previous next

No. 48.-report of Maj. John Warner, Forty-first Illinois Infantry.

Hdqrs. Forty-First Regiment Illinois Vols., Camp, Pittsburg, Tenn., April 9, 1862.
I have the honor to submit the following report of the conduct and actions of the Forty-first Regiment Illinois Volunteers at Pittsburg on the 6th and 7th instant:

1st. On the 6th, at about 7.30 o'clock a. m., the regiment was formed into line by Col. I. C. Pugh, commanding, and was marched to the scene of action, a distance of about 1 mile, where it was thrown into line of battle on the left wing, at which point the first volley of musketry was received from the enemy at about 9 o'clock a. m. The enemy showing a disposition to flank us upon our left, Colonel Pugh ordered us to fall back a distance of about 100 paces, assuming a new position.

2d. About this time, perhaps 9.30 o'clock a. m., Col. I. C. Pugh took command of the brigade, Colonel Williams having been disabled by the concussion of a cannon-ball, and Lieut. Col. Ansel Tupper assumed the command of the regiment. A line of battle was then established by Colonel Tupper on a very favorable piece of ground a few paces in the rear of and almost at right angles with the previously-established lines, where the enemy commenced pouring in their deadly fire upon us at about 10 o'clock a. m., which was returned with all the coolness and bravery ever exhibited by any soldiers for the period of about two hours and a half.

3d. At about 11.30 o'clock a. m., and after the firing had continued [218] unceasingly for about one hour and a half, the enemy again began to show himself upon our left flank, sending deadly volleys along our line. Our men, notwithstanding, showed not the slightest disposition to yield, and with almost superhuman efforts continued to return the fire until the last cartridge became exhausted. Lieutenant-Colonel Tupper having fallen by the effect of a musket-ball, which passed through his temples, and the command having devolved upon myself, I made the condition of our guns and ammunition known to General Hurlbut, commanding division, who ordered the withdrawal of our regiment; in obedience to which I withdrew the regiment, amidst showers of musketry, shot, and shell, in the most perfect order, carrying with us all of our wounded and some of the dead.

4th. After repairing guns and filling cartridge boxes, in obedience to orders I formed a line in rear of our large guns, and from thence moved the regiment to the right in support of Taylor's battery, where we continued in line, amidst the most terrific showering of canister, shot, and shell, until some time after dark, when the firing ceased, and the regiment went into bivouac until Monday morning, the 7th, in command of Captain Nale, ranking captain present. In consequence of extreme exhaustion, not having taken any nourishment for three days, and having been confined to my bed one-half of the time for ten days previously, I left the regiment at 9 o'clock p. m. and repaired to the boatlanding for repose.

5th. On Monday morning, at 8 o'clock, the regiment was moved to the support of the right flank, engaged the enemy, and drove him back, where it remained in position until 4 o'clock p. m., when, in obedience to orders, we went into quarters.

I am happy in being able to bear testimony to the gallant conduct and unflinching firmness of the officers and men of the Forty-first regiment while under fire. When the last cartridge was hurled and while under their most galling flank fire the Forty-first, notwithstanding, stood their ground until they were ordered from the field. The brave Lieutenant-Colonel Tupper has fallen, and he died as heroically as ever died the brave. During the morning of the 6th he cheerfully exposed himself to danger that he might ascertain the more certainly the true position of the enemy, and, having done this, seemed anxious only to secure the safest and most effective position of the regiment, the command of which devolved upon him at the time by the absence of Colonel Pugh, who had command of the brigade. During the engagement he rode along the line several times, cheering his men and infusing his own spirit into the troops, which he succeeded in doing most effectually, aswas shown bythe bravery and coolness ofthe noble Forty-first. From the moment he was stricken down by the swift-winged messenger of death up to the time he breathed his last he was in a state of entire unconsciousness. Captains Oglesby and Huffer, who both fell near the same time, died, as brave men, at their posts. In the death of these three officers the regiment has sustained a very great loss.1

Very respectfully, I am, your obedient servant,

John Warner, Major, Commanding Forty-first Illinois Volunteers. M. F. Kanan Actg. Asst. Adjt. Gen., First Brig., Fourth Div., Army of the Tenn.

1 Nominal list omitted; but see revised statement, p. 103.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: