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Col. Alexander W. Campbell's Report On 33rd Tennessee Infantry At Shiloh.

Corinth, Miss., April 10, 1862.

On the morning of the 6th my regiment was formed according to your orders for the purpose of making an advance upon the enemy. Occupying the left center of your brigade, my position threw my right upon the road leading to the enemy's camps. Before reaching the first of the enemy's camps, out of which he had been driven by our advance guard, we moved by the right flank, crossing the road, and made a steady advance, until we were ordered by you to make a move by the left flank. Just after we had commenced the movement I was ordered by Major [W. B.] Richmond, aide to General Polk, to move to the front, which separated myself from the Thirteenth Arkansas and Fifth Tennessee, the balance of the brigade. Just after commencing the forward movement we encountered a galling fire from a battery of the enemy, evidently intended to prevent our advance to the support of the regiments then engaging their infantry.

At this point my regiment was fired upon by a regiment lying upon the ground in the enemy's camp, wounding 7 of my men, 1 of whom is thought to be mortally wounded. My regiment returned the fire with spirit and advanced steadily forward until we reached the middle of the camp, when the fire of the enemys battery became very severe, killing Adjt. John C. Harris and wounding Capt. John Bidford and several of the men. We were, however, soon relieved of this distressing cannonading by the capture of the enemys battery by one of our advance regiments.

After passing through this camp I received an order from General Hardee to advance to the support of a regiment in his division which was then hotly engaging the enemy, who were supporting one of his batteries, which was soon silenced by our arms and an advance movement made by us. Threw my command (now the Thirty-third and Fifth Tennessee and Thirteenth Arkansas) in the rear of General Bragg's command, when I was ordered by him to advance and support any of the regiments in advance that seemed to require it. After advancing for some distance an aide of General Ruggles advised me that a portion of his command to our left needed support, when I immediately carried my command to the point indicated and found two regiments attacking the enemy in his camp on the broad road, near what was called the cross-roads. The enemy occupied a position just behind the brow of a hill, and our advance regiments occupied a similar position on the opposite side of the hill, the ridge running between them. Owing to the direction in which I had been moving, and the location of the ground, the right wing of the Thirty-third Regiment had to occupy the top of the bill, which subjected it to a very heavy fire from the enemy, which was returned by them with great gallantry and with deadly effect. Owing to the peculiar location of the ground the left wing of the Thirty-third and Fifth Regiments Tennessee Volunteers and Thirteenth Arkansas could not engage the enemy without firing over the regiments in advance of them, who had thrown themselves upon the ground for protection, while now and then some more adventurous than the rest would fire from behind trees at them. I saw that the whole attention of the enemy was directed to the right wing of the Thirty-third and was fast decimating it. I called to the regiments in advance to charge the enemy, which they declined doing.

Knowing that I must advance or retire, one or the other, I ordered the Fifth and Thirty-third Tennessee to charge, which was done in most gallant style, sweeping the enemy before them and putting them completely to rout. The regiments over which we had charged joined in the pursuit, which was continued by the Fifth Tennessee.

The right wing of the Thirty-third Regiment having expended its ammunition, I formed it on the ground upon which the fight occurred until cartridges could be procured, which detained them for some time. After being supplied, I led them by a flank movement to the rear of a point where a heavy fire was going on. There I found you and remained under your command during the balance of the day. After advancing toward the river until night we returned to the cross-roads and bivouacked near the crossroads.

On the morning of the 7th I received orders from General Beauregard that all regiments must prepare for action immediately and form into brigades as they most conveniently could. During the entire day we fought upon the left wing wherever our services seemed to be needed, engaging the enemy almost every hour in the day.

The officers and men of my command behaved with a bravery well worthy more experienced troops. There were many acts of individual bravery entitling the actors to special notice, but to mention them all would be to extend this report too far.

I am under special obligations to Maj. H. C. McNeill for his valuable assistance during the two days of the engagement, displaying through-out a cool bravery rarely equaled.

In the second days engagement Capt. J. M. Wilson, of Company I; First Lieut. B. H. Smith and Second Lieut. E. R. Morerod (acting commissary of the regiment), of Company G: Capt. W. P. Hutchison, of Company E, and Lieutenant Manly, of Company B, were wounded.

The number of killed and wounded in the regiment during both days engagement was 20 killed, 103 wounded, and 17 missing.


Colonel Thirty-third Regiment Tennessee Volunteers.

SOURCE: Official Records of the War of the Rebellion, Series 1, Volume 10, Part 1, Pages 434-436.

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