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idaho native

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Everything posted by idaho native

  1. idaho native

    Savannah to Pittsburg Landing

    Why did it take the Army of the Ohio, some troops of which were in Savannah on the morning of April 6, 1862 as long yo get to Shiloh as it did Lew Wallace from Crumps Landing? Does anything thing the delay was facilitated by Buell so his troops would not be available to assist Grant?
  2. Link to official report Lt. Gwin: http://digital.library.cornell.edu/cgi/t/text/pageviewer-idx?c=moawar;cc=moawar;q1=Pittsburg%20Landing;rgn=full%20text;idno=ofre0022;didno=ofre0022;view=image;seq=0669 Interesting to read pages 764-766. http://digital.library.cornell.edu/cgi/t/text/pageviewer-idx?c=moawar;cc=moawar;q1=Pittsburg%20Landing;rgn=full%20text;idno=ofre0022;didno=ofre0022;view=image;seq=0794 More interesting reading pg 783-786: http://digital.library.cornell.edu/cgi/t/text/pageviewer-idx?c=moawar;cc=moawar;q1=Pittsburg%20landing;rgn=full%20text;idno=ofre0022;didno=ofre0022;view=image;seq=813;page=root;size=s;frm=frameset;
  3. [pg. 10] "Pittsburg, April 11 1862. On the Battlefield." The excitement of the great battle is in a manner subsiding, and my thoughts are constantly reverting to the place where my heart and home are. As I stated to you before, I arrived at Savannah early Sunday morning--about half past four o'clock. While we were at breakfast, about seven o’clock, a gentleman reported that heavy cannonading was heard in the direction of Pittsburg, which is about nine miles from Savannah. The General and staff hurried down to our dispatch boat, the "Tigress." and started up the river. When about half way we met a boat coming down and received from her a dispatch stating that the enemy had attacked our center and right at daylight, driven our center back and a heavy fight was raging. We arrived at Pittsburg about half past eight o'clock got on our horses and galloped out to the battle-field. Arrived there we found the enemy had attacked and were engaging our right and center in overwhelming force and our troops were falling back. We met hundreds of cowardly renegades fleeing to the river and reporting their regiments cut to pieces. We tried in vain to rally and return them to the front. We rode on to the center, ordering all the reinforcements we could command, and soon I found myself in the midst of a shower of cannon and musket balls. Cool and undismayed as ever, the General issued his orders and sent his aides flying over the field. While executing an order a cannon ball passed within two feet of my horse's head, and a cavalry captain near by called out to me, "Did it hit you, Captain?" Soon after there was a lull in the center, and the heaviest firing was on our right. We galloped over there and rode along the line when the battle was raging fiercely. At this time our forces had been driven back about a mile and the enemy had taken a large portion of our division (General Prentiss') prisoners. Suddenly there was a lull on the right as welt as the center, and most of us thought that the enemy were worsted and retiring. "Not so," General Grant said. "I don't like this quiet. I fear the enemy are concentrating on our left" (where we were weakest). "Captain Hillyer, ride over and order a company of cavalry to make a reconnoisance on the left." "Yes, sir; where shall I find you on my return?" said I. "Wherever you hear the heaviest firing.," was the consoling reply. And, when I had executed the order, the only guide I had back to the General was the heaviest musketry and cannonading. In the meantime he had ordered reinforcements to the left, and his apprehensions were well founded. But a few minutes had elapsed when the enemy attacked us with desperate courage on our left. One continuous roar of artillery, varied only by the [pg. 11] unceasing rattle of musketry, was heard, and Death, with fifty thousand mowers, stalked over the field. Oh! it was an awful day. From then till dark apprehension of defeat, knowledge of the terrible slaughter and shadows of the direful consequences of defeat filled our hearts with sorrowful foreboding, but General Grant was still as calm and confident as ever. "We'll whip them yet" was his reply to the announcement that our troops were falling back, and his confidence inspired all his command. Gen. Lew Wallace's division, which was at Crump's Landing, on the river, between Pittsburg and Savannah, a force ten thousand strong, were ordered to move Up to Pittsburg about eleven o'clock. They were but four miles distant, and should have been there by noon. Every moment we expected to hear from them, but by some unpardonable delay they came not. We assured the left that Wallace should soon be up to reinforce them, and, thus encouraged. our forces stood their ground against desperate odds. But the field was being strewn with our killed and wounded, and the battle raged hotter and hotter. About two o'clock General Buell arrived. One of his divisions (General Nelson's) was marching and would soon arrive opposite Pittsburg, where boats waited to carry them over. In answer to General Grant's inquiry as to his other forces, Buell informed him that General. Crittenden's command had been halted two miles from Savannah to await further orders. General Grant immediately