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THE BATTLE OF SHILOH.
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. Accordingly, 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,
his right upon Prentiss, who resisted as best he could. Bragg's corps, which had been stationed immediately behind 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. Bethe 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 cartridges. 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 regiments 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 batteries, and infused his own spirit into his men. But gradually the Confederates worked their way through the interval between him and Prentiss, though suffering dreadfully in so doing. They had brought up re-enforcements from their third or Polk's line, and at length were turning 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
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
RESISTANCE OF SHERMAN.
lost many of his guns, he moved back slowly and deliberately to a better position in front of and covering the bridge across Snake Creek, over which they were momentarily 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."
GRANT'S LINE FORCED BACK.
At ten o'clock the battle was fiercest. It went on, 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.
Grant's army had now been forced into a space of not more than 400 acres on the very verge of the river. He was impatiently expecting to hear Lewis Wallace's guns on the Confederate flank. He dispatched one messenger after another
Grant's army pushed to the verge of the river.
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.
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.
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
THE FINAL CONFEDERATE CHARGE.
up hastily some slight earthworks, in the form of a half moon, on the brow of his side of the ravine; and General Webster, his chief of staff, by adding to several 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.
Grant masses his artillery.
Meantime the two gun-boats, Tyler and Lexington, had 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 obliquely 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 vol leys of musketry. The ravine had become a hell of hu Grant 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
The gun-boats come into action.