Assignment 4

I have decided to track Colonel Francis Quinn’s experience during the Battle of Shiloh. Francis Quinn was the commander of the 12th Michigan Infantry out of Niles, MI. I am able to track his movements on the map, only because he was under Brigadier General Prentiss. Neither primary or secondary sources show Quinn’s specific unit, although through his accounts, I have found them similar to Prentiss. Col. Quinn does not explain where his unit lies within the ranks of the division. However, he gives a very detailed explanation of the distance that his unit retreated on multiple occasions. “The division fell back one half-mile, very much scattered and broken” is an example of this description.

One of the most intriguing thing about the interactive map video was the last stand of General Prentiss. This is why I have chose to track a subordinate of his. Reading a detailed account of the experience at “The Hornet’s Nest” after watching a video on the fight was unique for me. With my experience of little use of primary sources throughout my schooling, I would infer that finding these sources is the hardest part for historians. There are so many pieces that go into a single battle, and without observing it with your own eyes, it would be very difficult to gain 100% accuracy in your research. After the primary sources have been found, being able to configure a map from the accounts of each of the players is no easy feat for historians to accomplish.

 

2 Replies to “Assignment 4”

  1. Hey Brady,

    I am intrigued by your comment about the intricacies of battle and how they are all put together. A moment that struck me was in the animated map of the hornets nest when Union soldiers are shown fleeing. I am sure that some men fled and got out, but how did they figure out where the gap was that men fled out of? I cannot believe that in the heat of battle men were thinking about sprinting north-west or whichever direction they went. I wonder if they just know that some men got out and that is where they put the gap or if they actually know where the gap was. If that is completely accurate, I wonder how they know that for sure. Even with primary sources, I feel like it is nearly impossible to have 100% accuracy.

  2. It was very difficult to get the full picture of where the tracked troops have been. Even with accounts, maps, and secondary sources, Information can get lost or accounted for in a different way. Also, i found it difficult to follow the troops that didn’t have one of the higher ranking officers. It was impossible to follow all the different units so they were described in relation to some of the high ranking officers and their troops.

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