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In the 2017-18 series "Legends & Lies: Civil War," directed by Kevin R. Hershberger (and now available on YouTube), thought it might be of interest to investigate what sort of treatment was accorded the Battle of Shiloh. What follows is strictly my review, and does not reflect the viewpoint of Management of Shiloh Discussion Group: The total coverage of Battle of Shiloh is contained within Episode 2. Beginning at 24 minutes 45 seconds, the illness and subsequent death of 11 year old Willie Lincoln sets the scene (as Lincoln's attention would have been absorbed by his son's illness and subsequent death on 20 February 1862, possibly diverting attention from events taking place in the Western Theatre.) A brief interlude featuring Major General George McClellan reveals the conflict that existed and festered between that military commander and President Lincoln (and Edwin Stanton). And the coverage of the Western Theatre commences at: 26.40 Fort Henry (five seconds of mention) 26.50 Fort Donelson (featuring a poetic-license meeting between Simon B. Buckner and U.S. Grant) 32.30 Shiloh. Narrator says, "In the west, U.S. Grant chases the Rebels through Tennessee to Corinth, Mississippi. Grant stops near a church called Shiloh and waits to attack the Rebels. Grant says, effectively, 'Take five; and we'll wait for reinforcements.'" [Almost no mention of Pittsburg Landing. No mention that Grant was following "orders to wait" issued by Henry Halleck.] 33.30 Shiloh is declared "the first great slaughter of the war." The emphasis is on U.S. Grant and his performance. William Tecumseh Sherman is introduced, giving every indication that Shiloh was the start of the great friendship. [Wallace, Hurlbut, McClernand and Prentiss are not mentioned. Neither is Sunken Road, the Crossroads, the Hornet's Nest, Peabody nor Powell. Or the gunboats. Or any of the Confederate commanders...] 35.30 Day Two. Focus shifts to Confederate Samuel Todd (Mary Lincoln's brother, soldier at Shiloh.) Union reinforcements arrive overnight and facilitate a Federal offensive, conducted by Grant and Sherman, early on April 7th. 37.00 Grant ekes out a narrow victory at Shiloh. [No mention of Don Carlos Buell. No mention of General Beauregard claiming victory. No mention of Nathan Bedford Forrest's successful rearguard action on April 8th.] Since Shiloh (and Fort Henry, Fort Donelson, Vicksburg and Chattanooga) get such scant coverage, the attempt was made to discover "the purpose" of this Civil War series; and it appears to be an effort to "determine how the numerous leaders, of both sides, of various capabilities filtered themselves out over the course of the war, eventually pitting Lee versus Grant." As evidence, Robert E. Lee receives substantial coverage throughout the series. Ulysses S. Grant has the entirety of Episode 7 devoted to him. Stonewall Jackson's importance to Lee is discussed, as is John Rawlin's importance to U. S. Grant. There are "items of interest" revealed in the series, as a whole: in Episode One, the poetic-license interview of John Brown by John Wilkes Booth (Booth was known to have been present at Brown's execution, but anything further is unproven); also in Episode One, the role of Benjamin Butler in getting his Massachusetts troops to Washington, D.C. (and delayed arrival of those troops encouraging President Lincoln to suspend the Writ of Habeas Corpus); and the personal friendship of Abraham Lincoln and Elmer Ellsworth is well-covered... Unfortunately, the Battle of Shiloh seems to be included, merely as "the starting point" for General Grant's successful career. Ozzy References: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4465100/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1 Legends & Lies entry at IMDB http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iGaWl8eXPaA&index=12&list=PLniqIe7xEtGMklmbe9pYqUrGLqmBOh2ut Legends & Lies: Shiloh (Episode 2) posted by Nicky Nice 1 APR 2018
