War of the Rebellion: Serial 010 Page 0447 Chapter XXII. PITTSBURGH LANDING, OR SHILOH, TENN.

Search Civil War Official Records

two pieces, some 200 yards this side of an old field, through which the disordered columns of the enemy could be seen retreating.

At this point I ordered Sergt. J. J. Pirtle, of Polk's battery, Company G, to move his gun forward on the hill, to open on the enemy retiring over a neighboring field and hill. This order was executed in gallant style and with great execution, causing destruction and consternation among the already broken ranks of the enemy.

At this point I was joined by the Thirty-third Tennessee Regiment, Colonel Campbell, and another regiment-I think an Alabama-and three companies of the Fifth Tennessee, Lieutenant-Colonel Venable. Having advanced this command into the field, we were greatly annoyed by the fire of the enemy's sharpshooters, to which we were much exposed. I therefore commanded the men to take cover by a hill and a line of fence hard by, while the piece in charge of Sergeant Pirtle, which had been ordered up, threw grape and canister into the wood, to dislodge the enemy and drive him from his position. On this gun the enemy concentrated his fire, killing and wounding in a short time some of the men and all of the horses attached to the piece.

I cannot speak in terms of too high commendation of Sergeant Pirtle and Corp. John Kenney on this occasion, both of whom exhibited great coolness and intrepidity, and abandoned their gun at last with many regrets at their inability to move it from the field. I regret to say that a detail, which I had ordered from the infantry to their assistance, failed to reach those gallant men in time to enable them to save their piece.

Being still annoyed by the enemy's sharpshooters, I ordered the several regiments to fall back to the woods, some 200 yards, there to form, sending out at the same time Companies B and G, of the One hundred and fifty-fourth Senior Tennessee Regiment, and the three companies of the Fifth Tennessee, under lieutenant-colonel Venable, as skirmishers, to ascertain and report what enemy there might be on our left.

While the command was thus being formed Lieutenant W. B. Richmond, aide-de-camp to Major-General Polk, came up, and directed me to report to General Polk for orders, and Lieutenant-Colonel Wright to take command of my regiment and to move it forward to the cross-roads, to a point to the right of the position it then occupied. On reporting to General Polk I was directed to take command of the brigade of General B. R. Johnson, that gallant officer having received a painful wound, which compelled him to leave the field. I proceeded at once to take command of the brigade, which I formed on the right of the avenue leading by the second encampment of the enemy, on the Pittsburgh road, and just beyond the cross-roads. On my arrival there I found about 150 men of the Fifteenth Tennessee and about 200 of Blythe's Mississippi regiment fit for duty. The ranks of the One hundred and fifty-fourth and Second Tennessee I found also much reduced. Scarcely had the command been placed in position in order of battle ere the enemy advanced through the woods north of our position and opened a heavy and well-directed fire upon us. The One hundred and fifty-fourth Senior Regiment and Blythe's Mississippi regiment, under the command of Major Moore, Colonel Blythe and Lieutenant-Colonel Herron having previously fallen, were at once moved into the woods to meet and engage his advancing columns.

After a sharp conflict of some thirty minutes' duration, it having been reported to me that the One hundred and fifty-fourth Tennessee had exhausted their ammunition, I ordered that regiment to withdraw, and the Second and Fifteenth Tennessee to move forward, which they did