ordered me to proceed to Savannah with sufficient boats and order Crittenden to move immediately to the river with his men and embark for Pittsburg, leaving his transportation and baggage behind. I got to Savannah about half past three, rode out to Crittenden's camp and gave the order, which he received with the utmost enthusiasm for there he was, within hearing of the battle, and without permission to advance. I asked him where was McCook's division. He said just behind him, and Wood's just behind McCook's. What should I do? I had no order's except for Crittenden, but we needed all the reinforcements we could get. I quickly determined to assume the responsibility. I sat down and wrote an order in General Grant’s name and dispatched a courier, ordering General McCook to leave his transportation and move his available force immediately to the river to General Wood, and followed it with an order to General Thomas, who was a few miles behind Wood. I returned to Savannah; there, I remembered, we had three regiments. I thought they were not needed there. I again assumed responsibility and ordered two of the regiments to embark for Pittsburg. I made all the arrangements for transportation and returned to report to General Grant. By this time it [pg. 12] was night. I found the General and the rest of his staff stretched on the ground, without a tent or any protection, and the rain pouring down! I reported to the General what I had done; he said I had done exactly right. In consequence of my assumption of responsibility we had, in addition to Crittenden's and Nelson's commands, the whole of McCook's and a part of Wood's division, together with two regiments from Savannah, in the fight the next day, and we needed them all! Sunday evening the enemy had pushed our lines back until their batteries almost commanded our transports; a little further and they would have made it impossible to land our reinforcements. But, fortunately, they got within range of our two gunboats, which were lying anchored in the river, and which opened upon them with a perfect shower of shells. Night never was more welcome to any poor mortals than that night to our little army at Pittsburg. I say "little army" because our force at Pittsburg at this time did not exceed forty thousand men.... Wallace's division had not arrived, nor any of Buell’s command. Notwithstanding this disparity, we labored under another serious disadvantage; the enemy, being the attacking party, could concentrate their whole force at any point, while we were compelled to maintain our lines on the right, left and center, not knowing what moment the enemy might shift their position under cover of the woods. Before morning we had received twenty-five thousand reinforcements, and before Monday's battle was over ten thousand more. Sunday night General Grant ordered that at the break of day our forces should advance on the right, left and center, attacking the enemy all around the lines wherever he could be found. The first dawn of morning lighted our men onward toward the foe. In a few moments our whole line was engaged, and the battle raged with even more severity than on Sunday. The enemy were moving forward with the confidence inspired by their partial success on the preceding day; our's with the confidence inspired by the knowledge that we had been reinforced. I have not time to describe this day's action. It was the most terrible conflict I have ever witnessed. Our line of battle engaged at one time could not have been less than five or six miles, and wherever the battle raged hottest General Grant could be seen with his staff. At one time the rebels evidently distinguished him as a commanding general, for they opened a battery which filled the air around us with bursting shells and solid shot, and, as we advanced along the line, they followed us for a quarter of a mile. [pg. 13] Fortunely, the range was a little too high, and the ricochet passed beyond us. One ball, passed under the General's horse. I rode over the battle-field after the battle. Our men were busy burying the dead. The scene was horrible. Hundreds and hundreds of dead bodies strewed the ground. For miles and miles, wherever we rode, we found dead bodies scattered through the woods in every direction. Oh! there will be many desolate homes and comfortless hearts as the details of this battle are known through the country. Many a mourning Rachel will find little consolation in the victory which finally crowned our arms. But future ages will, look with admiration on the desperate valor of our troops and bless the memory of the dead who felt at Pittsburg fighting for the maintenance of our good government. You and I cannot be too grateful to the kind Providence who has preserved your husband and our children's father through these two terrible days. I have seen enough of war. God grant that it may be speedily terminated. I cannot retire now till we have driven the enemy from Corinth. When that is done I think I wilt leave it to others to finish up this rebellion, which I look upon as already mortally wounded..... Kiss my little darlings for papa. Tell them that papa's thoughts often went after them, even during the excitement of the battle-field, and nothing but a sense of duty reconciled him to the risking of his life. Good bye. God bless you.
Your husband,
W. S. Hillyer.
  4. idaho native

