Shiloh

...The regiment was led within fifty yards of the line of tents. The ground was an-old cotton-field, partly covered by fallen trees; hence the name of the engagement, "Fallen Tim ber." The field was skirted by heavy wood. Almost immediately the enemy's skirmishers opened tire, and the writer realized that he was an object of particular mark. A fierce yell filled the air, and the rebel cavalry came up from ravine and behind tents as thick as they could ride. I ordered the men to up and fire, which order had scarcely been executed when the entire line was ridden down, the men sabred and shot by a force ten times superior to our own. The dash was one of the boldest of the war, and the loss sustained over one-third of my command. The promptness of Colonel Hildebrand, in ordering up the other regiments of his brigade, I think saved the day, and the commanding general and staff from capture. An officer of his staff (McCoy) was ridden down, and, as General Sherman assured me, lie narrowly escaped. I regard this statement due the memory of a brave and meritorious officer.
       The dead were buried on the spot; the wounded removed to camp; the rebel camp destroyed, with a large amount of property, and this was the last of the fighting at Shiloh. The losses sustained by both armies exceeded the frightful number of twenty-five thousand men. Four years after the battle, a writer, visiting Shiloh and Corinth, gave a hideous picture of the condition of things. He stated that twelve thousand Confederate soldiers lay unburied on the two fields 1 After the battle of Shiloh, General Grant ordered the dead of both armies to be buried. The inhumation, however, consisted of little more than a thin covering of earth, which the heavy rains have long since washed off, and the remains of brave men, who periled all for their country's sake, lie exposed to the elements. This fact is disgraceful to the government and the people, and sl-io-ald be remedied with the least possible delay. Instead of squandering means over idle parades, it should be our duty and pleasure to give the bleaching bones of our gallant dead the rites of decent burial. Regarding this as fitting opportunity, it is respectfully and earnestly requested that Congress adopt some measure for the preservation of the remains at Shiloh-that a cemetery be established, and graves properly marked; also, that the church at Shiloh be rebuilt as a national memorial!
Colonel Wills De Hass

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For miles and miles, wherever we rode, we found dead bodies scattered through the woods in every direction.
Oh! there will be many desolate homes and comfortless hearts as the details of this battle are known through the country. Many a mourning Rachel will find little consolation in the victory which finally crowned our arms. But future ages will, look with admiration on the desperate valor of our troops and bless the memory of the dead who felt at Pittsburg fighting for the maintenance of our good government. You and I cannot be too grateful to the kind Providence who has preserved your husband and our children's father through these two terrible days.
I have seen enough of war. God grant that it may be speedily terminated. I cannot retire now till we have driven the enemy from Corinth. When that is done I think I wilt leave it to others to finish up this rebellion, which I look upon as already mortally wounded.....
Kiss my little darlings for papa. Tell them that papa's thoughts often went after them, even during the excitement of the battle-field, and nothing but a sense of duty reconciled him to the risking of his life.
Good bye. God bless you.
Your husband,
W. S. Hillyer.
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