Springfield, Ill., August 24, 1863.
GENERAL: In answer to your inquiry of this date, I have to say that I was detached from my
regiment by order of Major-General Grant, with orders to report to you for duty upon your staff.
I was with you in the siege of Vicksburg up to the evening of May 22, when I was wounded and
caught by you in your arms as I fell. On May 22 I was repeatedly sent by you to different parts of
the field, and had good opportunities of knowing what was done by your corps (Thirteenth) on
that occasion.
At 10 o'clock your columns of attack moved forward to the assault. In less than one hour,
Joseph E. Griffith, a sergeant of the Twenty-second Iowa, with a part of the storming party,
entered one of the works of the enemy, drove the enemy out, and held the place for some hours
He captured 13 men with a lieutenant in this work, and reported them to you about 2 o'clock.
Lieutenant-Colonel Graham, of the Twenty-second Iowa, with a small detachment, entered
another fort and drove the enemy out, maintaining himself there until after nightfall, when the
enemy massed their forces upon us and drove us back from our line, which was up to the works
of the enemy, capturing Lieutenant-Colonel Graham and his men. The American flag floated
from on top of two of the enemy's works, and our men kept them there until after nightfall, as I
am informed. They were there when I was wounded, which was after 5 o'clock. All this time
many of our men were in the ditches of the enemy, and sent back for spades and shovels with
which to dig down the enemy's works.
About 5.30 o'clock a part, if not the whole, of Quinby's division arrived. McArthur did not
arrive until next day (May 23). I believed then if the two divisions had arrived in reasonable time
that we would have been able to have pushed through the lines of the enemy. It was so believed
by every officer I saw.
Your position during the assault was to the left and a little to the rear of our battery of 30-
pounder Parrotts, which was about 600-yards from the enemy's works. We could plainly see the
line of works in our front and to the extreme left of our corps, but a part of the right was
obstructed by the foliage of a grove of trees. This was the best point for observation along our
entire line, and from the top of the battery, where you often went for observation, you could see
perfectly everything in our front from right to left
In my opinion, it was about 1 miles from the elevated point in General McPherson's line
from which he and General Grant made observations. The position occupied by them was
perhaps higher ground, but I do not believe they could observe our movements with the accuracy
we could from the position occupied by you.
I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,
Late Lieutenant-Colonel Aide-de-Camp.
8.--Letter of F. H. Mason, late captain and aide-de-camp.
SPRINGFIELD, ILL., August 24, 1863.
SIR: Your note of this morning is received, and in reply I beg leave to submit the following
1. I was acting throughout the attack on Vicksburg in the capacity of aide-de-camp on your
staff, and being sent at various times to your division and brigade commanders with orders,
inquiries, &c., and being all the remainder of the time, when not thus Occupied in your
immediate presence, taking notes of the various incidents and hearing the various messages and
reports brought by staff and general officers to you, I enjoyed as good advantages for hearing
and seeing the assault and the part you took as could he possible for any one in my capacity.
2. At about 10.10 a.m. on the 22d, I saw the advance of General Lawler's brigade, of Carr's
division, rush up the slope leading to the large work of the enemy immediately to the left of the
railroad. Though met by a fierce fire, they continued to advance, leaped into the ditch, and began
to climb the enemy's parapet A moment afterward a flag was planted on the crest of the parapet
and held there by two men, while a party of fifteen or twenty (as I should judge) sprang over into
the fort, immediately after which those of the enemy who had been firing over the part of the fort
opposite to where the entrance was made disappeared, leading me to the belief that they had all
been driven by our men from the works. At this time you observed that the assaulting column
was weak, and ordered it to be vigorously supported, and also sent an aide to General Carr, with
orders to push Benton forward to create a diversion in favor of General Lawler, or, if necessary,
to his immediate support. Immediately afterward information was brought to you that the
advance of General Smith's division had effected a lodgment and forced the enemy to abandon a
portion of his rifle-pits; but whether the interior of the works had been reached, or merely the
ditch, I did not understand. A part, of the language of the officer bringing the report was that "our
flag is planted on the enemy's works." At 11.46 an officer arrived and said that the fort first
referred to was ours, and asked you to order that it should not be further fired upon. You seemed
incredulous, and sent me to Colonel Landram, who was in a very advanced position, to ascertain
as far as possible the exact state of the case. I found that officer, and, upon delivering my
message, received from him, in addition to his confident opinion that the fort was ours, a note
from Lieutenant-Colonel Graham, of the Twenty-second Iowa, with the remark that the "note
was written inside the fort." This note, the contents of which I do not remember with sufficient
accuracy to repeat, I delivered to you, believing fully that the fort was in our entire possession.
3. Although from the great length of the line occupied by the Thirteenth Corps, and the
number of forts on the enemy's line, the attack seemed desperate, yet it was my belief that with
the aid of re-enforcements the position might be fully carried. On this point General Landram
said at 1.50 p.m.," If General Osterhaus, on my left, will press forward, I think the works can
soon be elected."
4. The position occupied by you during the day was a commanding knoll, about 600 yards
from the enemy's works, and upon which a battery of 30-pounder Parrotts had been planted.
From this point all your line could be seen, except a part of General Smith's command, which
formed your extreme right, and which, though near, was partially hidden by the foliage of trees
and the extreme unevenness of the ground. Your post of observation owed its entire safety to the
slight parapet in front, as many of the enemy's bullets went far beyond us into the woods, and
men were continually being wounded all about you. The distance from the above point to
General McPherson's headquarters, where General Grant was located, was, in my judgment, 1
miles; and although General Grant's position enjoyed some advantages in point of altitude, yet I
cannot believe that this or any other place afforded nearly so good a view of the Thirteenth Corps
as the one you occupied.
5. Boomer's brigade arrived at 5 o'clock, and was sent to the front. Twenty minutes afterward
a regiment arrived, and was held for some time in reserve near headquarters. This regiment may
have been part of the Second Brigade, of Quinby's division. The division of General McArthur
arrived at 10 a.m. the day following.
6. The dispatches sent from time to time during the day to General Grant were less sanguine
of success and lees positive in regard to what had been already accomplished than my own
opinion, and, as I believed, the opinion of the majority of your officers.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Late Captain and Aide-de-Cam
9.--Letter of A. A. Blount, late captain Seventh Ohio Volunteer Artillery.
SPRINGFIELD, OHIO, September 5, 1863.
Maj. Gen. J. A. McCLERNAND:
GENERAL: Your favor of August 23 is received, requesting me to state what l know about
any of the colors of the Thirteenth Army Corps having been planted upon the enemy's forts
during the assault on May 22 upon the defenses of Vicksburg. In reply, I would state that I saw
the colors of the Seventy-seventh Illinois Regiment planted upon the parapet of one of the enemy
forts, as also were the colors of the Twenty-second Iowa Regiment, and that the men of the latter
regiment occupied one side of the fort, which was divided by a traverse. I heard General Carr
give orders to his artillery not to fire upon that fort, as it was in our possession. The regimental
flag of the Seventy-seventh Illinois remained upon the parapet of the fort from eight to ten hours,
when it was brought away. The national flag of the same regiment could not be brought away,
and was covered with earth in the ditch. I saw upon another fort directly in front of my battery
the colors of the Eighty-third Ohio Regiment, and I think those of the Sixteenth Iowa. There
were colors of other regiments planted upon the extreme slope of the parapet and upon the crest
of the glacis of other forts, where our men remained from eight to ten hours. It was the universal
opinion of officers and men that had we sufficient force the fort occupied by our men could have
been held.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
Late Captain Seventeenth Ohio Volunteer Artillery
Other letters in my possession might be added, but they would extend this communication
too much. Those already given will abundantly suffice for the purpose in hand. They not only
prove all I have denied or affirmed, but they prove more. They prove the promptness of my
assault; that Lawler's and Landram's commands, forming the column of attack on my left center,
planted their colors on the enemy's works; moreover, that they were carried inside of one of the
main forts; that officers and men of the commands of one or both of them forced their way into
the same fort; that observing that the assaulting column was weak, I ordered it to be supported;
that immediately afterward information was brought to me that the advance of Smith's division,
together with Benton's brigade, of Carr's division, forming another column of attack, had
effected another lodgment in the enemy's works, and had also planted our flag on them; that
prisoners had been captured and brought out of the fort assaulted by Lawler and Landram; that
afterward an officer brought word to me that the same fort was ours, and a request that it should
not be further fired upon; that, doubting, I sent a staff officer to verify the fact; that he brought
word from Colonel Landram not only that the fort was ours, but a note from Lieutenant-Colonel
Graham, of the Twenty second Iowa, with the remark that "the note was written inside of the
fort," and that he was fully persuaded of the truth of the information; that the Twenty-second
Iowa advanced against one fort, and the Eleventh Wisconsin against another, and that Colonel
Stone and Lieutenant-Colonel Dunlap (killed) saw the Twenty-second and Twenty-first Iowa
Regiments advance upon two different forts, and the enemy retire from both, and the rifle pits
connecting them, down a hill and toward the city, and talked about it while it was going on. They
prove that I could have used more men in making my assault, and with timely re-enforcements of
two divisions would have crowned it with success; that my position was much more favorable
than General Grant's for seeing what was going on in front of my corps; that my position was
near the center of my line, and only 500 or 600 yards from the enemy's works, while General
Grant's was about 1 miles to the right of my position; that my dispatches to General Grant were
a qualification rather than an exaggeration of my success, and that the re-enforcements finally
ordered by General Grant did not arrive in time, Quinby's division only arriving about 5 o'clock,
and too late to be properly formed and successfully applied, and McArthur's not until next day.
As I have already shown, General Grant says that--
The works entered by him (Sergeant Griffith) from its position could give us no practical
advantage, unless others to the right and left of it were carried and held at the same time.
Is not this declaration too broad? Is it not as much as to say that no practical advantage could
have been derived from taking any part less than the whole of the enemy's works at once; that the
possession of any part, however extended, flanked by other parts held by the enemy, would have
been worthless? Is it not as much as to say that' the only condition of our success was the
impossibility of carrying the whole of the enemy's line, which was much longer than our own, at
once, and consequently that our attack must have been by our forces in line, instead of in
column, as he directed? And yet, strange enough, he censures me for asking for the co-operation
of a simultaneous attack by Sherman and McPherson, according to the terms of his original plan,
and without which, by his own admission, "no practical advantage" could have resulted from
Sergeant Griffith's partial success. By his own showing, I only asked for what his original plan
promised, and what, by his own admission, was necessary to our success.
This of itself is a sufficient refutation of the charge that what I asked for makes me
responsible for the "increase of our mortality list fully 50 per cent.;" but, apart from it, there is
another essential fact which goes to the root of this whole matter, which makes General Grant
responsible not only for the alleged increase of our mortality list, but for our whole loss, and
which truth and justice require should be laid bare. I allude to General Grant's order of May 21
for the assault. That order was issued by him with knowledge of the diminished numbers and
exhausted condition of our forces, with knowledge of the roughness of the ground over which
they had to pass, and with at least partial knowledge of the great strength of the enemy's position
and works, and was deemed not only by me, but by all my general officers who spoke to me
upon the subject, as unfortunate and likely to bring disaster upon us rather than the enemy. My
answer to these officers was that it was an order, and, if possible, must be executed. They
answered, "if we fail it shall not be our fault," and their partial success while others failed, and
the carnage of hundreds of their number who fell killed or wounded in gaining that success,
conclusively testify that their final failure was not their fault; indeed, General Grant himself
testifies to it, as I have already shown, by his admission in another part of his report that the
assault was gallant in the extreme but the enemy's position was too strong, both naturally and
artificially, to be taken in that way "--by assault.
Comparing General Grant's report with his dispatches, another discrepancy will appear. He
says in his report that the asked-for "diversion was promptly and vigorously made without
advancing our position or giving us other advantages," leaving it to be inferred that unmitigated
evil was the consequence of the diversion ; yet in one of his dispatches he says that "Sherman
has gained some successes," and in another, dated 2.30 (two hours and a half after my dispatch
stating that I had part possession of two forts), he says, "Sherman is getting on well," proving
that the diversion was justifying itself and inspiring him with hope of success.
General Grant speaks of Sherman ordering "a renewal of the assault on his front," and of a
"diversion" in my favor both by Sherman and McPherson, leaving the inference that there had
been a cessation of the assault by both of them. This cessation was either by General Grant's
order or with his consent, or without both; and this brings me to a most grave and important
point. If it was by General Grant's order or with his consent, he failed to notify me of the fact,
leaving me under the operation of his original order, discriminating against my corps and
dooming it to stand in the breach and press the assault alone and unsupported, and, as a forlorn
hope, to be destroyed in a desperate effort to accomplish an object that he had abandoned; and, if
so, does not the blood of the hundreds of brave men who were thus sacrificed cry aloud against
him? If it was without either his order or consent, it was a case of deplorable disobedience, and
the same responsibility attaches to him for not advising me of it.
General Grant's account of the battle of Champion's Hill also does me and portions of my
command injustice. Emphasizing what himself and others did, and assuming that the field of
action was limited by the Operations of McPherson's corps and of Hovey's division, of my corps,
he indirectly arraigns me for want of zeal, promptitude, and energy. He says he was at Clinton on
May 15, and Sherman at Jackson, and that the latter, responsively to his order, promptly moved
forward toward Bolton on the morning of the battle; that he (General Grant) ordered McPherson
forward at 5.45 a.m., and sent Lieutenant-Colonel [James H.] Wilson, of his staff, "with verbal
instructions to" me "as to the disposition of my forces," and followed himself at an early hour
from Clinton; that he found "Hovey's division disposed for the attack," but would "not permit it
to be commenced until he could hear from" me," who was advancing with four divisions;" that"
Logan rode up" and told him that if "Hovey could make another dash at the enemy, he could
come up from where he then was and capture the greater part of their three," and that, after all
this, he saw me with Carr's division to his left, and that "Osterhaus' division soon afterward
appeared, with his skirmishers well in advance."
General Grant says all this, but he accidentally or otherwise omits to state what is essential to
a proper understanding of the incidents and agencies of that battle. He omits to state that while he
was yet behind at Clinton, I selected the lines of advance of the Thirteenth Army Corps,
including Blair's division, and moved all the forces forward to the attack except McPherson's;
that revoking an order changing my disposition of Blair's forces, he afterward sent a dispatch to
me, saying, "Your disposition of Blair's forces is satisfactory; place him to the best advantage,"
&c.; that on the day before the battle I urged him in a dispatch to move McPherson's corps upon
the right of Hovey, to cut off the enemy if I should beat him; that on the morning of the battle,
after putting my columns in motion, I hastened to General McPherson's headquarters, in my rear,
before he had risen, and urged him to do the same for the same purpose, and to support Hovey;
that the subsequent execution of this movement secured to us many prisoners and a number of
He omits to state that the enemy's skirmishers and artillery were first encountered on my left
by General Smith's division, supported by General Blair's; next by General Osterhaus' division,
supported by General Carr's, and next by General Hovey, forming my right, and that l informed
him that I had received a dispatch from the latter, dated 9.30 a.m., notifying me that he had found
the enemy strongly posted, and believed that his right flank would encounter severe resistance;
and that I asked him whether McPherson should not support Hovey, and whether I should bring
on a general engagement; that afterward, sending several dispatches, he failed to answer any
more directly than by the following dispatch, dated 12.35 p.m.: "As soon as your command is all
in hand, throw forward skirmishers and feel the enemy, and attack him in force if an opportunity
occurs, and I will see that Hovey and McPherson fully co-operate," as though Hovey had not
been hotly and desperately engaged since 11 a.m.
He also fails to state that upon the receipt of this dispatch I immediately ordered my center
and left to "attack the enemy vigorously and press for victory;" that he allowed Hovey's division
to be forced back twice or thrice with great loss from the ground gained, although, as was
credibly reported, there was a brigade or division of McPherson's corps unengaged and within
easy supporting distance. Moreover, that he sent me several dispatches leading me to the belief
that the enemy was in greatest force in front of my center and left, and warning me to guard
against letting him gain the rear of that part of my line; and that after or about the time the enemy
gave way on the right, Garrard's brigade, leading my right center, was so formidably opposed as
to need the sup port of Benton's and Lindsey's, leaving my left center to be supported by Lawler's
brigade, forming a reserve.
He omits all these things, and, in fine, to notice the fact that an early official dispatch sent by
him to Washington giving an account of the battle was so unjust even to Hovey's division as to
cause Hovey to make it the subject of a communication to me complaining of it, and me to
concur in it and send it to General Grant.
My position during the battle was with my center, composed of Osterhaus' and Carr's
divisions, and during its progress, when I ordered Osterhaus to push forward and make a
diversion in favor of Hovey, he sent me word that his column was as much advanced as Hovey's,
was contending with great difficulties, and was doing all it could do. General Grant coming up
and finding Hovey's division forming for the attack, remained on the right.
In noticing the battle of Black River Bridge, General Grant also omits the fact that he did not
come up until after I had disposed my forces and brought them into action. In noticing the battle
of Port Gibson, he says, "Early on the morning of May 1, I went out and found McClernand and
his corps engaging the enemy about 4 miles from Port Gibson." It might be inferred from this
statement that General Grant early arrived on the field, yet the truth is I neither saw nor heard of
his being on the field until after I had made the dispositions for the battle, and had driven the
enemy from his first position on my right, and captured several pieces of cannon and a number of
prisoners, and had disabled two of the enemy's guns on my left. General Grant came up after
this, and, riding together to Hovey's position, we were greeted by the hurrahs of his men.
Again he says:
McClernand, who was with the right in person, sent repeated messages to me before the
arrival of Logan to send Logan's and Quinby's divisions, of McPherson's corps, to him. I had
been on that as well as other parts of the field, and could not see how they could be used there to
advantage. However, as soon as the advance of McPherson's corps (Logan's division) arrived, I
sent one brigade to McClernand, on the right, and sent one brigade, Brig. Gen. J. E. Smith
commanding, to the left, to the assistance of Osterhaus. By the judicious disposition of this
brigade, under the immediate supervision of McPherson and Logan, a position was soon
obtained giving us an advantage which soon drove the enemy from that part of the field, to make
no further stand south of Bayou Pierre.
If I sent repeated messages to General Grant to send forward re-enforcements, it was because
my early and intimate knowledge of what was going on justified it, and General Grant,
notwithstanding his opinion to the contrary, sent re-enforcements, and Stevenson's brigade, of
Logan's division, was accordingly applied to strengthen my center, and did good service. If
General Grant thought it was unnecessary, why did he send it? In doing so, he impeaches his
own firmness and self-reliance. By his own admission, Smith's brigade, of the same division,
was profitably applied on my left. Indeed, of what avail are troops unless they are used to
forestall the chances of battle; to insure success against all vicissitudes; to cast the balance
decisively and finally at a critical moment? All the great masters inculcate this as a fundamental
principle, as a condition of success, as the characteristic of a safe commander. My purpose was
to make short, sure, and conclusive work of a contest that was to open or close the door to the
passage of the Bayou Pierre and the road to Vicksburg. Unless General Grant held contrary
views, and was unwilling that others should share with my troops the losses and sufferings of
battle, he could not have consistently objected. That Smith's brigade did good service I doubt
not. I have already borne testimony to that fact in my official report; but how soon he drove the
enemy from my left front may be uncertain, as quite late in the evening General Grant sent an
order detaching Benton's brigade from my right wing to go to the left--an order, it is true, that
was revoked before the brigade reached its destination.
Further, whether it was alone "by the judicious disposition made of this brigade under the
immediate supervision of McPherson and Logan," which by consequence "drove the enemy from
that part of the field," is a controverted question; for General Osterhaus' report claims that his
suggestions and forces had something, nay, much to do with it, and T presume Colonel [James]
Keigwin, Forty ninth Indiana, who is reported to have borne himself gallantry in that part of the
field, also claims to have had something to do with it. The truth is, in all these battles and their
preliminaries I acted, and was left to act, more or less upon my own responsibility. I moved by a
forced night march from the vicinity of Bruinsburg to the battle-field of Port Gibson without
orders and upon my own responsibility, and fought the battle in considerable part before General
Grant came up. My object was to seize the crossings of Bayou Pierre before the enemy could
gain intelligence of our approach. I thought the result justified the risk, although I was convinced
that if disaster or defeat followed I would be ruined.
The victory of Port Gibson ostensibly indemnified me, although it did not avert from me the
censure and injurious implications of General Grant's report, no more than the victory of
Arkansas Post averted the written disapprobation of the expedition that led to it; neither did the
part borne by me throughout the Mississippi campaign prevent him from removing me from the
command of the Thirteenth Army Corps at the moment when the Mississippi River expedition,
which I had recommended to the President and Secretary of War near a year before, was about to
be crowned with success in the fall of Vicksburg.
With all these facts laid bare, and with a public life of nearly thirty years' duration in civil
and military station before the public, I leave my public actions and my character, which is worth
more to me than my life, for the impartial judgment of my military superiors and of the country
and history.
La Grange, Tenn., February 6, 1863.
SIR: In obedience to orders of Colonel Hatch, commanding brigade, on the 2d instant,
Captain Herring, of this regiment, in command of four companies, proceeded to Saulsbury, and
reported to Major Coon, Second Iowa Cavalry, by whose orders Captain Herring moved with his
command 4 miles south, on the Ripley road, and encamped near the plantation of Mrs. Hines,
scouting the country south and east for a distance of 5 miles, until the morning of the 5th, when
he was ordered by Major Coon to return to camp.
Nothing worthy of note transpired during the expedition, except that on the 4th instant, about
noon, Sergts. Daniel H. Dunbar and Edward M. Gibbs, and Privates Charles E. Smythe,
Company I, and Samuel Buckingham, Company F, straggled from camp, and were surrounded
by a band of men, under the guerrilla [S. G.] Street, 12 in number, to whom they surrendered
without offering any resistance.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant
Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding Regiment.
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, First Cavalry Brigade.
Moscow, Tenn., February 22, 1863.
SIR: On the morning of the 18th instant, I was detailed to take command of 160 men,
comprised of details from the Third Iowa, Forty-first and Fifty-third Illinois, and Thirty-third
Wisconsin, to escort a forage train that was going out after forage.
I reported at division headquarters at 8 a.m., and took command of the aforesaid guards, who
had reported there. We started out in a northwest direction. After going 5 or 6 miles, we stopped
at the plantation of Colonel Nuckles and loaded our train.
While we were loading the train, I received information that 150 of [R. V.] Richardson's
rebel cavalry had made their appearance about a mile west of us, and that they were moving in a
southeast direction. I immediately ordered the guards in line, ready for action.
When our train was loaded, I placed half the guards in front and the remainder in the rear of
the train. I took all necessary precautions to have the train move in good order, and we started for
camp, moving unmolested until within 2 or 3 miles of camp, when I discovered a body of rebel
cavalry south of the road, about 150 strong, preparing to make a dash upon the train. I sent orders
to the front guards to return with all possible speed, at the same time hurrying forward with the
rear guards. In consequence of the bad condition of the roads, the train was somewhat scattered,
and both the front and rear guards were from a half to three-fourths of a mile from the center of
the train.
In the mean time the rebels had made their dash and attacked the train in the center; the front
and rear guards coming up, engaged the enemy at the same time. The engagement lasted about
five minutes, when the enemy were repulsed and in full retreat.
Our loss was 1 man wounded and 16 missing. We also lost 42 mules and 2 horses. Loss of
the enemy unknown.
I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant,
Major Forty-First Regiment Illinois Volunteers.
