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No. 215.-report of Brig. Gens. A. M. Wood, G. S. Army, commanding Third Brigade.

Hdqrs. Third Brig., Third Corps, Army of the Miss, Near Corinth, Miss., April 15, 1862.
Sir: The undersigned begs leave to submit the following report of his brigade in the battle of Shiloh on Sunday and Monday, April 6 and 7:

The brigade was composed of the Eighth Arkansas Regiment, Col. W. K. Patterson, about 280 muskets; a battalion of the Ninth Arkansas Regiment, Col. John H. Kelly, about 140 muskets; Twenty-seventh [591] Tennessee Regiment, Col. C. Re. Williams, about 350 muskets; Fortyfourth Tennessee Regiment, Col. C. A. McDaniel, about 250 muskets; Fifty-fifth Tennessee Regiment, Col. McKoin, about 280 muskets; Sixteenth Alabama Regiment, Lieut. Col. J. W. Harris, about 300 muskets; Third Battalion Mississippi Infantry, Maj. A. B. Hardcastle, about 280 muskets; Jefferson Light Artillery, Capt. W. L. Harper, 4 guns; Georgia Mountain Dragoons, Capt. I. W. Avery, 40 muskets.

The artillery and cavalry were detached, by order of Major-General Hardee, and were not under my command during the battle.

On Saturday, the 5th instant, about 8 o'clock in the morning, a line of battle was formed, of which my brigade was the center of the Third Corps, Brigadier-General Cleburne being on my left and Brigadier-General Hindman's brigade, commanded by Colonel Shaver, on my right. The right of my brigade rested just across the Bark road.

No advance occurred on Saturday. Major Hardcastle's battalion was thrown out 400 yards in advance, on picket duty, during the night; Colonel McKoin in rear as a reserve. The line was formed as follows: Twenty-seventh Tennessee, Sixteenth Alabama, Forty-fourth Tennessee, battalion Ninth Arkansas, Eighth Arkansas.

We slept on our arms in line of battle on Saturday night. As early as 5 o'clock Sunday morning firing occurred between our pickets and the enemy. I sent Captain Clare, of my staff, to instruct Major Hardcastle to hold his position until the brigade came up. The order was faithfully carried and executed.

The firing now becoming spirited, the brigade, in obedience to the directions of Major-General Hardee, was ordered forward. The men went eagerly. The nature of the ground or the necessity of extending our lines caused an interval between my brigade and the one on the right. Colonel McKoin's Fifty-fifth Tennessee Regiment was ordered up and placed in the line on the right. At the same time the Eighth Arkansas and battalion of the Ninth Arkansas were deployed as skirmishers to relieve Major Hardcastle, who was ordered into the line.

Our skirmishers soon met the enemy, who retired as we pressed forward. The firing became heavy, and, the enemy's lines being in sight, our skirmishers were called in, and the brigade moved forward, attacking the enemy in his first line of camps. The resistance here was not strong. In less than half an hour he was driven back.

At this moment some confusion occurred on my right. A regiment on the left of the brigade to my right was falling back, followed by two regiments of my brigade. I went to them with all my staff, and they were soon reassured, and, facing the enemy, went forward with vigor. The want of drill and of prompt command, and, in one or two instances, of discretion on the part of officers, brought about this occurrence.

A severe contest now began in the brigade to my right, participated in by the right wing of my command. The enemy were driven back, the contest being more severe than the first. At this point we passed through the enemy's camps, and in pursuing the fleeing foe, one or two of the regiments of my right, by wheeling in that direction, broke the general line.

At this moment I was informed that the enemy were in force on the left and in rear of our present position, with a battery placed in rear of one of their encampments. I could see the left of my brigade, but was unable to see any of our troops, who were believed to be on our left, and who would, if there be on the flank of the enemy. Under these circumstances I changed front forward on my left, facing the battery, [592] and bringing back the regiments which had wheeled to the right, placed Colonel Patterson and Major Kelly on the left of the Twenty-seventh Tennessee (Colonel Williams), making my line: Ninth and Eighth Arkansas, Twenty-seventh Tennessee, Sixteenth Alabama, Forty-fourth and Fifty-fifth Tennessee, and Third Mississippi Battalion.

