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WI16thJim

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Everything posted by WI16thJim

  1. The following are extracts from Steven E. Woodworth’s Nothing But Victory The Army of the Tennessee 1861-1865 pages 140-202. “We have a very pretty place to camp,” wrote Lt. John Puterbaugh to his wife back in Salem, Illinois. “All the camps were beautiful,” recalled an Illinois soldier, “convenient and healthy, with wood, water and parade ground close at hand. The scenery abounded in deep ravines, sparkling waters, rugged bluffs and beautiful foliage.” “It is a great sight to pass through the camp and see the men drilling,” wrote Capt. Luther Cowan of the 45th Illinois, “for we are all drilling as much as possible, expecting a big fight and wishing to be prepared.” “Playing ball was all the rage today,” wrote Lt. Douglas Hapeman of the 11th Illinois in his diary for March 26. Pvt. Lucius “Lute” Barber of the 15th Illinois summed up the soldiers’ circumstances as March gave way to April. “The weather was delightful,” Barber wrote. “Spring had just begun to open and the grand old forest was putting on its leafy covering. Our mail came regularly and we were happy as mortals could be under the circumstances.” When James Oates returned from sick leave on April 3, his friends told him “that there was picket fighting at the front and that a general engagement would soon take place. “Times are getting pretty exciting just now,” wrote Pvt. Christian Zook that morning (Sat., April 5) to his friends back in Fairfield County, Ohio, “and maybe we will meet with a big battle in a short time, how soon no one can tell, may be to day, or to night.” Along the picket line in front of Sherman’s division that evening, “as far as the eye could reach,” Sergeant Gordon and his comrades could see “through the open woods in our front… hundreds of (camp) fires.” Gordon tried to count them but gave up. There were too many. Just before the sun rose, Capt. James Day of the 15th Iowa took a leisurely stroll to the top of the bluff. “It was a most invigorating, peaceful, quiet Sabbath morning,” recalled Day. “Not a sound fell upon the ear.” He walked back to the river and was startled to notice sudden activity by officers and men at the top of the bluff. Scrambling back up, Day was shocked. “The transformation which a few fleeting minutes had wrought surpasses all powers of description.” The roar of battle somewhere to the front was unmistakable. “All Tophet seemed let loose,” wrote Day. Fighting raged all along Prentiss’s line, “We opened fire on them and you should have seen the cusses fall,” exulted Henry Culbertson of the 16th Wisconsin, “but at the same time many of our poor fellows fell.” “The sun was just rising in their front,” wrote a Union soldier near Shiloh Church, “and the glittering of their arms and equipment made a gorgeous spectacle.” The regiments (of the Sixth Division) were already losing their organization, however. T.W. Baird recalled that his regiment “was scattered like chaff by the next attack of the rebels.” As George Graves of the 16th Wisconsin explained it, “By that time everybody was running, and the rebels were coming down through our camp, so I ran too.” Behind the retreating Federals came shouted Confederate taunts: “Bull Run, Bull Run,” “Get up there, you d----- Yankee S--s of B-----s, and fight like men.” At approximately 10:00 a.m., the first major Confederate attack struck the combined Wallace-Prentiss-Hurlbut position. The 31st Indiana, lying prone in the Sunken Road, rose up and poured a volley into their faces. Next in line, the 44th Indiana kept up a steady rhythm of fire. “We lay on the ground to load, raised, and fired,” wrote George Squier. He found that now he “felt as cool and composed as if sitting down for a chat or shooting squirrells,” even though “the bullets whistled over our heads, shells bursting all around us, balls whizzing past, tearing trees.” All four of Marsh’s regiments were soon fighting for their lives. “Never, never in my life have I seen… such a death struggle,” recalled Capt. Lloyd Waddell of the 11th Illinois. Next to the 11th fought the 20th Illinois: “We could not see them as they crouched down behind a rise of ground, while we were entirely exposed and within easy range of their guns,” wrote Sgt. Ira Blanchard. “We gave them the best we had for half an hour, but their fire was telling fearful on our ranks, so much so, we had to load on our backs and fire on our knees to keep from being killed, so our fire was not so rapid.” Sergeant Boggs of the 3rd Iowa thought the order to retreat came “just in time to save our bacon. It was every man for himself.” “I thought I was a gone goose, but I