This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
 William Preston Johnston, in his life of General Johnston, page 602, says: ‘At Shiloh there was much dislocation of commands. * * * Everybody seemed to have assumed authority to command a junior officer, and as the order was “Help me,” or “Forward,” it was always obeyed with alacrity. There was not much etiquette, but there was terrible fighting at Shiloh.’ The forward movement of our lines of battle commenced very early on the morning of the 6th, and in a few moments the troops I commanded became engaged in combats with what appeared to be independent brigades and divisions. Each line of battle attacked by us at first offered a stubborn resistance, but finally yielded and retired towards the river. Between 1 and 2 o'clock, while reforming my brigade, preparatory to moving upon a line of battle which was formed in front of a camp upon the crest of a hill, and separated by a ravine from my position, General Albert Sidney Johnston rode up and personally gave me directions to make the attack, waiving his arms towards the enemy and saying ‘Charge that camp.’ William Preston Johnston, in ‘Life of his Father,’ page 595, says: ‘He (General Johnston) gave Colonel Wheeler, of the 19th Alabama, afterwards distinguished as a cavalry general, his order to charge.’ Very many of my command saw me gallop up to General Johnston and knew that the order came direct from the commander of the army, and this added to the enthusiasm with which they charged under a very heavy fire, driving the enemy and capturing a number of prisoners. The enemy fell back upon a second Federal line of battle, which occupied another crest, but after delivering an artillery fire, we charged this line, again capturing prisoners, the enemy retreating rapidly beyond our view. Hearing a heavy fire to my left and front, I moved rapidly in that direction, encountering in a burning wood a large force, which retreated after a sharp engagement. About 3 o'clock I came upon two Mississippi regiments warmly engaging a long and dense line of battle. The Federals largely outnumbered and outflanked the Mississippians, and were forcing them back, while the Mississippians were fighting at close range, most gallantly and doggedly holding every foot of ground as long as possible, the men seeming to turn and fire upon the advancing enemy at nearly every step. The color-bearers of the two regiments were very near the advancing
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.