No. 42.-report of Lieut. Col. Manning F. Force, Twentieth Ohio Infantry.
camp Shiloh, April 25, 1862.Captain: The Twentieth Ohio, under my command (Colonel Whittlesey commanding the brigade), arrived after dark from Adamsville at the camp of the Fifty-first Ohio near Pittsburg Landing. It was posted for the night on the northern slope of a ravine, and there lay on their arms in line of battle till morning. My picket, in taking post, encountered a mounted picket of the enemy, who hastily withdrew. Changing the position of the picket, at the beginning of dawn I went on the high land on the opposite side of the ravine with the lieutenant of the guard and there found one of the rebel pickets. Returning, the regiment took post as ordered by Colonel Whittlesey; Company D, Captain McElroy, was stationed in a log house outside of the extreme right and the other companies drawn in line in a slight hollow. The enemy promptly began fire with musketry and hollow shot, but soon ceased. The brigade then marched across the ravine in line; the Twentieth, on the left and in the rear as a reserve, advanced across an open field and into the woods, keeping to the right of the Second Brigade and at the extreme right of our army. Company A, Captain William Rogers, was sent in advance as skirmishers, and the brigade halted on the crest of a steep hill, where the enemy's guns, at 800 yards, opened an occasional fire upon us, but the men being kept lying down behind the crest, only one man (a private of Company K) was wounded. Under an order from Colonel Whittlesey bayonets were fixed and the regiment (with the Seventy-sixth) marched down the hill and along a valley filled with morass and almost impenetrable thicket toward the battery which had played upon us. This valley was evidently regarded as impracticable and as a sufficient defense. While in that position, however, some loud command drew attention and we were fired upon with spherical case shot. Only one (a private of company K) was wounded. The battery withdrew before we emerged upon high ground. Here we were halted near General Sherman's camp, while one of his brigades (Colonel Stuart's) filed by to take part in the very hot contest then raging in front. Company A, having taken two prisoners, here took its place in the battalion. Word coming to the brigade for assistance, we were marched by the flank to the right and then forward toward the firing. Just then, sharp firing suddenly breaking out still farther to the right, we were again marched by the flank to the right. Here, the Seventy-sixth being ordered to take place temporarily in  another brigade, the Twentieth continued alone. Approaching an open field and taking a prisoner, apparently stationed as a picket, a section of brass field pieces stationed there opened upon us with round shot and canister. The regiment marching steadily on with fixed bayonets, the enemy, after two or three rounds, limbered up and galloped off as we reached the inclosure. Captain William Rogers, of Company A, was struck in his shoulder and obliged to withdraw. No one else was struck. We were then ordered into the field, in order to take upon the flank a column of the enemy which was expected to retreat in that direction. While the battalion was here lying on the ground sharpshooters kept up a fire upon the field officers. I sent a detachment of Company A, who killed 1, captured 1, and dispersed the rest, and reported that the guns had withdrawn to a camp (camp of the Forty-sixth Ohio) and were then moving into a new position. The battalion was withdrawn from the field and ordered to lie flat upon the ground behind a three-railed fence. A severe and exceedingly well-aimed fire was opened upon u.s by the guns now placed in the woods across the open field. Muskets and bayonets at all exposed were bent and snapped off; my sword was struck, but the men were so well sheltered that but 1 was killed and 10 were wounded. The Twentieth forming the extreme right of the army and exposed to be flanked I changed front of the two right companies, making their right rest near a ravine at the rear and their left near the remainder of the battalion, and sent out a party of skirmishers and scouts, under command of First Lieutenant Ayres, now commanding Company A. This party sent in as prisoners 3 officers and 15 men. Three pieces of artillery brought up by Colonel Whittlesey putting an end to all contest at this quarter, the Twentieth took its place in the division, which was then formed into one line of battle, and thus advanced into the country some distance beyond the outer line of the encampment. Obtaining permission, I sent Company A, Lieutenant Ayres commanding, a mile in advance, to pick up stragglers of the enemy. He came upon a hospital filled with wounded rebels, attended by five rebel surgeons; saw a detachment of cavalry burning a large subsistence train, and was just deploying into the woods when he was recalled, in consequence of the order for the division to fall back within the lines for the night. One private slipped out of the ranks unobserved. With this excep tion every officer and man behaved admirably. Every order was executed as promptly and quietly as upon a parade ground. I can particularize only Maj. J. N. McElroy, for his valuable assistance in commanding the regiment, and First Lieut. L. N. Ayres, of Company A, for efficient service in handling skirmishers and scouts. A list of casualties and prisoners taken is appended.1 I am, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
M. F. Foroe. Assistant Adjutant-General, Third Brigade, Third Division.