April 7, 1862

April 7 & 8, 1862. (the second and follow up day at the Battle of Shiloh)

“If the enemy comes on us in the morning, we’ll be whipped like hell”.

– Col. Nathan Bedford Forrest (Yes, Forrest Gump was named after this man)

The best estimates of casualties on the first day are the south lost 8,500 men to death and injury and an equal number to desertion. The effective force was about 28,000. The north had about 10,000 killed and wounded with few desertions (better discipline and training) leaving them with a significant advantage. About 50,000 fighting men, which prompted the quote from Confederate Col. Nathan Bedford Forrest whose advice General Beauregard ignored.

The Confederates had withdrawn into the old Union camps to get away from the naval bombardment, to search for food and ammunition. There was complete disarray, no lines of battle, no defensive positions.

At dawn Grant attacked with full force on his right driving the confederates out of their poorly defended positions with Lew Wallace’s “Lost Division”. The remainder of Sherman’s, McClernand’s and Tuttle’s (Tuttle replaced the surrendered Prentiss) divisions down the center with the Army of the Ohio on the right next to the river. The Confederate defenders were so badly commingled that little unit cohesion existed. It required more than two hours to locate Gen. Polk and bring up his division from its position before 10 a.m., Beauregard had realigned his front with his commanders from west to east: Bragg, Polk, Breckinridge, and Hardee.

Fighting was intensified now that the confederates had some cohesiveness. In a thicket near the Hamburg-Purdy Road, the fighting was so intense that Sherman described in his report of the battle “the severest musketry fire I ever heard.”

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April 6, 1862

April 6, 1862 (First day at the Battle of Shiloh)

In times of War and not Before,

God and Soldiers Men Adore.

But in Times of Peace

with all Things Righted,

God is Forgotten

and the Soldier Slighted.

 – Rudyard Kipling

After the losses of Fort Henry and Fort Donelson to General Grant in February of 1862, Confederate General Albert Sidney Johnston withdrew his forces into western Tennessee, northern Mississippi, and Alabama to reorganize.  During this time Union Maj. Gen. Henry W. Halleck removed Grant from his command for insubordination (lack of communications) quickly proven to be false.

Restored to full command Grant was ordered to move his six divisions known as the Army of the Tennessee (Union Army’s were named after rivers) to Pittsburg Landing in Tennessee.  At the same time General Don Carlos Buell was ordered to join Grant with his Army of the Ohio.  Halleck intended to take the field in person and lead both armies in an advance south to seize the Memphis & Charleston Railroad, a vital supply line between the Mississippi River Valley, Memphis, and Richmond at the junction in Corinth, Mississippi.

Grant’s army of 49k men consisted of six divisions, led by Maj. Gens. McClernand and Lew Wallace, and Brig. Gens. W. H. L. Wallace, Hurlbut, Sherman, and Prentiss. By early April, all six of the divisions were encamped on the western side of the Tennessee River, Lew Wallace’s at Crump’s Landing and the rest farther south at Pittsburg Landing.

General Johnston was fully aware of the positions of all Union troops in Tennesee as the loyal local population kept him well informed.  His Army of Mississippi (Confederate Army’s were named after states) had 55k just south of Corinth.  On April the 3rd 45K of these men marched to Pittsburg Landing hoping to hit Grant before he could join forces with Buell.

Maj. Gen. Polk, with two divisions under Brig. Gen. Clark and Maj. Gen. Cheatham, Maj. Gen. Braxton Bragg, with two divisions under Brig. Gens. Ruggles and Withers Maj. Gen. Hardee, with three brigades under Brig. Gens. Hindman, Cleburne, and Wood, Brig. Gen. Breckinridge, in reserve, with three brigades under Cols. Trabue and Statham, and Brig. Bowen, and attached cavalry.

Against the advice of his second in command General Beauregard who thought the test firing of weapons had given away their position, Johnston stated that he would “attack them if they were a million”.  On the early morning of April 6, 1862 The Army of Mississippi launched the attack straddling the Corinth road hoping to force Grant’s left flank into abandoning Pittsburg Landing and seek refuge in the swamps where it could be destroyed piecemeal.  They achieved a virtual tactical surprise and many union soldiers were bayoneted in their tents.  Because of the surprise, Johnston’s poorly trained troops quickly fell into disarray (out pacing the supply wagons and stopping to plunder) and the original plan fell apart.  Instead of separating the Union from the river they forced them towards it where Grant had a large reserve of Naval Weaponry (the BIG guns and mortars) at his command.  The Confederate force became intermingled and command structure was lost.  Confederate artillery became ineffective because the troops ran too far forward and would be hit by their own fire.  Despite all these tactical blunders the Confederate attack was gaining ground at an alarming rate.

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Allen West on the GOP and Black History

Allen West speaks on Black History month and the role that the GOP has played in securing liberty and justice for all. This is an excellent talk, highly recommended!

 

Bob Parks at Black & Right originally made up a fairly complete listing of GOP accomplishments around 2003, including items which many  Democrats find no problem taking credit for today. The truth is that for nearly every piece of legislation that Republicans introduced to advance equal rights for all, the Democrats stood solidly against it. Here is Bob’s updated list:

The Democrat Race Lie

 

 

Davy Crockett, Volunteer!

Davy Crockett vs. Welfare

From The Life of Colonel David Crockett,
by Edward S. Ellis (Philadelphia: Porter & Coates, 1884)

Crockett was then the lion of Washington. I was a great admirer of his character, and, having several friends who were intimate with him, I found no difficulty in making his acquaintance. I was fascinated with him, and he seemed to take a fancy to me.

I was one day in the lobby of the House of Representatives when a bill was taken up appropriating money for the benefit of a widow of a distinguished naval officer. Several beautiful speeches had been made in its support – rather, as I thought, because it afforded the speakers a fine opportunity for display than from the necessity of convincing anybody, for it seemed to me that everybody favored it. The Speaker was just about to put the question when Crockett arose. Everybody expected, of course, that he was going to make one of his characteristic speeches in support of the bill. He commenced:

“Mr. Speaker – I have as much respect for the memory of the deceased, and as much sympathy for the sufferings of the living, if suffering there be, as any man in this House, but we must not permit our respect for the dead or our sympathy for a part of the living to lead us into an act of injustice to the balance of the living. I will not go into an argument to prove that Congress has no power to appropriate this money as an act of charity. Every member upon this floor knows it. We have the right, as individuals, to give away as much of our own money as we please in charity; but as members of Congress we have no right so to appropriate a dollar of the public money. Some eloquent appeals have been made to us upon the ground that it is a debt due the deceased. Mr. Speaker, the deceased lived long after the close of the war; he was in office to the day of his death, and I have never heard that the government was in arrears to him. This government can owe no debts but for services rendered, and at a stipulated price. If it is a debt, how much is it? Has it been audited, and the amount due ascertained? If it is a debt, this is not the place to present it for payment, or to have its merits examined. If it is a debt, we owe more than we can ever hope to pay, for we owe the widow of every soldier who fought in the War of 1812 precisely the same amount. There is a woman in my neighborhood, the widow of as gallant a man as ever shouldered a musket. He fell in battle. She is as good in every respect as this lady, and is as poor. She is earning her daily bread by her daily labor; but if I were to introduce a bill to appropriate five or ten thousand dollars for her benefit, I should be laughed at, and my bill would not get five votes in this House. There are thousands of widows in the country just such as the one I have spoken of, but we never hear of any of these large debts to them. Sir, this is no debt. The government did not owe it to the deceased when he was alive; it could not contract it after he died. I do not wish to be rude, but I must be plain. Every man in this House knows it is not a debt. We cannot, without the grossest corruption, appropriate this money as the payment of a debt. We have not the semblance of authority to appropriate it as a charity. Mr. Speaker, I have said we have the right to give as much of our own money as we please. I am the poorest man on this floor. I cannot vote for this bill, but I will give one week’s pay to the object, and if every member of Congress will do the same, it will amount to more than the bill asks.”  Continue reading Davy Crockett, Volunteer!

The Forgotten Man

Against the background of a darkening sky, The Forgotten Manall of the past Presidents of the United States gather before the White House, as if to commemorate some great event. 

In the left hand corner of the painting sits a man. That man, with his head bowed appears distraught and hopeless as he contemplates his future.

Some of the past Presidents try to console him while looking in the direction of the modern Presidents as if to say, “What have you done?”

Many of these modern Presidents, seemingly oblivious to anything other than themselves, appear to be congratulating each other on their great accomplishments.

In front of the man, paper trash is blowing in the wind. Crumpled dollar bills, legislative documents, and, like a whisper—the U.S. Constitution beneath the foot of Barack Obama.

Jon McNaughton

painted this work, and explains his thought process in the following YouTube. As you can see, all of the modern Presidents are congratulating themselves, while our Founders are reacting in horror at what we have done. 

Here’s the ‘Tube: