Jump to content
Shiloh Discussion Group


  • Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Everything posted by Transylvania

  1. Name this man.

    No, I am not referring to the double surrender. I am not a devious sort (although some may disagree).
  2. Name this man.

    My turn, then. I commanded a sizable force of Rebel troops at the Battle of Shiloh; I am one of just a few (perhaps the only) Confederate general officer who surrendered (or was surrendered, that is, was a subordinate to the commander who signed the articles of surrender) twice to Union forces. I was born in the .... (well, that would make it even easier). Who am I?
  3. Name this man.

    Could it be Patton Anderson?
  4. Bragg at Corinth

    A Fabian policy is essentially a scorched earth policy - destroying any supplies that might succor an enemy as you fall back and refuse him battle. It was named for Quintus Fabius Maximus Verrucosus, surnamed Cunctator (280 BC - 203 BC). According to the all-knowing Wikipedia The Fabian strategy is a military strategy where pitched battles and frontal assaults are avoided in favor of wearing down an opponent through a war of attrition and indirection. While avoiding decisive battles, the side employing this strategy harasses its enemy through skirmishes to cause attrition, disrupt supply and affect morale. Employment of this strategy implies that the side adopting this strategy believes time is on its side, but it may also be adopted when no feasible alternative strategy can be devised. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fabian_strategy
  5. Epic Hike 2018 Suggestions

    Some of us Stalwarts were talking among ourselves during the recent 2018 Anniversary hikes, trying to figure out suggestions for topics for Dr Smith's 2018 Epic Hike. One suggestion was to follow the route of Trabue's (mostly) Kentucky Brigade (a suggestion not put forth by your Faithful Correspondent), which could be lengthy, if one starts at the initial position on the Bark Road and follows it to its position in Crescent Field, then bushwhacking across Tilghlman Branch, and closing the encirclement of Prentiss et al. Then to the Indian Mounds, which ended its service on April 6. It spent the night in the camps of the 6th Iowa and 46th Ohio (McDowell's Brigade of the Fifth Division), clear across the Battlefield. Your Faithful Correspondent suggested some sort of an excursion in which the hike would follow the course of the Federal brigades into the fighting on April 6. The basis of this suggestion is that your Faithful Correspondent does not have a grasp of the location of the Federal camps, with the exception of the Fifth and Sixth Division brigade camps. One of the aspects of his recent book which he touts is its treatment of the April 7 actions which is deeper than that of other accounts, so perhaps Dr Smith could put together a hike dealing with the Second Day. He did discuss Lew Wallace's actions on April 7 in the afternoon installment of last year's Epic Hike. but there's a lot more to cover. Does anyone else have any suggestions?
  6. Epic Hike 2018 Suggestions

    It is not a true visit to the Shiloh National Military Park unless one traverses the Dill Branch Ravine.
  7. Epic Hike 2018 Suggestions

    That is indeed the problem. The Epic Hike is an all-day affair, so a hike following the Federal units to the front line would actually be a matter of following one brigade and then backtracking to a different brigade camp, following it into battle, &c, &c, &c - perhaps not the most exciting hike. And the big drawback - there would be no reason to traverse Dill Branch.
  8. Anniversary Hikes

    Also, you may want to carry some rain gear. The 5th looks to have dry weather, but I am not so sure about the 6th and 7th (one more reason for dry socks). Hope you enjoy Dr Gentsch's hike. I just hope he speaks up - he so soft-spoken. See you Thusday!
  9. Anniversary Hikes

    Water, lunch, and dry socks are highly recommended. You will find no food vending at the Park (with the possible exception of a vending machine or two). The only all day hike this weekend, as far as I know, is Dr Gentsch's hike on the 5th. He likes to bushwhack, and one's footware may quickly become wet, if the morning dew is sodden (I learned the hard way in 2012 - ruined my feet for the remainder of the hikes). I am scheduled to go on Gentsch's Clausewitzian Interpretation hike on April 5, his Operational Account hike on April 6 am, Bjorn Skaptason's Confederate Left hike on April 6 pm, and Professor Gentsch's two hikes on April 7. I will also visit Fallen Timbers with Mr Skaptason on April 8 (I hope - didn't work out so well last year). Bjorn Skaptason likes to bushwhack as well (the description of his April 6 afternoon hike practically screams that he will be bushwhacking). Hope to see you!
  10. Neat account and picture

