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[57]

Chapter 19:


At the ensuing nightfall our victorious army retired from the front and abandoned its vantage ground on the bluffs, which had been won at such a cost of blood. The enemy thereby had room and opportunity to come out from their corner, reoccupy the strong positions from which they had been driven, and dispose their troops on much more favorable ground. Called off by staff officers, who gave no specific instructions, our brigades, according to circumstances, bivouacked on the battlefield, marched to the rear, or made themselves comfortable on the profuse spoils of the enemy's encampments. General Buell says:
Of the army of not less than fifty thousand effective men, which Grant had on the west bank of the Tennessee River, not more than five thousand were in ranks and available on the battlefield at nightfall on the 6th, exclusive of Lew Wallace's division, say eight thousand five hundred men that only came up during the night. The rest were either killed, wounded, captured, or scattered in inextricable and hopeless confusion for miles along the banks of the river.

In addition to the arrival of Wallace's division, the entire divisions of Nelson and Crittenden got across the river during the night, and by daylight that of McCook began to arrive; all but the first named belonged to Buell's army. The work of reorganization of fragments of Grant's force also occupied the night. In the morning the arrival of reenforcements to the enemy continued.

On the morning of the 7th the enemy advanced about six o'clock, and opened a heavy fire of musketry and artillery, such as gave assurance that the reenforcements had arrived, to anticipate which the battle of the 6th had been fought. A series of combats ensued, in which the Confederates showed their usual valor; however, after the junction had been effected between Grant and Buell, which Johnston's movement was made to prevent, our force was unequal to resist the combined armies, and retreat was a necessity.

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