Author to sign books at Pittenger marker dedication Saturday at old Grange in Knoxville

Award-winning author and editor Richard A. Baumgartner will be signing copies of his critically acclaimed Civil War book, “The Bully Boys: In Camp and Combat with the 2nd Ohio Volunteer Infantry Regiment 1861-1864” on Saturday at the old Grange reception hall in Knoxville.

He will autograph books immediately following the 2 p.m. dedication ceremony for the William Pittenger marker in Knoxville Park.

Pittenger, a member of the 2nd Ohio’s original Company H, which was recruited primarily from the Steubenville area, was among the very first recipients of the Medal of Honor for his role in the “Great Locomotive Chase” in Georgia during April 1862.

After the Civil War, Pittenger became the chief chronicler of this famous raid by writing a number of books and articles about it. Less well known, however, is that for a full year prior to the raid, Pittenger served as an “embedded correspondent” in the 2nd Ohio for readers of the Steubenville Herald.

Thirty-three of his descriptive and often witty letters, published in the newspaper between April 1861 and March 1862, were used by Baumgartner in “The Bully Boys” as well as dozens of others written by 39 additional members of the regiment, many of them from Steubenville and the Yellow Creek area of Jefferson County.

These letters, describing such iconic Civil War battles as First Bull Run, Perryville, Stones River, Chickamauga, Lookout Mountain and Missionary Ridge, are supplemented by Baumgartner with previously unpublished excerpts from a memoir by Anson McCook, a Steubenville attorney and scion of Ohio’s “Fighting McCook” family. McCook was Pittenger’s first captain and later commanded the 2nd Ohio as colonel.

A former newspaper journalist, Baumgartner is the author/editor of nearly 20 books, including “Buckeye Blood: Ohio at Gettysburg,” “Kennesaw Mountain June 1864” and his latest, “Fractured Paths of Duty: The Civil War Letters of Surgeon J. Dexter Cotton and Adjutant George B. Turner, 92nd Ohio Volunteer Infantry.”

He is a past recipient of the Richard B. Harwell Award and Alexander C. McClurg Award, and a former consultant for the Time-Life series “Voices of the Civil War.” He lives in Cabell County, West Virginia.

For information, contact Baumgartner by phone at (304) 733-3917 or by e-mail, books@citynet.net.