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It's not often you find an eyewitness account of "that march" conducted by Lew Wallace on Sunday, April 6th...

Johann Stuber migrated with his parents and siblings from Switzerland in 1854, and settled in Cincinnati. In October 1861, the 23 year old, trained as a typesetter, joined the 58th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, Company A, and was soon promoted to Corporal. First seeing action at Fort Donelson, the 58th Ohio remained with Lew Wallace's Third Division; and when that division was sent to Crump's Landing in March 1862, the 2nd Brigade (Colonel John Thayer) comprising the 58th OVI, 68th OVI, 23rd Indiana and 1st Nebraska, established its brigade camp in vicinity of Stony Lonesome, midway between Adamsville and Crump's Landing. 

Corporal Stuber's report for April 6th 1862: "In the morning we heard from the vicinity of Pittsburg Landing a heavy cannonade, which soon developed into an unbroken roar, which persisted as the morning wore on. From the Landing (where our provisions were kept), there came a "rabbit-footed messenger," who had arrived by boat. He loudly reported that he was a member of the 57th Ohio, and that upon being aroused from his sleep by the noise of battle, raced for the Landing and took a boat to Crump's, to deliver the news: but not for us to hurry to help, but to flee for our lives downriver. Knowing that our Army had 50,000 troops at Pittsburg, confirmed by Captain Markgraff during his recent visit, we refused to believe this refugee's report.

"About midday, we received the orders preparatory to marching: ammunition was distributed, and we packed necessities and rations for ten days. After about an hour, we began to march south with our heavy knapsacks (instead of taking the boats, as we believed we would). It was dreadfully hot, and the soldiers of the regiments ahead of us threw away their blankets and excess clothing during the march, so that a carpet of clothing lined both sides of the road. We had hiked about seven miles, and were about one mile from our destination, when a report came that we were going the wrong way. We were turned around, and told to take another road -- which caused us to go double the distance in order to arrive where we were wanted.

"It was during twilight that my regiment reached a dark woods, at the edge of a swamp, and were told to wait. And while we waited, we were not allowed to do anything -- no pipes or cigars -- because we were told the Rebels could be on the other side of the swamp, only 500 yards away. Finally, we passed through that swamp and reaching the other side, were told we had arrived. We continued marching, and the gunboats were firing, supposedly in the direction of the Rebels. We had gone about a mile when we entered a Union camp, totally abandoned by its owners, but with the tents filled with wounded, who all seemed to be moaning and crying from their wounds. We continued past this camp, and entered a dark woods, where we halted and attempted to rest beneath the boughs of the trees. But the gunboats continued firing; and it started to rain... a thunderstorm, no less. As bad as it was for us, we could not help feeling pity for the wounded, caught in the open with no shelter. We could hear them, away out there, somewhere, in the darkness, calling for help, and for water. And we could not help them. The pickets were not far from us; and the enemy's pickets were not far from our pickets. During the night, firing occurred between the lines of pickets, so heavy at times it seemed the Battle had resumed..."

[Above record translated and edited; entry from "The Diary of Johann Stuber" for 6 April 1862.]

Ozzy

Referencehttp://archive.org/stream/meintagebuchuber00stub#page/22/mode/2up  

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The boat carrying the 57th Ohio soldier in Stuber's account may well have been John Raine. The U.S. Civil War diary of Charles Kroff, 1861-1865 reads: "But it being Sunday and so early in the morning, we were confident that it was a battle. But we soon learned positively, from a boat that came down the river, that a battle was raging furiously." Kroff was at Crump's. It doesn't sound like Tigress going downriver with Baxter as that was not "soon" after "early in the morning."  And Grant was going "upriver" mid-morning on Tigress beside he didn't know battle raging. According to William Rowley, Warner turned back upstream before reaching Crump's. Furthermore, the U.S.S Lexington's log stated: "At 9 the 'John Raine' passed down and reported fighting at Pittsburgh."

