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Shiloh Discussion Group

Ozzy

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Everything posted by Ozzy

  1. Treatment of Myer vs. Behr Behr and the 6th Morton Indiana Battery · Brigaded with 1st Brigade (McDowell) of Sherman’s Fifth Division; · After early morning April 6th operations in vicinity of Owl Creek Bridge, all 5th DIV forces were ordered to fall back [towards the crossroads] at about 10 am. · This “backward movement” became confused as racing mule teams pulling wagons headed east along the Purdy Road, blocking the redeploy of Buckland’s Brigade further north, across that road… and Waterhouse’s Battery was captured… and the charging Rebels continued to press north. · In desperation, BGen Sherman seized control of Behr’s Battery [opportunely arriving from the west, to near Sherman] and ordered Behr to unlimber and commence firing. Behr unlimbered, but before firing a shot, Captain Behr was shot down; his artillery men fled the scene, leaving their guns behind. · Behr was killed; his men fled; five guns were captured [a sixth gun (Mussman) was on independent duty with the 1st Brigade and remained in action til nightfall]. · After Shiloh, the 6th Morton Indiana was re-armed and returned to service under Lieutenant Michael Mueller. Myer and the 13th Ohio Battery · Not brigaded; under control of Hurlbut’s Fourth Division (from 4 APR 1862); · Apparently a poorly-trained, inexperienced artillery unit; · On the morning of 6 APR 1862 BGen Hurlbut led two brigades of his Fourth Division south “towards the sound of the guns” at the request of BGen Prentiss for support; · Approaching to within half a mile of Prentiss’s camp, Federal soldiers fleeing north streamed to either side of Hurlbut’s advance; Hurlbut shook his division into line and BGen Prentiss in company with Hickenlooper’s Battery and Munch’s Battery allowed to pass through; Prentiss gathers his available force and will extend Hurlbut’s line towards the west; · Myer arrives [possibly after repeated calls to “Come forward”] and takes position; this position appears to have been directed by an aide of BGen Hurlbut, who may have received a specific order, or maybe a general order, from Hurlbut to “Unlimber here.” · Myer takes position [Hurlbut says “on wrong side of military crest”]. THIS appears to be point of contention: “Did Hurlbut order Myer to take position ‘Right Here,’ or did Hurlbut give instructions to an aide to position Myer “about there” and rely on Myer’s artillery knowledge to position his Battery to best advantage?”] · In process of unlimber, a lucky hit from Robertson’s Alabama Battery explodes an ammunition chest; · Myer and [all? most of?] his men abandon the guns and flee to the Landing. [Another Federal regiment spiked the abandoned guns of Myer's Battery.] · Myer is not seen again until a day or two after completion of the Battle of Shiloh. · After Shiloh the artillery unit formerly known as 13th Ohio Battery was disbanded. Comparison: · There is no doubt Sherman told Behr to unlimber “Right here; right now.” There were witnesses. And Sherman’s order directly led to what happened to Behr. · There is debate about “who told Myer WHAT?” Hurlbut has no way of knowing what the aide ACTUALLY told Myer to do. [Did more than one aide speak to Myer, resulting in confusing orders? It is reported, "Several attempts were made to bring Myer forward."] · Behr had no room to maneuver; Myer may, or may not, have had room to maneuver; depends on the orders. · Behr was killed; and his men fled. · Myer fled, along with his men. · Behr had no opportunity to “gather his force and try again.” Myer was away for days and did not attempt (no obvious attempt) to gather his force and try again. [Brigadier General Prentiss withdrew from his initial position, gathered together what force was available, and took position to Hurlbut’s right; many of Prentiss’s men continued their flight all the way to the Landing. If Prentiss joined them at the Landing, and did not reappear until days later, the same fate that befell Myer would have been visited upon Prentiss.] [Notice at top of this post, the title: "Treatment of Myer vs. Behr." It was (and is ) understood that when talking about the Commander of a unit, you may be speaking of/ referring to his Unit as well. After the Battle of Shiloh, there would likely be little difficulty getting volunteers and new recruits for the "battle hardened, hard-done by Sixth Morton Indiana Battery, which lost its brave commander at Shiloh." And from the available records, that appears to have been the case.]
  2. Brigadier General Hurlbut Although originally from South Carolina (where Lieutenant William T. Sherman met him during the Second Seminole War mobilization) Stephen Hurlbut relocated north and practiced Law in Illinois and was active in local politics in that state. Following Lincoln’s Inauguration during the Secession Crisis, Stephen Hurlbut offered to go south and investigate “the true state of affairs in and around Charleston.” Upon his return north, after revealing his intelligence that “There were no Union men to be found there; they are preparing for war” Hurlbut was awarded with appointment to Brigadier General and was soon commanding troops in northern Missouri protecting railroads. Too great a fondness for alcohol was Hurlbut’s undoing: he was removed from command and returned to Belvidere Illinois in disgrace. Almost simultaneously, William T. Sherman suffered a nervous breakdown and was removed from command in Kentucky. When Sherman’s friend from California, Henry Halleck, took over command of the Department of Missouri, he took special pains to rejuvenate Sherman’s career by placing him “in charge” of Benton Barracks (really just an opportunity for Sherman to rest and settle his nerves.) Brigadier General Sherman learned of the plight of his old friend, Stephen Hurlbut, and suggested to Halleck that a similar effort be made to rejuvenate Hurlbut’s career: Brigadier General Hurlbut was installed as commander of Benton Barracks (really just an opportunity for Hurlbut to dry out, and regain composure.) A third officer, newly-minted Brigadier General William K. Strong, an outstanding accountant but not a military man, was also installed at Benton Barracks as Commandant of that facility (and benefited from the schooling provided by Sherman to become an effective officer who was placed in command at Cairo in 1862.) Sherman was installed at Paducah, ostensibly to “forward troops and supplies to Grant’s operation against Fort Donelson.” But Sherman was also “allowed” to syphon away sufficient troops to establish his own division. A similar opportunity awaited Hurlbut, who arrived at Fort Donelson just after it surrendered, and was placed “in command of the Post” during U.S. Grants frequent departures to Clarksville (and Nashville.) The Divisions of Sherman and Hurlbut were subsequently advanced to Savannah and Pittsburg Landing in March 1862, under Expedition command of C.F. Smith. Sherman took charge of probes against the M & C Railroad; Hurlbut landed his troops at Pittsburg Landing and went into camp. The amount of “training” provided by BGen Hurlbut is unknown (although Regimental drill was accomplished.) The Third Iowa Infantry, familiar with Hurlbut in Missouri and aware of his alcohol problem, were aghast at his return to command… of THEM. They make mention of their displeasure in letters home during March 1862. Along the way, the 13th Ohio Battery arrived at Pittsburg Landing, and became one of several units that “slipped through the cracks” and remained, unassigned, in vicinity of the bluff overlooking the Tennessee River. As “acting Campground Commander, in temporary absence of the injured C.F. Smith” William T. Sherman was responsible for assigning new units to camps (and should have confirmed their assignment to Brigades and Divisions.) Those command assignments should have been performed by U.S. Grant after 18 March; and anyone that arrived at Pittsburg Landing earlier (under C.F. Smith’s command) should have been identified by Grant (or Sherman) and assigned to a brigade… but many were not. This was not Hurlbut’s problem, as he had no official role in such assignments, or the placing of units not belonging to him, in camp. By available accounts, Myer’s 13th Ohio Battery joined Hurlbut’s Fourth Division, physically, within 48 hours of the Rebel attack on 6 April 1862. With perhaps twenty or twenty-five units of infantry, cavalry and artillery assigned to his division, 48 hours (if Hurlbut knew the attack was coming) was insufficient time to concentrate on ONE unit of artillery, and make sure that one battery was properly trained. There does not appear to have been much opportunity for Live Fire exercises, so observing how the 13th Ohio Battery conducted this activity, from unlimber to fire, and back to limber, would likely not have been possible. On the morning of April 6th with the sound of guns getting louder, Hurlbut detached Veath’s Brigade; then responded to Prentiss’s request for assistance by personally leading what remained of the Fourth Division south. Intending to join Prentiss at his camp, BGen Hurlbut was surprised by masses of Union troops streaming north towards the Landing; Hurlbut halted his advance and threw out a defensive line in order to arrest the advance of Rebels pursuing