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Everything posted by Ozzy

  1. Where did the Picket Skirmish of Friday afternoon 4 April 1862 take place? From my research, the site of the 70th Ohio Picket Post was in proximity to the intersection of the Pittsburg – Purdy Road with General Meek's Lane. If it is accepted that the southernmost three miles of Tennessee State Route 117 follows the course of the 1862 Shunpike; and the 1862 Pittsburg – Purdy Road approximates today's Tennessee State Route 142; and Gen. Meek's Lane is today's Bud Cleary Road... then the 70th Ohio Picket Post was located just east of the intersection of State Route 142 with the Bud Cleary Road. And the picket skirmish developed from that point westward (perhaps half a mile) and then progressed in a southerly direction (between one-half and two miles.) My considered estimation, based on witness statements of 1862. https://www.google.com/maps/place/Stantonville,+TN+38379,+USA/@35.144582,-88.3973911,15z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x887db4578d3e1397:0xb80230193debc07c!8m2!3d35.1584164!4d-88.4258762 Ozzy
  2. Buckland and Ricker return to Camp Colonel Buckland and Major Ricker acknowledged that they had supported each other well during the action: Ricker stated that “he knew the ground well from frequent patrols,” and estimated “the distance from first contact to end of the pursuit (in front of the Rebel artillery) was approximately 300 or 400 yards (compared to Buckland's estimate of “about a mile.”) The Union force had taken nine prisoners (all members of Clanton's Alabama Cavalry, who accompanied Buckland's withdrawal.) Major Ricker estimated twenty Rebels left for dead (nine of these were later found to be wounded men, and were retrieved that night and brought into Union lines, making the total number of prisoners taken eighteen.) Approaching the Federal picket line, Colonel Buckland states, “General Sherman was there with several regiments in line of battle. I rode up to him with the Rebel prisoners close behind me, and he asked me what I had been doing. His manner indicated that he was not pleased. I replied that I had accidentally got into a fight, and here were the fruits of it, pointing to the prisoners. He answered that I might have drawn the whole Army into a fight before they were ready...” General Sherman directed Colonel Buckland (and Major Ricker) to write out full reports; and General Sherman's AAG (and General McClernand's AAG) sent away alerts to Savannah about that time to inform General Grant that, “a picket skirmish was taking place in front of Sherman.” [Note: General Sherman in his report stated, “As soon as I heard the artillery, I advanced with two regiments of infantry and took position and remained until the scattered companies of infantry and cavalry returned. This was after night.”] References: as recorded in previous posts, above.
  3. As concerns the United States Gen Web project (https://www.usgenweb.org/ ) here are a few different State resources: http://iagenweb.org/ Iowa Civil War military records found under "Special Projects." And each County has its own GenWeb site: [such as http://iagenweb.org/allamakee/ for Allamakee County records.] https://www.algenweb.org/ Alabama http://www.msgw.org/index2.html Mississippi https://www.ohgenweb.org/counties.php Ohio Using the GenWeb project is the quickest way to reach County Historical records in each State. Cheers Ozzy
  4. Family History Research guideline To compile your full Family History: 1. Begin with what you already know. Write a brief history of yourself on a single sheet of 3-ring binder paper, including Date and Place of birth; Date and Place of marriage; Dates and schools attended; Dates and places worked. Children, parents, spouse, all with Dates and Places of birth. For deceased relatives, record Place and Date of death; and record the Name and Location of the Cemetery [In earlier times, you may find the same cemetery used for many members of the same family, and their uncles, aunts and cousins.] 2. Attempt to recreate the above dosier on EVERY Family member, using only one sheet of paper for each person. Record Aunts and Uncles (as well as brothers and sisters of Grand parents and G-Grand parents, because it is often those brothers that lead to the parents.) Keep these pages in 3-ring binder, so they can be moved around (to account for re-marriages and step-brothers and sisters; and noteworthy uncles and cousins.) 3. Ask your older relatives what they know (and what they think they know. Who holds the Family Bible and Family Photographs? Often Family Legends have a basis in fact: how the family got to America; where they lived in the Old Country.) Write down details from these interviews in a notebook. Record all of your leads and suspected family connections and useful sources of information in this notebook, so you have one place to go to find all of your Prospects and Leads. Label and date all information recorded (and where you found it) so it can be found again. 4. Create a Chart. Once you have the first two or three generations determined, record yourself, your Parents, and your Grand parents on a chart. Write small, and in pencil, but record full names, Year of birth, and Year of death. Place a number adjacent to the name that corresponds to that person's dosier in your 3-ring binder (Families tend to reuse first names; numbering James (1812 – 1871) as B42 avoids confusing him with James (1783 – 1857) who is Father of James B42, and is labelled James Buchanan B51. 5. Once you have gone back four or five generations, and feel that the Chart for those generations is complete, make copies; and give a copy of the Chart to each of your brothers and sisters (and put your name on it, so nieces and nephews know who to ask, years from now.) Sources of Leads for extending the Family back in time: 1. Find-a-grave online burial records. Full name of ancestor is often recorded (but check for misspellings); and may include birth date, death date, and names of spouse, parents, siblings and children. These find-a-grave entries are not necessarily complete; but they provide Leads that can be verified and extended to find other family members. 2. Family Search. Use this Free site (provided by Mormon Church, and takes about 10 minutes to register online) to find every possible relative in your family, beginning with a parent or Grand parent. Double-check everything because other families (not yours) used the same names, and lived in close proximity to Your family. Once satisfied that a Relative has been found, create a dosier on that person; and record all possible Leads to other family members. 3. Census records. The U.S. Government (and each State Government) conduct Census every 10 years. These are freely accessible on familysearch.org and help confirm the prospective ancestor belongs to your family. [All years available prior to 1921.] 