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Richard P. Derickson was a First Lieutenant in the 16th Wisconsin Infantry, Company K, at the time the Battle of Shiloh erupted. On that fateful Sunday of 6 APR 1862, he was at his duty station aboard "wharf boat" Iatan, acting in capacity of AQM for the Sixth Division (a position he had occupied since April 3rd, assigned by BGen Prentiss.) Part of Lieutenant Derickson's duties involved him creating and maintaining precise records, accounting for possession and distribution of Government stores... Kevin Getchell made use of Lieutenant Derickson's records in constructing his 2013 work, Scapegoat of Shiloh: the distortion of Lew Wallace's record by U. S. Grant. The author indicates that he "encountered the Derickson Papers at an auction, and purchased them." Exact copies of several of the documents created by LT Derickson are contained in Scapegoat of Shiloh. These records are valuable for determining activities of the embryonic Sixth Division in the days leading up to that contact in Fraley Field. Less well known: Kevin Getchell made copies of the original documents, and left those on file with Shiloh NMP https://www.jacksonsun.com/story/news/2015/04/02/shiloh-battlefield-commemorate-rd-battle-anniversary/70862666/ Jacksun Sun of 2 APR 2015.
W. James Morgan, a grocer from Brunswick Missouri, with experience involving militia organizations "back East," began recruiting Morgan's Rangers in mid-1861. Originally a mounted infantry battalion, the decision was made authorizing the expansion of Morgan's Rangers into a full-sized infantry regiment (and James Morgan was appointed Colonel.) In December 1861, the 18th Missouri Infantry completed its formation; and James Morgan continued operating in Northern Missouri (where his "unsavory practices" soon came to the attention of higher authority.) Colonel Morgan was removed from command, and replaced by Madison Miller. Madison Miller was a 50-year old "man of many talents," originally from Pennsylvania, who found himself "moving progressively westward" over the course of his life. In Illinois when the Mexican War broke out in 1846, Miller joined the 2nd Illinois Infantry Regiment and became Captain of Company I. Mentioned in Despatches at Buena Vista, Captain Miller mustered out with his regiment at the end of that war... and with nothing better to do, Madison Miller got caught up in Gold Fever and joined the Rush to California (where he spent three years: first as prospector; then as supplier of goods; finally, active in politics.) Done with California, Miller returned to Missouri and settled in Carondelet, a suburb of St. Louis along the Mississippi, and set up a steam ferry. Returning to politics, Madison Miller was elected Mayor of Carondelet (and also served in the State Legislature at Jefferson City.) And, going from strength to strength, Miller was appointed to the Board of Iron Mountain Railroad. In Jefferson City when the Rebellion broke out (and caught up in the pro-North/South-leaning chaos that was Missouri Politics) Madison Miller made his way to Washington, D.C., and offered his services in raising "a pro-Union militia company." Permission was granted, and "Captain" Miller returned to St. Louis, raised the company (which was incorporated into Frank Blair's 1st Missouri Infantry) and saw service at Battle of Wilson's Creek in August 1861. Partly due to the attrition at Wilson's Creek, and partly due to men refusing to reenlist after their three-month term of service expired, Madison Miller took those stalwarts that remained and established a new organization: Battery I of the 1st Missouri Light Artillery. His efforts in organizing the new organization and drilling the men caught the attention of former artillery officer, now Brigadier General John Schofield. So when a "change of command was needed" for the 18th Missouri Infantry, Captain Madison Miller was tapped to replace the in-disgrace James Morgan. Colonel Miller took command of the 18th Missouri effective 31 January 1862. It was deemed best to remove the 18th Missouri from Northern Missouri, so the regiment was assigned duty at Bird's Point. According to Madison Miller, on the way to that new duty station, the 18th Missouri was "re-tasked" with securing the transport by steamer of two enormous siege guns (see M. Miller bio, page 66). The siege guns were eventually delivered to Foote and Buford's forces in vicinity of Island No.10 and the 18th Missouri complied with their original orders and reported to Bird's Point. On 11 March 1862, IAW Special Orders No.220 issued at St. Louis, "the 18th Missouri and 81st Ohio are ordered to proceed to the District of West Tennessee and report to Major General Grant." The 81st Ohio showed up; but the 18th Missouri was diverted to Smithland Kentucky, near the mouth of the Cumberland River, and briefly occupied that post. On March 24th, IAW instructions sent from Henry Halleck to Brigadier General W. K. Strong at Cairo, "the Post at Smithland is to be disestablished: the Waterhouse Battery and the 18th Missouri are to be sent to U. S. Grant." There is evidence that Waterhouse's Battery reported to General Grant on March 30th. But, according to Madison Miller (Bio page 67) "he and his 18th Missouri did not report until seven days before the Battle of Shiloh" [which would be March 31st.] Colonel Miller continues: "I was ordered to report for duty with General Prentiss. But, no one knew where General Prentiss was... Eventually, I found a wagon and driver (the driver agreed to carry me to the Sixth Division, for a fee) and I was hauled two or three miles out, to Sixth Division Headquarters. An Adjutant directed me to a site, east of the HQ, where the 18th Missouri was to go into camp." "Next day [April 1st] I was approached by General Prentiss, and assigned as Commander of the 2nd Brigade of the Sixth Division... which shortly consisted of the 18th Missouri, 61st Illinois and 18th Wisconsin (and the 15th Michigan attempted to become part of the Brigade.)" Colonel Miller spent the next few days attempting to "organize his brigade," and hacking clear a parade ground (piling the shrubs, branches and stumps along one edge of the field.) On the morning of April 6th, Colonel Miller formed his 2nd Brigade along the north side of the cleared field, "behind the line of piled debris" ...but he was told by General Prentiss to "Move forward, [and engage the enemy..."] Ozzy References: wikipedia (for Madison Miller and W. James Morgan) http://www.trailsrus.com/civilwar/region1/smithland.html Smithland Kentucky http://cdm.sos.mo.gov/cdm/compoundobject/collection/nwmo/id/2569/rec/6 Personal Recollections of the 18th Missouri (including Madison Miller bio) http://www.findagrave.com/memorial/18469 Madison Miller at find-a-grave OR 52 pages 222 and 229.
