- Battle of Shiloh. -- varied incidents and events of the first day. -- enemy taken by surprise. -- his lines driven in. -- entire forces engaged on both sides. -- triumphant advance of our troops. -- General Johnston in command of the right and centre. -- General Beauregard of the left and reserves. -- Allurements of the enemy's camps. -- straggling begins among our troops. -- death of the Commander-in-chief. -- General Beauregard assumes command and renews the attack all along the line. -- enemy again forced to fall back and abandon other camps. -- evidence of exhaustion among the troops. -- straggling increasing. -- General Beauregard's efforts to check it. -- Collects stragglers and pushes them forward. -- battle still raging. -- capture of General Prentiss and of his command. -- our troops reach the Tennessee river. -- Colonel Webster's batteries. -- arrival of Ammen's brigade, Nelson's division, of Buell's army. -- its inspiriting effect upon the enemy. -- the gunboats. -- intrepidity of our troops. -- their brilliant but ineffectual charges. -- firing gradually slackens, as the day declines. -- at dusk General Beauregard orders arrest of conflict. -- troops ordered to bivouac for the night, and be in readiness for offensive movement next day. -- storm during the night. -- arrival of the whole of Buell's army. -- gunboats keep up an incessant shelling.
As the Federal troops lay encamped, Sherman's and Prentiss's divisions stretched from the Owl Creek bridge, on the Purdy road, to the ford of Lick Creek, on the Shore road, from Pittsburg to Hamburg. Sherman's 1st brigade, under Colonel McDowell, was on the extreme right; his 4th, under Colonel Buckland, west of and resting on the Shiloh meeting-house; his 3d, under Colonel Hildebrand, east of and resting also on the Shiloh meetinghouse. Next came Prentiss's division, and, at a very wide interval—by a loose arrangement—was Sherman's 2d brigade, under Colonel Stuart, near Lick Creek. About half a mile in rear of this line, and between Sherman and Prentiss, lay McClernand's division; and two miles in rear, towards the Tennessee River, C. F. Smith's division, now under General W. H. L. Wallace; while on Wallace's left was Hurlbut's division, on the Hamburg road, about a mile and a half in rear of Stuart. Before five o'clock A. M., on the 6th of April, General Hardee's  pickets, driving in those of General Prentiss, encountered some companies of the Federal advanced guard, and a desultory firing began. The order to advance was now given, and at five o'clock General Hardee's entire line moved forward. Overhead was the promise of a bright day, but the after mists of the recent storm yet hung in the valleys and woods, veiling still more thickly the forest-screened positions of the enemy, upon which the lines of battle were directed only by conjecture. General Prentiss having hurried a reinforcement to the guard and informed Generals Wallace and Hurlbut of the attack, threw forward three regiments well to the front.1 His position was a prolongation of the elevated ground where stood the Shiloh meeting-house, held by General Sherman; the whole bounded in front by a ravine and watercourse which, rising near the left of Prentiss, fell into Owl Creek, near the Purdy road bridge, occupied by Sherman's right. The Confederate lines of attack soon appeared, driving before them the skirmish line formed of the troops of the guard. Prentiss's whole force was now thrown forward and became the first engaged, as his position was slightly in advance of General Sherman's, and the difficulties of the ground in front of the latter caused our line to oblique still more to the right. Shortly after six o'clock General Prentiss's command was falling under fire, and the assailing wave soon struck General Sherman's pickets, sweeping them back in the direction of his camps. General Sherman called upon General McClernand for assistance and gave notice of the attack to Generals Prentiss and Hurlbut, the latter of whom despatched Veatch's brigade of four regiments to the support of General Sherman's left.2 Before seven o'clock the musketry fire, which had gradually swelled, slackened and almost ceased, while the Federal skirmishers were leaving the field, and the wooded interval separating the enemy's encampments from our advancing lines was lessening more and more. It was the momentary lull before the full outburst of the storm.  Shortly before this General Johnston, meeting General Beauregard near the former's headquarters, expressed his satisfaction at the manner in which the battle had been opened, and after an interchange of views concerning the operations of the day, left him and rode to the front. They parted here for the last time. At seven o'clock the thunder of artillery announced the serious opening of the conflict, and was followed by the sharp, increasing volleys of musketry. Generals Polk and Breckinridge were now hastened forward, and, reporting to General Beauregard, at halfpast seven, were by him deployed in column of brigades, General Breckinridge on the right, General Polk on the left. They received from General Beauregard brief general instructions to keep at a proper distance in rear of General Bragg's line and apart from each other, until called on for assistance, when they should move promptly with concentrated forces wherever needed, and, if in doubt from the hidden and broken character of the country, to move upon the sound of the heaviest firing. By this time the attack had become general along the entire front of Generals Prentiss and Sherman, though stronger as yet on the former, who received the full shock of Gladden's, Hindman's, and Wood's brigades of General Hardee's line, and was driven back upon his camps, calling upon Generals Wallace and Hurlbut for assistance.3 General Beauregard now despatched members of his staff to several quarters of the field, to ascertain and report its precise condition, and sent forward Adjutant-General Jordan, charging him to maintain a careful inspection of the lines of battle, so as to secure the massing of the troops for unity of attack and prompt reinforcement to weakened points; also with impressive directions to the corps and division commanders to mass their batteries in action, and fight them twelve guns on a point. Notwithstanding the bold movements of the Confederate cavalry on the previous evening and the noise of the conflict since dawn, General Sherman remained under the belief that no more than a