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Ozzy

Pensacola connection, part 3

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Unless you know what to look for, you could be excused for believing Florida contributed only marginally to the Confederate effort at the Battle of Shiloh. The 1st Florida Battalion (T. McDowell, commanding) is one of only two units recorded with 'Florida' in its name. The 1st Florida Infantry Regiment was raised in vicinity of Chattahoochee Arsenal early in 1861, under leadership of Patton Anderson. By April 12th, the regiment had arrived at Pensacola: one hundred eighty men of this unit were engaged in the October 8/9 Battle of Santa Rosa Island. In process of moving from Pensacola to Corinth, the veterans of this regiment re-enlisted... and their unit was re-named '1st Florida Battalion.' The 1st Florida was assigned to the First Division (Ruggles), Second Brigade (Patton Anderson), of Bragg's 2nd Army Corps.

 

Depending on the resource, 'Robertson's-Dent's Florida Battery' is recorded as the 'Alabama/Florida Battery,' or further simplified to 'Robertson's Alabama Battery.' It was organized at Pensacola in November 1861, with about sixty members from Florida, and sixty from Alabama. Felix Robertson was a West Point alumnus from Texas; Staunton H. Dent's pedigree is TBA (still to be determined.) The battery participated in the November 1861 and January 1862 artillery duels vs Fort Pickens. At the Battle of Shiloh, the Alabama/Florida Battery operated four 12-pounder Napoleons, and was assigned to the 2nd Division (Withers), 1st Brigade (Gladden), and is believed to have fired the shot that ended the career of Myer's 13th Ohio Battery (attached to Hurlbut.)

 

The remaining units (and personnel) with a Florida connection were Florida-trained: they were organized outside the State, but gained experience via the dynamic situation evolving at Pensacola. These include:

  • Ketchum's Alabama Battery
  • Strawbridge's 1st Louisiana Infantry (Adams)
  • Fant's 5th Mississippi Infantry
  • Rankin's 9th Mississippi Infantry  (experience at Santa Rosa Island)
  • Robert Smith's 10th Mississippi Infantry  (experience at Santa Rosa Island)
  • Fariss' 17th Alabama Infantry  (arrived Pensacola November 1861)
  • Wheeler's 19th Alabama Infantry  (briefly at Pensacola, December 1861)
  • Girardey's Georgia Battery (Girardy, or Girardi)

 

Key personnel with a Pensacola connection include:

  • Daniel Ruggles             Commander, 1st Division                     Briefly commanded a brigade at Pensacola (see Gladden)
  • Patton Anderson           Cdr, 2nd Brig, 1st Div                           Living in Florida at start of war; led a brigade at Battle of Santa Rosa Island
  • James Withers              Commander, 2nd Division                   First colonel of 3rd Alabama Inf; in command at Mobile, when Bragg absorbed his area of responsibility.
  • Adley Gladden              Cdr, 1st Brig, 2nd Div                          First colonel of 1st Louisiana Inf; replaced Ruggles at Pensacola as brigade commander; briefly commanded Army of Pensacola; involved in training of Alabama troops near Mobile: the 'Brigade of Discipline'
  • James Chalmers           2nd Brig, 2nd Div                                 First colonel of 9th Mississippi; led a brigade at Battle of Santa Rosa Island; 'High Pressure Brigade'
  • John K. Jackson            3rd Brig, 2nd Div                                 First colonel of 5th Georgia Inf; led a brigade at Battle of Santa Rosa Island   

 

Braxton Bragg haled from North Carolina, and graduated West Point Class of 1837, specializing in Artillery. He served in Florida (including at Pensacola in 1842) and was a participant in the Mexican War: his actions at Buena Vista earned him high acclaim. At the outbreak of the Civil War, he was living in Louisiana, owner of a 1600-acre sugar plantation; but also a Colonel in the Louisiana Militia. He took the surrender of Baton Rouge Arsenal on January 11th, 1861, and assumed ever more responsible roles within the Confederate Army, until arriving at Pensacola March/April 1861. (Pensacola was the scene of unrest since January: similar to what was occurring in Charleston, South Carolina.)

