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Ozzy

Still to ponder...

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Greetings from Down Under

 

I'll start by wishing everyone a memorable visit to Shiloh NMP this 150th Anniversary of the 'Turnover at Liverpool' ...the completion of the Voyage of CSS Shenandoah, in November 1865.

 

I was thinking of starting a discussion on a topic of interest, perhaps in a week or two, once the dust settles on the debrief of events from this latest Park Visit. Some of my ideas:

 

  • US Grant and migraines: did he get them? If so, is it possible that he was suffering from a 'sick headache' at Shiloh?
  • The movements of the 58th Illinois Infantry, April 6th 1862: just where were they, really?'
  • Parole Camps: necessary, or evil?

Oh, and a new historical novel will be out this month: 

 

     Book Cover.pdf

            

                

 

                 

                                                                  

 

All the best

 

Ozzy

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Ozzy,

The 58th Illinois Infantry was assigned to the Third Brigade of the Second Division commanded by General W H L Wallace.  The entire division was formed and advanced forward to meet the enemy.  They advanced down the Eastern Corinth road to take up a position in the fields of the Duncan farm.  Their positions were in the tree line along the Sunken Road and later some of the division advanced to the cabins and the piled cotton bales of the Duncan field.  This position was almost in the exact center of the federal position.  In heavy fighting, the rebels threatened both flanks of the brigade.  The federal defenders began to pull back and white flags began to appear along the federal lines.  The 7th Illinois Regiment gave way and the 58th was exposed to the advancing rebels.  Colonel Lynch of the 58 Illinois ordered the regiment to cut their way through the confederate lines but they were not successful.  The 58th Illinois began the battle with 613 officers and men present, 25 were killed, 327 were taken prisoner, and about 80 were still in the rear because they did not advance when the regiment moved up.  The union positions collapsed and the survivors ran up the Eastern Corinth Road including the survivors of the 58th Illinois.  It was here that the rebels captured the many prisoners of the regiment when they were completely surrounded.  among the prisoners was Colonel Lynch, the regimental commander.

Also, during this fighting, the divisional commander, General W H L Wallace was mortally wounded and died several days later in the Cherry house in Savannah Tennessee. 

 

If any of the regiment were in the fighting on Monday, April 7th, it was probably only fragments of the regiment.

 

Ozzy, a short answer for you is the 58th Illinois was in the middle of the battle along the sunken road and the Duncan farm fields. 

 

Thanks for the question

Ron      

 

ced

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Ozzy,

As to the parole camps, yes, I believe they were necessary.  Due to the limited ability of both governments and armies, it was too difficult to administer and control the handling of prisoners of war so they were gathered in camps until they were paroled.  They were released only after they promised to not take up arms against the other side.  The system actually worked reasonably well.  I'm not aware of any other system of handling prisoners of war.

As to Grant having a headache during the battle, I have never heard of this before so I have to believe he did not have a headache.  He had bigger problems to worry about.

Ron 

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In my opinion parole camps were extremely useful. We know that once the soldier is paroled he is bound by oath not to take up arms until exchanged. So what was to prevent this soldier from going home and waiting for the exchange? Imagine the logistical nightmare of trying to round up all of the men from the regiment once the exchanges take place. To prevent this the men were sent to organized camps of parole. Although they were not allowed to fight or serve in any function that would allow another soldier to move to the front (garrison, picket, prison guard, etc.) the time awaiting exchange could be used to great advantage. The men remained within a military organization and went through the normal daily routines of a military camp. They had to be present for the different roll calls through the day, police the grounds, and, if there was an efficient officer in charge of the camp, they could march, drill and train. Once the exchange goes through, the soldier is immediately ready to be sent back to the regiment or the regiment can return to active duty. This system prevented less-motivated soldiers from surrendering to the enemy with the hopes of being paroled and sent home for a nice vacation. Needless to say, these camps were hardly popular with the rank and file. But from the perspective of the War Department (or the regimental commander), having the men ready for service is a logical and effective way to deal with their parolees. 

 

Tom

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Feel free to carry on discussion of Parole Camps at site below, in 'Aftermath and Impact.'

 

Ozzy

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