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GRANT'S ARMY AT PITTSBURG LANDING. 59 contempt for the power or the prowess | pickets were scarcely a musket-shot of their enemy; since our regiments, from the tents of our foremost regias they arrived, were mainly de- ments; some of which, it was asserted, barked at Pittsburg Landing, on the had not even been provided with side of the Tennessee nearest to and ammunition, though it was known within easy striking distance of the that the woods, scarcely a mile away, Rebel headquarters at Corinth. One had suddenly been found swarming of the six divisions, under Gen. Lew. with Rebel scouts and sharp-shooters Wallace, was encamped nearly op- in such strength as to forbid observaposite Savannah; the other five were tion on our part.56 Low but ominous thrown out in a semicircle southward whispers and meaning glances of exof Pittsburg Landing, with a front ultation among the Rebel civilians like a Methodist camp-meeting, strag- in our rear had already given indigling from Lick creek on the south cations that a blow was about to be or left, to Snake creek on the north struck; and alarmed Unionists had or right, a distance of some three or sought the tents of our Generals with four miles. Gen. Prentiss's division monitions of danger, which were rewas encamped across the direct road ceived with sneering intimations that to Corinth, with Gen. McClernand's every one should stick to his trade. behind his right, and Gen. Sherman's Gen. Grant was at Savannah, superstill further to the right, with Shiloh intending the reception of supplies. church in his front, on a road lead- Such was the condition of our forces ing also, but more circuitously, to on Saturday evening, April 5th. Corinth. Gen. Hurlbut’s division Albert Sidney Johnston was problay in the rear of Gen. Prentiss. ably the ablest commander at any Gen. Smith's division, commanded, time engaged in the Rebel service. because of Smith's sickness, by Gen. He had braved unpopularity and reW. H. L. Wallace, was on the left of proach from the herd of chimneyand behind McClernand, with its corner critics who supposed it the right near Pittsburg Landing and its duty of a General to run his head front somewhat protected by the against every stone-wall within reach, ravines of two rivulets running into by refusing to fight losing battles for Snake creek.
Bowling Green and Nashville, and had Though the vicinity of the enemy thus brought off his army intact and was notorious, not an intrenchment undemoralized; retreating across the nor defense of any kind, not even an Tennessee and into a region at once abatis, here so easily made, covered undevastated and unappalled by war, and protected our front; no recon- full of resources, wherein devotion noitering parties were thrown for- to the Union had been utterly supward to watch for and report an ad-pressed, if not eradicated, and whence, vance of the enemy; and even the by a net-work of railroads and telegraphs, he communicated easily with masked by cavalry, he confidently Richmond, and with every portion of expected to attack in full force on the Cotton States. The recent evac- the morning of the 5th; but a heavy uation of Columbus by Polk was rain on the 4th so deepened the mire probably ordered by him, in obedi- of the narrow, wretched roads, that ence to his policy of concentrating his army was by that time but fairly around Corinth the greatest possible concentrated at Monterey, thence force, with intent to rush upon and moving with the utmost caution unoverwhelm the Union army, so care til within three and a half miles of lessly encamped just before him on our pickets, where, unable to advance the hither bank of the Tennessee. farther without braving discovery, he Having a spy in nearly every dwell- halted for the night. Here, with ing in southern Tennessee, he was double guards along his front, indoubtless aware that the command structed to shoot any man who, upon of that army had just been turned whatever pretext, should attempt to over by Gen. C. F. Smith, an expe-pass, a council of war was held at 8 rienced and capable soldier, to Gen. P. M., and every preparation made for Grant, so recently from civil life ; a stealthy and desperate assault at and he had no doubt of his ability to daybreak; while the soldiers, forbidaccomplish its destruction. Calling den to make fires, sank on the cold, urgently upon the Governors of Ten- damp ground, under the open sky, nessee, Mississippi, and Louisiana, and shivered through a part of the for all the troops they could spare night. Each Colonel had orders to or raise, and being strongly rëen- have his regiment under arms and forced by Gen. Braxton Bragg, with ready to move by 3 A. M. a drilled corps from Mobile and Pen- At early dawn, the advance was sacola," he had, by the 1st of April, resumed in line of battle: Maj.-Gen. collected an army of about 50,000.57 Hardee, with the 3d corps, in front, Moving silently out from Corinth, in with the 2d, and strongest, under light marching order and without Gen. Bragg, 500 yards behind him; tents, at 3 A. M., on the 3d, the ad- the 1st, under Gen. Polk, half a mile vance of his infantry preceded and in the rear of this, with the reserve,
55 " Agate” (Whitelaw Reid), of the Cincin- | out throwing up a single breastwork or preparnati Gazette, in his report of the battle, says : ing a single protection for a battery, and with
the brigades of one division [Sherman's "We had lain three weeks at Pittsburg Land- stretched from extreme.right to extreme left of ing, within 20 miles of the Rebels, that were our line, while four other divisions had been likely to attack us in superior numbers, with- | crowded in between, as they arrived."
a drilled corne Braxton Bra
66 About this time abandoned by the Rebels. 58 " An Impressed New-Yorker," who was
then serving on Beauregard's staff, in his " Thir57 Beauregard, in his field return of the 'Ar
teen Months in the Rebel Army," says: my of the Mississippi,' before and after the bat
“While it is no part of my duty, in this narratle of Shiloh, makes his effective total, before tive, to criticise military movements, and espebattle, 40,355 men, of whom 4,382 were cavalry, cially those of the Union forces, I may state that which he says was useless and could not oper the total absence of cavalry pickets from Gen. ate at all, the battle-field being so thickly wood
Grant's army was a matter of perfect amazement ed. But this return includes none of his troops
to the Rebel officers. There were absolutely
| none on Grant's left, where Gen. Breckinridge's left to guard his base at Corinth, or his trains in
division was meeting him; so that we were able the rear of the battle-field, and conceals the fact to come up within hearing of their drums enthat his cavalry were usefully employed in guard- tirely unperceived. The Southern Generals aling, on their way to Corinth, his prisoners as ways kept cavalry pickets out for miles, even well as his wounded. Beside, when he comes
when no enemy was supposed to be within a
day's march of them. The infantry pickets of to sum up his losses, he states the loss of his
Grant's forces were not above three-fourths of a cavalry at 301--rather inexplicable, if that cay mile from his advance camps, and they were too alry was useless and unemployed.
few to make any resistance."
under Gen. John C. Breckinridge, I still alive, when we recovered those closely following. This order, how- tents next evening. ever, was soon sacrificed to the exi- Thus was Prentiss's division routed gencies of the contest.
before it had time to form in line of Rumors of a Rebel advance, and battle; and Hildebrand's brigade, the capture of some of our officers on Sherman's right, was demolished thereby, had reached our camps on with equal expedition, in spite of Friday ;69 and an Ohio brigade had Sherman's best exertions. His efbeen sent out to reconnoiter, which forts and influence, backed by the had a brush with a smaller Rebel most reckless self-exposure, held his force, and pushed it back to a battery remaining brigades, under Buckland which was found in position near our and McDowell, steady for a time; lines. Gen. Lew. Wallace’s division but these were soon compelled to was thereupon ordered out, and ad- fall back behind the next ravine, vanced to Adamsville, on the road to leaving their camps, with all their Purdy; but, meeting no opponent, tents and tent equipage, to the enemy. after passing a night in drenching McClernand's division, comprising rain, it returned to its camp. On 10 regiments and 4 batteries, had Saturday, there was firing along our been astonished with the rest, but front, which ought to have incited not yet directly assailed. Moving inquiry, if not alarm, but did not. up, at 7 A, M., to the support of Sher
As day broke, our pickets in man, it found his division mostly Prentiss's front came rushing into gone or going ; its best officers killed camp, barely in advance of the pursu- or wounded, its batteries either caping Rebels, whose shells were tearing tured or badly cut up. Buckland's through our tents a moment after- brigade, which had gone after Hildeward. Some of our men were dress- brand's, forming our extreme right ing; others washing or cooking; a on the front, had fallen back to avoid few eating their breakfasts; many, certain destruction. To all practical especially officers, had not yet risen. intents, and in spite of its leader's The next instant, magnificent lines desperate and untiring exertions, of battle poured out of the woods in Sherman's division was out of the front of our camps, and at double- fight by 8 o'clock that ominous mornquick rushed in upon our bewildered, ing. It seemed a miracle that their half-dressed, and not yet half-formed commander, always in the hottest of men, firing deadly volleys at close the Rebel fire, escaped with a single range, then springing upon the help-musket-ball through his hand. less, coatless, musketless mob with Prentiss formed his division as the bayonet. Some fell as they ran; quickly as possible, and not far in others as they emerged from their the rear of their camps, where his tents, or as they strove to buckle on men faced to the front and fought their accouterments; some tried to stubbornly for a time; but they had surrender; but the Rebels could not been strangely drawn up in an open stop then to take prisoners. Some field, leaving to the enemy the cover of these were found, though disabled, of a dense scrub-oak thicket in our 59 April 4.
