Sunday, March 18, 2012

Cloud Field, Mar 18, 1862

At long last, land!  The New Uncle Sam weighed anchor and steamed the nine miles upriver to Pittsburg Landing with other regiments that had been held at Savannah, TN.  They left only McClernand's Division behind to garrison Savannah.  After nine days aboard the 902-ton steamboat, the men and horses were ready to stretch their legs and feel the earth beneath them.

The men debarked "in an atmosphere of jokes and fun," as reported by John Blackburn.*  The infantries, cavalry, artillery batteries and supply wagons made their way up the winding road that climbed from the landing to the plateau 75 feet above.  They then proceeded about one mile along a smooth, firm road to an area known as Cloud Field.  From the rear of General Hurlbur's Headquarters on the Hamburg-Savannah Road and extending eastward, the four regiments of Cruft's Brigade were arranged along a small ferry road that led back to the landing.  The men from Calhoun, who had performed so well at Fort Donelson, were positioned (from west to east) 31st IN, 44th IN, 25th KY and 17th KY, forming the 3rd Brigade of Hurlbut's Fourth Division. (See Note)

"Not all tents were made ready for use before the laughter was silenced by a drenching rain. As the men cursed the rain, they could not know that rain on another day, very soon, would save the lives of many of them."- Blackburn*

Modern view of Cloud Field looking north-eastward from Hamburg-Savannah Road.  The Seventeenth's encampment was in the distant grassy area at the far right of the picture.
Photo by the author- all rights reserved

Editors Note: Although the Brigade is still under the command of Col. Cruft on this date, Hurlbut will assign the entire brigade (incluiding Cruft) to General Jacob G. Lauman in early April.

*  A Hundred Miles, A Hundred Heartbreaks, Blackburn, John (1972) LOC 72-93774

No comments:

Post a Comment