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Found 20 results

  1. Despite the mammoth Federal success at Fort Donelson, the war did not come to an end (though some acted as if it had.) General U.S. Grant looked to push the next objective, which appeared to be Nashville. And he requested guidance from St. Louis. In meantime, Clarksville (about fifty miles up the Cumberland River, in the direction of Nashville) was deemed a suitable target: a reconnaissance conducted by U.S. Navy gunboats Conestoga and Cairo on February 18th discovered that Confederate Clarksville was practically a ghost town; the Rebels and most of the citizens had fled. So, General C.F. Smith was dispatched with a suitable force pulled from his Second Division and occupied Clarksville on about February 23rd. Early the next day, U.S. Grant, in company with Surgeon Brinton, , BGen McClernand, Captain Taylor (of Taylor's Battery), Colonel Lauman and Colonel WHL Wallace, departed Fort Donelson aboard steamer W.H.B. for an inspection of Union-occupied Clarksville. But, it does not appear that an inspection took place at Clarksville that day: General Grant caught wind that General William Nelson's Division (which was known to have been promised to assist Grant at Fort Donelson) had arrived at Paducah; reported to General Sherman; and departed Paducah aboard a small fleet on February 23rd, bound for the Cumberland River. The seven steamers, under gunboat escort, continued to the ordered destination of Clarksville (arrival recorded as 8 a.m. February 24th) and General Nelson met with General Smith. At about noon (in accordance with orders relayed from General Grant to General Nelson) General Nelson returned to his steamer, Diana, and in company with six other steamers (led by USS Carondelet) the force proceeded up the Cumberland (with U.S. Grant aboard steamer W.H.B, in company with USS Cairo, well in advance of the fleet.) Bull Nelson arrived at the "open city" of Nashville on February 25th, stepped ashore... and became the first Federal General Officer to enter Nashville following Rebel occupation; (General Buell was just across the river at Edgefield: today's East Nashville); and U.S. Grant appears to have waited aboard the W.H.B., at least, for a little while. Nelson made contact with Buell; and Grant escorted his party from Fort Donelson into Union-occupied Nashville for two days of what can best be described as relaxation and diversion. On February 27th, U.S. Grant met with Don Carlos Buell aboard the W.H.B. and exchanged pleasantries; and then Grant and his party departed Nashville, and arrived back at Fort Donelson late on 28 FEB 1862. Cheers Ozzy References: OR 7 pages 661, 662- 3, 668, 670- 1, 674. OR (Navy) vol.22, pages 315, 587, 616, 617, 625. Memoirs of U.S. Grant page 318. Adam Badeau's Military Career of U.S. Grant, pages 58 - 9. Diary of Jacob Ammen for dates February 23, 24 and 25 (found in OR 7 page 659 - 660. Hoppin's Life of Andrew Hull Foote, pages 230 - 236. Memoirs of Surgeon John Brinton, page 139. Life of General WHL Wallace, pages 166 (Letter of 20 FEB 1862) and page 171 (Letter of 28 FEB 1862).
  2. When Abraham Lincoln uttered the lines < 'I can't spare this man... He fights' > he may very well have been speaking of Jacob Lauman of Burlington, Iowa. In command of the 3rd Brigade of Hurlbut's 4th Division at the Battle of Shiloh, BGen Lauman demonstrated initiative, tenacity and profound devotion to duty, that caused Stephen Hurlbut to write: 'I saw Jacob Lauman hold the right of my line on Sunday with his small body of gallant men, for three hours. After delivering its fire with great steadiness, the 3rd Brigade charged and drove the enemy 3 or 400 yards...' [OR Serial 10 pp. 204-7] For Lauman, it was continuation of a trend that began at Belmont, Missouri on November 7, 1861, when the 7th Iowa [commanded by Colonel Lauman] found itself in the thick of the action, taking on the role of shock troops. Colonel Dougherty, in charge of the 2nd Brigade (to which the 7th Iowa and 22nd Illinois belonged), wrote, 'Regardless of obstacles, the 2nd Brigade advanced as rapidly as possible, and stayed in line. The enemy obstinately resisted, and a storm of musketry raged along our whole line... The 7th Iowa throughout the battle fought like veterans. Iowa may well feel proud of her sons who fought at Belmont.' [OR 3, pp 272-298] Jacob Lauman had his horse shot from under him; he advanced with his men on foot, and during a 'storm of musketry' took a shot to the leg [the minie ball passed through the thigh, and just missed the bone.] Colonel Lauman was carried from the field, and successfully evacuated aboard a steamboat. His wound was dressed, and he was sent home to Iowa to recuperate. His wound healed sufficiently after a few weeks, and Colonel Lauman rejoined his regiment. But, prior to the Siege of Fort Donelson, Lauman was elevated to command of the 4th Brigade of the 2nd Division (BGen C.F. Smith.) Colonel Lauman accompanied his brigade on the afternoon of February 15th, when under orders of U.S. Grant to 'Take that Fort,' Charles F. Smith advanced his division until Lauman's Brigade (spearheaded by the 2nd Iowa Infantry) broached the outer works... and was only brought to a halt by the setting of the sun (with the conclusion promised on the morrow.) But, there was no resumption of aggressive action: the Confederate commander surrendered before hostilities could resume. Deemed to be 'courageous, aggressive, and bold,' Jacob Lauman was promoted to Brigadier General on March 21st, 1862. Jacob Gartner Lauman was born in Maryland in 1813, but grew up in Pennsylvania. As a young man, he engaged in commercial activities in the Keystone State, but was drawn by the promise of opportunity available in the Territory of Iowa (which had been opened to settlement following the removal-by-treaty of the Sac Fox Indians.) Lauman arrived in Burlington in 1844, and set himself up in business -- JG Lauman & Brother, wholesale and retail providers of groceries, clothing and hardware. And, Jacob became involved in the local militia organization -- the Burlington Grays -- as a Lieutenant. He continued involvement with the militia, and eventually was promoted to Major of the 1st Battalion of Iowa Volunteers... the post he occupied at the time of Fort Sumter. Put to work by Governor Samuel Kirkwood as a recruiter of soldiers, Lauman was commissioned as Colonel in July 1861 and given command of the 7th Iowa Infantry Regiment. After the Battle of Shiloh, Lauman remained with Hurlbut's Division and commanded a brigade during the Crawl to Corinth. He was still with Hurlbut, operating in vicinity of Memphis, when the Confederates attacked Corinth on October 3rd. Sent to reinforce Rosecrans at Corinth, the 4th Division was incorporated into a force under the command of General Edward Ord, and diverted towards Davis Bridge in an effort to block Van Dorn's retreating force. The action of October 5th became known as the Battle of Hatchie Bridge, and although recorded as a Union 'victory,' was not regarded by participants as having been 'correctly fought' (including Jacob Lauman, who may have been too vocal in expressing his interpretation of Ord's leadership.) [Sherman's Memoirs, Vol 1, pp 262-4] and [wikipedia 'Battle of Hatchie's Bridge'] and [The Civil War Siege of Jackson by Jim Woodrick, pages 64-66], Regardless, Lauman was elevated to Division Command by General W.T. Sherman in November 1862; and upon the promotion of Stephen Hurlbut to command of Memphis, BGen Lauman was put in charge of Hurlbut's old 4th Division (soon to become part of General Cadwallader Washburn's 16th Army Corps, at the Siege of Vicksburg. Lauman's Division contributed significantly to the Union success at Vicksburg, which officially ended with the surrender of General Pemberton on July 4th, 1863.) [Memoirs of US Grant, Vol 1, p 456] But, there was still work to be done: General Joseph Johnston's Army had been advancing to the relief of General Pemberton at Vicksburg... but was too late. Johnston was stalled at Jackson, Mississippi, and his force was seen as a threat that had to be neutralized: US Grant put WT Sherman in charge of an expedition to accomplish that mission. Sherman assembled the 15th Army Corps, the 9th A.C. and the 13th A.C. (MGen Ord took charge of the 13th Army Corps upon the removal of John McClernand in June.) Two brigades of Jacob Lauman's Division were assigned detached duty with the 13th A.C. -- and BGen Lauman took charge of that detachment. Sherman's Jackson Expedition commenced on July 9th. By July 11th, the encirclement of Jackson, Mississippi was nearly complete. On the 12th, Lauman's detachment advanced in line with Hovey's Division (on his left) across heavily wooded, undulating ground... until Colonel Pugh, in charge of the 1st Brigade, halted the advance: something about the ground in front did not look right. Lauman came to Pugh, had a discussion, and skirmishers were sent forward. But when the skirmishers drew no significant fire, Lauman ordered Pugh to advance [Crosley p. 375] There is debate whether Lauman was following orders, or acting recklessly. In any event, Pugh's Brigade advanced into a trap, and was cut down by a dozen Confederate guns firing canister, and by lines of Rebel infantry firing from behind protective earthworks. Four hundred men became casualties in a matter of minutes, with almost no loss to the Rebels. Eventually, MGen Ord arrived on the scene, found a distraught Lauman still attempting to retrieve the situation... and ordered Lauman to conduct a muster of his troops. BGen Lauman had no idea how to conduct the numerical assessment while under fire; Ord relieved him of command, and assigned his division to Hovey. And Jacob Lauman was sent away in disgrace to report to MGen U.S. Grant at Vicksburg [OR Serial 38 page 506.] It is evident from their writings that both US Grant and WT Sherman were sympathetic to the plight of Jacob Lauman. But, as Sherman admitted, 'I deem it most important to support Army Corps commanders, so must sustain Ord [over Lauman] for the time being.' [Papers of US Grant vol 9, page 45] Jacob Lauman was sent back to Iowa 'to await orders' that never came. He was given a brevet promotion to Major General at the end of the war. And he continued to suffer from lingering effects of the wound from Belmont... which may have contributed to his death on February 9, 1867. He died in Burlington, and is buried in Aspen Grove Cemetery there. Ozzy References: Papers of US Grant, volume 9, pages 37-45. Annals of Iowa, vol 11, no. 6 (1914) pages 461-5 'General J.G. Lauman Collection.' Annals of Iowa, vol 1, no. 5 (1894) pages 371-381 'Lauman's Charge at Jackson' by Geo. W. Crosley. OR Serials 3, 7, 10 and 38 The Civil War Siege of Jackson, Mississippi by Jim Woodrick (2016) History Press of Charleston, SC wikipedia Memoirs of US Grant Memoirs of William T. Sherman
  3. Born in the village of Elizabeth, Indiana in 1819, James Clifford Veatch spent his formative years within ten miles of the Ohio River, with Louisville, Kentucky – a dozen miles away -- the largest town in his vicinity. His father, a Member of the Indiana State Legislature, died of illness in 1833; and James devoted himself to study of Law, passed the Indiana Bar, and then entered politics by 1841. First elected to a county position, James Veatch was serving as Member of the Indiana House of Representatives when war erupted in April 1861. He resigned his seat, joined the 25th Indiana Infantry, and was appointed Colonel, with date of rank 9 August 1861. The 25th Indiana was sent to Missouri, and arrived in time to take part in Major General Fremont’s march on Springfield; after which, the 25th Indiana took part in an operation near Warrensburg that resulted in capture of over one thousand Rebels. After marching those captured men away to confinement, the 25th Indiana was assigned to Benton Barracks until February 1862, when it was sent away, too late to participate in the Capture of Fort Henry (but available for the Operation against Fort Donelson.) Following in support of the 2nd Iowa during the memorable charge on the afternoon of 15 February, the 25th Indiana suffered forty additional casualties to add to 14 killed and 60 wounded already sustained since February 12th, and gained favourable mention in Brigadier General C.F. Smith’s report (OR 52 page 9.) Afterwards attached to the new Fourth Division (BGen Stephen Hurlbut) the 25th Indiana was assigned to the 2nd Brigade and accompanied General Smith’s expedition up the Tennessee River in March 1862 (with James Veatch, as senior Colonel, assigned to brigade command.) Allowed to debark from steamers on about 18 March, the 2nd Brigade camped about one mile west of Pittsburg Landing, with the remainder of the Fourth Division extending towards the south. On the morning of 6 April 1862, the 2nd Brigade was detached by Stephen Hurlbut and sent west to support Brigadier General Sherman; but before reaching Sherman, the brigade under Colonel Veatch was engaged in vicinity of McClernand’s First Division, and spent the remainder of Day One near the center of the battlefield, in support and at times extending McClernand’s left… and took severe casualties, before falling back to Grant's Last Line. On Day Two, the survivors of Veatch’s Brigade were caught up in the final Federal charge (conducted by General Grant) which is credited with “driving the Rebels from the field.” For his competent leadership, James Veatch was promoted Brigadier General, to date from 28 April 1862. Following Shiloh, Brigadier General Veatch took part in the Siege of Corinth (still in command of the 2nd Brigade) and was subsequently engaged at Hatchie’s Bridge (where he was wounded, struck in the side by a grape shot.) After spending time recovering, and on detached duty, General Veatch took part in Sherman’s Meridian Campaign, and was involved in Sherman’s 1864 drive toward Atlanta. Taking sick leave just before the Battle for Atlanta, Veatch returned to active service in time to participate in the Battle for Fort Blakely (Alabama) in April 1865. He resigned in August 1865, and was brevetted Major General. Following return to civilian life in Indiana, General Veatch resumed politics, and served in a variety of capacities. He died in 1895 of heart disease, and is buried in Rockport, Indiana. References: http://www.findagrave.com/memorial/5897067/james-clifford-veatch OR 52 pages 9 (General Smith's Fort Donelson report) and page 10 (Jacob Lauman's Fort Donelson report) OR 10 page 122 (General McClernand's Shiloh report) Veatch mention OR 10 page 203 (General Hurlbut's report) Veatch mention OR 10 pages 219 - 221 (Colonel Veatch's report, with mention of Grant's Charge on Day Two) http://stream/reportofadjutant02indi#page/250 Indiana Civil War, volume Two (25th Indiana Infantry) http://books.google.com.au/books?redir_esc=y&id=epbbg1CA4CAC&q=Veatch#v=snippet&q=Veatch&f=false Medical Histories of Union Generals (Jack Welsh) wikipedia
  4. In 1856, Scottish immigrant John McArthur, originally a blacksmith, who now thrived in the tough world of boiler-making, became involved with the Chicago Highland Guards. The militia organization trained and prepared; and in February 1861, with several Southern States having already seceded, Captain McArthur requested community support in order to aid in preparation and arming of the Highland Guards for active service [Chicago Daily Tribune of 6 FEB 1861, page 1.] Following Federal surrender at Fort Sumter, John McArthur tendered the service of the Chicago Highland Guards to Governor Yates: the offer was accepted, and the Guards were ordered to Springfield. President Lincoln called for 75,000 volunteers to assist in putting down the Rebellion; and the quota given to Illinois was six regiments of infantry (to be numbered 7 through 12.) Simultaneous with the actions of Captain McArthur, a militia company was drilling at Galena, called the "Jo Daviess Guards." Under the leadership of Augustus Chetlain, this company of volunteers departed for Springfield about April 22nd ...and Ulysses S. Grant, who had attached himself to the Jo Daviess Guards in order to provide essential training in military drill, continued that training upon arrival of the Galena company at the military camp just outside the Illinois capital, Camp Yates (where the Chicago Highland Guards, tapped by Governor Yates to form the nucleus of this last of the six quota-specified regiments -- the 12th Illinois -- was engaged in organization, recruiting and training.) By end of April 1861, the required number of men were on hand at Camp Yates; and the 12th Illinois Volunteer Infantry Regiment was mustered in (for three month's service) by Captain John Pope on May 2nd: the Jo Daviess Guards became Company F; the Chicago Highland Guards became Company A; John McArthur was elected Colonel; his nearest competition in that vote -- August Chetlain -- was elected Lieutenant Colonel; and U.S. Grant reported to Governor Yates (for appointment as Adjutant General for Military Affairs of the State of Illinois.) The 12th Illinois was immediately sent away west and south to defend the line of the Ohio & Mississippi Railroad, and was based at Caseyville Illinois (Camp Bissel), a day's march from the Mississippi River, and in close proximity to St. Louis. Captain U.S. Grant arrived at Camp Bissel on an inspection tour in May 1861; and he provided guidance on the completion of required rosters, requisitions, and other paperwork [Paddock, page 263.] In June, the regiment was transfered from Camp Bissel to St. Louis... but in carrying out the movement, the orders were amended, and the 12th Illinois landed at Cape Girardeau Missouri, instead. Withdrawn to Cairo a short time later, the three month term of service was nearing completion: the 12th Illinois was re-mustered as a 3-year regiment at Cairo on August 1st; and returned to Cape Girardeau on August 7th. Called back to Cairo after a few days, the regiment stopped at Bird's Point Missouri; but the destination of Cairo was finally reached about August 27th, where the 12th Illinois commenced an association with the 9th Illinois Infantry that was destined to endure for the remainder of the war. On September 2/3 a force under Colonel McArthur executed a "feint" towards Belmont Missouri [Papers of US Grant vol.2 pages 178 - 9.] But, McArthur was back in Cairo by the evening of September 3rd. On September 5th, Brigadier General U.S. Grant led a force that included Colonel McArthur's 12th Illinois, the 9th Illinois, and artillery from Cairo to Paducah Kentucky (in response to a movement by Confederate Generals Polk and Pillow, occupying Hickman and Columbus.) The Federal occupation of Paducah was effected September 6th; General Grant returned to Cairo that same day, and left Brigadier General Eleazer Paine (9th Illinois) in temporary command, pending imminent arrival of BGen C.F. Smith. General Smith arrived September 8th and took command of the Post of Paducah; BGen Paine remained in command of the embryonic brigade, which grew to include the 9th, 12th, 40th and 41st Illinois, Buel's Battery, and Thielmann's Independent Cavalry Battalion. While based at Paducah, Colonel McArthur took part in reconnaissance and demonstrations: most notable, the feint of November 8/9 towards Fort Columbus, from the east. Possibly due to a falling out soon afterwards between C.F. Smith and Eleazer Paine, BGen Paine was re-assigned to Bird's Point Missouri on December 23rd 1861. John McArthur replaced Paine as commander of the 1st Brigade of Smith's Second Division (and soon, Smith's Division included BGen Lew Wallace, in command of the 2nd Brigade.) 1862 commenced with a bang: coincidental with George Thomas's operation at Mill Springs, John McArthur took part in a demonstration that commenced January 15th (and was led by General C.F. Smith, in person.) From Paducah, 5000 men marched to Mayfield Creek; then moved next day to Clark River. Pausing two days in vicinity of Clark River, the expedition reached Calloway Landing on the Tennessee River (twenty miles below Fort Henry) before returning north, arriving back at Paducah on the 25th. Coincident with being based at Paducah, and gaining a brigade, John McArthur saw his own 12th Illinois divided: a portion remained in Paducah (attached to the 1st Brigade) while four companies, under command of LtCol Chetlain were posted to Smithland (near the mouth of the Cumberland River.) Following February's operation against Fort Henry (during which Smith's Second Division moved up the west bank of the Tennessee River and occupied Fort Heiman) the 2nd Division was ferried across the Tennessee River, and marched across to Fort Donelson on February 12th. McArthur's 1st Brigade (now consisting of the 9th, 12th and 41st Illinois Infantry Regiments) was placed adjacent to the far left of McClernand's First Division. That position was adjusted slightly, next day; and on the evening of the 14th, following the unsuccessful gunboat offensive, McArthur was ordered to the extreme right of General McClernand's Division by General Grant [and it appears darkness and lateness of the hour prevented ability to properly scrutinize terrain and proximity of the enemy. But the intention was to anchor adjacent to a swollen creek -- or possibly the Cumberland River, south of Fort Donelson -- in the morning (OR 7 pages 174 - 5 and Badeau page 43)]. Next morning, early, the breakout attempted by the Confederate defenders of Fort Donelson commenced. And John McArthur was in the wrong place, at the wrong time. [And as Colonel Oglesby noted, "without [organic] artillery support" (OR 7 page 185)]. Afterwards, it is said that Grant blamed McClernand for the near disaster, due to not properly anchoring his right. But, the blame could easily have been ascribed to McArthur's 1st Brigade. In Fact, Grant may have blamed both organizations: upon the surrender of Fort Donelson, while Smith's Division was given pride of place in the former log huts belonging to the Rebels, and inside the fort-proper, McClernand (in written orders to include McArthur's Brigade) was kept outside; and assigned picket duties, patrol and "fatigue duties" ...so tiresome and irksome that McClernand eventually complained [see OR 7 pages 625 and 633; and Papers of US Grant vol.4 page 242.] As is now known, U.S. Grant had lost confidence in his former friend, John McClernand; and that when the Federal camp was established at Pittsburg Landing, Grant refused to recognize McClernand's seniority (and placed Brigadier General Sherman in charge there, during Grant's absence.) What is not so well known: a similar "demotion" appears to have also occurred with John McArthur, beginning with re-numbering of his 1st Brigade (to 2nd Brigade, effective February 21st -- Papers of US Grant vol.4 page 263.) Then, with U.S. Grant returned to field command, upon his arrival at Savannah he ordered "Smith's Division to leave vicinity of Savannah [most of those men were still aboard steamers] and disembark at Pittsburg Landing." C.F. Smith was then lying in bed aboard the steamer, Hiawatha, unable to walk. So, when the Second Division disembarked at Pittsburg Landing on March 18th, the senior brigade commander would be in acting-command in Smith's absence. On March 19th, Colonel Jacob Lauman was ordered, "to report to the Second Division and report to General C.F. Smith for assignment to a brigade as its commander." Since Smith was absent from Pittsburg Landing, soon-to-be Brigadier General Lauman took charge of the 1st Brigade; and assumed the role of "in command, temporary, of Smith's Division." Problem was this: Colonel Lauman was junior to Colonel McArthur. Even after Lauman was promoted BGen, effective March 21st, he was junior to BGen McArthur, also promoted March 21st. Conveniently, John McArthur was arrested on March 28th for violation of orders. And while McArthur was in arrest, General Grant replaced Lauman (who reported to Stephen Hurlbut) with WHL Wallace -- a Brigadier General who was senior to Lauman and McArthur. And U.S. Grant allowed McArthur to stew... until the Confederates rushed north from Corinth; and on Sunday morning, April 6th, the Rebels caught everyone by surprise. Regards Ozzy References: OR 7 (pages as sited) Papers of US Grant volumes 2 and 4 (pages as sited) http://archive.org/stream/illinoisatshiloh00illi#page/30/mode/2up/search/McArthur Illinois at Shiloh http://archive.org/stream/biographicalsket00wils#page/18/mode/2up John McArthur bio at Illinois Officers http://archive.org/stream/militaryhistory02badegoog#page/n68/mode/2up/search/McArthur Badeau's Military History of US Grant, vol 1, page 43. http://suvcw.org/mollus/war/ILv2.htm Major George L. Paddock's article IRT 12th Illinois creation. Chicago Daily Tribune (edition and page as sited). General Orders No.63 of June 10th 1862 [recent promotions and their rankings].
  5. Ozzy

