Thursday, August 28, 2008

Alfred Edward Mathews

Alfred E. Mathews was the son of a book publisher who was raised in an environment of music and art. He became a typesetter and an itinerant bookseller in New England, but was also a talented landscape drawer. Sometime in 1859 or 1860 Mathews traveled to the south and became a school teacher in Tuskaloosa County, Alabama. When the Civil War began Mathews was forced to join an Alabama militia company. His Unionist sentiments though precluded him joining a Confederate unit and so he soon began a trek back home to Ohio, taking a circuitous route through Mississippi, Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas and Missouri until he reached Chicago on May 28th. After arriving in Ohio he joined Battery A of the 1st Ohio Light Artillery but was eventually transferred to the 31st Ohio as a musician.[1]

Mathews was known for his battle field sketches before Shiloh and would grow to greater fame after Shiloh. One of his first war sketches was of the battle of Wildcat Mountain, which he sketched on October 21st, 1861. A few months later, on January 19th he would sketch the death of Confederate General Felix Zollicoffer at the battle of Mill Springs. This sketch was turned into an engraving by Walton Taber and this engraving is believed by some historians to be the most accurate artist rendition of Zollicoffer’s death. He also had two sketches of the war in Kentucky published in the November 23rd, 1861 edition of Harper’s Weekly.[2]

The 16th Ohio’s surgeon, B.B. Brashear, wrote his hometown newspaper on March 12th, 1862, “I had the pleasure to meet A. E. Mathews formerly of New Philadelphia. He is on ‘extra duty’ as artist for that Regiment [31st Ohio]. I saw some of his sketches. They are all good. His lithograph view of “Boon’s Knob” where the turnpike crosses the Kentucky River, is very beautiful and true. He has his drawings lithographed in Cincinnati. When I parted with him he was on his way to the lithographer’s with his sketch of the battle of Mill Springs, or Webb’s Cross Roads.”[3]

General Ulysses S. Grant personally commended him for his battle sketches, illustrations, panoramic depictions of the War in the deep South, and topographical work. On August 9th, 1863 Grant wrote Mathews, “I have examined the lithographs of views taken by you of the ‘Siege of Vicksburg,’ and do not hesitate to pronounce them among the most accurate and true to life I have ever seen. They reflect great credit upon you as a delineator of landscape views.” When Mathews later toured the country with his lithographs he carried endorsements from Generals Thomas, Sherman, Logan, Rosecrans, Pope and McPherson, as well as Grant.[4]

There are five sketches made by Mathews of the Shiloh area in known existence. He made sketches of Shiloh Church, Shiloh Spring, Pittsburg Landing and the gunboats Tyler and Lexington. His sketch of Shiloh Church has the following caption in the Voices of the Civil War: Shiloh, “Two days before the battle, AE Mathews of the 31st Ohio Infantry sketched the humble log meeting house known as Shiloh Church. Following the engagement, Mathews’ drawing was published in the form of a lithograph.[5]” Upon examining the lithograph in the Western History collection at the Denver Public Library it is not clear how the editors of Voices of the Civil War: Shiloh were able to determine when it was sketched as there is no date on the lithograph. Mathews’ Shiloh lithographs were produced by the Cincinnati lithographic firms of Ehrgott, Forbriger & Co and Middleton, Strobridge & Co.[6] The other sketch Mathews made was of the 14th Wisconsin capture of a Confederate battery, entitled “Charge and taking of a New Orleans battery by the Fourteenth Regiment, Wisconsin Volunteers, Monday, April 7, 1862.”[7]

All of this does nothing to prove where Mathews was when he sketched the charge of the 14th Wisconsin. On April 7th his regiment was miles away from Shiloh and wouldn’t arrive at Shiloh until the fighting was over. There is a possibility though that Mathews was on detached service from his regiment specifically to do sketches of battles. His regiment was not near the site of Zollicoffer’s death at the battle of Mill Springs yet his sketch is considered one of the most accurate and so perhaps he was allowed to roam battlefields and was near Zollicoffer when he died. Perhaps as the Army of the Ohio neared Shiloh Mathews was requested by General Buell to leave his regiment and make sketches of the battle. It is odd that Mathews would make a sketch of the church two days before the battle and then only make one sketch of the battle, apparently he made no sketches of actions on the first day.

There are 38 Civil War sketches by Mathews in existence today. Judging by the list of sketches it is clear that Mathews was not always with his regiment. He makes sketches of events that his regiment was no where near, sometimes by hundreds of miles. Two such events are his sketches of the battle of Jackson, Mississippi and the siege of Vicksburg. From Mathews’ sketches four paintings were made of the siege of Vicksburg. Later he made a four piece panorama of the battles in the Western theater which included the siege of Vicksburg, the battle of Stones River, the battle of Chattanooga and Sherman’s March to the Sea. During the siege of Vicksburg his regiment was operating in the Murfreesboro-Tullahoma area a few hundred miles northeast of Vicksburg yet Grant called the sketches of Vicksburg the “most accurate and true to life I have ever seen.” All of this casts further doubt as to where Mathews was and to whom he reported. No sketches of his exist for the battle of Chickamauga but he arrived in time to make several sketches of the battle of Chattanooga. It is possible that sometime after the battle of Stones River Mathews was ordered to Grant’s army to sketch the siege of Vicksburg. Then he appeared in Chattanooga sometime after the battle of Chickamauga but before Grant arrived as he sketched General Thomas’ Corps in Chattanooga. Upon Grant’s arrival Thomas was elevated from corps command to command of the Army of the Cumberland.[8]

Most of Mathews’ lithographs have an explanation on them as to what units are depicted on the sketch. Among his pre-Shiloh lithographs there are none depicting Thomas’ division. Of the seven pre-Shiloh sketches only one depicts the 31st Ohio, that of Chaplain Drake preaching to the 31st Ohio. His other sketches depict Fort Anderson in Paducah, Kentucky; the first Union dress parade in Nashville; the Female Seminary in Nashville; the Battle of Wildcat Mountain; Zollicoffer’s death at Mill Springs; and Union troops crossing Fishing Creek. General Crittenden is to be found in the sketches of Zollicoffer’s death at Mill Springs and Union troops crossing Fishing Creek. The 14th Wisconsin was temporarily attached to Crittenden’s division at Shiloh and it is possible that during this period of the war Mathews was following Crittenden’s division either officially or on his own. It seems clear from his later work that he pretty much roamed as he wished. His sketch of the battle at Jackson, Mississippi shows the attack made by Sanborn and Boomer’s brigades. At Perryville he is near Starkweather’s brigade. At Stones River he has one sketch of Starkweather and Scribner’s brigades and another of Walker’s brigade. Walker’s brigade included the 31st Ohio and Walker was the former commander of that unit. His sketches of Vicksburg focus on Logan’s troops. In September 1862 during the campaign that would culminate in the battle of Perryville he sketched the 103rd Ohio at Fort Mitchell in Cincinnati and the 121st Ohio crossing pontoons at Cincinnati. At Chattanooga one of his sketches shows the entire battlefield as sketched from the north side of the river where no troops were stationed at the time of the sketch.