 

Troops from Georgia, Louisiana, Florida, Mississippi and Alabama converged on Pensacola, eventually numbering over eight thousand men, and General Bragg saw it as his duty to 'train them.' During Bragg's time on the Gulf Coast, his forces took part in the October Battle of Santa Rosa Island; and gunnery duels versus Fort Pickens in November 1861, and January 1862. His Army of Pensacola was established October 1861, and Bragg was promoted to Major General about the same time. When the Army of Pensacola (recognized as containing some of the best disciplined troops in the Confederacy) was discontinued in March 1862, it became Bragg's 2nd Corps, Army of the Mississippi.

 

 

The remaining group of Florida-experienced men can be found among Bragg's Staff: many followed him from Pensacola, including:

  • Major George G. Gardner (or Garner )   Bragg's Assistant Adjutant General
  • Captain H. W. Walter                               Assistant Adjutant General
  • LT Towson Ellis                                       Aide-de-Camp (and brother of Bragg's wife)
  • LtCol W. K. Beard                                    Acting Inspector General (and originally a member of 1st Fla Inf). When Judah Benjamin ordered Pensacola evacuated February 1862, he directed that ' no serviceable equipment' be left behind for the use of Federal Forces. LtCol Beard was the agent of the 'scorched earth' program, burning lumber mills, brick works and turpentine distilleries on the outskirts of Pensacola.
  • Surgeon A. J. Foard                                Medical Director (originally from Georgia)
  • Captain Hypolite Oladowski                    Chief of Ordnance.  Of Polish descent, Captain Oladowski was the subject of some of the earliest 'Polish jokes,' including: the rumor he fled the field at Shiloh, carrying away all of Bragg's uniforms (not true); that he was 'captured' at Pensacola, when Bragg's forces occupied Fort Barrancas (Oladowski was living in Louisiana before the war).
  • Major James H. Hallonquist                    Chief of Artillery.  Originally from South Carolina, Major Hallonquist graduated West Point in 1858, and spent a year in the Dakota Territory. He resigned from the U.S. Army January 1st, 1861, and joined the Provisional Confederate States Army soon afterwards. Present at the Bombardment of Fort Sumter, he commanded the 'Enfilade Battery' (firing over 1800 rounds.) Sent to Pensacola, he is recorded as taking part in the Battle of Santa Rosa Island: in charge of an 'Independent Company,' his fifty men (armed with pistols and knives) followed the three infantry brigades and were tasked with spiking enemy guns and burning enemy camps. 

 

This record is the result of  seven days of research, but has probably missed someone, or some unit. Feel free to advise me of any inadvertent omissions.

 

Cheers

 

 

Ozzy

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As an example of another reason why the Pensacola connection is of interest... have a look at the attached photograph, of the 1st Louisiana Zouaves (from civilwartalk.com). The image was taken at the Pensacola Navy Yard by New Orleans photographer, J.D. Edwards (one of thirty-nine known photographs, taken of Confederate units in April/May 1861 in vicinity of Fort Barrancas, the Navy Yard, and Fort McRae.) Although this Zouave regiment did not fight at Shiloh, some of the other regiments photographed by Edwards (9th Mississippi and 10th Mississippi, and the other 1st Louisiana (Strawbridge's, commanded by Adams) did go west with Braxton Bragg.

 

http://civilwartalk.com/threads/louisiana-tigers-in-new-orleans-1861.108825/   (From civilwartalk: 1st Louisiana Zouaves at Pensacola)

 

 

Ozzy 

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Ozzy,

The Washington Artillery of Augusta, Georgia was a pre-Civil War militia unit that activated early for the civil war.  It was commanded by Captain Isadore  Girardey, the same Girardey who later devised the Girardey artillery fuse, a improvement over the fuses of early in the war.  

