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Found 14 results

  1. Finally having acquired my copy of “Grant Under Fire” by Joseph Rose, it may be of value to provide a brief examination of how the Battle of Fort Donelson is presented: It was heartening to find mention of mortars and Flag-Officer Foote's desire to have those weapons available (yet Foote went ahead and attempted his assault against Fort Donelson without them.) Rose addresses the curious fact of General Grant NOT leaving an officer in temporary command when he departed the vicinity of Fort Donelson to visit a wounded Flag-Officer Foote. And McArthur's brigade, borrowed from General Smith and positioned on the Union right, is mentioned for its role in fighting a losing battle to hold back the Confederate break-out of February 15th. Otherwise, the Fort Donelson operation is faithfully and predictably described, beginning with Colonel Forrest's unsuccessful effort to slow the Federal advance; the disposition of Grant's forces in a semi-circle just west of the Confederate stronghold; the addition of Lew Wallace's brigade (increased on site to Division strength) and Wallace's dilemma in responding to McClernand's request for assistance (with General Grant absent, and no one acting as his agent.) The attempted Rebel break-out, rolled back in the afternoon due to incompetence, and Federal reinforcements. And C.F. Smith, Jacob Lauman and James Tuttle share credit for advancing against the Confederate right, breaching the outer works, rendering Rebel possession of the fort untenable (with subsequent surrender next morning.) Grant Under Fire. If acquired solely for its accurate depiction of the Fort Donelson operation, it is worth the purchase. Ozzy
  2. As we know, U.S. Grant was involved in a number of shadowy operations during the early months of the War of the Rebellion: a supposed pursuit of Missouri Rebels in order to relieve an endangered 16th Illinois Infantry Regiment; the occupation of Paducah Kentucky (asserted by General Grant to have occurred without authorization from Major General Fremont); and the unauthorized visit to Nashville following General Grant’s success at Fort Donelson. Seldom considered is U.S. Grant’s role in facilitating the death of General Charles Ferguson Smith. Don’t think so? Consider this: Until mid-March 1862, Smith was Expedition Leader tasked with breaking Confederate railroads within reach of Savannah Tennessee. But Brigadier General Smith was superseded on 17 March 1862 when Major General Grant arrived at Savannah and took charge of the five divisions then present in the immediate vicinity. And U.S. Grant came face to face with an ailing, bed-ridden Charles Smith, whose leg had suffered serious injury through misadventure in boarding a small boat. It is accepted that General Grant was not a trained physician, and likely had no appreciation for the dire nature of Smith’s condition, for the first day or two after he arrived. However, trained medical officers were on the Staff of both Grant and Smith. And with all reports indicating that “General Smith remained upstairs in his bedroom at the Cherry Mansion” during the entire time General Grant operated from Savannah and Pittsburg Landing, it would be impossible NOT to notice that Charles Smith was failing to improve. General Grant's own Headquarters were at the Cherry Mansion, permitting daily interaction with C.F. Smith. One month after Grant arrived at Savannah, Major General Henry Halleck completed his own journey from St. Louis; and he immediately took notice of Smith’s shocking condition. So obvious was the poor state of General Smith’s health, that Halleck arranged for transport north on a steamer, soon as General Smith was well enough to travel. And health professionals were placed on standby to accompany Smith to Philadelphia, soon as possible. But this arrangement for medical evacuation occurred four weeks too late: C.F. Smith never made the trip. [By reason of comparison: On 22 March 1862 Colonel Michael K. Lawler of 18th Illinois Infantry was granted leave by Major General Grant to return home and recuperate from wounds incurred at Fort Donelson. It could be argued that a similar leave could have –SHOULD have -- been arranged by Grant for General Charles F. Smith.] References: Papers of US Grant vol.4 pages 381, 491 IRT Colonel Michael Lawler. Autobiography of Lew Wallace vol.1 page 445 describes the manner in which Brigadier General C.F. Smith injured his leg one March evening in 1862 (believed to be 12 March 1862.) See Emerging Civil War “General Grant loses a Resourceful Subordinate” of 19 FEB 2018. Personal Memoirs of Surgeon John H. Brinton (1914) page 152, 159, 160 in which Surgeon Brinton admits to being called to Savannah Tennessee by General Grant in late April “to see to General Smith, who had been very sick.” Brinton reached the Cherry Mansion early on 25 April, “found General Smith sinking, moribund, unconscious. That afternoon of 25 April 1862, at 4 p.m. he died.” Medical Histories of Union Generals by Dr. Jack Welsh (1996) page 308, indicates C.F. Smith’s injured leg became infected. General Smith “was a cripple, upstairs in the Cherry Mansion” when the Battle of Shiloh took place. He continued to sink, and died 25 April 1862. His body was removed to Philadelphia for burial at Laurel Hill Cemetery.