Lastly, Grant Marsh went upriver on Tigress and it "had preceded but a mile or two when she met the steamer John Warner racing downstream. The Warner hailed, and on both boats slowing down, a lieutenant hurried on board the Tigress, bearing a dispatch from General Stephen A. Hurlbut to General Grant.” The officer verbally reported that the enemy was massed in great numbers and driving the army back on the river. Grant heard this and read dispatch with perfect composure. “He did not move from his chair, and his only comment was to the effect that when he arrived he would surround the enemy.” Tigress resumed until Grant ordered her to pull up next to Jesse K. Bell and he talked with Wallace. This shouldn't be Warner if Rowley's account is correct, but the timing makes it difficult for it to be John Raine, unless the boats passed just downriver from Crump's, which is far more than "a mile or two."

Lew Wallace, however, didn't state that he received any news in such fashion.

One obvious question: what happened to John Raine after she passed Crump's?

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Joe

There is record of John Raine involved in movement of captured pork from Nichols Landing a few days before Battle of Shiloh. And there is evidence of John Raine involved with the Vicksburg Campaign of 1863. Aside from Logbook records, there is almost nothing about the steamer after morning of April 6th 1862 (although she appears frequently at Cairo, Evansville and Louisville during 1862... so likely reported to one of those Ohio River ports after leaving the Tennessee River.)

Ozzy

N.B.  In Papers of US Grant vol.4 page 448, General Grant reports on 30 MAR 1862, "40 bales of cotton sent from Savannah to Louisville aboard the steamer John Raine." After dropping off the cotton, the John Raine likely returned to Savannah/ Pittsburg Landing (unknown cargo) and was at Pittsburg Landing when firing erupted morning of Sunday 6 APR 1862. [I have found no record of troops arriving at Pittsburg Landing aboard John Raine in late March/ early April, so the cargo was likely foodstuffs or animal feed.]

https://archive.org/details/fiftyyearsonmiss01goul/page/368  Fifty Years on the Mississippi by Elmerson Gould (1889) page 368 lists John Raine in 1858 as belonging to a venture known as The Lightning Line, which included other fast steamers such as Fanny Bullitt, Diana, Baltic and A. McGill, which ran between Louisville and New Orleans. At that time, the Captain of John Raine was W. Underwood.

 

 

 

 

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New Albany (2).png  [from chroniclingamerica.loc.gov]

https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84031490/1862-04-07/ed-1/seq-2/  Chicago Daily Tribune of Monday 7 APR 1862, page 2.

The above article is... confusing. Here are the issues:

  • The advance guard from General Nelson's Division reached Savannah on Wednesday 2 APR 1862.
  • "A gentleman who arrived at New Albany on Tuesday..."         [ Tuesday, April 1st... but how does he know of arrival of BGen Nelson's advance?]
  • "A gentleman who arrived... by the steamer John Raine."       [This must have been the trip to Louisville, delivering cotton... that departed 30 MAR ?] 
  • "General Buell's Army commenced crossing the river..."          [Duck River, instead of Tennessee River ?]
  • "A battle is imminent."                                                                    [On April 1st ? ]

The restrictions on reporting military operations (without authorization) were strictly enforced in April 1862. And there is so much information contained in the article that someone reporting on 1 APR 1862 should not have known... Which makes me wonder: is this a "coded report," announcing "something big was happening up the Tennessee River," without resorting to "You Won't Believe It!!!" -- "A Battle is Underway!!!" -- "On the Tennessee River!!" (No other details...)   If so, then everything that was known at 7:30 a.m. on Sunday 6 April [to someone at Pittsburg Landing, overhearing the sound of musketry and booming artillery, who then sped away downriver aboard the John Raine] is contained in this report. ["Buell crossing the Tennessee River Sunday morning" was anticipated by General Grant... perhaps a Staff Officer relayed that information as the Tigress passed the John Raine? And mention of "New Albany" ...merely an attempt at obfuscation, perhaps an effort to conceal the destination, and identity, of the reporter? ]

The article is genuine, but it's meaning is a mystery...

