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Everything posted by Rebel

  1. I want to thank Perry for getting these reports typed in here and also the visual aids.. Those are great.. Without him I would never have gotten these reports posted and forget the visuals.. Mona, Bjorn, and anyone else that was on the hikes jump in here any time.. I have had a tougher time with the reports this year than I have in the past.. That is especially true of the one about McDowell and the 40th Illinois.. Though I totally understood what was going on during the hike getting it on paper has been a bit of a challenge.. Not sure I done it adequately.. Maybe it is because these were subjects we had not studied or read about as much in the past.. For example until Bjorn's hike I never knew where the Owl Creek Bridge was at.. These reports are not perfect so give me all the help you can Your Obedient Servant Rebel
  2. Hello from Marion Illinois... Glad to have you on the board.. I plan to attend the hikes on the 6th and 7th.. Going to leave here late afternoon of the 5th if you are interested in carpooling down let me know..
  3. I just checked the time on that last post... The clock is not wrong :shock:
  4. Man, either the clock is off on this thing or you think of some rather strange things at 3am in the morning...
  5. I have stayed at the Pickwick Inn the last couple of times I have been to the park.. Last year I think it was $65 a night.. Really nice digs.. Got a restaurant there.. Buffet was pretty good.. I think those rates were off season rates.. I recommend it..
  6. Rebel

    100 MEMBERS!

    ok..let me take a look.. anybody else game?? if toss out a date.. I can go pretty much any time
  7. Rebel

    100 MEMBERS!

    What i was proposing was a trip in addition to the anniversary hikes in April
  8. Rebel

    100 MEMBERS!

    I personally could be persuaded to make a trip to Shiloh between now and the end of January if we had some smart folks in the group that would be willing to lead a hike..
  9. I have Steve's email address should anyone need it...
  10. This is a very interesting conversation... What is being presented here totally goes against the grain of what I had always thought.. That was that the burial trenches dated back to the first few days after the battle.. Now, I need someone to help me out here.. If I remember correctly are not the park historians using the presence or absence of rebel burial trenches to determine the ferocity of the fighting in that area?? For example, three trenches are within rock throwing distance of the Shiloh Church.. Well, actually four if you count the one on the back side of Rhea Field.. According to the theory this proves there was fierce fighting in that area... Part of the argument against the Hornet's Nest fighting being the most severe on the field was the absence of known rebel burial trenches in the vicinity of the nest.. Now, the way I understand this thread is that these trenches were not dug until after the war and populated with bones and and other items found in the original graves.. If this is the case does this not blow the theory regarding the presence of burial trenches=Fierce fighting out of the water?? Seems to me like it does not only do that but blows it completely up on the bank.. As morbid as it sounds if you are simply riding around throwing bones in a wagon and when you get a load haul it to a burial trench somewhere you could be gathering up bones all over the field.. The nearest trench where you decide to deposit the load could be determined by where the nearest bale of hay is to feed the horses.. The location of the burial trenches means absolutely nothing in the historical context of the battle.. Have I got the gist of this thread or am I missing something here?? Your Servant Rebel PS.. I have read and always thought that the rebel burial trench just north of the Crossroads was the largest trench and the one that contained about 700 bodies.. There are two almost side by side in this area.. I am talking about the one closest to the church.. This is also the one that is interpreted.. The sign shows a drawing of large ditch with bodies piled in it.. If this thread is correct that drawing is not correct..
  11. Well, it was my thought that the current rebel mass graves were dug right after the battle.. There are as many as 6 more that may be out there that cannot be found.. I knew the federals were buried in mass graves and moved after the war.. I thought the Rebels were put in the mass graves on the 8th, 9th and 10th and left where they were.. Rebel
  12. I have been following this thread with a lot of interest.. It is a very good discussion.. For the record you can still see the location of many of the mass union graves in the park.. There is a marker identifying the location of the 9th Illinois (for example).. Nearby you can see an sunken spot in the ground where the grave was.. I always found that a little disconcerting.. Now, I need a point of clarification.. The way I am reading all of this is that the CSA burial trenches were dug several years after the battle?? Is that correct?? It was my understanding that these trenches were dug within the next couple of days after the battle.. and were several feet deep before the bodies were placed in it.. In fact, the ground penetrating radar that was used on one of the trenches several years ago showed the bodies starting about three feet down.. Am I mistaken in all of this?? Your Confused Servant Rebel
  13. You spoke volumes with the statement of a great site getting better because of it's members.. I was one of the first ones on here and I never imagined that the board would get so good and informative..
  14. I would like to take a moment to weigh in on the Prentiss issue. Last year at the beginning of one of the battlefield hikes an individual called Mr Prentiss a "fraud". I felt this statement was totally unnecessary and it really set my teeth on edge.. During the past ten or fifteen years research had been done that pretty much concludes that the Nest probably did not play the pivotal role in the battle that had been believed for the past 125 years.. However, does this new information make Prentiss, Reed and all the rest liars and frauds?? To answer this question I think we need to look at the battle through their eyes.. Those troops were lined up on a dirt road in the middle of a thicket.. Mr Grant ordered them to hold the ground at all hazards. In attempting to do so they held off seven confederate attacks and endured a bombardment that must have sounded like Armageddon. When they surrendered at Cloud Field practically half of the Confederate Army was in the vicinity. Meanwhile Grant, Sherman and all the rest were huddled near the landing.. They were the last ones standing. They had done what Grant had asked them to do.. All available evidence pointed to fact that they had held up the attack.. They knew full well that after their surrender it was too late for the Confederates to mount an attack at the landing.. They learned what happened the next day.. In their minds they bought Grant the time for Buell to come up and the Union to prevail on April 7th. All of this was without a doubt reinforced over and over.. As an earlier post pointed out Prentiss was hailed "The Hero of Shiloh" by Halleck. It is my understanding that this would have to be a lot like being anointed by God. Of course, in the last few years evidence has pointed to the fact that a lot of folks worked to save Grant's bacon that day.. If Stuart had not done what he done in the ravines, Sherman at the Crossroads, or Prentiss in the center Mr Grant would likely not enjoy the fame he has today.. Does this new evidence suggest fraud? My definition of fraud includes deliberate deceit and trickery. Not sure that happened in this case.. I think Prentiss, Reed, et al were mistaken. They took credit for something they believed to be true. All evidence pointed to the fact that it was true.. In fact, it was a belief that was held by practically everyone for 130 years.. For modern historians to embark on character assasinations like this one that appears to be leveled against Mr Prentiss is just plain wrong. Your Obedient Servant Rebel
  15. We met Bjorn at Tour Stop 14 near Bloody Pond. It was a very chilly morning with a fairly stiff wind blowing. Like many in the group for the first half of the hike I was trying to do a balancing act between finding a sunny spot, a windbreak and being able to hear Bjorn's presentation. A task that ultimately proved near impossible. Bjorn started the hike by briefly discussing the history of the artillery. I did not realize that the artillery was a specialized branch of the service and artillery men were considered specialists. As we all know, on the night of April 6 & 7 the Union army was heavily reinforced. On the morning of April 7th the goal of both Grant and Buell was to find the enemy and attack. The confederate forces on the other hand had done very little to resupply or consolidate the gains of April 6th. In fact, only Preston Pond and elements of Forrest's Calvary remained in close contact with the enemy during the night of April 6 & 7. The attack of the next morning could hardly be described as a steamroller or juggernaught. Neither Grant or Buell was in any mood for a repeat of the debacle of the day before. As a result great care was taken to insure all elements of the army remain connected as the battle line stretched across the field. Consequently, the line moved in fits and starts as troops were brought up to fill gaps in the widening line. Also, some units had to wait until slower units caught up. Until their arrival in Wicker Field Buell's troops had encountered light resistance. At the south end of Wicker Field resistance increased considerably. Confederate artillery was wreaking a good bit of havoc on the Union troops. Since