  3. Ozzy

    Julia Dent Grant

    As we know, Julia Dent Grant had a profound influence on her husband, including support, advocate, confidant. When separated by military duty, the two exchanged letters almost daily: it could be said that Julia was General Grant's rock. The linked website is recently constructed, and one of the best biographies of its kind to be found on the internet, as "First Lady Julia Grant" contains information about family, friends, locations of homes and travel involving herself and General Grant not easily found elsewhere: Frederick T. Dent: Grant's West Point roommate (and Julia's brother) photographs of Grant family homes photographs of Julia and Ulysses Grant at significant events family photographs of the Grants. http://www.firstladies.org/biographies/firstladies.aspx?biography=19 Brief biography of Julia Dent Grant.
  4. Beginning almost immediately after the Battle of Shiloh, and for all the years since, people have attempted to make sense of the late arrival of Major General Grant at Pittsburg Landing, his flagship, Tigress, nosing into the bank as much as four hours after first contact with the enemy. What follows is a proposed progression of General Grant's efforts to "get into the fight" that Sunday morning, 6 April 1862: 7:11 a.m. While having breakfast at the Cherry Mansion in Savannah, Grant heard booming cannon. 8:30 (approx.) Grant and members of his Staff, aboard Tigress, stop at Crump's Landing and direct Lew Wallace to "Wait in readiness..." 9 - 9:30 After meeting with one (and possibly two) steamers enroute, sent to alert him, Grant arrives at Pittsburg Landing. Grant and members of his Staff ride up the bluff, and meet with BGen WHL Wallace. Convinced of a major engagement, Grant sends away Rawlins with orders to "release the officers in arrest," and "bring up Lew Wallace." AAG Rawlins relays the orders for Lew Wallace to AQM Baxter, who rides Tigress to Crump's Landing. 10 a.m. Grant meets with Sherman. Either just before, or just after meeting Sherman, General Grant encountered the 2nd Illinois Cavalry, lined up, awaiting orders. Grant places Captain Hotaling on his Staff, for the day, and directs him to "place and fight Birge's Western Sharpshooters." Grant sends away Cavalry officer Frank Bennett (north along the River Road) with orders to "escort Lew Wallace back to here." 10:30 (approx.) Riding south down the road to Hamburg, General Grant meets with BGen Hurlbut. Leaving Hurlbut, Grant rides west and meets BGen Prentiss... and tells him, "Hold this position at all hazards." Do you agree with the above timeline? Is there a time or location that seems improbable? Is there another significant action/ decision that should be added? Please feel free to offer suggestions... Ozzy
  5. Another day, another master’s thesis… and this one, submitted by William J. McCaffrey in 1970 is revealing, compelling, shocking. Although 140 pages long, this work grips the student of Battle of Shiloh by the throat, and does not let go. It examines “whether or not there was surprise at Pittsburg Landing on April 6th 1862”…and just who was surprised. On page three, a list of six items is posted: flawed conditions of readiness, at least one of which must be present to allow a Defender to get surprised by an Attacker. William McCaffrey devotes the remainder of his thesis to providing evidence of the presence of many of those six conditions of “un-readiness” at Pittsburg Landing in the days, hours and minutes leading up to General Albert Sidney Johnston’s attack. This report contains maps, an excellent list of references, and is constructed by a man concerned about “the lessons of History, and how to avoid the mistakes of History.” Have a read, and decide for yourself how close William McCaffrey, West Point Class of 1958, comes to the mark. Masters Thesis by William J. McCaffrey (1970) “Shiloh: a case study in Surprise” submitted to U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, KS and on file with National Technical Information Service: https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/733391.pdf
