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WI16thJim

Whitlaw Reid

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I just recieved a copy of Whitlaw Reid's newspaper article on the Battle of Shiloh.  After reading all 19,000 words, I have come to the conclusion that either Reid wasn't really @ Pittsburg Landing, lied about what he saw there, or was just an out and out idiot.  At the end of the 1st day's battle, here is what he wrote:

"By nine o'clock all was hushed near the Landing.  The host of combatants that three hours before had been deep in the work of human destruction had all sunk silently to the earth, "the wearied to sleep, the wounded to die."  The stars looked out upon the scene, and all breated the natural quiet and calm of a sabbath evening."  (Anyone know what breated is?breathed??)

In the early part, he writes alot about how Sherman and Grant both ran around in the days before the battle declaring how an attack was imminent, yet threw up no fortifications.

Good fiction writer, sucks as a reporter!

Jim

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Isn't he the one who misrepresented the facts & got Grant in a whole lot of hot water.

Is there a link to the article?

I think I am going to pitch my tent at Shiloh as I will be homeless by the end of next week. I could venture out on the battlefield & commune with the ghosts at night.

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The gentleman who sent me the articles said they were unearthed by the Grant Association.  I've been slowly reading thru them whenever stormy weather forces me inside.  If I come across them, I'll post the address.  Other than that, I haven't found them online.  Hope your tent has AC, Sharon, as Shiloh looks to be pretty warm these days, and it's not the dry heat your used to! 

Jim

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Jim: The Grant Association sounds like they have lots of stuff. I have looked at their site a number of times.

The air conditioning consist of opening the flaps. Yes a new adventure is about to begin - when I was at Antietam about two weeks ago pedaling around the battlefield on a bicycle I thought it was plenty warm. Guess I will just have to get used to the heat/humidity east of the Rocky Mountains.

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I can still remember the smell of the paper mill at Lewiston, Idaho. It is hard to get used to. Just think - it is not that far until the 150 anniversary of the Battle of Shiloh - a bunch of us plan to be there!!!!!!

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I saw Maxine this weekend and she told me that some of the reenactors were down the previous weekend to see what needed to be cleaned up and cleared before the 2012 date. so the plans and action are beginning. and congratulations to grandpa and his daughter on the new addition to the family.

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Please excuse my intrusion. 

 

Whitlaw is an infamous character in the history of my Order.  All know his name and are very familiar with a specific excerpt from his article about Shiloh.

 

According to a Shiloh Superintendent I spoke with back in the early nineties, Whitlaw was indeed at the battle but he had to leave early to meet deadlines. 

 

A good example of this is his eulogy of Benjamin Piatt Runkle, 13th Ohio.  Runkle was wounded in the foot and mouth and left for dead on the battlefield; however, Runkle eventually outlived Reid. 

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Welcome B.P.  Your not intruding at all and thanks for the input.

I've been informed the info I used was from:

James G. Smart, ed., "A Radical View: The 'Agate' Dispatches of Whitelaw Reid, 1861-1866", 2 vols. (Memphis: Memphis State University State Press, 1976).

There is one used copy listed by Amazon.com for $20 at present.

Jim

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I've tried to find a copy of that article online as well, but it just doesn't seem to be out there yet. Or if it is, it's just eluded me. One of these days we'll have a copy of it posted on this site. Or at least that's part of the plan.

As I understand it, Reid was staying with Lew Wallace's division at Crump's, and managed to climb aboard Grant's boat on the morning of the 6th, when he and Wallace were conversing for a few minutes before Grant headed down to Pittsburg Landing. Not sure of his exact movements during the battle, but I believe he stayed around the landing area most of the day, talking with anyone who was willing. Either that evening or the next, if I remember right, he caught a boat north and wired his story from the first place he could get a telegraph sent off. I'm thinking it was from Cairo, but I'm not certain.

Whatever else we may think about Reid and his account, it has to be admitted that it showed some serious staying power. It even seems to have helped generate, in an indirect way, the Hornet's Nest legend, by falsly accusing Prentiss and his men of being caught asleep in their tents when the attack hit.

Perry

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Whitelaw Reid, writing as 'Agate.' His article, 'The Great Battle of Shiloh,' appears on page 2 of the Urbana Union, dated April 16, 1862. The full newspaper is accessible, at no charge <chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85026309/1862-04-16/ed-1/seq-2/>

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To access Whitelaw Reid article, type <www.chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85026309/> and click on the 'calendar date' of 16 April 1862, on the 'Urbana Union' page. Just tried it, to make sure it works. Free access to other newspapers available through this site as well.

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Thanks Ozzy, the Chronicling America site is awesome.  As far as the 'Agate' story as reprinted in the Urbana Union seems to have been heavily edited and sanitized.  You hear of the 'lurid details' such as men being bayoneted while asleep in their tents and Grant being on a 'drunken spree' are missing here.  The original 'story' was said to have been 14,000 words long.  Does anyone know where the full article can be found?  Roger.

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