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[685] spreading death and desolation. It was now about half-past 6 o'clock. The fire on our front grew hotter and nearer. The regiment was in line. Colonel Hildebrand was pressed to join in a cup of coffee, remarking that it would better fit him for duty, when, in the very act of taking, the coffee, a shot from the enemy's gun, unlimbered in the road we cut the day before, in full view of our camp, told us, as it crashed through the trees over our tent, that the battle had opened! Colonel Hildebrand said: “Colonel, aid me with the brigade; send the major with the regiment; ride at once to the Fifty-third and form them into line.” The Fifty-third Ohio was alluded to, which constituted part of our brigade. Their camp was across a ravine to the left of the Fifty-seventh Ohio, and some distance from brigade headquarters. It was here where General Sherman rode early in the opening of the battle and lost his orderly --shot by his side — in the ravine near the camp of the Fifty-third. It may be here stated that Shiloh church stood on the brow of a sloping hill, at the base flowing Owl creek. To the left of the chapel were the camps of the Seventy-seventh and Fifty-seventh Ohio. The brigade headquarters were immediately to the right of the church. The wood had been cut for camp use from a considerable portion of the hillside fronting the church. Down this hill front, in the direction of Owl creek, the Fifty-seventh and Seventy-seventh Ohio were thrown, and also a portion of the Fourth Brigade. Taylor's battery had a good position to the right of the church, and was ordered to unlimber for action. The Fifty-third formed in their own camp, which was an old peach orchard. They were supported by Waterhouse's battery.

The hour was now about seven o'clock, and the battle opened with great fury. The enemy advanced to the attack of our forces by three distinct lines of battle. The first, according to General Beauregard's report, “extended from Owl creek on the left to Lick creek on the right, a distance of about three miles, supported by the third and the reserve.” The first line was commanded by General Hardee, supported by General Bragg; the second line by Generals Bragg and Polk, and the third by General Breckenridge. These lines were separated from five to eight hundred yards. General Beauregard was on the left, General Johnston on the right. Standing in front of Shiloh chapel, looking down into the dark wood from which issued the deep roar of heavy cannon and the sharp rattle of musketry, scarcely a man was visible; but as the unclouded sun fell on their burnished arms the whole scene became lighted up, presenting a panorama most effective, and one which can never be

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