History, Legends and Mysteries of the Catholic Church.

New Book From Seniram Publishing, Inc.

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This is the latest work from Seniram Publishing. It is written in chronological fashion and covers the periods from the Roman Empire through the 21st Century. The book covers the Ten General Persecutions and it includes many of the saints who gave their lives for their faith. It also covers the continual line of popes from Peter to Francis, the 266th pope. The book includes the changes of emperors and kings and tells the stories of the saints who lived during the time periods covered. The book, 8.5 x 11, contains 433 pages including an index. It also details the difficulties between the Catholic and the Protestants.

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Battle Of Pearl Harbor

Battle Of Pearl Harbor

This is an account of the Japanese sneak attack against Pearl Harbor on 7 December, 1941. The story is excerpted from a Portrait of the Stars and Stripes, Volume II,  Seniram Publishing.

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Abington News and Views interview with Author Bud Hannings.

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Happy Fourth of July — God’s Shining Light


I pledge allegiance to our Flag

for Freedom, she’s always true

I pray that God’s bright shing Light

will protect the Red White and Blue
Through unruly seas and stormy days

as Old Glory unfurls and the nation prays

Freedom’s heroes move in harm’s way

To defend America, our grand USA
Swiftly they move by air and sea

on the advance to ensure Liberty

Through war clouds for Old Glory

That America remains terror free
With Freedom’s light and God’s might

Our Flag moves fearlessly into the fight

From dawn to dusk and through the night

Old Glory will prevail, with Freedom’s Light
She’ll pave the way, she’ll clear the skies

Our Flag will liberate and then fly high

In the vast desert sands and valleys deep

in terrorists’ caves and mountain peaks
I pledge allegiance to our Flag

for Freedom’s sake, she’s always true

I pray that God’s bright shining light

will protect the Red White and Blue

Copyright 2001 © Bud Hannings Seniram Publishing
Glenside, Pennsylvania 19038

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This is an interview with Lou Sessinger, a journalist with the Intelligencer.

Interview with Lou Sessinger (In Iraq with troops).


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The Battle of Engano

Naval Battle of Engano, fought off Philippines during October 1944. Excerpted from Portrait of the Stars and Stripes Volume II, Seniram Publishing.

Podcast: http://usmilitaryhistory.com/podcast/engano1.mp3

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The Battle of Midway June 1942

The Battle of Midway (June 1942)

The Battle of Midway June 1942 The naval battle in which the Americans defend the island of Midway in the Pacific.

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The Text of the Battle of Midway

June 2nd-6th 1942 – THE BATTLE OF MIDWAY – American intelligence reports prove correct. The Japanese Invasion Fleet is steaming towards Midway, unaware that two U.S. Task Forces 16 and 17, are rendezvousing northeast of Midway, before moving jointly to a point, about 200 miles from Midway to meet the enemy Armada. Japanese fighters, dispatched from two Carriers, raid Fort Mears and Dutch Harbor,Alaska, in an  unsuccessful attempt to divert attention from the Japanese troops landing in the Aleutians. In addition to the U.S. Surface Vessels, the U.S. deploys 12 Submarines around Midway. The Trigger, Narwhal and Plunger deploy at a point where they can run interference between Oahu and Midway keeping a vigil to the east and north. Four other Submarines camp about 300 miles north of Oahu, while six additional Submarines are racing to the scene. The lone Cuttlefish, holds the point, about 700 miles out, to relay the signal at the first sign of the invaders. The U.S.S. Saratoga, a formidable Carrier, would be a welcome sight to the Yanks, but her voyage from the States, prevents her from reaching Midway in time. During the first rays of sunshine on the 4th, the Cuttlefish reports an enemy Tanker about 600 miles from Midway, then is forced to submerge, because of daylight and does not regain contact with the enemy. Shortly thereafter, Scout Planes detect the Invasion Force.

On the 4th, the Japanese strike Dutch Harbor again, causing slight damage. American Planes search in vain for the Carriers. Poor visibility works in favor of the Japanese, allowing them to escape southward without damage, but the Japanese ruse fails to rattle Nimitz. Search Planes based at Midway locate a genuine bonanza on the second of June, discovering two Japanese Carriers 400 miles south of Kiska.

Land-based Bombers, swarm above the approaching enemy vessels on the 3rd, inflicting some damage, but not enough turn back the invaders. One hundred and thirty Japanese Planes are launched from four Carriers on the 4th, to destroy Midway and its defenders. The threat is met initially by U.S. Marine Corps Planes based on Midway. As the danger signals rattle the communication lines, every available Plane is sent aloft. Approximately 50 Zeros with superior maneuverability and speed, lead the parade, escorting an array of nearly 100 Dive Bombers and Torpedo Planes. The formation is interrupted, about 30 miles from their objective , when Marine Pilots pounce on the Bombers, before the Zeros can come to their aid. The badly outnumbered Marines, attached to Fighting Squadron 213, do a magnificent job, considering the odds. During the Air duel, the Jap Bombers penetrate and strike Midway. Fifteen of the 25 Marine Fighters are shot down and another seven are severely damaged. but they make their way back to Midway. The Japanese pay a high price for their air attack, losing 34 Planes (damaged or shot down). The Marine Pilots return to base, passing over the smiling faces of the defenders who are waving excitedly in the shadow of Old Glory. They had intentionally avoided bombing the Airfields, that they might utilize the fields themselves in the near future. Instead, the Airfields remain useful to the Yanks.

Although the Marines whacked the Japs as they encroached Midway, all hell is breaking out in the battle zones. Army Bombers, based on Midway and without Fighter cover stream through the skies, heading for the objective. as quickly as the coordinates of the enemy Strike Force are received through the radio system, zooming for the anticipated location of the enemy Carriers. The staunch aggressiveness of a PBY had made contact with the Strike Force, at a position about 150 miles from Midway and now the Eagles are close behind. While the Fortresses advance, the Submarines receive their orders; the Cuttlefish, and the Flying Fish and the Cachalot, are ordered to stand fast, while other Submarines are ordered to attack the Carriers. The unescorted Army B-26s and Navy Torpedo Planes dive without cover fire and are mangled by Antiaircraft fire and Jap Zeros. This heroic assault by six Torpedo Planes (Avengers) and four B-26s (Marauders) cost the U.S. seven Planes, as one TBF and two 8-26s return alone. Additional Marine Squadrons follow the fury and are synchronized in the attack, with the Flying Fortresses. The Marine Dive Bombers penetrate the flying steel, again without cover fire. Out of 27 Dive Bombers who crash through the Zeros and ack-ack, eight are shot down and the remainder sustain severe damage. The Fortresses expend all bombs, but none strike the mark, invigorating the Japanese, who still contemplate the seizure of Midway. The unscathed Japanese Carriers have evaded destruction and receive reports detailing the location of the American Carriers, which are slightly beyond the horizon. At about 09:00, the Japanese alter their course to seek out the Enterprise and her counterparts, the Hornet and Yorktown.

Pilots from the Hornet and Enterprise desperately attempt to locate the Jap Flattops, but their fuel diminishes rapidly as the Japanese have changed course, making the Americans’ task even tougher as they scour the clouds. The Flying Fighters from the Hornet are compelled to ditch at sea and the Bombers must head for Midway or suffer the same fate. The worries of the day become more serious for the Yanks at Midway, the most vulnerable of the objectives. Japanese Bombers from the Enterprise are skyward, but they see nothing, but wide open seas. Suddenly, a Squadron of Fighters from the Enterprise spots the enemy Carriers and roars to the location to the Bombers. They immediately close the range in conjunction with testy Fighters from the Yorktown, whose memories of the Coral Sea are still vivid in their minds. As luck would have it, the Japanese on the Kaga, are caught reloading the Bombers as Planes from the Yorktown arrive. First, the Japs receive several reprieves. Torpedo Squadron 8, fresh off the Hornet, approaches, again without Fighter protection. The dauntless Pilots begin the attack, just prior to 09:30, fully realizing the expected odds and the entire Squadron, commanded by Lt. Commander John C. Waldron, of 15 is downed. The lone survivor is Ensign George H. Gay. The Pacific Theater is about to make a fibber out of Barnum, for it is Ensign Gay, who is about to have the front row seat, at the greatest show on earth, at least if you count the Pacific Theater. As Gay ponders his fate, while clinging to his life preserver, the clock nears 10:00 as friendly Yankee engines roar overhead, bound for the Carriers. A Torpedo Squadron from the Enterprise dives through the flying lead, followed closely by additional Skywarriors from the Yorktown. As an astonished Ensign Gay watches, a most magnificent roar trembles over the ocean. The initial explosion is soon followed by more, until the Kaga is consumed by fire and smoke. The battle rages, with more bombs striking, and more explosions, literally catapulting Japanese Sailors from the decks into the nearby inferno of the once unspoiled waters, which have instantly been transformed into a vision of carnage and wreckage. Both the Akagi and Soryu are ablaze. The American Planes return to their Carriers, although 10 Torpedo Bombers, from the Yorktown and a like number from the Enterprise are shot down. However, there are three less operational Carriers in the Japanese Navy.

Japanese Planes discover the location of the American Carriers at about 12:00 and close for the attack with 36 Planes, equally divided between Dive Bombers and Zeros. Twelve Fighters from the Yorktown are launched in quick succession, to meet the threat and they knock out half of the Bombers. Several Japs break through the skywall, to be knocked down by gunners, but three bombs strike the Carrier, causing severe fires. The crew works feverishly to extinguish the inferno, but as they do, another group of Torpedo Bombers swoops down on the wounded Carrier. The Gunners knock out every Plane, but the Vessel is rocked with several additional torpedoes. Soon, Captain Elliot Buckmaster is forced to abandon his Carrier. The score is three to one, but the loss of the Yorktown is critical to the American cause. The key to victory depends on finding the 4th Jap Carrier, the Hiryu, which is retreating to the northeast, while the other three are burning, in what might be the biggest fish fry outside of Tokyo. The Hiryu, flanked by her escorts, is speeding out of the area, but Spotter Planes from the Yorktown locate the enemy Armada, which includes the lone Carrier, still operational and two Battleships, a few Destroyers and two Cruisers. Planes from the Hornet and the Enterprise are called out and combine to knock out the Carrier. Incessant enemy fire greets them, as they make the approach, from 10 Zeros but the Hiryu is hit and set ablaze. While the attackers from the Enterprise are pummeling the Hiryu, other Planes from the Hornet assault the escort Vessels.

Ensign Gay, remarkably floating alone in the middle of this gigantic graveyard in the sea, is unaware that he is not the only American in the area. Several fathoms below, lies the impetuous U.S.S. Nautilus, the only Submarine, out of a cast of 29, that will playa major part in the show. The crew of the Nautilus is a little aggravated with the day so far, as she has been assaulted at about 08:00, by a Jap Plane and a couple of aggressive Cruisers. A little later in the morning, the Nautilus spots a peculiar looking Vessel, a Battleship. The Warship now attacks the periscope of the Nautilus, while the crew is on its deck, scurrying around, anticipating a jubilant kill. The curious periscope scans the water and sees enemy Vessels at every point of revolution. Brockman, disgruntled by the irreverent treatment by his hosts, shakes loose of a barrage of depth charges, and rears forward to attack. The Nautilus fires torpedoes at a Cruiser, bringing even more depth charges. The Armada move ahead, leaving a lone Destroyer to catch the Nautilus. The Destroyer searches in vain, but the Submarine skirts under the waves at a zesty pace, then impulsively pokes her periscope atop the water, enabling the Vessel, to observe a sky full of bursting shells strewn in umbrella style, high above an enemy Carrier. Above the shellfire, is a more delightful view; soaring American Planes. Enemy escorts spot the protruding eye of the Submarine and initiate an attack. Taking corrective action, the Nautilus fires her torpedoes before diving for cover to the bottom. The enemy evades the incoming torpedoes and starts dropping depth charges wide of the Nautilus, which is beached nervously in sand. At about 10:00 it goes up for another look and finds all is clear, except for a few blazing Carriers, as reported over the radio. The Nautilus creeps near the burning, but operational Carrier Soryu, and fires a few poignant torpedoes. All three torpedoes hit the mark, triggering severe explosions and finally, a thunderous roar, that rocks the entire area after the Vessel is half way to the bottom. The final explosions are so terrifying, that the Nautilus momentarily thinks it is under attack. The periscope verifies no Ships, friend or foe, and the men of the Nautilus enjoy their dinner. Ensign Gay, holding the only front seat for the Nautilus performance, has enjoyed the show and will be later rescued to tell the tale.

The day is full of fury, heroics and glory. In another instance of American fortitude, Captain Richard Fleming’s (U.S.M.C. Squadron 241) craft is struck by 179 hits during the day. His plane dips to an altitude of 400 feet, to release its bombs, during the initial attack. He returns against the enemy again and after scoring a near miss from an altitude of 500 feet, is struck by additional enemy fire, that forces the courageous pilot to crash in the sea. All in all, it has been a calamitous day for the Imperial Navy.

The chastened Admiral Yamamoto has no choice, but to attempt to get back to Japan. He instructs a group of Cruisers, (rom his Occupation Force, to move close to Midway in a diversionary tactic, to lambaste the island, preventing Aircraft from pursuing him. However, the U.S. has this one figured out also. All the Submarines, which had been dispersed to search for the enemy, are hastily recalled to their original positions, to protect Midway in the event of an invasion and are deployed by the early morning of June 5thThe Japanese move cautiously, toward Midway, but are surprised to find the Submarines waiting in ambush. Contact is made, with unidentified Vessels, by the U.S.S. Tambor, at slightly after 02:00, but extreme caution is taken by Lt. Commander Murphy, in the event that they might be American Ships. Further probing by the Submarine verifies the Vessels as hostile Cruisers and unquestionably Japanese. The Tambor dives as the enemy cruisers approach. When it comes up to periscope depth, the Tambor finds all (our Cruisers had swung to the left, causing two to collide immediately after sighting the American Submarine. Yamamoto, finding more futility in the belated endeavor, orders the attack aborted well before the sun comes out. The four Cruisers retreat, with the Mikuma and the Mogami, both damaged, and lagging behind.

Planes from Midway, following the trail of oil from the damaged Mikuma, deliver a brutalizing attack on the 6th of June. The Air assault incapacitates the Milmma and staggers the Mogami. Admiral Spruance then dispatches Aircraft from the Hornet and Enterprise to fini sh the job. The Dive Bombers bury the Mikuma and take a severe toll on the Mogami. Amazingly, the Vessel is able to crawl back to Truk. Midway is saved, but again the cost is high. The gallant Yorktown is knocked out of action and while being towed to Pearl Harbor for repairs, one of three enemy Submarines, operating around Midway is able to get off four torpedoes, two of which strike the Yorktown and the other two hit the Destroyer Hammann. A tremendous explosion ignites the Vessel’s ammunition, killing many of the crew and further damaging the nearby Yorktown, ensuringher demise. Other Warships in the area rush to get the Submarine 1168, culminating the battle. On the following morning, at 05:00, the Yorktown rolls over and sinks.

Admirals Nimitz, Spruance and Fletcher are the victors. Admiral Halsey, unable to oversee his Task Force. had made an admirable choice in Spruance. The U.S. Headquarters at Pearl is ecstatic as word had reached them about Yamamotos retreat back to Japan. The U.S. Navy begins rescue operations, picking up surviving Pilots who had ditched in the Pacific. Aircraft losses on both sides are extremely heavy, costing the U.S. 150 Planes and the Japanese over 250. Surviving Japanese Pilots are rare, as few are issued parachutes. The Three American Carriers had turned the tide of battle and although the Yanks suffer the loss of the Yorktown, it has a successor, the Saratoga heading for the Pacific Theater. The principal body of Yamamotos assault forces have escaped unscathed, but the Japanese have lost Over 4,500 Sailors, and four Carriers during this confrontation.

TheImperial Navy is down to only two Carriers and they have been preoccupied in the Aleutians, where U.S. and Canadian forces have stopped the Japanese thrust into Alaska. Yamamoto, devastated personally by the defeat, is prepared to call back the Aleutian force, but decides to instruct them to land at Attu and Kiska. In addition, the two consecutive losses at the Coral Sea and on Midway, has cost precious experienced Japanese Pilots. Both Air and Sea power in the Pacific now favor the United States. The U.S. Navy had won the decisive victory needed to raise morale and place the momentum on the side of the Allies.




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Battle of the Coral Sea

The U.S. fleet engages the Japanese fleet in the Coral Sea during May 1942. The opposing fleets never make contact. The entire battle is fought between the opposing planes. The battle is the prelude to the Naval Battle of Midway.

