15th Infantry Regiment Mississippi

 Regimental History


Shiloh,Tenn.
April 6-7, 1862

Shiloh, Tenn., April 6-7, 1862. Army of the Tennessee , Army of the Ohio; Gunboats Tyler and Lexington. Immediately after the fall of Fort Donelson, Gen. A. S. Johnston, Command- Ing the Confederate armies in the West, Began the work of establishing A New Line farther south. He evacuated Nashville on Feb. 23, and fell back to Murfreesboro, where he was joined by the troops from Bowling Green, Those who had escaped from Fort Donelson, and Gen. Crittenden's command, giving him about 17,000 men. With this force he moved to Corinth, Miss., where he was joined by Gen. Bragg with 10,000 seasoned troops from Pensacola; Ruggles' brigade from New Orleans, Gen. Polk, with Cheatham's division from Columbus, KY., the troops that had left Island No. 10 with McCown on March 17; Gen. Van Dorn's Command from Missouri, and several small outlying garrisons. New recruits also came in from different states, so that by April 1, he had an army of some 40,000 men. Beauregard's forces were stationed at Island No. 1O, Forts Pillow and Randolph, Memphis, and at various points in Mississippi. As Johnston was falling back from Nashville to Corinth Maj.-Gen. Henry W. Halleck, commanding the department, conceived the idea of breaking the railroad connections to prevent Beauregard from forming a junction with Johnston. A Base of operations was then to be established on the Tennessee River, from which the army would move on Corinth Florence, Ala., was originally selected, but owing to the failure of the expedition to destroy the railroad bridge at Eastport, Miss., and the rapid mobilization of Johnston's Forces at Corinth and Humboldt, it was deemed advisable to establish A Depot Lower down. The selection of A Place was left to Maj.-Gen. Charles F. Smith, who commanded the advance division. He decided in favor of Savannah, on the right bank of the river, 12O Miles from Nashville and 23 from Corinth, and designated Pittsburg Landing, 9 Miles above Savannah, as the point for assembling the army. In anticipation of a movement of this Sort, Beauregard, in the latter part of February, Sent A Battery, supported by two regiments of infantry, to occupy the bluff overlooking Pittsburg Landing. This was driven away by the two Federal gunboats, Tyler and Lexington, on March 1, and on the 5th the first of the steamboats bringing troops and supplies landed at Savannah.

The Tennessee River at Pittsburg Landing runs almost due north, the landing being on the left or western bank. A little more than 2 Miles above the landing Lick creek flows into the river, and Snake creek about a mile below. The principal tributary of the latter is Owl creek, the course of which is almost parallel to that of Lick creek. Some 2 Miles from the river are Oak creek and Locust Grove creek, near together the former flowing into Owl creek and the latter into Lick creek. The ground enclosed by these several streams is a rolling plateau, broken in places by ravines, and from 80 to 100 feet above the river. Its form is that of an irregular triangle, approximately 4 Miles on each side, and it was on this plateau that the battle of Shiloh was fought. Several roads crossed the field in different directions, the principal ones being the Eastern Corinth, or Bark road; the Western Corinth Road, on which stood Shiloh Church, about 2 Miles from the landing, the Purdy Road which crossed the Corinth Road A Short distance north of the church , the Hamburg Road, Running up the river bank to Hamburg and from there to Corinth, and the river road to Crump's landing, which crossed Snake creek a little way below the mouth of Owl creek. Almost parallel with the road, and a little West of it, ran Tillman's creek.

By March 18, this field was occupied by the Army of the Tennessee commanded by Maj.-Gen. U. S. Grant, and organized as Follows: 1st division, Maj.-Gen. John A. McClernand, including the brigades of Cols. A. M. Hare, C. C Marsh and Julius Raith; 2nd division, Brig.-Gen. W. H. L. Wallace, consisting of the brigades of Col. James M Tuttle, Brig.Gen. John McArthur, and Col. T. W. Sweeny; 3rd division, Maj.-Gen. Lewis Wallace, including the brigades of Cols. M. L. Smith, J. M. Thayer and Charles Whittlesey; 4th division, Brig.-Gen. Stephen A. Hurlbut, consisting of the brigades of Cols. N. G. Williams and J. C. Veatch, and Brig.-Gen J. G. Lauman; 5th division, Brig.-Gen. W. T. Sherman, embracing the divisions of Cols. J. McDowell, David Stuart, Jesse Hildebrand and R. P. Buckland; 6th division, Brig.-Gen B. M. Prentiss, including the brigades of Cols. Everett Peabody and Madison Miller. The artillery and cavalry were distributed among the several divisions and two regiments of infantry and five batteries were unassigned. According to the field returns on April 4-5, just before the battle, the total present for duty numbered 44,895 officers and men, with 62 pieces of artillery.

Maj.-Gen. D. C. Buell, with the Army of Ohio, had occupied Nashville immediately upon its evacuation by the Confederates, and early in March he tendered his aid to Halleck, who urged him to join Grant at Savannah. On the 1Oth Buell telegraphed: "I can join you almost, if not quite as soon by water, in better condition and with greater security to your operations and mine. * * * I shall advance in a very few days, as soon as our transportation is ready." The next Day the Department of the Mississippi was created by the president's War Order No. 3, Giving Halleck authority over the Army of the Ohio, and he at once sent orders to Buell to march his army to Savannah. On the 15th Buell Began his march with four divisions, viz.: The 2nd, Under Brig.-Gen. Alexander McCook, was composed of three brigades; commanded by Brig.-Gen. L. H. Rousseau, Col. E. N. Kirk and Col. W. H Gibson; the 4th division, Brig.-Gen. William Nelson, included the brigades of Cols. Jacob Ammen, William B. Hazen and S. D. Bruce; the 5th division; Brig-Gen. T. L. Crittenden, included the brigades of Brig.-Gen. J. T. Boyle and Col. William S. Smith; the 6th division, Brig.-Gen. T. J. Wood, consisted of the brigades of Brig.-Gen. James A. Garfield and Col. George D. Wagner. The four divisions numbered about 25,000 men. With the command were three batteries of artillery and two regiments of cavalry, the latter going in advance of the main column to secure the bridges. The bridge over the Duck river at Columbia was found in flames and the water at flood stage. This occasioned a delay of several Days While A New Bridge was being constructed. Nelson's division crossed on the 29th and the rest of the army the next Day, when the march was resumed with all possible speed toward Pittsburg Landing. Nelson's division, which was in advance, reached Savannah on April 5, Crittenden's camped within A Few Miles of the Place that night, and Buell himself reached the town late in the evening.

Johnston's Army, the Army of the Mississippi, with Beauregard Second in command, was divided into four corps. The 1st, Under Maj.-Gen. Leonidas Polk, was composed of the divisions of Clark and Cheatham; the 2nd, Maj.-Gen. Braxton Bragg, included the divisions of Ruggles and Withers; the 3rd, Maj.-Gen. William J. Hardee, consisted of three brigades Under Hindman, Cleburne and S.A.M. Wood; the reserve corps, Brig.-Gen. John C. Breckenridge, embraced the brigades of Trabue, Bowen and Statham. Altogether the army contained 72 regiments and 10 battalions, numbering, according to Confederate reports, 35,953 infantry and artillery and 4,382 cavalry. Each brigade was accompanied by at least one battery, and several had two. On March 26, Lee wrote to Johnston: "I Need not urge you, when your army is united, to deal a blow at the enemy in your front, if possible, before his rear gets up from Nashville. You have him divided, and keep him so, if you can." Pursuant to these instructions Johnston hastened forward his arrangements for an attack on Grant before Buell could come up, and when, on the night of April 2, he learned that Buell had passed Columbia, he immediately issued orders for the troops to be held ready to move at a minute's notice, each man to be provided with 5 days, rations and 100 rounds of ammunition. The arrangements were completed in a few hours and on the afternoon of the 3rd the advance against Grant was commenced, Hardee's corps in advance, the intention being to have the troops in line by 7 o'clock on the morning of the 5th, and the attack to begin an hour later. As usual in the movement of large bodies of troops, unavoidable delays occurred, so that the attack was not made until 24 hours behind the Schedule time.

Notwithstanding the enemy had been encountered at various places by reconnoitering parties on Friday and Saturday, the 4th and 5th, it seems that no general attack was anticipated by the Union commander, as on Saturday Grant telegraphed Halleck that "The main force of the enemy is at Corinth, with troops at different points east." In another despatch the Same Day, announcing the arrival of Buell's advance division at Savannah, he said: "It is my present intention to send them to Hamburg, some Four Miles above Pittsburg, when they all get here. From that point to Corinth the road is good, and a junction can be formed with the troops from Pittsburg at almost any point." The Same Day he Sent Col. McPherson to examine the ground about Hamburg, with instructions to Mark out the position of a camp there, if it should be decided to occupy that Place. In a visit to Nelson's camp at Savannah, Grant said to that officer: "There will be no fighting at Pittsburg Landing; we will have to go to Corinth, where the rebels are fortified." Holding these views it is not surprising that no defensive works were thrown up at Pittsburg Landing, and that only ordinary pickets were thrown out short distances from the camp. The positions of the different commands on Saturday evening, April 5, were as follows: Stuart's brigade of Sherman's division was at the junction of the Hamburg and Bark roads, the rest of the division was on the right of the line, the left resting on Shiloh Church, the camp extending westward; McClernand's left was near the crossing of the Corinth and Purdy Roads, his line extending northwest, Prentiss Lay between Sherman and Stuart, Near the headwaters of Oak Creek, Hurlbut and W. H. L. Wallace were farther in the rear to the east of Tillman Creek; Lewis Wallace was down the river, about half way between Pittsburg Landing and Savannah, his 1st brigade being at Crump's Landing, the 2nd at A Place called Stony Lonesome, about 2 Miles from the river on the Purdy Road, and his 3rd at Adamsville, some 2 Miles farther on the same road.

About 3 o'clock on Sunday Morning Prentiss Sent Col. Moore, of the 21st Mo., with five companies, to the front on a reconnaissance. Just at daybreak the advance pickets were driven in when Moore moved forward and was soon engaged with Hardee's column advancing to the Attack. Moore Sent Back for reinforcements and the remainder of his regiment was sent forward to his assistance. Peabody's brigade was formed in line and advanced well to the front. About 6 o'clock Moore was Severly wounded, the regiment fell back, closely pressed by the enemy, and soon the entire division was under fire. This was the beginning of the battle of Shiloh. It was the intention of the Confederates to surprise the Federals, and probably the only thing that prevented the surprise was the action of Prentiss in sending out a reconnaissance at such an early hour. Hardee's line continued to advance, widening the space between the brigades as they came forward until Cleburne was in front of Sherman's division, driving the advance guard back on the main body. The brigades of McDowell and Hildebrand formed on their Color Lines, Taylor's Battery was posted near the church and Waterhouse's on a ridge to the left, between the 53rd and 57th Ohio, the Former, Under Col. Appler, forming the left of the Line. Sherman Sent to McClernand, Asking him to support Appler, and McClernand formed his division so that Raith's brigade connected with Sherman's left. The Confederates opened with a battery in the Woods, to which Taylor and Waterhouse promptly responded. After a short artillery duel the enemy's infantry advanced and the battle became General. Raith ordered a charge, which drove the enemy from the front, though he fell mortally wounded while leading his brigade, which was thrown into some confusion, but Lieut.-Col. Engelmann assumed command and righted the line, changing his two flank regiments to repulse attacks by Polk and Bragg, who had come up on his right and left. About 9 a.m. the 53rd Ohio Broke in disorder, soon followed by the 57th but Engelmann Held on until his flanks were again threatened, when he was ordered to fall back and Form A New Line in front of division headquarters. During this action 3 guns of Waterhouse's battery were captured.

When the New Line was formed McClernand Brought up Burrows' battery in the center, Schwartz's was sent to the right in support of Sherman, and McAllister's to the left to command the approach across a field. All opened a spirited fire and in a few minutes Schwartz succeeded in silencing the guns in his front, but the enemy charged in force and he was compelled to retire with the loss of a caisson. Nearly all the horses belonging to Burrows' battery were killed and the guns had to be abandoned: They were recaptured, however, the next Day. McAllister kept up the fire until almost surrounded, when he withdrew three of his guns, one being left behind for want of horses to bring it off. This gun was also recovered the next Day. Each of the battery commanders was wounded during the action. Hildebrand's brigade had practically disappeared from the field by 10 a.m. and Sherman ordered McDowell and Buckland to fall back to the Purdy and Hamburg Road, where they were to Form A New Line to connect with McClernand's. Half an hour later the Confederates made a furious assault on McClernand, and McDowell was sent against the enemy's left flank, driving him back some distance, after which McDowell Took position in a wooded valley to his right, where, under cover of rocks, logs and trees, his men held on until about the middle of the afternoon. All through the Day Sherman and McClernand acted in concert. Five times they were compelled to retire before the determined assaults of the enemy. About 4 p.m. the sixth line was established to cover the bridge and road over which Lew Wallace's division was expected to come from Crump's landing. This line was in the skirts of A Wood, on the east side of a field, McClernand's division in the center, the remnant of Sherman's division on the right, two regiments of Veatch's brigade on the left, McAllister's battery near the middle of the line and the 7th Ill. formed as a reserve. A lull of half an hour occurred, during which time the men replenished their cartridge boxes and seized the opportunity to enjoy a brief but much needed rest. Then the enemy's cavalry were seen advancing across the field to a charge. When they were within 30 yards of the Union line McAllister's guns belched forth from their brazen throats a shower of canister, followed immediately by a well directed volley of musketry that threw the Confederates into confusion and caused them to beat a hasty retreat, leaving behind A Large Number of dead and wounded. After several attempts to turn the flanks of this position the enemy advanced in heavy columns, the Louisiana Zouaves in the lead, against the center. Again the Federals waited in silence until the enemy was at close range, when fire was opened with destructive effect. The artillery, double shotted with canister, literally mowed down the column, while the coolness of the infantry made every shot tell. All attempts to rally the line were futile, and after a few moments the whole body fled in disorder: This ended the fighting on that part of the field for the Day.

Shortly After Prentiss became engaged in the morning, the second line of Confederates swept around to his right flank forcing him back to his color line, where he held on until about 9 o'clock, when a fresh body of troops was brought up against him and he was driven back to the position held by Hurlbut and W. H. L. Wallace. The three divisions now formed A New Line, with Prentiss in the Center, Hurlbut on the left and Wallace on the Right. Prentiss occupied an old, washed out road running along the top of a ridge about half a mile to the eastward of the church, with Hickenlooper's battery in position to the right of the Corinth Road. Many of Prentiss' Men had become panic-stricken and fled toward the River. Wallace Sent the 8th IA., Under Col. Geddes, to his assistance, and Col. Tindall came up with the 23rd Mo., which had just disembarked from a transport, thus strengthening the New Line. This formation had hardly been completed when Gladden's brigade of Withers' division made a terrific assault on the Center. Prentiss' Men lying in the old sunken road, waited until the enemy was within close range, when they poured in a murderous volley that drove him back out of Range. P. Stewart's brigade of Clark's division next essayed to drive Prentiss from his position, but was twice repulsed with Heavy Slaughter. Bragg then ordered Gibson's brigade of Ruggles' division to carry the Ridge. Gibson made one of the most gallant charges of the Day, but in the meantime a battery had been so placed as to enfilade the slope, and this Cross- Fire, with the deadly line of infantry in the old roadway, quickly drove him Back. Gibson asked for artillery to silence the battery, but none was at hand and another charge was ordered. Four regimental commanders tried to persuade Bragg that the position was invulnerable without artillery. To one of these he replied somewhat petulantly, "I want no faltering now," and again a desperate dash was made up the slope, only to be met by that relentless Fire. Four Times Gibson charged, but each time the Federal line held firm. Hindman's command, flushed with the success it had won against Sherman and McClernand, next confidently advanced against the ridge, but it was shattered into fragments by the battery and the musketry fire from the steadfast line of Wallace and Prentiss. To this fatal slope the Confederates gave the Name of the "Hornets' Nest."

While these events were transpiring on the right and center of the Union line, the left had not been permitted to remain idle. About 7:30 a.m. Stuart's pickets brought in word that the enemy was advancing in force on the Bark Road. Stuart communicated this information to Hurlbut who Sent Forward Mann's Battery, supported by the 41st Ill. Stuart then formed his line to the left of the battery, and facing toward the West and south, in the expectation that Hurlbut would extend his line to connect with the battery on the right. Four companies were thrown forward as skirmishers and were soon engaged with a force of the enemy which was trying to plant a battery on the opposite side of the ravine. The skirmishers were forced to retire and the Confederate battery commenced shelling Stuart's position, their infantry at the same time advancing. Stuart Went to the battery to order it to change its position, but found it and the supporting regiment had been withdrawn to connect with Williams' brigade, to which they belonged. This left a wide gap in the line, and Stuart, seeing that he was about to be outflanked by an overwhelming force, hurried back to his brigade, which was already engaged, the 71st Ohio Having retreated from the field to return no more that Day. The gap in the line was filled by McArthur, with two regiments of his brigade, and as soon as possible Stuart extricated his command, after which he withdrew to A Hill some distance in the rear. Here he repulsed an attack by Chalmers' brigade of Withers' division and held the enemy in check until Clanton's cavalry gained his left flank, when he again fell back to another Hill reformed his line and held this position until his men had exhausted their ammunition. Stuart was wounded and went to the landing, turning over the command to Col. Smith, of the 54th Ohio. Smith and Col. Malmborg, of the 55th Ill., succeeded in rallying about 3,000 of the retreating troops and held on until about 3 p.m., when the whole brigade retired gradually toward the landing.

When Hurlbut withdrew Mann's Battery from Stuart he placed it at the corner of a field, along the southern side of which was Williams' brigade, Lauman continuing the line at an obtuse angle to the right of the battery to connect with Prentiss Left. Ross' Battery was placed about the middle of Williams' Line and Myers' was with Lauman. This position was held until the withdrawal of Stuart's command made it necessary for Hurlbut to send Lauman's brigade to the left to prevent a flank movement, and during this period of five hours several heavy attacks were repulsed. Gladden's brigade, after its effort to Force Prentiss from the old roadway, reformed and commanded by Col. Adams moved against Lauman. When within about 400 yards Mann's and Ross' batteries opened, while the 17th and 25th Ky. were thrown forward to strike the advancing column on the flank. Under this Cross-Fire the enemy broke and sought the cover of the Wood. Three Times Adams rallied his men and led them to the attack, but with no better success, Mann's Battery Being particularly effective in repelling the assaults. Meantime Jackson's brigade of Withers' division assailed McArthur, but was unable to withstand the steady fire. A second attack, in which Jackson was well supported by artillery, proved more successful, and after a severe struggle McArthur withdrew his two regiments in good order to A New position.

Soon After Hardee had opened the fight against Sherman and McClernand, Johnston Rode to the right of the Confederate line and ordered Breckenridge to send Trabue's brigade to Beauregard, who was then near the church. Then, seeing the difficulty that Withers was having in trying to carry the Federal position in the "Hornet's Nest," he ordered Breckenridge's other two brigades to be put in. Bowen was first engaged and driven back, after which Statham deployed under cover of a ridge and marched up the slope directly in front of the 32nd and 41st Ill. which formed the left of Hurlbut's line. This time the Confederates succeeded in reaching the summit, where they were met by a withering fire at close range. Statham's line broke and fled down the Hill in disorder, the 45th Tenn. refusing to again make the attempt until Johnston Rode Forward and offered to lead the charge in person. The line was again formed and with the Confederate general at the Head charged up the slope with such impetuosity that the Illinois troops were forced to give way. They retired slowly, however, halting now and then to fire thus checking pursuit. On one of these occasions a bullet Struck Gen. Johnston in the thigh, cutting an artery, and in a few minutes he bled to death, as no surgeon was near to attend to the wound. The news of his death spread quickly through the Confederate ranks, and caused a lull in the battle. Then Bragg assumed command of the Confederate right. He assembled what was left of Withers' and Cheatham's divisions and Breckenridge's two brigades and prepared for a general advance. Hurlbut Saw the movement forming and took steps to meet the assault when it came. Cartridge boxes were replenished, Willard's Battery was brought forward and posted near the Hamburg Road, 2 of Cavender's 20-Pounders were brought up and placed in position with Williams' brigade, and the line strengthened wherever it was possible. About 4 P.M. Bragg moved Forward. Willard opened with telling effect on two Texas regiments which were moving to the left, and this was followed by a charge by Lauman that drove the Texans back some distance. Bragg now commenced to move a heavy force between Hurlbut and the river with a view to cutting off the retreat, but Hurlbut Gave the order to fall back in time to prevent its success, and his command retired steadily to Webster's battery of siege guns near the river, where A New Line was formed behind the artillery. Here the fight continued until almost Dark, Bragg Making A desperate but vain effort to capture the guns. Hurlbut's withdrawal Left Prentiss in an exposed position, where he soon found himself surrounded by an overwhelming force. He held on, however, until about 5 30, when he surrendered himself and 2,200 men as prisoners war. About 5 o'clock Beauregard Gave the order to retire and go into bivouac. Some delay occurred in the transmission of the order to the different commands, Jackson and Chalmers continuing the fight after all the others had retired. The fortunes of the Day were with the Confederates. The Federals held possession of the camps of W. H. L. Wallace's and Hurlbut's divisions of the preceding night but Sherman's, Prentiss' and McClernand's were in the hands of the enemy. Many of the Union troops were here subjected to actual fire for the first time, with the result that they became panic-stricken and crowded to the river bank, all efforts to rally them having proved of no avail. Darkness found them a hungry, disorganized mob in the vicinity of the landing, where they were not only useless, but also in the way of those who were willing to fight.

