No. 204.-reports of Col. John C. Moore, Second Texas Infantry.
Hdqrs. Second Regiment Texas Infantry, Camp, near Corinth, Miss., April 19, 1862.Sir: I have the honor to make the following report of the part taken by the Second Regiment Texas Infantry in the battle of Shiloh on the 6th instant: In justice to my regiment permit me to say that no other regiment entered the fight on that day under more unfavorable circumstances than the Second Texas. Leaving Houston, Tex., on March 12, we arrived here on April 1, after a long and exhausting march. Remaining in camp but one day, we left on the 3d for the field of Shiloh. Not having received the provisions ordered for the regiment, we left with a short two and a half days rations. By Saturday morning our provisions were all exhausted, yet the men moved forward with light hearts and buoyant spirits without a murmur of complaint. By this time many who had left camp with worn-out shoes became totally barefooted, and many of the men, as well as some of the officers, returned to camp after the battle in their bare feet. Early on the morning of the 6th, while the regiment acted as a support to General Hardee's division, we lost 1 man killed and 2 or 3 wounded. At about 8.30 o'clock we moved to the right, and took position in the front line of battle on the left of General Chalmers' brigade. This brought us near a small stream, which I was told is known as Lick Creek. Soon after we took position the enemy, deployed as skirmishers, opened fire on our line, wounding two or three of our men and also mortally wounding Captain Brooks, who was carried to the rear, and died on the 8th. The enemy being concealed behind trees and logs, Captain Smith was ordered to deploy his company as skirmishers, cover our front, and  ascertain the precise position of the enemy. At the same time Captain Girardey's battery was thrown forward, and by firing into the woods seemed to disperse the enemy's forces. Being now ordered to advance, we proceeded some 200 or 300 yards to the brow of a hill, where the enemy appeared in considerable force within range of our guns, but on the opposite side of a narrow bottom of low land. Opening fire, we advanced to the foot of the hill, when I gave the command, “Double-quick,” which being done, the right of the regiment passing through an open field under a fire, we reached the brow of the opposite hill and halted. We were now near the enemy's camp and under the fire of a large force at a short distance in front, sheltering themselves in houses which were in front of their camp. Seeing the right of our regiment suffering severely and the advantage of the enemy in their sheltered position, I again gave the order, “Charge,” which was well done, driving the enemy before us from the camp, killing and wounding a considerable number and taking 6 prisoners. On reaching the road passing through the encampment we were fired on by a large force to our right from behind or through openings in a collection of farm houses. As theenemy seemed intending to turn our right flank we fell back some 50 yards, protected from their fire by rising ground in front. Here we changed direction to the right and again charged the enemy driving them from the houses across a ravine and over the opposite hill On reaching the ravine we halted, Captain Girardey's battery having opened a fire from the hill in our rear, the shots passing over our heads. While in this position Colonel Chalmers' forces were engaging the enemy to our right. They were exposed to a galling fire from a large force, and, though fighting like heroes, seemed at last to be giving back, and Captain Girardey's battery suffering severely at the same time, Adjutant Mangoom, a brave and efficient officer, was ordered to request the battery to cease firing, that we might advance to the assistance of the Mississippians without being exposed to the fire of our own guns. The space between the right of Colonel Wheeler's regiment and the left of General Chalmers' brigade being sufficient for a line of only three companies, I ordered forward Captains Smith, McGinnis, and Christian, with their companies. They advanced at a double-quick, and after a short-but severe engagement routed the enemy, being supported by the other companies of the regiment close in the rear of the line. As we passed over the ground in front the number of dead and wounded showed that our balls had done fearful execution in the ranks of the enemy. The line being now reformed, after crossing a deep ravine we were ordered to sweep around by a slow wheel to the westward and proceed to where we now heard a heavy fire of artillery and musketry. After proceeding in this direction for perhaps half a mile we came up to a force covering our entire front and to the right and left as far as we could see through the woods. In this position the right wing of our regiment rested in a deep ravine, the left on a high hill, exposed to a very heavy fire, which passed over or through the ranks of our friends in front. Here we halted and ordered the men to lie down, but remained in this position but a few minutes, amid a perfect shower of balls, wounding several of the men, though prostrate on the ground. The left wing being now thrown into some confusion under a fire which they could not return, it fell back some 50 yards and reformed. The command “Forward” was given immediately, and on coming up again to the first  position it was found that the right wing had advanced as the left fell back Being but a short distance in the rear, the left advanced at a double-quick and soon joined the other in certainly one of the most brilliant actions of the day. We think we may be permitted to say that the regiment had already done noble work, yet this last and closing action of the day may be remembered with pride by the officers and men of the Second Texas Infantry. They charged the camp with a shout in the face of the enemy's artillery and musketry, and though they met an obstinate resistance, they soon drove the enemy from their encampment into the woods beyond, taking some 5 or 6 prisoners on the ground. On reaching the northwestern side of the encampment, where we were still engaging the enemy, a Federal officer (a colonel) came dashing up near our lines and cried out, “Boys, for God's sake stop firing, you are killing your friends.” The boys, not being deceived, ordered him to halt as he dashed off, but declining to accept the invitation, he soon fell dead, with his horse. At this place our men also shot an officer who was driving off at a furious rate in a buggy. On being shot he sprang to his feet and fell backward from his buggy. We now observed the enemy in force, formed in line to the front and left of us, and supposing from their position that it was their intention to try to turn our left flank and cut us off from our forces on that side, the interval on the left being at that time very considerable, we fell back about 100 yards to the left and rear, still keeping up a fire at long range. While the line was thus being formed the cry “White flag” was raised, the command “Cease firing” given, and in a few minutes an officer, unknown to us, rode up and said that a force of 1,000 of the enemy wished to surrender to the Texas regiment. At this time a regiment of cavalry passed between us and the prisoners, and before we could get further information on the subject they were in the hands of other parties. This caused our men much regret, as they had just had an obstinate contest with these very men, and we feel certain it was their colonel who was shot from his horse, as he rode directly from their position on approaching ours. Capt. Ashbel Smith was wounded severely in the arm at this camp. He had borne himself with great gallantry during the day, and we thus lost for the present the services of a brave and excellent officer. From this point we marched to the eastward, toward the Tennessee River. As we were about marching a shell from the enemy fell and exploded in our ranks, mortally wounding 2 men of Captain Owen's company. After advancing about half a mile we came to a deep ravine, and found ourselves in front of a heavy battery of the enemy at the distance of 400 or 500 yards on our front. They opened on us a fire of shot and shell, which did but little damage, as the balls generally passed over our heads and across the ravine. After having kept up this fire for a considerable time they then changed the position of some of their guns, placing them so as to bring on us a raking fire up the ravine from our right. Seeing this state of things, we made a rapid retreat from our unpleasant position and proceeded back to the camp last taken, having been told that we would here receive further orders. It was dark when we reached camp, and after waiting an hour or so we bivouacked near this encampment in a drenching rain. First Lieut. Daniel Gallaher was sent to look for ammunition soon after we took this camp. He did not return, ar d is supposed to have been taken prisoner. After having passed the night in the rain, and having had our sleep  occasionally disturbed by the bursting of a shell in our vicinity, we proceeded early the next morning about half a mile and joined Colonel Wheeler's regiment. Here we received orders from General Withers to march again to meet the enemy. After marching some 2 mites we halted near the enemy's lines, and having been placed in command of a brigade, I turned over that of the regiment to Lieut. Col. W. P. Rogers. Lieutenant-Colonel Rogers and Major H. G. Runnels, of this regiment, did their duty nobly on the 6th, and we doubt not their coolness and courage attracted the attention of the general commanding. The company officers, so far as we could observe, with one exceptionLieutenant Foster, now under arrest-performed their respective parts bravely; so much so, indeed, that it seems to me if I should mention favorably only a portion of them I would be doing injustice to the others. Accompanying this report I have the honor to submit a list of the killed, wounded, and missing on the 6th.1 This report is much longer than I intended it to be when I commenced, but I trust you will at least excuse this, perhaps its least fault. I am, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
2 As stated in my former report, I was not in command of my regiment on that day, having been placed by General Withers in command of a brigade, composed of the Nineteenth and Twenty-first Alabama and the Second Texas Regiments. Having formed the brigade in line of battle, as ordered (the Twenty-first Alabama on the right, the Second Texas in the center, and the Nineteenth Alabama on the left), a general officer and staff rode up and inquired for General Withers, who had just left our position. He ordered me to throw forward skirmishers, cover our front, feel the position of the enemy, and then fall back. On asking from whom I received the order, I was answered “General Hardee.” The order was immediately given for deploying the skirmishers, but before it could be executed it was countermanded, and the brigade, except a part of the Nineteenth Alabama, which acted  as a support, advanced under the personal direction of General Hardee and staff, who generally gave orders directly and not through myself as commander of the brigade. I beg permission to state here that General Bragg who did me the honor to recommend me for promotion, perhaps feels (as I am told) some little doubt of the propriety of the recommendation since hearing the remarks referred to at the beginning of this report. If, as commander of the brigade, I had taken upon myself the responsibility of advancing upon the enemy without first feeling his position with skirmishers, then I might justly be held responsible for the result; but such was not the case. Before the advance was ordered we were told that the brigade was to act as a support to General Breckinridge, who was engaging the enemy in front, and while advancing we were warned again and again by one or more staff officers not to fire on our friends in front. The greater part of the Second Texas passed over an open field and the enemy allowed them to approach near their lines before firing. Even after the enemy opened fire the officers of the Second Texas report the order was still given not to fire on our friends, and in one instance after a private returned the fire of the enemy, a staff officer rode up and drew his pistol, threatening to blow off the man's head if he fired again. Major Runnels reports that while the order not to fire was being reported to the regiment he saw that the force in front were not friends, and ordered the men to fire and charge them; but just at that time a most galling cross-fire was poured into the regiment, and the cry “Fall back” being heard in a voice unfamiliar to him, he countermanded the order; but it was too late to be effective. The men fell back in great confusion with the result detailed in my former report. I doubt not that our failure to drive back the enemy at this time and place may be attributed wholly to the mistake regarding the character of the force in front, the multiplicity of commands, and the consequent confusion of the men not knowing whom to obey. I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant