Chronology of the Fort Henry - Fort Donelson - Shiloh Campaign

by

James F. Epperson


I've done something a little different with this one.  At the end is a bibliography of sources used, and each entry in the chronology is "footnoted" to a source or sources, in brackets.

Dec., 1861--Jan., 1862Several Federal officers (Halleck, Grant, Buell, others) identify Forts Henry and Donelson as a key and vulnerable point in the Confederate line defending Tennessee and Southern Kentucky.  Numerous reconnaissances by gunboats are made of both positions.  [3, pp. 65-67; 4, pp. 23-25]
USS Conestoga
Jan. 10, 1862Demonstration toward Mayfield, Kentucky by elements of Grant's command.  [3, p. 68; 7, pp. 164-165; 8, p. 68]
Brig. Gen. U.S. Grant (in 1862)
Jan. 16, 1862The Federal ironclad gunboat fleet is completed and commissioned.  [3, p. 75]
USS Cairo
Jan. 21-22, 1862Reconnaissance from Paducah, Kentucky, towards Fort Henry by elements of Brig. Gen. C.F. Smith's division.  [7, pp. 183-185; 8, pp. 72--75]
Jan. 28, 1862 Brig. Gen. U.S. Grant and Flag Officer Foote propose to Maj. Gen. Henry Halleck that an expedition be sent against Fort Henry; follow-up letters are sent on the 29th.  [7, p. 189; 8, pp. 120-121]

CAIRO, January 28, 1862.
 Maj. Gen. H. W. HALLECK.
Saint Louis Mo.:
With permission, I will take Fort Henry, on the Tennessee, and establish and hold a large camp there.
 U.S. GRANT,
 Brigadier General.

Jan. 30, 1862 Halleck orders Grant to proceed against Fort Henry [7, p. 193; 8, p. 121]:

SAINT Louis, January 30, 1862.
 Brig. Gen. U.S. GRANT,
Cairo, Ill.:
Make your preparations to take and hold Fort Henry. I will send you written instructions by mail.
 H. W. HALLECK,
 Major-General.
Maj. Gen. Henry W. Halleck
Feb. 3, 1862
The expedition begins.  McClernand's division alone fills up almost all of the available transports, but the fleet heads south anyway, escorted by four ironclads (Essex, St. Louis, Carondolet, and Cincinnati) and three wooden gunboats (Conestoga, Lexington, and Tyler).  [1, pp. 138--139; 3, p. 90--91; 4, p. 48; 7. pp. 197-198]

McClernand lands four miles north of Fort Henry.  The transports return to Paducah to pick up the remainder of Brig. Gen. C. F. Smith's division.   [1, p. 141; 8, pp. 126ff]


Brig. Gen. John A. McClernand
Feb. 4, 1862 The Confederates abandon the incomplete Fort Heiman on the west side of the river, leaving only a small cavalry detachment to delay any Federal advance.   [2, p. 107; 4, p. 48; 6, p. 53; 8, pp. 137--138]

Confederate General P.G.T. Beauregard, recently posted to the western theatre, arrives at Bowling Green, Kentucky.  [7, p. 213]
Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard

Feb. 5, 1862Federal forces struggle through waterlogged terrain towards Fort Henry.  Gunners at Fort Henry exchange a few shots with the USS Essex, which has gone forward to draw fire in order to get information about the range of the Confederate guns.   [1, 141--142; 3, p. 97--100; 4, pp. 48-49; 7, p. 199]

USS Essex
Feb. 6, 1862
Smith lands two of his brigades on the west side of the river to attack unfinished Fort Heiman, and discovers it has been abandoned.  The third brigade advances down the opposite riverbank towards Fort Henry.   [1, p. 141; 8 p. 124]

Confederate commander Lloyd Tilghman sends the bulk of his garrison to Fort Donelson. [2, p. 108; 8, p. 140]

At 12:30 a.m. the Federal flotilla of four ironclads and three wooden steamers attacks Fort Henry. After slightly over an hour, Tilghman is reduced to only two working guns, and surrenders at 1:50 p.m.  The fort had given a good account of itself, disabling one ironclad (the Essex) with a shot through its boiler.   [1, 143--145; 3, pp. 101--109; 4, p. 49--50; 7, pp. 203-205; 8, pp. 122--124]  (Cunningham puts the attack as starting at 11:00 a.m., but the report he relies on [8, p. 134] says the firing did not open until 12:30.))

Grant arrives at the fort at 3:00 p.m.  A small cavalry detachment is sent by McClernand in pursuit of the retreating Confederate garrison, and forces the abandonment of a field artillery battery as well as capturing 38 Confederate troops.   [3, p. 110; 4, p. 50--51; 7, p. 205; 8, p. 129]

Grant reports his success to Halleck  [7, p. 206; 8, pp. 124]:

HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF CAIRO,
Fort Henry, February 6, 1862.

Fort Henry is ours. The gunboats silenced the batteries before the investment was completed. I think the garrison must have commenced the retreat last night. Our cavalry followed, finding two guns abandoned in the retreat.
I shall take and destroy Fort Donelson on the 8th and return to Fort Henry.

 U.S. GRANT,
 Brigadier-General.

 Maj. Gen. H. W. HALLECK,

 Saint Louis, Mo.
Brig. Gen. Lloyd Tilghman
Feb. 6--10, 1862With the Tennessee River now open, a Federal gunboat squadron, consisting of the Conestoga, Lexington, and Tyler, under the command of Lt. Cmdr. S.L. Phelps, raids up the Tennessee River as far as Muscle Shoals.  Two steamboats full of military stores are captured and burned (with quite explosive effects), and the steamer Eastport, being converted to an ironclad gunboat, is captured along with a large quantity of timber and iron plating intended for her construction.  (The conversion of the Eastport into an ironclad ram is finished at Cairo, and she serves the Union on the western waters until April 15, 1864, when she strikes a mine in the Red River and has to be destroyed to prevent her capture by the Confederates.)  [1, 148--149; 3, pp. 113--115; 4, p. 52; 7, pp. 221-222; 8, pp. 153--156]
USS Lexington
Feb. 7, 1862
Confederate General A.S. Johnston, in command of Department #2 (encompassing most of the Western Confederacy), orders Ohio-born Brig. Gen. Bushrod Johnson to Fort Donelson to take command of the post.  [4, p. 54; 7, p. 217-218; 8, p. 2, p. 358]



Brig. Gen. Bushrod Johnson
Feb. 8, 1862 Brig. Gen. John B. Floyd arrives in Clarksville, about 30 miles from Fort Donelson, pursuant to orders received on the evening of the 6th.    [3, p. 128; 8, p. 865]

Brig. Gen. John B. Floyd
Feb. 9, 1862Brig. Gen. Gideon Pillow, veteran of the Mexican War, arrives at Fort Donelson, with reinforcements, to take command.   Pillow's orders are to hold out as long as possible, then retreat to Nashville.    [3, p. 128; 7, p. 221; 8, pp. 867--868]



Brig. Gen. Gideon Pillow
Feb. 11, 1862Brig. Gen. S. B. Buckner's Division arrives at Fort Donelson from Clarksville, having marched there from Russellville, Kentucky.    [8, p. 328]

An informal council of war is held aboard Grant's headquarters boat, the New Uncle Sam.  [7, pp. 227-228]
Feb. 12, 1862Federal troops begin to appear along the Fort Donelson perimeter.    [1, p. 153; 3, pp. 137-138; 6, p. 55;  7, pp. 229-230]

Plans are set in motion to send Brig. Gen. Dan Ruggles north from New Orleans (eventually arriving at Corinth) with about 5,000 men. It will take nearly a month for all the troops to reach their destination.  
 [8, p. 878]
Feb. 13, 1862 Floyd arrives at Fort Donelson with reinforcements, bringing the garrison strength to just over 16,000 men.  As the senior officer present, Floyd takes command of the Confederate defense.    [2, p. 116; 3, p. 138; 4, p. 58; 7, p. 234]

Grant's army, now increased to three divisions (under Smith, McClernand, and Brig. Gen. Lew Wallace) invests Fort Donelson.  
 [2, p. 112,  118; 4, p. 58; 3, pp. 139-140; 7, p. 233]

McClernand sends a brigade forward to deal with a troublesome battery and is repulsed with some loss.  
 [1, p. 156; 3, pp. 143-146; 4, p. 59; 7, p. 233; 8, pp. 172-173]

During the morning, the ironclad Carondolet duels with the Confederate batteries, but gets the worst of it.  [2, p. 118; 7, p. 232-233]

Note:  The Confederate position is more extensive than just the fort commanding the river.  A lengthy perimeter defense has been established around the earthen fort itself, enclosing the small village of Dover.  
 [2, p. 119; 7, p. 236]

Overnight the temperature drops and significant snow falls.  [7, p. 235]
Brig. Gen. Lew Wallace
Feb. 14, 1862 At about 3:00 p.m., Federal gunboats  (the ironclads Carondolet, Louisville, St. Louis, and Pittsburg, plus the wooden gunboats Conestoga, Lexington, and Tyler) attack the fort, but after some initial success, are driven off, with significant damage to the fleet; Foote is wounded, and will eventually die (on June 26, 1863) from the effects of  this wound.   The Federal fire was initially very effective, but as Foote closed the range his own guns began to overshoot the enemy, while the Confederate batteries became more effective.    [1, pp. 160-162; 2, p. 120; 3, pp. 155-159; 4, pp. 60-62; 7, pp. 237-238]
Flag Office Andrew Foote
Feb. 15, 1862 The Confederates attack McClernand and Wallace on the right of Grant's line, in order to open an escape route to Nashville, and are briefly successful, throwing the Federal right back and opening up a couple of roads. Meanwhile, Grant, who was absent from the army conferring with the wounded Foote when the attack began, returns and orders C.F. Smith to attack the Confederate lines in his front (on the Federal left). Smith's attack is successful and the Confederate position is doomed. Confederate response to the day's fighting is unusual, to say the least. Although the plan had been to cut their way out towards Nashville, the Confederates withdrew back into their original perimeter at the end of the day. However, Smith's attack seized high ground overlooking the Fort itself, rendering the Confederate position untenable. In an almost comic meeting at Pillow's headquarters, the Confederate leadership demonstrates how not to be a soldier: After much discussion on whether or not to attempt to escape to Nashville, Floyd and Pillow decide upon surrender of the garrison. Declaring that they should not be taken prisoner, both Floyd and Pillow escape across the river toward Nashville. Col. Nathan Bedford Forrest, who will be a thorn in the side of the Federals in the future, leads his cavalry regiment, together with an unknown number of other ranks from the garrison, out of the trap. Brig. Gen. S. B. Buckner, the senior officer remaining, communicates with Grant, to ask for terms, and Grant's early-morning reply has become legendary [1, pp. 164-175; 2, pp. 121-125;  3, pp. 166-181; 4, pp. 64-66; 6, pp. 57-58;  7, pp. 244-248, 253-256; 8, pp. 161]:

HEADQUARTERS ARMY IN THE FIELD,
Camp near Fort Donelson, February 16, 1862.
SIR: Yours of this date, proposing armistice and appointment of commissioners to settle terms of capitulation, is just received. No terms except unconditional and immediate surrender can be accepted. I propose to move immediately upon your works.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
 U.S. GRANT,
 Brigadier-General, Commanding.
General S. B. BUCKNER,
Confederate Army.

Brig. Gen. S. B. Buckner
Feb. 17, 1862Confederates begin evacuating Nashville, heading for Murfreesboro.  [2, p. 133; 4, p. 67]

Halleck wires McClellan, "Make Buell, Grant, and Pope major-generals of volunteers, and give me command in the West. I ask this in return for Forts Henry and Donelson."  
 [1, p. 188; 7, pp. 260-261; 8, p. 628]

Brig. Gen. Dan Ruggles, with troops from New Orleans, arrives at Corinth. [7, p. 320; 8, p. 891]
Feb. 19, 1862 President Lincoln signs Grant's promotion to Major General of Volunteers;  Buell and Pope are promoted later.  (This means that Grant out-ranks every other officer currently serving west of the Appalachians, except for Halleck.)  [1, pp. 188-189; 7, p. 265; 11, p. xxiv]
Feb. 20, 1862Because of the defeat at Fort Donelson, the Confederate fortress at Columbus, Kentucky, under the command of Maj. Gen. Leonidas Polk, is ordered evacuated.   [8, pp. 893-894]

On this day, General-in-Chief McClellan wires Brig. Gen. D.C. Buell, "I hope to have Richmond and Norfolk in from three to four weeks."  
 [7, p. 269; 8, p. 640]
Feb. 21, 1862Portions of C.F. Smith's command occupy Clarksville, Tennessee.   [1, pp. 184, 189; 7, p. 276; 8, p. 648]

Grant re-organizes his increasing force into four divisions, under McClernand, Smith, Wallace, and Brig. Gen. Stephen A. Hurlbut. [7, p. 275; 8, pp. 649-650]
Maj. Gen. Stephen A. Hurlbut
Feb. 24, 1862Brig. Gen. William Nelson's division of the Army of the Ohio arrives at Fort Donelson as a belated reinforcement. Grant orders Nelson upriver towards Nashville.   [1, p. 189; 7, p. 278; 8, p. 662]

Brig. Gen. William Nelson
Feb. 25, 1862 Nelson's Division occupies Nashville.   [1, p. 189; 7, pp. 278-279; 8, p. 662]
Feb. 26, 1862Brig. Gen. Daniel Ruggles, commanding at Corinth, Mississippi, informs Gen. Beauregard that he has sent a small mixed force of infantry, artillery, and cavalry, to Pittsburg Landing, in order to observe the Tennessee River.  [5, p. 69; 8, p. 909]
Feb. 27, 1862 Buell believes his force at Nashville to be outnumbered and in danger of being attacked, and demands that Grant sends him reinforcements.  Grant sends Smith's division, then proceeds to Nashville himself, where he has a tense conference with Buell.   [1, pp. 191-192; see also 7, p. 280-281; 8, p. 942]
Brig. Gen. D.C. Buell
Feb. 28, 1862Johnston's column begins evacuating Murfreesboro.  [5, p. 87]

Confederates begin evacuating Columbus, Kentucky.   [4, p. 94; 8, pp. 437-438]
March 1, 1862 Halleck orders Grant to proceed up the Tennessee River as far as Eastport, Mississippi, to destroy railroad bridges.   [8, p. 674]

Lt. William Gwin, commanding the Lexington and Tyler, disperses the small Confederate outpost at Pittsburg Landing.  
 [1, p. 201; 4, p. 80; 5, p. 70; 6, p. 9, p. 75; 7, p. 316; 8, p. 435]
March 3, 1862 Halleck complains to General-in-Chief McClellan that he has "had no communication with General Grant for more than a week. He left his command without my authority and went to Nashville. His army seems to be as much demoralized by the victory of Fort Donelson as was that of the Potomac by the defeat of Bull Run."  [1, pp. 195-196; 4, p. 72; 6, p. 16; 7, pp. 302-303; 8, pp. 679-680]
March 4, 1862
Halleck further writes to McClellan, "A rumor has just reached me that since the taking of Fort Donelson General Grant has resumed his former bad habits."  He then writes to Grant:  "You will place Maj. Gen. C. F. Smith in command of expedition, and remain yourself at Fort Henry."  [1, p. 197; 6, p. 16; 7, p. 303; 8, p. 682; 10, p. 3]

Flag Officer Foote reports that Columbus, Kentucky has been occupied by troops under the command of Brig. Gen. W.T. Sherman.  [8, p. 436]

Halleck directs that the Tennessee River expedition be based out of Savannah.  [6, p. 19; 11, pp. 21-22]
March 5, 1862 Confederate Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston, with most of the troops from Nashville, arrives in Huntsville, Alabama. (Some of the troops go to Athens, Alabama, slightly west of Huntsville.) [5, p. 87; 7, p. 321]
March 8, 1862The 40th Illinois lands at Savannah, Tennessee. [5, p. 75; 6, p. 6]
March 10, 1862Halleck receives a telegram from the Adjutant General in Washington:  "By direction of the President the Secretary of War desires you to ascertain and report whether General Grant left his command at any time without proper authority, and, if so, for how long; whether he has made to you proper reports and returns of his force; whether he has committed any acts which were unauthorized or not in accordance with military subordination or propriety, and, if so, what." [1, p. 206; 6, p. 17; 8, p. 683]

Johnston reaches Decatur, Alabama. [5, p. 88]

Hurlbut's Fourth Division departs from Fort Henry for Savannah. [6, p. 13]
March 11, 1862 Major General Henry Halleck's command is expanded by the consolidation of the Department of Missouri, the Department of Kansas, and much of the Department of Ohio, thus putting Buell's Army of the Ohio under his command. [1, p. 206; 7, p. 308; 10, pp. 28-29]

Grant, incensed at his treatment by Halleck, asks to be relieved of his command "until I can be placed right in the estimation of those higher in authority."
[1, p. 205; 6, p. 17;  7, pp. 304-305; 10, p. 30]

Most of the Federal force has landed in the vicinity of Savannah.
[6, p. 6]

March 12, 1862 Smith orders Lew Wallace's division to occupy Crump's Landing, slightly upriver and across from Savannah. While getting out of a small boat on the way back to his headquarters, Smith slips and severely injures his leg. The wound becomes infected and eventually is fatal (April 25, 1862).  [1, pp. 212-213; 4, pp. 83-84; 5, p. 78;6, p. 7; 7, p. 310]

Halleck wires Grant, "You cannot be relieved from your command. There is no good reason for it." 
[1, p. 205; 6, p. 17;  7, p. 305; 10, p. 32]
Brig. Gen. C.F. Smith
March 14, 1862Smith orders Brig. Gen. W. T. Sherman, now commanding the Fifth Division, to destroy the Memphis and Charleston Railroad at Eastport, Mississippi., an effort that is thwarted by rain as much as anything else.  Before departing, Sherman suggests to Smith that a division be sent to occupy Pittsburg Landing.  [5, pp. 81-82; 6, p. 9]

At about 11:30 p.m., Gen. Braxton Bragg, with 10,000 men from Pensacola, arrives at Bethel Station northwest of Corinth.  [7, p. 319; 9, p. 11]

Halleck orders Buell to advance his army from Nashville to Savannah.  [6, p. 22]
Gen. Braxton Bragg
March 15, 1862
Halleck replies to the March 15 telegram from the Adjutant General (in part):  "General Grant has made the proper explanations, and has been directed to resume his command in the field. As he acted from a praiseworthy although mistaken zeal for the public service in going to Nashville and leaving his command, I respectfully recommend that no further notice be taken of it. There never has been any want of military subordination on the part of General Grant, and his failure to make returns of his forces has been explained as resulting partly from the failure of colonels of regiments to report to him on their arrival and partly from an interruption of telegraphic communication. All these irregularities have now been remedied."  [1, p. 206; 7, p. 305; 8, p. 683-684]

Halleck orders Buell's Army of the Ohio to advance from Nashville to Savannah, to link up with Federal forces there.  [10, p. 38]

Sherman's and Hurlbut's divisions begin to assemble at Pittsburg Landing
, upriver from Savannah. [5, p. 82; 6, p. 14; 8, pp. 23-24]
March 16, 1862Buell's army begins to leave Nashville.  [5, p. 112; 6, p. 22]
March 17, 1862Grant arrives at Savannah, Tennessee, to take command of the army assembling near there.  At this point, the army consists of McClernand's First Division, Smith's Second Division (commanded by W.H.L. Wallace, due to Smith's injury), Lew Wallaces's Third Division, Stephen Hurtlbut's Fourth Division, and Sherman's Fifth Division. The First, Second, and Third Divisions are veterans of Fort Donelson; the Fourth and Fifth Divisions are green as grass.  [6, pp. 16-17; 7, p. 310]
March 18, 1862Buell's advance division, under Alexander McCook, reaches the vicinity of Columbia, Tennessee, to find the bridge over the Duck River burned. Buell remains at Nashville.  [5, p. 113; 6, p. 44]
March 19, 1862Grant visits Pittsburg Landing for the first time.  [6, pp. 30-32; 7, p. 311]
March 20, 1862The divisions of W.T. Sherman and Stephen Hurlbut begin to arrive in force at Pittsburg Landing.  [7, p. 314]

Brig. Gen. S.A.M. Wood's brigade of Johnston's command, arrives at Corinth.  [6, p. 82]

Halleck writes to Grant (not received until the 22nd) [10, pp. 51-52]:

SAINT LOUIS, March 20, 1862.
Major-General GRANT,
Savannah, Tenn.:
Your telegrams of yesterday just received. I do not fully understand you. By all means keep your forces together until you connect  with General Buell, who is now at Columbia, and will move on Waynesborough with three divisions. Don't let the enemy draw you into an engagement now. Wait till you are properly fortified and receive orders.
H. W. HALLECK,
 Major-General.
March 21, 1862Brig. Gen. J. A. McClernand's First Division begins transferring from Savannah to Pittsburg Landing.  Because McClernand ranks Sherman, this will place him in command of the entire encampment.  [4, p. 108-109; 6, pp. 35-36]

