Monday, May 26, 2008

Siege Artillery

Illinois Siege Guns, 2d Regiment--Artillery
Commanded by Captain Relly Madison
Back of monument:
This battery of Siege guns was the nucleus around which was rallied the line that successfully resisted the attack of Sunday evening, April 6, 1862. There were no casualties.
These guns never moved from Grant's Last Line. It was Colonel Joseph Dana Webster, Grant's chief of staff, who decided to move these guns from the Landing to their location in the last line defenses. The guns had been brought to the landing in anticipation of their future use at Corinth. Now the heavy guns were dragged up the hill and became part of the final defense. They were way to heavy to advance on the field of battle so on the second day of battle they stood ready in case disaster should befall Grant's army but this was unlikely.

There are only two pictures that exist of Shiloh in the days after the battle. One is of the siege guns and the other is of the boats at the landing. Why there are only two and who took them remains a mystery. My guess is that for whatever reason the photographer's supplies only permitted two. Either he was from Savannah and only had enough for two pictures or he came down the river and his supplies were damaged along the way only allowing him two pictures. Or perhaps he took a ton of pictures but in the trip back home to publish them only these two survived.
Colonel Joseph Dana Webster, the man who decided to use the siege guns at all in the battle.

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