When the battle began in the Morning Grant was seated at breakfast in Savannah. Hearing the firing he sent an order to< Nelson to march his division up the river to a point opposite Pittsburg Landing after which he hurried to the despatch boat and was soon on his way to the scene of action. At Crump's landing he Found Lew Wallace Waiting to see him and halted Long Enough to Order Wallace to have his troops in readiness to move at a moment's notice. Wallace immediately ordered his division to concentrate at the camp of the 2nd brigade. Upon arriving on the Field Grant Soon Learned the condition of affairs and sent an order to Wallace to move his division and take position on the right of the army. This order was received by Wallace about 11:30 a.m. He marched his command out on the road that crossed the Purdy Road A little West of Owl creek, but before he reached his destination he was met by Capt. Rowley, of Grant's staff, who brought the information that the Union right had been beaten back toward the landing, and that the road upon which the division was then moving led to the rear of the Confederate position. This necessitated a countermarch to the river road in order to form a junction with the right of the line as then established and this so delayed the movement that it was dark before Wallace reached the field. A similar delay occurred in the case of Nelson's division. It was past 1 p.m. when he started from Savannah. The roads had been overflowed and in some places were almost impassable. Although the men were eager to join in the combat the march was necessarily slow and the command did not reach the field in time to take part in the first days engagement. Crittenden's division arrived about 9 p.m. and the boats were sent back to Savannah to bring up McCook's division which arrived at the landing at 5 o'clock on Monday Morning.

The early part of the night was spent by the Federal generals in collecting their stragglers and forming their lines for the next day's battle. The fresh troops of Nelson and Crittenden were formed near the landing, in a line perpendicular to the river and extending to the Corinth Road. Across the road were Hurlbut, McClernand and Sherman, in the order named, and among whom had been apportioned the remnant of Prentiss' division. On the extreme right was the division of Lew Wallace, Near Snake Creek. Toward midnight a heavy rain began to fall, but the men maintained their places in the line, many lying on the bare ground without shelter. On the Confederate side conditions were no better, and possibly worse. Those who occupied the captured camps availed themselves of the shelter of the tents, but by far the greater part of the army passed the night in the open air. Although they were the victors in Sunday's Action they had suffered severely. Jackson's brigade was completely disintegrated in Bragg's Last Attack; Hindman's was also broken to pieces; Gladden's, or what was left of it, bivouacked near the Hamburg Road; Trabue's occupied McDowell's camp; the other two brigades of Breckenridge's command lay between the church and the river; part of Clark's division was between Breckenridge and the church, in which Beauregard had established his headquarters; Hardee, with Cleburne's brigade occupied Prentiss' Camp; Wood's slept in McClernand's, while Cheatham's division and one regiment of Clark's Left the field under command of Polk and returned to their camp of the preceding night. All through the night the two Union gunboats threw shells at intervals of 10 or 15 minutes into the enemy's lines, making it impossible for the exhausted men to get the sleep they so sorely needed, and in some instances driving them from the captured camps.

The arrival of Lew Wallace's division and the Army of the Ohio Gave Great encouragement to the Union troops, and the army now assumed the offensive. On Monday Morning the attack was begun as soon as it was light enough to see and commenced on both flanks almost simultaneously. On the Left Nelson moved out on the river road in line of Battle, Ammen on the Left, Bruce in the center and Hazen on the right, followed by Crittenden's division in column. About 5:20 the enemy was encountered and Nelson halted until Crittenden could come into line on his right. McCook's division, just then arriving from Savannah, was pushed forward and formed on the right of Crittenden. Thus formed the line advanced and soon forced back the Confederates until the position abandoned by Hurlbut and Wallace at 4 p.m. the Day before was regained. The "Hornets' Nest" was in front of Crittenden's left and the Place where Johnston Fell was directly in front of Nelson. Here A Larger Force of the enemy appeared, before which Nelson was forced to retire, as he had no artillery. Buell ordered Mendenhall's battery to his assistance, the enemy's guns were quickly silenced, after which Hazen's brigade made a dashing charge, capturing the guns and driving the supporting infantry from the field. But Bowen's brigade, which was moving to the support of the battery, charged Hazen in front, while two batteries, one on each flank, sent an enfilading fire into his lines. In a few minutes the brigade lost 90 killed and 558 wounded, and the rest fell back in confusion, leaving a gap in the line that exposed Bruce to the danger of a flank movement. At the same time Ammen's brigade was heavily engaged to prevent an effort to turn the left of the line. Terrill's battery was brought up and held the enemy back until part of McDowell's brigade moved around to Ammen's left, when the Confederates fell back to their original position in the Woods. This ended the fighting on Nelson's front. Crittenden's skirmishers were forced to retire, while a battery on a ridge opposite his front did considerable damage to his line. Bartlett's battery responded with an accurate fire, forcing the enemy's battery to change its position several times, and finally to withdraw. The skirmishers were again ordered forward, but just then it was seen that the enemy was forming line in the timber, as if preparing for A Charge. Bartlett Turned his guns and poured a shower of shrapnell and canister into the timber, throwing the Confederates into some confusion, and this advantage was promptly followed up by Boyle's brigade, which charged through the brush, driving the enemy from cover and back across a field in their rear. Further to the Right McCook deployed Rousseau's brigade facing toward the church, with Kirk's brigade so disposed as to protect Rousseau's right. Skirmishers were thrown forward, but they soon encountered part of Tralue's brigade and were forced Back. Rousseau then advanced his line, firing as he went, and drove Trabue Back to an open field, where he received reinforcements and made a furious charge. Rousseau's line received the shock without a quiver and after a desperate struggle of half an Hour Trabue Gave Way, leaving the Federals in possession of pieces of artillery and McClernand's old headquarters. In executing this movement Rousseau Drew away from Crittenden, leaving a break in the Line. McCook Sent Col. Willich, with the 32nd Ind., into this gap to support Rousseau's Left. Willich charged with the bayonet and drove the enemy back into the timber. He then deployed his men in line of battle and opened fire, but unfortunately the regiment was so placed that its skirmishers received the fire of friend and foe alike. As they beat a hasty retreat from their exposed position Willich rallied them, withdrew his command into a ravine, where he exercised his men for a few moments in the Manual of arms to overcome their nervousness, then formed again in double column to the center and by a gallant charge drove the Confederates from his front. Kirk now relieved Rousseau whose ammunition was gone, and about this time Gibson's brigade arrived and took position on the left of Kirk. When Rousseau's brigade had received A New Supply of ammunition it was again ordered into line and the whole division advanced, McCook connecting with the forces on his right.

On the Right Lew Wallace at daybreak discovered a battery on the bluff across Tillman's (or Brier) creek. This was Ketchum's Alabama Battery, supported by Pond's brigade of Ruggles' division. Wallace ordered Thompson's 9th Ind. Battery to open fire, which was promptly answered by Ketchum. The presence of Wallace was unknown to Pond until the artillery was brought into action. As he was nearly a mile from his nearest support, he retired after a brief engagement, leaving Wharton's Texas rangers to support the battery. A spirited artillery duel ensued between Thompson and Ketchum until Wallace ordered Thurber's Missouri Battery into position to assist Thompson by A Cross-Fire. This had the desired effect, and the Confederates withdrew from the bluff. Wallace's whole command then pushed across the creek in pursuit suit. When the enemy was thus driven from the bluff it left his flank exposed and Wallace changed front by a left half wheel to turn the Confederate left. While the movement was in course of execution Wallace discovered a heavy column moving rapidly to reinforce Pond, who was still Falling Back. Thompson opened on this column with his battery, but was shortly afterward compelled to turn his guns on a battery planted in a field on his right. His ammunition soon gave out and Thurber was ordered up to take his Place, the change being made without any cessation in the fire. An attempt was made to charge the battery, but it was handsomely repulsed by Morgan L. Smith's brigade. Grant's orders were for Sherman's right to connect with Wallace's left, but the former was slow in getting into position, so that it was 10 o'clock before the line of battle was complete and the general advance commenced. From that time until noon the battle around Shiloh Church was equally as furious as any part of Sunday's engagement. McCook had driven back the forces on the Corinth Road, where Beauregard in person was in command, and after effecting a junction with McClernand the whole Union army formed a curved line, concentrating their fire upon the force composed of Cheatham's, Ruggles, and part of Clark's divisions, Wood's and Trabue's brigades and several batteries, and for two hours hammered the Confederates back. As one brigade would exhaust its ammunition and fall back for A New Supply another would take its Place in the line and the fight went on without cessation.

Shortly afternoon Beauregard Saw that his men were beginning to flag. The work of the previous Day and a sleepless night were beginning to tell upon their constitutions, and the knowledge that they were confronted by about 25,000 fresh troops added to the strain. Whole regiments dropped out of line, completely worn out, and all efforts to rally them met with failure. Under these circumstances Beauregard Gave the order to retreat and sent word to his right to retire the troops in alternate lines, while the left continued the fight to secure the withdrawal of the army. About 500 yards east of the church was a grove of wateroaks, filled with a dense undergrowth, in and behind which the enemy made his last stand. One battery near the church and another on the Hamburg Road were so placed as to pour a deadly fire on any column that might try to advance against that piece of timber. Nevertheless Willich's regiment moved forward and succeeded in entering the timber, but After A Sharp Fight of about 20 minutes was compelled to retire. Two 24-Pounders belonging to McAllister's battery and 3 guns of Wood's Battery were brought up and after a heavy cannonade silenced the enemy's guns. Rousseau's brigade then advanced, deployed, and entered the Woods. Sherman Sent Forward T. K. Smith's and Buckland's brigades to Rousseau's support. Rousseau swept everything before him, and by 4 p.m. the Union army had recovered every inch of ground that had been lost the Day before. The charge of Rousseau was the last straw. Of the retreat which followed immediately after this Charge, Lew Wallace Says in his report: "About 4 o'clock the enemy to my front broke into rout and ran through the camps occupied by Gen. Sherman on Sunday Morning. Their own camp had been established about 2 Miles beyond. There, without halting, they fired tents, stores, &c. Throwing out the wounded, they filled their wagons full of Arms (Springfield muskets and Enfield rifles) ingloriously thrown away by some of our troops the Day before, and hurried on. After following them until nearly nightfall I brought my division back to Owl creek and bivouacked it."

The Union loss at Shiloh was 1,754 killed, 8,408 wounded and 2,885 captured or missing. Most of the captured belong to Prentiss' division. On the Confederate side the loss was reported as being 1,728 killed, 8,012 wounded and 959 missing. The effect of the battle is well summed up by Gen. M. F. Force in his "From Fort Henry to Corinth," wherein he says: "The battle sobered both armies. The force at Pittsburg Landing saw rudely dashed aside the expectation of a speedy entry into Corinth. The force at Corinth, that marched out to drive Grant into the river, to scatter Buell's force in detail and return in triumph to Nashville, was back in the old quarters, foiled, disheartened."

Source: The Union Army, vol. 6

 

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