Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Death of Gen. William Wallace-- Part 3: With His Wife By His Side

And, then things turned for the worse.

Ann Wallace recalled the end of the general's life:

"He seemed so happy and satisfied to have me so near him, but lay in calm self-control, even in death, conscious that  his moments of life were continued only by this rest.  Hope with us grew brighter until a periodical delirium, caused by excessive inflammation, passed away and his pulse began to fail; we knew his moments with us were few.

"My darling knew he was going and pressed my hand long and fondly to his heart.  Then he waved me away as aid, 'We meet in Heaven."

"They were the last words upon those loved lips., and he faded away gently and peacefully and hopefully."

I wonder if any other Civil War soldiers died with their wives at their side?

--Old Secesh

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Death of Gen. William H.L. Wallace-- Part 2: Found Alive the Next Day, Meets Wife

A Federal counterattack on April 7th turned the tide at the Battle of Shiloh and the Confederates were driven from the field.  The Union had won.

About 9 a.m., that morning, a Union soldier found William Wallace where he had been left.  Incredibly, despite the severe head wound and the fact that he had lain outside in heavy rains,. Wallace was still alive.  He was placed aboard a river steamer and taken to Cherry Mansion, general Grant's headquarters in Savannah.

Also on board that transport was the general's wife, Ann Wallace.    She had arrived for a surprise visit just prior to the battle, but the two had not gotten together.  She had been told already that her husband was dead and was elated to see him still alive.

The gravely wounded general recognized her and was able to speak with difficulty.  She cared for him and he seemed to be getting better.

Kind of a Coincidence That His Wife Would Be There.  --Old Secesh

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

The Death of Gen. William H.L. Wallace-- Part 1

From the Iron Brigader blog.  "The Death of General W.H.L. Wallace at the Battle of Shiloh"  by Mark.

Wallace's division was farther back from the main Union line, nearer to Pittsburg Landing on April 6, 1862, as the Battle of Shiloh commenced.  He moved two of his brigades up to what became known as the Hornet's Nest.  As the Confederates continued attacks, eventually they got around the flanks of the Union soldiers there.

William Wallace decided to have his men fight their way out.  As this was happening, Wallace's aide-de-camp, Lt. Cyrus E. Dickey (who was also Wallace's brother-in-law) pointed out some advancing Confederate troops.  The two were on horseback and when Wallace rose up from the saddle for a better view a bullet hit him in the head behind his left ear and exited out his left eye.

The general immediately dropped to the ground.

Dickey believed Wallace was dead and with three others attempted to remove him from the field.  After a quarter of a mile they encountered heavy fire from both sides and were nearly overrun by Confederates so they left Wallace near some ammunition boxes hoping he wouldn't be trampled.

--Old Secesh

Monday, June 10, 2019

Funeral of William H.L. Wallace-- Part 1

From Facebook Page:  Gen W.H.L. Wallace.

The remains of General W.H.L. Wallace, who so bravely sacrificed his life his life at the late battle of Pittsburg Landing, arrived in this city Sunday evening about nine o'clock on a special train from Cairo furnished by direction from General Strong.

The body was in charge of Colonel T. Lyle Dickey of the Fourth Illinois Cavalry (father-in-law),  accompanied by  Major M.R.M. Wallace of the Fourth Cavalry, brother of the deceased.  Lieutenant Cyrus E. Dickey (brother-in-law and son of T. Lyle Dickey), Lieutenant I.P. Rumsey, Aides-de-Camp to General Wallace, Captain C.Y.  Hotchkiss, Acting Adjutant-General.

The wife of General Wallace, who arrived at Pittsburg Landing  the same day that her husband received his death wound, also accompanied his remains.

At the depot, they were met by a detachment of about fifty men composed of Companies D and H of the Irish brigade.  The detachment was in charge of Captain Simpson, Company D.

--Old Secesh

Back to Gen. William H.L. Wallace: His Brother, Martin R.M. Wallace Buried at Chicago's Rosehill Cemetery

Back in May I had quite a few posts about this Union general from Illinois who was mortally wounded at the Battle of Shiloh.

His brother Martin R.M. Wallace is buried along with his wife Emma Wallace at Chicago's largest cemetery, Rosehill.  The entry gate is impressive and was built in 1864.  Many notables are buried there.


Several early Chicago mayors.

