81                                  HISTORY OF THE SEVENTY-EIGHTH REGIMENT O.V.V.I.

           The rebel forces amounted to 80,000 effective troops, of all grades – volunteers for the war, conscripts, and eight day men. The latter are those who shouldered their muskets for an immediate battle; they are generally pressed in. At the battle of Shiloh many of these were found dead upon the field of battle, who had the previous day been in our camps, and who were regarded by us as good Union men. Some of them lived in the little town where our regiment was stationed; many of these were taken prisoner on their return home. The cavalry and infantry pressed the retreating rebels, and gathered up several thousand stragglers, and captured some of their camps. So closely were they pressed that our men found a breakfast already cooked, the rebels not having time to eat it, our men coming upon them so suddenly; blankets, muskets, cartridge boxes, and other munitions of war were abandoned by the rebels, and lay scattered in profusion along the roads.


           When our lines advanced on the 28th, a battery was planted on an eminence commanding a considerable portion of the country, but completely shrouded from view by a dense thicket. Scouts were sent out to discover the exact position of the rebels, and were but a short distance in advance, to give the signal as to direction to fire if any were discovered. One of the rebel commanders, unaware of our presence, called around him his men and commenced addressing them in something like the following strain:

           "SONS OF THE SOUTH: – We are here to defend our homes, our wives and children, against the horde of vandals who have come here to possess the first and violate the last. Here upon this sacred soil we have assembled to drive back the Northern invaders – to drive them back into Tennessee. Will you follow? If we cannot hold this place, we can hold no place in the Southern Confederacy. Shall we drive the invaders back, and strike to death the men who would desecrate our homes? Is there a man so base among those who hear me, as to retreat from the contemptible foe before us? I will never blanch before their fire, nor — "

           At this interesting period the signal was given, and six shells fell in the vicinity of the gallant officer and his men, who suddenly forgot their fiery resolves and fled in confusion to their breastworks.


           The following sermon was preached at Fort Donelson, and found by the writer at Corinth among the precious documents laid up to comfort the soldier and strengthen his resolves in driving back the Yankee from their sacred soil. It is one of the finest efforts of the ablest and most incomprehensible of modern divines. Dr. Baldwin is a descendant of the prophet Samuel on the one side and Habakuk on the other, and of course is a "good egg;" or, as has been beautifully said, "a whole team and a yaller dog under the wagon."

           Of his early history we can only say that his name had a significant origin. When he preached his first sermon an old lady remarked to one of the brethren as they went to lunch: "Well, that little cuss preached a screaming sermon." Of his great book – Armageddon – too much cannot be said. It would do

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