Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 35.djvu/241
The Battle of. Shi/oh. 227
capture of men and artillery, and colors which they carried from the field, the complete rout inflicted on the Federals on Sunday, and their ability on Monday to hold the ground upon which they had concentrated and made the battle until 2 P. M., when General Beauregard withdrew from an unprofitable combat; withdrew in admitted good order, taking with him all the cap- tured guns for which there was transportation.
Moreover, his enemy was left so completely battered and stunned as to be unable to pursue.
The Federals claim the victory, upon the grounds that on Monday evening they had recovered their encampments and possession of the field of the battle from which the Confederates had retired, leaving behind their dead and a number of wounded.
In this discussion it should be remembered that after the Con- federates concentrated on Monday, or from at least as late as 9 o'clock A. M. up to the time of their retreat, they uniformly took the offensive and were the assailants. All substantially claimed in reports of Federal subordinate generals is that, after having been worsted between 9 A. M. and 2 P. M., they were then able to hold their own and check their antagonist.
After that, manifestly, there was a complete lull in battle until about 4 P. M., when, and no sooner, do the Federals appear to have advanced.
Fourth General Beauregard has been blamed unjustly for withdrawing his troops just as they were being launched on Sunday evening against the Federal position with such num- bers and impetus by generals on the spot as must have insured complete success. The reports of brigade and regimental com- manders completely disprove this allegation. His order really was not distributed before the greater part of the Confederate troops had already given up the attempt for that day to carry the ridge at the landing. The true reason why the battle of Sun- day fell short of the most complete victory of modern war by the capture of the whole Federal Army is simply this : After the combat was at its height, about midday, those superior officers who should have been occupied with the concentration of their troops in heavy masses upon the shattered Federal Divisions, were at the very front and "perilous edge" of the bat- tle, leading forward regiments, perchance brigades, into action,