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Perry Cuskey

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Everything posted by Perry Cuskey

  1. Name that Road

    This is a picture I took at Shiloh last fall. Who wants to take a crack at naming where it is? Here's a kinda sorta hint: It's not the Sunken Road.
  2. 2017 Epic Trek Topic Announcement

    Hi Folks, After heading up to Fort Donelson this past fall, we're returning to Shiloh for our next Epic Trek adventure with historian Tim Smith. This time we're going to focus on Lew Wallace and his controversial role in the battle. Tim is going to lead us on a combined driving/walking tour of Wallace's infamous march from Crump's Landing to the battlefield on April 6th, and explore the controversies surrounding this march. After lunch, we'll then re-trace Wallace's fighting advance on April 7th as part of the Union counter-attack. In 2005, Tim led a small group of rangers and historians on what was likely the first complete re-tracing of Wallace's march since the battle, so he knows the ground and the subject well. The hike will take place on Saturday, November 11th, 2017 - Veterans Day. We'll have more information later, but I wanted to get this out there so everyone can start planning to join us. It should be another great hiking adventure, so mark it on your calendars and make plans to be there! Perry
  3. Name that Road

    I'm not sure I understand the emphasis on Grant and Sherman being aware of the Hamburg-Savannah Road. Has it been suggested somewhere that they weren't aware of it? I think the Sunken Road's selection was more a matter of circumstances than accident. (Which is also how I'd characterize the choice of the Hamburg-Savannah Road late on the 6th as part of the final defensive line.) The troops from Wallace's & Hurlbut's divisions were on the way to help Prentiss and Sherman, but the situation had quite clearly changed before they got there, especially on Prentiss' front, making a continued advance rather senseless. (You can't see Prentiss's position from the Peach Orchard/Sarah Bell Cotton Field area today due to the intervening woods, but contemporary accounts make it clear that they could do so at that time.)The common-sense decision was made to stop and form a new line, the only question being where. The Sunken Road made for a natural choice for Wallace's men under the circumstances, and Hurlbut, after initially setting up in Sara Bell's Cotton Field, eventually aligned his Peach Orchard front along approximately the same axis. What was left of Prentiss's division became a good way of connecting those two divisions, and making the new Union line more or less continuous, even though there were still gaps to fill. So even though it wasn't a line that was formed by design, I don't think it was completely by accident. It was a result of circumstances combined with a series of common-sense decisions. As you say though, roads make for logical stopping/rallying points, which is something that Bjorn pointed out on one of the anniversary hikes last April, focused coincidentally on the western section of Grant's Last Line along the Hamburg-Savannah Road. There were several things that went into making it an obvious stopping point for the retreating Union troops at that point in the battle. Perry
  4. Great Moments in Hiking History

    A little fun from some of our Epic Treks.... (Photo credit: Michele) (Photo credit: Ed Wertz) (Photo credit: Mike Talplacido) (Photo credit: Michele) (Photo credit: Michele) (Photo credit: No one claims this one) (Photo credit: Mike Talplacido) (Photo credit: Michele) We'll be doing another Epic Trek this November. Why not join us? You'll have a great time, and who knows, you might wind up as a caption. Perry
  5. Great Moments in Hiking History

    A few more. Pictures courtesy of Ed Wertz, and used with his permission. He also gets caption credit for the first one.
  6. The arrival of 47th Tennessee Infantry April 7

    Brent, in addition to the excellent sources that Ozzy provided, here is a very good article on the 47th Tennessee at Shiloh that I came across a while back. It's written by a historian named Sean Michael Chick, who has authored a book on Petersburg: https://emergingcivilwar.com/2016/09/08/the-47th-tennessee-infantry-at-shiloh/ Unfortunately, with one exception, he doesn't list any sources, but he does appear to have done some serious research on the regiment. He also includes a picture of Colonel Hill, adding in the comments that he found it online. I don't know if that means he's uncertain of its authenticity, but he did include the image with the article. He looks like a good source of information about the regiment. The one source that he mentions, in the article itself, is the West Tennessee Whig newspaper. Also, the University of Memphis has a collection of letters from Private John J. Davis of the 47th Tennessee, written to his wife. I was able to download a pdf of the transcribed letters, or perhaps transcribed portions of the letters, I'm not certain. Here's the link to the overview page: http://uldr.memphis.edu/vital/access/manager/Collection/vital:109 And the page where you can download the pdf file: http://uldr.memphis.edu/vital/access/manager/Repository/vital:1890?root=vital%3A109 While checking the Tennessee State Library and Archives for something on the West Tennessee Whig, I also came across a listing for a small book or pamphlet on the 47th Tennessee written by a Brent Cox. Would that be you? Perry
  7. Great Moments in Hiking History

