* See General Floyd's supplemental report in " Confederate Reports of Bat tles," pp. 55-57. See also his letter to General Johnston, of February 12th, ad vising concentration near Cumberland city.

latter course, General Johnston should have left to General Har-dee the evacuation of Bowling Green and the conduct of the re treat of its garrison upon Nashville, and should himself have re paired to Donelson, where so critical a struggle was imminent— nay, certain. Such a step on his part would have harmonized the divided 'counsels of the commanding officers, and undoubtedly have prevented the demoralization of their troops. It would have combined the resources of defence under his own inspiriting in fluence, and history, though not crediting us with a Confederate victory, would have spared us, at least, the humiliation of such an overwhelming defeat. As it was, on the very day of the attack on Fort Donelson—the 13th—the General-in-Chief, without being pressed by Buell, was retreating from the scene of conflict, and had even reached Xashville before evening. The Tennessee and Cumberland were lost. The whole of middle Kentucky and mid dle Tennessee, including Xaslivillc, were given up. And, as a fatal consequence of this great calamity, west Kentucky and west Ten nessee, with Columbus, and with most of the supplies sought to be saved, were also, shortly afterwards, entirely abandoned. About thirteen thousand men, organized and disciplined, were thereby withdrawn from operations in the field ; a force which would have aided us to a complete and easy victory in the battle fought with General Grant two months later, or, rather, which would have en abled us to take the offensive some time earlier; disposing of Gen eral Grant's forces at Pittsbnrg Landing, recovering the Tennes see llivcr, and then, if made strong enough, meeting and fighting Buell, as soon as the crossing of the river could be accomplished. These would have been the immediate results in the field; to say nothing of the indirect consequences from the encouragement and readiness of the people, instead of the anxiety and despondency which fell so heavily upon them.


General Beauregard Telegraphs for Instructions after the Fall of Donelson.— General Johnston's Answer.—Colonel Jordan's Report of the Situation at Columbus.—General Beauregard Calls General Polk to Jackson, Tennessee, for Conference.—Opinion of the Latter as to the Strength of Columbus.— He Concurs, however, in General Beauregard's Views.—Evacuation of Co lumbus Authorized by the War Department.—General Beauregard's De tailed Instructions to that ErTect.—Defects in River Defences at Columbus. —Governor Harris of Tennessee.—General Johnston Retreating towards Stevenson, along the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad.—His Letter of February 18th to the War Department.—Depression of the People.—Gen eral Beauregard Resolves to Replenish the Army.—Makes Use of the Dis cretion given him by General Johnston.—His Plan of Operations.—Be lieves Success Depends upon Offensive Movement on Our Part.—Calls upon the Governors of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Tennessee; and also upon Generals Van Dorn, Bragg, and Lovell, for Immediate As sistance.— Sixty and Ninety Days Troops. — The War Department not Favorable to the Method Proposed, but Finally Gives its Assent.—General Johnston Requested by General Beauregard to Change his Line of Retreat and Turn towards Decatur, so as to Co-operate with him.—General John ston Accedes to his Request.

AFTER receiving, at Corinth, the despatches announcing the fall of Fort Donelson, with the capture of most of its garrison, General Beauregard telegraphed General Johnston to know whether lie had issued any direct orders for the troops in General Folk's dis trict. The following answer, forwarded to Columbus, in antici pation of General Beauregard's arrival there, was received by him on the 17th, at Jackson. It is given in full:

"NASHVILLE, February IGth, 1862. " To General BEAUREGARD :

"Your despatch of IGth received. You must do as your judgment dictates. No orders for your troops have issued from here. Colonel Chalmers is a brigadier-general.

" W. W. MACKALL, A. A. Genl."

Two days afterwards General Johnston himself forwarded this additional telegram:

" NASHVILLE, February 18th, 1862. " To General BEATJREGARD, Jackson, Tennessee :

" You must now act as seems best to you. The separation of our armies is for the present complete.


The day before receiving this last despatch, General Beaure-gard's Adjutant, Colonel Jordan, who, after his visit to the Wai-Department at Richmond, had gone directly to Columbus, re joined him at Jackson, Tennessee. His report concerning General Folk's district was decidedly unfavorable, and confirmed General Beauregard's apprehensions as to the incomplete state of its de fences, lie emphasized the too great development of the lines, and their defective location, characterizing the place as a certain "dead fall" to its garrison, if attacked. lie also reported the troops to be imperfectly organized, and declared his inability to procure a clear statement of the forces and resources present, for want of proper returns.

General Beauregard, who was still too unwell to assume imme diate command, called General Polk at once to Jackson, and also his own Chief-Engineer, Captain D. B. Harris, who had preceded him to Columbus. They came on the 19th, and Captain Harris's detailed information as to the position, its works, and the surround ing locality, confirmed Colonel Jordan's report of its alarming weakness. Upon this definite statement of the character and con dition of the place, General Beauregard considered that immediate preparations should be made for its evacuation, so as to secure its supplies, armament, and garrison, which included nearly all the forces under General Polk. It was to be apprehended that Gen eral Grant, by marching westward from Fort Henry to Union City or Clinton—some sixty or seventy miles—after forming a junction with part of the forces under General Pope, which might have landed in Kentucky, above the fort, could complete its in vestment within a few days; while batteries placed below it, on both sides of the river, would cut off communication or retreat by water, unless prevented by our gunboat fleet. Batteries, enfilad ing its parapets, which were without traverses, would dismount its guns, while mortar batteries would fire its wooden store-houses and destroy its supplies, compelling its surrender in a very few days.

Apart from the river batteries, which were strongly constructed

and powerfully armed, the defensive works, besides being badly planned and unfinished, were much too extensive, requiring a gar rison of about thirteen thousand men, to resist a combined land and naval attack, while the forces of General Polk, in his whole district, numbered less than fifteen thousand of all arms, badly equipped for the field, commanded by officers who were brave and zealous, but without military training or experience. Moreover, his troops were not regularly formed into brigades and divisions, and his cavalry was not yet fully organized into regiments. The capture of Fort Columbus and its garrison would have opened to the Federals the whole Mississippi Valley to New Orleans, as between those two points there was not another organized body of troops capable of offering any resistance to the united forces of Generals Grant and Pope. Fort Pillow, about fifty miles above Memphis, was not then in as good condition as Fort Columbus; its defences being still incomplete. It was not yet armed, and required a garrison of about ten thousand men, while, at that time, it only had one regiment to defend it. At the Madrid Bend de fences only one or two heavy batteries had been commenced, on Island "No. 10, armed with a few guns of small calibre; and at New Madrid only some light field-works had been constructed. General Polk had unbounded confidence in the strength of


Columbus, which he termed the " Gibraltar of the West." With his characteristic gallantry he declared himself capable of holding it against any force, as long as his supplies should last; and these, he alleged, could hold out six months. But his statements, in answer to minute inquiries as to its condition and surroundings, corroborated none the less what had been previously reported by Colonel Jordan and Captain Harris; and upon General Beaure-gard exposing to him the saliency of the fort and the various feat ures of its weakness, he concurred in the opinion that it could riot long withstand a determined attack.

The War Department having, on the 19th, telegraphed its assent to the evacuation of Columbus, General Beaure^ard directed Gen-


eral Polk to prepare for it without delay. The safe removal of the supplies and armament was likely to be a difficult operation, should the Federal land and naval forces be handled with judgment and resolution. Careful and minute instructions were accordingly given to General Polk by General Beauregard. All reserve sup plies and materials were to be sent to Grenada and Columbus, by

railroad, including those at Trenton and Jackson, Tennessee; the remaining supplies, to Union City, Humboldt, the positions at Madrid Bend, New Madrid, and Memphis. The heaviest guns that could be spared were to be taken to Island No. 10, to the batteries at the Bend, on the left bank, and to New Madrid, with some of lighter calibre, for the land defences of the latter place. The other guns were to be placed as far as possible in con dition for ready removal, part of them for transfer to the works at Madrid Bend, and the remainder to Fort Pillow. The disman tling of the fort and embarkation of material and supplies, by boat and railroad, were to be conducted with secrecy, and, as far as practicable, by night; and as it was necessary to hold Colum bus until the works at Island No. 10 and in the Bend should be ready to defend the river, General Polk was to maintain a vigilant watch and repel vigorously all attempts at reconnoissance, by land or by water.

A few days later, he was instructed to open a road across the difficult country opposite Island 2so. 10, and to establish a tele graph line between the Island and Humboldt, or Union City, via Obionville, as a line of communication. The cavalry, at Paris, was to watch and report the passage of any gunboats or transports up the Tennessee Kiver, from the direction of Fort Henry, extend ing its pickets as near as poss-ible to Mayfield, which was then occupied by Federal cavalry, keeping the latter always in sight, and, if compelled to retire, to burn the bridges and thus hinder reconnoissances.

In view of the great importance of Xe\v Madrid, General Polk was further instructed to send as strong a garrison thither as he could, including most of the troops at Fort Pillow, if necessarv. lie was also to aid in hastening the immediate completion and arming of the batteries there and of those at the head of Island No. 10 and at the Bend, which were intended for temporary occu pation, while Fort Pillow was being strongly fortified and com pleted for permanent maintenance. The gorges of the works at New Madrid were to be palisaded merely, so that our gunboats might fire into them from the river if taken by the enemy. The defences, consisting of strong profiles, were composed of three works, two on the river and one a little in advance of the others, and were calculated for about five hundred men each. The crt-maillere lines, ordered on the right and rear of Island No. 10, were

to be provided with small redans for a few siege guns, and the navigation of Black Lagoon obstructed, so as to prevent the enemy's barges from getting into Reelfoot Lake, the shores of which, between the two cremaillere lines, were to be well guarded, and, if necessary, properly defended. The island opposite Tipton-ville was to be examined, to determine whether or not it could be advantageously fortified.

General McCown, of General Folk's forces, was selected to command those river defences, and General Trudeau,* of Louisi ana, to take charge of the heavy batteries at Island No. 10 and in the Bend. Both of these officers were to report to General Beaure-gard at Jackson, for special instructions. The troops at Columbus, apart from those to be sent to protect the construction of and occupy the river defences at New Madrid, Island No. 10, and the Bend, were to be withdrawn to Union City and LIumboldt, for the protection of the right flank and rear of those important de fences, against any movement from the Tennessee River, the cav alry to be thrown out well in advance.

It was understood, from General Polk, that the earth-works at Island No. 10 and the Bend were already prepared for a sufficient number of heavy guns to make an effective defence, and that a large force of negro laborers was there with the necessary tools; which, however, proved to be an error. General Beauregard gave specific instructions to Captain Harris (the only engineer who had accompanied him from Virginia, and whose great ability was not then matured by sufficient experience) as to the planning, laying-out, and construction of these batteries, including the details of their parapets, embrasures, traverses, and magazines; after the completion of this duty he repaired to Fort Pillow, to reduce that work and adapt it to a garrison of about three thousand men. The work, at that point, had been planned upon so extensive a scale as to require a garrison of nearly ten thousand men.

The grave defect in these river defences, at Columbus and Fort Pillow, was in their extended lines, requiring a whole army to hold them, leaving no forces for operations in the field. This was one of the great mistakes in engineering on both sides during the war. A garrison of from three to five thousand men, in properly constructed forts, with an ample supply of ammunition and pro-

* At that time a Vol. A. D. C. to General Polk.

visions, would Lave been sufficient for the defence of our principal rivers until reinforcements, in an emergency, could have been sent to their relief.

From Memphis, on the 18th, Governor Harris, of Tennessee, telegraphed General Beauregard to know his plans, saying that he had made similar inquiries of the President and Generals John ston and Pillow, so as to enable him to rally at once all possible forces in Tennessee, and issue orders to them accordingly. He was requested to meet General Beauregard, with General Polk, at Jackson, on the 19th. His reply was that he had ordered out every man in the State who could be armed, but that he himself was compelled to go to Nashville. General Beauregard, there upon, repeated his request, through General Polk, urging the ad vantage of the governor's visiting Jackson, where he arrived, ac cordingly, on the 20th. It was agreed between them that the State troops called out in west Tennessee should be directed to Jackson and Corinth, from which latter place General lluggles's brigade was liable to be called, at any moment, to support General Polk, at or about Columbus. General Euggles's brigade had been iirst ordered from New Orleans, by the Secretary of War, on Feb ruary 8th, to report to General Beauregard at Columbus; but his communication of that date to General Johnston, having been re ferred to the former, and the evacuation of Columbus being then contemplated, General Beauregard, who had not yet directly as sumed command, requested General Johnston, in accordance with his letter of the 12th, to order that brigade to Corinth; the im mediate object being to protect that point and be within support ing distance of General Polk.

Meanwhile, General Johnston, followed by BuelTs forces, had resolved to abandon Nashville, lie began his retreat towards Stevenson, along the line of the Nashville and Chattanooga rail road, as in that event previously determined upon, and fully set forth in the memorandum of his plan of campaign, given in the preceding chapter, at page 220.

The following is General Johnston's letter to the War De partment, in explanation of his future operations:


NASHVILLE, February 18th, 1862.

" Sir, —In conformity with the intention announced to the department, thq corps under the command of Major-Gencral Hardee completed the evacuation

of Bowling Green on the 14th instant, and the rear guard passed the Cumber land at this point yesterday morning in good order.

" I have ordered the army to encamp to-night midway between this place and Murfrecsboro'. My purpose is, to place the force in such a position that the enemy cannot concentrate his superior strength against the command, and to enable me to assemble as rapidly as possible such other troops in addition as it may be in my power to collect. The complete command which their gunboats and transports give them upon the Tennessee and Cumberland, renders it necessary for me to retire my line between the rivers. I entertain the hope that this disposition will enable me to hold the enemy in check; and, when my forces are sufficiently increased, to drive him back. . . .


" A. S. JOHNSTON. " IIou. J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War, Richmond, Va."

The military situation was now of a desperate character. While General Johnston's crippled army was retreating towards north east Alabama and Georgia before Buell's overwhelming forces, the Federal army, under General Grant, with or without the co operation of Pope's command, might move from Fort Henry, upon the rear of Columbus, or execute a still more dreaded move ment by ascending the Tennessee River to Hamburg or East-port, seizing the Memphis and Charleston Railroad, thus defini tively separating Generals Johnston and Polk, turning completely west Kentucky and west Tennessee to Memphis, and compelling the fall of the latter city, Fort Pillow, New Madrid, Island isTo. 10, and Columbus. The capture of General Folk's forces would thus be insured, and the entire Mississippi Valley would be thrown open as far as New Orleans.

There was no army to oppose such a movement, and there were no fortified positions on the Mississippi River, to check the Fed eral gunboats and transports in carrying the supplies of the invad ing forces, should the line of railroads be rendered unavailable. The panic, followed by despondency, which had seized the people after the successive disasters of the campaign, left little hope of raising an army; and the situation was such that, even with the utmost enthusiasm to aid such an undertaking, there was no ex pectation of its achievement in time to meet the emergency, un less favored by our adversary's failure to embrace the opportunity offered. General Johnston had informed General Beauregard, at Bowling Green, that he had exhausted all means of procuring more armed troops from-the Confederate and State governments,

and his official correspondence shows that he had done his utmost in that respect. General Beauregard resolved, nevertheless, to in voke at once every possible resource, and, if he saw any expecta tion of raising an army, to use every effort to that end, while con tinuing to give general direction to affairs until his physical condition should permit him to assume the cares of formal com mand. His physicians had assured him that they could keep the illness from which he was suffering under control, and the forlorn condition of the entire AVest, mingled now with fears for his own home, determined him to make the effort, however doubtful the result might be.

The only forces he could dispose of were some fourteen thousand five hundred men, under General Polk, holding the Mississippi River defences, imperfectly organized and, as yet, poorly equipped for the field; about two thousand, under General Chalmers, at luka and its vicinity ; and three thousand, under General Rugglcs, at Corinth. But the energetic efforts of Governor Harris now


gave him the hope of soon being able to increase his strength. Instead, therefore, of operating, with his movable forces, on the defensive line laid down by General Johnston, as shown by the memorandum of the 7th, that is, from Columbus via Jackson to Grand Junction, fifty miles west of Corinth, with Memphis or Grenada, and Jackson, Mississippi, as ultimate points of retreat, General Beauregard determined to take up a new defensive line-confronting the enemy from that part of the Tennessee River— a line extending from the river defences at Island Xo. 10 to Cor inth, via "Union City, Ilumboldt, and Jackson ; throwing his forces across the Louisville and Memphis and Memphis and Charleston Railroads; thus covering Memphis and the important railroad centre of Corinth, with strong advanced forces at luka, and a small force at Tuscumbia, to protect his railroad communication with the East. "With the Mobile and Ohio Railroad along his line, he would thus be enabled to concentrate quickly, either to oppose any advance of the enemy along the Louisville and Memphis Railroad, or, if ready and strong enough for such an operation, to attack him suddenly should he attempt or effect a landing at any point along the bend of the Tennessee River, between Coffee Landing and Eastport. General Beauregard decided on this new disposition of his forces, in the exercise of that full discretion given him by General Johnston's telegrams of February IGth and

18th, the full texts of which have already been laid before the reader. An additional despatch of the 21st was, in substance, as follows:

As you have had time sufficiently to study the field, even should you be too unwell to assume command, I hope you will advise General Polk of your judgment as to the proper disposition of his army, in accordance with the views expressed in your memoran dum, unless you have deemed it necessary to change them. I cannot issue any orders to him, for fear that mine might conflict with yours.

Here was an entirely different plan of operations, based upon entirely different views, which circumstances now brought forth, and to which no reference, however remote, had been or could have been made in the " memorandum" of General Johnston's strategic movements, so often alluded to before.

In reflecting upon the situation, as shaped by our recent disas ters, General Beauregard became convinced that our substantial success required the abandonment at once, on our part, of the pas sive-defensive through which, defeated at every successive point in the West, we had gradually been driven to our present state of distress; and it was his conviction that necessity now compelled us boldly to assume the offensive. To this end, and while review ing thoroughly the sources from which additional troops might be levied or spared, he resolved to call upon the governors of Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, and Tennessee, for whatever num ber of men they could collect, if only for sixty or ninety days, with whatever arms they could procure, to enable him to make or meet the last encounter, which, he thought, would decide the fate of the Mississippi Valley. The following is the confidential cir cular he sent on that occasion. Its admirable conception and characteristic vigor will, no doubt, be appreciated by the reader:

"JACKSON, TENN., February 21st, 1862. "To his Excellency Tuos. O. MOORE, Governor of Louisiana, etc.:

"Dear Sir, —As you are aware, heavy disasters have recently befallen our arms on the Kentucky border. The Tennessee River is in possession of the enemy since the capture of Fort Henry. The evacuation of Bowling Green, and subsequent fall of Fort Donelson, with large loss of officers, men, arms, and munitions, have so weakened us on that line, that Nashville can only be held by superhuman energy, determination, and courage. At the same time, the direct communications of the forces at Columbus with those under General A. S. Johnston are broken, and the two armies effectually isolated from each


other. Yvlth the enemy in command of the Tennessee River, the position at Columbus is so endangered from a land approach from that river by a greatly superior force, that its fall must be regarded as certain, unless some extraor dinary efforts arc made to reinforce its present small army of occupation. I need not dwell upon the consequences of such a disaster. Suffice it to say, it would involve the immediate loss to the Confederate States of the Mississippi River and Valley.

u In view of the palpable situation, I am instructed to evacuate Columbus and take up less vulnerable positions on and in the vicinity of Island No. 10, and at New Madrid. In the execution of this measure, however, much will depend on the energy with which our enemy may follow up his late success es, and whether he will give us time to withdraw and receive his onset else where.

•'Coming to the command at such a crisis, I have been filled with profound anxiety and sense of the necessity for a prompt, resolute encounter with the exigency, in time to prevent an irrevocable defeat. Columbus is now occu pied by but about twelve thousand men of all arms. At Island No. 10 and New Madrid are some four thousand men, to which add Rugglcs's brigade and one under General Chalmers at luka, say five thousand more; thus you will perceive I have a force at my disposition of but twenty-one thousand. If we remain supine and unarouscd to the dangers accumulating day by day, await ing the advance of the enemy, he will assemble such a force as to insure his success and a repetition of the late disasters, only with more desolating con sequences.

" Hence, I have thought I would submit, for the consideration of the govern ors of the Mississippi Valley States,* a plan which I deem most practicable foy the recovery of our losses and the defence of this river, and call upon them for the means of execution.

"I propose that the governors of the States of Tennessee, Mississippi, and Alabama, and your Excellency, shall fiich furnish me with from five thousand to ten thousand men, armed and equipped, with the utmost possible celerity; for time is precious, and despatch essential to success. I shall call on General Van Dorn to unite his forces with mine, and, leaving a suitable garrison at Columbus, with troops to guard and hold my rear at Island No. 10, I would then take the field with at least forty thousand men, march on Paducah, seize and close the mouths of the Tennessee and Cumberland rivers; aided by gun-boats, I would also successfully assail Cairo, and threaten, if not, indeed, take, St. Louis itself.

k 'In this way, be assured, we may most certainly and speedily recover our losses and insure the defence of the Valley of the Mississippi, and every man

* This confidential circular was sent by special messengers to the governors of Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana — the rendezvous of the troops furnished to be as follows: those from Tennessee, at Jackson, Tcnn. ; from Alabama, at Corinth; from Mississippi,at Grand Junction; from Louis iana, at Jackson, Tenn., if b} 7 railroad, and at Columbus, Ky., if by water. I.—1C

you may send me will really be placed in the best possible position for the defence of his own home and hearthstone.

"Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

< k G. T. BEAUHEGAIID, General C. S. A. r

He also called upon General Bragg for what forces he could spare from Pensacola and Mobile, inviting him to come in person, if he could. A similar demand for troops he addressed to Gen eral Lovell, at !N"ew Orleans; and General Yan Dorn was request ed to join him at once, with ten thousand of his forces, from Arkansas, across the Mississippi. The following is the letter de spatched to General Yan Dorn. Its importance and historical value justify us in transcribing it here :

" JACKSON, TEXX., February 21st, 1862.

" My dear General, —By the fall of the Tennessee and Cumberland rivers, the forces under General Polk (now to be under me) are entirely cut off from those under General A. S. Johnston, and must henceforth depend upon themselves alone for the defence of the Mississippi River and contiguous States; the fall of Columbus, and of Island No. 10, must necessarily be followed by the loss of the whole Mississippi Valley, to the mouth of the Mississippi River. The fate of Missouri necessarily depends on the successful defence of Columbus, and of Island No. 10; hence, we must, if possible, combine our operations not only to defend those positions, but also to take the offensive, as soon as prac ticable, to recover some of our lost ground. I have just called on the govern ors of Tennessee, Louisiana, and Mississippi, for five thousand men from each State. I have fifteen thousand disposable for the field ; if you could certain ly join me, via New Madrid or Columbus, with ten thousand more, we could thus take the field with forty thousand-jnen, take Cairo, Paducah, the mouth of the Tennessee and Cumberland rivers, and, most probably, be able to take also St. Louis, by the river. "What say you to this brilliant programme which I know is fully practicable, if we can get the forces ? At all events, we must do something or die in the attempt, otherwise, all will be shortly lost. u Yours truly and sincerely,

" G. T. BEAUREGAHD, General C. S. A.

" EARL VAN DORN, Commanding, etc., Pocahontas, Arkansas.

"P. S.—I expect also the co-operation of twelve gunboats from New Orleans. I will inform you of the governors' answers, as soon as received.


General Beauregard was of the opinion, and so expressed it. at the time, that the usefulness of Van Dora's command would be greater east of the Mississippi than in the position it then occupied, and that New Orleans itself would be better defended by the concentration he was endeavoring to effect, than by any of-

fort made at its own gates, when all outside barriers should have been destroyed and swept away. lie asked that all troops sent him should be provided, upon starting, with three days' cooked rations, arid forty rounds of ammunition per man. And in order to secure additional strength, and increase his chances of success, lie also sent to General Johnston, then at Murfreesboro', urging him to abandon his line of retreat, along the Stevenson and Chat tanooga Railroad, which was taking him farther and farther away, and, unless the enemy should anticipate, or intercept him, to turn towards Decatur, from which quarter he would then be within easy distance to co-operate with or join him. Thus was he mak ing all possible preparation, in case he should succeed in levying and assembling the troops he had called for, from so many differ ent points.

On the 20th he sent despatches to each of the governors of the above-mentioned States, notifying them that special messengers would go to them, from him, on important public business. And the next morning (the 22d) the following members of his stair left his headquarters, at Jackson, Tennessee, upon their several missions: Lieutenant (afterwards General) S. W. Ferguson went to General Johnston and Governor Harris, at Murfreesboro'; Lieu tenant A. R. Chisolm, to Governor Shorter, of Alabama, and Ma jor-General Bragg, at Mobile ; Dr. Samuel Choppin, to Governor Moore, of Louisiana, and Major-General Lovell, at Xew Orleans; Lieutenant A. !N". T. Bean regard, to Governor Pettus, of Mississip pi ; and Major B. B. Wuddell, who was well acquainted with the country in the Trans-Mississippi, was sent to General Van Dorn, the location of whose headquarters had not yet been ascertained.

General Beau regard also wrote to General Cooper, at Richmond, asking for any instructions the War Department might think prop er to give him, with regard to this calling out of State troops, and as to the movement he had requested General Van Dorn to make out of the limits of his department, in order to join him in his contemplated operations. He represented that all operations in States bordering on the Mississippi River should be made subor dinate to the secure possession of that river, which, if lost, would involve the complete isolation and destruction of any army west of it.

The War Department did not approve of this call on the govern ors of the States, for sixty or ninety days troops, objecting that


there was no law authorizing such a levy, and that it interfered with the "War Department's own recruiting operations. General Beatiregard answered that the call was to be made by each gov ernor, in the name of his own State, and that after the expected battle, the troops thus levied might, on their return home, enlist under the general government. These reasons appear to have been satisfactory, as no further opposition was offered.

General Johnston, who was then at Murfreesboro', reorganizing his troops, on his way towards Stevenson, acceded to General Beauregard's request, and, some days later, upon completing his reorganization, changed his line of march towards Decatur, via Shelbyville, Fayetteville, and Huutsville. General Bragg refer red the question of compliance with General Beauregard's re quest to the War Department, which, as he informed General Beauregard, left it to his own discretion. He decided to go at once, and furnish about ten thousand men, including three regi ments that he had already sent to Chattanooga, to reinforce General Johnston, and some other regiments on their way to that point, which he recalled. General Lovell also cheerfully responded—so did the four governors—promising to do their utmost in furtherance of the plan, and to rendezvous their troops as requested, with the rations, and forty rounds of ammunition called for. It was not until later, however, that any news could be had from General Yan Dorn, he being then engaged in a movement which resulted in the battle of Elkhorn, with the Fed erals, under General Lyon.


Evacuation of Columbus.—How the Enemy Discovered It.—Loss of Ordnance Stores, Anchors, and Torpedoes.—Island No. 10.—Difficulty in Placing Guns in Position.—Federal Gunboats might have Passed Unhindered.— Small Garrison under Colonel Gautt Reinforced by General McCown with Part of the Garrison of Columbus.—Defences at New Madrid to be held un til the Completion of the Works at Fort Pillow.—Remainder of General Folk's Forces Assembled upon Ilumboldt.—Preparations for an Offensive Movement by the Enemy.—Danger of Isolation for General Johnston.— General Beaurcgard's Letter to him.—The Great Battle of the Controversy to be Fought at or near Corinth.—General Johnston accedes to General Beaurcgard's request, and Begins a Movement to Join him.—General Bcaurcgard Assumes Command.—Arrival of General Bragg's Forces at Corinth.—Corinth the Chief Point of Concentration, as Originally De cided upon.—General Bcaurcgard Appeals to the AVar Department for the General Officers Promised him.—Their Services Greatly Needed.— Unwillingness and Apathy of the War Department.

IT will be remembered that one of the conditions of General Beauregard's departure for the Mississippi Valley was, that he should be furnished with a certain number of officers from the Army of the Potomac, should their services be needed, some of them to be promoted to be brigadier-generals and others to be ma jor-generals. Early in February a list of their names was left with the War Department by Colonel Thomas Jordan, General Beaure gard's Adjutant and Chief of Stall. On the 20th of that month General Beanregard called for Captains "Wampler and Fremeaux, as Assistant Engineers, to aid in constructing the several defences on the Mississippi Iliver; and for Major G. W. Brent, as Inspect or and Judge-Advocate-General, whose immediate services were much needed at the time. After considerable delay, the two en gineers only were sent: Captain Fremeaux arriving a few days previous to the impending battle, and Captain "Warnpier not until it had been fought. Closely following this first demand upon the War Department, General Beauregard, with a view properly to or ganize the forces under General Polk, and the new levies daily expected, formally applied for the general officers so greatly need-

ed for the efficiency of his command ; carefully explaining that no suitable subdivision of the troops had yet been made, or could be practicable, without their assistance. His request, however, re mained unheeded, or, rather, after much controversy, was only partly complied with at the last hour, and not according to his de sires, nor in the manner promised. We shall again refer to this subject as we proceed with the present chapter.

