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lelliott19

Wood's Brigade - What Artillery Battalion?

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Was pondering WHO could be the fifth man in the Staff Photo, if it was not Linus McClung. And considered the possibility the photograph was taken AFTER Perryville, and BEFORE Chickamauga. If the man is a staff officer, he could be AAG, aide-de-camp, cavalry officer, artillery officer... And I searched through the List of CSA Staff Officers for likely candidates: Captain Reuben L. Hill (cavalry detachment at Perryville), Captain Henry Semple (Semple's Alabama Batt), Major A. T. Hawkins (15th Miss Batt Sharpshooters), Captain C. F. Sanders (Sander's Company of Tenn Cavalry) without success.

 

But, while searching, I ran across another name I had not considered: Colonel William Basis Wood, 16th Alabama Infantry. The reasons I consider this possible:

  • SAM Wood and William Wood are both recorded as being from Lauderdale, Alabama (related somehow);
  • Both were involved with the Zollicoffer Campaign at Mill Springs
  • Both were present at Perryville

The other aspect of the Staff Photo I found interesting: the fifth man, standing behind SAM Wood, has his hand on his shoulder, in a familiar way: not a likely thing for an Aide or staff officer to do. Is it possible this is a combined 'family photo,' with social circle/staff officers ?

 

Like I said, just a theory...

 

Ozzy

 

 

N.B.  An article about Judge William Basil Wood. As I have gained more details, it appears SAM Wood worked for him (in his Law Office) before the war.  http://shoalshistory.com/2011/07/william-basil-wood/

 

http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSln=Wood&GSiman=1&GScid=22819&GRid=18772731&     (Judge Wm. Wood)

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While continuing research on the Wood brothers, found the attached article. The more I look, the more I am persuaded to believe the three Wood brothers are in the Staff Photo:

  • Before joining SAM Wood, Henry Clay worked for his brother, William, in 16th Alabama as Adjutant;
  • After Battle of Perryville, SAM Wood praised William Wood's performance in official dispatches;
  • If the brothers are in this photo, their ages: Henry Clay (31), SAM Wood (39), William (42)... looks about right.

Still a theory, but I will need something very solid to convince me that William B. Wood is not the fifth man.

 

Ozzy

 

http://historicaltruth101.blogspot.com.au/2012/10/brigadier-general-sterling-alexander.html     (The three Wood brothers, and Harrison.) 

 

http://www.civilwarhome.com/16alainf.html     (History of 16th Alabama and extracts from OR)

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Wow Ozzy! Good detective work! Sounds reasonable to me. 

 

If the middle man standing with his hand on the General's shoulder is William Basil Wood, he sure is a lot better looking than the rest of the Wood men! :D Now to find a picture of William when he was young.....because that later picture of him doesnt convince me.  

 

"Basil" is actually a Cross family name - there are several in the family mostly from VA (the most famous being the one at Harpers Ferry who was held hostage by John Brown. Wonder if the Wood/Cross families crossed paths prior to NW Alabama? 

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Laura......

 

I am certainly enjoying your meaningful, insightful Shiloh posts.  As a photographer, genealogist and student of civil war, I can appreciate the research you've put into your family member search!  Ozzy is a good source of information.  I've learned a few things from him, as well.  Keep up the good work!  You, too, Ozzy!!! :)

 

THE MANASSAS BELLE

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Belle

 

Just wondering, with your photographer's eye... Do you notice any similarities in Laura's posted photos?

 

Regards

 

Ozzy

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Laura

 

Interesting you mention Virginia... as it appears the Wood Family got its start in Virginia [Alexander H. Wood, 1796-1860]. The elder Wood spent a few years in Tennessee, got married to Mary Evans, and arrived in Alabama in time to become the first Mayor of Florence. William Basil was born in Tennessee, but SAM and Henry Clay were born in Alabama.

 

http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSln=Wood&GSiman=1&GSst=3&GSsr=961&GRid=18747990&     (Alexander Hamilton Wood burial plot, Alabama)

 

 

Ozzy

 

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Somehow I missed the genealogy link you posted... so went back and had a look. Solid information concerning the three Wood brothers, their Father and Mother. I have run across similar details on other sites, which tends to corroborate the information. The reference to Dr. William Cross and his connection to the 16th Alabama (and William Wood and Henry Clay Wood) prior to joining the Brigade Staff under SAM Wood... tends to lend credence to the theory of WHO is in that Staff Officer Photo: they all knew each other, from overlapping experiences.

 

I posted my information IRT Alexander Hamilton Wood and his wife, in case you wanted to explore ancestry.com or some other site, for a Wood/Cross family connection (not realizing your genealogy link already had most of it.)

 

Meanwhile, been searching for additional CDVs, but no luck...

 

Ozzy

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Thanks manassas! As Ozzy mentioned please do take a look at the comparison photos and let us know your opinion!

 

Thanks for posting that link melebash! Good stuff there.

 

Ozzy - did you see in melebash's link where William B Wood "read law under Judge Coleman, later of the Supreme Court bench" Wasnt there a Captain Coleman you posted earlier who was a volunteer aid to General Wood? Wonder if he could be one of the men in the picture? Possibly the one we had tentatively id'd as Martin Walt? 

 

Perhaps someone with access to ancestry could locate a picture of William B Wood and/or this Captain Coleman? 

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Amazing the things that can be found on the internet!

 

Found the diary of Capt Daniel Coleman here http://huntsvillehistorycollection.org/hh/hhpics/hhr/pdf/Volume_26_2_Jul-99.pdf

 

I dont think this is the 'Captain Coleman' we are looking for. Daniel succeeded as Captain of Co B Hawkin's Sharpshooters when his brother, John Hartwell Coleman, was killed at Murfreesboro.

 

So I think John Hartwell Coleman is the one we are looking for. Or perhaps Richard Vasser Coleman who is listed in the diary as being killed at Chickamauga. 

 

 

 

Another name to throw in the mix - Found this diary entry for May 1 1863 which refers to a Captain Simpson as Wood's aid

 

Friday. May 1st. To day is the bright May day - News from North Ala uncertain - Genl Wood and his aid Capt Simpson visit us to day -

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Laura.....

 

Here's what I found on William Basil Wood:

 

Born:  31 Oct 1820, Nashville, Davidson Co., TN, USA

Died:  3 Apr 1891, Florence, Lauderdale, AL

Father:  Alexander Hamilton Wood (1796-1860)

Mother: Mary Esther (Polly) Evans Wood (1796-1871)

Buried:  Florence Cemetery, Florence, AL, USA

Wife:  Sarah Briscoe Leftwich Wood (1823-1898)

Buried:  Florence Cemetery, Florence, AL, USA

Education:  Attended LaGrange College

 

Occupation before the War:

Attorney in Florence, AL, USA

Judge of Lauderdale County, AL

Methodist Minister

Owner of a line of steamboats

 

Civil War Career:

1861-1863:  Colonel of 16th Alabama Infantry Regiment

Often acted as a Brigade Commander

Wounded during the Battle of Stones River, TN, USA

1863-1865:  Judge of Military Court for 1st Army Corps, Army of Northern Virginia

1863:  Resigned as Colonel of 16th Alabama Infantry on 19 Jun 1863

1865:  Paroled in Mobile, Alabama on 19 May 1865

During the war he suffered from typhoid fever and rheumatism

 

Occupation after the War:

President of Florence Land Mining & Manufacturing Company

President of W. B. Wood Furnace company

President of Charcoal and Chemical Company

President of Florence, Tuscaloosa and Montgomery Railroad Company

President of Florence and Chicago Railroad Company

Secretary of Alabama Improvement Company

 

I also found an image of him as well.  Will post later.

 

THE MANASSAS BELLE

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post-562-0-60890400-1427489721_thumb.jpg

 

Thanks Belle. Ozzy and I are speculating that William B Wood might be one of the men in the picture? General Wood is definitely the man seated at right.

 

As for the other four men pictured, we are speculating that they are:

Seated L-R 1)Henry Clay Wood Aide-de-camp and brother of BG SAM Wood 2)Brig Genl SAM Wood
Standing L-R 1) Dr William Cordwell Cross Brigade Surgeon 2) middle man unknown 3) ? Martin Walt AQM (He was eventually promoted to Maj and QM) 

 

Other than the unknown man standing in middle. the one we are least certain of is Martin Walt (standing at Right). The picture we have for comparison is a drawing and while some features are consistent, others are not. 

 

Ozzy calculated that the ages of the Wood brother would be approximately Henry Clay (31), SAM Wood (39), William (42)

Dr Cross would have been (47) and Martin Walt (if thats him) would have been (26)

 

Any help from photographers eye would be appreciated. 

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And just so you wont have to scroll back and forth......here are the comparison photos of the men we are trying to id. 

 

First up man standing on left - likely Dr William Cordwell Cross; Wood's brigade surgeon

 

post-562-0-85826000-1427490354_thumb.jpg

 

Next man standing right - ?possibly? Martin Walt who succeeded Maj Frank Gailor as QM when Gailor was killed at Perryville

 

post-562-0-32395200-1427490373_thumb.jpg

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Laura......

 

OK....I'm going to add to the confusion.  The attached is a photo of Sterling Alexander Martin Wood (S.A.M).  To me, he looks more like the man standing in the middle.  Wouldn't it make more sense to have the General in the middle with his staff surrounding him?  Just saying.....    It wouldn't be the first time an archival facility mislabeled a photo.  Ken Burns used a mislabeled National Archives image of a house in Manassas in his Civil War series.   Those of us who lived in Manassas jumped on it as soon as it was broadcast.  :)      THE MANASSAS BELLE

post-13-0-13303500-1427491559_thumb.jpg

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Laura.....

