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Found 106 results

  1. 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
  2. Ozzy

    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
  3. 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/
  4. Ozzy

    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
  5. Ozzy

    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
  6. Ozzy

    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>
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