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[218] and being mounted, as well as comparatively fresh, led the advance upon the ridge where the battery was established. Despite the efforts of the Federal officers, such was the confusion prevalent as Forrest began to skirmish vigorously that he sent a staff officer to report to General Polk (from whom he had last received orders) that by a strong, rapid forward movement the enemy might be driven into the river. Soon, however, the battery on the ridge opened with a general salvo, and the gunboats threw their ponderous shells in the thick of the upcoming mass of Confederates with such profusion that General Polk ordered the cavalry to take shelter in the wooded ravine which, beginning at the river just above the landing, extends around the battery ridge and for more than a mile westwardly. Here, however, they were exposed to a raking fire from the gunboats, and the artillery of both sides playing over their heads until night brought the cessation of the conflict.

All the encampments that had been occupied by the fine Federal Divisions were now in possession of their adversary. They were full of rich, opportune spoils of war, including many thousand stands of arms, all the blankets and baggage of the whole force, their subsistence, their hospital stores, means of transportation to a great extent, and large stores of ammunition. But so great was the lassitude and fatigue of the Confederates that all that could be done was to glean food sufficient for their supper, for which, indeed, all were dependent upon what they could thus find. The prioners, however, were collected together during the night not far from Shiloh Church, where Generals Beauregard and Bragg established their headquarters. There, after a time, the former had an interview with his corps commanders, and received brief oral reports of the operations of the day.

Among the prisoners was General Prentiss himself, who had much to say touching the ultimate issue of the affair, which he asserted was by no means terminated with the disasters of that untoward day, for Buell, he stated, would effect a juncture that night, the fight would break out the next morning with renewed vigor, and all losses would be recovered. At the moment, however, this was regarded as idle talk, for an official telegraphic dispatch, addressed to General Johnston from near Florence,

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