I sent word to Brigadier-General Hindman, commanding division, of the situation of affairs, who immediately brought his brigade, commanded by Colonel Shaver, to my support, and ordered me to charge the battery. I gave the order in person to Major Kelly and Colonels Patterson and Williams, and sent it to the Sixteenth Alabama and Forty-fourth Tennessee. The battery was directly in front of the Sixteenth Alabama and Twenty-seventh Tennessee, six guns playing on these regiments and all of my left. The long lines of infantry supporting the battery could be seen plainly extending to the right and left. Between my line and the enemy, who were upon a hill, was an open field, from 300 to 400 yards in width.

Across this field our brave troops made their way under a galling fire of shell, shot, and grape from the battery and a superior force of infantry. The enemy were driven from the hill and the battery of six pieces taken, but not without great loss on our side.

Colonel Williams, of the Twenty-seventh Tennessee, a modest, unassuming gentleman and Christian soldier, faithful in every duty, devoted to his country, his native State, and the cause of liberty, fell and died. Lieutenant-Colonel Brown, of the same regiment, was severely wounded. Captain Hearn and Lieutenant Henry were killed. Major Helvenston, of the Sixteenth Alabama, had his horse killed and was severely wounded by the same ball. Lieut. William Patton, of that regiment, behaving with the greatest gallantry, was killed; also Lieutenant Bateman, of the Eighth Arkansas.

The Sixteenth Alabama and Twenty-seventh Tennessee Regiments came directly upon the battery, and all the pieces (six) were captured. They were, however, assisted in the charge by the Eighth Arkansas and battalion of the Ninth Arkansas, whose ranks were thinned by the fire of these guns.

As my brigade advanced, charging the enemy, two regiments of troops came up in our rear, and as they reached the crest of a hill the men (as their officers said), without orders, fired into us, killing at the first fire 5 in Major Kelly's battalion, a lieutenant in the Eighth Arkansas, and wounding many others. With some of my staff I rode towards them, ordering them not to fire, when another volley from this whole line was hurled on us. The fire was so close, and wounding my horse, he became wholly unmanageable and threw me, dragging me along the tents and disabling me for some three hours.

The brigade moved forward, under the direction of my staff-Captain Clare, Lieut. H. C. Wood, and Asst. Adjt. Gen. L. A. McClung-who were ordered to convey word to General Hindman and Colonel Patterson of my condition. The regiments on the right were at this time engaged with the enemy, finding him strongly posted on rising ground, with infantry and artillery. After a contest of more than an hour, with varying success, the enemy was finally driven, and a large number surrendered and captured. Under the direction of Lieutenant Mc-Clung, the Fifty-fifth Tennessee, Sixteenth Alabama, and Third Mississippi Battalion took charge of the prisoners and conducted them to the rear. The remaining regiments now halted to replenish ammunition, when I returned and took charge of those forming my line, as follows; [593] Twenty-seventh Tennessee, Eighth Arkansas, Ninth Arkansas Battalion, and Forty-fourth Tennessee.

At the request of Brigadier-General Ruggles I marched to the right, to his support. The enemy was driven towards the river and back upon his batteries.

I received an order from Major-General Hardee to move to the center and front, which was immediately obeyed, bringing my command under the fire of the gunboats; but we pressed on until we found that the shells, in the main, passed beyond our line. Coming upon a line of troops immediately in my front I halted and ordered the men to rest, selecting a position the most secure from the shelling. From the shells at this point I had 10 killed and many wounded.

In a short time I saw the line in my front moving to the — rear and around my right. A staff officer then ordered me to fall back to the encampments we had last passed, and to allow my men to get something to eat and rest for the night.