60 On Sunday, April 6.
Explanations. Å Positions of Maj.-Gen. Grant's forces on the morning 10 Positions of Grant and Buell on the morning of of April 6th,
D Positions of Grant and Buell on the evening of B Positions of Grant, with the divisions of Nelson and
E Reserve Artillery.
front, whence they could pour volley portion of his command; and by 10 after volley in comparative security. o'clock it had been virtually demolSoon, our men were flanked on either ished. Prentiss himself, with three side, and fell back, perceiving that regiments, held an unassailed posithey were squandering their lives to tion until, having long since become no purpose. Thus the division lost completely surrounded, he was finally all coherence and efficiency; its lead- obliged to surrender ;62 when over er became separated from a large 2,000 of our men in one body were
61 This did not occur till about 4 P. M.; but he line of battle, the Rebels having flanked and had long before ceased to form a part of our / passed on beyond him.
hurried to the Rebel rear as prisoners, grape, and the next rushed across the and soon started on the road to creek and began pouring in sharp volCorinth.
leys of musketry, while the Rebel batMcClernand for a while stood firm; teries, firing over the heads of their but the defection of Sherman's divi- infantry, soon made our position unsion on one side, and Prentiss's on tenable. Stuart fell back to the next the other, left the Rebels free to ridge; and, finding the Rebels who huri themselves against him in tre- had followed Prentiss beginning to mendous force. Two green regi- come in on his right, sent to Gen. ments, the 15th and 16th Iowa, which W.H.L.Wallace for assistance. Gen. he now brought to the front under McArthur's brigade was promptly a heavy fire, gave way at once in dispatched to Stuart's support; but, disorder. Changing his front to bearing too much to the right, was meet the Rebel onset, he faced along soon sharply engaged with the purthe Corinth road and planted his suers of Prentiss. Falling back to a batteries to command it; so that the good position, he held it, though Rebels were for a time foiled in their wounded, until Wallace came to his efforts to advance; and an effort to aid; but Stuart, receiving no direct come in on his rear, over ground support, was driven back from one abandoned by Sherman's division, was ridge to another, until by noon, himhandsomely repulsed, with heavy mu- self wounded, several of his officers tual loss, by Dresser's rifled battery. fallen, and his command sadly shat
But one division could not sustain tered, he fell in behind McArthur to the weight of more than half the rëorganize. And thus, of our six diRebel army, admirably handled, and visions, three had been thoroughly constantly advancing fresh regiments routed before mid-day. to replace those already blown or Gen. Grant had arrived on the battoo badly cut up. After repulsing tle-field about 8 A. M.; but, early as several determined attacks, some- was the hour, his army was already times advancing a little, but gener- beaten. As this, however, is a circumally giving ground, and losing three stance of which he is not easily conColonels of the line and three officers vinced, it did not seem to make as of his staff, with at least half the vivid an impression on him as on effective force of his batteries, Mc- others. Sending word to Lew. WalClernand, by 11 A. M., found himself lace to hasten up with his division pushed back, with Hurlbut's fresh on our right, he devoted his personal division on his left, and the debris attention to reforming his shattered of Sherman's on his right.
brigades, rëestablishing his silenced Meantime, a brigade of Sherman's batteries, and forming new lines of division, under Col. David Stuart, defense to replace those so suddenly which had been oddly posted on our demolished. Hurlbut's and W. H. L. extreme left, holding what was known Wallace's divisions were still intact; as the Hamburg road, had been sud-while of the others the better but not denly shelled from the opposite bluffs the larger part of those not already of Lick creek, by a force which the disabled fell into line on their flanks, next instant peppered them with 1 or just behind them.