Numbers 92. Report of Colonel Thomas T. Crittenden, Sixth Indiana Infantry.
HDQRS. SIXTH REGIMENT INDIANA VOLUNTEERS, In the Field, near Pittsburg, Tenn.
SIR: I have the honor to make the following report of the part taken in the action of the 7th instant by the regiment under my command:
We arrived on the field a few minutes before 7 a. m., and by order of Brigadier-General Rousseau took up our position adjoining the extreme right of Brigadier-General Crittenden's division, thereby being the extreme left of General McCook's division.
A short time after we had deployed the enemy opened a battery upon us and shelled us with some effect. I ordered the men to lie down, but the enemy's artillery soon obtained our range so perfectly, that General Rousseau ordered me to advance about 150 yards; which was promptly done, and my regiment was then partially sheltered by the formation of the ground.
In a short time General Rousseau advanced us about 100 yards farther to the front, and soon after, by a wheel of the battalion to the left, eight companies were formed at right angles to General Crittenden's division, facing its flank, while my two right companies, A and H, under command of Captain Baldwin, were faced to the front, behind a low fence, and commanding an open field, about 200 yards in width. Here the enemy opened upon us a heavy fire of canister and musketry, and one of our own batteries threw shell among us. I immediately sent an officer to our battery and rectified this mistake. I here ordered my men to lie down and fire from that position. They fired accurately, and from subsequent inspection of the point to which their fire was directed (in conjunction with the First Ohio, Colonel B. F. Smith, next to us on our right) I feel satisfied that our fire was fearfully effective. Twice the rebel flag went down, and twice the enemy withdrew the regiments opposed to us and brought fresh regiments to replace them.
We held this position until the enemy's fire of musketry had ceased and they abandoned their position in front of us. Their artillery annoyed us here so much, we being unable to reach it by our fire, that I changed our position, and moved diagonally to the right and front, deploying Company B, Captain Tripp, to the left, as skirmishers, and then received orders from General Rousseau to move up squarely to the front, to act, in connection with five companies of the Nineteenth Infantry, as guards for
battery of artillery. This battery opened on the rebels and fired with great rapidity, but fearing capture of the pieces soon left the field, under the steady advance of the enemy's infantry and a severe fire from their artillery.
We opened ranks for our artillery to pass through and then closed up for the coming struggle, which was almost instantly upon us. Here my regiment stood up and fired 20 rounds so rapidly as to make a steady storm of musketry and compelled the enemy to halt. Seeing this, I ordered the regiment forward about 100 yards, when the enemy gave way. This first breaking their center, they soon rallied, and our place was taken by the Sixth Brigade.
My regiment had fired 40 rounds of ammunition up to this time. We filled our cartridge-boxes again, and moved forward in rear of the Sixth Brigade, continuing action. The conduct of the officers and men of my regiment was admirable. At no time during the day did we ever yield