Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 02.djvu/200
Southern Historical Society Papers.
And finally, the inexcusable incompetency of the ordnance officer who sent our ordnance train beyond reach, so that we could not resume the offensive on the morning of the 6th, completed the mischances which caused a well planned, bold and bravely fought battle to go against the Confederate arms, and left no other results than a loss to the enemy in killed and wounded, a few prisoners and two light batteries, which we took with us back to Van Buren, and the moral effect with which our unexpected attack had impressed him by the boldness and energy of our enterprise, so that he did not venture upon any aggressive movement against us.
After reaching Van Buren, Van Dorn recognized the importance to our cause of a victory on the Tennessee and of joining our forces to those under General Sydney Johnston at Corinth, instead of lying idle all spring, observing an army which evidently would not attempt any invasion of Arkansas. He therefore proposed to General Johnston to let him march across Arkansas (over 200 miles), join him on the Tennessee, and fall upon Grant with all the forces combined. Before Van Dorn's proposition had reached General Johnson, he had written for Van Dorn to join him, if possible.
Our army therefore was put upon the march as soon as practicable, and Van Dorn, preceding it by the quickest route, went to Corinth for conference with Generals Johnston and Beauregard. We found Grant lying in force on the Tennessee river, while Johnston's army over—30,000 strong—occupied entrenched lines about Corinth.
In the council of war it was resolved to attack Grant before Buell could join him. If the army of the West should arrive in time for the battle, success would be certain, but in any case Grant would be attacked before he received reinforcements.
The rains and terrible roads of Arkansas delayed the arrival of the Army of the West in time for the battle of Shiloh. Only one of our regiments—the Second Texas, which arrived by water from Texas—participated in the fight.
It was my privilege to be present during a part of the conference between these three remarkable men Johnston, Beauregard and Van Dorn.
I was much impressed by the dignity and earnestness of General Johnston. He expressed with clearness and decision his views and purposes, and with the air of one conscious of the gravity of the