strong demonstration was intended, until nearly eight o'clock, when, seeing the Confederate bayonets moving in the woods beyond his front, he ‘became satisfied, for the first time,  that the enemy designed a determined attack’ on the entire Federal camp.4 The regiments of his division, all then under arms, were thrown into line of battle. Taylor's and Waterhouse's batteries were posted, the former at the Shiloh meeting-house, and the latter on a ridge to the left, with a front fire over open ground between Mungen's and Appler's regiments of his left (Hildebrand's)brigade. General McClernand, responding promptly to General Sherman's call, had sent forward three Illinois regiments, which were posted in rear of Waterhouse's battery and of Appler, upon whom General Sherman impressed the necessity of holding his ground at all hazards. Veatch's brigade, of General Hurlbut's division, took position on General Sherman's left.5 As the heavy roll of musketry soon extended to the left, General Beauregard ordered General Polk to move two of his brigades to the left rear of General Bragg's line and to keep in personal communication with the latter, who was also informed of the movement. General Bragg reported that his infantry was not yet engaged, but ready to support General Hardee when required, and that his artillery was shelling the Federal camp. Colonel Jacob Thompson, of General Beauregard's staff, now came in with a message from General Johnston, informing him that General Hardee's line was within half a mile of the enemy's camps, and advising the sending forward of strong reinforcements to the left, as he had just learned that the enemy was there in great force. Three brigades of General Breckinridge were accordingly set in motion as an additional reinforcement for that quarter. But later a courier came in from General Johnston, with information that the enemy was not strong on the left, and had fallen back; while Colonel Augustin and Major Brent, of General Beauregard's staff, returning about half-past 8 from a reconnoissance of the extreme right, reported an active engagement in that quarter, the right of General Hardee's line under a severe fire, and requiring extension, as it was uncovered for the space of a mile in the direction of Lick Creek, and the enemy was occupying the country beyond the right. General Beauregard thereupon ordered General Breckinridge to send but one (Trabue's) brigade to the left, and lead his remaining two brigades to the right of Gladden, so as to  share in the forward movement of the first line, and extend his own right as far as possible towards Lick Creek. Colonel Augustin was sent to conduct him into position. It was now half-past 8 o'clock. The attack was being pushed with great vigor, the Confederate lines of battle following quickly in the wake of the shells that were bursting in the enemy's camps. Fortunately for the Federals, on that day, from an unavoidable ignorance of their exact positions, the left of the Confederate first line of battle fell short of General McDowell's brigade, on General Sherman's right, which thus had ample time for deliberate preparation before it was struck by the second line, under General Bragg.6 Thus, while the brigades of Generals Gladden, Hindman, and Wood were striking an unbroken series of blows on General Prentiss's division and on General Sherman's left and left centre, it happened that Cleburne's brigade, the left of General Hardee's line, was moving single-handed against General Sherman's right centre and was being overlapped by his right. Its order was broken in crossing the difficult morass which here covered the Federal front, and, as it charged up the hill, deadly volleys were poured upon it from behind bales of hay and other convenient defenses, till, after repeated efforts against a front and flank fire, it was repulsed with heavy loss; the 6th Mississippi regiment losing in these charges more than three hundred killed and wounded, out of an effective force of four hundred and twentyfive men. The diverging course of Lick Creek had left an ever-widening space between it and the right of General Hardee's line, as the latter advanced. To fill this space Chalmers's brigade,7 with Gage's battery, was thrown forward from the second line and deployed on the right of General Gladden, in conformity with directions contained in the order of march and battle. The gallant Gladden, at that time vigorously urging his troops against Prentiss, fell mortally wounded, and was carried from the field. His brigade was now wavering before the severe artillery and musketry  fire brought to bear against it, when Colonel Daniel W. Adams, its new commander, seizing a battle-flag, ‘called upon his men to follow him, which they did with great alacrity;’8 and such was the impetus, as Chalmers's brigade charged on the right, that Prentiss's entire line gave way in confusion and disorder. It was pursued through its camps and about half a mile across a ravine, to the ridge beyond, by Chalmers's brigade, till the latter was halted by order of General Johnston,9 then in that quarter, and withdrawn to a position on the rear and right of General Gladden. At the same time, Mungen's and Appler's regiments of Hildebrand's brigade, of Sherman's division, broke and fled, leaving Waterhouse's battery entirely exposed.10 Here the supporting regiments from McClernand's and Hurlbut's divisions pressed forward, and, together with Hildebrand's own regiment, still held their ground, while another brigade of McClernand's came to their support. Meantime McArthur's brigade, of Wallace's division, while moving to the assistance of Stuart's brigade, on the Federal extreme left, had mistaken its way, and come opportunely into the void left by the routed General Prentiss.11 For a while it stood firmly, but was forced back and formed farther to the rear, with the remaining forces of its own division, hurried forward to its relief. General Hurlbut also was bringing up his two remaining brigades for the support of Prentiss's left, when he met the fleeing troops of that division, who straggled through his lines. He formed his brigades on two sides of an open field with woods in rear, and his three batteries (Meyer's, Mann's, and Ross's) respectively on the right, the centre, and the left—their fire converging over the open ground in front;12 while General Prentiss, rallying what he could of his troops, led them, together with the 23d Missouri (just landed from a transport), into position on Hurlbut's right, and on the left of Wallace's division.13 But here, after the capture of Prentiss's camps, further advance on the right was suspended  for about half an hour, as the enemy's movements were concealed.14 This proved a valuable respite to the Federals, pending which, report coming to that quarter that the enemy was forming in line of battle some distance off, on the right flank, General Johnston led Chalmers's and Jackson's brigades back across the ravine and southeast three quarters of a mile to the right, until the right of Chalmers rested on Lick Creek bottom, Jackson forming on his left. Here they were halted for about half an hour, while the position of the enemy (Stuart's brigade) was being ascertained.15 After General Breckinridge's two brigades had passed headquarters in their movement to the right, General Beauregard sent Johnson's brigade, of General Polk's corps, as a further reinforcement to the right; and, thereupon, at about 9.20 A. M., moved with his staff to a more advanced position, on the road to Pittsburg, now giving more particular attention to the conflict on the left.16 Here General Ruggles's division, of General Bragg's corps, the second line of attack, had come into position on General Hardee's left, and was ready to grapple with General Sherman, who, supported now by all of McClernand's division and Wright's regiment of Wallace's second brigade,17 was endeavoring to cling to the position of Shiloh. The severity of the contest, thus far, was attested by the large number of wounded found on the way. A great many stragglers were also met, whom General Beauregard's staff18 and escort present were at once employed in reorganizing and leading forward to their regiments. As General Ruggles's division, the left of General Bragg's line, was inclining to the right before making its direct movement forward, an interval occurred between the leading brigade, Gibson's, and its two other brigades, Anderson's and Pond's.19 A brigade of General Polk's division, believed to be Russell's,20 which had been ordered forward by General Beauregard,  opportunely filled this vacant space, thus completing the second line in that quarter, and supporting the assault of Hindman's division upon McClernand and Veatch, who were then striving to hold the position from which Sherman's left brigade had been mostly routed, and was now wholly slipping away. Still farther to the left, Anderson's brigade formed the second line along the ridge, with Hodgson's battery, which went at once into vigorous action. Across the ravine, and on the opposite dominating ridge, were General Sherman's remaining brigades, supporting their batteries, with an infantry advance thrown out to the edge of the boggy ravine which here divided the two lines of battle. It was a swamp so overgrown with shrubs, saplings, and vines thickly interwoven, as to require, in many places, the use of the knife to force a passage.21 As Anderson's regiments went down the slope and forced their way through the swamp thicket, they encountered a severe fire from the enemy's artillery and musketry, and, as they charged up the opposite hill, they were partially broken by some scattering forces from the first line and from the right. All, however, were rallied together and held for a time, under cover of the brow of the hill occupied by General Sherman, while Hodgson's guns threw a destructive fire upon the opposite Federal battery; and the neighboring forces on the right, supported by another battery, moving around the swamp and thicket, poured a flank fire upon General Sherman's left.22 What remained of Hildebrand's brigade now wholly gave way, throwing disorder into McClernand's forces, who were driven back, abandoning Waterhouse's six guns; and as Taylor's battery now slackened under Hodgson's fire, Anderson's brigade again ascended the slope with three regiments of Pond's brigade, on the left, supported by two sections of Ketchum's battery. By this front and flank charge, General Sherman was forced to fall back with McDowell's and Buckland's brigades to the Purdy and Hamburg roads; thus, by ten o'clock, abandoning his entire line of camps.23 As the attacking lines vigorously  followed, Buckland's brigade began rapidly to dissolve; Behr's battery was abandoned without firing a shot24 from its new position, and the remains of Sherman's division fell farther back on the right of McClernand's, which had been well rallied, and formed on the line of its camps, with Veatch's cleft brigade allotted on its right and left. In taking his new position, General Sherman was enabled somewhat to relieve McClernand,25 who was under a severe attack, by delivering his retreating fire upon the flank of the assailing force in that quarter. About the hour that General Sherman's last camps were carried, and his troops were being driven back upon the line of the Purdy road, the battle broke along the front formed by Generals W. II. L. Wallace and Hurlbut, who had selected strong defensive positions. Here, after the line of battle had been formed beyond General Prentiss's camps, a fortunate shell, from Robertson's battery, striking amid one of Hurlbut's, stampeded the entire battery, horses and caissons, as well as guns, being abandoned, though the latter were spiked by other artillerists.26 By direction of General Hardee, then on his way towards the left, Colonel Adams made a skirmishing reconnoissance to feel the enemy's strength. He was then ordered by General Bragg to advance, but found his men short of ammunition. At this moment General Breckinridge's division was led into position by Colonel Augustin, of General Beauregard's staff,27 on Colonel Adams's right, while Cheatham's division (Bushrod Johnson's and Stevens's brigades), sent to the same quarter by General Beauregard, came up on its left.28 These two divisions now joined their lines and engaged the enemy, while Adams's (Gladden's) brigade fell to the rear. Johnson's two right regiments, which had become temporarily detached by reason of the features of the ground, were ordered separately into action by General Bragg, and unfortunately remained separated from the rest of the brigade and their commander during the day.29 Wallace's and Hurlbut's divisions, deliberately posted and handied  with skill, maintained a stubborn resistance to the attack. Consisting mostly of troops who had served at Donelson, they gallantly formed their lines, notwithstanding the surprise and disorder through