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Rbn3

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Everything posted by Rbn3

  1. The Townshend Acts were passed in 1767 - that was the start of the whole thing. Unless you count the Stamp Act. On the other hand I prefer starting with the Treaty of Paris of 1763 since that was when the English started piling on Colonial taxes to pay their 7 Years War debt.
  2. Rbn3

    Zollicoffer's Brigade

    Walter (or Winfield?) Scott Stratham
  3. Rbn3

    Diary from the 3rd Iowa

    Ozzy, You may have seen this. Clay Crawford was not at Shiloh but he was imprisoned with Prentiss, et al. Not as good a read as Falling through the Hornet's Nest, but it does offer A Perffect Picture of Hell though the eyes of the Devil himself. Lawson, Lewis A., 2103, A Rogue’s Life: R. Clay Crawford, Prison Escapee, Union Army Officer, Pretend Millionaire, Phony Physician and the Most Respected Man in Macon, Georgia McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers. Kindle Edition.
  4. Rbn3

    A Message sent by Steamer

    Many years ago I started purchasing the Papers of U.S. Grant as they were issued. Volume 5 came out in 1973 at a price of $15 ($85.21 in 2017 dollars http://www.dollartimes.com/inflation/inflation.php?amount=15&year=1973). I also once had a complete, though mixed, set (126 volumes) of the OR, most bound in calf, plus the atlas set. I recently downloaded for free volume 5 in 15 seconds. I was (and still am) a book collector of sorts with a poor focus. From a financial point of view I would have been much better off collecting buggy whips. The footnote to the "heavy firing" letter of the 6th indicates that Buell made no mention of receipt of that letter in his Report of April 15th, 1862 or in the Century Review article 23 years later. The footnote also states that Buell "implied" he had no contact with Grant until getting to Pittsburg Landing, but also states that in the Century Review Buell said he received the "Commanding Officer" letter while aboard the steamboat en route. The irony is that on the 5th Grant wrote to Buell "The enemy is at and near Corinth are probably from 60 to 80 thousand. Information not reliable.[emphasis added}" Then, after hearing the cannons early the next morning Grant wrote he "...did not believe the attack could be made before Monday or Tuesday."
  5. Rbn3

    A Message sent by Steamer

    Brands' book (2013, p 180) quotes the April 6th letter/order extensively. Brand gives me the impression that he believed the order was written from Savannah, though Brand's narrative is not precisely referenced and seems to me to be drawn from both the order quoted by Buell and Grant's Memoirs. Brand quotes Grant "I had been looking for this..." as if this quote comes from his order to Buell, but that sentence does not appear there. If Grant had been looking for the attack "on monday or tuesday" he sure wasn't looking much on Sunday. Grant's use of the future tense "will be" ("...my headquarters will be in the log building...") suggests he was not on the field at the time the letter was written. Now I would parse "will be found" as being consistent with his presence, but he did not add "found". There are no inflected forms for the future in English (nothing like those -ed or -s endings in the other tenses). Instead, the future tense employs the helping verbs will or shall with the base form of the verb: She will leave soon. We shall overcome. Grant's writing style in his Memoirs and elsewhere was very succinct. Gertrude Stein, partly because of Grant's simple, direct writing style, called Grant's Memoirs "One of the ten best books ever written by an American" while comparing it to Caesar's Commentaries. Edmund Wilson also praised Memoirs very highly. Where besides in Century is the letter/order reproduced? Buell may have edited it.
  6. Rbn3

    Impression of Grant

    http://www.grantunderfire.com/the-book/bibliography/ This is the excellent bibliography from Joe Rose's book.
  7. Rbn3

