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Another day, another master’s thesis… and this one, submitted by William J. McCaffrey in 1970 is revealing, compelling, shocking. Although 140 pages long, this work grips the student of Battle of Shiloh by the throat, and does not let go. It examines “whether or not there was surprise at Pittsburg Landing on April 6th 1862”…and just who was surprised. On page three, a list of six items is posted: flawed conditions of readiness, at least one of which must be present to allow a Defender to get surprised by an Attacker. William McCaffrey devotes the remainder of his thesis to providing evidence of the presence of many of those six conditions of “un-readiness” at Pittsburg Landing in the days, hours and minutes leading up to General Albert Sidney Johnston’s attack. This report contains maps, an excellent list of references, and is constructed by a man concerned about “the lessons of History, and how to avoid the mistakes of History.” Have a read, and decide for yourself how close William McCaffrey, West Point Class of 1958, comes to the mark. Masters Thesis by William J. McCaffrey (1970) “Shiloh: a case study in Surprise” submitted to U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, KS and on file with National Technical Information Service: https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/733391.pdf
Historical Analysis of the Battle of Shiloh is a Masters Thesis submitted to the Air Command and Staff College at Maxwell AFB in Alabama in 1984 by then-Major F. John Semley. The paper is fifty pages in length (41 pages of actual content, with several hand-drawn maps) and is held by the Defense Technical Information Center as pdf at following: http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a144009.pdf Semley paper on Battle of Shiloh Although written over thirty years ago, Major Semley presents a cohesive, coherent analysis of the Battle of Shiloh that most members of SDG will find refreshing: Peabody and Powell get appropriate mention; timings for all events are reasonably accurate; the cause of Lew Wallace's late arrival is given proper attention; causes of the Confederate Force to fail to achieve its objective on Day One is handled with grace and tact. Highlighted items: Grant's "failings" in lead-up to Battle of Shiloh (many of them self-inflicted) Beauregard's failings in massaging the Confederate Battle Plan into something too complex, losing sight of the objective; "No experienced Union Division was positioned at the front" Discussion of the disputed "lost hour" of the Confederate attack, before end of Day One; Nathan Bedford Forrest and Fallen Timbers rate a mention. Presented in three segments, the First segment describes the Battle, Days One and Two; the Second segment offers analysis of Shiloh (with regard to USAF Doctrine IRT war fighting) and Section Three offers opportunity for Discussion, with such questions, "Why was Grant at Savannah?' and "Why did Grant and Beauregard fail to achieve their objectives?" and "Why were there no appropriate defenses at Pittsburg campground?" Appropriate references (author credits J. L. McDonough (1977) "Shiloh: in Hell before Night" as his main inspiration.) Well worth your time to review, and determine "how close Major Semley comes to the correct analysis" Ozzy
Isaac Newton Carr was a 25-year-old residing to the northwest of Des Moines when he signed on to the 11th Iowa Volunteer Infantry in September 1861, and was mustered into service as Fifth Sergeant of Company F on 19 October at Davenport by Captain Alexander Chambers. And beginning November 1861, Sergeant Carr commenced "his journal" which he added to almost daily until the 1920s. Written as combination of diary and "general reflections," the experience of the 11th Iowa at Pittsburg Landing begins with arrival aboard steamer "West Moreland" on March 23rd. Carr describes camping on the bluff overlooking the landing, followed almost immediately by being marched two miles west to a new campground (assigned to Oglesby's First Brigade of McClernand's First Division.) The weather and health issues are discussed, as is departure of Oglesby on leave; and assignment of 11th Iowa's Colonel Abraham Hare as acting commander of the 1st Brigade. The forenoon battalion drill, followed by company drill in the afternoon is interrupted by "the emergency" of April 4th (when the First Brigade is called into line, and kept waiting until midnight, as a result of the Picket Skirmish in front of Sherman's Division.) The entry for April 6th begins: "About 7 a.m. heard firing in direction of Corinth but as it had been nothing uncommon to hear firing in camp, and thought it was only guards shooting loads out of their guns, we thought nothing of it..." The journal also mentions "hearing the firing on April 8th, we thought the Rebels had returned. We marched out towards the firing, but were halted. After about a half hour, we went back to camp and spent the remainder of the day burying the dead." In addition to the diary entries, there are Carr's thoughts on the Aftermath of Shiloh: "In spite of a stunning victory, Grant was initially villified for being taken by surprise, while Generals Buell and Sherman were hailed as saviors." And Isaac Carr gave a Speech (included in journal) on December 17th 1895, entitled "The Surprise at Shiloh." (He seems to have been incensed by an article General Grant published in Century Magazine, in which Grant claimed "there was no surprise.") The Journal of Sergeant Carr is available at this link: http://cmkinhuntercm.wordpress.com/category/1862/page/2/ by Carole Carr Magnuson Specific diary entries can be found by clicking on the Year desired (at left) and scroll down in new window. Besides March and April 1862, there are interesting entries at June 15, 1862 and September 19, 1919 (when mention of the passing of First Lieutenant William Williamson is recorded.) Cheers (Merry Christmas!) Ozzy Other references: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shiloh_Union_order_of_battle Shiloh Union Order of Battle OR 10 pages 115 - 121 General McClernand's report, mentioning performance of Colonel Hare (wounded about 4:30 p.m.) and 11th Iowa Infantry. OR 10 pages 123 - 4 Colonel Hare's report, not including 11th Iowa (because he was unaware McClernand had attached 11th Iowa to right of Marsh's 2nd Brigade, as reserve.) http://iagenweb.org/civilwar/books/logan/mil403.htm Guy Logan's History and roster of 11th Iowa Infantry http://civilwarlandscapes.org/cwla/states/tn/sh/tm_time/day1/d1_1100.htm Civil War Landscape's Map of Shiloh, Day 1 at 11 a.m. http://www.findagrave.com/memorial/19175909/isaac-newton-carr Sergeant Carr at find-a-grave.