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Ozzy

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Ozzy last won the day on May 23

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About Ozzy

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    Reynella, South Australia
  • Occupation
    Writer
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    Family history research, car restoration, travel...
    Welcome to my SDG page: the image at top is of Dubuque's Governor's Greys, which became Company 'I' of First Iowa Vol. Inf. Regt. (Uniform worn Battle of Wilson's Creek, 1861.)
    My book, Falling through the Hornet's Nest' (Martin Samuels) is now available at Amazon.com as ebook. My next book (focus on Henry Halleck 1861-62) entitled 'Shiloh was a Sham: the untold story of the iconic Civil War Battle,' will be available April 2016, on Amazon as e-book.

    I can be contacted at bzmax03@chariot.net.au by any SDG member so inclined.

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  1. HELLO FROM WISCONSIN-- SHILOH STUDY

    Thanks to Mona and Tom for relevant comments, and to Stan for comments and remarkable images... Here are some comments provided by Shiloh participants (Union) who observed the previously-described anomalies: Major Ezra Taylor, Sherman's Chief of Artillery -- "...the enemy appeared in large force in the open field directly in front of the position of [Waterhouse's] battery, bearing aloft, as I supposed, the American flag, and their men and officers wearing uniforms so similar to ours, that I hesitated to open fire on them. I afterwards learned that the uniform jackets worn by these troops were black" [OR 10 page 273]. Colonel Cyrus Hall, 14th Illinois -- "I saw a line of blue uniforms in front; fearing they were our men, I gave the order to cease firing" [OR 10 p.223]. In Papers of US Grant vol.5, page 31, General Grant reported "a [Rebel] brigade dressed in black and with a Union flag..." Lack of proper uniform leads to confusion Ozzy
  2. Battle of Shiloh

    Mona The "Little Colonel" website -- "The People" -- provides details of some of the real people who furnished material for Annie Fellows Johnston's fictional characters. Meanwhile, will continue to review her writings; and if I discover anything of interest, will post it here. Regards Ozzy
  3. HELLO FROM WISCONSIN-- SHILOH STUDY

    Tennessee's Union Volunteers "...no clothing or entrenching tools could be had while the Army was at Shiloh, for sixteen or eighteen days before the battle" -- Colonel Thomas Worthington, 46th Ohio, in sworn testimony August 1862. Colonel Worthington got himself into trouble with Brigadier General William Tecumseh Sherman at the start of the March 1862 Advance up the Tennessee River, when the steamer carrying his 46th Ohio and another steamer carrying the 40th Illinois (Colonel Hicks) powered ahead of the Federal convoy (without authority) and arrived at Savannah days in advance of Brigadier General C. F. Smith. Ignored by Sherman was a beneficial outcome: the breaking up of a "Recruitment Party" then underway, initiated by Confederate authorities, in accordance with Tennessee State Law of 28 November 1861, and activated by Governor Isham Harris upon his arrival in Memphis (the new CSA State capital) after evacuating Nashville. It is estimated in excess of 500 military-aged men had replied to the summons, and had gathered at Savannah by end of first week of March; and that number swelled to perhaps 1500 by the start of April. (On March 6th the men gathered at Savannah Tennessee were enrolled; the "Muster into service" was slated to take place on the 10th... but Hicks and Worthington arrived March 7 and 8, and the Recruitment Party was interrupted.) Many of the civilians drawn to Savannah were Union-supporters, who expressed desire to fight for the Union cause. Hicks and Worthington took advantage of the opportunity, and it is believed at least forty men joined the 40th Illinois, and over forty joined the 46th Ohio. (A further unknown number joined the 14th Iowa; and perhaps 30 - 50 joined the Navy and served aboard Lexington and Tyler, and the soon-to-be commissioned Alfred Robb.) There were two problems with these new recruits: availability of uniforms, and their "official military status" (because some had been Enrolled for Confederate service on March 6th, or had other "prior attachment.") Availability of uniforms is questioned due to information presented in SDG topics: "A Revelation of War: civilians in Hardin County Tennessee in Spring 1862" -- in particular, posts of 29 MAY 2017; 1 JUN 2017 (by rwaller); and 1 JUN 2017 (by Ozzy), with attention to General Orders No.17 of March 1st 1862 (signed by John Rawlins) directing, "all regiments with extra clothing will distribute that extra clothing to other regiments requiring same. Afterwards, all extra clothing to be sent to Cairo Illinois." Depending on how well these instructions were followed, there may not have been many spare uniforms available, just prior to Shiloh (as reported by Colonel Worthington.) What were the Tennessee Union soldiers wearing at Shiloh? Were they able to get proper uniforms, or did they borrow items from other soldiers, or did they have an ad hoc "uniform" of dark mufti? [Still under investigation, so answer remains unknown.] However, it is of interest to note that at least one captured man, taken prisoner upon the collapse of the Hornet's Nest, was shot on General Beauregard's orders, due to having "served improperly with the 14th Iowa Infantry." This man was deemed to have been previously mustered into Confederate service, and was "acting as a traitor to the Cause, having joined the ranks of the enemy." [Sam Watkins in Company Aytch (1900) pages 40 - 41 records this man as "Rowland," shot at Corinth on April 12th.] His real name was William C. Rolan of Lawrenceburg Tennessee, who is recorded in the 14th Iowa roster as belonging to Company H. The question: What gave this man away? His manner of speaking, or his "different uniform"? Ozzy References: http://archive.org/stream/coaytch00watk#page/40/mode/2up Sam Watkins Company Aytch http://iagenweb.org/civilwar/books/logan/mil406.htm Roster of 14th Iowa Infantry by Guy Logan http://civilwartalk.com/threads/pows-from-shiloh.94639/ Discussion of Wm.C. Rolan, including documents.
  4. HELLO FROM WISCONSIN-- SHILOH STUDY