4. Family Bible. Many families that originated in Europe, UK, Scotland, Ireland maintained a Family Bible, and wrote Birth, Death, and Marriage records inside. 5. Church records. Especially in Europe, the records of Birth, Death and Marriage were kept by the local Church. Some of these Church records are online; others are only available by travel to Europe and view them in person. Some USA and Canada Church records are available online; and find-a-grave holds most of the Church Cemetery records. [Many Americans arrived in USA through Canada.] 6. New settlers arriving in America came by ship; and those ships mostly unloaded their passengers at Philadelphia, Boston, Baltimore (and New York); or at Montreal, Lower Canada; or in the Canadian Maritime Provinces; or at Charleston, Savannah and New Orleans. 7. As new settlers established themselves, they tended to migrate further and further west. Those that arrived in Philadelphia (and other Northern Ports of Entry) tended to stay “in the North.” Those who arrived at Baltimore and Charleston and other Southern ports tended to stay “in the South.” As settlers took up new residence, they associated themselves with the County of the State in which they resided. Therefore, County Historical Associations (most are online) are excellent sources for Family historical information: Land ownership; military service; business records; Court records. Some County Historical Societies are better than others; but every place a relative lived is worth a look. 8. Military records. Americans (and British soldiers in Regiments of Foot who became Americans) fought in the French-and Indian War; and many were given Land Grants. These records are held by individual States; and most are available online. The Revolution of 1776 began by being fought by State Militias; and those records are held by State Archives (and most are available online.) Beginning 1778 the Continental Army became established; and those records are held by NARA. War of 1812 and Mexican War were fought by State military units; and those records are held by State Archives (and most are available online.) 9. Civil War: the South. Much (or most) of the Military records held in Richmond were burned in April 1865. And many County Court Houses across the South were destroyed during the war, and their records lost. However, Militia Units became State Guard Units. And States organized their own Regiments of Infantry, Cavalry and Artillery (so try State Archives online first, for example “Alabama Adjutant General Civil War” or “Georgia Adjutant General Civil War.”) When you determine what County your relative was recruited from, check that County Historical Society for their holdings. Some inspired people have constructed Regimental Histories and Rosters: check for those (and be aware of amalgamations and re-numbering that was prevalent with CSA regiments, so check all possible numbered regiments.) Once you have exhausted Family Search, and are ready to pay for a subscription to ancestry.com there is good news: ALL available Southern soldier records are accessible through ancestry.com with your subscription to Fold3. [Just double-check names, dates and regiment assignments to make sure the person being investigated belongs to your Family.] 10. Civil War: the North. Once you are certain that a particular soldier belongs to your Family, and you desire more information, acquire his Microfiche Film and Roll numbers from NPS Soldier and Sailor database online (and check the spelling of his name, as THAT spelling is used by NARA) and then contact National Archives using NATF Form 86 and include the Microfiche numbers in “Additional Information” box (order available online for about $35) to get that soldier's complete file sent to you: file can be as little as six or seven pages, or more than 100 pages, depending on length and breadth of service. Northern regiments were recruited by COUNTY, so check County Historical Society for additional records. “Illinois Adjutant General Civil War” and “Ohio Adjutant General Civil War” etc, etc provide access to records held by State Archives. And in the North, militias became Home Guards. Hope this gets you started. Feel free to ask questions (I am more than happy to provide guidance, but I do not have time to do your research.) All the best Ozzy N.B. I keep all of my Family History collection in a big plastic box to avoid water damage... actually TWO big plastic boxes. Additional records of interest to Jim Davis: https://archive.org/details/alabamaherhisto00brewgoog/page/n630/mode/2up 21st Alabama in "Brewer's Alabama" https://www.nps.gov/civilwar/search-battle-units-detail.htm?battleUnitCode=CAL0021RI 21st Alabama history at NPS https://www.nps.gov/civilwar/search-soldiers-detail.htm?soldierId=4456D594-DC7A-DF11-BF36-B8AC6F5D926A This H.G. Davis might be your relative. Confirm via Marengo, Baldwin or Mobile County records and/ or find-a-grave and/ or details at familysearch.org https://archive.org/details/ohioatshilohrepo00lcohio/page/n143/mode/2up Ohio -- Shiloh Battlefield Commission. https://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/000454243 Ohio Regiment rosters [19th OVI is in Volume 2] https://www.nps.gov/civilwar/search-battle-units-detail.htm?battleUnitCode=UOH0019RI01 19th OVI at NPS https://www.familysearch.org/wiki/en/15th_Regiment,_Mississippi_Infantry Use this entry point to Register for Free Family Search account. https://www.nps.gov/civilwar/search-soldiers.htm#sort=score+desc&q=Thaddeus+Capron+55th+Illinois+infantry Click on Thaddeus Capron at NPS Soldier and Sailor Database to get Microfiche numbers for use on NARA NATF Form 86 Additional Hint: Do NOT pay for any information or service until you are CERTAIN that they hold information you want.
  5. Ozzy

    Hi, everyone!

    Kristen Pawlak Welcome to SDG. There were so many heroes, representing North and South, who fought at Battle of Shiloh and had Missouri connections: Everett Peabody; Madison Miller; James Powell; Jacob Tindall; David Moore; John S. Bowen; Frederick Welker; John Smith Cavender... even Benjamin Prentiss and Ulysses S. Grant had lived in Missouri sometime prior to the Civil War. It will be interesting to get the perception of a Native of Missouri to what took place at Shiloh. All the best Ozzy
