DEAR COLONEL: My circumstances at present prevent me from making such a detailed report as I could desire.
D. E. W.
HDQRS. FOURTEENTH WISCONSIN VOLUNTEERS, April 21, 1862.
Fearing that a former report made by me of the part my command took in the action of April 7 may have failed to serve the purpose for which it was intended, owing to the fact that Colonel W. S. Smith, who commanded the brigade with which I acted, had made his report before I was able to get mine to him, and as I was not properly a part of his command, I have deemed it proper, even at this date, to make a report directly to you. At the time of the battle of April 6 my regiment was stationed Savannah, and had not been assigned to any division. On the evening of that day a member of your staff, whose name I cannot recall, came to my camp and told me he would take the responsibility of ordering me to Pittsburg Landing. I immediately distributed 40 rounds of cartridge to each man, took what rations we had in camp, and within one hour of the time of receiving the order was on board a steamer with 730 effective men. We reached Pittsburg Landing at about 10 p. m., and, ascending the bluff, remained there till morning. Being unable to get orders from headquarters during the night, at the request of Colonel W. S. Smith, commanding a brigade in General Crittenden's division, I agreed to join his command during the day if I failed to get contrary orders. Not having received any other orders, I proceeded to the field under his command, and was assigned by him a position on his right, which, if I understand the formation of our lines, placed me on the extreme right of our left wing. Soon after we were formed in line of battle the enemy was discovered in force beyond an open field on our right, and I deployed Company A, Captain Ward commanding, as skirmishers in that direction. As our skirmishers approached the edge of the field they were fired upon by the enemy's cavalry, who were concealed by bushes which skirted the field. They returned the fire, and fell back upon our main body. One of our men was wounded by this fire. A battery was then placed by General Buell on our right, covering the open field, and directed to the west, while our line faced to the south.
Apprehending an attack somewhere near our position, our men were caused to lie down and await events. Soon after the enemy planted a battery directly in front of the center of my regiment, concealing their operations by the undergrowth of timber, at a distance, I should think, of not over 30 rods from us. Their fire was directed upon the field officers, who were at that time near together, and had not dismounted, fortunately doing no damage, their range being too high. A cross-fire from the battery on our right and also another on our left was opened on the enemy's battery at the same time. Our line arose, commenced firing, and advanced, which caused the enemy hastily to withdraw their battery and fall back. Our line steadily advanced upon the enemy's lines, causing them to slowly fall back, contesting, however, every inch of the ground. Their battery had been replanted at the distance of about three-fourths of a mile from where our line had been formed. Coming a second time in the vicinity of this battery, which was in a great measure concealed by the timber, I ordered my regiment to advance and take it, which they did, Lieutenant George Staley spiking one of the guns and a private spiking another. Captain Waldo, Com-