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The battle of Shiloh.The Western mall falled last evening beyond Knoxville, but fortunately the Southern mail came through, and we are enabled to present to our readers a full and graphic account of the first day's fight at Shiloh, written by the army correspondent of the Savannah Republican: ‘ We commenced the attack at sunrise this morning. Our order of battle is said to be the strongest known to military science. We advanced in three parallel lines or corps, each one in line of battle. The first or front corps was led by Major-General Hardee. Immediately behind him came a full complement of artillery. A thousand yards in his rear followed the second corp or line, led by Major-General Bragg. Immediately in his rear came more artillery, and behind them came the third corps, being our reserve, commanded by Major-General Polk. Gen. Johnston was in supreme command, nobly assisted by Gen. Beauregard. The artillery was commanded by Brig Gen. True all, under the orders of Gen. Bragg. Gen. T. distributed his batteries along the roads and upon such open elevations as he could find. The batteries have been handled with consummate skill and effect throughout the day by their respective officers. The nature of the ground is exceedingly unfavorable for field operations. With the exception of two or three small fields of eight or ten acres each, the battle has been fought wholly in the woods. The woods are quite open, however — much more so than they are in Georgia; but they never the less interfere very much with the evolutions of the army. The ground is rolling, and in many places quite wet and boggy near the water courses, several of which cross the field, and still further impeded the operations of the day. But Gen. Hardee has encountered the enemy in front. The sun is just rising as his division is hurled against them like a thunderbolt. The enemy was not expecting an attack, as was evident from the condition in which he received us. Indeed, he was not aware of our near presence; he never expected us to attack him, and was doubtful whether we would ever allow him to get near enough to attack us. Hardee ‘"set his squadron in the field"’ with great judgment, and led them most gallantly throughout the day. I have not been able to come up with him, but hear that he escaped without a scratch. The enemy was at length driven from his first line of encampments. Meanwhile he recovered from his surprise, and met our onset with firmness and resolution. The fighting now became hot and close, and raged with great violence and fury along our entire front. The right and left wings, as well as our centre, were engaged, and the roar of artillery and the rattle of musketry fairly shock the earth. But on Hardee presses, backed up by Bragg and followed by Polk — each corps rolling onward like succeeding waves of the storm-lashed sea. Hardee's corps advances, but it is done slowly; for the enemy has rallied his forces, and is handling them with coolness and spirit. We moved forward as it were by inches, but still we did move; and never at any time during the day did we lose one foot of the ground we gamed. At length we reached the centre of the enemy's encampment. He yielded his home in the woods with much reluctance, and disputed every foot of ground with courage and resolution. Thus far we have advanced through the woods, which are almost destitute of undergrowth. Everywhere the trees bear the marks of the terrible conflict. Limbs were carried away, and in some places trees a foot in diameter were cut off. In a few instances, the long, sharp rifled cannon balls passed entirely through the trees. The traces of the musketry fire are to be seen everywhere upon the trees and bushes, and also in the numbers of the dead and wounded over whom we advanced. At two o'clock the resistance had increased, and become more obstinate than at any time during the day. General Johnston, in order to make a sure thing of it, placed himself at the head of our attacking force and led the charge in person. How unfortunate that he should have done soil for at half-past 2 he received at Minis ball in his breast and had his leg badly torn by a shell. He tell and died soon afterwards, but not until the enemy had again given way all along the lines. He died in the arms of Col. Wm. Preston, of Kentucky, his aid and brother-in-law, and former U. S. Minister to Spain, while Gov. Harris, of Tennessee, another aid, supported his head. Thus a brave soldier and skillful officer has gone down before the red tide of battle. He fell in the very arms of victory, with our flag upraised and advancing under the mighty impetus given to our attack by his own individual heroism and during. Let the Republic do justice to his memory, and repair the grievous wrongs which have of late been heaped upon him. The fall of Gen. Johnston did not in the least discourage our men; for they knew the gallant Beauregard was still left to them, with many other officers of skill and courage. On they press, therefore. Bragg has long since brought