Bygones of Monroe:
The Fifteenth Regiment at the Battle of Pittsburg Landing
The Fifteenth Michigan Regiment which so lately left their camping ground in this City were at the battle of Pittsburg Landing, and carried themselves bravely during those two days of terrible fighting and carnage. Many brave hearts fell while nobly battling for their country, and tears will be shed without stint for the memory of the gallant dead.
On Monday morning a telegraphic dispatch was received by Capt. G. W. Strong, stating that his son, Capt. Albert Strong, of the 15th Regiment, was dead, and that his body was on the way home in charge of John Darrah, Orderly Sergeant of his company. As it was not stated how or where he died, and it was not known whether the 15th was in the fight or not, considerable anxiety was created, but was relieved on Tuesday afternoon by the arrival of several letters, showing that the Regiment arrived on the ground the day before the battle commenced, and were actively engaged in it during both days. It appears they commenced the battle without ammunition, and though situated in the extreme advance, and receiving the first fire of the enemy, bravely stood their ground like veterans, until ordered to fall back, which they did in good order. We have been kindly permitted to make some extracts from private letters received, giving particulars of the battle so far as it affected the 15th Regiment.
Extract From Col. Oliver’s Letter
We arrived Saturday morning April 5th, and reported to Gen. Grant, who assigned us a place in Gen. Prentiss division, embracing a fine camping ground three miles from the river. We sent up two companies on Saturday afternoon with tents, and on Sunday morning went up with the other eight companies. Found everything in confusion, and were immediately ordered into line of battle. My whole number of men was not over 600, officers and all, a portion being left back in charge of the heavy baggage. I reported to Gen. Prentiss that we had no ammunition. He replied that our bayonets ought to be good for something. I sent word to him that we should stay there till ordered to leave. Drew up my men and held them there till ordered to retire, though balls fell thick and fast. On the way back met the Adjutant with 10 rounds of ammunition. During the remainder of the day we fought under Gen. Hulburt. My loss in the battle on Sunday was from 75 to 80. Sunday night I never sat down, and we had nothing to eat. Monday morning I collected my little band, and reported to the first General I met, which was Gen. Rosseau of Ky, who placed us in position, and yesterday was kind enough to send an aide to inquire my name, as he wished to do us justice for our gallantry. The fight on Monday was very severe, but we pressed them back successfully. My total loss in the two days fighting was 135 men, in killed, wounded and missing. Some of the missing we may get back, having probably strayed away. Albert Strong will be dead before this reaches you. He fought gallantly, as any man in my command, and died bravely. Lieut. Dresser was shot through the heart, as he was waving his sword over his head, and calling his boys to follow him. Lieut. Wallace was shot in the arm. Olive Lewis, Sergeant-Major, did first rate on the field, was slightly wounded in the thigh. Part of our wounded we shall probably lose. Our boys lost almost everything, our baggage being taken from us. A secesh flag was planted in the midst of it, when we were not over 25 rods distant. We are now without overcoats, and many of us with other clothing torn and cut up in the action. I will send the names of the Monroe men lost and wounded as soon as possible.
(Monroe Commercial, April 17, 1862, Page 2, Column 2)