General Grant prevailed on second day of the battle of Shiloh (April 6 & 7 1862). The Union suffered 13,000 casualties. The Confederates lost 62,000 killed, wounded, captured or missing.
The population of the USA in 1860 was 31,443,322. The current population is more 10 times greater. Adjusted for population more men died those two days than have died in the current pandemic.
The word “foeman” is Melville’s word for enemy: a Foe-man.
The concept was captured by Marie Aurelius in his Meditations
“In death, Alexander of Macedon’s end differed no whit from his stable-boy’s. Either both were received into the same generative principle of the universe, or both alike were dispersed into atoms.”
Shiloh. A Requiem. (April, 1862.)
Skimming lightly, wheeling still,
The swallows fly low
Over the field in clouded days,
The forest-field of Shiloh—
Over the field where April rain
Solaced the parched ones stretched in pain
Through the pause of night
That followed the Sunday fight
Around the church of Shiloh—
The church so lone, the log-built one,
That echoed to many a parting groan
And natural prayer
Of dying foemen mingled there—
Foemen at morn, but friends at eve—
Fame or country least their care:
(What like a bullet can undeceive!)
But now they lie low,
While over them the swallows skim,
And all is hushed at Shiloh.