  6. The Stand of Stuart's Brigade, revisited On Sunday morning 6 April 1862 David Stuart's 2nd Brigade, separated from the remainder of Sherman's Fifth Division by the breadth of the Pittsburg Campground, found itself without organic artillery, and with only three assigned regiments of infantry. Called into line upon hearing the roar of battle away to the southwest, the 2nd Brigade stood and waited... while artillery support provided by Wallace's Second Division arrived, then disappeared; and reinforcements provided by McArthur's Brigade of Wallace's Division came in close proximity, only to be shifted well away from view of Stuart's Brigade. When Stuart's Brigade came under fire at approximately 11am most of the 71st Ohio disappeared; and the 55th Illinois and 54th Ohio were forced to abandon control of the ford over Lick Creek they were tasked with defending; and instead move progressively east and north, firing at the advancing Rebels from behind trees and beneath the brow of ravines. Occasionally, the Swedish-military trained Oscar Malmborg ordered his 55th Illinois into Hollow Square formations, in the midst of clearings while removing north to the next ravine; the formation designed for defense against cavalry so befuddled the Rebel attackers, convinced the technique was precursor to a trap of some sort, that Malmborg's men were mostly left alone each time the Hollow Square was actuated. Meanwhile the 54th Ohio was divided into two components, which independently harassed the steady advance of Chalmers and Jackson from different directions. Along the way, Colonel Stuart was wounded and removed to the rear; T. Kilby Smith of the 54th Ohio took nominal command; but LtCol Malmborg continued to exert authority over the 55th Illinois. After a particularly disastrous crossing of a deep ravine, during which Stuart's 2nd Brigade was badly shot up, the fighting withdrawal came to an end; and at about 2pm the survivors of the 2nd Brigade made for the Bluff overlooking Pittsburg Landing. Oscar Malmborg appears to have arrived with his 55th Illinois ahead of Kilby Smith's 54th Ohio: LtCol Malmborg was immediately tasked with organizing the returning infantrymen into a defensive line. And he continued in that role until replaced by the retiring General Stephen Hurlbut and his Fourth Division about 90 minutes later. But the big job had been accomplished: Rebel access to the Bluff above Pittsburg Landing had been denied until Grant's Last Line was sufficiently in place. The delay provided by Stuart's fighting withdrawal had contributed in large measure to that defensive line's creation. References: Reed, David W. Battle of Shiloh and the Organizations Engaged (1909) pp.14-15, 17, 27 (Order of Battle), 50, 53, 56-57, 73, 74, 130 map, 134 map. https://archive.org/details/battleofshilohor00unit/page/n133/mode/2up/search/Stuart OR 10 page 257 Report of Colonel Stuart. The Life and Letters of Thomas Kilby Smith, by his son, Walter G. Smith (1898) especially letters pp.191-200. https://archive.org/details/lifelettersoftho00smit/page/190/mode/2up Eisenschiml, Otto, The Story of Shiloh (1946) has one chapter specifically dedicated to 55th Illinois http://onlinebooks.library.upenn.edu/webbin/book/lookupname?key=Eisenschiml%2C Otto%2C 1880-1963 [As a member of the Chicago Civil War Round Table, Eisenschiml published many articles through that organization.] [Video] “Alone on the Left: the Desperate Stand of Stuart's Brigade” (2015) produced by Tony Willoughby: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WyPbKJJ9F5A Part one. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qAjgGCHw5zA Part two.
  7. Andy Valid points. As Captain John Pope, that officer rode in company with President-elect Lincoln aboard the Inauguration Train from Springfield. John Pope was afterwards installed as Senior Brigadier General from Illinois. And later, John Pope was acknowledged as The Successful Commander at the extremely difficult venture, Island No.10 (which involved coordination with Navy ironclads, Steiner's balloon, special raider operations, marching across thirty miles of swampland, cutting a 9-mile canal for steamboats through that swampland... And then, Major General Pope was accorded credit for "causing the Rebel Army to dissolve before his very eyes" on account of his pursuit of Beauregard's Army 35 miles south of Corinth in June 1862. Despite the fact Pope's (and Halleck's) reports of Unbelievable Success at and after Corinth were inflated, and thus, unbelievable... The co-Commanders-in-Chief of the Union Army (President Lincoln and Secretary of War Stanton) were willing to believe any tales of Success... and especially after McClellan's Peninsula Campaign came to nothing in early July 1862. Right place, at the right time, for Pope AND Halleck. Reference: OR 10 pp.236 - 278 make for shocking reading, as Pope and Halleck justify their determination to halt pursuit south of Corinth and concentrate instead on rebuilding the South's damaged railroads.
  8. Ozzy


    Andy Welcome to SDG. I grew up in Rock Island County, Illinois and the Civil War statues and street names are everywhere (especially across the river at Davenport.) Rock Island Arsenal was established during the Civil War: one of its first functions was as Prisoner of War Camp for thousands of men captured in the South, beginning 1863. And Abraham Lincoln's footprint is to be found at nearby Galesburg (site of one of the Lincoln-Douglas Debates) and on Rock Island (as a lawyer, Lincoln represented the railroad and bridge company against the steamboat owners that ran into the first bridge across the Mississippi River and destroyed it. It is still believed by many that then-Secretary of War, Jefferson Davis, had a hand in destruction of the bridge because he favored a more southern route for the Transcontinental Railroad, crossing the Mississippi River at Memphis.) And of course, Lincoln left his mark on Springfield, only three hours away, and a required pilgrimage for school students, year after year after... Hope you find participation in SDG a worthwhile experience. All the best Ozzy
  9. Ozzy


    Jim Davis Welcome to SDG, the best Shiloh discussion site on the internet. All aspects of the Tennessee River campaign are open for discussion: the budding team of Grant, Sherman and McPherson; the near success of the Rebel operation at Shiloh (and why that failure occurred); precursors to the Battle at Fort Henry and Fort Donelson; after-effects of the Battle, including the Crawl to Corinth and POW experience of captured soldiers confined in the North and South; the contribution of the Navy; the reliance upon transport steamers; and the experience of local civilians. Diaries, letters and personal journals of Shiloh participants are referenced throughout this site, and most are available online. To find them, use the Search Box at the top of the Home Page, and search for diary, or letter... and the whole collection of those resources is presented as a list. When searching for a specific topic (“Albert Sidney Johnston” or “Pittsburg Landing” or any other subject of two words or more) enclose the Search term in quotations and then hit Enter. As well, this SDG site has a collection of Shiloh-specific videos produced by Tony Willoughby and featuring Bjorn Skaptason that memorialize important aspects of the April 1862 contest. Looking forward to your revelations, criticisms and considered opinions. Cheers Ozzy
  10. Eyewitness Account of Friday afternoon action [Above Eye-witness report is of Company B's role in the 4 APR 1862 picket skirmish, written as a Letter home by Private Chester Buckland 72nd OVI Co.B]. Chester was a nephew of Ralph Buckland. From Fremont Weekly Journal of 25 APR 1862 page 2 col.4.]
  11. About April 10th the steamer Woodford departed Savannah Tennessee; her passengers were Rebel soldiers (and 35 local civilians, deemed to have been disloyal to the Union) and were under charge of Captain T.J. Newham (staff officer ADC of General C. F. Smith) and his detachment of Union soldiers acting as guards. See https://digital.shsmo.org/digital/collection/dmr/id/15088/rec/3182 and https://digital.shsmo.org/digital/collection/dmr/id/15087/rec/3182 . In all, about 400 passengers, who arrived at St. Louis morning of 14 April 1862. The prisoners were removed to the grounds of McDowell College (temporary Military Prison at St. Louis.) [Details of this transport of prisoners found in The Missouri Republican of Tuesday 15 APR 1862, pages 1 (passenger list) and 2 col.1 (details of voyage) and 3 col.3 (wounded Confederate prisoners carried aboard steamer City of Louisiana: wounded USA and CSA intermixed on manifest) and 4 col.1 “Arrivals at Port of St. Louis (within past 24 hours”).] https://digital.shsmo.org/digital/collection/dmr/id/15106/rec/3185 Missouri Republican of 18 APR 1862 pg.1 cols.9 and 10 (more lists of wounded Rebels, removed north to sites other than St. Louis.) https://digital.shsmo.org/digital/collection/dmr/id/15108/rec/3186 19 APR 1862 edition pg.2 cols. 3 & 4 lists more wounded Confederates, their names interspersed with wounded Federal soldiers on manifest.
  12. Ozzy

    Whitelaw Reid

    Whitelaw Reid's Battle of Shiloh (Appendix) Even Agate of the Cincinnati Gazette realized that his 22000 words written as testimony to the Battle of Pittsburg Landing bordered on excessive: a few days after that tome went into print, he released what can best be termed an Appendix, containing all the additional material not included in his first Shiloh report. Found in the Missouri Daily Republican of 19 APR 1862 on page one columns 9 and 10, the paragraphs are titled: “Lew Wallace's share in the Fight,” The Five-to-one Business, “The Buena Vista Slander...” Finding Governor George W. Johnson, “How General Albert Sidney Johnston's Body was [miss] identified” ...and more. https://digital.shsmo.org/digital/collection/dmr/id/15111/rec/3186 Missouri Daily Republican of 19 April 1862.
  13. Ozzy

    General Meek's Place

    The Importance of General Meeks A scan of available sources (OR 10 parts 1 & 2; Papers of US Grant; Memoirs of General Grant) turns up no ready reference to General Meeks and his interaction with the Federal Army and its encampment focused on Pittsburg Landing. Yet, Sherman's Official Report of the Picket Skirmish of 4 APR 1862 mentions “the Lane of General Meeks” in relation to the site of the Picket Post of the 70th OVI ...and where the incident of April 4th was initiated. So W. T. Sherman had some knowledge regarding John H. Meeks, if only of his location. [And it is curious that General Sherman does not mention clearly WHERE this Meek's Lane was sited, in relation to the Pittsburg Encampment; but perhaps this was merely oversight, deemed unimportant.] But, as it turns out, there are numerous references to General Meeks in the Papers of US Grant, volumes 4 & 5 ...one simply has to know where to look (and realize that Generals Grant and Sherman frequently misspelled that man's last name as MEAKS.) Upon review: Officers [likely Cavalry assigned to Sherman's Division] visited General Meek's Place on Saturday 22 March 1862 and took into custody John H. Meeks and visitors named Wilson, Farnsworth and Peterson [Papers of USG vol.4 pg.426]. The above prisoners were subsequently turned over to Major General Grant, and transported to Savannah. Upon interrogation, General Grant determined (was assured by Meeks) that none of them were associated with the Rebel cause; none of them were members of the Rebel army. A 26 March 1862 communication MGen Grant to MGen C.F. Smith directed: “The return of property of General Meeks, taken from him without authority, and the property of those others visiting his home (Messrs Farnsworth, Wilson and Peterson) is to be returned... I am sorry there is a propensity on the part of our Officers to arrest citizens whenever they are found [wandering about] ...It is embarrassing to have prisoners against whom there are no charges... [I am concerned about the appearance that there may be] spies within our lines.” On 26 March, also, a memo from Grant to Sherman expressed displeasure with the operation to take away cotton from General Meek's Place, during which one of his buildings was briefly threatened by fire. An admonition is advanced to “treat our men harshly, who exceed the authority granted them in Orders” [page 426]. [ In addition the arrest of General Meeks was of concern to Bushrod Johnson, who reported that occurrence on 24 MAR 1862 – see page 426 note at top.] On 28 March General Sherman replied to Grant's March 26 memo [page 426 notes] “Col. McDowell and Colonel Taylor have satisfied me that no harsh treatment was administered, or intended. It is the Enemy who is burning cotton and stealing horses... Captain Harland is under arrest for bringing in the other prisoners (besides General Meeks, which was ordered) ...I recommend he receive an admonition for exceeding his orders, and be released.” Rawlins wrote the admonition for Captain Harland 6th Iowa Infantry on March 28; and Harland was returned to duty [page 427 note]. On 1 April 1862 a reconnaissance was performed by Major Ricker and his 5th OVC along the Monterey Road and in vicinity of General Meek's Place. Evidence of a large force of enemy cavalry in vicinity of General Sherman's front was uncovered, with size of enemy force estimated at about 200 horsemen. The tracks appeared fresh; the 5th OVC pursued south about three miles and encountered the rear of the cavalry force, and had a brief engagement, hurrying the enemy on. Ricker then returned his force to camp via the Owl Creek Road (which appears on the above map commencing just east of Mickey's and running NE past Moore's.) See Papers of USG vol.5 pages 345 – 346. [The 70th Ohio Picket Post was attacked early afternoon of Friday 4 April 1862. It is likely this post occupied a building in vicinity of intersection of the Purdy – Pittsburg Road and the Lane to General Meek's Place – see SDG topic “Friday 4 April and the Picket Skirmish” and General Grant's Report in Papers of USG vol.5 pages 13 – 16.] In the aftermath of the Battle of Shiloh, General Sherman was ordered by General Grant to “Bring in General Meeks, as I was convinced that he has been playing us false. A Federal reconnaissance was sent onto Meek's Place, but he had already cleared out for Mississippi” [from report of General Sherman of 18 APR 1862 in Papers of USG vol.5 pp.354 – 355.] References: OR 10 pages 89 – 90: Sherman's report. Papers of USG vol.4 pages 425, 426, 426 (notes top and bottom), 427 (note at top). Papers of USG vol.5 pages 9 – 12 (notes), 13 – 16, 345 – 6, 354 – 5.
  14. ...and one more thing, as regards Memoirs Okay, I'll admit it: I'm lazy. And when I study History, I do not want to have to lift every rock and dislodge every stone, and then wade through the minutia scraped free and sort fact from fiction, and prioritize what remains, in order to “know” that bit of history. Which is why Memoirs are a preferred source of information: first hand accounts, by someone who was there; or at least, contributed in some important way. But the problems with memoirs: time lag (from time of observation to act of writing the memoirs, years and years may pass, allowing “sorting” of the important from the unimportant; but some potentially vital facts are forgotten, or miss-remembered at time of writing); bias (every writer has a bias); agenda (Is this written for family and friends? Is this propaganda to grease the wheels of a political career? Is this written to advance claims for more responsibilities and promotion? Is this an attempt to shift blame?) Another problem with Memoirs: the omnipresent “ I “ ...as in “I did this,” and “I ordered that.” After a while, too much “ I “ sounds self-serving, even from the most saintly of characters. Which is why the Authorized Biography may assume pride of place, ahead of personal memoirs. The tale is written in Third Person: “HE” did this; and HE ordered that. The feeling is as if the actions were pre-ordained; and a casual observer has taken note of proceedings, and merely recorded what took place. But the end result: a Memoirs, without the pesky “ I.” At one time, I bemoaned the lack of memoirs produced by General George H. Thomas. (His untimely death in 1870 prevented those ever being produced.) But now, having read the trilogy produced by Chaplain Thomas Van Horn who made use of journals produced by George Thomas, there arises a realization that this authorized biography is effectually the Memoirs of General George Thomas, written in the Third Person. Sometimes the Truth hides in plain sight. Ozzy
  15. Buckland returns to the Picket Post Colonel Buckland in his report states, “I waited in camp for some time, expecting Major Crockett to return with his battalion; when he failed to appear, I returned to the picket post.” [This indicates either confused orders; or “something happened” to prolong Major Crockett's operation in vicinity of the picket post.] Buckland returned west with his own battalion of reinforcements: about 100 men of companies A, D, and I of 72nd OVI. A smattering of gunfire was heard “from not too far away” and Major Crockett was gone: Colonel Buckland assumed Co.B had gotten into trouble, and Major Crockett had gone off to their assistance with elements of Company H. [Buckland may have actually heard the brief firefight involving Lieutenant Geer as he attempted to avoid capture.] “We [companies A, D, and I and Colonel Buckland] had proceeded some distance when we met men of Co.H who informed me “Co.H was separated from Co.B and Major Crockett was likely captured.” The firing continued, not rapid, but regular; we pushed on at the double-quick, despite the sudden onset of a severe storm [with rain that bucketted down, filling Buckland's boots. Lieutenant Geer makes mention of this same storm (at about 4 pm) occurring during the final moments of his unsuccessful firefight.] An Effort to Rescue Company B Colonel Buckland later stated, “Major Crockett had extended his scouts beyond the line of pickets, which was a mistake.” This movement of Major Crockett would have positioned him closer to General Meek's Place; and subsequent pursuit of the Rebels would likely have crossed Meek's property as it hurried south. [It is also evident from post-skirmish reports that General Sherman and Colonel Buckland, for some reason, considered “the front” of the Fifth Division as lying to the west. There were several large fields “lying about a mile in front” of Buckland's Brigade, and one of these was used as drill field.] As Colonel Buckland set off to rescue Company B, Colonel Cockerill arrived at the Picket post with his small force (and Cockerill was ordered to “move forward to Buckland's aid if he heard heavy firing.”) “I set off with companies A,D, and I soon as the rainstorm concluded, in the direction of the firing we could hear.” Nearing the location, and climbing a proclivity, Buckland shook his men into line; and then he eased forward to get a view of what was taking place on the other side of the rise: “[On reaching the top], I discovered through thick underbrush that I was closer to the Rebels than I was to my own men. The line of Rebels gave a cheer, preparatory to launching a charge against Co.B; I waved [the men behind me] forward, indicating I desired them to hurry up. As they came in sight of the Rebel line, distant only a few rods, they opened a destructive fire, taking the enemy completely by surprise, and threw them into such confusion that they made only a short stand.” “Company B was saved! But I soon realized that the Rebels were regrouping for a counter-attack... and at that moment Major Ricker with his 5th Ohio Cavalry came up... and immediately charged them, dispersed them, captured several prisoners. I and my infantrymen followed after, as rapidly as we could, about a mile [and roughly in a southerly direction.]” (This is known because the now-captive Lieutenant Geer was in vicinity, and witnessed what happened next...) “Suddenly, the enemy commenced firing artillery at us. Some of Major Ricker's men charged right into the Rebel battery [including one trooper, described as a Dutchman, who suddenly found himself aboard a runaway horse. As the man shouted and waved his sabre, the horse powered headlong past the line of artillery, through the camp in back, and beyond the camp, into a woods, and out of sight. He was never seen again.] We discovered the enemy had a large force of infantry and artillery in line. We thereupon deemed it prudent to retire to our own lines with as little delay as possible... [The time of this considered withdrawal is estimated at between 4:30 and 5 pm.]” References: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn82016187/1896-08-27/ed-1/seq-3/ National Tribune of August 27, 1896 pg.3 cols.1-2 “Saw an Army” by Ed Aultman (former 5th OVC). Geer, J. J. “A Yankee Loose in Dixie” (1863). Reports of Colonel Ralph Buckland.
  16. Geer and Crockett Colonel Buckland departed; and Major Crockett assigned men from the 72nd Ohio to the picket post, and inspected the placement of his skirmish line. Meanwhile, Lieutenant Geer attempted to solve the mystery of, “Which way did they go?” And he rode towards a long, straight, south-tending road to see if he could catch a view of anything moving away in the distance... and immediately found himself in trouble. “Halt, dar!” demanded a gruff voice. [And the mystery was solved: besides sending a party to escort the captives away, the squadron of cavalry belonging to Clanton's 1st Alabama had remained in vicinity, apparently observing the reaction of the Federals to the depleted Picket Post.]
  17. Picket Post in Trouble The Picket Post operated by Lt Herbert of the 70th OVI appears to have occupied a building near the lane leading to Gen. Meek's Place. This lane was reached by heading west from Pittsburg Campground across Owl Creek Bridge, follow the recently completed Shunpike to the intersection with the Purdy Road, and proceed west along the Purdy Road a further half mile to the junction with the lane to Gen. Meek's (follow the left fork.) It is believed the 70th OVI Picket Post was sited in this vicinity four miles west of Shiloh Church. [And for comparison, Captain Walden's Company D of 6th Iowa operated a Picket Post on the Shunpike in vicinity of the Western approach to Owl Creek Bridge, perhaps a mile or so east of Lieutenant Herbert's picket post.] On Friday 4 April between 2 – 2:30 pm Colonel Buckland and an aide were riding west along the Shunpike to inspect drill being conducted by a battalion of the 72nd OVI supervised by Major Crockett. Hearing gunfire from the direction of Herbert's Picket Post, Colonel Buckland continued to the drill field, ordered Major Crockett to suspend training, and march Companies B and H back to camp, via a detour to investigate the occurrence at the picket post. Upon arrival, there was found blood and disorder, evidence of a fight, but no men. Buckland's aide, Lieutenant Geer, was sent back to camp to inform Colonel Cockerill (whose 70th Ohio had lost the picket post) and order him to bring sufficient men forward; and to report the loss of the picket post to General Sherman. Geer departed; and Buckland and Crockett continued their investigation and deliberation. At about 3:30 J.J. Geer returned from his duty as courier, and made his report to Colonel Buckland; and Buckland retracted his previous order to “Return to camp,” and gave instructions to Major Crockett to “establish a skirmish line in the vicinity” and to continue investigating the fate of the missing men (and try to determine in what direction the Rebel cavalry, obviously responsible for the disaster, had carried away their captives.) And with that, Colonel Buckland took his departure and rode back to camp, and determined how best to take control of the situation. References: OR 10 pages 90 – 92: Buckland's report. OR 10 pages 89 – 90: Sherman's report. SDG topic “General Meek's Place” (for Atwell Thompson map of location).
  18. Ozzy

    General Meek's Place

    Brigadier General W. T. Sherman in his report of 5 April 1862 includes the following: “The enemy is in some considerable force at Pea Ridge... they halted infantry and artillery at a point about five miles in my front, and sent a detachment [of cavalry] to the lane of General Meeks, on the north of Owl Creek... This cavalry captured a part of our advance pickets...” [This is why knowing the location of General Meek's Place is important.]
  19. Colonel Isaac Pugh At the start of this topic, I made mention how Colonel Isaac Pugh had only four hits on SDG (from people seeking information about him and his Shiloh service.) In the intervening years, a quirk of Fate (and necessity to research the 3rd Iowa Infantry) has brought Isaac Pugh into sharper focus for me; and his is a story deserving to be told. Born in Kentucky in 1805, but growing up in Illinois, Isaac Pugh moved to Decatur (a town just east of the Illinois capital, Springfield) as a young man in order to start a business; and over time became Postmaster, Master of Chancery (a branch of Law that dealt with estates and administration of trusts), and served as County Commissioner. Along the way, Postmaster Pugh served in the Black Hawk War; and saw action during the 1846 – 7 War with Mexico (Vera Cruz and Cerro Gordo.) With the eruption of hostilities at Fort Sumter, Isaac Pugh felt the call to serve, once again, and helped to raise the 41st Illinois Volunteer Infantry at Decatur in July and August 1861. Initially posted to Cairo, Colonel Pugh and his 41st Illinois were on hand when Grant occupied Paducah in September; and engaged in a feint during Grant's Battle of Belmont. The 41st Illinois was on hand for the operation against Fort Henry (C. F. Smith's Division assault on Fort Heiman); and was part of Colonel McArthur's unfortunately placed brigade during the operation against Fort Donelson. A quirk of Fate (creation of Hurlbut's Fourth Division) resulted in Pugh's 41st Illinois being removed from McArthur, and installed in the new division's 1st Brigade (commanded by William Nelson of the 3rd Iowa, USMA 1843 classmate of US Grant who left West Point after his Plebe year.) Pugh's Illinois regiment was the first of C. F. Smith's Expedition to land and establish Pittsburg Landing as its campground. During the Battle of Shiloh, while serving alongside the 28th Illinois, 32nd Illinois and 3rd Iowa, Colonel Nelson was disabled; and Colonel Pugh assumed command of the brigade (the first of many such temporary “field promotions” enjoyed by Isaac Pugh.) But beginning with Shiloh, the 3rd Iowa and the 41st Illinois became sister regiments, serving together on every subsequent field (and usually under command of Brigadier General Jacob Lauman) which included the Crawl to Corinth; Battle at Hatchie's Bridge; Vicksburg Campaign; and Battle of Second Jackson. But, as well as experiencing important aspects of General US Grant's career as Civil War leader, the 41st Illinois (and 3rd Iowa) benefited from having astute observers in the ranks, able to document what they saw and experienced. [SDG member Tim Jeffers is putting together the “Bloody Third” Iowa narrative of that story.] For the 41st Illinois, the no-nonsense reporter was Colonel Isaac Pugh, in his Official Reports... and in over 100 letters written during his military service. Which is the main reason why this post is here: to inform SDG members of the existence of the Depository of Letters of Colonel Isaac Pugh, Special Collections, University of California. https://oac.cdlib.org/findaid/ark:/13030/kt696nf07x/entire_text/ Letters of Colonel Isaac Pugh at University of California.
