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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, and was appointed Colonel, with date of rank 9 August 1861.

The 25th Indiana was sent to Missouri, and arrived in time to take part in Major General Fremont’s march on Springfield; after which, the 25th Indiana took part in an operation near Warrensburg that resulted in capture of over one thousand Rebels. After marching those captured men away to confinement, the 25th Indiana was assigned to Benton Barracks until February 1862, when it was sent away, too late to participate in the Capture of Fort Henry (but available for the Operation against Fort Donelson.) Following in support of the 2nd Iowa during the memorable charge on the afternoon of 15 February, the 25th Indiana suffered forty additional casualties to add to 14 killed and 60 wounded already sustained since February 12th, and gained favourable mention in Brigadier General C.F. Smith’s report (OR 52 page 9.)

Afterwards attached to the new Fourth Division (BGen Stephen Hurlbut) the 25th Indiana was assigned to the 2nd Brigade and accompanied General Smith’s expedition up the Tennessee River in March 1862 (with James Veatch, as senior Colonel, assigned to brigade command.) Allowed to debark from steamers on about 18 March, the 2nd Brigade camped about one mile west of Pittsburg Landing, with the remainder of the Fourth Division extending towards the south. On the morning of 6 April 1862, the 2nd Brigade was detached by Stephen Hurlbut and sent west to support Brigadier General Sherman; but before reaching Sherman, the brigade under Colonel Veatch was engaged in vicinity of McClernand’s First Division, and spent the remainder of Day One near the center of the battlefield, in support and at times extending McClernand’s left… and took severe casualties, before falling back to Grant's Last Line. On Day Two, the survivors of Veatch’s Brigade were caught up in the final Federal charge (conducted by General Grant) which is credited with “driving the Rebels from the field.” For his competent leadership, James Veatch was promoted Brigadier General, to date from 28 April 1862.

Following Shiloh, Brigadier General Veatch took part in the Siege of Corinth (still in command of the 2nd Brigade) and was subsequently engaged at Hatchie’s Bridge (where he was wounded, struck in the side by a grape shot.) After spending time recovering, and on detached duty, General Veatch took part in Sherman’s Meridian Campaign, and was involved in Sherman’s 1864 drive toward Atlanta. Taking sick leave just before the Battle for Atlanta, Veatch returned to active service in time to participate in the Battle for Fort Blakely (Alabama) in April 1865. He resigned in August 1865, and was brevetted Major General.

Following return to civilian life in Indiana, General Veatch resumed politics, and served in a variety of capacities. He died in 1895 of heart disease, and is buried in Rockport, Indiana.

References:   http://www.findagrave.com/memorial/5897067/james-clifford-veatch

OR 52 pages 9 (General Smith's Fort Donelson report) and page 10 (Jacob Lauman's Fort Donelson report)

OR 10 page 122 (General McClernand's Shiloh report) Veatch mention

OR 10 page 203 (General Hurlbut's report) Veatch mention

OR 10 pages 219 - 221 (Colonel Veatch's report, with mention of Grant's Charge on Day Two) 

http://stream/reportofadjutant02indi#page/250   Indiana Civil War, volume Two (25th Indiana Infantry)

http://books.google.com.au/books?redir_esc=y&id=epbbg1CA4CAC&q=Veatch#v=snippet&q=Veatch&f=false  Medical Histories of Union Generals (Jack Welsh)





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Mona and Transylvania

Thanks for reminding us that Tony Willoughby created these valuable video records, the two above relating the story of James Veatch on Day One ( operating near the center of the battlefield) and Day Two (involved with Grant's Charge in the afternoon.) Bjorn Skaptason does an admirable job presenting the Story of Veatch (detached from Hurlbut;s Fourth Division to support Federal forces further west.) And, as Mr. Skaptason admits: "As political generals go, Veatch did pretty good" [minute mark 5:30 of first video.]

All the best



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The Great Debate

In 1883 following on the release to the public of the first dozen volumes of the Official Records of the War of the Rebellion, two Generals from Indiana engaged in an astonishing debate -- beginning at Farragut G.A.R. Post of Evansville, where both presented their views in January -- and which continued on the pages of the Newspaper of Union Civil War Veterans, the National Tribune.

Major General Alvin Hovey defended his view that the Union Army under General Grant was surprised at Shiloh; while Major General James Veatch presented his rebuttal over the course of four columns on Page One of the 15 March 1883 issue:   http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn82016187/1883-03-15/ed-1/seq-1/  

You are invited to have a read, compare the statements of Generals Veatch and Hovey, and if you feel so inclined, post your comments.



N.B.  Alvin Hovey's Shiloh article is here: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn82016187/1883-04-05/ed-1/seq-1/  and more information regarding this Veteran of Battle of Shiloh can be found at SDG post "Alvin Hovey, 24th Indiana" of 30 AUG 2018.




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