    Fort Henry is Ours!

    [from chroniclingamerica at Library of Congress] [Click on above and expand to find comprehensive details of the Capture of Fort Henry.] The following link presents clearer text for easier reading: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83030313/1862-02-08/ed-1/seq-1/#date1=1862&sort=date&date2=1862&words=McClernand&searchType=basic&sequence=0&index=9&state=New+York&rows=20&proxtext=McClernand&y=14&x=14&dateFilterType=yearRange&page=1 New York Herald of 8 FEB 1862 Page One.
  6. Perry Cuskey

    Visiting Fort Henry

    The day after the Fort Donelson hike with historian Tim Smith, a few of us ventured out to the site of Fort Henry along the Tennessee River (now Kentucky Lake). This was my first time visiting the area, and I certainly hope it won't be my last. If you've heard folks talk about how beautiful is the Land Between the Lakes, there's a very good reason. And the history speaks for itself. Part of that history is the incredibly unfortunate location of Fort Henry. There are reasons that explain why the fort was situated where it was, but none of them change the fact that it was a lousy spot for a fort. The number one problem - and number two, three, four, and counting problems - was very simply that the ground near the river chosen for the fort was far too low, and prone to flooding. "Fort," "river," and "flooding" should never go together in the same sentence, especially if you're basically depending on that fort to protect the entire length of the river behind it. But that was the situation at Fort Henry. Perhaps it's fitting then, if somewhat sad, that when the Tennessee Valley Authority dammed up the Tennessee River in the 1920's and 30's to create Kentucky Lake, what remained of Fort Henry was forever submerged beneath the waves. The only thing left above water are some of the outer trench works. Here's an image from Google Maps, showing the approximate modern-day location of Fort Henry (on the right) and also Fort Heiman (on the left, on the Kentucky side of the river). It probably goes without saying that the Epic Crayon Drawings are not exactly to scale... And here is an absolutely beautiful painting titled "Battle of Fort Henry," by a talented artist named Andy Thomas. I'll provide a link to his website at the end of this article, as he deserves the credit for one thing, and he has a number of other paintings that you will most assuredly want to see for another. But this is probably what the fort looked like at the time of the Union gunboat attack. You can see what everyone means when they describe this fort as being flood-prone... In fact, when the fort finally surrendered, the Union officers accepting the surrender actually entered the fort in a boat, rather than on foot. Two days later, the entire thing was underwater. I still can't decide if that's funny, or sad. Even though the modern-day Tennessee shoreline isn't the same as in 1862, you can still get a sense of how problematic the location was for the defenders when you visit there today. Here's a picture I took during our November visit. My best-guess is that this is looking right into the heart of where the fort would have been. Note how flat the shoreline is, and compare it to the Andy Thomas painting above... Here's another view, with more Epic Crayon Drawings. The yellow line is supposed to represent the fort (not to scale - as if you couldn't tell ) and the red circle shows the location of a navigation buoy in the river, marking the approximate northwest corner of Fort Henry. So you can use that to gauge where the fort was, and roughly how large it was... Here's a view of the much better situated Fort Heiman, across the Tennessee River from Fort Henry. I've labeled the fort's location. Even though it's a fair-distance away, compare the shoreline with that around Fort Henry. Simply put, there is no comparison. Jumping across the river, here's another incredible Andy Thomas painting titled "The View from Fort Heiman," looking back at Fort Henry from Fort Heiman during the gunboat attack... And finally, here's a very rough approximation of that same view today... Note that you can only get this particular view after descending a pretty steep embankment, so be very careful if you decide to try it. I'd rough-guess it to be about a 45-degree angle about halfway down, and then a sheer drop the rest of the way, just below where I took the picture from. I'm stubborn, which is why I tried it, but just be aware that I'm most assuredly not recommending anyone else do the same thing. If you do, proceed at your own stubborn risk. All in all it was a great visit, and very instructive. It isn't really any different from what we've read, but as is usually the case, seeing the ground in person gives you a greater appreciation for what the folks had to deal with at the time, all those years ago. Here's a link to Andy Thomas' main website. I promise you won't be sorry you checked out his paintings: http://www.andythomas.com/ You can view his Civil War paintings here: http://www.andythomas.com/civilwarprints.aspx And his Fort Donelson, Fort Henry, and Fort Heiman paintings can be found here: http://www.andythomas.com/fortdonelson.aspx Perry
  7. Ozzy

