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Found 62 results

  1. As a rule, I am not a fan of audio presentations, without video to enhance it. But while doing some sorting and rearranging in the office, put this American Military History Podcast – Shiloh on… and was pleasantly surprised. The Story of Shiloh, as told by the narrator, is not far off from how I believe a fair telling of the Battle of Shiloh should run. The full presentation requires just over an hour, so in the interest of allowing “bits of most interest” to be accessed (begin at 4 minute mark): 4 minutes PGT Beauregard, upon receiving a report on 2 APR that, “Lew Wallace is moving his Division west, thus dividing Grant’s army,” initiates the Rebel move from Corinth; 23 mins General Sherman in the days prior to Battle of Shiloh: 26:30 Jesse Appler and the 53rd Ohio annoy Sherman; 29:30 U.S. Grant hears the guns of battle; 29:30 Beauregard believes surprise has been lost, and attempts to abort attack; 31:40 Peabody 39:00 Grant meets Sherman at 10 a.m. 45:30 Rebel attack plan of “driving the Union northwest, into the swamp” is inadvertently altered to “driving the Federals northeast, towards the Landing” 47:30 Prentiss frustrates the Rebels by holding on in the Thicket. 52:30 The death of Albert Sidney Johnston; 55:00 Prentiss surrenders. 57:30 The last assault, against Grant’s Last Line. 58:00 Beauregard ends Day One operations. 61:00 Lew Wallace… 64:00 Grant’s errors… 65:00 Nathan Bedford Forrest 66:30 Colonel Helm’s bad intelligence, advising, “Buell is moving south…” The podcast finishes with a brief description of Fallen Timbers, and summary of casualties. Overall, I found the presentation impressive, and mostly accurate. Most errors were due to editing (errors of omission) as opposed to Fact errors. But, have a listen, and tell me what you think. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NVVYl_dAB4c Shiloh podcast of 4 July 2018 by American Military History Podcast on YouTube. [Fourteen other Civil War battle narratives by the same organization available on YouTube, including Fort Sumter, Bull Run, Wilson's Creek and Second Manassas https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MI6-GfRVbPA&list=PLZ487KCnJN833w3UKDCSNZGYkkAC9_kF6 ]
  2. We’re all familiar with Hardee’s Light Infantry Tactics, the 86-page guide that became the handbook for Volunteer Infantry Regiments – on both sides -- during the Civil War. But, what if yours was a Cavalry regiment… or an Artillery battery? The 1836 publication, A Concise System of Instructions and Regulations for the Militia and Volunteers written by Samuel Cooper was the latest handbook available for Calvary (pages 129 – 176) and Artillery (pages 177 – 213). In the Preface, Brevet-Captain Cooper describes the role of Volunteer Militia as, “responsible for repelling sudden invasion, and suppressing domestic insurrection.” And his handbook of nearly 300 pages provided every bit of knowledge necessary to assemble a cavalry or artillery unit, drill it in proper execution of duties, and most importantly, how to “interface with Infantry, in order to avoid embarrassment.” The Regulations mentioned in the title are not Army Legal Statutes, but “drum and bugle calls established for regulating troop movements” (pages 215 – 225). And, in case you are wondering, “Why does this Handbook begin on Page 129” …it doesn’t. The first hundred pages are Infantry and Rifle Tactics (subsequently updated by Hardee.) But Cooper’s guidebook includes diagrams, and Hardee’s does not: diagrams for infantry movements, cavalry movements and artillery operations are to be found pages 56 – 59 and 99 - 108 (Infantry); 174 – 177 (Cavalry); 208 – 213 (Artillery). Who was Samuel Cooper? Graduate of West Point (Class of 1815) this officer, trained in artillery and adjutant general functions, served in the U. S. Army until March 7th 1861. He resigned, and offered his services to the Confederate States of America (and became the senior General in the Confederate States Army.) References: https://archive.org/stream/hardeesrifleligh01hard#page/n1/mode/2up Hardee's Light Infantry Tactics https://archive.org/details/concisesystemof00coop/page/n6 Samuel Cooper's Concise System ...for Militia and Volunteers
  3. Fifty years after the end of the Civil War, an astute author realized that the men who had made History, and their stories were in imminent danger of being lost forever. So, Mamie Yeary set out across Texas (and had manuscripts sent her) to record as many “average Johnnies” as possible. Their stories, brief and poignant, leave the reader “wishing for more” …which may be possible, because many kept diaries; and almost all wrote letters during the war. And, with a name (and combat unit designation) we now have a starting point… especially for the scores of Confederate Shiloh veterans who made these pages: https://archive.org/details/reminiscencesofbv1year/page/1 Reminiscences of the Boys in Gray (1912) by Mamie Yeary. https://archive.org/details/reminiscencesofb00year/page/n5 Reminiscences (Vol.2) [See pages 428 - 9 William Lee 6th Arkansas; pp.515 - 7 John Middleton 23rd Tennessee, for examples of what is available by searching for "Shiloh." Also, pp. 884 - 890 lists almost every skirmish and battle in Tennessee (and surrounding pages list almost every skirmish, action and battle in every State during the 1861 - 1865 War.)]
