No. 11.-report of Col. O. Carroll Marsh, Twentieth Illinois Infantry, commanding Second Brigade.
headquarters Second Brigade, First Division, Pittsburg, Tenn., April 10, 1862.Sir: I have the honor to submit the following report of the movements of my command during the engagement of the 6th and 7th instant: My brigade consisted of the Eleventh Illinois Infantry, Lieut. Col. T. E. G. Ransom commanding; the Twentieth Illinois Infantry, Lieut. Col. E. Richards commanding; the Forty-eighth Illinois Infantry, Col. Isham N. Haynie commanding, and the Forty-fifth Illinois Infantry, Col. John E. Smith commanding. By an order from the general commanding the district the artillery and cavalry heretofore attached to the brigade were removed on the 5th instant. All the regiments in my brigade, having suffered more or less severely at the battle of Donelson, were reduced in numbers, so that though nominally'a full brigade, I took into action but 1,514, officers and men. On Sunday morning, the 6th instant, a little before 7 o'clock, I heard considerable musketry on the left of our line. This continuing without material interruption for some time, I ordered regimental commanders to be in readiness to form. In a few moments I received an order from Major-General McClernand to form the brigade. Soon after forming I was ordered to the support of General Sherman, who was reported to have been attacked by a very superior force. Moving rapidly to the left I was assigned a position by General McClernand, which I had scarcely assumed when the enemy were seen approaching in large force and fine style, column after column moving on us with a steadiness and precision which I had scarcely anticipated. General McClernand then ordered forward a battery (Burrows') to the center of the brigade, which had not fairly taken position when the enemy opened on us with a most terrible and deadly fire, unequaled by any which we were under during the subsequent engagements of the day and Monday. During the first five minutes I lost more in killed and wounded than in all the other actions. Lieutenant-Colonel Ransom and Major Nevins, of the Eleventh, Major Bartleson, of the Twentieth, Colonel Haynie and Lieutenant-Colonel Sanford, of the Forty-eighth, with numerous officers of the line, were here wounded. The effect of losing so many field officers so suddenly was soon felt, the Forty-eighth yielding first, soon followed by the other regiments of the brigade. In spite of my efforts to compel them to stand they fell back, and with a precipitancy as mortifying as it was unusual, and only to be accounted for by the loss of so many of their officers; for in all subsequent engagements in which we took part their conduct was such as to meet my hearty approval. Moving a short distance to the rear, I succeeded in rallying the remnant of the Eleventh, Twentieth, and Forty-eighth. Here Lieutenant- Colonel Ransom, of the Eleventh, who had been severely wounded in the head, having had his wound slightly dressed, took command of his regiment. Here, too, portions of the Seventeenth, Major Smith commanding, and the Forty-ninth, Lieutenant-Colonel Pease commanding, of the Third Brigade, united with me. In a few moments I received orders to move forward to the support of Taylor's battery, planted in front of the line of the First Brigade camp. This I did, forming on the left of the First Brigade. Moving forward with them, and in face of a  severe fire, we succeeded in slowly driving back the enemy for half a mile to the extreme left of my own camp, silencing a section of artillery planted in rear of General McClernand's quarters, killing all the horses on both guns and caissons. The enemy being heavily re-enforced and my ammunition running short, I was forced to fall back without bringing off the guns, but on regaining possession of our camp on Monday morning the guns were found in the same position, and are now in our possession. During this attack Lieutenant-Colonel Richards, commanding the Twentieth Illinois, was wounded. Fresh troops of ours having passed to the front, I equalized the ammunition of my command, and again moved forward joined by the Forty-fifth, of my brigade, and engaged the enemy till I had exhausted all my cartridges. At this time, my command having been reduced to a merely nominal one, I received orders to fall a short distance to the rear and form a new line, detaining all stragglers, portions of commands, and commands which should attempt to pass. In obedience to this, though with some difficulty as regarded portions of some commands, whose officers seemed little inclined to halt short of the river (this was particularly the case with the Thirteenth Missouri, whose colonel refused to remain till threatened with arrest), I had