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Found 1 result

  1. Ozzy

    From a jack to a King

    From W.S. Hillyer's letter of April 11th 1862 it is apparent U.S. Grant and his Staff officers believed they had the situation as they found it fully in hand within an hour or two of arriving at Pittsburg Landing on April 6th. Sherman was being pushed back, to be sure, but only gradually and grudgingly; Hurlbut, Prentiss and WHL Wallace were established in a naturally strong position; and orders had been sent for the 3rd Division to come up from Crump's, and the arrival of that strong, fresh force of reinforcements would be enough to tip the scales and assure Federal victory. Hillyer in his letter makes mention of Grant "sending staff officers flying across the battlefield, effecting orders" and Captain Hillyer, himself, was sent by General Grant on one occasion to direct a cavalry reconnaissance. At about 1pm Grant, Rowley (and possibly Hillyer) set out for another meeting with General Sherman; they were riding west along the Pittsburg-Purdy Road when they encountered the just-returned Cavalry officer, Frank Bennett, at the intersection with the Savannah-Hamburg Road (sometimes called the River Road.) And what Bennett reported -- Lew Wallace was not coming via the River Road -- must have hit General Grant like a hammer. Wallace's reinforcing division had been promised to Hurlbut/WHL Wallace; LtCol James McPherson had even identified the position where Lew Wallace would go... After sending Rowley and Bennett away back north (with orders to bring Lew Wallace via the River Road) General Grant aborted the intended meeting with Sherman: the priority now was to find out from Quartermaster Baxter what directions he'd delivered to Lew Wallace. Grant turned back east. And, as if the non-arrival of Lew Wallace wasn't enough bad news, when the General gained the bluff overlooking the Tennessee River, the steamers he'd sent hours earlier to ferry Nelson's men across from the east bank were still there, with no sign of activity in their vicinity. This had to be the low-water mark for Grant's fortunes (and outlook) on Day One: neither of his anticipated sources of reinforcements were coming. It is my belief that a readily-available staff officer (Captain Clark Lagow) was now pressed into service; given a hurriedly written order directed to "Commanding Officer, Advanced Forces" and verbal orders to "Hurry forward General Nelson." Lagow departed immediately on an available steamer (and at some stage during his transit down river put his verbal orders to General Nelson into written form, signed "C.B. Lagow ADC" [Papers of US Grant vol 5 pages 17-18]. General Grant entered the HQ building (where I believe John Rawlins acted as point-of-contact in Grant's absence) and probably confronted his Assistant Adjutant General in regard to what orders he'd authorized Baxter to deliver to Lew Wallace. While engaged in this conversation, word must have come that "the Tigress had just returned." Grant and Rawlins rode down to the Landing and boarded Tigress to confront Baxter. Present at this meeting in the Ladies' Cabin aboard the Headquarters boat were U.S. Grant, John Rawlins, W.S. Hillyer and A.S. Baxter. The time was just after 1:30 pm. Just an attempt to connect some dots... Ozzy References to be found in SDG posts "Buell meets Grant" ..."Letter of W.S. Hillyer" ... "Impression of Grant" ..."Where was Grant?" N.B. Apologies to Ned Miller for use of his 1957 song title, "From a Jack to a King."
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