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Doc. 10. battle of Pittsburgh landing, Tennessee.

headquarters Thirty-Sixth regiment Indiana volunteers, near Pittsburg landing, Tennessee, April 8, 1862.
Colonel Jacob Ammon, commanding Tenth Brigade, Fourth Division:
Sir: In discharge of my duty, I make the following report of the part the Thirty-sixth Indiana volunteers took in the general engagement at this place on the evening of the sixth and day of the seventh instant. On the march from Savannah on the sixth, my regiment had the advance of the column of General Buell's army, and I sent four companies forward as an advance guard, under command of Lieutenant-Colonel Cary, leaving four with me at the head of the column (two companies having been left behind on other duty). On reaching the river, with the four companies at the head of the column, they were immediately ferried over to join those under Lieutenent-Colonel Cary, that had passed over before my arrival. On arriving on the south side of the river, under circumstances that looked discouraging to new troops, my regiment, eight companies, about four hundred strong, was formed amid great commotion and excitement. While forming the regiment one of my men was killed by a ball from the enemy's artillery. As soon as formed, I was ordered by General Buell, in person, to advance to support Captain Stone's battery, about one hundred and fifty yards distant from my place of forming, which was done in tolerable order. and as soon as the regiment was in place the firing commenced, and continued until near dusk. I there lost another man killed and one wounded, repulsed the enemy and saved the battery, which was the only part taken by General Buell's army that day. During the fore part of the night, with the brigade we took an advance position of about two hundred yards, and took our position on the left of the brigade and extreme left of the line of battle, which seemed to have been formed during the night, and lay on our arms until five and a half the next morning, when we were ordered and moved forward with the brigade in line of battle, in the front line, with two companies thrown forward and to the left as skirmishers. We advanced forward, to the left of the Corinth road, about one-half mile, when our skirmishers engaged the enemy, we advancing steadily, and the enemy falling back for a distance of about one mile from where we lay in the morning, when the engagement became general, in strong force on both sides. Seeing the enemy making continuous efforts to turn our left, I threw out a third company as skirmishers, which, with the assistance of the skirmishers from the Twenty-fourth Ohio on my right, succeeded in saving our left from being turned. We slowly advanced, our skirmishers maintaining their positions, driving the enemy's cavalry, infantry, and artillery before them, over the same ground fought over the previous day. About eleven o'clock my remaining five companies not on skirmish to our left, were ordered forward in conjunction with the Twenty-fourth Ohio, and a part of the Fifteenth Illinois, that had been sent to me and placed on my left, into the general fight, and engaged the enemy in strong force, they with a heavy battery, cavalry, and infantry in our front and to our left. My regiment advanced to a fence mostly thrown down, where a desperate contest ensued, during [68] which my regiment (five companies) advanced about seventy-five yards to a second fence, mostly down, my right resting on some old buildings. While in this position my ammunition gave out, most of my men having fired forty to fifty rounds. I then ordered my command to fall back to the first fence to secure a new supply of ammunition, which was obtained, and we then again advanced to and beyond the position we had left. The enemy at this time maintained an eminence about four hundred yards distant, in a woodland upon an old Union camp ground. We now received orders from General Nelson to charge them with bayonets, which was commenced in quick time. As my regiment reached the summit of the eminence, the enemy was far out of our reach, moving off with their battery and infantry, their cavalry taking the Corinth road to the left, all in double-quick time. We now occupy the ground from which we drove the enemy, over which we found many of their dead. The main struggle at the fences, as above stated, before we received orders to charge, lasted for two hours, from eleven to one o'clock.

My officers and men behaved well, stood the fire with great bravery, and even to daring, without flinching. I know not in truth how to compliment any one of my command over the others, for I was well pleased with all. The casualties of my regiment during the engagement, including the first evening, were eight killed, one missing, and about fifty wounded, six of the latter probably mortally; a complete list of which will be forwarded as soon as the same can be obtained. Among my killed is Lieutenant A. M. Davis, of Company H, who commanded Company E in the engagements; he fell by my side, bravely discharging his whole duty. During most of the engagement I was on foot, my horse having been shot at an early part of the main fight.