    [image from ACW Toy Soldiers.] According to Facebook post of Shiloh NMP dated 21 July 2017, it was Lieutenant Slocomb of the battery who had the Louisiana Washington Artillery turn their blue jackets inside out on the morning of April 6th 1862. Same Facebook post records, "Kentucky troops may have fired into Trabue's Louisiana troops (wearing blue jackets on Sunday afternoon.)" Again, the Facebook post reports, "Lieutenant A. V. Vetner (CSA) was killed by the 4th Louisiana as he rode past." The 4th Louisiana is recorded as "engaged with a Tennessee Regiment" [OR 10 page 489.] Colonel Allen: "A Tennessee regiment in our rear fired on us." [That regiment may have been the 33rd Tennessee -- their report (OR 10 page 435) records "confusion."] SDG topic "Friendly Fire Incident with 4th Louisiana Confederates" of 30 March 2010 records additional details. And SDG topic "Route for Tim's Epic Hike" of 24 SEP 2014 records the scene of "Shiloh's most famous friendly fire incident in vicinity of Lost Field." OR 10 pages 422 - 3 Report No.146: Colonel Bell insists, "The 33rd Tennessee fired into us." [More details to be found SDG topic "Attack on Waterhouse's Battery that Succeeded" -- especially posts of 21 AUG 2016 (two posts.)] OR 10 page 430 Report No.151 of the 13th Arkansas "observed an officer shot down by Louisiana troops." [This officer may have been Brigadier General SAM Wood, who may have still been wearing the dark-coloured uniform from his days with the 7th Alabama -- see photograph associated with SDG topic "Wood's Brigade: what artillery battery" by lelliott19 (16 NOV 2016) (the CDV image with five officers posed for camera.)] Also, SAM Wood's report OR 10 page 592. Cheers Ozzy References: http://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=coo.31924077730160;view=1up;seq=533 OR 10 of Rebellion Records http://www.acwtoysoldiers.com/Confederate Sets/CSA_ART_LA_WashLtArtNO5thCo.html ACW Toy Soldiers (image at top of post.) http://www.facebook.com/ShilohNMP/posts/1413422985414350 Shiloh NMP post of 21 July 2017.
  5. HELLO FROM WISCONSIN-- SHILOH STUDY

