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Found 5 results

  1. William McMichael David W. Reed made a valiant attempt to get to the facts in compiling his history of Shiloh; and he incorporated those facts into his written work, The Battle of Shiloh and the Organizations Engaged (manuscript completed 1900), and in marking out important sites on the Shiloh NMP with definitive tablets. Unfortunately, even the cautious, precise Major Reed, got his facts wrong on occasion… which leads to the biography of this man: William McMichael. Born in Philadelphia in 1841, during the Civil War William McMichael became one of the “Fighting McMichaels” (his brothers Clayton, and Morton, Jr., fought at Gettysburg). Their father, Morton McMichael Sr., was a prominent Philadelphia newspaper publisher, active in politics, and important supporter of President Lincoln and the Union War Effort. Prior to March 1862, the graduate of University of Pennsylvania, William McMichael, was promoted to Captain, and installed as AAG to Brigadier General Charles F. Smith (who had ties to Pennsylvania.) Captain McMichael accompanied BGen Smith on the Tennessee River Expedition; and Generals William Tecumseh Sherman and Lew Wallace reported to Smith on a number of occasions, through AAG McMichael [OR 10 pp.9, 10, 22 & 25 and OR 11 p.53]. A close read of the above communications is important, especially BGen Sherman’s report dated 20 MAR 1862 and found OR 11 page 53, because on that date the injured and ill General Smith was recuperating aboard Hiawatha; Captain McMichael “acted on Smith’s behalf” at Pittsburg Landing; and Colonel Jacob Lauman was “Acting Commander of the Second Division.” Fast forward to 2 APR 1862: Captain McMichael was still at Pittsburg Landing; Jacob Lauman was removed from the Second Division (and reported to Hurlbut’s Fourth Division); and new Brigadier General WHL Wallace was assigned “temporary command of the Second Division, during the absence of Major General C.F. Smith.” (According to a letter written by Wallace on April 3rd, he did not physically remove himself to the Second Division until April 4th, where he would have found Captain McMichael already operating as AAG of the Division.) Whose Assistant Adjutant General was William McMichael? Technically, he was the AAG to Major General Smith, in command of the Second Division. He remained at Pittsburg Landing while C.F. Smith was “absent, ill,” first aboard Hiawatha, and then upstairs in the Cherry House. He was never AAG to Jacob Lauman; and he was never AAG to WHL Wallace (although it would be reasonable to assume that he acted as AAG for those officers, in their temporary status while attached to the Second Division.) On the morning of April 6th1862, Captain McMichael accompanied BGen Wallace during his efforts to alert General Grant at Savannah (and may have been the messenger sent by Wallace aboard the steamer John Warner… which would explain why that steamer rounded to and returned to Pittsburg Landing – enabling McMichael to further assist WHL Wallace [still looking for evidence of this – Ozzy].) Captain McMichael acted on the battlefield as courier and AAG for BGen Wallace, up until the time General Wallace was shot from his horse. It was McMichael who reported that sad news to General Benjamin Prentiss; and Prentiss records that, “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” [Shiloh Report of BGen Prentiss]. In addition, McMichael gains mention in the “unofficial” Shiloh report of General Grant: “Captain William McMichael is missing; probably taken prisoner” [OR 10 page 110]. And General Grant was correct: William McMichael was indeed taken prisoner (although he managed to return North after May 1862, due to a “special exchange” arranged through his father, Morton McMichael, and implemented by Major General Halleck through negotiations conducted by MGen John Pope with General Beauregard on 27 May 1862 [OR Series 2, vol.3 No.116 – Prisoners of War, pages 600 – 1].) Afterwards, McMichael was promoted to Major, and then Lieutenant Colonel, and is reported to have served on the staff of Generals Halleck and Rosecrans. He was mustered out in March 1866, and returned to Philadelphia, where he established a Law practice. He served in President Grant’s Administration as Assistant Attorney General. William McMichael, brevet-Colonel, died in New York City in April 1893 and was buried in Philadelphia. Cheers Ozzy References: http://www.findagrave.com/memorial/46715015/william-mcmichael   BVT- Colonel William McMichael http://philadelphiaencyclopedia.org/archive/consolidation-act-of-1854/10422_166616/ Mayor of Philadelphia (1866 - 69) Morton McMichael David W. Reed, The Battle of Shiloh and the Organizations Engaged (1909) pages 25 and 38. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn92053945/1893-04-21/ed-1/seq-4/#date1=1893&index=0&rows=20&words=Mc+McMichael+Michael&searchType=basic&sequence=0&state=Illinois&date2=1893&proxtext=McMichael&y=0&x=0&dateFilterType=yearRange&page=1 Rock Island Argus 21 APR 1893 page 4 col.4 "Death of Colonel McMichael" OR 10, 11 and 116
  2. Ozzy

