Sunday, September 15, 2013

Official Report of Col. Chambers

April 12, 1862.

To the Ass’t Adjt. Gen., Army Tennessee:

SIR. – I have the honor to report that on the morning of the 6th of April, while preparing to move my regiment to the camp of Gen. Prentiss’ division, I was ordered by an aid of Gen. Grant to form my regiment on the right of the 15th Iowa, and prevent stragglers from the battle-field from going to the river.  I had just got the regiment in line when I was ordered by the aid of Gen. Grant to proceed to the right of Gen. McClernand’s division, and with the 15th Iowa, marched there and formed my regiment along the fence on the right of the open field, which was crossed under a warm fire from the rebels.  I was ordered by one of Gen. McClernand’s aids to change my position to one in the open field, and nearly at right angles to the first one.  I ordered my men to lie down in this position and seeing that they were much exposed, I, with one company took up a position nearer the enemy in the edge of the timber, and afterwards brought up the remainder of them.  They were posted here some time when the enemy charged on our right, the 49th Ohio, I think, the 15th and 16th Iowa retiring in considerable disorder, owning to the fact of their having been mixed up during the fight.  About midway from the battle-field to the river a portion, perhaps 300, were rallied by the Lt. Col. and ordered to support a battery, which they did till the morning of the 7th.  They were again formed in the rear of this battery in a short time afterwards, and remained there until the morning of the 8th.

Although not much was accomplished by the regiment they being posted so that their shooting was not very effective, and in the same position that several regiments had been driven from during the day, I have reason to believe they are entitled to as much credit as any other regiment for their conduct during the time they were in action.  The regiment was under fire for about an hour, and during that time lost 2 commissioned officers and 17 non-commissioned officers and privates killed; 6 commissioned 97 non-commissioned officers and privates wounded and 20 non-commissioned officers and privates missing.

I am sir, Very respectfully,

Your ob’t ser’t.
Colonel 16th Iowa Volunteers.

– Published in The Davenport Daily Gazette, Davenport, Iowa, Saturday Morning, May 10, 1862, p. 2

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