August 1861 ~Belmont
Raw Confederate troops gather on the Plain directly across from the Iron Bank Chalk Bluffs at Columbus
Word of rough travel on corduroy Road from New Madrid across Niger Wool Swamp.
Rumors of Tennessee State Militia troops have moved nearer the Kentucky border; Rebel Camps of Union City blooming with recruits from All Parts near and wide.
Union encampment at Fort Defiance, Ill; already the strongest base of Yankee troops in the the Western Theater ~ and will remain so through the remainder of the War. Mound’s Ship Crew is innovating technology that will alter Modern Warfare for eternity.
…“Large cavalry movements; Fires Glow on the Bluffs…”
Said the Note General Ulysses S. Grant received in Headquarters at Cairo, Ill. in mid-August a mere Century and a half ago just 30 Miles away from the Prairie. He was concerned. The weather had been too smooth as of Late and troops were getting restless. Drilling; drilling and more drilling now drilled the Fire out the soldiers.
“Would they fight? How I am to know? When is the the time to move? Where do I strike? What’s the possible cost? What is my Plan B? Where is Sherman?
And, more thoughts like these scattered through the mind of the newly minted commander of the Largest Union Force West of the Alleghenies. And, good men. Strong men. The rough sewn outdoors brawny fellas ~ their brothers and kin – from Iowa; Wisconsin – joining the overflow of Illinois recruits feeling the Harrumph of War at the moment.
Basking it in. Some Nights, the soldiers would creep down past the far side of the chute that protected Defiance from direct approach from the Southwest. There, you could almost see the nearby settlements on Matthew’s Prairie.
Off back to Camp, rapidly did so, the Braver soldiers that dared risk seeing the Elephant. They would have their chance soon enough. Those soldiers will do the most crucial and critical fighting of the entire Union Army. In Battles Like Shiloh and would follow this Grand Yankee Army of the Tennessee River to the fights at Fort Henry and Ft. Donelson.
Then, slide South to Pittsburg Landing where it all changed.
The Bravest Soliers ever to draw a musket, said Nathan Bedford Forrest of Rebel troops who fought so gallantly to defend their Homes. Ann Coulter, she of right wing conservative thought, has the best defense of the Confederacy I’ve heard in quite The Spell.
And, I assure you, so could the Men; Soldiers; Officers; Commanders and Civilians of the South, who would have full capacity to testify as to the Will; Sheer Tenacity and bravery of Rebel troops during the War.
Those carefree evenings on the Banks of the Mississippi would be no more as the Fall of 1861 came upon us…
Bloody Nights in a Pond near a Hebrew Church named Shiloh would erase all those serene Camp Life camaraderie tales with horrific nightmare images of wilding Boars tearing away the meat from the too-wounded too protect their Souls from the Savage Battle Reaper…(to be continued).
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED:KpKronicleLLC ~ Kevin Pritchett
**Related Reading: The Drummer Boy of Shiloh.