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Eric72983

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Hello, from PA. My names Eric, I read through quite a few of the threads and watched some Youtube video's, which I believe are of a few members here on battle field tours. I liked the feel and tone of the topics and discussions, so here I am... Hello everyone...

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Welcome, Eric

Although I live in Australia now, my own relatives fought with 12th Iowa, Company H at Shiloh. I've found this discussion group of great value for bouncing ideas and tracking down archived references. The members of SDG, although often passionate in their outlooks on Shiloh and the Civil War, are always civil and friendly when advocating for their positions.

All the best

Ozzy

 

 

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Welcome, Eric! Glad to have you here with us. 

Our fellow member, Tony, has been gracious enough to be the master behind the camera of many different battlefield walks, events & topics, and are always grateful to him for providing us all with the videos. 

Being from PA, if you tell me you're a Penguins fan, we're gonna have it out right here and now....lol...kidding of course. :D

Kick your shoes off, relax, and enjoy!

-Paul 

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I don't really follow hockey that much.. but I sometimes watch old maple leaf games... and if their on tv I watch the New Jersey Devils.... I don't watch much tv.. so sports is limited mostly go online and check the highlights and scores... lol...  Yeah your fellow member Tony's video's are good.. theres not may long tours online to watch soo I pretty much have watched all of his.. and gettysburg NPS youtube.. has hour long tour videos..  

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In the west i'm more interested in the Vicksburg campaign... The battle of Shiloh however feels messy to me.. it reminds me very much of the wilderness back here in the East.. With that said tho.. you do have alot of future great commanders... bowen, hardee, cleburne, etc and grant, sherman, mcpherson, etc... I just made a post in the forum thread about the lead up to the battle itself, so to me whats most interesting about Shiloh is that it happened at all.... Nashville falls, soon Memphis.. the whole KY line is lost.. thousands of troops wasted or prisoners... for all real purposes all of Tennessee Lost.. and Shiloh is just brewing... the battle itself is interesting.... BUT I dont think in the history of the civil war so much was lost before the battle was even fought.... Nothing was ever going to be truly won at Shiloh.... Fort Donelson was the Souths moment in the west.. and there u have it.... hope you take a look at my post in the other tread......

What is it about this war, is battle that interests you... that draws your focus....

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If Grant's army would have been destroyed or captured @ Shiloh, the whole war could have been lost. The Rebels would have had free reign in the West for at least a year. Grant, Sherman and possibly other important Yankee leaders would have been disgraced or even killed, which would have set back the future successes in the East and the West. Foreign governments may have seen the victory as a good reason to recognize the south. The repercussions would have echoed for years. And the the worst possible outcome, the 16th WI could have gotten wiped out, killing my grandfather and preventing my birth.

 

Jim

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Grants escape routes were never cut tho... Even if by some chance, lets say Buell was late a week and Grants army was wiped out, that wouldn't allow the Rebels free rain... Buells army and Popes army were still close by and the confederates would have been spent by that time.. too weakened and tired to take advantage of it... I don't know of any army in the civil war wiped out to the last man.. I wouldn't want your prolly great grand father or great great grandfather to die.. cause well we wouldn't be able to talk on this subject would we.. lol.. nashville was already lost.. with tons and tons of supplies destroyed.... Shiloh was to stop the bleeding and try to check the federal advance.... Europe, save for Spain.. all opposed slavery.. so being recognized as an Independent State.. was going to take alot...  The 16th WI... we could do a whole thread on WI in the civil war... the Iron Brigade on day 1 at Gettysburg was very good.. the 2nd 6th and 7th.. I believe... WI fought well throughout the war..... 

 

my OOB numbers from my other posts are my own.. taken from.. 

The Shiloh Campaign by Martin..

The Civil War.. by Foote

And the OR and Battles and Leaders.... for Shiloh, Corinth, Belmont, Donelson... Etc.. 

I took all the troop movements.. like troops to donelson from bowling green... troops to donelson from Columbus... troops from Columbus to Island Number 10... troops from the Cumberland gap to Corinth... I like the OOB's as much as reading about the battle themselves...  

 

have a good day jim.. thanks for the input

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Eric,

Yes, the Battle of Shiloh may appear "Messy" but that's the point.  This is one of the reasons that makes the battle interesting.  The battle plans of the confederates fell apart because of the confusion caused by the waves folding together.  Troops lost touch with their commanders and commanders lost touch with the men.  It became a SOLDIERS FIGHT.  They fought the battle as they saw the situation. They were commanded by lower grade officers until the corps commanders reestablished control.  You wonder why the battle happened at all.  The battle occurred because General Johnston had to react to the concentration of union soldiers that threatened the railroad system in the north Mississippi and southwest Tennessee area.  It was strategically important to halt the union advance up the Tennessee river and to protect the Memphis Charleston Railroad.  SO, YOU SEE THAT THE REBEL CONCENTRATION WAS TO PROTECT THE RAILROADS, NOT THE CITY OF CORINTH.  The move forward towards Pittsburg Landing was to attack (AND DEFEAT) Grant's forces before they joined with Buell's army.  And yes, your are right that the Battle of Shiloh appears like the Battle of Wilderness, they were fought in terrain much the same with a forest of trees, limited vision, transportation difficulties both horse or wagon.  It may be that when you read of one battle, you may be comparing it to the other (unknowing).  The reasons you give for your  concerns of the battle are among those that makes the battle interesting.

