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Buckland fights on the right

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The Search Box at the top of the SDG Home Page is a modern marvel, facilitating the recovery of information IRT topics of interest -- presented as a list -- regardless where that information is filed on the site. Just for the exercise, I ran the last name of every Union brigade commander at the Battle of Shiloh, to discover which ones were deemed "the most interesting" to members of SDG: poor old Isaac Pugh only got four hits, while Everett Peabody maxed out with 282. Jacob Ammen returned the most for the Army of the Ohio (12) and David Stuart was second-highest with 118.

One of the high scorers was Ralph Buckland; but upon investigation of the posts where his name appeared, the story of Buckland's Brigade in action on April 6th was haphazard (a lot of valuable information, but lacking a logical framework.) Therefore, the goal of this topic is to provide that framework... embark on a discussion of Buckland's Brigade: one of the two brigades belonging to the 5th Division that General Sherman lauds as "never having lost its Brigade organization during that fateful Sunday."



N.B.  The other brigade belonging to Sherman that kept its organization was McDowell's.


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Ralph Buckland was a fifty-year-old lawyer and politician from Fremont, Ohio who had served (1855-1860) in the Ohio State Senate. With the onset of war, Buckland helped organize the 72nd Ohio Volunteer Infantry in Fremont (consisting primarily of residents of Sandusky county) beginning in October 1861. The regiment mustered into service on February 17th 1862 and was sent to Paducah, where it was assigned to the 4th Brigade of Sherman's Division [that Division was initially called the 1st Division; but after confusion IRT McClernand's command, adopted 5th Division.] Colonel Buckland was tapped to command the 4th Brigade during the stay at Paducah.

On March 14th General Sherman embarked on his first expedition up the Tennessee River, and took his entire division along. Venturing as far as Yellow Creek, Tyler's Landing, and Chickasaw, in an effort to find a suitable site from which to attack the Memphis & Charleston Railroad, the expedition failed (due to flooding, and the sloppy condition of the roads from never-ending rain) and the expedition returned downriver... only to pull in to Pittsburg Landing, where Sherman off-loaded his force and soon made his way to the west side of the nascent campground/assembly site (for the work-in-progress operation against Corinth.) The 4th Brigade under Colonel Buckland was soon in position on a ridge extending west from Shiloh Church, in order 70th Ohio, 48th Ohio and 72nd Ohio (of interest, no artillery was assigned to Buckland; although McDowell's Brigade, just to Buckland's west, had the Morton Battery (Captain Behr) assigned.)

For Buckland's Brigade, probably the most significant event that occurred in the days leading up to April 6th was a "Picket Skirmish" that took place on April 4th, the result of which was the loss of seven men from the 70th Ohio, and one man (Lieutenant J.J. Geer) of the 48th Ohio, and on Buckland's staff. Ralph Buckland admits in a letter written a few days later that this episode "increased his state of alertness, especially on April 5th and 6th." On the morning of April 6th Colonel Buckland heard firing, and received the report that his pickets had been attacked (between 6-7am). He ordered the playing of the "long roll" just before 7am, and on orders of General Sherman, sent his 48th Regiment forward to support the embattled pickets. When the 48th Ohio reported the strength of the enemy to its front, Buckland ordered the remainder of his Brigade forward, about 150-200 yards and took position on either side of the 48th Ohio, just back of the heights above Owl Creek (modern day Shiloh Branch.) While in this position, Taylor's Battery (Captain Barrett) was moved into position just left and rear of the 70th Ohio; Schwartz Battery (later under Lieutenant Nispel, who wrote the report) was donated by MGen McClernand about 7:45 and placed behind the 72nd Ohio. Here, on the north bank of Owl Creek, Buckland fought off attacks by some of the same commanders who vexed Hildebrand: Cleburne, Anderson and Johnson. And also kept at bay Pond, and artillery belonging to Ketchum and Trigg.

Buckland maintained his line right of Shiloh Church, in advance of his camps (with one adjustment to the 72nd Ohio, rotating its right slightly counter-clockwise) until about 9:30, when the regiments returned to their camps to replenish ammunition. Shortly afterwards, General Sherman reiterated his orders to Buckland (and McDowell) to "hold their positions." But at about 10am, Taylor's Battery was withdrawn (and Buckland had already noticed the disappearance of the 77th Ohio from his left) and Sherman ordered Buckland to take up a new position, just to the north, along the Purdy Road...



