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  2. Shiloh account, pre-battle patrols

    Stan Thanks for showcasing this important, first-hand account by J.J. Geer, published only a few months following his capture in April 1862. His record of interaction with General Benjamin Prentiss, since July 1862 confined at Madison, Georgia (where all the other surviving Federal officers taken at Shiloh were collected, by mid-July) is of importance; as is report of the Picket Skirmish on April 4th, leading up to Lieutenant Geer's capture. Another reference you may find of interest: "The History of the 48th Ohio Veteran Volunteer Infantry" [ http://www.48ovvi.org ]. The unit Geer belonged to, before his assignment to Buckland's Staff, the above website is a "work-in-progress," frequently updated. Numerous Pittsburg Landing-specific links (just click for access); two extensive Battle of Shiloh components; and an eight- page letter, written by Captain Frank M. Posegate to his wife (April 11th 1862) in which he details the events leading up to April 6th. [In the aftermath of the Picket Skirmish on April 4th, Federal cavalry sent to investigate labelled the enemy action as simply "reconnoitering in force." Captain Posegate records his own view: "No one seemed to think it possible for the Rebels to attack us..."] There are some genuinely thought-provoking inclusions on the 48thOVVI website... but believe it best not to give too much away. Regards Ozzy N.B. Two items of minor relevance: period records of John J. Geer can be difficult to track down (unless you use the common misspelling of his name as Greer.) Also, no mention of Lieutenant Geer is to be found in D.W. Reed's Battle of Shiloh and the Organizations Engaged. [It would be reasonable to expect Geer's listing with Buckland's Staff on page 39, with disclaimer "captured prior to Battle of Shiloh."]
  3. I found this account while doing some Shiloh research. Detailed account of the patrolling in the days before the Battle of Shiloh as Federal patrols searched for Confederates ahead of their lines. That, and the successful escape of 2 Federals after being captured at Shiloh https://archive.org/stream/beyondlinesory00geer#page/22/mode/2up
  4. Fort Donelson

    Soldiers killed and wounded at Fort Donelson
  5. And following his return to the North, John J. Geer commenced a speaking tour across the Loyal United States, in company with William Pittenger, 2nd Ohio Infantry, a Sergeant in Company H ...and one of the participants in Andrew's Raid (Great Locomotive Chase of April 1862.) http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A2001.05.0018%3Achapter%3D2 scroll down to Geer and Pittenger tour Ozzy
  6. Civil War Weekend Cancelled in Manassas

    Belle As I (sadly) watch developments from the other side of the world -- beginning with "erasing history" in Memphis, and then New Orleans -- and now the latest quest to deny history (instead of adequately explaining history) I am reminded of a quote found in George Orwell's 1984 (adjusted for emphasis): "He who controls the Present, controls the Past. He who controls the Past, controls the Future." Part of why I enjoy the study of History, is the challenge of "trying to make sense." I especially enjoy this site, SDG, as it allows "bouncing ideas" and "finding clarity through testing, via discussion and argument." To arbitrarily demand, "This is how it is, and that's final," is not scientific; tests nothing; and may feel good, in the short term. But true understanding only comes by weighing evidence; not by arbitrarily breaking the scales. My two cents... Ozzy
  7. Hello..... In case there were any re-enactors or historians heading to Virginia next weekend.......Due to the current atmosphere here in Virginia, the long tradition of "Civil War Weekend" scheduled for August 24-25 in downtown Manassas (Bull Run) is officially cancelled. The times, they are a-changing. THE MANASSAS BELLE
  8. Last week
  9. Lt. Charles C. Morrey, Company D, 21st Missouri Infantry

    Another image of Morrey
  10. More on Geer, his Findagrave page. https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSln=geer&GSfn=john&GSby=1840&GSbyrel=before&GSdy=1865&GSdyrel=after&GSob=n&GRid=16664875&df=all&
  11. https://archive.org/stream/beyondlinesory00geer#page/26/mode/2up A link to an online book about the story of Geers capture and pre-battle Federal patrols.
  12. Capt. Sol Catterlain, Captain of the Tigress

    Back of the image. Hard to make out the last name.
  13. Col. Cassius Fairchild, 16th Wisconsin Infantry

    Fairchild's grave, along with a liquor chest that he owned.
  14. Col. Cassius Fairchild, 16th Wisconsin Infantry

    Two other images of Fairchild
  15. Confederates killed and wounded at Shiloh

    Confederates killed and wounded at Shiloh
  16. 1st Lt. Frank M. Suiter, Company B, 2nd Iowa Infantry.