Actg. Asst. Adjt. Gen., First Brigade, Fourth Division.
HELENA, ARK., February 24, 1863.
SIR: I have to report, for the information of the major-general commanding, that Yazoo Pass
is now open for navigation.
The levee at the entrance was cut on the 3d instant, with comparatively little difficulty, and
by the 7th the rush of water through the crevasse had so subsided that the U.S. gunboat Forest
Rose, Capt. George W. Brown, entered as far as the exit of the Pass from Moon Lake. About this
time it was fully ascertained that the rebels had obstructed the stream by felling heavy trees into
and across it.
On the 8th, fresh troops, under the command of General Washburn, arrived at Moon Lake,
and began the removal of the blockades. By the evening of the 21st, the work was accomplished,
and at 5 p.m. of the 22d the steamers Henderson and Mattie Cook, with one regiment of troops
on board, entered the Coldwater River and descended it 2 miles, to Cole's plantation. On the
23d, they went down from 10 to 12 miles farther, through some of the shortest bends, and
returned the same day to Hunt's Mill, on the Pass.
I am confirmed in the opinions expressed in my previous reports concerning the
practicability of this route, during proper stages of water, as a line of military Operations. In
navigating Yazoo Pass some difficulty will be experienced from limbs of overhanging trees, not
removed because of the impossibility of cutting them down without letting the whole tree fall
into the channel. Should the water fall 4 or 5 feet, this could be easily obviated by cutting and
pulling inland the trees now partly in the way.
The Coldwater is a considerable stream after its junction with the Pass--from 120 to 150 feet
in width inside of its banks; is now quite full, rising slowly, and is easily navigable for any boat
that can work its way through the Pass. Like the latter, it might be improved by cutting off more
of the overhanging trees, though it is not essential in either ease. It would simply facilitate the
In the present condition of affairs, I think boats 180 feet in length, and of any proportional
beam and draught-of water, can be sent from the Mississippi to the Tallahatchee by this route in
four days, possibly in less time, with good management. The period for which this route can be
used will depend entirely upon the stage of water in the Mississippi, the shallowest part being on
the bar, over which boats are compelled to pass in order to reach the entrance.
In submitting this report of the work assigned me, it would be unjust not to call attention to
the difficulties encountered and the arduous labor performed by the troops in overcoming them.
With the exception of the secondary ridges, some distance from the stream, and occasional strips
of land, from 20 to 50 feet wide, close to it, the entire country was overflowed, so that
communication was nearly impossible, and the work could only be done by small parties,
beginning at the upper end and working toward the Coldwater. In no case were more than 500
men employed, and frequently not half that number. The obstructions were found at intervals, all
along the Pass, from a point 4 miles from Moon Lake to a point near the Coldwater, the principal
one being a mile long, and composed of the heaviest trees, cut from both sides of the stream, so
as to lie across and upon each other. Various plans were tried for removing them, all attended
with the breakage of cables and boat machinery, but finally, by cutting, sawing, and pulling out
upon the banks entire trees, the way was opened. The labor was so severe, and the exposure so
great, that it was found necessary to relieve the troops several times by fresh regiments from
Brigadier-General Washburn, who was in actual command of the forces employed, after
leaving Moon Lake will doubtless report concerning them; but I take the liberty of commending
the zeal and intelligence of Lieut. George [G.] Murdock, of the Sixteenth Ohio Battery; Captain
Whipple, of the Thirty-third Iowa, and Colonel Cameron, of the Thirty-fourth Indiana. They
rendered valuable assistance (Lieutenant Murdock from the lake to the Coldwater) in directing
and prosecuting the work.
The steamer Henderson, under the efficient command of Capt. A. Lamont, rendered
invaluable service. Her cordage and light upper work were considerably broken; it would,
therefore, be no more than justice to put her in repair at the public expense.
Inclosed herewith I hand a sketch of the Pass and adjacent country. I am, sir, very
respectfully, your obedient servant,
Lieut. Col., U.S. Army, and Chief Topographical Engineer.
Lieut. Col. JOHN A. RAWLINS,
Assistant Adjutant-General and Chief of Staff.
Fifteen miles below mouth of Coldwater, March 7, 1863.
GENERAL: We got into the Tallahatchee last night, and have made but 10 miles today, in
consequence of the delay for coaling the gunboats. We have arranged to leave the coal-barges in
charge of the gunboat (Marmora) and the Twenty-ninth Iowa Infantry, and with the balance of
our forces to push on to Greenwood. We expect to arrive at the mouth of the Yalabusha on
Monday evening, go forward to Greenwood in the morning (10th), and by 12 m. to have
possession of it. Here we shall await our coal-barges, and in the mean time possibly make a
move toward Grenada. Greenwood is represented as being fortified, and we have been very
kindly informed that there were from 20,000 to 30,000 troops awaiting our arrival.
In regard to rations, I have enough only to supply me to the 13th. I ordered 30,000 more
rations forward; if received, will have enough to last to the 22d. I learn that many of the gunboats
are about out, and are expecting to get from me; in fact, I have already issued to some of them. If
I remain to do the work that seems to be before me, I shall want more rations, say 50,000 more.
They can be safely sent forward; if they do not find me at Greenwood, there will be a gunboat
there or at the mouth of the Yalabusha, to receive them. I shall also have one regiment of infantry
with the gunboat, to guard our provisions, coal, &c.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Brigadier-General, Commanding Division.
Brig. Gen. B. M. PRENTISS.
LA GRANGE, TENN., March 24, 1863.
COLONEL: This evening I was informed that the Second Iowa pickets, standing on the road
running southeast from this place, had been attacked by a party of guerrillas, and two of them
were captured. I instantly took about 50 men and went in pursuit of them. We traveled about 15
miles double-quick, came upon them, killed 3, recaptured our men, and took 3 prisoners. We
stopped at a house where there were 4 or 5 men who called themselves citizens, but I am under
the impression they are part of the above-named party.
Herewith I send you 3 prisoners, as follows, viz: W. L. Barrett, W. T. Bowlend, and L. W.
Mills, whom you can dispose of as you think best.
Hoping that this may prove satisfactory, I remain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Commanding First Cavalry
GERMANTOWN, TENN., April 6, 1863.
LIEUTENANT: I have the honor to report that, in accordance with the order of General
Hurlbut, I left camp at daylight on the morning of the 2d instant, with the effective force of the
Seventh Kansas Cavalry, to move against Richardson's force, then supposed to be in the swamps
of Beaver Creek. On arriving at Hickory Wythe, I learned that the Second Iowa Cavalry had
passed through that place an hour before, on their way down from a scout through the country I
was ordered to visit. After crossing Loosahatchee, I learned that immediately after the surprise
and slaughter of our men near Belmont, on Sunday night, March 29, Richardson had disbanded
his men, fearing so large a Federal force would be sent into the country that his command would
be destroyed if he attempted to keep it together. I therefore saw that it would be impossible for
me to accomplish what was evidently expected from the expedition, for where men are scattered
through the swamps it is only by chance that they can be caught. However, I spent two days in
the swamps on Beaver, thoroughly scouring the whole country, from the head of East Beaver, 5
miles above Mason's Station, around to Portersville, on the west. Probably one-third of
Richardson's active force was scattered through this stretch of country, but our movements were
so vigilantly watched and so faithfully reported by the "peaceable citizens," that the entire
population anticipated our approach.
Knowing that I would meet no hostile force, I deployed the men by squadrons, and made a
hunt instead of a march, sending them in lines of skirmishers through swamps and fields over the
whole country. I had some hope that by this means I might find Richardson himself, who has
been wounded, and is said to be concealed somewhere in that country. I then moved down
Beaver to its junction with the Loosahatchee, which I recrossed early yesterday morning.
On Cypress I captured a few prisoners, and found that many more of Richardson's men were
in that neighborhood than north of the Loosahatchee. I was anxious to spend a couple of days on
Cypress, believing I could capture a considerable number of prisoners, but our subsistence was
exhausted, and I had no permission to subsist on the country. I therefore returned to camp, where
I arrived last night.
I met with no loss except that about 20 of our poorest horses died or had to be abandoned on
the march. I captured enough animals belonging to Richardson's men to make up the deficiency.
I made every effort to communicate with Colonel Lawler, but could neither find nor hear of
About 2 miles southeast of Portersville, in Beaver Swamp, I found 500 bushels of corn in
gunny-sacks, which had been captured by Richardson near Randolph. He had pressed teams in
the vicinity of Portersville about a month since, and hauled the corn to this hiding-place for
further use. I burned it.
On Thursday night, after we had crossed Loosahatchee, going northward, the bridge below
Quinn's Mills was burned, either by citizens or guerrillas. On my return, I found a report
circulating among the people that the bridge had been burned by my men. The story will
doubtless find its way to headquarters, but it is so palpably absurd that I trust it will not need
contradiction. General Hurlbut's orders were strictly observed in every respect.
The conduct of officers and men was praiseworthy, and I am confident that there was no
single instance of improper conduct on the part of any man in the expedition. I send herewith
triplicate descriptive-rolls of 9 prisoners, who will be turned over to you. A lieutenant named R.
F. Graham was killed.
Your obedient servant,
Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding Seventh Kansas Cavalry.
Lieut. W. M. EMERY,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
LA GRANGE, TENN., April 7, 1863.
SIR: I have the honor to report that, in accordance with orders received at 4.30 p.m. on the
5th instant, from headquarters First Brigade, Cavalry Division, "for one battalion to proceed
immediately southward to Early Grove, thence westerly toward Mount Pleasant, and return by
way of Moscow," I started with the Third Battalion at 5.30 p.m., and moved southward on the
main Holly Springs road to the point where the Early Grove road leaves it, and thence on the
Early Grove road. I encamped for the night on the plantation of ---, about 9 miles southwest of
La Grange, and 6 miles northeast from Early Grove. No information could be gained from any
citizen in the neighborhood as to the position or movements of the enemy.
At 4 a.m. on the 6th, started, and roached Early Grove about daylight; thence moved
southward toward the Lamar and Mount Pleasant road, and on arriving near the plantation and
residence of Mr. James Pool, 2 miles from Early Grove, my advance saw some men about Pool's
house. Three men were sent to see who they were, when the men started to run, but were, after
some firing on both sides, captured. Two men were found in the house of Pool. The women of
the house refused to let the sergeant in command of the advance enter the house, denying that
any one was in there. The sergeant, though, had seen them through the window, and insisted on
searching the house, when the women placed themselves before the door and resisted all
entrance, until the sergeant threatened to burn the house unless they allowed the search, when
they stepped aside and allowed him to go in, where he found 2 of Mitchell's men, armed--one of
them with a Colt's carbine. The party proved to be 2 of Waul's Legion--one sergeant and one
private---and 3 of Mitchell's men, all armed and equipped as cavalry.
Fed, got breakfast, and at 9 a.m. started for Mount Pleasant, where we arrived at 12 m. At
12.30 p.m. started for Moscow; arrived at 3 p.m., seeing or learning nothing more of the enemy.
Rested one hour at Moscow, and returned to camp, arriving about retreat last night. The captures
were as follows, viz: Five horses, which were turned over to the regimental quartermaster; two
Colt's revolvers, navy size; one Colt's carbine, and two shotguns. The guns were destroyed by the
men, and the balance turned over to the regimental adjutant.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Captain Company L, Second Iowa Cav., Comdg. Third Battalion.
Lieut. S. L. WOODWARD,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
April 29, 1863.
SIR: I have just received the inclosed telegram:
Anticipating a gathering to oppose Grierson's return, I had mounted the Sixth Iowa infantry,
and sent them, with the Second Iowa Cavalry and Fourth Illinois, this morning toward Okolona
to relieve Grierson, I think he will come in above Okolona and toward Corinth. I have full faith
that he can cut through any force they can raise.
Your obedient servant,
Lieut. Col. JOHN A. RAWLINS.
HDQRS. SIXTEENTH ARMY CORPS, Memphis, Tenn., May 5, 1863.
COLONEL: I consider it proper to report directly to the General-in-Chief the transactions in
this army corps during the latter part of April, because the recent change of headquarters
Department of the Tennessee isolates me from my immediate commander.
As the spring opened, I was daily more and more impressed with the feasibility of a plan,
long entertained, of pushing a flying column of cavalry through the length of Mississippi, cutting
the Southern Railroad. By consent and approval of General Grant, I prepared a system of
movements along my entire line from Memphis to Corinth for the purpose of covering this
cavalry dash. At the same time General Rosecrans proposed to me to cover a movement of 1,800
cavalry from Tuscumbia down into Alabama and Georgia. This did not interfere with my plan,
but simply required extra force to be developed from Corinth. Delays incident to combined
movements, especially from separate commands, kept his expeditionary column back for six
I commenced the movement from Corinth on the 15th; force as stated in report
On the 17th, Col. B. H. Grierson, Sixth Illinois Cavalry, with his own regiment, the Seventh
Illinois, and Second Iowa, moved from La Grange, by way of Pontotoc, with orders, after
passing Pontotoc, to proceed straight down, throwing one regiment to the left toward Okolona,
and to push for and destroy the Chunkey River Bridge and any others they could reach, and
either return, or proceed to Baton Rouge, as might be found advisable.
On the same day, April 17, a column of infantry 1,500 strong, and one battery, moved by
railroad from La Grange to Coldwater, with orders to push rapidly between Coldwater and the
Tallahatchee, and take Chalmers in flank and rear while attacked in front by three regiments, a
battery, and 200 cavalry from Memphis, which left here on the 18th. I considered that the effect
of these movements would be to puzzle the enemy and withdraw his force from the central line,
which has proven to be correct.
Chalmers was attacked at Coldwater; the stream found to be unfordable, but was held there
until Smith's column from his rear approached from La Grange, when he broke into squads and
disappeared. After holding the ground for three days, gathering 400 homes and mules and large
supplies of bacon and forage, this force returned with small loss.
Grierson, on the 19th, detached the Second Iowa below Pontotoc, which fought its way
gallantly back to La Grange and came home well mounted. The main cavalry column (Sixth and
Seventh Illinois) proceeded, without loss or engagement, to Newton, on the Southern Mississippi
Railroad, and there destroyed bridges, &c. They then swept around to Hazlehurst, on the New
Orleans and Jackson road, and destroyed heavy trestle. I inclose copies of Southern reports of
their progress. I have no doubt they are before this at Baton Rouge, or have joined General Grant
at or below Grand Gulf.
I desire especially to call the attention of the General-in-Chief to this gallant exploit of
Colonel Grierson, one, I think, unequaled in the war, and to ask such testimonial of approbation
from the Government as his services deserve. Streight's expedition has been attacked, but the
attack was heavily repulsed, and they are now on their way, with good prospects of success.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Col. J. C. KELTON,
Asst. Adjt. Gen., Hdqrs. of the Army, Washington, D. C
Baton Rouge, La., May 5, 1863.
COLONEL: In accordance with instructions from Maj. Gen. S. A. Hurlbut, received through
Brig. Gen. W. S. Smith, at La Grange, Tenn., I left that place at daylight on the morning of April
17, with the effective force of my command, 1,700 strong. We moved southward without
material interruption, crossing the Tallahatchee River on the afternoon of the 18th at three
different points. One battalion of the Seventh Illinois, under Major Graham, crossing at New
Albany, found the bridge partially torn up, and an attempt was made to fire it. As they
approached the bridge they were fired upon, but drove the enemy from their position, repaired
the bridge, and crossed. The balance of the Seventh Illinois and the whole of the Sixth crossed at
a ford 2 miles above, and the Second Iowa crossed about 4 miles still farther up. After crossing,
the Sixth and Seventh Illinois moved south on the Pontotoc road, and encamped for the night on
the plantation of Mr. Sloan. The Second Iowa also moved south from their point of crossing, and
encamped about 4 miles south of the river. The rain fell in torrents all night.
The next morning, April 19, I sent a detachment eastward to communicate with Colonel
Hatch and make a demonstration toward Chesterville, where a regiment of cavalry was
organizing. I also sent an expedition to New Albany, and another northwest toward King's
Bridge, to attack and destroy a portion of a regiment of cavalry organizing there under Major [A.
H.] Chalmers. I thus sought to create the impression that the object of our advance was to break
up these parties.
The expedition eastward communicated with Colonel Hatch, who was still moving south
parallel to us. The one to New Albany came upon 200 rebels near the town, and engaged them,
killing and wounding several. The one northwest found that Major Chalmers' command, hearing
of our close proximity, had suddenly left in the night, going west.
After the return of these expeditions, I moved with the whole force to Pontotoc. Colonel
Hatch joined us about noon, reporting having skirmished with about 200 rebels the afternoon
before and that morning, killing, wounding, and capturing a number.
We reached Pontotoc about 5 p.m. The advance dashed into the town, came upon some
guerrillas, killed 1, and wounded and captured several more. Here we also captured a large mill,
about 400 bushels of salt, and camp equipage, books, papers, &c., of Captain Weatherall's
command, all of which were destroyed. After slight delay, we moved out, and encamped for the
night on the plantation of Mr. Daggett, 5 miles south of Pontotoc, on the road toward Houston.
At 3 o'clock the next morning, April 20, I detached 175 of the least effective portion of the
command, with one gun of the battery and all the prisoners, led horses, and captured property,
under the command of Major Love, of the Second Iowa, to proceed back to La Grange, marching
in column of fours, before daylight, through Pontotoc, and thus leaving the impression that the
whole command had returned. Major Love had orders also to send off a single scout to cut the
telegraph wires south of Oxford.
At 5 a.m. I proceeded southward with the main force on the Houston road, passing around
Houston about 4 p.m., and halting at dark on the plantation of Benjamin Kilgore, 11 miles
southeast of the latter place, on the road toward Starkville.
The following morning at 6 o'clock I resumed the march southward, and about 8 o'clock
came to the road leading southeast to Columbus, Miss. Here I detached Colonel Hatch, with the
Second Iowa Cavalry and one gun of the battery, with orders to proceed to the Mobile and Ohio
Railroad in the vicinity of West Point, and destroy the road and wires; thence move south,
destroying the railroad and all public property as far south, if possible, as Macon; thence across
the railroad, making a circuit northward; if practicable, take Columbus and destroy all
Government works in that place, and again strike the railroad south of Okolona, and, destroying
it, return to La Grange by the most practicable route.
Of this expedition, and the one previously sent back, I have since heard nothing, except
vague and uncertain rumors through secession sources.
These detachments were intended as diversions, and even should the commanders not have
been able to carry out their instructions, yet, by attracting the attention of the enemy in other
directions, they assisted us much in the accomplishment of the main object of the expedition.
After having started Colonel Hatch on his way, with the remaining portion of the command,
consisting of the Sixth and Seventh Illinois Cavalry, about 950 strong, I continued on my journey
southward, still keeping the Starkville road. Arriving at Starkville about 4 p.m., we captured a
mail and a quantity of Government property, which we destroyed. From this point we took the
direct road to Louisville. We moved out on this road about 4 miles, through a dismal swamp
nearly belly-deep in mud, and sometimes swimming our horses to cross streams, when we
encamped for the night in the midst of a violent rain. From this point I detached a battalion of the
Seventh Illinois Cavalry under - -, to proceed about 4 miles, and destroy a large tannery and shoe
manufactory in the service of the rebels. They returned safely, having accomplished the work
most effectually. They destroyed a large number of boots and shoes and a large quantity of
leather and machinery; in all amounting, probably, to $50,000, and captured a rebel
quartermaster from Port Hudson, who was there laying in a supply for his command. We now
immediately resumed the march toward Louisville, distant 28 miles, mostly through a dense
swamp, the Noxubee River bottom. This was for miles belly-deep in water, so that no road was
discernible. The inhabitants through this part of the country generally did not know of our
coming, and would not believe us to be anything but Confederates. We arrived at Louisville soon
after dark. I sent a battalion of the Sixth Illinois, under Major Starr, in advance, to picket the
town and remain until the column had passed, when they were relieved by a battalion of the
Seventh Illinois, under Major Graham, who was ordered to remain until we should have been
gone an hour, to prevent persons leaving with information of the course we were taking, to drive
out stragglers, preserve order, and quiet the fears of the people. They had heard of our coming a
short time before we arrived, and many had left, taking only what they could hurriedly move.
The column moved quietly through the town without halting, and not a thing was disturbed.
Those who remained at home acknowledged that they were surprised. They had expected to be
robbed, outraged, and have their houses burned. On the contrary, they were protected in their
persons and property.
After leaving the town, we struck another swamp, in which, crossing it, as we were obliged
to, in the dark, we lost several animals drowned, and the men narrowly escaped the same fate.
Marching until midnight, we halted until daylight at the plantation of Mr. Estes, about 10 miles
south of Louisville.
The next morning, April 23, at daylight we took the road for Philadelphia, crossing Pearl
River on a bridge about 6 miles north of the town. This bridge we were fearful would be
destroyed by the citizens to prevent our crossing, and upon arriving at Philadelphia we found that
they had met and organized for that purpose; but hearing of our near approach, their hearts failed,
and they fled to the woods. We moved through Philadelphia about 3 p.m. without interruption,
and halted to feed about 5 miles southeast, on the Enterprise road. Here we rested until 10
o'clock at night, when I sent two battalions of the Seventh Illinois Cavalry, under Lieutenant-
Colonel Blackburn, to proceed immediately to Decatur, thence to the railroad at Newton Station.
With the main force I followed about an hour later. The advance passed through Decatur about
daylight, and struck the railroad about 6 a.m. I arrived about an hour afterward with the column.
Lieutenant-Colonel Blackburn dashed into the town, took possession of the railroad and
telegraph, and succeeded in capturing two trains in less than half an hour after his arrival. One of
these, 25 cars, was loaded with ties and machinery, and the other 13 cars were loaded with
commissary stores and ammunition, among the latter several thousand loaded shells. These,
together with a large quantity of commissary and quartermaster's stores and about five hundred
stand of arms stored in the town, were destroyed. Seventy-five prisoners captured at this point
were paroled. The locomotives were exploded and otherwise rendered completely unserviceable.
Here the track was torn up, and a bridge half a mile west of the station destroyed. I detached a
battalion of the Sixth Illinois Cavalry, under Major Starr, to proceed eastward and destroy such
bridges, &c., as he might find over Chunkey River. Having damaged as much as possible the
railroad and telegraph, and destroyed all Government property in the vicinity of Newton, I
moved about 4 miles south of the road and fed men and horses. The forced marches which I was
compelled to make, in order to reach this point successfully, necessarily very much fatigued and
exhausted my command, and rest and food were absolutely necessary for its safety.
From captured mails and information obtained by my scouts, I knew that large forces had
been sent out to intercept our return, and having instructions from Major-General Hurlbut and
Brigadier-General Smith to move in any direction from this point which, in my judgment, would
be best for the safety of my command and the success of the expedition, I at once decided to
move south, in order to secure the necessary rest and food for men and horses, and then return to
La Grange through Alabama, or make for Baton Rouge, as I might hereafter deem best. Major
Starr in the mean time rejoined us, having destroyed most effectually three bridges and several
hundred feet of trestle-work, and the telegraph from 8 to 10 miles east of Newton Station.
After resting about three hours, we moved south to Garlandville. At this point we found the
citizens, many of them venerable with age, armed with shot-guns and organized to resist our
approach. As the advance entered the town, these citizens fired upon them and wounded one of
our men. We charged upon them and captured several. After disarming them, we showed them
the folly of their actions, and, released them. Without an exception they acknowledged their
mistake, and declared that they had been grossly deceived as to our real character. One
volunteered his services as guide, and upon leaving us declared that hereafter his prayers should
be for the Union Army. I mention this as a sample of the feeling which exists, and the good
effect which our presence produced among the people in the country through which we passed.