Prentiss’s fleeing Division. When BGen Prentiss was encountered, in company with two batteries of artillery and making solid effort to reform his shattered division, Hurlbut permitted Prentiss to “pass through his defensive line” and ultimately accorded Prentiss and his troops placement at the extreme right end of Hurlbut’s line (which after the casualty that befell Myer’s Battery was readjusted into a more defensible position, a bit further north.) Prentiss donated a section of guns (Munch’s Minnesota Battery under Peebles) to Hurlbut; one section (Pfaender) was defended by the 14th Iowa Infantry of WHL Wallace shortly after the Second Division joined on Prentiss’s right; and a third section of one gun was briefly defended by the 12th Iowa Infantry before it suffered a casualty and withdrew to the Landing. Hurlbut held his ground; met with U.S. Grant when that officer visited on horseback about 10:15 -10:30; and the Fourth Division shared in the use of the Missouri Light Artillery (positioned just behind the Second Division, firing over the top of the infantrymen 200- 400 yards to their front; but occasionally called forward in sections to provide direct support.) These were Stone’s, Welker’s and Richardson’s Batteries, under supreme command of Major Cavender. Mann and Ross applied their guns more forward of Cavender, in direct support of Hurlbut. (And Hickenlooper supported Prentiss.) And at about 1:30- 2 p.m. Ross’s Michigan Battery was sent to the rear, to their camp, for rest and ammunition (with no instruction to return to the line.) Hurlbut was under increasing enemy pressure, and appears to have made correct adjustments to defend his Division as it conducted a controlled “detachment from engagement” and reposition further north. And it is my belief, based on documents viewed over the years, that Stephen Hurlbut INTENDED to re-establish his line at the new position occupied by Ross’s Battery. But Lindsey’s Cavalry rushed north across ground abandoned by Stuart’s Brigade and arced towards the west… and there was Ross, horses hitched to guns and caissons, unable to take aggressive action. This capture of Ross occurred just before, or simultaneous with Hurlbut’s redeploy north; and Hurlbut continued his withdrawal (which resulted in all but elements of the Third Iowa Regiment making it to safety at the Landing.) The loss of Ross is inadequately explained by Hurlbut; and is part of the reason I believe there was more intended for Ross than merely “rest and re-arm.” Hurlbut took control of men returning to the Landing as they arrived; and assigned them new positions in Grant’s Last Line. Hurlbut fought his Division well; benefited from actions of Lauman and Pugh (and Reed’s 44th Indiana Infantry is often accorded “best performer Day One at Shiloh.”) And Hurlbut successfully redeployed his Division (unlike Prentiss and half of WHL Wallace) and was able to continue the fight. Following the battle, letters written by men of the Third Iowa repeat their suspicions regarding Stephen Hurlbut; but acknowledge that the General had overcome that earlier flaw, and had proven himself to be a Leader they would follow to Hell, if necessary. References: The Bloody Third (3rd Iowa History soon to be released by SDG contributor, Tim Jeffers.) "Stephen A. Hurlbut" by Ozzy, SDG topic of 17 MAY 2015. Letters of William T. Sherman [on file at University of Notre Dame.]
  3. Perhaps most revealing: on page 210 of OR 10 part 1 General Hurlbut admits, "...the transaction [of the 13th Ohio Battery abandoning their post in disarray] was seen by 4000 brave men, who never showed their backs to the enemy..." Knowledge of this unpalatable event would have been witnessed, become subject of camp rumours... and more than passing interest would have prompted fellow soldiers (who stood and fought) to enquire... to demand, "What became of them?" The tragic stampede of the 13th Ohio Battery can be explained, but not excused. To condone such "cowardice" (lack of resolve, dissipating fortitude, failure to hold their post) could be fatal to morale and discipline. However the 13th Ohio Battery ended up in their predicament, the Division commander, BGen Hurlbut, had no choice but to make an example of their unacceptable conduct. Chinese proverb: "Punish one, teach one hundred."
  4. Unsure where this video has been hiding for seven years... only today ran across it. And for those concerned about "lack of emphasis on the Union Right at Shiloh, Day One," this video attempts to address some of the Hornet's Nes... oops... THICKET bias. And John McClernand's "inability to play nicely with others" is revealed as root cause of his problems. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2FGFzBDFErY History Reclaimed: McClernand by Dark Sarcasms 7 APR 2014.
  5. From my reading of the Battle of Shiloh, BGen Hurlbut was required by Sherman to provide him reinforcements: Hurlbut sent Veatch’s Brigade west, and it supported McClernand. BGen Prentiss also requested reinforcement: Hurlbut took personal command of his remaining two brigades and led them south, towards the sound of the guns. Acting-commander Sherman did not order Hurlbut south; and U.S. Grant was yet to arrive by boat from Savannah. BGen Stephen Hurlbut moved his force south, intending to join Prentiss in vicinity of the Sixth Division camps, but Prentiss’ withdrawing men were encountered 1000 or so yards north of Camp Prentiss. So Hurlbut quickly arranged a defensive line to halt the Rebel advance; and that initial defensive line was not ideally placed… Part of that hurried initial placement was Myer’s 13th Ohio Battery. One source indicates Hurlbut ordered the battery into position, expecting it to take advantage of local terrain, and was surprised when Myer went into battery on the wrong side of the crest. Another source states: “General Hurlbut ordered Myer to that exact position.” And another source indicates Hurlbut ordered Myer’s Battery moved forward to the desired position, via orders sent through an aide who brought Myer and his battery up from the rear. Will we ever learn the Truth? Unlikely, due the bias of all the key witnesses and participants. But based upon Stephen Hurlbut’s subsequent actions, at Shiloh and afterwards, I do not believe he intentionally sacrificed Myer and his 13th Ohio: there was either a communication breakdown; or General Hurlbut assumed Captain Myer knew his job better than was actually the case. References: SDG topic “Stephen A. Hurlbut” Major David W. Reed’s “Battle of Shiloh and the Organizations Engaged” OR 10 part 1 page 209 [Hurlbut indicates, “Myer positioned his battery too far forward, so as to lose advantage of the slope.” I believe this refers to “wrong side of the military crest” of a hill, or local prominence: by taking position slightly in rear of the true crest (the military crest) the terrain itself provides some protection from enemy fire.] Page 208 – Stephen Hurlbut: “I ordered Captain Myer to come into battery ON THE REVERSE SLOPE OF A CREST OF GROUND…” (emphasis by Ozzy.) Page 208 – Stephen Hurlbut: “The 13th Ohio was brought forward by repeated orders through my aides.”
  6. Ozzy

    Ex Post Facto

    Having heard it asserted that "Prentiss was not a very good officer" and that "the ill considered actions of General Prentiss in not joining one of the backward movements led to his capture," the following article from Missouri Daily Republican of 16 July 1861 page 2 col. 5 is presented in rebuttal: The men-in-ranks were aware of the seniority games being played in Illinois and Missouri, even before the first encounter between General Benjamin Prentiss and "General" Grant on 17 August 1861.
  7. Ozzy

    New and Improved

    The following video from middle of 2019 is an exemplary sample of tours now conducted at Shiloh NMP making use of corrected terminology. The “Dense Thicket” with its briars, brambles and thorns is finally given pride of place along “This Line” (the temporary name for the poorly identified Sunken Road, which was never really sunken, “just washed out in a few places” with deep wagon ruts, not really useable by infantrymen.) CONGRATULATIONS to everyone who assisted in making these changes come about. As we say in Australia, “I am gobsmacked.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VzvStI2fneY A Shiloh Battle Walk posted by Paul Vivrett 10 SEP 2020
  8. Had a read of the above link a few days ago and have been considering how to respond: 1) A comparison could be made between the after battle treatment given to Myer’s 13th Ohio and Behr’s 6th Indiana (Morton Battery) and why the disparity in treatment occurred. 2) An examination of the Ohio regiments and leaders accused of poor performance (71st Ohio, 13th Ohio Battery, 53rd Ohio, Colonel Thomas Worthington) could be conducted to determine validity of the charges, and who was to blame. 3) An assessment of General Hurlbut’s performance on Sunday 6 April 1862 could be conducted to determine if that leader succeeded or failed (and if he failed, decide if the interaction with Myer’s 13th Ohio Battery was the cause of that failure.) Along which course would you like to proceed?
