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Everything posted by hank

  1. hank

    Walke Found Guilty!

    On January 10, 1861 the state of Florida became the third state to secede from the Union. One of the first items on the agenda was to send Florida state militia to seize the navy yard at Pensacola along with Fort McRee, Fort Barrancas and Fort Pickens. On January 9 the navy transported the command of Lt. Slemmer from Fort Barrancas to Fort Pickens due to the trouble brewing. On the big day, January 12, 1861, Commodore Walke was in command of a stores ship appropriately named Supply. He was anchored near Fort Pickens assisting Lt. Slemmer in delivering supplies and preparing to defend Fort Pickens. Walke was to proceed to the port of Vera Cruz, Mexicio after dropping supplies at Fort Pickens. The Wyandotte, armed with at least some guns was also nearby. The navy yard was under the command of Captain James Armstrong. The yard had a small force of marines, soldiers and civilian workers along with some of their families. There had been no pay received for several months. A Florida militia force of 600 to 800 men arrived at the fort and Armstrong capitulated without a fight. Armstrong was court martialed for “neglect of duty” and suspended from service for five years. The plight of the men and families in the navy yard was dire. They had no money and no way to subsist in what was now enemy territory. Of course, some of the individuals were Southern supporters and did not need a ride home. Walke steamed into the harbor the next day under a flag of truce to take aboard all persons wanting to return to the north. A total of 106 men, women and children boarded the Supply. Nineteen days later the Supply arrived at New York and Walke’s human cargo disembarked the ship. The passengers included the wife and child of Lt. Slemmer. Walke was promptly court-martialed for disobeying orders and leaving his station because he was supposed to go to Vera Cruz. Walke was found not guilty of leaving station since New York was a navy port but he was found guilty of disobeying orders. His punishment was a letter of admonishment from the Secretary of the Navy. On January 16 the Florida authorities demanded the surrender of Fort Pickens by Lt. Slemmer. He told them to pound sand and Fort Pickens remained in Union hands throughout the war. Everything I wrote here I just learned in the last couple days so I hope it is accurate. For those interested the story is related in the beginning of Walke’s Naval Scenes and Reminiscences of the Civil War of the United States on the Southern and Western Waters. https://books.google.com/books?id=-SoOAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA63&lpg=PA63&dq=Walker+naval+scenes+and+reminiscence&source=bl&ots=O2fr7_oYdp&sig=ACfU3U1RK16Y3Jhoxpq61jdGJtm5k3t_sw&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjGioShrr3kAhVLOK0KHVd9AI8Q6AEwFnoECAYQAQ#v=onepage&q&f=false Volume 4 of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies has a transcript of the court martial of James Armstrong which I found interesting but did not read the whole thing. https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=coo.31924051350837&view=1up&seq=111 Hank
  2. hank

    Slaughter Pen

    At Fort Henry the gunboat Essex took a shell through their middle boiler. The scalding steam trapped the two civilian pilots in the pilot house and killed them instantly. One pilot was found with his hand still on the wheel. The names were Marshall Ford and James McBride. At Fort Donelson, Foote’s flagship was the St. Louis. A shell penetrated the 1.5 inches of iron plate and 15 inches of oak timber sending deadly splinters along with shell fragments ricocheting throughout the pilot house. F. A. Riley, the pilot, died at the wheel. Foote was injured in his foot but was able to pry Riley’s dead fingers from the wheel and took over steering the boat. Foote thought his wound was not serious and he would be over it in a week. But it never healed and three months later he had to relinquish command of the gunboat fleet on the Mississippi. He died about a year later. The Carondelet stayed in the fight the longest at Fort Donelson. A 128-pound shell smashed into the pilot house and sent iron splinters and wood splinters into the two civilian pilots, mortally wounding one. His name was William Hinton. Later another shell hit the pilot house wounding another pilot. On board the Louisville, a pilot was wounded. The pilot house on the boats was a prime target for the enemy’s cannon. At Forts Henry and Donelson four civilian pilots were killed and at least three others wounded. Pilots were usually well-known on the rivers and served under dangerous conditions. At Forts Henry and Donelson the pilot houses on the gunboats were, indeed, a slaughter pen. This was a great question as I had never heard the term slaughter pen applied at Forts Henry and Fort Donelson. I tried a simple google search with forts Henry and Donelson and slaughter pen and the following book appeared: A History of the United States Navy, from 1775 to 1893, Volume 2 By Edgar Stanton Maclay. Page 330. Here is the link I found. It is long but when I tried to find a shorter one it was not the same book although it had the same title. https://books.google.com/books?id=UHWpn7IEuMoC&pg=PA330&lpg=PA330&dq=Slaughter+Pen+fort+donelson&source=bl&ots=gdumFKu_en&sig=ACfU3U2dvG_a0-xwGC8NzX_N401kgx69Jg&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwid5Y3Y27jkAhUKM6wKHT5cDco4ChDoATAEegQIBxAB#v=onepage&q&f=false To verify what boat William Hinton was on I referred to Walke’s “The Western Flotilla at Fort Donelson, Island Number Ten, Fort Pillow and Memphis” in Battles and Leaders, Vol. 1 Hank
  3. hank

    Something in Common

    Knowing that Wickliffe and Hardcastle were part of the party that crossed the desert from California with Albert Sidney Johnston it appeared that was the connection. A simple search of the other two revealed they also were part of Johnston's entourage. Brewer showed up on the SNMP facebook page. Ridley survived the war and lived till 1909 but Brewer was killed in Virginia in 1864. Hank
  4. Grant put in his memoirs that on January 6 he wrote Halleck and asked permission to see Halleck in St. Louis. He did not actually visit Halleck at that time. Halleck gave him another assignment. In the ORs, vol. 7 page 534 is Grant’s letter to Halleck ending with “If it meets with the approval of the Gen. Comd.g the Department I would be pleased to visit Head Quarters on business connected with this command.” However, on the same day, January 6, Halleck sent Grant an order, (ORs, vol. 7, page 533). “I wish you to make a demonstration in force on Mayfield and in the direction of Murray. Forces from Paducah and Fort Holt should meet at Mayfield and threaten Camp Beauregard and Murray, letting it be understood that Dover (i. e. Fort Donelson) is the object of your attack.” Halleck told Grant to avoid a battle as they were not ready. Nowhere in this order is Fort Henry mentioned. Grant made preparations in response to the January 6 order from Halleck. Grant ordered a column from Cairo under BG John McClernand and a column from Paducah under BG C. F. Smith to make the demonstrations. In his instructions to C. F. Smith dated January 8, 1862 (Grant Papers, vol. 4, page 11) Grant wrote that he would send Smith a gunboat and Smith should send the gunboat and a transport carrying a section of Artillery and infantry up the Tennessee River. Grant made no mention of Fort Henry but thought it would aid in the deception and help prevent rebel reinforcements moving from Columbus to Bowling Green. On January 9, 1862, three days after Halleck ordered Grant to make the demonstration, Halleck wrote McClellan informing him that he had just received McClellan’s message from the third of January the previous evening. (ORs, vol. 7, page 539) Halleck did not receive McClellan’s so-called order from January 3 until the evening of January 8. By that time Halleck had already set Grant in motion to make the demonstrations. Halleck enclosed a copy of his orders to Grant for McClellan’s information. On January 10 Halleck again wrote McClellan about McClellan’s letter of January 3. (OR. Vol. 7, page 543) This time Halleck alluded that if he followed the “order” of January 3 it would cause the loss of Missouri and did McClellan really want to do that? McClellan replied to Halleck on January 13 that Halleck had not read the letter of January 3 “with much care.” McClellan declared “There is nothing in my letter that can reasonably be construed into an order…” McClellan claimed what he wanted from Halleck was his views on how to accomplish the stated goals. (ORs, vol. 7, page 547) On January 1, 1862 the commander-in-chief, President Abraham Lincoln, telegraphed Halleck that McClellan was sick and should not be disturbed with business. Halleck was ordered by the President to work directly with Buell at once. (ORs, vol. 7, page 526) Buell received the same admonitions from the President. He wrote a message to Halleck on January 3, 1862. (ORs, vol. 7, page 526). Buell declared that the power of the Confederacy is on the line from Columbus to Bowling Green and in the center the forts on the Cumberland and Tennessee Rivers. Buell wrote an attack on the flanks and center was of importance and should be done simultaneously so the Confederates could not move troops around. Buell stated that two gunboat expeditions should go the Tennessee and Cumberland rivers. (hint, hint to Halleck). But Halleck did not have the troops for such expeditions and the ironclad gunboats were not ready for service. Buell pressured Halleck with; “whatever is to be done must be done in a few days.” Halleck apparently got the impression Buell was, finally, going to move against Bowling Green. He could not mount the river expeditions but he could send Grant out on the demonstrations in order to prevent rebel reinforcements being sent from Columbus to Bowling Green. In his January 6, 1862 order to Grant, Halleck told Grant that was the object of the demonstrations. (ORs, vol. 7, page 534) On January 6, 1862 Halleck sent a long synopsis to Lincoln and offered his opinion about an advance on Columbus while Buell moved on Bowling Green. It would be a repetition of the “strategic error which produced the disaster of Bull Run.” Halleck claimed such a plan would fail ninety-nine times out of hundred and was “condemned by every military authority I have [he had] ever read.” (ORs, vol. 7, page 533) On the same day that Halleck wrote Lincoln about how dumb an attack on Columbus would be Feis (William Feis, Grant's Secret Service) wants us to believe Grant wrote Halleck for a meeting to propose just such an undertaking. Feis wrote “Instead of going to St. Louis that January to propose a campaign against Forts Henry and Donelson, it is more probable that Grant hoped to convince Halleck that the time had come to eliminate Columbus.” (page 60 of Feis book) But Halleck had already pointedly stated that the true line of operations was to split the rebel defensive line in the center at the twin Forts Henry and Donelson. In late December Halleck had dinner with Sherman and Halleck’s aide, BG Cullom at the Planter’s House in St. Louis. Halleck laid a map on the table showing the rebel defensive line and asked his two guests where would be the best place to break it. They replied “in the center.” Halleck whole heartedly agreed and declared the true line of operations was to attack the rebel line on the Tennessee and Cumberland rivers. If Grant went to St. Louis to champion a movement against Columbus it is no wonder Halleck would toss him out. It seems to me that requesting permission from your superior officer to do something the superior officer had already condemned and told the President of the United States it would be a strategic error would not end well. Then Feis misleads us by claiming McClellan called for a demonstration against Columbus on January 3, 1862. In addition, McClellan wanted Halleck to send expeditions up the Cumberland and Tennessee rivers to freeze troops at Fort Donelson, Fort Henry and Clarksville. If that was not enough McClellan wanted Halleck to seize Columbus if the place seemed vulnerable. Feis wrote; “Then to accomplish this mission, Halleck ordered Grant to march east of Columbus toward Mayfield and Murray…” What is not stated is that Halleck had neither the men nor the gunboats to “accomplish this mission.” Halleck ordered Grant out with the demonstrations to keep any reinforcements moving from Columbus to Bowling Green. Feis then noted Halleck ordered Grant (Feis did not give the date but it was Jan. 6) to “make a demonstration in force on Mayfield and in the direction of Murray” using forces from Cairo and Paducah. Grant is to act like he is an advance guard of a larger force and after the demonstration is deemed finished the forces should slowly retreat back to a Paducah. Nowhere in Halleck’s instructions is there a mention of Fort Henry. Then Feis wrote “Halleck cautioned against engaging the enemy and conveniently neglected to mention McClellan’s instructions to take Columbus if the opportunity arose.” Since Halleck did not receive McClellan’s letter mentioning Columbus until the night of January 8 how could he have passed along McClellan’s instructions in an order he prepared for Grant on January 6? Feis did not explain how that would be possible. Feis also does not mention McClellan writing Halleck that only a pea-brained nincompoop would have considered McClellan’s letter of January 3 as instructions. (ORs, vol. 7, page 547) As of January 6, Halleck was not considering making any movements towards rebel strongholds until he had the situation in Missouri under control. Halleck estimated that would be around mid-February. Halleck wrote McClellan on January 20, just as Grant was returning to Cairo from the demonstration, and outlined his plan for future operations. (ORs, vol. 8, page 509)It did not include a direct assault on Columbus. He thought that was impracticable and “not a proper line of operations.” Halleck declared that a more feasible plan would be expeditions up the Cumberland and Tennessee rivers towards Nashville. That would turn Columbus and cause the rebels to evacuate Bowling Green. Halleck noted he had thoroughly studied the defenses of Columbus and found them strong. Halleck wrote it would take a large siege train and a “terrible loss of life” to take Columbus. To send expeditions up the two rivers Halleck estimated it should not be attempted with no less than 60,000 men. There were only 15,000 troops available at Cairo and Paducah at that time and the gunboats were looking for crews. It has been noted that nowhere in Halleck’s order to Grant and Grant’s order to C. F. Smith is Fort Henry mentioned as a place to be threatened. The instructions from Halleck were to act as if Dover (Fort Donelson) was the target of the movement. Feis showed on page 61 of his book why one should always be skeptical of authors who are quoting short segments of reports with parts not included. Feis wants to present the idea that there was a lost opportunity to take Columbus according to McClernand’s report to Halleck of January 24. Feis wrote: “As Union troops neared Columbus during the operation, McClernand interpreted the “non-appearance” of any significant Confederate resistance to mean the enemy was “closely collected around camp fires within their entrenchments, and indisposed to take the field.” That moment, he later wrote, was perhaps the most “favorable time…for [a] successful attack and the capture of Columbus.” After observing the disappointment evinced by his men when the demonstration ended without an attempt to storm the stronghold, McClernand urged Halleck to launch an immediate attack while the enemy remained vulnerable.” (Feis book page 61) In the ORs, vol. 7, page 69 we find what McClernand wrote from which Feis cherry-picked quotations to make the claim of the “lost opportunity” to take Columbus by storm. “It was discovered that an abatis of fallen timber a half mile in width surrounded the enemy’s intrenchments. The rigor of the weather and the non-appearance of any considerable rebel force led to the belief that they were closely collected around camp fires within their intrenchments, and indisposed to take the field. It is believed that with suitable preparation on our part a favorable time was thus afforded for successful attack and the capture of Columbus.” Note Feis left out “It is believed that with suitable preparation on our part…” What McClernand noted was if the Union army had made suitable preparations they might have been able to make a successful attack on Columbus. But the army was conducting a demonstration against Columbus with no intention to attack it. Feis claimed that after McClernand stated the rebels were “indisposed to take the field” he later wrote that at that moment it was maybe the most “favorable time” to had made a successful attack. I guess technically that is true but the two referenced sentences are in the same report adjacent to each other so it was probably no more than 30 seconds. Next Feis told us that McClernand’s men were disappointed they were denied the opportunity to attack Columbus and that McClernand wanted Halleck to make an immediate attack while the rebels were vulnerable. But McClernand’s report does not say the men were disappointed they did not attack Columbus. They were disappointed that they were recalled to Cairo. I doubt the men were disappointed they were not allowed to attack through a half mile of abatis during terrible weather against intrenchments manned by an unknown number of Confederates. McClernand wrote that the advance by the Union forces was welcomed by Unionists in the area. With the withdrawal from the area McClernand was concerned of the reprisals that might be visited on the Unionists. McClernand wrote: “This consideration, with others having great weight with me, prompts me in conclusion to presume upon your indulgence so far as to urgently recommend a renewed advance of our forces, if not immediately upon Columbus, at least so far as to regain the ground we recently occupied.” McClernand went on to describe a scenario where the army could lay siege to Columbus avoiding the need to actually attempt to carry the works. The Union army did not lose an opportunity to take Columbus during the demonstrations because that was never the intent and they were not prepared to do so. Feis next lets us know that “Grant also lamented the lost opportunity. “My orders were such and the force with me also so small,” he complained, “that no attack [upon Columbus] was allowable.” This was a letter to his sister. (Grant Papers, vol. 4, page 96) Feis put [upon Columbus] into the quotation. Grant did not mention a specific location where he was not allowed to attack. The “no attack” order was placed on both McClernand and C. F. Smith. Grant’s orders to not attack applied to the whole area of the demonstrations. Halleck cobbled together as many troops as he could for the demonstration but the force was too small to attack Columbus. In Grant’s memoirs he wrote that Smith reported he thought it practicable to capture Fort Heiman. Smith sent two letters to Grant, one dated Jan. 21 and the other Jan. 22. The letters were forwarded to Halleck in St. Louis on January 23. (Grant papers, vol. 4, page 90) Neither of these letters mentioned Fort Heiman. The Confederates did not start serious work on Fort Heiman until around January 15. A citizen alerted Sidney Johnston of that fact and he telegraphed Tilghman to immediately intrench at Fort Heiman and work all night. (Johnston biography by Johnston, page 423) Fort Heiman was not finished and no cannon were in place when Smith did his demonstration. The attack plan used by Grant put no emphasis upon seizing Fort Heiman before attacking Fort Henry. Grant is not always correct in his memoirs and this could be an example of his memory not quite getting it right. It is Smith’s letter of Jan. 22 where he described his approach to Fort Henry and how easy it would be to take it with just two gunboats. It should also be noted that Smith decided to take a look at Fort Henry because he had a day to kill as the troops unloaded a steamer full of supplies 20 miles north of Fort Henry. On page 62 of his book Feis claimed that because Grant declared the mission a success before receiving a report from Smith proves that Grant was fixated on Columbus. Fort Henry and Donelson were secondary. On January 18 Grant sent a letter to McClernand starting with “The object of the expedition having been accomplished all the forces will now be withdrawn…” Grant informed Halleck the day before that he had heard from Columbus and no forces had left there for several days. That was the object of the mission – to prevent any troops from moving from Columbus to Bowling Green. On January 20 Grant wrote Halleck upon Grant’s return to Cairo the same day. Grant wrote he would prepare a report of the expedition but if Halleck would allow him to visit headquarters he would make the report in person. Grant mentioned he had not received anything official from C. F. Smith but he had information that Camp Beauregard had been destroyed (it was, by the rebels) and that the small expedition that had gone up the Tennessee River had landed two and a half miles below Fort Henry. Feis wants us to believe that since Grant requested a face-to-face meeting with Halleck before having a report from Smith that meant Grant had Columbus foremost on his mind as opposed to Forts Henry and Donelson. What Feis does not tell us is that, while Grant did not have a report from Smith, he had a report from Lt. Phelps detailing how Phelps had feigned an attack on Fort Henry on January 17 with two gunboats and a steamer with 500 infantry aboard under the orders of Smith. (ORs of the navy, page 507) The premise that Grant asked for a meeting with Halleck without any information about Smith’s foray up the Tennessee is false because Phelps made a foray up the Tennessee and he made a report on it. Feis argued that Grant was fixated on Columbus and one of his reasons stated was “the lack of attention paid to the rivers before January.” That statement would come as a surprise to Flag-Officer Foote and Lt. Phelps. Here is a list showing the number of times the Navy sent a gunboat up the Tennessee and Cumberland rivers to “pay attention” to what was going on at Forts Henry and Donelson. This list is based on reports in the Official Records of the Navy. There could have been other trips. September 8, 1861 – (ORs, vol. 4, page 404). Right after Grant occupied Paducah a Lincoln gunboat was reported to have been seen on the Tennessee River 30 miles below Fort Henry. Grant left two gunboats at Paducah. Early on gunboat captains were warned to proceed cautiously up the rivers lest they encounter rebel masked batteries. October 19, 1861 – (ORN, vol. 22, page 374) – Lt. Phelps steamed the Conestoga up the Cumberland to Eddyville where low water prevented him from going further. October 27, 1861 – (page 379) – Lt. Phelps returned to Eddyville with a steamer transporting 300 infantry to attack a rebel camp near Eddyville. C. F. Smith (page 380) also wrote a report. October 30, 1861 – (page 396) – Commander Porter took the New Era up the Cumberland River to Ingram’s Shoals where the Confederates had blocked the river with sunken barges. Ingram Shoals was approximately 30 miles below Dover. Porter was to pick up volunteers who wanted to join the US army. Porter wrote he heard about Fort Henry and that with his boat they could take it. November 6, 1861 – (page 394) Lt. Phelps managed to get his boat over Ingram Shoals and proceeded to within three miles of Fort Donelson. Phelps returned to Paducah, made his report and noted he was leaving again, immediately, to the same location to try to stop the trading going on. On page 427 of the ORN is a report by C. F. Smith of November 8, 1861 giving details of the forts on the Tennessee and Cumberland rivers. Smith noted that Lt. Phelps is constantly moving his vessel up and down the Tennessee and Cumberland rivers. November 17, 1861 – (page 435) – Lt. Phelps wrote a long report about his trip up the Cumberland River to as close to Fort Donelson he could get. He noted that he had done this several times already. On page 451 is a report by Foote dated December 5 noting that four gunboats have arrived and he needs men to man them. As soon as he gets them he wants to go up the Tennessee River and destroy rebel boats and a battery. December 8, 1861 – (page 457) – Lt. Phelps again steamed up the Cumberland to Fort Donelson and wrote a long report about his trip. December 10, 1861 – (page 461) – Lt. Phelps returned to Paducah and then immediately turned around and went back up the Cumberland to pick up refugees. He, again, made it close to Fort Donelson. January 6, 1862 – (Page 486) – Low water hampered operations on the rivers. Lt. Phelps wrote a long report about his close visit to Fort Henry. He added more information on Fort Donelson. He did this report on the same day Halleck wrote the order to Grant to make the demonstrations. I guess what constitutes “lack of attention” is in the eyes of the beholder. It took Halleck two days to approve Grant’s visit to St. Louis. He sent a telegram to Grant on January 22. C. F. Smith wrote letters about his undertakings on January 21 and 22. The January 21 letter spoke of the lousy road conditions. The January 22 letter is the one Smith mentioned that Fort Henry could be taken with two gunboats. Both of these letters were forwarded to Halleck on January 23. Grant made plans to leave for St. Louis the night of the January 23. Grant did not have Smith’s letters when he made the request for a visit to Halleck but he had them when he left for St. Louis. The idea that Feis put forth about Grant being a Johnny-come-lately to the idea that the true line of operations should be up the Tennessee and Cumberland rivers is contradicted by Col. John W. Emerson in a series of stories in the Jan-Apr-June issues of The Midland Monthly. The title is “Grant’s Life in the West.” Starting on pages 114-119, continued on 219-221, Emerson recounts the circumstances of how Grant, in August of 1861, identified the true line of operations for Federal advance to be the Tennessee and Cumberland rivers. Grant laid out a plan and through his benefactor, Elihu Washburne, submitted it to President Lincoln. Of interest on pages 409-411 is an account of Grant’s meeting with Halleck in St. Louis. https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=mdp.39015011958785&view=1up&seq=6 Emerson referenced an account by John Thayer in McClure’s magazine, Vol. V, June to Nov. 1895, “Grant at Pilot Knob,” 433-437. Thayer wrote about Grant having plans about a campaign up the Tennessee and Cumberland rivers while he was at Pilot Knob in August 1861. https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=mdp.39015030656162&view=1up&seq=7 Luckily, I had a copy of Bruce Catton’s. Grant Moves South. Catton discusses the Emerson and Thayer articles. (pages 28-30) Catton points out some inconsistencies but does not downright reject these accounts as these are men who were there. However, there are some aspects in the accounts which are new to me and I had not heard them before so a little more digging is required. The point is that Grant, like many others, recognized the military significance of expeditions up the Tennessee and Cumberland rivers. Grant also discussed attacks on Columbus from early on. Grant wrote in his memoirs that on January 6 he wanted to meet with Halleck and present a plan for expeditions up the Tennessee and Cumberland rivers. The idea that he was going to convince Halleck to let him move against Columbus makes no sense. There were about 13,000 men at Columbus behind fortifications and abatis. On January 6 Halleck wrote the President and informed him that he had 15,000 men at Cairo, Fort Holt and Paducah. Leaving guards at those places meant his available force was around 10,000 which is about the number he ordered out on the demonstrations. As Halleck wrote it would be madness to try to do anything significant (like attack Columbus) with such a small number. Grant asked for a meeting with Halleck in a letter dated Jan. 20. That does not mean he was going to take off for St. Louis without having heard from C. F. Smith. He wanted to give Halleck a report of the demonstrations in person. Grant made his departure after he received Smith’s letters. Grant has the sequence wrong in his memoirs because he did ask for the meeting before reading Smith’s letter which confirmed his view. Feis’s claim that Grant was fixated on Columbus and only changed his direction later is an analysis too contrived for me. When you factor in all the mistakes Feis made in his book and other evidence not included his conclusion fails. For instance, Feis wrote on page 63 that Smith found the roads horrible and that Grant, therefore, “knew that any reinforcements sent from Columbus to aid Fort Henry would be unable to get there very fast.” But any infantry going from Columbus to Fort Henry could have taken the railroad from Columbus to Danville on the Tennessee River where Tilghman, commander at Fort Henry, could have sent a couple steamboats to pick up the troops and take them to Fort Henry. Grant and Foote formed a tag team to hound Halleck to let them move against Fort Henry. But Foote claimed that Grant originally wanted to go up the Cumberland against Fort Donelson. Early reports had Fort Donelson as weaker than Fort Henry. Foote wrote in a report (ORN, page 314) to Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy, November 13, 1862, that when four of the ironclads were ready Foote proposed to Grant to take the boats and 6,000 troops and attack Fort Henry. Foote wrote that Grant preferred to attack Fort Donelson on the Cumberland. Foote claimed he convinced Grant to attack Fort Henry if Halleck’s agreement could be obtained. No dates are given but I assume this occurred before Grant went to see Halleck in St. Louis. Grant returned to Cairo after his rebuff from Halleck the morning of Jan. 28. Perhaps it is on his return that Foote convinced Grant to get Halleck to agree to let them attack Fort Henry for it is on Jan. 28 that both Grant and Foote sent telegrams to Halleck to let them take Fort Henry. (Grant Papers, vol. 4, page 99) Grant followed through with another telegram on Jan. 29 and Halleck, finally, gave his consent on Jan. 30. Halleck’s time frame had him ordering an advance in mid-February. What convinced him to go now was not the telegrams from Foote and Grant. But those telegrams showed Halleck that those two were ready and itching to attack the rebels now. On Jan. 29 Halleck received a short telegram from McClellan (ORs, vol. 7, page 571) passing along information from a deserter that Beauregard was ordered to Kentucky to assist Johnston and that he was coming with 15 regiments. Of course, it wasn’t true but Halleck acted as if it was. He sent McClellan a telegram on January 30 (ORs, vol. 7, page 571) telling him that his telegram had been received and that Grant and Foote would be immediately ordered to attack Fort Henry so as to take possession before Beauregard showed up. As further confirmation that it was the Beauregard news that prompted Halleck to act on February 6 Halleck telegraphed McClellan and ended with the sentence “I was not ready to move, but deemed best to anticipate the arrival of Beauregard’s forces.” I have searched in vain for any reaction from Halleck to the fact he sent out the demonstrations in early January based on his belief Buell was about to move against Bowling Green and that never happened. Then Halleck ordered the advance on Fort Henry because McClellan told him Beauregard was coming west with 15 regiments and that never happened either. When Grant wrote his memoirs it was 20 years after the events. He has some details wrong but his remembrance that when he requested to meet with Halleck in January of 1862 to propose a movement up the Tennessee and Cumberland rivers because that was the true line of operations is not fiction. Sure, Grant was interested in taking Columbus but in early January there were more Confederates at Columbus behind fortifications and abatis than Grant could muster against them. Anyway, Halleck was calling the shots, not Grant, and Halleck had no intention of sending a force against Columbus. The movement against the center of Johnston’s defensive line was an obvious military objective. The idea was put forth by many people so no one is given the credit for thinking of it. Grant noted this when he wrote to his benefactor, Elihu Washburne, on March 22, 1862. From Bruce Catton’s, Grant Moves South, page 29; “Grant wrote to Washburne saying that it was idle to give credit for the move up the Tennessee to any specific general; the strategic soundness of the plan was obvious, he said—‘General Halleck no doubt thought of this route long ago, and I am shure I did.’” Hank
  5. hank

    Who was Sans Peur?

    Randolph. He was not a slave because Johnston had manumitted him when Johnston went to the west coast. Randolph, or Ran, went with Johnston to California as a free man and received wages for his services as cook. Johnston also wrote that Ran was a good with the mules. (Source: Life of General Albert Sidney Johnston by Colonel William Preston Johnston)
  6. I offer a couple of additions. On page 152 of my signed Wiley Sword’s 2001 edition is the following concerning the confrontation between Prentiss and Peabody in the camp of the 25th Missouri; “Reining his horse in front of Peabody, who was just preparing to mount, Prentiss angrily demanded to know if he had provoked an attack by sending out a force without orders. Peabody answered that he had sent out a reconnaissance patrol after attempting to notify Prentiss of his intention. (Bold added by me) The first puzzle piece here is that Peabody states he sent out a reconnaissance patrol. Prentiss had given Peabody and Powell permission to send out reconnaissance patrols so there was “no defiance of orders” when Peabody ordered Powell to take a reconnaissance patrol to the front. However, they were not to bring on a “general engagement.” But Prentiss had heard a lot of firing; Prentiss knew that the war god Colonel David Moore had gone forward with the entire 21st Missouri to “lick them.” And when he rode into Peabody’s camp he found the long roll had been sounded in the camp of the 25th Missouri and Peabody had his regiment toeing the line in preparation of moving forward. This is why he demanded to know from Peabody if he had sent out a force without orders. The eye-catching phrase is that Peabody tried to inform Prentiss of his intention to send out a patrol but had failed to let Prentiss know due to his messenger not being able to find Prentiss. None of the other major Shiloh books mention that Peabody attempted to inform Prentiss that he was sending out Major Powell at 3 a. m. There are several varying accounts of the confrontation between Prentiss and Peabody and what was said. I was curious where Wiley Sword had gotten the account he used in his book. His reference notes referred to Shea which led to John Gilmary Shea in the bibliography to Shea’s The American Nation. Shea seems to have been a prolific author with many books about Americans and patriotism. The American Nation was a compilation of men who gave their all for Union. Included in the book are chapters on Major General William Hervey Lamm Wallace, Colonel Julius Raith and Colonel Everett Peabody. The chapter on Colonel Everett Peabody gives many details on his life and then goes into an account of the battle of Shiloh commencing on April 5, 1862. The author covers Peabody with praise and gives an account of the activities concerning Peabody sending out Powell’s patrol. Shea wrote “Few officers have fallen during the war, whose services were so valuable to the country, or whose prospects of honorable distinction were so brilliant, as those of Colonel Everett Peabody.” The amazing thing about this book as relates to the efforts to learn the truth about Shiloh is that the book, containing full praise to Peabody for saving the army at Shiloh, was published in 1862 while Prentiss was still a prisoner in the south. The story of Peabody at Shiloh was published in a book yet historians wrote about the battle of Shiloh ignorant of what Peabody had done. Except for William Swinton in his Twelve Decisive Battles of the War. I did not type up the whole chapter on Peabody, only the part on Shiloh. The book is pretty rare and I could not see that it has been digitized. I located a microfilm copy in a library near Kansas City. “On the 5th of April there seemed to be a kind of presentiment in General Grant’s army of the terrible battle impending. A visitor to the field, immediately after the battle, was assured that the desire being to avoid a collision with the enemy at that moment, the generals were instructed not to throw out pickets. The strategy reminds one of the old fable of the ostrich, who hid his head and then imagined himself safe from the hunter. That evening several soldiers and civilians were collected in Colonel Peabody’s tent, and the colonel expressed his opinion that the rebels were near in force and the army in great danger for want of pickets. Finally, he exclaimed, “I can bear this no longer. I must know whether we are in the arms of the enemy, or whether we are out of danger,” and he immediately sent an orderly to General Prentiss, asking leave to send out a scouting party. The orderly did not find General Prentiss, and Colonel P. then resolved to send it out without permission. From one to three o’clock, that night, he strolled about the camp talking with his officers and men, and at three o’clock sent out the party,--four hundred men of his own regiment,--under Major Powell, a cool and experienced officer. It is hard to overestimate the importance of this reconnaissance. Our army was encamped in a semicircle, Colonel Peabody in the centre. Beauregard had planned for three columns to attack our right, left, and centre, simultaneously at daybreak; and if he had succeeded in this, General Grant’s army would have been annihilated. His plan was frustrated by Colonel Peabody’s detachment, which, came into collision before the time, with the centre column. The rattle of musketry gave the alarm to our army, and gave the centre nearly time enough, and the flanks ample time to get under arms. Early that morning (Sunday, April 6th), Colonel Peabody sat at breakfast with Mr. B., a visitor, when the firing was heard. The colonel said to Mr. B., “Don’t disturb yourself; but I must go and see to things.” He ordered the long roll sounded, and mounting his horse rode forward to where the line was forming. Major Powell and his men soon appeared, swept on by an immense column of rebels, but skirmishing bravely as they retreated. At this instant General Prentiss rode up to Colonel Peabody and exclaimed: “Did you provoke this attack by sending out a force without orders!” “I did send out a reconnaissance, after sending you notice of my intention.” “You have brought on this attack before we were prepared; and I shall hold you responsible for it.” With our present knowledge of the battle, it seems as if General Prentiss could hardly have framed a statement more damaging to himself, or more honorable to Colonel Peabody. It sounds like a confession of perfect blindness as to the position and plans of the rebels, and an admission of want of preparation to receive an attack which the rebels had been preparing for two weeks—a confession that West Point strategists were wrong, and the colonel of volunteers, right. But Colonel Peabody knew nothing of all this. He only knew that he had taken a dangerous responsibility, and in consequence was arraigned by his superior as the cause of an impending defeat; and this thought must have made his last hour on earth one of great mental suffering. In this state of mind, it is easy to conceive with what grief and indignation he must have seen his brigade swept slowly back by the rebels, in spite of its stern resistance. The correspondent of a western paper says: “Colonel Peabody would not retreat. He seemed infatuated, and was soon left almost alone, vainly trying to rally his men. Presently he fell shot through the jaw.” The gentleman, who was breakfasting with him, saw him riding along the line urging his men with voice and gesture, to “Stand to it yet;” then saw him throw his arms up, reel, and fall from his horse, the rebels rapidly passing over the spot. On Monday evening, after the rebels were driven back, his body was found where he fell. It was pierced by five bullets: one in the head, one in the neck, one in the body, one in the thigh, and one in the hand. Thus, after “one glorious hour of crowded life,” fell a brave soldier and chivalrous gentleman. His officers buried him in a gun-box, placing at his head a board with his name, and below it the couplet: A braver man ne’er died upon the field; A warmer heart never to death did yield. His body afterwards carried to Boston, where the funeral arrangements were taken in charge of by the governor of Massachusetts. Thence to Springfield, where, in presence of an immense concourse, he was laid beside his mother, in the beautiful cemetery of that town. Few officers have fallen during the war, whose services were so valuable to the country, or whose prospects of honorable distinction were so brilliant, as those of Colonel Everett Peabody. His talents were of a high order, and were united to such practical energy, that whatever he undertook to do, was sure to be done quickly and well. Thus, when he was only twenty-two years old, Hon. James Guthrie said of him, that “he was as good a field-engineer as there was in the western country.” At twenty-three he was a chief. The same element of character gave him immediate success in the new field to which the breaking out of the great rebellion called him. He was one born to command; and his proud and chivalrous spirit, his scorn of danger, his absolute ignorance of fear, filled his men with an enthusiastic faith in him, so that he could lead them anywhere, and do any thing with them. His most striking characteristic was a high contempt for meanness or dishonesty of any kind. This trait won him respect wherever he went; but it was carried so far as to make him lack even that excusable selfishness which enables a man to take proper care of his own. His table and purse were always open, not to friends only, but even to mere acquaintances; and in money-matters he was careless to an excess,--a fault often found in large and noble natures. In the flower of his age, in the performance of a great act of service, he fell—dying as a chivalrous gentleman would wish to die, and singularly fulfilling the prediction expressed years before in a song which he composed for a military organization: And if the army of a foe invade our native land, Or rank disunion gather up its lawless, faithless band; Then the arm upon our ancient shield shall wield his blade of might, And we’ll show our worthy brethren that gentlemen can fight. The American Nation carries a copyright date of 1862. It is possible it went to print after Prentiss was released. It is one of those pieces of the puzzle as to why was the actions of Peabody not recognized by historians if there was a book published in 1862 that described what he had done. In Shiloh – The Battle That Changed the Civil War Larry Daniel has an error-prone synopsis of the opening of the battle. He based part of his opening battle remarks on a convoluted and disappointing newspaper article that was published in the Philadelphia Inquirer by a reporter of the name of Bentley. Bentley was in the camp of the 25th Missouri on the morning of April 6th and related his observations. Bentley’s description of the fight is so disorganized he convinced Larry Daniel that Prentiss actually accosted Peabody twice on the morning of April 6th. Nevertheless you can gloom some tidbits from the article and here is a link which should get you to a website that has the newspaper digitized. https://newspaperarchive.com/philadelphia-inquirer-apr-18-1862-p-2/ You are on your own to work with this site. I could not find a site that had the Philadelphia Inquirer digitized and you did not need to pay for it. Somehow I was able to print a copy of the newspaper on a single 8.5 x 11 inch sheet of paper and I use a magnifying glass to read it. One of the puzzle pieces is the relationship between Prentiss and Peabody. Recently Ozzy had a thread which discussed what day did Prentiss actually arrive at Pittsburg Landing. Prentiss stated in his 1882 speech he arrived on March 29, 1862, roughly one week before the battle. What is missing from the record is any account of an interaction between Prentiss and Peabody that supports a claim they did not get along prior to April 5th. Here is the entire letter Peabody wrote on March 31, 1862, his last letter. You have probably seen snippets of the letter but here is the entire letter. To whom it was addressed was kept secret in The American Nation but it was sent to his brother Frank. Dear -------, In camp again, with a good regiment and well equipped. We are in General Prentiss’s division (eleven regiments), and I command the leading brigade. As we are the left centre division, we expect rough work. I have a fine brigade. My own regiment at the right; the Twelfth Michigan, Sixteenth Wisconsin, and Eighteenth Missouri forming the balance. We arrived here on the 28th, and have a very pleasant camp,--the boys as lively as crickets, and every thing working smoothly, It is funny to be called general, but the boys are all delighted, and, I think, will do good service at the proper time. The enemy is supposed to be about eighteen miles from us. We have an immense army, how large I have no means of knowing; they say, however, one hundred and twenty odd regiments, and they are arriving at the rate of two or three a day. As I wrote you before leaving, I have left my contract with Judge Krum of St. Louis. In case I go under, my old assistants, Kilby and John Severance, can give you all the necessary information in regard to the property involved. Say to them all at home, that if I have good luck, I shall win my spurs. Love to all. Yours, Ev Unfortunately Colonel Everett Peabody did not have good luck but he won his spurs and was instrumental in giving the army the opportunity to save itself. He mentions General Prentiss with no hint of animosity or ill-feeling. “Every thing working smoothly” certainly does not support the mantra that Prentiss hated Peabody’s guts. Another mantra is that Peabody had a presentiment of his own death at Shiloh. But you can read in his last letter that he states “In case I go under” and then informed his brother whom to contact about some of his property. Peabody might have had a presentiment of his death in battle months earlier but he gave no such indication in his last letter home from Shiloh that he sensed he was going to be killed on the field. We had a discussion as to who ordered out Colonel Moore with five companies to go to the aid of Major Powell. I remarked I had just read an account that stated Moore was sent out by Prentiss but could not remember where. Well, I discovered it was on page 61 in the following staff ride handbook. https://www.armyupress.army.mil/Portals/7/educational-services/staff-rides/StaffRideHB_Shiloh.pdf Now just looking at Daniel’s book and on page 147 he states the same thing. No wonder the puzzle is so hard to complete. I added this because Bjorn stated the same thing on his hike and we were wondering where that could come from since David Moore specifically stated it was Peabody who ordered him forward. In preparing this posting I came across another occasion when Prentiss described the opening of the battle and mentioned how it was Colonel David Moore who was responsible. From Confederate Veteran, Volume 3, April, 1895 there is an article on the veteran’s reunion at Shiloh in that year. On page 104 is found the following: “He (Prentiss) reported his anxiety about the situation in front of the General (Sherman) commanding in the field, but his fears of an attack were not heeded, the General sending back word “I will guard your front.” He sent, however, Col. Moore of his division, with part of his regiment, who encountering Johnston’s army, sent a report of it back to Prentiss, adding, “If you will send the balance of my regiment to me, by thunder, I will lick them!” Here it is 1895 and Prentiss attributed the opening of the battle to Colonel David Moore. So far I have found no account where Prentiss himself displayed any knowledge of Powell’s patrol. You can find copies of the Confederate Veteran at the following link. Go to Volume 3, page 104 to find the article on the veteran reunion at Shiloh in April of 1895. http://onlinebooks.library.upenn.edu/webbin/serial?id=confedvet The record indicates that Major Powell took out a patrol after noticing “butternuts” observing the division’s review in Spain Field. Then, probably after Powell had returned, Moore took out his patrol and returned with his information concerning the evidence of Rebel cavalrymen. This seemed to have piqued Powell’s interest and he took out the late night patrol as detailed in the account of Private D. K. Baker where Baker related that Powell told them that they were going out to find some Rebel cavalrymen and “bring them in out of the wet.” That mission was aborted upon finding more Rebels than expected and Powell organized another patrol to go out at 3 am on April 6th. Sergeant Gordon of company A, 57th Ohio was on picket duty when Powell approached him with his patrol and told him that they were going out to “catch some rebels for breakfast.” That is a total of four patrols going out from Peabody’s camp. The idea that Powell’s 3 am patrol was sent out in violation of orders does not stand up because all of these patrols had been granted permission from Prentiss to make reconnaissance in front of Peabody’s camp. What Prentiss did not know was the timing of these patrols. Wm. J. Hahn, 1st Lt., Co. H., 25th Missouri, who was there, wrote on April 12, 1914 – “With the assistance of Colonel Everitt Peabody commanding the 1st Brigade of the 6th Division, Major Powell finally got General Prentiss’s permission to reconnoiter Sunday morning, but under no circumstances to bring on a general engagement. Major Powell explained these points to me at 10 P.M. Saturday, April 5th and directed me to visit every tent of Co. H and instruct the men to be fully dressed and be ready to march at 3 A.M. Sunday, April 6th……If ever a man deserved a monument it is our brave Major Powell…..” Hahn’s statement contains an admission that Powell had permission from Prentiss for the 3 am patrol but that “under no circumstances to bring on a general engagement.” When Prentiss rode into Peabody’s camp on the morning of April 6th he knew that Colonel David Moore had gone forward with his entire regiment and that Colonel Peabody was about to do the same with the 25th Missouri. It looked to Prentiss as if the situation had gone beyond reconnaissance patrols to approaching a general engagement and that is why he accused Peabody of bringing on an engagement and that Peabody would be held responsible. The State Historical Society of Missouri has a collection of papers of Lt. Col. Robert Van Horn of the 25th Missouri. Overall the collection is a disappointment concerning the battle of Shiloh except for a yellowed copy of a newspaper account by William A. Morton dated April 7, 1908 in the Hamiltonian newspaper from Hamilton, Missouri. William Morton was one of the four Morton brothers enrolled in the 25th Missouri. We are familiar with Charles Morton from his two accounts of the battle of Shiloh, Boy at Shiloh and Opening of the Battle of Shiloh. Brother Mark Morton served as an aide to Colonel Peabody at Shiloh. The Morton brothers were there and close to the scene. For the astute observers one might notice the date of the article being 1908 and contained in the papers of Robert Van Horn and wonder how that could be. The answer is that Robert Van Horn lived to be 92 years of age and died in 1916. I selected to include in this post the introduction in the newspaper to the article and a portion of the article concerning William Morton’s account of what they found when they returned to their demolished camp on April 7, 1862. William Morton, who was there, wondered why historians never gave credit to Peabody for what he did and that the excited Prentiss really was not aware of what actually happened. Morton also commented on the fact that Peabody took action without informing Prentiss and that was a mystery because Peabody was always respectful to fellow officers. BATTLE OF SHILOH. – W. A. MORTON – OMAHA, APRIL 7, 1908 Gen. Charles Morton Commemorates the Event Each Year A Shiloh dinner was given by Gen. Charles Morton at Omaha on April 7, this year. For many years past the General has celebrated the anniversary of the battle in a formal manner, or otherwise, and on this occasion he invited a number of the survivors of the battle to join him in commemorating the event. Five persons were present, all of whom were requested to present a written statement of personal experience in the great open field fight, giving special prominence to recollections of the opening events, as the question whether the Union army was surprised or not has never been satisfactorily settled by historians. W. A. Morton, of Little Rock, Ark., a brother of Gen. Chas. Morton, was in Hamilton last Thursday and Friday on his way home from attending the Shiloh dinner where he gave the following narrative of the battle, in which he desires to make clear the point that the First brigade of Prentiss’ division, commanded by Col. Peabody of the Missouri 25th, was not surprised. This narrative, we believe, will be read with interest by our patrons as its author was the founder of the HAMILTONIAN and he and a number of others of the same company serving in the war enlisted from this locality. Personal Experiences in the Battle of Shiloh (By W. A. Morton, late of Co. I, 25th Inft. Mo. Vols.) * * * * * * * * * * * * We marched back to camp, arriving between the hours of 1 and 2 Monday April 7th. Our camp was the very picture of the “havoc of war and the battle’s confusion.” Tents were rent by bullets and shells, and the ground was strewn with broken muskets, limbs of trees, knapsacks, etc: and the trees were splintered by cannon shot, and dead Confederates lay scattered by. A few of the tents were burnt, while those remaining all contained one or more wounded or dead Confederates. The tent which Sergeant Singleton and I had occupied contained two dead men, who were members of an Arkansas regiment. Everything of value which we left in our tents when we retreated the morning before was gone. Blankets, knapsacks and clothing, etc., and for three or four weeks we had no change of clothing. Blankets were issued soon after the battle, but we drew no clothing until early in May, when we were in the trenches near Corinth. After hastily surveying our camp the next thing in order was dinner. Some of the boys had hardtack, others had canned goods found at a demolished Sutler’s tent, and one had a chicken which he had picked up at a farm house. The meal would have been a gloomy one but for the fact that all of the boys (there were 21 of them) had a thrilling experience to relate, besides the occasion was enlivened with the thought that we had regained our camp and that the Confederates were skedaddling for Corinth. But when we entered our tents at night even the thoughts of victory could not dissipate the air of gloom. The following day our camp was thronged with visitors, who came to view our dead Colonel; there were newspaper correspondents and army officers among whom, General Garfield, who commanded a brigade of Woods Division. Buell’s army. It happened that the first person General Garfield met on entering our camp was my brother, Mark, to whom he said: “I am looking for the camp of the Missouri 25th.” Mark replied, this is the camp of the 25th. “After a few remarks concerning Col. Peabody the General inquired if there were any boys of the name of, Morton, in the regiment. Mark said, “Yes, sir, my name is Morton, and I have three brothers in the regiment.” He then conducted the General to our company and introduced Charley and myself, but John N. required no introduction as the General recognized him at sight as a former neighbor farm boy and playmate. The General praised Colonel Peabody highly for his bravery and intelligent efforts to prevent the entire army from being surprised. All the officers who visited our camp were lavish with eulogies of Col. Peabody and the officers of the first brigade, and it was current opinion that their vigilance alone saved the army from surprise. I have often wondered why historians have not given Colonel Peabody the credit which newspaper correspondents and army officers accorded him immediately after the battle, when the facts were fresh in memory. It is certain the first shot was fired by Colonel Peabody’s brigade and that if that shot had not been fired when it was, the entire army would have been unprepared for attack. Colonel Peabody was awake all the night preceding the battle, receiving information from scouts and consulting the regimental commanders in his brigade (so it was reported for days after the battle) consequently his plans for attack were made deliberately. It was the general opinion that Prentiss knew nothing of these plans and was not even aware that the enemy’s outposts were attacked until firing on the skirmish line had progressed an hour or more, for when he appeared at Colonel Peabody’s tent at 6 o’clock, and asked what that firing meant at the front, and the cause was explained, he was not only surprised but very indignant. It is said he charged Colonel Peabody with having violated orders and brought on an engagement prematurely. Lieutenant Claxton, then Commissary Sergeant, says Prentiss’ language was violent. He told Peabody he would put him under arrest, but for the reason he wanted him to bear his share of the engagement he had precipitated. Why Col. Peabody took the steps he did, without reporting to Prentiss, is a mystery. It could not have been on account of ignorance nor lack of respect to a superior officer, for he was a man of fine intelligence and was ever courteous to both inferior and superior officers, besides every inch a soldier. My brother Mark, who was Col. Peabody’s orderly, corroborates what Lieutenant Claxton says regarding the reproval Prentiss administered to Peabody for his aggressive movement. It was therefore due to Col. Peabody’s enterprise and generalship that the entire army was not surprised. To present the history of the battle in truthful and interesting form the historian should say the regimental and division commanders of the Union army were all, except Peabody’s brigade, if not surprised, caught unprepared, but displayed great ability and heroism in staying a crushing defeat. * * * * * * * * * * * * William Morton’s account of the encounter between Prentiss and Peabody comports somewhat with the account given by F. C. Nichols in a letter to the nephew of Everett Peabody dated Feb. 27, 1902. Larry Daniel in Shiloh – The Battle That Changed the Civil War attributed Nichols’ account as the most accurate because Nichols was “within hearing distance.” (page 350 in the “notes” section). Daniel quoted just a sentence of Nichols’ account but there is more quoted in Joseph Rich’s The Battle of Shiloh. Here is what is in Rich’s book. F. C. Nichols, senior Captain of the 25thMissouri at Shiloh, to F. E. Peabody, Feb. 27, 1902. “At early morn before breakfast the line of Battle was formed, with the right of Brigade resting on the right of our regimental color line. My company was on the right of Brigade. A few minutes after the line was formed, General Prentiss rode up near Colonel Peabody, who was mounted and in front of my company, about the center of the first platoon and said to him, “Colonel Peabody, I hold you responsible for bringing on this fight.” Saluting, Colonel Peabody said: ‘If I brought on the fight I am able to lead the van.’ General Prentiss ordered him to take his best regiment….the next words I heard were: 25thMissouri forward.’” In Nichols’ account and William Morton’s account we find corroboration that Prentiss, despite his anger at the moment, gave Colonel Everett Peabody the respect to lead the 25th Missouri regiment forward and gave him the opportunity to “lead the van” “to bear his share of the engagement he had precipitated.” I like that version best. Hank
  7. Of course Ozzy’s observation is correct. I heard this somewhere else recently that Prentiss sent out David Moore to reinforce Powell and wondered where that could possibly come from. One is left to surmise how anybody could arrive at that conclusion when Moore clearly stated in his report that it was an order from Colonel Peabody that sent Moore and five companies of the 21st Missouri to Powell’s aid. But it was interesting to note that Lt. Col. Woodyard did indeed put in his report; “I have the honor to report that on the morning of the 6th of April, before sunrise, General Prentiss ordered Colonel Moore, with five companies of our regiment, to sustain the pickets of the Twelfth Michigan Infantry.” Woodyard’s comment reinforced the fact that the situation was so chaotic that Woodyard did not even know it was Peabody that sent Moore out with the first five companies and that it was done to “sustain the pickets of the Twelfth Michigan Infantry.” I kept an eye out for a confirmation of Moore’s report concerning who ordered him out with five companies to reinforce Powell. I finally found it in the following letter written in 1883 by William French, who was there. Not only was he there but he was Moore’s adjutant. His short letter contains other interesting points that blow holes in the Shiloh revisionist ship that will aid in sending that ship down to the deep where it belongs. William French’s letter was published on April 12, 1883 in the National Tribune. Copies of the National Tribune are available online. Just google National Tribune and it should show up. It is a short letter so I typed it up and here it is. One Regiment that was Not Surprised. To the Editor National Tribune: “As the manner in which the battle of Shiloh was fought is now under discussion, I would like, with your permission, to relate what I know about it. There was at least one regiment, the Twenty-first Missouri, commanded by Colonel David Moore, which was not surprised. On Saturday morning, April 5th, the day before the battle, General Prentiss, commanding the division to which we belonged, held a review, and at that time some rebel cavalry were seen in the vicinity. In the afternoon he ordered Colonel Moore to take five companies of his regiment and reconnoiter on our front. We went out about a mile and found numerous traces of the presence of rebel cavalry. The inmates of a house which we visited told us that the rebels were in large force, and that we would be attacked the following morning. Colonel Moore reported this fact to Colonel Peabody, who commanded the brigade, and also to General Prentiss, but no notice was taken of it, except that the pickets were strengthened. The next morning found us up early and ready for orders, and presently Colonel Peabody’s adjutant arrived with instructions for Colonel Moore to take out five companies. The pickets had been fired on in the meanwhile, and the Colonel met them falling back. They reported a heavy force in front of them, and the Colonel sent back to camp for the remaining five companies, and taking the pickets with him marched to the front. We had gone about a mile, and were in sight of the house where we heard the afternoon before that we were to be attacked, when the rebels fired on us. Colonel Moore was shot twice. He dismounted and told me to take care of him and keep a sharp lookout. He formed his regiment in line of battle and the boys began to deliver a very rapid fire. At this time an orderly arrived from Colonel Peabody and wished to know whether Colonel Moore could hold his position until he could re-enforce him. Colonel Moore sent back word that he would; but no re-enforcements came, however, and for about an hour we held the ground alone. The Twenty-first Missouri never did better shooting than on that Sunday morning. It was on that field that Colonel Moore was wounded for the third time. A minie ball broke his leg below the knee, and he was taken back to the camp, and afterwards placed on a gunboat on the river, If, after all the fighting we went through that Sunday morning, any of our boys were shot down near their tents, I, for one, don’t pity them. They had plenty of warning. Colonel Moore held his ground faithfully and bravely, and justice indeed has never been done him for the part he took in the battle of Shiloh.” William French Athens, Mo. Co. F, 21stMo. Wiley Sword wrote in his book on page 138; “About 7 P. M. Moore advised Prentiss that the results of his reconnaissance were negative.” That is not what Prentiss wrote in his report nor is it what William French wrote in this letter. William French wrote that they found evidence of Rebel cavalry and were told by citizens that they would be attacked in the morning. Colonel Moore reported this information to both Colonel Everett Peabody and Brigadier General Benjamin Prentiss. The Shiloh revisionists want you to believe that Moore reported nothing to the front of the camps and that Moore’s report is why General Prentiss did nothing as Peabody harangued him about Rebels to the front of his brigade. But the record clearly shows that Moore reported the presence of cavalry and the reaction by Prentiss was to send out additional pickets to strengthen the picket line and authorize additional patrols that eventually culminated in the 3 a. m. patrol by Major James E. Powell and ordered by Peabody. While Prentiss authorized reconnaissance patrols he was unaware as to the timing of those patrols. I have found nothing to indicate that Prentiss was at Peabody’s camp on the night of April 5th. Peabody, Powell and others were taking their case to Prentiss at his headquarters. As it got later on the night of April 5th Peabody continued to receive reports that heightened his alarm and increased his anxiety to know just what was in front of his brigade. But Prentiss was not there and did not have the latest information that Peabody had. It is bewildering to hear revisionists claim that Moore reported that he found nothing actionable. Moore wrote in his report; “In pursuance of the order of Brig. Gen. B. M. Prentiss, commanding Sixth Division, Army of the West Tennessee, I on Saturday proceeded to a reconnaissance on the front of the line of General Prentiss’ division and on the front of General Sherman’s division. My command consisted of three companies from the Twenty-first Missouri Regiment—companies commanded by Captains Cox, Harle, and Pearce. A thorough reconnaissance over the extent of 3 miles failed to discover the enemy. Being unsuccessful, as stated, I returned to my encampment about 7 o’clock p. m. What Moore is referring to is that he did not find any Rebels that he could shoot. Moore does not relate that he found evidence of rebel cavalry but Prentiss wrote that in his report and acted on it by strengthening the picket line. Prentiss wrote “At about 7 o’clock the same evening Colonel Moore returned, reporting some activity in the front—an evident reconnaissance by cavalry. This information received, I proceeded to strengthen the guard stationed on the Corinth road, extending the picket lines to the front a distance of a mile and a half, at the same time extending and doubling the lines of the grand guard.” It should be noted that Moore is pretty specific about the afternoon patrol he took out. He even gave us the names of the commanders of the three companies he took out on the patrol. He makes no mention of going on patrol joined by Major James E. Powell as claimed by Wiley Sword in his book. The idea of a patrol going out with both Moore and Powell just makes no sense and is not backed up by any account that I can find. It is simply one of the figments of Sword’s imagination that has found its way into the narrative and gets repeated by other historians who just repeat another historian’s work without scrutiny. But Prentiss confuses the issue with his report because he gets events out of sequence. Prentiss wrote in his second paragraph: “Saturday evening, pursuant to instructions received when I was assigned to duty with the Army of West Tennessee, the usual advance guard was posted, and in view of information received from the commandant there of, I sent forward five companies of the Twenty-fifth Missouri and five companies of the Twenty-first Missouri Infantry, under command of Col. David Moore, Twenty-first Missouri. I also, after consultation with Col. David Stuart, commanding a brigade of General Sherman’s division, sent to the left one company of the Eighteenth Wisconsin Infantry, under command of Captain Fisk. At about 7 o’clock the same evening Colonel Moore returned, reporting some activity in the front—an evident reconnaissance by cavalry. This information received, I proceeded to strengthen the guard stationed on the Corinth road, extending the picket lines to the front a distance of a mile and a half, at the same time extending and doubling the lines of the grand guard.” The way Prentiss composed these paragraphs gives the impression that Moore returned at 7 o’clock p. m. from a patrol consisting of five companies of the Twenty-first Missouri and five companies of the Twenty-fifth Missouri. But that makes no sense and does not fit the timing given by Moore in his report. Moore clearly wrote that he returned to camp at 7 p. m. after leading the three-company patrol he took out 3 miles. It makes no sense that at dusk with night approaching Prentiss would order a huge patrol of ten companies to go mashing around through the woods in the dark. My view is when Prentiss stated “I sent forward five companies of the Twenty-fifth Missouri and five companies of the Twenty-first Missouri Infantry, under command of Col. David Moore, Twenty-first Missouri” he is not describing a patrol but rather he sent Moore forward with ten companies to strengthen the picket line. Prentiss stated years later that these troops were sent forward with the order to stay through the night and try to capture some Rebels if they could. At some point on the evening of April 5th communication ceased between Prentiss at his headquarters and what was occurring in front of Peabody’s brigade. Prentiss felt he had responded to information received by sending out additional pickets. When Prentiss retired to his tent he believed that the war god David Moore was out on the picket line with ten companies of troops. However, apparently the pickets returned to camp at some point. When Powell’s patrol moved forward at 3 a. m. Prentiss was unaware of that fact. When Peabody heard pretty heavy firing and wounded men came into camp informing him that Powell could use some help Peabody sent his adjutant to Colonel Moore and told him to go to Powell’s aid with five companies. Moore did so and encountered the retreating Powell on the road east of Seay Field. Moore believed the Rebels were just a patrol and that they could be beaten back if Moore had the other five companies of the 21st Missouri. Moore sent an orderly back to camp to have the other five companies of the 21st Missouri sent to him. But the orderly did not follow the command chain. The orderly did not go to Peabody but instead went all the way to Prentiss at his headquarters. Prentiss described the arrival of the orderly in a speech in 1882; “Early in the morning, on the 6th of April, 1862, it was my duty, from what I had learned, to feel the enemy. I had been admonished on the Friday evening before that battle that an enemy of some force was in our front. Not at 3 o’clock, but on the evening of Saturday, before the sun had set, the details were made, and the order given throughout my division to advance the pickets and strengthen them with additional numbers. I did send to the front the gallant Moore, with five of his companies—three at first, and doubting their ability to meet the enemy, I sent two more on my right. On my left two companies of the 18thWisconsin were advanced one mile to the front. In the center, one company of the 61st Illinois and one of the 18th Missouri were sent forward as extra pickets, with instructions to remain until daylight and see if they could not capture some of the marauders that had been engaged in committing depredations immediately in our vicinity. Early on that Sabbath morning, before (while seated at my breakfast news came to me from the gallant Moore) I had heard the musketry fired in front, and heard the skirmishing, an orderly came galloping into camp and said: “General, the compliments of Gen. Moore. He requests me to say to you that he has met the enemy. Send his other five companies and he will lick them.” That is the language that came to me. Gen. Prentiss sent those other five companies of his regiment to him.” The work “admonish” had a different meaning back in the 1800s. The meaning was more close to “informed” as nowadays it is deemed more critical to be “admonished.” Here it is 20 years after the battle of Shiloh and Prentiss related what he believed happened. Note Prentiss remembered sending “to the front the gallant Moore” “to advance the pickets and strengthen them with additional numbers.” Prentiss had no clue as to Powell’s patrol on the morning of April 6th and the available record, including his 1882 speech shows that Prentiss had no clue as to Powell’s patrol when they placed him in his casket in February of 1901. He never mentioned Powell’s patrol and Peabody’s involvement because he never knew. Prentiss believed that Colonel David Moore was at the front with five companies and when he got a messenger from Moore wanting the rest of his regiment that just reinforced Prentiss’s belief that Moore had been involved with the start of the fighting. Back to French’s short letter and the wealth of information it contains for our consideration. 