Sunday, October 26, 2014

The Shiloh Commanders Killed

General Albert Sidney Johnston at Shiloh

       After writing a three part blog about the Confederate colonel's killed or mortally wounded at the Battle of Gettysburg, I decided to do the same for the regimental commanders and above killed at Shiloh. There weren't as many colonel's killed at Shiloh (nor at any other battle for that matter), so I decided to include anyone that commanded a regiment regardless of his rank when killed. 
       Colonel James Tappan who would later become a Confederate brigadier general was absent because of sickness at the Battle of Shiloh. Lieutenant Colonel Adam D. Grayson was in command of the 13th Arkansas Infantry on the first day of the battle. The 13th Arkansas was a part of A.P. Stewart's Brigade, of Clark's Division, Leonidas Polk's Corps at Shiloh. Grayson was mortally wounded and died 11 days later. Grayson was mortally wounded while leading a charge. No one knows the exact location of his grave to this day. Grayson, born in Tennessee, was 24 years old, had a wife and six kids. 
       Colonel A.K. Blythe was an attorney born in Tennessee when he arrived at Shiloh in command of the 44th Mississippi Infantry. At the time of the battle, the regiment was known as Blythe's Mississippi Regiment. When the war began in 1860, Colonel Blythe was 39 years old with a wife who was 28 years old. The couple had no children in 1860. They lived in Oakland, Mississippi Colonel Blythe was shot dead while leading his regiment forward on the first day of Shiloh. At the moment of his death, he was leading his men as a conspicuous target on horseback. 

Lieutenant Colonel David Luckie Herron

       When Colonel Blythe fell, Lieutenant Colonel David Luckie Herron took command of the 44th Mississippi Infantry. He was killed about 2 p.m. on the first day of the Battle of Shiloh. He was a pre-war prosperous farmer. He took command of the regiment following the death of Colonel Blythe. According to the 1860 census, there is no age and no state of birth. This confuses matters greatly. Looking at his photograph above, one might conclude that David Luckie Herron was not yet 40 years old. His body servant recovered his remains and brought them home to Coffeeville, Mississippi for burial. He rests there today. Colonel Herron was probably about 37 years old. 
       Charles Wickliffe commanded the 7th Kentucky Infantry at Shiloh. He was a graduate of West Point and was born in 1819. He had fought in the Mexican War and was a lawyer when that conflict was over. When he was killed at Shiloh, he had a wife and two sons back home in Kentucky. He was killed from wounds received on Monday near the end of the battle. He was leading his regiment forward attempting to regain control of the field from the Federals. He was forty-three years old. He rests today in Bardstown City Cemetery in Bardstown, Kentucky. 

General Albert Sidney Johnston

       The highest ranking field officer of the Civil War was Albert Sidney Johnston. I have already written a blog or two about him and won't go into repetitive detail here. For more information, see my blog on the great man from a year or so ago.
       Major Anatole Placide Avegno commanded the 13th Louisiana Infantry at Shiloh. He survived the first days fighting and was mortally wounded on April 7, 1862. He would die later the same die on the field of battle. His commander Randall Lee Gibson had been moved up to command of the brigade the day before. Major Avegno was 26 years old. He rests today in Saint Louis Cemetery Number 1 in New Orleans, Louisiana. 

Adley Hogan Gladden.jpg

Brigadier General Adley Hogan Gladden the other Confederate General killed at Shiloh

       Brigadier General Adley Hogan Gladden was the other Confederate General that fell at Shiloh. I recently took my brother-in-law, his son, and our father-in-law to Shiloh and showed them the spot on the field where General Gladden fell. In the visitor center is the sword of General Gladden. I explained to them how important this sword happens to be because I have held a sword that belonged to Nathan Bedford Forrest after the war and the diary that was in Brigadier General Lewis Henry Little's pocket when he was killed at Iuka. I can never complain in my old age (which happens to be very soon for me) about not being treated right. I can never complain because I have had opportunities that I never thought I'd get with Confederate general's personal belongings. 
       Lieutenant Colonel William A. Rankin commanded the 9th Mississippi Infantry at the Battle of Shiloh. He was wounded during the battle and died six or seven days later in Corinth, Mississippi. To learn more about how these guys returned to Corinth, read my book called "Betrayed." 

Lieutenant Colonel John M. Dean of the 7th Arkansas Infantry

       John Dean was killed at Shiloh leading the 7th Arkansas Infantry as a part of Hindman's brigade at the battle. He has a stone at Oakwood Cemetery at Spartanburg, South Carolina, yet that stone is a cenotaph, his body was buried on the field and never recovered. His body probably still rests in a trench at Shiloh today. 
       Archibald Kennedy Patton fell at Shiloh on the first day of battle on April 6, 1862. He was forty-two years old. As commander of the 15th Arkansas Infantry, a regiment in Patrick Cleburne's Brigade of Hardee's Corps at the battle. 
       Christopher Harris "Kit" Williams, colonel of the 27th Tennessee Infantry was killed on the first day of the Battle of Shiloh. The regiment lost over half of its command on the first day at Shiloh. They served at Shiloh under the command of S.A.M. Wood and his brigade served in Hardee's Corps. Colonel Williams was 32 years old at the time of his death. He rests today on Cedar Grove Plantation in Yazoo City, Mississippi. 
       When Colonel Williams fell, his second in command Major Samuel T. Love took command of the regiment. Once Colonel Williams and his second in command Lieutenant Colonel Blackburn Brown was severally wounded, Major Samuel T. Love took command of the regiment. He too would fall in the great Battle of Shiloh. Commanding the 27th Tennessee Infantry, he would be mortally wounded and captured. Carried north to Mound City, Illinois, he would die there and be buried in Mound City National Cemetery, something that rarely happened to Confederate soldiers. 
Col Lucius Loomis Rich

Lucius Rich's Gravestone

       The biggest surprise of all for me when writing this blog was the founding of Colonel Lucuis Lyon Rich's grave in Mobile, Alabama. I've actually spent quite a bit of time with my good buddy Jerry searching Magnolia Cemetery in Mobile, Alabama. I had been told by Confederate General John Bell Hood's nephew when I was writing my book "Die Like Men" that his good West Point friend Lucius Rich had fought for the north and died in battle at Shiloh. I was surprised to find that Lucius Rich was a Confederate colonel that died at Shiloh and was buried at Shiloh. I can't blame Sam Hood (the nephew of John Bell Hood for this mistake, more than likely it was my mistake because of my ADD, I probably heard what I wanted to hear). Nevertheless, I now know that Lucius Rich was mortally wounded at Shiloh, brought back to Okolona, Mississippi where he died two months after being wounded in Tennessee. 
       This brings us to the last of the regimental commanders that served and died at Shiloh. Colonel Charles G. Nelms (listed in the Official Records as Charles S. Nelms) was mortally wounded on the last day of the Battle of Shiloh on April 7, 1862. He died 8 days later on April 15, 1862. At the time he was in command of the 22nd Mississippi Infantry. His regiment was a part of Statham's Brigade of Breckinridge's Reserve Corps. Either way, he led a regiment against a vastly superior Federal force and gave his life leading him men in defense of their homeland. 
       I carried my wife's sister's husband, their son, and my father-in-law on a tour of this magnificent battlefield this past Friday. The next task I have before me is carrying Shirley McKenzie and her family on a tour of this battlefield, but I have to carry them with my best Civil War buddy Jerry Smith to do things right. Jerry won't allow me to return home and latter that night remember something I left out that I never should have. That is the most difficult part of all. All I have to say is get yourself ready for the tour, Shirley!!!!