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Where was Grant?

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I believe it is of benefit to know the physical location of Union Army commander U.S. Grant during the First Day at Shiloh, in order to fully understand his movements and decisions. Coupled with those locations -- and Grant's efforts to reach those locations -- the significance of the General's decisions can be examined: time it took to recognize, and become alert to new developments on the Battlefield, and their significance; orders given in response; effect of those orders. What follows is the ascertained whereabouts of Major General U.S. Grant during the course of April 6th 1862.

              Location                                                                                                       Start                                           Finish 

Savannah (Cherry Mansion)                                                                       before midnight                                     7:30am

HQ boat Tigress                                                                                            about 7:30                                              9:30am

[Stop at Crump's Landing]                                                                           about 8:30                                              8:40am

Pittsburg [USS Tyler logbook]                                                                       at or before 9:30

Bluff overlooking Pittsburg and vicinity                                                        about 9:35                                        about 9:40         

< in transit >                                                                                                    about 9:40                                        about 9:50

Sherman's HQ (just north of Shiloh Church)                                              about 9:50                                         about 9:55

< in transit >                                                                                                    about 9:55                                       about 10:10    

Meetings with Hurlbut, Prentiss, WHL Wallace, McPherson                    about 10:10                                     about 10:45

                   xxxxxxxxxxxx ?

                   xxxxxxxxxxxx ?

 < in transit to visit Sherman -- aborted >                                                     about 1:10                                        about 1:20

HQ boat Tigress [meet Buell about 2pm]                                                     about 1:20                                        about 2pm

< in transit >                                                                                                     about 2pm                                        about 2:10

Bluff overlooking Pittsburg (with Buell)                                                         about 2:10                                        about 2:45

< in transit >                                                                                                        2:45                                                     2:55

Meets with Sherman (and McClernand)                                                         2:55                                                about 3:50

< in transit >                                                                                                      about 3:50                                       about 4pm

Grant's Last Line and Pittsburg Landing                                                         4pm                                           after midnight 


Based on the above timeline, answer this question:  "Where was U.S. Grant from 11am until 1pm?"  [Provide references to justify your answer.]

Happy Chrismas



References upon request.







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Nowhere in John McClernand's Shiloh report does he indicate that U.S. Grant met with him before the evening of April 6th. However, in OR 10 page 161 the 81st OVI (which was in McClernand's vicinity) indicates that at 3pm it received orders directly from General Grant. Other regiments not far away also indicate receiving orders direct from General Grant, at about the same time. I do not believe Grant made a special visit at 3pm to visit the 81st Ohio, or the 15th Illinois; I believe these encounters were coincidental with Grant going someplace else. Knowing that Grant had attempted to visit Sherman at 1:10 -- but that meeting was OBE due to a messenger returned from Lew Wallace interrupting the journey -- I assumed Grant would be in this part of the battlefield to meet with Sherman (and may have inadvertently met with McClernand, who was in close cooperation with Sherman.)





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In my above post, I made mention of "a messenger returned from Lew Wallace interrupting the journey" ...hoping someone would be curious, and demand to know:  "Who was that messenger?"

In the spirit of Christmas (2016), I'll tell you the story without being asked:  the returned messenger was Lieutenant Frank Bennett of the 2nd Illinois Cavalry. He had been dispatched by General Grant about three hours earlier to relay a message to Major General Lew Wallace... and now, here he was, near the intersection of the Hamburg-Savannah Road (aka River Road) with the Purdy-Pittsburg Road. The importance of this meeting:

  • Bennett had been sent north -- across the incomplete Wallace Bridge and up the still-flooded River Road -- with less-than-absolute instructions from Grant directing Lew Wallace to "come south, and use Lieutenant Bennett to guide you." [Unfortunately, Bennett injured himself on the way north (bloody gash in forehead) and his uniform would have been a muddy mess when he finally met Lew Wallace.]
  • Bennett reported to Grant that when he encountered Wallace, the 3rd Division was eating dinner: Wallace had not yet started for the battlefield. [This report from Bennett indicates Bennett arrived at Stony Lonesome between 11:30 and noon.]
  • [Captain A.S. Baxter had arrived at Stony Lonesome at or just before 11:30am after making the journey down the Tennessee River on a steamer, and completing the journey on horseback. Baxter had transcribed his message to Lew Wallace on a "soiled scrap of paper, unsigned by anyone" and presented those "written orders" to Lew Wallace. Staying only about three minutes -- just long enough to inform General Wallace that "our forces are driving the Confederates" -- Baxter departed Stony Lonesome for the return journey south on the steamer.]
  • Lieutenant Bennett informed Grant that "Lew Wallace refused to move without written orders." [Wallace probably saw the bloody, muddy mess of Bennett in front of him, and decided the River Road was not the way to go; he would stay with his original decision, and follow the Shunpike -- Ozzy.]
  • So here was Bennett... at about 1:20pm... without Lew Wallace following behind him.

Grant's immediate reaction to this report from Bennett is not recorded... however, Captain W.R. Rowley [OR 10 page 179] reports that "Grant immediately turned to me, and said: 'You will accompany Lieutenant Bennett back to Lew Wallace and say to him to bring his 3rd Division at once, coming up the River Road, crossing Snake Creek on the bridge (which will be protected by General Sherman)... and say to him that it is important that he make haste.' And in case Wallace demanded "written orders," Rowley was given materials and authority to provide those written orders." Rowley then rode away north with Lieutenant Bennett.

And General Grant turned about, and returned to Pittsburg Landing... where he met Captain A.S. Baxter.



References:  Lew Wallace Autobiography

Memoirs of General U.S. Grant

OR 10 pages 163-184

http://archive.org/details/historyofcompany00flet  History of Company A 2nd Illinois Cavalry at archive.org


N.B.  Usually truthful in his accounts, Lew Wallace was less-than-forthcoming in reporting his first meeting with Lieutenant Frank Bennett (making it appear the encounter occurred one hour later than it really did.) But because Bennett came back to Wallace a second time, Lew Wallace could massage the times and claim later he was merely confused...

W.R. Rowley also massaged time to the point it is almost impossible to track his actual movements. However, when the flow of activities involving Grant, Wallace, Bennett, Baxter and Rowley (and John Rawlins) is amalgamated, the result presents as related above: a damning indictment of Lew Wallace. Except, U.S. Grant is not blameless...






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