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We're all aware of the telegram sent by Colonel Ben Helm to General Albert Sidney Johnston afternoon of Sunday, April 6th (which wound up in possession of Colonel Thomas Jordan, who delivered it to General Beauregard after Johnston's death.) That telegram -- indicating Buell's Army of the Ohio was marching south, away from Savannah -- may have led to Beauregard putting an end to Confederate military operations on Day One of Shiloh. The attached link refers to a telegram sent from Decatur Alabama same day, detailing the order of march of Army of the Ohio, and "30 or 40,000 troops having passed Columbia" (with no indication of their direction of march.) This may have been the last telegram General Johnston received before he succumbed to his wound. Cheers Ozzy http://civilwar.rosenbach.org/?p=5606 [provided by "Today in the Civil War: dispatches from the Rosenbach Collection" published during the 150th Anniversary, 2011-15 this is the telegram sent early April 6th 1862 from LtCol J.B. Biffle at Decatur to General A.S. Johnston, via Corinth] N.B. Of interest (for those with keen eyesight): the Heading for this telegram indicates "April 6, 1862 -- J.B. Biffle telegram to Joseph Johnston." Sent to Corinth on April 6th, there is no way this telegram was intended for Joseph Johnston... Ozzy.
Sent from Pittsburg Landing on April 6th 1862 to: "Commanding Officer Advance Forces near Pittsburg, Ten -- General: The attack on my forces has been very spirited from early this morning. The appearance of fresh troops on the field now would have a powerful effect both by inspiring our men and disheartening the enemy. If you will get upon the field leaving all your baggage on the East bank of the river it will be a move to our advantage and possibly save the day to us. The rebel forces is estimated at over 100,000 men. My head quarters will be in the log building on top of the hill where you will be furnished a staff officer to guide you to your place on the field. Respectfully & etc. U.S. Grant, Major General" Our full understanding and appreciation of the above message suffers because it does not carry the clock time of its sending, leaving many to believe it was sent by General Grant within an hour or two of his arrival on the Battlefield. Some even believe Captain W.S. Hillyer was the courier who took the above message to Savannah. But the message is actually a politely-worded order which contains many interesting elements: sent from Pittsburg Landing sent by MGen Grant (not Rawlins, or another aide) sent to "the Commanding Officer" [because U.S. Grant did not yet know General Buell had already arrived in vicinity of Savannah] "fresh troops now would have an inspiring effect" "leave all your baggage behind" [This direction had unintended consequences.] "the rebel forces is estimated at over 100,000 men" [Did Grant believe this estimate; or merely sent for effect?] "My HQ are the log building on top of the hill" [Identifies General Grant's desired point-of-contact.] The above message was sent by courier, and intercepted by Don Carlos Buell before 2pm as he steamed up the Tennessee River (and is recorded in Buell's 1887 Century article, "Shiloh Reviewed.") Ozzy
The Battle of Shiloh, by Joseph W. Rich, Iowa City, Iowa, published by the State Historical Society in 1911. Less than 150 pages. Included on the 'Shiloh Top Seven' list by vtclark. Not a recent work; no longer in copyright. But due to the magic of the Internet, freely available to interested readers. The author, J. W. Rich, attended the University of Iowa and worked for a number of years as the university librarian. He was at Shiloh as a 24 year old member of the 12th Iowa Infantry Regiment, Co. E. His stated purpose in writing this book: 'to leave a clearer picture of the battle, in the mind of the reader.' Rich had time, and resources, on his side. Rich became aware of the 'politics' behind the scenes; the friction between Halleck and Grant, and the 'turf war' between Halleck and Buell. Much detail, with references, is presented. He was also acutely aware of the 'you were caught in your bed' belief of some writers, and appears to have been moved to write this book after the re-release (in 1895) of the 1867 work, Ohio in the War, by Whitelaw Reid. The restatement of Buell's status as 'Hero of Pittsburg Landing' may have sparked the desire to set the record straight. An acolyte of D. W. Reed, Rich walked the battlefield with him in 1908. This book functions to support and extend Reed's lifelong study of the battle, and his search for truth. The Battle of Shiloh also addresses 'The Lost Opportunity' (A. S. Johnston's death), and Lew Wallace's misadventure during Day 1. Worth a read by every serious student of the battle, it can be accessed <archive.org/details/battleofshiloh00rich>