    Uniform and Flag stories from Shiloh These are some of the interesting incidents involving uniforms and flags at Battle of Shiloh: the 12th Illinois Infantry changed out of its old grey uniform into blue during the march to battle, morning of April 6th 1862; at least one "friendly fire" incident occurred, involving Rebel troops shooting their own due to the wearing of dark blue (or black) jackets; recent volunteers signed into Union service at Savannah during March/April 1862 ( 40th Illinois, 46th Ohio and 14th Iowa) may not have been issued with proper uniforms prior to Battle of Shiloh; the Jessie Scouts wore Rebel uniforms when performing their duties (but wore a distinctive scarf or armband -- usually white -- upon return to Union lines to avoid being shot by friendly troops) the "Stars and Bars" Flag (1st CSA National Flag) continued to pose problems at Shiloh (misidentified as American Flag) at least one Confederate regiment was ordered to wear its jackets inside out (with cream-coloured liner obscuring the dark colour of the uniform jacket) everyone knows the "white flag" represents surrender; but at the time of Shiloh, the "yellow flag" meant Hospital (and sometimes a "red flag" was used) ambulance wagons and steamers pressed into Hospital service usually carried no marker (and Hospital boats were sometimes used to carry munitions) when representatives from General Beauregard travelled to Richmond, end of April, to present the General's Shiloh Report to President Davis, they also carried with them 28 flags, banners and pennants captured at Shiloh. Cheers Ozzy
  6. Battle of Shiloh

    Mona When I first encountered the impressive poem in Confederate Veteran Magazine, I wondered, "Did she write anything else?" And never realized that Annie Fellows Johnston went on to construct a whole series of children's books, based on the fictional Little Colonel, featuring characters and places with origins in real life. There are a number of websites that act as store-houses for Annie Johnston's written works, some of which also provide access to the works themselves. However, possibly due to the fact this writer was published under a variety of names (Annie Johnston, Annie Fellows, Annie Fellows Johnston) no online storehouse lists all of her works. One such item that escapes the lists is Songs Ysame -- a selection of poems credited to Annie F. Johnston and her sister, Albion. Several of the poems are written in the same style as "The Battle of Shiloh," (although that particular poem is not included in Songs Ysame.) Do any of Annie Johnston's works "directly address" the Battle of Shiloh? I believe her poem comes the closest; but even that effort feels "half-a-pace removed," as if one is looking down on the scene from above, and not caught up with the struggle, directly. As for "Colonel Lloyd," I have yet to encounter a full description of the Colonel's wartime experiences in any of the books (although I've only read four of them, as of this post.) Much in the same way most veterans acknowledge their participation, but do not reveal intimate details of the experience, Colonel Lloyd is "known to have had war service," but the specifics of that service are released in bits and pieces, widely separated. Interesting websites below... Ozzy References: http://littlecolonel.com/ (probably the most complete site for Annie Fellows Johnston and Little Colonel information) http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/author/3050 (selection of Annie F. Johnston works available at Project Gutenberg) http://www.online-literature.com/annie-johnston/ (Online-Literature list of Annie Johnston books, plays and short stories.) http://archive.org/stream/songsysame00johngoog#page/n11/mode/2up Songs Ysame
  7. HELLO FROM WISCONSIN-- SHILOH STUDY

    Another factor to consider IRT uniforms and flags and boots... the sewing machine. Although a variety of devices to aid in sewing had been around since the 1700's, it was American Elias Howe who was manufacturing the most sought-after machine at the start of the Civil War (Singer was still up and coming, but would finish the Civil War strong.) And, there was concern at the start of the War whether the manufacture of sewing machines would continue, as the emphasis was on muskets and pistols and other war items. But, Montgomery Meigs saw the application of sewing machines in industrial-scale production of uniforms, and although the majority of Northern soldier's uniforms were hand-stitched before 1862, after 1862 the majority of pants, coats and footwear (and flags) were machine-made. (It required only 60 seconds to completely sew one boot, using a machine.) For the South, the production of uniforms remained mostly "by hand," primarily due to sewing machine manufacture occurring solely in the Northern States (and foreign-produced machines were mostly stopped by the Union Navy's blockade.) A recent study of hundreds of Civil War uniforms in possession of museums discovered that 76% of the Union uniforms were machine sewn, whereas only two percent of Rebel uniforms were sewn by machines http://americancivilwarvoice.org/2014/06/03/the-sewing-machine-and-the-civil-war/ Just a footnote to the uniform story... Ozzy References: American Civil War Voices: The Sewing Machine and the Civil War http://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/000505081 Scientific American, 1860 through 1865, but especially Vol.7 (page 102 and 105.)
  8. HELLO FROM WISCONSIN-- SHILOH STUDY

