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[171] though a wise precaution, called for a severe strain upon the Confederates. Fall back fighting! was Beauregard's order on that Monday, April 7th; and his army fought with such ardor as to create little suspicion that it was also falling back. At about 3:30 p. m. the army's retrograde movement was begun. It was carried out with a cheerful steadiness never exceeded by a force in retreat. The men knew that they had fought well, and that it was only a missing order on Sunday afternoon which had brought them, overpowered by numbers but not crushed, to the unequal field of Monday. Such are the oscillations of the battle pendulum—those oscillations which so often change the final results of battles.

The Confederate army under Johnston had gone into the battle with 39,630 men of all arms, and lost 1,728 killed, 8,012 wounded, 950 missing; total 10,680. With Buell's army, the total Federal force was about 72,000. The losses numbered 12,190. Of all martial names, in our civil war, devoted to slaughter, Shiloh was in date the first.

Johnston had fallen in the arms of victory. Had he lived until sundown the army would not only have fought enthusiastically under his ably-conceived plan, but would have victoriously carried it to the end contemplated by him. That order to advance, looked for, but not received, would have been caught up by men flushed with victory, standing expectantly around Prentiss' camp. Grant's men, lying listless by the river where they had fallen in their fatigue,1 would have been captured on the southern bank of the Tennessee. With the capture of his army, General Grant would have been in danger of suffering military eclipse. He would have found his name, assailed through the Northern press, linked to a great disaster rather than to a victory snatched by reinforcements from defeat. He would not have sat before Vicksburg or offered, as victor, an ultimatum;

1 Whitelaw Reid's letter to the Cincinnati Commercial.

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