  20. George H. Thomas, the authorized biography What I believe to be the “best book” on General George H. Thomas is actually a trilogy: the General admonished his biographer to write the History of his Army first; and then devote "whatever energy was yet needed" to compiling his biography. So Thomas B. Van Horne wrote the two volume (950 pages) “History of the Army of the Cumberland” (published 1875) and “The Life of Major General George H. Thomas” went to print in 1882. Both works were published after General Thomas' death in 1870. Naturally, I began reading “The Life of Major General Thomas” first... but although interesting and moderately detailed, it felt “incomplete.” [The Battle of Shiloh was accorded only one paragraph.] So I put that work aside and commenced “History of the Army of the Cumberland,” and came to an unexpected realization: General Thomas wanted the History of his Army to be the history of him. And the Biography generated by Thomas Van Horne was created primarily to act as “clean-up,” addressing any material not covered in two volumes of Army of the Cumberland. The strategy works; but it is a LOT of material to cover and process: over 1500 pages. A good feel is gained of General Thomas and what became his Army after about 200 pages; and the degree of interconnected development continues to build and progress, until George Thomas and the Army of the Cumberland become one. Everything one could hope for is addressed through these three volumes (although, as in the case of Thomas' relationship with U.S. Grant, that requires compiling facts dispersed throughout the three-volume work.) And the revelation that General Thomas kept Personal Journals (provided to Thomas Van Horne for creation of these works) adds an extra level of authority to the story of the General and His Army. All three volumes are available at archive.org (links below): https://archive.org/details/historyofarmyofc01vanh/page/n11/mode/1up History of Army of the Cumberland, Vol.1 https://archive.org/details/historyofarmyofc02vanh/page/n6/mode/2up History of Army of the Cumberland, Vol.2 https://archive.org/details/lifemajorgenera00horngoog/page/n8/mode/2up Life of Major General George H. Thomas https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/21327077/thomas-budd-van_horne Chaplain Van Horne at find-a-grave
  21. "Summarized to the point of being Unrecognizable" In his otherwise excellent Battle of Shiloh and the Organizations Engaged (1902) Major D. W. Reed's summary of the Picket Skirmish (on page 13): “During the Confederate advance from Monterey on the 3rd there had been skirmishing between the cavalry of the two armies, and on the 4th [of April] one of Buckland's picket posts was captured. Buckland sent out two companies in pursuit of the captors. These companies were attacked and surrounded by Confederate cavalry, but were rescued by Buckland coming to their relief with his whole regiment.” The above condensed version of events leaves readers with a false sense of 1) what units were involved; 2) how long the emergency of April 4th persisted; and 3) where this Picket Skirmish took place. Subsequent posts will attempt to rectify this lack of clarity. Ozzy
  22. Ozzy

    General Meek's Place

    The above map by Atwell Thompson was created in 1901 and can be found in the back of early editions of Major D. W. Reed's "Battle of Shiloh and the Organizations Engaged." Positive attributes of this map include: shows accurate location of Wallace Bridge over Snake Creek; shows accurate relationship of Tilghman Branch with Owl Creek; shows the route of the Shunpike; shows the route of the Adamsville - Corinth Road; shows the location of Confederate rendezvous (Mickey's); indicates the location of Owl Creek Bridge (on Hamburg and Purdy Road.) And it is one of the few maps that shows Falcon Tennessee and the location of General Meek's Place. The main shortcoming: it does not indicate Dill Branch.
  23. General John H. Meeks Said to have been “twelve miles east of Falcon, Tennessee” ...what significance was “General Meek's Place” to the Picket Skirmish of April 4th 1862? Bonus: Where was General Meek's Place in rough cardinal direction and distance from Shiloh Church? Added Bonus: Why was John Henderson Meeks called "General" Meeks? Note: Above likeness found on Google Images.
  24. Two key players in the Picket Skirmish 4 April 1862 There were two men intimately caught up in the Picket Skirmish of 4 April 1862 who, despite direct involvement somehow get little mention by historians. The first of these is James H. Clanton. Born in Georgia in 1827, Clanton migrated to the State bordering on the west with his family as a child, attended the University of Alabama, but suspended his studies in order to participate in the War with Mexico. The military veteran returned to Alabama in 1847, studied law, and passed the bar and by 1850 was living and practising in Montgomery. Gravitating towards politics, James Clanton served in the Alabama State Legislature in 1855 and was involved in the Presidential Election of 1860 (as supporter of John Bell and the Constitutional Union coalition.) Following the November election, and subsequent eruption of the Secession movement, James Clanton organized a company of horsemen and in early 1861 rode to the Florida coast (where a protracted standoff involving Federal occupation of Fort Pickens denied Southern control of Pensacola Harbor.) Captain Clanton's Company was joined over subsequent months by other horse enthusiasts; but in a location requiring infantrymen and artillerists, there was not much to occupy cavalry on the white sand beaches except to act as orderlies for senior officers; act as mounted pickets and conduct patrols; and perform courier duties (Major General Bragg's district initially stretched from Pensacola City west to the Navy Yard, Fort Barrancas and Fort McRee, a distance of twenty miles; and over time that territory extended one hundred miles west to include Mobile.) And over time, the growing number of independent cavalry companies in Bragg's Department of the Gulf led to their amalgamation, and creation of the First Alabama Cavalry, with James Clanton elected as Colonel. The relatively relaxed assignment on the Gulf Coast came to an abrupt end with the arrival of news that Fort Donelson had fallen. Bragg's Army of Pensacola was ordered north; and Clanton's Alabama Cavalry found itself in Corinth Mississippi. And appears to have been assigned patrol of territory extending north from Corinth. When the decision was taken in early April to march Johnston's Army north, Clanton's Cavalry was already familiar with Pea Ridge and Monterey; and loosely assigned to Brigadier General James Chalmers, the cavalry outfit extended its reach further north, northeast, northwest... screening the advance... approaching to within pistol distance of the sprawling Union encampment supplied from Pittsburg Landing. Safe houses with welcoming locals were identified, and some of those safe houses acted as base of operations for daily patrols. Unbeknownst to Clanton's Cavalry, at least two of those safe houses were detected, and subsequently surveilled by Union scouts. And that unwitting detection led to an operation launched pre-dawn of April 3rd in an attempt by Federal cavalry to surprise Rebel cavalry at a safe house, and scare