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Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 31.djvu/308

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300 Southern Historical Society Papers.

derstood that this was early in the war; the men were not soldiers, and therefore subject to little or no discipline.

General Johnston explained in person to Generals Polk, Bragg and Hardee his plans, and they were directed to put their forces in mo- tion. Nothing could have been more inspiring than the spirit and enthusiasm with which the entire army entered upon the movement.

At noon of April 3 the whole army was ready to begin the march. From some cause, however, the First Corps, though ready and anx- ious, did not move at the hour appointed, and therefore did not bivouac that night as far in advance as General Johnston expected they would do.

During the night of April 3 it rained very heavily, and this greatly retarded the movements. Bragg did not advance the second day beyond Monterey, whereas it was expected that by the evening of the 4th the whole army would be near enough the enemy to attack on the morning of tha 5th. It has never been satisfactorily explained why Folk's and Bragg' s Corps were so long making the march over the short distance from Corinth to Monterey. A cavalry force was sent in advance to obtain information of the country. General John- ston had not been able to acquire the topographical iuformation needed, and he therefore sought to learn all he could through this means.

The cavalry officers were charged to be very careful in their work lest the enemy learn of the movement, but the spirit of the officers and men was such they could not be restrained, and they injudicially ran into the enemy's camps.

This circumstance ought to have warned the Federal general of what was to follow, but, strange to relate, he remained indifferent to the evidences of the coming tempest.

General Johnston depended on being ready to attack on Saturday, and he did so with every show of reason, but Folk's Corps did not reach the point designated until about 2 o'clock in the afternoon of April 5. Bragg' s Corps was likewise slow in getting up, although Generals Johnston and Beauregard kept their staff officers busy the entire time urging the troops forward.

General Johnston was greatly annoyed that he had been balked in his plans and expectations, but it was too late for a decisive battle that day.

Thus situated, General Johnston called his corps commanders to- gether and discussed with them, within less than two miles of Shiloh