1862: “The Fight At Shiloh”

[Author’s Note: Although this letter was written later in the month, we include it here as a Confederate perspective on the Battle of Shiloh.]

Memphis, Tenn.

April 26th 

My dear sweet Wife,

…You are no doubt uneasy and anxious to hear what had become of me and others. Well I will give you a kind of history…

…We arrived in Corinth Some time before the fight at Shiloh. So you might guess that we had a hand in the fight – and I must say it was no tea party – but a hard fought Battle. Yet when ever we pressed the Yanks they gave way and we again charged them but that they ran in every direction… Continue reading

1862: “No Equal On This Continent”

Pittsburg, Ten. April 8th 1862.

Dear Julia,

Again another terrible battle has occurred in which our arms have been victorious. For the number engaged and the tenacity with which both parties held on for two days, during an incessant fire of musketry and artillery, it has no equal on this continent. The best troops of the rebels were engaged to the number of 162 regiments as stated by a deserter from their camp, and their ablest generals. Beaurigard [Beauregard] commanded in person aided by A.S. Johnson [Johnston], Bragg, Breckinridge and hosts of other generals of less note but possibly of quite as much merit. Gen. Johnson [Johnston] was killed and Bragg wounded. The loss on both sides was heavy probably not less than 20,000 killed and wounded altogether. The greatest loss was sustained by the enemy. They suffered immensely by demoralization also many of their men leaving the field who will not again be of value on the field. Continue reading