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A. G. Prentiss - History

A. G. Prentiss - History


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A. Prentiss

A. Prentiss

(Tug: dp. 130; 1. 76'; b. 17.2'; dr. 7' (mean); s. 9 k.; cpl. 6; a.
none)

A. Prentiss—a small wooden-hulled tug built in 1912 at Kennebunk, Maine—was inspected by the Navy in the 3d Naval District on 6 March 1918 and selected for service and delivered to the Navy on 25 March 1918 under a charter approved three days later.

A. Prentiss—given the identification number (Id. No.) 241 apparently served in the 3d Naval District for her entire career, as she is listed as having that area as her duty station in the 1918 Ship's Data volume. However, there are no extant deek logs to confirm this inference. Records indicate that A. Prentiss was returned to her owner on 2 December 1918 and her name stricken from the Navy list the same day.


OUR HISTORY

The Mississippi Baptist Seminary was founded in 1941 by Dr. Herbert L. Lang, who was its first president. While serving as president of Union Baptist Seminary, New Orleans, Louisiana, Dr. Lang discovered that a majority of the students enrolled at Union were from Mississippi. In response, he organized Bible classes and institutes in Tylertown, Magnolia, the Gulf Coastal Region, the South-Central Region, the Delta Region, and as far north as Sardis.

So vast was the opportunity and so great was the need that Dr. Lang resigned from the presidency of Union Baptist Seminary to give full-time service to extension work in Mississippi. He had no means of financial support but trusted God to raise up friends in Mississippi who would support this work.

Professor J. E. Johnson, the founder and President of Prentiss Institute and Junior College, visited Dr. Lang in 1942 and persuaded him to go to Jefferson Davis County to organize a Bible class at Prentiss Institute. The class was begun in the summer of 1943. Interest in the Seminary for the training of ministers was intense. A historic meeting took place in the home of Professor and Mrs. Johnson on December 31, 1943. Attending this meeting were: Reverend E. T. Oatis, Reverend M.L. Gray, Reverend Eddie Barnes, Mr. U. S. Polk, Mr. and Mrs. J. E. Johnson, and Dr. Herbert L. Lang. At this meeting, the Union Theological Seminary was founded. The Seminary was incorporated as the Mississippi Union Theological Seminary and a charter of incorporation was granted by the State on March 15, 1944. On May 30, 1948, the name of the Seminary was changed to the Mississippi Baptist Seminary. Jackson, Mississippi was selected as its permanent location.

On February 9, 1944, another historic meeting took place in the Pastor's study of the First Baptist Church, Indianola, Mississippi. This meeting was called by Dr. D. A. McCall, Secretary of the Mississippi Baptist Convention Board. Attending this meeting were: Mr. John Davis, President of the Mississippi Baptist Convention Board Dr. J. D. Ray, Chairman of the Committee on African-American Work, Mississippi Baptist Convention Board Dr. G. Norman Price, Pastor, First Baptist Church and Dr. Herbert L. Lang, President and Founder of Mississippi Baptist Seminary. Dr. Lang proposed that Mississippi Baptist Seminary would be a cooperative venture of White and African-American Baptist Churches and conventions offering in-service training to Negro ministerial and lay leadership, taking them where they were in educational preparation and offering them courses of value on a level of their apprehension and utilization. This proposal was accepted. Thus began a cooperative work in the mission which has brought about reconciliation and understanding.

This cooperative sponsorship of the Seminary continued through December 1988. On January 1, 1989, the Mississippi Baptist Convention terminated its sponsorship and financial support of the Seminary, thus turning control of the Seminary over to National Baptists.

The General Missionary Baptist State Convention of Mississippi (GMBSC) under the leadership of Dr. Jerry Young, president, purchased and procured The Mississippi Baptist Seminary at its 116 th year Annual Session in Jackson, Mississippi. Now under new leadership and name, the seminary’s main campus opened temporarily at the Mt. Nebo Missionary Baptist Church, 1245 Tunica Street, Jackson, Mississippi, and classes began October 2005.

The newly appointed interim president was Pastor Carl E. Thomas, Clarksdale, Mississippi and the interim Dean of Academic Affairs was Reverend Eric Williams, Jackson, Mississippi. In September 2005, Dr. Young challenged the convention to achieve greatness for the glory of God and the good of our communities through its offerings of ministries and missions.

In 2007, the Mississippi Baptist Seminary, Main Campus was completely renovated and the building was opened for administrative operation and classes in September of 2007. Dr. Isiac Jackson, Jr. was appointed President and Dr. John Patrick was appointed Academic Dean of Students. Under Dr. Jackson’s leadership, the Board of Directors, and the administration, the Seminary student population grew. Dr. Jackson was instrumental in the reestablishment of policies and procedures under which the Seminary continues to operate. In 2010, Dr. Jackson was elected President of the General Missionary Baptist State Convention and Dr. Lewis Ragins was appointed President of the Seminary. Dr. Ragins served from 2010 until his death in 2013. Dr. Ragins dedicated himself to the Seminary and often stated that “We are committed to the idea of moving our Seminary and Bible College toward credibility and full accreditation.” In 2014, Dr. C. J. Rhodes was appointed president of the Seminary. At the Spring 2020 Session of the General Missionary Baptist State Convention, Reverend Marcus Cheeks was appointed President of the Mississippi Baptist Seminary.


Superspreading Events Without Superspreaders: Using High Attack Rate Events to Estimate Nº for Airborne Transmission of COVID-19

We study transmission of COVID-19 using five well-documented case studies – a Washington state church choir, a Korean call center, a Korean exercise class, and two different Chinese bus trips. In all cases the likely index patients were pre-symptomatic or mildly symptomatic, which is when infective patients are most likely to interact with large groups of people. An estimate of N0, the characteristic number of COVID-19 virions needed to induce infection in each case, is found using a simple physical model of airborne transmission. We find that the N0 values are similar for five COVID-19 superspreading cases (∼300-2,000 viral copies) and of the same order as influenza A. Consistent with the recent results of Goyal et al, these results suggest that viral loads relevant to infection from presymptomatic or mildly symptomatic individuals may fall into a narrow range, and that exceptionally high viral loads are not required to induce a superspreading event [1,2]. Rather, the accumulation of infective aerosols exhaled by a typical pre-symptomatic or mildly symptomatic patient in a confined, crowded space (amplified by poor ventilation, particularly activity like exercise or singing, or lack of masks) for exposure times as short as one hour are sufficient. We calculate that talking and breathing release ∼460N0 and ∼10N0 (quanta)/hour, respectively, providing a basis to estimate the risks of everyday activities. Finally, we provide a calculation which motivates the observation that fomites appear to account for a small percentage of total COVID-19 infection events.

Competing Interest Statement

The authors have declared no competing interest.

Funding Statement

No external funding was received

Author Declarations

I confirm all relevant ethical guidelines have been followed, and any necessary IRB and/or ethics committee approvals have been obtained.

The details of the IRB/oversight body that provided approval or exemption for the research described are given below:

Our work applies a physical model to data that has already been published in the literature, so ethical oversight is not applicable

All necessary patient/participant consent has been obtained and the appropriate institutional forms have been archived.

I understand that all clinical trials and any other prospective interventional studies must be registered with an ICMJE-approved registry, such as ClinicalTrials.gov. I confirm that any such study reported in the manuscript has been registered and the trial registration ID is provided (note: if posting a prospective study registered retrospectively, please provide a statement in the trial ID field explaining why the study was not registered in advance).

I have followed all appropriate research reporting guidelines and uploaded the relevant EQUATOR Network research reporting checklist(s) and other pertinent material as supplementary files, if applicable.


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Battle of Shiloh: Shattering Myths

Pittsburg Landing Shiloh National Military Park Benjamin Prentiss Library of Congress

The Battle of Shiloh, which took place on April 6-7, 1862, is one of the Civil War’s most momentous fights, but perhaps one of the least understood. The standard story of the engagement reads that Union troops were surprised in their camps at dawn on April 6. Defeat seemed certain, but Union Brigadier General Benjamin M. Prentiss saved the day by holding a sunken road some 3 feet deep. Thanks to the tenacious fighting in that area, it came to be known as the Hornet’s Nest.

Prentiss eventually capitulated, leaving Rebel commander General Albert Sidney Johnston in a position to drive on to victory. General Johnston, however, was soon mortally wounded and replaced by General P.G.T. Beauregard, which cost the Confederates vital momentum. Beauregard made the inept decision to call off the Confederate attacks, and the next day Union counterattacks dealt Rebel hopes a crushing blow.

This standard account of Shiloh, however, is more myth than fact. No less an authority than Ulysses S. Grant, the Union commander at the fight, wrote after the war that Shiloh ‘has been perhaps less understood, or, to state the case more accurately, more persistently misunderstood, than any other engagement…during the entire rebellion. Preeminent Shiloh authority and historian David W. Reed, the first superintendent of the battlefield park, wrote in 1912 that occasionally…some one thinks that his unaided memory of the events of 50 years ago is superior to the official reports of officers which were made at [the] time of the battle. It seems hard for them to realize that oft-repeated campfire stories, added to and enlarged, become impressed on the memory as real facts.

Unfortunately, such misunderstandings and oft-repeated campfire stories have over the years become for many the truth about Shiloh, distorting the actual facts and painting an altered picture of the momentous events of those April days. One has to look no further than the legend of Johnny Clem, the supposed Drummer Boy of Shiloh, to realize that tall tales surround the battle. Clem’s 22nd Michigan Infantry was not even organized until after Shiloh took place. Similarly, the notorious Bloody Pond, today a battlefield landmark, could be myth. There is no contemporary evidence that indicates the pond became bloodstained. In fact, there is no contemporary evidence that there was even a pond on the spot. The sole account came from a local citizen who years later told of walking by a pond a few days after the battle and seeing it stained with blood.

The "Bloody Pond" on the Shiloh Battlefield. Recent research has failed to find evidence that the pond was bloodstained. Rob Shenk

The long-held belief that Grant arrived at Pittsburg Landing only to be greeted by thousands upon thousands of Union stragglers is also a myth. The frontline divisions of Prentiss and Brig. Gen. William T. Sherman did not break until after 9 a.m., the latest time that Grant could have arrived at the landing. It is hard to imagine Prentiss’ troops running over two miles in less than 30 seconds, even though, by all accounts, they were pretty scared.

