History of the 78th Regiment O.V.V.I., from its “Muster-In” to its “Muster-Out;”
Comprising its Organization, Marches, Campaigns, Battles and Skirmishes
by the Rev. Thomas M. Stevenson, Chaplain of the Regiment,
Zanesville, OH, 1865
Transcribed by Thomas J. Joyce
Long Beach, CA
I obtained the book used for the transcription of the 78th’s history via an inter-library loan in May, 2000 from the University of California at Berkeley. The call number for the book is “$B 61 754”.
Originally, all copies of this book were sold by subscription only, and so have become quite rare. The copy I received was in poor repair: several pages have been replaced over time, apparently by making copies of the missing pages from less depleted books and then taping them into their proper positions. For the most part this presented no problem, but one particular section which detailed the names of the enlisted ranks for Company G (pp 70-75 in the original) could not be made sense of. The Ohio Historical Society‘s Archives and Library division, however, was kind enough to send me facsimiles of the pages in question from their copy of the book (which copy, incidentally, had once belonged to Brice Taylor of Company D).
Notes on the Transcription
For front and end matter, I have tried to duplicate the format and layout of the original as closely as possible, given the stylistic limitations of HTML. Neither front nor end matter have separate pages (read: URLs), but instead are presented as a single long page, though with an obvious division between what would be the individual pages.
The transcription here offered will have pagination in the body of the work different than in the original and so page references in the index necessarily disagree with those in the original. The author did not include a Table of Contents in the original History. To ease the internet readers’ navigation, I have constructed a rough ToC, which precedes the actual transcription.
Various links are provided at the bottom of each page: to the Previous and Next pages, and to the Introduction (this page), ToC, and Index. A careful perusal of the index will show that not all items are sequenced strictly in page number order. The sequencing in the Index is as found in Stevenson’s original. When the book was printed, his sequential errors were transparent since the page references were correctly ordered. However, in some instances, though two references may have been on the same page originally, the text of a subsequent reference in the Index appeared before the text of a preceding reference in the body of the work. Since my pagination is different than the original, this transparency is eliminated.
In several sections the History employs lengthy quotations from official reports, addresses, and private letters (some of which letters had been written by the author himself). Indeed, two entire chapters are comprised almost wholly of quotations. None of these were set in a different typeface in the original, nor did the original employ narrower margins or any other means to indicate that the author himself was not speaking. When I first read the book, I was sometimes confused as to the speaker ? often his quotes are unattributed. For the purpose of clarity, then, I have chosen to offset all quotations, except for short, in-line quotes, from the main text by employing narrower margins for them.
One such quotation deserves particular mention: in describing the battle at Kenesaw Mountain near Atlanta, Rev. Stephenson fills several pages (280-283/4 in the original; 154-157 in the transcription) with the authorship of some unattributed person. Without any attribution, and without trying to locate (how might that be done?) the original letter/report, it is difficult to know where exactly the quotation ends and where Stephenson himself again takes up the narrative. I have examined this quotation very carefully, paying particular attention to syntax. A clue (p. 283) that the quotation has not yet expired is the phrase “… is a citizen of your State …”, the use of the word “your” being an indication that the unattributed writer is still speaking. Five paragraphs later, (p. 284) Stephenson is clearly speaking again when he writes the single-sentence paragraph: “See records for the killed and wounded.” One or another, then, of the four intervening paragraphs marks the end of the unattributed quotation. For a variety of reasons, I have eliminated the indented margins immediately preceding “See records … “. If this is, in fact, in error, the error is wholly mine.
Spelling, Grammar and Errata
Britishisms; questionable and not-so-questionable spelling errors; errors in tense and number (there are several in Stephenson’s book); and the printer’s original typographic errors have been retained. The standard convention for noting the presence of an error in an original document is to retain the error in the copy followed by the Latin “sic” to indicate that the transcriber did not make the error. Since some pages bore the weight of multiple mistakes in the original, I decided not to clutter the pages with sic, sic, and more sic but merely to indicate such by employing a green font. If the misspelling or tense/number error is encountered when Stephenson is trying to phonetically represent someone’s speech, they have not been highlighted. Sometimes I would encounter editorial errors such as “the the” or “was was.” These are retained, with the second instance being highlighted. If a preposition or infinitive or some such other word appears to be missing, I have highlighted the words immediately preceding and following the apparent omission. Participants’ ranks often changed during the course of the war, and so in one section an individual may be referred to as “Captain” while in another as “Colonel”. However, if a title is obviously incorrect in context, it too is highlighted.
Stephenson includes a page of Errata. When an item in the text appears in red, it appears uncorrected. These errata are interactive: the reader may click on the word to see the correction.
The only exception to the rule of retention is in punctuation, where occasionally a sentence will end with two periods, or sometimes none, and in at least one instance with a period and a comma. All of these appear to be printer’s errors rather than errors by the author, and so have been corrected, without notification, to conform with standard usage. A parenthetical on p. 314 in Stevenson’s original is preceded by an “em” dash and succeeded by a comma. I have replaced the dash with a comma. In one instance in Stevenson’s book a list of names is given within a sentence. One name among the list is not separated from the others by a comma, which comma I have inserted without notification. When parentheses are used in the History, the parenthetical being separated from the rest of the sentence by a comma, Stephenson (or the printer) sets the comma inside the closing parenthesis. I have retained this convention.
Sometimes a word like General would be abbreviated Gen. (with the period) and at other times as Gen (without the period). Again without notification, I have elected to utilize the period following all titular abbreviations.
Sometimes in roster lists, individuals’ names are followed by a comma (or a period, or a semi-colon) and sometimes not. I have deleted all such punctuation, retaining only those commas where a surname precedes a forename. Sometimes the roster lists are alphabetized by surname, other times there is no rhyme or reason to the particular sequencing. I have retained the sequences of names in the order found in the originals.
Any and all other omissions and errors are mine, for which I apologize. If you notice any, please send an e-mail to me. Thank you for visiting.
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History of the 78th O.V.V.I.