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No. 15.-report of Lieut. Col. Adolph Engelmann, Forty-third Illinois Infantry.

Hdqrs. Forty-Third Regiment Illinois Volunteers, Pittsburg Landing, Tenn., April--, 1862.
Sir: I have the honor to submit herewith a report of the part taken by the Forty-third Regiment Illinois Volunteers in che bloody battles of April 6 and 7. [143]

On Sunday morning, April 6, at the request of Col. J. Raith, then commanding the regiment, I called upon General McClernand for permission to fire off the guns of our men which were still loaded from the evening of April 4, when the pieces had been loaded in expectation of an attack by the enemy. The permission was granted, but the general directed that we should keep a sharp lookout for any engagement in front of us, and that in case anything be heard he be instantly informed of it.

But two of our companies had discharged their guns, when the colonel, hearing the distant report of fire-arms, ordered firing to cease and the regiment to get ready for action, and also directed me to report the facts to General McClernand. The general then sent me to Colonel Rearden, commanding Third Brigade, with orders for him to hold the brigade in readiness for action. Colonel Rearden, however, was ill, and requested me to inform Colonel Raith that he, being the next oldest and only colonel in the brigade now present, should assume command. In the mean time Colonel Raith had formed the Forty-third Regiment, the command of which now devolved upon me, whilst Colonel Raith, without any aides, or even any mounted orderlies, to assist him, found himself suddenly in command of a brigade, of which as yet but one regiment had got ready for the engagement, and the enemy already within a few hundred yards of our lines, but still concealed by the forest, and steadily driving our own troops in front of us toward our lines.

As ordered by Colonel Raith, I proceeded to the encampment of the Forty-ninth Regiment Illinois Volunteers, which was some distance to our left, with orders for that regiment to turn out instantly, brisk firing being then heard within a short distance from its color line, but those from whom it proceeded still concealed by the forest. My orders to turn out were met by the inquiry, “For what purposed” And to my response, “That it was to meet the enemy which was engaged with our troops but a short distance in front,” they said that the firing then heard was none other than our own men firing off their pieces. The infatuation that no enemy was about was so general, that I was also to a great extent affected by it, and rode forward in the direction from which the firing proceeded to obtain certainty. Not more than 200 yards in front of the Forty-ninth I came upon our own lines, then briskly engaged with the enemy. Hastening back to the Forty-ninth, I found that as yet little heed had been given to my previous orders to turn out. Upon communicating these facts to the officers that regiment was speedily paraded, but only in time to find itself pressed hard in front and flanked on the left by vastly superior numbers of the Confederate Army.

Having thoroughly aroused the Forty-ninth, I hastened back to my own regiment. The color line immediately in front of the encampment being but a poor position to await the enemy in, the regiment was ordered about 100 yards forward, where it took a position sheltered by the brow of a hill and to the left of a battery stationed on the right and that distance to the front of our encampment. The two flank companies were now thrown out as skirmishers forward and to the left of our lines, the enemy crowding upon us in apparently great numbers from that direction. The enemy still advancing, so that we would soon have been exposed to a raking flank fire from the left, the now two right companies (F andD) were detached, to remain as a supportofthebattery. At this time large numbers of our own troops belonging to the divisions (Sherman's and Prentiss') heretofore in front of us, retired through our lines, and it was impossible to induce them to rally upon us, while the remaining companies changed direction on the eighth company to the rear, and [144] firing by the rear rank for some time, gallantly withstood a vastly superior force of the enemy.

Being here compelled to give way by the enemy passing beyond our right and left flanks and crowding upon us in front, we fell back upon the battery. This having exhausted its ammunition and lost several of its horses, being exposed to a galling fire both from large masses of infantry and two of the enemy's batteries-one placed in position near the meeting-house and the other near the encampment of the Fortyninth-withdrew, leaving two of its pieces on the field, the efforts of our men to draw them away by hand proving unavailing on the soft and ascending ground. The enemy steadily advancing and the position being very unfavorable for infantry, the brigade, which here had become united, fell back toward the road leading east and west through the encampment of the First Division. The brigade was rallied by its gallant commander, Col. Julius Raith, and formed in support of several pieces of Schwartz's battery, here placed in position, and after a short pause the enemy again pressed upon us in vastly superior numbers. Here Major Schwartz was wounded and Colonel Raith received a Minio ball through his right thigh.

The resistance here for some time was desperate, the support to th( right of the battery having fallen back and the artillerists being alsc compelled to abandon their pieces. However, the Forty-third Regiment maintained its position to the left of the battery for some time, till the enemy's fire, flanking from the right, compelled it again to fall back. Here again some of the men assisted Lieutenant Nispel, of Schwartz's battery, in the attempt to take off one of the pieces by hand, but were again defeated by the softness of the soil, after having dragged it a distance of about a quarter of a mile, Colonel Raith having been given in charge of 4 men to carry him from the field, suffering intensely, the bone being completely shattered. After being carried a short distance, overcome by pain, he insisted on being left on the field, telling the men that they could be of more service to the regiment in the ranks than carrying off a disabled officer. At his urgent entreaties and commands they left him, and Colonel Raith laid thus exposed through the entire day and stormy night that followed, with no other assistance than was given him by the passing enemy, who on the following morning carried him into a tent, from which some hours afterward, the position having again fallen into our possession, he was removed to the river bank, and on Sunday morning into the steamer Hannibal, where his leg was amputated on Wednesday morning; but he was too much exhausted from exposure and loss of blood, and died on Friday evening at 11 o'clock. In him the army lost one of its bravest officers.

Having fallen back through the timber in front of the encampment of the First Division, it again formed in line forward of and to the right of General Oglesby's headquarters. The ammunition of the regiment being almost completely exhausted, I sent one of the officers, with several men, to procure a supply, but before that officer could rejoin us the regiment was ordered forward by Captain Hammond, of General Sher man's staff, and advanced in double-quick past the battery planted in front of General Oglesby's encampment. Being placed in the center of the line of attack, it advanced steadily and fearlessly upon the enemy's batteries, then planted near GeneralMeClernand's headquarters. Within a short distance of the enemy the regiments to our right and left came to a halt and opened their fire. The Forty-third still advanced close upon the enemy, but reduced in numbers, and its supports having come [145] to a halt, it too had to stop, it being impossible for it to advance alone on the dense masses in front.

The ammunition now being entirely exhausted, the men gathered a scant supply from the killed and wounded of the enemy, who here covered the ground thickly. The troops of the enemy opposed to us having been armed with the Enfield rifle, their ammunition being of English make and excellent quality, it could be used in our muskets. The men being cheered on by General McClernand, who was present in the thickest of the fight for a long period maintained a fearful conflict, that cost great numbers on both sides. Our lines again giving way, the regiment retired down the branch on which the conflict had raged, and in the open field below again formed on the right of the Twentieth Illinois Regiment.

Being altogether out of ammunition, I again sent for a supply, but none being found, and the supply which had been promised Colonel Marsh failing to arrive, we were again compelled to retire as the enemy advanced. We now fell back by degrees, and a new line being formed, we found ourselves posted between the Forty-sixth Illinois and Thirteenth Missouri, our position being midway between the encampments of the Forty-sixth and Ninth Illinois. We here succeeded in getting a fresh supply of ammunition. The men, totally exhausted, lay heedless to the shower of shot and shell that passed over their heads. In this position we passed the night.

Early the next morning we were ordered forward by General Sherman, and advanced again to the rear of the left of the First Brigade, First Division, where we were placed in position by General Mc~lernand towards the left of the line then forming for attack, the Thirteenth Missouri being still to our left. We remained in this position for some time during the heavy cannonade between the batteries in our line and those of the enemy, when our lines were ordered forward and to the left in oblique direction. We advanced thus to the timber in front of the right of the encampment of the Second Brigade, when the lines came to a halt. The Thirteenth Missouri was here drawn off by the left flank, and after a short pause the whole line received orders also to move by the left flank.

This movement had hardly been undertaken when the enemy opened a sharp fire upon us from the front of the position we had just left and also appeared in great numbers in a direct line with our left flank. The line fell back in great confusion to the ravine in the rear of the First and Second Brigades, but were here promptly rallied, and after a short pause again ordered forward, first up the ravine and then again by the left flank into the timber but to the front of the enemy's battery then planted a short distance to the east of General McClernand's headquarters. The lines now coming to a front advanced steadily upon the enemy, driving back his infantry, which had been advanced some distance in front of the line of his battery. Here a number of the enemy that had been unwilling to fall back were made prisoners. After a protracted and embittered struggle our lines were called back, fresh troops taking our places. In the rear of these the remnants of the Forty-third were rallied, totally worn out and exhausted. After a short repose the Forty-third followed after our advancing columns and marched back to its encampment, where we met General McClernand and reported to him, whilst the shells of the retreating enemy were still bursting among the tree-tops.

Of the 500 men that on Sunday morning marched out with the regiment [146] 206 were left, in killed and wounded, on the field, proving the desperation of the conflict and bearing testimony to the conduct of the men.1

With high regards,

Adolph ENGELMANl, Lieutenant-Colonel Forty-third Regiment Illinois Volunteers. Lieut. A. H. Ryan, Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.

1 But see revised statement, p. 100, and division return, p. 123.

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