Thursday, April 5, 2012

Shiloh, Apr 5, 1862

At reveille this morning, the Seventeenth awoke to yet another rainy spring morning.  This had been the case for most of their days in the Cloud Field encampment.  Colonel Cruft broke the routine by ordering his regiments to present  in full dress after breakfast, with special orders to be read by General Hurlbut.

Marker identifying location of the campsite at Cloud Field, Shiloh National Battlefield.  The 25th Ky was camped immediately to the left.
Photo by the author- all rights reserved

The men had noticed an increase in the frequency of couriers passing along the road and General McClernand's brigade had finally arrived from Savannah after being relieved of their garrison duty.  Taken together, this could only mean that  the arrival of Buell's Army of the Ohio was imminent.  In characteristic humor, the volunteers began joking about breaking camp, noting that there were no steamboats to ride this time.

Hurlbut arrived with another general whom he introduced as  Brig. General Jacob G. Lauman, their new commanding officer.  He would take command of the four regiments that had fought at Fort Donelson under Colonel Cruft.  The 17th Ky, 25th Ky, 31st In and 44th In Volunteer Infantries are now officially the Third Brigade of Hurlbut's Fourth Division in Grant's Army of the Tennessee.  No further special orders being issued, they were dismissed to resume their normal duties.  This being Saturday, much of the afternoon was spent preparing for the regular Sunday morning inspection.  The campsite, equipment and weapons were all put in top military order in hopes of making a favorable impression on their new commander.

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