Report of Col. Thomas Morton, Eighty-first Ohio Infantry.
April 6-7, 1862..--Battle of Pittsburg Landing, or Shiloh, Tenn.
O.R.-- SERIES I--VOLUME X/1 [S# 10]
HDQRS. EIGHTY-FIRST REGT. OHIO VOLS., U. S. ARMY,
Pittsburg, Tenn., April 13, 1862.
Col. AUG. MERSY,
Commanding Second Brigade, Second Division.
SIR: I have the honor herewith to submit the report of the regiment under my command during the action of the 6th and 7th of April.
In accordance with orders received from Brigadier-General McArthur at 7.30 o'clock a.m. on the 6th instant, I dispatched one company to the extreme right of our lines to guard the bridge over Snake Creek and the road leading to Crump's Landing, and soon after supported it with my whole command.
At 11 o'clock a.m. I was ordered back to make an immediate junction with our lines on the right, as we were in danger of being cut off. Having taken this position, I encountered, engaged, and after two or three volleys dispersed a small portion of the enemy, who were attempting to gain a position on our right.
At 3 o'clock p.m. I was ordered by General Grant in person to leave this position and move to a point several hundred yards in front of our center. Having passed through our lines I discovered near the point designated a rebel line, displaying Federal colours, in front of and near General Hurlbut's headquarters. Here the enemy opened upon me a heavy fire of shot, grape, and musketry. I returned several volleys, maintaining the position until I discovered a body of cavalry on my left flanking me, when I fell back on our front lines in good order, where, by the order of General Grant, my command lay on their arms till morning.
Early on Monday morning I was ordered by a brigadier-general (whom I took to be General Hurlbut) to take command of three fractional regiments which were in line on my right and very poorly officered. The men being inclined to fall back, I soon found it impossible to keep them up in line, so by 3 o'clock p.m. my command did not number 200 men over my own regiment. We advanced steadily on the enemy until 3 o'clock p.m. After taking one of his batteries we were compelled to abandon it, the horses all being killed. My men having exhausted their ammunition, we fell back, as did the whole line, as far as I could see, the line on our right giving way first. At this point, while rallying the men, I received orders to retire, fresh troops having arrived and the enemy falling back.
To the officers and men of my command I have to say that they conducted themselves in a true soldierly manner, and too much praise cannot be bestowed upon them for the cheerfulness in which they endured the fatigue of two successive days' hard fighting.
All of which is respectfully submitted.
Col., Comdg. Eighty-first Regiment Ohio Vols., U. S. Army.
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