Originally called 'The Black Hat Brigade' because the soldiers wore the regular army's dress black hat instead of the more typical blue cap, the Iron Brigade was the only all-Western brigade in the Eastern armies of the Union. The brigade was initially made up of the 2nd, 6th, and 7th Wisconsin and the 19th Indiana Volunteers; later it was reinforced by the 24th Michigan Volunteers. Battery B of the 4th U.S. Artillery, composed in large part of infantry detached from the brigade, was closely associated with it. It was at Brawner Farm in Northern Virginia, on August 28, 1862, that the brigade saw its first significant action. From that time forward - at Second Bull Run, South Mountain, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, and Gettysburg - the Western soldiers earned and justified the proud name Iron Brigade.And when the war was over, the records showed that it led all federal brigades in percentage of deaths in battle. Each of the essays in this collection is concerned with a particular event or characteristic of the brigade or Battery B.
The purpose is to amplify and detail the history of these units so that the reader will understand what an officer of another regiment meant when he wrote about 'the great Western or Iron Brigade...looking like giants with their tall black hats...And giant they were, in action'. Silas Felton is a retired U.S. Air Force maintenance officer and the author of several articles on "Battery B" including 'The Iron Brigade Battery At Gettysburg". He lives in Dayton, Ohio. Alan and Maureen Gaff have been researching and writing on Civil War subjects for almost thirty years and have authored and edited six books.Their publications include: "Brave Men's Tears: The Iron Brigade at Brawner Farm"; "The Second Wisconsin Infantry"; "Adventures on the Western Frontier"; "If This is War, A History of the Campaign of Bull's Run"; and, "Our Boys: A Civil War Photograph Album", the last two having won Awards of Merit from the State Historical Society of Wisconsin. Their most recent publication - "On Many a Bloody Field" - is a unique history of the Nineteenth Indiana Regiment of the Iron Brigade and a History Book Club Selection. They live in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
Kent Gramm is the author of "Gettysburg: A Meditation on War and Values and the novel Clare". He has taught in the University of Wisconsin system, Wheaton College, Ottawa University, Indiana Wesleyan University, and the University of Giessen (Germany).He is current J. Omar Good Distinguished Visiting Professor at Juniata College in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania and lives in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. D. Scott Hartwig is a graduate of the University of Wyoming and historian at Gettysburg National Military Park. He has authored numerous articles, essays, and books, including "The Battle of Antietam" and the "Maryland Campaign of 1862: A Bibliography". His most recent book is "A Killer Angels Companion", an historical analysis of Michael Shaara's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel. He lives in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Lance J. Herdegen is director of the Institute for Civil War Studies at Carroll College in Waukesha, Wisconsin.He is the author of "The Men Stood Like Iron" (Indiana University Press, 1997) and co-author of the award-winning books: "In the Bloody Railroad Cut at Gettysburg" (selection of the History Book Club), and "An Irishman in the Iron Brigade".
He was featured in "The Civil War Journal" series on cable television's Arts and Entertainment Network. He lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Marc and Beth Storch were both born and raised in Wisconsin and have spent the past ten years researching the Iron Brigade as well as other Wisconsin regiments in the Civil War. They have written several articles on the Iron Brigade and assisted many historians and artists in their work related to the brigade. They are currently working on a regimental history of the Second Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry. They live in Laurel, Maryland.Steven J. Wright is Curator of the Civil War Library and Museum and the author of two books and more than two hundred reviews and articles on subjects ranging from the American Civil War and Indian Wars to Lake Superior shipwrecks. His book "The Irish Brigade" was published in 1992. He and his wife, Irene, a children's librarian, live in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Richard H. Zeitlin was born and raised in New York City and is a graduate of Queen College. A history major, Zeitlin earned an M.S. and Ph.D. in American diplomatic and military history at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
A long-time student of the Civil War, he is presently Director of the Wisconsin Veterans Museum and is particularly interested in the history of veterans groups. He and his wife and family live in Madison.