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Derrick

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Derrick last won the day on May 15

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About Derrick

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    www.kentuckycivilwarauthor.com

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    Reading, writing, reenacting, hiking and camping.

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  1. Derrick

    17th Kentucky Diary-Lt. Sam Cox

    That is really interesting. I remember reading about the 14th Wisconsin fighting with a different brigade the next day, but I had no idea that some of the 18th made it out of the Hornet's Nest. That makes things really interesting when thinking about their lines now!
  2. Derrick

    17th Kentucky Diary-Lt. Sam Cox

    Good luck on finding info! They really were moved all over the place it seems. In some of the reports they are said to have moved back to the fence along the Peach Orchard and the house, and in other reports they don't mention that at all, but moving straight back to the position east of the road.
  3. Derrick

    17th Kentucky Diary-Lt. Sam Cox

    Thanks for the link Ozzy! That cemetery is only about 30 minutes from where I live, so I will definitely have to check it out! I wonder why Cruft returned to command the 31st Indiana instead of continuing to command the brigade...I haven't looked too closely for it, but have wondered why they made the switch to Jacob Lauman. Terrible timing too as he took command of the brigade the day before the battle!
  4. Derrick

    17th Kentucky Diary-Lt. Sam Cox

    It is strange that he doesn't mention it. In his Fort Donelson entries he writes about how he counted each shot from the gunboats and hated the sound. I'm wondering if he was just too exhausted to even care after the day they had, or perhaps he was on a steamer like Ozzy said.
  5. Derrick

