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Ozzy last won the day on May 29

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About Ozzy

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    Reynella, South Australia
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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. Earliest News Report

    Have uncovered what I believe to be the earliest newspaper report of the Battle of Shiloh, published Monday morning 7 APR 1862 at New Orleans. Had searched for this using "Shiloh" and "Pittsburg Landing" as search terms, but without success (when the article is read, it is discovered "another name" was given to the battle.) Battle of Shiloh Report on page 1, column 1, top. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn82015753/1862-04-07/ed-1/seq-1/#date1=1862&sort=date&rows=20&words=Beauregard&searchType=basic&sequence=0&index=6&state=Louisiana&date2=1862&proxtext=Beauregard&y=0&x=0&dateFilterType=yearRange&page=5 New Orleans Daily Crescent for 7 April 1862 [provided by Library of Congress, Chronicling America.]
  2. Name this man.

    I revisit this topic to remind everyone that Patton Anderson (who Braxton Bragg stated "was his best friend") was the original subject. But, there is more to reveal... Because, the Patton Anderson - Braxton Bragg connection was discovered while searching for "potential ghost writers approached to assist with construction of Braxton Bragg's Memoirs." So, without further ado, those three men: Kinloch Falconer (approached in about 1870) William Thomas Walthall (approached after 1870, but went on to assist Jefferson Davis with Rise & Fall of the Confederacy) Edward Turner Sykes (approached by Bragg after Kinloch Falconer, it appears E.T. Sykes, Adjutant for the 10th Mississippi at Shiloh and briefly on the Staff of Patton Anderson, was the man selected to "assist" with Bragg's Memoirs. Volumes of documents were provided to Major Sykes... but for some reason, nothing except a few "sketches" ever eventuated, one of which was posted a day or two ago on SDG as "The 10th Mississippi Story"). Always more to the story... Ozzy
  3. 12th Iowa Infantry diary

    Stan Congratulations on a truly significant discovery: Diary of Elijah Overocker, 18 years old from Manchester Iowa when mustered into service with the 12th Iowa Volunteer Infantry Regiment, Company F, on 16 SEP 1861. There are a number of diaries extant, initiated by soldiers of the 12th Iowa; but almost all commence from the date of capture at Shiloh (as most men left their diaries and letters at the campsite, and those materials were subsequently lost.) Private Overocker is the only 12th Iowa diarist known to have kept his diary with him (although one of the following men...) Anyway, what is most important about Overocker's diary is the story of the 12th Iowa prior to April 6th 1862 (details of rampant illness at Benton Barracks, where over seventy men of the regiment died; involvement in the Campaign against Fort Henry; involvement in the feint of 15 FEB against Fort Donelson.) Ability to compare Overocker's diary to others allows revelation of "what was most important" and verifies significant occurrences that did take place, and on the date indicated. As for other men of the 12th Iowa whose diaries are available (in complete transcription) for public viewing: Joseph B. Dorr, QM of the regiment, captured on April 6th and who escaped confinement by passing himself off as someone else during the Confederate Government release of all privates, which took place end of May 1862. [Complete prison diary extracts and two letters contained pages 92 - 109 of A Perfect Picture of Hell by Genoways & Genoways (2001) University of Iowa Press.] Luther Jackson, Lieutenant of Company H, who was held at Montgomery Cotton Shed Prison until end of May. Following the Confederate Government release of all privates, transferred to Camp Oglethorpe, Macon, Georgia where he succumbed to illness June 9th. [Complete prison diary contained in A Perfect Picture of Hell pages 65 - 86.] Frank Hancock, Corporal in Company B, from Allamakee County. Hancock left his diary behind in the camp, but it appears to have been sent safely to relatives back in Iowa. Meanwhile, Corporal Hancock commenced another journal of his prison experience, and included daily entries from capture on April 6th until release from confinement in October. At Camp Parole, Annapolis Maryland, succumbed to the effects of illness and malnutrition on October 27th. [Complete Diary from January - October 1862 available at iagenweb -- Allamakee County http://iagenweb.org/allamakee/history2/chap23.htm (scroll about 1/4 way down the page, under "Twelfth Iowa"). Every piece of the puzzle helps complete the picture... Ozzy
  4. 10th Mississippi Story

    Stan Good points... Memory "is affected" over time, with some elements forgotten, and other aspects enhanced. What is striking about the report of Captain Sykes: it was written only eleven years after the event (and before the Official Records of the Rebellion were available to the public (in 1880.) Regards Ozzy
  5. 10th Mississippi Story

