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Found 79 results

  1. This YouTube video of 36 minutes was published on 2 May 2019 by Misesmedia, a publication of Mises Institute at Auburn, Alabama. It relies heavily on the Diary of young Elsie Duncan to describe life for civilians of Hardin County after the Battle of Shiloh, after the Union Army mostly moved south to besiege Corinth, Mississippi. The Horrors of War are fully described, including mass graves, the number of wounded overwhelming available surgeons, “raiders” (roaming bands of Union deserters), “guerrillas” (roaming bands of Southern supporters), avoiding “summary justice,” and the increasing difficulty over time to avoid starvation. In addition, mention is made of Duncan's Cave, and Hoker's Bend. "Life After Shiloh: Tory Rule" is narrated by Chris Calton, and is part of the Historical Controversies series. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qITGlHH0iW8 "Life after Shiloh" [Other titles in the Historical Controversies series at https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLALopHfWkFlGOn0oxjgp5gGzj-pnqeY0G ].
  2. Shiloh video by gaming guy The void being left by the inadequate teaching of History in public schools is being filled, in part, by an unexpected history advocate: the online gaming community. Dedicated to “authenticity” in recreating historic Battle Games, the school-age generation is being taught history, unawares, through participation in online games. With the above in mind... ran across this interesting video while searching for recent releases on Battle of Shiloh: “History Guy Gaming” has done other battlefield videos (Gettysburg, Antietam, Bull Run), and provided a review of the Battle of Shiloh game (Ultimate General) in 2017. His description of the events of April 1862 reflects the understanding of someone who was educated during the 1980 – 2000 period (with the summary of events and condensing of outcomes “necessary” to get through Civil War History in the least amount of time evident), but with obvious individual study undertaken. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=syQ6wKjcFzE "The Battle of Shiloh" by History Guy Gaming (published on YouTube 6 SEP 2019.) Following a brief introduction, the tour of Shiloh NMP begins at 3 minute mark, with the undeniable truth: “Visiting a battlefield results in better perspective and greater understanding.” At 3:55 mark the battle begins with Peabody's unauthorized patrol (conducted by Major Powell.) 6:00 The Union defense of Duncan Field. Unfortunately, the narrator uses a modern map, and is further led astray by the location of General WHL Wallace's mortal wounding. Now that a key Union defensive line is re-named as “The Thicket,” he comes to the wrong conclusion (that the Hornet's Nest was co-located with the site of Wallace's wounding.) Since all histories of the Battle of Shiloh prior to 2010 make mention of the Hornet's Nest, those seeking the location of that site during visits to the park will struggle just that little bit, from now on. 9:00 Sherman's experience with repelling Rebel attacks. [CSA mass grave visited.] 10:50 Shiloh Church. 13:30 The mistake of General Albert Sidney Johnston. 16:15 Hornet's Nest (part 2) 18:30 Ruggles Battery a.k.a. “Thunder in the Thicket” 18:45 General Johnston's mortal wound. 23:30 Albert Sidney Johnston's loss; and relevance to War in the West. 24:00 Indian mounds. 24:50 Union retreat to heights above Pittsburg Landing: Grant's Last Line (Buell arrives.) 27:10 Dill Branch: Union gunboats versus Rebel advance. 28:30 “Lick 'em tomorrow, though” – U.S. Grant. 28:40 Day Two (and Fallen Timbers) 30:00 Shiloh National Cemetery. 32:30 Visitor Center (and review). [The review of online game "Ultimate General: Battle of Shiloh" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vj9sQKBu9U0 by History Guy Gaming on 30 DEC 2016.]
  3. Inspired by Tom's admonition to "find and post more Shiloh references," I stumbled upon a previously overlooked Staff Ride... Compiled by the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command, this Staff Ride Handbook of 68 pages records the visit to Shiloh NMP that took place early in 2000, and contains many maps and illustrations, as well as biographies of key leaders and a timeline [ and is available at <https://www.smdc.army.mil> ]. Key takeaways: It was the intention of Major General Henry Halleck to “mount an offensive against the Confederate Army at Corinth” (page 3). “Grant made his base at Pittsburg Landing, a position in enemy territory with its back to the Tennessee River. Grant neglected, however, to fortify the encampment” (p. 3). “Johnston originally intended to attack Grant on April 4, but muddy terrain, green troops, and poor coordination slowed the Confederate advance and postponed the assault for two days. The delay would prove costly. On the morning of April 6, thousands of screaming Confederates poured out of the woods near Shiloh and routed many of the slumbering northern troops. Many dispirited soldiers broke for the rear and fled to the banks of the Tennessee, refusing to fight. Severely battered and facing disaster, other Federal troops rallied and began making fierce, determined stands. By the afternoon, they had established a formidable battle line at a sunken road, named the “Hornets Nest” by Confederates because of the stinging hail of bullets and shell they faced. Repeated frontal assaults failed to take the stronghold. Finally, a massive artillery barrage and flanking attacks turned the tide and the rebels overwhelmed the northerners, capturing, wounding, or killing most of the stalwart defenders” (page 3). General Johnston's battle plan was too complex (for implementation by inexperienced junior commanders); and its initiation was delayed at least one day by flooding rain (page 6). “Fraley Field: the battle begins...” (page 9). [Staff Ride Stop No. One.] Stop Two: invasion