Meanwhile, General Polk was making preparations for the evac uation of Columbus, which began on the 25th of February. The next day he requested General Beauregard to join him there, but this the latter was unable to do, being yet too unwell to under take the journey. He continued, however, to send directions to General Polk, as the necessity arose respecting certain main points of the evacuation, and particularly as to the occupation of New Madrid. So imminent was the danger of an attack upon that place, that he had telegraphed General Johnston for a bri gade to be sent there, as soon as possible, by railroad; a request which, it seems, could not be complied with. On the 28th, his Adjutant-General was sent to Columbus, to suggest the estab lishment of a telegraphic line between Humboldt or Union City and Island No. 10, by means of which that now important position—the left of his new defensive line—should be brought into immediate communication with his headquarters. Colonel Jordan was also commissioned to advise General Polk in person as to the evacuation then in process of execution, which he did. He then returned without delay to Jackson.

The evacuation of Columbus was completed on the 2d of March, owing, in no small degree, to a lack of watchfulness and daring on the part of the enemy. So cautious in their reconnoi tring had the Federal gunboats been, that the fact that Columbus was unoccupied was only discovered by them on the 4th, and then by mere accident. While slowly advancing down the river, they were much surprised at the sight of a United States' flag flying over the place. It had been hoisted there on the afternoon of the 3d, by a troop of Federal cavalry, who, attracted by a cloud of smoke rising from the quarters and storehouses, and prudently creeping up to the works, had thus discovered the real state of the case. These buildings had been set on fire by injudicious orders, the day before the appearance of the reconnoitring party. In the hurry of final departure, some ordnance and a quantity of ord-

nance stores, torpedoes, and anchors—the latter much needed for river obstructions at Xew Orleans—were left behind and fell into the hands of the enemy.

At Island No. 10 and the batteries in the Bend, the difficulty of placing the guns in position from the spot where they had been landed was such that for at least two days neither of those de fences could have successfully resisted the passage—if attempted —of any of the Federal gunboats. Had Commodore Foote then displayed the boldness which he afterwards showed at the same place, and which so characterized Admirals Farragut and Buchan an, and Captain Brown, of the Arkansas, he might have passed without much resistance and captured New Orleans from the rear. Instead of this, he merely left a gunboat and two mortar-boats to protect Columbus from the river, and, with the remainder, quietly returned to Cairo.*

A part of the heavy armament and ammunition from Colum bus was sent to the unfinished batteries on the upper end of Island No. 10, a naturally good and defensible position in Xew Madrid Bend, and to those on the main Tennessee shore. The small gar rison under Colonel Gantt, at New Madrid, a little town on the Missouri bank of the river, about sixty miles below Columbus, and ten, more or less, from Island Xo. 10, was reinforced by Gen eral McCown, with part of the garrison of Columbus, and was has tily fortified with field-works. General McCown, with about seven thousand men, was placed in command of all the defences at Mad rid Bend, intended to be held only long enough to permit the com pletion of the stronger and more important works designed for Fort Pillow, to which the remainder of the heavy armament and ammunition from Columbus had already been sent. This position (Fort Pillow), about fifty-nine miles above Memphis, which, as yet, was but partly fortified, General Beauregard had determined to strengthen and hold, with a garrison not to exceed four thousand men, as the left of his new defensive line, already referred to, cov ering Memphis, and the Memphis and Charleston Railroad.

What was left of General Folk's forces (about seven thousand men) was then assembled, mainly upon Ilumboldt, at the inter section of the Memphis and Louisville and Mobile and Ohio Rail roads—a point having central relation and railroad communication

* See "Record of the Rebellion; 1 vol. iv. p. 22G.

with the principal towns in west Tennessee and north Mississippi. A strong line of infantry outposts was established from Union City, on the left, to Lexington, on the right, by the way of Dresden and Huntington, protected by a line of cavalry pickets thrown well out in advance, from Hickman, on the Mississippi, to Paris, near the Tennessee Eiver. Mounted parties, supplied with light artillery, patrolled the west bank of the latter stream, and kept General Beauregard well informed of the movements of the ene my's boats.

During the evacuation of Columbus, reports of great prepara tions for an offensive movement had reached General Beaure^ard


from the Federal rendezvous at Cairo, Paducah, and Fort Henry. Pope's forces were then moving upon New Madrid, the left of our river defences, and it seemed evident that the abandonment of Co lumbus must necessarily stimulate active hostile operations in the valley.

Convinced that there was early danger to be apprehended from the direction of the Tennessee River, which might result in com pletely isolating General Johnston's forces, General Beauregard, who now had the assurance of being soon joined by General Bragg and the reinforcements promised him by the governors to whom he had applied, on the 2d of March despatched Captain Otey, of his staff, to General Johnston, with written evidence of the ene my's threatening intentions, and with a short but impressive letter, urging him to hurry forward his troops by railroad to Corinth.

This letter read as follows:

" JACKSON, TEXX., March 2d, 1802.

"Dear General, —I send you herewith enclosed a slip showing the intended movements of the enemy, no doubt against the troops in western Tennessee. I think you ought to hurry up your troops to Corinth by railroad, as soon as practicable, for there or thereabouts will soon be fought the great battle of this controversy. General Bragg is with me ; we are trying to organize every thing as rapidly as possible. Yours truly,


"General A. S. JOHNSTON, Stevenson, Ala."

On the same day, and to the same effect, he also telegraphed General Johnston, reaffirming the urgency of a junction at Cor inth, and asking specially for the 9th and 10th Mississippi and 5th Georgia regiments, under Brigadier-General J. E. Jackson, they having been sent to Chattanooga, by order of the "War De partment, to reinforce General Johnston, then moving upon Steven-


con, and about the disposition of whose troops, and projected plans, Mr. Benjamin wrote that he " was still without any satisfactory information."* General Beauregard was most anxious that these troops should at once reach Corinth—now become the important strategic point—in anticipation of the arrival there of the rein forcements coming from the adjacent States.

On the 3d, General Johnston, through Colonel Mackall, A. A. G., replied, from Shelby ville, that the 10th Mississippi would be forwarded from Chattanooga, and that his own army would move as rapidly as it could march, lie then answered General Beaure-gard's letter, from Fayetteville, on the 5th, stating that his army was advancing; that it had already reached that place; would move on to join him, as fast as possible; and that, upon his arrival at Decatur, he would decide upon the promptest mode of effect ing the desired junction.

General Beauregard, by most strenuous efforts, and in the face of almost insurmountable obstacles, was thus enabled to hope that all our available forces would be assembled in the quarter desig nated, ready to meet the enemy as soon as he should venture upon the west bank of the Tennessee Iliver, and before he could be fully prepared for our attack.

Hitherto, in order to avoid the burden of the irksome details in cident to the organization of an army, General Beauregard had not assumed command, but had directed matters through General Polk; but as the new levies and reinforcements were now gath ering, and as there was a prospect of an early encounter with the enemy, he determined formally to assume command, and, on the 5th of March, issued the following order to the forces under him:


" Soldiers, —I assume this day command of the 'Army of the Mississippi,' for the defence of our homes and liberties, and to resist the subjugation, spoliation, and dishonor of our people. Our mothers and wives, our sisters and children, expect us to do our dut}', even to the sacrifice of our lives.

" Our losses, since the commencement of the war, in killed, wounded, and prisoners, are now about the same as those of the enemy.

"He must be made to atone for the reverses we have lately experienced. Those reverses, far from disheartening, must nerve us to new deeds of valor

* See Mr. Benjamin's letter to General Bragg, dated Richmond, Va., Febru ary 18th, 18C2.

and patriotism, and should inspire us with an unconquerable determination to drive back our invaders.

" Should any one in this army be unequal to the task before us, let him transfer his arms and equipments at once to braver, firmer hands, and return to his home.

" Our cause is as just and sacred as ever animated men to take up arms, and if we are true to it and to ourselves, with the continued protection of the Al mighty, we must and shall triumph.

" G. T. BEAIHIEGARD, General Comdg."

Recent information had led General Beauregard to look upon Pittsburg, on the Tennessee, as one of the places likely to be se lected by the enemy for a landing; and on the 1st he had ordered General Ruggles to occupy it, and make it, as well as Hamburg, a point of observation. This required the substitution of Bethel Sta tion, on the Mobile and Ohio Railroad, for McNairy's, as one of the places appointed for the assembling of the Tennessee troops.

The order concerning Pittsburg was executed by General Rug gles, who sent thither the 18th Louisiana, one of the finest regi ments from that State, supported by Captain Gibson's battery of light artillery. On the day following, General Beauregard's fore sight was shown to have been accurate by the enemy attempting to make a landing at that point. The 18th Louisiana, armed with rifles and smooth-bore muskets, and firing from the steep bluffs overhanging the river, forced the landing party to take to their boats, and even drove back the two gunboats — the Lexington and Tyler — inflicting severe loss upon them. This dashing and curious encounter caused the regiment'" to be highly com plimented in general orders. Had the supporting battery stood its ground and exhibited equal intrepidity, not only would the whole landing party have been captured, but probably the fore most of the two gunboats would also have fallen into our hands.

General Bragg's forces began to arrive at Corinth, from Mobile and Pensacola, on the 6th. lie had reported in person to General Beauregard, at Jackson, on the evening of the 2d, and was placed at once in charge of that portion of the forces assembling at Cor inth, with definite instructions as to their organization into bri gades and divisions, and as to supplying them with equipments,

* The 18th Louisiana was, at that time, under Colonels Mouton and Roman and Major Bush. Later it acquired additional fame under the heroic Armant, killed at Mansfield. Colonel Jos. CoUins, of New Orleans, was its last commander.

transportation, ammunition, and tents, according to our limited means.

General Ecaurcgard now directed General Eragg to examine critically the position of Monterey, about half-way from Corinth to Pittsburg or Hamburg; for though he had selected Corinth as the chief point of concentration for his reinforcements, yet, from examination of the map, the advanced position of Monterey seemed to offer such advantages for a sudden offensive movement, in case the enemy should land at either of those places, that he was in clined to substitute Monterey for Corinth, as he could move from either with equal facility, to the defensive position of Yellow Creek, in advance of Burnsville, should the enemy decide upon effecting a landing at Eastport. General Bragg, however, having reported in favor of Corinth, on account of the character of the roads and the deficiency of transportation among the reinforce ments arriving there, Corinth remained, as originally determined upon by General Eeauregard, the grand central point for the rally ing and concentration of all the Confederate forces.

The services of the officers General Eeauregard had called for now became indispensable, in view of the great diligence and en ergy displayed in the assembling of his furces. Though required for the proper organization of the troops under General Polk, these officers were even more needed to assist General Eragg in preparing for the field the large number of raw Confederate and State forces just concentrated at the three points designated, Cor inth, Grand Junction, and Bethel. Every moment was precious, and rapid and determined action imperative. On the 4th of March, General Beauregard, therefore, again urgently asked for two major-generals and live brigadiers—one of the latter to serve with the cavalry—and all to be ordered to report immediately to him. To his great surprise — and greater disappointment — the War Department replied that these officers could not be spared. General Beauregard's perplexity was extreme. lie could not ac count for the procrastination and evident unwillingness shown by the War Department. Here was an incongruous army, concen trated under the greatest difficulties imaginable, ready for any sac rifice, eager to meet the enemy, but whose organization and effec tiveness were fearfully impaired by the absolute want of general officers, to enforce discipline and establish harmony between its several parts. General Beauregard could not quietly acquiesce in

such supineness. He appealed to the "War Department, " for the sake of our cause and country," to send, at once, Colonel Mackall as major-general, and three officers recommended by hirn for bri gadiers, with Colonel Ransom to take charge of the cavalry. He was informed that Colonel Mackall had been nominated for bri gadier, and that all officers designed for promotion must be selected from among those of his own present army. As General Beaure-gard had then with him very few graduates of West Point, or of other military schools, or officers of any experience, he answered, on the 7th, that he knew of none to recommend; but he for warded, for immediate action, a list containing the names of two major-generals and six brigadiers, suggested by Generals Bragg and Polk; and, as there was still no cavalry colonel to recommend, he repeated his application for Colonel Hansom. On the 8th he also asked that either Colonel R. B. Lee or Major Williams, of his former Army of Virginia, be sent him, for the important duties of Chief Commissary, as he had, in his present command, no officers of equal experience to select from; and he earnestly inquired whether Major G. W. Brent would be sent him for inspector, as he needed the services of such an officer almost hourly. The reply came, that the promotions as general officers could not be made until he recommended them from his own personal experi ence of their merits.

The existing state of affairs had become all the more embarrass ing for the reason that General Beauregard's scouts reported large forces of the enemy moving, in transports, up the Tennessee River, with the probability of an early landing, at any moment. He, there fore, overlooking the discourtesy shown and the annoyance occasion ed him by the War Department, asked that permission be given him to appoint acting brigadiers and major-generals, to supply the im mediate wants of his army. He again received an unfavorable reply. His request, said the War Department, was irregular and unauthorized by law. Not knowing what further step to take, he telegraphed General Cooper, unofficially, that if the officers he had applied for the day before were denied him (so disastrous might be the consequences, from the fact that part of his forces were in a state of chaos, and his health too greatly affected to allow him, if unaided, to establish order around him), he would forthwith re quest to be relieved from his present command. The obstructive policy of the government so palpably thwarted his efforts and en-

dangcred the success of his plans, that lie had even resolved, should it be longer persevered in, to tender his resignation.

By telegram of the 9th, received on the llth, he was notified that the following officers were nominated for his command: J. L. Bowen, as major-general; J. M. Ilawes, J. E. Slaughter, and S. M. Walker, as brigadiers; Ilawes for the cavalry. lie was also notified that Ransom was appointed a brigadier, but must be sent to North Carolina, as his presence there was of the first impor tance; and that Samuel Jones had been promoted to be major-gen eral, but could not be spared from Mobile. We must here state that Bowen was not confirmed as major-general, and did not re port; nor did Ilawes, until about a month later, and just before the battle of Shiloh. General Beauregard at once replied that he had called for ten generals, as absolutely indispensable to the efficiency of his forces; that out of the four granted him, two only were present for duty; and that, as the enemy was already en gaged with his left at Xew Madrid, he would not hold himself responsible for the consequences that might ensue. He appealed, at the same time, to some leading members of Congress, urging them to use their influence with the government, so as to change its unaccountable policy in matters of such vital importance to the Confederacy; but this was of no effect. The course of the War Department resulted disastrously, as General Beauregard had apprehended; for it contributed towards delaying, by several days, our subsequent offensive movement from Corinth, against the enemy at Pittsburg Landing.