Ozzy

 

 

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it does read as if the writer knows the future days ahead better than the officers located there...by commenting that a battle is imminent..they were thinking to use pittsburg landing as a staging area for approach of their goal at Corinth.And mentioning the Federal troops are Sanguine a victory..he writes of the battle all ready won....maybe this was very hopeful thinking to be used to put all who read that there will be a victory and sorta "overlook" the immense casulities that are coming??????This report is very puzzling.

 

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It is 165 river miles from Pittsburg Landing to Fort Henry... and the John Raine, acknowledged as a speedy vessel, could likely make 15 knots. Add two knots for a favorable push from the current, and the steamer achieves 17 knots (roughly 18 miles-per-hour.) If we assume the John Raine was the first steamer encountered by General Grant, aboard Tigress making his way upriver from Savannah on Sunday morning, and that encounter took place at 8:30, then the John Raine could have reached Fort Henry -- end of the telegraph line -- in about nine hours... by 6 p.m.

What could the passengers and operators of the John Raine report upon arrival at Fort Henry? Likely, the "sound of a battle" was heard before high-tailing it, downriver from Pittsburg Landing. But, the sound of battle was heard by many on April 4th, and that turned out to be a picket skirmish. Perhaps, a brief exchange was accomplished with General Grant... but at 8:30, General Grant knew little more than those aboard the north-bound steamer (except, Buell's lead division had arrived, and was expected to cross over to Pittsburg Landing before midday.)

The point: aside from bluster about "tearing up ten miles of train line, that was quickly repaired," if just a handful of words are substituted in the first sentence of the "From the Tennessee" article, that report becomes clear, and makes perfect sense. The new first sentence would read: "A gentleman who arrived at Fort Henry on Sunday evening by the steamer John Raine, has furnished the Tribune an interesting statement in regard to the affairs up the Tennessee River." [Substituted words underlined.]

Just pondering...

Ozzy

 

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That is a very strange article. The writer has Buell's army seemingly appearing on the wrong side of the Tennessee (or has Savannah on the wrong side of the river).

The Evansville Daily Journal of 4/8/62 has officers from up the TN River on Apr 5 expecting battle, but apparently there were no boats that day from Grant's army.

William C. Carroll (US Grant's pet reporter) wrote for the  Louisville Journal, which was the evident source for this article. He had been with Grant earlier in March (when Grant received a sword from his subordinates), and was just returning upriver to Savannah early on April 6th, and he ended up accompanying Grant to the battlefield on Tigress. Maybe he had something to do with it, but he left the battlefield on the evening of April 7th to scoop the other reporters (by surreptitiously keeping them away from the telegraph at Fort Henry).

On a side note, JM Randall recollected (https://ehistory.osu.edu/exhibitions/letters/randall/06) a downriver boat reaching Savannah at 9 am where he was on the first day of Shiloh. That may be John Raine, which passed Crump's also at 9 am (so the timing would be a little off) and it may be the boat that Grant Marsh on Tigress called John Warner a mile or two above Savannah. Randall wrote:

Quote

“Early in the morning of the 6th of April our camp at Savannah was aroused by the sounds of firing in the direction of Pittsburg Landing. This rapidly increased to a continuous roar of artillery and musketry, which convinced us that a battle had commenced. Some of our boys expressed regret that we were eight miles from the field of strife, but before the contest ended it was found that we were quite near enough. The first steamboat arrived from the landing about 9 o'clock A.M. loaded with wounded, and a few straggling soldiers. They brought doleful reports from the battlefield, from which it would appear that all was lost, but the continuous firing in that direction told us that our boys were still there and fighting bravely.”

I don't recall any other individual, however, mentioning a boat arriving at Savannah, especially with battle news or wounded.

I searched the Evansville Daily Journal and the Louisville Journal (supposed source of the pre-battle article  referenced above), without finding mention of John Raine or another boat from Grant's army arriving on the evening of April 6th or the days immediately after.

Curiouser and curiouser.

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