Report of Col. Isaac C. Pugh, Forty-first Illinois Infantry, commanding First Brigade, Fourth Division.
April 6-7, 1862..--Battle of Pittsburg Landing, or Shiloh, Tenn.
O.R.-- SERIES I--VOLUME X/1 [S# 10]
HEADQUARTERS FIRST BRIGADE, FOURTH DIVISION,
Camp near Pittsburg, Tenn., April 10, 1862.
SMITH D. ATKINS,
SIR: I herewith send you a statement of the operations of the brigade under my command on the 6th and 7th days of April, 1862, in the battle of Pittsburg, Tenn.
Early on the morning of the 6th of April, while I was at breakfast, I heard heavy firing in front. I immediately ordered out the Forty-first Illinois Regiment of Volunteers, who were in line in ten minutes. At the same time I ordered my horse, and by the time I was mounted I received orders from Colonel Williams, Third Iowa, commanding First Brigade, Fourth Division, to take my position on the left of the brigade, which I did, and marched to the scene of action, forming my regiment in line of battle on the left of the brigade, and at about 9 a.m. received the first fire of the enemy, which was returned by my regiment with great spirit. I then, in connection with the brigade, fell back about 100 yards and formed in line of battle, and awaited the renewal of the attack by the enemy, at which time I received a message from General Hurlbut to assume the command of the brigade. I then placed the command of the Forty-first Illinois Volunteers in the hands of Lieuten-ant-Colonel Tupper, and went to the right of the brigade, when I found that Colonel Williams, Third Iowa, had been wounded by a cannon-shot, I believe the first fired, and had to leave the field. I then discovered the enemy in large force across an old field, when I ordered a battery to be placed in position and the enemy shelled, which they effected in thirty minutes. I then ordered a detachment of cavalry to spike three of our guns, which had been left on the opposite side of the field when Colonel Williams was wounded, which duty they performed.
About 11 o'clock a.m. I ordered Colonel Johnson, Twenty-eighth Illinois Volunteers, to change position on the field, which was promptly done; about which time General Hurlbut ordered Colonel Logan, Thirty second Illinois Volunteers, to support the Forty-first Illinois Volunteers on the left, who were being hard pressed by the enemy, and Colonel Johnson was ordered to support the Third Iowa on the right, at which time the enemy attempted to cross the field, but were driven back by the Third Iowa and Twenty-eighth Illinois Volunteers, with some pieces of artillery, with great slaughter. We maintained our position at that point until 1 o'clock p.m., when we fell back about 200 yards. The troops under my command manifested great coolness. The enemy advanced cautiously and slowly, and at the same time pushing their forces on our left flank. About this time Captain Benner had his horse killed, and Colonel Johnson had his horse badly wounded, so that he had to abandon him.
We maintained this position until 3 o'clock p.m., when we fell back slowly, forming lines of battle frequently, and making great slaughter among the enemy, as the ground over which we retired showed on Monday evening, as I rode over the ground, by the large number of rebels that were killed at each point where we made a stand. I conducted the right wing of the brigade in good order until we arrived in the encampment of the Third Iowa Volunteers, when we came in contact with some twenty regiments on the retreat, when my command became somewhat entangled with the retiring mass. I conducted the brigade to the rear of the large siege guns, and awaited orders. About dark I received orders to form a line of battle on the right of Colonel Veatch's brigade, which order was promptly executed, and the men remained in line of battle all night, and on the morning of the 7th I was ordered to take position in the rear of the new lines that had been formed during the night and await further orders.
At about 10 o'clock a.m. I received orders from General Hurlbut to move to the right and support General McClernand, which order was promptly obeyed, under the direction of General Hurlbut. When we arrived at the scene of action we were ordered to charge the enemy, which was done with great spirit. I was then ordered to fall back about 300 yards to form a line of battle in conjunction with some of General McClernand's troops and await further orders. At about 4 o'clock we received the joyful news that our troops had driven the enemy from the field, and the troops under my command were ordered back to their old quarters.
I must in this connection, without disparagement to any one--for all under my immediate command acted with great bravery--be permitted to mention the name of F. Sessions, acting assistant adjutant-general, as acting with great gallantry, bravery, and self-possession in conveying my orders to the various points on the battle-field during the engagement. The killed and wounded and missing of each regiment are as follows: Third Regiment of Iowa Volunteers, 22 killed, 135 wounded, and 36 missing; Twenty-eighth Illinois Volunteer Regiment, 26 killed, 151 wounded, and 9 missing; Thirty-second Illinois Volunteer Regiment, 38 killed, 151 wounded, and 33 missing; Forty-first Regiment of Illinois Volunteers, 25 killed, 88 wounded, and 10 missing ; in all, 724 in killed, wounded, and missing.
All of which is respectfully submitted.
I. C. PUGH,
Col. 41st Regt. Ill. Vols., Comdg. 1st Brig., 4th Div.
RETURN TO BATTLE OF SHILOH UNION ORDER OF BATTLE