No. 213 Reports of Col. Ben. J. Hill, Fifth Tennessee Infantry.
HDQRS. FIFTH TENNESSEE REGT. PROV. ARMY, Camp, near Corinth, Miss., April 15, 1862.
SIR: In compliance with your request, I have the honor to make the following report, showing the positions occupied by my command during the eventful scenes of the 6th and 7th instant at Shiloh, in Hardin County, Tenn.:
My regiment was detailed to do picket duty on Saturday night [5th], and was thrown out within 3 or 4 miles of the enemy's encampment.
At daylight Sunday morning we were ordered to advance with the balance of your brigade, the Sixth Mississippi, Colonel Thornton, on my right, and the Twenty-fourth Tennessee, Lieutenant-Colonel Peebles, on my left. We advanced some 3 miles, when our pickets commenced a sharp and lively skirmish. We continued to advance and drove them before us to within 500 yards of the Federal encampment. They opened a terrific fire upon our columns. A deep ravine, full of green briers and grape-vines, separated us from Colonel Thornton's regiment. My right was exposed to a severe flank fire from a battery and from musketry and other small-arms. We were at the foot of a long hill, upon which the enemy were hidden.
Captain Hanner, Company A, and several others were killed at this place and many wounded.
The Fifteenth Arkansas, Lieutenant-Colonel Patton, was in advance of us and deployed as skirmishers, but was soon called in to sustain the Twenty-fourth Tennessee, on the left, which it performed gallantly and promptly. The firing was constant and continuous for half or three-quarters of an hour, when one of the aides of General Beauregard came to me and said the battery on the right must be charged and silenced at all hazards. I gave the word and my brave boys promptly responded to it. We charged, dispersed the enemy, and silenced the battery. As the enemy retreated my marksmen had better opportunity for trying their skill, and well did they improve it, as was proven by the number of the enemy who there fell. We continued on at double-quick for near a mile, crossing their first encampment, and formed line of battle at the foot of the next hill.
At this time the Twenty-third Tennessee, Lieutenant-Colonel Neill, and the Sixth Mississippi, Colonel Thornton, constituting the right wing of your brigade, getting separated, you had to go to their aid.
I was then directed, as senior colonel, to take command of all the troops on my left by one of General Beauregard's staff, which I did, and formed them in line of battle, to keep back their right wing. Thus, with two Louisiana regiments on the left of your brigade, the Texas Rangers on the extreme left, on Owl Creek, a battery in our rear, the Louisiana cavalry as pickets, and the Fifteenth Arkansas, Lieutenant-Colonel Patton, as skirmishers, we advanced at once, driving the extreme right of the enemy for at least a mile before us. They halted at their third encampment and gave us a stubborn fight. The Fourth Kentucky and a battalion of Alabama troops were here on our right, sheltered under the brow of a hill. They had been giving the enemy a hot fire, but ceased as we came up. My regiment then opened a terrible fire upon the enemy and kept it up alone for a short time, when
*This regiment afterwards known as the Thirty-fifth.