Battle of Shiloh Begins

April 6,  1862

“President sent his carriage in the morning, and Mrs. Browning, Emma, John Watts and myself went to Dr Gurleys Church,” wrote Illinois Senator Orville H. Browning of the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church where the Lincolns often worshipped.  “At night I went to the Presidents and had an interview with him   Then called on Mrs Edwards in the Blue Room.”  President Lincoln talks about military matters with Navy Lieutenant John Dahlgren, commandant of the Washington Navy Yard.   In Tennessee, the fierce Battle of Shilod gets underway.

President Lincoln continued to be concerned with progress of the Army of the Potomac – and the progress of complaints from its commander, George B. McClellan.  Lincoln wrote General McClellan: “Yours of 11. A.M. to-day received.  Sec. of War informs me that the forwarding of transportation, ammunition, & Woodburys, brigade, under your orders, is not, and will not be interfered with.  You now have over one hundred thousand troops, with you independent of Gen. Wool’s command.  I think you better break the enemies’ line from York-town to Warwick River, at once.  They will probably use time, as advantageously as you can.”

Complaints from McClellan continued: “The order forming new Departments, if rigidly enforced deprives me of the power of ordering up wagons and troops absolutely necessary to enable me to advance to Richmond.  I have by no means the transportation I must have to move my army even a few miles.  I respectfully request I may not be placed in this position, but that my orders for wagons — trains, ammunition and other material that I have prepared & necessarily left behind, as well as Woodbury’s brigade, may at once be complied with.  The Enemy is strong in my front, & I have a most serious task before me, in the fulfillment of which I need all the aid the Government can give me.  I again repeat the urgent request that Genl Franklin & his division may be restored to my command.”

McClellan’s venom overflowed in a letter to his wife: “While listening this pm to the sound of the guns, I received the order detaching McDowell’s Corps from my command — it is the most infamous thing that history has recorded.  I have much such representations as will probably induce a revocation of the order — or at least save Franklin to me.  The idea of depriving a General of 35,000 troops when actually under fire!”


Published in: on April 6, 2012 at 12:01 pm  Leave a Comment  

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