| American History Stories, Volume IV|
|by Mara L. Pratt|
|Stories of the great conflict from the time Lincoln became president and the southern states seceded, through the battles of Bull Run, Shiloh, Antietam, Vicksburg, Gettysburg, Chickamauga, until the close of the war. Includes poems, songs, and illustrations commemorating the events. Ages 8-12 |
THE BATTLE OF SHILOH
After the fall of Donelson, the Confederates had gone down
the river to Corinth. Here Beauregard and other
com-  manders came with troops until there were forty thousand of them.
Grant had been closely following, and had halted at a
place about twenty miles from Corinth. There had been
some rumor that the Confederates were about to attack the
Union soldiers, but this did not seem probable; and, hourly
expecting more troops, the Union army was quietly
sleeping, all unconscious of the terrible day to come. But all
this time, the Confederates, forty thousand strong, were
hidden in the forests all about, only waiting for daylight to
begin their bloody work.
At daybreak, the Union soldiers of one camp were aroused
by yells from the enemy. In a moment all was hurry and
flurry. The news spread from camp to camp. Grant, who
had the day before gone to a town near by for food for his
army, heard the firing, and galloped to the battle grounds.
Knowing that troops were coming to his aid, and could not
be far away, he sent messengers post haste to hurry them
up. If only they could hold out till help came, Grant was
sure they yet might win.
The aim of the Confederates was to drive the Unionists
down to the river, where, as there were no boats, they must
either surrender or drown. Beauregard, the plucky little
black-eyed general with the white hair, you remember, kept
driving up and down his lines, crying, "Drive the Yankees
into the river! drive the Yankees into the river!"
 All day long this terrible battle raged; but when darkness
fell, Beauregard gave orders for his men to rest till morning.
A fortunate thing was this for the Union soldiers, for had
he kept up the fight, he might indeed have driven the
Yankees into the river.
Beauregard instead, however, withdrew to his tent, and
there spent the night writing a full account of the brilliant
victory so sure to come in the early morning.
But alas for his pretty plan! even while he was writing,
the looked-for troops had arrived in Grant's camp. And
when the morning sun arose, it looked upon the Union
soldiers, fifty thousand strong, drawn up in battle array,
ready to renew the fight.
It was plain enough what the end must be. But Beauregard
was no coward. He made a brave show of fighting,
although he knew he was being driven back with every charge.
At noon, he ordered his forces to retreat, and soon the Union
flag was waving over the "Battle-field of Shiloh."
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