  4. Sometimes you find details where you least expect them... and this autobiography is a real gem: Reminiscences of a Soldier's Wife by Mary Logan https://archive.org/details/reminiscencesas02logagoog/page/n8 The view from Cairo of "what was taking place, just across the Ohio River" (...and I was going to just list the "important bits" relevant to us at Shiloh Discussion Group): pp. 100 - 116 Muster and drill in Southern Illinois (31st Illinois Infantry, Colonel Logan -- Member of Congress) pp. 116 - 118 Battle of Belmont (as experienced by those waiting for the Troop Transports to return) page 120 The 31st Illinois meets General Grant pp. 121 - 122 Fort Henry pp. 122 - 126 Fort Donelson (where Colonel Logan is wounded. His wife, Mary, describes her efforts to retrieve him from the battlefield.) pp. 127 - 129 The move up the Tennessee River to Pittsburg Landing (reflects a civilian's understanding of what took place) page 129 Major General Halleck in command. page 130 General Halleck is called to Washington (and General Grant resumes command...) But, the most important bits are "what came afterwards..." pp. 130 - 131 The relationship of Generals James B. McPherson and John Logan pp. 159 - 161 The replacement of Army of the Tennessee Commander John Logan with O. O. Howard pp. 162 - 168 Incredible exchange of letters after the war between William T. Sherman and John Logan, reflecting on "interpersonal relationships" involving Sherman, Logan, O. O. Howard, George H. Thomas and Ulysses S. Grant. pp. 170 - 172 Another illuminating exchange between Grenville Dodge and John Logan (regarding Dodge, Logan, WT Sherman and George Thomas). If you want to understand "why Union commanders related to each other the way they did," and "why friction seemed to appear from nowhere" (and how those interpersonal relationships impacted actual "fighting of the War"), then this is a good place to start... "Harmony" Ozzy
  5. Another day, another master’s thesis… and this one, submitted by William J. McCaffrey in 1970 is revealing, compelling, shocking. Although 140 pages long, this work grips the student of Battle of Shiloh by the throat, and does not let go. It examines “whether or not there was surprise at Pittsburg Landing on April 6th 1862”…and just who was surprised. On page three, a list of six items is posted: flawed conditions of readiness, at least one of which must be present to allow a Defender to get surprised by an Attacker. William McCaffrey devotes the remainder of his thesis to providing evidence of the presence of many of those six conditions of “un-readiness” at Pittsburg Landing in the days, hours and minutes leading up to General Albert Sidney Johnston’s attack. This report contains maps, an excellent list of references, and is constructed by a man concerned about “the lessons of History, and how to avoid the mistakes of History.” Have a read, and decide for yourself how close William McCaffrey, West Point Class of 1958, comes to the mark. Masters Thesis by William J. McCaffrey (1970) “Shiloh: a case study in Surprise” submitted to U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, KS and on file with National Technical Information Service: https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/733391.pdf
  6. There are two pieces of communication (one constructed on April 5th, and the other generated on April 6th 1862) both of which are important in their own way to explain “how the Battle of Shiloh unfolded.” And both documents have "issues." The first item is a telegram constructed at St. Louis and sent under signature of Major General Henry Halleck on Saturday 5 April 1862. Fitting Halleck’s style of issuing concise orders, the two-line telegram begins by listing the recently promoted Major Generals by order of seniority: Buell, Pope, McClernand, C.F. Smith, Wallace. The inclusion of John Pope is significant because Major General Pope would soon join the Advance on Corinth. And the place held by John McClernand (ahead of Charles Ferguson Smith) may have come as a surprise to Major General Ulysses S. Grant… but no matter, as the late formal notice of MGen McClernand’s seniority did not provide opportunity to ‘Provide him with benefits of seniority to which he was entitled” i.e., the Shell Game played by Generals Grant, Smith, Sherman and Captain McMichael had worked perfectly; and now, at this late hour, McClernand would be notified in due course of his official seniority (likely after U.S. Grant established his HQ at Pittsburg Landing… When McClernand operating as “acting commander” had odds somewhere between Slim and None.) The second line of Halleck’s telegram reads: “You will act in concert [with General Buell] but he will exercise his separate command, unless the enemy should attack you. In that case you are authorized to take the general command.” The wording of this second line, giving Grant emergency authority over Buell in case of attack by Rebels, has significant implications. And yet, when the conduct of Day Two at Shiloh is closely examined, there is nothing more significant in regard to General Grant exercising command, than, “You take the left; and I’ll take the right” during the advance of Monday morning (coordination at its most minimal.) Which leads one to ponder: When did General Grant receive this telegram from Henry Halleck? If it was sent by telegraph from St. Louis late morning of April 5th, it likely arrived at the Fort Henry telegraph office before noon. If a steamer picked up the mail and telegraph traffic at 1 p.m., (perhaps the Minnehaha) then the 5 April telegram would arrive about midnight… plenty of time for Grant to read and understand the contents. But, at 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 6th, where was this telegram from Halleck? The cool indifference shared between Grant and Buell (with Buell simply left at the waterfront, while Grant headed away west to take care of business) does not represent “someone in possession of an important telegram, giving them extraordinary authority.” Instead, it seems to indicate General Grant has not yet received the telegram; or he has seen it… but left it behind at the Cherry Mansion. The second communication was constructed on Sunday morning by Captain A.S. Baxter, the AQM for Grant’s Army, as he rode the steamer Tigress north to relay Grant’s orders (likely relayed from Grant, through Captain John Rawlins, to Baxter.) Finding the orders complex and difficult to remember in detail, Captain Algernon Baxter scanned the floor of the Ladies’ Cabin, found a soiled bit of paper, and wrote the orders (as he best remembered them) onto that scrap (later recorded as “containing a heel mark and tobacco stain.”) Upon arrival at Crump’s Landing, Captain Baxter found Lieutenant Ross – Aide to Major General Wallace – waiting. The two rode away west and reported to MGen Wallace at, or just before 11:30 a.m. Captain Baxter presented General Wallace with the impromptu order; Wallace asked why it was not signed. Baxter explained he “created the memorandum, himself, out of fear he would “forget some detail” unless he did so.” General Wallace passed the “written order” to his Staff, and asked Baxter about the current state of affairs [Baxter left Pittsburg Landing between 10 and 10:30.] Captain Baxter replied, “We are driving them.” General Wallace was satisfied; Wallace’s staff officers were satisfied. The order was accepted, and Captain Baxter took his departure within three minutes of arrival at Stony Lonesome. Captain Frederick Kneffler, Lew Wallace’s AAG, wound up with the “written order.” He tucked it under his sword belt… and subsequently lost it. Ever since, the loss of that written order, or memorandum, has been significant because it would provide tangible proof of what Major General Wallace had been ordered to do. And, it is not difficult to envision the memorandum, jiggling loose from Captain Kneffler’s sword belt, and blowing away… to be beaten by heavy rain that night; ultimately washed into the Snake River, then Tennessee River… lost forever. But, paper was in short supply, always. Letters by soldiers were often written making use of every millimetre of space, including margins and borders. As likely as the memorandum being lost forever, it was just as likely noticed, clinging to trampled stubble, by some soldier… one of thousands following behind Kneffler on his horse. This soldier would have snatched it up, and possibly sent it as souvenir with his own letter, a few days later. My point: there is every chance that the Lew Wallace memorandum from Baxter still exists, contained in a box of Civil War letters and paraphernalia, and the owners have no idea what they have in their possession. But, with all the other material being revealed on a weekly basis, one day this piece of history might just surprise everyone, and re-emerge.
