Sarah Bell's Cotton Field

Ole Miss

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Sarah Bell's Cotton Field, located on the Confederate right flank, was the scene of heavy fighting all during the Battle of Shiloh. It ran North from the Hambug/Purdy Road with the woods adjacent to Davis' Wheat Field bordering on the West and the Hamburg/Purdy road to the East. It ran into her Peach Orchard in the North end with the Sunken Road entering in from the Northwest.

During the fighting on the Sunday, elements of the Confederate brigades of Adams (Gladden), Bowen, Chalmers, Jackson and Statham attacked the Federals across Bell’s Cotton Field as well as her adjacent Peach Orchard. Units from Hurlburt’s 4th​ Division, W.H.L. Wallce’s 2nd​ Division and Prentiss’ 6th​ Division held the North end of the field till later that afternoon when a general withdrawal was ordered.

Hundreds of men lost their lives in this 30 plus acre small cotton filed and even more wounded. It is believed that General Johnston received his fatal wound while leading and organizing soldiers. There are no known Confederate Burial Trenches on the Eastern side of the battlefield, yet a member of the 8th​ Ohio who established their camp Monday night just South of the cotton field graphically described burying dead Rebels on Tuesday morning.

Heavy details began burying the dead that same afternoon. On our immediate front, at least, the rebels were generally buried first, the Union dead being left longer, in order to afford surviving friends opportunities for recognizing them. A hundred yards from Company B's place of bivouac, the burial party dug a trench about fifty feet long, six feet wide, and three or four feet deep, toward which they continued bringing rebel dead nearly all the afternoon. I saw more than twenty bodies lying on the edge of the trench at one time.”

I have a few photos of Sarah Bell’s Cotton Field to I will share.
Regards
David
Looking North from near the Hamburg/Purdy Road with the George Manse Cabin in the background

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Ole Miss

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This view is from the North looking South with Mann's Battery and what is left of the Peach Orchard in the background. The Confederate lines were along the farthest tree line due South several hundred yards away.
Regards
David
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This view is from behind Mann's Battery about midfield facing South with the Confederate lines along the far tree line
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Ole Miss

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This photo shows the location of the 6th Ohio Monday night with the woods beyond it where I suspect an unknown Confederate Burial Trench might exist. All pure speculation on my part of course.
Regards
David
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U. S.
ARMY OF THE OHIO.
Ammen's (10th) Brigade,
36th INDIANA, 24th OHIO,
6th OHIO,
Nelson's (4th) Division.
This brigade, on the left of the Union Army, drove the
enemy from this position at 2 p.m. April 7, 1862 and
held it, without opposition, the remainder
of the afternoon. It bivouacked
here Monday night.
 

Ole Miss

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This is the campsite of the 71st Ohio, which was just west of the campsite of the 6th Ohio. The suspected Confederate Burial Trench would be in the left background of the photo. This sign is about 80 yards from the Hamburg/Purdy Road just South of the Confederate lines.
Regards
David
1588469032243.png


U. S.
Camp of
71st OHIO INFANTRY,
Stuart's (2d) Brig., Sherman's (5th) Div.,
ARMY OF THE TENNESSEE.

First position in line of battle April 6, 1862,
was 3/4 mile east, at the left of 55th Ill. camp.





 

Ole Miss

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This photo was taken of the Peach Orchard a few years after the battle. I am unsure of the exact direction it is facing but suspect it is West. I am sure @16thAL or @TomP will have a better idea for sure. This photo is from the National Park Civil Series cited below*.
Regards
David
@16thAL informs me this view is towards the Northwest which would be the "Hornet's Nest" line.
Thank you Kevin for the correction.
Regards
David

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*https://www.nps.gov/parkhistory/online_books/civil_war_series/22/sec6.htm
 
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16thAL

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This photo was taken of the Peach Orchard a few years after the battle. I am unsure of the exact direction it is facing but suspect it is West. I am sure @16thAL or @TomP will have a better idea for sure. This photo is from the National Park Civil Series cited below*.
Regards
David

View attachment 357211
*https://www.nps.gov/parkhistory/online_books/civil_war_series/22/sec6.htm
At first glance it looks like it was taken from the now woods I was in Sunday . To your left is where Colonell Forrest would have been seen leading his troops
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16thAL

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Just think , on Friday this was a serene peaceful field ready for planting . On Sunday it saw horrors that would scar survivors forever .
 

Ole Miss

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Excellent informative articles with superb photos. Such information is welcomed by those of us that aren’t near hollowed ground such as this. Thank you for sharing.
I will share more materials to share with others and thank you for your interest in this battle
Regards
David
 

Ole Miss

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This picture is from Harper's Mississippi Battery facing toward the Northwest corner of Sarah Bell's Cotton Field with the Manse Cabin and Ross' Battery B, 2nd Michigan Light Artillery in view. Later in the afternoon, Ross' Battery was retreated to the North and was captured as Prentiss' line collapsed.
Regards
David
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bdtex

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Great thread. I don't know how I missed it. Pics and commentary are very informative.
 

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