War of the Rebellion: Serial 010 Page 0485 Chapter XXII. PITTSBURG LANDING, OR SHILOH, TENN.

Search Civil War Official Records

[Extract from General Bragg's report.]

Colonel R. L. Gibson, Thirteenth Louisiana Volunteers, commanding at the battle of Shiloh the First Brigade of Ruggles' division, asks for a court of inquiry into his official conduct upon that occasion, and bases his application upon the allegation that General Bragg, in his report of the battle, does him injustice. I have examined the report carefully, and find the first reference of General Bragg to Colonel Gibson to be on the fourth page, and in the following words:

In moving over the difficult and broken ground the right brigade of Ruggles' division, Colonel Gibson commanding, bearing to the right, became separated from the two left brigades, leaving a broad interval. Three regiments of Major-General Polk's command opportunely came up and filled up the interval.

The second reference is upon the fifth page, where, after speaking of General Hindman's command, the following remarks occur:

Leaving them to hold their position, I moved farther to the right and brought up the First Brigade (Gibson) of Ruggles' division, which was in rear of its true position, and threw them forward to attack this same point. A very heavy fire soon opened, and after a short conflict this command fell back in considerable disorder. Rallying the different regiments by means of my staff officers and escort, they were twice more moved to the attack, only to be driven back by the enemy's sharpshooters occupying the thick cover. This result was due entirely to want of proper handling.

These are the only specific references in the report to Colonel Gibson or his command.

[Inclosure Numbers 2.]

JACKSON, MISS., June 15, 1863.

Colonel R. L. GIBSON, Thirteenth Regiment Louisiana Volunteers:

SIR: Having read a copy of a communication from yourself to the Adjutant and Inspector General, asking for a court of inquiry upon the management of your brigade at the battle of Shiloh, in consequence of supposed reflections on that management by General Bragg in his official report of that battle, I take pleasure in sustaining the statements in that communication as far as they relate to me personally, and of adding a feeble testimony to the coolness, earnestness, and, as I conceive, skill, under the circumstances, of yourself, and to the gallantry of the troops in that memorable battle. The troops were moved up in excellent order, considering the nature of the woodland through which we advanced, and charged in apparently the proper time and at the proper point the enemy, who were strongly and skillfully posted with artillery-an almost impenetrable undergrowth masking their front. Our brigade, without the assistance of artillery, were met by more than their numbers of the enemy and fell back, and though repeatedly led to the charge, each time bravely breasting a storm of musketry and canister, were compelled to retire. They were, however, easily rallied, and by their own officers, and at no time was there an appearance of a rout.



Member of Slocomb's Fifth Company, Washington Artillery.

[Inclosure Numbers 3.]

JACKSON, MISS., June 16, 1863.

Colonel R. L. GIBSON:

SIR: Having seen your communication to General S. Cooper, Adjutant and Inspector General, demanding a court of inquiry upon the con-