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Found 2 results

  1. Grant's Last Line

    As we know, artillery is what made Grant's Last Line of defence formidable: Webster's siege guns, Cavender's 10-pounders and 20-pounders, and dozens of other pieces extracted from the Hornet's Nest, Sunken Road, and Shiloh Church, of varying size and description... My question: Excluding the artillery provided by late-arriving Lew Wallace and Don Carlos Buell, how many artillery pieces were available for use by Grant's Army, beginning with Markgraf's 8th Ohio on the Union left and extending west and north, to Sherman's right, near the Snake River Bridge? Happy 2017 Ozzy Hint: "Fifty-three" is not the correct answer.
  2. There are some exceptional "tall tales" to be found in the Official Records of the Civil War, and we all have our favourites... But I would be hard-pressed to find a more bare-faced contrived furphy than the one expressed by General William Tecumseh Sherman on April 10th 1862 in his after-action report IRT the Battle of Shiloh. Included at the bottom of page 253 of OR 10, Sherman asserts: "The enemy captured seven of our guns on Sunday, but on Monday we recovered seven guns -- not the identical guns we had lost, but enough in numbers to balance the account." Confirmed by examination of the record, Sherman's Fifth Division had been assigned the following artillery (lost guns in parenthesis): Waterhouse (3) Taylor (0) Behr (5) On its face, this is a minor mistake: total of 8 artillery pieces actually lost, as against seven reported by Sherman as lost. However, it must be remembered that Waterhouse was forced to abandon a gun during one of his northerly movements. So the total becomes... 9. And allowance must be given for the combined operations that commenced with MGen McClernand's offer of assistance before 8am. Initially, BGen Sherman requested only a squadron of cavalry with which to conduct surveillance; but that quickly expanded into a request for support from the First Division. And McClernand provided that support, initially via separately directed troop movements and actions; but following on the assembly (and collapse) of the 2nd Line along the Hamburg-Purdy Road at about 10:30am the operations of the 5th Division and 1st Division become practically indistinguishable. And this "incorporation" of two distinct Army divisions into the "Sherman & McClernand Joint operation" is cemented further through the employment of Major Ezra Taylor, who began the day as Sherman's Chief of Artillery; but who assumed control of the employment of artillery of the 1st Division after 10:30am. That said, Taylor cannot be given blame for the disaster that befell Jerome Burrows and his 14th Ohio Battery (all six guns lost about 10:30 due to concerted effort of SAM Woods' Brigade.) But Major Taylor admits (OR 10 page 274) "taking responsibility for ordering two guns of Schwartz into position" (one gun lost.) And on page 275: "Dresser's Battery (Captain Timony) was put in battery under my direction on Sunday... in front of General McClernand's HQ" (four guns lost.) [General McClernand admits to maintaining control of McAllister's Battery; so its loss of one gun, captured by the 4th Tennessee, is attributable to him.] Therefore, the total number of guns lost by Sherman (or agents of Sherman) on April 6th stands at 14. Ozzy References: OR pages as sited DW Reed's Battle of Shiloh and the Organizations Engaged (1903) pages 91-101.
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