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Found 40 results

  1. Ozzy

    16,000 Telegrams...

    Ran across the below Smithsonian Magazine article, dated 28 June 2016, by accident, while searching for orders sent by Henry Halleck. The report caught me by surprise, as I assumed all the Civil War telegrams still in existence (North and South) had been de-coded, already. Just goes to show: there is a lot of material still out there, some of which may turn one theory or another on its head... Ozzy http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/you-can-help-decode-thousands-top-secret-civil-war-telegrams-180959561/ 16.000 Telegrams yet to be De-Coded
  2. Ozzy

    Ft. Donelson witness

    Charles C. Nott was practicing law in New York when the Rebellion broke out, and somehow ended up in the Fremont Hussars; and shortly afterward, became a part of Curtis Horse (5th Iowa Cavalry, Company E) of which, 34-year old Nott became Captain. After the war ended, Charles Nott wrote a book of his exploits in the west; and Chapters 2 and 3 detail his accidental involvement with the Fort Donelson Campaign. Accidental, because Curtis Horse had been assigned to Fort Henry, but the steamer Captain Nott and his friend from the 14th Iowa Infantry climbed aboard carried the 2nd Iowa Infantry, bound for the Cumberland River. Nott describes many of the men of the 2nd Iowa, met during the brief voyage; sights along the banks of the Cumberland; and the snow (and attempting to seek shelter from the cold) in the semi-circle of Federal troops, ringing the west side of Fort Donelson (where Captain Nott "joined" the 14th Iowa, "on detached service." The activities of February 15th are discussed as closely as anyone who heard about the "Confederate breakout attempt" without participating, could... followed by awareness that his unit, way up north of the activity further south, is to take part in storming the Rebel fort. The action force was led by the 2nd Iowa, followed closely by 52nd Indiana, 25th Indiana, 7th Iowa and 14th Iowa (while off to the right was a "feint" led by the 12th Iowa, 50th Illinois, and Birge's Western Sharpshooters.) Descending into a gully, climbing up the other side (under fire), watching the fate of the Federal troops in front; followed by awareness they have carried "the last significant position" ...and Captain Nott turned his attention to the wounded, and assisted in carrying many to Hospital. [Chapter One of his book also describes a Hospital experience, significant in that he inadvertently captures the "outbreak of sickness" that gripped St. Louis in Winter 1861/62.] Charles Nott was seriously injured a couple of months after Fort Donelson, and returned to New York to recover. While there, he was "assigned" to a New York infantry regiment that took part in operations in Louisiana (during which he was captured at Brashear City, and spent 13 months a captive at Camp Ford, Texas.) After the war, Colonel Nott returned to New York, and was eventually appointed Chief Justice of the United States Court of Claims. A remarkable man, with an incredible story... Ozzy http://archive.org/stream/sketchesofwar01nott#page/n11/mode/2up Sketches of the War, by Charles C. Nott (1865). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_C._Nott everyone's favourite, wikipedia... http://www.scriptoriumnovum.com/c/nott.html Charles Nott bio at 5th Iowa Cavalry (Curtis Horse) website.
  3. Under construction for about ten years, Essential Civil War Curriculum is an ambitious attempt to compile a one-stop-shop for Teacher Lesson Plans and ideas of "what can be taught in the classroom." And, to be be fair, if students read only what was advised by this online site, they would come away with a solid grounding in "History of the American Civil War." However, in later years they might wonder if mention was made of "Island No.10" or "Pensacola." Or the importance of Fort Columbus or Cairo Illinois or Mother Bickerdyke or PGT Beauregard... A "horn of plenty" exercise that introduces many of the key elements of the War of the Rebellion, each vignette offers a summary of a person, place or event that had a connection to the 1861 - 1865 conflict. Items of interest are listed alphabetically, and can be accessed by selecting a desired letter (much like a dictionary) and scrolling down. Alternatively, key words can be placed in the Search Box (correct spelling important) and results acquired. (Although no listing is to be found under "B" for John Brown, searching John Brown (without use of quotations) in the Search Box locates "John Brown's Raid" listed under "J"). Although suffering from Eastern Theatre Bias (in my opinion) the information regarding James Buchanan and Braxton Bragg and many other noted characters from the War of the Southern Secession is presented in a creditable fashion; and all entries have extensive Reference Lists, allowing extended study. In all, Essential Civil War Curriculum is worth a read, in order to "see what is being taught in the classroom today." Ozzy http://essentialcivilwarcurriculum.com/j/ Essential Civil War Curriculum
  4. Ozzy

