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Found 90 results

  1. Still to ponder...

    Greetings from Down Under I'll start by wishing everyone a memorable visit to Shiloh NMP this 150th Anniversary of the 'Turnover at Liverpool' ...the completion of the Voyage of CSS Shenandoah, in November 1865. I was thinking of starting a discussion on a topic of interest, perhaps in a week or two, once the dust settles on the debrief of events from this latest Park Visit. Some of my ideas: US Grant and migraines: did he get them? If so, is it possible that he was suffering from a 'sick headache' at Shiloh?The movements of the 58th Illinois Infantry, April 6th 1862: just where were they, really?'Parole Camps: necessary, or evil?Oh, and a new historical novel will be out this month: Book Cover.pdf All the best Ozzy
  2. Ancestor Veterans (CSA)

    Let's start with Texas... There were three units from the Lone Star State, engaged at the Battle of Shiloh. The best sites I have uncovered, for beginning research on ancestors: http://www.nps.gov/civilwar/soldiers-and-sailors-database.htm (For all Texas soldiers, but especially those from the 2nd Texas Infantry Regiment: NPS Soldier and Sailor System. Input your ancestor's last name, along with his regiment number, and select <Show Results> ) http://gen.1starnet.com/civilwar/9thmain.htm (For 9th Texas Infantry, Scroll down to roster. Website provided by Ron Brothers and Tim Bell.) http://www.keathleywebs.com/terrysrangers/ (For 8th Texas Cavalry, aka 'Terry's Texas Rangers.' Website provided by keathleywebs.com) Ozzy
  3. The Hero of Shiloh

    Let's start with a question, IRT... tornadoes. Is the apparent increase in the number of tornadoes photographed, from one year to the next, mostly the result of an increase in the number of tornadoes; or are there more cameras in the hands of everyday citizens, which are then more readily available to be used to capture images, that would have been missed years ago? I begin this post with a weather question, because I believe a similar query can be posed IRT 'the heroes' of Shiloh. Does the difficulty in determining a 'Hero of Shiloh' lie in the fact that 1) all of the potential selectees possess un-hero-like qualities (flaws) that detract from/negate their positive achievements, or 2) we have over-examined potential heroes, and dug up flaws that would have been ignored/remained hidden in years past? Two examples: one of my Civil War heroes is Joshua Chamberlain. Another is Adam Slemmer. I am comfortable with their hero-status, and am hesitant to dig deeper into their stories, because I do not want to find out their hidden flaws. So... what about the Hero of Shiloh? Ozzy
  4. The Smoke of Battle

    One of the aspects of Civil War conflict, that must be seen to be believed: all those black powder weapons, letting loose... with their lingering effects, shrouding real-time developments on the battlefield. [Thanks to the 5th Ohio Lt Artillery re-enactors.] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9bciquvOROU (Created by Robert Clements; posted on YouTube April 2nd, 2012) Ozzy
  5. While helping a friend on another website search for information about their ancestor (and Shiloh veteran), I ran across the following online site, run by the State of Illinois. It lists 'descriptive features' (age, height, hair color, eye color, occupation, etc) of all the Civil War soldiers enlisted in Illinois. Start by pressing [search]. In new window, in the 'Search Box,' place the soldier's name as such [Gregg, Patrick] or [Grant, U ] with 'comma' and 'space' separating last name from first name... and ignore boxes for 'Company' and 'Unit' as the search works fine without those entries. For those with ancestors from Illinois regiments... Cheers Ozzy http://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/archives/databases/datcivil.html (Illinois Civil War soldiers)
  6. In case you have not seen it before, the following link registers the belief of the Confederate Secretary of State that the Battle of Shiloh was a Confederate victory. Contained in diplomatic message sent to London (from the book The Messages and Papers of Jefferson Davis and the Confederacy, published by James D. Richardson (in two volumes), by U. S. Publishing Co., Nashville, 1904, pages 233- 235.) Cheers Ozzy http://archive.org/stream/messagespapersof02conf#page/232/mode/2up
  7. Anyone attempting to research events on the far left of the Union line during April 6th, knows it is relatively easy to find references IRT the 55th Illinois. But, the activities of the other major player, the 54th Ohio (2nd Ohio Zouaves) are less abundantly documented. The Life and Letters of Thomas Kilby Smith, by his son, Walter George Smith, published by G. P. Putnam of New York, (1898), goes some way to addressing that deficiency. The book consists of two parts: a 'Memoir' (more of a biography) that discusses T. Kilby Smith's career during the Civil War, pages 10- 167; and 'Letters' that Smith wrote to his wife, mother and sister, usually within days of the event described (pages 167- 463). Because Smith was Colonel of the 54th Ohio, his experience is theirs, until they part company in July 1863, due to his promotion to Brigadier General. The following pages are of most interest: pp. 12- 22 arrival at Pittsburg Landing, thru to the Battle of Shiloh; p. 186 discussion of Zouave ideals; pp. 191- 2 'We are as safe here, as if we were in New York City' -- March 31st, 1862; pp. 193- 9 April 11th letters to wife, sister and mother, describing aspects of 54th OVI involvement; pp. 228- 9 July 1862 letter to mother with more details of Battle of Shiloh/ Flag of 54th OVI.After Shiloh, the Siege of Corinth, Occupation of Memphis, Arkansas Post, and Vicksburg Campaign are discussed. After parting company with the 54th OVI, the Red River Campaign, and Brigadier General Smith's assignment to Fort Gaines, near Mobile Alabama, are described. (In this latter segment of the book, the most interesting aspect, for me, was the description of 'land mines' encountered by Union forces under General Canby during the Assault on Spanish Fort, page 383- 4; I'd heard of the use of this weapon during the Civil War, but did not know at what battle it was employed.) The major strength of the book: the above indicated pages can be accessed online (free) at the below website, and read in about fifteen minutes. The major weakness: in a book of 460 pages, that is all there is IRT Battle of Shiloh. http://archive.org/stream/kilbysmiththomas00smitrich#page/n9/mode/2up Ozzy
  8. Shiloh on YouTube

