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Ozzy

Irascible Major Reed

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Much has been said of the 'cantankerous and contrary' David Reed, seemingly growing more obstinate with age; the 'Father of Shiloh' appeared to act as a block to reasonable requests for markers at the Park to be adjusted, or placed, as individuals desired.

One of my favourite stories relates to a special visit made in November 1901, when a veteran of the April 1862 battle returned to Pittsburg Landing in order to refamiliarize himself with the topography, prior to releasing his autobiography for publication. Lew Wallace had developed the belief, that at the time his Division was ordered to take that other bridge (Wallace Bridge, on the River Road over Snake Creek), and just before he counter-marched his force back north and east and south, the leading element of his division was within sight of Owl Creek Bridge; to General Wallace, it appeared to be a case of 'so close... and yet, so far.' The aging general had even brought along a marker that he intended to erect at the location, indicating the furthest advance of his 3rd Division on that fateful Sunday, April 6th.

But, Major Reed would have none of it: he refused to allow General Wallace to place his marker where he believed it should go. Instead, Reed convinced Lew Wallace to re-visit that Sunday trek, from Crump's Landing, through Stoney Lonesome, south and west along the route of the old Shunpike, and 'see what facts were thrown up.' And Reed agreed to come along.

Near the end of the process, after a journey of several hours, Lew Wallace came to a rise overlooking a distant bridge, and remarked, 'This is it. My cavalry -- the 5th Ohio --  had nearly reached that bridge; the infantry got to right here.'

Are you sure?' asked the Major.

'Positive,' snapped the General. 'This is exactly as I remember.'

'Well...' replied Reed, rubbing his chin. 'That's actually what I had come to believe, too.'

'But, you said...' Lew Wallace spun a confused face towards Reed, and demanded: 'What do you mean?'

'That,' indicated Major Reed, 'is the upper bridge over Clear Creek... Owl Creek Bridge is four miles further on.'

[For a better telling of the story, see the 10-page reference, below.]

 

Ozzy

http://archive.org/stream/generallewwallac00rich/generallewwallac00rich_djvu.txt

 

 

 

 

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Jim

Glad you liked the story. I've got another one (once the answer to 'First Union General in Memphis' is revealed) that you may enjoy even more...

 

Ozzy

 

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