The field was skirted by heavy wood.
Almost immediately the enemy's skirmishers opened fire, and the writer realized that he was an object of particular mark.
A fierce yell filled the air, and the rebel cavalry came up from ravine and behind tents as thick as they could ride.
I ordered the men to up and fire, which order had scarcely been executed when the entire line was ridden down, the men sabred and shot by a force ten times superior to our own. The dash was one of the boldest of the war, and the loss sustained over one-third of my command.
The promptness of Colonel Hildebrand
, in ordering up the other regiments of his brigade, I think saved the day, and the commanding general
and staff from capture.
An officer of his staff (McCoy
) was ridden down, and, as General Sherman
assured me, he narrowly escaped.
I regard this statement due the memory of a brave and meritorious officer.
The dead were buried on the spot; the wounded removed to camp; the rebel camp destroyed, with a large amount of property, and this was the last of the fighting at Shiloh
The losses sustained by both armies exceeded the frightful number of twenty-five thousand men. Four years after the battle, a writer, visiting Shiloh
, gave a hideous picture of the condition of things.
He stated that twelve thousand Confederate soldiers lay unburied on the two fields!
After the battle of Shiloh
, General Grant
ordered the dead of both armies to be buried.
The inhumation, however, consisted of little more than a thin covering of earth, which the heavy rains have long since washed off, and the remains of brave men, who periled all for their country's sake, he exposed to the elements.
This fact is disgraceful to the government and the people, and should be remedied with the least possible delay.
Instead of squandering means over idle parades, it should be our duty and pleasure to give the bleaching bones of our gallant dead the rites of decent burial.
Regarding this as fitting opportunity, it is respectfully and earnestly suggested that Congress adopt some measure for the preservation of the remains at Shiloh
— that a cemetery be established, and graves properly marked; also, that the church at Shiloh
be rebuilt as a national memorial!
As the church that was at Shiloh
has passed into history, a brief description may not be uninteresting.
It was a small, unpretending edifice, of hewn logs, and occupied the brow of a hill, with a commanding prospect.
It was built in 1849-50 by Rev. Jacob J. Wolff
, a local minister of the Methodist Church.
It was not a costly edifice; no massive architrave was there; no stained windows or carved lintels; but these were not essential to the simple-minded people