No. 209.-report of Maj. James T. Martin, Seventh Arkansas Infantry.
headquarters Seventh Arkansas Regiment, Camp Hindman, Corinth, Miss., April 12, 1862.Sir: Lieutenant-Colonel Dean having been killed on Sunday at 3 p. m. in the charge on one of the enemy's batteries, I, as major of the regiment, have the honor to report the following as the part performed by the Seventh Arkansas Regiment in the engagement with the enemy on April 6 and 7 on the plains of Shiloh: On Sunday morning, April 6, precisely at 5 o'clock, the Seventh Arkansas Regiment, under command of Lieutenant-Colonel Dean, was ordered to advance, which it did in gallant style in the face of a heavy fire from the enemy's skirmishers, going over the first hill into the valley beyond, where a halt was ordered, to allow our skirmishers to drive in the enemy and feel the ground, after which we were ordered to advance again at quick-time, which was kept up by us until we had crossed a ravine and gained the bank above, at which time the enemy in front opened on us a heavy fire, when we were ordered to lie down. After halting here for some little time we were again ordered forward, and after advancing some 50 yards we opened fire on the enemy, still advancing in good order, when a Tennessee regiment, attached to General Wood's brigade, having gotten in advance, broke and ran back, hallooing “Retreat, retreat,” which being mistaken by our men for orders of their commander, a retreat was made by them and some confusion ensued, which, however, was, by the gallant conduct of Colonel Dean and the company officers, soon rectified, when we again advanced to the charge, and never halted or faltered until we had driven the enemy from their first line of encampments. The regiment was then formed  in line of battle beyond their encampments and marched forward to a field, where we halted, to allow our brigade commander to form his line. We were then moved about 100 yards and again ordered to advance, which we did, to the edge of a field (about 400 yards wide, the enemy occupying the opposite side), halted, and ordered to lie down. We lay here about fifteen minutes, when we were ordered to fall back into a ravine about 40 yards in our rear, where we were again ordered to lie down. We remained here about fifteen minutes, when General Hindman came up and ordered us to charge and take one of the enemy's batteries stationed on an elevated portion of ground on the edge of the above-mentioned field. (Our ammunition at this time was almost expended, which fact I reported to General Hindman. His reply was, “You have your bayonets.” ) We were then formed and put in motion and advanced to the edge of the field, when this regiment (Seventh Arkansas), being in advance of the other portion of the brigade, was halted and the men caused to lie down for a few moments, when, the other regiments coming up, we were again ordered to charge, which we did, across the open field for 400 yards in the face of a murderous crossfire, and drove the enemy in confusion from their position. We were halted in the woods beyond, on the ground just occupied by the enemy, when, after forming, we again laid down and rested for a short time. We advanced against the foe about 100 yards, when the retreating Tennesseeans again completely ran over us, throwing our regiment into confusion. They were in such great haste to get behind us that they ran over and trampled in the mud our brave color-bearer. Happily for us and our country we possessed a brave and gallant lieutenant-colonel, who, aided by the company officers, for the second time that day rallied and formed our broken and disordered ranks. We halted here a little time, when, the enemy gaining somewhat the rear on our right, we were marched to the rear about 200 yards, and then by the left flank till we reached a ravine, where we were formed, and after replenishing our ammunition we were moved in line of battle to the right against the enemy, who in large force were posted behind some temporary works made of logs and supported by a battery of field pieces. We moved steadily on and never faltered until we had gained the road on which their guns were brought to bear, when we, being on the left, discovered that should we advance we could be flanked by the battery, halted; but the order being given “Forward,” the brave boys of the gallant Seventh never wavered, but moved with steady tread, led by our brave and gallant commander, into the arms of death. After getting across the road and in front of the enemy's position wie formed and charged home, but unfortunately at this critical time, when within 30 yards of the enemy's cannons' mouth, Lieut. Col. John M. Dean, our brave commander, fell dead, shot by a Minie ball through the neck while gallantly leading us to the charge. He died as a brave man and soldier would wish, “with his feet to the foe and his face toward heaven.” The troops then halted and opened a tremendous fire on the foe, when one of the most terrific fights of the field ensued. When I was informed of the fact that I was in command I found I was greatly deficient in officers, owing to the great havoc made by the enemy's guns, also that my entire support on the right, or the other portion of the brigade, had fallen back. I determined to retreat, and watching my opportunity, when the infantry, who were firing by battalions, had delivered a volley and the artillery had fired, I ordered a retreat, and happily brought off,  though in a scattered condition, my entire command then living. I formed them in the rear of our advanced lines, and after a little time was marched to the rear some distance farther and ordered to bivouac for the night. This ended the work of the Seventh Arkansas Regiment for the day of Sunday. We were engaged and under fire for ten hours, almost the entire time advancing and driving the enemy before us. Our loss on this day in officers was heavy. Captain Cain, Company F, fell wounded while gallantly leading his company to the charge early in the action. Captain Brightwell, Company G, led his company with great bravery until he fell wounded at. 12 m., when the command fell upon First Lieutenant Gillespie, who led it through the entire engagement. Third Lieuts. John E. Irwin, Company D, and C. I. Deshazo, Company I, fell on Sunday, in the charge on the enemy's battery, bravely cheering on their men. For other casualties I respectfully refer you to the report of killed and wounded, hereunto attached. On Monday morning, before the wearied and almost famished men had procured anything to eat, I was ordered by an aide to form my men and prepare for action, as we were being surrounded on all sides. The men, though weary, fell cheerfully in, and we were marched about three-fourths of a mile on our left, and formed, along with the remainder of the brigade, on an eminence in rear of one of our batteries. I caused my men to lie down, and in about a half hour's time our brigade commander ordered our lines forward. I promptly put my command in a position to advance, so as to. form on the left of our lines. As soon as we had crossed a ravine in our front and our column was ordered forward, 1, with my command, was ordered back to my old position, to protect the battery, by an aide of General Beauregard. I did so, and ordered my men to lie down, where we remained in painful suspense and under fire four or five hours, when, our lines giving way and the battery changing its position, I fell back and moved about 200 yards to the right, when, the enemy making his appearance in large force in front of my position, I ordered a charge; my gallant men obeyed, and at double-quick and shouldered arms, in the face of the most deadly fire I ever faced. Coming in range with my flint-lock muskets I ordered a halt, and the fire commenced from our lines, which quickly brought the enemy to a halt. I would here mention that our support on the left consisted of a disorganized body of men rallied by an aide of General Beauregard's, who, with flag in hand, led us to the charge. It was a gallant deed, and I regret very much I do not know who he was. After delivering four volleys, re-enforcements appearing for the enemy to the right, subjecting me to a cross-fire, and my support giving way on my left at this time, I was compelled to retire, which we did, and formed in the rear on the right of a line of our cut — up and disorganized forces. I there remained until the line on which I formed broke, and I again retired. This, as near as I can judge-my watch having been stopped by the violent concussions-at 3.30 or 4 p. m. I then had organized under my command near 200 men, although not all of my own regiment, as others of the Arkansas regiments rallied on me. The force charged by my regiment, as above spoken of, consisted of six Yankee regiments. The reason I know I counted six flags in sight. I then withdrew my force to the rear of the field, and on Tuesday, at 4 p. m., reached my encampment at this place, having been preceded by my command. This report has necessarily been lengthy, but r cannot close it before I notice the gallant conduct of some of my officers, who distinguished themselves on a field and in a command where all did their  duty and fought as though they were determined to conquer. First, if a first there be, among the roll of these gallant spirits, ranks Captain Martin, of Company A. He fought gallantly, and bravely led his men at a shoulder arms against a foe whose long-range guns dealt death and destruction all around, and when the regiment first fell into some confusion and fell back, he and his gallant company and officers stood their ground and on them the regiment rallied. Captain McCauley, Company K, also highly distinguished himself, and in the last charge on Sunday against the enemy's battery he fell while gallantly leading his company. Captains Warner, Company D, and Rutherford, Company E; Lieutenant Andrews, Company K; Lieutenant Gillespie, Company G, and Lieutenants Brown and Pearson, Company B, all highly distinguished themselves by their reckless disregard of personal safety when duty called them. Respectfully submitted.
James T. Martin, Major, Commanding.