General Beauregard Orders the Collection of Grain and Provisions, and Es tablishes Depots of Supplies.—His Appeal to the People to Procure Met al for the Casting of Cannon.—Warning Preparations of the Enemy.— Arrival of Federal Divisions at Savannah.—General Sherman's Attempt ed Raid to Destroy the Railroad.—Burning of Small Bridge near Bethel Station.—General Pope Before New Madrid.—The Place Abandoned.— General Beauregard's Instructions to General McCown.—General Mackall Relieves him.—Bombardment of Island No. 10.—What might have been the Result had the Enemy Disembarked at once at Pittsburg Landing.— The Troops we had to Oppose Them.—What General Johnston Thought of Bolivar as a Base of Operation. — Recommends it as more Advanta geous than Corinth.—Why General Beauregard Preferred Corinth.—He Presses Concentration there, as soon as the Intentions of the Enemy be come Sufficiently Developed.—Success of his Plan.—Co-operation of the Governors of Adjacent States.—Troops Poorly Armed and Equipped.— The Enemy begins Landing at Pittsburg.—Arrival of Ilurlbut's, Prentiss's, McClernand's, and the Two Wallaces' Divisions.—Force of the Army Op posing us.—General Buell.—His Slow Advance on Nashville.—Is at Last Aroused by Order to Unite his Forces with those of General Grant.— Aggregate of Buell's Forces in Tennessee and Kentucky.—Our only Hope for Success was to Strike a Sudden Blow before the Junction of Buell and Grant.

LOOKING to the evacuation of Columbus and the concentration of troops at and around Corinth, General Beauregard had ordered, early in March, the immediate collection of the requisite quantity of grain and provisions, at Union City, Humboldt, Jackson, and Henderson, in West Tennessee, and at Corinth, Grand Junction, and luka, in Mississippi, with the establishment of chief de pots of supplies of all kinds, at Columbus, Mississippi, and Gre nada. At this latter place he had endeavored to establish a percussion-cap manufactory, which he looked upon as very im portant, because the difficulty of procuring a proper supply of this essential part of our ammunition had become great; but he failed in his efforts to accomplish the purpose. Foreseeing also that the demand for powder would soon increase in the Missis sippi Valley, he made a second—but likewise fruitless—effort to

start a powder factory at Meridian, a point lie considered, and rightly so, safe from Federal intrusion, and one which, in fact, was held by the Confederates until the end of the war.

The need of metal for the casting of field-guns was already a subject of most serious consideration for our leaders. The guns the Confederacy had, in the field and elsewhere, were in adequate, and that more were required was evident to all. So lacking in enterprise and forethought, in that respect, had the gov ernment shown itself, that no reliance could be placed upon it to improve the situation. The people, not the government, were the source from which alone assistance could be had. Deeply con vinced of this truth, General Beauregard issued an appeal to the good citizens of the Mississippi Valley, asking them to yield up their plantation bells, that more cannon might be made for the defence of their homes. They responded with alacrity to his call; and, so great was the enthusiasm pervading all classes of the population, that even religious congregations gave up their church-bells, while women offered their brass candlesticks and andirons.

By the Sth of March, the busy preparations of the enemy at Fort Henry, up the Tennessee lliver. indicated an early offensive movement, to meet which the greatest activity on our part was necessary. On the 13th, five Federal divisions arrived at Savannah, twelve miles below Pittsburg Landing, and on the opposite side of the river, followed, a few days later, by a reinforcement of some five thousand men. These troops, numbering now about forty thousand infantry, and three thousand artillery and cavalry, were commanded by Major-General C. F. Smith, a gallant and accom plished officer.* General Grant, who, for a time after the capture of Fort Donelson, had been virtually suspended by General Ilal-Icck, for an alleged disobedience of orders, arrived on the 17th, and resumed command. Meanwhile, on the 14th, General Sher man's division, which had not been landed at Savannah, was de tached up the river, under the protection of two gunboats, to de stroy the Memphis and Charleston Railroad, near Eastport and Chickasaw Bluff, but evinced such extreme caution that he was deterred from landing by two companies of infantry, acting as artillery, with two 2-i-poundcrs. These companies belonged to a

* He had been Commandant at tlic United States Military Academy, while General Beauregard was a cadet there ; and had at a later period served with distinction in the Mexican War.

regiment of General Chalmers's brigade. The brigade proper, composed of about two thousand five hundred men, was stationed at the time at or near Inka, on the Memphis and Charleston Rail road, and five or six miles back from the river. Sherman's force then retired a few miles, to the mouth of Yellow River, intending to move thence to destroy the railroad company's shops at Beirns-ville, a small village eight miles west of luka. After landing and making an abortive attempt to reach Beirnsville, with nothing to oppose him but high water, General Sherman hurriedly re-em barked his troops and dropped down to Pittsburg Landing, on the night of the 14th, having made a useless demonstration, but one which confirmed General Beauregard in the opinion that Corinth would be the final objective point of the Federal movement.

On the 13th, General MeClernand's division of C. F. Smith's forces was crossed over to Crump's (or McWilliams's) Landing, on the west bank of the river, five or six miles above Savannah, to destroy the Mobile and Ohio Railroad, between Corinth and Jack son. But no more was effected than the burning of a small bridge near Bethel Station, twenty-four miles north of Corinth. After this the division fell back to the landing and re-embarked, show ing the same degree of nervousness that characterized the Sher man expedition.

General Pope, in co-operation with these movements on the Tennessee, had appeared before New Madrid, about the end of Feb ruary, and attacked that place with artillery. Not being defended with the tenacity which afterwards distinguished the defence of Island No. 10 and its neighboring batteries, that important position was abandoned during the night of the 14th. Its garrison was transferred to the opposite bank of the river, and a portion of it sent to reinforce the troops supporting the batteries at and about Island No. 10. The guns left in position at New Madrid, not having been properly spiked, were immediately put in condition to cut off, from escape down the river, eight transports and the gun boat used by General McCown in the evacuation.

General Beaure^ard's instructions to that officer had been to


hold those defences to the very last extremity, in order to give time for completing the works at Fort Pillow ; to sink some of his transports in the Missouri-shore channel, so as to narrow it still more, or render it impassable; and to anchor a fire-raft in the middle of the wider Tennessee-shore channel, so as to prevent the enemy's

gunboats from passing, under cover of night, the batteries protect ing it. lie was cautioned not to allow his remaining transports and gunboats to fall into the hands of the enemy under any cir cumstances. Finally, he was informed that no reinforcements could possibly be sept him until after the impending battle in the vicinity of Corinth.

Somewhat later General Beauregard relieved General McCown from his duties, and General Mackall, the gallant and efficient Assistant Adjutant-General of General Johnston's army, was se lected to command at Madrid Bend. The following note was his answer when first informed of General Beauregard's wish to that effect:

"DECATUK, ALA., March IQth, 18G2.

" Dear General, —I thank you for my promotion. You arc entitled to my services and shall always command them. But now this army is in trouble, and I cannot leave it, with honor, until it joins you.

4i Yours sincerely,

"W. W. MACKALL, A.A. G."

The junction having been effected, he left for his new post; and held the works under him until after the battle of Shiloh, several days longer than would have been done otherwise. It was too late, however, to accomplish the main object General Beaure gard had had in view, in assigning him to that important position.

On the 16th, the Federal fleet of gun and mortar boats, under Commodore Foote, appeared, and began the prolonged attack and bombardment which rendered the defence of Island Xo. 10 mem orable in the history of the war.

Until the 10th of March, a large Federal army was intended to operate against Florence, about seventy miles farther south than Savannah, but on the 13th it landed at the latter place. Had that army been at once disembarked at Fittsburg Landing, twenty-two miles from Corinth, or, better still, at Hamburg, eight miles south of Pittsburg and two or three miles nearer to Corinth, it would have met with no serious opposition ; for, at the time of the land ing, General Beauregard had only one regiment of cavalry in ob servation, supported, at Monterey, about half-way to Corinth, by one or two regiments of infantry and a battery of field artillery; while at Hamburg he had only a strong picket of cavalry. At Corinth he had, then collected, not more than fifteen thousand men, who could have offered no great resistance, as they were in a I.—17

state of confusion, gathered, as they had been, from many different quarters, as fast as they could be brought by rail, and were in large part poorly armed and equipped. Some of the regiments were not yet formed into brigades, and only one or two divisions had been organized. General Beauregard is clearly of the opinion that, had the Federal forces been handled with confidence and of fensively pressed forward, they must have dispersed the troops he had then assembled there, especially as more than half of the Fed eral army consisted of seasoned troops, fresh from the successes of Forts Henry and Donelson, with supports at convenient dis tances, and abundantly supplied with munitions for offensive oper ations. In fact, General Johnston, regarding Corinth as too close to the Tennessee River, as a point of concentration on our side, had telegraphed General Beauregard, recommending the south bank of the Hatchee River, near Bolivar, as offering greater secur ity. His telegram read as follows:

(Ciphered Telegram.)

" DECATUR, March 15th, 1862. " To General G. T. BEAUREGARD :

" Have you had the south bank of the Hatchee examined, near Bolivar. I recommend it to your attention. It has, besides other advantages, that of be ing further from enemy's base.


This is very much in contrast with the assertions of some of General Johnston's panegyrists, that, as early as January, 1862 (others have it on the 1st and 4th of February), he had designated Shiloh Church—some say Corinth—as the spot where "thegreat battle of the southwest would be fought." This erroneous state ment merits—and will receive—attention before that part of our narrative referring to the campaign of the West is closed.

General Beauregard differed with General Johnston on that all-important subject, because, while willing to admit that the south bank of the Hatchee River was, possibly, a good defensive line, it was by no means, in his opinion, a proper one for the offensive he proposed to take, and in view of which he would have even pre ferred Monterey to Corinth, owing to its still greater proximity to the anticipated landing-point of the enemy. Events, however, justified his selection of Corinth, favored as he was by the hesi tancy and lack of enterprise of the opposing forces, which enabled him to proceed, unmolested, with the measures of concentration

lie had so much at heart. General Beauregard's apparent temerity in selecting for his base of operations a point so near the ground chosen for the landing of a powerful enemy, was the result, not of rashness, but of close and sagacious observation. With the eye and daring of a true general—noting the timidity of the Fed eral forces in their attempts at incursions on the western bank of the Tennessee, and their disjointed manner of disembarking—he knew that the nearer he was to his opponents the better it would be for the handling of his troops and the success of his plan. From a point near his foe he could attack fractions instead of con centrated masses of the enemy, with the chances of success in his favor.

As soon as the movements of the enemy, on the Tennessee, had sufficiently developed his intentions, General Beauregard ordered an immediate concentration, by railroad, of all troops then avail able in West Tennessee and North Mississippi. Those at Grand Junction and luka he massed upon Corinth; those at Fort Pillow, and General Folk's forces at Ilumboldt and Lexington, he assem bled at Bethel and Corinth, leaving detachments at Union City and Ilumboldt, to keep open the communications established, with great difficulty, between Island Xo. 10 and Jackson. A line of cavalry pickets was left in place of the infantry outposts at Union City, Dresden, Iluntington, and Lexington ; their fronts and inter mediate spaces being well patrolled by scouting parties, to give timely notice of any hostile advance; in case of which, the cavalry, if compelled to fall back, had orders to retire gradually on Bolivar, on the Mississippi Central Railroad, thirty-eight miles northwest of Corinth, keeping up constant communication with the forces at Bethel and Corinth.

By the middle of March, less than one month after General Beauregard's arrival at Jackson, Tennessee, he had succeeded in assembling, within easy concentrating distances of Corinth, some twenty-three thousand men of all arms, independently of the four teen thousand, more or less, he had found in the district under General Folk, on the 17th of February. lie hoped to be joined, before the end of March, by General Johnston's command, of about thirteen thousand men—exclusive of cavalry—then arriving at Decatnr; and General Van Dorn, at Van Burcn, Arkansas, had promised, at that time, his co-operation with an army of nearly twenty thousand. General Beauregard had sent Van Dorn all the

water transportation he could collect on the Mississippi River, with which to effect the junction. These movements of concentration were approved by General Johnston, but had received no encour agement from the War Department or the Chief Executive. They were brought about through the untiring efforts and perseverance of General Beauregard; through the cheerful and patriotic assis tance of the governors of Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana; through General Bragg, at Pensacola, and General Lovell, at New Orleans. Without their hearty and powerful aid it would have been impossible to collect, in time, a force of suffi cient strength successfully to oppose the enemy, who, had he used his resources with ordinary vigor, must soon have obtained undis puted possession of the Mississippi River, and, consequently, of the entire valley, including New Orleans.

The State troops thus hastily assembled were, as we have said, poorly equipped, without drill, and badly armed, some of them only with the discarded flint - lock musket of former days; and great difficulty was experienced in procuring the proper quality of flints. Not a third of the cavalry had fire-arms, and those who had were ill-armed, with a medley of pistols, carbines, muskets, and shot-guns, chiefly the latter. Few of them had sabres. The personnel of this new levy, however, could not have been better. It was composed of the best young men, from the city and coun try, who had rushed to arms at the call of their States. Animated by a feeling of patriotism and high martial spirit, they gave fair promise of great efficiency, if well officered. As soon as their regiments arrived at the rendezvous assigned them they were brigaded, equipped for the field as well as our restricted means permitted, and, owing to the lack of time for better instruction, we're exercised only—and but slightly—in company and battalion drills, while awaiting orders to march to the battle-field.

On the 16th of March, General Sherman, by order of General C. F. Smith, at Savannah, disembarked with his division at Pitts-burg Landing, to make a reconnoissance in the direction of Mon terey, twelve miles from the Landing and ten miles from Corinth. He marched a few miles into the interior, encountering only the regiment stationed there, which retired as he advanced. He, never theless, returned to the Landing and re-embarked with his division. On the 18th, Ilnrlbnt's division landed and took position about a mile and a half from the river, near the fork of the roads, lead-

ing, the one to Corinth, the other to Hamburg, five or six miles up the river. On the 19th, General Sherman again disembarked his division, taking post about three miles in the interior, with three of his brigades, at or near a little log meeting-house, cover ing the roads to Purdy, in a northwesterly, and to Corinth, in a southwesterly, direction. His fourth brigade was detached to a point more than two miles to his left rear, at the crossing of the Pittsburff and Hamburg: road, over Lick Creek. u Within a few

o o

days," says General Sherman, in his memoirs, Frentiss's division arrived, and was camped on his left, filling the space between his third and fourth brigades, but some distance in advance of the latter ; afterwards McClernand's and W. II. L. Wallace's divisions were landed, the first placing itself within supporting distance of Sherman, and the second on the right of Ilurlbut, forming a third line, about a mile and a half from the Landing.

Thus it will be seen that if we had been able to carry out Gen eral Beauregard's original intention of concentrating his forces at Monterey, only nine miles from Sherman's position, we should have had several days during which to attack the isolated divisions of Sherman and Ilurlbut, numbering about seven thousand men, according to Federal accounts, and with a large and rapid river in their rear. Such an opportunity for annihilating in detail the fractional part of a powerful enemy is seldom offered in a cam paign.

Another division, under Lew. Wallace, about seven thousand strong, with twelve guns, had also landed, and occupied a position, five or six miles from Sherman's right, on the north side of Snake Creek, on a road leading from ('rump's (McWilliamsV) landing to Purdy, a small village half-way to the railroad station of Bethel, on the Mobile and Ohio road.

The five divisions in front of Pittsburg Landing were accom panied by twelve batteries of field artillery, of six pieces each, and four or five battalions of cavalry, distributed among the several commands, which then numbered, together, at least thirty-nine thousand infantry and artillery, with some fifteen hundred cav alry, forming a well-organized and fully equipped force of over forty-seven thousand men, including Lew. Wallace's division, which was watching and threatening in the direction of Purdy. This army, of which at least forty per cent, were flushed with recent victories, was soon to be reinforced by General Buell, al-

ready on the march from Nashville to Savannah, with five divis ions of the best organized, disciplined, and equipped troops in the Federal service, numbering fully thirty-seven thousand effectives.*

General Buell f had entered Bowling Green on the 15th of February, the day after it was evacuated by the Confederates, and one day before the surrender of Fort Donelson. lie had then ad vanced leisurely on Nashville, about seventy-five miles distant, ar riving opposite that city, on the Cumberland River, on the 23d. It was surrendered to him on the 25th, by the civil authorities, and he occupied it the next day. The rear guard of the Confederate forces, under General Floyd, had left Nashville for Murfreesboro', thirty-two miles distant in a southerly direction, on the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad, when the enemy appeared on the south side of the river.

General Buell remained at Nashville, a passive spectator of General Johnston's slow and quiet retreat, first to Murfreesboro', thence to Fayetteville, Huntsville, and Decatur, making no appar ent effort to harass him or prevent his junction with the forces collected, meanwhile, by General Beauregard, about Corinth. The Federal general's torpor does not seem to have been disturbed until about the middle of March, when he was instructed by Gen eral Halleck—who had been assigned, on the llth, to the command in chief — to unite his forces with those of General Grant, at Savannah, on the Tennessee River. This point of concentration was afterwards changed to Pittsburg Landing, twelve miles higher up, on the opposite side of the river; but no immediate communi cation to that effect was made to General Buell. While on the march, however, he decided to move to Hamburg, about six miles above Pittsburg, and thence to the place of concentration, wher ever it might be.

While at Nashville, BuelPs whole force in Tennessee and Ken-

* " Buell himself, with five divisions, numbering nearly forty thousand men, was ordered from Nashville, to the support of Grant."—Badeau's "Military History of U. S. Grant," vol. i. p. G8.

file was a contemporary of General Beauregard's at the United States Military Academy, and had clone good service as a young officer in Mexico, lie was on the staff of General A. S. Johnston, as Adjutant-General in the Utah expedition, shortly before the late war between the States. He was brave and intelligent, but w r as generally considered too much of a disciplina rian to effect great results with irregular troops.

tucky consisted of seven divisions, with detached troops for guard ing his communications, maintaining order, and otherwise provid ing for his safety, and amounted, in the aggregate, to 94,783 men of all arms. The army presented an effective force for the field of 73,472 men, of which 60,882 were infantry, 9237 cavalry, and 3368 artillery, with twenty-eight field and two siege batteries of six guns each.*

On the 15th Baell commenced his march, with five divisions, as already stated, to effect leisurely the junction ordered by Gen eral Ilalleck; while one division, the 7th, under General G. W. Morgan, went to East Tennessee, and another, the 3d, under Gen eral O. M. Mitchell, to pursue General Johnston and destroy the Memphis and Charleston Railroad south of Fayettevillc. Xei-ther of these last-named operations was performed with much celerity.

On arriving at Columbia, forty miles south of Xashville, Gen eral Euell found the bridge across Duck Ilivcr destroyed, and the water too high to ford. lie was delayed there until the morning of the 29th, when, the bridge having been rebuilt, he again start ed for Savannah, thence to Pittsburg Landing, a distance of about one hundred miles, which he accomplished in nine days, marching slightly more than eleven miles a day. His head of column, Xel-soirs division, arrived at Pittsburg Landing at 3 o'clock P.M. on the 6th of April, the march from Savannah having been hurried in order to reach the field of Shiloh, from which the sound of the battle was plainly heard.

The united armies of Grant and Buell (his five divisions) would have presented a well-disciplined and fully equipped force of about 84,000 men. Against this we could not possibly bring more than 38,500 infantry and artillery, 4300 cavalry, and fifty field guns. This estimate excludes 7000 men at Island Xo. 10 and vicinity, who were indispensable to hold at bay Pope's army of over 20.000 men, and to keep control of the Mississippi River at that point. Moreover, the forces General Beauregard had hastily collected (about 25,000 strong) were imperfectly armed, insufficiently drilled, and only partly disciplined. They had but recently been organized into two corps, under Generals Polk and Bragg, composed of two divisions each. General Beauregard be-

* Sec Van Home's " Army of the Cumberland," vol. i. p. 99.

lieved that, under such circumstances, our only hope of success lay in striking a sudden, heavy blow before the enemy should concen trate all his forces. He therefore urged General Johnston to join him at Corinth at the earliest moment practicable, and he again telegraphed the War Department (as late as the 28th) to send him at once some of the field-officers he had so often called for. Those most needed then were a chief of artillery, a commander of cav-alry, and a chief commissary, without whom his organization could not be completed. But, notwithstanding the persistence of his calls, only the last two were sent; and they arrived when our army was marching from Corinth, to fight the battle which proved to be one of the greatest and bloodiest of the war.


Arrival of General Johnston at Corinth.—Position of his Troops on the 27th of March.—Offers to Turn Over Command of the Army to General Beau-regard, who Declines. — General Beauregard Urges an Early Offensive Movement against the Enemy, and Gives his Views as to Plan of Organ izing the Forces.—General Johnston Authorizes him to Complete the Organization already Begun.—General Orders of March 29th.—Reasons why the Army was Formed into Small Corps.—General Beauregard De sirous of Moving against the Enemy on the 1st of April.—Why it was not done. — On the 2d, General Chcatham Reports a Strong Federal Force Threatening his Front.—General Beauregard Advises an Immedi ate Advance.—General Johnston Yields.—General Jordan's Statement of his Interview with General Johnston on that Occasion.—Special Orders No. 8, otherwise called "Order of March and Battle."—By Whom Sug gested and by Whom Written.—General Beauregard Explains the Order to Corps Commanders.—Tardiness of the First Corps in Marching from Corinth.—Our Forces in Position for Battle on the Afternoon of the uth ; Too Late to Commence Action on that Day.—Generals Ilardcc and Bragg Request General Beauregard to Ride in Front of their Lines.—General Johnston Calls General Beauregard and the Corps Commanders in an Infor mal Council.—General Beauregard Believes the Object of the Movement Foiled by the Tardiness of Troops in Arriving on the Battle-field.—Al ludes to Noisy Demonstrations on the March, and to the'Probability of Buell's Junction, and Advises to Change Aggressive Movement into a Re-connoissancc in Force.—General Johnston Decides Otherwise, and Orders Preparations for an Attack at Dawn next Da}*.—Description of the Field of Shiloh.—Strength of the Federal Forces.—What General Sherman Tes tified to.—We Form into Three Lines of Battle.—Our Effective Strength. —Carelessness and Oversight of the Federal Commanders.—They are not Aroused by the many Sounds in their Front, and are Taken by Sur prise.

GENERAL JOIIXSTOX reached Corinth on the night of the 22d of March, in advance of his army, which followed closely after him, portions arriving daily up to the 27th. General Ilardce took position in the vicinity, with a body of about eight thousand men; while the remainder, under General Crittenden—some five thousand strong, exclusive of cavalry—were halted at Beirnsville and luka, on the Memphis and Charleston Railroad.

A shade of sadness, if not of despondency, rested upon General Johnston's brow. The keen anxiety and still-increasing gloom overspreading the country weighed heavily upon him. He suf fered deeply, both as a patriot arid as a soldier; but men of his courage and character are uncomplaining. " The test of merit, in my profession, with the people," he wrote to Mr. Davis, on the ISth of March, " is success. It is a hard rule, but I think it right." The concluding lines of his letter show what were his feelings, when complying with General Beauregard's urgent request for a junction of their armies: " If I join this corps to the forces of Eeauregard (I confess, a hazardous experiment), then, those who are now declaiming against me will be without an argument."

Soon after General Johnston's arrival, and in the course of his first conference with General Beauregard, he expressed, with evi dent emotion, his purpose to turn over to the latter the direct command of our united forces, and to confine his own functions to those of Department Commander, with headquarters at Mem phis or Holly Springs. He alleged, as his reason for wishing to do so, that such a course would be best for the success of our cause; that he had lost, in no small degree, the confidence of the people, and somewhat, he feared, of the army itself, in consequence of recent disasters; while he felt sure that General Beauregard, who held the confidence of both, was better fitted to cope with present difficulties and dangers, and fulfil, successfully, public ex pectation. General Beauregard, in a spirit of disinterestedness and generosity which equalled that of General Johnston, refused to accept his offer. lie had left the Army of the Potomac and come to the West, he said, to assist General Johnston, not to su persede him. That it was due to the country and to General Johnston himself that he should remain at the head of the army, now concentrated for a decisive blow before the enemy was fully prepared, and pledged him his cordial support, as second in com mand. Upon this, General Johnston, who, no doubt, understood General Beauregard's motives, rose from his seat, advanced tow ards him, and, shaking him warmly by the hand, said, "Well, be it so, General! We two together will do our best to secure suc cess." It was an affecting scene, and one worthy of being re corded. For, if General Johnston w r as loath to reap the benefit of the great preparations made by General Beauregard, the latter was no less reluctant that the victory which he hoped would re-

suit from his efforts at concentration should be exclusively attrib uted to himself, thus depriving General Johnston of the chance of changing the tide of popular favor in his behalf, and of re gaining the affection and confidence of the people and army, which he feared he had lost.

Thus was finally settled the delicate question of precedence and command between these two Confederate leaders, whose single ob ject was, not personal advancement or glory, but the success of the cause they were engaged in. General Beauregard now explained the situation of affairs in the Mississippi Valley and immediately around him; urged the necessity of the earliest possible offensive movement against the enemy, and gave his views, already fully matured, as to the best plan of organizing our forces. General Johnston readily agreed to what General Beauregard proposed, and authorized him to complete all necessary orders to that effect. Accordingly, a few daj-s later, General Beauregard drew up a plan for the reorganization of the Army of the Mississippi, which, upon submission to General Johnston, was signed by the latter, without the slightest change or alteration, and published to the troops, in a general order, as follows:

" HEADQUARTERS OF THE FORCES, " General Orders, No. —. CORINTH, Miss., March 29*A, 1862.

"I. The undersigned assumes the command and immediate direction of the armies of Kentucky and of the Mississippi, now united, and which, in military operations, will be known as the ' Army of the Mississippi.'

" II. General G. T. Beauregard will be second in command to the Command er of the Forces.

" III. The Arm}' of the Mississippi will be subdivided into three army corps, and reserves of cavalry, artillery, and infantry, as follows: 1. The First Corps, under the command of Major-Gencral L. Polk, to consist of the Grand Division now under his command, as originally organized, less the artillery and cav alry hereinafter limited, and detached as reserves, and the garrison of Fort Pillow and the works for the defence of Madrid Bend, already detached from that command. 2. The Second Corps, under Major-General Braxton Bragg, to consist of the Second Grand Division of the Army of the Mississippi, less the artillery and cavalry, hereinafter limited, and detached as reserves. 3. The Third Corps, under Major-General W. J. Hardee, to consist of the Army of Ken tucky, less the cavalry, artillery, and infantry hereinafter limited, and detached as reserves. 4. The infantry reserves, under command of Major-General G. B. Crittenden, shall be formed of a division of not less than two brigades.*

* These infantry reserves, at Beirnsville, were under Brigadier - General Breckinridge, who had succeeded General Crittenden.

" IV. The brigades of eacli army corps and of the reserve will be so formed as to consist severally of about two thousand five hundred total infantry, and one light battery of six pieces, if practicable.

" V. Divisions shall consist of not less than two brigades and one regiment of cavalry.

"VI. All cavalry and artillery not hereinbefore assigned to divisions and brigades will be held in reserve: the cavalry under Brigadier-General Hawes, the artillery under an officer to be subsequently announced.

" VII. All general orders touching matters of organization, discipline, and conduct of the troops, published by General G. T. Beauregard to the Army of the Mississippi, will continue in force in the whole army until otherwise di rected, and copies thereof will be furnished to the Third Army Corps and the reserve.

" VIII. Major-General Braxton Bragg, in addition to his duties as com mander of the Second Army Corps, is announced as' Chief of Staff' to the Commander of the Forces.

" A. S. JOHNSTON, General C. S, A."

" NOTE. —The above organization of the forces at Corinth was submitted by General G. T. Beauregard, second in command, and adopted by General A. S. Jolmston v first in command, without any alteration whatever.


Our forces had thus been formed into small corps for two rea sons : first, to enable our inexperienced senior commanders to handle their raw troops with more facility; second, to induce the enemy to believe that our army was much stronger than it really was—it being natural to suppose that each corps would number at least twenty thousand men, with a general reserve of about half as many. This second purpose was apparently accomplished, for, during the battle of Shiloh, General Grant telegraphed General Buell, who was then at Savannah, that he was heavily attacked by one hundred thousand men, and that he needed his immediate as sistance.

In the general orders give«n above, General Beauregard was an nounced as second in command, and General Bragg was appointed, nominally, Chief of the General Staff, a position borrowed from Continental European armies, though there was no provision for such an arrangement made by law in the Confederate military service; it was, however, an irregularity not considered impor tant, inasmuch as General Bragg was not to be detached or di verted from the command of his corps. In fact, his designation to that position was simply to enable him, in a contingency on the field, to give orders in the name of the General-in-Chief, or of the

second in command; an arrangement which both Generals John ston and Beauregard thought could inure only to the benefit of the service. Colonel Thomas Jordan, General Beauregard's Adju tant-General, was named Adjutant-General of the united forces; but remained at General Beauregard's headquarters, receiving in structions from the latter, and issuing them in the form of orders, by command of the " General-in-Chief."*

General Beauregard, notwithstanding his impaired health, de voted himself assiduously to preparing the army fur an immediate offensive movement, which he hoped would take place, at latest, on the 1st of April, as our spies and friends in middle Tennes see had informed us that General Buell was at Franklin, on his way to form a junction with General Grant, at Savannah, where he might be expected early in April. It was known, however, that the bridges on his line of inarch—especially the large one across Duck River, at Columbia—had been destroyed, and that lie might thereby be delayed several davs.

General Johnston had left the organization and preparation of the forces for offensive operations to General Beauregard. Corps commanders made their reports directly to him, or through his of-iice ; the General-in-Chief being kept well advised of all informa tion of an important nature that reached army headquarters.

The hope of being able to move from Corinth on the 1st of April could not, however, be realized. As that day approached, our deficiencies in arms, ammunition, and the most essential equipments were more and more felt, as was also the want of the general officers promised, but not sent, as agreed upon, by the War Department. Their inexperienced substitutes, though zeal ous and indefatigable, were unacquainted with the needs of their new commands, or did not know how best to supply them. TJiev had to be instructed amid the hurry of the moment, as to many details, which, to persons who are not conversant with military or ganization, appear insignificant, but which are really very im portant in the preparation of an army. The lack of competent engineers was also a source of great annoyance, as without them it became next to impossible to make necessary reconnoissances,

* General Mackall was not made Adjutant-General of the united armies, be cause of his having been previously assigned, by General Beauregard, to the command of Madrid Bend, on the Mississippi, his services at that important point being considered indispensable. See Chapter XVIII., p. 257.

and map off the country lying between the two opposing armies. The sketches prepared by staff officers, untrained and inexperi enced in such matters, were very imperfect, but some accurate knowledge of the future field of battle had been obtained, by con ferring with officers of the troops who had been on picket duty at and about Pittsburg Landing, before the appearance of the en emy at that point. From inhabitants who had been compelled to leave their homes, after the landing of the hostile forces, Gen eral Beauregard also gained useful information, relative to the po sitions occupied by the several Federal commands.

Such was the situation, as night fell on the 2d of April, when General Cheatham, who commanded a division posted at Bethel Station,* telegraphed to his corps commander, General Polk, that a strong body of the enemy, believed to be General Lew. Wallace's division, was seriously threatening his front. General Polk at once (about 10 p. M.) transmitted the despatch to General Beaure gard, who, believing that the Federal forces were divided by the reported movement, immediately sent in the news to General Johnston, by the Adjutant-General of the Army, in person, with this brief but significant endorsement: "Now is the moment to advance, and strike the enemy at Pittsburg Landing."

General (then Colonel) Thomas Jordan, the Adjutant-General above alluded to, reports his mission on that occasion, as follows:

" I found General Johnston in the room of some of his personal staff, where I handed him the despatch with your endorsement. He then repaired with me to the neighboring quarters of General Bragg, whom we found in bed. This officer at once declared in favor of your proposition. General Johnston, expressing several objections with much clearness and force, questioned the readiness of the army for so grave an offensive movement. His views shook the opinion of General Bragg. Having discussed the subject almost daily with you during the past ten days, and knowing the reasons which made you regard the immediate offensive our true course in the exigenc} 7 ,1 stated them with as much vigor and urgency as I could, dwelling particularly upon the fact that we were now as strong as we could reasonably hope to be at any early period, while our adversary would be gaining strength, by reinforce ments, almost daily, until he would be so strong as to be able to take the of fensive with irresistible numbers. That our adversary's position at Pittsburg Landing, with his back against a deep, broad river, in a cul-de-sac formed by the two creeks (Owl and Lick), would make his defeat decisively disastrous, while the character of the country made it altogether practicable for us to steal upon and surprise him; and that your proposition was based on the practi-

* Twenty-four miles north of Corinth.

cability of such a surprise, with the conviction that we should find the Fed eral army unprotected by intrcnchments.

"These views seemed to satisfy General Johnston, and he authorized me to give the preparatory orders for the movement, which orders I wrote at a table in General Bragg's room, being a circular letter to Generals Bragg, Polk, and Ilardee, directing them to hold their several corps in condition to move, at a moment's notice, having forty rounds of ammunition in their cartridge-boxes, and three days 1 cooked rations in their haversacks ; also, sixty rounds of am munition, and uncooked rations in wagons, for, I think, three days, together with certain other details, affecting reserve supplies, and their transporta tion. •

" These orders were immediately despatched by couriers, from General Bragg's headquarters, to Generals Polk and Hardec, who received them, as well as now remembered, at 1.40 % A. M., as stated in the receipts signed by those officers, respectively, at the time. General Breckinridge, commanding a detached division at Beirnsvillc, received his orders from the telegraph-office. After having despatched the orders in question, I repaired directly to your headquarters, roused Captain A. It. Chisolin, of your personal staff, and told him to awake you at 5 A. M.

" About 7 A. M. of (next day) the 3d April, you sent for me, and I found that you had drawn up the notes of a general order, prescribing the order and method of the movement from Corinth upon Pittsburg, with peculiar minute ness, as, from the wooded and broken nature of the country to be traversed, it would be a most difficult matter to move so large a body of men with the requisite celerity for the contemplated attack. These notes you gave me as the basis for the proper general order to be issued, directing and regulating the march, coupled with the order in which the enemy was to be attacked, and from them I drew up the order of march and battle, which, issued in the name of General Johnston, was signed by me as Adjutant-General of the Army, in the course of that day, without any modification, but, of course, made fuller with details in connection with the staff service, which details you left habitually to me, holding me responsible that they should be clear and com prehensive, so as to insure the execution of your general plan of operation. But before I was able to shape the order in question, General Johnston and, soon thereafter, General Bragg, came to your room, at your headquarters, where I had gone also, to consult you upon some details. You were explaining your plan of movement, and of the attack, to General Johnston, when I en tered your apartment; and, to make the subject clearer, you drew a sketch of the country, in pencil, upon your table,* as I had taken to my office the sketch supplied by the engineers, to enable me to write the order with the necessary precision.

"General Johnston weighed all that was said with much deliberation, and not until every detail had been very thoroughly discussed did he decide to

* The table bearing the diagram here referred to went, as office furniture, to Charleston, S. C., where the pencil sketch on the board was visible two years afterwards.

make the movement, as you proposed it. By this time, Major-Generals Polk and Hardee had likewise arrived. I then remarked that, as the preparation of the order, with all the necessary copies for general and staff officers, would take some hours, its details might be verbally explained to the corps com manders, all present, so that the movement could be made without delay at the prescribed moment, by the several corps, without waiting for the written orders, so much of which concerned the second day's march, and the tactics of the attack. This was assented to by General Johnston, as best, and I left you explaining to Generals Polk and Hardee that which they particularly were to do, jointly and severally, on that day and the next morning; that is to say, the order and manner in which they should begin, and make, the ad vance, with their respective corps, to the vicinity of the enemy's position, as will be found set forth in the written order, which was afterwards printed as follows:


CORINTH, Miss., April 3d, 1862. " ' Special Orders, No. 8.

" ' I. In the impending movement, the corps of this army will inarch, assem ble, and take order of battle, in the following manner, it being assumed that the enemy is in position about a mile in advance of Shiloh Church, with his right resting on Owl Creek, and his left on Lick Creek.

"' 1. The Third Corps, under Major-General Hardee, w r ill advance, as soon as practicable, on the Ridge road from Corinth, to w r hat is known as the Bark road, passing about half a mile northward of the workhouse. The head of this column \vill bivouac, if possible, to-night, at Mickey's house, at the in tersection of the road from Monterey to Savannah. The cavalry, thrown well forward during the march, to reconnoitre and prevent surprise, will halt in front of the Mickey house, on the Bark road.

" '2. Major Waddell, A. D. C. to General Beauregard, with two good guides, will report for service to General Hardee.

" '3. At 3 o'clock A.M., to-morrow, the Third Corps, with the left in front, will continue to advance by the Bark road until within sight of the enemy's outposts or advanced position, when it wdll be deployed in line of battle, ac cording to the nature of the ground, its left resting on Owl Creek, its right towards Lick Creek, supported on that flank by half its cavalry, the left flank being supported by the other half. The interval between the extreme right of this corps and Lick Creek will be filled by a brigade or division—accord ing to the extent of the ground—from the Second Corps. These troops, dur ing the battle, will also be under the command of Major-General Hardee.

"' He will make the proper distribution of the artillery along the line of battle, remembering that the rifled guns are of long range, and should be placed in commanding positions, in rear of his infantry, to fire mainly on re serves and second line of the enemy, but occasionally will be directed on his batteries and heads of columns.

" ' II. The Second Corps, under Major-General Braxton Bragg, will assemble on Monterey and move thence as rarly as practicable, the right wing, with left in front, by the road from Monterey to Savannah, the head of column to reach

the immediate vicinity of Mickey's house, at the intersection with the Bark road, before sunset.

"' The cavalry with this wing will take position on the road to Savannah, beyond Mickey's, as far as Owl Creek, having advanced guards and pickets well to the front. The left wing of this corps will advance at the same time, also left in front, by the road from Monterey to Purdy; the head of the column to reach, by night, the intersection of that road with the Bark road. This wing will continue the movement in the morning, as soon as the rear of the Third Corps shall have passed the Purdy road, and which it will then follow.

" ' The Second Corps' will form the second line of lattle, about one thousand yards in the rear of the first line. It will be formed, if practicable, with regi ments in double columns, at half distance, disposed as advantageously as the nature of the ground will admit. The artillery placed as may seem best to Major-General Bragg.

" 'III. The First Corps, under Major-General Polk, with the exception of the detached division at Bethel, will take up its line of march by the Ridge road, hence to Pittsburg, half an hour after the rear of the Third Corps shall have passed Corinth, and will bivouac to-night in rear of that corps, and on to morrow will follow the movements of said corps, with the same interval of time as to-day.

'" When its head of column shall reach the vicinity of the Mickey house it will be halted in column or massed on the line of the Bark road, according to the nature of the ground, as a reserve. Meanwhile one regiment of its cavalry will be placed in observation on the road from Johnston's house to Stanton-ville, with advanced guards and pickets thrown out well in advance towards Stantonville. Another regiment or battalion of cavalry will be posted, in the same manner, on the road from Monterey to Purdy, with its rear resting on or about the intersection of that road with the Bark road, having advanced guards and pickets in the direction of Purdy.

"' The forces at Bethel and Purdy will defend their positions, as already in structed, if attacked; otherwise they will assemble on Purdy and thence ad vance, with advanced guards, flankers, and all other military precautions, forming a junction with the rest of the First Corps, at the intersection of that road with the Bark road leading from Corinth.

u ' IV. The reserve of the forces will be concentrated, by the shortest and best routes, at Monterey, as soon as the rear of the Second Corps shall have moved out of that place. Its commander will take up the best position, whence to advance either in the direction of Mickey's or of Pratt's house, on the direct road to Pittsburg, if that road is found practicable, or in the direc tion of the Ridge road to Hamburg, throwing all its cavalry on the latter road, as far us its intersection with the one to Pittsburg, passing through Gricrsford, on Lick Creek.

u ' The cavalry will throw well forward advanced guards and videttes tow ards Griersford and in the direction of Hamburg, and during the impending battle, when called to the field of combat, will move by the Griersford road.

"' A regiment of the infantry reserve will be thrown forward to the intersec-L—18

tion of the Gravel Hill road with the Ridge road to Hamburg, as a support to the cavalry.

" ' The reserve will be formed of Breckinridge's, Bowen's, and Statham's brigades, as now organized, the whole under command of Brigadier-General Breckinridge.

" ' V. General Bragg will detail the 51st and 52cl regiments Tennessee Volun teers, Blount's Alabama and Desha's Arkansas battalion, and Bairn's battery, from his corps, which, with two of Carroll's regiments, now en route for these headquarters, will form a garrison for the post and depot of Corinth.

" ' VI. Strong guards will be left at the railway bridge between luka and Corinth, to be furnished in due proportion from the commands at luka, Beirns-ville, and Corinth.

"' VII. Proper guards will be left at the camps of the several regiments of the forces in the field. Corps commanders will determine the strength of these guards.

"' VIII. Wharton's regiment of Texas cavalry will be ordered forward, at once, to scout on the road from Monterey to Savannah, between Mickey's and its intersection with the Pittsburg-Purdy road. It will annoy and harass any force of the enemy moving, by the latter way, to assail Cheatham's division at Purdy.

'"IX. The Chief-Engineers of the forces will take due measures and pre cautions, and give all requisite orders, for the repair of the bridges, causeways, and roads, on which our troops may move, in the execution of these orders.

" ' X. The troops, individually so intelligent and with such great interest in the issue, are urgently enjoined to be observant of the orders of their superiors, in the hour of battle. Their officers must constantly endeavor to hold them in hand, and prevent the waste of ammunition by heedless, aimless firing ; the fire should be slow, always at a distinct mark. It is expected that much and ef fective work will be done by the bayonet.

"' By command of General A. S. Johnston,

'"THOMAS JORDAN, A. Acljt.-Gen.'

" CORINTH, Miss., April 18th, 1862.

" The foregoing plan of operations and orders of engagement were drawn up and submitted by General Beauregard, on the morning of the 3d of April, 18G2, to General A. S. Johnston, who accepted the same without modification in a single particular.

" THOMAS JORDAN, Brig.-Gen. and A. A. G."

The following passage is taken from a statement of Colonel I). Urquhart, of General Bragg's staff, addressed to General Jordan. It confirms, as the reader will see, all that precedes:

" NARRAGANSETT, R I., August 25th, 1880.

"My dear General, —I am in receipt of your letter of , and in reply have

to say, that I remember the visit of General A. S. Johnston, accompanied by yourself, the night of the 2d of April, 1862, to the headquarters or apartments of General Bragg, at Corinth, Mississippi. On that occasion, I was not pres-

cnt through the whole interview', but while the interview lasted I was in and out of the room repeatedly, and know that that interview was had for the consideration of a proposition on the part of General Beauregard, conveyed through you, that the Confederate army should, the very next day, advance to attack the Federal forces at or about Pittsburg Landing. And I know, also, that the result of the conference was the order to make that advance, an order written by you that night in the quarters of General Bragg, in the shape of a circular letter, addressed to Generals Bragg, Polk, and Hardee, severally corps commanders.

" As for the order of march and battle issued the following day, I was fur nished with a copy from your office, and can state that it was well understood at the time throughout that army, that the whole plan of operations was Gen eral Beauregard's, and, in fact, that all which concerned the array, from the time of its collection at Corinth, was arranged at and proceeded from General Beaurcgard's headquarters. Further, that, essential!}*, he exercised the command of the army. In this connection it is proper for me to state that I learned at that time from General Bragg himself, that General Johnston had said, soon after his arrival at Corinth, that he had lost the confidence of his army, and therefore had insisted that General Beauregard must undertake the work of organization; also, that with General Bragg as Chief of Staff, he should issue all orders without the formula of being submitted and approved by General Johnston, except, of course, such an order as that of directing the offensive.


"Yours truly, DAVID URQUHART.

" To General THOMAS JOHDAN, New York/'

At the hour prescribed in the preparatory circular to the corps commanders, which had been sent out that morning— vis., about ten o'clock—the troops were all under arms in Corinth, apparently ready for the march. Meanwhile, owing to the many more ur gent occupations of the Adjutant-General's office, copies of the pre ceding general orders had not been prepared for distribution that day, as the corps commanders were to begin the march pursuant to the verbal order and instructions which General Beauregard, in the presence of General Johnston, had given them, individually, as to the initial movements from Corinth. The march, nevertheless, did not begin at the time directed, chiefly through the misappre hension of the commander of the First Corps, who, instead of moving forward upon the full verbal instructions he had received, held his corps under arms and, with its trains, blocked the way of the other troops. As soon as this most unfortunate delay was brought to General Beauregard's knowledge, he despatched an order to the First Corps to clear the way at once, which was done;

but it was already dark before the rear of its column filed out of Corinth. Had it not been for this deplorable loss of the after noon of the 3d, the Confederate army must have made the march to the immediate vicinity of the enemy by the evening of the 4th. The attack would then have been made on the morning of the 5th, as had been planned, or twenty-four hours earlier than it actually occurred, in which event Buell must have reached the theatre of action entirely too late to retrieve the disaster inflicted upon Grant, and must himself have been forced to retire from middle Tennessee. The delay which had marked the outset was followed by unwarrantable tardiness in the general conduct of the march, so much so that, by the evening of the 4th, the forces bivouacked at and slightly in advance of Monterey, only ten miles from Cor inth ; and it was not until two o'clock r. M., on the 5th, that they approached the Federal position, near the Shiloh meeting-house. The whole distance traversed was not more than about seventeen and a half miles. True, there were heavy rain-falls during the night of the 4th, and the early part of the next day, which made the roads somewhat difficult, not to speak of their narrowness and of the fact of their crossing a densely wooded country. But these causes account only in part for the slowness of the inarch, which was mainly attributable to the rawness of the troops and the in experience of the officers, including some of superior rank.

During the advance of the 4th of April a reconnoissance in force was injudiciously made by a part of the cavalry of the Sec ond Corps, with such audacity—capturing an officer and thirteen men of the enemy—that it ought to have warned the Federal commander of our meditated attack.

Our forces could not get into position for battle until late on the afternoon of the 5th—too late to commence the action on that day. Soon after General Hardee's line of battle (the front one) had been formed, he sent a messenger with an urgent request that General Beauregard should ride along in front of his troops. This General Beauregard, through motives of prudence, at first refused, and only agreed to do at the instance of General John ston himself, but he prohibited any cheering whatever, lest it should attract the attention of the opposing forces, which were known to be not more than two miles from us.* Afterwards, at

* See statements of Colonel Jacob Thompson and Major B. B. Waddell in Appendix to Chapter XX.

tlie request of General Bragg, General Beauregard also rode along the front of the Second Corps, where it was difficult to enforce the order prohibiting cheering, so enthusiastic were the troops—espe cially those from Louisiana—when he appeared before them.

As soon as it had become evident that the day was too far ad vanced for a decisive engagement, General Johnston called the corps and reserve commanders together in an informal council, in the roadway, near his temporary headquarters, within less than two miles of those of General Sherman, at the Shiloh meeting house. He was then informed, by Major-General Polk, that his troops had already exhausted their rations and that he had brought none in reserve. General Bragg thereupon stated that his men had been so provident of their food that he could supply General Folk witli what he needed. This promise, however, he never executed, because of the hurry and confusion of events, which engrossed his own attention as well as that of his subordinate offi cers ; and because, though his troops might have been somewhat less improvident than those of General Polk, they were, at best, scantily provided with what was necessary for themselves, and had, certainly, no surplus rations to spare. The transportation wagons, containing the live clays' uncooked reserved rations for all the corps, were miles away in the rear, not having been able, on ac count of the heavy roads, to keep up witli the march.

The fact that the army was threatened with a total lack of food, and that, by the loss of a whole day, the offensive movement he had so carefully prepared was seriously imperilled, produced great disappointment and distress in General Beauregard's mind. Im pressed with the gravity of the situation and the responsibility which rested on him, as having proposed and organized this entire campaign, he stated to General Johnston and to the corps com manders present at the conference, that, in his opinion, our plan of operations had been foiled by the tardiness of our troops in starting from Corinth, followed by such delays and noisy demon strations on the march, that a surprise, which was the basis of his plan, was now scarcely to be hoped for; that ample notice of our proximity for an aggressive movement must have been given through the conflict of our cavalry, on the preceding day, with the enemy's reconnoitring force, and the prolongation of our presence in front of their positions before the hour for battle, next morning; that the Federal army would, no doubt, be found

intrenched to the eyes, and ready for our attack; that it was un wise to push, against breastworks, troops so raw and undisciplined as ours, badly armed and worse equipped, while their antagonists, besides the advantage of number, position, discipline, and superi ority of arms, were largely composed of men lately victorious at Forts Henry and Donelson; that, from his experience in the war with Mexico and, more recently, at Manassas and Centreville, he considered volunteers, when well commanded and occupying strong defensive positions, equal to regulars, if attacked in front, as the Federals would be by us; * that, under these circumstances, and for the further reason that the enemy, being on the alert, Buell's junction would no doubt be hastened, he was no longer in favor of making the attack, but favored inviting one by turning this offensive movement into a reconnoissance in force, to draw the enemy after us nearer to our base—Corinth—and thereby detach him further from his own, at Pittsburg Landing. Somewhat sim ilar strategy had been resorted to by Wellington in 1810, when, advancing to attack Massena at Santarem, he unexpectedly found that able officer on his guard, ready for battle, on ground of his own choosing, arid much stronger than he had anticipated. After making some demonstrations in front of his wily adversary, to draw him away from his stronghold, Wellington did not hesitate to retire without giving battle.

General Beauregard's views produced a visible effect on all present. General Johnston, although shaken, after some reflec-

* General Sherman, in his " Memoirs," says of the Federal position: " The po sition was naturally strong, with Snake Creek on our right, a deep, bold stream, with a confluent (Owl Creek) to our right front, and Lick Creek, with a simi lar confluent, on our left, thus narrowing the space over which we could be attacked to one and a half or two miles. At a later period of the war we could have rendered this position impregnable in one night, but at this time we did not do it."

The fact is, that the position was not strong, except that it could not be flanked, but might have been readily made impregnable in one night to the assault of so raw a force as ours. We knew, from the careful examination of Colonel Crocket, the Federal officer captured on the 4th, that, up to the even ing of that day, there were no breastworks; but the several warnings given by the conflict in which he was captured, the noisy incidents of the next day's march and reconnoissance, and our presence in full force on the field for fifteen hours before the attack, were facts which forced General Beauregard to believe the Federals would surely use the ample time they had, during that night, to throw up intrenchments sufficient for the repulse of our raw troops.

tion said that he admitted the weight and force of General Bean-regard's remarks, but still hoped we could find the enemy unpre pared for an attack; that as our army had been put in motion for battle and was now on the field, it would be better to make the venture. lie therefore ordered that preparations should be made for an attack at dawn, next day. Thus ended this memorable con ference ; the officers who had been present at it repairing to their respective headquarters, in good spirits and hopeful for the morrow.

A description of the field of Shiloh may be appropriate, to en able the reader more readily to understand an account of that bat tle. The sketch of the country furnished by General Jordan, Adjutant-General of the Confederate forces, in his "Campaigns of General Forrest," is so correct that we shall transcribe it here, with only slight alteration :

>'Two streams,Lick and Owl Creeks—the latter a confluent of Snake Creek, which empties into the Tennessee—take their rise very near each other, just westward of Monterey (in a ridge which parts the waters that fall into the Mississippi from those which are affluents of the Tennessee), flowing sinuously with a general direction, the latter to the northeast and the former south of east, and they finally empty into the Tennessee, about four miles asunder. Be tween these watercourses is embraced an area of undulating table-land, some five miles in depth from the river bank, from three to five miles broad, and about one hundred feet above the low-water level of the river. Intersected by a labyrinth of ravines, the drainage is principally into Owl Creek, as the land rises highest and ridgelike near Lick Creek. Adjoining the river these ravines, deep and steep, have a water-shed in that direction. Recent heavy rains had filled them all with springs and small streams, making the soil boggy, and hence difficult for artillery, over much of their extent. A primeval forest combined with a great deal of undergrowth covered the region, except a few small farms of fifty or seventy acres, scattered occasionally here and there.

k ' Pittsburg Landing—a warehouse and a house or two by the water's side— lay three miles below the mouth of Liek Creek. Two roads leading from Corinth, crossing that creek about a mile apart, converge together about two miles from the Landing and one mile in rear of the Shiloh meeting-house. Other roads also approach from all directions; one, passing Owl Creek by a bridge before its junction with Snake Creek, branches, the one way tending westwardly towards Purely, the other northwardly towards Crump's Landing, six miles below Pittsburg. Another, near the river bank, crossing Snake Creek by a bridge, also connects the two points."

The Federal forces — five divisions of infantry, four or five squadrons of cavalry, and sixteen light batteries of six pieces each, amounting in all to at least forty-three thousand men, occupied

the ground between the Shiloh meeting-house and the river, in three lines of encampments, as already stated.

General Sherman, in his sworn testimony before a court-mar tial which, in August, 1862, tried Colonel Thomas Worthington of the 46th Ohio Volunteers, for severely criticising his manage ment before the battle of Shiloh, said, of the position occupied by the Federals: "But even as we were on the 6th of April, 1862, you might search the world over and not find a more advantage ous field of battle; flanks well-protected, and never threatened; troops in easy support; timber and broken ground giving good points to rally; and the proof is, that forty-three thousand men, of whom at least ten thousand ran away, held their ground against sixty thousand chosen troops of the South with their best leaders. On Friday, the 4th, no officers nor soldiers, not even Colonel Worthington, looked for an attack, as I can prove."

It is somewhat strange that General Sherman, in his "Me moirs," should maintain that the Federal forces engaged in the battle of Shiloh numbered only thirty-tw r o thousand men of all arms, when, four months after that event, he stated, under oath, at the trial of Colonel Worthington, that they amounted to forty-three thousand men, exclusive, be it remembered, of Lew. Wallace's division of about eight thousand men, on the northwest side of Owl Creek. He then supposed our force was sixty thousand strong, instead of its actual number—forty thousand three hun dred and thirty-five men of all arms and conditions. But it may be fair to infer that he judged of their number by the effect they produced. Thus it was that Mr. Lincoln was sorely puzzled dur ing the war at his commanding generals reporting constantly that they had fought the " Rebels " with inferior numbers. In the instance of the battle of Shiloh, this phenomenon might, how ever, possibly have happened; for in about thirty days, with our defective means of transportation, we had collected at Corinth, from Murfreesboro', Pensaeola, Mobile, Xew Orleans, and other distant points, an effective force of over forty thousand men of all arms, while the Federals had failed to bring together, in time, at Pittsburg Landing, notwithstanding their ample means of land and water transportation, the armies of Buell, from Nashville, Ten nessee, and of Pope, from southeast Missouri.

Yet the Confederate army had advanced and was then assem bled at Monterey and vicinity, less than nine miles in his front.

Our forces, as they had arrived in the afternoon of the 5th, at the intersection of the Griersford (Lick Creek) and Ridge roads, from Corinth to Pittsburg, less than two miles from the Sliiloh meeting-house, were formed into three lines of battle; the first, under General Hardee, extended from near Owl Creek, on the left, to near Lick Creek, on the right, a distance of less than three miles, and somewhat oblique to the Federal front line of encampments, being separated from it, on the right, by about one and a half miles, and on the left, by about two miles. General Ilardee's com mand not being sufficiently strong to occupy the whole front, it was extended on the riirht bv Gladden's brigade, of General Brass's

*/ i O C^)

corps, and his artillery was formed immediately in his rear, on the main Pittsbnrg road. 11 is cavalry protected and supported his flanks. The second line, about five hundred yards in rear of the first, was composed of the rest of General Bragg's troops, ar ranged in the same order. General Folk's corps, formed in column of brigades, deployed on the left of the Pittsburg road, between the latter and Owl Creek. The front of the column was about eight hundred yards in rear of the centre of General Bragg's left wing, and each brigade was followed immediately by its bat tery. General Folk's cavalry supported and protected his left Hank. Breckinridge's command occupied a corresponding position behind General Pragg's right wing, between the Fittsburg road and Lick Creek. His cavalry protected and supported his right flank. The two latter commands constituted the reserve, and were to support the front lines of battle by being deployed when re quired on the right and left of the Fittsburg road, or otherwise, according to exigencies.

