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Found 8 results

  1. Alvin P. Hovey “History can teach no lesson where the Truth is untold.” The significance of this quote will be revealed later, after introducing the subject of this discussion. Alvin P. Hovey was born in Indiana in 1821, and orphaned when he was 15 years old. Apprenticed to learn the trade of bricklayer, but more interested in Law, he studied law at night after spending all day at physically demanding employment. In 1843, the focused, determined young man was admitted to the Bar. Married the following year, Hovey became a member of the Democratic Party and benefited by his subsequent association with senior officials: appointed to the Indiana Supreme Court (for six months, to fill a vacancy); involved in construction of the State’s new Constitution; and in 1855 appointed by Democrat President Franklin Pierce as United States Attorney for Indiana. But, following the election of Democrat President James Buchanan, things took a turn for the worse for Alvin Hovey: caught up in the internal strife polarizing the party, Hovey lost his position as State’s Attorney; and because of his views on “the issue of the day,” he was expelled from the Democratic Party. After a brief period as an “Independent,” Alvin Hovey ultimately joined the Republican Party as storm clouds gathered on the National horizon. Following breakout of war, Hovey helped organize the Indiana State Militia; and was afterwards appointed Colonel of the 24th Indiana Volunteer Infantry (mustered into service 31 July 1861.) Sent to Missouri in August, the 24th Indiana took part in Fremont’s Expedition against Springfield; and then remained in defence of Missouri until February 1862, when Colonel Hovey and his regiment were ordered to join Grant’s Campaign in Tennessee (but arrived too late to take part in the Fort Donelson operation.) In meantime, the 24th Indiana became attached to the Third Division (Lew Wallace) First Brigade (Morgan Smith) and in early March accompanied the expedition up the Tennessee River (at that time commanded by BGen Charles F. Smith.) Debarking at Crump’s Landing, the 24th Indiana set up camp not far to the west along the Purdy Road, with the rest of Colonel Smith’s 1st Brigade. On Sunday 6 April, Hovey’s 24th Indiana became part of the circuitous march conducted north, and within earshot of the Shiloh Battle; but did not reach the battlefield until late that day, after combat had ceased with the onset of night. The following morning, the 24th Indiana was placed at the extreme left end of Major General Wallace’s line and took a noted part in the general advance of Day 2 (and incurred a high percentage of the casualties suffered by the Third Division); the operation to drive the Rebels from the battlefield achieved successful conclusion by late afternoon. For his role, Alvin Hovey gained mention in MGen Wallace’s battle report; and subsequent to his impressive performance at Shiloh, Hovey was promoted to Brigadier General, effective April 28th 1862. (This April promotion proved to be timely, because when MGen Lew Wallace “left” the Third Division in June 1862, it was Hovey – in the right place, at the right time – who took over acting command in Wallace’s absence.) As concerns combat performance, Alvin Hovey is most noted for his contribution to the Union victory at Champion Hill: then in command of the 12th Division of McClernand’s XIII Army Corps, both Hovey and McPherson gained recognition from Major General Grant during that action. Not long afterwards, just a few days after surrender of Vicksburg, it was Hovey who took command of Hurlbut’s old Fourth Division (after General Lauman’s debacle at Jackson Mississippi, where he led his men into an ambush.) The death of his wife in November 1863 seems to have affected General Hovey greatly. He returned home to Indiana to arrange her funeral and organize for care of his children; but he ended up away from the battle front a long time. And when he did return in mid-1864 (in time for the Atlanta Campaign) he discovered he no longer had the necessary enthusiasm for the fight, and returned to Indiana. Although remaining “on the rolls” until October 1865, brevet-Major General Hovey’s war career effectively ended in August 1864. A year after the war ended, President Andrew Johnson appointed Alvin Hovey as Minister to Peru; he remained in Lima, serving as Minister until 1870. Upon return to the United States, Hovey distanced himself from politics and resumed his Law practice. In 1886, he again felt “a calling” and won election to the U.S. House of Representatives; followed two years later by election as Governor of Indiana. It was while serving as Governor that Alvin Hovey passed away in 1891 at the age of seventy. In my estimation, Alvin Hovey performed competently during his Civil War career; and, when compared with similar “political generals,” was outperformed by only John A. Logan and perhaps a half-dozen others. Cheers Ozzy References: http://archive.org/details/hoveychaselifeof00walk Alvin Hovey and Ira Chase (1888) by C. M. Walker. Staff Ride Handbook: Vicksburg by Dr. Christopher Gabel http://books.google.com.au/books?id=LKJvCwAAQBAJ&pg=PT137&lpg=PT137&dq=assessment+of+general+alvin+p+hovey&source=bl&ots=PFwEf6SqQF&sig=ssIxhgh599ixRN_1LE2xV6cWS44&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjh_-6g-P3cAhVHQd4KHbrFCTI4ChDoATAFegQIBRAB#v=onepage&q=assessment of general alvin p hovey&f=false Stand No.18. OR 10 pages 173 - 4 (Lew Wallace Shiloh report) http://archive.org/stream/battleofshilohor00unit#page/92/mode/2up D. W. Reed's Battle of Shiloh pages 92 - 3. wikipedia
