Vignettes of Shiloh

Ole Miss

Captain
Forum Host
Silver Patron
Regtl. Staff Shiloh 2020
Joined
Dec 9, 2017
Location
North Mississippi
This photo is of the Confederate Burial Trench #5 (Marker Monument #25 Location C 9) on the South edge of Rhea Field just yards from the fighting. The size of this trench can be estimated by the spacing of the cannon balls. Each one is 3' apart so the size is about 39' x 9'. How deep the trench was I can only estimate at 3' or so and perhaps the Rebels were stacked double? @TomP a Shiloh Ranger may have better information than I do.
Regards
David

The CBT #5
1628621164860.jpeg

This is a close of the marker

1628621211512.jpeg
 

Ole Miss

Captain
Forum Host
Silver Patron
Regtl. Staff Shiloh 2020
Joined
Dec 9, 2017
Location
North Mississippi
“...seeing, for the first time, a man killed in battle.”

Leander Stillwell of Company D the 61st​ Illinois Infantry wrote of his experiences during the Battle of Shiloh in very clear prose. His unit was part of General Benjamin Prentiss’ 6th​ Division and fought on the Union left flank for most of the 1st​ day battle and in reserve for the 2nd​ day. They were first engaged in the conflict at Spain Field and ended the day along Grant’s Line along Pittsburg Landing.

I never shall forget how awfully I felt on seeing, for the first time, a man killed in battle. This occurred on our second position (SE corner of Duncan Field) a tree of generous proportions, and I somewhat envied him. He was actively engaged in loading and firing, and was standing up to the work well when I last saw him alive. But, all at once, there he was lying on his back, gt the foot of his tree, with one leg doubled under him, motionless,—and stone dead! He probably had been hit square in the head while aiming, or peeking around the tree. I stared at his body, perfectly horrified! Only a few seconds ago that man was alive and well, and now he was lying on the ground, done for, forever! The event came nearer completely upsetting me than anything else that occurred during the entire battle---but I got use to such incidents in the course of the day”*



*The Story of a Common Soldier of Army Life in the American Civil War
by Leander Stillwell (1917)
Page 35
https://tile.loc.gov/storage-servic...ommonsol00stil_0/storyofcommonsol00stil_0.pdf
 

Ole Miss

Captain
Forum Host
Silver Patron
Regtl. Staff Shiloh 2020
Joined
Dec 9, 2017
Location
North Mississippi
We wanted a square, stand-up, open fight.”

The Battle of Shiloh was the 1st​ combat experience for the majority of soldiers of both armies. There had been a couple prior battles in the Western Theater---Wilson’s Creek and Pea Ridge---but they were rather minor affairs compared to Shiloh. So many a young soldier just wanted to get into close combat with the enemy and send them home after a thorough beating. Visions of Glory were had by those who had never seen war and expected a quick fight!

Young W. P. L. Muir was a NCO in company E of the 15th​ Iowa Infantry and he had the opportunity to get a taste of battle with his fellow soldiers who had just arrived from Iowa the morning of Sunday, April 6. His story below is a vivid eye witness account of the bloody battle at Shiloh.
Regards
David

We were soon ordered to disembark, and "fifty rounds of am-
munition" was distributed to each man. In a few minutes more
we were marching toward the front. By this time volleys of
musketry, as well as artillery, could be distinctly heard. As we marched
on we met demoralized officers and men by the hundreds, making
their way toward the river. Some of them informed us we would
smell H—LL before we got much further.

About half past 10 o'clock we struck the enemy, or rather he
struck us, for as we were marching by the right flank across an
open field, the 13th Louisiana Rebel Infantry, wearing our uniform
which they had stolen from the Baton Rouge Arsenal, rose from
their concealment behind a winrow of leaves, where the day
previous one of our Regiments had cleared off a camping ground, and
poured a volley into us, killing two and wounding several of our men.

