This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
 with great individual intrepidity and doing a great deal, no doubt, by their personal example to impel small bodies forward. But meanwhile, to their rear were left the masses of their respective commands without direction, and thus precious time was lost. The Confederates were not kept continuously massed and employed, either corps or divisions; mere piecemeal onsets were the general method of fighting after 12 o'clock, with this consequence, that Sherman was enabled to make several obstinate powerful stands, by which he protracted the battle some hours. Had the corps been held well in hand, massed and pressed continuously upon the tottering, demoralized foe; had general officers attended to the swing and direction of the great war engine at their disposition, rather than, as it were, becoming so many heads, or battering rams of that machine, the battle assuredly would have closed at latest by midday. By that hour, at most, the whole Federal force might have been urged back and penned up, utterly helpless, in the angle formed between the river and Lick Creek, or dispersed along under the river bank, between the two creeks, we repeat, had the Confederate corps been kept in continuously, closely pressed en masse upon their enemy after the front line had been broken and swept back. In that case the Federal fragments must have been kept in downward movment, like the loose stones in the bed of a mountain torrent. Fifth—In a remarkable letter from that distinguished soldier, General Sherman, which we find in the United States Service Magazine, he virtually asserts that, even had General Buell failed to reach the scene with his re-enforcements, nevertheless the state of the battle was such at 5 P. M. Sunday as justified General Grant in giving him orders at that hour to ‘drop the defensive and assume the offensive’ at daylight on Monday morning. This to be the order of the day, irrespective of the advent of Buell. In other words, Grant had resolved to become on the morrow the assailant, forsooth, with Lew Wallace's Division, which, having found it so hard for the last ten hours to find the road across ‘four miles’ of country, with the sound of a great battle (and comrades in dire peril) to ‘quicken’ its steps, was not yet on the field, and with such of his own ‘startled troops as had recovered their equilibrium.’ That is to say, with
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.