After the war Mathews traveled extensively through the west. In 1866 he published Pencil Sketches of Colorado, followed a year later by Pencil Sketches of Montana. His third book, Gems of Rocky Mountain Scenery he lithographed himself in New York. He also did sketches of Nebraska and California and was working on the first commercial fish hatchery in northern Colorado before his death in 1874.[9]

[1] Mathews, Alfred E. Interesting Narrative; being a journal of the flight of Alfred E. Mathews. (Denver: Nolie Mumey, 1961) p 7. Mumey, Nolie. Alfred Edward Mathews 1832-1874. (Boulder, CO: Johnson Publishing, 1961) p 27. Official Roster of the Soldiers of the State of Ohio in the War of the Rebellion 1861-1866. Cincinnati: Wilstach, Baldwin & Co., 1886. Vol 3, p 447.
[2] Taft, Robert. “The Pictorial Record of the Old West, VII: Alfred E Mathews.” Kansas Historical Quarterly. Volume XVII, Number 2. (Topeka: Kansas State Historical Society, May 1949) p 106.
[4] Unidentified newspaper clipping in the Western History Department Denver Public Library. Central City, Daily Miners’ Register. December 1, 1865, p 3. December 2, 1865, p 3. Copies in the Western History Department Denver Public Library. Draper, Benjamin. Alfred Edward Mathews: Soldier, Pioneer, and Delineator. Antiques. (March 1939) Copy in the Western History Department Denver Public Library. p 128. Mumey, Alfred Edward Mathews, p 27.
[5] Voices of the Civil War: Shiloh. p 96.
[6] Accessed June 1, 2002. Taft, “Alfred E Mathews.” pp 105-6.
[7] Aberbethy, Private Elisha Stockwell, p 18.
[8] Dyer, Frederick H. A Compendium of the War of the Rebellion. (Dayton, OH: Morningside, 1994) Vol 2, p 1511. Taft, “Alfred E Mathews.” pp 105-6. Draper, Alfred Edward Mathews, p 128.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

14th Wisconsin

This is a very long post, sorry for the length but I could not figure out a good place, or two, to cut it.

On the morning of April 6th, while the booming of cannon and rattle of musketry indicated that the battle of Shiloh had begun, the 14th Wisconsin lay all day at Savannah, nine miles below Pittsburg Landing on the east side of the river[1]. During the evening of April 6th a member of Grant’s staff found the 14th Wisconsin in camp at Savannah and ordered them to the front. Each man soon received 40 rounds of ammunition, took whatever rations were around and within an hour were on board a steamer bound for Pittsburg Landing.[2] Private Elisha Stockwell said that the colonel gathered the men, said they had permission to go to Pittsburg Landing and asked if they wanted to go. “It seemed to me as if everyone shouted yes. I kept my mouth shut tight, but I knew I would have to go with the crowd. I felt I would just as soon stay where we were.”[3] Private William H Tucker also said that the 14th Wisconsin was given a choice of going to the front or not. He said that Grant’s staff officer told them that two of the three regiments at Savannah could go to the front and that the 14th Wisconsin was the first he came upon. If they turned the offer down he would simply order the other two to the front. The officers of the 14th Wisconsin had only one answer, to go.[4] As the men came down from Savannah they heard many rumors. Jim Newton heard that the 18th Wisconsin had been cut to pieces which he admitted was “as near true as it could be,” and that the army had been “completely whipped out & that they were running in every direction.”[5]

James Randall said that the order to go to Pittsburg Landing came at about 4 P.M. and although the regiment was ready in twenty minutes it was not until 8 P.M. that they boarded the boat for the trip up the river. Due to the boat being heavily loaded the trip took three hours to travel eight miles. The long trip gave the men time to reflect on the coming battle. According to Randall some men slept and others boasted of what they expected to bravely accomplish the next day. Randall sat on the deck with Sergeant Charles Drake, a forty year old bachelor and “one of the best men in the regiment.” Although nearly strangers to each other Drake poured out his heart to Randall, explaining why he never married. “Death had taken the only one he had ever cared for, now he was walking life’s journey alone. . . . The recital seemed to cause him to grieve, yet he talked of nothing else on the trip.”[6]

The landing was reached between 10 and 11 o’clock and the men, 730 in all, marched up the bluff into line on the Corinth-Pittsburg Road and remained there until morning.* Being unable to get orders from headquarters Colonel Wood accepted the request of Colonel William Sooy Smith to join his brigade, the 14th brigade of the 5th division (Brigadier General Thomas L. Crittenden’s) of the Army of the Ohio, in the morning.[7] Here they stayed all night exposed to a heavy rain without any shelter.[8] Captain Magdeburg remembered that the men and officers became thoroughly wet during the night. Some men lay down on their rubber blankets but ended up getting muddy as well as wet.[9] Newton recalled that they used their India rubber blankets and kept “comparatively dry though we had to stand up all the time to do so.”[10] Stockwell slept that night like the mules did, standing up. “I put my blanket over my shoulders, stuck my bayonet in the ground, leaned my chin on the butt of my gun.”[11] James Randall of Company B said that upon leaving the boats “we marched a few rods, formed a line and bivouacked for the night, exposed to a heavy rain.” Due to casualties in his company Randall was soon promoted to first sergeant and would later in the war become a captain in the 21st Wisconsin.[12] Arunah B Dwinell, also of Company B, remembered that a heavy rain was falling as the regiment bivouacked in line of battle. Dwinell would become sick after the battle and be discharged in the fall but would enlist in the 5th Wisconsin as an orderly sergeant in August 1864.[13]

Near the newly arrived Wisconsin soldiers were the wounded and the unburied dead. David La Counte, the 2nd assistant surgeon of the 14th Wisconsin found immediate need for his service among the wounded men. On the following day, he would be busy caring for the wounded of his own command as well.[14] Edgar P. Houghton later told what it was like to stand there, waiting:
It is the first time we have seen a battlefield. We clench our teeth and our faces assume the ashy pallor of death as we grasp the old Belgian rifles and move forward. . . . The thought uppermost in our minds was that we, too, might be numbered with the slain before the setting of the sun.[15]

As daylight broke the next day the 14th Wisconsin formed for battle among the dead from the previous day. Captain George Waldo of Company E told his men “to do our duty, . . . not a man should return to Manitowoc that proved a coward that day.”[16]

The actions of the 14th Wisconsin on the second day are quite confusing to completely ascertain due in large part to the normal fog of war that existed in any battle. At an early hour in the morning on April 7th the 14th Wisconsin was ordered to the front, marching down the Corinth-Pittsburg Road.. They were soon formed in line of battle about two miles south of the Landing on the main road to Corinth.[17] At this time Crittenden’s division was formed in two lines, Colonel William Sooy Smith’s brigade in front with Brigadier General Jeremiah T Boyle’s brigade behind them. The division was formed at the northern edge of Cloud Field where the Corinth Road and Hamburg-Savannah Road connect and become the Corinth-Pittsburg Road. Nelson’s division had marched out earlier and encountered Confederates south of Cloud Field near Wicker Field and Crittenden was soon ordered to advance to support Nelson’s right flank. To accomplish this his division first moved down the Corinth Road but soon split off to the left onto the Eastern Corinth Road. From its junction with the Hamburg-Savannah Road the Corinth Road runs mostly west before turning south near Water Oaks Pond and Shiloh Church. When the Eastern Corinth Road starts from the Corinth Road it runs south. A stranger to the battle field without a map could easily assume that the Corinth Road continues west and that the Eastern Corinth Road is the road to Corinth. This assumption would be false though as the Eastern Corinth Road ends at the Bark Road. Taking the Eastern Corinth Road would eventually lead you to Corinth as the Bark Road connects the Eastern Corinth Road and the Corinth Road, which does take you to Corinth. Most of the reports and reminisces talk about the regiment taking the “main road to Corinth.” Since nobody had a good map of the area it is impossible to now state if the soldiers thought the “main road to Corinth” was the Eastern Corinth Road or the Corinth Road. Most of the evidence points to their position as being along the Eastern Corinth Road and not the Corinth Road.

