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field equal to a re-enforcement of forty thousand troops. Often during the war there were calls for two and three hundred thousand men. After a while, it came to be seen that there was only one man more wanted.

Grant made his way to the front, where he found Sherman riding about among rifle-balls, cannon-shot, and shells, as if he bore a charmed life. Wherever the shot fell the fastest and the thickest, there was Sher

He was untiring in his efforts; cool, daring, and full of fight.

Grant congratulated him on the stand he had made: things looked badly ; but the army was not to be whipped. Grant, before starting, had thoughtfully given orders to forward all day supplies of ammunition. Messengers were sent again and again to the commanders in the rear to come up. He endeavored during the forenoon to re-form the broken regiments, to put the disorganized troops into position. Meanwhile the rebels, greatly encouraged by their first success, steadily advanced. The conflict was deadly, and raged with increasing fury. It recalled Lannes' description of the battle of Montebello: “I could hear the bones crash in my division like glass in a hail-storm."

At half-past four, in the afternoon, our forces had been driven to within half a mile of the landing. Grant listened for Buell's guns. About this time, Gen. Buell, who had heard the firing at a great distance, had ridden on with his staff in advance of his army, and reached the field. Seeing the desperate state of affairs, he asked Grant,

“ What preparations have you made to secure your retreat, general ?"


“We shall not retreat, sir.'

“But it is possible,” added Buell ; " and a prudent general always provides for contingencies."

“ Well, there are the boats," said Grant.

“ The boats !” said Buell. “But they will not hold over ten thousand men, and we have thirty thousand.”

They will hold more than we shall retreat with. We shall whip them yet,” was Grant's characteristic reply.

Hurlbut's and W. H. L. Wallace's commands fought with stubborn valor. They could be forced back slowly by the rebel host; but they covered the ground with their own and the enemy's dead as they receded ; and among them, at last, Wallace himself fell.

Late in the afternoon, when all seemed lost, on a ravine not far from the landing, Col. Webster of Grant's staff, a splendid artillery-officer, collected a battery of twenty-two guns in a semicircle, which the rebels did not silence. Gunners were called for; and a surgeon

of one of the Missouri regiments, Dr. Cornyn, thought his professional experience in surgery was no disqualification, and insisted on taking a place at the guns.

Rebel batteries were moved up, and opened fire; but now the gunboats “ Tyler ” and “ Lexington " joined in the fight with 7-inch shell and 64-pound shot. Buell arrived, but too late.

At this time, Beauregard telegraphed to Richmond as follows:

We have this morning attacked the enemy in strong position in front of Pittsburg; and after a severe battle of ten hours, thanks to Almighty God! gained a complete victory, driving the enemy from every position.

The loss on both sides is heavy, including our commander-inchief, Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston, who fell, gallantly leading his troops into the thickest of the fight.

G. T. BEAUREGARD, General commanding.

It was at this time that Grant made about the only attempt at rhyme of which we have any record. The excellent staff-surgeon, Dr. Hewitt, seeing the vast numbers of the wounded, was disposed to take a desponding view, and expressed a belief that the enemy would drive us. Grant tried to rally those about him into good spirits, and said,

“ Major Hewitt

Says they can do it:
General Grant

Says they can't !”

It was then, too, that Grant, as Sherman afterwards related,* told him the story of Donelson, of the disasters early in the day; and expounded to Sherman, no doubt an easy convert, his ever-favorite theory of the mutual exhaustion of both armies in every great battle, when, by some vast power, you must rouse your own, and go in to triumph. He thought the rebels were about in the right condition then, and, if it were not night, should attack; but gave orders that they “ should be attacked at daylight.

It must be owned, it is difficult to defeat such a man: because he assumes that you will fight hard and fight long; that both armies will do all that mortal men can be expected to do; but that then he will select a moment when his own shall do something more. But that he,

* Sherman's Letter to the Army and Navy Gazette.


or those following him, shall be the party to fail, he never believes. There are men in whom this would seem to be conceit and over-weening self-confidence ; but there is a class of men in whom it is the natural fruit of conscious power. Be careful how you ter them.

“Who sails with me comes to shore,” said Cæsar.

“ You never were on a boat with me before, I think,” said Jackson to a nervous gentleman on a rickety steamer in a dangerous storm.

It had been a terrible battle, one of the most bloody that occurred in the war. Gen. Johnston, the rebel leader, had been killed, but, with the intrepidity of the American soldier, sat motionless on his horse after he was shot, not moving until he was lifted out of his saddle. Beauregard was in command. W. H. L. Wallace was mortally wounded Prentiss was captured with two thousand men. Grant had been struck, but not injured ; and the wounded, the dying, and the dead, of both armies, covered the field to the number of about twenty thousand men.

The Federal camp was in possession of the enemy.

The shells from the gunboats, dropping into the woods during the night, set them on fire; and the sufferings of the helpless wounded were terrible, and would have been aggravated but for the copious rain, which partly quenched the fire, and mitigated their anguish.

Few except eye-witnesses can form a conception of the sufferings of a battle-field. a

“ What a glorious sight must be a great victory!” said a lady to Wellington. “ The saddest sight in the world, madam, except a defeat,” was the reply.


It is not generally known, that, among the wounded, the most acute anguish is from thirst. A man will live longer without food than without water. Water is essential to all vital existence, except that of mosses. Indeed, the ancients believed that water was the parent of all things.*

The torture of thirst is always increased tenfold by the loss of blood. And these poor beings, unable to move, were compelled to lie all night : sometimes the flames were crackling about them ; sometimes they would throw their heads back, and thrust out their tongues, hoping to catch a few drops of the falling rain. Here was a headless body; there was a disembowelled corpse; near would be a man weakly struggling to

* This theory was partly drawn from the Mosaic account of the creation. The same is taught in the Koran. And Milton, in “Paradise Lost,” accepting this belief, writes,

“On the watery calm
His brooding wings the Spirit of God outspread,
And vital virtue infused, and vital warmth,
Throughout the fluid mass."

It was chosen in the parable to represent with most power to the minds of men the unutterable torture of the lost: “Let him dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue." It was the only bodily suffering which extorted utterance amid the agonies of the crucifixion, —“I thirst;” and the cruel refusal to mitigate it was all that was needed to wring from the convulsed lips of the dying, “It is finished.” Children have remembered through life a glass of water given them on some occasion when enduring extreme thirst; and invalids nursed in homes of comfort and luxury have described for years the sensation of cold water, given to them when burning and parched with fever, rendering literally as well as poetically true the lines of Talfourd :

“ Its draught
Of cool refreshment, drained by fevered lips,
Will give a shock of pleasure to the frame
More exquisite than when nectarian juice
Renews the life of joy in happiest hours."

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