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Found 10 results

  1. Boring letters.

    Whether by accident or design, Terre Haute Indiana not only found itself on the National Road (leading from Cumberland Maryland to St. Louis Missouri -- today's Route 40), but Terre Haute sits within a stone's throw of Illinois. That accidental location led to many Indiana citizens joining an infantry regiment associated with Crawford County, Illinois... or more particularly, a regiment associated -- by design -- with a brigade created by Illinois Congressman John McClernand, consisting of the 27th, 30th and 31st Illinois Infantry regiments. One of these "Indiana soldiers" serving Illinois was Benjamin Franklin Boring, who joined the 30th Illinois, Company D, at the age of 21 in August 1861. Rapidly advancing to Corporal, Benjamin Boring first saw action at Belmont; then was "part of the reserve" supporting the 8th Illinois (as part of Oglesby's Brigade) at Fort Donelson. The March 29th 1862 letter from Corporal Boring to his friend, Will Jones of Robinson Illinois, describes the visual scars of battle still evident in the landscape around Fort Donelson; the onset of illness (so severe that at one point only eleven men of 81 could report for duty in Company D); and following the battle, several regiments were sent to garrison Clarksville (which is where Benjamin Boring hopes his regiment will be sent, not really fond of his current location... although he indicates that he "has taught himself to play the piano tolerably well" by making use of the piano found in an abandoned house near Dover.) http://visions.indstate.edu:8888/cdm/ref/collection/vcpl/id/3337 [Letter of 29 March 1862, courtesy of Wabash Valley Visions and Voices of Indiana Libraries.] At the time of Corporal Boring's letter, Major General McClernand's original brigade had been comprehensively removed from his control: the 30th Illinois was on garrison duty at Fort Donelson; the 31st Illinois was also on garrison duty at Fort Donelson; and the 27th Illinois was taking part in the Operation against Island No.10. Following the Battle of Shiloh, the 30th Illinois and 31st Illinois reported to Pittsburg Landing and became part of McClernand's Reserve (Sergeant Benjamin Boring has a number of letters written from Jackson Tennessee: the letter dated 27 May 1862 is most revealing.) The 27th Illinois also joined the Crawl to Corinth, but remained part of Pope's Army of the Mississippi. Sergeant Boring continued to write letters (and contributed stories to Illinois and Indiana newspapers) until his muster-out at expiry of his three-years' term of service in 1864. Many of those letters are to be found at the listed online site (with some of the most interesting detailing his involvement with the Vicksburg -- Raymond -- Champion Hills campaign.) Cheers Ozzy References: http://visions.indstate.edu:8888/cdm/ref/collection/vcpl/id/3337 Letters of Benjamin F. Boring 30th Illinois Co.D http://www.findagrave.com/memorial/26334910/benjamin-f-boring Benjamin Boring at find-a-grave http://www.vigo.lib.in.us/archives/inventories/wars/civilwar/boring.php Benjamin Boring bio at Vigo County Library
  2. Born in Baden, German Federation in 1834, Adolph Metzner migrated to America in 1856 ...and raised a company of Turner Society members at Indianapolis (which became Company A of the 32nd Indiana Infantry) Colonel August Willich, commanding. Attached to Army of the Ohio after muster in August 1861, the 32nd Indiana occupied Bowing Green, Kentucky in February 1862 ...stopped briefly in Nashville ...and joined the march south and west to Pittsburg Landing to reinforce U.S. Grant. Reaching the west side of the Tennessee River morning of April 7th, Colonel Willich led his men into a gap between W.T. Sherman and Lew Wallace (and gained the admiration of General Wallace for the gallant conduct of the regiment under fire.) But, most importantly for our purposes: Lieutenant Metzner was a sketch artist, working in pencil of various colors. August Willich at Green River, Kentucky 1862 [by Adolph Metzner] Everywhere the 32nd Indiana went, Metzner managed a sketch (and usually provided a date for the image): "Duck River Bridge at Columbia, March 21st 1862" [important because it shows condition of bridge that delayed Buell and apparent depth of the river.] Also, the other places marched through, and dates, are recorded. As concerns Shiloh, the only images I have encountered (of which there are three) are titled "Casualties." Adolph Metzner must have been astounded by the horror of Pittsburg Landing, as it presented to him: the images are gruesome and graphic. The 32nd Indiana joined Halleck's Crawl to Corinth: Metzner sketched scenes enroute, and ten or more in vicinity of Corinth. In addition, the artist sketched numerous images of soldiers and officers of the 32nd Indiana; sketched W.T. Sherman and U.S. Grant; and reproduced scenes from Chattanooga and Atlanta. In all, the Library of Congress holds over 120 sketches Metzner created during 1861-65 (and a further 70 CDVs that are only accessible at the Library.) Adolph Metzner survived the war, and lived out his life in New Jersey. Upon his death in 1918, his body was returned to Indianapolis for burial. Cheers Ozzy References: http://www.loc.gov/search/?fa=contributor%3Ametzner%2C+adolph&sp=1 Metzner Collection at LOC http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adolph_G._Metzner Metzner bio at wikipedia http://32ndindianainfantry.yolasite.com/ 32nd Indiana history (includes CDV of Adolph Metzner)
  3. Presented is an interesting telegram sent by Major George W. Brent (from the former Army of the Mississippi HQ at Jackson, Tennessee) to General Beauregard at Corinth on April 2nd 1862: http://civilwar.rosenbach.org/?p=5512 [from "Today in the Civil War: dispatches from the Rosenbach Collection"]. Ozzy
  4. Pictorial History