    According to The History of the Orphan Brigade Edward Porter Thompson, Price C. Newman of Louisville was elected 2nd lieutenant in November, 1861, and was elected captain at the reorganization of May 15, 1862. He participated in all of the major engagements of the Orphan Brigade and died in Louisville on July 30, 1894. (page 802) https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=uc1.b4519380;view=1up;seq=1213
  11. One more account

    According to The History of the Orphan Brigade by Edward Porter Thompson, William Pope of Louisville "was severely wounded in battle at Shiloh; suffered amputation of the arm, and died shortly afterward." (page 822) https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=uc1.b4519380;view=1up;seq=952
  12. Hello from the mountain state

    Certainly not too late. The accumulation of knowledge is a great asset of this site.
  13. Hello From Kentucky

    In November, under the auspices of this August Group, Dr Tim Smith, a history professor at University of Tennessee - Martin and former Shiloh NMP ranger, will lead his annual Epic Hike with Tim Smith. In 2016, his hike was at Fort Donelson (he released a book on this battle at about that time), and this past year he lead a hike / car caravan following Lew Wallace's march from Crump's landing to the battlefield and the actions of Wallace's Third Division on April 7. I don't have any idea what the topic might be this year. Dr Smith is excellent. The Epic Hike is held on a Saturday. If the battlefield gods are kind, and the hike is in the vicinity of Shiloh, I will lead a Not-So-Epic hike on the day following the Epic Hike, covering the actions of Trabue's Brigade of Breckinridge's Reserve Corps on the First Day of the battle (I just can't quite remember where most of Trabue's regiments came from <wink> <wink>). I don't know of any other hikes which are regularly scheduled, other than the Anniversary Hikes. On November 11, 2017, the same day as the Epic Hike, the Park Service had Dr Jeff Gentsch led a reprise of his April 7, 2017 hike Shiloh and the Civil War in Regards to the First World War: A Comparative Hike (as I recall, the United States declared war on Imperial Germany on April 7, 1917). Since we are observing the Centennial of the World War I, I would not be surprised if the Park Service has him reprise his 2018 anniversary hike Battle of Shiloh: Battlefield Actions of Infantry, Artillery, and Cavalry with Comparisons to the Great War on the Veteran's Day weekend. If you are planning to visit the battlefield, you should get a copy of the Battlefield America: Shiloh map. It is a topographic map showing the location of all of the monuments and tablets. It is available at the Shiloh Bookstore (at the Visitor's Center) or direct from the publisher (www.trailheadgraphics.com). The tablets are particularly important - they were placed by David W. Reed who fought with the 12th Iowa at Shiloh and who was secretary and later chairman of the Shiloh National Military Park Commission and was also its historian. Tim Smith wrote "Whenever there is a question about Shiloh that is not easily answerable, the staff looks to see what the various tablets and monuments on the battlefield say. These markers represent troop movements and were placed on the battlefield at the turn of the century when veterans of the battle were establishing the Shiloh National Military Park. Reed wrote the text for the approximately four hundred iron tablets, and he approved the text for the monuments produced by state commissions. Thus, Reed had his hand in telling the story of Shiloh “in letters of iron” on the battlefield itself. These markers are extremely important today because they offer a connection of both time and space to the veterans themselves and to the units they represent. There is a wealth of specific information on these markers, and anyone performing serious research into Shiloh must use them as a seminal source." The tablets face in the direction which the unit being described was facing at the time depicted and are located at the center of its position. They are considered to be very accurately placed for the most part. The regimental monuments are placed at the location of the unit's most important service during the battle and face in the direction it was facing then. Reed also controlled the placement of the monuments (with one notable exception). You can follow a link on the Shiloh National Military Park website to a non-NPS website which has photographs of the tablets, so you can learn what each says when preparing for your intended park visits. I regret to inform you that there are no Kentucky regimental monuments on the field and that the Kentucky State "monument" is a disgrace to the Commonwealth. On the other hand, Trabue's Brigade has ten tablets.
  14. Hello From Kentucky

