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Title: Shiloh National Military Park, Tennessee
Author: Dillahunty, Albert
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Shiloh National Military Park, Tennessee" ***

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    [Illustration: DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR,: March 3, 1849]

                       Douglas McKay, _Secretary_

                         NATIONAL PARK SERVICE
                      Conrad L. Wirth, _Director_


This publication is one of a series of handbooks describing the
historical and archeological areas in the National Park System
administered by the National Park Service of the United States
Department of the Interior. It is printed by the Government Printing
Office and may be purchased from the Superintendent of Documents,
Washington 25, D. C.  Price 25 cents.

                  _National Military Park, Tennessee_

                         _by Albert Dillahunty_

    [Illustration: Cannons]

                       WASHINGTON 25, D. C. 1955


_The National Park System, of which Shiloh National Military Park is a
unit, is dedicated to conserving the scenic, scientific, and historic
heritage of the United States for the benefit and enjoyment of its


  PRELIMINARY CAMPAIGN                                                  2
  THE FIRST DAY                                                         9
  THE SECOND DAY                                                       16
  RESULTS OF THE BATTLE                                                19
  GUIDE TO THE AREA                                                    24
      Iowa State Monument                                              24
      Michigan State Monument                                          27
      Confederate Monument                                             27
      Ruggles’ Batteries                                               28
      Confederate Burial Trench                                        28
      Illinois State Monument                                          29
      Shiloh Church Site                                               29
      Fraley Field                                                     30
      Putnam Stump                                                     30
      Hornets’ Nest and Sunken Road                                    31
      Johnston’s Monument                                              31
      Peach Orchard                                                    32
      War Cabin                                                        32
      Bloody Pond                                                      33
      Indian Mounds                                                    33
      Overlook                                                         33
      Pittsburg Landing                                                34
  NATIONAL CEMETERY                                                    35
  HOW TO REACH THE PARK                                                35
  ADMINISTRATION                                                       36
  RELATED AREAS                                                        36
  VISITOR FACILITIES                                                   37
  SHILOH INSPIRES WRITERS                                              37

    [Illustration: _Shiloh Church, painted by Capt. A. M. Connett, 24th
    Indiana Volunteer Infantry, a participant in the battle._]

    [Illustration: Paddlewheel steamers]

SHILOH NATIONAL MILITARY PARK preserves the scene of the first great
battle in the West of the War Between the States. In this 2-day battle,
April 6 and 7, 1862, both the Union and Confederate Armies suffered
heavy casualties, bringing home the horrors of war to the North and
South alike. Nearly 24,000 were killed, wounded, or reported missing—a
number equal to more than one-fifth of the combined Union and
Confederate Armies engaged in the battle. By their failure to destroy
the Federal Armies at Shiloh the Confederates were forced to return to
Corinth, Miss., relinquishing all hold upon West Tennessee, except a few
forts on the Mississippi which were soon to be wrested from them. Their
failure at Shiloh foreshadowed the loss of the Memphis and Charleston
Railroad, the South’s vital line of communication between Chattanooga
and the Mississippi. After the fall of Memphis, early in June, the
Federals were in position to strike at Vicksburg, the conquest of which
would give them control of the Mississippi and split the Confederacy in

The psychological effect on the South of the Union campaigns was
probably of greater importance than the material gains or losses of the
contending armies. The Confederates learned by bitter experience the
error of their former opinion of the Union soldier. No longer could they
boast that the fighting ability of one Confederate was equal to that of
10 Federals, now that Southern dash and chivalry had been grievously
tried against Northern valor and endurance.

The near-defeat at Shiloh removed the illusion of easy victory, created
by the fall of Forts Henry and Donelson, from the minds of Northerners.
They now realized that the struggle was to be a long and bloody one. A
few days after Donelson, one Union soldier wrote: “My opinion is that
this war will be closed in less than six months from this time.” Shortly
after Shiloh the same soldier wrote: “... if my life is spared I will
continue in my country’s service until this rebellion is put down,
should it be ten years.”

Shiloh is not distinguished by outstanding generalship on either side,
but it is interesting as a battle fought by raw volunteers—young men
without previous experience in a major engagement and with little or no
military training.

                         _Preliminary Campaign_

War activity west of the Appalachian Mountains in 1861 was confined
chiefly to the States of Kentucky and Missouri. Toward the end of the
year when loyalty, or at least the neutrality, of the governments of
these border States seemed assured, the Federals began making plans for
the invasion of the South by way of the western rivers and railroads.
Each side began to maneuver for strategic positions. The Confederate
General, Leonidas Polk, believing that the Southern States were about to
be invaded through Kentucky, moved up quickly from his position at Union
City, Tenn., and seized Columbus, Ky., the northern terminus of the
Mobile and Ohio Railroad. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, recently appointed
commander of the Federal troops in and around Cairo, Ill., had made
preparations to occupy that important river port and railway center on
the following day. Thwarted at Columbus, Grant retaliated by taking
Paducah, Ky., located at the junction of the Tennessee and Ohio Rivers.

It now became apparent to the Confederate high command in Richmond that
a strong line would have to be established along the northwestern border
of the Confederacy before the Union armies had time to occupy more of
the strategic points. They believed that the task could be performed
more effectively if all troops in that theater of operation were placed
under one commander. Accordingly, Confederate President Jefferson Davis
sent Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston to the West with the imposing title of
“General Commanding the Western Department of the Army of the
Confederate States of America.”

Arriving in Nashville on September 14, 1861, General Johnston studied
his difficult assignment. The line he was supposed to occupy extended
from the mountains of eastern Tennessee westward across the Mississippi
to the Kansas boundary. Only two points on the proposed line were then
in Confederate hands: Columbus, which he considered the natural key to
the Confederate defense of the Mississippi, and Cumberland Gap, Ky.,
which he had previously ordered Gen. Felix K. Zollicoffer to occupy.

One of Johnston’s first official acts upon arriving at Nashville was to
order Gen. Simon B. Buckner to secure Bowling Green, Ky., one of the
most important railroad centers south of the Ohio. He also ordered
garrisons to the incomplete works at Fort Henry, on the Tennessee, and
Fort Donelson, on the Cumberland, hoping to prevent a Union advance up
either of these natural highways. A Federal offensive up the Tennessee
or the Cumberland would endanger the important railroad and industrial
center of Nashville, Tenn.

Since the outbreak of the war, Nashville had been converted into a huge
arsenal and depot of supplies. Large quantities of food, clothing, and
munitions had been collected and stored in its warehouses. Its factories
were turning out percussion caps, sabers, muskets, saddles, harness,
knapsacks, cannon, and rifled pieces. Its looms were turning out
thousands of yards of gray cloth which were being made into uniforms for
the soldiers. The loss of this city would be an irreparable blow to the

    [Illustration: _The_ WAR IN THE WEST _before Shiloh_]

While General Johnston was establishing his positions, the Federals were
rapidly organizing their forces preparatory to an attack upon the
Confederate line. Gen. Henry W. Halleck, from headquarters in St. Louis,
was strengthening his positions at Cairo, Ill., and Paducah, Ky. At the
same time, he was making ready a large number of river steamers so that
his troops could be moved by water to almost any point along his front.
From headquarters in Louisville, Gen. Don Carlos Buell, commander of the
Department of the Ohio, reinforced his line so that Johnston had to keep
his main force at Bowling Green, Ky., to guard the important railroads
which penetrated Middle and West Tennessee.

    [Illustration: _Commodore Foote’s gunboats ascending the Tennessee
    to attack Fort Henry._]

Various plans for an attack upon the Confederate line were considered by
the Federals. General Halleck, commander of the Department of the
Missouri, believed that it would take an army of not less than 60,000
men, under one commander, to break the well-established line. He,
therefore, asked that General Buell’s army be transferred to him, or at
least placed under his command.