which they had been ushered into the conflict. Shortly after ten o'clock, the enemy being reported very strong in the centre—that is, along Wallace's front—General Beauregard reinforced that point by Trabue's brigade,30 of General Breckinridge's division, which he had held near his headquarters. A little before that time Stuart's forces had also been reached.31 This officer, when warned, at half-past 7, by General Prentiss, of the presence of the Confederates, had formed his three regiments in line of battle on a ridge faced by a ravine and watercourse emptying into Lick Creek, and awaited developments, until, seeing the Confederates penetrating on Prentiss's rear, he called for support from Hurlbut, who despatched him an Illinois regiment and a battery, which took position on his right. It was scarcely ten o'clock when his skirmish line, thrown out on another ridge, in front, was driven in by the attacking forces, who planted a battery there and shelled his lines, Jackson's brigade opening the conflict under General Johnston's personal order.32 Stuart, upon going to the right, found that the 71st Ohio regiment, together with Hurlbut's Illinois battalion and battery, had taken flight.33 A similar fate had overtaken the 52d Tennessee, of Chalmers's brigade, when, shortly before, it had received the fire of Stuart's skirmishers; and, excepting two companies of soldierly behavior, it was ordered out of the lines.34 Stuart's other two regiments, after being forced back some distance, were still farther withdrawn, and formed along the brow of a hill, numbering now a force of eight hundred men. His position was protected by a fence and thick undergrowth, with an open field in front and a ravine on the left; and here, without artillery, he maintained a creditable resistance against greatly superior numbers.35  All the forces on each side were now in action. The Confederate front line, as, according to the conformation of the ground, it developed the positions of the enemy and the needs of reinforcements, had been extended on its right and left and filled, at intervening points, by the troops of the second and third, or reserve lines. With a general direction from northwest to southeast, oblique to the Tennessee River, and its right thrown back, the order of the Federal forces was, from right to left, as follows: Sherman's remaining troops; McClernand's division, with a portion of Veatch's brigade, of Hurlbut's division; and, beyond a wide interval, Stuart's isolated brigade, on the extreme left. The Confederate forces in opposing order, left to right, were: Two brigades (Pond's and Anderson's) of Ruggles's division, of Bragg's corps; one brigade (Russell's) of Polk's corps; Hardee's three brigades (Cleburne's, Wood's, and Hindman's), with Gibson's brigade, of Ruggles's division, and Trabue's, of Breckinridge's division, in support or filling up the line; Cheatham's division, of Polk's corps, and Breckinridge's division, with Gladden in rear; and on the extreme right, at the distance of about three quarters of a mile, Withers's division (Jackson's and Chalmers's brigades), of Bragg's corps, carrying on the attack against Stuart under General Johnston. The contest now went on in all parts of the field, without any important incident or change, during the remainder of the morning and the early afternoon. About eleven o'clock, General Johnston, leaving Withers's division, passed over to the rear of General Breckinridge's, and remained directing its movements. Previously to this General Bragg had, by understanding with General Polk, taken position near the right centre and General Polk near the left centre, while General Hardee remained at the extreme left. General Beauregard, following the general movement, maintained a central position in rear. In the succession of ravines, ridges, and woods, the Federals had, everywhere, natural defensive positions more or less strong, which their opponents were compelled to carry by assault. These were attacked with great bravery and heavy loss of life, but not with that concert and massing of forces essential to decisive effects, though this fact was, in some measure, due to the concealed character of the country, which, in most parts, admitted of no continuous view of any large body of troops. General officers in immediate  direction of their commands were too intent upon the efforts of brigades, and even regiments, thus losing sight of the disjointed remainder, and neglecting to combine efficiently the service of the artillery and infantry. Brigades and regiments, as well as batteries, were often, for this reason, at a stand-still without orders; and sometimes, from the same lack of cohesion, bodies of our own troops were mistaken for the enemy and even fired into on the flank or rear, and thrown into some confusion. Other commands, after casualties, remained without leadership from a ranking officer, until so reported to General Beauregard, and by him supplied through his staff. Straggling also began early in the day, a great many men being engaged in the plunder of the captured camps, while numbers made their way to the rear. General Beauregard used part of the cavalry, under his staff and escort, to drive them out of the camps, and when collected, they were formed into battalions, officered as well as could be done under the circumstances, and again sent forward. Thus all loose or halting commands were attached to the readiest lines of movement, or to those needing reinforcement. At about half-past 12, part of Pond's brigade and two regiments of Cleburne's brigade, united under Colonel Pond, with a battery and squadron of cavalry, were ordered to assail the Federal right. Here, between twelve and one o'clock, Sherman's and McClernand's forces began to fall back,36 and, at half-past 1, General Beauregard ordered General Hardee to throw the cavalry37 upon the retreating regiments, sending a force by a circuitous way, and under screen of the woods, against the right rear, so as to cut them off. The movement was vigorously executed, though a part of the force, carried too far by its ardor, and coming upon an unseen body of the enemy in a wood, was repulsed; but the remainder, under Morgan, charged and drove back the retreating battalions, capturing a number of guns. At two o'clock, General Beauregard again sent orders to General Hardee38 to push the enemy's right with vigor, and Sherman's and McClernand's troops now rapidly gave way, the larger part of them retiring