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[582]

Chapter 34: battle of Shiloh.-Sunday.

Battle of Shiloh.--Sunday:

    I. Morning p. 582

  • a glorious dawn.
  • -- exultation of the commander. -- the issue formulated. -- map. -- Winged words. -- chieftain and clansmen. -- valor and enthusiasm. -- the first gun. -- the start. -- Beauregard's summary. -- difficulties of description. -- skirmishing. -- the first collision. -- the onset. -- Hildebrand routed. -- Prentiss driven back. -- the surprise. -- reinforcements. -- Sherman's stronghold. -- Cleburne's assault. -- a repulse. -- General Johnston on the right. -- rout of Federal front. -- Sherman broken. -- Sherman routed. -- Confederate right. -- Federal left turned. -- plan of battle discussed.

    III. afternoon p. 616

  • dislocation of commands.
  • -- regularity in development of plan. -- Duke's comments. -- map (Third position). -- development of plan. -- regularity and impetuosity. -- impulse of leadership. -- slaughter. -- momentum of success. -- the crisis. -- lull along the line. -- Third engagement. -- Ruggles masses artillery. -- Polk and Bragg against Wallace and Prentiss. -- crushing assault-wallace killed, Prentiss captured. -- Bragg's and Hardee's Summaries. -- the field swept. -- the rout. -- the last assault. -- Buell at Pittsburg Landing. -- a routed army.



I.-morning.

Saturday afternoon, April 5th, the sun, breaking through the mists which drifted away, set in a cloudless sky. The night was clear, calm, and beautiful. General Johnston, tired out with the vigils of the night before, slept quietly in an ambulance-wagon, his staff bivouacking by the camp-fires around him. Some of Hardee's troops having wasted their rations, he and Bragg spent a large part of the night getting up provisions for them. Before the faintest glimmer of dawn, the wide forest was alive with preparations for the mighty contest of the coming day. No bugle-note sounded, and no drum beat the reveille; but men took their hasty morning meal, and looked with sharp attention to the arms that were to decide the fortunes of the fight. The cool, gray dawn found them in motion. Morning opened with all the delicate fragrance and beauty of the season, enhanced by the contrast of the day before. The sky was serene, the air was bracing, the dew lay heavy on the tender green of leaf and herb, and the freshness of early spring was on all around. When the sun rose it was with unclouded brilliancy; and, as it shed its glories over the coverts of the oak-woods, the advancing host, stirred by the splendor of the scene and the enthusiasm of the hour, passed the omen from lip to lip, and welcomed its rising as another “sun of Austerlitz.”

The native buoyancy of General Johnston's self-repressed temper broke its barriers at the prospect of that struggle which should settle for all time by the arbitrament of arms the dispute as to his own military ability and skill and the fate of the Confederate cause in the West. He knew the hazard; but he knew, too, that he had done all that foresight, fortitude, energy, and strategy, could accomplish to secure a victory, and he welcomed with exultant joy the day that was about to decide not only these great questions, but for him all questions, solving the mysteries of life and death. Men who came within his influence on the battle-field felt and confessed the inspiration of his presence, his manner, and his words. As he gave his orders in terse sentences, every word seemed to ring with a presage of victory.

Turning to his staff, as he mounted, he exclaimed, “To-night we will water our horses in the Tennessee River.” It was thus that he formulated his plan of battle. It must not stop short of entire victory. [583]

First position of troops (morning), April 6.

As he rode forward he encountered Colonel Randal L. Gibson, who was the intimate friend of his son. When Gibson ordered his brigade to salute, General Johnston took him warmly by the hand and said: “Randal, I never see you but I think of William. I hope you may get through safely to-day, but we must win a victory.” Gibson says he felt greatly stirred by his words.

Sharp skirmishing had begun before he reached the front. Here he met Colonel John S. Marmaduke, commanding the Third Arkansas [584] Regiment. This officer, in reply to

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