Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Chapter XXII: Operations in Kentucky, Tennessee, North Mississippi, North Alabama, and Southwest Virginia. March 4-June 10, 1862.
Lieut. Col. Robert N. Scott, Ed.
Sir: On Sunday morning, April 6, an order was brought from Colonel Mersy (acting commander of the Second Brigade, Second Division), by his aide, about 8 o'clock a. m., ordering us to march at once, to guard the Purdy road at a designated point, about 2~ miles from the Pittsburg Landing.
The regiment, numbering for duty 450 officers and privates, was promptly formed and marched out, without rations or blankets, to the place assigned, and took position.
By this order the regiment was detached from its brigade, and not having any instructions as to where it (the brigade) was formed, was left under no brigade or division commander, hence was reported to Brigadier-General Sherman for orders.
Standing thus in line of battle for some twenty minutes we were able to rally to ours fragments of three regiments and form them on the left of our own. About 9 o'clock General Sherman ordered our regiment to the left of his division, to engage in the conflict then going on. As soon as we were in line we commenced firing and advancing.
We gradually gained ground that had been lost, but the enemy being constantly re-enforced by fresh troops obliged us to fall back with others to our first position.
During this engagement our regiment suffered severely, particularly in officers.
The lieutenant-colonel, adjutant, sergeant-major, two captains, and others wounded retired or were borne from the field.
The major also, who was struck, as he reports to me, on his breastplate (stunned, but not wounded), retired, leaving me alone, without a field or staff officer, and on foot, my horses having escaped.
Captain Haile, while rallying his men, was severely wounded.
Lieutenant-Colonel St. James was mortally wounded while in his place in line and has since died.
The officers and men did their whole duty, and had the regiment been supported we should have captured the battery which fired so destructively.
After advancing and falling back several times the regiment was forced to retire, with all the others there, to the road which crosses the Purdy road at right angles near General McArthur's headquarters.
We heretook up quarters for the night, bivouacking without fires, within 400 yards of our regimental camp.
The rain fell in torrents, and the men, lying in water and mud, were as weary in the morning as they had been the evening before.
In the morning the regiment was advanced in line of battle towards their former position.
This regiment, by order of General McClernand, was detached and detained to support a battery of two pieces which were placed under the command of the undersigned, and the fact of detention reported to General Sherman.
We were to retain our position in the ravine until further ordered.
Shortly after an order came to the commanding officer of the battery from General McClernand to
advance to the brow of a hill some distance off. A regiment of the same brigade was placed to sustain it, and this regiment (Thirteenth Missouri) proceeded to regain General Sherman's line.
After regaining this line we lay immediately behind our batteries, firing on the enemy and receiving his fire, killing many in range.
We were ordered into line of battle and to advance on the left.
The regiment went forward under a heavy fire and itself firing as rapidly as possible.
The colors were advanced by Captain Wright from time to time some hundred yards, and the regiment moved forward to support them.
A sergeant, one of the color-bearers, was shot down, and Sergeant Beam, of Company C, seized them before they had touched the ground and advanced them farther.
When the colors had thus been advanced from time to time an entire distance of about one-half mile, the enemy retreating and had reached a position several hundred yards in front unsupported, the ammunition of the command failed, and could not be supplied.
I then ordered Lieutenant Kesner, of Company B, forward to command Captain Wright to advance the colors no farther, as he could not be supported, the regiment having no ammunition, and not being in strength sufficient to charge.
In executing this order the lieutenant was wounded in the head.
We fell back for ammunition behind full regiments in line in our rear, sending word why to the regiments in our rear.
On obtaining a supply of ammunition the regiment was again advanced, but no more engagements took place after that, the enemy having retired.
The regiment bivouacked on the ground in advance without cover, lying in the rain and mud a second night.
Tuesday morning we returned exhausted to our camp and brigade.
During these two days the men of the command were utterly exhausted, and the killed and wounded are as follows.1Crafts J. Wright, Colonel, Commanding Thirteenth Missouri Volunteers.
Brig. Ge. e Wlliam T. Sherman. [Indorsement.] This regiment did not belong to my command, and its dead and wounded are not counted in the loss of my division; but it was actually under my command a part of Sunday, all day on Monday, and until it returned to camp on Tuesday, and in my report I acknowledge the valuable service rendered.
I am anxious that this regiment shall have credit for gallantry on two special occasions when the battle was hottest on Sunday and Monday.
Colonel does not overstate the truth in his description of his advance on Monday, as I was close by. His advance was as rapid as was prudent until the arrival abreast of us of Buell's forces.
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