    Of course, Civil War history would not be worthwhile without a bit of controversy... Have a read through the following link: http://michelle-hamilton.blogspot.com.au/2015/01/museum-of-confederacy-lecture-and-flag.html Now that "the real" Van Dorn Flag has been revealed (the one Earl Van Dorn never used)... who made "the brownish red flag" actually used by Van Dorn? http://gen.1starnet.com/civilwar/9cvflag.htm (another example of Van Dorn flag used in trans-Mississippi, with period description.) Ozzy
  9. Do you know Bragg?

    The following questions are in reference to Braxton Bragg, controversial personality who acted in support of the Confederacy during the War of the Rebellion. In order to make these questions a bit easier to answer correctly, each question is posed as True-or-False. Good Luck! Leroy Pope Walker was the first Confederate Government Secretary of War (and the man who famously predicted that the Clash of Arms between North and South would be such a short affair that he offered to sop up all the spilled blood with a handkerchief.) Walker resigned in September 1861 and was appointed Brigadier General, and assigned to work for Braxton Bragg at Mobile. However, Major General Bragg found him to be of such little value as military leader that he left BGen Walker behind in Alabama when he moved the bulk of his Army of Pensacola north to take part in the fight at Shiloh. True or False. The loss of Fort Donelson on 16 February 1862 is the event that caused Secretary of War Judah P. Benjamin to order Bragg and his Army north from the Gulf Coast, that order dated 18 February 1862. True or False. Braxton Bragg suffered throughout his life from frequent migraine headaches. True or False. Major General Bragg met personally with General PGT Beauregard at Jackson Tennessee before 7 March 1862. True or False. Braxton Bragg assigned Daniel Ruggles to command of the Post of Corinth on 9 March 1862. And it was Brigadier General Ruggles (on Bragg's orders) who initiated the extensive entrenchments at Corinth Mississippi. True or False. Braxton Bragg was at Corinth and met Albert Sidney Johnston when that General arrived there on 23 March 1862. True or False. At the Battle of Shiloh, Major General Bragg held two official roles: command of a corps, and chief of staff. True or False. Artillery officer Braxton Bragg won national acclaim during the Mexican War for his heroic performance at Battle of Buena Vista. True or False. Get these wrong and a ghostly eyebrow will pay you a visit at 3 o'clock in the morning... Ozzy
  10. HELLO FROM WISCONSIN-- SHILOH STUDY

    Van Dorn flag. Although the forces of Earl Van Dorn were noted at Shiloh by their absence, they did arrive in time to defend against the May 1862 Siege of Corinth. As regards the flag... after accepting the handcrafted banner in November, Major General Van Dorn carried it with him in January 1862 when he took command of the Trans-Mississippi. But, by the time Van Dorn arrived in Arkansas, two more Confederate-affiliated State governments had been accepted as members of the Confederacy: Missouri (end of November) and Kentucky (December 1861.) So, there is doubt as to the original number of stars on Van Dorn's flag: eleven, twelve, or thirteen. However, by time it was put to use as template for regiments belonging to Van Dorn's trans-Mississippi, 13 stars were standard (as indicated by above flag belonging to 4th Missouri Infantry.) Every flag used during the Civil War had its own peculiar story. Ozzy References: Recollections Grave and Gay (1911) by Mrs. Burton Harrison, Scribners & Sons, New York (pages 60 - 63, especially page 62, copied above.) http://www.civilwarvirtualmuseum.org/road-to-war/ extracts on Earl Van Dorn and Pea Ridge. http://www.4thmoinfantry.com/Unit-History.html 4th Missouri Civil War Reenactment Regiment. N.B. See following post, as the story continues...
  11. HELLO FROM WISCONSIN-- SHILOH STUDY

