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.