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No. 35.-report of Maj. Gen John A. McClernand, U. S. Army, commanding reserve Corps, Army of the Tennessee, of operations from April 24 to May 30.

Hdqrs. Reserve Corps, Army of Tennessee, Camp Jackson, July 4, 1862.
General: My report of the part taken by my command, consisting of the First Division of the Army of the Tennessee, in the battle of Shiloh, explains how the enemy was driven from my camp on the 7th, and forced with great loss to abandon the ground he had gained on the 6th of April. I will not dwell upon the incidents of that great event now. It would be supererogatory to do so. They have passed into glorious and imperishable history, and there let them rest.

Devoting my attention during the interval to measures necessary to repair the consequences of a protracted and sanguinary battle, and to restore the vigor and efficiency of my command, and having prepared the way by the construction of bridges, on the 24th, pursuant to order, I moved it to the front and extreme right of the first advance made after the battle. Halting on the east side of Owl Creek, and resting the right of the division on the bluffs overlooking the creek, we pitched our tents and remained here until the 30th, meantime guarding the passes of Owl Creek, and making frequent cavalry reconnaissances westerly in the direction of Purdy and southerly on each side of the creek in the direction of Pea Ridge. Here, as a precaution against surprise, I threw up earthworks, consisting of lunettes and intrenchments, covering my camp. These were the first that had been thrown up south of the bluffs overlooking Pittsburg Landing.

The enemy, having taken refuge behind Lick Creek upon a lofty range called Pea Ridge, commanding the approaches across the valley of that stream, felt secure in making sudden and frequent descents upon our advance pickets. To arrest and punish these annoyances, on the 25th I ordered Col. M. K. Lawler (Eighteenth Illinois), with six regiments of infantry, three companies of cavalry, and a section of Mc-Allister's battery, to reconnoiter in front and on the left of our position in the direction of Pea Ridge, to drive in the enemy's pickets and outposts, and avoiding an engagement with a superior force, ascertain, if practicable, his position, and then fall back upon our camp. Rapidly [754] moving forward in execution of this order, he had approached within a short distance of the enemy's picket, when, in pursuance of instructions from Major-General Grant, I ordered him to halt and return his column to camp. On the 29th, however, a general advance was made in the direction of Pea Ridge and Farmington. The First Division, being in advance, was halted about 4 miles from Monterey, in view of some of the enemy's tents on Pea Ridge. The enemy's pickets fled before our advance, leaving us in possession of the ground they had occupied.

Near and in the rear of this point, known as Mickey's White House, we took the position behind a branch of Lick Creek which had been assigned to us, and pitched our tents. While here I caused a new road for some 3 miles and several double-track bridges, in the direction of Pittsburg Landing, to be made, and repaired the road still beyond to that place. At the same time and place I received your order assigning me to the command of the Third Division of the Army of the Tennessee, commanded by Maj. Gen. L. Wallace, and the Fifth Division of the Army of the Ohio, commanded by Brigadier-General Crittenden, with the cavalry and artillery attached, including the siege trains, in addition to my own division-together constituting the Army Corps of the Reserve. I immediately assumed command of the corps, but before the Fifth Division had joined me, it, with one of the siege trains, was reassigned to Major-General Buell.

On the 4th of May the reserves were moved forward by me, the Third Division from their position near the Pittsburg and Purdy Bridge across Owl Creek to Mickey's White House, and the First Division, under command of Brigadier-General Judah, to the vicinity of Monterey. Encountering a heavy rain-storm on the march the road became very bad, and Lick Creek so swollen as to be impassable without being rebridged. This I caused to be done, under the direction of Lieut. H. C. Freeman, engineer of the corps. Nor should I omit to state that during this march I received an order to send back a detachment of cavalry, under instructions, to proceed to the most convenient bridge across Owl Creek, and thence to the Mobile and Ohio Railroad, at or near Bethel, for the purpose of destroying it. In conveying this order amid the storm and the press of troops and trains, Captain Norton, my acting assistant adjutant-general, coming in contact with a miry, floundering horse, met with the misfortune of having one of his legs broken; pressing on, however, he delivered the order.

Lieut. Col. William McCullough, with the small available force at hand, consisting of only 250 Illinois mounted men, started about nightfall, and marching through rain and mire all night 17 miles came to the road, and dismounting his men under the enemy's fire, destroyed three bridges, a portion of the road track and of the telegraph wire, throwing the latter into Cypress Creek. Having accomplished this daring feat, he turned his small force against the enemy's cavalry, and boldly attacking them drove them back in confusion upon and through Purdy, killing a number of them and losing 1 man and several horses. This achievement prevented the enemy from turning our flank at Pea Ridge and while advancing upon Corinth. All credit is due to the officers and men accomplishing it.

