This was posted on another board, but I thought I would hijack it and put it here for one reason. This is the first time I have seen a reference to a major field hospital at the location of Polk's heaquarters at the end of the first day. I also don't recall this location on any of the maps, so if it is marked on one, I would appreciate it if someone would refresh my memory and point it out. Thanks. http://docsouth.unc....rke/clarke.html Diary of the War for Separation, a Daily Chronicle of the Principal Events and History of the Present Revolution, to Which is Added Notes and Descriptions of All the Great Battles, Including Walker's Narrative of the Battle of Shiloh: Electronic Edition. Clarke, H. C., of Vicksburg, Miss. Text transcribed by Apex Data Services, Inc. Text encoded by Lee Ann Morawski and Natalia Smith First edition, 2000 ca. 470K Academic Affairs Library, UNC-CH University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2000. THE BATTLE OF SHILOH. A NIGHT OF ANXIETY. The rest and refreshment in the inglorious camps of the enemy, so greatly needed and so fondly anticipated, by our exhausted troops on the night of the 6th April, were rudely interrupted. Early in the night that invariable effect of a severe battle and great cannonading followed the prolonged struggle of the day. A heavy shower came up and continued the greater part of the night. The heavens had been clear and cloudless, the air warm and balmy during that day, but now, at night, dark clouds hung heavily in the sky, and the rain fell in torrents, and the atmosphere became suddenly chilly. Our men huddled in the enemy's tents without blankets, or any other covering but their ordinary uniforms. There was another source of trouble and anxiety. The enemy's gunboats continued firing all night, throwing conical shells into the camps, which exploded with destructive effects, scattering small fragments of iron in every direction, and frequently wounding men and horses. Under these depressing circumstances, our army passed the night. To our Generals it was a night of special anxiety. Gen. Beauregard and staff had established their headquarters in the midst of their Yankee camps near the old log and boarded church or rather meeting house, which had given a name to the battle-field. Long and anxious consultations were held at these headquarters. Gen. Polk, in apprehension of the enemy making an effort to get in on our left flank, had established his quarters some distance in the rear and on the left. Here he and staff passed the night in the midst of what was intended as the amputating hospital, but which had soon become a general hospital. This hospital quickly became overcrowded with the wounded. To the kind-hearted and sympathetic General, that must have proved a terrible, sleepless night, which was passed amid such harrowing scenes--the constant groans of agony, the throat-rattle, the pitiful moans, and heroic utterances, and last gentle words, for home and friends, of the dying. Before seeking a place of retirement and rest for the night, we made the rounds of several of our largest hospitals. We have no heart to revise the harrowing scenes they presented. We had already during the prolonged conflict of the day witnessed enough of suffering to have left impressions which a life-time could not efface. The unbroken processions of those mournful ambulances--the continual current of poor, bleeding, mutilated, but still heroic soldiers, making their way to the rear, had banished from our mind all pride, exultation and enthusiasm for our brilliant success. The most agreeable emotions that ever thrilled our heart were those we experienced in affording many of these wounded the grateful relief of a drink from our canteen. The earnest thankfulness with which they received this little comfort was indescribably eloquent and touching. But even these harrowing scenes were somewhat relieved and lightened by the heroic bearing, cheerful resignation, the wonderful fortitude with which our wounded bore up under their afflictions. This was especially conspicuous in the younger soldiers. Mere striplings, who were badly wounded--many of them mutilated or mortally hurt--seemed to have as little heed of their pains and danger as if returning from the play ground. Every where it was apparent that the older class of the wounded manifested far more gravity and solicitude, more sensibility to pain, and more anxiety as to the character of their wounds, than the younger soldiers, many of them boys from our high schools. All the hospitals were soon crowded. There were few buildings near the battle-field. These had been appropriated as hospitals, but were quite inadequate, and all the tents that had been brought by our army were devoted to hospital purposes. Still there were hundreds who had no shelter. Many remained in the wagons; many, alas! were left in the air, exposed to the cold rain. All that could be done for them was done. The surgeons were diligent and indefatigable. Their labors were incessant. By dim lights, and in the open air, they were compelled to perform the most delicate surgical operations. It