on picket. A desperate conflict here ensued, in which Lieutenant-Colonel Fairchild was wounded in the thigh and carried from the field. I also had my horse shot under me, and my second horse was shot dead as I was about to remount. I was again ordered by General Prentiss to fall back, take to the trees, and hold the enemy in check as much as possible until re-enforcements could arrive. My men immediately took to the trees and fell back slowly, firing upon the enemy, until the advance of General Hurlbut's division made their appearance. I then fell back to the rear of his lines and formed my men, but finding them out of ammunition, I drew off for a fresh supply. My men were nearly exhausted, having been engaged since 6 o'clock without food our water, contesting the field inch by inch with a greatly superior force of the enemy.
After receiving a fresh supply of ammunition, and while waiting orders from General Prentiss, I was requested by a field officer to take the place of an Indiana regiment he said were out of ammunition and were falling back. I immediately complied with his request, and opened fire on the enemy. This position we maintained until we were flanked by the enemy on our left and were compelled to fall back. In this engagement I received a wound, the ball passing through my left arm, a little below the elbow, and I was obliged to leave the field about 3 p.m.
Of my regiment there were 46 killed, 176 wounded, and 23 missing.*
Of the wounded several have since died.
I cannot speak in too high terms of commendation of the bravery and endurance of both officers and men in my command, although never before in action. They with very few exceptions exhibited in an eminent degree the qualities of veteran soldiers, and in the last engagement I lost some of my brave and valuable men, among whom was Captain O. D. Pease, of Company D, who received a wound that caused his death.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel Sixteenth Regiment Wisconsin Volunteers.
Major General U. S. GRANT,
Numbers 84. Report of Colonel Alexander Chambers, Sixteenth Iowa Infantry (of the Second Brigade)
HDQRS. SIXTEENTH IOWA VOLS., THIRD BRIGADE,
SIXTH DIVISION, ARMY OF WEST TENNESSEE,
Near Pittsburg Landing, April 24, 1862
SIR: I have the honor to report that on Sunday morning, April 6, while my regiment was preparing to join General Prentiss' division, as was previously ordered, an aide of General Grant ordered my regiment in line on the right of the Fifteenth Iowa Volunteers, to act as a reserve and prevent stragglers from reaching the river. The line had been formed but a short time when I was ordered to march it, following the Fifteenth Iowa, to General McClernand's division, whose right was giving way. At this time large numbers of men in squads were returning. Cavalry, infantry, and several batteries of artillery were met on the road without being disabled or having lost their horses or expended their ammunition. From 9.30 a.m. to 10.30 a.m. the time occupied
*But see revised statement, p. 104.