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  1. 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.
  2. 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
  3. 1 point
    Civil War Seniority When first confronted with the above statement, something “felt off” about the claim; but without proof and confirmation, any response was merely an alternative claim or assertion. And without evidence, one false claim is equal to any other false claim... The problem: the above statement appears to imply that “an officer commissioned via West Point prior to the Civil War outranked, and enjoyed seniority, over EVERY officer NOT a graduate of West Point.” Therefore, according to logical extension, a Captain who was a graduate of West Point outranked a Brigadier General who was not a graduate of West Point... Quite an interesting state of affairs, if true. But, it is not true: according to U.S. Army Regulations of 1861, Article 9 (on page 10) “Officers serving by commission from any state of the Union take rank next after officers of the like grade by commission from the United States.” [Bold inserted for emphasis.] Translation: a Brigadier General of Volunteers outranked every Colonel and Major and Captain and etc regardless of source of commission. A Brigadier General of Volunteers with date of rank 17 May 1861 was senior to a Brigadier General of Volunteers with date of rank 18 May 1861. However, a Brigadier General with Regular Army rank was superior to EVERY Brigadier General of Volunteers regardless date of rank. Further: “ex-rank” held NO significance. This was a Furphy... a mirage perpetuated by ex-captain U.S. Grant and others, to intimidate “non-Regular officers” of the same rank into believing they were junior to West Point graduates, when they were not. [Grant successfully played this gambit against Colonel Turner of the 15th Illinois in Missouri, but was thwarted when he attempted the same ruse against BGen Prentiss on 17 August 1861.] Two steps had to take effect: General Orders of the Army had to be promulgated (G.O. No.62 were issued on 20 AUG 1861) AND Major General Fremont had to inform Colonel Grant of his appointment to Brigadier General of Volunteers, PENDING Grant's acceptance of that promotion. NOT UNTIL all these conditions were met was U.S. Grant a Brigadier General of Volunteers, senior to Brigadier General of Volunteers Benjamin Prentiss. Reference: https://archive.org/details/101556516.nlm.nih.gov/page/n15/mode/1up Army Regulations of 1861.
  4. 1 point
    Taylor's Battery One of the solid performers at the Battle of Shiloh (where it was known as Barrett's Battery) this Light Artillery unit, organized in Illinois, possesses a more interesting history than most realize. Bjorn Skaptason has gone the extra mile, and in producing this 25-page examination of Taylor's Battery uncovered details and facts not readily available in other Civil War works. Some surprising revelations: connections between Taylor's Battery and the 1st Illinois Light Artillery, Battery A; and Battery B; and Willard's Battery; and Wood's Battery; and the Chicago Light Artillery (milita artillery unit organized in the Windy City that contributed to April 1861 Occupation of Cairo, preserving that vital river port for the Union.) mention of the pedigree of Waterhouse's Battery; reminder that Grant's staff officer, Joseph Webster, had a connection to the Chicago Light Artillery; the pre-war careers of significant members of the Volunteer Artillery. Blooded at Belmont, and acknowledged for performing a crucial role at Fort Donelson on 15 FEB 1862 (Ezra Taylor was one of “Grant's Heroes,” rewarded along with WHL Wallace and Jacob Lauman with a trip to Nashville) the Chicago Light Artillery performed ably at Shiloh, while Major Ezra Taylor acted as Chief of Artillery for Sherman's Fifth Division. The Battle of Shiloh is told from the Union artillery point of view. “The Chicago Light Artillery at Shiloh” by Bjorn Skaptason was published in the Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society No. 1-2 vol. 104 (Spring/ Summer 2011) beginning page 73. The article is available in full via JSTOR (requires ten minutes to register for access to JSTOR holdings.) “Ezra Taylor Battery Civil War” [for JSTOR listing at google.] https://www.jstor.org/stable/41201304?seq=1
  5. 1 point
    Just made available in 2019 is the following podcast (with transcript) detailing the Civil War career of Charles F. Smith: https://www.wvtf.org/post/general-charles-f-smith#stream/0 provided by Radio IQ - wvtf (Virginia Public Radio) [And for those with an interest in any of the other subjects of the Civil War Series compiled by Virginia Public Radio through the work of Dr. James Robertson, Jr. you may access those recordings: https://www.wvtf.org/category/civil-war-series#stream/0 ].