We changed front, and were hotly engaged for the next two
hours, and finally driven back.
Now as to the battle being a surprise I must say that, not
withstanding it was the first time I had been under fire, I was not
surprised after the various rumors we had heard all the way up the
river, and from older soldiers that had been camped at the front for
some days prior to the engagement. If there were some soldiers
there who expected the Rebel General, A. S. Johnston, to politely
inform General Grant by letter or otherwise, that he expected to
attack him at a certain time and in a certain manner, they must have
indeed been surprised at Johnston's seeming lack of courtesy.
I agree with General Tuttle when he says an officer would have
been laughed out of camp had he proposed to build works for the
defense of our army at that time. We wanted a square, stand-up,
open fight.
We got all we wanted of it, and I venture to say that
no soldier that took part in the two days' engagement at Shiloh has
ever spoiled for a fight since. I think General Tuttle hits the nail
square on the head when he says the enemy got the bulge on us
at the beginning of the battle amd held it most all of the first day.”

W. P. L. MUIR

History of the Fifteenth Regiment, Iowa Veteran Volunteer Infantry,

Pages 191-192

https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=hvd.hnw44i&view=1up&seq=325&skin=2021&q1=191
 

Ole Miss

Captain
Forum Host
Silver Patron
Regtl. Staff Shiloh 2020
Joined
Dec 9, 2017
Location
North Mississippi
Felt I Was Mortally Wounded”

A scared young private was in the fight of his life along with about 560 of his neighbors and kin in the 3rd Iowa Infantry. He and his comrades had experienced a short little spat at Blue Mills in September of 1861 which had lasted about an hour and now were eager for action against the Confederates. On Sunday morning the wishes of those who sought 'pomp and circumstance of glorious war." were answered

Unfortunately, Olney and his companions received all they could handle with the Rebels at Shiloh. The 3rd​ Iowa sustained 29 KIA,128 WIA, 30 MIA a total of 187 casualties a percentage loss of 30%. This regiment was engaged first in the Southern end of Sarah Bell’s Peach Orchard then driven back to a position along the Eastern end of the Hornet’s Nest till about 4 pm then fell back to the South end of Wicker Field. In was in this location that private Olney received the wound he thought to be fatal.
Regards
David

“...it was a log I got behind, kneeling, loading and firing into the dense ranks of the enemy advancing right in front, eager to kill, kill ! I lost thought of companions, until a ball struck me fair in the side, just under the arm, knocking me over. I felt it go clear through my body, struggled on the ground with the effect of the blow for an instant, recovered myself, sprang to my feet, saw I was alone, my comrades already on the run, the enemy close in on the left as well as front saw it all at a glance, felt I was mortally wounded, and took to my heels. Run ! such time was never made before ; overhauled my companions in no time ; passed them ; began to wonder that a man shot through the body could run so fast, and to suspect that perhaps I was not mortally wounded after all ; felt for the hole the ball had made, found it in the blouse and shirt, bad bruise on the ribs, nothing more spent ball ; never relaxed my speed ; saw everything around see it yet.”

"Shiloh" As Seen by a Private Soldier.
A Paper Read Before California Commandery of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States, May 31, 1889.
By Companion Warren Olney

https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=uc2.ark:/13960/
 

Ole Miss

Captain
Forum Host
Silver Patron
Regtl. Staff Shiloh 2020
Joined
Dec 9, 2017
Location
North Mississippi
To and Fro

Colonel Preston Pond’s experience at Shiloh must have been more trying than many would imagine. During battle I understand the situation is fluid and an officer must continually evaluate the situation and be ready to move his men as needed. I had never understood how difficult it was to have more than one commander issuing orders without consulting other leaders till I read this official report that Pond wrote at some unknown date after the battle. He was ordered literally in a zig zag direction by various generals! His head had to be spinning! I cannot imagine what the regiments in his brigade were thinking and saying!
Regards
David

