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On April 26th 1862, after the dust had settled a bit on the momentous contest that had taken place in vicinity of Pittsburg Landing, E. G. Squier, editor of Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, made use of previously published reports by Whitelaw Reid and William C. Carroll -- and eyewitness statements provided by his own reporter on the scene -- and constructed the following article: The Great Battle in the South-West "The long-anticipated great battle in the South-West was fought on the 6th and 7th of April, at a point called Pittsburg Landing, on the Tennessee River, in the south-western portion of the State of Tennessee, near the northern boundary of Mississippi. As regards the numbers engaged, and equally as regards the number of killed and wounded on both sides, this battle ranks as the most serious struggle of the war. It commenced on the morning of Sunday, the 6th, and was protracted over two days, ending on the night of Monday the 7th with the flight of the rebel army, which left its Commander-in-Chief, Maj.-Gen. A.S. Johnston, dead on the field. Considered as a whole, the Battle of Pittsburg Landing may be described as a repetition of Bull Run on a larger scale, but with its results reversed. The enemy here made the attack in superior force, gained an undoubted success on the first day, but were overpowered by reinforcements of the National army on the second day, and driven from the field. Either because the National army was very much cut up, from lack of efficiency in its commanders, or from causes yet to be explained, the retreat of the enemy was little molested -- thus completing the parallel with Bull Run, where the rebels permitted the National forces to fall back undisturbed to their entrenchments. There is much that is unintelligible and unsatisfactory about the affair at Pittsburg Landing, and much which reflects unfavorably upon the generalship displayed by the National commanders. The Union forces on the left bank of the Tennessee River, under Gen. Grant, numbered about 35,000 men. Advancing to his support, from the direction of Nashville, by easy stages, and with that slow deliberation which characterizes all his movements, was that remarkably intelligent and enterprising officer, Gen. Buell, at the head of 40,000 men. In front of Gen. Grant, on the same side of the river, and less than twenty miles distant, were Generals Johnston, Beauregard, Bragg, Polk, and Evans, with the combined rebel forces from Bowling Green, Columbus, Memphis, Pensacola and Mobile, with large augmentations from Virginia, in all at least 100,000 men, massed together with the obvious and avowed purpose of crushing the Northern army by the weight of numbers. All this was known for weeks, and yet Grant's comparatively little army was left at Pittsburg with a river behind it, and Buell loitering by the way, while Maj.-Gen. Halleck, whose duty it was to be with his army, lingered in St. Louis. It was under these circumstances that Johnston, having rapidly concentrated his forces, resolved upon the very natural expedient of massing his army on Grant, overwhelm him, and then cut off Buell the Tardy. It is astounding that Gen. Grant did not anticipate and in some way provide against a movement which the smallest modicum of common sense, to say nothing of military knowledge, pointed out so clearly as the true one to be made. Yet it is a fact, that the attack on Sunday morning was in every sense a surprise. It does not seem that the ordinary precaution of posting pickets in the direction of the enemy had been adopted. The Pittsburg Landing correspondent of the Chicago Times states positively that our officers were informed by rebel prisoners that an attack would be made on Sunday, "but that no extra measures were taken to guard against surprise." The prevailing impression seems to have been, that the rebels would strengthen their entrenchments at Corinth, and there await the attack of the combined National army. Halleck appears to have been of this belief, Grant certainly acted as if he thought any other policy impossible, and Buell seems to have cared very little about the matter. This blindness, supineness and lack of energy proved nearly fatal to the National cause in the South-West. Had not Johnston been prevented by storms from making his attack earlier, Gen. Grant's division must have inevitably been cut up and captured. As it was, the rebel force, estimated at 90,000 strong, swooped down on Gen. Grant, on Sunday morning, with such rapidity and impetuosity, that the outlying camps were captured almost at the instant; "so quickly," says one correspondent, "that many of the soldiers were taken or slaughtered in their tents." Gen. Prentiss' brigade, on the advance, seems to have been captured bodily. Desperate efforts were made by the National commanders to retrieve themselves, and they and their men fought all day with desperate energy, against the overpowering force of the rebels, flushed with the successes of the morning. But in spite of all their exertions they were gradually driven from their positions back to the river, losing battery after battery, and were only saved from annihilation at nightfall by getting under the protection of the gunboats on the river. The rebels occupied the Union camps, leaving to the morning the consummation of their victory. Their Commander-in-Chief had fallen during the day, but his place was more than filled -- in the rebel estimation -- by Beauregard, who, during the night, telegraphed to the insurgent Government that, under Almighty God, he had "gained a complete victory." His dispatch was as follows: "Battlefield of Shiloh, April 6, via Corinth and Chattanooga -- General S. Cooper, Adjutant-General -- 'We have this morning attacked the enemy in a strong position in front of Pittsburg, and after a severe battle of ten hours, thanks to Almighty God, gained a complete victory, driving the enemy from every position. The loss on both sides is heavy, including our Commander-in-Chief, Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston, who fell gallantly leading his troops into the thickest of the fight.' -- G.T. Bearegard, General-Commanding." During the night, however, Gen. Buell's division appeared on the banks of the Tennessee River, behind the shattered Union army, and the work of crossing was commenced. When morning broke, the astounded Beauregard found, to his alarm, that a new army had sprung up as from the ground before him. No time was left him for reflection or preparation, for now it was his turn to be attacked. His reserves were ordered up, and before 10 o'clock the battle became general. At half-past eleven it was at its height, and raged furiously. The commanders on both sides flew to the front and headed the charges of their respective commands. Wallace, Grant, Nelson and McClernand were everywhere, inspiring their men by word and example. At noon the rebels began to fall back, slowly at first, but gradually hastening their movements, abandoning battery on battery more rapidly than they had gained them the day before, until at three o'clock they were in full retreat for Corinth, abandoning their dead and wounded on the field, failing, as we have already said, to carry off the body of their Commander-in-Chief. That the victory rested with the National army is indubitable. How far it may prove to be decisive remains to be seen. That Gen. Grant's division was in imminent danger of being cut to pieces is certain, and that this danger was due partly to blind confidence and want of ordinary provision on his part, but mainly to the inexcusable delay of Gen. Buell in reinforcing him, is clear -- clear, unless additional facts, unknown to the public, shall entirely change the aspect of the whole affair. The losses on both sides were very heavy -- much heavier than in any previous battle of the war. The first reports were vague and exaggerated: "25,000 killed and wounded on the side of the National forces; 30,000 on the part of the enemy." Later reports put the Union loss in killed, wounded and prisoners at 7000; those of the rebels, in killed and wounded alone, at about the same figure. Absurd censorship, or some other cause, has prevented us, at the end of a week, from knowing the exact state of facts. We, however, do know that the rebel Commander-in-Chief was killed; that Gen. Gladden lost an arm; that Gen. Prentiss of the National army was captured; and the gallant Wallace severely wounded. Late reports, vouched for by Gen. Banks, represent Beauregard as severely wounded, and since dead. It will take time to resolve all the conflicting statements and rumors into a consistent and truthful whole. Meantime, it is enough, perhaps, to know that the eagle of victory still perches on our standard! And it only remains for us to add the Proclamation of the President, and the Order of the Secretary of War, called out by the bloody achievement at Pittsburg Landing, and the really great victory won by Com. Foote and Gen. Pope on the Mississippi..." [President Lincoln's Proclamation of Thanks and Secretary Stanton's Summation attached.] Ozzy [Just a few observations, to go with the above article: although written by E.G. Squier, significant input was provided by the sketch artist, Henri Lovie, who sent along his observations (while remaining at Pittsburg Landing, continuing to sketch.) The above article appears on Page One... of the Supplement [a two-volume edition published as No.337 and No.338 on April 26th 1862]. The entirety of Frank Leslie's Illustrated, Edition No.337 is devoted to the Victory at Island No.10 ...with all aspects of that Campaign discussed and sketched. The War Supplement (Edition No.338) has "The Great Battle of the South-West" on its cover, above a sketch of the Victory at Island No.10 -- and on the 4th page of the Supplement, another sketch of a significant operation at Island No.10 (Colonel Robert's Night Raid against the Guns at Fort No.1) attributed to Henri Lovie. In all of the two volumes of the April 26th Edition, the only illustration with a connection to Battle of Shiloh is inadvertent: "F. Munson of Chicago, the Volunteer Nurse (aboard City of Memphis steamer)." The City of Memphis was used as Hospital Boat at Shiloh, after April 6th.] Reference: http://archive.org/stream/franklesliesilluv1314lesl#page/n393/mode/2up "The Great Battle of the South-West" in the War Supplement [Edition No.338] of April 26th 1862 Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, page 396 [401 on page].
Published in 1890 (and now available at hathitrust) this two-volume set of sketches contains images of Fort Donelson, Shiloh and Corinth you have probably never seen before: Pictorial History of The Soldier in our Civil War. In Volume one, the section on Fort Donelson begins page 235. Pittsburg Landing/Shiloh begins page 262 (with the image of "McClernand's Second Line on April 6th" of particular interest.) Also, a detailed diagram of Grant's Last Line, bottom of page 265. And on page 266, two-page sketch of Lew Wallace's advance April 7th. On page 268, an interesting sketch by Henri Lovie of "Hurlbut under attack at the Peach Orchard on April 6th." The section on Corinth: page 274- 280 (includes a sketch of the Female College at Corinth.) Links below... Ozzy http://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=mdp.39015020728781;view=2up;seq=272;size=300 Soldier in our Civil War, vol.1 http://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=mdp.39015046806710;view=2up;seq=10;size=125 Soldier in our Civil War, vol.2 N.B. There is also a sketch of Robert's Raid at Island No.10 (page 240) I had never seen anywhere else... Ozzy.