    17th Kentucky Diary-Lt. Sam Cox

    I forgot to mention in the original post, but when I was there in April for the anniversary hike, I went to all of the 17th's locations for both days and took pictures of each spot. If you would like to see the spots that Lt. Cox mentions, and a post war sketch of the man himself, feel free to head to my site where I have them posted.
  6. Below I have shared the Diary of Samuel K. Cox, a young lieutenant in the 17th Kentucky Infantry, while the regiment was at Pittsburg Landing. Cox and the 17th fought at Fort Donelson, and so, were some of the veteran troops Grant had at Shiloh. He offers key details that are corroborated by other accounts, which helps understand the complex movements of Lauman's brigade on April 6th and 7th, 1862. The combined 17th/25th Kentucky Infantry regiments are the only Kentucky regiments that fought both days for the Union, as the rest were marching with Buell's army. The 17th was from my town, so I have loved diving into what Lt. Cox says he experienced. His Fort Donelson entries are also very interesting and I will post those some day soon! Lauman's brigade was the 3rd Brigade in Hurlbut's division, so they were encamped by the "information shelter" on the Mounds and the parking lot adjacent to that. Their first line was facing west on the edge of Larkin Bell's Cotton Field, and they then moved back to the fence near the house and Peach Orchard, and then just north and east of Bloody Pond where they made a 5 hour stand before falling back toward the siege guns. I really wish there was more on these guys!29 MarchThis is again Sunday. How time flies by. We had Sunday inspection. I received some cigars and tobacco today, sent me from home, and also received a letter from Sister Jennie which I answered immediately.We had new jackets issued today. 5 AprilLast night about 7 o'clock, we heard for the first time the "long roll" and our boys immediately responding to the call and were formed in line in ten minutes. We were then informed that our lines had been attacked some two miles from here, to which point we marched immediately. We did not reach the scene of action as it was only a skirmish and lasted only a few minutes. We then returned to camp and slept one more night in peace. 6 AprilWe have heard today that the enemy intended to attack us at this point. How true the report is we will soon know. We were brushing up for Sunday morning inspection when, to our very great surprise, the cannon and small arms opened not a mile distant and in ten minutes that everlasting long roll was beaten and we gathered our guns and formed in line. In a few minutes we were seen winding our way to the point from whence the music of musketry came.We arrived there in a few moments, and found our forces falling back gradually. Our Brigade, consisting of the 17th Kentucky, 44th Indiana, 31st Indiana regiments were formed in line of battle close to the edge of a field. We had been there but a few moments when the enemy opened a "G" and wounded several. While this was going on, a continual roar of musketry both on our right and left proved the battle was raging at every point. In a few moments, the enemy attacked the 31st and 44th Indiana, which was on our right. We could easily see the fight, it being but a few rods away, but not close enough for us to participate. We had to wait but a short time, however, as they appeared in front of us in the field spoken of above. Our order was not to fire until the command was given, which was obeyed almost to the letter. They had probably gotten halfway across, when General Hurlbut gave the command, "Now, boys, give it to them." Our regiment opened and "Great God!" I never saw men lie down faster when not skirmishing than they did. It seemed to me that the whole line fell. Every man in forty yards of the flag was either killed or wounded. The flag bearer, however, walked coolly across the field waving his color. He excited the admiration of all for bravery and coolness. I suppose he had at least five hundred shots fired at him, but Providence seemed to be on his side as no person touched him. At this point, we had one or two of Company A wounded. One ball struck Captain Morton squarely in the breast, but being a spend ball, it did no damage. We remained at that place some two hours and the Brigade which was fight on our left, from some cause or other, gave way and we had to leave our position which we had so nobly held to hold them in check at that point.Soon arriving on the ground, the enemy made its appearance and a most desperate struggle ensued. For five long, weary hours, did we stand under a terrific fire both from musketry and shell. We advanced inch by inch on the enemy and man a poor soldier "bit the dust" trying to maintain his position. We gained on them gradually until nearly every cartridge in the regiment had been sent on his mission of death, when we were outflanked by ten times our number and compelled to fall back, which was done, thank God, in good order. At this point, a few minutes before our ammunition gave out, our gallant Captain Morton fell, mortally wounded. I was close by his side and took him on my back and started for the landing which was a mile distant. By the time I had arrived, the Regiment had taken a position behind some heavy siege guns, which had been mounted as a last resort to hold Pittsburg Landing. In a very short time, they were belching forth their missiles of death which held the enemy in check until night closed and put a stop to the butchering of human lives.I have no idea of the number killed and wounded but know the loss was heavy on both sides. I was of the opinion that we would never see a harder fight that we had at Donelson, but that was nothing in comparison to this. There has been one continual roar of musketry and big guns ever since the commencement this morning. I will now quit and hope for the best. General Buell's forces are now crossing the river by the thousands so we may expect war times tomorrow morning.7 AprilLast night it rained all night and the men were compelled to lie down on the cold, wet earth while they enemy had possession of our camps and were sleeping comfortably. Our boys, being very tired and hungry, went to sleep, notwithstanding the rain, which was descending in torrents. They lay anxiously awaiting the return of daylight so that they might know the result. At last it came. The rain, however, had held up and directly after day light, General Buell's forces opened the fight. They crossed all night; soon afterwards, General Grant's command went in. The firing was tremendous, I believe equal to yesterday, although the artillery was not so heavy. Our brigade, at least the remainder, was ordered on the right a distance of three miles where we arrived and soon were engaged. We fought at this point until about four o'clock in the afternoon when the enemy gave way, and soon afterwards was in full retreat toward Corinth. Our soldiers sent up cheer after cheer.I firmly believe that General Hurlbut's Division saved the day on yesterday and gained it today. They outflanked the enemy which caused them to retreat in great disorder. Our troops were too much exhausted to follow up their retreat and consequently, did not capture a great many prisoners.After the battle closed, I took a stroll over the field. It was horrible. The men were thick, some wounded and some in the cold arms of death. I could tell from the dead where the battle had raged more fiercely. Federal and Confederate soldiers were lying in the agonies of death.8 AprilWe area again in camp, but how changed the scene! Only two days ago we were in high spirits and confident of getting home soon without any more hard fighting; but alas, we were mistaken and many brave man in that short time has found a grave in the soil of Tennessee. Among the killed is our brave and kind Captain Morton. He died that night at 9:30 PM. It is useless for me to undertake to do him justice for I cannot. My pen is inadequate to the task. He was, however, a brave, cool man, always at his post and more especially when danger was high. He fell while leading his company gallantly on to battle. He was kind to his men and they all loved him and were willing to obey his command. They stood by him like heroes during the day when he fell. They seemed to fight more desperately to avenge his death. I cannot force his words to me when he fell. He put his arm around my neck and said, "Well, Sam, they have killed me at last." I immediately took him on my back and carried him through a perfect shower of cannon balls. I was determined to take him from the field or perish in the attempt, and, had the enemy overtaken me, I was resolved to remain a prisoner with him. But kind Providence seemed to favor me, and I arrived at the Landing where I had his wound dressed and immediately moved him on a steamer which was at the Landing. He talked to me freely on the road and told me what disposition he wanted to make of his property. He also remarked that "Many a better man had fallen that day." I told him that a better man never lived, and I am sure there was never a better man.This regiment has lost its brightest ornament, and one, too, that can never be replaced. His remains started home today in charge of his faithful servant, Horace. He will be buried in the church yard of the village of Hartford, Kentucky, his home. There, he will repose amid the scenes of his early labors and triumphs, away from the busy hum of life far away from the thunder and conflict and not clarion note will ever more disturb his slumbers or call him forth to battle. Peace to his ashes, and may the undying laurel of glory grow green over his grave.
  7. Derrick

    Urgent offer to Bragg

    Wow, this is quite something. I have never seen this before. Makes me start thinking of the "what ifs" and those can be quite fun. If Bragg had been in command over there, would those forces have made it to Shiloh instead of never making it in time as Van Dorn? Interesting to think about. Thanks for posting!
  8. Derrick

    Epic Hike 2018 Suggestions

    I would be all for the Trabue Hike. I think it would be interesting to follow Lauman's Brigade on the 6th and 7th (The 17th Kentucky was from my town...so that's why I would love that!) from their camps at Cloud Field, to the Peach Orchard, then across the road form Wicker Field, back to the last line, then over to Jones Field and beyond. These always take place in November, correct? My wife and I are expecting in November, so I might have to miss this anyway. I would love to go on one of Dr. Smith's hikes after watching all the videos and reading his book.
  9. Derrick

    Anniversary Hikes

    It was great meeting the two of you on Thursday! I had an absolute blast and am so glad i was able to spend the day with others who enjoy learning about the battle as much as me. Hopefully I can make another one soon!
  10. Derrick

    Anniversary Hikes

    Thanks for the info! I'll be coming down on the 5th for Dr. Gentsch's hike. I cleaned out my hiking pack today just in case. Definitely will be bringing plenty of water, and the extra socks is a good idea. See you there!
  11. Derrick

    Anniversary Hikes

    Hello everyone, I will be attending one of the long, all day hikes this week at the park. Would a backpack and water bottles be recommended? Anyone else going to any of them? Derrick
  12. Derrick

    One more account

    Thanks for posting Stan. Love seeing the stories with the images.
  13. Derrick

    Hello From Kentucky

    Thanks Mona!
  14. Derrick

    Hello From Kentucky

    Mona, I've been watching some of the hikes on YouTube, and they are great. I've watched the Bull Nelson video and the Lew Wallace hike from last year. I just started the Following AS Johnston today, and hopefully can finish it this week. I've noticed that there was one with Tim Smith and Ed Bearss at Fort Donelson in September. How does one find out when these tours/hikes take place? I'd love to make a November hike at Shiloh sometime, and any other with these two!
  15. Derrick

    Hello from the mountain state

    I know this is quite late to post here, but I noticed Owensboro and thought I'd chime in. I live in and am from Owensboro, and with the city being on the Ohio, it was a frequent stop for steamboats. In my own research, I have found many steamers advertising in surrounding newspapers of making weekly trips from Owensboro to Louisville, Paducah, and even as far as Cincinnati. Several Federal gunboats were docked here at various times throughout the war, and in 1861, dozens of boats loaded with new regiments went down the Ohio and sometimes stopped at Owensboro or even Rockport, which is right across the river. Some boats passed Owensboro, then took the Green River down to Camp Calhoun which is where Crittenden's division was being formed in 1861. I hope it isn't too late to help!
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