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The 15th Mississippi had been recruited in Summer of 1861, and was active at Battle of Fishing Creek (aka Mill Springs) in January 1862, so appears to have returned south and enlisted fresh recruits... and John W. Taylor was one of the "new privates."  From Yalobusha County (Coffeeville, MS) Taylor joined Company D end of March 1862; and set off immediately for Corinth (cooked six day's rations) and raced after the Army marching north towards Pittsburg Landing. Private Taylor describes the chaos, the rain-affected trek, and arriving in vicinity (held in reserve as part of Colonel Stratham's 3rd Brigade of Breckinridges Reserve Corps). He reports the "first firing took place Sunday morning at 5 o'clock" and the 15th Mississippi joined the fight at noon. Describes his movements on the Battlefield as best he can, finishing Day One: "We helped run them to their gunboats." Day Two, Private Taylor blames those same gunboats for preventing consolidation of the victory.

A day or two after returning to Corinth, John Taylor wrote this 4-page letter to his parents at Coffeeville. And finishes the letter by instructing his parents "to keep his brother, Steward, at home."

The John W. Taylor letter is held by the "Clyde Hughes Collection" http://finding-aids.lib.unc.edu/04819/  University of North Carolina. The University of North Carolina web project, "The Civil War, Day by Day" (which has an interesting entry for every day of the Civil War, mostly oriented towards North Carolina) added John Taylor's complete letter of April 11th 1862 as their entry for that day.

http://blogs.lib.unc.edu/civilwar/index.php/2012/04/11/11-april-1862-battle-of-shiloh-letter/  John Taylor's Shiloh letter

Cheers

Ozzy

 

 

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Thanks for posting this letter Ozzy. I looked up references to the 15th Mississippi in 'Shiloh Conquer or Perish' by Timothy B. Smith, which in my opinion is the single best work on the battle of Shiloh. On page 135 he mentions two cases of accidental self wounding, both by officers of the 15th, just as they were going into battle, that well illustrates the pre battle jitters that affected the men. Smith again references the 15th Mississippi on pages 183-84. One reference illustrates rebel supply problems when the 15th is ordered to take a battery in their front but are out of ammunition. General Breckinridge 'thundered' "The 15th Mississippi doesn't need any cartridges. Take it with your bayonets." On page 184 he references John Taylors letter "We did not stand their fire but a few minutes in that charge." The rest of page 184 describes the attack and retreat of Stratham's brigade and the 15th Mississippi in particular.

Later on pages 191-92 the 15th Mississippi is mentioned again. Interesting to note that Albert Sidney Johnston received his fatal wound at the time he was issuing an order to  Stratham to take a battery.

On page 337 describes the fighting on April 7th and quotes from Taylor's letter, this time without credit "We Made a charge on a battery and five or six regiments was firing at us from nearly every direction."

Taylor mentions falling in with the 22nd Louisiana while retreating on April 7th 'I never seen any of the regiment till night I fell in with the 22 Louisana regiment and we ran the enemy till I gave out I Sit down by a tree and sit there until the fireing seaced,' 

I don't see a 22nd Louisiana listed in the order of battle in Smith's book but there is listed the 22nd Alabama and 22nd Tennessee. Was there another name for the 22nd Louisiana?

Perhaps Ozzy, with your fantastic research capabilities you could find for us the diary of Augustus Hervey Mecklin, April 6, 1862, MDAH., or Binford, "Recollections of the 15th Regiment of Mississippi Infantry, CSA.

Thanks for all your hard work Ozzy.

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Roger

Glad you found the John W. Taylor letter of April 11th 1862 worthwhile... and thanks for providing additional detail IRT that letter. (Good find on Taylor's reference to the the 22nd Louisiana; amazing the tricks our memories play on us in times of stress.)

I stumbled upon the Letter, written by a soldier of the 15th Mississippi, while searching for information IRT Confederate President Jefferson Davis, and his reaction to news of the death of his friend, Albert Sidney Johnston, at the Battle of Shiloh. So many of General Johnston's aides were with him at the end, it would make sense that President Davis would be interested... not just in Johnston's final moments, and the Funeral Ceremony in New Orleans; but his plans and ambitions, revealed during those last days of March and early April 1862. And who better to ask than a member of General Johnston's Staff, face to face.

I believe I have determined who journeyed to Richmond to provide Jefferson Davis with that information, but am attempting to track down confirmation before revealing the story here at SDG.

All the best

Ozzy

 

N.B.  Upon viewing a Map of Mississippi to see where was Coffeeville, I was struck by the proximity of John Taylor's  county of Yalobusha to Oxford (and the University of Mississippi.) Yet, the Letter is in North Carolina, stored in the UNC Rare Books collection, and not generally available to the public.

 

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Yes, it's very interesting where civil war letters end up. In doing research for my book on the 77th Ohio I found a great collection of letters stored in Arkansas, even though the man was from Marietta, Ohio, made available to me for  $10 and likewise another man from Marietta, of which I have one incredible letter describing the grisly aftermath of the battle, the rest of his letters are locked away in New York City, being held for ransom, available for $250 each at the Gilder Lehman Institute. 

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In the spring of 1864, the 16th WI recruited 4 new companies to refill their ranks. One young Lt. wrote a lot of letters that are now in the UNC's collection. It cost me $125 to have then digitized and sent them to me. Came out to be 189 MB of data, about 400 pages. I became aware of their existence in the bibliography of a book. Digitizing seemed a little less expensive than driving to North Carolina.

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To research the 15th Mississippi Infantry Regiment, I would start with the NPS soldier and sailors:

http://www.nps.gov/civilwar/search-battle-units-detail.htm?battleUnitCode=CMS0015RI01  15th Mississippi

The following have worthwhile information:

http://www.millsprings.net/index.php/2013-10-01-18-24-22/battle-of-mill-springs  15th Mississippi at Mill Springs

http://mcgavock.wordpress.com/2007/07/29/the-15th-mississippi-fought-courageously-at-franklin-and-suffered-horrendous-casualties/   15th Mississippi at Battle of Franklin

http://opac2.mdah.state.ms.us/rgfindingaids/military/15thRegimentInfantry.html   15th Mississippi rosters

http://www.mississippiscv.org/research   Sons of Confederate Veterans research site (see 15th Mississippi)

Aside from information contained in Tim Smith's book, the only book I am aware of pertaining to 15th Mississippi is A Hard Trip: A History of the 15th Mississippi Infantry, CSA by Ben Wynne, Mercer University Press (2003). I have not had the opportunity to read this work as yet (although just discovered my local library has it). On a scan of the internet book reviewers, it rated 4-out-of-5 (so worth the effort.)

http://books.google.com.au/books/about/A_hard_trip.html?id=qeV2AAAAMAAJ&redir_esc=y 

Cheers

Ozzy

N.B.  Of course, the after action Reports found in various OR volumes provide worthwhile information...

 

 

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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 

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