    Pea Ridge

    Should there be a topic under Storm Clouds about the Battle of Pea Ridge fought is northwestern Arkansas March 7-8. 1862, only a month before Shiloh. What impact if any did this Union Victory have on the battle of Shiloh. Would the Union forces have advanced to Pittsburg Landing if there were still Confederate forces in Missouri/Arkansas causing them grief? Sherman made the comment long after the war" Somehow, few men realize the full value of the victories of Pea Ridge, Donelson, and Shiloh." "Though not conclusive they gave the keynote to all subsequent events of the war. They encouraged us and discouraged our too sanguine opponents, thereby leading to all our Western successes which were conclusive of the final result. The more you study the Civil War, the more you discover that the Northwestern states saved the Union"
  5. idaho native

    Shiloh Revisited - D C Buell

    A link to extracts from Buells 1887 Century Magazine Article. http://www.aotc.net/Shiloh.htm#Buell
  6. idaho native

    25th Missouri at Shiloh

    An Illustrated History of the Missouri Engineers and the 25th Infantry Regiment. You have to go to page 120 to read about Col. Peabody & to page 124 to read about the 25th Missouri Infantry at the Battle of Shiloh. http://books.google.com/books?id=H5cvAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=An+Illustrated+History+of+the+Missouri+Engineers&cd=1#v=onepage&q=&f=false
  7. After the battle of Ft. Donelson the union army had been gathering on a fleet of boats between Ft Henry and the railroad bridge. This included the 3 divisions of Ft. Donelson, the first, second and third, commanded by C. F. Smith, McClernand an Lewis Wallace, A 4th division was added commanded by Brig. Gen. S. A. Hurlbut and a 5th by Brig. Gen. W. T. Sherman. With Smith in command of the expedition he headed down river aboard the Golden State with portions of the 40th Illinois arriving at Savannah on the right bank of the Tennessee River on March 5th. Behind Smith were a fleet of more than 80 steamboats carrying the 5 divisions and conveyed by 3 gunboats, a vast procession extending miles along the winding river, each boat with its pillar of smoke by day and fire by night. The fleet began arriving at Savannah on the 11th, and lined both shores of the river. Lew Wallace's division sent a party to the railroad west of the river, striking it at Purdy, tearing up a portion, but doing little permanent injury and returned. On the 14th Smith sent Sherman's division up the river to strike the railroad at Eastport. Rain fell in torrents, roads melted to mud and small streams rose with dangerous rapidity. The expedition, arrested by an unfordable torrent returned just in time to reach the landing by wading through water waist-deep. The boats left (Savannah) in the night of the 15th of March and stopped at Pittsburg Landing on the west bank of the river about nine miles above Savannah. Hurlbuts division was already on boats at the landing, having been ordered there by Smith on the evening of the 14th. Wow a fleet of 80 steamboats plying the waters of the Tennessee River crowded with troops. What a sight to behold. This has to be one of the first large movement of troops by water during the war.
  8. idaho native

    Looking at Ft Henry 150 Years Later

    Just an interesting post in a blog about Ft. Henry. http://markerhunter.wordpress.com/2012/01/18/fort-henry-help-request/
  9. idaho native

    Merry Christmas

    Merry Christmas to one and all!
  10. idaho native

    My new book (foreword by Tim Smith)

    I will get around to ordering a copy after the holidays. Will contact Karen. Have bought too many books about the du Ponts of late. A little recess from the civil war although there were several du Ponts in the war (Samuel, navy) and Henry A with the 5th U S artillery. Du Pont supplied at least 40% of the powder for the union war effort. Thanks for the info clacav. Oh and yes Jim thanks for your offer.
  11. idaho native

    CWPT Photo Contest

    Congratulations to Mike for the great picture. Thanks for the kind words re my picture.
  12. idaho native

