Around 2:30 p.m., while leading an attack on the left end of the Hornets’ Nest line, Johnston was shot behind the right knee as he rode ahead of his troops. The bullet severed an artery, and blood poured into his boot unseen by those around him. His staff laid Johnston on the ground under a tree, where he bled to death within minutes. Johnston’s second-in-command, Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard, took charge, calling a halt to the assaults.
On the night of April 5, the first units of Buell’s army arrived. Grant ordered the establishment of a new defensive line bolstered with more than 50 pieces of heavy artillery. Undaunted by the day’s events, Grant formed plans to go on the offensive the next morning. Aware he had been caught unprepared during the morning attack, Sherman remarked, “Well, Grant, we’ve had the devil’s own day, haven’t we?” Grant, unmoved, drew from his cigar and proclaimed, “Yes. Lick em tomorrow, though.”
Grant attacked at 6:00 a.m. on April 7. Beauregard immediately ordered a counterattack. Though his force was initially successful, Union resistance stiffened, and the Confederates were compelled to fall back. Around 3:00 p.m., Beauregard broke contact with the Yankees and retreated toward Corinth.
The carnage was unprecedented with some 23,800 casualties—more casualties than the Revolution, War of 1812 and Mexican War combined.
The Confederate defeat at Shiloh ended any hopes of blocking the Union advance into Mississippi, and the Federals set their sights on the railroad crossroads of Corinth.