Hagerty, Edward J. 1955-
Hagerty, Edward J. 1955-
Born 1955. Education: Temple University, Ph.D.
Office—American Military University, 111 W. Congress St., Charles Town, WV 25414.
American Military University, Charles Town, WV, associate professor of history. Military service: Officer, Air Force Reserve; special agent, Air Force Office of Special Investigations (AFOSI); commander, AFOSI Field Investigations Region 2.
In Collis' Zouaves: The 114th Pennsylvania Volunteers in the Civil War, military historian Edward J. Hagerty tells the story of an elite regiment that saw service with the Union Army of the Potomac in major battles of the Civil War, including Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, and Petersburg. What made the 114th Pennsylvania unique, Hagerty explains, was its composition (it was made up largely of skilled workers and native-born Americans), its flamboyant uniforms (based on contemporary costumes worn by French North African units), and its commander, Colonel Charles Henry Tucker Collis. Collis was a Philadelphia lawyer, an abolitionist who had emigrated from Ireland in 1853 and had established a successful, politically connected practice by the time he was twenty-five. In 1863, however, Collis was charged with failing to obey orders and was court-martialed. "The controversy surrounding his battlefield conduct," stated Edward C. Snowden in his Pennsylvania History review of the book, "would continue to plague him even after his military service ended." After the war, Collis remained active in politics, often espousing causes that benefited fellow soldiers. "His bonds to his men did not end with the war," Snowden concluded. "Through his activities in the Grand Army of the Republic he championed the rights of veterans. He ‘devoted much of the remainder of his life to the development of a National Park at Gettysburg.’"
Hagerty also devotes much of his study to the type of men who chose to follow Colonel Collis. Many of them, stated Kevin S. Gould in H-Review, "were neither farmers nor foreigners." Instead, like their colonel, they were members of skilled trades who came into the army, not because of financial incentives, but because they believed in the cause for which they fought. Hagerty, Gould said, "shows through the Zouaves' letters that they joined either for such idealistic reasons as preserving the Union, ensuring liberty and democracy, and maintaining the American example, or out of family and professional loyalty." The author, Gould concluded, "has produced a model in military and social history."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Journal of American History, September, 1999, review of Collis' Zouaves: The 114th Pennsylvania Volunteers in the Civil War.
Pennsylvania History, autumn, 1998, Edward C. Snowden, review of Collis' Zouaves, pp. 538-539.
H-Review,http://www.h-net.org/ (July, 1999), Kevin S. Gould, review of Collis' Zouaves.