unjust to myself and the commanding officers of regiments and as erroneous in certain matters of fact, I have the honor earnestly to solicit that a court of inquiry be appointed, and that Colonels Allen, Hodge, and Fagan, with Mr. Robert Pugh, of Assumption, La., acting as my aide-de-camp, and Lieutenant H. H. Bein, be brought before it, in order that a full and fair investigation may be had.
Until such a court can be convened I trust I shall be pardoned a brief and respectful reference in the way of explanation, and protest to the points of censure embraced by the general then commanding our corps.
It is remarked by him at the outset that the brigade was in rear of its proper position. I have the honor to state that a short time before the occasion referred to by the general I had received instructions from him to move more slowly and to keep at a greater distance from the front line. Although this order was delivered to me by a staff officer when in the camp of the enemy, and from which he had just been driven; and while all preparations had been made to charge a battery from which we were sustaining frequent casualties, I immediately observed it, and at once halted the command. Owing to the thickly-wooded character of the country through which we were marching I was obliged frequently to halt, and once even to move back a short distance, when I found I was reaching the first the first line and then move forward. I was endeavoring, notwithstanding the desire of us all to press forward, to obey the order rigidly, presuming, of course, that should he wish me to move faster, as above, or even more slowly, I would be directed accordingly.
In the next place the general speaks of the brigade as having, after a brief attack on the enemy in a particular position which I was ordered to advance against, given way in disorder, and having been rallied by his staff officers, and as having been held in check by skirmishers. The position alluded to was a densely-wooded hill, surrounded by a ravine, and extending farther than the limits of our line to the right and left. In the first and second charges on this position I was near the left center of the brigade, and, together with Colonel Allen and Major Avegno, twice rallied, their regiments recoiling not so much from the infantry fire, heavy as that was, but from the severe fire of a battery on a commanding point, and sweeping our line whenever we advanced.
Having just at this time received intelligence from Colonel Fagan that he likewise had been cut up and forced back, I relinquished the left to Colonel Allen, under orders to press forward, and having sent the same orders to Colonel Hodge on the extreme right, Colonel Fagan and myself repeatedly led his very large regiment to the attack. The movement forward was always made simultaneously by all the regiments. We succeeded at one time in driving the enemy back a considerable distance, but the concentration of fire, especially on our flanks, was so great that the command, unaided by artillery, could not carry the position. I had sent Mr. Robert Pugh to the general after the first assault for artillery; but the request was not granted, and in place of it he brought me orders to advance again on the enemy. In the execution of this order we charged repeatedly, as described, and were repulsed on account of his severe artillery fire, advantageous position, superior numbers, and the almost impenetrable thicket through which we had to advance. The loss of officers and men, exceeding that of nearly any brigade at Shiloh, shows with what steadiness and courage the attacks were made. Nor were they brief. They were repeated