Jump to content
Shiloh Discussion Group
Sign in to follow this  
Ozzy

Corinth, interrupted...

Recommended Posts

From the Union standpoint, the Battle of Shiloh was not supposed to happen. Federal troops were sent south, under command of Brigadier General C.F. Smith, with intention of cutting rail lines and disrupting Rebel communications (between Fort Columbus and Corinth; and between Florence and Corinth.) Abundant Spring rain and effective Rebel defences (and M & O R.R. repair crews) curtailed railroad track disruption.

Although an initial base of operations was sited at Union-friendly Savannah, Tennessee, the intention was to establish the Federal base much further south (between Hamburg and Florence) but the grossly swollen Tennessee River turned those prospective campgrounds into sodden, mosquito-infested marshes; and Pittsburg Landing was selected, by default (selected by Brigadier General William T. Sherman, and approved by General Smith.) The high plateau stretching west of the towering bluff overlooking – and out of reach of – the Tennessee River being the primary feature favouring selection of the site.

It is said, “There is nothing more permanent than a temporary solution.” Major General U.S. Grant arrived at Savannah on March 17th 1862 and inspected the de facto campgrounds at Crump’s and Pittsburg established by his predecessor, and pronounced them sound.

[Part two]

With so many operations on his plate, Major General Henry Halleck did not have manpower or war materials in sufficient quantity to permit combat operations to take place concurrently. Priorities had to be determined from among operations taking place in Northern Missouri (Prentiss), SW Missouri (Curtis), SE Missouri (Pope), Island No.10 (Foote) and Savannah/ Pittsburg (Smith, replaced by Grant.) With North Missouri deemed “under control,” followed by Battle of Pea Ridge securing southern Missouri, manpower and ammunition was freed to be sent elsewhere. (Additional manpower was of no use at Island No.10 so those extra regiments went to General Grant, instead.) And with Henry Halleck’s elevation to Commander, Department of the Mississippi, another source of manpower eventuated: Buell’s Army of the Ohio, based in vicinity of Nashville.

But, before U.S. Grant’s operation (with passage of time, confirmed to focus on Corinth) would be permitted to commence, the joint operation (Pope, at New Madrid and Foote, approaching Island No.10 from the north) would be given every opportunity to reach a successful conclusion.

And General Grant was ordered, “Do nothing to bring on a general engagement.”

References: SDG “Do you know Bragg?” post of 18 May 2018: Confederate Daniel Ruggles assigned to Post of Corinth on 9 March 1862 and begins construction of defences soon after.

SDG “Jackson HQ” post of 5 May 2017: General Albert Sidney Johnston arrived at Corinth on March 24th, with concentration of Confederate troops (to this time strewn along the M & C R.R. and the M & O R.R.) gaining pace, and most everyone moves to Corinth.

OR 10 (part 2) pages 11 – 12: Henry Halleck has information on March 6th that, “Beauregard has 20,000 men at Corinth.” Sherman reports similar concentration at “Eastport and Corinth” that same day.

SDG “Not just pictures…” post of 5 July 2017: Report of Agate (Whitelaw Reid) dateline Savannah Tennessee on 1 April 1862, “There are rumors that General Halleck will take the field here, in person, soon as the Island No.10 agony is over. And there will be four or five corps [marching to Corinth] commanded by Major Generals Grant, Smith, Wallace, Buell and McClernand.”

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

and found in the area of this high ground were numerous springs...good water..army is fueled by coffee. unlike what was to be had in Corinth later...

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mona

Your point is correct IRT ample fresh water available at Pittsburg Landing. In addition, water provided "defense," of sorts: swollen Snake Creek and Lick Creek provided impassable barriers, early on... natural moats. And Lew Wallace was likely maintained at Crump's Landing, both to keep him removed from interference with Brigadier General Sherman (as you have previously suggested), and to continue that sizable force at Crump's to act IAW Jomini as "Strategic Reserve" [Art of War pages 128 - 135.]

