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Found 24 results

  1. The Picket Skirmish of Friday, April 4th 1862 has been discussed “in passing” on the way to the more interesting and important Battle of Shiloh (which erupted Sunday morning, April 6th.) In many ways, this Picket Skirmish was a “dry run” for the Big Show on Sunday. We at SDG believe we are familiar with this skirmish, but are we? Here are a series of questions: What was the weather on 4 April 1862? What Federal forces were involved that Friday (actually engaged?) What Confederate forces were involved (actually engaged or fired rounds?)
  2. 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
  3. 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 &
  4. As a rule, I am not a fan of audio presentations, without video to enhance it. But while doing some sorting and rearranging in the office, put this American Military History Podcast – Shiloh on… and was pleasantly surprised. The Story of Shiloh, as told by the narrator, is not far off from how I believe a fair telling of the Battle of Shiloh should run. The full presentation requires just over an hour, so in the interest of allowing “bits of most interest” to be accessed (begin at 4 minute mark): 4 minutes PGT Beauregard, upon receiving a report on 2 APR that, “Lew Wallace is moving
  5. It took a couple of days for word to reach the villages and farms in the North that a massive contest had taken place along the bank of the Tennessee River. And the initial reports seemed to indicate “another Union victory, with moderate casualties,” such as resulted for the Union at Fort Henry and Fort Donelson and Island No.10 …but after those initial reports, other stories began to appear, not just from embedded reporters, but letters and other eyewitness accounts from soldiers themselves, and these presented sensational details at odds with the initial rosy narrative. And these details gre
  6. It has been a while since our last quiz, so what follows are thirteen questions related to Benjamin Prentiss, Brigadier General in command of Sixth Division of U.S. Grant's Army of West Tennessee at the eruption of the Battle of Shiloh: 1. On 17 AUG 1861 B.M. Prentiss and U.S. Grant had their first dispute in regard to seniority. Which man of the two was the senior union officer on that date? 2. On 2 SEP 1861 B.M. Prentiss and U.S. Grant had their second seniority dispute. After learning details of BGen Grant’s claim, BGen Prentiss: · Offered to put the matter
  7. Annie Wittenmyer, nurse and agent for the Iowa State Sanitary Commission, arrived at Savannah Tennessee aboard a Hospital steamer at 4 a.m. on 7 April 1862. There, the medical staff and passengers aboard the steamboat were informed, "Grant has been driven to the river; he and his Army are likely to be captured today." Hearing that news, "our Hospital boat raced for Pittsburg Landing..." They arrived before sunrise, and while the overnight Navy bombardment (one shell every 15 minutes) continued, and immediately set to work: feeding wounded men, dressing their wounds, providing them with wa
  8. Beginning almost immediately after the Battle of Shiloh, and for all the years since, people have attempted to make sense of the late arrival of Major General Grant at Pittsburg Landing, his flagship, Tigress, nosing into the bank as much as four hours after first contact with the enemy. What follows is a proposed progression of General Grant's efforts to "get into the fight" that Sunday morning, 6 April 1862: 7:11 a.m. While having breakfast at the Cherry Mansion in Savannah, Grant heard booming cannon. 8:30 (approx.) Grant and members of his S
  9. Ozzy

    Parker's Office

    The above image depicts a scene sketched at Pittsburg Landing in April 1862 that most have never seen before. What was "Parker's Office?"
  10. It's not often you find an eyewitness account of "that march" conducted by Lew Wallace on Sunday, April 6th... Johann Stuber migrated with his parents and siblings from Switzerland in 1854, and settled in Cincinnati. In October 1861, the 23 year old, trained as a typesetter, joined the 58th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, Company A, and was soon promoted to Corporal. First seeing action at Fort Donelson, the 58th Ohio remained with Lew Wallace's Third Division; and when that division was sent to Crump's Landing in March 1862, the 2nd Brigade (Colonel John Thayer) comprising the 58th OVI, 68th OV
  11. On April 9th 1862, a much-anticipated report detailing events at the recent Battle of Shiloh began making its way to the newspapers of the North. Written by Major General Grant, the concise description of that bloody engagement is below presented, as it appeared in the Coudersport, Pennsylvania weekly, The Potter Journal of Wednesday 23 APR 1862. Filling most of two printed columns (on page 2, beginning column 4) and titled, "Battle at Pittsburg: Official Report of Gen'l Grant," this published account is as close as Ulysses S. Grant ever got to an Official Report. Click on the below image
  12. Ozzy

