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superior force of the enemy, composed of the flower of the Southern army, commanded by their ablest generals, and fought by them with all the desperation of despair.
In numbers engaged, no such contest ever took place on this continent; in importance of result, but few such have taken place in the history of the world.
Whilst congratulating the brave and gallant soldiers, it becomes the duty of the general commanding to make special notice of the brave wounded and those killed on the field. Whilst they leave friends and relations to mourn their loss, they have won a nation to gratitude, and undying laurels not to be forgotten by future generations, who will enjoy the blessings of the best government the sun ever shone upon, preserved by their valor.
By command of Major-Gen. GRANT. John A. RAWLINS, A. A. G.
Of Gen. Sherman he said in his official report, “I was greatly indebted for his promptness in forwarding to me, during the siege of Fort Donelson, re-enforcements and supplies from Paducah. At the battle of Shiloh, on the first day, he held with raw troops the key-point to the landing. To his individual efforts I am indebted for the success of that battle. Twice hit, and several (I think three) horses shot under him, on that day, he maintained his position with raw troops. It is no disparagement to any other officer to say that I do not believe that there was another division commander in the field who had the skill and experience to have done it."
Tuesday morning, Beauregard asked permission to bury his dead, as follows:
HEADQUARTERS, DEPARTMENT OF MISSISSIPPI,
MONTEREY, April 8, 1862. SIR, At the close of the conflict yesterday, my forces being exhausted by the extraordinary length of the time during which
they were engaged with yours on that and the preceding day, and
I shall transmit this, under a flag of truce, to ask permission to send a mounted party to the battle-field of Shiloh for the purpose of giving decent interment to my dead. Certain gentlemen wishing to avail themselves of this opportunity to remove the remains of their sons and friends, I must request for them the privilege of accompanying the burial-party; and in this connection I deem it proper to say, I am asking what I have extended to your own countrymen under similar circumstances. Respectfully, general, your obedient servant,
P. G. T. BEAUREGARD, General commanding. To Major-Gen. U. S. GRANT, commanding U. S. Forces, Pittsburg.
Grant, in reply, sent the following:
HEADQUARTERS, ARMY IN THE FIELD,
PITTSBURG, April 9, 1862. To Gen. P. G. T. BEAUREGARD, Commanding Confederate Army on Mis
sissippi, Monterey, Tenn., Your despatch of yesterday is just received. Owing to the warmth of the weather, I deemed it advisable to have the dead of both parties buried immediately. Heavy details were made for this purpose, and it is now accomplished. There cannot, therefore, be any necessity of admitting within our lines the parties you desired to send, on the grounds asked. I shall always be glad to extend any courtesy consistent with duty, and especially so when dictated by humanity. I am, general, respectfully your obedient servant,
U. S. GRANT, Major-General commanding.
The immense numbers wounded and slain during these two days called forth the beneficent operations of the Sanitary Commission, which were continued throughout the war on a gigantic scale. Steamers crowded with physicians and nurses, and loaded with all neces
saries and delicacies for the sick, were immediately despatched to the scene of battle, and every effort made to mitigate the sufferings of the wounded.
This commission was one of the wonderful demonstrations of the war, and received Gen. Grant's earnest support and co-operation. The civilization and Christianity of Europe had for centuries beheld contending hosts march out and deluge the earth with their blood; but the care of the wounded was restricted to the army officials, and such limited aid as they could render. It was reserved for the people of America to exhibit to the world the most majestic proof of love and devotion to their country; giving a million and a half of men to its service; then following in the wake of its armies with thousands of volunteer surgeons, physicians, and nurses, - women and men bountifully supplied with every comfort and luxury of the sick-chamber, eager to dress the wounded, care for the sick, write messages of love for the helpless, pray with the dying, - shrinking from no office that poor humanity could need; and, when all was orer, tenderly embalming and forwarding their lifeless remains to the homes they had left. Such a people could not be conquered.
Sherman said, “It was necessary that a combat fierce and bitter, to test the manhood of the two armies, should come off; and that was as good a place as any." The battle made the North and South better acquainted with the character of the Northern and Southern soldiers. It showed the North that the Southern soldier who could brag could also fight; it showed the South that the Northern soldier could “stand, and, having done all, stand." There was less talk after that of “one
Southerner whipping five Yankees,' the bluster with which the rebels opened the war. They found that the “mudsills" of the North, as Senator Hammond of South Carolina called the men who held the plough and handled the trowel, shoved the jackplane and swung the sledge, did not fear in battle the face of animated dust. The Southern soldier had the ardor, the vehemence, the enthusiasm, the self-assertion, of the French, — the same which carried the French cavalry up to the enemy's ranks until they rattled their sabres upon their muskets. They came on with terrific “yells,” which seemed to demand a victory as a thing of course; but they had not the “hold-on," the grip which yields only to death itself. They wanted to carry every thing with a dash, and, if resisted firmly, after a while gave way.
The Northern soldiers did not yell,” — they “cheered," and oftener after victory than before. Like the Spartans of old, who did not need martial strains to excite them, but could march into battle to the Dorian mood of flutes and soft recorders,” the Northern men in making a charge would grit their teeth, compress their lips, slope their bayonets, then silently rush on with a power that swept every thing before it. It was like the Norman and Saxon blood on the battle-fields of Europe. “ These English,” said Napoleon to Soult on the morning at Waterloo, as he first swept the field with his glass, —“ these English: at last we have them !”
“I know them, sire,” said Soult, who had been in Spain, —“I know them; and they will die where they
, stand !” The news of the victory was telegraphed over the country. It was read to both houses of Congress, then in session. Salutes were fired; and everywhere the news was received with great rejoicing.
This battle, or rather the two battles of Shiloh and Pittsburg Landing, were fought April 6 and 7, 1862. They were important in many ways, but not the least in the entire change which they made in the views of the man who was finally to wield the whole force of all the Union armies against the Rebellion. He had believed that the South, after a few defeats, would relinquish the purpose of actually destroying the government, and fastening anarchy upon the whole nation ; but that they would use their position to negotiate upon the questions in dispute, and ultimately return to the Union. He was now convinced that he had not fathomed their purpose, and that the words of the secession leader at Washington, as reported by Judge Douglas, were true : “ If you give us a sheet of white paper to write our own terms, we will not remain in the Union.” He became convinced that the leaders of the Rebellion had “resolved, in the gloomy recesses of minds capacious of such things,” to overthrow the liberties of their country, and erect on its ruins a vast empire to extend and perpetuate human slavery. He saw that it was a life-and-death struggle ; that the government must exterminate the Rebellion, or be exterminated by it; that, with the capture of forts and the surrender of armies, the slaveholders were not willing to yield the accustomed fruits of victory. Men often mark the progress of our race by battles, sieges, the dismemberment of old and the creation of new empires; but the silent, still birth of a thought, an opinion, in the mind of a single man, has often shaken the earth with the force of an earthquake.
Grant now formed a belief that it was not by marching and countermarching of armies, by taking Fort