Hundreds who are skulking and hiding out to avoid conscription, only await the presence of our
arms to sustain them, when they will rise up and declare their principles; and thousands who
have been deceived, upon the vindication of our cause would immediately return to loyalty.
After slight delay at Garlandville, we moved southwest about 10 miles, and camped at night
on the plantation of Mr. Bender, 2 miles west of Montrose. Our men and horses having become
gradually exhausted, I determined on making a very easy march the next day, looking more to
the recruiting of my weary little command than to the accomplishment of any important object;
consequently I marched at 8 o'clock the next morning, taking a west, and varying slightly to a
northwest, course. We marched about 5 miles, and halted to feed on the plantation of Elias
After resting until about 2 p.m., during which time I sent detachments north to threaten the
line of railroad at Lake Station and other points, we moved southwest toward Raleigh, making
about 12 miles during the afternoon, and halting at dark on the plantation of Dr. Mackadora.
From this point I sent a single scout, disguised as a citizen, to proceed northward to the line
of the Southern Railroad, cut the telegraph, and, if possible, fire a bridge or trestle-work. He
started on his journey about midnight, and when within 7 miles of the railroad he came upon a
regiment of Southern cavalry from Brandon, Miss., in search of us. He succeeded in misdirecting
them as to the place where he had last seen us, and, having seen them well on the wrong road, he
immediately retraced his steps to camp with the news. When he first met them they were on the
direct road to our camp, and had they not been turned from their course would have come up
with us before daylight.
From information received through my scouts and other sources, I found that Jackson and the
stations east as far as Lake Station had been re-enforced by infantry and artillery; and hearing
that a fight was momentarily expected at Grand Gulf, I decided to make a rapid march: cross
Pearl River, and strike the New Orleans, Jackson and Great Northern Railroad at Hazlehurst,
and, after destroying as much of the road as possible, endeavor to get upon the flank of the
enemy and cooperate with our forces, should they be successful in the attack upon Grand Gulf
and Port Gibson.
Having obtained during this day plenty of forage and provisions, and having had one good
night's rest, we now again felt ready for any emergency. Accordingly, at 6 o'clock on the
morning of the 26th, we crossed Leaf River, burning the bridge behind us to prevent any enemy
who might be in pursuit from following; thence through Raleigh, capturing the sheriff of that
county, with about $3,000 in Government funds; thence to Westville, reaching this place soon
after dark. Passing on about 2 miles, we halted to feed, in the midst of a heavy rain, on the
plantation of Mr. Williams.
After feeding, Colonel Prince, of the Seventh Illinois Cavalry, with two battalions, was sent
immediately forward to Pearl River to secure the ferry and landing. He arrived in time to capture
a courier who had come to bring intelligence of the approach of the Yankees and orders for the
destruction of the ferry. With the main column, I followed in about two hours. We ferried and
swam our horses, and succeeded in crossing the whole command by 2 p.m.
As soon as Colonel Prince had crossed his two battalions, he was ordered to proceed
immediately to the New Orleans, Jackson and Great Northern Railroad, striking it at Hazlehurst.
Here he found a number of cars containing about 500 loaded shells and a large quantity of
commissary and quartermaster's stores, intended for Grand Gulf and Port Gibson. These were
destroyed, and as much of the railroad and telegraph as possible. Here, again, we found the
citizens armed to resist us, but they fled precipitately upon our approach.
From this point we took a northwest course to Gallatin, 4 miles; thence southwest 3 miles to
the plantation of Mr. Thompson, where we halted until the next morning.
Directly after leaving Gallatin we captured a 64-pounder gun, a heavy wagon load of
ammunition, and machinery for mounting the gun, on the road to Port Gibson. The gun was
spiked and the carriages and ammunition destroyed. During the afternoon it rained in torrents,
and the men were completely drenched.
At 6 o'clock the next morning, April 28, we moved westward. After proceeding a short
distance, I detached a battalion of the Seventh Illinois Cavalry, under Captain Trafton, to proceed
back to the railroad at Bahala and destroy the road, telegraph, and all Government property he
might find. With the rest of the command, I moved southwest toward Union Church. We halted
to feed at 2 p.m. on the plantation of Mr. Snyder, about 2 miles northeast of the church. While
feeding, our pickets were fired upon by a considerable force. I immediately moved out upon
them, skirmished with and drove them through the town, wounding and capturing a number. It
proved to be a part of Wirt Adams' (Mississippi) cavalry. After driving them off, we held the
town and bivouacked for the night. After accomplishing the object of his expedition, Captain
Trafton returned to us about 3 o'clock in the morning of the 29th, having come upon the rear of
the main body of Adams' command. The enemy having a battery of artillery, it was his intention
to attack us in front and rear at Union Church about daylight in the morning, but the appearance
of Captain Trafton with a force in his rear changed his purpose, and, turning to the right, he took
the direct road to Port Gibson. From this point I made a strong demonstration toward Fayette,
with a view of creating the impression that we were going toward Port Gibson or Natchez, while
I quietly took the opposite direction, taking the road leading southeast to Brookhaven, on the
Before arriving at this place, we ascertained that about 500 citizens and conscripts were
organized to resist us. We charged into the town, when they fled, making but little resistance. We
captured over 200 prisoners, a large and beautiful camp of instruction, comprising several
hundred tents, and a large quantity of quartermaster's and commissary stores, arms, ammunition,
&c. After paroling the prisoners and destroying the railroad, telegraph, and all Government
property, about dark we moved southward, and encamped at Mr. Gill's plantation, about 8 miles
south of Brookhaven.
On the following morning we moved directly south, along the railroad, destroying all bridges
and trestle-work to Bogue Chitto Station, where we burned the depot and fifteen freight cars, and
captured a very large secession flag. From thence we still moved along the railroad, destroying
every bridge, water-tank, &c., as we passed, to Summit, which place we reached soon after noon.
Here we destroyed twenty-five freight cars and a large quantity of Government sugar. We found
much Union sentiment in this town, and were kindly welcomed and fed by many of the citizens.
Hearing nothing more of our forces at Grand Gulf, I concluded to make for Baton Rouge to
recruit my command, after which I could return to La Grange, through Southern Mississippi and
Western Alabama; or, crossing the Mississippi River, move through Louisiana and Arkansas.
Accordingly, after resting about two hours, we started southwest, on the Liberty road, marched
about 15 miles, and halted until daylight on the plantation of Dr. Spurlark.
The next morning we left the road and threatened Magnolia and Osyka, where large forces
were concentrated to meet us; but, instead of attacking those points, took a course due south,
marching through woods, lanes, and by-roads, and striking the road leading from Clinton to
Osyka. Scarcely had we touched this road when we came upon the Ninth Tennessee Cavalry
[Battalion], posted in a strong defile, guarding the bridges over Tickfaw River. We captured their
pickets, and, attacking them, drove them before us, killing, wounding, and capturing a number.
Our loss in this engagement was 1 man killed, and Lieut. Col. William D. Blackburn and 4 men
I cannot speak too highly of the bravery of the men upon this occasion, and particularly of
Lieutenant-Colonel Blackburn, who, at the head of his men, charged upon the bridge, dashed
over, and, by undaunted courage, dislodged the enemy from his strong position. After disposing
of the dead and wounded, we immediately moved south, on the Greensburg road, recrossing the
Tickfaw River at Edwards' Bridge. At this point we met [W. H.] Garland's rebel cavalry, and,
with one battalion of the Sixth Illinois and two guns of the battery, engaged and drove them off
without halting the column.
The enemy were now on our track in earnest. We were in the vicinity of their stronghold,
and, from couriers and dispatches which we captured, it was evident they were sending forces in
all directions to intercept us. The Amite River, a wide and rapid stream, was to be crossed, and
there was but one bridge by which it could be crossed, and this was in exceedingly close
proximity to Port Hudson. This I determined upon securing before I halted. We crossed it at
midnight, about two hours in advance of a heavy column of infantry and artillery, which had
been sent there to intercept us. I moved on to Sandy Creek, where Hughes' cavalry [battalion],
under Lieutenant-Colonel [C. C.] Wilbourn, were encamped, and where there was another main
road leading to Port Hudson.
We reached this point at first dawn of day; completely surprised and captured the camp, with
a number of prisoners. Having destroyed the camp, consisting of about one hundred and fifty
tents, a large quantity of ammunition, guns, public and private stores, books, papers, and public
documents, I immediately took the road to Baton Rouge. Arriving at the Comite River, we
utterly surprised Stuart's cavalry [Miles' Legion], who were picketing at this point, capturing 40
of them, with their horses, arms, and entire camp. Fording the river, we halted to feed within 4
miles of the town. Major-General Augur, in command at Baton Rouge, having now, for the first,
heard of our approach, sent two companies of cavalry, under Captain [J. Franklin] Godfrey, to
meet us. We marched into the town about 3 p.m., and we were most heartily welcomed by the
United States forces at this point.
Before our arrival in Louisville. Company B, of the Seventh Illinois Cavalry, under Captain
Forbes, was detached to proceed to Macon, on the Mobile and Ohio Railroad; if possible take the
town, destroy the railroad and telegraph, and rejoin us. Upon approaching the place, he found it
had been re-enforced, and the bridge over the Okanoxubee River destroyed, so that the railroad
and telegraph could not be reached.
He came back to our trail, crossed the Southern Railroad at Newton, took a southeast course
to Enterprise, where, although his force numbered only 35 men, he entered with a flag of truce
and demanded the surrender of the place. The commanding officer at that point asked an hour to
consider the matter, which Captain Forbes (having ascertained that a large force occupied the
place) granted, and improved in getting away. He immediately followed us, and succeeded in
joining the column while it was crossing Pearl River at Georgetown. In order to catch us, he was
obliged to march 60 miles per day for several consecutive days. Much honor is due Captain
Forbes for the manner in which he conducted this expedition.
At Louisville I sent Captain Lynch, of Company E, Sixth Illinois Cavalry, and one man of his
company, disguised as citizens, who had gallantly volunteered to proceed to the Mobile and Ohio
Railroad and cut the wires, which it was necessary should be done to prevent information of our
presence from flying along the railroad to Jackson and other points. Captain Lynch and his
comrade proceeded toward Macon, but, meeting with the same barrier which had stopped
Captain Forbes, could not reach the road. He went to the pickets at the edge of the town,
ascertained the whole disposition of their forces and much other valuable information, and,
returning, joined us above Decatur, having ridden without interruption for two days and nights
without a moment's rest. All honor to the gallant captain, whose intrepid coolness and daring
characterizes him on every occasion.
During the expedition we killed and wounded about 100 of the enemy, captured and paroled
over 500 prisoners, many of them officers, destroyed between 50 and 60 miles of railroad and
telegraph, captured and destroyed over 3,000 stand of arms, and other army stores and
Government property to an immense amount; we also captured 1,000 horses and mules.
Our loss during the entire journey was 3 killed, 7 wounded, 5 left on the route sick; the
sergeant-major and surgeon of the Seventh Illinois left with Lieutenant-Colonel Blackburn, and 9
men missing, supposed to have straggled. We marched over 600 miles in less than sixteen days.
The last twenty-eight hours we marched 76 miles, had four engagements with the enemy, and
forded the Comite River, which was deep enough to swim many of the horses. During this time
the men and horses were without food or rest.
Much of the country through which we passed was almost entirely destitute of forage and
provisions, and it was but seldom that we obtained over one meal per day. Many of the
inhabitants must undoubtedly suffer for want of the necessaries of life, which have reached most
fabulous prices.
Two thousand cavalry and mounted infantry were sent from the vicinity of Greenwood and
Grenada northeast to intercept us; 1,300 cavalry and several regiments of infantry with artillery
were sent from Mobile to Macon, Meridian, and other points on the Mobile and Ohio road; a
force was sent from Canton northeast to prevent our crossing Pearl, River, and another force of
infantry and cavalry was sent from Brookhaven to Monticello, thinking we would cross Pearl
River at that point instead of Georgetown. Expeditions were also sent from Vicksburg, Port
Gibson, and Port Hudson to intercept us. Many detachments were sent out from my command
and at various places to mislead the enemy, all of which rejoined us in safety. Colton's pocket
map of Mississippi, which, though small, is very correct, was all I had to guide me; but by the
capture of their couriers, dispatches, and mails, and the invaluable aid of my scouts, we were
always able by rapid marches to evade the enemy when they were too strong and whip them
when not too large.
Colonel Prince, commanding the Seventh Illinois, and Lieutenant-Colonel Loomis,
commanding the Sixth Illinois, were untiring in their efforts to further the success of the
expedition, and I cannot speak too highly of the coolness, bravery, and, above all, of the untiring
perseverance of the officers and men of the command during the entire journey. Without their
hearty co-operation, which was freely given under the most trying circumstances, we could not
have accomplished so much with such signal success.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel, Commanding Brigade.
Lieut. Col. JOHN A. RAWLINS,
Assistant Adjutant-General.
LA GRANGE, TENN., April 27, 1863.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report that, complying with orders from Colonel Grierson,
commanding First Cavalry Brigade, I left camp with my regiment, at La Grange, Tenn., April 17,
and marched with brigade to the neighborhood of Ripley, Miss., and camped.
On the morning of the 18th of April, by order of Colonel Grierson, marched my regiment
east of Ripley 3 miles, thence southeast through Moline, and camped 5 miles south, of that place,
skirmishing during the day with Smith's regiment of Partisan Rangers, organized near there at a
place known as Chesterville. On the 19th, marched southwest, forming a junction with Colonel
Grierson 5 miles south of Pontotoc. There Major Love, of my regiment, was detached, with a
portion of my regiment, to return to La Grange, reducing me to about 500 men.
On the morning of the 20th, marched with Colonel Grierson 13 miles southeast of Houston,
and camped.
On the morning of the 21st of April, complying with Colonel Grierson's order, was ordered
to move in the rear of his column at 3 a.m., leaving Grierson at the junction of the roads leading
to Louisville and West Point and Columbus, thence to proceed to the railroad at West Point,
destroying the railroad bridge over the Oktibbeha River; thence move rapidly southward to
Macon, destroying the railroad and Government stores; then to find my way north to La Grange
by the most practicable route.
For some reason unknown to me, the column did not move until 7 a.m. This delay in time in
the following report will show it was fatal to carrying out Colonel Grierson's order. At the point
Colonel Grierson turned south from the direction I was to travel, a detachment of my regiment
moved with him 4 miles, then marched back to this point to obliterate the tracks of Colonel
Grierson, going south with the Sixth and Seventh Illinois Cavalry. In this way I was delayed
three hours, thus enabling the enemy's cavalry, which had been concentrating for some days in
anticipation of a movement on Columbus, to fall upon me. About 12 o'clock, on reaching the
town of Palo Alto, I was attacked in rear and on each flank by a force under General [S. J.]
Gholson, consisting of Smith's partisan regiment, [C. R.] Barteau's regiment, and [W. M.] Inge's
battalion. In my front, between me and West Point, was an Alabama regiment, recently from
Pensacola, with artillery, my front being well protected by the Houlka River.
In the attack made by the enemy, a company in the rear was cut off and nearly all taken. The
enemy then closed in on my flanks, and advanced in two lines on my rear, with two flags of truce
flying, enabling him to approach very close, my command being at that time in a lane, with high
fences and hedges upon either side, my men dismounted and well covered. Changing my front to
the rear, I waited until the enemy were close upon me, and opened with my rifles and one 2-
pounder from the front and with carbines on the flanks, breaking his lines and driving him back,
pushing the enemy about 3 miles, capturing arms and horses, and retaking the company lost in
the first attack. From that time until dark it was a constant skirmish, the enemy having taken me
for the main column. Believing it was important to divert the enemy's cavalry from Colonel
Grierson, I moved slowly northward, fighting by the rear, crossing the Houlka River, and
drawing their forces immediately in my rear.
On the 22d, marched north near the Mobile and Ohio Railroad, the enemy continuing to
follow, their forces augmented by all the citizens in the country, armed with shot-guns and
hunting rifles, firing constantly on our flanks. At 4 p.m. attacked Okolona, driving out the
enemy's cavalry and State forces, burning the barracks for 5,000 men, and destroying stores and
ammunition. I then marched northwest 5 miles and camped.
On the 23d, marched north, and hearing that Chalmers' forces intended cutting me off, I
destroyed the bridges over the Chiwapa Creek, to check the forces following me in the rear.
Camped that night near Tupelo.
On the 24th, marched north through Birmingham, where I was attacked in the rear by what I
believe to be Chalmers' forces, at l0 a.m. My ammunition giving out, I retreated slowly toward
Molino, stopping occasionally to repel their charges, concealing my men at all favorable points
with the 2-pounder, which did excellent service. I waited until the enemy were nearly on me,
when I opened a fire at short range, the enemy suffering terribly, with small loss to me. In this
way the attack was kept up for 6 miles, when the enemy were evidently tired, and, with the
exception of annoyance from guerrilla parties, we were not troubled by the enemy from that
point to La Grange, where I arrived on the 26th.
We captured about three hundred shot-guns and rifles, mostly Enfield, which, for want of
transportation, were destroyed, and have had but 10 men killed, wounded, and missing. I left
camp with 70 rounds of ammunition, and had 10 on reaching it. I had decided on reaching
Okolona to go south, but upon examining my ammunition I had but 21 rounds left, which did not
warrant the movement.
The fight at Palo Alto gave the enemy time to guard the railroad at West Point and prepare
for an attack on Columbus, with some 2,000 State troops, under General Ruggles.
I left camp with 250 horses, worn out, which broke down at the end of the second day, and
mounted my men upon the mules from my train and borrowed mules. I have nearly mounted my
regiment, returned the mules borrowed, and filled up my train, captured 50 prisoners, and killed
and wounded not less than 100 of the enemy.
The fight at Palo Alto, and diverting the enemy from Colonel Grierson, has undoubtedly
given him thirty-six hours' start.
Inclosed I send list of prisoners captured; also duplicates of paroles given. The prisoners
taken near Pontotoc were turned over to Major Love, of my regiment.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel Second Iowa Cavalry.
Capt. W. H. HARLAND,
Asst. Adjt. Gen., First Division, Sixteenth Army Corps.
OLIVE BRANCH, LA., May 4, 1863.
SIR: Upon the receipt of Lieutenant-General Pemberton's dispatch announcing the
possibility that the raid of the enemy was designed to join Banks' army, and to send out all the
available spare cavalry in the direction of Tangipahoa, I immediately sent off Colonel [C. C.]
Wilbourn's battalion and Captains [T. R.] Stockdale's and [V. L.] Terrell's companies to
Tangipahoa, with instructions to intercept the enemy and keep us advised of all information.
Upon getting dispatch from you, stating that Hazlehurst Station had been captured by the enemy,
I ordered a company at once to Clinton, La., with instructions to send out scouting parties on all
the approaches to the northeast. Soon afterward I received your dispatch, directing me to send a
company to Clinton and one to Woodville, and move with all the balance of the cavalry not
needed on the front north of Clinton in the direction of Woodville. The company was sent at
once to Woodville, and it and the company at Clinton were instructed to get the earliest and most
accurate information by means of scouts, and keep the major-general and myself advised. With
the balance of the spare cavalry (158 men of the Ninth Battalion Tennessee Cavalry) I moved up
to Clinton, and from there to the northward on the Liberty road. At about 14 miles from Clinton I
received a dispatch from Colonel Wilbourn, stating that he was at Osyka, the enemy at
Hazlehurst, and that he would move up in the direction of the enemy. I stopped at a point
between Liberty and Woodville, so that I could take either direction as circumstances might
require. Being informed that the enemy were moving in the direction of Natchez, I was preparing
to go to Centreville, 15 miles east of Woodville, with the view of being in the near direction of
the enemy, and keeping up communication with Colonel Wilbourn and the forces at Woodville;
but before the movement was made I got information that the enemy was at Brookhaven. I at
once moved to Liberty. There the dispatch of Lieutenant [W. S.] Wren announcing the capture of
Brookhaven was conclusively shown to be unfounded at the time the dispatch was sent, by a
later dispatch from him stating that the enemy had gone in the direction of Natchez. Colonel
Wilbourn got both of these dispatches, and they caused him to do much traveling for nothing,
and to keep him so perplexed as greatly retarded his movements. Not being able to determine
from the contradictory statements what was the enemy's direction, I dispatched scouts, who
returned on Thursday night between midnight and day, and brought certain information that the
enemy had not only taken Brookhaven, but moved off as if going in the direction of Natchez, and
suddenly reversed his course and captured Bogue Chitto and Summit. I prepared at once to move
to Summit, but soon after starting learned from my scouts that the enemy was only a few miles
off, having moved 12 miles in the direction of Liberty. I suspended the movement, believing that
the enemy was making his way to Woodville.
About the same time I received Major-General [Franklin] Gardner's dispatch, advising me
that the enemy had landed a force below Grand Gulf, and directing me to gather all the cavalry
and attack the enemy in the direction of Brookhaven, and by all means not to allow the enemy to
make a junction with the force landed below Grand Gulf. In view of this and the demonstration
in the direction of Liberty, I took up the best position to hold the enemy in check with a small
force, and sent couriers to Colonel Wilbourn, urging him to move speedily in the direction of the
enemy, and advising him exactly where the enemy was. At this time it was undoubtedly the
enemy's purpose to go to the force below Grand Gulf. Colonel Wilbourn, receiving my dispatch,
moved down as promptly as he could, keeping between the enemy's cavalry and the force at
Grand Gulf. He had got up communication also with Colonel [Wirt] Adams. As soon as I heard
from him, and through him from Colonel Adams, and knew that they were advised of enemy's
true position, I moved out in the direction of Osyka, encamping in a favorable position to resist if
the enemy should attempt to pass out in the direction of Liberty or Clinton.
My information from Colonels Adams and Wilbourn was that early Saturday morning they
would be in close proximity to the enemy. I had also what I regarded as most undoubted
evidence that on Saturday the enemy would attempt to take Osyka, and, while Colonels Adams
and Wilbourn attacked them from the direction they were approaching, [I] intended to attack
them on the Osyka and Liberty road. Receiving intelligence that he would probably be attacked
as indicated, the enemy suddenly abandoned the idea of taking Osyka and reaching the
Mississippi above Port Hudson, and resolved to make his way out in the direction of Baton
Rouge. He managed so as to completely deceive citizens and our scouts as to his purpose, and by
a march of almost unprecedented rapidity moved off by the Greensburg road the Baton Rouge.
Before starting, he traveled for some distance in the direction of Osyka, announcing that he was
going to capture that place.
In his march to Baton Rouge, he encountered the cavalry of Colonel [J. H.] Wingfield and
one of my companies that had been ordered from Woodville to Osyka at Walls Bridge.
Our men behaved with great spirit, twice repulsing the enemy, and forcing him to bring up
his artillery to dislodge them.
In this affair he lost a major, killed, and Lieutenant-Colonel [William D.] Blackburn,
severely, if not mortally, wounded, besides about 12 privates wounded.
The enemy's force started from La Grange, Tenn., and consisted of three regiments--Sixth
and Seventh Illinois and Second Iowa--the latter of which left them east of Jackson. It was their
wish to return to the point from which they started. It not able to do that, then to go to the
Mississippi above Port Hudson, and, if they could do no better, to pass out to Baton Rouge.