For those who have never read it (or have not read it in a while) here is the Shiloh Report submitted by General Prentiss. Cheers Ozzy Prentiss’s Official Shiloh Report of November 1862 COLONEL: Upon my return from captivity in the hands of the public enemy I have the honor to submit my report of the part taken in the battle of the 6th of April last, near Pittsburg Landing, by the Sixth Division, Army of West Tennessee, the command of which had been assigned to me. I have the honor to transmit field return of the force which was subjected to my control, as it appeared upon the morning of the engagement, the same being marked A.# [Sixth Division field returns and casualty record – Ozzy.] Saturday evening, pursuant to instructions received when I was assigned to duty with the Army of West Tennessee, the usual advance guard was posted, and in view of information received from the commandant thereof, I sent forward five companies of the Twenty-fifth Missouri and five companies of the Twenty-first Missouri Infantry,under command of Colonel David Moore, Twenty-first Missouri. I also,after consultation with Colonel David Stuart, commanding a brigade of General Sherman's division, sent to the left one company of the Eighteenth Wisconsin Infantry, under command of Captain Fisk. At about 7 o'clock the same evening Colonel Moore returned, reporting some activity in the front-an evident reconnaissance by cavalry. This information received, I proceeded to strengthen the guard stationed on the Corinth road, extending the picket lines to the front a distance of a mile and a half, at the same time extending and doubling the lines of the grand guard. At 3 o'clock on the morning of Sunday, April 6, Colonel David Moore, Twenty-first Missouri, with five companies of his infantry regiment, proceeded to the front, and at break of day the advance pickets were driven in, whereupon Colonel Moore pushed forward and engaged the enemy's advance, commanded by General Hardee. At this stage a messenger was sent to my headquarters, calling for the balance of the Twenty-first Missouri, which was promptly sent forward. This information received, I at once ordered the entire force into line,and the remaining regiments of the First Brigade, commanded by Colonel Everett Peabody, consisting of the Twenty-fifth Missouri, Sixteenth Wisconsin, and Twelfth Michigan Infantry were advanced well to the front. I forthwith at this juncture communicated the fact of the attack in force to Major-General Smith and Brigadier General S. A. Hurlbut. Shortly before 6 o'clock, Colonel David Moore having been severely wounded, his regiment commenced falling back, reaching our front line at about 6 o'clock, the enemy being close upon his rear. Hereupon the entire force, excepting only the Sixteenth Iowa, which had been sent to the field the day previous without ammunition,and the cavalry, which was held in readiness to the rear, was advanced to the extreme front, and thrown out alternately to the right and left. Shortly after 6 o'clock the entire line was under fire, receiving the assault made by the entire force of the enemy, advancing in three columns simultaneously upon our left, center, and right. This position was held until the enemy had passed our right flank, this movement being effected by reason of the falling back of some regiment to our right not belonging to the division. Perceiving the enemy was flanking me, I ordered the division to retire in line of battle to the color line of our encampment,at the same time communicating to Generals Smith and Hurlbut the fact of the falling back, and asking for re-enforcements. Being again assailed, in position described, by an overwhelming force, and not being able longer to hold the ground against the enemy, I ordered the divisions to fal back to the line occupied by General Hurlbut, and at 9.05. a.m. reformed to the right of General Hurlbut, and to the left of Brigadier General W. H. L. Wallace, who I found in command of the division assigned to Major-General Smith. At this point the Twenty-third Missouri Infantry, commanded by Colonel Tindall, which had just disembarked from a transport,and had been ordered to report to me as a part of the Sixth Division, joined. This regiment I immediately assigned to position on the left. My battery (Fifth Ohio) was posted to the right on the road. At about 10 o'clock my line was again assailed, and finding my command greatly reduced by reason of casualties and because of the falling back of many of the men to the river, they being panic-stricken- a majority of them having now for the first time been exposed to fire-I communicated,with General W. H. L. Wallace, who sent to my assistance the Eighth Iowa Infantry, commanded by Colonel J. L. Geddes. After having once driven the enemy