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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. 3 points
    Thanks for this. Another little piece of Civil War Chicagoiana to add to my collection. Rumsey was late to his own funeral...but for a poignant reason.
  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
    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.
  16. 1 point
    Robert Cobb Kennedy https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Cobb_Kennedy
  17. 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
  18. 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.
  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
    (From Battle of Shiloh on the Sandusky County Scrapbook website at http://www.sanduskey-county-scrapbook.net "Hd. Qrs Army of Tennessee Field of "Shiloh" April 30th 1862. My Dear Friend Clemmy, I have been trying ever since the receipt of your most welcome letter to find time to answer it and assure you, and the rest of my friends at the Springs that I am perfectly safe and well. The battle was indeed a terrible one, and on Sunday particularly a very desperate one for our cause as with 35,000 men we fought from about 7 o'clock in the morning until sunset against 75,000 of the best rebel troops led by their favorite Generals--But thanks to the bravery and energy with which our troops maintained their ground (with some exceptions) the rebels were prevented from breaking our lines or getting to the River thereby endangering our transports when night closed the contest. Sunday night we received reinforcements which placed us in something like an Equality in point of numbers with The Enemy & he was driven back some distance beyond where the fighting commenced Sunday morning, by four o'clock Monday afternoon. There have been so many misrepresentations in the newspapers about the Battle that I am perfectly disgusted. They all start out by assuming that we were perfectly surprised which is all a mistake. Time may correct the errors but it is all wrong for the newspapers and people generally away from the scene to condemn our Generals without knowing the facts. Public Confidence in them weakened, and aid and comfort given to the rebels. I was very sorry to lose my Horse, for he was a splendid animal & carried me through safely at Forts Henry & Donelson. He was shot through & through, the ball passing about three inches in rear of my legs. How I felt during the Battle I cannot pretend to say. The truth is I was so much occupied that I had not time to think of myself. Only once do I remember my thoughts & then I was sitting on my Horse talking to Gen'l Grant with my back in the direction from which the bullets were coming and thought it best to turn around so that if I was hit, I would not be hit in the back. My love to all Ever Your friend James"
  21. 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
  22. 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
  23. 1 point
  24. 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)
  25. 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
  26. 1 point
    I just saw this website and thought you guys might enjoy it. http://www.civilwar.org/maps/animated-maps/
  27. 1 point
    I had an interest in such a question on Grant years ago. I was researching US Grant and the Battle of Belmont, MO. fought on November 7th, 1861. I have not been able to get a definitive answer, but at one point, post WW 1, that the Staff at West Point tried to put together basically, a class or study on what makes a great and successful General. What traits are shared, what attributes, what brain power, what cognitive gift do they have and can it be taught to others. I do not think it went anywhere, but the attempt to try and understand US Grant as a Commander was done. What I saw in Grant was how he would listen to others. Get their views on a subject, attack, retreat, move and how to move-- then take a break, come back, and using all he heard give a succinct order that all had part in. Another was ability to write an order that was to the point and easy to understand. That he would rise at dawn, work all day, writing orders etc., then in the evening eat something and sit around the campfire and listen to jokes and bantering, he loved it. His War Secretary was asked what made Grant successful. His answer, "success?, we followed Grant because he was successful." He just did it---
  28. 1 point
    Ran across an extremely interesting 250 page Doctorate Dissertation on the Life of McPherson. Produced in 2016 this work by Eric Dudley sheds light on West Point Graduate McPherson that many of us either take for granted, or ignore. Some highlights: Born in 1828 Jimmy McPherson just “made the cut” before becoming too old for admission to the U.S. Military Academy. Graduating in 1853, Lieutenant McPherson was 24 years old and ranked Number One in his West Point Class. Initially assigned to Instructor duty at West Point, McPherson put his Engineer training to use at Fort Delaware (south of Philadelphia) improving that facility; then went to San Francisco in 1857 to complete the fort on Alcatraz Island. Still a Lieutenant in the Army Corps of Engineers during most of his stay in California, McPherson followed with interest the deterioration of the Nation taking place “Back East” via slow mail from New York – Panama – San Francisco (six weeks delayed.) With initiation of the Pony Express the delay in receiving news diminished to 8 – 12 days (with no telegraph to San Francisco during McPherson's stay.) Captain McPherson did not depart California (via steamer to Panama; then steamer to New York) until last week of July/ first week of August 1861. During McPherson's stay in California, he would have met Henry Halleck; become re-acquainted with William Tecumseh Sherman; and served under Albert Sidney Johnston. https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/c6a4/98c03e2ee2cc70f6fe249be693588b0bb37a.pdf The Memory & Memorialization of James B. McPherson (2016)
