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  1. Every successful General benefitted from “patronage” of a political nature: even U.S. Grant and William T. Sherman, while decrying “political generals” had their own political patrons. General Grant had Elihu Washburne; and Sherman had his brother, Senator John Sherman of Ohio, and the politically connected Ewing family. Question: Who were the patrons of the following men? Benjamin Prentiss John McClernand Henry Wager Halleck George B. McClellan Lew Wallace Stephen Hurlbut John A. Logan John Fremont Albert Sidney Johnston Braxton Bragg
  2. Nothing was more surprising for me than to realize the strong connection between soldiers engaged at the Battle of Shiloh and the early Rebel occupation of Pensacola Florida: it was as if the Battle for Pensacola was fought on 6 April 1862 in Tennessee. Of the regiments of infantry, artillery and cavalry Braxton Bragg brought north, twelve had significant exposure on the Gulf Coast (Mobile to Pensacola) in MGen Bragg’s area of responsibility. Of the senior commanders and leaders engaged on the Confederate side at Shiloh, at least a dozen had served under Bragg during the previous year. And whe
  3. Surrender demanded of Vicksburg This is the first surrender demand presented to Vicksburg Mississippi (which I doubt anyone at SDG has seen before): “The undersigned, with orders from Flag-Officer Farragut and Major General Butler, respectively, demand the surrender of Vicksburg and its defenses to the lawful authority of the United States, under which private property and personal rights will be respected. Respectfully, S. Phillips Lee [commanding USS Oneida ] and Brigadier General Thomas Williams dated 18 May 1862" [The same Demand for Surrender had been pr
  4. Captain E. T. Sykes and the 10th Mississippi at Shiloh Edward Turner Sykes was born in 1838 in Alabama, but was living in Columbus Mississippi when the Secession Crisis broke out. Joining Doctor Lipscomb’s Southron Avengers early in 1861, that company was soon incorporated into Colonel Seaburne M. Phillip’s 10th Mississippi as Company E and in March arrived in Florida and placed under command of Major General Braxton Bragg (whose expanding force was soon to become known as the Army of Pensacola.) The 10th Mississippi Infantry took part in placing guns in a crescent around the north and we
  5. [Above map found on page 8 of New York Herald of 29 SEP 1861 and is in Public Domain.] It is significant because the Rebel incursion into Kentucky had occurred earlier in the month, followed by General Grant's occupation of Paducah on September 6th. The New York Herald provided its readers with visual representation of the areas of importance; and inadvertently highlighted the foci of armed conflict to come, and staging areas for imminent offensive operations: Fort Columbus; New Madrid, Missouri (and the swamp General Pope had to march through to reach New Madrid for the Island No.10 campaign)
  6. Under construction for about ten years, Essential Civil War Curriculum is an ambitious attempt to compile a one-stop-shop for Teacher Lesson Plans and ideas of "what can be taught in the classroom." And, to be be fair, if students read only what was advised by this online site, they would come away with a solid grounding in "History of the American Civil War." However, in later years they might wonder if mention was made of "Island No.10" or "Pensacola." Or the importance of Fort Columbus or Cairo Illinois or Mother Bickerdyke or PGT Beauregard... A "horn of plenty" exercise that introdu
  7. Fifty years after the end of the Civil War, an astute author realized that the men who had made History, and their stories were in imminent danger of being lost forever. So, Mamie Yeary set out across Texas (and had manuscripts sent her) to record as many “average Johnnies” as possible. Their stories, brief and poignant, leave the reader “wishing for more” …which may be possible, because many kept diaries; and almost all wrote letters during the war. And, with a name (and combat unit designation) we now have a starting point… especially for the scores of Confederate Shiloh veterans who made th
  8. Jefferson Davis at West Point Stumbled upon this reference while searching for something else... but it piqued my curiosity due to the fact so many West Point-trained men occupied senior positions during the War of the Rebellion, and especially after reading that, “no change was made to the entrance conditions [to gain admission to the United States Military Academy] until 1866.” Besides courses on offer, the style of uniform and description of military training, and conditions endured at the time, significant personalities mentioned include Ethan Allen Hitchcock, Major W. I. Worth
