Report of Col. James M. Tuttle, Second Iowa Infantry, Commanding
Second Division and First Brigade.
HEADQUARTERS FIRST BRIGADE, SECOND DIVISION,
Pittsburg, Tenn., April 10, 1862.
GENERAL: I have the honor to report the part taken by the First Brigade in the action of the 6th and 7th instant, as well as such other regiments and corps as were under my command during the engagement.
On the morning of the 6th I proceeded with my brigade, consisting of the Second, Seventh, Twelfth, and Fourteenth Iowa Infantry, under the direction of Brig. Gen. W. H. L. Wallace, and formed line on the left of his division. We had been in line but a few moments when the enemy made their appearance and attacked my left wing (Twelfth and Fourteenth Iowa), who gallantly stood their ground and compelled the assailants to retire in confusion. They again formed under cover of a battery and renewed the attack upon my whole line, but were repulsed as before. A third and fourth time they dashed upon us, but were each time baffled and completely routed. We held our position about six hours, when it became evident that our forces on each side of us had given way, so as to give the enemy an opportunity of turning both our flanks. At this critical juncture General Wallace gave orders for my whole brigade to fall back, which was done in good order. The Second and Seventh Regiments retired through a severe fire from both flanks and reformed, while the Twelfth and Fourteenth, who were delayed by their endeavors to save a battery which had been placed in their rear, were completely cut off and surrounded and were compelled to surrender.
In passing through the cross-fire General Wallace fell mortally wounded, and as you were reported wounded, and Captain McMichael informing me that I was the ranking officer, I assumed command of the division and rallied what was left of my brigade, and was joined by the Thirteenth Iowa, Colonel Crocker; Ninth Illinois, Colonel Mersy; Twelfth Illinois, Lieutenant-Colonel Chetlain, and several other fragments of regiments, and formed them in line on the road, and held the enemy in check until the line was formed that resisted the last charge just before dark of that day.
On Monday morning I collected all of the division that could be found and such other detached regiments as volunteered to join me, and formed them in column by battalion, closed in mass, as a reserve for General Buell, and followed up his attack until we arrived near the position we had occupied on Sunday, when I deployed into line in rear of his force, and held my command subject to his orders. The Second Iowa and Twelfth Illinois were called on at one time. The Second was sent to General Nelson's division, and was ordered by him to charge bayonets across a field on the enemy, who were in the woods beyond, which they did in the most gallant manner, the enemy giving way before they reached them. The Seventh Iowa, under orders from General Crittenden, charged and captured one of the enemy's batteries, while the Thirteenth Iowa rendered General McCook valuable service near the close of the engagement.
On Tuesday, the 8th, when our forces were again called to arms, I called out the Second Division, and all obeyed the call with alacrity except Col. Crafts J. Wright, of the Thirteenth Missouri, who refused to obey orders, and did not make his appearance during the day. The division remained on the field all day, and were ordered to return to camp after dark.
The officers and men under my command behaved nobly and gallantly during the whole time, with the exception above named. The officers deserving special mention in this report are so numerous that I will confine myself to field officers alone: Lieutenant-Colonel Baker, of the Second Iowa; Lieutenant-Colonel Parrott and Major Rice, of the Seventh Iowa; Colonel Woods, Twelfth Iowa; Colonel Shaw and Lieutenant-Colonel Lucas, of the Fourteenth Iowa, particularly distinguished themselves for bravery and ability on the field. Colonel Crocker, of the Thirteenth Iowa, although not belonging to my command originally, was attached to it on Sunday evening, and remained with my division until Monday evening. He proved himself to have all the qualities of a good and efficient officer, and was prompt to duty when the enemy was to be met. Colonel Mersy, Ninth Illinois, also proved himself a brave and efficient officer. Colonel Morton, commanding Second Brigade, and Colonel Baldwin, Third Brigade, on the last day turned out their brigades promptly and marched in column to the outposts. Colonel Woods, of the Twelfth Iowa, was twice wounded, and when the enemy was driven back on Monday he was recaptured, and is now here, unfit for duty.
Appended I send you a list of the casualties of the brigade only, as others will report directly to you.*
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. M. TUTTLE,
Colonel, Commanding First Brigade, Second Division.
Brig. Gen. JOHN McARTHUR,
Commanding Second Division.
*Embodied in McArthur’s report, p. 148. See also revised statement, p. 101.
SOURCE: The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series I, Volume X (Serial No. 10), Part I, pages 148-50