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16th Iowa Inf. at Iuka

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  • John
    I have read with delight all of Peter Cozzens books but must take issue with a few statements made in his latest The Darkest Days of the War . In the section
    Message 1 of 2 , Jul 16, 2000
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      I have read with delight all of Peter Cozzens books but must take
      issue with a few statements made in his latest "The Darkest Days of
      the War". In the section dealing with the battle of Iuka (page 91)he
      details the incident of the 16th Iowa firing into the mob of
      retreating members of the 48th Indiana intermingled with advancing
      rebel forces, stating "in that instant killing more Indianans then
      had
      died from rebel bullets". He attributes this action to possibly
      "simple fear bread of inexperiance". While it is true the 16th had
      only taken the field a short five months prior to the action at Iuka
      I
      must point out that this was NOT their baptism of fire. They, with
      their Regular Army Colonel, Alexander Chambers, and the 15th Iowa
      were
      sent to succor General McClernand's collasping right flank on the
      morning of the first days action at Shiloh, April 6,1862. Arriving at
      Jone's field a scant few hours after they had loaded their weapons
      for
      the very FIRST time, they went into action against Col. Robert P.
      Trabue's "Orphan Brigade" (which included the Governor of Kentucky,
      George W. Johnson, fighting in the ranks of the 4th Ky. as a private
      soldier), and two regiments of the Brigade of Col. R.M. Russell, the
      22nd Tenn. and 11th Louisiana. By all accounts they behaved in a
      cool,
      veteranlike fashion,and though routed when the Union line gave way,
      suffered 131 casualties in this, their first two hours of combat.
      Many years after the battle at Iuka the Brigade commander, Col.
      John B. Sanborn, himself excercising brigade command in combat for
      his
      first time, confessed to ordering the 16th Iowa to fire into the
      retreating mass, thus halting the stampede and saving his line from
      being swept away. He recalled that he had initally included this
      information in his official report but had been asked to remove it by
      higher authority. One must wonder how heavily this ommission must
      have
      weighed on his mind through the intervening years, casting doubt on
      the integrity of the Iowa boys of the 16th Infantry, even up to the
      present with Mr. Cozzen's statement.
      J. Franklin Horrighs
    • John
      I have read with delight all of Peter Cozzens books but must take issue with a few statements made in his latest The Darkest Days of the War . In the section
      Message 2 of 2 , Jul 16, 2000
      • 0 Attachment
        I have read with delight all of Peter Cozzens books but must take
        issue with a few statements made in his latest "The Darkest Days of
        the War". In the section dealing with the battle of Iuka (page 91)he
        details the incident of the 16th Iowa firing into the mob of
        retreating members of the 48th Indiana intermingled with advancing
        rebel forces, stating "in that instant killing more Indianans then
        had
        died from rebel bullets". He attributes this action to possibly
        "simple fear bread of inexperiance". While it is true the 16th had
        only taken the field a short five months prior to the action at Iuka
        I
        must point out that this was NOT their baptism of fire. They, with
        their Regular Army Colonel, Alexander Chambers, and the 15th Iowa
        were
        sent to succor General McClernand's collasping right flank on the
        morning of the first days action at Shiloh, April 6,1862. Arriving at
        Jone's field a scant few hours after they had loaded their weapons
        for
        the very FIRST time, they went into action against Col. Robert P.
        Trabue's "Orphan Brigade" (which included the Governor of Kentucky,
        George W. Johnson, fighting in the ranks of the 4th Ky. as a private
        soldier), and two regiments of the Brigade of Col. R.M. Russell, the
        22nd Tenn. and 11th Louisiana. By all accounts they behaved in a
        cool,
        veteranlike fashion,and though routed when the Union line gave way,
        suffered 131 casualties in this, their first two hours of combat.
        Many years after the battle at Iuka the Brigade commander, Col.
        John B. Sanborn, himself excercising brigade command in combat for
        his
        first time, confessed to ordering the 16th Iowa to fire into the
        retreating mass, thus halting the stampede and saving his line from
        being swept away. He recalled that he had initally included this
        information in his official report but had been asked to remove it by
        higher authority. One must wonder how heavily this ommission must
        have
        weighed on his mind through the intervening years, casting doubt on
        the integrity of the Iowa boys of the 16th Infantry, even up to the
        present with Mr. Cozzen's statement.
        J. Franklin Horrighs
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