Puslapio vaizdai

the junction of the Memphis and next day, proceeded some forty miles Charleston, and the Mobile and Ohio up the river to recon oitre, going as far Railroads, the conquest of Memphis as Eastport, and finding the rebels enwould be greatly facilitated, and gaged in erecting fortifications wherever another valuable point on the Mis- they could.

sissippi River secured. A bold step it The enemy's line of defence had for was, indeed, from Bowling Green, in its base the Memphis and Charleston Kentucky, to the northern boundaries Railroad, the preservation of which of Mississippi and Alabama. Yet it was absolutely necessary to enable the was accomplished, and in the course of rebels to hold Northern Mississippi, a month, Tennessee being firmly held by Alabama, and Georgia. East of Corinth the Union army, our energetic com- were several important points on this manders in the West were advancing road, as Chattanooga, Huntsville, Tusagainst the new lines of the enemy's de- cumbia, Florence, etc.; westwardly, the fence in the states bordering on the road runs in a direct line to Memphis, Gulf. ninety-three miles distant. The Union Beauregard, aware of the momentous line was the Tennessee River, extending issue at stake, concentrated all his from Paducah in Kentucky, to Eastport available forces at and around Corinth, in Mississippi. The gun boats were with Gens. A. S. Johnston, Polk, Bragg kept moving up and down the river to and Hardee to aid and support his prevent the erection of batteries by the plans, and with an army more than rebels, and were of special service to 40,000 in number, in the highest state Grant's plans. of efficiency, to resist the progress of By the middle of March, all of the our advancing host. It was not un- troops under Grant had arrived at natural that he should expect to be able Savannah, when an advance was made to rout the Union army at Pittsburg seven miles to Pittsburg Landing. Landing before it could be reinforced Wallace's division landed on the left by Buell. Grant, who had in charge bank of the river, marched to Purdy, the important movement now on foot, about fifteen miles to the west, and had also a number of distinguished of- destroyed the railroad bridge and part ficers in his command, as W. T. Sher- of the railroad from Humboldt to Corman, McClernand, C. F. Smith, Wal- inth, cutting off a train laden with lace, etc.; his army, too, numbering rebel troops. On the night of the 16th, about 30,000, was as brave a body of an expedition started for the purpose troops as could be desired, when work of intercepting communication on the was to be done which required steadiness, Memphis and Charleston Railroad. and the higher soldierly qualities. On They met the enemy's cavalry in the the 11th of March, the transport steam- woods, and a sharp skirmish ensued; ers began to arrive at Savannah on the after which our mer returned to PittsTennessee River, with the advance divi- burg Landing. sion of the army. The gun boats, the

Buell, not being able to advance into

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Northern Alabama, in columns, as he proposed, was ordered to join Grant and co-operate with him in attacking and driving Beauregard out of Corinth. Buell left Nashville on the 28th of March, and his army took the road overland from Columbia to Savannah, some eighty miles distant. By the junction of his forces with those of Grant there would be an army of about 100,000 men, ready to crush any resistance the rebel leaders might be able to offer.

Beauregard, as we have intimated, felt the necessity of striking a blow before Buell's arrival. He did every thing he could to rouse the spirit of his troops; as did also Johnston, who took command of the entire force at Corinth, numbering between 40,000 and 45,000 men. Some delays occurred;

1862. but, early in April, hearing, as he phrases it," from a reliable quarter," that Buell was near at hand, it was resolved to hurry forward the movement against Grant. Johnston issued an animated address to the troops, filled with the usual incentives to action, and urging them to "march to a decisive victory over agrarian mercenaries, sent to subjugate and despoil them of their liber ties, property and honor." The troops were arranged in three corps, under Polk, Bragg and Hardee, Beauregard being second in command.


and it was not till the next morning, Sunday, April 6th, that the rebel army began the assault. The five divisions of Grant's forces, numbering between 30 and 40,000 men, were posted on the left bank of the Tennessee, in a semicircular outline around Pittsburg Landing, waiting, with some anxiety, for Buell's arrival.

Before daylight, the pickets were driven in, and the rebel columns pressed forward upon our men. Sherman, with his widely extended brigade in the front, bore the brunt of the attack. Advised of the enemy's approach by their assault upon his advanced guard, he ordered under arms all his division, and sent word to McClernand, asking him to support the left; to Prentiss, giving him notice that the enemy was in force on the front, and to Hurlbut asking him to support Prentiss. The four brigades of Sherman's division were stationed to the right and left of Shiloh Church, which he regarded as the centre of his position. Two batteries of artillery were posted, one at Shiloh, the other on a bridge to the left, and some cavalry and infantry were placed in a large open field to the left and rear of the church.

Hour after hour the raging contest went forward. The rebels pressed heavily upon the Union left, and pushed it back. Soon the same result happened to the front and right. In some

Pittsburg Landing is about eighteen miles from Corinth, and it was expect-cases, our troops became panic-stricken, ed by Johnston and Beauregard that and brought discredit upon their name they would be able to reach the Union and position; but, as a whole, they lines and make an attack early on April fought stubbornly, and resisted the 5th; but the badness of the roads enemy's assaults with all their might. hindered their advance considerably, Yet, they were not able to withstand


the force of the rebel attack. Prentiss, and 2,000 of his men, were made prisoners; the camps of every division except Smith's, commanded by Wallace, were occupied by the rebels; nearly half the field artillery was lost; and our whole force was pressed back upon the ravine near the Landing, where, by oue final rush, the enemy hoped to push them into the river and compel them to surrender.*

This was in the latter part of the afternoon, and had it not been for the opportune aid afforded by the gun boats, which brought their fire to bear upon the rebel batteries, and also for the arrival of the advance of Buell's army, late in the day, it is almost certain that Grant would have been utter ly routed. As it was, however, night came on; the battle ceased; the rebels were worn down with fatigue; and Grant and Buell, with new and fresh forces, prepared for the morrow. Having the ability now, they determined to reverse the order of the day previous, and become the attacking instead of the attacked army.

Very early on the morning of the 7th of April, our forces were in motion. The men, reinspirited by new troops being brought into the field, resolved to redeem, on Monday, the losses of the day before. The rebels, though, as


Beauregard says, "not in condition to cope with an equal force of fresh troops, armed and equipped like our adversary, in the immediate possession of his depots, and sheltered by such an auxiliary as the enemy's gun boats," still made a determined resistance. They fought bravely and steadily throughout the earlier part of the day. The victory, however, could not long remain in doubt; most of the camps were recovered; the artillery again fell into our hands; and the insurgent leaders gave up the contest. Early in the afternoon, they began to retire, and by four o'clock, they were driven from the field. The pursuit was kept up until night came on, when our men returned to camp.

In this hotly contested battle of Shiloh, or Pittsburg Landing, he slaughter on both sides was fearful. The rebel General Johnston, with a number of other officers, were killed; Beauregard gave as their total loss, 1,728 killed, 8,012 wounded, 959 missing; total, 10,699. On our part, the losses were: Gen. Wallace mortally wounded, besides a number of other officers killed and wounded, 1,614 killed, 7,721 wounded, 3,963 missing; total, 13,508. The rebels left between 2,000 and 3,000 dead on the field when they retreated; the bodies were buried, by order of Grant, at the same time that our own dead were consigned to their

* Beauregard, in his report, sharply censures a portion of his army for their unworthy conduct, when the Union camps fell into their hands: "some officers, non-graves. commissioned officers, and men, abandoned their colors early in the first day, to pillage the captured encampments; others retired shamefully from the field, on both days, while the thunder of cannon, and the roar and rattle of musketry told them that their brothers

were being slaughtered by the fresh legions of the enemy."

The war department issued a bulletin, April 9th, highly praising "Generals Grant and Buell and their forces, for the glorious repulse of Beauregard at Pittsburg, in Tennessee;" and the pre

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