Monday, February 2, 2009

John Riggin Writes A Letter To The Globe

To the Editor of the Globe-Democrat:

Manatee, South, Fla., May 18, 1881.-In your paper of April 29 appeared an article with the caption, "The Battle of Shiloh," giving an account of an interview with Gen. W.R. Rowley, of Galena, in which your correspondent states that "Gen. Rowley is the only surviving member of Gen. Grant's personal staff during the war." Had the statement appeared in any other than a St. Louis paper I might not have troubled you with this contradiction, but being a native of your city, where I resided for many years and have many friends, I wish to say that Gens. Rawlins, Hillyer and Col. Lagow, who with the writer composed the personal staff of Gen. Grant from the time the forces under him took the field at Cairo, Ill., until Generals Rowley was added, are long since dead, but the undersigned, although forced by a bronchial affection contracted during the war to Florida in 1874, still lives, and from this paradise looks on, through the columns of the Globe-Democrat, at the outside world.

I do not propose to enter the controversy as to whether there was or was not a surprise at the battle of Shiloh, especially so long as Generals Hurlbut, McClernand, and others who commanded at the front and who "fought like brave men, long and well," are so competent to speak, but I will say that Generals Grant and Sherman were both fully alive to the fact it was the policy of the Confederate commander to attack our forces before the arrival of Gen. Buell's command, and I would suggest that, in order to properly interpret orders given, and to criticise the position and condition of the army at Pittsburg Landing, a knowledge of the topography and condition at the time of the immediate and surrounding country, and of the difficulties in handling and forwarding munitions, etc., is necessary.

John Riggin, Jr.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, May 28, 1881

John Riggin, according to both Merritt Griswold and Leonard Matthews, was a member of the Cyclone Club.

No comments: