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  1. 3 points
    I located Sgt. William H. Busbey's post-war article about his being near Grant's Savannah headquarters and on Tigress during the trip to Pittsburg Landing on April 6th in the Chicago Inter-Ocean. Some obvious errors make it not completely reliable, and it may be completely unreliable, but it does make for interesting reading: "I was at Savannah in April, 1862, associated with the work of the Adams Express company . Myself and another young man employed in the same office were sleeping on the night of April 5 in a house in Savannah three or four blocks from the river. General Grant's headquarters at Savannah were in a house very close to the river. We were on higher ground than he was, and about daylight on the morning of April 6 the young man sleeping with me jumped out of bed with the exclamation, 'There's firing up at the Landing.' We could hear very distinctly the boom of cannon, and when we went to the east window we could hear, or thought we could hear, the sound of musketry. Pittsburg landing was nine miles away, but in the still morning air the roar of musketry came to us." "We dressed hurriedly, ran down to General Grant's headquarters, where we found General Webster, chief of artillery, in his night shirt on the porch listening intently to the sound of firing. We saw him run into the house, and another officer came out with him. They listened a minute, ran in again, and General Grant came out in his night dress. The three figures stood like statues while Grant listened, and then the General gave an order that put everything in a whirl. Ned Osborne of Chicago was at that time in command of Grant's headquarters guard, and under excitement he was a very active man." "In a few minutes staff officers were awake and dressed, the escort was mounted and ready to go, and the General and staff boarded at once the steamer Tigress. I remembered as I looked over the steamers at the landing tht the Tigress was the only vessel that had steam up, and comprehending that Grant would go on that vessel, my comrade and myself went down and climbed on in advance of the General and his staff. There was a ittle wait for the escort and horses of the officers, but when all were on board the steamer did not move. Inquiry developed the fact that neither the captain nor the pilot was awake or had received any notice of the journey. They were stirred up in short order, and soon the Tigress started up the river for Pittsburg Landing." "About four miles above Savannah we came to Crump's landing. General Lew Wallace, in command of the division at that point, was on the steamer Jessie K. Bell. When we came up within fifty yards of the Bell, Grant shouted to Wallace, asking if he had any news from the front. Wallace shouted back saying that a courier had just arrived with the report that Sherman had been attacked by a heavy force. Grant, with great intensity of manner, asked: 'Does the dispatch say a heavy force?' Wallace replied that it did and Grant ordered the captain of the Tigress to make all possible speed for Pittsburg Landing." "As we started General Wallace shouted in surprise: 'General Grant, have you no orders for me?' and Grant, after thinking a moment, shouted back, 'Hold yourself in readiness to march.' Then we steamed away, but in a few minutes Ross came to me and said: 'It is a general attack this time, sure.' I asked him how he knew and he said that Captain Baxter had just received orders from Grant to take a steam tug and carry orders back to General Wallace to move at once and take position on the right of the Union force engaged in battle. We arrived at Pittsburg Landing in a short time and General Grant rode away at once toward the front." [The article went on about Busbey's experiences in the battle, including hauling guns up the bluff for Webster, the boats in the river, and Mother Bickerdyke.]
  2. 3 points
    My photos from this past weekend's Epic Trek are HERE if anyone is interested. Great time of hiking, learning, and fellowship.
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. 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)
  9. 2 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.
  10. 2 points
    The 47th Tennessee Infantry were the only reinforcements the Confederates received on the 2nd day of the Battle of Shiloh. This article is neat summation of the 47th Tennessee, the weapons they carried, and their action in the battle. Interesting short piece to read. https://emergingcivilwar.com/2016/09/08/the-47th-tennessee-infantry-at-shiloh/ Below: Col. Munson Hill of the 47th Tennessee Infantry, wearing fraternal garb.
  11. 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...
  12. 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.
  13. 2 points
  14. 2 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.