    Bait and Switch

    The result of much research has determined there was "bad blood" between Don Carlos Buell and Ulysses S. Grant. This may have been the result of Grant sending wounded Confederate soldiers to Hospitals in Buell's jurisdiction after Fort Donelson. Or it may have resulted from Grant sending Nelson to take possession of Nashville (just hours ahead of Buell.) Possibly, there was some pre-war animosity that simply festered, exacerbated by the above incidents... One thing that becomes evident upon a close read of the Official Records and Papers of US Grant vol.4: when Buell began the march of his Army of the Ohio from Nashville on March 15th, he believed he was to go to the support of Charles F. Smith [see OR 11 pages 38 and 44.] Upon Buell's arrival at Savannah (where he was told by Halleck that Smith was established) Brigadier General Smith would have been junior to Major General Buell... so Buell would assume de facto command of the operation (pending the arrival of Major General Halleck.) Buell was aware of the removal from "command in the field" of Major General U. S. Grant: as late as March 14th, Buell received a telegram from Grant -- sent from Fort Henry -- in which Grant requested a gunboat on the Cumberland River be sent to him [see Papers of US Grant vol.4 page 361.] And Halleck kept up the deception -- as late as March 17th -- directing Buell: "Move on as ordered, to re enforce Smith." [Grant had been restored to command on March 15th and arrived at Savannah March 17th -- OR 11 page 44 and 38.] In Shiloh Revisited, page 490, Buell expresses dissatisfaction with the arrangement: "US Grant was restored to command, and arrived at Savannah March 17th, and he converted the encampment of Pittsburg Landing into the point of rendezvous." It is obvious that Buell felt the sting of the "bait and switch" pulled on him: he was expecting Smith; but sometime after the march commenced, he found out that Grant was in command. This could help explain: the excessive delay of Buell's arrival at Savannah; the attempt by Buell to camp his Army at Waynesboro (and await the arrival of Halleck at Savannah) the convenient delay Sunday, April 6th to make his way to Pittsburg Landing (by whatever means necessary). But most unsettling: a close read of Buell and Grant's interactions, beginning Sunday afternoon and continuing through April 7th, are not especially inspiring. In fact, the only real coordination between Grant and Buell appears to be, "You take the left, and I'll take the right." The important, "We'll move forward in the morning," seems to have been unspoken, merely assumed. No way to run a railroad... Ozzy
  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. Major General Grant had only just returned to Fort Donelson (from Nashville, late on February 28th), when he received: [from Sherman's Memoirs, page 224.] A bit tongue-in-cheek, because there were no orders to Shiloh; and the above directive to MGen U.S. Grant (a telegram sent from Halleck at St. Louis on March 1st 1862) does not contain an "Orders Number." Yet, this is the communication that started it all, and it reads more as "a collection of thoughts," than an actual set of orders (perhaps sent to alert General Grant to what General Halleck intended Grant to do next -- a sort of "pre-orders orders" -- which may be why the telegram does not contain an Orders Number.) The March 1st "directive" could not have come at a worse time: Sherman, in his Memoirs (page 224) indicates that, "the telegraph line was rickety" and may have resulted in a February 25th telegram from Halleck not being received. [The 25 FEB 1862 telegram directed General Grant to move across from Fort Donelson to Fort Henry and establish his HQ ...(notice where the March 1st telegram is sent to).] General Halleck was in process of the delicate negotiation to expand his Department (and absorb Don Carlos Buell into that new Department; while remaining on cordial terms with Buell.) [If Buell complained or raised a fuss (as he did about "Rebel wounded from Fort Donelson being dumped in his hospitals"), or suddenly decided to "take care of that pesky East Tennessee Problem that President Lincoln so urgently desired," it could have upset Halleck's Grand Plan.] Shortly after sending the telegram of March 1st, General Halleck discovered, "something unusual had taken place at Nashville." First came word that C.F. Smith had gone over there [and Halleck ordered him back.] Then, Halleck learned that U.S. Grant, himself, had gone over there -- to Nashville -- and General Halleck knew that he had sent a directive (via what Halleck considered to be a reliable telegraph line) on February 25th, ordering Grant to set up HQ at Fort Henry. Soon as Grant's unauthorized visit to Nashville became apparent, the ball was set in motion for Grant "to set up those HQ at Fort Henry, and stay there." And C.F. Smith (also mentioned in the March 1st telegram) was directed to take command of the Tennessee River Expedition. Provided for a bit of clarity... Ozzy References: http://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=yale.39002009162026;view=1up;seq=230 Sherman's Memoirs N.B. The 1 MAR 1862 telegram, Halleck to Grant, is also to be found OR 7 page 674 and Papers of US Grant, vol.4, page 310 (note at bottom of page.) "Danville" was the site of the MC & L Railroad Bridge, a few miles south of Fort Henry, destroyed by Curtis Horse Federal cavalry in February 1862.
  5. In the brief period leading up to the Battle of Shiloh, General Grant found himself in a difficult situation: due to recent promotions, men he wanted to be in charge were now junior to pretenders Grant did not want filling important positions of responsibility. So, Ulysses Grant resorted to a ruse, which may have proceeded as follows: the General who should be in command was acknowledged as still being in command (but just away briefly, recuperating); and the organization he commanded persisted in being referred to as "his." And another officer was simply designated as, "in command, temporarily, in this General's absence." The mild attempt at deception seemed to work... until the recently-promoted officer who should have been in charge -- in the sick General's absence -- cottoned on that he was senior to the designated replacement; at which point, the uppity officer was threatened with arrest. And the delicate situation was seemingly resolved by Grant placing another recently-promoted Brigadier General in temporary command of the organization. And, so the situation remained, even up to the morning of April 6th 1862. Sound familiar? You may be surprised to learn that this scenario, as described, did not involve William Tecumseh Sherman or John McClernand. Which organization could it have been? Who were the key players? And why have we not heard anything about this other incident, of seniority among Federal officers leading to a "command dilemma," until now? Yours to ponder... Ozzy
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