the battle of Sunday and be able to rejoin the regiment, and congratulating you upon narrow escapes, I am, colonel, your obedient servant,
Colonel CHARLES CRUFT
Colonel Thirty-first Indiana.
Numbers 59. Report of Colonel Hugh B. Reed, Forty-fourth Indiana Infantry.
HDQRS. FORTY-FOURTH INDIANA VOLUNTEERS,
Pittsburg, Tenn., April 9, 1862
SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by the Forty-fourth Regiment Indiana Volunteers in the actions of the 6th and 7th instant, near Pittsburg, Tenn.:
We left our encampment about 8 o'clock Sunday morning, with an effective force of 478 men, and marched forward to support General Prentiss' division, which had been attacked by the enemy.. We had gone but a short distance when we met his men retreating in much confusion. We proceeded about 1 mile, and took position in line of battle in rear of the camp lately occupied by him. We formed our line under fire from the enemy's battery, Colonel Cruft, Thirty-first Indiana, on our right; Lieutenant-Colonel Bristow, Twenty-fifth Kentucky, and Colonel McHenry, Seventeenth Kentucky, on our left. I sent forward First Lieutenant Wayne, Company D, and First Lieutenant Barton, Company B, each with part of their respective companies, as skirmishers in front of our line. They were soon driven in, and the whole line of the Forty-fourth and Thirty-first Indiana furiously assaulted by the enemy, and as gallantly met, our men behaving in the coolest manner possible, loading and firing with the utmost rapidity. With so much zeal did they enter into it that the officers had only to watch the fight as a matter of interest, but no of duty. The enemy was driven off with immense loss. They were again rallied, and charged up to within a few rods of our line, and were again repulsed. You, general, were with us, and have since gone over the ground so gallantly contested and have witnessed how terribly destructive was our fire, the ground being literally strewn with their dead; but again he formed in column and charged over an open field on our left and in front of the Seventeenth and Twenty-fifth Kentucky the gallant Colonel McHenry commanding, who poured into his ranks a most terrific fire. I immediately wheeled two companies of my left wing to the left and opened upon his flank. His ranks were mown down at each fire, but still he pressed forward, and as bravely was he received. His front rank went down, leaving a line of dead across his front, when he retreated in good order.
This ending the engagement here, your ordered us to the support of the line on our left, about half a mile distant, which had fallen back. We took position on the left of and supporting Willard's battery, which soon commenced playing upon the enemy and we were soon charged upon in large force; and here was the most hotly-contested fight of the day being in an open field, with the exception of a few scattering trees, the enemy far outnumbering us, and fighting with desperate courage, and his fire was fearfully severe; but our officers and men behaved with heroic bravery, never for a moment swerving from their position,