    Thomas Welcome to SDG! As regards uniforms and battle flags of the Civil War: best described as "work-in-progress." Although the average person today, when contemplating the soldiers who fought in that conflict, often simplify the contest as, "the Blue vs. the Grey," and although the end of the Civil War may have approximated a two-tone struggle, even in April 1865 there were to be found shoe-less Rebels wearing butternut. And Union regiments wore individually distinctive hats, and many rallied behind green battle flags. Uniform... the word itself sums up the intention, "to make everyone look the same." And yet, at the very start of the war, the concern rested with making sure soldiers of individual companies (80 - 100 men) were distinct, adorned in colours and styles that identified the members of that company. After a few months, the effort shifted to one of "making soldiers belonging to an entire regiment (800 - 1000 men) look identical." But there were still huge differences in colour and style, one regiment compared to another; and women back Home stitched and sewed the pants, jackets and flags that went to war. For the North, Montgomery Meigs is most responsible for attempting "uniformity, on a grand scale," beginning middle of 1862 (after Battle of Shiloh) in accordance with pre-war Army Regulations that had been simply ignored -- not a priority -- until the second year of the struggle. (Acquiring manpower, weapons, food, tents, gunboats, horses, wagons... these were the initial priorities.) For the South, the Confederate Uniform was prescribed by General Orders No.9 issued at City of Richmond on 6 June 1861, and which stipulated the "cadet-gray color" and the style and location on the uniform of rank insignia, and different colored collars to signify the particular specialty (such as black, for Medical Officers.) For visualization and comparison, the following references are of value: Don Troiani (several books and artworks, including Don Troiani's Civil War and Regiments and Uniforms of the Civil War.) Surprisingly, toy makers are good sources (makers of miniature soldiers strive for accuracy.) But, even after sorting out standardization of Blue vs. Grey, there is still the matter of the Zouaves... Wishing you every success with your research Ozzy References: SDG "Wood's Brigade -- What Artillery Battalion" post of 29 MAR 2015. SDG "Antebellum fitness club" post of 9 MAR 2015. Montgomery Meigs (place Meigs in Search Box at top of SDG Home Page). http://www.acwtoysoldiers.com/Confederate Sets/CSA_CS_GenANV19pc.html Extensive collection of Civil War Miniatures. http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/csa/army-uniform.htm Confederate General Orders No.9 of 6 JUN 1861. http://www.alibris.com/booksearch?browse=1&mtype=B&qwork=7418813 Don Troiani's Regiments and Uniforms http://www.amazon.com/Don-Troianis-Civil-Brian-Pohanka/dp/0811727157 other Civil War references by Don Troiani. SDG soldier images (mostly CDV) posted by Stan Hutson. N.B. The three figures in the avatar at top wear the grey uniform of the 1st Iowa Volunteer Infantry Regiment, worn at Battle of Wilson's Creek, August 1861.
  12. Urgent offer to Bragg