of the Union camps. Stop 3: Sherman's front crumbles. Stop 5: The Hamburg – Purdy Road (the Union Right collapses). Page 21: “Just after 10 am General Grant met BGen Prentiss and ordered him to hold his position at all hazards.” Stop 9: Grant's Last Line. Although this Staff Ride provides a good summary of the Battle of Shiloh, and pinpoints crucial moments during the contest, it suffers from the following faults and errors: Map of Shiloh Battlefield on page 10. Repeating the mistake of earlier writers, this map attempts to combine TWO DAYS of conflict on a single map, which leads to unnecessary confusion. Biography of Don Carlos Buell (page 36) contains many errors. Union Order of Battle (page 52) WHL Wallace should be recorded as [mw] mortally wounded, instead of [k]. Page 60 – Appendix F – Timeline. Smith (vice Grant) leads Union Army south up the Tennessee River after the victories at Fort Henry and Fort Donelson. https://www.smdc.army.mil/Portals/38/Documents/Publications/History/Staff%20Rid 2000 Army Staff Ride for Shiloh Gudmen's Staff Ride of 2003 (for comparison) http://usacac.army.mil/cac2/cgsc/carl/download/csipubs/gudmens.pdf
  4. It can be safely assumed that the battle exploits of successful leaders are studied at the United States Military Academy at West Point in order to identify positive traits, skills and attributes as deserving of emulation by future leaders. What traits and skills do you believe Ulysses S. Grant possessed that should be taught to cadets and officer-candidates? To start the conversation, here is one that I believe we can all agree upon: Persistence. Because there is no failure until one gives up the attempt. U.S. Grant was noted for aggressive, dogged, determined pursuit of goals. And if a roadblock was encountered in his chosen path, General Grant quickly scrutinized the situation and determined upon greater exertion; a detour; or an entirely new route, to reach his goal.
  5. Over 900 pages long (including photographs and maps and “additional references”) this library desk reference with Forward written by James M. McPherson is designed to “quickly answer basic questions regarding people and places involved with the Civil War,” and for those interested in Battle of Shiloh, the most significant pages: 401 U. S. Grant 415 Albert Sidney Johnston 405 Braxton Bragg 402 Henry Halleck 251 Shiloh (included in segment, “Federal Penetration up the Cumberland and Tennessee Rivers” The Library of Congress Civil War Desk Reference (2002) edited by M. E. Wagner, Gary Gallagher and Paul Finkelman (Simon & Schuster of New York) is available on Google Books at https://books.google.com.au/books?id=7svFnyOLknUC&pg=PA572&lpg=PA572&dq=lieutenant+cash+u.+s.+marine+corps+civil+war&source=bl&ots=ZLcfgsyDxk&sig=ACfU3U2rgUb2yg9q-jI0RHlaj-RvnDTqzw&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwj68fHphKLmAhWYIbcAHUo3Ai4Q6AEwDXoECAoQAQ#v=onepage&q=Shiloh&f=false
  6. Ran across an extremely interesting 250 page Doctorate Dissertation on the Life of McPherson. Produced in 2016 this work by Eric Dudley sheds light on West Point Graduate McPherson that many of us either take for granted, or ignore. Some highlights: Born in 1828 Jimmy McPherson just “made the cut” before becoming too old for admission to the U.S. Military Academy. Graduating in 1853, Lieutenant McPherson was 24 years old and ranked Number One in his West Point Class. Initially assigned to Instructor duty at West Point, McPherson put his Engineer training to use at Fort Delaware (south of Philadelphia) improving that facility; then went to San Francisco in 1857 to complete the fort on Alcatraz Island. Still a Lieutenant in the Army Corps of Engineers during most of his stay in California, McPherson followed with interest the deterioration of the Nation taking place “Back East” via slow mail from New York – Panama – San Francisco (six weeks delayed.) With initiation of the Pony Express the delay in receiving news diminished to 8 – 12 days (with no telegraph to San Francisco during McPherson's stay.) Captain McPherson did not depart California (via steamer to Panama; then steamer to New York) until last week of July/ first week of August 1861. During McPherson's stay in California, he would have met Henry Halleck; become re-acquainted with William Tecumseh Sherman; and served under Albert Sidney Johnston. https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/c6a4/98c03e2ee2cc70f6fe249be693588b0bb37a.pdf The Memory & Memorialization of James B. McPherson (2016)
  7. As anyone who has made the attempt knows, it is difficult to find a comprehensive story of Edward O. C. Ord's involvement, and contribution, to the Civil War. And details concerning Brigadier General Ord's first engagement, at Dranesville, Virginia, in December 1861, are especially difficult to unearth. The story of Dranesville is important to us at SDG because, although EOC Ord was not present at Battle of Shiloh, the loss of so many Union Generals (WHL Wallace, died from wound; B. M. Prentiss, captured; John P. Cook, forced to take sick leave; C.F. Smith, succumbed to infection of leg, injured in boat mishap) forced Henry Halleck to call for senior officers in the east to come West; and one of these was Major General Ord (who gained promotion to MGen due to the record of his performance at Battle of Dranesville.) MGen Ord arrived at Pittsburg Landing in June 1862 to replace the seriously unwell Thomas A. Davies as commander of the Second Division, Army of West Tennessee, but was soon installed as commander, Post of Corinth on 22 June 1862, replacing General George Thomas. Emerging Civil War has created a short video discussing the Battle of Dranesville with historian Ryan Quint, who intends to write a history of Ord and Dranesville over the next few years: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uBBoIscEpt4 Emerging Civil War "Battle of Dranesville" by Ryan Quint, interviewed by Dan Welch.