  9. It is always interesting to learn what “outsiders” thought of the internal upheaval that came to be known as the Civil War. And as we know, one of the ways the South could have emerged victorious: gain international recognition of the Confederate States of America as sovereign nation. Coupled with a mutual defense treaty (with France or Great Britain) the North would likely have found continued prosecution of the war too difficult. As foreign powers made up their minds how to come to terms with the CSA, observers from Russia, France, England and one or two German States were noticed in Wa
  10. On the below Regimental Record for the 72nd Ohio Volunteer Infantry is an entry dated 4 April 1862 titled, “Crumps Landing, Tenn.” Where did this engagement take place? What Confederate force was opposed? [From "Official Roster of the Soldiers of the State of Ohio in the War of the Rebellion" published 1888.] Note: The NPS Soldier and Sailors database also lists this action of the 72nd Ohio (under “Service”) https://www.nps.gov/civilwar/search-battle-units-detail.htm?battleUnitCode=UOH0072RI
  11. One of the speaking phenomenons of the past year or two is Victor Davis Hanson, a university professor from California who possesses vast knowledge of “the classics” of ancient literature; and who also dabbles in farming, and the study of military history. Over the years, Professor Hanson has written a number of books on military engagements, from ancient times to the present day. As an example, “The Ripples of Battle” was published in 2003; and three “historically important contests” were reviewed and examined in order to determine their long-lasting effects on the culture, as well as how the
  12. Prentiss's Staff In prior posts, we have touched on some of the Staff officers in the employ of Brigadier General Benjamin Prentiss during that commander's truncated Civil War career. As we know, Staff officers can provide insights to their General not available through other means; and some of those details may include the General's more guarded thoughts and beliefs; his drinking habits; minor medical niggles, such as frequent back pain, occasional headaches, or allergy to horses (and how the commander circumvented those weaknesses); expressions of satisfaction (or displeasure) wi
  13. A few years ago I visited Estonia for the first time (an easy ferry ride south from Sweden) and was pleasantly surprised by the medieval historic charm and friendly people of Tallinn. Once this COVID-19 emergency is over and we're out and about travelling once more, I can highly recommend adding Tallinn to your European travel itinerary. Anyway... Have you ever wondered what Europeans think of the American Civil War? Artur Rehi of Estonia presents a video evaluating the Battle of Shiloh. Prior to this introduction to the War in the West, Artur had only ever heard of Gettysburg and Antieta
  14. Ozzy

    Lloyd's Map

    Lloyd's Map of Southern States (1861) As was soon discovered by the newspaper reading public during the Secession Crisis, the maps and sketches provided by newspapers lacked detail and accurate scale. And the precise maps provided by Frank Leslie's Illustrated News and Harper's Weekly were not generally available until 1862. Before Rand – McNally it was James T. Lloyd that furnished the maps the travelling public demanded. Available from early 1861 and produced by J. T. Lloyd & Company of Cincinnati “Lloyd's Map of the Southern States” was the primary reference tool available to membe
  15. "Colonel Peabody and our 25th Missouri" As we know, the Engineer Everett Peabody was based at St. Joseph Missouri while building the Hannibal & St. Joseph Railroad; and the 25th Missouri was considered by Union men residing in St. Joseph as “their” regiment. The St. Joseph Herald followed the career of Colonel Peabody with interest, and beginning with the edition published Friday 11 April 1862 contained news of the Colonel and his 25th Missouri in columns 1, 4, 5 & 6 on Page 2; and column one on Page 3. At this time, in the first Shiloh reports received in Western Missouri
  16. Another day, another master’s thesis… and this one, submitted by William J. McCaffrey in 1970 is revealing, compelling, shocking. Although 140 pages long, this work grips the student of Battle of Shiloh by the throat, and does not let go. It examines “whether or not there was surprise at Pittsburg Landing on April 6th 1862”…and just who was surprised. On page three, a list of six items is posted: flawed conditions of readiness, at least one of which must be present to allow a Defender to get surprised by an Attacker. William McCaffrey devotes the remainder of his thesis to providing evide
  17. As anyone who has made the attempt knows, it is difficult to find a comprehensive story of Edward O. C. Ord's involvement, and contribution, to the Civil War. And details concerning Brigadier General Ord's first engagement, at Dranesville, Virginia, in December 1861, are especially difficult to unearth. The story of Dranesville is important to us at SDG because, although EOC Ord was not present at Battle of Shiloh, the loss of so many Union Generals (WHL Wallace, died from wound; B. M. Prentiss, captured; John P. Cook, forced to take sick leave; C.F. Smith, succumbed to infection of leg, injur