towards Snake Creek, where they remained aside from the scene of conflict; another part retreating upon Wallace's camps,  while Veatch's brigade fell back towards the landing, where, later, it reunited with Hurlbut's division. The way was now open for an advance of the Confederate left against Wallace's division, which was, at that time, the advanced Federal right. Posted on a ridge under cover of a thicket, and supported by artillery, this division had unflinchingly held its ground, repelling with slaughter every attack made upon it. Under the orders of General Bragg, who was directing the movements against its left, between eleven and three o'clock, Hindman's division was led to the assault, but repulsed under a murderous fire,39 its gallant commander falling severely wounded. It was rallied and led to a second charge, but with no better success. Gibson's brigade was then sent up, without artillery support, in four bloody, detached, and unavailing assaults,40 its flank raked by a battery, and its front covered by the fire of the infantry posted in the thicket on the ridge. After these repulses, General Bragg abandoned the task and passed farther to the right, in the direction of Breckinridge's division.41 Meanwhile Withers's division (Chalmers's and Jackson's brigades) had been gradually forcing back Stuart's two regiments, sweeping with its right the edge of the Tennessee bottom, until, about three o'clock, Chalmers's brigade was struck by the shells of the Federal gunboat Tyler, and moved away from the river.42 As Stuart's force, winding its way through ravines to Pittsburg Landing, went out of view, and no other enemy appeared in that quarter, the division, wheeling on its left, by order of Withers, in accordance with the general plan of battle,43 advanced upon the sound of the neighboring conflict, where Breckinridge's and Cheatham's forces were warmly engaged with those of Hurlbut and Prentiss. General Johnston had been some three quarters of an hour in rear of Breckinridge's division44 (the right of the main line of battle), while, under a galling fire and at great cost, it had steadily held its position, until he decided to lead it to the charge.  The enemy's force was driven to the next ridge beyond, and Breckinridge's line was re-formed under a severe fire, when Governor Harris,45 volunteer aid, returning from the delivery of an order to Colonel Statham, to charge a battery on their immediate left, found General Johnston wounded. This was between two and halfpast two o'clock. Sustaining him in the saddle, Governor Harris withdrew him to a ravine, about one hundred yards in the rear, where, within half an hour, that patriotic and noble soldier breathed his last. Meanwhile, General Hurlbut, informed by Stuart that his left flank was uncovered by the latter's forced retreat,46 shifted his right (Lanman's) brigade to his left, and ordered Williams's brigade and Prentiss's command to fall back steadily, thus endeavoring to meet the flanking movement of Withers's division. Adjutant-General Jordan had come upon this quarter of the field at half-past 2, shortly after General Johnston's withdrawal, and finding Breckinridge's division at rest, ordered it to charge the enemy in front,47 posted behind a fence in the border of a wood. He gave the order in the name of General Johnston, not knowing at the time of his whereabouts or mortal wound. General Breckinridge advanced steadily, forcing the enemy back from their position. While this was going on, and after the Federal right had been broken and driven back, General Beauregard, having ordered General Hardee to reorganize his forces for another onslaught, turned his attention to that quarter of the field, in the centre, where the enemy's obstinate resistance had baffled General Bragg's previous efforts. He advanced in that direction portions of Anderson's and Gibson's brigades, two detached batteries, and several battalions just formed from stragglers and scattered commands. At this moment Colonel Marshall J. Smith's Crescent regiment, of New Orleans, came up from the extreme left, with Colonel Looney's 38th Tennessee, and, seeing General Beauregard, raised a gallant cheer, which immediately drew upon the spot the concentrated fire of the enemy. General Beau regard, bidding them ‘go forward and drive the enemy into the Tennessee,’48 attached to them another  battalion formed of stragglers, and sent them in the same direction, to support two batteries (Hodgson's and another) which he had just ordered ahead. Here a vigorous artillery fire was now combined with the efforts of the infantry, under Generals Polk and Ruggles, and the stubborn enemy began to relax his hold.49 But, farther down on the right, Generals Prentiss and Hurlbut were still contending so strongly that Generals Breckinridge and Crittenden called earnestly on Jackson and Chalmers for assistance.50 The flanking march of these two latter brigades was met by Lanman's brigade, supported by powerful artillery, and there a fierce, exhausting contest ensued. As General Beauregard, in advance of the Shiloh meeting-house, was directing the movement beyond McClernand's camps, Governor Harris reached him, shortly after three o'clock, and informed him of General Johnston's death. This was a great; shock to General Beauregard, who had not anticipated the possibility of such a loss, and who knew what effect it would produce upon the troops, especially those who had formed part of General Johnston's original command. He sent immediate intelligence of the sad event to the corps commanders, enjoining silence concerning it, and, at the same time, gave orders to push the attack vigorously in all quarters of the field. Wallace's right was now attacked by Looney's and Marshall J. Smith's regiments, of Anderson's brigade, and by a portion of Gibson's, under General Polk. The remains of Hindman's division and Gladden's brigade, with Cheatham's and Breckinridge's forces, were pressed against his left; and Prentiss's command, with a portion of Hurlbut's, was attacked with great determination by General Bragg; while Jackson and Chalmers were assailing Hurlbut in front and on the left flank. The latter, as he withdrew, attempted to make a stand on the line of his camps, but, to avoid being cut off, fell back, at about four o'clock, upon Pittsburg Landing, thus allowing Chalmers and Jackson to move upon the flank of the line formed by Prentiss and Wallace. While all these forces were closing upon Wallace