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No. 179.-reports of Capt. W. Irving Hodgson, Fifth Company, Washington (Louisiana) artillery.

Hdqrs. Fifth Co., Batt. Washington artillery, Camp Moore, Corinth, Miss., April 9, 1862.
General: In accordance with usage I hereby report to you the action of my battery in the battle of the 6th and 7th instant:

My battery, consisting of two 6-pounder smooth-bore guns, two 6-pounder rifled guns, and two 12-pounder howitzers; total, six pieces, fully equipped with ammunition, horses, and men, entered the field just in the rear of the Twentieth Louisiana Regiment (the right regiment of your brigade) on Sunday morning, the 6th instant, on the hill overlooking, from the southwest, the encampment of the enemy immediately in front of it and to the northeast, being the first camp attacked and taken by our army.

At 7.10 a. m, we opened fire on their camp with our full battery of six guns, firing shell and spherical case-shot, soon silencing one of their batteries and filling the enemy with consternation. After firing some 40 rounds thus we were directed by General Ruggles to shell a camp immediately upon the left of the one just mentioned, and in which there was a battery from which the shot and shell were thrown on all sides of us. With two howitzers and two rifled guns, under Lieutenants Slocomb and Vaught, assisted by two pieces from Captain Shoup's battery, we soon silenced their guns, and had the extreme gratification of seeing our brave and gallant troops charge through these two camps, running the enemy before them at the point of the bayonet. At this point I lost your command, and on the order of General Ruggles to go wherever I heard the most firing, I passed over the first camp captured through a third, and on to a fourth, in which your troops were doing sad havoc to the enemy. I formed in battery on your extreme left, in the avenue of the camp, and commenced firing with canister from four guns into the tents of the enemy, only some 50 yards off. It was at this point I suffered most. The skirmishers of the enemy, lying in their tents only a stoue's throw from us, cut holes through their tents near the ground, and with “white powder,” or some preparation which discharged their arms without report, played a deadly fire in among my cannoneers killing 3 men, wounding 7 or 8, besides killing some of my most valuable horses, mine among the rest. As soon as we were well formed in battery and got well to work we saw them creeping from their tents and making for the woods, and immediately afterwards [514] saw your column charge the whole of them in ambush and put them to flight.

A visit through that portion of their camp at a subsequent hour satisfied me from the number of the dead and the nature of their wounds, that my battery had done its duty. Losing you again at this point, on account of the heavy brushwood through which you charged, I was requested by General Trudeau to plant two guns farther down the avenue, say about 200 yards off, to shell a fifth camp farther on, which I did, and after firing a dozen or more shells had the satisfaction of seeing the cavalry charge the camp, putting the enemy to flight, killing many and capturing many wounded prisoners. Being again without a commanding general, and not knowing your exact position, I received and executed orders from General Hardee, and his aide, Colonel Kearney, also from Colonel Chisolm, of General Beauregard's staff, and in fact from other aides, whose names I do not know, going to points threatened and exposed and where firing was continued, rendering cheerfully all the assistance I could with my battery, now reduced in men and horses, all fatigued and hungry.

At about 2 p. m., at the instance of General Hardee, I opened from the fifth camp we had entered fire upon a sixth camp, due north, silencing a battery and driving the enemy from their tents. Said portion of the army of the enemy was charged and their battery captured; afterwards lost again by the Guard Orleans and other troops on our left, under Col. Preston Pond, jr. This was about the last firing of my battery on the 6th instant. Taking the main road to Pittsburg Landing we followed on the heels of our men after a retreating and badly-whipped army until within three-fourths of a mile of the Tennessee River, when the enemy began to shell the woods from their gunboats. General Ruggles ordered us back to the enemy's camp, where we bivouacked for the night.

I received orders on the morning of the 7th, at about 5.30 o'clock, to follow your command with my battery, and at 6 o'clock, being ready to move, could not ascertain your position so took position on the extreme right of our army, supported by the Crescent Regiment, of Colonel Pond's brigade, in our rear, and an Arkansas regiment on my front, and I think the Twenty-first Tennessee Regiment on my left flank, all under General Hardee, or, in fact, he seemed to be the master spirit, giving all orders and seeing that they were properly executed.

At about 9 o'clock General Breckinridge's command, on our extreme front, had pushed the enemy up and on to within several hundred yards of our front, when we opened fire with shot and shell with our full battery. After firing some 70 rounds we took position farther on, just on the edge of the open space ahead, and with a full battery, assisted by two pieces of McClung's battery, we poured some 60 rounds into the enemy, who continued to advance upon us until within some 20 yards of us, when Col. Marshall J. Smith, of the Crescent Regiment, gallantly came to our rescue, charging the enemy at the point of the bayonet, putting them to flight, and saving our three extreme right pieces, which would have been captured but for them. It was at this point I again met with severe losses; Lieutenant Slocomb, Sergeant Green, several privates, and many horses fell at this point, either killed or badly wounded.

After the enemy had retreated well into the woods I had my guns limbered and taken from the field. My men broken down, my horses nearly all slain, ammunition out, and sponges all broken and gone, I was in the act of making repairs and preparing for another attack, when [515] I was ordered by General Beauregard to retire in order to Monterey, which I did that evening, and afterward to this point, arriving last evening with my battery all complete, with the exception of three caissons, a battery wagon, and forge, which I had to abandon on the road for want of fresh horses to draw them in.

At the request of General Beauregard I detailed from my command 12 men, under a non-commissioned officer, to remain and act with Captain Byrne's battery on a prominent hill on the Pea Ridge road, overlooking the battle-field, to cover the retirement of our army. They all came in to-day safe and sound.

We captured two stands of United States colors, which were handed over to General Beauregard; we also captured several United States horses and mules, some of which we have now, others we have lost. I cannot close this report without again calling to your favorable notice the names of my lieutenants-Slocomb, Vaught, and Chalaron-for their coolness and bravery on the field was daring and gallant, and worthy your consideration.

I have the honor to be, yours, very truly,

W. Irving Hodgson, Captain. Brig. Gen. Patton Anderson Comdg., Second Brig., Ruggles' Div., Army of the Mississippi.

Hdqrs. 5TH Co., Batt. Washington artillery, Camp Moore, Corinth, Miss., April 11, 1862.
Captain: I herewith tender to you a supplementary report in regard to matters connected with the battle of the 6th and 7th instant:

My battery fired during said actions, from the six guns, 723 rounds, mostly from the smooth-bore guns and howitzers, a large proportion of which were canister, some of our ammunition chests being repacked from a captured caisson and other canister borrowed from Captain Robertson's battery, which he kindly loaned. The badly-torn wheels and carriages of my battery from Minie balls will convince any one of the close proximity to the enemy in which we were. I had 28 horses slain in the battle, exclusive of officers' horses.

I cannot refrain from applauding to you the gallant actions of Sergeants Bartley, Blair, and Smith; Corporals O'Brien, Higgins, Davidson, Beggs, Spearing, and Holmes; also of Privates Boyden, Duggan, Murphy, Bayne, Leckie, Shotwell, Jones, Salter, Mathis, Scott, Falme. stock, Levy, Tomlin, Johnson, Seixas, Wing, and Hartnett; all of whom, with the young men killed, were at their post during the action and behaved most gallantly. Many of them, for the first time under fire, conducted themselves as veterans.

I have the honor to be, yours, very truly,

W. Irving Hodgson, Captain. Capt. W. G. Barth, Assistant Adjutant-General, &c.

Hdqrs. 5TH Co., Batt. Washington artillery, Camp Moore, Corinth, Tis.s., April 12, 1862.
Captain: Referring to my reports of the battle of the 6th and 7th instant under dates of the 9th and 11th instant, I have had conversations [516] with the chiefs of sections of my battery on the subject, and ascertain that there are so many of the rank and file that behaved gallantly on those occasions it would make too long a list and be too invidious to mention names. You will, therefore, please erase those portions of my reports which refer to that subject, beginning with A. Gordon Bakewell and ending with Privates Wing and Hartnett.

By so doing you will much oblige, yours, very truly,

W. Irving Hodgson, Captain. Capt. W. G. Barth, Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.

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