"If I am alive next Summer": The Civil War Letters of Captain Charles Robinson Johnson of the 16th Massachusetts Infantry


The authors resolved “that Johnson’s story, which he took such care to record and which his family clearly took care to preserve, should be told,” and their commitment to this work “was reinforced by the realisation that, inexplicably, there was virtually nothing published about his regiment, the 16th Massachusetts Infantry, despite its three-year hard-fighting record with the Army of the Potomac and its nickname, ‘The Iron Sixteenth’.” This is not a regimental history, since the subject of the book is Johnson; however, Johnson’s story illustrates the career of the 16th and serves as a partial history of the regiment. Chapters include: The written legacy; Charles Robinson Johnson, his letters, and the “Iron Sixteenth;” A contemporary narrative of Johnson’s service and death; Off to War; From Massachusetts to Fortress Monroe; Fortress Monroe, 1862; From the Peninsula to Suffolk; The Seven Days’ Battles; Harrison’s Landing and the 1862 Maryland Campaign; Burnside and Fredericksburg; 1863, to Chancellorsville; Gettysburg; After Gettysburg; and, Johnson’s Civil War Souvenirs. Appendices include: Itineraries of Charles R. Johnson and the 16th Massachusetts; Roster of Company F, 16th Massachusetts Infantry; Extract from the Reports of the Adjutant-General for the State of Massachusetts for 1863 and 1864 giving a synopsis of the Service of the 16th Massachusetts Infantry during those years; Official reports of the Battle of Gettysburg relevant to the role of the 16th Massachusetts Infantry: (1) Report of Brig. Gen. Andrew A. Humphreys, commanding 2nd Division, 3rd Corps, (2) Report of Brig. Gen. Joseph B. Carr, commanding 1st Brigade, 2nd Division, 3rd Corps, (3) Report of Captain Matthew Donovan, 16th Massachusetts Infantry; Note on the Flags of the 16th Massachusetts Infantry; and, Newly-discovered letters. A foreword by William C. Davis, a wealth of photographs, illustrations and maps, a bibliography, and an index to full-names, places and subjects add to the value of this work.

Albert C. Eisenberg and Michael Hammerson

2015, 6x9, paper, index, 318 pp.

ISBN: 9780788456497