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Found 90 results

  1. Sherman's Diary

    Did you know William Tecumseh Sherman was a diarist? Over at University of Notre Dame (Archives) are to be found diaries kept by Sherman from 1843 - 1861 and 1866 - 1890. Where are the diaries William Tecumseh Sherman kept during the Civil War? [Still looking, but they may be at Library of Congress, or some University Library.] But, W. T. Sherman also wrote a lot of letters... http://archives.nd.edu/findaids/ead/xml/shr.xml William T. Sherman Family Papers (Letters, telegrams, diaries and other documents). [Click on above link, and scroll down: everything in "blue" is online; mostly copies of handwritten documents (which can be hard to read) but also many typed transcripts]: 13 NOV 1861 Special Orders No.305 relieving Sherman of command and replacing him with BGen D. C. Buell. 24 NOV 1861 Special Orders No.8, by which BGen Sherman is assigned duty as Inspector in Department of the Missouri. DEC 1861 Letter, in which Sherman indicates, "he has met Halleck in St. Louis, and will press for a command." JAN 1862 Letter to wife, Ellen (from Benton Barracks) indicates, "There is something in the works for Tennessee (including a feint on Columbus from Cairo)." 12 FEB 1862 Letter to Ellen (from Benton Barracks) "General Halleck plans to go to Paducah..." 1 MAR 1862 Letter from Paducah to Ellen: "I have been busy sending away Prisoners from Fort Donelson." 3 MAR 1862 Letter from Cairo to Ellen: "I am getting ready to be part of an expedition; and the Rebels are abandoning Columbus, because of Genl Grant's victory." 3 APR 1863 Letter from Pittsburg Landing to Ellen: "Buell's forces are expected at Savannah about Monday (April 8th). Bragg is at Corinth, 18 miles away with 80 regiments... and I am satisfied they will await our coming. The weather is warm and Springlike: apples and peaches in blossom, and trees beginning to leaf." And much, much more... Ozzy
  2. Who was In Charge?

    As we all know, General Grant was not present at Pittsburg Landing until some three hours after first contact between Rebel and Union forces (he likely arrived aboard Tigress between 8:45 and 9:30 on Sunday morning.) So the question: "Who was in charge before MGen Grant arrived?" My selection as person-in-charge: Ann Dickey Wallace. [Present at Pittsburg Landing before the arrival of General Grant, Mrs. Wallace made just as many decisions, with potential to affect the "flow of the battle" as General Grant... up until about 9 a.m. And, if she had pressed for Brigadier General Wallace to meet her on the steamer; or if she had journeyed from the Minnehaha towards General Wallace's camp, she may have disrupted the flow of the battle at a crucial time, and thus, had potential to affect its outcome. ] Therefore, Mrs. Wallace, present at Pittsburg Landing, made more important decisions on scene, prior to 9 a.m. than General Grant (who was not on-scene); so Ann Dickey Wallace has a greater claim to "being in charge at Pittsburg Landing" -- prior to 9 a.m. -- than Ulysses S. Grant. Ozzy
  3. The “troublesome” Jessie Scouts As we know, two of the Jessie Scouts (Union army intelligence collectors, who did their work dressed in Confederate uniform) got caught up in General Grant’s Purge of March, just prior to Battle of Shiloh. And these two – Carpenter and Scott – were accused of horse theft, arrested and sent away to St. Louis on March 29th under escort of Grant’s aide, Captain William Hillyer. Curiously, Captain Charles Carpenter had been in similar straits only a month before. After completing a personal reconnaissance of Fort Henry about February 4th (said to have included a visit inside the Rebel stronghold) Carpenter returned to Union lines, made his report... and then was ordered “sent away, along with the other irresponsible Scouts” by direction of U.S. Grant. Captain Carpenter, IAW Field Orders No.60 was placed under arrest and sent away “never to return” on 10 February 1862. (Of interest, Captain Hillyer departed at the same time.) Obviously, “never to return” Carpenter was with Grant’s forces at Crump’s/Pittsburg, so what was really going on? It is known that communications during the Civil War could be conducted by courier or telegram (and both types could be encrypted.) With wire tappers and unscrupulous telegraph operators in existence, the most secure messages were not sent by telegraph; they were personally delivered (and best if they were verbal, so no chance of paper copy that could end up in the wrong hands.) If it is assumed that Captain Carpenter was “arrested” so that Captain Hillyer could accompany him north without raising suspicion of some other purpose, where could they go? And what message could be delivered? On February 10th, General Grant had made up his mind to launch the attack against Fort Donelson (Lew Wallace, present at the War Council next day, said “it seemed to him as if General Grant had already made up his mind.”) Hillyer and Carpenter went to Cairo, where General Cullum had signature authority to approve “all actions” on Major General Halleck’s behalf. (Hillyer is afterwards reported as present at Fort Donelson; and Captain Carpenter is said to have conducted a reconnaissance of Fort Donelson.) As regards the March 1862 arrest of Carpenter, that arrest was ordered on the 25th, but Captain Carpenter (under escort of Captain Hillyer) was not sent away til March 29th. What information or request could Hillyer have passed to General Halleck at St. Louis on Grant’s behalf ? (Captain Hillyer returned to Savannah aboard steamer Minnehaha evening of April 5th near midnight… so if any “instructions” came from St. Louis, they were overtaken by events.) And what of the “horse thief” Captain Carpenter? On April 11th, Lew Wallace wrote that, “Captain Carpenter has returned from scout of Purdy, Bethel and the country around, and brings information that Purdy was evacuated last Saturday and has not been occupied [since the late Battle.]” Papers of US Grant vol.5 page 351. Ozzy References: Papers of US Grant vol. 4 pages 153, 167, 174 – 5 and 421 – 2. http://www.pddoc.com/skedaddle/058/exploits_of_capt_carpenter_of.htm Exploits of Captain Charles C. Carpenter Jessie.docx
  4. Grant and McClernand