In 1864 William Sumner Dodge described the road network near Pittsburg Landing as follows: “From Pittsburg Landing a road leads direct to Corinth. A mile and a half out it forks, one branch being termed the lower Corinth road, running due south; the other, termed the ridge road, continues another mile in a westerly direction, then runs due south, parallel with the first.” By this description the 14th Wisconsin fought along the “lower Corinth road” and since Dodge refers to the other road as “the ridge road” it could be assumed that the “lower Corinth road” is the “main road to Corinth”. Later, however, Dodge gives an account of the fighting done by Buell's Second Division which contradicts that assumption. He wrote, “In this battle the Second Division performed well and nobly its part. The position it held was the vital one of the army - the main Corinth road leading to Pittsburg Landing.” The Second Division though fought in the area near Shiloh Church along the road that Dodge had earlier described as “the ridge road” and so by that description the “lower Corinth road” cannot be the “main road to Corinth”. Dodge included a map in his book that while not being very accurate does show the road network in enough generalities that it is understandable. What the map does a very poor job of is troop positions. It shows Crittenden's division stretched from the ridge road nearly to the Purdy road, with McCook's division next to the Purdy road (no Union forces advanced that far west). Its first day positions are so inaccurate as to be laughable. It shows four Confederate forces facing the river when the attack actually was made with the river on the right flank. The map has a spot north of the landing that looks to represent a campsite but it says “Prentis's taken.” It is unclear if that the cartographer means that is where Prentiss camp was or if that is where Prentiss surrendered. In either case it is wrong. Another inaccuracy on the map is that it has Owl Creek following into the Tennessee River south of the Landing. In reality Owl Creek flows into Snake Creek and Snake Creek flows in the Tennessee River north of the Landing.[18]

The first position markers at Shiloh for the 14th Wisconsin and Smith’s brigade are in Cloud Field near the Corinth-Pittsburg Road. According to these markers Smith’s brigade, with the 14th Wisconsin attached, advanced from the Cloud Field area at 8 AM.[19] There is nearly universal agreement that the 14th Wisconsin captured a Confederate battery at Shiloh. What there is considerable disagreement over is what battery was captured and where it was captured.

Major David Wilson Reed, the first official park historian at Shiloh, wrote that Crittenden’s division “was engaged along the Eastern Corinth Road and east of Duncan Field. . . . It advanced, capturing some guns; was repulsed and driven back to the road several times. At about 2 p.m. it gained and held the Hamburg-Purdy Road, which ended the fighting on this part of the line.”[20]

Colonel Wood, commanding the 14th Wisconsin, wrote in his official report that an Union battery on his left and right dueled with the Confederate battery in their front, about 165 yards away. The 14th Wisconsin was ordered to lie down because an attack was anticipated in this area. The Confederate artillery fire did little damage as they fired too high.[21] Wood then says that the 14th Wisconsin "arose, commenced firing, and advanced, which caused the enemy hastily to withdraw their battery and fall back. Our line steadily advanced upon the enemy’s lines, causing them to slowly fall back, contesting, however, every inch of ground. Their battery had been replanted at the distance of about three-fourths of a mile from where our line had been formed. Coming a second time in the vicinity of this battery, which was in a great measure concealed by the timber, I ordered my regiment to advance and take it, which they did, Lieutenant George Staley spiking one of the guns and a private spiking another. Captain Waldo, Company E, as well as a number of privates, fell at this time. My regiment, being new, in their excitement advanced some 70 or 80 paces beyond the battery, and there were repulsed by a superior force of the enemy and fell back a considerable distance in some disorder, but soon rallied and advanced with the main line upon the battery, which was then recaptured and held."[22]

Wood believed the captured battery to be a Louisiana battery, although he never explained why he thought this.[23] In capturing the battery though his men would have likely captured some living men. After the battle the Confederate prisoners were allowed to enlist in the 14th Wisconsin and four took advantage of this offer. One was soon discharged and two deserted. But Charles Stahl stayed with the regiment his full three years, was wounded at Vicksburg, returned to duty and was mustered out after the war, a veteran of both armies. He went back to work in the same New Orleans tailor shop he’d left to enlist with Beauregard, “ready to reminisce with customers about whichever side of the war they preferred to discuss.”[24] According to The Roster of Confederate Soldiers there were only three Charles Stahls in the Confederate armed forces. Of the three only one served in a regiment at Shiloh, the 20th Louisiana.[25] The movements of the 20th Louisiana on the second day of the battle are very difficult to ascertain but on the first day they made a charge at the Hornets’ Nest. Charles Stahl could have become detached from his unit at this time and “attached himself” to a Louisiana battery or any other unit. On May 29th in the Record of Events book kept by the 20th Louisiana Charles Stahl is listed as missing.[26] It is possible that Charles Stahl was a temporary member of the captured battery or maybe he knew the designation of the captured battery because he fought near it.* That the 14th Wisconsin enlisted captured Confederates seems far from normal. The two other Wisconsin regiments did not do this.**

Quiner says that the captured battery was from New Orleans and that the Crescent City brigade supported it. He says that the New Orleans battery dueled with a Chicago battery for an hour and a half. Quiner adds a new wrinkle to the story in that he says the Confederate infantry made a charge upon the Chicago battery, which the 14th Wisconsin was supporting. The 14th Wisconsin rose and met them with a deadly fire, driving them back some distance but the 14th Wisconsin was in turn forced back.[27] This event corresponds with a Confederate charge led by Colonel Robert Paxton Trabue on the Hornets’ Nest area about noon or 1 P.M.

The 14th Wisconsin soon rallied and was then ordered by Colonel Smith to charge and take the battery. The ground in front was a gradual descent for 110 yards, covered with a dense growth of underbrush and trees, to a ravine. From the ravine the ground rose at an angle of about twenty degrees across an almost clear field about 165 yards long and at the highest point was the battery. The order to charge was given, the ravine was crossed and the regiment commenced the ascent of the slope when Lieutenant Colonel Messmore, who was in advance leading the charge, was seriously injured by the bursting of a shell and compelled to leave the field.* Colonel Wood was also wounded about this time as he had ridden to the rear to urge forward the Kentucky regiment to the support of the 14th Wisconsin and his horse fell on him. Colonel Wood was trying to urge the Kentucky regiment forward because his regiment was advancing on the battery completely unsupported. Major Hancock was thus left in command of the regiment. The charge was made upon the battery, the Confederates were driven from it and many of the artillery horses were shot while others were cut loose. Lieutenant Staley of Company D, assisted by Sergeant Blackett, of Company K, and others spiked one of the guns at this time.** The Confederate infantry support was in heavy force in rear of the battery and rained a “perfect storm” of lead upon the 14th Wisconsin forcing them to retire. The regiment made two other charges upon the battery until they were successful in capturing and holding it on the fourth charge. The gun spiked by Lieutenant Staley was afterwards sent to Wisconsin as a trophy.[28]

There are two Confederate markers and one monument in the Davis’ Wheat Field that support Quiner’s mention of the “Cresent City brigade” supporting a New Orleans (the Washington artillery) battery. One marker states that “three of its [Washington Artillery’s] guns were captured at 11 a.m., but were soon after recovered. The battery was disabled and obliged to retire with the loss of three caissons, a battery wagon, and forge.” A few yards to the east of that marker is a marker for the Crescent Regiment from Louisiana which says that the regiment recovered the guns that had been earlier captured from the Washington Artillery. The nearby monument for the Crescent Regiment does not mention the recapture of Washington Artillery’s cannon but does say that the 19th Louisiana also fought with the Crescent Regiment on the second day. Quiner most likely would not have had information regarding all supporting Confederate units in the area so he might have inflated two Louisiana regiments into a brigade.[29]

Interestingly there is a fourth marker close to the other three that is for Smith’s brigade. It does not tout the capture of any cannon instead simply saying, “This brigade [Smith’s] was engaged here from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. April 7, 1862. It then advanced to the front of Prentiss’ camp where it bivouacked Monday night.”[30]

Captain Magdeburg stated in the 1909 Monument Commission report that they advanced down the Eastern Corinth Road until about noon when they reached a point near the Hamburg-Purdy Road. From this point the regiment charged a battery located in the road at the northwest corner of Barnes Field. In the 1909 report the commission included a picture of a Wisconsin information maker and a picture of the battery information marker.[31] This Wisconsin marker is on the Eastern Corinth Road north of Barnes Field. There is also a nearby Confederate battery marker, near the northwest corner of the Barnes Field, for Harper’s Mississippi Battery. The marker for Harper’s Battery says, “This battery, known also as Jefferson Artillery, was in action here from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., April 7, 1862. It lost one gun captured by the enemy.” The 14th Wisconsin marker, about 80 yards north of the Harper’s Battery marker, does not claim capture of Harper’s Battery and only says, "This regiment, attached temporarily to the 14th Brigade, Army of the Ohio, was engaged here from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. April 7, 1862.” There are two other Union markers in the vicinity but both are farther away from the Harper’s Battery marker than the 14th Wisconsin is. A marker for Boyle’s brigade about 80 yards west of the Harper’s Battery marker claims that Boyle’s brigade was engaged in that area from 2 to 3 PM. Another 150 yards west of Boyle’s brigade marker is a marker for the 13th Iowa that was also engaged about the same time as the 14th Wisconsin and Boyle’s brigade.[32] Daniel says in an endnote that he is convinced that the 14th Wisconsin captured Harper’s Battery although he does not state why he believes this.[33]

In 1903 the Ohio Monument Commission in explaining the movements of the 13th Ohio, which was part of Smith’s brigade with which the 14th Wisconsin fought that day, said that “during the battle they faced the famous Washington Battery of New Orleans, which after a severe struggle they succeeded in capturing entire, but as the enemy was largely re-enforced they were unable to hold it. Later in the day they again faced this battery, which they charged and again captured, this time being successful in holding it.”[34] This supports the 14th Wisconsin’s official report and most of its veterans’ recollections.

Wiley Sword, considered one of the better Shiloh historians, claims that the 14th Wisconsin captured part of Cobb’s battery. He says that portions of Smith’s and Boyle’s brigade approached the battery from the east and suddenly came upon the guns. Cobb tried to extricate his guns but too many horses had been shot and he had to abandon two guns. Sword says that the 14th Wisconsin, 13th Ohio and 9th Kentucky claimed capture of these guns. The 13th Ohio and 9th Kentucky were part of Boyle’s brigade and it is thus possible that those three regiments cooperated to capture Harper’s Battery. Sword though wrote that the attack on Cobb’s Battery was made along a timbered edge of Review Field.[35] Harper’s Battery was captured although Sword places them in another position entirely, east of Barnes Field and about even with the north-south center of the field, and credits the 2nd Kentucky with their capture.[36] The marker for Cobb’s Battery is actually near Woolf Field, not Review Field. Also the marker describes only what Cobb’s Battery did on the first day, not the second day. What it does say about its action on the first day is very important because it states that at noon the battery’s “horses were all killed and [the] guns taken. The guns were retaken and four removed from the field but were not used again at Shiloh.”[37] According to Daniel Cobb’s Battery was recaptured about an hour after its initial capture and held by the Confederates for the rest of the battle. Later enough mules were found to drag off four cannon but two cannon and all six caissons had to be left behind.[38] Sword also says that Cobb’s battery was abandoned at this place and time but he later talks about this battery being captured on the second day by the 14th Wisconsin, 13th Ohio and 9th Kentucky.[39] Witham says that the four guns were removed during the night and that Cobb’s Battery was not in action during the second day.[40]

Colonel Edward H Hobson of the 13th Kentucky (Boyle’s brigade) said that General Crittenden ordered him to be ready to charge the Confederate battery. When the charge was made they advanced with the 11th Kentucky (Smith’s brigade) and found an abandoned section of guns*. Hobson also mentions that a section to their left was captured by the 59th Ohio and 9th Kentucky at the same time, both of Boyle’s brigade.[41] The markers for the 11th Kentucky and 26th Kentucky both claim participation in the capture of a battery. The 11th Kentucky’s marker says that the regiment “advanced to the wheat field where it assisted in the capture of a battery but being unable to hold it fell back to this place [near the Hornets’ Nest].” The 26th Kentucky’s marker states that they “participated in the charge upon, and capture of a battery at the wheat field, fell back to this place [near the Hornets’ Nest] . . . ”[42]

James Lee McDonough in the other modern study of the battle, Shiloh - in Hell Before Night, placed Crittenden’s division near the Hornets’ Nest which agrees with Daniel and places the regiment in proximity to Harper’s Battery.[43] Current Shiloh park historian, Stacy Allen wrote in the April 1997 issue of “Blue & Gray” that a massive Union attack in the center captured 5 cannon in Stanford’s and Harper’s batteries at about 11:30 a.m. On a map in the issue Allen made the following notation: “Hazen (Nelson) and Smith (Crittenden) at about 11 am charge and capture 3 guns of the Washington Arty., but a Confederate counterattack forces the attackers back.” An arrow on the map points at the Davis’ Wheat Field.[44] This would support the contention by the 14th Wisconsin’s officers that the captured battery was from Louisiana as the Washington Artillery was from New Orleans. James Randall of Company B said that the battery was from New Orleans but did not explain why he though this.[45] Although not a detailed study, the Time Life book, Voices of the Civil War: Shiloh, captioned a picture of the 14th Wisconsin’s battle flag as having been carried on April 7th “when the regiment spiked two guns of Cobb’s battery.”[46]

Larry Daniel in his book has two maps that include positions taken by Crittenden’s division on the second day. On “Map 13” he places at the northwestern corner of Davis’ Wheat Field at 11 AM and at noon east of the Eastern Corinth Road. On “Map 15” he again places Smith’s brigade near the northwestern corner of Davis’ Wheat Field at 1 PM. He even shows the 14th Wisconsin making a charge upon Harper’s Battery in the northeastern corner of Barnes Field.[47] In a National Park Service brochure on Shiloh, also written by Larry Daniel, there are two more maps showing the fighting of the second day. The first shows Smith’s brigade again near Davis’ Wheat Field. This map shows Smith’s brigade attacking a battery on the east side of the field, then retreating towards Wicker Field. It also shows a noontime position for Crittenden’s division along the Hamburg-Purdy Road near the Eastern Corinth Road.[48] The second map is for actions after noon and shows Crittenden’s division moving down the Eastern Corinth Road to Spain Field.[49]

Samuel H Moody of Company D remembered that Crittenden’s division took a position to the left of Shiloh Church to support a battery.[50] The Corinth Road runs within yards of Shiloh Church. Moody says that an artillery action commenced and both sides charged and counter-charged each other. According to Moody this action ended when reinforcements reached the Union near dark, at which time the battery became the property of the 14th Wisconsin.[51] Wiley Sword also places the 14th Wisconsin in this vicinity when he made the previously stated claim that the 14th Wisconsin captured part of Cobb’s battery along a timbered edge of Review Field in cooperation with the 13th Ohio and 9th Kentucky.[52] When looking at a map of the markers on the field though there are no markers for the 14th Wisconsin, 13th Ohio and 9th Kentucky on that portion of the field. Also the marker for Cobb’s Battery, as described above, is on the northern edge of Woolf Field and there is no Confederate battery marker along the edge, nor in, Review Field.[53]

Private William H Tucker in 1895 described the 14th Wisconsin’s position much differently. He said that their position was near an old crab apple orchard near where General W.H.L. Wallace was mortally wounded on the first day. This spot is where the Eastern Corinth Road branches off from the Corinth Road. He states that their left was near the old sunken road and their right was near this orchard. This conforms to other evidence. He says that a small stream was 200 feet in front of this position and that their reserve formed on the Hamburg Road, “in our rear about four hundred yards away.”[54] The only problem with this is that from the intersection of the Eastern Corinth Road and the Corinth Roads to the intersection of the Corinth Road and the Hamburg Road is approximately 700 yards. The distance between the Eastern Corinth Road and Hamburg Road only increases as you move south.[55] Tucker also says that their line of reserve along the Hamburg Road ran “parallel with our line of battle.”[56] This would make it appear that their line ran pretty much north-south along the Eastern Corinth Road so when they advanced they were advancing into Duncan Field and increasing the distance from their reserve. The location of the stream does not clear things up because the stream, Briar Creek, forms a L-shape in this area so troops facing west would find it in their front and left and troops facing south would find it in their front and right. Tucker does not mention on what other side of the regiment the stream was, just that it was in their front.