    Court-Martial records

    Available on the Internet since 2011, over 1000 pages of documents briefly describing over 700 Court Martial proceedings in Major General Henry Halleck's Department of the Missouri during 1861, 1862 and 1863 ...nearly one per day, beginning December 1861 and includes accused men (officers and enlisted) from 8th Illinois, 2nd Iowa, 35th Illinois, 18th Indiana, 23rd Indiana, 6th Iowa, 8th Missouri, 41st Illinois, 11th Indiana, 40th Illinois, 1st Nebraska, 17th Illinois, 77th OVI, 25th Missouri (and many other regiments ultimately connected with Army of the Tennessee.) The Military Court proceedings were conducted in St. Louis; in the field in Missouri; at Paducah; and elsewhere. Some of the names you may recognize (acting as President of the Court) include Colonel James Tuttle (2nd Iowa); Colonel Morgan Smith (8th Missouri); Brigadier General Ben Loan (replaced Benjamin Prentiss in District of Northern Missouri in March 1862); Colonel E. P. Wood (17th Illinois); and Colonel David Stuart (55th Illinois). The offences charged are varied, and include: disobeying orders; assaulting an officer; falling asleep on guard duty; horse theft; theft of civilian property (often pigs and chickens, but sometimes more valuable items); absent-without-leave; desertion. Surprisingly, many civilians were caught up in the Military Justice System (members of unrecognized guerrilla bands; assisting the Rebel Cause, without belonging to a recognized Rebel fighting unit; Violating Oath of Allegiance). Punishment (for those found guilty) included forfeiture of pay and reduction in rank; dismissal from the service. If confinement was awarded, the sentence (from six months to "duration of the War") was served at Military Prison, Alton, Illinois. It appears Courts Martial consisted of three or four members (officers, of equal or higher rank than the accused.) But, in a capital case, the minimum was five members. The General Court Martial Orders from the HQ of Department of the Missouri, 1861 - 1863 is arranged chronologically; and there is no index (so it requires approximate knowledge of date of offense in order to find it in this resource.) The main case I was hoping to uncover -- details of the March/April 1862 Court Martial at Savannah Tennessee of Colonel David Moore, 21st Missouri -- I have yet to find. But if it is included, I will attach the page numbers in a later post. A resource with a difference... Ozzy http://lcweb2.loc.gov/service/lawlib/law0001/2012/20120020399879A/20120020399879A.pdf Record of Courts Martial, DEPT of MO, from Library of Congress http://blogs.loc.gov/law/2012/11/civil-war-military-trials/ Civil War courts martial records from other Departments
  5. Ozzy

    Robert Cartmell diary

    Not Hardin County, or McNairy County... but Madison County, a bit to the northwest. Robert Cartmell was a married, 33-year-old farmer working a property just outside Jackson, Tennessee when war broke out in April 1861. Since 1859 he maintained a diary (and faithfully recorded daily entries through April 1862.) Because Jackson was HQ for the Mobile & Ohio Railroad; and because the telegraph ran to Jackson, farmer Cartmell had access to timely news reports (often within hours or a day of the event) and Robert Cartmell would walk into town nearly every day to get the latest news, and then record that news (and his analysis) in his diary. Some of the more noteworthy entries: page 37 1859 Robert visited Corinth and recorded his impression of that soon-to-be famous railroad junction; (94) 14 Apr 61 The contest at Fort Sumter confirmed; (107) 8 Jun 61 Robert cast his ballot for Tennessee to secede; (149) 24 Jan 62 The defeat of Crittenden and Zollicoffer in Eastern Kentucky reported; (151) 8 Feb 62 "Went to town this evening and learned Fort Henry has fallen" (151) 10 Feb "Beauregard has arrived at Bowing Green (and gunboats have gone up the Tennessee River to Florence) (152) 16 Feb "Walked into town and learned Fort Donelson had fallen" (154) 24 Feb "The Governor wants the people of Madison County to volunteer (and he has gone to Memphis)" (154) Robert Cartmell joined a "militia company of married men" (Ford's Company at Jackson) (155) 3 Mar "A continuous stream of soldiers arriving at Jackson [from evacuation of Fort Columbus]" (155) "General Beauregard is here (and may make Jackson his HQ)" (155 - 162) Reports steamers carrying Federal troops up the Tennessee River; reports the arrival of Confederate soldiers in vicinity, until on April 5th he estimates 100,000 Rebels and 150,000 Federal troops are poised for a contest (all the while recording the daily weather; time spent at drill with Ford's Company; and work done on his farm...) A "diary with a difference," this record kept by Robert Cartmell is available online courtesy Tennessee Virtual Archive at: http://teva.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/compoundobject/collection/p15138coll39/id/268/rec/302 Robert Cartmell diary (mostly recorded at Jackson Tennessee). Cheers Ozzy
  6. Ozzy

    Larger than Life

    There are a number of figures, both North and South, that are iconic: they seem to encapsulate the essence of the American Civil War. For me, these include Grant and Sherman; Beauregard and Bragg; Robert E. Lee; Andrew Foote; George H. Thomas; N.B. Forrest and J.H. Morgan; and, of course, Jefferson Davis and Abraham Lincoln. Perhaps you look at my list of eleven names, and feel "someone important is missing" ...maybe David Farragut, or Raphael Semmes, or Stonewall Jackson. Regardless, if you accept that six-and-a-half of the "iconic figures" (Thomas arrived late), were present at Shiloh; can you think of another battle that featured as many icons, or more? Just another reason why the Battle of Shiloh is so remarkable... Ozzy
  7. Ozzy

    West Point at Shiloh

    Here is a test of your knowledge of West Point alumni present at Battle of Shiloh: Who were the three highest-ranked graduates in their USMA Class, present at Shiloh? (Hint: it wasn't U.S. Grant, ranked 21st in USMA Class of 1843; and it wasn't William Tecumseh Sherman, ranked 6th in his USMA Class of 1840... but these three graduates were ranked one, two and three in their respective USMA classes.) Which two U. S. Military Academy graduates, present at Shiloh, wrote books prior to Battle of Shiloh on military tactics, or military procedures? Name five of the six Military Academy graduates, present at Shiloh, who served as instructors, Superintendent, or Commandant of Cadets at West Point. (Hint: although George H. Thomas served as Instructor of Cavalry Tactics at West Point, he arrived too late to take part in Battle of Shiloh.) Which Federal officer at Shiloh graduated from the same USMA Class as Leonidas Polk? Who was the youngest West Point alumnus at Shiloh (Class of 1861, but resigned before graduation to join the Confederacy)? Which institution of higher learning had more alumni present at Pittsburg Landing/Crump's/Savannah on 6-7 April 1862: West Point ? or Upper Iowa University ? All the best Ozzy Another hint: all answers can be found through reference http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Gazetteer/Places/America/United_States/Army/USMA/Cullums_Register/ and following the cues.
  8. We're all familiar with Federal units that were "off the grid" -- not directly involved with the Battle of Shiloh. Some were "on their way" (such as George Thomas' 1st Division, Army of the Ohio); others were guarding the Post of Savannah (53rd Illinois and 53rd Indiana... and for a while, the 14th Wisconsin Infantry); and others were further afield (such as the 31st Illinois, acting as garrison for Federal-controlled Fort Donelson.) But, what about the Cavalry organization most often referred to as "Curtis Horse" ? Although not at Pittsburg Landing, this unit was assigned directly to Major General Grant, and performed a useful role during the Siege of Fort Donelson; and was involved in significant operations during build up of force in vicinity of Crump's and Pittsburg Landing. Name the State affiliation and number of this Cavalry organization. Ozzy Bonus: 1) What was the significant mission accomplished prior to surrender of Fort Donelson? 2) Name a date and location (prior to Shiloh) that any of the three significant operations involving Curtis Horse occurred? (Someone clever can list all three.)
  9. Ozzy

    It's just a quiz...

    Here are four questions to challenge your Shiloh/Civil War Knowledge: After Virginia, which State had the greatest number of Civil War military actions within its borders? Which Confederate officer wrote an after-action report for Fort Henry... and for Fort Donelson (present at both; captured at neither)? [Hint: he was wounded at Shiloh.] "Complete Victory" was claimed in General Beauregard's report of April 6th to Richmond, following on the First Day at Shiloh. But, in conjunction with "Manchester Bluff" and "Come Retribution," the phrase "Complete Victory" had another important usage within the Confederacy. What was that other usage? One of Ulysses S. Grant's little-recognized skills was his ability to identify talented men, and put them to work for him. Often, these "talented men" belonged to someone else at the time (for example, Surgeon John H. Brinton technically "belonged" to Major General John Fremont before joining General Grant's staff in September 1861; and James B. McPherson "belonged" to Major General Henry Halleck, before joining Grant's staff in February 1862.) The following officers: W. F. Brinck (acting Ordnance Officer at Shiloh); J. D. Webster (Grant's Chief of Staff); and Benjamin Grierson (conducted a cavalry raid for General Grant, as diversion during Vicksburg Campaign)... all worked for the same Brigadier General, before finding employment with U.S. Grant. Name that Brigadier General. Good Hunting Ozzy
  10. Ozzy

    The Draft Riot

    We're all familiar with the story: that the Draft was suggested by the Governor as a "necessary emergency measure" ...how the citizens expressed dismay at the Government's decision... the way the local newspapers expressed outrage and disgust, and inflamed public opinion. On the day the Draft was initiated, there were riots and bloodshed; and the "draft lottery boxes" were destroyed by an angry mob... on Monday, December 2nd 1861 (not in New York City.) The story is told that the first National draft during the War of the Rebellion was initiated by the Confederate States Government on April 16th 1862. And President Lincoln's Government enacted its own Draft Act on March 3rd 1863. But forgotten are the many State draft laws attempted prior to initiation of the National legislation. So the question: What city experienced the Draft Riot of December 2nd 1861 and who was Governor of the affected State? Ozzy
  11. Ozzy

    Tennessee Governor

    Here's an easy question (or is it?) At the time of the Battle of Shiloh, who was the Governor of Tennessee? Ozzy
  12. Ozzy

    Confederate OR

    Official Reports of Battles, Published by Order of Congress at Richmond, Virginia by Enquirer Book and Job Press (1862). Every once in a while, a real gem appears on archive.org ...and this is one of them. If you ever wondered where the Confederate side of the story came from (which appears in the Official Records of the War of the Rebellion) this book answers the question: the Confederate Government published these records for use by Confederate Congress and other agencies within the government. This title begins with the Battle of Manassas (General Beauregard's report of August 26th 1861) on page 5; and concludes with the Battle of Richmond, Kentucky (fought August 29-30 of 1862). Two reports were added late: Colonel Adolphus Heiman's report of Fort Henry (submitted after his release from Northern prison); and Colonel N.B. Forrest's report IRT destruction of military stores just prior to February 1862 surrender of Nashville. Of course, the Battle of Shiloh is comprehensively covered... or is it? (Several curious omissions are apparent, when this "time capsule" constructed in 1862 is compared to the United States version of the same records, which began to appear in 1881. And not only Shiloh.) Comprehensive Index on page 573. Available online at archive.org (see link below). Ozzy http://archive.org/stream/southernhistoryo00conf#page/572/mode/2up Official Reports of Battles (CSA) 1862
  13. Ozzy

