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  1. 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.
  2. 1 point
    Head-quarters Military Division of the Mississippi Prof. Henry Coopee, Philadelphia Dear Sir: In the June # of the United States Service Magazine I find a brief sketch of Lt. General U S Grant, in which I see you are likely to perpetuate an error, which Gnl Grant may not deem of sufficient importance to correct. To Gnl Buell's noble, able and gallant conduct, you attribute the fact that the disaster of April 6th., at Pittsburg Landing, was received, and made a victory of the following day. Ad Gnl Taylor is said, in his latter days, to have doubted whether he was at the battle of Buena Vista at all, on account of the many things having transpired there, according to historians, which he did not see, so I begin to so doubt whether I was at the battle of Pittsburg Landing of April 6th & 7th, 1862. Gnl grant visited my division about ten A. M., when the battle raged fiercest. I was then on the right, After some general conversation, he remarked that I was doing right in stubbornly opposing the progress of the enemy; and in answer to my inquiry as to cartridges, he told me that he had anticipated their want, anfd given orders accordingly; he then said his presence was more needed at the left. About two P.M. of the 6th, the enemy materially slackened his attack on me, and about four P. M., I deliberately made a line behind McArthur's drill field, placing batteries on chosen grounds, repelling easily a cavalry attack, and watched the cautious approach of the enemy's infantry, that never dislodged me there. I selected that line in advance of a bridge across Snake Creek, by which we had all day been expecting the approach of Lew Wallace's division from Crump's Landing. About five P. M., before the sun set, Gnl Grant again came to me, and after hearing my report of matters, explained to me the situation of affairs on the left, which was not as favorable; still the enemy had failed to reach the landings of the boats. We agreed that the enemy had expended the furore of their attack, and we estimated out loss, and approximately our then strength, including Lewis Wallace's fresh division, expected each minute. He then ordered me to get all things ready, and at daylight the next day to assume the offensive. That was before Gnl Buell had arrived, but he was known to be near at hand. Gnl Buell's troops took no essential part in the first day's fight, and Grant's army, though collected together hastily, green as militia, some regiments arriving without cartridges even, and nearly all hearing the dread sound of battle for the first time, had successfully withstood and repelled the first day's teriffic onset of a superior enemy, well commanded and well handled. I know I had orders from Gnl Grant to assume the offensive before I knew Gnl Buell was on the west side of the Tennessee. I think Gnl Buell, Col Fry. and others of Gnl Buell's staff, rode up to where I was about sunset, about the time Gnl grant was leaving me. Gnl Buell asked me many questions, and got off me a small map, which I had made for my own use, and told me that by daylight he could have 18,000 fresh men, which I knew would settle the matter. I understood grant's force was to advance on the right of the Corinth Rd and Buell's on the left, and accordingly at daylight I advanced my divison by the flank, the resistance being trivial, up to the very spot where the day before the battle had been the most severe, and then waited till near noon for Buell's troops to get up abreast, when the entire line advanced and recovered all the ground we had ever held. I know that with the exception of 1 or 2 severe struggles, the fighting of April 7 was easy, as compared with that of the 6th. I never was disposed, nor am I now, to question anything done by Gnl Buell and his army , and know that, approaching our field of battle from the rear, he encountered that sickening crowd of laggards and fugitives that excited his contempt and that of his army, who never gave full credit to those in the front line, who did fight hard, and who had at four P. M., checked the enemy, and were preparing the next day to assume the offensive. I remember the fact better than Gnl Grant's anecdote of the Donelson battle, which he told me then for the first time - that, t a certain period of the battle, he saw that either was ready to give way if the other showed a bold front, and he determined to do that very thing, to advance on the enemy when, as he prognosticated, the enemy surrendered. At four P.M., on April 6th, he thought the appearance the same, and he judged, with Lew Wallace's fresh division and such of our startled troops as had recovered their equilibrium, he would be justified in dropping the defensive and assuming the offensive in the morning. And I repeat, I received such orders before I knew Gnl Buell's troops were at the river. I admit that I was glad that Buell was there, because I knew his troops were older than ours, and better systemized and drilled, and his arrival made that certain which before was uncertain. l have heard this question much discussed, and must say that the officers of Buell's army dwelt to much on the stampede of some of our raw troops, and gave us too little credit for the fact that for one whole day, weakened as we were by the absence of Buell's army, long expected; of Lew Wallace's division only 4 miles off, and of the fugitives from our ranks, we had beaten off our assailants for the time. At the same time our Army of the Tennessee have indulged in severe criticism at the slow approach of that army which knew the danger that threatened us from the concentrated armies of Johnston, Beauregard and Braggs that lay at Corinth. In a war like this, where opportunities of personal prowess are as plenty as Backberries to those who seek them at the front, all such criminations should be frowned down; and were it not for the military character of your journal I would not venture to offer correction of a very popular error. I will also avail myself of this occasion to correct another common mistake in attributing to Gnl grant the selection of the battlefield. It was chosen by the veteran soldier Maj Gnl C F Smith, who ordered my division to disembark there, and strike the Charleston Railroad. This order was subsequently modified by his ordering Hurlbut's division to disembark there, and mine higher up the tennessee to the mouth of Yellow Creek, to strike the railroad at Burnsville. But floods prevented our reaching the railroad, when Gnl Smith ordered me in person also to disembark at Pittsburg, and take post well out, so as to make plenty of room, with Snake and Lick Creeks the flanks of a camp for the grand army of invasion. It was Gnl Smith who selected the field of battle, and it was well chosen. On any other we surely would have been overwhelmed, as both Lick and Snake creeks forced the enemy to confine his movements to a direct front attack, which new troops are better qualified to resist than where flanks are exposed to a real or chimerical danger. Even the divisions of that army were arranged in that camp by Gnl Smith's orders, my division forming as it were, the outlying pickets, whilst McClernand's and Prentiss' were the real line of battle, with W H L wallace in support of the right wing, and Hurlbut of the left; Lew Wallace's division being detached. all these subordinate dispositions were made by order of Gnl Smith, before Gnl Grant succeeded him to the command of all the forces up the Tennessee - headquarters at Savannah. If there was any error in putting that army on the W side of the Tennessee, exposed to the superior force of the enemy also assembling at Corinth, the mistake was not Gnl Grant's - but there was no mistake. It was necessary that a combat, fierce and bitter, to test the manhood of the two armies, should come off, and that was as good a place as any. It was not then a question of military skill and strategy, but of courage and pluck, and I am convinced that every life lost to us that day was necessary; for otherwise at Corinth, at Memphis, at Vicksburg, we would have found harder resistance, had we not shown our enemies that, rude and untutored as we then were, we could fight as well as they.
  3. 1 point
  4. 1 point
    Robert Cobb Kennedy https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Cobb_Kennedy
  5. 1 point
    This was excellent and not covered in depth usually. Good Job
  6. 1 point
    Ozzy, I think that McClernand gets a bum rap, and the charge of disloyalty, at least during this period seems seriously misplaced. Apart from offering detailed suggestions for the move on Fort Donelson (whether desire or not), what evidence exists that he was disloyal? On the 10th, McClernand wrote to Washburne: "Having entire confidence in Gen Grants representation I take great pleasure in concurring in his recommendation." The Papers of US Grant relate that, after the trip to Nashville: "a letter to USG was prepared at hd. qrs., 1st Div., Pine Landing, Tenn. 'We have heard with deep regret of your having been deposed from your authority as Commander in the field of the forces in this district. Whether, in fact, this be true, we do not pretend to say; much less to make it occasion for censure or reflection upon any. On the contrary, we disclaim not only the feeling but the purpose to do so. Our object is far different—it is simply and singly to perform an act which justice to ourselves as well as to you, equally, requires. Not to perform it would prove ourselves wanting in the sympathy and generosity which become fellow soldiers, who have fought and suffered together. This is our explanation and apology for this hasty note. Reverting to the past, we cannot forbear the expression of our thanks for the uniform urbanity and kindness you have extended to us. Nor in the sterner realities of war are we wanting in reason for awarding you our gratitude and respect. As our Commander at Belmont and Forts Henry and Donelson, besides in numerous mere skirmishes, you were successful. Under your lead the flag of the Union has been carried from the interior further towards the seaboard than by any other hands. You have slain more of the enemy, taken more prisoners and trophies, lost more men in battle and regained more territory to the Union than any other leader. If we have born a part in achieving these results we are proud of it, and are, therefore, naturally concerned in what may darken or disparage them. We place this spontaneous tribute at your disposal for such use as you may think proper to make of it.' LS, DNA, RG 94, Generals' Papers and Books, Ulysses S. Grant. This letter was signed by McClernand, Col. William H. L. Wallace, Col. Leonard F. Ross, and eight officers of McClernand's staff." A few days later, McClernand wrote Grant: "'Allow me to congratulate you upon your reported restoration to the functions, incident to your rank and command. I hope soon to see you with us.'" Joe
  7. 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.
  8. 1 point
    Thanks, Ozzy. I think that it's surprising that nothing seems to have appeared in the newspapers about any possible bout of drinking.
  9. 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 ....
  10. 1 point
    Wisconsin in the War Stumbled across this video while researching Pensacola in the Civil War... serendipity. Titled “ORNA Wisconsin in the Civil War” it runs for about 10 minutes; and the presenter, Lawrence Winkler, is both knowledgeable and engaging. Beginning at the 6-minute mark and running for a little over two minutes Winkler details the aftermath of the Battle of Shiloh from a Wisconsin perspective (and includes the contribution and tragedy of Governor Harvey.) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rP5VyNFj3hs ORNA Wisconsin in the Civil War, Episode Four As indicated, this is Episode 4 of a five episode set. The remaining episodes run about 10 minutes each, but they do not mention Battle of Shiloh. Instead, they provide an excellent background to Midwestern attitudes and outlooks on the American Civil War; the actual fact that the Civil War was TWO conflicts (one that mostly took place in Virginia, and the other one that took place everywhere else); and a solid introduction to military terms, military life, wounds versus disease, treatment of POWs, and addresses “What caused Midwestern soldiers to enlist, and then re-enlist?” [Overall, a great set of videos to direct friends and family to watch, after they pose the question: “Why are you so caught up in the Civil War?” ] https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCy7VpEkuHeIzDEIWSOd-iSQ Lawrence Winkler Home Page on YouTube (for all Five episodes.)
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