it away to the east... into an ambush mounted by companies belonging to the 54th Ohio. The attempted ambush failed because the horsemen rode away to the northwest, instead. But the Federal operation bagged one wounded horseman; and one captured. And Colonel Clanton made his report in person to BGen James Chalmers. The other man deserving of discussion is Leroy Crockett of "New York." Born in 1831 in Ohio, Crockett was raised on a farm; and as a young man went to work in grain buying and storage. With eruption of War due to Rebel attack on Fort Sumter, Leroy Crockett joined a military unit that promised “honor, prestige, and a good-looking uniform,” the 1st U.S. Chasseurs of New York. Mustered into the unit (also known as 65th New York Infantry) the men performed drill in their distinctive, French-inspired uniform until a high proficiency had been achieved... and then were called south for duty protecting the National Capital, where they arrived in August, not long after the embarrassment of Bull Run. A battalion of the Chasseurs saw action during the September 11, 1861 Battle of Lewinsville; and the regiment is recorded as involved with the October 1861 Reconnaissance to Lewinsville (but it is unknown, at this time, whether First Lieutenant Crockett was present at either, neither or both, of those engagements. Regardless, he knew military drill and basic infantry tactics (according to Hardee.) The 72nd Ohio Volunteer Infantry was recruited during OCT/ November 1861 and had Ralph Buckland as Colonel and Herman Canfield as LtCol; and neither man knew military drill. When the man tentatively selected as Major decided to withdraw his name from consideration, Colonel Buckland seized the opportunity and poached Lieutenant Crockett from the New York unit, and installed him in the 72nd OVI as Major on 26 NOV 1861. Records at the time indicate Major Crockett “was a strict, stern disciplinarian; and he took military drill seriously. But, it was also acknowledged that the Major exhibited a fine balance of care and concern for the welfare of soldiers under his charge, making sure they had adequate provisions and shelter. His men may not have loved him; but they respected him” [extract of a recollection of then-Captain John Lemmon 72nd OVI.] References: https://archive.org/details/alabamaherhisto00brewgoog/page/n684/mode/1up Brewer pp.677, 475 Party Politics in Alabama, 1850 – 1860 by Lewy Dorman (2014) pp.202 -204. The Struggle for Pensacola, 1860 – 1862 by Mike Maxwell (2020) Appendix One. OR 10 pp.86 – 87. Reports of Taylor and Chalmers. https://www.nps.gov/civilwar/search-soldiers-detail.htm?soldierId=B45C3A8D-DC7A-DF11-BF36-B8AC6F5D926A James Clanton's entry at NPS site. Clanton's Alabama Cavalry https://www.nps.gov/civilwar/search-battle-units-detail.htm?battleUnitCode=CAL0001RC POW Prison Record for Madison Georgia, 1861 – 1865. https://www.rbhayes.org/collection-items/local-history-collections/crockett-leroy-colonel/ bio and list of letters sent and received by Union army officer Leroy Crockett, 72nd OVI. http://dan-masters-civil-war.blogspot.com/2018/06/honoring-lieutenant-colonel-leroy.html bio. 72nd OVI history. https://www.ohiocivilwarcentral.com/entry.php?rec=1136 https://www.nytimes.com/1861/09/02/archives/letter-from-the-first-united-states-chasseurs.html Cincinnati Daily Press 15 SEP 1861 page 1 col.4 “The Fight at Lewinsville” details action of 1st U.S. Chasseurs at Lewinsville near Washington, D.C. on 11 SEP 1861 https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84028745/1861-09-15/ed-1/seq-1/#date1=1861&sort=date&rows=20&words=Chasseurs&searchType=basic&sequence=0&index=12&state=Ohio&date2=1861&proxtext=Chasseur&y=0&x=0&dateFilterType=yearRange&page=1 Another Chasseur/ Battle of Lewinsville connection https://sites.google.com/site/wppricememoir/home/1861---1865-the-war-years/1861-battle-of-lewinsville from 1905 Dahlonega Nugget. Major Crockett's record of muster with 72nd OVI on 26 NOV 61 https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=uiug.30112047586026&view=1up&seq=95 Ohio Regimental Rosters vol.6 https://dmna.ny.gov/historic/reghist/civil/rosters/Infantry/65th_Infantry_CW_Roster.pdf Original muster in with 1st U.S. Chasseurs (65th NY Inf) on 15 July 1861 (page 491). https://www.nps.gov/civilwar/search-soldiers-detail.htm?soldierId=5942EB91-DC7A-DF11-BF36-B8AC6F5D926A Leroy Crockett's entry at NPS site.
  25. "Colonel Peabody and our 25th Missouri" As we know, the Engineer Everett Peabody was based at St. Joseph Missouri while building the Hannibal & St. Joseph Railroad; and the 25th Missouri was considered by Union men residing in St. Joseph as “their” regiment. The St. Joseph Herald followed the career of Colonel Peabody with interest, and beginning with the edition published Friday 11 April 1862 contained news of the Colonel and his 25th Missouri in columns 1, 4, 5 & 6 on Page 2; and column one on Page 3. At this time, in the first Shiloh reports received in Western Missouri, and indicated by the multiple reports, Everett Peabody was listed among the “wounded.” https://digital.shsmo.org/digital/collection/stjoemh/id/251/rec/51 The edition of Saturday 12 April contains more details: Page 2 columns 4 and 5 (but still no word on fate of Colonel Peabody.) https://digital.shsmo.org/digital/collection/stjoemh/id/257/rec/52 Sunday 13 April has a third full-length article IRT Battle of Pittsburg Landing on page 3 columns 4 and 5. (But no mention of Peabody or the 25th Missouri.) https://digital.shsmo.org/digital/collection/stjoemh/id/262/rec/53 [There was no regular Monday edition of the St. Joseph Herald.] The Tuesday 15 April edition Page 3 columns 4 and 5 provides details of the wounded being moved north from the battlefield. General Ormsby Mitchel took Huntsville (and cut the M & C R.R.) A Southern version of the Battle of Shiloh is published (from the Richmond WHIG.) https://digital.shsmo.org/digital/collection/stjoemh/id/267/rec/54 Wednesday 16 April finds Pittsburg Landing, and details of Colonel Peabody, Column one page 2. Below Peabody's Obituary is on for Colonel Tyndale, late of the 23rd Missouri (and killed at the Hornet's Nest.) Page 3 columns 4 and 5 presents another full battle depiction; Col. Peabody confirmed killed; and details how General Grant's Shiloh report was hand-delivered to St. Louis. https://digital.shsmo.org/digital/collection/stjoemh/id/271/rec/55 Thursday 17 April page 2 column 5 two articles cover Col. Peabody's death and funeral (and the remaining members of the 25th Missouri gain a mention under “Local Intelligence.”) Page 3 columns 4 and 5 give more details of the battle and its aftermath. https://digital.shsmo.org/digital/collection/stjoemh/id/276/rec/56 and https://digital.shsmo.org/digital/collection/stjoemh/id/276/rec/56 Friday 18 April page 2 column 6 gives details of Peabody, Prentiss and Powell early Sunday morning 6 April 1862. Page 3 columns 4 and 5 gives more details of 25th Missouri in action at Pittsburg Landing. https://digital.shsmo.org/digital/collection/stjoemh/id/281/rec/57 Saturday 19 April page 2 column 2 gives details of Colonel Moore and the 21st Missouri. Page 3 column 5 provides an update on “the 500 soldiers remaining of the 25th Missouri.” https://digital.shsmo.org/digital/collection/stjoemh/id/286/rec/58
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