Letter from Captain Sandidge.
battle of Shiloh relative to artillery practice, &c., and particularly concerning the effect our artillery had in forcing Prentice's division to fall back in a direction which compelled his ultimate surrender, I will, with your permission, make a short statement of a few facts which occurred under my own observation respecting the latter idea — i. e., concerning the artillery fire and Prentice's division. I conceive a few remarks on this topic necessary from the fact that so few of our officers are aware under whose direction that especial concentration of artillery was made, which seemed to my mind to have such a controlling influence over the line of march taken by General Prentice's command in his retrogade movement. Late Sunday evening, the first day of the fight, after our forces had compelled Prentice's troops to commence a rapid retreat, I rejoined you just beyond an open space, known as the enemy's parade ground, I think, and found myself, as I afterwards ascertained, in the wake of the retreating enemy; at this point, however, a desperate stand was made by them, and they succeeded in checking our infantry, and were apparently intending to hold the ground they then occupied till they could be reinforced. At this juncture — about 3 o'clock P. M., as near as I can recollect — I received from you a verbal but positive order to bring up all the artillery I could find, and post it between the Wood's road, running between the parade ground above mentioned, and a small cleared field in front, through the centre of which passed a small brook densely crowded with large shrubbery, in which large numbers of the enemy had taken refuge, to the serious discomfort of our troops, who, for the time, were unable to dislodge them. I immediately placed a section of some battery, either Bankhead's or Stanford's, I do not recollect which, in position, and was on the point of bringing more guns in position when, suggesting the propriety of endeavoring to throw in the gap between the right of our line and the left of the adjoining infantry as large an infantry force as we could obtain, I was directed to ride to the rear and bring up the debris of several disorganized infantry regiments; and other officers