Report of Brigadier General Thomas L. Crittenden, U. S. Army, commanding Fifth Division, Army of the Ohio

 

HEADQUARTERS FIFTH DIVISION, ARMY OF THE OHIO,
Field of Shiloh, April 15, 1862

Col. J.B. FRY,
Assistant Adjutant-GeneralUnion Brigadier General Thomas Crittenden

    COLONEL: In obedience to an order from headquarters, of the 8th instant, requiring me to make a report of the part taken in the battle of the 6th and 7th instant, by the troops under my command, I have the honor to submit the following report:
    On the 6th instant, when encamped near Savannah, I was informed by a note from Captain Wright that the forces under Generals McCook and Wood had been ordered to push forward as rapidly as possible to Pittsburg Landing. Captain Wright, in his note, inquired if I had received any order, stating that he had received none, for the advance of my command. Being in front of both the columns named, and believing that an order had been sent and had miscarried, I ordered my command to move at once, intending to march to Pittsburg Landing. As I was in the act of starting I received an order from Colonel Fry, assistant adjutant-general, to bring my command by boat, if not already on the road. My command, consisting of the Eleventh and Fourteenth Brigades, under General J. T. Boyle and Col. W. S. Smith, two batteries of artillery, under Captains Mendenhall and Bartlett, and of Jackson's regiment of cavalry, the Third Kentucky, were all embarked in the most rapid manner, except Jackson's cavalry, which marched at once to the landing opposite Pittsburg Landing, and reached that point in good time and ready for the fight. I was very anxious to have this regiment with me on the field, and reported its presence to General Buell; but no transportation could be furnished, and this gallant corps was condemned to hold their horses almost in sight of comrades engaged in a terrible conflict, and hindered by an impassable barrier from bringing aid or sharing in the perils and honors of the day.
    We reached Pittsburg Landing at about 9 o'clock p.m. By order of General Buell my command was debarked as soon as it could be done, it being important to send back the boat, that McCook's division might be brought up for the battle of the next day. We had great difficulty in landing our troops. The bank of the river at the landing was covered with from 6,000 to 10,000 entirely demoralized soldiery. I was so disgusted, that I asked General Buell to permit me to land a regiment and drive them away. I did not wish my troops to come in contact with them. We landed, however, forcing our way through this mob, and stood to our arms all night on the road, half a mile from the landing, at the place designated by General Buell. At about 5 a.m. we were conducted to our position by General Buell in person. My division took its position on the right of General Nelson. When General McCook came upon the field he took his position (directed by General Buell, as I am informed) on my right, which placed me in the center of our army. The position assigned to my command was maintained throughout the day. We were exposed to several attacks from very superior forces; all were repelled nobly; my division only left its position to advance. The Eleventh Brigade, under General Boyle, consisting of the Nineteenth and Fifty-ninth Ohio and Ninth and Thirteenth Kentucky Regiments, formed the right of my line; the Fourteenth Brigade, under Colonel Smith, formed the left; the Fifty-ninth Ohio was held as a reserve to the Eleventh Brigade, and the Eleventh Kentucky as a reserve to the Fourteenth Brigade.
    My command was exposed frequently, and for a large part of the day, to a severe fire from artillery of shot and shell, and passed through this ordeal like soldiers; a few, frightened for a moment, were brought back at once by the command of their officers.
    The Fourteenth Brigade, at a critical time in the action, moved promptly at the command and charged through a dense thicket, driving out at once four or five times their number, who came charging and shouting upon our lines. When the charge was ordered I dispatched Captain Starling to bring up Hobson's regiment, the Thirteenth Kentucky, to the support of the Fourteenth Brigade. This regiment came promptly, in good order, and in time to share the perils and honors of the charge. At the same time Colonel Beatty's regiment, the Nineteenth Ohio, moved up and sustained Bartlett's battery, on the right, under a severe fire.
    The enemy being driven from before us, our troops quietly and in order came back to their original position. I did not deem it right to advance my lines without an order from General Buell, lest I might expose the right of General Nelson, now pressed with a terrible conflict on my left. The enemy again occupied the thicket, but were finally driven from it by a handsome charge from the Ninth Kentucky, under Colonel Grider, and the Fifty-ninth Ohio, under Colonel Fyffe, and never ventured to occupy it again.
I am glad to know that Colonel Beatty and his regiment, the Nineteenth Ohio, detached during the battle and sent to the assistance of General Nelson, have both been handsomely noticed for their conduct by that distinguished officer.
    General J. T. Boyle behaved with conspicuous gallantry, sharing every danger of his command, inspiring his troops with a confidence and courage like his own. Col. W. S. Smith, commanding the Fourteenth Brigade, joined his command but a day or two previous to the battle. He brought his command well into the fight, and was eminent for his service throughout the day. The gallant services of Captain Mendenhall and his company of artillery I know have been handsomely noticed by General Nelson. Toward the conclusion of the battle Captain Mendenhall brought his battery to my center and did good service, disabling in a few moments a battery of the enemy, which was afterwards captured by my command. Captain Bartlett and his company of artillery served almost throughout the day in a position near to my own. To this officer and his battery my whole division gives praise. Coolness and efficiency marked the conduct of all this company.
    Captain Bartlett and Lieutenant Marshall attracted my attention by their bravery and conduct.
    My adjutant general, Capt. Lyne Starling, rendered most constant and efficient service; his bravery was conspicuous. My aide-de-camp, Lieut. Louis M. Buford, was always at my side, prompt for any duty, and discharging it always like a soldier.
    Dr. Goldsmith, medical director to the Fifth Division, came to me on the field, and notified me of the place where he would prepare for the wounded. I immediately gave notice to my command of this arrangement, and my wounded were promptly and well attended to by this efficient officer.
    I will not close this report without mentioning the fact that my escort, under Lieutenant Petrie, from Jackson's cavalry regiment, exposed themselves so freely, and as I thought unnecessarily, that I ordered them all to the rear but two. These two behaved so well that I must mention the names of Corp. Isaac Walker and Private William Bendon. Tim Fourteenth Wisconsin Regiment, under Col. D. E. Wood, reported to my division by order of General Buell, and were assigned to the Fourteenth Brigade, under Col. W. Smith. The conduct of this regiment has been referred to by Colonel Smith in his report, and I herewith inclose the report of Colonel Wood, showing the part taken in the action by his command, and containing a list of the casualties in his regiment which occurred in the battle.
    In this well-contested fight we have to mourn the loss of many of our bravest and best officers and men. For the numerous eases of gallant and meritorious conduct in the officers and soldiers of my division, as well as the lists of those killed and wounded in the engagement, I beg the attention of the general commanding the Army of the Ohio to the reports of my subordinate officers, herewith submitted. The aggregate of killed, wounded, and missing is reported as follows: Killed, 80; wounded, 417; missing, 21; total, 518.
I am, with great respect, your obedient servant,
T. L. CRITTENDEN,
Brigadier-General, Commanding.





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