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.
'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
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