of the following day. Hearing they had gone thither, I informed General Beauregard I should follow them, to insure their being on the ground at an early hour in the morning. This I did, and gave orders that night in person to General Cheatham to be ready to move at day-light. Before day I dispatched my aide-de-camp (Lieutenant Richmond) to put them in motion.
Their march was stopped for some time to arrest a stampede which came from the front. They then moved, under the command of General Cheatham, to the field. I sent forward a staff officer to General Beauregard to inform him of their approach, and was directed to post them in the rear of Shiloh Church and hold them until further orders. This was about 8 a.m.
It was not long before an order from the commanding general was received to move these troops to the support of the line in my front. They were formed in line of battle, and moved forward half a mile to the position held by General Breckinridge. Finding he was able to hold his position without assistance, they were moved by the left flank past Shiloh Church to form on left of our line. Here they were formed, under the supervision of General Cheatham, immediately in front of a very large force of the enemy, now pressing vigorously to turn our left flank. They engaged the enemy so soon as they were formed, and fought him for four hours one of the most desperately-contested conflicts of the battle. The enemy was driven gradually from his position, and though re-enforced several times during the engagement, he could make no impression on that part of our line.
During this engagement the command of General Cheatham was re-enforced by a Louisiana brigade, under Colonel Gibson, the Thirty-third Tennessee, under Colonel Campbell, and the Twenty-seventh Tennessee, under Major Love; all of whom did admirable service, and the last fell mortally wounded. Colonel Preston Smith, commanding a brigade, was at the last fell mortally wounded. Colonel Preston Smith, commanding a brigade, was at the same time severely wounded, but retained his command.
This force maintained the position, it had held for so many hours up to 2.30 o'clock, the time at which orders were received from the general commanding to withdraw the troops from the field. I gave orders accordingly, and the command was retired slowly and in good order in the direction of our camp, the enemy making no advance whatever.
In the operations of this morning, as well as the day before, those of my troops who acted under the immediate orders of Major-General Cheatham bore themselves with conspicuous gallantry. One charge particularly was made under the eye of the commander-in-chief and his staff, and drew forth expressions of the most unqualified applause.
For the details of these operations, as well as for those of the troops under General Clark, I beg leave to refer to the reports of those generals, herewith submitted; also to those of their brigade, regimental, and battery commanders.
The conduct of the troops of my corps, both officers and men, was of the most gratifying character; many of them had never been under fire before, and one company of artillery-that of Captain Stanford-from the scarcity of ammunition, had never before heard the report of their own guns. Yet, from that facility which distinguishes our Southern people, under the inspiration of the cause which animates them, they fought with the steadiness and gallantry of well-trained troops. The fact that the corps lost within a fraction of one-third of its number in killed and wounded attests the nature of the service in which it was engaged.
To my division commanders, Major-General Cheatham and Brigadier-