No. 149.-report of Brig. Gen. Alexander P. Stewart, C. S. Army, commanding Second Brigade.
headquarters First Division, First Corps, Army of the Mississippi, April 12, 1862.Sir: I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of the 6th and 7th instant, so far as they came under my observation: On the morning of Thursday, the 3d instant, Brigadier-General Clark, then in command of this division, received orders to have the command  ready to march at a moment's notice. The Second Brigade of the division, which I commanded, was composed of the Fourth (Colonel Neely), Fifth (Lieutenant-Colonel Venable), and Thirty-third (Col. A. W. Campbell) Regiments of Tennessee Volunteers; the Thirteenth (Lieutenant-Colonel Grayson, Colonel Tappan being absent sick) Regiment of Arkansas Volunteers, and a light battery of six pieces (Captain Stanford's). We left camp, near Corinth, about dark Thursday evening, taking the road to Purdy, my brigade in front. At 12.30 a. m. on Friday (the 4th) we halted for the night. The march was resumed early next morning, but was soon arrested, to permit the command of Major-General Hardee to pass. We bivouacked Friday night in what I believe is called the Bark road, in the vicinity of Mickey's Cross-Roads. On Saturday (the 5th instant) we moved forward to within 2 or 3 miles of the battle ground and formed in column of brigades, the center of each brigade at the road, my brigade in front, Colonel Russell's next in rear, and the two brigades of Major-General Cheatham's division succeeding him. On Sunday morning (the 6th instant) we took up the line of march in the same order. The regiments composing my brigade were disposed in the following order: Colonel Neely's (Fourth Tennessee) on the right; Lieutenant-Colonel Venable's (Fifth Tennessee) on the left; Lieutenant- Colonel Grayson's (Thirteenth Arkansas) right center; Col. A. W. Campbell's (Thirty-third Tennessee) left center, and Stanford's battery following in rear of the center. While our left was moving through an open field a fire of artillery was opened upon it, from which the Fifth Regiment lost 1 killed and 1 wounded and had its flag-staff severed. We continued to advance until General A. S. Johnston came up and directed me to move my brigade to the right, to support General Bragg. I faced the command to the right and moved in a direction oblique to the former front, until we reached an open woods in front of one of the enemy's camps, from which he had already been driven. General Johnston having gone to some other part of the field, and finding no one to give me directions, after halting a few minutes I moved the brigade forward through the camp and beyond it, where I met a staff officer, who directed me to move to the left and then forward. I executed the order, and in doing so lost sight of Neely's regiment, which did not hear the order to move to the left. The other three regiments were pushed forward across a small stream and up the side of a hill, where I directed them to lie down until I could bring up the Fourth Tennessee. I rode back for it, passing through the left of Stanford's battery, which had become engaged with one of the enemy's to our right and front. On bringing up the Fourth I found that the other three regiments had moved forward up the hill. Just then a staff officer informed me that General Bragg desired the battery in our front to be taken. I turned to the Fourth; told them what was wanted; asked if they would take the battery, and received the reply, “Show us where it is; we will try.” The regiment moved forward, under a severe fire of canister, from which it lost 31 men killed and 160 wounded, charged and carried the battery, and drove the enemy into the thick woods beyond it, where the Twelfth Tennessee (Lieutenant-Colonel Bell) formed on its left. The entire regiment behaved admirably, and it gives me pleasure to bear testimony to their gallant conduct, and especially that of Lieutenant-Colonel  Strahl and Colonel Neely. Major Henry had received a wound previous to this, when I was not with the regiment, and had been carried from the field. The Twelfth, after remaining under fire with the Fourth until their ammunition was exhausted, fell back to procure a fresh supply. We were then just to the left of a road, Hindman's brigade to the right of it, in the woods, and his battery (Swett's) on his left, near the road. General Hindman proposed to me that our commands should advance together. Before we could get them in motion I was informed that General Hindman was wounded, and was directed (I do not remember by whose order, but believe it was General Bragg's) to take command of Hindman's brigade. I moved the Fourth across the road, formed it on Hindman's left, and advanced the entire command through the woods to the edge of an open field, beyond which were the enemy, whom we engaged until the Arkansas troops reported out of ammunition and fell back for a fresh supply. I ordered them to the rear, to procure ammunition, and fell back, with Neely's regiment, through the woods, to the vicinity of the place where