4th TN Vol. Battle Report from Shiloh
Confederate States Army Casualties M836-4
National Archives & Records Administration
Transcribed by Billy Markland
The position occupied by this Regt. on the morning of the 6th inst. was on the right of the 2nd Brigade, 1st Army Corps and moved forward in the second line of battle until about ten o'clock A.M. when it came up with the first, which was driven back by a battery of the enemy in front, placed on the opposite side of an old field, on a hill. Here we were thrown into some confusion by the first line of battle falling back through ours, but we soon rallied and formed in front under a very heavy fire of grape and shell from the enemies [sic] guns, which were about eight hundred yards distant. We were here separated from the rest of our Brigade and lost several men. Capt. Jno. Sutherland was killed and Maj. J.F. Henry was wounded and has since died.
Our men here were ordered to fall flat on their faces in order to protect themselves from the enemies fire, and while remaining here Genl. Stewart rode up and told me that Genl. Bragg said that the Battery must be taken, and asked me if I would do it. I told him we would try, and immediately ordered the men forward, bearing to the left in order to avoid the open field in front and marched through a thicket of small [shrubs?] at double quick. We continued until we were within thirty paces of the enemies guns, when we halted, fired one round, rushed forward with a yell, and the battery was ours. We took two prisoners at the battery who did not have time to escape nor courage to fight. During the whole time of this charge the battery played upon us with grape & canister making sad havock [sic] in our ranks, killing thirty one men dead on the ground and wounding about one hundred and sixty. The battery however according to the report of the prisoners taken there, was supported by seven regiments of infantry, four Ohio regiments and three Illinois. After taking the battery I found I was in advance of our lines near a quarter of a mile, and heavily pressed both on the right and left by the enemies infantry. I immediately dispatched my Adj. for aid, and in a short time had the pleasure of seeing our troops coming up in double quick to support me While remaining here we were called on to support one of our own batteries that had been placed on the same ground that the enemies formerly occupied. While supporting this battery we were in a very heavy fire from the enemy who made a desperate effort to take it. We had several men wounded here. The enemy were repulsed. I then marched the regiment a short distance to the rear, had the men to wipe out their guns, many of them being so dirty they could not load, fill the Cartridge boxes & replenish their Canteens with water. We then marched forward into line & continued in line until after dark when we fell back in order to get out of reach of the shells from the Gun boats. We slept near where we took the enemies battery, in their camp and took supper and breakfast at their expense.
On Monday morning we were placed near the left of the line and had a great number of Stragglers attached to us. The Stragglers demonstrated very clearly, this morning, that they had strayed from their own regiments because they did not want to fight, and that they would not still fight.
My men fought gallantly, until the Stragglers ran & left them & began firing from the rear over their heads. They were then compelled to fall to [the] rear. I rallied them several times and led them forward, but was compelled to fall back. I finally left out the Stragglers, rallied my own men and placed them on the left of a Battery of the W.A. [Washington Artillery] and supported it then until our whole line had fallen back onto the hill in our rear. I then fell back just in time to save my men from our own guns which fired and threw shell in the direction of the position we had just left.
We had three or four killed in this day's engagement and about thirty wounded. The Company officers acted gallantly and fearlessly during both days of the fight and rather appeared to Court death than to fear it. My men acted gallantly the whole time, enduring the fatique and danger without murmur.
O.F. Strahl Lt. Col.
Comdg. 4th Reg. Tn. Vol.
J.M. [Tule?] Scty.