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on the south, another stream, Lick Creek, fall into the Tennessee, the former having received a branch known as Owl Creek. These rivulets rise near each other, beyond Shiloh Church, and inclose between them a plateau, about eighty feet high, on which took place the great battle now to be described.

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The two creeks formed the right and left defenses of the national army, obliging the enemy to make a front attack. When first occupied the country was flooded, and many of the streams impassable. In Snake Creek the water was so high that a horse would have to swim



to reach the bridge. Lick Creek, ordinarily fordable, had become quite a river. Grant largely depended on these overflows for protection. They were among the reasons which induced him to throw up no defenses.


On this plateau (Saturday, April 5th) five divisions Position of Grant's of Grant's army were encamped in the order just described (p. 285). Sherman and Prentiss were therefore in front, McClernand on the left and rear of Sherman. Still nearer to the Landing was Hurlbut, with W.H.L.Wallace on his right. Lewis Wallace's division was at Crump's Landing, five miles below.

Grant's army thus lay with the Tennessee River at its · back, without available transportation to the other bank, and no defensive preparations on its front. The changes that Halleck had made in its command operated to its disadvantage in unsettling its purposes and impairing its unity of action. It was not understood at first that the Confederates were concentrating so rapidly at Corinth; on the contrary, it was supposed that they had a force of only about 10,000; and hence there was at that time no apprehension of being attacked. Even after it was known that Johnston had withdrawn from Murfreesbor ough, it was expected that Buell's re-enforcements would join Grant in time. When the battle began, Buell's leading division, Nelson's, was at Savannah, nine miles down the river, and on its other bank, but the rear of that army stretched off for thirty miles beyond.

Johnston marches

The Confederate generals intended to fall by surprise on Grant's army, encamped thus at Pittsfrom Corinth. burg Landing, before Buell should have joined it. Accordingly, on the 3d of April, their available strength being about 40,000, they commenced their march. The dreadful condition of the roads, and a rainstorm which fell on the afternoon of the 5th, delayed the proposed attack. That night they had advanced within




three quarters of a mile of the national pickets. No fires were allowed, though the air was cheerless and cold. Hardee's corps was in front; Bragg's in a second line behind; Polk's corps formed the third, with Breckenridge's division on its right rear.

On Friday, April 4th, an infantry picket belonging to Colonel Buckland's brigade having been captured, Sherman had taken that brigade and some cavalry, and driven back the Confederate cavalry six miles from the front of the camps. On the evening of that day several cannon were fired and plainly heard by the whole army. Grant was at this time at Sherman's lines. On coming back, his horse slipped over a log and lamed him. On the same day, Lewis Wallace reported eight regiments of infantry and 1200 cavalry at Purdy, and an equal force at Bethel. Grant gave the necessary orders to Lewis Wallace in case they should attack him.

The Confederate attack was therefore not unexpected, and, properly speaking, there was no surprise. Prentiss had doubled his grand guards the night before, and had pickets out one and a half miles. Sherman ordered his troops to breakfast early, and got them at once into line. Grant was perfectly aware of what had been going on. He was in doubt, however, from what direction the blow would be delivered: whether the Confederates would attack his main camp, or cross over Snake Creek to the north and west of him, falling on Lewis Wallace's division so as to force it back, and make a lodgment on the Tennessee below, compelling Grant either to attack them and drive them away, or to cross over to the east bank of the Tennessee and give up his boats. It was better for him to risk a battle on the ground on which he stood. For the Confederates, the attack on Wallace would have been the proper movement.

For want of engineer officers, Beauregard had been un

Grant expects an attack.



able to acquire correct information of the terrain of the battle-field. The Richmond authorities had become alienated from him. On this, as on other points, they either conceded his demands reluctantly or were indisposed to adopt his recommendations.


As soon as it was dawn on Sunday, April 6th, Hardee's The battle of corps passed silently across the ravine of the pebbly Lick Creek, and through the short distance separating it from the outlying divisions of Grant. The fallen leaves, soaked with rain and deprived of their crispness, emitted no rustling sound under the footsteps of the men. Grant's outposts were driven in.. Out of a cloud of sulphury smoke with which the woods were instantly filled came the yell of charging regiments, shells crashing against the trees, and the whir of glancing bullets. It was a summons to the battle of Shiloh.

Grant had received a request from Buell to wait for him at Savannah, that they might have an interview. Ac cordingly, he was at that place at breakfast when the first guns were heard. His horse was standing ready saddled. He perceived at once that a serious attack was being made. Leaving a letter for Buell, he ordered Nelson to hurry up, and took a steam-boat for Pittsburg. On his way he stopped at Crump's Landing, giving directions to Lewis Wallace to follow at once-or, if the cannonading they heard should prove to be a feint, and the real attack was about to be made on him, to defend himself to the utmost, telling him that he should have re-enforcements as quickly as possible.

Grant reached the field of Shiloh at eight o'clock. He saw that he had to deal with the combined Confederate armies, and that he must fight without Buell. At this moment his entire available force was 33,000. Lewis Wallace had 5000 more. Beauregard's force was 40,355.

Hardee's centre and left had fallen upon Sherman,


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Resistance of

his right upon Prentiss, who resisted as best he could.
Bragg's corps, which had been stationed immediately be-
hind Hardee's, now came up, re-enforcing wherever was
necessary the thinned attacking line. The steadiness of
Sherman threw the weight on Prentiss, the assailants
Early successes of Wedging their way between the two. Be-
the Confederates. fore nine o'clock they had forced Prentiss
from his ground and captured and plundered his camp.
He himself was separated from his division. It fell into
confusion. Of his defeated troops many had no car-
tridges. They had been organized only eleven days.
Sherman, regarding his position as covering the roads,
checked the enemy long enough to enable
Sherman. the rest of the army to prepare for battle.
McClernand, who was in his rear, had sent three regi
ments and three batteries to strengthen his left. To the
same point Hurlbut had sent four regiments. If deter-
mination and energy could have saved the line, Sherman
would have held his ground: he personally attended to
the details of the moment, directed the fire of his batter-
ies, and infused his own spirit into his men.
But grad-
ually the Confederates worked their way through the in-
terval between him and Prentiss, though suffering dread-
fully in so doing. They had brought up re-enforcements
from their third or Polk's line, and at length were turn-
ing Sherman's left. A part of his division at that point
had broken and fled to the rear. Hereupon he swung
on his right as on a pivot, and came round at a right
angle. His right projected forward, holding so tenacious-
ly that the Confederates could not get round it. It was
now ten o'clock. They had seized two of his batteries
and had captured his camp.

Here he made a firm resistance, and it was not until between two and four o'clock in the afternoon that, with McClernand, who had also been forced from his

camp and

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