Encamping the Third Division at Mickey's White House and the First Division south of Lick Creek and within a mile of Monterey, they remained here until the 11th. Meantime heavy rains had fallen, sweeping away the bridge upon the main road across Lick Creek and overflowing the banks of the stream. For the purpose of preserving [755] and facilitating our communications with the base at Pittsburg Landing, I ordered a detail of 2,000 men, who, under the direction of Lieutenant Freeman, of my staff, and Lieutenant Tresilian, engineer of the First Division, renewed the old bridge, constructed a new one, corduroyed the valley of the stream, and repaired the road for the space of some 5 miles back. At this camp Col. M. K. Lawler, Eighteenth Illinois, who had been in command of the First Brigade during the illness of Brig. Gen. John A. Logan, was relieved by that officer. Brig. Gen. L. F. Ross was in command of the Second Brigade, and Col. J. E. Smith, Forty-fifth Illinois, in the absence of Colonel Marsh, Twentieth Illinois, on sick leave, was in command of the Third Brigade. Colonel Smith was here relieved of the command of the Third Brigade by Colonel Lawler, his senior in rank. Being visited by His Excellency Richard Yates, Governor of the State of Illinois, at this place, the First Division was drawn out and passed in review before him, receiving the honor of his congratulations for their patriotic devotion, the luster they had shed upon Illinois, and their soldierly appearance and expertness. At this camp General Logan resumed command of the First Brigade.

On the 11th the same division struck their tents and moved forward about two miles and a half in the direction of Corinth, to the crossing of the old State line with the Purdy and Farmington road, encamping here near Fielder's house. A reconnaissance in the direction of Corinth was immediately made by Companies C and D, Fourth Illinois Cavalry, under command of Capt. C. D. Townsend, accompanied by Lieut. S. R. Tresilian, of General Logan's staff. Pushing forward his reconnaissance in advance of any that had been previously made, Captain Townsend came in contact with the enemy's picket near EasePs house, on the Hack road, leading from Purdy to Corinth, and drove back their accumulating numbers some distance. This position at the cross-roads was vital to the line of our advance upon the enemy at Corinth, as it protected our right flank from attack. To strengthen and secure so important a position rifle pits were dug and earthworks thrown up as a cover both for our infantry and artillery. Among several outposts one was established upon the Little Muddy Creek near Harris' house, which, although much exposed and often threatened by the enemy, was firmly held by the Twentieth Illinois and a section of artillery under command of Lieutenant-Colonel Richards. Numerous reconnaissances were also made, resulting in repeatedly meeting the enemy's pickets and reconnoitering parties and driving them back. On the 14th the Second Brigade, under command of General Ross, was detached from the division and moved still farther forward about a mile and a half to a position which had been just vacated by another division.

Hearing that the enemy were using the Mobile and Ohio Railroad as a means of so disposing his forces as to enable him to turn our right flank, attack us in the rear, and cut off our communication with the base at Pittsburg, I ordered General Wallace to advance one of the brigades of his division to an intermediate point on the line between his camp and the cross-roads. Colonel Woods (Seventy-sixth Ohio), commanding the Third Brigade of the Third Division, accordingly moved forward with his brigade, and took and strongly fortified a commanding position. In combination with this movement, at 4 o'clock in the morning General Ross, with his brigade, battalion of cavalry, and eight pieces of cannon, supported by General Logan's brigade as a reserve, under command of Brigadier-General Judah, moved forward to the railroad. Upon reaching the road he instantly encountered a detachment [756] of the enemy's forces which had been placed there to guard it, and rapidly driving them back, tore up the road for some distance, spoiling the rails by placing them on ties and other timbers, which were fired, and thus destroyed. The celerity of this movement took the enemy by surprise, leaving him no opportunity to re-enforce the detachment thus put to flight. After having successfully accomplished the object of the movement and marched near 10 miles, our forces were returned to their camp by 10 o'clock a. m.

On the 21st General Logan's brigade, leaving the cross-roads, moved forward and took a fortified position within 3 miles of the enemy's defenses around Corinth, near Easel's house. At this date the two divisions comprising the reserves were disposed in different detachments from the point named on the extreme right of our general line of advance northward some 18 miles on the east side of the Mobile and Ohio Railroad and Owl Creek quite to Pittsburg Landing. This disposition stamped them with the double character of an advance force and a reserve, and subjected them to severe, unceasing, and most dangerous duty. It was expected of them to prevent the enemy from turning our right flank and interrupting our communications with the source of our supplies at Pittsburg Landing. This they did.

