No. 14.-report of eMut. Col. Charles S. Hanson, Twentieth Kentucky Infantry, of operations from April 7 to June 12.
Hdqrs. Twentieth Regiment Kentucky Vols., June 20, 1862.In obedience to Orders, No. 99, issued from the Department of the Mississippi, Corinth, June 9, 1862, requiring the commanders of army corps, &c., to report to those headquarters the operations of their several corps from the time of leaving Pittsburg Landing to the evacuation of Corinth and the termination of the pursuit of the enemy, stating the several actions in which their troops were engaged, their own loss and the probable loss of the enemy, the works erected and the roads constructed, I have the honor to respectfully tender the following report: On the evening of the 6th of April, 1862, the Twenty-second Brigade arrived at Pittsburg Landing and bivouacked near the battle-field of Shiloh, and on the following day was engaged throughout that battle. A report of our action heretofore made is referred to. The night of the 7th to the 10th inclusive we spent in bivouac upon the field, exposed to rain and unpropitious weather that followed that battle, and not until about the 11th did we receive the tents or were enabled to fix ourselves comfortably and enjoy the usual comforts of camp life. There we remained encamped and engaged in doing our share of picket duty, reconnoitering, preparing roads and bridges; until the — day of--, when our division moved.forward in the direction of Corinth. We went some 10 miles, camped several days, engaged in picket duty, reconnoitering, opening roads, and building bridges, and on the — day of --again moved forward in the direction of the enemy. After moving about 4 or 5 miles we went into camp. There we remained several days, and on the — day of w-we again took up the line of march, and went within some 4 or 5 miles of Corinth and bivouacked for several days, when our tents and camp equipage were moved up and we went into camp. In this position we remained for a number of days, engaged in heavy duty in picketing and guarding our position, making reconnaissances of the enemy's position, and in opening roads, building bridges, and other labors necessary to an advance upon the enemy, and while here, although thus heavily engaged in these duties, we found opportunity to make decided improvement in battalion drill, our brigade having so long been engaged in making rapid marches and the hard labor incident to the advance of our army in an enemy's country as for many weeks to deprive us of any opportunity of drill. On the — day of-- we again moved forward with the rest of the army, who had been moving up with us, and formed a line of battle within a mile and a half of Corinth. We arrived a little after night-fall, formed our line cautiously under the immediate direction of our division  commander, bivouacked, resting upon our arms, ready for an attack from the enemy. On the following day our camp equipage came up and we went into camp, and in that position we remained until the evacuation of Corinth. We were engaged for the first few days in throwing up earthworks in front of our encampment, opening roads, and building bridges to enable us to approach Corinth. During one time this regiment, with the balance of the brigade, were required to perform laboring picket duty, often calling out our regiment every third night. All of this severe duty, I am happy to say, both officers and men performed with the courage, promptness, and alacrity of veteran soldiers, which did honor to them and their country. We were not thrown into close proximity to the enemy until the day of-- , when we went out under orders to relieve the---Regiment, then on picket to protect the working party engaged upon the earthworks. We arrived upon the ground, being the extreme right of General Nelson's line, about 10 o'clock in the morning, and found that a continuous fire at long range was being kept up between our own pickets and those of the enemy. Indeed, it had gotten to be a sharp skirmish fight. This was hotly continued during the day, with no loss to our regiment except 1 man wounded (William Taylor, of Company B, severely wounded through the arm), until about 4 o'clock in the evening, when the enemy opened with artillery upon the position held by our pickets, their shot and shell reaching back to our reserves. Fortunately, however, the range was a little too high, and my regiment escaped unhurt, though some of the working party farther in the rear and upon higher ground were wounded. This heavy fire of the enemy was kept up some ten minutes, when an infantry force of theirs of three companies advanced rapidly into a narrow willow swamp, occupied by about 15 or 20 men detached from Company B, of this regiment, who were thrown out in front of the main line of pickets, in command of Lieutenant Trebein, and after exchanging a volley these men fell back about 50 yards upon the main body of their company, which was with Companies A and