  6. There are two pieces of communication (one constructed on April 5th, and the other generated on April 6th 1862) both of which are important in their own way to explain “how the Battle of Shiloh unfolded.” And both documents have "issues." The first item is a telegram constructed at St. Louis and sent under signature of Major General Henry Halleck on Saturday 5 April 1862. Fitting Halleck’s style of issuing concise orders, the two-line telegram begins by listing the recently promoted Major Generals by order of seniority: Buell, Pope, McClernand, C.F. Smith, Wallace. The inclusion of John Pope is significant because Major General Pope would soon join the Advance on Corinth. And the place held by John McClernand (ahead of Charles Ferguson Smith) may have come as a surprise to Major General Ulysses S. Grant… but no matter, as the late formal notice of MGen McClernand’s seniority did not provide opportunity to ‘Provide him with benefits of seniority to which he was entitled” i.e., the Shell Game played by Generals Grant, Smith, Sherman and Captain McMichael had worked perfectly; and now, at this late hour, McClernand would be notified in due course of his official seniority (likely after U.S. Grant established his HQ at Pittsburg Landing… When McClernand operating as “acting commander” had odds somewhere between Slim and None.) The second line of Halleck’s telegram reads: “You will act in concert [with General Buell] but he will exercise his separate command, unless the enemy should attack you. In that case you are authorized to take the general command.” The wording of this second line, giving Grant emergency authority over Buell in case of attack by Rebels, has significant implications. And yet, when the conduct of Day Two at Shiloh is closely examined, there is nothing more significant in regard to General Grant exercising command, than, “You take the left; and I’ll take the right” during the advance of Monday morning (coordination at its most minimal.) Which leads one to ponder: When did General Grant receive this telegram from Henry Halleck? If it was sent by telegraph from St. Louis late morning of April 5th, it likely arrived at the Fort Henry telegraph office before noon. If a steamer picked up the mail and telegraph traffic at 1 p.m., (perhaps the Minnehaha) then the 5 April telegram would arrive about midnight… plenty of time for Grant to read and understand the contents. But, at 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 6th, where was this telegram from Halleck? The cool indifference shared between Grant and Buell (with Buell simply left at the waterfront, while Grant headed away west to take care of business) does not represent “someone in possession of an important telegram, giving them extraordinary authority.” Instead, it seems to indicate General Grant has not yet received the telegram; or he has seen it… but left it behind at the Cherry Mansion. The second communication was constructed on Sunday morning by Captain A.S. Baxter, the AQM for Grant’s Army, as he rode the steamer Tigress north to relay Grant’s orders (likely relayed from Grant, through Captain John Rawlins, to Baxter.) Finding the orders complex and difficult to remember in detail, Captain Algernon Baxter scanned the floor of the Ladies’ Cabin, found a soiled bit of paper, and wrote the orders (as he best remembered them) onto that scrap (later recorded as “containing a heel mark and tobacco stain.”) Upon arrival at Crump’s Landing, Captain Baxter found Lieutenant Ross – Aide to Major General Wallace – waiting. The two rode away west and reported to MGen Wallace at, or just before 11:30 a.m. Captain Baxter presented General Wallace with the impromptu order; Wallace asked why it was not signed. Baxter explained he “created the memorandum, himself, out of fear he would “forget some detail” unless he did so.” General Wallace passed the “written order” to his Staff, and asked Baxter about the current state of affairs [Baxter left Pittsburg Landing between 10 and 10:30.] Captain Baxter replied, “We are driving them.” General Wallace was satisfied; Wallace’s staff officers were satisfied. The order was accepted, and Captain Baxter took his departure within three minutes of arrival at Stony Lonesome. Captain Frederick Kneffler, Lew Wallace’s AAG, wound up with the “written order.” He tucked it under his sword belt… and subsequently lost it. Ever since, the loss of that written order, or memorandum, has been significant because it would provide tangible proof of what Major General Wallace had been ordered to do. And, it is not difficult to envision the memorandum, jiggling loose from Captain Kneffler’s sword belt, and blowing away… to be beaten by heavy rain that night; ultimately washed into the Snake River, then Tennessee River… lost forever. But, paper was in short supply, always. Letters by soldiers were often written making use of every millimetre of space, including margins and borders. As likely as the memorandum being lost forever, it was just as likely noticed, clinging to trampled stubble, by some soldier… one of thousands following behind Kneffler on his horse. This soldier would have snatched it up, and possibly sent it as souvenir with his own letter, a few days later. My point: there is every chance that the Lew Wallace memorandum from Baxter still exists, contained in a box of Civil War letters and paraphernalia, and the owners have no idea what they have in their possession. But, with all the other material being revealed on a weekly basis, one day this piece of history might just surprise everyone, and re-emerge.
  7. From the Union standpoint, the Battle of Shiloh was not supposed to happen. Federal troops were sent south, under command of Brigadier General C.F. Smith, with intention of cutting rail lines and disrupting Rebel communications (between Fort Columbus and Corinth; and between Florence and Corinth.) Abundant Spring rain and effective Rebel defences (and M & O R.R. repair crews) curtailed railroad track disruption. Although an initial base of operations was sited at Union-friendly Savannah, Tennessee, the intention was to establish the Federal base much further south (between Hamburg and Florence) but the grossly swollen Tennessee River turned those prospective campgrounds into sodden, mosquito-infested marshes; and Pittsburg Landing was selected, by default (selected by Brigadier General William T. Sherman, and approved by General Smith.) The high plateau stretching west of the towering bluff overlooking – and out of reach of – the Tennessee River being the primary feature favouring selection of the site. It is said, “There is nothing more permanent than a temporary solution.” Major General U.S. Grant arrived at Savannah on March 17th 1862 and inspected the de facto campgrounds at Crump’s and Pittsburg established by his predecessor, and pronounced them sound. [Part two] With so many operations on his plate, Major General Henry Halleck did not have manpower or war materials in sufficient quantity to permit combat operations to take place concurrently. Priorities had to be determined from among operations taking place in Northern Missouri (Prentiss), SW Missouri (Curtis), SE Missouri (Pope), Island No.10 (Foote) and Savannah/ Pittsburg (Smith, replaced by Grant.) With North Missouri deemed “under control,” followed by Battle of Pea Ridge securing southern Missouri, manpower and ammunition was freed to be sent elsewhere. (Additional manpower was of no use at Island No.10 so those extra regiments went to General Grant, instead.) And with Henry Halleck’s elevation to Commander, Department of the Mississippi, another source of manpower eventuated: Buell’s Army of the Ohio, based in vicinity of Nashville. But, before U.S. Grant’s operation (with passage of time, confirmed to focus on Corinth) would be permitted to commence, the joint operation (Pope, at New Madrid and Foote, approaching Island No.10 from the north) would be given every opportunity to reach a successful conclusion. And General Grant was ordered, “Do nothing to bring on a general engagement.” References: SDG “Do you know Bragg?” post of 18 May 2018: Confederate Daniel Ruggles assigned to Post of Corinth on 9 March 1862 and begins construction of defences soon after. SDG “Jackson HQ” post of 5 May 2017: General Albert Sidney Johnston arrived at Corinth on March 24th, with concentration of Confederate troops (to this time strewn along the M & C R.R. and the M & O R.R.) gaining pace, and most everyone moves to Corinth. OR 10 (part 2) pages 11 – 12: Henry Halleck has information on March 6th that, “Beauregard has 20,000 men at Corinth.” Sherman reports similar concentration at “Eastport and Corinth” that same day. SDG “Not just pictures…” post of 5 July 2017: Report of Agate (Whitelaw Reid) dateline Savannah Tennessee on 1 April 1862, “There are rumors that General Halleck will take the field here, in person, soon as the Island No.10 agony is over. And there will be four or five corps [marching to Corinth] commanded by Major Generals Grant, Smith, Wallace, Buell and McClernand.”
  8. There was a moment when this author entertained the thought that, “Perhaps General Grant intended for Rebels to attack his forces at Pittsburg Landing” [which would explain “no trenches or abatis” – used as bait; seemingly haphazard arrangement of camps at Pittsburg – bait, to lure the Rebels north; lack of extensive cavalry patrols (to avoid bringing on engagement, too far south, which would allow Rebels to fall back to formidable defences at Corinth); and cavalry patrols that were conducted, seemingly without any coordination with infantry pickets…] But, the more research is conducted, the more apparent becomes the fact: Ulysses S. Grant was caught by surprise. There was no intention; no “offering Federal troops as bait” to lure the Rebels north. The April 6 attack by Rebels upon Grant’s forces at Pittsburg Landing was unanticipated… at least, on April 6. Prior to that bloody Sunday [but, we get ahead of the story...] When Major General Grant arrived at Savannah Tennessee on 17 March 1862 (released from limbo, and returned to command in the field) he had every expectation of “conducting an operation against the Rebels, further south.” Pittsburg Landing and Crump’s Landing and Savannah were merely temporary sites, staging grounds for assembling and preparing the Federal force that would drive south (at the time and place of General Grant’s choosing.) But, initiation of that operation was anticipated to take place soon. (Sherman’s frequent raids and probes offered potential to initiate more robust offensive action, “requiring” substantial forces from Pittsburg Landing be rushed forward to assist Sherman. But no solid opportunity for increased engagement presented.) Therefore, Grant’s operation at Savannah, Crump’s, Pittsburg evolved over time into, “Wait for Buell.” But, as time dragged on, General Grant must have realized that, “He had been caught in a trap of his own making.” The situation on April 1st (as Sherman launched yet another raid) revealed Federal troops camped at uncoordinated sites (close proximity to fresh water deemed more important than mutual defense); no trenches or abatis; contrary to Jomini, his force was “on the wrong side of the river” (although use of Lew Wallace’s division as “grand reserve” offset this danger); and Grant’s own HQ was maintained at Savannah (for reasons not adequately explained.) With Rebel moves against Lew Wallace (about April 2nd) and the Picket Skirmish (April 4th) there would have been cause for concern. And Grant would have had time for reflection that, “he had occupied his time – an unexpectedly long time, as it turned out – focused on minutia.” And, there may have been “rising cause for concern” end of March/ early April, as Rebel probes became increasingly aggressive, and Buell remained remarkable for his lack of presence. The cloud would have lifted on April 3rd with the report by telegraph of Bull Nelson’s arrival at Waynesborough (allowing Grant to view the Picket Skirmish of April 4th through a rosy lens.) And, when Jacob Ammen and Bull Nelson appeared at Savannah on April 5th (with promise of the remainder of Army of the Ohio arriving in short order) any concerns held by General Grant would have evaporated. So confident became General Grant of his invincibility, that he joked with Jacob Ammen about “steamers taking him across the Tennessee River in a few days,” and directed Major General Buell not to hurry, but to report on April 6th. So confident became Major General Grant (in his apparent safety, and the impending operation against Corinth moving ahead) that he organized an “engagement” that took place Saturday afternoon (mentioned by Grant to Ammen, to which Brigadier General Ammen was not invited.) References: OR 10 pages 330 – 331 [Jacob Ammen’s diary.] SDG topic “Why Stay at Crumps?” 14 NOV 2017. Papers of US Grant vol.5 page 7 “Letter to Julia of 3 April 1862.” Papers of US Grant vol.5 page 6 “Telegraphic reply to BGen Nelson at Waynesborough.” Papers of US Grant vol.5 page 9 “4 APR 1862 instruction to BGen Sherman to be prepared to provide support to MGen Lew Wallace, if necessary.” Papers of US Grant vol.5 page12 “4 APR 1862 instruction to BGen WHL Wallace to be prepared to reinforce MGen Wallace, if necessary.” Papers of US Grant vol.5 page 13 “5 APR 1862 communication sent from Savannah to MGen Henry Halleck at St. Louis, advising arrival of advance of Buell’s Army, with reported strength of enemy at Corinth.” Papers of US Grant vol.5 page 16 “5 APR communication from Grant to Buell, advising ‘[Grant] will be hear April 6th to meet you.” [Sent in reply to Buell’s communication, found in Notes, top of page 17.]
