most desperate bravery, the brunt of their attack falling upon the Eighth Iowa, by whom it was most gallantly borne. I have good authority for saying that the firm resistance of the center at that time was the chief means of saving our whole army from destruction. The fighting continued with great severity for about an hour, during which we repelled what General Beauregard in his official report counts as three of the five distinct charges made by the rebels that day upon our center, and at the end of that time the enemy facing us fell back fully repulsed. Colonel Geddes now withdrew a short distance to take care of his wound, and at his request, as his position was more important and exposed than my own, I moved to the left and occupied it, thus leaving an interval on my right between us and the Twelfth. When Colonel Geddes reformed it was on the right of General Prentiss, with whom Colonel Geddes fought during the rest of the day.
General Prentiss' line had now swung around so far as to be almost parallel with ours, and back to back with us, about 150 yards in our rear, at our end of the two lines. In this position he was again engaged by a large body of the enemy, who had advanced from the left, having driven in General Hurlbut's division. At about a quarter to 5 p. m. I received an order from Colonel Tuttle to about-face and proceed to engage the same body of the enemy. In order not to interfere with General Prentiss' lines I marched by an oblique, passing close to the Eighteenth Wisconsin in his line, and here for the third time that day the Fourteenth engaged with the enemy. After less than half an hour we repulsed them and made a short advance, which revealed to me the facts of our position. The enemy's center had advanced over the ground defended by us before our change of front and were now attacking us the rear. Both wings of their forces had advanced so far as to form a junction between us and Pittsburg Landing, their right, which we were now facing, meeting at an angle with their left, which had driven in McClernand's and Sherman's divisions on our right, and into this angle we were about being pressed by this new attack on our rear. General Prentiss having already surrendered with a part of his command, the Fourteenth was in advance of all that remained, but completely inclosed, receiving the enemy's fire from three directions The regiment still kept its ranks unbroken and held its position facing the enemy, but the men were almost completely exhausted with a whole day of brave and steady fighting and many of them had spent their whole stock of ammunition. It was therefore useless to think of prolonging a resistance which could only have wasted their lives to no purpose, and at about a quarter to six p. m. I surrendered them and myself prisoners of war. I have only to add that I feel under the deepest obligations to both officers and men of my regiment for their admirable conduct through the day. This was so complete and free from exception, that it would be impossible to mention individuals without doing injustice to the rest. Their steadiness and courage, the accuracy of their fire, and precision of all their movements entitle them to the highest credit, and their general demeanor, both upon the battle-field and in the trying scenes through which we passed as prisoners of was, will always be remembered by me with pride and gratification.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
WM. T. SHAW,
Colonel Fourteenth Iowa Volunteers.
Honorable SAMUEL J. KIRKWOOD, Governor of Iowa.