Colonels Adams and Wilbourn and myself came together early on Saturday, and, finding that
the enemy had passed beyond our reach, gave up the pursuit.
I am, major, respectfully, your obedient servant,
Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding Cavalry.
Major [T. F.] WILSON,
Assistant Adjutant-General.
Memphis, Tenn., April 25, 1863.
The expedition against Chalmers suffered the misfortune of most combined movements.
General Smith did not get into the rear in time, and from high water in Coldwater River, and the
slowness and extreme caution of Colonel Bryant, of the Twelfth Wisconsin, who led the force
from here, that part of the expedition did not force the passage of the river. As Smith came up on
Wednesday. Chalmers broke into small squads and ran off to Panola, burning all bridges.
I have had nothing from Dodge for three days, but his base is firm at Eastport, on the line of
Bear Creek.
I sent you copy of letter from Grierson, near Pontotoc. I have not heard from his main
column since.
The Second Iowa Cavalry has burned Okolona, destroyed the road and barracks; also large
amounts of provisions, &c., at Tupelo, either by themselves, or by the enemy, in fear of them.
This is reported by two of that regiment, who were cut off and came into Corinth. The country
cavalry is hanging around them, but I think they will work their way in.
There is nothing else here of news. As soon as I get news from any of these expeditions, I
will forward it.
Your obedient servant,
Lieut. Col. JOHN A. RAWLINS,
Assistant Adjutant-General
LA GRANGE, TENN., May 5, 1863.
CAPTAIN: Complying with Brigadier-General Smith's orders, left La Grange on the
morning of April 29, 1863, with the Second Iowa Cavalry, Sixth Iowa Infantry (mounted),
Fourth Illinois Cavalry, four 10-pounder guns, and 80 men of the West Tennessee Cavalry--in
all, an effective force of 1,300 men--to attack the forces of the enemy concentrating at New
Albany and Pontotoc, to intercept the supposed return of Colonel Grierson. Marched 38 miles,
and camped south of Ripley.
Learning that General Chalmers (Confederate), with a force of 1,500 men and one piece of
artillery, had encamped at New Albany, and would dispute the passage of the Tallahatchee,
passed at this point by two bridges, each about 200 feet in length, on the morning of the 30th,
threw forward a detachment toward the bridges, moving with the main body to the crossing at
Lee's Mills, 8 miles above, on the Tallahatchee. Coming upon their pickets at this point, captured
a lieutenant and 1 private, and immediately pushed for the rear and flank of the enemy. Coming
upon the trail of the enemy, I supposed it was the main body moving toward Okolona, but
afterward learned that a regiment of the enemy had been sent to Okolona to mislead me, while
the main body crossed the bridges, going north, burning them and King's Bridge, 6 miles below,
on the stream.
On May 1, pushed rapidly toward Okolona, through Chesterville, coming occasionally upon
the enemy, and, capturing a few prisoners, camped south of Tupelo that night.
May 2, moved toward Okolona, the enemy burning bridges in our advance, until we reached
the Chiwapa, 6 miles from Okolona, which was so impassable, being swollen, and the bridge, an
important one, destroyed, that I was obliged to move up the stream in a northwestern direction 12
miles, to effect a crossing, where I camped, throwing out detachments to examine the crossings.
There I learned that General Chalmers, the day before, had moved north to my rear, and then
recrossed the Tallahatchee at Rocky Ford, going south, and was moving on Pontotoc. I
immediately took up line of march at dark toward Pontotoc, marching nearly all night in a rainstorm,
hoping to come upon him at this point. When within 6 miles of Pontotoc, my scouts
informed me that Chalmers had again taken flight hurriedly for Grenada.
Learning there could be no doubt of Colonel Grierson having moved rapidly to Baton Rouge,
on May 3 took up my line of march toward La Grange, arriving here on the 5th of May, bringing
in about 400 captured stock and 20 prisoners.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel, Commanding.
Assistant Adjutant-General.
LA GRANGE, TENN., May 16, 1863.
CAPTAIN: Complying with Brigadier-General Smith's order to proceed with my command
to the neighborhood of Panola, Miss., attack General Chalmers' (Confederate)forces if found,
and procure all the mules and horses in my way, and not to be absent, if possible, more than four
days, moved from camp at La Grange, May 11, with 500 of the Second Iowa Cavalry, 350 of the
Sixth Iowa Infantry, and three 2-pounders of the First Illinois Artillery, southwest toward
Tallaloosa, at the same time sending 150 men of the Seventh Illinois Cavalry south of Ripley, to
cover any flank movement from Okolona. Near the crossing of Coldwater came upon Major [A.
H.] Chalmers' (Confederate) battalion, which my advance routed, capturing 3 prisoners. Camped
that night 5 miles west of Holly Springs.
Marched the following day south, and camped near Chulahoma. Learning that night that
General Chalmers was expected at Senatobia, marched rapidly on the morning of the 13th to that
place. Found there only a company of the enemy, of whom we captured 6 prisoners and the
telegraph operator at that point. Pushing my advance to the neighborhood of Sardis, and not
finding the enemy in force, dispatched parties in all directions to accumulate animals. By 3
o'clock in the afternoon, having brought in about 600 animals, resumed my march toward La
Grange, camping about 7 miles from Senatobia, on Jim Wolf Creek.
About 2 o'clock of the morning of the 14th, the enemy made an attack upon my pickets,
evidently intending to surprise the camp, and were handsomely repulsed by the pickets. At
daylight they again made a more spirited attack, but our pickets having been strongly reenforced,
drove the enemy back; and supposing this was the last attack, took up my line of march
north, drawing in the pickets, which the enemy followed up quickly with his artillery, shelling
the swamp my command was passing through, giving me considerable annoyance. Moving the
Second Iowa to the rear to fight, I learned the enemy was moving north on a parallel road to the
one I was on, with the evident intention of getting upon my left flank; I moved steadily forward.
The enemy again attacked me at Walnut Hill, striking the left flank of my rear guard, charging
spiritedly upon two companies of rifles of the Second Iowa Cavalry, who repulsed the enemy,
driving them out of the town. When near the crossing of the Hecula, 5 miles north of Walnut
Hill, the enemy again attacked, having pushed up three pieces of artillery on the hills
commanding the swamp, at about a mile distance, and began shelling the command, creating a
stampede among the led animals and negroes. Leaving one-half of the command to take care of
the led animals, I moved rapidly to the rear to fight, deploying on the first high ground toward
the enemy, opening with two of the 2. pounders on their guns, and pushing my skirmishers and
line forward to a good position, and having but 450 men to fight (it required one-halt' of my
command to take care of the animals) against from what I could ascertain from prisoners was
from 1,000 to 2,000 men. One of the enemy's guns getting into position in a point of woods on
my right, gave me considerable trouble until we drove it from its position with the 2-pounders
and skirmishers. I here awaited the enemy's attack, who continued shelling the road and woods in
the swamp.
An hour having passed, and my led animals having crossed the stream, and safe from the
enemy's shells, and the enemy declining to attack, I crossed the bridge and did not destroy it,
meaning to allow Chalmers to cross one-half of his command and then attack him. Waiting some
time, and finding that the enemy did not follow, I pushed rapidly to the Coldwater, which point, I
had every reason to believe, the enemy had sent a force to hold, but I hoped to crush it before
Chalmers could come up. On reaching this crossing, there was evidence that the force we had
expected to contest the passage had decamped hurriedly, moving west. Camped that night near
Coldwater. During the night many of the negroes, for some reason, either from the fear that the
camp would be shelled or from hunger--it being impossible for us to furnish food--escaped with
animals, some returning south, others pushing for our lines. I marched to La Grange on the 15th.
We captured about 600 mules and horses. The weather being very warm, and the marches long
and rapid, nearly 100 of our old horses were abandoned. The casualties are 2 men missing, one
of them probably killed; 2 seriously wounded, and 5 horses killed. My skirmishers punished the
enemy severely. The command marched about 160 miles.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel Second Iowa Cavalry, Commanding Brigade
Assistant Adjutant-General.
In the Field, May 8, 1863.
COLONEL: I have the honor to submit the following report, commencing with the landing of
the Twelfth Division at Milliken's Bend on the 14th of April, and terminating with the battle of
Port Gibson, on the 1st day of May:
Marching over heavy roads from the Bend on the 16th, under orders to leave our camp and
garrison equipage behind, we arrived at Dawson's farm, on the Roundaway Bayou, on the second
On the 18th, marched to the mouth of Gilbert's Bayou, with directions to make a
reconnaissance in the direction of the Mississippi River, and ascertain whether a practicable
route could be found. Descending the bayou, I met General Osterhaus coming up from the river
on the same business, and on comparing notes the route was deemed practicable, and so reported
to Major-General McClernand.
In four days from that date my division, with the aid of Captain Patterson's pioneers, built
four bridges over about 1,000 feet of water and cut 2 miles of road through the woods, thus
opening up the great military route through the overflowed lands from Milliken's Bend to the
Mississippi River below Vicksburg. During this severe task many of my men worked for hours
up to their necks in water, and I take this occasion to thank them for the devotion and energy
there displayed. To Capt. George W. Jackson, Thirty-fourth Indiana, and his pioneer corps,
praise is particularly due for the performance of this herculean task.
On the 28th, we embarked on steamers for the purpose of aiding in the attack on Grand Gulf,
and on the 29th witnessed the brilliant assault by the gunboats upon that place.
As it was supposed at the time that a battle would take place at Grand Gulf, the horses of all
officers, except those commanding divisions, and all kinds of transportation, were left behind.
Subsequent events made this very onerous upon the officers and upon the command.
On the 30th, we again disembarked at Bruinsburg Landing, Miss., below Grand Gulf, and at
3 p.m. took up our line of march for Port Gibson, the order of march by divisions being Carr's
(Fourteenth), Osterhaus' (Ninth), Hovey's (Twelfth), Smith's (Tenth).
The organization of the Twelfth Division at that time was--
First Brigade, General George F. McGinnis commanding.--The Twenty-fourth Indiana,
commanded by Col. W. T. Spicely; Forty-sixth Indiana, commanded by Col. T. H. Bringhurst;
Eleventh Indiana, commanded by Col. Daniel Macauley; Twenty-ninth Wisconsin, commanded
by Col. Charles R. Gill; Thirty-fourth Indiana, commanded by Col. R. A. Cameron; Sixteenth
Ohio Battery, commanded by Capt. J. A. Mitchell; Second Ohio Battery, commanded by First
Lieut. Aug. Beach.
Second Brigade, Col. James R. Slack commanding.--The Twenty-fourth Iowa, commanded
by Col. E. C. Byam; Twenty-eighth Iowa, commanded by Col. John Connell; Fifty-sixth Ohio,
commanded by Lieut. Col. W. H. Raynor; Forty-seventh Indiana, commanded by Lieut. Col. J.
A. McLaughlin, First Missouri Battery, commanded by Captain Schofield; Peoria Light
Artillery, commanded by Second Lieutenant Fenton.
We continued our march through the night. Near 2 o'clock in the morning of May 1,
cannonading was heard in our front, which continued for several minutes. The column pressed
forward, and at daylight reached Center Creek, about 3 miles west of Port Gibson.
At this point, at 5.30 a.m., my division was ordered to take position a few hundred yards in
advance, upon the right of the road, on the crest of two hills nearly opposite the Shafer farmhouse,
at that time the headquarters of Major-General McClernand. The First Brigade occupied
the position in front nearest the enemy's line and at right angles to the road, and the Second
Brigade on a similar ridge in the rear of the First Brigade.
The lines of each brigade were formed under fire from the enemy, who were being engaged
by Brigadier-General Benton, to my left and near the center of the line of battle.
At this juncture I received orders from Major-General McClernand to hold my division as a
reserve until the arrival of the Tenth Division, commanded by Brigadier-General Smith, at which
time my whole command was to be in readiness to take part in the action.
On receiving this command, I ordered my division to lie down under the cover of the brows
of the hills. In less than thirty minutes afterward, General Smith arrived, and the fact was
announced to the major-general commanding. In the mean time the brigade under General
Benton was engaged in a severe conflict with the enemy upon our left, and gallantly resisting
almost overwhelming numbers.
About 7 a.m. an aide from Major-General McClernand came rapidly forward, with orders
directing me without the least delay to support General Benton's line. I immediately ordered
Brigadier-General McGinnis to march the infantry of the First Brigade in line of battle across a
deep and rugged ravine to his support. All concur in describing this ravine as being about 40 rods
wide, and filled with vines, cane, deep gulches, and exceedingly difficult of passage. The enemy,
no doubt, regarded it as impassable.
As soon as the First Brigade had commenced moving, 1 ordered the Second Brigade, Colonel
Slack commanding, to march by the right flank around the head of the ravine, in support of the
forces engaged in the center. They reached their proper position, in line of the division, beyond
the ravine, about the same time the left of the First Brigade arrived, the right of the First Brigade
being still engaged in working through the tangled vines and underbrush of the ravine. As I rode
down the road toward the front and middle of my line, 1 met Captain Klauss, First Indiana
Battery, who had been gallantly fighting the rebel batteries; the field around him and one
disabled gun testified to the nature of the conflict. He at once pointed out the position of the rebel
battery, the guns of which, with a line of rebel heads in their rear, were plainly visible. I
immediately rode down, under cover of the brow of the ravine, to the head of the Second
Brigade, where Colonel Slack and Colonel Cameron, of the Thirty-fourth Indiana, were standing.
Lieutenant-Colonel Raynor, of the Fifty-sixth Ohio, who had been supporting Captain Klauss'
battery, here joined us. Here I attempted to communicate with General McGinnis, who was in the
rear of his brigade, but the ground was impassable for my aides on horseback, and my voice
could not be heard on account of the noise around him.
I pointed out the battery first to Colonel Cameron, and told him it must be taken. Colonel
Slack claimed the honor for his command, but I settled the matter by directing Colonel Cameron,
Thirty fourth Indiana Regiment, to make the charge, and Lieutenant-Colonel Raynor, Fifty-sixth
Ohio, to support it. I also directed Colonel Slack to hold his brigade ready to move forward at
any instant. The distance of the rebel battery from the point of my attack could not have
exceeded 150 yards.
Upon receiving the order to charge, Colonel Cameron commanded his battalion to leap the
fence, which, with the Fifty-sixth Ohio, rushed, with loud shouts and fixed bayonets, toward the
battery. Their advance was met with grape from the rebel battery and a shower of ball from the
rebel lines. The fire became intense and concentrated, and both regiments, to shield themselves,
fell to the ground, while the fire continued for two or three minutes longer on both sides. At this
juncture I gave the command "forward" as loud as I could, and had the gratification of seeing the
Thirty-fourth and Fifty-sixth spring to their feet, and, with two companies of the Eleventh
Indiana? which I knew by their dress, and several other companies from my division, which I
could not then distinguish, rush forward to the charge.
Again the bright bayonets of the Twelfth Division were glittering in the sun; again a wild
shout, a shout of triumph, reverberated through the hills. The enemy were beaten back, between
200 and 300 taken prisoners, and 1 stand of colors, 2 12-pounder howitzers, 3 caissons, and 3
six-mule teams, loaded with ammunition, was the reward of this chivalric action.
The particular men or companies who seized the colors, took the guns and turned them upon
the enemy, surrounded and took the prisoners, I cannot tell, as in the hot contest of the moment
nothing but momentary daguerrean sketches could have fixed the facts. One thing is certain, the
honor of the charge belongs to the Twelfth Division. I gave the command, my men obeyed, and
made the charge, manned the guns, discharged them at the enemy, took the prisoners, and have
the battle-flag of the battery now in possession of the gallant Colonel Raynor. That other gallant
men were there, after the inception of the charge, and sustained it, may be so, as officers and men
of this corps are not only ready but more than willing to do their duty; but that any organized
body of troops from any other division participated in the capture is, I think, contrary to the
position of the corps at the time and the truth of history.
Immediately after the charge was made, several regiments formed on the same ridge in line
of battle, and the wildest enthusiasm, prevailed as Major-Generals Grant and McClernand rode
down our lines. Generals Grant and McClernand commanded me to press the whole line forward
immediately and drive the enemy from the field before they could be re-enforced. I gave the
command to the brigades of my own division and to the gallant Col. William J. Landram,
commanding the Second Brigade, Tenth Division, who, with my division, immediately marched
across a ravine in the direction the enemy had taken. On reaching the plateau or ridge beyond,
our line again received the enemy's fire from a long woody ravine which lay at the base of the
ridge. Skirmishers at different points opened a fire upon the enemy for several minutes. Passing
through a slight opening in this ravine, Colonel Slack formed the Forty-seventh Indiana and
Fifty-sixth Ohio in line of battle and opened fire on the enemy. Being severely pressed, he was
subsequently re-enforced by the Twenty-fourth Regiment Indiana Volunteers, Col. W. T. Spicely
commanding, and Twenty-ninth Wisconsin, Colonel Gill, and, after a hot and spirited contest of
one hour and a half with about equal numbers, they forced the enemy to retire before them. Here
these gallant regiments met with severe loss.
During this contest, and when passing down our lines to the right, I met General McGinnis,
who informed me that the enemy were moving on our right, with the probable intention of
flanking us. He had previously sent to the right three companies of skirmishers from the Eleventh
and Twenty-fourth Indiana and Colonel Cameron with the Thirty-fourth. A's we passed down the
line, my aide, Lieut. J. P. Pope, discovered a rebel battery moving in the same direction,
supported by a large force of infantry) matching partly hidden by the woody ravine. I plainly
saw their heavy column advancing. In a few minutes the rebel battery opened on our lines, firing
shell and shot from "4 and 12 pounder howitzers. The shell and shot picked up on the field
demonstrated their caliber. As my infantry were already in close supporting distance, I massed
my four batteries on the brow of the ridge, and concentrated their fire into the ravine in the
direction of the rebel lines and battery.
The position of my guns and infantry at this time is shown by a sketch accompanying this
report. I am indebted to W. R. McComas, first lieutenant and aide on Major-General
McClernand's staff, for the sketch and other similar favors.
The fire from my batteries was well directed and continued for over one hour, and drove the
rebel battery and infantry from that part of the field. The honor of repulsing the enemy at this
point unquestionably belongs to the batteries of the Twelfth Division, which have my sincere
thanks for their efficient service during the day.
When the fire from the enemy ceased on the right, General McClernand sent orders to have
two regiments move in line of battle from our right through the ravine in which the enemy had
been concealed. Colonel Cameron, being on the extreme right at this time, was ordered, in
conjunction with one regiment from General Smith's First Brigade, to perform this duty. The
length of the ravine was nearly 1 mile, with its width ranging from a few yards to over 100.
About equidistant from its ends is a narrow neck, through which the hills and ground beyond are
plainly visible. To this neck the regiments last named marched in line of battle through the
ravine, capturing several prisoners. Skirmishers from the Second Brigade continued firing for
some time in the upper end of the ravine, above the neck, when the enemy abandoned this part of
the field and fled. The firing continued at irregular intervals along the line for some time
afterward, but the indications plainly proved that they were only covering a rapid retreat. Thus
ended the battle of Port Gibson, and we slept upon the field 2 miles in advance of the morning's
It will be impossible for me to particularize each movement of the respective regiments.
Their special actions are clearly described in the reports of their commanders. I have no fault to
find with any officer or private in my command. If any faltered I know it not. Each brigade was
handled in a masterly manner, and too much praise cannot be bestowed on the veteran General
McGinnis and the gallant Colonel Slack, who commanded them. Faithfully, nobly, and
unfalteringly, they, with their officers and men, performed their full duty of thorough soldiers.
Their country must thank and reward them.
Throughout the day, in the hottest of the hail, and on almost every part of the field where
man or horse could go, Capt. John E. Phillips, assist ant adjutant-general, and my aides, First
Lieuts. John T. McQuiddy and Joseph P. Pope, were carrying orders and making observations.
Their assistance was invaluable to me, and their services deserve the highest praise. George W.
Bownell, private of Company C, First Indiana Cavalry, who acted as my mounted orderly,
proved himself worthy of promotion for his fearless bearing and services throughout the day.
To Surg. Robert B. Jessup, medical director, and the medical corps who co operated with
him, the command is under great obligations for their services under the very trying difficulties
which surrounded them. The sick and wounded have been thoroughly cared for, although no
ambulance or medical wagon accompanied my division. The surgeons carried all their medical
stores on foot, and not only performed their whole duty by attending to the noble men who were
wounded in my command, but, like the good Samaritan of other days, gave balm and bound up
the wounds of suffering rebels by the wayside.
The prisoners taken by my command on the field of battle cannot fall short of 400.
My casualties, as shown by accompanying reports, are: Killed, 42; wounded, 263, and
missing, 3. Total, 308.
I have the honor to be, your obedient servant.
Brig. Gen., Comdg. Twelfth Division, Thirteenth Army Corps.
Assistant Adjutant-General.
Willow Springs, Miss., May 5, 1863.
SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by the forces under my
command in the severely contested battle of Port Gibson on the 1st instant:
My command consisted of the Forty-seventh Indiana Infantry, under command of Lieut. Col.
John A. McLaughlin; Fifty-sixth Ohio Infantry, under command of Lieut. Col. William H.
Raynor; Twenty-fourth Iowa Infantry, commanded by Col. Eber C. Byam; Twenty-eighth Iowa
Infantry, commanded by Col. John Connell; First Missouri Battery, Capt. George W. Schofield
commanding, and the Peoria Battery, commanded by Lieut. Frank B. Fenton. I formed the
infantry on the crest of Thompson's Hill, to the right of the Port Gibson road, at 6 o'clock in the
morning, and Schofield's battery to the left of the same road, and in advance of the first line. The
Peoria Battery, for want of transportation across the Mississippi, did not reach the field until
about 10 a.m. During the formation of our lines, the battle opened a short distance to our left and
front, and continued with great stubbornness for an hour, when General Hovey directed me to
put my column in motion and support General Benton, whose forces were being hard pressed by
overwhelming numbers. The whole column was immediately formed, and moved most gallantly
to the point indicated, with the Forty-seventh Indiana and the Fifty-sixth Ohio on the extreme left
and the Twenty-fourth and Twenty-eighth Iowa on the right.
These positions were respectively taken under a severe fire of the enemy's infantry, and shell
and canister from a whole battery at a distance of about 200 yards, yet the several commands
took their position in line without flinching, and advanced to within 80 yards of the enemy's
battery, immediately after which General Hovey ordered Colonel Cameron, of the Thirty-fourth
Indiana, to charge and take the battery, and ordered me to support the charge with the Fifty-sixth
Ohio, which was immediately to the left of the Thirty-fourth Indiana. I at once gave the
command, and the order was promptly responded to, and the brave Fifty-sixth, with its gallant
commander, rushed up to the very muzzle of the rebel guns, in company with the daring Thirtyfourth,
drove them from their battery, killed a number of the cannoneers and troops supporting
the battery, and captured the stand of rebel colors, which Colonel Raynor now has in his
possession, a worthy custodian of that rebel trophy. Immediately after the guns were silenced,
Colonel Raynor, with his command, passed on beyond the battery, and captured 220 prisoners. In
the charge upon the battery, three companies of the Twenty-eighth Iowa also supported the
Thirty-fourth Indiana. During the whole time, the Forty-seventh Indiana, under command of
Lieutenant-Colonel McLaughlin, was hotly engaged with a heavy force of rebel infantry on the
extreme left, which was trying to reach the left flank, but was repulsed at every effort, and driven
back with terrible slaughter.
