Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 06.djvu/149

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139
General Albert Sidney Johnston.

he could assume the offensive and win a victory which would recover all and more than he had lost. At Corinth he could rapidly concentrate all the forces of his department. Bragg, with his superbly drilled and disciplined army corps, was ordered there; troops from New Orleans were brought there, and Price and Van Dorn were ordered from Arkansas, but did not arrive soon enough to aid the blow he was about to strike. After the fall of Donelson, Grant's army, reinforced with all the troops from Cairo and other available points, was carried by transports, as rapidly as possible, up the Tennessee, and disembarked at Hamburg Landing, twenty-two miles from Corinth, with the intention, doubtless, of occupying that point if it was found unprotected. But Bragg and the troops from New Orleans, moving promptly upon receipt of Johnston's orders, had already gotten there, and the place was partially fortified. Now it is certain that General Johnston had anticipated this movement of the Federal army, and believed that he could concentrate at Corinth before Buell, marching southward from Nashville, could come to Grant's assistance; and all that has been briefly described herein was in his mind, and he had already determined upon battle and victory at some point between Hamburg Landing and Corinth, when, three months before it was fought, he uttered the language which has been quoted.

It would be futile to attempt a description of such a battle as Shiloh in the brief space permitted in an article of this character; it is sufficient to say that a most exhaustive, accurate and vivid account of it is given in the book.

Information of the rapid advance of Buell compelled General Johnston to attack Grant before he himself was still further strengthened by the 17,000 troops under Van Dorn and Price. Colonel Johnston estimates the Confederate force in the battle at 40,000, and Grant's at 59,000 men. This is a larger estimate of the strength of both armies than has been generally made. The Confederate loss was something less than 11,000; the Federal loss has been variously computed from 13,000 to 17,000, but part of it was sustained by Buell's army, which took part in the second day's fighting.

Bad roads and unavoidable accidents delayed the march of the army, and the attack, which should have been on Saturday, April 5, was not delivered until the morning of the 6th. General Grant now claims that he was not surprised. To those who were in that battle, both Confederates and Federals, this is perhaps the most surprising statement that has ever been made about it. If eye-wit-