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Joseph Rose

Grant’s 9:30 a.m. arrival at Pittsburg Landing

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It turns out that I have too kind to General Grant in my book, concerning at least one area. The time of his arrival at Pittsburg Landing—after hearing cannon-fire at his headquarters ten miles downriver in Savannah and boarding his flagship Tigress for the trip upriver—has been a subject of controversy.

Grant and many of his friends and supporters selected earlier-than-actual times (with those of J.F.C. Fuller and William Rowley being absurdly early), which would minimize Grant’s blunder of being away from the army when the battle began about 5 a.m. See the list below. Both Grant and William Carroll had initially asserted later times but later revised them in Grant’s favor. Myself and several historians, on the other hand, determined that around 9 a.m was a much more realistic estimate.

But the logbook for the woodenclad gunboat USS Tyler, which Chief Ranger Stacey Allen commendably acquired, shows almost conclusively that Grant arrived even later than that. The beginning of the logbook’s relevant entry states:

 

Pittsburgh

April 6th. 62

From 8 to 12

Clear + Warm

heavy firing heard back of Pittsburgh. John Warner started down at 9. o’clk. Tigress Came up at 9.30  Evansville at 9.45  We got underway at 9.55 . . .”

 

This is rather conclusive evidence that Grant arrived around 9:30. Further confirmation comes from John Warner starting down from the landing at 9. This would indicate that she traveled some ten minutes downriver before meeting Tigress, which then took some twenty minutes to reach Pittsburg. Now, it’s possible that these times may be somewhat wrong, but naval timekeeping probably far exceeded the army’s for accuracy, and the USS Tyler logbook times are relatively congruent with those provided by the USS Lexington log.

This later time suggests that the artillery had been firing for an hour or so before Grant boarded Tigress. It also increases the likelihood that Grant went to Sherman first, before stopping by Hurlbut’s side of the field.

I had previously determined that the logbook for USS Lexington stated that the steamer John Raine (which the ORs incorrectly transcribed as John Ramm) passed Crumps Landing at 9 o’clock on the morning of April 6th. I had hypothesized that they had possibly meant John Warner. The Tyler’s log, however, indicates that there were two boats descending the Tennessee with news of the battle’s beginning. The somewhat unreliable recollection of Captain Marsh that Tigress met John Warner between Savannah and Crumps Landing (almost impossible, according to the Tyler’s log), therefore, might have been a reference to John Raine instead.

The sampling below of Grant’s supposed arrival times from himself and various supporters is somewhat indicative of their reliability:

Friendly reporters

William C. Carroll: 8:30

“Casco”: soon after 8:00

 

Staff and other officers

William Rowley: about 7:30

Douglas Putnam, Jr.: near 8:00

John A. Rawlins:  around 8:00

John A. Logan: by 8:00

William S. Hillyer: about 8:30

J.D. Webster: about 8:30

W.F. Brinck ordnance officer: between 7:30 and 8:30

 

Authors

J.F.C. Fuller in Grant & Lee, a Study in Personality and Generalship: 6:00

William Belknap, et al. in History of the Fifteenth Regiment, Iowa Veteran Volunteer Infantry: about 8:00

Ulysses S. Grant in his Personal Memoirs: “On reaching the front” about 8:00 (The description is of Pittsburg Landing, but his use of the word “front” is wrong.)

John Emerson in “Grant’s Life in the West”: at 8:00

James Harrison Wilson and Charles A. Dana in The life of Ulysses S. Grant, general of the armies of the United States: at 8:00

Timothy Smith in Shiloh: Conquer or Perish: 8:15-8:30, but possibly as late as 9:00

 

There’s always something new to learn about the American Civil War.

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Joe

Well done on finally tracking down this Logbook belonging to USS Tyler. And to think, Stacy Allen had it all the time... 

Ozzy

 

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To be honest, when I first encountered this piece of evidence with its claim that Tigress arrived at Pittsburg Landing morning of April 6th 1862 at 9:30 I was incredulous, and believed some mistake must have been made on the part of the Naval officer making the logbook entry. After all, there are so many claims by alternative sources that the Tigress arrived between 8 and 8:30... So I returned to the OR volume 10 (part 1) pages 169-175 and reviewed what was recorded at the time.

In U.S. Grant's April 25, 1862 "non-endorsement" of Lew Wallace's April 12th report, he admits, "Lew Wallace was to hold his division in readiness to move at a moment's notice in any direction it might be ordered. This direction was given at about 8 o'clock."  [Underline is mine -- Ozzy.]

In that April 12th report Lew Wallace made no mention of receiving the "wait in readiness" order. The first Wallace-recorded time was made on March 14, 1863 after Wallace learned of "behind-the-scenes" maneuvering to keep him sidelined from command. In a letter to Commander of the Army Henry Halleck, (pursuant to seeking a Military Tribunal to hear the evidence and restore his reputation) Wallace offers an adjusted report IRT Battle of Shiloh and the events of April 6th, and indicates that the time of the steamer-to-steamer meeting with General Grant was at about 9 o'clock. [Underline is mine... and also a reflection on this time given by Wallace: a steamer moving upriver, at speed against the current would require 35-45 minutes to complete the journey from Crumps, especially when the slowdown to meet John Warner and its messenger (and possibly another encounter with steamer John Raine) are factored in. Arrival of U.S. Grant at Pittsburg Landing after 9:30 does not provide sufficient time for Grant to accomplish all that he is known to have done, prior to leaving a meeting with Sherman, on the Western Side of the Battlefield, no later than 9:55 -- Ozzy.]

However, Lew Wallace must have been aware of the above concerns, because in his Autobiography (written about 1906) page 461 he records, "about half after 8 o'clock" as the time of the Tigress arrival at Crumps. This is important, because Wallace not only adjusts his time backwards (in favor of Grant) but he maintained in all reports that his meeting with Captain A.S. Baxter occurred at 11:30am (while Grant and his supporters attempted to "move" this time earlier and earlier.)

Therefore, Tigress arriving at Crump's Landing at about 8:30 is highly probable; as is Grant's arrival at Pittsburg Landing at 9:30am.

Ozzy

 

 References as sited.

 

 

 

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Ozzy,

That's a good summary.

I've attached a copy of the pertinent page from the logbook. The naval officers might have been 5-10 minutes off, but I'd be surprised if it was much more than that.

From my notes:

Knefler, General Fred. (to Wallace in response to Badeau's "Life of Grant," )    2/19/68  from  Carrington - Major General Lew Wallace at Shiloh: About 9 o’clock General Grant passed up on the Tigris and in passing the boat upon which were your Headquarters, had a conversation with you.

McGinnis, Brigadier General George F (a regt cmdr at Crumps on 4/6/62)  from  MOLLUS Indiana 1 Shiloh, with Map  Grant at Crumps  about 8:30

I think that Sherman might have been the first stop on Grant's itinerary after arrival, from what I know of him. That could still work with a 9:30 arrival.

Thanks,

Joe

 

TN - Shiloh NMP, USS Tyler logbook Apr 6 midnight - 4 pm.pdf

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Joe

Thanks for providing access to page 250 of the Tyler logbook. Most impressive... and no mistake, it says "Tigress came up at 9.30."

I've been giving thought to the claim that steamer John Raine was sent down river to alert General Grant to the "state of affairs at Pittsburg Landing," and now believe it possible that this is the steamer Captain William Hillyer indicates as being encountered "halfway to Pittsburg Landing." [See April 11th 1862 Letter of W.S. Hillyer to wife, Rachel.] The question: who sent this first steamer? General Hurlbut? Or did WHL Wallace make two attempts, half an hour apart?

Numerous sources mention that BGen WHL Wallace sent -- what would then be the second steamer -- John Warner. And there is evidence (including in Tyler logbook) that John Warner departed shortly before Tigress arrived; and that the two steamers met in the river, the messenger aboard John Warner related his message; then the John Warner rounded to and followed the Tigress to Pittsburg Landing.

There is evidence that upon arrival of Tigress, General Grant "immediately mounted his horse, with assistance" (which may have inspired the claims of Grant drunkenness... on this occasion), "rode off the steamer and up the bluff. Half a mile from the river, Grant met with WHL Wallace." [John Rawlins in OR 10 page 185.] Rawlins indicates Colonel McPherson was not in company with WHL Wallace at this meeting [McPherson was in process of siting artillery pieces, back of the Second Division -- Ozzy] but after this meeting with Wallace, Grant sent Rawlins to "bring up Lew Wallace." And the officers under arrest were ordered released. [WHL Wallace departed to the south -- Ozzy.] And General Grant, in company with Captain Hillyer and perhaps a handful of other aides, commenced the gallop west to meet Sherman. [A horse at gallop travels at 45 mph, so the distance of 2 1/2 miles could be covered in 5 minutes.] All the activities, including the brief meeting with Captain John Hotaling of 2nd Illinois Cavalry, and the five minute meeting with Sherman, could be accomplished before 10am (when Sherman's 1st Line collapsed, and Sherman became very busy...)

Regards

Ozzy

 

 

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I doubt that a horse could cover 2 1/2 miles in five minutes.  Secretariat won the 1 1/4-mile Kentucky Derby in 1:59 2/5 minutes in 1973.  Only one other horse has broken the 2-minute barrier for the Derby.  He won the 1 1/2-mile Belmont Stakes in 2:34. The tracks are, of course, flat and well-groomed, and those race horses are going full bore.  I doubt that the pace could be sustained for a distance of five miles, especially over the roads of Pittsburgh Landing.

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I also note that a thoroughbred race horse has been bred for speed and note that Secretariat, who holds the record times in the Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes, is the result of an additional hundred years of breeding since the late War.  I'm not sure what breed of horse Grant was riding nor how much speed he could tolerate, given his injury, but I doubt that 2 1/2 miles could have been covered in five minutes.

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First,Grant most likey did have to receive assistance to mount his horse and few days prior his horse slipped in the mud and injured Grant's leg--wonder it didnt break his leg--when the horse fell down on his leg. I also agree with the above notes that through the terrain/mud--which are nowhere near clear as a race track--a horse would not be able to traverse a battlefield that fast-If I had to bet i would say Grant's mount was a Morgan.

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Mona and Transylvania

I take your points, and meekly submit that I was attempting to prove two points simultaneously:  1) U.S. Grant was able to complete all of his known tasks after arrival at Pittsburg Landing in reasonably short time (as long as everything ran like clockwork); and 2)  9:30am is the last possible time Grant could have arrived (by Sherman's watch) because I believe Grant had to meet with Sherman before 10am.

How close was Sherman's watch to Navy time? Having spent much time in company with the Navy during recent expeditions, I suggest he would have been aware how they set their chronometers, and may have used their very precise measurement (to within one minute) to set his own watch. On the morning of April 6th Sherman time and Navy time may have been very close -- possibly within five minutes of each other.

As to the flow of activities, following on Grant's arrival at Pittsburg Landing:

  • ride to top of bluff  (5 minutes)
  • ride to meet WHL Wallace  (5 minutes)
  • meet with WHL Wallace  (5 minutes)
  • ride to Sherman's HQ  (10 minutes) and add time for meeting with 2nd Illinois Cav along the way (5 minutes)
  • brief meeting with Sherman, confirming Sherman has his situation under control (5 minutes)
  • Grant departs to meet with Hurlbut and Prentiss  (and is 2 minutes away to the east when Sherman's 1st Line begins to collapse) which is 10am on Sherman's timepiece.

Adding up the above times brings a total of 37 minutes. And this total only indicates that Sherman's timepiece may have been 7 minutes slow in relation to Navy time (as measured by USS Tyler.)

Cheers

Ozzy

 

 

 

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Transylvania

No worries... we're not paid "by the copy."  Besides, you've given me an opportunity to clarify the timings used in my last post; in particular, the "speed of the horse."  Everyone has heard of The Pony Express, that mail delivery service which ran from St. Joseph, Missouri to Sacramento, California -- a distance of 1900 miles -- which operated only from April 1860 until October 1861.  Turns out the average time required by riders (changing horses every 10 miles) to cover the distance (with each horse moving "at the trot") was 10 days, which works out to 10 mph, day and night.  Best time to cover the distance was accomplished November 1860, when news of Lincoln's election as President was delivered in under 8 days.

Possibly the most remarkable ride achieved by an Express Rider was accomplished November 1860, when a wounded Robert Haslam covered 120 miles in 8 hours 20 minutes (which works out to 13 mph.)

Given the above, I believe noted horseman, U.S. Grant, travelling during the day at 13 mph would require 10 minutes to cover 2 1/2 miles (although I personally believe he covered that distance more quickly, using a gallop and a canter, instead of a trot.)

Ozzy

 

References:  http://www.xphomestation.com/horses.html     Horse speeds used by Pony Express

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pony_Express   History of the Pony Express

 

Edited by Ozzy
Haslam had two remarkable rides...

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i would agree that from exiting the steamer and arriving to meet with sherman a time of 25-30 minutes is workable...to ride through the muddy paths and find sherman's location

 

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I also agree that 25-30 minutes after landing seems reasonable. Grant assuredly had been there before, and he would want to check with Sherman early on as the de facto commander at the campsite.

But I also feel that Grant probably gave his orders for Lew Wallace after meeting Sherman. Sending them earlier and closer to the landing would give Baxter too much time to arrive at Lew Wallace's Stoney Lonesome location at 11:30. From Shiloh church at 10 am to the same location would take longer (although an hour and a half still seems long for that trip). As most individuals agreed that Lew Wallace was to go to Sherman's right, it would make sense that Grant actually went to the right and met with Sherman before promulgating such orders.

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Mona

I take your point about "condition of the ground may have slowed Grant's progress." And I also observe that "mud and sloppy conditions" are not mentioned in the OR after-action reports for Shiloh, unless units were in direct contact with a morass, a flooded stream, or bottom-land. The last heavy rain was on April 4th (after which US Grant slipped and fell, in the darkness, with his horse tumbling on top of him.) The 5th of April was mostly clear... with perhaps a brief shower. And the 6th was clear until rain began between 9-10pm that evening. My point?  Clay is notorious for turning into a sloppy, slimy goo after heavy rain; but just as notorious for soaking up standing water, and becoming reasonably dry and firm only a few hours after the rain stops. The last rain (a shower) occurred about 24 hours before Grant arrived at Pittsburg Landing. Therefore, I believe that Grant and his entourage (Capt W.S. Hillyer was in company with the General) had reasonably sound footing for their horses as they galloped along the ridge-top towards Sherman's HQ just north of Shiloh Church. ["Galloped" is the speed mentioned by Hillyer.]

Regards, and Happy Christmas!

Ozzy

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" Clay is notorious for turning into a sloppy, slimy goo after heavy rain; but just as notorious for soaking up standing water, and becoming reasonably dry and firm only a few hours after the rain stops" Actually, clay tends to be resistant to letting water soak in and the clay in the Shiloh area is very good at creating long lasting puddles.

https://www.provenwinners.com/learn/dirt-dirt-clay

" First things first, how do you know you have clay soil? Clay is often reddish in color, water usually is absorbed into clay more slowly, it has a tendency to dry slowly, to clump together (and not want to break apart), and to stick like mad to shoes and gardening implements.  It will also tend to crust over and crack when it gets dry.  Does this sound like the soil in your garden?  Then you probably have clay soil.  If you aren’t completely certain take a sample of your soil to your local garden center or Cooperative Extension office, they should be able to help you determine, for sure, if your soil is clay."

Jim

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Joe

Although I have yet to find absolute proof that US Grant visited WT Sherman before 10am (by Sherman's watch) the circumstantial evidence leads me to that conclusion: Sherman mentions in OR and in his Memoirs "his belief that Shiloh (Church) was so important that he endeavored to remain by it."  In Grant's Memoirs, General Grant states that "he thought the key to winning the battle was maintaining control of Shiloh Ridge." To me, this is one indication that Grant visited Sherman (while he was still easy to find, at his HQ) before Sherman's First Line collapsed (about 10am, as Sherman records). Grant also notes "that he never found the need to linger long with Sherman." A vote of confidence in Sherman's ability as war-fighter; but also leading to conclusion that five minutes with Sherman may have been the extent of that first meeting on April 6th. (And I cannot believe that Grant would abandon Sherman if he discovered him under attack; I believe Grant would have remained with Sherman, until the situation was under control. Or he would have gone away, and brought help.) So, I believe Grant concluded his brief meeting with Sherman, and was galloping away towards the Eastern side of the Battlefield, before the 10am collapse.

