The articles by Jean Huets and Lorri B. Smalls are dedicated to the history of a particular regiment of the Army of Potomac, known as the Iron Brigade, including its creation from the regiments of Wisconsin and Indiana, transfer of the command to General John Gibbon, and its participation in the armed conflicts, namely the battle of Gettysburg. They also present the memoirs of one of the brigade’s members, Rufus Dawes, helping the reader to understand the Civil War from the viewpoint of a soldier.
The strengths of the selected topic include the undeniable military success of the Iron Brigade. In particular, its fighting skill and bravery have allowed stalling the advancement of the Southern forces to the North, into Gettysburg. As a result, the Army of Potomac was able to secure the grounds to the south of town, which has defined the turning point in the war (Smalls, 2013). The weakness of this selection is the fact that the Iron Brigade is one of the most studied and celebrated brigades to participate in the Civil War. As a result, the achievements of the other regiments, whose contribution to the victory was no less significant, may be overshadowed by its glory. However, its history allows gaining the invaluable insights. First of all, the example of the Iron Brigade and its commander, General John Gibbon, who was often called the officer most hated by the soldiers, shows that within only a few months, the iron discipline can turn even an inexperienced and unprepared brigade into a force to be respected (Huets, 2013). Moreover, the memoirs of Dawes have shown that despite all the hardships of the war, the real patriots’ spirits will always remain high. Moreover, even in the middle of the battle, the people united by the patriotism, discipline, and persistence will not run but stand together until the end (Huets, 2013).
- Huets, J. (2013). The Iron Brigade. Retrieved from
- Smalls, L. B. (2013). The history of the Iron Brigade in the Civil War. Humanities 360. Retrieved from