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Ozzy

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Everything posted by Ozzy

  1. 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
  2. Battle of Shiloh

    Just for something a bit different... We are all familiar with the poems of Shiloh veterans Leander Stillwell, Ambrose Bierce and Theodore O'Hara. The following poem was encountered in the Volume 1, No.8 edition of Confederate Veteran (published August 1893.) Let me know what you think -- 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

    Just below is transcript of a communication (likely sent by special courier) from Confederate Secretary of War, Judah Benjamin to Major General Braxton Bragg (then commander of the Army of Pensacola, based at Fort Barrancas). Why is this 27 DEC 1861 letter important to the study of Shiloh? reveals "the intended mission of General A.S. Johnston, when he was sent West" confirms "a dispute" of some nature, between Generals Price and McCulloch; stresses intention for Missouri to be the primary scene of Confederate operations in the West; compares the skills of commander: Fremont vs. Halleck; provides a proposal to Major General Bragg (and recognizes his achievements in Florida). < Private and Confidential > Confederate States of America, War Department -- Richmond, 27 DEC 1861 My Dear Sir When we sent Genl A. S. Johnston to take command of the Western Department, it was believed that he would proceed at once to the west of the Mississippi and conduct the Campaign in Arkansas and Missouri. The obtaining possession of the latter State is of such supreme importance that I need not say to you a word on the subject. Before however Genl Johnston reached the Mississippi, the threatened invasion of Tennessee, and the advance of the Federal forces into Kentucky rendered it necessary to detain him in this latter State equally important as Missouri to the Confederacy, and threatening more immediate danger, especially when considered in connection with the menaced attack on our lines of communication by rail road through East Tennessee. At that time too, the Department of Missouri was committed by the enemy to Genl Fremont, whose incompetency is well known to us, was a guarantee against immediate peril. All this is now changed: Missouri is under command of an able and well instructed military commander. [Dispersions] exist between General Price and General McCulloch which prevent their cordial cooperation. We are threatened with grievous disaster: McCulloch has put his army (of about 9000 excellent troops) into Winter quarters in north western Arkansas, while Price has advanced alone, and we fear with fatal rashness, into a district of country where he is likely to be surrounded and cut off by overwhelming forces. And the Army of Missouri is represented to be a mere gathering of brave but undisciplined partisan troops, coming and going at pleasure, and needing a master mind to control and reduce it into order and to convert it into a real army. After long and anxious consultation with the President, we can find no one but yourself in whom we feel we could rely with confidence as Commander in Chief of the trans-Mississippi Department. Yet we do not know how to fill your place at Pensacola. Missouri must not be lost to us, even at some risk of misfortune at Pensacola. You have so thoroughly and satisfactorily prepared the defences at the latter point that we scarcely believe another attempt will be made on your defences, and we hope that by sending Kirby Smith to take your place, if you should leave, that important point will be successfully defended. You see already that my purpose is to ask you if you would consent to go to the West: in that event Genl Johnston's command would be divided by the Mississippi River, giving him as much even then as he can efficiently attend to; and your command would embrace everything west of the Mississippi, except the coast defences. Your Campaign would comprehend the States of Arkansas and Missouri, (together with northern Texas and the Indian Territory. Genl Price will probably be continued in the command of the Missouri troops when mustered with our service, and their number, of course, I cannot approximate. But we could scarcely have less than twenty or twenty-five thousand men from that state. For Arkansas and the Indian Territory, our forces amount to about 12,000 -- a number of other regiments are now nearly organized in Texas and Arkansas, and we would find means of assigning two or three of the new regiments to Pensacola, and these disengaging for your command the two best Mississippi regiments. With all these resources, aided of course by our hearty and cordial cooperation, it seems to me that we may confidently look for brilliant results. If the tide of battle should turn towards the Mississippi River, your operations would be conducted in cooperation with Genl Johnston's, and of course in that event he would rank you, but unless in case of joint operations on the river, your command would be entirely independent, and such joint operations would only be undertaken by special order of the President, and by your own concert with Genl Johnston. Will you undertake this work? I tell you frankly I believe you owe it to your Country, in this her hour of peril, but it will not be urged on you against your will. If we cannot now make available your name and reputation as a soldier, I confess I know not where else to look at this time. The President and myself have anxiously scanned every name on our Army List, and under all the circumstances (many of which it is not possible to communicate in this letter) we invariably fell back on yours as the name. The circumstances are pressing -- I could not say all that was important for your consideration by telegraph, but I must beg you as soon as it is possible to answer me by telegraph, "I accept," if that be your conclusion. If you say in reply, "I refuse," I must see what next best can be done. I am Yours very truly J. P. Benjamin [to Major Genl Braxton Bragg, at Pensacola.] Made available online by Missouri History Museum -- St. Louis Civil War Project http://cdm.sos.mo.gov/cdm/compoundobject/collection/CivilWar/id/1302/rec/2 Ozzy
  14. 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
  15. 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
  16. 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
  17. Bragg Letter of March 29

    Stan Bacon in the amount of 20,000 pounds does seem a lot... until it is realized Braxton Bragg had extended family living in Alabama; and his wife (Eliza) had family living in Louisiana (as well as family ownership of one or more plantations, with over one hundred mouths to feed.) Properly preserved and stored, bacon has the ability to last months, if not years (and who knew in March 1862 how long the "emergency" would last?) Just a conjecture... Ozzy N.B. Of course, the Letter of March 29 is most noteworthy for the military information it contains. (More Bragg letters to come.)
  18. The following letter written by Major General Braxton Bragg to his wife, Eliza, and sent from Corinth on 29 MAR 1862 reveals the mindset of Confederate leaders in the build-up to Battle of Shiloh. Discussed in the letter: the importance of the Mississippi River to the Confederacy; incompetence responsible for the loss of New Madrid; Bragg's recommended strategy for Arkansas (and use of Van Dorn) Confederate evaluation of Union force (under C.F. Smith) and Smith's likely objectives; Bragg compares his Army of Pensacola to the forces under A.S. Johnston and Leonidas Polk; Bragg evaluates the current state of affairs, and offers suggested remedies; Letter concludes with "personal matters" (acquiring provisions for his family; and answering questions in Eliza's last letter.) Corinth, March 29th 1862 Dearest Wife, Your letters are all coming to hand since they have found me out, and yesterday I had one only three days old, written on my birthday, tho' you probably did not know it. You write under great excitement and despondency, and I must acknowledge, with much reason, but still I hope and trust a change for the better is about to occur. The rapid movement from Jackson to Bethel, and thence to this place, was to prevent the very movement you seem so much to fear. The enemy in large force ascended the Tennessee River, with a view no doubt of striking at or near this point, by which he would divide the forces of Polk and myself from those of Johnston coming west on the rail road. He landed in force and made two assails [against] our stations, one against Bethel, and one here. But finding us not only prepared to receive him, but arranging to attack him, he fell back, crossed the river with his main force, and now confronts us with only a brave few thousand, under cover of his gun boats. Desirous as I was, and Genl Beauregard was for sure, to bring on an action, it became utterly impossible. We could not cross the river; and they would not. In the mean time events have gone on very disastrously on the Mississippi River in Genl Polk's command, not from any immediate fault of his, but from a bad commander [McCown] and