Interesting primary sources on Shiloh?

Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

Brianruns10

Cadet
Joined
Dec 30, 2011
Messages
9
Hi All,

I'm doing research for a documentary on the Battle of Shiloh, and I've got all the usual texts at hand. But I want more, I want fresh stuff beyond David Reed or Leander Stillwell or Sam Watkins.

If you're aware of any interesting first person accounts, diaries, journals, recollections, anything at all, I'd love to hear from you. The more obscure the better, so long as it's a good story. Bonus points if it has to do with the 9th Illinois or the 6th Mississippi.

Best,

BR
 

Championhilz

First Sergeant
Joined
Mar 18, 2011
Messages
1,096
Location
Clinton, Mississippi
Here's a few sources on the 6th Mississippi:

Lockwood, Theodore Prentiss. [Pvt., 2nd, 1st Lt., Co. F] Reminiscence. Located in the
Lockwood Collection, J. D. Williams Library, University of Mississippi,
University, MS. In his reminiscence Lockwood discusses the Battles of Shiloh,
Tennessee, and Kennesaw Mountain, Georgia.


Thompson, William Candace. [Ensign, 5th Sgt., Co. H, Capt., F&S] “From Shiloh to
Port Gibson: An Eyewitness Account.” Civil War Times Illustrated 3 (October
1964): 20-25.


This is a good Shiloh source from a soldier in the 15th Mississippi Infantry:

Mecklin, Augustus Hervey. [Pvt., Co. I] Diary, 1861-1862. Located in the Augustus
Hervey Mecklin Papers, Catalog # Z 0526.000, Mississippi Department of
Archives and History, Jackson, MS.


_____. “The Battle of Shiloh.” Memphis Commercial Appeal. Memphis, TN: 8 May
1921. A copy is in the collections of the Old Court House Museum, Vicksburg, MS.

Here's a sample of Mecklin's article on Shiloh:

Then it was when the veil of night was rent and the curtain of darkness was lifted, that sickening sights fell before my eyes. Near me at one time lay a dead man, his bloated, ghastly, bloody face turned up to the pattering rain drops. Not far off another flare revealed a body half covered up in a pool of water. At another flash I saw one of our men stumble over a corpse that lay in the road and again as the light of heaven flashed across this scene of blood I saw a large piece of ground literally covered with dead, heaped and piled upon each other.

Private Augustus H. Mecklin on the retreat from Shiloh.

Memphis Commercial Appeal, May 8, 1921.
 
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

TerryB

Major
Joined
Dec 7, 2008
Messages
9,666
Location
Nashville TN
It's also true of Shiloh that CS officers were writing fairly detailed after action reports, and they continued to do so at Murfreesboro. After that, they just don't seem to have had the time.
 

TerryB

Major
Joined
Dec 7, 2008
Messages
9,666
Location
Nashville TN
BTW, I did some research on the Roland whose execution Watkins witnessed. It's a true story, born out both by Rowland/Roland's records and an account in a Nashville newspaper that was still pro-Confederate as of April 1862.
 

phil1861

Sergeant
Joined
Oct 6, 2011
Messages
495
Location
Albuquerque, NM
You might want to read some after the war articles submitted to journals at the time like New Century Magazine; there are online .pdf files.

http://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=inu.32000000492456;skin=mobile#page/vi/mode/2up

This has both Grant's reminiscence and that of A.S.Johnston's son.

Bay State Monthly has an interesting article written by Lew Wallace regarding his record at Shiloh. I've read through the official records of the Rebellion regarding Grant's reports at the time and those of some of his staff.

There's also in the North American Review dated 1866 (also online) an article by Beauregard answering charges leveled against him by Johnston's son in the Century Magazine peice. Though these are written long after the fact, they highlight some interesting controversies surrounding Shiloh.

Phillip M Bryant, author blog
 
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

johan_steele

Regimental Armorer
Retired Moderator
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Messages
14,957
Location
South of the North 40
William Pfaender
Lt, 1st Battery MN Lt Arty

Following letter addresses to Alexander Ramsey after the battle of Shiloh

Dear Sir: The people of our state are probably anxious to learn the fate of the Minnesota volunteers who fought at the late battle of Pittsburg, Tenn; and as the First Minnesota Battery was the only representative of our state in the terrible fight, I deem it my duty to send you a short account of the proceedings on the memorable 6th of April.

At our arrival here on the 18th of March, we were attached to the Fourth Brigade of General Sherman’s Division but a very few days before the battle alluded to all the artillery and calvary forces were attached as independent commands to the six divisions of General Grants army. Under this new arrangement we were attached to General Prentiss division, and on Saturday the 5th moved to our new camp, immediately on the right of General Prentiss headquarters. The organization of our division was not complete yet. Several new Wisconsin regiments had just arrived from Milwaukee and took their camps a little to the and in front of our camp. Still our line was the advance of the left wing, and although it was generally believed after the skirmish on Friday, the 4th of April, that considerable rebel forces were close to our line. No precautionary measures seem to have been taken, for outpost were only about a mile beyond our camp.

Sunday morning came, bright as a Minnesota summer morning; the boys were all busy to get the camp in as good order as possible when, at about half past seven o’clock, we suddenly received orders to get ready immediately and to move to the front of our camp. Up to this time we had no idea of the terrible work before us, and all thought that probably a reconnoitering expedition was intended. In a very short time we were ready and started out, following the Fifth Ohio Battery, whose camp joins ours. Now, we heard a few shots and hurried on as fast as possibly; but scarcely had we reached the camp in front when a lively musket fire was opened on our infantry. Immediately after leaving the first row of tents, we formed battery under most galling fire from the rebel skirmishes, and almost simultaneously with the Fifth Ohio Battery, opened dire artillery fire of the day.

At our arrival at the scene of action, our infantry were already retreating in every direction, and very soon, instead of being covered by our infantry, we were left behind alone covering the retreat of our running protectors. The Fifth Ohio Battery had lost some horses and now fell back, leaving several pieces in the hands of the enemy. One of our men and two horses were killed before we commenced firing; another and third one, all belonging to my section, were wounded in quick succession. Now, Captain Munch’s horse was shot in the head and immediately afterwards the captain himself was severally wounded in the leg. My horse was wounded in both fore legs. Several others horses had received severe injuries and our pistion became extremely critical. The enemy had already outflanked us, and only a retreat could save the battery from being taken; consequently, we left our position and under a perfect storm of bullets, reformed close to our camp, where in connection with the remaining forces of the Fifth Ohio Battery, we again opened with spherical case and canister, and continued firing until all of our infantry had again given way and enemy was pressing in upon us on all sides.

Our division now fell behind the line coming to support, under General Hurlbut, and after a short rest General Prentiss formed the remainder of the division again on the left centre of our line. Two of our rifled pieces had by this time been rendered unserviceable and were ordered to the rear. The remaining four pieces had by this time been rendered unserviceable and were ordered to the rear. The remaining four pieces took their position under the direct orders of General Prentiss. The terrible work was now progressing rapidly. The rebel made the fierce attacks successively on the centre, the right and left wings ever trying to find the weakest point and always shifting their forces from one another. At the point where I was stationed, on the right of one Cavender’s Missouri Batteries the enemy made several ineffective efforts to break our centre with his artillery, which we silenced three times, and kept his infantry in respectful distance.
 

johan_steele

Regimental Armorer
Retired Moderator
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Messages
14,957
Location
South of the North 40
Lieutenant Peebles maintained his position on our left nobly, and at a charge of the Louisiana regiment, completely mowed them down with canister. The enemy however also took good aim; two of our Cannoneers were here killed and Lieutenant Peebles severely wounded in the jaw, Sergeants Clayton and Connor severally wounded and a number of horses killed.

The attack of the enemy now became desperate along the whole line; our left wing gave way the rebel were also gaining on our right agnd while we kept them continually in check in the centre, the bullets already commenced to come in at our rear, showing that our left wing was thrown entirely and that we would shortly be cut off. At this moment Brigadier General Wallace ordered us to retreat and we commenced to move off in good order. Passing down through a narrow valley we say rebels advancing in large numbers upon our right wing, and coming up a hill which commanded their line, we commenced throwing canister at them, but were soon obliged to fall back and amid a terrible crossfire which treatment to kill every man and horse, which we all here miraculously escaped unhurt.

Arriving at the bluffs of the Pittsburg Landing, I tried to get the whole battery in the best possible condition again and succeeded, by dismounting and changing pieces to get five pieces in good shape at least able to open fire again. Our batteries now took their posts in order to repulse the expected attack of the last position; we located our five pieces, together with Marllgrafs Eighth Ohio Battery on a hill commanding a large ravine and subjecting the enemy to a cross fire of eleven pieces in case of an attack. General Buell’s forces had by this time arrived on the opposite side of the river and commenced crossing over. This caused great rejoicing and inspired the men for the coming struggle. The rebels knew that this last attack would decide the day, and at about six o’clock in the evening opened fire on us again. I had just come over to the centre to ascertain the position of our forces, in order to render our fire more effectively. When the enemies shells commenced flying over our heads in the direction of the river and a few moments afterwards the pieces of the First Minnesota Battery joined in such a cannonade as has never been witnessed on this continent. It was really majestic, and no army would have been able to take that position. General Beauregard had found out by this time that he could not water his horse in the Tennessee river that evening and fell back to our camps just after dark. A heavy rain storm had drenched us thoroughly during Sunday night yet the Minnesota Battery was ready for another trial and being without an immediate commander (as General Prentiss had been taken prisoner) I reported to General Grant who learning our position ordered me to keep the same until further orders and as Monday’s fight was mostly done by General Buells forces who had been crossing all night and steadily poured in, we remained there until we were removed to our old camp again.

Our boys have behaved nobly and I am satisfied they have shown themselves worthy of their state and people. I add, Minnesota was the first to volunteer its men for service. In most critical moments of that bloody day they exhibited an astonishing coolness and bravery. Even with their numbers diminished they served their guns like old soldier, and while many batteries lost part or all of their pieces, we have satisfaction that we have brought out every piece that was brought into the conflict.

As the attack was so unexpected our baggage teams had been lost almost everything in our possession for the whole camp was thoroughly plundered on Sunday night. The newspapers will have so much to say about the battle of Pittsburg that it is unnecessarily for me to add much more. I will only state in regard to the killed and wounded that from what I have seen, the number of killed and wounded on both sides cannot be less than 10000.

Yours most respectfully W. Pfaender
First Lietenant, Commanding First Minnesota Battery
 
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!
Top