    Full Hospitals

    As result of the campaign against Fort Donelson, the Union suffered 507 killed and 1976 wounded; and the Confederates lost 327 killed and reported 1127 wounded. And because the United States Forces were victorious, Federal forces were responsible for burying (or removing for burial) over 800 dead; and providing care for more than 3000 wounded. Many wounded Confederate soldiers were sent to Union hospitals in Louisville (which got General U.S. Grant off-side with Don Carlos Buell, who complained to Henry Halleck about wounded soldiers being deposited in his Military District without permission.) The remainder, Union and Rebel, mostly went to hospitals in Paducah, Mound City, St. Louis, and elsewhere. But, by the end of February 1862, many Union soldiers were still unaccounted for -- by their families back home. And the mostly full hospitals along the Ohio River and Mississippi Rivers were not emptying. (And there was concern that the 700-bed Hospital at Mound City was kept full due to incompetence of the Director, Doctor Franklin.) The people of Illinois expressed their dissatisfaction in newspapers; and in letters to their Representatives in Springfield. In response, at the end of February, Governor Yates of Illinois sent a Commission of Doctors to Cairo on a fact-finding mission [see Chicago Daily Tribune of 25 FEB 1862, page 1.] Doctors Curtis, Johns and Williams, and Major Starring, visited the most concerning facilities. As a result, the hospitals at Mound City and Paducah were found to be full because of the large numbers of recently admitted sick men (who added their numbers to the slowly departing Fort Donelson wounded.) Dr. Franklin at Mound City was determined to be doing his best: he had even sent 100 men home on furlough to complete their recoveries. And, at Fort Donelson, the Commissioners compiled more complete records of the dead; and discovered over 200 wounded men still in vicinity (many of these wounded Union soldiers had been captured by the Rebels during the Campaign, and placed in Nashville hospitals for care. And remained behind when the Confederates evacuated. ) About 100 of the worst cases were sent to St. Louis for hospitalization; 115 others were sent home on furlough. Governor Yates published his March 7th report in the 14 MAR 1862 edition of the Chicago Daily Tribune. A few days later, General Lew Wallace sent over 200 desperately sick men away from Crump's Landing aboard the steamer, Telegraph, for treatment that could not be acquired at Savannah, Tennessee... and unwittingly initiated friction between himself and General Grant (and infuriated the prickly Henry Halleck, who hated malingerers, and believed "his Furlough System" was being abused.) And, although this topic has been covered pretty thoroughly, it turns out... there is more to the story. Ozzy References: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84031490/1862-03-14/ed-1/seq-3/#date1=1862&sort=date&rows=20&words=FRANKLIN+Franklin&searchType=basic&sequence=0&index=16&state=Illinois&date2=1862&proxtext=Franklin&y=0&x=0&dateFilterType=yearRange&page=10 Chicago Daily Tribune for 14 MAR 1862 and 25 FEB 1862. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Fort_Donelson Fort Donelson casualty figures.
  8. Often overlooked (with our focus on Savannah, Crump's Landing and Pittsburg Landing) the captured, Union-occupied Fort Donelson, Fort Henry and Fort Heinman were also within General Grant's District of West Tennessee at the time of the Battle of Shiloh. In order to maintain control of those facilities, two infantry regiments remained at Fort Donelson as garrison; and one infantry regiment served to garrison both Fort Henry and Fort Heiman (and missed Battle of Shiloh.) Your questions: Name the two infantry regiments used to garrison Fort Donelson, end of March 1862. Name the infantry regiment used to garrison both Fort Henry and Fort Heiman in March 1862. Name the officer who was left in overall command of Forts Henry, Heiman and Donelson after General Grant removed to Savannah on March 17th 1862. Good Hunting... Ozzy
  9. Ozzy

    Boring letters.

    Whether by accident or design, Terre Haute Indiana not only found itself on the National Road (leading from Cumberland Maryland to St. Louis Missouri -- today's Route 40), but Terre Haute sits within a stone's throw of Illinois. That accidental location led to many Indiana citizens joining an infantry regiment associated with Crawford County, Illinois... or more particularly, a regiment associated -- by design -- with a brigade created by Illinois Congressman John McClernand, consisting of the 27th, 30th and 31st Illinois Infantry regiments. One of these "Indiana soldiers" serving Illinois was Benjamin Franklin Boring, who joined the 30th Illinois, Company D, at the age of 21 in August 1861. Rapidly advancing to Corporal, Benjamin Boring first saw action at Belmont; then was "part of the reserve" supporting the 8th Illinois (as part of Oglesby's Brigade) at Fort Donelson. The March 29th 1862 letter from Corporal Boring to his friend, Will Jones of Robinson Illinois, describes the visual scars of battle still evident in the landscape around Fort Donelson; the onset of illness (so severe that at one point only eleven men of 81 could report for duty in Company D); and following the battle, several regiments were sent to garrison Clarksville (which is where Benjamin Boring hopes his regiment will be sent, not really fond of his current location... although he indicates that he "has taught himself to play the piano tolerably well" by making use of the piano found in an abandoned house near Dover.) http://visions.indstate.edu:8888/cdm/ref/collection/vcpl/id/3337 [Letter of 29 March 1862, courtesy of Wabash Valley Visions and Voices of Indiana Libraries.] At the time of Corporal Boring's letter, Major General McClernand's original brigade had been comprehensively removed from his control: the 30th Illinois was on garrison duty at Fort Donelson; the 31st Illinois was also on garrison duty at Fort Donelson; and the 27th Illinois was taking part in the Operation against Island No.10. Following the Battle of Shiloh, the 30th Illinois and 31st Illinois reported to Pittsburg Landing and became part of McClernand's Reserve (Sergeant Benjamin Boring has a number of letters written from Jackson Tennessee: the letter dated 27 May 1862 is most revealing.) The 27th Illinois also joined the Crawl to Corinth, but remained part of Pope's Army of the Mississippi. Sergeant Boring continued to write letters (and contributed stories to Illinois and Indiana newspapers) until his muster-out at expiry of his three-years' term of service in 1864. Many of those letters are to be found at the listed online site (with some of the most interesting detailing his involvement with the Vicksburg -- Raymond -- Champion Hills campaign.) Cheers Ozzy References: http://visions.indstate.edu:8888/cdm/ref/collection/vcpl/id/3337 Letters of Benjamin F. Boring 30th Illinois Co.D http://www.findagrave.com/memorial/26334910/benjamin-f-boring Benjamin Boring at find-a-grave http://www.vigo.lib.in.us/archives/inventories/wars/civilwar/boring.php Benjamin Boring bio at Vigo County Library
  10. As we know, the 2nd Iowa Volunteer Infantry gained credit along with General C. F. Smith and Colonel James Tuttle for "that charge" on the afternoon of February 15th 1862 (which was ordered by General U. S. Grant.) Attached is a letter from Lieutenant James Baird Weaver, Company G, written to his wife back in Iowa three days later. In the six pages, Lieutenant Weaver describes Fort Donelson and its "wild abatis" of felled trees; rushing forward with uncapped muskets and fixed bayonets, while a hail of missiles streaked from every direction; witnessing comrades struck down to left and right (and records names several of those men.) The letter describes the intensity, uncertainty, and raw emotion of battle as vividly as it is possible to portray in writing. http://128.255.22.135/cdm/ref/collection/cwd/id/5098 Letter of LT James B. Weaver (digitized by Iowa Heritage Collection, in association with Iowa Universities.) Cheers Ozzy N.B. For those interested, there are other letters written by James Weaver in this collection... including one from April 9th 1862...
  11. Ozzy