    Stan I find this image of Lieutenant Suiter particularly interesting, because of the "backdrop" featuring ironclad steamboat. 1st Lieutenant Robert Fishel 12th Iowa, Co.H Lieutenant Fishel attempted to accompany his regiment to the front on April 6th, but due lingering illness (probably dysentery or diarrhea) had to return to camp after completing less than a half-mile of march. The above water-damaged, faded image features an ironclad gunboat over Fishel's right shoulder. Regards (and thanks for posting these images) Ozzy N.B. Robert Fishel (a veteran of 1st Iowa 90-day regiment) enlisted in 12th Iowa with his two brothers, Samuel and Squire; and cousins George McKinnis and Thomas Clendenin. Squire Fishel, George McKinnis and Thomas Clendenin were all captured in collapse of the Hornet's Nest; Samuel Fishel somehow avoided capture and became a member of Union Brigade during March to Corinth, along with Robert Fishel.
  17. Name that Road

    Of course Mona is correct: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/americas-19th-century-highway-the-river-108072437/ because the "highways of America" during the 19th Century "were her Rivers." And U.S. Grant made use of this watery "river road" almost daily. Think outside the box... Ozzy
  18. Name that Road

    i am going say --us grant...he arrived in savannah march 17th and he rode down to the landing several times..and on one trip the horse slipped in the mud and this is were he received the severe injury to his leg.
  19. 2017 Epic Trek Topic Announcement

    I have equally watched all of the videos and was very disappointed when the stars didn't align last year. This year I will be thrilled to join the hike.
  20. 2017 Epic Trek Topic Announcement