  29. 1 point
    The above review of “Junius and Albert's Adventure” is pretty good... as far as it goes. Unfortunately, no one bothered to actually read the book (which was gifted to me a few days ago by my daughter, who found it in a bookshop in Castlemaine, Victoria.) Pages 25 – 41 detail Junius Browne and Albert Richardson reporting in the West, beginning in General Fremont's Missouri during Autumn of 1861. And the first revelation of significance to readers at SDG: the two reporters were present during the Fort Henry operation (Browne accompanied the marching infantry belonging to McClernand, while Richardson found a large tree, climbed high into its branches, and observed the fort vs. ironclads gunnery duel.) Afterwards, Albert Richardson returned to Cairo to send off his story; Junius Browne (despite injury due to accidental powder keg explosion) accompanied Grant's Army to Fort Donelson, and continued to report from the field, detailing actions of soldiers, and incidental meetings with local people and their views on the war. After the surrender of Buckner, Browne interviewed Confederate prisoners, and then returned to Cairo to send away his story (which was published over two PAGES in the New York Tribune of February 22, 1862.) Neither Browne nor Richardson was present for the Battle of Shiloh: Browne heard of an operation taking place in Arkansas, and hurried south to observe the action, but had only reached southern Missouri when the Battle of Pea Ridge took place. Not allowing lack of facts to get in the way of a good story, Junius Browne collected enough rumors concerning the battle, and “borrowed” information from rival reporter Thomas Knox, and in cooperation with Richard Colburn concocted a story of how “Siegel saved the Day at Pea Ridge” (and beat rival reporters to publish the full page report on Pea Ridge, first.) Afterwards, learning that “the next big event” was to take place at Island No.10 Browne rejoined Richardson and gained passage aboard a steamer bound for that Mississippi River confrontation... and both men missed the Battle of Shiloh. However, as mentioned in SDG post “Drawings” of 27 MAR 2018 Henri Villard met Richardson at Cairo on April 10 (Villard had travelled with Buell's Army of the Ohio, and observed much of Day Two firsthand.) After learning details from Henri Villard, Albert Richardson journeyed south, met with members of General Grant's staff, and was able to concoct a report on the Battle of Shiloh, which was submitted to the New York Tribune in late April. Browne and Richardson are next recorded aboard USS Benton on the Mississippi River, observing the Battle of Memphis of 6 June 1862...
  30. 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.
  31. 1 point
    Had never seen this complete list in print before, but it is the Seniority List of Generals in the Provisional Confederate Army, just prior to Battle of Bull Run (First Manassas). Of interest to SDG because of the many names associated with Fort Donelson, Shiloh and Siege of Corinth (and it is interesting to see a list of Confederate Generals without Albert Sidney Johnston's name near the top... but General Johnston was enroute from California when this list was printed in St. Mary's Beacon of Leonardtown, Maryland 18 July 1861.) https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn89060119/1861-06-13/ed-1/seq-2/ St. Mary's Beacon of 18 July 1861 page 2.
  32. 1 point
    We all think we know the meaning of the idiom, “to turn a fort,” but do we? A military phrase taken from the French (as was most 19th century military terms) the French equivalent appears to be “tournailler une fortification” (literally “to spin the position like a toy top,” but militarily “to isolate the position; render it ineffectual.”) In the same way “piquet” became picket, the unpronounceable “tournailler” became turn; but the intended meaning remained unchanged. Why is this important? The Confederate position at Fort Columbus, with its 140 guns manned by 13000 soldiers, sited on a high bluff overlooking the Mississippi River (where a stout barrier chain stretched across from Kentucky to Missouri, and that chain defended by torpedoes of proven ability) ...this position created and operated by Major General Polk was deemed “impregnable” in January 1862 by none other than Henry Halleck (who also labelled Fort Columbus as a “Gibraltar.”) It was acknowledged that any attempt to assault Fort Columbus directly would require tens of thousands of Federal troops. The position might be taken, but the resulting bloodbath would be deemed unacceptable by the people of the North. To slant the odds more in favor of the North, and to “soften” the position prior to launching an infantry assault, it was deemed a requirement for the U.S. Navy to bombard Fort Columbus with 13-inch mortars. Besides wreaking havoc, the shrapnel created by each bursting 200-pound shell would tend to drive Rebel defenders to cover. Over time (perhaps three days or a week) it was anticipated enough men would be killed, and survivors become so demoralized, that Federal infantry could take the position “easily” (with casualties, but not on a massive scale.) Problem was, the mortars did not arrive. So, another “method of attack” had to be substituted to “turn the fort” at Columbus. That other method was the assault on Fort Henry (and Fort Donelson) combined with destruction of the railroad bridge just south of Fort Henry. References: https://archive.org/details/frenchenglishmil00williala/page/326 French- English Military Terms. The Life of Andrew Hull Foote by J.M. Hoppin (1874) https://archive.org/details/lifeofandrewhull00hopprich/page/n8 SDG topic "Foote and Grant want to Seize Fort Henry" (all posts). SDG "Urgent offer to Bragg" post of 17 May 2018. SDG "Rebel Intelligence" post of 2 August 2016. SDG "Hey! Look over there..." post of 13 JAN 2016. SDG "FEB 14 1862: Fort Donelson attacked by Union Ironclads" posts of 12 JAN & 21 JAN 2016. SDG "Civil War Cannon live fire Video" post of 26 December 2015.
  33. 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.
  34. 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
  35. 1 point
    One of the leaders in the Confederate Army of the Mississippi that we think we know enough about, but fail to fully appreciate (perhaps because he was a late entry, put in charge of the Reserve Corps after General Crittenden was removed): John C. Breckinridge. As everyone knows, Breckinridge was VP under Buchanan; but he was Senator from Kentucky when war broke out in April 1861... How did that come about? Born in Lexington Kentucky into a political family, Breckinridge studied law and graduated from Transylvania College in 1841, aged 20. Moving to Iowa Territory, John Breckinridge set up a Law Office at Burlington; but returned home to Kentucky to visit relatives Summer of 1843, and met and married a cousin of his law partner, Mary Cyrene Burch. The Burlington Law Office was closed, and the young couple settled in Georgetown Kentucky. The Mexican War erupted in 1846, and John Breckinridge attempted to join a Kentucky regiment, but was disallowed. So, instead of serving in Mexico, Breckenridge built up his law practice (now established in Lexington) until the decision preventing him from serving in the Army was reversed. In August 1847, the 3rd Kentucky Volunteers, along with Major Breckinridge, set off for the war; and arrived in time to help garrison newly captured Mexico City. [There is dispute whether John Breckinridge became a member of the prestigious Aztec Club, as his name is not listed among the Original Members. However, a grandson, James C. Breckinridge, became a Hereditary Member in 1887 and this was only possible if Major Breckinridge was eligible.] One fallout from duty in Mexico was the Gideon Pillow case, resulting in Court-Martial in 1848. Major Breckinridge acted as Defence for Brigadier General Pillow, with the result of No Verdict. A subsequent Court of Inquiry exonerated General Pillow (but he was never made a Member of the Aztec Club.) John Breckinridge entered politics and won election to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1850, was reelected in 1852 and served until 1855. He was subsequently installed on the ticket as James Buchanan's running mate during the 1856 election, and subsequently served as Vice President until March 4th 1861 (when Hannibal Hamlin was sworn in as VP under President Lincoln.) When Vice President Hamlin swore in newly elected Senators a few days later, John Breckinridge was sworn in as Senator from Kentucky (filling a vacancy.) [And while serving as VP John Breckinridge was on the ballot as Southern Democrat candidate for President in the 1860 election. As result of the NOV 1860 election, Breckinridge gained the second highest number of electoral votes in the 4-way race, and lost to Republican Abraham Lincoln.] Senator Breckinridge managed to hold onto his seat, and vote on crucial measures, until December 1861, when a vote of the Senate declared him a Traitor, and expelled him. (Breckinridge had joined the Confederate Army in November. His expulsion followed those of ten other Southern Senators expelled in July.) Commissioned Brigadier General with effect from 2 NOV 1861, two weeks later he was given command of the 1st Kentucky Brigade, under overall command of General Albert Sidney Johnston, and organized that collection of Kentucky units at Bowling Green. With the loss of Fort Donelson in FEB 1862 Breckinridge led his brigade south through Nashville and eventually took up the line of the Memphis & Charleston R.R. west to Corinth. With the removal of Brigadier General George Crittenden end of March 1862, John Breckinridge gained elevation to command of the Reserve Corps, just in time for Shiloh. Following the Battle of Shiloh, General Breckinridge was Mentioned in Despatches by General PGT Beauregard and is noted for his impressive rear-guard action during Confederate withdrawal to Corinth. During the Siege of Corinth Major General Breckinridge continued in command of the Reserve Corps; he continued to serve in the field (Stones River, Chickamauga, Missionary Ridge, and New Market most noteworthy) and in 1865 was called from active duty and installed as the last Confederate Secretary of War. With the pending loss of the Capital at Richmond in April 1865, John Breckinridge fled south with President Davis and the Cabinet; and Breckinridge was one of the few to evade capture, reaching safety in Canada. References: https://www.neh.gov/humanities/2011/novemberdecember/feature/the-man-who-came-in-second John C. Breckinridge https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84024738/1862-05-10/ed-1/seq-2/#date1=1862&sort=relevance&rows=20&words=Peyton&searchType=basic&sequence=0&index=19&state=Virginia&date2=1862&proxtext=Peyton&y=0&x=0&dateFilterType=yearRange&page=6 The Daily Dispatch (Richmond Virginia) 10 MAY 1862 page 2 col. 5 "Shiloh Report of General Beauregard" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7GGmFkl-bzw [Just an interesting John C. Breckinridge relic or two...]