During this engagement, Schofield's battery, under the personal command of Captain
Schofield and Lieut. Thomas Mitchell, dealt most terrible and damaging blows, which materially
contributed to our success. Thus terminated the contest in the forenoon. In the afternoon the
Twenty-fourth and Twenty-eighth Iowa were ordered to the rear and extreme left of the line, to
support Major-General Logan's division, which was hotly engaged, and there continued fighting
like veterans, as men of that gallant State always have done, until the enemy was driven from the
field and utterly routed at every point, and the curtain of night closed the scene.
About 1 p.m. the Forty-seventh Indiana and the Fifty-sixth Ohio changed front, and occupied
position about 1 mile to the left and rear of their position in the forenoon. I then moved the
column forward, with Company D, of the Forty-seventh Indiana, under command of Capt. James
R. Brewer, and Company B, of the Fifty-sixth Ohio, under command of Lieut. John Jochem,
thrown forward as skirmishers.
After moving about half a mile over very broken ground, and across a ridge covered with
timber, the skirmishers encountered the rebel column, with their sharpshooters in advance, under
cover of thick brush and a ravine. After a sharp skirmish they were driven out, the column in the
mean time advancing over a hill to the support of the skirmishers. Immediately upon their rising
the hill, the action became general, but we were soon compelled to retire from our position, by
re-enforcements of the enemy in large numbers approaching over the crest of a hill to our right
and rear, and form our line on the slope of the hill, which was quickly executed and in good
During the time of forming this line with the two regiments of my own brigade, the Twentyfourth
Indiana Infantry, of the First Brigade, under command of Col. William T. Spicely, came
down the hill and formed to the right of the Fifty-sixth Ohio, taking their position in the bed of n
creek, at right angles with the line of the Second Brigade. These lines had not more than been
formed when three rebel regiments--two Missouri and one Louisiana---came down at a charge,
with terrific yells, and could not be seen, because of the very thick growth of cane, until they
reached a point within 30 yards of my line.
The Fifty-sixth Ohio and Forty-seventh Indiana opened upon their line in front, and the
Twenty-fourth Indiana on their flank, a most terrific and jarring fire, which arrested their charge
and threw them into some confusion, but they soon recovered, and returned our fire with great
spirit and pertinacity for about two hours, when the rebel survivors fled in utter confusion,
leaving their dead and wounded upon the ground.
During this engagement the two batteries in my command located on the hill to our right and
rear threw shell and shrapnel into the enemy's ranks, which created great havoc. In this
engagement the Fifth Missouri (rebel) Regiment was almost totally annihilated, there being but
19 of them left, who were taken prisoners. With this contest closed the battle on the right, and it
was a fair, square fight of regiment against regiment, of about equal numbers and equally armed,
resulting in the complete triumph of the troops of Indiana and Ohio over the chivalric braggarts
and flower of the Southern Army.
During the several engagements of my command many prisoners were taken, but they were
sent to the rear, and placed in charge of the provost-marshal, without any account of the number
being taken thereof.
The reports of the various commanders of my brigade are herewith inclosed, and make a part
of this.
To the cool and gallant conduct of all the field and line officers, and the persevering
determination of each and every one in my command, I cannot express too much gratitude and
admiration. To them belongs the glory of the triumph, every officer and every man having done
his whole duty.
My acting assistant adjutant-general, Lieut. H. G. P. Jennings, of Company C, Forty-seventh
Indiana, and my aide, Lieutenant [Theodore] Schaeffer, of Company F, Twenty-eighth Iowa,
rendered me most admirable service, carrying and executing orders during the whole day.
I would call special attention to Private George Phillips, Company K, Fifty-sixth Ohio
Infantry, who, acting in the capacity of messenger for me during the whole day, was constantly
with me when not absent temporarily upon some duty, never flinching from danger in the
thickest of the battle, collected and calm; he is well worthy of promotion.
The whole number of casualties are: Killed, 16; wounded, 62; missing, 11--in all, 89.
I have the honor to be, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Col., Comdg. Second Brig., Twelfth Div., Thirteenth Army Corps.
Assistant Adjutant-General
NEAR VICKSBURG, MISS., May 28, 1863.
DEAR SIR: It affords me great pleasure to be able to report to you the part taken by the
Twenty-eighth Iowa in the battle of Port Gibson, May 1, 1863.
On the evening of April 30, we were landed on the bank of the Mississippi, and started for
Port Gibson. At 1 a.m. of May 1 we could hear the boom of artillery in our advance. We
quickened our pace, and arrived at the foot of Thompson's Hill at sunrise. General Hovey, our
division commander, rode up and said, "Boys, prepare your breakfasts soon, for we go into battle
in half an hour." After breakfast we formed in line of battle on the crest of Thompson's Hill,
where we remained one hour under fire. Three companies at this time (B, G, and K)supported the
Thirty-fourth Indiana Infantry in a charge on a rebel battery, which was taken, together with
about 300 prisoners. After this contest the regiment was reformed and ordered to the extreme left
(by order of General McClernand), which was at this time vigorously attacked by the enemy. On
arriving at this point, we found that the enemy had massed a large force to turn our left, among
which force were two rebel (Missouri) regiments (the Second and Fifth)which were placed
directly in front of us. On arriving near to the point, we immediately formed the regiment in a
position to meet them. After a hotly contested engagement of about two hours, the enemy fell
back, and we succeeded in planting the Eighth Michigan Battery on the knoll we had held
against their charge, which battery immediately commenced playing upon the enemy.
At about 4 p.m. they again appeared in force, still attempting to turn our left, but after a brisk
engagement of about an hour they retired in confusion.
A company of skirmishers having been sent out to the left and front of our line, discovered a
rebel battery which had command of the Port Gibson road for about three-quarters of a mile. Our
artillery soon got in position and commenced shelling them. We lay in support of the batteries
until they had silenced the enemy's guns. By this time it was nearly dark, and General Stevenson
coming up, relieved us from our position on the left and we rejoined our brigade, which was
encamped for the night on the bloody field. Here we lay on our arms in support of the Peoria
Battery during the night. I give an extract of Colonel Connell's report in regard to the conduct of
the regiment:
With regard to the conduct of officers and men during the action, I can only speak in terms of
highest commendation. Although having marched all the day and night previous to the
engagement, carrying three days' rations and 100 rounds of cartridges to the man, and having
never before been under fire of the enemy, they yet fought with that fearless spirit and
determination which has always characterized the American soldier.
I append a list of the killed and wounded.
Our regiment is now on duty in the rifle-pits before Vicksburg, so you will see that I have but
little time to make reports. However, I will send you a report of the part the Twenty-eighth took
in the battle of Champion's Hill before long. I will only state that we lost in the battle of the l6th
over 100 men. I will send you reports, &c., as soon as my field desk comes up. It is at Grand
Gulf, where it has been for nearly a month. One thing, the Twenty-eighth has added dew laurels
to the noble young State of Iowa, and will continue to do so.
I remain, respectfully, your obedient servant,
Adjutant Twenty eighth Iowa.
Adjutant-General State of Iowa.
May 31, 1863.
COLONEL: In obedience to a letter dated Headquarters Thirteenth Army Corps, camp near
Vicksburg, Miss., May 24, 1863, I have the honor to submit the following report:
My division left Milliken's Bend April 12, and proceeded to Perkins' plantation, on the
Mississippi, below Vicksburg, where it arrived on the 23d, having been engaged in making and
repairing roads, repairing levees, making, getting together, and navigating boats of different
kinds. Distance from Milliken's Bend to Perkins' plantation, 30 miles.
On the night of April 27, we embarked on steamboats and barges, and the next day moved
down the river and disembarked at Hard Times. That evening we marched 2 miles across to a
point on the Louisiana side, below Grand Gulf.
The next morning (April 30) we re-embarked and moved down the river to Bruinsburg, on
the Mississippi side, where we landed, and, after drawing three days' rations, which were to last
for five, we moved out on the road to Port Gibson.
At 1 o'clock on the morning of May 1, my Second Brigade, being in advance, came upon the
enemy, strongly posted with artillery, at Magnolia Church, about 12 miles from Bruinsburg and
4 miles from Port Gibson. The enemy opened on the head of the column with artillery,
whereupon I formed the brigade in line, brought up the batteries, the First Iowa (Griffiths') and
First Indiana (Klauss'), and after firing about two hours drove away and silenced the enemy's
guns. In the morning the enemy opened on a road coming in from our left front, when four
companies of the Thirty-third Illinois, under Major Potter, were sent out to check them and hold
them at bay till the arrival of General Osterhans' division, which was assigned to contend with
them on that road.
The enemy had returned to his position near Magnolia Church, and at 6.30 in the morning we
again attacked him, supported by Hovey's division. I kept the enemy employed with my Second
Brigade and the two batteries on the left of and in the road, while I sent the First Brigade, Brig.
Gen. William P. Benton commanding, through ravines, canebrake, and timber to the right of the
road, to press on his left flank. Some of the regiments of General Hovey's division came up, and,
with their assistance, the First Brigade charged and routed the enemy, capturing two guns, a
stand of colors, some prisoners, and small-arms. The enemy retreated about 2 miles, and took up
a new position. In conjunction with the other troops, we pursued and continued fighting him
until night, when he retreated across Bayou Pierre, destroying the bridges.
My loss in that action, of which I have already furnished a more minute report, was 42 killed
and 222 wounded; total, 264.
The next day we marched into Port Gibson.
The next day, May 3, we were sent to the railroad crossing of Bayou Pierre, 3 miles, and
subsequently were ordered forward on the road to Willow Springs, 11 miles distant.
On the 7th, at 3 a.m., we marched on the road to Cayuga, halting at Big Sandy, 14 miles
On the 12th, we marched by way of Cayuga to Fourteen-Mile Creek, 12 miles.
The next day we marched to near Raymond, 11 miles.
The next day we marched past Raymond and Mississippi Springs to Forest Hill Church, 6
miles from Jackson. This was our hardest march. It rained all day, the roads were very bad, and
part of the division failed in getting into camp. The distance was about 12 miles.
The next day we moved back through Raymond, and encamped across a road leading to
Edwards Station; distance, 10 miles.
The next day, May 16, was the day of the battle of Champion's Hill. My division was in
reserve. The Thirty third Illinois was moved forward to support one of General Osterhaus'
brigades, and lost 1 killed and 2 wounded. The Second Brigade was moved forward on the left,
and did good execution. After the battle was over, we moved forward in pursuit of the enemy,
and pushed on as far as Edwards Station, which we reached about 8 o'clock.
During the pursuit many prisoners were taken, who were simply ordered back to the rear. I
made it a rule, whenever I was in front, to dispose of prisoners in that way, thus saving my own
men for more important duties, and being satisfied that some one in the rear would pick up and
secure the prisoners.
At Edwards Station my men exposed themselves freely in saving some car-loads of
provisions and ammunition attached to a train which the enemy had set on fire.
On the morning of the 17th, we moved forward at 5 o'clock on the road to Black River
Bridge, 12 miles distant, the First Brigade leading, with a part of the Thirty-third Illinois as
skirmishers and advance guard. We drove in the enemy's pickets from time to time, and captured
some prisoners, which were disposed of as before.
Upon nearing Black River Bridge, where we found the enemy in force, the First Brigade was
formed in line across the road, with skirmishers in front and the battery in the center,
subsequently re-enforced by the Chicago Mercantile Battery.
The Second Brigade was moved up on the right, with directions to press close on the enemy
and charge him if there was a good opportunity. It was supported by two regiments and two 20-
pounder Parrotts from Osterhaus' division.
The enemy's position was found to consist of a line of breastworks over a mile in length,
resting on the Black River at each extremity, and with a natural ditch or slough in front 5 or 6
feet deep and miry at the bottom. Most of the artillery was posted on the right, where the ground
was open for a considerable distance in his front.
Brig. Gen. M. K. Lawler, after pressing well up on his left, and firing a few shots with the
Peoria Battery and the 20-pounders, formed his brigade into column of attack and charged on the
enemy, the Thirty-third and Ninety-ninth Illinois Regiments, of the First Brigade, also charging
as soon as they saw the Second Brigade start.
The enemy were completely routed, and fled in confusion across Black River with a few
pieces of artillery, leaving, however, 18 guns, 5 stand of colors, 1,421 small-arms, and 1,751
prisoners in our possession.
In this action I lost: Killed, 19; wounded, 223; missing, 1. Total, 243.
The next day we moved on 8 miles, to within 4 miles of Vicksburg. The next day we moved
up near the enemy's works. My division was in reserve, but got near enough to suffer some
On the 20th, my division relieved that of General Smith, on the advance.
On the evening of the 21st, we were ordered to attack the enemy at 10 o'clock next morning,
at which time there was to be a general charge along the whole line.
My division was to be supported by that of General Smith; Benton's brigade by Burbridge's,
and Lawler's by Landram's. General Smith's division behaved admirably, and did all that men
could do to achieve success. The One hundred and thirtieth Illinois was assigned to Lawler's
brigade in place of the Twenty-third Iowa, detached with prisoners. My two brigades moved
forward promptly at the appointed time, and planted their colors on the outer slopes of the
bastions, which they attacked, but were unable to make a lodgment inside the enemy's works.
They, however, with the two brigades of Smith's division, parts of which were also on the
enemy's works, held their position under a wasting fire for nine hours, until after dark, when they
were ordered to retire.
About 5 o'clock in the afternoon, two brigades of General Quinby's division were placed at
my disposal. I sent one to support the right, under General Burbridge, who was sorely pressed,
but it retreated in confusion as soon as it got under the enemy's fire. The other, under Colonel
Boomer, was sent forward with the hope of driving the enemy from the curtain between the
salients attacked by my two brigades, and thereby gaining a permanent lodgment, but it was too
late; the enemy had been enabled to withdraw forces from other points, had seen Quinby's
division moving in this direction, and was so strongly re-enforced that he had three lines behind
his works. The gallant Boomer was killed, and his brigade found it impossible to go beyond the
first ravine.
In this action I lost 109 killed, 559 wounded, and 57 missing; total, 725.
I would respectfully state that it is impossible to give exactly the figures required in the letter
above referred to. The distances marched on different days, together with the time of marching,
are given as nearly as possible in the body of the report.
The numbers of killed and wounded follow the account of each battle. The total number of
killed is 171; wounded, 1,006; missing, 58; the latter being mostly wounded and taken prisoners,
or killed and not found during the last contest.
We captured a good many prisoners, who were immediately passed to the rear, not counted.
We captured ammunition, which was immediately used; arms, which were taken by the men in
exchange for their own; cartridge-boxes and other equipments, provisions, and various articles of
which there was no time to take an account. Account was taken of 1,751 prisoners, 6 colors, 20
pieces of artillery, 1,421 small-arms, and 5 car-loads of provisions and ammunition.
In conclusion, while all have done their duty, and many are entitled to special mention of
whose names and deeds I am not yet informed, I would respectfully submit the following list of
officers and soldiers, who, from personal observation and official reports, I know to be entitled to
favorable notice:
Brig. Gen. William P. Benton, commanding First Brigade.
Capt. George S. Marshall, assistant adjutant-general, First Brigade, First Lieut. J. P. Wiggins,
aide-de-camp to General Benton.
Col. David Shunk, Eighth Indiana, distinguished in all three of the battles; hit in the leg at
Lieut. Col. C. S. Parrish, Eighth Indiana, distinguished at Port Gibson, though so ill he could
hardly stand.
Maj. T. J. Brady, Eighth Indiana, acting ordnance officer, distinguished in all the battles,
commanded skirmishers in advance at Port Gibson and Black River Bridge.
Col. H. D. Washburn, Eighteenth Indiana, distinguished in all the battles, and well worthy of
Maj. J. C. Jenks, Eighteenth Indiana, inspector-general and chief of staff, First Brigade,
distinguished in all the battles, mortally wounded at Vicksburg while in the discharge of his
Col. C. E. Lippincott, Thirty-third Illinois, distinguished in all the battles, had his horse shot
under him while in advance in pursuit to Edwards Station, and was wounded in the foot at
Lieut. Col. E. R. Roe, Thirty-third Illinois, wounded at Vicksburg. Maj. L. H. Potter, Thirtythird
Illinois, distinguished in all the battles.
Col. G. W. K. Bailey, Ninety-ninth Illinois, distinguished in all the battles and wounded in
the leg at Vicksburg.
Lieut. Col. Lemuel Park, Ninety-ninth Illinois, distinguished in the battles of Port Gibson and
Black River Bridge.
Captain Klauss, First Indiana Battery, distinguished in all the battles; has exploded a great
deal of ammunition for the enemy during the siege of Vicksburg.
Orderly Sergt. J. W. Gerhardt, First Indiana Battery, distinguished in all the battles, and well
worthy of promotion.
Brig. Gen. M. K. Lawler, commanding Second Brigade, particularly for his gallant charge at
Black River Bridge.
Capt. B. Wilson, assistant adjutant-general, Second Brigade, distinguished in the last two
Col. C. L. Harris, Eleventh Wisconsin, commanded the Second Brigade most of the time
before the arrival of General Lawler, and is entitled to credit for its organization and discipline.
Although too ill to command his brigade at the battle of Port Gibson, he was on the field and
exposed to danger. He distinguished himself at Black River Bridge and Vicksburg, and is well
worthy of promotion.
Lieut. Col. C. A. Wood, Eleventh Wisconsin, now acting inspector-general, provost-marshal,
and chief of staff for the division, commanded the regiment at Port Gibson and distinguished
himself in all the battles.
Maj. Arthur Piatt, Eleventh Wisconsin, showed great bravery in all the battles.
Capt. L. H. Whittlesey, Eleventh Wisconsin, now acting division quartermaster, was acting
assistant adjutant-general of the Second Brigade at the battle of Port Gibson; has distinguished
himself in all the battles and during the whole campaign by bravery, energy, intelligence, and
untiring industry. He is well worthy of promotion.
Col. W. M. Stone, Twenty-second Iowa, commanded the Second Brigade at the battle of Port
Gibson, and distinguished himself in all the battles; was wounded in the arm at Vicksburg, and is
well worthy of promotion.
Lieut. Col. Harvey Graham, Twenty-second Iowa, distinguished himself in the last two
battles, and was taken prisoner at Vicksburg.
Col. Samuel Merrill, Twenty-first Iowa, received a contusion from a shell at Port Gibson, and
was shot through both legs while leading his regiment in the charge at Black River Bridge.
Lieut. Col. C. W. Dunlap, Twenty-first Iowa, was wounded in the foot at Port Gibson, and
was killed in command of his regiment at Vicksburg.
Maj. S. G. Van Anda, Twenty-first Iowa, distinguished himself in all the battles, and
commanded his regiment at Vicksburg after Lieutenant-Colonel Dunlap was killed.
Col. W. H. Kinsman, Twenty-third Iowa, was killed at the head of his regiment while leading
the charge at Black River Bridge.
Lieut. Col. S. L. Glasgow, Twenty-third Iowa, commanded his regiment at Port Gibson, and
distinguished himself both there and at Black River Bridge.
Capt. H. H. Griffiths, First Iowa Battery, was with us at Port Gibson, where he behaved very
Sergeant Leibert, First Iowa Battery, behaved very handsomely, and was wounded on the
same occasion.
Sergt. Joseph E. Griffith, Twenty-second Iowa Infantry, distinguished himself by going into
the fort attacked by the Second Brigade, with 11 men, and came out with 12 prisoners, though all
his companions had been killed.
My staff officers were Lieut. Col. C. A. Wood, Eleventh Wisconsin, assistant inspectorgeneral,
provost-marshal, and chief of staff. He commanded his regiment at Port Gibson, and
distinguished himself in all the battles.
Maj. T. J. Brady, Eighth Indiana, acting ordnance officer, has been very active and successful
in keeping us supplied with ammunition. He distinguished himself in all the battles, commanding
the skirmishers in advance at Port Gibson and Black River Bridge.
Capt. C. H. Dyer, assistant adjutant-general, is a faithful, intelligent officer, and has been of
great use to the command. He distinguished himself in all the battles, and is well worthy of
Capt. L. H. Whittlesey, Eleventh Wisconsin, acting assistant quartermaster, has been most
untiring and successful in furnishing us with supplies; was acting assistant adjutant-general of
the Second Brigade at the battle of Port Gibson; has distinguished himself in all the battles and
during the whole campaign by bravery, energy, intelligence, and untiring industry. He is well
worthy of promotion.
Lieut. John E. Phelps, Third U.S. Cavalry, aide-de-camp, showed his usual bravery and
intelligence in all the battles. He was the first man on horseback, and the first man at the guns in
the fortifications at Black River Bridge. He is well worthy of promotion.
Lieut. A. Bowman, Ninth Iowa Infantry, acting aide-de-camp, exposed himself freely, as
usual, in the transmission of orders in all the battles. His bravery, energy, and intelligence entitle
him to promotion.
Lieut. Charles Meinhold, Third U. S. Cavalry, mustering officer and acting aide-de-camp,
showed great bravery and intelligence in all the battles. He had his horse killed under him at
Vicksburg, and is entitled to great credit, and well worthy of promotion.
The medical department performed their onerous duties with great assiduity and skill, and are
entitled to the greatest credit for relieving the sufferings of the wounded. Their names are: Surgs.
H. P. Strong, acting medical director; George P. Rex, Thirty-third Illinois; W. H. White, Twentysecond
Iowa, and J. H. Ledlie, operating board; Asst. Surgs. O. Peabody, Twenty-second Iowa;
E. Everitt, Eleventh Wisconsin; A. E. McNeal, Ninety-ninth Illinois, and J. K. Bigelow, Eighth
Indiana, assistant operating board; Surgs. A. P. Daughters and G. W. Gordon, Eighteenth
Indiana, assistant in charge of primary depots.
Sergt. J. H. Russell, Twenty-first Iowa, clerk in assistant adjutant-general's office, went
voluntarily into the battle at Black River Bridge, and was wounded.
Private E. P. Hatch, Thirty-third Illinois, clerk in assistant adjutant-general's office, went out
as a sharpshooter and did good service.
I consider it a duty to bring to the attention of the major-general commanding and the
Government the inferior quality of the ammunition, both artillery and infantry, furnished for the
use of the troops. It is impossible to fire shells over our own troops without the greatest danger. I
have lost quite a number of men on this account, and there is one deplorable instance--Sergeant
[Charles U.] Besse, Thirty-third Illinois Infantry, both of whose arms were blown off by a shell
from one of our own guns. Persons who fabricate the ammunition ought to be made pecuniarily
responsible to the sufferers, and in pains and penalties to the United States, for this most careless
and criminal recklessness. Complaint is also made of the quality and quantity of the powder in
musket and rifle cartridges. The rebel cartridges are filled with the best of English rifle powder,
and carry their balls much farther than ours.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Brigadier-General, Commanding.
May 6, 1863.
I desire to congratulate the officers and soldiers of this division on the brilliant and successful
manner in which they performed their duty in the different conflicts of the late battle near Port
At the end of a tiresome night's march, the Second Brigade, under Colonel Stone, being in
the lead, came upon the enemy at 1 o'clock in the morning, posted in a strong position, with
artillery; immediately formed into line, and Captain Griffiths, First Iowa Battery, with the
assistance of three pieces of Klauss' First Indiana Battery, fought him for over an hour, and
finally, at 3 o'clock, drove him away. We lay down to take our first rest since 3 o'clock the
preceding morning.
At 6.30 o'clock we renewed the conflict. The two batteries made terrible havoc with the
enemy. The First Brigade, under Brigadier-General Benton, was deployed in the ravine and
underbrush on the right, and advanced gallantly to flank the enemy and take his guns.
When they engaged him on the right, the Second Brigade engaged him on the left; the
Twelfth Division was advanced to support, and with a rush the enemy was routed from his
The Eighteenth Indiana, Col. H. D. Washburn, has the distinguished honor of capturing a
regimental flag, on which are inscribed the names of four battle-fields, and, with the Ninety ninth
Illinois, Col. G. W. K. Bailey, and some of the Thirty-fourth and Forty-sixth Indiana, of
capturing two of the enemy's guns. This success was the result of the splendid fighting of the
whole division, which provided the opportunity.
After the enemy took up his new position, the Second Brigade was very severely engaged on
the left of our line for a long time, and be-hayed with distinguished gallantry. It subsequently
took up a position across the valley in the timber, very near the enemy, where two regiments (the
Twenty-first and Twenty-third Iowa remained until after dark.
The First Brigade went to the relief of General McGinnis' brigade, and the Eighth Indiana
distinguished itself by driving the enemy from a strong position and taking it for themselves.
Coming from Missouri, where you had endured great hardships during the last winter, you
were honored by being placed at the head of the grand Army of the Mississippi, and you have
proved yourselves well worthy of that honor. You have encountered and defeated the same men
against whom we have so long contended in Missouri and Arkansas, and you have added another
wreath to those you won at Blackwater, Blackwell's Station, Fredericktown, Pea Ridge, Round
Hill, Hartville, Haynes' Bluff, and Post of Arkansas, and I am sure you will go on with your
glorious achievements till the demon of rebellion shall be destroyed, and our land shall once
more rejoice in the blessings of peace and prosperity.
While we mourn our fallen comrades, we cannot forget that they have offered up their lives
for the noblest of purposes--that of preserving to their country a Government at once free and
stable, which shall give, in conjunction with the largest liberty to the citizen, the greatest security
for his life and property. To their friends and to our wounded comrades we tender our
sympathies, and hope that time and the thought of what they suffer for will soothe their pain and
The loss of the First Brigade was, killed, 26; wounded, 143; that of the Second Brigade,
killed, 15; wounded, 79; total, 263. This comprises only men put hors du combat. Scratches not
Where all have done their duty it is invidious to make distinctions, but the conduct of some
individuals seems to merit special mention, even at the risk of leaving out deserving men whose
names have not been reported to me. These shall receive their due credit as soon as I am
informed of their merits.
Brig. Gen. William P. Benton distinguished himself for daring gallantry and good
management during the whole battle. Indiana continues to be glorified by her sons. Col. C. L.
Harris, Eleventh Wisconsin, though be had been obliged to give up the command of his brigade
on account of illness, was on the field and shared the dangers. Col. William M. Stone, Twentysecond
Iowa, who succeeded to the command of the Second Brigade, took his place with the
extreme advance guard at night, during the advance on the enemy; exposed himself freely, and
exerted himself so much that he became completely exhausted in the afternoon, and was obliged
to relinquish the command to Col. Samuel Merrill, Twenty-first Iowa, for about an hour. By his
bravery and admirable management of his brigade, he reflects more honor on his noble State.
Capt. George S. Marshall, assistant adjutant- general, First Brigade, and Capt. L. H. Whittlesey,
acting assistant adjutant-general, Second Brigade, distinguished themselves through the whole
battle, and exposed themselves freely.
The regiments and batteries all showed great gallantry, and their commanders good
The list is as follows: Eighth Indiana, Col. David Shunk; Eighteenth Indiana, Col. H. D.
Washburn; Thirty-third Illinois, Col. C. E. Lippincott; Ninety-ninth Illinois, Col. G. W. K.
Bailey; First Indiana Battery, Captain Klauss; Eleventh Wisconsin, Lieut. Col. C. A. Wood;
Twenty-first Iowa, Col. Samuel Merrill, first in battle and one of the last to leave the field
(Colonel Merrill received a contusion from a shell); Twenty-second Iowa, Maj. J. B. Atherton;
Twenty-third Iowa, Lieut Col. S. L. Glasgow, with its gallant young commander, behaved
admirably; First Iowa Battery, Capt. H. H. Griffiths.
Maj. Thomas J. Brady commanded the skirmishers of the First Brigade.
Private Noah C. Haynes, Company K, Eighth Indiana, made a reconnaissance within the
enemy's lines in the night.
Maj L. H. Potter, with four companies of the Thirty-third Illinois Infantry, engaged the
enemy on the left in the morning, holding him in check till the arrival of General Osterhaus'
Capt. W. S. Charles, Company H, Eighteenth Indiana, was the first man to jump on the
enemy's guns.
Lieut. D. E. Adams, adjutant Eighteenth Indiana, passed twice through the hottest of the
enemy's fire to conduct re-enforcements.
Private Amos Nagle, Company K, Eighth Indiana, captured color bearer with flag bearing
inscription of four battles.
Capt. J. C. Dinsmore, Ninety-ninth Illinois Infantry, seized one of the enemy's 12 pounder
howitzers, turned it, and fired at him his own charge.
Lieutenant-Colonel Dunlap, Twenty-first Iowa, commanded the skirmishers, and Major Van
Anda, of the same regiment, commanded the support of the howitzer in advance of the Second
Company B, Twenty-first Iowa, Captain Crooke, received the first fire of the rebel pickets,
and returned it with great coolness.
Sergt. B. Kirst, Company E, Twenty-first Iowa, captured a rebel orderly, carrying dispatches.
Sergt. William R. Liebert, First Iowa Battery, who was mentioned for gallantry and good
conduct at Pea Ridge, was (with his piece) on advance guard during the night's march, behaved
with the greatest coolness and spirit, and was seriously wounded.
To the following-named medical staff we are under the deepest obligation. Rarely have
troops in battle the good fortune to be provided with such an abundance of professional skill,
administrative ability, patient care, and industry: Surg. H. P. Strong, Eleventh Wisconsin,
medical director; Surg. William H. White, Twenty-second Iowa, chief of operating corps; Surg.
W. L. Orr, Twenty-first Iowa, principal of field hospital; Surg. A. P. Daughters, Eighteenth
Indiana, principal of primary hospital, First Brigade, and Assistant Surgeon Gordon, Eighteenth
Indiana, principal of primary hospital, Second Brigade.
The following named officers were wounded: Capt. Judson B. Tyler, Company A, Eighteenth
Indiana, severely; First Lieut. Joseph Hutchinson, Company D, Eighteenth Indiana, slightly; First
Lieut. Daniel S. Place, Company G, Eighteenth Indiana, severely; First Lieut. J. W. Way,
Company G, Eighth Indiana, slightly; Second Lieut. Allen O. Neff, Company G, Eighth Indiana,
slightly; Lieutenant-Colonel Dunlap, Twenty-first Iowa, in the foot; Lieut. D. P. Ballard,
Company A, Twenty-third Iowa; Capt. W. R. Henry, Company E, Twenty-third Iowa; Lieut. D.
J. Davis, adjutant Twenty second Iowa, slightly; Lieut. D. Webb Henderson. Twenty-second
Iowa, severely; Lieut. John Francisco, Twenty second Iowa, severely, and Lieut. W. M. De
Camp, Twenty-second Iowa, severely.
To my staff too much praise cannot be given. They exposed themselves freely, going into the
thickest of the fight whenever it was necessary and displayed the greatest coolness and good
judgment. Their names are: Maj. Thomas J. Brady, acting ordnance officer and commanding
officer of skirmishers of the First Brigade (bad his horse shot under him); Capt. C. H. Dyer,
assistant adjutant general; First Lieut. L. Shields, Fourth Iowa Infantry, aide-de-camp; Second
Lieut. A. Bowman, Ninth Iowa Infantry, aide-de-camp; Second Lieut. John E. Phelps, Third U.S.
Cavalry, acting aide-de-camp, and Second Lieut. Charles Meinhold, Third U.S. Cavalry, acting
aide-de-camp, assistant commissary of musters.
Capt. E. McPhail, Third Illinois Cavalry, was not allowed to bring his company on account
of lack of transportation, but volunteered to act as my orderly during the battle, and displayed
great activity and fearlessness.
In conclusion, I would say you have done valuable service to your country; your friends at
home will be proud of your achievements, and I expect that when you again meet traitors in arms
you will give as good an account then as you did on the field near Port Gibson, Miss.
Brigadier-General, Commanding
[MAY --,] 1863.
COLONEL: I have the honor to report that, in the late battle of Port Gibson, April 30 and
May 1, we lost in wounded 16 men, including 5 non-commissioned officers. The officers and
men, with two or three exceptions, behaved with singular courage and bravery.
It is known to you that we had the honor of being the leading column of this great army, and
of drawing the first fire at Port Gibson. At the widow Daniels' plantation, some 9 miles from Port
Gibson, we were ordered by General Carr to take the advance. I ordered Company A,
commanded by Capt. A. R. Jones, and Company B, commanded by Capt. William D. Crooke, as
advance skirmishers, commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Dunlap, supported by Companies D
and F, commanded by Major Van Anda; next was a 12-pounder field piece from that excellent
battery, the First Iowa; all supported by the balance of my command. I am happy to report that,
in the skirmishing of those companies, singular fortitude and bravery were exhibited during that
long and tedious night's march, and especially are Company B and Captain Crooke deserving of
mention as having received the first fire of the pickets and returning it-with great coolness. Our
advance was fired upon by the rebel picket about 1 mile from the town of Port Gibson. Our
column was rapidly advanced, and soon received the raking fire of the enemy's batteries, which
were seven in number. As soon as the battery of the First Iowa could be brought to bear,
Company E, commanded by Captain Swivel, was ordered to its support. They have received the
commendation of all for their faithfulness. Sergt. B. Kirst, of this company, captured a rebel
orderly while carrying dispatches. General Carr next ordered a company to stand as picket guard.
Company G, commanded by Captain Benton, performed this duty till morning. Next came an
order for two skirmishing companies to deploy in front of the enemy, and, in fact, between the
enemy and our own artillery firing. I called for volunteers from my four remaining companies.
Capt. J. M. Harrison, of Company C, being the only commissioned officer of his company,
although advanced in years and in feeble health, at once volunteered to take the advance, and,
with his company and Company K, commanded by Captain Voorhees, performed this dangerous
duty faithfully.
During the severe and continued firing of May 1, so generally and heartily were my orders
obeyed by officers and men that I am at a loss to give particulars. Captains Boardman and
Watson have my warmest thanks. They are cool and brave officers. I can say the same of all the
other officers whose names have been mentioned. Many incidents of courage and bravery could
be spoken of, but it would render this report entirely too long.
It is but just to say that the Twenty-first remained for two hours in the rear of the Eighty-first
Ohio, to support that regiment in making a charge on the enemy's batteries, but, for some reason,
I regret to say, abandoned.
My regiment remained on the field after all had retired, and it was nearly 8 o'clock before we
camped for the night, thus showing that we were first in battle and last to leave the field.
I am under many obligations to my field officers and staff for their faithfulness and aid.
Lieutenant-Colonel Dunlap received a wound in the foot. My own horse was shot in several
places, and a portion of my saddle shot off.
All of which is respectfully submitted.
Colonel Twenty-first Regiment Iowa Infantry.
Col. W. M. STONE,
Twenty-second Iowa, Commanding Brigade.
May 7, 1863.
SIR: I herewith report to you the action of the Twenty-second Iowa in the battle before Port
Gibson on the 1st instant.
You having been called upon to command the Second Brigade, to which we are attached, the
command of the regiment devolved upon me.
On the evening of the 30th ultimo, on our march toward Port Gibson, after our advance guard
became engaged with the enemy, I received an order from you to hurry my regiment forward and
form it in line on the left, our artillery then hotly engaged with the rebel batteries. This order was
promptly obeyed, and the men came up quickly and in good order, forming at the point
designated. We were then under the enemy's fire, yet my men manifested great coolness and selfpossession.
We remained in line for two hours, in support of the batteries, until the battle ceased
for the night, and we laid down upon our arms, but not to sleep, as we were in momentary
expectation of a renewal of the combat.
Soon after sunrise we were again in line, and under the enemy's fire in support of our
batteries until near 10 o'clock, when we were led forward to charge on the rebel lines. This
movement was executed with alacrity by my regiment; not a man faltered or fell back. Our fire
was delivered upon the enemy with great deliberation and accuracy, and when their lines were
broken and they driven in rout from the field we were the first to occupy the ground.
In the long and hotly-contested fight of the afternoon my regiment was all the time in face of
the enemy and under his severest fire. Three several times we were ordered against the rebel
infantry and under the range of his batteries. Each time we drove them from the field. Late in the
afternoon, by your order, we charged up the hill, in conjunction with the Twenty-first Iowa and
on the left of General Burbridge's brigade, against the enemy's lines, there strongly posted in
almost impenetrable timber and underbrush. Though unable, from the character of the ground
and the raking fire of the enemy's batteries, to reach the extreme summit of the hill, we reached
the point to which I was ordered and remained there, receiving and returning the enemy's fire,
until about sundown, when, by your order, we returned to our former position, and remained
upon the field until the firing had entirely ceased and quiet reigned along our whole line.
Throughout these series of engagements the officers and men of my regiment behaved with
great coolness and gallantry. I found them always ready and eager to obey the order to move on
the enemy.
So well did the entire command acquit themselves that I cannot, without seeming invidious,
enter into particulars. It is sufficient to say that they acted nobly, and well sustained the honors
already so well earned by Iowa soldiers.
Great care was taken to shelter our men from the enemy's fire, which the unevenness of the
ground enabled us to do with comparative success; yet the loss in this regiment being greater,
with but one exception, than any other regiment in the brigade, shows clearly where we were in
this long and hotly contested engagement, and that my men did not shrink from their duty.
Too much praise cannot be awarded to our surgeons, White and Peabody. Their department
was conducted with skill and ability; their attention to the wounded was truly commendable, and
will doubtless be long remembered by these unfortunates.
Very respectfully,
Major, Commanding Regiment.
In rear of Vicksburg, Miss., May 26, 1863.
COLONEL: I have the honor to submit the following report of Operations of the
Seventeenth Army Corps from the time of leaving Milliken's Bend, La., until our arrival before
the land defenses of Vicksburg:
On my arrival at Milliken's Bend from Lake Providence with a portion of my command (the
Seventh Division), the Thirteenth Army Corps, Major-General McClernand commanding, had
moved toward New Carthage, via Richmond and Smith's plantation. I was ordered to move
forward and take the place of General McClernand's troops as fast as they advanced. In
pursuance of this object, the Second Brigade, Seventh Division, was moved to Richmond on
April 18, and the First on the 23d.
On April 24, orders were received from department headquarters to march my command to
New Carthage.
Colonel Boomer's brigade, Seventh Division, was ordered to march at 5 a.m. on the 25th, to
be followed by the Third Division, Major-General Logan commanding, at 6 a.m. same day, and
by the Sixth Division, Brigadier-General McArthur commanding, at 6 a.m. the day following.
Orders were at the same time sent to the First and Second Brigades at Richmond to move
toward Smith's plantation, 3 miles from New Carthage, on the morning of the 25th.
These orders were promptly executed by officers and men, and the whole command was in
motion at the appointed times.
The Third Division bivouacked on the road near Smith's plantation, and the Seventh Division
at a plantation a short distance in the rear, on the evening of the 26th.
At Smith's plantation (headquarters of the department), orders were received for the Third
and Seventh Divisions to march to Perkins' plantation, on the Mississippi River, some 8 miles
below New Carthage, and distant from Smith's plantation, by the route we were compelled to
take, some 15 miles. The Sixth Division was left to guard the lines of communication from
Milliken's Bend to Perkins' plantation, 43 miles.
Heavy rains had rendered the roads across the rich alluvial bottoms on the Louisiana side
almost impassable, and it was only by the most strenuous exertions on the part of the men, and
by doubling teams, that the artillery and trains could be got along. This was, however, success
fully accomplished, and the Third Division reached Perkins' plantation at 9 p.m. on the 28th
At this point orders were received to march to Hard Times Landing, nearly opposite and a
short distance above Grand Gulf. At 12 o'clock the same night the division started on the march,
via Lake Saint Joseph, and reached Hard Times Landing at 4 p.m. of the 29th, bivouacked for the
night, and at 5 a.m. of the 30th started for the point of embarkation below Grand Gulf, and
crossed over to Bruinsburg, just below the mouth of Bayou Pierre, the First and Third Brigades,
Third Division, Brig. Gens. John E. Smith and John D. Stevenson commanding, and the Eighth
Michigan Battery, Captain De Golyer commanding, immediately after General McClernand's
command, followed as rapidly as river transportation would admit, by the Second Brigade,
Brigadier-General Dennis commanding, the remainder of the artillery, ammunition train, and the
Seventh Division.
A most unfortunate collision between the steamboats Horizon and Moderator, about 3 a.m.
May 1, between the place of embarkation and Bruinsburg, by which the former boat was lost,
together with Captain Sparrestrom's battery, a few horses, and 3 men, delayed very materially the
embarkation of the Second Brigade and the remainder of the artillery of the Third Division.
Immediately after disembarking, the First and Third Brigades, with De Golyer's battery, were
pushed out toward Port Gibson to the support of Major-General McClernand, who had already
engaged the enemy near Port Gibson, under command of Major-General Bowen. Heavy and
rapid firing had been heard for several hours, indicating clearly that a battle was in progress, and
the men moved forward with promptness and alacrity, notwithstanding the intense heat, anxious
to take part in the contest. On reaching the ground, Major-General Grant directed me to send
one brigade to the support of General McClernand's left and one to the support of his right. As I
had but two brigades of my command on the field--the First and Third--the First Brigade,
General John E. Smith, was sent to the left, and the Third Brigade, General John D. Stevenson,
to the right. Major-General Logan, commanding division, was directed to go with the brigade to
the right and I went with the brigade to the left.
As soon as the position of the enemy could be definitely ascertained, and the ground
reconnoitered, the brigade was thrown in on the left of Brigadier-General Osterhaus' division,
with directions to advance the left, and, if possible, outflank the enemy. This movement was
perfectly successful, though the impracticable nature of the country (full of deep ravines and
canebrakes) retarded the movement more than I could have wished, and prevented us from
reaping the full fruits of the victory. As it was, however, a gallant charge by the First Brigade on
the flank and Brigadier-General Osterhaus' division in front soon drove the enemy from their
strong position on the left, and sent them back in a precipitate retreat toward Port Gibson.
The Third Brigade, under Brigadier-General Stevenson, on the right, was equally fortunate,
and shortly before sunset the rebels were routed on all parts of the field. A pursuit was
immediately ordered on the left-hand road, and kept up by Brig. Gen. John E. Smith's brigade
and one regiment of Osterhaus' division until after dark, when the command was halted within 2
miles of Port Gibson.
At an early hour the next morning the command was put in motion, the First and Second
Brigades, Third Division, entering Port Gibson about 9 o'clock, preceded by the divisions of
Generals Carr and A. J. Smith, of McClernand's corps. The town had been evacuated by the
enemy during the night, and the fine suspension bridge across the south fork of Bayou Pierre, on
the Grand Gulf road, destroyed.
Measures were immediately taken by Lieutenant-Colonel Wilson, of Major-General Grant's
staff, and Captain Tresilian, engineer of the Third Division, assisted by the pioneer corps of the
division and troops from General McClernand's corps, to construct a bridge across the south fork
of Bayou Pierre.
While waiting the construction of a bridge, General Stevenson's brigade was moved down
near the crossing of Bayou Pierre, on the Grand Gulf road, to engage the attention of the enemy,
who were strongly posted on the hills on the northern side. In the mean time, Brig. Gen. John E.
Smith's brigade and that of Brigadier-General Dennis were marched up on the west side of the
south fork of Bayou Pierre about 4 miles to a ford, and crossed over, moving down on the east
side in a northeast direction until they reached the main Jackson road.
At 4 p.m. the bridge was completed, and the Seventh Division, under the command of Brig.
Gen. M. M. Crocker, took the advance, followed by the Third Brigade of Logan's division, and,
after coming up with them, by the First and Second Brigades. Marched 8 miles to north fork of
Bayou Pierre, and found the suspension bridge, a fine structure, partially destroyed, the fire still
burning. The fire was put out and the bridge repaired during the night.
At day light the next morning Logan's division, in the advance, crossed the bridge, followed
by Crocker's. Shortly after crossing the bridge, and near Willow Springs Post-Office, the enemy
was met advantageously posted on a commanding ridge, and opened on our advancing column
with artillery. The column was immediately deployed, a heavy line of skirmishers thrown
forward, and Crocker's division hastened across the river as a support. These dispositions having
been made, all advance was ordered, when the enemy, after a slight resistance, fell back on the
road to Hankinson's Ferry, and the cross-roads at the post-office were gained. At this point
Logan's division was directed to take the road to Grand Gulf, and General Crocker's division to
pursue the retreating enemy. The latter division had proceeded but a short distance before it
became engaged with the enemy's skirmishers, who seemed disposed to contest the ground with
great pertinacity. The face of the country was very much broken, with almost impassable ravines
filled with trees and a dense undergrowth, and narrow, tortuous roads, offering great facilities to
the enemy to cover his retreat, and of which he availed himself to the best advantage.
The skirmishing was kept up with more or less activity until 4 p.m., when the appearance of
Logan's division on the enemy's right flank caused him to move precipitately toward the ferry,
followed closely by the Second Brigade, General Dennis, who reached it just as the last of them
were crossing, and in time to capture some of their pioneer tools and prevent the destruction of
the bridge. It being now nearly dark, and the enemy driven across the Big Black, the pursuit was
discontinued and the troops disposed in the best defensive position for the night. The command
remained in camp at Hankinson's Ferry three days, from the 4th to the 6th inclusive, the time
being employed in getting up supplies of provisions and ammunition and in reconnoitering the
country. The result of the reconnaissances demonstrated that the main portion of the enemy
retreated across the river at this point, and were concentrating at Bovina Station, near the Big
Black, on the Jackson and Vicksburg Railroad.
At 10 a.m. on the 7th, marched to Rocky Springs, Logan's division in the advance, followed
by Crocker's, and remained in camp at Rocky Springs on the 8th.
On the 9th, marched toward Raymond, via Utica, and encamped at Utica Cross-Roads, 7
miles from the latter place, Crocker's division in the advance. The Sixth Missouri Cavalry, Col.
Clark Wright, having reported to me at Hankinson's Ferry, was directed to push forward in
advance toward Utica, and especially to scour the country in my front and on my right flank, and
ascertain, if possible, if there was any movement of troops from Port Hudson. Shortly after
arriving in camp, a report was received from Colonel Wright that he was occupying the town of
Utica, and had been skirmishing with the enemy's cavalry, but would hold his position.
On the 10th, marched to Utica, Crocker's division in the advance, and reached the town about
12 m. Found Colonel Wright's cavalry there; but nothing indicating any material force of the
enemy in the immediate vicinity, the command was halted one hour to rest, and then moved on
to Weeks' plantation, where we encamped for the night. Colonel Wright was ordered to proceed
with his cavalry in a southeasterly direction across Tallahala Creek, make a detour, and, if
possible, capture 150 rebel cavalry who were reported to be at the bridge across this creek, on the
Gallatin road, and, having accomplished this, or, at least, driven them away, with the main
portion of his command to make a bold push and cut the telegraph and railroad near Crystal
Springs, on the New Orleans and Jackson road, both of which were successfully accomplished,
the cavalry returning safely to camp the next night, having marched over 50 miles in sixteen
hours and performed its work.
On the 11th, the command marched to Roach's plantation, at the crossing of the Gallatin
road, Logan's division in the advance. At this point, my escort company, Fourth Ohio
Independent Cavalry, Captain Foster; Logan's escort, Company A, Second Regiment Illinois
Cavalry, and Crocker's escort, Company E, Second Regiment Illinois Cavalry, Captain Tipton,
and Company C, Fifth Regiment Missouri Cavalry, Lieutenant Mueller, were organized into a
battalion of cavalry, under Captain Foster, and performed most efficient services as advance
guard and flankers.
On the 12th, at 3.30 a.m., Logan's division moved toward Raymond, followed by Crocker's at
4 a.m. Soon after starting, the enemy's vedettes showed themselves frequently, making increased
vigilance on our part necessary, and, after marching some 3 miles, two regiments of Dennis'
brigade were deployed, one on the right and the other on the left of the road, and moved forward
in line of battle, preceded by a strong line of skirmishers, and followed by the remainder of the
columns, the cavalry in front being called in and placed on the extreme flanks, with instructions
to explore all lateral roads, and detect any movement of the enemy.
About 11 a.m., and when within 2 miles of Raymond, we came upon the enemy, under the
command of General Gregg, and 4,000 or 5,000 strong, judiciously posted with two batteries of
artillery so placed as to sweep the road and a bridge over which it was necessary to pass. The
major portion of the infantry were posted on a range of hills to the right of the road and in some
timber and ravines in their front. I was soon satisfied that the fight for Raymond was to take
place at this point. Orders were immediately sent back to move all our trains out of the road, for
the remainder of Logan's division to advance as rapidly as possible, followed by Crocker's,
which was to form the reserve.
As soon as Smith's brigade came up, it was formed on the right of Dennis', who occupied
both sides of the road, and three regiments of Stevenson's were thrown in on the right of Smith's,
with directions to advance his right as much as possible. De Golyer's battery was placed in
position in the rood near the bridge, and the whole line ordered to advance into a piece of timber.
Scarcely had the advance commenced, when the battle opened with great fury on the center and
left center, where, under cover of the woods and ravines, the rebels seemed to have massed a
large portion of their force. The Eighty first Regiment Illinois Infantry, of Stevenson's brigade,
was ordered to the support of the center, and a portion of Sanborn's brigade, Crocker's division,
but before the latter reached the ground, the enemy were handsomely repulsed and in full retreat.
De Golyer's battery, which at first was in position on the road, having been moved into an
open field on their left, played on their flanks during the retreat with terrible effect.
One attempt of the enemy to charge and capture the battery was met by such a terrific fire of
grape and canister that they broke and fled from the field.
Pursuit was immediately commenced, and the town of Raymond was entered by our troops at
5 p.m., the enemy having passed through without stopping, toward Jackson, via Mississippi
Springs. In this short but spirited engagement our loss in killed was 69, and among them Colonel
Richards, of the Twentieth Illinois, a most gallant and able officer, who was struck down at the
head of his men while nobly cheering them on to victory. Our loss in wounded was 341;
missing, 30. The enemy's loss was, in killed, 103; wounded and prisoners, 720; two pieces of
cannon disabled, besides a quantity of small-arms.
Marched on the 13th, at 6 a.m., for Jackson, via Clinton, Crocker in the advance. Major-
General Sherman's command arriving before mine had left the town, was ordered to take the
direct road to Jackson. Moved on cautiously toward Clinton, my cavalry being ordered to keep
well out on my left flank, and entered the town at 2 p.m. without opposition. A regiment of
infantry, under the immediate supervision of Capt. A. Hickenlooper, Fifth Ohio Battery, chief
engineer of the corps, was set to work to destroy the railroad as far west of Clinton as possible
that night, and to proceed along the line of it the next day during our march toward Jackson,
tearing it up wherever practicable, burning the ties, bending the iron, destroying bridges,
culverts, &c.
On the 14th, Crocker in the advance, marched toward Jackson at 5 a.m., Major-General
Sherman moving on his route at about the same time. Engaged the enemy's pickets about 5 miles
from Jackson, and drove them in about 9 a.m., and pushed on until within 2 miles from the city,
where the enemy was found posted in strong force, under the command of General W. H. T.
Walker. Some of the troops consisted of South Carolina and Georgia regiments, which had only
arrived the evening before, and had been immediately marched out and placed in position at the
point where the battle took place.
The position of the enemy was carefully reconnoitered, and Lieut. J. W. MacMurray's battery
(M), First Missouri, of Parrott guns, brought up to reply to their artillery, which had already
opened on our lines. While the dispositions for the attack were being made, a very heavy shower
set in, which delayed the attack for an hour and a half, the rain coming down in such torrents that
there was great danger of the ammunition being spoiled if the men opened their cartridge-boxes.
The time, however, was well employed in putting the troops in position and bringing up
Logan's division as a reserve. The enemy occupied a semicircular ridge stretching across the
main road, his right holding a piece of woods, and his center and left commanding rolling ground
in his front, over which it would be necessary to pass to attack him. Two batteries were in
position, one covering the road and the other near his left, having a good range across the open
The disposition of my troops was as follows: Boomer's brigade on the left of the road, in the
timber; Holmes' brigade on his right, in the open fields; Sanborn's brigade on the right of
Holmes', with skirmishers well out on his flank; John E. Smith's brigade, Logan's division, in the
woods in rear of Boomer about 400 yards, in column of regiments, as a reserve; Stevenson's
brigade was thrown across a ravine on Boomer's left, with directions to advance and gain a road
which entered the city from the northwest; Dennis' brigade remained a short distance in rear, to
guard the trains.
The rain having partially ceased, at 11 o'clock the advance was ordered, preceded by a heavy
line of skirmishers. In a short time they were warmly engaged; drove back the enemy's
skirmishers toward their main line and into a ravine filled with willows. Here the skirmishers
halted for a few moments, and the enemy's fire becoming so heavy they could not advance any
farther, they were recalled to their regiments and a charge ordered. It was responded to with
cheers and determination. Not a man faltered. The whole line swept forward in most perfect
order, drove the enemy out of the ravine at the point of the bayonet, and charged gallantly up the
hill. The enemy did not wait to receive the full force of the charge, but broke and fled
precipitately, followed by our troops for 1 miles, until we were within range of the artillery from
the defenses at Jackson. MacMurray's and Dillon's batteries, following close after our infantry,
were wheeled into the first advantageous position, and opened a well-directed and effective fire
upon the retreating enemy. Having reached this point, the troops were halted and lines reformed,
as they had become somewhat broken marching over the rough ground.
Skirmishers were immediately thrown out to the front, and officers sent to reconnoiter the
enemy's position and defenses, who in a short time returned, reporting the works evacuated. The
troops were immediately moved forward into the defenses, and orders sent to General Stevenson
to push his brigade across to the Canton road, if possible, and cut off the enemy's retreat. This
was about 3 p.m. Colonel Sanborn was directed to send the flag of one of his regiments which
had borne itself most gallantly in the battle and place it on the capitol of the State of Mississippi,
and shortly before 4 o'clock the flag of the Fifty-ninth Indiana was proudly waving from the
dome. Sherman's command entered about the same time from the west and southwest.
The results of this victory were the capture of Jackson with seventeen pieces of artillery, the
destruction of the railroads, manufacturing establishments, army stores, &c., and a loss to the
enemy, in killed, wounded, and prisoners, of 845 men. Our loss in killed was 37; in wounded and
missing, 228.
Crocker's division encamped within the enemy's intrenchments on the night of the 14th, and
Logan's division between the battle-field and the city.
On the 15th, at 5 a.m., Logan's division started for Bolton, followed by Crocker's at 7 a.m.,
with instructions to march as far as he could by 4 p.m., when he would select a good place and
go into camp.
Shortly before 4 o'clock, the advance came up with Hovey's division, of McClernand's corps,
and went into camp on Baker's Creek, two brigades on the west side and one on the east.
Holmes' brigade, of Crocker's division, was left at Clinton for the night, and the remaining
two brigades marched on and went into camp 2 miles east of Logan's division, on the main road.
At 6 a.m. on the 16th, Major-General McClernand notified me that the enemy, under
Lieutenant-General Pemberton, had moved out in strong force from Vicksburg to attack us, and
that his (McClernand's) columns were already in motion to meet him.
Orders were immediately given to General Logan to follow Hovey, and Crocker was directed
to come forward as rapidly as possible with his whole division. After proceeding about 5 miles,
and when near Champion's Hill, General Hovey sent back word that he had met the enemy in
force, strongly posted on the Edwards Depot road.
The road at this point bears to the south, passing over a high commanding hill, and then
makes a short turn to the west. This hill was bald, giving the enemy a commanding point for his
artillery, and was really the key of the position.
The enemy's right was on and in the vicinity of this hill, his center and left bearing off in the
direction of Edwards Depot through a piece of woods and behind a rail fence on the crest of a
ridge, with woods in his rear and open fields in front. General Hovey's division was immediately
deployed in line of battle to move against the hill, supported on the right by Leggett's (late
Dennis') and Smith's brigades.
De Golyer's battery in the mean time opened a well-directed fire against the enemy posted
behind the fence, and Rogers' battery of 24 pounder howitzers, supported by Smith's brigade,
took a position to the right and well in advance, and poured in a most destructive enfilading fire,
under cover of which the line advanced and the crest was gained. A desperate attempt was made
to charge and capture Rogers' battery, which was promptly repelled by Smith's brigade, which
drove back the enemy with great slaughter, and captured a large number of prisoners.
Stevenson's brigade, with the right refused, was advanced at double-quick into a piece of woods
on the right of Smith, upon gaining which he was ordered to throw forward his right, so as to
make his line of battle nearly parallel with the general line, and to move forward and drive the
enemy from a hill in his front, where batteries were being placed. This movement was most
brilliantly executed.
The brigade charged across the ravines, up the hill, and through an open field, captured seven
guns, portions of two batteries, several hundred prisoners, and swept across the road, thus cutting
the enemy off from his direct line of retreat to Edwards Depot. In the mean time Hovey, Leggett,
and Smith were hotly engaged. Two regiments of Sanborn's brigade were ordered to the support
of Hovey, one to the support of Smith, and one to Leggett. The enemy, discovering that their left
was turned, now made a most desperate attempt to turn ours, precipitating all their available
force on Hovey, whose division, having been fighting for three and a half hours, was very much
fatigued and partially out of ammunition.
The tide of battle was turning against us, when Boomer's brigade came up, and with its able
and heroic commander at the head went gallantly into the contest, checked the advance of the
enemy, and held him at bay until Holmes' brigade came up, when a dashing charge was made,
the enemy rolled back, and the battle won. In the charge the Seventeenth Iowa captured the
colors of the Thirty-first Alabama and Waddells Alabama battery (four pieces).
As soon as the cartridge-boxes could be filled with ammunition, the pursuit was ordered and
kept up until dark; Stevenson's brigade and De Golyer's battery in advance, followed by Carr's
and Osterhaus' divisions, of McClernand's corps, then by Smith's and Leggett's brigades, and
Crocker's division, except Holmes' brigade, which was left to guard the wounded, assist in
burying the dead, securing the spoils taken from the enemy, &c., the troops bivouacking for the
night from 2 to 5 miles in advance of the battle-field.
This, by far the hardest fought battle of all since crossing at Bruinsburg, and the most decided
victory for us, was not won without the loss of many brave men, who heroically periled their
lives for their country's honor. Their determined spirit still animates their living comrades, who
feel that the blood poured out on Champion's Hill was not spilt in vain. Every man of Logan's
and Crocker's divisions was engaged in the battle.
Our loss was: Killed, 166; wounded and missing, 894. That of the enemy: Killed,----;
wounded and prisoners,; - pieces of cannon, two stand of colors, besides quantities of small-arms
and ammunition.
At 6 a.m. on the 17th, started for Black River, Logan in the advance, followed by Quinby,
who had arrived and assumed command of his division, and reached a point on the river about 3
miles to the north and east of the railroad bridge. Ransom's brigade, of McArthur's division, now
came up, and was ordered to construct a bridge across the Big Black for the passage of his
brigade and Logan's division, and Quinby was ordered to construct one for the passage of his
division. Ransom's was a solid raft bridge of timber, and Quinby's was built of timber and cotton
bales. Both were completed at an early hour on the 18th, and the command crossed over, with the
exception of Sanborn's brigade, which was directed to remain and guard the bridges and
prisoners until Holmes came up.
After crossing the river, the command moved in a northwest direction on a plantation road
until the Bridgeport and Vicksburg road was reached, when that became our line of march,
following Sherman's corps. Ransom's brigade arrived before Vicksburg just after dark, and took
a position on Sherman's left, Logan's and Quinby's bivouacking on the road, where there was
The next morning (the 19th) they came up. Logan was placed on the left of Ransom,
Leggett's brigade in reserve, and Quinby on the left of Logan, Holmes' brigade in reserve, and
the siege of Vicksburg commenced.
In bringing this report to a close, I cannot express in words my admiration of the officers and
men of my command who were engaged in this short but active and brilliant campaign. Their
unswerving patriotism, patient endurance, and heroic determination have carried them through
without a murmur, and won for them imperishable renown. Marching for a distance of over 200
miles through an enemy's country in the short space of eighteen days, without tents, and barely
transportation enough to carry ammunition, the major part of the time without rations except
such as could be procured from the country, fighting or taking part in five distinct battles, besides
almost daily skirmishing, they have shown what soldiers can do when firmly resolved never to
see their country's flag dishonored. Where all did so well, it is impossible for me to discriminate.
To Maj. Gen. John A. Logan and Brig. Gen. M. M. Crocker, commanding divisions; Brig.
Gens. John E. Smith, John D. Stevenson, M. D. Leggett, Elias S. Dennis, and Cols. John B.
Sanborn, George B. Boomer, and Samuel A. Holmes, commanding brigades, I am especially
indebted for the able and spirited manner in which they performed their duties.
The members of my personal staff--Lieut. Col. William T. Clark, assistant adjutant-general
and chief of staff; Lieut. Col. William E. Strong, assistant inspector-general; Maj. L. S. Willard,
Capts. G. R. Steele and D. H. Gile, aides-de-camp; Lieut. Col. James Wilson, Thirteenth Iowa
Infantry, provost-marshal; Lieut. Col. A.M. Powell, chief of artillery; Maj. Daniel Chase,
Thirteenth U.S. Infantry; Surg. J. H. Boucher, medical director; Surg. F. Lloyd, Sixteenth Iowa
Infantry; Capt A. Hickenlooper, chief of engineers; Lieut. J. W. Mong, Third Ohio Battery,
ordnance officer; Lieut. K. Knox, Thirteenth U.S. Infantry, commissary of musters; Lieut. J. D.
Vernay, Eleventh Illinois Infantry, acting aide-de-camp--all distinguished themselves, and
deserve the thanks of a grateful people. Zealous and earnest, they were ever in the work when
duty required, and ready to share the post of danger.
Signal officers--Capt. L. M. Rose (chief signal officer), Eleventh Illinois Infantry; Captain
[H. W. B.] Hoyt, One hundred and thirteenth Illinois Infantry; First Lieut. G. H. McNary, Tenth
Pennsylvania Reserve Corps; First Lieut. T. C. Morris, Company H, Forty-fifth Regiment Illinois
Infantry; Second Lieut. T. C. Withers, Company H, Twenty-fourth Regiment Indiana Infantry--
rendered most important services on the various battle-fields, watching and reporting the
movements of the enemy, and freely exposed themselves to danger when necessity required.
Capt. A. Hickenlooper, Fifth Ohio Battery, and chief engineer of the corps, deserves special
mention for his ability, untiring energy, and skill in making reconnaissances, maps of the routes
passed over, superintending the repairs and construction of bridges, &c., exposing himself
constantly night and day, and merits some substantial recognition of his services.
Appended please find tabular statement of losses in the various engagements. For details,
reference will be had to the accompanying division and brigade reports.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Major-General, Commanding.
Lieut. Col. JOHN A. RAWLINS,
Asst. Adjt. Gen., Chief of Staff, Dept. of the Tennessee.
Camp on Big Black River, Miss., May 4, 1863.
GENERAL: In obedience to orders received this date from army headquarters, I submit the
following report:
Under orders from Major-General McPherson, I left camp at Milliken's Bend with my
command, consisting of four regiments and two batteries, at 6 a.m., April 25.
I joined my division near Smith's plantation the evening of the 26th; remained in camp the
following day, in obedience to orders, and arrived at Hard Times Landing on the evening of the
On the following day, crossed the Mississippi River with the division; landed at Bruinsburg;
moved out on the road to Port Gibson, and at night took up position in line, covering the road
leading to Grand Gulf by Mr. Smith's plantation.
The following day moved at 3 a.m. in advance of the division; arrived at Port Gibson at 11
a.m., and halted till 5 p.m., waiting the construction of a bridge over the south fork of Bayou
Pierre, and moved in advance of the army 9 miles, to the bridge over the north fork of the same
stream. This structure we found fired by the enemy, and the position apparently just abandoned.
The advance guard extinguished the fire, and I threw a picket across the stream and halted for the
night, my command having been nineteen hours on the road.
The following day, pursuant to your order, I moved forward at 7 a.m. in rear of the division,
and was only brought forward at 3 p.m., when I deployed the Fifth and Tenth Iowa Infantry, of
my command, on the right of the skirmishers of the First Brigade, with a view of flanking the
enemy's battery and line, then checking our advance. I had advanced my line of skirmishers
about 400 yards, when I received notice from you that the enemy had retired from his position. I
then resumed my position in the line, and moved forward to this encampment.
I have moved 110 miles with my brigade in nine days, over very bad roads a portion of the
distance, crossed the Mississippi River, and advanced three days of the time in the presence of
the enemy. I started with five teams to a regiment; have crossed this transportation over the
Mississippi River, brought forward with it 140 rounds of ammunition per man, and kept my
command supplied with rations, and have now three days' on hand.
I have this day, by your instruction, ordered Col. H. Putnam, with five companies of the
Ninety-third Illinois Infantry, and Maj. C. F. Brown, with the Twenty-sixth Missouri Regiment,
to reconnoiter the river 4 miles above and below this point, and herewith submit their reports.
I am, very respectfully,
Colonel Twenty-sixth Missouri Infantry, Commanding Brigade.
Brig. Gen. M. M. CROCKER,
Commanding Seventh Division.
OKOLONA, May 14, 1863.
SIR: I have the honor to forward the following report for the information of the lieutenantgeneral
commanding the department:
On the morning of the 5th instant, reports reached me at this place, where I had necessarily
been detained, of another advance of the enemy from the direction of Burnsville with a force of
about 5,000 mounted men and six pieces of artillery. Toward evening I received information
from Colonel Barteau, then at Verona, that Major [W. M.] Inge's battalion was skirmishing with
the advance of the enemy near Tupelo, and that his main body was believed to be moving down
east of Town Creek, in the direction of Camargo. For the purpose of impeding his march in that
direction and to prevent his crossing Town Creek, I ordered the ferry-boats sunk and the bridges
destroyed. I had received as a re-enforcement Major [W.] Boyles' battalion of Alabama cavalry,
some 350 strong, and immediately on the reception of the report of enemy's advance prepared for
movement in the field. Dispatched to West Point for the return to this station of four companies
of the Third Kentucky Regiment (mounted men), they having been ordered to Jackson by the
morning train. These troops arrived in the evening, disembarked, and were ready for the field the
ensuing morning at 2 o'clock. Taking the two battalions already named and a section of Owens'
guns, under Lieutenant [J. F.] Thompson, proceeded a distance of 10 miles to Sanders' Mills,
toward Verona, where we arrived about sunrise, and awaited information of the enemy from
Colonel [C. R.] Barteau, who had been instructed to communicate with me at that point and from
other sources.
Previously to moving from Okolona, I sent a communication to General Chalmers, then
represented as near Pontotoc, giving information received respecting the enemy. After a brief
delay at Sanders' Mills, I obtained information from Colonel Barteau that the enemy had been
during the previous night at Tupelo, and that he would move up with his troops for the purpose
of reconnoitering him to ascertain his strength and position, and would, in the event of its
becoming necessary, fall back upon the road on which I was advancing. I then pushed forward
rapidly, and, before reaching Verona, received a message indicating that Colonel Barteau with
my advanced forces was then at Harrisburg, some 2 miles west of Tupelo, and I immediately
moved in that direction, and when near that place received a dispatch from Colonel Barteau,
stating that the enemy had retreated precipitately the previous night along the railroad toward
Corinth. I ordered a strong scout of two companies to push forward immediately in pursuit of the
enemy, and then distributed the troops in new positions, sending the four companies of the Third
Kentucky (mounted men) to Okolona, to take the down train for Meridian, in conformity with
previous orders.
Subsequently, I learned that the enemy numbered 2,000 or 2,500 cavalry, with six guns,
comprising the Tenth Missouri, Seventh Iowa [Kansas], and Ninth Illinois, with two companies
of mounted infantry, all under the command of Colonel Quinine [Cornyn]; that from 15 to 20
were killed, and from 30 to 40 wounded in the previous day's encounter; that they burned some
transportation, destroyed supplies and camp equipage, and broke down the bridges in their
precipitate retreat.
On our part, as near as I can learn, we lost 5 killed and 7 or 8 wounded (Confederate troops),
and of the State troops 30 are represented to have been taken prisoners.
Previous to this conflict, on account of unsettled questions of rank, and for want of harmony
among the commanders of my battalions in advance, I had sent verbal instructions that they
should, in cases of emergency, obey the orders of the senior on the field, and even in coming in
contact with the State troops in my absence, out of courtesy to General [S. J.] Gholson, and to
preserve concert of action, should yield obedience temporarily to him as their commander.
I deem it expedient to observe at this point that communication between Okolona and Verona
is attended with many difficulties, on account of four intermediate streams, bordered by bottom
lands and morasses, almost impassable for cavalry during the rainy season, and but recently
found practicable.
In conclusion, I respectfully recommend to your attention accompanying report of Lieut. Col.
C. R. Barteau, who, with his command, is entitled to special consideration on account of good
conduct in this as in some previous encounters with the enemy.
Major Inge's battalion (under Captain [P. A.] Mann), a portion of Major Hewlett's battalion,
and two companies of the Second Alabama regiment, are also entitled to commendation for their
good conduct.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Brigadier-General, Commanding District.
Assistant Adjutant-General.
Before Vicksburg, Miss., May 25, 1863.
SIR: I have the honor to report the part taken by the Seventh Division, Seventeenth Army
Corps, on the march and in the battles occurring from the time I assumed temporary command of
it at Port Gibson on May 2, until relieved by Brigadier-General Quinby on the 17th instant.
I assumed the command of the division at Port Gibson at noon of May 2, and that afternoon
had the advance of the army corps, and marched to the north branch of Bayou Pierre, on the road
to Vicksburg. On arriving at the bayou, we found that the bridge had been burned by the
retreating enemy. During the night the bridge was repaired so that the corps could cross, and the
next morning the division crossed, following the division of Major-General Logan to Willow
Springs, at which point the division of General Logan was directed to take a road to the left of
the main road, the Seventh Division proceeding on the main road toward Hankinson's Ferry, on
the Big Black River. After proceeding a short distance, we encountered the enemy's pickets, and
soon discovered the enemy, with a battery posted in the woods and hills across a small creek. A
regiment, the Fifty-ninth Indiana commanded by Colonel Alexander, was deployed as
skirmishers, and the two other regiments belonging to the same brigade, Colonel Sanborn's,
were formed in line of battle. A 10 pounder Parrott gun, under direction of Captain [Frank C.]
