Jump to content
Shiloh Discussion Group

Joseph Rose

Member
  • Content Count

    60
  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won

    14

Everything posted by Joseph Rose

  1. Shortly after General Ulysses S. Grant captured Fort Donelson in mid-February 1862, his superior, Henry Halleck, ordered Grant’s main force on an expedition up the Tennessee River under a subordinate, General Charles Smith. Grant was to remain downriver at Fort Henry. He was certainly not, however, “virtually in arrest and without a command,” as claimed in his Personal Memoirs. Such noted biographers as Ron Chernow, Dr. Brooks Simpson, and Bruce Catton have repeated the story of Colonel John Thayer, who supposedly called to see General Grant at this point. A tearful Grant “said mournfully: ‘I don’t know what they mean to do with me…. What command have I now?’” The source of this account came from Hamlin Garland, one in the long line of biographers who have taken Grant’s side on issue after issue, despite clearly contradictory evidence. McClure’s Magazine lauded the “new and valuable material” that Garland found about Grant’s life and stated one reason that they chose Garland to write: “he has always loved and admired Grant.” Garland claimed that his intention was to “keep as closely to original sources as possible,” and he interviewed hundreds of people. Notwithstanding this assurance, he was dismissive of interviewees who were critical of Grant. A different problem existed with the narrative that Thayer provided Garland. The transcript reads: “I never shall forget the expression of sadness on Grant’s face as I called at his headquarters at Fort Henry to say goodbuy[sic] before going up the river. He was compelled to witness the departure of the Army of the Tennessee which he had organized and which was now under the command of General Smith. The army which he had handled so splendidly and so successfully at Henry and Donelson. [Next paragraph] In a couple of weeks, Grant came to see Smith at Crump’s landing. I saw he was in great depression of spirits. He referred to his humiliating position and drew from his pocket a dispatch which he handed to me to read. It was a curt message from Halleck which said: ‘Why don’t you report?’ As I handed the dispatch back, I raised my eyes and saw the tears coursing down his face, as he uttered these sorrowful words: ‘l don’t know what they intend to do with me. I have sent in my reports daily.’ and then he added: ‘But what command have I now?’” Therein lies a huge discrepancy. After having been instructed to remain at Fort Henry on March 4th, Grant had made explanations about his shortcomings to Halleck, who reversed his decision. Two weeks later, Grant was upriver and in command of the expedition. Any meeting with Thayer at Crump’s Landing—where part of Grant’s main force was stationed at this time—could not have Grant bemoaning, “what command have I now?” Thayer’s anecdote can not have happened as he described it to Garland. More dismaying is how Garland did not let this obvious inaccuracy get in the way. His book, Ulysses S. Grant: His Life and Character, twisted Thayer’s text so that Grant was apparently left behind downriver when he complained of having no command: “One of his subordinates called to see him at Fort Henry, and was much moved by the expression of deep sadness on the face of his general. He was in great dejection. The army he had organized and led so splendidly was passing out of his hands. ‘After alluding to his position, the general took from his pocket Halleck’s curt despatch. When his friend looked up from reading it he saw tears on General Grant’s face. He said mournfully: “I don’t know what they mean to do with me.” Then he added with a sad cadence in his voice: ‘What command have I now?’” Catton and Simpson cited Ulysses S. Grant: His Life and Character in this matter and may have been fooled by Garland’s falsehood. Ron Chernow, on the other hand, cited USC’s Hamlin Garland Papers. With the transcript—and a basic knowledge of the chronology between the Battles of Fort Donelson and Shiloh—he should have understood the utter implausibility of Thayer’s rendering. So, unless other evidence exists showing otherwise, this episode should be considered mythical.