    Buell meets Grant

    One of Grant's major flaws was his sometimes irrational loyalty to certain subordinates. Rawlins and Rowley were Galena cronies. Some say "...if you shot Rawlins in the head you would blow Grant's brains out." Rawlins was a self taught lawyer with no military experience but with some formal education (he briefly attended the Mount Morris Academy that was also the alma mater of some accomplished Illinoisans.) Conversely, once Grant formed a negative opinion of a subordinate no amount of evidence that controverted his initial impression could sway him to reconsider. As a youth the story was told of Grant that while on a journey if he got lost he would never retrace a step but preferred to take a longer and more circuitous route onward. Two beneficiaries of Grant's sometimes blind loyalty were Sherman and Sheridan. Two victims were of Grant's immutable stubbornness were Lew Wallace and G.K. Warren.
  8. The small museum at Cowpens, SC, has a topographical 3d map with numerous embedded tiny LED's programmed to show movements of units as the narrative describes them. The low swale that Morgan used to form his regulars and to hide his cavalry and reform his militia that had feigned a panicky rout is a key feature when visualizing his defense-in-depth and subsequent double envelopment of Tarleton's entire force (86% casualties for the British, about 1% for the Patriots). The technology is primitive but thoughtfully used. Of course the Battle of Cowpens lasted less then an hour and the two forces were each less than 1500 men. The artillery is depicted (two small bore British "grasshoppers" whose artillerists were knocked out early by Patriot sharpshooters). Shiloh would be a mammoth video project that could not make money, but passionate enthusiasts will devote time and money that seems insane to everyone except the similarly afflicted.
  9. Rbn3

    Henry Stark

    Henry Stark was a merchant from Sycamore Illinois. The "founding Colonel" of the the 52nd Illinois Infantry Regiment was Judge Isaac G. Wilson from Geneva, Illinois. Wilson resigned before 1861 ended because of illness. Also, John Christopher of the U.S. Army, who mustered the 52nd, threatened to turn the judge over to a grand jury for overcharging the government for horses bought for the local calvary regiment. (see Fold3) https://www.fold3.com/image/299554224 Major Henry Stark and Lt. Col. Wilcox signed a letter claiming fraud over rations before leaving for Missouri. (see Fold3) At Shiloh Wilcox was home sick and Stark was in command when the 6th dawned. By the afternoon Stark was "relieved" by Col. Sweeny from command. He resigned a few weeks later. The stories were that he was "injured" on the movement forward, possibly by a "falling limb" (not impossible given the descriptions of trees being felled by cannon fire). Anybody know anything more? There are hints that Stark lost his nerve, not a mortal sin, imho, given what he must have seen on the way forward. He did not return to service. But having a leaderless regiment in the chaos did not help the Union cause.
  10. Absent real time aerial video surveillance it will be difficult to achieve precision as to where regiments were located. Many were simply shattered and some were leaderless. Take, for example, the 52nd Illinois (The Lincoln Regiment) that had the highest number of killed and wounded of the six regiments in Wallace's Third Brigade, yet their camp was the farthest from the initial points of contact. Their Colonel (Sweeny) was made last minute Brigade Commander, their Lt Colonel (Wilcox) had been ordered to Chicago "on business" and their Major (Stark) was either sick, injured, or spooked very early in the day. No one made an official report. We know where the 8th Iowa and the 58th Illinois ended up on Sunday as most of the survivors were captured with Prentiss near Hell's Hollow. It seems many small groups and individuals were separated and then fought with whomever was closest. Sweeny "volunteered" to take a ravine for Sherman, leaving Wallace to wonder where he was. Apparently he was never in the ravine. At least some of the shirkers pulled themselves together and went back to the action. But I agree with Ozzie, a more detailed animated map (or set of alternative maps depicting alternatives where uncertainly is high) is both informationally and technically possible. If such a map could also show topography and things like roads, camps, field hospitals, etc plus locations of at least General officers at various times, the Battle would be better understood by amateurs like me.
  11. Rbn3

    Henry Stark

    The letters do indicate that a "dispatch" (her word) had reached Mary Prindle Newton about Stark being a "coward" (her word). She writes that "you had mentioned nothing about it" or to that effect. (Captain Newton signed letters as "Don" and she addressed him as "Carl" - his name was Don Carlos Newton (apparently no relation to the general with the same given and middle names). None of this is of much importance, except that it might be an example of the belief of many that the "honorable" way to handle such issues was through silence. This seemed true among both officers and enlisted men. Mrs. Starck traveled with Lois Wilcox to St. Joseph, Mo. in January 1862 and spent some time in the camp of the 52nd, according to the Gazette's correspondent in the 52nd. These visits were quite common. Mrs. Wallace was at Shiloh in time to be with him at his death. Belle Reynolds is another famous example. Mrs. Grant was often with the General, etc.
  12. Rbn3

    Henry Stark

    J.H. Mayborne was the enrolling officer for Kane County...April 1862 was a bad month for him. He later was paymaster in St. Louis. Among the mug shots you will see Farnsworth, A Wilcox, and I.G. Wilson who recruited the 52nd.
  13. Rbn3

    Henry Stark

    Ironies again. From the Batavia Hist site: "James P. Prindle (1841 – 1916), of Batavia, Illinois, served as a Sergeant in the 52nd Illinois Infantry, Company D. He enlisted in September 1861 at age 21, in the same regiment as his brothers Jason R. Prindle and Legore Prindle, and his brother-in-law D. C. Newton. He took part in the Battle of Pittsburg Landing (Battle of Shiloh). He was discharged an invalid in July 1862, after falling ill with measles, mumps, and fever. " I feel like I know the Prindle brothers almost personally. For about 25 years I worked at the desk used by James P Prindle's son, James Prindle, Jr. Junior (born 1876) was the book keeper for the US Windmill Company (Batavia had several wndmill factories) and when he retired he took the desk home. It is a huge walnut roll top with secret compartments and drawers with a matching walnut chair. After James Jr's death the desk was sold through a shop located in the old D.C. Newton house in Batavia. I still have the desk in storage. I have contacted ND to see if I can get copies of the pre-battle Parke letters. Isaac Parke's died a month after the battle...for some reason those letters to his wife are at the Abraham Lincoln Library in Springfield and excerpts have been printed. Thanks, as always.
  14. Rbn3

    Henry Stark

    From: http://www.elginhistory.com/eaah/ "Gus Kothe of Elgin, a lieutenant in the 58th, learned of the developing battle from the heavy cannonading, followed by the sound of small arms fire. When the regiment neared the battle line, his company's captain suddenly became ill and Kothe assumed command. Panic was commonplace among the green troops that morning, and hundreds of frightened Union stragglers headed toward the river to huddle under the bluffs or to attempt swimming to safety on the eastern shore. "The Major was of no account," reproached one Elgin officer of the 52nd, "& we had no leader."13 13 William Wilcox to John S. Wilcox, April 25,1862. Wilcox papers, ISHL." As brutal as published accounts of individual opinions of others could be, some redacting was done by some newspaper editors. The above quote is drawn from an actual letter and it apparently does not mention a wound or injury of Major Stark. I now have to look into Gus Gothe and his captain in the 58th. Still, the actual "facts" are always in doubt. Given the enormously high illness rate, especially dysentery, there must have been many men who tried to answer the long drum roll who just could not.
  15. Rbn3

    Henry Stark

    Thanks again! There is a Stark Avenue in Sycamore. Henry was in partnership with his brother Marshall as a merchant. They all came from Pennsylvania and were descended from General Stark author of the "Live Free or Die" motto of New Hampshire and the hero at Bennington, Vt. https://books.google.com/books?id=Bk80AQAAMAAJ&pg=PA403&lpg=PA403&dq=Stark+Sycamore+Biographical&source=bl&ots=MkDWFTwEnQ&sig=gUOdraVR_kshfw86Q-Anb1EbKss&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjvhfTWqLrSAhVCzoMKHVdQBmcQ6AEIJTAC#v=onepage&q=Stark Sycamore Biographical&f=false Maybe I am over reading it, but Edward Wilcox's use of "now" instead of "still" might be telling. The rumor that Stark coined the Wisconsin motto of "Eat Cheese or Die" is decidedly untrue.
  16. Rbn3

    To Hell before Night

    From "Book Of Anecdotes", a story told of former President and General, U.S. Grant that still circulates in Galena today: Undistinguished and often shabby in appearance, Ulysses S. Grant did not recommend himself to strangers by looks. He once entered the Desoto House at Galena, Illinois, on a stormy winter's night. A number of lawyers, in town for a court session, were clustered around the fire. One looked up as Grant appeared and said, "Here's a stranger, gentlemen, and by the looks of him he's travelled through hell itself to get here." "That's right," said Grant cheerfully. "And how did you find things down there?" "Just like here," replied Grant, "lawyers all closest to the fire." However: Lorenzo Dow (October 16, 1777 – February 2, 1834), an evangelist of the 19th century, was on a preaching tour when he came to a small town one cold winter's night. He entered the local general store to get some warmth, and saw the town's lawyers gathered around the pot-bellied stove discussing the town's business. Not one offered to allow Dow into the circle. Dow told the men who he was, and that he had recently had a vision where he had been given a tour of Hell, much like the traveler in Dante's Inferno. When one of the lawyers asked him what he had seen, he replied, "Very much what I see here: all of the lawyers, gathered in the hottest place." Maybe Grant had heard the story before and was given the irresistible opportunity to repeat it, or maybe it never happened. But it should have. I'll ask John Rawlings about it next time I see him. Then there is this: Galena, Ill., Jan. 26. I noticed a short paragraph a few days since referring to Gen. Grant's profanity. I happen to know the General pretty well, having been with him as one of his staff at different times during the war, and I never but once heard him make use of any word that could be called profane, and that was "dog on it." The article reminded me of a little incident that came to my notice at Memphis just previous to the General's going to Young's Point, above Vicksburg. I was smoking a cigar with the General in his room when a dispatch arrived which provoked Gen. Rawlins, the chief of staff, and which Rawlins read to the General, and with some pretty rough oaths urged him to take summary measures with a prominent General who had, I believe, disobeyed or transcended orders. The General, in his good-humored way turned to me and asked: "Do you know what I keep Rawlins for?" I replied no, unless it was on account of his valuable services. "I'll tell you what for. I never swear myself, so I keep him to do it for me when occasion needs." The time I refer to when he said "dog on it" was at Lexington, Ky., on our ride from Knoxville, when a certain mule contractor wanted to escort the General through the town with a band of music, to avoid which we got out of the hotel by a back way and drove incognito to the Louisville train. After being seated in the car the man came and undertook to remonstrate with Gen. Grant for giving him the slip. The General was angry and annoyed, and said: "Dog on it, Sir, do you want to show me around like a circus?" Very respectfully, EDWARD D. KITTOE, M. D. [New York Times, Feb. 7, 1885]
  17. Rbn3

    Henry Stark

    I have delved into that archive in the past...very tedious! Mostly I was looking for Col Lynch and found some good stuff. You are a better man than I. Unfortunately (for us) the Aurora Beacon News is still in print. Therefore none of the free or paid newspaper archives have digitized it. As you well know, writing letters to the editor back home was a past time for many Civil War soldiers, officers and enlisted. Private Pinder of the 52nd wrote often to the Beacon, for example. I have been to the Aurora Public Library in the past to look at microfilm, but that was a Gold Rush project. Your finds "prove" the Wilcox absence...the stuff cited below came close. Barto to Sister, April 27, 1862, Alphonso Barto, folder 1; With Colonel Sweeny in command of the Brigade, and Lieutenant Colonel Wilcox gone to “Chicago on business,” Major Henry Stark became the acting regimental commander, and Barto--as senior captain--acting major and second in command. This is just the beginning of the disarray in regimental leadership that would result in both “the company captains act[ed] in concert” and no one being in command to write an after-action report; Philander to Editor, April 5, 1862, James Compton Biographical Folder C-33; Davis, 41. When I looked at the issue you found I realized I had seen it before when looking for Col. Lynch. I even bookmarked it but failed to check my book marks! I, myself, am an Alumnus of the Elgin Academy. I see that Jerome Davis's messmate Sgt Samuel Anderson mentioned in a couple places including the Wilcox letter. Anderson was an Academy student and was to enter the ministry, which Davis did...being one of the first missionaries to Japan. Before that he asked to be sent to a place "so hard no one else will take it." Davis graduated from Beloit College, founded by Aratus Kent, first missionary in Galena, Illinois. Davis got the quote cited from Kent who said it to Timothy Dwight his Prof at Yale. They sent Davis to Cheyenne, and Davis called the place "Hell on Wheels" in his memoir.* It was the western terminus of the Union Pacific when he got there! Shades of the Rock Island Bridge again and Doc Durant. Small world then. "I am the most miserable mortal imaginable." This re-affirms my affection for Wilcox. BTW, also see George Doney of Co K, 52nd who speaks about being on the battle field at 9am. The 52nd was not so late to the party! *The memoir was actually assembled by his son but from Lt. Col. Jerome Davis's letters.
  18. Rbn3