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The Great Locomotive Chase

The Great Locomotive Race, by Bud Hannings, excerpted from Every Day of the Civil War. McFarland and Company, Inc. Publishers, Jefferson, North Carolina. Copyright 2010 

April 7–12 1862 THE GREAT LOCOMOTIVE CHASE In Tennessee, orders arrive at each of the three Ohio regiments of General Joshua Sill’s brigade with instructions that one man from each company was to be selected for a special clandestine mission. The commanders of the respective companies gather to determine the intent of the mission and the skills required from the men to execute the mission. The mission is to commandeer a Confederate railroad train and burn bridges to disrupt the Confederate rail system. The plan, concocted by a civilian spy, James Andrews, had been tried earlier, but the mission conducted by men of the 2nd Ohio had failed. Nonetheless, it is to be once again attempted and again led by Andrews. Those who had volunteered earlier had barely escaped with their lives and decline to participate in a second raid.

The first priority remains getting men who can operate a train. The captains, aware of the requirement, begin to select the troops from their respective companies by asking for those familiar with operating a train to step forward. One of the engineers chosen, Wilson Brown, inquires of General Mitchel about the chances of success and receives this response: “That depends upon circumstances. If the enterprise can be carried out as planned by Mr. Andrews, I think the chances are very good indeed; but if any delay happens, the difficulty will be increased.” Brown replies, “Why so, General?”  Mitchel responds: “Because as the armies draw nearer, the roads will be more occupied with troops and stores moving back and forth, and these will be in your way. Your mission is very hazardous. It is not pleasant for me to send such a number of picked men into the enemy’s power; but in war great risks must be run, and we are engaged in a war of right and wrong; armed treason must be met and conquered; and if you fall, you die in a glorious cause. I have great confidence in Mr. Andrews, your leader; I trust that the great ruler of the destinies of man will protect you all!”

The selected men, who did not know who the others were, each had to dress in civilian clothes and meet with Andrews. Then the 22 men, including three civilians, initiate a 200 mile journey deep into Confederate territory en route to seize a train at Big Shanty, Georgia, and afterward proceed to destroy the tracks between Chattanooga and Atlanta. If caught, each is subject to being hanged as a spy.

Andrews instructs the men to avoid troops of the Confederate Army, which is grabbing volunteers, and if approached the men are to inform the Rebels that they are Kentuckians attempting to get south to join a regiment and “escape the rule of the Yankees.” He tells them they are to “break up in small squads of two, three, or four, and travel east into the Cumberland Mountains, then south to the Tennessee River. You can cross the river and take passage on the cars at Shell-Mound or some station between that and Chattanooga on the Memphis and Charleston.” Most importantly, he tells them, “You must be at Chattanooga not later than Thursday afternoon [10th], and reach Marietta the same evening, ready to take passage northward on the train the next morning. I will be there with you, or before you, and will then tell you what to do…. “When we once meet at Marietta, we will stay together and either come through in a body or die together.”

At Marietta on Saturday, 12 April, two of the men, Porter and Hawkins, were not awakened by the waiter because they did not pay him anything. Consequently, Andrews’ unit is reduced to nineteen men. In a last-minute conference in the railroad hotel, Andrews cautions the men and explains: “When the train stops at Big Shanty for breakfast, keep your places till I tell you to go. Get seats near each other in the same car, and say nothing about the matter on the way up. If anything unexpected occurs, look to me for the word.”

All board the train and enter the same car. Later, the train arrives at Big Shanty (later Kennesaw), and as the crowd is leaving, Andrews initiates the move. The engine is discovered empty. Andrews directs one of his men to uncouple the car at the beginning of the first baggage car, to the rear of three empty freight cars. Suddenly, the Confederate train is controlled by Union troops and the valve is shoved open, but unexpectedly, the switch had been thrown to quickly, creating a problem. Instead of roaring away, the wheels only begin to spin, but it lasts only a few seconds, too quick for the Confederates to react. Finally, after those seconds of desperation, the engine does roar, the wheels kick in and the theft had occurred so quickly that not a shot had been fired as Andrews’ train speeds away heading back to Union lines.

All seems well initially; however, as the train speeds forward, the steam level drops, due to a failure to reopen the dampers (on the engine fires) that had been closed while the train had paused in Big Shanty. Hurriedly, some oil and some fresh wood eradicate the problem. During the short pause, the troops sever the telegraph lines to eliminate warnings being sent from Big Shanty to alert other Confederates of the insolent intruders. At the time the town has no telegraph; however, Andrews remains concerned that a portable battery might be available.

At Moon’s Station, Andrews is able to acquire a tool to help expedite the operation to pull out the railroad spikes along the tracks. The workman hands over the bar without resistance, so no violence is necessary. Some dissatisfaction is noticed, however, as the train speeds through various stations without pausing to pick up passengers. Later, the train, the General, stops for water and fresh wood at Cassville. While stopped, Andrews explains that he had been sent by General Beauregard to acquire ammunition and rush it to him.

The General arrives at Kingston and must pull onto a side track to await the approach of the scheduled passenger train, but Andrews becomes impatient, as it is running late. Finally it arrives and the story regarding the ammunition for Beauregard again holds up, but Andrews also gains intelligence. The conductor of the passenger train details the capture of Huntsville by General Mitchel and that his forces are en route to Chattanooga, without any Confederate forces to intercept the columns. All the while, Andrews’ men are in the boxcars, confined to silence and unaware of the reason for the delay.

Andrews insists that he must move out immediately and the conductor inquires, “What will you do about Mitchel at Huntsville?” Andrews, continuing his flawless ruse, replies: “I do not believe the story. Mitchel would not be fool enough to run down there, but if he is, Beauregard will soon sweep him out of the road. At any rate I have my orders.” Meanwhile, back at Big Shanty, the “Conductor Fuller, Engineer Cain, and the foreman of the road machine shops, Mr. Anthony Murphy” take steps to get the train back. A horseman had sped to Marietta and sent a wire to Atlanta. While in Marietta, the runner acquires a train, which speeds to Big Shanty to load troops. Afterward, the train initiates the chase. The holdup at Kingston allows the pursuers to close, and when the General finally moves out of Kingston, the Confederates are close behind. Nevertheless, as soon as the train is out of sight of the station, it pauses to permit one of the men to ascend a pole to cut the telegraph line to ensure no helpful message is forwarded about the ammunition train for General Beauregard. In addition, with knowledge of a pursuing train, more track is ripped up to impede progress.

Andrews reaches Adairsville and asked identical questions, he responds with the story of rushing ammunition to Beauregard. When asked what about the Yankees under Mitchel, Andrews responds by telling the men that Beauregard is nearly out of ammunition and he must continue, despite the advance of Mitchel toward Chattanooga. The story is bought and the General departs expeditiously, although the Confederate trains are off schedule due to the Union advance and Andrews has to worry about an oncoming train as the General heads toward Calhoun, less than ten miles distant. After a tense delay, Andrews is able to move out of the station, but close behind, the Confederates arrive at the station, and in a new engine, the Texas, they quickly pull out with the sounds of  their whistle now being picked up by Andrews’ party.

Andrews travels through Resaca, having no time to destroy a bridge nor pull up tracks. A few more close calls occur, but still the Rebels do not catch the General as it safely speeds through Dalton. About one mile beyond Dalton, the General halts to cut the wires, but a message had already been sent warning of the stolen train. By now a rain that has been falling throughout the race intensifies. The Yankees are down to one car and Andrews orders it set afire. The boxcar is set ablaze on one of the Chickamauga bridges, but the rain had soaked the wood, so it does little damage and there is not sufficient time to move it to the next bridge. The General resumes its speed and passes through Ringgold.

Nevertheless, shortly afterward, Andrews issues an order to abandon the train, and for each man on his own to attempt to make it back to Union lines. Anderson had not had any military experience and the men, although shocked that he would order them to split up, obeyed the order. In that instant the chase was essentially over. But Andrews issues the order again and the men abandon the train at a point about five miles beyond Ringgold and less than 20 miles from Chattanooga. At the time, the train had sufficient fuel and was operating well, under the circumstances.

The entire band is eventually captured, including the two who missed the train at Marietta. Later, an escape is attempted by some, including Andrews, but he is later recaptured and given brutal punishment before being hanged. On 18 June, seven others are hanged. They are William Campbell, George D. Wilson, Marion A. Ross, Perry G. Shadrack, Samuel Slavens, and Samuel Robertson. The remaining 14 include Wilson W. Brown, William Knight, J.R. Porter, Martin J. Hawkins, Mark Wood, J.A. Wilson, John Wollam and D.A. Dorsey; they escape on 16 October 1862. The others, Jacob Parrott, Robert Buffum, William Bensinger, William Reddick, E.H. Mason and William Pittinger are exchanged on 18 March 1863. Each man becomes a recipient of the Medal of Honor for individual courage and valor above and beyond the call of duty. Initially, the six escapees receive the Medal, the first six awards presented. The others, except the civilians, receive the medal later, some posthumously.

At the hangings, the Confederates had not provided coffins. The Union troops were buried in a common grave, but after the war, the U.S. government moved quickly to extricate the remains of the Union heroes and have them reinterred in the National Cemetery at Chattanooga. On 11 April 1887, Andrews’ remains are extricated and he is reinterred at Chattanooga with those of his detachment that had also been hanged.

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A Day In the Civil War, The Battle of Shiloh. April 6-7 1862

The Battle of Shiloh, by Bud Hannings, excerpted from Every Day of the Civil War. McFarland and Company, Inc. Publishers, Jefferson, North Carolina. Copyright 2010 

April 6–7 1862–BATTLE OF SHILOH

The Confederate Army of the Mississippi, at about 0300, boldly and with total surprise launches a massive attack against Union lines at Shiloh, Tennessee. The Confederates, with General William J. Hardee’s Third Corps in the center at the point, flanked on the left by Leonidas Polk’s First Corps and on the right by Braxton Bragg’s Second Corps, each begin moving into position on the Corinth Road, Owl Creek and Ridge Road respectively. The entire operation is concluded without detection by the Union, setting up a colossal ambush that awaits only the signal to launch the assault. It comes at precisely 0500 and the three solid lines push off. General Hardee’s advance troops, trailed closely behind by the main body, smash into General Prentiss’ picket lines, driving them back.

On the right, two brigades plow into General William T. Sherman’s left flank near Shiloh Church and drive through, slamming directly into General Prentiss’ main force. Both the strength and the depth of this attack catch the Union off guard, and to make the situation even more critical, many of the Union contingents have never seen battle. This Confederate juggernaut is their baptism under fire and they are being inundated, which compels them to retire in undisciplined fashion. Nearby, the 1st and 4th Brigades of Colonels John D. McDowell and Ralph Buckland, having only just set up their lines, are also effortlessly driven back to Major General John A. McClernand’s positions, losing a battery in the process.

McClernand’s force is ordered up to provide support to Sherman’s left flank, while General Stephen A. Hurlbut is speeding to bolster Prentiss. All the while the Rebels continue to strike blow after blow as they advance with a feeling of invincibility against the faltering Union lines. In addition to the sheer power of the ground assault, the Confederates under General Daniel Ruggles unleash their 62 cannon, the largest artillery force ever assembled on a North American battlefield.

By 0700, Sherman’s entire line is being overwhelmed with a sea of gray and McClernand’s left flank to the rear of Prentiss is engaged all along the line. But by now, with the shock wearing off and the hefty support of Taylor’s Chicago Battery, Sherman’s troops have dug in rigidly, and with the added inspiration of Sherman himself, who is moving all along the line, despite having sustained a wound to the hand, the Union force regains stability. Sherman’s high visibility, although a sharp target for the Confederates, is a swaggering example of boldness to his troops.

In the meantime, General Grant is informed of the crisis in Sherman’s sector. With some reformed units, he rushes there to stiffen the defensive line. As the whirlwind of shot and shell soars overhead and the bayonets clash with deadly results, more Confederates gush into the field of battle. At about 0900, Sherman’s left flank, already under severe stress, receives another devastating blow as Hardee’s Third Corps emerges from the woods, along with a strong contingent of Bragg’s Second Corps. Simultaneously, Polk’s First Corps stalks Sherman’s rear. Meanwhile, the units under W.H.L. Wallace that Grant, prior to moving to aid Sherman, had ordered to reform are moving up from Crump’s Landing.

The reinforcements form a new defensive line on a ridge to the front of Snake Creek and tightly hold the line there, halting a tenacious Rebel advance. However, more Confederate troops arrive and they pounce upon Colonel Everett Peabody’s 1st Brigade, threatening to overwhelm it and crack right through Prentiss’ lines to reach the river. General Hurlbut dispatches his 2nd Brigade to lend support, but he withholds the 1st and 3rd Brigades. The reinforcements are insufficient to halt the Confederates’ progress. They continue to pour incessant fire and advance almost at will. Hurlbut speeds the remaining two brigades forward, but their arrival is too late to stem the tide.

During the course of the fighting, Colonel Nelson G. Williams, while leading a brigade (Hurlbut’s division), becomes severely injured (temporarily paralyzed) when an artillery shell strikes his horse, causing it to fall upon him.

Other Union reinforcements, Prentiss’s 2nd Brigade under Colonel Madison Miller and General W.H.L. Wallace’s 2nd Brigade under General John McArthur (appointed brigadier general earlier this year), move to support a contingent of Sherman’s force, David L. Stuart’s brigade, which had inadvertently become positioned beyond a huge gap along the Hamburg Road and comes under tremendous pressure as the surging Rebels begin to encircle it. Both brigades, Miller’s and MacArthur’s, encounter large enemy forces and each is compelled to retire. And at Prentiss’s positions, the situation is  grave. The Confederates mass a huge line and with relentless fury, hammer the 1st Brigade under Colonel Peabody. Consequently, Peabody’s brigade becomes totally isolated from the remainder of the main force, which severely weakens Prentiss, who with his few remaining regiments attempts to forestall disaster.

Meanwhile, Peabody, while leading the 25th Missouri, is lost during the early fighting, deepening the predicament for Prentiss. The Union, pressed by the overwhelming strength of the Rebels, makes a hasty retreat toward the Tennessee River with the Rebels running up their backs. Once there, and commanding more tenable positions, they regroup and form a staunch line at Sunken Road, dubbed the “Hornet’s Nest.” Prentiss is able to fend off a series of devastating attacks, but following about three hours of incessant combat, coupled with the fact that he is encircled, Prentiss is compelled to surrender.

In the meantime, still more Confederate units slam into McClernand’s main body along the Corinth and Pittsburg Landing Road, and yet others force Colonel David L. Stuart’s brigade to retreat. It pulls back to positions that nearly are off the field of battle. All the while, as the Union attempts to regroup and repel the attacks, more and more Rebel contingents arrive to inflict even heavier punishment. By 1100, McClernand’s lines are driven back to those of General Hurlbut, and within an hour, the Confederates occupy much of the terrain that had earlier in the day encamped the forces of McClernand, Prentiss, Sherman and Stuart. The Confederates also seize many cannon and a large number of prisoners, including about one-half of Captain Edward McAllister’s and Major Adolph Schwartz’s artillerymen.

Other Union outfits are able to buy some time at the expense of Prentiss’ 6th Division by digging in at Pittsburg Landing and constructing a desperate final line of defense. The Union is being dealt such a serious blow that nearby there remains only two intact divisions, Wallace’s Second and Hurlbut’s Fourth, along with the shattered remnants of the other units of Prentiss’s Sixth Division. W.H. Wallace expeditiously shifts his lines to fill a hole on Hurlbut’s left flank, which also provides some protection to the supplies and the wagons.

The Union, despite losing about half of both McAllister’s and Schwartz’s batteries, still controls some additional firepower. Major Cavender is on hand with the batteries of Richardson, Stone and Webber. Nonetheless, the Confederates hold the momentum and expect to overwhelm the guns and drive the Union line back to the river. However, the badly bruised Union forces are not quite ready to capitulate. Instead, they prepare to defend against another massive assault.

Three Rebel units, the divisions of Benjamin Franklin Cheatham and Jones M. Withers and the Reserve Corps under John C. Breckinridge, smash into the lines, and for the duration of the afternoon, the opposing sides bludgeon each other. The artillery batteries trade barrages and the field becomes layered with casualties. Destroyed equipment lies in flames, as the incessant artillery bombardments have set many areas of the woods afire. Some units, including the Union 44th Indiana, become heavily engaged while the blazes and smoke sweep violently in front of their lines. The raging fires create huge hovering clouds of thick choking smoke that further impede the contest. The Confederates launch repeated assaults, seemingly with Hurlbut’s artillery as the primary objective, but the Peach Orchard is firmly held by the defenders and their guns rivet the Rebel columns.

In the meantime, other Confederates whack the right side of the front line, forcing a slight crack, while additional units pound the flanks, igniting a donnybrook. Hurlbut’s command is pressed further and compelled to again pull back moving closer to the river. This retirement then causes the remnants of Sherman’s and McClernand’s divisions to head for more tenable positions in the same general area. General W.H.L. Wallace, while attempting to thwart the attacks of Polk’s and Hardee’s forces, is mortally wounded. Colonel J.M. Tuttle, commanding the 1st Brigade, succeeds him as commander of the division. He is promoted to brigadier general the following June.

By this time, at about 1700, the savage, close-quartered fighting has exhausted and disorganized both sides. At the river, after sustaining about 4,000 casualties, the Union troops are scattered along the high banks of the landing and along the lower banks near the transport vessels. Attempts are immediately made to reform and rally the troops, but initially, the effort is fruitless. Meanwhile, the Confederates, having already gained both the advantage and the momentum, are preparing to mount another solid attack to inflict total defeat and demoralize the Yankees. The Union, to avoid absolute disaster, must hold at all hazards until the arrival of General Buell’s force that is en route.

During the late afternoon, the Union gets an unexpected reprieve. A detachment commanded by Colonel J. Webster, General Grant’s chief of staff, places 53 guns on the high ground in support of the troops who are now compressed in a fragile half-moon position. The Confederates, unaware of the arrival of the additional guns, complete the preparations for what is expected to be the final assault to crush the Union.

The Rebels, with an enormous amount of vitality, sound the attack, and the columns advance to the roaring guns of the artillery, but  this time, it is the Confederates who receive the surprise. The tattered Union lines have finally regrouped and the Union guns greet the Rebels with a furious hurricane of fire, so heavy that the attack striking the right is quickly forced back. In the meantime, the Union gunboats, USS Tyler and Lexington, until now mere spectators, finally get their opportunity to propel pernicious salutations to the overwhelming numbers of Confederates. The interdiction fire is extraordinarily explosive and particularly deadly as the gunboats’ 64-pound shot and 12-inch shells rock the slopes and create bedlam within the Rebel ranks, inflicting extremely heavy casualties.

At about this same time, early evening, the spirits of the beleaguered Union troops experience a huge lift with the arrival of Buell’s advance guard, which moves in and covers Grant’s left. The combined fire of the Union infantry, artillery and the gunboats secure the field and cut off a Confederate attempt to cross Dill Creek, prior to a subdued darkness, which temporarily silences the blazing gunfire which has raged ruthlessly throughout the day.

At about dusk, General Lewis Wallace’s force, ordered up earlier in the morning, finally arrives and it is received with welcome arms, but Grant is also annoyed at the delay in arrival, attributed to some confusion. Wallace explains that he had indeed departed immediately upon receiving the order to move out. He informs Grant that he had advanced toward positions expected to be in the heat of the battle, but due to unanticipated Confederate gains, he had been off en route by about six miles. Once informed by Captain John Rawlins, Grant’s adjutant general who had intercepted Wallace, who had been inadvertently advancing to the Confederate rear, retraces his steps and although tardy, deploys in the proper positions to bolster the exhausted Yankees.

Although this day’s battle concludes at about 2100, the gunboats USS Lexington and Tyler, using synchronized firing systems, pound Confederate shore positions at 15 minute intervals, allowing Buell’s troops to move into Union lines undetected, setting the stage for a horrendous surprise for the Confederates, who still suspect that Grant’s beleaguered lines are ready to be sliced into pieces. In addition, the Confederates, who have also sustained heavy casualties, have lost their commander-in-chief, General Albert S. Johnston. Command reverts to General Pierre Beauregard, who establishes headquarters at Shiloh Church. Neither side has an opportunity to receive much relaxation, as the bombardments are maintained throughout the night, causing the Rebels to constantly seek safer positions. In addition, both sides are forced to contend with a terrible storm that drenches the entire area.

On the 7th, prior to dawn, Grant, with the addition of Lew Wallace’s division (Grant’s army) and Buell’s army, including Thomas L. Crittenden (Fifth Division), McCook (Second Division), and Nelson (Fourth Division), has 55,000 troops available to repulse whatever is thrown at his lines by the Confederates. The First Division under General George H. Thomas is too far to the rear to arrive in time and the Sixth Division under General T.J. Wood is only able to get one brigade to the  scene of battle; however, Grant’s other forces, which received a thrashing on the previous day, are anxious to redeem themselves. The Union line stretches from the Hamburg and Purdy Roads to Owl Creek, with Buell holding the left and General Lewis Wallace holding the right. The forces of McClernand, Hurlbut and Sherman, which had been engaged on the previous day, are stacked in the center.

In contrast, the Confederates have been compelled by the night-long bombardments to relinquish much of the ground they had secured. They now stand to the front of the encampments they held on the previous day. On the right, held by General Hardee, Chalmers’ and Jackson’s brigades, both attached to Withers’ division, prepare to attack, and holding the center are the forces of Breckinridge and Polk. The far left is held by the remnants of Bragg’s force.

On this day, it is the Union which initiates the action. Slightly before dawn, on the Union right, Lew Wallace’s force commences a powerful bombardment that strikes Rebel positions in a thickly wooded ravine that lies opposite their positions. In concert with the booming artillery barrage, and following the silencing of one of the Confederate guns, Wallace orders an assault to penetrate the Confederate line defended by General Bragg. The Union advances and secures a hill, and anticipating a quick advance by Sherman, Wallace moves to turn the Confederate flank, expecting Sherman to move in and hold the gap; however, the Rebels strike first, intending to collapse Wallace’s right. Union artillery and the 8th Missouri Regiment neutralize the attempt and repel an assault, which includes Confederate cavalry. At about the same time, Colonel Morgan L. Smith’s 1st Brigade is struck by a tenacious but unsuccessful infantry assault that advances under the fire of the guns of a Louisiana battery. Following these vicious engagements, Sherman arrives and both divisions move toward Shiloh Church, Beauregard’s headquarters. The columns proceed without encountering any heavy resistance until they encroach the objective.

In the meantime, at about 0530, on the Union’s right, General Nelson’s Fourth Division advances, trailed by Crittenden’s Fifth Division and Rousseau’s 4th Brigade (McCook’s Second Division). Soon after, they encounter and push back Confederate pickets attached to Forrest’s cavalry, but as the advance broadens, resistance stiffens. Standing in the path of advance are contingents of three separate brigades, Chalmer’s, Gladden’s and Jackson’s, bolstered by some unattached Tennessee and Alabama regiments and supporting artillery. The Yankees come under a severe assault that forces them to fall back toward the trailing division of Crittenden, but when they join, the line becomes galvanized. The Union turns the tables and strikes back with a disciplined advance under the umbrella security of hefty artillery. The power of the attack drives the Rebels back, permitting the Union to regain a battery that had earlier been lost.

Once the Rebels begin to retreat, fresh troops arrive to bolster them and permit the flight to end. By about 0800, the Confederates are able to launch a new offensive and the blood-soaked field becomes engulfed in close-quartered slaughter, with each side delivering punishing blows. Amid the wild fighting, the artillery, indifferent to man and beast, jolts the earth, causing high casualties among both; suddenly many of the opposing cavalrymen become horseless from the blazing fire of the cannon and rifles. Nonetheless, the Rebels once again press to smash a gap into the lines of the Union, now held by two divisions and Lovell H. Rosseau’s 4th Brigade (McCook’s Second Division), which just arrived on Crittenden’s left. General Buell has also arrived with his brigade.

Crittenden’s division arrives from Shiloh Church and moves into position on Breckinridge’s line. All the while, the determined Confederates remain unaware of the added Union strength. They advance and whack the 19th Brigade under Colonel William B. Hazen and push it upon an open field and beyond. The troops desperately seek to reach better positions in the woods to Crittenden’s left, but during the attempt to gain tenable positions, the unit gets caught in a devastating artillery crossfire. At the same time, Colonel Jacob Ammen’s 10th Brigade, Fourth Division under Nelson, comes under extreme pressure. It is close to being turned, which would cause a collapse in the line, but reinforcements, Terrell’s Battery (McCook’s Division), arrive, bringing with them twentyfour pound howitzers. Ammen’s brigade, bolstered by the artillery, commences a tremendous bombardment that slings sheets of fire toward the Rebel positions and repels the assault, but still there is neither victor nor vanquished. The Confederates are stalled but not defeated. At about this time, more Union reinforcements begin to fill the ranks. Boyle’s 11th Brigade (Crittenden’s Fifth Division) sprints forward and deploys to the left of Nelson’s Fourth Division. Once there, a colossal amount of support fire pours in from the batteries of Terrell, Mendenhall and Bartlett, giving Boyle’s brigade some running room. It bolts forward and delivers a solid blow that staggers the Rebels. With unrelenting vengeance, the brigade doggedly drives ahead and the enormous pressure compels the Rebels to give more ground until eventually they are driven beyond their second and third batteries, both of which are quickly seized by the Union. And still more Union troops are speeding to the front lines. While Nelson is reversing the situation on his front, McCook’s Second Division is also becoming stronger as large contingents of fresh troops at Savannah are being ferried across the river.

Colonel Edward N. Kirk’s 5th Brigade and a contingent of the 6th Brigade, led by Colonel W.H. Gibson, deploy to cover Rosseau’s right and rear respectively, and they are supported by the 32nd Indiana Regiment under Colonel August Willich and two other regiments of Hurlbut’s command. The Confederates assault McCook’s positions, but his additional strength gives him a large advantage and the determined Rebels are repulsed. McCook, not intent on holding his ground, orders an attack to whip and scatter the assault troops. The Union jumps off and plunges a deadly wedge into the line of the Rebel forces, compelling them to retire. Meanwhile, the Union accelerates its attack and inflicts more punishment. The surging troops seize a Rebel battery and fold the right side of the Confederate line, providing Lovell H. Rosseau’s 4th Brigade an opportunity to funnel through the gap and hook up with elements of Nelson’s Fourth Division, which had been massing in the area where McClernand had been encamped on the previous day. A heated contest erupts as Rosseau’s troops and the Rebels fight for control of the camp. When Rosseau bolted from his positions to advance, a gap in the line had been created. The Rebels spot the hole and take action to exploit the situation.

As the morning continues to fade into afternoon, Confederates swiftly move to drive a wedge into the gap between McCook and Crittenden to force McCook’s left to turn and permit the Rebels to widen the hole, but the maneuver is detected. Colonel Willich’s 32nd Indiana commences a nasty bayonet attack, while Kirk’s 5th Brigade slides in behind Willich and fills the void created by the departure of Rosseau. In the meantime, the Confederates, although initially thwarted, again attempt to advance and drive a wedge between McCook and Crittenden.

The Rebels strike with enormous strength and plow full-force into the left side of the line, defended by Colonel W. H. Gibson’s 49th Ohio. Repeatedly, the Rebels pounce upon the regiment and twice the Union is compelled to reform the front line to prevent penetration, which could jeopardize the entire line. While the Rebels are prevented from breaking through, Rosseau moves back to get re-supplied.

By about 1400, Rosseau’s brigade arrives back at the line to reinitiate its attack. It is supported by McClernand’s force on the right and by two of Hurlbut’s regiments on the left. Soon after, with the added support of artillery originating from the remaining batteries of McAllister and Wood, the columns advance, but surprisingly, they encounter only slight resistance as they encroach some dense woods. Wallace’s force, which had commenced its attack prior to dawn, has been battling the Rebels at Shiloh Church. While the Confederates are battling to maintain the edge at all points, the Union, as it nears the thicket, receives the signal to launch a general attack. Now, as the afternoon weighs heavily on both sides, the monstrous general assault of the Union raises the stakes, and the Confederates under Beauregard, supported by Generals Polk, Bragg and Breckinridge, must hold, or their cause is lost.

In Wallace’s sector at Shiloh Church, the left flank has been twice jeopardized but never broken. However, the Rebels have succeeded in cracking Sherman’s flank and creating a large gap. While Sherman’s force regroups to launch an offensive to reclaim the terrain, the 23rd Indiana and the 1st Nebraska turn back a cavalry assault. Soon after, the 11th Indiana under Colonel Francis McGinnis, the 76th Ohio under Charles R. Woods and a contingent of McClernand’s force hits the field, giving Wallace an abundance of firepower to hold tightly and launch an assault to demoralize the beleaguered Confederates. The Union advance forces the Confederates to surrender ground as they hurriedly abandon the field under orders of General Beauregard, who has concluded that lacking reinforcements, remaining on the field would merely cost more lives. Runners carrying urgent dispatches requesting reinforcements are sent to General Earl Van Dorn, but they can locate neither his positions nor his scouts.

Reluctantly, at about 1430, Beauregard leads his force toward Corinth. He leaves Breckinridge with his 12,000 troops that had been held in reserve to cover the retirement. Beauregard’s specific orders: “This retreat must not be a rout. You hold the enemy back, if it requires the loss of your last man.” Breckinridge responds: “Your orders shall be carried out to the letter.” He deploys his troops on a nearby ridge to await the pursuing Union troops, but none arrive. After about a half hour, he withdraws to establish night positions about two miles from the blood soaked battlefield. By now, Union troops, freshly arrived as part of General Thomas J. Wood’s Division, had begun pursuit; however, after reaching Lick Creek, the chase terminates. By 1600, all firing ends.

Despite the cessation of the guns, there is still incessant misery. The area is hit by another grueling night of bad weather that includes a pesky drizzling rain and annoying hail. But even more discouraging is the task of burying the dead. Immediately following the conclusion of the battle, the dead on both sides are buried and the animals that had been killed are burned to eliminate health hazards. The Confederates, sustaining high casualties, nearly out of ammunition and without any hope of receiving reinforcements, march unchallenged to Corinth.

Grant’s forces, badly hurt themselves, are forced to allow the Confederates to withdraw without pursuit. The arrival of Generals Don Carlos Buell, Lew Wallace, and William Nelson most certainly save the Union Army from defeat. Grant is also aided by ships, including the USS Tyler and Lexington. Additional reinforcements, a brigade (Thomas J. Wood’s Division, General Don Carlos Buell’s Army of the Cumberland) under General Milo Hascall, arrives on the 17th. It will participate at Corinth. General Hascall had been recently appointed brigadier general effective April 1862. Also, Colonel (later brigadier general) Edward N. Kirk is wounded while leading a brigade (McCook’s 2nd Division). Later this year, Kirk’s brigade will be transferred to General Sill’s corps.

Confederate Colonel (later brigadier general) Alexander T. Hawthorn, 6th Arkansas Infantry, participates at this action. Also, Confederate Major John Kelly, commanding the 9th Arkansas Battalion, following his service with the 14th Arkansas Regiment, participates in this action and for his apparent conspicuous heroism he is promoted to the rank of colonel the following month. Kelly continues to serve with distinction in Tennessee, participating in such battles as Perryville, Murfreesboro and Chickamauga, the latter springing him to a promotion to brigadier general. The 8th Texas Cavalry (Terry’s Texas Rangers), led by Colonel John Austin Wharton, also participates at this action; Wharton sustains a wound in the process.

Union casualties are 1,735 killed, 7,882 wounded and 3,956 captured. Confederate casualties total 1,728 killed, 8,012 wounded and 959 captured. Union General Harvey Lamb Wallace is mortally wounded while extricating his troops from an untenable position at the infamous “Hornet’s Nest”; he dies on 10 April. General John McArthur receives command of Wallace’s division. Alexander Chambers (West Point, 1853) is wounded twice while fighting with his command, the 16th Iowa. Chambers is appointed brigadier general in November 1863. Captain (later brigadier general) Francis Fessenden, 19th U.S. Infantry (younger brother of Union General James D. Fessenden), participating

in his first battle, is also wounded. Colonel Everett Peabody (13th Missouri Volunteer infantry) is also killed (6th). Lt. Colonel Edward F.W. Ellis, 15th Illinois, is killed instantly when his regiment comes under heavy fire on Monday morning. Colonel Thomas E. Ransom is wounded, his third wound, but he refuses to leave the field. Later he is appointed chief of staff to General John McClernand.

Union Colonel Mason Brayman participates at this battle. In September he is commissioned a brigadier general. He later receives the command of Bolivar, Tennessee, where he remains until June 1863. During 1865, Brayman commands at Natchez. Union Colonel Ralph P. Buckland participates at Shiloh, commanding a brigade under William T. Sherman. Buckland becomes brigadier general on November 29, 1862. Union Colonel Marcellus M. Crocker (later brigadier general) of the 13th Iowa, 6th Division, Army of the Tennessee, also participates. Major (later brevet major general)

Charles Carroll Walcutt sustains a shoulder wound; however, doctors do not remove the bullet. It remains in his shoulder for the rest of his life. Afterward, Walcutt continues to serve with General William Sherman. Walcutt is promoted to colonel of his regiment, the 46th Ohio, on 16 October.

The mayor of Cincinnati had earlier requested that Sisters of Charity treat the sick and wounded troops of the Ohio regiments. With the archbishop’s approval they had accepted. Their arrival after the Battle of Shiloh and Pittsburg Landing assures them of many patients. Upon their arrival, many civilian women offer to assist with the patients, but the sisters soon find themselves alone. A smallpox epidemic breaks out and the civilian women leave the hospital.

Confederate General Albert S. Johnston, commander-in-chief, is mortally wounded on the 6th when a Minié ball strikes him through a boot and severs a main artery. Johnston’s chief of engineers, Colonel Jeremy Gilmer, is wounded. Confederate General Braxton Bragg (West Point, 1837) assumes command of the 2nd Corps after Johnston’s death. Major General Braxton Bragg, after the demise of General A.S. Johnston, is promoted to the full rank of general in the Confederate Regular Army. Confederate Brigadier General Adley H. Gladden is mortally wounded, initially suffering the loss of an arm while leading his brigade of Alabama and Louisiana units. Gladden succumbs on 12 April. Following Gladden’s death, Colonel Zachary C. Deas takes temporary command of the brigade.