    Bragg's Memoirs

    Along with George H. Thomas and Henry Halleck, Braxton Bragg is one of the Civil War leaders whose memoirs -- and raisons d'Etat -- I would most like to read. Many are the reasons given why General Bragg never got around to those musings; and this post suggests one more possibility, and it involves a man named Kinloch Falconer. An 1860 graduate of the University of Mississippi, Kinloch Falconer joined the 9th Mississippi as a Private and accompanied his regiment to Pensacola, Florida in March 1861, and became part of Braxton Bragg's force there, occupying the former U.S. Navy Yard and all the pre-war fortifications... except Fort Pickens. The key to control of access to Pensacola Bay, Fort Pickens was a thorn in the side of General Bragg (who ordered Colonel Chalmers to attempt a night raid against that facility 8/9 October 1861.) A month later, on November 22nd a gunnery duel erupted, pitting Confederate batteries at Fort Barrancas and Fort McRee against Union-held Fort Pickens and a squadron of Federal warships in the Gulf of Mexico. Because the guns at Pickens and Barrancas were not designed to fire all the way across at each other -- about three miles -- neither of these forts suffered much damage. Fort McRee (sometimes spelled Fort McRae) was another matter: only one mile from fort Pickens, on the opposite spit of land controlling the entrance to Pensacola Bay, Fort McRee was the most exposed of the Confederate positions. And it was just outside that wing-shaped fort that the 9th Mississippi was dug in, assigned to guns designed to prevent a landing by Federal troops. (The 10th Mississippi, under command of Colonel J.B. Villepigue, operated the big guns inside Fort McRee.) Over the course of 36 hours, the entire vicinity of Fort McRee was blasted by guns from Fort Pickens and warships USS Richmond and USS Niagara. Fort McRee was reduced to a smoldering ruin; but Colonel Villepigue's spirited defense of the position won acclaim from Braxton Bragg, and he was promoted to Brigadier General. Kinloch Falconer -- who had spent time clerking for General Bragg -- came to the notice of newly-minted General Villepigue, and was assigned as his Assistant Adjutant General. The 9th Mississippi left Florida in early 1862, and went on to fight alongside the 10th Mississippi at Shiloh. But Kinloch Falconer did not accompany his regiment; instead, he was promoted to Captain and followed General Villepigue to his new assignment: defense of Fort Pillow, on the Mississippi River. That position was evacuated just before the fall of Memphis (in June 1862) and John B. Villepigue (alumnus of The Citadel and 1854 graduate of West Point) next found himself assigned as Brigade commander (in Lovell's Division) Earl Van Dorn's Army of West Tennessee. Wounded during the October 3-5 Battle of Second Corinth, Villepigue succumbed to his wounds in November. And Captain Falconer found himself re-assigned to General Braxton Bragg, for whom he worked as AAG until early 1865... when he was again re-assigned, this time to the Staff of General Joseph E. Johnston. (When Johnston accepted terms offered by William Tecumseh Sherman on April 26th 1865 it was Major Falconer's signature that appeared on the Surrender Document.) Kinloch Falconer's war was over, but his usefulness was not. It was known that the AAG to several general officers had kept meticulous records -- and a diary -- during his years of service to the Confederacy. (One element of his diary, for the year 1865, is on file at Vanderbilt University at Nashville.) In the years after the war, General J.E. Johnston frequently contacted Falconer for precise details IRT Operations conducted during the War of the Rebellion. Braxton Bragg, too, contacted Falconer in 1870 with many questions IRT Bragg's military operations (which may indicate that Bragg was contemplating writing his memoirs, before his untimely death in 1876.) Kinloch Falconer, himself, met an untimely death in 1878. Then serving as Secretary of State for Mississippi, while on a visit to seriously ill relatives at Holly Springs he succumbed to the Yellow Fever epidemic then raging. His papers are now on file with the University of Mississippi. Ozzy References: http://clio.lib.olemiss.edu/cdm/compoundobject/collection/civil_war/id/2108/rec/8 Bragg's 1870 query to Falconer http://ufdcimages.uflib.ufl.edu/UF/00/08/56/93/00002/00067jc.pdf Falconer's involvement with Johnston's surrender 1865 http://clio.lib.olemiss.edu/cdm/search/searchterm/Kinloch Falconer Collection/mode/exact/page/1 Kinloch Falconer Collection http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Bordenave_Villepigue General J. B. Villepigue at wikipedia N.B. Thanks to David (Ole Miss) for providing access to the Kinloch Falconer Collection.
  14. Ozzy

    First Bowtie?

    A few days after the Battle of Shiloh, U.S. Grant notified recently-arrived Henry Halleck of intelligence from a "trusted source" IRT Rebel plans to cross the Tennessee River at Florence, march north, and attack Savannah. Grant proposed an expedition to cripple the bridge at Florence; and if possible, destroy the Bear Creek Bridge of the M&C R.R. east of Iuka. Halleck approved the operation, and on the evening of April 12th General Sherman led a brigade of infantry and 100 cavalrymen aboard two transports; and in company with timberclads Tyler and Lexington proceeded up the Tennessee River... but the bar at Chickasaw Bluff halted the progress of the expedition. Sherman landed his force at Chickasaw Landing at 7 next morning and rushed south. Drove away the Rebels guarding Bear Creek Bridge. Tore up the rails for five hundred feet west of the bridge. Burned the bridge. Then melted the collected-up railroad iron over a raging bonfire... Satisfied, and with few casualties, Sherman ordered his force back aboard the transports and returned to Pittsburg Landing evening of April 13th. Next day, he made his report to Grant (via Rawlins) [Papers of US Grant volume 5 pages 41-43]. Sherman had finally cut that railroad line (although General Ormsby Mitchel had beaten him by two days, cutting the M&C R.R. at Huntsville.) And the two rumored Confederate gunboats were still lurking somewhere upriver from Chickasaw. So the only real significance of the Expedition: Sherman bent up his first of many irreplaceable Confederate rails. (Over 90% of rails used by the Confederacy were imported from England.) Ozzy From Harper's Weekly of 1864, one of the more elaborate designs...
  15. Ozzy

    Patrick Gregg

    Captain Patrick Gregg of the 58th Illinois was one of the two hundred members of his regiment, taken prisoner at Shiloh. Along with the other 2200 Federal prisoners, he experienced the deprivations of 'half-rations,' inadequate shelter, and abundant vermin (lice). Before the end of April 1862, men began to die in the Southern prisons, due to lack of proper care. While confined as a prisoner at Selma, Alabama, Captain Gregg was appointed to a committee, with the authority to correspond with General Beauregard, in order to advocate for a 'special exchange,' of Shiloh prisoners for Fort Donelson prisoners. The correspondence was successful: General Beauregard authorized a 3-man commission, to be sent north via Richmond to Washington, D.C. to negotiate the special exchange. Patrick Gregg was one of the three selected to go. As Captain John Stibbs of the 12th Iowa noted in his diary: 'Time passed. Those of us at Selma were moved to a new prison at Madison, Georgia. We began to believe the mission had been fruitless.' Meanwhile, the commissioners were attempting to negotiate the special exchange, without luck. It is acknowledged, however, that these three men helped bring about the general program of prisoner exchange, known as the Dix-Hill Cartel of July 1862. Believing this outcome to be the best they could do, two commissioners ceased their efforts, and accepted their own 'special' exchanges. Captain Gregg pressed ahead, and eventually met President Lincoln, face to face. He told his story, and explained that he was acting on behalf of others; and demanded that he be allowed to 'complete his mission.' The President sent him on his way, with one month's pay, for every officer in captivity, and a safe-conduct pass. As Captain Stibbs relates: 'One day, we espied the tall form of Captain Gregg, marching up to our prison gate; [he was in possession of] a bag of gold, and boxes filled with clothing. God bless old Captain Gregg!' Patrick Gregg remained in custody until the general release of Shiloh prisoners, in October 1862. From the book: A Perfect Picture of Hell: eyewitness accounts by Civil War Prisoners from the 12th Iowa, edited by Ted Genoways and Hugh H. Genoways, University of Iowa Press, Iowa City, 2001, pp. 113-115.
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