    Captain E. T. Sykes and the 10th Mississippi at Shiloh Edward Turner Sykes was born in 1838 in Alabama, but was living in Columbus Mississippi when the Secession Crisis broke out. Joining Doctor Lipscomb’s Southron Avengers early in 1861, that company was soon incorporated into Colonel Seaburne M. Phillip’s 10th Mississippi as Company E and in March arrived in Florida and placed under command of Major General Braxton Bragg (whose expanding force was soon to become known as the Army of Pensacola.) The 10th Mississippi Infantry took part in placing guns in a crescent around the north and west edge of Pensacola Bay, extending from the Navy Yard to Fort McRae; and the men of the regiment were trained in the operation of those artillery pieces (used during the November bombardment of Union-occupied Fort Pickens.) As well as being trained to operate artillery, the men of the 10th Mississippi took part in the October 8/9 Battle of Santa Rosa Island (a successful nighttime raid against Federal forces camped outside Fort Pickens, involving colonels Chalmers, Jackson and Anderson.) During service at Pensacola, Seaburne M. Phillips became incapacited due to illness (he died before October 1861) and 25-year-old Robert A. Smith was elected Colonel in his place. University-educated E. T. Sykes was installed as Adjutant, with the rank of Captain. The 10th Mississippi remained in vicinity of Fort Barrancas and Mobile until after the February 1862 Disaster at Fort Donelson, when the regiment was ordered, along with most of Bragg’s Army, north to Corinth Mississippi. At Corinth the original 12-month term of enlistment expired; and in March the “New” 10th Mississippi was mustered into service (but with only half the 840 men of the original regiment.) What follows is Edward Sykes’ 1873 recollection of his regiment’s part in the Battle of Shiloh: “Having organized his splendid troops, General Albert Sidney Johnston, with General PGT Beauregard as second in command, put in motion on the morning of the 3rd of April, 1862, the “Army of the Mississippi,” to offer battle to the invaders of our soil. The attack was to have been made on the 5th, before Buell, who was marching to the assistance of Grant, at Pittsburg Landing, could possibly reach him, but owing to the bad roads the Confederates were unable to reach the destined point in time. Resting for the night in order of battle, a short distance from the enemy’s camp, with only now and then a picket shot to relieve the suspense, we commenced to advance at early dawn, and by sunrise came fairly upon them. Hardie commanded the front line, with Gladden’s and Chalmer’s brigades of Bragg’s corps on his right; Bragg’s corps, less the two brigades above-mentioned, constituting the second line, followed about 400 yards distant. The corps of General Polk, following the second line at the distance of about 800 yards, in lines of brigades, deployed with their batteries in rear of each, protected by cavalry on their right. The reserves under General Breckinridge followed closely the third line in the same order, its right wing supported by cavalry. Well do I remember, being then Adjutant of the 10th Mississippi infantry, of Chalmer’s brigade, how all were spoiling for their maiden fight, in which, before they were through, they were willing to acknowledge that of choice, they would thereafter exhibit less of reckless anxiety, and more of prudent discretion. As the Tenth Mississippi (Colonel Robert A. Smith, commanding, and who was subsequently killed in the battle at Mumfordsville Kentucky, and than whom no braver spirit or better officer gave up his life during the war,) descended the last hill, in full view of the enemy’s camp, it was discovered by the position of “an Indiana regiment” standing behind an improvised breastwork of knapsacks, a little retired from the crest of the hill beyond, with “arms ready,” that we were too far to the left, and ordered to march by the right flank down the ravine, until our right opposed their extreme left. And now comes the strange part of this sketch: not a gun in our regiment was loaded. In the verdancy of our military career and ardour for fight, we had overlooked one of its most elemental precautions. I heard Colonel Smith, who was sitting upon his horse a few paces in front of his line, and from his elevated position, exposed to the enemy not fifty yards off, give the commands: “Order arms; Load; “Fix bayonets,” Shoulder arms.” Then followed this pertinent language: “Soldiers, we have been ordered to charge those fellows in blue (he pointed with his sword) and I want you when I give the order to forward, to advance steadily to the top of the hill, fire with deliberation, and then give them the bayonet.” “Forward, then,” was the next sound heard, and Smith’s orders, as always, were observed. Both parties fired about the same time with deadly effect, after which the enemy broke and fled in confusion. General Chalmers immediately rode up to Colonel Smith, and after remarking in my presence, that he deserved to be a Major General, commanded him not again to expose himself so recklessly; but it being a personal, and not strictly a military order, was not obeyed, until soon after Smith’s horse was shot from under him. Throughout that day, the right, under Bragg, did not sustain a reverse, but took position after position, in such quick succession as to justify the confident belief that the entire Federal army under General Grant would be annihilated before the close of the day. About 4 p.m., as we were halted in line of battle to reform, while a brigade of prisoners just captured were being escorted by our cavalry to the rear, and preparatory to our final attack on that day, General Bragg, who justly felt proud of his day’s work, was seen riding alone in front of his victorious lines, and rapidly approaching our front. As he reached us, General Chalmers, who was likewise exultant over the action of his brigade, raised up in his stirrups, and shouted, “Pensacola troops, three cheers for our beloved commander!” Recognizing the compliment, and feeling that he had troops to follow where he was prepared to lead, he reined up, faced the brigade, and with head uncovered, looked “the noblest Roman of them all.” The white-plumed Henry of Navarre never inspired his fiery Frenchmen with more ardent enthusiasm than did this scene of Bragg’s awaken the glow of patriotism in the breasts of his Pensacola boys. They – officers and private soldiers – mutually felt that the day’s victory beloged equally to both and all. Soon after this exhilarating scene, we were again put in motion to attack the enemy’s last stronghold, being twenty-two guns massed in a semi-circle on an elongated eminence protecting his center and left, and which proved a bulwark between us and their destruction or surrender. Amidst the confusion of orders, some to “advance,” some to “retreat,” occasioned by the general order of Beauregard to retire for the night, we were in a fated hour repulsed, never again to enjoy the pleasure of having them so near in our grasp. Time, such as Wellington prayed for on the plains of Waterloo, “Oh! For Blucher or for Night!” was given to them, and they profited thereby. Buell crossed the Tennessee, and the next morning, the 7th, was as disastrous to our arms as the day before had been propitious…”

    The Necessary Change to the Confederate Battle Flag (1861) [What follows is an article written by Carlton McCarthy and published in 1880, which details the cause behind the decision to change the flag.]
  7. Axe about Abatis

    In a Letter written from his HQ at Cairo on 7 October 1861, Brigadier General U. S. Grant provided his latest intelligence from Kentucky to Major General Fremont at St. Louis. Of interest: "The Confederates at Fort Columbus are said to have been reinforced to about 45,000 men... They talk boldly about making an attack upon Paducah by the 15th of this month." Turns out, Grant had received the above information from Brigadier General C. F. Smith, in command at Paducah. On 6 OCT 1861 Smith wrote to Grant: "The latest news from Columbus comes through the Roman Catholic priest here, tho' he does not wish it whispered. Columbus is in his division of duties. He was told that the attack on this place might be looked for on or by next Thursday, the 10th, getting this from both officers and soldiers. I give the information for what it is worth. The prevalent idea is to make a feint on the front, and attack on the flanks -- three columns of 7000 each. The trees all round are fast falling to our axes, rendering an advance by the roads a necessity." The above "defensive preparations" (felling of trees for abatis to slow, and redirect the advance of an enemy) took place before the Battle of Belmont; and these measures were taken in spite of the prevailing belief that "no attack on Paducah was seriously threatened." U. S. Grant states in his Memoirs, vol.1 (page 356) that, "At the time of the Battle of Shiloh, the pick and spade had been but little resorted to at the West." And yet, trenches were not the only defensive works available as options to Grant and his Army in the lead-up to Shiloh: the abatis and blinds were also of potential value, yet both were ignored, or actively discouraged... Still a mystery Ozzy References: Papers of US Grant, vol.3 pages 24 - 25. Grant's Memoirs vol.1 page 356.
  8. Puzzler

    Stan What summer? It is Winter in Australia, with record snow in the mountains north and east of Melbourne... As for your answers, I agree that Cleburne (favorable report by Hardee) and Forrest (favorable mention in reports of Wharton, Chadwick and Harrison) are more deserving of that third slot than my selection of Edward Ord. As for U.S. Grant: the public perception in the North was that General Grant was responsible for being surprised; demonstrated incompetence by not being with his Army when it was attacked; and was responsible for the unacceptable (outrageous) casualty figures. Henry Halleck did Grant a huge favor by temporarily removing him from command, shielding Grant from the Public and the Press, for a while. My own impression is that it was a year later, following on Grant's success at Vicksburg, that his reputation was rejuvenated. Shiloh was not Grant's "finest hour." Better to be lucky, than good... Ozzy References: OR 10 pages 570 (Cleburne), 546, 627 and 923-4 (Forrest). U.S. Grant (any number of Union soldier's letters in which gladness was expressed upon the arrival of Henry Halleck at Pittsburg Landing.) Mary Crowell Letter of 28/29 APR 1862 (in SDG "Mary Writes about Shiloh")
  9. We Meet Again

    Here's an easy quiz question, involving William T. Sherman, Rodney Mason, James B. Fry, Alexander M. McCook, and John A. McClernand: "What experience do the above Union officers, all present at the Battle of Shiloh, have in common?"
  10. Puzzler

    Two out of three... I believe there is little doubt that the general officers who gained the most from their involvement in Battle of Shiloh -- because they actually were rewarded with promotions: William Tecumseh Sherman (advanced to Major General on May 1st) and Braxton Bragg (promoted to full General on April 12th, upon recommendation of President Jefferson Davis.) For Bragg it was recognition of a lifetime of military achievements. For Sherman, the promotion to Major General served as a sort of redemption (after his suspected "nervous breakdown" and removal from command of the Department of the Cumberland in November 1861.) The third candidate could be one of these: PGT Beauregard, who gained command of the Army of the Mississippi... except he was offered that overall command by Albert Sidney Johnston, and turned it down. And Beauregard was "tainted" after Shiloh, with many of his associates believing he was responsible for snatching defeat from the jaws of Victory; Henry Halleck, who through victories at Shiloh, Island No.10, Pea Ridge and the bloodless conquest of Fort Columbus demonstrated that "his part of the Grand Scheme" was coming together. All that remained was for Halleck's Army to crush Corinth (after Farragut, Porter and Butler subjugated Vicksburg) and the War in the West would be over... Of course, Vicksburg did not fall; and Halleck's acquisition of Corinth was perceived as hollow; George H. Thomas, although not a participant at Shiloh (arrived too late) he was none-the less rewarded with Command of the Right Wing during the March on Corinth; followed up by Command of the Post of Corinth. Therefore, my selection as "third general officer who benefited most from Battle of Shiloh" is Edward O. C. Ord. Plucked from obscurity, recently-promoted Major General Ord was called to the Western Theatre to replace the highly competent, but unwell Thomas Davies (who gained command of the Second Division, Army of West Tennessee upon the death of WHL Wallace.) Arriving too late to participate in the Operation against Corinth, Major General Ord was nonetheless given command of the Post of Corinth (replacing George Thomas on 22 June 1862.) Always ready to argue the point... Ozzy
  11. Telegram of April 2nd 1862

    Stan Given the limited opportunity to collect intelligence and "attempt to get inside the enemy's head," to determine what he really intended to do (after separating out feints and misinformation), the Force under Generals Johnston and Beauregard almost got it right... The attempt against Grant at Pittsburg Landing had to be made. The only real consideration was in the timing. Ozzy
  12. Telegram of April 2nd 1862

    Things got busy, end of March 1862: Brigadier General Napoleon Buford (attached to the Operation against Island No.10) initiated his movement from Hickman Kentucky on the 30th, and conducted a successful Raid against Union City (an important depot on the M & O R.R., well to the northwest of Crump's Landing) on the 31st, destroying stores and taking prisoners [this raid is reported on 2 APR via Telegram to General Beauregard at Corinth from Major George Brent] Curtis Horse launched a feint towards Union City from their Tennessee River camp at about the same time, riding as far west as Paris (the terminus of the MC & L R.R., well to the north of Crump's Landing) before circling round and returning to Camp Lowe on 2 April; After midnight of Mar 31/Apr 1 the USS Cairo arrived at Pittsburg Landing; and at daybreak on the 1st struggled up the Tennessee River, towed by one timberclad, and in company with the other, and followed by two transports full of soldiers and artillery, reached as high as Chickasaw Bluff (within striking distance of Bear Creek Bridge on the M & C R.R., well to the south of Crump's Landing) In the Autobiography of Lew Wallace, vol.1 page 454, mention is made of "a report of a Rebel threat against my 3rd Brigade (Whittlesey) at Adamsville [about 2 APR]. Immediately, Smith (1st Brigade) was in motion, advancing from Crump's and Thayer (2nd Brigade) was readied, and prepared to move west." [This activity of Lew Wallace's Third Division, apparently in motion towards Bethel on the M & O R.R. was the initiator that sent the Confederate Army of the Mississippi marching north from Corinth [movement of Lew Wallace reported by Cheatham by Telegram from Bethel] After midnight of 2/3 April, in accordance with orders from Brigadier General Sherman, Colonel W. H. Taylor advanced his 5th Ohio Cavalry southwest of Pittsburg Landing towards Corinth, and engaged Chalmer's Advance in vicinity of Monterey; On 3 April, SAM Wood sent a Telegram from Iuka reporting, "a gunboat has passed Yellow Creek" [probably a late report of Sherman's Raid in company with USS Cairo up the Tennessee River]. What was the "common thread" of all these Federal movements, 31 March to 2 April? It would appear to be "coordinated attacks on Confederate railroads." And most, if not all, of the Federal troops involved may have been assumed to somehow belong to the Union force camped at Pittsburg Landing and Crump's. Therefore, with such a wide dispersion of those troops, in different directions, the movement of Lew Wallace towards the west was viewed as "confirmation of a coordinated Federal effort against Confederate rail lines... and the Time to Strike." My take on the Cheatham Telegram of 2 APR 1862, and subsequent initiation of Rebel Army movement north from Corinth Ozzy References: Autobiography of Lew Wallace, vol.1 page 454. http://finding-aids.lib.unc.edu/00079/#folder_1#1 SAM Wood telegram of 3 APR 1862 reporting gunboat passed Yellow Creek. OR 10 pages 22 and 83 - 87. OR (Navy) vol.22 page 785. SDG topic "They also serve, who stand and wait..." post of 18 SEP 2017.
  13. Bragg's Letter of April 8