the unfortunate result of bad discipline, and too much whiskey. Under orders from Genl Beauregard to hold the place [New Madrid] until the last extremity, they had driven the enemy [Pope] back in New Madrid with a heavy loss. We were supplied, were fortified, and had force enough to hold out until we could reinforce them. But a big stampede got hold of them. Whiskey got into them, and a few, a false alarm that Genl Siegel, who was in front of Van Dorn in north west Arkansas, was upon them with 20,000 additional men... all was disgracefully abandoned. On the 23rd Genl Johnston reached here, Genl Beauregard came down [from Jackson] to mesh up, and a conference has resulted in changes I hope will save the Mississippi, though time is precious, and much needed. I insisted on a change of subordinate commanders of Island No.10 and Fort Pillow, which is the next point to defend if the first falls. All said they had nobody to put there, their best having been done. I offered my whole force, saying I could put any of my generals there and know they would never be stampeded. Being allowed to designate, I have sent Genl Jones to Island No.10 and Genl Villepique to Fort Pillow. I ought to have the whole command there [of Mississippi River defences] myself, and take my Pensacola and Mobile troops there. But that point I could not urge, of course, as Genl Polk, who commands, is my senior. I thought my Mobile Army was a mob, but it is as far superior to Polk's and Johnston's as the Army of Pensacola was to it. The commander of the disgrace at New Madrid [General McCown] I insist shall be arrested and tried. There is want of nerve to do it, but I shall insist, and hope yet to accomplish it. Stern, dictatorial measures are necessary, and as far as my influence goes, will be adopted. The enemy will operate on both our flanks, striking us here [at Corinth] whenever he is ready. Sooner one could not make him do it, as he is on the other side of the [Tennessee] River, which he controls by gun boats. But it is not so on the Mississippi: we control that below them, and can throw our forces at any point there by steamer. Had my opinion prevailed, we should have assailed him at New Madrid and defeated him there about the time we moved here. But fears were felt for this position, by which Genl Johnston would be divided from us. Swift measures would have saved both [New Madrid and Corinth] but that is now too late. To hold the Mississippi River is my primary object; the loss of its use be about fatal to us, and I shall unceasingly urge its importance. I find my opinions have some weight with both Johnston and Beauregard, and I shall not cease to urge my point. Johnston almost embraced me when I met him, saying, "Your prompt and decisive move, Sir, has saved me, and saved the country. But for your arrival [at Corinth] the enemy would have been between us." A change is to be made today in our organization. I believe the Army here, between the Mississippi and the Tennessee, will be called the Army of the Mississippi, as at present, but largely increased by Johnston's forces. This will all be commanded by Beauregard, and be divided in turn into two grand divisions under Polk and Bragg. Say 25,000 men each. Johnston to command all. And East Tennessee and Missouri. Under my urgent advice, supported by Polk and Beauregard, Johnston has decided to withdraw the forces of Van Dorn from Arkansas, and unite them to ours on this side of the river. This, you may recollect, I advised in January from Pensacola. Where he is, Van Dorn can do nothing; nor can he subsist his army. Arkansas is a wilderness the enemy will never penetrate. And should we unfortunately lose the Mississippi, Van Dorn there would be lost. With his addition, 20,000. If we do our duty, and work our men into soldiers, we shall be able to turn the tide, and redress our losses. But, great labor is before us, and we need not conceal the fact that great danger also threatens us. Our people, our generals, with a few exceptions, are not up to the emergency. Tennessee, Kentucky and Missouri are lost to us. Such has been the outrageous conduct of our troops that the people generally and very voluntarily prefer seeing the enemy. Polk and Johnston do nothing to correct this. Indeed, the good Bishop sets the example by taking whatever he wishes -- requiring it to be paid for, it is true. But, every man is not willing to give up his house, his necessities, servants, provisions, etc., etc., even though our Government is required to pay for it. The provision question is embarrassing to us publicly and privately. Financing