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Found 22 results

  1. Despite the mammoth Federal success at Fort Donelson, the war did not come to an end (though some acted as if it had.) General U.S. Grant looked to push the next objective, which appeared to be Nashville. And he requested guidance from St. Louis. In meantime, Clarksville (about fifty miles up the Cumberland River, in the direction of Nashville) was deemed a suitable target: a reconnaissance conducted by U.S. Navy gunboats Conestoga and Cairo on February 18th discovered that Confederate Clarksville was practically a ghost town; the Rebels and most of the citizens had fled. So, General C.F
  2. 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
  3. When Abraham Lincoln uttered the lines < 'I can't spare this man... He fights' > he may very well have been speaking of Jacob Lauman of Burlington, Iowa. In command of the 3rd Brigade of Hurlbut's 4th Division at the Battle of Shiloh, BGen Lauman demonstrated initiative, tenacity and profound devotion to duty, that caused Stephen Hurlbut to write: 'I saw Jacob Lauman hold the right of my line on Sunday with his small body of gallant men, for three hours. After delivering its fire with great steadiness, the 3rd Brigade charged and drove the enemy 3 or 400 yards...' [OR Serial 10 pp. 204-
  4. Finally having acquired my copy of “Grant Under Fire” by Joseph Rose, it may be of value to provide a brief examination of how the Battle of Fort Donelson is presented: It was heartening to find mention of mortars and Flag-Officer Foote's desire to have those weapons available (yet Foote went ahead and attempted his assault against Fort Donelson without them.) Rose addresses the curious fact of General Grant NOT leaving an officer in temporary command when he departed the vicinity of Fort Donelson to visit a wounded Flag-Officer Foote. And McArthur's brigade, borrowed from General Smith a
  5. Sometimes you find details where you least expect them... and this autobiography is a real gem: Reminiscences of a Soldier's Wife by Mary Logan https://archive.org/details/reminiscencesas02logagoog/page/n8 The view from Cairo of "what was taking place, just across the Ohio River" (...and I was going to just list the "important bits" relevant to us at Shiloh Discussion Group): pp. 100 - 116 Muster and drill in Southern Illinois (31st Illinois Infantry, Colonel Logan -- Member of Congress) pp. 116 - 118 Battle of Belmont (as experienced by those waiting for the T
  6. Born in the village of Elizabeth, Indiana in 1819, James Clifford Veatch spent his formative years within ten miles of the Ohio River, with Louisville, Kentucky – a dozen miles away -- the largest town in his vicinity. His father, a Member of the Indiana State Legislature, died of illness in 1833; and James devoted himself to study of Law, passed the Indiana Bar, and then entered politics by 1841. First elected to a county position, James Veatch was serving as Member of the Indiana House of Representatives when war erupted in April 1861. He resigned his seat, joined the 25th Indiana Infantry,
  7. In 1856, Scottish immigrant John McArthur, originally a blacksmith, who now thrived in the tough world of boiler-making, became involved with the Chicago Highland Guards. The militia organization trained and prepared; and in February 1861, with several Southern States having already seceded, Captain McArthur requested community support in order to aid in preparation and arming of the Highland Guards for active service [Chicago Daily Tribune of 6 FEB 1861, page 1.] Following Federal surrender at Fort Sumter, John McArthur tendered the service of the Chicago Highland Guards to Governor Yate
  8. The day after the Fort Donelson hike with historian Tim Smith, a few of us ventured out to the site of Fort Henry along the Tennessee River (now Kentucky Lake). This was my first time visiting the area, and I certainly hope it won't be my last. If you've heard folks talk about how beautiful is the Land Between the Lakes, there's a very good reason. And the history speaks for itself. Part of that history is the incredibly unfortunate location of Fort Henry. There are reasons that explain why the fort was situated where it was, but none of them change the fact that it was a lousy spot for
  9. Ozzy

    Full Hospitals

    As result of the campaign against Fort Donelson, the Union suffered 507 killed and 1976 wounded; and the Confederates lost 327 killed and reported 1127 wounded. And because the United States Forces were victorious, Federal forces were responsible for burying (or removing for burial) over 800 dead; and providing care for more than 3000 wounded. Many wounded Confederate soldiers were sent to Union hospitals in Louisville (which got General U.S. Grant off-side with Don Carlos Buell, who complained to Henry Halleck about wounded soldiers being deposited in his Military District without permis
  10. Often overlooked (with our focus on Savannah, Crump's Landing and Pittsburg Landing) the captured, Union-occupied Fort Donelson, Fort Henry and Fort Heinman were also within General Grant's District of West Tennessee at the time of the Battle of Shiloh. In order to maintain control of those facilities, two infantry regiments remained at Fort Donelson as garrison; and one infantry regiment served to garrison both Fort Henry and Fort Heiman (and missed Battle of Shiloh.) Your questions: Name the two infantry regiments used to garrison Fort Donelson, end of March 1862. Name the infan
  11. Whether by accident or design, Terre Haute Indiana not only found itself on the National Road (leading from Cumberland Maryland to St. Louis Missouri -- today's Route 40), but Terre Haute sits within a stone's throw of Illinois. That accidental location led to many Indiana citizens joining an infantry regiment associated with Crawford County, Illinois... or more particularly, a regiment associated -- by design -- with a brigade created by Illinois Congressman John McClernand, consisting of the 27th, 30th and 31st Illinois Infantry regiments. One of these "Indiana soldiers" serving Illinoi
  12. As we know, the 2nd Iowa Volunteer Infantry gained credit along with General C. F. Smith and Colonel James Tuttle for "that charge" on the afternoon of February 15th 1862 (which was ordered by General U. S. Grant.) Attached is a letter from Lieutenant James Baird Weaver, Company G, written to his wife back in Iowa three days later. In the six pages, Lieutenant Weaver describes Fort Donelson and its "wild abatis" of felled trees; rushing forward with uncapped muskets and fixed bayonets, while a hail of missiles streaked from every direction; witnessing comrades struck down to left and right (an
  13. Born in 1835, Jonathan S. Slaymaker grew up in York, Pennsylvania; after completing his education he took employment with the railroads, and being a quick study, was elevated to position of civil engineer. Sent to Davenport, Iowa to assist with construction of the first bridge across the Mississippi River, Slaymaker arrived too late: the bridge was nearing completion, leaving him nothing to do. However, when that first bridge was knocked down just a few weeks later (by the misadventure of steamer Effie Afton), Jonathan Slaymaker was on hand to assist with planning and construction of the secon
  14. Published in 1890 (and now available at hathitrust) this two-volume set of sketches contains images of Fort Donelson, Shiloh and Corinth you have probably never seen before: Pictorial History of The Soldier in our Civil War. In Volume one, the section on Fort Donelson begins page 235. Pittsburg Landing/Shiloh begins page 262 (with the image of "McClernand's Second Line on April 6th" of particular interest.) Also, a detailed diagram of Grant's Last Line, bottom of page 265. And on page 266, two-page sketch of Lew Wallace's advance April 7th. On page 268, an interesting sketch by Henri Lovie of
  15. Does anyone have any info on the two U.S. Regular cavalry companies that were at Donelson? They only receive a mention in the order of battle in Tim Smith's book, no mention of them at all in Starr's cavalry trilogy, and Bradley's book on the U.S. Regulars in the west covers only infantry. Any info (commanders, unit strengths, after action reports, etc.) would be appreciated. I do not own the O.R. for the Henry-Donelson campaign, and I doubt if they receive any mention in the O.R. being that there were only two companies (according to the Blue & Gray 2011 issue).
  16. Just ran across this video produced by C-SPAN in February 2012: Civil War Battle of Fort Donelson runs for about 50 minutes and features historian Kendall Gott. Elements discussed include experience: Fort Donelson is where Grant's Army gained valuable experience under fire, while battle-experienced Confederate soldiers soon found themselves locked away in Northern POW camps (and unavailable for Battle of Shiloh); importance of railroads, gunboats and telegraph to the war effort; the connection of Fort Columbus (and its evacuation) to the Henry/Donelson Campaign; the role of General Albert Sidn
  17. I wrote up a bit of a blog post about my recent trip to the Donelson area in case folks are interested: http://ohioatperryville.blogspot.com/2017/02/heiman-henry-and-donelsonoh-my.html
  18. Tony's camera was cutting off on him from time to time during the Fort Donelson hike, but he was able to apply some of his editing skills to go along with his video skills, and put together a good video for us. So here you go, and big-time thanks again to Tony for doing this for us, and to Tim for putting together another outstanding hike.
  19. In the “Charles C. Cloutman Papers, Special Collections, State Historical Society of Iowa, Des Moines” there is a memorial book dedicated to Captain Charles Cloutman of Company K of the 2nd Iowa. Captain Cloutman led his company up the slopes of Fort Donelson on February 15, 1862 and was shot dead through the heart during the advance on the fort. He was 37 years old and had a wife and three children plus Charles Cloutman Jr. was born the day after his father’s funeral on February 25, 1862. His wife was a cousin of General Winfield Scott. The Iowa State Archivist gave approval to this
  20. Not having studied the Federal operation against Fort Donelson to the level that I should, I assumed that the redeploy of Union troops from Fort Henry, east across the eleven miles separating the two Confederate fortifications, was conducted quickly and unopposed. But upon reading General Buckner's report [OR 7 page 328-9] and The Life of Nathan Bedford Forrest (page 43) it became clear that an "unopposed stroll" was a fabrication of my own imagination. So, I decided to brave John McClernand's 12-page after-action report, and see what the self-promoting General from Illinois had to say...
  21. I was hoping to discuss this topic when I joined you at Fort Donelson for the 2016 Fall Hike. But since my travel plans fell through, I've decided to introduce the topic, now... I'm sure most of you have given some thought to this all ready: the many similarities of the Battle of Shiloh to the Engagement at Fort Donelson. In many respects, Shiloh presents as Fort Donelson-in-reverse, with the Federals at Shiloh acting as defenders, and Rebels acting as attackers. Obviously, the biggest difference involves the outcome: the Defenders lost Fort Donelson; but the Defenders won at Pittsburg La
  22. The full quote: "A kind of wild excitement seized me and my comrades, and we would rush forward, thinking of ourselves as Invincible." This is how Private Thomas Keen described being in battle, in company with his fellows and with bullets flying all around. Found in I thought it my Duty to Go: the Civil War Letters of Thomas Keen (1838-1908) of the 1st Nebraska Infantry, edited by James E. Potter, and made available by the Nebraska Historical Society. Twenty-three letters from August 1861 (one month after the 1st Nebraska was mustered into service at Omaha) until 1864 (when Keen was mustered
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