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Found 1 result

  1. In 1856, Scottish immigrant John McArthur, originally a blacksmith, who now thrived in the tough world of boiler-making, became involved with the Chicago Highland Guards. The militia organization trained and prepared; and in February 1861, with several Southern States having already seceded, Captain McArthur requested community support in order to aid in preparation and arming of the Highland Guards for active service [Chicago Daily Tribune of 6 FEB 1861, page 1.] Following Federal surrender at Fort Sumter, John McArthur tendered the service of the Chicago Highland Guards to Governor Yates: the offer was accepted, and the Guards were ordered to Springfield. President Lincoln called for 75,000 volunteers to assist in putting down the Rebellion; and the quota given to Illinois was six regiments of infantry (to be numbered 7 through 12.) Simultaneous with the actions of Captain McArthur, a militia company was drilling at Galena, called the "Jo Daviess Guards." Under the leadership of Augustus Chetlain, this company of volunteers departed for Springfield about April 22nd ...and Ulysses S. Grant, who had attached himself to the Jo Daviess Guards in order to provide essential training in military drill, continued that training upon arrival of the Galena company at the military camp just outside the Illinois capital, Camp Yates (where the Chicago Highland Guards, tapped by Governor Yates to form the nucleus of this last of the six quota-specified regiments -- the 12th Illinois -- was engaged in organization, recruiting and training.) By end of April 1861, the required number of men were on hand at Camp Yates; and the 12th Illinois Volunteer Infantry Regiment was mustered in (for three month's service) by Captain John Pope on May 2nd: the Jo Daviess Guards became Company F; the Chicago Highland Guards became Company A; John McArthur was elected Colonel; his nearest competition in that vote -- August Chetlain -- was elected Lieutenant Colonel; and U.S. Grant reported to Governor Yates (for appointment as Adjutant General for Military Affairs of the State of Illinois.) The 12th Illinois was immediately sent away west and south to defend the line of the Ohio & Mississippi Railroad, and was based at Caseyville Illinois (Camp Bissel), a day's march from the Mississippi River, and in close proximity to St. Louis. Captain U.S. Grant arrived at Camp Bissel on an inspection tour in May 1861; and he provided guidance on the completion of required rosters, requisitions, and other paperwork [Paddock, page 263.] In June, the regiment was transfered from Camp Bissel to St. Louis... but in carrying out the movement, the orders were amended, and the 12th Illinois landed at Cape Girardeau Missouri, instead. Withdrawn to Cairo a short time later, the three month term of service was nearing completion: the 12th Illinois was re-mustered as a 3-year regiment at Cairo on August 1st; and returned to Cape Girardeau on August 7th. Called back to Cairo after a few days, the regiment stopped at Bird's Point Missouri; but the destination of Cairo was finally reached about August 27th, where the 12th Illinois commenced an association with the 9th Illinois Infantry that was destined to endure for the remainder of the war. On September 2/3 a force under Colonel McArthur executed a "feint" towards Belmont Missouri [Papers of US Grant vol.2 pages 178 - 9.] But, McArthur was back in Cairo by the evening of September 3rd. On September 5th, Brigadier General U.S. Grant led a force that included Colonel McArthur's 12th Illinois, the 9th Illinois, and artillery from Cairo to Paducah Kentucky (in response to a movement by Confederate Generals Polk and Pillow, occupying Hickman and Columbus.) The Federal occupation of Paducah was effected September 6th; General Grant returned to Cairo that same day, and left Brigadier General Eleazer Paine (9th Illinois) in temporary command, pending imminent arrival of BGen C.F. Smith. General Smith arrived September 8th and took command of the Post of Paducah; BGen Paine remained in command of the embryonic brigade, which grew to include the 9th, 12th, 40th and 41st Illinois, Buel's Battery, and Thielmann's Independent Cavalry Battalion. While based at Paducah, Colonel McArthur took part in reconnaissance and demonstrations: most notable, the feint of November 8/9 towards Fort Columbus, from the east. Possibly due to a falling out soon afterwards between C.F. Smith and Eleazer Paine, BGen Paine was re-assigned to Bird's Point Missouri on December 23rd 1861. John McArthur replaced Paine as commander of the 1st Brigade of Smith's Second Division (and soon, Smith's Division included BGen Lew Wallace, in command of the 2nd Brigade.) 