    Jack Slaymaker

    Born in 1835, Jonathan S. Slaymaker grew up in York, Pennsylvania; after completing his education he took employment with the railroads, and being a quick study, was elevated to position of civil engineer. Sent to Davenport, Iowa to assist with construction of the first bridge across the Mississippi River, Slaymaker arrived too late: the bridge was nearing completion, leaving him nothing to do. However, when that first bridge was knocked down just a few weeks later (by the misadventure of steamer Effie Afton), Jonathan Slaymaker was on hand to assist with planning and construction of the second bridge. At the time of the emergency at Fort Sumter, Jack Slaymaker was still in Davenport, having found employment as City Engineer (engaged in the planning and construction of the streets of that expanding city); and he was active with the City Fire Department, and its militia unit (both under direction of Robert Littler.) With the President's call to arms, Slaymaker and Littler attempted to join the 1st Iowa Infantry (which was initiated at Dubuque), but were too late. The decision was taken by Governor Kirkwood to admit all the men unlucky to miss out on the 1st Iowa (the State's quota) into State Military service... hence the 2nd and 3rd Iowa regiments were formed and available when President Lincoln made his second call a few days after his first. All three Iowa regiments were sent to Keokuk, and trained together at Camp Ellsworth. Jonathan Slaymaker and Bob Littler accompanied the 2nd Iowa (under command of Samuel R. Curtis) to Missouri in June 1861 to guard railroads; when Curtis was promoted to Brigadier General in July, James Tuttle became Colonel of the 2nd Iowa; and Jack Slaymaker was promoted to Captain of Company C (Bob Littler was Captain of Company B.) The regiment missed out on the operation against Belmont due to illness of hundreds of the unit's soldiers; and the 2nd Iowa was still in Missouri during Grant's campaign against Fort Henry (deliberately held back, due to a report of 'unseemly conduct' by soldiers of that regiment.) However, during the Fort Donelson operation, Grant was in need of every regiment that could be spared, so the 2nd Iowa was sent by steamer into the Cumberland River, and the troops disembarked a few miles downstream of the Confederate fort on February 14, and marched to the ring of Federal besiegers, joining Lauman's Brigade, of C.F. Smith's 2nd Division, at the far left end (adjacent to rain-swollen Hickman Creek.) The next day, in response to the break-out attempt and assault against McClernand, U.S. Grant ordered C.F. Smith to 'Take that Fort.' The 2nd Iowa was installed as the lead regiment in the action; and with General Smith at one end of their line, and Colonel Jacob Lauman at the other end, the regiment advanced towards the outer works (while Confederate defenders tried desperately to resume their positions in those works and hold off Smith's attack.) Just before reaching the first line of entrenchments, Captain Slaymaker was struck in the leg by a Confederate minie ball, and brought down. He continued to shout encouragement while bleeding out, within sight of the hand-to-hand combat taking place in front of him. Finally removed to the rear, it was discovered that Jonathan Slaymaker had died from 'an exploded pocket knife' (in his pocket, and struck by the minie ball; the pieces sent as fragments into his upper thigh.) A popular officer, the men of the 2nd Iowa took up a collection and sent his body back to Davenport for burial. One man's story from Fort Donelson... Ozzy References: Iowa genweb http://iagenweb.org/civilwar/books/logan/mil302.htm (History of the 2nd Iowa) http://ir.uiowa.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1840&context=annals-of-iowa (Annals of Iowa: obituary of Captain Jack Slaymaker) Vol. 1864 no. 2 pp. 283-5) wikipedia
  12. Ozzy

    Pictorial History

    Published in 1890 (and now available at hathitrust) this two-volume set of sketches contains images of Fort Donelson, Shiloh and Corinth you have probably never seen before: Pictorial History of The Soldier in our Civil War. In Volume one, the section on Fort Donelson begins page 235. Pittsburg Landing/Shiloh begins page 262 (with the image of "McClernand's Second Line on April 6th" of particular interest.) Also, a detailed diagram of Grant's Last Line, bottom of page 265. And on page 266, two-page sketch of Lew Wallace's advance April 7th. On page 268, an interesting sketch by Henri Lovie of "Hurlbut under attack at the Peach Orchard on April 6th." The section on Corinth: page 274- 280 (includes a sketch of the Female College at Corinth.) Links below... Ozzy http://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=mdp.39015020728781;view=2up;seq=272;size=300 Soldier in our Civil War, vol.1 http://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=mdp.39015046806710;view=2up;seq=10;size=125 Soldier in our Civil War, vol.2 N.B. There is also a sketch of Robert's Raid at Island No.10 (page 240) I had never seen anywhere else... Ozzy.
  13. OhioatPerryville

    2nd & 4th US Cavalry - Info?

    Does anyone have any info on the two U.S. Regular cavalry companies that were at Donelson? They only receive a mention in the order of battle in Tim Smith's book, no mention of them at all in Starr's cavalry trilogy, and Bradley's book on the U.S. Regulars in the west covers only infantry. Any info (commanders, unit strengths, after action reports, etc.) would be appreciated. I do not own the O.R. for the Henry-Donelson campaign, and I doubt if they receive any mention in the O.R. being that there were only two companies (according to the Blue & Gray 2011 issue).
  14. Ozzy

    Most decisive battle...

    Just ran across this video produced by C-SPAN in February 2012: Civil War Battle of Fort Donelson runs for about 50 minutes and features historian Kendall Gott. Elements discussed include experience: Fort Donelson is where Grant's Army gained valuable experience under fire, while battle-experienced Confederate soldiers soon found themselves locked away in Northern POW camps (and unavailable for Battle of Shiloh); importance of railroads, gunboats and telegraph to the war effort; the connection of Fort Columbus (and its evacuation) to the Henry/Donelson Campaign; the role of General Albert Sidney Johnston in the loss of Fort Donelson. Also, mention is made of the improvement of Fort Donelson by NPS over time, making the site of the Battle easier to appreciate. Noticeable omissions: mention of mortars or torpedoes (particularly in response to questions from the audience IRT Fort Henry and Fort Columbus.) http://www.c-span.org/video/?304383-1/civil-war-battle-fort-donelson Ozzy N.B. The title to this post comes from a comment made by Kendall Gott in the video, and his justification for making that comment.
  15. I wrote up a bit of a blog post about my recent trip to the Donelson area in case folks are interested: http://ohioatperryville.blogspot.com/2017/02/heiman-henry-and-donelsonoh-my.html
  16. Perry Cuskey