  18. About April 10th the steamer Woodford departed Savannah Tennessee; her passengers were Rebel soldiers (and 35 local civilians, deemed to have been disloyal to the Union) and were under charge of Captain T.J. Newham (staff officer ADC of General C. F. Smith) and his detachment of Union soldiers acting as guards. See https://digital.shsmo.org/digital/collection/dmr/id/15088/rec/3182 and https://digital.shsmo.org/digital/collection/dmr/id/15087/rec/3182 . In all, about 400 passengers, who arrived at St. Louis morning of 14 April 1862. The prisoners were removed to the grounds of McDowell College
  19. Wisconsin in the War Stumbled across this video while researching Pensacola in the Civil War... serendipity. Titled “ORNA Wisconsin in the Civil War” it runs for about 10 minutes; and the presenter, Lawrence Winkler, is both knowledgeable and engaging. Beginning at the 6-minute mark and running for a little over two minutes Winkler details the aftermath of the Battle of Shiloh from a Wisconsin perspective (and includes the contribution and tragedy of Governor Harvey.) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rP5VyNFj3hs ORNA Wisconsin in the Civil War, Episode Four As indicated,
  20. Review of To Rescue My Native Land by Wm. T. Shepherd It is not often that letters and diaries compiled by artillerymen during the Civil War are encountered, and this collection is a gem: the “Civil War Letters of William T. Shepherd.” Native of Wisconsin, who enlisted in Chicago as Private in Taylor’s Battery B, 1st Illinois Light Artillery 16 July 1861, Private Shepherd (sometimes spelled Shepard) is a gifted, intelligent writer who sent letters to friends and family back in Illinois on a daily basis. Encountered in the many letters: · Camp life (and looking forward to lett
  21. Tennessee River Valley in April 1862. The above map of the Tennessee River appeared in the 12 April 1862 edition of Harper's Weekly, before word of the Battle of Shiloh reached the New York editor of that illustrated publication. The map is interesting for what is included: Paducah and Smithland at the far north, with Cairo, Bird's Point, Columbus, Belmont and Island No.10 away to the west. Proceeding south up the Tennessee River, Fort Henry, the crossing of the MC & L R.R. at Danville, and the sites of Savannah, Hamburg and Florence are indicated. Not marked: the line of the Mobile &
  22. This YouTube video of 36 minutes was published on 2 May 2019 by Misesmedia, a publication of Mises Institute at Auburn, Alabama. It relies heavily on the Diary of young Elsie Duncan to describe life for civilians of Hardin County after the Battle of Shiloh, after the Union Army mostly moved south to besiege Corinth, Mississippi. The Horrors of War are fully described, including mass graves, the number of wounded overwhelming available surgeons, “raiders” (roaming bands of Union deserters), “guerrillas” (roaming bands of Southern supporters), avoiding “summary justice,” and the increasing diffi
  23. Shiloh video by gaming guy The void being left by the inadequate teaching of History in public schools is being filled, in part, by an unexpected history advocate: the online gaming community. Dedicated to “authenticity” in recreating historic Battle Games, the school-age generation is being taught history, unawares, through participation in online games. With the above in mind... ran across this interesting video while searching for recent releases on Battle of Shiloh: “History Guy Gaming” has done other battlefield videos (Gettysburg, Antietam, Bull Run), and provided a revi
  24. Inspired by Tom's admonition to "find and post more Shiloh references," I stumbled upon a previously overlooked Staff Ride... Compiled by the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command, this Staff Ride Handbook of 68 pages records the visit to Shiloh NMP that took place early in 2000, and contains many maps and illustrations, as well as biographies of key leaders and a timeline [ and is available at <https://www.smdc.army.mil> ]. Key takeaways: It was the intention of Major General Henry Halleck to “mount an offensive against the Confederate Army at Corinth” (page 3).
  25. It can be safely assumed that the battle exploits of successful leaders are studied at the United States Military Academy at West Point in order to identify positive traits, skills and attributes as deserving of emulation by future leaders. What traits and skills do you believe Ulysses S. Grant possessed that should be taught to cadets and officer-candidates? To start the conversation, here is one that I believe we can all agree upon: Persistence. Because there is no failure until one gives up the attempt. U.S. Grant was noted for aggressive, dogged, determined pursuit of goals. And if a
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