shots passed entirely over our devoted men, who were exultant and eager to be led forward to the final assault, which must have resulted in a complete victory, owing to the confusion and general disorganization of the Federal troops.
I knew the condition of General Grant's army at the moment, as I had reached a high, projecting point on the bank of the river, about a mile above Pittsburg Landing, and could see the hurried movements to get the disordered troops across to the right bank.
Several thousand had already passed, and a confused mass of men crowded to the landing to get on the boats that were employed in crossing.
I rode rapidly to General Bragg's position to report what I had seen, and suggested that, if he would suspend the fire of his artillery and marshal his infantry for a general advance, the enemy must surrender.
General Bragg decided to make the advance, and authorized me and other officers to direct the commanders of the batteries to cease firing.
In the midst of the preparations, orders reached General Bragg from General Beauregard directing the troops to be withdrawn and placed in camp for the night —the intention to resume the contest in the morning.
This was fatal, as it enabled General Buell and General Wallace to arrive on the scene of action; that is, they came up in the course of the night.
Had General Beauregard known the condition of the enemy as your father knew it when he received the fatal shot, the order for withdrawal would certainly not have been given, and, without such order, I know the enemy would have been crushed.1
To General Gilmer
's opinion as a scientific engineer, a soldier of long experience, and a man of resolute will as well as calm judgment, the greatest respect will be accorded by those who knew him in the United States Army, as well as his associates in the Confederate Army.
, in his official report, says:
As soon as our troops could be again put in motion, the order was given to move forward at all points and sweep the enemy from the field. . . . Our troops, greatly exhausted by twelve hours incessant fighting without food, mostly responded to the order with alacrity, and the movement commenced with every prospect of success, though a heavy battery in our front and the gunboats on our right seemed determined to dispute every inch of ground.
Just at this time an order was received from the commanding General to withdraw the forces beyond the enemy's fire.
In addition to the statements and opinions cited above, I will introduce from a recent publication by Thomas Worthington
, late colonel
of the Forty-sixth Regiment of Ohio Volunteers, two statements showing the relative condition of the two armies in the afternoon of the day of battle.
It may be proper to say that Colonel Worthington
was regularly educated as a soldier, and had seen service in Mexico
He quotes Colonel Geddes
of the Eighth Iowa Volunteers as follows:
About 3 P. M. all communications with the river (landing) ceased, and it became evident to me that the enemy was turning the right and left flanks of our