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free himself from a pile of corpses. Men, horses, mules, mingled in every form of mutilation ; the shells screeching and the cannon-balls flying above them, the flames threatening to burn them alive. At times, the field seeming to be a bed of fire, except where drowned with pools of blood, — friends unable to reach them. And so those who survived wore the long hours of the night away. A vast field of carnage and woe! If angels weep, there were tears in heaven. And this was war, but only one scene in a war made and continued for four years, that a few men might buy and sell human beings.
But, when the morning dawned, these brave men again welcomed the old flag with cheers as they saw the advancing re-enforcements of Buell's divisions, and regiment after regiment marched into position for the final struggle.
BATTLE AT PITTSBURG LANDING.
IOWARD morning, Gen. Grant lay down on the
ground in the storm, with a log for his pillow, and slept soundly.” Thus Alexander slept on the night before the battle of Arbela ; so Condé slept on the eve of the battle of Rocroi ; so Napoleon slept on the field of Bautzen.
The talent for sleeping soundly when great events are impending is not one of the least elements of
The power of going without sleep, or of commanding it when needed, which some men possess, is a great gift. That commander is more to be dreaded who comes to the field with all the energies of his body and mind restored by refreshing sleep, than the nervous, excitable man who is jaded out with restlessness and anxiety. The affairs of life look very
differently in the morning to the man who has slept soundly than they do to the man who has tossed in feverish worry. Success in life is often as much an affair of the body as the mind.*
* “As a torch gives a better light, a sweeter smell, according to the matter it is made of, so doth our soul perform all her actions, better or worse, as her organs are disposed ; or, as wine savors of the cask wherein it is kept, the soul receives a tincture from the body through which it works.” Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy.
During the night, some of Buell's men had crossed over the river in the rain : and the line now had Lewis Wallace on the right; then Sherman, McClernand, Hurlbut, with the heroes of Fort Donelson; and McCook, Crittenden, and Nelson, on the left. Grant ordered an attack at daylight, on Monday the 7th, along his whole line, as if there had been no fighting for three months. The ball was opened by Nelson's division, which soon drew upon itself the fire of almost the whole rebel force. His artillery not having come up, his men suffered severely from the rebel batteries, until silenced by those of Capts. Mendenhall and Terrill, whom Grant sent to Nelson's support. Opposite Wallace was the famous Crescent Regiment from New Orleans, and the Washington Artillery of Manas
Beauregard could be seen riding in front, and exciting them to the utmost.
Sherman now steadily pressed forward to a point about fifteen hundred feet east of Shiloh Church, from which he had been driven on Sunday morning, and where Beauregard slept on Sunday night. Here the rebel army was plainly seen re-forming, regimental colors flying, and bands playing. A rebel battery was pounding grape and canister into our forces with terrible effect. Two brigades, under T. Kirby Smith and Rousseau, charged, and carried it at the point of the bayonet.
By two o'clock, Grant had driven the enemy, all the while fighting stubbornly, nearly five miles beyond his own line of battle on Sunday. An“ impressed NewYorker,” who was with the Confederate army, wrote, –
“ No heroism of officers or men could avail to stay the advance of the Federal troops.'
Late in the afternoon, Grant, standing on little knoll, saw the First Ohio marching to another portion of the field. One of our regiments, in line of battle, had been so thinned and weakened, that it was evident that it must give way soon, although fighting to drive the enemy from one of the last important positions which they held. Grant saw the time for the final blow had come: he instantly halted the regiment, and showed himself to the men, who received him with ringing cheers. He, drawing his sword, placed himself at their head, and shouting, “ Now's the time to drive them !” led them across the field, while the cannonballs were falling like hail-stones around him. The enfeebled regiment, seeing the determined gallantry of their leader, closed up, joined in the charge as if just arrived on the field, and swept the enemy from their last stronghold.
The rebels were now evidently retreating. Grant, like Blucher, was anxious to send the last man and the last gun after them.' But it was represented to him that the roads were almost impassable, and that the condition of the men was such that some rest was absolutely indispensable. After twenty hours' fighting, he reluctantly yielded to these representations for a few hours of repose. They encamped on the field from which they had first been driven. Early the next morning, however, cavalry were sent out on the road to Corinth to follow the retreating army. They found the route strewn with haversacks, muskets, blankets, and all the evidences of a flying foe.
Grant's loss had been about twelve thousand. Beauregard admitted his to be about eleven thousand; but those who buried the rebel dead estimated his loss far larger, some even as high as twenty thousand.
The battle was mainly decided at night, on Sunday, when our forces repulsed the last rebel assault at the ravine.
Beauregard, in his report of Sunday's battle, says, “Our troops fought bravely, but with the want of that animation and spirit which characterized them the preceding day.”
The slaughter on both sides was terrific. Sherman described it as the most dreadful which he saw in the
Grant says he only saw its equal in the Wilder
In some divisions, the killed and wounded were thirty per cent of the numbers who went into the action. Regiments, in some instances, were manded by lieutenants, and brigades by majors.
Yet the determination and endurance were truly wonderful. A ball was extracted from the brain of one soldier, who, three days after, was on duty with the bullet in his pocket. A rifle-ball passed through the head of a member of the First Missouri Artillery without killing him.*
The battle-field and the dead were in the possession of the victors.
Gen Grant issued the following congratulatory order :
HEADQUARTERS, DISTRICT OF WEST TENNESSEE, GENERAL ORDERS, No. 34.
PITTSBURG, April 8, 1862. The general commanding congratulates the troops who so gallantly maintained their position, repulsed and routed a numerically
* Surgical Reports.