    Over on YouTube, the 'Shelby Foote Fan Club' has finally gotten around to adding eight segments on the Battle of Shiloh, beginning with a discussion of the 'personality clash' between Halleck and Grant, Chapter 4, Part 12. Worth a look... created from the works of Shelby Foote. Ozzy
  9. Libby Prison, second only to Andersonville in the North for notoriety, was dismantled, brick by brick; and in a program emulated eighty years later at Lake Havasu, Arizona (involving London Bridge), the pieces were hauled halfway across the country by rail, and re-assembled in Chicago, in time for the Columbian Exposition of 1893, where it may have drawn more visitors than the Ferris Wheel. Maybe you already knew that... Unknown to most, is the connection to the Battle of Shiloh. Very few, if any, Federal prisoners taken during April 1862 at Shiloh were interred at Libby. However, in October 1862, the remaining Shiloh prisoners, two hundred officers and eight hundred enlisted men, on their way north 'on parole,' were halted at Libby for a day or two, to compare and confirm their 'descriptions' in the Prisoner Roll against their physical presence. Libby seems to have functioned as a 'clearing house,' the final check before Union men were permitted to complete the final hike: thirteen miles to the 'flag-of-truce' boat, John A. Warner, waiting for its precious cargo at Aiken's Landing. (It is believed tens of thousands of Federal prisoners passed through Libby during its years of operation.) For an informative, engaging four-minute video about Libby in Chicago, see <interactive.wttw.com/timemachine/libby-prison-and-coliseum> (found on the internet at 'Chicago Time Machine Libby') Other information from Wikipedia and A Perfect Picture of Hell (Genoways) 2001. Ozzy
  10. As described in the 'Record of CSA Prisoners,' identities of the Confederate prisoners taken at Shiloh, and held at Camp Douglas, Chicago can be viewed, following the instructions provided on that post. For Union prisoner information, the best site I have encountered on the Internet is <www.civilwarprisoners.com> In your favorite search engine, type 'Civil War Prisoners' [enter] Select the option 'Civil War Prisons <www.civilwarprisoners.com> [enter] On the new webpage, titled 'Civil War Prisons,' from the column on the left, select Cahaba Prison [enter] New page is titled 'Search for records from Cahaba Prison,' and has three empty boxes, allowing you to conduct your search. For example, I type: G McKinnis 12th Iowa [search], and the result comes back on a new page. If you are interested in all the men taken from one regiment, complete only the third box, for example: 12th Iowa [search] and the result returns over 350 men recorded as captured. There are two failings to this site: not every prisoner is recorded (officers seem to be missing); and the last name must be spelled 'correctly,' as recorded on their data base. '0 results found' is returned until the 'correct' spelling is used. (This can be overcome by searching only for the regiment, and scanning through the results.) Although Cahaba Prison is the access point, the results return information for prisoners held at any site, except Andersonville. For Andersonville, a separate access point is provided. Also, all of the 2200 men involved in the Sultana disaster are listed. Cheers Ozzy http://www.civilwarprisoners.com/
  11. For many men, the Battle of Shiloh did not end when the shooting stopped, and General Beauregard returned his forces to Corinth. Many thousands of soldiers on both sides were wounded; they required care and convalescence that took months and years for recovery. Some never recovered completely, making Shiloh their last direct involvement with the war. Others were taken as prisoners. For the 2200 Federals captured at the Hornet's Nest and Hell's Hollow, (and hundreds more taken across the battlefield), their incarceration began with a march to Corinth. At Corinth, they were packed onto trains and carried to locations throughout the South, including Memphis; Columbus, MS; Mobile; Cahaba; Tuscaloosa (several sites); Montgomery (several sites); Talladega; Madison; Atlanta; and Macon's Camp Oglethorpe. For hundreds of Confederates taken prisoner by the Union, the majority appear to have been shipped north on steamboats, transferred to the railroad at Cairo, and hauled to confinement at Camp Douglas, Chicago. Located just south of the city on land rumored to have been owned by Stephen Douglas (of the Lincoln-Douglas Debates), Camp Douglas began as a mustering-in center in 1861: at least eleven Illinois regiments began their existence at the site. After the massive number of POWs taken as a result of Fort Donelson, 'suitable' locations were required, and quickly, to house over 12000 men: primarily, these sites were Camp Morton; Camp Chase; and Camp Douglas (which took the majority.) Before the end of February 1862, the first prisoners arrived at Camp Douglas; before the end of the year, it had reached full capacity of nearly 9000 men. By the time it closed in mid-1865, Camp Douglas recorded 26000 prisoners as having 'passed through.' Available for viewing, via <familysearch.org> is the complete list of Confederate prisoners held at Camp Douglas after the Battle of Shiloh. The Mormon Church offers this family history information for free; in order to gain access, follow the following steps: on your favorite search engine, type 'Confederate Prisoner of War Records' [enter] [select] 'Confederate Prisoner of War Records - Family Search' [enter] in the light-blue box, labelled as 'Contents' select '2.1 Confederate Prisoners of War, 1861-1865' [enter] under 'Records of the National Archives - Confederate Prisoners' select the first dot-point 'United States, Records of Confederate Prisoners of War, 1861-1865 (familysearch)' [enter] under 'United States -- Records of Confederate Prisoners of War, 1861-1865' sub heading 'View images in this collection,' select 'Browse through 51,108 images' [enter] under 'Prisoner or Prison/Station Records' select from the second column 'IL, Camp Douglas, Military Prison' [enter] under 'Document type,' in the second column, the fourth item: 'Prisoner Registers, 1862, v. 192-194' [enter] Finally having opened the document, you will discover over 248 pages, 8800 names, listed alphabetically, and recording rank, regiment and company, where captured, when captured, and 'notes.' There appear to be several hundred prisoners from Shiloh; the others are from Fort Donelson and Island No. 10. Also on this site are records from other northern prisons. Familysearch.org also allows free searching of your family history, so it's a site worth spending time investigating. Cheers Ozzy Update: See Post No. 3, below, for easier access to prisoner records.
  12. Mary writes about Shiloh