    Had another read of the above June 1861 Letter of Eliza Bragg: was trying to figure out who "the scurvy patients" were, mentioned second paragraph... and it hit me. Union Lieutenant Adam Slemmer and his band of 80 men occupied Fort Pickens from about 10 January until May 1861, living off of whatever bread could be made from abundant flour, and barrels of salt pork. Because of the Pickens Truce (agreed by Florida Senator Stephen Mallory and President Buchanan) the Rebels promised not to attack the Union-held fortification; and the Union promised there were to be no weapons, reinforcements or supplies landed at Fort Pickens... which meant "no fresh fruits or vegetables." By the time Slemmer and his men were relieved, and returned north in May 1861, most of the brave defenders of Fort Pickens required hospitalization -- due to malnutrition and scurvy -- and were kept out of the public eye, until they made a full recovery. Reports then appeared in the newspapers... and those newspapers found their way south... and Elisa Bragg added her Pensacola-pertinent comment to the gossip contained in her June letter. Always more to the story... Ozzy
  14. Bragg's Letter of April 8

    Eliza Bragg: Supporter, Confidant and Advocate Am presenting a Letter written from Louisiana by Eliza Bragg in June 1861, when Braxton Bragg was in command at Pensacola Florida, which illustrates the high level of support received by Major General Bragg in carrying through his agenda. Braxton Bragg obviously put great stock in the advice and opinions of his wife; and that “behind the scenes” support likely galvanized Bragg to be himself, stay the course, and operate his command in the manner he saw fit. Of particular interest in the following letter: · Elisa’s concern with “too many troops being kept in Pensacola” · Eliza’s biting criticism of Brigadier General Pillow; · A first indication of Eliza’s contempt for Tennessee troops (which leads one to wonder “what soured her on the people of Tennessee?” · A condemnation of the “retrograde policy” (as practiced Battle of Bethel); · “I don’t want peace until we have done something [in battle] to deserve it.” · But after advocating for War so strongly, Eliza Bragg reverts to small talk in regard to tomatoes and cantelopes; and advocates for the use of Leroy Walker (a man Braxton Bragg deemed unfit for command) to take temporary command of Pensacola, and permit Braxton to make a short visit back Home. [Letter of June 1861 from Bivouac Plantation, Louisiana found in Seitz pp.43 - 4.]
  15. Bragg's Letter of April 8

    Jim For a long time, I believed Braxton Bragg had "deprived Historians of his full story," by never getting around to an Autobiography. The truth has been unexpected and heartening: Braxton Bragg wrote at least 70 wartime letters and perhaps 40 telegrams before the Battle of Shiloh. And most of those records are on file, somewhere... mostly held by six different university libraries, and the Missouri Historical Society. You may not like what Bragg has to say, but it is on record, and it reveals his innermost thoughts and hopes and concerns (especially his letters to/from his wife, Eliza, who appears to be as bellicose as her husband.) http://cdm.sos.mo.gov/cdm/compoundobject/collection/CivilWar/id/1294/rec/24 original handwritten letter of 8 APR 1862 at Missouri Historical Society. Regards Ozzy