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No. 128.-report of Capt. John Mendenhall, Fourth U. S. Artillery, Chief of artillery, Fifth Division.

bivouac near Pittsburgh Tenn., April 9, 1862.
Captain: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by my battery in the action of the 7th instant:

After having disembarked and formed in column of pieces upon the bluff above the Landing I was ordered by General Crittenden to advance with the Fifth Division toward the scene of action. On my way thither my battery was detached by General Buell and sent to a position upon the right of an open field, near the left of our lines, where a brisk firing was going on between the rebel infantry posted in the opposite woods and our own near me. I opened fire at once upon the enemy with my sections of rifled guns. My left section had been previously halted by General Buell, but was soon afterward ordered up. My fire was now returned by the enemy's artillery, posted apparently in rear of his infantry, but so screened from observation by the forest that his position could only be determined by watching the smoke of his pieces. After about half an hour the enemy ceased firing, but soon after opened again with artillery and infantry, but to the right of his former position. I immediately answered, and in a very short time his fire again ceased. After a brief interval he recommenced a well-directed fire from his first battery, to which I replied at once, at the same time separating my pieces somewhat, to avoid a concentration of fire upon my whole battery. After about ten minutes duration the enemy's fire ceased for a short time, and was not renewed again from the same battery until late in the action. Half an hour afterward, however, he opened from a battery to my right, and evidently in anticipation of an advance upon the center of our lines. I at once changed front, and replied first with case shot and subsequently with canister, as the enemy's infantry [374] advanced through the underbrush. So disastrous was the effect of this fire that the enemy fell back and opened again upon us from his guns on the opposite side of the field, at the same time moving forward for a general advance upon our left. As this movement was continued we received besides the direct fire of the enemy's first battery, a destructive enfilading fire from artillery and infantry on his right.

Finding our left closely engaged I changed front in that direction, and reopened with case shot and canister so effectively that the enemy's second battery was silenced; when, finding our infantry intervening, I changed position to the right and again engaged his first battery, which at this time recommenced firing upon us. The first section of Captain Terrill's battery also opened upon the same, and firing was maintained at intervals for about an hour and a half, when the enemy ceased firing. His third battery then opened upon the right of our center, but, our own infantry being between himself and my battery, I changed the position of the howitzer, in order to open with canister upon his flank as soon as it should be unmasked by our infantry. Before this occurred, however, our troops drove the enemy back, when I opened upon his first battery, to which he replied with but two shots. His fire was evidently directed upon our right, then pressing him to a rapid retreat, and in a short time his battery ceased firing.

At this moment I was directed, by orders from General Buell, to move around to the right and silence a rebel battery from which a heavy firing was being carried on against the Fifth Division. I moved briskly to the point designated, and as soon as our infantry could be separated to the right and left I opened upon the enemy with canister. After firing some five rounds I drove him back from his position, and moving forward occupied it myself, continuing the fire of canister upon a thicket where he had sought shelter after abandoning his guns. As soon as this thicket was cleared I moved a short distance to the left, and continued my fire upon some rebel cavalry who were retreating through the woods beyond an open field before me. After dispersing these I moved some 80 yards to the right, in rear of a burning house, for the purpose of shelling the wood beyond it, but I found that the enemy had all disappeared and their positions were being fast occupied by our forces. The rest of the day was passed under the direct notice of the general commanding, and will need, I presume, no further mention.

My battery suffered the following casualties: Killed, Privates Kelly and Williams, of Company H, Fourth Artillery. Severely wounded, Privates Riese, Campbell, and Coyle, of Company H, Fourth Artillery; Privates Quigly, of Michigan Volunteers, Alexander, Swallow, and Rooney, of Company M, Fourth Artillery, very slightly. Horses killed, 6; wounded, 8; escaped and missing, 4.

Ammunition expended: Rounds of case shot, rifle, 244; rounds of canister, rifle, 40; spherical case, howitzer, 120; shell, howitzer, 90; canister, howitzer, 32; total, 526.

In accordance with an order from General Boyle I this day sent out Lieut. C. C. Parsons to examine the apparent effect of our fire and that of the enemy, upon which he made the following report:

bivouac near Pittsburg, Tenn., April 9, 1862.
Captain: I have the honor to report that, pursuant to your instructions, I have this day visited the position upon which our fire was directed in the engagement of the 7th instant, and have made the following observations:

In the skirts of wood upon which our direct fire was first opened there were posted six bronze field pieces, supported by a formidable body of infantry. Of the effective [375] nature of our fire upon this point I was enabled to judge from the appearance of trees shattered by case shot at very low range; of carriage wheels strewn over the ground; of one caisson completely disabled and abandoned; of dead horses, four of which were left here, and of the enemy's dead, nine of whom still remain, besides those already buried. To the rear of this point I found one gun abandoned, behind wh13h were 5 dead horses, and around which the trees were again shattered at so low range as to show that the enemy must have been driven from this position with great loss, although from the fact that the dead had been buried I could not determine the number. I am satisfied that the cannonading from the right of this point, to which we afterwards replied, was from guns of the same battery, which was abandoned near the spot. Along the skirts of the wood enfiladed by our fire the underbrush was completely cut up, but I found only 2 dead horses to give evidence of the enemy's presence there.

Proceeding through the thicket from which the enemy emerged later in the day I found the bushes broken down by our canister and the ground thickly strewn with their dead. From the fact that our burying parties were already engaged in covering the dead, I found it impracticable, without erring upon one extreme, to determine the number killed by our own fire; but I venture to mention the fact that within thenarrow area where I stood more than 100 dead were still to be counted. The position occupied by the enemy's battery silenced by our own contained 27 dead horses and 7 dead bodies still unburied. I was assured by a soldier that large numbers of the enemy's dead had already been removed from the thicket showered by our canister. In the wood beyond the field over which we last fired I found the remains of 2 horses and graves in which a number of the dead had been buried, but how great I could not ascertain.

In terminating these observations I could not forbear remarking that in every case except one our battery, although engaged with a superior artillery force of the enemy, excelled the latter in accuracy of aim, range, and destructive effect.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

Chas. C. Parsons, First Lieutenant, Fourth Artillery. Capt. John Mendenhall, Chief of Artillery, Fifth Division.

It gives me pleasure to call attention to the coolness and courage exhibited by my officers, First Lieut. Charles C. Parsons, Second Lieut, S. Canby, and Henry A. Huntington, all of the Fourth U. S. Artillery, all of whom rendered me most valuable and efficient service throughout the engagement. Lieutenant Parsons commanded the right section (Rodman's rifled guns), and Lieutenant Canby the left section (12-pounder howitzers). Lieutenant Huntington took charge of one of the howitzers during the firing. Bartlett's battery was separated from me before I engaged the enemy, and remained so separated until the battle was over. I have the honor herewith to inclose his report.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

John Mendenhall, Captain, Fourth Art., U. S. A., and Chief of Art. Fifth Div.

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