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[59] contempt for the power or the prowess of their enemy; since our regiments, as they arrived, were mainly debarked at Pittsburg Landing, on the side of the Tennessee nearest to and within easy striking distance of the Rebel headquarters at Corinth. One of the six divisions, under Gen. Lew. Wallace, was encamped nearly opposite Savannah; the other five were thrown out in a semicircle southward of Pittsburg Landing, with a front like a Methodist camp-meeting, straggling from Lick creek on the south or left, to Snake creek on the north or right, a distance of some three or four miles. Gen. Prentiss's division was encamped across the direct road to Corinth, with Gen. McClernand's; behind his right, and Gen. Sherman's still further to the right, with Shiloh church in his front, on a road leading also, but more circuitously, to Corinth. Get. Hurlbut's division lay in the rear of Gen. Prentiss. Gen. Smith's division, commanded, because of Smith's sickness, by Gen. W. H. L. Wallace, was on the left of and behind McClernand, with its right near Pittsburg Landing and its front somewhat protected by the ravines of two rivulets running into Snake creek.

Though the vicinity of the enemy was notorious, not an intrenchment nor defense of any kind, not even an abatis, here so easily made, covered and protected our front; no reconnoitering parties were thrown forward to watch for and report an advance of the enemy; and even the pickets were scarcely a musket-shot from the tents of our foremost regiments; some of which, it was asserted, had not even been provided with ammunition, though it was known that the woods, scarcely a mile away, had suddenly been found swarming with Rebel scouts and sharp-shooters in such strength as to forbid observation on our part.1 Low but ominous whispers and meaning glances of exultation among the Rebel civilians in our rear had already given indications that a blow was about to be struck ; and alarmed Unionists had sought the tents of our Generals with monitions of danger, which were received with sneering intimations that every one should stick to his trade. Gen. Grant was at Savannah, superintending the reception of supplies. Such was the condition of our forces on Saturday evening, April 5th.

Albert Sidney Johnston was probably the ablest commander at any time engaged in the Rebel service. He had braved unpopularity and reproach from the herd of chimneycorner critics who supposed it the duty of a General to run his head against every stone-wall within reach, by refusing to fight losing battles for Bowling Green and Nashville, and had thus brought off his army intact and undemoralized; retreating across the Tennessee and into a region at once undevastated and unappalled by war, full of resources, wherein devotion to the Union had been utterly suppressed, if not eradicated, and whence, by a net-work of railroads and telegraphs,

1 “Agate” [Whitelaw Reid], of the Cincinnati Gazette, in his report of the battle, says:

We had lain three weeks at Pittsburg Landing, within 20 miles of the Rebels, that were likely to attack us in superior numbers, without throwing up a single breastwork or preparing a single protection for a battery, and with the brigades of one division [Sherman's] stretched from extreme right to extreme left of our line, while four other divisions had been crowded in between, as they arrived.

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