  2. Ozzy, I think that McClernand gets a bum rap, and the charge of disloyalty, at least during this period seems seriously misplaced. Apart from offering detailed suggestions for the move on Fort Donelson (whether desire or not), what evidence exists that he was disloyal? On the 10th, McClernand wrote to Washburne: "Having entire confidence in Gen Grants representation I take great pleasure in concurring in his recommendation." The Papers of US Grant relate that, after the trip to Nashville: "a letter to USG was prepared at hd. qrs., 1st Div., Pine Landing, Tenn. 'We have heard with deep regret of your having been deposed from your authority as Commander in the field of the forces in this district. Whether, in fact, this be true, we do not pretend to say; much less to make it occasion for censure or reflection upon any. On the contrary, we disclaim not only the feeling but the purpose to do so. Our object is far different—it is simply and singly to perform an act which justice to ourselves as well as to you, equally, requires. Not to perform it would prove ourselves wanting in the sympathy and generosity which become fellow soldiers, who have fought and suffered together. This is our explanation and apology for this hasty note. Reverting to the past, we cannot forbear the expression of our thanks for the uniform urbanity and kindness you have extended to us. Nor in the sterner realities of war are we wanting in reason for awarding you our gratitude and respect. As our Commander at Belmont and Forts Henry and Donelson, besides in numerous mere skirmishes, you were successful. Under your lead the flag of the Union has been carried from the interior further towards the seaboard than by any other hands. You have slain more of the enemy, taken more prisoners and trophies, lost more men in battle and regained more territory to the Union than any other leader. If we have born a part in achieving these results we are proud of it, and are, therefore, naturally concerned in what may darken or disparage them. We place this spontaneous tribute at your disposal for such use as you may think proper to make of it.' LS, DNA, RG 94, Generals' Papers and Books, Ulysses S. Grant. This letter was signed by McClernand, Col. William H. L. Wallace, Col. Leonard F. Ross, and eight officers of McClernand's staff." A few days later, McClernand wrote Grant: "'Allow me to congratulate you upon your reported restoration to the functions, incident to your rank and command. I hope soon to see you with us.'" Joe
  3. Thanks, Ozzy. I think that it's surprising that nothing seems to have appeared in the newspapers about any possible bout of drinking.
  4. Ozzy et al., Although there was talk of Grant abusing alcohol on the trip to Nashville, I haven't seen any specific evidence for it. Have you? Boynton in the NY Sun of 1/23/87 wrote that, "There are living witnesses of the excesses of that river trip to Nashville, but Gen. Grant was brought out of it, first by Gen. Rawlins's discretion, and next and mainly, by the forebearance of Gen. Halleck, who deemed it best to withhold from the people the knowledge of this affair, and give the officer who had won such a notable victory another trial. . . . There is no more glaring instance of ingratitude in our history than the attacks of the friends of Gen. Grant upon Gen. Halleck for his action in connection with this affair on the Cumberland." E.D. Kittoe wrote to J.H. Wilson [LoC - Wilson Papers 7/15/85] that Rev. Knowlton told Kittoe he had read the letter from Halleck to Grant, "written in the most friendly Spirit [sic], and reminded Grant of his former drunken habits causing his resignation from the US Army, and told him that now (i.e. at the time of the Nashville fiasco) the country was looking to him for great things and that if he would give him his pledge to abstain from drink that there would be no further action in his case, but that he would be reinstated in command, Mr[?] Knowlton read the pledge Grant sent to Gen[sic] Halleck and says it is a remarkable paper evidently written in a maudlin condition. Of course I know but little of this matter ....
  5. 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.]
  6. That is a very strange article. The writer has Buell's army seemingly appearing on the wrong side of the Tennessee (or has Savannah on the wrong side of the river). The Evansville Daily Journal of 4/8/62 has officers from up the TN River on Apr 5 expecting battle, but apparently there were no boats that day from Grant's army. William C. Carroll (US Grant's pet reporter) wrote for the Louisville Journal, which was the evident source for this article. He had been with Grant earlier in March (when Grant received a sword from his subordinates), and was just returning upriver to Savannah early on April 6th, and he ended up accompanying Grant to the battlefield on Tigress. Maybe he had something to do with it, but he left the battlefield on the evening of April 7th to scoop the other reporters (by surreptitiously keeping them away from the telegraph at Fort Henry). On a side note, JM Randall recollected (https://ehistory.osu.edu/exhibitions/letters/randall/06) a downriver boat reaching Savannah at 9 am where he was on the first day of Shiloh. That may be John Raine, which passed Crump's also at 9 am (so the timing would be a little off) and it may be the boat that Grant Marsh on Tigress called John Warner a mile or two above Savannah. Randall wrote: I don't recall any other individual, however, mentioning a boat arriving at Savannah, especially with battle news or wounded. I searched the Evansville Daily Journal and the Louisville Journal (supposed source of the pre-battle article referenced above), without finding mention of John Raine or another boat from Grant's army arriving on the evening of April 6th or the days immediately after. Curiouser and curiouser.
  7. Grant penned his stiffly worded letter to Buell and signed it, “Major-General, commanding” from the “Headquarters District of West Tennessee, Nashville,” as if that city were in his jurisdiction and not in his respondent’s departmental command. Oddly, Grant reverted to “Brigadier-General” when signing subsequent orders.
  8. The boat carrying the 57th Ohio soldier in Stuber's account may well have been John Raine. The U.S. Civil War diary of Charles Kroff, 1861-1865 reads: "But it being Sunday and so early in the morning, we were confident that it was a battle. But we soon learned positively, from a boat that came down the river, that a battle was raging furiously." Kroff was at Crump's. It doesn't sound like Tigress going downriver with Baxter as that was not "soon" after "early in the morning." And Grant was going "upriver" mid-morning on Tigress beside he didn't know battle raging. According to William Rowley, Warner turned back upstream before reaching Crump's. Furthermore, the U.S.S Lexington's log stated: "At 9 the 'John Raine' passed down and reported fighting at Pittsburgh." Lastly, Grant Marsh went upriver on Tigress and it "had preceded but a mile or two when she met the steamer John Warner racing downstream. The Warner hailed, and on both boats slowing down, a lieutenant hurried on board the Tigress, bearing a dispatch from General Stephen A. Hurlbut to General Grant.” The officer verbally reported that the enemy was massed in great numbers and driving the army back on the river. Grant heard this and read dispatch with perfect composure. “He did not move from his chair, and his only comment was to the effect that when he arrived he would surround the enemy.” Tigress resumed until Grant ordered her to pull up next to Jesse K. Bell and he talked with Wallace. This shouldn't be Warner if Rowley's account is correct, but the timing makes it difficult for it to be John Raine, unless the boats passed just downriver from Crump's, which is far more than "a mile or two." Lew Wallace, however, didn't state that he received any news in such fashion. One obvious question: what happened to John Raine after she passed Crump's?
  9. 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.
  10. I don't have time to do this justice right now, but I think that you are quite correct in indicating that Grant's effort to keep McClernand "down" hurt the establishment of a proper chain of command both before and during the early part of the battle. Grant had been calling Smith "Major-General" for a long time before April, but he didn't recognize McClernand as even ranking Brigadier-General Sherman, whom Grant had selected to be the de facto commander of the camps around Pittsburg Landing. And many histories make McClernand the bad guy for disputing the ranking that Grant gave Smith when 1.) McClernand was correct about the true ranking and 2.) McClernand didn't press the matter, but said that he would go along with Grant's error for the good of the army. Grant's insertion of W.H.L. Wallace into Smith's Second Division and the removal of its de facto commander, Jacob Lauman, who was consequently sent to an unfamiliar brigade in an unfamiliar division, would also certainly have consequences in the battle (although it's impossible to know how things would have turned out differently). Lauman was more experienced in battle and would have known the division's character far better than an outsider who was installed, due to Grant's favoritism, just days before the fight.
  11. 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).
  12. There is so much to take in, review, and respond. The whole cavalry episode is contradictory. Rawlins, in his attempt to scapegoat Wallace, wrote about the cavalry officer: "This officer returned between 12 o'clock m. and 1 o'clock p. m., and reported that when he delivered your message to Major-General Wallace he inquired if he had not written orders. He replied in the negative, and General Wallace said he would only obey written orders." There seems to be no corroboration for this version, besides Rowley's similar attack on Wallace, which included: ""Shortly after the hour of 12 o'clock m., as we were riding towards the right of the line, a cavalry officer rode up and reported to General Grant, stating that General Wallace had positively refused to come up unless he should receive written orders." And this severely conflicts with the account by Bennett: "Lieutenant Bennett delivered his message and the order was at once given to fall in line. Wallace's command started out ahead ...." And Bennett's account in Fletcher has problems of its own. He makes it seem as if they road to Crump's and met Wallace, who was already at Stoney Lonesome by this time. He states: "We retraced our steps therefore, to the junction with the River Road ...." but Wallace's counter-march turned right before reaching Stoney Lonesome. Bennett also wonders why he was not allowed to lead Wallace back on the River Road and said Wallace took the wrong road. This indicates that he had no knowledge of the Shunpike vs. River Road issue, which is strange and also makes his opinion suspect. There could be a discussion of why Grant, who with all of his staff appeared to forget to carry writing materials with them, gave such a threadbare order to Bennett. "Present my