General Ilardee's effective force of infantry and artillery was, then, nine thousand and twenty-four men ; General Pragg's, ten thousand seven hundred and thirty-one; General Folk's, nine thousand one hundred and thirty-six ; and General Breckinridge's, seven thousand and sixty-two; presenting a total of thirty-live thousand nine hundred and fifty-three, infantry and artillery.'- to

* It is proper to remark here, that, through the want of experienced com manding officers of artillery and cavalry, and because of the wooded nature of the battle-field, it became necessary to subdivide and distribute those two arms of the service among the different corps, to enable us to obtain even a partial benefit from their presence on the field. The strict rules of military organization for battle, in that and other respects, had to be departed from. under stress of circumstances.

which must be added four thousand three hundred and eighty-two cavalry, so imperfectly armed and so recently organized that all but one third of it was useless, except for outpost service that did not involve skirmishing.

Our pickets had been thrown out well in advance of our first line of battle, not far from the enemy's position, without seeing or discovering any of his pickets or outposts. Such an oversight on the part of the Federal commanders is really unaccountable, unless they chose to overlook that important maxim of war: " Never despise an enemy, however weak and insignificant he may appear."

So near to each other were the opposing forces, that, hearing a loud beating of drums about the hour of tattoo, and believing it proceeded from our lines, General Beauregard immediately de spatched a staff officer with orders to suppress such thoughtless and imprudent sounds. The staff officer returned shortly after wards and reported that the noise General Beauregard had heard, and was desirous of quieting, came, not from our troops, but from the enemy's encampments in our front. Later in the evening, a Federal assistant surgeon and his orderly, riding out on some night excursion, crossed our picket lines and were captured. They were speechless with astonishment when brought to Generals Johnston and Beauregard, at beholding so large a force within striking dis tance of their own camps, where all was now silence and repose, and where none suspected the approaching storm. From them we learned that General Grant had returned for the night to Sa vannah, and that General Sherman commanded the advanced forces. No other information of importance was obtained from the two prisoners.

Such was the lack of discipline in the largest part of the Con federate forces, that, despite the strict orders given to enforce perfect quiet among our troops, drums were beaten, bugles blown, fires kindled, here and there, by many regiments, and firearms dis charged, at different points in our rear, during that eventful night. These and other bivouac noises should have betrayed to the Fed eral generals on the first line the close proximity of their foe. That such was not the case is due, no doubt, to the fact that they fell into an error similar to that which General Beauregard and others of our officers had made, and attributed these untimely sounds to their own troops.


Battle of Shiloh.— Varied Incidents and Events of the First Day.— Enemy Taken by Surprise.—His Lines Driven in.—Entire Forces Engaged on Both Sides.—Triumphant Advance of our Troops.—General Johnston in Com mand of the Right and Centre.—General Beauregard of the Left and Re serves.—Allurements of the Enemy's Camps.—Straggling Begins among our Troops.—Death of the Commander-in-Chief.—General Beauregard As sumes Command and Renews the Attack all along the Line.—Enemy again Forced to Fall Back and Abandon other Camps.—Evidence of Exhaustion among the Troops.—Straggling Increasing.—General Beauregard's Efforts to Check it.—Collects Stragglers and Pushes them Forward.—Battle still Raging.—Capture of General 1'rcntiss and of his Command.—Our Troops Reach the Tennessee River.— Colonel Webster's Batteries.— Arrival of Ammcn's Brigade, Nelson's Division, of BueH's Army.—Its Inspiriting Effect upon the Enemy.—The Gunboats.—Intrepidity of our Troops.— Their Brilliant but Ineffectual Charges.—Firing Gradually Slackens, as the Day Declines.—At Dusk General Beauregard Orders Arrest of Conflict. -Troops Ordered to Bivouac for the Night, and be in Readiness for Offensive Movement next Day.—Storm during the Night.—Arrival of the Whole of Buell's Army.—Gunboats Keep up an Incessant Shelling.

As the Federal troops lay encamped, Sherman's and Prcntiss's divisions stretched from the Owl Creek bridge, on the Pnrdy road, to the ford of Lick Creek, on the Shore road, from Pittsbnrg to Hamburg. Sherman's 1st brigade, under Colonel McDowell, was on the extreme right; his -ith, under Colonel Buckland, west of and resting on the Shiloh meeting-house; his 3d, under Colo nel llildebrand, east of and resting also on the Shiloh meeting house. Xext came Prentiss's division, and, at a very wide inter val— by a loose arrangement — was Sherman's 2d brigade, un der Colonel Stuart, near Lick Creek. About half a mile in rear of this line, and between Sherman and Prentiss, lay McClernand's division; and two miles in rear, towards the Tennessee Iliver, C. F. Smith's division, now under General W. II. L. Wallace; while on Wallace's left was Iltirlbut's division, on the Hamburg road, about a mile and a half in rear of Stuart.

Before five o'clock A. M., on the Cth of April, General Ilardee's


pickets, driving in those of General Prentiss, encountered some companies of the Federal advanced guard, and a desultory firing began. The order to advance was now given, and at five o'clock General Ilardee's entire line moved forward. Overhead was the promise of a bright day, but the after mists of the recent storm yet hung in the valleys and woods, veiling still more thickly the for est-screened positions of the enemy, upon which the lines of battle were directed only by conjecture. General Prentiss having hur ried a reinforcement to the guard and informed Generals Wallace and Hurlbut of the attack, threw forward three regiments well to the front.* His position was a prolongation of the elevated ground where stood the Sliiloh meeting-house, held by General Sherman; the whole bounded in front by a ravine and water course which, rising near the left of Prentiss, fell into Owl Creek, near the Purely road bridge, occupied by Sherman's right.

The Confederate lines of attack soon appeared, driving before them the skirmish line formed of the troops of the guard. Pren-tiss's whole force was now thrown forward and became the first engaged, as his position was slightly in advance of General Sher man's, and the difficulties of the ground in front of the latter caused our line to oblique still more to the right. Shortly after six o'clock General Prentiss's command was falling under fire, and the assailing wave soon struck General Sherman's pickets, sweep ing them back in the direction of his camps. General Sherman called upon General McClernand for assistance and gave notice of the attack to Generals Prentiss and Hurlbut, the latter of whom despatched Yeatch's brigade of four regiments to the support of General Sherman's left.f Before seven o'clock the musketry fire, which had gradually swelled, slackened and almost ceased, while the Federal skirmishers were leaving the field, and the wooded in terval separating the enemy's encampments from our advancing lines was lessening more and more. It was the momentary lull before the full outburst of the storm.

* In his Report, General Prentiss says: ". . . This information received, I at once ordered the entire force into line, and the remaining regiments of the 1st brigade, commanded by Colonel Everett Peabody, consisting of the 25th Mis souri, IGth Wisconsin, and 12th Michigan infantry, were advanced well to the front. I forthwith, at this juncture, communicated the fact of the attack in force to Major-General Smith and Brigadier-General S. A. Hurlbut."

t General Hurlbut's Report.

Shortly before this General Johnston, meeting General Beaure gard near the former's headquarters, expressed liis satisfaction at the manner in which the battle had been opened, and after an in terchange of views concerning the operations of the day, left him and rode to the front. They parted here for the last time.

At seven o'clock the thunder of artillery announced the serious opening of the conflict, and was followed by the sharp, increasing volleys of musketry. Generals Polk and Breckinridge were now hastened forward, and, reporting to General Beauregard, at half-past seven, were by him deployed in column of brigades, General Breckinridge on the right, General Polk on the left. They re ceived from General Beauregard brief general instructions to keep at a proper distance in rear of General Bragg's line and apart from each other, until called on for assistance, when they should move promptly with concentrated forces wherever needed, and, if in doubt from the hidden and broken character of the country, to move upon the sound of the heaviest firing. By this time the attack had become general along the entire front of Generals Prentiss and Sherman, though stronger as yet on the former, who received the full shock of GJadden's, Hindman's, and Wood's bri gades of General llardee's line, and was driven back upon his camps, calling upon Generals "Wallace and llurlbut for assistance."-General Beauregard now despatched members of his staff to several quarters of the field, to ascertain and report its precise condition, and sent forward Adjutant-General Jordan, charging him to main tain a careful inspection of the lines of battle, so as to secure the massing of the troops for unity of attack and prompt reinforce ment to weakened points; also with impressive directions to the corps and division commanders to mass their batteries in action, and tight them twelve guns on a point.

Notwithstanding the bold movements of the Confederate cav alry on the previous evening and the noise of the conflict since dawn, General Sherman remained under the belief that no more than a strong demonstration was intended, until nearly eight o'clock, when, seeing the Confederate bayonets moving in the woods beyond his front, he " became satisfied, for the first time,

* General Prentiss, in his Report, says lie was assailed " by the entire force of the enemy, advancing in three columns simultaneously upon our left, centre, and right/'

that the enemy designed a determined attack " on the entire Fed eral camp.* The regiments of his division, all then under arms, were thrown into line of battle. Taylor's and Waterhouse's bat teries were posted, the former at the Shiloh meeting-house, and the latter on a ridge to the left, with a front fire over open ground between Mungen's and Appier's regiments of his left (Hilde-brand's) brigade. General McClernand, responding promptly to General Sherman's call, had sent forward three Illinois regiments, which were posted in rear of Waterhouse's battery and of Appier, upon whom General Sherman impressed the necessity of holding his ground at all hazards. Yeatch's brigade, of General Hurlbut's division, took position on General Sherman's left.f

As the heavy roll of musketry soon extended to the left, Gen eral Beauregard ordered General Polk to move two of his bri gades to the left rear of General Bragg's line and to keep in per sonal communication with the latter, who was also informed of the movement. General Bragg reported that his infantry was not yet engaged, but ready to support General Hardee when re quired, and that his artillery was shelling the Federal camp. Colonel Jacob Thompson, of General Beauregard's staff, now came in with a message from General Johnston, informing him that General Hardee's line was within half a mile of the enemy's camps, and advising the sending forward of strong reinforcements to the left, as he had just learned that the enemy w r as there in great force. Three brigades of General Breckinridge were accord ingly set in motion as an additional reinforcement for that quarter. But later a courier came in from General Johnston, with informa tion that the enemy was not strong on the left, and had fallen back ; while Colonel Augustin and Major Brent, of General Beauregard's staff, returning about half-past eight from a reconnoissance of the extreme right, reported an active engagement in that quarter, the right of General Hardee's line under a severe fire, and requiring extension, as it was uncovered for the space of a mile in the direc tion of Lick Creek, and the enemy was occupying the country be yond the right. General Beauregard thereupon ordered General Breckinridge to send but one (Trabue's) brigade to the left, and lead his remaining; two brigades to the ri£rht of Gladden, so as to

O O O '

* General Sherman's Report, sec " Record of the Rebellion," p. 407. t General Hurlbufs Report, "Record of the Rebellion," p. 400.

share in the forward movement of the first line, and extend his own right as far as possible towards Lick Creek. Colonel Augus-tin was sent to conduct him into position.

It was now half-past eight o'clock. The attack was being pushed with great vigor, the Confederate lines of battle following quick ly in the wake of the shells that were bursting in the enemy's camps. Fortunately for the Federals, on that day, from an un avoidable ignorance of their exact positions, the left of the Con federate first line of battle fell short of General McDowell's bri gade, on General Sherman's right, which thus had ample time for deliberate preparation before it was struck by the second line, un der General Bragg.* Thus, while the brigades of Generals Glad den, Ilindman, and Wood were striking an unbroken series of blows on General Prentiss's division and on General Sherman's left and left centre, it happened that Cleburne's brigade, the left of General Ilardee's line, was moving single-handed against Gen eral Sherman's right centre and was being overlapped by his right. Its order was broken in crossing the difficult morass which here covered the Federal front, and, as it charged up the hill, deadly volleys were poured upon it from behind bales of hay and other convenient defences, till, after repeated efforts against a front and flank fire, it was repulsed with heavy loss; the Gth Mississippi regi ment losing in these charges more than three hundred killed and wounded, out of an effective force of four hundred and twentv-


five men.

The diverging course of Lick Creek had left an ever-widening space between it and the right of General Ilardee's line, as the latter advanced. To fill this space Chalmers's brigade,f with Gage's battery, was thrown forward from the second line and de ployed on the right of General Gladden, in conformity with direc tions contained in the order of march and battle. The gallant Gladden, at that time vigorously urging his troops against Pren-tiss, fell mortally wounded, and was carried from the field. His brigade was now wavering before the severe artillery and musketrv

* The Confederate line while advancing was somewhat oblique to the Fed erals, being nearest to General Prentiss's left and farthest from General Sher man's right.

t See General "Withers's Report of the battle of Shiloh, in " Confederate Official Reports of Battles, 1 ' p. 235. See also, in same work, General Chalmers's Re port, at page 250.

fire brought to bear against it, when Colonel Daniel "W. Adams, its new commander, seizing a battle-flag, "called upon his men to follow him, which they did with great alacrity ;"* and such was the impetus, as Chalmers's brigade charged on the right, that Pren-tiss's entire line gave way in confusion and disorder. It was pursued through its camps and about half a mile across a ravine, to the ridge beyond, by Chalmers's brigade, till the latter was halted by order of General Johnston,f then in that quarter, and withdrawn to a position on the rear and right of General Gladden. At the same time, Mungen's and Appier's regiments of Ililde-brand's brigade, of Sherman's division, broke and fled, leaving Waterhouse's battery entirely exposed.;}: Here the supporting regiments from McClernand's and Hurlbut's divisions pressed for ward, and, together with Hildebrand's own regiment, still held their ground, while another brigade of McClernand's came to their support. Meantime McArthur's brigade, of Wallace's division, while moving to the assistance of Stuart's brigade, on the Federal extreme left, had mistaken its way, and come opportunely into the void left by the routed General Prentiss.§ For a while it stood firmly, but was forced back and formed farther to the rear,, with the remaining forces of its own division, hurried forward to its relief. General Hurlbut also was bringing up his two remaining brigades for the support of Prentiss's left, when he met the flee ing troops of that division, who straggled through his lines. He formed his brigades on two sides of an open field with woods in rear, and his three batteries (Meyer's, Mann's, and Ross's) respect ively on the right, the centre, and the left—their fire converging over the open ground in front; [ while General Prentiss, rallying what he could of his troops, led them, together with the 23d Mis souri (just landed from a transport), into position on Hurlbut's right, and on the left of Wallace's division.^[ But here, after the capture of Prentiss's camps, further advance on the right was sus-

* Sec Colonel D. W. Adams's Report, in " Confederate Official Reports of Battles," p. 242.

t See General Chalmers's Report, in " Confederate Official Reports of Battles," p. 257.