    Grant & McClernand It was initially believed possible to address the relationship that existed involving military leader U.S. Grant and Congressman John A. McClernand during 1861, and include discussion of that “friendship” in the Pop Quiz item, “We Meet Again,” but there is too much material. And to understand why the relationship became strained before Battle of Shiloh, and how that strain affected the state of readiness at Pittsburg Landing, it must first be understood how the initial friendly relationship between the two men eventuated. On the face of it, the successful politician, McClernand, ten years more senior, with origins in a Southern state, and with limited experience as a Private during the Black Hawk War, has little in common with the West Point trained, but struggling since his resignation from the Army, Grant. And there does not appear to have been any pre-Civil War contact between the two men (Grant lived in Missouri until 1860) so it is safe to assume that their first encounter occurred June 1861, when finally-a-Colonel Grant permitted Illinois Congressmen Logan and McClernand to address his 21st Infantry Regiment outside of Springfield [Memoirs pages 244 – 5]. The next meeting between Grant and McClernand appears to have taken place after the Disaster at First Manassas, after McClernand had been granted permission to raise his brigade of infantry regiments (and was accorded rank of Brigadier General, junior to Brigadier General Grant.) The relationship appears to have evolved as a “friendship of convenience.” Grant needed assistance in his seniority dispute (September 1861) with Benjamin Prentiss; and McClernand – recently arrived at Cairo – was available to take command of in-arrest Prentiss’s troops in Missouri (this arrangement was suggested by Grant, but not actioned by Fremont – see Papers of USG vol.2 pages 173 – 4). With Prentiss out of the way, Grant relocated to Cairo and established his Head Quarters, District of S.E. Missouri (and benefited from Brigadier General McClernand’s presence when the opportunity to occupy Paducah presented on September 5th). While Grant took the 9th Illinois and 12th Illinois to Kentucky, McClernand remained behind with his brigade and provided defense of Cairo. Upon return from Paducah, about September 7th, District commander Grant and Post of Cairo commander McClernand had ample time to get to know each other (Grant would remain at Cairo until 21October) and during that time the communications between the two generals is cordial, supportive and frequent… in keeping with a letter sent from McClernand to U.S. Grant dated September 4th: “I will be happy to co-operate with you in all things for the good of the service” (Papers of USG vol.2 page 184). No doubt during this period of close interaction, fellow Democrats Grant and McClernand would have shared “war stories” and may have realized their similar experience as “dispatch riders” (Grant at Monterey during the Mexican War and McClernand during the recent Bull Run Campaign.) McClernand would also have details of that campaign (and Irwin McDowell) not available anywhere else. From the tone and content of the communications, it appears that Grant was “grooming McClernand to become the best Brigadier he could be” (see Papers of USG vol.2 pp. 184 – 353 and vol.3 pages 67, 88 and 123 – 125). Reports were requested by Grant, the preparation for movement of troops ordered, recommendations provided for establishment of Provost Marshal and other measures (at all times with Grant addressing McClernand as “General” or “Gen.”) The hands-on training with Grant in close proximity culminated with Grant’s brief departure on October 21st for a visit to St. Louis, leaving McClernand in acting-command of the District HQ at Cairo (Papers of USG vol.3 page 67). McClernand obviously passed that test, for on Grant’s return to Cairo he began planning for the Observation of Belmont (and put McClernand to work in helping organize transport and equipage for that expedition – Papers USG vol.3 pp. 98, 103 and 108 – 109). Papers of US Grant vol.3 pages 123 – 126 details the final preparations and orders for the Expedition against Belmont (with Brigadier General McClernand’s given pride of place as lead brigade.) Following successful completion of the raid, General Grant provides a glowing report of McClernand’s participation (page 142) and McClernand’s own report of Belmont can be read: Papers of US Grant vol.3 pages 196 – 201. After Belmont, General Grant next left McClernand in acting-command District HQ on November 18th when Grant departed on an inspection tour of Bird’s Point and Cape Girardeau and the frequent communications between the two generals remain cordial and supportive through early February 1862. Ozzy References: Personal Memoirs of U. S. Grant, volume one Papers of US Grant volumes 3 & 4 (pages as sited) Papers of US Grant vol.4 pages 4 (notes: Letter of 12 JAN 1862 from Hillyer) and 6, 38 49 through to page 132 typical of cordial correspondence, Grant and McClernand Personal Memoirs of John H. Brinton, Major and Surgeon
  5. Lorenz

    [Soldier holding Lorenz Model 1854, from Civil War Guns, page 259.] Because several infantry units (North and South) are believed to have been equipt with this weapon at Battle of Shiloh: Lorenz Model 1854. George F. L. Schuyler replaced John Fremont in Summer 1861 as purchasing agent in Europe, acting on behalf of the U.S. Government to acquire whatever arms were to be had. One of the places visited was Vienna: the Arsenal at that place held a large stockpile of Lorenz Rifles, and Schuyler was able to purchase over seventy thousand complete units at $15.10/each [Civil War Guns, pp.69 - 70]. The barrels of these guns were deemed thick enough and adequately robust to permit rebore from original .54 calibre to Springfield-standard .58 calibre, if desired. (The Lorenz became the third most available rifle-musket used during the Civil War, after Springfield and Enfield.) The Lorenz Model 1854 is a muzzle-loading rifle-musket, fired by percussion cap; it weighs about 9 pounds, is 53 inches long, with a barrel 37 1/2 inches long. Walnut or beech are the primary materials used for stocks; the bayonet is clasp-type, 19 1/2 inches long. Manufactured in Vienna and other State arsenals in Austria, the weapon first saw service during the Second Italian War of Independence (also known as Austro - Sardinian War of 1859.) Depending on sights attached, the effective range of the Lorenz was 200 yards (block sites) to in excess of 600 yards (leaf sights). For probable listing of Units at Shiloh equipt with the Lorenz Rifle: http://www.n-ssa.net/vbforum/archive/index.php/t-301.html (compiled by Don Dixon.) Excellent video showcasing Lorenz Rifle http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mPVrXiUwzC4 (Professor Balasz at capandball, 21 FEB 2018.) Ozzy References: http://archive.org/stream/Civil_War_Guns#page/n270/mode/1up/search/Lorenz Civil War Guns (1962) by William B. Edwards wikipedia
  6. Shiloh Masters Thesis

    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
  7. Civil War Guns

    Civil War Guns, published 1962 by William B. Edwards, is a well-researched, comprehensive catalogue of almost all of the various rifles, muskets, rifle-muskets and carbines in use during the Civil War. The information contained (and page number): 1- 6 and 218 Sharps carbine and rifle 144 - 154 Spencer carbine and rifle (with 7-round tube magazine) 22 - 37 Springfield models 1841, 1855 and 1861 242 - 250 Enfield Model 1853 89 and 256 Austrian (Lorenz) 29, 67 & 122 Vincennes Not restricted to particular weapons, the following topics are also covered: 28, 65 & 132 - 143 Fremont's role in 1861 acquiring weapons in Europe (and problems with the Hall carbine) 8 The Zouave Movement 9 Minie ball development 13 - 15 The rifled barrel and its importance 16 Maynard Tape primer system 18 Huger's Tests of 1853/4 (to determine best type of rifled barrels and optimum size of projectile) 42 photo of Tool Kit (necessary for maintenance of rifle-musket) Containing hundreds of photographs and written by a man involved in manufacture of firearms, this is a valuable resource. http://archive.org/details/Civil_War_Guns
  8. The View at 100

    Just for something a bit different, here is a drone video presenting Shiloh NMP from 100 - 200 feet AGL (posted on YouTube 10 NOV 2017 by Perry Barker): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kYerabEIdx4 Drone -- Shiloh NMP on 1 July 2017.
  9. On 18 - 19 September 1883 the surviving members of the 11th Indiana Infantry held a reunion at Tipton, with all former members of the regiment invited... including the original Colonel of the organization, Lew Wallace. Due to other commitments (Lew Wallace was then engaged in activities on behalf of the Ottoman Empire, and based at Constantinople) he sent his regrets, along with his son, Henry (who attended the meeting.) And sent the following interesting letter to one of the organizers of the Reunion:
  10. Earliest News Report

    Have uncovered what I believe to be the earliest newspaper report of the Battle of Shiloh, published Monday morning 7 APR 1862 at New Orleans. Had searched for this using "Shiloh" and "Pittsburg Landing" as search terms, but without success (when the article is read, it is discovered "another name" was given to the battle.) Battle of Shiloh Report on page 1, column 1, top. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn82015753/1862-04-07/ed-1/seq-1/#date1=1862&sort=date&rows=20&words=Beauregard&searchType=basic&sequence=0&index=6&state=Louisiana&date2=1862&proxtext=Beauregard&y=0&x=0&dateFilterType=yearRange&page=5 New Orleans Daily Crescent for 7 April 1862 [provided by Library of Congress, Chronicling America.]
  11. 10th Mississippi Story

