No. 47.-report of Capt. Alfred O. Campbell, Thirty-second Illinois Infantry.
Pittsburg Landing, April 12, 1862.Dear sir: Inclosed please find list of killed, wounded, and missing.1 I will avail myself of this opportunity to give you a correct statement of things that happened on the battle-field after our order to go to the left (as to what happened before there is no dispute). I was ordered there by our colonel, who led the way in person to the hollow, where we had the severest part of the action, in which I participated. We fought there until ordered to leave by the colonel in person; then I moved off with my company in as good order as the nature of the case would admit, and can say that a large part of the regiment could have been rallied anywhere, from 200 yards of our position to our quarters, (where all assembled), if we had had only one field officer to have directed the movement. I will also state that my men had shot away all their ammunition and in several instances had robbed the boxes of the dead and wounded. Had we not have been compelled by the enemy to fall back, we could not have held our position longer for want of ammunition. After my arrival in camp I beat towards the river with all my company, all that was not detached to take care of the wounded. When we arrived at the guard I was pleased, for that was the first thing I had seen that looked like a place to stop; here I stopped with my squad, and with others formed and joined other fragments of regiments and marched to the right, where we lay on our arms all night; the next morning I picked up until I had 16 men and my first lieutenant, and with Captain Davidson (our senior captain) reported to you for duty; as to what occurred after this, you know as well as I do. I have only to add that I went into the action with 54 men and 3 officers; lost, in killed, wounded, and missing 1 lieutenant and 30 men, leaving only 24 to fight and take care of the wounded. And let me be whatever you please to call me, I will say that a braver or better behaved company of men never lived on this continent. You may stigmatize me as a coward, but please make an exception of the brave men under my command. I am getting old and my fighting time is almost done, consequently it makes but little difference about me. I have a son and neighbor in this action that their parent never expected to be disgraced under my command. I also wear a sword presented to me by an aged soldier father, who is still living to look over the history of the Thirty-second Regiment Illinois Volunteers. What I say of my conduct I suppose to be true of other commanders of companies. I ask of you  the favor to appoint a committee, and with Colonels Pugh and Johnson to examine the battle-field, and obtain such evidence of our conduct as may be had before you make report that will forever ruin us. I fear there is a mistake somewhere, and that you have not been thoroughly informed. It is possible that some one wants an excuse for retiring, and would like to lay it on somebody. From some things you said I am led to believe that Colonel Johnson has had something to do with this thing. We are ready to compare notes at any time. He is the man that caused us to be placed so far to the left that there was no support left us; there was no support right or left in reach, and Johnson withdrew his troops as soon as he was posted, and the men in front of us broke and retreated through our lines, and still there was nothing like retreating without orders. And now allow me to say, to take everything into consideration, I believe the Thirty-second behaved as well or better than any other regiment on the field that I have heard of. I have only to add that I expect never to behave better in action while 1 live, and never expect a better set of companies; consequently you need not expect any better work of the Thirty-second than they have done. Yours, with much respect, &c.,