The Iron Brigade: A Military History (Used Book) - Alan T. Nolan
This is the story of the most famous unit in the Union Army. Originally called the "Black Hat Brigade" because soldiers wore the army's regular dress black hat instead of the more typical blue cap, the Iron Brigade was the only all-Western brigade in the Eastern armies of the Union. The brigade was initially made up of the 2nd, 6th, and 7th Wisconsin and the 19th Indiana Volunteers; later it was reinforced by the 24th Michigan Volunteers. Battery B of the 4th U.S. Artillery, consisting in large part of infantry detached from the brigade, was closely associated with it. It was at Brawner Farm in Northern Virginia, on August 28, 1862, that the brigade saw its first significant action. From that time forward - at Second Bull Run, South Mountain, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, and Gettysburg - the Western soldiers earned and justified the proud name Iron Brigade.
And when the war was over, the records showed that it led all Federal brigades in the percentage of deaths in battle. The North might well have lost the battle of Gettysburg if not for the Iron Brigade's famous stand. Nolan also includes in his account observations on some of the major figures of the War - such as Abraham Lincoln and Generals Grant, McClellan, Hancock, and Doubleday - as they were viewed by members of the Iron Brigade. Read this book and you will understand what one officer meant when he wrote:".. the great Western or Iron Brigade... looking like giants with their tall black hats... and giants they were, in action."