Assignment 4

For Assignment 4 I chose No. 7- Capt. Robert H. Sturgess, Eighth Illinois Infantry.  “At 7:30 a.m. the eighth Regiment Illinois Volunteers, James M Ashmore, senior captain, commanding, was drawn up in line of battle on the regimental parade.  Soon the regiment, in common with other regiments of the First Brigade, Col. A. M. Hare, of the Eleventh Iowa Volunteers, commanding moving by column of companies, was ordered to take position in line of battle on a ridge running perpendicular to the front of the camp line of the second brigade.  From some misunderstanding the 8thtook position on the left of the eighteenth Illinois and on the left of the brigade, which was kept during the day.” As you can infer, as they moved into Battle of Shiloh the men were positioned on the left of the eighteenth Illinois for a misunderstanding on where they were supposed to be.  They were actually supposed to be in line of battle on the ridge perpendicular to the front of the camp line.  The terrain was an “open field” where they lost their ground and had to regroup pulling back into another field.  I found the map somewhat useful after looking at it for a period of time.  The arrows showing the movement of the troops helped out because it is better to be able to visualize the troop movements compered to using the report alone.  The 1sthand report was great because it actually tells you their specific movements, while just looking at a map leaves many questions.  The map with the 1sthand report was really useful.  If I was to look at another source for information I would look at other 1sthand reports from other units to see if they mention my unit I was looking at.  The biggest challenge historians face is not having the full picture.  There are so many details and small movements that happen in war they peoples brains play tricks on them when they talk about what they thought happened vs. what actually happened.

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