who worshiped in it, and who worshiped before they had a church in the grand old woods, which we know “were God's first temples.”
The church at Shiloh
had two doors and one window, which was without glass.
Of pulpit and seats none were visible, as the Confederate General Cheatham
had removed them for camp use previous to our occupancy.
Before the battle the flooring boards were being rapidly converted into coffins for Union soldiers.
After the battle it was used as a hospital up to the time the army advanced on Corinth
A guard was placed over it so long as any portion of our camp was maintained; but no sooner had the guard been removed than the vandalism of curiosity-hunters utterly demolished the structure, and carried off the last remnant of a log.
Before closing I may be expected to answer one question: Was the army at Shiloh surprised
? It has already been shown what was the condition of things on the 5th, and surely no one will say that the Third Brigade of Sherman
's Division was surprised
. The same may be said of the Fourth Brigade, and the principal officers of the Fifth Ohio Cavalry; but here exceptions cease.
The whole of that army, with individual exceptions, in addition to those named, were surprised.
There was a general feeling that an attack was imminent, but that it would come on Sunday morning, April 6th, few believed.
As to where the responsibility and censure belong, is one of those open questions which may be difficult to settle.
's biographer, Professor Coppe
, discussing this point, says: “At the outset our troops were shamefully surprised.”
For want of these precautions (proper fortifications, etc.), continues the same biographer, “we were surprised, driven back from every point in three great movements of the enemy,” etc. This is saying too much, and cannot be justified.
Another point demands brief remark.
How much had Buell
to do with saving the honor of the nation at Shiloh
Certain facetious writers have asserted that “Providence
, the gunboats, and Buell
saved the day.”
In reply, we have to say that the first of these had much to do with the national honor, the second very little, and the third very considerable.
But whether the day would have been lost without his timely co-operation; whether the Army of the Tennessee would have been able, as asserted by Sherman
, to take the offensive on the morrow; whether the presence of Buell
's fresh troops inspirited the shattered brigades of Grant
, and dispirited those of Beauregard
, are points to be well considered.
It is certainly in bad taste to charge the first day's operations at Shiloh
a “Second Bull Run
disaster,” and that the commanding officers ought to have been “shot;” and it is alike to be condemned