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Perry Neal

new position marker /Ruggles Battery

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just got in from the park a while and seen were they put up some new position markers one in particular was at Ruggles Battery , 53 guns it says , now when did we become smarter than the actual people who were there Daniel Ruggles says 62 guns and thats how it was understood for a long time . I tried to find our previous discussion were we were trying to add up all the guns involved but couldnt remember were it was but i will always believe 62 guns because Daniel Ruggles says so in his report and he would no first hand i cant see him riding up and down that line and not counting them

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I can't remember offhand if Ruggles gives the total number of cannons involved in his report, or the batteries, but I think the controversy stems from the fact that some of the batteries were short some cannons for various reasons by the time of the bombardment. But David Reed apparently looked at the total number of batteries, added up their full compliment of cannons, and arrived at 62. Going on memory with that, but I think it's close. Anyway, more recent studies have concluded that there were probably somewhat less than 62 cannons, and I think the 53 number emerged as the popular choice. So you might say that 53 is the new 62.

Edward Cunningham goes into this some in his book I think, and I know that Larry Daniel does as well. I don't have either book handy so I can't pin down the spot in either book. Hopefully someone else can help with that. But Cunningham I believe is credited for being the first one to question the 62 figure.

Ron has put forward his own number here on the board, that I think is different than 53, but I'm afraid I don't remember his exact figure. I should, so I'll be watching for a visit from his raging flock of bulls.

It appears that the park folks have been placing some new markers here and there, and/or replacing some markers that have been missing for a number of years.

Perry

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Daniel's page 229: He gives two groups that developed. North and south of Duncan Field. "The total number of pieces in both groupings was probably fifty-three, firing at a range of five hundred yards."

All I can find in Cunningham is in a note at the bottom of page 290 "...makes a maximum total of fifty-one pieces in the Duncan Field position, according to General Ruggles' listing of the units. || Dr. Cunningham was the first to question the 62 pieces of artillery determined by Shiloh Commission historian D. W. Reed. Sword, Shiloh, 326, sticks with the original 62 pieces, while Daniel, Shiloh, 229, argues there were 53."

Jim

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Thanks Jim.

That's the other 'controversy' about the bombardment, is who exactly was responsible for concentrating all of those cannons. Ruggles is the default answer of course since his name was given to the entire grouping, and I think he wanted the credit, but much like with Pickett's Charge at Gettysburg, there's probably more to it than that.

Jim, does Cunningham or Daniel say who may have been responsible for the southern grouping? That's something else I can't remember offhand.

Perry

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Hello Perry

I also searched the discussion group for the post concerning the number of guns in Ruggles line of Artillery. I could not find it so I referred to my research and the book I am writing on the battle. The number of guns in Ruggles line of artillery I believe to have been 55 guns organized into two groups, the Northern Group commanded by Ruggles, and the Southern Group of 25 guns commanded by Major Francis Shoup. Ruggles ordered his staff officer to search the field and find batteries and move them to where he ordered the line established to fire over the Duncan field at the union positions along the sunken road. His staff moved thirty guns into the position on the west side of the Duncan field. These batteries were Ketchum's battery of 2 guns (one section), Hodgson's battery with 6 guns, Bankhead's battery of 6 guns, Stanford's battery with 6 guns, Robertson' battery with 4 Napoleons and finally, Rutledge's battery of 6 guns. This northern group had 30 guns aligned along the woods west of the duncan field.

The southern group consisted of Robert's battery of 4 guns, Triggs Battery of 4 guns, Swetts battery with 6 guns, Hubbards battery (one section) 2 guns, Brynes battery with 7 guns, finally was a section of Cobbs battery with 2 guns. This group of artillery took position in the woods on the southwest side of the Duncan field with 25 guns commanded by Major Shoup.

Please notice the section of Cobbs battery present with 2 guns. This section is believed to be referred to as "Captian Trabue's Kentucky Battery by General Ruggles in his official report (Vol X, page 472). This cannot be as there was no Trabue's Kentucky battery and never was, but this group was referred to as a Kentucky unit. It is now thought to have been a section of Cobb's Kentucky battery that survived the earlier heavy fighting that almost destroyed the battery and was pushed up into Ruggles line of artillery. Although General Ruggles mentions the presence of this two gun section on the right of Brynes Kentucky battery, it has escaped notice by many researchers and authors.

Therefore, I believe the total guns in Ruggles line of artillery is 55 guns and certainly not 62 that has been accepted for much too long by too many.

Ron

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Don't worry Perry, the raging flock of bulls have been put in the barn. It is winter here in Michigan.

The number of 55 guns in the line is the result of later research. In any event 53 or 55 guns, the effectiveness of the confederate barrage was not that good. Much like the argument concerning Alexander's barrage at Gettysburg. It definately was not as good as the confederates believed. In both cases, the confederate gunners overshot the target with many rounds landing in the rear of the union troops.

Ron

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Shoup. I couldn't think of his name for some reason. Thanks. And Ron, thanks for not unleashing the flock on me. :)

Following up on all this, here's a link to Ruggle's report, courtesy of CivilWarHome.com - http://www.civilwarh...lesshilohor.htm

You can track it down through Cornell University's O.R. site, but I took the quick and lazy way out. The information on the batteries involved in the bombardment can be found about a quarter of the way down the page. As Ron notes above, Ruggles refers to "Captain Trabue's Kentucky" battery on the far right of the line. Here's the position marker for that battery, as found on Shiloh's NPS web site -

http://shilohbattlef...=TN003T453C.jpg

As you see, the marker notes that there are no other references to such a battery anywhere else outside of Ruggle's report. But, again as Ron indicates, the marker is associated with Cobb's battery on the web site. And this does seem to make the most sense. Byrne's Mississippi battery was accounted for, so that only leaves one other battery from Trabue's brigade, and that has to be Cobb's. So if there were 55 guns rather than 53, this would seem to be where the missing two cannons come from.

But if that's the case, then are the park folks simply discounting the marker from "Trabue's Kentucky Battery" as an error on Reed's part? It would seem odd if so, since they are associating it with Cobb's battery on the NPS site.

Adding a bit to the mystery, D.W. Reed says that once Cobb's battery was re-taken in the fighting over by Woolf Field, the battery was not in action again, with four of the guns being removed from the field that night. See the reference here, about halfway down the page -

http://shilohbattlefield.org/commission/Pages/Mississippi/Breckinridge/trabue.htm

So Reed seems to be crediting "Trabue's Kentucky Battery" with a full six-gun compliment and places it with Ruggles, but also indicates that none of Cobb's battery was present as part of Ruggle's line of artillery. So we have a battery that did not exist being included, and a battery that did exist (two cannons), not being included, and not being accounted for anywhere else.

On a slightly related note, if I remember right, I think Wiley Sword has Cobb's Battery taking part in the fighting on April 7th, when everyone else says it was not around by that point.

Are we having fun yet?

Perry

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thanks for all the good response ,good point Perry on whether Ruggles came up with 62 or was it D.W. Reed for if it was Ruggles then it is over for me right there ,its 62 guns .But it seems to me nobody knows for sure and as Winston Groom say it doesnt really matter after all this time whether its 50 or 60something so why is the park so bent on saying 53.What about all those captured Union guns im sure when they said bring every gun they didnt leave them out ,i can think of 4 to 6 southern guns that may have been left out but i need to do a little more reasearch on that to say for sure ,can anyone tell me which guns im thinkn of ,but hey 55 sounds better than 53 way go Ron :)

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