    Henry Stark

    A little more about John Shuler Wilcox. He came from a large New York family. His brother Sylvanus was 15 years older than John. Sylvanus had been a Cadet at West Point until poor health forced him to resign, even though he was ranked fifth in his class. His "Point" roommates were H. W. Halleck, R. Q. Butler, Stewart Van Vliet and Schuyler Hamilton, grand son of Alexander. Halleck later married Hamilton's sister. In 1861, at the Planters House in St. Louis, Sylvanus met Hamilton going up the stairs and accompanied him to Halleck's room. Sylvanus was a great friend of these gentlemen, and on meeting them Halleck exclaimed "Wilcox, I thought you were dead." Sylvanus recovered his health and was a long time Judge in Kane County, Illinois, and thus a colleague of Isaac Wilson who formed the 52nd Illinois. https://archive.org/details/biographicalreco00sjcl p 245-7 John Shuler Wilcox was involved with the pre-war Continental Guards in Elgin, Illinois, that had been trained to drill by Elmer Ellsworth. In this he was associated with Col. William Francis Lynch of 58th Il, an Irish buddy of Thomas W. Sweeny. John had attended Lombard College in Galesburg, Illinois, where he met and married his wife. Lombard (later absorbed into Knox College) was the Alma mater of Carl Sandburg who wrote that brief and somewhat rambling six volume biography of Lincoln). Before that John attended the Elgin Academy (where 52nd Lt. Col. Jerome Davis hoped to attend but could not for financial reasons). John was on the Elgin Academy Board of Trustees for 20 years and served as its President. John Wilcox was a pillar of the Elgin community, serving on many community boards. He was active in the GAR and other Veteran organizations. He died at the home of his daughter in Los Angeles at the age of 93. The 52nd Illinois ("The Lincoln Regiment") suffered 170 killed, wounded, and missing at Shiloh. They may have been late to the party, but they were last in the line of reserve Regiments moving up and were camped far to the rear. They had a Medal of Honor winner in Spalding. Wilcox seems likely not to have been on the Shiloh field as he is not mentioned in contemporary reports, his inexplicable later recorded recollections not-with-standing. It would have been his job to write the battle report. One can conjecture that a profound sense of guilt for not being there with his friends caused his lapse in honesty. Or there is more information yet to be found.
  19. Rbn3

    Henry Stark

    Thanks!!! I will check those out. Actually John Wilcox was not there, though his newspaper account suggests otherwise. His brother William was there. John was back in Chicago "on business" on April 6 and 7. This is another question mark about the leadership of the 52nd. Sweeny apparently had been put in as their leader because of this wobbly command structure. Many questions arise about the character of members of the Union command. David Stuart was there trying to recoup his reputation after being named as "the other man" in one of the messiest divorces in Illinois history. The woman involved was a member of the prominent Connecticut Corning family. It took Orville Hickman Browning's brilliant summation argument for Stuart to prevail in court. Browning's published diary describes the details. McArthur was caught after the war in a large fraud after Grant made him post master of Chicago. Hurlbut was involved in illicit cotton trade during the war, allegedly. Even Professor Hicken (Illinois in the Civil War) seems to have been taken in by Wilcox. For John Wilcox's whereabouts, see: https://minds.wisconsin.edu/handle/1793/45667 John Wilcox was a Lt. Col. and would have assumed command by rank when Sweeny was made brigade commander. One can never be sure, but why else would the seemingly over-matched Major Stark be in command and then why would a mere captain (Bowen) be put in his place?
  20. Rbn3

    Henry Stark

    I forgot to mention that Edward Spalding was Albert Spalding's cousin...both from Byron Illinois. I recall you are a cricket man though. p 26 of https://archive.org/details/davissoldiermiss00davirich "Camp Lyon [named for Gen Lyon then recently KIA at Wilson's Creek where Sweeny was (as always) wounded], Geneva, Oct. 18th, 1861. Dear Sister: We are faring very well and all the boys are rapidly gaining flesh. We have singing, dancing, boxing, ball-playing, lyceums and prayer-meetings for our amusements. . . . We are Company I, the color company of the regiment, and in line of battle will be on the right center, the place where the fiercest attacks will be made. . . . We will soon have our uniforms and expect to move in two weeks to Missouri. Affectionately yours, Jerome."
  21. Rbn3

    Henry Stark

    So many libraries, so little time. You are certainly right about the lack of command continuity in the 52nd. Captain Edwin Anson Bowen (1831-1900) was put in charge by Sweeny at 3:30pm, but he probably led the Regiment all day, de facto. The Huntington has his papers. http://catalog.huntington.org/search?/dShiloh%2C+Battle+of%2C+Tenn.%2C+1862+--+Personal+narratives./dshiloh+battle+of+tenn+++++1862+personal+narratives/-3%2C-1%2C0%2CB/frameset&FF=dshiloh+battle+of+tenn+++++1862+personal+narratives&1%2C%2C2 There is this brief sketch: Historical memoranda of the 52nd Regiment Illinois Infantry Volunteers : from its organization, Nov. 19th, 1861, to its muster out ... on the 6th day of July, 1865. https://archive.org/details/historicalmemora00swad Also this fascinating man, Jerome Davis (who carried the 52nd's colors at Shiloh and at one point was left for dead), who was in command of the 52nd near the end of the war and was with it from the start. https://archive.org/details/davissoldiermiss00davirich This last is a masters thesis that was a first effort. It does utilize some sources I have not seen before. Also, it addresses the "Where was Sweeny?" question. Wallace relied on Sweeny as his most experienced brigade commander but Sweeny seems to have free lanced some. Of course he was not the only one and he may have simply been forced to rely on his own assessments. https://minds.wisconsin.edu/handle/1793/45667
  22. Thanks for the above...just found it. It is hard to estimate how many women were at Pittsburg landing and on the battlefield. Mrs. Ophelia Amigh was there with her infant son Benton B. Amigh (guess where he was born). I know of a half dozen others who were there on the 6th. Ambrose Bierce describes in What I Saw at Shiloh a conversation with a young woman with a baby boy aboard the steamboat taking him across the Tennessee very late in the day of the 6th. Bierce's biographer suggests that the woman may have been Ann Wallace, whose husband, General Wm H L Wallace, was alive and still lying on the battle field at the time of the conversation. But the Wallace's had only an adopted daughter. https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=107508697 Bierce received from the brief conversation an exhortation to be brave. His recollection of his thoughts on this advice from "...the little fool" is classic "Bitter Bierce". Oscar Amigh was wounded at Shiloh and Ophelia was often in the field, beginning with the 3rd Iowa's northern Missouri action in '61. Some of the many sick were in makeshift hospitals at Savanna prior to battle. Plus there were wounded on the steam boats by the evening of the 6th. Obviously the Amigh's would have been separated since the early morning of the 6th, and the 3rd's camp was at Stacy Field adjacent to Hell's Hollow. Belle Reynolds became a physician after the war, graduating from Hahneman Medical College in Chicago. She was a talented vocalist and often sang patriotic songs at GAR gatherings (when I find it I'll post a picture of her at a GAR reunion in about 1890 - the only woman in the group picture). She separated from Lt. Reynolds about 10 years after the war. They had no children. Both died in California.
  23. Rbn3

    Bragg's Memoirs

    Johnston's Memoir does not mention Shiloh (or Pittsburg Landing) that I can find. A highly stylized pictorial sketch titled "Battle of Shiloh" can be found between pages 88 and 89, but the battle is not mentioned in the text. The Memoir mentions Sherman 212 times and depicts him twice, Grant gets 91 mentions. Since Sherman was Johnston's nemesis, his vilification is not surprising. The Memoir does not name or credit Falconer, though it does reference both Sherman's and Grant's Memoirs. Thanks bringing Johnston's book to my attention.
  24. Rbn3

    Patrick Gregg

    http://books.wwnorton.com/books/Lincolns-Greatest-Case/ Much of the bridge story is laced with irony. Dr. Charles Durant built the bridge (think "Doc" of Hell on Wheels and Credit Mobilier scandal). Johnston may not have caught Grant napping (thanks to Peabody and Powell) but Durant did. Jeff Davis met Zach Taylor's daughter up the River from Rock Island at Fort Crawford ( at Prairie du Chien, where Surgeon William Beaumont was making the first American contribution to medical science), married her to the chagrin of Zach, and took her home to Mississippi where she promptly died of malaria. In the mean time Jeff, under the command of Bob Anderson, escorted the captured Black Hawk to Jefferson Barracks. Robert Anderson was the commander at Sumter when P.T. B of Shiloh fame started shelling it. Effie Afton (the pseudonym of the popular writer Sarah Elizabeth Harpe) was not empty. She carried 200 passengers, livestock (roast beef anyone?) and cargo. On the morning of the event when backing into the river just below the bridge she collided with a ferry, possibly causing the mechanical failure of one paddle wheel that resulted in the collision with the bridge pier. She had also "raced" another steam boat to the bridge draw. Lincoln introduced testimony from witnessed who said they overheard a conversation that the boat only had fire insurance. The fire started quite awhile after the collision and after the insurance discussion. All the passengers and crew were safely evacuated. At the time the law suit Hurd v Rock Island Railroad Company was viewed as Chicago v St. Louis. As a Cub fan, I am happy with the 9-3 jury score in favor of Chicago, though the hung jury resulted in a rain out. The game wasn't replayed until 1962 at the Supreme Court, when Chicago got the "W". Even John Deere, whose house overlooked the bridge, testified there were no cross currents. A lumberman lost control of a huge log raft above the bridge, closed his eyes, and the current carried him straight through the draw without touching a pier. The trial got Doc Patrick Gregg(who switched back to doctoring after prison as Mulligan's ( captured Lexington '61, KIA '64) 23rd "McClellen's Irish Illinois Regiment" chief surgeon) the leverage with Lincoln that saved the lives of many of the boys of the 3rd Iowa, 11th Iowa and 58th Illinois (including that of his own son J.W. who had been a law student when the war started). Patrick also got $100 a month as the "acting surgeon" at RI Arsenal for 20 years, plus the leverage to get his son J.W. a presidential pardon that got J.W. out of the the Cook County jail. But that jail sentence was largely due J.W.'s loyalty to General McArthur for whom he had been an aide-de-camp (not MacArthur - that one, Dugout Doug's dad, was the cheddar head who shouted "On Wisconsin" at Missionary Ridge). John McArthur's post war career included being the head of public works in Chicago in 1871 when Mrs. O'leary's cow kicked over the lantern in Pilsen (it was one of those few days when it wasn't good to be Irish in Chicago). Then the General was appointed postmaster of Chicago by Grant in 1872 and promptly got his hand stuck in the till. J.W. Gregg was in charge of the postal money orders. Ironically, J.W. Gregg ended up in North Dakota as the executive assistant of the new state's first Governor. I forgot to mention J.W. Gregg married General McArthur's sister. Captain J.W. Gregg and General McArthur's son John (surprisingly, a Chicago postal supervisor) organized the Chicago post office's baseball team. http://books.wwnorton.com/books/Lincolns-Greatest-Case/
  25. Rbn3

    Patrick Gregg

    "Patrick Gregg, who was called [by the defense] to testify on the same day as Edward Tracy, was a physician who had lived in Rock Island City for twenty-one years and was then serving as its mayor. Gregg's long residence at Rock Island had made him familiar with the river currents. He testified that the draw of the bridge stood "pretty near in a direct line" with the chute of the Rock Island Rapids, "where steamboats pass and have passed during the past twenty-one years." "The water passes through the draw piers straight and evenly as possible," Gregg said. "There is no cross-current. . .. I feel very confident there is not a material obstruction." The above is a description of Dr. Gregg's 1857 testimony in Hurd v Rock Island Railroad Company. The Effie Afton, the fastest sidewheeler on the river, crashed into the RI RR bridge in 1856 shortly after the bridge was completed (it was the first and then only bridge over the Mississippi). Both the bridge and the Effie Afton burned to cinders. Hurd, the boat's owner, sued the RR. The steamboat industry was delighted when the "accident" (in which no one was killed) occurred. Earlier steamboaters had tried to induce the Secretary of War (Jefferson Davis) to refuse a permit to use the Rock Island Arsenal as part of the bridge right-of-way. Davis did not intervene. The RR tapped it's star attorney to defend the case: A. Lincoln. Lincoln visited the crash site before the trial and must have met with the Mayor of Rock Island, Patrick Gregg. Lincoln won the case, and to Gregg he "owed one." McGinty, Brian. Lincoln's Greatest Case : The River, the Bridge, and the Making of America. New York: Liveright Publishing Corporation, 2015.
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