No. 110.-reports of Col. Walter C. Whitaker, Sixth Kentucky Infantry.
To Colonel Hazen, commanding Nineteenth Brigade United States forces, is respectfully submitted the report of Col. W. C. Whitaker, of the Sixth Kentucky Volunteers, Nineteenth Brigade: General Nelson's division, at the battle of Pittsburg Landing, on the Tennessee River, was put in advance on the night of the 6th of April, the Ninth Indiana on the left, and the Forty-first Ohio in reserve. At 5 o'clock on the morning of the 7th line of battle was formed, and the fight began at half past 5 between the skirmishers of the Sixth Kentucky and the Ninth Indiana and the pickets of the enemy. The enemy's pickets were driven back, and at about 6 the action began between the enemy and the Ninth Indiana, which was gallantly sustained by them. At 10 o'clock Mendenhall's battery, which had rendered efficient service, was assailed by a large force of the enemy. It was supported by three companies of the Sixth Kentucky, under command of Lieutenant-Colonel Cotton. They were severely pressed, and a charge was made by the remainder of the Sixth Regiment at the point of the bayonet, headed by Colonel Whitaker and Adjutant Shackelford. The acting brigadier-general, Colonel Hazen, most gallantry accompanied them in the charge. The enemy was routed from their cover behind logs and trees with terrific slaughter. The pursuit and fight were continued by Colonel Hazen's brigade (Ninth Indiana and Fortyfirst Ohio Volunteers) until the enemy was driven beyond his batteries. The action was most hotly and vigorously contested by six regimentsthree from Texas, the Eleventh Louisiana, one from Mississippi, and one from Kentucky-commanded by Col. Thomas B. Monroe, who was killed in the action. In the charge the Sixth Kentucky took three pieces of cannon, two rifled and one smooth. One of the guns was spiked and abandoned, the other two held in possession. Colonel Whitaker cut down one of the cannoneers with a bowie-knife he had taken from a Texan he had captured. The horses were shot by Company A, under command of Lieutenants McGraw and Rockingham, their captain being absent on detached service. Captains Johnston, McLeod, Stein, and Hedden, and Lieutenant McGraw were wounded at the head of their companies. Lieutenant-Colonel Cotton bravely led the left of my regiment, and had his horse killed under him. My adjutant, Lieut.  George T. Shackelford, was on the right, while my regiment behaved gallantly, sustaining the credit of the Nineteenth Brigade, General Nelson's division, and the State of Kentucky. I cannot refrain from calling your attention especially to the gallant conduct of my adjutant (Lieutenant Shackelford), Lieutenants McGraw and Rockingham and Company A; they fought like tigers. My flagbearer, Richard T. Thornton, was shot down, true to his duty, dying with the flag of his country on his breast. It was then taken by Corporal Keiff, of Company A, by whom it was gallantly borne until he was shot down; it was then borne by Sergeant Schmidt, of Company C. Private Irving, of Company A, killed 5 of the enemy, and was seriously wounded, and has since died. Lieutenant Chilton was taken prisoner by 6 of the enemy; two or three of his friends rallied to his aid; the enemy were all killed and he rescued, the lieutenant killing one of his captors with his pistol. I can personally bear testimony to the efficient service of yours (the Nineteenth Brigade) and General Nelson's division throughout the terrific fight, continued without intermission from half past 5 in the morning until 3 in the afternoon, when the right flank of the enemy, who fought more than gallantly, was turned by Nelson's division, and the day decided in favor of the Stars and Stripes. We have to regret the loss of 14 killed, 86 wounded, and 11 missing.1 Total of killed, wounded, and missing, 111; of which a complete list accompanies this as a part of my report.
W. C. Whitaker, Colonel Sixth Kentucky Volunteers.
headquarters Sixth Kentucky Regiment, Camp near Iuka, Tishomingo, Miss., June 16, 1862.In obedience to an order issued by the general commanding, requiring a report of the operations of the several corps from the time of leaving Pittsburg to the evacuation of Corinth and the termination of the pursuit of the enemy, together with the loss in killed and wounded, I beg leave to submit the following: The Sixth Kentucky Regiment left Pittsburg on the night of the 6th of April and bivouacked immediately in presence of the enemy, who were in force before us, the forces of General Grant having been driven by the rebels on the 6th to the Tennessee River. At 5 o'clock on the morning of the 7th line of battle was formed, the Sixth Kentucky on the right, the Ninth Indiana on the left, and the Forty-first in reserve. The fight began at 5.30 o'clock 7th April between the skirmishers of the Sixth Kentucky and Ninth Indiana and the enemy's pickets. Captain Hund, of Company E, ably commanded the skirmishers of the Sixth. The enemy's pickets were driven back. Between 6 and 7 o'clock the Ninth Indiana engaged the enemy most gallantly. The Sixth Kentucky was ordered to reconnoiter the woods on the right of the brigade and find the enemy's position. This was promptly done and reported. They were found in large force, with a battery in front, and were on the right of our brigade. After reporting, for more than an hour the Sixth sustained in line of battle a heavy fire from the enemy's batteries, with a loss of 2 killed and several wounded before firing a gun. About 10 o'clock Captain Mendenhall's battery, defended by three companies of the Sixth Kentucky-A, D, and I-under command of Lieutenant-Colonel Cotton, was severely pressed by the enemy.  To save them and repulse the boldly-advancing rebels a charge was made by the remainder of the Sixth Kentucky Regiment at the point of the bayonet, their colonel leading in the center and Adjutant Shackelford on the right wing. Colonel Hiazen, acting as brigadier-general, accompanied them in the charge. The Ninth Indiana, on the left, and the Forty-first, on the right, advanced simultaneously, and kept up a murderous fire on the flank of the enemy, who were routed from cover of logs and trees with terrific slaughter. The pursuit and fight were pressed with great vigor by the Ninth Indiana, Lieutenant-Colonel Blake leading, the Sixth Kentucky, Colonel Whitaker leading, and the Forty-first Ohio. The action was hotly contested by six regiments of rebels, three from Texas, one from Louisiana, one from Kentucky, commanded by Maj. Thomas B. Monroe, who was killed, and one from Mississippi, as I was informed by some of the wounded enemy. In this charge upwards of 300 of the enemy were killed and twice that number wounded. Seven pieces of cannon were left by the enemy on the field, of which three pieces were taken by this regiment. Two were held in possession by them; the other was spiked by Private Young, of Company A, but carried off by the enemy. Over this gun the fight was most furious, and here some of the best men of the regiment were killed. Colonel Whitaker cut down at the rifled cannon one of the cannoneers with a bowie-knife taken from a Texan who was captured by Private Brown, of Company D; a boy, who fought gallantly. The horses of the battery were shot by Company A, under command of Lieutenants McGraw and Rockingham. Captains Hedden, Johnston, Stein, McLeod, and Lieutenant McGraw were wounded in the charge at the head of their companies. Lieutenant-Colonel Cotton bravely fought on the left of the regiment and had his horse killed under him. Whilst the entire regiment, with some miserable exceptions, behaved most gallantly, sustaining the reputation of Kentucky, and in conjunction with the Ninth Indiana and Forty-first Ohio boldly maintaining the credit of the Nineteenth Brigade and General Nelson's division, it is only justice to refer especially to the gallant conduct of Adjutant Shackelford, Lieutenants McGraw and Rockingham, Sergeant-Major Danks, Company A, and Private Floyd, of Company D. The regimental color-bearer, Richard T. Thornton, was shot down, and, true to his duty, died with the flag of his country on his breast. It was given by the colonel, who carried it some distance, to Sergeant Schmidt, of Company C, who bore it through the balance of the fight. Private Irving, of Company A (wounded, and since dead), killed 5 of the enemy. Lieutenant Chilton was taken prisoner by 6 rebels. Two or three friends rallied to his aid. The enemy were all killed and he rescued, the lieutenant killing one of his captors with his pistol. All on the field bear testimony to the efficient service of the Nineteenth Brigade (though acting a large part of the time without its acting brigadier, Colonel Hazen), and of General Nelson's division, who was with us on the field through the terrible fight, continuing without intermission from 5.30 until after 3 o'clock p. m. The right flank of the enemy was turned, and the day decided in favor of law and constitutional government. It is proper in this connection to remark, in addition to what has been heretofore reported by me, that the Nineteenth Brigade should receive special commendation for standing the shock of the enemy. About 11 o'clock they were deprived (we knew not how) of the efficient services of their acting brigadier, Col. W. B. Hazen, who most unfortunately,  at the time his services were most needed, when the brigade was hotly pressed by the enemy, got separated (to us) most unaccountably frora it, and rejoined it no more that day in the fight. Each regiment was then left to its commander, the colonel of the Sixth Kentucky bringing it into line of battle. The brave Nelson, seeing the acting brigadier, Col. W. B. Hazen, absent, asked where he was. Colonel Whitaker replied, “We fear he is killed or wounded; none of us have seen him since the charge.” Generous as he is brave, a, pecuniary reward of $50 was offered by General Nelson to any one of the soldiers of the Sixth Kentucky who would recover his body, dead or wounded. Six of Company A-viz: Sergeant Tillman, H. J. Tillman, George Currier, John Combs, John Coffey, and James Shieldspromptly stepped out to perform that duty, then dangerous from marauding parties of the enemy. A company of skirmishers was sent forward to protect them. They made most diligent search, but the body was not found, dead or v ounded. We, who had never left the field, were rejoiced to meet our acting brigadier, Col. W. B. Hazen, after the fight unharmed and in his usual robust health. While in line of battle with the Ninth Indiana it is due to the men of the Sixth Kentucky Regiment to say (having no brigadier) they were ordered by General Buell to reconnoiter the woods in front of the line, which was done. Later in the day they were directed by Captain (now Colonel) Fry to march to the right, in the direction of the Shiloh Church, in support of the troops then warmly engaged with the enemy. This was done. The Sixth was threatened by a body of the enemy's cavalry. A volley or two from skirmishers repulsed them. The regiment encamped that night at camp-field of Shiloh, Pittsburg being left in the rear. The loss in killed was 12, missing 14. After close inquiry I am confident they were killed; making the killed, 26; wounded 91; total killed and wounded, 117.2 Since the fight 14 have died of wounds; making the total killed to this date 40. Twenty-two commissioned officers were in the engagement, of whom 8 were wounded. Total number engaged about 450. The fight when the Nineteenth Brigade was engaged was terrific, and for a while over the batteries was hand to hand. Dr. Joseph S. Drane, the assistant surgeon of the Sixth Kentucky, was indefatigable in his attention to the wounded. The Sixth is also indebted greatly to Dr. Griffith, of Louisville, surgeon of the Second Kentucky, for very efficient service and kindness to some of its wounded. By indefatigable exertion all the wounded of the Sixth were, with one or two exceptions, moved from the field of battle, cared for, and sheltered from the rain of the following night. The regiment remained at the camp-field of Shiloh until the 2d of May. When the line of march was begun for Corinth the time going was chiefly occupied in road repairing and bridge building. We arrived at the camp before Corinth May 17. The regiment did its full share of intrenchment, picket, and guard duty, being employed for a while night and day, but it was done cheerfully. While engaged in making the trenches the enemy began to shell us. Their shells fell thick among our men. One fell and exploded but a few feet from Governor Morton, of Indiana. He stood like a veteran. General Nelson ordered out Mendenhall's and Konkle's batteries, which soon silenced the enemy. A great deal of labor was performed in rainy weather, with no huts for shelter, but the men were satisfied, as it was for their country they were laboring.  The night of May 30 the enemy made a most able and masterly retreat from Corinth. So silently was it effected, that the place of their retirement was unknown. So well was it managed, that his military equipments, stores, and transportation were taken away or burned. We joined in the pursuit like men groping in the dark for an enemy. We found none after a week's search. To the brave, well-disciplined, well-drilled army of Union soldiers eager for the fray, and who only waited the word to annihilate the Confederate army of traitors, it is passing strange where that great army was and why they were suffered to go; but we are soldiers, and have no right to think in words. The pickets of the Sixth had a skirmish, in which they report 6 or 8 killed. We have none killed or wounded since leaving camp on the field of Shiloh. In this report I deem it right to give many thanks to General Nelson for his care of our orphan brigade. I must commend all my officers for their attention to the health of my regiment. Under exposure it is improving in health, and though our loss was heavy in battle, we can to-day bring 530 guns to the field, and if permitted to send for able absentees who are shirking duty, its effective force can in thirty days be put at 630. I have endeavored briefly to give a statement of the operations of the Sixth Kentucky Regiment from the time of leaving Pittsburg and the evacuation of Corinth. I am at a loss to know what is meant by the termination of the pursuit of the enemy, as we were still after them. In obedience to Order, No. 99, and order issued under it, this report is made and respectfully submitted.
W. C. Whitaker, Colonel Sixth Regiment Kentucky Volunteers. The General Commanding Army of the Ohio.