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Ron

Last Confederate unit to Arrive

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Here is a simple question.  Everyone knows the answer to this so hurry.  The big prise will be the prise Perry owes me from his question on another post. 

What was the name or the number of the last confederate unit to arrive on the Shiloh Battlefield.  Excluded from this quiz is any unit that had been detached mainly as cavalry videttes. 

Now, go ahead, tear your hair out.

 

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So how many raging bulls are you wagering?

Wouldn't be the first or last time that I was wrong about something. But, the last Confederate unit to arrive on the battlefield was the 47th Tennessee, on the morning of April 7th. They were the only reinforcements that Beauregard received. And if I remember right, they were unarmed when they got there, or very poorly armed, and had to be given captured weapons.

Perry

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AH HA, GOT YOU, WRONG, WRONG, TOO BAD PERRY, YOU OWE ME ANOTHER WHATEVER. 

There was three confederate units that marched up the Main Corinth road in the wake of the rebel army.  These three units departed late from Corinth or were delayed by the very bad rain swollen roads made worse by all of the advancing troops that preceded them.

The first unit to arrive on the battlefield was Robert's Arkansas Battery, who arrived about 2 pm on Sunday and were ordered to join Ruggles' line of artillery. 

The second unit, or the next to last, was the 47th Tennessee Regiment who arrived late in the afternoon of Sunday, April 6th and were promptly marched to the area of Prentiss' surrender where they rearmed themselves from the much newer rifled muskets laying on the ground. 

 The last confederate unit to arrive on the battlefield was McClung's Tennessee Battery who arrived very late in the evening missing the entire first day of the battle.  On Monday morning, they were sent to the area of the Daniel Davis Wheatfield where they fired in support of Hodgson's Louisiana Battery before noon.  They next took position at the crossroads of the Purdy Road and the Eastern Corinth road where they fired on Crittenden's union division advancing down the Eastern Corinth Road.  If Crittenden had been allowed to proceed further down the road, he would have split the rebels in two disconnected wings. BAD NEWS 

Better luck in a new quiz to follow. Good Luck Perry.

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Hey, not so fast on sending that "complete victory" telegram there, General Ron. I ain't licked yet by a dang sight.

First, what source are you going by for when the 47th arrived? I'm not saying they couldn't have arrived on April 6th, but I've always understood that it was the morning of the 7th, and doing a little digging tonight, everything I come across, including in Larry Daniel's book, indicates it was the morning of the 7th.

The problem is, the only apparent primary account I found is un-sourced, which I'll get to below. It looks authentic, and I believe it is, but I can't verify it.

Concerning Daniels' book, he references the 47th's arrival on page 264. He states that they left their camp at Trenton, Tennessee on the morning of April 5th, and arrived on the battlefield around 8 a.m. on the morning of the 7th, by way of Bethel, after a two-day march. See endnote 10 on page 373 for the two sources he lists. One of these sources is a 1986 magazine article that I cannot locate online; the other is the 47th's ordnance returns in the Yerger papers at the Mississippi Department of Archives & History, a source I suspect you're already familiar with.

Daniels' information matches what I've found elsewhere, and if true, it means they did not arrive on the battlefield by way of Corinth.

I also came across a site on the 47th Tennessee by someone who has apparently done a fair amount of research on this regiment. Among other things he reproduces several of what appear to be official correspondence by the regiment's commander, surgeon, and assistant surgeon. There are several pages, but here's the link to those particular letters...

http://freepages.military.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~bsdunagan/hill.html

One of these letters, dated May 24th, 1862 and apparently written by the regimental surgeon, details the regiment's march from Trenton to the battlefield of Shiloh, and although no time is given, it clearly indicates they arrived on the morning of the 7th.

The notes look authentic, and again, I believe they are. But the problem is that there is no source listed for them, and I cannot track them down in the OR. So at least for now they have to go down as unverified sources.

One source he does list is on page 41 of Volume 8 of the Confederate Military History, printed in 1899. I did manage to locate an online copy, and it states there that the regiment arrived at Shiloh on the morning of April 7th. Again though, no source is given to support this claim.

I think if the source of that regimental correspondence can be located, it would settle the issue. Or some of the private correspondence from members of the regiment that I've seen referenced, including by Larry Daniel.

Either way, I'm sticking to my original answer. The 47th arrived on the morning of April 7th, and was the last Confederate unit to reach the field. And they came in by way of Trenton, Jackson, and Bethel rather than from Corinth. Which would have made for one heck of a two-day march.

What says your flock of raging bulls about that? :)

Perry

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There are other references to the 47th arriving on the morning of the 7th, including in D.W. Reed's order of battle. But as before, the problem is one of sources. At this point I'm pretty positive the regiment was up in Trenton until April 5th. It's a matter of verifying the information about that.

