No. 59.-report of Col. Hugh B. Reed, Forty-fourth Indiana Infantry.
Hdqrs. Forty-Fourth Indiana Volunteers, Pittsburg, Tenn., April 9, 1862.Sir: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by the Forty-fourth Regiment Indiana Volunteers in the actions of the 6th and 7th instant, near Pittsburg Tenn.: We left our encampment about 8 o'clock Sunday morning, with an effective force of 478 men, and marched forward to support General Prentiss' division which had been attacked by the enemy. We had gone but a short distance when we met his men retreating in much confusion. We proceeded about 1 mile, and took position in line of battle in rear of the camp lately occupied by him. We formed our line under fire from the enemy's battery, Colonel Cruft, Thirty-first Indiana, on our right; Lieutenant-Colonel Bristow, Twenty-fifth Kentucky, and Colonel McHenry, Seventeenth Kentucky, on our left. I sent forward First Lieutenant Wayne, Company D, and First Lieutenant Barton, Company B, each with part of their respective companies, as skirmishers in front of our line. They were soon driven in, and the whole line of the Forty-fourth and Thirty-first Indiana furiously assaulted bythe enemy, and as gallantly met, our men behaving in the coolest manner possible, loading and firing with the utmost rapidity. With so much zeal did they enter into it that the officers had only to watch the fight as a matter of interest, but not of duty. The enemy was driven off with immense loss. They were again rallied, and charged up to within a few rods of our line, and were again repulsed. You, general, were with us, and have since gone over the ground so gallantly contested and have witnessed how terribly destructive was our fire, the ground being literally strewn with their dead; but again he formed in column and charged over an open field on our left and in front of the Seventeenth and Twenty-fifth Kentucky, the gallant Colonel McHenry commanding who poured into his ranks a most terrific fire. I immediately wheeled two companies of my left wing to the left and opened upon his flank. His ranks were mown down at each fire, but still he pressed forward, and as bravely was he received. His front rank went down, leaving a line of dead across his front, when he retreated in good order. This ending the engagement here, you ordered us to the support of the line on our left, about half a mile distant, which had fallen back. We took position on the left of and supporting Willard's battery, which soon commenced playing upon the enemy, and we were soon charged upon in large force; and here was the most hotly-contested fight of the day, being in an open field, with the exception of a few scattering trees, the enemy far outnumbering us, and fighting with desperate courage, and his fire — was fearfully severe; but our officers and men behaved with heroic bravery, never for a moment swerving from their position,  pouring in our fire with the coolness of veterans and driving the enemy before them, but again and again with fresh troops they advanced to the charge. Our ammunition being expended, a part of a regiment was ordered up by you to take our place while our boxes were refilled. In a few minutes we again entered the fight, and charged forward far in advance of our former line. Our color-bearer and guard being either killed or wounded at almost the same moment, and two other brave men in succession being shot down and our flag riddled with balls, Lieutenant Newman, in command of Company H, bore it aloft, but soon fell, mortally wounded. It was again taken by our brave men and carried to the front, both officers and men rallying with heroic courage to its support. Captain Murray, Company B, Acting Capt. George Weamer, and Acting Lieut. Warren Banta, Company E, fell mortally wounded. Lieutenant Kinmont (acting captain), Company F, and Captain Cosgrove, Company D, were severely wounded. Space will not permit of my mentioning very many instances of personal bravery, nor is it necessary where all acted so nobly. By this time our cartridges were again expended. You ordered up the Thirty-first Indiana, which had occupied position as a reserve in our rear, to relieve us. We accordingly moved back in good order, and took position near a battery, by order of General Hurlbut. The enemy in tremendous force drove back our lines, when we again changed position to the right, by order of General Hurlbut. Soon after this you rejoined us, and at your suggestion I drew up in line across the road by which the enemy was advancing and opened fire upon him. We were here entirely unsupported, our friends having passed on. I moved my regiment by the right of companies to rear, and retired by the flank to the battery on the hill in our rear, where we again formed in line in support of battery. The enemy made his attack on our left. A fierce contest ensued, in which some of our men were engaged. Night coming on, the enemy withdrew. We advanced our line 150 paces to front of battery, and rested on our arms during the night. On Monday morning we were relieved by fresh troops. Our men, worn out, hungry, and drenched to the skin with the pelting storm (as General Hurlbut knows full well, having spent the night with us), having been for twenty-four hours without food or rest, a few hours were given them to prepare for the approaching battle. At about 10 o'clock you again called us into line, the Forty-fourth on the right wing. Our brigade, sadly reduced in numbers, but still ready for the fight, was put in march for the battle-field, and was led by you to the extreme right, to support General Sherman's division, where we arrived at a very opportune moment. We found the enemy charging upon and driving our forces to our left and front over cleared ground used as a drill ground by our troops. I immediately brought my regiment into line and opened fire on the enemy. Our charge took them by surprise. They immediately retreated to their right and rear. Colonel McHenry, bringing up the left wing of our brigade, charged forward in the thickest of the fight, the enemy slowly retreating and returning our fire their battery also opening upon us. We pursued them for over half a mile. Not knowing the position of our forces, I called a halt. At this moment, seeing General Sherman at a short distance, I rode to him and reported for orders. (You having had your horse shot under you, I was unable to find you.) General Sherman ordered me to not advance farther, but form our line where we were. Our men had become much scattered in the pursuit of the enemy, leaving  us but a small force; and fresh regiments coming up to our support-amongst them the gallant Thirtieth Indiana, Colonel Bass-the enemy were attacked with renewed energy, and after a fierce and bloody contest of half or three-quarters of an hour was repulsed and driven from the field. During the fight of Sunday and Monday my regiment fired over 160 rounds of cartridges to the man at the enemy. No men ever fought more bravely. Too high praise cannot be given them. Captain Murray and Lieutenant Barton, Company B; Lieutenant Newman, in command of Company H; Captain Tannehill and Lieu. tenant Grund, Company C; Captain Williams, Lieutenants Shoemaker and Carey, Company G; Captain Cosgrove and Lieutenant Wayne, Company D; Captain Aldrich, Lieutenants Wilson and Bennett, Company K; Acting Capt. George Weamer, Lieutenant McDonald, and Acting Lieut. Warren Banta, Company E; Lieutenant Kinmont, in command of Company F, and Acting Lieutenants Gunsenhouser and Kinmont, of same company; Lieutenant Hodges, in command of Company I, and Lieutenant Curtis, of same company; Lieut. Birge Smith, commanding, and Acting Lieutenant Ulam, Company A, were all in the thickest of the fight, and no men ever fought more heroically, and justly deserve mention. I am greatly indebted to Lieutenant-Colonel Stoughton for his valuable aid. There is no braver man. He had his horse shot under him, and was thrown with much force to the ground, in the fight of Monday. And to Acting Major Heath, captain of Company I, to whom too high praise cannot be given for his bravery and devotion to his duties. Adjutant Colgrove had his horse shot under him. Nor ought I to forget the bravery and devotion to their duties of our surgeons, Drs. Martin and Rerick; they were with the regiment at all times during the fight, caring for the wounded, and were exposed to the enemy's shot, and both were hit by balls. Lieutenant Wayne and John Frampton deserve mention for their devotion to our flag in Monday's fight. I cannot refrain, general, from giving expression to my admiration and bearing testimony to the noble .and heroic manner in which General Hurlbut and yourself exposed your lives in your constant and unwearied efforts. Each of you were at all times to be found at your posts directing the battle. No generals in my opinion, ever conducted a fight with more ability or displayed greater bravery. Our loss in these engagements is 34 killed, 177 wounded, and 1 taken prisoner (taken from hospital).1 [ am, general, very truly, your obedient servant,