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[692] to deny credit to Buell's army for the gallant and timely aid afforded on Monday. Let justice be rendered where it belongs. Impartial history will accord to both armies their full credit. In my dispassionate judgment, no men could have done better than Grant's army did on Sunday. Veterans could not have withstood the solid lines and unbroken fire which girdled them throughout that long and terrible day. It is true there was disorder, and many brigades on the front, after hours of incessant fighting, did give way; but the men were not whipped-only disheartened. Some obloquy has been thrown on certain Ohio troops. This was both unjust and cruel. No men could have stood better against a wall of fire than those Western troops, fresh from the plough and the shop. The Confederate dead who lay over that field on Sunday night told how severe had been the fire, and dreadful the carnage, inflicted by the sturdy men of the West.

The charge that the officers were derelict is also unjust. That grave military errors were committed in the disposition of the camp, and the exercise of proper precaution, has been shown; but that they were remiss on the field is not true. General Grant, after reaching the field, was active, and his presence gave confidence. The division commanders were untiring in their efforts; General Sherman particularly distinguished himself, and by his presence and bravery greatly inspirited the men. McClernand, Hurlbut, and others did effective service. General Prentiss, who was captured with part of his division, contended bravely with an overpowering force before he succumbed. The brigade commanders displayed great courage, coolness and skill. The same may be said of regimental commanders, and down to the lowest non-commissioned officers.

If the army had not behaved well, where would it have been when darkness closed the scene? It has been assumed by those inimical to officers engaged at Shiloh, that the army was utterly demoralized and routed from any definite line. This is untenable. Sherman's line of battle was never wholly destroyed. Sixteen years have elapsed since that day of carnage and disaster. Quietness reigns over the field then crimson by the best blood of the nation, and peace has been proclaimed throughout the land. Shiloh rests in its primitive solitude. May its maimed and riven forests never more be stirred by the breath of war, nor its peaceful sleepers be disturbed by the tread of contending hosts. The great battleground of tile war, let it be erected into a holy, hallowed cemetery, where the heart of the nation can offer homage to the memory of her brave sons who gave up their lives that the nation might survive.

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