Numbers 43. Reports of Brigadier General Stephen A. Hurlbut, U. S. Army, Commanding Fourth Division, Army of the Tennessee.
HDQRS. FOURTH DIVISION, ARMY OF WEST TENNESSEE,
April 12, 1862.
SIR: I have the honor to report in brief the part taken by my division in the battle of the 6th and 7th of April.
On Sunday morning, April 6, about 7.30 a.m., I received a message from Brigadier-General Sherman that he was attacked in force, and heavily, upon his left. I immediately ordered Colonel J. C. Veatch, commanding the Second Brigade, to proceed to the left of General Sherman. This brigade, consisting of the Twenty-fifth Indiana, Fourteenth, Fifteenth and Forty-sixth Illinois, was in march in then minutes, arrived on General Sherman's line rapidly, and went into action. I must refer to Colonel Veatch's report for the particulars of that day.
Receiving in a few moments a pressing request for aid from Brigadier-General Prentiss, I took command in person of the First and Third Brigades, respectively commanded by Colonel N. G. Williams, of the Third Iowa, and Brigadier General J. G. Lauman. The First Brigade consisted of the Third Iowa, Forty-first Illinois, Twenty-eighth Illinois, and Thirty-second Illinois; the Third Brigade of the Thirty-first Indiana, Forty-fourth Indiana, Seventeenth Kentucky,and Twenty-fifth Kentucky. In additional I took with me the First and Second Battalions of the Fifth Ohio Cavalry, Mann's light battery, four pieces, commanded by First Lieutenant E. Brotzmann; Ross' battery, Second Michigan, and Myers' battery, Thirteenth Ohio. As we drew near the rear and left of General Prentiss' line his regiments, in broken masses, drifted through my advance, that gallant officer making every effort to rally them.
I formed my line of battle-the First Brigade thrown to the front on the southerly side of a large open field, the Third Brigade continuing the line with an obtuse angle around the other side of the field and extending some distance into the brush and timber; ;Mann's battery was placed in the angle of the line, Ross' battery some distance to the left, and the Thirteenth Ohio Battery on the right and somewhat advanced in cover of the timber, so as to concentrate the fire upon the open ground in front-and waited for the attack. A single shot from the enemy's batteries struck in Myers' Thirteenth Ohio Battery, when officers and men, with a common impulse of disgraceful cowardice, abandoned the entire battery, horses, caissons, and guns, and fled, and I saw them no more until Tuesday. I called for volunteers from the artillery. The call was answered, and 10 gallant men from Mann's battery and Ross' battery brought in the horses, which were wild, and spiked the pieces. The attack commenced on the Third Brigade, through the thick timber, and was met and repelled by a steady and continuous fire, which rolled the enemy back in confusion, after some half hour of struggle, leaving many dead and wounded.
The glimmer of bayonets on the left and front of the First Brigade showed a large force of the enemy gathering, and an attack was soon made on the Forty-first Illinois and Twenty-eighth on the left on the brigade, and the Thirty-second Illinois and Third Iowa on the right. At the same time a strong force of very steady and gallant troops formed in columns, doubled on the center, and advanced over the open field in front. They were allowed to approach within 400 yards, when fire was opened from Mann's and Ross' batteries,and from the two right