  7. From the Union standpoint, the Battle of Shiloh was not supposed to happen. Federal troops were sent south, under command of Brigadier General C.F. Smith, with intention of cutting rail lines and disrupting Rebel communications (between Fort Columbus and Corinth; and between Florence and Corinth.) Abundant Spring rain and effective Rebel defences (and M & O R.R. repair crews) curtailed railroad track disruption. Although an initial base of operations was sited at Union-friendly Savannah, Tennessee, the intention was to establish the Federal base much further south (between Hamburg and Florence) but the grossly swollen Tennessee River turned those prospective campgrounds into sodden, mosquito-infested marshes; and Pittsburg Landing was selected, by default (selected by Brigadier General William T. Sherman, and approved by General Smith.) The high plateau stretching west of the towering bluff overlooking – and out of reach of – the Tennessee River being the primary feature favouring selection of the site. It is said, “There is nothing more permanent than a temporary solution.” Major General U.S. Grant arrived at Savannah on March 17th 1862 and inspected the de facto campgrounds at Crump’s and Pittsburg established by his predecessor, and pronounced them sound. [Part two] With so many operations on his plate, Major General Henry Halleck did not have manpower or war materials in sufficient quantity to permit combat operations to take place concurrently. Priorities had to be determined from among operations taking place in Northern Missouri (Prentiss), SW Missouri (Curtis), SE Missouri (Pope), Island No.10 (Foote) and Savannah/ Pittsburg (Smith, replaced by Grant.) With North Missouri deemed “under control,” followed by Battle of Pea Ridge securing southern Missouri, manpower and ammunition was freed to be sent elsewhere. (Additional manpower was of no use at Island No.10 so those extra regiments went to General Grant, instead.) And with Henry Halleck’s elevation to Commander, Department of the Mississippi, another source of manpower eventuated: Buell’s Army of the Ohio, based in vicinity of Nashville. But, before U.S. Grant’s operation (with passage of time, confirmed to focus on Corinth) would be permitted to commence, the joint operation (Pope, at New Madrid and Foote, approaching Island No.10 from the north) would be given every opportunity to reach a successful conclusion. And General Grant was ordered, “Do nothing to bring on a general engagement.” References: SDG “Do you know Bragg?” post of 18 May 2018: Confederate Daniel Ruggles assigned to Post of Corinth on 9 March 1862 and begins construction of defences soon after. SDG “Jackson HQ” post of 5 May 2017: General Albert Sidney Johnston arrived at Corinth on March 24th, with concentration of Confederate troops (to this time strewn along the M & C R.R. and the M & O R.R.) gaining pace, and most everyone moves to Corinth. OR 10 (part 2) pages 11 – 12: Henry Halleck has information on March 6th that, “Beauregard has 20,000 men at Corinth.” Sherman reports similar concentration at “Eastport and Corinth” that same day. SDG “Not just pictures…” post of 5 July 2017: Report of Agate (Whitelaw Reid) dateline Savannah Tennessee on 1 April 1862, “There are rumors that General Halleck will take the field here, in person, soon as the Island No.10 agony is over. And there will be four or five corps [marching to Corinth] commanded by Major Generals Grant, Smith, Wallace, Buell and McClernand.”
  8. There was a moment when this author entertained the thought that, “Perhaps General Grant intended for Rebels to attack his forces at Pittsburg Landing” [which would explain “no trenches or abatis” – used as bait; seemingly haphazard arrangement of camps at Pittsburg – bait, to lure the Rebels north; lack of extensive cavalry patrols (to avoid bringing on engagement, too far south, which would allow Rebels to fall back to formidable defences at Corinth); and cavalry patrols that were conducted, seemingly without any coordination with infantry pickets…] But, the more research is conducted, the more apparent becomes the fact: Ulysses S. Grant was caught by surprise. There was no intention; no “offering Federal troops as bait” to lure the Rebels north. The April 6 attack by Rebels upon Grant’s forces at Pittsburg Landing was unanticipated… at least, on April 6. Prior to that bloody Sunday [but, we get ahead of the story...] When Major General Grant arrived at Savannah Tennessee on 17 March 1862 (released from limbo, and returned to command in the field) he had every expectation of “conducting an operation against the Rebels, further south.” Pittsburg Landing and Crump’s Landing and Savannah were merely temporary sites, staging grounds for assembling and preparing the Federal force that would drive south (at the time and place of General Grant’s choosing.) But, initiation of that operation was anticipated to take place soon. (Sherman’s frequent raids and probes offered potential to initiate more robust offensive action, “requiring” substantial forces from Pittsburg Landing be rushed forward to assist Sherman. But no solid opportunity for increased engagement presented.) Therefore, Grant’s operation at Savannah, Crump’s, Pittsburg evolved over time into, “Wait for Buell.” But, as time dragged on, General Grant must have realized that, “He had been caught in a trap of his own making.” The situation on April 1st (as Sherman launched yet another raid) revealed Federal troops camped at uncoordinated sites (close proximity to fresh water deemed more important than mutual defense); no trenches or abatis; contrary to Jomini, his force was “on the wrong side of the river” (although use of Lew Wallace’s division as “grand reserve” offset this danger); and Grant’s own HQ was maintained at Savannah (for reasons not adequately explained.) With Rebel moves against Lew Wallace (about April 2nd) and the Picket Skirmish (April 4th) there would have been cause for concern. And Grant would have had time for reflection that, “he had occupied his time – an unexpectedly long time, as it turned out – focused on minutia.” And, there may have been “rising cause for concern” end of March/ early April, as Rebel probes became increasingly aggressive, and Buell remained remarkable for his lack of presence. The cloud would have lifted on April 3rd with the report by telegraph of Bull Nelson’s arrival at Waynesborough (allowing Grant to view the Picket Skirmish of April 4th through a rosy lens.) And, when Jacob Ammen and Bull Nelson appeared at Savannah on April 5th (with promise of the remainder of Army of the Ohio arriving in short order) any concerns held by General Grant would have evaporated. So confident became General Grant of his invincibility, that he joked with Jacob Ammen about “steamers taking him across the Tennessee River in a few days,” and directed Major General Buell not to hurry, but to report on April 6th. So confident became Major General Grant (in his apparent safety, and the impending operation against Corinth moving ahead) that he organized an “engagement” that took place Saturday afternoon (mentioned by Grant to Ammen, to which Brigadier General Ammen was not invited.) References: OR 10 pages 330 – 331 [Jacob Ammen’s diary.] SDG topic “Why Stay at Crumps?” 14 NOV 2017. Papers of US Grant vol.5 page 7 “Letter to Julia of 3 April 1862.” Papers of US Grant vol.5 page 6 “Telegraphic reply to BGen Nelson at Waynesborough.” Papers of US Grant vol.5 page 9 “4 APR 1862 instruction to BGen Sherman to be prepared to provide support to MGen Lew Wallace, if necessary.” Papers of US Grant vol.5 page12 “4 APR 1862 instruction to BGen WHL Wallace to be prepared to reinforce MGen Wallace, if necessary.” Papers of US Grant vol.5 page 13 “5 APR 1862 communication sent from Savannah to MGen Henry Halleck at St. Louis, advising arrival of advance of Buell’s Army, with reported strength of enemy at Corinth.” Papers of US Grant vol.5 page 16 “5 APR communication from Grant to Buell, advising ‘[Grant] will be hear April 6th to meet you.” [Sent in reply to Buell’s communication, found in Notes, top of page 17.]
  9. Welcome to 2019... and your first quiz of the year. These seven questions relate to Ulysses S. Grant, well before Battle of Shiloh: Hiram Ulysses Grant was appointed to West Point, Class of 1843, from which State? Grant, when describing his Mexican War service, claimed to have been involved in every major battle, except one. Which one? While courting Julia Dent, Ulysses Grant seriously considered leaving the U.S. Army and pursuing a career as educator at university. What subject did Grant intend to teach? In which slave State did Grant and his family reside, prior to the Secession Crisis? General Grant's appearance at Belmont. Who suggested he trim his beard? If poverty, and the Civil War, had not interfered, in which State did U.S. Grant have hopes of settling in and raising his family? True of False. Ulysses S. Grant, who suffered frequent migraine headaches, was prescribed brandy as treatment for those headaches.
  10. After a bit of deliberation, came up with the following as The Most Critical Times at Shiloh: 4:55 a.m. First contact. (Some record this time as 5:15, probably due to watch error.) 9:05 Brigadier General Prentiss retires with most of his artillery (and the sturdy bits of his infantry) to what will become the Hornet's Nest. 10 a.m. The "key time" for General Sherman: after meeting with General Grant, things start to fall apart on the Union Right. 2 p.m. Buell arrives at Pittsburg Landing and meets with Grant (despair caused by "no reinforcements" evaporates, replaced by Hope.) 2:30 Colonel Webster begins assembling Grant's Last Line (from all available artillery.) General Albert Sidney Johnston dies. 5:29 The exact time recorded by General Prentiss that he, and those stalwarts with him, surrendered. 6:25 p.m. Sunset. General Beauregard calls a halt to offensive operations. Can you think of any other times on Sunday 6 April 1862 more deserving of inclusion on the above list?
  11. Ozzy

    Julia Dent Grant

    As we know, Julia Dent Grant had a profound influence on her husband, including support, advocate, confidant. When separated by military duty, the two exchanged letters almost daily: it could be said that Julia was General Grant's rock. The linked website is recently constructed, and one of the best biographies of its kind to be found on the internet, as "First Lady Julia Grant" contains information about family, friends, locations of homes and travel involving herself and General Grant not easily found elsewhere: Frederick T. Dent: Grant's West Point roommate (and Julia's brother) photographs of Grant family homes photographs of Julia and Ulysses Grant at significant events family photographs of the Grants. http://www.firstladies.org/biographies/firstladies.aspx?biography=19 Brief biography of Julia Dent Grant.
  12. The War from the Other End of the Telegraph Sometimes a valuable diary is to be discovered, written by someone other than a participant on the battlefield. Such is the case with this diary kept by Edward Bates: Missouri politician, serious contender for the 1860 Republican Presidential nomination, and a man who years earlier served as a sergeant during the War of 1812. In February 1861, President-elect Lincoln called Bates to Washington, and on March 5th incorporated the man onto his Cabinet as Attorney General. The sections of Edward Bates’ diary most of interest: Pages Dates 121-130 APR-JUN 1860 Presidential aspirations. 143-167 SEP-DEC 1860 “The Country is coming apart.” 175 5 MAR 1861 Bates enters the Lincoln Administration. 180 March “The Florida forts must be held, with or without Sumter.” 182 15 APR War footing recommendations. 201 15 NOV “Halleck has gone to take charge in Missouri.” 215 December “France intends to side with England, in event of a provocation…” 217 31 DEC “We expect to hear of a battle near Bowling Green soon…” 218 31 DEC Bates advises Lincoln to “take personal command of the Army.” 220 31 DEC “Nobody knows McClellan’s plans…” 223 10 JAN 1862 “The boats and bomb rafts at Cairo are not ready.” 226 13 JAN Cameron has resigned; Stanton to be the new SecWar. 226 13 JAN General frustration, due to lack of military action. 228 2 FEB Bates describes Edwin Stanton. 228 3 FEB “The President has ordered action everywhere to commence by 22 FEB.” 230 5-11 FEB [Bates makes no mention of Fort Henry.] 232 14 FEB “It is said Fort Donelson was attacked today.” 232 17 FEB “We have certified information of our success at Fort Donelson.” 232 20 FEB “Willie Lincoln has died; his brother, Tad, is gravely ill.” 235 21 FEB Bates evaluates meaning of success at Fort Donelson. 239 11 MAR Stanton Report; McClellan removed as General-in-Chief. 239 11 MAR The Experiment begins: Stanton/Lincoln co-commanders. 242 15 MAR Telegrams from Halleck, Foote, Pope (IRT their intentions.) 246 5 APR No news… 246 8 APR “While in Cabinet Council, news arrived from Island No.10” 247 8 APR “We expect news from General Grant…” 247-249 April The news from Pittsburg Landing. 249 April Bates believes: “Once New Orleans falls, it is over.” 253 28 APR “The news comes that we have taken New Orleans…” 260-261 4 JUN 1862 “Things have not gone well recently…” The Diary of Edward Bates, published 1933: https://archive.org/details/diaryofedwardbat00bate/page/n5