  6. 1 point
    Tennessee River Valley in April 1862. The above map of the Tennessee River appeared in the 12 April 1862 edition of Harper's Weekly, before word of the Battle of Shiloh reached the New York editor of that illustrated publication. The map is interesting for what is included: Paducah and Smithland at the far north, with Cairo, Bird's Point, Columbus, Belmont and Island No.10 away to the west. Proceeding south up the Tennessee River, Fort Henry, the crossing of the MC & L R.R. at Danville, and the sites of Savannah, Hamburg and Florence are indicated. Not marked: the line of the Mobile & Ohio R.R. north of Corinth; Cerro Gordo (site of capture of CSS Eastport); Pittsburg Landing; Crump's Landing. Although brief report of the Battle of Pittsburg Landing would find its way into the April 19th edition, the map would not be updated until the 26 April edition.
  7. 1 point
    I believe that I found it in Don Carlos Buell - Most Promising of All by Stephen D. Engle that as a "parlor trick" Buell would pick up his wife and place on the mantle of a fire-place to demonstrate his strength.
  8. 1 point
    The expression "white anting" is new to me but clear from the context. One can check the Wikipedia article for more details. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_anting
  9. 1 point
  10. 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
  11. 1 point
    Transylvania Thanks for continuing this discussion, because it is my belief that when it comes to “political generals,” it is easy to say, “He didn't do diddly” or “He was never any good” ...and miss the whole story. What follows is my interpretation of the above six listed generals (and I am more than happy to debate the performance of any of them, provided references are included.) Beginning with Winfield Scott, the brevet Lieutenant General born in 1786, veteran of the War of 1812 and Commander of the Victorious Army which won the War with Mexico. Made Commander of the Army in 1841, General Scott continued in that role through the Buchanan Administration (and likely made decisions that resulted in Major Anderson being posted to Charleston Harbor in November 1860; sending Captain Don Carlos Buell to Charleston with verbal orders for Major Anderson in 1861; and sending orders to Lieutenant Adam Slemmer at Pensacola Harbor to “Hold the best fort.” There was no doubt that General Scott was past his prime, but “How does one remove an icon and War Hero?” Ask him: “Who should replace you?” Once Robert E. Lee disappeared as candidate for the role, General Scott advocated for Henry Halleck. George B. McClellan. USMA Class of 1846 and Mexican War hero. Because of victories in minor skirmishes in Western Virginia (and elevation to militia Major General by the State of Ohio) George McClellan came to President Lincoln's notice at a time when he could use all the help he could get. Having survived ten days of terrible uncertainty at Washington D.C. following the Fall of Fort Sumter, and then suffering humiliation at Bull Run, President Lincoln was unwilling to wait for Henry Halleck to arrive from California; George McClellan arrived at Washington July 1861 and was installed as General of the Army (and Winfield Scott retired.) Upon request of President Lincoln, General McClellan provided Lincoln with a detailed “Plan of Offensive Operations” for the conduct of the war. (Meanwhile, Henry Halleck arrived from California and was installed at St. Louis in November, replacing Fremont and Hunter.) John C. Fremont. A regular Army officer (but not a West Point graduate) Fremont was known as “the Pathfinder” to an adoring public (and as a Traitor by West Point graduates, due to political “interference” in California and the short-lived Bear Republic.) [Note: when California was admitted as a State in 1850, Henry Halleck wrote the State Constitution.] Fremont was married into a powerful Democrat family of Missouri politics; yet John Fremont became one of the original members of the Republican Party (and ran for President in 1856.) Fast forward to November 1860, after Lincoln's election as President, with war clouds gathering to the South. John Fremont met privately with Abraham Lincoln in Springfield Illinois; Fremont met with Lincoln during March 1861 and departed Washington D.C. in April, bound for Europe and a whirlwind series of visits to major arsenals and arms suppliers in Britain, France, Germany and Austria. After buying every serviceable rifle-musket available (and a number of artillery pieces) General Fremont returned to America late June, met with President Lincoln in Washington, and took command of the Department of the West, based at St. Louis in July 1861. The German and Hungarian communities of St. Louis rallied to Fremont; and his ties to the Benton Faction of the Democrat Party helped convince Unionist Missourians to forego the Rebel MVM (which became the State Guard), and join Fremont's Home Guard, instead. Making use of West Point graduate Nathaniel Lyon, offensive operations were conducted that drove Rebel forces away from St. Louis. St. Louis was fortified, protected by a ring of forts. And Fremont made use of Generals Hurlbut, Grant, Pope and Prentiss to commence driving Rebel forces out of Missouri. The loss