canister from a rebel battery planted near General McClernand's headquarters. We were ordered to retire, and fell back about 1 mile. We again made a stand, with a battery (the First Missouri) in our rear. The rebels advanced in large force. A charge, ordered by General McClernand, and led by Assistant Adjutant-General Brayman with great gallantry, was made, in which charge the regiment participated, but being over powered by superior numbers, compelled to retire. Captain Reed, with his company (E), being detailed to assist in manning a battery, by their efficient aid dealt destruction in the rebel ranks. The regiment retired to siege batteries in front of the landing, and formed a part of the advance line during the night.
On the morning of the 7th we fell in rear of General Crittenden's brigade, being in reserve. After the brigade, the Eighth and Eighteenth Illinois, by command of Generals Boyle and Crittenden, gallantly charged a rebel battery, capturing two 6-pounder brass field pieces, one of which Captain Reed loaded and brought to bear upon the retreating enemy, giving them three shots unassisted, which told with good effect. Being assisted by Captain Wilson and Lieutenants Flick and Davis, he fired 15 or 20 rounds into the retreating cavalry, for which they they deserve the highest praise.
The officers and men of this regiment who remained with their colors acted in an manner becoming men and soldiers. I am sorry to say there were exceptions. William L. Cross, second lieutenant of Company D, absented himself from his company during the early part of the fight on the morning of the 6th of April, and, although informed of the position occupied by his company and regiment by a sergeant of his company, made no effort to rejoin it; neither did he make any effort to rally or encourage the stragglers to return tot he help of the help of their comrades. On the contrary, he permitted some of the members of his regiment to accompany him, and did not order them to return to the field. He did not rejoin his company or regiment until it returned from the field in pursuit of the enemy on the night of the 7th of April, when he was found in his company quarters unhurt. William M. Thompson, second lieutenant of Company F, acted in a similar manner, leaving the field on the morning of the 6th of April, and not rejoining his regiment during the two days' fight. During his absence he said, "He would be damned if he would fight in such a cowardly regiment." C. C. Weaver, first lieutenant Company B, left the field on the night of the 6th of April, and did not rejoin his regiment until our return to our quarters on the night of the 7th of April. Kelso, second lieutenant of Company A, ran behind a tree, and was ordered from there by the commander of his company and by Captain Reed, of Company E, during the early part of the action. On the morning of the 6th of April he was again guilty of some unofficer-like conduct, and would not join his company when ordered to do so by his captain.
I respectfully submit their conduct to your action, hoping you will take immediate steps to bring to rigid account for the manner in which they have acted.
J. J. ANDERSON,
Captain, Comdg. Eighteenth Regiment Illinois Volunteers.
Commanding First Brigade.
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