Confederate Colonel Zachariah C. Deas, commander of the 22nd Alabama, sustains a serious wound, but he will recover and join with General Braxton Bragg during the latter’s invasion of Kentucky. Confederate Major (later brigadier general) James T. Holtzclaw, 18th Alabama Regiment, is severely wounded in the lung and it is thought to be a fatal blow, but he survives and returns to active duty within several months. Holtzclaw is soon promoted to colonel and becomes a brigadier general on 7 July 1864. Also, George W. Johnson, provisional governor of Kentucky, is killed during fighting on the 7th. Confederate Colonel Jean Jacques A. Mouton (West Point, 1850) is also severely wounded; however, he recovers. Mouton is appointed brigadier general on 16 April and later serves during the Red River Campaign.

Confederate Generals John Stevens Bowen (6th), Charles Clark (6th), and Thomas C. Hindman (6th) are wounded. Confederate Colonel William B. Bate is seriously wounded while leading his Confederate 2nd Tennessee Regiment. Confederate Colonel (later general) Daniel W. Wise, 1st Louisiana Regulars, loses sight in his right eye during the battle. Also, Lt. Colonel (later general) Henry Watkins Allen, 4th Louisiana Infantry Regiment, is wounded. Allen receives a devastating wound at Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in August. His leg is so badly wounded that he uses crutches for the rest of his life. Colonel Robert C. Tyler, 15th Tennessee Regiment, is wounded at this action. Colonel Alexander T. Hawthorn (6th Arkansas) participates.

Colonel (later brigadier general) Randall Lee Gibson commands the 13th Louisiana at this action. Confederate Major (later brigadier general) George D. Johnston and his 25th Alabama Regiment participate. The 25th Alabama serves in the Army of Tennessee in each of its engagements from here to Bentonville, North Carolina, in 1865. Confederate Major (later general) William Wirt Allen, 1st Alabama Cavalry Regiment, is promoted to colonel for his heroism during the fighting at Shiloh. The Confederate 12th Tennessee Cavalry, led by Colonel (later brigadier general) Robert V. Richardson, participates. Also, Confederate Brigadier General Daniel Ruggles, subsequent to this action, will be assigned duties in an administrative capacity rather than in the field; however, he does participate in some actions.

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The Battle of Iwo Jima

U.S. Marines invade the island of Iwo Jima during February 1945. The island is  defended by about 23,000 Japanese. At battle’s end, nearly all of the defenders  are annihilated. The Marines are ordered to seize the island to gain its two
operating airfields from which U.S. fighters can begin to provide protection for  U.S. bombers. The Marines raise the flag on Mt. Suribachi during this successful
campaign; however, more than 6,000 Marines are killed

The shortcut to the podcast:



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Just a note to say thank you to those who chose to select the RSS Feed. Also, we had trouble with the site and some of the original names on the RSS List were lost. Please pardon us for the regrettable mistake. If you want to continue receiving the feed, please reregister.

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Interview With A Patriot.

This is an article written for the Marine Corps Association, Leatherneck Magazine, Quantico Virginia for Flag Day. It is in the June 2005 issue of Leatherneck. The interview with the Patriot refers to her ancestors that stretch back to the birth of the nation.

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The Battle of Tarawa (November 1943)

The Marines and U.S. Army invade
Tarawa, which the Japanese claim can’t be taken in one hundred yers by one
million Yanks. Following a bloody battle during November 1943, the objective
falls in several days. 

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The Marines Plant The Flag In Baghdad.

 Warriors In The Sand    

A tribute to the U.S. Marines that planted the flag in Baghdad.

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The Cook and The Scabbardfish.

An interview with Nick Christodoulou, a crewman (and cook) of the sub, Scabbardfish, which had five War Patrols during WWII. The Scabbardfish sunk four vessels during the war and its cook unnexpectedly caused the sub to hrriedly surface in Japanese waters.

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The Battle of Wake Island

Excerpted from A Portrait of the Stars and Stripes, Volume II, by Bud Hannings. Glenside, Pennsylvania: Seniram Publishing. 1991

The Battle of Wake Island. A small contingent of U.S. Marines come under attack shortly after the devastating sneak attack against Pearl Harbor, but the indefatigable Marines withstand repeated assaults until they are ordered to surrender on 23 December, 1941 in what becomes a legendary part of Marine Corps history.

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Did you know Christianity in Europe was nearly wiped out in 1571 AD

Copyright 2011, Seniram Publishing, Glenside, Pennsylvania.

The Muslims had come close to eliminating Christianity in the Suxteenth Century and were preparing to totally dominate Europe. Countless thousands of Christians had been transformed into slaves of the Muslims and the Muslims anticipatted an effortless victory over the Christian fleet at the Battle of Lepanto. If you have any doubts about the intent of the Islamic terrorists to rule the world, by reading the Battle of Lepanto, you will be reminded how important it is to have an understanding of the historical events to ensure that they do not reoccur.The spectacular Battle of Lepanto is still celebrated by the Catholic Church during October. In conjunction, at the time of the battle, there were few Protestants because Martin Luther had only recently broken away from the Catholic Church. Similarly, during the Crusades, no Protestants participated because there w

1571 – Malta – Greece- The Battle of Lepanto– The Knights of Malta (formerly Knights of St. John Hospitalers) and the Ottoman Turks have continued at odds since the Knights had fortified Rhodes during the latter part of the Thirteenth Century. Now the two antagonists again face each other, but this time, the Knights have at their side a mighty Christian Armada led by Don John of Austria. The Fleet transporting the “Holy League” is composed of nearly three hundred Vessels and carries more than 75,000 men, and of these, nearly 50,000 are aboard to row, leaving a fighting force of about twenty-five thousand to thirty thousand men.

The Fleet is composed of Vessels supplied by various Christian states including, Genoa, Spain Venice. And the Pope, Pius V, supplies a Flotilla, as Christianity intends to strike a heavy blow against the Turks. Pope Pius V, had informed Don John that if he were to leave behind all troops known to be leading “evil” lives, that victory would be assured. Don John arrives at Messina in Sicily where the Fleet awaits him. During September, Don John leads his impressive Armada from the harbor of Messina in Sicily to engage the Ottoman Turks. While pausing at Corfu, in the Ionian Sea near Albania and Greece’s mainland, they receive grave news.

The Turks had been there and inflicted great fear into the people. Soon after, the Fleet departs in search of the Turks suspected to be at Lepanto in the Lepanto Strait. The Armada speeds to Cephalonia (Keffalinia) in Greece and again receives anguishing news. Don John is informed that the Turks have stormed Cyprus and spared not a single defender. The Turks overwhelm the defenders bludgeon the troops and slaughter the survivors. The devastating information infuriates the Christian assault force and brings about cries of vengeance.

The troops aboard the Vessels press for a speedy departure to bring them within striking distance of the Turkish Fleet. In addition to the news of the massacre at Cyprus, the troops are informed that the Turk’s have been reinforced by the Bey of Algiers, Uluch Ali, of Calabria who converted to Islam. With this addition, Ali Pasha’s Armada numbers are nearly identical to those of the Christians. And the Turks are enormously more familiar with the sea where the clash is about to take place. The Christians embark from Cephalonia en route to strike and on the evening of October 6th, the Turkish Fleet sails from Lepanto to intercept the encroaching Armada in the Gulf of Patras.

The Turks observe John Don’s Fleet divide and form its lines into three distinct sectors with a fourth formation to the rear as reserve. At about this point, the Turks collapse their half-moon formation and follow suit, splintering into an attacking trio. Both opposing Commanders hold the middle of thier respective lines as the vanguard, with their flanks covered by the others. The Christian left is maintained by the Genoese, and the Galleys supplied by Pope St. Pius V. It is commanded by Andrea Doria and the Christian right is commanded by the Venetian Barbarrigo, who is hampered because his Venetians are lacking sufficient Sailors to properly maintain the Vessels. To supplement his deficiency, Spaniards are aboard, but this situation is volatile as there is mutual contempt among the mixed crews. The rear is held by Santa Cruz and a contingent of about twenty-five to thirty Spanish and Venetian Warships.

As the opposing Sea Chariots converge, the Turks, their Warships manned by Christian rowers (slaves) boldly push from the center, unaware that Don John had instructed his force to hold their fire until the moment that the Turks are close enough to ensure that their blood will splatter upon the Christians. Meanwhile the impetuous Turks thrust forward directly into the sights of the Christian Gunners, At the prescribed moment, the bellowing Cannon spew their deadly fire upon the advancing Crescent Standards of the Turks. More than five of the Turkish Vessels plummet to the depths, but the attack is maintained.

The Crescent continues to press against the Cross, maneuvering to begin to board the Ship in the center and collapse the line. In the meantime, the Turks, under the Calabrian, Uluch Ali, strikes against the Genoese under Andrea Doria Turks, following the tactics of Sirocco who strikes the contingent of Venetians under Barbarrigo, each awaiting the opportunity to board the Christian Vessels to liquidate the Soldiers and capture the rowers as slaves.

The fighting on the flanks initially favors the Turks; however, the Christians hold fast and their Crossbow Marksmen take a high toll on the Turks who are at close-quarters. Nevertheless, the Turks more skilled in these particular waters inflict severe punishment. Both Barbarrigo and Andrea Doria become encircled. Soon after, an arrow from a Turkish Marksman strikes and kills Barbarrigo. Shortly thereafter the Turks board and capture his Vessel, but the Christians regain it only to lose it again.

The ongoing slug-fest also continues in the center of the line as Ali Pasha continues to pour fire upon Don John’s center. The Turks move in closer and prepare to board, but they are soon introduced to the Spanish Infantry who bludgeon the Turks and repeatedly drive them from the Vessels. Undaunted, the Turks continue to hammer the Don John’s center, confident of eventual victory. But still, the Spanish Infantry and the Archers forestall any boarding by the bold Turks. In addition, the Turkish contingent under Sirocco, unable to encircle the Genoese, had noticed a gap in the Christian lines. He zooms through and bangs the rear of the center line, lambastes several of the Vessels, and boards and captures the Capitana (Flagship of the Knights of Malta), taking it as a fine prize.

Suddenly, the tables turn and the Christians take the offensive as Don Jon orders his troops to seize the Flagship of Ali Pasha. Suddenly the Spanish swing from the sails and bolt from the deck to crash upon the Turkish Flagship.

The Turks, forced to defend, deliver punishing blows to the Christians and drive them back, but similarly to the Turks, the Christians are also known for their valor and perseverance. They doggedly initiate another boarding attack and again are prevented from conquest. The decks are full of dead and wounded, and amidst the shrill sounds of the weaponry, the desperate cries of the wounded echo in and around the combatants.

Relentlessly, the Turks and the Christians bludgeon each other but neither can proclaim victory until the Christians mount a third attack. The relentless lightning-quick assaults had not only drawn blood, but royal blood! Ali Pasha had become wounded, a minor item, except that the Christians capture him and eliminate the need for first aid. They immediately decapitate him. In the meantime, a Sailor ascends to the mainmast and relieves it of the Turkish battle flag.

To underscore their seizure and convince the Turks that they had indeed been the initial captors of a Turkish battle-flag, the Christians raise the head of Ali Pasha which is implanted on a staff and swirled about for all to see. The Turks who had been attempting to crack the center of Don John’s line become obviously disillusioned and initiate a retreat.

All the while, the sea-duel had also been continuing on the flanks, but here too the momentum had swung to the Christians. Barbarrigo’s Flagship, seized after he had been felled, is retaken by the Christians. They pummel Siroco’s Flagship. Soon after, Sirocco is plucked from the water, but spared only temporarily. He is immediately decapitated. The final line of the Turks, commanded by Uluch Ali, had attempted escape, but the Warships under Santa Cruz had observed the action when Ali succeeded in gaining the Capitana and gave chase.

Rather than risk imminent personal disaster, Ali abandons the Capitana and speeds from the area, leaving his contingent to continue the fight. By this time, Don John, having brought the center under control, hurries to support Andrea Doria’s beleaguered Vessels. The remaining Turkish Warships are engaged and driven back bringing complete victory to the Christian Fleet and immense relief and happiness in Europe, particularly to the families of the Christian slaves that had been held by the Turks.

The four-hour bloodbath in the sea is expensive for both sides; however, for the Christian Warriors, it accomplished more than a military victory. These men had finally dispelled the lingering mystique of the invincibility of the Turks and injected a new confidence in the Christian nations. The Cross had mastered the Crescent and inexplicitly, both had shown their propensity to show no mercy or quarter to the other.

The Christians lose more than 5,000 dead and more than 15,000 wounded. They also rescue more than 10,000 men who had been held as slaves (rowers). The Christians lose less than twenty Ships. Turkish losses are approximately 20,000-25,000, and their Fleet is decimated, either by destruction or capture. More than 150 of their Vessels are seized and slightly less than twenty are sunk. In conjunction, in another example of the mutual ill-feelings between the Christians and the Turks, the Christians who capture the Turks at this Naval Battle transform their captives into slaves for the Christian Ships.

Malta becomes a primary location for the slave-markets and remains such until the Eighteenth Century. The Knights of Malta maintain many slaves for their own Vessels. In conjunction, it is reported that on the day of the battle at Lepanto, Pope Pius V, while conferring with some Cardinals, glanced out his window and soon after, declares: “A truce to business; our great task at present is to thank God for the victory which He has just given the Christian Army.” Later, news arrived that the Christians had won, just as the Pope had so stated. In conjunction, it is reported that by praying the Rosary, the Christians had attained victory. The defeat of the Turkish armada at Lepanto forces the Muslims to abort the invasion of Eastern Europe.


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Meet Knobby Walsh, Who Joined the National Guard then Joined the Marines

Interview with Ed Walsh (Knobby). Joined National Guard at fourteen and two years later joined Marine Corps 1945. Served in China then Korea, wounded 1951. After Korea served as Drill Instructor MCRD San Diego.  You might consider Knobby to be a Marine’s Marine.

Posted in American Military Heroes, Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Last U. S. Helicopter Out Of Saigon

Did you know that there is more to know about the last helicopter out of Saigon on 30 April, 1975. The television footage that has shown the evacuation since 1975 seems to have omitted the actual facts. The footage seems to show American troops being haphazardly abandoning the U. S. embassy; however, the media nearly always fails to explain that all American combat troops had been out of Vietnam since June of 1972.

In January1968, the Communists launched the Tet Offensive that struck all across South Vietnam, including the embassy at Saigon, but the offensive did not achieve victory. Later when U. S. Marines, bolstered by South Vietnamese troops retook the town of Hue, they discovered about 3,000 bodies, burned, beaten or shot, compliments of the benevolent Communists.

Also, U. S. Marines at the 2nd Battle of Khesahn were under siege from January 20, 1968 through 5 April 1968 and the Marine stronghold was to be a grand prize of the Communists; however, the Marines had no intentions of becoming guests of the Communists. The siege failed and the Marines inflicted severe casualties upon the enemy. The Marines were victorious; however, despite their victorious stand against a superior numbered force, the victory did not remain a highlight of the media.

However, the media gave grand coverage to the college students who did not serve, but found time to create havoc in certain parts of the U. S. by inciting riots, which of course was used by the Communists for propaganda.

If you have been told the Americans ran scared, or if the television footage gave you that impression, you should be aware of the facts. There were no U. S. combat troops in Vietnam (unless you count the Marines who guarded the embassy) when the embassy was evacuated. During the entire war, which was never declared by Congress, the American armed forces never lost a major battle, never.

The media for decades has often claimed that the United States lost the war in Vietnam, however, it was not the American warriors that lost. It was the United States Congress that pulled the plug. Congress, due to political considerations, essentially abandoned the South Vietnamese to the Communists. It was not the airmen, coastguardsmen, sailors, and Marines, many of whom gave the ultimate sacrifice that abandoned the South Vietnamese..

People like the Hollywood star, Jane Fonda, visited Vietnam, but not with the USO. Her sympathies were not with the U. S. military; rather, she was against our efforts in Vietnam to save the populace from Communism. Jane Fonda actually posed on an artillery piece for a picture that was also used as propaganda.

Nevertheless, the Communists knew they had been unable to defeat American troops in the field, but once the U. S, Congress refused to continue to finance the war, the results were inevitable. So the next time you see footage of that last helicopter leaving the embassy, you will know that our combat troops were not run out of Vietnam.

The action of Congress regarding Vietnam brings to mind a quote from General William Tecumseh Sherman when he said: “I thought and may have said, the national crisis (Civil war)has been brought about by the politicians, and as it was upon us, they might fight it out.”

Our Vietnam veterans served nobly and honorably and their intent was identical to the veterans of Korea who saved South Korea from tyranny and of the WWI and WWII veterans who saved much of Europe from tyranny. God Bless them all.


Posted in American Military Heroes | 8 Comments