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Ozzy

Grant's Last Line

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As we know, artillery is what made Grant's Last Line of defence formidable: Webster's siege guns, Cavender's 10-pounders and 20-pounders, and dozens of other pieces extracted from the Hornet's Nest, Sunken Road, and Shiloh Church, of varying size and description...

My question:  Excluding the artillery provided by late-arriving Lew Wallace and Don Carlos Buell, how many artillery pieces were available for use by Grant's Army, beginning with Markgraf's 8th Ohio on the Union left and extending west and north, to Sherman's right, near the Snake River Bridge?

Happy 2017

Ozzy

 

Hint:  "Fifty-three" is not the correct answer.

 

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Roger

So far, you have the best answer -- "over 50" -- so will provide what might pass for a "hint" ...or just a story.

My interest in this topic -- What artillery made up Grant's Last Line -- is a result of attempting to track the participation of one particular battery: Munch's 1st Minnesota Light Artillery. Having completed the transfer to Prentiss' 6th Division (from Sherman's 5th Division) only the day before the Battle, Emil Munch's cannoneers were up early, preparing their weapons, horses and equipment for inspection by General Prentiss on Sunday morning, and so were quick to answer the call when the attack came. Both Munch (six guns) and Hickenlooper (six guns) were sent forward, with Munch taking position to the right of the road, and Hickenlooper to the left; both batteries provided valuable service to first-responding Federal defenders.

Of the three 2-gun sections belonging to Munch, one section (Fisher) experienced problems early on, and was withdrawn to Pittsburg Landing. About the same time, Emil Munch was wounded, and removed from the field. Shortly afterwards, Prentiss successfully withdrew north to "the Hill back of our camps" at about 9am, where Lieutenant Pfaender (who replaced Munch) was able to redeploy four guns (two 12-pounder Howitzers and two 6-pounder brass rifled guns). There, in what would become known as the Hornet's Nest, Prentiss had his first face-to-face meeting with his old friend from the Mexican War, now in command of Smith's 2nd Division. Prentiss "shared" his artillery with WHL Wallace: the section of brass rifles (Pfaender) were moved west, to operate between the 14th Iowa and 12th Iowa of the 2nd Division. Hickenlooper's four guns (and perhaps Welker) operated between Pfaender and Peebles (who commanded Munch's section of 12-pounder Howitzers.)

Late in the afternoon (some sources say 4pm, others say 4:30) the orders were issued for the 1st Minnesota Battery to evacuate to Pittsburg Landing. The four artillery pieces were limbered; as many surviving horses as could be found were harnessed; and Munch's 1st Minnesota lumbered north... until finding the way to safety blocked by Confederate soldiers hurrying into position ahead of them. Pfaender ordered two rifles unlimbered and fired a blast of canister (that had not been cleared). The surprised Confederates raced away to safety; Pfaender limbered his artillery once more and resumed his fast-as-possible withdrawal (his pace described by survivors as "a slow trot") and arrived at the Bluff overlooking Pittsburg Landing between 5 and 5:30 ...the last Federal artillery to reach safety from the Battlefield. A fifth gun (combination of best bits from the two damaged rifles of Fisher's section) was added to Munch (now Pfaender's) Battery upon arrival, and the 1st Minnesota was put into place at the far left of the Federal line, overlooking Dill Branch Ravine and facing southwest, with only Markgraf's 8th Ohio Battery (six guns) further to the east.

[Meanwhile, Hickenlooper had gone west... but that's another story.]

Emil Munch started the day with six guns; lost two; gained one; and the battery was available for service in Grant's Last Line, under Lieutenant Pfaender, with five pieces of artillery.

Cheers

Ozzy

 

References:   http://www.civilwarindex.com/armyoh/5th_oh_ind_battery_light_artillery.html  Hickenlooper's 5th Ohio Battery

http://archive.org/stream/minnesotacivil01minnrich#page/640/mode/2up  Munch's 1st Minnesota Battery, in Minnesota in the Civil and Indian Wars, pages 640-643 and available at archive.org

 

 

 

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Another hint...

On the face of it, this Quiz Question appears more difficult than it really is, due to one fact: there seems to be more Federal Artillery organizations at Shiloh on Day 1 than there really are, due to multiple names for a single regiment. For example, the 6th Independent Battery of Indiana Light Artillery (attached to Sherman's 5th Division on the Western Side of the Battlefield.) This one battery can be found in the historical record identified as Behr's Battery; Behr's Morton Battery; the Morton Battery; the Morton Indiana Battery; and Mussman's Gun. Given similar use of "alternative names" by other Federal artillery, it appears to the casual observer that there may have been upwards of sixty batteries available to General Grant at the start of the battle, instead of the real figure (between 20 and 24).

Ozzy

 

References:   OR 10 (various pages)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/6th_Independent_Battery_Indiana_Light_Artillery   Behr's Morton Battery

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shiloh_Union_order_of_battle   6th Indiana Battery

SDG contributions (various posts and authors)

 

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The practice of naming civil war batteries with their official designation (all batteries had a official name) ran afoul of the practice of naming the same battery (or batteries) for the commander and or his replacement.  Any replacement battery commander could have the battery use his name.  If there was 10 replacement battery commanders during the war, then the ended with this battery having 11 names, 10 replacements and the official number.  The box I have of index cards for the civil war batteries, confederate only, is stuffed to overflowing. 

Ron 

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Ron

Thanks for confirming that the "problem" exists. For a relatively new student of Civil War battles, attempting to track troop movements when an author uses multiple names for the one unit (or in the OR, where different reporting authorities identify the same unit by a different name) can appear daunting. But, with a little effort (and a box of index cards) those multiple names can be reduced to the single unit.

Of course, another difficulty presents when a battery divides in two (such as with Behr's Battery) and no one seems concerned about what happened to Mussman's Howitzer. Or when a depleted force gains a piece (such as Munch/Pfaender gaining a fifth gun, after 5pm back at the bluff above Pittsburg Landing.) A piece here, a piece there... after a while, the numbers add up: to something substantially more than 53.

Regards

Ozzy

 

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Another point to consider: Grant's Last Line. Not Webster's... not "Hurlbut's Line to the east, and Sherman/McClernand to the west and northwest." But Grant (Supreme Commander of Union Forces at Pittsburg Landing) and his Last Line of Defense. And it appears from the available references that Hickenlooper's 5th Ohio Light Artillery was positioned after 5pm near the point where the left of Sherman's Line nearly met the right of Hurlbut's Line.

Ozzy

 

References:  http://archive.org/stream/battleofshilohor00unit#page/n133/mode/2up  Thompson's Map of Shiloh, found in D.W. Reed's Battle of Shiloh and the Organizations Engaged (1902)

http://civilwarlandscapes.org/cwla/states/tn/sh/tm_time/day1/d1_1730.htm   cwla map April 6th at 5:30pm

[Note:  both of the above maps are deficient because they do not include (or name) all of the artillery units present in Grant's Last Line... hence, this Quiz Question.]

 

 

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One of the interesting -- yet overlooked -- aspects of Benjamin Prentiss' stand at the Hornet's Nest: he managed to move Hickenlooper and Munch's guns north from their initial engagement, in advance of the Camp of the 6th Division; four guns of each battery were employed to deadly effect in the Hornet's Nest/Sunken Road; then Hickenlooper and Munch (now under Pfaender) were successfully withdrawn -- a total of 8 guns -- before Prentiss surrendered. In fact, of the 47 artillery pieces employed in the WHL Wallace - Prentiss - Hurlbut Line, we all know about the spectacular  failure of Myer (with loss of six guns); and the unfortunate loss of Ross' Michigan Battery, out of action to rear of Hurlbut (with loss of six guns.) But, all the other batteries (except Mann) involved with the WHL Wallace - Prentiss - Hurlbut Line departed with the pieces they employed in that Line, and provided General Grant (or Sherman) with a total of 34 guns for use in the Last Line of Defense before 6pm. [Powell (5), Richardson (4), Stone (4), Welker (4), Mann (3 of 4, forced to abandon one piece), Munch (4), Willard (saved 6, but only three available on Monday due lack of horses and equipment), Hickenlooper (attached his 4-gun battery to Sherman).

Other artillery pieces (mostly used by Sherman and McClernand) are more difficult to track; but it appears these are the correct figures for pieces that survived the morning and afternoon of April 6th and were available for use by Grant (or Sherman) in the Last Line:

  • 2     2nd Ill (E) Schwartz (became Nispel) from D.W. Reed
  • 3     1st Ill  (D) McAllister  from D.W. Reed
  • 2     2nd Ill (D) Dresser  (became Timony) from OR 52 p.22
  • 1     Morton 6th Ind (detached from Behr; used by Mussman)
  • 2     1st Ill  (E)  Waterhouse  (became Fitch)  from OR
  • 6     1st Ill  (B)  Taylor (employed as Barrett)  from D.W. Reed

___________

         16  guns saved (belonging to Sherman and McClernand)

 

The remaining artillery pieces were late to arrive at Pittsburg Landing; or supposed to be sent to Lew Wallace; or were kept in vicinity of the Bluff above Pittsburg Landing intentionally:

  • 6     Madison's Siege guns and Howitzer (sometimes called Webster's Siege guns) ( http://shilohdiscussiongroup.com/index.php?/topic/384-heavy-vs-light-artillery/#comment-2514 and D.W. Reed)
  • 3     1st Ill  (I) Bouton (sometimes Buel) arrived late; only able to get three guns to top of bluff; employed by Sherman OR 52 p.25
  • 4     1st Ill (H)  Silversparre  (from D.W. Reed)
  • 6     8th Ohio Markgraf (or Margraff)  from D.W. Reed
  • 1     Munch Minnesota battery (gun consolidated from two broken pieces and placed in battery)

___________

          20  additional guns on the Bluff, available for use by General Grant (or Sherman)

Grand Total:  34 + 16 + 20 =  70 

 

Of course, before 6pm on April 6th, General Grant had thirteen additional artillery pieces (six aboard USS Lexington, and seven aboard USS Tyler) available for use... and they were used. Some sources indicate General Stephen Hurlbut gave direction for Lieutenant Gwin to employ the Naval guns; other sources say General William "Bull" Nelson gave instructions to Lieutenant Gwin. Regardless, when the Naval artillery is added to the Land-based artillery, the total guns available for use by General Grant becomes 83.

Either total is significantly more than fifty-three...

Ozzy

 

N.B.  Upon review of the accuracy of the above, found indications in Stephen Hurlbut's report that Mann's Battery "lost" a gun between Sunday afternoon and Monday morning. In OR 10 page 247, Lieutenant Edward Brotzmann records that "Mann's Battery was forced to leave one 6-pounder gun behind, due to lack of horses." The above totals have been corrected to indicate 70 artillery pieces in Grant's Last Line, and 83 guns available overall -- Ozzy.

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Ozzy
Adjustment to Mann...
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