    CWPT Photo Contest

    Congrats to Mike & thank you for your kind words re my photo.
  13. idaho native

    Watch out: It’s copperhead birthing season

    UGH - I do not like the looks of that thing.
  14. idaho native

    My new book (foreword by Tim Smith)

    How does one obtain an autographed copy?
  15. idaho native

    Mother Bickerdyke

    Thanks for the link to the book source as copies of the book are expensive. I marvel at the courage and dedication of the women nurses or those who nursed their loved ones including fanny Gordon (wife of John Brown Gordon) and Arabella Griffith Barlow (wife of Francis Barlow). Both Gordon and Barlow were wounded at Antietam, Gordon 5 times. Both their wives were close by and both nursed their men back to health so they could fight again. Here is a quote from Gordon re his wife: "The doctors told Mrs. Gordon to paint my arm above the wound 3 or 4 times a day with iodine. She obeyed the doctors by painting it 3 or 4 hundred times a day. Under God's providence, I owe my life to her incessant watchfulness night and day, and to her tender nursing through weary weeks and anxious months." Barlow's wife would join the US Sanitary Commission in 1862. After nursing soldiers at wounded in the 1864 Overland Campaign she would die of typhoid fever on July 27, 1864. In 1996 someone installed a bronze place over her grave in Somerville, New Jersey describing her role as a Civil war nurse. Just 2 unsung heroes of the civil war.
  16. idaho native

    Officers under Arrest

    I think officers put other officers subordinate to them and others under arrest all the time. Stonewall Jackson was good at it. When the Maryland Campaign started I think both A. P. Hill and John Bell Hood were under arrest. When under arrest you were relieved of command and had to march at the rear of your column of troops.
  17. idaho native

    Route for Tim's Epic Trek

    Jim: do you really have a 2nd home in Tennessee? Looks like an ambitious hike. have fun. Saw your old post re the winter quarters.
  18. idaho native

    Meeting with other Denizens of the SDG

    No chance for me getting to Shiloh again this year. My rottweiler had some major medical bills so all the long distance travel monies have been spent. I am lucky there are lots of 150th events here with activities in the Shenandoah Valley, the Overland Campaign in Virginia and the 150th at Monocacy. Glad to have so much happening close to home. Come east for a visit. Heard there was going to be a huge reenactment on private land near Spotsylvania Courthouse in early May.
  19. idaho native

    Little eagles!!

    I saw a picture on the Shiloh National park site showing one of the large eagles with a fish in its talons taking the fish back to the nest. It was a nice picture.
  20. idaho native

    Howdy from Vicksburg

    Jim: Glad you enjoyed Vicksburg. I found it a very interesting place. Since my visit in 2008 I think they have been removing some of the trees that were planted by the CCC"s & I expect there is more open space between the Union and Confederate lines. Did you find that to be the case? I did get an opportunity to go to Gettysburg July 1. Went to a special program "The Last March of the Iron Brigade" which followed the bridage march from the Codori Farm to Herbst Woods. The Park Service estimated there were about 1,200 people on the hike which paled in comparison to the July 3 recdreation of Pickett's Charge. I found the hike very interesting and have been reading more about the Iron Brigade at Gettysburg since then. They spent the night of June 30 camped near Marsh Creek which is a few miles south of the farm. The Iron Brigade had the highest losses of any unit at Gettysburg loosing over 1,000 of the 1,800+ that were engaged. They lost their identity after that when a Pennsylvania unit was added to their ranks. It is great to spend a little time going to 150th events.
  21. idaho native

    Then and now: Civil War battlefields

    Yeah Perry - You need to share more of your then & now photos.
  22. idaho native

    Fall Hike with Tim Smith - Official Announcement

    Sounds like another fun outing!
  23. idaho native

    Winchester battlefield to return to 1864 farm appearance

    I might just have to go check this out next year. Interesting post Jim.
  24. idaho native

    Then (2012) and Now (2013)

    Amazing photos Perry. I think spring is later everywhere this year. I can see you will have more award winning photos for the CWT photo contest this year.
  25. idaho native

    Shiloh Quiz #12

    Ron: yeah - I thought that was the 1st one. That is what I would have said if I had of made a timely response.
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