Col. Greene defends Washington / Civil War incidents

Among the new items in the Libertarian Labyrinth is a short piece on military discipline in the 14th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, the Civil War regiment William Batchelder Greene commanded during 1861-62. It consists of two reports of VIPs stopped by Greene or his officers among the forts on the Virginia side of the Potomac, where the 14th was stationed. Taken alone, it is an entertaining account. Taken in the context of other accounts of life around the Long Bridge (coming soon to the Layrinth), it looks like general officers didn’t take sentries very seriously, with results that were frequently as dangerous as they were potentially humorous. William B. Greene got into trouble at least once for objecting when officers refused to stop for his sentries. This item, which is presented as a tribute to Col. Greene, may also form some part of the answer to why he was ultimately led to resign, having, he felt, run afoul of superiors in Washington, DC and Boston.

I’ve received Greene’s Combined Service Record from the National Archives, and should be able to post a large dose of Civil War material, including Greene’s 13-page resignation letter, in the very near future.

About Shawn P. Wilbur 2703 Articles
Independent scholar, translator and archivist.