War of the Rebellion: Serial 109 Page 0560 SW. VA., KY., TENN., MISS., ALA., W. FLA., & N. GA. Chapter LXIV.

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was leaving me. General Buell asked me many questions and got of me a small map which I had made for my own use, and told me that by daylight he could have 18,000 fresh men, which I knew would settle the matter. I understood Grant's forces were to advance on the right of the Corinth road and Buell's on the left, and accordingly at daylight I advanced my division by the flank, the resistance being trivial up to the very shot where the day before the battle had been most severe and then waited till near noon for Buell's troops to get up abreast, when the entire line advanced and recovered all the ground we had ever held. I know that with the exception of one or two severe struggles the fighting of April 7 was easy as compared with that of April 6. I never was disposed, nor am I now, to question anything done by General Buell and his army, and know that approaching our field of battle from the rear he encountered that of laggard and fugitives that excited his contempt and that of his army, who never gave full credit to those in the front line who did fight hard and who had at 4 p. M. checked the enemy and were preparing the next day to assume the offensive. I remember the fact the better from General Grant's anecdote of his Donelson battle, which he told me then for the first time, that at a certain period of the battle he saw that either side was ready to give way if the other showed a bold front, and he determined to do that very thing, to advance on the enemy, when as he prognosticated the enemy surrendered. At 4 p. M. of April 6 he thought the appearances the same, and he judged, with Lew. Wallace's fresh division and such of our startled troops as had recovered their equilibrium, we would be justified in dropping the defensive and assuming the offensive in the morning, and I repeat I received such orders before I knew General Buell's troops were at the river. I admit that I was glad Buell was there, because I know his troops were older than ours and better systematized and drilled, and his arrival made that certain which before was uncertain. I have heard this question much discoursed and must say that the officers of Buell's army dwelt too much on the stampede of some of our raw troops, and gave us too little credit for the fact that for one who day, weakened as we were by the absence of Buell's army long expected, of Lew. Wallace's division only four miles off, and of the fugitives from our ranks, we had beaten off our assailants for the time. At the same time our Army of the Tennessee have indulged in severe cirticims at the slow approach of that army which knew the danger that threatened us from the concentrated armies of Johnston, Beauregard, and Bragg that lay at Corinth. In a war like this, where opportunities for personal prowess are as plenty as blackberries to those who seek them at the front, all such criminations should be frowned down, and were it not for the military character of your journanture to offer a correction to a very popular error.

I will also avail myself of this occasion to correct another very common mistake in attributing to General Grant the selection of that battle-field. It was chosen by that veteran soldier, Major General Charles F. Smith, who ordered my division to disembark there and strike for the Charleston railroad. This order was subsequently modified by his ordering Hurlbut's division to disembark there and mine higher up the Tennessee, to the mouth of Yellow Creek, to strike the railroad at Burnsville. But flood prevented our reaching the railroad, when General Smith ordered me in pereson also to disembark at Pittsburg Landing and take post well out so as to make plenty of room, with Snake and Lick Creeks the flanks of a camp for the grand army of invasion. It was General Smith who selected that field of battle and it was well chosen.