Cynicism aside, there is a real need to correct such errors. A newspaper columnist recently criticized the Shiloh National Military Park for removing the rotten and crumbling tree under which Johnston supposedly died, saying, So what if Johnston wasn’t exactly at that exact tree. Such an ambivalent attitude toward facts, continued and perpetuated through the years, not only produces false history but also diminishes the record of what actually happened. The most boring fact is always worth more than the most glamorous myth. In an effort to correct historical errors and analyze the myths, here is a brief analysis of several myths about the Battle of Shiloh.

Myth: The opening Confederate attack caught the Union totally by surprise

The matter of surprise is a major topic of discussion among military historians and enthusiasts. It is one of the modern American Army’s nine principles of war that guide military plans, movements and actions. Of course, most military tactics are common sense. When fighting either a bully or an army, who would not want to sneak up on an opponent and get in the first punch?

One of the most famous of all surprises in military history is Pearl Harbor, where Japanese planes attacked the U.S. Pacific Fleet based in Hawaii. The attack on December 7, 1941, was indeed a surprise, with bombs dropping out of a clear blue sky. Shiloh is another well-known example of a supposed surprise attack. On the morning of April 6, 1862, the Confederate Army of the Mississippi under Johnston launched an attack on Maj. Gen. Grant’s Army of the Tennessee near Pittsburg Landing. One author has even gone so far as to call it the Pearl Harbor of the Civil War. In actuality, Shiloh was not all that much of a surprise.

The assertion of surprise came initially from contemporary newspaper columns that described Union soldiers being bayoneted in their tents as they slept. The most famous account came from Whitelaw Reid, a newspaper correspondent for the Cincinnati Gazette. But Reid was nowhere near Shiloh when the Confederates attacked, and he actually penned his nearly 15,000-word opus from miles away.

The idea that Reid perpetuated and that is still commonly believed today is that the Federals had no idea that the enemy was so near. Nothing could be further from the truth. For days before April 6, minor skirmishing took place. Both sides routinely took prisoners in the days leading up to the battle. The rank and file in the Union army knew Confederates were out there — they just did not know in what strength.

Ulysses S. Grant Library of Congress

The problem lay with the Federal commanders. Ordered not to bring on an engagement and convinced they would have to march to Corinth, Miss., to fight the bulk of the Confederate army, the Union leadership did not properly utilize the intelligence gained from the common soldiers on the front lines. Grant was not about to go looking for a fight in early April, certainly not before reinforcements arrived from Nashville in the form of the Army of the Ohio, and certainly not without orders from his superior, Maj. Gen. Henry W. Halleck.

Thus Grant ordered his frontline division commanders Sherman and Prentiss not to spark a fight, and they made sure their soldiers understood that directive. They sent orders reinforcing Grant’s concern down the line and refused to act on intelligence coming up through the ranks.

As a result, not wanting to prematurely begin a battle, Federal skirmishers and pickets continually withdrew as the Confederates probed forward. Perhaps Sherman said it best when he noted in his report, On Saturday the enemy’s cavalry was again very bold, coming well down to our front, yet I did not believe that he designed anything but a strong demonstration.

The lower echelon leadership was not all that convinced the fight would take place at Corinth, however. For days, brigade and regimental commanders had witnessed Confederates near their camps. Several patrols even went forward, but no major Confederate units were encountered.

Finally, on the night of April 5, one Union brigade commander took matters into his own hands. Sending out a patrol without authorization, Colonel Everett Peabody located the Confederate army at dawn on April 6. His tiny reconnaissance found the advance skirmishers of the Southern force less than a mile from the Union front. The Confederates promptly attacked, and the Battle of Shiloh began.

Because of Peabody’s patrol, however, the Confederate advance was unmasked earlier than intended and farther out from the Union camps than projected. The resulting delay in the Confederate assault on the Union camps allowed the Army of the Tennessee to mobilize. Because of the warning, every single Union unit on the field met the Confederate assault coming from Corinth south, or in advance of, their camps. Peabody’s patrol warned the army and thus prevented total tactical surprise at Shiloh.

Myth: Benjamin Prentiss was the hero of Shiloh

For decades after the battle, Prentiss was hailed as the Federal officer who took it upon himself to send out a patrol that eventually uncovered the Confederate advance and gave early warning of the attack. Likewise, Prentiss was seen as the commander who, ordered by Grant to hold at all hazards, defended the Sunken Road and Hornet’s Nest against numerous Confederate assaults. Prentiss withdrew only after the Confederates brought up 62 pieces of artillery that were organized as Ruggles’ Battery. Finding himself surrounded, however, Prentiss surrendered the noble and brave remnants of his division. Before modern scholarship began to look at new sources and examine the facts, Prentiss’ reputation grew until it reached icon status.

Prentiss’ after-action report was glowing in terms of his own accomplishments. Historians through the years then accepted that report at face value, one even labeling a photo of Prentiss as the Hero of Shiloh. Shiloh National Military Park’s long-running film Shiloh: Portrait of a Battle dramatically paints Prentiss as the chief defender the Union army had on April 6.

In actuality, Prentiss was not as involved as legend has it. He did not send out the patrol on the morning of April 6. As mentioned earlier, one of his brigade commanders, Colonel Peabody, did so in defiance of Prentiss’ orders. Prentiss rode to Peabody’s headquarters when he heard the firing and demanded to know what Peabody had done. When he found out, Prentiss told his subordinate he would hold him personally responsible for bringing on a battle and rode off in a huff.

Likewise, Prentiss was not the key defender of the Hornet’s Nest, as the area adjacent to the Sunken Road came to be called. His division began the day with roughly 5,400 men, only to dwindle to 500 by 9:45 that morning. When Prentiss took his position in the Sunken Road, his numbers were nearly doubled by an arriving regiment, the 23rd Missouri. Prentiss had lost almost his entire division, and could not have held his second line without the veteran brigades of Brig. Gen. W.H.L. Wallace’s division. It was primarily Wallace’s troops who held the Hornet’s Nest.

Prentiss was in an advantageous position to become a hero after the battle, however. Although he remained a prisoner for six months, he was able to tell his story. Peabody and Wallace were both dead from wounds received at Shiloh. Thus Prentiss took credit for their actions and became the hero of the fight. Prentiss never even mentioned Peabody in his report, except to say that he commanded one of his brigades. Likewise, Wallace was not around to set the record straight as to whose troops actually defended the Sunken Road and Hornet’s Nest. Prentiss, the only Federal officer who could get his own record out, thus benefited from public exposure. In the process, he became the hero of Shiloh.

Myth: Major General Don Carlos Buell’s arrival saved Grant from defeat on April 6

Many historians have argued that Grant’s beaten army was saved only by the timely arrival of Maj. Gen. Don Carlos Buell’s Army of the Ohio near sundown on April 6. The common conception is that Grant’s men had been driven back to the landing and were about to be defeated when the lead elements of Buell’s army arrived, deployed in line and repelled the last Confederate assaults of the day.

Major General Don Carlos Buell Library of Congress

The veterans of the various armies vehemently argued their cases after the war. Members of the Society of the Army of the Tennessee maintained that they had the battle under control at nightfall that first day, while their counterparts in the Society of the Army of the Cumberland (the successor to Buell’s Army of the Ohio) argued with equal vigor that they had saved the day. Even Grant and Buell entered the fight when they wrote opposing articles for Century magazine in the 1880s.

Grant claimed his army was in a strong position with heavy lines of infantry supporting massed artillery. His effort to trade space for time throughout the day of April 6 had worked Grant had spent so much time in successive defensive positions that daylight was fading by the time the last Confederate assaults began, and he was convinced that his army could handle those attacks.

Buell, on the other hand, painted a picture of a dilapidated Army of the Tennessee on the brink of defeat. Only his arrival with fresh columns of Army of the Ohio troops won the day. The lead brigade, commanded by Colonel Jacob Ammen, deployed on the ridge south of the landing and met the Confederate advance. In Buell’s mind, Grant’s troops could not have held without his army.

In reality, the Confederates probably had little hope of breaking Grant’s last line. Situated on a tall ridge overlooking streams known as the Dill and Tilghman branches, Grant’s forces, battered though they were, still had enough fight in them to hold their extremely strong position, especially since they had over 50 pieces of artillery in line. Likewise, the troops were massed in compact positions. Good interior lines of defense also helped, and two Federal gunboats fired on the Confederates from the river. Grant poured heavy fire into the Confederates from the front, flank and rear.

The Confederates never actually assaulted the Federal line, further damaging Buell’s assertion. Only elements of four disorganized and exhausted Confederate brigades crossed the backwater in the Dill Branch ravine as gunboat shells flew through the air. Only two of those brigades undertook an assault, one without ammunition. The Confederates topped the rise and faced a withering fire. They were convinced. Orders from Beauregard to withdraw did not have to be repeated.

In fact, only 12 companies of Buell’s army crossed in time to deploy and become engaged. Grant had the situation well under control and could have fended off much larger numbers than he actually encountered. While Buell’s arrival did provide a morale boost and allowed Grant to take the offensive the next morning, Grant had the battle situation under control by the time Buell arrived.

Pittsburg Landing Shiloh National Military Park

Myth: The South would have won had Beauregard not called off the assaults

For many years after the battle, former Confederates castigated General Beauregard for his actions at Shiloh. Their main complaint was that the army commander, having taken charge of the Confederate forces after Johnston’s death, called off the final Confederate assaults on the evening of April 6. Many argued that the Confederates had victory within their grasp and needed only one last effort to destroy Grant’s army. Beauregard, however, called off his Southern boys and thus threw away a victory. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth.

Once hailed as the hero of Fort Sumter, P. G. T. Beauregard commanded the troops defending Petersburg in June 1864. National Archives

The controversy had its beginnings while the war still raged. Corps commanders Maj. Gens. William J. Hardee and Braxton Bragg later pounced on Beauregard for calling off the attacks, even though their immediate post-battle correspondence said nothing derogatory about their commander. After the war ended, Southerners began to argue that being outnumbered and outproduced industrially were reasons for their defeat, and also blamed the battle deaths of leaders like Johnston and Stonewall Jackson. Another key element in their argument, however, was poor leadership on the part of certain generals such as James Longstreet at Gettysburg (of course it did not help that Longstreet turned his back on the solidly Democratic South and went Republican after the war) and Beauregard at Shiloh. The sum of all those parts became known as the Lost Cause.

Hardee, Bragg and thousands of other former Confederates argued after the war that Beauregard threw away the victory. Beauregard does bear some blame, but not for making the wrong decision to end the attacks. He made the right decision, but for all the wrong reasons. The general made his decision far behind his front lines, an area completely awash with stragglers and wounded. No wonder Beauregard argued that his army was so disorganized that he needed to call a halt.

Similarly, Beauregard acted on faulty intelligence. He received word that Buell’s reinforcements were not arriving at Pittsburg Landing. One of Buell’s divisions was in Alabama, but unfortunately for Beauregard, five were actually en route to Pittsburg Landing. Based on such spotty intelligence, Beauregard thought he could finish Grant the next morning.

In the end, the decision to call a halt was the right thing to do. Taking into account the terrain, Union reinforcements and Confederate tactical ability at the time, the Confederates probably would not have broken Grant’s final line of defense, much less destroyed the Union army. The castigated Creole did not throw away a victory, he merely put himself in a position to be blamed for the defeat already transpiring.

Myth: The South would have won the battle had Johnston lived

Another Lost Cause myth of Shiloh is that Johnston would have been victorious had not a stray bullet clipped an artery in his leg and caused him to bleed to death. According to legend, Johnston’s death caused a lull in the battle on the critical Confederate right, which slowed progress toward Pittsburg Landing. Just as important, Johnston’s death placed Beauregard in command, who ultimately called off the attacks. The result of both cause and effect situations led to Confederate defeat. To drive the point home, the United Daughters of the Confederacy placed an elaborate memorial at Shiloh in 1917, with Johnston as the centerpiece and death symbolically taking the laurel wreath of victory away from the South. Even modern scholars have sometimes taken this line of reasoning. Johnston biographer Charles Roland has argued in two different books that Johnston would have succeeded and won the battle had he lived. Roland claims that just because Beauregard failed did not mean Johnston would have. His superior leadership qualities, Roland concludes, could have allowed Johnston to spur the tired Confederate troops onward to victory.

Albert Sidney Johnston Monument at Shiloh Rob Shenk

Such a theory of certain victory fails to take many factors into account. First, there was no lull in the battle on the Confederate right because Johnston fell. A continuous rate of fire was not sustainable for several reasons, mostly logistics ordnance departments could not keep thousands of soldiers supplied to fire constantly. Most Civil War battles were stop-and-go actions, with assaults, retreats and counterattacks.

Shiloh’s wooded terrain and choppy hills and valleys gave the soldiers plenty of cover to re-form lines of battle out of the enemy’s sight. The result was that the fighting at Shiloh did not rage continuously for hours at any one time or place. Instead it was a complicated series of many different actions throughout the day at many different points.

There were many lulls on the battlefield, some for as much as an hour’s duration. Some historians point out that a lull occurred when Johnston died, but that was more a result of the natural flow of the battle than Johnston’s death.

Second, the argument that Johnston would have won when Beauregard did not is also faulty. Johnston could probably have pressed the attack no faster than the surviving Confederate commanders on the right did.

In all likelihood, Johnston would also have been preoccupied with capturing the Hornet’s Nest, as happened after his death. Thus Johnston at best would not have been in a position to attack near Pittsburg Landing until hours after Grant had stabilized his last line of defense. As stated above, the heavy guns, lines of infantry, gunboats, exhaustion, disorganization, terrain and arriving reinforcements all were factors — some more than others — in defeating the last Confederate attempts of the day.

The myth that the Confederates would have certainly won the battle had Johnston lived is thus false. By 6 p.m., it is highly doubtful Shiloh could have been a Confederate victory even with Napoleon Bonaparte in command.

Myth: The Sunken Road was, in fact, sunken

Coupled with the Hornet’s Nest, the Sunken Road has become the major emphasis of the fighting at Shiloh. Visitors want to see the Sunken Road and Hornet’s Nest more than any other attraction at the park. While some important fighting did take place at the Sunken Road, the entire story is predicated on the myth of the road being worn below the surrounding terrain and thus providing a natural defensive trench for the Federal soldiers. In fact, there is no contemporary evidence that the Sunken Road was sunken at all.

The road was not a major avenue of travel. The two major routes in the area were the Corinth-Pittsburg Landing Road and the Eastern Corinth Road. What became known as the Sunken Road was a mere farm road used by Joseph Duncan to get to various points on his property. As it had limited use, the road would not have been worn down as many people believe. At most, it might have had ruts several inches deep at various times during wet seasons. Post-battle photos of the road show a mere path, not a sunken trace.

Not one single report in the Official Records mentions the road as being sunken. Likewise, no soldiers’ letters or diaries exist that refer to it as sunken. Many buffs quote Thomas Chinn Robertson of the 4th Louisiana in Colonel Randall L. Gibson’s Brigade as describing the road as 3 feet deep. In reality, that soldier was in no position to see the road. Gibson’s Brigade never reached the Sunken Road and fell back in confusion. Robertson described a tangle of undergrowth that blocked his view, and even remarked that corps commander Bragg stated he would lead them to where they could see the enemy. The unit thereafter moved forward to the right, thus never allowing the quoted soldier to view how deep the road actually was. In all likelihood, the Louisianan was describing the Eastern Corinth Road or possibly even the main Corinth Road, both of which were heavily traveled thoroughfares and thus would have been eroded. Federal regiments were aligned on both roads at times during the battle.

Sunken Road at Shiloh Rob Shenk

Although the Hornet’s Nest was a wartime term, the expression Sunken Road did not appear until the 1881 publication of Manning Force’s From Fort Henry to Corinth. Thereafter, veterans began to embellish the story. The Iowa units manning the position formed a veterans organization that emphasized the Sunken Road. When the national park was established in 1894, the Sunken Road became a major tourist attraction as the park commission began to highlight certain areas to attract attention and visitation. At the same time, the proliferation of veterans memoirs in the 1890s and early 1900s keyed on the growing popularity of this location, which grew deeper with each passing volume, ultimately reaching a depth of several feet. As time passed and more publications appeared, the myth became reality. Today it is one of the best known Civil War icons that never existed.

Over the years, a variety of myths and legends about the battle have crept into American culture, and today are viewed by many as the truth. Several factors account for these falsehoods. The veterans did not establish the park until 30 years after the battle. By that time, memories had become clouded and events shrouded in uncertainty.

Likewise, the original Shiloh National Military Park commission that initially developed the interpretation of the site may have let pride affect its documentation of the Shiloh story. One of the best examples is the heightened importance of the Hornet’s Nest, which was promoted by first park historian David Reed, who had fought in the 12th Iowa in the Hornet’s Nest. Finally, the Lost Cause mentality so prevalent in the postwar South provoked antagonism against Beauregard and laments for Johnston’s death, as well as the idea that the Confederates were simply outnumbered.

Buffs and even some historians who are not very knowledgeable about Shiloh’s history have perpetuated rumors and stories that are not actually based on fact. It is regrettable that over the years the truth about the battle has become distorted. Fortunately, however, today’s historians are looking at the battle from a different perspective. Hopefully, as more research is published, the oft-repeated campfire stories will be phased out and replaced by the reality of Shiloh, which in itself is much grander and more honorable than any of the myths that have grown up about the battle. After all, truth is often stranger than fiction.


History [ edit | edit source ]

Chaos Walking trilogy [ edit | edit source ]

The Knife of Never Letting Go [ edit | edit source ]

Davy is introduced as the Mayor's cold-hearted son, who is 2 years older than Todd Hewitt. In the first book, he plays out as one of the antagonists. When he overhears Todd's Noise in a patch of silence in the swamp, he comes to Ben and Cillian's house to investigate. This leads to an argument where Cillian punches him in the jaw. Davy later appears in the group of men sent after Todd and Viola. He leads the Prentisstown army in attacking Farbranch, along with his father.

Later, Davy catches up to Todd and Viola, laughing in triumph that they were so easy to find. As he threatens to kill them, Viola throws a tracking device onto his chest. The device electrocutes Davy and destroys his rifle. Todd goes to stab and kill him, but Viola says that becoming a killer is what the Prentisstown army wants. Todd instead ties Davy up and leaves him on the road. However, Davy escapes the bindings and goes after the two. He eventually finds Todd, Viola, Ben, and many other New Worlders in Carbonel Downs. Ben stays behind to distract Davy, while giving Todd and Viola a chance to warn Haven of the army. It is presumed Ben dies while trying to stop Davy.

Davy finds Todd and Viola on the road to Haven. He shoots Viola through the stomach with his pistol and rides his horse over to Todd. He says he had orders to bring the two to his father as prisoners. Todd ignores him and blasts Noise at Davy's horse, causing it to rear up. He then punches Davy and the horse, causing Davy to fall off the horse and get dragged away, his foot caught in the stirrup.

The Ask and the Answer [ edit | edit source ]

Davy's character develops, and he becomes much less of an antagonist. Forced to work with Todd and look after The Burden with him, Davy is initially as rude as ever around Todd, and the two get into a lot of fights. Davy uses Todd's mother's book, which he stole, as a way to pick on Todd. However, as time passes on, he begins to see Todd as his one and only friend and his brother, even returning the book. Davy shows a lot of jealousy towards Todd throughout the book for the praise he receives from Mayor Prentiss. It is shown that Davy has always wanted to please his father, but just doesn't know how.

Throughout the second novel, Todd notices that there is something in Davy's Noise that Davy is keeping from him. When the Mayor is about to shoot Todd and Viola, Davy shows concern for his friend and is on Todd's side. He tries to get them to put down their weapons by encouraging them all to be a peaceful, loving family. Todd sees that Davy has pictures of Todd as his brother, Viola as his sister and the Mayor as his father. He feels hurt and betrayed when Todd points his gun at him. Eventually, the Mayor shoots Davy, which leaves him feeling more hurt and confused than ever before.

In his last few moments, Davy finally reveals to Todd what he has been hiding in his Noise: he discovered Ben racing up the road towards him after Todd and Viola left him, and shot him as a result. However, he also reveals that he regretted what he did, being too scared to go after Ben and too afraid to tell Todd the truth about what happened after he became Davy's only friend. Through his Noise, Davy begs Todd to forgive him "for everything" - Ben, Viola, Prentisstown, letting his father down and more - as if only Todd has the power to do so. However, Davy dies before Todd can say anything, his eyes still pleading for his forgiveness.

Later on, as Todd is about to tie up the Mayor with rope, he takes the time to close Davy's eyes.

Monsters of Men [ edit | edit source ]

Although Davy does not have a physical appearance in the final book of the trilogy, Todd mentions him quite a bit, along with Manchee, with those two characters being the ones he clearly misses the most.

Chaos Walking (film) [ edit | edit source ]

Davy first appears riding into Prentisstown on his horse. He sees Todd Hewitt's Noise and warns him to "watch your Noise". Todd then thinks "SNAKE" and a giant snake from Todd's Noise throws Davy off of his horse. David then appears and evaluates the incident. Later, after Viola is caught, Davy is instructed to watch Viola in his father's house as David tends to Prentisstown. Davy rummages through Viola's sack and inadvertantly blows up David's house with Viola's futuristic lighter. Viola escapes and David yells at his son for letting her escape, lauching the massive manhunt for her. Davy is present when the population of Prentisstown actively track and pursue Todd and Viola throughout New World.


Our Faculty

Edward Baring (Ph.D. Harvard University) is Associate Professor of Modern European History, specializing in twentieth-century intellectual life. Professor Baring is the author of The Young Derrida and French Philosophy, 1945-1968 (Cambridge University Press, 2011), which as a dissertation won the Harvard History Department’s Harold K. Gross Prize and as a book won the Morris D. Forkosch Prize (2011), awarded by the Journal of the History of Ideas for the best book in intellectual history. With Peter. E. Gordon he recently edited The Trace of God: Derrida and Religion (Fordham University Press, 2014). In addition, he has published a number of articles in Critical Inquiry, Modern Intellectual History, Journal of the History of Ideas, and New German Critique amongst others. His 2014 article “Ne me raconte plus d’histoires: Derrida and the Problem of the History of Philosophy,” in History and Theory, was the joint winner of the Society for French Studies Malcolm Bowie Prize for the best article by an early-career researcher in French.

His work has been funded by the ACLS, the Mellon Foundation, the NEH, and the American Philosophical Society. He is a 2015 John Simon Guggenheim Fellow.

At the undergraduate level, Edward Baring teaches the history of modern Europe. He offers courses for graduates in Modern European Intellectual History, following developments in philosophy, the humanities, and the social sciences as well as examining the intellectuals who contributed to academic discussion from the Enlightenment to the present.

Frances Bernstein

Associate Professor of History

Contact Information:

Frances Bernstein is associate professor of history at Drew University in Madison, New Jersey. She received her doctorate in Russian history from Columbia University in 1998. She teaches courses in Russian and European history, with a special focus on the history of sexuality, history of disease, history of medicine and the body. In 2007 she published The Dictatorship of Sex: Lifestyle Advice for the Soviet Masses (DeKalb: Northern Illinois University Press, 2007). She is currently editing a collected volume on the history of Soviet medicine, which will include her article “‘Behind the Closed Door’: The Politics of Doctor-Patient Confidentiality in Early Soviet Medicine.” Her current research focuses on the culture and politics of disability in the Soviet context. Projects include: Empire of Broken Men: Disability and Medicine at the End of World War Two “The 1937 Trial of the Deaf-Mutes: Purging Disability During the Great Terror” and “All the Ward’s a Stage: Disabled Veterans and their Doctors in World War Two Health Plays.”

Education: B.A. with honors, Brown University, 1987, M.A. 1991 Ph.D. 1998, Columbia University.

Areas of Specialization: Russian history, history of sexuality, European women’s history.

Current Research Interests: a book, City of Broken Men: Disability, Memory, and Masculinity at the End of World War Two, and an article “Behind the Closed Door: The Politics of Doctor-Patient Confidentiality in Early Soviet Medicine.”

Recent Publications:

  • The Dictatorship of Sex: Gender, Health, and Enlightenment in Revolutionary Russia, 1918-1931 (Northern Illinois University Press).
  • “Panic, Potency, and the Crisis of Nervousness in the 1920s,” in Everyday Subjects: Formations of Identity in Early Soviet Culture, ed. Christina Kiaer and Eric Naiman (Indiana University Press).
  • “Visions of Sexual Health and Illness in Revolutionary Russia,” in Sex, Sin and Suffering: Veneral Diseases in European Social Context since 1870, ed. Lesley Hall and Roger Davidson (Routledge, 2001).
  • “Prostitutes and Proletarians: The Labor Clinic as Revolutionary Laboratory in the 1920s,” in The Human Tradition in Modern Russia, ed. William Husband (Scholarly Resources, 2000).

Awards and Other Academic Contributions:

  • Social Science Research Council Eurasia Fellowship, 2002.
  • International Research Exchange Board travel grant, Russia, 2001.
  • Kennan Institute research scholarship, 1998-99.

Jeremy Blatter

Assistant Professor of Media and Communications

Jeremy Blatter (PhD, Harvard University) teaches Media and Communications, with a secondary field in Film and Visual Studies. His research examines the intersection of the behavioral sciences, technology, media and material culture during the long twentieth century. His writing and research has been published in academic journals including Science in Context , Medical History , and Media Studien , as well as in the edited volume Thinking in the Dark: Cinema, Theory, Practice (Rutgers University Press). Jeremy was previously a lecturer on the History of Science at Harvard and a research associate with [email protected] and the Sensory Ethnography Lab. His research has been supported by fellowships and grants from the Social Science Research Council (SSRC), Consortium for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine, Charles Warren Center for North American History, and the Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies.

James M. Carter

Associate Professor, History

Contact Information:

Biography:
I teach a broad range of courses at both the undergraduate and graduate level. I specialize in the U.S. foreign policy, the U.S. since World War II and the Sixties. My book, Inventing Vietnam, is an analysis of the failed nation building effort undertaken by the United States in Vietnam and how that failure led to the war. In related research, I have also written on privatization of war and war profiteering, using the invasion of Iraq as a case study.

My more recent research focuses on the Sixties in the U.S. and specifically the counterculture and advent of rock music culture, with a particular emphasis on the role of the college campus. My article, “Campus Rock: Rock Music Culture on the College Campus during the Counterculture Sixties, 1967-8,” has been accepted for publication in The Journal of Popular Music Studies.

This project has also taken me into the realm of digital history/digital mapping. Thanks in part to a couple of Mellon Grants at Drew during the spring and summer 2019, I and three research assistants have created an extensive GIS mapping project of rock music during the late sixties. For more information, see my website: jmarloncarter.com.

Wyatt Evans

Associate Professor of History Director, History & Culture Graduate Program

Contact Information:

Wyatt Evans returned to academics following stints as a Peace Corps volunteer and U.S. Army civil affairs officer. Trained as an intellectual and cultural historian, his main areas of interest included collective memory and the interaction of the modern state and the individual. His first book, The Legend of John Wilkes Booth (Kansas, 2004), won the Organization of American Historians’ Avery O. Craven Award in 2005 and Drew University’s Bela Kornitzer Prize in 2007. He is currently at work on a study of Civil War domestic security for Oxford University Press as well as a longer-range project on the “memory of the good” in American history. He is a distinguished lecturer from the OAH speaker series.

Education: B.A. Carnegie-Mellon University, 1980, M.A., Drew University, 1999 Ph.D., 2003.

Areas of Specialization: American intellectual and cultural history, vernacular history and collective memory, conspiracy theory in American history.

Current Research Interests: historical understanding in the digital era and the development of digital literacy using historical topics in the classroom.

Courses Taught: American Civil War, History by the Numbers, Conspiracy Theory in U.S. History, Monsters & Gangsters: Film and the United States in the Great Depression Era, The American West in Myth and History, Creating “America”: Intellectual History of the Early Colonial Period (g).

Publications and Recent Presentations:

  • “The Future of History Graduate Education: The View from 35,000 Feet,” Process: A Blog for American History, Organization of American Historians, Nov. 2, 2015: http://www.processhistory.org/?p=1155.
  • “The Lincoln-Obama Moment,” in Remixing the Civil War: Meditations on the Sesquicentennial, Thomas Brown, ed. (John Hopkins University Press, October, 2011).
  • “We’ve become a Nation Dangerously Beholden to the Past,” History News Network, Oct. 17, 2011: http://hnn.us/articles/weve-become-nation-dangerously-beholden-past.
  • “Lafayette Baker and Security in the Civil War North,” North and South Magazine, September 2008.
  • The Legend of John Wilkes Booth: Myth, Memory and a Mummy (Kansas, 2004).
  • “The Future of History in the Digital Era,” presentation to the annual Arts & Letters dinner, Drew University, April 4, 2016.
  • “Vermont Newspapers and the St. Albans’ Raid,” presentation at the Brattleboro, Vermont Civil War Memorial Day Event, May 24, 2015.
  • “Teaching History to the Digital Natives,” presentation to the Madison Historical Society, Madison, NJ, April 2013.
  • “The Emancipation Proclamation: Process and Intentions,” address to the Drew Club of Greater Boston, Massachusetts Historical Society, March 2, 2013.
  • “What the University of the Future Looks Like,” address for the History & Culture Public Humanities workshop, Drew University, February 22, 2013.
  • “The Social and Cultural Dimensions of the Digital Revolution,” presentation to the Madison Men discussion group, January 22, 2013.
  • Organizer, moderator, and roundtable participant at “The Future of Civil War History,” conference held at Drew University, March 30-31, 2012.
  • “John Dewey and Education in the Digital Age,” paper presented at the 2011 fall New England Historical Association (NEHA) conference, Emmanuel College, Boston.

Awards and Other Academic Contributions:

  • Council of Independent Colleges (CIC), Senior Leadership Academy fellow, 2015/16.
  • Organization of American Historians (OAH), Distinguished Lecturer, 2005-2015.
  • Drew University Bela Kornitzer Award for outstanding faculty publication, 2007.
  • OAH Avery O. Craven Award, 2005.
  • Drew University Mary Lester Pennywitt dissertation prize, 2003.

Neil Levi

History and Culture Faculty

Title: Professor of English
Office: Sitterly House 308
Phone: 973-408-3821
Email: [email protected]
Education: BA, University of Western Australia MA, Columbia University MPhil, Columbia University PhD, Columbia University

Biography: Neil Levi specializes in twentieth century British and comparative literature, critical theory, and Holocaust Studies. He is the author of Modernist Form and the Myth of Jewification (Fordham UP, 2014), and co-edited, with Michael Rothberg, The Holocaust: Theoretical Readings (Edinburgh University Press/Rutgers University Press, 2003) and a forthcoming special issue of Studies in American Jewish Literature on “Jewish Studies and the Jewish Question After Trump.” With Tim Dolin he co-edited a special issue of Australian Cultural History, entitled Antipodean Modern. Selected recent publications include: “How To Do Things With Modernism,” in Modernism/Modernity, Volume 3, Cycle 4, December 2018: https://modernismmodernity.org/forums/modernisms-contemporary-affects “Memory studies in a moment of danger: Fascism, postfascism, and the contemporary political imaginary, ”Memory Studies 2018, Vol. 11(3) 355–367 (with Michael Rothberg) and “The Persistence of the Old Regime: Late Modernist Form in the Postmodern Period,” in Modernism and Theory: A Critical Debate, edited by Stephen Ross (Routledge, 2009). He has also published articles in the journals Symploke, New German Critique, History and Memory, OCTOBER, Textual Practice, and Idealistic Studies. His first play, Kin, won the 2015 Patrick White Playwrights’ Award.

