's ‘Memoirs’ have been consulted in writing this article, as have all reports published in the official records, both Union and Confederate, and the Life of General Johnson
, by his son, the late Colonel William Preston Johnston
, and the writing of others on both sides.
I give a brief resume of General Johnston
's command, and what occurred previously, which led to the battle of Shiloh
Preliminaries to the battle.
On the 10th of September, 1861, General Johnston
was assigned to the command of that part of the Confederate States
which lay west of the Alleghany Mountains
, except the gulf coast; General Bragg
being in command of the coast of west Florida
and General Mansfield Lovell
of the coast of Mississippi
His command was very large in extent, and his powers and discretion as large as the theory of the Confederate government permitted.
He lacked nothing except men, munitions of war, and the means of obtaining them.
The Mississippi river
divided his department into two distinct theatres of war. West of the river Fremont
with a force of from 60,000 to 80,000 troops confronted by Price
in the extreme southwest corner of Missouri
, with 6,000 men, and by Hardee
in the northeastern part of Arkansas
, with several thousand raw recruits, the major part of them suffering from diseases incident to camp life.
East of the Mississippi
the northern boundary of Tennessee
was held in sufferance from an enemy who for various reasons hesitated to advance.
The Mississippi was open to a naval invasion unless it could be defended and held.
was at Cairo
, and had there and at Paducah
about 20,000 men, and to oppose his invasion General Polk
had seized Columbus Ky.
, with about 1,000 Confederates and had placed it in a state of defense.
was divided by the Tennessee river
, and also by the Cumberland
Insignificant works of defense had been erected on both sides at Forts Henry
, near the boundary line, but in fact there was no practical defense against the capture of Nashville
by the Federals
, which was the most important depot of supplies west of the Alleghanies
The defence of the border of Tennessee
first engaged General Johnston
had assumed a position of neutrality, which was abandoned by act of its Legislature in September.
There were about 34,000 Federal volunteers