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As we know, the railroads, and who controlled them (or destroyed them) was vitally important to Civil War planning and operations. And we all know the significance of the Memphis & Charleston R.R: the de facto assembly of a Federal force at Pittsburg Landing followed from efforts to cut that line, and the Mobile & Ohio. But, did you know it was possible to ride from New Orleans to Richmond, with only a couple of changes of train line, in cities like Memphis, Knoxville, and Bristol? Albert Sidney Johnston made that journey in August 1861, completing his epic trek from California.

 

If maps can tell the story, then the best site I have run across is Confederate Railroads, by David L. Bright: 

 

http://www.csa-railroads.com/index.htm

 

Click on the link, then select [maps]: the CSA railroads are displayed via 'Eastern Railroads' and 'Western Railroads.' Follow the numbers indicated, to find the name of that railroad line. Of additional interest: more detailed city/locality maps (drawn during the war) are available for several dozen locations, including Memphis, Corinth, Murfreesboro, Clarksville and Bowling Green, at 'City and Area Maps.'

 

The site makes use of Railroads of the Confederacy by Robert Blake, and links to Library of Congress and other resource sites.

 

Cheers

 

Ozzy

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Ozzy,

 

I've stayed up way past my bedtime, but will check this out in the morning.  Always have been fascinated by trains and railroads . . . and know I'll enjoy exploring them in relation to the Civil War.

 

Also . . . just a note to say I appreciate the scope and depth of your contributions here.  I don't always get around to reading everything or replying, but find myself frequently wandering around among your many offerings.

 

:) Michele

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Ozzy......

 

As you, no doubt, know, most of the civil war battles were fought over railroad and water supply routes.  Whoever controlled them, controlled the War.  Living here in Virginia, and especially near Manassas, this is quite obvious.  During that time, two important railroads ran through this area and the fight over who controlled the important Manassas Junction, ended in battles a few miles away approximately a year apart.  The Orange and Alexandria  Railroad (running north and south) met the Manassas Gap Railroad which linked the fertile Shenandoah Valley with Northern Virginia.

 

Thus began the importance of moving men and supplies across the Eastern and Western Theaters.  While the rebels seemed to have the upper hand in the early stages of the War, let's not forget Sherman's "bow ties" as he marched across Georgia.  The Confederates did not have as much iron or access to foundries as the North did, and Sherman's destruction of the southern rails proved important during his march to the sea.

 

THE MANASSAS BELLE

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Great stuff as always, Ozzy. Thanks.

 

Eileen has done some research on a trolly line that ran through the park at Gettysburg back in the long-ago day. It's not exactly the same as a railroad, but it's incredibly interesting to learn about the history of the parks as well. She gave a tour of the old trolly line during a Gettysburg Discussion Group gathering back in 1999. If memory serves, there was some bald dude from Oklahoma along for that one. It was pretty good.

 

Perry

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Belle

 

Not only Sherman tore up rail lines... After Federal forces gained control of Corinth, and shortly afterwards occupied Memphis, they found it almost impossible to use the Memphis & Charleston between Memphis and Corinth. A 'triangular route' northeast from Memphis, connecting to the Mobile & Ohio at Humboldt [change trains], then continue south to Corinth had to be used. And in December 1862, N.B. Forrest almost succeeded in destroying that triangular route, which would have further isolated Memphis, and put Corinth [by December 1862 a major Federal supply base] in a precarious position.

 

Ozzy

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Something that kind of fascinates me about Shiloh is how low the odds had to have been for a battle to take place there. I'm sure there are a lot of battlefields about which that could be said, but still, if I had no knowledge of the war and tried to pick out locations on a map where I thought major battles might possibly have occurred, I can just about guarantee I wouldn't even consider Pittsburg Landing.

 

Think of all the factors that had to come together to bring that battle about, starting with the presence of those railroads, and their junction at Corinth. That's really the driving force behind the entire campaign. No railroads, no need to focus on Corinth, assuming it's even there. Then there's the river, without which there's obviously no landing. And if it wasn't raining to the point of flooding the countryside, the Union army likely sets up shop somewhere else, and possibly further south along the river. Or maybe they just camp on the east side of the river up around Savannah, where the Rebs can't get to them. Then strike out when they're ready to attack Corinth.

 

Sherman's Easport expedition wound up back at Pittsburg Landing because nowhere else was dry enough to come ashore. Sherman saw that it was a good spot for a campground, and even had good roads leading toward Corntih. Which is another factor - the roads leading out from the Landing.

 

So it's like the 3 R's all came together - Rain, River, and Roads. And the roads of course would be rail as well as, well, dirt. But if you alter just one of those things, including how much rain there was in March, you probably don't have a battle of Shiloh, because there's likely no Union army camped there. There might very well have still been a battle of course, and almost certainly would have been, had they located somewhere else. But considering how vital a role the terrain on the battlefield played at Shiloh, you have to wonder what difference it might have made if the battle had been fought elsewhere.

 

I know that's all counter-factual history and such, but it's interesting to me how factors like that can help shape the course of things. And it can also help us appreciate the uncertainty of it all. We look "back" at history mainly because that's the only way we can really do it, but that can also have a tendency to make us think things could only have happened in the way that they did. And it can make it harder to appreciate the uncertainty that everyone faced at the time. People have always had to deal with that of course, and always will. It's quite a challenge to confront with when we "look backwards." Things tend to be a lot clearer in retrospect than before they happen. And Shiloh I think qualifies.

 

Perry

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And when you run out of facts, and still have not answered the question, you must resort to probabilities, and debate the likely outcomes. One thing I am finding with the internet, though: so much is coming to light that was squirrelled away in attics and family histories, it will take a while before we run out of facts.

 

Ozzy

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Thank you, Perry, for mentioning my Gettysburg electric trolley research.  I've spent enough time and research on it over the years to write a book!  If I ever find the time, maybe I will!

 

A Licensed Battlefield Guide, Fred Hawthorne, took me under his wing and shared all he collected on the trolley and spent time showing me all the little known (and often overlooked) remaining remnants of the trolley line and its stations that once resided on the battlefield after the war.  Subsequently, I spent time at the National Archives, the Adams County Historical Society and on the internet collecting additional photos, newspaper articles, copies of legislation, and facts and figures.

 

As Perry mentioned, in 1999 and subsequent years I lead tours of portions of the trolley line to some members of the Gettysburg Discussion Group (GDG) and individuals.  (How could I possibly forget that bald dude from Oklahoma!   :)

 

Unfortunately, right now I'm still unpacking from the recent interior painting of my house.  My notes of the Gettysburg electric trolley are still nestled in one of the remaining unpacked boxes.  Once I get settled in, I'll be happy to share a few Gettysburg electric trolley vignettes with this group.  Until then, I'll share this stunning photo taken near the Sachs Mill Covered Bridge in Gettysburg of me and that bald dude from Oklahoma during that 1999 GDG Muster weekend.

 

 

post-13-0-65773500-1423881975_thumb.jpg

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Belle

 

Interesting that it was actually built, then removed. But I guess that was what the court case was about...

 

 

Ozzy

 

N.B.  Great photo!  Thanks for posting.

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Man, there's a picture from the land of Far Far Away. See that walkie-talkie in her hand? She was a Park Watch volunteer at Gettysburg, and she used that walkie-talkie to report evil little kids climbing on cannons. Then she kicked them off without mercy.

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Aw come on, Perry.  I wasn't that bad.  I took you for ice cream after I chased you off that cannon, didn't I?  :D

 

Yes, for a number of years I was one of approximately 115 volunteer members of Gettysburg's Park Watch patrol.  The volunteer Park Watch Program started in 1996 after a rash of vandalism on the Gettysburg battlefield.  Watchers serve in highly visible roles, sporting Park Watch jackets, hats, and car decals and sometimes are covert, quietly serving as the eyes and ears of the park protection rangers.  They have been awarded the Pennsylvania Governor's Citizen Crime Prevention Award on several occasions.  Park Watch has also received the National Park Service Northeast Region's Protection Award for Excellence.  A tip of the kepi to all those who serve to preserve the park and make it a safer place for everyone.

 

I'm not sure if Shiloh has a Park Watch program.  Does any one know?

 

THE MANASSAS BELLE

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It used to be a standing joke, when I was growing up:  'Why did they put a fence around the cemetery? Who do they think is going to try to get out?'

 

Unfortunately, it's always been the living, trying to get in, while no one is looking (hence... no supervision). And bent on destruction... or stealing relics and history from the rest of us. (You would think, in an age of hidden cameras and motion sensors, parks and cemeteries could be better protected, especially at night.)

 

I've always appreciated the contributions made by volunteers: encouraging visitors, and providing 'a presence' (tacit supervision),... displaying proof that the site is valued, and deserving of respect and consideration. 

 

Thank you for your contribution to this effort, Belle.  :)

 

Ozzy

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Belle

 

Not only Sherman tore up rail lines... After Federal forces gained control of Corinth, and shortly afterwards occupied Memphis, they found it almost impossible to use the Memphis & Charleston between Memphis and Corinth. A 'triangular route' northeast from Memphis, connecting to the Mobile & Ohio at Humboldt [change trains], then continue south to Corinth had to be used. And in December 1862, N.B. Forrest almost succeeded in destroying that triangular route, which would have further isolated Memphis, and put Corinth [by December 1862 a major Federal supply base] in a precarious position.

 

Ozzy

You mention that triangular route, Lew Wallace was stationed for a period of time in my hometown Bartlett (wartime Union Depot) on the Mobile and Ohio railroad to protect it from raiders.

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Pumpkinslinger

 

Good to make contact with you...  If you don't mind, I have a question, that I hope a 'local' would be able to answer:  Had you heard of the 'triangular routing' of trains (actually their passengers and goods) between Memphis and Corinth? From my reading, it appears that the Memphis & Charleston was so torn up, and repaired, and torn up again... it was not a reliable train line for Federal use, until at least 1863. And, although the Mobile & Ohio was more easily defended (after the occupation of Corinth), Nathan Bedford Forrest had a campaign in December 1862 that seemed focused on the train lines north and northeast of Memphis.

 

Regards

 

Ozzy

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Aw come on, Perry.  I wasn't that bad.  I took you for ice cream after I chased you off that cannon, didn't I?  :D

 

Yes, for a number of years I was one of approximately 115 volunteer members of Gettysburg's Park Watch patrol.  The volunteer Park Watch Program started in 1996 after a rash of vandalism on the Gettysburg battlefield.  Watchers serve in highly visible roles, sporting Park Watch jackets, hats, and car decals and sometimes are covert, quietly serving as the eyes and ears of the park protection rangers.  They have been awarded the Pennsylvania Governor's Citizen Crime Prevention Award on several occasions.  Park Watch has also received the National Park Service Northeast Region's Protection Award for Excellence.  A tip of the kepi to all those who serve to preserve the park and make it a safer place for everyone.

 

I'm not sure if Shiloh has a Park Watch program.  Does any one know?

 

THE MANASSAS BELLE

 

I remember something about an ice cream, yes. And also something about walking into a bookstore with money, and walking out with books and no money. :)

 

On the park watch question, I don't believe Shiloh has such a thing, at least officially. I think some of the rangers might do it on their own time now and then, but I'm not certain.

 

Perry

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For the sake of comparison, these are the methods by which two infantry regiments (one from the North, the other from the South), arrived at Shiloh...

 

After reporting for duty at Camp Union, Dubuque in October/November 1861, the 12th Iowa was ferried across the Mississippi River and loaded aboard a southbound train. At the end of the line, the regiment was ferried from Illinois to St Louis, and marched to Benton Barracks for two additional months of training. In late January, the 12th IA was ordered to report to Cairo for active service. The regiment hiked to the ferry landing, and continued marching across an ice sheet that partially covered the river; reaching open water, the ferry was waiting to load them aboard and return them to Illinois. The men boarded trains, and arrived in Cairo a few hours later; they transferred immediately to waiting steamers, and paddled up the Ohio to Smithland, Kentucky (just east of Paducah.)

 

After a few days camped on the bluff above flooded Smithland, the regiment hiked and steamed south in an effort to take part in the combined Army-Navy show against Fort Henry. A few days after the capture of Fort Henry, the 12th Iowa (Colonel J. J. Woods commanding) hiked the Telegraph Road towards Fort Donelson, arriving February 12th. The regiment was put in position in the northern range of the Federal arc, and took part in C. F. Smith's movement against the outer works. After the surrender of Fort Donelson, the 12th Iowa remained in vicinity until early March, when the hike west was made to Metal Landing on the Tennessee River; the steamer John Warner was boarded, and the journey made to Savannah... then continued to Pittsburg Landing, arriving mid-March. The 12th Iowa disembarked and set up camp north and west of the landing, as part of C. F. Smith's (later WHL Wallace's) 2nd Division, Tuttle's 1st Brigade.

 

                                                                                           -------------------------------------------------------

 

The 10th Mississippi Infantry began recruiting members in January/February 1861; the individual companies came together at Mobile, Alabama in March, and were eventually ferried across Mobile Bay; they hiked the final fifty-five miles to Pensacola, and by April 12th were encamped near Fort Barrancas. In Florida, the 10th MS (under command of Colonel Seaburne Phillips) was assigned to Chalmer's Brigade, under overall command of BGen Braxton Bragg. Soon, the 10th MS companies A, D, E, H and I were detached, and assigned duty at Fort McRae, the closest Rebel fort to Union-held Fort Pickens: the two faced each other from opposite sides of the entrance to Pensacola Bay.

 

On October 9th 1861, elements of the 10th Mississippi ferried across Pensacola Bay in the darkness and landed on Santa Rosa Island, several miles east of Fort Pickens. While marching west, the attackers stumbled upon pickets of the 6th New York, and began one of the first night battles of the Civil War. The short, sharp action only lasted a few hours: the 1200 Confederate attackers returned to their boats, and made their way back across the bay before dawn.

 

In October, the 10th MS formally became part of the Army of Pensacola, Braxton Bragg, commanding. In November, the forts of Pensacola Bay, and the Federal ships USS Niagara and USS Richmond, engaged in a gunnery duel (the 10th MS, although an infantry regiment, was trained to operate big guns of the forts). The Federal effort was concentrated against Fort McRae: by the end of the two-day engagement, it was reduced to a shattered ruin. Forts Pickens and Barrancas also took hits, but more men were injured due to their own over-loaded, exploding guns, than fire from the enemy.

 

A second gunnery duel occurred in January 1862, with no result. On February 23rd, the 10th Mississippi was ordered 'to the interior.' The regiment marched/took the train north to Montgomery, changed trains, and steamed to Chattanooga, via Atlanta. The 10th MS eventually reached Eastport, Alabama, only to discover a threatened Federal attack was no longer likely. On March 10th, the regiment arrived in Corinth. Three days later, the Army of Pensacola was discontinued: the 10th MS became part of the Army of Mississippi, Bragg's 2nd Corps; Chalmer's Brigade of Wither's Division.

 

In early April, the 10th Mississippi was one of the first units to leave Corinth, marching north towards Pittsburg Landing...

 

Ozzy

 

 

References:

 

http://iagenweb.org/civilwar/regiment/     (12th Iowa Infantry)

 

http://www.mississippiscv.org/MS_Units/10th_MS_Inf.htm     (10th Mississippi Infantry)

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I had never heard before of the misfortune of the 7th Mississippi Infantry Regiment, attempting to move north from New Orleans, in late February 1862. The 7th MS was part of Chalmer's 'High Pressure Brigade' at the Battle of Shiloh.

 

http://www.7miss.org/wreck.html    (Train wreck)

 

 

Ozzy

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Ran across an impressive resource, that among other things, details a Louisiana artillery regiment's muster into service in May 1861, and subsequent departure from New Orleans (by train) for the Eastern Theatre. Records the route travelled: Memphis, Iuka, Huntsville, Chattanooga, Knoxville, Lynchburg, Richmond -- and the author's impression of those towns. Companies 1, 2, 3 and 4 of this regiment from Louisiana participated in the Battle of Bull Run in July 1861.

 

While reading A Soldier's Story of the War, I thought I'd unearthed an unknown work by Mark Twain: Napier Bartlett writes in a similar style -- humorous, engaging, yet at the same time, raw and revealing. Written ten years after the end of the war, the author's memories are still 'fresh,' and he has benefited by 'allowing the dust to settle' on contentious issues. Because he was in the 3rd Company, much of his book deals with actions in Virginia.

 

However, the 5th Company, Washington Artillery participated in the Battle of Shiloh. Although Bartlett was not there, he includes material, pp. 146-158, detailing the service of the 5th Company and its six brass field pieces, its triumphs, and casualties (27 men killed or wounded at Shiloh, of 166 men present.)

 

Additionally, the book contains pre-war records of the Louisiana Militia (including names of over one hundred officers); details of every Louisiana regiment that served during the war; Muster Rolls for the Washington Artillery; and a collection of short stories. For those with an interest in Louisiana's involvement during the Civil War, this resource is a 'must-have.' For everyone else: try putting it down before getting to the Battle of Bull Run...

 

http://archive.org/stream/soldiersstoryofw00inbart#page/n3/mode/2up    (A Soldier's Story of the War, by Napier Bartlett)

 

 

Cheers

 

Ozzy

 

 

N.B.  Another online resource, highlighting the Washington (Louisiana) Artillery: [they were at Gettysburg, too...]

 

http://www.washingtonartillery.com/Cannoneers%20page.htm

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Did you know that there was a sixth company in the Louisiana Washington Artillery Battalion?  When the Fifth Company left their armory in New Orleans, scheduled for war service in Virginia but changed to western Tennessee, enough cadre was left behind at the same armory just vacated by the Fifth Company to form a new sixth company. The formation of this Sixth Company proceeded in haste because of the war pressures, such as the approach of the union navy in the Mississippi River commanded by Admiral Farragut.  The organization of the battery proceeded with the election of Harmon Doane as Captain, and some recruits received.  Captain Roane lead the battery out of New Orleans when the city was evacuated on March 12, 1862, and moved to Camp Moore in Louisiana.  It was here that the Sixth company disbanded with members going to other units or back into the city. 

 

So ended the 30 day service of the Sixth Company of the Louisiana Washington Artillery Battalion.   

 

Ron   

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