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Since the very beginning, the Battle of Shiloh has been a magnet for controversy: "Grant was absent until 9am..." -- "Where was Lew Wallace?" -- "Buell saved Grant..." -- "Sherman was the Hero of the Battle..." Of course, there are just as many claims and counter claims on the Confederate side... General Beauregard at Shiloh is only three dozen pages long, but packed into those 36 pages are several of the controversies surrounding the Confederate failure to win Victory on April 6th: and Yves Reni Le Monnier (as a member of Company B of the Crescent Regiment, which was attached to Pond's Brigade) attempts to address them all: Polk's role in the delayed march from Corinth; Bragg's role in the delayed start of the Battle (April 6th vice April 5th) Federal gunboat contribution; "One last charge [against Grant's Last Line] would-a done it" Prentiss saved Grant from annihilation; Death of Albert Sidney Johnston and the role played in defeat. But of particular interest: Lemonnier identifies four key reasons why the Federals won the Battle; (and Major Powell of the 25th Missouri is given recognition; and so is D.W. Reed for his efforts in presenting a true record.) Lemonnier published this work in 1913, primarily in response to all the "piling on" of blame to fellow Louisianan, PGT Beauregard, and in process appears to have initiated a one-man Shiloh Discussion Group, one hundred years ago. Cheers Ozzy Reference: http://archive.org/stream/generalbeauregar00lemo#page/n1/mode/2up General Beauregard at Shiloh by Y. R. Le Monnier, published by Graham of New Orleans (1913) and available online via archive.org
Unless you know what to look for, you could be excused for believing Florida contributed only marginally to the Confederate effort at the Battle of Shiloh. The 1st Florida Battalion (T. McDowell, commanding) is one of only two units recorded with 'Florida' in its name. The 1st Florida Infantry Regiment was raised in vicinity of Chattahoochee Arsenal early in 1861, under leadership of Patton Anderson. By April 12th, the regiment had arrived at Pensacola: one hundred eighty men of this unit were engaged in the October 8/9 Battle of Santa Rosa Island. In process of moving from Pensacola to Corinth, the veterans of this regiment re-enlisted... and their unit was re-named '1st Florida Battalion.' The 1st Florida was assigned to the First Division (Ruggles), Second Brigade (Patton Anderson), of Bragg's 2nd Army Corps. Depending on the resource, 'Robertson's-Dent's Florida Battery' is recorded as the 'Alabama/Florida Battery,' or further simplified to 'Robertson's Alabama Battery.' It was organized at Pensacola in November 1861, with about sixty members from Florida, and sixty from Alabama. Felix Robertson was a West Point alumnus from Texas; Staunton H. Dent's pedigree is TBA (still to be determined.) The battery participated in the November 1861 and January 1862 artillery duels vs Fort Pickens. At the Battle of Shiloh, the Alabama/Florida Battery operated four 12-pounder Napoleons, and was assigned to the 2nd Division (Withers), 1st Brigade (Gladden), and is believed to have fired the shot that ended the career of Myer's 13th Ohio Battery (attached to Hurlbut.) The remaining units (and personnel) with a Florida connection were Florida-trained: they were organized outside the State, but gained experience via the dynamic situation evolving at Pensacola. These include: Ketchum's Alabama BatteryStrawbridge's 1st Louisiana Infantry (Adams)Fant's 5th Mississippi InfantryRankin's 9th Mississippi Infantry (experience at Santa Rosa Island)Robert Smith's 10th Mississippi Infantry (experience at Santa Rosa Island)Fariss' 17th Alabama Infantry (arrived Pensacola November 1861)Wheeler's 19th Alabama Infantry (briefly at Pensacola, December 1861)Girardey's Georgia Battery (Girardy, or Girardi) Key personnel with a Pensacola connection include: Daniel Ruggles Commander, 1st Division Briefly commanded a brigade at Pensacola (see Gladden)Patton Anderson Cdr, 2nd Brig, 1st Div Living in Florida at start of war; led a brigade at Battle of Santa Rosa IslandJames Withers Commander, 2nd Division First colonel of 3rd Alabama Inf; in command at Mobile, when Bragg absorbed his area of responsibility.Adley Gladden Cdr, 1st Brig, 2nd Div First colonel of 1st Louisiana Inf; replaced Ruggles at Pensacola as brigade commander; briefly commanded Army of Pensacola; involved in training of Alabama troops near Mobile: the 'Brigade of Discipline'James Chalmers 2nd Brig, 2nd Div First colonel of 9th Mississippi; led a brigade at Battle of Santa Rosa Island; 'High Pressure Brigade'John K. Jackson 3rd Brig, 2nd Div First colonel of 5th Georgia Inf; led a brigade at Battle of Santa Rosa Island Braxton Bragg haled from North Carolina, and graduated West Point Class of 1837, specializing in Artillery. He served in Florida (including at Pensacola in 1842) and was a participant in the Mexican War: his actions at Buena Vista earned him high acclaim. At the outbreak of the Civil War, he was living in Louisiana, owner of a 1600-acre sugar plantation; but also a Colonel in the Louisiana Militia. He took the surrender of Baton Rouge Arsenal on January 11th, 1861, and assumed ever more responsible roles within the Confederate Army, until arriving at Pensacola March/April 1861. (Pensacola was the scene of unrest since January: similar to what was occurring in Charleston, South Carolina.) Troops from Georgia, Louisiana, Florida, Mississippi and Alabama converged on Pensacola, eventually numbering over eight thousand men, and General Bragg saw it as his duty to 'train them.' During Bragg's time on the Gulf Coast, his forces took part in the October Battle of Santa Rosa Island; and gunnery duels versus Fort Pickens in November 1861, and January 1862. His Army of Pensacola was established October 1861, and Bragg was promoted to Major General about the same time. When the Army of Pensacola (recognized as containing some of the best disciplined troops in the Confederacy) was discontinued in March 1862, it became Bragg's 2nd Corps, Army of the Mississippi. The remaining group of Florida-experienced men can be found among Bragg's Staff: many followed him from Pensacola, including: Major George G. Gardner (or Garner ) Bragg's Assistant Adjutant GeneralCaptain H. W. Walter Assistant Adjutant GeneralLT Towson Ellis Aide-de-Camp (and brother of Bragg's wife)LtCol W. K. Beard Acting Inspector General (and originally a member of 1st Fla Inf). When Judah Benjamin ordered Pensacola evacuated February 1862, he directed that ' no serviceable equipment' be left behind for the use of Federal Forces. LtCol Beard was the agent of the 'scorched earth' program, burning lumber mills, brick works and turpentine distilleries on the outskirts of Pensacola.Surgeon A. J. Foard Medical Director (originally from Georgia)Captain Hypolite Oladowski Chief of Ordnance. Of Polish descent, Captain Oladowski was the subject of some of the earliest 'Polish jokes,' including: the rumor he fled the field at Shiloh, carrying away all of Bragg's uniforms (not true); that he was 'captured' at Pensacola, when Bragg's forces occupied Fort Barrancas (Oladowski was living in Louisiana before the war).Major James H. Hallonquist Chief of Artillery. Originally from South Carolina, Major Hallonquist graduated West Point in 1858, and spent a year in the Dakota Territory. He resigned from the U.S. Army January 1st, 1861, and joined the Provisional Confederate States Army soon afterwards. Present at the Bombardment of Fort Sumter, he commanded the 'Enfilade Battery' (firing over 1800 rounds.) Sent to Pensacola, he is recorded as taking part in the Battle of Santa Rosa Island: in charge of an 'Independent Company,' his fifty men (armed with pistols and knives) followed the three infantry brigades and were tasked with spiking enemy guns and burning enemy camps. This record is the result of seven days of research, but has probably missed someone, or some unit. Feel free to advise me of any inadvertent omissions. Cheers Ozzy