No. 97.-report of Col. William H. Gibson, Forty-ninth Ohio Infantry, commanding Sixth Brigade.
headquarters Sixth Brigade, Field of Shiloh, April 10, 1862.Captain: I have the honor to submit the following report of the participation of this command in the memorable action of the 7th instant: Reaching Savannah at 10 p. m. of the 6th, and holding the rear of the Second Division, we were compelled to await transportation until the next morning at 9 o'clock. After great exertions the entire brigade, with two batteries of artillery, was embarked on the steamer John J. Roe. We reached Pittsburg Landing about 11 o'clock, and at once hastened forward to the scene of conflict in the center, where a portion of the Second Division was then engaged. Colonel Willich, with the Thirty-second Indiana, being the first to debark and to reach the field, was detached from the brigade and placed in position by General McCook in person. Nothing further was heard from him by me during the day, but his list of casualties shows that he was hotly engaged, and the testimony of distinguished officers who witnessed the conduct of his command, justifies me in saying that oicers and men gave proof of skill and courage worthy the heroes of Rowlett's Station. Herewith I submit Colonel Willich's report for full particulars. Obedient to orders, the balance of the brigade was deployed in line of battle in rear of the Fourth Brigade, under General Rousseau, then closely engaged. His ammunition being exhausted, the Sixth Brigade was ordered to advance, which command was executed promptly and in perfect order. The enemy's infantry, concealed by tents, behind trees, and in dense undergrowth, opened a terrific fire on our whole line simultaneously. With one battery he opened on the left of the Fifteenth Ohio, holding the right; with another he annoyed the left of the Forty-ninth Ohio, holding the left, and with a third he poured a torrent of grape upon the Thirty-ninth Indiana, holding the center. The fire of the enemy's infantry was promptly responded to along our entire line. Our volleys were delivered with rapidity, regularity, and effect. The enemy's lines were shaken, and we steadily pressed forward, driving him before us at least 80 rods. I here discovered that, under cover of a ravine, the enemy was turning my left, and I at once ordered the Forty-ninth Ohio to change line of battle to the rear on first company, which movement was executed with perfect order under a heavy fire. Lieut. William C. Turner was dispatched to General McCook to inform him of the danger to my left, but the fire of the Forty-ninth Ohio from its new position soon drove the enemy back, and the regiment moved forward into line. The enemy now, with increased force, made a second demonstration on my left, and the Forty-ninth Ohio again changed line to the rear, and quickly arrested his advance. Captain Bouton, with two guns of his Chicago battery, reached the ground at this juncture and after silencing the enemy's battery, which had been annoying my left, moved quickly to the left of the Fifteenth Ohio, and opened on the batteries which had up to that time harassed that regiment and the Thirty-ninth Indiana. The enemy's guns were  quickly silenced, and Captain Bouton has my warmest thanks for the aid so skillfully and gallantly rendered. The Forty-ninth Ohio having again moved forward into line, and my left being supported by troops ordered forward for that purpose by General McCook, I again ordered an advance, and our entire line pushed forward in gallant style, driving the enemy before us a full half mile, and taking possession of the camp from which a portion of General Sherman's division had been driven the day before, including the general's headquarters. The enemy now abandoned the contest and retreated under the protection of his cavalry, leaving us in possession of that portion of the field and two of his hospitals crowded with his wounded. As the whole conflict was waged under the immediate supervision of General McCook, commanding the division, I cheerfully submit the conduct of the brigade to hisjudgment and criticism. Every command was executed promptly, and nothing could exceed the order and firmness with which our entire line moved upon the enemy. Colonel Dickey and Lieutenant-Colonel Wilson, of the Fifteenth Ohio, being absent on account of sickness, the command of that regiment devolved upon Major William Wallace, who managed his command with promptness and skill, and exhibited throughout the bloody contest the highest proof of coolness, courage, and energy. His horse was shot upon the field. He called to his aid on the field Captains Dawsor and Kirby, who merit especial praise for their gallantry in cheering on the command under a galling fire of artillery and infantry. Adjutant Taft performed his whole duty regardless of danger, and the entire regiment gave proof of thorough discipline. To the Thirty-ninth Indiana too great praise cannot be awarded. Active and vigilant at every moment, Colonel Harrison exhibited great skill and the highest courage and coolness in managing his command. Major Evans was prompt and courageous throughout the day, and every officer and man in the regiment was so heroic that distinctions would be invidious. Not the slightest wavering or confusion occurred in the command. Lieut. W. R. Phillips, a most gallant officer, fell at the post of duty, and Lieutenant Woodmansee, of the same regiment, was borne mortally wounded from the field. The Forty-ninth Ohio was commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Blackman, who performed his duty nobly, giving ample proof of his skill and courage on the field. The maneuvers of his command under the terrific fire before mentioned evince that discipline and firmness which are so essential to the glory and success of our arms. Major Drake occupied a most perilous position, but with undaunted courage he cheered on the extreme left under a cross-fire of infantry and a shower of shell and grape. Adjutant Norton was constantly at his post of duty, and showed himself a soldier worthy of his position. Herewith I inclose a list of casualties in the brigade. Maj. S. W. Gross, brigade surgeon, was placed in charge of a depot of wounded, and merits especial praise for the skill and energy with which he treated and provided for those placed under his charge. The medical officers of the different regiments were on the field, giving prompt and skillful attention not only to the wounded of our own but of other commands. Our loss is: killed, 23; mortally wounded, 12; severely wounded, 84; slightly wounded, 126.1 I beg leave to make special mention of Mr. Rodig, hospital steward of the Fifteenth Ohio, whose industry and attention to the wounded  excited general admiration, and of Mr Corey, hospital steward of the Forty-ninth Ohio, who rendered important service. To the members of the brigade staff I am under great personal obligations for valuable suggestions on the field. Capt. Henry Clay, assistant adjutant-general, active and prompt in the performance of duty, gave exhibitions of genius and courage worthy of his ancestors. Lieut. William C. Turner, senior aide-de-camp, fully comprehended the responsibilities of his position, and bore my orders to every part of the field with the greatest alacrity, being exposed throughout the day to the most fearful dangers. Lieut. E. A. Otis, junior aide, though indisposed, kept the saddle, and has my warmest thanks for his activity in bearing orders and for his valuable assistance in the midst of the hottest fire. Accidentally in command of the brigade, I disclaim any credit for its brilliant success on this memorable field. Unfortunately for the command, Brigadier-General Johnson was at home, prostrated with sickness. But to the thorough discipline and rigid study exacted by him from his officers and men we are indebted for the success and heroic bearing of the command and the honorable page it has won in history. In behalf of the brigade I must thank General McCook for the labor and energy he has shown in bringing his division to that state of discipline and skill which renders it at once an honor and an ornament to the armies of the republic. All of which is respectfully submitted. Very respectfully, &c.,