  2. On 18 - 19 September 1883 the surviving members of the 11th Indiana Infantry held a reunion at Tipton, with all former members of the regiment invited... including the original Colonel of the organization, Lew Wallace. Due to other commitments (Lew Wallace was then engaged in activities on behalf of the Ottoman Empire, and based at Constantinople) he sent his regrets, along with his son, Henry (who attended the meeting.) And sent the following interesting letter to one of the organizers of the Reunion:
  3. Staff officer to General Grant, officially designated as ADC after Fort Donelson, William R. Rowley commenced his Civil War career as a First Lieutenant in the 45th Illinois (known as the Lead Mine Regiment) in November 1861. Familiar with Congressman Elihu Washburne of Galena, Captain Rowley communicated frequently with his Member of Congress (and sometimes on General Grant's behalf.) The following link connects to a Letter written by Captain Rowley at Pittsburg Landing on 19 April 1862 to an associate of Elihu Washburne, Edward Hempstead. Hempstead copied Rowley's letter, and sent that transcript to Congressman Washburne (which is where this version of the Letter was found, in the Washburne Papers.) http://www.usgrantlibrary.org/usga/newsletters/volume10.asp [Rowley Letter of 19 April 1862 at top of page, courtesy of Ulysses S. Grant Presidential Library, and contained in Newsletter of January 1973 (Volume 10).] On Sunday morning, April 6th, Captain Rowley was at Savannah and heard the firing of cannon from 9 miles away, to the south-southwest. Travelling in company with General Grant aboard Tigress, Rowley arrived at Pittsburg Landing between 9- 9:30 a.m. and was in company with General Grant (or delivering orders from General Grant) during much of Day One at Shiloh. Of particular interest: Captain Rowley was riding west from the Landing, in company with General Grant, just after 1 p.m., when the second messenger returned from his "visit" to General Lew Wallace. After hearing Cavalry officer Frank Bennett's report, General Grant sent Rowley, in company with Lieutenant Bennett, back north across Wallace Bridge to confront Major General Wallace and demand that he come to Pittsburg Landing via the River Road. Captain Rowley was equipped with authority to "provide orders in writing" if Lew Wallace so demanded. Captain Rowley and his escort departed about 1:20 p.m., and arrived at Pittsburg Landing -- in company with the Third Division -- after sunset. [These details need to be kept in mind when reading Rowley's letter.] The other thing to keep in mind: this letter from William Rowley was written in response to a Letter of 14 April 1862 from Edward Hempstead, in which Hempstead asked five specific questions [with Rowley's response in brackets]: Had General Grant been drinking, prior to the battle of Shiloh? [No. Rowley indicated he had only ever seen Grant take three or four drinks, total, during the entire time he knew him. And he had had no alcohol prior to Battle of Shiloh.] Was General Grant really at Savannah when the Battle started? [Yes... (although Rowley shaves substantial time away from Grant's absence from Pittsburg Landing).] Did General Grant really lead the Last Charge on Monday? [Yes. And Rowley gives details...] Does General Grant have any political aspirations? [No. And do not worry, he has no intention of ever becoming President.] Why were there no entrenchments at Pittsburg Landing? [Rowley provides an answer you'll have to read for yourself.] As significant as is William Hillyer's letter (also on this SDG site), William Rowley's response to Edward Hempstead provides details of Grant's decisions, operations and movements, not to be found anywhere else; and this four-page Letter (written after the arrival of Henry Halleck at Pittsburg Landing) is highly recommended, and worth the twenty minutes required to read and digest. Cheers Ozzy Other references: Autobiography of Lew Wallace, vol.1 (1906) pages 466 - 474 (for Lew Wallace's impression of Captain Rowley.) OR 10 pages 178 - 180 [Rowley's April 1863 report detailing his meeting and discussions with Lew Wallace on April 6th 1862.] "Eye Witness account, William S. Hillyer" posted by Idaho Native at SDG.
