his iron-clad gunboats, and we remained undisputed masters of his well-selected, admirably-provided cantonments, after over twelve hours of obstinate conflict with his forces, who had been beaten from them and the contiguous covert, but only by a sustained onset of all the men we could bring into action.
Our loss was heavy, as will appear from the accompanying return, marked B. Our commander-in-chief, General A. S. Johnston, fell mortally wounded, and died on the field at 2.30 p. m., after having shown the highest qualities of the commander and a personal intrepidity that inspired all around him and gave resistless impulsion to his columns at critical moments.
The chief command then devolved upon me, though at the time I was greatly prostrated and suffering from the prolonged sickness with which I had been afflicted since early in February. The responsibility was one which in my physical condition I would have gladly avoided, though cast upon me when our forces were successfully pushing the enemy back upon the Tennessee River, and though supported on the immediate field by such corps commanders as Major-Generals Polk, Bragg, and Hardee, and Brigadier-General Breckinridge, commanding the reserve.
It was after 6 p. m., as before said, when the enemy's last position was carried, and his forces finally broke and sought refuge behind a commanding eminence covering the Pittsburg Landing, not more than half a mile distant, and under the guns of the gunboats, which opened on our eager columns a fierce and annoying fire with shot and shell of the heaviest description.
Darkness was close at hand; officers and men were exhausted by a combat of over twelve hours without food, and jaded by the march of the preceding day through mud and water. It was, therefore, impossible to collect the rich and opportune spoils of war scattered broadcast on the field left in our possession, and impracticable to make any effective dispositions for their removal to the rear.
I accordingly established my headquarters at the church of Shiloh, in the enemy's encampments, with Major-General Bragg, and directed our troops to sleep on their arms in such positions in advance and rear as corps commanders should determine, hoping, from news received by a special dispatch, that delays had been encountered by General Buell in his march from Columbia, and that his main force, therefore, could not reach the field of battle in time to save General Grant's shattered fugitive forces from capture or destruction on the following day.
During the night the rain fell in torrents, adding to the discomforts and harassed condition of the men. The enemy, moreover, had broken their rest by a discharge at measured intervals of heavy shells thrown from the gunboats; therefore on the following morning the troops under my command were not in condition to cope with an equal force of fresh troops, armed and equipped like our adversary, in the immediate possession of his depots and sheltered by such an auxiliary as the enemy's gunboats.
About 6 o'clock on the morning of April 7, however, a hot fire of musketry and artillery, opened from the enemy's quarter on our advanced line, assured me of the junction of his forces, and soon the battle raged with a fury which satisfied me I was attacked by a largely superior force. But from the outset our troops, notwithstanding their fatigue and losses from the battle of the day before, exhibited the most cheering, veteran-like steadiness. On the right and center the enemy was repulsed in every attempt he made with his heavy columns in that