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Everything posted by Ozzy

  1. 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."]
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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.
  5. 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
  6. 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.
  7. 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
  8. 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)
  9. Keep cool and shoot low.

    Jim Thanks for having a look at the above newspaper article IRT 18th Missouri infantryman Gibhart Kurtz. I stumbled across it while searching for Benjamin Prentiss's acknowledgement, made during a speech at White Bear Lake, that he had inadvertently left mention out of his November 1862 Shiloh report of the valuable service provided by Munch's Minnesota Battery on April 6th. 6th Division, April 1862, after Shiloh. [From OR 11 (aka OR 10 part 1) page 154, entry dated April 30th 1862.] Why is this here? To illustrate how the 6th Division might have looked, had not the Battle of April 6th been thrust upon it. Of course, McKean is substituted for Prentiss; Doran is substituted for Peabody; Oliver replaced Miller; and Crocker replaced John Pope Cook (to have commanded 3rd Brigade after April 8th. Brigadier General Cook arrived at Savannah overnight on April 5/6 1862.) Special Orders No.36 [From OR 11 page 67, Special Orders No.36 dated March 26th 1862.] The 6th Division, Army of the Tennessee, is created from "unattached troops at Pittsburg, Tennessee" [under temporary command of Colonel Everett Peabody... as Benjamin Prentiss has merely departed Missouri, and will arrive Pittsburg Landing on April 1st, in company with the 12th Michigan Infantry, aboard steamer, Meteor.] As for Gibhart Kurtz: Was he present at Shiloh? http://www.nps.gov/civilwar/search-soldiers-detail.htm?soldierId=8EE206B1-DC7A-DF11-BF36-B8AC6F5D926A How old was he at Shiloh? http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSln=Kurtz&GSiman=1&GScid=30336&GRid=84847016& Are there any noteworthy details recorded in relation to his service at Shiloh? [Scroll down to 2nd para (Wounded) in following link.] http://battleshiloh.blogspot.com.au/search/label/18th Missouri Concerning Sergeant Kurtz's recollection, 21 years after-the-fact: there is no evidence he was "grand-standing," (exaggerating his story to make himself look good.) But his memory of events would have been tempered by those scenes that were forever seared onto his brain (observed in the limited space that he personally occupied); and by comparing stories with others, after the battle. Perhaps there was a rumour of a third brigade to be created, from all the "unassigned regiments" arriving daily, up through April 6th. Perhaps Kurtz suffered from the same "inattention to detail" as Benjamin Prentiss, that resulted in neglect of the 1st Minnesota Battery. In the meantime, Gilbert Kurts -- or Gebhart Kurtz -- of St. Joseph, Missouri gives us another window through which to view Sunday morning, April 6th (and with any luck, he left behind letters, or a diary.) All the best Ozzy
  10. It is not very often that a first-hand account of the actions of the 6th Division during the first hours of Day One, and during the stand at the Hornet's Nest comes to light. The following link takes you to the Little Falls Transcript of Little Falls, Minnesota (edition of September 14th 1883.) Beginning page 6, column 6 is the article, "In the Hornet's Nest" by Sergeant Gibhart Kurts (sometimes identified as Gilbert Kurtz) of the 18th Missouri Infantry, Co.K. Of interest: although listing all the regiments belonging to the 6th Division at Shiloh, Sergeant Kurts appears to be unaware that the 1st Minnesota Light Artillery (Munch's Battery) belonged to the 6th Division. Sergeant Kurts is aware of the strengthening of pickets and outposts; and recalls seeing General Prentiss attempting to rally the troops before everyone "fell back to the hill in the rear." http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn89064525/1883-09-14/ed-1/seq-6/#date1=1878&index=0&rows=20&words=Prentiss&searchType=basic&sequence=0&state=Minnesota&date2=1884&proxtext=Prentiss&y=17&x=13&dateFilterType=yearRange&page=1 Little Falls Transcript of September 14th 1883, courtesy of Library of Congress and Chronicling America. Ozzy
  11. Savannah to Pittsburg Landing

    Nelson's Route of March on April 6th 1862 [Detail from Atwell Thompson Map of Savannah to Pittsburg, circa 1901, on file with Library of Congress.] Because a picture is worth a thousand words... Ozzy
  12. Name that Road

    Perry One of the curious aspects encountered during study of the Battle of Shiloh, revolves around its maps: no two maps of Pittsburg Landing drawn prior to 1865 match each other. The maze of roads in vicinity appears to have been too great a challenge to accurately record: perhaps each map-maker differed in regard to focus, and emphasized "major roads," or "roads most used," or "roads particularly useful." or roads potentially useful... Whatever the focus, it is satisfying when "points of agreement" are discovered, one map to another, as it assists in unravelling the road network and siting significant actions; as well as revealing the "thinking and mindset" of the map-maker. As you exposed to the rest of us with your recent photograph of the River Road: that road is impressively long and straight (ignore the post-battle re-aligned segment behind you, for a moment.) Sherman and Grant also noted this characteristic of the River Road (aka Hamburg-Savannah