Upon reaching the main line, the left of which was at the enemy’s first camp on the Savannah road (South of Hwy 142 West of Hwy 22), I was ordered by General Ruggles to form on the extreme left and rest my left on Owl Creek. While proceeding to execute this order I was ordered to move by the rear of the main line to support the extreme right of General Hardee’s line(North part of Crescent Field). Having taken my position to support General Hardee’s right, I was again ordered by General Beauregard to advance and occupy the crest of a ridge in the edge of an old field(Eastern part of Cavalry Field). My line was just formed in this position when General Polk ordered me forward to support his line. While moving to the support of General Polk an order reached me from General Beauregard to report to him with my command at his headquarters. This was on the extreme left, where my brigade became engaged in the fight, which continued until the contest between the armies finally ceased (Northern part of Jones Field.)

Report of Col. Preston Pond, Sixteenth Louisiana Infantry, commanding Third Brigade. Hdqrs. Third Brig., First Div., Army of the Miss., -------,-------, 1862

Official Record of the Rebellion
Series 1, Volume X, Part 1

Page 519
https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=coo.31924077730160&view=1up&seq=537&skin=2021&q1=extreme left
 

Ole Miss

Captain
Forum Host
Silver Patron
Regtl. Staff Shiloh 2020
Joined
Dec 9, 2017
Location
North Mississippi
The 2nd​ Kentucky reaches Pittsburg Landing!

Captain Jacob Smith of the 2nd​ Kentucky was ordered with his company to make a road from Savannah along the East side of the Tennessee River for his division, the 4th​ under General Nelson, to march to a point across from Pittsburg Landing. Steamboats were waiting to transfer men of Buell’s Army of the Ohio to the battlefield of Shiloh. The 2nd​ Kentucky advanced across Sarah Bell’s Peach Orchard on Monday and camped just South of the Hamburg-Purdy road that night after driving the Confederates to retreat to Corinth.

The 2nd​ had present for duty 663 with 11 KIA, 59 WIA, 4 MIA a total of 70 casualties a loss percentage of 11%.
Regards
David

Heavy as the marching is through the muddy deposit of this. river bottom the men do their utmost to increase their speed ; no lagging behind , all eager to comply with the wish of their brave impetuous commander ; rough times , but always taking good care of the men under his orders , they feel confidence in his skill to direct their movements in battle and extricate them in good order if necessary . Upon reaching the river opposite the battle ground we had to cut down a portion of the bank in order to allow the troops to march on to the steam boats which were waiting to ferry the command across This being accomplished we were landed on the opposite shore , and as we marched up
the steep bank , which is nearly one hundred feet higher than the one we had left a short ime before , a sight was presented to our view which can never be forgotten. The space between the top of the bank and the river , up and down a half - mile or more , was crowded with men ; the river was full of boats with steam up , and these boats had many soldiers on them , men in uniform on the boats and under the bank , sadly demoralized . Even the boats sent to convey us across the river were so crowded with these panic stricken men , that only about three companies could be ferried across at one time , and they offered their guns and ammunition to my men with axes , coupled with such remarks as “ Our regiments are cut to pieces , and you will be served the same way. " The cowards under the banks told the same story , nevertheless ; all this had no effect upon our veterans , who had never turned their backs to an enemy . Some of my men called my attention to men in uniform , even with shoulder straps on , making their way across the river on logs and asked my permission to shoot the rascals . Such looks of terror and confusion I never saw before and do not wish to see again . As we reached the top of the bank on the Shiloh side of the river we marched as if going to parade , and passed Generals Grant , Buell and Nelson , all of them cool and calm . Our regiment raised the
2d Kentucky yell , and this gave the Confederates to under stand that Buell‘s army had arrived , for one rebel remarked to me afterwards , as follows : " When we heard that yell we knew reinforcements had come for the Yanks . ” A staff officer went at the head of our regiment and guided us to the left , and we were soon in line , and thus the men of Nelson's division of Buell’s army stopped the Confederate lines and caused Beauregard to order a cessation of hostilities , and thus closed the fight of the 6th of April , 1862 .”

Personal reminiscences three weeks prior, during, and ten days after the Battle of Shiloh

By Jacob Smith

"A Paper Read Before Commandery of the State of Michigan, Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States, at Detroit, Mich, January 4th, 1894."
Pages 9-10
https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=mdp.39015071162732&view=1up&seq=3&skin=2021
 

Ole Miss

Captain
Forum Host
Silver Patron
Regtl. Staff Shiloh 2020
Joined
Dec 9, 2017
Location
North Mississippi
...never was a worse “whipped” army on the face of the earth than Grant’s was on Sunday night...”*



James Wall Scully of county Kilkenny was a civilian eyewitness of the battle of Shiloh. He was attempting unsuccessfully to acquire a commission in Buell’s Army of the Ohio as he traveled with this army. He wrote several letters to his wife and I have taken excerpts out of 2 of these missives which I found to be of great interest. His comments to his wife show the belief that Grant and his army were “saved” by the Federal reinforcements on Monday the 2nd​ day of the battle. This debate continues 159 years after this horrific conflict!
Regards
David

My Dear Wife,

I wrote to you on yesterday, but as there is another mail leaving tonight I thought you might like to get “another” letter even if it came only one day after- Of course, I have not much more on account of sending all about the battle in my last, but Genl. Halleck is now in command here, and will move “upon the enemy’s works” at Corinth in a very few days. I believe the next battle will be even greater than this last one. Indeed if it had not been for the timely arrival of Buell, the Rebels would have gained a victory which would add another year to this deplorable war. Only think of them encamping on Sunday night in the tents of Grant’s Army. The fields and woods were literally covered with dead men and horses and they are even now finding dead men lying around in the brush outside of our lines. As it may be a long time before MAJOR Gillem sees you, I will relate to you the story of myself and the dead man :- (G. says he must tell it to you himself )… On the night of the battle of the second day (Monday) about half past 12 o’clock as I was bringing up the Headquarters team of wagons from the steamboat landing to the Camp ground (about 4 miles) three of our wagons got stuck in the mud and we could not get them out. I had an escort of ten men of the 19th Infy. with me and it not being enough I started for the Camp so as to get more men. On my way thither, I got lost in the woods and came up to a man sitting up against a tree, he had a black slouch hat on and I thought he was one of the escort who was loafing there and not with the wagons. I says: Hello! what are you waiting for? No answer. I repeated Hello there ! Why ain’t you with the wagons? No answer. I then dismounted off “Zolly” and went over to him, placed my hand on his head and gave him a shake when “HORROR!” he fell over, stone dead. I tell you I mounted “Zolly” in double quick and never drew rein until I got to Camp. When I arrived Cl. Oaks, Capt. Gillem, Fry, Gilman, Gilbert and a great many others were sitting around a camp fire (Having no tents). Gillem remarked that I looked pale, that I must have seen a ghost. When I innocently told them about it and ever since they rigg me about it -but I dared any of them to go back with me and shake him up as I did. It seems laughable to me now, but at the time, not knowing it was a dead man, I was terribly shocked-As I could not send you any trophies from the Battlefield in a letter I send you the leaves of some flowers which I plucked from within a few yards of where the Provisional Governor (Rebel) of Kentucky fell, mortally wounded. I also send you a five dollar Treasury note, which I received today for copying a map of the Tennessee River for Genl. Nelson, it will go towards buying the spoons. Did you get the “scrip” or the copy of Genl. Meig’s letter I sent you from Nashville? You never mentioned whether you got them or not.

You must give my love to all and kiss Sissy for me and I am
Your true Husband,
J. W. Scully**


Sources:
*Letter to his wife
April 13, 1862
https://irishamericancivilwar.com/2...scullys-unpublished-battle-of-shiloh-letters/

**Letter to his wife
April 14, 1862
ibid
 

Ole Miss

Captain
Forum Host
Silver Patron
Regtl. Staff Shiloh 2020
Joined
Dec 9, 2017
Location
North Mississippi
...lay them in trenches like poles in a corduroy road,”

The 51st​ Indiana was in 20th​ Brigade of the 6th​ Division of the Army of the Ohio and arrived at Pittsburg Landing late on Sunday, April 6. They were on the Eastern side of the battlefield and saw little action. However they were faced with the horrific scene of dead men and horses and assigned the unpleasant task of disposing of the dead quickly.
Regards
David

Great details of men were made to bury the dead; and it was indeed a sad duty, to take up the bodies of those who had fallen, many of whom had lingered during the long weary nights of neglect, in the pelting rain, and suffering all the pangs of thirst and hunger, and lay them in trenches like poles in a corduroy road, without covering, save a few old blankets, that were made to go as far as possible, and dirt, that filled eyes and mouths, and through which the water soaked from the surface. Yet it was all that could be done. A little board, with pencil marks, at the head of each poor body, was all the monument erected.”

Source:
History of the Fifty-First Indiana Infantry (1894)

by Wm. R. Hartpence
Page 44
https://archive.org/details/veteranvolinf00hartrich/page/44/mode/2up?q=shiloh
 

TomP

Sergeant
Joined
Sep 29, 2015
Location
Corinth, MS
This photo is of the Confederate Burial Trench #5 (Marker Monument #25 Location C 9) on the South edge of Rhea Field just yards from the fighting. The size of this trench can be estimated by the spacing of the cannon balls. Each one is 3' apart so the size is about 39' x 9'. How deep the trench was I can only estimate at 3' or so and perhaps the Rebels were stacked double? @TomP a Shiloh Ranger may have better information than I do.
Regards
David

The CBT #5
View attachment 410624
This is a close of the marker

View attachment 410625
The U.S. Burial Registers, Military Posts and National Cemeteries has many details about Confederate graves in 1866 that were washed out or exposed, and subsequently reburied. The records show this grave was indeed washed out and the government reburied 23 soldiers here. There was no mention of double-stacking.
 

swhithrn

Cadet
Joined
Apr 6, 2016
The U.S. Burial Registers, Military Posts and National Cemeteries has many details about Confederate graves in 1866 that were washed out or exposed, and subsequently reburied. The records show this grave was indeed washed out and the government reburied 23 soldiers here. There was no mention of double-stacking.
Is the portion of U.S. Burial Registers, Military Posts and National Cemeteries that details these confederate reburials available online?
 

Ole Miss

Captain
Forum Host
Silver Patron
Regtl. Staff Shiloh 2020
Joined
Dec 9, 2017
Location
North Mississippi
“I am glad to be able to say something good of an army of traitors;”

The 6th Ohio was in the 10th Division of Buell's Army of the Ohio and took part in the fighting on the 2nd day of battle and camped just South of Sarah Bell's Cotton Field on the far left of the Union flank. This excerpt from a personal letter by Sergeant Nicholson, of Company K, Sixth Ohio conveys a snippet of the visceral hatred between the sides in the Civil War.
Regards
David

“After hostilities had ceased on Monday evening, our brigade marched out beyond the futhermost camps, then in our possession again, but presenting a scene of desolation. Soon all were busy preparing supper from provisions of the commissaries, which, luckily, had not all been carried away by the enemy. I am not a friend to fat pork, but it tasted sweet to me that evening. While we were getting supper, a flag of truce, consisting of a yellow handkerchief tied to a sapling pole, emerged from the woods beyond us. It was carried by a tall Alabamian, who brought with it the wounded lieutenant-colonel of the Fiftieth Illinois, borne on a litter. The bearers had pieces of white rags tied on their arms, which I learned designated a detail for hospital duty. I am glad to be able to say something good of an army of traitors; we will "give the devil his due." Andy Hickenlooper (Captain Andrew Hickenlooper, 5th​ Ohio Artillery) tells me that one of his corporals, who was wounded, received many attentions from the rebels. An officer handed him a rubber blanket, saying that though he himself needed it bad enough, the wounded man needed it worse. Others brought him food and water, and wrapped him up in woolen blankets. Such instances were not uncommon.”