they had carried the battery. Lieutenant-Colonel Bell here joined us again, and we were called upon to support one of our own batteries, which was closely pressed by the enemy. These two regiments held the enemy in check and finally compelled him to retire, standing their ground in the face of an unusually hot fire. It was here that I was so unfortunate as to lose my adjutant-general (Capt. Thomas W. Preston, of Memphis), who up to this time had rendered invaluable services to me. I can bear testimony to his noble bearing, his cool, calm courage, his devotion to our cause, and his many virtues as a man. He was killed instantly, being shot through the head. When the enemy retired from this point the two regiments under my command withdrew across the road. Lieutenant-Colonel Strahl reporting his arms foul and ammunition short, I sent his regiment to the rear. Seeing the Federal flag in a thicket near the road some distance beyond this point, I brought up Cols. J. Knox Walker's (Second Tennessee) and Marks' (Eleventh Louisiana) regiments, with a third regiment in rear, which was sent to my assistance by Major-General Polk. I did not learn what regiment it was. We advanced across the road, through the woods, and up an ascent towards the field, where several bales of cotton were burned, and engaged the enemy, who were near the houses on the road-side. Col. Preston Smith joined me with Walker's regiment, and remained with me during the day. I sent to the rear for a battery, when Captain Bankhead came up with several pieces and opened fire on the enemy, who retired. Colonel Walker was assisted here in the command of his regiment by Lieutenant-Colonel Smith, of the Regular Army, who was very efficient. Subsequently I formed Walker's (Second Tennessee), Campbell's (Thirty-third Tennessee), and Travis' (Fifth Tennessee) regiments in rear of the position last mentioned, and was ordered by General Polk to move toward our left to the support of some Louisiana regiments. In passing through the woods Travis' regiment became separated from us. The other two moved forward to a road, and thence by the left flank along the road to the camp where prisoners were captured. We finally took position, under the orders of General Breckinridge, to aid in the pursuit of the enemy, which was checked by the fire from the gunboat. On Monday morning (7th instant) I was placed by General Beaure,  gard in command of several regiments which he had rallied and formed on the brow of a hill in front of one of the enemy's camps and near a country church, which I supposed to be the one called Shiloh. A short time afterwards he ordered me, with a portion of this command (Bate's Second Tennessee, under Lieutenant-Colonel Goodall, and Thirteenth Arkansas, under Major McNeely, Lieutenant-Colonel Grayson having fallen on Sunday), towards the right, to the support of General Breckinridge. The two regiments went gallantly into action and assisted in driving the enemy to the woods beyond an open field, when I sent to the rear for artillery. Captain Bankhead came up with two pieces and the infantry fell back for a supply of ammunition. We did not succeed in getting any until we met with an ammunition wagon in passing through one of the enemy's camps, which afforded a partial supply. We were exposed here to a heavy fire of artillery from the enemy and withdrew into a ravine. The men being worn out and imperfectly supplied with ammunition, it was extremely difficult to get them forward. I, however, moved them by the left flank through an open field to the woods, and thence up the hill to the ground they had occupied in the morning, and again brought them into action, the men holding their ground until their ammunition was gone, when I'withdrew them over the brow of the hill, and went myself in search of two staff officers, whom I had previously dispatched for cartridges. It was at this time that Colonel Tappan (who had been absent sick) joined his regiment. Not finding the ammunition I returned, and learned that an order had been given to fall back. The entire army, so far as my observation went, retired in good order, the Thirteenth Arkansas and Bate's Second Tennessee bringing up the rear at this part of our lines. I desire to mention the gallant bearing of Colonel Neely and Lieutenant-Colonel Strahl, Fourth Regiment Tennessee Volunteers; of Colonel Campbell, Thirty-third; of Lieutenant-Colonel Venable, Fifth; of Lieutenant-Colonel Grayson and Major MeNeely, Thirteenth Arkansas, and of the officers and men of these regiments generally; of Col. Preston Smith; and, on Monday, of Lieutenant-Colonel Goodall and his regiment. I must also express my obligations to Capt. Thomas W. Preston, assistant adjutant-general; Lieut. N. Green, jr., aide-de-camp, and to Col. W. B. Ross and Mr. Joseph D. Cross, volunteer aides, all of whom rendered efficient service and conducted themselves with great coolness and courage. With this I inclose reports from the different commanders of regiments and batteries in my brigade. I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,