Levi Day Boone  (Know-Nothing Party)  Related to Daniel Boone.

Jack Brickhouse (1916-1998)  Sports announcer
Leo Burnett (1891-1971)  Founded the advertising agency
Albert Blake Dick (1856-1934)  Founded A.B. Dick Co.
Milton S. Florsheim  (1868-1936(  Founder of the shoe company
Bobby Franks (1909-1924)  Famous murder victim
Elisha Gray  (1835-1901)  Founded Western Electric Co.

--Old Secesh

Funeral of William H.L. Wallace-- Part 2: Arrival in Ottawa

The body was placed  in the hearse  which had been provided by order of Mayor Rumsey and about half-past nine the procession started from the depot in the following order:  Two files of soldiers with reversed arms.  Hearse attended by six commissioned officers, four from the Irish brigade, and to from the Scotch  regiment, as pall bearers.  A rear guard of six men with fixed bayonets.

The procession proceeded up  Lake Street to Clark, Up Clark to  Van Buren and thence to the Rock Island depot, and not withstanding the lateness of the hour, was attended by a large concourse of citizens.

The tolling of the Court House bell as the procession passed through the streets startled the whole city, many not being aware of the death of the General.

From the Chicago Tribune.

--Old Secesh

Sunday, June 9, 2019

MCCWRT Meeting Tuesday, June 11: The Leeds Cannon at Boone County Historical Museum

Tuesday, June 11, the McHenry County Civil War Round Table will hold its monthly meeting at the Woodstock, Illinois, Public Library at 414 West Judd Street (just a couple blocks west of the historic 1840s Woodstock square where the movie "Groundhog Day" was filmed.

This month's presentation will be by Frank Crawford on the "Leeds Cannon at the Boone County (Illinois) Historical Museum."

Everyone is invited and the meeting starts at  7 p.m..

--Old Secesh

Saturday, June 8, 2019

D-Day 75th Anniversary: Canadians At Juno Beach Captured the Most Territory That Day


Canadian soldiers at Juno Beach also suffered terrible casualties, battling heavy seas before landing on a heavily defended strip of shoreline.  Similar to the Americans at Omaha Beach, the first waves of Canadian troops were mowed down en masse by German artillery.   Estimates put the losses then at nearly fifty percent.

The Canadians persisted, however, and pushed on beyond the beachfront and pursuing retreating Germans inland.  In the end, the Canadians at Juno Beach captured more towns and territory than any other battalions in Operation Overlord.

You can read all fifteen D-Day facts in this blog and my June 6-8 Civil War Navy and RoadDog's RoadLog blogs.

D-Day 75th Anniversary: Toughest Fighting on Omaha Beach


At Omaha Beach, bombing runs had failed to take out heavily fortified German positions.  The first waves of Americans going ashore were cut down in droves by German machine guns as they crossed the mine-riddled beach.

But, U.S. forces persisted in the day-long slog, pushing forward to a fortified seawall and then up steep bluffs to take out the German artillery posts by nightfall.  All told, about 2,400 American troops were killed, wounded or unaccounted for after the fighting on Omaha Beach

Friday, June 7, 2019

D-Day 75th Anniversary: Dress Rehearsal Was a Disaster


Two months before D-Day, Allied forces conducted a disastrous dress rehearsal of the Normandy invasion  on an evacuated  English beach called Slapton Sands.  Known as "Exercise Tiger,"  749  U.S. troops lost their lives after a fleet of German E-Boats caught wind of the mock invasion and torpedoed American tank landing ships.

Survivors described the "Exercise Tiger" fiasco as more terrifying than the D-Day landing on Omaha Beach.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

D-Day 75th Anniversary: The "Phantom Army"


The idea behind the ruse was to trick the Germans into thinking  that the invasion would occur at Pas-de-Calais, the closest French coastline to England.    The Allies used fake  radio transmissions, double agents and even a "phantom army," commanded by American general George S. Patton, to throw the Germans off what was really going to happen.

Many of the tanks, cannons and vehicles German reconnaissance spotted were actually blow up balloons.

D-Day 75th Anniversary: What Does D-Day Actually Mean?

Seventy-five years ago, Allied forces attacked German defenses along the French coast at Normandy.  This was a major turning point of World War II and world history.

I  will be writing about this in the next three posts in all of my blogs.

