No. 227.-report of Col. John D. Martin, Second Confederate Infantry commanding, Second Brigade.
Headquarters BOWEiS Brigade, Corinth, Miss., April 14, 1862.Sir: I have the honor respectfully to report that on Sunday morning, the 6th instant, under your command, my regiment, with other regiments of your brigade, were at daylight ordered to the anticipated battle-field. After a march of 2 miles our knapsacks, &c., were left. Soon after again reaching the road the roar of artillery broke upon the ear. We were then ordered to the scene of action at double-quick for nearly 2 miles, when the scene of battle lay before and below us. We were here formed in line of battle, the First Missouri and my regiment in front and the Ninth and Tenth Arkansas Regiments in the rear. We were led by General A. S. Johnston, who told us a few more charges and the day was ours. He halted in 200 or 300 yards, and told us to charge ahead; the enemy were before us. The Missouri and my regiment, after crossing a deep ravine, halted for a few minutes to await your arrival. When General Withers rode up and ordered us forward the enemy were near in force. After a march of 200 yards we reached a skirt of woods, and a brisk fire was opened upon us by the skirmishers of the enemy. Finding they were picking off our men, having  lost 4 or 5 in killed an I wounded, an advance was ordered, and we immediatell crossed a deep ravine, driving their skirmishers before us. On reaching the top of a hill we were received with a destructive volley, killing and wounding about 12 of my men. Simultaneously we returned their fire and charged ahead; they fled in confusion. We killed and wounded many. We pursued for 200 or 300 yards and halted. At this point General Breckinridge came up, whose noble appearance and gallant bearing inspired the men with the utmost enthusiasm. He ordered my regiment to wheel to the left and march upon the enemy. After a march of 400 or 500 yards, to where the ravine was expanded and shallow upon turning to the right and marching to the brow of the hill we discovered the enemy in very large force, with artillery supported by infantry, his right resting on his encampment. I afterward learned that this was Prentiss' brigade. They poured upon us a most destructive fire, which we returned with coolness, promptness, and destructive effect. Here fell Captain Davis mortally wounded and Sergeant-Major White shot dead, than whom two nobler, braver spirits never offered up life upon the altar of freedom. Here also Lieutenant-Colonel McGehee, while gallantly encouraging his regiment, without regard to his personal exposure, was severely wounded. Captain Snodgrass and Lieutenants Murray and Patterson were wounded, all acting gallantly. At this point we lost about 100 men, and would have been annihilated had not the enemy greatly overshot us. We were supported on the left by the First Missouri and a Louisiana Regiment. After fighting for two hours the enemy fell back in good order. The regiment being entirely out of ammunition, we fell back to the camp of the enemy, which had just been left, and found a bountiful supply. I was here informed by a portion of the Tenth Arkansas Regiment that General Bowen was wounded. This was about 4 p. m. I immediately assumed command of the brigade, moved to the left and front, and formed the whole brigade in line of battle, and moved toward the river. When within 300 or 400 yards of the river the enemy opened on us with their gunboats and two batteries in position near the river bank, which sounded terribly and looked ugly and hurt but few. Our men began to discover this fact. Being now nearly night, I fell back, by an order from General Bragg, to the first encampment in the tents farthest from the river, where we staid all night, feasting upon the stores of the enemy, visited occasionally by a shell from their gunboats. Major-General Hardee and General Withers came to our encampment, where they remained all night. The brigade was aroused in the morning at daylight, and immediately formed in line of battle and marched the road toward the river. When opposite the last tents in their encampment the skirmishers opened on us. 1 ordered the brigade to fall back about 50 yards from the road, under cover of the hill and a skirt of woods, where a good line of battle was formed. General Hardee now rode forward, ordered a charge, and most gallantly led, amid a shower of bullets and cannonballs. Our men cheered and rushed forward. The enemy fled in confusion. Our men pursued entirely across an old field, killing and wounding many, leaving five pieces — of their artillery in our hands. Major Mangum (to whom I had, with the utmost confidence, from his previous general bearing, turned over the command of the Second Confederate Regiment) gallantly led the charge.  We here made three different charges upon the enemy, driving them back every time. Here, noticing a large force of the enemy flanking us on the right, I ordered the brigade to fall back, which we did, to the Bark road. Proceeding to the first encampment, we replenished our ammunition. I here besought the brigade to again drive back the ruthless enemy of our freedom. With a triumphant cheer they moved on. When we had advanced about 200 yards we met cavalry in the lead, artillery next, and infantry last, fleeing in panic and perfect confusion. The brigade, by order, laid down in the ravine. By the heroic exertions and cool determination of the field and staff officers they remained perfectly steady until the masses had passed by them. The enemy pursued to within 100 yards of our line. Our brigade rose, advanced about 30 paces, and poured a deadly and effective volley into them. We then charged on them, driving them in confusion before us, recapturing two pieces of the Washington Artillery and capturing five of the enemy's pieces, and pursuing them to within 300 yards of the river bank. After remaining a few minutes, with no enemy in sight, upon looking to the right a large force of the enemy was seen flanking us. It was in this charge that I had my second horse wounded. I ordered the brigade to fall back to the left and rear, and took position on the brow of the hill. From here, under the eye and orders of Major-General Hardee, who inspired every confidence, twice again we drove back the legions of the enemy. This was within 400 or 500 yards of the river, on the Bark road, the enemy disappearing under the river bank each time they were driven back and we falling back under cover of the hill. They making their appearance at three different points, we sallied upon them. I think they concluded we had 5,000 instead of 1,100 men, and gave up taking the Bark road, they not knowing it was the same troops charging on them each time from the ravine under the hill. From here we again advanced to an old field, but met no enemy. We laid down in ambush in a line with the fence until orders were, coming from General Hardee, to fall back on the Bark road, and deploy the brigade on each side to protect the falling back of the artillery infantry, &c. We then left the field, with no enemy between us and the river, as far as could be seen. This ended the action with the brigade. Where all acted so gallantly I do not like to make distinctions, but deem it my duty to mention the cool courage and self-possession of Colonels Dunlop and Merrick, Lieutenant-Colonel Riley, Major Mangum, Captain Edmonson, and many of the officers of the First Missouri Regiment, and refer with pride to the cool, daring courage of Captains Ray, Rayburn, Bowen, and Taylor; Lieutenants Talbert, Mobley, and Adjutant Donelson; Sergeant Henwood and Private A. S. Pass. Sergt. McGehee Dandridge fell, shot dead, on the last charge, having heroically performed his duty on both days of the 6th and 7th. The accompanying report of the two artillery companies in the brigade are referred to for the part taken by them in the action. For aggregate number carried into action by each regiment of the brigade, the number killed and wounded, reference is made to the annexed statement.1  I cannot even imagine men acting more gallantly than your whole brigade during the time I had the honor to command them. Your efficiency as an officer, in training and disciplining the brigade, enabled the officers commanding to do most glorious and effective service. I have the honor to respectfully submit the above. Your obedient servant,