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Billy1977

Bushrod Johnson's brigade, morning of 6 April

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I think you're getting closer to the truth...

Just a few observations (with more observations to follow, as I encounter possible facts):

  • Cleburne attacked, attacked, attacked (if you only consider the operation of the 6th Mississippi); how much time elapsed between each attack?
  • Cleburne attacked, then raced to the rear to steady a recoiling regiment (if you consider the operation of the 23rd Tennessee): how much time required?
  • Cleburne indicates that he advanced on the left of General Wood's Brigade early on Sunday morning; but as the morning wore on, Wood appears to have moved towards the east (with the exception of his 8th Arkansas, which stayed with Cleburne until noon/1pm) and Anderson, Johnson and Russell got between Cleburne and Wood
  • In the report of the 11th Louisiana, it is indicated that that regiment "divided in two," in the aftermath of the second charge, with half following after the enemy towards the northeast; and half moving north (this portion then fell into an ambuscade, and was forced to fall back)
  • In Bell's report of the 12th Tennessee, mention is made of "pressing forward to a cavalry compound, which was found evacuated..."

All the above gleaned from after-action reports in the OR vol. 10

Ozzy

 

N.B.  All the convoluted moves on the Western side of Shiloh Battlefield, involving regiment-sized units (and small fragments of regiments) would be a challenge for an animated map-maker...

 

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I just called the Shiloh National Battlefield again and this time I talked to a ranger named Charlie and he said that the Staff Ride Handbook does in fact have some inaccuracies in it (he said Reed's Battle of Shiloh and Organizations Engaged is the better of the two) and he said that to the best of his knowledge Bushrod Johnson's brigade did not make an unsuccessful attack and then reform and then join in the larger, more coordinated successful attack that carried the position, that instead as far as he knows Johnson's brigade attacked when it came up and its attack was part of the larger attack that carried the position. He also said that to his knowledge the 154th Tennessee and Blythe's Mississippi Regiment did not make unsuccessful attacks before the larger attack that succeeded in which Col. Blythe was killed but rather that this was Blythe's regiment's and the 154th's first attack in the Battle of Shiloh. He said he thinks Russell's brigade (or elements of it, like the 11th Louisiana) came up and attacked before Bushrod Johnson's brigade but not long before. 

 

So it is looking like what happened is:
1. Cleburne's brigade attacks, repulsed
2. Anderson's brigade attacks, repulsed (about 8:30 a.m.)
3. 11th Louisiana of Russell's brigade attacks, repulsed (about 8:45 a.m.)
4. Capt. Polk's battery unlimbers (about 9:00 a.m.) and Bushrod Johnson's brigade comes up and attacks between 9 and 9:30 a.m. in conjunction with elements of the other three brigades and carries the position around 9:45 to 10:00 a.m. 

 

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One quick question though: in the large, more coordinated attack that succeeded in carrying the position, was the attack of the 13th Tennessee (around Waterhouse's left flank) made through the camp of the 53rd Ohio or the camp of the 57th Ohio? 

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Billy

Had a look at the Federal reports in the OR 10, and compared a few maps, and here is my convoluted answer:

Lt Ryan of the 17th Illinois (3rd Brig, 1st Div) indicates [page 139] that the 3rd Brigade advanced to the assistance of Sherman [7:30-8am Ozzy time estimate] and Lt Ryan rode to the front and found "nothing between us and the enemy except a line of skirmishers and Taylor's Battery (Barrett). I offered the support of my brigade to Barrett, and pointed to where we were. Then I returned to the 17th Illinois; and shortly afterwards we fell back to the line of the 2nd Brigade (of McClernand's Division.)"

Major Ezra Taylor [page 272]  "About 7:30 [Ozzy time estimate] I ordered Waterhouse to remove the advanced section of his battery from the left bank of Owl Creek, and rejoin it to the four guns already there on the right bank, left and forward of Shiloh Church. I went to Barrett's and had Barrett fire shell; the enemy took cover, and attempted to advance through a thick swath of trees, yelling loudly and firing as they advanced, attempting to intimidate our forces. I had Barrett fire canister towards the loudest yelling: the yelling and firing from that quarter soon ceased, for a time.

"In the meantime, the enemy was pressing the Union infantry to the left of these batteries (Barrett and Waterhouse). Seeing Waterhouse limbering, I hurried over and stopped it; ordered Waterhouse to unlimber and fire canister. Captain Waterhouse complied, but bravery alone could not drive back the masses of enemy swarming around their left. The enemy had moved forward a battery, and opened a flank fire of musketry. Waterhouse was compelled to retire, and left three guns." [page 274]  "With Waterhouse gone, and his position occupied by the enemy, I deemed it prudent to move Barrett's Battery to the rear."

