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Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 31.djvu/321

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The Battle of Shiloh. 313

After nightfall, Forrest went into camp on the slope of a ravine, where he found forage and subsistence for his men.

Finding no superior officers at hand, he threw out a picket as near as possible to the enemy, and sent a trusted lieutenant into their lines to ascertain what they were doing. The lieutenant returned within three hours and reported he had seen heavy re-enforcements arrive by water, and gave it as his opinion that in the great disorder among them, that if an attack were made, in force at once, the enemy might be pushed into the river.

Forrest mounted his horse to convey the intelligence to the corps commander. Reaching Generals Hardee and Breckinridge, he ad- vised them what his scout had reported.

Forrest supplemented the information by his opinion that the Confederates should immediately resume the battle, or quit the field and avoid a conflict with overwhelming odds. Hardee directed him to see General Beauregard at once and communicate his information to him. After two hours' search through the woods, in the dark- ness, he was unable to find General Beauregard, and again sought General Hardee, whom he urged to make the attack, but was advised to return to his regiment and keep up a vigilant Watch.

Could Forrest have carried out his idea, I verily believe the enemy would have plunged into the river.

About half past 5 o'clock Monday morning a swarm of skirmishers were sent forward by Buell, and soon the sound of so much musketry announced the opening of another day's battle, and the Confed- erates, though greatly fatigued, sprung into line to struggle for the fruits of yesterday's triumph. Notwithstanding they were tired, the reaction was immediate, and with the greatest alacrity the Confed- erates went to work, determined to hold what they had won.

Nelson's Division led the Federal line, and Chalmers, with his Brigade of Mississippians and a part of J. K. Jackson's, under -Col- onel Joe Wheeler, were the first Confederates to become engaged.

Nelson pushed forward with vigor, while the Confederates were ordered to retire slowly and concentrate their strength. About 8 o'clock General Hardee had massed his own corps and Withers' Division of Bragg' s Corps, and the fighting began in good earnest.

Nelson's advance was checked, but he quickly pushed forward Hazen's Brigade of regulars, and the Confederates were driven from their position. General Hardee, however, concentrated his force and sent Hazen back, and then hurled Nelson headlong from the