the great difficulty in New Orleans. And hearing such accounts from Mr. Urquhart, I bought 20,000 pounds of bacon in Mississippi which was offered me as a favor. It will be shipped to Mr. Urquhart and by him one half to you and the other half to Towson. It will be more than either will require, or ought to use. Half of it ought to suffice. The other I thought it prudent to take as we might supply Pierce and your Mother. We face weeks more, not a pound of meat can be had in the country. The money you speak of for the girls, I paid to Towson in cash. He tells me he deposited it to your Mother's credit with Mr. Urquhart for the girls to draw on. That makes it all right. She is charged with it, but look on the other side and see if she is also credited? That might make it all right. Towson and Robert are well. My own health is good, besides a cold. The meantime -- Write. God Keep you Darling Wife Braxton. [The original hand-written Letter of 29 MAR 1862] is on file with Missouri History Museum -- Missouri Digital Heritage -- in the "St. Louis Civil War Collection" and accessible online at the following: http://cdm.sos.mo.gov/cdm/compoundobject/collection/CivilWar/id/1261/rec/20 Thanks to Missouri History Museum for making the original letter available online. Ozzy
  19. Bragg's Memoirs

    Update of Braxton Bragg primary sources If an autobiography is not available, the next best thing is a diary; or letters; or telegrams... The University of North Carolina Library, Louis Round Wilson Special Collection possesses eleven items that are of interest to students of the Battle of Shiloh. And -- good news -- all eleven items have been digitized, so are readily available via your home computer. In the Braxton Bragg Papers, these items are of greatest interest: 18 MAR 1862 Telegram from Bragg to Thomas Jordan, sent from Corinth (IRT messenger on his way "with books") 19 MAR 1862 Telegram from Bragg to Beauregard, sent from Corinth (IRT cavalry in vicinity of Purdy) 3 APR 1862 Telegram from SAM Wood to Bragg, sent from Iuka (IRT Union gunboat movement up the Tennessee River) 27 APR 1864 Telegram from Bragg to Beauregard, sent from Richmond (Unknown subject -- written in code) several pre-Civil War letters are included in this collection. At http://finding-aids.lib.unc.edu/00079/#folder_1#1 scroll down, then click on the telegram or letter desired (telegrams begin with item No.13 and letters begin with item No.3). Use controls at top of each box to expand details, or advance to next item. Cheers (and Thanks to UNC for making these items available) Ozzy
  20. Bragg's Memoirs

    Along with George H. Thomas and Henry Halleck, Braxton Bragg is one of the Civil War leaders whose memoirs -- and raisons d'Etat -- I would most like to read. Many are the reasons given why General Bragg never got around to those musings; and this post suggests one more possibility, and it involves a man named Kinloch Falconer. An 1860 graduate of the University of Mississippi, Kinloch Falconer joined the 9th Mississippi as a Private and accompanied his regiment to Pensacola, Florida in March 1861, and became part of Braxton Bragg's force there, occupying the former U.S. Navy Yard and all the pre-war fortifications... except Fort Pickens. The key to control of access to Pensacola Bay, Fort Pickens was a thorn in the side of General Bragg (who ordered Colonel Chalmers to attempt a night raid against that facility 8/9 October 1861.) A month later, on November 22nd a gunnery duel erupted, pitting Confederate batteries at Fort Barrancas and Fort McRee against Union-held Fort Pickens and a squadron of Federal warships in the Gulf of Mexico. Because the guns at Pickens and Barrancas were not designed to fire all the way across at each other -- about three miles -- neither of these forts suffered much damage. Fort McRee (sometimes spelled Fort McRae) was another matter: only one mile from fort Pickens, on the opposite spit of land controlling the entrance to Pensacola Bay, Fort McRee was the most exposed of the Confederate positions. And it was just outside that wing-shaped fort that the 9th Mississippi was dug in, assigned to guns designed to prevent a landing by Federal troops. (The 10th Mississippi, under command of Colonel J.B. Villepigue, operated the big guns inside Fort McRee.) Over the course of 36 hours, the entire vicinity of Fort McRee was blasted by guns from Fort Pickens and warships USS Richmond and USS Niagara. Fort McRee was reduced to a smoldering ruin; but Colonel Villepigue's spirited defense of the position won acclaim from Braxton Bragg, and he