The 16th Iowa Regiment was there. In it, a no-doubt-scared 21-year-old, George, happens to have been the first person in the USA bearing my surname. His regiment was thrown into the fray to slow the Confederate tide. They made a stand. He was hit. He fell. Maybe he died instantly. Maybe he lay dying on the field as his regiment began to crumble around him. His regiment listed him as "killed in action at Shiloh", one way or another.
If anyone is interested, watch this rather well-made animated-and-video re-creation and synopsis of the battle. (In case the link goes down, it is called "Battle of Shiloh", produced by Wide Awake Films).
that morning. (Art by Don Troiani).
As the regiment marched to the front, about 9 AM, its spirits were high. Perhaps they'd have been singing this song:
The colonel of the regiment was proud, in his after-action report, that his men had maintained regimental integrity despite this being their first action -- They withdrew "in good order". They did not see action again that day, and were in reserve the next day. I guess Grant thought they weren't worth much, being so "green".
Anyway, it must have been in the timeframe of 10:30 AM to 11:30 AM, and in McClernand's area of the battlefield, that my possible-relative, George, was killed.
The probable final resting place of George J.
He was listed as a farmhand on a Danish family's Iowa farm on the 1860 census. Mustered-into the Union Army in December 1861, he was dead four months later.
George didn't have much chance in life, did he. It's possible, or maybe probable, that no word ever reached relatives in Denmark of his fate. He was very-likely long forgotten by anyone on this Earth. A few years ago, I found his name, found his place of death, and resolved henceforth to always remember...April 6th.