Jump to content
Shiloh Discussion Group


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Billy1977 last won the day on October 17 2016

Billy1977 had the most liked content!

Community Reputation

27 Excellent

About Billy1977

  • Rank

Profile Information

  • Occupation
  • Interests
    Civil War and World War II

Recent Profile Visitors

1,131 profile views
  1. Ozzy, thank you so much buddy. You are a fountain of information my friend. My gosh you're able to dig up some neat stuff!
  2. Does anyone have a picture of Col. C. Carroll Marsh? I cannot find a picture of that man anywhere. He was eventually promoted to brigadier general if that helps, though the appointment was later withdrawn. He came up through the 20th Illinois Infantry eventually becoming its colonel before eventual promotion to brigadier general. He was born in Oswego, New York but must have moved in childhood to Illinois I suppose.
  3. Hello everybody, I'm finally getting around to going to the Shiloh battlefield tomorrow. Never been there before. Does anyone who has been there have any advice on the best way to see the battlefield? Maybe starting in the southwest of the battle area and working my way northeast?
  4. Thanks RWaller, so it seems like he's saying it was Forrest's Tennessee cavalry. Interesting. In the time since I posted this question I have gotten two other different answers from two other sources. In looking in O. Ed Cunningham's book Shiloh and the Western Campaign of 1862 he says on page 146 that it was Brewer's Alabama-Mississippi cavalry battalion that was screening the front of S.A.M. Wood's brigade and fired the three warning shots. And I called the Shiloh National Military Park and asked this question and the lady at the desk said "That's a very good question, let me put you on hold and ask someone" so she did, and a couple of minutes later she came back on the line and said that she asked the park's chief historian Stacy Allen and he said that while there is no definite record saying conclusively which cavalry unit provided the vedettes who fired the warning shots, Mr. Allen is fairly well convinced it was most likely Capt. Isaac Avery's Georgia Mountain Dragoons. Which is the conclusion I had come to first because Avery's Georgian dragoons were the only cavalry unit in or attached to S.A.M. Wood's brigade. Brewer's cavalry for example was unattached to any division and was in Polk's I Corps answering directly to Polk. In Brewer's after-action report he says and I quote "Sunday morning, with my three companies (one having been taken by the major-general for escort) I took my position, as ordered, on the left flank of Major-General Polk's corps. We were there engaged skirmishing with the skirmishers of the enemy, while Colonel Russell, commanding brigade, was advancing, capturing 25 or 30 and killing and wounding others." http://ebooks.library.cornell.edu/cgi/t/text/pageviewer-idx?c=moawar;cc=moawar;idno=waro0010;node=waro0010%3A3;view=image;seq=479;size=100;page=root This is probably what made Cunningham think it was Brewer's cavalry that were the vedettes in question, as it says "we were there engaged skirmishing with the skirmishers of the enemy", however later in the same sentence Brewer gives a time reference in saying "while Colonel Russell... was advancing". Also note that he says his cavalry was deployed on the left flank of Polk's corps. Polk's corps was behind Hardee's corps that morning, and because of that Russell's brigade wasn't advancing and engaging the federals until the battle was well underway (well after Cleburne's brigade and Anderson's brigade had attacked Hildebrand's bde. of Sherman's division). So I seriously doubt that Cunningham is correct in saying it was Brewer's Alabama-Mississippi cavalry. Further confirming this time estimate is Russell's after-action report in which he thoroughly describes first the attack by his brigade against Hildebrand's brigade of Sherman's division and then goes on to say "Just at this time the troops on the right were seen to retire. I rode down the line to ascertain the cause. ... was informed they had orders to fall back. This compelled me to retire a short distance, having first sent Colonel Brewer, who happened to pass by at the time, with his cavalry, to watch the movements of the concealed force" (which Russell had discovered hiding in the bushes and was unsure as to its identity). http://ebooks.library.cornell.edu/cgi/t/text/pageviewer-idx?c=moawar;cc=moawar;idno=waro0010;node=waro0010%3A3;view=image;seq=434;size=100;page=root So if Brewer's cavalry was just then passing by Russell's brigade it is basically impossible that it could have been the vedettes which fired the warning shots. Regarding Forrest's Tennessee cavalry, Maj. D.W. Reed's Battle of Shiloh and Organizations Engaged has the "Wizard of the Saddle" and his horsemen guarding Greer's Ford on Lick Creek on the far right of the Confederate line (pg. 88) where it says "Forrest's (Tennessee) regiment was guarding the fords of Lick Creek until about 2.30 p.m. Sunday, when it arrived on the field and supported the left of the Twenty-sixth Alabama in the thick wood west of Peach Orchard. Clanton's (Alabama) regiment moved down the Bark road to Lick Creek, and then down the banks of the Tennessee River, guarding the right flank of the army all day Sunday. Wharton's Texas Rangers was on the left and at about 4.30 p.m. Sunday made a charge at Cavalry Field; was repulsed and Wharton wounded. ... Adams's (Mississippi) cavalry was at ford of Lick Creek until 2.30 p.m. Sunday, then in reserve." Now the day before Forrest's cavalry might have been tasked with patrolling over there on the (Confederate) left of the line and they could have been who the 77th Ohio men saw. But apparently for the battle itself starting on 6 April Forrest's cavalry was assigned to guard the ford on Lick Creek until at least in the afternoon of Sunday. Because of 1.) Avery's Georgia cavalry being the cavalry attached to S.A.M. Wood's brigade and 2.) the chief historian at Shiloh National Military Park seems to think Avery's Georgia dragoons were the vedettes in question I'm definitely leaning towards them being Avery's men.
  5. Thanks Hank! That's just the kind of answer I was looking for. If it was good enough for Ed Bearss it's good enough for me. 5:40 sounds about right.
  6. Hello everybody, I was wondering if anyone knows when exactly the sun came up that morning? Would it be the same time as it would be on 6 April 2016 except for an hour's difference because they didn't have Daylight Savings Time back then? Or would an Old Farmer's Almanac have it? Many thanks in advance.
  7. Hello everybody, I have read of rebel cavalry vedettes operating out to the front of the forwardmost pickets of S.A.M. Wood's brigade in the early morning hours of 6 April '62 but have never read where anyone elaborated further on that and specified what unit they were from. I'm talking about the fellows who first saw Powell's recon patrol and fired three warning shots before turning their mounts and riding away. I had been thinking they were some of Avery's Georgia Mountain Dragoons (as they were assigned to Wood's brigade) but in reading Avery's after-action report it seems that while on the night of 4/5 April his dragoons were performing that function (in addition to screening the front of Shaver's brigade) he seems to say that on the morning of the 6th he was awaiting orders from Gen. Hardee http://ebooks.library.cornell.edu/cgi/t/text/pageviewer-idx?c=moawar;cc=moawar;idno=waro0010;node=waro0010%3A3;view=image;seq=630;size=100;page=root so does anybody know what cavalry unit was tasked with screening the front of S.A.M. Wood's brigade in the early morning hours of 6 April? Many thanks in advance.
  8. Well, while O. Edward Cunningham's book Shiloh and the Western Campaign of 1862 cites the "Capt. Fox warning them" story on pg. 153, for his part Wiley Sword doesn't mention in his book Shiloh: Bloody April the Capt. Fox story, and instead on pg. 150 he concludes that all four companies (A, B, C and D) were back in camp eating breakfast, B, C and D returning first from their picket patrols and Co. A returning last (with the bodies of Saxe and Williams.) Which would mean it would make no sense for Capt. Fox to be running into camp saying "Co. A is fighting! Let's go help them!" if Co. A was back in camp already. Sword however incorrectly claims that Woodyard was soon reinforced with three companies of the 16th Wisconsin when it is known (both from Woodyard's report and Reed's Battle of Shiloh and the Organizations Engaged) that it was in fact four companies of the 16th Wisconsin that reinforced Woodyard, not three. If the Capt. Fox story is apocryphal then I think Sword's version is largely correct.
  9. Hello Jim, first please let me say thank you for responding to my question. Secondly, Wiley Sword says in his Shiloh: Bloody April on page 156 that all but Company A had returned to camp and were eating breakfast (because Co. A was or had just been fighting alongside Moore's relief column). In checking his source for this I see on page 481 he cites David Lloyd Jones's account "The Battle of Shiloh, Reminiscences of David Lloyd Jones" on page 56. I think I have a solution that ticks all the boxes. What I now believe happened was 1.) Before Capt. Saxe's Co. A started falling back with the bodies of Saxe and Williams somehow Capt. Fox of Co. B discovered that Co. A was fighting and alerted them at camp, "Hey, Company A is fighting, let's go help them" or something like that. 2.) Co. A starts falling back as described above. 