gathered quite a force, and formed a line near the camp of the Second Division, concealing my men in the timber, facing an open field. I here requested Colonel Davis, of the Forty-sixth Illinois Infantry, to take position on my right. He promptly and cheerfully responded. I. shall have further occasion to mention the gallant conduct of this officer in the course of my report. Having formed my line, I obtained at once supplies of ammunition and provisions. In a short time General McClernand, with portions of the First and Third Brigades of his own division, and two regiments of Ohio troops, came up and formed on the left of the line I had already established. The enemy's infantry soon approached our front to a short distance beyond the open field before mentioned and their cavalry were hovering upon the hills in our front. General McClernand then ordered forward a battery to the turn of a road near the center of our line, and opened upon the enemy. This was soon replied to by one of their batteries. For some time during the shelling my men lay on the ground in line of battle, and little damage was done by their artillery which soon ceased. During this fire Adjt. J. E. Thompson, of the Twentieth Illinois Infantry, acting as my aide, was killed, and one of my orderlies had his horse shot under him. These are the only casualties that came under my observation. Shortly after this a severe cannonading was commenced on the extreme left, which continued uninterruptedly till darkness ended the fight for the day. Being notified that we would hold this position during the night, I threw out a large party of skirmishers, and instructed my command to lay on their arms in line, to be ready for any emergency that might occur. Wearied with the several struggles of the day they gladly seized this opportunity for a little rest, but a drenching rain soon setting in prevented much sleep. Their hardships, however, were borne with exemplary patience. At daylight on Monday morning the men in line were supplied with some provisions. While this was being done firing opened on our right, afterwards ascertained to come from a portion of General Lewis  Wallace's command. Directly afterwards firing commenced to our left and front, both artillery and musketry, supposed by me to be a portion of General Buell's command, who I had been informed during the night had taken position on our left and considerably in advance. I now received orders from General McClernand to throw out skirmishers and follow with my whole command. This I did in the following order: The Forty-sixth Illinois Infantry on the right, joined in succession by the remnants of the Forty-eighth, Twentieth, Seventeenth, Forty-ninth, Forty-third, Forty-fifth Illinois, and the Fifty-third and a portion of one other Ohio regiment on the extreme left of the line. Moving steadily forward for half a mile I discovered a movement of troops on the hill, nearly a quarter of a mile in front. Dispatching scouts to ascertain who they were, they were met by a message from Colonel Smith, commanding a brigade of the Third Division, informing me that he would take position on the right and wait my coming up. Meantime a section of McAllister's battery had been brought forward to the hill in our rear, and threw a few shells on the hills in advance as feelers. Moving on, I halted the line on the hill immediately in rear of the camp of the First Brigade of our own division. From here the rebels were seen moving through the timber opposite the parade ground in considerable force. As soon as possible two 24-pounders were brought up the hill and opened fire on them. Soon after a battery on the left of General Lewis Wallace's division also opened. Both batteries were replied to, and a sharp cannonading kept up for some time. During this firing a junction was made with the troops of General Hurlbut on our left, and I received orders to move obliquely across the field to the timber opposite. Crossing this field, in pursuance of orders, I took my position on the edge of the timber, receiving very little annoyance from the enemy in crossing. It was my desire here to charge and capture the batteries that had been annoying us, but when about to give the necessary orders the Ohio troops on my left, without any apparent cause, broke and ran in a manner that can only be stigmatized as disgraceful and cowardly. Despite all my efforts, and those of General McClernand and staff, they crossed the field and sought protection in rear of the timber. Their officers, instead of seconding the efforts made to rally the soldiers, set them an example of speed in flying from the enemy that even Floyd might envy. So disgusted was I with their conduct that I asked General McClernand to order them off the field, which