Smith, Buell, Wallace, and McClernand are promoted to Major General of Volunteers.  [7, p. 334]
 March 22, 1862 Gen. A.S. Johnston arrives at Corinth.  [5, p. 90]
 March 23, 1862 The rest of Johnston's command begins to arrive at Corinth.  [2, p. 145; 4, p. 97]
March 24, 1862Sherman leads an expedition from Pittsburg Landing to Monterey and Pea Ridge, about halfway to Corinth.  [6, p. 33; 7, p. 330]
March 26, 1862Brig. Gen. Benjamin Prentiss arrives at Pittsburg Landing, and is given command of the new Sixth Division, consisting entirely of green regiments.  [1, p. 218; 4, p. 107; 6, p. 135; 7, p. 334]

Buell reaches Columbia Tennessee, on the Duck River.  The destroyed bridge is still not rebuilt.  [5, p. 113; 6, p. 45; 7, p. 337]
March 29, 1862 Widely scattered Confederate forces in the west are consolidated into a single command, now called the Army of Mississippi, under Albert Sidney Johnston, with P.G.T. Beauregard as his second-in-command. Corps commanders are Polk, Bragg, Hardee, and Crittenden (replaced by Breckinridge on the eve of battle).  Total strength is about 40,000 men. [1, p. 216; 4, p. 118; 7, p. 338; 10, p. 370]

Buell begins crossing the Duck River at Columbia, some 85 miles from Savannah, after taking nearly two weeks to repair the bridge.  Nelson's division fords the river before the bridge is completed, followed by Crittenden's, then McCook's, then Thomas's (on April 2nd).  
[5, p. 114-115; 7, pp. 337-338]

Gen. A. S. Johnston
March 31, 1862Approximately 51,300 officers and men are in Grant's six divisions at Pittsburg and Crump's Landings [6, p. 41; 10, p. 84]
April 1, 1862Sherman leads a small expedition to Eastport, Mississippi/ [4, pp. 115-117]
Maj. Gen. W. T. Sherman
April 2, 1862 Johnston issues orders for an advance and attack upon the Federals at Pittsburg Landing; he wires President Davis that he has ordered the army "forward to offer battle near Pittsburg."  [4, pp. 122-123; 10, p. 387]
April 3, 1862The Confederate Army of Mississippi, 44,000 strong, marches out of Corinth for Pittsburg Landing.  The plan is to make the 22 mile distance in one day, and attack on April 4.  [4, p. 123; 5, pp. 121-122; 6, pp. 98-100]

A patrol of the Fifth Ohio Cavalry captures a Confederate private in a skirmish a few miles south of Pittsburg Landing.  [4, p. 129]
April 4, 1862At 5:00 p.m., Johnston decides to reset the attack for April 5, due to the large amount of straggling in the army.  [4, p. 123; 5, p. 124]

A heavy rain begins. [4, p. 126]

Skirmishing near the Union lines continues.  Col. Ralph Buckland's brigade of Sherman's Fifth Division, out in front of the encampment on a training mission, gets in to a rather hot firefight with the First Alabama Cavalry, then encounters Confederate artillery before retiring. [4, pp. 129-133; 5, pp. 124-125, pp. 133-135; 6, pp. 123-125]

On his way back to the Landing after conferring with Sherman, WHL Wallace, and Lt. Col. JB McPherson, Grant's horse slips and falls, pinning the general's leg, which is painfully contused.  For the next several days Grant gets about with great difficulty and no small amount of pain.  [1, p. 218; 4, p.133; 5, p. 139; 6, p. 126; 7, p. 348]
April 5, 1862
(morning)
Nelson's Division of the Army of the Ohio begins to arrive at Savannah.  [1, p. 220; 5, p. 139]

Col. Jesse Appler of the 53rd Ohio calls his regiment into line in response to reports of Confederates near his camp.  Sherman tells him, "Take your damned regiment back to Ohio.  There is no enemy closer than Corinth."  [1, p. 219; 5, p. 137; 6, p. 128]
April 5, 1862Sherman (at Pittsburg Landing) writes to Grant at Savannah [10, pp. 93-94]:

PITTSBURG LANDING, April 5, 1862.
General GRANT:
Your note is just received. I have no doubt that nothing will occur to-day more than some picket firing. The enemy is saucy, but got the worst of it yesterday, and will not press our pickets far. I will not be drawn out far unless with certainty of advantage, and I do not apprehend anything like an attack on our position.
Yours,
W. T. SHERMAN,
 Brigadier-General, Commanding.
 