  8. J.J. Little was a Private in the 10th Mississippi Infantry, Company H who fought at Shiloh (and wrote a Letter home, dated 13 April 1862.) He describes seeing the “2000 Union prisoners from Shiloh pass through Corinth” and indicates that he saw General Prentiss, too. The 4-page letter is one of five letters written by Sergeant Little, available at University of Mississippi Digital Collection. Available at http://clio.lib.olemiss.edu/cdm/search/searchterm/J.J. Little Collection/mode/exact .
  9. The 33rd Alabama Infantry arrived at Corinth too late to take part in the Battle of Shiloh, but the regiment was present during the April/ May 1862 Siege of Corinth (Hawthorn's 5th Brigade of Hardee's Corps.) With companies arriving at Pensacola Florida in March 1862, the 33rd Alabama was organized by April 1st 1862 and assigned “defense” of Fort McRee (a coastal fortification across the pass from Union-held Fort Pickens, Rebel-held Fort McRee had been reduced to rubble during the November 1861 gunnery duel.) However, it was determined that several of the guns under the collapsed fort were worth salvaging, so when the decision was made by Major General Bragg to evacuate Pensacola and move his Army north to Corinth, the 33rd Alabama was responsible for removing the guns at Fort McRee and accompanying them to Mobile (where they were loaded aboard a train and sent to another stronghold, most likely Vicksburg or Fort Pillow.) The 33rd Alabama afterwards served at Stone's River, and was noted for action at Nashville in 1864. The regiment also had the misfortune of being involved in a train wreck near Cleveland, Tennessee on 4 NOV 1862 which killed 17 members of the 33rd Alabama and injured seventy (which is the main reason this post is here: I had no idea that there were over 500 wrecks and accidents involving Confederate railroads during the Civil War... until now.) References: http://files.usgwarchives.net/al/butler/newspapers/train33rd.txt Train wreck. http://freepages.rootsweb.com/~alavols33rd/military/survivors.htm Victims of train wreck. https://civilwartalk.com/threads/railroad-accidents-kill-soldiers-during-civil-war.113583/ Train wreck discussion at civilwartalk. [Over 500 train wrecks and accidents occurred on Confederate lines during the Civil War. See http://www.csa-railroads.com/index.htm R.R. Accidents under "Essays and Documents" and scroll a little more than halfway down.] Note: The 16th Alabama, veterans of Shiloh, were aboard this same train, but occupied cars not affected by the derailment, and suffered no casualties.
  10. Ozzy

    Slaughter Pen

    As we know, the Civil War antagonists made use of the same words and terms to describe events and locations at widely separated locations: “Gibraltar” was used to describe Fort Columbus, Fort Smith Arkansas, and Vicksburg; “Manassas” described the battlefield of First Manassas, Second Manassas, and at least one ironclad steamer on the western waters. Other terms recycled include Peach Orchard, sunken road and Pea Ridge... and Slaughter Pen. There was Slaughter Pen Farm at Fredericksburg; the Slaughter Pen at Round Top (Gettysburg) and the Slaughter Pen at Stone's River. At Shiloh, there was no Slaughter Pen identified on post-battle maps: “Hell's Hollow” (the site just north of the Sunken Road, encompassing the camp of the 3rd Iowa) had the greatest opportunity to become a slaughter pen, if Federal forces had prolonged the demand to surrender to the Rebels that surrounded them on the afternoon of April 6th. Even still, the term “Slaughter Pen” was used at Forts Henry and Donelson. To what tactical situation did it refer?
  11. We all think we know the meaning of the idiom, “to turn a fort,” but do we? A military phrase taken from the French (as was most 19th century military terms) the French equivalent appears to be “tournailler une fortification” (literally “to spin the position like a toy top,” but militarily “to isolate the position; render it ineffectual.”) In the same way “piquet” became picket, the unpronounceable “tournailler” became turn; but the intended meaning remained unchanged. Why is this important? The Confederate position at Fort Columbus, with its 140 guns manned by 13000 soldiers, sited on a high bluff overlooking the Mississippi River (where a stout barrier chain stretched across from Kentucky to Missouri, and that chain defended by torpedoes of proven ability) ...this position created and operated by Major General Polk was deemed “impregnable” in January 1862 by none other than Henry Halleck (who also labelled Fort Columbus as a “Gibraltar.”) It was acknowledged that any attempt to assault Fort Columbus directly would require tens of thousands of Federal troops. The position might be taken, but the resulting bloodbath would be deemed unacceptable by the people of the North. To slant the odds more in favor of the North, and to “soften” the position prior to launching an infantry assault, it was deemed a requirement for the U.S. Navy to bombard Fort Columbus with 13-inch mortars. Besides wreaking havoc, the shrapnel created by each bursting 200-pound shell would tend to drive Rebel defenders to cover. Over time (perhaps three days or a week) it was anticipated enough men would be killed, and survivors become so demoralized, that Federal infantry could take the position “easily” (with casualties, but not on a massive scale.) Problem was, the mortars did not arrive. So, another “method of attack” had to be substituted to “turn the fort” at Columbus. That other method was the assault on Fort Henry (and Fort Donelson) combined with destruction of the railroad bridge just south of Fort Henry. References: https://archive.org/details/frenchenglishmil00williala/page/326 French- English Military Terms. The Life of Andrew Hull Foote by J.M. Hoppin (1874) https://archive.org/details/lifeofandrewhull00hopprich/page/n8 SDG topic "Foote and Grant want to Seize Fort Henry" (all posts). SDG "Urgent offer to Bragg" post of 17 May 2018. SDG "Rebel Intelligence" post of 2 August 2016. SDG "Hey! Look over there..." post of 13 JAN 2016. SDG "FEB 14 1862: Fort Donelson attacked by Union Ironclads" posts of 12 JAN & 21 JAN 2016. SDG "Civil War Cannon live fire Video" post of 26 December 2015.
