Shiloh Church. By this plan Ruggles' division was to form on the left of the second line of battle, its left resting upon Owl Creek and its right on or near the Bark road. My brigade (the Second) was to compose the reserve of this division, and occupy a position several hundred yards in rear of its center, for the purpose of supporting the right or left, as occasion might require. A sufficient interval was to be left between the First and Second Brigades to admit of my deploying forward into line should such a movement be found necessary.
The furious storm which raged during the greater portion of the night of the 4th prevented the movement of the army from its bivouac at Mickey's until some time beyond the hour designated by General Bragg, although my brigade was ready to march at 3 a.m. on the 5th, and was so reported at the division headquarters.
At about 3 p.m. on the 5th my command moved to its position in the column on the Bark road, marching left in front, in the direction of Shiloh. The road was much blocked up by the trains of wagons and artillery attached to corps in front. In order to reach my position in the designated line of battle at the hour indicated in the plan I left the main road, taking a course through the woods parallel to the road, passing other trains and brigades till the way found open only a short distance from the point at which I was to file off to the left and form line at right angles, or nearly so, with the Bark road, on which the column was moving.
This point was reached by the head of my column at about 4 p.m. on the 5th instant, Colonel Pond, commanding the Third Brigade, Ruggles' division, having preceded me in the direction of Owl Creek. After leaving the Bark road and following Colonel Pond's command about half a mile I found his rear halted and his line being formed.
Meeting General Bragg at this point, he gave me some directions as to the formation, rectifying in some measure the line formed by Colonel Pond. Soon after this I met Brigadier-General Ruggles, commanding the division, who substantially reiterated General Bragg's instructions, which I was in the act of carrying out. I formed the brigade 270 yards in rear of the center, my right and left respectively half masked by the left and right of the First and Third Brigades. After posting and adequate guard arms were stacked and the troops bivouacked on their lines. The night was clear, the air cool and bracing; quite in contrast with the previous one.
At 4 a.m. on the 6th instant the men were aroused, without fife or drum, and silently but promptly resumed their arms, ready for the order to move forward. This order was soon received and obeyed with alacrity. At this time the second line of battle (of which my brigade composed a reserve on the left) was supposed to be about 1,000 yards in rear of the first or General Hardee's line. We had not moved forward over half this distance, however, when I discovered that we were approaching within 200 or 300 yards of it, having taken the step and direction from the First Brigade (Colonel Gibson's) on my right. I also discovered at this time that the right of Colonel Pond (the Third Brigade) had not yet taken up the line of march. A few moments previous I had received an order from General Bragg, through one of his staff, to close the interval in front of me by forming on Colonel Gibson's left. This had been executed before we halted a moment to allow General Hardee's line to regain its proper interval. Both lines were soon in motion again, and before proceeding far a few scattering musket shots were heard, apparently about half a mile to our right,