    looking forward to meeting you..it will be here before you know it!
  21. April 4th was Significant... for the Union gathering in vicinity of Savannah and camped at Pittsburg. Manassas Belle's introductory post (above) hits many of the "occurrences of significance" that date to April 4th 1862, beginning with "the emergence of a Rebel force at Purdy, with potential to conduct a raid from that place against Lew Wallace's Division, stretching away west from Crump's Landing." So seriously was this threat taken, that General Grant ordered WHL Wallace, in temporary command of Smith's 2nd Division, to "be prepared to reinforce Lew Wallace's 3rd Division, in vicinity of Crump's Landing, with your entire Division." In addition, Grant alerted William Tecumseh Sherman to the potential threat, and advised him to be ready to follow WHL Wallace; and also to have Hurlbut's 4th Division prepared to contribute its support. Lew Wallace, himself, sent a message to General Grant (via John Rawlins, AAG) requesting the promised provision of batteries belonging to Stone and Markgraf to be expedited. General Grant relayed this request, converted into an order, to WHL Wallace: "Have Stone's and Markgraf's batteries sent to General Lew Wallace at an early hour tomorrow [April 5th]." [For some unknown reason, WHL Wallace never carried out this order: Stone's Battery K, formerly assigned to Stuart, east of Prentiss, stayed in possession of Major Cavender, attached to 2nd Division... and was available for use in defense of the Sunken Road on April 6th. Markgraf's Battery was parked on the bluff overlooking Pittsburg Landing; and on April 6th, Markgraf's Battery became the eastern-most battery attached to Grant's Last Line (beside Munch's Minnesota Battery.) Definitely to the Union's benefit that these batteries were not sent to Crump's Landing.] In response to General Grant's Purdy alert, General Sherman issued "Orders No.19 of April 4th," which detailed required response of Sherman's regimental and brigade commanders, in case of unexpected attack. [A timely reminder...] However, the same day, General Sherman issued "Special Orders No.18" which stripped the 5th Division, in vicinity of Shiloh Church, of its cavalry [it is difficult to conduct proper reconnaissance without cavalry.] Special Orders No.18 also reiterated the assignment of Stone's Battery K... to Cavender; and Munch's Minnesota Battery was ordered to report to Prentiss' 6th Division. [Although loss of cavalry to the 5th Division -- through April 6th -- was inexcusable, the "assignment" of artillery was fortuitous (especially as Prentiss had no artillery until Hickenlooper's 5th Ohio showed up afternoon of April 5th, followed by Munch a few hours later.)] In the communications, above, Belle also touched on the message traffic ongoing between Grant and Buell. The advance of Nelson's Division arrived at Savannah a day or two before April 4th, and Grant advised Nelson, "Do not hasten; I can not put you across the river before Tuesday [April 8th.]" (from Buell's Shiloh Reviewed, page 491.) Nelson, in his haste, also flew through Waynesborough... which negated the intention of General Buell to hold his Army of the Ohio in vicinity of that iron-production center, almost two day's march from Savannah, pending arrival of General Halleck. Buell advised Grant that he would "arrive at Savannah, tomorrow [April 5th.]" Grant replied to Buell (on April 5th) that he would "be here [at Savannah] to meet you tomorrow [April 6th.]" (OR 11 pages 90- 93.) Meanwhile, two projects neared completion on April 4th, which would facilitate communication by road between Crump's Landing and Pittsburg Landing. The Shunpike was completed by elements of the 5th Ohio Cavalry; and Major General Lew Wallace sent a message to WHL Wallace, advising him that he [Lew Wallace] would send a party of cavalry to WHL Wallace next day [April 5th] along the Shunpike, and requested that the commander of the 2nd Division send his own cavalry back with the 5th Ohio Cavalry, so as to be familiarized with that route, to be used when reinforcing in either direction. The other project was Snake Creek Bridge (sometimes referred to as Wallace Bridge)... a vital link in the Hamburg-Savannah (River Road), without which the road connecting Crump's Landing to Pittsburg Landing was unusable. And from the time Sherman's Division arrived at Pittsburg Landing (in March) until about April 3rd, this Wallace Bridge was unusable: it had been dismantled by Confederate forces, prior to their evacuation of Pittsburg Landing in early March; and the depth and breadth of flood waters in Snake Creek prevented serious re-building of that bridge until the flood subsided. Apparently, by April 3rd the flood had substantially subsided, and Wallace Bridge was rebuilt [although remaining flood waters stymied completion: the approaches to the bridge were not installed.] Even on April 6th, the Wallace Bridge remained incomplete (and Colonel McPherson, tasked with completing that project, was reassigned the higher-priority survey of Hamburg on April 5th, to determine site of the camp for Buell's Army of the Ohio.) [Papers of US Grant vol 5, page 14.] And the question must be asked: Although WHL Wallace, James McPherson and US Grant knew the Wallace Bridge was "mostly complete" by sunset on April 4th, did anyone else know? The "Skirmish of the Pickets" occurred about 5pm on April 4th, in front of Sherman's 5th Division, and involved elements of the 72nd OVI and 48th Ohio and 5th Ohio Cavalry versus Confederate cavalry and an artillery battery. Union losses appear to include two officers and two enlisted, captured; while Confederate losses included eight men taken prisoner. This event provided "a wake-up call" to the entire Federal camp in vicinity of Pittsburg Landing; and some made more use of the information than others. WHL Wallace rode out with Colonel McPherson to meet with General Sherman and discuss the occurrence: they were satisfied that it was "a minor picket skirmish," and soon left Sherman to return to the 2nd Division Headquarters. Meanwhile, it began to rain. And on the way back to the 2nd Division, Wallace and McPherson encountered General Grant, riding west. The three officers paused and discussed the Picket Skirmish; and then parted company, with WHL Wallace continuing with McPherson to the 2nd Division HQ, and US Grant riding away in direction of the Landing... and Grant's horse slipped on the rain-slick ground, and tumbled, with General Grant's leg caught between the horse's body and the ground. Nothing was broken, but the injury, in proximity to the ankle, was painful. [Grant admitted that he needed crutches to get around for days afterwards; and that he had difficulty sleeping, due to throbbing in the injured leg.] (Grant's Memoirs, page 335.) April 4th 1862. Just another day in the lead-up to Shiloh? Ozzy References: OR 11 pages 89- 94 Buell's Shiloh Reviewed pages 491- 2 http://www.aotc.net/Shiloh.htm#Buell http://digital.library.msstate.edu/cdm/compoundobject/collection/USG_volume/id/17896/rec/1 Papers of US Grant Grant's Personal Memoirs Sherman's Memoirs Life and Letters of General WHL Wallace Captain J.J. Geer, 48th Ohio http://archive.org/details/beyondlinesory00geer captured April 4th 1862. N.B. Thanks to Manassas Belle for initiating this topic -- Ozzy.
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  23. 2017 Epic Trek Topic Announcement

    Hello Mona. I have watched videos of prior years' hikes on YouTube and, since my re-enactment group portrays a unit that was part of Wallace's Division, I am excited about the opportunity to retrace their footsteps. I'm looking forward to meeting everyone as well.
  24. Name that Road

    Here is one final challenge... Name a single Federal soldier, who made use of the River Road (a.k.a. Hamburg-Savannah Road), in completing a journey between Crump's Landing and Pittsburg Landing -- in either direction -- prior to April 3rd 1862. Ozzy
  25. Savannah to Pittsburg Landing

    Buell's [slow] March from Nashville to Savannah, Tennessee It all began when C.F. Smith's expedition up the Tennessee River to destroy Confederate railroad lines was converted into an offensive operation, involving overwhelming force, to take place at Corinth, Mississippi. And General Don Carlos Buell commenced his march out of Nashville about March 15th to join his Army of the Ohio with Grant's Army of the Tennessee (and it was understood -- by Buell -- that this combined Army would be led south against Corinth by General Halleck, in person... once "that other business keeping him in St. Louis" was completed.) And Buell also understood that a major component of his trek south and west revolved around the rebuilding of bridges (as necessary), and the extension of a telegraph line from Nashville to Savannah [OR 11 page 43: March 17th 1862, Halleck to Buell.] The lack of urgency in completing the transit was further imparted by U.S. Grant, as late as April 4th, when Buell received a courier-delivered message from Grant, advising Buell, "Do not hasten, because I can not put you across the river until Tuesday [April 8th]" (from Buell's Shiloh Reviewed, page 491.) Luckily (for Federal supporters), General William "Bull" Nelson sensed urgency and sought permission to ford the Duck River before the "official opening" of the rebuilt Duck River Bridge, end of March. This "hasty movement" not only ensured Nelson's Division arrived at Savannah at Noon on April 5th; but Nelson passing beyond Waynesborough put paid to a request by Buell to use Waynesboro "as a base" while awaiting Halleck's arrival at Savannah/Pittsburg [OR 11 page 94.] According to Colonel Jacob Ammen's Diary [found in OR 10 beginning page 331], upon his arrival at Savannah on April 5th, he immediately reported to U.S. Grant's Headquarters at the Cherry Mansion, but failed to find General Grant. Ammen directed his 10th Brigade south and west of Savannah, about a half to three-quarters of a mile from Grant's HQ, and set up camp. At about 3pm General Grant appeared, in company with General Bull Nelson, at Ammen's camp. The conversation included Grant telling Ammen, "You cannot march through the swamp [to approach Pittsburg Landing]" and "I will send boats for you on Monday or Tuesday [to take your brigade from Savannah to Pittsburg Landing.]" Grant rode away, in company with General Nelson. And General Buell showed up at Ammen's HQ tent about sundown on April 5th. [But Buell did not announce his arrival to U.S. Grant.] However, it appears a meeting was scheduled to take place, Grant and Buell, at the Cherry Mansion, next morning. Early Sunday morning, Jacob Ammen was up preparing for the inspection and parade of his brigade, which he'd scheduled for 9am. While eating breakfast, the sound of scattered firing, growing ever louder, more intense, came from the southwest. Becoming certain that a battle was taking place in vicinity of Pittsburg Landing, Colonel Ammen sent a party of men [not identified, but likely cavalrymen] south and west down the road, to determine if it was possible to march infantry through to the riverbank opposite Pittsburg Landing. Ammen cancelled the inspection; changed focus of his 10th Brigade to "preparing for battle" (and during this preparation, Bull Nelson appeared, and directed him to "Be ready," and then advised that he was "on his way to Savannah, to watch for boats." When Colonel Ammen fronted up to the Cherry Mansion for orders [at about 9am by my estimate], Buell and Nelson were already there. But, General Grant and his staff were