    'All we read is not half as bad as it really is...' So wrote Mary Crowell on 28/29 April 1862, to family back east in Vermont. Her brother, Henry Tucker, had been on the sick list during the Battle of Shiloh, so came through the two days unscathed. Henry was a private in the 15th Illinois, Co. E. But, her other brother, Corporal Rufus Tucker, of the 15th Illinois, Co. E, had just been returned home to Nara Township, in Jo Daviess County, in order to heal and fully recover from wounds he'd received in the battle. His experience, as part of Veatch's Brigade, had left him bitter; he told everyone who would listen that 'Whitelaw Reid was right,' and that 'General Grant should be hung.' Returning to Mary's letter, she wrote that 'Henry says he is not coming home until the war is over.' Also, she mentions the news that New Orleans is now back in Federal hands, and predicts that 'all the Federal prisoners captured at Shiloh and sent to New Orleans can look forward to being released soon.' Aside from war news, the letter is also of interest for the other events of the day that are deemed important, such as the 'backward Spring,' and its effect on the planting of wheat. And her need to have teeth extracted in the nearby town of Galena: U.S. Grant's most recent abode, prior to the breakout of war. The Mary Crowell letter: important for reflecting the contemporary thoughts and attitudes of ordinary folks, affected by the Battle of Shiloh. This letter can be accessed on the Internet, as both a photocopy of the 4-page original, and as a transcript, via University of Notre Dame, Hesburgh Libraries. <<rarebooks.nd.edu/digital/civil_war/letters/crowell> In addition to Mary Crowell's letter, there are dozens more letters and diaries, Union and Confederate, most of which are available in their entirety on the Internet. (Some have catalog details provided, and brief descriptions of content, but may require your physical presence in South Bend, Indiana to gain access.) Examples of both... John A. Albright (4 Letters) Feb 1864- 1865; a private in the 16th Wisconsin, Co. K (new company K, under Captain Morris.) Entered service from Eagle Township, Waukesha County, Wisconsin. Catalog no. MSN/CW 5016-1 - MSN/CW 5016-4 Meek Family correspondence (27 letters) 1861- 1869. The struggles of the Meek Family of East Tennessee, after Judge James Meek was taken into custody and classed as a 'political prisoner.' Some letters sent from Camp Oglethorpe, (Macon, Georgia) in June 1862. Taylor Family correspondence (5 letters) 1864. The Taylor brothers, Robert and Gibson, were Confederate cavalrymen, who served in Kentucky units attached to General John Hunt Morgan. Gibson was captured, and sent to the Union prison at Rock Island: at least one of his letters was sent from there. To gain access to this extensive collection, go into your favorite search engine via 'University of Notre Dame, Hesburgh Libraries' In 'Hesburgh Libraries catalog search, type 'rare books and special collections' [enter] In 'Collections,' select 'US history & culture [enter] 'Manuscripts,' select 'Civil War era' Available for view: Topical Collection (Wirz/Andersonville); personal papers; military records; diaries and journals; letters (where you find 'Mary Crowell's letter') Cheers Ozzy
  13. A Yankee loose in Dixie

    On April 5th, 1862 Colonel R. P. Buckland, commander of the 4th Brigade, sent a daily report concerning the activity of his pickets, to his boss, General W. T. Sherman. In it, he confirmed that, 'Lieutenant Geer, my acting aide, is missing...' Beyond the Lines, or a Yankee prisoner loose in Dixie, by Captain J. J. Geer, published by J. W. Daughaday of Philadelphia, 1863. The true story of what happened to the 'acting aide,' after he was captured while investigating an attack on Union pickets, on April 4th, 1862. Taken straight away to Confederate Headquarters, Geer recounts meeting, in succession, General Bragg, General Hardee, and General Beauregard, all of whom are intent on getting him to reveal all he knows concerning Grant's strength and unit locations. After battle commenced, and no longer of potential use for intelligence, the prisoner was sent to the rear, to Corinth; where he remained until just before the arrival of General Prentiss and his 2200 fellow captives. Lieutenant Geer was sent south on the Mobile and Ohio to a brief incarceration at Columbus, Mississippi. From there, he was sent even further south, to Mobile. Eventually, six hundred captives taken at Hell's Hollow were incarcerated in a disused cotton shed in Montgomery, Alabama. J. J. Geer joined them there in late April, in time to witness 'the first reported war crime' of the Rebellion: the shooting of Lieutenant William S. Bliss, 1st Michigan Light Artillery, Company B (sometimes indicated as 'Battery B' and Ross' Battery.) Sent next to Camp Oglethorpe, 28-year-old Geer stayed only briefly, before he made his escape; he remained in hiding in Georgia swamps for three weeks, until recaptured, and sent to join General Prentiss and the other 200 Federal officers, held as prisoners at Madison, Georgia. Here he remained, along with hundreds of political prisoners from East Tennessee; and witnessed the return of Captain Patrick Gregg from his errand as commissioner to Washington, D.C. Finally, in October 1862, the general exchange was approved; and the prisons at Madison and Macon were emptied, Lieutenant Geer was sent north with the other prisoners, and continued to record his experiences: the stop at Libby Prison in Richmond; the first view in six months of 'that Glorious Flag' as they boarded the flag-of-truce boat at Aiken's Landing; the eventual arrival (of the officers) in Washington, D.C. (The enlisted men were incarcerated at Annapolis, Maryland.) John J. Geer's experience, (recorded as this book, and published June 1863), was deemed to have been of such value, that he was promoted to Captain, and sent on a 'lecture and recruiting tour' of the United States, in company with William Pittenger, one of the Medal of Honor winners from Andrew's Raid into Georgia, Beyond the Lines: a Yankee prisoner loose in Dixie is available on the internet. The Library of Congress website offers free access <archive.org/details/beyondlinesory00geer> (Sometimes, this man's name is misspelled 'Greer') Alternatively, all 300 pages of the book are again available in print, since 2010, from Kessinger Legacy Reprints, Whitefish, Montana. Ozzy http://archive.org/details/beyondlinesory00geer
  14. William Horsfall was there.

