got into position.
resumed the offensive, and, despite the broken and disjointed condition of the forces under him, drove the enemy back, out of sight from the Shiloh meetinghouse, and kept him at that distance until about 2.30 P. M., when General Beauregard
gave him orders to retire slowly and join the retreat.
At an early hour in the morning General Beauregard
had established his headquarters on a small knoll, to the right (eastward) of the Shiloh meeting-house, which appeared to be the most eligible and central point, and one from which he could, with greatest facility, communicate with his corps commanders and they with him.
Long before the charge we have just described, the enemy's boldness, his active and steady movements, and the heavy roll of musketry on our right, and, shortly afterwards, in our front, had confirmed General Beauregard
in his belief that General Buell
had, at last, formed a junction of the remainder of his forces with those of General Grant
He knew that his depleted and exhausted forces were now facing at least twenty thousand fresh troops, in addition to Lew. Wallace
's command, in addition also to Ammen
's brigade of Nelson
's division, whose timely crossing, the day before, had saved the Federals
To indulge a hope of success with these fearful odds against him would have been to show a lack of judgment impossible to such a soldier as Beauregard
The die, however, was cast.
There was no means of avoiding the issue.
The only plan left, General Beauregard
thought, was, in appearance, to fight à outrance
, so as to deceive the enemy as to his real intentions, and, so deceiving him, to effect, at the proper time, an orderly, safe, and honorable retreat.
The victorious army of the day before could leave the battle-field in no other way. He carefully kept his own counsel, and, from about noon, issued all his orders accordingly.
To show a bold front all along his line; to offer as strong a resistance as the nature of the ground and the condition of his forces would permit; and, if possible, to cross to the south side of the ravines, in front of the Shiloh meeting-house, which had so effectually protected Sherman
's and Prentiss
's commands, on the preceding morning—such were the objects he now strained every nerve to secure.
And the task before him was difficult, because the least symptom of weakness or hesitancy on his part would necessarily increase the boldness