References:  OR volume 10 pages 248-277

http://civilwarlandscapes.org/cwla/states/tn/sh/tm_time/day1/camps_r.htm   (Union camps at Shiloh April 6th from cwla)

letters of Captain JF Harrington Co. A 72nd Ohio; Sergeant G. Eberhard Co. H 72nd Ohio; Colonel Ralph Buckland 72nd Ohio and 4th Brigade Commander found on SDG post of "jmb57" date of March 21, 2012 in topic "The 72nd OVI at Shiloh" (and on file at Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Library)

Sherman's Memoirs pages 226-230

http://archive.org/stream/battleofshilohor00unit#page/n133/mode/2up  (map of Shiloh Battlefield from DW Reed, via archive.org)





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    Buckland’s Brigade is a favorite research item so I prepared the following brief summary of information and ideas developed relating to the actions of Buckland’s brigade.
    I did limit myself to just one dig, off-topic, at Shiloh revisionism despite the urge to do more.
    In regards to the short-changed Isaac Pugh he might have gotten only four hits on this site but he was immortalized by James Lee McDonough in his Shiloh – in Hell before Night. It is Isaac Pugh’s words “Fill you canteens, boys! Some of you will be in hell before night and you’ll need water” that McDonough used in his title.    

    On April 6 and 7, 1881 the Society of the Army of the Tennessee held their 14th annual meeting in Cincinnati, Ohio. The focus of the meeting was the Battle of Shiloh.
    There was published a Report of the Proceedings of the Society of the Army of the Tennessee at the Fourteenth Annual Meeting, Held at Cincinnati, Ohio. April 6th and 7th, 1881. The report can be found here:
    Hopefully that works and you can receive the report in various formats.
    This report is a milestone in the study of Shiloh. It is at this meeting Sherman stirred the pot by proclaiming that he, and Grant and the army, were not surprised at Shiloh. The repercussions roiled throughout the land as a legion of men who disagreed with Sherman took to the pen and wrote scathing denunciations of him.
    But to keep with this topic this report contains a paper from Colonel Ralph P. Buckland which is directly relevant to this topic. His report starts on page 72.
    In addition there are a couple other treats in this publication. One is a paper by Colonel Madison Miller, commander of Prentiss’s 2nd brigade, in which he defends the men he commanded from the “slanderous” attacks made upon them by the early reports of their surrender. Miller fought the whole day, fought with Prentiss in the Sunken Road and the Hornets’ Nest and was captured and imprisoned with him.
    Colonel William T. Shaw of the 14th Iowa, fighting squarely in the Hornets’ Nest, gives an account of the actions of himself, his regiment and other units on April 6, 1862. Note how Shaw, a man who was there, praises fighters to their left (Hurlbut’s Division plus McArthur’s men) where Shaw says the “musketry was terrific and continuous, exceeding anything I ever heard, before or since.” Shaw describes the firing to the right (McClernand and Sherman’s divisions) as “Of the right I was less able to judge, as the firing was more irregular and less in volume, particularly after 12 M., sometimes being very heavy and then dying out almost entirely.”
    Shaw shows his awareness of what was happening on the battlefield as he wrote “I will here state that the position taken by Wallace at 9 A. M. was fully up to the front. The divisions of McClernand and Sherman on the right were heavily engaged with the enemy,--Prentiss on our left had just fallen back—or, rather, was just falling back and taking up his new position in line with our division and with that of Hurlbut on his left. Our army seemed, as far as I could judge from the firing, to present a good and firm front to the enemy.”
    Shaw, a man who was there and via the sound of firing, knew that the entire army was engaged and that divisions were fighting to the left and to the right of Shaw’s men in the Hornets’ Nest.
Shaw’s report deserves a careful reading so one can judge whether Shaw has his facts wrong and his mind was befuddled as advocated in Confederates in the Attic when it is alleged that the men in the Hornets’ Nest had no idea what was going on to their left and to their right and that the men in the Hornets’ Nest believed that they were the only ones who had fought in the battle and, therefore, they had saved the army. No where does Shaw make such a claim.
    Reference page 178 of Confederates in the Attic and for those who have not had the misfortune of reading the book or owning it here is the passage I am referring to: “Let’s put ourselves in the heads of those Yankees in the Hornets’ Nest,” he (Stacy Allen) said, pacing up and down the Sunken Road. “We’re in this thicket where we can’t see the rest of the battlefield. There’s rebels coming at us, in bits and pieces, all day long. Then suddenly we’re still here and everyone else has retreated. It seems like we fought the whole battle on our own.”
    I might have ventured off topic although Shaw’s observations of the fighting on the right is relative to studying Buckland’s brigade.
    Shaw’s report is just another example of an account by a man who was there that refutes the analysis provided by modern Shiloh historians.
    In regards to Buckland’s brigade it is a question of where to begin. Buckland’s brigade made an early stand and held the ridge west of Shiloh Church and vacated the position only when flanked by Rebel forces after Hildebrand’s brigade had disintegrated and Raith’s brigade of McClernand’s Division had been assailed and driven back towards the Purdy Road and Corinth Road crossroads.
     Sherman lovers promote the idea that Sherman went through an epiphany once he finally (around 8 AM according to his report) realized the Confederates were serious about driving the Union army into the swamps and had shot him and killed his orderly. This manifestation is considered sufficient to overlook Sherman’s blunders leading up to the attack and Sherman is given credit by some historians of commanding McClernand’s division as well as his own.
    One author (who I do not remember at the moment and really don’t care if I do) gave Sherman credit for riding up and down the entire Shiloh Church line encouraging the men to hold their ground. Since we are discussing Buckland’s brigade it should be noted that neither Sherman’s report nor Buckland’s report supports this claim.
    Sherman considered the Shiloh Church line as most important but he spent his efforts encouraging Hildebrand’s brigade. Considering the ignominious retreat of the 53rd Ohio led by Col. Appler and the disintegration of the 57th Ohio one wonders how successful of a job Sherman did. The 77th Ohio stood their ground longer as noted by their casualty count but once they were flanked that regiment also scattered and Hildebrand’s command had dwindled to the horse he was riding.
    Buckland’s brigade was singled out by Whitelaw Reid in his account of the battle of Shiloh. Following is a portion of Reid’s Shiloh account which mentions Buckland’s brigade as being caught in their beds and also shows that Reid heaped praise on Sherman’s performance which is often cited by Sherman supporters.
Whitelaw Reid wrote the following:

    “Almost at dawn Sherman's pickets were driven in, a little later Prentiss' were; and the enemy were into the camps almost as soon as were the pickets themselves.
    Here began scenes, which, let us hope, will have no parallel in our remaining annals of the war. Many, particularly among our officers, were not yet out of bed. Others were dressing, others washing, others cooking, a few eating their breakfasts. Many guns were unloaded, accouterments lying pell mell, ammunition was ill supplied—in short, the camps were completely surprised, and were taken at almost every disadvantage.
   The first wild cries from the pickets rushing in, and the few scattering shots that preceded their arrival, aroused the regiments to a sense of their peril; an instant after rattling volleys of musketry poured through the tents, while, before there was time for thought or preparation, there came rushing through the woods, with lines of battle sweeping the whole fronts of the division camps and bending down on either flank, the fine, dashing, compact columns of the enemy.
    Into the just aroused camps thronged the rebel regiments, firing a sharp volley as they came and springing forward upon our laggards with the bayonet, for while their artillery, already in position, was tossing shells in the further side of the encampments, scores were shot down as they were running, without weapons, hatless, coatless, towards the river. The searching bullets found other poor unfortunates in their tents, and there, all unheeding now, they still slumbered, while the unseen foe rushed on. Others fell while they were disentangling themselves from the flaps that formed the doors of their tents; others as they were buckling on their accouterments; others as they were vainly endeavoring to impress on the cruelly exultant enemy their readiness to surrender.
    Officers were bayoneted in their beds, and left for dead, who, through the whole two days fearful struggle, lay there gasping in their agony, and on Monday evening were found, in gore inside their tents, and still able to tell the tale.
Such were the fearful disasters that opened the rebel onset on the lines of Buckland's Brigade, in Sherman's Division. Similar, though perhaps less terrible in some of the details, were the fates of Prentiss' entire front.
    Meantime, what they could our shattered regiments did. Falling rapidly back through the heavy woods till they gained a protecting ridge, firing as they ran, and making what resistance men thus situated might, Sherman's men succeeded in partially checking the rush of the enemy long enough to form their hasty line of battle. Meantime, the other two brigades of the division (to the right) sprang hastily to their arms, and had barely done so when the enemy's lines came sweeping up against their fronts, too, and the battle thus opened fiercely along Sherman's whole line on the right.
    Buckland's brigade had been compelled to abandon their camps without a struggle, some of the regiments, it is even said, ran without firing a gun. It is certain that parts of regiments, both here and in other divisions, ran disgracefully. Yet they were not wholly without excuse. They were raw troops, just from the usual idleness of our "camps of instruction;" hundreds of them had never heard a gun fired in anger; their officers, for the most part, were equally inexperienced; they had been reposing in fancied security, and were awaked, perhaps, from sweet dreams of home, and wives, and children, by the stunning roar of cannon in their midst, and the bursting of a bombshell among their tents—to see only the serried columns of the magnificent rebel advance, and through the blind stilling smoke, the hasty retreat of comrades and supports, right and left. Certainly, it is sad enough, but hardly surprising, that under such circumstances some should run. Half as much caused the wild panic at Bull Run, for which the nation, as one man, became a loud-mouthed apologist.
    But they ran—here as in Prentiss' division, of which last more in a moment—and the enemy did not fail to profit by the wild disorder. As Buckland's brigade fell back, McClernand threw forward his left to support it. Meanwhile Sherman was doing his best to rally his troops—dashing along the lines, encouraging them everywhere by his presence, and exposing his own life with the same freedom with which he demanded they offer of theirs; he did much to save the division from utter destruction. Hildebrand and McDowell were compelled to retire their brigades from the enemy across the little ravine behind, but here, for a time, they made a gallant defense, while what was left of Buckland's was falling back in such order as it might, and leaving McClernand's left to take their place and check the wave of rebel advance.” (End of selected portion of Reid’s account)

