Report of Col. Marcellus M. Crocker, Thirteenth Iowa Infantry.
HDQRS. THIRTEENTH REGIMENT IOWA INFANTRY VOLS.,
Camp near Pittsburg, Tenn., April 8, 1862.
SIR: I have the honor to report the part taken by the Thirteenth Regiment Iowa Volunteer Infantry in the engagement with the enemy on the 6th and 7th instant.
Early in the morning of the 6th the alarm was given, and heavy firing in the distance indicated that our camp was attacked. The regiment was formed in front of its color line, its full force consisting of 717 men, rank and file. It was at once ordered to form on the left of the Second Brigade, and proceeded to that position at a double-quick, and was then formed in line of battle in a skirt of woods bordering on an open field to the left of a battery. Here it remained for some time inactive, while the enemy's guns were playing on our battery. In the mean time a large force of the enemy's infantry were filing around the open field in front of our line, protected by the woods and in the direction of our battery, opening a heavy fire of musketry on the infantry stationed on our right and charging upon the battery. The infantry and battery to the right having given way, and the enemy advancing at double-quick, we gave them one round of musketry and also gave way. At this time we – as, indeed, all our troops in the immediate vicinity of the battery – were thrown into great confusion, and retired in disorder. Having retired to the distance of 100 or 200 yards we succeeded in rallying and forming a good line, the Eighth and Eighteenth Illinois Volunteers on our left, and having fronted to the enemy, held our position there under a continual fire of cannon and musketry until after 12 o’clock, when we were ordered to retire and take up a new position. This we did in good order and without confusion. Here, having formed a new line, we maintained it under incessant fire until 4.30 o’clock p.m., the men conducting themselves with great gallantry and coolness, and doing great execution on the enemy, repulsing charge after charge, and driving them back with great loss.
At 4.30 o’clock p.m. we were again ordered to fall back. In obeying this order we became mixed up with a great number of regiments falling back in confusion, so that our line was broken and the regiment separated, rendering it very difficult to collect it; but finally, having succeeded in forming, and being separated from the brigade, we attached ourselves to the division commanded by Colonel Tuttle, of the Second Iowa Volunteers, and formed with his division in front of the encampment of the Fourteenth, Second, and Seventh Iowa Volunteers, where we sustained a heavy fire from the enemy's battery until dark, and there remained during the night on our arms. During the day we were under fire of the enemy for ten hours, and sustained a loss of 23 killed and 130 wounded.
On the morning of the 7th we were ordered to continue with Colonel Tuttle’s division and to follow up and support our forces that were attacking and driving back the enemy. We followed them up closely, moving to support the batteries until the enemy was routed, after which we were ordered to return to the encampment that we had left on Sunday morning, where we arrived at 8 o’clock p.m.
Our total loss in the action of the 6th and 7th is: Killed, 24; wounded, 139; missing, 9; total, 172.* The men for the most part behaved with great gallantry, and the officers exhibited the greatest bravery and coolness; and I call especial attention to the gallant conduct of my field officers, Lieutenant-Colonel Price and Major Shane, who were both wounded in the action of the 6th, and acknowledge my great obligations to my adjutant, Lieutenant Wilson, who during the entire action exhibited the highest qualities of a soldier.
M. M. CROCKER,
Colonel Thirteenth Iowa Infantry.
C. CADLE, Jr., A. A. A. G., First Brigade, First Division.
* But see revised statement, p. 100, and division return, 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 131-2