  13. Hero of Chattanooga The 1864 Biography of Ulysses S. Grant Have given this particular article its title due to the fact it refers to the first biography of General U.S. Grant, published by Julian K. Larke of New York in March 1864 (after the stunning victory of Grant’s Army at Chattanooga, and before it was known “how the war would end.”) For our purposes, pages 50 – 97 are the most interesting, beginning with “the Seizure of Paducah” on 6 SEP 1861 (we are informed that John Fremont had no role in Grant’s decision to take possession of that strategically important Ohio River port.) Battle of Belmont runs from pages 53 – 58 (with excellent List of General Grant’s Staff Officers.) Also, an interesting relationship with Eleazer Paine is introduced, concerning atrocities committed by Southern citizens of Missouri against U.S. troops at Bird’s Point; and subsequently details “imperfect plans” provided to the Press, and potential spies, by General Grant, to keep real intentions and military movements from being known. Fort Henry occupies pages 66 – 69 (and John McClernand’s assignment as commander of the First Division is revealed.) The description of Fort Donelson is a good summary, except it ignores the roles played by John McClernand and John McArthur in facilitating the breakout attempt of Saturday morning 15 FEB 1862. Also, no credit is accorded Lew Wallace for sapping the momentum of the Confederate breakout. And, of course, ample coverage is provided to the Unconditional Surrender (although, the breaching of the topic of “Grant’s intemperance” following victory at Fort Donelson is unexpected; as is possible complicity by Henry Halleck...) Beginning with “Grant’s new District of West Tennessee,” leading to the occupation of Clarksville, followed by the Return to Federal control of Nashville (with no mention made of Grant’s role there) and concluding with “Grant’s army moved up the Tennessee River,” the two or three weeks following Fall of Fort Donelson are carefully massaged to present U.S. Grant in the best light. The buildup to the Battle of Shiloh begins page 84, with emphasis on destroying Confederate railroads. And the Battle, itself – including Buell’s importance; the issue of “surprise” and the role of Prentiss; and the inclusion of William Carroll’s Battle of Pittsburg article – all are covered pages 86 – 97 (which concludes with mention of Sherman’s advance on April 8th.) General Grant and his Campaigns by Julian K. Larke (published 1864) is of value for learning how the Hero of Chattanooga was perceived, before he was called to Washington… before he ended up winning the war. https://archive.org/details/generalgrantandh00larkrich/page/n5 N.B. For those in search of "something more," the description of the Public Dinner attended by General Grant in St. Louis on 26 JAN 1864 is to be found pages 455 - 462; "Grant's Appearance and Character" are described pages 463 - 468. And in the Appendix, pages 15 - 23, a remarkable justification for General Grant's performance at Shiloh, presented before the House of Representatives on 2 May 1862, by Elihu Washburne. Julian K. Larke at find-a-grave https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/172074446/julian-k.-larke. https://onlinebooks.library.upenn.edu/webbin/book/lookupname?key=Larke%2c J. K. (Julian K.)&c=x other works by Julian K. Larke
  14. https://archive.org/details/catalogueoflibra00nichuoft/page/696 Catalogue of Library of LtCol John P. Nicholson (published 1914.) LtCol Nicholson must have been engrossed with the History of the Civil War; during the course of his life, he amassed the best collection of references (superior, even, to most University libraries.) Containing reference to diaries, letters, memoirs, biographies, this catalog acts as a bibliography revealing the existence of most known, and many obscure, Civil War resources. Found during my own perusal were resources concerning U.S. Grant, William T. Sherman, Leonidas Polk, PGT Beauregard, Whitelaw Reid. Maps of battlefields. MOLLUS records. (The above link at archive.org opens to the entries for works by David W. Reed.) After learning of the existence of a reference, search Google (or other search engine) and find its current location... Cheers Ozzy N.B. See also "Shiloh Primary Sources" of 20 SEP 2018 at Shiloh Discussion Group.
  15. Review of To Rescue My Native Land by Wm. T. Shepherd It is not often that letters and diaries compiled by artillerymen during the Civil War are encountered, and this collection is a gem: the “Civil War Letters of William T. Shepherd.” Native of Wisconsin, who enlisted in Chicago as Private in Taylor’s Battery B, 1st Illinois Light Artillery 16 July 1861, Private Shepherd (sometimes spelled Shepard) is a gifted, intelligent writer who sent letters to friends and family back in Illinois on a daily basis. Encountered in the many letters: · Camp life (and looking forward to letters, newspapers and parcels from home) · Details of duty (and October 1861 Skirmish at Fredericktown) in Missouri · Description of duty (and Christmas) at Bird’s Point, Missouri. Letter of 10 NOV 1861 describes participation in Battle of Belmont. Letter of 9 JAN 1862 reveals “everyone at Cairo, Fort Holt and Bird’s Point is under Marching Orders” (which everyone believes is for “somewhere down the Mississippi River…”) Instead, a feint is conducted to the east of Fort Columbus, which “confuses everyone”). Letter of 1 FEB 1862: under Marching Orders, again… 8 FEB 1862: describes “how easily their Fort Henry became ours.” 16 FEB: Letter begins “while besieging Fort Donelson” and describes previous four days of activity, and ends abruptly when orders arrive to “reposition the Battery.” (See 21 FEB letter.) 28 FEB: “Our Captain Taylor has just returned from a visit to Nashville…” 12 MAR: aboard steamer Silver Moon, going up the Tennessee River… 21 MAR: at Savannah, returning to steamer for move up river… 23 MAR letter written from Pitsburg Landing. “Arrived aboard John J. Roe. There are 75000 men at this place, and more arriving constantly…” 25 MAR: “Captain Taylor has been promoted, and Lieutenant Barrett is now in command of the Battery.” Letters of 8 APR and 14 APR 1862: aftermath of Battle of Shiloh. And more good news: Private William Shepherd (who was promoted to Sergeant Major by the end of the War) also kept a Diary… Cheers Ozzy To Rescue My Native Land: the Civil War Letters of William T. Shepherd (edited by Kurt H. Hakemer) Tennessee University Press 2005 (365 pages) is available at amazon.con and better libraries. [Limited access: https://books.google.com.au/books?id=a6HQRB6UimYC&pg=PA331&lpg=PA331&dq=israel+p.+rumsey+letter&source=bl&ots=JG_cwqaoUX&sig=dQa8blZoWwiMXVAQGfu3JkaSAHE&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiIg5yUx4nfAhUF448KHReGDdcQ6AEwBXoECAkQAQ#v=onepage&q=israel p. rumsey letter&f=false And for those able to visit Kenosha, Wisconsin: https://museums.kenosha.org/civilwar/wp-content/uploads/sites/4/2018/05/Wisconsin-Resources-for-Website.pdf Civil War letters and diaries on file
  16. Cleveland Morning Leader of 5 APR 1862 Page 2 Col.3 (from 41st OVI). [Just a reminder: the 41st Ohio Infantry was part of Hazen's Brigade, of Nelson's Fourth Division. Hazen's Brigade crossed the Tennessee River during the night of 6/7 April and took part in Day Two at Battle of Shiloh.] https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=coo.31924077730160;view=1up;seq=365 OR 10 page 347 Report No. 111.
  17. Chicago Daily Tribune of Monday 31 MAR 1862 page one. Chigago Daily Tribune attempts to predict the future...
  18. As we know, Grant’s Army of West Tennessee consisted of six divisions at the commencement of Battle of Shiloh. Few consider how those six divisions developed: First Division. After experience with a variety of brigade-sized organizations, Brigadier General Grant reported to Cairo in September 1861, and almost immediately took a handful of infantry regiments and artillery to Paducah (which formed the nucleus of the Second Division.) What remained behind at Cairo, coupled with elements of John McClernand’s brigade, and other units that found themselves at Bird’s Point and Fort Holt, became the First Division. Initially taking command of this division, himself, Ulysses S. Grant, after Battle of Belmont provided all possible assistance to BGen McClernand, for that officer to act as commander of the First Division. And the turnover of command took place by 2 FEB 1862 (prior to that time, John McClernand was commander of Post of Cairo and commander of 1st Brigade.) And General Grant exercised overall command against Belmont as Commander, District of SE Missouri; and against Fort Henry as Commander, District of Cairo. Second Division. A loose collection of infantry, artillery and company-sized units of United States Cavalry gravitated towards Paducah; and under leadership of Charles Ferguson Smith, former Commandant at West Point and Mexican War veteran, acting as Commander, Post of Paducah, these units were moulded quickly into what became the Second Division (by the time of Belmont, at least two brigade-sized organizations had been organized, one of which conducted a demonstration to the east of Fort Columbus, commanded by Eleazer Paine.) Lew Wallace, who had arrived at Paducah mid-August, was promoted to Brigadier General and took command of the 2nd Brigade before the end of October 1861. And John McArthur replaced the out-of-favor Paine, in command of 1st Brigade. Third Division. Following success at Forts Henry and Heiman, Grant’s Army of Cairo marched east to envelope Fort Donelson; and General Lew Wallace’s brigade (and other spare troops) were left behind on the Tennessee River to garrison the captured prizes. After a few days, Lew Wallace and most of his force was called east to join the Campaign at Fort Donelson; and upon arrival BGen Wallace was given command of the new Third Division (losing his own brigade to Smith’s Second Division) but gaining Cruft’s Brigade (former 13th Brigade, Buell’s Army of the Ohio) and enough new-arrived units to form a brigade under Colonel John Thayer of Nebraska. The Third Division provided valuable service, in time to stifle the breakout attempt, which helped result in the Confederate surrender on 16 FEB 1862. Fourth Division. Brigadier General Stephen Hurlbut completed “drying out” at Benton Barracks and was sent to join General Grant at Fort Donelson… but arrived a day or two after the Rebels surrendered. Initially given minor tasks to perform on Grant’s behalf, on 21 FEB 1862 IAW General Orders No.7 BGen Hurlbut was issued command of a complete, three-brigade Division (Fourth Division); possibly the quickest generation of a full division (under four days.) In addition, during Grant’s occasional absences from Fort Donelson (to visit Clarksville and Nashville) Stephen Hurlbut was given acting-Command of Fort Donelson. Next Division. When William Tecumseh Sherman arrived at Paducah from Benton Barracks in February 1862, he was tasked with forwarding on troops to Grant’s Fort Donelson operation and given authority (from Major General Halleck) to “siphon off” spare troops, in order to create his own division (which Brigadier General Sherman called “First” Division [OR 7 page 595]. By early March enough force had been withheld at Paducah to justify title of Sherman’s Division; and that division was ready to deploy south, up the Tennessee River, in support of BGen Smith’s campaign against Confederate railroads (after Grant’s suspension from field command.) The units assigned to what ultimately became recognized as the Fifth Division were adjusted continually through March and April, especially cavalry and artillery assignments. References: Sherman’s Memoirs page 249 (Orders of 13 FEB 1862) and page 253 (taking units for own division at Paducah). Papers of USG vol.4 page 236 (Hurlbut arrives Fort Donelson) page 241, 252, 254, 276 (note.) Lew Wallace Autobiography OR 3 and OR 7
  19. From the Civil War Diaries Collection at Auburn University comes this Shiloh battle record, compiled by L. I. Nixon of Limestone County, Alabama. Incensed by hearing of the Confederate defeats at Fort Henry and Fort Donelson, 38-year old Liberty Independence Nixon left his wife and seven children and joined Malone's Company... and on February 24th 1862 was on his way to Corinth. After a brief stay, Malone's Company of the 1st Battalion of Alabama Volunteers returned south to vicinity of Mobile Bay to gather supplies; then a return to Corinth on the M & O R.R. took place on March 4th. Camping a few days about a mile north of Corinth, Private Nixon and his fellows rode the train north to Bethel Springs (and may have heard the exchange of gunfire between Confederate soldiers and Lew Wallace's party, tasked with tearing up the railroad -- page 18.) Returning to Corinth on March 20th, Nixon indicates "they resumed the exact same camp ground, as before." And then, Private Nixon relates the story of "Beauregard's bodyguard finding a barrel of whiskey..." which led to Malone's Company being briefly assigned as bodyguard to General Beauregard. While in close proximity to Tishomingo Hotel, Private Nixon confirms "a rush" made on the hotel (also mentioned in Braxton Bragg's Letter of 20 March 1862.) Pages 24 - 27 reflect on camp life in Corinth. Page 27 records the units making up Gladden's Brigade: 1st Louisiana Infantry, 21st Alabama Infantry, 22nd Alabama, 25th Alabama, "Robisson's" Regiment of Artillery, and Nixon's unit, the 1st Battalion Alabama Volunteers commanded by Major Chaddick. Next day (March 30th) four new companies are added to the 1st Alabama Battalion -- now known as 26th Alabama Infantry Regiment. On page 28, the orders to cook three days' rations (3 April). Same day: "We left early and took up the line of march." Pages 28 - 30 recount the march north, the rain, and wagons getting mired in the mud. Page 31 records knowledge of the Picket Skirmish of April 4th (Private Nixon observed Yankee prisoners being moved south.) Pages 32 - 34 record the final approach towards the Federal camp; and about dark on April 5th Private Nixon and his fellows are sent forward on picket duty... The entire diary is only 46 pages long (and the first four pages are water-damaged from attic storage, so almost unreadable.) Fortunately, every page is transcribed at bottom: http://content.lib.auburn.edu/cdm/compoundobject/collection/civil/id/23854/rec/20 Private Nixon's Shiloh Diary.
  20. Ozzy

    Parker's Office

    The above image depicts a scene sketched at Pittsburg Landing in April 1862 that most have never seen before. What was "Parker's Office?"
  21. On the back page of the Daily Missouri Republican of 25 MAR 1862 is noted: "The Iatan arrived yesterday from the Tennessee River." Three days later, in the Friday edition, the paper reported: "Captain James Gormley has resigned command of the steamer Empress and taken charge of Iatan. He will depart with her on Saturday..." The voyage on Saturday from St. Louis was a short one: just a couple of miles south, where Iatan pulled up to Arsenal Dock. After spending much of the day loading stores, Captain Gormley was replaced by Captain Edds; and late on Saturday/ early on Sunday the steamer got underway "on a Government trip," down the Mississippi, up the Ohio, up the Tennessee... and briefly stopped at Fort Henry to report, and to pick up passengers (Lieutenant Derickson of the 16th Wisconsin, as well as several recovered patients from Illinois hospitals are known to have embarked.) Iatan continued up the Tennessee River and may have paused briefly at Savannah before reaching Pittsburg Landing, where she arrived on Tuesday, April 1st carrying enough munitions to start her own war: 200 pieces 24 # solid shot 4800 # 200 pieces 32 # solid shot 6400 # 100 8-inch shells(Columbiad) 5000 # 45 barrels explosive powder 4680 # 43 boxes of gunpowder 6361 # 2 boxes gunpowder 386 # Total weight of munitions 27,627 pounds References: L.B. Parsons Papers AQM Office (St. Louis Arsenal) Bill of Lading for 29 March 1862 Scapegoat of Shiloh by Kevin Getchell Daily Missouri Republican editions of March 25, 28 & 30 of 1862
  22. Achievements of the Navy (on the Tennessee River, from the fall of Fort Henry) It is a struggle to come to grips with this topic, because “The Navy” was not technically part of the war effort on the inland waters until October 1862. So, up until that time (including the contribution made in support of Grant’s Army at Pittsburg Landing) the Timberclads and Ironclads (and from late April 1862, the Tinclads) were part of the Union Army, operated by competent officers and enlisted men of the U.S. Navy… except in the case of Ellet’s Rams, but that’s another story. Beginning with the initial raid up the Tennessee River, commenced immediately upon the fall of Fort Henry, the accomplishments of patrols and multi-vessel raids are many and varied: · Denied Rebel use of MC & L R.R. bridge at Danville · Capture of nearly complete ironclad, Eastport · Shock & awe of Confederate citizens along the Tennessee, as far as Florence, AL · Destroyed (or encouraged self-destruction) of almost every Rebel steamer on the Lower Tennessee River… except two, hidden until mid-April 1862 · Found important pockets of Union support (most notably at Savannah, Tennessee) · Intelligence collection · Second raid found M & C R.R. near Iuka too strongly defended · Strong Union support at Savannah confirmed · Confiscated massive amount of Rebel flour at Clifton, Tennessee · Moved controversial figure, Fielding Hurst, to safety at Cairo · Intelligence collection · Third raid recruited crew members at Savannah for Timberclad service · “Recruitment Picnic” broken up at Savannah (and leaders of that picnic – J.B. Kendrick of Captain Fitzgerald’s Company of Tennessee Volunteers and Clay Kendrick of Colonel Crew’s Regiment – taken into custody and removed to Cairo · Engagement at Pittsburg Landing on March 1st drives Rebels away from the bluff. Members of Company C and Company K of 32nd Illinois Infantry – acting in capacity of “sharp shooters” – participate as landing party. (The 32nd Illinois later takes part at Shiloh, attached to Hurlbut’s Fourth Division.) · As component of General C.F. Smith’s Expedition, the Lexington and Tyler provided support and protection to the transport fleet · Whenever discovered, ferry vessels were destroyed · Support to Sherman’s raids (attempted cut of M & C R.R.) · Reconnaissance and intelligence collection · In company with USS Cairo on April 1st, the gunboats conducted a reconnaissance of creeks as far upstream as Chickasaw Bluff (likely an attempt to uncover the hiding place of two Rebel steamers) · During the Battle of Shiloh, gunfire support (directed by General Hurlbut) commences just before 3 p.m. and intensifies until night halts the action of April 6th · Overnight, the Timberclads lob explosive shells into Rebel-held portions of Shiloh battlefield, every 15 minutes, until 5 a.m. Can you think of any other Naval contributions to add to the list? [Most information found in OR (Navy) vol.22 and Chicago Daily Tribune.]
