Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Shiloh, April 18, 1862

General Halleck had arrived at Shiloh a few days after the battle with an additional 30,000 troops under the command of General John Pope and the irrepressible organizer began restructuring his armies.  Today, the Seventeenth was informed that they would no longer serve General Grant, under whom they had won two victories and in whom they had great admiration and respect.  The regiment was being reassigned to Buell's Army of the Ohio, as they had been before joining Grant at Fort Doneslon.  They remained, however, at Pittsburg Landing.

Modern view from the bluff overlooking Pittsburg Landing

In their new assignment the Seventeenth became part of the Fourth Division, commanded by General William Nelson, serving in General Jacob Ammen's Tenth Brigade.  Ammen would become their fourth brigade commander in three months, following Crittenden at Calhoun, Cruft at Donelson and Lauman at Shiloh.  This was of no great concern to the volunteers as long as the regiment itself remained under the command of Colonel McHenry.  He was a strong leader whom they had and would follow into hell and back.  They were now a battle-tested regiment that had garnered distinction and praise from two respected generals- Wallace and Hurlbut.  No less was expected from them in their new assignment.

Once "Old Brains" was satisfied with the revised command structure, he intended to march on to Corinth and take control of, or destroy if necessary, the important railroad junction of the Mobile/Ohio and Memphis/Charleston lines.  This was, after all, the original mission of his bold plunge into the South.

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