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Shiloh Discussion Group

Stan Hutson

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Posts posted by Stan Hutson


  1. 8 hours ago, CSuniforms said:

    Stan, still having trouble finding arms issued to the different Alabama units. I have scanned the Alabama files and found nothing. Can you help. Tom

    25th Alabama Infantry account by Cpt. William P. Howell, Company I, 25th Alabama Infantry.  He is referring to Pvt. Burton Jackson Waddell, Company I, 25th Alabama Infantry.  I know this is just one account, but, pretty neat.

     

    I will here relate a little incident of a man in my company. In the summer of ’61 when the company was being raised at Oak Level one B.J. Waddell who had just returned from Texas joined our company and had a fine rifle gun which he had secured in the west and insisted that he must carry it to shoot yankees and in our first engagement which I have already described, having shot his rifle a few rounds and while on his knees trying to reload, a yankee bullet struck him in the heel, which disabled him in the balance of the war and while he is still living and resides near Anniston, Alabama. I don’t think he has ever recovered from that gun shot.

    • Like 2

  2. On 7/4/2018 at 7:47 PM, Ozzy said:

    Stan's post (above) of William Brown is timely, because it is a mirror-image of "Freedom Gates" (posted by CSuniforms, also above.) One is obviously a "knock-off" of the other -- a forgery -- but which is which?

    When one thinks of Civil War infantry firearms, Springfield, Enfield, Richmond (Model 1855 Springfields manufactured to 1861 specifications at Richmond using dies taken from Harpers Ferry Arsenal), Lorenz and Vincennes... all come to mind. On further reflection, the Sharps, Henry and Spencer company rifles and carbines are added to the list.

    But, what was a "Belgian Musket?"

    Upon review, it appears that a Belgian Musket was [my definition] "any European musket, manufactured in Prussia, Bavaria, Potsdam, France, or elsewhere, originally a smoothbore and with flintlock firing mechanism, that was acquired by Arms dealers (such as Herman Boker) and sent in bulk to Belgium (usually Liege) and there modified:

    • with firing mechanism altered from flintlock to percussion, and possibly
    • barrel re-bored (in attempt to standardize all that consignment, usually as .69 or .71 calibre, for ease of providing projectiles en masse) and sometimes
    • rifling added to barrel (which technically produced a "Belgian Rifle," but which was often still referred to as Belgian Musket).

    Usually, the above weapons possessed no "maker's mark" (otherwise, they would be referred to as "Dresden Rifles" and etc.)"

    Although the Belgian Arms industry, centered at Liege, also manufactured weapons, only the above "modified weapons, manufactured elsewhere," were referred to as "Belgian Muskets." For example, nearly everyone knows that Belgium manufactured Enfield Pattern 1853 Rifle Muskets (under contract before American Civil War; without contract during Civil War) and those "knock-offs" are still referred to as "Pattern 1853 Enfield," or, sometimes, "Belgian Enfield." [But the P-1853 Enfield manufactured in Belgium is never referred to as a "Belgian Musket."]

    Just an attempt to add clarity to the muddied waters of Civil War weapons...

    Ozzy

    References:   http://archive.org/details/Civil_War_Guns  especially pages 66, 74 - 77 (Liege) and 28 - 35 & 262 - 271 (Boker)

    http://www.regtqm.com/product-p/gun-646.htm   just one of many "Belgian Muskets"

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lorenz_rifle  not a Belgian Musket, even if modified in Belgium, because of the maker's label: Lorenz

    http://www.ima-usa.com/products/original-british-p-1853-enfield-rifle-musket-produced-in-belgium-dated-1857?variant=26169131077  Belgian Enfield

    http://www.researchpress.co.uk/index.php/firearms/british-military-longarms/enfield/p53-enfield-production-markings  Enfields produced elsewhere

    http://civilwartalk.com/threads/a-question-about-belgian-rifle-calibers.141769/   Belgian Musket and Rifle discussion at civilwartalk.com

     

     

     

     

     

    Ozzy, actually no forgery is involved.  There are 2 images in the collections at Shiloh.  The one above, and another image.  A "mix-up", or slight confusion took place or so it seems.  I saw this image, the real deal, with my own eyes in storage at Shiloh.  I originally posted this image as being Freedom Gates, but the man, "I think" above is actually William Brown.  Waiting for a reply from Shiloh, hopefully with a scan of the OTHER image.  The OTHER image I know believe is the real Freedom Gates, and the one above is William Brown.  Although the image above was originally posted as being Freedom.