Jesse Mann

Theological Librarian

Jesse D. Mann (PhD, University of Chicago) is the Theological Librarian at the Drew University Library and teaches in both the Theological School and the Caspersen School. Trained as a medieval historian, he has published extensively on medieval law and theology, medieval manuscripts, and Muslim-Christian relations in the Middle Ages. He is currently collaborating with Professor Ulli Roth of the Universität Koblenz (Germany) on a critical edition of the selected works of Juan de Segovia (d. 1458). Mann serves on the editorial board of Theological Librarianship. He is a two-time Fulbright scholarship recipient (Spain and Switzerland). In 2016 and again in 2021, Mann received the Karen McCarthy Brown Award for Excellence in Teaching from the Graduate Theological Student Association at Drew, and in 2018 he won the Maxine Clarke Beach Excellence in Service Award. He also has over 20 years of experience in the rare book business.

Karen Pechilis, Department Chair

Professor, Comparative Religion

Contact Information:

Innovation characterizes Professor Pechilis’s research and publications, including her influential theoretical contributions to the study of bhakti (path of devotional participation) pioneering work on identification and comparative analysis of female gurus translation and critical discussion of classical Indian devotional texts reclaiming and restoring female voices from Indian tradition through gender and feminist interpretation and providing transformative new insights on the development of the now global Nataraja image of Śiva as the Lord of Dance. Recent work includes reflections on the body in Indian traditions, theorizing the relationship between bhakti and Tantra, and ethnographic study of women and their perceptions and experience of work. Over the past twenty-five years she has conducted research in Chennai (Madras), south India through grants from the American Institute of Indian Studies, the Fulbright Program, and the Asian Cultural Council. Her published work, both independent and collaborative, engages many scholarly discussions about the making of religious and cultural traditions, including interpretive history, translation, cultural analysis, and feminist and gender studies.

Professor Pechilis’s courses on Asian religions explore historical processes in the development of religion and culture, including master narratives and alternatives to them. Annual core courses include History and Culture of South Asia: Tradition and Today and History and Culture of East Asia: Tradition and Today. Elective courses include Women in Asian Traditions, History of Modern India through the Novel, History of India: Medieval to Modern, and South Asia through Art and Text. Her comparative courses, such as the Construction of Good and Evil in Film, engage a central theme with which to explore similarities and differences across Asian and Abrahamic traditions. Courses in this category have included pilgrimage, marriage in world religions, transnational film studies, and eastern and western art. Several of her courses, such as South Asia through Art and Text and History of Modern India through the Novel, are also offered through Drew’s magnetic graduate Arts & Letters Program.

For four years (2004-08), Professor Pechilis directed the Humanities Program at Drew, a dynamic interdisciplinary program designed especially for college students. Her special interest was to foreground global contacts among cultures considered in Humanities Program courses, engaging the historical and present West with Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East.

Select Publications & Professional Activities

Interpreting Devotion: The Poetry and Legacy of a Female Bhakti Saint of India. The first book to provide a complete English translation of classical Tamil bhakti saint Karaikkal Ammaiyar’s poetry and the canonical biography about her, embedded within a critical academic discussion that theorizes the arc of interpretation of this fascinating woman’s devotional subjectivity through poetry, biography and present-day festival celebrations in her honor. Crucially, the study distinguishes the poet’s voice from that of her biographer, illuminating her poetry and legacy through an exploration of themes such as language and mystical experience, the `non-dual’ nature of translation, the devotional subjectivity created in her poetry, the fiction of femaleness and its relationships to women’s truth-speech in her biography, and the participation of modern festival publics in the creation of memory and experience of her legacy. Published Dec. 2011 at Routledge. A South Asian Edition paperback version of this book was published by Routledge and Manohar (Delhi) in February 2015, and published by Routledge-Taylor & Francis as a worldwide paperback on August 13, 2015.

Refiguring the Body: Embodiment in South Asian Religions. Edited by Karen Pechilis and Barbara A. Holdrege. The body is foundationally shared by all, ensuring both that every culture has its own distinctive ways of understanding and deploying it, and that our globalized world will bring these different modalities into contact. Contributing to our global understanding, Re-Figuring the Body: Embodiment in South Asian Religions introduces readers to the fascinating and distinguished history and present of South Asian religious theorizing of the body that emerges in a diversity of media, including aesthetic, medicinal, devotional and philosophical texts and practices. The richness and diversity of South Asian theories represented in this collection reveal important comparative themes that challenge and enhance knowledge of the body in Western discourses, vitalizing newly globalized inquiries into our shared, yet differently imagined human nature. Far from producing a legacy of disembodied spirituality, prominent traditions such as Buddhism and Hinduism have produced detailed reflections on the nature, meanings and practices of the body by a diversity of interpreters, including philosophers, devotees, ritualists, poets, saints, dancers, healers and storytellers. Through an array of methodologies, including literary analysis and ethnography, the eleven essays in this collection lucidly illuminate these interpreters’ distinctive ways of thinking about the body as they contribute to the broader themes of the relationship between the materiality of the body and spiritual perfection, devotional subjectivities and transformations of the body, and gendered logics that both describe and dispute social bodies.

South Asian Religions: Tradition & Today. Edited by Karen Pechilis and Selva J. Raj. An accessible introduction to religions in South Asia, including Tribal Religions, Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam and Sikhism. Each chapter is written by an established academic researcher-teacher, who discusses the identity, practices and current issues of each religion, supplemented by a map, a list of key terms, questions for discussion, and recommended resources. An introductory chapter provides an overview of the distinctive nature of South Asian religions and offers guidelines for the academic study of religion. Primarily designed for students, this book would serve as a handy scholarly reference work for those seeking accurate information on the nature and variety of religion and culture in South Asia today, including curators, diplomats, journalists, researchers, and travelers. Published Nov. 2012 at Routledge. Hear a podcast discussion of this book in Humanities expert Professor Kirk Ott’s interview of Karen Pechilis, March 2014, at New Books in South Asian Studies. Thank you to Professor Kirk Ott and New Books Network: South Asian Studies.

Special Issue: “Not Quite Divine – Co-Stars and Supporting Casts in South Asian Religions” in the Journal of Hindu Studies9/2 (August 2016). Articles from the Conference on the Study of Religions of India, hosted at Drew University in June, 2013.

“The Siva Nataraja Image: Poetic Origins,” Kalakshetra Journal Issue 4 (Feb. 2016): 1-16.

Online: “Women Gurus and Hinduism,” Prabuddha Bharata, June 2015 (120/6): 401-409.

“Ethnography, Women and the History of Religions,” Voice of Intellectual Man 6/1 (2016): 1-10.

“Devotional Subjectivity and the Fiction of Femaleness: Feminist Hermeneutics and the Articulation of Difference,” Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion 30.2 (2014): 99-114. Special section on Comparative Feminist Hermeneutics, introduced by Professor Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza. Congratulations to JFSR on its 30th year anniversary of feminist publishing!

“Śiva as the Lord of Dance: What the Poetess Saw,” Journal of Hindu Studies 6/2 (2013): 131-153.

“The Female Guru: Guru, Gender and the Path of Personal Experience,” pp. 113-132 in Jacob Copeman and Aya Ikegame, eds., The Guru in South Asia: New Interdisciplinary Perspectives. London: Routledge, 2012.

“Female Gurus and Ascetics” (5,500 words). Pp. 461-469 in Brill’s Encyclopedia of Hinduism, ed.-in-chief Knut Jacobsen, Vol. 5. Leiden: Brill, Nov. 2013.

“Feminism” (8,500 words). Pp. 734-749 in Brill’s Encyclopedia of Hinduism, ed.-in-chief Knut Jacobsen, Vol. 5. Leiden: Brill, Nov. 2013.

“Gender” (10,000 words). Pp. 788-805 in Brill’s Encyclopedia of Hinduism, ed.-in-chief Knut Jacobsen, Vol. 4. Leiden: Brill, Oct. 2012.

“Current Approaches to Bhakti,” pp. 107-121 in Jessica Frazier, ed., The Continuum Companion to Hinduism. London: Continuum Publishing, 2011.

“Spreading Śakti” (article on female gurus), pp. 97-120 in Tracy Pintchman and Rita D. Sherma, eds., Woman and Goddess in Hinduism: Reinterpretations and Re-envisionings. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011.

Special Section on “Encounters in Ethnography Today” in Method and Theory in the Study of Religion 21:1 (2009). Convener and Contributor of Introduction and Article, “Experiencing the Mango Festival as a Ritual Dramatization of Hagiography” (pp. 1-2, 50-65).

Special Section on “Feminist Theory and the Study of South Asian Religions” in the Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion24:1 (Sp 2008): 5-71 (also available through Project MUSE). Convener and Contributor of Introduction and Article, “Chosen Moments: Mediation and Direct Experience in the Life of the Classical Tamil Saint, Karaikkal Ammaiyar” (pp. 5-11, 11-31) these two articles were reprinted in Pamela Klaussen, ed., Women and Religion (Routledge, 2009).

Special Issue on “Bodily Transformations Across Indian Religions.” International Journal of Hindu Studies 10:2 (August 2006). Guest Editor and Contributor of Introduction and Article, “The Story of the Classical Tamil Woman Saint, Karaikkal Ammaiyar: A Translation of Her Story from Cekkilar’s Periya Puranam” (pp. 173-86).

The Graceful Guru: Hindu Female Gurus in India and the United States. Oxford University Press, 2004. The first book to comparatively analyze Hindu-inspired female gurus. The Editor and contributors to the volume illuminate the history and present of a diversity of female gurus’ potently authoritative teachings and practices and their local and global significance, through the lens of academic gender theories. Editor and Contributor of Introduction (“Hindu Female Gurus in Historical and Philosophical Context” pp. 3-49) and Article on “Gurumayi: The Play of Shakti and Guru” (pp. 219-243).

Read prizewinning journalist Kurt Streeter’s Los Angeles Times article, “Embracing the Love of Amma,” on female guru Ammachi/Mata Amritanandamayi/Amma (2010).