    Thanks ladies. And no worries, Michele. Besides, slipping, tripping, and/or falling down on a Shiloh hike is a little like getting turned around or lost out in the park - it's a right of passage.
  8. Name that Road

    From my previous reply: "But most visitors to the park still arrived via the Tennessee River up until about the 20's or early 30's"
  9. Name that Road

    There are other sections of roads in the park that follow their wartime course, but yes, there has been a lot of adjustments, if you will, including by Thompson himself. And some wartime roads ("paths" is probably more accurate) aren't even there anymore, even as traces. Some of them were still there when the park was first created, but are now completely gone. The two guesses that Hank and Jim made - the Corinth Road and Beauregard Road, look similar to that picture of the Hamburg-Savannah Road in stretches, and follow their respective wartime routes. I kind of doubt that the Hamburg-Savannah Road was unintentionally left intact though. If Thompson had felt it needed straightening or curving somewhere, it would have happened. But most visitors to the park still arrived via the Tennessee River up until about the 20's or early 30's, and I'd guess that then as now, the River Road didn't see a lot of visitor traffic. So there probably wasn't much point in making any significant changes. On Route 22, I don't believe it follows any historic route, no, at least north of the park. The "old" Highway 22, prior to the modern-day version opening in the early 60's I think it was, followed the Main Corinth Road through the park. A point that board member C.D. Rickman made during the anniversary weekend when the subject came up. C.D. said that locals referred to the new highway as the "bypass," and I think he added that long-time residents still do. Perry
  10. Name that Road

    I forgot to mention, even though it's kind of obvious - but Lew Wallace and his men traveled down this stretch of road on their famous (or infamous) march to the battlefield on April 6th, after crossing Snake Creek. You're looking north in the picture, so their line of march would have been toward the camera.
  11. Shiloh Visit - April 29, 2017

    Hmmm. I know the siege gun display has been changed some in recent years. I can't remember off-hand the siege guns never being there, but my memory could be fooling me on that. Could be they've come and gone at various times, but I honestly don't know.
  12. Name that Road

    We have a winner! Hamburg-Savannah Road it is. The 'catch' about the picture is that, as Mona guessed, it's from the section of the road north of Highway 22, between there and Snake Creek. It's technically inside the park, but since it's across the highway from the rest of the park, and blocked by a gate to keep vehicles out, I doubt it gets many visitors. In fact, this was the first time I had ever been over there myself. Michele and I walked along it maybe half-a-mile or so before turning around near that downed tree across the road. And like I told Jim, I probably would have guessed it to be Beauregard Road if I didn't already know what it was. So congrats to Mona - she's now officially the River Road Queen. Here's a screenshot from Google Maps. The red circle near the top shows the approximate location of the picture.
  13. Name that Road

    That's what I would probably guess if I didn't know otherwise, Jim. Here's another hint, and this one might give it away - think Yanks instead of Rebs.
  14. Name that Road

    Ozzy, this one is kind of tricky. It's hard to tell, but there are no monuments along this particular road. Well actually there is one, but it's a fair distance behind me in this picture. Another hint below.
  15. Shiloh Visit - April 29, 2017

    Here's a link to an even earlier picture of the siege guns taken from very near the 1941 spot and from a similar angle. It's from the Kern collection, which we've highlighted on here before, and doubtless will again. No cannons in this image, but the monument is there, which dates the picture to sometime after 1904, when Illinois dedicated its Shiloh monuments. You can clearly see the Corinth Road running in front of the monument in this image. That section of the road is now only a trace, and closed off to traffic. http://daytonhistory.pastperfect-online.com/34465cgi/mweb.exe?request=image&hex=K58009.JPG
  16. Name that Road

    That's a good guess Hank, but it's not the Corinth Road. I'll give another hint this evening if no one figures it out.
  17. 2017 Epic Trek Topic Announcement

    Man, that would be a good trip. And you know, as long as you're already in Tennessee and heading to Gettysburg, you may as well stop off at Perryville, Chickamauga, Stone's River, the Shenandoah Valley, Harper's Ferry, Antietam......
  18. Shiloh Visit - April 29, 2017