    Dr Jeff Gentsch, a military history professor at the University of West Alabama, is leading the hike on the 5th. Many of us enjoy Dr Gentsch, who revels in his outspokenness. I don't know the itinerary but at 12 miles it seems likely that the hike will cover most of the Park. I expect him to go off road and will be very surprised if we don't cross the Dill Branch Ravine.
  15. 156th Battle Anniversary

    I have made alternate arrangements - your barn, and I DID NOT raid your henhouse last year (the eggs were delicious).
  16. 156th Battle Anniversary

    I was unable to secure reservations at the Savannah Days' Inn when I tried to do so on Sunday, February 25.
  17. Hello From Kentucky

    Hope you can attend some of the hikes this spring. I guess it might be difficult for a school teacher to get off for the April 6 (Friday) hikes, but maybe you can join some of the April 7 ones. Shiloh National Military Park is always worth visiting!
  18. 156th Battle Anniversary

    More hikes, all led by Dr Gentsch, have been posted at https://www.nps.gov/shil/planyourvisit/event-details.htm?event=29900A60-1DD8-B71B-0B9E9B082F76C745 The listing does not list any hikes to be led by Mr Skapteson. I expect that he will be leading some, although I have had no communication with him.
  19. 156th Battle Anniversary

    The Shiloh National Military Park Staff have begun posting the schedule of hikes for April with only two on April 6 being announced so far. Dr Gentsch tells me that he is pondering leading a hike on April 5. https://www.nps.gov/shil/planyourvisit/event-details.htm?event=29900A60-1DD8-B71B-0B9E9B082F76C745
  20. Hello From Kentucky

    Greetings to Daviess County!
  21. Diary of Aaron Mastin, Army Nurse

    You raise a point which I am trying to resolve. the goal of the Rebel army was to engage and defeat Grant's army before Buell could arrive with reinforcements (but bad intelligence may have resulted in "hopeful belief" that Buell was heading for Decatur, instead of Savannah) Cunningham writes "General Beauregard did not believe the captured Union General [Prentiss] because of the receipt of a dispatch from Brigadier General Ben Helm in Northern Alabama, which stated that Buell was marching toward Decatur and not toward Pittsburg Landing. Helm's message caused a dangerous feeling of over confidence to develop in the Southern leaders, who felt they could leisurely take their time in destroying Grant's army Monday morning." He cites T Harry Williams's biography of Beauregard (P. G. T. Beauregard - Napoleon in Gray. p 143) and Battles and Leaders, 1: 602, 603. This citation is Brigadier General Thomas Jordan's Notes of a Confederate Staff-Officer at Shiloh, who wrote Several hours previously a telegraphic dispatch addressed by Colonel Helm to General Johnston (as well as I now remember, from the direction of Athens, in Tennessee) was brought me from Corinth by a courier, saying that scouts employed in observing General Buell's movements reported him to be marching not in the toward a junction with Grant, but in the direction of Decatur, North Alabama. This assuring dispatch I handed to General Beauregard, and, then, at his order, I wrote a telegraphic report to the Confederate adjutant-general, Cooper, in Richmond, announcing the results of the day, including the death of Johnston. Cunningham also cites the Official Records, Series 10, Part 1, p 385. Beauregard's report begins on page 385 On page 387, Beauregard wrote that "from news received by a special dispatch, that delays had been encountered by General Buell in his march from Columbia, and that his main force, therefore, could not reach the field of battle in time to save General Grant's shattered fugitive forces from capture or destruction on the following day." I have also learned from that fount of knowledge the Wikipedia, of Benjamin Hardin Helm that He was promoted to brigadier general on March 14, 1862 and, three weeks later, received a new assignment to raise the 3rd Kentucky Brigade, in the division of Major General John C. Breckinridge. During the Battle of Shiloh, Helm used his brigade to guard the Confederate flanks. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benjamin_Hardin_Helm) and that the 2nd Kentucky Infantry (CSA) saw action at Shiloh After being exchanged, the reconstituted regiment saw action at the Battle of Shiloh. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2nd_Kentucky_Infantry) I am trying to figure out just where Helm was and what he reported. I do not see any mention of him in Series 10 of the OR, parts 1 or 2. Jordan says that the dispatch came from Athens, but that seems unlikely. Athens, Tennessee, which I have frequented, roughly lies on a line between Chattanooga and Knoxville, half-way betwixt them. It seems unlikely that an officer screening a Federal advance toward Decatur, Alabama, would be reporting through an office so far to the east, although Jordan's recollection is hedged. According to E. Porter Thompson, in his History of the Orphan Brigade states At Murfreesboro’, February 23, 1862, he was temporarily brigaded with the Kentucky infantry, under the immediate orders of Gen. Breckinridge. Arriving at Burnsville, he was again active, and employed in guarding the approaches to Corinth, and watching the movements of the enemy on the Tennessee. Hav ing been sent by Gen. A. S. Johnston, during the latter part of March, on a tour of observation between the Federal position on the river and Nashville, he reported Buell’s rapid approach, and the probability of his being able to join Grant on Sunday, April 6th. It is said that ‘Johnston, on receiving this information, endeavored to hurry up his dispositions, so as to strike Grant on Saturday morning, and crush him, if possible, before the arrival of Buell, which he was prevented from doing only by the unexpected difficulty of transporting the artillery over the dreadful roads. At Shiloh the cavalry was engaged mainly in guarding the flanks, and had not that opportunity for distinguishing itself which was afterward improved on so many fields; but for Helm to attempt anything was to display ability, and win the warm encomiums of those who observed him. On the 17th of April, Beauregard announced the promotion of Helm to brigadier, to rank from the 14th of March, and he was ordered to report to Gen. Breckinridge, which he did April 26th. About this time, the Reserve Corps was reorganized, and, April 28th, Helm was assigned to the command of the Third Brigade, in which, however, there were no troops of his own State. (Ed Porter Thompson, History of the Orphan Brigade, 1898) Thompson says that Helm reported that Buell was moving toward Grant and that his report played in role in urgency of the advance on Pittsburg Landing, contradicting Jordan. Thompson, an officer in the First Kentucky Brigade (a/k/a the Orphan Brigade), is certainly an enthusiast for the Brigade and its officers. I have not read him carefully, but his reputation is that he is not prone to flights of fancy. Helm almost certainly was not at Shiloh. Where was he? What did he report?
  22. Epic Trek 2017: Update

