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  1. 3 points
    Most people reference Gott's book when giving Confederate strength at Fort Donelson. Gott mostly uses the "tabular statement" compiled at the time: He then proceeds to make a few imputations for units not included above. Investigation has shown that every unit he imputed is already in this list. They are: Culbertson's Battery of 300; these were the men manning the water battery, but were detachments from units in the list. The battery was manned by Maury's (Ross') battery, Coy A of 30th TN and Coy A of 50th TN. These units are on the list, and Gott double counts them. Melton's scouts are listed in the table as having 15 men. Gott gives them 58. Major Fielding Gowan's Tennessee cavalry squadron is listed on the table as having 60. Gott estimates 170. The Kentucky cavalry coys were attached to Forrest's regiment, and are included in it (see the returns below). Gott doesn't list sources, but gives Huey's coy an incredible 112. Also, for no reason Gott added 150 surrendered to the 48th TN. Finally, there is an addition error in his artillery table. We also have the returns for the formations a mere two weeks prior to Fort Donelson: Of these formations, the majority of the 4th Division, the whole of Floyd's "division" and Clark's brigades, and the artillery and 7 regiments of Buckner's division were at Donelson. Fortunately Buckner broke down the regiments strengths in his report and it is close to 7/12ths of his January return, and can be accepted. The PFD at Donelson can be (over)estimated thus: Thus the estimate of 13,000 given by the likes of Pillow seems accurate. Note that the highest figure given by any confederate is by Preston Johnston, but he double counted Clark's and Floyd's brigades. Removing the double counts give 15,000, which is consistent with the returns.
  2. 2 points
    Hi. I live in Tempe, Arizona I have been a student of the CW for 30 years. I have eight ancestors who fought for the Federals and a whole lot more for the Confederacy. Shiloh is one of many battles in which I have an interest. I am a member of the Scottsdale, Arizona CWRT, Battlefield Trust, Civil War Talk. I look forward to learning more about Shiloh
  3. 2 points
    In my dotage I realize that my former log-held belief that I understood the U.S. system was seriously flawed. For example, my local town council recently voted to allow retail sales of marijuana. At the start of the session they all rose and spoke, with hands over hearts, the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag of the United States...one nation, under God, indivisible... Two flags were in the room, one the Stars and Stripes, the other the State Flag of Illinois. They faced the former. The latter was not mentioned. Then they proceeded to pass an Ordinance that makes them all parties to a Federal felony (actually, it was a 6-5 vote). Eleven states have joined mine in this succession. We tried this States' Rights thing once before. That time it ended badly. We live in dangerous times, as also had been the case for our predecessors.
  4. 2 points
    as to #3..the stream in question at stoney lonesome..is a wet weather water-run from the springs north of stage rd and s\does continue south..older people that live along the stage road in this area retell of the large,deep cold swimming holes that they as kids played in..so there is a water feature in this area..also Purdy is more northwest of adamsb\ville than the map shows.
  5. 2 points
    From the Washington Post: http://www.washingto...36b8_story.html By Tony Horwitz, It’s often said that journalists write the first rough draft of history. But rarely do reporters draft history in quite so rough a fashion as Junius Browne and Albert Richardson did in the Civil War. (PublicAffairs) - ‘Junius and Albert's Adventures in the Confederacy: A Civil War Odyssey’ by Peter Carlson The two Northern correspondents narrowly escaped death in an artillery bombardment, only to be captured by Confederates. For 593 excruciating days, they skirmished with lice in Southern prisons as the real war raged on without them. Then, after a jailbreak and a harrowing trek through enemy territory, the reporters filed the story of a lifetime: their own. Peter Carlson narrates this tale of journalistic derring-do in “Junius and Albert’s Adventures in the Confederacy.” This title, which echoes the 1989 slacker film “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure,” undersells the gravity of the reporters’ experience. But it’s also appropriate, because Carlson’s book unspools like a buddy flick: Two larkish fellows embark on a trip that goes desperately wrong and often veers into farce. At the start of the Civil War, Browne and Richardson belonged to the self-styled “Bohemian Brigade,” a journalistic troupe of insouciant thrill-seekers who gallivanted along the front. Like other reporters of that era, they made no pretense to objectivity and freely expressed the staunch abolitionism of their employer, the New York Tribune. Nor did they let the facts get in the way of a good story. At one point, to avoid being scooped by a competitor, Browne and a colleague composed “long, vivid, eyewitness accounts of a battle that occurred 200 miles beyond their eyesight,” Carlson writes. Their fabrications ran at length in the Tribune, a stunt that made the writers legendary among the Bohemian Brigade. But these cavalier “knights of the quill,” as Browne called them, also risked their lives to cover combat. In May 1863, Browne and Richardson tried to sneak past rebel cannon at Vicksburg aboard a Union barge filled with hay. An incoming shell burned and killed half the soldiers on board. The survivors were fished out of the Mississippi and jailed. It was customary at the time to quickly release or swap captured journalists. But Browne and Richardson wrote for the paper most hated in the South; the Confederate in charge of prisoner exchanges called them “the worst and most obnoxious of all non-combatants.” Also, soon after their capture, the warring parties suspended prisoner exchanges. So the men were shuttled among jails, including Richmond’s notorious Castle Thunder, before ending up at North Carolina’s Salisbury Prison, a mini-Andersonville where men perished in droves from exposure, disease and shootings by guards. Carlson’s story has so many twists, right up to the last page, that I won’t spoil it by telling more. But the exquisite plot is only one of the joys of reading this book. As a veteran journalist (including 22 years at The Washington Post), Carlson captures the competitive yet collegial world of reporters in the field and their tortured relationship with distant editors. He also has an ear for quotes and an eye for detail, and shares with the Bohemian Brigade a keen sense of the ridiculous. Though the Northern reporters were hated Yanks, they were also curiosities. So Southerners flocked to visit the inmates — and to declare their willingness to “die in the last ditch” for the Cause. This line was repeated so often, Carlson writes, that it became a running gag for the reporters: “Where is this ditch? How deep is it? They’re going to need a very big ditch to hold all these Rebels who keep promising to die in it.” He also quotes the absurd reports in Southern papers, including this one on Gettysburg: “The Confederates were repulsed but cannot, at present, with justice or candor, be said to have suffered defeat.” Carlson excels as well at drawing characters, particularly the odd couple at the heart of his book. Browne, the well-schooled son of a banker, was a bookish scribe who filled his florid dispatches with Classical allusions. Richardson, a rugged farm boy, was plainspoken and ingratiated himself with all he met. Yet the two became inseparable and sustained each other through hardships and despair that neither could endure alone. “The North for us is like the grave,” Richardson wrote, after letters stopped reaching inmates, “no voice ever comes back to us from it.” If there’s a flaw in this fine book, it’s that Carlson tells his story almost too well. He’s shorn away anything that might interrupt the flow of his taut, lively narrative. This makes for a rollicking read, but at times I wanted more context and reflection — on the telegraph, for instance, a technology that transformed the news business in the mid-19th century as dramatically as the Internet has changed the media in our own time. Also, while Carlson details his deep research in the book’s endnotes, his text doesn’t address whether Browne and Richardson were reliable sources in the telling of their own story. Given the flagrant bias and outright fictions that Carlson documents in the dispatches of the Bohemian Brigade, I doubted some of the witty repartee and incredible adventures that Browne and Richardson recalled, much of it in books they wrote after returning home. But even if the two men embellished, their ordeal has resonance far beyond its drama and drollery. The reporters were forced into close, extended contact with captured Northerners and Southerners of every stripe — deserters, slaves, brutish guards, mountain guerrillas — and they experienced the behind-the-lines horror of the conflict. As a result, they witnessed, and later exposed, a theater of the war that was barely known to their colleagues at the front or to the Northern public. This remains an aspect of the Civil War that is little known to most Americans. The journalists’ experiences of both battle and captivity also speak to the enduring challenge of war reporting. Upon seeing combat for the first time, Browne wrote, “No one here seems to have any knowledge of anything, the leading officers having little more information than the privates.” As Carlson acutely notes, Browne’s one-line observation “sums up the ‘fog of war’ so well that it could be included in nearly every battle dispatch in every war ever fought.” Tony Horwitz is the author of “Confederates in the Attic” and “Midnight Rising: John Brown and the Raid That Sparked the Civil War.” Jim
  6. 2 points
    On January 10, 1861 the state of Florida became the third state to secede from the Union. One of the first items on the agenda was to send Florida state militia to seize the navy yard at Pensacola along with Fort McRee, Fort Barrancas and Fort Pickens. On January 9 the navy transported the command of Lt. Slemmer from Fort Barrancas to Fort Pickens due to the trouble brewing. On the big day, January 12, 1861, Commodore Walke was in command of a stores ship appropriately named Supply. He was anchored near Fort Pickens assisting Lt. Slemmer in delivering supplies and preparing to defend Fort Pickens. Walke was to proceed to the port of Vera Cruz, Mexicio after dropping supplies at Fort Pickens. The Wyandotte, armed with at least some guns was also nearby. The navy yard was under the command of Captain James Armstrong. The yard had a small force of marines, soldiers and civilian workers along with some of their families. There had been no pay received for several months. A Florida militia force of 600 to 800 men arrived at the fort and Armstrong capitulated without a fight. Armstrong was court martialed for “neglect of duty” and suspended from service for five years. The plight of the men and families in the navy yard was dire. They had no money and no way to subsist in what was now enemy territory. Of course, some of the individuals were Southern supporters and did not need a ride home. Walke steamed into the harbor the next day under a flag of truce to take aboard all persons wanting to return to the north. A total of 106 men, women and children boarded the Supply. Nineteen days later the Supply arrived at New York and Walke’s human cargo disembarked the ship. The passengers included the wife and child of Lt. Slemmer. Walke was promptly court-martialed for disobeying orders and leaving his station because he was supposed to go to Vera Cruz. Walke was found not guilty of leaving station since New York was a navy port but he was found guilty of disobeying orders. His punishment was a letter of admonishment from the Secretary of the Navy. On January 16 the Florida authorities demanded the surrender of Fort Pickens by Lt. Slemmer. He told them to pound sand and Fort Pickens remained in Union hands throughout the war. Everything I wrote here I just learned in the last couple days so I hope it is accurate. For those interested the story is related in the beginning of Walke’s Naval Scenes and Reminiscences of the Civil War of the United States on the Southern and Western Waters. https://books.google.com/books?id=-SoOAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA63&lpg=PA63&dq=Walker+naval+scenes+and+reminiscence&source=bl&ots=O2fr7_oYdp&sig=ACfU3U1RK16Y3Jhoxpq61jdGJtm5k3t_sw&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjGioShrr3kAhVLOK0KHVd9AI8Q6AEwFnoECAYQAQ#v=onepage&q&f=false Volume 4 of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies has a transcript of the court martial of James Armstrong which I found interesting but did not read the whole thing. https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=coo.31924051350837&view=1up&seq=111 Hank
  7. 2 points