    It is said that William Horsfall stowed away on a steamboat on the Ohio River, in order to join a Union regiment 'out west.' In December 1861, he was mustered into the 1st Kentucky Volunteer Infantry, Co G, as a musician. But, he soon traded his drum for a rifle; he became known as an outstanding marksman. As part of Buell's Army of the Ohio, he marched with Bull Nelson's Division towards Savannah, Tennessee, and crossed the river to Pittsburg Landing at 5:30 on the afternoon of April 6th. Sleeping on the line overnight, at 4am his 22nd Brigade (Colonel Bruce) was ordered into line, near the extreme left end (only Ammen's Brigade was closer to the Tennessee River.) They moved forward about 6am, and despite fierce opposition, drove the Confederates from the field by late afternoon. Following the victory at Shiloh, Drummer Horsfall participated in Halleck's agonizingly slow crawl towards Corinth, sometimes advancing only a few hundred yards before constructing new entrenchments. On May 21st, 1862, the 1st Kentucky attempted to advance across a ravine, but the Rebels waited in ambush at the top of the opposite side, and shot them down. Including the officer commanding Co. H, Captain James Williamson. As the Federals retreated to safety, it was realized that Captain Williamson had been left behind, in the ravine. When the situation was brought to the attention of Drummer Horsfall, he 'leaned his rifle against a tree, and rushed forward 'in a stooping run' to the wounded officer's side. He succeeded in dragging him to safety.' For his heroism and bravery, he was awarded the Medal of Honor. On May 21st, 1862, William Horsfall was 15 years old. <militarytimes.com/citations-medals-awards> <civilwarbummer.com/kentucky-drummer-boy> Union Regiments of Kentucky, published under the auspices of the 'Union Soldiers and Sailors Monument Assn.' and including The Regimental Histories and Sketch of Military Campaigns, by Captain Thos. Speed; [etal]; Louisville, KY: Couker-Journal Job Printing Co., 1897. Volumes 1 and 2 available online <archive.org/stream/unionregimentso00unio>
  15. It appears baseball was played by General Grant's troops, during their abundant leisure time, after the victory at Fort Donelson. The game may have been introduced to regiments undergoing training at Benton Barracks. Alternatively, one or more of the regiments from Milwaukee, Chicago, or Ohio may have imported the game when they arrived at Pittsburg Landing in March 1862. It is confirmed that a baseball was discovered on Shiloh Battlefield, a few days after the carnage, by a civilian working for the Union army. G. F. Hellum was so impressed by his find, he etched details of the location of his discovery into the hide, turning the lemon-peel ball into a trophy. Now, consider the story of Sgt. Edward Spalding, Co. E, 52nd Illinois. In action on Sunday, the 6th of April, he was twice wounded, but refused to be removed from the field. He remained fighting, in open ground, until the close of the battle. Finally taken to Hospital at Pittsburg Landing in time to have wounds to his left arm dressed, he should have made a full recovery. But, days passed, and his condition worsened. Somehow, Ed Spalding's parents found out about their son's predicament; his father, Asa, journeyed to Pittsburg Landing and took him home, to Rockford, Illinois. The improvement in care, furnished in a loving home, probably saved his life. But, it still required time for his wounds to fully heal. While recuperating, he was visited by his 11-year-old cousin, Albert, to whom he introduced the rules of the game of Baseball. Edward returned to his regiment in November 1862, was promoted to second lieutenant, and continued to serve until mustered out in December 1864. Albert Spalding took to his cousin's game so well, that he went on to become a professional baseball player, playing as pitcher, centerfielder, and first baseman, for the Boston Red Stockings, and the Chicago White Stockings. In 1876, he co-founded A. G. Spalding Sporting Goods; he continued to promote 'the National Pastime' for the rest of his life.
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