Saturday, April 07, 2007

The Battle of Shiloh (Pittsburg Landing) April 6-7, 1862

This year is the 145th anniversary of the Battle of Shiloh, one of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War. There were 241 separate military units (128 Federal and 113 Confederate) engaged on April 6th and 7th, 1862. The final number of dead or missing was 13,000 on the Union side and 10,500 on the Confederate side.


JACOB BERLIN (my 2nd Great Grand Uncle) was born on September 30, 1836 in Columbiana County, Ohio and was the 5th of 10 children born to John D. and Susannah Huffman Berlin. About 1846 the family moved to Rootstown in Portage County, Ohio. About 1852 the oldest son, Solomon, migrated to Locke Township in Elkhart County, Indiana. A few years later, Jacob joined Solomon in Elkhart County where they had a brick kiln and a sawmill.

Jacob enlisted in Company “C” Ninth Indiana Volunteer Infantry on September 5, 1861. Just seven months later, on April 7, 1862, Jacob met his death on the battlefield of Shiloh in western Tennessee during the second day’s fighting. He was 25 years old. When the G.A.R. post in Nappanee was established, it was named in his honor. A few years ago I went to the Shiloh Battlefield and Cemetery. I discovered that Jacob was probably one of the many soldiers who were buried in the mass graves as he was listed as a "known, unknown" which meant that it was known that he died there but they didn't know where he was buried. Jacob was not married and did not have any children.

The monument to the 9th Regiment states: "Commanded by Col. Gideon C. Moody. This regiment arrived on the battlefield at 9 p.m., April 6, 1862, moved upon the enemy at daylight of the 7th, was hotly engaged at this place 10 a.m. Repulsed a heavy attack from the front (south), and charged with brigade to the right (west), and drove back the enemy. At 12.30 p.m. was sent by Gen. Nelson across the road to the left to the aid of Col. Ammen. Casual- ties--killed, 1 officer and 16 men; wounded, 7 officers and 146 men; total, 170."

A letter written by Jno. H. Violett of the 9th Regiment was published in The Times, Goshen, Indiana on Thursday, May 1, 1862 and graphically describes their part in the battle.

The Times published another letter, not quite so graphic, written by Capt. H. G. Davis, a member of the 29th Regiment on Thursday, April 24, 1862. His letter was written on April 11th.


RALPH GOODRICH (may be my 4th Great Grand Uncle) was born March 30, 1820 probably in Franklin County, Ohio. His relationship to Bela Goodrich, my 5th Great Grandfather, has not been positively established but they both came from Franklin/Delaware County, Ohio to Whitley County, Indiana in 1838 and in 1841 Bela sold 40 acres of land in Whitley County to Ralph for $50, which was the same amount that Bela had paid to the U.S. Government.

At the time of his enlistment on September 25, 1861 Ralph had a wife (Lucinda Bennett) and five children. The oldest child, David, was 18 years old and joined the 44th along with his father. The youngest child of Ralph and Lucinda was not quite four years old. I discovered last year that I work with a descendant of that youngest child, Alfred Marion Goodrich! If we could prove the connection, he'd be my 5th cousin once removed. The other children of Ralph and Lucinda were John W., Arvilla, and William Swayze Goodrich.

Ralph and David both enlisted in Company B, 44th Regiment of Indiana Volunteers. Ralph was wounded on the first day of battle, Sunday, April 6th and died on a ship at the landing on Tuesday, April 8th. It is not known whether his son David was with him or not. The "Enrollment of the Late Soldiers, Their Widows and Orphans of the Late Armies of the United States for the year 1886" for Whitley County shows that David was a Musician and that Ralph had been "shot through the thigh".

The Monument to the 44th states: "Commanded by Col. HUGH B. REED. This regiment formed in this line Sunday, April 6, 1862, at 8.30 a.m. It repulsed several charges made by the enemy, which, under orders of Gen. Bragg, was attempting to force this part of the line back. During these engagements the woods caught fire. At 2.30 p.m. regiment fell back to a line with 1st Brigade, then to rear and left of Bloody Pond, where it charged on enemy's infantry and artillery. Here seven flag- bearers were shot down. At 4.30 p.m. slowly fell back and supported siege guns. Monday, April 7th, regiment fought the enemy till 3 p.m. Number of men in action, 478. Casualties-- killed, 1 officers and 33 men; wounded, 6 officers and 171 men; missing, 1 man; total, 212."

A photograph of Ralph's gravemarker can be found at the Shiloh Battlefield website. The date listed is the date that he was wounded, though it says date of death.

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My 2nd Great Grandfather, WILLIAM BRUBAKER, enlisted in Company E, 17th Indiana Volunteer Infantry on April 21, 1861 when he was 17 years and 5 months old. I'll write more about him in a future post. The 17th Regiment arrived on the battlefield at 12 o'clock on the night of April 7th. They were too late to participate in the battle but were prepared for battle on the morning of the 8th. I've often wondered if he helped to bury the dead or care for the wounded. What did he think when he saw the carnage on the battlefield? He had served for nearly a year and had been in several battles by this time. What effect did it all have on him?