    At Fort Henry the gunboat Essex took a shell through their middle boiler. The scalding steam trapped the two civilian pilots in the pilot house and killed them instantly. One pilot was found with his hand still on the wheel. The names were Marshall Ford and James McBride. At Fort Donelson, Foote’s flagship was the St. Louis. A shell penetrated the 1.5 inches of iron plate and 15 inches of oak timber sending deadly splinters along with shell fragments ricocheting throughout the pilot house. F. A. Riley, the pilot, died at the wheel. Foote was injured in his foot but was able to pry Riley’s dead fingers from the wheel and took over steering the boat. Foote thought his wound was not serious and he would be over it in a week. But it never healed and three months later he had to relinquish command of the gunboat fleet on the Mississippi. He died about a year later. The Carondelet stayed in the fight the longest at Fort Donelson. A 128-pound shell smashed into the pilot house and sent iron splinters and wood splinters into the two civilian pilots, mortally wounding one. His name was William Hinton. Later another shell hit the pilot house wounding another pilot. On board the Louisville, a pilot was wounded. The pilot house on the boats was a prime target for the enemy’s cannon. At Forts Henry and Donelson four civilian pilots were killed and at least three others wounded. Pilots were usually well-known on the rivers and served under dangerous conditions. At Forts Henry and Donelson the pilot houses on the gunboats were, indeed, a slaughter pen. This was a great question as I had never heard the term slaughter pen applied at Forts Henry and Fort Donelson. I tried a simple google search with forts Henry and Donelson and slaughter pen and the following book appeared: A History of the United States Navy, from 1775 to 1893, Volume 2 By Edgar Stanton Maclay. Page 330. Here is the link I found. It is long but when I tried to find a shorter one it was not the same book although it had the same title. https://books.google.com/books?id=UHWpn7IEuMoC&pg=PA330&lpg=PA330&dq=Slaughter+Pen+fort+donelson&source=bl&ots=gdumFKu_en&sig=ACfU3U2dvG_a0-xwGC8NzX_N401kgx69Jg&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwid5Y3Y27jkAhUKM6wKHT5cDco4ChDoATAEegQIBxAB#v=onepage&q&f=false To verify what boat William Hinton was on I referred to Walke’s “The Western Flotilla at Fort Donelson, Island Number Ten, Fort Pillow and Memphis” in Battles and Leaders, Vol. 1 Hank
  8. 2 points
    Knowing that Wickliffe and Hardcastle were part of the party that crossed the desert from California with Albert Sidney Johnston it appeared that was the connection. A simple search of the other two revealed they also were part of Johnston's entourage. Brewer showed up on the SNMP facebook page. Ridley survived the war and lived till 1909 but Brewer was killed in Virginia in 1864. Hank
  9. 2 points
    Grant put in his memoirs that on January 6 he wrote Halleck and asked permission to see Halleck in St. Louis. He did not actually visit Halleck at that time. Halleck gave him another assignment. In the ORs, vol. 7 page 534 is Grant’s letter to Halleck ending with “If it meets with the approval of the Gen. Comd.g the Department I would be pleased to visit Head Quarters on business connected with this command.” However, on the same day, January 6, Halleck sent Grant an order, (ORs, vol. 7, page 533). “I wish you to make a demonstration in force on Mayfield and in the direction of Murray. Forces from Paducah and Fort Holt should meet at Mayfield and threaten Camp Beauregard and Murray, letting it be understood that Dover (i. e. Fort Donelson) is the object of your attack.” Halleck told Grant to avoid a battle as they were not ready. Nowhere in this order is Fort Henry mentioned. Grant made preparations in response to the January 6 order from Halleck. Grant ordered a column from Cairo under BG John McClernand and a column from Paducah under BG C. F. Smith to make the demonstrations. In his instructions to C. F. Smith dated January 8, 1862 (Grant Papers, vol. 4, page 11) Grant wrote that he would send Smith a gunboat and Smith should send the gunboat and a transport carrying a section of Artillery and infantry up the Tennessee River. Grant made no mention of Fort Henry but thought it would aid in the deception and help prevent rebel reinforcements moving from Columbus to Bowling Green. On January 9, 1862, three days after Halleck ordered Grant to make the demonstration, Halleck wrote McClellan informing him that he had just received McClellan’s message from the third of January the previous evening. (ORs, vol. 7, page 539) Halleck did not receive McClellan’s so-called order from January 3 until the evening of January 8. By that time Halleck had already set Grant in motion to make the demonstrations. Halleck enclosed a copy of his orders to Grant for McClellan’s information. On January 10 Halleck again wrote McClellan about McClellan’s letter of January 3. (OR. Vol. 7, page 543) This time Halleck alluded that if he followed the “order” of January 3 it would cause the loss of Missouri and did McClellan really want to do that? McClellan replied to Halleck on January 13 that Halleck had not read the letter of January 3 “with much care.” McClellan declared “There is nothing in my letter that can reasonably be construed into an order…” McClellan claimed what he wanted from Halleck was his views on how to accomplish the stated goals. (ORs, vol. 7, page 547) On January 1, 1862 the commander-in-chief, President Abraham Lincoln, telegraphed Halleck that McClellan was sick and should not be disturbed with business. Halleck was ordered by the President to work directly with Buell at once. (ORs, vol. 7, page 526) Buell received the same admonitions from the President. He wrote a message to Halleck on January 3, 1862. (ORs, vol. 7, page 526). Buell declared that the power of the Confederacy is on the line from Columbus to Bowling Green and in the center the forts on the Cumberland and Tennessee Rivers. Buell wrote an attack on the flanks and center was of importance and should be done simultaneously so the Confederates could not move troops around. Buell stated that two gunboat expeditions should go the Tennessee and Cumberland rivers. (hint, hint to Halleck). But Halleck did not have the troops for such expeditions and the ironclad gunboats were not ready for service. Buell pressured Halleck with; “whatever is to be done must be done in a few days.” Halleck apparently got the impression Buell was, finally, going to move against Bowling Green. He could not mount the river expeditions but he could send Grant out on the demonstrations in order to prevent rebel reinforcements being sent from Columbus to Bowling Green. In his January 6, 1862 order to Grant, Halleck told Grant that was the object of the demonstrations. (ORs, vol. 7, page 534) On January 6, 1862 Halleck sent a long synopsis to Lincoln and offered his opinion about an advance on Columbus while Buell moved on Bowling Green. It would be a repetition of the “strategic error which produced the disaster of Bull Run.” Halleck claimed such a plan would fail ninety-nine times out of hundred and was “condemned by every military authority I have [he had] ever read.” (ORs, vol. 7, page 533) On the same day that Halleck wrote Lincoln about how dumb an attack on Columbus would be Feis (William Feis, Grant's Secret Service) wants us to believe Grant wrote Halleck for a meeting to propose just such an undertaking. Feis wrote “Instead of going to St. Louis that January to propose a campaign against Forts Henry and Donelson, it is more probable that Grant hoped to convince Halleck that the time had come to eliminate Columbus.” (page 60 of Feis book) But Halleck had already pointedly stated that the true line of operations was to split the rebel defensive line in the center at the twin Forts Henry and Donelson. In late December Halleck had dinner with Sherman and Halleck’s aide, BG Cullom at the Planter’s House in St. Louis. Halleck laid a map on the table showing the rebel defensive line and asked his two guests where would be the best place to break it. They replied “in the center.” Halleck whole heartedly agreed and declared the true line of operations was to attack the rebel line on the Tennessee and Cumberland rivers. If Grant went to St. Louis to champion a movement against Columbus it is no wonder Halleck would toss him out. It seems to me that requesting permission from your superior officer to do something the superior officer had already condemned and told the President of the United States it would be a strategic error would not end well. Then Feis misleads us by claiming McClellan called for a demonstration against Columbus on January 3, 1862. In addition, McClellan wanted Halleck to send expeditions up the Cumberland and Tennessee rivers to freeze troops at Fort Donelson, Fort Henry and Clarksville. If that was not enough McClellan wanted Halleck to seize Columbus if the place seemed vulnerable. Feis wrote; “Then to accomplish this mission, Halleck ordered Grant to march east of Columbus toward Mayfield and Murray…” What is not stated is that Halleck had neither the men nor the gunboats to “accomplish this mission.” Halleck ordered Grant out with the demonstrations to keep any reinforcements moving from Columbus to Bowling Green. Feis then noted Halleck ordered Grant (Feis did not give the date but it was Jan. 6) to “make a demonstration in force on Mayfield and in the direction of Murray” using forces from Cairo and Paducah. Grant is to act like he is an advance guard of a larger force and after the demonstration is deemed finished the forces should slowly retreat back to a Paducah. Nowhere in Halleck’s instructions is there a mention of Fort Henry. Then Feis wrote “Halleck cautioned against engaging the enemy and conveniently neglected to mention McClellan’s instructions to take Columbus if the opportunity arose.” Since Halleck did not receive McClellan’s letter mentioning Columbus until the night of January 8 how could he have passed along McClellan’s instructions in an order he prepared for Grant on January 6? Feis did not explain how that would be possible. Feis also does not mention McClellan writing Halleck that only a pea-brained nincompoop would have considered McClellan’s letter of January 3 as instructions. (ORs, vol. 7, page 547) As of January 6, Halleck was not considering making any movements towards rebel strongholds until he had the situation in Missouri under control. Halleck estimated that would be around mid-February. Halleck wrote McClellan on January 20, just as Grant was returning to Cairo from the demonstration, and outlined his plan for future operations. (ORs, vol. 8, page 509)It did not include a direct assault on Columbus. He thought that was impracticable and “not a proper line of operations.” Halleck declared that a more feasible plan would be expeditions up the Cumberland and Tennessee rivers towards Nashville. That would turn Columbus and cause the rebels to evacuate Bowling Green. Halleck noted he had thoroughly studied the defenses of Columbus and found them strong. Halleck wrote it would take a large siege train and a “terrible loss of life” to take Columbus. To send expeditions up the two rivers Halleck estimated it should not be attempted with no less than 60,000 men. There were only 15,000 troops available at Cairo and Paducah at that time and the gunboats were looking for crews. It has been noted that nowhere in Halleck’s order to Grant and Grant’s order to C. F. Smith is Fort Henry mentioned as a place to be threatened. The instructions from Halleck were to act as if Dover (Fort Donelson) was the target of the movement. Feis showed on page 61 of his book why one should always be skeptical of authors who are quoting short segments of reports with parts not included. Feis wants to present the idea that there was a lost opportunity to take Columbus according to McClernand’s report to Halleck of January 24. Feis wrote: “As Union troops neared Columbus during the operation, McClernand interpreted the “non-appearance” of any significant Confederate resistance to mean the enemy was “closely collected around camp fires within their entrenchments, and indisposed to take the field.” That moment, he later wrote, was perhaps the most “favorable time…for [a] successful attack and the capture of Columbus.” After observing the disappointment evinced by his men when the demonstration ended without an attempt to storm the stronghold, McClernand urged Halleck to launch an immediate attack while the enemy remained vulnerable.” (Feis book page 61) In the ORs, vol. 7, page 69 we find what McClernand wrote from which Feis cherry-picked quotations to make the claim of the “lost opportunity” to take Columbus by storm. “It was discovered that an abatis of fallen timber a half mile in width surrounded the enemy’s intrenchments. The rigor of the weather and the non-appearance of any considerable rebel force led to the belief that they were closely collected around camp fires within their intrenchments, and indisposed to take the field. It is believed that with suitable preparation on our part a favorable time was thus afforded for successful attack and the capture of Columbus.” Note