    Epic Trek with Tim: Fort Donelson Video

    Tony's camera was cutting off on him from time to time during the Fort Donelson hike, but he was able to apply some of his editing skills to go along with his video skills, and put together a good video for us. So here you go, and big-time thanks again to Tony for doing this for us, and to Tim for putting together another outstanding hike.
  17. In the “Charles C. Cloutman Papers, Special Collections, State Historical Society of Iowa, Des Moines” there is a memorial book dedicated to Captain Charles Cloutman of Company K of the 2nd Iowa. Captain Cloutman led his company up the slopes of Fort Donelson on February 15, 1862 and was shot dead through the heart during the advance on the fort. He was 37 years old and had a wife and three children plus Charles Cloutman Jr. was born the day after his father’s funeral on February 25, 1862. His wife was a cousin of General Winfield Scott. The Iowa State Archivist gave approval to this posting of letters and information from the Charles C. Cloutman Papers. The Iowa State Archives is a treasure trove of information concerning the battles of Shiloh and Fort Donelson. The memorial book is almost two inches thick and contains pages that are probably legal size. Someone prepared the book and typed information pertaining to the regiment and numerous newspaper articles from the Ottumwa, Iowa newspaper, the Courier, and others. Some of these articles were written by Captain Cloutman under the pseudonym the Pewquaket Boy. Interspersed within these typed pages are original letters written by Captain Cloutman to his wife. Captain Cloutman was a musician and taught singing school. He was engaged in the grocery business in Ottumwa, Iowa and was Captain of the Ottumwa City Guards. He offered his services to Governor Kirkwood of Iowa in November, 1860. He must have anticipated the need for soldiers for the troubles to come. The Ottumwa City Guards were one of the first companies in Iowa to tender service to the state. The City Guards were mustered in as Co. K of the 2nd Iowa on May 6, 1861. The regiment served in various locations until sent to Fort Donelson on February 10, 1862. As an aside there was a 1st Iowa regiment that fought under General Lyon at Wilson Creek suffering 159 casualties. The 1st Iowa was a 90-day regiment and was mustered out in August 1861. Reenlisting soldiers went to other regiments and the designation 1st Iowa was not assigned to a regiment again. For another account of the charge of 2nd Iowa by a man who was there go here: https://books.google.com/books?id=jLVJAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA177&lpg=PA177&dq=The+midland+monthly+magazine+fort+donelson&source=bl&ots=arEze88_TY&sig=ucihtbCoDYANRrVJ9w6DF2P0XP4&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjRu76-pqjPAhVV6GMKHSwqB0YQ6AEIHDAA#v=onepage&q=The midland monthly magazine fort donelson&f=false I copied and pasted the above link and it worked. If it fails Google - The Midland Monthly Magazine Fort Donelson - and it should show up. The author is W. S. Moore. Midland War Sketches – The Famous Charge at Fort Donelson. Moore’s account is interesting because he relates a conversation with Captain Cloutman and how Cloutman has a presentiment of his upcoming death in combat. Cloutman wants to go home but feels he cannot do so without dishonor. He must first lead his company as they “see the elephant” for the first time. The article contains a picture of Captain Cloutman. Upon reading the memorial book to Captain Cloutman at the Iowa State Archives in Des Moines, Iowa I was struck by the letter he wrote to his wife on January 31, 1862. In the letter he referred to the “fiery epistle” he had received from his wife, Rachel. From reference to his response it appears Rachel accused Captain Cloutman of “growing cold” and scolded him to the point Cloutman hastily stutters a reply to the accusation that must have caused him great grief. Rachel Cloutman was home without her husband with three children and in the eighth month of the pregnancy of their fourth child. One can just imagine her feelings when she learned that the man she had scolded for being cold had died in the charge of the 2nd Iowa at Fort Donelson. I found the letters of Cloutman to be of extreme interest as they relate to the movements of the 2nd Iowa towards Fort Donelson and their activities prior to the movement. In letters dated January 26, 1862 and February 10, 1862 there is reference to the melancholy that Cloutman experienced as related by W. S. Moore in his account of the charge at Fort Donelson. Several times Cloutman instructs his wife to burn a letter. I started with a letter dated December 10, 1861 and continued to the last one dated February 10, 1862. There are nine letters of varying length. Cloutman’s handwriting was not too hard to decipher once you got use to his writing but there were some words that I could just not decipher. Some sentences run together as he frequently did not use periods and did not use apostrophes as in dont and wont. Following are letters from Captain Cloutman to his wife, Rachel. They have three children named Ella, Lefe and Frank. Cloutman reveals feelings he does not want known to others than his wife and thus you see a couple notations to her to burn the letter. It is hard to tell why Rachel accused Cloutman as “growing cold” as he seems to profess his love for her and the children in his letters. Cloutman was a Democrat and regretted the election of Lincoln but had no hesitation to offer his services to defend the Union. On a trip through Springfield Cloutman related in a story to the Courier as to how he visited Lincoln’s home and went through the front gate and put his hand on the door knob Lincoln must have used thousands of times. There was a tenant in a portion of Lincoln’s home. With no more comment here are some of the letters Cloutman wrote to his wife that give a glimpse of the hardships and conflicting feelings the war caused to sacrificing families. Benton Barracks Dec. 10. 1861 After a long time I have arrived in camp. I had to stop 3 nights & 2 days in Keokuk waiting for a boat. On Thursday at noon I took the ferry boat for Quincy. At 4 oclock that afternoon we got on a sand bar in the River and could not get off until Saturday morning. The men on board 2 nights and one day. On arriving at Quincy we found that no packets were running and that no trains soon to leave for South late Sunday night at 10 oclock. There being no other way to do it we left for Springfield Ill. and after stopping 10 hours in that town we took the Chicago down train at 6 oclock on Monday night and got into St. Louis at 12 oclock last night. Today at noon I got into camp. Pretty well tired out and willing to rest. To night (Tuesday) I thot I would drop you a line to let you know that I am safe and sound. Nothing new in Camp. I am going to write a letter to the Courier in a day or two in which you will (page 2) see a listing of my travels and something that occurred. I expected to send you home money this week but I find on arriving here that they will only pay the Officers when the companies are paid off. Which will happen about the first of January. You will have to do with what you have got. I am plum strapped but can borrow enough to do me till that time. I am getting bigger every day and cant tell when I shall stop. I have just got a letter from Bro. Io which says he weighed 222 and can whip me he thinks. I don’t think so. I hope you will content yourself and get along well. The present prospect is that our regiment will stay here for some time probably all winter. I dont expect it likely that any thing will happen to us very bad. (Ed. note: Not a good prediction) I shall write you again as soon as I can. Be a good girl and remember I love you and how I would like to be with you. Keep the children and yourself comfortable this winter. Good-bye. Chas Camp Benton – St. Louis Dec. 20, 1861 My Dear Wife I have just received your letter the 1st I have received since I have been here. We are all jogging along quietly here in camp with nothing to do except the usual duties of drilling and other camp duty. Our Regiment is improving a little in health. Our sick list is about 200 some less than it was. The camp is lively and full of soldiers. The picture above (Ed. note: Cloutman glued a print of Camp Benton at the top of the sheet) will give you an idea of the appearance of about one half of it looking towards the East it is being extended out and additional quarters built for the men. Our Company is situated where I have made an X. We are comfortable. I have a very good room with two lieutenants in with me a good coal stove and bunks to sleep on. We have a small room for a kitchen in the rear when Io cooks and we get our meals. Io is a first rate cook and we are getting along very comfortably. When I get tired (page 2) I go down to the city and see the sights. Like I wrote I am getting along comfortable. The weather has been warm and ?? Io came back but today it has turned cold and I think we are going to have some pretty rough weather. I have nothing of importance to write you as we are doing nothing and but little prospect of much to do. There is some talk that our Regt will be sent down to the City to do Police Guard duty in the city. But I don’t credit the report very much. I am glad you are getting along so well. I hope Mary will stay through the winter. Keep Frank and Ella at School and have him write me once in a while. His letter was written very well. Have him keep trying and be careful how he spells and it will improve him very much. I am fat and heavy yet. I have got up to 190 and think now I shall get through the war(?) first Rate. I drilled our Regiment yesterday (page 3) afternoon for the 1st time. The Col is at home & the Lt. Col had a sore throat and I am the oldest Capt on Parade so he gave it up to me. I done very well they said for a green hand. I think I can improve after a little practice. Senator Johnson and Alvan Sieghton(?) are here in the city. They have been out to camp once or twice. When you write again tell me whether you got the Bedstead and got it set up. You had better get a good pile of wood and get it sawed up so you will not be troubled during the winter for wood. Keep enough feed for the Cow and see that she is well fed as it is better and cheaper to keep her fat than poor. You will be able to get along I think if you try. I hope you will content yourself and keep things all right. I shall not get any money till after new year but when I do I shall send some to you. Eaton is flourishing around as usual. I should like to be with you but I cannot hope to at present. I think it is quite as much self denial to me as to you to be away. If I could make as much money I should rather be at home. It is a little tough but I shall have to stand it awhile. Give my love to all and remember for yourself and our little ones that I am constantly thinking. You know more than I may tell you on paper. Good by. Charles St. Louis Dec. 21, 1861 Rachel, I have borrowed 35 dollars of Nathan Manro who is going home and I want you to pay him back that amount and as soon as I get my pay I will send you some. I am out of money and have had to borrow of him. Pay him 35 dollars and it will all be right. I am very well. He will tell you all about how I am getting along. My love to you and to the little ones. Charles C. Cloutman St. Louis Dec. 30. 1861 My Dear. I have been looking anxiously for a letter from you every day during the last week but none has come. Since I wrote you last we have moved from Benton Barracks to this place for the purpose of guarding the Regiment of Secesh captured at Warrensburg last week. We are stationed at buildings called “McDowells College” in which are confined 10 or 12 hundred prisoners. Our duty is to see that they don’t escape. Our Regiment is quartered in a Block of 3 storyed brick buildings and are very comfortable. My boy Io is a first rate cook and I like him first rate. We are getting along well. My room is a dining room in the ell part of the house. Back of us is a kitchen where our cooking is done. We have plenty to east and I have a nice cot to sleep on with plenty of blankets. We are stationed in the city about 1 mile from the Planters (Ed. note: Planter’s House was a famous St. Louis hotel which stood from 1817-1922) southwest. I think we shall stay here 3 or 4 weeks. Though we cant tell. If you are getting along comfortably I shall be very happy. I need not tell you how to get along as you know already. I want you to write me often and tell me all about how you are getting along. What you are doing. and how Mary and the children flourish. I have some things that I do not want with me that I shall send home in a box sometime (page 2) soon coats pants and caps together with some other things that I have got and I want you to keep them safe till I get home. I have a spy glass, a Powder flask and some other little traps that I have picked up and having no use for them here I shall send them home. You will get them out of the express office & keep them. My health is first Rate. I am weighing 190 and can eat all my rations. If you should want any little things that I might get for you down here I can buy them after I get my pay. Which I hope will be soon. I have been out of money since I came down and borrowed some from young Manro who was going home & gave him an order on you for 34 which I suppose you have paid him by this time. It is all right. I will send some home as soon as I get paid. You will see a letter in the Courier this week probably and another next from the Pequawket Boy which you may read. I shall write occasionally when I feel like it. Kiss Lefe & Ella & Frank for me & tell them to be good children. I was glad to get Franks letter. I will write to him before long. You may kiss Mary for me and tell her I should like to scholtisch (Ed. note: This appears to be reference to a Scottish round dance like a polka and spelled schottische) with her and talk about the bible to her. I don’t know how to kiss you so far off but I can kiss some pretty woman down here & think it is you-(by mistake). Now dont be jealous but believe me I had rather kiss you than anybody else in the world. I hope some day to do it. Write me every week or I won’t believe you love me a bit. Keep up your courage and some day I will come in and give you a good hug. Good by and a happy night (?). The following was written over the above handwriting and it was difficult to read but I finally got it: It is now about 11 oclock at night and I must close. I am as ever yours ever after. Charles. In addition the following is found in the upper margin of the first page and upside down to the other writing. It appears to be a final thought just before mailing: Dont show this to anybody but burn it. Write me how you feel and all about private matters. I want to know. How are you getting along and whats up, generally. You know what I mean. St. Louis Fri. Jany 3 1862 My Dear Wife I have received two letters from you this week. Am very glad to hear from you. I wrote you a day or two ago and said everything I could think of. I am hard at work. Have something to do all the time. Today I am on a Court Martial. Don’t know how long we shall hold it. We have 7 cases to try. I shall have but little time to spare. So I will write you to night. The 35 dollars to Manro is all right. Whatever you want get and pay for it. Buy a hog and anything else you need. I shall get paid off next week I expect. I am certainly willing you should get everything you need. Don’t be afraid of your money. Make yourself comfortable. About the singing books I paid 40 cents a piece. They are worth 25 cents I think. If they want them for that let them have them. But don’t lend them as they will (?????) them. I have written two letters for the Courier but have seen neither of them. I wish you would send me the Papers if Norris has published them. If not all right. I