    Captain E. T. Sykes and the 10th Mississippi at Shiloh Edward Turner Sykes was born in 1838 in Alabama, but was living in Columbus Mississippi when the Secession Crisis broke out. Joining Doctor Lipscomb’s Southron Avengers early in 1861, that company was soon incorporated into Colonel Seaburne M. Phillip’s 10th Mississippi as Company E and in March arrived in Florida and placed under command of Major General Braxton Bragg (whose expanding force was soon to become known as the Army of Pensacola.) The 10th Mississippi Infantry took part in placing guns in a crescent around the north and west edge of Pensacola Bay, extending from the Navy Yard to Fort McRae; and the men of the regiment were trained in the operation of those artillery pieces (used during the November bombardment of Union-occupied Fort Pickens.) As well as being trained to operate artillery, the men of the 10th Mississippi took part in the October 8/9 Battle of Santa Rosa Island (a successful nighttime raid against Federal forces camped outside Fort Pickens, involving colonels Chalmers, Jackson and Anderson.) During service at Pensacola, Seaburne M. Phillips became incapacited due to illness (he died before October 1861) and 25-year-old Robert A. Smith was elected Colonel in his place. University-educated E. T. Sykes was installed as Adjutant, with the rank of Captain. The 10th Mississippi remained in vicinity of Fort Barrancas and Mobile until after the February 1862 Disaster at Fort Donelson, when the regiment was ordered, along with most of Bragg’s Army, north to Corinth Mississippi. At Corinth the original 12-month term of enlistment expired; and in March the “New” 10th Mississippi was mustered into service (but with only half the 840 men of the original regiment.) What follows is Edward Sykes’ 1873 recollection of his regiment’s part in the Battle of Shiloh: “Having organized his splendid troops, General Albert Sidney Johnston, with General PGT Beauregard as second in command, put in motion on the morning of the 3rd of April, 1862, the “Army of the Mississippi,” to offer battle to the invaders of our soil. The attack was to have been made on the 5th, before Buell, who was marching to the assistance of Grant, at Pittsburg Landing, could possibly reach him, but owing to the bad roads the Confederates were unable to reach the destined point in time. Resting for the night in order of battle, a short distance from the enemy’s camp, with only now and then a picket shot to relieve the suspense, we commenced to advance at early dawn, and by sunrise came fairly upon them. Hardie commanded the front line, with Gladden’s and Chalmer’s brigades of Bragg’s corps on his right; Bragg’s corps, less the two brigades above-mentioned, constituting the second line, followed about 400 yards distant. The corps of General Polk, following the second line at the distance of about 800 yards, in lines of brigades, deployed with their batteries in rear of each, protected by cavalry on their right. The reserves under General Breckinridge followed closely the third line in the same order, its right wing supported by cavalry. Well do I remember, being then Adjutant of the 10th Mississippi infantry, of Chalmer’s brigade, how all were spoiling for their maiden fight, in which, before they were through, they were willing to acknowledge that of choice, they would thereafter exhibit less of reckless anxiety, and more of prudent discretion. As the Tenth Mississippi (Colonel Robert A. Smith, commanding, and who was subsequently killed in the battle at Mumfordsville Kentucky, and than whom no braver spirit or better officer gave up his life during the war,) descended the last hill, in full view of the enemy’s camp, it was discovered by the position of “an Indiana regiment” standing behind an improvised breastwork of knapsacks, a little retired from the crest of the hill beyond, with “arms ready,” that we were too far to the left, and ordered to march by the right flank down the ravine, until our right opposed their extreme left. And now comes the strange part of this sketch: not a gun in our regiment was loaded. In the verdancy of our military career and ardour for fight, we had overlooked one of its most elemental precautions. I heard Colonel Smith, who was sitting upon his horse a few paces in front of his line, and from his elevated position, exposed to the enemy not fifty yards off, give the commands: “Order arms; Load; “Fix bayonets,” Shoulder arms.” Then followed this pertinent language: “Soldiers, we have been ordered to charge those fellows in blue (he pointed with his sword) and I want you when I give the order to forward, to advance steadily to the top of the hill, fire with deliberation, and then give them the bayonet.” “Forward, then,” was the next sound heard, and Smith’s orders, as always, were observed. Both parties fired about the same time with deadly effect, after which the enemy broke and fled in confusion. General Chalmers immediately rode up to Colonel Smith, and after remarking in my presence, that he deserved to be a Major General, commanded him not again to expose himself so recklessly; but it being a personal, and not strictly a military order, was not obeyed, until soon after Smith’s horse was shot from under him. Throughout that day, the right, under Bragg, did not sustain a reverse, but took position after position, in such quick succession as to justify the confident belief that the entire Federal army under General Grant would be annihilated before the close of the day. About 4 p.m., as we were halted in line of battle to reform, while a brigade of prisoners just captured were being escorted by our cavalry to the rear, and preparatory to our final attack on that day, General Bragg, who justly felt proud of his day’s work, was seen riding alone in front of his victorious lines, and rapidly approaching our front. As he reached us, General Chalmers, who was likewise exultant over the action of his brigade, raised up in his stirrups, and shouted, “Pensacola troops, three cheers for our beloved commander!” Recognizing the compliment, and feeling that he had troops to follow where he was prepared to lead, he reined up, faced the brigade, and with head uncovered, looked “the noblest Roman of them all.” The white-plumed Henry of Navarre never inspired his fiery Frenchmen with more ardent enthusiasm than did this scene of Bragg’s awaken the glow of patriotism in the breasts of his Pensacola boys. They – officers and private soldiers – mutually felt that the day’s victory beloged equally to both and all. Soon after this exhilarating scene, we were again put in motion to attack the enemy’s last stronghold, being twenty-two guns massed in a semi-circle on an elongated eminence protecting his center and left, and which proved a bulwark between us and their destruction or surrender. Amidst the confusion of orders, some to “advance,” some to “retreat,” occasioned by the general order of Beauregard to retire for the night, we were in a fated hour repulsed, never again to enjoy the pleasure of having them so near in our grasp. Time, such as Wellington prayed for on the plains of Waterloo, “Oh! For Blucher or for Night!” was given to them, and they profited thereby. Buell crossed the Tennessee, and the next morning, the 7th, was as disastrous to our arms as the day before had been propitious…”
  12. Axe about Abatis

    In a Letter written from his HQ at Cairo on 7 October 1861, Brigadier General U. S. Grant provided his latest intelligence from Kentucky to Major General Fremont at St. Louis. Of interest: "The Confederates at Fort Columbus are said to have been reinforced to about 45,000 men... They talk boldly about making an attack upon Paducah by the 15th of this month." Turns out, Grant had received the above information from Brigadier General C. F. Smith, in command at Paducah. On 6 OCT 1861 Smith wrote to Grant: "The latest news from Columbus comes through the Roman Catholic priest here, tho' he does not wish it whispered. Columbus is in his division of duties. He was told that the attack on this place might be looked for on or by next Thursday, the 10th, getting this from both officers and soldiers. I give the information for what it is worth. The prevalent idea is to make a feint on the front, and attack on the flanks -- three columns of 7000 each. The trees all round are fast falling to our axes, rendering an advance by the roads a necessity." The above "defensive preparations" (felling of trees for abatis to slow, and redirect the advance of an enemy) took place before the Battle of Belmont; and these measures were taken in spite of the prevailing belief that "no attack on Paducah was seriously threatened." U. S. Grant states in his Memoirs, vol.1 (page 356) that, "At the time of the Battle of Shiloh, the pick and spade had been but little resorted to at the West." And yet, trenches were not the only defensive works available as options to Grant and his Army in the lead-up to Shiloh: the abatis and blinds were also of potential value, yet both were ignored, or actively discouraged... Still a mystery Ozzy References: Papers of US Grant, vol.3 pages 24 - 25. Grant's Memoirs vol.1 page 356.
  13. Bragg's Letter of April 8