Road) and recorded it, via their maps. (The River Road further benefited by having a potentially important bridge along its line, to the north.) Of the two maps, Sherman's is more accurate for alignment (NNW -SSE as opposed to North-South) but Grant's is more accurate for including width of the impassible bottoms in the weeks leading up to Battle of Shiloh. The flooded Snake Creek prevented use of the River Road north to Crump's Landing until late on April 4th, when LtCol McPherson "finished" major repairs to the Wallace Bridge. (Finished not exactly accurate, because the approaches to the bridge had yet to be installed, leaving the Snake Creek crossing incomplete up through April 6th 1862.) And it does not appear that any Federal troops made use of Wallace bridge, until... about 9:45 on morning of April 6th, General Grant, while riding west to meet with Sherman, encountered elements of the 2nd Illinois Cavalry lined up, awaiting orders. Grant dispatched Lieutenant Frank Bennett, Company A, to ride north along the River Road to Crump's, "give my compliments to General Lew Wallace, and tell him to come immediately, you being the escort." [http://archive.org/stream/historyofcompany00flet#page/50/mode/2up see page 50]. From this moment, the River Road becomes disproportionately important, relative to all other roads (in the mind of U.S. Grant). Maintaining control of the Wallace Bridge, and the road leading to it, are vital. Many of Grant's subsequent actions, over the course of the day, may be viewed with "control of the River Road" in mind. Now, consider the "old farm lane" put to use by Colonel James Tuttle: can you find it on the map of Grant or Sherman? All the best Ozzy N.B. As regards "obvious stopping point" -- in reference to an orderly withdrawal of Sherman's and McClernand's troops towards the east -- have a look again at Sherman's Pittsburg Landing map: where did he place the "Tilghman Branch?" Since Grant and Sherman must have made use of Sherman's map in their discussions on April 6th, I believe it was beneficial, if not necessary, for Grant to clarify the proper relationship of River Road to Tilghman Branch, and its potentially protecting ravine, to reassure Sherman of the advisability of use of the River Road as "fall-back position."
  13. Rbn3 Although accepting your points, here are my "amendments" to the above: "Always leave 'em wanting more" -- P.T. Barnum. This is the essence of how I determine a "well-written book" or a "good movie" ...by the fact that I read it (or view it) again. Because I want to. [If you ain't cheatin' ...you ain't a-tryin'] is actually one of my favorite expressions, with applicability to describing war-fighting as opposed to the playing of sport. Sport: where winning within the rules is important. War: where winning is important. There are two secrets to success. The first: "Never reveal everything you know." Ozzy Ozzy
  14. Water under the bridge... I believe one can drive themselves insane, attempting to make sense of the various clan-hatreds, feuds, attempts "to put old grievances right," and incidents of religious intolerance, that took place "back in the old country;" and I believe many fled their old countries to put those unfathomable grievances firmly in the past, and start fresh. Of course, some grievances and bigotries die harder than others... In tracing the pedigree of Patrick Gregg, it is important to understand "what sort of background" influenced his development as a man; but it is also obvious that he endeavored to "move past" some of that historical animosity and establish himself as "American," working from as clean a slate as possible. Participation by recent immigrants in "an American war" allowed those new arrivals to accelerate their claim to status as Americans, and gain acceptance in exchange for their sacrifice. And the nature of the Civil War (American) was such that "immigrants" were not blamed in the South for the defeat of the Confederacy; just as "immigrants" were not accorded, by the North, extraordinary credit for success by the Union in that war. The South "all commiserated together," and the North all celebrated together (although USCT may have felt justifiably slighted by their Northern comrades.) But, some grievances and bigotries die harder than others... My two cents Ozzy N.B. For those curious about some of the "feuds that pre-dated Hatfield and McCoy" here is a link: http://brandywinebooks.net/?p=4402 The Steel Bonnets by George MacDonald Fraser First published about 1971, the well-researched book reveals interactions (and friction) of the Lowland Families of Scotland with their neighbours to the south... east... west... and north. Helps in understanding why some families moved back and forth between Scotland and Ireland over many generations, before winding up in America, or Canada, or Australia. For research of Scottish and Irish records, before 1800, sometimes all that can be done is to "bite the bullet" and make the journey. Individual church records in Scotland (births, deaths, baptisms, weddings) are still maintained by those churches, except where the local church has been disestablished. According to British Law, records of disestablished churches and businesses are required maintained by the local library, an expansion of "Legal Deposit." (Sometimes those records are scanned onto the internet, but usually not.) A similar practice is at work in Australia; as for Ireland... unknown, at this time (but Family Bibles often act as sources of these same records, for Protestant families.) Just a few ideas, for family history research...
  15. Rbn3 Will get into the pre-American Gregg, via your link. I imagine the Irish genealogical records are impressively complete (similar to Scottish records.) Another interesting connection to consider investigating: Benjamin Prentiss and William F. Lynch. It is readily apparent that General Prentiss was impressed with Patrick Gregg (to the point of including Dr. Gregg at the Bryan Hall "serenade" of October 21st.) What about 23-year old Colonel Lynch? There must be more to his story... and why Patrick and John Gregg ended up in his regiment, as opposed 23rd Illinois Infantry. A couple of links... http://books.google.com.au/books?id=c9OJCgAAQBAJ&pg=PT63&lpg=PT63&dq=colonel+Lynch+58th+illinois&source=bl&ots=Zp_PU7Zl6A&sig=BmDAdwS3Sz-tBI0Rpv6EzK-r4Yg&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjLzuuitL7VAhVJl5QKHfqNBZUQ6AEINzAD#v=onepage&q=colonel Lynch 58th illinois&f=false Notre Dame and the Civil War, by James M. Schmidt http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=57203840 Colonel Lynch at find-a-grave All the best Ozzy
  16. Name that Road

    And now that we know what we're looking for: here is Sherman's Shiloh Map (Drawn before the Battle) When Sherman's "River Road" (twisted slightly counter-clockwise) is compared to US Grant's estimation, it is discovered that both Generals portrayed the Hamburg-Savannah Road to be long and straight (and I believe) easily identified. It is also obvious that both Generals were aware of this road... which proved crucial on April 6th. Unlike the Sunken Road (which appears to have been selected by accident), the River Road was chosen. It is my belief that during Grant's mid-afternoon meeting with Sherman, he authorized General Sherman to fall back to the River Road, and no further. Part of the reason was due necessity to keep possession of that road, and its Snake Creek Bridge, which Lew Wallace was ordered to use on his trek to Pittsburg Landing. The other reason, I believe, was simple practicality: here was an easily identifiable line, on the correct side of Tilghman Branch, cut into the ground for an army to adopt as its own. "Form along that line!" becomes a lot easier, and quicker, when the line is already prepared. Also, I believe General Grant's direct orders to the 81st Ohio and at least one other unit directly impacted on setting up the River Road for use as "Grant's Last Line -- northwest segment." Webster's Siege Guns accomplished a similar role along the east-west segment: created a rallying point for troops to extend from, east and west. Ozzy
  17. Rbn3 Was rummaging around, attempting different ways of searching for "Patrick Gregg," and ran across this: http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=77614008 Surgeon of 23rd Illinois, W. D. Wyner (or Winer) Here is his entry on 23rd Illinois roster: http://civilwar.illinoisgenweb.org/fs/023-fs.html Surgeon Wyner The find-a-grave site has a comprehensive bio IRT Dr. Winer (the surgeon Patrick Gregg replaced.) Also, ran across this copy of General Prentiss's speech at Bryan Hall, Chicago, on file Library of Congress: http://www.loc.gov/resource/lprbscsm.scsm0496/?st=text "Life in Southern Dungeons." Of interest, not only because it is a copy of Benjamin Prentiss's speech of October 21st 1862; but also because of the "filing mistake" made by LOC (under "subject headings" Dr. Gregg is recorded as "Gregg, John ( 1828- 1864 )." Not only is the name wrong... but this is not even Patrick's son, John W. Gregg (who many still believe is the "Dr. Gregg" sent away north to convince President Lincoln to exchange the prisoners.) Anyway, John Gregg is another possible way of searching for sites IRT Patrick Gregg (although, as yet, I have only retrieved sites already accessed via Patrick Gregg.) Just some bits and pieces... Ozzy N.B. Here is an example, found at what should be a reputable site, listing "John W. Gregg" as one of the commissioners sent north from Selma Alabama (scroll down to bottom of third paragraph): http://www.facebook.com/ShilohNMP/posts/879594192130568
  18. Name that Road

    And here is how U.S. Grant "viewed" the road on March 24th 1862: gun-barrel straight, from south to north, until it hit the bottoms (notice how wide was the flood in those bottoms in March 1862, where the Wallace Bridge resisted repair until April 4th.) MGen US Grant's Pittsburg Map [Detail of Pittsburg Landing, March 24th 1862 found in Atlas of the Civil War.] Cheers Ozzy
  19. Civil War Traveler

    Was looking for information about Civil War baseball games, and ran across this site: http://www.civilwartraveler.com/ Civil War Traveler promotes itself as "offering info needed before heading off to visit battlefields." Seems to be relatively comprehensive; and the entry for Shiloh is concise: http://www.civilwartraveler.com/WEST/TN/W-Shiloh.html Shiloh Battlefield at Civil War Traveler. Just thought it might be of interest to see how others promote Shiloh... Ozzy N.B. Here is the baseball site which led me to Civil War Traveler: http://www.alexandriava.gov/historic/fortward/default.aspx?id=40132#Spaulding City of Alexandria webpage with entry on Civil War Baseball (which is not badly done, except for misspelling Albert Spalding 's name.) And the link that takes you to Civil War Traveler is at very bottom of "Civil War Baseball" page [ Another Great Civil War Resource -- above the "Lightspan Academic Excellence Award" emblem.]
  20. The Bridge on the River Kwai is a 1957 film featuring William Holden, during which Holden, who has escaped from a "Hell on Earth" POW Camp in the jungles of Thailand, is "requested" to return to that camp on an important mission. To those who have seen it, especially in America, it first appears as "result of someone's too free use of creative license." After all, there were Americans taken prisoner in the Philippines, and on Guam... but Thailand? Included is mention of the sinking of USS Houston, and British prisoners building a railroad for the Japanese, and a death rate exceeding one prisoner per day... Why would anyone return to that? And the truth: no one did. The sinking of the Houston was real; and the employment of tens of thousands of British, Australian and Thai prisoners to build a railroad through the jungle was real; and it is believed that of the 180,000 men "put to work" in laying 250 miles of track from Thailand to Burma, over half of them did not survive the experience. So Bridge on the River Kwai, with its former prisoner returned on "special duty," is just a story. But, this is what makes Patrick Gregg's experience incredible: he did withstand months of incarceration on half-rations; he did witness needless deaths; and he did "escape" from this awful situation (and witnessed the opportunity others took to avoid return to "Hell on Earth"), but opted to go back. (William Holden's character in the film is coerced into going back.) And therein lies Dr. Gregg's claim to greatness. His story is real. Just an observation... Ozzy
  21. It appears baseball was played by General Grant's troops, during their abundant leisure time, after the victory at Fort Donelson. The game may have been introduced to regiments undergoing training at Benton Barracks. Alternatively, one or more of the regiments from Milwaukee, Chicago, or Ohio may have imported the game when they arrived at Pittsburg Landing in March 1862. It is confirmed that a baseball was discovered on Shiloh Battlefield, a few days after the carnage, by a civilian working for the Union army. G. F. Hellum was so impressed by his find, he etched details of the location of his discovery into the hide, turning the lemon-peel ball into a trophy. Now, consider the story of Sgt. Edward Spalding, Co. E, 52nd Illinois. In action on Sunday, the 6th of April, he was twice wounded, but refused to be removed from the field. He remained fighting, in open ground, until the close of the battle. Finally taken to Hospital at Pittsburg Landing in time to have wounds to his left arm dressed, he should have made a full recovery. But, days passed, and his condition worsened. Somehow, Ed Spalding's parents found out about their son's predicament; his father, Asa, journeyed to Pittsburg Landing and took him home, to Rockford, Illinois. The improvement in care, furnished in a loving home, probably saved his life. But, it still required time for his wounds to fully heal. While recuperating, he was visited by his 11-year-old cousin, Albert, to whom he introduced the rules of the game of Baseball. Edward returned to his regiment in November 1862, was promoted to second lieutenant, and continued to serve until mustered out in December 1864. Albert Spalding took to his cousin's game so well, that he went on to become a professional baseball player, playing as pitcher, centerfielder, and first baseman, for the Boston Red Stockings, and the Chicago White Stockings. In 1876, he co-founded A. G. Spalding Sporting Goods; he continued to promote 'the National Pastime' for the rest of his life.
  22. Baseball, anyone?

    Roger Thanks for making mention of that scene; I'll have to view the movie again and watch for "the Rules" in use. http://www.pacivilwartrails.com/stories/tales/baseball-and-the-civil-war Baseball and the Civil War by Terry Bluett Although the above reference was posted over a year ago, it is well worth a read (for those interested in how and why Baseball became associated with the Civil War); and why I believe we honor the memory and sacrifice of war participants, North and South, simply by attending a game at the ballpark, or playing the game during 4th of July picnics. Play ball... Ozzy
  23. Rbn3 In regard to the "unknown woman CDV" attributed to Gayford & Speidel... your guess was closer than mine: [Same woman, but CDV taken in Binghamton, New York by E.S. Woodbridge about 1864.] [Above "Unknown woman CDV" found at pinterest via Google Images.] And found by searching for "Mary Gregg Rock Island 1864" on Google. Since the original image more closely resembled Sarah Gregg, it seemed logical to check for daughters of Patrick and Sarah. But, what about Binghamton? In October 1862 -- on the 24th -- Mary Gregg married Albert Charles Dart, Rock Island resident originally from Broome County, New York [Binghamton is in Broome County] so my best guess is the newlyweds journeyed to Albert Dart's "home town" and visited family back East. http://findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi/http%22//fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=168431947 A.C. Dart at find-a-grave, with significant information in bio. Finding this woman's identity also solves another mystery: in a presentation attended by General Prentiss, Colonel Lynch and Captain Gregg in Chicago, following their release from captivity, Patrick Gregg apologized for "having to rush off and catch a train, because he had important family business in Rock Island." Don't know if Dr. Gregg arrived in time for the wedding, but it would appear that was his intention. Another item of interest was revealed while searching for evidence IRT Mary Gregg: http://shimercollege.wikia.com/wiki/Mary_Gregg Mary Gregg, alumnus of Shimer College. In February 1857, Dr. Patrick Gregg caught wind of "unwanted religious education being introduced to his daughter, Mary" and wrote the Heads of the College, expressing his displeasure [transcript of letter of Feb 14th included.] Find one lead, find another... Ozzy N.B. See Hank's SDG post of August 5th 2016 in Prentiss Speaks about Shiloh in 1862 -- Eyewitness Accounts. The "Serenade" involving Prentiss, Lynch and Gregg took place in Chicago on October 21st 1862... which should have given Patrick Gregg time to get to Rock Island and "give his daughter away" on the 24th. Probably a newspaper in existence that records the story...
  24. Rbn3 Of course, in tracking the Life of Patrick Gregg, his service with 23rd Illinois cannot be ignored (for it is this affiliation that most likely led to assignment at Rock Island Arsenal as Post Surgeon.) http://civilwar.illinoisgenweb.org/history/023.html [scroll down to entry of October 10th 1864.] And here is record of his muster in with 23rd Illinois Infantry in December 1862 (only two months following release from Madison Prison, Georgia.) http://civilwar.illinoisgenweb.org/fs/023-fs.html [Field & Staff record, Surgeon 15 DEC; muster in 22 DEC 1862.] The 23rd Illinois, known as the "Irish Brigade" at time of organization in Chicago, was formally mustered into Federal service in June 1861, and was with Peabody and Mulligan during the disaster at Lexington Missouri in September 1861. For all practical purposes, the 23rd Illinois "ceased to exist" following its surrender at Lexington; but through the efforts of Colonel Mulligan, the regiment was "re-constituted" ...and Patrick Gregg joined that organization in December 1862 and served the next two years in the Eastern Theatre, mostly in Northern Virginia; and in the Shenandoah Valley. [And you thought the 69th New York was the only "Irish Brigade" during the Civil War... ] Ozzy Reference: http://irishamericancivilwar.com/resources/regimental-nativity/23rd-illinois-infantry/ Irish in the Civil War http://weezy.info/pdf/GrandmaMePart3Chptr6.pdf PVT Edward Higginson, 23rd Illinois, Co.A Flag of the 23rd Illinois Infantry [from Don Troiani] N.B. And here is another item that made the 23rd Illinois special: http://antiquesandguns.com/rolfehenry.html Typical rifle used by 23rd Illinois Infantry.
  25. Just another one... When first exposed to the image of the "unknown woman in the black dress," I believed determining her identity would be comparatively easy (and I still feel that given enough time and effort, her name will be revealed.) But it reminds me, at the same time, of the thousands of Civil War images we have all run across, with either no label; or mislabeled; or recorded as "CDV of soldier in Zouave uniform." With enough time and energy, most of those "unknown soldiers" could be identified, making use of distinctive uniform items, facial features, Photographer's trademark, common location, and approximate date of capture of image. Until the technology is developed, allowing this "identification process" to be "fast and effective," the thousands of unidentified soldiers remain, staring out from the past; each one almost daring you to figure out who they are, and the interesting story each one has to tell. But in the meantime, each unidentified image remains as "just another one." Ozzy