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Ozzy    424

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

 

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WI16thJim    205

More than a few errors! The 1st and most notable: 3 brigades in the 6th Division? I once did a car caravan at a Shiloh anniversary where it was claimed the 6th had 3 brigades. I wonder if this is where that came from.

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Ozzy    424

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 Div after Shiloh (2).jpg  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.)

 

Prentiss (2).jpg  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:

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

 

 

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