compliments to General Lew Wallace and tell him to come immediately, you being the escort," doesn't indicate the route, the urgency of the movement, who and what to bring, the destination, or what should be done upon arriving. The edited portions of Hurlbut's post-war account of Shiloh indicate that Wallace was expected to arrive via the Shunpike: "Within half an hour, about 10:30 am, the enemy captured Behr’s Battery under circumstances not creditable to the artillerists, and forced Sherman to take up another line of defence. Up to this time General Sherman had been able to hold the bridge and road by which Lewis Wallace was momentarily expected, and it was with the greatest reluctance, he was compelled to abandon this means of communication and possible relief." and "About 10:00 am, General Grant rode up and inquired into the situation. In reply to his question: “How long he could hold out?” General Hurlbut expressed confidence in holding his front all day - but stated that he was liable to be passed on the right or left at any time, and must in such a case fall back very promptly•. To General Hurlbut’s request for at least another brigade, General Grant answered that every man that would fight was in action then. General Grant further stated that he had no orders to give, further than to hold out to the last and do the best that could be done. He further stated that Lewis Wallace was under orders to move up, and that his fresh division coming up on the enemy’s flank, would restore the battle. The general commanding then rode off in the direction of the right wing." So, Hurlbut heard from Grant in person that Wallace was expected to reach the battlefield over the Owl Creek bridge. On top of this, most of the participants who discussed this stated that Grant's orders sent Wallace to the right of the line, and throughout the day it seems that Grant and his staff were looking for Wallace on the right. River Road leads to the rear of the Union camps and it would be to the rear where they should have looked for Wallace.
  13. Before I make any reply to Ozzy's comprehensive post, I just wanted to paste in the ‎Snippet view from a Google search result from Civil War Memories - Page 193 by Linda Zimmermann - 1998. It looks new to me, concerning the Tigress and its passengers on the trip upstream, April 6th. The book's Amazon description states: "An exciting compilation of firsthand accounts of the Civil War from a soldier who was also a journalist." The subtitle is, "The Collected writings of Sgt. William H. Busbey." That individual seems to have been a soldier-correspondent in the 1st Kentucky of Bruce's AotO brigade. (which would have been at or around Savannah that morning). The snippet reads: "Tigress was the only vessel that had steamed up, and comprehending that Grant would go on that vessel, my comrade and myself went down and climbed on in advance of ... "About four miles above Savannah, we came to Crump's Landing." Has anybody read the full account here or elsewhere? Now, I just ran across this: "My great grandfather, William H. Busbey, was a sergeant with Company C of the 1st KY (US) infantry. One of his brothers, Private Hamilton Busbey, also served with him. WH Busbey was a gifted writer. He kept diaries of his experiences (I have them), freelanced for Harpers Weekly during the Civil War and was employed in various journalistic capacities post-war, most notably as an accomplished editor with the Chicago InterOcean, until his death in 1906. A book "Civil War Memories" was published in 1998 which is a compilation of his weekly newspaper columns experiences from the western theater of the war. I am looking to connect with anyone whose ancestors may have served w/ the 1st KY (US)." There may be historical gold in those diaries. 2 linear feet of the Busbey Papers are at the University of Michigan, Duke has 15 items. Personal letters of Busbey concerning politics in Ohio; letters express opinions on Copperheads, other Democrats, Republicans, and the unsuccessful gubernatorial race of Clement Vallandigham against Republican John Brough in 1863. Letters also mention the Freemasons; crime in Ohio; the life of a soldier; and CSA attacks on Union boats near Palmyra, Tennessee, and the burning of that town by the Union troops.
  14. 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.
  15. I would change Grant's arrival at Pittsburg Landing to 9:30 am (+/- 10 minutes) in accordance with the logbook of USS Tyler. I suggest that Grant sent Rawlins with orders to bring up Lew Wallace after the 10 am meeting with Sherman, as this would make Baxter's 11:30 arrival at Stoney Lonesome more understandable and both Bieler and Hurlbut indicate that they received information that Lew Wallace would be approaching by the Owl Creek bridge. I am quite sure that Grant's orders were for Wallace to join the right of the army (and not Pittsburg Landing or around the 2nd Division camps). It would be strange if Grant gave such orders before he even made it to Sherman's front. Is there good evidence that Grant stopped at Hurlbut's position before going to Prentiss? I know of none either way (except for Prentiss' impossibly early time of meeting Grant around 8:45). I only guess that Grant would probably have arrived at the Hornets' Nest first, as it's geographically closer. Thanks.
  16. This is not the usual view, but there is some evidence that Grant and Sherman didn't meet until somewhat after the standard 10:00 a.m. scenario (and both pieces of these pieces of evidence were provided by Sherman). Sherman in the NY Tribune 6/8/75 stated that he saw Grant at 10:30 and 4:30. In PUSG 31:268 dated 2/5/85, Sherman wrote Grant that, "My hardest fighting was with McClernand on his Right where you first found me right in his Camps." That sounds as if it was after the Purdy Line fell apart around 10 a.m. Maybe the time was a little later than generally thought.
  17. I also agree that 25-30 minutes after landing seems reasonable. Grant assuredly had been there before, and he would want to check with Sherman early on as the de facto commander at the campsite. But I also feel that Grant probably gave his orders for Lew Wallace after meeting Sherman. Sending them earlier and closer to the landing would give Baxter too much time to arrive at Lew Wallace's Stoney Lonesome location at 11:30. From Shiloh church at 10 am to the same location would take longer (although an hour and a half still seems long for that trip). As most individuals agreed that Lew Wallace was to go to Sherman's right, it would make sense that Grant actually went to the right and met with Sherman before promulgating such orders.
  18. Ozzy, That's a good summary. I've attached a copy of the pertinent page from the logbook. The naval officers might have been 5-10 minutes off, but I'd be surprised if it was much more than that. From my notes: Knefler, General Fred. (to Wallace in response to Badeau's "Life of Grant," ) 2/19/68 from Carrington - Major General Lew Wallace at Shiloh: About 9 o’clock General Grant passed up on the Tigris and in passing the boat upon which were your Headquarters, had a conversation with you. McGinnis, Brigadier General George F (a regt cmdr at Crumps on 4/6/62) from MOLLUS Indiana 1 Shiloh, with Map Grant at Crumps about 8:30 I think that Sherman might have been the first stop on Grant's itinerary after arrival, from what I know of him. That could still work with a 9:30 arrival. Thanks, Joe TN - Shiloh NMP, USS Tyler logbook Apr 6 midnight - 4 pm.pdf
  19. It turns out that I have too kind to General Grant in my book, concerning at least one area. The time of his arrival at Pittsburg Landing—after hearing cannon-fire at his headquarters ten miles downriver in Savannah and boarding his flagship Tigress for the trip upriver—has been a subject of controversy. Grant and many of his friends and supporters selected earlier-than-actual times (with those of J.F.C. Fuller and William Rowley being absurdly early), which would minimize Grant’s blunder of being away from the army when the battle began about 5 a.m. See the list below. Both Grant and William Carroll had initially asserted later times but later revised them in Grant’s favor. Myself and several historians, on the other hand, determined that around 9 a.m was a much more realistic estimate. But the logbook for the woodenclad gunboat USS Tyler, which Chief Ranger Stacey Allen commendably acquired, shows almost conclusively that Grant arrived even later than that. The beginning of the logbook’s relevant entry states: Pittsburgh April 6th. 62 From 8 to 12 Clear + Warm heavy firing heard back of Pittsburgh. John Warner started down at 9. o’clk. Tigress Came up at 9.30 Evansville at 9.45 We got underway at 9.55 . . .” This is rather conclusive evidence that Grant arrived around 9:30. Further confirmation comes from John Warner starting down from the landing at 9. This would indicate that she traveled some ten minutes downriver before meeting Tigress, which then took some twenty minutes to reach Pittsburg. Now, it’s possible that these times may be somewhat wrong, but naval timekeeping probably far exceeded the army’s for accuracy, and the USS Tyler logbook times are relatively congruent with those provided by the USS Lexington log. This later time suggests that the artillery had been firing for an hour or so before Grant boarded Tigress. It also increases the likelihood that Grant went to Sherman first, before stopping by Hurlbut’s side of the field. I had previously determined that the logbook for USS Lexington stated that the steamer John Raine (which the ORs incorrectly transcribed as John Ramm) passed Crumps Landing at 9 o’clock on the morning of April 6th. I had hypothesized that they had possibly meant John Warner. The Tyler’s log, however, indicates that there were two boats descending the Tennessee with news of the battle’s beginning. The