3.) Because Companies B, C and D had (like A) been on picket that early morning they were the most ready, because they were already awake and dressed, and needed only to grab their gear and muskets and fall in whereas the other six companies of the 16th Wisconsin probably still needed to get dressed and get their shoes on. So Cos. B, C and D move out before any of the rest of the 16th Wisconsin, and on their way forward they run into the late Capt. Saxe's Co. A withdrawing 4.) Company A turns around again and joins Companies B, C and D in returning to the front and thus Woodyard says he was then assisted by four companies of the 16th Wisconsin that came up 5.) Maybe when the Woodyard-Powell-Cos. A, B, C and D/16th Wisconsin force fell back those four companies rejoined the balance of the 16th Wisc. at its line on the timbered rise about 80 rods in front of their camp where Col. Allen says his regiment was.
  10. Hello everybody, I have a question about the actions of the 16th Wisconsin on the morning of 6 April. Now I think the general consensus is that one of its companies, Company A led by Capt. Edward Saxe, was returning from its picket station at the same time that Col. Moore was leading the relief column forward to assist Powell, and that on Moore's orders Saxe's company fell in with his relief column, Saxe being given the choice of falling in on the right or left, with Saxe choosing the right. When the combined force advanced across Seay Field and was fired upon, the initial volley killing Capt. Saxe and Sgt. John Williams of Company A, a skirmish developed but once the shooting petered out and it was felt that the skirmish was over Powell's patrol as well as Company A/16th Wisc. withdrew carrying the bodies of Saxe and Williams in gum blankets. All that is pretty much agreed upon. Now is where things get complicated. According to the after-action report of Col. Benjamin Allen, commander of the 16th Wisconsin, he was alerted at his tent by Prentiss who ordered him to get his regiment in line, and he did so and they moved forward 80 rods (~440 yds.) to the front of their camp and waited there in a thicket in line of battle. http://ebooks.library.cornell.edu/cgi/t/text/pageviewer-idx?c=moawar;cc=moawar;idno=waro0010;node=waro0010%3A2;view=image;seq=303;size=100;page=root The problem is that according to Lt. Col. Woodyard's report (replacing the wounded Col. Moore) when his 21st Missouri was in position facing the rebels by itself temporarily, after the withdrawal of Saxe's company and Powell's patrol, he was soon joined by four companies of the 16th Wisconsin, which he says arrived without their field officers. He specifically mentions there being four companies of that regiment that arrived to assist him after his regiment had been left by itself, not the whole regiment coming up at once and falling in beside him. http://ebooks.library.cornell.edu/cgi/t/text/pageviewer-idx?c=moawar;cc=moawar;idno=waro0010;node=waro0010%3A2;view=image;seq=301;size=100;page=root For his part, Col. Allen makes no mention of four of his companies already having gone forward when he assembled (the balance of) his regiment on Prentiss's orders. Reading his report gives one the impression his entire regiment was assembled and then went forward as a whole. He doesn't say this in so many words but he neglects to mention four companies being already in line before he was aware of it, probably (in my opinion) an omission due to not wanting to admit that four of his companies were already up in line ready to fight before he was even aware of it. That would be kind of embarrassing I suppose. Nevertheless it distorts the picture by making it seem like his whole regiment was assembled and brought forward at the same time. Apparently four of his companies were already assisting Woodyard, and my guess would be that it was the four companies of the 16th Wisconsin which had been assigned picket duty that morning (one of which was Saxe's Company A). What follows is, according to the best I can figure, what most likely occurred with the 16th Wisconsin that morning. This is not carved in stone, this is just the best that I can come up with for what the 16th Wisconsin was doing. 1.) Capt. Saxe's Company A joins Moore's relief column, fights alongside it until it appears the skirmish is over then withdraws carrying the bodies of Saxe and Williams; Companies B, C and D (I think) were the other three companies on picket that morning but apparently they must have come back to camp by a slightly different route than Saxe's company because just about all accounts have only Company A/16th Wisc. spotting Moore's column and falling in with it. Anyway while Company A was going back to the front with Moore's column Companies B, C and D were going back to camp. 2.) The four companies (including the late Saxe's Company A) were back in camp eating breakfast when alerted to the (larger) danger of a larger attack than just a skirmish, and those four companies, including the late Saxe's Company A, are the four companies which Woodyard reported as coming up to assist him. According to the War Papers Read Before the Commandery of the State of Wisconsin, Loyal Legion of the United States it says on pg. 54 that it was Capt. Fox of Company B, 16th Wisc. who came running into camp and alerted the other companies which had been on picket but were now eating breakfast. https://books.google.com/books?id=5-ASAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA51&lpg=PA51&dq=D.