C, commanded, respectively, by Capt. A. G. Smith, Lieut. H. S. Parrish, and Lieut. F. E. Wolcott, the three companies under command of Maj. B. F. Buckner. The enemy did not advance within shotrange or sight (the country being densely wooded) of our main line of pickets, but in connection with their artillery kept up the fire. In the mean time a battery from General Wood's division opened fire with marked accuracy, and in a moment Captain Mendenhall's regular battery, of this division, commenced throwing his deadly shot and shell upon the enemy, and in a few moments their guns were silenced and their artillery was heard abandoning their position. The house near which their artillery was posted was several times struck by our shells, and the torn appearance of the trees and buildings around evidenced the fearful accuracy of our shots. Before dark the firing ceased, with the exception of a few scattering shots, and we spent the night in quiet. Early next morning two privates of Company B-James K. Roberts and William Taylor, under heavy fire from superior numbers-took possession of the house and burned it to the ground. James K. Roberts was severely wounded in the leg just above the ankle, which has since been amputated. Soon after the house was burned, and we were relieved and returned to camp, and our forces afterward held that position without resistance. I am unable to state what the loss of the enemy was, but from the blood and other evidences of wounding in and around the house it  must have been considerable. J had command of the reserves of my regiment, and gave a general superintendence to the outer picket line, though the latter was particularly under charge of Maj. B. F. Buckner, and I thus had a full opportunity of observing my regiment, and it affords me great pleasure to report that both men and officers behaved with great gallantry and coolness. They stood the heavy fire of the enemy with the firmness of trained soldiers, and I cannot refrain from making especial mention of Major Buckner, Captains Smith, Waller, and Lieutenants Parrish and Wolcott, and the officers and men under them, who, being constantly upon the outposts, were exposed to the enemy's fire, and at all times bore themselves with gallantry, and those company commanders commanded their respective companies with skill and calmness. Dr. William Curran was present, and was prompt and faithful in discharge of his duties, and with great efficiency waited on and relieved the wounded that fell in his hands. Major Buckner, whose duties required him to command the line of pickets, met the exposures and dangers of his position freely and without fear, obeying my commands with promptness, and managing the skirmishers under his charge with the address of an experienced soldier. To Adjutant Brennan I am much indebted for intrepid bearing and personal courage, and the marked ability with which he deported himself on this occasion. We remained in camp, doing the duties incident to our position, until the 22d following, when a brigade was ordered on a reconnaissance in front of General Wood's division, and when we arrived to our picket the brigade was formed in line of battle, and two of the companies, A and B, of my regiment, with other companies of the First Kentucky, were thrown forward as skirmishers. They moved cautiously, and soon found the enemy, and after a desperate fight drove him back and occupied his position. The enemy soon rallied with strong force and were gradually regaining their lost ground, when I sent forward at double-quick two other companies, C and K, to support the first two sent forward, which enabled our men to drive the enemy again from the field, after a desperate struggle, in which we had 5 wounded. The balance of the regiment was held in reserve in the edge of a woods about 200 yards in rear to support our skirmishers, and were not engaged. Both were occasionally in range of their shot. Colonel Sedgewick, hearing heavy firing upon our left and receiving intelligence that the left wing of the skirmishers of the First Kentucky, commanded by Captain Wheeler (and who occupied a position on our left), was pressed by the enemy with overwhelming numbers, ordered me to move my reserve rapidly to his support. We moved at doublequick and encountered, in passing over a short ridge, a heavy fire from the enemy, in which we had one man, of----, wounded through the body, of which he has since died, and soon came up to the support of the skirmishers, whose line extended near a house which a portion of the skirmishers occupied. The skirmishers returned the enemy's fire with deadly effect, and Captain Wheeler, who is a daring and brave soldier, and his men under him did their duty nobly and held their position, and our reserves were not required to engage the enemy, but were held in the rear, partially out of the range of the enemy's shot, and escaped without injury at that point. The firing shortly after ceased at that point, and our reserve was again ordered to the right, to the support of the skirmishers of this regiment. A heavy fire was opened there upon the part of both forces, in which we lost several wounded.  