    Published in 1890 (and now available at hathitrust) this two-volume set of sketches contains images of Fort Donelson, Shiloh and Corinth you have probably never seen before: Pictorial History of The Soldier in our Civil War. In Volume one, the section on Fort Donelson begins page 235. Pittsburg Landing/Shiloh begins page 262 (with the image of "McClernand's Second Line on April 6th" of particular interest.) Also, a detailed diagram of Grant's Last Line, bottom of page 265. And on page 266, two-page sketch of Lew Wallace's advance April 7th. On page 268, an interesting sketch by Henri Lovie of "Hurlbut under attack at the Peach Orchard on April 6th." The section on Corinth: page 274- 280 (includes a sketch of the Female College at Corinth.) Links below... Ozzy http://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=mdp.39015020728781;view=2up;seq=272;size=300 Soldier in our Civil War, vol.1 http://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=mdp.39015046806710;view=2up;seq=10;size=125 Soldier in our Civil War, vol.2 N.B. There is also a sketch of Robert's Raid at Island No.10 (page 240) I had never seen anywhere else... Ozzy.
  5. Value of the POWs

    Sixteen hundred Federal prisoners commenced their slow march to Corinth on Monday morning, April 7th and soon began to realize things had not gone well militarily for their Southern captors. Many witnessed the body of General Albert Sidney Johnston (under escort of six officers) passing, enroute for the train to New Orleans via Memphis [Genoways p.56]. As the POWs trudged towards Corinth, there was no ignoring the makeshift hospitals -- one after another after another -- on both sides of the road, tending the Rebel wounded [Genoways p.96]. But the singular event that gave the captured men hope was the unexpected appearance of a squad of Confederate cavalry, obviously in a panic, that flew past -- heading South -- in the early afternoon [Genoways p.89 and 129]. Those mounted stragglers provided proof that their Federal comrades had reversed the tide of the battle; and offered hope that they would overtake the marching men before they reached Corinth, and re-capture them. Alas... not to be. Ozzy Reference: A Perfect Picture of Hell, Genoways & Genoways, University of Iowa Press (2001)
  6. The above map, taken from the 1911 Joseph W. Rich book, The Battle of Shiloh, is the best to be found showing the railroads in vicinity of Pittsburg-Corinth, and surrounding area in March 1862. We tend to focus on the Memphis & Charleston and Mobile & Ohio railroads, particularly their intersection at Corinth; and forget about all the other lines (the existence of which made 'the efforts to cut the strategic Southern railroads' all the more difficult.) The rail lines shown on Rich's Map are as follows: Memphis & Charleston RR on the map, runs east from Memphis through Corinth and beyond; parallels the Tennessee River (south bank) until crossing to the north bank, just east of Decatur. Completed in 1857, passage from Charleston to Memphis could be accomplished in 42 hours before 1861. Soon after the war began, the same journey took ten days or more, due to need to check crossings and bridges for sabotage; and preserve deteriorating tracks and ties by operating at slower speeds. Mobile & Ohio RR running northwest from Mobile, the line appears on the map passing through Corinth, Jackson Tennessee, Humboldt, Union City and Columbus (with a northwest branch line to Hickman, Kentucky from Union City.) The feeder line running from Union City, northeast to Paducah, belonged to the New Orleans & Ohio RR. Each of the stations -- Corinth, Jackson, Humboldt and Union City -- presented problems for Federal forces due to the fact other rail lines connected at those stations, allowing damaged track to be bypassed. [On the map, the section of trestle destroyed by Lew Wallace on March 13, 1862 is indicated by "Purdy." Confederate troops moving from Union City south to Corinth could avoid that damaged trestle by riding the M&O to Jackson Tennessee (change trains); ride the Central of Mississippi to Grand Junction (change trains); and complete the journey to Corinth aboard the Memphis & Charleston.] Replacing torn up, bowtie-bent steel rails was problematic, because the South imported about 90 percent of her railroad rails from Great Britain; and the blockade was effective at preventing most of that material from getting through. Central of Mississippi RR west of Corinth, it appears on the map as an unnamed intersection with the M&C RR (Grand Junction), having begun at Canton, Mississippi, passed through Holly Springs, Grand Junction, Bolivar, and terminating at Jackson Tennessee (where a connection with the Mobile & Ohio was