    After reading Reid’s account one can understand Buckland’s indignation as reflected in his account of the fighting of his brigade on April 6, 1862. The men at Shiloh who were falsely maligned never forgot it and spent the rest of their lives defending themselves against the injustice hurled upon them.
    I do not begrudge Sherman accolades for his fighting prowess at Shiloh. But some authors have either purposely exaggerated his actions or did not do adequate research so an accurate analysis can be made.
     For one example Sherman spent the beginning of the battle around Shiloh Church. He sent aides to give orders to Buckland and McDowell but did not ride the full length of his division’s line.
     Sherman clarifies as much when he wrote in his OR report: “Although our left was thus turned and the enemy was pressing on the 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 those positions till about 10 o’clock a. m. when the enemy got his artillery to the rear of our left flank, and some change became absolutely necessary.” Sherman sent orders to Buckland and McDowell through aides and remained near Shiloh Church during the morning action.
    In Buckland’s OR report he makes no mention of seeing Sherman and states that: “In this position our line (Note: 1st line across the Corinth Road from Shiloh Church) was maintained for more than two hours under a deadly fire from the enemy. Officers and men behaved with great coolness and bravery, keeping up a constant stream of fire upon the enemy. He several times recoiled and rallied, but did not advance his line after the action commenced until we were ordered to fall back upon the Purdy road, which we did in good order….Colonels Sullivan and Cockerill would maintain their parts of the line, which they did gallantly until the regiment on the left of my brigade gave way and we were ordered to fall back.”
   Understanding what happened to Buckland’s brigade is not easy. Sherman’s and Buckland’s OR reports conflict in whether Buckland’s brigade remained organized.
    In Buckland’s withdrawal from the Shiloh Church line to the Purdy road Buckland states it was done “in good order.”
Sherman wrote a paragraph of the action and it is beneficial to work through it to try and understand what Sherman wrote, particularly in regards to Buckland’s brigade.
    Sherman starts with “Two regiments of Hildebrands brigade—Appler’s and Mungen’s—had already disappeared to the rear, and Hildebrand’s own regiment was in disorder, and therefore I gave directions for Taylor’s battery, still at Shiloh, to fall back as far as the Purdy and Hamburg road and for McDowell and Buckland to adopt that road as their new line.”
    On the Shiloh Church line Buckland’s brigade of Ohioans had held their position against Cleburne and Anderson from approximately 8 a. m. to 10 a. m. Curiously Preston Pond did not press McDowell’s brigade so McDowell was not heavily engaged in this first line. McDowell even ordered the 40th Ohio commanded by Colonel Hicks to support Buckland’s right flank. When the order comes from Sherman for Buckland and McDowell to retreat and set up a new line on the Purdy and Hamburg road Buckland still has control of his brigade and they set up a line in the road.
    But when McDowell retreats he does not have contact with Buckland’s brigade and when he reaches the road he finds that Confederates have cut him off from reaching Buckland’s flank so McDowell continues withdrawing towards Jones Field and Sherman does not know where McDowell has gone.
    It is my understanding that Buckland’s men get to the road and then are forced off the road and into confusion because of Behr’s battery responding to the call from Sherman. McClernand’s division is positioned on the Corinth road while Buckland’s brigade is on the Hamburg-Purdy road so they meet at the crossroads. When the Rebels launch their successful assault on McClernand’s line it is most fierce at the crossroads and McClernand’s brigades are shattered and there is a pell mell retreat that Buckland claims broke through his brigade and Buckland lost control as many of his men joined the retreating soldiers towards the ravines draining towards Tilghman Branch.
