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were both full and completely protected the flanks. Owl Creek, covering part of the front, was also full. The Federal line faced mainly south and west. Any Confederate attack must be wholly in front. Sherman was on the right and near Shiloh meeting-house. His division reached from the Purdy to the Corinth road. On his left and rear was McClernand and further to the left was Prentiss. Back of them and on an inner line were Hurlbut and W. H. L. Wallace. The entire force on the field was thirty-eight thousand men.
The attack was begun by Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston, at daybreak on the morning of April 6th, with a force of fortythree thousand men and fifty guns. Hardee's corps led, fol
lowed by Bragg's, and then by Polk's and the reserves under Breckenridge.
Sherman and Prentiss received the Confederate onset. As soon as Grant heard the heavy firing, he ordered Nelson to move up to a point directly opposite Pittsburg Landing. He then took a boat and left Savannah for the Landing and scene of conflict. On the
way up he stopped at Crump's Landing GEN. A. S. JOHNSTON.
to notify Lewis Wallace that the battle
was on, and to hold himself in readiness for any orders. Arriving at Pittsburg Landing at eight o'clock, he rode at once to the front.
Both Sherman and Prentiss had thrown out double pickets the night before, and were therefore well on their guard against surprise. But they had hardly calculated on so furious and persistent an onset of the main body. As soon as it was ascertained that the movement was in earnest, word was sent to Lewis Wallace and Nelson, to hurry their commands up and to the front as fast as possible.
The engagement soon became general and the attack deter
mined. The Confederates threw their regiments in close order and quick succession against the Federal columns, and those of Prentiss showed signs of wavering. Those on Sherman's left, being mostly new troops, began to give ground, though the General held his right and centre, near Shiloh Church, with great tenacity. McClernand promptly came to the aid of Sherman's left. Hurlbut shoved his forces up to Prentiss' support.
W. H. L. Wallace was moved over to the centre and left of the line. Lewis Wallace was directed to push up on Sherman's right, but failed to come.
The battle grew more furious. Grant's whole force, actually in line, was engaged, and against heavy odds. It is doubtful if any closer, harder and more stubborn fighting was done during the war. Sherman's left was turned, but he held his right to its place. Hurlbut's ranks were repeatedly broken, yet he reformed them and yielded only when overpowered. Prentiss clung a little too long, and was captured with two thousand one hundred men. W. H. L. Wallace was killed, and his division was pressed back on McClernand's left, throwing it into confusion.
It was going sorely with the Federal forces. Many of them were too new for such a trial. Grant was everywhere on the field ordering up stragglers, reforming and sending into line the broken and detached bodies, seeing that supplies were sent where most needed. Riding out to where Sherman was resolutely holding his own, he complimented him for the stubborn opposition he was making, and it must be said that, though repeatedly wounded, the hero of the “ March to the Sea” never showed more conspicuously his qualities as a general than in this battle.
Little by little the Federal lines fell back. They were not pierced, but so turned and twisted as to present many faces to the foe. Still, if Wallace and Nelson would only come, there might be hope of retrieving the day. Messengers were again
sent. Nelson, who had received orders to move at 7 A.M. did not start till I P.M. Wallace had mistaken his way, had been set right by McPherson, yet still delayed for unaccountable reasons.
In the middle of the afternoon Buell arrived on the field in person and in advance of his troops. Seeing no hope of victory, he asked Grant what preparations he had made for retreating. The reply came, “I have not despaired of whipping them yet.” Nelson arrived at 5 P. M.
By 4 P. M. the Federal lines had been forced back two miles, into the angle between Lick Creek and the river, the left resting on the ridge just below the Landing, the right on the creek a mile and a half away. Two gunboats had been brought to cover the left, and also a battery of volunteer artillery of forty guns, posted there by Col. Webster of Grant's staff.
General Johnston, of the Confederate forces, had been killed. Beauregard succeeded to the command and forced the fighting hard on the receding Federal lines. But as they were last formed they resisted onset after onset. Before night closed the scene Beauregard began to see that further assault would only result in swelling the list of his killed and wounded.
Grant rode to Sherman and told of Donelson,-how the armies had fought till exhausted and how the next blow would win. He ordered Sherman to attack at dawn in the morning. General Wood was reported at Savannah with another division of Buell's army. Grant sent word: “Come up immediately. Transports will be ready to bring your troops. Leave all heavy baggage. The enemy has fought vigorously all day. They are estimated at one hundred thousand men. The appearance of fresh troops now will have a powerful effect by inspiring our men and disheartening the enemy." Lewis Wallace made his appearance at nightfall, and was moved into
line of battle on the extreme right where he should have been long before. All the divisions were rearranged and ordered to move at daylight. Both sides slept on their arms.
Early on the morning of the 7th, the Federal troops began the battle afresh with renewed confidence and vigor. Nelson with his fresh troops first struck the enemy from Grant's left centre. The Confederate army had lost heavily—“ nearly half in killed and wounded and from straggling,” says Beauregard's report. It was fatigued too with the tremendous exertions of the day before. Still it held on stubbornly, and especially as the character of the attack upon it must have assured it that the Federals had been reinforced. The tactics and scenes of the day before were reversed. The Confederates were the receding foe. Ground was lost and won several times. Lines were turned and zigzagged. Federal and Confederate lay wounded, dying and dead together. Backward and still backward the resolute lines were pushed over the field of yesterday, and until every inch of lost ground had been gained. Lew Wallace's laggards fought on the right with a valor born of determination to redeem the reputation they had lost by delay. Sherman renewed the fight for Shiloh Church, and there reclaimed all the trophies won from the Federals. Buell, though at first cold toward Grant, entered fully into the spirit of the fight, and handled his forces with great ability. There was but little straggling.
All were determined.
As the day wore on, the national victory was more decisive. The repulse of the enemy became general by two o'clock, and by nightfall Beauregard was five miles beyond the front which General Grant had maintained previous to the battle of the first day, and in rapid retreat. Rain was falling. The ground was wet and slippery. The men were worn out with their two days of fighting. These facts saved the Confederate retreat from becoming a rout, for Grant consented with the