Assignment 4

I decided to Track Colonel Preston Pond Jr. of the confederate Army. Leader of the 38th Tennessee  Infantry. According to the civil battlefields.org and secondary websites, he made quite the trek across the map. At first it was hard to read the maps from the April 6th battle, I had to read reports from people following Ponds Brigade. After reading these reports, it made analyzing the map so much easier. The report did a decent job in explaining what natural obstacles were in the way of their advance (Fields, Ponds and Buildings). This furthermore made me realize how much goes into historians dating back battle formations and where they went. I think it is hard for historians to find reliable sources and connecting all the reports together to make sure the reports match the maps and vise versa.  Lastly, I really enjoyed looking into the maps and researching the battle and tracing the confederates colonels steps from dusk till dawn. It was very unique and Interesting to dig into. That being said according to my research, around 8am the morning of the first battle, Johnston ordered Pond to seize and hold the bridge over Owl Creek while the remainder of his brigade joined Ruggles advance towards Mcdowell field. Pond then occupied camps south of the shiloh church according to the map around the early afternoon. Later that day around 4pm Pond was ordered to charge up and break the federal line. He remained there till nightfall positioning his brigade less than a mile from the river at Owl Creek. Reports show that Pond suffered many casualties to the union and friendly fire due to awkward position on the battlefield.

10 Replies to “Assignment 4”

  1. Hey Patrick,

    I also found it hard trying to understand the maps as they stood without referring towards the war reports and correspondence between the commanders and their lesser’s. After reading them it was much easier to picture how the battle progressed from first hand experience, elaborating on the reasons why they had to retreat and why soldiers were in exact spots at different times. Although I used the animated map for my diagnostic between correspondence, having the the first hand communication visible to read was great to have a further understanding of what was happening during Shiloh.

  2. Hello,

    I also had a hard time reading and interpreting the reports and relied on the lower ranked members to gain the first- hand perspective through their eyes as well as piece in the parts to my misunderstanding. I found the tactical knowledge interesting and learned a lot from the first- hand experience.

  3. I found it interesting as well in terms of following the army’s footsteps. I wish I knew more about the strategy behind the decisions. I also thought the maps were incredibly difficult to read. They made this assignment very challenging.

  4. Maps are very interesting pieces of history, They can only plot out certain points in time, which makes it very difficult to track troops. The first person accounts are always nice because you get a better sense of what the soldiers were seeing. When the two are paired together, you can get a sense of the full story, but it is hard because many times there are multiple versions of a story.

  5. I felt the same way about the maps when I was doing this assignment, too. They were next to impossible to follow just by themselves. It was only once I read the reports that I was able to paint a picture of their movements. Even then, though, it was still a little hazy and unclear.

  6. I enjoyed readin a different perspective of someone else on the battlefield. The massive amounts of information help understand other units coordinated attacks and really help historians understand what really went on. I also struggled with finding my units coordinates on the map and had to find other infinity units to locate the area in which they moved. Great job
    Jack

  7. This post was very interesting in that you had to use other sources to figure out the correct location of our unit on the maps. I did the same thing when locating my unit as well. I agree with how you say it’s interesting that historians have to dig way deeper into sources to locate smaller information. This helps me understand how hard they have to work just to locate facts and experiences.

  8. I thought it was difficult to understand the maps and especially with the ones that weren’t color coded. Overall though I find it interesting reading everyone’s work and seeing the different details everyone has found.

  9. I am jealous that your report did a fine job of listing obstacles in their route. My particular individual ignored all of that and instead ragged on his generals for making premature decisions. The rest of the time he was writing about malnourished soldiers. The read was very interesting and eerie, however he was not the correct choice for this assignment.

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