    If that makes sense, ha!  The park has other relics that belonged to Freedom as well.

    And you are right, civil war weaponry is a headache to understand, especially at Shiloh.  It is mind boggling when you think that one brigade may need 3 or 4 different caliber bullet sizes.  Supply, especially during the battle, would have been a nightmare.  

    • Like 1

  3. I have the image above listed as Sgt. Freedom Gates, 72nd Ohio, killed at Shiloh.  But, doing some more research, potentially an image mix up at play.  There is ANOTHER image that is actually of Freedom Gates, and the man above is potentially William Brown.  More to follow later............

    • Like 1

  4. The Confederate dead remain where they were buried. A few years ago the leading men in this part of the country arranged an immense mass-meeting and barbecue at the spring, near the old Shiloh Church. Resolutions were passed, subscriptions raised and committees appointed to take up and reinter all the Confederate dead that could be found. Many thousand people came here from far and wide, and the undertaking would have been a grand success, but about noon a most terrible storm arose and dispersed the crowd. In attempting to get home, a number of people, among them several children, were killed, and others badly hurt. This dampened the ardor of the projectors, and stopped, perhaps forever, the project of reinterring the Confederate dead.

    • Like 1

  5. I often wonder, would accounts such as this be THE SAME if they were written a few hours after the battle, a day or two after the battle, a month, or a year after the battle.  Or did the aged veterans speak not of how they felt at the time, but spoke with the influence of time and reflection at hand to temper, and possibly alter, their remarks.

    That aside, great piece, neat read.  

    • Like 1

  6. It sounds like they were making the "red neck" version of abatis.  Simply felling trees WITHOUT sharpening the ends or otherwise making a noticeable carved defensive object out of the trees.  Either way, just cutting down numerous trees and letting them fall helter skelter would effectively break up advancing lines of battle.  In fact, it could be argued that falling trees and letting them lay as they fell would be more effective than actually carving an abatis.  

    As far as digging in.  I still give credit to the Federals on the right flank at Shiloh who wanted to dig in.  Too bad their pleas were ignored.  But, numerous accounts exist of using bales of hay and bags of corn (at Shiloh), for constructing "earthworks" from which to fight behind.

    If the Federal army had put out any kind of obstruction in front of their camps at Shiloh, it would have been a different battle.  But, "what if's" become cumbersome :)

    Stan


  7. I think for Johnston, it was actually simple, and as pretty much stated in any Shiloh history book.  He knew the Federal Army was fragmented.  If he sat in Corinth and waited for an attack to come, the Federals would have the upper hand.  Actually, I think Johnston had no choice in the matter.  He had to attack, there was no other option.  Plus, attacking what he thought to be a divided army, destroy it piecemeal and you have a chance at victory.  Attack a smaller, or unsuspecting force, and destroy it and you even the odds.  Otherwise, might as well raise the white flag.  

    To be fair, I have never studied the in's and out's of the pre-battle tactics and strategy, and the actual "what happened that made Shiloh happen".  It is very interesting, but I am mainly interested in the experiences of the lowly soldier in the ranks.  I think about the letters I have read, and posted, and how very little the common soldier knew about what was going on just 3 days before the battle.  With at least one instance where an educated regimental company line officer didn't even know his regimental numerical designation just days before the battle, it is amazing things went off so relatively smoothly as they basically did.   


  8. Ozzy, looks like nobody is around to answer your question.  I think people must be taking a summertime hiatus from SDG.  I would say Grant, Forrest, and Cleburne.  For each of them, it was the beginning stage of putting them on the path of how they are remembered today.  I would say each earned his stardom after Shiloh, and Shiloh put the ball in motion.

    • Like 2

  9. The last good regular program on the Civil War, that I thought was any good (actually I thought it was great), was Civil War Journal, and that was on in the mid 90's.  I do not know how it is possible, but in the last 10 years programs about the Civil War (on numerous channels), has gotten not just worse, but atrociously worse in my opinion.  What I speak to in particular are the reenactor "extras" used in the programs.  The uniforms, how they wear the uniforms, etc., etc., etc., could not be any more ridiculous.  On some shows it border lined on being disrespectfully comical.  

    In the broader sense, the Western Theater has always received less attention than Lee and Grant and the war in Virginia.  And that will never change.  Sadly, I think most people just don't care about those 4 years in American history, even though there is so much to be learned from that time period and the people who lived through those years.

     

    • Like 1

  10. On 5/29/2018 at 7:21 PM, Ozzy said:

    image.png  [Louisiana Infantry reenactors with Pelican flag, found on Google Images.]

    "At 7:30 o'clock Sunday morning I received a verbal message from General Prentiss that the enemy were in his front in force. Soon after my pickets sent in word that a force, with artillery, were advancing on the Bark Road. In a very short time I discovered the Pelican flag advancing in the rear of General Prentiss' headquarters" -- Colonel David Stuart, 55th Illinois Infantry, commanding 2nd Brigade of Sherman's Fifth Division.

    Why was not just one distinctive Battle Flag in use by Rebel troops at Shiloh?

    In Alfred Roman's Military Operations of General Beauregard, page 171: "On the 28th November 1861 General Beauregard distributed to his troops (Van Dorn's and Longstreet's divisions) the new Confederate Battle Flag. During the Battle of Manassas he had observed the difficulty of distinguishing our own from the enemy's colors..."

    But, there was "a problem getting the flag designed by Colonel W.P. Miles adopted. In the meantime, General Joseph E. Johnston ordered troops to carry State Flags until the issue of Battle Flag was resolved" (page 171.)

    At Shiloh, a number of Union soldiers witnessed Louisiana troops bearing the Pelican flag in their attack on the Federal position.

    Ozzy

    References:   http://archive.org/details/militaryoperati00romagoog  Roman's Military Ops of General Beauregard, pages 170 - 3 and 481 - 3.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WyPbKJJ9F5A  "Alone on the Left: the Desperate Stand of Stuart's Brigade at Shiloh (part one) with Ranger Chris Mekow" video by Tony Willoughby and published by YouTube 7 April 2015. (See time positions 24.40 and 42.10 for mention of Pelican flag use.)

    OR 10 page 257 (Colonel Stuart's Shiloh report)

    Google Images for Louisiana Infantry reenactors with Pelican flag.

     

     

      

    Yes, it is interesting that at Shiloh some soldiers recognized the pelican flag as being a Louisiana flag, yet other soldiers had never seen a Confederate flag.  As Leander Stillwell of the 61st Illinois stated,

    I saw men in gray and brown clothes, with trailed muskets, running through the camp on our right, and I saw something else too, that sent a chill all through me.  It was a kind of flag I had never seen before.  It was a gaudy sort of thing, with red bars.  It flashed over me in a second that that thing was a Rebel flag.

     

    • Like 1

  11. I don't know if the park sells the Shiloh OR's.......I don't think they do, but again not sure.  May try to order them online.  And yes, very odd if the Confederates were in such bad shape that every man wasn't fighting.  Then again, I guess the cavalrymen were busy, to say the least, delivering orders to the various commands on the 2nd day, and making sure everyone retired from the field.


  12. 1 hour ago, mona said:

    a rare report...no casulities.

     

    Mona, you are right, very weird.  And if the Confederates were so hard pressed on the 2nd day, you would not have soldiers or cavalrymen coming out of the fight never having fired a shot.  Very odd to read that; the fact that they didn't do much, if any, shooting.

    • Like 1
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