1. 1. French described how Prentiss ordered Moore to take out an afternoon patrol. French wrote five companies but Moore stated just three in his report. French reported they found numerous traces of Rebel cavalry. This contradicts the revisionist claim that Moore found nothing. 2. 2. French described how they were informed by citizens that the Rebels had a large force and that the Union camp would be attacked in the morning. French wrote that Moore passed this information on to both Prentiss and Peabody but that no serious note was taken except to strengthen the pickets. Here is a first indication that French was unaware of Powell’s patrol. It is also the only source I have seen that informs us that not only did Moore alert Prentiss but also Peabody. 3. 3. French confirmed the fact that Moore received an order from Peabody to take out five companies and move to the front. French gave the reason for this order is that the pickets had been fired upon. A second indication that French was unaware of Powell’s patrol. In addition this observation supports Moore report that it was Peabody that ordered him forward. Both Colonel David Moore and his adjutant, William French, say Peabody ordered Moore forward with five companies and they were there. 4. 4. French wrote that Moore met the pickets falling back and stopped them while sending back for the other five companies of the 21st Missouri. This is the third indication that French was unaware of Powell’s patrol and concluded that the men they encountered had been on picket duty instead of a five company patrol that Peabody had ordered to the front. French made no comment but it has been noted that the orderly Moore sent back for the other five companies went to Prentiss and not Peabody. 5. 5. French described the location of their fight as the house they had visited the day before during their reconnaissance which is at Seay Field. Seay Field is not three miles from the camp of the 21st Missouri. Based on Moore’s description that he moved in front of Sherman’s division it appears that he advanced beyond Seay Field but where Moore actually went is open to question. 6. 6. French wrote of Peabody sending an orderly to ask if Colonel Moore could hold his position until Peabody could reinforce him. I have not seen that referenced anywhere else. Finally French declaimed that “Colonel Moore held his ground faithfully and bravely, and justice indeed has never been done him for the part he took in the battle of Shiloh.” Of that French is totally correct. Rather than receiving justice for his role in the battle of Shiloh Colonel David Moore now receives ridicule and mockery at the hands of the Shiloh revisionists. He is depicted as a liar and a buffoon who could not find his way through the trees in front of Peabody’s camp without losing his way. There is no better example of how Shiloh revisionism has adversely affected the modern history of the battle of Shiloh than reading about the opening of the fight in Keven Getchell’s Scapegoat of Shiloh. What a shame that readers of that book who are not familiar with the battle of Shiloh will believe any of what Getchell wrote concerning the opening of the fight. Getchell did Moore and Prentiss a severe injustice in his book because he followed the Shiloh revisionist mantra. With that I close this posting even though I have so much more to tell. But tomorrow is another day and how it came to be that Colonel David Moore has been falsely depicted as a liar and a buffoon will be revealed in an upcoming posting. Hank
  8. Hi Perry. I know you are funning me because Prentiss made no statements in his official report about Peabody’s conduct in the battle and his role in alerting the army of the presence of the enemy prior to the attack. I would expound on that to clarify that there had been encounters with the Rebels prior to the morning of April 6, particularly the skirmish Buckland had that ended up facing Hardee’s infantry and even artillery at Micky’s on April 4. Prentiss was aware of a presence of enemy in the front and responded by ordering increased pickets forward on the night of April 5. But, as Prentiss admitted later, he had absolutely no idea that a full-scale attack from Johnston’s entire army was about to come down on his head. Colonel Peabody sent Major Powell out on the morning of April 6 and Powell found the entire Rebel army poised to strike the Union camps. The Colonel’s actions alerted the army to the presence of the entire Rebel army. I know you are aware of my views on Prentiss but others might not be so I take the liberty to refer to the following articles published in the Quincy Herald-Whig and on the website of the Historical Society of Quincy and Adams County. These articles were slightly edited from what I wrote without my input. They are slightly different but the gist is the same. http://www.whig.com/article/20160710/ARTICLE/307109929# https://hsqac.org/major-general-benjamin-mayberry-prentiss-quincys-slandered-hero-shiloh-hank-koopman/ On my last research visit to the Shiloh National Military Park I was reminded the degree to which the unwarranted, and unsubstantiated, vilification of Prentiss has permeated the Shiloh story. I was minding my own business at the research desk leafing through files with only one of the Shiloh volunteers in presence. I had made no references to Prentiss when out of the blue the Shiloh volunteer said to me “You know Prentiss took credit for sending out the Powell patrol.” The volunteer was surprised when I calmly replied “That is not true.” I got back “That is what all the books say.” My calm reply was “Those books are wrong.” Of all people to make the untrue statement that Prentiss took credit for sending out Powell’s patrol I am not the one. The incident reinforced my objection to the fact that I cannot even visit the park without someone trying to make me dislike Prentiss by spouting out things I know are not true. Perry, although you did not ask my view as to why Prentiss makes no mention of what Peabody did during the battle I am going to give it. Ozzy has made some recent posts that are relevant to the subject as to why is there no mention of Peabody’s actions before and during the battle in Prentiss’s report? In the forum “April 7” thread “Value of the POWs” Ozzy broached the subject of Prentiss’s official report with the following: Prentiss, Prisoners and Prognosticating Nature abhors a vacuum... and I have attempted over the past several months to determine, "Why was General Prentiss' Report of Battle of Shiloh in error, as regards the roles of Peabody and Powell ?" (Errors of omission, as in, "no credit given for the early morning reconnaissance ordered by Colonel Peabody and performed by Major Powell.") The death of Peabody was not discovered until the 25th Missouri regained their camp on April 7. Early newspaper accounts listed Peabody as wounded. Peabody’s brother made the trip from Massachusetts with the understanding that Everett Peabody had been severely wounded. When the brother arrived at Shiloh he discovered his brother had been placed in a wood crate and he took him back home to Massachusetts for burial and thus removing Colonel Peabody far away from western theater of battle. Meanwhile the last time Prentiss saw Peabody was in the camp of the 25th Missouri when they had their altercation and Prentiss told Peabody that he was responsible for bringing on the engagement. Prentiss never saw Peabody again and could not very well write about Peabody’s actions during the fight when he had no idea what Peabody had done. Prentiss included observations on Madison Miller, Jacob Tindall and Colonel C. S. Albans because they were with Prentiss during the fight and he could vouch for their actions. Prentiss was on his way to Memphis along with a couple thousand other prisoners by the time Peabody was confirmed killed. The only way Prentiss could learn of Peabody’s death is if someone told him but all the prisoners were sent off the battlefield on the night of April 6. During his imprisonment Prentiss might have read some smuggled newspapers but otherwise what Prentiss was hearing was how he and his men had surrendered first thing. Prentiss was finally released from prison and arrived in Washington DC on October 17, 1862. He spent a busy day visiting Lincoln and relating how the prisoners had been mistreated and it was going to take a big effort to bring the south to heel. That night Prentiss was serenaded and gave a speech and immediately left for Quincy, Illinois with a group of five or six other officers. He was given a 30-day leave. He passed through Chicago where he was serenaded again and he gave a speech along with several of the other officers. Prentiss then traveled home to Quincy, Illinois. The trip was a whirlwind of activity. By this time it was over six months after Shiloh and the war had moved on. During this journey the only way Prentiss would have known of the death of Peabody is if someone told him. There is no reasonable expectation that someone would have told Prentiss what Peabody had done during the battle so he could include it in his report. Prentiss did not return to an existing division where he could get information about the battle from a staff. He returned alone to Quincy. The usual sequence for an official report by a senior commander was that he would wait to receive the reports of his underlings to aid in the preparation of his report. Prentiss had no such advantage. He had never read or had in his possession the reports of the members of his division. Prentiss was writing blind using just his memory and understanding of what had happened. Prentiss had not a clue as to what had transpired concerning Peabody ordering out Powell’s patrol. This is evident in his report when he attributed the start of the fighting to the combative Colonel David Moore. One missing puzzle piece for me was to confirm that there were no officers of the 25th Missouri among the officer prisoners captured along with Prentiss. Ozzy posted the link he found to a list of officers captured at Shiloh. The list has no officer from the 25th Missouri who might have been able to tell Prentiss what transpired in their camp concerning the actions of Peabody and Powell. The date of November 17, 1862 shows that Prentiss procrastinated the writing of his report. Prentiss felt no need to get his story out as quickly as possible. He waited until the last day of his leave to finally write it. The report was not Prentiss’s top priority as other events were taking place in Quincy at that time. The papers are full of the Emancipation Proclamation issued by Lincoln after the September battle at Antietam. Prentiss was busy as he was invited to give speeches relating to the very important mid-term elections. In November Prentiss married a 24-year old woman to be his second wife. That surely cut into the time he had to write a report about Shiloh. It is surmised by some that the reason Prentiss did not mention more about Peabody and his death on the battlefield is that he hated Peabody. If that is the criteria than Peabody must have been the most hated man in the brigade. Of the five official reports submitted by regimental officers of Peabody’s brigade only one lists the death of Peabody. (Col. Francis Quinn of the 12th Michigan). Lt. Col. Robert Van Horn of the 25th Missouri must have really hated Peabody because he did not mention the death of Peabody in his report. The big difference between those officers and Prentiss is that they knew Peabody had been killed but Prentiss did not. General Grant was so impressed with Peabody (and Julius Raith) that he did not mention him in his report either. But we did learn all about Sherman’s boo-boo to his hand from Grant. Prentiss did not note the deaths of Colonel Tindall of the 23rd Missouri and Colonel Albans of the 18th Wisconsin in his report but he did mention their outstanding service which he witnessed. I guess Prentiss hated them too. My view is that had Prentiss known of the deaths of Tindal and Albans he would have mentioned their sacrifice in his hastily written report. If Prentiss did not know of the deaths of Tindal and Albans it is logical to conclude he did not know of the death of Peabody either when he wrote his report. But why is there no mention of the part played in the opening of the fight by Major Powell? Because Prentiss did not know the fight was initiated by Powell’s patrol. Prentiss believed that the fight was initiated with the troops under the command of Colonel David Moore. Then that brought up the question as to when did Prentiss finally learn that the fight was initiated by Major Powell’s patrol? I set to work on this myself (just a retired engineer doing the type of Shiloh research that Shiloh revisionist historians just won’t do) and through luck and lots of hours in archives I found out that every time I found a report, letter, speech and a newspaper account where Prentiss described the opening of the fight he always attributed it to Colonel David Moore. I have found nothing in which Prentiss gave any indication he knew of Powell’s patrol. Therefore, my view is that the answer to when Brigadier General Benjamin Mayberry Prentiss learned of the early morning patrol by Major James E. Powell is – NEVER. Benjamin Mayberry Prentiss went to his grave never knowing of Major Powell’s patrol and how the battle of Shiloh truly started. The idea that Benjamin Prentiss deliberately dissed Colonel Peabody by not acknowledging Peabody’s role in sending out Major Powell’s patrol that ended up alerting the army and gave it time to defend itself fails to scrutiny. Prentiss can hardly be expected to have credited Peabody with doing something of which Prentiss was unaware. The good General is doing just fine. He sleeps well and I appreciate the opportunity to explain why. There is a lot more to be told. Hank
  9. Greetings to all, I missed the anniversary hikes but this video of Bjorn’s hike describing the spirited defense of their camps put up by the Sixth Division and their commanding general is really quite good. Many thanks to Tony for posting it and to Bjorn for the extensive preparation showing that the Sixth Division put the hurt to the Rebels even if, eventually, they were overwhelmed and lost their camps. The final walk was made from the camp of the 18th Wisconsin to Prentiss’s Headquarters. Bjorn related the order Prentiss gave to his division to fall back fighting. How many men did fall back fighting is impossible to know but there are a couple accounts I found which described the fighting in this area of the battlefield as the men of the 6th Division fell back from their camps. The intrepid Captain Andrew Hickenlooper described his battery’s fall back from Spain Field to the color line of his camp where Union troops tried to rally and form a new line. Hickenlooper’s camp was just west of Prentiss’s headquarters so the action he described occurred between Prentiss’s headquarters and the camps of Colonel Madison’s brigade. Hickenlooper’s account of the battle of Shiloh can be found in Sketches of War History 1861-1865, Vol. V. Hopefully this link will get you there. https://archive.org/details/sketcheswarhist00unkngoog On page 414 we find Hickenlooper’s claim of providing a warning to the rest of the army. It was thus the Fifth Battery met and assisted in checking the first determined onslaught of the enemy, giving nearly two precious hours’ notice of approaching danger to the still slumbering army far to the rear. On page 416 Hickenlooper described the backward movement from Spain field to their color line at their camp. Barely in time to escape the touch of bayonets, over ditches, between trees, through underbrush, over logs, every rider lashing his team, we gain an opening, when the bugle’s “Battery, halt,” again brings order out of apparent confusion, and the shattered battery has a chance to breathe for the first time since early morning. It seems an age, and yet but two, or at most three, hours had elapsed since we passed to the front with all the pomp and pride of conscious power. Slowly we moved backward, saving ourselves from capture only by bringing the remaining sections alternately into action, until we reached the color-line of our camps, upon which an effort was being made to reform our disorganized forces. On page 422 Hickenlooper noted his last conversation with Brigadier General Benjamin Prentiss as the Hornets’ Nest collapsed. It was then General Prentiss informed me that he feared it was too late for him to make the attempt to withdraw his infantry, but that I must pull out, and, if possible, reach the reserves, or forces forming in the rear. I bade the General--as brave a little man as ever lived—good-by, and, under whip and spur, the remnant of our battery dashed down the road, barely escaping capture. Near the end of the hike a participant brought up the Shiloh novel by Shelby Foote in which she said the Mississippi and Alabama troops gave full credit to the men of the 6th Division for the fighting they did to slow the Confederate “avalanche.” I have not read Foote’s novel on Shiloh but for a Confederate view of a man who was there I refer those interested to an article written in 1901 by Isaac Ulmer and titled “A Glimpse of Johnston Through the Smoke of Shiloh” and published in The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 10, July 1906 – April 1907. Isaac had a front row seat in the attack on the 6th Division because he was a member of Company C of Wirt Adams cavalry. On the morning of April 5th, 1862 Ulmer’s company was ordered to report to General Albert Sidney Johnston to serve as his cavalry escort for the coming fight. As you read Isaac’s account he is describing mostly the attack on Prentiss’s camps because we know that Johnston was directing the movements on the Rebel right flank. Eventually Isaac refers to the fighting even further to the right as the Rebel attack moved against Stuart’s brigade. Isaac gave no definite locations in his descriptions because he probably did not know exactly where he was but if you have an understanding of the fighting for Prentiss’s camps and the attacks on Stuart and then McArthur you can get a good idea of what Isaac is describing and where it is. Following is a segment from Isaac’s article relating to the attack on Prentiss’s camps. I assume he is referring to the camps of the 2nd brigade under Colonel Madison Miller. “I remember about this time of day, say 10 or 11 o’clock, or perhaps a little earlier, we rode into the enemy’s encampment, from which our infantry had previously swept them. The tents were pitched in company formation and full of the impediments of a field force. Evidently they had been interrupted at an early breakfast. At some of the camp fires the breakfast was untouched, and some of the men partly undressed, lay dead in the tents, and yet they say no surprise was acknowledged by Genl. Grant. I do not know how this was, but they fought stubbornly from position to position. (Some of our after experience of surprisals make us think of occasions, when we knew that surprised Yankees could and would fight.) I will not notice further this controversy, but I here add my testimony to the gallant stand made hour after hour that day by this Federal Army. The carnage of this field was terrible. Nearly one man in three being either killed or wounded. Battery after battery was knocked to pieces, and their brave dead lay silently attesting how bravely they had fought.’ Near the end of the article Isaac gave his opinion of General Benjamin Mayberry Prentiss when he wrote: But enough; the gallant Prentiss with the large part of his brigade had been captured some time in the evening, numerous other prisoners had been sent to the rear,… “The gallant Prentiss;” a tribute from a Confederate who was there. Surprisingly even with my rudimentary internet skills I astonished myself by finding a link to the full article published in The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association. Hopefully the link works as I am not sure I could do it again. The link gets you into the magazine and you scroll the pages. Here is the link https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101040/m1/317/ I found a copy of Isaac’s article in the folder for the 3rd Alabama Cavalry at the Alabama Department of Archives and History. There were some slight changes between the article I found versus what was published in the quarterly. I thought the description in the article I found was better than that published so the paragraph I included came from the article I found. You can compare what I wrote with the published article to see the differences. Somewhere in my research materials I have an account by a member of the 18th Missouri. Unfortunately I could not find the original documentation but wanted to pass along my recollection of what this soldier said as it relates to the retreat of the 18th Missouri through the very area of the battlefield covered by Bjorn’s hike. If I find the account in my files I will edit this posting. Hopefully my memory is sufficient to get the point across. The 18th Missouri soldier related how, around 1895, he and a group of other 18th Missouri soldiers walked the battlefield with David Wilson Reed and pointed out to him locations where they had made a “stand” as they retreated from their camp to the Hornets’ Nest area. What stood out was that they identified five locations where they thought Reed should put in a tablet depicting where they had turned around and stood their ground for a while and then retreated further. (I say five but it might have been four, maybe three) Reed did not put in that many tablets. He just put in one for the position held by the 18th Missouri from 8:30 am to 9:00 am. This was the second position taken by the regiment after they retreated from their first position. It was near their camp. The reason to point this out is that it reveals how units made a fighting retreat through the woods and fields even if those positions are not recognized with tablets. The final item of interest I will point out is what Captain E B. Whitman wrote to Major General J. L. Donaldson on March 26, 1866 concerning Whitman’s efforts to locate the bodies of buried soldiers, Union and Confederate, on the Shiloh battlefield. Union soldiers were reinterred in the new national cemetery which graces the hill above the landing today. Whitman was tasked with finding bodies of Union soldiers throughout the area around Pittsburg Landing. General Donaldson was the Chief Quartermaster of the Military Division of the Tennessee. I obtained a typed transcript of Whitman’s letter from the Shiloh National Military Park. To make sure that copy was correct I followed up with a trip to the National Archives in Washington DC to read the original handwritten document that Whitman sent to Donaldson. Except for a minor error that referred to the Bay field in the typed document when Whitman wrote the Ray field the typed copy matched what Whitman had written. Whitman’s R was mistaken for a B. I have included only that part of Whitman’s letter that related to Shiloh and his observations as to where the heaviest fighting occurred. Captain Whitman started his March 26, 1866 communication with General Donaldson with the opening sentence: “Having completed the exploration of the Battleground of Shiloh or Pittsburg Landing, I hasten to communicate briefly the results of my labors since the last report.” Following is Captain Whitman’s description of his efforts at locating the bodies of the fallen at Shiloh. “I come now to the most important and interesting portion of my work of this section – an inspection of the battlefield of Pittsburg Landing or Shiloh Church. Seven days of uninterrupted labor of the entire party have been devoted to the work; and, I flatter myself, with a good degree of success. A space of territory containing about twelve square miles has been examined minutely. An aggregate of about four hundred linual miles of travel have been accomplished on the grounds. The field has been swept by the entire party, deployed in manner of skirmish line, at such distances from each other as to leave the intervening space within easy observation. In this manner we passed over the entire battlefield back and forth, the outer man scoring the trees as he went, to guide on the return. Every grave, group of graves and trench have been carefully noted and the location recorded by point of compass and distance from some prominent point or object easy of recognition. The separate graves have been counted and each lot and group recorded by itself. Every legible name, number, and inscription has been copied. Plans of the road, fields, houses, etc., will be prepared, and in addition to a written description, the location of the larger group of graves will be noted on the place. The result of the exploration has been the discovery and localizing of the burial places of eighteen hundred and seventy four union dead. Six hundred and twenty have been identified by headboards and inscriptions, and the inscriptions copied. Of all these, sixty five (65) are solitary graves situated here and there over the entire field. There are eighty nine groups of separate graves containing more than two in the group. Twenty one trenches containing at the most moderate estimate, two hundred and fifty four bodies – probably more – have been notices. All of these solitary graves, groups and trenches occupying no less than one hundred and seventy eight different localities scattered from the bank of the river to the extreme exterior line, and from the extreme right of the right wing to the extreme left of the left wing covering all the fighting ground of that memorable and bloody contest.” The above two paragraphs show the extent of the work that Captain Whitman and his force performed in locating bodies on the Shiloh battlefield approximately four years after the fight The next paragraph and one sentence of the following paragraph are for those interested in knowing the truth about Shiloh. The following words of Captain Whitman are quintessential in deriving that truth. “The haste of the graves of the Union dead, as well as the trenches and mounds covering the rebel dead, marks most distinctly the progress of the fight, and the points where each party suffered most severely. The appearance of the very woods themselves indicated the points at which the fight raged most fiercely. On our left, covering the ground over which General Prentiss was driven from the Ray and Spain lands across the Barnes and George farms to the Bell field where he was finally captured, the slaughter of the Federal troops seems by the number of graves to have been terrible. (Bold added) At one point N.E. of the Widow Bell’s house where an Indiana Battery is said to have been stationed, the brush and small trees are mown off as with a scythe, and the number of rebel dead is greater than at any other point. The ground is now white with their bones. On our right also the rebels seem to have suffered most severely, while in the center there seems to have been less fighting as fewer graves are found.” Captain E. B. Whitman, who was physically on the Shiloh battlefield just four years after the battle when the evidence of the fighting was still fairly fresh mentioned just one general officer in his report and where that officer fought “the slaughter of the Federal troops seems by the number of graves to have been terrible.” That officer is Brigadier General Benjamin Mayberry Prentiss. It is not Sherman, it is not McClernand, it is not Hurlbut and it is not WHL Wallace. It is Prentiss. Because Bjorn’s hike covered the spirited defense of their camps by the 6th Division and their route of retreat to the Hornets’ Nest I thought this thread would be a good place to add some information that corroborates Bjorn’s hike and would be of interest “The ground is now white with their bones” could very well be the area of the battlefield where Johnston sustained his mortal wound. I believe the Indiana battery erroneously referred to by Whitman was Willard’s battery. Hank
  10. “The Devil is in the Details.” As part of understanding what happened at Shiloh even the smaller details become of interest. The question as to when heroes Brigadier General Prentiss and Colonel Everett Peabody reached Pittsburg Landing is of consequence when trying to analyze what really was the relationship between these two men. When did they first meet? Prentiss had probably heard of Peabody in Missouri but I have not found anything to indicate they had actually met before Shiloh. Based on my research I wrote the following paragraph in a longer document I am working on concerning what really happened at Shiloh: “The 25th Missouri left St. Louis on the steamer Continental on March 26th bound for Pittsburg Landing. En route they were joined by Prentiss and his meager staff at Paducah so that gave Prentiss and Peabody an opportunity to become acquainted. They reached Pittsburg landing the night of March 28th and disembarked the next day.” The source of this information is Major General Charles Morton. Charles Morton was a boy of 16 at Shiloh. After the war he went to West Point and then served out west fighting Indians. In the forum “25th Missouri at Shiloh” Ozzy introduced Charles Morton and gave the following link for his paper “A Boy at Shiloh.” On page 56 is the statement about picking up Prentiss at Paducah. http://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?num=52&u=1&seq=96&view=image&size=100&id=wu.89065903692&q1=Loyal+Legion Charles Morton wrote another paper “Opening of the Battle of Shiloh.” Pages 8 and 9 describe the boat ride to Pittsburg Landing and names the steamer “Continental.” Here is a link to Morton’s paper. https://archive.org/details/openingofbattleo00mort I put the two accounts together to come up with the paragraph listing the name of the steamer and that Prentiss joined the 25th Missouri aboard the Continental at Paducah. All four Morton brothers survived the war but a brother-in-law was killed at Shiloh defending the camp of the 25th Missouri. In his later years Charles Morton would host a dinner every April 6th and invite participants and they would discuss what they remembered about the battle. Hank
  11. I can hardly wait. I look forward to it. In the mean time here is Jack Nicholson impersonating me when it comes to Shiloh revisionists: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UXoNE14U_zM Hank
  12. I needed a break from my continuing and relentless efforts to crush the Shiloh revisionism malarkey of the last forty years or so and decided to see if I could answer this quiz. 1. The man of many talents, Lew Wallace, sat on the Military Tribunal that tried Booth’s accomplices in 1865. 2. Ulysses S. Grant was fortunate his wife did not like Lincoln’s wife and she had no desire to accompany the Lincolns to Ford’s Theatre on the night of April 14, 1865. Lincoln’s so called security detail failed him miserably but Grant also traveled with a security detail and had he went with Lincoln that night history would be different. 3. My trusted copy of The Bold Cavaliers revealed the name of this officer and the same picture. The man is Thomas Henry Hines and the picture was credited to the Filson Club in Louisville, Kentucky. 4. Hines studied law in Toronto with none other than the former vice-president of the United States, John C. Breckinridge. (Source – Wikipedia) 5. The staff officer was an aide to P.G.T. Beauregard at Shiloh. His name is Jacob Thompson and he served in the cabinet of President Buchanan along with the notoriously inept Rebel General John B. Floyd. (I just searched on Google with the clues given and found his name) 6. Vincent Price would have made a superb Dr. Luke Blackburn as the story was told of his attempts to introduce Yellow Fever to Northern cities. Interesting to find that despite the attempt at biological warfare Blackburn was elected governor of Kentucky in the 1870s. Anyway, searching Google I eventually found a page of a book which was the biography of John C. Breckinridge and in it was described Dr. Blackburn attending to Breckinridge. They were both Kentuckians so it made sense. It is a little tricky to have John C. Breckinridge the answer to two disparate questions but the search for these answers was, as always, beneficial and informative in learning additional facts about the battle of Shiloh. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all. Hank
  13. I have my reservation in Savannah and plan to be there as scheduled. Since the research I have done over the years involves Prentiss, Peabody, Powell, the opening of the fight and the Sunken Road and Hornets’ Nest I invite anybody from this group and any others who have an interest to meet me at 9 AM on Sunday, Nov. 12, at the Prentiss headquarters monument where I will share information on Prentiss. Then I plan to visit Peabody’s monument to have a discussion of what happened in the opening of the fight. After that we will make a trip to the Hornets’ Nest to discuss the action there and along the Sunken Road. Other details like the amount of walking and time frame will be worked out once we get started. I have no fixed time for ending but figure on continuing as long as there is an interest to do so. I was going to offer to do this after the morning Trabue hike but since those plans have changed I adjusted to start Sunday morning. Hank
  14. David Reed’s brother was Corporal Milton Reed and died of disease in Jackson, Tennessee on February 2, 1863 at age 19 and was originally buried there. His body was moved to the Corinth National Cemetery after the war where it is marked with a headstone. The name is misspelled as Milton T. Roed instead of Reed. Tim Smith wrote an article on Reed published in The Annals of Iowa, vol. 62, no. 3, ccin 2003 that relates the story. Find a Grave has a picture of the headstone. Hank
  15. I go with the Corinth Road at the south end of the park.
  16. hank

    First Capital to fall

    The Confederate recognized capital of Kentucky was Bowling Green. The Confederates left Bowling Green after the fall of FortHenry on February 6, 1862 and prior to the fall of Nashville so it was the first Confederate recognized capital to go under Union control. In Missouri the contender would be Neosho. The South recognized Missouri as a Southern state but that was later in 1861 and the Union had already occupied Jefferson City in June 1861. Then the secessionist Jackson government set up in Neosho on October 21, 1861. But ten days later the government moved to Cassville. This southwestern part of Missouri was in turmoil until the battle of Pea Ridge on March 7-8, 1862 so it is hard to tell which side was occupying which town at which time. Perhaps the Union could claim control of Neosho before Nashville fell. Claiborne Fox Jackson was the secessionist Rebel governor of Missouri who was driven into exile and tried to take Missouri into the Confederacy and failed. Jackson died on December 6, 1862. George Johnson was the Rebel governor of Kentucky with the Shiloh connection. The connection being he was killed there fighting on foot in the private ranks of the Orphan Brigade from Kentucky on April 7, 1862. On April 6 he was mounted but his horse was killed so he took an oath as a private and fought on April 7 in the ranks. After the secessionist government of Missouri fled the state they set up in Arkansas but ended up in Marshall, Texas and that is where the Missouri Confederate government was at the end of the war. Go Cubs!!!!!! Hank
  17. Welcome to the group Pat, As my great-great-grandfather was also with the 58thIllinois and was captured at Shiloh and held as a prisoner until October 1862 I have studied the regiment for a long time. I have a roster of the regiment and if you would state your great grandpa’s full name I could look for him in the roster. The only officer I found with the first name of Patrick was Patrick Gregg. Some of the privates from Shiloh got paroled in May but others did not get paroled until October. As Ed Bearss was a marine I am sure it added to the experience of being on a battlefield with him. There is lots of information on this site and the search option can help you find it. Search the 58thIllinois and you will find numerous postings that should be of interest. I have been to every battlefield the 58thIllinois fought on during the war. The purpose of this forum is to share information so ask away. Cheers, Hank
  18. In the “Charles C. Cloutman Papers, Special Collections, State Historical Society of Iowa, Des Moines” there is a memorial book dedicated to Captain Charles Cloutman of Company K of the 2nd Iowa. Captain Cloutman led his company up the slopes of Fort Donelson on February 15, 1862 and was shot dead through the heart during the advance on the fort. He was 37 years old and had a wife and three children plus Charles Cloutman Jr. was born the day after his father’s funeral on February 25, 1862. His wife was a cousin of General Winfield Scott. The Iowa State Archivist gave approval to this posting of letters and information from the Charles C. Cloutman Papers. The Iowa State Archives is a treasure trove of information concerning the battles of Shiloh and Fort Donelson. The memorial book is almost two inches thick and contains pages that are probably legal size. Someone prepared the book and typed information pertaining to the regiment and numerous newspaper articles from the Ottumwa, Iowa newspaper, the Courier, and others. Some of these articles were written by Captain Cloutman under the pseudonym the Pewquaket Boy. Interspersed within these typed pages are original letters written by Captain Cloutman to his wife. Captain Cloutman was a musician and taught singing school. He was engaged in the grocery business in Ottumwa, Iowa and was Captain of the Ottumwa City Guards. He offered his services to Governor Kirkwood of Iowa in November, 1860. He must have anticipated the need for soldiers for the troubles to come. The Ottumwa City Guards were one of the first companies in Iowa to tender service to the state. The City Guards were mustered in as Co. K of the 2nd Iowa on May 6, 1861. The regiment served in various locations until sent to Fort Donelson on February 10, 1862. As an aside there was a 1st Iowa regiment that fought under General Lyon at Wilson Creek suffering 159 casualties. The 1st Iowa was a 90-day regiment and was mustered out in August 1861. Reenlisting soldiers went to other regiments and the designation 1st Iowa was not assigned to a regiment again. For another account of the charge of 2nd Iowa by a man who was there go here: https://books.google.com/books?id=jLVJAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA177&lpg=PA177&dq=The+midland+monthly+magazine+fort+donelson&source=bl&ots=arEze88_TY&sig=ucihtbCoDYANRrVJ9w6DF2P0XP4&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjRu76-pqjPAhVV6GMKHSwqB0YQ6AEIHDAA#v=onepage&q=The midland monthly magazine fort donelson&f=false I copied and pasted the above link and it worked. If it fails Google - The Midland Monthly Magazine Fort Donelson - and it should show up. The author is W. S. Moore. Midland War Sketches – The Famous Charge at Fort Donelson. Moore’s account is interesting because he relates a conversation with Captain Cloutman and how Cloutman has a presentiment of his upcoming death in combat. Cloutman wants to go home but feels he cannot do so without dishonor. He must first lead his company as they “see the elephant” for the first time. The article contains a picture of Captain Cloutman. Upon reading the memorial book to Captain Cloutman at the Iowa State Archives in Des Moines, Iowa I was struck by the letter he wrote to his wife on January 31, 1862. In the letter he referred to the “fiery epistle” he had received from his wife, Rachel. From reference to his response it appears Rachel accused Captain Cloutman of “growing cold” and scolded him to the point Cloutman hastily stutters a reply to the accusation that must have caused him great grief. Rachel Cloutman was home without her husband with three children and in the eighth month of the pregnancy of their fourth child. One can just imagine her feelings when she learned that the man she had scolded for being cold had died in the charge of the 2nd Iowa at Fort Donelson. I found the letters of Cloutman to be of extreme interest as they relate to the movements of the 2nd Iowa towards Fort Donelson and their activities prior to the movement. In letters dated January 26, 1862 and February 10, 1862 there is reference to the melancholy that Cloutman experienced as related by W. S. Moore in his account of the charge at Fort Donelson. Several times Cloutman instructs his wife to burn a letter. I started with a letter dated December 10, 1861 and continued to the last one dated February 10, 1862. There are nine letters of varying length. Cloutman’s handwriting was not too hard to decipher once you got use to his writing but there were some words that I could just not decipher. Some sentences run together as he frequently did not use periods and did not use apostrophes as in dont and wont. Following are letters from Captain Cloutman to his wife, Rachel. They have three children named Ella, Lefe and Frank. Cloutman reveals feelings he does not want known to others than his wife and thus you see a couple notations to her to burn the letter. It is hard to tell why Rachel accused Cloutman as “growing cold” as he seems to profess his love for her and the children in his letters. Cloutman was a Democrat and regretted the election of Lincoln but had no hesitation to offer his services to defend the Union. On a trip through Springfield Cloutman related in a story to the Courier as to how he visited Lincoln’s home and went through the front gate and put his hand on the door knob Lincoln must have used thousands of times. There was a tenant in a portion of Lincoln’s home. With no more comment here are some of the letters Cloutman wrote to his wife that give a glimpse of the hardships and conflicting feelings the war caused to sacrificing families. Benton Barracks Dec. 10. 1861 After a long time I have arrived in camp. I had to stop 3 nights & 2 days in Keokuk waiting for a boat. On Thursday at noon I took the ferry boat for Quincy. At 4 oclock that afternoon we got on a sand bar in the River and could not get off until Saturday morning. The men on board 2 nights and one day. On arriving at Quincy we found that no packets were running and that no trains soon to leave for South late Sunday night at 10 oclock. There being no other way to do it we left for Springfield Ill. and after stopping 10 hours in that town we took the Chicago down train at 6 oclock on Monday night and got into St. Louis at 12 oclock last night. Today at noon I got into camp. Pretty well tired out and willing to rest. To night (Tuesday) I thot I would drop you a line to let you know that I am safe and sound. Nothing new in Camp. I am going to write a letter to the Courier in a day or two in which you will (page 2) see a listing of my travels and something that occurred. I expected to send you home money this week but I find on arriving here that they will only pay the Officers when the companies are paid off. Which will happen about the first of January. You will have to do with what you have got. I am plum strapped but can borrow enough to do me till that time. I am getting bigger every day and cant tell when I shall stop. I have just got a letter from Bro. Io which says he weighed 222 and can whip me he thinks. I don’t think so. I hope you will content yourself and get along well. The present prospect is that our regiment will stay here for some time probably all winter. I dont expect it likely that any thing will happen to us very bad. (Ed. note: Not a good prediction) I shall write you again as soon as I can. Be a good girl and remember I love you and how I would like to be with you. Keep the children and yourself comfortable this winter. Good-bye. Chas Camp Benton – St. Louis Dec. 20, 1861 My Dear Wife I have just received your letter the 1st I have received since I have been here. We are all jogging along quietly here in camp with nothing to do except the usual duties of drilling and other camp duty. Our Regiment is improving a little in health. Our sick list is about 200 some less than it was. The camp is lively and full of soldiers. The picture above (Ed. note: Cloutman glued a print of Camp Benton at the top of the sheet) will give you an idea of the appearance of about one half of it looking towards the East it is being extended out and additional quarters built for the men. Our Company is situated where I have made an X. We are comfortable. I have a very good room with two lieutenants in with me a good coal stove and bunks to sleep on. We have a small room for a kitchen in the rear when Io cooks and we get our meals. Io is a first rate cook and we are getting along very comfortably. When I get tired (page 2) I go down to the city and see the sights. Like I wrote I am getting along comfortable. The weather has been warm and ?? Io came back but today it has turned cold and I think we are going to have some pretty rough weather. I have nothing of importance to write you as we are doing nothing and but little prospect of much to do. There is some talk that our Regt will be sent down to the City to do Police Guard duty in the city. But I don’t credit the report very much. I am glad you are getting along so well. I hope Mary will stay through the winter. Keep Frank and Ella at School and have him write me once in a while. His letter was written very well. Have him keep trying and be careful how he spells and it will improve him very much. I am fat and heavy yet. I have got up to 190 and think now I shall get through the war(?) first Rate. I drilled our Regiment yesterday (page 3) afternoon for the 1st time. The Col is at home & the Lt. Col had a sore throat and I am the oldest Capt on Parade so he gave it up to me. I done very well they said for a green hand. I think I can improve after a little practice. Senator Johnson and Alvan Sieghton(?) are here in the city. They have been out to camp once or twice. When you write again tell me whether you got the Bedstead and got it set up. You had better get a good pile of wood and get it sawed up so you will not be troubled during the winter for wood. Keep enough feed for the Cow and see that she is well fed as it is better and cheaper to keep her fat than poor. You will be able to get along I think if you try. I hope you will content yourself and keep things all right. I shall not get any money till after new year but when I do I shall send some to you. Eaton is flourishing around as usual. I should like to be with you but I cannot hope to at present. I think it is quite as much self denial to me as to you to be away. If I could make as much money I should rather be at home. It is a little tough but I shall have to stand it awhile. Give my love to all and remember for yourself and our little ones that I am constantly thinking. You know more than I may tell you on paper. Good by. Charles St. Louis Dec. 21, 1861 Rachel, I have borrowed 35 dollars of Nathan Manro who is going home and I want you to pay him back that amount and as soon as I get my pay I will send you some. I am out of money and have had to borrow of him. Pay him 35 dollars and it will all be right. I am very well. He will tell you all about how I am getting along. My love to you and to the little ones. Charles C. Cloutman St. Louis Dec. 30. 1861 My Dear. I have been looking anxiously for a letter from you every day during the last week but none has come. Since I wrote you last we have moved from Benton Barracks to this place for the purpose of guarding the Regiment of Secesh captured at Warrensburg last week. We are stationed at buildings called “McDowells College” in which are confined 10 or 12 hundred prisoners. Our duty is to see that they don’t escape. Our Regiment is quartered in a Block of 3 storyed brick buildings and are very comfortable. My boy Io is a first rate cook and I like him first rate. We are getting along well. My room is a dining room in the ell part of the house. Back of us is a kitchen where our cooking is done. We have plenty to east and I have a nice cot to sleep on with plenty of blankets. We are stationed in the city about 1 mile from the Planters (Ed. note: Planter’s House was a famous St. Louis hotel which stood from 1817-1922) southwest. I think we shall stay here 3 or 4 weeks. Though we cant tell. If you are getting along comfortably I shall be very happy. I need not tell you how to get along as you know already. I want you to write me often and tell me all about how you are getting along. What you are doing. and how Mary and the children flourish. I have some things that I do not want with me that I shall send home in a box sometime (page 2) soon coats pants and caps together with some other things that I have got and I want you to keep them safe till I get home. I have a spy glass, a Powder flask and some other little traps that I have picked up and having no use for them here I shall send them home. You will get them out of the express office & keep them. My health is first Rate. I am weighing 190 and can eat all my rations. If you should want any little things that I might get for you down here I can buy them after I get my pay. Which I hope will be soon. I have been out of money since I came down and borrowed some from young Manro who was going home & gave him an order on you for 34 which I suppose you have paid him by this time. It is all right. I will send some home as soon as I get paid. You will see a letter in the Courier this week probably and another next from the Pequawket Boy which you may read. I shall write occasionally when I feel like it. Kiss Lefe & Ella & Frank for me & tell them to be good children. I was glad to get Franks letter. I will write to him before long. You may kiss Mary for me and tell her I should like to scholtisch (Ed. note: This appears to be reference to a Scottish round dance like a polka and spelled schottische) with her and talk about the bible to her. I don’t know how to kiss you so far off but I can kiss some pretty woman down here & think it is you-(by mistake). Now dont be jealous but believe me I had rather kiss you than anybody else in the world. I hope some day to do it. Write me every week or I won’t believe you love me a bit. Keep up your courage and some day I will come in and give you a good hug. Good by and a happy night (?). The following was written over the above handwriting and it was difficult to read but I finally got it: It is now about 11 oclock at night and I must close. I am as ever yours ever after. Charles. In addition the following is found in the upper margin of the first page and upside down to the other writing. It appears to be a final thought just before mailing: Dont show this to anybody but burn it. Write me how you feel and all about private matters. I want to know. How are you getting along and whats up, generally. You know what I mean. St. Louis Fri. Jany 3 1862 My Dear Wife I have received two letters from you this week. Am very glad to hear from you. I wrote you a day or two ago and said everything I could think of. I am hard at work. Have something to do all the time. Today I am on a Court Martial. Don’t know how long we shall hold it. We have 7 cases to try. I shall have but little time to spare. So I will write you to night. The 35 dollars to Manro is all right. Whatever you want get and pay for it. Buy a hog and anything else you need. I shall get paid off next week I expect. I am certainly willing you should get everything you need. Don’t be afraid of your money. Make yourself comfortable. About the singing books I paid 40 cents a piece. They are worth 25 cents I think. If they want them for that let them have them. But don’t lend them as they will (?????) them. I have written two letters for the Courier but have seen neither of them. I wish you would send me the Papers if Norris has published them. If not all right. I have got very comfortable quarters In the margin of page 1 is this sentence: I sent you a picture entrusted by Walter Grubber(?) who will give it to you. Page 2 here in a 3 story brick house. We shall probably be here sometime. I have no news to write you. I spent Christmas and New Years at work in the day time. In the evening I went to the City & spent half a dollar going to the theater. We are not allowed to go out of camp now without permission from Head Quarters. This I don’t like very much but suppose I shall have to stand it. Lieut. Murtrick is unwell. Mobly is tough and myself the same. I want you to write as often as possible and if you try I think you can say something to me that I want to know. Now try. It may be to late for me to write love letters but you are younger than I am and as you never have written me any you can try your hand at it. Dont be afraid to tell it right out. You need not show this to any body and than they wont know that I am about half homesick and want to see you and be with you. But enough, I will make it up when I do get away. Good night and remember you foolish (Ed. note: ends there) The next letter is sent from the infamous McDowells College which is also known as the Gratiot Prison in St. Louis. Here is a link to a site describing the mad doctor who founded the college. http://www.prairieghosts.com/mcdowell.html McDowells College H. Quarters 2nd Iowa Regt. St. Louis Janaury 8th 1862 My Dear Wife. I say dear because you are dear to me in more ways than one. At this time you are dear to the amount of 200. dollars (Ed. note: Not a mistake. The letter says 200) which I enclose to you. The other way you are dear to me I will not now write about. As I wrote you the other day all I then had to say. I want you to put this where it will be safe. Don’t swap it off for any thing else because it is safer to keep this than any other kind of money. See that you dont lend any of it to anybody, and if possible dont let anybody know that you have got it. I am willing you shall do the spending of it as I am quite sure you will spend prudently. I hope the next time you have turkey for dinner it will not prove to be a slaughter (?). We(?) men paid off last Monday & I am glad to be able to send you so much. Save it as much as possible as we may want it some day. I am first rate in health. Just fill up my uniform exactly. We have nothing ??? in camp. Page 2 I got a letter from Joe from Conway(?) a day or two ago & he informed me that my Father is very low with the Heart Disease and was expected to die any day. He is probably dead by this time. Susan is at home. Well. My mother is very well also. Let me know when you secure the money and all about who knows any thing about it. And now my dear good night and many happy days and “New years” be yours. Keep up a good heart and bear bravely whatever is in store for you and remember that I am thinking about you constantly and I don’t know that I need be ashamed to say that I love you more and think of you more than I ever had before. There that will(?) do now. Write me soon and I will answer as often as possible. I am very affectionately yours “Snoaked”(?) or “Muggins” Burn this up St. Louis Jany 26, 1862 My Dear Wife I have received all your letters up to this date. I have written as often as I had opportunity. This Sunday afternoon I have a moment to spare and will drop you a line. We have as much to do on Sunday as any other day. I have just come from church. I have been to hear Dr. Elliott ??? who has a very fine church and is a good old man. After church we were coming home and Dr. Whittier spoke to us on the street and invited Mobley & me to go up to his house & take dinner with him. We did so and had a good time. We made the acquaintance of a very nice family. He has a little girl just as large as Ella, a little boy about as large as Lefe. I hugged and kissed them till I thought I was at home again. The lady I did not hug, of course, but I wanted to right bad. I thought it was pretty hard though to be away from home. I have just heard that Mr. Hebard of Burlington may (be) living in St. Louis. I have not seen them yet but I have learned where (Page 2) they live. I shall call on them in a Sunday. I expect in the course of a couple weeks that the prisoners we are now guarding will be sent to Alton, Illinois and we shall be relieved from guard duty so that case I expect we shall pack up and go down the River again, probably to Cairo or Bird Point. It is likely that we shall be in the army that will go down the River. You can write me at St. Louis as you have done. In the event of our going I shall write you all about it as soon as I find out about it. My health is very good excepting a bad cold. I have been so hoarse for 2 or 3 days that I have hardly been able to speak. It is now getting better. Eaton started today for Chicago to meet his wife. I have nothing new to write you. I have not heard from my father since I had wrote you. I suppose by that he is still living. I am glad you got the money and box safe. The box contained my Gray suit one blanket which you can wash and use. Some powder that you must take care of and keep it away from Jim and from the children. Look out for accidents! Some other things that I now forgot but you can save them till I get home. You will find a letter in the Courier this week from me. Send me the paper as soon as you read it. I dont always get the paper (Page 3) till it gets cold. I saw my two letters in papers sent to a man in my company But I did not receive those sent by Norris. I have seen them however so you need not send them to me. I shall write the Courier occasionally as I have any thing to write but do not expect to be very regular. What do the folks say about them? You need not tell that I have inquired. You can write me any thing you wish to and it will all be right. I take good care that no one sees them. I should like to know how you are getting along and when you expect to be sick. (Ed. note: Cloutman’s wife is about eight months pregnant) How do you feel about it. Write me freely about it as you know I am anxious to know all about it. I am very happy to know that some one sincerely cares for me. I have never had a doubt but that you loved me most truly. I think I have had reason to believe that much and I can only say that bad as I have been I yet love you as much as when I first knew you. May we both continue to do so and we shall never repent(?) it. Think kindly of me and learn our little ones to love us and if it is my lot to fall in this service let them never have reason to blush for my memory. You are very comfortable at home and have perhaps nearly all you wish. But think how you would (Page 4) feel if you were in my place away from the one you love best and away from your children. How would you like to live so. You have your own troubles but you know not how I feel sometimes. I would give any thing to see you. But I cannot leave now without dishonor. I shall have to take my chances down the river. I would like to have you give yourself but little trouble about it. I have no fears about it for my own sake. I only think how it would fare with my loved ones if I fall. This is perhaps too sober so I will stop it. Cheer up my dear one and believe it will all be right. Some day I shall be with you and then it will all be the sweeter and we shall love the more. Bless you my Dear Rachel and my little ones. ??? that you dont know how much I think of you. Write me often and I will drop a line when I can. Direct to “St. Louis Mo” 2nd Iowa Regt as before and your letter will find me. Good Bye. Be a Good Girl. Don’t give yourself any trouble about me. Love to all, I am yours truly, Charles McDowells College St. Louis Jany 31, 1862 My Dear Wife I have just received your fiery epistle written last Sunday, in which you take occasion to scold me pretty hard. I hope you will think the matter over and perhaps you will see that it is pretty hard to be away from home all the time and be scolded too when I do all I can to make you comfortable and happy. I have written you as often as once a week and I think you have got them all. I have written when I could. I have a good deal to do. I was on a Court Martial for three weeks every day. When off and in my quarters I have had to attend to my company matters and keep things all straight. I have had a good deal of company writing to do besides taking my turn for duty out on Parade. If you were here you would see how busy I am most of the time. And my dear I hope you will not scold me so again when I write you on all occasions I have. I know how hard it is for you and perhaps you dont know how hard it is to be a soldier. I suppose you find it a little lonesome sometimes. So do I. But I hope you will stand it bravely. I hope you will never think I do not love you and my family. Some day you will know how much perhaps. Till then I shall expect you to bear it all and I shall like you all the better. I am sorry Ella is sick. Take all the care of her you can for she is my only girl and I love her dearly. Keep my little Lefe all right and tell Frank to be a good boy and help you. I am very well and have neither got hurt or wounded. I wrote you a long letter one day this week & have time only to say that I do not see any prospect for us to get away from here yet. I am very thankful for the thousand kisses you send me. If I was with you I think I should get a thousand more. (Page 2) Tell Eliza I wrote her a long time ago and have not heard from her since. I hope she will write me soon. Now dont get in a bad passion again and I will try and send you a line oftener. Eaton got home from Chicago yesterday. I suppose he had a happy time. I went out the other day to hunt up Mrs. Hebard but could not find her. I called in & saw Mrs. Brooks the Methodist Preacher’s wife and had a good time kissing her little girl and Boy. Both about as big as Ella and Lefe I wanted to kiss someone(?) right bad so I kissed them. Nothing wrong I hope. Is there? Not having much time today I have written this in a hurry and hope it will assure you that I am not growing cold as you think. but on the contrary that I still continue to think of you as my little (big!) darling wife and that I love you pretty near to death. There, wont that do? I hope by this time you are good natured and feel Better. Good Bye and I will Kiss somebody a thousand times for you. Your aff Hus Chas St. Louis Mo Feb 6th 1862 My Dear Enclosed find a picture. You can look at it and ask somebody who it is if you dont know. We expect to go south next week. You can write me addressed to St. Louis as before. I shall write you a time or two before we go. My health is good. I have nothing important to write you today. Good Bye and write me soon. Charles St. Louis Monday morning Feb. 10 1862 My Dear We are just on the point of starting south. At one oclock we are to move. It is now 12. We are to take a Boat and go down to Cairo & from there probably to Fort Henry Tennessee. We are all packed up and in an hour we are off. I take this opportunity to write you in great haste. We have been under orders to march for several days and have been expecting hourly to move. Now we are off. I have had the Blues pretty bad for a few days but it is no use(?) I shall write you as often as possible. I dont know what will happen to us(?) but I shall do the best I can for myself and soon as I can I shall get out and go home. But I cannot now. Let us hope for the best. Keep up your courage as well as you can and let me hear from you often. When you are sick I want some one to write me immediately. Dont fail. I have but a moment to spare. Good Bye. Give my love to all and remember one who loves you well. Charles In the afternoon of February 15, 1862 Captain Charles Cloutman led his company in the attack upon Fort Donelson. He was shot through the heart and died instantly while in front of his men and waving his sword as he cheered them on. His son, Charles Jr., was born the day after his funeral back home in Ottumwa, Iowa. While the subject of this posting is Captain Charles Cloutman of the 2nd Iowa Regiment his story is similar to hundreds of thousands of the men, Blue and Gray, who made the ultimate sacrifice during the American Civil War and whose wives and children had their lives forever changed with the loss of their husband and father far from home. This posting honors them all. Hank
  19. In 1959 Ed Bearss produced a set of maps for FortDonelson that are Troop Movement Maps covering the positions of the troops from February 12, 1862 through 5:00 P.M. on February 15, 1862. There are ten maps in the set covering the positions of the regiments at various times over the four days. Hopefully they will have some of these sets available in the temporary visitor’s center for those interested. The FortHenry and FortDonelson campaign was chosen in 1912 to be a campaign worthy of study at the GeneralServiceSchool at FortLeavenworth. The school compiled source material into a large volume (1488 pages) into a book cited as: FortHenry and FortDonelson campaigns, February, 1862. Source book. The General service schools, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, 1923. You see this book referenced in works of the campaign and this is an explanation of what is being referred to when an author references – The Source Book. Unfortunately, the book has not been digitized for downloading as of yet. I borrowed a copy of the book several years ago through interlibrary loan and copied information I thought I could not get elsewhere. A large part of the book contains copies of the reports contained in the Official Records. I am planning to make it to Dover the night of November 3rd and stay at the Dover Inn. I figured I would use Friday the 4th to refresh my memory of the fort and the surrounding areas and see what might have changed since I was there for the 150th anniversary. I am fairly familiar with the FortDonelson fight and if anybody else is going to be around on November 4th and wants to make a preliminary reconnaissance of the area we will be walking on Saturday, or anywhere else related to the campaign, I would be glad to share what I know. That includes you Michelle. Hank
  20. This is the type of discussion of interest for all who want to understand what happened at the Battle of Shiloh to the greatest degree possible. The devil is in the details and it takes a painstaking effort to work through them. With all the research I have done I would concur with Stacy Allen on the fact that no where yet found mentions exactly who the cavalry vedettes were. As shown in Billy’s analysis the attempt is made to determine from what unit the vedettes were from by eliminating those units from which it can be fairly certainly determined they were not from. When Bragg came up from Florida there were a number of Alabama cavalry companies that came with him. They were organized in battalions meaning they were less than regimental size of ten companies. Sterling Alexander Martin Wood also came with Bragg to Corinth but S.A.M. Wood ended up commanding a brigade in Hardee’s Corps. As noted the Georgia Mountain Dragoons commanded by Captain Isaac W. Avery were attached to Wood’s brigade. The information on cavalry units comes from David W. Reed’s book The Battle of Shiloh and the Organizations Engaged. At the Alabama Department of Archives is a nice collection of S.A.M Wood papers including letters to his wife, biography, paper on his service record, accounts of other battles Wood was in, papers from a court of inquiry Wood requested concerning his performance at Shiloh, request for amnesty and pardon to President Andrew Johnson and other papers. Also, in the early 1900s the head of the archives in Alabama made a concerted effort to obtain information on Alabama civil war units. Surviving members of cavalry, artillery and infantry regiments and companies were contacted and begged to provide information on the formation of the units they served in. The result is that the Alabama archives has folders on most of the Alabama units that served in the civil war. Some have more information than others but I found several accounts of the battle of Shiloh from Alabama soldiers who were in the Alabama regiments. There are a couple accounts from Alabamians who were in Gladden’s brigade. Not related to this subject, but of interest, I found the original handwritten letter that O. E. Cunningham wrote to the Alabama Archives on August 13, 1962 wondering if they had enough information in their archives about Shiloh to warrant a trip from Cunningham. So when Billy requested information on what cavalry unit the vedettes were from who fired the first three shots of the battle of Shiloh in front of S.A.M. Wood’s brigade I thought I would look through the hundreds of photographs I took of the materials on S.A.M. Wood and other Alabama units. The result is what I consider to be a “score.” I photographed a copy of the original order issued by General Thomas Hindman, S.A.M. Wood’s division commander, to Hindmans “Generals.” The order is dated April 4, 1862 and pertains to Capt. Avery and how the picket duty should be performed in front of the division. For those interested in seeing a copy of this order I have set up a Paypal account, just kidding. Here is the order of General Hindman to his “Generals.” Hd Qrs April 4, 1862 Generals: You will divide Capt Averys Cavalry Company into two equal parties, for picket duty, and send them out immediately, as follows: One party to the right and front of my Division between one and two miles- The other to the left and front of Gen. Cleburnes Brigade some distance. Instruct the commander of each party to throw out pickets from his station so as to effectually protect that flank of the army corps on which he is posted, to be constantly on the alert, to hold his position if attacked as long as practicable, falling back slow if overpowered and sending couriers back to these Head Quarters at short intervals with definite information. They will remain on post until relieved unless so driven back. Communicate to the officers and men (of each party) (and to your entire command) the challenge and response as follows- “Who comes there?” “Manassas – who are you?” “Beauregard” You are not authorized to discharge guns of your commands-after dark. Order the commander of each Regiment to stop it immediately. Inform Gen Cleburne that you are picketing on his left, Col Shaver knows it. There are Cavalry pickets of other Commands in our front. Respectfully, T. C. Hindman Br. Gen. In the Capt. Avery’s official report on page 611 of volume 10 he pretty much repeats what Hindman put in the order. Hindman directed Avery to picket the flanks of the division and explained to his “Generals” “There are Cavalry pickets of other Commands in our front.” Playing the game of elimination it is unlikely the vedettes were from Forrest’s command. He had a large contingent which he had led out of Fort Donelson and he was ordered to guard Lick Creek. Clanton’s cavalry was a large unit assigned to Bragg’s Corps but Clanton fought on the Rebel right flank. Wharton’s Texans was a large unit and fought on the left flank. Polk had the 1st Mississippi Cavalry under Lt. Col. Lindsay (this force captured Ross’s Michigan Battery on Sunday) and Brewer’s Alabama and Mississippi battalion. These two forces stayed with Polk as noted in the official reports of both Lindsay and Brewer. Breckinridge had cavalry units but his was the reserve force and stationed well behind the front line of Hardee. Wirt Adams had a force but they operated on the right flank, served as the escort for Sidney Johnston during the battle and guarded Lick Creek with Forrest, I think. Having eliminated all possibilities but one, the one remaining must be the answer paraphrasing Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s iconic detective Sherlock Holmes. The one cavalry force left is Jenkins (Alabama) Battalion that was assigned to Ruggles’ division of Bragg’s Corps. Ruggles’ division lined up in the second line directly behind Wood’s brigade. If you have a copy of Cunningham’s book, page 147, or the Blue and Gray magazine that has Stacy Allen’s Shiloh article there is a map showing the alignment of the Rebel army just prior to the battle. These maps show the right flank of Ruggles’ division situated near the right flank of Wood’s brigade and the left flank of Shaver’s. Cleburne was to the left of Wood’s brigade while Gladden’s brigade of Bragg’s Corps was placed to the right of Shaver’s brigade. Ruggles’ right flank was on, or near, the Corinth road so it is easy to visualize sending some cavalry up the road to reconnoiter. The Corinth road skirts Fraley field. On page 471 of volume 10 of the ORs Ruggles put in his report: “Four companies of cavalry, under Capts. T. F. Jenkins, commanding, A. Tomlinson, J. J. Cox, and J. Robins, covered our right and left flank.” These four companies were known as the Jenkins battalion because Jenkins was the senior captain. Surprisingly all four of these men made an official report that is in the ORs, volume 10. Major Aaron Hardcastle commanding the 3rd Mississippi battalion in Fraley field wrote in his report (pages 602 and 603, OR vol. 10) that the cavalry vedettes fired three shots and eventually returned to his line. Unfortunately we are not told how many vedettes there were but it must have been a small number as only a few shots were fired. The two groups of advance infantry pickets that Hardcastle posted in front of his main line had seven and eight men. Brig. Gen. S.A.M. Wood verified in his OR report (page 591) that “The artillery and cavalry were detached, by order of Major-General Hardee, and were not under my command during the battle.” This brings us to the four companies of Jenkins battalion. Their official reports begin on page 529 of the ORs, volume 10. Capt. Jenkins wrote “On the first day of the action my company was attached as support to a section of Captain Ketchum’s battery, on the left flank of Brigadier-General Ruggles’ division.” On page 531 Capt. J. Robins wrote “On Sunday, April 6, 15 men of my command were detailed to act as couriers. Ten of them acted as couriers for General Ruggles and 5 for General Pond. The balance of my command masked Captain Ketcham’s battery until it went into action.” Captain Ketchum verified his supports on page 527 of his OR report stating “The next morning (April 5), taking our regular position in line, we advanced until about 5 p. m. forming in line of battle on the extreme left, my battery masked by Captains Jenkins’ and Robins’ cavalry companies.” Since Jenkins and Robins are placed on the left flank of Ruggles’ division that leaves the company of Prattville (Alabama) Dragoons under Captain J. J. Cox and the Mathews (Alabama) Rangers under Capt. A. Tomlinson stationed on the right flank, right behind the right flank of S.A.M. Wood’s brigade. On page 531 Captain Tomlinson wrote: “My company of Alabama Mounted Volunteers was under the command of Brigadier-General Ruggles on the 6th and 7th instant at Shiloh Church…From the time the battle began to 12 m. my command was with General Ruggles on the battle-field, and from that time until 4 o’clock I was engaged in watching the movement of the enemy on our left wing. The remainder of the day and also the night was under the command of Captain Cox.” On page 530 Captain Cox wrote: “The cavalry company, Prattville Dragoons, of Captain Jenkins’ cavalry battalion, carried to the battle of Shiloh, on the 6th of April, 4 commissioned officers, 4 sergeants, 4 corporals, 1 bugler, and 33 privates. The company, with Captain Tomlinson’s company, was ordered to advance with the right wing of General Ruggles’ division. After entering the first camp of the enemy Captain Tomlinson was ordered to reconnoiter the woods on the left of that division. My own was ordered to remain with General Ruggles…” Captain Tomlinson revealed that Captain Cox was the senior captain. On a speculative nature I get the impression that Tomlinson was close to Ruggles while Cox states he was ordered to advance with the right wing of Ruggles’ division. On the morning of April 6 Hardcastle’s battalion was four hundred yards or so in front of Hardee’s line and they were serving as a strong picket force. Hardcastle sent two small groups ahead of his line, one 200 yards out and another at 100 yards. To extend the picketing even further the decision was made to send out cavalry vedettes in front of Hardcastle’s advance pickets to reconnoiter and the vedettes encountered Major Powell’s party advancing towards Fraley Field and fired three shots and scampered back to Hardcastle’s infantry line. Since Captain Cox was the senior captain my assumption is that he would use men from his own company rather than order Captain Tomlinson to send out men from his. My vote is that the unknown cavalry vedettes that fired the first three shots of the battle of Shiloh were from Captain Cox’s Prattville Dragoons. We may never know for sure. I know that Hindman’s order is dated April 4 but Avery notes in his report that he followed the orders that night. Hardee’s Corps was the first in position and stood in line on April 5 waiting for the rest of the army to get in line. One of the straggling divisions was Ruggles’ and by the time Ruggles showed up it was too late to proceed with the attack on Saturday. Hindman was probably assuming that Ruggles would be on time when he stated that other commands would provide the Cavalry pickets for his front. Even if Ruggles’ infantry was slow to arrive that does not mean that Jenkins’ cavalry battalion would have plodded along with them. The cavalry was important and needed to be in the front. As noted Billy had received two different answers to the question as to what cavalry unit provided the vedettes that fired those three shots near Fraley Field. Presented here is a third and that is why we study the written record. Cheers to all, Go Cubs!!! Hank
  21. On page 149 of Shiloh and the Western Campaign of 1862 by O. E. Cunningham, in note 10 is the following information: "Edwin Bearss, who performed extensive research on the subject, maintains the sun rose at 5:40 a. m. that morning, citing a letter from E. B. McGeever, Head Reference Section Science and Technical Division, Library of Congress, October 30, 1963." The letter is in the Shiloh Military Park Archives. Cunningham has a discussion of the soldiers accounts concerning what time the opening shots were fired in this note for those who have the book to reference. Cunningham wrote "Most of the soldiers' accounts of the action said the firing began just before dawn, and that the sun rose about the time of the beginning of the skirmish between the two main bodies of troops." Hank
  22. Ozzy started a thread “Buckland fights on the right” that addresses Hildebrand’s brigade and the fight at the crossroads in some details. My impression is that the Rebel attack on the crossroads started at 11:00 a. m. There is also a link to Robert Fleming’s “The Battle of Shiloh as a Private Saw It.” Fleming was with the 77th Ohio. Here is the link: https://books.google.com/books?id=W94SAAAAYAAJ Perhaps you have read the thread but you asked for any accounts of Hildebrand’s men so I am passing this along in case you had not seen it. I checked my files to see what might be of interest in trying to understand what happened to Hildebrand’s brigade. There is a little bit in The Military History of Ohio by Hiram Hardesty, page 164. It is stated that part of Hildebrand’s brigade attached to the 13th Missouri Regiment. That is interesting. The 13th Missouri was from WHL Wallace’s division and fought all day with Sherman and McClernand, and the next day too, I think. Here is a link: https://books.google.com/books/about/The_Military_History_of_Ohio.html?id=1UkMAQAAMAAJ I prepared a reading list for Shiloh and posted it here: http://shilohdiscussiongroup.com/index.php?/topic/1779-howdy/#comment-11981 Item 11 is the account of Colonel de Hass who shared the tent with Colonel Hildebrand on the night of April 5, 1862. De Hass’s account is interesting but it is disappointing in the number of things that are wrong in it but it was one of the first published accounts from a participant. Here is a link: https://archive.org/details/annalsofwar00philrich I found another source that might be of interest as it describes the chaos of the Rebel attack in the area. This account is from a member of the 4th Illinois Cavalry with a chapter on the morning attack titled “The Boy Learns At Shiloh What His Legs Were Made For.” The book is What a Boy Saw in the Army by Jesse Young. Here is a link: https://archive.org/details/whatboysawinarmy00youn I also ran across an account by Captain Mason of events of April 5, 1862 which you might find interesting. Here is the link: http://www.ohgen.net/ohwashin/battle-of-shiloh.html That’s what I could find in my files. If I run across anything additional I will pass it along. Hank
  23. Buckland’s Brigade is a favorite research item so I prepared the following brief summary of information and ideas developed relating to the actions of Buckland’s brigade. I did limit myself to just one dig, off-topic, at Shiloh revisionism despite the urge to do more. In regards to the short-changed Isaac Pugh he might have gotten only four hits on this site but he was immortalized by James Lee McDonough in his Shiloh – in Hell before Night. It is Isaac Pugh’s words “Fill you canteens, boys! Some of you will be in hell before night and you’ll need water” that McDonough used in his title. On April 6 and 7, 1881 the Society of the Army of the Tennessee held their 14th annual meeting in Cincinnati, Ohio. The focus of the meeting was the Battle of Shiloh. There was published a Report of the Proceedings of the Society of the Army of the Tennessee at the Fourteenth Annual Meeting, Held at Cincinnati, Ohio. April 6th and 7th, 1881. The report can be found here: https://archive.org/details/reportproceedin13tenngoog Hopefully that works and you can receive the report in various formats. This report is a milestone in the study of Shiloh. It is at this meeting Sherman stirred the pot by proclaiming that he, and Grant and the army, were not surprised at Shiloh. The repercussions roiled throughout the land as a legion of men who disagreed with Sherman took to the pen and wrote scathing denunciations of him. But to keep with this topic this report contains a paper from Colonel Ralph P. Buckland which is directly relevant to this topic. His report starts on page 72. In addition there are a couple other treats in this publication. One is a paper by Colonel Madison Miller, commander of Prentiss’s 2nd brigade, in which he defends the men he commanded from the “slanderous” attacks made upon them by the early reports of their surrender. Miller fought the whole day, fought with Prentiss in the Sunken Road and the Hornets’ Nest and was captured and imprisoned with him. Colonel William T. Shaw of the 14th Iowa, fighting squarely in the Hornets’ Nest, gives an account of the actions of himself, his regiment and other units on April 6, 1862. Note how Shaw, a man who was there, praises fighters to their left (Hurlbut’s Division plus McArthur’s men) where Shaw says the “musketry was terrific and continuous, exceeding anything I ever heard, before or since.” Shaw describes the firing to the right (McClernand and Sherman’s divisions) as “Of the right I was less able to judge, as the firing was more irregular and less in volume, particularly after 12 M., sometimes being very heavy and then dying out almost entirely.” Shaw shows his awareness of what was happening on the battlefield as he wrote “I will here state that the position taken by Wallace at 9 A. M. was fully up to the front. The divisions of McClernand and Sherman on the right were heavily engaged with the enemy,--Prentiss on our left had just fallen back—or, rather, was just falling back and taking up his new position in line with our division and with that of Hurlbut on his left. Our army seemed, as far as I could judge from the firing, to present a good and firm front to the enemy.” Shaw, a man who was there and via the sound of firing, knew that the entire army was engaged and that divisions were fighting to the left and to the right of Shaw’s men in the Hornets’ Nest. Shaw’s report deserves a careful reading so one can judge whether Shaw has his facts wrong and his mind was befuddled as advocated in Confederates in the Attic when it is alleged that the men in the Hornets’ Nest had no idea what was going on to their left and to their right and that the men in the Hornets’ Nest believed that they were the only ones who had fought in the battle and, therefore, they had saved the army. No where does Shaw make such a claim. Reference page 178 of Confederates in the Attic and for those who have not had the misfortune of reading the book or owning it here is the passage I am referring to: “Let’s put ourselves in the heads of those Yankees in the Hornets’ Nest,” he (Stacy Allen) said, pacing up and down the Sunken Road. “We’re in this thicket where we can’t see the rest of the battlefield. There’s rebels coming at us, in bits and pieces, all day long. Then suddenly we’re still here and everyone else has retreated. It seems like we fought the whole battle on our own.” I might have ventured off topic although Shaw’s observations of the fighting on the right is relative to studying Buckland’s brigade. Shaw’s report is just another example of an account by a man who was there that refutes the analysis provided by modern Shiloh historians. In regards to Buckland’s brigade it is a question of where to begin. Buckland’s brigade made an early stand and held the ridge west of Shiloh Church and vacated the position only when flanked by Rebel forces after Hildebrand’s brigade had disintegrated and Raith’s brigade of McClernand’s Division had been assailed and driven back towards the Purdy Road and Corinth Road crossroads. Sherman lovers promote the idea that Sherman went through an epiphany once he finally (around 8 AM according to his report) realized the Confederates were serious about driving the Union army into the swamps and had shot him and killed his orderly. This manifestation is considered sufficient to overlook Sherman’s blunders leading up to the attack and Sherman is given credit by some historians of commanding McClernand’s division as well as his own. One author (who I do not remember at the moment and really don’t care if I do) gave Sherman credit for riding up and down the entire Shiloh Church line encouraging the men to hold their ground. Since we are discussing Buckland’s brigade it should be noted that neither Sherman’s report nor Buckland’s report supports this claim. Sherman considered the Shiloh Church line as most important but he spent his efforts encouraging Hildebrand’s brigade. Considering the ignominious retreat of the 53rd Ohio led by Col. Appler and the disintegration of the 57th Ohio one wonders how successful of a job Sherman did. The 77th Ohio stood their ground longer as noted by their casualty count but once they were flanked that regiment also scattered and Hildebrand’s command had dwindled to the horse he was riding. Buckland’s brigade was singled out by Whitelaw Reid in his account of the battle of Shiloh. Following is a portion of Reid’s Shiloh account which mentions Buckland’s brigade as being caught in their beds and also shows that Reid heaped praise on Sherman’s performance which is often cited by Sherman supporters. Whitelaw Reid wrote the following: “Almost at dawn Sherman's pickets were driven in, a little later Prentiss' were; and the enemy were into the camps almost as soon as were the pickets themselves. Here began scenes, which, let us hope, will have no parallel in our remaining annals of the war. Many, particularly among our officers, were not yet out of bed. Others were dressing, others washing, others cooking, a few eating their breakfasts. Many guns were unloaded, accouterments lying pell mell, ammunition was ill supplied—in short, the camps were completely surprised, and were taken at almost every disadvantage. The first wild cries from the pickets rushing in, and the few scattering shots that preceded their arrival, aroused the regiments to a sense of their peril; an instant after rattling volleys of musketry poured through the tents, while, before there was time for thought or preparation, there came rushing through the woods, with lines of battle sweeping the whole fronts of the division camps and bending down on either flank, the fine, dashing, compact columns of the enemy. Into the just aroused camps thronged the rebel regiments, firing a sharp volley as they came and springing forward upon our laggards with the bayonet, for while their artillery, already in position, was tossing shells in the further side of the encampments, scores were shot down as they were running, without weapons, hatless, coatless, towards the river. The searching bullets found other poor unfortunates in their tents, and there, all unheeding now, they still slumbered, while the unseen foe rushed on. Others fell while they were disentangling themselves from the flaps that formed the doors of their tents; others as they were buckling on their accouterments; others as they were vainly endeavoring to impress on the cruelly exultant enemy their readiness to surrender. Officers were bayoneted in their beds, and left for dead, who, through the whole two days fearful struggle, lay there gasping in their agony, and on Monday evening were found, in gore inside their tents, and still able to tell the tale. Such were the fearful disasters that opened the rebel onset on the lines of Buckland's Brigade, in Sherman's Division. Similar, though perhaps less terrible in some of the details, were the fates of Prentiss' entire front. Meantime, what they could our shattered regiments did. Falling rapidly back through the heavy woods till they gained a protecting ridge, firing as they ran, and making what resistance men thus situated might, Sherman's men succeeded in partially checking the rush of the enemy long enough to form their hasty line of battle. Meantime, the other two brigades of the division (to the right) sprang hastily to their arms, and had barely done so when the enemy's lines came sweeping up against their fronts, too, and the battle thus opened fiercely along Sherman's whole line on the right. Buckland's brigade had been compelled to abandon their camps without a struggle, some of the regiments, it is even said, ran without firing a gun. It is certain that parts of regiments, both here and in other divisions, ran disgracefully. Yet they were not wholly without excuse. They were raw troops, just from the usual idleness of our "camps of instruction;" hundreds of them had never heard a gun fired in anger; their officers, for the most part, were equally inexperienced; they had been reposing in fancied security, and were awaked, perhaps, from sweet dreams of home, and wives, and children, by the stunning roar of cannon in their midst, and the bursting of a bombshell among their tents—to see only the serried columns of the magnificent rebel advance, and through the blind stilling smoke, the hasty retreat of comrades and supports, right and left. Certainly, it is sad enough, but hardly surprising, that under such circumstances some should run. Half as much caused the wild panic at Bull Run, for which the nation, as one man, became a loud-mouthed apologist. But they ran—here as in Prentiss' division, of which last more in a moment—and the enemy did not fail to profit by the wild disorder. As Buckland's brigade fell back, McClernand threw forward his left to support it. Meanwhile Sherman was doing his best to rally his troops—dashing along the lines, encouraging them everywhere by his presence, and exposing his own life with the same freedom with which he demanded they offer of theirs; he did much to save the division from utter destruction. Hildebrand and McDowell were compelled to retire their brigades from the enemy across the little ravine behind, but here, for a time, they made a gallant defense, while what was left of Buckland's was falling back in such order as it might, and leaving McClernand's left to take their place and check the wave of rebel advance.” (End of selected portion of Reid’s account) After reading Reid’s account one can understand Buckland’s indignation as reflected in his account of the fighting of his brigade on April 6, 1862. The men at Shiloh who were falsely maligned never forgot it and spent the rest of their lives defending themselves against the injustice hurled upon them. I do not begrudge Sherman accolades for his fighting prowess at Shiloh. But some authors have either purposely exaggerated his actions or did not do adequate research so an accurate analysis can be made. For one example Sherman spent the beginning of the battle around Shiloh Church. He sent aides to give orders to Buckland and McDowell but did not ride the full length of his division’s line. Sherman clarifies as much when he wrote in his OR report: “Although our left was thus turned and the enemy was pressing on the whole line, I deemed Shiloh so important that I remained by it, and renewed my orders to Colonels McDowell and Buckland to hold their ground, and we did hold those positions till about 10 o’clock a. m. when the enemy got his artillery to the rear of our left flank, and some change became absolutely necessary.” Sherman sent orders to Buckland and McDowell through aides and remained near Shiloh Church during the morning action. In Buckland’s OR report he makes no mention of seeing Sherman and states that: “In this position our line (Note: 1st line across the Corinth Road from Shiloh Church) was maintained for more than two hours under a deadly fire from the enemy. Officers and men behaved with great coolness and bravery, keeping up a constant stream of fire upon the enemy. He several times recoiled and rallied, but did not advance his line after the action commenced until we were ordered to fall back upon the Purdy road, which we did in good order….Colonels Sullivan and Cockerill would maintain their parts of the line, which they did gallantly until the regiment on the left of my brigade gave way and we were ordered to fall back.” Understanding what happened to Buckland’s brigade is not easy. Sherman’s and Buckland’s OR reports conflict in whether Buckland’s brigade remained organized. In Buckland’s withdrawal from the Shiloh Church line to the Purdy road Buckland states it was done “in good order.” Sherman wrote a paragraph of the action and it is beneficial to work through it to try and understand what Sherman wrote, particularly in regards to Buckland’s brigade. Sherman starts with “Two regiments of Hildebrands brigade—Appler’s and Mungen’s—had already disappeared to the rear, and Hildebrand’s own regiment was in disorder, and therefore I gave directions for Taylor’s battery, still at Shiloh, to fall back as far as the Purdy and Hamburg road and for McDowell and Buckland to adopt that road as their new line.” On the Shiloh Church line Buckland’s brigade of Ohioans had held their position against Cleburne and Anderson from approximately 8 a. m. to 10 a. m. Curiously Preston Pond did not press McDowell’s brigade so McDowell was not heavily engaged in this first line. McDowell even ordered the 40th Ohio commanded by Colonel Hicks to support Buckland’s right flank. When the order comes from Sherman for Buckland and McDowell to retreat and set up a new line on the Purdy and Hamburg road Buckland still has control of his brigade and they set up a line in the road. But when McDowell retreats he does not have contact with Buckland’s brigade and when he reaches the road he finds that Confederates have cut him off from reaching Buckland’s flank so McDowell continues withdrawing towards Jones Field and Sherman does not know where McDowell has gone. It is my understanding that Buckland’s men get to the road and then are forced off the road and into confusion because of Behr’s battery responding to the call from Sherman. McClernand’s division is positioned on the Corinth road while Buckland’s brigade is on the Hamburg-Purdy road so they meet at the crossroads. When the Rebels launch their successful assault on McClernand’s line it is most fierce at the crossroads and McClernand’s brigades are shattered and there is a pell mell retreat that Buckland claims broke through his brigade and Buckland lost control as many of his men joined the retreating soldiers towards the ravines draining towards Tilghman Branch. Continuing with Sherman’s report: “I rode across the angle and met Behr’s battery at the cross-roads, and ordered it immediately to unlimber and come into battery, action right. Captain Behr gave the order, but he was almost immediately shot from his horse, when the drivers and gunners fled in disorder, carrying off the caissons and abandoning five out of six guns without firing a shot.” By the time Sherman meets Behr’s battery Buckland’s brigade had been run through by the battery as it charged east on the Hamburg-Purdy Road. McDowell’s brigade had been cut off by Rebels and was heading towards Sowell Field. Sherman must have been unaware of McDowell’s predicament. One of Behr’s guns had remained with McDowell’s brigade guarding the Owl Creek brigade and retreated with McDowell. Sherman might be mistaken that Behr had six guns at the crossroads. Sherman’s next sentences show the difficulty in deciphering official reports as Sherman has the timing of events out of sequence. Sherman writes “The enemy pressed on, gaining this battery, and we were again forced to choose a new line of defense. Hildebrand’s brigade had substantially disappeared from the field, though he himself bravely remained. McDowell’s and Buckland’s brigades still retained their organizations, and were conducted by my aides so as to join on General McClernand’s right, thus abandoning my original camps and line.” Sherman’s account of his aides conducting McDowell’s and Buckland’s brigades to join McClernand’s right had to have been before the loss of Behr’s battery. Sherman abandoned his camps and first line to take position in the Hamburg-Purdy Road which was on McClernand’s right. Sherman still has Buckland’s brigade organized but that changes after the crossroads crumble and Buckland’s brigade is broken up. Sherman’s inadequate description of the action continues with: “This was about 10:30 a. m., at which time the enemy had made a furious attack on General McClernand’s whole front. Finding him pressed, I moved McDowell’s brigade directly against the left flank of the enemy, forced him back some distance, and then directed the men to avail themselves of every cover—trees, fallen timber, and a wooded valley to our right.” Sherman is describing the massive Rebel crossroads assault against McClernand and Veatch’s brigade that Hurlbut had sent over to reinforce Sherman and McClernand. “Finding him pressed” is an understatement. McClernand’s brigades of Raith and Marsh and also Veatch were shattered and some regiments retreated towards Jones field while others retreated into ravines between Jones Field and Duncan Field. Fortunately the Rebels did not pursue the retreating Union forces after forcing them from the Hamburg-Purdy and Corinth roads. Sherman leaves out that it took some time to find McDowell’s brigade and finally Sherman finds McDowell in Jones Field and it is from there he orders McDowell to counterattack. But at the same time McClernand is counterattacking with the forces of his division that had retreated to Jones Field. Sherman notes the success McDowell has in forcing back the Rebels but it is done at a fearful price. Finishing with Sherman’s comments: “We held this position for four long hours, sometimes gaining and at other times losing ground, General McClernand and myself acting in perfect concert and struggling to maintain this line.” In one sentence Sherman describes the vicious fighting that occurred in the counterattack that, temporarily, regained McClernand’s headquarters. I think the counterattack started around noon and around 2 p. m. Union forces were back in Jones Field and action died down so Sherman’s estimate of four hours is probably too long. It is unfortunate that Sherman is unaware of the true significance of the counterattack in occupying Confederate forces and causing them to spill more blood in driving the Union forces back again. McDowell’s and Trabue’s Rebel brigade engage in heavy and vicious fighting as evident by the existence of two known Rebel burial trenches in this area. But back to Buckland’s brigade and what happened to them after they were driven from the Hamburg-Purdy Road. Buckland seems to give us a pretty good idea in his official report as he wrote: “We formed again on the Purdy road, but the fleeing mass from the left broke through our lines, and many of our men caught the infection and fled with the crowd. Colonel Cockerill became separated from Colonel Sullivan and myself, and was afterwards engaged with part of his command at McClernand’s camp. Colonel Sullivan and myself kept together and made every effort to rally our men, but with very poor success. They had become scattered in all directions. We were borne considerably to the left, but finally succeeded in forming a line and had a short engagement with the enemy, who made his appearance soon after our line was formed. The enemy fell back, and we proceeded to the road, where you found us. At this point I was joined by Colonel Cockerill, and we there formed line of battle, and slept on our arms Sunday night.” From this we ascertain that Buckland was not involved in the counterattack and retreated towards Tilghman branch and beyond. Sherman finds them all the way back in the Hamburg-Savannah road after 4 p. m. Sherman again writes that in his final line: “Buckland’s brigade was the only one with me that retained its organization.” It appears that after Buckland is driven from the Hamburg-Purdy Road he spends the rest of the day trying to meld together his scattered forces and manages to get enough together by nightfall in the Hamburg-Savannah Road that Sherman still thinks he has his organization. Buckland wrote in his official report that Colonel Alfred Mouton commanding the 18th Louisiana of Preston Pond’s brigade was killed in front of his brigade at the Shiloh Church line. A couple days after the battle and the Rebels back in Corinth I am sure Colonel Mouton was surprised to find out he had died in the battle. However, Mouton would not survive the war as he was killed leading his troops at the battle of Mansfield in Louisiana on April 8, 1864 in one of the actions in the Red River Campaign. The regimental reports for Buckland’s brigade consist of a single paragraph from Lt. Col. Parker of the 48th Ohio. No separate report for Buckland’s 72nd Ohio regiment but a long report from Colonel Cockerill of the 70th Ohio. Cockerill describes falling in with McDowell’s brigade during the counterattack which recaptures McClernand’s camps. After the Rebels regain the ground lost Cockerill retreated all the way to the Hamburg-Savannah road and wrote that Buckland came up with the 72nd Ohio and they bivouacked together that night. The 48th Ohio ended up going to the landing for ammunition, unbeknownst to Buckland, and got corralled in supporting one of the batteries near the landing and did not rejoin Buckland’s brigade until the next morning in time to participate in the festivities of April 7. Cockerill does not state how many men of his regiment stayed with him. This is always a problem because there are many soldier’s accounts of how regiments broke up but some of the men kept fighting by attaching themselves to other regiments but you never know how many. Colonel Cockerill and his son play a prime role in the new Shiloh film, Fiery Trial. The account is based on the 16 year-old John Cockerill’s account of his day at Shiloh on April 6, 1862. His account describes the beginning of the fight in the camp of the 70th Ohio and is of interest when studying Buckland’s Brigade. John Cockerill’s account is title “A Boy at Shiloh” and was published in 1908 in Volume 6 of Sketches of War History published by the Ohio Commandery of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States (MOLLUS). Here is a link to a copy: https://books.google.com/books?id=W94SAAAAYAAJ If that does not work you can search for it. To make your day there are two other accounts about Shiloh in this publication. “The Battle of Shiloh as a Private Saw It” by Captain Robert H. Flemming who was with the 77th Ohio. Fleming’s account should not be missed as the 77th Ohio was right next to Buckland’s brigade. Also available is “The Second Day at Shiloh” by Lewis Hosea who was with the regulars, 16th U.S. Infantry in McCook’s division of Buell’s Army of the Ohio and offers a critique of the history of the battle developed by the Shiloh Commission in reference to the Army of the Ohio. Hosea was not impressed. There is a regimental history from 1880 of the 48th Ohio which gives more ideas as to what the regiment did as opposed to Lt. Col. Parker’s short report. The history was written by John A. Bering and titled History of the Forty-Eighth Ohio Vet. Vol. Inf. I don’t know why some links are short and others long but here is a link to the publication: https://books.google.com/books?id=0pTLUTrt8okC&pg=PA189&dq=48th+Ohio+Infantry+Regiment&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiF0uDqg7rPAhUJ6GMKHdGfAL4Q6AEINDAE#v=onepage&q=48th Ohio Infantry Regiment&f=false There is more I could add but I see I am at seven pages already and I will stop here. Buckland’s brigade is important to the battle because they made a two-hour stand on the ridge west of Shiloh Church. Buckland’s men figure prominently in the events of April 4th. But after their stand at the ridge line Buckland’s brigade does not fight together during the counterattack and drifts towards the final line at the Hamburg-Savannah road. The brigade is reunited and fights on the second day. Hank
  24. Many thanks to the UIU archivist for helping me (us) out and providing a great picture of the 12th Iowa flag and the description of it. Veterans of the 12th Iowa remembered with bitterness the loss and the treatment that their first flag suffered at Shiloh. It was not expected to find such a display of civil war memorabilia when visiting the home town of David Reed and the university from which the "University Recruits" ventured forth in September 1861. It makes the effort worthwhile when you have a forum (Thanks, Perry) full of interested civil war enthusiasts to share the discovery. UIU deserves recognition for having such civil war artifacts on display so we can all see them. Sincerely, Hank
  25. Greetings, In anticipation of the upcoming battleground day at Fort Donelson on November 5th I thought I would post some photographs I have accumulated over the years with the intention that they might assist those who have not been to Fort Donelson and Fort Henry and Fort Heiman before. There are two threads moving forward on the Fort Donelson hike. This one referred to a Fort Henry hike so I decided to post information on Fort Henry and other locations here. At Fort Henry earthworks remain for both the inner works and the outer works. In the last ten years information signs have been placed in some locations. You can get near Panther Bay where the Union camps were located. When you drive to the Ft. Henry location you pass through remains of the inner works of the fort as shown in the following three photographs. The first one is from 2004 and the other two from 2007. 1. The gentleman standing in the trench with the gray-green coat is Kendall Gott, author of Where the South Lost the War (Kendall said that the title was chosen by the publisher, not him). To his right wearing a greenish cap and sweater is the indomitable Ed Bearss. 2. Not a great shot but you can see earthworks in the background. 3. This is probably a closer view of the earthworks shown in photo 2. In the last seven years, or so, access and signing on the outer works permits easy access. The following photographs show Confederate outer works. 4, 5, 6, 7 8. The outer works end at the lake and there is a sign. 9. There is a pole in the water and that is probably close to the site of Fort Henry. The site of Fort Heiman is now part of the Fort Donelson National Battlefield and there is easy access to it. The following photographs show the entrance sign, surviving earthworks and a view of the lake indicating how high up the fort is from the river. There was no danger of this fort flooding but it was not finished. The state line between Tennessee and Kentucky is in the center of the lake at this location and Fort Heiman sits in Kentucky and this could be one of the reasons Fort Henry was located in the flood plain and not on the western bluffs. 10, 11, 12, 13 Following are three photos I took at the 150th anniversary. The Rebels had marched all the way from Fort Henry and entered Fort Donelson. 14, 15, 16 It was a great day as they entered the park. Quite different than the conditions in 1862. The next photo from 2010 is included because there are three guys in it with whom I have spent considerable time studying civil war battles. We were out reconnoitering between Fort Henry and Fort Donelson on a wet day and got a lesson as to the slippery Tennessee mud. The maintenance crew from Fort Donelson came out and unstuck us. On the left is Kendall Gott. Then Parker Hill who has an organization called Battle Focus and Parker was instrumental in developing the Raymond battlefield site in Mississippi. The third fellow is Len Reidel, executive director to the Blue and Gray Education Society. 17. The next photo is simply a look pass the lower battery at the Cumberland River at Fort Donelson from 2010. 18. Another photo from 2004 showing Kendall Gott and Ed Bearss. I am one of 20 people who listened to Ed Bearss give a description of the battle of Thermopylae, on site, in Greece, in 2010. Flying back from Athens, Ed and I were on the same plane but not sitting together. However, I noticed Ed spent most of the flight reading as he is constantly increasing his knowledge so he can give his enthusiastic presentations. 19. The next two photos are from 2006 on a trip in February. We were greeted with similar conditions, but not nearly as bad, as those the Union and Rebel forces faced in 1862. Kendall Gott is in the first photograph lecturing some of us while the others stayed in the van. It was cold. 20, 21. On February 15, 1862 the Confederates launched their break-out attack at dawn and the objective was to open the Forge Road for escape. The following four photographs were taken when we walked the old Forge Road down to Lick Creek. (Yes, Fort Donelson has a Lick Creek too) To the left as we walked down the road is Dudley’s Hill which is where McArthur took his second position after being flanked out of his first position. McArthur’s retreat from his second position was from the left of these photographs and then up a high steep hill to the right. 22, 23, 24, 25. The next two photographs show earthworks protecting a Union battery. I believe this earthwork protected a couple of guns of the 1st Missouri Battery K under Capt. George H. Stone that took position near the left flank of the Union line behind C. F. Smith’s division. They are on private property 26, 27. In 2004 I was on a trip where the Park provided us access to the basement of the Dover Hotel and here is what it looked like. 28, 29, 30, 31. At the 150th Anniversary Julia and Ulysses Grant paid the Park a visit. 32. Grant displaced the Widow Crisp from her farm cabin and slept in her featherbed during the battle for Fort Donelson. The Widow Crisp was just 24 years old and local history lore has it she claimed to be a widow because her husband was off fighting in the Rebel army. She stayed in the area and remarried at some point. She is buried in the cemetery of the Trinity United Methodist Church which is located along The Trace Road or Highway 49 north of highway 79. The following two photographs from 2011 were taken in the cemetery. 33, 34. In 2011 the Stewart County Chamber of Commerce building just west of the entrance to Fort Donelson had a display of quilts made by the widow Crisp. The display might still be there. The third quilt shown was used by General Grant to ward off the chills during those cold winter nights of February 1862. 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40. You really did not believe the above quilt was used by Grant during the battle, did you? Perhaps it was. These quilts are claimed to be from the civil war era. That ends the photographs so now it is time for a little more of my favorite pastime; revising the history of Fort Donelson. This revision concerns the route taken by the retreating Rebels from Fort Henry to Fort Donelson. The maps show two roads from Fort Henry to Fort Donelson. The northern road was labeled the Telegraph Road because the telegraph line between Fort Henry and Fort Donelson followed that road. The southern road is labeled the Ridge Road because it ran along a ridge. A quick way to identify a McClernand hater is when that person blames McClernand for the escape of the rebel garrison. There were heavy rains on the night of February 5, 1862 and the creeks were flooded and McClernand’s division with his artillery bogged down and could not even get to the Telegraph Road before Foote claimed the prize. The general conception is that the Rebels retreated via the Ridge Road. I always thought that until the week of the 150th anniversary when I was going to try to see how much of the Confederate retreat I could find. While researching the Rebel reports of regiments that made the retreat from Fort Henry in the Official Records I ran across a single sentence from Milton A. Haynes, Chief of Tennessee Corps of Artillery (page 147 of Series 1, volume 7) that stated the following: “At 2 a. m. our forces reached Fort Donelson, with the loss of only a few men, having marched 22 miles, and forded Standing Rock Creek at five deep and rapid fords.” It was hard to imagine fording a creek so many times when traveling on a ridge road and Standing Rock Creek is a couple miles south of the Ridge Road. Jim Jobe was the park superintendent for Fort Donelson during the anniversary festivities so I asked him about the actual route taken by the retreating Rebels. Turned out Jim had recently written about “The Battles for Forts Henry and Donelson” in Volume XXVIII, #4 of Blue and Gray Magazine. (I thought I had a copy but could not find it. Of course this issue is not available on the website as a back issue order). For his article Jim retraced the Rebel retreat route and believed he had located the five ford sites. I did it also and came up with five crossings of Standing Rock Creek. Jim’s family was living in the area of Standing Rock Creek during the civil war and he said it is possible that his great-great grandmother might have watched the Rebels retreat pass her house. (I might not remember exactly what Jim said but it was along these lines) The importance of knowing the exact route the Rebels took is that it shows just how impossible it would have been to cut them off from retreat because they retreated on a route that was further south than the Ridge Road. Where the ridge road crosses highway 79 is easily discerned because you can follow the route via signs south of highway 79. North of highway 79 you are in the Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area. Looking at the map Transylvania sourced showing the Forts Henry Trails System I would guess that where the trail crosses highway 79 is near the number 15 marker on the map. As noted on the map the Artillery Trail probably follows the old Ridge Road used by the Union forces to approach Fort Donelson. For those planning a hike in the Fort Henry area on Sunday I thought this additional information would be helpful. Hank
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