  9. Welcome to 2019... and your first quiz of the year. These seven questions relate to Ulysses S. Grant, well before Battle of Shiloh: Hiram Ulysses Grant was appointed to West Point, Class of 1843, from which State? Grant, when describing his Mexican War service, claimed to have been involved in every major battle, except one. Which one? While courting Julia Dent, Ulysses Grant seriously considered leaving the U.S. Army and pursuing a career as educator at university. What subject did Grant intend to teach? In which slave State did Grant and his family reside, prior to the Secession Crisis? General Grant's appearance at Belmont. Who suggested he trim his beard? If poverty, and the Civil War, had not interfered, in which State did U.S. Grant have hopes of settling in and raising his family? True of False. Ulysses S. Grant, who suffered frequent migraine headaches, was prescribed brandy as treatment for those headaches.
  10. Hero of Chattanooga The 1864 Biography of Ulysses S. Grant Have given this particular article its title due to the fact it refers to the first biography of General U.S. Grant, published by Julian K. Larke of New York in March 1864 (after the stunning victory of Grant’s Army at Chattanooga, and before it was known “how the war would end.”) For our purposes, pages 50 – 97 are the most interesting, beginning with “the Seizure of Paducah” on 6 SEP 1861 (we are informed that John Fremont had no role in Grant’s decision to take possession of that strategically important Ohio River port.) Battle of Belmont runs from pages 53 – 58 (with excellent List of General Grant’s Staff Officers.) Also, an interesting relationship with Eleazer Paine is introduced, concerning atrocities committed by Southern citizens of Missouri against U.S. troops at Bird’s Point; and subsequently details “imperfect plans” provided to the Press, and potential spies, by General Grant, to keep real intentions and military movements from being known. Fort Henry occupies pages 66 – 69 (and John McClernand’s assignment as commander of the First Division is revealed.) The description of Fort Donelson is a good summary, except it ignores the roles played by John McClernand and John McArthur in facilitating the breakout attempt of Saturday morning 15 FEB 1862. Also, no credit is accorded Lew Wallace for sapping the momentum of the Confederate breakout. And, of course, ample coverage is provided to the Unconditional Surrender (although, the breaching of the topic of “Grant’s intemperance” following victory at Fort Donelson is unexpected; as is possible complicity by Henry Halleck...) Beginning with “Grant’s new District of West Tennessee,” leading to the occupation of Clarksville, followed by the Return to Federal control of Nashville (with no mention made of Grant’s role there) and concluding with “Grant’s army moved up the Tennessee River,” the two or three weeks following Fall of Fort Donelson are carefully massaged to present U.S. Grant in the best light. The buildup to the Battle of Shiloh begins page 84, with emphasis on destroying Confederate railroads. And the Battle, itself – including Buell’s importance; the issue of “surprise” and the role of Prentiss; and the inclusion of William Carroll’s Battle of Pittsburg article – all are covered pages 86 – 97 (which concludes with mention of Sherman’s advance on April 8th.) General Grant and his Campaigns by Julian K. Larke (published 1864) is of value for learning how the Hero of Chattanooga was perceived, before he was called to Washington… before he ended up winning the war. https://archive.org/details/generalgrantandh00larkrich/page/n5 N.B. For those in search of "something more," the description of the Public Dinner attended by General Grant in St. Louis on 26 JAN 1864 is to be found pages 455 - 462; "Grant's Appearance and Character" are described pages 463 - 468. And in the Appendix, pages 15 - 23, a remarkable justification for General Grant's performance at Shiloh, presented before the House of Representatives on 2 May 1862, by Elihu Washburne. Julian K. Larke at find-a-grave https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/172074446/julian-k.-larke. https://onlinebooks.library.upenn.edu/webbin/book/lookupname?key=Larke%2c J. K. (Julian K.)&c=x other works by Julian K. Larke
  11. On April 9th 1862, a much-anticipated report detailing events at the recent Battle of Shiloh began making its way to the newspapers of the North. Written by Major General Grant, the concise description of that bloody engagement is below presented, as it appeared in the Coudersport, Pennsylvania weekly, The Potter Journal of Wednesday 23 APR 1862. Filling most of two printed columns (on page 2, beginning column 4) and titled, "Battle at Pittsburg: Official Report of Gen'l Grant," this published account is as close as Ulysses S. Grant ever got to an Official Report. Click on the below image, and zoom in... [provided by Chronicling America, a project of the Library of Congress.] If the expanded image is unclear, try this direct link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn86081096/1862-04-23/ed-1/ (and select Page 2).
  12. Grant & McClernand It was initially believed possible to address the relationship that existed involving military leader U.S. Grant and Congressman John A. McClernand during 1861, and include discussion of that “friendship” in the Pop Quiz item, “We Meet Again,” but there is too much material. And to understand why the relationship became strained before Battle of Shiloh, and how that strain affected the state of readiness at Pittsburg Landing, it must first be understood how the initial friendly relationship between the two men eventuated. On the face of it, the successful politician, McClernand, ten years more senior, with origins in a Southern state, and with limited experience as a Private during the Black Hawk War, has little in common with the West Point trained, but struggling since his resignation from the Army, Grant. And there does not appear to have been any pre-Civil War contact between the two men (Grant lived in Missouri until 1860) so it is safe to assume that their first encounter occurred June 1861, when finally-a-Colonel Grant permitted Illinois Congressmen Logan and McClernand to address his 21st Infantry Regiment outside of Springfield [Memoirs pages 244 – 5]. The next meeting between Grant and McClernand appears to have taken place after the Disaster at First Manassas, after McClernand had been granted permission to raise his brigade of infantry regiments (and was accorded rank of Brigadier General, junior to Brigadier General Grant.) The relationship appears to have evolved as a “friendship of convenience.” Grant needed assistance in his seniority dispute (September 1861) with Benjamin Prentiss; and McClernand – recently arrived at Cairo – was available to take command of in-arrest Prentiss’s troops in Missouri (this arrangement was suggested by Grant, but not actioned by Fremont – see Papers of USG vol.2 pages 173 – 4). With Prentiss out of the way, Grant relocated to Cairo and established his Head Quarters, District of S.E. Missouri (and benefited from Brigadier General McClernand’s presence when the opportunity to occupy Paducah presented on September 5th). While Grant took the 9th Illinois and 12th Illinois to Kentucky, McClernand remained behind with his brigade and provided defense of Cairo. Upon return from Paducah, about September 7th, District commander Grant and Post of Cairo commander McClernand had ample time to get to know each other (Grant would remain at Cairo until 21October) and during that time the communications between the two generals is cordial, supportive and frequent… in keeping with a letter sent from McClernand to U.S. Grant dated September 4th: “I will be happy to co-operate with you in all things for the good of the service” (Papers of USG vol.2 page 184). No doubt during this period of close interaction, fellow Democrats Grant and McClernand would have shared “war stories” and may have realized their similar experience as “dispatch riders” (Grant at Monterey during the Mexican War and McClernand during the recent Bull Run Campaign.) McClernand would also have details