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John Jackman, Orphan Brigade

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Found this to be an interesting account-

**John Jackman was a member of the Confederate military unit from Kentucky that came to be known as the "Orphan Brigade." During his tour of duty, he made many diary entries recording his experiences. Most of the entries describe being cold, sick, and hungry. Fortunately for us, he was often too sick to fight and so survived the Civil War to publish this account. The following entries describe his experiences at the Battle of Shiloh, near Corinth, MS. In this entry, he makes fun of a fellow Confederate soldier he calls "Brown Jeans" who does not speak proper English and is unable to afford a proper uniform.**

April 5th, 1862

This morning, felt completely broken down. The wagon was so heavily loaded, and behind too, I had to try it afoot again -- the train rolled past me, and I was left a complete straggler. A staff officer, in charge of the rear, ordered me back to Corinth, but as soon as he was gone, I kept ahead. The next house I came to I stopped. The lady gave me some milk and bread to eat. I felt so bad, I thought I would go no further. Soldiers were straggling along all day. That evening, there was some artillery firing towards Shiloh. Again had fever that night.

April 6th

This day will long be remembered. Soon after the sun had risen, the firing of artillery became so general, and the roar of musketry could be heard so distinctly, I knew the battle had commenced. I wished to be on the field, but was not able to walk so far. The gentleman with whom I was staying had his only remaining horse caught, which I mounted. When I bade "mine hostess" good bye, she looked very "sorrowful" -- which affected me not a little & I never knew why she took such an interest in me. The gentleman walked and kept up. Four miles brought us to Monterey, and just beyond, we met some of the wounded on foot with their arms and heads bound up in bloody bandages, & I felt then that I was getting in the vicinity of the "warfare." Soon we met ambulances and wagons loaded with wounded, and I could hear the poor fellows groaning and shrieking, as they were being jolted over the rough road. Met a man on horseback with a stand of captured colors. We were now in proximity of the fighting, and we met crowds of men; some crippling along, wounded in the legs or about the body; others, no blood could be seen about their persons -- yet all seemed bent on getting away. I now dismounted and started on foot. I never saw the gentleman afterwards, who had kindly brought me so far on the road. Being in so much excitement, I became stronger. I met a fellow dressed in a suit of "butter-nut" jeans, who was limping, but I don't believe was scratched. He asked me, in that whining way: "Has you'ns been in the fight yet?" I thought he meant some general, and asked my "brown" interrogator what troops General "Youens" commanded. He seemed astounded, and at last made me understand him. I told him "no," and went on. I afterwards got quite familiar with the "youens" and "weens" vernacular of "Brown Jeans."

While passing a hospital on the roadside, I happened to see one of our company lying by a tent wounded. I went out to see him, and there found the brigade hospital established. There were heaps of wounded lying about, many of them I knew, and first one then another would ask me to give him water or do some other favor for him. While I was thus occupied, Dr. P told me to stay with him, that I was not able to go on the field -- that I would be captured. There was no one to help him, and I turned surgeon, pro tempore. I was not able to do much, but rendered all the assistance in my power. Part of my business was to put patients under the influence of chloroform. I kept my handkerchief saturated all the time, and was often dizzy from the effects myself. It was about one o'clock in the day, when I got there.

All day long the battle raged. Occasionally there would be a lull for a short time; but the cannon were never entirely hushed. They would break out in increased thunder, and the roar of the musketry would roll up and down the lines, vibrating almost regularly from one extreme to the other. All day long the ambulances continued to discharge their loads of wounded. At last night set in, and the musketry ceased; but the Federal gunboats continued shelling awhile after dark. Nearly midnight when we got through with the wounded. A heavy rain set in. I was tired, sick and all covered with blood. But I was in far better fix than many that were there. I sat on a medicine chest in the surgeon's tent, and "nodded" the long night through.

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Maybe this? It's the 4th but maybe it might explain it.

"Maj.-Gen. H. W. HALLECK, Cmdg. Department of the Mississippi, Saint Louis, Mo.

No. 2.

Report of Brig. Gen. William T. Sherman, U. S. Army.

HDQRS. FIFTH DIVISION, Camp Shiloh, Tenn., April 5, 1862.

SIR: I have the honor to report that yesterday about 3 p.m. it was reported to me that the lieutenant commanding and 7 men of the advance pickets had imprudently advanced from their posts and were captured. I ordered Maj. Ricker, of the Fifth Ohio Cavalry, to proceed rapidly to the picket station, ascertain the truth, and act according to circumstances. He reached the station, found the pickets had been captured as reported, and that a company of infantry sent by the brigade commander had gone forward in pursuit of some cavalry. He rapidly advanced some 2 miles and found them engaged; charged the enemy, and drove them along the ridge road until he met and received three discharges of artillery, when he very properly wheeled under cover and returned till he met me. As soon as I heard artillery I advanced with two regiments of infantry and took position and remained until the scattered companies of infantry and cavalry returned. This was after night. I infer that the enemy is in some considerable force at Pea Ridge; that yesterday morning they crossed a brigade of two regiments of infantry, o­ne regiment of cavalry, and o­ne battery of field artillery to the ridge o­n which the Corinth road lays. They halted the infantry and artillery at a point about 5 miles in my front, and sent a detachment to the lane of Gen. Meeks, o­n the north of Owl Creek, and the cavalry down towards our camps. This cavalry captured a part of our advance pickets and afterwards engaged the two companies of Col. Buckland's regiment, as described by him in his report, herewith inclosed. Our cavalry drove them back upon their artillery and infantry, killing many and bringing off 10 prisoners (all of the First Alabama Cavalry), whom I send to you.

We lost of the picket: 1 first lieutenant and 7 men of the Seventieth Ohio Infantry, taken prisoners; 1 major, 1 lieutenant, and 1 private of the Seventy-second Ohio taken prisoners, and 8 privates wounded.

Names of all embraced in report of Col. Buckland, inclosed herewith. We took 10 prisoners, and left 2 wounded and many killed o­n the field.

I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,

W. T. SHERMAN, Brig.-Gen., Cmdg. Division.

Capt. JOHN A. RAWLINS, A. A. G., District of West Tennessee."

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Report of Maj. Elbridge G. Ricker, Fifth Ohio Cavalry.

HDQRS. SECOND BATT., FIFTH REGT. OHIO VOL. CAV., Pittsburg, Tenn., April 4, [?]1862.

In accordance with the order issued to me at 2.30 p.m. of said day (to proceed with 150 men to look for Maj. Crockett, a lieutenant, and 5 or 6 men, who had wandered outside the pickets and were supposed to be lost or captured) we reached the pickets about 3.30 o'clock, and learned that Col. Buckland was out with two companies of infantry. We moved o­n for about 2 miles, when we heard considerable firing o­n our right. Knowing the ground, I at o­nce ordered two the rear, while I moved against his flank with two other companies. We found a large cavalry force slowly retiring before Col. Buckland and his command. There is a strip of fallen timber at this point that retarded our movements very much for a short time. As soon as our men were clear of this obstacle they dashed o­n to the enemy, scattering them in every direction and pursuing them some 300 or 400 yards. When passing the brow of a hill our advance was opened o­n by three or four pieces of artillery, at least two regiments of infantry, and a large cavalry force. So near was our advance to this line of battle of the enemy that o­ne of our men was carried within the enemy's lines by his horse and captured, while another shot o­ne of their gunners down at his gun. Two of our men lost their carbines at this point. I then ordered my command to fall back about 200 yards, bringing a piece of high ground between us and the enemy.

Col. Buckland coming up at this time with his command, we formed and retired in good order, bringing off 9 prisoners. Not less than 20 of the enemy were left dead; also a number of horses were killed and wounded, among which was the horses of the lieutenant-colonel of the First Alabama Cavalry. We brought off his saddle and equipments.

I must return thanks to officers and men for the manner in which they conducted themselves in presence of a force at least ten times their number.

I acknowledge God's mercy in protecting our men under the terrible fire poured upon us by the enemy in the opening fight of the great battle of Pittsburg.

Nine wounded prisoners were brought in at night, making in all 18.

E. G. RICKER, Maj. Second Battalion, Fifth Regt. Ohio Volunteer Cavalry.

Co. W. H. H. TAYLOR

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That's what I was thinking, that it may have been the artillery fire from the dust-up on the 4th that he heard and simply got the date wrong. But, these are supposed to be diary entries. Possible that he wrote them at a later date though, or wrote several entries in one sitting. He appears to be writing in the past-tense most of the time, although the entry for the 5th starts out saying "This morning." But then he later says, "that evening" and "that night" in the same entry.

Perry

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Well I'm convinced he heard it on the 5th, as he is rather clear as to where he is at the time. I can't recall, but could it have been possible that it was just thunder or was there artillery going off on the 5th, but wasn't heavily reported?

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I'm not saying he was mistaken on the dates, that's just the only thing I could find on short notice involving artillery fire in the couple of days prior to the battle. I thought at first when I found it that it was on the 5th, as it was supposedly written on the 5th, but then I noticed it stated "yesterday". There very well could have been something that wasn't mentioned in a report.

Mike

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Hard to tell. My impression from another report I have seen is this other bit of Fallen timbers is different then the famous "Fallen Timbers", which I think is about 200-300 yards behind the action mentioned in the above report. Though they could have deployed in that area then advanced.

The question is, how many sections of fallen timber could there have been?

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If you have ever seen an area after it's been hit with a tornado or straight line winds, you know that there are a lot of blown down timber areas left behind.

Jim

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I'm thinking if he did indeed hear artillery fire on the 5th, it must have come from a Union outfit doing some live-fire practice. I don't know of anything like that taking place, but I'm sure nothing like that would have come from the Confederate army. If someone in that army had fired off a cannon on April 5th, that close to the Union army, they probably would have found themselves stuffed down the tube by Albert Sidney Johnston and flying toward Pittsburg Landing in short order.

I would guess it was thunder, he got the date wrong, or a cannon in the Union camps got fired off for some reason.

Perry

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