A farther advance upon Corinth having been determined upon, on the 28th General Logan's and General Ross' brigades were moved to the front and right of our general line of advance, under command of General Judah, in pursuance of my order. Immediately co-operating with General Sherman's division in making a strong demonstration of attacking Corinth, they first directed their march to the Bowie Cut on the railroad. Finding the enemy's picket here, between whom and our own such an agreement existed, we notified them to retire, which, after an interview between Major Stewart, of my staff, and Captain Cochran, of the Louisiana Cavalry, they did, yielding us possession of the ground they had occupied and the control of the road track within 2 miles of the enemy's defenses. This was the most advanced position which had been hitherto taken on the right of our general line, and was retained and intrenched by General Ross on account of its great strategic value.

About the time General Ross had taken possession of this position General Logan moved his brigade obliquely to the left and united with General Denver's brigade, forming the right of General Sherman's division, the effect of this disposition being to extend the line of battle so as to flank the enemy's position on the west. This portion of my command, in conjunction with General Sherman's division, now advanced to attack him. Skirmishers were thrown out about 300 yards in front of the brigade, under charge of Major Smith, of the Fortyfifth Illinois, acting as officer of the day, and were met by skirmishers of the enemy. Sharp firing soon ensued, and another company from the Eighth Illinois, under command of Captain Wilson, was thrown forward to support their comrades already engaged. A spirited combat ensued, in which several of our men were wounded, and among the number Sergt. B. Zick, of Company B, Eighth Illinois, severely, in the arm. Our farther advance being restrained, we were left in the dark as to the loss sustained by the enemy, which, however, is believed to have been considerable. Afterward and near night the enemy's skirmishers, being increased, retaliated by making an attack upon our skirmishers, contident of success by reason of the superiority of his numbers. To his disappointment, however, Captains Lieb and Wilson, of the Eighth Illinois, boldly advanced their companies, and after two rounds of musketry again drove him back discomfited. In this second [757] skirmish 1 of our men was wounded, 7 of the enemy killed, and still more wounded who were carried from the field. Night followed, during which the brigade laid upon its arms, in the face of the enemy, prepared to meet any emergency.

The conspicuous and pregnant fact that the enemy had allowed us to approach within artillery range of his defenses at this point without offering any formidable resistance reasonably induced the belief that he had evacuated or was evacuating his camp at Corinth. General Logan's opinion agreeing with my own upon this point, he would have made a demonstration to prove the fact, with my approbation, but for want of authority.

On the evening of the 29th, after General Logan's brigade had commenced marching in returning to their camp near Easel's, the enemy's guard renewed their attack upon his picket line. Halting the regiments which had started and retaining those which had not yet moved in their position, he ordered Captains Lieb and Cowen, of the Eighth and Forty-fifth Illinois Regiments, to advance their companies. These officers promptly doing so, a very severe skirmish ensued, in which this small force again signalized Western courage by beating and driving back superior numbers. According to information subsequently obtained, the enemy lost 40 men killed and wounded in this combat, which the lateness of the evening and the nearness of his position to his works enabled him to carry off.

Having been relieved by other of General Sherman's troops, which had come up, the brigade returned to their camp the same night. This was the last engagement which took place before the enemy evacuated Corinth and we occupied that place.

In commenting upon these operations I have only to add that the officers and men under my command, while performing the duties both of an column and a reserve corps, won both my approval and admiration. The arduous and responsible task of protecting the right flank of our grand army and our communications for some 18 miles back to Pittsburg Landing was successfully executed. At no time was our flank allowed to be surprised or our line of communication interrupted, but throughout the siege all kinds of supplies, whether of commissary, quartermaster, or ordnance stores, continued safely to be brought up to our advancing line.

To the members of my staff I have occasion to renew my grateful acknowledgments for their habitual zeal, activity, and devotion in furthering my views throughout the siege. Col. T. E. G. Ransom, inspector-general of the reserves; Col. F. Anneke, chief of artillery; Maj. J. J. Mudd, Maj. W. Stewart, Maj. E. S. Jones, Capt. W. Rives, Capt. H. C. Freeman, engineer, and Lieut. H. P. Christie, all members of my staff, were unceasing in their efforts to obtain information and advise me of the successive movements, positions, and purposes of the enemy, and several times risked their lives by their near approach to his lines.

Our reconnaissance particularly deserves to be noticed, in which on the second day before the evacuation Major Stewart and Captain Rives pushed their advance so far as to make the first discovery of the enemy's works, and to draw upon themselves his fire, which providentially proved harmless. Nor can I forbear in justice to mention with earnest and emphatic commendation the admirable urbanity, skill, fidelity, and success with which Capt. C. T. Hotchkiss, acting assistant adjutantgeneral of the reserves, performed the important and responsible duties of his office. [758]

On the 30th our forces entered the evacuated camp of the enemy at Corinth, thereby adding to the series of successes which have crowned the arms of the West.

Yours, respectfully,

John A. McCLERNAND, Major-General, Commanding. Maj. Gen. H. W. Halleck, Commanding Department of the Mississsppi.

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