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Did you know William C. Carroll [NY Times] and Frank Chapman [NY Herald] are the main contenders for "First Northern reporter to get his copy on the wires from the Battle of Shiloh" ? Or that famed New York Herald reporter, Henry Villard, travelled with Buell's Army of the Ohio to Pittsburg Landing? How about Irving Carson [Chicago Tribune] who moonlighted for General Grant as courier (and became the first reporter killed during the Civil War, at Shiloh on Day One)? The Historical Dictionary of War Journalism covers the profession of "reporting the war" from the Mexican War of 1846 through to the 1991 Gulf War... and for our purposes, more than adequately covers Shiloh, with biographies and lists [see Appendix D], including:

  • Whitelaw Reid [Cincinnati Gazette]
  • Ned Spencer [Cincinnati Times]
  • H.M. Bentley [Philadelphia Inquirer]
  • J.B. McCullagh [quit Cincinnati Gazette to work for Cincinnati Commercial, due dispute over Shiloh report]

Even sketch artists are included [some of whom published written reports, as well as sketches.] And there are a few surprises [such as the claim that noted reporter, Sylvanus Cadwallader (Chicago Times -- NY Herald -- Milwaukee Daily News) first came to U.S. Grant's attention in August 1862, when he is said to have been "ordered to be placed under arrest by General Sherman."]

The Historical Dictionary of War Journalism, created by Mitchel Roth (with editorial assistance from James S. Olson) was published by Greenwood Press of Westport, Connecticut in 1997, and is available for purchase on Amazon.com (or can be viewed at most good libraries across the world, including here in Adelaide... yes, this is a shameless plug for my old employer, Barr Smith Library).

You can't tell the players, without a program; and you can't find the stories, unless you know who wrote them.

Ozzy

 

N.B.  Of course, the first telegraphed news from Shiloh... was General Beauregard's April 6th report -- direct to Richmond -- and beat everyone else.

And although this next link is not directly associated with The Historical Dictionary of War Journalism, it does contain images of most of the Northern reporters working in the Western Theatre during the Civil War:  http://www.thebohemianbrigade.com/alfred4.html  

 

 

 

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Fascinating Ozzy. I actually have that book, can't remember where I got it, I think I paid a buck for it. It seemed to be heavily weighted toward the eastern theater of war. I will revisit it. Thomas Nast had an interesting career. Winslow Homer, I was just thinking about one of his paintings, 'the veteran in a new field ' 1865, shows a veteran back home after the war working with a sythe harvesting a field of grain.

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Roger

When you were enquiring about "reporters from Chicago papers" a while back, I thought of this book (but had forgotten its name.) Just re-discovered it recently, in conjunction with a study of Henri Lovie.

As regards "reporters from Chicago," the situation of Sylvanus Cadwallader (mentioned in above post) seems indicative of the norm: that reporter represented three newspapers. Another reporter, Henry Villard, had a contract with the New York Herald that permitted him to correspond (by letter) with the Cincinnati Commercial and the Chicago Tribune...and Villard was also under contract with the AP (Associated Press). [I'm in process of reading Henry Villard's Memoirs, now... absolutely fascinating. Met W.T. Sherman at Louisville; got to know D.C. Buell (Sherman's replacement); and had several meetings with Abraham Lincoln (before and after Lincoln became President.) See link below.]

All the best

Ozzy

 

Reference:  http://archive.org/stream/memoirshenry01villrich#page/226/mode/2up/search/Herald  Villard's Memoirs (chapter on Western Theatre begins page 208, and chapter on Shiloh begins page 221.)

N.B.  Henry Villard reports in his Memoirs that after securing the contract with the New York Herald and AP, he was earning over $3000 per year (half the salary of a Lincoln Cabinet officer, and twenty-times the annual pay of a Private fighting in the War... just for a bit of perspective.)

 

 

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Another set of circumstances to ponder...

In Henry Villard's Memoirs, page 245, he admits to "accompanying General Nelson's men to the top of the bluff late on Sunday, and having as little idea what had happened to Grant's army [over the course of April 6th] as General Buell himself." Yet, this lack of information did not stop Henry Villard from constructing a complete report on Battle of Shiloh, which he filed with his contracted papers within a few scant days. How was he able to do this? Interviews, after the fact.

Same with Whitelaw Reid. Although he had familiarity with the camp grounds at Crumps and Pittsburg Landing, and had met, or acquired information, over the preceding weeks IRT the main Federal players, he had inadvertently arrived late, morning of April 6th, so had no direct knowledge of occurrences prior to his arrival at Pittsburg aboard the Tigress

Another factor that becomes evident in Henry Villard's Memoirs: the importance of his horse. On pages 245-6 mention is made of the reporter's efforts to prevent himself being separated from his main mobility source overnight on April 6th; and early on Monday morning "being up with Nelson's staff officers," and then "accompanying the ambulances, following behind Nelson on Day Two."

Whitelaw Reid admits in his un-edited 19,000-word report of the Battle that in order to get from Crumps to Pittsburg Landing on the morning of April 6th, he "hastily sprang onto the guards of a passing steamer."  Where is mention of Agate's horse?

Ozzy

 

References:  http://archive.org/stream/memoirshenry01villrich#page/246/mode/2up/search/Herald  Henry Villard's Memoirs

http://cdnc.ucr.edu/cgi-bin/cdnc?a=d&d=SDU18620521&e=-------en--20--1--txt-txIN--------1   Agate's report in Sacramento Daily Union of May 21st 1862, pages 2 and 3.

 

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Henry M. Bentley, reporter for the Philadelphia Enquirer, (and mentioned in the introduction to this topic) was one of the newsmen present at Pittsburg Landing in the days prior to Battle of Shiloh. Of especial interest: Bentley was a guest of Colonel Everett Peabody, and was present when events erupted on Sunday morning (although for some reason the name of Major Powell is recorded as "Pillow"):

CHICAGO TIMES, April 23, 1862, p. 4, c. 2 From the Cincinnati Commercial, of Monday. Mr. Bentley, correspondent of the Philadelphia Inquirer, passed through this city on Saturday en route for Philadelphia. He was for some days previous to the battle with Col. Peabody, of the Twenty-fifth Missouri Regiment. ... Col. Peabody rode over a little ridge in front to join Major Pillow, who still had charge of the skirmishing party, and in a few moments fell dead, being shot through the neck. Major Pillow was also killed, and, our troops giving way, the enemy were at once among our tents in force. Mr. Bentley, finding himself in the presence of the rebels, and thinking the chances were that they would shoot him if he attempted to run away, stood still and surrendered. The rest of the day he was under guard a prisoner. He supposed, when he saw the vast numbers and headlong rush of the enemy, knowing as he did the unprepared condition of our troops, that we would be speedily and most disastrously defeated; and he listened all day, with awe and astonishment, to the incessant and terrific uproar of the battle. ... [on Monday] Our forces took the initiative, and drove them back. The fight raged dreadfully for hours, far and near through the woods. The rebels were soon sobered, and then despondent. Mr. Bentley was behind their right wing, opposed to Nelson, and was moved toward Corinth as our forces made headway. The rebels in that part of the field gave way at last, and fled, panic-stricken. There could not have been a more disorganized body of men. The guard over the prisoners became infected with the panic, it being reported that Buell's men were sweeping the field, and ran away, leaving them unguarded. Mr. Bentley, with others, dodged into the bushes on the roadside, and made his escape. He learned that the rebels who retreated on the main road did so in good order.

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In process of researching the information IRT Henry M. Bentley (Philadelphia Inquirer) ran across The North Reports the Civil War by J. Cutler Andrews (1955). This resource is of value because it details the relationship of the Press and the U.S. Government (and military and naval commanders) during the period 1860 - 1870, and discusses the fine line between "informing the public" and "committing treason" (due to early, and too precise broadcast of intended operations), which resulted in censorship, and reporters being expelled from military camps (or placed under arrest.) The North Reports the Civil War also contains a ten-page listing of all men (and women) who worked as war correspondents during the War of the Rebellion (the only omission found, Henri Lovie, who wrote and sketched for Frank Leslie's Illustrated.) List begins page 751.

On page 172, in the Chapter "An Affray with General Halleck," the Battle of Shiloh is discussed (based on the published articles of the reporters who were present on April 6 and 7, 1862.) This concocted History, full of errors, attests to the faulty information presented to the Northern newspaper readers in April and May 1862 (most errors arising from reporters straying too far from "what they observed," into speculation concerning "the big picture," or "how events developed." )

Available online through University of Pittsburgh: https://digital.library.pitt.edu/islandora/object/pitt%3A31735057893608/viewer#page/186/mode/1up 

Cheers

Ozzy

 

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