somewhat unreliable recollection of Captain Marsh that Tigress met John Warner between Savannah and Crumps Landing (almost impossible, according to the Tyler’s log), therefore, might have been a reference to John Raine instead. The sampling below of Grant’s supposed arrival times from himself and various supporters is somewhat indicative of their reliability: Friendly reporters William C. Carroll: 8:30 “Casco”: soon after 8:00 Staff and other officers William Rowley: about 7:30 Douglas Putnam, Jr.: near 8:00 John A. Rawlins: around 8:00 John A. Logan: by 8:00 William S. Hillyer: about 8:30 J.D. Webster: about 8:30 W.F. Brinck ordnance officer: between 7:30 and 8:30 Authors J.F.C. Fuller in Grant & Lee, a Study in Personality and Generalship: 6:00 William Belknap, et al. in History of the Fifteenth Regiment, Iowa Veteran Volunteer Infantry: about 8:00 Ulysses S. Grant in his Personal Memoirs: “On reaching the front” about 8:00 (The description is of Pittsburg Landing, but his use of the word “front” is wrong.) John Emerson in “Grant’s Life in the West”: at 8:00 James Harrison Wilson and Charles A. Dana in The life of Ulysses S. Grant, general of the armies of the United States: at 8:00 Timothy Smith in Shiloh: Conquer or Perish: 8:15-8:30, but possibly as late as 9:00 There’s always something new to learn about the American Civil War.
  20. I think that the previous posters have correctly explained the federal failure to hold the Hamburg-Purdy Road position: the disorganization of Sherman's men in their retreat from the first line; the dissolution and rout of Hildebrand's brigade (with the fleeing men disorganizing Buckland's regiments); the movement of Behr's five guns down the road (further disorganizing Buckland's regiments); Sherman's ill-fated decision to have Behr unlimber near the crossroads; the lack of defensible terrain; the appearance of Confederate skirmishers on Buckland's heels; the flanking presence of Pond's Confederate brigade; and the withdrawal of McDowell's brigade.
  21. Perry, I never noticed that killed "while leading a charge against the enemy guns" comment. Had any Confederate artillery made it to Peabody's front at that early hour? Joe
  22. Perry, You're quite correct that Prentiss deserves discredit for omitting Peabody from his report. As the local Grant critic, however, I think it's incumbent to recognize that Grant didn't mention Peabody either. That probably matters less in his short, substandard official report, but there is no reason for Grant to have ignored Peabody's actions (which probably saved Grant and his army) in his Personal Memoirs. I also wonder about the revisionism that seemingly tries to remove much of the commendation earned by the defenders of the Hornets' Nest. Yes, much of the Confederate army concentrated against Sherman and McClernand but, after they retreated, almost the entire enemy force was used to surround the Hornets' Nest. If Prentiss and Wallace had retreated earlier, who knows what might have happened if the Confederates could have focused their energies on Grant's last line. I think that there is also a question as to whether Hurlbut's two brigades should be considered part of the Hornets' Nest position. He did great work that day, and the typical pro-Grant and pro-Sherman accounts usually minimize his achievements or worse. Joe
  23. That's a very good summary. One of Henry Halleck's faults was his prejudice in favor of fellow West Pointers. Consequently, he had little but disdain for officers such as Lew Wallace and John McClernand, no matter how competent. When Halleck concentrated the three armies after Shiloh, he had to make a decision on the commands. He stuck both Wallace and McClernand in the reserve. Grant was in disfavor after the surprise and lack of preparation at Shiloh, so Halleck made him second-in-command. With Buell and Pope in command of two of the three wings, Halleck had to push a major-generalcy for Thomas, so he could take command of the third wing.
  24. That's a tough one to answer. Is there any other evidence that bears on this episode?
  25. Ron, My opinion of Prentiss is decidedly mixed. No matter how few men he commanded in the Hornets' Nest, his stand there deserves commendation. As he was ordered by Grant around 4:00 pm to remain there, he cannot be faulted with being captured. His earlier actions in the battle, however, were not all good, and his telling the enemy certain facts after being captured smacks to me of treason (unless one believes that he was trying to mislead the enemy). Joe
×
×
  • Create New...