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No. 229.-report of Col. John A. Wharton, Texas Rangers (unattached).

headquarters Texas Rangebs, Camp Beauregard, Corinth, Miss., April 12, 1862.
I have to report that, being left by General Beauregard to protect the left flank of the army, I proceeded on Sunday, the 6th instant, to the bridge across Owl Creek, near Hurly's, on the Purdy and Pittsburg road, where I halted my command, and dispatched Clinton Terry, esq., and J. M. Weston to General Beauregard to acquaint him with my position and to receive orders to control my future movements. I received through my messengers an order to cross Owl Creek and co-operate with the left of the army.

I passed over the bridge at 11 a. m. on Sunday, the 6th instant, and reported to General Hardee, who was in immediate command of the left. I was ordered to dismoulnt the Rangers and protect a battery then opening upon the enemy. This was promptly done. The enemy apparently retired, and General Hardee ordered me to pursue them and intercept their retreat. Mounting the command, I promptly proceeded in the direction of what I supposed to be the fleeing enemy. I had not gone over 300 yards when the head of the column received a heavy fire from a large force of the enemy, who lay in ambush. Having been compelled to cross a very boggy ravine in single file, the rear of the regiment was full 400 yards off when myself and 20 or 30 of those in advance wereunder a very heavy fire from a concealed foenot 40 yards distant. It being impossible, from the nature of the ground either to bring up the strength of the command or to form for a charge, I drew off the regiment in good order some 200 yards and formed it, having determined to dismount and fight the foe upon foot. Before this could be executed the infantry, which had been in our rear, was ordered forward, and after a very severe struggle succeeded in driving the enemy back. I then proceeded with the command to our extreme left, where I had discovered a battery without any support. After consultation with the officer in command of the battery, I determined to dismount the command and advance upon the enemy, who were at that time annoying the battery by a scattering fire. Having dismounted five companies, I threw them forward as skirmishers. The men behaved most gallantly and advanced upon the enemy in fine style, driving them before them through the camp which they were defending.

Soon after this the day closed, and I encamped upon the extreme left, near the battery which I had just been sustaining. Having thrown out a heavy picket in the direction of the enemy, the command lay upon their arms during the night, prepared for action on the morrow.

Monday, April 7.-The left flank of the army, with which my command was co-operating, fell back soon after daylight under an advance of the enemy.

At about 10 a. m. General Beauregard ordered me to charge the right of the enemy, which was pressing our left heavily. I proceeded with promptness to execute the order, if possible; to attempt it at all hazards. I was compelled, in order to reach a position to attack the right of the enemy, to pass by file through the woods down the sides of a ravine. This threw the head of the regiment 400 yards in advance of the rear. I had selected the ground upon which to form for the purpose of charging the right of the enemy, which was stationed in the woods, engaged in a severe struggle with our left Upon rising an eminence that commanded [627] a view of the ground upon which I expected to form, I found it occupied by the reserve of the enemy, full two regiments strong, advancing in line of battle. These troops were not engaged. As the head of the regiment, marching necessarily by file, with myself at its head, rose the eminence the enemy opened a very disastrous fire upon us, killing and wounding many and disabling my horse. I attempted to engage the enemy until the rear could arrive, but found that I was sacrificing the lives of my men, fighting 30 men against at least a regiment, with the advantage of position, and with no prospect but that the men would all be killed as they came in view, as they could only advance by file. I withdrew the command a short distance, dismounting the entire regiment, and advanced upon the enemy as skirmishers. I promptly advised General Beauregard of the position of the enemy's reserve, and that my command was fighting them upon foot. While thus engaged the left of our army fell back upon Shiloh Church, and I then withdrew the skirmishers and retired to a position near our infantry. Had it not been for the reserve of the enemy I feel assured that I could have formed and have successfully charged the rear of the enemy.

I then received an order from General Beauregard to move to the right of our army and protect its retreat. This was done, after detaching two companies to sustain a battery and another for scouting purposes.

I maintained a position next to Lick Creek until night-fall, and then encamped in rear of the entire army, throwing out pickets in connection with Colonels Adams, Forrest, and Lindsay.

On Tuesday morning my wound became so painful, having been in the saddle for two days after it was received, that I determined to report myself at Corinth. Turning over the command to Major Harrison, I accordingly proceeded to this place.

I respectfully refer you to Major Harrison's report of a brilliant charge, gallantly led by himself, upon the enemy's cavalry and infantry on Tuesday evening. The nature of the ground rendered a charge practicable, and the men and officers behaved with great courage.

I regret exceedingly that the face of the country deprived the Rangers from charging the enemy with effect during Sunday and Monday. I feel satisfied that we engaged the enemy with great success when the command fought them as skirmishers. I feel great pride in saying that not even when ambuscaded or when fighting at the odds of sixty to one did the men fall back until ordered by myself to do so, and that they always formed with great alacrity.

Below I submit a statement of the killed and wounded.

The regiment remained in rear of the army until the 10th instant, when it was ordered to the encampment at this place by General Beauregard.

Killed, Lieutenant Lowe, Company A, and 6 privates. Missing, 4 privates. Wounded, Col. John A. Wharton, slightly; Clinton Terry, volunteer aide, severely; Capt. B. T. King, Company A, arm broken; Capt. M. L. Rayburn, Company E, arm broken; Second Lieut. M. L. Gerom, severely; Capt. G. Cooke, Company H, slightly, and 50 noncommissioned officers and privates. Total killed, wounded, and missing, 66. Horses killed, 56.

I have the honor to remain, your obedient servant,

Jno. A. Wharton, Colonel, Commanding Texas Rangers. Col. Thomas Jordan, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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