+Lloyd+Jones+The+Battle+of+Shiloh+Reminiscences+of+D.+Lloyd+Jones&source=bl&ots=qLOHYrCYUC&sig=N8IACawCUYQZnr4Ux5H2pi0r67U&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwii_aiE_tvPAhVJ2yYKHX93BvkQ6AEIHDAA#v=onepage&q&f=false 3.) As these four companies head to the front to assist Woodyard Prentiss finds Col. Benjamin Allen at his tent and orders him to get (the balance of) his regiment in the line. 4.) Allen brings the remaining companies of the 16th Wisconsin forward and the four companies that had been in picket then on line earlier reunite with the balance of the regiment about 80 rods in front of their camp where Allen says his regiment formed in line of battle to await their enemy's appearance. Does that sound right to you all? The only problem with this version of events is Capt. Fox of Company B yelling "Company A is fighting and we must go and help them!" which makes me wonder what time this was happening, since Company A returned to camp with the bodies of Saxe and Williams and was eating breakfast along with the other three companies that had been on picket as near as I can tell, rather than still being in the line. This version doesn't account for the withdrawal of Saxe's Company A and then Company A as well as B, C and D then coming forward to assist Woodyard. Fox made it sound like Company A was still in the line. Not sure. What do you folks think?
  11. Thanks Ozzy!! That's exactly what I was looking for. I had been trying to picture in my mind Raith's brigade making this oblique right movement and couldn't wrap my mind around what the 17th Illinois was supposed to be doing. This makes sense. Thanks again.
  12. Ozzy, I was wondering, when Raith's brigade made its "oblique right" pivot to try to link up with Marsh's brigade, you said the 17th Illinois held steady and the other three regiments rotated counterclockwise out of the ravine. I'm wondering, did the 17th Illinois, though holding its position where it was, turn somewhat to shift its front to match the fronts of the other three regiments? Otherwise Raith's line would have looked like an elbow, with the 17th Illinois still facing the original direction, kind of south-southwest, and the other three regiments bent back facing east, right?
  13. Roger, you're most welcome. The only other information I can think of to give you about the 77th Ohio you probably already have, that they were armed with Belgian muskets. From Shiloh: Conquer or Perish by Tim Smith: "Major Fearing in the 77th Ohio noted that the Confederate attack came 'with a rush and a shout,' and for a time it shook part of the 77th Ohio, which had a difficult enough time with their ponderous Belgian rifles. Indeed, one of the Ohioans commented that the regiment "was not in line of battle more than five minutes before the rebels opened fire on us" Still, they fought well. "We mowed them down by hundreds," Fearing wrote home, "and drove them back over the run they leaving many of their comrades behind." The Ohioans followed the retreating Confederates part of the way, retaking some of the ground they had earlier held, but the regiment soon returned "to our old position on the brow of the hill"." Besides that there is Ohio at Shiloh, the report of the commission for the Shiloh battlefield park. It covers every Ohio regiment that fought there and tells a little about them here on page 42. https://archive.org/stream/ohioatshilohrepo00lcohio#page/42/mode/2up It says that it had been so reduced by the casualties at Shiloh and by sickness that after the two-day battle the regiment numbered barely 200 men and 13 officers. Nevertheless it participated in the halfhearted pursuit on 8 April that ended at Fallen Timbers.
  14. Ozzy, as far as I know Munch's 1st Minnesota Battery wasn't even part of Sherman's division but rather Prentiss's. It shows it here https://archive.org/stream/battleofshilohor00unit#page/28/mode/2up on pg. 29 of D.W. Reed's Battle of Shiloh and Organizations Engaged along with Hickenlooper's battery as making up the artillery component of Prentiss's small division. If I recall correctly Munch's battery fought alongside Hickenlooper's battery in the initial fighting of Prentiss's division before that division was basically swept aside by the Confederate advance. I think only about 500 to 600 of Prentiss's surviving effectives rallied with him in the Hornet's Nest, soon joined by some Missouri regiment that literally just got off the boat.
  • Create New...