 

The military units and commanders early into the confederate army at start of the war, gained some military experience at Pensacola, and other locations such as Norfolk, Fort Sumter, the Border stations in Texas and the other forts, St. Philip, Jackson.  In is only reasonable that these units and leaders would rush to the threatened areas.  The officers you mentioned were part of this migration to these points in danger.  The supply of properly trained officers in the Confederate States was extremely limited which explains why these men were rushed into the front areas, some of them did not live up to expectations.  

Ron  

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Ron

 

Thanks for acquainting us with Girardey's story... Reading your post, I was struck by the confirmation that railroads were extremely important. With the Union cutting off access to coastal shipping, only steam trains (and a few riverboats) could allow Bragg and Beauregard to move quickly, from one theatre to another... a sort of 'force-multiplier.' Take away the train lines (as the Campaign against Corinth was determined to do) and the impact upon the Confederacy is almost terminal.

 

Ozzy

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For the sake of balance, I had a look at whether any Federal troops, with experience at Pensacola, were present at the Battle of Shiloh. And it appears most of the Union personnel at Fort Pickens were from New York and New England (or Regular Army.) None were present at Shiloh.

 

However, the Navy is another matter. As regards Grant's Campaign up the Tennessee River, the first man of interest is Flag-Officer Andrew Foote. Although not present at Pensacola, he was directly involved (from his base at Brooklyn Navy Yard) in outfitting USS Powhatan for her re-supply mission in March/April 1861, that brought an end to the 'Fort Pickens Armistice.' Foote was involved in the Western Rivers Campaign as overall commander of the gunboats, and present at the Battles of Fort Henry and Fort Donelson.

 

Commander Henry Walke was present at Pensacola in January 1861, as skipper aboard USS Supply. His ship removed Lieutenant Adam Slemmer and his force of seventy-six men from Fort Barrancas to Fort Pickens, and then evacuated other military personnel back to New York. In the Western Rivers Campaign, Walke was first commander of USS Tyler; and took command of ironclad USS Carondelet in time for action at Fort Henry, Fort Donelson, and Island No.10.

 

Ozzy

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While researching General S.A.M. Wood, it was discovered that he was the original Colonel of the 7th Alabama Infantry, organized at Pensacola May 18th, 1861. Wood was promoted to brigade command, and sent north from Florida in November 1861. The 7th Alabama went all the way north to Bowling Green, but soon joined the 're-deploy' to Corinth. The term of enlistment expired, and the 7th Alabama 'officially' disbanded at Corinth (although it is claimed two companies from the old regiment joined the action at Shiloh.)

 

Ozzy

 

http://www.archives.state.al.us/referenc/alamilor/7thinf.html     (Brief history of 7th Alabama Infantry)

 

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Hi Ozzy......

 

Before I forget, I wanted to tell you and the group I stopped by the Tampa Bay History Center (TBHC) when I was in Florida last week.   It's a great place and I recommend it to anyone interested in Florida history.  I found two civil war books in their gift shop that interested me.  One is called "Florida in the Civil War" by Lewis N. Wynne and Robert Taylor and the other is "Florida's Civil War" by Irvin D.S. Winsboro.  (Ozzy peaked my interest in Florida's contributions to the civil war with his posts, so I'm hoping to enhance my knowledge by reading more about them.)

 

In addition, I was honored to spend about an hour speaking with Ross Lamoreaux, the TBHC's Historical Interpreter, about Florida's part in the civil war blockades, raising cattle for the Confederacy and the salt mines.  He is a very knowledgeable fellow and, as it turns out, he is also a civil war re-enactor.  Ross is in the process of publishing his own book on Fort Brooke in Florida.  As many of you may know, the Fort dates back to the Seminole Wars and also had a role in the civil war.  Ross and his publisher are trying to condense all he has written to 300 pages.  Ross anticipates the book will be published in May.

 

THE MANASSAS BELLE

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Belle

 

Did you get the chance to take in any baseball (a game believed to have been played at Pittsburg Landing)?  Or was Jai-Alai your game of choice, this visit?

 

I do not believe Tampa has any connection to the Battle of Shiloh... but the Tampa -- Clearwater -- St Petersburg area has its own 'layers' of history:

  • Hernando de Soto early exploration (1539)
  • Robert E. Lee survey: recommended forts be established at 'de Soto Keys' (1849)
  • Federal occupation of approach to Tampa Bay (similar to what happened at Pensacola) 1862
  • Theodore Roosevelt and his Rough Riders: raced another Army unit for access to the only ship at Tampa, bound for Cuba (1898)

 A lot more history in Florida than many folks realize...

 

 

Ozzy

 

N.B.  Soldiers stationed at Pensacola were sent to Tampa to establish Fort Brookes (1823)

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Ozzy.....

 

I managed to see 2 spring training baseball games (I'm sure the rules and uniforms have changed considerably since that game on Pittsburg Landing) while I was in Florida this time.  I saw the New York Yankees win against the Detroit Tigers and the next day the Yankees lost to the New York Mets..  I've been to Jai-Alai games during past trips to Florida but not this time.

 

I did visit the former site of Fort Brooke.  Tampa's Convention Center is now at that location.  I wonder what those Pensacola soldiers would think of it.  Great place to hold a Council of War.     :)

 

THE MANASSAS BELLE

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Belle

 

Hoping you, and the rest of SDG, enjoy a rewarding and memorable visit to Shiloh National Military Park this 153rd anniversary.

 

 

Meanwhile, as regards an expanded Pensacola connection: turns out that Colonel Beard (originally of 1st Florida, but at Shiloh assigned to Bragg's Staff), was the wounded officer who reported to General Beauregard's camp, early April 7th, and relayed the information, 'the Federal Army appears to be involved in offensive operations; and they are advancing [upon our position.]'  (From Alexander Walker's report on the Battle of Shiloh, page 147.)

 

 

Ozzy

 

http://docsouth.unc.edu/imls/clarke/clarke.html     (Alex Walker's Shiloh report. Scroll almost to bottom, page 147.)

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Ozzy.....

 

I won't be at Shiloh on its 153rd anniversary.  But, I will be there at the SDG annual gathering in November.  That, too, should be memorable.  :)

 

THE MANASSAS BELLE

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Belle

 

Sorry about that... I must have looked at my sundial wrong... or forgot to flip the seasons.   :)

 

Ozzy

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By the Noble Daring of her Sons: The Florida Brigade

by Jonathan C. Sheppard

This Doctor's Thesis of 403 pages, published in 2008:     http://fsu.digital.flvc.org/islandora/object/fsu:176253/datastream/PDF/view  

Although this resource provides concise details of Florida's early colonial history; and the "unusual connection to Iowa" (pages 13- 14); a solid description of settlement by cotton planters and tobacco farmers (with development of political structure based on agricultural pursuits -- pp.15 to 24)...

The interesting bits for SDG begin on page 24:

  • 24 - 25       Florida the third Southern State to secede (after South Carolina and Mississippi)
  • 26 - 27       Pensacola and Adam Slemmer (and Picken's Truce)
  • 28 - 34       Patton Anderson
  • 34 - 36       Braxton Bragg at Pensacola
  • 49 - 55       Raid at Santa Rosa Island of October 1861
  • 66 - 72       Fort Donelson loss requires Major General Bragg to move north
  • 72 - 74       Roles of BGen Samuel Jones and LtCol William K. Beard after Patton Anderson leaves Florida
  • 75 - 80       Federal movement up Tennessee River leads to Day One at Shiloh 
  • 80 - 81       Day Two at Shiloh (and return to Corinth)
  • 81 - 82       Aftermath of Florida Battalion.

Details of Battle of Shiloh from Florida Battalion perspective (with interesting descriptions not found anywhere else.) Mostly accurate depiction of the Battle of Shiloh, with the only real blemish: the timing being out by thirty - sixty minutes on a couple of occasions. Otherwise, a solid effort; and worth the thirty minutes to read.

Cheers

Ozzy

 

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