Archive for January, 2010

Its All About Iuka!

When I began to study the regiments of the Ross Brigade, I did not think about the cost of the war to the various units. This week it was brought home, the actual value, in lives to each regiment that the Civil War took.

I received an e-mail from the Texas Civil War History Message Board. Some one had a comment about an answer I had made on the KIA at Iuka, Mississippi on September 19, 1862. The question was could I look over and comment about the 3rd Texas Cavalry and the 27th Texas Cavalry  personal buried in the Mass Grave at Iuka. Of course I would. As I looked over the data, I suddenly knew how little I actually knew about Individuals of these units.

A flash reminded me that a roster existed at the Wilson Creek Battle web site that had good data on all the troops of the 3rd. Using information from that roster I was able to prepare a detailed roster of the KIA, Wounded, Prisoners and missing at Iuka. From my rosters and the one from Wilson Creek, I was able to identify one staff soldier of the 3rd, not in the KIA list. I was also able to shed some light on each soldier who might be buried in the Mass Grave at Shady grove Cemetery, Iuka, Mississippi. As usual I was using someone’s work to shed light on my regiments. Maybe I should say ours.

This data was shipped off to C. C. (Chip) Culpepper II who compiled the list I reviewed. I felt good that I might help identify those soldiers that might be in that 263 man grave. Then the big task. Very little is written on the troops of the 1st Texas Legion, AKA 27th Texas Cavalry Regiment. At first the task was large. Then I decided to list all the men from the Culpeper list associated in any way with the 27th.  Next I went to Footnote.com and using my alphabetical list (I always put my list first in Excel for easy manipulation) I went through the Soldier Records from the National Archives that Footnote has published. Still cumbersome, but better than rolls of Archive tape, I was able to go through the individual records of the 27th in just a  few hours. Now I knew a little about each soldier of the 27th. In the search of the 3rd Cavalry I was able to find that some Arkansas Troops had been attached probably for the Iuka and Corinth Battles and returned to their units on 10 October 1862, which was the reason they were missing today.

Now the same type of investigation came into play. I was not able to discover things as I did with the 3rd, but I did show. that the data was fairly solid. Soon I was able to send another list to Mr. Culpepper. Both list were established using the National Archive Soldier Rercords. Some day in the future there may be, a list of soldiers thought to lie there, and a little data on each will be known. Some people say that we should not identify those soldiers, but it is important to the kin of those soldiers to know the final resting place of a Great Grand Father or now days Great Great and even Great.

Last summer as I walked through the Cemetery at Canton Plantation, Tennessee and saw the graves of those who died at Franklin, I was sad for the many unknowns.  Seeing what is going on at Iuka, lays seed that some day we can pin down most of the unknowns at all the battlefields, and know better how many actually died. In some cases there will be mistakes, but we are better off today than we were yesterday.

Next summer I plan to visit that Shady Grove and talk to those boys. Maybe even feel the presence of our boys. I will also visit nearby Corinth and Hatchie Bridge. Even though our boys did not fight at Shiloh, I will visit there also. It is important that we remember. Maybe I should go to Holly Springs too. That was the real launch pad for the Brigade.  But that is another story.

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