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Sean Chick

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Everything posted by Sean Chick

  1. Certain Confederate units do not have a lot of sources about their actions. Some of this is merely a lack of anything outside of the official records. For others the paucity is so bad it is hard to know what they did for large stretches of time. I am posting this as I get to the final phase of research as I prepare my book on Shiloh. If anyone has a lead or an idea, please feel free to post it. Infantry 31st Alabama There is one vague source but little else outside of Trabue’s report and a few mentions here and there. What is intriguing is that Trabue makes i
  2. Perry could you send me a message with details? I am not on facebook anymore.
  3. Also, where exactly does the story of Stark being hit by a tree limb come from? The Barto letter should be in the Abraham Lincoln Library (they have a ton of stuff). Where though does "Philander to Editor, April 5, 1862, James Compton Biographical Folder" come from? Both should go a long way towards explaing what went wrong on in the 52nd Illinois, and why they fled when Cleburne's shot up brigade attacked in their vicinity.
  4. One matter complicating this is Robertson. He was a good battery commander, but also strict, mean, and committed war crimes later in the conflict. Was he being unusually magnanimous to the 13th Ohio Battery (they were after all fellow artillerymen), bragging, or did he want to take Hurlbut down a peg? check out the attached letter from SNMP. Also included are accounts from the 52nd Tennessee and 10th Mississippi. They are not directly related, its just how the file was sent to me. Robertson Mosier Learned letters - Robertson Battery, 52nd TN, 10th MS.tif
  5. Once you wrote the Yates part about Prentiss, it all came back to me. He played a pretty important role in 1861 in Illinois, so it is understandable he was annoyed about having Grant over him. For McClellan, the Blair family is likely the best overall answer. I almost put Lincoln for McClernand. It is true, but with two cavaets. First they were not friends and came from opposing parties. McClernand campaigned against Lincoln in 1860 and 1864. They even faced off in court a few times. But they had a decent working relationship, and did work a court case together. It is notable that af
  6. Thanks for posting these Newton letters. The experience of the 52nd Illinois on April 6 needs to be better understood. I think their retreat late in the afternoon is a key reason the Union lines collapsed when it did. The lack of discussion of the regiment in the battle's after action reports (at least among those published) is curious.
  7. Benjamin Prentiss: Good one. He was a politician but not a major one. John McClernand: John McClernand Henry Wager Halleck: He seems to have owed his position to the support of Winfield Scott. Halleck, while a master of army politics, was not quite so good at getting patrons among the politicians. George B. McClellan: Montgomery Blair Lew Wallace: I think Oliver Morton, although from a different party, took a shine to Wallace. Stephen Hurlbut: Abraham Lincoln, who thought Hurlbut was one of the finest public speakers in the country. John A. Logan: John A. Logan
  8. I have always seen what happened to them as a perfect storm. They were poorly placed by Hurlbut, poorly trained, and poorly led. One thing I recently ran into was the Captain Felix Robertson's thoughts on the matter. He felt their withdrawal was due to both his accurate cannon fire and a lack of infantry support. Robertson did not think that Hurlbut's first position on the south end of Sarah Bell Field was ever occupied, but rather Hurlbut said the division was positioned there after the battle to cover what happened to the 13th Ohio Battery. It would be a scandal sending a green battery far a
  9. Below is the text of a long letter by Oliver Boardman of the 6th Iowa Infantry. There are some rather colorful descriptions of the battle. Boardman had high praise for Sherman's bravery. Owl Creek Pittsburg Tennessee Apr 24th.. 1862 Henry and Jane I shall write to both at once as it is too expensive under the circumstances to write two letters when one would answer the purpose if it is only large enough I had laid in apretty good supply of paper postage stamps tobacker &c before the battle but they were all destroyed then beside numerous other articles the consequence is I
  10. The webpage expired on October 3, which is going to hamper my work on Maps of Shiloh. Is there are alternative that will cover not just the monuments for also the historical markers?
  11. Glad you liked it. I think the Chicago Historical Society has some unpublished reports in Smith Bankhead's papers and I recently found the 6th Kentucky (CSA) report at the Filson Club in Edwin Porter Thompson's papers. If I get it transcribed I will upload it here.
  12. I stumbled upon this unsubmitted report by L.D. Sandidge, who served on Daniel Ruggles' staff. Particularly valuable for his discussion of the attack on William Tecumseh Sherman's camp on the morning of April 6. Link will be at the bottom. On the evening prior to the battle, I encamped Ruggles' division of three brigades and four batteries of artillery and a battalion of cavalry extending Bragg's line to the left, and instead of placing the left brigade en potence with the alignment, I found that Hardee's line did not rest on Owl creek. I extended the left brigade on continu
  13. I am currently piecing April 7 together and it is quite a difficult battle to figure out, particularly on the Confederate side with the units being jumbled together and accounts differing so much.
  14. Interesting account. Where did you find it?
  15. For those who doubted it, in my research I have found proof of the Watson Battery at Shiloh, from Clarke's Diary of the War of Separation, which includes Alexander Walker's Shiloh report for the New Orleans Delta. He has the Watson Battery in the bombardment of Pittsburg Landing late on April 6. "The artillery were all hurried forward to complete the work. Thirty-six of our best guns were now brought into position on a ridge at a distance of three-fourths of a mile from the enemy's main body. There was the Watson heavy battery, of Breckinridge's Division, among the first to take it
  16. Maybe Grant sustained Mason to help out a fellow from Ohio? Just a thought as he might have smarted at the accusations against the state. At any rate, it is very much human nature to blame a whole group, even if the 1st, 4th, and 20th Tennessee did not conform to the stereotype about Tennessee troops at Shiloh.
  17. Thanks, I read over Haydon's article, and offered some important tactical and staff details. Thanks for pointing me to it.
  18. I read it today and thought "everything that is old is new." Outside of his harsh treatment of Lew Wallace, this very much reads like Tim Smith's argument. That adds to my contention that a lot of current scholarship, far from being unbiased, is a more detailed version of the Just Cause narrative of the Civil War. Before anyone chops off my head, Smith's work on Shiloh is first rate and I refer back to it all the time in my work. I also like Sword, Cunningham, and Daniel, and all three of them for different reasons. Hell, even Groom works as an introduction to the battle. Shiloh has been
  19. Interesting... Do we know what Haydon delivered? In my Beauregard research I think Preston Johnston, at least in 1862, did not totally have it in for Beauregard. His report to Davis could have been harsher.
  20. For another take on Johnston's death, this comes from his courier: Broome, John P. “How Gen. A.S. Johnson Died.” Confederate Veteran, vol. 16 (December 1908), p. 629. I am not certain I believe it, but its better than William Stevenson's account, which does not line up and seems like an attempt to be there for a big moment. I posted it here as I consider couriers to be part of the staff, even if not formally so. I had an ancestor who was a courier for Loring, even though he was illiterate.
  21. Joyce, Fred. “Two Dogs.” The Southern Bivouac, October, 1883, 72-74. - Places Cobb with Trabue on April 7, likely at Crescent Field in the morning.
  22. Here are a few gems I found. “Colonel Hicks–Captain Bagwell.” The Southern Bivouac, January 1884, 270-271. - A rare Union centered article. Hicks comes across as an action hero. Duke, Basil. “The Battle of Shiloh.” The Southern Bivouac, December 1883, 150-162. - This is part 1 of Duke's retelling. He has Johnston predicting a battle not at Pittsburg Landing but Shiloh Church itself during Johnston's brief stay at Mufreesboro. Of course Johnston said this to Bowen and both men were conveniently dead. Harcourt, A.P. “Terry’s Texas Rangers.” The Southern Bivou
  23. Which two states would those be? I know Tennessee is often accused, but for the rest it seems very much like a regiment to regiment deal, even for Tennessee.
  24. The link appears to be only for current information, so I could not find the Hillyer letters. Anyone have them handy?
  25. Do you have the sources handy? It would explain why Duke is so quiet about April 7.
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