Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 29.djvu/376

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360 Southern Historical Society Papers.

killed, wounded, captured, or scattered in hopeless confusion for miles along the banks of the river."


General Nelson, leading the advance troops of the rescuing force, describes them as "cowering under the river banks frantic with fright and utterly demoralized." And yet, under the influence of a large army of fresh troops, Grant had brought back into line for the second days' battle, these same demoralized men, and they fought with a heroism that atoned for their conduct on the first day. Gen- eral Grant says that no better soldiers ever marched to battle than some of the men who on the first day at Shiloh fled panic-stricken from the field.

The day after the battle of Shiloh, when the Confederates had re- tired to their own defensive lines at Corinth, General Grant tele- graphed to Halleck: "It would be demoralizing upon our troops here to be forced to retire upon the opposite bank of the river, and unsafe to remain on this many weeks without large reinforcements." Let it be remembered that Buell's army was still with him when he sent that dispatch.

Although the Confederate attempt to crush Grant's army and then recover all that had been lost by the fall of Fort Donelson, had failed, Shiloh put such a check upon the Federal advance in the West, that after a half-hearted form and movement on their part to Corinth and occupation of that place, the Confederates, now under Bragg, made a bold march northward, which carried their lines for a while even to the Ohio river, and checked the Federal tide of the invasion for a year.

Allow me to add this much: General Longstreet was not at the battle of Shiloh, but was in Virginia at that very time, assisting General Joseph E. Johnston in checking the advance of General McClellan.