was cheering, indeed, to observe the universal spirit of brotherly love, the earnest humanity, the entire absence of selfishness which were displayed by all classes in attendance on the wounded. The constant shelling of the Yankee camps by the gunboats early in the night, induced us to shift our quarters, and creeping into a wagon (already pretty well filled with sleepers) near one of the hospitals, we sought a few hours of sleep. But, exhausted as we were, we could only snatch a few minutes of broken and unsatisfying slumber. The groans of the suffering, the cries of those undergoing operations, and, more than all, the awful gurgling sound made by a poor fellow who had been shot through the lungs, and had been laid out to die under the wagon in which we lay, was terribly trying to our nerves and sensibilities. Thus the night passed--a night of continual rain. We were aroused before daylight by a rapid and irregular fire, extending along the whole line and over the whole area occupied by our troops. We soon learned that this was the firing of our own men, whose guns had become wet and foul from exposure during the rain. We now proceeded to the front, to learn what was to be the order of the day. Repairing to the headquarters of Gen. Beauregard, we found that ever cool and vigilant chief sitting in front of one of the enemy's tents with his aids, Col. Jacob Thompson, Col. Jordan, Col. Chisolm and several of his staff. The General was receiving reports from couriers and scouts. It was obvious that he intended to renew the fight. It was cheering and inspiring to observe his calm self-possession and thoughtful precision and alertness. There came to him every minute the most conflicting accounts of the enemy's movements. First, it was reported the enemy was flanking our right. The General quickly gave an order to send a brigade in that direction. The order had hardly issued before another courier contradicted this report, and stated that no enemy was visible in that direction. The General, smiling, remarked to one of his aids: "This is one of Morph's blind games. I wish I had him here to help me play it out." Presently rode up Col. Beard, of Florida, an acting aid of Gen. B., holding his left arm, which was bleeding. Dismounting, he reported the reconnoisance he had been ordered to make that the enemy's outposts were not nearer than three-quarters of a mile from our lines--that from the strength of his advance parties it was obvious that he intended to renew the battle. In making this reconnoissance, the Colonel had been fired at by about fifty skirmishers, and one of the balls had struck his left arm. The General now issued a number of orders, which were rapidly carried off by his couriers and aids. One order, which was found the most difficult to enforce, directed several of his aids to proceed to the rear, and with such of our cavalry as could be found to occupy all the roads and prevent straggling parties from leaving the field, and to capture and drive back to their posts those who were leaving. In this way a good many stragglers were reclaimed. Many were induced to return by the appeals of officers, but a great number excused themselves by the plea of utter exhaustion, by wounds and sickness; others set up the still weaker excuse of having lost their officers, and not knowing where to find their regiments. These reductions and the casualties of the day before had greatly thinned our army. But the spirit of those who remained to fight was unbroken. Regiments and brigades were now made up of all the fragments that could be marched to the front. In many cases the commanders of these newly organized corps were extemporized, the authority of any gallantly bearing officer being cheerfully recognized by subordinates and privates. It was now light. The heavens were still hung with murky clouds, and the air was cold. We were sitting in the enemy's camp, near the staff of Gen. Beauregard, when the familiar but never to us agreeable whistle of Minie balls began to strike unpleasantly upon the ear. "The enemy must be near," coolly remarked the General. "We will mount, gentlemen, and go to the front." The General arrived in front in time to witness the advance of the enemy. Here the indefatigable Bragg had already busied himself in making the best formation that could be made to meet the advancing foe. Hardee, with the remnant of his corps, with Wood's, Hindman's, Chalmer's and Gladden's brigades--the latter no longer led by the gallant Col. Adams, of Louisiana, who had been severely wounded on Sunday--still held the right. Breckinridge with what remained of his division, with Trabue's, Statham's and Bowen's brigades, stood as firm as Gibraltar on the left of Hardee, while Bragg and Ruggles held the extreme left of our line with the remainder of their fine division, eked out by a portion of Cheatham's and Clark's divisions of Polk's corps; while Gen. Polk, with the remainder of his corps, brought up a strong reserve to support either division in the front that might need aid. The several batteries were placed in the most favorable positions, with little regard to brigades.