  15. 2 points
    Great photo... and of benefit to learn that the significant action in the Plum Orchard has finally been recognized... 🙂
  16. 2 points
    maybe due to the addition of "Plum Orchard Rd"
  17. 2 points
    There are two pieces of communication (one constructed on April 5th, and the other generated on April 6th 1862) both of which are important in their own way to explain “how the Battle of Shiloh unfolded.” And both documents have "issues." The first item is a telegram constructed at St. Louis and sent under signature of Major General Henry Halleck on Saturday 5 April 1862. Fitting Halleck’s style of issuing concise orders, the two-line telegram begins by listing the recently promoted Major Generals by order of seniority: Buell, Pope, McClernand, C.F. Smith, Wallace. The inclusion of John Pope is significant because Major General Pope would soon join the Advance on Corinth. And the place held by John McClernand (ahead of Charles Ferguson Smith) may have come as a surprise to Major General Ulysses S. Grant… but no matter, as the late formal notice of MGen McClernand’s seniority did not provide opportunity to ‘Provide him with benefits of seniority to which he was entitled” i.e., the Shell Game played by Generals Grant, Smith, Sherman and Captain McMichael had worked perfectly; and now, at this late hour, McClernand would be notified in due course of his official seniority (likely after U.S. Grant established his HQ at Pittsburg Landing… When McClernand operating as “acting commander” had odds somewhere between Slim and None.) The second line of Halleck’s telegram reads: “You will act in concert [with General Buell] but he will exercise his separate command, unless the enemy should attack you. In that case you are authorized to take the general command.” The wording of this second line, giving Grant emergency authority over Buell in case of attack by Rebels, has significant implications. And yet, when the conduct of Day Two at Shiloh is closely examined, there is nothing more significant in regard to General Grant exercising command, than, “You take the left; and I’ll take the right” during the advance of Monday morning (coordination at its most minimal.) Which leads one to ponder: When did General Grant receive this telegram from Henry Halleck? If it was sent by telegraph from St. Louis late morning of April 5th, it likely arrived at the Fort Henry telegraph office before noon. If a steamer picked up the mail and telegraph traffic at 1 p.m., (perhaps the Minnehaha) then the 5 April telegram would arrive about midnight… plenty of time for Grant to read and understand the contents. But, at 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 6th, where was this telegram from Halleck? The cool indifference shared between Grant and Buell (with Buell simply left at the waterfront, while Grant headed away west to take care of business) does not represent “someone in possession of an important telegram, giving them extraordinary authority.” Instead, it seems to indicate General Grant has not yet received the telegram; or he has seen it… but left it behind at the Cherry Mansion. The second communication was constructed on Sunday morning by Captain A.S. Baxter, the AQM for Grant’s Army, as he rode the steamer Tigress north to relay Grant’s orders (likely relayed from Grant, through Captain John Rawlins, to Baxter.) Finding the orders complex and difficult to remember in detail, Captain Algernon Baxter scanned the floor of the Ladies’ Cabin, found a soiled bit of paper, and wrote the orders (as he best remembered them) onto that scrap (later recorded as “containing a heel mark and tobacco stain.”) Upon arrival at Crump’s Landing, Captain Baxter found Lieutenant Ross – Aide to Major General Wallace – waiting. The two rode away west and reported to MGen Wallace at, or just before 11:30 a.m. Captain Baxter presented General Wallace with the impromptu order; Wallace asked why it was not signed. Baxter explained he “created the memorandum, himself, out of fear he would “forget some detail” unless he did so.” General Wallace passed the “written order” to his Staff, and asked Baxter about the current state of affairs [Baxter left Pittsburg Landing between 10 and 10:30.] Captain Baxter replied, “We are driving them.” General Wallace was satisfied; Wallace’s staff officers were satisfied. The order was accepted, and Captain Baxter took his departure within three minutes of arrival at Stony Lonesome. Captain Frederick Kneffler, Lew Wallace’s AAG, wound up with the “written order.” He tucked it under his sword belt… and subsequently lost it. Ever since, the loss of that written order, or memorandum, has been significant because it would provide tangible proof of what Major General Wallace had been ordered to do. And, it is not difficult to envision the memorandum, jiggling loose from Captain Kneffler’s sword belt, and blowing away… to be beaten by heavy rain that night; ultimately washed into the Snake River, then Tennessee River… lost forever. But, paper was in short supply, always. Letters by soldiers were often written making use of every millimetre of space, including margins and borders. As likely as the memorandum being lost forever, it was just as likely noticed, clinging to trampled stubble, by some soldier… one of thousands following behind Kneffler on his horse. This soldier would have snatched it up, and possibly sent it as souvenir with his own letter, a few days later. My point: there is every chance that the Lew Wallace memorandum from Baxter still exists, contained in a box of Civil War letters and paraphernalia, and the owners have no idea what they have in their possession. But, with all the other material being revealed on a weekly basis, one day this piece of history might just surprise everyone, and re-emerge.
  18. 2 points
    [Part three of Corinth, interrupted] Grant’s operation, with HQ at Savannah was kept on the back burner: just active enough to keep Rebel commanders guessing, but not sufficiently robust to allow General Grant to take the reins pre-emptively. The first benefit to Grant from success further west was assignment of Benjamin Prentiss to command of the newly created Sixth Division (although Halleck tasked Brigadier General Prentiss with other duties enroute, delaying his ultimate arrival at Pittsburg Landing.) In addition, Grant was aware that Don Carlos Buell was marching south and west to effect a join at Savannah (but Grant was frustrated by the slow pace of the Army of the Ohio.) Still, these troop additions were approved by Halleck, and were part of the overall plan to initiate the Operation against Corinth, in the proper sequence… after Victory at Island No.10 (when another source of manpower (Pope), as well as ammunition and abundant supplies would be made available.) References: SDG topics “Just supposin’ begun 26 FEB 2018 and “Full Hospitals” begun 30 JAN 2018 for Prentiss tasks enroute to Savannah Tennessee. SDG topic “Grant’s six divisions” begun 1 DEC 2018 details growth of Pittsburg force. OR 8 pages 633 – 4 telegram (23 MAR 1862) in which Henry Halleck lays out his “Programme” for SecWar Stanton, which includes, “Pope’s progress is necessarily slow,” and, “I have directed General Grant to make no move until Buell’s column (now at Columbia) can form junction with him.” Also, Halleck asserts, “We must take Corinth in order to seriously injure Rebel communications.” [And Halleck proposes possible moves for T.W. Sherman (the other Sherman) and Benjamin Butler which “might take advantage of [Bragg’s Army] leaving Florida and Alabama.”] OR 8 page 631 communication of 21 MAR 1862 from MGen Halleck to F/O Foote: “Everything is progressing well on the Tennessee River towards opening your way down the Mississippi.” [Illustrates the “connected” nature of Halleck’s operations, and alludes to the “proper sequence” of those operations.] OR 8 page 643 telegram from Army AG Thomas to MGen Halleck of 25 MAR 1862: “BGen Thomas Davies has been assigned duty in Department of the Mississippi.” [In preparation for conduct of operations after success at Island No.10 Halleck has called for more trained general officers to assist, as part of Halleck’s program. General Thomas Davies will be assigned command of Second Division, following deaths of WHL Wallace… and C.F. Smith.] OR 8 page 649 telegram SecWar Stanton to MGen Halleck of 29 MAR 1862: “You will report without delay the strength and distribution of your command.” [Halleck’s response 30 March: “Buell 101,000 in KY and Tenn; Grant 75,000 in Tennessee; Pope 25000 at New Madrid; Curtis 23000 in Arkansas; Strong 9000 District of Cairo; Steele 6000 in Arkansas; Schofield 15000 District of St. Louis (including new regiments at Benton Barracks); Totten 4000 in Central Missouri; Loan 2000 in Northern Missouri; about 10000 men in Kansas, Nebraska and Colorado.”] And follows telegram of Halleck to Stanton of 28 MAR 1862 revealing “elevated level of sickness experienced by men on Tennessee River expedition” (and lays blame on brigade and regimental surgeons of volunteers.) One-in-three reported sick, and is of concern because Halleck intends to make use of Grant’s Army… soon. OR 8 page 660 communication MGen Halleck to F/O Andrew Foote of 5 APR 1862: “I shall want a gunboat at Cairo ready to go up the Tennessee River in the early part of next week.” [With the successful run of USS Carondelet past the guns of Island No.10 on April 4th, Halleck knows it is “a matter of days” before Pope crosses his army and forces the trapped Rebels to surrender (in rear of Island No.10).] OR 8 page 661 communication Halleck to MGen Samuel Curtis (Army of the Southwest) on April 5th 1862: “Price and Van Dorn will soon leave your front [and the great battle of the war is to be fought on the Tennessee River.]” OR 8 page 672 telegram Halleck to Stanton of 7 APR 1862: “Buell’s advance force has reached Grant; entire force will connect in two or three days” [sent before news arrived at St. Louis IRT Battle of Shiloh initiated early 6 APR 1862.] OR 8 page 676 communication of 8 APR 1862 from Assistant Secretary of War Thomas Scott to Henry Halleck, alluding to “sequence of events” after Surrender of Island No.10.
  19. 2 points
    and found in the area of this high ground were numerous springs...good water..army is fueled by coffee. unlike what was to be had in Corinth later...
  20. 2 points
    Then again, I don't know how much that time mattered. The Confederates were disorganized, thus part of the reason they stopped. Had they continued on the attack, being so disorganized, I venture that the disorganization would have caused even more ill coordinated attacks, and potentially, disaster for the Confederates, if that makes sense.
  21. 2 points
    Review of To Rescue My Native Land by Wm. T. Shepherd It is not often that letters and diaries compiled by artillerymen during the Civil War are encountered, and this collection is a gem: the “Civil War Letters of William T. Shepherd.” Native of Wisconsin, who enlisted in Chicago as Private in Taylor’s Battery B, 1st Illinois Light Artillery 16 July 1861, Private Shepherd (sometimes spelled Shepard) is a gifted, intelligent writer who sent letters to friends and family back in Illinois on a daily basis. Encountered in the many letters: · Camp life (and looking forward to letters, newspapers and parcels from home) · Details of duty (and October 1861 Skirmish at Fredericktown) in Missouri · Description of duty (and Christmas) at Bird’s Point, Missouri. Letter of 10 NOV 1861 describes participation in Battle of Belmont. Letter of 9 JAN 1862 reveals “everyone at Cairo, Fort Holt and Bird’s Point is under Marching Orders” (which everyone believes is for “somewhere down the Mississippi River…”) Instead, a feint is conducted to the east of Fort Columbus, which “confuses everyone”). Letter of 1 FEB 1862: under Marching Orders, again… 8 FEB 1862: describes “how easily their Fort Henry became ours.” 16 FEB: Letter begins “while besieging Fort Donelson” and describes previous four days of activity, and ends abruptly when orders arrive to “reposition the Battery.” (See 21 FEB letter.) 28 FEB: “Our Captain Taylor has just returned from a visit to Nashville…” 12 MAR: aboard steamer Silver Moon, going up the Tennessee River… 21 MAR: at Savannah, returning to steamer for move up river… 23 MAR letter written from Pitsburg Landing. “Arrived aboard John J. Roe. There are 75000 men at this place, and more arriving constantly…” 25 MAR: “Captain Taylor has been promoted, and Lieutenant Barrett is now in command of the Battery.” Letters of 8 APR and 14 APR 1862: aftermath of Battle of Shiloh. And more good news: Private William Shepherd (who was promoted to Sergeant Major by the end of the War) also kept a Diary… Cheers Ozzy To Rescue My Native Land: the Civil War Letters of William T. Shepherd (edited by Kurt H. Hakemer) Tennessee University Press 2005 (365 pages) is available at amazon.con and better libraries. [Limited access: https://books.google.com.au/books?id=a6HQRB6UimYC&pg=PA331&lpg=PA331&dq=israel+p.+rumsey+letter&source=bl&ots=JG_cwqaoUX&sig=dQa8blZoWwiMXVAQGfu3JkaSAHE&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiIg5yUx4nfAhUF448KHReGDdcQ6AEwBXoECAkQAQ#v=onepage&q=israel p. rumsey letter&f=false And for those able to visit Kenosha, Wisconsin: https://museums.kenosha.org/civilwar/wp-content/uploads/sites/4/2018/05/Wisconsin-Resources-for-Website.pdf Civil War letters and diaries on file
  22. 2 points
    Mona and Stan When first investigating the history of the officer in question, I encountered newspaper claims that "he had been a classmate of Henry Halleck." But, with a birth year of 1823, to have attended West Point in Halleck's Class of 1839 would have meant entering the Military Academy in 1835... when this "cadet" would have been twelve years old. Upon further investigation, numerous claims of "graduated with the Class of 1843" were uncovered: the same USMA Class as Ulysses S. Grant. As Mona points out, the Cullum Register is deficient because it only records graduates of West Point; and the term "alumnus" was used by West Point to indicate a graduate (while other universities applied the term to include students who had merely attended.) As regards "the difficulty in Missouri" leading to the removal of this officer from command, the arresting officer was Brigadier General Stephen Hurlbut. But Hurlbut was found to be "impaired" soon afterwards, and Brigadier General John Pope arrested Hurlbut (Hurlbut was sent home to Belvidere Illinois by Major General Fremont "to await orders.") And so the situation rested until November 1861, when Fremont was removed, and Henry Halleck was installed as commander, Department of the Missouri. Cheers Ozzy
  23. 2 points
    From the Civil War Diaries Collection at Auburn University comes this Shiloh battle record, compiled by L. I. Nixon of Limestone County, Alabama. Incensed by hearing of the Confederate defeats at Fort Henry and Fort Donelson, 38-year old Liberty Independence Nixon left his wife and seven children and joined Malone's Company... and on February 24th 1862 was on his way to Corinth. After a brief stay, Malone's Company of the 1st Battalion of Alabama Volunteers returned south to vicinity of Mobile Bay to gather supplies; then a return to Corinth on the M & O R.R. took place on March 4th. Camping a few days about a mile north of Corinth, Private Nixon and his fellows rode the train north to Bethel Springs (and may have heard the exchange of gunfire between Confederate soldiers and Lew Wallace's party, tasked with tearing up the railroad -- page 18.) Returning to Corinth on March 20th, Nixon indicates "they resumed the exact same camp ground, as before." And then, Private Nixon relates the story of "Beauregard's bodyguard finding a barrel of whiskey..." which led to Malone's Company being briefly assigned as bodyguard to General Beauregard. While in close proximity to Tishomingo Hotel, Private Nixon confirms "a rush" made on the hotel (also mentioned in Braxton Bragg's Letter of 20 March 1862.) Pages 24 - 27 reflect on camp life in Corinth. Page 27 records the units making up Gladden's Brigade: 1st Louisiana Infantry, 21st Alabama Infantry, 22nd Alabama, 25th Alabama, "Robisson's" Regiment of Artillery, and Nixon's unit, the 1st Battalion Alabama Volunteers commanded by Major Chaddick. Next day (March 30th) four new companies are added to the 1st Alabama Battalion -- now known as 26th Alabama Infantry Regiment. On page 28, the orders to cook three days' rations (3 April). Same day: "We left early and took up the line of march." Pages 28 - 30 recount the march north, the rain, and wagons getting mired in the mud. Page 31 records knowledge of the Picket Skirmish of April 4th (Private Nixon observed Yankee prisoners being moved south.) Pages 32 - 34 record the final approach towards the Federal camp; and about dark on April 5th Private Nixon and his fellows are sent forward on picket duty... The entire diary is only 46 pages long (and the first four pages are water-damaged from attic storage, so almost unreadable.) Fortunately, every page is transcribed at bottom: http://content.lib.auburn.edu/cdm/compoundobject/collection/civil/id/23854/rec/20 Private Nixon's Shiloh Diary.
  24. 2 points
    Liberty Independence Nixon, his findagrave page and his photograph. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/25015250/liberty-independence-nixon
  25. 2 points
    I realize it is just one regiment in a large battle, but I often wonder if A. S. Johnston knew how somewhat unorganized many of the regiments in the Army were, i.e. the 26th Alabama Infantry. The organization was not led by Maj. Chaddick, but actually by Colonel John G. Coltart of Huntsville. I have posted before the letters of Lt. Benjamin J. Gaston of the 26th Alabama. Just 3 days before the battle, Gaston was writing and stated that he did not know the "number" (regimental designation) of his unit. I have seen other historians and writers erroneously attribute the leadership of the 26th to Chaddick rather than Coltart. My his memory always shine bright, but from memory in Shiloh Bloody April, even Wiley Sword mentions Chaddick being the commander of the unit. When Gladden's men stopped in the Federal camp, well, upon renewing the attack, at that point Coltart was wounded, and Chaddick took temporary control of the unit. Coltart received a severe foot wound, but, he had it tended to behind the lines and then returned to the fight. It seems amazing to me that many men went in to that fight not knowing who their commanders were nor their regimental unit designation. It is mentioned that some units were getting ammo resupplies for six hours, aka they were disorganized. Again, I can totally see how given the facts mentioned in the first paragraph. This seems reminiscent of Bjorn's April hike, The Division That Never Was. Johnston had to have known this state of disorganization, even before the battle began, and how it would/could bring massive confusion on the field. Pictured are Colonel John G. Coltart and Lt. Col. William Davidson Chaddick, 26th Alabama Infantry. The Major of the 26th Alabama at the time of Shiloh was Andrew D. Guinn/Gwin/Gwynne (several different spellings); Gwynne was severely wounded in the arm by a shell as noted in his service records. After Shiloh, he was appointed Lt. Col. of the 38th Tennessee Infantry.
