Report of Brigadier General Charles Clark, C. S. Army, commanding First Division, First Corps, Army of the Mississippi
HDQRS. FIRST DIV., FIRST CORPS, ARMY OF THE MISS.,
April 8, 1862
Maj. GEORGE WILLIAMSON,
Asst. Adjt. Gen., First Corps, Army of the Mississippi
MAJOR: On the evening of the 3d instant my division
(composed of the Second Brigade, commanded by Brigadier-General Stewart, and the
First Brigade, by Col. R. M. Russell, of the Twelfth Tennessee Regiment) moved
as ordered, and halted for the night on the Ridge road to Pittsburg, about 9
miles from Corinth.
At daylight on the 4th we resumed the march, but were soon ordered to halt to permit the troops of Major-General Hardee to pass to our front.
We were again stopped at the crossing of the Monterey and Purdy road to await the arrival of troops that were to move by that road and precede us. We encamped for the night during which rain fell in incessant torrents) with our right about half a mile from the cross-road at Mickey's, the whole day's march not exceeding 6 or 7 miles.
At 3 a.m. Saturday the whole command was under arms and in readiness to move, but darkness and a drenching rain detained us until dawn. At Mickey's we were again halted some five hours, until the troops of Major-General Bragg came up and preceded us, so that it was not until late in the afternoon that we arrived at the point designated for our bivouac for the night.
On Sunday morning, the 6th instant, the two brigades, the Second in front, marched to the field, as ordered by Major-General Polk, in line of battle, the center on the Pittsburg road, Stanford's battery attached to and following the Second in the road and Bankhead's battery the First.
When within about 1,000 yards of the enemy's camps the left flank of each line, while passing through a field, was exposed to a fire of round shot and shell from a battery of the enemy, but no casualties occurred, although the battery continued to fire upon us for thirty minutes. When we arrived within 300 yards of Major-General Bragg's fine General A. Sidney Johnston ordered me to send the Second Brigade, by a flank movement, to the right, to support the forces there engaged, and to remain with the First Brigade in position and await orders. He led the Second Brigade in person and I did not see it afterwards.
In a few moments I was ordered to move to the edge of the open fields in front, and was there met by Major-General Bragg, who informed me that the battery on the left and front of my line was enfilading his troops, and directed me to charge it with one of my regiments. The Eleventh Louisiana (Col. Sam. F. Marks), being most convenient, I led it forward. The battery was concealed from us by a ridge and distant about 300 yards. The battalion moved up the ascent, with fixed bayonets, at a double-quick, and when on the crest of the ridge we were opened upon by the enemy's battery with shot and canister and by a large infantry support with musketry at easy range. Our men were compelled to fall back behind the ridge, where they were promptly reformed.
In the mean time Colonel Russell brought forward the other three regiments, and with the whole brigade I again charged. The enemy retreated. We pursued them at double-quick some 500 yards, when we met a large force in position, upon whom we opened fire. A brisk interchange of musketry continued for about fifteen minutes, when the enemy commenced retiring, covering their retreat with skirmishers. I ordered the firing to cease, and was proceeding along the line to enforce the order when I received a severe wound in the right shoulder. Leaving Colonel Russell in command, I went to the rear to have my wound dressed, and met Major-General Bragg, to whom I communicated the situation of affairs, who, after kindly expressing his sympathy, galloped to the front to give his orders in person. In the first charge by the Eleventh Louisiana Regiment the right wing was embarrassed by the tents and picket ropes of an artillery company on the ridge, and the whole line exposed to a murderous fire, of the effect of which the dead and wounded were melancholy evidence.
Having received no reports from the officers under my command, I cannot report specially as to the conduct of the brigade and other officers of the line. Justice will doubtless be done them in the reports which will be sent you; but I can bear witness to the uniform, steady conduct of all, both officers and men, who came under my observation.
To my staff my thanks are due for their gallantry and good conduct. Capt. W. H. McCardle, assistant adjutant-general; Lieut. William Yerger, jr., my aide-de-camp; Majs. Howell Hinds and W. M. Inge, assistant adjutants-general, Seventh Brigade, Army of the Potomac, and Capt. John A. Buckner, of the Eighth Kentucky Regiment, volunteer aide, accompanied me in conducting the first charge of the Eleventh Louisiana Regiment and in the second advance, and were, in the thickest of the fight, prompt and intelligent in the execution of my orders. Lieutenant Yerger was near me and had his horse shot under him about the time I was wounded. Major Hinds was by my side and assisted me from the field. Maj. W. H. Haynes, my division commissary, was seriously wounded in the face by the fragment of a shell. Mr. James E. McClure, acting quartermaster, came frequently to the front under fire to receive my orders.
Captain Williams, of the staff of Major-General Bragg, was conspicuous for his courageous bearing, waving his sword in the front and being the first upon the hill in our second charge.
The colour-sergeant of the Eleventh Louisiana did not fall back with his regiment when it was repulsed in the first charge, but kept his flag displayed upon the hill amid a shower of balls until he was ordered back to the new line.
I am, major, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Brig. Gen., Comdg. 1st Div., 1st Corps, Army of the Mississippi.
Text Source - The Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies
Image Source - The Library of Congress
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