Lt Fitch reports [page 276]  "About 7am Captain Waterhouse took position, with two guns on the left bank of Owl Creek, and four guns on the right bank. [About 8am Ozzy time estimate] the section of two guns returned from across Owl Creek, and joined to the left of the four guns. The enemy had a strong force in the woods to the left; but our battery held its position for the next hour-and-forty-five minutes... when infantry supporting us on the left gave way and exposed us to severe flanking fire. Immediately:

  • Captain Waterhouse gave the order to retire;
  • Captain Waterhouse was wounded;
  • The order to retire was countermanded by Major Taylor (after we had moved back slowly, perhaps 100 yards)
  • We unlimbered and continued firing;
  • After only a few minutes here, the infantry on our left continued to retire; and Lt Abbott was wounded;
  • I gave the order to retreat (which was attempted under close fire of enemy musketry) and that enemy closed to within 50 yards;
  • I was obliged to leave two 4 1/2 inch guns and one 3 1/2 inch gun."

As best I can determine, the 13th Tennessee was south-southeast of Waterhouse Battery when it began its looping course, beginning in a northeasterly direction (which has a 90 percent likelihood of carrying it through the camp of the 53rd Ohio.) Using the hill as a shield, while looping left towards the north... northwest...  and west... should have carried the 13th Tennessee just south of the camp of the 57th Ohio (perhaps a few individual soldiers of the regiment passed through it, but the main body should have missed going through the campsite) based on where Waterhouse was positioned when Fitch's call to "Retreat!" was made.

My best estimate

Ozzy

 

References:  OR 10 (pages as indicated)

http://civilwarlandscapes.org/cwla/states/tn/sh/tm_time/day1/d1_0930.htm    (Shiloh Battlefield at 9:30am)

http://civilwarlandscapes.org/cwla/states/tn/sh/tm_time/day1/camps_r.htm     (Shiloh Battlefield camp locations morning of April 6th 1862)

 

 

 

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Billy

While pondering your question:  "Did the 13th Tennessee pass through the camp(s) of the 53rd OVI or 57th OVI?" -- it occurred to me:  Where was the 12th Tennessee? Went back into the OR 10 and LtCol Bell admits that his regiment "was on the far right of the 1st Brigade."

But the movement of the 12th Tennessee, as reported during the morning of April 6th, is vague:  "passed through an abandoned cavalry compound"  and  'supported the left of Stewart's Brigade [the 33rd Tennessee was part of Stewart, and that regiment had a friendly-fire incident with the 12th Tennessee.]"

Got me wondering... aside from Union troops not admitting to "fleeing for the Landing,"  the CSA troops involved at Battle of Shiloh do not admit to "stopped in enemy camp and had breakfast; took souvenirs from a tent, and continued with the advance."  Perhaps the 12th Tennessee stopped in the camp of the 57th Ohio? And afterwards, with the 13th Tennessee long gone, attached itself to Stewart's Brigade? (Not trying to sully anyone's reputation; just trying to make sense -- Ozzy.)

Ozzy

 

References:  OR 10 pages 422-3

http://civilwarlandscapes.org/cwla/states/tn/sh/tm_time/day1/d1_1030.htm     (Shiloh map Day 1 at 10:30am)

 

 

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Thanks Ozzy. Now I'm wondering about a quote from Sherman in his memoirs in which he describes his division being forced to fall back to the Hamburg-Purdy Road. He says "Although our left was thus turned, and the enemy was pressing our whole line, I deemed Shiloh so important, that I remained by it and renewed my orders to Colonels McDowell and Buckland to hold their ground; and we did hold these positions until about 10 a.m. when the enemy had got his artillery to the rear of our left flank and some change became absolutely necessary." 
   This is on page 237 of his memoirs. This is the only mention I've seen of the Confederates actually getting their artillery around to the rear of Sherman's left flank. Did this actually happen or did Sherman just think they had their artillery around that far? If so does anyone know what battery or batteries were advanced around to the rear of Sherman's left? 

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That time -- 10am -- is the witching hour for Sherman:  US Grant had just left him (after observing that Sherman had the situation on Shiloh Ridge under control).  Waterhouse suffered the loss of three guns; Barrett was ordered (by Ezra Taylor) to fall back; and Sherman (in a panic, it appears to me) grabbed Captain Behr and ordered him to unlimber in an unsafe position, resulting almost immediately in the death of Behr and the loss of all five guns of Behr's Morton Battery. From that moment on, as Sherman withdrew from the vicinity of Shiloh Church (US Grant believed Shiloh Ridge was key to successful defense of his force based at Pittsburg Landing) and became more dependent upon mutual support from McClernand, the Federal operation in the Western portion of the battlefield became "the Sherman & McClernand Show." (About 10:30am Ezra Taylor ordered Barrett to support "the left of the 1st Brigade, 1st Division.")

Without having investigated until now, I would guess that a battery of artillery accompanied Stewart's Brigade... or perhaps the Washington Artillery moved into that position mentioned by Sherman. Or perhaps he is refering to artillery threatening a brigade of McClernand's, further to the east... I do not believe Confederate artillery forced Sherman's withdrawal: that withdrawal was already underway with the rearward moves of Waterhouse and Barrett, and precipitated by the loss of Behr. 

I'll have a look, and see what is revealed...

Ozzy

 

References:  OR 10 pages 250 and 274

 

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Ozzy...But do you believe that the Confederate memoirs or reports would "Admit" to rumbling through the camps when they should be moving forward??

 

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Mona

Nobody admits to being a drunk, or beating their spouse, or skeddadling to the River, or pausing to have breakfast...  :)

Ozzy

 

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In Roger's post of 18 AUG 2016 (this topic, writing as rwaller) is included this report from John Cockerill:  "This duel (between a Confederate battery and 'the German battery') had not lasted more than 10 minutes when a Confederate shell struck a caisson, and an explosion took place... The Captain was killed [the only artillery captain I know who was killed at this time was Frederich Behr -- Ozzy] and his Lieutenant limbered up and fled to the rear."  [I believe this is a fairly accurate account of the death of Captain Behr, although some reports indicate he was gunned down by musketry. If it was truly an exploding ammunition store that killed the captain and caused the stampede of the Morton Battery, Sherman (who was not far away, having placed Behr) may have witnessed the event, and believed the enemy artillery round "came from the left."

If a Confederate battery indeed caused the explosion of Behr's Morton Battery, the question becomes:  which one?  Most likely candidates, due their proximity at the time, are the following:

  • Stanford                                                  affiliated with Stewart
  • Harper's Jefferson                                  SAM Wood
  • Swett's Mississippi                                  Shaver
  • Melanchton Smith's Mississippi              Stephens
  • Hodgson's Washington Artillery              Anderson 

On page 116 of the OR 10, MGen McClernand reports:  "While our new disposition of force was being arrayed [about 10:30-11am -- Ozzy] the enemy were advancing at all points supported by several batteries."

Marsh reports (page 133-4):  "I moved to support of Taylor's Battery (Barrett), planted in front of the line of the 1st Brigade camp. I formed on the left of the 1st Brigade... We moved forward (the 1st and 2nd Brigades, together) and succeeded in silencing a section of artillery planted in the rear of General McClernand's quarters... I was forced to fall back without bringing off the guns; but when we regained possession of the ground on Monday morning, those guns were still there. We have them now."

On page 436, Stanford's Battery indicates it attempted to keep pace with Stewart's Brigade, but was unable to keep up.  "I advanced in the direction of the enemy (as evidenced by the sound of their firing). I soon found myself in front of one of their batteries..."  [Unfortunately, there is insufficient information to indicate which Federal battery Stanford encountered. Still, it is possible Stanford engaged Behr's Morton Battery.]

Harper, Swett and Melanchton Smith seem to have operated even further east than Stanford; so it would appear more probable that Stanford was responsible for Behr, rather than any of these three...

Which leaves Hodgson's Washington Artillery, 5th Company. This battery appears everywhere... Hodgson himself indicates that his battery entered the field to right side of Anderson's Brigade (page 513). The Florida Battalion supported Hodgson at one point (page 504). The 9th Texas reports working with Hodgson to "silence a battery of the enemy." (page 509)  And Patton Anderson reports (beginning page 494):  "Hodgson selected an advantageous piece of ground and went into action... A battery was brought forward and fired on an enemy battery. The enemy cannoneers fled under the charge of our infantry." [Unfortunately, General Anderson does not specifically indicate Hodgson's as the battery that accomplished this feat -- Ozzy.]

That's the best I can come up with, at this time...

Ozzy

 

References:  OR volume 10 (pages as indicated)

http://civilwarlandscapes.org/cwla/states/tn/sh/tm_time/day1/d1_0730.htm   (Shiloh map, Day 1, various times. Unfortunately, artillery battery movements are recorded sporadically, preventing clear understanding.)

SDG 18 AUG 2016 post of rwaller in "Bushrod Johnson's Brigade morning of 6 April"

 

N.B.  SAM Wood (page 592) reports that his 16th Alabama took possession of a 6-gun Federal battery (not identified.) Wood also reports a friendly-fire incident on this same page (which led to his being injured.)

Colonel McNeely (13th Arkansas) on page 429-430 reports a friendly-fire incident while supporting Smith's Battery.

 

 

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According to Professor Gentsch, Sterling Alexander Martin Wood's brigade captured Burrow's 14th Ohio Battery, comprised of Wiard rifles of various calibers.

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Transylvania

Thanks for that information: every piece added to the puzzle helps to complete the picture.

Ozzy

 

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I led a Not-So-Epic Hike in November, 2014 in which we (Mona, a colleague from work, and I) followed the course of Wood's Brigade from Fraley Field to the Cross Roads, essentially ending with the capture of Burrow's battery.  My reading of the reports of Wood and his regimental commanders in the OR led me to believe that his men captured Burrow's Battery, but I had earlier heard Professor Gentsch make his assertion, so it is possible that my interpretation was colored by him.

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Thanks Ozzy and Transylvania, and by the way (in addition to the withdrawal of Waterhouse's battery, Barrett's battery and their infantry supports) do you think after the collapse of Prentiss's division when the rebels moved into the abandoned camps and Gen. A.S. Johnston directed five of the brigades he had sent into Prentiss's camps to turn north and west behind Peabody's abandoned camp, did this also hasten Sherman's withdrawal from the Shiloh Branch line? Because in the National Park Service guidebook it says "After the collapse of Prentiss's division, Sidney Johnston directed five Confederate brigades to advance north and west behind Peabody's captured camp. This mass movement turned Sherman's left flank, helped break up Hildebrand's brigade, and forced Sherman to abandon his camps."
http://npshistory.com/publications/civil_war_series/22/sec5.htm

Is it that those five brigades were turning their way around the time things were falling apart for Sherman anyway? And does anyone know what five brigades the NPS guidebook is talking about? In looking in the Battle of Shiloh and Organizations Engaged book on page 16 it makes it sound like three of the five brigades were S.A.M. Wood's brigade, Shaver's brigade and A.P. Stewart's brigade along with Swett's battery and Stanford's battery. Does this sound right so far? Were the other two Trabue's brigade and Col. William Stephens's brigade maybe?

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Billy and Transylvania and Mona and Roger

I made mention of the joining of Sherman with McClernand, following on the stampede of Behr's Battery, because it is my belief, that from that incidental intermingling of the two divisions commenced the "fighting withdrawal" of the Federal force on the Western side of the Battlefield. Ezra Taylor assisted with directing McClernand's artillery; McClernand provided manpower to Sherman's endeavors (even sent his Engineer to the Landing to bring over whatever spare regiments he could find... which is how the 15th Iowa and 16th Iowa ended up with McClernand, and not with Prentiss); and together, Sherman and McClernand collaborated, and conducted their joint operation... including launching counter-attacks, when it appeared prudent to do so.

Far as I can determine, the Sherman/McClernand Line extended southeast, in the direction of Stuart's camp at Lick Creek, but ended with the 8th Illinois (the end of the Sherman/McClernand Line was advanced south of what became the Hurlbut-Prentiss-Wallace Line (Sunken Road/Hornet's Nest), providing a slight overlap... momentarily... until the 8th Illinois was driven back to the north-northwest.

Just setting the stage for the next bit of discussion... (Again, just my interpretation; subject to debate)

Ozzy

 

 

 

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For the five brigades that Johnston supposedly turned left behind Prentiss's camps once Prentiss's division had collapsed, I am increasingly thinking that three of them were S.A.M. Wood's brigade, Shaver's brigade and A.P. Stewart's brigade, because it says on pg. 16 of the Battle of Shiloh and Organizations Engaged that "Following the capture of the guns of Waterhouse's battery and the retreat of Sherman and Raith to the Purdy Road, Wood's and Shaver's brigades, with Swett's battery, were ordered to left wheel. Stewart's brigade was sent by left flank along the rear of Peabody's camp to Wood's left where three of the regiments took their places in line, while the Fourth Tennessee, supported by the Twelfth Tennessee from Russell's brigade went into line between Wood's and Shaver's brigades." 

I'm now thinking maybe the other two (if the NPS guidebook is correct and Johnston did in fact send five brigades around to the left behind Prentiss's camps) might have been Gibson's brigade and John Jackson's brigade because on page 76 of the Battle of Shiloh and Organizations Engaged book it says "Passing through Peabody's camp it [Gibson's brigade] came up with Shaver's brigade and fired a few shots from the edge of Barnes Field at retreating Union troops and received a few shells from Munch's battery in reply."  and on page 75 it says Jackson's brigade "came up with that brigade [Gladden's] at Prentiss's headquarters, where General Johnston in person ordered the brigade to the left in conjunction with movements of Wood and Shaver." 

Sound plausible? 

And the more I think about it, was this movement of five brigades by Johnston in reaction to the pulling back of Sherman's division from the Shiloh Branch line to the Hamburg-Purdy Road line instead of what I had been thinking, that it was in reaction to the collapse of Prentiss's division and it helped to turn Sherman's left and cause him to pull his division back to the Hamburg-Purdy Road? So then these five brigades helped turn Sherman's division out of the Hamburg-Purdy Road line then instead of helping earlier, to turn his left at Shiloh Branch? 

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I just now found this Shiloh timeline here 

http://www.jfepperson.org/shiloh.htm

and it seems to clear it up somewhat (at least in my opinion). Let me run it by you and see what you think of its accuracy. The relevant part of it says:

"9:00 a.m.    Prentiss defeated in front of his camps; begins to withdraw.
                     Hurlbut begins to form line in Sarah Bell's cotton field, in front of the Peach Orchard.
                     Tuttle and Sweeny (of W.H.L. Wallace) form along Sunken Road near the Duncan Field.
                     Grant arrives at Pittsburg Landing; sends Capt. A.S. Baxter with orders for Lew Wallace to march to the Landing, and sends a message to Nelson to "hurry up" his troops "as fast as possible."

9:30-10:00 a.m.    Five brigades (Wood, Shaver, Stewart, Gibson, Stephens) shifted left to attack Raith (of McClernand), who is in position on Sherman's left. Two brigades (Chalmers and Jackson) dispatched to the right to deal with Stuart's (of Sherman) brigade, posted near the river.
                             Bushrod Johnson's brigade, supported by Anderson and Russell, attacks Hildebrand (of Sherman) in Rhea Field, carrying the position. Hildebrand's brigade collapses.

10:00 a.m.    Prentiss's survivors file into line between Wallace and Hurlbut, along the Sunken Road.
                      Sherman withdraws to the Hamburg-Purdy Road, where he is joined by McClernand's division.
                      Williams and Lauman (of Hurlbut) are attacked by Adams (Gladden), Jackson, and Chalmers in the Sarah Bell cotton field. The Confederates, after a brief fight, are withdrawn to confront Stuart's brigade in their right rear.
                       Bowen and Statham are committed to the right; Trabue to the left.
                       Grant sends courier to order Lew Wallace to march to the battle.

10:30 a.m.    McArthur (of W.H.L. Wallace) joins Hurlbut's line on the left.
                        Cheatham leads Stephens's brigade in the first assault on the Sunken Road position, across Duncan Field.

10:30-11:30 a.m.    Sherman and McClernand are attacked along the Hamburg-Purdy Road by roughly two-thirds of the Confederate army and driven 1,300 yards northward to Jones Field.
                               Chalmers and Jackson attack and defeat Stuart's lone brigade along the river." 

So it sounds like 1. the five brigades were S.A.M. Wood's, Robert Shaver's, A.P. Stewart's, Randall Gibson's and William Stephens's. And 2. it seems that it was more like you were saying originally than what I was originally thinking, it seems that it was in fact the loss of Waterhouse's battery and its infantry supports that turned Sherman's left, not the commitment of the five brigades by Johnston. These were committed it seems to crush the Hamburg-Purdy Road line. If this information above is correct it clears a lot of it up for me.
 

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Billy

I've had a look at your Shiloh Timeline, and taken the liberty to make some adjustments (references provided on request):

About 9am:   Prentiss abandons his camps and commences rearward move "towards the distant hill."  (Peabody is killed about 8:45; but Major Powell reaches the new position and lives until about 3pm.) Exultant Confederate troops, flush with success, pause to refresh themselves in the abandoned camps of the 6th Division... wasting precious minutes that can never be regained.

  • Hurlbut begins to form a defensive line near Sarah Bell cotton field;
  • Prentiss reaches Hurlbut's formative position, and is allowed to pass through; rallying those sturdy men who completed the escape with him, BGen Prentiss places perhaps 500 men in a line extending to the west of Hurlbut (that line is soon bolstered by perhaps 650 fresh infantrymen belonging to 23rd Missouri, just off the boat) and also includes a number of artillery pieces belonging to Munch and Hickenlooper;
  • Tuttle and Sweeny (of WHL Wallace 2nd Division) extend the line west of Prentiss, along high side of Duncan Field, and across East Corinth Road;
  • US Grant arrives at Pittsburg Landing (between 8:30-9am) aboard his flagship, Tigress; Grant meets with WHL Wallace and Engineer James McPherson and sends verbal orders (through aide John Rawlins; ultimately via Quartermaster A.S. Baxter) to MGen Lew Wallace, waiting at Crump's Landing, to "join the right of the Army"
  • BGen Nelson (of Buell's Army of the Ohio) is directed to make haste through a swamp south of Savannah, gain the riverbank with his division, and ferry his troops directly across to Pittsburg Landing (elements of Nelson's 4th Division begin arriving Pittsburg at 5pm)
  • US Grant releases several key officers from arrest (for minor offenses); these men take a prominent role in the fight, and include LtCol August Chetlain (12th Illinois), Colonel James Geddes (8th Iowa) and BGen John McArthur (Cdr 2nd Brig, 2nd Div)
  • After meeting MGen Grant, WHL Wallace completes positioning his artillery batteries, back of the Prentiss-Wallace Line;
  • After meeting WHL Wallace, Grant proceeds towards the west to converse with Sherman: a line of Illinois cavalry is encountered on the way, and Grant sends away cavalry officer Lieutenant Bennett as messenger, up the River Road (with instructions to make contact with MGen Lew Wallace and "lead him south" -- Bennett fails to act as guide for Lew Wallace, with serious consequences...)