Then there is the matter of the meeting with Captain Hotaling and his battalion of cavalry (two companies found lined up, waiting for orders, and belonging to the 2nd Illinois Cav). From my reading of Fletcher's "History of Company A," this meeting occurs just prior to Grant completing his gallop from Pittsburg Landing to visit Sherman. Aside from "putting Hotaling on his Staff for the day" ...and putting Hotaling in charge of Birge's Western Sharpshooters, with orders to "place them and fight them" ...the significance of this meeting revolves around Lieutenant Frank Bennett, who is sent away across recently-improved (but incomplete) Wallace Bridge and up the River Road, with orders to, "Give my compliments to Major General Wallace. And have him hurry back to here... YOU being the guide."  Whether Grant meets Hotaling on the way to Sherman, or on the way back from visiting Sherman, once Frank Bennett is sent off "to hurry Lew Wallace forward," why send Baxter?

As concerns Baxter, that officer arrived at Crump's, rode to Stony Lonesome and met with Lew Wallace "at precisely 11:30am" [according to Lew Wallace in every statement he made.] Frank Bennett (recorded by Lew Wallace as a sandy-haired lieutenant with a bloody gash in his forehead) is noted as arriving some time after Baxter. Therefore, Bennett must have been sent after Baxter. And if Baxter is sent before Bennett, he must be sent before Grant leaves the Eastern side of the Battlefield for the Western side. [Hillyer makes mention of "Grant's aides flying all over the battlefield." This use of Baxter as messenger -- via Rawlins -- is one example. And I believe it was initiated while Rawlins was in company with Grant, after concluding brief meeting with WHL Wallace, not far from the top of the bluff overlooking Pittsburg Landing.] Hillyer, himself, is sent flying down the Tennessee River in early afternoon to Savannah with orders to "send forward elements of Buell's Army of the Ohio to Pittsburg Landing." Hillyer also takes it upon himself to send the 14th Wisconsin from Savannah to Pittsburg Landing.

Wishing you a Happy Holiday!

Ozzy

 

N.B.  As regards "why Baxter took so long"

  • Perhaps Rawlins was given the "messenger duty," but decided he was too busy to go himself;
  • Maybe Baxter was the first "spare, competent officer" Rawlins eventually ran across;
  • Perhaps there was delay as Baxter and Rawlins hashed out the meaning of the convoluted orders;
  • Maybe there was a problem with the steamer used: needed water for the boiler, or more coal...
  • Not knowing there would be a horse waiting at Crumps for Baxter, maybe a suitable horse had to be acquired before departing.

 

 

 

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Jim

Captain Hillyer in his letter of April 11th indicates "he galloped." My attempt at assessing the "condition of the track" is just that: an attempt to make sense how Hillyer's gallop was possible.

Cheers

Ozzy

 

N.B.  When reviewing Grant's ride at Fort Donelson on February 15th -- with two or three inches of snow covering the ground -- it is reported that "Grant rode hurriedly from his meeting with Flag-Officer Foote."  I suggest the conditions for a ride were worse on February 15th, yet Grant managed a rapid journey.

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This is not the usual view, but there is some evidence that Grant and Sherman didn't meet until somewhat after the standard 10:00 a.m. scenario (and both pieces of these pieces of evidence were provided by Sherman).

Sherman in the NY Tribune 6/8/75 stated that he saw Grant at 10:30 and 4:30.

In PUSG 31:268 dated 2/5/85, Sherman wrote Grant that, "My hardest fighting was with McClernand on his Right where you first found me right in his Camps." That sounds as if it was after the Purdy Line fell apart around 10 a.m.

Maybe the time was a little later than generally thought.

 

 

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Joe

The "time things happened" during the Battle of Shiloh is one aspect that makes the contest difficult to study, yet fascinating at the same instant. The use of estimated time (by those without watches) and inaccurate time pieces make "accepting stated time of events as a given" fraught with danger. For example, consider the possibility that Grant met with Sherman at 10:30 (by Sherman's watch.) Sherman indicates in numerous references that his First Line was collapsing at 10am with the capture of Waterhouse Battery being the singular event that sealed the deal. His division then attempted to form the 2nd Line along -- and just north of --  the Purdy-Pittsburg Landing Road. But because this line was attempted too close to his First Line (with energized Confederates continuing to rush north); and many of Sherman's forces unable to cross the Purdy-Pittsburg Landing Road due to a rush of baggage wagons trundling east at the same time, Sherman ordered the hasty deployment of Behr's Morton Battery in an effort to slow the Rebels... and lost Morton's Battery before they fired a shot... and the Second Line collapsed and fled north... at 10:30.  From this moment (and perhaps slightly before) Sherman's fate was intertwined with McClernand, as their divisions became intermixed.

If General Grant arrived at 10:30 and witnessed all that was going on north of Shiloh Church:

  • he would have been a false friend to abandon Sherman to his fate;
  • if he raced away east to find support to throw Sherman's way... there is no record of him doing that;
  • because Sherman and McClernand were operating as a team by 10:30, there would be some record that Grant met McClernand (the senior officer to Sherman) at that time, too. (The boastful McClernand would have bragged it up in his report.)
  • Frank Bennett's ride north to meet Lew Wallace -- in slightly more than an hour -- is a tough ask. And he would also arrive before Baxter.
  • If Grant now rides east to Pittsburg Landing, and sends away Captain Baxter with convoluted orders... on a steamboat... why does John Rawlins get involved? Grant can find Baxter on his own. (Rawlins indicated Baxter was sent following a meeting with WHL Wallace within a half-mile of Pittsburg Landing.)
  • When does Grant find time to have his first meeting with Hurlbut, Prentiss, WHL Wallace and McPherson?

These are the major reasons I believe Grant sent away Rawlins with orders to "bring up Lew Wallace" before getting too far from Pittsburg Landing; and why I believe the first meeting with W.T. Sherman on April 6th occurred just before 10am (by Sherman's watch) before things started to fall apart on the Western side of the Battlefield.

Cheers

Ozzy

 

 

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Transylvania

Upon reviewing your post of December 16th -- attempting to figure out where I went wrong with my horse-speed times -- I ran across your remark:  "I doubt that the pace could be maintained for five miles..."  And I realized we were comparing different distances; especially in regard to your mention of "world record speeds" set at Belmont and the Kentucky Derby, and whether those speeds could be maintained for five miles. Because, truth be known, Grant and his aides did not have to set world-record times: they just had to be fast in completing their transit of the Battlefield.

Upon review of Australia's Melbourne Cup (an annual horse race run over a two-mile track since 1861) the average time achieved by the winners of that race (from 1861 until 1960) was 3 minutes 30 seconds. And this is in November, when rain and mud affects the race about every fifth year, but only added 15 to 25 seconds to the winning time. (The slowest time for a winner of the 2-mile race is recorded as 3 minutes 52 seconds.)

So is it possible that the noted horseman, General U.S. Grant, could ride from the top of the bluff overlooking Pittsburg Landing to Sherman's HQ just north of Shiloh Church -- a distance of 2 1/2 miles or less -- in five minutes?

Happy Christmas!

Ozzy

References:  Atwell Thompson map of 1900 (back of DW Reed's book) for distances.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Melbourne_Cup_winners   List of Melbourne Cup winners since 1861

 

 

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Ok Yall..Ive "consulted" a informant on the ride time.This person is very familiar with the battlefied and reinacts calvary at Shiloh.Has ridden over the battlefied.So when I asked for ride time...i was told 15 minutes would be the minimal and this would be at a VERY fast pace. and then stated it would be most likely a bit longer.

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Mona

I would be willing to bet that some of the panicked soldiers from Sherman's Division suddenly discovered they could run a "6-minute mile" on the morning of April 6th... and reached the Landing at Pittsburg 15 minutes after starting away. I'm inclined to believe that most horses are capable of covering that distance in half the time...

All the best :)

Ozzy

 

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Hello Y'all, while I don't have any scientific studies of horse travel times, all I can say is that the roads were very muddy and Grant had injured his leg pretty severely just previous to the battle when his horse slipped in the mud and fell on it. It was said that the reason it wasn't broken was because the mud was so deep. Grant had to be lifted onto his horse at Pittsburgh Landing, his leg was in a splint.  He must have been in pain or extreme discomfort so how fast he was able to cover the ground out to his meeting with Sherman over muddy roads already churned up while jostling an injured leg about is anyone's guess. I would say a half hour or more. Here is an account by Douglas Putnam, an aide to General Grant:

     ‘The meeting was attended with but few words, Sherman’s stock had become pulled around until the part that should have been in front rested under one of his ears, while his whole appearance indicated hard and earnest work.  The bullets were plenteous here.  Sherman told Grant how many horses he had had killed under him, showing him also marks of bullets in his clothing.  Grant made inquiry as to condition of matters on the left, and then passed on.  Here, a little in the rear of Sherman, awaiting orders, sat a man of unusually large stature on a great black horse, as cool and collected as if leading a parade of his militia battalion in days gone by …..Jesse Hildebrand, of the 77th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, as earnest a patriot as ever lived.  He had said to me a few days before, while at his tent near Shiloh Church, deprecating the war, it’s sufferings, etc., that he would be willing to wear leather breeches and live on cornbread the rest of his life could he see this affair honorably settled’.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Douglas Putnam, aide to General Grant.

    If the meeting occurred at 10:00 or before it probably took place at Sherman's headquarters as the 77th Ohio was still holding out around Shiloh Church up to that time before giving way at 10:00 to 10:15. And yes the bullets would have been 'plenteous here' as thousands of rebel troops were converging upon them and making things extremely uncomfortable. Putnam's account doesn't mention Hildebrand commanding any troops so this meeting may have occurred later possibly the 10:30 time mentioned, after the 77th abandoned their position around Shiloh Church, and Hildebrand attached himself by some accounts to McClernand's command.

     Was McClernand present at the meeting with Sherman and Grant?

     Just a side note on Hildebrand, in the years before the war Hildebrand had operated a number of stage lines in southeast Ohio and western Virginia and had obtained 'lucrative'  U.S. Mail contracts but had sold all of his business interests just a couple of years before the war, when he was about 60 years old. He was considered to be a wealthy man at this point and I find it interesting that he would be willing to live in poverty if only the war could be brought to an honorable conclusion.

 

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77th - horse.JPG Speaking of horses, I thought you might enjoy this.  Here is a photograph of Hildebrand's 'great black horse' his name was 'Nomad' a large horse to carry a large man. By accounts Hildebrand was 6'1" to 6'3" and of large build and the two of them made quite an imposing sight on the battlefield, attracting the attention of rebel riflemen. It was said that they rode through a hailstorm of bullets but emerged without a scratch. This photograph has been hidden away in the archives of the Odd Fellows Hall, of which Hildebrand was a member, in Marietta, Ohio, and has been seen by few and never published, it was recently shared with me.

     A civilian scout, R. W. Brown, had been living in the camp of the 77th Ohio and who witnessed the battle wrote that the 77th ‘fought like men of iron nerves, and held in check at least four times their numbers for at least three hours, during which time I saw Col. Hildebrand several times ride up and down his lines, where the rebel bullets were flying as thick as hail. I heard him several times say to his men, “stand firm, boys, victory or death.”

     “…as cool as any man I ever saw, he kept his own regiment with individual exceptions in hand an hour after Appler’s (53rd Ohio) and Mungan’s (57th Ohio) regiments had left their proper field of action”. 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        General William Tecumseh Sherman.

     “He is much applauded by officers and men…I have heard it asked 1,000 times, “How did that big man on the black horse escape?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Old Decatur

 

     Colonel Jesse Hildebrand appeared to one observer “as cool and collected as if leading a parade” and that he displayed “reckless gallantry” attempting to hold the regiment together.  At one point Hildebrand rode his horse between the opposing lines of battle to encourage his men.

     An officer under Hildebrand observed: "At one time he was in our advance, sitting quietly on his horse, looking calmly around in full view of the enemy, with the bullets flying and the shells screeching around him. I was then sent with a message to him. I expected to get killed, but got back unharmed. He seemed to care nothing for his peril."

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Whoa...

And somewhere in the Midwest, a beer wagon was missing one Clydesdale :)

Happy 2017

Ozzy

 

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