  12. We're all familiar with General Philip Sheridan, one of the senior officers (along with Sherman, McPherson, Dodge and Ord) credited as being part of U.S. Grant's Inner Circle; and as part of that team contributed to bringing the Civil War to a close. However, you may not realize that then-Captain Sheridan was at Pittsburg Landing in April 1862. Question: What was the role of Philip Sheridan at Pittsburg Landing?
  13. Ozzy

    Otto H. Matz

    First time I visited Rio de Janeiro many years ago, I arrived by ship. The night before, from a distance of one hundred miles, a star appeared on the southern horizon that seemed to mark the location of Brasil's most reknowned city; and the ship adjusted course and aimed for the star. Curiously, that star did not rise, but remained in place, hovering just above the horizon... but did disappear with the rising of the sun. Of course, what I had seen was not a star, but the brightly illuminated Christ Redeemer Statue that is the symbol of Rio. Next day I went with friends to the top of Mount Corcovado to visit the statue with its welcoming outstretched arms: a small bronze plaque, about a foot square, gave details of the statue and its completion in 1931 ( designed by Heitor da Silva Costa, with assistance from artist Carlos Oswald and sculptor Paul Landowski.) And adjacent to the small plaque was an ENORMOUS sign, three yards wide and a yard high that proclaimed, “Lighting Provided by General Electric.” This story is provided to illustrate the similar feeling of utter disbelief I experienced upon investigating more closely the Thom Maps: “Map of Field of Shiloh” and “Map of the Country between Monterey and Corinth.” Because, boldly proclaimed on both of these beautiful, precise maps are names of commanders Halleck, Grant or Buell, with slightly smaller credit for construction of each map accorded to Staff Officer George Thom. But well away from these bold names, along one edge of each map (and requiring a magnifying glass to read): Otto H. Matz. Naturally, it could be assumed that Otto Matz was a West Point graduate, assisting George Thom with creation of these highly detailed charts, but such is not the case. Matz was born in Prussia in 1830, was trained at the Berlin Polytechnic Institute, and migrated to America while a young man. When the Civil War erupted, Otto Matz offered his services; and he soon found himself assisting Henry Halleck's staff officer, George Thom. When Henry Halleck (and Colonel Thom) were called east in July 1862, Major Matz remained in the west and was incorporated onto General Grant's staff (and assisted with the after-battle Map of Fort Donelson, the Map of Milliken's Bend, Louisiana, and produced maps used during the Vicksburg Campaign.) After the war, Otto Matz returned to Chicago and resumed his work as architect (and he was notably involved with rebuilding Chicago after the Great Fire of 1871.) He died in 1919. References: https://www.loc.gov/search/?fa=contributor:matz,+otto+h. [Some of the maps created by Otto Matz on file with Library of Congress.] http://bobrugo.us/GenealogyFiles/MatzPublic/WP01/WP01_023.HTM Otto H. Matz https://archive.org/stream/CityOfChicagoLandmarkDesignationReports/CourthousePlace#page/n1/mode/1up A Chicago creation of Otto H. Matz (see pp. 3- 4) SDG topic "Bushrod Johnson's Brigade, morning of 6 April" by Billy1977 (see post of 3 SEP 2016: the Thom maps).
  14. One of the leaders in the Confederate Army of the Mississippi that we think we know enough about, but fail to fully appreciate (perhaps because he was a late entry, put in charge of the Reserve Corps after General Crittenden was removed): John C. Breckinridge. As everyone knows, Breckinridge was VP under Buchanan; but he was Senator from Kentucky when war broke out in April 1861... How did that come about? Born in Lexington Kentucky into a political family, Breckinridge studied law and graduated from Transylvania College in 1841, aged 20. Moving to Iowa Territory, John Breckinridge set up a Law Office at Burlington; but returned home to Kentucky to visit relatives Summer of 1843, and met and married a cousin of his law partner, Mary Cyrene Burch. The Burlington Law Office was closed, and the young couple settled in Georgetown Kentucky. The Mexican War erupted in 1846, and John Breckinridge attempted to join a Kentucky regiment, but was disallowed. So, instead of serving in Mexico, Breckenridge built up his law practice (now established in Lexington) until the decision preventing him from serving in the Army was reversed. In August 1847, the 3rd Kentucky Volunteers, along with Major Breckinridge, set off for the war; and arrived in time to help garrison newly captured Mexico City. [There is dispute whether John Breckinridge became a member of the prestigious Aztec Club, as his name is not listed among the Original Members. However, a grandson, James C. Breckinridge, became a Hereditary Member in 1887 and this was only possible if Major Breckinridge was eligible.] One fallout from duty in Mexico was the Gideon Pillow case, resulting in Court-Martial in 1848. Major Breckinridge acted as Defence for Brigadier General Pillow, with the result of No Verdict. A subsequent Court of Inquiry exonerated General Pillow (but he was never made a Member of the Aztec Club.) John Breckinridge entered politics and won election to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1850, was reelected in 1852 and served until 1855. He was subsequently installed on the ticket as James Buchanan's running mate during the 1856 election, and subsequently served as Vice President until March 4th 1861 (when Hannibal Hamlin was sworn in as VP under President Lincoln.) When Vice President Hamlin swore in newly elected Senators a few days later, John Breckinridge was sworn in as Senator from Kentucky (filling a vacancy.) [And while serving as VP John Breckinridge was on the ballot as Southern Democrat candidate for President in the 1860 election. As result of the NOV 1860 election, Breckinridge gained the second highest number of electoral votes in the 4-way race, and lost to Republican Abraham Lincoln.] Senator Breckinridge managed to hold onto his seat, and vote on crucial measures, until December 1861, when a vote of the Senate declared him a Traitor, and expelled him. (Breckinridge had joined the Confederate Army in November. His expulsion followed those of ten other Southern Senators expelled in July.) Commissioned Brigadier General with effect from 2 NOV 1861, two weeks later he was given command of the 1st Kentucky Brigade, under overall command of General Albert Sidney Johnston, and organized that collection of Kentucky units at Bowling Green. With the loss of Fort Donelson in FEB 1862 Breckinridge led his brigade south through Nashville and eventually took up the line of the Memphis & Charleston R.R. west to Corinth. With the removal of Brigadier General George Crittenden end of March 1862, John Breckinridge gained elevation to command of the Reserve Corps, just in time for Shiloh. Following the Battle of Shiloh, General Breckinridge was Mentioned in Despatches by General PGT Beauregard and is noted for his impressive rear-guard action during Confederate withdrawal to Corinth. During the Siege of Corinth Major General Breckinridge continued in command of the Reserve Corps; he continued to serve in the field (Stones River, Chickamauga, Missionary Ridge, and New Market most noteworthy) and in 1865 was called from active duty and installed as the last Confederate Secretary of War. With the pending loss of the Capital at Richmond in April 1865, John Breckinridge fled south with President Davis and the Cabinet; and Breckinridge was one of the few to evade capture, reaching safety in Canada. References: https://www.neh.gov/humanities/2011/novemberdecember/feature/the-man-who-came-in-second John C. Breckinridge https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84024738/1862-05-10/ed-1/seq-2/#date1=1862&sort=relevance&rows=20&words=Peyton&searchType=basic&sequence=0&index=19&state=Virginia&date2=1862&proxtext=Peyton&y=0&x=0&dateFilterType=yearRange&page=6 The Daily Dispatch (Richmond Virginia) 10 MAY 1862 page 2 col. 5 "Shiloh Report of General Beauregard" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7GGmFkl-bzw [Just an interesting John C. Breckinridge relic or two...]
  15. Jefferson Davis at West Point Stumbled upon this reference while searching for something else... but it piqued my curiosity due to the fact so many West Point-trained men occupied senior positions during the War of the Rebellion, and especially after reading that, “no change was made to the entrance conditions [to gain admission to the United States Military Academy] until 1866.” Besides courses on offer, the style of uniform and description of military training, and conditions endured at the time, significant personalities mentioned include Ethan Allen Hitchcock, Major W. I. Worth, Ormsby Mitchel, Leonidas Polk, Robert E. Lee, Joseph E. Johnston, John B. McGruder, Albert Sidney Johnston, Crafts Wright, Henry Clay, Jr. Some already mentioned, but USMA alumni J. Davis (USMA 1828) due to presence of three classes above and three classes below, would have known at West Point: Class of 1825 Daniel Donelson (Fort Donelson) and Robert Anderson (Fort Sumter); Class of 1826 Albert Sidney Johnston; Class of 1827 William Maynadier (Island No.10) Napoleon Buford (Island No.10) Leonidas Polk, Thomas Worthington; Class of 1828 George Chase (Pensacola fortifications) Crafts J. Wright (13th Missouri Infantry at Shiloh); Class of 1829 Robert E. Lee, Joseph E. Johnston, Ormsby M. Mitchel, Thomas Davies; Class of 1830 John B. McGruder, Robert Buchanan (officer responsible for ending US Grant's Army career); Class of 1831 Jacob Ammen, Thomas McKean, Lucius Northrop and Samuel Curtis (Battle of Pea Ridge.) This reference is provided for background information, as a means to help understand the conditions and training endured by cadets during four years at West Point. And for those with greater interest in the Military Academy of the early 19th Century, there are a dozen additional references listed, at the bottom of pages of the text. Jefferson Davis at West Point by Walter L. Fleming (first published in Proceedings of the Tenth Annual Meeting of the Mississippi Historical Society) this copy published at Baton Rouge by LSU in 1910. https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=hvd.32044020445540&view=1up&seq=5 J. Davis at West Point made available by HathiTrust.
  16. Finally having acquired my copy of “Grant Under Fire” by Joseph Rose, it may be of value to provide a brief examination of how the Battle of Fort Donelson is presented: It was heartening to find mention of mortars and Flag-Officer Foote's desire to have those weapons available (yet Foote went ahead and attempted his assault against Fort Donelson without them.) Rose addresses the curious fact of General Grant NOT leaving an officer in temporary command when he departed the vicinity of Fort Donelson to visit a wounded Flag-Officer Foote. And McArthur's brigade, borrowed from General Smith and positioned on the Union right, is mentioned for its role in fighting a losing battle to hold back the Confederate break-out of February 15th. Otherwise, the Fort Donelson operation is faithfully and predictably described, beginning with Colonel Forrest's unsuccessful effort to slow the Federal advance; the disposition of Grant's forces in a semi-circle just west of the Confederate stronghold; the addition of Lew Wallace's brigade (increased on site to Division strength) and Wallace's dilemma in responding to McClernand's request for assistance (with General Grant absent, and no one acting as his agent.) The attempted Rebel break-out, rolled back in the afternoon due to incompetence, and Federal reinforcements. And C.F. Smith, Jacob Lauman and James Tuttle share credit for advancing against the Confederate right, breaching the outer works, rendering Rebel possession of the fort untenable (with subsequent surrender next morning.) Grant Under Fire. If acquired solely for its accurate depiction of the Fort Donelson operation, it is worth the purchase. Ozzy
  17. Following on the Confederate evacuation from Corinth end of May 1862, many in the Government at Richmond became quite unhappy with the performance of General PGT Beauregard. President Jefferson Davis, in particular, harbored a grudge that stemmed from Beauregard's publication of his Manassas report in newspapers (criticizing Davis' role in not promoting pursuit of the retreating Federals as they fled pell- mell towards Washington.) The grudge festered with the death of Davis' friend, Albert Sidney Johnston at Shiloh, and Beauregard's cavalier report of that man's death, tacked into a telegram claiming Complete Victory on April 6th. The final straw that broke the camel's back was Beauregard's "unauthorized" evacuation from Corinth, without first engaging Federal forces in battle. It appears President Davis merely bided his time... and when Braxton Bragg reported that Beauregard had departed on sick leave (for a health spa near Mobile) the opportunity presented, and Davis struck, replacing Beauregard on 17 June 1862 with Bragg as commander of what would now be called the Army of Tennessee. Stephen R. Mallory, Confederate Secretary of the Navy, was one of the few Cabinet officers to keep a diary. His entry for 21 June 1862: "Interesting Cabinet meeting yesterday. President had ordered Bragg, who was second in command at Corinth, to proceed to Mississippi and assume command. Beauregard would not permit Bragg to go, but left Bragg in command, and goes himself to Mobile for his health. Beauregard, with the finest army ever found upon this continent, about 100,000 strong, remained about six weeks after the battle of Shiloh inactive, with the enemy in his front, and then retreated without notice to the President or War Department. And up to this time no reason for his retreat is known, and now he abandons his army without leave or notice. My own idea is that his mind has given way under the weight of his command; and that finding Bragg about to leave him, he ran away from an army he could not manage. If a soldier were thus to go off without leave he would be tried for desertion and be probably shot, and an officer would be shot or cashiered. Beauregard has never voluntarily fought a battle... and never will. Bragg is left in command, and he may do better." https://finding-aids.lib.unc.edu/02229/#folder_4#1 Diary of S.R. Mallory, Secretary of Navy (CSA) at Uni North Carolina Library.
  18. We’re all familiar with Hardee’s Light Infantry Tactics, the 86-page guide that became the handbook for Volunteer Infantry Regiments – on both sides -- during the Civil War. But, what if yours was a Cavalry regiment… or an Artillery battery? The 1836 publication, A Concise System of Instructions and Regulations for the Militia and Volunteers written by Samuel Cooper was the latest handbook available for Calvary (pages 129 – 176) and Artillery (pages 177 – 213). In the Preface, Brevet-Captain Cooper describes the role of Volunteer Militia as, “responsible for repelling sudden invasion, and suppressing domestic insurrection.” And his handbook of nearly 300 pages provided every bit of knowledge necessary to assemble a cavalry or artillery unit, drill it in proper execution of duties, and most importantly, how to “interface with Infantry, in order to avoid embarrassment.” The Regulations mentioned in the title are not Army Legal Statutes, but “drum and bugle calls established for regulating troop movements” (pages 215 – 225). And, in case you are wondering, “Why does this Handbook begin on Page 129” …it doesn’t. The first hundred pages are Infantry and Rifle Tactics (subsequently updated by Hardee.) But Cooper’s guidebook includes diagrams, and Hardee’s does not: diagrams for infantry movements, cavalry movements and artillery operations are to be found pages 56 – 59 and 99 - 108 (Infantry); 174 – 177 (Cavalry); 208 – 213 (Artillery). Who was Samuel Cooper? Graduate of West Point (Class of 1815) this officer, trained in artillery and adjutant general functions, served in the U. S. Army until March 7th 1861. He resigned, and offered his services to the Confederate States of America (and became the senior General in the Confederate States Army.) References: https://archive.org/stream/hardeesrifleligh01hard#page/n1/mode/2up Hardee's Light Infantry Tactics https://archive.org/details/concisesystemof00coop/page/n6 Samuel Cooper's Concise System ...for Militia and Volunteers
