- General Buell's March -- object of General Johnston -- his force -- advance from Corinth -- line of battle -- telegram -- the time of the battle of Shiloh -- results of the first day's battle -- one encampment not taken -- effects -- reports on this failure -- death of General Johnston -- remarks.
General Buell, who was to make a junction with General Grant, deemed it best that his army should march through by land, as it would facilitate the occupation of the Memphis and Charleston Railroad through north Alabama, where General Mitchell had been assigned. Accordingly, Buell commenced his march from Nashville on March 15th, with a rapid movement of cavalry, followed by a division of infantry, to seize the bridges. The bridge over Duck River being destroyed, it was the 31st before his army crossed. His advance arrived at Savannah on Saturday, April 5th, and our attack on Grant at Pittsburg Landing was made on the next day, April 6th. The advance of General Buell anticipated his orders by two days, and likewise the calculations of our commanders. It had been the object of General Johnston, since falling back from Nashville, to concentrate his army at Corinth, and fight the enemy in detail—Grant first, and Buell afterward. The army of General Polk had been drawn back from Columbus. The War Department ordered General Bragg from Pensacola, with his well-disciplined army, to the aid of Johnston. A brigade was sent by General Lovell from Louisiana, and Chalmers and Walker were already on the line of the Memphis and Charleston road with considerable commands. These forces collected at Corinth, and to them were added such new levies as the governors had in rendezvous, and a few regiments raised in response to General Beauregard's call. General Bragg, in a sketch of the battle of Shiloh, thus speaks of General Johnston's army:
In a period of four weeks, fragments of commands from Bowling Green, Kentucky, under Hardee; Columbus, Kentucky, under Polk; and Pensacola, Mobile, and New Orleans, under Bragg, with such new levies as could be hastily raised, all badly armed and equipped, were united at and near Corinth, and, for the first time, organized as an army. It was a heterogeneous mass, in which there was more enthusiasm than discipline, more capacity than knowledge, and more valor than instruction. Rifles, rifled and smooth-bore muskets—some of them originally percussion, others hastily altered from flint-locks by Yankee contractors, many with the old flint and steel—and shot-guns of all sizes and patterns, held place in the same regiments. The task of organizing such a command in four