and Prentiss,  General Hardee was engaged on the left with McClernand's regiments and the remnants of Sherman's command. Hearing from a staff officer51 that a brigade was inactive in that quarter, and, apparently, without a commander, General Beauregard sent Colonel Ferguson, of his staff, to lead it into action, under the direction of General Hardee. This was part of the brigade of Colonel Pond, who, far from being inactive, was, in fact, reconnoitring so as to ascertain his position more accurately and act understandingly against the battery in his front. By orders, said to have been from General Hardee, a brilliant but ineffective charge was then and there made by the 18th Louisiana,52 under Colonel Mouton, and immediately afterwards by the Orleans Guard battalion, under Major Querouze; the 16th Louisiana followed in the rear of the column, but was only partially engaged. Alone and unsupported the 18th Louisiana charged gallantly up the hill, closely upon the battery, which had already begun to abandon its ground, when a murderous fire from three regiments of McClernand's force compelled the regiment to retire, after a loss of two hundred and seven officers and men, killed and wounded, who could not be removed from the field.53 The Orleans Guard battalion lost about eighty men while making a similar charge, immediately afterwards. The enemy at this point, however, was now falling back, in accordance with the retrograde movement of the other Federal forces, when General Wallace fell, mortally wounded, after having, by his skill and tenacity, contributed much towards the salvation of the Federal army. But General Prentiss, unaware of the movement executed by Wallace's division, still clung to his position, together with the 8th, 12th, and 14th Iowa and the 58th Illinois, of Wallace's division, who were endeavoring to save their artillery. After they were cut off they made several ineffectual charges in an effort to break through to the Landing, and at about half-past 5 o'clock P. M., surrounded and hemmed in by our troops, they finally abandoned the struggle, and surrendered, amid the loud cheers of the victors. The prisoners there captured numbered some twenty-five hundred men, and among them was General  Prentiss himself.54 They were sent to the rear under escort of cavalry and a detachment from Wood's brigade.55 This closing in of the Confederate lines had brought the extreme right and the left centre of the line of battle unexpectedly face to face, as the last wooded ridge was crossed which had sepaated them as they pressed on both flanks of the Federal divisions. Much confusion ensued, as well as delay for the replenishment of ammunition, before the commands were extricated and directed anew against the enemy. Meanwhile, since four o'clock, Colonel J. D. Webster, an able officer of General Grant's staff, had been collecting the reserve artillery and other batteries, till he had massed about sixty guns (some of them 24-pounder siege guns) along a ridge covering Pittsburg Landing, and reaching out to the camps of Wallace, a portion of which was still held by the remainder of that division, with some of McClernand's regiments, and fragments of Sherman's, on their right. In rear of Webster's guns was also Hurlbut's division,56 with Veatch's brigade now reattached, and two of Stuart's regiments, all of these reinforced by numbers rallied from the broken commands. General Grant having arrived on the field at one o'clock P. M.,57 or about that time, had been busy at this work since three o'clock. The line of bluffs masked all view of the river; but, in fact, General Buell's Army of the Ohio was also now arriving from Savannah, on the opposite bank, below Pittsburg Landing, and Ammen's brigade, of Nelson's advance division, had been thrown across and placed in support of Webster's battery, at five o'clock. Generals Buell and Nelson were both present on the field.58 Behind these forces and below the bluff was the remainder  of Grant's army, its flight arrested by the river, and its masses tossing in uncontrollable panic and disorder.59 But in rear of the victorious Confederate line was a scene of straggling and pillage which, for a time, defied all remonstrance and all efforts at coercion. The disorder and plunder that had followed the capture of Prentiss's, Sherman's, and Mc-Clernand's camps were now all the greater, as the troops, fasting since dawn—and some of them since the previous evening—were exhausted from incessant fighting and marching. The commands were broken and mixed; and among many the idea prevailed that the battle had been won and was virtually ended. One cheering feature, however, in the scene of spoil, was the strewing of old flint-locks and double-barrelled shot-guns, exchanged for the Enfield and Minie rifles abandoned by the enemy. In view of this change of armament and the general scarcity of ammunition, General Beauregard ordered the collection of the enemy's ordnance stores, as well as all available provisions, to be sent to the rear for greater security. The forces were deployed again into line from the point around which they had centred in the capture of Prentiss's and Wallace's advanced regiments. Those under General Bragg's direction moved to the right, Chalmers's brigade leading, after a halt for re-distribution of ammunition;60 and, extending to the Tennessee bottom, Jackson's brigade followed, without ammunition, the bayonet being their only weapon.61 The remainder of the line was continued from right to left, with the same brigades that had been previously engaged. Those on the right of the Ridge road were practically under the direction of General Bragg, and those on the left of it, under Generals Polk and Hardee. This road, as well as all approaches to the Landing, was swept by the enemy's artillery. The Federal position, on the bluffs, was fronted by a deep ravine and creek, running into the Tennessee, with branches falling into it from the line of the Confederate advance, all filled with back water from the river, on account of the late heavy rains; and the main ravine, which protected the Federal front, was enfiladed  by the fire of the gunboats lying in its mouth. Over this ground, divided and thickly wooded, a continuous line of battle was impracticable. General Beauregard, seeing that nothing but a concerted and well-supported attack, in heavy mass, could, that evening, strike the finishing blow by which the enemy would be crushed, ordered the corps