  4. Ozzy

    Why not just go?

    It was commonly understood during the 19th Century, that in the absence of orders, "a commander was expected to rush to the sound of the guns of battle." In Lew Wallace's Autobiography, page 459, he indicates his strong belief, early on Sunday, April 6th that he was hearing a roar and rumble that was unmistakeable. "My Staff officers joined me, and there was no disagreement: it was a battle." Major General Lew Wallace sent the appropriate orders; staged and prepared his Third Division to march... and then waited aboard his commissary boat (Jesse K. Bell) for General Grant "to drop by and give him orders." Yet, in Wallace's mind, he knew there was only one route open: the Shunpike. And he had communicated a recommendation to Brigadier General WHL Wallace, just the previous day, "that in the event of attack, at either Landing, one Wallace would come to the aid of the other, via the Shunpike." So, the question: "Why did Lew Wallace not simply march his Third Division away down the Shunpike -- in accordance with accepted practice -- and let the chips fall where they might, once the dust had settled?" Yours to ponder... Ozzy Reference No.1: http://ehistory.osu.edu/books/official-records/010/0189 OR 10 pages 189 - 191. Reference No.2: http://digital.library.msstate.edu/cdm/compoundobject/collection/USG_volume/id/17403/rec/7 Papers of US Grant vol 4 pages 402 - 3. Reference No.3: http://archive.org/stream/lewwallaceanaut02wallgoog#page/n479/mode/2up Autobiography of Lew Wallace, pages 459 - 461. Reference No.4 http://archive.org/stream/artwar00mendgoog#page/n76/mode/2up/search/tactics The Art of War by Jomini (pages 70, 72-3 (taking the initiative), 132-3 (use of reserves), 144 (re-taking the initiative from an enemy), 176, 184-5 (operation of reserve force of Army-on-Defense in wresting initiative from the Attacker.) Reference No.5 "In the absence of any other orders, always march to the sound of the guns" -- Napoleon.
  5. Ozzy

    Why stay at Crumps?

    In , Grant's Memoirs (page 330) he records: "When I reassumed command on the 17th of March I found the Army divided, with about half at Savannah; while one division was at Crump's Landing on the west bank of the Tennessee River, about four miles above Savannah; and the remainder at Pittsburg Landing, five miles above Crump's... I at once put all the troops at Savannah in motion for Pittsburg Landing [where General Sherman stated, 'there was ample space and drinking water for 100,000 men.']" In Papers of US Grant volume 4 (pages 379-380), in a letter from Sherman to Captain John Rawlins dated March 17th, General Sherman wrote: " I am strongly impressed with the importance [of Pittsburg Landing], both for its land advantages and for its strategic position. The ground itself admits of easy defense by a small command, yet affords admirable camping ground for a hundred thousand men..." Neither Grant nor Sherman offered similar "justification" for maintaining Federal troops at Crump's Landing. And with Lew Wallace having completed his assignment to cut the Mobile & Ohio Railroad [and the primary Confederate stronghold at the northern end of that line -- Fort Columbus -- already evacuated], here is the question: What was the one reason Major General Lew Wallace was maintained in vicinity of Crump's Landing? (Provide justification for your answer.) Ozzy
  6. If we're lucky, we all gain inspiration and positive reinforcement from our fathers. What defines strength, character, a range of "proper paths" from which to choose (when at last we set out and make our own way.) Of the senior Federal commanders at Shiloh, the one who appears to be most influenced by his father, was Lew Wallace. David Wallace was born in country Pennsylvania, midway between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, in 1799. The eldest of seven children, while young, David went with his family to a small town near Cincinnati, Ohio; got his basic schooling; attended Miami University; and received an appointment to West Point. Graduated 9th of 24 with the Class of 1821, Second Lieutenant Wallace was assigned to the Artillery; but he appears to have been kept at the U. S. Military Academy to teach Mathematics. About a year after graduating, David Wallace resigned his commission and returned "home" (his family had moved to Indiana) and studied Law. And married Esther Test. And entered politics: elected in 1828 as a Member of the Indiana House of Representatives (a year after Lew Wallace was born.) Lew Wallace (in his Autobiography, page 5) records, "One of my earliest recollections was seeing my Father's gray West Point uniform." David joined the Indiana Militia shortly after resigning from the Regular Army. And while his political career progressed (elected Lieutenant Governor in 1831), his Militia Career advanced: he was serving as Colonel in 1832, when Lew Wallace remembers, "seeing his Father drilling a cavalry company during the Black Hawk War" (page 18). The Black Hawk War ended before David Wallace was needed. But, when Lew Wallace was old enough to "select a proper path" for himself, he decided to study Law (as had his Father, who served as Governor of Indiana from 1837- 1841; and was elected to U. S. House of Representatives for one term in 1843.) After returning to Indiana, David Wallace became Chairman of the WHIG Party (for State of Indiana.) And while serving in that capacity, the War with Mexico broke out. Lew Wallace had studied for the Indiana Bar, but not to the level required to pass the Bar Examination. And he was distracted by the "war clouds" and torn between the excitement and adventure of "going off to war" versus "staying at home and settling down to a career as Lawyer." While studying for the examination, 19-year-old Lew Wallace raised a company of Militia. And when he failed the Bar Examination, he merely completed raising his company of troops, was elected Second Lieutenant, and was informed the company was to depart for New Albany, where it would be attached to one of the three Indiana regiments, and sent to Mexico. Lew Wallace records, "We were to take wagons to Edinburg; and from there, take the train to New Albany. My father marched with me (through town, to where the wagons waited.) He was in the prime of manhood; a soldier by education, he should have been at the head of the whole Indiana contingent. At my side, keeping step with me, he trudged along through the dust. The moment came for me to climb into the wagon. Up to that he had kept silent, which was well enough, seeing I had only to look into his face to know he was proud of me and approved my going. Then he took my hand and said: "Good-bye. Come back a man." [Lew Wallace records that, "Suddenly, I gave him a shower of tears"] (page 115). David Wallace went on to become a Judge; and he was serving in that capacity when he died, aged 60, in September 1859. Just a bit more of the story of Lew Wallace... Ozzy References: http://archive.org/stream/lewwallaceanaut02wallgoog#page/n135/mode/2up/search/father Autobiography of Lew Wallace http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Gazetteer/Places/America/United_States/Army/USMA/Cullums_Register/270*.html David Wallace at West Point http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Wallace_(Indiana_politician) David Wallace at wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zerelda_G._Wallace Lew Wallace's step-mother (after death of mother in 1834)
  7. It may be easier to move this discussion that I'm having with Ozzy about Grant's directions for Lew Wallace at Shiloh on April 6, 1862 to http://shilohdiscussiongroup.com from my website. So please tell me whether anyone is interested in my doing so. Directions for Lew Wallace at Shiloh on April 6, 1862 Joseph A. Rose
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