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Who really killed Johnston? - Other People of the Civil War - The Participants of the War - Mikitary & Civilian - Civil War Interactive Discussion Board
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 Posted: Thu Jan 18th, 2007 04:03 pm
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ole
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Albert:

Please educate me. Two grooves or three would indicate whether the ball was of northern or southern manufacture?

Ole



 Posted: Thu Jan 18th, 2007 04:11 pm
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Albert Sailhorst
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Hiya Susansweet!!

Yes, Johnston surely took an active role in the battle; I daresay one of the most active Generals of the war...albeit for only a short time (ah, I feel a new thread comming on!....I'd suggest active Generals would include Forrest, Stewart, Jackson, Wheeler....)

 

Albert Sailhorst, Scott's TN Battery



 Posted: Thu Jan 18th, 2007 04:18 pm
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Albert Sailhorst
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Ole,

The Confederate minie balls had 2 bands instead of three.....However, I can't say ALL had only 2 bands.

They began to manufacture 2 bands instead of three as a result of material shortages....Again, however, three-banders could have been captured and used by the Confederates OR could have been run through a blockade OR manufactured by the CS. If it were a two-band, then I'd suggest a preponderance of evidence could lead to a conclusion that it was fired by a CS soldier; although a CS soldier could have used either a two band or three band (too many possibilities!!).

So, knowing how many bands, could possibly lead to a conclusion....Who knows??

Thanks!!

Albert Sailhorst, Scott's TN Battery



 Posted: Thu Jan 18th, 2007 06:02 pm
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calcav
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If no Yankee unit was near enough to be shooting, then what were the Confedrates shooting at??
Albert,

You are right, there were plenty of Union troops within range, to name a few, the 12th illinois, 9th Illinois, 41st Illinois and the 28th Illinois. There were several other units in range, these were just the closest with a direct line of fire. The chaplain of the 9th Illinois, Marion Morrison, was in the battle but i don't know if he picked up a rifle or not. Just imagine, Johnston could have been killed by John Wayne's grandpa. :shock:

Fuller,

Besides the tourniquit two other items were found in Johnston's pocket. One was the key to his room in "Rose Cottage" the Corinth home of Captain William Inge (Inge was a staff officer in Clark's division) which he was using as his headquarters prior to the battle. The other item was half of a sandwich. On the 4th of April as he was preparing to leave for Tennessee, Johnston was stopped by Mrs. Inge who offered him two sandwiches and a piece of cake. Johnston refused the offer telling her, "We soldiers travel light." When his back was turned she slipped the items into his pocket not knowing that in 4 days she and her neighbor Ellen Polk would be preparing his body for the trip home to Texas.

Tom (calcav)



 Posted: Thu Jan 18th, 2007 06:18 pm
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Albert Sailhorst
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Calcav,

Thanks for the info!!....I knew there were some close enough, but, alas, I am at work and wasn't able to look it up....An earlier poster said that there were no Yanks close enough to be shooting, so I wondered then, who were the Rebs shooting at if no one was close enough to be shooting at them!!...heehee....

Thanks for the research!! It's interesting to know what was in his pockets....

Albert Sailhorst, Scott's TN Battery



 Posted: Thu Jan 18th, 2007 06:22 pm
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Fuller
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We will never know where the shot exactly came from but this certainly did make a great discussion!  Exactly what I was looking for.  Very smart people I'm chatting with!  So basically with all info gathered it could have been enemy or friendly fire.  He absoultely must have been riding back and forth giving orders thus placing himself in different positions.  And like Tom said, because of ammunition and weapons scavenging, it is unclear if that bullet was fired from the hands of a yank or a reb!  I love it!  Thanks you guys.

Fuller



 Posted: Thu Jan 18th, 2007 09:47 pm
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ole
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Thanks for the lesson, Al. What you essentially said is that a 3-groove minie would prove nothing, but a 2-groove would be really close to proof that it was a confederate round. Thanks for your knowledge.

Ole



 Posted: Fri Jan 19th, 2007 12:12 am
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susansweet
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Albert I am disappointed you forgot my favorite general who was very active Patrick Cleburne !!!! 

 

 



 Posted: Fri Jan 19th, 2007 12:18 am
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susansweet
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Tom you are the best on Shiloh information .  hmmm must be because you have worked there. ya think?  You brought tears on the story of what ASJ had in his pocket. 

Johnston has that Southern California connection having left from Los Angeles to head east to join the Confederacy .  He left his wife and family here too and here is where she stayed with her brother, Griffith.  The President of our Garrison at the Drum reenacts Mrs Johnston .  She does presentations at Round Tables also.  Dressed in widows weed . 



 Posted: Fri Jan 19th, 2007 05:18 am
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Hellcat
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Ok, I'm being a little lazy here and not fetching some of my resources on this one (probably end up doing so after I post this). But I've got to ask what were the ranges of the rifles during the war? Cause I'm looking back on my first in this thread and saying to myself that even if Johnston was about 500 yards from Union soldiers he should still have been within range, even if it were just sharpshooters. Now I haven't been entirely lazy on this one as I have been looking up info on hand weapons online. One of the sites I've found so far on the subject, http://members.tripod.com/%7EProlificPains/wpns.htm, gives me some idea. Especially when it comes to weapons that were probably given to sharpshooters more often than "standard" infantry. But I'd think even standard infantry soldiers would have been able to hit the general  at that kind of ranges.



 Posted: Fri Jan 19th, 2007 12:45 pm
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Johan Steele
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Hellcat wrote: Ok, I'm being a little lazy here and not fetching some of my resources on this one (probably end up doing so after I post this). But I've got to ask what were the ranges of the rifles during the war? Cause I'm looking back on my first in this thread and saying to myself that even if Johnston was about 500 yards from Union soldiers he should still have been within range, even if it were just sharpshooters. Now I haven't been entirely lazy on this one as I have been looking up info on hand weapons online. One of the sites I've found so far on the subject, http://members.tripod.com/%7EProlificPains/wpns.htm, gives me some idea. Especially when it comes to weapons that were probably given to sharpshooters more often than "standard" infantry. But I'd think even standard infantry soldiers would have been able to hit the general  at that kind of ranges.

ASJ was not in front of sharpshooters when he was shot; but he was in front of men who knew how to shoot (both sides of the line).  With either an Enfield or M1861 a man sized target at 400 yards is not a problem for a man who knows how to shoot... a man on a horse would have been easier still.  The bullets fired from either weapon mentioned are still quite lethal at well over a mile.

I tend to prefer Sword's research and opinion of the matter.  Simply becasue of his copious knowledge and research of the subject.



 Posted: Fri Jan 19th, 2007 01:09 pm
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Widow
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When Dr. Hunter McGuire removed the bullet from Stonewall Jackson's arm, he saw it had two grooves.  Friendly fire.

Source:  Gods and Generals.  Hey, I get my history where I find it.  :-))

Patty



 Posted: Fri Jan 19th, 2007 02:36 pm
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ole
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Patty:

Not to argue too much, but it was my understanding that the ball removed from Jackson was a round ball fired from a smoothbore musket; hence, friendly fire. The book "Smoothbore Volley that .....(something, something), recounts the incident. The G&G movie has the good doctor telling someone that it was a smoothbore round.

Ole

Last edited on Fri Jan 19th, 2007 02:37 pm by ole



 Posted: Fri Jan 19th, 2007 02:40 pm
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Widow
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Ole, thanks, you're right.  Oops, my senile memory at work here.  Ah, well, McGuire figured it out with a little forensic analysis.  Patty



 Posted: Fri Jan 19th, 2007 07:40 pm
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calcav
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Pvt. John A. Cockrill of the 9th Illinios Infantry (possibly the closest Union regiment to where General Johnston was) wrote about the fighting in that sector.

 "Fire from the enemy in our front...became so terrible that we were driven back into the ravine...We could load our pieces, crawl up the bank of the ravine, and fire and fall back...But many poor fellows who crawled up...fell back, dead or wounded. ...As I was crouched down loading my piece, a man who had been struck above me, fell on top of me and died by my side...I kept firing as long as my cartridges lasted. These gone, a fierce sergeant, with a revolver in his hand, placed its muzzle close to my ear, and fiecely demanded why I was not fighting. I told him that I had no cartridges. 'Take cartridges from the box of the man there', he said, pointing to the dead man who had just fallen upon me. Mine was an Enfield rifle, and my deceased neighbor's cartridges were for a Springfield rifle."

Pvt. John Green of the 5th Kentucky recorded,

"We swapped our very indifferent guns for their splendid Enfield rifles."

Author Wiley Sword contends that the bullet that killed Johnston was from an Enfield and therefore was probably fired by a Confederate.  Sorta shoots that theory full of holes. :cool:

Last edited on Fri Jan 19th, 2007 08:17 pm by calcav



 Posted: Sat Jan 20th, 2007 04:59 am
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ole
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Calcav:

On the Trailhead Graphics map of the battlefied, where was the ravine referred to by Pvt Cockrill of the 9th Illinois? I guess with some considerable effort I could find it, but it seems so much easier to ask.

Ole:cool:



 Posted: Sat Jan 20th, 2007 01:37 pm
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calcav
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Ole,

The regimental monuments were placed by the individual states in the 1890's and early 1900's, but it was up to the Park Commission to determine thier placement. Each monument was placed at the site of the regiments most significant action during the battle. The 9th Illinois' monument is located just north of the ravine that Cockrill mentions. On the Trailhead map the monument is identified as #47 and is close to the coordinates G8. The site of Johnston's monument (the site where Gov. Isham G. Harris identified is where he found Johnson reeling in the saddle) is slightly to the southwest and marked by a cannon icon and the #17. The ravine is shallow here, only 10 to 15 feet at the most, making a perfect rifle pit with cover below. This may not be the position they were in at the time of Johnston's wounding however. At aproximatley 2 p.m. they left this position and fell back about 500 yards. It was at about 2:30 p.m. that Johnston recieved his fatal wound. The exact times are hardly accurate though. Time did not become standardized for several more years and what my watch might say could vary significantly from yours. Take for example the start of the battle. Dozens of peole who were there noted the time the first shot was fired, and none of thier times matched!

The 9th Illinois took a severe bleeding in this spot. The casualties it suffered in the ravine and the ridge to the north of it were the highest of any individual regiment in the battle, north or south. They suffered 103 killed and 263 wounded (366 total) out of 578 engaged. Col. August Mersey was given the butcher's bill after the battle and the German officer hung his head and muttered, "Mine poor liddle Nint'". The Ninth is also the only regiment to have two monuments on the field. The state monument, which is of the same shape and size of all of the Illinois regimentals at Shiloh, is the one described above. There is another monument, placed by the veterans themselves, in the southeast corner of the National Cemetery. (This monument was toppled in the 1909 tornado, sending it 20 feet down the bluff). This was possibly the first monument placed on the battlefield.



 Posted: Sat Jan 20th, 2007 02:41 pm
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ole
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Many thanks, calcav. On the map, that didn't look like my conception of a ravine but, at nearly 20 feet of declination, I can see where Pvt. Cockrill would consider it so. I called up my memory of descending the ravine where Johnston is purported to have expired ... that's only 10 feet deeper and does fit my conception of a ravine. (I'm a flatlander and have to imagine what a real ravine looks like.)

It looks like three regiments -- 9th, 12th and 50th Illinois -- plus a couple more on the other side of the road, were all that stood in the way of Johnston's ultimately successful turning movement.

Ole



 Posted: Sat Jan 20th, 2007 02:56 pm
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calcav
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Ole,

It wasn't those regiments that stopped them from sweeping around the flanks, it was the topography. Take another look at the map and check out how close those elevation lines are. The ravines in that secor are very deep and very steep.



 Posted: Sat Jan 20th, 2007 05:44 pm
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ole
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Thanks again, calcav. The terrain was certainly formidible and the "easiest" way would have been up the road, and through the cotton-field and peach orchard. I like to think of how much different the battle would have been if Johnston had had a decent map.

Ole



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