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Found 91 results

  1. We all think we know the meaning of the idiom, “to turn a fort,” but do we? A military phrase taken from the French (as was most 19th century military terms) the French equivalent appears to be “tournailler une fortification” (literally “to spin the position like a toy top,” but militarily “to isolate the position; render it ineffectual.”) In the same way “piquet” became picket, the unpronounceable “tournailler” became turn; but the intended meaning remained unchanged. Why is this important? The Confederate position at Fort Columbus, with its 140 guns manned by 13000 soldiers, sited on a high bluff overlooking the Mississippi River (where a stout barrier chain stretched across from Kentucky to Missouri, and that chain defended by torpedoes of proven ability) ...this position created and operated by Major General Polk was deemed “impregnable” in January 1862 by none other than Henry Halleck (who also labelled Fort Columbus as a “Gibraltar.”) It was acknowledged that any attempt to assault Fort Columbus directly would require tens of thousands of Federal troops. The position might be taken, but the resulting bloodbath would be deemed unacceptable by the people of the North. To slant the odds more in favor of the North, and to “soften” the position prior to launching an infantry assault, it was deemed a requirement for the U.S. Navy to bombard Fort Columbus with 13-inch mortars. Besides wreaking havoc, the shrapnel created by each bursting 200-pound shell would tend to drive Rebel defenders to cover. Over time (perhaps three days or a week) it was anticipated enough men would be killed, and survivors become so demoralized, that Federal infantry could take the position “easily” (with casualties, but not on a massive scale.) Problem was, the mortars did not arrive. So, another “method of attack” had to be substituted to “turn the fort” at Columbus. That other method was the assault on Fort Henry (and Fort Donelson) combined with destruction of the railroad bridge just south of Fort Henry. References: https://archive.org/details/frenchenglishmil00williala/page/326 French- English Military Terms. The Life of Andrew Hull Foote by J.M. Hoppin (1874) https://archive.org/details/lifeofandrewhull00hopprich/page/n8 SDG topic "Foote and Grant want to Seize Fort Henry" (all posts). SDG "Urgent offer to Bragg" post of 17 May 2018. SDG "Rebel Intelligence" post of 2 August 2016. SDG "Hey! Look over there..." post of 13 JAN 2016. SDG "FEB 14 1862: Fort Donelson attacked by Union Ironclads" posts of 12 JAN & 21 JAN 2016. SDG "Civil War Cannon live fire Video" post of 26 December 2015.
  2. We're all familiar with General Philip Sheridan, one of the senior officers (along with Sherman, McPherson, Dodge and Ord) credited as being part of U.S. Grant's Inner Circle; and as part of that team contributed to bringing the Civil War to a close. However, you may not realize that then-Captain Sheridan was at Pittsburg Landing in April 1862. Question: What was the role of Philip Sheridan at Pittsburg Landing?
  3. Ozzy

    Otto H. Matz

    First time I visited Rio de Janeiro many years ago, I arrived by ship. The night before, from a distance of one hundred miles, a star appeared on the southern horizon that seemed to mark the location of Brasil's most reknowned city; and the ship adjusted course and aimed for the star. Curiously, that star did not rise, but remained in place, hovering just above the horizon... but did disappear with the rising of the sun. Of course, what I had seen was not a star, but the brightly illuminated Christ Redeemer Statue that is the symbol of Rio. Next day I went with friends to the top of Mount Corcovado to visit the statue with its welcoming outstretched arms: a small bronze plaque, about a foot square, gave details of the statue and its completion in 1931 ( designed by Heitor da Silva Costa, with assistance from artist Carlos Oswald and sculptor Paul Landowski.) And adjacent to the small plaque was an ENORMOUS sign, three yards wide and a yard high that proclaimed, “Lighting Provided by General Electric.” This story is provided to illustrate the similar feeling of utter disbelief I experienced upon investigating more closely the Thom Maps: “Map of Field of Shiloh” and “Map of the Country between Monterey and Corinth.” Because, boldly proclaimed on both of these beautiful, precise maps are names of commanders Halleck, Grant or Buell, with slightly smaller credit for construction of each map accorded to Staff Officer George Thom. But well away from these bold names, along one edge of each map (and requiring a magnifying glass to read): Otto H. Matz. Naturally, it could be assumed that Otto Matz was a West Point graduate, assisting George Thom with creation of these highly detailed charts, but such is not the case. Matz was born in Prussia in 1830, was trained at the Berlin Polytechnic Institute, and migrated to America while a young man. When the Civil War erupted, Otto Matz offered his services; and he soon found himself assisting Henry Halleck's staff officer, George Thom. When Henry Halleck (and Colonel Thom) were called east in July 1862, Major Matz remained in the west and was incorporated onto General Grant's staff (and assisted with the after-battle Map of Fort Donelson, the Map of Milliken's Bend, Louisiana, and produced maps used during the Vicksburg Campaign.) After the war, Otto Matz returned to Chicago and resumed his work as architect (and he was notably involved with rebuilding Chicago after the Great Fire of 1871.) He died in 1919. References: https://www.loc.gov/search/?fa=contributor:matz,+otto+h. [Some of the maps created by Otto Matz on file with Library of Congress.] http://bobrugo.us/GenealogyFiles/MatzPublic/WP01/WP01_023.HTM Otto H. Matz https://archive.org/stream/CityOfChicagoLandmarkDesignationReports/CourthousePlace#page/n1/mode/1up A Chicago creation of Otto H. Matz (see pp. 3- 4) SDG topic "Bushrod Johnson's Brigade, morning of 6 April" by Billy1977 (see post of 3 SEP 2016: the Thom maps).
  4. One of the leaders in the Confederate Army of the Mississippi that we think we know enough about, but fail to fully appreciate (perhaps because he was a late entry, put in charge of the Reserve Corps after General Crittenden was removed): John C. Breckinridge. As everyone knows, Breckinridge was VP under Buchanan; but he was Senator from Kentucky when war broke out in April 1861... How did that come about? Born in Lexington Kentucky into a political family, Breckinridge studied law and graduated from Transylvania College in 1841, aged 20. Moving to Iowa Territory, John Breckinridge set up a Law Office at Burlington; but returned home to Kentucky to visit relatives Summer of 1843, and met and married a cousin of his law partner, Mary Cyrene Burch. The Burlington Law Office was closed, and the young couple settled in Georgetown Kentucky. The Mexican War erupted in 1846, and John Breckinridge attempted to join a Kentucky regiment, but was disallowed. So, instead of serving in Mexico, Breckenridge built up his law practice (now established in Lexington) until the decision preventing him from serving in the Army was reversed. In August 1847, the 3rd Kentucky Volunteers, along with Major Breckinridge, set off for the war; and arrived in time to help garrison newly captured Mexico City. [There is dispute whether John Breckinridge became a member of the prestigious Aztec Club, as his name is not listed among the Original Members. However, a grandson, James C. Breckinridge, became a Hereditary Member in 1887 and this was only possible if Major Breckinridge was eligible.] One fallout from duty in Mexico was the Gideon Pillow case, resulting in Court-Martial in 1848. Major Breckinridge acted as Defence for Brigadier General Pillow, with the result of No Verdict. A subsequent Court of Inquiry exonerated General Pillow (but he was never made a Member of the Aztec Club.) John Breckinridge entered politics and won election to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1850, was reelected in 1852 and served until 1855. He was subsequently installed on the ticket as James Buchanan's running mate during the 1856 election, and subsequently served as Vice President until March 4th 1861 (when Hannibal Hamlin was sworn in as VP under President Lincoln.) When Vice President Hamlin swore in newly elected Senators a few days later, John Breckinridge was sworn in as Senator from Kentucky (filling a vacancy.) [And while serving as VP John Breckinridge was on the ballot as Southern Democrat candidate for President in the 1860 election. As result of the NOV 1860 election, Breckinridge gained the second highest number of electoral votes in the 4-way race, and lost to Republican Abraham Lincoln.] Senator