available. Note: most railroad terminals in the South, although 'appearing' to be at the same town or city, were actually hundreds of yards-to-several miles apart, requiring getting off one line, hike a fair distance, and board a new train.) The Central of Mississippi was one of two lines still available for Confederate use, after Lew Wallace cut the Mobile & Ohio north of Bethel Station on March 13, 1862. [From Canton, Mississippi, the New Orleans, Jackson & Great Northern RR ran south to New Orleans.] Memphis & Ohio RR ran northeast from Memphis through Humboldt (where connection with Mobile & Ohio was available) through to McKenzie (connection with Louisville & Nashville) and ended at Paris Tennessee (where transfer to the Memphis, Clarksville & Louisville RR enabled the journey to be completed to the Ohio River.) Louisville & Nashville RR ran from Union City southeast to McKenzie (where connection to Memphis & Ohio possible). Although the map indicates travel between McKenzie and Nashville was possible, this section was mostly improved bed, with no rails laid (although Federal troops completed the line during the war; and the L&N was able to emerge from the war strong, and absorb many of the financially struggling lines into the L&N network.) The section of line from Nashville north through Bowling Green to Louisville was completed in 1859. Memphis, Clarksville & Louisville RR on the map, begins at Paris (where it connected to Memphis & Ohio) and runs east and northeast to Clarksville; and continued on to Bowling Green (where connection to L&N available.) The M,C&L RR suffered from Phelp's Raid of February 1862, when its bridge a few miles upstream of Fort Henry was rendered unserviceable. Tennessee & Alabama RR ran south from Nashville, through to Columbia. Completed in 1860, the section south from Columbia operated as the Nashville & Decatur RR, with southern terminus at Decatur. [The Memphis & Charleston also passed through Decatur, on the left bank of the Tennessee, and crossed the Tennessee River just east of that railroad town, to run along the north bank of the river through Huntsville, Stevenson, Bridgeport... and on to Chattanooga and beyond.] For anyone with an interest in Civil War railroads... Ozzy References: http://www.csa-railroads.com/ Confederate Railroads wikipedia
  7. Over at Missouri Digital Heritage, ran across an outstanding journal that records a Rebel soldier's activity from 1860-1863. John M. Weidermeyer was born in Charlottesville, Virginia in 1834, and moved with his family to Missouri when he was five years old, eventually settling in Osceola, less than 20 miles from the border with Kansas. Incensed by outrages of the 'jayhawkers,' (which is why the diary begins in 1860), Weidemeyer organized a troop of cavalry early in 1861 (4th Cavalry Regiment, Missouri State Guard), but it was disbanded a few months later without seeing significant service. Weidemeyer next joined the 4th Infantry Regiment, Missouri State Guard and was elected Captain of Company H. Beginning page 41, (February 18, 1862) Captain Weidemeyer describes the 'difficulty' between General Benjamin McCulloch and General Sterling Price, and their maneuvers that eventually led to the Battle of Pea Ridge March 6-8 (pages 44-46.) Beginning on page 54 (March 30) it is obvious that the Missouri State Guard is marching east to join the Confederate Army of Johnston and Beauregard at Corinth: the distances marched each day; taking the steamer Vicksburg from Helena, Arkansas and arriving at Memphis... ten days after the Battle of Shiloh. Riding the Memphis & Charleston into Corinth (pages 57-8) where the 4th Missouri endured the siege, and was 'reorganized' in accordance with CSA guidelines, to become 6th Missouri Infantry, CSA (losing Missouri State Guard affiliation) and John Weidemeyer was elected Captain of Company K. The evacuation of Corinth was interesting, because it appears the men-in-ranks were not aware they were evacuating: they thought they were being led into a position to 'attack the enemy,' and did not know until they heard their stores exploding behind them 'what was up,' as they marched south to Booneville, and eventually to Baldwyn, Mississippi (page 60.) The journal continues through the Siege of Vicksburg... but you can read that for yourself. Worth a read for learning how the Missouri State Guard fit into the Confederate picture; how keen was the effort to join the Army of the Mississippi at Corinth; and the detailed observations and thoughts, recorded at the time, of a man fighting for the South. http://cdm.sos.mo.gov/cdm/compoundobject/collection/mack/id/7405/rec/44 John M. Weidemeyer's Journal, at Missouri Digital Heritage. Cheers Ozzy
  8. A Tale of Two Maps

