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More branches from the family tree....

General Albert Sidney Johnston may not have known it that day but on the Shiloh Battlefield  there were 2 men under his command  contributing their effort to the Rebel Cause. I know that one of them was  a member of the Fifteenth Mississippi Infantry.  The other I am not sure of ,but hopefully I will be able to discover more of his involvement in the fray.  I do repeat again that I am NOT an expert on the War and may not be accurate in my information when technicality is an issue. The information I provide here has beenhanded down  by word of mouth and some documentation has been provided by magazine articles and research. If that is the case and you can supply information to the contrary  please, feel free to write me and help me to better understand.  Direct all suggestions and comments to the email listed below.


Take a close look at the  right hand belonging to the man in the picture above. The man is my 'Grandpa Allen'.  His deformed  hand is physical evidence of his involvement in the Battle of Shiloh.  His given name was Elisha A. Allen.

The story is that  Great-Great Grandpa Allen was actively fighting at Shiloh that day in April.  He caught a bullet in the elbow and was wounded.  He had previously (as was the practice during war time) aquired a Union uniform from a dead Union solier.  I can only assume that his was in tatters.  He lay there on the battlefield until help came.  Surprisingly the help was from the Union side and aid was given to my Grandpa.  He spoke with the heavy, thick Irish brogue of his motherland and was mistaken for a Union soldier.  He was transported to a Federal hospital and was nursed back to health.  When he was released he returned to Mississippi and to his wife. 

Fighting the very same battle, yet worlds apart was another Great-Great Grandfather, Thomas Jefferson Cooper.  These families would be joined later in the marriage of  my Great Grandmother, Mattie Nash Wyatt, to Jacob Alonzo Cooper.

Thomas J. Cooper was captured at Shiloh and taken to Camp Douglas in Illinois as a POW.  I currently have no pictures of my Great Great Grandfather but only family stories and proof of his involvement in the war through family letters and documentation.  Nevertheless, I am proud of both of my GG Grandfathers, as well as Albert Sidney Johnston, for the courage and love for the Southland they demonstrated during the war torn years.

by Herman Melville
April, 1862

Skimming lightly, wheeling still,
The swallows fly low
Over the fields in cloudy days,
The forest-field of Shiloh--
Over the field where April rain
Solaced the parched one stretched in pain
Through the pause of night
That followed the Sunday fight
Around the church of Shiloh--
The church, so lone, the log-built one,
That echoed to many a parting groan
And natural prayer
Of dying foeman mingled there--
Foeman at morn, but friends at eve--
Fame or country least their care:
(What like a bullet can undeceive!)
But now they lie low,
While over them the swallows skim,
And all is hushed at Shiloh.

by M.G. Smith

Come all ye valiant soldiers -- a story I will tell
About the bloody battle that was fought on Shiloh Hill.
It was an awful struggle and will cause your blood to chill;
It was the famous battle that was fought on Shiloh Hill.

'Twas on the sixth of April, just at the break of day;
The drums and fifes were playing for us to march away.
The feeling of that hour I do remember still,
When first my feet were tromping on the top of Shiloh Hill.

About the hour of sunrise the battle it began;
Before the day was ended, we fought 'em hand to hand.
The horrors of that field did my heart with anguish fill
For the wounded and the dying that lay on Shiloh Hill.

There were men from every nation laid on those bloody plains,
Fathers, sons, and brothers were numbered with the slain,
That has caused so many homes with deep mourning to be filled,
All from the bloody battle that was fought on Shiloh Hill.

The wounded men were crying for help from everywhere,
While others who were dying were offering God their prayer,
"Protect my wife and children if it is Thy holy will!"
Such were the prayers I heard that night on Shiloh Hill.

And early the next morning we were called to arms again,
Unmindful of the wounded and unuseful to the slain;
The struggle was renewed again, and ten thousand men were killed;
This was the second conflict of the famous Shiloh Hill.

The battle it raged on, though dead and dying men
Lay thick all o'er the ground, on the hill and on the glen;
And from their deadly wounds, the blood ran like a rill;
Such were the mournful sights that I saw on Shiloh Hill.

Before the day was ended, the battle ceased to roar,
And thousands of brave soldiers had fell to rise no more;
They left their vacant ranks for some other ones to fill,
And now their mouldering bodies all lie on Shiloh Hill.

And now my song is ended about those bloody plains;
I hope the sight by mortal man may ne'er be seen again!
But I pray to God, the Saviour, "If consistent with Thy will,
To save the souls of all who fell on bloody Shiloh Hill."


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