  9. Ozzy

    Question of Patronage

    Well done Sean Chick! If I can expand on your correct answers: Benjamin Prentiss “had benefit of a politician; not a very good one.” At start of the National Emergency, Illinois Governor Richard Yates appears to have supported Prentiss (sent him to Cairo to command the situation there.) After the death of Senator Stephen Douglas in June 1861, Orville H. Browning was parachuted into the empty Senate seat… and assumed “support” of fellow Quincy resident, Benjamin Prentiss. McClernand was the “Leading Congressman from Illinois” and provided his own patronage; and managed to finagle patronage from President Lincoln (of the opposite political party.) McClernand kept Lincoln appraised of “the real story” regarding operations out West through frequent letters (much in the same way Ulysses Doubleday kept President-elect Lincoln appraised of the situation at Fort Sumter in 1860/61.) These out-of-official channel letters acted as counterpoint to Official Army reports. John A. Logan appears to have benefited from patronage of John McClernand early on; and subsequently received “support” of President Lincoln (because Lincoln needed southern Illinois Democrats to remain loyal to the Union.) Over time, the self-actualized John Logan became his own patron. John Fremont. As first Republican candidate for President (1856) Fremont established a connection with Lincoln after the November 1860 election. Non-West Point army officer and self-made millionaire (actual net worth disputed; but a wealthy man) with strong political connections in Missouri (married into the Democrat Benton Family) Fremont was sent by President Lincoln to Europe as Special Emissary, with mission “to buy up all the serviceable small arms and light artillery pieces available.” These weapons helped arm the North… and Fremont’s purchase took them out of the market for possible sale to the South. For his support, Fremont was anointed Major General and put in command of Department of the West, based at St. Louis.
  10. Had to read through the attachment to “The Western Theatre in the Civil War (The Unlucky 13th at Shiloh)” a couple of times to glean the full story. But, if true, it is damning: Captain Myers reported with his battery to Savannah “about the 20th of March” and was told by the Commanding General [on 20 March 1862 this would be Major General Grant] to “take your company on shore at Pittsburg Landing, and go up on the bank and search out ground for [your] camp wherever [you] please, and wait for further orders.” These orders did not come until early April, when it appears Burrow’s 14th Ohio Battery was transferred from Hurlbut to McClernand, and Myer’s 13th Ohio Battery was assigned to BGen Hurlbut. (Hurlbut indicates the 13th Ohio Battery reported to him for duty on Friday 4 April.) [A similar re-assignment resulted in Munch’s Minnesota Battery and Hickenlooper’s 5th Ohio Battery reporting to BGen Prentiss at about the same time…] As regards the performance of the 13th Ohio Battery on the morning of 6 April 1862 there appears to be a combination of bad luck; poorly considered decision as regards battery placement; and inexperience of the officers and men of the 13th Battery. The lack of familiarity with BGen Hurlbut did not help matters. The hit accomplished by Confederate Artillery (believed to be Robertson’s Alabama) which exploded the ammunition chest likely killed and disabled horses and panicked the men. Such a lucky strike, with resultant thunderous roar and shrapnel, would likely have panicked any green unit: the men of the 13th Ohio Battery were unfortunate that THEIR unit was the one so affected. But, the attempt to “pin the blame” on Stephen Hurlbut was misguided: BGen Hurlbut did not direct Myer’s Ohio Battery to Pittsburg Landing without adequate instructions; and BGen Hurlbut was not responsible for the explosion of the ammunition chest. An excellent, thought-provoking article...
  11. Ozzy

    Henry Stark

    Rbn3 Excellent find! These 1862 letters contain a treasure trove of information IRT conditions at Pittsburg Landing, Leaders (and acting-leaders) and rumours of “Halleck is coming…” (expressed mid-March 1862.) The changed camp ground of 52nd Illinois is of interest; as is Captain Newton’s knowledge of surrounding terrain and neighboring camps. Knowledge of the operation against Island No. 10 and the likelihood of guerrilla war expressed. Interesting mention of “clearing woods and cutting down trees” but no mention of doing anything with the felled timber (think abattis.) Also interesting that Don Newton had "knowledge of all the regiments from Illinois at Pittsburg Landing" but failed to mention the arrival of BGen Benjamin Prentiss. And interesting that Colonel Wilcox was briefly brigade commander. Thanks for sharing these well-written letters! All the best Ozzy
  12. Every successful General benefitted from “patronage” of a political nature: even U.S. Grant and William T. Sherman, while decrying “political generals” had their own political patrons. General Grant had Elihu Washburne; and Sherman had his brother, Senator John Sherman of Ohio, and the politically connected Ewing family. Question: Who were the patrons of the following men? Benjamin Prentiss John McClernand Henry Wager Halleck George B. McClellan Lew Wallace Stephen Hurlbut John A. Logan John Fremont Albert Sidney Johnston Braxton Bragg PGT Beauregard
  13. Nothing was more surprising for me than to realize the strong connection between soldiers engaged at the Battle of Shiloh and the early Rebel occupation of Pensacola Florida: it was as if the Battle for Pensacola was fought on 6 April 1862 in Tennessee. Of the regiments of infantry, artillery and cavalry Braxton Bragg brought north, twelve had significant exposure on the Gulf Coast (Mobile to Pensacola) in MGen Bragg’s area of responsibility. Of the senior commanders and leaders engaged on the Confederate side at Shiloh, at least a dozen had served under Bragg during the previous year. And when it is accepted that five of Bragg’s officers had gained significant night-fighting experience during service in Florida, the potential for “continuing the contest of Sunday, April 6th past sundown” is revealed as very real, with likely outcome “undetermined.” It could have been General Beauregard who was responsible for not finding out the result of a night action at Shiloh; it could have been the introduction of the Federal gunboats; it could have been the tardy resupply of ammunition to the Confederate front line… But, having not been tested, we will never know. What we do know: on May 9th 1862 the public buildings, fortifications, and “everything of potential use to Federal invaders” were put to the torch on Pensacola Bay, in conjunction with Confederate evacuation. Braxton Bragg had lost the Battle for Pensacola in Tennessee and abandoned that strategically essential deepwater port, forever. More Shiloh connections, as well as the importance of Fort Pickens and Pensacola are detailed in my new book: “The Struggle for Pensacola, 1860 – 1862.” Available on Amazon.com since 8 October 2020.
