers, as the rebel authorities were at that time giving union officers very harsh treatment.”

Read his full profile and learn what happened to Waterman and what became of his sword.