    I regret that I will be unable to attend the 2017 Epic Hike due to a family situation and I will not be leading my Not-So-Epic Hike on November 12. Please remove me and Mark Weber from the list of prospective participants. Next year in Pittsburgh Landing!
  23. Why stay at Crumps?

    Cheatham is at Bethel Station and could possibly interdict the Tennessee River. Wallace is at Crump's to block him from doing so. References available upon request.
  24. Epic Trek 2017: Update

    Dr Gentsch's hike on November 11 is a reprise of his Shiloh and the Civil War in Regards to the First World War: A Comparative Hike, which he led last April 7. He made much use of The War to End All Wars: The American Military Experience in World War I by by Edward M Coffman during the April 7 hike. As I recall, he had a gaggle of his students along on that hike, and he cut it short, covering ten miles rather than the advertised twelve miles, because some of the gaggle weren't doing so good.
  25. Epic Trek 2017: Update

    I intend to lead a Not-So-Epic hike covering the advance of Trabue's Brigade on the First Day. We will meet at the Tennessee State Monument near Water Oaks Pond at 9:00 am on Sunday, November 12. From there, we will move to Crescent Field, then on to Tablets 448 and 469. We will bushwack across a branch of Tilghman Creek, arriving at a bluff overlooking the Cavalry Road bridge over Tilghman and will proceed on to Tablet 449. After discussing the actions of Trabue's Brigade there, I must confess that I am uncertain what to do next. If the weather is good and we are feeling energetic, then we will cross Cloud Field to the Indian Mounds, where Trabue's Brigade was briefly located late on April 6 and then return to Water Oaks Pond. If we are feeling less than energetic, then, from Tablet 449, we will return to Water Oaks Pond using the Corinth Road. I estimate the distance of the shorter hike to be about two miles. I do not intend to lead this peregrination if it is raining that morning.