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GRANT'S LINE FORCED BACK.

294

[SECT. X.

lost many of his
guns, he moved back slowly and delib-
erately to a better position in front of and covering the
bridge across Snake Creek, over which they were mo
mentarily expecting that Lewis Wallace would come.

It was in reference to this that General Grant wrote to the War Department: "Sherman held with raw troops the key-point of the Landing. It is no disparagement to any other officer to say that I do not believe there was another division commander on the field who had the skill and enterprise to have done it. To his individual efforts I am indebted for the success of the battle."

It went on,

At ten o'clock the battle was fiercest. however, with little intermission, until two. At the former hour Grant was at Sherman's front. Finding that for such a desperate contest the supply of cartridges would be insufficient, he had organized a train of ammunition wagons from the Landing to that point. With dif ficulty it forced its way through the narrow road filled with fugitives. Meantime Sherman, though wounded, was holding his ground tenaciously on the right. On the left Stewart's brigade was in the utmost danger, until The national line W. H. L. Wallace dispatched McArthur to his aid. Stewart was then able securely to fall back. His camp was taken. The Confederates were now ready to assail Hurlbut, and push him into the river. He, however, retired from the open ground on which he had been standing to the woods in his rear. His camp was captured, but then being joined by W. H. L. Wallace, they, from ten o'clock to three, resisted a succession of desperate charges. In one of these Wallace was killed.

forced back.

Grant's army had now been forced into a space of not more than 400 acres on the very verge of Grant's army push- the river. He was impatiently expecting to

ed to the verge of the river.

hear Lewis Wallace's guns on the Confederate flank. He dispatched one messenger after another

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CHAP. L.]

295

to hasten that general up to the critical point, but still he waited in vain. It subsequently appeared that WalLewis Wallace fails lace had obeyed the first orders given to him to join the right of the army, but he had not been told that it had fallen back. He consumed in a fruitless march all the momentous afternoon.

to come up.

DEATH OF JOHNSTON.

Apparently

army.

In Grant's army all seemed to be hopeless. Five camps had been carried, many prisoners taken, and less state of Grant's many guns lost. Regiments, breaking up into individuals, had been driven in confusion toward the Landing. There was the impassable river. Thousands of fugitives were fleeing through the woods down the bank. It was a rout of horses, and wagons, and demoralized men.

cess.

But, if Grant's army was in confusion through its defeat, the Confederate army was scarcely less so by its suc Its organization had been broken up by the wooded nature of the ground, and by the course that had been followed of detaching re-enforcements indiscriminately from its corps or divisions wherever they were required at the moment. Nevertheless, about two o'clock, the Confederates had strong hopes that they would be able to turn the national left and seize the Landing. Their general-in-chief, Johnston, was vigorously pushing forward Death of General that operation, when he was struck by a rifle Johnston. ball, and quickly bled to death-a very severe misfortune to them. The battle at once lulled. In the confusion, it was some time before Beauregard could be found, and almost two hours elapsed before he could get his army well in hand. The pressure on the national left then increased. There was no time to lose, for night and Buell were coming.

Before the Confederates could reach the Landing they must cross a deep ravine, impassable for artillery or cav alry, and very difficult for infantry. Grant had thrown

296

THE FINAL CONFEDERATE CHARGE.

[SECT. X.

up hastily some slight earthworks, in the form of a half moon, on the brow of his side of the ravine; and General Grant masses his Webster, his chief of staff, by adding to sev artillery. eral siege-guns which were parked there the fragments of many light batteries, secured a semicircular defense of about fifty cannon. It reached nearly round to the Corinth Road. But with so much difficulty were artillerists obtained, that the services of the surgeon of the First Missouri Artillery were accepted, and he aided efficiently in working the guns. The Confederate assault was made by Chalmers, Withers, Cheatham, Ruggles, Anderson, Stuart, Pond, and Stevens.

into action.

Meantime the two gun-boats, Tyler and Lexington, had The gun-boats come Come round toward the mouth of the ravine in such a position as to be able to reach the advancing Confederates with their eight-inch shells. From the Confederate bank of the ravine, the view ob liquely across the Tennessee River is very beautiful. The. bank gently descends as a grassy lawn dotted with fine old red oaks, and presenting a park-like appearance—a tranquil landscape on the verge of a stormy battle-field.

One grand effort more, and the Confederates might perThe final charges of haps reach the Landing. Down the ravine the Confederates. they rushed; its bottom was full of water. They strove to get across and force their way up the opposite slippery side. But the blaze of Webster's guns was in their front, the Lexington and Tyler were furiously shelling their flank, and national troops, fast rallying, were pouring forth from their rifles into the battlecloud and din below a sheet of fire. The Confederates melted away under the roar of the cannon and the volleys of musketry. The ravine had become a hell of huGrant successfully man agony and passion, hidden in smoke, and filling with dead. It was a valley of the shadow of death. Few gained a foothold on the op

resists

CHAP. L.] PREPARATIONS FOR RENEWING THE BATTLE.

297

posite bank, and that only for a moment. The crisis was soon past; the onset of the Confederates was over. They gave up the struggle, and Grant was left master of the ground.

Grant for a

tle.

The firing had hardly ceased when Grant went across to Sherman, and had an interview with him. renewal of the bat- They agreed in opinion that the Confeder ate army was exhausted. Grant gave Sherman orders to be ready to attack it early in the morning, informing him that Lewis Wallace was near at hand, and would cross the bridge and take post on his right; that Buell's troops were arriving, and would get over the river during the night, and come up on the general left. Grant then visited every division commander, giving to each special directions. He slept on the ground, with his head against the stump of a tree, though it was raining heavily.

tion of the armies.

man,

Buell, who, with his staff, soon afterward came on the Exhausted condi- field, and had also an interview with Sherhad been unfavorably impressed by the sight of the broken troops near the Landing; but he found that, after all the losses, there must be nearly 20,000 still left for battle, and that the Confederates had probably not more than 25,000. They had, in fact, suffered quite as much as Grant's army. Bragg says that they were very much shattered: "In a dark, stormy night, the commanders found it impossible to find and assemble their troops, each body or fragment bivouacking where the night overtook them." Buell made himself acquainted with the battle-ground by the aid of a manuscript map lent him by Sherman.

Night came, and brought with it new horrors. The The gun-boats set gun-boats kept up an incessant cannonad. the woods on fire. ing; their shells set the woods on fire. Here the damp leaves were smouldering; there, dried by the

298

[SECT. X.

heat, they and the underbrush were bursting into flame. The fire crept up the bark of old trees. Wounded men, both those in blue and those in gray, were vainly trying to escape a common torment. Happily, however, the heavy rain that fell extinguished the flames.

BEAUREGARD REPORTS HIS SUCCESS.

Beauregard thus reports his position on Sunday night: "At 6 o'clock P.M. we were in possession of all his encampments between Owl and Lick Creeks but one. Nearly all of his field artillery, about thirty flags, colors, and standards, over three thousand prisoners, including a division commander (General Prentiss) and several brigade commanders, thousands of smallarms, an immense supply of subsistence, forage, and munitions of war, and a large amount of means of transporta tion-all the substantial fruits of a complete victorysuch, indeed, as rarely have followed the most successful battles; for never was an army so well provided as that of our enemy.

Beauregard's report of his successes.

"The remnant of his army had been driven in utter disorder to the immediate vicinity of Pittsburg, under the shelter of the heavy guns of his iron-clad gun-boats, and we remained undisputed masters of his well-selected, admirably provided cantonments, after over twelve hours of obstinate conflict with his forces, who had been beaten from them and the contiguous covert, but only by a sus tained onset of all the means we could bring into ac tion."

arrived.

It has been sometimes said that the arrival of Buell Buell had not yet saved Grant's army. But it was not so. Grant, though severely pressed, was not beaten. General Nelson, with Buell's advance, did not reach the point on the Tennessee opposite the Landing until 5 P.M.; it was 63 P.M. before Ammen's brigade was The Thirty-sixth Indiana, Colonel Grose, support

over.

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