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Ozzy

Scientific American

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Sometimes it's nice to know, "How did they do that during the Civil War?" 

How did they mass produce the thousands upon thousands of uniforms needed? What was the method used for preserving meat? When did the battery become available (so useful for remote torpedo detonation and telegraph operation)?

Scientific American, first published in 1845, rose to the challenge presented by the American Civil War, and quickly adjusted to advocate "home remedies" for food storage; explaining the operation (and importance) of steam engines; revealing new uses for old devices... such as the battery, which had been around for centuries (used for electroplating silver onto base metal), but was now required for other operations.

Of course, the weekly magazine, usually 16 pages in length continued operating as a forum for brand-new ideas; and promoted patents for those new ideas. But, by early 1862 it also began including "news reports, and items of interest relating to conduct of the War," biographies of important leaders; and outcome of important battles. New inventions with war-specific use gained prominence (such as rifled cannon; iron-clad ships; industrial-grade sewing machines; screw propellers.)

Battle of Shiloh. Mostly referred to as Battle of Pittsburg Landing, there are one-column articles in Volume 6 on page 242 {April 19th 1862) first report; page 258 (April 26) "explaining the importance of Buell and Navy gunboats" and page 274 (3 May)"Following onto our previous report, we believe there was, "lack of due vigilance" and "lack of care" demonstrated by the leadership at Pittsburg Landing... In fact, the management of our forces during the initial hours could not have been worse." [Underline is mine -- Ozzy.]

The HathiTrust reference site makes use of "Search Box" at top of each page, allowing for search of any specific word desired (within each Volume.) "Shiloh" and "Pittsburg" recovered the above results within Volume 6.

Reference link below.

Ozzy

Scientific American:   http://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/000505081  [for access to every Volume]

http://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=coo.31924080787702;view=1up;seq=246  Volume 6 of Scientific American

 

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Interesting that on the first report (p 242) it is "At about 4 o'clock in the afternoon (Monday) a brilliant charge of General Grant, at the head of some fresh regiments, decided the fate of the day, which ended in a complete rout of the rebels."

But the next report (p 258) it is "The battle was renewed early on Monday morning under the immediate command of Gen. Buell. His various divisions, under Generals Nelson, Crittenden, McCook, McClernand, Wallace and others, steadily drove back the enemy after a severe and bloody engagement."

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Tim

Well spotted. The same "conflicting reports" occurred within newspapers of the day: multiple stories covering the same event, contributed by different authors. When we're fortunate, the authors of the reports are identified; usually, we are not fortunate.

At Shiloh, there were reporters on-the-scene who had been there a while (Whitelaw Reid, who wrote as "Agate.") There were reporters who arrived within 24 hours of Sunday afternoon (and before Buell arrived -- Henri Lovie is one of these.) And there were reporters who travelled with Army of the Ohio (such as Henry Villard, who arrived with Nelson's Division.) Because it was impossible for a reporter to "be everywhere," each reporter commented on what he saw; what he heard (from reliable witnesses); and what he stole (from other reporters.) At Shiloh, no one reporter got the whole story (similar to "The Blind Men and the Elephant" -- each one got a bit of it, and by combining all the stories, the whole picture is revealed.)

As regards Buell leading the fight on Monday, it appears the fight on Monday was a "loose deuce" affair, as conducted by the Union: Buell took the eastern side of the battlefield, and Grant took the western side (with lots of overlap.) Lew Wallace records in his Autobiography that, "he did not know Buell had arrived, until he witnessed Colonel Willich leading his regiment, just to the left of Wallace's Third Division, on Monday, mid-morning." And the 14th Wisconsin is the most noted example of an element of Grant's Army supporting Buell. 

And, as regards "that charge" by General Grant... for the longest time, I doubted it took place. But, over the years, I have encountered too many (and varied) witnesses to that event. Exactly how it transpired is still subject to interpretation. But it took place Monday afternoon, and "ensured the Rebels left the field."

All the best

Ozzy

 

 

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