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Shiloh Discussion Group

1st Sgt. Irenus McGowan, Company A, 29th Indiana Infantry

Stan Hutson
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1st Sgt. Irenus McGowan, Company A, 29th Indiana Infantry. Wounded at Shiloh on 7 April 1862 when a bullet smashed the middle knuckle of his left forefinger and another bullet inflected a flesh wound to his leg. He had this to say of the battle: “When within twenty or twenty-live miles of Shiloh we heard the guns on the first day. All extra baggage was thrown one side and we went forward in light marching order... In the morning we were put on board the vessels and moved up toward Pittsburg Landing. We reached the field of battle on the 7th.... That was the first experience the company had in battle and it suffered severely, twenty-three men being killed or wounded. I was struck twice, once in the hand and once in the leg. I was quite glad to see the rebels disappear.... On the battlefield of Shiloh, I received my commission as Second Lieutenant. The recollection of those days following the battle is very vivid. I witnessed then for the first time all the horrors of the battle-field, mangled bodies of horses and men and broken caissons.” Neither wound was serious, although his hand was probably the worst of his two injuries. By the middle of May Irenus wrote home, "My hand is nearly well so that I can use it some."

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