The terrain in the Davis’ Wheat Field area is more like the terrain described than the terrain near Shiloh Church or Review Field. The area near Review Field and north of the Hamburg-Purdy Road is quite flat. South of the Hamburg-Purdy Road there is quite a few ravines but there are no fields until Rea Field which saw no fighting on the second day. The area near Davis’ Wheat Field is much more like the description given. There is a small ravine with a gradual ascent and descent. The wheat field is one of the last bits of high ground before descending into the Spain Branch south of the Hamburg-Purdy Road.[57]

There is one more piece of evidence, which makes it almost certain that the 14th Wisconsin was engaged on the Eastern Corinth Road. This piece of evidence is that in 1901 when the monument commissioners went to Shiloh to decide where to put their state monument they came across the Putnam Stump. J.D. Putnam was a member of Company F of the 14th Wisconsin and was killed in the charge upon the Confederate battery.[58] James Newton said that Dennis Murphy “shot down the rebel who murdered Putnam before he could take his gun from his face.”[59] His comrades buried him where he fell, at the foot of a young oak tree. His name was cut into the tree low enough that if the tree was chopped down later the name might survive. Later when the National Cemetery was created Putnam’s body was taken there and is one of the few gravestones to have full name, company and regimental information on it. The tree had been cut down by 1901 so the commissioners came across a stump. The commissioners decided to commemorate the spot as it was indisputable proof as to the 14th Wisconsin’s location at a certain point during the day. A new granite stump was placed in the same spot on the same day as the Wisconsin state monument was dedicated, April 7th, 1906.[60] After the battle the 14th Wisconsin buried its dead near their new camp near the Landing. It is highly unlikely that Putnam’s comrades would have dragged his body across the battlefield to bury him along the Eastern Corinth Road when the rest of their dead they dragged back to the camp burial ground.

There is also evidence that the 14th Wisconsin might have captured its battery in the Davis’ Wheat Field. Private William H Tucker wrote that after initially capturing the battery the line advanced past the guns several yards to the center of the field. The Confederate infantry retreated to the cover of the timber beyond and the 14th Wisconsin also fell victim to friendly fire from Nelson’s batteries on their left.[61] This seems to be a better description of Davis’ Wheat Field than Barnes Field. The Davis’ Wheat Field is not very far across, perhaps 200 yards on the western side, which is the side the 14th Wisconsin would have likely entered it from. The Barnes Field is much longer, about 500 yards. The battery near Barnes Field was on the northern edge so the 14th Wisconsin would have had to advance over 200 yards past it to reach the middle of the field, not the several yards that Tucker refers to. The Davis’ Wheat Field battery though was near the center of the field and so advancing several yards past it would place the regiment in the center of the field. Tucker says that after taking the battery the regiment was forced to withdraw and the Confederates attacked and went beyond the field into the forest. The Union line then advanced and “forced them to the ravine skirting the field where they broke for cover across the field giving the Federals the field and battery.”[62] Again looking at the map it can be seen that there is no ravine along Barnes Field but there is one near the northern edge of Davis’ Wheat Field. Reed said that Smith’s Brigade “advanced, with its right on the Eastern Corinth Road, and became engaged along the sunken road, where Tuttle and Prentiss fought on Sunday. It advanced through the thick brush and assisted in the capture of a battery in the Wheat field, but was obliged to abandon it and return to the old road. In the final action about 2 p.m. it captured some guns of another battery, which were successfully held as trophies by the brigade.”[63] Although this would seem to clear up the controversy of whether the battery was in the wheat field or not the issue is actually still murky. A possible answer is that different Wisconsin veterans tell stories about two different batteries that they captured but they do not mention which instance they are referring to. It seems doubtful, however, that if they captured parts of two different batteries that they would not claim that as their honor. Most of the writings seem to suggest that the 14th Wisconsin made its capture in the Davis’ Wheat Field. According to Reed, however, that battery was not held and it was the second battery that the brigade claimed as trophies. The possibility also exists that since the Wisconsin boys spiked the guns in the Davis’ Wheat Field the Confederates left them behind and that after the battle the 14th Wisconsin was able to lay claim to one of those guns. Since their post-battle camp was near Grant’s headquarters and they were not officially part of any brigade or division Colonel Wood might have gone to Grant directly to report for orders and tell his story. Colonel Wood was later appointed Provost Marshal and the regiment as provost guard and it is possible that this was some sort of reward for the capture of a cannon.[64]

There can also be some debate concerning which field the 14th Wisconsin made its capture in due to the name of the field. The early sources call it a wheat field. Reed calls it simply the wheat field. When Reed wrote his history a map was also created about the same time by Atwell Thompson, which has a “wheat field” on it.[65] This field is now known as the Davis’ Wheat Field. The McElfresh Map Company produced a watercolor base map of Shiloh in 1993 which used an unpublished study by National Park Service historian Ed Bearss that lists Barnes Field as being a wheat field.[66] So it is possible that when the sources mention a wheat field that it the Barnes (Wheat) Field or the Davis’ Wheat Field.

Sword also mentions several times that the 14th Wisconsin faltered under fire. The first incident is when Trabue’s brigade attacked Smith’s brigade about noon. Sword also claims that after capturing Cobb’s battery the 14th Wisconsin wavered and fell back due to fire from Stanford’s battery. The only marker on the field for Stanford’s battery is in the “Ruggle’s Battery” line which was an action from April 6. Stanford’s report makes no mention of where his battery fought on the second day. The “Ruggle’s Battery” marker for Stanford’s Battery says that the battery was also engaged there on the second day until 11 AM. when four of its guns were captured. No Union marker in the area even claims to be in that area at 11 AM much less capture any cannon. Sword’s map puts Stanford’s Battery on the south edge of Review Field during the second day. The time on the map is 11 AM to 3 PM so it falls during the time period for Crittenden’s main attack but not in the right place.[67]

In Colonel Wood’s report he acknowledges that his men wavered several times under a “galling fire” but in each instance they promptly rallied and remained in position.[68] Conversely Private Moody remembered that while retiring, following the capture of the battery, the regiment checked a stampede by forming across a line that was becoming disorganized and compelling it to reform in good order.[69] Colonel Edward H Hobson of the 13th Kentucky wrote a different account three days later in his official report. He says that his regiment went to the aid of the 11th Kentucky and were engaged about twenty-five minutes when a portion of the line was “broken by stragglers from the Fourteenth Wisconsin Regiment”, which caused a slight recoil on the part of a few of the rear rank men.[70] Colonel Pierce B Hawkins of the 11th Kentucky, which had been ordered by Smith to fill the gap made by the 14th Wisconsin, said in his report, “There not being space sufficient to form it [his regiment] between Bartlett’s battery on my right and the Fourteenth Regiment Wisconsin Volunteers on my left, we became entangled with them [the 14th Wisconsin], still pressing forward in that condition, engaging the enemy.”[71]

