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  1. 4 points
    Hello everyone. This is to let you know that we're ready to go with our next Epic Trek, with historian Tim Smith. This will be our seventh consecutive year with Tim, and it promises to be another great experience. Here are the details: Price: $30 per person. Payable on the morning of the hike. Date: November 3rd, 2018. Location: Shiloh National Military Park Start Time/Place: 8:00 a.m. at Ed Shaw's, just south of the park. (Not completely set in stone just yet on Shaw's, but Mona or I will keep you posted.) If you're not sure how to get there, don't worry, we've got you covered. Focus of this year's hike: We're going to be following in the footsteps of the Confederate army's Alabama troops, and learning about their experience at Shiloh. (See professionally drawn map, below.) Overview: We'll be heading out from or near Ed Shaw's, and head off toward Spain Field with the Alabama troops of Gladden's Brigade. From there we'll reinforce John K. Jackson's Bama boys as they navigate their way through the ravines east of the Peach Orchard and help encircle the Union soldiers trapped in the Hornet's Nest. Then we'll re-up with some of Gladden's men and plunge into the Canyon of Pittsburg Landing, better known as Dill Branch Ravine. Then on to lunch near the visitors center. After lunch it's off to the west side of the park, across Canyon Jr. (Tilghman Branch), to the site of Ketchum's Alabama Battery. Then we'll begin working our way back to the south along the April 7th battle lines, and our starting point at Shaw's. Total distance for this hike looks to be roughly nine miles, with terrain ranging from easy to most definitely not easy. We should finish up between 4:00 and 6:00, based on previous hikes. As always, sturdy hiking footwear is strongly recommended. Here's that (not quite) professionally done map, outlining our basic route through the park: Check back here for updates, and feel free to ask questions either here, via Private message, or by email @pcuskey@gmail.com. Hope to see everyone in November. Perry
  2. 4 points
    Captain Henry Binmore It is said that a good leader surrounds himself with good people. And, as has been discussed, Benjamin Prentiss had a number of good people in his employ, following on his election as Brigadier General (by the troops he was to command), on May 8th 1861, in charge of the Illinois Brigade, with HQ at Cairo. And those individuals selected by Prentiss contributed to the success of their General; and in return saw their own careers go from strength to strength. One such individual, not yet discussed, is Henry Binmore. A native of London born in 1833, Henry migrated to Montreal Canada at age 16 and became a journalist, self-taught in the skill of shorthand notation. After moving to the United States, the young man worked as reporter for newspapers in Illinois and Missouri, and got caught up in the phenomena that was Stephen A. Douglas: a rising star on the National stage, whose debates in 1858 with chief contender for a Senate seat from Illinois -- Abraham Lincoln -- also propelled that man into the National spotlight. Reporter Binmore published articles from those debates, all conducted in Illinois, in the Chicago Times and the Missouri Daily Republican... and probably led to Binmore gaining the notice of Senator Douglas (who won the election). Henry Binmore was employed as Secretary to Stephen A. Douglas, and remained with that man until his untimely death in June 1861. Private Secretary Binmore was suddenly in need of employment; and Brigadier General Prentiss was in need of a competent record-keeper/administrator. Given the rank of Captain, Henry Binmore became Prentiss's Assistant Adjutant General, and followed General Prentiss from Illinois to Northern Missouri. And when Benjamin Prentiss was assigned to duty with Grant's Army in Tennessee in March 1862, prospective assignment as Commander of the new Sixth Division, it may have been Captain Binmore who went ahead and reported at Savannah (while General Prentiss was busy with tasks assigned by Henry Halleck, and completed at Cairo, Mound City and Fort Henry.) It may very well have been Henry Binmore to whom Colonel Madison Miller reported on or about March 31st 1862, and received camp assignment for the 18th Missouri Infantry. (Next day, Miller records meeting General Prentiss, in person, and being assigned as Commander of 2nd Brigade, of the Sixth Division.) As AAG for the Sixth Division, Captain Binmore applied skills learned and practiced in Missouri to write and disseminate orders, and keep the books for General Prentiss. It is unknown how successful was Captain Binmore on April 6th, suffering the same surprise as the rest of the Sixth Division; and forced to flee north before 9 a.m., where it appears he remained close to General Prentiss in the Hornet's Nest (likely keeping an account of the Day's happenings -- and probably employed to deliver orders to units, close by, especially while Prentiss' designated courier -- Edwin Moore -- was away delivering one of the many messages to General Grant.) Before 4:30 p.m., about the same time Benjamin Prentiss ordered north the artillery batteries belonging to Hickenlooper and Munch (Pfaender), the General also ordered Captain Binmore to the Landing... and so, General Prentiss was without Staff when he was taken prisoner before 5:30 (Surgeon Everett having been killed earlier in the day.) A Staff officer without a General to serve, Henry Binmore applied to Stephen Hurlbut, and found employment as volunteer Aide de camp. In December 1862, when Major General Hurlbut was put in Command of the new 16th Army Corps, with HQ at Memphis, Binmore was promoted to Major, and then Lieutenant Colonel, and became Hurlbut's AAG. At the conclusion of the War, Henry Binmore returned to Chicago and found employment as a Law Reporter (while studying law.) Passing the Illinois Bar before 1890, he continued to work in the legal profession, and the writing of law-related documents and papers, until his death in 1907. Just a bit more to the story of the Sixth Division... Ozzy References: http://archive.org/stream/lincolndouglas2184linc#page/n121/mode/2up/search/photograph Henry Binmore bio pages 80 - 81. OR 8, OR 10, OR 24 (various pages) Shiloh Report of General B. M. Prentiss http://archive.org/stream/cu31924022842433#page/n0/mode/2up/search/Binmore Henry Binmore's legal papers A Politician Turned General: the Civil War Career of Stephen A. Hurlbut by Jeffrey Norman Lash (2003) Kent State Press, page 110. http://newspapers.library.in.gov/cgi-bin/indiana?a=d&d=PT19071107.1.8 Plymouth Tribune 7 NOV 1907 page 8 col.4 "Reporter dies" SDG post March 2018 "The 18th Missouri Infantry" [Colonel Madison Miller] [Sketch by Robert Marshall Root] Lincoln - Douglas Debate of 18 SEP 1858 at Charleston Illinois before a crowd of 15000 people. Prominent on the Speaker's Platform are Abraham Lincoln, Stephen A. Douglas, and scribbling away below Lincoln's left arm, Henry Binmore. [From Scenic and Historic Illinois (1928) by Charles E. Brown.]
  3. 4 points
    All, Well, as many of you know, I have worked a long time to develop the best image collection related to the Battle of Shiloh, and also, Corinth, Fort Donelson, and Iuka. Never have thought to ask before, but if anyone has any images, or knows of any images, related to these battles, especially Shiloh. Let me know, I would love to add them to the appropriate album. I would speculate that the Shiloh Confederate and Federal albums is the largest online collection of images related to the Battle of Shiloh available, well, anywhere. Hope everyone enjoys them! Stan
  4. 3 points
    I located Sgt. William H. Busbey's post-war article about his being near Grant's Savannah headquarters and on Tigress during the trip to Pittsburg Landing on April 6th in the Chicago Inter-Ocean. Some obvious errors make it not completely reliable, and it may be completely unreliable, but it does make for interesting reading: "I was at Savannah in April, 1862, associated with the work of the Adams Express company . Myself and another young man employed in the same office were sleeping on the night of April 5 in a house in Savannah three or four blocks from the river. General Grant's headquarters at Savannah were in a house very close to the river. We were on higher ground than he was, and about daylight on the morning of April 6 the young man sleeping with me jumped out of bed with the exclamation, 'There's firing up at the Landing.' We could hear very distinctly the boom of cannon, and when we went to the east window we could hear, or thought we could hear, the sound of musketry. Pittsburg landing was nine miles away, but in the still morning air the roar of musketry came to us." "We dressed hurriedly, ran down to General Grant's headquarters, where we found General Webster, chief of artillery, in his night shirt on the porch listening intently to the sound of firing. We saw him run into the house, and another officer came out with him. They listened a minute, ran in again, and General Grant came out in his night dress. The three figures stood like statues while Grant listened, and then the General gave an order that put everything in a whirl. Ned Osborne of Chicago was at that time in command of Grant's headquarters guard, and under excitement he was a very active man." "In a few minutes staff officers were awake and dressed, the escort was mounted and ready to go, and the General and staff boarded at once the steamer Tigress. I remembered as I looked over the steamers at the landing tht the Tigress was the only vessel that had steam up, and comprehending that Grant would go on that vessel, my comrade and myself went down and climbed on in advance of the General and his staff. There was a ittle wait for the escort and horses of the officers, but when all were on board the steamer did not move. Inquiry developed the fact that neither the captain nor the pilot was awake or had received any notice of the journey. They were stirred up in short order, and soon the Tigress started up the river for Pittsburg Landing." "About four miles above Savannah we came to Crump's landing. General Lew Wallace, in command of the division at that point, was on the steamer Jessie K. Bell. When we came up within fifty yards of the Bell, Grant shouted to Wallace, asking if he had any news from the front. Wallace shouted back saying that a courier had just arrived with the report that Sherman had been attacked by a heavy force. Grant, with great intensity of manner, asked: 'Does the dispatch say a heavy force?' Wallace replied that it did and Grant ordered the captain of the Tigress to make all possible speed for Pittsburg Landing." "As we started General Wallace shouted in surprise: 'General Grant, have you no orders for me?' and Grant, after thinking a moment, shouted back, 'Hold yourself in readiness to march.' Then we steamed away, but in a few minutes Ross came to me and said: 'It is a general attack this time, sure.' I asked him how he knew and he said that Captain Baxter had just received orders from Grant to take a steam tug and carry orders back to General Wallace to move at once and take position on the right of the Union force engaged in battle. We arrived at Pittsburg Landing in a short time and General Grant rode away at once toward the front." [The article went on about Busbey's experiences in the battle, including hauling guns up the bluff for Webster, the boats in the river, and Mother Bickerdyke.]