About 9:30-10am:   Grant meets Sherman briefly, before 10am; Grant returns to the east (and meets with Hurlbut and Prentiss)

  • Five CSA brigades (possibly Wood, Shaver, Stewart, Gibson and Stephens) are directed towards the north-northwest to attack elements of McClernand's Division;
  • Two brigades (Chalmers and Jackson) are sent to the east to deal with "an unexpected Union division" (which proves to be a brigade, led by Stuart)
  • Attacks involving Bushrod Johnson, Cleburne, Anderson and Russell increase in intensity and focus towards Hildebrand (and Waterhouse Battery) in vicinity of Shiloh Church;

About 10am:   Sunken Road Defenders (Hurlbut-Prentiss-Wallace Line) improve defenses along the line with keen distribution of artillery pieces (including numerous pieces that are supplied with canister, embedded in the line of infantry.) The 8th Iowa is moved into position, filling the gap between WHL Wallace and Benjamin Prentiss;

  • Sherman moves a short distance back from his initial defensive position (in vicinity of Shiloh Church) following the loss of Waterhouse Battery and withdrawal of Barrett's Battery (moved back to support of 1st Brig, 1st Div). With the sudden, unexpected loss of Behr's Morton Battery, Sherman falls further back and joins his force to the right (west) of McClernand. The Union force defending Owl Creek Bridge is successfully pulled out: it rejoins the 6th Iowa in its new, more northerly location;
  • Williams and Lauman absorb the first attacks against the Hurlbut-Prentiss-Wallace Line;

About 10:30:   Elements of BGen McArthur's Brigade sent to bolster the east end of Hurlbut;

  • Cheatham leads elements of Stephen's Brigade in attack on Federal line in vicinity of Duncan Field;

About 10:30-11:30am:   Sherman/McClernand are now acting in concert; they absorb numerous, widely dispersed attacks along their line, involving infantry and artillery; Sherman/McClernand slowly, but progressively driven back;

  • Chalmers and Jackson continue to press Stuart on the extreme east of the Battlefield; Stuart's approximately 800 men (54th Ohio Zouave and 55th Illinois) put up stubborn resistance, and fight a dogged withdrawal [including the use of ravines for cover, and creative employment of "hollow squares"]. Stuart's men continue to resist, as long as their ammunition holds out...

 

I prefer this version...

Ozzy

 

 

 

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Thanks Ozzy for correcting that timeline. So to be clear, the five brigades Johnston directed to the north-northwest, they were intended to hit McClernand's line rather than Sherman in his original Shiloh Church/Shiloh Branch line? They are not what caused Sherman to pull back to the Hamburg-Purdy Road line, correct? That was the collapse of Sherman's own left that did that? Any idea how long the rebels wasted pillaging Prentiss's abandoned camps before the five brigades were turned north-northwest? I'm thinking around an hour maybe? 

As a hypothetical, let's say Sherman's left with Waterhouse's battery etc. did not collapse when it did but remained intact. Do you think the earlier collapse of Prentiss's division to Sherman's left would have unhinged his Shiloh Branch line anyway by allowing Johnston to get five brigades heading towards the Hamburg-Purdy Road behind him?

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Regarding the earlier matter of whether the Confederates managed to get any artillery around behind Sherman's flank, I just now found this passage in Campaigns in Kentucky and Tennessee Including the Battle of Chickamauga, 1862-1864 by the Military Historical Society of Massachusetts

https://archive.org/stream/campaignsinkent00massgoog#page/n158/mode/2up

where on page 147 it says "The Confederates advanced with spirit all along the line. Wood's brigade had driven in the left. One of his batteries was firing directly in the rear of Buckland's camps. General Sherman then directed his line to re-form on the Purdy Road..." 

So maybe if it is true that the rebels got artillery around behind Sherman's flank it would be the battery with S.A.M. Wood's brigade which was Capt. William Harper's Mississippi battery. But I have now been thinking that Sherman's left was collapsing and he was ordering his division to fall back to the Hamburg-Purdy Road already by the time S.A.M. Wood's brigade (and the other four brigades Johnston wheeled around to the left) was bearing down on them, because wasn't this five-brigade movement what shattered the Hamburg-Purdy Road line of Sherman and McClernand? Rather than being what helped turn Sherman out of his original Shiloh Church/Shiloh Branch line.

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Billy

Every reference I have consulted indicates that "the five brigades" were directed against McClernand (some go so far as to indicate "Raith.") The timing is unclear, but appears to be coincidental with withdrawal of Waterhouse (and capture of three of Waterhouse guns.) There is "confusion" surrounding which five brigades took part... but some of that confusion may be due to nomenclature.

