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Narrative of William Henry Harrison Bartlow to 1865
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Compiled and Written by Rocky L. Bartlow Great-great-grandson of William Henry Harrison Bartlow Meriden, Kansas September 2003 Rev November 2007 Rev & Addendum added September 2009


As the army is wont to do, it reorganized somewhat and the 59th became part of the 11th Brigade, 1st Division, Army of the Ohio in January and soon was on the move anticipating their need to support Grant in conjunction with his movements in southwestern Tennessee. They left Bowling Green on February 15 and arrived in Nashville, Tennessee on March 8 thence to Savannah, Tennessee by April 6, 1862. Once again reorganized under the 11th Brigade, 5th Division, Army of the Ohio they went into battle on the second day of the battle of Shiloh in relief of General Grant. (3)

The 59th, with William in tow, then advanced on Corinth, Mississippi and participated in the siege of same until May 30 when they occupied the city. Somewhere along the way, for reasons unknown, on April 19 William was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant, Company A. On the 31st they continued to pursue the Confederate army south to Booneville and by June 12, six days after his daughter was born, 2nd Lt Bartlow and the 59th were headed east chasing the elusive Rebels through Iuka and on into northern Alabama passing through Tuscumbia, Florence, Huntsville, and Athens finally arriving in Stevenson on July 24. Once again, for reasons unknown again, William was promoted on June 20 to 1st Lt. But more on that later.

On July 25th the army moved north arriving for a stay and duty at Battle Creek (TN?) until August 20. But the next day, Confederate General Braxton Bragg was on the move north and the Army of the Ohio was in pursuit in the attempt to keep him from Louisville. They arrived in Louisville on September 25 after Bragg broke to the east and the 59th then became part of the 11th Brigade, 5th Division, 2nd Corps, Army of the Ohio. While in Louisville, we part from the story of William for an interesting sidebar regarding his previous brigade commander, General Nelson, probably General Buell’s most aggressive general. He was lost to the cause and we shall see how.

(3) Chain of command: 59th-Col James P Fyffe; 11th Bgd-BG Jeremiah T Boyle; 5th Div-BG Thos L Crittendon; MG Don Carlos Buell BG Ulysses S Grant, cmdg

Shelby Foote in “The Civil War, a Narrative ” tells the story:

“He lost him because the Indiana brigadier, Jefferson Davis, home from the Trans-Mississippi on a sick leave, had come down to Louisville to assist Nelson in preparing to hold the city (Louisville) against Smith. Nelson was overbearing, Davis touchy; the result was a personality clash, at the climax of which the former ordered the latter out of his department. Davis left but presently he returned, bringing the governor of Indiana with him. This was Oliver P. Morgan, who had a bone to pick with Nelson over his alleged mishandling of Hoosier volunteers during the fiasco staged at Richmond (TN-on the journey to Louisville) a month ago tomorrow. They accosted him in the lobby of the Galt House, Buell’s Louisville headquarters, just after early breakfast. In the flare-up that ensued, Davis demanded satisfaction for last week’s rudeness, and when Nelson called him an ‘insolent puppy,’ flipped a wadded calling-card in his face; whereupon Nelson laid the back of a ham-sized hand across his jaw. Davis fell back, and the burly Kentuckian turned on Morton, asking if he too had come there to insult him. Morton said he had not. Nelson started up the staircase, heading for Buell’s room on the second floor. ‘Did you hear that damned insolent scoundrel insult me, sir?’ he demanded of an acquaintance coming down. “I suppose he don’t know me, sir. I’ll teach him a lesson, sir.’ He went on up the stairs, then down the hall, and just as he reached the door of Buell’s room he heard someone behind him call his name. Turning, he saw Davis standing at the head of the stairs with a pistol in his hand.

Davis had not come armed to the encounter, but after staggering back from the slap he had gone around the lobby asking bystanders for a weapon. At last he came to a certain Captain Gibson. ‘I always carry the article,’ Gibson said, producing a pistol from under his coat. Davis took it, and as he started up the stairs Gibson called after him, ‘It’s a tranter trigger. Work light.’ So when Nelson turned from Buell’s door and started toward him, Davis knew what to do. ‘Not another step farther!’ he cried; and then, at a range of about eight feet, shot the big man in the chest. Nelson stopped, turned back toward Buell’s door, but fell before he got there. ‘Send for a clergyman; I wish to be baptized,’ he told the men who came running at the sound of the shot. Gathering around him, they managed to lift the 300 pound giant onto a bed in a nearby room. ‘I have been basely murdered,’ he said. Half an hour later, he was dead.”

Davis was placed under arrest by Buell but before he could appoint a court martial, Buell found out on September 30 that General Halleck had removed him from command. Later Halleck appointed a commission but nothing happened and a Louisvillegrand jury indicted Davis of manslaughter but nothing came of it either. So the North lost one of its commanders.

October 1 they were back chasing Bragg through Kentucky. On October 8, they were placed in reserve at the battle of Perryville. (4) By the18th they were at Nelson’s Crossroads and on the 22nd left for Nashville, arriving November 7. It was during this period that, like many other Union generals in the early part of the war, Lincoln became dissatisfied with General Buell’s performance and the Army of the Cumberland was given to Major General William Rosecrans. On as smaller scale, in the fall of 1862 at Silver Springs, due to the rigors of war and camp life, William contracted typhoid pneumonia and diarrhea leading to piles (commonly known as hemorrhoids). But William continued his work as the army settled down to winter duties at Nashville. General William Starke Rosecrans

While there, on November 22, William was ordered north by General Rosecrans to conduct draftees from Columbus Ohio to their prospective regiments. He arrived on December 5 and was ordered to Camp Dennison to receive the draftees by the Adjutant General, Charles W. Hill, And while he was gone, the regiment, once again, reorganized in December and became attached to the 2nd Brigade, 3rd Division, Left Wing, 14th Army Corps, Army of the Cumberland. (5) William returned to the regiment just in time for the army to move on December 26-30 southeast to Murfreesboro and on December 30 they participated in the battle of Stone River (6) which raged on into the new year until January 3 when the army went into camp at Murfreesboro. (7) They didn’t move again until June 22, 1863.

(4) Chain of command: 59th Col James P Fyffe; 11th Bgde Col Samuel Beatty; 5th Div BG Horatio P Van Cleve; 2nd Army Corps-MG Thos L Critendon; Army of the Ohio-MG Don Carlos Buell. Source: Union Order of Battle, Official Record.

(5) On the 7th of November 1862, General Rosecrans divided the Army of the Cumberland, then known as the Fourteenth Army Corps, into the Right Wing, Centre, and Left Wing. The organization of the left wing, as then arranged, remained unchanged until January 9, 1863, when, by authority of the War Department, General Order No. 9, its designation was changed to that of the Twenty-first Corps. No other change was made, the different brigades and divisions remaining as before. The 59th was attchd 2nd Bgde, 3rd Div, Left Wing 14th Army Corps, Army of the Cumberland.

(6) Chain of command: 59th LTC Wm Howard; 2nd (late 14th) Bgde-James P Fyffe; 3rd (late 5th) Div-BG Horatio P Van Cleve (2nd Col Saumuel Beatty); Left Wing-MG Thos L Crittendon; 14th Army Corps (Army of the Cumberland)-MG Wm S Rosecrans. Source: Union Order of Battle, Official Record.

(7) Attchd 2nd Bgde, 3rd Div, 21st Army Corps, Army of the Cumberland Page


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