Cheers

Ozzy

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[Part three of Corinth, interrupted]

Grant’s operation, with HQ at Savannah was kept on the back burner: just active enough to keep Rebel commanders guessing, but not sufficiently robust to allow General Grant to take the reins pre-emptively. The first benefit to Grant from success further west was assignment of Benjamin Prentiss to command of the newly created Sixth Division (although Halleck tasked Brigadier General Prentiss with other duties enroute, delaying his ultimate arrival at Pittsburg Landing.) In addition, Grant was aware that Don Carlos Buell was marching south and west to effect a join at Savannah (but Grant was frustrated by the slow pace of the Army of the Ohio.) Still, these troop additions were approved by Halleck, and were part of the overall plan to initiate the Operation against Corinth, in the proper sequence… after Victory at Island No.10 (when another source of manpower (Pope), as well as ammunition and abundant supplies would be made available.)

References:  SDG topics “Just supposin’ begun 26 FEB 2018 and “Full Hospitals” begun 30 JAN 2018 for Prentiss tasks enroute to Savannah Tennessee.

SDG topic “Grant’s six divisions” begun 1 DEC 2018 details growth of Pittsburg force.

OR 8 pages 633 – 4 telegram (23 MAR 1862) in which Henry Halleck lays out his “Programme” for SecWar Stanton, which includes, “Pope’s progress is necessarily slow,” and, “I have directed General Grant to make no move until Buell’s column (now at Columbia) can form junction with him.” Also, Halleck asserts, “We must take Corinth in order to seriously injure Rebel communications.” [And Halleck proposes possible moves for T.W. Sherman (the other Sherman) and Benjamin Butler which “might take advantage of [Bragg’s Army] leaving Florida and Alabama.”]

OR 8 page 631 communication of 21 MAR 1862 from MGen Halleck to F/O Foote: “Everything is progressing well on the Tennessee River towards opening your way down the Mississippi.” [Illustrates the “connected” nature of Halleck’s operations, and alludes to the “proper sequence” of those operations.]

OR 8 page 643 telegram from Army AG Thomas to MGen Halleck of 25 MAR 1862: “BGen Thomas Davies has been assigned duty in Department of the Mississippi.” [In preparation for conduct of operations after success at Island No.10 Halleck has called for more trained general officers to assist, as part of Halleck’s program. General Thomas Davies will be assigned command of Second Division, following deaths of WHL Wallace… and C.F. Smith.]

OR 8 page 649 telegram SecWar Stanton to MGen Halleck of 29 MAR 1862: “You will report without delay the strength and distribution of your command.” [Halleck’s response 30 March: “Buell 101,000 in KY and Tenn; Grant 75,000 in Tennessee;  Pope 25000 at New Madrid; Curtis 23000 in Arkansas; Strong 9000 District of Cairo; Steele 6000 in Arkansas; Schofield 15000 District of St. Louis (including new regiments at Benton Barracks); Totten 4000 in Central Missouri; Loan 2000 in Northern Missouri; about 10000 men in Kansas, Nebraska and Colorado.”] And follows telegram of Halleck to Stanton of 28 MAR 1862 revealing “elevated level of sickness experienced by men on Tennessee River expedition” (and lays blame on brigade and regimental surgeons of volunteers.) One-in-three reported sick, and is of concern because Halleck intends to make use of Grant’s Army… soon.

OR 8 page 660 communication MGen Halleck to F/O Andrew Foote of 5 APR 1862: “I shall want a gunboat at Cairo ready to go up the Tennessee River in the early part of next week.” [With the successful run of USS Carondelet past the guns of Island No.10 on April 4th, Halleck knows it is “a matter of days” before Pope crosses his army and forces the trapped Rebels to surrender (in rear of Island No.10).]

OR 8 page 661 communication Halleck to MGen Samuel Curtis (Army of the Southwest) on April 5th 1862: “Price and Van Dorn will soon leave your front [and the great battle of the war is to be fought on the Tennessee River.]”

OR 8 page 672 telegram Halleck to Stanton of 7 APR 1862: “Buell’s advance force has reached Grant; entire force will connect in two or three days” [sent before news arrived at St. Louis IRT Battle of Shiloh initiated early 6 APR 1862.]

OR 8 page 676 communication of 8 APR 1862 from Assistant Secretary of War Thomas Scott to Henry Halleck, alluding to “sequence of events” after Surrender of Island No.10.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...