The Story of a Regiment: A History of the Campaigns, and Associations in the Field, of the Sixth Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry
by Ebenezer Hannaford
https://exploreuk.uky.edu/catalog/xt72jm23bs0x#page/1/mode/1up
Pages 580-581

Written by Sergeant Nicholson, of Company K, Sixth Ohio, and published in full in the Cincinnati Commercial, whence it was transferred to the " Rebellion Record," Vol.IV
 

Ole Miss

Captain
Forum Host
Silver Patron
Regtl. Staff Shiloh 2020
Joined
Dec 9, 2017
Location
North Mississippi
Johnston's Death

Major Leslie Wickham was assigned to General Albert Sidney Johnston prior to the Battle of Shiloh and was a witness to the death of the Confederate commander. I have not read Wickham’s account before and was impressed that he was so close to Johnston before during and after he received the fatal wound.
Regards
David

“It is not my intention to enter into any minute account of the entire battle, but simply to relate in few words the history of the death of Gen. Johnston, the great and gallant soldier who planned the battle, put the troops in motion, fought it, and just as he was about to witness a complete victory fell, mortally wounded by a spent Minie ball. When he fell, the victory fell with him. On that day I was acting as aide-de-camp to Gen. Johnston. It was on the crest of a hill, with a ravine in front filled with Federal troops, as was also the ascent to a parallel ridge and the ridge itself, all of which was heavily wooded, that Gen. Johnston appeared in front of an Arkansas regiment, holding something in his hand which I took to be a tin cup. As he rode down the line, with his face flushed with the excitement of the coming charge, with superb and commanding person, he looked every inch the great soldier that he was. With the cup he beckoned to the men to raise their muskets, ordering them at the same time not to fire, but to charge and give the enemy tire bayonet. "I will lead you," he said, together with other words of encouragement which I could not hear, but which were responded to by a most peculiar characteristic yell that left you with the inevitable feeling that your hair had turned into porcupine quills. Onward these brave troops rushed into the ravine and up the ridge, giving a mighty yell, which, mingled with the roar of the muskets, made such a noise as I can not undertake to describe. In the midst of the confusion I became for a short time separated from Gen. Johnston, but I soon pushed to the front with a lot of stragglers whom I had collected, who were making their way to the rear. The valley and hillside through which I passed were filled with the dead and wounded, and just as I reached the top of the ridge, from which the Federals had been driven, in search of Gen. Johnston, I dis- covered him giving an order to Gov. Isham G. Harris, of Tennessee, one of the bravest and most indefatigable of his staff-officers on that day. As Gov. Harris was leaving I joined Gen. Johnston, and we rode on for about an eighth of a mile on the level of this ridge, ex- posed all the while to a heavy fire from the retreating enemy, for the Minie balls were cutting off the branches of the trees and striking the ground all around us. I was riding so near to Gen. Johnston that the nose of my horse touched his saddle-blanket. I heard a ball strike his horse, as I thought, but, on looking, I saw no flesh wound upon his horse, but discovered the blood dripping from the heel of the General's left boot, the side on which I rode. Had I known at that moment that the femoral artery had been severed just below the knee, which was the fact. I might have immortalized myself — as our surgeon, Dr. Yandell, after- ward told me — by making a tourniquet with my hand- kerchief, which would have prevented his bleeding to death, as subsequently proved to be the case. Then I neither knew the extent of the wound, nor the remedy to apply. When I noticed the blood dripping, I said: "General, you are wounded, and we had better go down under the hill, Where we will not be exposed to the bullets."
He turned, and with a very positive and emphatic manner said: "No; we will go where Hardee is. The fighting is heaviest there."
He turned his horse, and just at that moment Col. O'Hara, of his staff (and a more gallant officer never lived), rode up to him, and said: "General, your horse is wounded."
He replied: "Yes, and his master too."
Col. O'Hara said, "I will go for a surgeon," and, instantly turning his horse, dashed off at full speed through a shower of bullets.
A moment after, Gov. Harris rode up, and said to Gen. Johnston that his order to silence or capture a battery bad been executed. Then, discovering the wound, he said, "General, you are wounded;" to which Gen. Johnston responded, "Yes; and badly, I fear."
I was then supporting him on his horse, on his left side, when Gov. Harris came up and supported him on his right. I said to Gov. Harris, who took me for Col. Albert J. Smith, chief quartermaster of the army, that we had better take the General down into the ravine, as the enemy might capture us if we remained where we were, to which he assented. As we rode along Gen. Johnston fainted, and the bridle-reins fell from his hands. A short distance more and we stopped, took him from his horse, and laid him upon the ground, over which but a few moments before he had driven the enemy at the point of the bayonet."

Confederate Veteran
Volume VI, July 1898, Number 7
Major Watkins Leigh Wickham
https://archive.org/details/confederateveter06conf/page/314/mode/2up
Page 314
 

Saruman

Sergeant
Joined
Jun 10, 2011
Johnston's Death

Major Leslie Wickham was assigned to General Albert Sidney Johnston prior to the Battle of Shiloh and was a witness to the death of the Confederate commander. I have not read Wickham’s account before and was impressed that he was so close to Johnston before during and after he received the fatal wound.
Regards
David

“It is not my intention to enter into any minute account of the entire battle, but simply to relate in few words the history of the death of Gen. Johnston, the great and gallant soldier who planned the battle, put the troops in motion, fought it, and just as he was about to witness a complete victory fell, mortally wounded by a spent Minie ball. When he fell, the victory fell with him. On that day I was acting as aide-de-camp to Gen. Johnston. It was on the crest of a hill, with a ravine in front filled with Federal troops, as was also the ascent to a parallel ridge and the ridge itself, all of which was heavily wooded, that Gen. Johnston appeared in front of an Arkansas regiment, holding something in his hand which I took to be a tin cup. As he rode down the line, with his face flushed with the excitement of the coming charge, with superb and commanding person, he looked every inch the great soldier that he was. With the cup he beckoned to the men to raise their muskets, ordering them at the same time not to fire, but to charge and give the enemy tire bayonet. "I will lead you," he said, together with other words of encouragement which I could not hear, but which were responded to by a most peculiar characteristic yell that left you with the inevitable feeling that your hair had turned into porcupine quills. Onward these brave troops rushed into the ravine and up the ridge, giving a mighty yell, which, mingled with the roar of the muskets, made such a noise as I can not undertake to describe. In the midst of the confusion I became for a short time separated from Gen. Johnston, but I soon pushed to the front with a lot of stragglers whom I had collected, who were making their way to the rear. The valley and hillside through which I passed were filled with the dead and wounded, and just as I reached the top of the ridge, from which the Federals had been driven, in search of Gen. Johnston, I dis- covered him giving an order to Gov. Isham G. Harris, of Tennessee, one of the bravest and most indefatigable of his staff-officers on that day. As Gov. Harris was leaving I joined Gen. Johnston, and we rode on for about an eighth of a mile on the level of this ridge, ex- posed all the while to a heavy fire from the retreating enemy, for the Minie balls were cutting off the branches of the trees and striking the ground all around us. I was riding so near to Gen. Johnston that the nose of my horse touched his saddle-blanket. I heard a ball strike his horse, as I thought, but, on looking, I saw no flesh wound upon his horse, but discovered the blood dripping from the heel of the General's left boot, the side on which I rode. Had I known at that moment that the femoral artery had been severed just below the knee, which was the fact. I might have immortalized myself — as our surgeon, Dr. Yandell, after- ward told me — by making a tourniquet with my hand- kerchief, which would have prevented his bleeding to death, as subsequently proved to be the case. Then I neither knew the extent of the wound, nor the remedy to apply. When I noticed the blood dripping, I said: "General, you are wounded, and we had better go down under the hill, Where we will not be exposed to the bullets."
He turned, and with a very positive and emphatic manner said: "No; we will go where Hardee is. The fighting is heaviest there."
He turned his horse, and just at that moment Col. O'Hara, of his staff (and a more gallant officer never lived), rode up to him, and said: "General, your horse is wounded."
He replied: "Yes, and his master too."
Col. O'Hara said, "I will go for a surgeon," and, instantly turning his horse, dashed off at full speed through a shower of bullets.
A moment after, Gov. Harris rode up, and said to Gen. Johnston that his order to silence or capture a battery bad been executed. Then, discovering the wound, he said, "General, you are wounded;" to which Gen. Johnston responded, "Yes; and badly, I fear."
I was then supporting him on his horse, on his left side, when Gov. Harris came up and supported him on his right. I said to Gov. Harris, who took me for Col. Albert J. Smith, chief quartermaster of the army, that we had better take the General down into the ravine, as the enemy might capture us if we remained where we were, to which he assented. As we rode along Gen. Johnston fainted, and the bridle-reins fell from his hands. A short distance more and we stopped, took him from his horse, and laid him upon the ground, over which but a few moments before he had driven the enemy at the point of the bayonet."

