No. 91.-report of Brig. Gen. Lovell H. Rousseau, U. S. Army, commanding Fourth Brigade.
headquarters Fourth Brigade, Battle-field of Shiloh, Tenn., April 12, 1862.General: I have the honor to report to you, as commander of the Second Division of the Army of the Ohio, the part taken by my brigade in the battle at this place on the 7th instant. After a very arduous march on Sunday, the 6th instant, during much of which I was forced to take the fields and woods adjacent to the highway, from the narrowness of the latter and its being filled with wagon trains and artillery and for me at that time impassable, we reached Savannah after dark. Under your orders and superintendence we at once embarked on steamboats for this place. We reached the Landing here at daylight and soon after reported to you as ready for action. Under your order, and accompanied by you, we marched out on the field of the day before, a little after 6 o'clock a. m. Soon after, General Buell came up and directed you to deploy and form line of battle, our left resting on General Crittenden's right and our right extending in the direction of General MIClernand's division, and to send out a company of skirmishers  into the woods in front. This was done at once, Major King detailing Captain Haughey for that purpose. Within a half hour after this you looked over the ground and decided to take a position some 200 or 300 yards to the front, on the crest of a piece of rising ground. I moved up the brigade accordingly, taking the new position indicated. In this line a battalion of the Fifteenth U. S. Infantry, Captain Swaine, and a battalion of the Sixteenth U. S. Infantry, Captain Townsend, both under command of Maj. John H. King, were on the right; a battalion of the Nineteenth U. S. Infantry, Major Carpenter, on left of King; the First Ohio Col. B. F. Smith, on Carpenter's left, and the Sixth Indiana, Colonel Crittenden, on the left flank, while the Louisville Legion, Colonel Buckley, was held in reserve 150 paces in rear of the line. Thirty or forty minutes after this line was formed Captain Haughey's skirmishers were driven in, several of his men shot, and my command fiercely assailed by the enemy. The attack lasted perhaps twenty minutes, when the enemy were driven off. In this contest Captain Acker, of the Sixteenth U. S. Infantry, was instantly killed, and many others of my brigade killed and wounded. The enemy soon rallied and returned to the attack more fiercely than before, but was met by a very rapid and well-directed fire from the commands of Majors King and Carpenter and Colonel Smith, the Sixth Indiana being out of range on the left. This attack was also, after a severe contest, repulsed and the enemy driven off, our loss being much more than before. We were ignorant of the ground in front occupied by the enemy, as it was covered with timber and thick undergrowth, but were informed that it was more open than where we were. I decided to advance my lines after this last attack, and at once cautiously felt my way forward, but had not gone far when I again encountered the enemy in heavy force, and again drove him off, after a yet severer contest than any before. About this time I received several messages, announcing that the United States forces to our right and front, after very hard fighting, which we had heard all the morning, were giving way, leaving the center of the army exposed. I at once decided to move forward the whole brigade to the open ground, except the Sixth Indiana, which held a most important position on our left flank, which position the enemy had menaced in strong force for several hours. I ordered Colonel Buckley, with the Louisville Legion, to move up to the right and front and engage the enemy, who had rallied all his available forces and was moving down upon us. At the same time Majors King and Carpenter and Colonel Smith were ordered to advance in line with Colonel Buckley. The advance was admirably made, and with alacrity the brigade, steadily, briskly, and in excellent order, moved forward. We advanced about 200 yards to the front, when we came in collision with the enemy. He was stronger at this point than either of the previous encounters. I afterwards learned from wounded prisoners that the force at this time opposed to us consisted of the Third, Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Kentucky Regiments, and several others from various States. The fire of musketry was the heaviest I ever heard. My line when fired on halted of itself and went to work. The issue was important, as my brigade was directly in the road of the enemy to the Landing, and they were evidently pressing for that point. I was the more fully impressed with the importance of driving the enemy from this position by your words to me when you ordered a change to the front of your original line of battle, which were, in  substance, that my position was in the center, and must be held at every hazard, and that you would support me with the balance of your division as it arrived on the field. This fight lasted about forty minutes, when the enemy gave way and were at once pursued by the whole line up to the open ground in front, my brigade capturing several cannon, retaking a battery of ours captured by the enemy the previous day, and retaking the headquarters of General McClernand. We also took three flags from the enemy. At this time the 40 rounds of cartridges in the boxes of the men were exhausted and the line was halted. Before I resolved to advance my whole brigade to the front I looked for the promised support, and found Colonel Kirk, with his brigade, in my rear, within short supporting distance. He told me he was there by your order to support me, and was ready for anything. He and his men were eager to move up with me. I requested that he would follow at the proper distance, which he did. After we had exhausted our ammunition I called on Colonel Kirk, who was immediately in rear of my lines, and