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55th Illinois Infantry Regiment History

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Here is a link to the History of the 55th Illinois Infantry Regiment. The 55th was part of Col. David Stuart's 2nd Brigade of Sherman's 5th Division. On the morning of the April 6, 1862 they were camped in Larkin Bell's Field.

Chapter II covers the battle of Shiloh including burials after the battle and reburials several years later. I am curious to know which ravine they refer to when they mention burial of the dead after the battle?

http://www.archive.org/details/ofthefiftyfifth00illirich

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Sharon, thanks for the link.

On the ravine, most likely it's the one just north of the location of their monument. Although the burial marker is actually a little ways  to the east of that monument, on the edge of what I think is the same ravine. Check your Trailhead Graphics maps for monument #69, and BG13.

Here's a link to the picture of the monument, from the NPS site...

http://www.shilohbattlefield.org/details.asp?WidePhoto=TN003M069L.jpg

And the burial marker...

http://www.shilohbattlefield.org/details.asp?WidePhoto=TN003TB13L.jpg

I only skimmed through the battle account, although I will certainly read through the entire thing later. But from what I could tell it's a very good account, and what I would call very protective of the roll played by the 55th in the battle. Not without good reason all things considered. He's not very complimentary of the 71st Ohio though, at one point referring to them as the 'fleet footed 71st,' or words to that effect.

I was very interested in his description of the battlefield on his return in 1885. You can almost visualize the ongoing transformation back to wilderness, with the scars and debris of the battle still visible. And he tells about still being able to read the names carved in trees by members of Buell's army and Pope's army after the battle. That's something I had never thought of or heard about before, but it makes perfect sense that they would have done it.

Also, I was a little surprised to see him say that Noah Cantrell was living in the area at that time, 1885. I think you may have met Steve Cantrell during this year's anniversary. I remember Steve telling me that so far as he understood, Noah Cantrell and his family moved away from the area shortly before the battle and never returned. But I don't know that he was certain about that. I think it may have been family history passed along to him. I'd love to be able to tell him about this particular account though, as I know he'd be very interested.

Perry

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Perry: Mona or Jim might know how to contact Steve. Mona was trying to get him to join the group.

I now need to look at some info on the 54th Ohio who were with the 55 Illinois. I downloaded info on them but have not read it yet.

These regimental histories are fascinating although I think the writer's look out for their own interests and the interests of their regiment which is natural and not uncommon.

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Dan, could you send that to me in a PM? I'd like to tell Steve about that account, and invite him to join the group. I figure if we pester him enough about it, he'll join just so we'll quit bothering him. ;)

Perry

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Thanks Mona. Jim sent me Steve's email address in a PM, so I'll drop him a line. He'll probably want me to spring for dinner or something, knowing Steve. ;)

Thanks again.

Perry

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You know after this years hikes I really thought he'd join up with the group but he always said that he did do that much on the internet.So maybe you can .

Mona

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This is know as one of the best narrativeswritten by a soldier of the battle. because of the time he takes to describe his surroundings and the clarity of his descriptions. his descriptions of the union burial trench is spot on to other accounts of union trench burials, and the trenches that he described can still be clearly discerned. the confederate dead from this area was laid to rest in the deep ravine just north of their first position. there are confederate remains in this ravine today. I don't know if these are some that were just missed in the reburial or if this area was never throughly searched. but either way they fought hard for it and it is still their ravine.

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CD: Where is the ravine located? I see Larkin's Bell field is mostly located on the plateau but there is a ravine south of the field through which Spain Branch runs and a ravine north of the plateau through which another creek runs as per the Topographical Map of Shiloh National Military Park.

I remember on several of the talks this year that there were discussions about ravines including the one in front of Terrill's Battery. I am thinking a lot of soldiers were killed in or near that ravine & that a fire might of gone through there before the wounded could be recovered or the dead buried. Sharon

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the ravine that is refered to in the 55th history actually starts at johnston's plaque runs east behind the old field hospital(cattrells)  and the zouave monument where it is really steep and deep. someone made mention of this ravine in one of the anniversary posts. you know jim is not going to be happy.I guess I need to clarify why Jim will not be happy. one of the eyewitness accounts spoke ill of a sgt. from co. G of the 16th wis.. I have just finished rereading pvt.elisha stockwell jr.sees the civil war, he was a member of the 14th wis. volunteer infantry. He was at savannah on the sixth but moved to shiloh during the night fought in the second day's battle and was at pittsburg landing and hamburg through the summer of 1862. University of Oklahoma has the copyright from 1958.

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