  26. 2 points
    http://www.historynet.com/a-frolic-up-the-tennessee.htm#prettyPhoto Image of Lt. Seth Ledyard Phelps, US Navy. He commanded the Tyler, Lexington, and Conestoga on their naval raid after the fall of Fort Donelson. Neat article on naval activity setting the stage for the Battle of Shiloh.
  27. 2 points
    Sat, Nov. 3 forecast for those who believe that the weatherman is capable of predicting the weather more than an hour in the future: https://www.accuweather.com/en/us/crump-tn/38327/daily-weather-forecast/2085479?day=7
  28. 2 points
  29. 2 points
    As to "The bill introduced by Senator Thurman for the relief of Col. Tom Worthington," the Columbia (TN) Herald & Mail 1878-05-03 indicated that Worthington delivered lectures as Sherman declined an inquiry. Two years later, the Chicago Tribune 1880-05-15 indicated that Worthington would get a cash payment ($962) to cover some of the period after his dismissal, but that he would get no court of inquiry from Congress. It would have been interesting if testimony had been given.
  30. 2 points
    Richard P. Derickson was a First Lieutenant in the 16th Wisconsin Infantry, Company K, at the time the Battle of Shiloh erupted. On that fateful Sunday of 6 APR 1862, he was at his duty station aboard "wharf boat" Iatan, acting in capacity of AQM for the Sixth Division (a position he had occupied since April 3rd, assigned by BGen Prentiss.) Part of Lieutenant Derickson's duties involved him creating and maintaining precise records, accounting for possession and distribution of Government stores... Kevin Getchell made use of Lieutenant Derickson's records in constructing his 2013 work, Scapegoat of Shiloh: the distortion of Lew Wallace's record by U. S. Grant. The author indicates that he "encountered the Derickson Papers at an auction, and purchased them." Exact copies of several of the documents created by LT Derickson are contained in Scapegoat of Shiloh. These records are valuable for determining activities of the embryonic Sixth Division in the days leading up to that contact in Fraley Field. Less well known: Kevin Getchell made copies of the original documents, and left those on file with Shiloh NMP https://www.jacksonsun.com/story/news/2015/04/02/shiloh-battlefield-commemorate-rd-battle-anniversary/70862666/ Jacksun Sun of 2 APR 2015.
  31. 1 point
    im going to have to answer these bit by bit..very busy dont have much time at all to research.. 1-warm in the morning which led to later showers... 2-Ohio..72nd--48th--70th 5th Oh cav 4-2-2:30pm 5-Sherman 6-Buckland 14-7 men and 1 officer Herbert of the 70th will be back..go to go check my cows that are calving.... Mona
  32. 1 point
    Well Done, Hank! Ran across the identities and shared mission of these men while searching for the remaining members of General Albert Sidney Johnston's Staff at Battle of Shiloh. All of these men claimed to be affiliated with the Confederate Los Angeles Rifles (which acted as bodyguard for the South's most promising General in June 1861 as he made his way across the desert from California to join the Confederate cause in Texas. All of the other men are acknowledged as being present at Shiloh, and their roles during the Battle are clearly recorded. But what about Alonzo Ridley? Born in Maine in 1826, and living in Massachusetts until 1849, reports of Gold drew Ridley to California. But like most of the 49ers Ridley was unlucky, and had to find another occupation. He tried his hand as Indian agent, Indian fighter, and finally became Undersheriff for Los Angeles. With the eruption of the Secession Crisis back east, Alonzo Ridley helped institute a Militia Company in California that supported the Rebel cause. The Los Angeles Mounted Rifles, created at behest of Southern supporter George Gift early in 1861 soon had Alonzo Ridley elected as Captain. The most noted service of the Los Angeles Rifles was acting as bodyguard for General Johnston, getting him safely across the desert to Texas, following which the unit disbanded. But while George Gift became an officer in the Confederate Navy, and other members found positions in the Confederate Army, it appears Alonzo Ridley remained with General Johnston, and accompanied him to Richmond. The first record of Ridley after arriving in Texas is at Bowling Green, Kentucky where “he organized a group of scouts.” [This may be coded language for “Captain Ridley organized General Johnston's bodyguard” ] because this is the role the “scouts” performed, in company with General Johnston south from Bowling Green, through Nashville, to the line of the Memphis & Charleston Railroad, and west to Corinth. At Shiloh, Captain Ridley and his band may have grown impatient with hovering near Albert Sidney Johnston; there is one report that “Ridley's Scouts had detached themselves to take part in the fight, and rode to the Tennessee River.” Unfortunately, this “detachment” may have occurred just prior to General Johnston receiving a fatal wound. No mention is made of Ridley or the Bodyguard with Beauregard's Army after the death of General Johnston: Captain Ridley next turns up in Galveston, Texas where on January 1st 1863 he is recorded as taking part in the capture of USS Harriet Lane. As Major of the 3rd Arizona Regiment, Alonzo Ridley took part in actions in Texas and Louisiana until his capture on 28 June 1863 at Fort Butler, Donaldsonville, Louisiana. He remained a prisoner at Johnson's Island, Ohio until the end of the war. After embarking on another colorful career in Mexico, Alonzo Ridley returned to the United States about 1880. He died in Tempe Arizona in 1909. References: “Major's Confederate Cavalry Brigade” [Masters Thesis of 1991] by James T. Matthews (Texas Tech University) pages 45 - 63. Confederate Agent: a discovery in History (2015) by James D. Horan. One of Morgan's Men: Memoirs of Lieutenant John M. Porter (2011) http://www.militarymuseum.org/LosAngelesMountedRifles2.html Los Angeles Rifles and Captain Ridley https://tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fri57 Alonzo Ridley after Battle of Shiloh. N.B. Alonzo Ridley is credited with creation of “Buckner's Guides” about OCT 1861 (another name for Ridley's Scouts, aka Ridley's Bodyguard).