    Derickson Papers

    Richard P. Derickson was a First Lieutenant in the 16th Wisconsin Infantry, Company K, at the time the Battle of Shiloh erupted. On that fateful Sunday of 6 APR 1862, he was at his duty station aboard "wharf boat" Iatan, acting in capacity of AQM for the Sixth Division (a position he had occupied since April 3rd, assigned by BGen Prentiss.) Part of Lieutenant Derickson's duties involved him creating and maintaining precise records, accounting for possession and distribution of Government stores... Kevin Getchell made use of Lieutenant Derickson's records in constructing his 2013 work, Sca
  13. William McMichael David W. Reed made a valiant attempt to get to the facts in compiling his history of Shiloh; and he incorporated those facts into his written work, The Battle of Shiloh and the Organizations Engaged (manuscript completed 1900), and in marking out important sites on the Shiloh NMP with definitive tablets. Unfortunately, even the cautious, precise Major Reed, got his facts wrong on occasion… which leads to the biography of this man: William McMichael. Born in Philadelphia in 1841, during the Civil War William McMichael became one of the “Fighting McMichaels” (his
  14. The following link leads to 21 pages of titles/ authors of primary sources (created through about 1920) relating to Battle of Shiloh: http://www.civilwardigital.com/Shiloh-_Guide_to_Collection.pdf Guide to Shiloh primary sources Cheers Ozzy
  15. I have long searched for these two maps, and only just discovered the method to access them online: they were either commissioned or drawn by MGen US Grant in March 1862, and were sent to General Halleck (along with a brief report) on March 25th 1862 [OR 52 (part 1) page 230]. To be found in the Atlas of the Official Records (mislabelled as Plate 75) they are Maps 3 and 6 of Plate 78 (Plate LXXVIII). They should open through this link: http://ehistory.osu.edu/books/official-records/atlas-plates-61-120 (General Grant's maps of Shiloh/Pittsburg Landing: maps 3 and 6) Ozz
  16. For those who have never read it (or have not read it in a while) here is the Shiloh Report submitted by General Prentiss. Cheers Ozzy Prentiss’s Official Shiloh Report of November 1862 COLONEL: Upon my return from captivity in the hands of the public enemy I have the honor to submit my report of the part taken in the battle of the 6th of April last, near Pittsburg Landing, by the Sixth Division, Army of West Tennessee, the command of which had been assigned to me. I have the honor to transmit field return of the force which was subjected to my control, as it appeare
  17. Pittsburg Landing, April 1862. Ran across the above image while searching for something else. It was filed under "Steamers at Chickasaw Bluff" on a Civil War website (but it is obviously not Chickasaw Bluff, Mississippi.) Cheers Ozzy
  18. Because of the persistent flooding of the Tennessee River, and the expanse of water-logged terrain in vicinity of Union-controlled Fort Henry, that position was deemed unsuitable for loading significant numbers of troops. So, when the time arrived for the thousands of Federal troops camped in vicinity of Union-held Fort Donelson to "march to the Tennessee River and board steamers for the Expedition" (ultimately destined for Pittsburg Landing), those troops were not marched to Fort Henry; instead, they took the Ridge Road until three miles west of the Furnace, turned left, and continued southwe
  19. Oliver Boardman was a 21 year old from Albia, Iowa who enlisted as a Private in the 6th Iowa Volunteer Infantry, Co. E at Burlington in July 1861; and spent the next several months guarding trains in northern Missouri. On 14 March 1862, the Crescent City touched at Savannah Tennessee, and two days later the 6th Iowa disembarked at Pittsburg Landing. On April 24th, Private Boardman wrote a letter to his brother and sister back in Albia, and in eight pages describes his activity "on the far right of the Army, under General Sherman." Boardman recalls "just getting out of a trap" and hurrying with
  20. Ozzy

    Name the Artist

    Here's an easy one (as only a handful of sketch artists are known to have worked in vicinity of Pittsburg Landing, April 1862): Name the artist of the above sketch (first and last name.) Good luck... Ozzy
  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. Let's start with a question, IRT... tornadoes. Is the apparent increase in the number of tornadoes photographed, from one year to the next, mostly the result of an increase in the number of tornadoes; or are there more cameras in the hands of everyday citizens, which are then more readily available to be used to capture images, that would have been missed years ago? I begin this post with a weather question, because I believe a similar query can be posed IRT 'the heroes' of Shiloh. Does the difficulty in determining a 'Hero of Shiloh' lie in the fact that 1) all of the potential selectees p
  23. Just for the sake of comparison, here is the Map used by Confederate Generals at the Battle of Shiloh (found in The Life of Albert Sidney Johnston, by William Preston Johnston (1878) page 558: And here is the map constructed for Henry Halleck, during the April/May 1862 advance on Corinth (found at the Library of Congress, and attributed to Colonel George Thom, Topographical Engineer): Obviously, someone had a lot more time on his hands... Regards Ozzy
  24. For anyone who has never read a Staff Ride Guidebook, this is your opportunity... Staff Ride Handbook for the Battle of Shiloh, 6-7 April 1862, by LtCol Jeffrey Gudmens USA; Combat Studies Institute Press, Fort Leavenworth, KS [2003], 160 pages. A no-nonsense description of the environment, leaders, troops and weapons involved in the Battle of Shiloh, designed for use by officers-in-training during a visit to the battlefield, experiencing in 3-D what it was like for the original participants. And providing a hands-on opportunity to second guess the leaders, or at least, better understand t
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