War of the Rebellion: Serial 010 Page 0133 Chapter XXII. PITTSBURG LANDING, OR SHILOH, TENN.

Search Civil War Official Records

Numbers 11. Report of Colonel C. Carroll Marsh, Twentieth Illinois, commanding Second Brigade.


SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the movements of my command during the engagement of the 6th and 7th instant:

My brigade consisted of the Eleventh Illinois Infantry, Lieutenant Colonel T. E. G. Ransom commanding; the Twentieth Illinois Infantry, Lieutenant Colonel E. Richards commanding; the Forty-eighth Illinois Infantry, Colonel Isham N. Haynie commanding, and the Forty-fifth Illinois Infantry, Colonel John E. Smith commanding. By an order from the general commanding the district the artillery and cavalry heretofore attached to the brigade were removed on the 5th instant. All the regiments in my brigade, having suffered more or less severely at the battle of Donelson, were reduced in numbers, so that though nominally a full brigade, I took into action but 1,514, officers and men.

On Sunday morning, the 6th instant, a little before 7 o'clock, I heard considerable musketry on the left of our line. This continuing without material interruption for some time, I ordered regimental commanders to be in readiness to form. In a few moments I received an order from Major-General McClernand to form the brigade. Soon after forming I was ordered to the support of General Sherman, who was reported to have been attacked by a very superior force. Moving rapidly to the left I was assigned a position by General McClernand, which I had scarcely assumed when the enemy were seen approaching in large force and fine style, column after column moving on us with a steadiness and precision which I had scarcely anticipated. General McClernand then ordered forward a battery (Burrows') to the center of the brigade, which had not fairly taken position when the enemy opened on us with a most terrible and deadly fire, unequaled by any which we were under during the subsequent of the day and monday. During the first five minutes I lost more in killed and wounded than in all the other actions. Lieutenant-Colonel Ransom and Major Nevins, of the Eleventh, Major Bartleson, of the Twentieth, Colonel Haynie and Lieutenant-Colonel Sanford, of the Forty-eighth, with numerous officers of the line, were here wounded. The effect of losing so many field officers so suddenly was soon left, the Forty-eighth yielding first, soon followed by the other regiments of the brigade. In spite of my affords to compel them to stand they fell back, and with a precipitancy as mortifying as it was unusual, and only to be accounted for by the loss of so many of their officers; for in all subsequent engagements in which we took part their conduct was such as to meet my hearty approval.

Moving a short distance to the rear, I succeeded in rallying the remnant of the Eleventh, and Forty-eighth. Here lieutenant-Colonel Ransom, of the Eleventh, who had been severely wounded in the head, having had his wound slightly dressed, took command of his regiment. Here, too, portions of the Seventeenth, Major Smith commanding, and the Forty-ninth, Lieutenant-Colonel Pease commanding, of the Third Brigade, united with me. In a few moments I received orders to move forward to the support of Taylor's battery, planted in front of the line of the First Brigade camp. This I did, forming on the left on the First Brigade. Moving forward with them, and in face of a