On Monday, the 7th instant, the brigade was formed in line of battle early in the morning by Colonel Patterson. The firing of shells by the enemy during the night had prevented the men from sleeping in a great degree. I received an order to move forward, and had thrown out skirmishers, when orders from General Beauregard reached me to take position on the right of a long line of troops formed in some woods to my left and rear, and conform to their movements. The position indicated was at once taken. The line advanced, and, throwing out skirmishers to cover my front, I advanced with it. The whole line moved forward toward an open field.


The enemy, as we advanced, unlimbered a battery to the left, and waited until nearly two-thirds of the entire line was in the open ground. They then opened, expecting that the left of the line, which was on the flank of the battery, would charge and take it. I continued to advance, and had nearly crossed the open field to the woods beyond when the whole line to my left precipitately retired, falling back to the cover of the woods. I faced my command about and marched back. Having reformed on the right of the same line, a staff officer of General [594] Beauregard ordered me to the left of Shiloh Church and within 200 yards of that house, where I was placed in reserve.

In about an hour, it being now 11 o'clock or later, I was ordered to a position to which a staff officer was to conduct the brigade, with a view of cutting off a portion of the forces of the enemy. It was soon ascertained that their forces were too heavy for the attempt, and I received an order to return. While I was thus in reserve two or three regiments were placed on my left. I did not know what troops they were. They were not put under my command. If they had any battleflags I did not observe them, attending entirely to my own command. In a short time General Beauregard rode up to them, in company with a gentleman whom I afterwards learned was Governor Harris, of Tennessee, who made them a speech.

At this time I received an order through a staff officer of General Bragg to take position on his right. I moved the command for about 300 yards at the double-quick. After advancing about half a mile I formed the command in line, rested, and spoke to the men, when we moved forward. We were soon engaged with the enemy and immediately charged him. We were met in front and to the right of Shiloh Church. The brigade was small — not over 650 men. The charge was most gallantly made, crossing a pond of water in some places waistdeep, and then entering an open field.

Major Kelly here displayed the greatest gallantry. He was on the right, and, dashing through the pond, sat on horseback in the open ground and rallied his men in line as they advanced.

The enemy gave way and fell back in disorder, but soon rallied on our left so as to pour into us a cross-fire. We retired to the edge of the woods and here maintained for nearly three hours a most unequal contest. The battle was progressing furiously on my left, and when any advantage happened to the enemy it forced my brigade to sustain a galling cross-fire. It now seemed that large masses of the enemy were coming up and pressing my right. A battery, which I afterwards learned was commanded by Captain Rutledge, came up to this point and held them in check for more than half an hour. The regiment next to my brigade on the left broke and fell back two or three times. I went to it for the purpose of trying to steady the men. One of the colonels informed me his men were worn-out and could not be rallied. He was alone. The men were scattered in the bushes, which were quite thick. By the assistance of one or two field and staff officers the men were rallied, formed in line, and led back to the fight. Returning to my command, I found all my field officers wounded but two, and they were on foot, their horses killed. The regiments on our left again gave way and my command was forced to retire. In doing so the remnant of the regiment broke around the pond they had previously passed and came out principally on its right.

Just at this time an artillery officer requested me to give him a regiment to support two batteries being put in position on a hill to our rear. I had no regiment, but told him I would protect his pieces with all the men I had. Collecting the parts of companies, I marched them to that position, and gathering up all stragglers, formed them in my line. In forming this line I acted under the supervision and personal orders of General Beauregard, who directed the point the line should occupy. The number of stragglers here collected and held in place by my staff, with the assistance of some cavalry, was about 1,500.

While awaiting orders I received a message from General Beauregard, through his assistant adjutant-general, Captain Otey, to send forward a [595] staff officer to Generals Bragg, Polk, and Hardee, with an order to fall back fighting. The retreat had commenced. With one exception my staff were all engaged along the line I had formed keeping the men in position. I sent Lieutenant McKelvey, of a cavalry company, from Talladega, Ala., with the message to General Bragg, who delivered it, and Mr. Bridewell, of Arkansas, to General Hardee, who did not afterwards report to me.

Upon the return of Lieutenant McKelvey I rode to the position where I had last seen General Beauregard, and communicated to General Jordan, his chief of staff, that the order had been given to General Bragg. While absent, the line 1 had formed was put in march to the rear by some general officer unknown to me. I followed the movement, with the remnant of my brigade, as far as the general hospital where I reported to General Hardee, and received an order to rest until morning, and then move to my encampment, near Corinth, keeping the road clear. This I did.

It is proper to notice the great gallantry displayed on Sunday by Major Hardcastle. He was slightly wounded and hit more than once. At one time, in a charge, having been separated from his battalion, he seized a musket, joined the ranks, zi.d cheering the men, charged with the Sixteenth Alabama Regiment. Also of Maj. John H. Kelly, leading the skirmishers on the 6th and 7th, and on Monday leading a charge across a deep pond and open field, under a most terrific fire.

To Colonel Patterson, second in command, I am particularly indebted for aid and assistance in controlling a brigade without drill from first to last of the battle, displaying, as he did, great coolness and undaunted courage, even when we were overpowered by the vastly-superior number of the enemy.

Colonel McDaniel, of the Forty-fourth Tennessee Regiment, acted with great bravery, and directed his men with good judgment until wounded on Monday.

Major Love, of the Twenty-seventh Tennessee, also distinguished himself by daring. He was severely wounded and left in the hands of the enemy in our last charge.

Lieutenant-Colonel Harris, of the Sixteenth Alabama Regiment, though laboring under severe illness, conducted his regiment throughout both days.

To my assistant adjutant-general, Lieut. Linus A. McClung, I am indebted for a discretion and valor which never gave way, but seemed to increase by the greatness of the occasion. He was always present with the command, cheering the men, and by example inciting others to acts of gallantry. When he was forced to retire, he would only leave the field when compelled by orders, seeming to prefer death to even a repulse.

My aide-de-camp, Lieut. H. C. Wood, carried all my orders with alacrity and accuracy.

I am under great obligations to my volunteer aides: Capt. William Clare, whose gallantry was equal to any danger. He was twice wounded on Sunday about noon, but remained on the field until dark, and again on Monday a very severe wound was received while acting under orders from Major-General Hardee. Also Capt. Joshua Sledge, who was injured by a cannon-ball while carrying an order on Sunday; and Captain Coleman, who was of assistance at all times in bearing my orders to my brigade, frequently exposing himself to cross-fire; and Mr. Frank Foster, who during the whole action bore himself with the greatest coolness and bravery, rallying our troops, and by word [596] and example leading them to victory; also Lieut. S. Church, of the Third Mississippi Battalion, my acting brigade commissary, who while acting as aide on Monday had his horse killed under him.

It is my duty to the country to recommend for promotion, for great gallantry shown on the field of Shiloh on Sunday and Monday, Maj. John H. Kelly, of the Ninth Arkansas Battalion; also my acting assistant adjutant-general, Lieut. L. A. McClung, recently adjutant of the Seventh Alabama Regiment, who displayed a valor and discretion becoming the commander of a regiment. I recommend him to be made a captain in the Confederate States Army.

Captain Clare deserves to command a regiment, and I trust will shortly be honored with that trust, which he will keep.

The officers and men of my brigade fought well. Major Hardcastle's battalion fired the first shot in our army on the enemy, and we only left the field at the close of Monday's fight.

With great respect, your obedient servant,

S. A. M. Wood, Brig. Gen., Comdg. Third Brig., Hardee's Corps, Army of the Miss. Capt. T. B. Roy Assistant idjutant-General

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