A final note, YES, YOUR RIGHT ABOUT THE CONFEDERATE COMMANDERS BECAME A GREAT GROUP OF COMMANDERS, ESPECIALLY THE DIVISION, BRIGADE, REGIMENT AND OTHER LOWER GRADE OFFICERS.  I mention William Bate, Mark Lowery, A P Stewart, Patrick Cleburne, Jones Withers, James Chalmers, Bushrod Johnson,  John Bowen, George Maney, Nathan Forrest and many more infantry officers.  But don't forget that in the artillery, there was many battery commanders with only a rank of captain or lieutenant.  they served well and long without recognition or promotion.  Stanford, Swett, Ketchum, Slocomb, Girardey, Bankhead, Melancthon Smith, Robert Cobb, Hugh McClung, Carnes, and others.  The officers in the western armies were overshadowed by those in the east and it cost them in recognition and  promotion. 

Thanks for getting my interest up for making me make this post.      

Ron        

Edited by Ron
omitted a word
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To Ron..... very nice post... and all true... James Chalmers went into the Cavalry didn't he???   Oh and Preston Smith had his moments too..

 

I knew why Shiloh was fought.. lol...  I had just poorly stated my point... Which was... Why it had to come to Shiloh, why Nashville and so much was already lost... Grant almost lost at Shiloh.. He almost lost at Donelson... He Lost at Belmont.. Grant wasn't great, (YET).. that came later... the union advanced only on the braveness of their men.. and the mistakes on the other side.. not by General Ship..  Johnston is only to blame as much as he trusted in lesser men to follow thru with his plans...

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Eric

Although I agree with you about Grant's near defeats at Donelson, Shiloh, Belmont etc. They were not defeats because Grant was tenacious, did not accept a defeat and worked and planned to defeat the rebels.  His stubbornness inspired his men and they fought harder.  When you consider that Grant was present at almost every union victory during the Civil War, is whey I believe that Grant was very good.  Another thoughtful post please.   

Ron

 

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Ron

I think General Meade would have something to say about Grant being at "every" union victory.. lol although I do know you said almost every victory.. The Grant, Meade relationship is a good story too...

If Grant was never General and Chief of the Army or President.. and all he did to his name was his service in the civil war... He would be on anyone's top 5 list of Army Field Commanders.... His ability to recoup and react to any situation was a fast growing legend even at the time.. Grant, Patton, Rommel. etc you could go on and Grant would always make the list....

Now for the Battles:

Belmont... was a complete defeat for Grant, as it did not truly effect the Columbus position or the forward camp.. other than to maybe warn Polk that Pillow couldn't be entrusted with a solo command even at how limited the Belmont affair was... Yet it didn't even show Polk that... 

Fort Henry... Fell to the Gunboat Fleet, not to Grant... Only because of poor placement and flooding... But was a complete Victory because it opened up that river... However it could have been a hollow victory, had Johnston, taken notice that Brig. Gen. Tilghman wouldn't have chosen to hold out and be taken prisoner had this just been a small push in this sector, but was a major enemy move.. which Johnston did not take notice (completely) at least...

Fort Heiman.. Victory,the fort was taken by Grants other men... Point to Grant...

Fort Donelson: OMG don't even get me started with this affair of events... lol...  However Complete and Solid Victory for Grant.. All of the forts gained Grant Cannon, supplies, munitions and prisoners.. but not on this scale... Only the Pillow, Floyd Combo, could pull defeat out of the jaws of VICTORY.. yes all caps.. If you make a line of defenses, you man them so they just wont be pushed aside, than you take your reserves and mass them wherever the enemy chose to go... Johnston sent Donelson men from both Columbus and Bowling Green.. Not to mention the about 5000 men that were at Donelson already from all 3 forts.. bringing the total at Donelson to somewhere in the neighborhood of 17,000 men.. and does Johnston place in command one of his 3 sr. generals.. NO... Brig Gen. Floyd is left with the largest group of Johnstons army.... 

 

Of Course we all know what happened... and we all have read so many books on all the aspects of this campaign... Had Johnston used the defensive line he set up.. and only manned it with enough men to just hold it and nothing more.. He could have massed the remainder of his men on wherever the Union chose to attack in force, which we know was Fort Donelson and he knew too as he sent so many men there... Fort Donelson or in and around that sector would have been the great battle and not Shiloh. Win or lose it would have held off the federals, checked them until they refit and regained themselves.. and if they lost they would of been pushed back... Johnston would have fought with just as many men as he did at Shiloh, and wouldn't have striped New Orleans of men, helping to the downfall of that city... The battle wouldn't have been to hold back the Union and protect the last rail hub in the northern part of the department.. The battle would have been to preserve Tenn.. keep Nashville and millions of war materials.. 

That is all, a what if tho.. My points are, at this point in the war Gen. Grant isn't great yet, he's not even good... He almost lost his army twice because he wasn't even with it... At Vicksburg he was great and around Richmond... 

This wasn't a massive chess game like Grant played against Pemberton and than again against Lee... The whole union cause was advanced upon the mistakes Pillow made, Critteden, and Floyd.. Johnston is always left holding the bag tho because he didn't take a firm hold of the rains and allowed lesser men to move around the chest pieces.. to the loss of the South...

My Next Posts will be about a new topic...

 

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On 7/5/2016 at 5:24 PM, Eric72983 said:

Hello, from PA. My names Eric, I read through quite a few of the threads and watched some Youtube video's, which I believe are of a few members here on battle field tours. I liked the feel and tone of the topics and discussions, so here I am... Hello everyone...

Sorry for the beladed welcome Eric, but welcome to the board. :)

Perry

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