The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 34, July 1930 - April, 1931

Shiloh Shadows

SHILOH SHADOWS1
SAM HOUSTON, JR.
"So you are after additional reminiscences ?" said the Ex Rebel,
in response to my request that he would continue his narrative:
and then with military promptness he proceeded:
Well, I left off at the capture of Prentiss' command, which was
effected, at the very threshold, so to speak, of that brigade's en-
campment, and a moment later we advanced to find ourselves in
the most complete canvas city imaginable. The streets, great and
small, upon which the tents faced, were arranged with the pre-
cision of those in a well regulated city, and everything seemed
as permanent as if the residents had located with an intention
of remaining forever-I won't say that the place boasted water-
works or a central park; but doubtless there would have been such
improvements, had we left the inhabitants unmolested for a few
additional weeks. As it was, they certainly had everything cal-
culated to render camp-life pleasant.
There has been, and for that matter is yet, much discussion
as to whether or not the confederate attack at Shiloh was a sur-
prise and I have no wish to take the floor in this controversy, but
from my observation, one of two things is certain; either no very
heavy engagement was expected, or Prentiss' brigade was blessed
with the most faithful cooks on record.-Throughout the camp,
preparations for a meal were in progress, and having eaten little
or nothing for three days, I severely scalded my hand in fishing
from a camp kettle, a piece of beef weighing some three pounds-
so the culinary arrangements were rather indelibly impressed
upon my mind.
Pots of coffee were boiling and loaves of bread waiting to be
served. These things were promptly issued and though the
rations reached other mouths than those for which they were in-
tended; they could certainly have found none more appreciative.
During our repast, a body of sharp-shooters paid their respects
'This interesting fragment is one of a series of sketches written by
Sam Houston, Jr., about 1886. It is contributed by Colonel A. J. Hous-
ton, the brother of the writer. Colonel Houston does not know the where-
abouts of the other articles of the series.

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 34, July 1930 - April, 1931. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101091/. Accessed August 20, 2014.