Report of Col. Marcellus M. Crocker, Thirteenth Iowa Infantry, commanding First Brigade.
HEADQUARTERS FIRST BRIGADE, FIRST DIVISION,
Camp near Pittsburg Landing, April 8, 1862.
SIR: I have the honor to report the part taken by the First Brigade of the First Division in the action of the 6th and 7th instant, after 4.30 o’clock p.m. of the 6th, at which time Col. A. M. Hare was wounded and carried off the field and the command of the brigade devolved upon me. At this time the Thirteenth Iowa Volunteers, Eighth and Eighteenth Illinois Volunteers retired together, in obedience to command of Colonel Hare, and were rallied by me, and formed after we had retired to position in front of the camp ground of the Fourteenth Iowa Volunteers, and for the rest of the day and until the enemy was repulsed they maintained that position under constant and galling fire from the enemy’s artillery. The fire of his guns ceased at dark, and during the night we remained under arms in that position.
On the morning of the 7th we were ordered to advance with the division, at that time commanded by Colonel Tuttle, of the Second Iowa Volunteer Infantry, and form a reserve to the advance of our forces that were driving back the enemy and to support our batteries, which we did during the day, most of the time exposed to the cannon and musketry of the enemy. Just before the rout of the enemy the Eighteenth and Eighth Illinois Regiments were ordered to charge upon and take a battery of two guns that had been greatly annoying and damaging our forces. They advanced at a charge bayonets, took the guns, killing nearly all the horses and men, and brought the guns off the field. The enemy having retreated, and there being no further need of the regiments under my command in the field, Colonel Tuttle directed me to return with my regiments, the Eighth and Eighteenth Illinois and Thirteenth Iowa Volunteers, together with the guns captured, to our encampment, which we had left Sunday morning. This I did, arriving at the camp at 8 o’clock p.m. of Monday. During this day our loss was small, the principal loss of the brigade having occurred in the action on the 6th instant.
The entire loss of the brigade in this action during the two days engaged is: Killed, 92; wounded, 467; missing, 18. A list of the killed, wounded, and missing is herewith submitted.* We went into action with 2,414 men, and came out of it on the evening of the second day with 1,795. Most of the officers and men behaved with great gallantry and coolness.
Of Dresser’s battery and the Eleventh Iowa Volunteer Infantry I can say nothing, excepting that I found what was left of them in camp upon my return on the evening of the 7th, they having been separated from the brigade during all the time that it was under my command.
M. M. CROCKER,
Colonel, Commanding Brigade.
* Nominal list omitted; but see revised statement on p. 100, and division return on p. 123.
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 125-6