  33. 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.
  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
    Well Done, Hank! Came across mention of this man as I was attempting to find the remaining names of men acknowledged as members of General Johnston's staff (posted in SDG “Albert Sidney Johnston's Staff.”) And you are right about The Life of General Albert Sidney Johnston: this “fearless man” is indicated as Randolph only a couple of times, and usually as “Ran.” And he experienced a unique perspective of General Johnston that would be worthwhile in tracking down (should he have sent any letters, or told his story...) It is recorded that 28 year old Randolph was manumitted by Albert Sidney Johnston in 1860 and that he then accompanied the General on the sea voyage from New York to Aspinwall, crossed the Isthmus and continued by sea to San Francisco, where General Johnston took up his last Federal post, as Commander of the Pacific Department on 15 JAN 1861. General Johnston learned of the secession of his state, Texas, by Pony Express and submitted his Letter of Resignation, dated 10 April 1861, to the War Department in Washington. And he maintained the Pacific Department, and acted in good faith to his employer, the U.S. Government, until General E. V. Sumner arrived from the east and relieved him on 25 April. (It is recorded that the Secretary of War, Simon Cameron, received the Letter from Johnston, but did not act on it until 6 May; General Johnston's resignation was accepted, and back-dated to 3 May 1861.) Due to “intelligence” received indicating Federal authorities would arrest him at Port of New York if he attempted to return east by steamer, A.S. Johnston decided to ride east from Los Angeles: the overland route, much of which was across barren wastes and desert, during the heat of Summer. Members of the Los Angeles Mounted Rifles volunteered to accompany General Johnston on his journey (and some sources record Randolph Hughes as belonging to that organization, while others indicate, “he was a civilian, driving the General's carriage and cooking his meals.” Regardless, it is obvious from letters written that General Johnston enjoyed the man's company and appreciated Ran's contribution to the success of the trek. The party of 36 men reached Texas in July and disbanded. General Johnston (and Randolph) continued on to the Confederate Capital of Richmond, arriving there early September. Johnston was assigned to command of Department No.2 and took up Headquarters at Bowling Green (now possible due Major General Polk's occupation of Columbus, Kentucky.) And it is likely that Randolph Hughes went in company with General Johnston. Colonel William Preston Johnston records that, “Ran accompanied the General to the Battlefield of Shiloh, acting as body-servant and cook.” There is no more record of Randolph, except Colonel Johnston indicates after the death of General Johnston, “Ran remained in the Confederate Army until the close of the war.” References: The Life of General Albert Sidney Johnston (especially pages 171, 248 & 279). Albert Sidney Johnston: Soldier of Three Republics by Charles P. Roland, Uni Press of KY (2001) page 242. http://www.militarymuseum.org/LosAngelesMountedRifles2.html Los Angeles Mounted Rifles.
  36. 1 point
    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
  37. 1 point
    Finally having acquired my copy of “Grant Under Fire” by Joseph Rose, it may be of value to provide a brief examination of how the Battle of Fort Donelson is presented: It was heartening to find mention of mortars and Flag-Officer Foote's desire to have those weapons available (yet Foote went ahead and attempted his assault against Fort Donelson without them.) Rose addresses the curious fact of General Grant NOT leaving an officer in temporary command when he departed the vicinity of Fort Donelson to visit a wounded Flag-Officer Foote. And McArthur's brigade, borrowed from General Smith and positioned on the Union right, is mentioned for its role in fighting a losing battle to hold back the Confederate break-out of February 15th. Otherwise, the Fort Donelson operation is faithfully and predictably described, beginning with Colonel Forrest's unsuccessful effort to slow the Federal advance; the disposition of Grant's forces in a semi-circle just west of the Confederate stronghold; the addition of Lew Wallace's brigade (increased on site to Division strength) and Wallace's dilemma in responding to McClernand's request for assistance (with General Grant absent, and no one acting as his agent.) The attempted Rebel break-out, rolled back in the afternoon due to incompetence, and Federal reinforcements. And C.F. Smith, Jacob Lauman and James Tuttle share credit for advancing against the Confederate right, breaching the outer works, rendering Rebel possession of the fort untenable (with subsequent surrender next morning.) Grant Under Fire. If acquired solely for its accurate depiction of the Fort Donelson operation, it is worth the purchase. Ozzy
  38. 1 point
    Posted Mineral Point News of 16 APR 1862 page 3.