General Smith’s report makes no mention of the 14th Wisconsin except to say that he placed them on the right of his line. There is no mention of any cowardice by the 14th Wisconsin. He does, however, say that the other regiments did have some problems. “The 13th Ohio and 11 and 26th Kentucky Regiments seemed to vie with each other in determined valor, and while they each have cause to regret and detest the conduct of a few of their officers and men, they may proudly exult over the glorious part which they took as regiments in the bloody engagement of Shiloh fields.”[72] The 26th Kentucky’s commanding officer, Lieutenant Colonel Cicero Maxwell, wrote two official reports about the battle. He wrote his first on April 9th and his second on April 12th, the day after Smith wrote the above report. In his second report Lieutenant Colonel Maxwell says, “As a wrong inference may be drawn from my report, in connection with Colonel Smith’s, in relation to a portion of our officers, I beg leave to make an additional report as to the particular company officers in the regiment under my command.” He goes on to compliment all of his officers.[73]

Quiner says that during the whole of the engagement the 14th Wisconsin displayed such conspicuous gallantry that they received the commendation of those who witnessed their heroism. He says they received the sobriquet of “Wisconsin Regulars.” for their soldierly conduct on the field.[74] At the end of the battle the men were ordered back to the place near the Landing where their blankets and haversacks had been left in the morning.[75] This location is not precisely known but near the landing is where they buried their dead and so their camp was probably close by. Burial grounds in the park follow two guidelines; they are either near the unit’s camp or in an area where most of their dead fell. After reaching the Landing, Colonel Wood again assumed command. Arms were stacked, the roll was called, and every man was present or was accounted for as killed or wounded except for a few who reported during the night.[76]

At Shiloh the 14th Wisconsin fought for over ten hours without being relieved until there was no more fighting to do. Captain Waldo, of Company E, was killed, while bravely leading his men to the charge. Lieutenant Post, of Company B, was mortally wounded. Lieutenant Smith, of Company C, was seriously wounded, but retained command till night. While the regiment retired to the Landing, Captain McCall of Company K, was ordered to take a detachment of the left wing of the regiment and examine the ground, bring in the wounded and then to rejoin the regiment at the Landing.[77]

It can be said with almost absolute certainty that the 14th Wisconsin did capture a battery. It cannot be said with any certainty which battery was captured. Nearly every writer has claimed a different battery. Most reports by Wisconsin soldiers claim it was a Louisiana battery. Other authors have claimed it was Cobb’s or Stanford’s battery. The battery marked at Shiloh, although not specifically credited to the 14th Wisconsin but is in the correct area, is Harper’s Battery from Mississippi. To make things even more confusing there is a detailed study on artillery units at Shiloh that disputes some of what is directly above. This book, Shiloh, Shells and Artillery Units by George F. Witham, states that the Washington Artillery did not lose a single gun. They had to abandon three cannon in the Davis’ Wheat Field but half an hour later they returned with fresh horses and retrieved their guns.[78] It also says that Cobb’s Battery lost two guns that were captured by the 20th Illinois, 11th Illinois and 11th Iowa.[79] According to Witham’s study Harper’s Battery fought near the Washington Artillery and left one gun on the field but replaced it with a cannon captured the previous day from the Union.[80] This supports the Davis’ Wheat Field location and the location of the present day marker for Harper’s Battery. What does not make sense is that the 14th Wisconsin spiked two guns but the report for Harper’s Battery does not say that two were spiked and says that the gun left behind was only left behind because it lacked horses to pull it away.[81] The remaining choice for the captured cannon is Stanford’s Battery which lost four guns at Shiloh. Captain T.J. Stanford’s official report describes action that is similar to the action that took place near the 14th Wisconsin. The report describes a Confederate charge and then the repulse of that charge with a Union counter-attack. The artillery study also states that Stanford’s Battery fought in an area near where it fought the previous day. The previous day Stanford’s Battery was on the right of the line known as Ruggle’s Battery. This area is just north of Barnes Field and west of Duncan Field.[82] The Trailhead Graphics map lists their first day position as on the far right of the Ruggle’s Battery line which is near the Hamburg-Purdy Road and also not too far north of Barnes Field.

One interesting sidelight that helps to illustrate the “fog of war” and how official records can be wrong is found in the placement of the regiments in William Sooy Smith’s brigade. In his report he said his line consisted of left to right, the 13th Ohio, 26th Kentucky and 14th Wisconsin with the 11th Kentucky in reserve behind the 26th Kentucky.[83] Lieutenant Colonel Cicero Maxwell of the 26th Kentucky says in his report, “the regiment under my command was, as I understood, the position taken on the left of our brigade.” Another regiment, the 2nd Kentucky, came up on his left forcing his regiment to change position which then left them behind the 13th Ohio.[84] Finally, as if the placement of the regiments was not confused enough, Lieutenant Colonel Joseph G Hawkins of the 13th Ohio stated in his report that the 13th Ohio, “occupied the center of the brigade.”[85] The markers at Shiloh place the 13th Ohio on the brigade left with the 26th Kentucky in the center and the 11th Kentucky on the right. Interestingly enough there is no marker in this area for the 14th Wisconsin.[86]

James Newton wrote of the attack,
There is no use in trying to describe the battle because I can not do it. All I know about is that we drove the rebels and they drove us and then we drove them again. We charged on one of their batteries and took it and then they charged in their turn and we couldn’t hold it so we spiked the guns and set fire to their cartridges so that they couldn’t use it on us any more. The next time we charged on that battery we were supported and kept it. We were advancing and retreating all the time until afternoon.[87]

Of all the regiments of the Army of the Ohio at Shiloh only two lost more killed; only eight lost more wounded; only seven lost more killed and wounded; and only six lost more killed, wounded and missing, than the 14th Wisconsin.[88] Within its brigade the 14th Wisconsin lost more men than any other regiment.[89]