    What follows is a letter written Tuesday evening, 8 April 1862 by Braxton Bragg to his wife, Eliza, and sent from Corinth. In it, General Bragg details his impressions of the two-day fight at Shiloh; why Day Two was necessary; and other observations. Written so close to the actual event, this letter provides insights not to be found elsewhere, including "Bragg was nearly shot twice," the "difficulty" with Randall Gibson on Day One, the capture of Ross' Michigan Battery on Sunday afternoon, and "the intelligence" provided by General Prentiss. [Found in Braxton Bragg: General by Don C. Seitz (1924) pages 111 - 3 at http://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=mdp.39015000586084;view=1up;seq=127 ]:
  14. Puzzler

    Here's a question to ponder: Which three generals (from either side) benefited most -- professionally -- from the Battle of Shiloh? Justify your selections. Ozzy
  15. Bait and Switch

    The result of much research has determined there was "bad blood" between Don Carlos Buell and Ulysses S. Grant. This may have been the result of Grant sending wounded Confederate soldiers to Hospitals in Buell's jurisdiction after Fort Donelson. Or it may have resulted from Grant sending Nelson to take possession of Nashville (just hours ahead of Buell.) Possibly, there was some pre-war animosity that simply festered, exacerbated by the above incidents... One thing that becomes evident upon a close read of the Official Records and Papers of US Grant vol.4: when Buell began the march of his Army of the Ohio from Nashville on March 15th, he believed he was to go to the support of Charles F. Smith [see OR 11 pages 38 and 44.] Upon Buell's arrival at Savannah (where he was told by Halleck that Smith was established) Brigadier General Smith would have been junior to Major General Buell... so Buell would assume de facto command of the operation (pending the arrival of Major General Halleck.) Buell was aware of the removal from "command in the field" of Major General U. S. Grant: as late as March 14th, Buell received a telegram from Grant -- sent from Fort Henry -- in which Grant requested a gunboat on the Cumberland River be sent to him [see Papers of US Grant vol.4 page 361.] And Halleck kept up the deception -- as late as March 17th -- directing Buell: "Move on as ordered, to re enforce Smith." [Grant had been restored to command on March 15th and arrived at Savannah March 17th -- OR 11 page 44 and 38.] In Shiloh Revisited, page 490, Buell expresses dissatisfaction with the arrangement: "US Grant was restored to command, and arrived at Savannah March 17th, and he converted the encampment of Pittsburg Landing into the point of rendezvous." It is obvious that Buell felt the sting of the "bait and switch" pulled on him: he was expecting Smith; but sometime after the march commenced, he found out that Grant was in command. This could help explain: the excessive delay of Buell's arrival at Savannah; the attempt by Buell to camp his Army at Waynesboro (and await the arrival of Halleck at Savannah) the convenient delay Sunday, April 6th to make his way to Pittsburg Landing (by whatever means necessary). But most unsettling: a close read of Buell and Grant's interactions, beginning Sunday afternoon and continuing through April 7th, are not especially inspiring. In fact, the only real coordination between Grant and Buell appears to be, "You take the left, and I'll take the right." The important, "We'll move forward in the morning," seems to have been unspoken, merely assumed. No way to run a railroad... Ozzy
  16. 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
  17. [Sketch of Corinth Mississippi by Adolph Metzner, on file with Library of Congress.] The following Letter of 20 March 1862 from Braxton Bragg to wife Eliza is of interest due the following: Bragg reveals the lack of discipline discovered upon his arrival in Corinth; "draconian measures" put in place by Major General Bragg to instill discipline at Corinth; discusses feeble health of General Beauregard (who is still at Jackson Tennessee, attempting recuperation) reveals pre-planning stage, before General Johnston arrives (and before decision taken on "what is to come in April.") Corinth, Miss. 20th March My dear Wife, By a hasty note from Bethel Station I announced my sudden departure for this place. Since that time I have had no time to write. Everything was in disorder and confusion here, troops arriving in large numbers without supplies, and greatly disorganized by hasty and badly conducted arrangements. Weather bad, and no accommodation, even for the sick. The [Tishomingo] Hotel a perfect pandemonium, thousands of hungry men standing against the barred door, ready to rush in and sweep the tables, regardless of sentinels or officers. Even the kitchen was not safe, meals were seized from off the fires, and the life of the hotel keeper threatened for expostulating. Poor Mr. Lea -- you remember him as the Steward at the Sweet Springs -- said he was over-matched for once. No promise of a fashionable (3 o'clock) dinner would appease the hungry multitude -- but all is now changed. With Gladden in command, and the La. regiments to charge bayonets, the swine are driven back, and the town is quiet and peaceable. It is most difficult to see what is to be our future. The enemy is threatening both flanks. At Island No.10, which is now our highest point up the river, we hold with heavy guns. But the pressure is very great against it, and the evacuation of New Madrid exposes us to be cut off from below. We have another strong position still lower, near Randolph Tenn, but not yet in good condition. My heavy guns from Pensacola are going there, and some of my old troops are there, but they need good commanders. The name of the place is unfortunate -- Fort Pillow. If we can keep them back on the Mississippi, I shall not despair at all of our losses elsewhere. We are to a great extent, however, reduced to the Fabian Policy. Our troops and our supplies are so limited and so disorganized that effective operations are out of the question unless we can have a little time to restore tone and confidence. My forces united to Genl Ruggles are here, about 22.000. Polk's and Johnston's are coming in hourly and taking position on my right and left. Your advice in your letter of the 12th is fully adopted in my own of today, organizing my command. All Tennesseans are scattered among better men in small squads, so that we can hold them in observation. I never realized the full correctness of your appreciation of them, until now. A general order, of which I enclose a copy, was predicated on their infamous proceedings, and I am glad to say had its effect. No plundering has taken place since. It is my fixed purpose to execute the first one caught in such acts. But the order, itself, and the arrest of a Colonel, have produced a very wholesome reform. Genl Beauregard has re-published the order to the whole Army, and ordered its observance. Towson was several days with the fair ladies at Jackson, and had every opportunity of seeing their merits and deficiencies, though ladies ought not to have the latter. Suffice it to say neither will please him. He has not said a word, but I will answer for him -- it is unnecessary to set forth objections. Robert and Mr. [Fader] are still with me. Bob will never do much with the Army, as he cannot stand the hardships -- exposure of any kind, or the inequality of camp life soon disables him. And we are far from being comfortable here. But still, for several days it was very hard to live at all. Genl Beauregard is still in Jackson, but proposes coming here in a few days. His health is still very feeble, and as long as he is distressed and worried, as he has been, he cannot improve. Every interview with Genl Polk [shunts] him back a week. But for my arrival here to aid him, I do not believe he would soon be living. His appeal for plantation bells was somewhat on the order of the "Under the enemy's guns at Castroville [Texas]" -- sensational. We have more guns now than instructed men to serve them. And metal in New Orleans for many more. May God protect and preserve you, Your Husband Braxton Bragg [Handwritten original http://repository.duke.edu/dc/braggbraxtonpapers-000846347/secst0300 at Duke University Library, Braxton Bragg Papers, items 52 - 55.] Thanks to Duke University for making this letter available online. Ozzy References: http://www.loc.gov/item/2017646911/ Tishomingo Hotel sketch by Adolph Metzner (1862) at Library of Congress. http://archive.org/stream/earlysettlersind00sowe#page/n593/mode/2up/search/Castroville resource provided for explanation of Castorville Texas. http://www.thefreedictionary.com/Fabian+policy definition of Fabian Policy.
  18. Do you know Bragg?

    The following questions are in reference to Braxton Bragg, controversial personality who acted in support of the Confederacy during the War of the Rebellion. In order to make these questions a bit easier to answer correctly, each question is posed as True-or-False. Good Luck! Leroy Pope Walker was the first Confederate Government Secretary of War (and the man who famously predicted that the Clash of Arms between North and South would be such a short affair that he offered to sop up all the spilled blood with a handkerchief.) Walker resigned in September 1861 and was appointed Brigadier General, and assigned to work for Braxton Bragg at Mobile. However, Major General Bragg found him to be of such little value as military leader that he left BGen Walker behind in Alabama when he moved the bulk of his Army of Pensacola north to take part in the fight at Shiloh. True or False. The loss of Fort Donelson on 16 February 1862 is the event that caused Secretary of War Judah P. Benjamin to order Bragg and his Army north from the Gulf Coast, that order dated 18 February 1862. True or False. Braxton Bragg suffered throughout his life from frequent migraine headaches. True or False. Major General Bragg met personally with General PGT Beauregard at Jackson Tennessee before 7 March 1862. True or False. Braxton Bragg assigned Daniel Ruggles to command of the Post of Corinth on 9 March 1862. And it was Brigadier General Ruggles (on Bragg's orders) who initiated the extensive entrenchments at Corinth Mississippi. True or False. Braxton Bragg was at Corinth and met Albert Sidney Johnston when that General arrived there on 23 March 1862. True or False. At the Battle of Shiloh, Major General Bragg held two official roles: command of a corps, and chief of staff. True or False. Artillery officer Braxton Bragg won national acclaim during the Mexican War for his heroic performance at Battle of Buena Vista. True or False. Get these wrong and a ghostly eyebrow will pay you a visit at 3 o'clock in the morning... Ozzy
  19. The following letter written by Major General Braxton Bragg to his wife, Eliza, and sent from Corinth on 29 MAR 1862 reveals the mindset of Confederate leaders in the build-up to Battle of Shiloh. Discussed in the letter: the importance of the Mississippi River to the Confederacy; incompetence responsible for the loss of New Madrid; Bragg's recommended strategy for Arkansas (and use of Van Dorn) Confederate evaluation of Union force (under C.F. Smith) and Smith's likely objectives; Bragg compares his Army of Pensacola to the forces under A.S. Johnston and Leonidas Polk; Bragg evaluates the current state of affairs, and offers suggested remedies; Letter concludes with "personal matters" (acquiring provisions for his family; and answering questions in Eliza's last letter.) Corinth, March 29th 1862 Dearest Wife, Your letters are all coming to hand since they have found me out, and yesterday I had one only three days old, written on my birthday, tho' you probably did not know it. You write under great excitement and despondency, and I must acknowledge, with much reason, but still I hope and trust a change for the better is about to occur. The rapid movement from Jackson to Bethel, and thence to this place, was to prevent the very movement you seem so much to fear. The enemy in large force ascended the Tennessee River, with a view no doubt of striking at or near this point, by which he would divide the forces of Polk and myself from those of Johnston coming west on the rail road. He landed in force and made two assails [against] our stations, one against Bethel, and one here. But finding us not only prepared to receive him, but arranging to attack him, he fell back, crossed the river with his main force, and now confronts us with only a brave few thousand, under cover of his gun boats. Desirous as I was, and Genl Beauregard was for sure, to bring on an action, it became utterly impossible. We could not cross the river; and they would not. In the mean time events have gone on very disastrously on the Mississippi River in Genl Polk's command, not from any immediate fault of his, but from a bad commander [McCown] and the unfortunate result of bad discipline, and too much whiskey. Under orders from Genl Beauregard to hold the place [New Madrid] until the last extremity, they had driven the enemy [Pope] back in New Madrid with a heavy loss. We were supplied, were fortified, and had force enough to hold out until we could reinforce them. But a big stampede got hold of them. Whiskey got into them, and a few, a false alarm that Genl Siegel, who was in front of Van Dorn in north west Arkansas, was upon them with 20,000 additional men... all was disgracefully abandoned. On the 23rd Genl Johnston reached here, Genl Beauregard came down [from Jackson] to mesh up, and a conference has resulted in changes I hope will save the Mississippi, though time is precious, and much needed. I insisted on a change of subordinate commanders of Island No.10 and Fort Pillow, which is the next point to defend if the first falls. All said they had nobody to put there, their best having been done. I offered my whole force, saying I could put any of my generals there and know they would never be stampeded. Being allowed to designate, I have sent Genl Jones to Island No.10 and Genl Villepique to Fort Pillow. I ought to have the whole command there [of Mississippi River defences] myself, and take my Pensacola and Mobile troops there. But that point I could not urge, of course, as Genl Polk, who commands, is my senior. I thought my Mobile Army was a mob, but it is as far superior to Polk's and Johnston's as the Army of Pensacola was to it. The commander of the disgrace at New Madrid [General McCown] I insist shall be arrested and tried. There is want of nerve to do it, but I shall insist, and hope yet to accomplish it. Stern, dictatorial measures are necessary, and as far as my influence goes, will be adopted. The enemy will operate on both our flanks, striking us here [at Corinth] whenever he is ready. Sooner one could not make him do it, as he is on the other side of the [Tennessee] River, which he controls by gun boats. But it is not so on the Mississippi: we control that below them, and can throw our forces at any point there by steamer. Had my opinion prevailed, we should have assailed him at New Madrid and defeated him there about the time we moved here. But fears were felt for this position, by which Genl Johnston would be divided from us. Swift measures would have saved both [New Madrid and Corinth] but that is now too late. To hold the Mississippi River is my primary object; the loss of its use be about fatal to us, and I shall unceasingly urge its importance. I find my opinions have some weight with both Johnston and Beauregard, and I shall not cease to urge my point. Johnston almost embraced me when I met him, saying, "Your prompt and decisive move, Sir, has saved me, and saved the country. But for your arrival [at Corinth] the enemy would have been between us." A change is to be made today in our organization. I believe the Army here, between the Mississippi and the Tennessee, will be called the Army of the Mississippi, as at present, but largely increased by Johnston's forces. This will all be commanded by Beauregard, and be divided in turn into two grand divisions under Polk and Bragg. Say 25,000 men each. Johnston to command all. And East Tennessee and Missouri. Under my urgent advice, supported by Polk and Beauregard, Johnston has decided to withdraw the forces of Van Dorn from Arkansas, and unite them to ours on this side of the river. This, you may recollect, I advised in January from Pensacola. Where he is, Van Dorn can do nothing; nor can he subsist his army. Arkansas is a wilderness the enemy will never penetrate. And should we unfortunately lose the Mississippi, Van Dorn there would be lost. With his addition, 20,000. If we do our duty, and work our men into soldiers, we shall be able to turn the tide, and redress our losses. But, great labor is before us, and we need not conceal the fact that great danger also threatens us. Our people, our generals, with a few exceptions, are not up to the emergency. Tennessee, Kentucky and Missouri are lost to us. Such has been the outrageous conduct of our troops that the people generally and very voluntarily prefer seeing the enemy. Polk and Johnston do nothing to correct this. Indeed, the good Bishop sets the example by taking whatever he wishes -- requiring it to be paid for, it is true. But, every man is not willing to give up his house, his necessities, servants, provisions, etc., etc., even though our Government is required to pay for it. The provision question is embarrassing to us publicly and privately. Financing the great difficulty in New Orleans. And hearing such accounts from Mr. Urquhart, I bought 20,000 pounds of bacon in Mississippi which was offered me as a favor. It will be shipped to Mr. Urquhart and by him one half to you and the other half to Towson. It will be more than either will require, or ought to use. Half of it ought to suffice. The other I thought it prudent to take as we might supply Pierce and your Mother. We face weeks more, not a pound of meat can be had in the country. The money you speak of for the girls, I paid to Towson in cash. He tells me he deposited it to your Mother's credit with Mr. Urquhart for the girls to draw on. That makes it all right. She is charged with it, but look on the other side and see if she is also credited? That might make it all right. Towson and Robert are well. My own health is good, besides a cold. The meantime -- Write. God Keep you Darling Wife Braxton. [The original hand-written Letter of 29 MAR 1862] is on file with Missouri History Museum -- Missouri Digital Heritage -- in the "St. Louis Civil War Collection" and accessible online at the following: http://cdm.sos.mo.gov/cdm/compoundobject/collection/CivilWar/id/1261/rec/20 Thanks to Missouri History Museum for making the original letter available online. Ozzy
  20. Battle of Shiloh

    Just for something a bit different... We are all familiar with the poems of Shiloh veterans Leander Stillwell, Ambrose Bierce and Theodore O'Hara. The following poem was encountered in the Volume 1, No.8 edition of Confederate Veteran (published August 1893.) Let me know what you think -- Ozzy.
  21. Staff officer to General Grant, officially designated as ADC after Fort Donelson, William R. Rowley commenced his Civil War career as a First Lieutenant in the 45th Illinois (known as the Lead Mine Regiment) in November 1861. Familiar with Congressman Elihu Washburne of Galena, Captain Rowley communicated frequently with his Member of Congress (and sometimes on General Grant's behalf.) The following link connects to a Letter written by Captain Rowley at Pittsburg Landing on 19 April 1862 to an associate of Elihu Washburne, Edward Hempstead. Hempstead copied Rowley's letter, and sent that transcript to Congressman Washburne (which is where this version of the Letter was found, in the Washburne Papers.) http://www.usgrantlibrary.org/usga/newsletters/volume10.asp [Rowley Letter of 19 April 1862 at top of page, courtesy of Ulysses S. Grant Presidential Library, and contained in Newsletter of January 1973 (Volume 10).] On Sunday morning, April 6th, Captain Rowley was at Savannah and heard the firing of cannon from 9 miles away, to the south-southwest. Travelling in company with General Grant aboard Tigress, Rowley arrived at Pittsburg Landing between 9- 9:30 a.m. and was in company with General Grant (or delivering orders from General Grant) during much of Day One at Shiloh. Of particular interest: Captain Rowley was riding west from the Landing, in company with General Grant, just after 1 p.m., when the second messenger returned from his "visit" to General Lew Wallace. After hearing Cavalry officer Frank Bennett's report, General Grant sent Rowley, in company with Lieutenant Bennett, back north across Wallace Bridge to confront Major General Wallace and demand that he come to Pittsburg Landing via the River Road. Captain Rowley was equipped with authority to "provide orders in writing" if Lew Wallace so demanded. Captain Rowley and his escort departed about 1:20 p.m., and arrived at Pittsburg Landing -- in company with the Third Division -- after sunset. [These details need to be kept in mind when reading Rowley's letter.] The other thing to keep in mind: this letter from William Rowley was written in response to a Letter of 14 April 1862 from Edward Hempstead, in which Hempstead asked five specific questions [with Rowley's response in brackets]: Had General Grant been drinking, prior to the battle of Shiloh? [No. Rowley indicated he had only ever seen Grant take three or four drinks, total, during the entire time he knew him. And he had had no alcohol prior to Battle of Shiloh.] Was General Grant really at Savannah when the Battle started? [Yes... (although Rowley shaves substantial time away from Grant's absence from Pittsburg Landing).] Did General Grant really lead the Last Charge on Monday? [Yes. And Rowley gives details...] Does General Grant have any political aspirations? [No. And do not worry, he has no intention of ever becoming President.] Why were there no entrenchments at Pittsburg Landing? [Rowley provides an answer you'll have to read for yourself.] As significant as is William Hillyer's letter (also on this SDG site), William Rowley's response to Edward Hempstead provides details of Grant's decisions, operations and movements, not to be found anywhere else; and this four-page Letter (written after the arrival of Henry Halleck at Pittsburg Landing) is highly recommended, and worth the twenty minutes required to read and digest. Cheers Ozzy Other references: Autobiography of Lew Wallace, vol.1 (1906) pages 466 - 474 (for Lew Wallace's impression of Captain Rowley.) OR 10 pages 178 - 180 [Rowley's April 1863 report detailing his meeting and discussions with Lew Wallace on April 6th 1862.] "Eye Witness account, William S. Hillyer" posted by Idaho Native at SDG.
  22. ( Confederate Veteran Magazine, March 1895.) Much deserving credit is accorded Major D. W. Reed in helping make Shiloh NMP what it is today. But, "unrecognized others" were just as necessary to the creation of, "the wondrous preserve that is Shiloh NMP and Cemetery" (including the survey team, pictured above.) In Confederate Veteran (volume 3, edition of March 1895, pages 75 - 77) begins an extensive article that details work of some of the other men (and provides photographs): Colonel E T. Lee and Captain J. W. Irwin, just two mentioned. Others include Colonel Cornelius Cadle (Park Commissioner), General Don Carlos Buell (Park Commissioner -- page 104), and Captain James Williams (Assistant Secretary of Shiloh Battlefield Association, former member of Brewer's Cavalry Battalion, then living in Savannah Tennessee.) The article begins with an "invitation to attend the Second Reunion at Shiloh, to be held April 5 and 6 1895 at Pittsburg Landing," and flows into a description of the work done by Colonel E. T. Lee of Monticello Illinois (Secretary of the Shiloh Battlefield Association.) E. T. Lee also wrote a four column article on Battle of Shiloh (included in references at bottom.) On page 77 the details of Captain J. W. Irwin are revealed (former member of Confederate Cavalry that was absorbed into N. B. Forrest's command.) A two-page article detailing service with General Forrest is included. Much additional information is to be found in volumes 3 and 4 of Confederate Veteran, but the Index does not allow effective searching. [Best to click on the "Catalog Record," below; select the desired volume; and in Search Box at top of that volume, insert "Shiloh" for references IRT the creation of the Military Park.] Regards Ozzy References: http://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=hvd.32044035882372;view=1up;seq=104 Confederate Veteran, volume 3. http://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/000528187 Catalog Record for Confederate Veteran Magazine (all issues, 1893 - 1922.) http://newspapers.library.in.gov/cgi-bin/indiana?a=d&d=INN18950302-01.1.11 Indianapolis News of 2 MAR 1895, page 11, "Shiloh Memorial Park" by E. T. Lee. N.B. Did anyone else notice the steamboat in the background? Might be the Edgar Cherry.
  23. Review of Badeau

