War of the Rebellion: Serial 010 Page 0492 KY., TENN., N. MISS., N. ALA., AND SW. VA.

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Numbers 172 Report of Colonel B. L. Hodge, Nineteenth Louisiana Infantry.


Corinth, Miss., April-, 1862.

SIR: In pursuance with your orders I have the honor to submit herewith a brief report of the part taken by my regiment in the engagements with the enemy on the 6th and 7th instant, at Shiloh Church, Tenn.:

My regiment, being on the right of the First Brigade of the division commanded by Brigadier-General Ruggles, was bivouacked on the night of the 5th instant immediately to the left of the Bark or Old Bark road, as I understood the road to be called that led to the enemy's encampment.

At 5.30 a.m. on the morning of the 6th we commenced the march, and in accordance with your orders I conducted the regiment so as to leave space for the First Arkansas Regiment, Colonel Fagan, which was immediately on my left, to deploy into line. Advancing to the front, in conformity to these instructions, my command soon crossed over to the right of the road, when General Bragg himself, in person, ordered me to conduct my regiment forward, that, when formed into line of battle, the said road should be immediately on my right.

Having repassed to the left of the road I continued to move forward rapidly until we came in sight of the enemy's camp, when, by your order, through Mr. Pugh, I halted the regiment, having previously deployed them into line. At this time my regiment was in the woods, the First Arkansas on my left in a field.

Immediately after our line halted a battery of the enemy, posted on an eminence to the left and rear of their front line of camps, opened on us with shot and shell. Although exposed to this fire for fully half an hour, only two of my men were wounded, the guns of the enemy at this point being served with little effect except upon the tree-tops around us. This battery having been captured by the troops of some other command, and our brigade having been moved forward a short distance beyond the outer line of the enemy's camps, my regiment upon the verge of an old field, we for the first time engaged the enemy. Seeing that the distance was too great for our arms to do execution, we ceased firing after two or three rounds. The enemy again noticed our presence by a few shells, but with even less effect than before.

From this point we moved about half a mile to the right and a little in advance, passing through a wheat field. We crossed a road leading in the direction of Hamburg.

At this time the First Arkansas and my regiment were well together in line, as I could see while passing through the field. Just after crossing the road my regiment entered a small farm, a log cabin near the center, our line extending across the field. We had advanced midway the little farm, which is about 150 yards in width, when the enemy, lying in ambush about 80 or 100 yards beyond the outer fence and directly in our front, opened fire upon our entire line. Although the fire was not expected at the moment, the advance of the regiment was not checked in the slightest; but moving forward steadily to the fence the men commenced to deliver their fire at will. Owing to the impenetrable undergrowth between the enemy's position and ours I was unable to see him, and from the manner of the men looking through the bushes, as if hunting an object for their aim, it was apparent that they