had good faith in my running qualities, and said to myself, here it goes. With musket in hand, and my neck stretched out like a sand hill (crane), I started through a heavy cross fire from the rebel musketry. At every jump I thought it would be my last. I could see men fall all around me.” It was the sight of the heavy guns on the ridge above the landing that finally brought Hurlbut’s fleeing division to halt its stampede. Lieutenant Benner had about given up on the army’s chances of survival. “Our men were panic-stricken--the enemy flushed with victory were in hot pursuit--the river in front of us, and nothing appeared to remain to us at that time but an ignominious surrender.” At the sight of the big guns, however, “a new courage was inspired, and our men commenced rallying to support this battery.” Pvt. Edward Roe felt full of fight and believed his comrades did too. “It was worth several years of common life to feel as we did then,” he recalled. “I cannot explain my feelings, and I know that we all felt alike” in sharing a determination to avenge the deaths of fallen comrades. “That night, on the shore of the Tennessee River, was one to be remembered,” wrote John Cockerill. “The rain came down in torrents,” recalled Pvt. Lloyd Jones of the 16th Wisconsin. “I never saw it rain as it did that night. It literally poured.” John Hunt of the 40th Illinois sat down with his back to a tree, and as he fell asleep, his head lolled backward against the trunk. “When I awoke,” he later recalled, “the water was pouring down through that treetop in great streams into my upturned face.” He added, “I never came so near drowning in my life on what may figuratively be termed dry ground.” “We were hungry, wet, and miserable,” wrote William Wade of the 11th Iowa. “We heard many gruesome noises that night, “recalled John Hunt. The most striking sounds were those of the heavy cannon aboard Tyler an Lexington. “I was aroused every now and then by what appeared to be a tremendous flash of lightning,” John Cockerill wrote, “followed by the most awful thunder ever heard on the face of the earth. These discharges seemed to lift me four or five inches from my water- soaked couch (hay bale).” “I will never forget the cries of distress of the wounded who lay on the battlefield that night,” wrote Smith of the 17th Illinois. “They called for mother, sister, wife, sweetheart, but the most piteous plea was for water (until the rains started).” Cockerill could also hear the almost constant sound of Buell’s troops marching up the road from the landing. “By this time the road was churned into mud knee-deep,” he recalled. “Regiment after regiment went by with that peculiar slosh, slosh of men marching in mud, and the rattling of canteens against bayonet scabbards, so familiar to the ear of the soldier.” Whatever the day might portend, no one seemed sorry to see it come. “Action of some kind, even if it took us into the very hell of battle,” wrote John Hunt, “was preferable to standing in the impenetrable darkness, in the steady downpour of rain, sleepy, hungry and tired.” On the whole, the battle of the second day did not match the sustained ferocity of the day before. Col. James Veatch, who participated in both days’ fighting, wrote of the second day, “There were sudden bursts of battle as furious and intense as any that occurred on the first day, but they were less frequent, and of short duration.” As the Rebels fled, Grant’s men cheered. “Such shouting as went up from our lines-I now felt proud-yesterday’s gloom was removed,” wrote Lt. D.J. Benner of Hurlbut’s staff. “I could have torn my shirt from my back or got drunk, I did not know which. No one can imagine one’s feelings under such circumstances.” They had left home hoping to “see the elephant,” to experience the great adventure of battle. Shiloh was an awakening for these young men. “I came off without a scratch and I am sure I don’t know why it was for I stood as good a chance as any of them to get hurt,” wrote James Newton of the 14th Wisconsin in a letter home a few days after the battle. “I guess all of the Co(many) are perfectly satisfied as to what war is & they would be willing to have the war brought to an end so they could be discharged and sent home.” “I remember writing to my mother that I had seen the ‘elephant’ and had no curiosity to further cultivate his acquaintance,” Hunt wrote after the war. “I am sure I reflect the sentiment of the entire army when I say that we would now have been glad if the conflict could have been ended with this great struggle, and peace and unity restored to our suffering county, and were as equally determined to suffer on, struggle and fight on until this much desired end was accomplished.” Jim
  2. WI16thJim

