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  1. 7thcav

    Terrill's Battery

    As promised, here are some wartime newspaper accounts about Terrill's Battery. Berks & Schuylkill Journal, Reading, Pa., April 19, 1862 -- Capt. Terrill’s Battery. Gradually as Nelson pushed forward his lines under heavy musketry the enemy fell back, till about half-past ten, when, under cover of the heavy timber, and a furious cannonading, they made a general rally. Our forces; flushed with their easy victory, were scarcely prepared for the sudden onset where retreat had been all they had been seeing before. Suddenly, the rebel masses were hurled against our lines with tremendous force. Our men halted, wavered, and fell back. At this critical juncture Captain Terril’s [sic] regular battery came dashing up. Scarcely taking time to unlimber he was loading and sighting his pieces before the caissons had turned, and in an instant was tossing in shell from 24-pound howitzers to the compact and advancing rebel ranks. Here was the turning point of the battle on the left. The rebels were only checked, not halted. On they came. Horse after horse from the batteries was picked off. Every private t one of the howitzers fell, and the gun was worked by Capt. Terril [sic] himself and a corporal. The rebels seemed advancing. A regiment dashed up from our line, and saved the disabled piece. Then for two hours artillery and musketry at close range. At last they began to waver. Our men pressed on pouring in deadly volleys. Just then Buell, who assumed the general direction of his troops in the field came up. At a glance he saw the chance. “Forward at double quick by brigades.” Our men leaped forward as if they had been tied, and were only too much rejoiced to be able to move. For a quarter of a mile the rebels fell back. Faster and faster they ran, less resistance was made to the advance. At last the front camps on the left were reached, and by half-past two that point was cleared. The rebels had been steadily swept back over the ground they had won, with heavy loss as they fell into confusion; we had retaken all our guns lost here the day before, and one or two from the rebels were left as trophies to tell in after days how bravely that great victory over treason in Tennessee was won. I have seen reference that a Confederate Officer offered a reward for the capture of Terrill's Battery at Shiloh. This next article may or may not refer to Terrill's Battery, but it is an interesting one. Patriot, May 8, 1862 An Unpublished Incident of the Great Battle. Among the wounded brought from Pittsburg, and placed in the Fourth street hospital, Cincinnati, was an officer in the Second Iowa regiment. He relates, with more vividness than our pen can command, an encounter in the great battle which has not yet been published. The officer was wounded on Sunday. On endeavoring to make his way to the river, he fell exhausted in a ravine, which at the time was inside of our lines. He made himself as comfortable as possible, and lay there patiently awaiting the arrival of friends to carry him away. Monday morning he was surprised to find that he lay between the contending armies. On one side of the ravine, a Union battery was planted, and on the other a Rebel one, each supported by dense masses of Infantry. Both batteries opened fire, and for hours, the shot and shell flew thick and heavy over him. He lay so near the Rebel battery, that he could not only see their movements, but hear their commands. The shots of the Union battery were very effective, and a General officer, whom he supposed to be Beauregard, declared it must be taken at all hazards. He selected for that purpose a brigade composed of Louisiana and Texas regiments. These troops were all uniformed, some of them very handsomely, and the regiments have very gorgeous banners. He judged them at once to be crack regiments. He heard Beauregard address them, telling them that a great deal depended on their taking that battery, that they could and must do it, and that if they returned without securing it, they should be disgraced. The orders were received by the entire brigade, and they moved off with the steady tramp of veterans. There was a moment’s lull in the fire of the national battery, but it was only to substitute canister for shell. The next moment the guns belched forth an incessant fire, and the canister raked the advancing columns. Whole platoons were shot down, but still the brigade advanced. The murderous fire increased. Dead and wounded lay piled up in great heaps. The column staggered. An effort was made to close up the gaps that the canister constantly made in the column. The shattered columns had reached a point near where our hero lay, when, unable to stand the deadly fire, the remnant broke and ran, leaving the whole side of the ravine covered with their dead and wounded. The national commander saw the advantage of the moment, and immediately ordered an advance of his infantry. In a moment the column leaped from behind the battery, and dashed down the bank of the river with a yell. Then up hill they moved on the double quick, and with bayonets fixed, jumped over the killed and the dying. Before a minute has elapsed, they were upon the Rebel battery, which they captured entire. Our lines was immediately advanced to the opposite side of the ravine, and soon after our informant was carried from the sanguinary field. “It was a grandly terrible spectacle,” said he, in conclusion, “and I do not regret my wound, as it enabled me to be a silent witness of the encounter.” – Cincinnati Times. [align=center][/align][align=center][/align]
  2. 7thcav

    Terrill's Battery

    Thanks to everyone for the great comments. I appreciate everyone sharing their knowledge of Shiloh. I will post some more accounts that I have found from various newspapers (wartime).
  3. 7thcav

    Terrill's Battery

    Thanks Ron for your insight. I think the story is the ramblings of an old soldier, based loosely on the truth. I think it odd that Terrill showed up at that very instant with one gun ... I think the writer confused Terrill with someone else. Rick
  4. 7thcav

    Terrill's Battery

    Please take a look at the following article, and let me know your thoughts on it. Is it accurate? Can anyone shed more light on this incident? Thanks Rick National Tribune, Washington, D. C., March 7, 1907 BATTLE OF SHILOH. The Last Shots Were Fired by Terrill’s Battery. Editor National Tribune: The claims of Buell and Grant as to who fired the last shot at Shiloh remind me of an incident which occurred on that field. After Gibson’s Brigade of McCook’s Division had been ordered to cease firing, there was neither musketry nor artillery to be heard along the line. In front of the 39th Ind. the woods were open, and a log house of considerable size stood on the crest of the hill beyond which the ground sloped down to a small creek. On a line with this building the rebels made their last stand, and while occupying it were in plain view of the Union troops. After the order to cease firing we came to an order arms, and had been standing thus perhaps ten minutes when a rebel officer riding a dark bay horse at a brisk canter made his appearance to the left of the house and about opposite the foot of the 39th. He would have struck the head of the regiment had he kept on, but when opposite the colors and within 150 yards of them he raised his hat and swung it over his head as much as to say “defiance to you;” then turned his horse and rode over in a diagonal direction to the right of the house. The regiment stood watching him, like myself wondering what he meant; but when he raised his hat and turned his course, every man who had a load in his gun fired at him, and from the noise of the volley most of the boys evidently had loads. He neither fell from his saddle nor quickened his speed, but rode back to cover unscathed. Soon after this incident we were marched up into the line on which the rebels had made their last stand, where we were ordered to rest in ranks. A group of officers soon gathered into the open space at the head of the regiment. They had been standing there but a few minutes when the rebels ran a gun out into a slight elevation of ground, in plain view, and fired a solid shot at the group, which struck the ground at their right and went bounding away to the rear. Before a second shot could be fired one gun of Terrill’s Battery came up on the run and wheeled into position, but before it could be loaded a second shot struck near the battery horses, and bursting wounded two or three of them. Terrill, who was using his field glass when his first shot was fired, called to his gunner “Too high!” His second shot dismounted the rebel gun after it had fired three shots. These five shots were the last ones fired on the field, and they were fired about four o’clock on the afternoon of the 7th. I would like to know the name of the officer who exposed himself so recklessly. I was told by my officers that it was Gen. Hardee. – J. N. Jones, Co. A, 39th Ind., Copan, I. T.
  5. 7thcav

    Terrill's Battery

    Thanks ... this will help. Rick
  6. 7thcav

    Terrill's Battery

    Hello - what a nice site! I am interested in "anything" Terrill. Let me explain ... I have spent half of my life researching Captain (later General) William Rufus Terrill, Battery H, 5th U. S. Artillery. Earlier this year, a biography of that gallant officer was published. Since that time, however, a great deal of information has became available - thanks to the internet. I am always looking for new information, and more of it. In addition, I am willing to share what I find with others who may be interested in this battery. Looking forward to communicating with you.