    Stan "Ironically contradictory Bragg?" From my own reading, I must agree with your assessment. Braxton Bragg's own statements in letters to his wife (compared with actions he subsequently took) make it appear as if Bragg suffered from a split personality. The above 6 JAN 1862 Letter to SecWar J. P. Benjamin is an excellent example of Braxton Bragg presenting two courses of action, and making arguments for both sides, for someone else to decide. (In the above example, that someone else was to be President Jefferson Davis, who likely selected Earl Van Dorn to take the trans-Mississippi after Bragg took too long to respond to the offer.) As regards John C. Fremont... we have an expression in Australia: "Horses for courses." Some leaders fight best on land; some fight best on water. Some (Montgomery Meigs) find a niche that is more important than fighting. Of those who fight, some are better at offense (U. S. Grant) while others are perceived better at defense (George Thomas). John C. Fremont was a necessary man (for the Union), present in the right place, at the right time. He happened to be in Europe when the Secession Crisis broke out, and was responsible for sourcing small arms and artillery from a variety of nations, and purchasing those munitions for the United States Government (thus preventing Rebel acquisition of those arms.) Although appointed to command of the Department of the West in May 1861, Major General Fremont did not actually arrive in Missouri until July, after Brigadier General Lyon had already taken steps to secure St. Louis for the Union. However, Fremont continued with active measures to secure St. Louis as base; and while Commander of the Department of the West, accomplished the following: contracted for construction of Pook ironclad gunboats (see Foote page 157) contracted for mortar boats (see Foote page 159) due to compromise of official Army codes, initiated use of Hungarian (in secure telegrams) initiated the Jessie Scouts (intelligence collection service) acted as "talent spotter," finding value in both U.S. Grant and Benjamin Prentiss; authorized U. S. Grant to take Paducah in September 1861 (although Grant denied he received the memo) authorized U. S. Grant to "conduct a demonstration at Fort Columbus" (which Grant morphed into a raid on Belmont, just across the river). John C. Fremont can best be described as an initiator: able to take necessary first actions, which can then be followed up by a more competent commander. With a similar Civil War experience to Brigadier General Richard Kellogg Swift, the man responsible for taking control of Cairo Illinois for the Union, and who immediately afterwards stepped aside, allowing Benjamin Prentiss to exercise use of Cairo. The failure of Fremont was in "staying too long." (In addition, "political factors" white-anted Fremont: he was of the "Benton Faction" of Missouri politics, while the opposition Blair Faction had the ear of President Lincoln. And, although he had been a Regular Army Officer, General Fremont was not a graduate of West Point, and so was "not in favor" with that community of USMA graduates -- some of whom took active measures to undermine Fremont, spreading rumors about his use of "foreigners" in the defense of St. Louis.) In summary, John Fremont was a solid initiator of necessary actions, who overstayed his welcome. Ozzy References: http://www.historycentral.com/navy/cwnavalhistory/May1861.html Fremont's role with Civil War Navy http://www.battlefields.org/learn/biographies/braxton-bragg brief assessment of Braxton Bragg http://books.google.com.au/books?id=8y4yLq1CF40C&pg=PA183&lpg=PA183&dq=Fremont+contracted+eads+gunboats&source=bl&ots=mOTgP1f4iM&sig=R5sr7fbMWKY6VVw-f7sdwioI8Q8&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjvz4ve_4vbAhUGO7wKHZ-pA0AQ6AEIODAC#v=onepage&q=Fremont contracted eads gunboats&f=false Civil War on the Western Border, pages 182-3 detailing Fremont's role in 1861 http://archive.org/stream/lifeofandrewhull00hopprich#page/158/mode/2up/search/Fremont Life of Andrew Hull Foote (see pages 157 - 9)
  13. Urgent offer to Bragg

