Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Duel: John Marmaduke and Lucius Walker

Me being shot in a duel a year ago at LaGrange

       If you've read my blog on antebellum dueling written in 2013, your familiar with the photograph above. I had a great time that Saturday getting shot and killed twice in one day. Back during the 1800's, dueling was anything but great fun. Most of the time, one of the men was not walking away. A duel could be issued for any perceived slight. I learned that newspaper editors dueled more than any other person because of something he'd printed that offended someone. Many duels were fought over women. Another thing that would cause a duel would have been to call a man a coward. That was a big "no-no" during that time period. 

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Major General John S. Marmaduke

       I remember the first time I mentioned Confederate Major General John Marmaduke to my wife. She burst into laughter and asked, "You mean there was a general named Marmaduke?" I believe she was thinking of the big dog that used to appear in the cartoon section of the newspaper to be the reason she was so amused. Marmaduke was a Trans-Mississippi commander, meaning that he served throughout the war west of the Mississippi River. He was born in Missouri in 1833. He graduated from West Point in 1857, ranked 30th out of 37 cadets. He would become a lieutenant in the U.S. Army serving in the cavalry under Confederate General Albert Sidney Johnston. He participated in the Morman expedition before the Civil War began. Although his father wanted him to remain on the side of the Union, Marmaduke resigned his commission to fight for the South. He began the war as a lieutenant, but soon worked his way up to brigadier general. 


Brigadier General Lucius Marshall Walker

       Major General Lucius Marshall Walker (called Marsh by his friends) was born in Tennessee in 1829. He also graduated from West Point in the year 1850 ranked 15th in a class of 44 cadets. He served on the frontier as a lieutenant until the year 1852 when he resigned and returned to Tennessee to go into business. When the Civil War began, he was living in Arkansas. 
       He commanded the Confederate forces in a small affair called the Battle of Reed's Bridge or Bayou Meto. The Confederates were forced to retire from their entrenchments, yet halted the Federal advance. After nightfall, the Union forces retreated. General Marmaduke commanded a brigade there under General Walker. He became so incensed at the result of the battle that he asked to be relieved from command under General Walker. He thought Walker had endangered his brigade by retreating after darkness. Walker judged that Marmaduke was calling him a coward and immediately wrote him a letter asking if this were true. 
       Marmaduke replied to Walker that he had not called him a coward, but that his conduct on the field caused him to no longer want to serve under his command. Major General Sterling Price (their field commander) issued orders for both men to remain with their separate commands. Unfortunately, the order was never delivered to Marsh Walker. General Marmaduke ignored the order. 
     The letters were exchanged by both officer's seconds, Captain John C. Moore (Marmaduke's friend and second) and Colonel Robert H. Crockett (Walker's friend, second, and also the grandson of Davy Crockett). Both seconds ended up issuing the challenge to the duel without allowing the senior officers to come to their own conclusions. The two general officers met on a Sunday morning, September 6th, on a plantation near Little Rock, Arkansas. Both were armed with Colt Navy Revolvers. 
         Both men opened fire from fifteen paces and both missed. On the second shot, Walker was hit and collapsed to the ground. Marmaduke immediately rushed to his side and asked how badly he was wounded. Marmaduke then had Walker placed in his own ambulance and rushed to Little Rock to be cared for. Walker died the next day, his bravery now without question. Marmaduke was arrested by General Price, but soon released. Marmaduke would continue the war and become a major general before it ended. In 1884, he would be elected governor of Missouri. He too passed from this earth in 1887. For the rest of his life, he regretted having killed General Marsh Walker. 

Me and my buddy James Howard at the grave of Marsh Walker in Memphis, Tennessee

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. 

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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!!!!

The 19 Confederate Colonel's of Gettysburg: Part III

The Bloody Angle

       Robert Clotworthy Allen was born June 22, 1834 in Virginia and graduated from the Virginia Military Institute. He became a lawyer before the war. He began the Civil War as major of the 28th Virginia Infantry, but was promoted to colonel of the regiment less than a year later. He was captured at Williamsburg, but managed to escape and was then wounded in action at Gaines' Mill outside of Richmond. Coming to Gettysburg, Allen's regiment was a part of Richard Brooke Garnett's Virginia Brigade in Pickett's Division. During Pickett's Charge, the color-bearer of the 28th Virginia was shot. Colonel Allen picked up the colors and began to advance just a few paces from the stonewall when he too was shot in the head. He and his brigade commander Eppa Hunton had a disagreement at 2nd Manassas the year before when Allen halted his regiment after being ordered to advance. Hunton had regretted that he had not court-martialed Allen at the time. Many of Allen's men thought he was too strict as a commander and disliked him. Nevertheless, he will be remembered today for his bravery at Gettysburg. He was 30 years old. His remains were buried in a mass grave and probably rest today in Richmond's Hollywood Cemetery.

Colonel William Dabney Stuart

       William Dabney Stuart was born on September 30, 1830 in Virginia. He too graduated from the Virginia Military Institute and taught there for three years. He began the Civil War as a First Lieutenant. He soon was made Lieutenant Colonel of the 15th Virginia Infantry during the summer of 1861. By the fall, he was elected colonel of the 56th Virginia Infantry. His brigade formed a part of Richard Garnett's Virginia Brigade also. He was a distant cousin of Jeb Stuart. During Pickett's Charge, Stuart yelled, "See that wall there! It's full of Yankee's! I want you to take it!" He was hit in the abdomen soon after and was carried back to his home in Virginia where he would die by the end of the month. He was 32 years old. He rests today in Thornrose Cemetery in Staunton, Virginia.
       Lewis Burwell Williams, Jr. was born on September 13, 1833 in Virginia. He too graduated from the Virginia Military Institute and taught there briefly before becoming a lawyer. He began the war as a captain and worked his way up to colonel of the 1st Virginia Infantry. He was wounded and captured at Williamsburg, but soon was exchanged. At Gettysburg, Williams regiment was a part of James Kemper's Virginia Brigade in Pickett's Division. Like General Garnett, he was too sick to walk and received permission to ride his horse during the charge. Closing on the stonewall, an artillery round exploded overhead which threw him from his horse. He crashed to the ground, falling on his sword and would die two days later. He was 29 years old. He rests today in Hollywood Cemetery alongside his men. 

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Colonel Waller Tazewell Patton

       Waller Tazewell Patton was born on July 15, 1835 in Virginia. He too was a graduate of V.M.I. and had briefly taught there. He then became an attorney and the captain of a militia company. When the war began he worked his way up through the ranks to become colonel of the 7th Virginia Infantry. He was slightly wounded in the hand at Second Manassas. At Gettysburg, his regiment served as a part of Kemper's Brigade in Pickett's Division. He'd been elected to the Virginia legislature, but refused to take his seat because he wanted to remain with his men in the army. During the assault called "Pickett's Charge" he had his jaw ripped away by artillery fire. He would die seventeen days later in a Federal field hospital. He was 28 years old. He rests today in the Stonewall Cemetery in Winchester, Virginia. His brother's grandson would become famous in World War II. His name was General George Patton.
       James Gregory Hodges was born in 1829 in Virginia. He became a pre-war physician, mayor, and militia colonel. His regiment seized the Norfolk Navy Yard as soon as Virginia left the Union. He soon became colonel of the 14th Virginia Infantry. He was wounded at Malvern Hill by artillery fire. His regiment was part of Lewis Armistead's Virginia Brigade in Pickett's Division. He was killed instantly during the attack within feet of the "bloody angle." He was 33 years old. He probably rests in Hollywood Cemetery with his men. There is a marker for him in Cedar Grove Cemetery in Portsmouth, Virginia, although it is doubtful he is buried there. He was most likely buried in a mass grave near the stonewall. 

Colonel Edward Claxton Edmonds

Col Edward Claxton Edmonds

A portrait of Edward Claxton Edmonds

       Edward Claxton Edmonds was born in 1835 in Virginia. He too graduated from V.M.I. and became a principal of a military academy. When the war began he was elected colonel of the 38th Virginia Infantry. He was wounded at the Battle of Seven Pines. His regiment was a part of Armistead's Brigade of Pickett's Division. As he reached a position just thirty feet from the stonewall, he was killed. Initially buried on the field, his remains most likely rest with his men in Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond, Virginia. Edmonds was 28 years old. 
       John Bowie Magruder (not to be confused with Confederate General John Bankhead Magruder) was born in 1839 in Virginia. He graduated from the University of Virginia and became a school teacher. In 1861, with the war looming on the horizon, he briefly studied tactics at V.M.I. He worked his way up from captain to colonel of the 57th Virginia Infantry. At Gettysburg, his regiment was also a part of Armistead's Brigade. As he led his regiment toward the "bloody angle" he pointed to Cushing's artillery pieces and yelled, "They are ours!" He was then shot in the left breast within twenty yards of the stonewall. Moments later another bullet struck him in the arm passing sideways through his body. He would die two days later in a Federal field hospital and buried on the field. His northern fraternity brothers would soon recover his remains and send them south for burial. He was 23 years old. He rests today at his home called "Glenmore" just seven miles outside of Charlottesville, Virginia.

Colonel Hugh Reid Miller

       Hugh Reid Miller was born in 1812 in South Carolina. He would graduate from the University of South Carolina. He then moved to Mississippi where he would become a lawyer, judge, and politician. He helped raise a company at the beginning of the war. He became colonel of the 42nd Mississippi Infantry. At Gettysburg, his regiment was a part of Joseph Davis's Mississippi Brigade of Heth's Division. He survived the heavy fighting on the first day of the Battle of Gettysburg. His regiment was called upon to fight once more during what came to be known as Pickett's Charge. Advancing with his regiment, he was struck in the chest at a fence near the Federal line (probably the fence bordering both sides of the Emmitsburg Road. His son allowed himself to be captured by the Federals just so he could be by his fathers side. Lee asked Meade about Miller's condition (one of the few communications between the two army commanders at Gettysburg). Miller died sixteen days later in a private home in Gettysburg. His son asked and received permission to bring his father's remains back south for burial. Hugh Miller was 51 years old. He rests today in Odd Fellows Cemetery in Aberdeen, Mississippi. Me and my buddy Jerry Smith have visited this cemetery a few years ago, but unfortunately, I don't think we saw Colonel Miller's grave, not having known about him until now. 

Colonel James Keith Marshall

       James Keith Marshall was born in 1839 in Virginia. He too graduated from V.M.I. and became a teacher in North Carolina. He began the war as a captain in the 1st North Carolina Infantry. He eventually became colonel of the 52nd North Carolina Infantry. This unit arrived at Gettysburg as a part of Pettigrew's North Carolina Brigade in Heth's Division. When General Heth (pronounced Heath) was wounded by artillery fire on the first day of battle, Pettigrew was placed in command of the division. This put Pettigrew's North Carolina Brigade under the able command of James Keith Marshall. Despite the brigade having suffered 1,100 casualties out of 2,584 men on the first day of battle, they were ordered to participate in "Pickett's Charge" on the third and final day. As he led the brigade past the Emmitsburg Road, he turned to General Heth's son and said, "We do not know which of us is to fall next." Moments later as his brigade neared the stonewall, Colonel Marshall was struck in the forehead by two bullets and killed instantly. He was buried on the battlefield and probably removed to Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond, Virginia along with his men after the war. He was 24 years old. 
       This ends my three part blog on the colonel's of Gettysburg and I hope everyone enjoyed the brief bio on these brave men. 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

My Next Book Idea: Company B, 35th Alabama Infantry: The LaGrange Cadets

LaGrange College

       I recently got the idea of writing a book about Company B, 35th Alabama Infantry which was organized out of the younger LaGrange Military Academy Cadets. The older cadets had left as soon as the war began to join other units. So far I have counted 114 members of Company B. Of those 36 were cadets, the superintendent of the college became the captain, and the fifer was a slave that was owned by the college. One was a student of 16 years old, one was a saddle maker, one a plasterer, one a steam boat pilot, and the rest were farmers.
       This regiment first saw action at the Battle of Corinth where they were severely cut up on the first day along the railroad a mile west of town. The next day they were engaged near Battery Robinette alongside the 2nd Texas Infantry. They were engaged at Baton Rouge, Champion's Hill, and saw action during the Vicksburg Campaign. During the Atlanta Campaign they heroically charged the enemy at Peachtree Creek and engaged a Federal regiment in hand to hand combat. They fought at Decatur, lost heavily at Franklin, Nashville, and then Bentonville.

Rick Reeves Print of Company B Charging at Peachtree Creek

       The records are far from complete making research very difficult, but I have learned a great deal about this company. The roster shows only 8 of the 114 to be killed in action which is a very low number for the severe action they saw. It shows 25 wounded, 14 captured, 11 deserted, 16 died of unknown causes, 5 were transferred, and 2 discharged. This would make the total of 81 casualties out of 114. This we know is inaccurate because of a letter written by Corporal Joseph Nicholas Thompson that stated there were 24 present at Decatur and the unit suffered 22 casualties in the battle. They moved on to Nashville with 6 men, the 2 not wounded and the 4 slightly wounded but able to remain in the ranks. One of these men was wounded at Nashville and 3 were captured. 
       This was truly a tragic company with many sad stories to tell. Not to give away too much of the book I will give a few brief examples. Dee Green was the color bearer in the painting above by Rick Reeves. He was shot in the knee during the action and lost his leg. He had married Bob Wheeler's sister shortly before this battle. Bob was immediately elected to carry the colors now that his brother-in-law was disabled. Bob went to Franklin and was killed. Bob's father and Dee traveled to Franklin following the war and brought Bob and the other members of Company B back to Tuscumbia and buried them in Oakwood Cemetery. Can you imagine going and retrieving the body of your son in a wagon and bringing it home over a hundred miles.
       Sam Stewart was the captain of Company B at Franklin and was killed at the age of 23. He rests in the Confederate Cemetery there today. I have a grandfather and uncle on my dad's side that was in the regiment. The uncle died in service of unknown causes. I have a uncle on my mom's side that deserted to the Federal army and was ordered to remain north of the Ohio River. I thought it a horrible thing that he deserted his country, but then I learned he had a club foot. I can't imagine a man with a club foot serving in an infantry regiment. One volunteer that served was 14 year old Felix Sherrod. One soldier died of chronic diarrhea and sadly he had a brother too young to fight that died of disease while at home. The stories go on and on and hopefully I can do a descent job bringing their memories back to life.