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with the attack on the place, which he entered, surprising the enemy and driving them out in confusion, and completely disabling the mills. O113 week later he commanded an expedition to Allsborough Ala., for the purpose of capturing a large amount of cotton from the enemy. Starting from Iuka at midnight, driving the enemy before him, he seized and loaded and brought away with him $80,000 worth of cotton, and returned to Iuka in less than twenty hours, having marched thirty-six miles.
On the 18th of August, Col. Post's brigade commenced to cross the Tennessee River at Eastport, en route to assist in expelling Bragg from Tennessee and Kentucky, and from that time he became identified with the Army of the Ohio and of the Cumberland. At Louisville, on the 29th of September, a new brigade was organized for Col. Post consisting of the 22d Indiana infantry, the 59th, 4th, and 5th Illinois infantry and the 5th Wisconsin battery, which became the 1st Brigade, 1st Division, 20th Army Corps, or the right brigade of the entire army.
During thirteen months Col. Post commanded the brigade which Major-General Rosecrans, the Department Commander, especially referred to as "distinguished for drill and discipline."
The separation of the regiments in the re-organization which succeeded the Chickamauga campaign, was the occasion for issuing the following order:
"head-quarters 1st Brig., 1st Div., 20th Army Corps,? "Chattanooga, October 16, 1863. J
"General Orders, JVb. 51.
"In the re-organization of the army, this brigade will lose its identity, and bo transferred to another division and corps.
"Organized on the banks of the Ohio more than a year ago, it has traversed Kentucky and Tennessee, scaled the mountains of Northern Alabama and Georgia, and now terminates its existence on the south bank of the Tennessee. The year during which it has remained intact will ever be remembered as that in which the gallant armies of the "West rolled back the advancing hosts of rebellion, and extinguished the Confederacy in the valley of the Mississippi.
"In accomplishing this glorious achievement, you—soldiers of the 1st Brigadehave performed no mean part. On the laborious march you have been patient and energetic, and in the battle and skirmish second to none in stubborn valor and success. In one year you lost upon the battle-field eight hundred and fifty heroic comrades.
COLONEL POST. 239
"Baptized in blood at Perryville, this brigade led the army in pursuit of the retreating foe, and again attacks him at Lancaster, whence he fled from Kentucky. In the mid-winter campaign it opened the battle at Stone River by attacking and driving the enemy from Nolensville, and on the memorable 81st of December, together with the rest of the 20th Army Corps, valiantly met the attack of the concentrated opposing army. At Liberty Gap and in the late battle of Chickamauga, it performed well the part assigned it, and finishes its honorable career weaker in numbers, but strong in the confidence and discipline of invincible veterans.
"For the able and hearty co-operation its commander has received from the officers, and for the cheerful support yielded by its gallant men, he returns his sincere thanks. No petty jealousies, no intrigue or demoralizing influences have ever disgraced and paralyzed our efforts for the country's cause; and the commands unites in the just pride which all feel in the history of, and in their connection with, the 1st Brigade, 1st Division, 20th Army Corps.
"P. Sidney Post, "Colonel Commanding Brigade."
On the 12th day of January, 1864, the 59th regiment were remustered as veterans, and are marshaled among the hosts who "strike till the last armed foe expires."
The United States numbers among its officers few as active, resolute and adventurous as Col. P. Sidney Post, and the Division Commander, under whom he served for more than two years, in recommending him for promotion, recounted his services and said: "In all these campaigns and battles, Col. Post has shown himself a commander of rare qualifications and extraordinary energy, and one of the best tacticians of the army. The evidence of his skill was exhibited whenever his brigade maneuvered, whether on drill or on the battle-field."
General Statements—Illinois Interest In The Battle—The New Rebel Line^Union Line—Force At Corinth—Galaxy Op Generals—Change Of Plan—SaVannah—Pittsburg Landing—The Fight Begun—Disposition Op Our ForcesGeneral Johnston's Address—Rebel Corps—Skirmish Op April 2nd—Rebel DeSign—Rebel Order Op Battle—Sunday At Half-past Five—Rebel Mistake— Terrible Charge—Prentiss' And Sherman's Divisions—Mcclernand's WalLace's—Grant As To A Surprise—Wallace And Hurlbut—Wallace Falls—disAster—A Lull—Lew. Wallace And Buell—Webster's Gems—Another ConFlict—The Enemy Stayed—Sunday Night—Beauregard's Report—Monday Morning—Union Order Op Battle—The Fight Opens—Nelson's Advance—FerRill's Battery—Original Ground Recovered—Battle Ended—Whose The VicTory ?—A Mourning State—Relief—The Governor—Sanitary Stores—Grant's Official Report—Prentiss' Report—Letter From General Sherman.