Despite the mammoth Federal success at Fort Donelson, the war did not come to an end (though some acted as if it had.) General U.S. Grant looked to push the next objective, which appeared to be Nashville. And he requested guidance from St. Louis. In meantime, Clarksville (about fifty miles up the Cumberland River, in the direction of Nashville) was deemed a suitable target: a reconnaissance conducted by U.S. Navy gunboats Conestoga and Cairo on February 18th discovered that Confederate Clarksville was practically a ghost town; the Rebels and most of the citizens had fled. So, General C.F. Smith was dispatched with a suitable force pulled from his Second Division and occupied Clarksville on about February 23rd. Early the next day, U.S. Grant, in company with Surgeon Brinton, , BGen McClernand, Captain Taylor (of Taylor's Battery), Colonel Lauman and Colonel WHL Wallace, departed Fort Donelson aboard steamer W.H.B. for an inspection of Union-occupied Clarksville. But, it does not appear that an inspection took place at Clarksville that day: General Grant caught wind that General William Nelson's Division (which was known to have been promised to assist Grant at Fort Donelson) had arrived at Paducah; reported to General Sherman; and departed Paducah aboard a small fleet on February 23rd, bound for the Cumberland River. The seven steamers, under gunboat escort, continued to the ordered destination of Clarksville (arrival recorded as 8 a.m. February 24th) and General Nelson met with General Smith. At about noon (in accordance with orders relayed from General Grant to General Nelson) General Nelson returned to his steamer, Diana, and in company with six other steamers (led by USS Carondelet) the force proceeded up the Cumberland (with U.S. Grant aboard steamer W.H.B, in company with USS Cairo, well in advance of the fleet.) Bull Nelson arrived at the "open city" of Nashville on February 25th, stepped ashore... and became the first Federal General Officer to enter Nashville following Rebel occupation; (General Buell was just across the river at Edgefield: today's East Nashville); and U.S. Grant appears to have waited aboard the W.H.B., at least, for a little while. Nelson made contact with Buell; and Grant escorted his party from Fort Donelson into Union-occupied Nashville for two days of what can best be described as relaxation and diversion. On February 27th, U.S. Grant met with Don Carlos Buell aboard the W.H.B. and exchanged pleasantries; and then Grant and his party departed Nashville, and arrived back at Fort Donelson late on 28 FEB 1862. Cheers Ozzy References: OR 7 pages 661, 662- 3, 668, 670- 1, 674. OR (Navy) vol.22, pages 315, 587, 616, 617, 625. Memoirs of U.S. Grant page 318. Adam Badeau's Military Career of U.S. Grant, pages 58 - 9. Diary of Jacob Ammen for dates February 23, 24 and 25 (found in OR 7 page 659 - 660. Hoppin's Life of Andrew Hull Foote, pages 230 - 236. Memoirs of Surgeon John Brinton, page 139. Life of General WHL Wallace, pages 166 (Letter of 20 FEB 1862) and page 171 (Letter of 28 FEB 1862).
Sent from Pittsburg Landing on April 6th 1862 to: "Commanding Officer Advance Forces near Pittsburg, Ten -- General: The attack on my forces has been very spirited from early this morning. The appearance of fresh troops on the field now would have a powerful effect both by inspiring our men and disheartening the enemy. If you will get upon the field leaving all your baggage on the East bank of the river it will be a move to our advantage and possibly save the day to us. The rebel forces is estimated at over 100,000 men. My head quarters will be in the log building on top of the hill where you will be furnished a staff officer to guide you to your place on the field. Respectfully & etc. U.S. Grant, Major General" Our full understanding and appreciation of the above message suffers because it does not carry the clock time of its sending, leaving many to believe it was sent by General Grant within an hour or two of his arrival on the Battlefield. Some even believe Captain W.S. Hillyer was the courier who took the above message to Savannah. But the message is actually a politely-worded order which contains many interesting elements: sent from Pittsburg Landing sent by MGen Grant (not Rawlins, or another aide) sent to "the Commanding Officer" [because U.S. Grant did not yet know General Buell had already arrived in vicinity of Savannah] "fresh troops now would have an inspiring effect" "leave all your baggage behind" [This direction had unintended consequences.] "the rebel forces is estimated at over 100,000 men" [Did Grant believe this estimate; or merely sent for effect?] "My HQ are the log building on top of the hill" [Identifies General Grant's desired point-of-contact.] The above message was sent by courier, and intercepted by Don Carlos Buell before 2pm as he steamed up the Tennessee River (and is recorded in Buell's 1887 Century article, "Shiloh Reviewed.") Ozzy