  39. 1 point
    Annie Wittenmyer, nurse and agent for the Iowa State Sanitary Commission, arrived at Savannah Tennessee aboard a Hospital steamer at 4 a.m. on 7 April 1862. There, the medical staff and passengers aboard the steamboat were informed, "Grant has been driven to the river; he and his Army are likely to be captured today." Hearing that news, "our Hospital boat raced for Pittsburg Landing..." They arrived before sunrise, and while the overnight Navy bombardment (one shell every 15 minutes) continued, and immediately set to work: feeding wounded men, dressing their wounds, providing them with water... The entire story runs pages 28 - 35 and is one of many Shiloh memories to be found in Under the Guns: A Woman's Reminiscences of the Civil War (1895) by Annie Wittenmyer. Other interesting stories to be discovered: pages 43 - 47 "U.S. Grant and the Issue of Passes" page 128 "A Painful Accident" [Governor Harvey of Wisconsin] page 164 "Searching for the Dead" [a Mother from Pennsylvania comes to Pittsburg Landing, looking for the grave of her son...] Also included are memories of the Siege of Vicksburg (and other campaigns). And there are tales of corruption and malpractice (involving Army surgeons and Sanitary Commission stores, and how they got away with their criminal behavior); and details of Generals (such as Grant and McPherson and Logan) not to be found anywhere else. https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=osu.32435008944803;view=1up;seq=1 Annie Wittenmyer's Under the Guns.
  40. 1 point
    We took a day trip over to Shiloh on Saturday to enjoy the beautiful weather and walk around for the day, also because it's pretty much been forever since we've stopped by the park. As is customary on every visit, we have our dog, Beauregard, pose for a picture next to his namesake road over by Fraley Field. Not sure why they replaced the old Beauregard sign, even the Visitors Center couldn't really give us an explanation as to why it happened, which is fine, it was simply curiosity if anything.
  41. 1 point
    I'm really tired of all this Grant bashing on this site. If you review all the commanders at the beginning of the Civil War, you will see they all made errors as they learned and grew into their positions. Some learned, others didn't. Get rid of your anti-Grant bias and you can watch him grow into the great general he was.
  42. 1 point
  43. 1 point
    Not too far off topic... Shiloh and the Purple Heart According to wikipedia, The Purple Heart award has its origins as the “ The Badge of Military Merit” first awarded by General George Washington in 1782 (the tangible decoration a piece of purple cloth in the shape of a heart.) As result of the sacrifice and battle wounds suffered by Americans during World War One, it was believed fitting to institute a new award, to recognize combat veterans (but the discussion and proposals dragged on through the 1920s and 1930s). And before a decision was reached, and the “activation” of the Purple Heart was instituted, by Executive Order of the President of the United States, effective 22 FEB 1932 – the 200th Anniversary of George Washington’s birth… it was discovered that “the original” award had never lapsed, but been simply forgotten. Therefore, hundreds of thousands of men from past wars were potentially eligible for the updated award (during the Great Depression, at a significant cost to the U.S. Government.) Therefore, it was stipulated that “in order to receive the Purple Heart Award for service prior to 1917, the veteran claiming that award had yet to be alive.” Because of its pedigree, the Purple Heart is recognized as “the oldest American military decoration.” And because of restrictions, only a handful of Shiloh veterans ever received the Purple Heart (but all of the men wounded while fighting for the North were technically eligible for the Badge of Military Merit.) References: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Purple_Heart https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Badge_of_Military_Merit https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045462/1935-02-24/ed-1/seq-76/#date1=1932&index=1&rows=20&words=PURPLE+Purple+purple&searchType=basic&sequence=0&state=District+of+Columbia&date2=1938&proxtext=Purple+&y=11&x=13&dateFilterType=yearRange&page=1
  44. 1 point
    Explanation of Missouri Politics The other day, I found myself with a few spare minutes so decided to tackle a problem I'd been meaning to confront for some time: Missouri Politics. Along the way, the Edward Bates Diary was encountered (which is why it is here.) As everyone knows, in Missouri prior to the Civil War, politics was not about Democrat versus Whoever... but about Factions and Families, vying for power. The primary Faction prior to 1860 was also the primary Family: Benton (named for Thomas Hart Benton, a man originally from North Carolina, who moved to Missouri when it was still a territory; then served as U.S. Senator from State of Missouri for thirty years.) Ostensibly a Democrat -- a Jackson Democrat -- Benton modified his outlook and evolved his politics over time... and probably would have been a WHIG or Republican in 1860 (had he not died in 1858.) Meanwhile, the Benton Faction was the most significant force in Missouri politics. The other Democrats of Missouri belonged to the anti-Benton Faction. The rift developed in 1846 when Senator Benton decided to support the Wilmot Proviso. Other Democrats -- with Family names of Price, King, Atchison, Jackson -- remained true to the original Party Platform. The "whoevers" in 1832 were the WHIGs (which was formed as an anti-Andrew Jackson party.) In political contests in Missouri, the three-way struggle for votes tended to finish: 1) Benton Faction 2) WHIG 3) anti-Benton Faction. But odd alliances occasionally formed, that put the WHIG, or the anti-Benton candidate first across the finish line. Over time, many Families associated with the Benton Faction of the Democrat Party -- Bates, Blair -- gravitated towards the WHIG Party (Edward Bates became a WHIG.) Of those Benton-Faction Democrats that did not quite get to the WHIG Party, many joined the Republican Party when it emerged on the National scene in 1856. To further muddy the Missouri waters: Senator Benton's daughter, Jessie, met Army officer and adventurer, John C. Fremont in Washington D.C. in 1840 (the two were married in 1841.) Fremont was a member of the Democrat Party before the 1850s (and served as Senator from California 1850 - 1851, elected as a Democrat.) But, in 1856 John Fremont, 43 years old, ran as Republican candidate in the Presidential election (lost to Democrat challenger, James Buchanan.) Ever so mildly associated with Missouri Politics after 1856, the Republican Fremonts did not get on with the Republican Blairs (Frank and Montgomery.) Missouri Politics in five minutes... Ozzy
  45. 1 point
    i have yet to come up with a name..but if he was "claiming" to have graduated was he assigned a Cullum#?? later.still looking.