was promoted to Brigadier General. Kinloch Falconer -- who had spent time clerking for General Bragg -- came to the notice of newly-minted General Villepigue, and was assigned as his Assistant Adjutant General. The 9th Mississippi left Florida in early 1862, and went on to fight alongside the 10th Mississippi at Shiloh. But Kinloch Falconer did not accompany his regiment; instead, he was promoted to Captain and followed General Villepigue to his new assignment: defense of Fort Pillow, on the Mississippi River. That position was evacuated just before the fall of Memphis (in June 1862) and John B. Villepigue (alumnus of The Citadel and 1854 graduate of West Point) next found himself assigned as Brigade commander (in Lovell's Division) Earl Van Dorn's Army of West Tennessee. Wounded during the October 3-5 Battle of Second Corinth, Villepigue succumbed to his wounds in November. And Captain Falconer found himself re-assigned to General Braxton Bragg, for whom he worked as AAG until early 1865... when he was again re-assigned, this time to the Staff of General Joseph E. Johnston. (When Johnston accepted terms offered by William Tecumseh Sherman on April 26th 1865 it was Major Falconer's signature that appeared on the Surrender Document.) Kinloch Falconer's war was over, but his usefulness was not. It was known that the AAG to several general officers had kept meticulous records -- and a diary -- during his years of service to the Confederacy. (One element of his diary, for the year 1865, is on file at Vanderbilt University at Nashville.) In the years after the war, General J.E. Johnston frequently contacted Falconer for precise details IRT Operations conducted during the War of the Rebellion. Braxton Bragg, too, contacted Falconer in 1870 with many questions IRT Bragg's military operations (which may indicate that Bragg was contemplating writing his memoirs, before his untimely death in 1876.) Kinloch Falconer, himself, met an untimely death in 1878. Then serving as Secretary of State for Mississippi, while on a visit to seriously ill relatives at Holly Springs he succumbed to the Yellow Fever epidemic then raging. His papers are now on file with the University of Mississippi. Ozzy References: http://clio.lib.olemiss.edu/cdm/compoundobject/collection/civil_war/id/2108/rec/8 Bragg's 1870 query to Falconer http://ufdcimages.uflib.ufl.edu/UF/00/08/56/93/00002/00067jc.pdf Falconer's involvement with Johnston's surrender 1865 http://clio.lib.olemiss.edu/cdm/search/searchterm/Kinloch Falconer Collection/mode/exact/page/1 Kinloch Falconer Collection http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Bordenave_Villepigue General J. B. Villepigue at wikipedia N.B. Thanks to David (Ole Miss) for providing access to the Kinloch Falconer Collection.
  21. Battle of Shiloh

    Mrs. Johnston's moving, insightful poem, "The Battle of Shiloh," becomes even more remarkable when it is realized there was no Shiloh Military Park at the time she made her visit. The National Cemetery, established in 1866, was there, with its well-tended rows of ordered graves. But the site of the battle, itself, had mostly reverted to scattered farms in the sprawling woods, with twisting lane-ways connecting one farm to another. There were no granite monuments; no metal tablets; no thoughtfully sited cannon to indicate the scenes of heroism in the midst of unspeakable horror. Although cannonballs and minie balls could still be encountered, somehow overlooked by souvenir hunters, it required the services of a guide or two to find General Johnston's Tree; and Surgeon Everett's grave; and the many Confederate mass graves, all seemingly tucked away... but their locations were known to the locals. Stephen Crane wrote The Red Badge of Courage in 1894, said to be the first significant story of the Civil War, written by someone who was too young to have participated in that conflict. But Annie Fellows Johnston published The Little Colonel less than a year later. (And her poem, "The Battle of Shiloh," was published a year before The Red Badge of Courage.) The "Little Colonel" had one sequel, The Giant Scissors ...then, another ...and another. Eventually, fourteen books made up the "Little Colonel Series," the most popular series of children's books at the turn of the twentieth century: so beloved that The Little Colonel was made into a Shirley Temple film in 1935. To find out more, visit http://littlecolonel.com/books Ozzy N.B. Stephen Crane is said to have been inspired by the Battle of Chancellorsville in writing his great work; while Annie Johnston was inspired by Shiloh.
  22. Battle of Shiloh

    So, who was Annie Johnston, the writer of the above poem? In 1892, Mrs. Johnston became a widow, losing her husband of only four years. In order to combat the enormity of that loss, an attempt was made to bring something good out of the tragedy: Annie Johnston decided to act on the advice her husband had given her, and embark on a career as writer. A story had begun to take shape in her mind -- a tragic tale concerning two veterans of the Civil War, who loved the same woman. One of the men had been a Colonel in service of the Confederacy, and lost an arm fighting for that cause. The other man had been a Captain in an Illinois regiment. The subject of the two men's affection was the Colonel's daughter. When the daughter, Elizabeth Lloyd, married Union veteran Jack Sherman, not only did she not receive her Father's blessing... he disowned her. (The eventual arrival of a child... oops, don't want to give too much away.) With that framework to expand upon, Annie Johnston set off from her home in southern Indiana, for a tour of the South. In Kentucky, she visited places that would later take form as "Lloydsboro," the fictional setting of her story. A Kentucky Confederate veteran, George Washington Weissinger, became the model for Colonel Lloyd. Weissinger had lost an arm in an obscure skirmish in Arkansas during the Pea Ridge campaign. To lend authenticity to her story, Mrs. Johnston wanted to visit the site of the Skirmish at Sugar Creek, but Arkansas was just too far away. Another battlefield, much closer, was recommended that would provide the appropriate inspiration: Shiloh. Besides the above poem, "The Battle of Shiloh," (written during the stay in Savannah, and published by Confederate Veteran Magazine), the other story that resulted from Mrs. Johnston's visit to Kentucky and Tennessee was published in 1895, and was titled, The Little Colonel. Always more to the story... Ozzy Additional reading: http://digital.library.upenn.edu/women/johnston/colonel/colonel.html The Little Colonel, made available by U Penn Library.
  23. The real story about Nashville

    Grant's Greatest Strength From study of U.S. Grant's military history in the West during the Civil War, what becomes apparent is the General's aggression, drive and determination to take the fight to the enemy. Belmont -- initially flagged as a "demonstration in vicinity of Fort Columbus" -- was converted by Grant into a highly successful raid. Fort Henry was such an obvious target that newspaper reporters, all during the month of January, were conjecturing when that Confederate fort would be attacked. And Fort Donelson was merely the logical next step, after the capture of Fort Henry. Following the capture of Fort Donelson, the logical next step was "occupation of Nashville" (a major source of supply for the Rebel Army.) But, General Grant saw unedifying vacillation on the part of his Federal counterparts (Buell and Halleck, in particular), and took measures into his own hands to press for Nashville's occupation. First, Grant suggested to Major General Halleck that Nashville be taken. Then, finding no obvious plan in work, Grant suggested he could take Nashville. Finally, Grant determined that Nashville's occupation was needlessly being delayed; and took measures to "fix that problem" U.S. Grant told Halleck that he was going to Nashville (and added the proviso, "Unless you specifically prohibit my going.") He looked for an opportunity... and found it: the arrival of Nelson's Division, sent to assist in capture of Fort Donelson (and now, technically, Nelson's Division was a part of Grant's Army) Nelson's Division, in convoy aboard seven transports steaming up the Cumberland River, was deemed by Grant as superfluous; and labelled by Grant as "no longer needed." Therefore, General Grant thought it best to "return to sender" Nelson's force, by re-directing the flotilla a little further up the Cumberland, with new destination: Nashville. When Brigadier General William Nelson stepped ashore on February 25th he was the first Union general officer to enter the former Confederate capital of Tennessee. He technically belonged to Grant, who was in process of "returning him to the Army of the Ohio." (Which is why there is confusion to this day IRT who occupied Nashville?) To sum up, General Grant's greatest strength was his ability to "see opportunity, and exploit opportunity." (Drive, determination, aggression, persistence... were merely character traits used as tools by Grant to develop opportunity.) My take on U.S. Grant Ozzy Reference: Badeau's Military History of U.S. Grant (1867) pages 56 -61.
  24. Despite the mammoth Federal success at Fort Donelson, the war did not come to an end (though some acted as if it had.) General U.S. Grant looked to push the next objective, which appeared to be Nashville. And he requested guidance from St. Louis. In meantime, Clarksville (about fifty miles up the Cumberland River, in the direction of Nashville) was deemed a suitable target: a reconnaissance conducted by U.S. Navy gunboats Conestoga and Cairo on February 18th discovered that Confederate Clarksville was practically a ghost town; the Rebels and most of the citizens had fled. So, General C.F. Smith was dispatched with a suitable force pulled from his Second Division and occupied Clarksville on about February 23rd. Early the next day, U.S. Grant, in company with Surgeon Brinton, , BGen McClernand, Captain Taylor (of Taylor's Battery), Colonel Lauman and Colonel WHL Wallace, departed Fort Donelson aboard steamer W.H.B. for an inspection of Union-occupied Clarksville. But, it does not appear that an inspection took place at Clarksville that day: General Grant caught wind that General William Nelson's Division (which was known to have been promised to assist Grant at Fort Donelson) had arrived at Paducah; reported to General Sherman; and departed Paducah aboard a small fleet on February 23rd, bound for the Cumberland River. The seven steamers, under gunboat escort, continued to the ordered destination of Clarksville (arrival recorded as 8 a.m. February 24th) and General Nelson met with General Smith. At about noon (in accordance with orders relayed from General Grant to General Nelson) General Nelson returned to his steamer, Diana, and in company with six other steamers (led by USS Carondelet) the force proceeded up the Cumberland (with U.S. Grant aboard steamer W.H.B, in company with USS Cairo, well in advance of the fleet.) Bull Nelson arrived at the "open city" of Nashville on February 25th, stepped ashore... and became the first Federal General Officer to enter Nashville following Rebel occupation; (General Buell was just across the river at Edgefield: today's East Nashville); and U.S. Grant appears to have waited aboard the W.H.B., at least, for a little while. Nelson made contact with Buell; and Grant escorted his party from Fort Donelson into Union-occupied Nashville for two days of what can best be described as relaxation and diversion. On February 27th, U.S. Grant met with Don Carlos Buell aboard the W.H.B. and exchanged pleasantries; and then Grant and his party departed Nashville, and arrived back at Fort Donelson late on 28 FEB 1862. Cheers Ozzy References: OR 7 pages 661, 662- 3, 668, 670- 1, 674. OR (Navy) vol.22, pages 315, 587, 616, 617, 625. Memoirs of U.S. Grant page 318. Adam Badeau's Military Career of U.S. Grant, pages 58 - 9. Diary of Jacob Ammen for dates February 23, 24 and 25 (found in OR 7 page 659 - 660. Hoppin's Life of Andrew Hull Foote, pages 230 - 236. Memoirs of Surgeon John Brinton, page 139. Life of General WHL Wallace, pages 166 (Letter of 20 FEB 1862) and page 171 (Letter of 28 FEB 1862).
  25. Scientific American

    Tim Well spotted. The same "conflicting reports" occurred within newspapers of the day: multiple stories covering the same event, contributed by different authors. When we're fortunate, the authors of the reports are identified; usually, we are not fortunate. At Shiloh, there were reporters on-the-scene who had been there a while (Whitelaw Reid, who wrote as "Agate.") There were reporters who arrived within 24 hours of Sunday afternoon (and before Buell arrived -- Henri Lovie is one of these.) And there were reporters who travelled with Army of the Ohio (such as Henry Villard, who arrived with Nelson's Division.) Because it was impossible for a reporter to "be everywhere," each reporter commented on what he saw; what he heard (from reliable witnesses); and what he stole (from other reporters.) At Shiloh, no one reporter got the whole story (similar to "The Blind Men and the Elephant" -- each one got a bit of it, and by combining all the stories, the whole picture is revealed.) As regards Buell leading the fight on Monday, it appears the fight on Monday was a "loose deuce" affair, as conducted by the Union: Buell took the eastern side of the battlefield, and Grant took the western side (with lots of overlap.) Lew Wallace records in his Autobiography that, "he did not know Buell had arrived, until he witnessed Colonel Willich leading his regiment, just to the left of Wallace's Third Division, on Monday, mid-morning." And the 14th Wisconsin is the most noted example of an element of Grant's Army supporting Buell. And, as regards "that charge" by General Grant... for the longest time, I doubted it took place. But, over the years, I have encountered too many (and varied) witnesses to that event. Exactly how it transpired is still subject to interpretation. But it took place Monday afternoon, and "ensured the Rebels left the field." All the best Ozzy
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