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Bowling Bo (2).jpg

The above image, to be found on the back page of Harper's Weekly for 26 April 1862, is presented to illustrate the confused state of affairs, perceived in the North in April 1862. With unexpected delight, Northern newspaper readers awoke to news that "Fort Henry is Ours!" followed in quick succession by great news from Fort Donelson (indicated by the Lincoln figure, at left in above image tallying the score), the capture of Clarksville and Nashville, and the Occupation of the Gibraltar of the West (Fort Columbus). So certain that "the Southern Confederacy was running out of steam in the West," anticipation ran high among the Northern civilian leaders, Northern generals (including Halleck and Grant) and the reading public that "the Rebels were on the ropes." It was only a matter of time before things wound up in the West... allowing the focus to shift on Virginia and South Carolina. People became impatient with the slow progress after Pope captured New Madrid in March 1862; and were relieved when news of the pre-ordained Capture of Island No.10 hit the headlines of Northern papers (marked as "Island X" in above image.)

But, note what is missing from the above image: any mention of Shiloh... on 26 April 1862. General Beauregard, associated with Battle of Shiloh, was also overall commander of Rebel defences along the Mississippi River (and hence, associated with Loss of Island No.10).

Everyone knew that a "great concentration" was taking place near Savannah Tennessee; and everyone knew that the object of that concentration of force was Corinth Mississippi, the important railroad junction, where the outmatched Rebels under Johnston and Beauregard were anticipated (by Northerners) to make a futile Last Stand... but the fight did not take place at Corinth but at a place most people could not find on a map, called Pittsburg Landing. And, although Northern leaders "claimed" Victory, so did Southern leaders. And every day, the casualties reported were even greater -- and more shocking -- than the day before. No two reports from that Battlefield were the same, with one reporting "early captures, and bayoneting in bed of sleeping Union soldiers," another proclaiming that a Union General "got lost within six miles of the battlefield," and yet another reporting that "General Grant was not even with his Army when the battle began." The smell of impropriety and incompetence were so strong, that Northern readers (especially those with family members in Grant's Army) could not come to grips with a Victory that resulted at such great cost.

Was it a Victory? The creator of the above image was apparently undecided, on April 26th 1862.

 

 

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Timing is everything…

Additional aspects that make the above image fascinating:

·         It is likely that most viewers of the image in 2018 had little awareness that 10-pin bowling had developed to such an extent; and that the lanes used and size of ball in 1862 would so closely resemble those in use at Bowling Alleys today. (Pins were still reset by hand, outside major cities, until the 1950s).

·         The Battle of Shiloh took place 6 & 7 April 1862. And the Campaign for Island No.10 reached its conclusion on 7 & 8 April, with the Navy gunboats (Foote) taking the surrender of the gun emplacements late on April 7th; and the Rebel garrison (Mackall) attempting to escape by fleeing to Tiptonville. But, Major General Pope’s forces (along with two ironclads) had forced their way downstream of Island No.10 and crossed the Mississippi River, to approach the Confederate garrison from the rear. And, when it was realized what were General Mackall’s intentions, Pope raced his men to Tiptonville, and cut off the escape route, forcing surrender of over 7000 Rebel defenders on the afternoon of April 8th.

·         Timing is everything… Foote sent a communication late on April 7th (via dispatch boat to end of the telegraph line at Cairo) informing Halleck of surrender of the guns at Island No.10 and a second communication was sent by Foote morning of April 8th. Meanwhile, General Pope had extended the telegraph line south to New Madrid, and when he reported the capture of over 7000 men at 7 p.m. on April 8th, that telegram reached Henry Halleck within minutes. And Halleck relayed the great news to Washington, and began making plans for Pope to join Grant’s operation against Corinth (without yet realizing that a major battle had been fought at Pittsburg Landing.)

·         In the above image, the Lincoln figure at left gazes at the Scoreboard, hand holding the chalk, uncertain how to score The Battle of Shiloh. That quandary would be resolved a few days after the 26 April 1862 edition of Harper’s Weekly hit the streets, with the arrival of welcome news from New Orleans (bumping depressing news from Shiloh off the front page of Northern newspapers.)

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My older brother was a pin setter in the 50's. He really hated it when someone jumped the gun and rolled the ball when he was in the pit, even with the guard down.

Jim

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Jim

When I first encountered the above image in Harper's Weekly, it did not seem to make sense to have Beauregard at the "receiving end" of Andrew Foote's deliveries. (How could he be at Island No.10 when he was at Shiloh?) After discovering that PGT Beauregard was responsible for the Confederate defences along the Mississippi River, north of Louisiana... the image not only made sense, but became "clever" in what it was attempting to portray.

All the best

Ozzy

Referencehttps://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=hvd.hwajtr;view=1up;seq=769  OR 8 pages 759 - 760, 762 & 772. Van Dorn had control of the Trans-Mississippi (which appears to have included territory west of the Mississippi) while Beauregard headed the Department of the Mississippi (which included the River, and points east) and General Johnston commanded Department No.2 with an undefined boundary between Albert Sidney Johnston's Department and Beauregard's Department (which did not matter, end of March 1862, with the two armies associated with those departments united at Corinth... excluding the defenders of the Mississippi River fortifications.

 

 

 

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