After retreating from their camp, the 16th Wisconsin got a reprieve from fighting for a few hours during which time they replenished their ammunition. About 3 o’clock they were ordered to take the place of the 44th Indiana, which was out of ammunition, to the left of the Hamburg-Savannah Road. Daniel says that the 16th Wisconsin replaced the 44th Indiana at 3 PM, however he also claimed that the 61st Illinois replaced the 44th Indiana at 3 PM. The 16th Wisconsin’s marker at Shiloh in this vicinity confirms that the 16th Wisconsin relieved the 44th Indiana because their ammunition was exhausted. The markers though are a bit more confusing concerning the 61st Illinois. There is one marker on the north edge of the Peach Orchard that says that the 61st Illinois “relieved one of Hurlbut’s regiments and was engaged here from about 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.” There is another marker though for the 61st Illinois along the Eastern Corinth Road that places the regiment there, “in reserve, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.” Leander Stillwell of the 61st Illinois wrote that they were in rear of a battery in the Hornets’ Nest area from sometime before 10 AM to 2 PM when they moved to the left and relieved one of Hurlbut’s regiments. When the 61st Illinois used up their ammunition they then refilled their cartridge boxes and went back to the right to support the same battery in the Hornets’ Nest. When the 16th Wisconsin relieved the 44th Indiana they immediately opened fire on Confederates who were advancing towards the hole in the line. This position was not held very long as they were soon flanked on the left and forced to fall back. In the flanking attack Colonel Allen was wounded in the left arm, the ball passing through the arm a little below the elbow, and was forced to leave the field. At this point Major Reynolds assumed command of the regiment. Major Reynolds had been placed under arrest a day or two before the battle for the infraction of “some petty military order” and deprived of his sword. Major Reynolds nevertheless went into battle and borrowed a sword. Soon after assuming command of the regiment, Major Reynolds moved the regiment away this sector to “a position on the right”, where it remained until dark. From reports it is not quite clear where they went after leaving the Hornets’ Nest area. The “position on the right” was most likely just a position on Grant’s final line that seemed to be on the right. They probably were not aware how far Grant’s line curved to the right. For the gallantry displayed by the major his sword was returned to him the next day.
In Colonel Allen’s report he said: “I cannot speak in too high terms of commendation of the bravery and endurance of both officers and men in my command, although never before in action. They with very few exceptions exhibited in an eminent degree the qualities of veteran soldiers, and in the last engagement I lost some of my brave and valuable men, among whom was Captain O.D. Pease, of Company D, who received a wound that caused his death.”
Quiner reported that although this was the 16th Wisconsin’s first fight they fought with the coolness of veterans. They were often forced to change front under fire and when thrown in confusion rallied and poured a deadly fire upon the advancing Confederates. The field officers behaved with great gallantry, the colonel and lieutenant colonel encouraging the men by their coolness until forced from the field by wounds and Major Reynolds and Adjutant Sabin rallied the regiment and brought it into the position it occupied until dark. The 16th Wisconsin was engaged from 5 o’clock in the morning until 3 o’clock in the afternoon and suffered greatly for want of food, having been called into action before having breakfast.
During the first day a 16th Wisconsin private found himself near a colonel, who had picked up a musket and was firing methodically. The private asked how many Rebels he had shot. The officer said he had fired 37 cartridges so he should have hit 37 men, “but I don’t feel certain of six.”
Two weeks after the battle, Lieutenant David F. Vail, of the 16th Wisconsin, was in the hospital at Keokuk, Iowa and decided that he would never recover there. He persuaded some civilians to take him out and was eventually treated by the Iowa Surgeon General. One of Vail’s friends, Jack Valentine, was also in the hospital there and died “from wounds received at Shiloh.” Vail though believed that Valentine died from the neglect of the surgeons. Vail was also upset by what he viewed as an ambitious colonel. He thought that Colonel Allen wanted a promotion to general and thought that he would receive that promotion by placing his regiment in dangerous positions. “The result was that in a very short time the gallant 16th Wisconsin was slaughtered and reduced to a mere skeleton, and all to satisfy an ambition which was never realized.” Vail also thought that his captain, George C Williams, had been promised the colonelcy and so placed Company K in its own share of dangerous positions. Vail did admit that he had no evidence of these schemes, just that he reached his conclusions from fragmentary circumstantial evidence. Although Allen was not promoted to general he would command a brigade, the First Brigade of the Sixth Division, from July to September 1862. Coincidently while Vail does not seem to like Allen, Allen mentioned Vail as one of seven officers he thought had displayed “coolness and bravery manifested.” Vail was one of only two lieutenants that Allen bestowed such a compliment on.
David Goodrich James, Company F of the 16th Wisconsin, “was among the first of the Union forces under arms to repel the rebel attack. The gallantry of the 16th Wisconsin is a matter of public record and every man in the command distinguished himself for bravery.” James was later captured at Bald Hill during the Atlanta campaign. When captured he weighed 168 pounds and when he returned home he weighed 69, “compliments of southern hospitality” as he phrased it. James is especially interesting because he would later serve on three different Wisconsin monument commissions, for Shiloh, Vicksburg and Andersonville. At Shiloh he was one of the many men detailed to bury the dead. During this gory detail, James proceeded to bury a Confederate who had been clutching a book to his chest. The cover of the book was stained with his blood. It was a religious book with personal inscription on the inside back cover written in pencil. It said, “He who stealith this book, when comes judgment day, the Lord will ask, ‘Where is he that stole this book?’” On the inside cover at the front of this book, written in ink is: “Taken on the battlefield at Shiloh and stained with the blood of a rebel by D.G. James, April 8, 1862.” James’ great grandson had the book for awhile and said that the blood stain is still visible which is a “constant reminder of the violent slaughter of that battle.” James was brevetted captain in 1867 at the request of his former company commander for “meritorious service at the siege and battle of Corinth and for his heroic efforts at the Battle of Atlanta on July 22nd, 1864 at which time he was captured while defending a rifle pit long enough for 14 of his fellow wounded comrades to seek the safety of their regiment while taking Bald Hill.”
The 18th Wisconsin’s chaplain, the Reverend James Delany, described the battle in his 1863 book, War Pictures: “Soon after the sun had risen to give Tennessee one of the most balmy and beautiful Sabbaths that had ever dawned, and just as some feathered songsters, in their peaceful innocence, were about to sing their morning hymn on full-bloom peach trees, the hoarse voice of secession Moloch was heard, demanding another sacrifice of treasure, blood, and precious life. Nor was the demand unheeded, for ere the sun had sunk in the west, the sacrifice was horridly offered.”
 Daniel, Shiloh: The Battle that Changed the Civil War, p 223, 225. It is likely that the 16th Wisconsin replenished its ammunition near the position they took at 2 o’clock. Wicker Field is nearby and they might have done it there but it is hard to tell for sure.
 Markers 223, 225, 258 and 162. Stillwell, Leander. The Story of a Common Soldier of Army Life in the Civil War 1861-1865. (Erie, KS: Franklin Hudson, 1920) pp 47-8.
 OR 10:1, 286.
 Quiner, Military History of Wisconsin, p 634.
 OR 10:1, 286.
 Quiner, Military History of Wisconsin, pp 634-5.
 Wells, Robert W. Wisconsin in the Civil War. (Milwaukee: Milwaukee Journal, 1962.) p 18. This story does not state if the colonel was the 16th Wisconsin’s colonel or some other colonel in a nearby regiment.
 Vail, Company K, 4.
 Vail, Company K, 6. I thought some of Vail’s anger might be because Lieutenant Charles H Vail of Company I of the 16th Wisconsin died of wounds received at the battle. Charles H Vail, however, listed his hometown on the roster as Darlington in Lafayette County while David F Vail’s hometown was Port Washington in Ozaukee County. These two counties are separated by about a hundred miles. The two Vails might have been cousins but they were likely not brothers or father/son. I also would think it likely that if they were related David Vail would have mentioned that fact in his article.
 May letter that need reference info for.
 Soldier and Citizens Album of Biographical Record. (Chicago, Ill: Grand Army Publishing Company, 1890) pp 343-5. Hereafter cited as 1890 Grand Army.
 Cook, Fred G. Email correspondence on February 27th, 2001. Hereafter cited as email correspondence with Fred Cook.
 email correspondence with Fred Cook.
 Love, Wisconsin in the War of the Rebellion, p 483.
“Charge of the ‘Georgia Eighth'”
6 days ago