staff officers to continue in front and top couriers if any more came; not to let such news get to the troops in column. I rode to the side and left the troops file by, asking them if they could march faster without too much fatigue, as they were needed. "O, yes, colonel; we are not tired. Do you think the fight will be over before we get there?" My answer, "I hope so, if it goes right." They answer, "You have seen the elephant often; we want to see him once, anyhow." The Thirty-sixth Indiana and Sixth Ohio Volunteer Infantry were eager for the fight. The Twenty-fourth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, had seen the elephant several times, and did not care about seeing him again unless necessary. All three regiments were cheerful; considerably excited, yet cool.
Our pace was accelerated, and I was again at the head of the column, when another courier came with a message of the same import as the first, and soon another. Both were sent back, and the head of the column emerged from the dense forest into a field that bordered on the Tennessee River. Now at intervals the shouts of men could be heard, the steam-whistle, discharge of all kinds of arms-a confused noise. In we went to a point opposite the landing at Pittsburg. The pioneers were put to work to cut a road down the bank to enable men and horses to get on the boats. The northeast bank is low, the opposite bank is high-100 feet or more. The space between the top of the bank and the river, up and down a half a mile or more, was crowded with men; the river was full of boats with steam up, and these boats and many soldiers on them; men in uniform mon the boats and under the river bank (10,000 to 15,000) demoralized. Signals urging us to hurry over, which I could not understand, as there were so many on the boats and under the bank not engaged of the reserve, as I supposed then. General Nelson went over on the first boat with a part of the Thirty-sixth Indiana, Colonel Grose. General Nelson ordered me to remain and see my brigade over and give orders to the commanders of the other brigades (Colonels Hazen and Bruce) to bring their brigades after the Tenth. I instructed Colonel Grose to be certain to keep guides at the river to conduct all our command to the same point on their arrival by boat. Part of the Tenth had been sent over; orders had been given to Colonels Hazen and Bruce, and I crossed half of the Tenth. On each side the boats were crowded with demoralized soldiers, so that only three or four companies could cross on a boat. On our passage over they said their regiments were cut to pieces, &c., and that we would meet the same fate, &c. The vagabonds under the bank told the same story, and yet my new troops pressed through the crowd without showing any signs of fear. In crossing the river some of my men called my attention to men with uniforms, even shoulder-straps, making their way across the stream on logs, and wished to shoot the cowards. Such looks of terror, such confusion, I never saw before, and do not wish to see again.
On top of the banks, near some buildings, I found the Thirty-sixth Indiana partly formed in line, persons running form the front passing through the line and breaking it. Here, too, were Generals Grant, Buell, and Nelson, all of them cool and calm. General Grant directed me to support a battery about 60 to 100 yards to the left of the road, which was done as soon as the line could be formed-probably in three or four minutes-Generals Buell and Nelson assisting. The Thirty-sixth Indiana and part of the Sixth Ohio Volunteer Infantry were placed in position behind the crest of the hill, near the battery, the left protected by a deep ravine parallel to the river an having water in it;