previous next

Before the battle.

The Memphis Avalanches, three days before the great battle of Shiloh published the subjoined:

‘ Our pickets were driven in by the enemy near Inka on Tuesday evening. They were afterwards pursued by our forces, but they received out of herm's reach. An engagement is expected at or near Corinth, on or near the Tennessee river, within a few days at most. We have every confidence in the result of this approaching battle. We repose every confidence in the skill and tact of our commanding Generals, especially of Polk, Beauregard, Bragg, and Johnston, and the men they command are anxious to encounter the foe. A braver and better army never fought a battle on this continent.

We do not write for effect, but to give a candid expression of our views in the premises. We have able and skillful Generals; we have brave and invincible soldiers. We may safely calculate on a signal victory in the coming battle, which promises to be the battle of this war. We expect lasting honors both for our commanders and our soldiers.

Buell has sent, we understand, a division of his army towards Huntsville, evidently to take possession of the Memphis and Charleston railroad. We have little doubt the Federals will soon attempt to cut off, by taking possession of this road, our Eastern forces from the army in the West. They will, if successful, command the road from Decatur to Stevenson. Their design seems to be ‘"to divide and conquer"’ by cutting off reinforcements from the East. Buell expects to reach Memphis by an overwhelming force. Before he will reach Memphis, let the Federals expect to lose St. Louis.

We have great confidence in our power and our will to prevent the capture of our city. Let us be hopeful, resolute, and firm. He can not be whipped who will not be.

In another editorial the Avalanches says:

Beauregard, Bragg and Johnston are on the alert. The enemy will soon receive the worst thrashing they have ever yet caught. This battle will be the most desperate, perhaps, that history has recorded for centuries, for the South feels that all is at stake upon the issue. If defeated, we shall but enter the horrors of the revolution. None will submit unless our power be awfully diminished. If defeated, the war will assume, in this Valley at least, a guerilla character. Wife, children, home, and all, will be at the mercy of a ruthless invader. We all know it; our troops know it, and that conviction gives to each soldier the desperate courage which will make him the equal of two of his opponents.

If we conquer, the North succumbs. Credit has kept her up till now. If we conquer in this impending battle, that credit falls him in a most critical moment, and he breaks down. Her people know we do not wish to overrun their country, and they will retire from the contest, satisfied that they cannot overrun us.

Such are the issues now before us. They are, indeed, momentous, but we feel sanguine as to the result. Our arms will be victorious; and among the loudest mouthed patriots who will make their voices heard, will be these ‘"summer"’ patriots of ours, who will be talking of what ‘"we"’ did on this grand battle field.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Tennessee River (United States) (1)
Huntsville (Alabama, United States) (1)
Decatur (Illinois, United States) (1)
hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
James C. Johnston (2)
Buell (2)
Benjamin Bragg (2)
Beauregard (2)
Stevenson (1)
Polk (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: