- One of the best secondary sources, probably the best, dealing with the Civil War on the Peninsula is Defend this Old town: Williamsburg During the Civil War by Carol Kettenburg Dubbs . . .
. . . one of its chief sources is, The Vest Mansion, Its Historical and Romantic Associations as Confederate and Union Headquarters (1862-1865) in the American Civil War by . . .
2. David Edward Cronin. Cronin, an officer of the 1st New York Mounted Rifles, has been mentioned before and was present at many of the operations in the winter of '63-'64 which I have described. However, besides being an participant, Cronin was also documenting events. Along with the The Vest Mansion book he also wrote The Evolution of a Life, Described in the Memoirs of Major Seth Eyland and mutiple volumes of papers now held by the New York Historical Society.
The volumes detail the activities of the 1st New York Mounted Rifles during the Civil War, in Virginia along the York and James Rivers, and in North Carolina. This cavalry unit participated in the following campaigns: Deserted House (Jan. 1863), Longstreet's seige of Suffolk (May 1863), Bottom's Bridge (Feb. 1864), Drewry's Bluff or Fort Darlington (May 1864), and The Darbytown Road (Oct. 1864). Material also describes daily routines such as picket duty, orderly and courier duty, and scouting patrols on the Peninsula. Some skirmishes with Confederate bushwhackers and the looting activities of the Mounted Rifles are also described.
The pseudonym "Seth Eyland" is used for the book because, not only writing for posterity the multifaceted Cronin was also a writer/artist for Harpers Weekly. His articles appeared under that name, though his graphic work normally went uncredited.
|New-York Historical Society Quarterly Bulletin, 1941|