I had occasion during the day to witness the performance of the reserve and to visit the skirmishers, and know the dangers encountered, and I must say that the men and officers of the regiment discharged their duties well; and I make particular mention of Captains Smith and McCampbell and Lieutenants Parrish and Wolcott and Lieut. William Rice, Second Lieut. James McCampbell, and Second Lieut. B. M Chiles, and of their companies, for gallant bearing in that fiercely contested skirmish. Major Buckner and Adjt. John Brennan wer present during the entire engagement, and rendered me valuable sern ice by the prompt obedience of my orders and the ready and fearle, assistance in bearing orders about over the field and in aiding in command of the skirmishers. Dr. Curran was present during the entire engagement, and, with the assistance of Dr. Cox, was able to give every attention to the wounded. Our number killed in this skirmish was 1 and wounded 5. We returned to our camp, and were not called to meet the enemy again until the 28th of May, when our brigade was ordered forward upon a reconnaissance to the front of General Nelson's line. When we reached a position near the enemy's pickets our brigade, being in front, was drawn up in line of battle, skirmishers were thrown out among them (two companies, A and B, of my regiment), and were moved forward, the rest of the brigade following up and occupying eligible positions to support them. The two companies of our skirmishers of my regiment were put under command of Major Buckner and moved forward to the left. These two companies, together with Company B, Second Kentucky, advanced under cover of timber until they found the enemy, who was in heavy force in a dense wood, separated from our position by a large open field, except by a small strip of timber, which connected the position of our skirmishers with that of the enemy. There was also a small and heavily-timbered swamp, which connected the wood occupied by the enemy and which entered the open field at right angles to our line of skirmishers, but was disconnected with our position, and if in the possession of the enemy would have afforded excellent cover for a flank movement, and would have commanded our rear when we advanced. Lieutenant-Colonel Carey, of the Thirty-sixth Indiana Regiment, who seemed to have had command of the skirmishers, ordered Major Buckner to take one company of his regiment and drive the enemy from this swamp and hold it. He, in accordance with this order, moved Company A, of my regiment, consisting of about 30 men, rank and file, in double-quick time, into the swamp, receiving a heavy volley from the enemy at the moment of entering. He found and drove out a force of about 100 men without loss. The enemy certainly lost 1 in killed, besides a number of wounded and 2 prisoners. General Crittenden sent two companies of the Nineteenth Ohio to the relief of Major Buckner, but they arrived after the firing had ceased. Major Buckner held his position and managed his men well. He and his men deserve great credit for the manner in which they drove back the enemy and held them in check. The other eight companies of our regiment, when the two companies were sent forward, were ordered to the right across an open field into a swamp densely wooded, with directions to take position on the far side of it, to support the skirmishers under Captain Wheeler. The skirmishers moving to the right had advanced under orders to the bridge in the main Corinth road over Bridge Creek, with directions to take and hold it  at all hazards. This was an important point, and one which the enemy desired very much to hold. When I arrived at position in the swamp about 120 yards behind our skirmishers, in a skirt of woods across an open field, and about 300 yards to the right, a little in rear of the bridge, and in the swamp or thicket which extended up from the bridge, I found our forces engaged in a heavy skirmish with the enemy. Not understanding the ground, I rode across the field, and found Captain Wheeler, who was gallantly commanding the skirmishers on that wing, and with him rode up their line to the right, and then to the bridge, in order to assure myself that the reserve was not in danger of being flanked or surprised by the enemy on the right or left, both being covered by a dense forest and thicket. When we arrived at the bridge I found Captain Baldwin, of the Second Kentucky, commanding his company and Company B, of this regiment, gallantly engaging the enemy, and holding our position near the bridge, the enemy being some 50 yards in a thicket beyond. While Captain Wheeler and myself were there the enemy, being in ambush about 50 yards from us poured in a heavy volley upon Captain Baldwin's forces, wounding 3 of his men, but the fire was returned with such spirit that the enemy were driven but not sufficiently to enable him to take full possession of the bridge. Three times during the evening the enemy rallied and made a desperate attack upon our men near the bridge, trying to drive them back and keep possession of the same. The enemy rallied in such force and fought with such desperation as to require me to re-enforce Captain Baldwin with two companies-Captain Morris' and Lieutenant Wolcott's. They succeeded in holding the bridge, notwithstanding they were fiercely assailed time and again. So hotly did the enemy press our forces there, that they were strengthened by a considerable force from the other regiment of the brigade. By 6 o'clock the enemy were driven back and we had full possession of the bridge. We relieved the four companies of this regiment with four others from my own regiment, and bivouacked that night at the post of the reserve, sleeping on our arms. I observed with pride the good conduct of the men and officers of my regiment, and the fortitude with which the reserve stood to arms upwards of ten hours, momentarily expecting an attack, constantly hearing the heavy firing of the enemy. They believed that they outnumbered greatly our force then and that our skirmishers would be driven back. Our skirmishers were outnumbered, the enemy's force being much larger, and but for the gallantry of Captain Wheeler and the obstinacy with which they and the brave officers and men.under them resisted the enemy's attack would have been driven back upon my reserve and have brought on a bloody engagement in the swamp. While the regiment behaved well and bravely throughout the engagement, and while I would like to speak particularly of the individual bearing of a great number of the men and officers, which the circumstances will not admit, I cannot forbear to mention most favorably Adjt. John Brennan, who rendered me most useful service (Major Buckner being away from the regiment upon the extreme left) by bearing orders over the field, and taking charge of the reserve when I was called away to the front, assisting in command of the picket or elsewhere along the line of fire. His conduct was worthy a good soldier and a brave man, and entitles him to the praise of his countrymen. Captain Morris discharged his duty there, as in all other relations, soldierly, fearlessly, and with alacrity, and managed his company, deployed and fought hlis men, with the calm, determined courage of an  experienced officer accustomed to the dangers of battle. The commanders of Companies C and B and their lieutenants behaved well, and their men, with Captain Morris, met the fire of the enemy worthy of the reputation of their State-Kentucky. We lost in this engagement 6 wounded, 2 of whom have since died. The enemy's loss I cannot say with any accuracy, but from indications left on the ground must have been at least 75 killed and wounded. On the 30th we moved forward with the rest of the division and found Corinth evacuated. No enemy there in force, except a good number of stragglers, who were captured by our forces. We remained in Corinth that day, and then returned to our camp. It may not be strictly within my province to speak of other regiments of the brigade, but I hope I will be excused for paying a just tribute to our comrades in these engagements; and I would mention Colonel Sedgewick, commanding, as entitled to great credit for his masterly conduct of the brigade in all those engagements, and his skill and courage, as shown on every field, and his assistant adjutant-general, Wickliffe Cooper, who was present actively engaged in the discharge of his duty, and by his fearless exposure of himself and prompt and efficient aid rendered to Colonel Sedgewick, proved himself a soldier and an officer of high merit, worthy of his position. I would further mention Colonel Spencer and Majors Cahill and Hurd and the officers of the Thirty-first Indiana and the men of that and the First and Second Kentucky, for soldierlike and brave conduct in these several skirmishes, and were it possible, would gladly speak in detail of their many acts of personal daring. On the 4th day of this month we were moved forward in pursuit of the enemy, and after three days of difficult marching over bad roads reached a position near Baldwin, and remained there two days. We found no enemy and heard of none very near us, and on the 9th were moved in this direction, and reached our present camp on the 12th of this month. I had nearly forgotten to say that Brigadier-General Manson assumed command of the Twenty-second Brigade on the 30th day of May, and that our movements subsequent to that date were made under his direction and immediate supervision. General Manson, by his unremitting attention to his brigade and diligent and energetic efforts to promote the interests of the service and the comfort of his troops, has favorably impressed all who have had official intercourse with him.