of Lexington, the near loss of St. Joseph, and the death of Nathaniel Lyon highlighted shortcomings in Fremont's ability as military commander. These shortcomings were overblown by West Point graduates (who took delight in white-anting Fremont.) The “Pathfinder” signed his own Death Warrant when he issued an Emancipation Proclamation... and refused President Lincoln's demand to withdraw it. Fremont was removed from command at St. Louis. And Henry Halleck was installed as Commander, Department of Missouri on 9 NOV 1861. Nathaniel Banks. A political animal with no military exposure, the Massachusetts native was able to become Governor, and was appointed Major General, strictly due to political connections. His record in the field speaks for itself. John Dix. Born in 1798 this veteran of the War of 1812 had been Treasury Secretary at the end of the Buchanan Administration. Making himself available to President Lincoln, Major General Dix was installed at Baltimore (replacing General Nathaniel Banks.) In May 1862 General Dix was installed at Fortress Monroe (replacing the ageing General John E. Wool, who was two years older than General Scott). General Dix is most noted (and relevant to Battle of Shiloh captives) due to his collaboration with Confederate General D. H. Hill in Spring 1862, resulting in the Dix – Hill Cartel (formalizing a system of prisoner of war exchange). Benjamin Butler. Politician who commanded the Massachusetts Militia, Brigadier General Butler answered the call and readied Massachusetts volunteers to be sent south after Fort Sumter erupted. After one regiment of Massachusetts men were impeded passing through Baltimore, and Baltimore subsequently closed to passage by any more Northern volunteers, General Butler commandeered a ferry, sailed his force of men to Annapolis, and against the demands of Governor Hicks of Maryland landed his force, defended the U.S. Naval Academy, and sent the Midshipmen away on USS Constitution (to establish the Naval Academy at Rhode Island for the duration of the war.) Butler rebuilt the rail line connecting Annapolis to Washington D.C. and guaranteed occupation of Annapolis (Capital of Maryland) by Union forces for the remainder of the war. “Following” orders from Lieutenant General Scott, in May 1861 Major General Butler occupied Baltimore... with no opposition. For violating his orders, Butler was recalled, and sent to command Fortress Monroe. (And Nathaniel Banks replaced Butler in command of Baltimore.) While attempting to expand the safe Union zone around Fort Monroe, General Butler's force got caught up in the Battle of Big Bethel. Although a Union defeat, the subsequent events at Bull Run overshadowed newspaper readers, and Big Bethel faded into insignificance. Major General Butler commanded an expeditionary force in August 1861 that captured Forts Hatteras and Clark in North Carolina. Benjamin Butler then departed on recruiting duty in the Northeast... ostensibly to provide troops for another expedition; but in reality, these troops were sent to Ship Island off the coast of Mississippi. In April 1862 much of the combined Naval and Army force accumulated at Ship Island was sent up the Mississippi River in the operation to capture New Orleans. And Butler's 15000 troops were subsequently used to garrison New Orleans, Algiers, Fort Jackson and Fort St. Philip. (And when General Butler was replaced as commander of Occupied New Orleans in December 1862, it was Nathaniel Banks who replaced him.) References: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winfield_Scott Winfield Scott. https://www.historynet.com/mcclellans-war-winning-strategy.htm George B. McClellan https://www.battlefields.org/learn/biographies/nathaniel-lyon Nathaniel Lyon. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nathaniel_P._Banks Nathaniel Banks. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_E._Wool John E. Wool. http://www.mrlincolnswhitehouse.org/residents-visitors/the-generals-and-admirals/generals-admirals-john-dix-1798-1879/ John A. Dix. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dix–Hill_Cartel Dix - Hill Cartel https://www.militarymuseum.org/HistoryCW.html California Military History [Fremont, Halleck, Sherman, Ord, A.S. Johnston, Bear Republic] https://www.militarymuseum.org/History Early CA.html California Military History [Sherman, Ord, Halleck] https://www.battlefields.org/learn/biographies/benjamin-f-butler Unflattering bio of Benjamin Butler https://www.nps.gov/people/benjaminfbutler.htm Benjamin Butler at Fortress Monroe and "Contraband Decision" http://www.mrlincolnswhitehouse.org/residents-visitors/the-generals-and-admirals/generals-admirals-benjamin-butler-1818-1893/ Butler and Maryland
  12. 1 point
    I found my reference regarding date of rank. The ranking officers, with dates of rank, are Winfield Scott Major General Regulars 25 June 1861 George B McClellan Major General Regulars 14 May 1861 John C Fremont Major General Regulars 14 May 1861 Nathaniel P Banks Major General Volunteers 16 May 1861 John A Dix Major General Volunteers 16 May 1861 Benjamin F Butler Major General Volunteers 16 May 1861 That's an impressive list of officers and shows great perspicacity on the part of the Administration in their selection.
