previous next

[413] of Cavalry; H. C. Bankhead, Fifth infantry, Inspector of Infantry; and Captain N. Michler, Topographical Engineers, were distinguished for gallant bravery throughout the battle, and rendered valuable service. The gallant deportment of my Orderlies, A. J. Williamson, Fourth cavalry, and N. M. Smith, J. R. Hewitt, J. A. Stevenson, V. B. Hammel, of the Anderson troop, also deserves to be mentioned. I am particularly indebted to Col. Fry, Chief of Staff, for valuable assistance in the battle, as well as for the ability and industry with which he has at all times performed the important duties of his position, and Surgeon Murray, Medical Director, always assiduous in the discharge of his duties, was actively engaged on the field in taking all the care of the wounded that circumstances admitted of.

Capt. Gillem, Assistant Quartermaster, is entitled to great credit for his energy and industry in providing transportation for the troops from Savannah. Lieut.-Col. Oakes, Fourth cavalry, Inspector of Cavalry, and Capt. C. C. Gilbert, First infantry, Inspector-General, who have rendered zealous and valuable services in their positions, were detained at Savannah, and unable to be present in the action.

The troops which did not arrive in time for the battle, Gen. Thomas's and Gen. Wood's divisions, (a portion of the latter, as I have previously stated, took part in the pursuit, and the remainder in the evening,) are entitled to the highest praise for the untiring energy with which they pressed forward night and day to share the danger of their comrades. Gen. Thomas's division had already, under his command, made its name honorable by one of the most memorable victories of the war — Mill Springs — on which the tide of success seemed to turn steadily in favor of the Union.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

D. C. Buell, Major-General Commanding Army of the Ohio.


Report of Gen. Nelson.

headquarters Fourth division, field of battle, April 10, 1862.
Captain: In obedience to orders, I have to report that the Fourth division of the Army of the Ohio, under my command, left Savannah, by order of Gen. Grant, reiterated in person by Gen. Buell, at half-past 1 P. M. on Sunday, April sixth, and marched by land to the point opposite Pittsburg Landing. The anxiety of the men to take part in the battle which was going on on the left bank of the river enabled me to achieve the distance, notwithstanding the dreadful condition of the roads over a lately-overflowed bottom, in four hours. At five o'clock the head of my column marched up the bank of Pittsburgh Landing, and took up its position in the road under the fire of the rebel artillery, so close had they approached the landing. It formed a semi-circle of artillery totally unsupported by infantry, whose fire was the only check to the audacious approach of the enemy. The Sixth Ohio and Thirty-sixth Indiana had hardly deployed when the left of our artillery was completely turned by the enemy, and the gunners fled from their pieces. The gallantry of the Thirty-sixth Indiana, supported by the Sixth Ohio, under the able conduct of Col. C. Ammen, commanding the Tenth brigade, drove back the enemy and restored the line of battle. This was at half-past 6 P. M., and soon after the enemy withdrew, owing, I suppose, to the darkness.

I found cowering under the river-bank, when I crossed, from seven thousand to ten thousand men, frantic with fright and utterly demoralized, who received my gallant division with cries: “That we are whipped,” “Cut to pieces,” etc. They were insensible to shame and sarcasm, for I tried both on them, and indignant at such poltroonery, I asked permission to open fire upon the knaves.

By seven P. M. the infantry of my division was all across the river, and took up their position as follows: Col. Ammen's brigade, consisting of the Thirty-sixth Indiana; Col. Grose, Sixth Ohio; Lieut.-Col. Anderson, Twenty-fourth Ohio. Lieut.-Col. Jones took post on the left; on the right of them Bruer's brigade was posted, consisting of the First Kentucky, Col. Engart; Second Kentucky, Col. Sedgwick; Twentieth Kentucky, Lieut.-Col. Hansem. On the right of Bruer's brigade the brigade of Col. Hagen was posted, composed of the Ninth Indiana, Col. Moody; Sixth Kentucky, Col. Whitaker; Forty-first Ohio, Lieut.-Col. Mygatt. Heavy pickets were immediately thrown well forward, and every precaution taken to prevent surprise during the night. These dispositions were made by the direction of Gen. Buell, who gave me orders to move forward and attack the enemy at the earliest dawn. The night passed away without serious alarm. The men lay on their arms.

Lieutenant Gwin of the Navy, commanding the gunboats on the river, sent to me and asked how he could be of service. I requested that he would throw an eight-inch shell into the camp of the enemy every ten minutes during the night, and thus prevent their sleeping, which he did very scientifically, and, according to the reports of the prisoners, to their infinite annoyance.

At four A. M. I roused up the men quietly, by riding along the lines, and when the line of battle was dressed and the skirmishers well out, and the reserves in position, I sent an aid to the General, to notify him that I was ready to commence the action, whereupon the Fourth division of the Army of the Ohio, in perfect order as if on drill, moved toward the enemy, about half-past 5. I found Zzz, and the action commenced with vigor. My division drove them with ease, and I followed them up rapidly, when at six A. M. I was halted by commands from Gen. Buell, I having gone further forward than I should have gone, my right flank being exposed. The enemy was greatly reinforced in front of me, and at seven A. M. my advance, which had been resumed by order of Gen. Buell, was checked. At half-past 7 my division began to give ground slowly. We were exposed to the fire of two of the enemy's


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Visualize the most frequently mentioned Pleiades ancient places in this text.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: