Following the American Civil War Sesquicentennial with day by day writings of the time, currently 1863.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

April 7, 1862. —I left Mobile by the  Mobile and Ohio Railroad for Corinth, with Rev. Mr.Miller and a number of Mobile ladies. We are going for the purpose of taking care of the sick and wounded of the army.

As news has come that a battle is now raging, there are not a few anxious hearts in the party—my own among the number, as I have a young brother, belonging to Ketchum’s Battery, who I know will be in the midst of the fight, and I have also many dear friends there.

A gentleman, Mr. Skates, has heard that his son is among the killed, and is with us on his way to the front to bring back the remains of him who a short time since formed one of his family circle. May God give strength to the mother and sisters now mourning the loss of their loved one! May they find consolation in the thought that he died a martyr’s death; was offered up a sacrifice upon the altar of his country; and that, when we have gained our independence, he, with the brave comrades who fought and fell with him, will ever live in the hearts and memories of a grateful people! I can not look at Mr. Skates without asking myself how many of us may ere long be likewise mourners! It is impossible to suppress these gloomy forebodings.

About midnight, at one of the stations, a dispatch was received prohibiting any one from going to Corinth without a special permit from head-quarters. Our disappointment can be better imagined than described. As military orders are peremptory, there is nothing for us to do but to submit. Mr. Miller has concluded to stop at one of the small towns, as near Corinth as he can get, and there wait until he receives permission for us to go on.

Eliza’s journal.

April 7.  A note from Joe tells of the regiment’s safe arrival at Manassas, where they are camped. The General had complimented J. on moving his regiment better than any of the others.

April 7.—Yesterday and to-day the battle of Pittsburgh Landing, Tenn., (by the confederates called the battle of Shiloh,) was fought, by the National forces under Major-General Grant, and the rebels under Beauregard. Early yesterday morning four hundred men of Gen. Prentiss’s division were attacked by the rebels, half a mile in advance of the National lines, when the men fell back on a Missouri regiment, closely pursued by the rebels. Further resistance was made, but without success, and all finally retreated to the lines of the Second division. At six o’clock the fire had become general along the whole line. Gen. Sherman’s division were compelled to fall back, and seek support of the troops immediately in their rear. At one o’clock both sides were fully engaged, and the most terrible fighting ensued, resulting in the National troops being slowly driven in the direction of the river. The National gunboat Tyler then came up, and aided greatly in forcing the rebels back. At five o’clock there was a short cessation in the fire of the enemy, their lines falling back for nearly half a mile, when they suddenly wheeled, and threw their whole force upon the left wing of the Union troops. The battle then raged fiercely, and the rebels would probably have succeeded in their object of cutting the Union army in two, had not General Wallace, who had taken a circuitous route from Crump’s Landing, appeared suddenly on their right wing. This move compelled the rebels to desist from their operations on the left, and they soon withdrew from the attack, and oncamped for the night. The advance regiments of Gen. Buell now appeared on the opposite side of the river, and all night long were crossing to the relief of Gen. Grant’s army. The battle was renewed this morning, at seven o’clock. The rebels commenced the attack from the Corinth road, and soon the engagement became general along the entire line. They endeavored, by massing troops at different positions, and hurling them on the weakest points, to break through, and cut off the different divisions from communication and support. But everywhere they were met by new and unwearied troops, in numbers too large to contend against. Both wings of the Union army were turned upon the enemy, and the whole line advanced to the charge, while shot and shell from the batteries rained death at every point. The rebels then fell slowly bank, keeping up a fire from their artillery and musketry along their whole column as they retreated. They were pursued by Gen. Sherman’s forces.—(Doc. 114.)

—The bridge over Stony Creek, Va., was completed yesterday, and to-day, while the National troops were crossing, the rebel battery of Ashby opened on them, but was soon silenced, and its position occupied by the Nationals.—N. Y. World, April 8.

—A large meeting of the Union men of Montgomery county, Md., was held in Rockville this day, at which resolutions, deprecating the abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia, and calling upon the President of the United States to “interpose his veto and protect the rights of property,” in the event of the passage of “the Act” by both houses of Congress, were unanimously adopted.—National Intelligencer, April 12.

—In the rebel House of Representatives, at Richmond, Va., the action of yesterday at Pittsburgh Landing, Tenn., was announced, and the following resolutions introduced:

Resolved, That Congress have learned, with feelings of deep joy and gratitude to the Divine Ruler of nations, the news of the recent glorious victory of our arms in Tennessee.

Resolved, That the death of Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston, the commander of our forces, while leading his troopsto victory, cannot but temper our exultation with a shade of sadness at the loss of so able, skilful, and gallant an officer.

Resolved, That, in respect to the memory of Gen. Johnston—the Senate concurring—Congress do now adjourn until twelve o’clock to-morrow. —Richmond Whig, April 8.

—A skirmish took place at Lawrenceburgh, Tenn., between two companies of Federal and rebel cavalry, the latter being put to flight with a loss of four men wounded. Four horses were captured, and carried into the Union lines late in the evening. One of the horses belonged to a Lieut. Polk, of Columbia, Tenn., the left side of the saddle being covered with blood.—Brig.-Gen. Lucius J. Polk, C. S. A., gave himself up to Gen. Negley, in command at Columbia, Tenn. He was released on parole.

—At Edenburg, Va., to-day, the rebels opened fire upon the National pickets, but were soon dispersed by a rapid cannonade from Capt Huntington’s battery.—N. Y. Times, April 8.

—The gunboat Pittsburgh ran the blockade of Island Number Ten, last night, under a terrific fire from the rebel batteries. Four steam transports and five barges were also got through the Slough, from Phillips’s Landing, above the Island, to New-Madrid, by Col. Bissell’s corps of engineers.

This morning, under the fire of the Union gunboats, which silenced one of the rebel batteries, a company, under Capts. Lewis and Marshall, crossed the Mississippi at New-Madrid and spiked the guns. Another force took three other batteries, spiked the guns, and threw the ammunition into the river.

At eleven o’clock, in the face of the fire of the remaining rebel batteries, Gen. Paine, with four regiments and a battery of artillery, crossed the Mississippi Subsequently the divisions of Gens. Hamilton and Stanley crossed; also Gen. Granger with his cavalry. They are now strongly posted, ready for any emergency.—(Doc. 116.)