Camp-Fire and Cotton-Field eBook

Thomas W. Knox
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 377 pages of information about Camp-Fire and Cotton-Field.

The camps which the enemy occupied during the night were comparatively uninjured, so confident were the Rebels that our defeat was assured.

It was the arrival of General Buell’s army that saved us.  The history of that battle, as the Rebels have given it, shows that they expected to overpower General Grant before General Buell could come up.  They would then cross the Tennessee, meet and defeat Buell, and recapture Nashville.  The defeat of these two armies would have placed the Valley of the Ohio at the command of the Rebels.  Louisville was to have been the next point of attack.

The dispute between the officers of the Army of the Tennessee and those of the Army of the Ohio is not likely to be terminated until this generation has passed away.  The former contend that the Rebels were repulsed on the evening of the 6th of April, before the Army of the Ohio took part in the battle.  The latter are equally earnest in declaring that the Army of the Tennessee would have been defeated had not the other army arrived.  Both parties sustain their arguments by statements in proof, and by positive assertions.  I believe it is the general opinion of impartial observers, that the salvation of General Grant’s army is due to the arrival of the army of General Buell.  With the last attack on the evening of the 6th, in which our batteries repulsed the Rebels, the enemy did not retreat.  Night came as the fighting ceased.  Beauregard’s army slept where it had fought, and gave all possible indication of a readiness to renew the battle on the following day.  So near was it to the river that our gun-boats threw shells during the night to prevent our left wing being flanked.

Beauregard is said to have sworn to water his horse in the Tennessee, or in Hell, on that night.  It is certain that the animal did not quench his thirst in the terrestrial stream.  If he drank from springs beyond the Styx, I am not informed.

CHAPTER XV.

SHILOH AND THE SIEGE OF CORINTH.

The Error of the Rebels.—­Story of a Surgeon.—­Experience of a Rebel Regiment.—­Injury to the Rebel Army.—­The Effect in our own Lines.—­Daring of a Color-Bearer.—­A Brave Soldier.—­A Drummer-Boy’s Experience.—­Gallantry of an Artillery Surgeon.—­A Regiment Commanded by a Lieutenant.—­Friend Meeting Friend and Brother Meeting Brother in the Opposing Lines.—­The Scene of the Battle.—­Fearful Traces of Musketry-Fire.—­The Wounded.—­The Labor of the Sanitary Commission.—­Humanity a Yankee Trick.—­Besieging Corinth.—­A Cold-Water Battery.—­Halleck and the Journalists.—­Occupation of Corinth.

The fatal error of the Rebels, was their neglect to attack on the 4th, as originally intended.  They were informed by their scouts that Buell could not reach Savannah before the 9th or 10th; and therefore a delay of two days would not change the situation.  Buell was nearer than they supposed.

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Camp-Fire and Cotton-Field from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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