Meanwhile, Grant writes to Halleck [10, p. 94]:

SAVANNAH, April 5, 1862.
Maj. Gen. H. W. HALLECK,
Saint Louis, Mo.:
The main force of the enemy is at Corinth, with troops at different points east; also at Bethel, Jackson, and Humboldt are small garrisons. The numbers at these places seem to constantly change.

The number of the enemy at Corinth and within supporting distance of it cannot be far from 80,000. men. Information obtained through deserters place their force West at 200,000. One division of Buell's column arrived yesterday. General Buell will be here himself to-day. Some skirmishing took place with our outguards and the enemy's yesterday and day before.
 U.S. GRANT,
Major-General.

The Confederate army is again unable to form up for an attack on the designated day.  In the late afternoon, an impromptu council of war is held, at which Johnston declares that the army, finally in position, will attack at dawn of April 6.  "I would fight them if they were a million," says Johnston.  [2, pp. 156-157; 4, p. 138; 5, p. 128; 6, pp. 107-108]

General Buell arrives at Savannah;  it is late when Grant returns from Pittsburg Landing, so the two men do not confer.  [5, pp. 140-141]

Intermittent skirmishing occurs throughout the day along Sherman's front.  [6, pp.  128-131]

An extended patrol by several companies from Prentiss's Sixth Division, across Sherman's front, finds nothing.  [6, p. 138]
April 6, 1862 First day of the battle of Shiloh. Johnston's army is discovered by a Federal scouting party. Prentiss's and Sherman's divisions are badly mauled in the early fighting, but a line formed by Sherman, McClernand, Hurlbut, WHL Wallace, and Prentiss's remnants holds for several hours, giving Grant time to form a last line of defense along Dill Creek. Confederate General Albert Sidney Johnston is killed leading a charge in front of "the Peach Orchard." During the night Federal reinforcements (Lew Wallace and four divisions of Buell's Army of the Ohio) arrive.  [1, pp. 222-242; 2, pp. 158-171; 4, pp. 143-328; 5, pp. 143-261; 7, pp. 356-382]
April 7, 1862 Second day of the battle of Shiloh. Grant and Buell each launch separate counterattacks which slowly force the disorganized Confederate forces back.   [1, pp. 243-246; 2, pp. 173-175; 4, pp. 329-368; 5, pp. 262-292; 7, pp. 382-390]

At about 2:30 p.m., Beauregard, now in command of the Confederate army, orders a retreat.  [5, p. 290]
April 8, 1862 Wood's Division of Buell's Army of the Ohio, together with a brigade from Sherman's Fifth Division and a battalion of Illinois Cavalry, march south from the battlefield to find the retreating enemy.  At a fork in the road, Wood takes the left and Sherman takes the right.  After pressing the enemy closely but being harassed by Confederate cavalry, Wood returns to his camp.  Sherman encounters a well-laid trap at Fallen Timbers, courtesy of Confederate Col. N. B. Forrest, receives a bit of a bloody nose, and also retires to his camps.  [4, pp. 373-375; 5, p. 296]

 

Bibliography:

1.  Catton, Bruce, Grant Moves South (1960).
2.  Connelly, Thomas L., The Army of the Heartland:  The Army of Tennessee, 1861-1862 (1967).
3.  Cooling, Benjamin, Forts Henry and Donelson: The Key to the Confederate Heartland (1987).
4.  Cunningham, O. Edward, Shiloh and the Western Campaign of 1862 (2007)
5.  Daniel, Larry J., Shiloh:  The Battle That Changed the War (1997).
6.  Sword, Wiley, Shiloh: Bloody April (2001).
7.  Williams, Kenneth P., Lincoln Finds a General, vol. 3 (1952); re-issued as Grant Rises in the West, 1997.
8.  Official Records of the War of the Rebellion, Series I, vol. VII.
9.  
Official Records of the War of the Rebellion, Series I, vol. X/1.
10.
Official Records of the War of the Rebellion, Series I, vol. X/2.
11. Papers of U.S. Grant, vol. 4.

For the books, the links go to the Amazon.com listing for the title.  Where possible, I used the edition that I own.  For the OR and Grant Papers, the links go to the relevant websites.