of that campaign (and Irwin McDowell) not available anywhere else. From the tone and content of the communications, it appears that Grant was “grooming McClernand to become the best Brigadier he could be” (see Papers of USG vol.2 pp. 184 – 353 and vol.3 pages 67, 88 and 123 – 125). Reports were requested by Grant, the preparation for movement of troops ordered, recommendations provided for establishment of Provost Marshal and other measures (at all times with Grant addressing McClernand as “General” or “Gen.”) The hands-on training with Grant in close proximity culminated with Grant’s brief departure on October 21st for a visit to St. Louis, leaving McClernand in acting-command of the District HQ at Cairo (Papers of USG vol.3 page 67). McClernand obviously passed that test, for on Grant’s return to Cairo he began planning for the Observation of Belmont (and put McClernand to work in helping organize transport and equipage for that expedition – Papers USG vol.3 pp. 98, 103 and 108 – 109). Papers of US Grant vol.3 pages 123 – 126 details the final preparations and orders for the Expedition against Belmont (with Brigadier General McClernand’s given pride of place as lead brigade.) Following successful completion of the raid, General Grant provides a glowing report of McClernand’s participation (page 142) and McClernand’s own report of Belmont can be read: Papers of US Grant vol.3 pages 196 – 201. After Belmont, General Grant next left McClernand in acting-command District HQ on November 18th when Grant departed on an inspection tour of Bird’s Point and Cape Girardeau and the frequent communications between the two generals remain cordial and supportive through early February 1862. Ozzy References: Personal Memoirs of U. S. Grant, volume one Papers of US Grant volumes 3 & 4 (pages as sited) Papers of US Grant vol.4 pages 4 (notes: Letter of 12 JAN 1862 from Hillyer) and 6, 38 49 through to page 132 typical of cordial correspondence, Grant and McClernand Personal Memoirs of John H. Brinton, Major and Surgeon
  13. [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.
  14. Historical Analysis of the Battle of Shiloh is a Masters Thesis submitted to the Air Command and Staff College at Maxwell AFB in Alabama in 1984 by then-Major F. John Semley. The paper is fifty pages in length (41 pages of actual content, with several hand-drawn maps) and is held by the Defense Technical Information Center as pdf at following: http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a144009.pdf Semley paper on Battle of Shiloh Although written over thirty years ago, Major Semley presents a cohesive, coherent analysis of the Battle of Shiloh that most members of SDG will find refreshing: Peabody and Powell get appropriate mention; timings for all events are reasonably accurate; the cause of Lew Wallace's late arrival is given proper attention; causes of the Confederate Force to fail to achieve its objective on Day One is handled with grace and tact. Highlighted items: Grant's "failings" in lead-up to Battle of Shiloh (many of them self-inflicted) Beauregard's failings in massaging the Confederate Battle Plan into something too complex, losing sight of the objective; "No experienced Union Division was positioned at the front" Discussion of the disputed "lost hour" of the Confederate attack, before end of Day One; Nathan Bedford Forrest and Fallen Timbers rate a mention. Presented in three segments, the First segment describes the Battle, Days One and Two; the Second segment offers analysis of Shiloh (with regard to USAF Doctrine IRT war fighting) and Section Three offers opportunity for Discussion, with such questions, "Why was Grant at Savannah?' and "Why did Grant and Beauregard fail to achieve their objectives?" and "Why were there no appropriate defenses at Pittsburg campground?" Appropriate references (author credits J. L. McDonough (1977) "Shiloh: in Hell before Night" as his main inspiration.) Well worth your time to review, and determine "how close Major Semley comes to the correct analysis" Ozzy
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