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No. 161.-report of Col. George Mangy, First Tennessee Infantry, commanding Second Brigade.

Hdqrs. Second Brigade, Second Division, First Corps, Army of the Mississippi, Camp near Corinth, Miss., April 25, 1862.
Sir: I submit the following report of the participation of the forces under my immediate command in the battles of the 6th and 7th instant, near Shiloh: [454]

I marched to the field in command of five companies of my own regiment (First Tennessee), the other five having been detained at Chattanooga by order of superior officers.

On the 5th instant, while in front of the enemy, I was, by order of General A. S. Johnston, commanding, detached from the brigade of Brigadier-General Chalmers, with which I had temporarily served, and instructed to report, with my five companies present, to Major-General Polk for service, and was by him assigned to the Second Brigade, Second Division, of his corps.

This brigade was composed of the five companies of the First Tennessee, Colonel Stephens' (Sixth Tennessee), Colonel Douglass' (Ninth Tennessee), and Colonel Wickliffe's (Seventh Kentucky) regiments; and, as senior officer, I assumed command of it, Major-General Cheatham, as chief of division, being my immediate commanding officer.

Early on the morning of the 6th, while marching with the five companies of the First Tennessee Regiment to unite with the balance of this brigade, General Johnston, commanding in person, directed me to change my course and proceed with these companies immediately across Lick Creek, there to unite with Colonel Forrest's cavalry and Colonel Cummings' (Tennessee) regiment, and in command of these to watch and resist any demonstration of the enemy against the extreme right flank or rear of the army from the direction of Hamburg. Communicating this order to Major-General Cheatham, I proceeded under it forthwith to cross Lick Creek, and immediately sent a strong cavalry scouting party to learn and report the presence of any enemy in that direction.

My instructions from General Johnston had left me at liberty, in case I became perfectly satisfied that no enemy was in my direction, to recross the creek and join in the main battle; and about 11 a. m., having from diligent observations been unable to learn the presence of any enemy toward or at Hamburg and the battle continuing to rage, I left Colonels Forrest and Cummings to carry out their instructions existing before my presence with them, and recrossing the creek with the five companies of my regiment, directed their march toward the battle, then seeming about 4 or 5 miles distant.

After marching about a mile I was overtaken and informed by a courier from Colonel Forrest that it was not certain but that a portion of the enemy was in the direction of Hamburg. This caused me to halt for definite information.

In a short time I was instructed that orders had been sent by General Beauregard for all troops to be brought to the scene of action, and that both Colonels Forrest and Cummings were near at hand on their way forward. I then moved directly with my five companies toward the battle.

As I approached the battle quite a number from other commands, who had dropped back seemingly exhausted by fatigue, cheered by the arrival of even this small body of fresh troops, rallied on my rear and advanced with me.

In a few moments I found and reported to Major-General Cheatham, at the time engaged in an effort to dislodge the enemy from a wood a little to the east of his center. My brigade, under Colonel Stephens, senior officer in my absence, had been warmly engaged at this position before my arrival, and the Sixth Tennessee, as I was informed, having suffered particularly severely in a gallant charge here, had been temporarily withdrawn when I came up. General Cheatham directed me to immediately attack the enemy's position in this wood, giving mo [455] the privilege of selecting my command for the purpose, and advising me of its being a difficult position and of the failure of several previous efforts by our troops to carry it. Colonel Cummings, Nineteenth Tennessee Regiment, being now in sight, and the Ninth Tennessee at hand and comparatively fresh, were, with the First Tennessee Battalion, selected as my attacking force. Observing the ground in advance not to favor an extended line of battle, Colonel Douglass' regiment was formed on the left of the First Tennessee and Major McaNairy, aidedecamp to Major-General Cheatham, was requested to move Colonel Cummings' regiment a short distance to the right, with instructions to advance from that position in concert with the balance of my command upon the enemy in the wood. With the First and Ninth in line, I moved over an open field directly on the enemy in the woods, and on approaching met some of our own troops retiring before a destructive fire. My line of battle was promptly opened by the right of companies to the front, so as to allow our friends to pass to the rear, and at the same time quickening my advance I was so fortunate as to pass the field and gain the cover of the woods before the enemy's attention seemed fairly directed to me. Here my command was ordered to lie down, and a fire was opened mainly for the purpose of ascertaining by the enemy's reply his force and exact position. This was quickly done, and immediately on his fire being delivered my advance was renewed in good order. Observing in a few moments the enemy to give indications of wavering, I on the moment ordered the First and Ninth to the charge. The order was responded to with a cheer, and both regiments sprang forward with enthusiasm worthy of their cause, holding an alignment which would have done credit to veterans. Colonel Cummings' regiment came gallantly forward at the same time on the right.

The charge was in every way a success. The enemy could not wait to sustain the shock, but broke in disorder and fled precipitately before us. In a few moments we occupied the position which he had perhaps contested with as much obstinacy as any on that day. It proved to be a small ravine passing diagonally toward the river, fringed with a considerable growth of small timber, thus forming an excellent natural rifle pit.

I do scant justice to the officers and men of the First and Ninth Regiments to say, in their attack on this position they did well; all that soldiers should do. Immediately after the position was taken by us Colonel Cummings, with his regiment, proceeded to report to his own immediate commander, Brigadier-General Breckinridge.

Deeming a constant press forward the best means of securing the advantage already gained, I made but a short halt on the position from which the enemy had been driven, and with the First and Ninth Regiments continued my advance as rapidly as possible in the direction of his flight. He made no rally before my command that day, and I was halted near the river for the purpose, as I understood, of allowing some concentration of our troops for attacking the enemy at the river and near his gunboats.

Our forces came rapidly up, but it was already quite late in the day, and they were halted near a deserted camp of the enemy, a short distance in my rear and to the right, for the purpose of replenishing their ammunition. I held the position at which I had been halted until dark, the enemy all the while keeping up an active shelling from his gunboats, which proved, however, more noisy than destructive.

At dark, finding our troops generally retiring, and understanding it [456] was the order for all to do so, I withdrew my command for the night, and this ended their part in the battle of Sunday.

Monday morning (the 7th) a desultory fire was commenced early on some portions of the field of the previous day's fighting, and I immediately ordered the command which had been with me Sunday into line. The Ninth Regiment had been separated in marching from the field during the darkness of the previous night, and I found only the four right companies, under command of Lieutenant-Colonel Hurt, had followed the First. It was-my intention to go with these to Major-General Cheatham, expecting to find the remainder of my command with him, but I was peremptorily commanded by Brigadier-General Withers, through one of his staff, to join whatever troops I could find to the command with me and hasten to his position on our extreme right. This order was accompanied with the information to me of a fierce attack by the enemy on General Withers and a pressing need of re-enforcement, and was not to be disregarded.

I accordingly ordered Colonel Carroll's Tennessee regiment, Maj. John F. Hearn commanding, to fall in with the First and the four companies of the Ninth, and with this force proceeded rapidly to General Withers' position, whom I found much in need of re-enforcement. General Chalmers' brigade, on the extreme right and somewhat in advance of what had been the enemy's right camp, was warmly engaged in front, and the enemy, quite in force, was vigorously pressing to turn General Chalmers and gain his rear through this camp.

General Withers ordered me to drive him back immediately with a charge. My command was rapidly brought into line of battle on the parade ground in front of the camp in question, Lieutenant-Colonel Hurt on the right, Major Hearn in the center, and Major Feild on the left, and the next instant the charge became a necessity, for the enemy, pressing back our troops, inadequate in numbers to oppose him, began to show himself on the opposite side of the camp at a distance of perhaps 200 yards. I immediately ordered my whole line to the charge, and it was made with spirit.

The result was but a repetition of our superiority to the enemy in this particular. We drove him about three-quarters of a mile and several pieces of his artillery were captured. Our loss was but light in comparison with the enemy.

The exhaustion of the previous day, combined with the fatigue incident to the charge, rendered farther pursuit with my small force impracticable. My command was then ordered back and formed on the side of the camp next the enemy. Here General Withers charged me with the command of all the troops at and near this position, with instructions “to remain at and hold it at all hazards.”

A very short time after the enemy had been driven before the charge of my command his line also gave way before ours to my left, and, as his forces fled diagonally in front of my position, two pieces of Captain McClung's battery, which had joined me, were brought into efficient service, and, under the personal charge of Captain McClung, were actively and destructively served on the retreating enemy for a distance of several hundred yards.

After this the enemy made several demonstrations in force, as if disposed to assault my position, but he, being without artillery, was in each instance promptly repulsed. At about 1 o'clock, the enemy having ceased troubling me and seemingly massed his forces for main attack against our left, where the fighting appeared very severe, and I having succeeded in rallying quite a number of stragglers of different [457] commands, I directed Colonel Wickliffe, of the Seventh Kentucky Regiment, who had been separated from his command, but up to this time rendered me most efficient service by his activity and gallantry, to take Lieut. Col. C. S. Hurt's and Major Hearn's commands with him and proceed to re-enforce dur left, thinking at the time that Major-General Cheatham was engaged there. Colonel Wickliffe proceeded as directed, and received his fatal wound at the head of a charge, doing his whole duty as a devoted patriot and gallant soldier.

Several other bodies of troops which came up to my position were also directed by me to re-enforce our left, and it is due to Capt. J. L. Rice, of Colonel Battle's Tennessee regiment, to say that one body of several hundred, which he had rallied with great exertions, was gallantly led by him in this direction and did excellent service.

At about 4 p. m. I retired with the general movement of our lines and, under General Cheatham's permission, encamped my battalion, First Tennessee Regiment, at MIonterey, in their tents, it having been stationed there as part of our advance previous to the battles. The other regiments of my brigade, in pursuance of orders, returned to Corinth.

The troops who acted under my immediate command during the battles of both days, with very few exceptions, discharged their duties with the gallantry and faithfulness due to their cause. The Sixth Tennessee and Seventh Kentucky Regiments, together with Capt. Melancthon Smith's light battery, were more under the immediate eye of my dJivision general than my own. Both of these regiments had suffered severely before I assumed command of them in the engagement of Sunday.

It is a peculiar gratification to be able to say that at the close of the battles on Monday night the battalion of the First Tennessee Regiment marched into its camp at Monterey with but one single absentee besides those who had fallen in the actions or been excused for proper cause by the surgeon, and this one reported early next day. To their prompt and precise performance of orders on the field their slight loss is attrib utable.

While I may not name all who showed both courage and devotion, it is a pleasant duty to call attention to several who discovered eminent merit as soldiers on the field.

In Sunday's action Colonel Douglass, of the Ninth Tennessee, bore himself with the courage becoming the commander of his gallant regiment, and Lieutenant-Colonel Hurt, of the same, displayed a dashing gallantry, combined with an aptitude for command, entitling him to the highest praise. My high expectations of Maj. H. R. Feild, who succeeded me in immediate command of the battalion of the First Tennessee Regiment, were not in the least disappointed. He executed all orders with the greatest promptness, and led his command in every advance with the utmost coolness and intrepidity. I must also express thanks to Captain Ingram, of the Sixth Tennessee. His company had been for the time retired, after suffering severely in a former attempt to drive the enemy from the woods, but he asked and obtained permission of General Cheatham to personally accompany me in my subsequent attack upon it, and during the whole of my advance his gallantry was conspicuous and a cheering influence to my line.

After driving the enemy from his position in the woods and during my subsequent advance several officers rallied fragments of commands which had been previously engaged there and reported to me, requesting the privilege of forming part of my force in further movements. I regret the names of most of these have escaped my memory, but Major Moore, of Colonel Blythe's Mississippi regiment, was conspicuously useful and active in this respect. [458]

In the action of Monday, as has been mentioned, I had the valuable personal assistance of Colonel Wickliffe, of the Seventh Kentucky Regiment, and in my first and main charge against the enemy he was of eminent service; his position seemed at all times wherever danger was greatest or encouragement to the line most needed. His devotion and valor are, indeed, a serious loss to his country.

Rev. William Harris, of Memphis, who became my volunteer aide on Monday, deserves notice and my cordial thanks for his gallantry in the action.

Major Hearn, of the Fifteenth Tennessee Regiment, showed himself worthy and equal to his position and led his regiment gallantly.

Lieutenant-Colonel Hurt, of the Ninth, and Major Feild, of First Tennessee, in every respect repeated their good conduct of the day previous.

Reports of regimental commanders and lists of casualties in my command are filed herewith.

Very respectfully,

Geo. Maney, Colonel First Tennessee Regiment, Commanding Brigade. Maj. J. D. Porter, Assistant A djutant General.

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