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No. 8.-report of Capt. J. J. Anderson, Eighteenth Illinois Infantry.

Hdqrs. Eighteenth Regiment Illinois Volunteers, Pittsburg, Tenn. April 11, 1862.
Sir: I respectfully submit the following report of the part taken by the Eighteenth Regiment Illinois Volunteers in the action of the 6th and 7th instant:

Our position was assigned us on the left of the center of the First Brigade, First Division, the Thirteenth Iowa Volunteers on our right, the Eighth Illinois Volunteers on our left. We were marched to the left and rear of General McClernand's headquarters, and were fired upon by the rebel forces while marching by the left flank, by which we had several men wounded before our line of battle was formed. We gave the enemy a volley from the left flank, when they retired in disorder.

We retained our position here for some time, when the enemy advanced in force, and we were ordered to retire without giving the enemy a single volley. We retired, skirmishing a quarter of a mile, receiving a galling fire from the enemy, in which our commander, Maj. Samuel Eaton, fell badly wounded, and was carried from the field. At the same time Adjutant Heath received a severe wound. The command then devolved upon senior Capt. Daniel H. Brush, who was soon after severely wounded. The command now devolved upon myself, assisted by Capt. H. S. Wilson.

We were again moved to the right, where we were joined by Captain Dillon, of Company C, who had been absent on account of wo-mnds received at Fort Donelson. He received a shot in the head, killing him instantly; a brave and efficient officer.

We remained in this position some time, exposed to a galling fire of [129] canister from a rebel battery planted near General McClernand's headquarters. We were ordered to retire, and fell back about 1 mile. We again made a stand, with a battery (the First Missouri) in our rear. The rebels advanced in large force. A charge, ordered by General McClernand, and led by Assistant Adjutant-General Brayman with great gallantry, was made, in which charge the regiment participated, but being overpowered by superior numbers, was compelled to retire. Captain Reed, with his company (E) being detailed to assistinmanning a battery, by their efficient aid dealt destruction in the rebel ranks. The regiment retired to siege batteries in front of the landing, and formed a part of the advance line during the night.

On the morning of the 7th we fell in rear of General Crittenden's brigade, being in reserve. After the brigade, theEighth and Eighteenth Illinois, by command of Generals Boyle and Crittenden, gallantlycharged a rebel battery, capturing two 6-pounder brass field pieces, one of which Captain Reed loaded and brought to bear upon the retreating enemy, giving them three shots unassisted, which told with good effect. Being assisted by Captain Wilson and Lieutenants Flick and Davis, he fired 15 or 20 rounds into the retreating cavalry, for which they deserve the highest praise.

The officers and men of this regiment who remained with their colors acted in a manner becoming men and soldiers. I am sorry to say there were exceptions. William L. Cross, second lieutenant of Company D, absented himself from his company during the early part of the fight on the morning of the 6th of April, and, although informed of the position occupied by his company and regiment by a sergeant of his company, made no effort to rejoin it; neither did he make any effort to rally or encourage the stragglers to return to the help of their comrades. On the contrary, he permitted some of the members of his regiment to accompany him, and did not order them to return to the field. He did not rejoin his company or regiment until it returned from the field in pursuit of the enemy on the night of the 7th of April, when he was found in his company quarters unhurt. William M. Thompson, second lieutenant of Company F, acted in a similar manner, leaving the field on the morning of the 6th of April, and not rejoining his regiment during the two days fight. During his absence he said, “He would be damned if he would fight in such a cowardly regiment.” C. C. Weaver, first lieutenant Company B, left the field on the night of the 6th of April, and did not rejoin his regiment until our return to our quarters on the night of the 7th of April. Kelso, second lieutenant of Company A, ran behind a tree and was ordered from there by the commander of his company and by Captain Reed, of Company E, during the early part of the action. On the morning of the 6th of April he was again guilty of some unofficer-like conduct, and would not join his company when ordered to do so by his captain.

I respectfully submit their conduct to your action, hoping you will take immediate steps to bring them to rigid account for the manner in which they have acted.

Very respectfully,

J. J. Anderson, Captain, Comdg. Eighteenth Regiment Illinois Volunteers. Colonel Crooker. Commanding iirst Brigade.

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