Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Crump's Landing, Mar 13, 1862

Accommodations notwithstanding, the New Uncle Sam was beginning to feel like a prison.  It was filled to capacity with men and the sanitary facilities were not designed for this many passengers.  Supplies of fresh water were limited and most men chose to use the railings when nature called.  Bathing and laundry services were not considered a high priority. Together with the expected effects of an overcrowded confinement, the conditions were ripe for tempers to flare.

Drawing of the Savannah Landing showing the Cherry Mansion as it appeared in 1862.

General Smith ordered Lew Wallace to take his 3rd Division to Crump's Landing about three miles upstream, the mission being to control the crossroads at Adamsville and Purdy as well as the Mobile and Ohio RR at Bethel Station.*  Those remaining anchored at Savannah hoped they would soon receive their orders as well.  After five days on board, the soldiers and horses were becoming anxious for the comforts of camp life.

*Editor's Note:  The skirmishes around Crump's Landing were not well documented. Dyer's Compendium reports that the 17th KY was involved in these based on  (I believe) their service in Cruft's Brigade under Wallace at Fort Donelson.  However, the author relies on the fact that the four regiments of Cruft's Brigade formed the 3rd Brigade of Hurlbert's 2nd Division at the encampment near Pittsburg Landing just a few days later, so it is unlikely they were with Wallace at this time.

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