Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 16.djvu/307

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"Battle of Shiloh." 301

resulted in an awful butchery and dispersion of all employed in so insensate, so preposterous an undertaking; and such must be the ver- dict of any military man who may studiously read the reports of the subordinate officers of Withers's three brigades, and bear in mind the formidable line of fifty-odd pieces of artillery which Webster had improvised, and which Buell had so opportunely supported with Ammen's fresh brigade. Nor was it materially different with the other division of Bragg' s corps, for Ruggles who commanded it, and who did splendid service that day, especially in the capture of Pren- tiss, reports :

" Subsequently (to Prentiss' surrender), while advancing towards the river, I received instructions from General Bragg to carry for- ward all the troops I could find. I received from Colonel Augustin notice of General Beauregard's orders to withdraw from the further pursuit, and finding soon afterwards that the forces were falling back, I retired with them, just as night set in, to the open field in the rear, and as I received no further orders, I directed General Anderson and Colonel Gibson to hold their troops in readiness, with their arms cleaned, and cartridges supplied for service the next day." {Ibid, page 472 )

General Patton Anderson thus describes the situation with his brigade :

" The sun was now near the western horizon, the battle around us had ceased to rage. I met General Ruggles, who directed me to take a road which was not far to my le(t, and to move down it in the direction of the river. I had not proceeded far, when overtaking me he ordered a halt till some artillery could be taken to the front, when he would give me further directions. Soon after halting, several brigades, composing portions of Generals Polk's and Har- dee's commands, filed across the road in front of me, and moved off to the left at a right angle to the road, and commenced forming line of battle in an open field and woods beyond. Several batteries passed down the road in the direction of Pittsburg. One soon re- turned, and filed off into the field where the infantry was forming. The enemy's gunboats now opened fire. General Ruggles directed me to move forward a short distance, and by inclining to the right to gain a little hollow, which would probably afford better protection for my men against shell than the position I then occupied. I gained the hollow and called a halt, ordering the men to take cover behind the hill and near a little ravine which traversed the hollow. We occupied this position some ten or fifteen minutes, when one of Gene-