he did. Frustrated in my designs upon the rebel battery by this movement, I reformed, and moving slightly to the left, engaged the enemy in a severe struggle, driving him steadily but slowly before us. He made several desperate efforts to force my right and partially succeeded, but fresh troops coming promptly up our advantage was held, and the camp of the First Division was again our own. During this last charge Colonel Davis, of the Forty-sixth Illinois Infantry, commanding my right, was mortally wounded while bravely and gallantly leading and cheering his men on against very superior odds. The timber which had been felled in front of our camp to clear a parade ground was gathered by the rebels during Sunday night and a breastwork composed of it, which was made use of to our considerable disadvantage. From this time the retreat of the rebels was unceasing, and about 4 p. m. I received orders to occupy my own camp, which I soon did. Where so many behaved in a manner worthy of commendation it is difficult for a commander to make selections. Lieutenant-Colonel  Ransom, the gallant commander of the Eleventh Illinois, though severely wounded, refused to leave the field, and retained command of his regiment on Sunday. On Monday morning they were detailed on other duty by Major-General Grant. Major Nevins, of the Eleventh, though wounded, still remained with his command. Lieutenant-Colonel Richards, of the Twentieth Illinois, though compelled to leave the field from the severe painfulness of his wound, soon came back, and had positively to be ordered off. Major Bartleson, of the Twentieth, fully sustained his reputation as a gallant soldier, and has sealed his devotion to his country by the loss of an arm. This left the Twentieth from early Sunday morning in command of senior Captain Frisbie, who has shown himself a brave and efficient officer. Major Mayfield, of the Fortyeighth, thrown in command by the wounding of Colonel Haynie and Lieutenant-Colonel Sanford, has developed qualities that show him well fitted for his position. To Col. J. E. Smith and Major Smith, of the Forty-fifth, I am much indebted. Though more fortunate than many of their brother officers in escaping wounds, they were no less exposed. A regiment with such officers must be efficient. Adjt. J. E. Thompson, of the Twentieth, acting as my aide, was killed at my side during the cannonading of Sunday evening. He was a brave and excellent officer. Capt. G. W. Kennard, assistant quartermaster of the brigade, was constant in attention to his duties. Through his assistance I was able to promptly supply the command with rations on Sunday night and Monday morning. Major Smith, of the Seventeenth Illinois, assisted greatly in forming the line on Sunday evening, and during the engagements of both Sunday and Monday he well sustained his former reputation and that of the gallant regiment which he commands. Adjutant Ryan, of the same regiment, was of great service as acting aide. To Lieutenant Jones, of the division staff, I am under many obligations for the promptness with which he supplied me with ammunition. Had a less efficient officer had the matter in charge my record might have been far more unpleasant. Lieut. Harry King, commanding Company G, Twentieth Illinois, employed as skirmishers, proved himself a daring and brave officer. Doubtless many other cases of individual daring occurred which did not meet my eye. And now, sir, I proceed to my most unpleasant duty. The accompanying list of killed and wounded in my little command is itself a sorrowful though proud record of their bravery. Going into action on Sunday morning with but 1,514 officers and men, I have to report 571 killed, wounded, and missing. The few missing show how closely together the brigade remained during the battle. I inclose with this report that of Surgeon Goodbrake, acting brigade surgeon.1 There were taken by my command during the action two brass 6-pounder field pieces, with caissons complete. There have been picked up within the limits of my brigade camp 1,363 rifles, muskets, and shot-guns, a large portion of which bear unmistakable marks of having belonged to the rebels. There have been buried within the same limits by my command 437 rebels and 115 of our own troops. Congratulating you on the brilliancy of our success, and mourning with you in the loss of so many of our brave troops, I have the honor to remain, your obedient servant,
C. C. Marsh, Col. Twentieth Illinois Infantry, Comdg. Second Brig., First Div. Maj. M. Brayman, A. A. G.-, First Division. P. S.-I would do injustice to my feelings and to a worthy officer did I fail to notice the eminent services of Surgeon Goodbrake, acting brigade surgeon, whose unceasing labors merit my favorable attention.