Monday, January 28, 2013

Diary of Alexander G. Downing: Pittsburg Landing, Tennessee, Monday, April 7, 1862

It rained all night. The battle was renewed this morning at 6 o’clock, by our forces under General Buell. The Eleventh Iowa formed and marched forward with parts of broken regiments, in support of the left center of Buell’s army, whenever needed. It was very trying for us thus to stand in line of battle, shells exploding over our heads and cutting off limbs of trees, spent minie balls flying all about us, yet not being able to get into action, because of the line of battle just in front of us. The rebels were fighting desperately, but falling back all the while with great slaughter of men. About 3 p. m. the rebels in front of us began to retreat, with Buell's army after them, but we remained in line. About an hour later the report came that the rebels had left the field, and we were ordered back to our camp in Jones’ Field, arriving there about dark. We had not been in our tents since Sunday morning and they were still standing, but a great many had been hit and badly torn by shells and minie balls. We found the body of a rebel soldier lying in my tent; he had been wounded and apparently had gone in, crawled between our bunks and bled to death. We carried the body out to the parade ground and then got a shovel to clean away the blood from the place where the body had lain in the tent.

Source: Alexander G. Downing, Edited by Olynthus B., Clark, Downing’s Civil War Diary, p. 42-3

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