ments, a part of the Fifteenth, and about 100 men of the Second Tennessee, under Captain Samuel Vance. Hurrying rapidly down the Pittsburg road until I reached a point near the first encampment of the enemy, I moved to the left, to an open field in the vicinity of Shiloh Church, where I was directed by Major-General Polk to form in line of battle in an open field to the rear of the position then held by Captain Bankhead's battery, but was soon ordered to advance to the support of the line to my front, and moving up to the distance of half a mile, I met General Breckinridge, and was advised by him that he was able to hold his position in front if I could protect his left flank. I promptly moved my command by the left flank, passing Shiloh Church, reached an open road, and moved obliquely to the left, and formed my command immediately in front of a very large force of the enemy, now pressing vigorously to turn our left flank.
My engagement here commenced almost the instant I had formed, and was for four hours the most hotly contested I have ever witnessed. My own command fought with great coolness and desperation, and for two hours I gradually drove the enemy from his position, and he, though constantly re-enforced during the conflict and with heavy odds, in his favor at the beginning, failed utterly in accomplishing anything.
It is gratifying to say of the Irish and German troops, of whom there were many in the One hundred and fifty-fourth Senior, the Second and Fifteenth Tennessee Regiments, that, in the desperate conflict of Monday, whether dashing forward in the charge or contesting ground inch by inch against overpowering numbers, their gallantry and steady courage in behalf of their adopted country equaled that of the native standing for his home.
During the engagement here I was re-enforced by Colonel Gibson, with a Louisiana brigade; by Colonel Campbell, with his gallant Thirty-third Tennessee, and by Major Samuel T. Love, with the Twenty-seventh Tennessee, all of whom deserve particular mention. Major Love gallantly led his regiment to the charge and fell mortally wounded. Thus re-enforced, I was enabled to prevent the advance of the enemy, who seemed to have thrown his whole disposable force against our left flank.
In the early part of the conflict I was, however, greatly annoyed by the want of artillery, my own being detained and engaged on another part of the field.
At 1.30 o'clock I occupied about the same position at which I first came in collision with the enemy, and at this hour I was joined by two pieces from Captain M. Smith's battery, in charge of Lieutenant Eckford, and two pieces from a battery unknown to me, and in charge of an officer whose name, I regret, has escaped my recollection. One of these pieces I served myself; the others were served by the officers in charge, and did excellent execution. Thus strengthened, I would have had no difficulty in maintaining my position during the remainder of the day; but at 2.30 p.m., by orders from Major-General Polk, I withdrew my command slowly and in order in the direction of my camp, the enemy making no advance whatever.
I cannot conclude this report without a further reference to the conduct of the officers and men of my command. With an occasional exception, it was all that I expected or desired.
During the engagement of the 6th instant the operations of the Second Brigade were all under my immediate observation and control. In the beginning of this engagement, during the morning, Captain Melancthon Smith's light battery as has been stated, did splendid service, and Captain Smith and his officers were distinguished examples of gal-