THE march of Western events leads to Pittsburg Landing, and to the month of April, where was fought a sanguinary general engagement of such magnitude and persistence as to open the eyes of the world. Europe saw, in a new light, the courage and ability of the contestants. The North anew comprehended the stern and colossal character of the work before it, the strength and resources of the revolted States, and their power to equip, subsist and fight great armies. Anew the insurgents found the earnestness, the power, the intelligent zeal of the armies of the United States, and learned that their dream of military superiority in educated officers and warlike habits was a dream from which, though pleasant, there was to be a terrible, gasping, stifling awakening.
In the battle of Shiloh, Illinois had a profound interest. The General in chief command, four division commanders, a large number of brigade commanders and thousands of her gallant sons, not hirelings, not "agrarian mercenaries," but the flower of her young THE SITUATION. 241
men, were there, some in the long lines of infantry, some moving with masses of cavalry, and others beside caisson or field-piece. There were between thirty and forty regiments from this State on the field.
The situation of the opposing forces on the 1st of March was substantially this: The Confederate line of defense having been broken by the Federal successes, a new one had been formed by the Charleston and Memphis Railroad, the preservation of which was deemed a prime necessity to the preservation of Northern Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia. Along this road are Tuscumbia and Florence, at the foot of Muscle Shoals in the Tennessee River and the junction with the Florence and Nashville Railroad; Decatur, near the head of the lower Muscle Shoals; Huntsville and Bellefontaine; Stevenson, important as the junction with the railroad from Nashville through Murfreesboro and Chattanooga, a strong position. All these points are east of Corinth. On the west of Corinth the railroad runs in nearly a straight line to Memphis, ninety-three miles distant, and northwest runs the road to Jackson, almost in the center of West Tennessee.
"The Union line was the Tennessee River, extending from Paducah, Kentucky, to Eastport in Mississippi. The gunboats Lexington and Tyler, by moving up and down the river, prevented the erection of batteries. Above Eastport, at Chickasaw Bluffs, and at some other points, Confederate batteries were placed to command the navigation of the river."
At Corinth was encamped a vast Confederate force with a galaxy of able generals—Albert Sidney Johnston, Beauregard, Bragg, Polk, Pillow, Hardee, Crittenden and others. Corinth, their center, is at the intersection of the Mobile and Ohio and Memphis and Charleston railroads^ in Tishemingo county, Mississippi, forty miles from Grand Junction, fifty-eight from Jackson, Tenn., and about eighteen from Pittsburg, on the Tennessee River.
The original plan, as ordered by Gen. Halleck, contemplated an advance by Buell into Northern Alabama, and accordingly the divisions of Mitchell, Nelson and McCook set out from Nashville the same day by different roads. The new line brought the rebels within the field of Grant's army, made a change in Buell's programme, who was ordered to turn toward Western Tennessee, cross the river, and co-operate with Gen. Grant. This officer's headquarters were established at Savannah, a small town of about two hundred souls, on the Tennessee River, about one hundred and seventy miles above Fort Henry. Though a large number of troops, brought on transports, concentrated here, they were encamped seven miles above at Pittsburg Landing, a narrow ravine, down which the Corinth wagon-road passed to the river, with overhanging bluffs on either side. It is about equally distant from Owl and Snake creeks. Back from the river lay a rolling country, cut into ravines, partly under cultivation, but mostly thickly wooded and covered with underbrush. A mile or two out, the road forks, one branch being the lower and the other the ridge Corinth road. A little further out, a road leading to the left crosses Lick Creek and returns to the river at Hamburgh some miles further up. On the right, two roads lead to Purdy, and another, more lately cut out, crosses Snake Creek and goes to Crump's Landing on the river below.
On the Sabbath morning the fight began, on and between these roads Grant's divisions were posted. Three divisions formed the advance—Sherman's, Prentiss' and McClernand's. Between these and the Landing were the divisions of Hurlbut and C. F. Smith, the gallant commander of the latter being ill, his place was supplied by Gen. W. H. L. Wallace.
The formation of the advance line was as follows: On the extreme left, near the Lick creek crossing, commanded by the bluffs on the other side was Col. D. Shearl's brigade of Sherman's division. The remaining brigades of this division were three or four miles away, on the lower Corinth road, and between that and the Purdy road. Those brigades formed the advance right. To the left and rather in the rear of these brigades was McClernand's division, and between it and Stuart's brigade was Prentiss', thus completing the front line. Lew. Wallace's division was at Crump's Landing. It seems strange that with a strong rebel force known to be within striking distance and meditating attack, that more vigorous defensive preparations were not taken. A few days' work would have covered the approaches with impassable abattis, and constructed breastworks from which the advancing foe could have been swept by artillery.