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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
While reviewing Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper (volume 13, page 402 of the April 26, 1862 edition) encountered the full copy of General Beauregard's afternoon telegram to Richmond on Day One, just before suspending offensive operations. Here is the transcript: [From] Battle Field of Shiloh, April 6, via Corinth and Chattanooga [To] General S. Cooper, Adjutant-General: We have this morning attacked the enemy in a strong position in front of Pittsburg, and after a severe battle of ten hours, thanks to Almighty God, gained a complete victory, driving the enemy from every position. The loss on both sides is heavy, including our Commander-in-Chief, Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston, who fell gallantly leading his troops into the thickest of the fight. G. T. Beauregard, General-Commanding. Here are a few curiosities IRT the above telegram: In my review of Southern newspapers, I have yet to find this telegram in its entirety, anywhere, prior to May 1862. Yet here it is, in Frank Leslie's Illustrated on April 26th... Wonder how the Northern newspaper got hold of it? The original telegram received at Richmond would have had the relay stations -- Corinth (sending station) and Chattanooga (relay station) -- recorded. If the Confederate telegraph line was tapped, it must have occurred east of Chattanooga (perhaps in vicinity of Knoxville?) "after a severe battle of ten hours..." From this detail, the time of construction of this message by General Beauregard can be deduced. If it was believed the battle commenced with the first shots fired by the pickets, the battle began about 5am. If the advance of the first Confederate attack wave was referenced, then the attack began as late as 6am. Ten hours later places construction of the brief message between 3- 4pm (and then sent by mounted courier to the telegraph office) "driving the enemy from every position..." Jefferson Davis in his Rise and Fall of the Confederacy, bemoans the fact that what General Beauregard meant to say was this: "We have driven the enemy from every position, but ONE. (And this ONE cost us the Complete Victory.)" Ozzy
General Beauregard arrived at Jackson, Tennessee on February 17th and established his Headquarters there for Army of the Mississippi. Why Jackson? In 1862 it was a sizable town with workshops for the Mobile & Ohio Railroad. That rail line -- on mostly new track -- extended north all the way through Humboldt to Fort Columbus in Kentucky, allowing rapid movement of troops by rail; and the adjoining telegraph line permitted instantaneous electronic communications from Fort Columbus to Mobile... and beyond. And the Central of Mississippi Railroad terminated at Jackson: that line connected to the Memphis & Charleston at Grand Junction (where Beauregard ordered a large force of troops in process of organizing the Army of the Mississippi) and the existence of the Central of Mississippi allowed "alternative routing of troops and supplies" in the event the M & O R.R. was cut. From Jackson, General Beauregard made use of the telegraph (and trusted couriers, such as Colonel Thomas Jordan) to communicate with his subordinate generals and order Bragg to Corinth and Polk to Humboldt. Other forces were ordered to Iuka, Biernsville (Burnsville), and Bethel. But equally important: the less-than-fit Beauregard could use Jackson as a "retreat" and attempt to rest and recover from his recent throat surgery, out of sight of prying eyes. Firing off orders via telegraph and courier permitted the General to "stay in close contact" without the need to expose his personal appearance to scrutiny (which could have been disconcerting if "the jaundiced appearance" became too widely known.) PGT Beauregard continued his Headquarters at Jackson (at the home of Judge Milton Brown) until March 27th, when he removed permanently to Corinth. Ozzy References: OR 7 pages 899-901 and OR 11 page 301 http://shilohdiscussiongroup.com/index.php?/topic/1792-the-railroads-part-3/#comment-12045 Railroads at Jackson, Tennessee http://www.nytimes.com/1862/03/25/news/nrws-tenneesee-concentration-rebels-corinth-beauregard-jackson-building-rebel.html March 24th 1862 article in New York Times indicating Northern knowledge of General Beauregard's presence at Jackson, Tennessee (and assistance given by Judge Milton Brown, Superintendent of the Mobile & Ohio Railroad.) N.B. Also, the first contact with General Van Dorn suggesting joint operations in the Mississippi River Valley was made by Beauregard on February 21st from his HQ at Jackson [OR 7 pages 899-901].
Since the very beginning, the Battle of Shiloh has been a magnet for controversy: "Grant was absent until 9am..." -- "Where was Lew Wallace?" -- "Buell saved Grant..." -- "Sherman was the Hero of the Battle..." Of course, there are just as many claims and counter claims on the Confederate side... General Beauregard at Shiloh is only three dozen pages long, but packed into those 36 pages are several of the controversies surrounding the Confederate failure to win Victory on April 6th: and Yves Reni Le Monnier (as a member of Company B of the Crescent Regiment, which was attached to Pond's Brigade) attempts to address them all: Polk's role in the delayed march from Corinth; Bragg's role in the delayed start of the Battle (April 6th vice April 5th) Federal gunboat contribution; "One last charge [against Grant's Last Line] would-a done it" Prentiss saved Grant from annihilation; Death of Albert Sidney Johnston and the role played in defeat. But of particular interest: Lemonnier identifies four key reasons why the Federals won the Battle; (and Major Powell of the 25th Missouri is given recognition; and so is D.W. Reed for his efforts in presenting a true record.) Lemonnier published this work in 1913, primarily in response to all the "piling on" of blame to fellow Louisianan, PGT Beauregard, and in process appears to have initiated a one-man Shiloh Discussion Group, one hundred years ago. Cheers Ozzy Reference: http://archive.org/stream/generalbeauregar00lemo#page/n1/mode/2up General Beauregard at Shiloh by Y. R. Le Monnier, published by Graham of New Orleans (1913) and available online via archive.org