Confederate Veteran
Volume VI, July 1898, Number 7
Major Watkins Leigh Wickham
https://archive.org/details/confederateveter06conf/page/314/mode/2up
Page 314

Interesting. This account was written decades after the war and may not be entirely accurate. Johnston was killed by a bullet that severed his right popliteal artery, but Wickham says that "blood was dripping from the heel of the General's left boot."

An article published by three surgeons in 2008 analyzed the case, and they said: "General Johnston, sitting in the saddle of his horse with his leg extended, would quickly lose consciousness and bleed to death within a few minutes of the injury described by his surgeon." Apart from a subsequent account by Governor Harris, "all other accounts have suggested that the popliteal artery injury was not noticed until postmortem examination. It is possible that Harris changed his story after hearing of the fatal wound..."

Anderson et al. (2008). Albert Sidney Johnston's Sciatic Dueling Injury did not contribute to his death at the battle of Shiloh. Neurosurgery, 63, p. 1192-1197.
 

Ole Miss

Captain
Forum Host
Silver Patron
Regtl. Staff Shiloh 2020
Joined
Dec 9, 2017
Location
North Mississippi
Henry Morton Stanley, a transplanted Welshman, fought with the 6th​ Arkansas at the Battle of Shiloh which was part of Colonel Shaver’s Brigade of Hardee’s Corps. Stanley later became famous for his expedition to find Dr. Livingstion.
Regards
David

...the air was pierced by many missiles, which hummed and pinged sharply by our ears,...”

“We loaded our muskets and arranged our cartridge pouches ready for use. Our weapons were the obsolete flintlocks, and the ammunition was rolled in cartridge-paper, which contained powder, a round ball, and three buckshot. . . . Within a few minutes, there was another explosive burst of musketry, the air was pierced by many missiles, which hummed and pinged sharply by our ears, pattered throughout the tree-tops, and brought twigs and leaves down on us. ‘Those are bullets’ Henry whispered in awe. . . . ‘There they are!’ was no sooner uttered, than we cracked into them with levelled (sic) muskets. ‘Aim low men!’ commanded Captain Smith. I tried hard to see some living thing to shoot at, for it appeared absurd to be blazing away at the shadows. . . . My nerves tingled, my pulse beat double quick, my heart throbbed loudly, almost painfully. . . . I was angry with my rear rank because he made my eyes smart with the powder of his musket; and I felt like cuffing him for deafening my ears!”

Source:
Private Henry Stanley, 6th Arkansas, quoted in Henry M. Stanley, The Autobiography of Sir Henry Morton Stanley, Cambridge, MA: Riverside Press, 1909, 187-90.
https://www.armyupress.army.mil/Portals/7/educational-services/staff-rides/StaffRideHB_Shiloh.pdf
 
Top