  13. 1 point
    Must be Ben Butler who would have out-ranked those two naval officers. As I recall (but don't my reference have readily available), Butler was one of the early war commissioned major generals, causing great headaches for the Federals later in the war when their seniority entitled them to commands despite their evident incapacity.
  14. 1 point
    Paducah -- Gateway to the Confederacy There is no doubt that the occupation of Paducah by U.S. Grant and forces under his command in September 1861 (in response to Confederate occupation of Hickman and Columbus Kentucky just days earlier) was one of the masterful and most important non-battles of the Civil War. “Essential Civil War Curriculum” website has recently added a three page explanation of the Operation for Paducah that is valuable for providing background to the Federal campaign that ultimately resulted in Fort Henry, Fort Donelson, capture of Nashville, and Battle of Shiloh. [The website has other topics of interest, and is steadily expanding, so worth an occasional re-visit.] https://www.essentialcivilwarcurriculum.com/paducah-gateway-to-the-confederacy.html Paducah by John P. Cashon (2019)
  15. 1 point
    Brexit to take effect on 31 JAN 2020 Three and a half years ago the British People voted in a referendum to leave the organization known as the European Union. The reasons that led to that binding poll included 1) corrupt over-production of Euros by some member States of the EU; 2) flood into the Euro-zone of "Syrian refugees" (who were not from Syria), all of whom seemed intent upon gaining sanctuary in the UK (with their passage north through the Euro-zone facilitated by EU States); 3) the growing distaste in the UK for Laws enacted by the European Parliament which were contrary to established British Laws (even judged superior to 1000 years of English Common Law.) These EU laws appeared arbitrary and spiteful to the British people; 4) the UK was deemed a "financial power" within the EU and was obligated by Acts of the European Parliament to contribute an ever larger share of the management cost of the European Union. Along the way to Brexit, there were three changes of National Leader in the UK (with one leader, Theresa May, intent on overturning the will of the People and negating the results of the Brexit vote. She was replaced through UK parliamentary procedure by Boris Johnson, who promised to abide by the original Brexit vote.) Late in 2019 Boris Johnson was forced to call an early National Election, which was effectively a Second Referendum on Brexit. The British voters returned the Boris Johnson Government to power with an increased majority, fully displaying support for the Exit of Great Britain from the European Union... and that Exit (known as Brexit) takes place at the end of January. Many Civil War researchers and Historians ask: "Could the Southern States have enacted a bloodless Secession?" The example of Brexit demonstrates that such a secession is possible (was possible), but consider: the TIME required to make the exit effective (3 1/2 years) required extraordinary patience; the UK did not threaten violence if their attempt to secede from the EU failed; the European Union has no United Army of Europe. Member States have their own defense forces (at the present time; there is an intention by the EU to establish a United Army of Europe, likely based on the NATO model.) Without a United Army of Europe, the EU could not "coerce" the UK to remain within the organization; Nations across the globe (USA, Canada, India, Australia) look forward to the opportunities presented by a "seceded" Britain, particularly new trade deals. SDG members have "lived through" a bloodless secession. Was it possible for the Secession attempted in 1860/ 61 to have been accomplished without resorting to War? Reference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zQKotbNVTyE "England waves GOODBYE to European Union"
  16. 1 point
    This YouTube video of 36 minutes was published on 2 May 2019 by Misesmedia, a publication of Mises Institute at Auburn, Alabama. It relies heavily on the Diary of young Elsie Duncan to describe life for civilians of Hardin County after the Battle of Shiloh, after the Union Army mostly moved south to besiege Corinth, Mississippi. The Horrors of War are fully described, including mass graves, the number of wounded overwhelming available surgeons, “raiders” (roaming bands of Union deserters), “guerrillas” (roaming bands of Southern supporters), avoiding “summary justice,” and the increasing difficulty over time to avoid starvation. In addition, mention is made of Duncan's Cave, and Hoker's Bend. "Life After Shiloh: Tory Rule" is narrated by Chris Calton, and is part of the Historical Controversies series. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qITGlHH0iW8 "Life after Shiloh" [Other titles in the Historical Controversies series at https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLALopHfWkFlGOn0oxjgp5gGzj-pnqeY0G ].
  17. 1 point
    One thing about electronic resources: existing references are subject to change without notice... The "Shiloh Animated Map" by American Battlefield Trust was upgraded middle of 2019 (although it just gained my notice, by accident, today.) After two views of the 18-minute presentation, I am impressed with the improvements incorporated; and I feel that the 2019 edition more accurately depicts the Battle of Shiloh than previously. Have a look, yourself; and feel free to comment: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tlhlk3bp-f4
  18. 1 point
    Am writing a book right now on firearms at Shiloh. The basic question, "Did it make a difference,?" being armed with a rifle or smooth-bore musket. It made a lot of difference to the average recruit of 1861. They wanted rifles! and would be really angry if given a smooth-bore, especially on the Federal side. The poor Confederates in Johnston's Department No.2, from September of 1861 to April of 1862 were short of firearms. The majority of the firearms carried by the Confederates were smooth-bores and the majority of the firearms carried by the Federals were rifles. Now--------- Did it make a difference which one you had at Shiloh. Many say it did not because of the distances of combat and firing, much of it in dense forest and brush under 100 yards. That is the contention of these small arms writers, because of the distances fought-- rifles did not make a difference overall. Well, I have been researching battle accounts at Shiloh that at different times and circumstances it did make a difference. These I will share in my book. The idea of rifles shooting these big arcs is interesting, but more of theory than actual shooting. I have been a member of the N-SSA for 40 years and have shot every kind of Civil War firearm at a multitude of distances-- including targets at 300 yards. I have watched my fellow N-SSA shooters hit a target at that distance 4 times in a row. NOW these guys practice-- but I will tell you if they were shooting at a target, a cannon crew, or a line of infantry from 200 to 300 yards away-- their sighting would be to arc their rounds into a specific target-- like shooting a bow and arrow-- you arc your shot. If you missed, you would have missed an individual target, and yes your shot might hit the ground a number of yards behind that man or cannon-- true. But you were not looking for a volley fire effect. You had one target and one target only. Over 100 yards your chances of hitting a man with smooth-bore was down to 30% or less. I have tried it and that is a fact. The Confederate Army at Shiloh it appears did not have a disadvantage being armed with smooth-bores at Shiloh. They pushed the Federals back two miles or more, but did take a lot of casualties doing it. They were stopped at times by Federals armed with rifles, hidden behind trees and in ravines for hours. That is a fact.... So-- wait for my book and send me all those accounts where Soldiers at Shiloh were thankful they had Enfields or were mad because their smooth-bores did no damage. To far away!
  19. 1 point
    On April 4, I propose to follow a portion of the route of Trabue's Brigade taken during the action of April 6. I am still working out the exact details of the route, but I may start at Water Oaks Pond. Buskwacking will be required for much of the excursion (Gentsch and Skapteson have trained me well). I will not have prepared much commentary beyond Trabue's report in the OR. If I am reading Dr Gentsch's synopsis of his April 6 morning Assault on the Federal Right Flank hike correctly, my excursion will pick up where his ends. I expect to start at about 1400 on April 4 and suspect that the jaunt will take a couple of hours to complete. I would be delighted others would join me. Please drop me a note if you would like to participate, so that we can exchange telephone numbers. I will be driving downrom Louisville earlier on the 4th and will need to contact you in the event that my approach to the battlefield is even more delayed than Buell's.
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