Breckinridge managed to hold onto his seat, and vote on crucial measures, until December 1861, when a vote of the Senate declared him a Traitor, and expelled him. (Breckinridge had joined the Confederate Army in November. His expulsion followed those of ten other Southern Senators expelled in July.) Commissioned Brigadier General with effect from 2 NOV 1861, two weeks later he was given command of the 1st Kentucky Brigade, under overall command of General Albert Sidney Johnston, and organized that collection of Kentucky units at Bowling Green. With the loss of Fort Donelson in FEB 1862 Breckinridge led his brigade south through Nashville and eventually took up the line of the Memphis & Charleston R.R. west to Corinth. With the removal of Brigadier General George Crittenden end of March 1862, John Breckinridge gained elevation to command of the Reserve Corps, just in time for Shiloh. Following the Battle of Shiloh, General Breckinridge was Mentioned in Despatches by General PGT Beauregard and is noted for his impressive rear-guard action during Confederate withdrawal to Corinth. During the Siege of Corinth Major General Breckinridge continued in command of the Reserve Corps; he continued to serve in the field (Stones River, Chickamauga, Missionary Ridge, and New Market most noteworthy) and in 1865 was called from active duty and installed as the last Confederate Secretary of War. With the pending loss of the Capital at Richmond in April 1865, John Breckinridge fled south with President Davis and the Cabinet; and Breckinridge was one of the few to evade capture, reaching safety in Canada. References: https://www.neh.gov/humanities/2011/novemberdecember/feature/the-man-who-came-in-second John C. Breckinridge https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84024738/1862-05-10/ed-1/seq-2/#date1=1862&sort=relevance&rows=20&words=Peyton&searchType=basic&sequence=0&index=19&state=Virginia&date2=1862&proxtext=Peyton&y=0&x=0&dateFilterType=yearRange&page=6 The Daily Dispatch (Richmond Virginia) 10 MAY 1862 page 2 col. 5 "Shiloh Report of General Beauregard" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7GGmFkl-bzw [Just an interesting John C. Breckinridge relic or two...]
  5. Jefferson Davis at West Point Stumbled upon this reference while searching for something else... but it piqued my curiosity due to the fact so many West Point-trained men occupied senior positions during the War of the Rebellion, and especially after reading that, “no change was made to the entrance conditions [to gain admission to the United States Military Academy] until 1866.” Besides courses on offer, the style of uniform and description of military training, and conditions endured at the time, significant personalities mentioned include Ethan Allen Hitchcock, Major W. I. Worth, Ormsby Mitchel, Leonidas Polk, Robert E. Lee, Joseph E. Johnston, John B. McGruder, Albert Sidney Johnston, Crafts Wright, Henry Clay, Jr. Some already mentioned, but USMA alumni J. Davis (USMA 1828) due to presence of three classes above and three classes below, would have known at West Point: Class of 1825 Daniel Donelson (Fort Donelson) and Robert Anderson (Fort Sumter); Class of 1826 Albert Sidney Johnston; Class of 1827 William Maynadier (Island No.10) Napoleon Buford (Island No.10) Leonidas Polk, Thomas Worthington; Class of 1828 George Chase (Pensacola fortifications) Crafts J. Wright (13th Missouri Infantry at Shiloh); Class of 1829 Robert E. Lee, Joseph E. Johnston, Ormsby M. Mitchel, Thomas Davies; Class of 1830 John B. McGruder, Robert Buchanan (officer responsible for ending US Grant's Army career); Class of 1831 Jacob Ammen, Thomas McKean, Lucius Northrop and Samuel Curtis (Battle of Pea Ridge.) This reference is provided for background information, as a means to help understand the conditions and training endured by cadets during four years at West Point. And for those with greater interest in the Military Academy of the early 19th Century, there are a dozen additional references listed, at the bottom of pages of the text. Jefferson Davis at West Point by Walter L. Fleming (first published in Proceedings of the Tenth Annual Meeting of the Mississippi Historical Society) this copy published at Baton Rouge by LSU in 1910. https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=hvd.32044020445540&view=1up&seq=5 J. Davis at West Point made available by HathiTrust.
  6. Finally having acquired my copy of “Grant Under Fire” by Joseph Rose, it may be of value to provide a brief examination of how the Battle of Fort Donelson is presented: It was heartening to find mention of mortars and Flag-Officer Foote's desire to have those weapons available (yet Foote went ahead and attempted his assault against Fort Donelson without them.) Rose addresses the curious fact of General Grant NOT leaving an officer in temporary command when he departed the vicinity of Fort Donelson to visit a wounded Flag-Officer Foote. And McArthur's brigade, borrowed from General Smith and positioned on the Union right, is mentioned for its role in fighting a losing battle to hold back the Confederate break-out of February 15th. Otherwise, the Fort Donelson operation is faithfully and predictably described, beginning with Colonel Forrest's unsuccessful effort to slow the Federal advance; the disposition of Grant's forces in a semi-circle just west of the Confederate stronghold; the addition of Lew Wallace's brigade (increased on site to Division strength) and Wallace's dilemma in responding to McClernand's request for assistance (with General Grant absent, and no one acting as his agent.) The attempted Rebel break-out, rolled back in the afternoon due to incompetence, and Federal reinforcements. And C.F. Smith, Jacob Lauman and James Tuttle share credit for advancing against the Confederate right, breaching the outer works, rendering Rebel possession of the fort untenable (with subsequent surrender next morning.) Grant Under Fire. If acquired solely for its accurate depiction of the Fort Donelson operation, it is worth the purchase. Ozzy
  7. Following on the Confederate evacuation from Corinth end of May 1862, many in the Government at Richmond became quite unhappy with the performance of General PGT Beauregard. President Jefferson Davis, in particular, harbored a grudge that stemmed from Beauregard's publication of his Manassas report in newspapers (criticizing Davis' role in not promoting pursuit of the retreating Federals as they fled pell- mell towards Washington.) The grudge festered with the death of Davis' friend, Albert Sidney Johnston at Shiloh, and Beauregard's cavalier report of that man's death, tacked into a telegram claiming Complete Victory on April 6th. The final straw that broke the camel's back was Beauregard's "unauthorized" evacuation from Corinth, without first engaging Federal forces in battle. It appears President Davis merely bided his time... and when Braxton Bragg reported that Beauregard had departed on sick leave (for a health spa near Mobile) the opportunity presented, and Davis struck, replacing Beauregard on 17 June 1862 with Bragg as commander of what would now be called the Army of Tennessee. Stephen R. Mallory, Confederate Secretary of the Navy, was one of the few Cabinet officers to keep a diary. His entry for 21 June 1862: "Interesting Cabinet meeting yesterday. President had ordered Bragg, who was second in command at Corinth, to proceed to Mississippi and assume command. Beauregard would not permit Bragg to go, but left Bragg in command, and goes himself to Mobile for his health. Beauregard, with the finest army ever found upon this continent, about 100,000 strong, remained about six weeks after the battle of Shiloh inactive, with the enemy in his front, and then retreated without notice to the President or War Department. And up to this time no reason for his retreat is known, and now he abandons his army without leave or notice. My own idea is that his mind has given way under the weight of his command; and that finding Bragg about to leave him, he ran away from an army he could not manage. If a soldier were thus to go off without leave he would be tried for desertion and be probably shot, and an officer would be shot or cashiered. Beauregard has never voluntarily fought a battle... and never will. Bragg is left in command, and he may do better." https://finding-aids.lib.unc.edu/02229/#folder_4#1 Diary of S.R. Mallory, Secretary of Navy (CSA) at Uni North Carolina Library.
  8. 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
  9. 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 ]
  10. 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.)]
  11. [Sketch of Corinth Mississippi by Adolph Metzner, on file with Library of Congress.] The following Letter of 20 March 1862 from Braxton Bragg to wife Eliza is of interest due the following: Bragg reveals the lack of discipline discovered upon his arrival in Corinth; "draconian measures" put in place by Major General Bragg to instill discipline at Corinth; discusses feeble health of General Beauregard (who is still at Jackson Tennessee, attempting recuperation) reveals pre-planning stage, before General Johnston arrives (and before decision taken on "what is to come in April.") Corinth, Miss. 20th March My dear Wife, By a hasty note from Bethel Station I announced my sudden departure for this place. Since that time I have had no time to write. Everything was in disorder and confusion here, troops arriving in large numbers without supplies, and greatly disorganized by hasty and badly conducted arrangements. Weather bad, and no accommodation, even for the sick. The [Tishomingo] Hotel a perfect pandemonium, thousands of hungry men standing against the barred door, ready to rush in and sweep the tables, regardless of sentinels or officers. Even the kitchen was not safe, meals were seized from off the fires, and the life of the hotel keeper threatened for expostulating. Poor Mr. Lea -- you remember him as the Steward at the Sweet Springs -- said he was over-matched for once. No promise of a fashionable (3 o'clock) dinner would appease the hungry multitude -- but all is now changed. With Gladden in command, and the La. regiments to charge bayonets, the swine are driven back, and the town is quiet and peaceable. It is most difficult to see what is to be our future. The enemy is threatening both flanks. At Island No.10, which is now our highest point up the river, we hold with heavy guns. But the pressure is very great against it, and the evacuation of New Madrid exposes us to be cut off from below. We have another strong position still lower, near Randolph Tenn, but not yet in good condition. My heavy guns from Pensacola are going there, and some of my old troops are there, but they need good commanders. The name of the place is unfortunate -- Fort Pillow. If we can keep them back on the Mississippi, I shall not despair at all of our losses elsewhere. We are to a great extent, however, reduced to the Fabian Policy. Our troops and our supplies are so limited and so disorganized that effective operations are out of the question unless we can have a little time to restore tone and confidence. My forces united to Genl Ruggles are here, about 22.000. Polk's and Johnston's are coming in hourly and taking position on my right and left. Your advice in your letter of the 12th is fully adopted in my own of today, organizing my command. All Tennesseans are scattered among better men in small squads, so that we can hold them in observation. I never realized the full correctness of your appreciation of them, until now. A general order, of which I enclose a copy, was predicated on their infamous proceedings, and I am glad to say had its effect. No plundering has taken place since. It is my fixed purpose to execute the first one caught in such acts. But the order, itself, and the arrest of a Colonel, have produced a very wholesome reform. Genl Beauregard has re-published the order to the whole Army, and ordered its observance. Towson was several days with the fair ladies at Jackson, and had every opportunity of seeing their merits and deficiencies, though ladies ought not to have the latter. Suffice it to say neither will please him. He has not said a word, but I will answer for him -- it is unnecessary to set forth objections. Robert and Mr. [Fader] are still with me. Bob will never do much with the Army, as he cannot stand the hardships -- exposure of any kind, or the inequality of camp life soon disables him. And we are far from being comfortable here. But still, for several days it was very hard to live at all. Genl Beauregard is still in Jackson, but proposes coming here in a few days. His health is still very feeble, and as long as he is distressed and worried, as he has been, he cannot improve. Every interview with Genl Polk [shunts] him back a week. But for my arrival here to aid him, I do not believe he would soon be living. His appeal for plantation bells was somewhat on the order of the "Under the enemy's guns at Castroville [Texas]" -- sensational. We have more guns now than instructed men to serve them. And metal in New Orleans for many more. May God protect and preserve you, Your Husband Braxton Bragg [Handwritten original http://repository.duke.edu/dc/braggbraxtonpapers-000846347/secst0300 at Duke University Library, Braxton Bragg Papers, items 52 - 55.] Thanks to Duke University for making this letter available online. Ozzy References: http://www.loc.gov/item/2017646911/ Tishomingo Hotel sketch by Adolph Metzner (1862) at Library of Congress. http://archive.org/stream/earlysettlersind00sowe#page/n593/mode/2up/search/Castroville resource provided for explanation of Castorville Texas. http://www.thefreedictionary.com/Fabian+policy definition of Fabian Policy.
  12. 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
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.”
  16. 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.]
  17. 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.
  18. 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?
  19. 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.
  20. 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
  21. 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
  22. Chicago Daily Tribune of Monday 31 MAR 1862 page one. Chigago Daily Tribune attempts to predict the future...
  23. 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.
  24. 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
  25. 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.
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