I have the honor to be

Your obedient servant,

W. Grose, Colonel, Thirty-sixth Regiment Indiana Volunteers. Madison Grose, Lieutenant and Adjutant.

Colonel Grose's letter.

on battle-field, near Pittsburg landing, Tenn., April 11, 1862.
dear friend: I wrote you yesterday and sent you a copy of my official report, and now send you a complete list of our killed, eight; missing, two; wounded, thirty-seven; total loss, forty-seven. Yet all of the wounded but twenty-five remain with us and are on duty. The twenty-five we have sent down the river, and hope they may get to Indiana; we got them on boats as soon as it was possible, for there they are well cared for, and cannot be else-where. Lieutenant Chambers and Sergeant Fentriss are both able and on duty, and ready for another contest, which I think we will have in a few days.

I would like to give you many particulars if it were possible; taking my official report as the main basis, I will add, that as we landed our regiment on the south side of the river there were at least fifteen thousand of Grant's panic-stricken troops who had thrown away their arms, and were pressing to get on board the boats to clear themselves from danger by running, and as my regiment marched up the hill we would hear the cowards say to my men, “You will get it!” “You will come back!” “You will see!” and many other such expressions; yet our men went bravely up, formed in line of battle, Generals Buell and Nelson both with me. While forming, the heavy fire of the enemy was passing thick and fast over and around us. Poor White was struck by a canister shot and both his legs torn off, and about the same time, a staff officer, ten feet in front of the line, on horse, between General Nelson and myself, had his head torn off with a cannon ball and fell a ghastly sight before my regiment, at seeing which a few of our men nearest to the scene shrank back a few steps, but as soon as I commanded them to dress up their lines they did so promptly, and obeyed the command I gave them to “forward, march” in the line of battle, and moved off about one hundred yards to support one of our retreating batteries, and there we opened up a severe fire on the approaching enemy, which I think was the first evidence the rebels had that the advance of Buell's army was arriving. The firing of our regiment into the enemy's advancing forces, and thereby announcing the arrival of Buell's army, checked the enemy for the night, and everybody here says, turned the tide of battle, and saved Grant's forces from being driven pell mell into the river, cut to pieces, or taken prisoners by tens of thousands. It is admitted here, without contradiction, that if we had been one hour later, the enemy would have gained the river, and their victory would have been complete. None of Nelson's or Buell's forces took part that night, but my regiment. At the place to which we advanced at this place, is where the brave Duboese, of Company C, fell. The next morning we found that we had dealt out death to the enemy in fair proportions; in fact, while I was out establishing pickets that night, we passed over their dead bodies. I went with our pickets that night until the rebels fired on us. As we were ordered, we did not fire on them on that occasion, for our object was to find out their position for the work next morning, and not let them know ours. That night we lay on our arms, ready for action any moment, under a pelting rain most of the night. At half-past 5 next morning, wet and hungry, we moved off into the desperate renconter. I have often read of “death and carnage on the field of battle,” but never had any just conception of it until now. We fought forward as my report shows (that I sent yesterday) for three miles, the particulars of which I am unable to give you more fully now. Suffice it to say now, [69] that the Thirty-sixth began the fight. and my tent is now reared (to-day) on the advance post where the last dead rebel fell. General Nelson thinks we buried the great Sidney Johnson, their commander, within two rods of where I am now writing. He lies silently “seeking his rights in the territories.” The provisional rebel, Governor Johnson, of Kentucky, is also in our hands, wounded, God bless him. I hope he will die without delay. Our loss is heavier than I wrote you yesterday; it is now estimated at one thousand five hundred killed, two thousand taken prisoners on Sunday, and four thousand wounded; total seven thousand five hundred. That of the enemy is much larger, particularly in killed.

I will write you some of the particulars more definitely, of the latter part of the battle, in my next, if there is no move to interrupt. My horse is still alive, but I cannot see how he can live; I intend saving him if possible. It is due to Mat to say he commenced and helped me through to the end, in the thickest of the fight and danger, from beginning to the last. I hope you will keep securely the reports sent you.

Yours affectionately,

W. Grose, Colonel.

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