have got very comfortable quarters In the margin of page 1 is this sentence: I sent you a picture entrusted by Walter Grubber(?) who will give it to you. Page 2 here in a 3 story brick house. We shall probably be here sometime. I have no news to write you. I spent Christmas and New Years at work in the day time. In the evening I went to the City & spent half a dollar going to the theater. We are not allowed to go out of camp now without permission from Head Quarters. This I don’t like very much but suppose I shall have to stand it. Lieut. Murtrick is unwell. Mobly is tough and myself the same. I want you to write as often as possible and if you try I think you can say something to me that I want to know. Now try. It may be to late for me to write love letters but you are younger than I am and as you never have written me any you can try your hand at it. Dont be afraid to tell it right out. You need not show this to any body and than they wont know that I am about half homesick and want to see you and be with you. But enough, I will make it up when I do get away. Good night and remember you foolish (Ed. note: ends there) The next letter is sent from the infamous McDowells College which is also known as the Gratiot Prison in St. Louis. Here is a link to a site describing the mad doctor who founded the college. http://www.prairieghosts.com/mcdowell.html McDowells College H. Quarters 2nd Iowa Regt. St. Louis Janaury 8th 1862 My Dear Wife. I say dear because you are dear to me in more ways than one. At this time you are dear to the amount of 200. dollars (Ed. note: Not a mistake. The letter says 200) which I enclose to you. The other way you are dear to me I will not now write about. As I wrote you the other day all I then had to say. I want you to put this where it will be safe. Don’t swap it off for any thing else because it is safer to keep this than any other kind of money. See that you dont lend any of it to anybody, and if possible dont let anybody know that you have got it. I am willing you shall do the spending of it as I am quite sure you will spend prudently. I hope the next time you have turkey for dinner it will not prove to be a slaughter (?). We(?) men paid off last Monday & I am glad to be able to send you so much. Save it as much as possible as we may want it some day. I am first rate in health. Just fill up my uniform exactly. We have nothing ??? in camp. Page 2 I got a letter from Joe from Conway(?) a day or two ago & he informed me that my Father is very low with the Heart Disease and was expected to die any day. He is probably dead by this time. Susan is at home. Well. My mother is very well also. Let me know when you secure the money and all about who knows any thing about it. And now my dear good night and many happy days and “New years” be yours. Keep up a good heart and bear bravely whatever is in store for you and remember that I am thinking about you constantly and I don’t know that I need be ashamed to say that I love you more and think of you more than I ever had before. There that will(?) do now. Write me soon and I will answer as often as possible. I am very affectionately yours “Snoaked”(?) or “Muggins” Burn this up St. Louis Jany 26, 1862 My Dear Wife I have received all your letters up to this date. I have written as often as I had opportunity. This Sunday afternoon I have a moment to spare and will drop you a line. We have as much to do on Sunday as any other day. I have just come from church. I have been to hear Dr. Elliott ??? who has a very fine church and is a good old man. After church we were coming home and Dr. Whittier spoke to us on the street and invited Mobley & me to go up to his house & take dinner with him. We did so and had a good time. We made the acquaintance of a very nice family. He has a little girl just as large as Ella, a little boy about as large as Lefe. I hugged and kissed them till I thought I was at home again. The lady I did not hug, of course, but I wanted to right bad. I thought it was pretty hard though to be away from home. I have just heard that Mr. Hebard of Burlington may (be) living in St. Louis. I have not seen them yet but I have learned where (Page 2) they live. I shall call on them in a Sunday. I expect in the course of a couple weeks that the prisoners we are now guarding will be sent to Alton, Illinois and we shall be relieved from guard duty so that case I expect we shall pack up and go down the River again, probably to Cairo or Bird Point. It is likely that we shall be in the army that will go down the River. You can write me at St. Louis as you have done. In the event of our going I shall write you all about it as soon as I find out about it. My health is very good excepting a bad cold. I have been so hoarse for 2 or 3 days that I have hardly been able to speak. It is now getting better. Eaton started today for Chicago to meet his wife. I have nothing new to write you. I have not heard from my father since I had wrote you. I suppose by that he is still living. I am glad you got the money and box safe. The box contained my Gray suit one blanket which you can wash and use. Some powder that you must take care of and keep it away from Jim and from the children. Look out for accidents! Some other things that I now forgot but you can save them till I get home. You will find a letter in the Courier this week from me. Send me the paper as soon as you read it. I dont always get the paper (Page 3) till it gets cold. I saw my two letters in papers sent to a man in my company But I did not receive those sent by Norris. I have seen them however so you need not send them to me. I shall write the Courier occasionally as I have any thing to write but do not expect to be very regular. What do the folks say about them? You need not tell that I have inquired. You can write me any thing you wish to and it will all be right. I take good care that no one sees them. I should like to know how you are getting along and when you expect to be sick. (Ed. note: Cloutman’s wife is about eight months pregnant) How do you feel about it. Write me freely about it as you know I am anxious to know all about it. I am very happy to know that some one sincerely cares for me. I have never had a doubt but that you loved me most truly. I think I have had reason to believe that much and I can only say that bad as I have been I yet love you as much as when I first knew you. May we both continue to do so and we shall never repent(?) it. Think kindly of me and learn our little ones to love us and if it is my lot to fall in this service let them never have reason to blush for my memory. You are very comfortable at home and have perhaps nearly all you wish. But think how you would (Page 4) feel if you were in my place away from the one you love best and away from your children. How would you like to live so. You have your own troubles but you know not how I feel sometimes. I would give any thing to see you. But I cannot leave now without dishonor. I shall have to take my chances down the river. I would like to have you give yourself but little trouble about it. I have no fears about it for my own sake. I only think how it would fare with my loved ones if I fall. This is perhaps too sober so I will stop it. Cheer up my dear one and believe it will all be right. Some day I shall be with you and then it will all be the sweeter and we shall love the more. Bless you my Dear Rachel and my little ones. ??? that you dont know how much I think of you. Write me often and I will drop a line when I can. Direct to “St. Louis Mo” 2nd Iowa Regt as before and your letter will find me. Good Bye. Be a Good Girl. Don’t give yourself any trouble about me. Love to all, I am yours truly, Charles McDowells College St. Louis Jany 31, 1862 My Dear Wife I have just received your fiery epistle written last Sunday, in which you take occasion to scold me pretty hard. I hope you will think the matter over and perhaps you will see that it is pretty hard to be away from home all the time and be scolded too when I do all I can to make you comfortable and happy. I have written you as often as once a week and I think you have got them all. I have written when I could. I have a good deal to do. I was on a Court Martial for three weeks every day. When off and in my quarters I have had to attend to my company matters and keep things all straight. I have had a good deal of company writing to do besides taking my turn for duty out on Parade. If you were here you would see how busy I am most of the time. And my dear I hope you will not scold me so again when I write you on all occasions I have. I know how hard it is for you and perhaps you dont know how hard it is to be a soldier. I suppose you find it a little lonesome sometimes. So do I. But I hope you will stand it bravely. I hope you will never think I do not love you and my family. Some day you will know how much perhaps. Till then I shall expect you to bear it all and I shall like you all the better. I am sorry Ella is sick. Take all the care of her you can for she is my only girl and I love her dearly. Keep my little Lefe all right and tell Frank to be a good boy and help you. I am very well and have neither got hurt or wounded. I wrote you a long letter one day this week & have time only to say that I do not see any prospect for us to get away from here yet. I am very thankful for the thousand kisses you send me. If I was with you I think I should get a thousand more. (Page 2) Tell Eliza I wrote her a long time ago and have not heard from her since. I hope she will write me soon. Now dont get in a bad passion again and I will try and send you a line oftener. Eaton got home from Chicago yesterday. I suppose he had a happy time. I went out the other day to hunt up Mrs. Hebard but could not find her. I called in & saw Mrs. Brooks the Methodist Preacher’s wife and had a good time kissing her little girl and Boy. Both about as big as Ella and Lefe I wanted to kiss someone(?) right bad so I kissed them. Nothing wrong I hope. Is there? Not having much time today I have written this in a hurry and hope it will assure you that I am not growing cold as you think. but on the contrary that I still continue to think of you as my little (big!) darling wife and that I love you pretty near to death. There, wont that do? I hope by this time you are good natured and feel Better. Good Bye and I will Kiss somebody a thousand times for you. Your aff Hus Chas St. Louis Mo Feb 6th 1862 My Dear Enclosed find a picture. You can look at it and ask somebody who it is if you dont know. We expect to go south next week. You can write me addressed to St. Louis as before. I shall write you a time or two before we go. My health is good. I have nothing important to write you today. Good Bye and write me soon. Charles St. Louis Monday morning Feb. 10 1862 My Dear We are just on the point of starting south. At one oclock we are to move. It is now 12. We are to take a Boat and go down to Cairo & from there probably to Fort Henry Tennessee. We are all packed up and in an hour we are off. I take this opportunity to write you in great haste. We have been under orders to march for several days and have been expecting hourly to move. Now we are off. I have had the Blues pretty bad for a few days but it is no use(?) I shall write you as often as possible. I dont know what will happen to us(?) but I shall do the best I can for myself and soon as I can I shall get out and go home. But I cannot now. Let us hope for the best. Keep up your courage as well as you can and let me hear from you often. When you are sick I want some one to write me immediately. Dont fail. I have but a moment to spare. Good Bye. Give my love to all and remember one who loves you well. Charles In the afternoon of February 15, 1862 Captain Charles Cloutman led his company in the attack upon Fort Donelson. He was shot through the heart and died instantly while in front of his men and waving his sword as he cheered them on. His son, Charles Jr., was born the day after his funeral back home in Ottumwa, Iowa. While the subject of this posting is Captain Charles Cloutman of the 2nd Iowa Regiment his story is similar to hundreds of thousands of the men, Blue and Gray, who made the ultimate sacrifice during the American Civil War and whose wives and children had their lives forever changed with the loss of their husband and father far from home. This posting honors them all. Hank
  18. Not having studied the Federal operation against Fort Donelson to the level that I should, I assumed that the redeploy of Union troops from Fort Henry, east across the eleven miles separating the two Confederate fortifications, was conducted quickly and unopposed. But upon reading General Buckner's report [OR 7 page 328-9] and The Life of Nathan Bedford Forrest (page 43) it became clear that an "unopposed stroll" was a fabrication of my own imagination. So, I decided to brave John McClernand's 12-page after-action report, and see what the self-promoting General from Illinois had to say... On pages 170-1 John McClernand details -- almost gleefully -- his "disregard of Grant's orders" to commence his march towards Fort Donelson at 11am on the morning of February 12th. Not only did McClernand commence his march at 8am ...he had advanced his troops five miles east during the late afternoon of February 11th. And at 11am on Feb 12th McClernand "was within three miles of Rebel pickets." [This is important, because on the morning of Feb 12th Confederate General Gideon Pillow was called away to meet with General Floyd IRT the turnover of command of Fort Donelson. Command of the fort was put under temporary control of General Buckner, in Pillow's absence. And before departing, cavalry commander Colonel NB Forrest was sent west by Pillow on a reconnaissance mission, with strict orders "Do not bring on a general engagement."] Major John Mudd of the 2nd Illinois Cavalry was in advance of McClernand's marching men, scouting the way ahead. At a point approximately two miles from the enemy's Outer Works of trenches and blinds, Mudd "encountered a detachment of the enemy's cavalry, strongly supported, indicating the determination to resist our further progress. Major Mudd, having driven back the enemy's cavalry, held its support in check until the arrival of our advanced guard... Detachments of the enemy still hovered upon the hills in front; the First Brigade was formed [line of battle] in the open field; the Second and Third Brigades were formed as they arrived, at supporting distance... "A large body of the enemy's cavalry again appeared, and attempted to dispute our progress... The enemy cavalry was driven away, and shortly afterwards -- about 2pm --you [General Grant] came up and advised me of the approach of the Second Division, which you had directed be disposed on my left." When I first read these details -- months ago-- I believed it was just McClernand 'grand-standing' in an attempt to pad his report and take attention away from the near-catastrophe resulting from the Confederate Breakout on February 15th. However, with substantiation contained in Confederate records, it now appears: there was a Rebel attempt to hinder the Federal march towards Fort Donelson; it was not well-conducted (or authorized) because John McClernand "disregarded orders" his Division was too far advanced for Forrest to have made a difference [Forrest would have required a larger force; authorization; and an earlier start; and the Rebels needed to embrace the reality that "bringing on a General Engagement" perhaps five miles west of their fortifications was precisely what was needed] Major John Mudd, in preventing commencement of a General Engagement on ground favorable to the Rebels, appears to have played a role similar to one played later by Major James Powell at Shiloh ...and I'll bet you never heard of him, before now. Isn't the study of History wonderful... Ozzy Colonel John J. Mudd at find-a-grave http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=5401509
  19. Ozzy

    Ft. Don vs. Shiloh

    I was hoping to discuss this topic when I joined you at Fort Donelson for the 2016 Fall Hike. But since my travel plans fell through, I've decided to introduce the topic, now... I'm sure most of you have given some thought to this all ready: the many similarities of the Battle of Shiloh to the Engagement at Fort Donelson. In many respects, Shiloh presents as Fort Donelson-in-reverse, with the Federals at Shiloh acting as defenders, and Rebels acting as attackers. Obviously, the biggest difference involves the outcome: the Defenders lost Fort Donelson; but the Defenders won at Pittsburg Landing. Here are some of the similarities between the two actions: Location: both "bastions" were situated on the west bank of a major river, with that river in flood; High ground: both engagements involved Defenders fighting a fort/stronghold, perched on high ground; Detachments: Lew Wallace was away from the main area of operation, at Crump's Landing; Floyd was initially at Clarksville; The real objective was "someplace else" ...for US Grant, the Battle of Shiloh was supposed to take place at Corinth Mississippi; the Engagement at Fort Donelson was necessary because the primary Federal objective (Fort Columbus) was too strong; River defenses: defenders at both bastions had significant river-based defenses. At Pittsburg Landing, Grant had Navy gunboats at his disposal; and he had access to paddle steamers to act as troop transports and ammunition resupply. At Fort Donelson, the Defenders had access to paddle steamers to act as troop transports and ammunition resupply; large calibre guns faced the river and a floating abattis was in place one mile upstream downstream; and sunken hulks were in place at Lineville, all designed to frustrate Union gunboats. Timing was critical. During the Battle of Shiloh, US Grant had to hold on until Buell arrived; at Fort Donelson, Floyd believed he had to hold on until Albert Sidney Johnston completed his evacuation from Bowling Green and reached Nashville; Opportunity to escape: at Pittsburg Landing, Grant had access to pontoons to construct a bridge (which he was aware of, but ignored); Floyd had the opportunity to escape the trap that Fort Donelson became, but flubbed the execution; Both actions required multiple days (Fort Donelson 11-16 February; and Shiloh 4-8 April 1862) Misuse of cavalry. Because US Grant was ordered "Do not bring on a general Engagement," he restricted the extent of his cavalry patrols (almost resulting in fatal consequences); Floyd Pillow made use of his cavalry for reconnaissance, but did not use it offensively (against Federal troops marching across from Fort Henry) with fatal consequences [Pillow sent Nathan Bedford Forrest away on reconnaissance on the morning of February 12th with the added direction "Do not bring on a general engagement" [See OR vol. 7 page 328 Buckner's report]; Controversy: Fort Donelson had four different Confederate commanders over the course of ten days; Pittsburg Landing had five different Federal commanders... on one day... until US Grant arrived from Savannah after 8:30am on April 6th and assumed overall control; Controversy too: Lew Wallace and Don Carlos Buell were late arriving at the Battle of Shiloh; Floyd and Pillow left Buckner holding the bag in the final hours at Fort Donelson; POWs Significant numbers of Confederate prisoners were taken at Fort Donelson and mostly sent north to Camp Douglas at Chicago and Camp Morton at Indianapolis; significant numbers of Federal prisoners were taken during the Battle of Shiloh and mostly sent to Tuscaloosa, Selma, Cahaba, Montgomery Cotton Shed and Macon's Camp Oglethorpe. Just to ponder... Ozzy References on request
  20. The full quote: "A kind of wild excitement seized me and my comrades, and we would rush forward, thinking of ourselves as Invincible." This is how Private Thomas Keen described being in battle, in company with his fellows and with bullets flying all around. Found in I thought it my Duty to Go: the Civil War Letters of Thomas Keen (1838-1908) of the 1st Nebraska Infantry, edited by James E. Potter, and made available by the Nebraska Historical Society. Twenty-three letters from August 1861 (one month after the 1st Nebraska was mustered into service at Omaha) until 1864 (when Keen was mustered out at Hickory Street Hospital in St Louis), covering duty in Missouri, Tennessee, Mississippi, Arkansas, and back to Missouri. Of interest, because Keen vividly describes the action of Colonel Thayer's Nebraska Regiment at Fort Donelson; and the role of the 1st Nebraska in overcoming the Confederate break-out attempt (pages 138-141, in a letter to his parents; and another letter to his sister.) There is also a Letter of 25 March 1862 from Crump's Landing (of interest because Keen indicates the Army is under command of General C.F. Smith: shows how the word failed to trickle down to the troops.) Two letters from May 1862 reporting the action of the 1st Nebraska during Day 2 at Shiloh. And a surprising series of letters sent from Paducah and Corinth (late May to early June 1862), wherein Keen describes his 'detached duty at Paducah for Signals training.' (However, after he and his fellows were trained for duty with the Signal Corps, and reported for duty at Corinth, General Halleck ordered the Corps disbanded; and the men were returned to their former units...) Available here: http://www.nebraskahistory.org/publish/publicat/history/full-text/NH2000MyDuty.pdf (Letters of Private Thomas Keen, 1st Nebraska Infantry) Ozzy
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