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Shiloh Discussion Group


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Everything posted by Rbn3

  1. Rbn3

    History repeats...

    In my dotage I realize that my former log-held belief that I understood the U.S. system was seriously flawed. For example, my local town council recently voted to allow retail sales of marijuana. At the start of the session they all rose and spoke, with hands over hearts, the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag of the United States...one nation, under God, indivisible... Two flags were in the room, one the Stars and Stripes, the other the State Flag of Illinois. They faced the former. The latter was not mentioned. Then they proceeded to pass an Ordinance that makes them all parties to a Federal felony (actually, it was a 6-5 vote). Eleven states have joined mine in this succession. We tried this States' Rights thing once before. That time it ended badly. We live in dangerous times, as also had been the case for our predecessors.
  2. Thanks for this. Another little piece of Civil War Chicagoiana to add to my collection. Rumsey was late to his own funeral...but for a poignant reason.
  3. John McArthur's post-war career was checkered, at best. He was appointed Chicago's Post Master and shenanigans with money orders and bank deposits followed. The fire of '71 and the financial collapse of '73 bankrupted many of Chicago's pre-war scions. Patrick Gregg's son (captured at Shiloh with Captain Gregg) married McArthur's sister and he headed the P.O. money order department, was indicted, went to jail and was eventually pardoned. He also organized the P.O.'s baseball team. Some evidence suggests that John Gregg took the fall while shielding his brother-in-law. J.D. Webster had been the co-owner of the Danford Reaper Works before the War. Their machine beat Cyrus McCormick's in some competitions, but the company folded shortly after Webster's departure. Webster was one of the handfull of Chicagoans involved in founding the Chicago Historical Society. He had been active in pre-War support for abolitionism for example: https://www.kshs.org/km/items/view/90518.
  4. Rbn3

    We Meet Again

    Does April 18, 1865 figure in?
  5. Rbn3

    It's just a quiz...

    Thanks for this...another interesting individual.
  6. Rbn3

    Full Hospitals

    Thanks for putting this series together. The general feeling now is that the wounded were very badly handled at Shiloh (and many, many were) yet there were also experienced surgeons who worked tirelessly to do the best they could. Doctors of that era were strong anatomists and some, with that knowledge plus experience coupled with dexterity, did save lives with tourniquets and amputations. If only Pasteur and Lister had come a decade or so earlier. A.S. Johnson almost certainly could have been saved with a simple tourniquet if he had not sent his surgeon away to treat others. Surgeon General William A. Hammond made a valiant attempt to enforce the ancient edict of "first do no harm" by removing calomel and tartar emetic from the Army formulary (May 6, 1863). But that was a year after Shiloh. The resulting "Calomel War" was part of the reason for Hammond's short tenure. Dr. Letterman's ambulance groups were a huge innovation.
  7. Ozzie, Just a note to thank you for digging up all the interesting material. I shall get a copy of the Rockwell book and I have read the Mastin diary. Mastin was actually from DeWitt County Illinois (roughly between Bloomington and Champaign), he died in Mercer County, Missouri. I only mention this to show you that people do actually read these things (well, at least one person did!). He left the service not too long after he apparently shot himself in the hand with a revolver. These types of self-inflicted wounds were quite common ... not casting aspersions at Mastin in particular!
  8. Major Joseph Kirkland wrote a Civil War novel published in 1891 in Chicago: The Captain of Company K. The first link below gives the background of the author and of the novel. The second link is to a copy of the book. Kirkwood actually served with the 12th Illinois with McClellen and left the service when McClellen was relieved. The 12th ended up in Tennesee at Shiloh and then with Sherman. Kirkwood's description of Shiloh is decent historical fiction as he remained a friend of many participants. The book is worth a glance just for Hugh Capper's pen and ink drawings. Kirkwood writes in the voice of a central Illinois farmer. The book belongs in the collection of "Shiloh in literature" - perhaps not on the same top shelf with the works of Bierce, Houston and others. http://civilwar.lib.niu.edu/islandora/object/niu-civil%3A14280 https://archive.org/stream/captainofcompany00kirk#page/n13/mode/2up/search/Pittsburg
  9. Thanks for the Tribune article! Reilly was a newspaperman of sorts and dabbled in other periodicals.
  10. Another Shiloh connection of Dr. Reilly. He was a surgeon in the Marine Marine Hospital Service, the forerunner of the United States Public Health Service. The Marine Hospital Service was in disarray in 1850 and Congress commissioned a study. Two men visited all the Marine Hospitals and issued a report to Congress in 1851. ("Loring-Edwards Report," Senate Executive Document No. 14, Thirty­ first Congress, Second Session, Jan. 20, 1851.) This report is credited by many as laying the groundwork for the USPHS. One of the authors was a former Congressman named Thomas O. Edwards. (see: Furman B: A Profile of the United States Public Health Service, 1798-1850. Washington, 1950.) Dr. T.O. Edwards, the sometimes maligned Surgeon of the 3rd Iowa, suffered from a scrotal inguinal hernia during his time at Shiloh but managed to continue with his duties several days after April 7th. His disability was attested to by the Brigade Surgeon N. R. Derby on April 15th. A few days later the eminent Charles A Pope, M.D. also provided an affidavit, citing both a hernia and Edwards' "protracted over-exertion."
  11. Quite a guy... Extensive Bio in Bulletin of the Society of Medical History of Chicago, Vol 1, No 2, August 1912, p113. It is free in Google Books. (Also contains a nice Bio of another Army Surgeon, William Beaumont, by Dr. Jesse Myer, who wrote a full length book on Beaumont.) Dr. Reilly returned to the service after his recovery and resigned in May 1865 , returned to Chicago and set up a practice in Bridgeport (home to Chicago's Mayors Daley). He arguably saved more lives in Chicago than anyone else.
  12. Rbn3

    Pittsburg... up close.

    Thanks for these pictures. Particularly the second picture shows how rickety the gangplanks were and without railings. I believe the Governor of Wisconsin drowned because of this feature. Louis Harvey had been Governor only 3 months when he drowned in the Tennesee River at Shiloh. I believe he was actually crossing from one boat to another when he fell in. Surgeon George Hammond apparently drowned just above Vicksburg in 1863, falling (or pushed?) off the Hospital Steamer R.C. Wood (formerly the City of Lousiana) while it was underway. Commentary in his death announcement was that "hope was held out as he was known to be a strong swimmer". Then, of course, there was Sultana. Steamboating was a dangerous sport even if the boilers didn't explode. General Lafayette almost drowned on the Ohio River during his 1824 "victory lap" around the country when his steamer hit a snag and sank in minutes.
  13. Why read the Reader's Digest version when the real 1881 version is available, including Fort Henry to Corinth (Vol 2)? https://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/000339399
  14. Ozzie: Thanks for the good summary! rbn3
  15. Rbn3

    Why not just go?

    Ozzie: Where is the best summary and explanation of all the "arrests" that occurred in the days before April 6th? I think General John MacArthur was under arrest. Did any of those arrests actually lead to court-martial? Wallace was the guy in the vat that was being slowly heated...he never knew when to scream. rbn3
  16. Rbn3

    Why not just go?

    The key phrase in your proposition is "in the absence of orders." Wallace was ordered by General Grant between 8 and 9 to get ready and wait. The fubar that came after does not figure into your proposition.
  17. Teaser on old Tom O.... A complex man who inspired his allies and infuriated his adversaries...what is expected in the Age of Jackson. I have not yet decided how to judge him but he is a more sympathetic character than the Col Williams supporters portray him. Still, Ophelia Amigh did not like him and she was an excellent judge of character. Tom O Edwards Biography 1,2.pdf
  18. I have bought second copies of books all on my own because I forgot I had it or couldn't find it. No better way to find the original than to buy another one - never fails. Lowry has published about 20 books, some of them appear to me to be just retitled reprints. OTOH he and his wife scoured the NA's for material that we mere mortals could not access without moving to Washington.
  19. For you 3rd Iowa fans (I'm looking at you Ozzie) you might want a copy of these books.
  20. Dr. Edwards returned "home" to Lancaster, Ohio after "leaving" the 3rd Iowa. He did not return to Dubuque. However he and his two sons had gone to Pike's Peak in 1860 but without success. It is a long story only tangentially related to Shiloh, but Edwards was an adversary of Asa Horr in Dubuque in a professional kerfuffle that also involved Dr. Patrick Gregg of Shiloh fame. Edwards "entire time and attention" ran out in mid-April 1862. He ran a pharmacy in Cincinnati in the early 1850's and drug addiction is an occupational hazard for both doctors and pharmacists. The allusions to an opiate problem does not seem at all impossible given his erratic behavior - "other stimulants" have also been mentioned (which usually is a euphemism for alcohol). He rushed to aid of his fellow congressman former President Adams when the latter collapse from a stroke on the House floor. Some have written that he and Lincoln were pallbearers. Lincoln was on the committee for arrangements but I do not find confirmation that he was a pallbearer, though Calhoun and Benton were. see: https://uschs.wordpress.com/tag/death-and-funeral/ Edwards wrote to U.S. Grant about Andrew Johnson. I'm pretty sure Grant did not remember him!
  21. A bit more on T.O. Edwards from The History of Dubuque County, Iowa, Containing a History of the County, Its Cities, Towns, &C., Biographical Sketches of Citizens, War Record of Its Volunteers in the Late Rebellion ... General and Local Statistics. Chicago: Western historical company, 1880. His daughter married Gen (?) William Hyde Clark. The definition of "such injuries" would probably include court-martial. It seems half the officer Corps was under arrest at Shiloh at a critical time. Much of this seems to have revolved around the use of ardent spirits. Maybe alcohol explains Edwards' checkered career, characterized.
  22. During the Irish rising of 1798 ("The Year of the French") many of the Irish rebels were armed with pikes. French General Humbert who landed 1000 French regulars at Killala, County Mayo, brought muskets for his allies but when one of the untrained rebels almost shot him accidentally, he made the pike their main weapon. British troops and Irish loyalist yeomanry under Cornwallis routed the rebels and slaughtered many of the pike bearers. https://www.irishtimes.com/culture/art-and-design/a-history-of-ireland-in-100-objects-pike-1798-1.531709
  23. Tim I have been collecting material on Ophilia Amigh for some time. I am going to be away for a week or so. When I get back I'll post some more info (scanty) on her career in the Civil War. I have some Dr. Edwards material also (also scanty). Edwards and Lincoln were not on the same committee but were in the same Congress. Edwards participated in one of the great American medical controversies of the 19th century over who discovered anesthesia. Rbn3
  24. The ladies (Amigh and Wittenmyer) got rid of Edwards (who had served on a committee in congress with Lincoln). p 28 Biography of Ophelia Amigh working Draft.pdf
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