charge the 6th Mississippi, under Colonel Thornton, lost more than three hundred killed and wounded out of an effective force of four hundred and twenty-five. * * * * * * I remain, General, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Extract from Dr. Nott's letter to General Beauregard, relative to the withdrawal of troops on the first day of the battle of Shiloh.
New York, November 6th, 1869.My dear General,—Your letter of 30th October, enclosing a copy of one from G. Humphries, Esq., of Mobile, relative to a conversation of his with me touching a point in the history of the battle of Shiloh, has just been received, and I reply Without a moment's delay. I must commence by saying that, although I rode by the side of General Bragg through the greater part of that day, carried several of his orders myself to different parts of the field (all the other members of the staff being absent on duty), was with him up to the close of the battle, and rode off with him to his tent after the order to recall the troops was given, the General never said to me by whose authority the order was given. I can only say that, at the close of the day, when beside him on horseback, I heard him give an order to withdraw the troops from the field, and also for their disposition for the night. My impression at the time was, that General Bragg gave the order on his own responsibility. We were immediately in the rear of our line, the enemy had fallen back to Pittsburg Landing, and their gunboats were keeping a furious shelling. Our men, immediately in front of where We were standing, were much demoralized, and indisposed to advance in the face of the shells which were bursting over us in every direction; and my impression was (this was also the conclusion of General Bragg), that our troops had done all that they would do and had better be withdrawn. The scene in front of General Bragg and myself (in the direction of the enemy's fire) was one of considerable confusion, and up to the time he gave the order I had seen no messenger from you, and believed that it emanated from him. I heard him give it, and I rode with him from the battle-field, some two miles, to his camp for the night. If he had received and disapproved such an order, it is probable that something would have been said about it. * * * * * * * Very respectfully and truly yours,