[1] Quiner, Military History of Wisconsin, p 599.
[2] OR 10:1, 372.
[3] Abernethy, Byron R. Private Elisha Stockwell, Jr. Sees the Civil War. (Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma, 1958) p 14.
[4] Hancock, John & William H Tucker. The Fourteenth Wisconsin, Corinth and Shiloh, 1862-1895: Paper on the Battle of Shiloh. (Indianapolis, IN: F. E. Engle, 1895.) p 5.
[5] Ambrose, Stephen E. ed. A Wisconsin Boy in Dixie: Civil War Letters of James K. Newton. (Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press, 1961) p 14
[6] James M. Randall Diary. Accessed May 10, 2002.
* Since the report does not say how far in they went I assume that they did not go very far in at all, perhaps to their later burial ground area, which is near Grant’s headquarters. As they ended up joining Crittenden’s division they might have camped near his division, which would place them a little farther in on the plateau. The location of Crittenden was near the siege guns according to a map by Colonel George Thom with notations by General Buell. Buell made these notations for a Century Magazine article in 1885, later published in Battles and Leaders. The notations on this map show Crittenden’s position as being on the Corinth-Pittsburg road near the present camp marker for Richardson’s Battery. With the amount of confusion that existed that night near the landing there is no possible way to ever pinpoint the 14th Wisconsin’s camp. (Ref: Johnson, Robert Underwood & Clarence Clough Buel, eds. Battle and Leaders of the Civil War: The Opening Battles. (Edison, NJ: Castle, 1884-87). pp 502-3.)
[7] OR 10:1, 372. The 14th Wisconsin was technically part of the Army of the Tennessee under Grant but fought April 7th in the Army of the Ohio.
[8] Quiner, Military History of Wisconsin, p 599.
[9] Wisconsin Shiloh Monument Commission. Wisconsin at Shiloh, Report of.... (Madison, WI: By the Commission, 1909.) p 23.
[10] Ambrose, A Wisconsin Boy in Dixie. p 15.
[11] Abernethy, Private Elisha Stockwell, Jr. Sees the Civil War, p 15.
[12] James M. Randall Diary. Accessed May 10, 2002.
[13] 1888 Grand Army p 269.
[14] 1888 Grand Army p 363.
[15] Wells, Wisconsin in the Civil War, p 19.
[17] Quiner, Military History of Wisconsin, p 599.
[18] Dodge, William Sumner. History of the Old Second Division, Army of the Cumberland. (Chicago, IL: Church & Goodman, 1864) pp 180, 212. Map follows p 216. It is unclear who created the map but the lithograph is credited to Ed Mendel, Chicago. Mendel may have only made the lithograph or he may have made the map and the lithograph himself.
[19] Shiloh markers 255 and 272.
[20] Wisconsin Shiloh Monument Commission. p 217.
[21] OR 10:1, 372.
[22] OR 10:1, 372-3.
[23] OR 10:1, 373.
[24] Wells, Wisconsin in the Civil War, p 20. I have never heard of this process happening after any other battle in the Civil War. There were Confederates who became Indian fighters to escape the life at northern prison camps. I believe though that what the 14th Wisconsin did was far from the normal as I have yet to hear of any other regiment doing this at Shiloh.
[25] Hewett, Janet B, ed. The Roster of Confederate Soldiers. Volume 14 (Wilmington, NC: Broadfoot, 1996). p 395.
[26] Supplement to the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies. (Wilmington, NC: Broadfoot Publishing, 1996.) Part 2, Volume 24, p 450. Cited hereafter as Supplement OR 2:24, 450. The first number refers to the part, a number behind a colon denotes the volume and the last number is the page.
* The 20th Louisiana was organized in New Orleans and left the city on March 11. It was composed of six companies of Irish and four companies of Germans. Charles Stahl served in Company D, also known as the Tunica Guards, of the 20th Louisiana. During the two days of battle the regiment lost 256 men of 380 engaged. Ref: Daniel, Shiloh: The Battle that Changed the Civil War, pp 60, 93 & 287. Booth, Andrew B, compiler. Records of Louisiana Confederate Soldiers and Louisiana Confederate Commands, Volume I. Commissioner Louisiana Military Records, 1920.
* * For a more information on the various Confederates who enlisted in the 14th Wisconsin there will be a post in the near future with much more of this story.
[27] Quiner, Military History of Wisconsin, p 599.
* Previous to the battle, Lieutenant Colonel Messmore had tendered his resignation, but it was not accepted until the day of the battle. He therefore went to the field with the regiment where he was seriously wounded.
* * Spiking a gun means breaking some sort of metal object off in the gun vent. This makes it useless for the near future. The spike can eventually be removed but depending on how it was originally spiked this can be a rather difficult process.
[28] Quiner, Military History of Wisconsin, p 600. This cannon can be seen today at Camp Randall in Madison, WI. The cannon is inscribed, “Captured by the 14th Regiment Wisconsin Volunteers, Col. D.E. Wood commanding, at the Battle of Pittsburg Landing, Tenn, April 7th, 1862. Spiked by 1st Lieut. Geo. Staley of Company D.” (Ref: Personal visit to Madison, WI, June 2001.)
[29] Markers 380, 363 and monument 109.
[30] Marker 274.
[31] Wisconsin Shiloh Monument Commission. p 24.
[32] Markers 447, 257, 277 and 10.
[33] Daniel, Shiloh: The Battle that Changed the Civil War, p 377.
[34] Ohio Monument Commission. Ohio at Shiloh. Report of the Commission. (Cincinnati, OH: CJ Krehbiel, 1903.) pp 60-1.
[35] Sword, Wiley. Shiloh: Bloody April. (NY: Morrow, 1974.) p. 396. In 2001 Wiley Sword published a “newly corrected edition” of Shiloh: Bloody April which is mostly the same book except for new material on the death of Albert Sidney Johnston. All cited passages are for the 1974 edition and have been checked against the 2001 edition to verify that Sword had no new information on that passage.
[36] Sword, Shiloh: Bloody April, 1974 edition, pp 414-5.
[37] Marker 450.
[38] Daniel, Shiloh: The Battle that Changed the Civil War, pp 187-90.
[39] Sword, Shiloh: Bloody April, 1974 edition, pp 326, 396.
[40] Witham, George F. Shiloh, Shells and Artillery Units. (Memphis, TN: Riverside Press, 1980.) p 77.
* A battery consisted of four to six guns and was broken into two or three sections.
[41] OR 10:1, 361-2.
[42] Markers 295 and 273.
[43] McDonough, James L. Shiloh--In Hell Before Night. (Knoxville, TN: Univ of TN Pr, 1977.) p 200-1. This book is a general battle study and mentions very few units below brigade level. The index is pretty poor as it includes no references at all to the three possible batteries taken by the 14th Wisconsin. His bibliography includes no references to Wisconsin involvement.
[44] Allen, Stacy D. Shiloh!: Grant Strikes Back. (Blue & Gray Magazine: April 1997.) pp. 27 & 52.
[45] James M. Randall Diary. Accessed May 10, 2002.
[46] Voices of the Civil War: Shiloh. (Time-Life Books. eds. Alexandria, VI: Time-Life, 1996) p 151.
[47] Daniel. Shiloh: The Battle that Changed the Civil War. pp 270, 286. Both maps are reproduced in the appendix.
[48] Daniel, Larry J. The Battle of Shiloh. National Parks Civil War Series. (Conshohocken, PA: Eastern National, 1998) p 48.
[49] Daniel. The Battle of Shiloh. p 53.
[50] 1890 Grand Army p 544.
[51] 1890 Grand Army p 544.
[52] Sword, Shiloh: Bloody April, 1974 edition, p. 396.
[53] Trailhead Graphics. Shiloh National Military Park Map. Aurora, CO. 1995. Hereafter cited as Trailhead Graphics Map.
[54] Hancock & Tucker, The Fourteenth Wisconsin, Corinth and Shiloh, p 34.
[55] Trailhead Graphics Map
[56] Hancock & Tucker, The Fourteenth Wisconsin, Corinth and Shiloh, p 34.
[57] Trailhead Graphics Map
[58] Wisconsin Shiloh Monument Commission. pp 28-9.
[59] Ambrose, A Wisconsin Boy in Dixie. p 16.
[60] Wisconsin Shiloh Monument Commission. pp 28-9.
[61] Hancock & Tucker, The Fourteenth Wisconsin, Corinth and Shiloh, p 16.
[62] Hancock & Tucker, The Fourteenth Wisconsin, Corinth and Shiloh, p 17. Tucker toured Shiloh in 1895 and wrote that “nearly every soldier that visits this place become confused and bewildered.” (p. 34). Tucker also said that the captured battery was Cobb’s.
[63] Wisconsin Shiloh Monument Commission. p 218.
[64] Quiner, Military History of Wisconsin, p 602.
[65] Thompson, Atwell. Map of Shiloh Battlefield. 1900.
[66] McElfresh Map Co. Shiloh Battlefield Tennessee: A Civil War Watercolor Map Series. (Olean, NY: 1997.)
[67] Sword, Shiloh: Bloody April, 1974 edition, pp 395, 397-8. Marker 323.
[68] OR 10:1, 373.
[69] 1890 Grand Army p 544.
[70] OR 10:1, 361-2.
[71] OR 10:1, 367.
[72] OR 10:1 366
[73] OR 10:1 369.
[74] Quiner, Military History of Wisconsin, pp 600-1. Other soldiers’ accounts credit Grant with calling them “Wisconsin Regulars” and saying that they had earned the right to ever after use that name. In a search of Grant’s orders and reports, as published in The Papers of Ulysses S. Grant edited by John Y. Simon, though there is no mention of “Wisconsin Regulars.” The name Wisconsin Regulars though is used by Quiner, Love, the Wisconsin Adjutant General’s report and in the 1888 Soldier and Citizens Album of Biographical Record. The Oshkosh Courier on April 25th quoted a reporter from the Milwaukee News who said "The common remark the evening after the battle was, 'There go the 14th Wisconsin Regulars'." [Ref: Oshkosh Courier. April 25, 1862, page 2, column 3.]
[75] OR 10:1, 373.
[76] Quiner, Military History of Wisconsin, pp 600-1.
[77] Quiner, Military History of Wisconsin, p 601.
[78] Witham, Shiloh, Shells and Artillery Units. p 61.
[79] Witham, Shiloh, Shells and Artillery Units. p 77
[80] Witham, Shiloh, Shells and Artillery Units. p 72
[81] Witham, Shiloh, Shells and Artillery Units. p 72
[82] Witham, Shiloh, Shells and Artillery Units. p 57
[83] OR 10:1, 365.
[84] OR 10:1, 368.
[85] OR 10:1, 370.
[86] Markers 295, 272 and monument 121. The markers currently in place for the 14th Wisconsin are 255 and 257. Marker 255 is its morning position and 257 is its final position near Harper’s Battery. According to Jim Minor, a Shiloh park guide, marker 256 was intended to be a 14th Wisconsin marker but no text was ever written for the marker and thus it was never cast. (Ref: Minor, Jim. Email correspondence on December 2 & 4, 2002.
[87] Ambrose, A Wisconsin Boy in Dixie. p 15.
[88] Magdeburg, F.H. “The Fourteenth Wisconsin Infantry at the Battle of Shiloh.” War Papers of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States, Wisconsin Commandery, Vol. 3. (Wilmington, NC: Broadfoot, 1993.) p. 178.
[89] Magdeburg, “The Fourteenth Wisconsin Infantry,” p 180. In Wood’s two reports (April 11 and April 21) he lists two other sets of casualty figures. The dead is always listed as 14. The wounded is 73 on the 11th and ten days later it has increased to 74. The number of missing drops from 4 in the first report to 2 in the second report. The totals are thus 91 on April 11th and 90 on April 21st. William H Tucker wrote of his visit to the 14th Wisconsin graves in Shiloh Cemetery in 1895 and said that “a large number of which are marked unknown, (thirty-eight of the fifty six are so marked). The graves are all single but in one plat of ground.” This total includes the men who died of disease. (Ref: Hancock & Tucker, The Fourteenth Wisconsin, Corinth and Shiloh, p 36).

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The 16th and 18th Wisconsin on the Second Day

On the second day of battle, April 7th, the 16th Wisconsin under Major Reynolds occupied several different positions along the line but were not actively engaged.[1] Private Jones said of the second day that “we were engaged all day in pursuit of the enemy and were not once under fire. The enemy commenced retreating early in the morning, and, so far as our regiment was concerned, we could not catch up with them. The running this day was done by the other fellows.”[2] This description is far too simplified. The Confederate retreat did not begin until the afternoon and although the Confederates were forced from every position they left some positions much more easily than others.

During the second day the few remaining officers of the 18th Wisconsin gathered together 250 men into a battalion in order to support a battery. They advanced behind Buell’s forces and reached their old camp about four o’clock. Here they remained while the rest of Buell’s force pursued the retreating Confederates. During the evening the stragglers came into camp so that by the next day the 18th Wisconsin numbered about 500 men.[3] Governor Harvey wrote that “many regiments of that fight may well covet the impressions, which the Eighteenth Wisconsin left of personal bravery, heroic daring and determined endurance.”[4] A month after the battle the NW Times would write, “The ridiculous story that the Tigers, or any portion of the 18th regiment ran away at the battle of Pittsburg, is now fully exploded. The whole particulars of the battle having been received, it appears that the 18th were formed in line of battle but a few moments before the rebels were upon them, and undrilled as they were, and as inexperienced were men and officers, they stood their ground like old heroes . . . The brave men of the Tigers’ and of the 18th generally, as well as all our Wisconsin boys, have won imperishable honors on the bloody field of Pittsburg.”[5]

When the 18th Wisconsin returned to its camp Edward Dickerson found a Confederate in his tent, mortally wounded in the abdomen. The Confederate looked up at Dickerson and said, “I know you! You’re the man who stomped in the top of the cracker barrel.” The dying Confederate went on to say that he had been one of an advance party of Confederates who had crept up on the Union encampment the night before the battle to watch the Union camps.[6] Thomas Jefferson Davis of Company C of the 18th Wisconsin wrote home that although he had lost his overcoat, knapsack, haversack, canteen, quilt and blanket when the Confederates captured his camp on April 6th he had been able to recover all of it from scattered equipment left all over the battlefield. Davis had trouble finding good paper and ink to write letters but luckily had found a book and was using pages from it.[7]

In his official report, written in November, Prentiss praised the 18th Wisconsin’s colonel, JS Alban, and lieutenant colonel, Beall, saying that they were “until they were wounded, ever to the front, encouraging their command.” He also praised the 18th Wisconsin’s brigade commander, Colonel Madison Miller. “Miller was during the day in command of a brigade, and was among those taken prisoner. He acted during the day with distinguished courage, coolness, and ability.”[8] Miller had served in the Mexican War and had been commissioned captain in the 1st Missouri on April 20th, 1861. He had been appointed colonel of the 18th Missouri on January 31st, 1862 and given command of a brigade soon after reaching Pittsburg Landing. After he was released from Confederate prisons he was placed in command of the Third Brigade of the Second Division of the Sixteenth Army Corps in the Army of the Tennessee. He held that command from January 18th, 1863 to March 15th, 1864 when he resigned his commission. He was subsequently made a Brevet Brigadier General.[9]

The 18th Wisconsin remained in camp for several days after the battle and was soon visited by Governor Louis P Harvey. Immediately Governor Harvey appointed Captain Gabriel Bouck of the 2nd Wisconsin as the new colonel for the 18th Wisconsin. Captain Jackson, of Company B, being the senior captain present assumed command of the regiment until Colonel Bouck reported for duty on May 12th.[10] The appointment of Bouck over the head of Beall upset some soldiers in the 18th Wisconsin and in the state of Wisconsin. The Badax County’s NW Times responded though that the 18th Wisconsin needed a commander well versed in military movements and with military experience and added that “a better selection for the command of the Eighteenth regiment could not have been made.”[11] The Oshkosh Courier said that General Sherman had recommended Bouck to Governor Harvey when he visited the battlefield. Bouck had served under Sherman as a captain in Sherman's brigade at Bull Run. The Courier also said that since Governors Harvey and Solomon (he made the appointment official due to the untimely death of Harvey) and General Sherman thought the appointment justified that the friends of Lieutenant Colonel Beall should "show more discretion and good taste by acquiescing in the action of the appointing power, with some show of grace, than in 'ventilating' their disappointment in ill natured comments, and unfounded aspersions, upon Col. Bouck."[12]

[1] Quiner, Military History of Wisconsin, pp 634-5.
[2] Jones, “Shiloh,” p 59.
[3] Quiner, Military History of Wisconsin, p 659. Quiner does not identify what battery the 18th Wisconsin supported.
[4] Annual Report of the Adjutant General of the State of Wisconsin, year ending September 30, 1863. (Madison, WI: William J Park & Co., 1863.) p 85.
[5] Nanzig, The Badax Tigers, p 51-2.
[6] Dickerson, Edward E Dickerson at the Battle of Shiloh. p 6.
[7] Nanzig, The Badax Tigers, p56-7.
[8] OR 10:1, 279.
[9] Eicher, John H & David J Eicher. Civil War High Commands. (Stanford: Stanford, CA, 2001.) p 390.
[10] Quiner, Military History of Wisconsin, p 660.
[11] Nanzig, The Badax Tigers, p 55. Gabriel Bouck was the son of New York Governor William Bouck. Gabriel was Wisconsin's attorney general from 1858 to 1859. He also served two terms in the Wisconsin state assemble (1860 and 1874) and was also elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. (Ref: Oshkosh Northwestern)
[12] Oshkosh Courier. May 16, 1862. Page 2, column 1.