Read journalist and Fulbright Scholar to India Jake Halpern’s New York Times article, “Amma’s Multifaceted Empire, Built on Hugs,” on Ammachi (2013). His article in The New Yorker, “The Secret of the Temple” (2012), on the discovery of a billion-dollar gold treasure trove at the famous Sri Padmanabaswamy Temple in Kerala, India, is also fascinating.

The Sensuous and the Sacred: Chola Bronzes from South India. Vidya Dehejia with essays by Richard H. Davis, R. Nagaswamy and Karen Pechilis Prentiss. American Federation of Arts and University of Washington Press, 2002. Contributor of Article “Joyous Encounters: Tamil Bhakti Poets and Images of the Divine” (pp. 65-79). Produced as a catalogue for the exhibition of the same name held at the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery of the Smithsonian Museum, Nov. 10, 2002 – March 9, 2003 see the online exhibition.

Online: “The Pattern of Hinduism and Hindu Temple Building in the U.S.” (2000) Author (Karen Pechilis Prentiss). Read online at Harvard University’s Pluralism Project, also cited on the website of Bob Abernethy’s Religion & Ethics Newsweeklyprogram.

The Embodiment of Bhakti. Oxford University Press, 1999. Author (Karen Pechilis Prentiss). Reframed the much-discussed religious path of bhakti in scholarship from its static definition of `devotion’ to a multidimensional characterization of it as `devotional participation’. Pechilis’s humanistic emphasis unlocked bhakti as a history of doing – interpretive thought, literary and musical composition, performance, community – and as an active locus of distinctive constructions of identity.

Committee on the Status of Women in the Profession, American Academy of Religion 2003-2008. As part of its work, this group sponsors the valuable resource Ask Academic Abby for AAR members (archive sample here).

Book Review Editor, International Journal of Hindu Studies, June 2006-2012. The current BRE is Dr. Michael Baltutis,[email protected]

National Editorial Board, Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion, 2009-Present. View the latest commentary on the question, `What is the importance of feminist and womanist work in religious and theological studies’, in lively and diverse video discussion from the FSR Across Generations Project (this link goes to my segment there are plenty of fascinating reflections on the playlist – Across Generations FSR at YouTube).

International Editorial Board, Religion & Gender, 2013 – Present

Translations of Classical Tamil Language Texts into English:

Tevaram (devotional poetry), in The Embodiment of Bhakti (OUP 1999): 157-188

Tiruvarutpayan (couplets on divine grace), in The Embodiment of Bhakti: 189-209

Tirumuraikantapuranam (story of the making of a canon), in International Journal of Hindu Studies 5:1 (April 2001): 1-44

Periya Puranam-Story of Nantanar (hagiography), in Eleanor Zelliot and Rohini Mokashi-Punekar, eds., Untouchable Saints: An Indian Phenomenon (New Delhi: Manohar, 2005): 95-107

Periya Puranam-Story of Karaikkal Ammaiyar (hagiography), in International Journal of Hindu Studies 10:2 (September 2006)

The poetry of female saint and author Karaikkal Ammaiyar and new translation of her biography in Interpreting Devotion (see above)

Robert Ready

History and Culture Faculty

Robert Ready (PhD, Columbia DHL, Drew), Professor Emeritus of English, was Drew’s first National Endowment for the Humanities Distinguished Teaching Professor Donald R. and Winifred B. Baldwin Professor of Humanities Convener of the Arts and Letters Program and the last dean solely of the CSGS. He was also director of the A&L summer program, “Sentences: A Conference on Writing Prose.” He began teaching literature and creative writing at Drew in the third quarter of the twentieth century. His publications include literary scholarship and fiction in over two dozen refereed journals. His novel, Eck:A Romance, will appear in 2021. His CSGS courses include “British Romantic Extremes,” “Victorians: Visionary Ones, Impossible Ones” “Re-Reading Great Books” and “Blood America: Reading Cormac McCarthy.”

Jonathan Rose

William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of History Drew University Scholar-Teacher of the Year (2001) Presidential Award for Career Scholarship (2006)

Contact Information:

Jonathan Rose (PhD, University of Pennsylvania) specializes in modern Britain, British intellectuals, the history of the book, and the history of reading. He was the founding president of the Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing, and a founding editor of the society’s journal, Book History . He was also a past president of the Northeast Victorian Studies Association. His book The Intellectual Life of the British Working Classes (2001 3 rd ed. 2021) won numerous awards, including the Jacques Barzun Prize in Cultural History and the Longman-History Today Historical Book of the Year Prize. His other books include The Edwardian Temperament 1895-1919 (1986), The Revised Orwell (2001), The Holocaust and the Book: Destruction and Preservation (2001), A Companion to the History of the Book (2007 revised and expanded edition 2020, The Literary Churchill: Author, Reader, Actor (2014), Readers’ Liberation (2018), and the four-volume anthology The Edinburgh History of Reading (2020). The working title of his next book is “Girls Liked It Too: Why Women Read Playboy ”. He occasionally reviews books for the Wall Street Journal and other publications .

Education: B.A. in History cum laude (1974), Princeton University. M.A. (1975) and Ph.D. (1981) in History, University of Pennsylvania.

Areas of specialization: British history and history of the book.

Current research: A global history of reading.

Publications:

  • Coeditor (with Simon Eliot), A Companion to the History of the Book (Blackwell, 2007).
  • Reinventing Graduate Education in History,” Perspectives on History (February 2009)
  • “Arriving at a History of Reading,” Historically Speaking (January 2004).
  • The Intellectual Life of the British Working Classes (Yale UP, 2001). Winner of the Longman-History Today Historical Book of the Year Prize, the Jacques Barzun Prize in Cultural History, the British Council Prize, the SHARP Book History Prize, the Bela Kornitzer Prize, and the New Jersey Council for the Humanities Book Prize. Named a Book of the Year by the Economist magazine.
  • Editor, The Holocaust and the Book: Destruction and Preservation (U Massachusetts P, 2001).
  • Editor, The Revised Orwell (Michigan State UP, 1992).
  • Coeditor, British Literary Publishing Houses, 1820-1965 (Gale, 1991).
  • The Edwardian Temperament 1895-1919 (Ohio UP, 1986).
  • “The Horizon of a New Discipline: Inventing Book Studies,” Publishing Research Quarterly (Spring 2003).
  • “Education, Literacy, and the Victorian Reader,” in A Companion to the Victorian Novel (Blackwell, 2002).
  • “The History of Books: Revised and Enlarged,” Studies on Voltaire and the Eighteenth Century, no. 359 (1998).
  • “How Historians Study Reading,” in Literature in the Marketplace, eds. John O. Jordan and Robert Patten (Cambridge UP, 1995).
  • “Working-Class Journals,” in Victorian Periodicals and Victorian Society, eds. Rosemary VanArsdel and J. Don Vann (U Toronto P, 1994).
  • “Rereading the English Common Reader: A Preface to a History of Audiences,” Journal of the History of Ideas, January-March 1992.
  • Contributor, The New Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford UP).
  • Readers’ Liberation (Oxford UP, 2018)
  • The Literary Churchill: Author, Reader, Actor (Yale UP, 2014), which won the New Jersey Council for the Humanities Book Prize

Professional Activities:

  • Founding President, Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing (1991-97).
  • Past President, Northeast Victorian Studies Association (1989-92).
  • Coeditor, Book History (winner of the Council of Editors of Learned Journals Award for the Best New Scholarly Journal of 1999).

Leslie Sprout

Professor of Music

Leslie Sprout (PhD, University of California, Berkeley) is the author of The Musical Legacy of Wartime France , which won the Béla Kornitzer Award for the best Drew faculty book published in 2013-15. Her scholarship focuses on music, modernism, and national identity in twentieth-century France. Additional research interests include the film music of Arthur Honegger and the engagement of European composers with American popular music and jazz between the two world wars. Dr. Sprout’s work has been supported by a Fulbright fellowship to France and by travel grants from the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique in Paris.

Sharon Sundue

Associate Professor of History

Education: B.A. University of Michigan, 1994, Ph.D., Harvard, 2001.

Areas of Specialization: Early American history, American women’s history, American social history, history of childhood, and the origins of inequality.

Courses Taught: American Revolution, Colonial America, History of Work, History of Childhood, American Women’s History, African American History to 1877.


Shiloh Article

The Battle of Shiloh, which took place on April 6-7, 1862, is one of the Civil War’s most momentous fights, but perhaps one of the least understood. The standard story of the engagement reads that Union troops were surprised in their camps at dawn on April 6. Defeat seemed certain, but Union Brigadier General Benjamin M. Prentiss saved the day by holding a sunken road some 3 feet deep. Thanks to the tenacious fighting in that area, it came to be known as the Hornet’s Nest.

Prentiss eventually capitulated, leaving Rebel commander General Albert Sidney Johnston in a position to drive on to victory. General Johnston, however, was soon mortally wounded and replaced by General P.G.T. Beauregard, which cost the Confederates vital momentum. Beauregard made the inept decision to call off the Confederate attacks, and the next day Union counterattacks dealt Rebel hopes a crushing blow.

This standard account of Shiloh, however, is more myth than fact. No less an authority than Ulysses S. Grant, the Union commander at the fight, wrote after the war that Shiloh ‘has been perhaps less understood, or, to state the case more accurately, more persistently misunderstood, than any other engagement…during the entire rebellion. Preeminent Shiloh authority and historian David W. Reed, the first superintendent of the battlefield park, wrote in 1912 that occasionally…some one thinks that his unaided memory of the events of 50 years ago is superior to the official reports of officers which were made at [the] time of the battle. It seems hard for them to realize that oft-repeated campfire stories, added to and enlarged, become impressed on the memory as real facts.

Unfortunately, such misunderstandings and oft-repeated campfire stories have over the years become for many the truth about Shiloh, distorting the actual facts and painting an altered picture of the momentous events of those April days. One has to look no further than the legend of Johnny Clem, the supposed Drummer Boy of Shiloh, to realize that tall tales surround the battle. Clem’s 22nd Michigan Infantry was not even organized until after Shiloh took place. Similarly, the notorious Bloody Pond, today a battlefield landmark, could be myth. There is no contemporary evidence that indicates the pond became bloodstained. In fact, there is no contemporary evidence that there was even a pond on the spot. The sole account came from a local citizen who years later told of walking by a pond a few days after the battle and seeing it stained with blood.

The long-held belief that Grant arrived at Pittsburg Landing only to be greeted by thousands upon thousands of Union stragglers is also a myth. The frontline divisions of Prentiss and Brig. Gen. William T. Sherman did not break until after 9 a.m., the latest time that Grant could have arrived at the landing. It is hard to imagine Prentiss’ troops running over two miles in less than 30 seconds, even though, by all accounts, they were pretty scared.

Cynicism aside, there is a real need to correct such errors. A newspaper columnist recently criticized the Shiloh National Military Park for removing the rotten and crumbling tree under which Johnston supposedly died, saying, So what if Johnston wasn’t exactly at that exact tree. Such an ambivalent attitude toward facts, continued and perpetuated through the years, not only produces false history but also diminishes the record of what actually happened. The most boring fact is always worth more than the most glamorous myth. In an effort to correct historical errors and analyze the myths, here is a brief analysis of several myths about the Battle of Shiloh.

The opening Confederate attack caught the Union totally by surprise.

The matter of surprise is a major topic of discussion among military historians and enthusiasts. It is one of the modern American Army’s nine principles of war that guide military plans, movements and actions. Of course, most military tactics are common sense. When fighting either a bully or an army, who would not want to sneak up on an opponent and get in the first punch?

One of the most famous of all surprises in military history is Pearl Harbor, where Japanese planes attacked the U.S. Pacific Fleet based in Hawaii. The attack on December 7, 1941, was indeed a surprise, with bombs dropping out of a clear blue sky. Shiloh is another well-known example of a supposed surprise attack. On the morning of April 6, 1862, the Confederate Army of the Mississippi under Johnston launched an attack on Maj. Gen. Grant’s Army of the Tennessee near Pittsburg Landing. One author has even gone so far as to call it the Pearl Harbor of the Civil War. In actuality, Shiloh was not all that much of a surprise.

The assertion of surprise came initially from contemporary newspaper columns that described Union soldiers being bayoneted in their tents as they slept. The most famous account came from Whitelaw Reid, a newspaper correspondent for the Cincinnati Gazette. But Reid was nowhere near Shiloh when the Confederates attacked, and he actually penned his nearly 15,000-word opus from miles away.

The idea that Reid perpetuated and that is still commonly believed today is that the Federals had no idea that the enemy was so near. Nothing could be further from the truth. For days before April 6, minor skirmishing took place. Both sides routinely took prisoners in the days leading up to the battle. The rank and file in the Union army knew Confederates were out there — they just did not know in what strength.

The problem lay with the Federal commanders. Ordered not to bring on an engagement and convinced they would have to march to Corinth, Miss., to fight the bulk of the Confederate army, the Union leadership did not properly utilize the intelligence gained from the common soldiers on the front lines. Grant was not about to go looking for a fight in early April, certainly not before reinforcements arrived from Nashville in the form of the Army of the Ohio, and certainly not without orders from his superior, Maj. Gen. Henry W. Halleck.

Thus Grant ordered his frontline division commanders Sherman and Prentiss not to spark a fight, and they made sure their soldiers understood that directive. They sent orders reinforcing Grant’s concern down the line and refused to act on intelligence coming up through the ranks.

As a result, not wanting to prematurely begin a battle, Federal skirmishers and pickets continually withdrew as the Confederates probed forward. Perhaps Sherman said it best when he noted in his report, On Saturday the enemy’s cavalry was again very bold, coming well down to our front, yet I did not believe that he designed anything but a strong demonstration.

The lower echelon leadership was not all that convinced the fight would take place at Corinth, however. For days, brigade and regimental commanders had witnessed Confederates near their camps. Several patrols even went forward, but no major Confederate units were encountered.

Finally, on the night of April 5, one Union brigade commander took matters into his own hands. Sending out a patrol without authorization, Colonel Everett Peabody located the Confederate army at dawn on April 6. His tiny reconnaissance found the advance skirmishers of the Southern force less than a mile from the Union front. The Confederates promptly attacked, and the Battle of Shiloh began.

Because of Peabody’s patrol, however, the Confederate advance was unmasked earlier than intended and farther out from the Union camps than projected. The resulting delay in the Confederate assault on the Union camps allowed the Army of the Tennessee to mobilize. Because of the warning, every single Union unit on the field met the Confederate assault coming from Corinth south, or in advance of, their camps. Peabody’s patrol warned the army and thus prevented total tactical surprise at Shiloh.

Benjamin Prentiss was the hero of Shiloh.

For decades after the battle, Prentiss was hailed as the Federal officer who took it upon himself to send out a patrol that eventually uncovered the Confederate advance and gave early warning of the attack. Likewise, Prentiss was seen as the commander who, ordered by Grant to hold at all hazards, defended the Sunken Road and Hornet’s Nest against numerous Confederate assaults. Prentiss withdrew only after the Confederates brought up 62 pieces of artillery that were organized as Ruggles’ Battery. Finding himself surrounded, however, Prentiss surrendered the noble and brave remnants of his division. Before modern scholarship began to look at new sources and examine the facts, Prentiss’ reputation grew until it reached icon status.

Prentiss’ after-action report was glowing in terms of his own accomplishments. Historians through the years then accepted that report at face value, one even labeling a photo of Prentiss as the Hero of Shiloh. Shiloh National Military Park’s long-running film Shiloh: Portrait of a Battle dramatically paints Prentiss as the chief defender the Union army had on April 6.

In actuality, Prentiss was not as involved as legend has it. He did not send out the patrol on the morning of April 6. As mentioned earlier, one of his brigade commanders, Colonel Peabody, did so in defiance of Prentiss’ orders. Prentiss rode to Peabody’s headquarters when he heard the firing and demanded to know what Peabody had done. When he found out, Prentiss told his subordinate he would hold him personally responsible for bringing on a battle and rode off in a huff.

Likewise, Prentiss was not the key defender of the Hornet’s Nest, as the area adjacent to the Sunken Road came to be called. His division began the day with roughly 5,400 men, only to dwindle to 500 by 9:45 that morning. When Prentiss took his position in the Sunken Road, his numbers were nearly doubled by an arriving regiment, the 23rd Missouri. Prentiss had lost almost his entire division, and could not have held his second line without the veteran brigades of Brig. Gen. W.H.L. Wallace’s division. It was primarily Wallace’s troops who held the Hornet’s Nest.

Prentiss was in an advantageous position to become a hero after the battle, however. Although he remained a prisoner for six months, he was able to tell his story. Peabody and Wallace were both dead from wounds received at Shiloh. Thus Prentiss took credit for their actions and became the hero of the fight. Prentiss never even mentioned Peabody in his report, except to say that he commanded one of his brigades. Likewise, Wallace was not around to set the record straight as to whose troops actually defended the Sunken Road and Hornet’s Nest. Prentiss, the only Federal officer who could get his own record out, thus benefited from public exposure. In the process, he became the hero of Shiloh.

Major General Don Carlos Buell’s arrival saved Grant from defeat on April 6.

Many historians have argued that Grant’s beaten army was saved only by the timely arrival of Maj. Gen. Don Carlos Buell’s Army of the Ohio near sundown on April 6. The common conception is that Grant’s men had been driven back to the landing and were about to be defeated when the lead elements of Buell’s army arrived, deployed in line and repelled the last Confederate assaults of the day.

The veterans of the various armies vehemently argued their cases after the war. Members of the Society of the Army of the Tennessee maintained that they had the battle under control at nightfall that first day, while their counterparts in the Society of the Army of the Cumberland (the successor to Buell’s Army of the Ohio) argued with equal vigor that they had saved the day. Even Grant and Buell entered the fight when they wrote opposing articles for Century magazine in the 1880s.

Grant claimed his army was in a strong position with heavy lines of infantry supporting massed artillery. His effort to trade space for time throughout the day of April 6 had worked Grant had spent so much time in successive defensive positions that daylight was fading by the time the last Confederate assaults began, and he was convinced that his army could handle those attacks.

Buell, on the other hand, painted a picture of a dilapidated Army of the Tennessee on the brink of defeat. Only his arrival with fresh columns of Army of the Ohio troops won the day. The lead brigade, commanded by Colonel Jacob Ammen, deployed on the ridge south of the landing and met the Confederate advance. In Buell’s mind, Grant’s troops could not have held without his army.

In reality, the Confederates probably had little hope of breaking Grant’s last line. Situated on a tall ridge overlooking streams known as the Dill and Tilghman branches, Grant’s forces, battered though they were, still had enough fight in them to hold their extremely strong position, especially since they had over 50 pieces of artillery in line. Likewise, the troops were massed in compact positions. Good interior lines of defense also helped, and two Federal gunboats fired on the Confederates from the river. Grant poured heavy fire into the Confederates from the front, flank and rear.

The Confederates never actually assaulted the Federal line, further damaging Buell’s assertion. Only elements of four disorganized and exhausted Confederate brigades crossed the backwater in the Dill Branch ravine as gunboat shells flew through the air. Only two of those brigades undertook an assault, one without ammunition. The Confederates topped the rise and faced a withering fire. They were convinced. Orders from Beauregard to withdraw did not have to be repeated.

In fact, only 12 companies of Buell’s army crossed in time to deploy and become engaged. Grant had the situation well under control and could have fended off much larger numbers than he actually encountered. While Buell’s arrival did provide a morale boost and allowed Grant to take the offensive the next morning, Grant had the battle situation under control by the time Buell arrived.

The South would have won had Beauregard not called off the assaults.

For many years after the battle, former Confederates castigated General Beauregard for his actions at Shiloh. Their main complaint was that the army commander, having taken charge of the Confederate forces after Johnston’s death, called off the final Confederate assaults on the evening of April 6. Many argued that the Confederates had victory within their grasp and needed only one last effort to destroy Grant’s army. Beauregard, however, called off his Southern boys and thus threw away a victory. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth.

The controversy had its beginnings while the war still raged. Corps commanders Maj. Gens. William J. Hardee and Braxton Bragg later pounced on Beauregard for calling off the attacks, even though their immediate post-battle correspondence said nothing de-rogatory about their commander. After the war ended, Southerners began to argue that being outnumbered and outproduced industrially were reasons for their defeat, and also blamed the battle deaths of leaders like Johnston and Stonewall Jackson. Another key element in their argument, however, was poor leadership on the part of certain generals such as James Longstreet at Gettysburg (of course it did not help that Longstreet turned his back on the solidly Democratic South and went Republican after the war) and Beauregard at Shiloh. The sum of all those parts became known as the Lost Cause.

Hardee, Bragg and thousands of other former Confederates argued after the war that Beauregard threw away the victory. Beauregard does bear some blame, but not for making the wrong decision to end the attacks. He made the right decision, but for all the wrong reasons. The general made his decision far behind his front lines, an area completely awash with stragglers and wounded. No wonder Beauregard argued that his army was so disorganized that he needed to call a halt.

Similarly, Beauregard acted on faulty intelligence. He received word that Buell’s reinforcements were not arriving at Pittsburg Landing. One of Buell’s divisions was in Alabama, but unfortunately for Beauregard, five were actually en route to Pittsburg Landing. Based on such spotty intelligence, Beauregard thought he could finish Grant the next morning.

In the end, the decision to call a halt was the right thing to do. Taking into account the terrain, Union reinforcements and Confederate tactical ability at the time, the Confederates probably would not have broken Grant’s final line of defense, much less destroyed the Union army. The castigated Creole did not throw away a victory, he merely put himself in a position to be blamed for the defeat already transpiring.

The South would have won the battle had Johnston lived.

Another Lost Cause myth of Shiloh is that Johnston would have been victorious had not a stray bullet clipped an artery in his leg and caused him to bleed to death. According to legend, Johnston’s death caused a lull in the battle on the critical Confederate right, which slowed progress toward Pittsburg Landing. Just as important, Johnston’s death placed Beauregard in command, who ultimately called off the attacks. The result of both cause and effect situations led to Confederate defeat. To drive the point home, the United Daughters of the Confederacy placed an elaborate memorial at Shiloh in 1917, with Johnston as the centerpiece and death symbolically taking the laurel wreath of victory away from the South. Even modern scholars have sometimes taken this line of reasoning. Johnston biographer Charles Roland has argued in two different books that Johnston would have succeeded and won the battle had he lived. Roland claims that just because Beauregard failed did not mean Johnston would have. His superior leadership qualities, Roland concludes, could have allowed Johnston to spur the tired Confederate troops onward to victory.

Such a theory of certain victory fails to take many factors into account. First, there was no lull in the battle on the Confederate right because Johnston fell. A continuous rate of fire was not sustainable for several reasons, mostly logistics ordnance departments could not keep thousands of soldiers supplied to fire constantly. Most Civil War battles were stop-and-go actions, with assaults, retreats and counterattacks.

Shiloh’s wooded terrain and choppy hills and valleys gave the soldiers plenty of cover to re-form lines of battle out of the enemy’s sight. The result was that the fighting at Shiloh did not rage continuously for hours at any one time or place. Instead it was a complicated series of many different actions throughout the day at many different points.

There were many lulls on the battlefield, some for as much as an hour’s duration. Some historians point out that a lull occurred when Johnston died, but that was more a result of the natural flow of the battle than Johnston’s death.

Second, the argument that Johnston would have won when Beauregard did not is also faulty. Johnston could probably have pressed the attack no faster than the surviving Confederate commanders on the right did.

In all likelihood, Johnston would also have been preoccupied with capturing the Hornet’s Nest, as happened after his death. Thus Johnston at best would not have been in a position to attack near Pittsburg Landing until hours after Grant had stabilized his last line of defense. As stated above, the heavy guns, lines of infantry, gunboats, exhaustion, disorganization, terrain and arriving reinforcements all were factors — some more than others — in defeating the last Confederate attempts of the day.

The myth that the Confederates would have certainly won the battle had Johnston lived is thus false. By 6 p.m., it is highly doubtful Shiloh could have been a Confederate victory even with Napoleon Bonaparte in command.

The Sunken Road was, in fact, sunken.

Coupled with the Hornet’s Nest, the Sunken Road has become the major emphasis of the fighting at Shiloh. Visitors want to see the Sunken Road and Hornet’s Nest more than any other attraction at the park. While some important fighting did take place at the Sunken Road, the entire story is predicated on the myth of the road being worn below the surrounding terrain and thus providing a natural defensive trench for the Federal soldiers. In fact, there is no contemporary evidence that the Sunken Road was sunken at all.

The road was not a major avenue of travel. The two major routes in the area were the Corinth-Pittsburg Landing Road and the Eastern Corinth Road. What became known as the Sunken Road was a mere farm road used by Joseph Duncan to get to various points on his property. As it had limited use, the road would not have been worn down as many people believe. At most, it might have had ruts several inches deep at various times during wet seasons. Post-battle photos of the road show a mere path, not a sunken trace.

Not one single report in the Official Records mentions the road as being sunken. Likewise, no soldiers’ letters or diaries exist that refer to it as sunken. Many buffs quote Thomas Chinn Robertson of the 4th Louisiana in Colonel Randall L. Gibson’s Brigade as describing the road as 3 feet deep. In reality, that soldier was in no position to see the road. Gibson’s Brigade never reached the Sunken Road and fell back in confusion. Robertson described a tangle of undergrowth that blocked his view, and even remarked that corps commander Bragg stated he would lead them to where they could see the enemy. The unit thereafter moved forward to the right, thus never allowing the quoted soldier to view how deep the road actually was. In all likelihood, the Louisianan was describing the Eastern Corinth Road or possibly even the main Corinth Road, both of which were heavily traveled thoroughfares and thus would have been eroded. Federal regiments were aligned on both roads at times during the battle.

Although the Hornet’s Nest was a wartime term, the expression Sunken Road did not appear until the 1881 publication of Manning Force’s From Fort Henry to Corinth. Thereafter, veterans began to embellish the story. The Iowa units manning the position formed a veterans organization that emphasized the Sunken Road. When the national park was established in 1894, the Sunken Road became a major tourist attraction as the park commission began to highlight certain areas to attract attention and visitation. At the same time, the proliferation of veterans memoirs in the 1890s and early 1900s keyed on the growing popularity of this location, which grew deeper with each passing volume, ultimately reaching a depth of several feet. As time passed and more publications appeared, the myth became reality. Today it is one of the best known Civil War icons that never existed.

Over the years, a variety of myths and legends about the battle have crept into American culture, and today are viewed by many as the truth. Several factors account for these falsehoods. The veterans did not establish the park until 30 years after the battle. By that time, memories had become clouded and events shrouded in uncertainty.

Likewise, the original Shiloh National Military Park commission that initially developed the interpretation of the site may have let pride affect its documentation of the Shiloh story. One of the best examples is the heightened importance of the Hornet’s Nest, which was promoted by first park historian David Reed, who had fought in the 12th Iowa in the Hornet’s Nest. Finally, the Lost Cause mentality so prevalent in the postwar South provoked antagonism against Beauregard and laments for Johnston’s death, as well as the idea that the Confederates were simply outnumbered.

Buffs and even some historians who are not very knowledgeable about Shiloh’s history have perpetuated rumors and stories that are not actually based on fact. It is regrettable that over the years the truth about the battle has become distorted. Fortunately, however, today’s historians are looking at the battle from a different perspective. Hopefully, as more research is published, the oft-repeated campfire stories will be phased out and replaced by the reality of Shiloh, which in itself is much grander and more honorable than any of the myths that have grown up about the battle. After all, truth is often stranger than fiction.

This article is adapted from a chapter in Timothy B. Smith’s forthcoming book The Untold Story of Shiloh: The Battle and the Battlefield, to be published by the University of Tennessee Press, and originally appeared in the May 2006 issue of America’s Civil War magazine.

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A. G. Prentiss - History

The Prentiss County Ancestry, Genealogy, and History pages provide resources useful when building your family tree. Focusing upon county (court, land, and tax), church records (baptism, marriage) and other source material (i.e. naturalization and war records) will help you build your family tree. Additional information comes from archives, cemeteries, museums, or local societies. And since we also enjoy history we are striving to uncover useful information about the pioneers, points of interest, and towns that were part of early settlement activity and the surnames that were found in these areas.

Content provided begins with general ancestry, history, and genealogical information. We add our special European focus towards the Danish, German, Irish, Swedish pioneers, exploration, and settlement activity. Nothing would be complete if we didn't add a bit more specialty information regarding immigrants and their historical achievements they made while settling parts of America.

Mississippi

Prentiss County Mississippi

While we are presenting data about each state and county, some of these counties have limited resources available, and there are also over 3000 counties. Our efforts are going to take time. We have also found that there are always specific areas where discussions would help resolve lingering questions. We are providing the Mississippi Genealogy and History Forum where you can interact with others that have an interest in state ancestral research. If you are wondering about something that isn't answered on the state or county pages, we hope you will ask a question there.

We enable visitors to browse content and experience many of the features available on the website. Membership is free and increases access to even more ancestry information! We hope you will join this growing ancestry and genealogy community.


The Archaeology of an Aboriginal Household in British Columbia during the Fur Trade Period

The Last House at Bridge River offers a comprehensive archaeological study of a single-house floor and roof deposit dated to approximately 1835&ndash1858 C.E. Although the Fur Trade period of the nineteenth century was a time of significant change for aboriginal peoples in the Pacific Northwest, it is a period that is poorly understood. These studies of Housepit 54 at the Bridge River site offer new insights, revealing that ancestors of today&rsquos St&rsquoát&rsquoimc people were actively engaged in maintaining traditional lifestyles and making the best of new opportunities for trade and intergroup interaction.

Among its major contributions, the book includes a first-ever historical ecology of the Middle Fraser Canyon that places aboriginal and Euro-Canadian history in ecological context. It demonstrates that an integrated multidisciplinary approach to archaeological research can achieve insights well beyond what is known from the ethnographic and historical records. Because the project derives from a long-term partnership between the University of Montana and the Bridge River Indian Band, it illustrates the value of collaborations between archaeologists and First Nations. Together, contributors present a Fur Trade period aboriginal society at a level of intimacy unparalleled elsewhere.

Anna Marie Prentiss is professor of archaeology at the University of Montana. Her previous publications include People of the Middle Fraser Canyon and Field Seasons . 

&ldquoAn excellent, important research publication with scholarly significance in the fields of indigenous history, historical archaeology, and Plateau and Northwest Coast cultural studies. It provides a model for thorough, high-resolution excavation and analytical techniques.&rdquo
&mdashAron L. Crowell, Alaska director, Arctic Studies Center, Smithsonian Institution 

&ldquoThe archaeology of the Fur Trade era has been approached for the most part from a Eurocentric perspective, so this book provides an important counterpoint that should be widely publicized. It adds a lot of detail and new data to interior Salish enthnohistorical archaeology. The content is unique and illuminating.&rdquo 
&mdashMaria Nieves Zedeño, professor of anthropology, University of Arizona

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Watch the video: Paget Brewster on Emily Prentiss in Criminal Minds Demonology (July 2022).


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