The Battle of Shiloh
by Thomas Chinn Robertson, 4th Louisiana Infantry


ŠPearce Civil War Collection at Navarro College.

Thomas Chinn Robertson described the battle of Shiloh, Tennessee in a letter home to his mother written on April 9, 1862. Robertson, who fought with the 4th Louisiana Infantry, used confiscated Union stationery to write a graphic account of the fighting at Shiloh.

Of the famous clash at the "Hornet's Nest," Robertson writes: "the enemy reserved their fire untill we were within about twenty yards of them and then the whole line simultaneously with their battery loaded with grape. opened on us again mowing us down at every volley we still pressed on until the undergrowth prevented us from going farther. and bisides we did not have room to form in two ranks and our men in the rear killed a great many of those in front. I cannot imagine how I escaped being killed, as I was in the front rank all the time. we remained in this "slaughter pen" about five minutes when Gen Bragg seeing the dreadfull havoc ordered us to fall back and told us that he would carrry us where we could see our enemy."


ŠPearce Civil War Collection at Navarro College.

In 1912, to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the fighting at Shiloh, Tennessee, Mrs. Lee Robertson Harris privately published the letter in a small pamphlet (April 6, 1912; 10 pages).

In addition to the letter, the pamphlet contains a short introduction written by Mrs. Harris giving a brief biographical sketch of Robertson's life and service to the Confederacy.

The introduction concludes: "I take pleasure as his sister, in furnishing a document so full of historic memories of particular interest in this semi-centennial year of that great victory for the South on April 6, 1862, and now the whole nation unites in commemorating the names of those brave men who survive, as well as to honor the memory of those who fell in defense of the homes of the Southerland [sic] and for the protection of their loved ones."

Robertson Papers Inventory ~ Pearce Civil War Home ~ Battle Index


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