Friday, October 19, 2012

Lorenzo Dow Brannan

Lorenzo Dow Brannan is described in his Civil War enlistment record as a farmer aged 45 years, five feet eight inches tall with dark hair, dark complexion and grey eyes.  Lorenzo enlisted in 56th Ohio Infantry at Portsmouth Ohio. 
“This Regiment was organized in December 1861 under Colonel Peter Kinney, and took the field in February at Fort Donelson, and in April, was at Shiloh. After the fall of Corinth it marched to Memphis, and in July went to Helena. It joined Grant's Vicksburg campaign and fought gallantly at Port Gibson and Champion Hills, capturing 2 guns and 125 prisoners at the former place. At Champion Hills it lost 135 men killed and wounded. After the fall of Vicksburg, it followed Johnston to Jackson and next moved to Natchez, joining Banks' Red River expedition. It sustained severe loss in the retreat, and when in route on veteran furlough its boat was fired on by Rebel batteries, and a number of officers and men captured. In November 1864, the nonveterans filled the rest of their term on guard duty at New Orleans, where they were mustered out in March 1866.”   Compiled by Larry Stevens

The regiment lost a total of 216 men during service; 3 officers and 55 enlisted men killed or mortally wounded, 2 officers and 156 enlisted men died of disease.
During the war (late 1862) Lorenzo sustained a spinal injury which resulted in partial paralysis of his body.  He was transported to and treated in a hospital in Saint Louis Missouri. He later died from complications of this injury.

Lorenzo and four of his brothers fought in the Civil War.  William A Brannan fought for the Confederacy and Lorenzo, Thomas, Jacob, and John fought for the Union.  It was truly a war with brother against brother and father against son.

The Battle of Shiloh, also known as the Battle of Pittsburg Landing, was a major battle in the Western Theater of the American Civil War, fought April 6–7, 1862, in southwestern Tennessee. A Union army under Maj. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant had moved via the Tennessee River deep into Tennessee and was encamped principally at Pittsburg Landing on the west bank of the river. Confederate forces under Generals Albert Sidney Johnston and P. G. T. Beauregard launched a surprise attack on Grant there. The Confederates achieved considerable success on the first day, but were ultimately defeated on the second day.

On the first day of the battle, the Confederates struck with the intention of driving the Union defenders away from the river and into the swamps of Owl Creek to the west, hoping to defeat Grant's Army of the Tennessee before the anticipated arrival of Maj. Gen. Don Carlos Buell's Army of the Ohio. The Confederate battle lines became confused during the fierce fighting, and Grant's men instead fell back to the northeast, in the direction of Pittsburg Landing. A position on a slightly sunken road, nicknamed the "Hornet's Nest", defended by the men of Brig. Gens. Benjamin M. Prentiss's and W. H. L. Wallace's divisions, they provided critical time for the rest of the Union line to stabilize under the protection of numerous artillery batteries. Gen. Johnston was killed during the first day of fighting, and Beauregard, his second in command, decided against assaulting the final Union position that night.

Reinforcements from Gen. Buell and from Grant's own army arrived in the evening and turned the tide the next morning, when the Union commanders launched a counterattack along the entire line. The Confederates were forced to retreat from the bloodiest battle in United States history up to that time, ending their hopes that they could block the Union advance into northern Mississippi.

Following the Union victory at Shiloh, the Union armies under Maj. Gen. Henry Halleck advanced on the vital rail center of Corinth. By May 25, 1862, after moving 5 miles in 3 weeks, Halleck was in position to lay siege to the town. The preliminary bombardment began, and Union forces maneuvered for position. On the evening of May 29-30, Confederate commander Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard evacuated Corinth, withdrawing to Tupelo. The Federals had consolidated their position in northern Mississippi.

The Siege of Vicksburg (May 18 – July 4, 1863) was the final major military action in the Vicksburg Campaign of the American Civil War. In a series of maneuvers, Union Maj. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant and his Army of the Tennessee crossed the Mississippi River and drove the Confederate army of Lt. Gen. John C. Pemberton into the defensive lines surrounding the fortress city of Vicksburg, Mississippi.

When two major assaults (May 19 and May 22, 1863) against the Confederate fortifications were repulsed with heavy casualties, Grant decided to besiege the city beginning on May 25. With no reinforcement, supplies nearly gone, and after holding out for more than forty days, the garrison finally surrendered on July 4. This action (combined with the capitulation of Port Hudson on July 9) yielded command of the Mississippi River to the Union forces, which would hold it for the rest of the conflict.

Lorenzo Dow Brannan * (1815 - 1887)
Is our 2nd great grandfather
Daughter of Lorenzo Dow Brannan
Son of Rebecca Elizabeth Brannan
Son of Charles William Lute and Mary Lou Ella Stewart

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