View single post by CleburneFan
 Posted: Wed Jan 17th, 2007 04:59 pm
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Joined: Mon Oct 30th, 2006
Location: Florida USA
Posts: 1021

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This morning I dug into "Shiloh: Bloody April" by Wiley Sword because of its detailed account of the battle. Appendix A in the back of the book goes into greater detail still than the main body of Sword's book.

It states that the fatal minie ball was fired from Johnston's rear as he lead Statham's brigade and came from a forty-five degree angle to the general's right. Sword writes that it is "probable" that Johnston was struck by his own men. In fact, Johnston was struck four times, but only one was a fatal shot.

Sadly even it did not have to be a mortal wound if  rescue had come soon enough. Part of the problem was that the wound bled into his boot and was obscured. At foist, it was believed Johnston had ben shot in the chest or torso.

About Fire-Eater. Sword reports that Gov Harris tried to ride Johnston's horse because his own had run away. Fire-Eater was so crippled, Harris dismounted and discovered the animal was wounded in three legs. Another officer reported he had been shot in both hams. However Harris somehow did ride him back to the rear.

I have to ask this question as someone who has never been in a battle and knows little of Napoleonic warfare. I'm asking as a rank amateur. What in the heck was the highest ranking Confederate general in the Western theater doing leading a mounted charge against a determined enemy in front of raw recruits who hadn't seen much or any battle before that day and had resisted Breckinridge's attempts to get them to fight? 

What Johnston did was inspired, brave, courageous, audacious, daring...but was it smart?

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