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Some websites to explore:

The Battle of Shiloh (Pittsburg Landing) -

The Battle of Shiloh "A Very Bloody Affair" -

National Park Service Shiloh page -

Eye Witness to -

A Virtual Tour of Shiloh -

Shiloh National Military Park Monument Location System -


Tim Agazio said...

Being somewhat of a Civil War buff, Becky,

I really enjoyed your post...especially the two letters. It's interesting to see what people were thinking about in the context of their own time. My great-great grandfather (at the age of 17) served in the vicinity of Shiloh just after the battle. He got sun-stroke (heat injury) and spent the next 70 years battling the government for increased pension money based on his time near that battlefield. Its funny, he spent 3 more years in the Army, and actually was in quite a bit of fighting in the western theater, but his pension request is based on sun-stroke at Shiloh.

Becky Wiseman said...

Tim - Glad you enjoyed the post and the letters. There's no accounting for 'government logic' either now or back during the Civil War!

Anonymous said...


Becky Wiseman said...

Leslie, please contact me via email at - I have done some research on Ralph's family and would like to know how you "fit" in. As I stated in the post, no concrete evidence has been found to link Ralph with Bela but Ralph would fit in with the "gaps" in the ages of his children...

Anonymous said...

Hello Becky,

I found your web page online and enjoyed reading about Ralph Goodrich. I'm writing a book on the 44th Indiana and part of it is a genealogical section.

Here's what I have on the Goodrich's:

David F Goodrich, of Co. B, enrolled Aug. 20, 1861 in Pierceton by Capt. Murray as a Musician; mustered in Sep. 25, 1861 in Ft. Wayne by Maj. Carpenter at age 18. He was 5′ 8″ tall, fair complexion, grey eyes, and sandy hair. Born Dec. 26, 1843 in Whitley Co., IN, employed as a mason, single, resident of Columbia City, in Whitley Co., IN. Mustered out at the end of the war Sep. 14, 1865 in Nashville, TN with rank of Musician. Notes: Son of Ralph (& Lucinda Goodman) of Co. B. Actually 17 at muster in. Company musician. Present with command in battles of Donelson, Shiloh, Stone River & Chickamauga. Reenlisted Jan. 1, 1864. Promoted Corporal Apr. 24, 1865. On furlough Jun. 28, 1865. Married Josephine H. Latimer 1866. He filed Invalid Pension Application to receive Pension Certificate #322851 Jun. 30, 1882 in IN. At 1889 reunion, he “played the long roll on the snare drum he used at Shiloh.” Died in Memphis, Shelby Co., TN, Nov. 4, 1921; buried in Memphis National Cemetery, Plot: IND 2982-A. (//Goddrich)

Ralph Goodrich, of Co. B, enrolled Aug. 20, 1861 in Pierceton by Capt. Murray as a Private; mustered in Sep. 25, 1861 in Ft. Wayne by Maj. Carpenter at age 41. He was 5′ 7″ tall, fair complexion, blue eyes, and brown hair. Born Mar. 30, 1820, in Franklin Co., OH, employed as a farmer, married to Lucinda Bennett, resident of Summit, in Whitley Co., IN. Died of wounds Apr. 9, 1862 in Pittsburg Landing, TN with rank of Private. Notes: Came to Whitely Co. 1838. Had 5 children at home when he enlisted with his son, David F. Fought at Donelson & died from wound at Shiloh Apr. 9, 1862, received Apr. 6, 1862 while bearing the battle flag; buried at Shiloh National Cemetery, Grave #433. Lucinda filed Widow’s Pension Application to receive Widow’s Pension Certificate #760 Feb. 10, 1862, & sons Alfred M. & William filed Minor’s Pension Application to receive Minor’s Pension Certificate #88259 Feb. 5, 1866.

I notice you have Ralph's death date as Apr. 8, 1862. That could be correct but where did you find that?

You might want to download two books on the 44th Indiana that are now free for the taking! They both are good in different ways.


Margaret Hobson
CW44thIndiana at

Becky Wiseman said...

Thank you for the service information on Ralph and David Goodrich.

In his Widow's pension record, the Muster and Roll of Co. B for that Regiment dated Nov. 22 1864, he is reported "Died April 9, 1862 of wounds received April - 1862 at Battle of Shilo".

In another document in the Widow's pension record it states "He died by reason of a mortal wound received at the battle of Pittsburgh Landing being shot on Sunday the sixth day of April AD 1862 and dying on Tuesday the eighth day of April AD 1862."

In the Enrollment of the Late Soldiers, Their Widows and Orphans of the Late Armies of the United States for the year 1886 for Whitley County, Indiana it states that Ralph died on "Apr 8, 1861" (obviously the year is not correct!

Thanks also for the links to the books on the 44th, I'll check them out!