Hindman:  Described as an "impromptu Division Commander" within Hardee's Third Corps (given charge of 1st Brigade (Shaver) and 3rd Brigade (Wood.) [OR 10 pages 568-9] This is important, because in the Life of Albert Sidney Johnston, page 597 is reference to "Hindman was the pivot point, with brigades to his right acting as a swinging gate to sweep away every command of McClernand, successively."

Jackson:  On page 595 of Life of ASJ , Jackson is given credit for participating in one charge with Hindman; then Jackson's Brigade was sent with Chalmers to deal with Stuart on the far eastern edge of the Battlefield. (D.W. Reed Battle of Shiloh p.75 "Jackson was initially with Shaver and Wood, but had his orders changed.")

Stewart:  On page 601 Life of ASJ:  "General Johnston asked Polk for a brigade, and was given Stewart; he led it to Hindman's right (where Jackson had been. On the same page, Stewart is indicated as being on the left of Hindman, with Anderson between Stewart and Hindman.) Stewart moved east through Peabody's Camp, wheeled left, and joined on Wood and Shaver [Reed page 81].

Gibson:  On page 595, Gibson's Brigade is reported as "in trail of Anderson, who was to Hindman's left." On page 76 of Reed, Gibson is reported as "about noon, the Brigade was resting in Barnes Field, when Bragg found it (supposedly not where Gibson was expected to be) and sent Gibson into attack against the Hornet's Nest... four times.

Stephens:  In Life of ASJ, page 601:  "Polk sent Stephens to the left (under command of Cheatham); but Beauregard ordered it to the right."  In Reed page 79:  "Cheatham led Stephens, first to the left, then (about 10:30) to the right against the Hornet's Nest."

In Life of ASJ, page 601, the order of brigades:   Stewart -- Anderson -- Hindman/Gibson -- Stephens (under Cheatham)

In DW Reed, pages 16-17 and 67, the order:       Stewart -- Wood -- Shaver -- (Gibson) -- Stephens (sent instead to Hornet's Nest)

In addition, Reed (page 67) indicates the 4th Tenn and 12th Tenn regiments were between Wood and Shaver during this advance. (Gibson in parenthesis because Reed does not appear to believe that it accompanied the advance of Stewart -- Wood-- Shaver.) [I can find no evidence for Anderson's participation: Reed indicates (page 77) that Anderson went left with Trabue. Therefore, I am more inclined to trust Reed's determination, in bold, above.]

 

Ozzy

 

N.B.   As to "time spent refreshing in captured camps,"  I am inclined to believe only a few minutes: perhaps 15-30 minutes. Just long enough for General Johnston to take notice, grab up his pewter tankard "as MY share of the spoils," and get the men moving again. And I do not believe lounging in the captured camps delayed the push to the north-northwest... but it did prevent successful pursuit of Prentiss and his fleeing survivors (and several pieces of artillery belonging to Munch and Hickenlooper escaped, to fight later in the day...)

As for the hypothetical IRT Waterhouse: I am not confident that the five assigned brigades participated in the assault against McClernand (Gibson and Stephens appear to have been re-directed to the Hornet's Nest, instead.) But Waterhouse was doomed as soon as Ezra Taylor rushed over to stop the "slight rearward movement" of that battery...

 

 

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Billy

Just a bit more information, for clarity...

With the employment of Russell and Bushrod Johnson (and following the capture of guns of Waterhouse and Behr) Major General Polk sought out General Bragg (about 10:30am) and together agreed that "Bragg would take the right; Polk would the Center; and it was assumed Hardee would take charge of the Confederate left." [Leonidas Polk: Bishop and General, page107]  Polk continues: "Stewart, Johnson and Russell provided the force for my efforts in the center." [This is interesting, because Stewart was part of that "Five Brigade Force" we've been discussing; yet Polk still considered Stewart as "working for him."  Also, on Page 108, Polk refers to Stephen's Brigade as Maney's Brigade, and acknowledges that Brigade (under command of Cheatham) as being employed "on the right with Bragg and Breckinridge."]

Polk continues:  "These three brigades [Stewart, Johnson and Russell], with an occasional random regiment detached from somewhere else, were fully employed by me; they covered the same ground in the center three times... And at about 3pm word arrived that our commander, Albert Sidney Johnston, was dead." (page 108)

Finally, it is worth reviewing the "Five Brigades," and who they "belonged to" --

Stewart           Polk (1st Div 2nd Brig)

Wood              Hardee (Hindman's "Division")

Shaver            Hardee (Hindman's "Division")

Gibson            Bragg (1st Div 1st Brig)

Stephens        Polk (2nd Div 2nd Brig)

 

Ozzy

 

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Thanks Ozzy! You're a veritable fountain of information. Say, I was wondering about this passage in Larry Daniel's book Shiloh: The Battle that Changed the Civil War in which on page 172 he is describing how the morning of 6 April went for McDowell's brigade on Sherman's right flank. He says that when Buckland's brigade moved forward of its camps to take its place in the line it created a gap between Buckland's right and McDowell's left so Buckland requested another regiment be sent up to fill the gap. McDowell sent his 40th Illinois up to situate itself to the right rear of the 72nd Ohio of Buckland's brigade. When the 72nd Ohio ran low on ammunition Larry Daniel says that Buckland ordered the 40th Illinois up to take its place in the line but the commander of the 40th Illinois (Col. Stephen Hicks) refused, saying he had orders to not let his regiment get engaged unless it was attacked. This is a pretty serious accusation against Col. Hicks and I haven't seen any reference to it anywhere else. In checking the two sources Daniel lists for that statement neither of them actually mention Col. Hicks refusing to bring his regiment forward. Do you know anything about this? 

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Billy

I find that the action on the Western side of the Battlefield is chaotic and confusing (and subject to interpretation), for several reasons:

  • not every junior commander submitted an after-action report (allowing for broad speculation, continuing to this day)
  • not every report submitted was complete, or well written;
  • historians (including DW Reed) have attempted to tell the story of Shiloh as a "contest of brigades," but much of what took place involved individual regiments, and fragments of regiments;
  • many of the combatants were only vaguely aware of their location and time-by-the-clock when key events occurred: with the Union holding the ground after the battle, some participants were able to walk that ground and refamiliarize themselves with important locations; Confederate leaders writing their reports had to trust more to their memories;
  • the action on the Western side of the Battlefield was fluid... dynamic... involving numerous locations (even if most of those positions were sequentially in the direction of Pittsburg Landing, there were attempts at counter-attack and reinforcement that make tracking the flow of the action difficult.)

That said, a good starting point to help understand McDowell (and his support of Buckland) and the involvement of the 40th Illinois, is to be found in SDG, Perry Cuskey's post of April 17, 2010 (2010 Anniversary) "Hike Report -- the Battle for Shiloh Church."  Detailing a hike conducted on the West side of the Battlefield by Dr. Jeff Gentsch (Asst Professor of History and Social Sciences at University of West Alabama.) Discussed were the importance of terrain in affecting outcomes; the unusual placement of the Union camps (focused on ready access to water vs. security considerations; and the impediment posed by "the morass" and its vines and brambles to Confederate attackers.

Excellent maps and photographs are included.

2)   Rebel's post in SDG, in response to Perry Cuskey, of April 20th is worth a read.

3)   Perry Cuskey initiated another topic in "2010 Anniversary" on April 20, 2010, entitled "Hike Report -- Sherman Defends the Union Right."  As you would expect, the action on the extreme right of the Federal Line (Sherman, and a bit of McClernand) is discussed. Review of DW Reed's rationale for placement of commemorative monuments and information tablets is included. The movements of McDowell (6th Iowa, 46th Ohio, 40th Illinois, Behr's Morton Battery) are followed from early in the action, until close of battle on Day 1, including interactions with the 72nd Ohio (of Buckland's 4th Brig/ Sherman's 5th Div); the importance/chaos encountered at the Crossroads; description of a combined Sherman/McClernand counter-attack (about 10:30-11am from Jones Field towards the Crossroads, but stalling in Woolf Field.)

Excellent maps included.

4)   Bjorn posted a reply to this topic on April 20th ...well worth a read.

5)   Bjorn posted a reply on April 21st ...also well worth a read.

 

Have a view at the above, and tell me what you think

Ozzy

 

N.B.   In one of the above posts, it is claimed that the combined Sherman/McClernand counter-attack was the only one conducted Day 1 by Federal forces. However, Jacob Lauman launched a counter-attack from the left of the Hornet's Nest that drove Confederate attackers south several hundred yards. Found in report of BGen Stephen Hurlbut of the 4th Division.

Both of the above topics to be found in "2010 Anniversary,"  near bottom of Home Page.

 

 

 

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As concerns Colonel Hicks and the 40th Illinois Infantry...

In the report of Colonel Ralph Buckland [OR 10 pages 266-7] he makes mention of "assuming command of the 72nd Ohio upon the death of its commander, LtCol Canfield." Curiously (or tellingly), Buckland makes no mention of experiencing difficulties with Colonel Hicks or the 40th Illinois.

In the report of MGen McClernand [OR 10 page 122] is found the following:  "A meed of justice is due the 40th Illinois and their gallant commander, Colonel Hicks, who was severely wounded near me..."  [Not often you find a Division Commander commending a regiment belonging to a different division -- Ozzy.]

Ozzy

 

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