at this point Buell had no artillery this threatened to stall the Union advance in this sector. As you may recall Buell sent his infantry ahead of the artillery to get as many men to the field as fast as possible. All of this changed with the arrival of Terrill's Battery at the landing around 9am. Battery H consisted of four 12 pound Napoleon and two 10 pound Parrot Rifles. An hour later they arrived at the front near Bloody Pond ready to fight. Within two minutes the artillerymen had unlimbered their weapons and began firing. Their second shot hit a rebel caisson causing a spectacular explosion With artillery support the Union troops could advance. The fighting became very intense near the Peach Orchard. East of the Peach Orchard Terrill's Battery was dueling over the heads of their own troops with two confederate batteries on the Hamburg Purdy Road. Near the ravine where the 9th Illinois had met their demise the day before skirmishers from the 6th Ohio were meeting considerable resistance from Confederates within that ravine. To change this situation and get the line moving again Captain Terrill limbered up his battery and took it to the skirmish line. Here he began blasting the confederates in the ravine with canister. Needless to say this tactic, though effective, was not standard artillery procedure. Since they were on the skirmish line casualties among the artillerymen began to mount. When the rebels began to counterattack the Union skirmishers began to retreat leaving the guns alone. To his credit Captain Terrill did not panic. He sent back all guns with the exception of two Napoleons. To help every one get back safely he used a tactic called "Retreat by Prolong". He actually tied the guns to the caisson by a large rope. The horses pulled the caisson and cannon back toward the Union lines at a walk. As they went Captain Terrill serviced one weapon by himself. A sergeant and a couple of other men fired the other. Using double canister these two guns effectively acted as their own skirmish line. Shortly after their safe arrival back at the Union lines more artillery began to arrive. The fighting became chaotic and bloody. The lines of the opposing forces became very fluid. Gradually, the confederates were pushed back through the Mule Lot ravine. By this point the confederate retreat had begun. The battle was effectively over. After the battle everyone began singing the praises of Captain Terrill and his men. The battery had served with distinction and was described in one report as "A Host Among Themselves" Because of his actions Rufus Terrill received the appointment as a Brigadier General of Volunteers in the Union Army. This was a promotion he did not seek or necessarily wanted. He would have preferred to remain a Captain in the regular army and stay with his command. However, as Bjorn pointed out, when the President of the United States appoints you a Brigadier General it is something you do not refuse. General Terrill's career came to an end when he was killed at the Battle of Perryville while trying to rally his brigade in the face of a confederate attack. The Terrill family suffered heavily during the war.. Terrill's younger brother James was killed in action at Bethesda Church. Another brother, Phillip was killed near Winchester VA. Both of these brothers served with the Confederate Army. Terrill's father and another brother also fought for the south and survived the war.. At this time we returned to the area near the 9th Illinois Monument. One of the cannons near this point is an actual "witness tube'. In other words this tube actually fought at Shiloh at the very place where it is now displayed. Respectively Submitted Rebel
  16. This is a rather interesting discussion.. But, first we need to determine what the speed of that steamboat going downstream was.. I would be a bit surprised if it was much more than 10mph... Then you have to take into account the time it takes to undock at Pittsburg and dock at Crumps.. Granted, not long but you are counting minutes here.. Then he road a horse 2.5 miles to Stoney Lonesome.. There are people on here that are more qualified to answer these questions than I am but these are thoughts..
  17. The storm I was talking about actually happened a week ago yesterday.. Really kicked our keister.. Damage was hard to fathom.. A few areas still without power.. But they are small.. A hard week... In regard to the Picket post.. I am not sure exactly where they come from.. However, there was another picket post just through the woods in Rhea Field.. That is the one that heard the bantering.. the two posts did not know each other were there.. The post in Rhea Field was the one that raised the alarm with Appler.. This is how I remember the story.. I think this serves to show how important Peabody's patrol really was..When you refer to your map that picket post is not really that far from Prentiss's camps.. If this was the farthest out picket post this means that this bridge would have been the first point of contact .. Our boys in gray would have been all over the federals before the first shot was fired around 0630... Instead the third line of defense was near this point I think around 0830..By then a lot of heck had been raised and the federal camps were on the move.. The rest is history... By the way, I really like your little picture posting tactic.. I have not had a chance to do it yet.. But, it is cool.. Keep up the good work Your Obedient Servant Rebel
  18. I have been really out of pocket the past week.. Real bad storms hit our area and wreaked havoc.. We did not get power back until yesterday afternoon .. So naturally I have not been following the discussions.. I do however think I have the answer to the picket/patrol question.. The year that I went on the early morning hike.. Probably 2006.. Bjorn was leading the Union advance... On the road we stopped at that little white bridge.. I think marker 217 is nearby.. Anyway Bjorn stated that right there was where the farthest Union picket was located.. The patrol stopped there and talked with the picket troops.. Their conversations was heard by Shermans Pickets in Rhea Field.. Those pickets thought they were Confederate troops.. This served to cause further consternation with Mr Appler.. This is the way I remembered it.. Could be wrong.. May want to ask Bjorn about it.. Your Servant Rebel
  19. Sharon: When you are copying these pictures are you scanning them and coming up with a bunch of dots??
  20. If I would have to bet I would think the picture was embellished just a bit.. That looks like one of those wildfires you see in California.. But, while we are on the subject.. There was a fire here that obviously reeked some havoc.. A lot of the Ninth Illinois was burned in a fire in that ravine.. There was at least one other fire but I cannot remember where.. Anyway, how did these fairly large blazes get going like that?? I thought it rained the night of the fourth.. Even before the rain that night I thought the ground was fairly wet. I would have thought that things would have been too damp to support a very large fire..
  21. Can I make a suggestion?? There is a lot of speculation about the severity of the fight using body count as a guide.. I feel this can be fairly significant.. Problem is from the CSA side you have little idea how many men were killed or where.. This is not the case with the Union.. The monuments in most cases, tell you exactly how many men were killed and wounded in those regiments.. Also, where they fought is fairly well documented from the same source.. Could this not be used as a guide to work through what you are trying to prove?? Though not exact, the number of killed and wounded on each side should be somewhat proportional between different sites on the field.. After all the Rebels were doing most of the attacking on Day 1. If you see higher Union Casualties per unit on the Union left than you did in the Union center would not the fighting have to be more severe here?? Taken across the battlefield as a whole could you not extrapolate where the fighting was most severe?? Not perfect but statistically a pretty good indicator... The exact wording on the monuments can be found on the NPS website.. I think this would be a great exercise for you guys.. you being the key word here Your Servant Rebel
  22. I would very much like to walk the field with you.. I am sure you can show me things about the battlefield that I never even imagine existed.... I am planning a return trip in early winter.. November or December more than likely.. In regards to the lack of burial trenches in and around the Hornet's Nest.. I have been really thinking hard about that subject.. I would like to toss this idea out for discussion.. First, there is a burial trench just north of Cloud Field. During the hikes Bjorn stated that there was another one within a few hundred yards of the field hospital.. I took it that this was the hospital near where Stuarts camps were at.. Apparently, they have some documentation that one existed there.. However, nobody knows the exact location.. With this being said, I thought about what Jeff said about the Hornets Nest at the time of the battle.. It was a lot of brush, vines and trees... Some of it was so thick that when the soldiers were killed they did not fall to the ground.. The brush and vines held them up... Without a doubt, digging through all of the roots associated with a tangle like that would have been a heck of a job.. Also, those roots would have extended down several feet.. Would it not have been easier to toss the dead in a wagon and take them to the Cloud Field trench?? While we are on this subject I guess I am going to show my ignorance and ask your opinion as to why the trench near Cloud Field is even there in the first place.. If I understand this battle correctly most of the fighting and Confederate casualties took place well to the south.. In the vicinity of the Hornets Nest...or to the northeast where Mr Pond was mauled pretty bad.. Which leads me to believe those men were transported in from someplace else... This is an interesting discussion.. Wish some way we could get a close idea on where these things were at... Would drag out my grave finding rods and go to Shiloh.. Your Servant Rebel
  23. I do not recall ever hearing of an individual Union grave site that is still visible. Many of the Union mass grave sites are still visible.. Can you tell me where a couple of the individual graves are at? I would like to check them out the next time I go to Shiloh While we are on that subject.. Regarding the 55th Illinois.. I read or heard someplace that because of the rugged nature of the terrain that these men were laid in the bottom of a steep ravine then the dirt from the hill above was simply pushed in on top of them.. Has anyone else heard of this?? When I was there in April I checked it out and from the looks of the burial site this is plausible.. If this is correct it does not appear the Union gave much more reverance to their dead than they did the Confederates... I will have another hike report done late this evening.. Rebel
  24. Just wanted to mention that the 6th Iowa Burial Ground is right next to the Confederate Burial Trench between Woolf Field and Jones Field. At the end of one of the last hikes this year Bjorn mentioned that when the Union troops were removed to the cemetery after the war that troops were used to locate the graves.. They lined up shoulder to shoulder and traversed the battlefield. They marked any spots that looked like graves for further investigation.. When a body was found in a grave there was a major attempt to identify whether the soldier was Union or Confederate. If it was Union there was an attempt to identify the individual body.. The former identification could be made by color of the uniform remnants or items like buttons etc.. The latter was made by individual items that may be found on the body.. These included an early form of dog tag that was provided by some organization.. I was not on this hike and walked up on it after the hike on the Confederate retreat. This is about where I joined the hike and do not know what led up to this conversation.. Maybe Bjorn could add some insight to this.. I guess my question is when this search occurred what did they do with the Confederate bodies that they found?? Did they leave them on the battlefield or remove them to some other location?? Was there very many individual graves or were most of the Union men in mass graves?? If I am not mistaken Bjorn said that this search happened in 1866. That would have been four years after the battle.. It is pretty much a given that most men both Union and Confederate were buried in mass graves after the battle.. This was done quickly because of the weather.. I read someplace that Beauregard made a request to Grant within a few days of the battle to allow the Southern folks to come onto the field to identify and bury their relatives.. Grant sent back a message saying that all the dead had been buried.. With all this in mind would it not make sense than if the search found individual confederate graves that this would indicate a burial at the time of the battle? Mass grave internment would indicate a post battle burial. It would make little sense in the days after the battle for the Union men to dig up a confederate in an individual grave and rebury them in a mass grave.. From my reading I have never heard of a confederate being found when the Union bodies were moved to the cemetery.. I don't doubt there were some.. I have never heard of them.. I have heard of hogs digging up graves but I suspect that a lot of them were Union mass graves.. from what i have seen at some of these sites that not a lot of care was given when burying the Union troops either.. Finally, Grant wrote in his memoirs that he came upon a field where the bodies were so thick that someone could walk across the field stepping on the bodies and never touch the ground.. According to Bjorn this was Woolf Field.. On the night of April 6th the confederates had control of this area.. There was a road that led away from there to Cornith. If they were going to remove the dead from anywhere why did they not do it here but instead fish them out of the tangle of the Hornets Nest?? Considering the condition of each army. The fact that the Confederates moved well away from the Hornets Nest that night, the condition of the field that night and the early Union attack the next day along with some of the points made above my thought is that few dead Confederates were buried by their counterparts on the night of April 6th. Practically all were buried by the Union in mass graves in the days after the battle Your Servant Rebel
  25. My assignment and duty here was to report on the battlefield hikes and to do it as accurately as I possibly can. My report posted above is my attempt to do exactly that. With that being said, I have one problem. I do not remember the fighting in Spain Field happening as I described above. I questioned Dr Gentsch about it and the answer I got was again the description that I have reported.. When I got home I checked some of my material and still do not like this scenario.. But, my duty was to report. Not interpret.. To avoid polluting everyone's line of thinking I am not going to divulge what I think happened.. (I am going to send my thoughts to Perry in a private email.. Just so he can keep me honest ) However, I would like to hear what your thoughts on what happened in Spain Field.. Trying to get a consensus ... Respectfully Rebel
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