    Mona, the battery picture is of the siege guns. The road in front is the Corinth Road, which of course is now just a trace and not nearly this well defined. I'm not sure when they closed it off - you might ask. Obviously it was sometime after 1941 though. Here's a screenshot I took on Google Maps that shows the location, with the siege guns circled in red. I've also circled the monuments in the upper-left. You can see them in the background of the original picture, by way of reference. Old photos are cool.
  19. Shiloh Visit - April 29, 2017

    I think mine's just zoomed in a little more, or maybe cropped down some. But they sure are close.
  20. Shiloh Visit - April 29, 2017

    Great photos, Ed. You covered some ground that day. I really like some of the b&w effects you included. And your first image of the Tennessee Monument is from an angle I don't think I've seen before. Nice job. It also looks like we took a nearly identical picture of Ruggle's Battery, several years apart, from kind of a unique angle. This is the one I took in the fall of 2013. See what you think.
  21. 15th Mississippi Letter

    Hi there guys. I received an email from the great-granddaughter of Augustus Hervey Mecklin after she came across this discussion and saw the question about her ancestor's diary. According to what she told me the diary is in the Mississippi Department of Archives & History. Here's their main website: http://www.mdah.ms.gov/new/ She added that you can't handle the original anymore (she was able to do so at one point), but you can order copies of the original diary, as well as a copy of a typed transcription made by one of his granddaughters. She did say that the transcription contains at least one error. I did a search using his name but did not get any results, which I'm sure simply means that the diary is not yet available online. But likely you can arrange to get a physical copy by contacting them, as she outlined. I'm not sure if his great-granddaughter wants her name posted on a public board so I won't do so, but her helpful information is very much appreciated. Perry
  22. Then & Now 1960's Version

    Below is a series of then & now pictures from April 1966 and April 2017. The 1966 pictures are from a set of Shiloh images posted on CivilWarAlbum.com by contributing photographer Ed Conner. You can see the original images at this link, which I'll include again at the bottom of this post: http://www.civilwaralbum.com/shiloh/old1.htm The 'now' versions are from my trip to the park for the 2017 anniversary. As you'll see when you visit the link, I didn't re-create all of Ed's photos, but I did manage to get a few. Had to leave some for next time though. But it's pretty interesting to see in what ways the park has and hasn't changed over the years. (Note: If you click on the images, it will open a full-size version.) First up, looking along the barrel of a James Rifle from Mann's Battery in the Peach Orchard. You're facing south, along the Union defensive line. No peach trees in the 'now' version. Unlike the 1966 image, they're all behind you. Bloody Pond, looking toward the west. The Hamburg-Savannah Road is behind you, with the Peach Orchard to your left. I'm not 100% certain of the direction in the original, but this was my best guess. A.S. Johnston's death site. Thanks to Michele for helping me figure out the right angle on this one. Although I still don't think I got it lined up quite right. Sometimes it can be more challenging than you might think, but that's part of the fun of it. Robertson's Confederate battery along the Eastern Corinth Road. Spain Field is to your left-front, and Barnes Field is behind you and across the road to your right. That's a Wiard Rifle in the 1966 image. The monument to the much-maligned 71st Ohio, near David Stuart's headquarters marker. The text for the original image identifies it as the First Tent Hospital monument, and while this is the correct site for the hospital, this is actually the 71st Ohio monument. The marker for the hospital site disappeared at some point, but there is now an excellent wayside marker for the hospital describing the area at the time of the battle. Next, Schwart's battery along Grant's Last Line. These small earthworks, tossed up by the members of the battery on the night of April 6th, were (and are) the only earthworks on the battlefield. Duncan Field, from near the Minnesota Monument. Tuttle's Iowa troops were defending the Sunken Road at this point. You can just make out Ross's headquarters marker below the tree-line in the center-distance, along the Main Corinth Road. That's it for now. Thanks to Mr. Ed Conner for sharing these great pictures on CivilWarAlbum.com. Photographs are like little time capsules, freezing a moment in time, and allowing us to compare that moment with one of our own. Here's that link again. Check out the other pictures on the site, as they're worth a visit! http://www.civilwaralbum.com/shiloh/old1.htm Perry
  23. Then & Now 1960's Version

    I've run across some pretty cool-looking old postcards from the park, on Ebay. Never bid on one, but maybe I should have.
  24. Then & Now 1960's Version

    Caught me in my time-traveling stare on the left. Or wondering if that person knows it's supposed to be one-way through the parking lot. On the right, I'm wondering where the big cannon by the river disappeared to.
  25. Then & Now 1960's Version

    Ha, I don't think Frassanito has anything to worry about, but thanks. Roger, I was there from the 5th to the 9th, during the anniversary events. It was a great extended weekend.
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