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Found 5 results

  1. Ozzy

    Sherman's Diary

    Did you know William Tecumseh Sherman was a diarist? Over at University of Notre Dame (Archives) are to be found diaries kept by Sherman from 1843 - 1861 and 1866 - 1890. Where are the diaries William Tecumseh Sherman kept during the Civil War? [Still looking, but they may be at Library of Congress, or some University Library.] But, W. T. Sherman also wrote a lot of letters... http://archives.nd.edu/findaids/ead/xml/shr.xml William T. Sherman Family Papers (Letters, telegrams, diaries and other documents). [Click on above link, and scroll down: everything in "blue" is online; mostly copies of handwritten documents (which can be hard to read) but also many typed transcripts]: 13 NOV 1861 Special Orders No.305 relieving Sherman of command and replacing him with BGen D. C. Buell. 24 NOV 1861 Special Orders No.8, by which BGen Sherman is assigned duty as Inspector in Department of the Missouri. DEC 1861 Letter, in which Sherman indicates, "he has met Halleck in St. Louis, and will press for a command." JAN 1862 Letter to wife, Ellen (from Benton Barracks) indicates, "There is something in the works for Tennessee (including a feint on Columbus from Cairo)." 12 FEB 1862 Letter to Ellen (from Benton Barracks) "General Halleck plans to go to Paducah..." 1 MAR 1862 Letter from Paducah to Ellen: "I have been busy sending away Prisoners from Fort Donelson." 3 MAR 1862 Letter from Cairo to Ellen: "I am getting ready to be part of an expedition; and the Rebels are abandoning Columbus, because of Genl Grant's victory." 3 APR 1863 Letter from Pittsburg Landing to Ellen: "Buell's forces are expected at Savannah about Monday (April 8th). Bragg is at Corinth, 18 miles away with 80 regiments... and I am satisfied they will await our coming. The weather is warm and Springlike: apples and peaches in blossom, and trees beginning to leaf." And much, much more... Ozzy
  2. In the 2017-18 series "Legends & Lies: Civil War," directed by Kevin R. Hershberger (and now available on YouTube), thought it might be of interest to investigate what sort of treatment was accorded the Battle of Shiloh. What follows is strictly my review, and does not reflect the viewpoint of Management of Shiloh Discussion Group: The total coverage of Battle of Shiloh is contained within Episode 2. Beginning at 24 minutes 45 seconds, the illness and subsequent death of 11 year old Willie Lincoln sets the scene (as Lincoln's attention would have been absorbed by his son's illness and subsequent death on 20 February 1862, possibly diverting attention from events taking place in the Western Theatre.) A brief interlude featuring Major General George McClellan reveals the conflict that existed and festered between that military commander and President Lincoln (and Edwin Stanton). And the coverage of the Western Theatre commences at: 26.40 Fort Henry (five seconds of mention) 26.50 Fort Donelson (featuring a poetic-license meeting between Simon B. Buckner and U.S. Grant) 32.30 Shiloh. Narrator says, "In the west, U.S. Grant chases the Rebels through Tennessee to Corinth, Mississippi. Grant stops near a church called Shiloh and waits to attack the Rebels. Grant says, effectively, 'Take five; and we'll wait for reinforcements.'" [Almost no mention of Pittsburg Landing. No mention that Grant was following "orders to wait" issued by Henry Halleck.] 33.30 Shiloh is declared "the first great slaughter of the war." The emphasis is on U.S. Grant and his performance. William Tecumseh Sherman is introduced, giving every indication that Shiloh was the start of the great friendship. [Wallace, Hurlbut, McClernand and Prentiss are not mentioned. Neither is Sunken Road, the Crossroads, the Hornet's Nest, Peabody nor Powell. Or the gunboats. Or any of the Confederate commanders...] 35.30 Day Two. Focus shifts to Confederate Samuel Todd (Mary Lincoln's brother, soldier at Shiloh.) Union reinforcements arrive overnight and facilitate a Federal offensive, conducted by Grant and Sherman, early on April 7th. 37.00 Grant ekes out a narrow victory at Shiloh. [No mention of Don Carlos Buell. No mention of General Beauregard claiming victory. No mention of Nathan Bedford Forrest's successful rearguard action on April 8th.] Since Shiloh (and Fort Henry, Fort Donelson, Vicksburg and Chattanooga) get such scant coverage, the attempt was made to discover "the purpose" of this Civil War series; and it appears to be an effort to "determine how the numerous leaders, of both sides, of various capabilities filtered themselves out over the course of the war, eventually pitting Lee versus Grant." As evidence, Robert E. Lee receives substantial coverage throughout the series. Ulysses S. Grant has the entirety of Episode 7 devoted to him. Stonewall Jackson's importance to Lee is discussed, as is John Rawlin's importance to U. S. Grant. There are "items of interest" revealed in the series, as a whole: in Episode One, the poetic-license interview of John Brown by John Wilkes Booth (Booth was known to have been present at Brown's execution, but anything further is unproven); also in Episode One, the role of Benjamin Butler in getting his Massachusetts troops to Washington, D.C. (and delayed arrival of those troops encouraging President Lincoln to suspend the Writ of Habeas Corpus); and the personal friendship of Abraham Lincoln and Elmer Ellsworth is well-covered... Unfortunately, the Battle of Shiloh seems to be included, merely as "the starting point" for General Grant's successful career. Ozzy References: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4465100/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1 Legends & Lies entry at IMDB http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iGaWl8eXPaA&index=12&list=PLniqIe7xEtGMklmbe9pYqUrGLqmBOh2ut Legends & Lies: Shiloh (Episode 2) posted by Nicky Nice 1 APR 2018
  3. Ozzy

    Letter from the 6th Iowa

    Oliver Boardman was a 21 year old from Albia, Iowa who enlisted as a Private in the 6th Iowa Volunteer Infantry, Co. E at Burlington in July 1861; and spent the next several months guarding trains in northern Missouri. On 14 March 1862, the Crescent City touched at Savannah Tennessee, and two days later the 6th Iowa disembarked at Pittsburg Landing. On April 24th, Private Boardman wrote a letter to his brother and sister back in Albia, and in eight pages describes his activity "on the far right of the Army, under General Sherman." Boardman recalls "just getting out of a trap" and hurrying with his regiment to the north; being engaged, while continually falling back; and "being supported" by one regiment after another, "which would fire two or three shots, then disappear." Eventually reaching "the tight pocket of our Army, on the bluff," Private Boardman identifies the arrival of Buell; the Siege guns; and the gunboats as crucial in warding off Rebel success {"They finally gave up on taking the Landing, and left us alone til morning.") Day Two, Private Boardman went with a company of the 6th Iowa, attached to "another regiment," and joined Sherman in fighting "in a westerly direction" during which Boardman's company was assigned as support to a battery. During the course of an artillery duel, Boardman describes, "there being so much smoke, it was hard to see anything. But eventually we took that Rebel battery." In the aftermath, Private Boardman contemplated "what went wrong" at Shiloh, and put it down to "believing too much in our own strength," and "the scattered nature of the camps." [In a later letter, written May 11th, Oliver Boardman also remarked that, "He believes the generals will do right, this time. Grant is not with us; Halleck has our confidence."] The 24 April 1862 Letter from Oliver Boardman is one of more than a dozen letters, covering July 1861 through the Vicksburg Campaign of 1863. Each letter is written in a legible cursive handwriting (with typed transcript at bottom of each page.) The collection is on file with Iowa Heritage Digital Collection (associated with Universities of Iowa): http://128.255.22.135/cdm/ref/collection/cwd/id/21464 Private Oliver Boardman Letter from Shiloh, 24 April 1862 Cheers Ozzy
  4. Ozzy

    First Bowtie?

    A few days after the Battle of Shiloh, U.S. Grant notified recently-arrived Henry Halleck of intelligence from a "trusted source" IRT Rebel plans to cross the Tennessee River at Florence, march north, and attack Savannah. Grant proposed an expedition to cripple the bridge at Florence; and if possible, destroy the Bear Creek Bridge of the M&C R.R. east of Iuka. Halleck approved the operation, and on the evening of April 12th General Sherman led a brigade of infantry and 100 cavalrymen aboard two transports; and in company with timberclads Tyler and Lexington proceeded up the Tennessee River... but the bar at Chickasaw Bluff halted the progress of the expedition. Sherman landed his force at Chickasaw Landing at 7 next morning and rushed south. Drove away the Rebels guarding Bear Creek Bridge. Tore up the rails for five hundred feet west of the bridge. Burned the bridge. Then melted the collected-up railroad iron over a raging bonfire... Satisfied, and with few casualties, Sherman ordered his force back aboard the transports and returned to Pittsburg Landing evening of April 13th. Next day, he made his report to Grant (via Rawlins) [Papers of US Grant volume 5 pages 41-43]. Sherman had finally cut that railroad line (although General Ormsby Mitchel had beaten him by two days, cutting the M&C R.R. at Huntsville.) And the two rumored Confederate gunboats were still lurking somewhere upriver from Chickasaw. So the only real significance of the Expedition: Sherman bent up his first of many irreplaceable Confederate rails. (Over 90% of rails used by the Confederacy were imported from England.) Ozzy From Harper's Weekly of 1864, one of the more elaborate designs...
  5. There are some exceptional "tall tales" to be found in the Official Records of the Civil War, and we all have our favourites... But I would be hard-pressed to find a more bare-faced contrived furphy than the one expressed by General William Tecumseh Sherman on April 10th 1862 in his after-action report IRT the Battle of Shiloh. Included at the bottom of page 253 of OR 10, Sherman asserts: "The enemy captured seven of our guns on Sunday, but on Monday we recovered seven guns -- not the identical guns we had lost, but enough in numbers to balance the account." Confirmed by examination of the record, Sherman's Fifth Division had been assigned the following artillery (lost guns in parenthesis): Waterhouse (3) Taylor (0) Behr (5) On its face, this is a minor mistake: total of 8 artillery pieces actually lost, as against seven reported by Sherman as lost. However, it must be remembered that Waterhouse was forced to abandon a gun during one of his northerly movements. So the total becomes... 9. And allowance must be given for the combined operations that commenced with MGen McClernand's offer of assistance before 8am. Initially, BGen Sherman requested only a squadron of cavalry with which to conduct surveillance; but that quickly expanded into a request for support from the First Division. And McClernand provided that support, initially via separately directed troop movements and actions; but following on the assembly (and collapse) of the 2nd Line along the Hamburg-Purdy Road at about 10:30am the operations of the 5th Division and 1st Division become practically indistinguishable. And this "incorporation" of two distinct Army divisions into the "Sherman & McClernand Joint operation" is cemented further through the employment of Major Ezra Taylor, who began the day as Sherman's Chief of Artillery; but who assumed control of the employment of artillery of the 1st Division after 10:30am. That said, Taylor cannot be given blame for the disaster that befell Jerome Burrows and his 14th Ohio Battery (all six guns lost about 10:30 due to concerted effort of SAM Woods' Brigade.) But Major Taylor admits (OR 10 page 274) "taking responsibility for ordering two guns of Schwartz into position" (one gun lost.) And on page 275: "Dresser's Battery (Captain Timony) was put in battery under my direction on Sunday... in front of General McClernand's HQ" (four guns lost.) [General McClernand admits to maintaining control of McAllister's Battery; so its loss of one gun, captured by the 4th Tennessee, is attributable to him.] Therefore, the total number of guns lost by Sherman (or agents of Sherman) on April 6th stands at 14. Ozzy References: OR pages as sited DW Reed's Battle of Shiloh and the Organizations Engaged (1903) pages 91-101.
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