commanders, on the right and left, to make a hasty reorganization of the troops under their control, for a combined onslaught, while he, at the centre, should organize reinforcements for the line of attack in his immediate front. He caused all fragmentary bodies and stragglers, in his vicinity, to be brought up from the rear, and formed into such organizations as the emergency allowed, and they were thus carried forward to swell the line of battle. The troops, however, were not pressed to the front in combined attack, as ordered, but in a series of disjointed assaults, with but little support from the batteries, many of which were allowed to remain inactive in the rear.62 These assaults were easily broken, and with slaughter, by the formidable weight of metal which girded the Federal position, supported by a still heavy force of infantry, reinforced by some of General Buell's troops, while the shells of the gunboats swept the long ravine which our different commands had to cross in assailing the bluff, and which formed their only rallying cover from the fire in front. The troops, moreover, were greatly disorganized; the commands were cut up and intermingled, and regimental organization was greatly confused. The corps commanders, then as throughout the day, continued to give examples of personal courage, but exhaustion and hunger nullified  all attempts to create enthusiasm on the part of the men. General Hardee, in command on the left, to whom General Beauregard had sent Lieutenant Chisolm, of his staff, to ascertain how he was faring, answered: ‘We are getting along very well, but tell the General they (meaning the enemy) are putting it to us very severely.’ Chisolm, though ordered to return, and report before dark, remained as aide-de-camp to General Hardee, who had none of his staff with him, and was bringing up two regiments into position, from the rear, when one of them broke in disorder, under the artillery fire from the field-pieces and gunboats, and fell back out of the fight.63 Here, also, part of Pond's brigade, when about to make a last forward movement, received a fatal volley from the 27th Tennessee, of Cleburne's brigade, which compelled it to face about, and their artillery support to take a new position against a supposed hostile attack from the rear—an untoward event, which ended the share of this brigade in the conflict of that day.64 The remaining troops, under General Hardee—that is to say, Wood's brigade, greatly diminished by detachment and casualties, and a small portion of Cleburne's—did not succeed in making any impression on the force of artillery and infantry defending the position of Wallace's camps, still held by fragments of Wallace's, McClernand's, and Sherman's divisions. The forces on the right of General Hardee, under General Polk's direction, were engaged in the same desultory and indecisive contest, Gibson's and Anderson's brigades not being actively employed by him.65 So was it with General Breckinridge's division. Colonel Trabue, commanding the first Kentucky brigade of that division, in his report of the battle, speaking of the events of the day, following the surrender and capture of General Prentiss's command, says:
Finding the troops who had come in from my right halting one or two hundred yards in my front, I allowed the 6th and 9th Kentucky regiments hastily to change their guns for Enfield rifles, which the enemy had surrendered, and I then moved up and rejoined General Breckinridge, who, with Statham's and Bowen's brigades, was occupying the front line, being on the crest of the hill (or highland) overlooking the narrow valley of the Tennessee River, on which, and near by, was Pittsburg Landing. Having been halted here for more than an hour, we endured a most terrific cannonading  and shelling from the enemy's gunboats. My command, however, had seen too much hard fighting to be alarmed, and the 4th Kentucky stood firm, while some of our troops to the front fell back through their lines in confusion. . . . From this position, when it was nearly dark, we were ordered to the rear to encamp, which movement was effected in good order. I followed, in the darkness of the night, the Purdy road, after having re-united to my command Byrne's battery and the others of my troops who had been detached to the right, not including, however, Cobb's battery.Among the forces of General Bragg, on the right, where that officer was directing movements, Gladden's brigade had become dissevered66 in the confusion following the capture of General Prentiss, and took no part in the assaults upon the last Federal position, though the portion remaining under its commanding officer, Colonel Deas, was formed on the left of Jackson's brigade. This latter brigade was led, under a heavy fire from the light batteries, siege-pieces, and gunboats,67 across the ravine, and with its only weapon, the bayonet, ascended the ridge nearly to the crest, bristling with guns; but, without support, it could be urged no farther. It remained for some time sheltering itself against the precipitous sides of the ravine, till Jackson, seeing his men uselessly under a raking fire, and that a farther advance was impracticable, without support and a simultaneous movement along the whole line, sought for orders from his division commander, General Withers; but darkness closed the conflict before he could reach him. Of this eventful part of the day, after which hostilities entirely ceased on both sides, Colonel Joseph Wheeler, commanding the 19th Alabama regiment, in his report says: ‘But after passing through the deep ravine below the lowest camps, we were halted within about four hundred yards of the river, and remained ready to move forward for about half an hour, when night came on, and we were ordered to the rear, and were assigned to bivouac, by General Withers.’68 Chalmers's brigade, the extreme right, vainly attempted to mount the ridge against the fire from the line of batteries and infantry, assisted by the flank fire of the gunboats, though it made repeated charges, till night closed in.69  Meanwhile, General Beauregard had been weighing attentively, and no doubt anxiously, the premonitory signs visible during the later hours of the battle. The strength of the Federal batteries was apparent, by their extent and sound, and by the effect produced on the Confederate lines; while the steady and heavy rolls of musketry, proceeding from the same quarter, indicated the presence either of fresh troops, the arrival of which General Beauregard had feared and predicted the evening before, or of forces reorganized from the stragglers on the field, as had been done with our own stragglers several times that day. As General Beauregard rode in rear of the disjointed lines, the futility of these fitful, detailed attacks became more and more evident to him. Most of the commands were disorganized and fragmentary, sundered by the deep, wooded ravines, and numbers of stragglers could be seen in all directions. He felt not only that it was impracticable to gather up all his forces for a general and simultaneous onslaught, which alone might have been effective, but also that the brief space of time now remaining to him before nightfall must be used to collect the troops into position, or the morning, and its threatened possibilities, would find him with but a nominal army. He knew that Lew. Wallace's division, of some eight thousand men, was near by, observing the road from Purdy; that it had not, as yet, been engaged in the conflict, and might, at any moment, fall upon us in flank, left, or rear. He therefore resolved, without further delay, to withdraw the troops gradually from the front, and reorganize them, as well as possible, to resume the offensive on the 7th, and complete his victory over Grant. Accordingly, at dusk, he sent to the different corps commanders the order, ‘to arrest the conflict, and fall back to the enemy's abandoned camps for the night.’70 General Bragg had also concluded that the troops were incapable of any further offensive efforts in his quarter of the field, and had already resolved to withdraw.71 He gave orders to that effect, which were anticipated, as to some of the commands, by the orders sent by General Beauregard.72 Chalmers had fought, as already  stated, till night had closed in upon him; and as he and Jackson fell back in the darkness, the latter's regiments became separated from each other,73 and he from them, and so remained during the night and the following day. The withdrawal of the troops, as a general thing, was attended with disorder, by reason of the dark woods and broken character of the country. ‘It was eight o'clock at night,’ says General Anderson, in his report, ‘before we had reached a bivouac, near General Bragg's headquarters, and in the darkness of the night the 20th Louisiana, and portions of the 17th Louisiana, and Confederate Guards, got separated from that portion of the command in which I was, and encamped on other ground.’74 Colonel Forrest's cavalry was picketed along Wallace's and Hurlbut's camps, while another regiment of cavalry was posted to protect the left flank, and guard the approaches from the Snake Creek bridge, exposed to Lew. Wallace's fresh force of eight thousand men. General Hardee's corps and General Breckinridge's division withdrew to McClernand's camps, and General Bragg's corps, with one (Clark's) division of General Polk's corps, rested in those of Sherman. Through a misunderstanding of orders, on the part of General Polk, his other (Cheatham's) division was sent back about three miles and a half, to its bivouac of the previous night.75 General Bragg and, later in the evening, the other corps commanders visited General Beauregard's headquarters, in General Sherran's camps, and reported orally their operations of the day. All were elated and congratulatory over the success of the day, and the expectations of the morrow.76 The results, indeed, were great  and encouraging. A half-disciplined army, poorly equipped and appointed, had assailed an opposing army larger in numbers, nearly half of which was composed of seasoned troops, provided with the best and most abundant armament and supplies, arrayed, besides, on familiar ground, chosen by its own leaders. That army had steadily been driven back to its last stronghold, a great part of it routed and demoralized; its tents, baggage, subsistence, and hospital stores captured, together with thirty stands of colors, fully sixty field-pieces, many thousand small arms and accoutrements, and ammunition enough for another day's battle. General Beauregard's promise, that the Confederate army should sleep in the enemy's camps, was fulfilled; and, reorganized for the next day, it would undoubtedly have given the finishing stroke to the entire Federal forces, had Buell marched towards Florence,77 as it had just been reported that he had done, instead of effecting his junction with Grant, on the evening and night of the 6th, as was actually the case. A despatch was sent to Richmond, announcing the day's victory and the hope of its completion on the morrow, and the corps commanders were dismissed with instructions to reorganize their respective forces as thoroughly as possible, and hold them in readiness to take the offensive at break of day. The night had closed with heavy clouds, and, about midnight, a cold, drenching rain set in, which made it the more difficult to collect and re-form the broken commands and numerous stragglers, who were moving about for pillage, through the alluring camps of the enemy. The storm also interfered with the care of the wounded, who were unavoidedly neglected, but the little that could be done for them was done alike for friend and foe. The gunboats, all through the night, at the suggestion, it was said, of General Nelson, threw shells into the Confederate bivouacs, the dim light of the camp-fires guiding them in their aim. Thus were slumber and rest chased away from our exhausted men. Indefatigable and daring as usual, Colonel Forrest, under cover of the storm and darkness, sent scouts, clothed in Federal overcoats, within the enemy's lines. They reported that large bodies of troops were crossing the river to Pittsburg Landing and that  much confusion existed among them. Colonel Forrest so advised Generals Hardee and Breckinridge, suggesting that an attack should be made at once, or that the army should withdraw next morning. He was referred to General Beauregard, but, unfortunately, was unable to find his headquarters.78 At a later hour he again sent in his scouts, who returned at two o'clock in the morning, stating that Federal troops were still arriving. General Hardee, being informed of the fact for the second time, instructed Colonel Forrest to go back to his regiment, and, keeping a vigilant picket line, to notify him of all hostile movements, should any be attempted. But General Hardee failed to communicate this important information to General Beauregard.