Reviewed by Jay Jorgensen
A Quaker Officer in the Civil War is written by Justin Carisio. A resident of Delaware, Mr. Carisio is a past member of the board of trustees of the Delaware Historical Society. This book focuses on the war service of Henry Gawthrop, a member of the 4th Delaware Regiment Volunteer Infantry.
Gawthrop enlisted in 1862 and was commissioned as a lieutenant in Company F of the 4th Delaware. He served from September 1, 1862 through February 1, 1866. Like many soldiers, Gawthrop kept a diary and wrote letters home to his family and friends. Fifty years after the war had ended he wrote a book about his experiences in the war, relying heavily upon those war time writings. Titled Diary and Letters, the book was donated to the Delaware Historical Society in 1937. Carisio’s book relies heavily upon Gawthrop’s work, and brings to light an intriguing and insightful account of the officer’s time spent in defense of the Union.
The 4th Delaware was assigned to duty in defense of the Baltimore and Washington DC areas early in the war. It joined the Army of the Potomac in the field in May, 1864. It remained with George Meade’s army through the Appomattox Campaign and participated in the Grand Review on May 23, 1865.
Henry Gawthrop served with distinction throughout his time with the regiment. He was wounded in the hip in the fighting at Hatcher’s Run. In the action at Five Forks Gawthrop was shot in right ankle, shattering his bones. Carried off to a field hospital, Gawthrop had his foot amputated later that evening. In spite of that he returned to service on July 6, 1865, ultimately being posted to duty in New York Harbor until being discharged in early 1866.
Carisio’s book is well written. It provides an excellent account of Lieutenant Gawthrop’s experiences in the Civil War, and is well worth the time spent reading it.
Title: A Quaker Officer in the Civil War: Henry Gawthrop of the 4th Delaware
Author: Justin Carisio
Publisher: The History Press