 

I would say the seated gentleman on the right is William Basil Wood.  (Notice how he parts his hair.)   Soldiers usually do not touch their generals.  If the middle standing man is S.A.M., and the seated man is William, you can understand the general's resting his hand on his brother's shoulder.  Just my two cents worth.  I'll have to check on the other staff members. 

 

THE MANASSAS BELLE

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Belle

 

Wow... That is thinking outside the box!  When I look at the Staff Officer Photo, I assume the man in the darker uniform is the General, but there are no 'General Officer' markings on his uniform (I've since read that the chevron on the sleeve was identification for 'Alabama.') Laura indicates Surgeon Cross was 47 years old at the time of the photo, and he appears older than everyone else present (although the seated man in dark uniform appears older, too... older than the man I miss-identified as William Basil Wood. I put the relative appearances down to the fact of 'battle damage' incurred by General Wood, at Shiloh and Perryville, causing him to show age quicker.)

 

But, the sequence, as Belle suggests, makes much more sense. (Also, it appears there may be markings of some kind on the collar of the middle-man's uniform.)

 

So, it may very well be the case: multiple photographs were mislabelled (or incorrectly labelled.) And they passed down to us un-challenged... until now.

 

Of course, a few more photographs, for added verification and certainty, would be nice... I'll continue to search.

 

 

Ozzy

 

 

N.B.  And, thanks to Melebash, for adding to the knowledge bank, helping confirm suspected details.

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Wow Belle! You are right that the middle standing man does look a lot like that known image of Wood - except for the widows peak at his hairline and that could just be the way he has his hair combed back in the group picture. 

 

I kept thinking that the seated man, whom I presumed to be the General, looked older than the standing middle man. Since Ozzy had the ages I was trying to find a man younger than the man I thought was General Wood who might have been in the picture. Perhaps a side by side comparison of the two men would help us to identify similarities.  

 

As Ozzy said above, my gg grandfather Dr Cross would have been 47 and he is definitely the oldest man in the picture.   

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Laura......

 

Normally, when taking a group image, the photographer tends to place the most important person in the center for the focus of attention.  That's why I believe the General is our standing middle man. 

 

You didn't have to be old to be a general in the civil war.  Some generals were quite young.....Galusha Pennypacker, George Armstrong Custer and Stephen Dill Lee to name a few.

 

THE MANASSAS BELLE

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Ok so here are the two men plus the best image I could find of SAM Wood. I 'flipped' the men from the group as I did on Doctor Cross. Someone told me the strappy things (dont know what they are called) go the other way and I see they are that way in the known of Wood,

 

Seeing them all together, I'm not sure we have solved the mystery entirely. I don't seem to see striking similarity between the known of Wood and the standing man in the middle. 

 

I do see significant similarity between the known of Wood and the seated man identified as Wood. The eyebrows, the eye sockets, the nose, the eyelids, etc. Notice how the left (his left) eyebrow has that arch and the other one is flat with the comma at the outer end? And how the lid of the right (his right) eye seems to be puffy and droop while the other one is open wider? 

 

What do yall think? I would love to be wrong here!  :huh:

 

post-562-0-07316900-1427513673_thumb.png

 

On a positive note, I am fairly certain that the seated man left is Henry Clay Wood. The similarities between he and the man seated right are convincing enough to say they are likely related.

 

post-562-0-85073400-1427514884_thumb.png

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Laura

 

All I can state, at this point, is my original observation: 'The two men in front, seated, appear to be brothers.'  I continue to stand by that assessment. Now, in your original post, you indicated 'that the man, seated, in the darker uniform was General S.A.M. Wood.'

 

My question: where did you come by the identification of that particular man ?  Did you assume, like I did, that the man in the 'different' uniform was the General?

Or is it indicated, elsewhere, that such is the case?

 

When I discovered the CDV of Captain James Smith, 16th Alabama Infantry (in his darker-coloured uniform and inverted chevrons) that pretty much convinced me: the man in the Staff Officer Photo, seated, wearing the darker uniform coat is an officer in the 16th Alabama. General S.A.M. Wood may be the middle-man in the back; Major Walt may be the officer standing to our right; Surgeon William Cross is probably the officer standing to our left.

 

Unfortunately, nothing is definite: it remains as speculation. We require more evidence for proof of identification. (For me, absolute proof would be a signed copy of the Staff Officer Photo, with each signature across that man's image. Anything less than that remains 'high probability,' at best, due to the likelihood of confusing one man with another in that photograph.)

 

We just need to find another CDV or two... 

 

 

Ozzy 

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Laura

 

Had another look at the 'three individual photos' you posted (No.48, above). Body shape: the build of the man on the left matches the center image; the build of the man on the right does not. That third man is more stocky in build. (I have read descriptions of William Basil Wood, made after the war, describing him as 'portly.')

 

Just something else to think about...

 

 

Ozzy

 

 

N.B.  Also, in the image of the man on the left, whatever is on his collar is more obvious, though still not identifiable.

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