back form this position Major General U. S. Grant appeared upon the field. I exhibited to him the disposition of my entire force, which disposition received his commendation, and I received my final orders, which were to maintain that position at all hazards. This position I did maintain until 4 o'clock p.m. when General Hurlbut, being overpowered,was forced to retire. I was then compelled to change front with the Twenty-third Missouri, Twenty-first Missouri Eighteenth Wisconsin, Eighteenth Missouri, and part of the Twelfth Michigan, occupying a portion of the ground vacated by General Hurlbut. I was in constant communication with Generals Hurlbut and Wallace during the day, and both of them were aware of the importance of holding our position until night. When the gallant Hurlbut was forced to retire General Wallace and myself consulted, and agreed to hold our positions at all hazards, believing that we could thus save the army from destruction; we having been now informed for the first time that all others had fallen back to the vicinity of the river. A few minutes after General W. H. L. Wallace received the wound of which he shortly afterwards died. Upon the fall of General Wallace, his division,excepting the Eighth Iowa, Colonel Geddes, acting with me, and the Fourteenth Iowa, Colonel Shaw; Twelfth Iowa, Colonel Woods, and Fifty-eighth Illinois, Colonel Lynch, retired from the field. Perceiving that I was about to be surrounded, and having dispatched my aide, Lieutenant Edwin Moore, for re-enforcements, I determined to assail the enemy, which had passed between me and the river, charging upon him with my entire force. I found him advancing in mass, completely encircling my command, and nothing was left but to harass him and retard his progress so long as might be possible. This I did until 5.30 p.m., when finding that further resistance must result in the slaughter of every man in the command, I had to yield the fight. The enemy succeeded in capturing myself and 2,200 rank and file, many of them being wounded. Colonel Madison Miller, Eighteenth Missouri Infantry, was during the day in command of a brigade, and was among those taken prisoner. He acted during the day with distinguished courage, coolness, and ability. Upon Colonel J. L. Geddes, Eighth Iowa, the same praise can be partly bestowed. He and his regiment stood unflinchingly up to the work the entire portion of the day during which he acted under my orders. Colonel J. S. Alban and his lieutenant-colonel, Beall, of the Eighteenth Wisconsin, were,until they were wounded, ever to the front, encouraging their command. Colonel Jacob Fry, of the Sixty-first Illinois, with an undrilled regiment fresh in the service,kept his men well forward under every assault until the third line was formed, when he became detached, and fought under General Hurlbut. Colonel Shaw, of the Fourteenth Iowa, behaved with great coolness, disposed his men sharply at every command, and maintained his front unbroken through several fierce attacks. Colonel Tindall, Lieutenant-Colonel Morton, and Major McCullough, of the Twenty-third Missouri, are entitled to high meed of praise for gallant conduct. It is difficult to discriminate among so many gallant men as surrounded me when we were forced to yield to the overpowering strength of the enemy. Their bravery under the hottest fire is testified to by the devotion with which they stood forward against fearful odds to contend for the cause they were engaged in. To the officers and men who thus held to the last their undaunted front too much praise cannot be given. Captain McMichael, assistant adjutant-general,attached to the division commanded by General Wallace, joined me upon the field when his gallant leader fell. He is entitled to special mention for his conduct while so serving. Colonel David Moore is entitled to special mention. Captain A. Hickenlooper, of the Fifth Ohio Battery, by his gallant conduct, commended himself to general praise. My staff consisted of but three officers. Brigade Surg. S. W. Everett was killed early in the engagement, gallantly cheering the Eighteenth Missouri Regiment to the contest. Lieutenant Edwin Moore, aide-de-camp, during the entire battle, was by my side, unless when detached upon the dangerous service of his office. Captain Henry Binmore, assistant adjutant-general, was with me, performing his duty to my great satisfaction, until, being exhausted, I compelled him to leave the field. I have the honor to be, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant, B. M. PRENTISS, Brigadier-General, U. S. Volunteers, Colonel J. C. KELTON, Asst. Adjt. Gen., U. S. Army, Washington, D. C. [from The War of the Rebellion: Original Records of the Civil War, Serial 1, Volume 10 (Shiloh) – no longer in copyright.]