The other thing though, is this - why did they leave Trenton when they did? They must have received orders telling them to join Johnston's army in the advance on Pittsburg Landing. Again though, I can't find anything about that in the OR. But their colonel didn't just decide on a whim to march 80 or 90 miles to an enemy encampment. He was acting under orders. Just have to locate them.

Perry

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Perry,

Finally, I have time to respond to your fine post that alters my thinking about the 47th Tennessee.  I thought the regiment arrived on the battlefield on Sunday, April 6th and your research proves it arrived on the next morning.  Actually, this does not solve completely the question of the last confederate unit to reach the battlefield.  The arrival time of McClung's battery is unknown but I believe it arrived sometime overnight which would mean that the 47th Tennessee probably arrived last. 

That's one for you Perry.  Too bad you didn't place a bet. 

Ron

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You know, I hate being honest when it works against me. But even though I do believe the 47th arrived on the morning of the 7th, I don't think we can say it's absolutely proven just yet. Not without a confirmed source.

As far as betting goes, I'm a little cautious about betting against you. That whole flock of raging bulls thing tends to worry me.

Perry

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From Larry J. Daniel's book:

"On the night of April 6, the six hundred raw recruits of Colonel Munson R. Hill's 47th Tennessee slogged tirelessly along the Ridge Road in the midst of a downpour. The regiment, poorly armed with shotguns, sporting rifles, and not a half-dozen bayonets, had left their camp of instruction at Trenton, Tennessee, on the morning of April 5, and arrived at Bethel Station at midnight. Awakened at 5 a.m. on the 6th, the troops moved out at 7 a.m., having eaten two crackers per man-their daily fare since April 2. At midnight the exhausted men could go no further; Hill ordered a four-hour rest in the rain- no tents, no food. Awakened early on April 7, the men arrived on the battlefield about 8 a.m. A staff officer led the regiment to Pretniss' surrender site, where they rearmed with a hodgpodge of rifles and percussion muskets and assigned to Preston Smith's brigade. The regiment would be the only reinforcements received by the Confederates during the battle."

Why they left Trenton on the 5th when the attack was riginally scheduled for that morning I don't understand.

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Mike,

The 47th Tennessee Regiment had been at Trenton TN since it was organized.  It was never called upon to take part in any operation until this move towards Shiloh.  The unit was poorly armed and equipped.  It may have been considered as unfit for operations such as Bain's Mississippi Battery which was detached from Gibson's Brigade and left in Corinth.  In any event, I suspect that the orders to the regiment arrived late, hence their late departure to Shiloh. 

 Ron 

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That's what I suspect, they were barely trained and could not have been expected to contibute much in a fight. Course, alot of troops were in their same position, but they took part in this battle too.

Was Baine's Battery the one who was left back in Corinth, but couldn't stand sitting around and tried to make it later, but met the Confederate forces coming back to Corinth?

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Hello Mike,

No Mike, you are actually speaking of two different batteries.  Bain's Mississippi Battery was judged unfit for service by Brigadier General Daniel Ruggles and left in Corinth.  It was not specified why the battery was unfit.  The other battery you ask about was Carnes Tennessee Battery .  It was a 6 gun battery also judged as unfit, suspect there was not enough gunners to man a 6 gun battery.  Capt Carnes was new to the command of the battery, anxious to get into the battle and when ordered to remain in Corinth came up with a very good idea.  He arranged with the ordnance office in Corinth for his battery to turn in two guns and received permission to proceed to Shiloh as a four gun battery adequately equipped with men and supplies.  He rushed up the rain swollen, mud churned up road with delays only to meet the retreating confederate army.  Carnes' Battery take a position to help protect the rear of the army but did not see any combat.  What a let down for Carnes.  Carnes later proved to be an excellent battery commander.

As a side note, the first commander of this battery was Capt. "Red" Jackson who transferred to the cavalry and commanded a cavalry regiment and later a brigade in Forrest's command.  Jackson was later a Brigadier General and a good cavalry commander.  Capt. William Carnes replaced Jackson at this time about March 1862. 

Ron

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It's an interesting question about the 47th, but I suspect that Ron is probably on the right track. I haven't found the orders they received, although it's not like I've done an exhaustive search for them. But they clearly had orders to join the advance. It's almost like someone remembered at the last minute that they were up there, and dashed off an order for them to march.

Which is another interesting part of this - the fact that they marched something like 90 miles when they had a railroad available to them for at least half the journey. I'm guessing there weren't any cars available to take them at the time, but I don't know that.

Heck of a march though, for what amounted to brand new troops who had apparently never marched anywhere before. Ninety miles in two days, then straight into a battle when they get there. Jackson's famous foot cavalry had nothing on these guys.

Perry

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That's it Ron. I remember the story about not having enough men for the guns they had, turning two in, then proceeded with enough personnel to man the ones they had. Thanks,

Mike

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