No. 51.-report of Col. Cyrus Hall, Fourteenth Illinois Infantry.
Hdqrs. Fourteenth Regiment Illinois Vols., Camp near Pittsburg Landing, Tenn., April 10, 1862.Sir: I have the honor to report to you as follows: On Sunday morning, the 6th instant, I was ordered to follow the Forty-sixth Illinois, Colonel Davis, which I did until he formed in line on the right of Burrows' battery. I then formed my regiment immediately upon the left of the battery, supposing our line a series of supports to some column in advance. I ordered my men to lie down, conceal themselves as much as possible, and await orders. Very soon, however, I saw the enemy advancing as skirmishers, and ordered my men to fire. After a very few volleys had been delivered I saw a line of men dressed in blue uniforms in front. Fearing that they were our own forces I gave the order to cease firing, which was obeyed. The artillery was suffering very much at this time. The horses became restive and gave way to the rear, breaking the lines of Company A, who fell back a considerable distance, and were soon joined by other companies of my right wing. The left remaining formed, I rallied those companies and led them again to the line, and engaged the enemy in front, who were quite near us. In this rally I received the prompt aid of my field officers, adjutant, and sergeant-major, as well as many of the line officers. This position we maintained for a time, receiving a destructive fire from the enemy; but seeing that the right had fallen back, and that we were being outflanked by an overwhelming force, I caused my command to fall back and take position upon the road, forming part of a line of battle already in position. This was effected, under the circumstances, in very good order. This position was soon assailed by the enemy with artillery and infantry, who were pouring in upon the road in front of our right wing. The work was hot, but well sustained on our part. The enemy was observed to be retreating. My command now commenced advancing, thinking all was going well, when we were assailed upon our left flank, under the cover of heavy underbrush, by an overwhelming number, who poured upon us a most murderous fire, killing and wounding a large number of my men and officers. Seeing it was folly to attempt to hold a position thus exposed, unsupported on the left, being rapidly outflanked, I gave the order to retire, which we did in rather bad order amid the confusion of the moment, but succeeded in rallying a part of my command in a ravine to the rear, where I found Major Foster rallying the Twenty-fifth Indiana. We then moved back together, took a position, and awaited orders. Soon after this we were ordered into position  on a commanding eminence in the vicinity of the encampment of the Fifteenth Illinois. The enemy not showing himself, we were ordered forward to form upon a line with the Fifty-second Illinois-perhaps a part of General McClernand's command. After remaining in this position for a time, keeping skirmishers out the while, we were again ordered back to our former position, but owing to the din of battle part of three right companies failed to hear the order, and remained with the Fifty-second Illinois, and did good service, I learn, acting as skirmishers for General McClernand until late in the evening, when they again joined me. We were again ordered to take position on the left of the Twenty-eighth Indiana, who seemed to be forming upon General McClernand's left, who were forming a new line of battle a little to the rear. We were in line in a very few minutes, when I thought they were flanking us, which intelligence I communicated to my immediate commander, who ordered me to make a movement to the left, with a view to defeat them. The movement was executed handsomely by my men, who deployed as skirmishers, and were making themselves felt in that immediate vicinity, when a heavy column of rebels poured in upon our rear, raking us with a heavy cross-fire and threatening to cut off our retreat entirely. I again gave the order to fall back, which was being executed in good order until we were run into by the retreating artillery, cavalry, and rabble, which very much scattered my command; but by the vigilance of my officers, who rendered me all the assistance in their power, a large portion of the effective men were rallied and formed in line upon the left of the Seventh Illinois, which was in line upon the left of the heavy siege battery. Upon the road near this point we spent the night, wet, weary, and hungry; but no complaint escaped the mouth of any officer or soldier, many of whom had received wounds during the day, but refused to quit the field. Monday morning, April 7, we were held in reserve until late in the day, when we were ordered forward to relieve a portion of General Buell's forces, who were hard pressed. The force we were to oppose was composed of cavalry and infantry in considerable numbers, and an open field was to be passed before we could get in reach of their forces. When we entered this I ordered my command to cross it in double-quick, which they did, raising a yell of defiance at the same time, which was taken up by the noble Hoosiers and Suckers on either side of us. After a sharp contest of a few moments' duration the rebels fled, leaving us master of the field. We preserved our lines, threw out skirmishers, and awaited orders. General Grant ordered me to advance, feel my way cautiously, and engage the enemy wherever I might find him. I communicated the order to those on the right and left of me and advanced for some distance, when my skirmishers communicated the intelligence that a six-gun battery was in advance. I ordered a close reconnaissance to be made, and posted my men near the brow of a hill, where grape shot could not reach them, and was awaiting further developments, when, to my surprise, Colonel Hines, Fifty-seventh Indiana, was ordered to fall back, leaving me alone with the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Illinois Regiments. I was still awaiting the return of some of my scouts, when General Buell ordered me to fall back also, which I did, bringing the men off in good order. I then formed upon the Twenty-fifth Indiana and awaited orders, which soon came, permitting us at once to return to our encampment. Capts. Dudley C. Smith, Company B; Thomas J. Bryant, Company  D; John W. Meacham, Company I; Andrew Simpson, Company H; Lieuts. Charles Opitz, Company A; George A. Poteet and George Wright, Company B; David N. Hamilton, Company C, and Thomas H. Simmons, Company F, were all wounded on Sunday morning, while bravely and gallantly leading and encouraging their men. Lieut. Col. William Cam, Maj. Jonathan Morris, Adjt. Robert P. McKnight, Sergt. Maj. Henry M. Peden, also Dr. Stephenson, all proved themselves gallant, brave, and indefatigable officers. Of the line officers I feel it my duty to mention the following ~ having distinguished themselves on numerous occasions during the battle: Capts. Augustus F. Cornman, of Company C; John F. Nolte, of Company A; Frederick Mead, of Company E; Milton S. Littlefield, of Company F; William M. Strong, of Company K; Lieuts. William E. Eastham, of Company C; Carlos C. Cox, of Company D; William Mason, of Company K; L. W. Coe, of Company I; Adam Smith, of Company G; --Gillespie, of Company E, and Erasmus W. Ward, of Company I. Many of the non-commissioned officers and privates distinguished themselves for bravery and daring in the face of the enemy, but the space allotted me will not permit me to mention them by name.1 I have the honor, sir, to be, your humble, obedient servant,