Before a union of the two departments could be effected, General Grant
asked for, and received, permission to attack the line at Fort Henry. A
combined land and naval attack by Grant’s troops and the gunboat fleet
of Commodore Andrew H. Foote resulted in the surrender of Fort Henry on
February 6, 1862, and the capture of Fort Donelson, with about 12,000
prisoners, on the 16th. The loss of these forts broke Johnston’s line at
its center and compelled him to evacuate Bowling Green and Columbus,
permitting western Kentucky to fall into Union hands. To prevent
encirclement, he was also forced to withdraw from Nashville, abandon
Middle and West Tennessee, and seek a new line on the Memphis and
Charleston Railroad.

Following the fall of Forts Henry and Donelson, Grant incurred the
displeasure of General Halleck by sending a division of troops into
Buell’s department at Clarksville. Halleck’s indignation increased when
he learned that Grant had gone to Nashville for consultation with Buell.
Halleck directed the withdrawal of the division from Clarksville,
suspended Grant from command, and ordered him to Fort Henry to await

    [Illustration: _Dover Tavern, General Buckner’s headquarters and
    scene of the surrender of Fort Donelson._]

    [Illustration: _Map of the battlefield of Shiloh, made by Gen. W. T.
    Sherman soon after the battle._]

The army under Grant’s successor, Gen. Charles F. Smith, moved up the
Tennessee toward the heart of the Confederacy, with the intention of
rendezvousing at Savannah, Tenn., on the east side of the river. Gen.
William T. Sherman was sent forward on the so-called Yellow Creek
Expedition for the purpose of destroying railroad communications to the
west of Corinth, Miss., the objective of the campaign. High water made
Sherman’s mission a failure, and he was compelled to return. He reported
to General Smith that a more convenient place for the assembling of his
army was at Pittsburg Landing, Tenn., 9 miles above Savannah, and on the
west side of the river, from which direct roads led to Corinth. General
Smith, therefore, instructed him to disembark his division and that of
Gen. Stephen A. Hurlbut at Pittsburg Landing, in positions far enough
back to afford room for the other divisions of the army to encamp near
the river.

    [Illustration: _Conference of Confederate commanders the night
    before the battle. From left to right, Gen. P. G. T. Beauregard,
    Gen. Leonidas Polk (seated), Gen. John C. Breckinridge, Gen. A. S.
    Johnston, Gen. Braxton Bragg, and Maj. J. F. Gilmer. Gen. W. J.
    Hardee was not present._]

    [Illustration: _Cherry Mansion, Savannah, Tenn., used as
    headquarters for the Union Army, March 13 to April 29, 1862. While
    eating breakfast in this house, General Grant heard the sounds of
    heavy firing which told him the battle had begun. Generals W. H. L.
    Wallace and C. F. Smith died here in April 1862._]

In obedience to this order, Sherman encamped his division along a ridge
on either side of Shiloh Church, almost 3 miles from Pittsburg Landing,
with General Hurlbut’s division about a mile to his rear. Within a few
days, Gen. Benjamin M. Prentiss’ division took position on Sherman’s
left, while Gen. John A. McClernand and Gen. W. H. L. Wallace formed
their divisions between Sherman and the river. The 3d Division,
commanded by Gen. Lew Wallace, was stationed at Crump’s Landing, about 4
miles downstream from the main encampment. Thus, by April 5, 1862, there
were in the five divisions of the Army of the Tennessee at Pittsburg
Landing 39,830 officers and men present for duty and 7,564 at nearby
Crump’s Landing.

While this concentration of troops was in progress, General Smith
received a leg injury which became so serious that he had to give up his
command. General Grant was restored to duty and sent to Savannah with
orders to concentrate troops and supplies, but to bring on no general
engagement until a union could be made with Buell’s army, and Halleck
had arrived to assume personal command of the combined forces.

General Johnston, in the meantime, was concentrating all available
forces at Corinth, Miss., on the Memphis and Charleston Railroad. After
this had been accomplished, he resolved to take the offensive and attack
Grant’s army at Pittsburg Landing, hoping to defeat that army before it
could be reinforced by General Buell. Hearing that Buell was nearing
Savannah, Johnston determined to attack at once and accordingly on the
3d of April issued the order for the forward movement. He expected to
give battle at daylight on April 5th, but heavy rains and bad roads made
progress so slow that the last of his columns did not reach the field
until late afternoon. It was then decided that the attack should be
postponed until daylight the next morning. Johnston’s army, 43,968
strong, went into bivouac in order of battle within less than 2 miles of
the Federal camps. The Confederate forces were formed in three lines.
Gen. W. J. Hardee’s corps and one of Gen. Braxton Bragg’s brigades were
in the first line, the remainder of Bragg’s corps in the second line,
and Generals Leonidas Polk’s and J. C. Breckinridge’s corps in the third

During the night of April 5th the two hostile armies were encamped
within a short distance of each other: the Confederates poised, ready to
attack, while the unsuspecting Union army went about its normal camp
routine, making no preparations for the defense of its position. On
Saturday, a few hours before the battle, Sherman wrote Grant: “I have no
doubt that nothing will occur to-day more than some picket firing,” and
that he did not “apprehend anything like an attack” on his position. The
same day, after Sherman’s report from the front, Grant, who was at
Savannah, telegraphed Halleck: “I have scarcely the faintest idea of an
attack (general one) being made upon us, but will be prepared should
such a thing take place.”

                            _The First Day_

The battle began about 4:55 a. m., Sunday, April 6, when a
reconnoitering party of Prentiss’ Union division encountered Hardee’s
skirmish line, under Maj. Aaron B. Hardcastle, a short distance in front
of Sherman’s camps. The reconnoitering party—three companies of the 25th
Missouri under Maj. James E. Powell—fighting and retreating slowly
toward its camps was reinforced by four companies of the 16th Wisconsin
and five companies of the 21st Missouri. These troops were, in turn,
reinforced at the northeast corner of Rhea Field by all of Col. Everett
Peabody’s brigade. Here they succeeded in holding the Confederates in
check until about 8 a. m., when they fell back to Prentiss’ line of
camps, closely followed by the enemy.

General Sherman, hearing the picket firing in his front, immediately got
his division under arms and posted a battery at Shiloh Church and
another on the ridge to the south. The left of this hastily formed line
received the full impact of the Confederate onslaught at about the same
time that Prentiss’ camps were attacked. One of the regiments in the
left brigade—the 53d Ohio—consisted of raw troops who had never been
under fire. Unable to withstand the fierce Confederate attack, this
regiment soon broke and fled to the rear. A short time later the other
two regiments of the brigade did likewise. The commander of the brigade,
Col. Jesse Hildebrand, refused to leave the field with his men. Since he
had no troops of his own, he acted as aide for General McClernand the
rest of the day.

    [Illustration: _The Confederate charge upon Prentiss’ camps._ From
    “Battles and Leaders of the Civil War.”]

General Prentiss, in the meantime, was making a gallant, but futile,
stand along his line of camps. Assailed by the eager Confederates in
front and on the flanks, his whole division soon broke and fell back in
confusion. He succeeded in rallying about 1,000 of his men on the center
of a line that W. H. L. Wallace and Hurlbut were forming with parts of
their divisions in a strong position in the rear. This new line, running
through a densely wooded area along an old sunken road, proved to be
such a strong position that the Confederates named the place “Hornets’
Nest” because of the stinging shot and shell they had to face there.

Meanwhile, General Grant at breakfast in Savannah heard the guns in the
battle of Shiloh. He at once sent word to the advance of Buell’s army,
which had already arrived at Savannah, to march immediately to the point
on the river opposite the battlefield. He then hurried up the river
aboard the steamer _Tigress_, moving in close enough to the shore at
Crump’s Landing to instruct Gen. Lew Wallace to be prepared to execute
any order he might receive. Upon arriving at the field, he dispatched
reinforcements to Prentiss and formed two regiments in line near
Pittsburg Landing, to arrest the tide of stragglers from the battle and
organize them to return. He then rode to the front.

While the Confederate right was engaged with Prentiss, the left,
supported by continuous artillery fire, was hurled against the combined
forces of Sherman and McClernand who were making a stubborn stand along
the ridge at Shiloh Church. This small log building, which gave its name
to the battle, was considered the key position of the field, as it
commanded the best road from Corinth to Pittsburg Landing. When General
Grant reached the church, about 10 a. m., his troops were heavily
engaged all along the line. They had resisted the relentless pounding
from the Confederate artillery and the repeated infantry charges for
over 2 hours. Seeing that the line could not hold much longer, Grant
dispatched orders to Lew Wallace to move to the field, expecting him to
reinforce the Union right. Leaving Sherman, he moved down the line to
the left to confer with his other division commanders. He visited
Prentiss in the Hornets’ Nest and directed him to hold his position
there at all hazards.

    [Illustration: _Union defenders of the Hornets’ Nest (right)
    repulsed 11 Confederate charges against the Sunken Road._]

    [Illustration: _The Sunken Road near Bloody Pond._]

Soon after Grant’s departure, Sherman withdrew from Shiloh Ridge,
abandoning his camps and much of his equipment. He took a new position
behind the Hamburg-Purdy Road alongside McClernand who had been pushed
back on line with Prentiss’ Hornets’ Nest position.

Grant’s army was now posted on either side of Prentiss, making a line
approximately 3½ miles long. The opposing army was charging this line
with a series of frontal attacks, just as hard on the left as on the
right. This was contrary to Johnston’s plan of battle. He had intended
to push hardest on the Union left and seize their base of supplies at
the Landing. Without supplies or an avenue of escape, he hoped to drive
the disorganized Federals into the swamps of Snake and Owl Creeks and
destroy them.

Seeing that the enemy was being driven into its base of supplies rather
than away from it, Johnston, about noon, moved to the extreme right to
direct in person the activities of that wing of his army. There, he
found his troops exposed to a galling fire and unable to advance.
Determined to move his line forward, Johnston ordered and led a
successful charge. The Union lines recoiled, and the Confederates surged
forward about three-fourths of a mile. As Johnston sat on his horse,
watching the lines re-form, a ball from the gun of an unknown Union
soldier struck the Southern commander, severing the large artery in his
right leg. No surgeon being near, he died from loss of blood at 2:30 p.

The death of Johnston caused a lull in the battle on the right flank for
about an hour. The situation was relieved somewhat by the fact that a
second in command was on the field. Gen. Pierre G. T. Beauregard was in
charge of headquarters which had been established near Shiloh Church.
When informed of Johnston’s death, he immediately assumed command. He
sent General Bragg to the right of the field and put Gen. Daniel Ruggles
in command at the center.

    [Illustration: _Johnston mortally wounded._]

General Ruggles, having witnessed 11 unsuccessful charges against the
Hornets’ Nest, decided to concentrate artillery fire upon the position.
Therefore, he collected all the artillery he could find—62 pieces—and
opened fire upon the Union line. Under cover of continuous fire from
these guns, the Confederates attacked with renewed courage and redoubled
energy. Unable to withstand the assault, the troops on both the Federal
right and left withdrew toward the Landing, leaving Prentiss and W. H.
L. Wallace isolated in the Hornets’ Nest. As the Union forces withdrew,
the left of the Confederate line swung around and joined flanks with the
troops moving around from the right, thus forming a circle of fire
around Wallace and Prentiss.

Wallace, seeing that the other divisions were withdrawing and that his
command was being surrounded, gave the order for his troops to fall
back. To execute the order, his division had to pass through a ravine
which was already under the crossfire of the encircling Confederates.
Wallace was mortally wounded in the attempt, but two of his regiments
succeeded in passing through the valley, between the Confederate lines,
which they appropriately named “Hell’s Hollow.” Prentiss continued the
resistance until 5:30 p. m., when he was compelled to surrender with
over 2,200 troops—all that remained of the two divisions.

During the afternoon, Col. Joseph D. Webster, Grant’s Chief of
Artillery, placed a battery of siege guns around the crest of a hill
about a quarter of a mile in from the Landing. The smaller field
artillery pieces were put in position on either side of them as they
were moved back from the front. The two wooden gunboats, _Tyler_ and
_Lexington_, anchored opposite the mouth of Dill Branch, further
strengthened the line. As the remnants of the shattered Union Army
drifted back toward the Landing, they were rallied along this line of

    [Illustration: _Gen. Ulysses S. Grant._
    Courtesy National Archives.]

After the capture of Prentiss, an attempt was made to reorganize the
Confederates for an attack upon the Union position near the Landing.
Before a coordinated attack could be made, Beauregard, who had received
word that Buell would not arrive in time to save Grant’s army, sent out
the order from his headquarters at Shiloh Church to suspend the attack.
Unknown to Beauregard, the advance of Buell’s army had already arrived
opposite Pittsburg Landing and was being rapidly ferried across the

During Sunday night and Monday morning, Buell moved approximately 17,000
troops into line on the Union left. Lew Wallace put almost 6,000 fresh
troops—Fort Donelson veterans—in position on the right. The
Confederates, receiving no reinforcements, spent a sleepless night in
the captured Union camps annoyed by shells from the gunboats, which were
thrown among them at 15-minute intervals throughout the night.

    [Illustration: _Gen. Don Carlos Buell._
    Courtesy National Archives.]

The battle had already raged for 13 hours. Charge after charge had been
made by the Confederates, followed by Federal countercharges. Ground had
been gained and lost, but the general direction of movement had always
been toward the Landing. By the time the day was over and the weary
soldiers had lain down to rest, the Confederates were in possession of
all the field, except the Landing and a bit of adjoining territory. Many
Southern soldiers, in view of the gains made during the day, believed
that the victory was already theirs. An equally large number of
Northerners were willing to concede defeat. When night at last closed in
around the hostile armies, feelings of uncertainty prevailed among the
leaders on both sides. Many of them were well aware that the battle was
yet to be won or lost.

                            _The Second Day_

Monday morning, April 7, at daylight, the vanquished of the previous day
renewed the struggle with increased strength and restored confidence.
Anxious to take the initiative, the Union armies were put in motion
almost simultaneously, with Buell on the left, Lew Wallace on the
extreme right, and Grant’s weary troops occupying the space between. The
movement began unopposed, except by small unsupported parties which were
quickly forced to retreat.

The Confederates had been unable to reorganize their widely scattered
forces during the night. Therefore, when the Union advance began on
Monday the opposing line of battle was yet unformed. The Confederates
were still back in the vicinity of the captured Union camps vainly
trying to reorganize their broken commands. They did not succeed in
forming a line until after the enemy had advanced beyond the Peach
Orchard and the Hornets’ Nest, regaining much of the territory they had
lost the day before.

    [Illustration: _Young Confederate enlisted men from the Washington
    Artillery of New Orleans._ From a photograph made prior to the
    Battle of Shiloh.]

The Confederates, one brigade strong, were first encountered by Lew
Wallace a short distance in front of his Sunday night bivouac. In a
brief but spirited engagement, the Confederates were attacked in front
and on the left flank by the Union division. To keep from being
surrounded, they fell back almost a mile in the direction of Shiloh
Church to take their place in the forming line of battle.

In the meantime, Buell moved his troops rapidly forward until they
developed the Confederate line of battle west of the Peach Orchard. The
Southerners boldly charged the advancing Union infantry which had moved
forward so rapidly that its artillery was still far to the rear. Without
artillery support, the Federals were unable to withstand the violent
assault of the Confederates and were forced to make a hasty retreat. The
timely arrival and effective use of two batteries of artillery permitted
the Union line again to advance, only to be driven back once more by the
stubborn Confederates.

The battle now raged the entire length of the field. Charge followed by
countercharge moved the fitfully swaying line first toward the river and
then toward the church. The advantage would seem to rest momentarily
with the weary Southerners, but would soon be lost to their greatly
strengthened opponent. Commands became so intermingled and confused that
it was often impossible to distinguish between friend and foe. The
Confederates, clad in a variety of colored uniforms, with no
well-defined line and on an ever-changing front, suffered the heavier
losses from the fire of their own troops.

Meanwhile, General Beauregard, at Shiloh Church, anxiously awaited the
return of couriers he had dispatched to Corinth to hurry forward Gen.
Earl Van Dorn’s army of about 20,000 men, daily expected there from Van
Buren, Ark. He had promised to make a junction with General Beauregard
as soon as possible, but was delayed because he had no means of
transporting his troops across the Mississippi. Unaware that Van Dorn
was still in Arkansas, General Beauregard maintained his largest troop
concentration in the vicinity of the church to defend the
Corinth-Pittsburg Road so that reinforcements could be quickly moved
onto the field. As soon as it became known that additional troops were
not on the way, Beauregard realized that the road would have to be kept
open as a possible line of retreat. The Union commanders were equally
determined to drive the Confederates from the position. Consequently,
furious fighting raged before the church long after the tempo of the
battle had slackened on each flank.

Despite all efforts of the Confederates, the Union line continued slowly
to advance. In desperation the Confederates made a gallant charge, first
expending their ammunition and then relying on the bayonet. The charge
carried the surging line through waist-deep Water Oaks Pond, beyond
which the fire from the adversary became so strong that the line was
brought to an abrupt halt. Taking cover at the edge of a woods, they
repulsed every attempt by the Federals to advance.

    [Illustration: _Arrival of Federal reinforcements._]

    [Illustration: _The first tent field hospital ever used for the
    treatment of the wounded on the battlefield was established at
    Shiloh, April 7, 1862._]

By 2 p. m. General Beauregard decided it was useless to prolong the
unequal struggle. Since early morning, his lines had been forced back,
step by step, with heavy losses. From all parts of the field his
subordinates were sending urgent requests for reinforcements, which he
was unable to supply. Even his position at the church was in danger of
being taken. A continuation of the battle could bring only additional
disasters upon his already greatly depleted ranks. To forestall a
complete rout, he ordered a rear guard with artillery support to be put
in position on the ridge west of the church and instructed his corps
commanders to begin withdrawing their troops. By 4 o’clock, the last of
the Confederate Army, or what was left of it, had retired from the field
and was leisurely making its way back to Corinth without a single
Federal soldier in pursuit.

The Union armies did not attempt to harass the retreating Southern
columns or attack them when they went into bivouac for the night.
Instead, Grant’s troops, from the privates to the highest commanders,
appear to have been content to return to their recaptured camps, while
the Confederates returned to their former positions in and around
Corinth to recruit and reorganize.

In explanation of his inactivity Grant said: “My force was too much
fatigued from two days’ hard fighting and exposure in the open air to a
drenching rain during the intervening night, to pursue immediately.
Night closed in cloudy and with heavy rain, making roads impracticable
for artillery by the next morning.”

The next morning, April 8, however, Gen. Thomas J. Wood, with his
division, and Sherman, with two brigades and the 4th Illinois Cavalry,
went in pursuit. Toward evening they came upon the Confederate rear
guard at Fallen Timbers, about 6 miles from the battlefield. The
Southern cavalry, commanded by Col. Nathan Bedford Forrest, charged the
Federals, putting the skirmishers to flight and throwing the Union
cavalry into confusion. The Confederates, pursuing too vigorously, came
suddenly upon the main body of Federal infantry and were repulsed, after
Colonel Forrest had been seriously wounded in the side. Before returning
to camp, the Northerners tarried long enough to bury their 15 dead,
gather up their 25 wounded, and find out that they had lost 75 as
prisoners. The spirited action of the Confederate rear guard at Fallen
Timbers put an end to all ideas of further pursuit by the Federals.

                        _Results of the Battle_

The losses on each side at Shiloh were unusually heavy. Grant’s army of
39,830 had been reinforced by 25,255 during the night between the 2
days’ battle, swelling the total number of Union troops engaged to
65,085, excluding a guard detachment of 1,727 men left at Crump’s
Landing. Of that total number 1,754 were reported killed, 8,408 wounded,
and 2,885 missing; presenting an aggregate of 13,047 casualties.

The army under Generals Johnston and Beauregard had gone into battle
with 43,968 men of all arms and condition. They received no
reinforcements, except 731 men of Col. Munson R. Hill’s Tennessee
Regiment who had reached the front unarmed and were furnished with arms
and equipment picked up from the field. The Southerners lost 1,728
killed, 8,012 wounded, and 959 captured or missing, or a total of 10,699

                 _“Present” and “Casualties” at Shiloh_

                       Present for duty                  Casualties
                                         Killed Wounded Missing    Total
  Army of the Tennessee (April   39,830   1,433   6,202   2,818   10,453
     _Reinforcements (April 7)_
  Army of the Tennessee           7,337      80     399      12      491
  Army of the Ohio               17,918     241   1,807      55    2,103
     Total Federals engaged[1]   65,085   1,754   8,408   2,885   13,047
  Army of the Mississippi        43,968   1,728   8,012     959   10,699
  (April 6)
     _Reinforcements (April 7)_
  Hill’s 47th Tennessee             731
     Total Confederates engaged  44,699   1,728   8,012     959   10,699
     Grand Total                109,784   3,482  16,420   3,844   23,746

[1]Does not include 1,727 troops left at Crump’s Landing as rear guard.

During the first few weeks following the battle, both sides claimed a
victory. The Confederates based their claim upon the facts that they had
inflicted an almost complete rout on the Federals on Sunday, April 6,
and that they had been able to hold a part of the field until they
withdrew in good order on Monday. Furthermore, they said, the Union
armies were so battered that they were unable to pursue.

    [Illustration: _Shiloh National Cemetery._]

    [Illustration: _Bloody Pond._]


    Johnston expected to push rapidly with his right wing around Grant’s
    left as shown by the long black arrow. Such a move would drive the
    Federal Army downstream away from its base of supplies at Pittsburg
    Landing. The Confederates would then envelop and defeat the

    [Illustration: HOW THE BATTLE WAS FOUGHT]

    The Battle of Shiloh developed into a series of frontal attacks with
    the left of the Confederate Army moving faster than the right. By
    the end of the first day the Federals had been pushed back into
    their base of supplies at Pittsburg Landing where they were strongly
    protected by gunboats and artillery. On the second day, Federal
    reinforcements turned the tide of battle and swept the Confederates
    from the field.

The Federals claimed the victory upon the grounds that on Monday evening
they had recovered their encampments and had possession of the field
from which the Confederates had retired, leaving behind a large number
of their dead and wounded.

After the Battle of Shiloh the Confederates were compelled to withdraw
southward. Corinth was abandoned to the North on May 30th, severing the
railroad from Memphis to Chattanooga. By the end of June 1862, only
those forts on the Mississippi River near Vicksburg remained in Southern
hands. After a long siege, Vicksburg fell to the North on July 4, 1863,
cutting the Confederacy in two.

                          _Guide to the Area_

For the benefit of visitors who are unable to take the guided tour,
numbered markers have been placed at points of interest in the park to
correspond with the following numbered sections and those shown on the
guide map. For the complete tour, Nos. 1 to 17 should be followed in
consecutive order.

    [Illustration: _Grant’s last line._]

                        1. IOWA STATE MONUMENT.

This 75-foot monument, designed by E. F. Triebel, was erected by the
State of Iowa in 1906. Surmounting the main shaft are a bronze capital,
globe, and an eagle with a wingspread of 15 feet. Ascending the steps at
the base of the monument is a bronze statue, symbolic of “Fame,”
inscribing a tribute to the Iowa soldiers who fought in the battle. In
addition to this monument, Iowa has 11 regimental monuments on the


The pyramid of cannon balls north of the monument marks the headquarters
site of Gen. W. H. L. Wallace. When the battle opened, there were five
Union divisions on the field. All of the divisional camps, except this
one, were captured by the Confederates on the first day of the battle.

The siege guns southwest of the monument are the heaviest pieces used in
this battle. They had an accurate range of about 2,000 yards whereas,
the ordinary cannon were effective at only about 1,100 yards. These
cannon represent the last Union line, formed late Sunday afternoon,
extending from the river to Snake Creek Bridge, a distance of about 2

The small earthwork beyond the siege guns is the only one thrown up on
this battlefield. The emplacement was not used, however, because the
Federals took the offensive early the next morning.

    [Illustration: _Confederate Monument, erected by the United
    Daughters of the Confederacy._]

                      2. MICHIGAN STATE MONUMENT.

Twenty-one States were represented in the Battle of Shiloh. Only 12 of
those States have monuments on the battlefield. In 1918, the State of
Michigan erected this memorial to her three regiments of infantry and
one battery of artillery which participated in the battle. The crowning
figure on the monument faces toward Corinth, Miss., the objective point
of the campaign.

                        3. CONFEDERATE MONUMENT.

This monument, designed and sculptured by Frederick C. Hibbard, was
erected in 1917 by the United Daughters of the Confederacy in memory of
all Southern troops who fought in the battle.

In the center of the massive pedestal is carved the bust of Gen. Albert
Sidney Johnston, the Confederate commander who was killed during the
afternoon of the first day.

At the extreme right, the figure in front represents the Confederate
infantryman who has snatched up his flag in defiance of the Northern
Army. The figure to his rear is the artilleryman who is calm as he
appears to gaze through the smoke of battle.

To the left, the figure in front represents the cavalryman. His hand is
spread, indicating frustration. He is eager to help, but cannot
penetrate the heavy undergrowth. The figure back of the cavalryman
represents the officers of the Confederate Army. He has his head bowed
in submission to the order to cease firing when, it seemed, had it not
been given the first day, there might have been a Confederate victory.

    [Illustration: _Duncan Field, between “Hell’s Hollow” and Ruggles’

    [Illustration: _Confederate burial trench._]

The central group represents a “Defeated Victory.” The front figure,
representing the Confederacy, is surrendering the laurel wreath of
victory to Death, on the left, and Night, on the right. Death came to
their commander and Night brought reinforcements to the enemy; and the
battle was lost.

The panel of heads on the right represents the spirit of the first day.
How hopefully and fearlessly the 11 young Confederates rushed into

The panel of heads on the left represents the second day of the battle
and the sorrow of the men, now reduced to 10, over the victory so nearly
won and so unexpectedly lost.

South of the monument, just inside the woods, is the spot where Union
General Prentiss surrendered, with over 2,200 troops, at 5:30 p.m., on
the first day.

                         4. RUGGLES’ BATTERIES.

The line of guns on the left represents Ruggles’ Confederate
concentration of 62 cannon. This was the longest line of artillery ever
formed in an American battle up to that time. Aided by these cannon, the
Confederates succeeded in driving back the Union flanks and in capturing
over 2,200 troops near the center of the Hornets’ Nest.

                     5. CONFEDERATE BURIAL TRENCH.

All of the Confederate dead are buried on the battlefield in five large
trenches. In this, the largest, there are, reportedly, 721 bodies,
stacked seven deep.

    [Illustration: _New Shiloh Church, stands on the site of the
    original church._]

The day after the battle, General Beauregard dispatched a message to
General Grant asking for permission to send a mounted party to the
battlefield to bury his dead. In answer, Grant said: “Owing to the
warmth of the weather I deemed it advisable to have all the dead of both
parties buried immediately ... now it is accomplished.”

The Confederates and Federals were buried alike in separate trenches on
the field. Four years after the battle the Union dead were removed to
the newly established national cemetery. The Confederates still rest in
the trenches where they were buried by the Federal troops.

                      6. ILLINOIS STATE MONUMENT.

This monument, sculptured by Richard W. Bock, was dedicated in 1904 to
all Illinois troops who participated in the battle of Shiloh.

The crowning figure, designed to represent the State of Illinois, holds
a book in her left hand containing a record of her sons’ achievements on
this field. In her right hand is a sheathed sword. The scabbard is held
with a firm grasp as if in readiness for release of the blade and a
renewal of the battle should the occasion arise. Her gaze is bent
watchfully toward enemy territory to the south.

                         7. SHILOH CHURCH SITE.

The original “Shiloh Meeting House”—a one-room log structure with rude
handmade furnishings—was built by the Southern Methodists about 1853, 9
years after the church had split over the slavery issue.

When the Union Army moved upon the field, General Sherman encamped his
division along the ridge on either side of the church. It was along this
same ridge that he formed his first line of battle on the morning of
April 6, 1862, and where he was first attacked by the Confederates. He
succeeded in holding the ridge for about 2 hours before he was forced to

As soon as Sherman withdrew, General Beauregard established his
headquarters at the church. He held the position until the Confederates
began their retreat on the second day.

The church was reportedly torn down by the Union troops and the logs
used to build bridges when the movement upon Corinth began.

The present structure, completed in 1949, stands on the site of the
original church.

                            8. FRALEY FIELD.

About 3 a. m. on Sunday, April 6, a reconnoitering party was sent out
from Prentiss’ division to explore a small wagon trail to the front. The
party, under Major Powell, advanced past Seay Field, crossed the main
Corinth Road, and encountered the Confederate cavalry videttes at the
corner of Wood and Fraley Fields at 4:55 a. m. There followed an
engagement with the pickets, commanded by Major Hardcastle, from Wood’s
brigade of Hardee’s corps.

About 6:30 a. m., the Confederate advance began. The reconnoitering
party fell back slowly, making a stand at the corner of Seay Field. By
7:30 a. m., the Confederate line had advanced to within half a mile of
Prentiss’ camps.

                            9. PUTNAM STUMP.

Pvt. John D. Putnam, Company F, 14th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, was
killed on Monday, April 7, during a charge against a Confederate
battery. He was buried where he fell, at the foot of a young oak tree.

Thomas Stone, one of the burying party, suggested that his name be
carved into the tree sufficiently low so that in case the tree were cut
down the name would remain.

When the national cemetery was established, Putnam’s body was removed to
it. Because of the precautions of his comrades in 1862, his is one of
the few graves marked with full name, company, and regiment.

In 1901, the Wisconsin Shiloh Monument Commission visited the field to
select a site for the State monument. They found that the tree had been
chopped down, but that the stump remained with the name of Putnam still
legible. The Wisconsin Commissioners chose this spot because of its
absolute correctness as to the position of the 14th Regiment. They
decided to reproduce the stump in granite and to place it on the exact
spot where the original had stood. This unusual monument to a private
was placed in position April 7, 1906.

    [Illustration: _Putnam Stump._]


                   10. HORNETS’ NEST AND SUNKEN ROAD.

The Confederate soldiers named this area “Hornets’ Nest” because of the
stinging shot and shell they had to face here. Parts of three Federal
divisions were intrenched in this old sunken road, protected by a heavy
rail fence and dense undergrowth.

General Ruggles, after having witnessed 11 unsuccessful attacks against
the position, formed a line of artillery consisting of 62 pieces and
concentrated its fire upon the Federal line. With the aid of these
cannon, the Confederates were able to form a circle around the Sunken
Road, surrounding and capturing General Prentiss, with more than 2,200
troops, at 5:30 p. m.

Within this area are the Arkansas, Minnesota, and Wisconsin State

                        11. JOHNSTON’S MONUMENT.

On the afternoon of April 6, General Johnston ordered his reserves to go
into action and advance on the right flank in an attempt to drive a
wedge between the Federal troops and their base of supplies at Pittsburg
Landing. He also hoped to make it impossible for reinforcements to come
to Grant’s assistance from across the river. While personally directing
his reserves, he was struck in the right leg by a Minié ball which cut
the large artery.

    [Illustration: _Johnston’s Mortuary Monument._]

At the time General Johnston was struck, he was sitting on his horse,
“Fire-eater,” underneath the large oak tree now enclosed by an iron
fence. He was taken to the ravine about 100 yards south of this
monument. There, beneath the tree now protected by another iron fence,
he died from loss of blood, a few minutes later.

Four other mortuary monuments are located in the park, marking the spots
where Generals Gladden and W. H. L. Wallace and Colonels Peabody and
Raith fell in action.

                           12. PEACH ORCHARD.

At the time of the battle, the Peach Orchard was in full bloom. It was
here that some of the hardest fighting of the first day took place.
While the fighting raged across the orchard, bullets were cutting the
blossoms from the trees so thick and fast that the air appeared to be
filled with falling snow.

                             13. WAR CABIN.

This cabin formerly stood in Perry Field on the Federal right and in the
immediate front of the last Union line established on Sunday afternoon,
the first day of the battle. The battle-scarred logs reveal that it
stood in the midst of heavy fighting. Of the many cabins on the field at
the time of the battle, this is the only survivor.

The cabin was moved to the present location, a few weeks after the
battle, to replace one that was burned during the engagement.

                            14. BLOODY POND.

This shallow pool of water was in the path of the retreating Federal
Army as it was pushed back toward the river on Sunday. Being the only
water in the immediate vicinity, the wounded from both sides crawled
here to quench their thirst and bathe their wounds. So many bled in and
around the pond that the water is said to have become stained the color
of blood.

                           15. INDIAN MOUNDS.

There are about 30 mounds in this area, 7 of which are large, ranging in
height from 5 to 15 feet. With one exception, all are flat-topped
platform mounds. The one having a different form is an oval-shaped
burial mound.

The mounds were excavated in 1934 under the direction of the Smithsonian
Institution. Quantities of broken pottery, bone implements, stone tools,
and weapons were removed. Twelve skeletons were found in the oval burial

The effigy pipe, now on display at park headquarters, was removed from
the burial mound in 1899 under the direction of the Park Commission.

                             16. OVERLOOK.

This 100-foot bluff affords the best view of the Tennessee River and the
adjoining country. From this point one can see the east bank of the
river where the advance of General Buell’s army, following its march
from Savannah, Tenn., embarked to cross to the battlefield late Sunday

    [Illustration: _War cabin._]

    [Illustration: _Red stone effigy pipe found in one of the burial

Down the river, to the north, one can see Savannah where General Grant
had his headquarters. On clear days, Pickwick Dam may be seen up the
river, to the south.

                         17. PITTSBURG LANDING.

Even before the Battle of Shiloh, this was an important landing.
Merchants of Corinth, Purdy, and the adjacent country received most of
their merchandise from boats which tied up at this point. When the boats
went back downstream, they were laden with passengers, cotton, and
produce which had been transported to the Landing over the roads which
converged here.

When the Union armies began preparations for the move against Corinth,
Pittsburg Landing was selected as the concentration point because of its
good camp sites and the good roads which led to the Confederate
stronghold. The Army of the Tennessee, with the exception of Lew
Wallace’s 3d Division, debarked at Pittsburg Landing. General Buell’s
army, brought to Grant’s aid under the stress of battle, arrived at the
field on such a large number of transports that the Landing would not
accommodate them. Consequently, all of the riverbank within the Union
lines was used as a boat landing.

    [Illustration: _Excursion boat departing from Pittsburg Landing._]

Because of the importance of the Landing, the engagement was called
“Battle of Pittsburg Landing” in most Northern newspapers and reports.
The Southern name “Battle of Shiloh” is now almost universally accepted.

                          _National Cemetery_

Shiloh National Cemetery was established in 1866 and embraces an area of
10.2 acres. In the cemetery are interred 3,695 bodies, two-thirds of
whom are unidentified. Besides the Union soldiers killed in the Battle
of Shiloh, the cemetery holds many of the dead from nearby battlefields.
In addition, a number of those who served in the Spanish-American War,
both World Wars, and one from the Revolutionary War are buried here.
Only two Confederates are buried in the cemetery. Both died while being
held as prisoners of war.

The Wisconsin Color Guard Memorial is located at the east end of the
cemetery on the bluff overlooking the Tennessee River. Another
interesting feature of the cemetery is the pyramid of 32-pounder cannon
erected by the United States Government to mark the site of the tree
used by General Grant as headquarters on the night of April 6.

                        _How to Reach the Park_

Shiloh National Military Park is situated on the west bank of the
Tennessee River at the intersection of State Highways Nos. 22 and 142.
It is 13 miles east of U.S. No. 45, and 5 miles south of U.S. No. 64.

    [Illustration: _Graves of six Wisconsin color bearers, overlooking
    Tennessee River._ In Shiloh National Cemetery.]


Shiloh National Military Park is administered by the National Park
Service of the United States Department of the Interior. A
superintendent, whose address is Pittsburg Landing, Tenn., is in
immediate charge.

                      _The Park and Related Areas_

Shiloh National Military Park, containing about 3,730 acres of Federal
land, was established by act of Congress in 1894. At the time of its
establishment only Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park.
Ga.-Tenn., had been dedicated in memory of the western campaigns of the
War Between the States. In subsequent years other national military
parks dealing with the Civil War in the West have been established.
Those most closely related to Shiloh are Vicksburg National Military
Park, Miss., and Stones River and Fort Donelson National Military Parks,

                          _Visitor Facilities_

An exhibit room and library are located in the administration building,
situated near Pittsburg Landing. They may be visited by the public every
day from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Here are to be found interesting relics,
books, and maps relating to the Battle of Shiloh and the Civil War. Free
literature concerning this area may also be secured at park
headquarters. Orientation and historical talks are given daily by
members of the park staff. Free guide service is usually available.
Special service is provided for groups and organizations if arrangements
are made in advance with the superintendent.

    [Illustration: _Administration building._]

                       _Shiloh Inspires Writers_

For the first two or three decades following the Battle of Shiloh many
literary men, following the dictates of popular demand, based their
compositions, both prose and poetry, upon events of that bloody battle.
Since Shiloh was significant for the bravery of the young untrained men
of the North and South alike, writers frequently wrote about the young
and otherwise undistinguished soldiers rather than the time-worn theme
of the brave and gallant leaders. The drummer boy, often a mere lad who
had run away from home to seek adventure in the ranks, became the
subject of some of the most popular literature of the day. Many of these
productions were based upon incidents which actually happened during the
engagement, but those destined to become most famous were drawn largely
from the imaginative minds of the authors.