  46. 1 point
    Mona The other interesting inclusion is the list of defenses possessed by Corinth -- rifle pits, redoubts, abattis -- none of which were determined to be necessary for defence of Pittsburg Landing (and even actively discouraged, at least by General Sherman.) Ozzy
  47. 1 point
    We spent some time following the mach of Gladden's Brigade while on the Epic Hike of the 3rd Instant. After capturing Prentiss's camps, the brigade advanced nearly to the Hamburg-Purdy Road. Its position is marked by Tablet 383, which states "These regiments were in position here from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m, April 6, 1862 and then advanced to north side of Peach Orchard." (The regiments being the 26th, 25th, 22nd, and 21st Alabama and the 1st Louisiana). In his report, as found in the OR, BG Jones Withers, commanding the divison to which Gladden's Brigade was assigned, wrote that he came upon "Gladden's brigade, formed in square, and under the commandew of Col D. W. Adams, First Louisiana Infacntry - General Gladden having been dangerously, and, as the result unfortunately proved, mortally wounded." Daniel Weisiger Adams, in this report, wrote "at this time I received an order from General Bragg to advance with the brigade,and would have one so immediately, but found that many of the men in the command had nearly exhausted their ammunition." Dr Smith observed that halting to replenish ammunition is frequently a euphemism for being disorganized and needing to reform and noted that the brigade must have been in pretty bad shape since it "was replenishing ammunition" for six hourrs. He also wondered if the brigade was formed in a square or if its constituent regiments were so formed. I suspect the latter; while I am not a expert on Civil War drill, my hypothesis is that forming a brigade square was not a specified formation. I was hoping that LIberty Independence Nixon's diary would shed some light on what happened at Tablet 383, but unfortunately it ends with the capture of Prentiss's camps.
  48. 1 point
    I think that Lauman got a raw deal regarding Second Jackson. He had been ordered the day before IIRC to keep abreast of the division on his left. He, and many of his supporters, claim that he was following orders when the unfortunate incident occurred. Ord, Sherman, and Grant had him immediately releieved and given no chance to obtain justice through a court of inquiry. Their hurry to get Lauman out and keep this quiet indicates that Lauman was more of a scapegoat than a guilty party.
  49. 1 point
    It's strange that, after Grant's first three battles, he didn't submit one comprehensive official report. After Belmont, Grant provided minimal information about the battle, and even his falsified second report years later failed to expand on what happened (although he did slag Buford inappropriately because he had changed his opinion of that officer). After Donelson, his report was ridiculously short; the battle of the 15th takes a paragraph and a half; and it was written before other sub-reports reached him. After Shiloh, he excused his failure to submit an official report because he didn't receive any from Buell, although he had confirmed that Buell exercised an independent command. The obfuscations in Grant's report concerning Lew Wallace at Shiloh were just the beginning of his scapegoating that officer. And at this next battle, Iuka, Grant wasn't on the field, but he submitted two reports (which contradicted each other, because he had changed his opinion of Rosecrans).
  50. 1 point
    Brother of Mine. The Civil War Letters of Thomas & William Christie edited by Hampton Smith. This is an excellent book that not only has Tom's letters but his brother Bill as well. Lots of background context as well. A few years ago I based my anniversary walking/driving tours on following the activities of the 1st Minn., Munch's Battery, through the battle of Corinth. The Minnesota Historical society sent me a few newspaper articles written by Tom Christie and one included this which took place on October 3 on the Memphis Road : " A funny thing took place here. The German Captain of a Missouri battery [Capt. Henry Richardson] brought up his fine 20-pound Parrotts, and took position near us. A drink or two of 'commissary' had filled him with something more than 'Dutch courage:' he pranced back and forth on his horse shouting: 'Vere are dose tam rebels? Vere are dey?' Our Lieutenant (now Maj. Clayton of Bangor, Me.) who had charge of us all the way from Chewalla, said to him: 'There they are, Captain, coming up thru that hollow; you had better turn your guns in that direction and give them canister.' Unfortunatly, Clayton had been promoted only recently, and so was wearing the chevrons of an Orderly Sergeant. Also, he was black with powder smoke. The Captain glared at him. 'Go pack to your gun, sir! I don't take orders from a tam Sergeant!'" This little gem is found in the National Tribune, November 26, 1914. Tom
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