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[531] were cooking supper only a short distance beyond common range of our lines of battle.

At daylight on the morning of the 6th of April, 1862, our lines moved in good order, and, like an avalanche, struck the enemy left, right, and centre, so nearly simultaneously as to surprise his entire camp.

My first order received from you was early in the morning, after the firing on the right had indicated the propriety of directing Colonel Maury, I think (who had been located with a small regiment on a road leading to a ford on Lick Creek), to leave that position and go to the heaviest firing, and to inform General Forrest (then Colonel), who was guarding a ford on Lick Creek, of the removal of Colonel Maury's force. This order was promptly delivered, and I returned to you at Headquarters No. 2, about a quarter of a mile in advance of Shiloh meeting-house; time required to make this trip, judging from distance, two hours. I found you there, and received an order to go into an encampment which had been captured, stop the pillaging which was going on, and organize stragglers and send them forward into line. I executed the order by clearing the camps, placing a guard over them, and mustering into line forty or fifty stragglers, and went with them to the nearest line.

* * * * * * * * *

I rode rapidly on by your Headquarters No. 2, where I had left you, as near as I can now estimate, about 12 M. I found you had gone, or moved your headquarters. I searched some time for you, and in the search, as near as I can now estimate, went to your right and somewhat in advance of the point at which I found you. My recollection is that I saw or met General Bragg not far from you; and, learning that he was going to you, went with him, or after him, to you, at what I understand was Headquarters No. 3, in advance of General Wallace's captured camps. The sun was above the trees; heavy, broken clouds were passing in the west; and I would say it was not far from 5 o'clock P. M. The battle was raging in front at a terrible rate, and I was hopeful, which was borrowed, no doubt, from the hope which your face expressed, that we were rushing on them to complete the victory of the day. My recollection is that at this time General Bragg expressed a difficulty he experienced in forcing his men across a depression by which gunboats were firing shells; it was regarded as important that the desired point should be carried. He left you with the order to press forward, using his discretion as to the possibility of carrying the point, and as to the sacrifice of men in the effort. He left you to make this important effort.

* * * * * * * * *

At that time the struggle seemed to be an artillery duel, at least, the artillery predominated over the firing of musketry.

Although the great confusion of our own forces was and had been, for some time, plainly apparent, as indicated in front and the great number of stragglers in rear, yet the hope was justified that the enemy was more confused.

Two contingencies were looked for, at this critical period, with great care and anxiety. It was known that Buell, with a large force of fresh troops, had had time to reach, at least, the opposite bank of the Tennessee River; and you had had no positive proof that Lew. Wallace, whose command was at a point on the

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Lick Creek (Tennessee, United States) (2)
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Lewis Wallace (2)
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April 6th, 1862 AD (1)
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