informed him of that fact. He at once gallantly and eagerly offered to take my position in front, and did so, a portion of my command on the right passing quietly through his lines and halting in his rear. All was done without the least confusion or even excitement. I told him that if needed before we received ammunition we would support him with the bayonet. The part taken in the fight by Colonel Kirk and Colonel Gibson and their respective brigades after this, and also the part taken by Colonel Willich, I leave them to narrate, with the single remark that they and their officers and men behaved most gallantly. About this time a battery of two or three guns — I do not know whose it was-took position about the center of my lines and opened on the enemy in front, then forming for attack. This battery I directed Majors King and Carpenter and the Sixth Indiana to support, Colonel Crittenden having been just before ordered up from his former position on the left. I may here remark that the Sixth Indiana in its old position had been exposed to heavy cannonading on our left and front and had lost several men in killed and wounded, and I had ordered it back into the woods. The enemy soon after advanced in strong force and menaced the battery, and its commander withdrew it; but the support just named stood firm against several times their number and gallantly beat off the enemy. In the mean while a supply of ammunition for the whole command was received. When thus repulsed the enemy fell back and his retreat began, soon after which I saw two regiments of Government troops advancing in double-quick time across the open fields in our front, and saw that one of them was the First Ohio, which had been moved to our left to wait for ammunition. I galloped to the regiment and ordered it to halt, as I had not ordered the movement, but was informed that it was advancing by order of General Grant, whom I then saw in rear of the line, with his staff. I ordered the regiment to advance with the other, which it did some 200 or 300 yards farther, when it was halted, and a fire was opened upon it from one of our camps, then occupied by the enemy. The fire was instantly returned, and the enemy soon fled, after wounding 3 men of the First Ohio. This closed the fighting of the day, and a small body of cavalry was sent in pursuit of the enemy. I need not say to you, sir, that my brigade, officers and men, behaved well; for you were an eye-witness to the gallant conduct of them all, and you will join me in expressing the opinion that men have seldom  marched into battle under more unfavorable auspices and never bore themselves more gallantly. During the whole of the long and terrific battle neither officer nor man wavered for one moment. When all behaved so well there is little room for discriminative commendation of any. Many of them had been exposed, after great fatigue, to a heavy rain the night before on the steamboats, and all of them were necessarily greatly crowded, so that they could not sleep, and as they marched from the boats they passed through and among the ten thousand fugitives from the fight of the day before, who lined the banks of the river and filled the woods adjacent to the Landing. Within a quarter of a mile of the Landing, and directly on the way to our position on the field, lay hundreds of dead men, mostly our own, whose mangled bodies and distorted features presented a horrible sight. Numerous dead horses and our partially-sacked camps gave evidence of the havoc, and, which was far worse, of the reverses and disasters of the day before. All around them impressed them with the belief that they must fight the battle for themselves. It must not be forgotten that we fought this battle some miles within the lines of the encampment of General Grant's army and in the camps occupied by his troops, and it was thereby rendered apparent to the most ignorant soldier that the army had been driven in by the enemy till within a few hundred yards of the river and that the work before us was by no means easy. Under all these unfavorable circumstances you will recollect, sir, the men were in no way appalled, but formed line of battle promptly and with great coolness and precision. To Majs. J. H. King and S. D. Carpenter, of the Regular Army, who commanded the regular troops in my brigade, I am especially indebted for the valuable aid which their long experience as soldiers enabled them to render. Capts. P. T. Swaine and E. F. Townsend, commanding battalions under Major King, and Col. B. F. Smith, First Ohio Volunteers, a captain in the regular service, were likewise conspicuous for good conduct. I strongly recommend these officers to the proper authorities as soldiers by profession, who have shown themselves amply fit for higher offices of usefulness. I also return my thanks to Cols. T. T. Crittenden and H. M. Buckley; Lieut. Cols. E. A. Parrott, W. W. Berry, and Hiram Prather, and Majs. E. B. Langdon, J. L. Treanor, and A. H. Abbott for their coolness and gallantry. Lieutenant-Colonel Parrott was on detached service at the time, but joined his regiment during the action, and remained with it to the close. I also acknowledge my great obligations to Lieutenants Armstrong and Rousseau, my regular aides; to E. F. Jewett, esq., of Ohio, volunteer aide; to Lieut. John W. Wickliffe, of the Second Kentucky Cavalry, acting aide, and to Capt. W. M. Carpenter, brigade quartermaster, during the battle, for valuable services in the field. It is due to Colonel Oliver, officers, and men of the Fifteenth Michigan that I say he joined us early in the morning with about 230 officers and men of his regiment, and behaved well during the day of the battle. Accompanying this report you have a list of casualties incident to the battle,1 and also the reports of the various commanders of battalions and regiments of the brigade. I am, general, very respectfully your obedient servant,
Lovell H. Rousseau, Brigadier-General.