Sunday, April 9, 2017

American Civil War Monuments
Shiloh National Military Park
Shiloh, TN
  
 Photos and text courtesy of LCWRT Member Charlie Moore 
On April 7, 1862, the second day of fighting at Shiloh, J.D.Putnam of the 14th Wisconsin Volunteers was killed while advancing against a Mississippi Battery.  Thomas Steele, one of the burying party, suggested that Putnam be buried where he fell, in front of an oak tree.  After he was interred his name was carved into the trunk of the tree.  In 1901 the Wisconsin Shiloh Monument Commission visited the battlefield and noticed that only the stump remained, with Putnam’s name on it.  Thomas Steele, who was present, asked for the stump, and the Park Commissioners agreed.  Steele had it shipped to the G.A.R. Memorial Hall in Madison where it remained until it was destroyed in a fire in 1904.  Luckily, Steele had had the stump photographed.  The Wisconsin Monument Commission decided to reproduce it in granite and placed it on the exact spot as the original.  It was so placed on April 7, 1906 and now represents not only Putnam but his entire regiment.  Putnam’s remains were reinterred in the Shiloh National Cemetery in 1866.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

American Civil War Monuments 
Ben Hardin Helm, CSA 
South Loop, Kentucky Avenue, between Union and Confederate Avenues
Vicksburg Military Park 

Photo Courtesy of LCWRT Member Paul Fridell
At Vicksburg, there are 4 very large busts on the South Loop of Kentucky Avenue. This one, erected in 1914, at a cost of $650 for the bronze, honors Ben Hardin Helm, and might be more in place at Chickamauga, where he died Sept. 21, 1863. Here at Vicksburg, he was not actively engaged, but “near the end of the spring of 1863, Breckenridge ordered Helm to deploy the brigade to Vicksburg, Mississippi to participate in General Joseph E. Johnston's unsuccessful attempt to break the siege”. Helm is buried in the Helm Family Cemetery, Elizabethtown, KY. Today, he is mostly remembered as Abraham Lincoln’s brother-in-law. 

Plaque: 
BEN HARDIN HELM
Brig. General C.S. Army
Commanding Ken. Brigade
Breckinridge's Division
Johnston's Army
Cadet U.S. Military Academy 1847
2nd Lt. U.S. Army March 31, 1852
Resigned October 9, 1852
Col. 1st Ken. Cav. Oct. 5, 1861
Brig. Gen. C.S. Army Mar. 14, 1862
Mortally wd. in battle Sept. 20, 1863