The Battle of Shiloh. 301
Church, where Sherman had his headquarters, what his plans were for the following day.
The night of the 5th many of the men were without food; they had either consumed the three days' rations in two days or had thrown them away. This situation was critical, but General Bragg agreed to issue a fresh supply of rations during the night. General Beauregard thought it would be best to abandon the enterprise, and earnestly advised General Johnston to return to Corinth. He was satisfied that it was scarcely possible to surprise the Yankees after all the noise and demonstrations made. He thought the enemy would be found in trenches and awaiting the attack.
General Johnston had depended on the belief of being able to assail them unawares. He knew his success rested on that, because the Yankees were superior in numbers and equipments; furthermore, a large part of them had been under fire at Donelson and were vet- erans. On the other hand, the Confederates were raw recruits mostly; they had never been under fire, and few of them had any knowledge of discipline or of how to take care of themselves in camp. These things, and the opinions of his officers that it would not be possible to surprise the enemy, caused General Johnston serious thought. He gave attention to the views and opinions ad- vanced, but said he still hoped the Yankees were not looking for offensive operations and that he would be able to surprise them.
He stated that, having put the army in motion, he would not re- tire. As soon as his decision was announced the officers in confer- ence returned to their commands with hopeful spirits, although they had little expectation of accomplishing a surprise.
Before leaving Corinth General Johnston prepared an address, which was read to the troops, and, believing that all old soldiers will be glad to see a copy, we give it herewith.
" HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE MISSISSIPPI, " CORINTH, April 4, 1862.
" Soldiers of the Army of the Mississippi, I have put you in mo- tion to offer battle to the invaders of your country. With the reso- lution and discipline and valor becoming men fighting, as you are, for all worth living or dying for, you can but march to a decisive victory over the agrarian mercenaries sent to subjugate and despoil you of your liberties, your property, your honor.
" Remember the precious stake involved.
" Remember the dependence of your mothers, your wives, your