up his corps, composed for the most part of his seasoned Pensacola troops, and most admirably has he handled them throughout the entire day. Gallant and chivalric, yet cool and sagacious, he knows when and where to plant his terrible blows. Gen. Polk also was many times in the thickest of the fight, and bore himself throughout the battle, whether in the immediate front of the enemy or in bringing up his reserves, with the calm courage and serene spirit of a Christian warrior. Only a portion of our reserves were ever brought into action, there being no necessity for it. At half-past 5 o'clock the enemy was in full retreat, and hotly pursued by the victorious Confederates. He fled back to the Tennessee, and took shelter under his gunboats and river works, the fire from which was too heavy for our light field batteries. Night, too, had come on, and our army returned to the enemy's camp, and are now occupying it — The Federal left their tents standing, together with all their camp equipage, quarmaster and commissary stores, private baggage, medical supplies and considerable ammunition. The attack was so furious — it came so much like the first clap of thunder when the storm begins — and the pursuit so close and unrelenting, that they had no time to remove anything, not even to gather up their records and half-finished letters. The amount of property taken is immense. Our men are now regaling themselves upon the ample supplies of excellent food everywhere to be found. I am unable to speak with certainty of the number of the enemy's forces. One of the first prisoners I encountered (a Lieutenant who formerly belonged to the old army) estimated them at 120,000 men. Others cut them down at 100,000; others. again, at 75,000, and some at 50,000. Gen. Prentiss, who was captured about 5 o'clock, says that the Federal army on this side of the river was composed of six divisions, of about 7,500 each, which would make the forces of the enemy engaged about 45,000. They probably exceeded this number, without including the forces on the other side of the river. At no time had we as many men engaged as the enemy. Nor can I speak with certainly of the number of batteries or prisoners we have captured. It is too early after the battle, and too much confusion prevails for me to get at the precise facts. The number of prisoners is variously estimated; some say 2,000, and others 4,000; one report has it that one entire brigade has been captured. This is, doubtless, a mistake. Among the prisoners are many officers, and the greater part of the Seventh Iowa regiment, who lately petitioned the Federal Congress for permission to lus ribe upon their banner the victories of Belmont and Donelson. ’ The number of batteries taken is said to be eighteen, which, allowing six pieces to the battery, would make one hundred and eight guns. It is more probable that parts of eighteen batteries were taken. Several stands of colors were also captured--three by the 1st Louisiana regiment alone. I have seen two of them myself, and was present when they were brought in and delivered to Gen. Beauregard. I witnessed, also, the arrival and presentation of Gen. Prentiss, who was taken by a staff officer or officers of General Polk, and conducted to the latter, who sent him, with his compliments, immediately to Gen. Beauregard. The following is the substance of the conversation hat ensued after they had shaken hands: Prentiss.--Well, sir, we have felt your power to-day, and have had to yield. Beauregard.--That is natural, sir. You could not expect it to be otherwise. We are fighting for our homes, for our wives and children, for generations to come after us, and for liberty itself. Why does your Government thus war upon us, and seek us upon our own soil? Prentiss.--Our people have never yet been able to bring themselves to consent to see the Union broken up. Such a thing has not entered into our calculations, and cannot. Beauregard.--The Union is already broken, and the man, woman, and child in the South will willingly parish before it shall be restored. What force have you had engaged to-day? Prentiss.--Six divisions, numbering a little over 7,000 each — the whole not amounting to more than 40,000. Gen. Grant commands, assisted by Gens. Sherman, McClernard, Huriburt, Wallace, and myself. Gen. Smith is sick, and has not been on the field. My division was the first to receive your attack, and we were not properly supported; if we had been, the day might have gone otherwise — There has been mismanagement somewhere. Had I been supported in time, we should have broken your centre at the time we stopped your advance. Beauregard.--You are mistaken, General. My order of battle was such that if you had even penetrated the centre of our front line, it would only have been to encounter certain destruction; we would have cut you to pieces. Has Gen. Buell arrived, and what are his forces? Prentiss, (hesitating.)--I do not know where Gen. Buell is, or the number of his forces. I have heard he was at Nashville, and then at Columbia, and also that he was on the road. We do not look for him under forty-eight hours. I rear you will capture the greater part of our army on this side of the river. You have met and overcome today the best troops we have. Beauregard.--I am glad to hear it, and trust that the result of this day's work may bring your Government to a frame of mind more favorable to peace. Prentiss.--That can hardly be, sir. If your army had pushed on after the battle of Manassas, it might have taken Washington, and overrun the North, and brought us to peace. We had an insufficient supply of arms then, and were not prepared. The muskets purchased in Belgium by Fremont were of but little account; you could turn your thumb in the muzzle, the bore was so large. We also procured from England the old arms that have been stored away as useless in London Tower ever since the war with Napoleon in 1816. They are of no value whatever. It is only within the last sixty days that we have become thoroughly and efficiently armed. Our supply is now ample, and we cannot be overcome. Your Government has made two mistakes--first, in not availing itself of the fruits of the battle of Manassas; and secondly, in waiting until we had become well armed and organized. We have now 250,000 men in camps of instruction, who will be brought upon the field as they may be needed. We do not doubt the final result. Beauregard.--Nor do we. Our cause is just, and God will yet give us the victory. Prentiss.--We know you have able officers, and a spirited army to back them, but our confidence is firm. And permit me to add, General, that among all the Confederate officers no one is so great a favorite with us as yourself. Such is my own feeling, and that of our army and people. Beauregard.--You are very kind, sir; but we have much better officers than I am. --Gen. Sidney Johnston and Gen. Jos. Johnston are both my superiors in ability as well as in rank. I have served under both of them most cheerfully, and know them well. I care nothing for rank; the good of my country is what I look to. Other observations were made, but the foregoing embraces the chief points of the interview. Gen. Prentiss was easy and pleasant, and not at all depressed. Apparently, too, he was quite candid; and yet I thought I detected a disposition to evade, if not to deceive, in his reply as to the whereabouts and forces of Buell. I believe that Buell is near at hand. It is to be hoped I am mistaken, and that our men, who have already fought twelve long hours, may not have to encounter a fresh force to-morrow. I am unable to approximate the number killed and wounded on either side. The loss upon the part of both must be very heavy, though not so great as it would have been but for the protection afforded by the tress. Among our wounded are Gens. Cheatham, Bushrod Johnson, Bowen, Clark, and Gladden--the first five not seriously. Gen. Gladden, who commanded the right wing of Hardee's corps, lost his left arm; Gen. Cheatham received a ball in the shoulder, and Gen. Bushrod Johnson one in the side. General Bowen was wounded in the neck, and doing well at last accounts. Colonel Adams, of the 1st. Louisiana regulars, succeeded General Gladden in the command of the right wing, and was soon after shot, the ball striking him just above the eye and coming out behind the ear. Colonel Kitt Williams, of Memphis, and Col. Blythe, of Mississippi, formerly Consul to Havana, were killed. Many other officers were wounded and killed, cut my knowledge of the regiments is too limited, and the confusion too great to procure reliable details. The Mississippians, Tennesseeans, and Louisianian suffered terribly. All the troops behaved most gallantly. Never did men fight better; and yet many of them were raw troops fresh from their homes. The 21st Alabama regiment took two batteries, and the 1st Louisiana a section of artillery. Other regiments did equally well. The battle was fought around Shiloh Church, the place of worship of the surrounding country, and will be known in history as the Battle of Shiloh. I write in Captain Fulton's tent, Quartermaster of the 53d Ohio regiment, which Gen. Beauregard has kindly assigned to two friends and myself. Captain F. was good enough to leave an ample supply of paper, which I have been using freely. The tent was perforated by twenty-one musket balls. It is now raining very hard. Up to sunset the day was lovely. The change is the result, doubtless, of the heavy cannonading kept up since early morning. The enemy is still throwing shells from his gunboats, and some of them fall uncomfortably near our tents Whether he fears a night attack, or is seeking to cover the transfer of his army to the other bank of the river, it were impossible to say. Will Buell come? I have my fears. But let us leave the morrow to tell its own tale. Meanwhile I shall court the sweet embrace of Somnus upon Capt. Felica's camp cot. There is many as weary soldier lying on the wet ground to-night, who is ready to join with Sancco Panza, and say, ‘ "blessed be the man who first invented sleep"’ P. W. A.
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