Colonel Commanding hare's report.
headquarters First brigade, First division, camp near Pittsburgh, Tenn., April 8, 1862.sir: I have the honor to report the part taken by the First brigade of the First division in the engagement with the enemy on the sixth instant. Early in the morning of the sixth, upon the alarm being given, the brigade composed of the Eighth and Eighteenth regiments of Illinois infantry, the Eleventh and Thirteenth regiments of Iowa infantry, and Dresser's battery, were formed in an open field in front of their respective encampments. I received orders about eight o'clock A. M. to move three regiments to the left of the Second brigade. The Eighth and Eighteenth Illinois and the Thirteenth Iowa were accordingly ordered to form in line of battle in that position, and moving at double-quick, formed in good order in a skirt of woods bordering on a field, the Eighteenth Illinois on the left and the Thirteenth Iowa on the right; at the same time I was ordered to form a regiment on the right of the Second brigade, which position, by my orders, the Twelfth Iowa, under command of Lieut..-Col. Hall, immediately took, and with a battery formed a reserve. After seeing the order executed, I joined the three regiments at their position on the left, as above stated. Upon arriving at that point, I found this position of my brigade then formed under the fire of the enemy's cannon and musketry; on the right was a battery of our guns supported by infantry still on its right. Against this battery the principal fire of the enemy's cannon was directed, and large bodies of infantry were moving around the field in its direction. A charge being made by three bodies of the enemy's infantry, directed upon the battery and our infantry on the right, they broke and retired in great disorder. Seeing the enemy approaching in great numbers, and our troops on the right having given way — my regiments also broke and retired in confusion; having retired to the distance of about one hundred yards, I succeeded, with the assistance of my regimental field-officers, in rallying them and forming them in line in the same order as before. Here we maintained our position in good order, under a constant fire of the enemy, until after twelve o'clock A. M., when, discovering that the enemy were approaching in great numbers and that our troops on the right and left had retired, I ordered my regiments to retire and take up a new position about two hundred yards to the rear; which they did in good order and without confusion. They remained in this position, repelling charge after charge of the enemy, until half-past 4 o'clock P. M., all the officers and men behaving with the greatest gallantry. At that hour my regiments having exhausted all their ammunition, and great numbers of them having been killed and wounded, and the forces on the right and left having retired, I again ordered them to fall back, which they did in as good order as before. At this time I received a severe wound in the hand and arm, which compelled me to retire from the field. Dresser's battery, and my own regiment, the Eleventh Iowa, I did not see after they took their position in the morning, but I am satisfied that they behaved with great gallantry; and their reports, herewith submitted, fully attest the bravery with which they acted. To Lieut.-Col. Hall, commanding the Eleventh Iowa, great praise is due for the bravery and skill shown by him on the field of action. Major Abercrombie, of the Eleventh Iowa, who was wounded severely during the day, displayed that coolness and courage which mark the good soldier. To Col. M. M. Crocker, of the Thirteenth Iowa Volunteers, I wish to call special attention. The coolness and bravery displayed by him on the field of battle during the entire action of the sixth, the skill with which he manoeuvred his men, and the example of daring and disregard to danger by which he inspired them to do their duty and stand by their colors, show him to be possessed of the highest qualities of a commander and entitle him to speedy promotion. His Adjutant, Lieut. Wilson, who accompanied him on the field during the day and shared all the dangers, I wish to mention as the “bravest of the brave.” Capt. W. H. Harvey, of Co. K, Eighth Illinois, was instantly killed while commanding his regiment, and died the death of a brave man. Capt. R. H. Sturges, of Co. H, took command of the regiment and led them gallantly through the day. Major Samuel Eaton, of the Eighteenth Illinois, was badly wounded while commanding his regiment. Capt. D. H. Brush, next in command, was soon after also severely wounded. Capt. Dillou, of Co. C, arrived on the field at this moment and took command, but was almost instantly killed. From that time the regiment was led on by Capt. Anderson, who did his duty nobly. My thanks are due my volunteer aid, Lieut. Coldwell, of General Ogleby's staff, who assisted me during the day. And I express my very great obligations to my Adjutant, Lieut. C. Cadel, who accompanied me on the field, and during the whole of the action, by his promptness, energy, and activity, exhibited all the best qualities of a soldier. Respectfully,
Major Brayman, A. A. General First Division.
Major Brayman, A. A. General First Division.
A. M. Hare, Col. Commanding Brigade.