  23. The following link leads to 21 pages of titles/ authors of primary sources (created through about 1920) relating to Battle of Shiloh: http://www.civilwardigital.com/Shiloh-_Guide_to_Collection.pdf Guide to Shiloh primary sources Cheers Ozzy
  24. Born in the village of Elizabeth, Indiana in 1819, James Clifford Veatch spent his formative years within ten miles of the Ohio River, with Louisville, Kentucky – a dozen miles away -- the largest town in his vicinity. His father, a Member of the Indiana State Legislature, died of illness in 1833; and James devoted himself to study of Law, passed the Indiana Bar, and then entered politics by 1841. First elected to a county position, James Veatch was serving as Member of the Indiana House of Representatives when war erupted in April 1861. He resigned his seat, joined the 25th Indiana Infantry, and was appointed Colonel, with date of rank 9 August 1861. The 25th Indiana was sent to Missouri, and arrived in time to take part in Major General Fremont’s march on Springfield; after which, the 25th Indiana took part in an operation near Warrensburg that resulted in capture of over one thousand Rebels. After marching those captured men away to confinement, the 25th Indiana was assigned to Benton Barracks until February 1862, when it was sent away, too late to participate in the Capture of Fort Henry (but available for the Operation against Fort Donelson.) Following in support of the 2nd Iowa during the memorable charge on the afternoon of 15 February, the 25th Indiana suffered forty additional casualties to add to 14 killed and 60 wounded already sustained since February 12th, and gained favourable mention in Brigadier General C.F. Smith’s report (OR 52 page 9.) Afterwards attached to the new Fourth Division (BGen Stephen Hurlbut) the 25th Indiana was assigned to the 2nd Brigade and accompanied General Smith’s expedition up the Tennessee River in March 1862 (with James Veatch, as senior Colonel, assigned to brigade command.) Allowed to debark from steamers on about 18 March, the 2nd Brigade camped about one mile west of Pittsburg Landing, with the remainder of the Fourth Division extending towards the south. On the morning of 6 April 1862, the 2nd Brigade was detached by Stephen Hurlbut and sent west to support Brigadier General Sherman; but before reaching Sherman, the brigade under Colonel Veatch was engaged in vicinity of McClernand’s First Division, and spent the remainder of Day One near the center of the battlefield, in support and at times extending McClernand’s left… and took severe casualties, before falling back to Grant's Last Line. On Day Two, the survivors of Veatch’s Brigade were caught up in the final Federal charge (conducted by General Grant) which is credited with “driving the Rebels from the field.” For his competent leadership, James Veatch was promoted Brigadier General, to date from 28 April 1862. Following Shiloh, Brigadier General Veatch took part in the Siege of Corinth (still in command of the 2nd Brigade) and was subsequently engaged at Hatchie’s Bridge (where he was wounded, struck in the side by a grape shot.) After spending time recovering, and on detached duty, General Veatch took part in Sherman’s Meridian Campaign, and was involved in Sherman’s 1864 drive toward Atlanta. Taking sick leave just before the Battle for Atlanta, Veatch returned to active service in time to participate in the Battle for Fort Blakely (Alabama) in April 1865. He resigned in August 1865, and was brevetted Major General. Following return to civilian life in Indiana, General Veatch resumed politics, and served in a variety of capacities. He died in 1895 of heart disease, and is buried in Rockport, Indiana. References: http://www.findagrave.com/memorial/5897067/james-clifford-veatch OR 52 pages 9 (General Smith's Fort Donelson report) and page 10 (Jacob Lauman's Fort Donelson report) OR 10 page 122 (General McClernand's Shiloh report) Veatch mention OR 10 page 203 (General Hurlbut's report) Veatch mention OR 10 pages 219 - 221 (Colonel Veatch's report, with mention of Grant's Charge on Day Two) http://stream/reportofadjutant02indi#page/250 Indiana Civil War, volume Two (25th Indiana Infantry) http://books.google.com.au/books?redir_esc=y&id=epbbg1CA4CAC&q=Veatch#v=snippet&q=Veatch&f=false Medical Histories of Union Generals (Jack Welsh) wikipedia
  25. A diary with a difference: My Diary, North and South by William Howard Russell, commences March 1861(before the Attack on Fort Sumter) and finishes in March 1862, as McClellan heads towards the Peninsula. Therefore, this work contains nothing concerning the fighting at Battle of Shiloh. However, what makes this report unusual: William H. Russell was a journalist for The Times of London, and was dispatched to America to report on the increasingly bellicose affairs taking place; Russell sent those weekly reports back to London for publication (which directly influenced the way England viewed the American upheaval), and also had many columns printed in New York newspapers. And Russell was granted access -- North and South -- to the key leaders and decision-makers who would gain prominence as events unfolded. The very observant reporter, with a gift for portrayal of people and places, met and recorded his impressions of the following: President Lincoln and his Cabinet (from page 38), President Davis and his Cabinet (page 172), PGT Beauregard (page 121), Braxton Bragg (p.206), William Hardee (p.193), Gideon Pillow (p.306), David Dixon Porter (p.202), Benjamin Prentiss (p.329), fellow Englishman Henry Binmore (p.333), John C. Fremont (p.397), William "Bull" Nelson (page 48), and many others (enter last name in Search Box at top of archive.org page.) As well, impressions of Philadelphia, New York City (before and after start of war), Washington, Baltimore, Montgomery, Pensacola, New Orleans, Memphis and Cairo (and Fort Sumter and Fort Pickens) make for interesting reading. Over 600 pages, this work was published in Boston in 1863; and is available at archive.org: http://archive.org/stream/mydiarynorth00russrich#page/n9 Cheers Ozzy
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