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Ozzy

PVT Baker 25th Missouri

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2 hours ago, Ozzy said:

Mona

Could that site be south of the original park boundary?

 

I would say that would be ON park property.  "at" their camp, to me that indicates just beyond the perimeter of their camp and further beyond.  And it sounds like to me more than one trench, by the way it is phrased.

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On 8/20/2018 at 5:25 PM, mona said:

great article...also states they buried 700 in front of their camp...another unmarked trench.

 

The Confederate dead numbered 1728, if I am to believe my Battlefield America map [and is the number given by David W Reed (pbuhn)].  Do we really think that 700 of them fell in the assault upon the Sixth Division?  (OK, I know that someone will claim that the 16th Wisconsin killed them all.)

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Transylvania

Reading your post forced me to accomplish something I've been meaning to do for a long time: calculate the total number of Rebel casualties at Pittsburg Landing. Because General Beauregard's figures are just too precise to be believed (and that data was accumulated on or before 12 April 1862 -- 1728 KIA, 8012 wounded, 959 missing -- and has never since been adjusted... although I believed David W. Reed in compiling tables (pages 104 - 110) in his Battle of Shiloh and the Organizations Engaged probably had access to the most accurate information available (after the Official Records of the War of the Rebellion were fully released; and former enemies freely consulted with each other.) 

Relying solely on Reed's tables, there arise a number of problems: numerous individual regiments have no casualty figures recorded; at least one entire brigade (S.A.M. Wood) has no recorded casualty figures. Then, there are the "959 missing" reported by Beauregard (which seems never to have been adjusted, in spite of more accurate information becoming available.) For example, in Chicago Daily Tribune of 14 April 1862, the same edition reports, "We took no more than 500 prisoners at Shiloh..." and two columns over, records "Six hundred prisoners were on the steamer bringing General Wallace's body from the battlefield. Those prisoners were dropped at St. Louis." If 600 prisoners are accepted as valid data, then 359 of the original 959 became "something else" (stragglers; returned to service; deserters; or deceased.) Beauregard would not have known ultimate disposition of those men on April 12th.

In addition, there is no column in Reed's table for "staff officers" or "senior officers" killed. Is Albert Sidney Johnston recorded? How about Adley Gladden; or the Confederate Governor of Kentucky, George W. Johnson?

To make a long story short... it is impossible to square David W. Reed's tables with reality. And General Beauregard's figures have never been corrected.

How many dead were "buried in front of the camp of the 25th Missouri..?"  We will probably never know.

Regards

Ozzy

 

 

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Great find Ozzy! I am finding a lot of quotes from Federal Soldiers that state the high number of dead Confederates scattered in front on the Union Left under Sherman, Prentiss,  and Wallace. It could be Johnston did not want the Confederate people to know the extent of the damage done to the Army. 

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13 hours ago, CSuniforms said:

Great find Ozzy! I am finding a lot of quotes from Federal Soldiers that state the high number of dead Confederates scattered in front on the Union Left under Sherman, Prentiss,  and Wallace. It could be Johnston did not want the Confederate people to know the extent of the damage done to the Army. 

I believe this is entirely correct CSuniforms. The dead counted along Sherman's front after the battle was greater than the total number of 1728 reported. 226 were counted after the battle directly in front of the 77th Ohio's position around Shiloh Church. This would be more than 13 % or 1/8th of the total.  I have an unpublished letter written by a member of the 77th that mentions a number of smaller holes containing 50 to 100 rebels. The true number of confederate dead is probably closer to 3,000. We all know where the large burial trenches are located today, but originally there were more that had been identified but the locations are not known today. Brush and trees have been allowed to grow over many areas of the battlefield that were once cleared off at the time of the battle. Forensic tools like ground penetrating radar needs to be deployed over a much larger area. I'm sure the confederates were in shock and disbelief after the battle and the true number of casualties were under reported. My 2c's

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I meant to say Beauregard not Johnston--- The 77th Ohio were armed with Prussian Smoothbore Muskets .70 Caliber? or bigger-- I would love to read that letter someday. I believe sincerely that the Battle of Shiloh can be given the same treatment as the Battle of Gettysburg. Gee Wiz--- They have their own Magazine-- and conferences every year!!! And a National Battlefield that attracts millions of visitors! I am not taking away from all that--- I love to visit Gettysburg.  I am simply saying Shiloh has not been researched to the depth of Gettysburg.-- Thank You rwaller.

 

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The 77th Ohio was armed with .69 caliber Belgian rifles from the armory at Liege.

77th Heminger.pngPrivate Alfred Heminger, Company B., 77th Ohio. 77th BelgianLiege .69 caliber percussion musket.JPG

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and yall remember the little girl's diary..i cant think of her name..but she writes of small ravine filled with Confederate dead... i do know from tellings of older people way back that are gone now of seeing skeletal remains in some of these places...so some were not even buried just piled up..and you all know that it would be very easy for a wounded soldier to walk a piece before collapsing  and dying and body not being found but hogs .later.

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The Reason for Powell’s Patrol

Returning to the original subject of this post (Private Baker’s newspaper article) let’s play a game of “What if…?”

Included on these pages of the Shiloh Discussion Group there are two competing claims: 1) the pickets sent forward by Sherman and Prentiss on the evening of Saturday 5 April 1862 were correctly placed; and 2) the patrol performed by Major James Powell, 25th Missouri (and ordered forward by Colonel Everett Peabody, commanding 1st Brigade of Prentiss’s Sixth Division) was responsible for sounding the alarm, thus saving Grant’s Army at Pittsburg Landing.

In the account of Private Baker, he provides details of Powell’s Patrol not available elsewhere. And this leads to an interesting conclusion in regard to “the purpose of Powell’s Patrol.”

[Before reading further, consider: “What do you believe was the reason Colonel Peabody sent forward that early Sunday morning patrol of Major Powell ?”  (Over the years, some have suggested, “because of his experience at Lexington Missouri, Peabody was not going to let himself be surprised again,” while others claim that, “Colonel Peabody had a premonition, and in response sent forward that patrol to alert the sleeping Federals to their imminent danger,” while yet others insist that, “Everett Peabody was a fatalist, who in spite of knowing that Sounding the Alarm would likely result in his own death, took action to Sound that Alarm, anyway.”) ]

Now, read Daniel Baker’s report and see what Private Baker claims that Major Powell was directed by Colonel Peabody to accomplish (and how many excursions forward were made by Major Powell in pursuit of this goal.)

Consider this: the only members of Grant’s Army who truly knew what was going on with this early Sunday morning “adventure” featuring David Powell were David Powell, Everett Peabody, a handful of officers who met with Peabody and agreed with the decision to send Powell, and the members of the 25th Missouri and 12th Michigan who actually took part… and Private Baker. Of these, many did not survive to see sunset on April 6th 1862. All we have is hearsay.

Leaving Private Baker for a moment, read the November 1862 report of the Battle of Shiloh submitted by Brigadier General Prentiss. It is safe to assume that Benjamin Prentiss “woke up to the sound of gunfire on Sunday morning.” The General was asleep, having sent out a patrol the previous evening, conducted by his trusted subordinate, Colonel David Moore, which discovered, “nothing of substance.” In his report, General Prentiss states, “At 3 o’clock on the morning of Sunday, April 6, Colonel David Moore, 21st Missouri, with five companies of his infantry regiment, proceeded to the front, and at break of day the advance pickets were driven in, whereupon Colonel Moore pushed forward and engaged the enemy’s advance…”  [ Underline is mine – Ozzy – for emphasis to show that Prentiss does not say, “I sent Moore forward,” or “Colonel Peabody sent Moore forward,” because in November 1862, Benjamin Prentiss did not fully know how the Battle of Shiloh started; but he did know that when he woke up, “someone” was out somewhere to the front, with increasing sound of gunfire. Compare this to how Prentiss claims, in the same report that, “I sent forward [David Moore’s patrol, and Captain Fisk’s company in front of Stuart] on Saturday.” Leaves no doubt that Prentiss takes credit for ordering the Saturday reconnaissance, and does not take credit for Moore being in the front Sunday.]

And then Colonel Moore sent back for “the rest of his 21st Missouri to be sent forward.” A messenger “arrived at my tent headquarters, calling for the balance of the 21st Missouri, which was promptly sent forward.” [From this messenger, Prentiss discovers that it is “Colonel Moore and several companies of his 21st Missouri that is out in front” …but how did he get there? ]

There are several reports of, “General Prentiss hooted at Colonel Peabody.” So, this likely occurred… but why? Could it be that General Prentiss heard a “camp rumour” that Peabody had “done something to bring on the Prohibited General Engagement” (possibly responsible for sending David Moore to the front ?) Peabody was killed soon afterwards, and Moore was carried away wounded, to the rear, so there was no one (and no opportunity) to provide direct evidence of “how things got started” until much later.

But, as far as Benjamin Prentiss could determine (as reported in November 1862) Colonel Moore responded to “something taking place to his front” and this movement forward occurred at 3 a.m. and “the general engagement, proceeding beyond exchange of picket-fire, commenced at break of day.”

What if… in the course of waking up on Sunday morning, General Prentiss received word from a messenger that indicated Colonel Moore was responsible for the eruption of gunfire to the front. And then, in process of sending the remainder of the 21st Missouri forward (followed soon afterwards by Prentiss sending forward Hickenlooper’s Ohio Battery and Munch’s Minnesota Battery) the General “was informed” that Colonel Peabody had 1) acted on his own initiative; 2) brought on the prohibited General Engagement (prohibited by Major General Grant) and 3) the Colonel failed to alert General Prentiss as to “what was going on, and how it transpired ?” Does not Prentiss have a right to “hoot at Colonel Peabody ?” And, as more details are revealed: Moore and Powell were part of the patrol on Saturday; Powell went out early Sunday morning with the 25th Missouri and 12th Michigan… but even before that, Major Powell went forward with some of the pickets to see if he could capture a Rebel cavalryman, to find out what was developing to the front… [Where does the story end ? How much is fact, and how much is result of overactive imagination ? Prentiss, when constructing his Shiloh Report, stuck to only the truth he could prove in November 1862.]

What was the result? Colonel Moore gets the credit (from Prentiss) for sounding the alarm that kept the Union Army from being surprised at Shiloh. [Prentiss does not “take credit,” because Moore was already in place when Prentiss woke up.] Colonel Peabody (who apparently operated outside his authority) is accorded neither credit nor censure; and General Prentiss had every right to make mention of Colonel Peabody’s “operation outside his authority,” but due to lack of absolute evidence – or compassion for the dead man’s memory – chose to include details in his November report, as stated. [Peabody would have had recourse on Saturday after Moore returned, through Chain of Command, to inform Prentiss that he “intended to visit Major General Grant with his concerns” and Prentiss could not have legally prevented that visit. Of course, the problem was: Grant was not at Pittsburg, but nine miles downriver at Savannah; so Peabody’s time-sensitive concerns had to be dealt with immediately, or not at all.] (Peabody’s role will be determined by historians in the fullness of time, as will Powell’s role.)

If Private Baker is to be believed, we still do not have the full story…

 

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