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Alabama (Alabama, United States) (search for this): chapter 4
e. It had been expected, that after cutting the railroad near Eastport or Corinth, he would establish himself at Savanna, a point about nine miles lower down than Pittsburg Landing, and on the opposite side of the river; he, however, selected the spot where the battle of Shiloh afterwards occurred. The object of the concentration of troops at these places, was to secure positions which would command the navigation of the Tennessee, and, at the same time, form bases for operations in northern Alabama and Mississippi; Corinth, especially, where the two great railroads meet, that traverse the South, and connect the Gulf of Mexico and the Mississippi with the eastern part of the region then in rebellion, was a position of the first strategic importance, sure to be obstinately defended by the rebels, and the objective point of any operations of the national commanders. It was the key to the whole railroad system of communication between the great states of Tennessee and Mississippi, a
urprised Grant, but says in his official report: At five A. M., on the 6th inst., a reconnoitring party of the enemy having become engaged with the advanced pickets, the commander of the forces (A. S. Johnston) gave orders to begin the movement. Bragg, also, thought the rebels were attacked on Sunday, for speaking of the first day's fight, he says: The enemy did not give us time to discuss the question of attack, for soon after dawn he commenced a rapid musketry fire on our pickets. Again: commenced a rapid musketry fire on our pickets. Again: The enemy was encountered in force at the encampments of his advanced positions. And still again: In about one mile, we encountered him in strong force along almost the entire line. His batteries were posted on eminences, with strong infantry supports. Now, Bragg was in front of Sherman and McClernand, and it is Sherman who is said to have been surprised. (See Appendix for Grant's correspondence with Halleck, on the 5th, entire.)
Crittenden (search for this): chapter 4
ten thousand men on a side are straggling. In the night, the whole of Nelson's column, and nearly all of McCook and Crittenden's divisions, of Buell's army, were ferried across the river, and put in position on the left of the line, relieving thehave been, eighteen hours before. Sherman, McClernand, and Hurl but were posted next, from right to left; and McCook, Crittenden, and Nelson's divisions of Buell's army, in the same order, had the left of the new national line. The battle began in the battle of Shiloh. Grant rode along in the piece of woods, towards the left, where he met Generals McCook and Crittenden. The day was far spent, the rebels effectually repulsed, and still retreating. Grant was anxious to press their broke have disorganized the finest soldiers, were in no condition to follow, even in the elation of victory. But McCook and Crittenden declared that their troops, also, were exhausted; they had marched, if they had not fought, the day before, and the two
J. D. Webster (search for this): chapter 4
ubtless with the ill success of the day, but grim and resolute still, they made here an unconquerable stand. The rebels, flushed with their triumph, and maddened at the sight of their expected prey, at times almost leaped the ravine, but their fury was all in vain; the assault was finally repulsed, and the disappointed column withdrew, shattered and torn, from the fruitless struggle, like a wounded tiger, whose last fierce onslaught has failed. A battery of artillery, well posted by Colonel Webster, of Grant's staff, did good service at this juncture, and the gunboats also were of importance, as they had been for some time previous, in checking the advance of the enemy on the extreme left. Both sides were now crippled and both fatigued, the extraordinary efforts of the day telling hard on either army. The rebel commander had fallen, and been succeeded by Beauregard; W. H. L. Wallace had been mortally wounded, on the national side; Sherman was slightly wounded; Grant had been str
G. G. Pride (search for this): chapter 4
sked for cartridges, Grant replied that he had anticipated this want, and given orders accordingly. It was well that this precaution had been taken so soon; for everywhere on the line, the cartridges gave out early in this furious fight, and amid the confusion and heat of battle, the division generals could organize no means of supplying their commands; but all day long, a train of wagons was passing from the landing to the front, carrying ammunition over the narrow and crowded road. Colonel Pride, of General Grant's staff, organized this important train, and forced a way for it along the single narrow road that leads to the landing, swarming, as it was, with fugitives and wounded men, and choked up with artillery and the mass of material that accumulates in the rear of every battle-field. At intervals all day, Grant was engaged in sending deserters back to their commands, and in forming new lines out of those who had straggled too far to rejoin their own regiments. This furn
my's cannon was constant in his ears; a reason for this delay has never been assigned. Lewis Wallace, one of Grant's own division commanders, was equally remiss; but he, who had been a month on the ground, excused himself by stating that he had taken the wrong road, marching towards Purdy instead of to Pittsburg; yet, his troops had helped build the bridge over Snake creek, for just such emergencies as had now occurred. He was, however, set right by Captain (afterwards Lieutenant-Colonel) Rowley and Colonel (afterwards Major-General) McPherson, both at the time on General Grant's staff; they put him in the right direction at one o'clock, and it took him till seven that night, to march five miles in the direction of battle, though the cannonading was heard at Nashville, a hundred miles away. In a letter on this subject to the War Department, dated April 13, 1863, General Grant says: Had General Wallace been relieved from duty in the morning, and the same orders communicated to Bri
jor-General C. F. Smith in command of expedition, and remain yourself at Fort Henry. Why do you not obey my orders to report strength and position of your command? Grant replied on the 5th: Your dispatch of yesterday is just received. Troops will be sent under command of Major-General Smith, as directed. I had prepared a different plan, intending General Smith to command the forces which should go to Paris and Humboldt, while I would command the expedition upon Eastport, Corinth, and Jackson, in person. . . I am not aware of ever having disobeyed any order from your headquarters—certainly never intended such a thing. I have reported almost daily the condition of my command, and reported every position occupied. . . In conclusion, I will say that you may rely on my carrying out your instructions in every particular to the best of my ability. On the 6th, Halleck telegraphed to Grant: General McClellan directs that you report to me daily the number and position of the forces u
ceived authority from Washington, he telegraphed to Grant: You will place Major-General C. F. Smith in command of expedition, and remain yourself at Fort Henry. Why do you not obey my orders to report strength and position of your command? Grant replied on the 5th: Your dispatch of yesterday is just received. Troops will be sent under command of Major-General Smith, as directed. I had prepared a different plan, intending General Smith to command the forces which should go to Paris and Humboldt, while I would command the expedition upon Eastport, Corinth, and Jackson, in person. . . I am not aware of ever having disobeyed any order from your headquarters—certainly never intended such a thing. I have reported almost daily the condition of my command, and reported every position occupied. . . In conclusion, I will say that you may rely on my carrying out your instructions in every particular to the best of my ability. On the 6th, Halleck telegraphed to Grant: General McClellan
George W. Cullum (search for this): chapter 4
and care, to afford a solace and a support that were never lacking when the need arose. On the 21st of February, General C. F. Smith, by Grant's direction, took possession of Clarksville, about fifty miles above Fort Donelson, and Grant wrote to Cullum announcing the fact, and proposing the capture of Nashville, but said, I am ready for any move the general commanding may suggest. On the 24th, he reported that Smith was at Clarksville, with four small regiments, and added: I do not purpose senng become somewhat confused during the recent movements. On the 28th, he wrote: I have just returned from Nashville this morning. My impression is, from all I can learn, the enemy have fallen back to Decatur or Chattanooga. I have informed General Cullum that General Buell ordered General Smith from Clarksville, to join him at Nashville. On the 1st of March: I have informed the general commanding the department, generally through his chief of staff, every day since leaving Cairo, of my wants
rman's left, but somewhat retired, was McClernand's command, his right overlapping Sherman; then came Prentiss, more in advance again, and on the extreme left was Stuart, commanding a detached brigade of Sherman's division, and covering the crossing of Lick creek. Hurlbut was massed and in reserve, to the rear and left of Prentiss. There was a short interval between Prentiss and Stuart, which, however, Hurlbut completely covered. C. F. Smith was ill of a sickness from which he never recovered, and his division was at this time commanded by W. H. L. Wallace; its place was in rear, and to the right of Sherman, supporting the right wing of the army. Eac directions for him to march by the nearest road parallel to the river. The engagement soon spread along the whole line, from Sherman's right to the brigade of Stuart on the extreme left. Prentiss's division being raw, was driven at once from its first position, but took a new line inside its camps. Sherman's troops were also
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