    Sometimes it is good to return to a reference you have not paid attention to in a while, if only to realize "how much your own knowledge has grown." Sometimes, unexpected revelations are uncovered that were, somehow, missed "the first time around." Such is the case with the attached work (only that portion detailing the period between Fort Donelson and start of Battle of Shiloh subjected to scrutiny. But for our purposes, that is enough.) The original work was released in time for the Presidential Campaign of 1868. http://archive.org/details/militaryhistory02badegoog 1885 edition of U. S. Grant Biography by Adam Badeau Review of Adam Badeau’s “Lead-up to Battle of Shiloh” (contained in pages 58 – 76 of The Military History of Ulysses S. Grant: April 1861 to April 1865, Volume One, published 1867) Adam Badeau (1831 – 1895) was an author and essayist working in New York when the Civil War erupted. In 1862 he decided to “throw in with the Union” and was incorporated onto the Staff of T. W. Sherman (the other General Sherman, Thomas, who until May 1862 was mostly involved “back East.”) To be part of Henry Halleck’s Crawl to Corinth, General T. W. Sherman was called west and placed in command of a Division; and Adam Badeau came, too. Badeau was later wounded during the Siege of Port Hudson (1863) and was sent home to recover. Finally healed in early 1864, and at the urging of John Rawlins, Adam Badeau was “brought into the Staff Family” of U. S. Grant (and served as “Military Secretary.”) LtCol Badeau developed and maintained a close connection to General (and soon-to-be President) Grant that continued until the end of Grant’s life. Late in 1867 Adam Badeau published a book (that might be called, “the Authorized Biography of U.S. Grant”) but was instead titled, The Military History of Ulysses S. Grant: from April 1861 to April 1865, Volume One. Because Adam Badeau intended to cover Grant’s entire Civil War career, Volume One did end with Lee’s Surrender at Appomattox (but the extent of material that became available caused Badeau to rework “Grant’s Military History” into a two-volume set, released in 1881 and 1885.) In meantime, “other things” got in the way: Grant ran for President in 1868; and Adam Badeau accepted one official posting after another, putting the “extended version” of Grant’s Authorized Biography on hold, for a while. Despite the Preface to Volume One claiming, “I have not meant to state one fact unless it came under my own personal observation, or has been told to me by the General or one of his important officers, or unless I know it from Official Papers,” there is evidently a lot of “massaging” that took place before Adam Badeau released this work to the public in 1867. Grant’s “Military Secretary” was a strong supporter (and promoter) of the General: wherever possible, Badeau placed Grant in a favourable light. That being said, it is still worth reading this Biography (if for nothing else, to find out the original source of many of the “Grant claims” that persist to the present day.) Also consider: Badeau was not at Shiloh; so the information presented likely came direct from U.S. Grant and John Rawlins. [This review covers only the period following Success at Fort Donelson, until commencement of Battle of Shiloh, and is available for free use – Ozzy.] Beginning Page 58 is to be found, “On February 21st, C. F. Smith took Clarksville.” [Grant had authorized Smith to take Clarksville on 21 FEB 1862, but Smith may not have completed establishing his force there, drawn from the Second Division at Fort Donelson, until the 23rd. Why is this important? Because of the timing of Grant’s trip to Nashville: if the reader assumes Grant inspected Smith’s force at Clarksville on or about February 21st, then General Grant has time to return to Fort Donelson before making the voyage to Nashville, some date closer to the 27th – see OR 7 page 649. ] [The presentation of the Nashville Visit is of interest because it introduces many of the “tools of massage” made use, later, by Badeau; to include time compression or time extension (as required); sequence of events out of order; omission of inconvenient facts; obfuscation. Outright lies are only resorted to rarely, and usually presented in a cloak of “possibly being true.”] [See SDG “The Real Story of Nashville” for comparison of two versions of the same Visit to Nashville, remembering it was 100 river miles from Nashville to Fort Donelson.] Page 59 relates the reaction of U.S. Grant to being “caught in the act” of visiting Nashville without authority: Badeau attempts to persuade the reader that Grant “did nothing wrong” in going to Nashville; he had simply “asked for permission in a novel way” (if permission was not specifically withheld, Grant assumed he had authority to go.) Badeau conveniently leaves out the 25 FEB telegram (recorded in Sherman’s Memoirs) in which Henry Halleck directed General Grant to “move across to Fort Henry and establish your HQ there.” Grant takes the stance of “wronged party” and states that “his intentions were simply misunderstood” and the unreliable telegraph system delayed receipt of orders, and the sending of his own reports… and, besides, the new District of West Tennessee had no defined boundaries (conveniently ignoring that whatever those boundaries were, they were completely contained within Halleck’s Department of the Missouri... and subject to Halleck’s oversight.) [Halleck was yet to be awarded expansion of his Department; and he needed to keep on friendly terms with Buell. But Grant and Badeau would both know that the average reader was not familiar with the specifics of Army Command Structure.] [On 11 MAR 1862 Henry Halleck gained “promotion” to an expanded area of responsibility – the Department of the Mississippi. This expanded department incorporated everything Halleck desired west of the Mississippi; and included the absorption of Buell’s District (and continued control over Grant’s District.) This expanded authority gave Henry Halleck ability to formulate and launch operations into southwest Missouri; down the Mississippi River; and along the Cumberland and Tennessee River valleys. And this huge development is simply not mentioned by Badeau (page 62 is where the reader should find this.)] [Instead, from page 63 there begins a number of pages of seemingly endless exchanges between Halleck and senior officials “back East” which ends with Badeau asserting that “General Grant’s new District had undefined boundaries” ( ...so order is delivered from chaos).] On page 66, after implying that “General Grant was unjustly removed from command of the Tennessee River Expedition,” Badeau relates Halleck’s reinstatement of Grant to command on March 13th, with the direction, “Do not bring on a general engagement at Paris.” Badeau goes on to relate “conditions and situation at Savannah, Crump’s and Pittsburg,” as Grant found them, upon his arrival March 17th: · Pittsburg Landing had been selected by C. F. Smith; · C. F. Smith had been unsuccessful at cutting the railroad (and the introduction of Corinth as “a position of first strategic importance” is made known to the reader); · Badeau seems to indicate “fore-knowledge” that Grant possessed IRT the Confederate build-up at Corinth being ultimately aimed at an attack against Pittsburg Landing. [The intention is to portray Buell as “tardy” in his arrival at Savannah; but leaves the unintended question: “If Grant suspected they were coming, why no entrenchments?”] · Also, if Buell was unnecessarily tardy, why did General Grant tell General Bull Nelson to “expect transport to Pittsburg Landing on Monday or Tuesday, at the earliest” and to General Buell’s request for a meeting on April 5th, reply to that officer “He would be at Savannah to meet him April 6th?” (see OR 10 pages 330 – 331 Jacob Ammen’s Diary; and OR 11 page 91 and Papers of US Grant vol.5 page 16. ) Beginning page 69 is the “difficulty presented by John McClernand,” first by not following orders “issued within two hours of Grant’s arrival at Savannah” for McClernand’s Division to move to Pittsburg Landing. [The reader is left wondering, “How could obviously incompetent McClernand spend a week moving nine miles?”] Next, John McClernand is introduced as the “initiator” of Rank and Seniority problems at Pittsburg Landing. [Never mind that Grant attempted to deny McClernand his rightful position as “acting commander” at Pittsburg in Grant’s absence; or that McClernand was senior to C.F. Smith… and McClernand was responding to an injustice performed by his commander. Or that McClernand’s Division was delayed getting to Pittsburg due to Grant’s own decisions (including the Pinhook Expedition, which had to be authorized by General Grant or General Smith.)] On page 70 U.S. Grant (through Badeau) provides reasons why he remained at the Cherry Mansion: he had to organize arriving troops; he had to be able to communicate with General Buell. The situation “was on its way to being resolved” (according to Badeau) when Grant released a communication on March 27th indicating his intention to move to Pittsburg Landing; and Grant especially meant to go when John McClernand started causing problems… but something always came up. And then, he had to wait for Buell… B. M. Prentiss gets his share of massaging [but why?] “March 26th is when the Sixth Division was formed” [but Prentiss was not there until March 30th, at the earliest.] The first reported interaction of Benjamin Prentiss with anyone at Pittsburg Landing occurred on April 1st when Prentiss tasked Madison Miller with command of the 2nd Brigade. [Why was it necessary to artificially extend Prentiss’s time in the field at Pittsburg Landing?] On page 71, Badeau massages “Do not bring on a general engagement” into “Do not bring on an engagement until Buell arrives.” [Henry Halleck had had communications with both Buell and Grant in which he indicated intention to take personal command and lead the combined Army of Grant and Buell towards Corinth – see OR 11 pages 64, 66, 94 and SDG “Not just pictures” post of 5 July 2017 “Halleck to come after Island No.10 agony is over” – Agate. ] Also on page 71, Badeau claims, “In accordance with Halleck’s orders, General Grant remained strictly on the defensive…” [without realizing the obvious question that generates: “Then why no defensive works?”] As to “the surprise” of April 6 – “The frequent skirmishes, beginning April 2nd, kept the men on alert” [found on page 72.] On April 4th Lew Wallace reported “a big force of Rebels at Purdy and at Bethel” [which is obviously an attempt to justify the orders that came later, at Crump’s Landing on April 6th.] “From Lew Wallace’s report, General Grant notified WHL Wallace to be ready to support Lew Wallace.” On page 73, Bull Nelson is recorded as having reported to General Grant on April 5th “and Grant marched Nelson south of Savannah in order to be across from Pittsburg Landing, only five miles away, in the event of trouble.” [It gets better…] “Since Lew Wallace’s troops rebuilt the Wallace Bridge over Snake Creek, they should have been familiar with [that route leading to Pittsburg Landing.]” [McPherson restored that bridge, but did not finish the job.] After issuing orders to Lew Wallace on the morning of April 6th, General Grant “hurried on to Landing at Pittsburg, arriving there at about 8 o’clock” [p. 76.] References as cited.
  24. Spoils of War

    While researching the 18th Missouri Infantry, ran across an interesting article in the St. Joseph Morning Herald for 22 May 1862 (page 2 col.4, about halfway down): "The steamer Gladiator arrived at St. Louis with seven thousand damaged guns aboard, recovered from Battlefield of Shiloh." That's a lot of damaged guns... Ozzy Reference: http://digital.shsmo.org/cdm/compoundobject/collection/stjoemh/id/424/rec/21 St. Joseph Morning Herald for 22 May 1862.
  25. W. James Morgan, a grocer from Brunswick Missouri, with experience involving militia organizations "back East," began recruiting Morgan's Rangers in mid-1861. Originally a mounted infantry battalion, the decision was made authorizing the expansion of Morgan's Rangers into a full-sized infantry regiment (and James Morgan was appointed Colonel.) In December 1861, the 18th Missouri Infantry completed its formation; and James Morgan continued operating in Northern Missouri (where his "unsavory practices" soon came to the attention of higher authority.) Colonel Morgan was removed from command, and replaced by Madison Miller. Madison Miller was a 50-year old "man of many talents," originally from Pennsylvania, who found himself "moving progressively westward" over the course of his life. In Illinois when the Mexican War broke out in 1846, Miller joined the 2nd Illinois Infantry Regiment and became Captain of Company I. Mentioned in Despatches at Buena Vista, Captain Miller mustered out with his regiment at the end of that war... and with nothing better to do, Madison Miller got caught up in Gold Fever and joined the Rush to California (where he spent three years: first as prospector; then as supplier of goods; finally, active in politics.) Done with California, Miller returned to Missouri and settled in Carondelet, a suburb of St. Louis along the Mississippi, and set up a steam ferry. Returning to politics, Madison Miller was elected Mayor of Carondelet (and also served in the State Legislature at Jefferson City.) And, going from strength to strength, Miller was appointed to the Board of Iron Mountain Railroad. In Jefferson City when the Rebellion broke out (and caught up in the pro-North/South-leaning chaos that was Missouri Politics) Madison Miller made his way to Washington, D.C., and offered his services in raising "a pro-Union militia company." Permission was granted, and "Captain" Miller returned to St. Louis, raised the company (which was incorporated into Frank Blair's 1st Missouri Infantry) and saw service at Battle of Wilson's Creek in August 1861. Partly due to the attrition at Wilson's Creek, and partly due to men refusing to reenlist after their three-month term of service expired, Madison Miller took those stalwarts that remained and established a new organization: Battery I of the 1st Missouri Light Artillery. His efforts in organizing the new organization and drilling the men caught the attention of former artillery officer, now Brigadier General John Schofield. So when a "change of command was needed" for the 18th Missouri Infantry, Captain Madison Miller was tapped to replace the in-disgrace James Morgan. Colonel Miller took command of the 18th Missouri effective 31 January 1862. It was deemed best to remove the 18th Missouri from Northern Missouri, so the regiment was assigned duty at Bird's Point. According to Madison Miller, on the way to that new duty station, the 18th Missouri was "re-tasked" with securing the transport by steamer of two enormous siege guns (see M. Miller bio, page 66). The siege guns were eventually delivered to Foote and Buford's forces in vicinity of Island No.10 and the 18th Missouri complied with their original orders and reported to Bird's Point. On 11 March 1862, IAW Special Orders No.220 issued at St. Louis, "the 18th Missouri and 81st Ohio are ordered to proceed to the District of West Tennessee and report to Major General Grant." The 81st Ohio showed up; but the 18th Missouri was diverted to Smithland Kentucky, near the mouth of the Cumberland River, and briefly occupied that post. On March 24th, IAW instructions sent from Henry Halleck to Brigadier General W. K. Strong at Cairo, "the Post at Smithland is to be disestablished: the Waterhouse Battery and the 18th Missouri are to be sent to U. S. Grant." There is evidence that Waterhouse's Battery reported to General Grant on March 30th. But, according to Madison Miller (Bio page 67) "he and his 18th Missouri did not report until seven days before the Battle of Shiloh" [which would be March 31st.] Colonel Miller continues: "I was ordered to report for duty with General Prentiss. But, no one knew where General Prentiss was... Eventually, I found a wagon and driver (the driver agreed to carry me to the Sixth Division, for a fee) and I was hauled two or three miles out, to Sixth Division Headquarters. An Adjutant directed me to a site, east of the HQ, where the 18th Missouri was to go into camp." "Next day [April 1st] I was approached by General Prentiss, and assigned as Commander of the 2nd Brigade of the Sixth Division... which shortly consisted of the 18th Missouri, 61st Illinois and 18th Wisconsin (and the 15th Michigan attempted to become part of the Brigade.)" Colonel Miller spent the next few days attempting to "organize his brigade," and hacking clear a parade ground (piling the shrubs, branches and stumps along one edge of the field.) On the morning of April 6th, Colonel Miller formed his 2nd Brigade along the north side of the cleared field, "behind the line of piled debris" ...but he was told by General Prentiss to "Move forward, [and engage the enemy..."] Ozzy References: wikipedia (for Madison Miller and W. James Morgan) http://www.trailsrus.com/civilwar/region1/smithland.html Smithland Kentucky http://cdm.sos.mo.gov/cdm/compoundobject/collection/nwmo/id/2569/rec/6 Personal Recollections of the 18th Missouri (including Madison Miller bio) http://www.findagrave.com/memorial/18469 Madison Miller at find-a-grave OR 52 pages 222 and 229.
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