Report of Col. Charles Whittlesey, Twentieth Ohio Infantry, commanding Third Brigade.
April 6-7, 1862..--Battle of Pittsburg Landing, or Shiloh, Tenn.
O.R.-- SERIES I--VOLUME X/1 [S# 10]
Near Pittsburg Landing, Tennessee River, April 8, 1862.
SIR: Of the four regiments Ohio Volunteers constituting the Third Brigade, under my command, stationed at Adamsville on the 6th instant, the Fifty-sixth, Colonel Kinney, was by order left as a guard to the stores on the road to Crump's Landing. The Twentieth. Lieutenant-Colonel Force; Seventy-sixth, Colonel Woods, and Seventy-eighth, Colonel Leggett, received orders to march with their trains about 2 p.m., and to advance toward Pittsburg Landing, in advance of the trains, at 4 p.m. These three regiments reached the right of General Grant's camp soon after dark, and formed in line under the direction of Major-General Wallace, where they remained during the night, supporting Bullis's battery, in command of Lieutenant Thurber.
The brigade, under General Wallace's direction, kept the extreme right of the line during the action of the 7th instant, with the exception of a short period about 11 a.m., when it formed in front of the enemy at the left of Colonel Thayer's brigade, to support, by his special request, Colonel Stuart, commanding the Second Brigade of General Sherman's division, who was hotly engaged.
About noon, firing being heard to the rear of the right of the line of battle, I was directed by General Wallace to take two regiments there, Colonel Woods remaining as last above stilted. I went as directed to the right and found that the firing proceeded from the enemy's sharpshooters, who retired as we advanced. The Twentieth and Seventy-eighth were then formed in rear of a field which lies on the north side of the Purdy road, on the south side of which the enemy had a battery of two pieces within short range that opened upon us. Some other pieces of theirs and some infantry were engaging the-Twenty-third Indiana and First Nebraska on my left. As a retreat of the enemy appeared close at hand I advanced the Twentieth Regiment a few minutes into the field to take them in flank, and then retired to the edge of the woods. The Seventy-eighth was in close supporting distance in rear of the Twenty-fourth Indiana and Twentieth Ohio and also under fire of the two-gun battery. Our infantry making little impression upon this battery, I procured from General Wallace five guns of Lieutenant Thurber's command, which came speedily into position, but the pieces against which they were to operate had been withdrawn when Lieutenant Thurber arrived. There being signs of a retreat farther to the south, Lieutenant Thurber was directed to sweep the ground in our front, which he did with his two howitzers and three smooth bores in fine style. This closed the engagement in this part of the field at about 3 p.m.
Two prisoners captured near there, one of them an officer of the Creole Guard, state that General Beauregard was endeavoring to form a line for a final and desperate charge on our right when Lieutenant Thurber opened upon him, and the result was a disorderly retreat.
Colonel Woods, of the Seventy-sixth, moved along the line as the battle progressed to the westward, and took the place of the First Nebraska while it went for a supply of cartridges. He reports the conduct of his men under fire as all he could desire.
The enemy's sharpshooters annoyed the Twentieth very much, particularly the field officers, wounding Captain Rogers, of Company A, in command of our skirmishers. This regiment and the right of Colonel Leggett's were exposed nearly an hour to a very precise fire of the two-gun battery, which they bore with remarkable coolness.
Eighteen prisoners were taken by this brigade.
Our loss is 2 killed, and 1 mortally, 8 severly, and 21 slightly wounded.
I am, your obedient servant,
Colonel, Comdg. Third Brig., Third Div., Army of' the Tennessee.
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