  5. 3 points
    My photos from this past weekend's Epic Trek are HERE if anyone is interested. Great time of hiking, learning, and fellowship.
  6. 3 points
  7. 3 points
    The Confederate dead numbered 1728, if I am to believe my Battlefield America map [and is the number given by David W Reed (pbuhn)]. Do we really think that 700 of them fell in the assault upon the Sixth Division? (OK, I know that someone will claim that the 16th Wisconsin killed them all.)
  8. 3 points
    I know this was addressed to Tom, but I will chime in, seeing as how photographs is "my thing". I love to study period photography, portraits in particular. The issue of "photographers prop" versus the soldiers actual issued weapon in a photograph. This is a doozie that IMHO will never be answered. In many photographs it is obvious what you are seeing is a photographers prop. How do we know? Same pistol, same knife, BUT, saying it is the same long arm, that to me is impossible to determine. I would argue that you see more photographers prop weapons in Confederate images. I think, in respect to your statement, that Federal soldiers did indeed carry their own weapon to the photograph studio. Soldiers would not leave camp and leave their weapon behind. They carried it with them. It then gets into well, was the photograph made in a town at a studio, was it made by a traveling photographer who set up a studio setting in the field, or what. Sometimes we can tell the difference, other times, not so easy to decipher. There are a lot of rabbit holes still left untouched as far as research is concerned about this. There are just tons of mind boggling variables. Just take a random Confederate photograph for example. You would have to research to see if the weapon the soldier is holding is the same style weapon that was issued to the unit, at least close to the time. I have seen photographs, and actually own one, where, down to the T, the soldier is wearing his issued uniform and holding his issued musket. Samuel Rickey, 7th Iowa Infantry. I would argue that photographers, mainly in the South, did not have access to THAT many military grade weapons to use as props. Those weapons were needed in the field. At a time when the South was buying shotguns, of all things, from private individuals to arm the military, photographers would have a hard time holding on to an actual military grade weapon under such circumstances. They did have them though. As you can tell, this topic could get extremely long winded and go on for infinity. Copying something I posted earlier, this is just the confusion in ONE unit, the 15th Mississippi Infantry at the time of Shiloh. "Col. Statham's request for 900 enfields for the 15th Miss Rgt is approved days before Adj. Binford requested 8,000 .69 cartridges and 2,000 Mississippi cartridges for Shiloh. There isn't a surviving munitions request for enfield cartridges and oddly the enlisted men talk about having Belgian and Austrian weapons at Shiloh, some of the accounts written less than a week afterwards. So they are certainly not conclusive at any rate." Weapons carried at Shiloh by Federal soldiers at Shiloh would be MUCH easier to ascertain and determine with a huge deal of confidence. The Confederate Army, much harder and in some cases I would say dang near impossible without documented proof coming to light. To make a long story short, using images is a good reference, but ammunition requisitions and other documents to back it up is required. Photos are a good tool to use, but far from solid evidence if taken alone without any other supporting documentation. If a soldier is holding an 1816 converted flintlock in an image, but you know for fact based on documents that his regiment was largely carrying Enfields at Shiloh, well, you know the 1816 is either a photographers prop, or that weapon was later turned in and the soldier issued his new Enfield. Having said all this, I applaud Tom's work, it is no easy undertaking and gives us a further glimpse into the events at Shiloh. Stan
  9. 3 points
    Thanks Tom. Yes, I have worked hard on the images for the Shiloh Discussion Group page, hoping this place can be a kind of repository for them. I am sure I have amassed the largest online collection of Federal and Confederate soldiers killed, wounded, missing, POW, etc., at the Battle of Shiloh. It seems like for some regiments both North and South at Shiloh we can paint a thorough picture of what they looked like and what they were wearing, but with other units, not so much. I will help out where I can, and good luck in your endeavors. Find attached an article describing, literally down to the maker, of the J. Curry Rifles, Company I, who were Alabamians that were serving in Blythe's Mississippi Battalion. If you save the image to your computer, you can open it up and zoom in to read it. Stan
  10. 3 points
    Well, haven't seen anyone post anything yet, so I figured I would give a very generic after action report of the anniversary events this year. I myself arrived on Thursday, but I didn't partake of the 12 mile hike first tour. Others may want to chime in on that. Thursday evening the park staff got together and decided to cancel the big living history. They were set to have 12 cannons, probably well over 100 infantry, plus cavalry. It was decided that with the forecast calling for heavy rain having tons of vehicles moving in Duncan field would turn the field into a torn up muddy mess. The decision to cancel was the correct one. Everyone gathered in the visitor center before 5 on Friday morning. The debate was made whether or not to cancel the hike and instead have a talk either inside the visitor center or at the picnic area pavilion. Bjorn, being the stalwart that he is, said he was going on his hike regardless. So, the event was on. We gathered at the Peabody monument and made our way to Fraley field, with Bjorn giving an excellent tour and description of the dawn patrol and the ensuing fighting. It was raining, but not heavily at this time. The dawn patrol hike completed, many of us next took part in Bjorn's tour of the morning action by Prentiss, Peabody, and Miller. We moved from tablet to tablet, with superb commentary of the fighting in each sector, even by the 16th Wisconsin Infantry (love ya Jim). We first toured and discussed Peabody's brigade, then moved to Miller's sector. I should insert that we had very respectable size crowds even though the weather was nasty. Finishing the Prentiss line talk at the Prentiss headquarters camp marker, Bjorn announced that he was going to do something he had never done before, and invited others to join in. From the Prentiss marker, we followed Prentiss' men and their line of retreat from their camps to their position in the Hornet's Nest. Bjorn stated that in the past the Prentiss line talk ended there and voila picked up in the Hornet's Nest, so actually making the trek from the camps to the Hornet's nest sorta filled the gap in the story. It was a very informative tour and talk, with everyone learning something new. We had one gentleman working on Gladden's brigade, the 26th/50th Alabama Infantry in particular, so we spent time unraveling facts about Gladden's brigade after it was chewed up in Spain field. We continued on, spent some time in Briar creek, talking about the terrain in that sector, and ended at the Hornet's Nest. A number of us enjoyed a fine meal for lunch in Savannah at the Dae Break Cafe (where the old Whirly Bird was once located in Savannah, behind the A&W/Long John Silver's eatery), Dae Break is a great place to eat btw. Making it back, the next tour was the Confederate left attacks by Pond, along with Wharton's Cavalry. We also stopped in Glover field where Bjorn described the fighting between Brewer's Alabama Cavalry battalion and Birge's Western Sharpshooters. We made our way down through Tilghman branch ravine. With the rain, the trek through the ravine following the Louisiana boys was slippery and muddy to say the least. The rain was at times very intense, while at other times just a heavy drizzle, all throughout the day. Many people were thoroughly soaked to say the least, but most everyone stuck it out through the entire tour. After cresting the ravine and discussing the fighting of Pond's brigade, we moved to Cavalry field and discussed Wharton's charge and repulse. That evening, many of us enjoyed good food, good company, and good discussions at Hagy's Catfish Hotel. It was a long day, and I think I speak for everyone in saying that everyone was bone tired by the end of the day, the rain adding to that tired feeling. I tell you, walking around in heavy rain can take it out of you! The following morning, Saturday, many took part in the hike on Lew Wallace. This writer skipped out on that, and hung out with the small contingent of reenactors that were on hand across from the visitor center. Saturday afternoon brought about another great Bjorn hike discussing the fighting at the crossroads, in Review field, Woolf field, and the action of the 38th Tennessee Infantry near Shiloh Church, all on 7 April 1862. I myself learned a great deal. We discussed more brigades and regiments than I can write about. The temperature on Saturday was cold to say the least. We had heavy spitting snow for much of the hike. Tony decided to head for home that evening, but we were joined by Mike Talplacido for Saturday, but Mike went in search of pictures on Sunday morning. Once again on Saturday evening, many of us went out to eat at Top of the River. Sunday morning we met up at the visitor center for the Fallen Timbers car caravan tour. It was still chilly, but the sun was out. We first stopped at Ed Shaw's for discussion. We then proceeded to the Johnston bivouac site of 5 April 1862. We then proceeded on to Fallen Timbers, where Bjorn colorfully described the fighting there. We proceeded on to Pebble Hill where we ended the tour. Many of us proceeded back to the visitor center, where most of us parted ways. I did not take part in the evening tour of the Hamburg road discussion on Sunday. There were other tours going on, naturally, and others may want to chime in on those tours. Like most fun events, it flew by too quickly. The Friends of Shiloh table was set up inside the visitor center as it was just too cold to have it set up outside. For those on the hikes, we withstood heavy rain, followed by nasty cold weather and snow, but in the end I think everyone had a great time. Ideas for future tours were also discussed, but I will leave that a surprise in case they come to fruition so others can have something to look forward to. I was glad to see everyone, and we wished others could be there. Shiloh, we all love that place, glad we got to spend time together there. Looking forward to the next time! Stan
  11. 3 points
    It was great meeting the two of you on Thursday! I had an absolute blast and am so glad i was able to spend the day with others who enjoy learning about the battle as much as me. Hopefully I can make another one soon!
  12. 3 points
    Aaron Loder Mastin, nineteen years old from Mercer County enlisted in D.P. Brown's Company F of the 41st Illinois Infantry (Colonel Pugh) in August 1861... and immediately commenced this diary. Of interest, because it appears Private Mastin was well educated; and in February 1862, with his regiment based in Union-occupied Paducah Kentucky, Aaron Mastin was detailed as Nurse and sent to help establish/ contribute to the operation of the Female Seminary Hospital (renamed as St. John's Hospital, and officially " 7th Division Hospital" at intersection of Chestnut and Court Streets.) Prior to establishment of St. John's, the Paducah Marine Hospital near the waterfront on Hospital Street appears to have been taken over as Federal barracks (incorporated into Fort Anderson) and a variety of churches and the Court House were pressed into service as ad hoc hospitals. Army Nurse Mastin details the efforts of Dr. Kirch to initiate the Hospital; and the handover to Dr. S.A. Williams (and Surgeon T.N. Wilmans) of the 200-plus bed facility, while reporting "what was heard" from Fort Donelson, and the arrival of wounded from that conflict. In the April 5th entry, Nurse Mastin (now Ward Master at St. John's Hospital) records "the burial of deceased hospital patients in trenches." And on April 8th reports "hearing of the success at Island No.10 and the first news of General Grant's battle near Corinth." The Diary of Aaron Mastin is important for its record of hospital service in Paducah (where many of the sick and wounded from the Army of the Tennessee were taken by steamer in March and April 1862.) Ozzy References: http://www.jacksonpurchasehistory.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/Mastin-Diary.pdf http://www.pa-roots.com/pacw/hospitals/hospitallist.htm List of Civil War Hospitals (included to illustrate that many hospitals did not get recorded, such as Paducah's St. John's and Cairo's St. John's Hospital.) http://www.findagrave.com/memorial/26655293 Aaron L. Mastin record at find-a-grave.
  13. 3 points
    its taken me a while but...heres the answer...Mcclerndand was station at Savannah in arch 1862...he sent Col Leonard F Ross of the 3rd Brigade of McClerndand's 1st Division.down that way for the purpose of cjlearing that section of the county of marauders and destroy rebel supplies.march 18th-20th 1862.The expedition left on the 18th with 3 reg of infantry,7 comp of calvary and 2 12# howitzers .they encamped that evening at plantations of me gould and a mr carter. the morning of the 19th they traveled on muddy roads to the town of pin-hook.there they confiscated a flour mill that was providing flour for the rebel troops..then they returned to in to Savannah on the 20th. 'in the previous post your link to the origin of pin-hook is very interesting...it read that it referred to to do with race horses...well not too far from this pinhook/lutts area is florence alabama..and back in the early 1800's it was a mecca for thoroughbred breding and racing.there is a road in florence named jackson rd--after andrew jackson who traveled down that road often from nashville for racehorse business. i will have to looking to this more but i dont recall any thoroughbred farms in SW hardin county..but...??the pinhook area was pretty much a farming community.kinda still is. p.s. i have to give stay allen credit ..he is my source of research on the expedition part of this answer. the horse part i know from jackson research.
  14. 3 points
    Major Joseph Kirkland wrote a Civil War novel published in 1891 in Chicago: The Captain of Company K. The first link below gives the background of the author and of the novel. The second link is to a copy of the book. Kirkwood actually served with the 12th Illinois with McClellen and left the service when McClellen was relieved. The 12th ended up in Tennesee at Shiloh and then with Sherman. Kirkwood's description of Shiloh is decent historical fiction as he remained a friend of many participants. The book is worth a glance just for Hugh Capper's pen and ink drawings. Kirkwood writes in the voice of a central Illinois farmer. The book belongs in the collection of "Shiloh in literature" - perhaps not on the same top shelf with the works of Bierce, Houston and others. http://civilwar.lib.niu.edu/islandora/object/niu-civil%3A14280 https://archive.org/stream/captainofcompany00kirk#page/n13/mode/2up/search/Pittsburg
  15. 2 points
    As we know, after his defeat at Pea Ridge, Arkansas (also known as Elkhorn Tavern) Major General Earl Van Dorn of the Trans-Mississippi was requested to support the forces of General Albert Sidney Johnston in Tennessee… but there was no apparent urgency in the request. Van Dorn arrived at Memphis about 8 April 1862 and stopped at The Gayoso House. Also in Memphis was Mrs. Mary Ann Webster Loughborough, whose husband James, was a Captain on the Staff of Brigadier General Cockrell. Mary Webster of New York married James Loughborough in Kentucky a few years earlier; then the couple moved west and established themselves in St. Louis, Missouri (and subsequently gravitated towards the Rebel cause.) In early April 1862 Mrs. Loughborough wrote the following letter to a friend, revealing the presence of notable Confederates in Memphis: Gayoso House, Memphis, April, 1862. My dear J——: I am just in from dinner; and you would be amused to see the different faces—I might as well say the different appetites; for the Army of Missouri and Arkansas have been undergoing rigorous fasts of late; and the little episode of the battle of Elkhorn and the consequent privations have helped not a little the gaunt appearance of these military characters. All eat, eat rapidly; from General V—— D—— down to the smallest lieutenant, whose manner of playing the epicure over the different dishes ordered, is a study. The confidential consultations with the waiter over them, together with the knowing unconsciousness of bestowing his small change, almost convinces me that he is a brigadier-general, or a colonel, at least. You see streaming in constantly this tide of human beings, to eat, stare at the ladies, talk, and order much wine in the excitement of military anecdotes; for you must understand that a civilian is a “rara avis” amid the brilliant uniforms of the dining room. Yet, amid all this mass and huge crowd, the majority are polished gentlemen, who have evidently seen much of the world, and who are men of purpose and character. General V—— D—— and staff sit not far from me—looked at rather jealously by the Missourians, as ranking and commanding them over their favorite general. Yet, he always treats the old general with the utmost consideration and courtesy. On the other side sits General P——, with his kind, benevolent face. The poor old gentleman finds at the table his lightest reserves become his heaviest forces: nearly all his staff are about him. And, as I sit half amused at the expression of some faces, and thinking deeply of the mute, yet determined impress of character on others, two gentlemen come in—one in plain citizen’s clothing, with heavy black beard and high forehead—with stooping gait and hands behind him. I am told he is Governor J——, of Missouri. His face puzzles me—it is thoughtful and singular. By his side, with tall, lithe, slender figure, fully erect, walks General J—— T——. You will scarcely think it possible that this is the so-frequently talked of J—— T——. I thought him an ordinary man, did not you? Yet, this is anything but an ordinary man. The keen dark eye sweeps the room as he enters, taking us all in at a glance—a quick, daring, decisive, resolute face. I can make nothing more out of him. Yet, there is more of thought and intellect than you see at first. He is dressed in full uniform, with sword and sash, and has quite a military air. There are many Saint Louisians here; you see them scattered around the tables quite plentifully. General C—— is among the number. He sits at some distance, and looks quite worn and sad. You know—do you not?—that he is the father of young Churchill Clark, who was killed at Elkhorn. Have I ever told you his history? It is this: He graduated at West Point in the commencement of the war; and knowing and having a great admiration for General P——, he joined him at once: he was put in command of some artillery; and showing himself a youth of courage and ability—for he was only twenty years old—his command was increased. Throughout the constant trials and sufferings of the campaign, he showed himself equal in courage, daring, and judgment, to many older heads. He was particularly beloved by General P——. At Elkhorn, as ever, his battery sustained itself with coolness and bravery. As the general rode by, he said some cheering words to young Clark, who took off his cap and waved it, saying, “General, we will hold our own,” or words to that effect, when a ball sped from the enemy, and crashed in the young, ardent brain as he spoke. I have been told that the general was affected to tears. He knelt by his side, vainly seeking for some trace of the strong, young life, but the pulses were stilled forever; and Churchill Clark lay a stiffened corpse in the long, wet grass at Elkhorn. And so his father sits silent and alone, and all respect the grief that none can assuage. In a few days we leave. The gentlemen all go to Corinth, where a battle, in all probability, will take place before long. Fort Pillow can hardly hold out, under the daily bombardment that we hear from the gunboats; and if it falls, Memphis, on taking leave of the Confederate officers, will usher in the Federal to quarters in the Gayoso. Adieu.
  16. 2 points
    Great photo... and of benefit to learn that the significant action in the Plum Orchard has finally been recognized... 🙂
  17. 2 points
    [Part three of Corinth, interrupted] Grant’s operation, with HQ at Savannah was kept on the back burner: just active enough to keep Rebel commanders guessing, but not sufficiently robust to allow General Grant to take the reins pre-emptively. The first benefit to Grant from success further west was assignment of Benjamin Prentiss to command of the newly created Sixth Division (although Halleck tasked Brigadier General Prentiss with other duties enroute, delaying his ultimate arrival at Pittsburg Landing.) In addition, Grant was aware that Don Carlos Buell was marching south and west to effect a join at Savannah (but Grant was frustrated by the slow pace of the Army of the Ohio.) Still, these troop additions were approved by Halleck, and were part of the overall plan to initiate the Operation against Corinth, in the proper sequence… after Victory at Island No.10 (when another source of manpower (Pope), as well as ammunition and abundant supplies would be made available.) References: SDG topics “Just supposin’ begun 26 FEB 2018 and “Full Hospitals” begun 30 JAN 2018 for Prentiss tasks enroute to Savannah Tennessee. SDG topic “Grant’s six divisions” begun 1 DEC 2018 details growth of Pittsburg force. OR 8 pages 633 – 4 telegram (23 MAR 1862) in which Henry Halleck lays out his “Programme” for SecWar Stanton, which includes, “Pope’s progress is necessarily slow,” and, “I have directed General Grant to make no move until Buell’s column (now at Columbia) can form junction with him.” Also, Halleck asserts, “We must take Corinth in order to seriously injure Rebel communications.” [And Halleck proposes possible moves for T.W. Sherman (the other Sherman) and Benjamin Butler which “might take advantage of [Bragg’s Army] leaving Florida and Alabama.”] OR 8 page 631 communication of 21 MAR 1862 from MGen Halleck to F/O Foote: “Everything is progressing well on the Tennessee River towards opening your way down the Mississippi.” [Illustrates the “connected” nature of Halleck’s operations, and alludes to the “proper sequence” of those operations.] OR 8 page 643 telegram from Army AG Thomas to MGen Halleck of 25 MAR 1862: “BGen Thomas Davies has been assigned duty in Department of the Mississippi.” [In preparation for conduct of operations after success at Island No.10 Halleck has called for more trained general officers to assist, as part of Halleck’s program. General Thomas Davies will be assigned command of Second Division, following deaths of WHL Wallace… and C.F. Smith.] OR 8 page 649 telegram SecWar Stanton to MGen Halleck of 29 MAR 1862: “You will report without delay the strength and distribution of your command.” [Halleck’s response 30 March: “Buell 101,000 in KY and Tenn; Grant 75,000 in Tennessee; Pope 25000 at New Madrid; Curtis 23000 in Arkansas; Strong 9000 District of Cairo; Steele 6000 in Arkansas; Schofield 15000 District of St. Louis (including new regiments at Benton Barracks); Totten 4000 in Central Missouri; Loan 2000 in Northern Missouri; about 10000 men in Kansas, Nebraska and Colorado.”] And follows telegram of Halleck to Stanton of 28 MAR 1862 revealing “elevated level of sickness experienced by men on Tennessee River expedition” (and lays blame on brigade and regimental surgeons of volunteers.) One-in-three reported sick, and is of concern because Halleck intends to make use of Grant’s Army… soon. OR 8 page 660 communication MGen Halleck to F/O Andrew Foote of 5 APR 1862: “I shall want a gunboat at Cairo ready to go up the Tennessee River in the early part of next week.” [With the successful run of USS Carondelet past the guns of Island No.10 on April 4th, Halleck knows it is “a matter of days” before Pope crosses his army and forces the trapped Rebels to surrender (in rear of Island No.10).] OR 8 page 661 communication Halleck to MGen Samuel Curtis (Army of the Southwest) on April 5th 1862: “Price and Van Dorn will soon leave your front [and the great battle of the war is to be fought on the Tennessee River.]” OR 8 page 672 telegram Halleck to Stanton of 7 APR 1862: “Buell’s advance force has reached Grant; entire force will connect in two or three days” [sent before news arrived at St. Louis IRT Battle of Shiloh initiated early 6 APR 1862.] OR 8 page 676 communication of 8 APR 1862 from Assistant Secretary of War Thomas Scott to Henry Halleck, alluding to “sequence of events” after Surrender of Island No.10.
  18. 2 points
    and found in the area of this high ground were numerous springs...good water..army is fueled by coffee. unlike what was to be had in Corinth later...
  19. 2 points
    Then again, I don't know how much that time mattered. The Confederates were disorganized, thus part of the reason they stopped. Had they continued on the attack, being so disorganized, I venture that the disorganization would have caused even more ill coordinated attacks, and potentially, disaster for the Confederates, if that makes sense.
  20. 2 points
    Mona and Stan When first investigating the history of the officer in question, I encountered newspaper claims that "he had been a classmate of Henry Halleck." But, with a birth year of 1823, to have attended West Point in Halleck's Class of 1839 would have meant entering the Military Academy in 1835... when this "cadet" would have been twelve years old. Upon further investigation, numerous claims of "graduated with the Class of 1843" were uncovered: the same USMA Class as Ulysses S. Grant. As Mona points out, the Cullum Register is deficient because it only records graduates of West Point; and the term "alumnus" was used by West Point to indicate a graduate (while other universities applied the term to include students who had merely attended.) As regards "the difficulty in Missouri" leading to the removal of this officer from command, the arresting officer was Brigadier General Stephen Hurlbut. But Hurlbut was found to be "impaired" soon afterwards, and Brigadier General John Pope arrested Hurlbut (Hurlbut was sent home to Belvidere Illinois by Major General Fremont "to await orders.") And so the situation rested until November 1861, when Fremont was removed, and Henry Halleck was installed as commander, Department of the Missouri. Cheers Ozzy
  21. 2 points
    Liberty Independence Nixon, his findagrave page and his photograph. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/25015250/liberty-independence-nixon
  22. 2 points
    http://www.historynet.com/a-frolic-up-the-tennessee.htm#prettyPhoto Image of Lt. Seth Ledyard Phelps, US Navy. He commanded the Tyler, Lexington, and Conestoga on their naval raid after the fall of Fort Donelson. Neat article on naval activity setting the stage for the Battle of Shiloh.
  23. 2 points
    Richard P. Derickson was a First Lieutenant in the 16th Wisconsin Infantry, Company K, at the time the Battle of Shiloh erupted. On that fateful Sunday of 6 APR 1862, he was at his duty station aboard "wharf boat" Iatan, acting in capacity of AQM for the Sixth Division (a position he had occupied since April 3rd, assigned by BGen Prentiss.) Part of Lieutenant Derickson's duties involved him creating and maintaining precise records, accounting for possession and distribution of Government stores... Kevin Getchell made use of Lieutenant Derickson's records in constructing his 2013 work, Scapegoat of Shiloh: the distortion of Lew Wallace's record by U. S. Grant. The author indicates that he "encountered the Derickson Papers at an auction, and purchased them." Exact copies of several of the documents created by LT Derickson are contained in Scapegoat of Shiloh. These records are valuable for determining activities of the embryonic Sixth Division in the days leading up to that contact in Fraley Field. Less well known: Kevin Getchell made copies of the original documents, and left those on file with Shiloh NMP https://www.jacksonsun.com/story/news/2015/04/02/shiloh-battlefield-commemorate-rd-battle-anniversary/70862666/ Jacksun Sun of 2 APR 2015.
  24. 2 points
    Hi Perry. I know you are funning me because Prentiss made no statements in his official report about Peabody’s conduct in the battle and his role in alerting the army of the presence of the enemy prior to the attack. I would expound on that to clarify that there had been encounters with the Rebels prior to the morning of April 6, particularly the skirmish Buckland had that ended up facing Hardee’s infantry and even artillery at Micky’s on April 4. Prentiss was aware of a presence of enemy in the front and responded by ordering increased pickets forward on the night of April 5. But, as Prentiss admitted later, he had absolutely no idea that a full-scale attack from Johnston’s entire army was about to come down on his head. Colonel Peabody sent Major Powell out on the morning of April 6 and Powell found the entire Rebel army poised to strike the Union camps. The Colonel’s actions alerted the army to the presence of the entire Rebel army. I know you are aware of my views on Prentiss but others might not be so I take the liberty to refer to the following articles published in the Quincy Herald-Whig and on the website of the Historical Society of Quincy and Adams County. These articles were slightly edited from what I wrote without my input. They are slightly different but the gist is the same. http://www.whig.com/article/20160710/ARTICLE/307109929# https://hsqac.org/major-general-benjamin-mayberry-prentiss-quincys-slandered-hero-shiloh-hank-koopman/ On my last research visit to the Shiloh National Military Park I was reminded the degree to which the unwarranted, and unsubstantiated, vilification of Prentiss has permeated the Shiloh story. I was minding my own business at the research desk leafing through files with only one of the Shiloh volunteers in presence. I had made no references to Prentiss when out of the blue the Shiloh volunteer said to me “You know Prentiss took credit for sending out the Powell patrol.” The volunteer was surprised when I calmly replied “That is not true.” I got back “That is what all the books say.” My calm reply was “Those books are wrong.” Of all people to make the untrue statement that Prentiss took credit for sending out Powell’s patrol I am not the one. The incident reinforced my objection to the fact that I cannot even visit the park without someone trying to make me dislike Prentiss by spouting out things I know are not true. Perry, although you did not ask my view as to why Prentiss makes no mention of what Peabody did during the battle I am going to give it. Ozzy has made some recent posts that are relevant to the subject as to why is there no mention of Peabody’s actions before and during the battle in Prentiss’s report? In the forum “April 7” thread “Value of the POWs” Ozzy broached the subject of Prentiss’s official report with the following: Prentiss, Prisoners and Prognosticating Nature abhors a vacuum... and I have attempted over the past several months to determine, "Why was General Prentiss' Report of Battle of Shiloh in error, as regards the roles of Peabody and Powell ?" (Errors of omission, as in, "no credit given for the early morning reconnaissance ordered by Colonel Peabody and performed by Major Powell.") The death of Peabody was not discovered until the 25th Missouri regained their camp on April 7. Early newspaper accounts listed Peabody as wounded. Peabody’s brother made the trip from Massachusetts with the understanding that Everett Peabody had been severely wounded. When the brother arrived at Shiloh he discovered his brother had been placed in a wood crate and he took him back home to Massachusetts for burial and thus removing Colonel Peabody far away from western theater of battle. Meanwhile the last time Prentiss saw Peabody was in the camp of the 25th Missouri when they had their altercation and Prentiss told Peabody that he was responsible for bringing on the engagement. Prentiss never saw Peabody again and could not very well write about Peabody’s actions during the fight when he had no idea what Peabody had done. Prentiss included observations on Madison Miller, Jacob Tindall and Colonel C. S. Albans because they were with Prentiss during the fight and he could vouch for their actions. Prentiss was on his way to Memphis along with a couple thousand other prisoners by the time Peabody was confirmed killed. The only way Prentiss could learn of Peabody’s death is if someone told him but all the prisoners were sent off the battlefield on the night of April 6. During his imprisonment Prentiss might have read some smuggled newspapers but otherwise what Prentiss was hearing was how he and his men had surrendered first thing. Prentiss was finally released from prison and arrived in Washington DC on October 17, 1862. He spent a busy day visiting Lincoln and relating how the prisoners had been mistreated and it was going to take a big effort to bring the south to heel. That night Prentiss was serenaded and gave a speech and immediately left for Quincy, Illinois with a group of five or six other officers. He was given a 30-day leave. He passed through Chicago where he was serenaded again and he gave a speech along with several of the other officers. Prentiss then traveled home to Quincy, Illinois. The trip was a whirlwind of activity. By this time it was over six months after Shiloh and the war had moved on. During this journey the only way Prentiss would have known of the death of Peabody is if someone told him. There is no reasonable expectation that someone would have told Prentiss what Peabody had done during the battle so he could include it in his report. Prentiss did not return to an existing division where he could get information about the battle from a staff. He returned alone to Quincy. The usual sequence for an official report by a senior commander was that he would wait to receive the reports of his underlings to aid in the preparation of his report. Prentiss had no such advantage. He had never read or had in his possession the reports of the members of his division. Prentiss was writing blind using just his memory and understanding of what had happened. Prentiss had not a clue as to what had transpired concerning Peabody ordering out Powell’s patrol. This is evident in his report when he attributed the start of the fighting to the combative Colonel David Moore. One missing puzzle piece for me was to confirm that there were no officers of the 25th Missouri among the officer prisoners captured along with Prentiss. Ozzy posted the link he found to a list of officers captured at Shiloh. The list has no officer from the 25th Missouri who might have been able to tell Prentiss what transpired in their camp concerning the actions of Peabody and Powell. The date of November 17, 1862 shows that Prentiss procrastinated the writing of his report. Prentiss felt no need to get his story out as quickly as possible. He waited until the last day of his leave to finally write it. The report was not Prentiss’s top priority as other events were taking place in Quincy at that time. The papers are full of the Emancipation Proclamation issued by Lincoln after the September battle at Antietam. Prentiss was busy as he was invited to give speeches relating to the very important mid-term elections. In November Prentiss married a 24-year old woman to be his second wife. That surely cut into the time he had to write a report about Shiloh. It is surmised by some that the reason Prentiss did not mention more about Peabody and his death on the battlefield is that he hated Peabody. If that is the criteria than Peabody must have been the most hated man in the brigade. Of the five official reports submitted by regimental officers of Peabody’s brigade only one lists the death of Peabody. (Col. Francis Quinn of the 12th Michigan). Lt. Col. Robert Van Horn of the 25th Missouri must have really hated Peabody because he did not mention the death of Peabody in his report. The big difference between those officers and Prentiss is that they knew Peabody had been killed but Prentiss did not. General Grant was so impressed with Peabody (and Julius Raith) that he did not mention him in his report either. But we did learn all about Sherman’s boo-boo to his hand from Grant. Prentiss did not note the deaths of Colonel Tindall of the 23rd Missouri and Colonel Albans of the 18th Wisconsin in his report but he did mention their outstanding service which he witnessed. I guess Prentiss hated them too. My view is that had Prentiss known of the deaths of Tindal and Albans he would have mentioned their sacrifice in his hastily written report. If Prentiss did not know of the deaths of Tindal and Albans it is logical to conclude he did not know of the death of Peabody either when he wrote his report. But why is there no mention of the part played in the opening of the fight by Major Powell? Because Prentiss did not know the fight was initiated by Powell’s patrol. Prentiss believed that the fight was initiated with the troops under the command of Colonel David Moore. Then that brought up the question as to when did Prentiss finally learn that the fight was initiated by Major Powell’s patrol? I set to work on this myself (just a retired engineer doing the type of Shiloh research that Shiloh revisionist historians just won’t do) and through luck and lots of hours in archives I found out that every time I found a report, letter, speech and a newspaper account where Prentiss described the opening of the fight he always attributed it to Colonel David Moore. I have found nothing in which Prentiss gave any indication he knew of Powell’s patrol. Therefore, my view is that the answer to when Brigadier General Benjamin Mayberry Prentiss learned of the early morning patrol by Major James E. Powell is – NEVER. Benjamin Mayberry Prentiss went to his grave never knowing of Major Powell’s patrol and how the battle of Shiloh truly started. The idea that Benjamin Prentiss deliberately dissed Colonel Peabody by not acknowledging Peabody’s role in sending out Major Powell’s patrol that ended up alerting the army and gave it time to defend itself fails to scrutiny. Prentiss can hardly be expected to have credited Peabody with doing something of which Prentiss was unaware. The good General is doing just fine. He sleeps well and I appreciate the opportunity to explain why. There is a lot more to be told. Hank
  25. 2 points
    " water from the tennessee river" Jeez, the lest ya could do was give em water from Rhea Springs.
  26. 2 points
    Naturally anything having to do with Alabamians will be a great experience
  27. 2 points
    I would say that would be ON park property. "at" their camp, to me that indicates just beyond the perimeter of their camp and further beyond. And it sounds like to me more than one trench, by the way it is phrased.
  28. 2 points
    Hello, My name is Thomas Arliskas. I am the author of the book, Cadet Gray and Butternut Brown, Notes on Confederate uniforms. I have been selected to be one of the Speakers at the Kenosha Civil War Museums annual Fall symposium. This years topic will cover the Battle of Shiloh. I will be sharing the stage with the likes of Professor Tim Smith and Larry J. Daniels. Good Company! My topic will be the material culture and the common soldier who fought there. Will cover the uniforms and the types of weapons used by both sides. I have been doing research type projects for over 40 years on the Civil War and Shiloh was a part of that. I originally started out with studying Illinois in the Civil War and from there Confederate clothing and uniforms. I have started my research for the Fall presentation, and found this site. Lots of information here! So, how important is the study of uniforms and clothing at Shiloh? Some will say none at all, some will say a lot. It has to do with what your interests are. If you just like reading casually about the Civil War; Generals, Campaigns, Battles, Politics, Lincoln, Davis, your focus will not be how the 1st Louisiana or 32nd Indiana were uniformed at Shiloh. Blue and Gray is enough for you. But now--- If your ancestor was in those Regiments, if you are commissioned to do a painting, if you collect memorabilia, or if you own an original Civil War firearm from these Regiments, you are going to want to know how they looked, maybe their Regimental Flag, and what firearms were issued to see if yours matches ordnance records. Shiloh carries a mystique all its own. Even the men who fought at Shiloh remember it as a horrible Battle, not a game changer, just another slug fest to contend with and then move on. Island No. 10, got more Press in the papers! Few Books are available covering the Battle itself, as opposed to Gettysburg or Antietam. Yet there are hundreds, thousands of diaries, letters, memoirs, pamphlets, stories about the Battle of Shiloh everywhere ready to be found. I have promised the NPS and the folks at Shiloh Park that when done I will send them what I have found on the Armies at Shiloh, North and South. Their uniforms, clothing, firearms, flags, and comments on all of it. Of course I will cover other aspects of the Battle. Like both Grant and Johnston-- though not in the common soldier category, they certainly had a role to play in the history and outcome. If you do have any information you feel I could use- please let me know-- This is a project in search of knowledge to be compiled for all those interested on just another piece of Civil War History. Sincerely, Tom Arliskas Happy to be a Forum Member.
  29. 2 points
    That is exactly it! Thanks Ozzy. Skelton, I remembered it was a distinct last name. I did not know other Henry's were used at Corinth. I could have sworn I saw it in print in a book, but, it could very well have been this article that I stumbled upon. I may be wrong, but I think most people think, "oh, Henry Rifle, they were blasting away like they do in Western movies". I have even seen Civil War reenactors carrying Henry rifles and they were just blasting away when shooting. I don't think this is historically accurate. I think the soldiers lucky enough to have these weapons, especially early in the war, would have been firing "somewhat fast", but still taking deliberate aim. Ammunition was not just laying around for this weapon. I can't see someone, especially Confederate, burning through ammunition when ammunition resupply would be a colossal issue. At Corinth, for Skelton, I think actually it would have been more than a colossal issue. If he ran out of ammo, there was probably NO resupply, and he would be left carrying a heavy paperweight if he did run out of ammo. I found the picture of Fisher mentioned in the article, holding his Henry rifle. Fisher, and the 10th Kentucky Partisan Rangers Cavalry, however, did not fight at Corinth. Their fighting was done in Kentucky for the most part. Still, incredibly rare and historically important image. I would imagine the most technologically advanced rifle on the field at Shiloh would be the Sharps rifle or carbine. But, I imagine Birge's Western Sharpshooters, along with other marksmen and sharpshooters, were carrying some finely crafted rifles as well, such as the Dimick rifle.
  30. 2 points
    "Battle at Pittsburg Landing" letterhead, available in 1862. At the below link, "Milgram Civil War" has accumulated over one hundred patriotic covers and letterheads, including battle scenes (and a different sketch of Pittsburg Landing, with steamers and gunboats in the background) and noteworthy persons (including Abraham Lincoln, Ellsworth, Flag-officer Foote, U.S. Grant, Halleck, McClellan & Halleck, Jefferson Davis... The pdf takes about five minutes to load, but is worth the wait: http://www.rfrajola.com/MilgramCW/MilgramCW.pdf Civil War patriotic Letter designs And not wanting to neglect the Confederate contribution to patriotic Letter and envelope designs: http://www.trishkaufmann.com/confederate-patriotics.php
  31. 2 points
    Civil War Guns, published 1962 by William B. Edwards, is a well-researched, comprehensive catalogue of almost all of the various rifles, muskets, rifle-muskets and carbines in use during the Civil War. The information contained (and page number): 1- 6 and 218 Sharps carbine and rifle 144 - 154 Spencer carbine and rifle (with 7-round tube magazine) 22 - 37 Springfield models 1841, 1855 and 1861 242 - 250 Enfield Model 1853 89 and 256 Austrian (Lorenz) 29, 67 & 122 Vincennes Not restricted to particular weapons, the following topics are also covered: 28, 65 & 132 - 143 Fremont's role in 1861 acquiring weapons in Europe (and problems with the Hall carbine) 8 The Zouave Movement 9 Minie ball development 13 - 15 The rifled barrel and its importance 16 Maynard Tape primer system 18 Huger's Tests of 1853/4 (to determine best type of rifled barrels and optimum size of projectile) 42 photo of Tool Kit (necessary for maintenance of rifle-musket) Containing hundreds of photographs and written by a man involved in manufacture of firearms, this is a valuable resource. http://archive.org/details/Civil_War_Guns
  32. 2 points
    Bragg's words some ironically contradictory. He believes that he has done great work in and around Mobile/Pensacola preparing the area for defense and they can't spare him there, yet he could not repeat those same results out west and indeed he believes the west is lost. But, if he was going to go, he was going to take what he considered the "cream of the crop", the 9th Miss, 1st Louisiana, etc., etc. with him. You have to wonder if he likewise didn't want to leave for this scenario: If he left and Federals managed to take command of Pensacola and Mobile, that it would reflect badly on Bragg and his ability to organize effective long term defenses. In the letter from Benjamin to Bragg, I noticed something that was still around later in the war. Fremont is called incompetent. Later in the war, during Streight's Raid through Alabama, even locals considered that Federal force "incompetent". It is interesting how throughout the war Southerner's viewed Federal troops as inept.
  33. 2 points
    Mona As prescribed in SecWar Benjamin's courier-delivered Letter of 27 DEC 1861, Bragg's options were: "I accept," or "I refuse." However, it appears General Bragg found a third way to respond (Letter of 6 JAN 1862 must be read carefully to discover the answer): Head Qrs. Army of Pensacola Fort Barrancas, 6 January 1862 Dear Sir Your private and confidential dispatch of the 27th ultimo reached me on the evening of the 4th instant, and has had my most earnest consideration. I could not reply yesterday by telegraph, but do so this morning, and shall anxiously await the President's decision. The aspect of affairs has so far changed within my present command that I feel greatly embarrassed by the alternative presented and the responsibility imposed. Had the President issued his order to me, I should have promptly obeyed without a murmur; but the alternative requires that, while I make no objection, I should submit a few considerations which impress me, and which the Department probably did not fully know at the date of the dispatch. A portion of my command is now powerfully menaced by a large force, constantly increasing. Our force, at best, is very weak, and part of it in very bad condition, so that I really cannot consider the city of Mobile perfectly safe. This place, to which you seem only to refer, is in no danger, unless from an incompetent commander; a danger we have just escaped. But it will take time, labor, and all the influence I can bring to bear to produce so good a result in the western part of my department. Much valuable time is already lost there, and but little progress is now being made, owing to the means I am compelled to use. This state of affairs is seen, felt and deplored by those who have all at stake. A feverish state of excitement and much alarm exists in Mobile, where the danger is greatest, and it is no egotism in me to say I am looked to as their hope and support. The influence I have gained over the minds of the people in this section of the country, as well as over my troops, is considerable, and I do not believe any other could now fill my place to their satisfaction. You will readily see, then, my embarrassment. The field to which you invite me is a most important one, but, under present aspects, not enticing. So much has been lost there, and so little done in organization and instruction, that the prospect of retrieving our ground is most gloomy. Troops so long accustomed to the freedom and license they have enjoyed will be more difficult to command than raw men; and though I have succeeded to some extent in making soldiers here of raw levies of volunteers, and at the same time retaining their good will and confidence, I distrust my ability to accomplish the same in the new field offered me. Without a base of operations, in a country poorly supplied at best, and now exhausted by being overrun by both armies in mid-winter, with an unclad, badly fed, and badly-supplied mass of men, without instruction, arms, equipments, or officers, it is certainly a most unpromising field for operations. But should the President decide on it, after knowing the state of affairs here, I will bend all my energies and faculties to the task, and offer myself (as a sacrifice, if necessary) to the great cause in which we are engaged. I shall need and must receive from the Department great assistance in the way of staff and general officers. Upon them depends, as much as upon the commander, the success of all his efforts. Many of the volunteers here are now so well instructed that this may be granted without materially weakening this department. Could you possibly send 3000 stand of arms here? I should desire to take from this army Chalmers' Ninth Mississippi, Adams' Louisiana Regulars and Jackson's Fifth Georgia Regiments. These would give me a nucleus upon which to form, would set an example of discipline, and would give me the support of excellent officers, who know and trust me, and in whom I place unlimited confidence. I should desire Brigadier-General Gladden to command them; Colonel Chalmers might be made a brigadier, to remain here in place of Gladden, and Lieutenant-Colonel Autrey would make an excellent colonel for his regiment, now nearly reorganized for the war. Jackson I should desire to see advanced to the command of a brigade. Major Slaughter, my acting inspector-general, is on a short official visit to Richmond. He possesses my entire confidence in every respect, and may be fully and freely consulted by the Department, as he knows my views in regard to matters here, and is as fully posted as I am. I am Yours Very Respectfully Braxton Bragg Major-General [to Judah P. Benjamin, Secretary of War, Richmond.] [Above Letter of 6 JAN 1862 found on pages 75 - 76 of Braxton Bragg: General of the Confederacy (1924) by Don Carlos Seitz.] Ozzy
  34. 2 points
    Stan Bacon in the amount of 20,000 pounds does seem a lot... until it is realized Braxton Bragg had extended family living in Alabama; and his wife (Eliza) had family living in Louisiana (as well as family ownership of one or more plantations, with over one hundred mouths to feed.) Properly preserved and stored, bacon has the ability to last months, if not years (and who knew in March 1862 how long the "emergency" would last?) Just a conjecture... Ozzy N.B. Of course, the Letter of March 29 is most noteworthy for the military information it contains. (More Bragg letters to come.)
  35. 2 points
    The following letter written by Major General Braxton Bragg to his wife, Eliza, and sent from Corinth on 29 MAR 1862 reveals the mindset of Confederate leaders in the build-up to Battle of Shiloh. Discussed in the letter: the importance of the Mississippi River to the Confederacy; incompetence responsible for the loss of New Madrid; Bragg's recommended strategy for Arkansas (and use of Van Dorn) Confederate evaluation of Union force (under C.F. Smith) and Smith's likely objectives; Bragg compares his Army of Pensacola to the forces under A.S. Johnston and Leonidas Polk; Bragg evaluates the current state of affairs, and offers suggested remedies; Letter concludes with "personal matters" (acquiring provisions for his family; and answering questions in Eliza's last letter.) Corinth, March 29th 1862 Dearest Wife, Your letters are all coming to hand since they have found me out, and yesterday I had one only three days old, written on my birthday, tho' you probably did not know it. You write under great excitement and despondency, and I must acknowledge, with much reason, but still I hope and trust a change for the better is about to occur. The rapid movement from Jackson to Bethel, and thence to this place, was to prevent the very movement you seem so much to fear. The enemy in large force ascended the Tennessee River, with a view no doubt of striking at or near this point, by which he would divide the forces of Polk and myself from those of Johnston coming west on the rail road. He landed in force and made two assails [against] our stations, one against Bethel, and one here. But finding us not only prepared to receive him, but arranging to attack him, he fell back, crossed the river with his main force, and now confronts us with only a brave few thousand, under cover of his gun boats. Desirous as I was, and Genl Beauregard was for sure, to bring on an action, it became utterly impossible. We could not cross the river; and they would not. In the mean time events have gone on very disastrously on the Mississippi River in Genl Polk's command, not from any immediate fault of his, but from a bad commander [McCown] and the unfortunate result of bad discipline, and too much whiskey. Under orders from Genl Beauregard to hold the place [New Madrid] until the last extremity, they had driven the enemy [Pope] back in New Madrid with a heavy loss. We were supplied, were fortified, and had force enough to hold out until we could reinforce them. But a big stampede got hold of them. Whiskey got into them, and a few, a false alarm that Genl Siegel, who was in front of Van Dorn in north west Arkansas, was upon them with 20,000 additional men... all was disgracefully abandoned. On the 23rd Genl Johnston reached here, Genl Beauregard came down [from Jackson] to mesh up, and a conference has resulted in changes I hope will save the Mississippi, though time is precious, and much needed. I insisted on a change of subordinate commanders of Island No.10 and Fort Pillow, which is the next point to defend if the first falls. All said they had nobody to put there, their best having been done. I offered my whole force, saying I could put any of my generals there and know they would never be stampeded. Being allowed to designate, I have sent Genl Jones to Island No.10 and Genl Villepique to Fort Pillow. I ought to have the whole command there [of Mississippi River defences] myself, and take my Pensacola and Mobile troops there. But that point I could not urge, of course, as Genl Polk, who commands, is my senior. I thought my Mobile Army was a mob, but it is as far superior to Polk's and Johnston's as the Army of Pensacola was to it. The commander of the disgrace at New Madrid [General McCown] I insist shall be arrested and tried. There is want of nerve to do it, but I shall insist, and hope yet to accomplish it. Stern, dictatorial measures are necessary, and as far as my influence goes, will be adopted. The enemy will operate on both our flanks, striking us here [at Corinth] whenever he is ready. Sooner one could not make him do it, as he is on the other side of the [Tennessee] River, which he controls by gun boats. But it is not so on the Mississippi: we control that below them, and can throw our forces at any point there by steamer. Had my opinion prevailed, we should have assailed him at New Madrid and defeated him there about the time we moved here. But fears were felt for this position, by which Genl Johnston would be divided from us. Swift measures would have saved both [New Madrid and Corinth] but that is now too late. To hold the Mississippi River is my primary object; the loss of its use be about fatal to us, and I shall unceasingly urge its importance. I find my opinions have some weight with both Johnston and Beauregard, and I shall not cease to urge my point. Johnston almost embraced me when I met him, saying, "Your prompt and decisive move, Sir, has saved me, and saved the country. But for your arrival [at Corinth] the enemy would have been between us." A change is to be made today in our organization. I believe the Army here, between the Mississippi and the Tennessee, will be called the Army of the Mississippi, as at present, but largely increased by Johnston's forces. This will all be commanded by Beauregard, and be divided in turn into two grand divisions under Polk and Bragg. Say 25,000 men each. Johnston to command all. And East Tennessee and Missouri. Under my urgent advice, supported by Polk and Beauregard, Johnston has decided to withdraw the forces of Van Dorn from Arkansas, and unite them to ours on this side of the river. This, you may recollect, I advised in January from Pensacola. Where he is, Van Dorn can do nothing; nor can he subsist his army. Arkansas is a wilderness the enemy will never penetrate. And should we unfortunately lose the Mississippi, Van Dorn there would be lost. With his addition, 20,000. If we do our duty, and work our men into soldiers, we shall be able to turn the tide, and redress our losses. But, great labor is before us, and we need not conceal the fact that great danger also threatens us. Our people, our generals, with a few exceptions, are not up to the emergency. Tennessee, Kentucky and Missouri are lost to us. Such has been the outrageous conduct of our troops that the people generally and very voluntarily prefer seeing the enemy. Polk and Johnston do nothing to correct this. Indeed, the good Bishop sets the example by taking whatever he wishes -- requiring it to be paid for, it is true. But, every man is not willing to give up his house, his necessities, servants, provisions, etc., etc., even though our Government is required to pay for it. The provision question is embarrassing to us publicly and privately. Financing the great difficulty in New Orleans. And hearing such accounts from Mr. Urquhart, I bought 20,000 pounds of bacon in Mississippi which was offered me as a favor. It will be shipped to Mr. Urquhart and by him one half to you and the other half to Towson. It will be more than either will require, or ought to use. Half of it ought to suffice. The other I thought it prudent to take as we might supply Pierce and your Mother. We face weeks more, not a pound of meat can be had in the country. The money you speak of for the girls, I paid to Towson in cash. He tells me he deposited it to your Mother's credit with Mr. Urquhart for the girls to draw on. That makes it all right. She is charged with it, but look on the other side and see if she is also credited? That might make it all right. Towson and Robert are well. My own health is good, besides a cold. The meantime -- Write. God Keep you Darling Wife Braxton. [The original hand-written Letter of 29 MAR 1862] is on file with Missouri History Museum -- Missouri Digital Heritage -- in the "St. Louis Civil War Collection" and accessible online at the following: http://cdm.sos.mo.gov/cdm/compoundobject/collection/CivilWar/id/1261/rec/20 Thanks to Missouri History Museum for making the original letter available online. Ozzy
  36. 2 points
    He had 20,000 pounds of bacon sent to his own family and friends?
  37. 2 points
    Grant's Greatest Strength From study of U.S. Grant's military history in the West during the Civil War, what becomes apparent is the General's aggression, drive and determination to take the fight to the enemy. Belmont -- initially flagged as a "demonstration in vicinity of Fort Columbus" -- was converted by Grant into a highly successful raid. Fort Henry was such an obvious target that newspaper reporters, all during the month of January, were conjecturing when that Confederate fort would be attacked. And Fort Donelson was merely the logical next step, after the capture of Fort Henry. Following the capture of Fort Donelson, the logical next step was "occupation of Nashville" (a major source of supply for the Rebel Army.) But, General Grant saw unedifying vacillation on the part of his Federal counterparts (Buell and Halleck, in particular), and took measures into his own hands to press for Nashville's occupation. First, Grant suggested to Major General Halleck that Nashville be taken. Then, finding no obvious plan in work, Grant suggested he could take Nashville. Finally, Grant determined that Nashville's occupation was needlessly being delayed; and took measures to "fix that problem" U.S. Grant told Halleck that he was going to Nashville (and added the proviso, "Unless you specifically prohibit my going.") He looked for an opportunity... and found it: the arrival of Nelson's Division, sent to assist in capture of Fort Donelson (and now, technically, Nelson's Division was a part of Grant's Army) Nelson's Division, in convoy aboard seven transports steaming up the Cumberland River, was deemed by Grant as superfluous; and labelled by Grant as "no longer needed." Therefore, General Grant thought it best to "return to sender" Nelson's force, by re-directing the flotilla a little further up the Cumberland, with new destination: Nashville. When Brigadier General William Nelson stepped ashore on February 25th he was the first Union general officer to enter the former Confederate capital of Tennessee. He technically belonged to Grant, who was in process of "returning him to the Army of the Ohio." (Which is why there is confusion to this day IRT who occupied Nashville?) To sum up, General Grant's greatest strength was his ability to "see opportunity, and exploit opportunity." (Drive, determination, aggression, persistence... were merely character traits used as tools by Grant to develop opportunity.) My take on U.S. Grant Ozzy Reference: Badeau's Military History of U.S. Grant (1867) pages 56 -61.
  38. 2 points
    Well, I found the following website: https://www.wisvetsmuseum.com/exhibits/permanent-exhibits/ The Wisconsin Veterans Museum. Found a bunch of Wisconsin images, soldiers killed and wounded at Shiloh, and at Corinth as well. I will be adding them to my photo album, but they have a great collection of 16th Wisconsin Infantry photos (Jim did you know about this?!?!?!??!!?!?!?) Most of the images are from Company E, 16th Wisconsin. That company really took a beating at Shiloh, amazing to have so many images from that one company. But, again, will be posting those images soon. Neat website, would be nice to visit the museum itself. Check out the picture of the museum, I love how they incorporated the mannequins and the mural together. I have yet to surf the rest of the sight to see what else they have available online.
  39. 2 points
    Stan Prior to creation of the Atwell Thompson Map of 1900, no two maps of Shiloh/Pittsburg Landing matched. The sketches constructed in the days and weeks prior to April 6th 1862 were especially disparate; and with the exception of Albert Sidney Johnston's "Confederate Battle Map," most sketches of vicinity of Pittsburg Landing were constructed with "other agendas" in mind. Sherman's Map of late March 1862 was drawn as a guide for Sherman -- Boss of the Campground -- to keep track of regimental placements in the Pittsburg Landing campground; Grant's Map of late March illustrates a stylized view of Pittsburg Landing and its Division placements, seemingly all linked in and mutually supporting (complete with a seriously flooded Snake Creek at top of map, acting as "moat" to defend against possibility of attack from the north.) This map was sent to St. Louis by Grant to keep Henry Halleck off his back, as he waited impatiently to commence the march on Corinth. Grant's 1867 Map highlighted particular features, while diminishing others, in order to visually portray "the stupidity of Lew Wallace in attempting to reach Pittsburg Landing by marching to the southwest." Your map (attributed to Ken Burns, 1990 and The Civil War) portrays Shiloh at its simplest: Johnston vs. Grant. Iconic features are included (for benefit of those viewers who pause the video, in order to examine fine detail mentioned in "The Very Bloody Affair" segment.) When it is recognized that Bjorn Skaptason and Tim Smith can spend hours revealing details of specific aspects of the two-day battle, the fact Ken Burns presents a compact, yet descriptive Shiloh segment -- in under 13 minutes -- is pretty impressive. Just a few ideas... Ozzy N.B. All maps mentioned in this post available for view at SDG. Atwell Thompson map contained in D.W. Reed's Battle of Shiloh and the Organizations Engaged.
  40. 2 points
    Good job Tony. And yeah, thanks for posting these. I watch your videos over and over again (best thing there is besides actually being at Shiloh)
  41. 2 points
    I have attached some images I took last year of Shiloh from the air. I also marked landmark locations, etc.
  42. 2 points
  43. 2 points
    Staff officer to General Grant, officially designated as ADC after Fort Donelson, William R. Rowley commenced his Civil War career as a First Lieutenant in the 45th Illinois (known as the Lead Mine Regiment) in November 1861. Familiar with Congressman Elihu Washburne of Galena, Captain Rowley communicated frequently with his Member of Congress (and sometimes on General Grant's behalf.) The following link connects to a Letter written by Captain Rowley at Pittsburg Landing on 19 April 1862 to an associate of Elihu Washburne, Edward Hempstead. Hempstead copied Rowley's letter, and sent that transcript to Congressman Washburne (which is where this version of the Letter was found, in the Washburne Papers.) http://www.usgrantlibrary.org/usga/newsletters/volume10.asp [Rowley Letter of 19 April 1862 at top of page, courtesy of Ulysses S. Grant Presidential Library, and contained in Newsletter of January 1973 (Volume 10).] On Sunday morning, April 6th, Captain Rowley was at Savannah and heard the firing of cannon from 9 miles away, to the south-southwest. Travelling in company with General Grant aboard Tigress, Rowley arrived at Pittsburg Landing between 9- 9:30 a.m. and was in company with General Grant (or delivering orders from General Grant) during much of Day One at Shiloh. Of particular interest: Captain Rowley was riding west from the Landing, in company with General Grant, just after 1 p.m., when the second messenger returned from his "visit" to General Lew Wallace. After hearing Cavalry officer Frank Bennett's report, General Grant sent Rowley, in company with Lieutenant Bennett, back north across Wallace Bridge to confront Major General Wallace and demand that he come to Pittsburg Landing via the River Road. Captain Rowley was equipped with authority to "provide orders in writing" if Lew Wallace so demanded. Captain Rowley and his escort departed about 1:20 p.m., and arrived at Pittsburg Landing -- in company with the Third Division -- after sunset. [These details need to be kept in mind when reading Rowley's letter.] The other thing to keep in mind: this letter from William Rowley was written in response to a Letter of 14 April 1862 from Edward Hempstead, in which Hempstead asked five specific questions [with Rowley's response in brackets]: Had General Grant been drinking, prior to the battle of Shiloh? [No. Rowley indicated he had only ever seen Grant take three or four drinks, total, during the entire time he knew him. And he had had no alcohol prior to Battle of Shiloh.] Was General Grant really at Savannah when the Battle started? [Yes... (although Rowley shaves substantial time away from Grant's absence from Pittsburg Landing).] Did General Grant really lead the Last Charge on Monday? [Yes. And Rowley gives details...] Does General Grant have any political aspirations? [No. And do not worry, he has no intention of ever becoming President.] Why were there no entrenchments at Pittsburg Landing? [Rowley provides an answer you'll have to read for yourself.] As significant as is William Hillyer's letter (also on this SDG site), William Rowley's response to Edward Hempstead provides details of Grant's decisions, operations and movements, not to be found anywhere else; and this four-page Letter (written after the arrival of Henry Halleck at Pittsburg Landing) is highly recommended, and worth the twenty minutes required to read and digest. Cheers Ozzy Other references: Autobiography of Lew Wallace, vol.1 (1906) pages 466 - 474 (for Lew Wallace's impression of Captain Rowley.) OR 10 pages 178 - 180 [Rowley's April 1863 report detailing his meeting and discussions with Lew Wallace on April 6th 1862.] "Eye Witness account, William S. Hillyer" posted by Idaho Native at SDG.
  44. 2 points
    All, I know this is a Shiloh board, but, a little "after action report". Mona was in my neck of the woods here at Stones River and I was able to give her a tour of the battlefield. A little insert here, if anyone is ever in the area and wants a tour, let me know and I will be glad to show you around. I guess this is also a, "Shiloh is lucky" moment. I was not happy to report to Mona, well, telling her, "don't get too excited, this ain't Shiloh". Tragically, in the 1890's there was a desire to create a National Military Park at Stones River almost as large as Shiloh. The move would have created a park of roughly 3,100 acres. Today, I think we roughly have 700 acres. Size wise, what the park has today is roughly, for a Shiloh comparison, Grant's last line, extending out to Cloud Field and over to the main battlefield entrance today. Similar to Shiloh, we had to drive through the battlefield to get to the area where the battle started. Stones River battlefield, is, well, it is gone. I lived in Murfreesboro 17 years ago, and since that time this battlefield has been paved over. When I say paved over, Stones Rivers' versions of the Peach Orchard, Rea Field, Fraley Field, Duncan Field, Jones Field, the Hornet's Nest, where most of the major fighting took place, is no more. I-24 goes through the heart of that area now. Cleburne's men attacked where Interstate 24 now exists. To the east of 24, it is now Walmart, an expanding hospital, hotels, places to eat, you get the picture. Even the last few open areas/fields are being developed at this very moment. The spot where General Sill was killed is now a bank, and across the street roughly 10 acres are being bulldozed for new construction. So many tons of dirt have been moved, that what the area originally looked like, versus now, well, there is no comparison. Small hills area bulldozed flat, so the terrain is just totally different. The area known as the Slaughter Pen, well, the park has half of it, on the other side of the road, a hospital expansion, and a soon to be 4 lane road. In the map attached, where it says Roberts(Bradley), marked by the X, I was lucky enough to make several evening/nighttime trips last fall (with permission), and found the bullets and canister you see. The mound of dirt I am standing by, I found a Williams Cleaner bullet in the pile, I just eyeballed it laying there. The pile itself was literally 2 stories high. Dropped bullets, fired bullets, artillery shell fragments, percussion caps, you name it, lots of stuff came from that area. People were finding tons of bullets just laying on top of the ground once the bulldozer went through. At Shiloh, we know almost exactly where specific regiments went through. At Stones River, because of the destruction, you can only form vague generalities. There is a Blue/Gray magazine with an in depth article, and tons of maps, about Stones River. But, because of people metal detecting, and relics found including a Mississippi button, the maps in the magazine appear to be incorrect. Not off by a lot, but off by up to 300 meters or more in some spots. Heavy traffic in the area makes stopping to get out and look difficult as Mona can testify to for sure. Sadly, I think we are just a generation or two away from a time when nobody will have much of an idea of where actions took place. Somewhat like, "well, so and so troops passed through this area at this intersection by the gas station, or, it could have been down 3 blocks by the McDonald's, we just don't know." I was able to show her some areas off the park where we know exactly how troops moved. And, naturally, you can see with good confidence where troops moved within the park. Other areas, with no places to pull over, you have to "tell the story" as you drive by, but again those are mainly off park property. I was able to show her 2 houses, still standing, that were used as field hospitals. But, we had a good time for sure. I tell you, we are lucky to have Shiloh so intact! Stan
  45. 2 points
    i was just thinking after seeing the list of all the boats that wee churning up/down stream. wonder how this would have developed if this troop accumulation had been say in aug/sept..when its hot and very dry...the river would not be very navigatable to support this .before the river was channelized/dams built one could ride your horse accross in several spots.
  46. 2 points
    Another interest of T. M. Hurst: Steamboats. In particular, steamboats that were involved in transporting troops and armaments to Savannah and Pittsburg Landing in the build-up of Federal force during March and April 1862; those steamers present April 6th; and those that arrived (and departed) shortly after Battle of Shiloh commenced: (Found in Confederate Veteran, vol.1 page 180.)
  47. 2 points
    Well, Van Dorn wanted some of these captured weapons, but it was told to him that a lot of the weapons could not be brought off the field. Which makes you think. How many of these "damaged guns" were outdated muskets, shotguns, etc., that Confederates "dropped" and picked up a better Yankee musket. Confederates would "probably" not waste their time trying to collect up all the damaged guns laying around. Wagons were needed to ferry out the wounded. It would take a lot of wagons to ferry out thousands of good condition muskets, much less damaged ones. Plus, the Confederates did not have much time. It would have required Confederates to go out by candlelight/torch to collect these weapons on the evening of the 6th. Needless to say the rain that night. The first priority was the wounded. I wonder how much, if any, thought was given to this very subject: gathering up much needed weapons. If it would have been of great importance, some considerable "force", slaves or what have you, would have been on hand to do that very thing, collect up weapons. I know that at Shiloh, in storage, they have 3 or 4 muskets found after the battle. One was a type of "sporting musket". It was broken in two, clearly to make it unusable. The others were damaged and left on the field and were in relic condition when found. The sporting musket looks brand new. But, 7,000, yes, that is a lot for sure!
  48. 2 points
    Ozzy, Thanks, that is impressive! I guess Loren and myself had a similar hobby. Neat to see him in an obviously early war photograph. I guess I should have been more precise on my post. The images I have posted, well, I am really looking for pre-war or wartime images of soldiers who were killed, wounded, or captured during the Shiloh campaign. I have added a few that do not fall in to this category, but these were either Surgeons/Doctors that would have treated the wounded, and one or two of men with research worthy wartime accounts of Shiloh. I guess I "could" create an album of Shiloh participants, that would be a massive album to say the least, ha! Stan
  49. 2 points
    Ran across the below Smithsonian Magazine article, dated 28 June 2016, by accident, while searching for orders sent by Henry Halleck. The report caught me by surprise, as I assumed all the Civil War telegrams still in existence (North and South) had been de-coded, already. Just goes to show: there is a lot of material still out there, some of which may turn one theory or another on its head... Ozzy http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/you-can-help-decode-thousands-top-secret-civil-war-telegrams-180959561/ 16.000 Telegrams yet to be De-Coded
  50. 2 points
    In Deference to Occam's Razor I happened upon the Rockwell Diary in the following way: after searching for "river miles from Paducah to Savannah Tennessee" in my favourite search engine (and not satisfied with the result) I amended the search term to, "river miles from Fort Henry to Savannah Tennessee" ...and the Bob Rockwell publication returned as hit number two. And, although available since 2011 this was the first I'd heard of the William Rockwell diary. Occam's Razor, reduced to a short and sweet definition: " The simplest explanation is generally correct." But, the Battle of Shiloh seems to defy Occam's Razor: there was nothing simple and straight-forward about it. Consider: the Federal commander was not even present on the battlefield until hours after the contest began; the Confederate commander intended to initiate battle one day earlier; the goal of the Union army was to "do nothing to bring on a general engagement," with intention to march on Corinth (which led to all manner of unintended consequences) the goal of the Rebel army was to engage and defeat Grant's army before Buell could arrive with reinforcements (but bad intelligence may have resulted in "hopeful belief" that Buell was heading for Decatur, instead of Savannah) the Federal division-based response(s) quickly degenerated into brigade-sized, and then regiment-sized efforts... which managed to coalesce into "structure" at Grant's Last Line (and Sherman's line along the River Road) the Confederate Corps-based attack quickly dissolved into brigade-sized and ad hoc combines of regiments... that almost succeeded. Researching the Battle of Shiloh is replete with unexpected difficulties: duplicate names (Wallace and Wallace; even Hickenlooper and Hickenlooper); mispelled names (Savannah and Savanna; USS Tyler and USS Taylor); every map is different... Until Shiloh Discussion Group arrived on the scene and began serious study, the Battle of Shiloh was well on its way to MYTH status (believe what you want, define it how you want... "evidence" to support any outcome is available.) Occam's Razor? No. The Battle of Shiloh is more in keeping with Murphy's Law. Ozzy
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