  36. 1 point
    Mona Hope you are able to find what you are looking for. For possible assistance, the attached link is for Family Search, the Mormon Church ancestry search site provided free on the internet ( but requires two minutes to establish an account.) I've used Family Search with great success for the past ten years. https://www.familysearch.org/en/
  37. 1 point
    Besides family, the people who know us best are those we attended school with. Here are a couple of observations of Ulysses S. Grant (one of which you've probably encountered already. But the other...) "One day at West Point, as our section in mathematics was marching to recitation hall, Frank Gardner produced an old silver-cased watch, about four inches in diameter. It, as a curiosity, was passed along from one lad to another... it chanced to be in Grant's hands as we reached the door of the recitation room, and he tucked it into his tunic and buttoned it up. The regular Professor was absent; Cadet Z. B. Tower occupied his chair. He sent four cadets to the blackboards, Grant being one. Grant quickly solved his math problem, and turned to begin his demonstration, when all of a sudden the room was filled with a sound not unlike a Chinese gong. All looked amazed, and Tower, thinking the noise was in the hall, ordered the door closed. And that only made the matter worse. Grant, with a sober countenance, continued his demonstration. The racket ceased, and shortly afterwards, so did Grant. Tower had no idea from whence the noise came (Gardner had accidentally set the alarm on the ancient timepiece concealed in Grant's bosom.) Tower's bewilderment, and Grant's sobriety afforded us much amusement." Rufus Ingalls (USMA 1843) was known at West Point as "the Prince of Good Fellows." During the Civil War, he served as Chief Quartermaster of the Army of the Potomac; and one night during Spring of 1865, at City Point, he and General Grant and a few others were sitting around their camp fire. Conversation had lapsed into silence, which after a while was suddenly broken by Grant exclaiming: "Ingalls, do you expect to take that yellow dog of yours into Richmond with you?" Ingalls nodded. "Oh yes, General. You see, he belongs to a long-life breed." Silence returned, but many of the witnesses had to remove themselves for a time...
  38. 1 point
    The 19th Arkansas Infantry (Dockery's) was mustered into service in southern Arkansas (DeValls Bluff) on 2 April 1862 under command of Colonel Hamilton Smead and immediately ordered to Corinth, Mississippi... but began arriving at Memphis on April 7th ...too late to take part in the Battle of Shiloh. Instead of going on to Corinth, the 19th Arkansas was directed to Fort Pillow, a few miles above Memphis on the Mississippi River (and the Confederate fallback position after fall of Island No.10) and transport was provided aboard CSS Capitol: http://www.rfrajola.com/JPMCSN/JPMCSN.pdf Collection of Confederate Covers by Robert Frajola (see page 48.) In a letter written aboard CSS Capitol by LtCol Thomas Hale he tells his friend in Fredericksburg, Virginia of the circumstances in Memphis as he found them on 7 April 1862. The 19th Arkansas remained at Fort Pillow for a few weeks, and suffered a number of deaths due to disease. After Fort Pillow was evacuated, the 19th Arkansas was sent to Corinth, and joined Van Dorn's Army of the West, Third Division (Dabney Maury) 1st Brigade (Dockery). [After Memphis surrendered 6 June 1862 the CSS Capitol was put to use as "support vessel" for CSS Arkansas, which was completed on the Yazoo River and made her famous run through three Federal fleets in July 1862.]
