Goddard, early on Sunday morning, the Fifteenth Regiment would have been distinguished for gallantry and daring.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding Fifteenth Illinois Volunteers.
Numbers 53. Report of Captain Louis D. Kelley, Fifteenth Illinois Volunteers.
HDQRS. FIFTEENTH REGIMENT ILLINOIS VOLUNTEERS,
Pittsburg, April 10, 1862.
SIR: As senior officer in command I report to you the part taken by the Fifteenth Illinois Volunteers in the battle at this place on the 6th of April.
Soon after breakfast heavy firing was heard to our left, and about the same time we received orders to fall in and take our position in your brigade. Our regiment numbered about 500 men; a heavy detail for fatigue duty had been made from our regiment early inn the morning, reducing our numbers somewhat. After taking our position in the brigade we were ordered to advance in the direction of where there was heavy firing. Advancing a short distance, we were ordered to load our pieces and form in line of battle. We were drawn up in line directly in the rear of one of our batteries, numbering six pieces. No sooner had we prepared for operation than the battery gave way, part of the guns being taken by the enemy and the rest taken away by horses without riders, who dashed through our ranks with great speed. Although our lines were broken several times by horses and mules running away, yet they were immediately closed up again.
At the time the battery gave way a regiment in front of us (placed there, I suppose, to support the battery) gave way also; one at our right was seen to break and run without firing a single round. We immediately received orders to open fire upon the enemy. Although everything was confusion around us and without supports,, yet we maintained our position for some time against superior numbers, who had all of the advantage they could wish in the lay of the ground. Our men fired from 10 to 15 rounds each. Lieutenant Colonel E. F. W. Ellis, commanding the Fifteenth Regiment and Major William r. Goddard fell early in the fight while cheering the men. They were frequently heard to say; "Stand firm;" "Do your duty, boys;" "Stand your ground;" "Take good aim."
Colonel Ellis was wounded in the arm severely at the first fire of the enemy upon us but he paid no attention to that, and it was not till a ball penetrated his heart that he ceased to cheer on his men. Major Goddard fell a few moments before Colonel Ellis, a ball passing through his head. Two braver or better officers never lived. They were dearly beloved by all their men and by all who knew them. They were kind-hearted, and their loss will be a severe one to the regiment and to the service. Although our field officers were killed and all our captains but two shot down, besides several lieutenants, yet the men stood their ground like veterans amid a perfect storm of shell and bullets, and not until it was found impossible to maintain our position and keep from being taken prisoners did the regiment leave the ground. About 200 of our killed and wounded were left upon the field. After falling back some distance Captain Rogers (who had been wounded by a piece of