    New board

    Perry, I thought that was you sitting at that keyboard! Jim
  3. WI16thJim

    New board

    Good job on the new site, Perry. Now perhaps you can relax and enjoy the fruits of all your labors. Jim
  4. WI16thJim

    Wiley Sword

    Sword places Johnston just behind Statham's & Bowen's Brigades directing the attack on McArthur. He has Johnston behind the 9th Arkansas, across the Hamburg-Savannah Road from the peach orchard. Jim
  5. WI16thJim

    Wiley Sword

    1st I have to mention that I am only at the point of the battle where Sherman is being attacked around 8 AM in the book, so if Sword writes about the death site later in the main book, I haven't reached it yet. He does have 2 appendixes (A & where he presents his arguements. He states the site was wrongly situated due to Gov. Isham G. Harris's faulty memory when he returned to Shiloh for the 1st time in 1896. Sword points out some differences in Harris' after battle report and his 1896 recollections, including the large oak tree never being mentioned until the later date. He then goes on to talk about using Johnston's Chief of Staff's, Col. William Preston, long overlooked maps drawn during the battle to locate what he believes to be the proper site. He believes the site to be about 400 yards north of where Harris placed it. He writes of following the maps in 1999. He follows a stream, north of the designated death site, eastward past the 9th IL marker to a another creek, which he followed northwestward, past the 12th IL marker, to a ravine. The map indicated that this was the death site, with the place where Johnston was wounded being in front of him up a hill. Two other things I found of interest. Sword writes about finding the new site: "Although this discovery was of limited overall importance in that it changes little about the battle, it was a profound moment." I think this backs up what Perry says about Sword's interest being on the historical side. He also presents evidence to suggest that Johnston may actually have been shot by one of his own men, which I had never heard before. Jim
  6. WI16thJim

    Wiley Sword

    I bought the new edition, but while it is published by Morningside, I bought at at a much lower price at Amazon.com. Jim
  7. Has anybody considered the possibility that the flock of raging bulls landed on said gun, causing its axle to break and wheels to angle in? I would be very careful walking around in an area of such danger! Jim
  8. WI16thJim

    Mystery Gun

    Ron,well, as a person who enjoys feeding the birds, I have some problems with their droppings when they flock together. I sure hope I never see the problems your flock would cause! I think I'd rather be shot at by a reb! Jim
  9. WI16thJim

    Mystery Gun

    Ron, I'm from Wisconsin cow country, and in all my days, I've never seen, or even heard of, a "flock of raging bulls." A herd, maybe, but a flock? Jim
  10. Hello Gordhamer. Good to have another from the great white north here on the board. My Grandfather was with the WI 16th @ Shiloh. He also came down with sickness and came close to death. They actually sent him home to die after Shiloh, but he recovered and returned in time to fight at the 2nd battle of Corinth. He was at Vicksburg also. You should be warned that the members of this board are very knowledgable on Shiloh. I've found myself rereading the Official Records and now I'm reading Wiley Sword's Shiloh: Bloody April just to keep up. I don't remember studying this hard in college, nor enjoying it as much. Jim
  11. WI16thJim

    Artillery Units

    Joseph, Sword writes in "Shiloh: Bloody April", on page 364: "Throughout the afternoon the heavy siege guns had stood poised to protect the vital Corinth road corridor to the Landing. Colonel Webster, who arranged their deployment, had foreseen the need for a last line of defense should the reverses of the day continue. He had utilized the five large cannon as the backbone of his line. All were Model 1839 24-pounder siege and garrison guns mounted on heavy carriages, weighing nearly three tons each. The men had given appropriate names to the guns, including "Abe Lincoln" and "Dick Yates." When the great guns opened against Chalmers and Jackson about 5:30 P.M., the ground shook violently." (The powers that be must think Yates 1st name is an obscenity, as it won't let me edit it to what it is)
  12. Here is what E.B. Quiner writes of the16th at Shiloh in his book The Military History of Wisconsin in the War for the Union: After Captain Saxe and Sergeant Williams of Co. A were killed going to the aid of two companies of the Missouri 21st attacked on picket duty, the regiment formed about 40 rods in front of their camp. When the Union line on the right was broken Colonel Allen ordered the regiment to change front on the 10th company, in order to face the enemy in his new position. The order was executed with the greatest coolness and precision, in an open field, and under a galling fire. The regiment fell back, contesting every inch of ground, and formed in front of their camp and held the enemy in check. Here Lt. Col. Cassius Fairchild was severely wounded in the thigh and had to leave the field. The regiment again fell back, fighting, until they were relieved by another line. About 11 o'clock, the regiment moved back for a fresh supply of ammunition, and was reformed at about 2 o'clock near a log house on the road to the landing, and again went into action. Here Col. Allen was wounded in the left arm about 3 o'clock and left the field. Major Reynolds took command and moved it to a position on the right, where it remained until dark. On the 7th, the regiment under Major Reynolds, occupied several different positions along the line, wherever the exigencies of the occasion seemed to require it, but not very actively engaged. Jim
  13. This is the information I've been able to piece together from various sources. After fighting back through their camp, the enemy tried to flank them on the right. the 16th turned to face them, causing them to be divided from the rest of the Division. They fought through the morning, slowly falling back, until they ran out of ammo. They fell back behind Union lines and were resupplied. At about 3PM, they relieved the 44th Indiana so that Regiment could resupply. All I've found on where they spent the night was that they slept on their arms, suffering greatly in the rain. The next day they were not in action. The 16th received quite a beating @ Shiloh, especially considering they had just arrived from Wisconsin, and all of this was new to them.
  14. I have always been impressed at how tough the men who fought the Civil War were. My Grandfather got deathly ill after Shiloh. He was sent home to recover (he states in a pension filing they sent him home to die). Yet he recovered and was able to return in time for the 2nd battle of Corinth. He had nothing on Col. David Moore of the 21st MO though. Early on the first morning at Shiloh, Gen. Peabody sent Col. Moore out with 1/2 his regiment to find out what was going on. Moore met up with the beginning of the rebel attack. As he was fighting his way back, his lower leg was shattered, causing him to leave the field of battle. He returned in time for the 2nd battle of Corinth, only to have his horse shot out from under him and having it fall on his stump, which caused the gallant Col. to again be forced from the field. Now that is one tough man! Jim
  15. While Harris maintains that Johnston was on his left with Statham's Brigade, Sword quotes Captain James T. Armstrong's report written April 11, 1862 and Lee Wickham's (July 1898 Confederate Veteran, p. 314) placing Johnston on Harris' right, attacking McArthur with the 9th Arkansas. Jim
  16. JimG. The only thing I can contribute is the fact that the WI 16th Regiment, Peabody's Brigade, 6th Division, was issued the Belgian Musket just before they left Wisconsin for Pittsburg Landing. Jim
  17. WI16thJim