  39. 1 point
    Samuel Cooper After graduation commisioned Lt in Army light Artillery until 1837.Then he was appt. Chief Clerk of the US War Dept which he held until 1842 he was promoted to Col. and served in the Seminole War.he also saw action in the Mexican war.In 1852 he was promoted to Adj. General.He resigned his position in March 1861 to join the Confederate Army in Brigadier General;.He was asigned Adjutant and Inspector general of the Confederate Army directly under Jefferson Davis the entire war. 1862 he was promoted to full general..His final act was to preserve all records of the Confederate Army and turn them over to the US Govt.He retired to his plantation in VA until his death in 12-3-1876.He is buried in Christ Church Episcopol Cemetery in Alexandria VA..
  40. 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
  41. 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.)
  42. 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 .
  43. 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.)
  44. 1 point
    I think the burden of proof, in this case, would be on the one making the supposition. Not the one disagreeing. Otherwise, it is character assassination by conspiracy theory.
  45. 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
  46. 1 point
    wonder why names were dashed out...
  47. 1 point
    Rbn3 Thanks for adding "The Rest of the Story." There are a number of reasons why I. P. Rumsey's experiences (never fully revealed) are fascinating: he assisted with writing of "Life and Letters of General WHL Wallace" someone had to ride the steamer north, down the Tennessee River to alert General Grant (and the identity of that Officer has never been verified) I. P. Rumsey kept a diary (which is rumored to be released to the public... soon.) All the best Ozzy N.B. How is The Story of Patrick Gregg progressing?
  48. 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.
  49. 1 point
    Uniform and Flag stories from Shiloh These are some of the interesting incidents involving uniforms and flags at Battle of Shiloh: the 12th Illinois Infantry changed out of its old grey uniform into blue during the march to battle, morning of April 6th 1862; at least one "friendly fire" incident occurred, involving Rebel troops shooting their own due to the wearing of dark blue (or black) jackets; recent volunteers signed into Union service at Savannah during March/April 1862 ( 40th Illinois, 46th Ohio and 14th Iowa) may not have been issued with proper uniforms prior to Battle of Shiloh; the Jessie Scouts wore Rebel uniforms when performing their duties (but wore a distinctive scarf or armband -- usually white -- upon return to Union lines to avoid being shot by friendly troops) the "Stars and Bars" Flag (1st CSA National Flag) continued to pose problems at Shiloh (misidentified as American Flag) at least one Confederate regiment was ordered to wear its jackets inside out (with cream-coloured liner obscuring the dark colour of the uniform jacket) everyone knows the "white flag" represents surrender; but at the time of Shiloh, the "yellow flag" meant Hospital (and sometimes a "red flag" was used) ambulance wagons and steamers pressed into Hospital service usually carried no marker (and Hospital boats were sometimes used to carry munitions) when representatives from General Beauregard travelled to Richmond, end of April, to present the General's Shiloh Report to President Davis, they also carried with them 28 flags, banners and pennants captured at Shiloh. Cheers Ozzy
  50. 1 point
    The Confederate recognized capital of Kentucky was Bowling Green. The Confederates left Bowling Green after the fall of FortHenry on February 6, 1862 and prior to the fall of Nashville so it was the first Confederate recognized capital to go under Union control. In Missouri the contender would be Neosho. The South recognized Missouri as a Southern state but that was later in 1861 and the Union had already occupied Jefferson City in June 1861. Then the secessionist Jackson government set up in Neosho on October 21, 1861. But ten days later the government moved to Cassville. This southwestern part of Missouri was in turmoil until the battle of Pea Ridge on March 7-8, 1862 so it is hard to tell which side was occupying which town at which time. Perhaps the Union could claim control of Neosho before Nashville fell. Claiborne Fox Jackson was the secessionist Rebel governor of Missouri who was driven into exile and tried to take Missouri into the Confederacy and failed. Jackson died on December 6, 1862. George Johnson was the Rebel governor of Kentucky with the Shiloh connection. The connection being he was killed there fighting on foot in the private ranks of the Orphan Brigade from Kentucky on April 7, 1862. On April 6 he was mounted but his horse was killed so he took an oath as a private and fought on April 7 in the ranks. After the secessionist government of Missouri fled the state they set up in Arkansas but ended up in Marshall, Texas and that is where the Missouri Confederate government was at the end of the war. Go Cubs!!!!!! Hank
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