Feis left out “It is believed that with suitable preparation on our part…” What McClernand noted was if the Union army had made suitable preparations they might have been able to make a successful attack on Columbus. But the army was conducting a demonstration against Columbus with no intention to attack it. Feis claimed that after McClernand stated the rebels were “indisposed to take the field” he later wrote that at that moment it was maybe the most “favorable time” to had made a successful attack. I guess technically that is true but the two referenced sentences are in the same report adjacent to each other so it was probably no more than 30 seconds. Next Feis told us that McClernand’s men were disappointed they were denied the opportunity to attack Columbus and that McClernand wanted Halleck to make an immediate attack while the rebels were vulnerable. But McClernand’s report does not say the men were disappointed they did not attack Columbus. They were disappointed that they were recalled to Cairo. I doubt the men were disappointed they were not allowed to attack through a half mile of abatis during terrible weather against intrenchments manned by an unknown number of Confederates. McClernand wrote that the advance by the Union forces was welcomed by Unionists in the area. With the withdrawal from the area McClernand was concerned of the reprisals that might be visited on the Unionists. McClernand wrote: “This consideration, with others having great weight with me, prompts me in conclusion to presume upon your indulgence so far as to urgently recommend a renewed advance of our forces, if not immediately upon Columbus, at least so far as to regain the ground we recently occupied.” McClernand went on to describe a scenario where the army could lay siege to Columbus avoiding the need to actually attempt to carry the works. The Union army did not lose an opportunity to take Columbus during the demonstrations because that was never the intent and they were not prepared to do so. Feis next lets us know that “Grant also lamented the lost opportunity. “My orders were such and the force with me also so small,” he complained, “that no attack [upon Columbus] was allowable.” This was a letter to his sister. (Grant Papers, vol. 4, page 96) Feis put [upon Columbus] into the quotation. Grant did not mention a specific location where he was not allowed to attack. The “no attack” order was placed on both McClernand and C. F. Smith. Grant’s orders to not attack applied to the whole area of the demonstrations. Halleck cobbled together as many troops as he could for the demonstration but the force was too small to attack Columbus. In Grant’s memoirs he wrote that Smith reported he thought it practicable to capture Fort Heiman. Smith sent two letters to Grant, one dated Jan. 21 and the other Jan. 22. The letters were forwarded to Halleck in St. Louis on January 23. (Grant papers, vol. 4, page 90) Neither of these letters mentioned Fort Heiman. The Confederates did not start serious work on Fort Heiman until around January 15. A citizen alerted Sidney Johnston of that fact and he telegraphed Tilghman to immediately intrench at Fort Heiman and work all night. (Johnston biography by Johnston, page 423) Fort Heiman was not finished and no cannon were in place when Smith did his demonstration. The attack plan used by Grant put no emphasis upon seizing Fort Heiman before attacking Fort Henry. Grant is not always correct in his memoirs and this could be an example of his memory not quite getting it right. It is Smith’s letter of Jan. 22 where he described his approach to Fort Henry and how easy it would be to take it with just two gunboats. It should also be noted that Smith decided to take a look at Fort Henry because he had a day to kill as the troops unloaded a steamer full of supplies 20 miles north of Fort Henry. On page 62 of his book Feis claimed that because Grant declared the mission a success before receiving a report from Smith proves that Grant was fixated on Columbus. Fort Henry and Donelson were secondary. On January 18 Grant sent a letter to McClernand starting with “The object of the expedition having been accomplished all the forces will now be withdrawn…” Grant informed Halleck the day before that he had heard from Columbus and no forces had left there for several days. That was the object of the mission – to prevent any troops from moving from Columbus to Bowling Green. On January 20 Grant wrote Halleck upon Grant’s return to Cairo the same day. Grant wrote he would prepare a report of the expedition but if Halleck would allow him to visit headquarters he would make the report in person. Grant mentioned he had not received anything official from C. F. Smith but he had information that Camp Beauregard had been destroyed (it was, by the rebels) and that the small expedition that had gone up the Tennessee River had landed two and a half miles below Fort Henry. Feis wants us to believe that since Grant requested a face-to-face meeting with Halleck before having a report from Smith that meant Grant had Columbus foremost on his mind as opposed to Forts Henry and Donelson. What Feis does not tell us is that, while Grant did not have a report from Smith, he had a report from Lt. Phelps detailing how Phelps had feigned an attack on Fort Henry on January 17 with two gunboats and a steamer with 500 infantry aboard under the orders of Smith. (ORs of the navy, page 507) The premise that Grant asked for a meeting with Halleck without any information about Smith’s foray up the Tennessee is false because Phelps made a foray up the Tennessee and he made a report on it. Feis argued that Grant was fixated on Columbus and one of his reasons stated was “the lack of attention paid to the rivers before January.” That statement would come as a surprise to Flag-Officer Foote and Lt. Phelps. Here is a list showing the number of times the Navy sent a gunboat up the Tennessee and Cumberland rivers to “pay attention” to what was going on at Forts Henry and Donelson. This list is based on reports in the Official Records of the Navy. There could have been other trips. September 8, 1861 – (ORs, vol. 4, page 404). Right after Grant occupied Paducah a Lincoln gunboat was reported to have been seen on the Tennessee River 30 miles below Fort Henry. Grant left two gunboats at Paducah. Early on gunboat captains were warned to proceed cautiously up the rivers lest they encounter rebel masked batteries. October 19, 1861 – (ORN, vol. 22, page 374) – Lt. Phelps steamed the Conestoga up the Cumberland to Eddyville where low water prevented him from going further. October 27, 1861 – (page 379) – Lt. Phelps returned to Eddyville with a steamer transporting 300 infantry to attack a rebel camp near Eddyville. C. F. Smith (page 380) also wrote a report. October 30, 1861 – (page 396) – Commander Porter took the New Era up the Cumberland River to Ingram’s Shoals where the Confederates had blocked the river with sunken barges. Ingram Shoals was approximately 30 miles below Dover. Porter was to pick up volunteers who wanted to join the US army. Porter wrote he heard about Fort Henry and that with his boat they could take it. November 6, 1861 – (page 394) Lt. Phelps managed to get his boat over Ingram Shoals and proceeded to within three miles of Fort Donelson. Phelps returned to Paducah, made his report and noted he was leaving again, immediately, to the same location to try to stop the trading going on. On page 427 of the ORN is a report by C. F. Smith of November 8, 1861 giving details of the forts on the Tennessee and Cumberland rivers. Smith noted that Lt. Phelps is constantly moving his vessel up and down the Tennessee and Cumberland rivers. November 17, 1861 – (page 435) – Lt. Phelps wrote a long report about his trip up the Cumberland River to as close to Fort Donelson he could get. He noted that he had done this several times already. On page 451 is a report by Foote dated December 5 noting that four gunboats have arrived and he needs men to man them. As soon as he gets them he wants to go up the Tennessee River and destroy rebel boats and a battery. December 8, 1861 – (page 457) – Lt. Phelps again steamed up the Cumberland to Fort Donelson and wrote a long report about his trip. December 10, 1861 – (page 461) – Lt. Phelps returned to Paducah and then immediately turned around and went back up the Cumberland to pick up refugees. He, again, made it close to Fort Donelson. January 6, 1862 – (Page 486) – Low water hampered operations on the rivers. Lt. Phelps wrote a long report about his close visit to Fort Henry. He added more information on Fort Donelson. He did this report on the same day Halleck wrote the order to Grant to make the demonstrations. I guess what constitutes “lack of attention” is in the eyes of the beholder. It took Halleck two days to approve Grant’s visit to St. Louis. He sent a telegram to Grant on January 22. C. F. Smith wrote letters about his undertakings on January 21 and 22. The January 21 letter spoke of the lousy road conditions. The January 22 letter is the one Smith mentioned that Fort Henry could be taken with two gunboats. Both of these letters were forwarded to Halleck on January 23. Grant made plans to leave for St. Louis the night of the January 23. Grant did not have Smith’s letters when he made the request for a visit to Halleck but he had them when he left for St. Louis. The idea that Feis put forth about Grant being a Johnny-come-lately to the idea that the true line of operations should be up the Tennessee and Cumberland rivers is contradicted by Col. John W. Emerson in a series of stories in the Jan-Apr-June issues of The Midland Monthly. The title is “Grant’s Life in the West.” Starting on pages 114-119, continued on 219-221, Emerson recounts the circumstances of how Grant, in August of 1861, identified the true line of operations for Federal advance to be the Tennessee and Cumberland rivers. Grant laid out a plan and through his benefactor, Elihu Washburne, submitted it to President Lincoln. Of interest on pages 409-411 is an account of Grant’s meeting with Halleck in St. Louis. https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=mdp.39015011958785&view=1up&seq=6 Emerson referenced an account by John Thayer in McClure’s magazine, Vol. V, June to Nov. 1895, “Grant at Pilot Knob,” 433-437. Thayer wrote about Grant having plans about a campaign up the Tennessee and Cumberland rivers while he was at Pilot Knob in August 1861. https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=mdp.39015030656162&view=1up&seq=7 Luckily, I had a copy of Bruce Catton’s. Grant Moves South. Catton discusses the Emerson and Thayer articles. (pages 28-30) Catton points out some inconsistencies but does not downright reject these accounts as these are men who were there. However, there are some aspects in the accounts which are new to me and I had not heard them before so a little more digging is required. The point is that Grant, like many others, recognized the military significance of expeditions up the Tennessee and Cumberland rivers. Grant also discussed attacks on Columbus from early on. Grant wrote in his memoirs that on January 6 he wanted to meet with Halleck and present a plan for expeditions up the Tennessee and Cumberland rivers. The idea that he was going to convince Halleck to let him move against Columbus makes no sense. There were about 13,000 men at Columbus behind fortifications and abatis. On January 6 Halleck wrote the President and informed him that he had 15,000 men at Cairo, Fort Holt and Paducah. Leaving guards at those places meant his available force was around 10,000 which is about the number he ordered out on the demonstrations. As Halleck wrote it would be madness to try to do anything significant (like attack Columbus) with such a small number. Grant asked for a meeting with Halleck in a letter dated Jan. 20. That does not mean he was going to take off for St. Louis without having heard from C. F. Smith. He wanted to give Halleck a report of the demonstrations in person. Grant made his departure after he received Smith’s letters. Grant has the sequence wrong in his memoirs because he did ask for the meeting before reading Smith’s letter which confirmed his view. Feis’s claim that Grant was fixated on Columbus and only changed his direction later is an analysis too contrived for me. When you factor in all the mistakes Feis made in his book and other evidence not included his conclusion fails. For instance, Feis wrote on page 63 that Smith found the roads horrible and that Grant, therefore, “knew that any reinforcements sent from Columbus to aid Fort Henry would be unable to get there very fast.” But any infantry going from Columbus to Fort Henry could have taken the railroad from Columbus to Danville on the Tennessee River where Tilghman, commander at Fort Henry, could have sent a couple steamboats to pick up the troops and take them to Fort Henry. Grant and Foote formed a tag team to hound Halleck to let them move against Fort Henry. But Foote claimed that Grant originally wanted to go up the Cumberland against Fort Donelson. Early reports had Fort Donelson as weaker than Fort Henry. Foote wrote in a report (ORN, page 314) to Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy, November 13, 1862, that when four of the ironclads were ready Foote proposed to Grant to take the boats and 6,000 troops and attack Fort Henry. Foote wrote that Grant preferred to attack Fort Donelson on the Cumberland. Foote claimed he convinced Grant to attack Fort Henry if Halleck’s agreement could be obtained. No dates are given but I assume this occurred before Grant went to see Halleck in St. Louis. Grant returned to Cairo after his rebuff from Halleck the morning of Jan. 28. Perhaps it is on his return that Foote convinced Grant to get Halleck to agree to let them attack Fort Henry for it is on Jan. 28 that both Grant and Foote sent telegrams to Halleck to let them take Fort Henry. (Grant Papers, vol. 4, page 99) Grant followed through with another telegram on Jan. 29 and Halleck, finally, gave his consent on Jan. 30. Halleck’s time frame had him ordering an advance in mid-February. What convinced him to go now was not the telegrams from Foote and Grant. But those telegrams showed Halleck that those two were ready and itching to attack the rebels now. On Jan. 29 Halleck received a short telegram from McClellan (ORs, vol. 7, page 571) passing along information from a deserter that Beauregard was ordered to Kentucky to assist Johnston and that he was coming with 15 regiments. Of course, it wasn’t true but Halleck acted as if it was. He sent McClellan a telegram on January 30 (ORs, vol. 7, page 571) telling him that his telegram had been received and that Grant and Foote would be immediately ordered to attack Fort Henry so as to take possession before Beauregard showed up. As further confirmation that it was the Beauregard news that prompted Halleck to act on February 6 Halleck telegraphed McClellan and ended with the sentence “I was not ready to move, but deemed best to anticipate the arrival of Beauregard’s forces.” I have searched in vain for any reaction from Halleck to the fact he sent out the demonstrations in early January based on his belief Buell was about to move against Bowling Green and that never happened. Then Halleck ordered the advance on Fort Henry because McClellan told him Beauregard was coming west with 15 regiments and that never happened either. When Grant wrote his memoirs it was 20 years after the events. He has some details wrong but his remembrance that when he requested to meet with Halleck in January of 1862 to propose a movement up the Tennessee and Cumberland rivers because that was the true line of operations is not fiction. Sure, Grant was interested in taking Columbus but in early January there were more Confederates at Columbus behind fortifications and abatis than Grant could muster against them. Anyway, Halleck was calling the shots, not Grant, and Halleck had no intention of sending a force against Columbus. The movement against the center of Johnston’s defensive line was an obvious military objective. The idea was put forth by many people so no one is given the credit for thinking of it. Grant noted this when he wrote to his benefactor, Elihu Washburne, on March 22, 1862. From Bruce Catton’s, Grant Moves South, page 29; “Grant wrote to Washburne saying that it was idle to give credit for the move up the Tennessee to any specific general; the strategic soundness of the plan was obvious, he said—‘General Halleck no doubt thought of this route long ago, and I am shure I did.’” Hank
  10. 2 points
    Randolph. He was not a slave because Johnston had manumitted him when Johnston went to the west coast. Randolph, or Ran, went with Johnston to California as a free man and received wages for his services as cook. Johnston also wrote that Ran was a good with the mules. (Source: Life of General Albert Sidney Johnston by Colonel William Preston Johnston)
  11. 2 points
    67th Tigers Thanks for providing clarity and documentation supporting Confederate troop numbers and identity of units assigned to Fort Donelson before the surrender of 16 FEB 1862. Another source of information: Prisoner of War records. The approximately 12000 Rebel prisoners were progressively shipped north after February 16th to Camp Douglas, Illinois (about 8000 men), Camp Morton, Indiana (3000) and Camp Chase, Ohio (800). These records are accessible at Family Search via the link https://www.familysearch.org/search/collection/1916234. [Click on "Browse through 51108 images" for record access. Free account with Family Search required for access to their records -- takes two minutes.] In addition, it appears one unit was assigned to Fort Donelson, but for some reason was posted opposite the fort, on the east bank of the Cumberland River. Scott's Louisiana Regiment (of cavalry) may have been kept on the other side of the river, on the orders of General Buckner, due to a recent outbreak of measles in the regiment. The location proved fortuitous, because the regiment was not surrendered; after February 16th Scott's Louisiana made its way east, passed through Nashville, and is next reported ahead of Buell's Army of the Ohio in March, likely responsible for destroying the bridge over Duck River near Columbia. Cheers Ozzy
  12. 2 points
    Of more importance to the Battle of Shiloh is the observation of General Bragg as to the condition of the Confederate Army concentrating in Corinth. Bragg was appalled at the supply situation and the discipline of the troops. He called them, "a mob" and not an Army. He was ordered to get them some training and to do his best to prepare them for Battle. Their weapons were inferior. They had plenty of cannons, but not enough trained crews to man them. A point to make for the Battle of Shiloh-- Johnston went in on a hope and a prayer that surprise and the bayonet would win the day. Braxton Bragg agreed with that after what he witnessed. Not saying the Southerners were not brave or worthy, just that they were thrown into Battle with little formal training and a lack of needed supplies-- Class A firearms one of them...
  13. 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.
  14. 2 points
  15. 1 point
    I am pleased to join the group and am hoping to learn a bit about this battle. My own interest in the Civil War dates back to when I was a young kid growing up at the James A. Garfield home in Mentor, Ohio. We lived on the property and I spent many hours in the Garfield home and museum. Among the things in the collection that fascinated me was Garfield's sword and sidearm. I'm not sure if these were with him at Shiloh though.
  16. 1 point
    Just received this recent book written by Benson Bobrick about union general George H. Thomas. I had high hopes it would be interesting and educational because there are few books on Thomas and I think he was a very capable general. I am sadly disappointed, not only are there a number or factual errors but the book runs heavily to maligning Grant and Sherman. Interesting to read reviews of the book on Amazon.com. I would not recommend this book to anyone. I waisted my money.
  17. 1 point
    Robert Cobb Kennedy https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Cobb_Kennedy
  18. 1 point
    Hello Idaho Native, when was the account you posted originally published? Hello Ozzy, yes indeed Sherman engaged in some serious 'CYA' and got away with never really having to answer for his arrogant dismissal of the overwhelming amount of intelligence of an impending attack in the days leading up to April 6th, even going so far as issuing an order to arrest Lieutenant Eagler of the 77th Ohio for his report of seeing the enemy to his front, which was not obeyed. No explanation of why he did not have the men entrench, and something that has always stood out to me, his odd placement of the camp of the 53rd Ohio, all alone with no close support, out in front of the army. Thanks.
  19. 1 point
    Ozzy et al., Although there was talk of Grant abusing alcohol on the trip to Nashville, I haven't seen any specific evidence for it. Have you? Boynton in the NY Sun of 1/23/87 wrote that, "There are living witnesses of the excesses of that river trip to Nashville, but Gen. Grant was brought out of it, first by Gen. Rawlins's discretion, and next and mainly, by the forebearance of Gen. Halleck, who deemed it best to withhold from the people the knowledge of this affair, and give the officer who had won such a notable victory another trial. . . . There is no more glaring instance of ingratitude in our history than the attacks of the friends of Gen. Grant upon Gen. Halleck for his action in connection with this affair on the Cumberland." E.D. Kittoe wrote to J.H. Wilson [LoC - Wilson Papers 7/15/85] that Rev. Knowlton told Kittoe he had read the letter from Halleck to Grant, "written in the most friendly Spirit [sic], and reminded Grant of his former drunken habits causing his resignation from the US Army, and told him that now (i.e. at the time of the Nashville fiasco) the country was looking to him for great things and that if he would give him his pledge to abstain from drink that there would be no further action in his case, but that he would be reinstated in command, Mr[?] Knowlton read the pledge Grant sent to Gen[sic] Halleck and says it is a remarkable paper evidently written in a maudlin condition. Of course I know but little of this matter ....
  20. 1 point
    Hospitals of Memphis Possibly the most comprehensive discussion of hospital and medical care available in Memphis during the Civil War, this 18- page resource details 1) care of over 1000 Confederate Shiloh wounded (pages 329- 330) 2) conversion of large buildings into hospitals by CSA authorities 3) use of Irving Block as a Civilian prison, and 4) expansion of existing Hospital network by Federal authorities after capture of Memphis in June 1862. The Hospitals at Memphis included: Gayoso (800 beds) Overton (900 beds) Adams (1000 beds) Jefferson (500 beds) City Hospital (moved to Navy Yard and became Marine Hospital) 75 beds Botanical Medical College became City Hospital on Beale Street Irving Block (CSA administration) became civilian prison [Bradley Block used as prison for Federal Shiloh captives in April 1862]. Washington Block (400 beds) Webster Hospital (500 beds) Union Hospital Officers Hospital Commercial Hotel became Marine Hospital Gangrene Special Hospital (a.k.a Church Hospital) four churches commandeered as hospitals (page 332 note, with list) five “floating hospitals” of D. A. January, City of Memphis, Jacob Strader, Alice Dean and the R. C. Wood (with occasional visit of Red Rover). The 1000-bed Nashville was moored permanently at Milliken's Bend. various Army Field Hospitals (Division and Brigade) Milliken's Bend Field Hospital (possible administration from Memphis) Mother Mary Bickerdyke recorded 63,000 soldier-patients having passed through the Memphis system January – May 1863. And details of General Sherman removing all of his Field Hospital patients prior to departing on Mississippi Campaign of late 1862 contained page 332. [The only disappointment: little mention of the Smallpox Hospital at Fort Pickering, except “the Smallpox Hospital had 350 beds” (page 337 note).] Military Hospitals in Memphis, 1861 – 1865 by Patricia M. LaPointe in Tennessee Historical Quarterly of Winter 1983 (vol.42 no.4) pages 325 – 342 and available at JSTOR https://www.jstor.org/stable/42626400?seq=1
  21. 1 point
    I am currently working on my book on Shiloh firearms. The book, The Life of Albert Sidney Johnston, by his son W. P. Johnston includes a Chapter on the issues of arming and raising Regiments in A. S. Johnston's Dept. No. 2. In the text are several quoted letters from different Governors and Richmond Officials detailing the lack of firearms. The message was, "we have no arms to give." The question I have is where are these letters stored or not. Trying to compare similar communications from the O.R.'s leaves me scratching my head. What Johnston's son presents as correspondence I cannot find. I am not saying it does not exist, but to be historically correct I have to verify them in my footnotes. Does anyone out there know they are, Tulane?, National Archives?. Thank You in advance. Tom
  22. 1 point
    I am working on a Shiloh project and always go back to the original sources for guidance to start. I was reading in Battles and Leaders, General Buell's Shiloh Reviewed article written in 1884. He slammed Grant and Sherman for re-writing history, their maps, and anyone else who formed an opinion on what Buell called misleading anecdotes and folly. It was very interesting and explains a little more the confusion, the side ways opinions of both Officers and men who fought at Shiloh. One soldier made the statement that if you got two Shiloh Veterans together they could never agree on anything associated with that Battle, and they were there! Professor Tim Smith and other Historians of note tell of the mystique of Shiloh. I say it is a good story from start to finish with a lot of twists and turns. It was victory the Western Confederates needed. That the approach of General Sherman to Richmond-Petersburg in 1865, began in the West. A march that included Shiloh as a Union Victory. Has anyone else read an old book on Shiloh and sees the same, "what ifs"-- and "maybe's" we get all the Shiloh mystique from?
  23. 1 point
    CSuniforms, Thanks for your contribution. As regards U.S. Grant's acknowledged ability to "write terse, concise orders," that is just one of many desired skills that can be taught to young leaders. [Whereas "the ability to ride a horse," so important in Grant's day, is a skill no longer deemed necessary... most of the time.]
  24. 1 point
    Okay folks, we have our subjects set for our Epic Trek with historian Tim Smith on November 2nd. This year we're returning to our original format of examining two different subjects rather than just one, and I hope you agree that they're good choices. More details will be posted soon, but here's an overview for now: Our morning hike will focus on Union General Benjamin Prentiss and his controversial role in the battle and its aftermath. Did Prentiss save Grant's army, as we often hear, or is there more to the story? And was he responsible for alerting the Union army to the danger that morning, or was he, like Sherman and Grant, taken by surprise when the attack hit? We'll delve into these issues, and visit several sites around the battlefield associated with Prentiss, including his defensive position in the legendary Hornets Nest. (We may also have a chance to recreate a late 19th Century photograph that included the General.) After a break for lunch, our afternoon hike will be a subject suggested by SDG member Jim Franklin - we'll follow the Confederate approach to Grants Last Line, examining the challenges they faced and discussing the controversy that erupted after the battle over this aborted attack. Did Beauregard make the right call here, or should the Confederates have continued the attack? See the terrain in person and decide for yourself. A big thank you to Jim for the excellent idea! Again, more details will be posted soon. I'm already looking forward to the hikes, and seeing some familiar faces and hopefully some new ones as well. As always, feel free to post any questions you might have. Perry
  25. 1 point
    Belfoured Thanks for your continued interest in Pfaender and Peebles and Munch's Battery. I have attempted to find primary sources that confirm your claims, but without success. There is indeed “a mystery” concerning WHO commanded the section of howitzers during the Chickasaw Bluff recon (Pfaender claims he did; but there is an almost complete lack of a roster of participants in that expedition conducted by Sherman; and without knowing full details (i.e. did other officers of the battery go along; was anyone sick and left behind at Pittsburg Landing), all that can be made are assumptions.) These are the best references I have run across with significant mention of the 1st Minnesota Light Artillery and its key players: “Minnesota in the Civil and Indian Wars” (1890 – 93) [contains details not in 2005.] “Minnesota in the Civil and Indian Wars” (2005) [contains info not in 1890 version.] OR 10 parts 1 and 2 OR 52 part 1 Minnesota Historical Society http://www.mnopedia.org/group/first-battery-minnesota-light-artillery http://libguides.mnhs.org/firstartillery 1st Minnesota Battery resources The Battle of Shiloh: the Union Armies (2019) by Lanny K. Smith Shiloh Discussion Group [a number of topics and posts on the SDG site, easily found by searching for “Minnesota” or “Munch” or “Pfaender” via Search Box at top of Home Page.] http://www2.mnhs.org/library/findaids/civwar04.pdf Report of the Shiloh Monument Commission William Pfaender http://www.mnopedia.org/person/pfaender-wilhelm-1826-1905 William Pfaender and New Ulm http://collections.mnhs.org/MNHistoryMagazine/articles/30/v30i01p024-035.pdf Brother of Mine: the Civil War Letters of Thomas and William Christie (2011). Cheers Ozzy
  26. 1 point
    I'm new here and just saw this thread. I've looked into the First's action on April 6 quite a bit. In his April 30, 1862 report Pfaender stated that the 12 lb Howitzer section was his when it accompanied Sherman on the April 2, 1862 expedition upriver/south and east. While it's possible that he and Peebles switched section commands between April 2 and April 6, that wouldn't make much sense but obviously I don't know for certain. I've seen nothing suggesting that. We do know that Fisher's section contained the two damaged guns that went back to the Landing.. I'm also not sure that the four 6 pounders can be called "James" rifles. Hurter refers to them as "3.67'"" rifles and the bore appears to have been a true 3.67" (rather than 3.8") because the fourth quarter 1862 return for the First shows a supply of 3.67" projectiles (for the two remaining 6 pounder rifles). Another oddity is in William Christie's April 15, 1862 letter to his father,. He states that in his left section "Of the men, No. 3 on our gun and No. 1 on the howitzer were shot dead". By referring to "the howitzer", the implication is that the two remaining sections were reconfigured so that each had one rifle and one howitzer. Nothing else in any of the Christie letters, Pfaender's and Hurter's writings, or Clayton's letters refer to this. It strikes me as bizarre to deliberately create that mix of calibers/types and ordnance in a section.
  27. 1 point
    It took a while for the news from Tennessee to reach southern Maryland; but the 17 April 1862 edition of the weekly St. Mary's Beacon contains a report of the Battle of Shiloh on page 2 columns 2 & 3. Maryland newspapers were peculiar during the Civil War in that they had reasonably good access to information, from the North, and from the South. The Battle of Pittsburg Landing report presented is a commendable effort to combine the Northern and Southern versions of the Shiloh Story into one account: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn89060119/1862-04-17/ed-1/seq-2/ "News: near Pittsburg Landing" in St. Mary's Beacon
  28. 1 point
    J.J. Little was a Private in the 10th Mississippi Infantry, Company H who fought at Shiloh (and wrote a Letter home, dated 13 April 1862.) He describes seeing the “2000 Union prisoners from Shiloh pass through Corinth” and indicates that he saw General Prentiss, too. The 4-page letter is one of five letters written by Sergeant Little, available at University of Mississippi Digital Collection. Available at http://clio.lib.olemiss.edu/cdm/search/searchterm/J.J. Little Collection/mode/exact .
  29. 1 point
    Returning to Henry Walke... The incident for which Commander Walke got into disciplinary trouble with the U.S. Navy occurred in January 1861. As commanding officer of USS Supply (a sail-powered collier and supply vessel running between Pensacola and Vera Cruz, delivering coal and provisions to the fleet) CDR Walke happened to be in Pensacola Bay when the State of Florida pressed for Federal arsenals and forts to be handed over; and before Commodore Armstrong turned over the Pensacola Navy Yard to Florida, he ordered CDR Walke “to sail USS Supply to Vera Cruz.” And Henry Walke did not follow those instructions, so he was obviously disobeying orders when he did not comply. The full truth, however, is convoluted: Commodore James Armstrong (some questioned his loyalty; others believed he was having a nervous breakdown). How valid were his orders? The situation at Pensacola was “fluid.” How does one “follow orders” when the orders may be illegal, or illegitimate? Commodore Armstrong received orders by telegram on 9 JAN 1861 ordering him to “cooperate with the Army in maintaining possession of the public property.” As part of this cooperation, Armstrong tasked Walke (and Supply) with delivering foodstuffs to Fort Pickens (where Army Lieutenant Slemmer had transferred his force of artillerists from Fort Barrancas.) Because the foodstuffs were not unloaded January 10th the USS Supply remained at Fort Pickens Wharf overnight. [Florida seceded from the Union January 10th.] Commodore Armstrong surrendered the Navy Yard at 1:30 p.m. on January 12th. Before surrendering “the property under his command,” USS Supply and USS Wyandotte were sent away: Supply to Vera Cruz; and Wyandotte to Cuba. [Neither vessel went more than a few miles south, before reversing course.] Both ships left Pensacola Bay and were “beyond Commodore Armstrong's control” when the Pensacola Navy Yard was surrendered. As result of the surrender, 34 Marines and fifty sailors (including Commodore Armstrong) were taken prisoner “by the State of Florida.” Many of these men had their families in Florida with them, living on base (as did the Army and Navy defenders still at Fort Pickens.) In all, over 100 Union citizens were in limbo after the surrender of January 12th. [CDR Walke's family was NOT in Florida, (for the sake of clarity).] On 16 JAN 1861, operating under flag of truce, CDR Walke sailed back inside Pensacola Bay and took the paroled prisoners aboard USS Supply. As well, the stranded wives and children, and civilian contractors (and their families) were taken aboard, removing all United States citizens who wished to evacuate. Outside Pensacola Bay, CDR Walke (the senior U.S. Government officer present) met with Lieutenant Berryman (USS Wyandotte) and Second Lieutenant Gilman (Slemmer's deputy) and confirmed that the Army would attempt to remain in possession of Fort Pickens. Then Walke tasked Berryman with remaining on station, to assist with defending Fort Pickens to the last (and evacuating the 82 men there, should that become necessary.) [The 81 men at Fort Pickens gained the service of a Hospital Steward.] Commander Walke sailed away, and reached New York Navy Yard nineteen days later (where he was charged, and his Court Martial took place in March 1861.) Issues What constitutes “valid orders?” What happens when the commander is no longer able to command, due to death, capture or incapacity; (when do his orders “die”)? Taking the initiative: “When disobeying orders, you had 'better be right.'” [Was Commander Henry Walke “right?”] Sometimes, things happen that cause “the plan” to be abandoned, by necessity. (You cannot plan for every situation; sometimes you must trust the judgment of trained junior officers and “acting” commanders.) [It is a common expression: “No military plan survives first contact with the enemy.” But, the plan then becomes a “framework” from which to operate and deviate.] “Better to beg for forgiveness, than to ask for permission.” [Time and distance can have unanticipated impact. The leaders in Washington, reliant on the telegraph for relaying orders (and still-active Military officers, following the surrender of Commodore Armstrong, over-reliant on electronic guidance) all suddenly found themselves unable to communicate... which illustrates the need to develop Trust, and sound decision-making, in junior officers before the telegraph line is cut.] Just a few observations... Ozzy
  30. 1 point
    As we know, the operation against Forts Henry and Donelson, combined with destruction of the railroad bridge on the Tennessee River south of Fort Henry, “turned” Fort Columbus. And that Rebel stronghold was evacuated end of February (completed 2 MAR 1862). But, there were other Rebel Forts that were turned during the Civil War: Island No.10 – This extremely strong position, occupying an S- bend in the Mississippi River was nearly surrounded by swamp (keeping infantry away.) Over seventy guns kept Union gunboats from attempting to force their way through the S- bend for the longest time. But the Achilles heel to Island No.10 was the protective swamp: a passage (Bissel's Canal) was cut through the swamp above Island Number 10 that looped west and south to re-enter the Mississippi River below Island No.10 at New Madrid (and New Madrid was captured earlier by John Pope marching his army across forty miles of swamp to reach that Rebel position.) Bissel's Canal allowed empty steamboats to reach Pope's Army at New Madrid for transport to the back of the Rebel defenses. And when Commander Walke's USS Carondelet “ran the gauntlet” at night, over sixty guns blazing away as he made the attempt, and reached Pope in early April 1862, the Carondelet provided the necessary protection for the transports loaded with Pope's men to make their passage: Island No.10 was turned at that point (and the garrison, unable to evacuate, surrendered April 8th.) Fort Jackson and Fort St. Philip – Defending the Mississippi River below New Orleans, complete with barrier chain and fire rafts, and protected by a number of gunboats, these two powerful forts were surrounded by swamps that kept enemy infantry away. Flag-officer Farragut (in cooperation with David Porter's Mortar Schooner fleet) battered Forts Jackson and St. Philip from two miles away and eventually felt confident to break the barrier chain and attempt to race his heavily armed wooden ships upriver between the two forts, and past the Rebel gunboats. In process of executing the night passage, all of the Rebel gunboats were neutralized, with the loss of one U.S. Navy vessel sunk. The Forts Jackson and St. Philip remained strong and lethal; but once Farragut got north of them (with Porter's fleet south of them) the “Rebel position was turned.” And the two Rebel forts surrendered on 28 April 1862 (and New Orleans surrendered soon afterwards.) Vicksburg. Each attempt by Williams and Grant to dig canals, re-channel the Mississippi River and leave Vicksburg high and dry was an attempt to turn Vicksburg... but the canal digging did not succeed. Instead, Vicksburg was passed, besieged, and ultimately forced to surrender (with food supplies almost exhausted.) Up until the day of surrender, the Rebel position remained strongly defended and effective in challenging ships on the Mississippi River.
  31. 1 point
    Well done, Mona! Captain Sheridan was indeed on the staff of Henry Halleck, and got himself “ordered to Pittsburg Landing” (but too late to take part in the Battle of Shiloh.) But, there is more to the story... Philip Sheridan was one of those officers who found himself “out West” as the Secession Crisis unfolded; and he left San Francisco to return east at about the same time General Albert Sidney Johnston departed California (except Johnston took the overland route, while Sheridan took the steamship to the Isthmus, then from Aspinwall to New York City.) Assigned to the 13th U.S. Infantry, Captain Sheridan headed for Missouri, and while in St. Louis in early November, dropped in to “say Hello” to Major General Henry Halleck (who had just taken over command, and had his HQ there.) MGen Halleck decided he needed an audit of General Fremont's papers and expenditures and Captain Sheridan, with recent experience with quartermaster duties, was put onto the job. Halleck appears to have been satisfied with the quality of Sheridan's work; and Captain Sheridan was next assigned to General Curtis, in a similar QM capacity. And Philip Sheridan, who was reknowned for short temper, impatience and “being argumentative at inappropriate times,” had a falling out with General Curtis in March 1862. Captain Sheridan got himself reassigned to Halleck; and General Halleck sent him north to acquire horses. It was while in Chicago that Captain Sheridan learned of the Battle of Shiloh, and got himself orders to Pittsburg Landing (and upon arrival MGen Halleck put Philip Sheridan under control of Colonel George Thom. But instead of making maps, Captain Sheridan was assigned to improving and building roads.) And along the way, Philip Sheridan struck up a friendship with General William Tecumseh Sherman: by early May, it appeared that General Sherman had come through with a Colonelcy for Sheridan, in command of a new Ohio regiment. But that fell through. Shortly afterwards, the Governor of Michigan (who happened to be in Tennessee visiting Michigan regiments) took notice of the “available West Point graduate” Philip Sheridan, and offered him Colonelcy of the 2nd Michigan Cavalry... which Sheridan accepted. And Colonel Sheridan took part in the March on Corinth. Reference: Personal Memoirs of Philip Sheridan, pages 120- 144.
  32. 1 point
    i believe he was acquiring horses at the time of the battle of Shiloh but came on and was quartermaster dept for gen Halleck on his approach to Corinth
  33. 1 point
    The website <docsouth.unc.edu> "Documenting the American South" presents a list of perhaps 200 diaries and journals compiled during the War Between the States. Most are not Shiloh related, but some make mention of Fort Donelson and Shiloh (Mary Chesnut, for example.) Just about every diary has a link allowing online viewing: https://docsouth.unc.edu/fpn/texts.html Documenting the American South.
  34. 1 point
    The following two letters were written by 17 year old Private M. E. Wescott to his mother in Farmington, Wisconsin. Ebenezer and his school friend, Samuel McClements, decided one day to wag school, run away and join a Wisconsin regiment (and must have lied about their ages to enlist without parental permission.) Briefly at Camp Randall, the two lads were soon underway with their regiment, bound for St. Louis. But, while the rest of the regiment went into camp at Benton Barracks, Company E boarded the steamer Imperial, departed St. Louis end of March, and arrived at Pittsburg Landing about four days later. References: https://archive.org/details/civilwarletters100wesc/page/n2 Civil War Letters by M. Ebenezer Wescott https://archive.org/details/rosterofwisconsi02wisco/page/64 Roster of Wisconsin Regiments https://digital.shsmo.org/digital/collection/dmr/id/15002/rec/3165 Daily Missouri Republican of 29 MAR 1862 reporting departure of steamer Imperial
  35. 1 point
    It took a couple of days for word to reach the villages and farms in the North that a massive contest had taken place along the bank of the Tennessee River. And the initial reports seemed to indicate “another Union victory, with moderate casualties,” such as resulted for the Union at Fort Henry and Fort Donelson and Island No.10 …but after those initial reports, other stories began to appear, not just from embedded reporters, but letters and other eyewitness accounts from soldiers themselves, and these presented sensational details at odds with the initial rosy narrative. And these details grew progressively horrific: not hundreds of casualties, but thousands… maybe tens of thousands… Suddenly, Casualty Lists were in demand; but the Northern newspapers could not provide them. As occurred after Forts Henry and Donelson, the regional papers contacted Chicago for details… and were given only Chicago-specific lists of casualties. And the Horror of Shiloh continued, with full Casualty Lists never appearing in most Northern newspapers: the affected families were slowly and sporadically informed of the fate of their loved ones by mail: comrades of their sons and fathers who knew what happened (or thought they did); and official letters of condolence when facts could be positively determined. Meanwhile, the waiting, and not knowing, became almost intolerable… Unknown to the people in the North, one newspaper had taken extraordinary steps to compile a Master Casualty List of Wounded Men, and that paper was not in Chicago or Cincinnati, but St. Louis. Beginning with the April 15th edition, the Daily Missouri Republican published names of wounded men who arrived at St. Louis aboard the Hospital boat, D.A. January (two full columns on Page One.) And although Hospital boats Crescent City and City of Louisiana soon arrived at St. Louis, other boats pressed into service as floating Hospitals offloaded their human cargo at New Albany, Evansville, Cincinnati, Louisville, Paducah and Cairo; the Daily Missouri Republican “borrowed” reports from local papers of those river ports and repeated them on the pages of the St. Louis paper: • 17 APR page 3 Minnehaha wounded offloaded at Louisville (CSA and USA) • 18 APR page 1 John J. Roe casualties offloaded at Evansville • 19 APR page 1 War Eagle casualties arrived St. Louis • 19 APR page 2 Empress casualties arrived at St. Louis • 19 APR page 3 Magnolia casualties arrived Cincinnati • 20 APR page 1 Imperial casualties arrived St. Louis • 20 APR page 1 Black Hawk casualties arrived Cairo • 20 APR page 2 Tycoon casualties arrived 17 APR at Cincinnati • 20 APR page 2 Lancaster casualties arrived at Cincinnati • 20 APR page 2 B. J. Adams casualties arrived New Albany In addition, edition for 22 APR page 3 lists all of the Hospitals in St. Louis where the wounded men from Pittsburg Landing were housed. Shortly after his arrival at Pittsburg Landing, Henry Halleck sent a telegram to Brigadier General Strong at Cairo (15 APR 1862): “All the wounded have been sent to Hospital. Stop all sanitary commissions, nurses and citizens. We don’t want any more.” References: Daily Missouri Republican, issues 9 APR through 23 APR 1862 and available: https://digital.shsmo.org/digital/collection/dmr/id/15091/rec/3182 Missouri Daily Republican for 15 APR 1862 https://digital.shsmo.org/digital/collection/dmr/search/page/318 Access to all editions of Missouri Daily Republican at State Historical Society of Missouri Note: The first known reference published in the North referred to “an attack against our forces at Pittsburg Landing by Beauregard” went to print on 8 APR 1862 and was discredited as “a rumor from Paducah.” The second reference to the Battle of Pittsburg Landing was published 9 APR 1862 and was a telegram sent from Henry Halleck to SecWar Stanton on April 8, full contents of which: “The enemy attacked our forces at Pittsburg Tennessee yesterday (April 7) but was repulsed with heavy loss. No details given.” Further note: Beginning 15 APR 1862 the same editions of this newspaper contained names and details of Confederate prisoners captured at Battle of Pittsburg Landing and transported to St. Louis and elsewhere (initially aboard steamer, Woodfolk -- see page one, column 6.)
  36. 1 point
    i hope they will make the entire..if not the shiloh section ..available omline..because inquirying minds want to read.
  37. 1 point
    i wish the men that enlisted at savannah was accessable.i cant find it anywhere.. i wonder if his father ,phillip, survived the war he's death date is?? on find a grave. interesting .
  38. 1 point
    Thanks to Manassas Belle for posting one of the very few available Letters from James Birdseye McPherson: an extraordinary man and gifted Union officer. I stumbled upon a recent video that acts as solid Biography of McPherson, and this looks to be a good place to post it. As we know, James Birdseye McPherson eventually rose to the rank of Major General and became one of U.S. Grant’s most trusted and most valuable officers, contributing mightily to the success at Vicksburg in 1863. Prior to Vicksburg, McPherson played a couple of interesting roles at Pittsburg Landing. But McPherson commenced his active Civil War career as Lieutenant Colonel, assigned to the Staff of Henry Halleck at St. Louis. Before the Campaign against Fort Henry, LtCol McPherson joined Brigadier General Grant’s embryonic army… and never left. McPherson rose to eventual command of the Army of the Tennessee (after Sherman, and before Logan, Howard, Logan.) The link below is to a c-span video discussing the Military Career of James B. McPherson, conducted by Steven E. Woodworth. The introduction is provided by a Civil War reenactor, playing the role of another Shiloh participant, Andrew Hickenlooper. And the most important segments of the video run from the 9 minute 30 second mark (McPherson joins Halleck at St. Louis) to the 28 minute mark (conclusion of Battle of Shiloh.) https://www.c-span.org/video/?320621-1/discussion-james-b-mcpherson-army-tennessee Presented at Clyde, Ohio July 2014 (150 years after death of McPherson.)
  39. 1 point
    A small blog post today about my first trip to Shiloh. Shamed of myself that I had never been to this iconic and bucolic location previously! Shiloh!
  40. 1 point
    Very happy to hear you all had a wonderful trip!
  41. 1 point
    We all wound up getting a tick or two, but the Deep Woods Off pretty much took care of most and we only had to flick a couple away.
  42. 1 point
    From the Civilwarwisconsin web site: http://civilwarwisconsin.com/campfire-stories.html?start=45 After the evacuation of Corinth, Pittsburg Landing continued to be our base of supplies and commissary stores were wagoned from there to the various places where our troops were stationed. And it happened, while the regiment was at Bethel, that I was one of a party of about a hundred men detailed to serve as guards for a wagon train destined for the Landing and return to Bethel with army rations. There was at the Landing at this time, serving as guards for the government stores, a regiment of infantry. There were only a few of them visible, and they looked pale and emaciated, and much like dead men on their feet. I asked one of them what regiment was stationed there and he told me it was the 14th Wisconsin Infantry. This was the one I had seen at Benton Barracks and admired so much on account of the splendid appearance of the men. I mentioned this to the soldier, and expressed to him my surprise to now see them in such bad shape. He went on to tell me that the men suffered fearfully from the change of climate, the water, and their altered conditions in general that they had nearly all been prostrated by camp diarrhea and at that time there were not more than a hundred men in the regiment fit for duty, and even those were not much better that shadows of their former selves. And judging from the few men that were visible, the soldier told the plain, unvarnished truth. Our regiment and the 14th Wisconsin soon drifted apart, and I never saw it again. But as a matter of history, I will say that it made a excellent and distinguished record during the war. Leander stillwell 61st Illinois Infantry Jim
  43. 1 point
    Yes Ozzy..I have not read this prior...You always come up with great reads..but I do have to correct this article a little...Morgan's favorite mount was a black mare..Black Bess. Thank you for the birthday present!! Mona
  44. 1 point
    In The Life of Albert Sidney Johnston, page 525, it is recorded: 'After the Battle of Pea Ridge, General Van Dorn was ordered to Corinth.' Bentonville, Arkansas is about 300 miles from Helena (on the Mississippi River), and the battle concluded on March 8, 1862. Calculating an easy pace of fifteen miles per day, Van Dorn's force could have reached Helena by March 28... taken steamers to Memphis, arriving by March 31st... then train ride on the Memphis & Charleston, arriving at Corinth April 2-4. So, why didn't they? Apparently, much of the 'Van Dorn was ordered to Corinth' (the claim appears in Beauregard's Military Biography, page 346, too)... is a sham. But, let's start at the beginning: the first letter sent to General Earl Van Dorn, requesting he 'join his force with General Beauregard's on the Mississippi River, if possible,' was sent via Governor Isham Harris on March 7, 1862 (while the Battle of Pea Ridge was underway.) [OR Serial 8, page 771] Van Dorn replied on March 16: 'Your letter did not reach me until just a few days ago, on my return from the battlefield. I will start in a day or two for Pocahontas, Arkansas.' (OR Serial 8, page 784) [No obvious sense of urgency, because no haste was requested -- Ozzy.] On March 25, Albert Sidney Johnston reported to President Davis: 'Van Dorn has offered to send his force north to assist in the defense of Island No. 10, but I ordered him to Memphis.' [OR Serial 11, page 361] Meanwhile, Van Dorn directed his Army of the West to assemble at Pocahontas... then Jacksonport... then Des Arc, Arkansas (a port on the White River.) By early April, the gathering of Van Dorn's force was underway; Earl Van Dorn issued 'Special Orders No. 41' on April 7, directing that Sterling Price's Division commence the steamboat ride to Memphis on the morning of April 8 (and Van Dorn made the trip to Memphis, himself, and arrived about April 8... in time to receive the first message that expressed any urgency: 'General Beauregard requests that you hurry forward your command.' [OR Serial 11, page 398: message from Captain John Adams, post of Memphis, dated April 8, 1862.] On April 9, General Beauregard telegraphed to General Cooper at Richmond: 'Van Dorn may join us in Corinth in a few days with 15.000 more troops.' [OR Serial 11, page 403] On April 12, Sterling Price told Van Dorn: 'I have sent Colonel Little's Brigade to Corinth, and General Rust's command to Fort Pillow, by order of General Beauregard.' [OR Serial 11, page 414] [What this indicates to me, is the effort to defend the Mississippi River was as important to General Beauregard as the assembly of Rebels at Corinth. And the 'slow movement' of Van Dorn east allowed an opportunity to re-direct Van Dorn north... but the opportunity for Van Dorn to join the build-up at Corinth in a timely manner (before the Battle of Shiloh) was lost -- Ozzy.] In effect, Van Dorn had no opportunity to join the Army of the Mississippi, prior to the Battle of Shiloh: he was not tardy; he was never told to hurry, until it was too late. Ozzy References: Life of Albert Sidney Johnston, by Preston Johnston The Military Operations of General Beauregard, by Alfred Roman OR Serials 8 and 11
  45. 1 point
    Since the April 1862 Letter from Mrs. Loughborough seems to have sparked some interest, here is another one, written a few days later by the same author: Memphis, April. Dear J——: Again I write you from the Gayoso House, which still teems with Missourians, and many ladies—some few from St. Louis. General P——’s parlor is filled with ladies from morning until night. I have been told that on one occasion some ladies, who were the reverse of beautiful, were coming in to see him, when he turned to one of his staff officers, and told him that it was his duty to assist him—that here was an opportunity: he must kiss these ladies for him; but the officer was politely deaf until too late. It is astonishing to see how ladies do flock to see the old general; and all kiss him, as a matter of course. I rode out to the camp of the Missourians with M——, a few mornings since. It is pleasantly situated near the bank of the river. The men seem to be in good spirits; although moving them across the Mississippi has been an unpopular act. The poor fellows are being taken out to Corinth as fast as transportation can be furnished them. The compliment is paid them of being placed in the most dangerous position; for we daily expect an attack from the Federal forces on Corinth. Would you like to see those you love complimented in this way? You can form no idea of the love and devotion shown by the Missouri troops for their general. I happened to be standing near a window at the end of the hall, last evening, as some regiments passed by the Gayoso on their way out to the depot, bound for Corinth. General P—— stood out on the veranda as they passed by, and shouts and cheers for the old general and Missouri rent the air. General J—— T—— called on me this morning, and amused me much with some of his adventures in Missouri last winter; among others, he told us of his dash into the little town of Commerce for food. His men were ordered to take a certain amount, lay down the money, and leave. As he sat on a small horse, waiting for them, out came the “heroine of Commerce,” as he called the lady. I have forgotten her name; yet, I think it was O’Sullivan. She walked up to the general, shook her clenched hand in his face, and told him he was a robber and a scoundrel. Her husband pulled her by the arm and tried to make her desist; but she was deaf to his entreaties, standing part of the time on one side of the little horse, and part of the time on the other; first, shaking her clenched hand at him, and then standing, with arms folded, calling him all manner of names. Some of the officers wished General T—— to have her confined to her own house until his departure; but he laughed, and said: “No; let her alone.” She still continued hovering around him, threatening and talking. He said: “Oh! Mrs. O’Sullivan, you are a modest woman—a very modest woman. Madam, don’t you think your house stands in need of you?” Powerless fell the irony: wherever he went, he was followed by the persistent Mrs. O’Sullivan; stop where he would, Mrs. O’Sullivan was by his side, much to the amusement of his followers; go where he would, up rose Mrs. O’Sullivan unexpectedly at corners—red-faced and bitter—always in the same belligerent, defiant state. A steamboat was seen coming down the river. General T—— ordered his men to hide behind a woodpile until it came up, expecting to get supplies from it. When they thought themselves disposed out of sight, General T—— raised his eyes, and behold! some little distance up the river, stood the inevitable Mrs. O’Sullivan, violently gesticulating to the boat, and crying, “Turn, turn! J—— T—— is here;” at the same time waving her apron and sun bonnet, in quite a frantic manner. The boat turned indeed; and although the scheme failed, behind the woodpile sat General T——, chagrined at the failure, yet laughing most heartily at the attitude and mal-à-propos appearance of Mrs. O’Sullivan. The hotel is crowded with military men: many wounded at the late battle of Shiloh, going around with arms in slings; others supported by crutches. The ladies are seemingly having a very gay time: the halls are filled with promenaders, and the parlors with gay young couples, music, and laughter. Yet, a sudden surprise has come to all: New Orleans has fallen—an unexpected blow to most of the Southern officers. I cannot but think, as I see all the life and bustle around me, of the different scenes a week or two hence, when the fearful battle of Corinth will have taken place. How many that are now happy and full of life, looking forward with confidence to the laurels that may be won, before the struggle is over will be silent forever in death! or, worse, perhaps lamed and maimed for life! General Beauregard’s works are said to be fine; yet, the Federal approaches are said to be greatly superior. My husband goes to-morrow to Corinth; and I will go to O——, Miss., to await the result of what all seem to think will be a most bloody struggle. I will write on reaching O——; until then, farewell.
  46. 1 point
    Right..I didnt put all this in my comment.I guess Grant thought he didnt want that valuable timepiece to become lost/captured.
  47. 1 point
    Tom, "Yeah! The 14th, 16th, and 18th Wisconsin-- they won the Battle of Shiloh single-handed you know!!" Not only did the 16th win the battle, they won the war! Jim
  48. 1 point
    Van Dorn flag. Although the forces of Earl Van Dorn were noted at Shiloh by their absence, they did arrive in time to defend against the May 1862 Siege of Corinth. As regards the flag... after accepting the handcrafted banner in November, Major General Van Dorn carried it with him in January 1862 when he took command of the Trans-Mississippi. But, by the time Van Dorn arrived in Arkansas, two more Confederate-affiliated State governments had been accepted as members of the Confederacy: Missouri (end of November) and Kentucky (December 1861.) So, there is doubt as to the original number of stars on Van Dorn's flag: eleven, twelve, or thirteen. However, by time it was put to use as template for regiments belonging to Van Dorn's trans-Mississippi, 13 stars were standard (as indicated by above flag belonging to 4th Missouri Infantry.) Every flag used during the Civil War had its own peculiar story. Ozzy References: Recollections Grave and Gay (1911) by Mrs. Burton Harrison, Scribners & Sons, New York (pages 60 - 63, especially page 62, copied above.) http://www.civilwarvirtualmuseum.org/road-to-war/ extracts on Earl Van Dorn and Pea Ridge. http://www.4thmoinfantry.com/Unit-History.html 4th Missouri Civil War Reenactment Regiment. N.B. See following post, as the story continues...
  49. 1 point
    I have an account saying that in the weeks following the battle numerous civilians could be seen on the battlefield searching for the graves of their loved ones in an attempt at recovering their bodies to take home for a proper burial. Not to be too graphic but it was noted how gruesome it was for family members to exhume a body that had been buried for a couple of weeks, wrap it up, and take it home. There must have been an embalmer somewhere at Pittsburgh Landing or Savanah. In the 77th Ohio, Mr. Porterfield from Marietta, Ohio, traveled out to the Fallen Timbers battlefield and retrieved the body of his son William whose grave had been carefully marked by his comrades and took him home.
  50. 1 point
    Below is an outline of some of the events leading up to the battle of Shiloh. Each event is color-coded. Events relating to the Confederates are listed in Red. Those relating to the Union are in Blue. Some events may pertain to both sides but are shown in either red or blue. This will usually signify a victory by that side - the Union capture of Fort Henry is described in blue, for example - or to indicate that the event is more closely associated with one side than the other. The main sources for this timeline are Wiley Sword's Shiloh: Bloody April, Larry J. Daniel's Shiloh: The Battle That Changed the Civil War, Edward Cunningham's Shiloh and the Western Campaign of 1862, and Series 1, Volume 10 of the Official Records. A few other sources not listed here were also used to try and clarifiy some of the dates as much as possible. Times shown on April 5th are approximate and not meant to be exact. ------------------------------------------------------- September 1861 - General Albert Sidney Johnston arrives in Nashville, Tennessee, to assume command of Confederate Department #2. The vast command stretches from the Appalachian Mountain range all the way to Indian Territory west of the Mississippi. Fall/Winter 1861 - Johnston establishes a 400 mile defensive line between the Mississippi and Appalachians. Running mostly through Kentucky, the line is formidable on paper, but quite thin in reality. November 18th, 1861- Major General Henry W. Halleck is placed in command of the Union's Department of the Missouri. Halleck will be the main player on the Union side in the events leading up to Shiloh. January 19th, 1862 - Battle of Mill Springs, Kentucky. This northern victory breaks the eastern end of Johnston's defensive line, placing eastern Tennessee in danger of a Union invasion. An invasion that does not materialize. February 2nd - A combined Union army/navy expedition leaves Cairo, Illinois, bound for Fort Henry on the Tennessee River, just south of the Kentucky border. The fort, along with nearby Fort Donelson on the Cumberland, is considered a weak spot in the Confederate defensive line. February 5th- General Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard arrives in Bowling Green, Kentucky. The "Hero of Fort Sumter" has been sent west as second in command to Albert Sidney Johnston. Johnston, focused on Bowling Green, assigns Beauregard command of the troops between the Tennessee and Mississippi rivers. February 6th - Fort Henry falls to Union gunboats, piercing Johnston's defensive line. The one-sided battle is over before the supporting Union army under Brigadier General Ulysses S. Grant can arrive to take part. The fall of Fort Henry is a major turning point in the campaign leading to Shiloh, and in the war itself. February 8th - Halleck attempts to replace Grant with Ethan Allen Hitchcock, a retired Army officer. The attempt is unsuccessful. February 11th- Outflanked by the loss of Fort Henry, Confederate forces begin evacuating Bowling Green, Kentucky. Union troops will occupy the town a few days later. February 16th - After a siege of several days and a failed breakout attempt, Fort Donelson surrenders to Grant's army. Some 12,000 to 15,000 southern troops are taken prisoner. The victory earns Grant a promotion to major general of volunteers. February 17th - In response to the growing crisis in Kentucky and Tennessee, the first of several Confederate reinforcements arrive in Corinth, Mississippi from the Gulf Coast. February 16th - 23rd- Following the loss of Fort Donelson, Albert Sidney Johnston evacuates Nashville and withdraws his troops some forty miles southeast to Murfreesboro. This effectively cuts him off from his forces in western Kentucky and Tennessee, now under Beauregard. For the next several weeks, Beauregard and Johnston will operate independently of each other. February 25th - The Army of the Ohio, under Brigader General Don Carlos Buell, occupies Nashville for the Union. Commanding the Department of the Ohio, Buell is independent of Halleck. The two are reluctant to cooperate with each other. Buell has been reluctant to move at all, but the fall of Fort Henry soon changes this. February 28th - Johnston's army heads south from Murfreesboro, on the first leg of a journey that will eventually lead to a junction with Beauregard's forces in Corinth, Mississippi. March 1st - During a patrol up the Tennessee, Union gunboats shell a small Confederate detachment at Pittsburg Landing, driving it inland. A landing party is sent ashore resulting in a brief firefight. March 2nd - Columbus, Kentucky is abandoned by southern forces. With the evacuation of Columbus, the withdrawal from Johnston's original defensive line is now complete. March 4th - Halleck strips Grant of active command by ordering him to remain at Fort Henry. This action is the result of what Halleck considers unprofessional behavior on Grant's part. Historians generally consider it professional jealousy on Halleck's part. Command of Grant's army is turned over to Major General Charles F. Smith. March 7th - Union troops begin arriving at Savannah, Tennessee, on the east bank of the Tennessee River. With a few exceptions, most of the men will remain on board the transports. March 11th - Halleck is promoted to command of the newly created Department of the Mississippi, effectively consolidating Union command in the Western Theater. Buell's Army of the Ohio is now subject to Halleck's orders. March 12th - C.F. Smith skins his leg while climbing into a boat on the Tennessee. Though a seemingly minor injury, a resulting infection will soon incapacitate the highly respected officer. March 12th/13th - A Union division under Brigader General Lew Wallace crosses the Tennessee from Savannah to Crump's Landing. Initially placed to support a raid on the nearby Mobile & Ohio Railroad, Wallace's division will remain in the vicinity of Crump's Landing until April 6th. March 13th - As the domino effect from the loss of Fort Henry and Fort Donelson continues, Confederates abandon New Madrid, Missouri, on the Mississippi River. The move isolates the defenders of Island #10, a nearby stronghold located in a large bend of the Mississippi. The island will surrender on April 8th, after which only Fort Pillow will remain between the Union Navy and Memphis to the south. March 14th - A Union detachment under Brigader General William T. Sherman attempts a raid on the Memphis & Charleston Railroad east of Corinth, Mississippi. The raid is called off the next morning due to heavy rain and torrential flooding. March 16th - Union troops begin occupying Pittsburg Landing on the west bank of the Tennessee. Sherman eventually sets up his division headquarters a few miles from the landing near a small log building known as Shiloh Meeting House. On this same day, following orders from Halleck, Buell's army leaves Nashville on an overland march of some 120 miles, bound for Savannah and a junction with Grant's army. March 17th - Grant arrives at Savannah following his reinstatement to active command of the Army of West Tennessee. He establishes his headquarters in Savannah and settles in to await the arrival of Buell's army. March 20th - The first units of Johnston's army arrive in Corinth, thus forming the all-important junction with Beauregard. March 23rd- Albert Sidney Johnston arrives in Corinth. On this same day, Johnston orders Earl Van Dorn to bring his army across the Mississippi from Arkansas. Van Dorn will not arrive in time to take part at Shiloh. March 29th - Johnston designates the combined force at Corinth as the Army of the Mississippi. April 1st- Johnston receives dispatches from Confederate President Jefferson Davis and his military adviser, Robert E. Lee, urging him to go on the offensive. Although the letters undoubtedly strenghten his resolve, Johnston has already decided to attack. The only question is when. April 2nd - A defensive move by Lew Wallace west of Crump's Landing is misinterpreted by Johnston & Beauregard as a probable attack on a nearby Confederate outpost. A rapid chain of events soon follows, with the two men agreeing that the time has come to move on Grant at Pittsburg Landing. April 3rd- Beauregard draws up what will later become a highly controversial plan for the coming attack on the Union army. The plan is approved by Johnston and the advance begins the same day. Johnston himself leaves Corinth the next morning. April 3rd- With C.F. Smith confined to a sickbed with a tetanus infection, temporary command of his division is given to Brigader General William H. L. Wallace. The forty-year-old volunteer officer has recently been promoted from colonel for his role at Fort Donelson. April 4th - Poor planning, poor roads, miscommunications and inexperience cause several delays in the Confederate advance. Despite this, Johnston orders the attack to commence the following morning. April 4th- Reports of enemy activity to the south of Shiloh Church are largely dismissed in the Union camps. Late in the afternoon a pickett post from Sherman's division literally disappears. A patrol sent to investigate unexpectedly clashes with southern troops supported by artillery. News of this encounter causes some concern throughout the landing area, but Sherman - the informal camp commander at Pittsburg Landing - brushes aside any thoughts of being attacked. Unknown to Sherman, the units encountered are the advance force of the Confederate army. April 5th 2:00 a.m. - Intermittent showers give way to a deluge during the night, turning the roads into quagmires and causing a further delay in the advance. The army is already badly strung out, with some units in line of battle near the Union army and others still miles (and hours) behind schedule. The attack is set for 8:00 a.m. 12:00 p.m. - Still more delays, as many outfits have yet to arrive at their assigned place in line. The attack, already several hours late, shows no signs of beginning anytime soon. 1:00 p.m. - The lead division of Buell's army arrives at Savannah. Brigader General William Nelson, commanding the division, believes Grant's army to be in a precarious position and is anxious to cross his men to Pittsburg Landing. Grant dismisses his concerns and later tells one of Nelson's brigade commanders that transports for crossing the river will be sent later in the week. 2:00 p.m. - As the Confederate battle line slowly begins to take shape, still more problems plague the struggling units to the rear. It will be hours before everything is finally set. 4:00 p.m. - Following a review of his division, Brigadier General Benjamin Prentiss receives a report of southern troops nearby, watching from the woods. He orders out a patrol to investigate. 4:00 p.m. - A regimental commander in Sherman's division becomes alarmed by enemy activity nearby and orders his men into line of battle. Sherman sends a message telling the officer to "take your damned regiment back to Ohio," adding that there is no enemy nearer than Corinth. 5:00 p.m. - Following yet more delays and setbacks, Beauregard actually suggets that the army cancel the attack and return to Corinth. "They will be entrenched up to the eyes," the angry and dejected general says of the Yankees. A surprised Johnston overrules him and orders the attack to take place at daylight the next morning, telling a friend that "I would fight them if they were a million." 7:00 p.m. - The patrol from Prentiss' division returns and reports that a march of three miles has turned up no enemy troops. In truth, the Confederate army is less than two miles away. The exact route taken by this patrol remains something of a mystery, and it appears that the patrol's commander may have filed a misleading report of the distance covered. Prentiss believes the report and is convinced that no danger exists. 8:00 p.m. - During an informal council of war, Beauregard again expresses his concerns that the advance has been detected and that the enemy will be waiting for them. Johnston listens but is not convinced. The attack will go forward as planned. 10:00 p.m. - Hearing of enemy activity just beyond the lines, Colonel Everett Peabody, commanding the First Brigade of Prentiss' Sixth Division, suggests to Prentiss that the division be made ready to receive an attack. Prentiss rejects the idea that the army is in danger and takes no action. ***** After spending part of the day at Pittsburg Landing, Grant returns to Savannah convinced that the army is safe. That night, he sends a note to Halleck that concludes, "...I have scarcely the faintest idea of an attack (general one) being made upon us, but will be prepared should such a thing take place." As Grant writes these words, some 44,000 Confederate troops are less than two miles from his army, poised for the attack he believes will never come.
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