    Just for the sake of comparison, here is the Map used by Confederate Generals at the Battle of Shiloh (found in The Life of Albert Sidney Johnston, by William Preston Johnston (1878) page 558: And here is the map constructed for Henry Halleck, during the April/May 1862 advance on Corinth (found at the Library of Congress, and attributed to Colonel George Thom, Topographical Engineer): Obviously, someone had a lot more time on his hands... Regards Ozzy
  9. Diary of Lafayette Rogan

    Was poking around the internet, looking for diaries and letters, and ran across one that may be of interest to SDG members: The Diary of Lafayette Rogan, Second Lieutenant, 34th Mississippi, Co. B (Tippah Rebels). On investigation, the 34th MS (sometimes called the 37th Mississippi) began recruiting in February 1862; but was not fully organized until after the Battle of Shiloh. The regiment, under command of Colonel Samuel Benton, was assigned to defense of Corinth in April, and fought in the Battle of Farmington on May 9th (during Halleck's Crawl to Corinth.) After the evacuation, the 34th Mississippi moved with Bragg's Army to Chattanooga, and was engaged in the Battle of Perryville; the Battle of Chickamauga; and the Battle of Lookout Mountain. It was during the November 24, 1863 Battle of Lookout Mountain that Lieutenant Rogan was captured, and soon found himself in the new POW Camp at Rock Island, Illinois... and began his diary. His story is of interest, on many levels: the diary is well-written, clear and engaging;the subjugation to bitter cold and rampant illness are fully described;the response of local citizens to 'Rebels in their midst' is not what you might expect;there are 'incidents' of shootings at the camp, I was unaware of;Lafayette Rogan was tasked with compiling the Prison Record for Rock Island: it is his hand writing, recording every entry.For me, having made frequent visits to Rock Island Arsenal while growing up, and familiar with the POW camp location (and surprisingly large cemetery), but not familiar with the story... This diary, and its associated connections to the Prisoner Records, truly brings the experience home. The diary, POW Records, and 34th Mississippi Infantry Regiment records are accessible below. Ozzy http://www.arsenalhistoricalsociety.org/museum/docs/diary1.pdf Diary of Lafayette Rogan http://www.arsenalhistoricalsociety.org/museum/docs/diary2.pdf Diary (Part 2) http://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-21714-67274-60?cc=1916234&wc=M8VN-QWL:203216301,203236801 http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~mscivilw/muster34.html 34th MS Inf Regt
  10. William Horsfall was there.

    It is said that William Horsfall stowed away on a steamboat on the Ohio River, in order to join a Union regiment 'out west.' In December 1861, he was mustered into the 1st Kentucky Volunteer Infantry, Co G, as a musician. But, he soon traded his drum for a rifle; he became known as an outstanding marksman. As part of Buell's Army of the Ohio, he marched with Bull Nelson's Division towards Savannah, Tennessee, and crossed the river to Pittsburg Landing at 5:30 on the afternoon of April 6th. Sleeping on the line overnight, at 4am his 22nd Brigade (Colonel Bruce) was ordered into line, near the extreme left end (only Ammen's Brigade was closer to the Tennessee River.) They moved forward about 6am, and despite fierce opposition, drove the Confederates from the field by late afternoon. Following the victory at Shiloh, Drummer Horsfall participated in Halleck's agonizingly slow crawl towards Corinth, sometimes advancing only a few hundred yards before constructing new entrenchments. On May 21st, 1862, the 1st Kentucky attempted to advance across a ravine, but the Rebels waited in ambush at the top of the opposite side, and shot them down. Including the officer commanding Co. H, Captain James Williamson. As the Federals retreated to safety, it was realized that Captain Williamson had been left behind, in the ravine. When the situation was brought to the attention of Drummer Horsfall, he 'leaned his rifle against a tree, and rushed forward 'in a stooping run' to the wounded officer's side. He succeeded in dragging him to safety.' For his heroism and bravery, he was awarded the Medal of Honor. On May 21st, 1862, William Horsfall was 15 years old. <militarytimes.com/citations-medals-awards> <civilwarbummer.com/kentucky-drummer-boy> Union Regiments of Kentucky, published under the auspices of the 'Union Soldiers and Sailors Monument Assn.' and including The Regimental Histories and Sketch of Military Campaigns, by Captain Thos. Speed; [etal]; Louisville, KY: Couker-Journal Job Printing Co., 1897. Volumes 1 and 2 available online <archive.org/stream/unionregimentso00unio>
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