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Stan Hutson

Word traveled fast

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Found this account.  Notice the date.

1862: Daniel Wandel Burt to Andrew S. Burt.  This letter was written by Daniel Wandel Burt (1816-1892) of Van Wert, Ohio. Daniel was married to Catherine Creter (1821-1890) of Newcomerstown, Ohio.  Daniel wrote the letter to his son, 20 year-old Andrew S. Burt (1842-1936), a 5′ 6″ wiry red-headed seaman who was serving on board the USS Louisville at the time this letter was written in April 1862. From this letter it appears that he previously served — or had expected to serve — on the USS Cincinnati. Both ironclad gunboats participated in the attack on Fort Donelson on the Cumberland River and at Island No. 10 in the Mississippi River.

Portions of the letter is just "talk of home", so I am cutting that out, only posting the Shiloh related material:

"Van Wert [Ohio]
April 15, 1862

I am afraid that we will have sad news here before many days. I think by the paper I sent you today that Dr. [Capt. William] Smith [of Van Wert County] was in the hardest of the fight. He was in Col. [Thomas] Worthington’s [46th Ohio] Regiment & the 76th Regiment that Welling was in had a hard time under Lew Wallace. That was an awful battle & loss of life. Someone was very much to blame in not having pickets out in an enemy’s country. I think our army had no business to be on that side of the river where they knew the enemy was so much stronger than they were. 

[Gen. George] McClellan is fighting at Yorktown. I think he will give them fits there. They have a large force. The papers say today that the enemy say that they have 120,000. We can get all the men we want which I suppose is the reason that they do not push ahead faster. We are pushing more men there. The Island No. 10 is the best fight of the war. It was slow but sure. If the Yorktown battle comes off as well, it will make up for the blunder at Pittsburg Landing in part but it can never restore to life the thousands of fathers, brothers & sons that was sacrificed by carelessness."

Interesting that this letter was written on the 15th, yet he is already talking about "blame in not having pickets out in an enemy's country."




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