  14. Oliver Boardman entered the Sixth Iowa Volunteer Infantry as Private, and mustered out as Sergeant. A member of Company E, Boardman was attached to the bulk of the regiment that waited for the enemy to come to them; then withdrew north and northeast, maintaining loose contact with Sherman's Fifth Division through most of Day One. And the bulk of the 6th Iowa remained east of Owl Creek throughout Day One. The most interesting unit of the 6th Iowa during April 1862 was Company D. Attached to the single gun of Lieutenant William Mussman (Behr's Morton Indiana Battery) Company D (and Company K) found itself on the wrong side of Owl Creek on April 6th, yet managed to get across Owl Creek in company with Mussman (and it appears the single artillery piece was put to use after the other five pieces belonging to Behr were captured, although details are scant. https://www.nps.gov/civilwar/search-soldiers-detail.htm?soldierId=BC378583-DC7A-DF11-BF36-B8AC6F5D926A Oliver Boardman's entry.
  15. National treasure and esteemed Civil War historian Ed Bearss passed away on 16 September 2020. He was 97. The Marine Corps veteran was known for involvement in furthering knowledge of Fort Donelson and the Vicksburg Campaign, but Ed Bearss wrote accurate, detailed papers on wide-ranging aspects of the Civil War (most recently an excellent paper describing the Battle of Santa Rosa Island near Pensacola Florida was uncovered.) And the involvement of Ed Bearss in raising of USS Cairo, now on permanent display at Vicksburg, is not to be forgotten. The family requests that those interested in commemorating Ed's legacy make a contribution to The American Battlefield Trust: http://Www.battlefields.org/remembering-Ed-Bearss.
  16. 1776 Project Several years ago mention was made of the approaching 250th Commemorations of the Founding of America as an independent nation. Today, President Trump signed the 2020 Constitution Day Proclamation establishing the 1776 Project, commencing the program of 250th Anniversary recognition: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pt8NLUWAYU4 The White House post of 17 SEP 2020. The Civil War was a Constitutional crisis; and the Battle of Shiloh was one important episode in the resolution of that crisis.
  17. Great find on L. D. Sandidge (there are any number of undiscovered gems yet to be revealed in the Southern Historical Society Papers.) What makes Sandidge's report compelling: he was one of a very few men who rode from the extreme left to the extreme right during the Battle of Shiloh; acquiring a better feel for the events of 6 and 7 April 1862 than Beauregard, or even Albert Sidney Johnston. On the Federal side, only Grant and one or two of his staff officers accomplished a similar feat. There's nothing like “being there” to gain an appreciation for the lay of the land.
  18. Edmund H. Cummins of the Maryland Line, Virginia State Forces from May 1861, subsequently incorporated in the PACS as Engineer officer, was assigned to General PGT Beauregard after Bull Run (CSA Staff Officers page 39.) In Roman's biography of General Beauregard (page 158) it is claimed that “First Lieutenant Cummins was to be given command of the Rocket Company” [the rockets appear to have been intended as a signal device.] When the Rocket Company was disallowed by Richmond, now-Captain Cummins continued on as member of Beauregard's staff [Signals Officer.] An interesting Letter dated 20 OCT 1861 from General Beauregard to President Davis concerns the General's desire for a Rocket Company; and questions SecWar Judah Benjamin's authority to disallow Beauregard's request. Unfortunately, this Letter was sent during the Beauregard vs. Davis dispute regarding “credit for success at Bull Run; blame for lack of pursuit to Washington” and did not elicit a favorable response from President Davis. When General Beauregard departed Virginia for Kentucky, meeting General Albert Sidney Johnston at Bowling Green early February 1862 [see Letter of 30 JAN 1862, Roman pages 492 - 493] he brought Captain Edmund Cummins along. Initially, it was intended for PGT Beauregard to replace MGen Polk as commander of Fort Columbus; then it was decided (by General A.S. Johnston) that Polk would remain in command of Fort Columbus, under command of General Beauregard. And Beauregard's assignment was formalized as responsibility for “The Department of the Mississippi” [usually indicated as Army of the Mississippi] between Johnston's Department No.2 and MGen Van Dorn's Trans-Mississippi. Island No.10 and New Madrid fell under Beauregard's purview; so when Fort Columbus was evacuated, key staff of Beauregard (Trudeau and Captain Cummins) were initially sent to Island No.10 to assist with developing the strong defence there. But, both James de Berty Trudeau and Edmund Cummins were withdrawn from Island No.10 before that position collapsed. And both officers were present at Battle of Shiloh [see General Beauregard's Shiloh Battle Report page 6: “Captain Cummins, signal officer, was also actively employed as a staff officer both days.”] Still investigating what were the duties performed by Captain Cummins and his team at Shiloh...
  19. Confederate Signals Although technically assigned to General Beauregard, it appears Captain E. H. Cummins may have acted as Signals Officer for the Army of the Mississippi at Shiloh. What were his duties? What tools and other resources (manpower) did he use? This is in early stages of investigation. But a book recently uncovered, Military Memoirs of a Confederate (1907) identifies the man at the top of the Confederate Signals Department early in the war: Captain (later Brigadier General) Edward Porter Alexander. [E. P. Alexander was an associate of Major A. J. Myer before the war, and assisted with development of U.S. military signals.] With a little effort, the tasks performed by Rebel Signals Operators at Shiloh and Corinth may be revealed. https://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/000454546 Military Memoirs of a Confederate by BGen Edward P. Alexander (1907). [On pages 15 - 16 Alexander outlines the tasks and difficulties of laying out Signal Stations preparatory to Battle of (First) Manassas.] N.B. Of general interest: Edward P. Alexander was offered command of the Confederate Signal Corps, but declined, preferring to remain in the field. The position was subsequently awarded to William Norris, who held the rank of Major for the bulk of the war; and who established the Confederate Secret Service as a component of the Signal Corps, with direct links to Secretary of State Judah Benjamin and a network of agents operating as far north as Montreal Canada. The Confederate Secret Service with its Maryland Line [secure communications] and links to Mosby and other action agents is still not fully understood... but more information is revealed every day.
  20. What if... Farragut was supposed to take possession of Vicksburg, like he did at Natchez; Farragut miss-read his orders/ did not get clarification for “what to do after taking control of the Prime Objective of New Orleans” Farragut did not realize the bluffs at Vicksburg were so high; Farragut, not realizing the height of Vicksburg's bluffs, sent the weapon that could have engaged the top of those bluffs – David Dixon Porter's mortar schooners – away out of the Mississippi to “await further orders at Ship Island” (and Porter employed those mortars against Forts Gaines and Morgan, and mostly expended all the remaining, hard-to-replace 126-pound explosive shells) Farragut left his infantry force (commanded by MGen Benjamin Butler) behind in New Orleans/ Algiers instead of bringing him north, up the Mississippi River (as suggested in Butler's orders) Farragut, by not chasing the Rebels away from Vicksburg; and by not landing 14000 men under Butler at Vicksburg, missed an opportunity (mentioned in Butler's orders) to take not only Vicksburg, but launch Butler east towards Jackson Mississippi, where Butler's force was supposed to act as “anvil” to Halleck's “hammer” and Beauregard's Rebels “the piece being worked” ...and with every likelihood, end Rebellion in the West; The linch-pin that brought the whole program (above) unstuck was President Lincoln removing McClellan from his role as “General in Chief of the Army” in March 1862 and assuming that role himself (with assist from Edwin Stanton); and no one realized that Farragut and Butler had not received clarification of their orders (originally issued by McClellan.) Wouldn't that be a tragic tale for the Union... if true?
  21. The computer I am presently using is slightly more than a year old, purchased after my previous, four year old computer froze up on me (and took everything not backed up on memory stick.) Reviewing my notes, in April, May, June 2018 I was seeking information on Braxton Bragg; and was particularly curious why the General never got around to writing Memoirs... and discovered those works were in the pipeline (to be assisted/ ghost written by E. T. Sykes.) And somewhere during the course of investigation, that brief report by Captain Sykes relating to the Battle of Shiloh popped up... But it was one of those files I had not backed up, and lost on the hard drive with the old computer. And the only details I can recall: the article was written about 1873; it seems to have been submitted to General Bragg; there were two or three such reports written by E. T. Sykes about other battles he participated in (but because they were not Shiloh, I did not copy those.) Sorry I cannot be of more help... Ozzy
  22. I revisit this topic to remind everyone that Patton Anderson (who Braxton Bragg stated "was his best friend") was the original subject (of a Quiz topic in June 2018.) But, there is more to reveal... Because, the Patton Anderson - Braxton Bragg connection was discovered while searching for "potential ghost writers approached to assist with construction of Braxton Bragg's Memoirs." So, without further ado, those three men: Kinloch Falconer (approached in about 1870) William Thomas Walthall (approached after 1870, but went on to assist Jefferson Davis with Rise & Fall of the Confederacy) Edward Turner Sykes (approached by Bragg after Kinloch Falconer, it appears E.T. Sykes, Adjutant for the 10th Mississippi at Shiloh and briefly on the Staff of Patton Anderson, was the man selected to "assist" with Bragg's Memoirs. Volumes of documents were provided to Major Sykes... but for some reason, nothing except a few "sketches" ever eventuated, one of which was posted a day or two ago on SDG as "The 10th Mississippi Story"). Always more to the story... Ozzy [See next post...]
  23. Ozzy

    Seat of War Map

    Copy of photograph taken from site of house used by BGen McClernand as HQ building (which was destroyed after Battle of Fort Donelson.) Image found in Battles and Leaders of the Civil War (p.400) published by The Century Company (1887).
  24. Well Done on finding this information; and Thanks for providing a link to the Diary. The view of the conflict (the entire War) from a Southern perspective is enlightening. And it further verifies the Truth that, “We claim we know everything about Shiloh” ...at our peril. [On review of the Diary, there are interesting idiosyncrasies: the description of “Ellsworth vs. Jackson” at Alexandria May 1861; the labelling of Action of 18 July 1861 as Battle of Bull Run (a common mistake during the first few days following the engagement, which was later termed “Battle of Blackburn's Ford”); the adjustment of arrival times in Kentucky in SEP 1861 making it appear as if the Federals took Paducah before the Rebels took Hickman and Columbus; ignoring the result of Grant vs. Floyd/Pillow/Buckner at Fort Donelson on 16 FEB 1862...] And another reference (ongoing research) to Daniel Beltzhoover: https://www.emmitsburg.net/archive_list/articles/history/civil_war/belzhoover.htm
  25. 8 SEP 1861 Action at Fort Columbus As is known, BGen U.S. Grant took possession of Paducah on 6 SEP 1861 (and as Hank likes to say, “the War went downhill for the Confederacy from there” ...or words to that effect.) Less well known, the Rebel force that invaded Kentucky from the South, taking Hickman and the heights at Columbus, still were potential threat to Grant's small force at Paducah. What to do? Before dawn on 8 SEP 1861 BGen Grant directed Commander Stembel (Gunboat Lexington) to support an expedition under command of Colonel G. Waagner to Rebel-occupied Columbus and determine the enemy strength. The gunboat Conestoga (Lieutenant-Commanding Phelps) joined enroute from Cairo and the two gunboats closed the Rebel position and drew fire from artillery mounted on the bluff. Then CDR Stembel threw several shells into Lucas Bend... and as if by magic, two Rebel gunboats appeared. The Federal gunboats withdrew, chased briefly by one of the Rebel boats; Lexington and Conestoga were back at Cairo before noon. By this action and observation, the force at what became Fort Columbus was estimated as 2000 men and six pieces of artillery... not enough to threaten Paducah. The two Illinois infantry regiments and Willard's Battery (in total, about 2000 men) were deemed sufficient, for the moment. But just to be sure, Isaac Pugh's 41st Illinois Infantry was sent to Paducah on September 8th. Reference: OR (Navy) vol.22 pages 326 – 329.
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