From the History site. "D-Day:  Facts on the epic 1944 invasion that changed  the course of WW II" by Dave Roos.

On June 6, 1944,  more than 156,000 American, British and Canadian troops stormed fifty miles of Normandy's heavily defended beaches.


Unlike V-E DAY  (Victory in Europe) and V-J DAY  (Victory Over Japan), the "D" in D-Day isn't short for "departure" or "decision."  As early as World War I, the U.S. military used the term D-Day to designate the launch date of a mission.

One reason was to keep the date questionable for the enemy and another was to be a place-holder until an actual date was chosen.

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Jacob "Howling Wilderness" Smith-- Part 6: Appointments Revoked, Legal Problems and a Court Martial

Jacob Smith then wrote a letter to the secretary of  war painting himself as a gullible dupe, explaining the recruiting ploy in detail and saying the only thing he was guilty of was using other people's money for his own profit.  All of his creditors, though, had been repaid and no recruits had not received their bounties.

But, unfortunately, all of the witnesses to his story were either dead or had left the country.  Also, he had destroyed or lost all of his bank accounts for the period in question.

The secretary of war did not buy Smith's story and Smith's temporary  appointment as judge advocate was revoked.

There were other Smith-related problems throughout the rest of the century, including a run-in with a colonel and several legal problems with creditors.  He was court martialed in  in 1885 "for conduct unbecoming an officer" for deeds done at the "Mint Saloon" in Texas.

Then came the Spanish-American War and occupation of the Philippines.  For this story go to my May Cooter's History Thing blog.

Quite a Character.  --Old Secesh

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Jacob "Howling Wilderness" Smith-- Part 5: Judge Advocate Joseph Holt Gets Involved

At the time of his father-in-law's bankruptcy case, Jacob Smith had been given  a temporary judge advocate  assignment with the army that he hoped he could turn into a permanent position.  One of the parties in the bankruptcy case informed Joseph Holt, Judge Advocate of the U.S. Army, about Smith's bounty brokerage scheme and he began checking into  it.

Smith wrote a letter to Holt attempting to cast the scheme in a sympathetic light.  He said he had been in seven engagements and wounded at the Battle of Shiloh, wrapping himself in the flag.

Furthermore, he stated that he was "one who took  upon himself all the odium that the rebels and conservatives of Louisville, Kentucky, heaped upon him, by being the first officer, to my knowledge, who commenced  mustering into service the colored man in Kentucky during the year 1863."  Smith went on to say that he had scoured the  prisons, jails and workhouses to find recruits.  His only aim was to serve God and his country properly.

He did admit to speculating, but said that others had made three times as much money as he had and that he had not defrauded anyone.

Holt did not accept Smith's story and submitted papers to the Secretary of War with recommendations that it be turned over to the United States Senate Committee on Military Affairs.who had the authority to confirm the permanent judge advocate position that Smith sought.

The Secretary of War at the time was either Edwin M. Stanton, John M. Schofield or John A. Rawlins as the article didn't give a date for this.

Find out what happened in the next post.

Imagine Smith As A Judge Advocate With This Record.  --Old Secesh

Jacob "Howling Wilderness" Smith-- Part 4: About That Bounty Brokerage Scheme of Jacob's

Was this how Jacob Smith made all his new-found wealth?  You mean it didn't come from his father-in-law trying to hide his money and declare bankruptcy?

Here is Jacob Smith's bounty brokerage scheme:

During the war, eastern Union states offered bounties of up to $700 for recruits.  Midwestern states offered up to $300.  Wouldn't it be something to recruit in Kentucky, pay the recruit the $300 then send him out to recruiters in the east, get paid $700 and then split the $400 with those people.  Evidently, Jacob Smith saw an opportunity and took it.

Mr. Smith said he at first thought what he was doing was perfectly legal.

But, he took $92,000 from the eastern recruiters to cover the scheme.  Instead of using it for the intended purpose, he took that money and started making investments in side ventures of his own with it. Those included whiskey, gold and diamonds.  When the eastern recruiters found out and demanded their money back, Smith noticed that they did not engage the law to get it and decided that he wouldn't give the money back.  Then, their little scheme must have been illegal.

His investments were highly profitable and he claimed he had paid the easterners back all the money.

Verrrry Interesting As the Guy on Laugh-In Used to Say.  --Old Secesh