which parts the waters that fall into the Mississippi
from those which are affluents of the Tennessee
, flowing sinuously with a general direction, the latter to the northeast and the former south of east, finally empty into the Tennessee
about four miles asunder.
Between these water courses is embraced an arena of undulating table land, some five miles in depth from the river bank, from three to five miles broad, and about one hundred feet above the low-water level of the river.
Intersected by a labyrinth of ravines, the drainage is into Owl Creek
, as the land rises highest and ridge like near Lick Creek
Adjoining the river, these ravines, deep and steep, have a water-shed in that direction.
Recent heavy rains had filled them all with springs and small streams, making the soil boggy and hence difficult for artillery for much of their extent.
A primeval forest, cumbered with a great deal of undergrowth, covered the region, except a few small farms of fifty or seventy acres, scattered occasionally here and there.
, a warehouse and a house or two by the water's side, lay three miles below the mouth of Lick Creek
. Two roads leading from Corinth
, crossing Lick Creek
about a mile apart, converge together about two miles from the landing.
Other roads also approach from all directions, one crossing Owl Creek
by a bridge, before its junction with Snake Creek
, branches, the one way trending westward toward Purdy
, the other northward toward Crump
's landing, six miles below Pittsburg
Another road nearer the river bank, crossing Snake Creek
by a bridge, also connects the two points.
Though completely veiled at the moment from the sight of their approaching enemy, it appears a Federal force of five strong divisions occupied the space we have described, and were thus disposed:
Three brigades of Sherman
's Division, or nine regiments, supported by eighteen guns and eight companies of cavalry, stood directly across the upper Pittsburg road, facing southward.
One of the three brigades rested its right at the crossing of Owl Creek
on the Purdy
road, and the other two lay, the one with its right and the other with its left near a rustic log ‘meeting house,’ called Shiloh
There, also, were established the headquarters of Sherman