    [Illustration: _“The Drummer Boy of Shiloh,” written in 1862, was
    one of more than 300 songs published by Will S. Hays._]

    [Illustration: The Drummer Boy, Page 1]

    [Illustration: The Drummer Boy, Page 2]

                            THE DRUMMER BOY.
                           BY WILL. S. HAYS.

                                        INTRODUCTION. Andante. Moderato.
  On Shiloh’s dark and bloody ground
  The dead and wounded lay;
  Amongst them was a drummer boy,
  Who beat the drum that day.
  A wounded soldier held him up
  His drum was by his side;
  |: He clasp’d his hands, then rais’d his eyes,
  And prayed before he died. :|

  2. Look down upon the battle field,
  Oh, Thou our Heavenly Friend!
  Have mercy on our sinful souls!
  The soldiers cried, “Amen!”
  For gathered ’round a little group,
  Each brave man knelt and cried.
  |: They listened to the drummer boy
  Who prayed before he died. :|

  3. “Oh, mother,” said the dying boy,
  “Look down from Heaven on me,
  Receive me to thy fond embrace
  Oh, take me home to thee.
  I’ve loved my country as my God;
  To serve them both I’ve tried.”
  |: He smiled, shook hands—death seized the boy
  Who prayed before he died. :|

  4. Each soldier wept, then, like a child,
  Stout hearts were they, and brave;
  The flag his winding sheet, God’s Book
  The key unto his grave.
  They wrote upon a simple board
  These words: “This is a guide
  |: To those who’d mourn the drummer boy
  Who prayed before he died.” :|

  5. Ye angels ’round the Throne of Grace,
  Look down upon the braves
  Who fought and died on Shiloh’s plain,
  Now slumb’ring in their graves!
  How many homes made desolate?
  How many hearts have sighed?
  |: How many, like that drummer boy,
  Who prayed before they died. :|

Samuel J. Muscroft’s play _The Drummer Boy of Shiloh_, written in 1870,
was apparently based upon “what might have been” rather than facts. The
play—a pleasing mixture of drama, pathos, and comedy—was staged in
cities and towns all over the Northern States for almost 40 years. It
was ordinarily staged as a home-town production rather than by
professional actors and actresses—a factor which tended to increase its
popularity. In fact, contemporary accounts say that the play was second
in popularity only to _Uncle Tom’s Cabin_.

Numerous poems about Shiloh were of immediate, if not lasting,
popularity. Herman Melville, author of _Moby Dick_ and _Typee_,
attracted by the multitude of inviting subjects presented by the Civil
War, turned to Shiloh for inspiration. “Shiloh,” published 4 years after
the battle, is one of his most famous poems of the War Between the
States era.

“The Men of the West” by Richard Coe; “Our Boys who Fell at Shiloh” and
“General Albert Sidney Johnston” by H. Pleasants McDaniel; and “The Old
Sergeant” by Forceythe Willson are typical examples of the trend in
poetry immediately following Shiloh.

Song writers of the period also looked to Shiloh for the themes of their
melodies. The most successful endeavor in this field was made by Will S.
Hays in “The Drummer Boy of Shiloh.” Like the play by that name, the
song is undoubtedly based upon fancy rather than facts. The title was
chosen because of its certain musical quality and not because of its
connection with any incident of the engagement. Hays, a correspondent of
the _Louisville Democrat_, wrote the song in 1862 while the story of the
battle was still news rather than history. It is not known whether he
was at the battle of Shiloh or whether his sympathies were with the
North or the South. However, his song immediately became famous
throughout the country and remained popular for a number of years.

The song and the play, “The Drummer Boy of Shiloh,” may possibly be
credited with the creation, or at least the perpetuation, of the popular
legend about “The Drummer Boy of Shiloh.” After the publication of these
works several claimants to the title came to the fore. Needless to say,
these men had not been killed at the battle, but each maintained that
his presence at the engagement as a youthful drummer had inspired the
authors. From time to time, as years passed, newspapers in widely
scattered sections of the country announced “The Drummer Boy of Shiloh
Dies.” A recent study by Ray H. Mattison, former historian at Shiloh
National Military Park, proved that many of the claimants were
ineligible for the designation. In the final analysis, John Clem, “The
Drummer Boy of Chickamauga,” was found to have the strongest claim to
the Shiloh title.

                       THE DRUMMER BOY OF SHILOH

  _“Look down upon the battlefield,
  Oh Thou, Our Heavenly Friend,
  Have mercy on our sinful souls.”
  The soldiers cried, “Amen.”
  There gathered ’round a little group,
  Each brave man knelt and cried.
  They listened to the drummer boy,
  Who prayed before he died._

  _“Oh, Mother,” said the dying boy,
  “Look down from heaven on me.
  Receive me to thy fond embrace,
  Oh, take me home to thee.
  I’ve loved my country as my God.
  To serve them both I’ve tried!”
  He smiled, shook hands—death seized the boy,
  Who prayed before he died._

  _Each soldier wept then like a child.
  Stout hearts were they and brave.
  They wrapped him in his country’s flag
  And laid him in the grave.
  They placed by him the Bible,
  A rededicated guide
  To those that mourn the drummer boy
  Who prayed before he died._

  _Ye angels ’round the throne of grace,
  Look down upon the braves,
  Who fought and died on Shiloh’s plain,
  Now slumbering in their graves.
  How many homes made desolate,
  How many hearts have sighed.
  How many like that drummer boy,
  Who prayed before he died._

                                                          —Will S. Hays.

The years intervening between the Battle of Shiloh and the present have
softened the harshness of the engagement and wrapped it in a shroud of
sentimental romanticism. Most twentieth-century writers are content to
view the battle from that perspective. Occasionally a realist, such as
Shelby Foote in his historical novel, “Shiloh,” penetrates the rosy glow
and brings forth interesting and all-but-forgotten facts. Dr. Merrick F.
McCarthy, another twentieth-century writer, presents an accurate and
vivid picture of the battle in the following poem:

                       FOUR VOICES FROM SHILOH[2]

      _Stern Johnston came in April from the South
      To spread the Shiloh fields with threatening Gray!
      Hard Sherman set his unrelenting mouth,
      And Grant knew not the season or the day,
      Though spring had come! A turmoil held the Land
      In vast confusion, out of which these three
      Came on, with purpose clear, with sword in hand,
      To meet on Shiloh Field their destiny!_

      _Where their lines struck live now but squirrel and bird!
      Calm April has her way with flower and tree,—
      But there are lasting voices to be heard
      At Pittsburg Landing on the Tennessee!_

  (That of a young man from the North)

      _If Grant and Sherman push on through,
      We’ll cut the Southern States in two!
      It’s not a question of white or black,—
      But when States leave, we’ll bring them back!
      They talk and talk in Washington,
      While in the South they’re training men!
      We had ’em whipped at Donelson,—
      But now they’re ready to fight again!_

      _When the brood mare foals, I’ll be away,—
      I always spaded the garden in spring!
      And what of the oats, the wheat and the hay?
      Who will shock as the reapers swing?
      Or mend the roads in thicket and copse,
      Or boil the syrup from maple drops?_

      _Timber to fell, fires to make,—
      Ice to cut on the frozen lake!
      I wonder if Dad will be able to plow,—
      And whether Mother is living now?_

      _Why do we stay on Shiloh hill,
      With our backs to the muddy river;
      With Rebels to fight and Rebels to kill,
      Why camp in the woods and shiver?
      We drilled with Sherman in Ohio,
      And now by the Tennessee!
      Where do the Southern pickets go
      That fire on you and me?
      I reckon to Corinth to drill in the mud,—
      But we have drilled a few
      Who stained the Michie hill with blood
      To remember me and you!_

  (That of a young Southern man)

      _Hang all Yanks to the end of a limb!
      One of us equals ten of him!
      What’s a Southern man to do
      But load his rifle and see this through?
      The Yankee Buell is miles away,
      While Sherman here on Shiloh creek,
      Has no entrenchments, so they say!
      Let’s hit the Yanks while they are weak!
      But winter is here and times are hard,—
      I wonder who’ll slaughter and render the lard
      With me in Corinth? Who’ll tend the mill,
      With corn on hand and orders to fill?
      Dragging guns through water and mud,
      With cotton to plant and rice to flood!
      The Army’s taken our horses and mules
      And the children walk to the parish schools!
      General Johnston’s almighty slow
      Gettin’ this army ready to go!_

      _And who in hell made the Corinth road?
      Horse to leather, man to rope,—
      Slither, stagger with the load,—
      Through rain, the mud and darkness grope!
      Timber the ruts where the freshets run—
      Dam off the floods; move up, move on,—
      Live or die, but every gun
      Must reach the ridge with its caisson!
      Cover your powder from the wet;
      Keep hammers clean and barrels dry,—
      Wipe your pistol and bayonet!
      Tomorrow watch the Yankees die!_

  (That of an old army sergeant)

      _Privates sleep where the rain pours down!
      Generals have a bed in town!
      Hayfoot, strawfoot never knows
      Whether his gun is loaded or not!
      Load again and if she blows ...
      Dead and buried, and soon forgot!_

  (A ringing rifle volley is heard)

      _Volley fire! That’s what you hear!
      And that means more than a picket brush!
      Turn your head away from the rear
      And set yourself for their first rush!
      (Load your guns, if you know how,
      With your fingers stiff with fright!
      Northern boys from yard and mow,
      Southern boys from field and plow,
      God forbid, your time is now!)
      Dress your line! The guide is right!_

  (The sounds of battle rise to a crescendo then fade to the silence of
              the woods)

  (That of an elderly farmer)

      _Pray God they never march again
      Across my farm, tearing the land to bits,—
      Wheeling their guns and leaving broken men
      Blasted and burned wherever shell-fire hits!
      I have the papers now about the fight
      That rolled across my orchard, ridge and hill!
      Half of the truth is all they dare to write
      About what happens when men fight to kill!_

      _Now this: “Cleburne advanced across the stream”!
      Advanced! He met a line that crashed and flamed
      Not loud enough to cover up the scream,
      As those in front fell over dead and maimed!
      Over the fallen who still shrieked and cried,
      The Mississippi troops moved in the flash
      Of Sherman’s powder, burning as they died,
      Meeting the fire with stab and saber slash!_

      _“Sherman fell back”! They ran from tree to tree
      Along the greening ridge, now blue with smoke,
      Where struggling wounded staggered desperately,
      Holding torn arms or legs that bent and broke!
      Fell slowly back through burning oak and beech,
      Carrying an officer shot through the chest!
      Behind my orchard bright with blooming peach,
      “Prentiss took line across the Hornets’ Nest”!_

      _Out of the “Sunken Road” men rose to fire
      Into the faces of advancing men
      Who found the flaming leaves a funeral pyre,—
      While those who lived rallied and charged again!
      Around my little pond they clubbed and fired
      Until the banks were beaten into mud,
      Where lay the crying wounded, trapped and mired,
      Bleeding until the water stained with blood!_

      _“Then Ruggles massing his artillery
      Opened his fire upon the Union line,”
      Shaking the earth with blazing battery
      That razed the trees, the thickets and the vine!
      Men and my fence dissolved in splintering sound
      To red-stained rubble! Then “General Wallace fell,”—
      And when his men saw him knocked to the ground,
      The center broke, and both the wings as well!_

      _Pushed to the river bank, for one last stand,
      Artillery and infantry stood side by side,
      Guarding the only place where boats might land!
      “Hold now”! Or drown in the Confederate tide!
      Then on this wild confusion, darkness came,
      And with the darkness, rain and piercing chill,
      Lit only by the sudden, thundering flame,
      As Union gunboats fired across the hill ..._

      _All night they carried wounded back to town,—
      By barge and boat,—and some they put to knife
      In that small shack, near where the steps go down,
      With screaming I’ll remember all my life!
      Their General Grant just couldn’t stand the sound
      The wounded made! He sat out by a tree
      Under a little tent and nearly drowned
      In rain; sitting as close as you to me!_

      _Fresh Yankee troops crossed over through the night,—
      Buell’s troops, come down from Nashville way!
      Grant sent them in and started up the fight
      As soon as there was light, come break of day!
      Then hell broke loose again across my farm,—
      More frightened, screaming men came running back,
      Coughing and bloody,—broke in leg or arm,—
      And some with powder burns, completely black!_

      _By afternoon, they said it was a rout,—
      But no one followed far, that I could see!
      While Beauregard got his Confederates out,
      The Yankees seemed content to let them be!
      And when they told me General Johnston died
      In my ravine, I thought: “The South is dead”!
      And so thought those who took that Corinth ride
      With their dead general in a wagon-bed!_

      _And I thought too: this farm is dead to me!
      I’ll never cross my orchard lot again
      But I’ll remember how it looked to see
      My pasture spread, with fallen, silent men!
      But there is fruit again; the grass is high,—
      I guess by fall I’ll have my fences set!
      I’ve got some hay down, lying cut to dry,—
      And hard work helps a man who must forget!_

      _And I keep thinking that it may not be
      The South has met her end! This may begin
      A time when men no longer feel so free
      To say to other men: you live in sin
      For which there’s need to cure you with a gun!
      It could be here was born a brotherhood,—
      That from this waste and ruin we have won
      A hope for us as yet not understood!_

      _I wonder too about this Lincoln man!
      He must have feelings just as you and I!
      He must have thought when all this fight began:
      O God Almighty, now more men must die!
      He’s uglier than sin, but maybe he
      Will keep his will above the sound of guns
      And not turn arrogant in victory,
      Remembering how the South, too, lost her sons!_

      _I wept and prayed while I threw in the dead
      Like lumps of soil: “O God of all Creation,—
      Let it not be in vain our sons have bled!
      In your Son’s name,_
                    MAKE US AGAIN A NATION!”

[2]Copyright by author.

                         NATIONAL PARK SERVICE
                       Historical Handbook Series

  No. 1 Custer Battlefield
  No. 2 Jamestown, Virginia
  No. 3 The Lincoln Museum and the House Where Lincoln Died
  No. 4 Saratoga
  No. 5 Fort McHenry
  No. 6 Lee Mansion
  No. 7 Morristown, a Military Capital of the Revolution
  No. 8 Hopewell Village
  No. 9 Gettysburg
  No. 10 Shiloh
  No. 11 Statue of Liberty
  No. 12 Fort Sumter
  No. 13 Petersburg Battlefields
  No. 14 Yorktown
  No. 15 Manassas (Bull Run)
  No. 16 Fort Raleigh
  No. 17 Independence
  No. 18 Fort Pulaski
  No. 19 Fort Necessity
  No. 20 Fort Laramie
  No. 21 Vicksburg
  No. 22 Kings Mountain

    [Illustration: _“Johnny Shiloh” or “The Drummer Boy of Shiloh.” John
    Clem {1851-1937}, 10 years old at Shiloh, later served at
    Chattanooga and is sometimes called “The Drummer Boy of

                          Transcriber’s Notes

—Silently corrected a few typos.

—Retained publication information from the printed edition: this eBook
  is public-domain in the country of publication.

—Included a musical transcription, playable MIDI, printable PDF, and a
  variant text of the Drummer Boy song.

—In song texts, repeated phrases are delimited by |: and :|.

—In the text versions only, text in italics is delimited by

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