Breckinridge

Shiloh april 7 1862

Shiloh's first day of slaughter also witnessed the death of the Confederate leader, General Johnston, who fell at mid-afternoon, struck down by a stray bullet while directing the action on the Confederate right. At dusk, the advance division of General Buell's Federal Army of the Ohio reached Pittsburg Landing, and crossed the river to file into line on the Union left during the night. Buell's arrival, plus the timely appearance of a reserve division from Grant's army, led by Major Genera! Lewis Wallace, fed over 22,500 reinforcements into the Union lines. On April 7, Grant renewed the fighting with an aggressive counterattack.

Taken by surprise, General Beauregard managed to rally 30,000 of his badly disorganized Confederates, and mounted a tenacious defense. Inflicting heavy casualties on the Federals, Beauregard's troops temporarily halted the determined Union advance. However, strength in numbers provided Grant with a decisive advantage. By mid-afternoon, as waves of fresh Federal troops swept forward, pressing the exhausted Confederates back to Shiloh Church, Beauregard realized his armies' peril and ordered a retreat. During the night, the Confederates withdrew, greatly disorganized, to their fortified stronghold at Corinth. Possession of the grisly battlefield passed to the victorious Federals, who were satisfied to simply reclaim Grant's camps and make an exhausted bivouac among the dead.

General Johnston's massive and rapid concentration at Corinth, and surprise attack on Grant at Pittsburg Landing, had presented the Confederacy with an opportunity to reverse the course of the war. The aftermath, however, left the invading Union forces still poised to carry out the capture of the Corinth rail junction. Shiloh's awesome toll of 23,746 men killed, wounded, or missing brought a shocking realization to both sides that the war would not end quickly.

You gentlemen have had your way today, but it will be very different tomorrow. You'll see. Buell will effect a junction with Grant tonight and we'll turn the tables on you in the morning. You'll see."

Gen. Prentiss prophesying the events of April 7 to his Confederate captors, April 6.

The Union counterattack on the morning of April 7 (above). Although elated with their success of the previous day> Confederates were exhausted and demoralized by the arrival of Union reinforcements. Furthermore, their line was weakened by the withdrawal of Folk's division the previous evening when the retirement order had been misinterpreted.

Although this photograph (below) was not taken until a few days after the fighting at Shiloh had come to an end, it gives a very accurate indication of the position of the large 24-pound siege guns used by Grant and Buell during the battle. The guns are directed toward the location of the final Confederate assault which took place during the afternoon of April 7

The Union counterattack on the morning of April 7 (above). Although elated with their success of the previous day> Confederates were exhausted and demoralized by the arrival of Union reinforcements. Furthermore, their line was weakened by the withdrawal of Folk's division the previous evening when the retirement order had been misinterpreted.

Although this photograph (below) was not taken until a few days after the fighting at Shiloh had come to an end, it gives a very accurate indication of the position of the large 24-pound siege guns used by Grant and Buell during the battle. The guns are directed toward the location of the final Confederate assault which took place during the afternoon of April 7

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