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Confederate Regiments in Need of More Sources


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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 it clear that the regiment became detached on April 7 after McCook stormed Duncan Field. Trabue mentions that a report was filed.

 

4th Alabama Battalion (Clifton’s)

I found a set of letters in a private collection, but they end on the eve of battle sadly. Trabue’s report though is good, but does not say what happened to it for important sections of the battle on both days.

 

15th Arkansas

There is Cleburne’s report, which is good, but no sources from anyone in the regiment itself.

 

3rd Confederate (18th Arkansas)

The OR is good for this on April 6, less so on April 7, save its part in the battle’s final hours.

 

1st Florida Battalion

The OR is vague on what the regiment did on April 6 and 7 outside of Anderson’s excellent report. There is the William D. Rogers Letters at the State Archives of Florida, but more is needed

 

3rd Kentucky

This regiments gets little mention in Trabue’s report. There is a letter at SNMP that indicates it was thoroughly shot up in Trabue’s first fight with the Union, but they were not under Trabue’s eye.

 

20th Louisiana

This one almost did not make the cut. We do have a letter reposted in an article. It’s a decent letter, but has little to say about April 7, while the OR report is vague about April 6.

 

Blythe’s Mississippi (44th Mississippi)

The OR is good for this regiment all things considered. I have only found one first hand source and it is a rather vague.

 

2nd Tennessee (Walker’s)

The OR is decent enough, but there are no other first hand sources I have found.

 

15th Tennessee

The OR is decent enough, but there are no other first hand sources I have found. This is even more intriguing since one of its companies was from Illinois.

 

28th Tennessee

There is Spencer Talley’s diary in the Tennessee State Library and Archives but it is vague. Beyond that there are the markers at SNMP

 

44th Tennessee

This is for personal reasons. Wood’s report, the regiment’s report, and Wood’s letter to Davis all make it pretty clear where and what this regiment was doing. I just wanna see if I can spy a reference to Samuel Chick in some account by a private.

 

45th Tennessee

There is nothing save the markers at SNMP. This regiment might be the most obscure among the infantry.

 

55th Tennessee (McKoin’s)

I found an issue of Confederate Veteran about the attack at Duncan Field around 11:30 a.m. on April 6. Outside of that there is not much. Thankfully though we do have Wood’s excellent report and a letter he sent to Jefferson Davis, but what they did on April 7 is unclear besides returning to the battle. My hunch is they fought with the 16th Alabama.

 

 

Cavalry

 

1st Louisiana Cavalry

They were there, just every source on them is fairly vague. Still, they were likely unengaged.

 

 

Artillery

 

Robert’s Battery (Clarke County Light Artillery, Arkansas)

All we have is position marker for Ruggles’ April 6 battery. Nothing else. It gets the award for biggest mystery unit of the battle, rivaled by the 45th Tennessee

 

Major Francis Shoup: Helena Artillery (Calvert’s Arkansas) in particular, Hubbard’s Battery (Jackson Light Artillery, Arkansas), Trigg’s Battery (Austin Artillery, Arkansas)

All three batteries have holes, but the real mystery is Calvert, who disappears after Sherman camp is seized. One wishes Shoup had written a slightly more detailed account (although his has some great snark) or that references to “Shoup’s battery” were more detailed.

 

Watson Artillery

I have found enough references that I have figured out where they were the late afternoonof April 6 and on April 7. I just wonder about the morning and early afternoon of April 6. I suspected they gave artillery support before Johnston made the attack that claimed his life, but of that I have no source to lean on.

 

Smith’s Battery (Mississippi)

The mystery here is what they did on the afternoon of April 6.

 

Company A 1st Tennessee Light Artillery (McClung’s Tennessee)

What they did on April 7 is well known enough, April 6 less so which is quite rare. All I have found is reference to a Tennessee battery with a smliar name taking heavy losses at Jones Field as per Belknap’s history of the 15th Iowa. I conjecture they were there in the afternoon and took heavy losses. It might also explain their backwater status for much of the war.

 

 

Commanders

 

Colonel Robert G. Shaver

He was wounded on April 7. What his brigade did after that is a mystery.

 

Colonel Winfield S. Statham

Not only is there no report by Statham but none by his regiment commanders. We thankfully have good accounts by all the regiments save 28th and 45th Tennessee

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