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History of Cambria County, V.2

48 HISTORY OF CAMBRIA COUNTY.
assigned to command the First Division. He was wounded twice; absent May 29 to June 6, and June 13 to July 13, 1863. Dec. 11, Gen. Palmer resigned.

BATTLE OF SHILOH

    General Grant, the commander, said: "Shiloh was the severest battle fought at the West during the war, and but few in the East equaled it for hard, determined fighting. I saw an open field, in our possession on the second day, over which the Confederates had made repeated charges the day before, so covered with dead that it would have been possilbe to walk across the clearing, in any direction, stepping on dead bodies, without touching the ground."
    Our county had Company C of the 19th U.S. Infantry (Sergt. Thomas Davis) on this gory field. It was in Gen. L.H. Rousseau's first brigade of Gen. A.D. McCook's second division of the Army of the Ohio, which was commanded by Maj.-Gen. D.C.Buell. General Grant was the commander of the Army of the Tennessee, and the battle was fought between Grand and Albert Sydney Johnston until the latter was killed on Sunday, when he was succeeded by Gen. Beauregard.
    The field was on the west side of the Tennessee river, about ten miles northeast of Corinth, Mississippi, and about the same distance southwest of Savannah, Tennessee. It was substantially in woods; with a few clearings, and the flanks were swampy. There was but one building on it, known as "Shiloh Church," from which the battle was named by Grant, but called "Pittsburg Landing" by the Confederates.
    There has been much contention and criticism about this battle. Gen. Grant said it is "less understood, or, to state the case more accurately, more persistently misunderstood than any other engagement during the war." It is true, Johnston fought an offensive battle, and purposely made the attack in order to have a better chance before Buell could reinforce Grant, but the facts warrant the statement of the latter that his lines were continuous and unbroken the entire day, except for a few minutes between 4 and 5 o'clock p.m., when Gen. Prentiss and his men were captured. It is claimed and believed by many that Prentiss was captured early in the morning, while his men were in camp, and that Grant had been surprised, but that belief is incorrect. Prentiss fought the entire day, and was only captured after 4 o'clock because he did not fall back with the line as he was directed to do.


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Created: 16 Mar 2003, Last Updated: 30 Mar 2008
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Lynne Canterbury, Diann Olsen and contributors