Battle of Booneville, Mississippi... Sheridan's Promotion...

5fish

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The Battle of Booneville, MS. is because it is the battle where a young Sheridan won his stars...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Booneville

snip...

The Battle of Booneville was fought on July 1, 1862, in Booneville, Mississippi, during the American Civil War. It occurred in the aftermath of the Union victory at the Battle of Shiloh and within the context of Confederate General Braxton Bragg's efforts to recapture the rail junction at Corinth, Mississippi, 20 miles (32 km) north of Booneville.

snip...

Sheridan estimated that Chalmers lost 65 troops killed in the battle; Federal casualties were one dead, 24 wounded, and 16 missing. Due to the battle, Bragg delayed his offensive strategy for Corinth, allowing Halleck additional time to unite his troops
 
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5fish

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There is some controversy about the battle and some Sheridan promoting oneself...


snip... fact...

As the story was told in the North, Sheridan was camped at Booneville with two regiments of Union cavalry, the Second Michigan and Second Iowa. On the morning of July 1, 1862, Confederate troops drove in his pickets on the outskirts of town and a full scale battle quickly developed. The Federals were initially driven back, but Sheridan saved the day by carrying out simultaneous attacks on both the Confederate flank and rear.

snip... the story...

This much of the story is true, but word quickly spread that with only 700 or so men, Sheridan had stood down a devastating attack by from 4000 to 5000 Confederates. Not only was he credited with holding back the Southern attack, but the force at the colonel's command claimed to have killed 65 Confederates while losing only one man killed.

It was the story that made Sheridan a hero in the North and started him on the road that would lead to a career as one of the most determined and successful Union generals. The problem is that it might not be entirely true.

snip... counter story...

A report by Confederate General Braxton Bragg prior to the battle indicates that General Chalmers commanded a cavalry force of only 1,200 to 1,500 men, not the 4,000 - 5,000 claimed by Sheridan. Chalmers himself wrote that he sent only three regiments - the First Confederate Cavalry, the First Alabama cavalry and Wirt Adams' regiment from Mississippi - into the Battle of Booneville. In a letter written after the war he credited Sheridan with being a capable and brave general, but called the Northern version of the battle "simply ridiculous."
 

5fish

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Here another take...


snip... Sheridan promotion...

Probably the most important result of the
battle was the promotion of Phil Sheridan to
the rank of brigadier general. On July 30,
1862, Union Generals William S. Rosecrans,
C.C. Sullivan, Gordon Granger, W.L. Elliott
and Alexander Asboth penned their famous
recommendation to General Henry W.
Halleck:

Brigadiers are scarce. Good ones
scarcer....The undersigned respectfully beg
that you will obtain the promotion of Sheridan.
He is worth his weight in gold.

Sheridan was promoted and went on to
become one of the most famous Union
officers of the Civil War
.
 

5fish

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Here a diary entry about the battle.... story of a local historian... click the link...


snip... the battle was studied by the army...

One of the articles he uncovered was a magazine article entitled "Fire and Maneuver at the Battle of Booneville" by William B. Hankee that appeared in the March 1973 edition of Military Review.

This turned out to be the very magazine article his cousin had mentioned some 20 years ago.

Through the Internet, Robinson located Hankee who lives in Harrisburg, Pa. The two talked and corresponded and Hankee told Robinson about an extensive study the Army conducted a few years back to explain the relationship between fire and maneuver and how their employment influenced success or failure in battle.

Sixteen historic battles were selected for analysis. In a letter to Robinson, Hankee wrote, "The study took more than a year to complete and included both small and large unit actions from the American Revolution, Civil War, World War I, World War II and Korea.

"The Battle of Booneville was one of the 16 selected case studies," Hankee wrote.


Hankee mentioned to Robinson he and his wife travel quite a bit and it would be nice to see some signs showing the way to the "Booneville Battlefield." "People shouldn’t be allowed to forget what happened there on July 1, 1862," Hankee wrote.

Robinson continued research on the Internet and found an unpublished diary of a member of the Second Michigan Cavalry, Henry Mortimer Hempstead, which contained information about his being in the Booneville area during the Civil War.

The diary was in possession of the Marshall Historical Society of Marshall, Mich. Through E-mail contacts, Robinson met Chris Czopek, Camp Historian for the Colegrove-Woodruff Camp 22 of the Sons of the Union Veterans of Calhoun County, Mich., who provided information from the diary about Booneville.


snip... Diary entry of the battle...

On the morning of the first of July 1862 at daylight our pickets a couple of miles in advance were attacked by the Rebel cavalry in force.

"Reveille had sounded and we were out attending roll call when a messenger from the pickets dashed in bringing in the report of the attack. Boots and saddles rang through the camps and both Regts. were soon in line and proceeding to the point of attack. Were soon judiciously posted.

"The fighting was desultory but at times quite close and sharp. The Enemy consisting of 8 Regts. of cavalry under General Chalmers made repeated efforts to break our lines at different points, sometimes forcing our men back, but always being obliged to recoil with heavy loss, the revolving rifles of the Michigan and the Sharp’s carbines of the 2nd Iowa doing fearful execution along their ranks.

"Col. Sheridan was at all points of danger and by judicious management met their overwhelming force by a firm front at all points. Later in the day four Companies (Lt. H. of our Regiment) who still retained their sabers were sent by a circuitous route to attack the enemy in the rear. They charges among their wagons, ambulances and wounded, gaining some advantage at first but were finally repulsed with some loss, but the movement seemed to have a discouraging effect upon the enemy who drew off about three o’clock p.m. leaving us masters of the field.

"Our loss was about 35 killed and wounded, theirs was reported at over 100. Chalmers himself being wounded.

"This fight placed a star upon Phil Sheridan’s shoulder, his commission as Brig. General dating from this day."
 
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