Isaac Newton Carr’s speech on April 6, 1905, continues…
It was a common practice in the army, & all thro the war, to have genl inspection on Sunday & this day was no Exception to the genl rule, the diferent forces as far as I knew had orders to be ready for inspection that day at 10 AM, & in a number of camps preaching by the Chaplain was announced for 11 oclock, now of course I can only describe the Exact condition of affairs in our own reg, when the battle Commenced & long roll sounded & orders to fall in there was not a gun ready for Service in our Co, all were taken apart for cleaning, locks taken off barrels out of the Stocks & Evry body busy cleaning brass plates blacking cartrige boxs & belts & Shoes, one of our Co [Company] Ralston by name  a great big fellow tho only 19 yrs old he weighed 220 lbs, & he carried a big old fashioned horse pistol, we called it Ralstons battery, he had taken it all apart just as the first volley was fired & the long roll Sounded, & I Suppose that was the first battery Captured we never Saw it again, guns & Equipments were put to gether in double quick time & tho we were young then both in yrs & Experience we well knew what was Expected of us, just as we dressed up on the Color line a Solid Shot from a rebel battery Struck the ground close by & after bouncing a few times Stopped close to our Co, our Chap [Chaplain] Rev Whittlesy of Muscatine [Iowa] picked it up & carried it along the line Showing us our first introduction, it is not my intention to try to describe the battle in detail only to Speak of it as a Surprise
The impression has gained a genl acceptance from that time to this that Shiloh was a Surprise, a fearful, a costly Surprise, & from its Commencement till the close of the first days fight the main Effort of the federal army was to recover the great advantage which had been gained by the rebs in their gallant unexpected Early morning attack, our Commander in his memoirs also in a Series of articles written by him for the Century Magazine nearly 23 yrs after the battle Says it was not a Surprise, but this does not Seem to change the minds of the officers & men who were Surprised, I have heard the theory advanced that the taking of So many prisoners by the rebs so diverted their attention that much precious time was lost & night came before a victory was Complete & in this way Saved our army the first day, & all this of course had its effect, but I want to Advance another theory, genl Johnston was mortally wounded while mounted on his horse & leading a charge against what has Since been designated as the hornets nest, & composed mostly of Iowa troops,
Conclusion of Isaac’s speech in tomorrow’s post.
 John Rolston. Information about this soldier can be found at Genealogy Trails History Group – http://www.genealogytrails.com/iowa/cw_11th_reg_enlisted3.htm#CoF-R