  19. As a rule, I am not a fan of audio presentations, without video to enhance it. But while doing some sorting and rearranging in the office, put this American Military History Podcast – Shiloh on… and was pleasantly surprised. The Story of Shiloh, as told by the narrator, is not far off from how I believe a fair telling of the Battle of Shiloh should run. The full presentation requires just over an hour, so in the interest of allowing “bits of most interest” to be accessed (begin at 4 minute mark): 4 minutes PGT Beauregard, upon receiving a report on 2 APR that, “Lew Wallace is moving his Division west, thus dividing Grant’s army,” initiates the Rebel move from Corinth; 23 mins General Sherman in the days prior to Battle of Shiloh: 26:30 Jesse Appler and the 53rd Ohio annoy Sherman; 29:30 U.S. Grant hears the guns of battle; 29:30 Beauregard believes surprise has been lost, and attempts to abort attack; 31:40 Peabody 39:00 Grant meets Sherman at 10 a.m. 45:30 Rebel attack plan of “driving the Union northwest, into the swamp” is inadvertently altered to “driving the Federals northeast, towards the Landing” 47:30 Prentiss frustrates the Rebels by holding on in the Thicket. 52:30 The death of Albert Sidney Johnston; 55:00 Prentiss surrenders. 57:30 The last assault, against Grant’s Last Line. 58:00 Beauregard ends Day One operations. 61:00 Lew Wallace… 64:00 Grant’s errors… 65:00 Nathan Bedford Forrest 66:30 Colonel Helm’s bad intelligence, advising, “Buell is moving south…” The podcast finishes with a brief description of Fallen Timbers, and summary of casualties. Overall, I found the presentation impressive, and mostly accurate. Most errors were due to editing (errors of omission) as opposed to Fact errors. But, have a listen, and tell me what you think. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NVVYl_dAB4c Shiloh podcast of 4 July 2018 by American Military History Podcast on YouTube. [Fourteen other Civil War battle narratives by the same organization available on YouTube, including Fort Sumter, Bull Run, Wilson's Creek and Second Manassas https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MI6-GfRVbPA&list=PLZ487KCnJN833w3UKDCSNZGYkkAC9_kF6 ]
  20. Fifty years after the end of the Civil War, an astute author realized that the men who had made History, and their stories were in imminent danger of being lost forever. So, Mamie Yeary set out across Texas (and had manuscripts sent her) to record as many “average Johnnies” as possible. Their stories, brief and poignant, leave the reader “wishing for more” …which may be possible, because many kept diaries; and almost all wrote letters during the war. And, with a name (and combat unit designation) we now have a starting point… especially for the scores of Confederate Shiloh veterans who made these pages: https://archive.org/details/reminiscencesofbv1year/page/1 Reminiscences of the Boys in Gray (1912) by Mamie Yeary. https://archive.org/details/reminiscencesofb00year/page/n5 Reminiscences (Vol.2) [See pages 428 - 9 William Lee 6th Arkansas; pp.515 - 7 John Middleton 23rd Tennessee, for examples of what is available by searching for "Shiloh." Also, pp. 884 - 890 lists almost every skirmish and battle in Tennessee (and surrounding pages list almost every skirmish, action and battle in every State during the 1861 - 1865 War.)]
  21. [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.
  22. Sometimes you find details where you least expect them... and this autobiography is a real gem: Reminiscences of a Soldier's Wife by Mary Logan https://archive.org/details/reminiscencesas02logagoog/page/n8 The view from Cairo of "what was taking place, just across the Ohio River" (...and I was going to just list the "important bits" relevant to us at Shiloh Discussion Group): pp. 100 - 116 Muster and drill in Southern Illinois (31st Illinois Infantry, Colonel Logan -- Member of Congress) pp. 116 - 118 Battle of Belmont (as experienced by those waiting for the Troop Transports to return) page 120 The 31st Illinois meets General Grant pp. 121 - 122 Fort Henry pp. 122 - 126 Fort Donelson (where Colonel Logan is wounded. His wife, Mary, describes her efforts to retrieve him from the battlefield.) pp. 127 - 129 The move up the Tennessee River to Pittsburg Landing (reflects a civilian's understanding of what took place) page 129 Major General Halleck in command. page 130 General Halleck is called to Washington (and General Grant resumes command...) But, the most important bits are "what came afterwards..." pp. 130 - 131 The relationship of Generals James B. McPherson and John Logan pp. 159 - 161 The replacement of Army of the Tennessee Commander John Logan with O. O. Howard pp. 162 - 168 Incredible exchange of letters after the war between William T. Sherman and John Logan, reflecting on "interpersonal relationships" involving Sherman, Logan, O. O. Howard, George H. Thomas and Ulysses S. Grant. pp. 170 - 172 Another illuminating exchange between Grenville Dodge and John Logan (regarding Dodge, Logan, WT Sherman and George Thomas). If you want to understand "why Union commanders related to each other the way they did," and "why friction seemed to appear from nowhere" (and how those interpersonal relationships impacted actual "fighting of the War"), then this is a good place to start... "Harmony" Ozzy
  23. Ozzy

    Julia Dent Grant

    As we know, Julia Dent Grant had a profound influence on her husband, including support, advocate, confidant. When separated by military duty, the two exchanged letters almost daily: it could be said that Julia was General Grant's rock. The linked website is recently constructed, and one of the best biographies of its kind to be found on the internet, as "First Lady Julia Grant" contains information about family, friends, locations of homes and travel involving herself and General Grant not easily found elsewhere: Frederick T. Dent: Grant's West Point roommate (and Julia's brother) photographs of Grant family homes photographs of Julia and Ulysses Grant at significant events family photographs of the Grants. http://www.firstladies.org/biographies/firstladies.aspx?biography=19 Brief biography of Julia Dent Grant.
  24. Another day, another master’s thesis… and this one, submitted by William J. McCaffrey in 1970 is revealing, compelling, shocking. Although 140 pages long, this work grips the student of Battle of Shiloh by the throat, and does not let go. It examines “whether or not there was surprise at Pittsburg Landing on April 6th 1862”…and just who was surprised. On page three, a list of six items is posted: flawed conditions of readiness, at least one of which must be present to allow a Defender to get surprised by an Attacker. William McCaffrey devotes the remainder of his thesis to providing evidence of the presence of many of those six conditions of “un-readiness” at Pittsburg Landing in the days, hours and minutes leading up to General Albert Sidney Johnston’s attack. This report contains maps, an excellent list of references, and is constructed by a man concerned about “the lessons of History, and how to avoid the mistakes of History.” Have a read, and decide for yourself how close William McCaffrey, West Point Class of 1958, comes to the mark. Masters Thesis by William J. McCaffrey (1970) “Shiloh: a case study in Surprise” submitted to U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, KS and on file with National Technical Information Service: https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/733391.pdf
  25. There are two pieces of communication (one constructed on April 5th, and the other generated on April 6th 1862) both of which are important in their own way to explain “how the Battle of Shiloh unfolded.” And both documents have "issues." The first item is a telegram constructed at St. Louis and sent under signature of Major General Henry Halleck on Saturday 5 April 1862. Fitting Halleck’s style of issuing concise orders, the two-line telegram begins by listing the recently promoted Major Generals by order of seniority: Buell, Pope, McClernand, C.F. Smith, Wallace. The inclusion of John Pope is significant because Major General Pope would soon join the Advance on Corinth. And the place held by John McClernand (ahead of Charles Ferguson Smith) may have come as a surprise to Major General Ulysses S. Grant… but no matter, as the late formal notice of MGen McClernand’s seniority did not provide opportunity to ‘Provide him with benefits of seniority to which he was entitled” i.e., the Shell Game played by Generals Grant, Smith, Sherman and Captain McMichael had worked perfectly; and now, at this late hour, McClernand would be notified in due course of his official seniority (likely after U.S. Grant established his HQ at Pittsburg Landing… When McClernand operating as “acting commander” had odds somewhere between Slim and None.) The second line of Halleck’s telegram reads: “You will act in concert [with General Buell] but he will exercise his separate command, unless the enemy should attack you. In that case you are authorized to take the general command.” The wording of this second line, giving Grant emergency authority over Buell in case of attack by Rebels, has significant implications. And yet, when the conduct of Day Two at Shiloh is closely examined, there is nothing more significant in regard to General Grant exercising command, than, “You take the left; and I’ll take the right” during the advance of Monday morning (coordination at its most minimal.) Which leads one to ponder: When did General Grant receive this telegram from Henry Halleck? If it was sent by telegraph from St. Louis late morning of April 5th, it likely arrived at the Fort Henry telegraph office before noon. If a steamer picked up the mail and telegraph traffic at 1 p.m., (perhaps the Minnehaha) then the 5 April telegram would arrive about midnight… plenty of time for Grant to read and understand the contents. But, at 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 6th, where was this telegram from Halleck? The cool indifference shared between Grant and Buell (with Buell simply left at the waterfront, while Grant headed away west to take care of business) does not represent “someone in possession of an important telegram, giving them extraordinary authority.” Instead, it seems to indicate General Grant has not yet received the telegram; or he has seen it… but left it behind at the Cherry Mansion. The second communication was constructed on Sunday morning by Captain A.S. Baxter, the AQM for Grant’s Army, as he rode the steamer Tigress north to relay Grant’s orders (likely relayed from Grant, through Captain John Rawlins, to Baxter.) Finding the orders complex and difficult to remember in detail, Captain Algernon Baxter scanned the floor of the Ladies’ Cabin, found a soiled bit of paper, and wrote the orders (as he best remembered them) onto that scrap (later recorded as “containing a heel mark and tobacco stain.”) Upon arrival at Crump’s Landing, Captain Baxter found Lieutenant Ross – Aide to Major General Wallace – waiting. The two rode away west and reported to MGen Wallace at, or just before 11:30 a.m. Captain Baxter presented General Wallace with the impromptu order; Wallace asked why it was not signed. Baxter explained he “created the memorandum, himself, out of fear he would “forget some detail” unless he did so.” General Wallace passed the “written order” to his Staff, and asked Baxter about the current state of affairs [Baxter left Pittsburg Landing between 10 and 10:30.] Captain Baxter replied, “We are driving them.” General Wallace was satisfied; Wallace’s staff officers were satisfied. The order was accepted, and Captain Baxter took his departure within three minutes of arrival at Stony Lonesome. Captain Frederick Kneffler, Lew Wallace’s AAG, wound up with the “written order.” He tucked it under his sword belt… and subsequently lost it. Ever since, the loss of that written order, or memorandum, has been significant because it would provide tangible proof of what Major General Wallace had been ordered to do. And, it is not difficult to envision the memorandum, jiggling loose from Captain Kneffler’s sword belt, and blowing away… to be beaten by heavy rain that night; ultimately washed into the Snake River, then Tennessee River… lost forever. But, paper was in short supply, always. Letters by soldiers were often written making use of every millimetre of space, including margins and borders. As likely as the memorandum being lost forever, it was just as likely noticed, clinging to trampled stubble, by some soldier… one of thousands following behind Kneffler on his horse. This soldier would have snatched it up, and possibly sent it as souvenir with his own letter, a few days later. My point: there is every chance that the Lew Wallace memorandum from Baxter still exists, contained in a box of Civil War letters and paraphernalia, and the owners have no idea what they have in their possession. But, with all the other material being revealed on a weekly basis, one day this piece of history might just surprise everyone, and re-emerge.
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