not there, having all departed aboard Tigress before Buell arrived [my estimate, Buell arrived at Cherry Mansion between 8- 8:30 and missed Grant by as little as fifteen minutes.] It was assumed that General Grant would send steamers to Savannah [based on earlier conversations]. And although U.S. Grant claims that he left a message, directing Nelson to "march through the swamp," Nelson claims that he never received that message. Meanwhile, there being no steamers at Savannah, Buell, Nelson and Ammen decided to wait... especially after the first member of Ammen's reconnaissance party reported at the Cherry Mansion, with "unfavorable details" in regard to "getting through the swamp." While waiting, Jacob Ammen discovered that his old friend from West Point, Charles Smith (now Major General Smith) was upstairs in the Cherry Mansion, recovering from a leg injury. Ammen went up and chatted with Smith for an extended period... until Ammen was called outside by an orderly; and returned to the yard to interview the other troopers, just returned from scouting the swamp. Their report: "they could not find a way through." Worse news: there were still no boats at Savannah. About noon, a small steamer was seen approaching Savannah, from the north. Before flagging it down, and departing on that steamer, General Buell directed Nelson to, "March through the swamp at 1pm, if no transport has arrived by then." (Between the report of "no way through the swamp," and Buell's departure, a man described by Ammen as "a tall Tennessean" appeared on the scene, and announced, "he was a strong Union man, and he could guide men across that swamp, but not wagons or artillery." It appears Buell departed Savannah in company with his Chief of Staff at about 1pm. [He arrived at Pittsburg Landing just before 2pm, and met a steamer bearing a message for him from General Grant, along the way.] No other transport arrived at Savannah; Ammen records in his diary that the 10th Brigade commenced its march at 1pm; (and Bull Nelson recorded in OR 10 page 323 the start of that march at 1:30.) Ammen further records that "they started on a good road that ran along a ridge, for about three miles. Then, the guide led them down, into the black-mud swamp." After struggling through for a few minutes, Ammen asked, "How much farther?" To which, the guide replied, "Only five miles more, through this swamp, to the landing." As they pressed on, Ammen recalls crossing a sturdy bridge -- securely fastened down -- that spanned a water-filled ditch, and then returning to the endless mud. Eventually, sparse timber gave way to dense forest; but the mud and ankle-deep water persisted. Ammen recorded, as he looked down, and peered through the flooded forest, "that if there is a road, the high water has erased its trace." With two miles to go, General Nelson, in company with a cavalry company, came splashing up, commended Ammen on his progress, and galloped ahead... after taking possession of Ammen's guide. "It was actually easier," says Ammen, "to follow the trail left by a hundred horses." And the sound of battle, coming from their front, boomed and crackled, unabated; only now, men's shouts punctuated the metallic thunder. Finally, after slipping and sloshing four hours, Jacob Ammen emerged from the forest, onto a field that bordered the Tennessee River. A path was quickly hacked into the steep bank, leading down to the river, to facilitate loading of men and horses; the job finished just before the first steamer arrived. But even with the arrival of the boats, there was a problem: every steamer arrived already crowded with wounded men and stragglers. Only about four companies of Army of the Ohio troops could be crammed aboard each steamer. Still, the first fresh troops of that Army stepped ashore at Pittsburg Landing, just after 5:30 pm [OR 10 page 339.] To find out more, have a look at some of the linked references... Ozzy References: OR 10 (pages as indicated, especially page 331 -- Ammen's Diary) OR 11 pages 11, 43, 44 and 94 http://www.aotc.net/Shiloh.htm#Buell Shiloh Reviewed, by D.C. Buell (1885)
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