    Continuing with Sherman’s report: “I rode across the angle and met Behr’s battery at the cross-roads, and ordered it immediately to unlimber and come into battery, action right. Captain Behr gave the order, but he was almost immediately shot from his horse, when the drivers and gunners fled in disorder, carrying off the caissons and abandoning five out of six guns without firing a shot.”
     By the time Sherman meets Behr’s battery Buckland’s brigade had been run through by the battery as it charged east on the Hamburg-Purdy Road. McDowell’s brigade had been cut off by Rebels and was heading towards Sowell Field. Sherman must have been unaware of McDowell’s predicament. One of Behr’s guns had remained with McDowell’s brigade guarding the Owl Creek brigade and retreated with McDowell. Sherman might be mistaken that Behr had six guns at the crossroads.
    Sherman’s next sentences show the difficulty in deciphering official reports as Sherman has the timing of events out of sequence. Sherman writes “The enemy pressed on, gaining this battery, and we were again forced to choose a new line of defense. Hildebrand’s brigade had substantially disappeared from the field, though he himself bravely remained. McDowell’s and Buckland’s brigades still retained their organizations, and were conducted by my aides so as to join on General McClernand’s right, thus abandoning my original camps and line.”
    Sherman’s account of his aides conducting McDowell’s and Buckland’s brigades to join McClernand’s right had to have been before the loss of Behr’s battery. Sherman abandoned his camps and first line to take position in the Hamburg-Purdy Road which was on McClernand’s right. Sherman still has Buckland’s brigade organized but that changes after the crossroads crumble and Buckland’s brigade is broken up.
    Sherman’s inadequate description of the action continues with: “This was about 10:30 a. m., at which time the enemy had made a furious attack on General McClernand’s whole front. Finding him pressed, I moved McDowell’s brigade directly against the left flank of the enemy, forced him back some distance, and then directed the men to avail themselves of every cover—trees, fallen timber, and a wooded valley to our right.”
    Sherman is describing the massive Rebel crossroads assault against McClernand and Veatch’s brigade that Hurlbut had sent over to reinforce Sherman and McClernand. “Finding him pressed” is an understatement. McClernand’s brigades of Raith and Marsh and also Veatch were shattered and some regiments retreated towards Jones field while others retreated into ravines between Jones Field and Duncan Field.
    Fortunately the Rebels did not pursue the retreating Union forces after forcing them from the Hamburg-Purdy and Corinth roads. Sherman leaves out that it took some time to find McDowell’s brigade and finally Sherman finds McDowell in Jones Field and it is from there he orders McDowell to counterattack. But at the same time McClernand is counterattacking with the forces of his division that had retreated to Jones Field. Sherman notes the success McDowell has in forcing back the Rebels but it is done at a fearful price.
     Finishing with Sherman’s comments: “We held this position for four long hours, sometimes gaining and at other times losing ground, General McClernand and myself acting in perfect concert and struggling to maintain this line.”
    In one sentence Sherman describes the vicious fighting that occurred in the counterattack that, temporarily, regained McClernand’s headquarters. I think the counterattack started around noon and around 2 p. m. Union forces were back in Jones Field and action died down so Sherman’s estimate of four hours is probably too long. It is unfortunate that Sherman is unaware of the true significance of the counterattack in occupying Confederate forces and causing them to spill more blood in driving the Union forces back again. McDowell’s and Trabue’s Rebel brigade engage in heavy and vicious fighting as evident by the existence of two known Rebel burial trenches in this area.
    But back to Buckland’s brigade and what happened to them after they were driven from the Hamburg-Purdy Road. Buckland seems to give us a pretty good idea in his official report as he wrote:

    “We formed again on the Purdy road, but the fleeing mass from the left broke through our lines, and many of our men caught the infection and fled with the crowd. Colonel Cockerill became separated from Colonel Sullivan and myself, and was afterwards engaged with part of his command at McClernand’s camp. Colonel Sullivan and myself kept together and made every effort to rally our men, but with very poor success. They had become scattered in all directions. We were borne considerably to the left, but finally succeeded in forming a line and had a short engagement with the enemy, who made his appearance soon after our line was formed. The enemy fell back, and we proceeded to the road, where you found us. At this point I was joined by Colonel Cockerill, and we there formed line of battle, and slept on our arms Sunday night.”

    From this we ascertain that Buckland was not involved in the counterattack and retreated towards Tilghman branch and beyond. Sherman finds them all the way back in the Hamburg-Savannah road after 4 p. m. Sherman again writes that in his final line: “Buckland’s brigade was the only one with me that retained its organization.”
    It appears that after Buckland is driven from the Hamburg-Purdy Road he spends the rest of the day trying to meld together his scattered forces and manages to get enough together by nightfall in the Hamburg-Savannah Road that Sherman still thinks he has his organization.
    Buckland wrote in his official report that Colonel Alfred Mouton commanding the 18th Louisiana of Preston Pond’s brigade was killed in front of his brigade at the Shiloh Church line. A couple days after the battle and the Rebels back in Corinth I am sure Colonel Mouton was surprised to find out he had died in the battle. However, Mouton would not survive the war as he was killed leading his troops at the battle of Mansfield in Louisiana on April 8, 1864 in one of the actions in the Red River Campaign.
   The regimental reports for Buckland’s brigade consist of a single paragraph from Lt. Col. Parker of the 48th Ohio. No separate report for Buckland’s 72nd Ohio regiment but a long report from Colonel Cockerill of the 70th Ohio.
    Cockerill describes falling in with McDowell’s brigade during the counterattack which recaptures McClernand’s camps. After the Rebels regain the ground lost Cockerill retreated all the way to the Hamburg-Savannah road and wrote that Buckland came up with the 72nd Ohio and they bivouacked together that night. The 48th Ohio ended up going to the landing for ammunition, unbeknownst to Buckland, and got corralled in supporting one of the batteries near the landing and did not rejoin Buckland’s brigade until the next morning in time to participate in the festivities of April 7.
    Cockerill does not state how many men of his regiment stayed with him. This is always a problem because there are many soldier’s accounts of how regiments broke up but some of the men kept fighting by attaching themselves to other regiments but you never know how many.
    Colonel Cockerill and his son play a prime role in the new Shiloh film, Fiery Trial. The account is based on the 16 year-old John Cockerill’s account of his day at Shiloh on April 6, 1862. His account describes the beginning of the fight in the camp of the 70th Ohio and is of interest when studying Buckland’s Brigade. John Cockerill’s account is title “A Boy at Shiloh” and was published in 1908 in Volume 6 of Sketches of War History published by the Ohio Commandery of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States (MOLLUS). Here is a link to a copy:

    If that does not work you can search for it. To make your day there are two other accounts about Shiloh in this publication. “The Battle of Shiloh as a Private Saw It” by Captain Robert H. Flemming who was with the 77th Ohio. Fleming’s account should not be missed as the 77th Ohio was right next to Buckland’s brigade. Also available is “The Second Day at Shiloh” by Lewis Hosea who was with the regulars, 16th U.S. Infantry in McCook’s division of Buell’s Army of the Ohio and offers a critique of the history of the battle developed by the Shiloh Commission in reference to the Army of the Ohio. Hosea was not impressed.
     There is a regimental history from 1880 of the 48th Ohio which gives more ideas as to what the regiment did as opposed to Lt. Col. Parker’s short report. The history was written by John A. Bering and titled History of the Forty-Eighth Ohio Vet. Vol. Inf. I don’t know why some links are short and others long but here is a link to the publication:

https://books.google.com/books?id=0pTLUTrt8okC&pg=PA189&dq=48th+Ohio+Infantry+Regiment&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiF0uDqg7rPAhUJ6GMKHdGfAL4Q6AEINDAE#v=onepage&q=48th Ohio Infantry Regiment&f=false

    There is more I could add but I see I am at seven pages already and I will stop here.
    Buckland’s brigade is important to the battle because they made a two-hour stand on the ridge west of Shiloh Church. Buckland’s men figure prominently in the events of April 4th. But after their stand at the ridge line Buckland’s brigade does not fight together during the counterattack and drifts towards the final line at the Hamburg-Savannah road. The brigade is reunited and fights on the second day.



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"His command dwindled to the horse he was riding..."

I read the above line in Hank's post and nearly busted a gut; but the real problem with that quote: it was funny because it was true. And it encapsulates the experiences of so many participants in the Battle of Shiloh, who attempted afterwards to offer explanations and justifications of what they were actually doing while their commands fell apart.

I began reading Hank's post, but got distracted by his linked reference to "The Report of the Society of the Army of the Tennessee, conducted at Cincinnati, Ohio on April 6 and 7 of 1881 (and published in 1885.)"  I do not know how I have missed this reference, but it is absolute gold, beginning with its statement (page 3) IRT how the Society of the Army of the Tennessee was formed, who was eligible for membership [officers of that Army who had served honorably], and who made up the Executive of that organization [at the time of the Cincinnati meeting, General WT Sherman was President and 12 representatives from the Army Corps that made up the Army of the Tennessee after 1862 acted as Vice-Presidents.]

Found in the list of attendees, these significant participants at Shiloh:

  • William Shaw (Colonel of 14th Iowa in Hornet's Nest)
  • General John Pope (began association with arrival at Pittsburg Landing after Battle of Shiloh)
  • Charles Carpenter (leader of Jessie Scouts in lead-up to Battle of Shiloh but sent away under arrest by MGen Grant)
  • Colonel C. Cadle (Staff officer in McClernand's Division on April 6th)
  • Colonel Ralph Buckland (commanded Sherman's 4th Brigade at Shiloh)
  • Colonel Phineas Pease (commanded 49th Illinois of Raith's Brigade at Shiloh)
  • Frederick Welker (commanded Battery H of 1st Missouri Light Artillery in support of Hornet's Nest)
  • Colonel Augustus Chetlain (12th Illinois of McArthur's Brigade at Shiloh)
  • Andrew Hickenlooper (General) at time of Shiloh commanded 5th Ohio Battery, attached to Prentiss' 6th Division
  • General William T. Sherman

Notable by their absence (but providing letters of apology):

  • Richard Oglesby (fought at Fort Donelson; Hare commanded Brigade at Shiloh)
  • John McArthur (commanded 1st Brigade of WHL Wallace 2nd Division)
  • General Stephen Hurlbut (commanded 4th Division at Shiloh)
  • General John Pope Cook (valuable service at Fort Donelson; unknown service while present in vicinity of Shiloh)
  • General US Grant

Beginning page 51-60 a Description of the Battle of Shiloh is provided by General Sherman. Contained in that history:

  • Sherman admits he has examined thousands of pages of documents/writings IRT Battle of Shiloh
  • the evil Agate (Whitelaw Reid) is "introduced" on page 53
  • the Story of Bustamente on page 53 (an allusion to the Shirkers who fled to safety)
  • the role of Major Ezra Taylor in "Sherman's Last Line" (page 55)
  • the role of Colonel Sweeny in fortifying Sherman's Last Line (page 55)
  • description of the wagonloads of dead brought in in vicinity of Dr. Lyle (CSA) Hospital [Where are they buried?]
  • acknowledges "pecking order" at Shiloh: McClernand - Lew Wallace - Sherman - Hurlbut - Prentiss - WHL Wallace (p.58)
  • the form taken at Shiloh of "the Surprise"
  • Sherman's belief that "The victories of the Army of the Tennessee at Fort Donelson and Shiloh were the most valuable of all, because of their morale effect: they provided [unshakeable] confidence that persisted [and sustained that Army through to the end of the War.]" page 59

In addition, Sherman indicates his knowledge of Colonel Thom's Map of Shiloh, and believes Thom misplaced the location of significant action on April 6th on an otherwise well-constructed map (because Thom was not present during that part of the Battle.) However, General Sherman indicates "he has taken a blank copy of Thom's Map and constructed his own version of those actions on April 6th... and that his [Sherman's modified] map tells the Story of the Battle." [This map is indicated as being in possession of the Society of the Army of the Tennessee -- it would make interesting viewing in 2016 -- Ozzy]

I have not completed reading this work, as yet... but felt it was important to recommend it now [as the remaining 450 pages may take me a while to finish...]



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Colonel Isaac Pugh


At the start of this topic, I made mention how Colonel Isaac Pugh had only four hits on SDG (from people seeking information about him and his Shiloh service.) In the intervening years, a quirk of Fate (and necessity to research the 3rd Iowa Infantry) has brought Isaac Pugh into sharper focus for me; and his is a story deserving to be told.

Born in Kentucky in 1805, but growing up in Illinois, Isaac Pugh moved to Decatur (a town just east of the Illinois capital, Springfield) as a young man in order to start a business; and over time became Postmaster, Master of Chancery (a branch of Law that dealt with estates and administration of trusts), and served as County Commissioner. Along the way, Postmaster Pugh served in the Black Hawk War; and saw action during the 1846 – 7 War with Mexico (Vera Cruz and Cerro Gordo.)

With the eruption of hostilities at Fort Sumter, Isaac Pugh felt the call to serve, once again, and helped to raise the 41st Illinois Volunteer Infantry at Decatur in July and August 1861. Initially posted to Cairo, Colonel Pugh and his 41st Illinois were on hand when Grant occupied Paducah in September; and engaged in a feint during Grant's Battle of Belmont. The 41st Illinois was on hand for the operation against Fort Henry (C. F. Smith's Division assault on Fort Heiman); and was part of Colonel McArthur's unfortunately placed brigade during the operation against Fort Donelson.

A quirk of Fate (creation of Hurlbut's Fourth Division) resulted in Pugh's 41st Illinois being removed from McArthur, and installed in the new division's 1st Brigade (commanded by William Nelson of the 3rd Iowa, USMA 1843 classmate of US Grant who left West Point after his Plebe year.) Pugh's Illinois regiment was the first of C. F. Smith's Expedition to land and establish Pittsburg Landing as its campground. During the Battle of Shiloh, while serving alongside the 28th Illinois, 32nd Illinois and 3rd Iowa, Colonel Nelson was disabled; and Colonel Pugh assumed command of the brigade (the first of many such temporary “field promotions” enjoyed by Isaac Pugh.) But beginning with Shiloh, the 3rd Iowa and the 41st Illinois became sister regiments, serving together on every subsequent field (and usually under command of Brigadier General Jacob Lauman) which included the Crawl to Corinth; Battle at Hatchie's Bridge; Vicksburg Campaign; and Battle of Second Jackson.

But, as well as experiencing important aspects of General US Grant's career as Civil War leader, the 41st Illinois (and 3rd Iowa) benefited from having astute observers in the ranks, able to document what they saw and experienced. [SDG member Tim Jeffers is putting together the “Bloody Third” Iowa narrative of that story.] For the 41st Illinois, the no-nonsense reporter was Colonel Isaac Pugh, in his Official Reports... and in over 100 letters written during his military service. Which is the main reason why this post is here: to inform SDG members of the existence of the Depository of Letters of Colonel Isaac Pugh, Special Collections, University of California.

https://oac.cdlib.org/findaid/ark:/13030/kt696nf07x/entire_text/  Letters of Colonel Isaac Pugh at University of California.



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