    Mona As prescribed in SecWar Benjamin's courier-delivered Letter of 27 DEC 1861, Bragg's options were: "I accept," or "I refuse." However, it appears General Bragg found a third way to respond (Letter of 6 JAN 1862 must be read carefully to discover the answer): Head Qrs. Army of Pensacola Fort Barrancas, 6 January 1862 Dear Sir Your private and confidential dispatch of the 27th ultimo reached me on the evening of the 4th instant, and has had my most earnest consideration. I could not reply yesterday by telegraph, but do so this morning, and shall anxiously await the President's decision. The aspect of affairs has so far changed within my present command that I feel greatly embarrassed by the alternative presented and the responsibility imposed. Had the President issued his order to me, I should have promptly obeyed without a murmur; but the alternative requires that, while I make no objection, I should submit a few considerations which impress me, and which the Department probably did not fully know at the date of the dispatch. A portion of my command is now powerfully menaced by a large force, constantly increasing. Our force, at best, is very weak, and part of it in very bad condition, so that I really cannot consider the city of Mobile perfectly safe. This place, to which you seem only to refer, is in no danger, unless from an incompetent commander; a danger we have just escaped. But it will take time, labor, and all the influence I can bring to bear to produce so good a result in the western part of my department. Much valuable time is already lost there, and but little progress is now being made, owing to the means I am compelled to use. This state of affairs is seen, felt and deplored by those who have all at stake. A feverish state of excitement and much alarm exists in Mobile, where the danger is greatest, and it is no egotism in me to say I am looked to as their hope and support. The influence I have gained over the minds of the people in this section of the country, as well as over my troops, is considerable, and I do not believe any other could now fill my place to their satisfaction. You will readily see, then, my embarrassment. The field to which you invite me is a most important one, but, under present aspects, not enticing. So much has been lost there, and so little done in organization and instruction, that the prospect of retrieving our ground is most gloomy. Troops so long accustomed to the freedom and license they have enjoyed will be more difficult to command than raw men; and though I have succeeded to some extent in making soldiers here of raw levies of volunteers, and at the same time retaining their good will and confidence, I distrust my ability to accomplish the same in the new field offered me. Without a base of operations, in a country poorly supplied at best, and now exhausted by being overrun by both armies in mid-winter, with an unclad, badly fed, and badly-supplied mass of men, without instruction, arms, equipments, or officers, it is certainly a most unpromising field for operations. But should the President decide on it, after knowing the state of affairs here, I will bend all my energies and faculties to the task, and offer myself (as a sacrifice, if necessary) to the great cause in which we are engaged. I shall need and must receive from the Department great assistance in the way of staff and general officers. Upon them depends, as much as upon the commander, the success of all his efforts. Many of the volunteers here are now so well instructed that this may be granted without materially weakening this department. Could you possibly send 3000 stand of arms here? I should desire to take from this army Chalmers' Ninth Mississippi, Adams' Louisiana Regulars and Jackson's Fifth Georgia Regiments. These would give me a nucleus upon which to form, would set an example of discipline, and would give me the support of excellent officers, who know and trust me, and in whom I place unlimited confidence. I should desire Brigadier-General Gladden to command them; Colonel Chalmers might be made a brigadier, to remain here in place of Gladden, and Lieutenant-Colonel Autrey would make an excellent colonel for his regiment, now nearly reorganized for the war. Jackson I should desire to see advanced to the command of a brigade. Major Slaughter, my acting inspector-general, is on a short official visit to Richmond. He possesses my entire confidence in every respect, and may be fully and freely consulted by the Department, as he knows my views in regard to matters here, and is as fully posted as I am. I am Yours Very Respectfully Braxton Bragg Major-General [to Judah P. Benjamin, Secretary of War, Richmond.] [Above Letter of 6 JAN 1862 found on pages 75 - 76 of Braxton Bragg: General of the Confederacy (1924) by Don Carlos Seitz.] Ozzy
  14. Urgent offer to Bragg

    Derrick Thanks for having a look at Judah Benjamin's Letter to Braxton Bragg, and for reminding us of the outcome: Major General Earl Van Dorn did indeed accept command of the trans-Mississippi on 10 January 1862. However, the circumstances surrounding Major General Bragg not going to the trans-Mississippi are more complex: when the courier-delivered Letter reached Pensacola end of December 1861, Bragg was not there. He was seventy miles to the west, conducting an inspection of his troops at Mobile. And on New Year's Day 1862 an artillery duel erupted between Union-held Fort Pickens and the Confederate fortifications on the other side of Pensacola Bay (which may have held the courier in vicinity, instead of his riding on to Mobile.) In any event, General Bragg did not take receipt of the "Private and Confidential Letter" until January 4th. See Bragg's Response in next post... Ozzy
  15. Urgent offer to Bragg

    The above courier-delivered Letter of December 1861 from recently appointed Secretary of War, Judah Benjamin to Braxton Bragg reveals just how concerned was the Confederate States Government with proceedings in the Western Department No.2, even before events at Fort Donelson, or Fort Henry, or Mill Springs. And the fact that Braxton Bragg was seen as "answer to the problem" is remarkable. What is not revealed: Major General Bragg's response to SecWar Benjamin's request. Anyone care to venture a guess what was the answer provided by "last, best hope" Bragg? Ozzy
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