right, guarding the bridge on the Purdy road, over Owl Creek. Second brigade, composed of the Fifty-fifth Illinois, Col. I). Stuart; Fifty-fourth, Ohio, Col. T. Kilby Smith; and the Seventy-first Ohio, Col. Mason, on the extreme left, guarding the ford over Lick Creek. Third brigade, composed of the Seventy-seventh Ohio, Col. Hildebrand; Fifty-third Ohio, Col. Appler; and the Fifty-seventh Ohio, Col. Mungen, on the left of the Corinth road, its right resting on Shiloh meeting-house. Fourth brigade, composed of the Seventy-second Ohio, Col. Buckland; Forty-eighth Ohio, Col. Sullivan; and Seventieth Ohio, Col. Cockerill, on the right of the Corinth road, its left resting on Shiloh meeting-house. Two batteries of artillery, Taylor's and Water-house's, were posted, the former at Shiloh, and the latter on a ridge to the left, with a front fire over open ground between Mungen's and Appler's regiments. The cavalry, eight companies of the Fourth Illinois, under Col. Dickey, were posted in a large open field to the left and rear of Shiloh meeting-house, which I regarded as the centre of my position. Shortly after seven A. M., with my entire staff, I rode along a portion of our front, and when in the open field before. Appler's regiment, the enemy's pickets opened a brisk fire on my party, killing my orderly, Thomas D. Holliday, of company H, Second Illinois cavalry. The fire came from the bushes which line a small stream that rises in the field in front of Appler's camp, and flows to the north along my whole front. This valley afforded the enemy cover, but our men were so posted as to have a good fire at him as he crossed the valley and ascended the rising ground on our side. About eight A. M. I saw the glistening bayonets of heavy masses of infantry to our left front, in the woods beyond the small stream alluded to, and became satisfied for the first time that the enemy designed a determined attack on our whole camp. All the regiments of my division were then in line of battle, at their proper posts. I rode to Col. Appler, and ordered him to hold his ground at all hazards, as he held the left flank of our first line of battle, and I informed him that he had a good battery on his right and strong support in his rear. General McClernand had promptly and energetically responded to my request, and had sent me three regiments, which were posted to protect Waterhouse's battery and the left flank of my line. The battle began by the enemy opening a battery in the woods to our front, and throwing shell into our camp. Taylor's and Waterhouse's batteries promptly responded, and I then observed heavy battalions of infantry passing obliquely to the left across the open field in Appler's front; also other columns advancing directly upon my division. Our infantry and artillery opened along the whole line, and the battle became general. Other heavy masses of the enemy's forces kept passing across the field to our left, and directing their course on Gen. Prentiss. I saw at once that the enemy designed to pass my left flank, and fall upon Gens. McClernand and Prentiss, whose line of camps was almost parallel with the Tennessee River, and about two miles back from it. Very soon the sound of musketry and artillery announced that Gen. Prentiss was engaged, and about nine A. M. I judged that he was falling back. About this time Appler's regiment broke in disorder, followed by Mungen's regiment, and the enemy pressed forward on Waterhouse's battery, thereby exposed. The three Illinois regiments in immediate support of this battery stood for some time, but the enemy's advance was yigorous, and the fire so severe, that when Col. Raith, of the Forty-third Illinois, received a severe wound, and fell from his horse, his regiment and the others manifested disorder, and the enemy got possession of three guns of this (Waterhouse's) battery. Although our left was thus turned, and the enemy was pressing our whole line, I deemed Shiloh so important, that I remained by it, and renewed my orders to Cols. McDowell and Buckland to hold their ground; and we did hold these positions until about ten o'clock A. M., when the enemy had got his artillery to the rear of our left flank, and some change became absolutely necessary. Two regiments of Hildebrand's brigade (Appler's and Mungen's) had already disappeared to the rear, and Hildebrand's own regiment was in disorder. I therefore gave orders for Taylor's battery, still at Shiloh, to fall back as far as the Purdy and Hamburgh road, and for McDowell and Buckland to adopt that road as their new line. I rode across the angle, and met Behr's battery at the cross-roads, and ordered it immediately to come into battery, action right. Capt. Behr gave the order, but he was almost instantly shot from his horse, when drivers and gunners fled in disorder, carrying off the caissons, and abandoning five out of six guns without firing a shot. The enemy pressed on, gaining this battery, and we were again forced to choose a line of defence. Hildebrand's brigade had substantially disappeared from the field, though he himself bravely remained. McDowell's and Buckland's brigades maintained their organization, and were conducted by my aids so as to join on Germ. McClernand's right, thus abandoning my original camps and line. This was about half-past 10 A. M. at which time the enemy had made a furious attack on Gen. McClernand's whole front. He struggled most determinedly, but finding him pressed, I moved McDowell's brigade directly against the left flank of the enemy, forced him back some distance, and directed the men to avail themselves of every cover — trees, fallen timber, and a wooded valley to our right. We held this position for four long hours, sometimes gaining and at other times losing ground, Gen. McClernand and myself acting in perfect concert, and struggling to maintain this line. While we were so hardly pressed, two Iowa regiments approached from the rear, but could not be brought up to the severe fire that was raging in our front, and Gen. Grant, who visited us on that ground, will remember our situation about three P. M.; but about
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
Doc . 2 .-fight at Port Royal, S. C. January 1 , 1862 .
Doc . 82 .-fight in Hampton roads , Va. , March 8th and 9th , 1862 .
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.