1862 commenced with a bang: coincidental with George Thomas's operation at Mill Springs, John McArthur took part in a demonstration that commenced January 15th (and was led by General C.F. Smith, in person.) From Paducah, 5000 men marched to Mayfield Creek; then moved next day to Clark River. Pausing two days in vicinity of Clark River, the expedition reached Calloway Landing on the Tennessee River (twenty miles below Fort Henry) before returning north, arriving back at Paducah on the 25th. Coincident with being based at Paducah, and gaining a brigade, John McArthur saw his own 12th Illinois divided: a portion remained in Paducah (attached to the 1st Brigade) while four companies, under command of LtCol Chetlain were posted to Smithland (near the mouth of the Cumberland River.) Following February's operation against Fort Henry (during which Smith's Second Division moved up the west bank of the Tennessee River and occupied Fort Heiman) the 2nd Division was ferried across the Tennessee River, and marched across to Fort Donelson on February 12th. McArthur's 1st Brigade (now consisting of the 9th, 12th and 41st Illinois Infantry Regiments) was placed adjacent to the far left of McClernand's First Division. That position was adjusted slightly, next day; and on the evening of the 14th, following the unsuccessful gunboat offensive, McArthur was ordered to the extreme right of General McClernand's Division by General Grant [and it appears darkness and lateness of the hour prevented ability to properly scrutinize terrain and proximity of the enemy. But the intention was to anchor adjacent to a swollen creek -- or possibly the Cumberland River, south of Fort Donelson -- in the morning (OR 7 pages 174 - 5 and Badeau page 43)]. Next morning, early, the breakout attempted by the Confederate defenders of Fort Donelson commenced. And John McArthur was in the wrong place, at the wrong time. [And as Colonel Oglesby noted, "without [organic] artillery support" (OR 7 page 185)]. Afterwards, it is said that Grant blamed McClernand for the near disaster, due to not properly anchoring his right. But, the blame could easily have been ascribed to McArthur's 1st Brigade. In Fact, Grant may have blamed both organizations: upon the surrender of Fort Donelson, while Smith's Division was given pride of place in the former log huts belonging to the Rebels, and inside the fort-proper, McClernand (in written orders to include McArthur's Brigade) was kept outside; and assigned picket duties, patrol and "fatigue duties" ...so tiresome and irksome that McClernand eventually complained [see OR 7 pages 625 and 633; and Papers of US Grant vol.4 page 242.] As is now known, U.S. Grant had lost confidence in his former friend, John McClernand; and that when the Federal camp was established at Pittsburg Landing, Grant refused to recognize McClernand's seniority (and placed Brigadier General Sherman in charge there, during Grant's absence.) What is not so well known: a similar "demotion" appears to have also occurred with John McArthur, beginning with re-numbering of his 1st Brigade (to 2nd Brigade, effective February 21st -- Papers of US Grant vol.4 page 263.) Then, with U.S. Grant returned to field command, upon his arrival at Savannah he ordered "Smith's Division to leave vicinity of Savannah [most of those men were still aboard steamers] and disembark at Pittsburg Landing." C.F. Smith was then lying in bed aboard the steamer, Hiawatha, unable to walk. So, when the Second Division disembarked at Pittsburg Landing on March 18th, the senior brigade commander would be in acting-command in Smith's absence. On March 19th, Colonel Jacob Lauman was ordered, "to report to the Second Division and report to General C.F. Smith for assignment to a brigade as its commander." Since Smith was absent from Pittsburg Landing, soon-to-be Brigadier General Lauman took charge of the 1st Brigade; and assumed the role of "in command, temporary, of Smith's Division." Problem was this: Colonel Lauman was junior to Colonel McArthur. Even after Lauman was promoted BGen, effective March 21st, he was junior to BGen McArthur, also promoted March 21st. Conveniently, John McArthur was arrested on March 28th for violation of orders. And while McArthur was in arrest, General Grant replaced Lauman (who reported to Stephen Hurlbut) with WHL Wallace -- a Brigadier General who was senior to Lauman and McArthur. And U.S. Grant allowed McArthur to stew... until the Confederates rushed north from Corinth; and on Sunday morning, April 6th, the Rebels caught everyone by surprise. Regards Ozzy References: OR 7 (pages as sited) Papers of US Grant volumes 2 and 4 (pages as sited) http://archive.org/stream/illinoisatshiloh00illi#page/30/mode/2up/search/McArthur Illinois at Shiloh http://archive.org/stream/biographicalsket00wils#page/18/mode/2up John McArthur bio at Illinois Officers http://archive.org/stream/militaryhistory02badegoog#page/n68/mode/2up/search/McArthur Badeau's Military History of US Grant, vol 1, page 43. http://suvcw.org/mollus/war/ILv2.htm Major George L. Paddock's article IRT 12th Illinois creation. Chicago Daily Tribune (edition and page as sited). General Orders No.63 of June 10th 1862 [recent promotions and their rankings].
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