    (2007) Howdy

    Thanks for the welcome Perry. On my first day at Shiloh I was concentrating on the WI 16th's part in the battle. Having read that they were in the outer most part of the battle in the beginning really hit home while I was searching for the marker of their first battle position and burial marker. I couldn't help noticing that they are right at the edge of the park, in the woods, off the beaten path. The best part of the first day was that it was cool and rainy, so I often had parts of the park to myself, which I enjoyed until I got to the bloody pond. I had an experience there that sort of spooked me. Fortunately, I got over it by the next day. My main problem was giving just 2 days to Shiloh. I left feeling I had just read the first chapter of a really good book. On my next visit I hope to devoit enough time to read the next 30 or so. I do know the answer to your trivia question, but I won't spoil it by giving it. Jim
  18. WI16thJim

    (2007) Howdy

    Hello all. As I'm new to your forum, allow me to introduce myself. My name is Jim. I'm a lifelong resident of WI. I first became interested in the Civil War as a youth when I was told my Grandfather, John Oates, fought with the 6th WI (the famous Iron Brigade). I spent my youth studying the 6th's exploits. Imagine how crestfallen I was when the internet came along and after a search of the WI Historical Society's rosters of regiments showed no John Oates in the 6th. After a search, I found him on the 16th's roster. Instead of the Eastern Theater, I now found myself studying the war in the West. His first battle, as an 18 year old, was at Shiloh. He stayed with Grant through Vicksburg, and then when the 16th was resigned as a veterans regiment, he went with Sherman to Atlanta, to the sea, up through the Carolinas, and on to the Grand Parade in D.C. I was fortunate to be able to spend 2 weeks in 2005 to follow his footsteps. Best trip of my life, Unfortunately, I could only spend 2 days at Shiloh. While this was long enough to fight the battle, it certainly was not enough to explore it. I hope to explore it better through this group. As you will find out, I will probably get more from you than you will from me, so I thank you in advance. Jim Oates
  19. Thanks Ron. Sometimes I get a bug like that and it drives me crazy till I get the answer! Jim
  20. I enjoyed the chat last night. Someone mentioned that one of Peabody's Regiments was sent to the front with no ammo. All I've been able to find in the OR is a statement by Prentiss that the 16th Iowa was sent up without ammo. When I read the 16th Iowa commander Col. Alexander Chamber's report, he states that he was ordered by an aide of Grants to act as a reserve and to prevent stragglers from moving to the rear. No mention of ammo. He then says his unit was moved up to the battle.
  21. WI16thJim

    (2007) Avatars

    Reb, I had the same problem. I used a 90k jpeg and trimmed the edges off until I got it small enough. I do know a friend who has a program that can increase or decrease the file size, but don't have it myself. Jim
  22. After a month of waiting for it, the movie was finally on AMC today, so I DVRed it. During the scene in question, there is no sign on the building, but the narrator gives the impression it is Shiloh Meeting House. The building also has a bell tower to add to the idea. The Yank who bayonets the Reb at the bloody pond is played by a very young George Peppard. Jim
  23. Sheessh Perry. Your having a worse time than I do with the cable guy showing up on time. Jim
  24. Pretty fancy digs for us old country gals & guys, but I'm sure we'll settle in quite nicely. Good job, Perry. Jim
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