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Ozzy

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Here's an easy quiz question, involving William T. Sherman, Rodney Mason, James B. Fry, Alexander M. McCook, and John A. McClernand:

"What experience do the above Union officers, all present at the Battle of Shiloh, have in common?"

 

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A hint: representing the Confederacy at the same event were Shiloh participants PGT Beauregard and Thomas Jordan.

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Rbn3

Not a trick question, just one that many folks do not give adequate attention...

July 1861. It really is that simple. (John A. Logan was also present, except he missed Shiloh.)

Regards

Ozzy

 

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Transylvania

"Close enough for Government work." You are the winner.

In OR 2 the Bull Run Campaign (Manassas Campaign) is given as including the period 16 - 22 July 1861. Wikipedia expands this period to mid-June to end of July. This is important because on 18 July 1861 the Northern newspapers were reporting that "the Battle at Bull Run" had been fought -- and won -- by McDowell's forces. A major result of Irwin McDowell's push to the west on about 18 July was that he occupied previously Rebel-held Centreville, and established Headquarters there.

As is commonly known, many civilians from Washington, D.C. followed McDowell's Army west and engaged in a rolling picnic during the Manassas Campaign. Members of Congress were part of this picnic; even Vice President Hamlin was in attendance. But most noteworthy was Congressman John A. Logan, who during the fighting on July 21st attached himself to the 2nd Michigan Infantry, grabbed a musket, and blasted away.

So, what about Congressman John A. McClernand? There is no mention in official records that McClernand was present during the Bull Run Campaign (OR 2 pages 323 - 4 lists all of General McDowell's staff officers). But numerous Northern newspapers mention Colonel McClernand as "riding back to Washington City, morning of July 19th with McDowell's Report of the Battle of Bull Run, arriving at Washington in the afternoon." It is apparent that Congressman McClernand had "attached" himself to McDowell at Centreville (likely as VADC) and acted as courier on July 19th. (And I believe this "involvement at Bull Run" had implications, to be discussed later.)

Of course, the Battle of Bull Run (First Manassas) was fought 21 July 1861. And the action on July 18th became known as "Probe at Blackburn's Ford" or "Skirmish at Blackburn's Ford." The report delivered by "Colonel" McClernand from Centreville to Washington can be found OR 2 page 307.

Cheers

Ozzy

References:  OR 2 pages 307, 310, 323 - 324, 331, 721, 738, 744 and 746.

http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83030313/1861-07-19/ed-1/seq-1/#date1=1861&index=1&rows=20&words=Mcdowell+McDOWELL+McDowell&searchType=basic&sequence=0&state=New+York&date2=1861&proxtext=McDowell&y=16&x=12&dateFilterType=yearRange&page=1  New York Herald of 19 July 1861

http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83030313/1861-07-20/ed-1/seq-1/  New York Herald of 20 July 1861 (see Page 1 top of column 6 for McClernand.)

http://www.loganmuseum.org/index.php/logan-s-life/civil-war-record   John Logan at Bull Run

Order of Battle for Bull Run provides all the other names listed in this Quiz Question.

 

 

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I was unable to place McClernand there, so I appreciate the clarification.  I thought that perhaps he was one of the congressmen who went out to watch the battle.

Knowing that Sherman commanded a brigade at First Manassas, my initial thought, back when you posed the question, was that battle, but I said to myself, "Self, there is no way that Alexander McDowell McCook and Rodney Mason were there."

When you gave the hint of July, 1861, then the answer became pretty obvious, and a quick check of the Order of Battle found that McCook commanded the First Ohio and Mason commanded the Second Ohio in Schenk's Brigade.  James Barnet Fry served as chief of staff to Irvin McDowell.

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While investigating this topic, it was bothersome that Congressman John McClernand was referred to as "Colonel" in the New York Herald of 20 July 1861 (see reference in above post of 13 July 2018.) But, during sessions of Congress at Washington during Summer of 1861, John McClernand was also tagged as "Colonel McClernand." Knowing that McClernand had served as a Private during the Black Hawk War in Illinois, I began to believe that someone was having a joke at McClernand's expense; perhaps his bellicose rhetoric had inspired colleagues to call him "Colonel..."

But, while reviewing the Official Records of the War of the Rebellion (OR 122 -- Senior Union official correspondence, page 214) ran across a memorandum from Governor Yates of Illinois, sent from Springfield on 18 May 1861, in which he refers to John McClernand as "Colonel McClernand." There is no possibility of Governor Yates having a joke; therefore, John McClernand must have been sworn into State service as a Colonel (perhaps as member of the Illinois Militia.)

The implication: if it is accepted that John McClernand was commissioned as Colonel on or before 18 May 1861, then he was senior to U.S. Grant (appointed as Colonel of 21st Illinois, effective 15 June 1861.) McClernand would remain senior to Grant until both were confirmed by the Senate as Brigadier Generals and acknowledged as such by General Orders of the War Department No.61 (dated 19 August 1861) and with McClernand and Grant accorded the same effective date of rank (17 May 1861), then from August 19th Grant was senior to McClernand due the appearance of his name on the List of Brigadier Generals ahead of McClernand's name.

Amazing what's buried in the Official Records...

Ozzy

 

References:    http://ehistory.osu.edu/books/official-records/122/0214  OR 122 page 214

http://archive.org/stream/generalorderswa00deptgoog#page/n140   General Orders No.61 dated 19 AUG 1861.

http://alplm-cdi.com/chroniclingillinois/items/show/1093   From "Yates Family Collection" a Letter dated 16 MAY 1861 from Governor Yates to President Abraham Lincoln (and delivered personally by "the Hon. John A. McClernand.") This letter of interest due the form of address used IRT John McClernand AND for its contents as concerns Kentucky. For John McClernand, either he was appointed Colonel after delivering this Letter, or Yates used what he believed was the more significant address: not "Mister," not "Colonel," but "The Honourable" by which Members of Parliament and Congress, with at least one term of service under their belt, are addressed.

 

 

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