Sands, chief of artillery for the division, was placed in position, and soon succeeded in forcing
the enemy's battery to retire to a less exposed position. The skirmishers and line were then
advanced across the creek, and the whole division deployed and ordered to advance, when I
received notice that the enemy had broken up his formation and was in full retreat in the
direction of Hankinson's Ferry. Their retreat from our front was doubtless greatly hurried by the
advance of the division of General Logan on their right flank.
The two divisions, General Logan's and the Seventh, were united at the junction of the roads
running from Grand Gulf and Willow Springs to Vicksburg, one brigade of General Logan's
division preceding the Seventh Division on the march from there to Hankinson's Ferry.
At Hankinson's Ferry the division remained three days, bringing up its supplies of
ammunition and provisions, and on the morning of May 7 resumed the march, following General
Logan's division in the direction of Utica. The march was continued, with slight interruption and
without incident, until May 12, on which day General Logan, having the advance, encountered
the enemy in the vicinity of Raymond. The Seventh Division was hurried into position to support
the division of General Logan. Two regiments of the Second Brigade, under Colonel Holmes,
were sent to the right to support the brigade of General Stevenson, and the First Brigade, under
Colonel Sanborn, formed to the left and rear of General Smith's brigade, supporting the Eighth
Michigan battery, commanded by Captain De Golyer; the Third Brigade, Colonel Boomer, held
in reserve. Soon after making this disposition of the troops, the enemy's whole line broke and
fled in confusion, and, resuming our march, we proceeded without interruption to Raymond,
where we encamped. From Raymond we marched to Jackson, via Clinton, following the division
of General Logan to Clinton, where we again encamped.
On the 14th, we proceeded in the direction of Jackson, the Seventh Division having the
advance, and marched without interruption until within about 3 miles of Jackson, when we
encountered the enemy in strong position, his batteries posted so as to command the road and his
infantry covered by woods and ravines. The division was at once deployed, the Second Brigade,
commanded by Colonel Holmes) occupying the right and left of the road; the First Brigade,
commanded by Colonel Sanborn, on the right and rear of the Second Brigade; and the Third
Brigade, under Colonel Boomer, to the left and rear of the Second Brigade, this brigade in the
woods. The line being thus formed, was ordered to advance, which it did, followed by the Sixth
Wisconsin Battery, Captain Dillon commanding.
The advance was made in the most gallant and satisfactory manner. Not a man wavered or
faltered, but proceeded, under the most galling fire, to drive the enemy at the point of the bayonet
from his strong position. The battery advancing with the line of infantry, took position, and,
when the enemy broke and retreated, poured into the fugitives an effective and destructive fire.
The enemy having abandoned his position, it was supposed that he would make a stand in his
works before Jackson, but our skirmishers and line steadily advanced into their works and into
the town without further resistance, taking possession of the works and seven guns, which the
enemy in his haste had neither injured nor attempted to carry away. Captain [Cornelius] Cadle,
of my staff, and Captain Martin, acting assistant adjutant-general of the First Brigade, planted
the flag of the Fifty-ninth Indiana on the dome of the capitol of the State of Mississippi.
On the morning of the 15th, we retraced our steps in the direction of Clinton, General
Logan's division taking the lead. From Clinton we proceeded [on the 16th] directly toward
Vicksburg, the division of General Logan still having the lead. Near Edwards Depot we came up
with the division of General Hovey, of Major-General McClernand's command, who, having the
advance, encountered the enemy, posted with great care and in strong force across Baker's Creek,
on what is called Champion's Hill. The two divisions, Generals Hovey's and Logan's, were at
once formed, General Logan's on the right and General Hovey's on the left, and attacked the
enemy with great fury, driving him on both flanks. In the mean time two brigades of the Seventh
Division coming up, it soon became apparent that the enemy in front of General Hovey was
being re-enforced, and that he was hard pressed. The Third Brigade, Colonel Boomer, was,
therefore, ordered to proceed to his support, which he did in the most gallant style, ascending a
hill, entering a wood, and taking position in front of an enemy of three times his force. The First
Brigade, under Colonel Sanborn, moved to the right to support the batteries planted in the field.
It soon became apparent that the critical point was our left. As General Stevenson had been
entirely successful in driving their left, the enemy seemed determined to effect the same with
ours; two of the regiments of Colonel Sanborn's brigade were, therefore, ordered to the support
of Colonel Boomer. Colonel Boomer, by the most desperate fighting, and with wonderful
courage and obstinacy, held his position in spite of the continued and furious assaults of the
enraged and baffled enemy; but it was apparent that he sorely needed assistance, and, unless
speedily assisted, his position was in danger.
At this critical moment Colonel Holmes arrived in the field with two regiments of the Second
Brigade, the Seventeenth Iowa and Tenth Missouri, and, being informed of the position of
affairs, proceeded with the greatest alacrity and enthusiasm to the front, relieving Colonel
Boomer, who by this time was entirely out of ammunition, and charged the enemy with a shout,
who broke and fled in the greatest confusion, leaving in our possession the regimental flag of the
Thirty-first Alabama, taken by the Seventeenth Iowa, and two guns of his battery. This ended the
fight. Our right, under General Logan, had already driven them, and when they broke on the left
the rout was complete. That night we encamped near the battle-field.
On the morning of the 17th, Brigadier-General Quinby having returned, I was relieved of the
temporary command of the division.
During the time that I commanded the division, the loss in the several engagements was as
Engagements Wounded. Killed.
Skirmish of May 3 2 ....
Battle of Raymond .... 2
Battle of Jackson 227 34
Battle of Champion's Hill 539 123
768 159
Total wounded and killed..... 927
Of the conduct of the officers and men of the division I cannot speak too highly; their charge
at Jackson, seldom if ever excelled in any campaign, has been the theme of universal praise the
stubbornness and courage with which they fought at Jackson and Champion's Hill have won for
them the admiration of the army.
To the staff of General Quinby I return my especial thanks for the zeal, industry, and fidelity
with which they discharged their difficult duties during the march and on the battlefield. I am
also under obligations to Captain Cadle for the fidelity with which he discharged his duties.
Several brave, reliable, and valuable officers of the command were killed in the different
engagements, whose names and services are mentioned in the reports accompanying. For full
details of achievements of the respective brigades and regiments reference is respectfully made
to the reports of brigade and regimental commanders forwarded herewith.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Brigadier-General, Commanding Seventh Division.
Lieut. Col. W. T. CLARK,
Assistant Adjutant-General.
Camp in Field before Vicksburg, Miss., May 25, 1863.
COLONEL: I have the honor to report the marches made by my command and the part taken
by it in the battles fought during the campaign from Milliken's Bend, La., to this camp.
On April 21, I received your order to send forward one brigade to Richmond, La.,
immediately, and relieve the command stationed there. At this time the general commanding this
division was absent, and my command consisted of the Seventh Division, comprising: First
Brigade-Fifty-ninth and Forty-eighth Indiana, Seventy-second Illinois: and Fourth Minnesota
Regiments; Second Brigade--Tenth Missouri, Seventeenth Iowa, Eightieth Ohio, and Fifty-sixth
Illinois Regiments; Third Brigade--Fifth Iowa, Twenty-sixth Missouri, Ninety-third Illinois, and
Tenth Iowa Regiments ; and Battery M, First Missouri Light Artillery, Sixth and Twelfth
Wisconsin Batteries, Eleventh Ohio Battery, two companies of cavalry, and pioneer corps of 137
effective men. The pioneer corps was already detached to work on Walnut and Roundaway
Bayous, and did not come up during the time I remained in command of the division. This order
was immediately complied with, and the Fifty-sixth Illinois and Seventeenth Iowa Regiments
moved forward to Richmond the same day, distance 12 miles, and the remaining portion of the
Second Brigade moved forward to Richmond the following day.
On April 23, I marched with the First Brigade and First Missouri and Eleventh Ohio Batteries
to Richmond, and moved the Third Brigade and remaining batteries forward to that point on the
25th instant, and on the same day moved the Second Brigade on to Holmes' plantation, distance
9 miles; and during that night marched the First Brigade, with the exception of the Seventysecond
Illinois, which, pursuant to your order, I left in command of Richmond, and two batteries,
up to the same point.
On the 26th, the First and Second Brigades and two batteries marched forward to Smith's
plantation, distance 9 miles, and bivouacked, and the Third Brigade and remaining batteries
moved forward to within about 4 miles of that point. All camp and garrison equipage had been
left behind, and the teams sent back to Milliken's Bend to bring forward rations to keep the
supply up to ten days on hand, in accordance with Special Orders, No.--, from department
headquarters but this train was seized and turned over to an ordnance officer to bring forward
ammunition, and some of the regiments of the division were out of rations when we arrived at
this point, and were supplied with bread by the post commissary.
On the 27th, the division did not move, for the reason that General Logan's division did not
get past during the day, the roads being next to impassable.
On the 28th, the whole division moved together at 6 o'clock, and marched only about 4 miles
during the day. I marched in the rear of General Logan's division, and the teams and batteries
nearly all had to double the teams and go over the road twice.
On the 29th, the division was marched to Perkins' plantation, distance 11 miles, and
bivouacked, and a few rations were obtained.
On the 30th, the march was continued to Hard Times Landing, opposite Grand Gulf, distance
about 16 miles. At this point officers and men were a little disheartened upon learning that the
Navy had found it impossible to reduce the Grand Gulf batteries, and that we must still continue
our march down the river past this point before we could cross over.
Early on the morning of the 1st instant, I marched my command down the river to the point
of embarkation for the east side. About the time of reaching this point, the rapid reports of
artillery from the east side of the river announced that the advance of the army had come upon
the enemy, and the soldiers were eager for the fray, and the infantry of the whole division (with
the exception of the Fifty-sixth Illinois, which was detailed to remain in command of Hard Times
temporarily), consisting of about 5,000 men, embarked on board transports, sailed 10 miles down
the river to Bruinsburg, and disembarked in about one hour and a half, and moved forward
toward the front line of the army before the brigade and division commanders could get their
horses across the river.
After marching about 10 miles from the river toward the field of battle, and to a point within
about 3 miles of the field, and before the division commander and staff had got up, an order was
received from the major-general commanding the corps, by Colonel Holmes, commanding the
leading brigade, to fall back to the junction of the Grand Gulf road with the Bruinsburg and Port
Gibson road, and form, so as to resist any advance of the enemy from Grand Gulf by that road.
Colonel Holmes had disposed of the Second and Third Brigades and one battery of artillery
in order of battle when I arrived upon the ground. The First Brigade and remaining batteries,
with the exception of one held in reserve, were disposed in order of battle as fast as they came
up, and in such manner as to resist any attack from the direction of Grand Gulf.
These batteries did not arrive so that the disposition could be completed till 11 o'clock at
During this day the division marched 11 miles, and embarked on transports and sailed 10
miles and disembarked, and was carefully drawn out in order of battle at night at 1 o'clock.
On the morning of the 2d instant I received the order of the major-general commanding the
corps to move forward my whole command at 3 a.m. to the field of battle. I marched
accordingly, and at sunrise reported with my whole command on the field, having marched 6
At about 8 o'clock I was informed that the enemy had retired from the field, and I was
ordered forward to Port Gibson, at which place I arrived with my command about 11 a.m.,
distance from the battle-field about 4 miles.
At this place the division remained about five hours, during which time the pontoon bridge
was constructed across the south branch of Bayou Pierre, and during this time Brigadier-General
Crocker reported to take command of the division, which marched about 8 miles to the north
branch of Bayou Pierre before halting for night, making 19 miles that the division marched on
this day.
Upon Brigadier-General Crocker assuming command of the division, I assumed command of
the First Brigade. One regiment (the Fourth Minnesota) was detailed on fatigue duty during the
night, to repair the suspension bridge crossing the north branch of Bayou Pierre that the rebel
army had fired and partially burned.
During the time that I commanded the division, I received great assistance from Captain
Rochester, assistant adjutant-general; Capt. L. B. Martin, temporary aide-de-camp; Lieutenant
[Thomas S.] Campbell, aide-de-camp; Lieutenant [Ogden] Lovell, ordnance officer; Captain
[Albert] Stoddard, judge-advocate and acting aide-de-camp, and Lieutenant [Charles L.] White,
provost-marshal, all most gallant, efficient, and capable officers, and to all of whom I shall feel
under lasting obligations.
On the morning of May 3, I crossed the north branch of Bayou Pierre with my brigade,
following General Logan's division and leading the Seventh Division. The enemy opened with
artillery in our front early in the morning, but retired rapidly until General Logan's division led
off to the left, toward the Grand Gulf road, and the Seventh Division was marching in advance
on the road leading from the Port Gibson and Jackson road to Hankinson's Ferry. When about 5
miles south of the ferry, the enemy deployed a long line of skirmishers, and formed a few
regiments of infantry and put in position a battery of artillery.
The Fourth Minnesota was ordered forward as a support on the right, and the Forty-eighth
Indiana as a support on the left of the road, with instructions to keep within supporting distance
of the skirmishers.
When the skirmishers had advanced about 1 mile from the head of the main column, they
came to the enemy's line, with two pieces of artillery in such position as to command all the open
ground in front, through which my command was obliged to pass. This open ground was passed
in the order above mentioned, under a heavy fire from the enemy's guns. The Fifty-ninth Indiana
was the most exposed, but did their duty most manfully, obeying every order with alacrity. The
Fourth Minnesota and Forty-eighth Indiana, as supports, moved up promptly and without
hesitation. The conduct of all the officers and men was commendable and satisfactory. The
enemy was driven from his first, second, and third positions, when, in obedience to your orders,
I called in the skirmishers and moved on with my command to the crossing of the Big Black
River, where we bivouacked, near Hankinson's Ferry.
In this skirmish I have to report the following casualties: Killed, Private Eli Fancette, and,
mortally wounded, James W. Van Slyke, Company E, Fifty-ninth Indiana. Several of the officers
and men of all the regiments sustained slight injuries, which scarcely can be called wounds.
While my command remained at Hankinson's Ferry, the greatest effort was made to procure
rations; but there being no transportation, the command was compelled to leave with only two
days' rations on hand.
On the 9th, the brigade moved with the balance of the division to Utica Cross-Roads, a
distance of 12 miles, without opposition, and on the 10th marched 10 miles, through Utica and
along the Raymond road, and on the following day moved forward 1 miles, and formed in order
of battle on a ridge, in a favorable position for defense. My command was entirely out of rations
at this time, except what could be gathered from the country, and so remained until the evening
of the 17th, at which time the regimental teams came up from Grand Gulf.
On the morning of the 12th, my command marched at 9 a.m., leading the Seventh Division
and following General Logan's division. Shortly after noon heavy cannonading in front
announced that the advance had fallen upon the enemy. My command was kept closed up as
closely as possible to the rear of the Third Division, and after the lapse of an hour or two, I
received an order from General Crocker, commanding I he division, to move forward
immediately and form on the left of General Logan's division. To arrive at the position indicated
it was necessary to pass through a dense thicket of trees, brush, and vines, and then cross a
clearing about 100 yards. It would seem that the enemy had formed the design of turning the left
of our line, and had massed his infantry accordingly, and had planted his batteries so as
completely to command this thicket and clearing, in order to prevent the left from being
supported. As soon as my command commenced moving forward to form on the left, the enemy
opened as heavy a fire as possible with his artillery upon me, but the formation was made in
double-quick time, and my whole line moved up to within about 30 yards of our front line. Not
more than a few moments elapsed after my command had reached this position before he
advanced his lines of infantry upon the left, but was met with such firmness and so destructive a
fire from the front line that he almost immediately gave way and fled from this part of the field.
Immediately upon this having transpired, I received the order from General McPherson to move
two regiments to my right in support of the center of our lines. The Fifty-ninth and Forty-eighth
Indiana Regiments were immediately moved forward to the position indicated, and, at the
suggestion of General Crocker, I offered to relieve the front line, which had been engaged at this
time three or four hours, but these officers, among whom was the lamented Colonel Dollins,
declined the offer, and said he felt certain that he could hold his position without aid.
The enemy by this time appeared in broken squads in front of the center, and in half an hour
all firing had ceased and the enemy had fled in confusion from the field.
The only casualty in my command in this action was, Forty-eighth Indiana, 1 enlisted man
wounded. After the action ceased, the command marched through Raymond and bivouacked
about 1 mile north of the town. The Eighteenth Wisconsin Volunteers joined my brigade at this
On the morning of the 13th, I marched in rear of the Third Brigade on the road leading to
Clinton, and passed through the town and bivouacked 1 mile east of it, on the Jackson road, my
line of battle this night running across the railroad and the common road; distance marched this
day, 9 miles.
My command marched from Clinton at 4 a.m. on the 14th, along the Jackson road toward
Jackson, the Second Brigade leading the division and my brigade following the Second.
The enemy was found drawn up in line of battle in a strong position about 2 miles west of
Jackson, his line of battle crossing the road at nearly right angles.
I received orders to form my brigade on the right of the road, the two left regiments, the
Fourth Minnesota and Eighteenth Wisconsin, in reserve for the Second Brigade, already formed
across the road, the other regiments, the Forty-eighth and Fifty-ninth Indiana, to the right of the
Second Brigade, all to be covered from the fire of the enemy's artillery as much as possible. This
disposition was immediately made. The troops were more exposed to the enemy's artillery fire
than was at first apprehended, and the Fourth Minnesota was immediately ordered to form on the
left of the road, and as a reserve to the Seventeenth Iowa, of the Second Brigade. The other three
regiments were moved close up under cover of the ridge occupied by the First Missouri Battery.
This ridge was swept by the enemy's fire, but as soon as the skirmishers deployed from the Fiftyninth
Indiana had advanced far enough to ascertain that there was no enemy on the right flank, I
ordered the brigade forward across the first ridge, with instructions to halt when the line should
reach the ravine beyond, which was about 400 yards distant. This order was executed in the most
satisfactory manner. The regiments crossed the ridge in perfect line at a run, and reached the
second ravine with the loss of not more than 10 men. Shortly after reaching this position, the
enemy's main line of infantry was ascertained by the skirmishers in front of my brigade to be in
the next ravine, in front of his batteries, and soon commenced driving back our line of
skirmishers. I received the order from General Crocker to fix bayonets and charge through the
ravine and all the way to the enemy's batteries, if possible. This order was immediately
communicated, and the whole line commenced advancing, and moved forward irresistibly, until
the whole line of the enemy infantry was in full retreat and his batteries taken to the rear. This
charge was one of the most splendid battle scenes that could ever be witnessed.
The whole line, with banners unfurled, went forward at double-quick and with more
regularity than at an ordinary battalion drill. The fleeing lines of the rebels in front; the
sharpshooters, who had been concealed behind cotton bales and in an old cotton-gin in front of
the Fifty-ninth Indiana, throwing out white handkerchiefs at every window and over every cotton
bale, taken in connection with the novel spectacle presented by Captain Dillon’s battery charging
forward close upon the line of infantry, made up a scene that can never be effaced from the mind
of any who witnessed it, and can never be properly represented on paper.
No language can do justice to the conduct of the officers and men of my command during
this engagement. All seemed to seek positions of peril instead of safety, and where the enemy
was strongest and most secure from danger, there did they charge the fiercest and with the
greatest determination. After this charge the enemy immediately recreated through Jackson, and
my command moved into the city, over the enemy's works and artillery, unmolested by a shot.
Capt. L. B. Martin, acting assistant adjutant-general on my staff, seized the flag of the Fiftyninth
Indiana, my leading regiment, and, going far in advance of the skirmishers to the capitol,
raised it over the dome, where it remained until the regiment moved from the town; and,
Lieutenant Donaldson, aide-de-camp on my staff, riding also far in advance of the skirmishers to
the vicinity of the prison, seized there a Confederate flag, made of double silk, that a cavalry
company had apparently abandoned in its flight. On one side is the inscription, "Claiborne
Rangers;" on the other, "Our rights."
The prisoners, eight in number, taken by the Fifty-ninth Indiana at the cotton-gin, who were
sharpshooters just arrived from South Carolina, were immediately sent to the rear.
During the night of the 14th, I supplied my command with three days' rations of sugar,
bacon, and meal, and some other articles, most of which my quartermaster obtained from the
penitentiary, and on the morning of the 15th my command marched back on the road toward
Clinton, and passed through that place and bivouacked 4 miles west of it that night, having
marched about 14 miles.
On the morning of the 16th, I moved my command at an early hour along the road toward
Bolton and Edwards Depot, following the Third Brigade and Logan's division. I had marched but
an hour and a half when rapid firing of artillery in front again announced the presence of the
My command moved forward rapidly, and arrived upon the field about the time the
engagement became general.
I formed, as ordered, under cover of the woods, at the right of De Golyer's battery, and about
400 yards distant. During this formation I was under a light fire of artillery and musketry, from
which I lost a few officers and men.
As soon as my command was reformed, I received an order from General McPherson,
commanding the corps, to send two regiments immediately to the support of De Golyer's battery.
I ordered forward the Fifty-ninth Indiana, with instructions to form on the left of the battery, and
the Fourth Minnesota, with instructions to form on its right.
This order was complied with in double-quick time, and about the same time the regiments
were so formed the enemy commenced falling back at this point (the enemy's left), and the
regiments advanced, the Fourth Minnesota across the ravine, capturing 118 prisoners, and the
Fifty-ninth Indiana into the ravine, bearing farther to the left, and the enemy's line crossing the
ravine diagonally at this point, capturing here the colors of the Forty-sixth Alabama Regiment
(Sergt. John Ford, Company C, Fifty-Ninth Indiana, captured them) and many prisoners. These
regiments retained their positions on the right of our lines till the close of the engagement, about
three hours.
By the time these two regiments had got into position on the right and left of the battery, I
was ordered to take the other two of my command, the Forty-eighth Indiana and Eighteenth
Wisconsin, about 100 rods to the east of the battery, and form there in the edge of the woods, in
support of what seemed to be General Hovey's right.
The Forty-eighth Indiana Regiment immediately went into position under a most galling fire
of musketry, and retained it for at least three hours, and long after the regiments on its right and
left had given way, and then fell back by my order a short distance, to replenish ammunition,
only after it was exhausted, but stood like a wall of adamant wherever it was placed till the close
of the engagement.
The Eighteenth Wisconsin was moved from right to left and back two or three times, by
order of the general commanding, as the attack was made more fiercely on either hand. The
regiment moved with great promptness, and held every position firmly until removed by orders.
After this engagement ceased, I moved forward on the Vicksburg road about 3 miles, and
bivouacked for the night.
On the morning of the 17th, I moved my command along the road toward the Big Black
River, and halted at the river about noon, and soon after commenced the construction of a
pontoon bridge with cotton bales and boards, which was completed the following morning, my
brigade having been on fatigue duty all night constructing it.
On the morning of the 18th, my command, with the Third Brigade, crossed the river and
moved forward toward Vicksburg. When about 3 miles west of the river, I was ordered to return
to the east side of the Big Black and remain there, guarding all trains coming up and the bridge,
until Colonel Holmes should come up from the battle-field with his brigade, I immediately
returned and bivouacked my command on the same ground left in the morning, and remained
there till the evening of the 19th, when Colonel Holmes and his command came up, and I again
crossed the river and bivouacked about 2 miles west of it that night, and on the 20th came
forward to the rear of Vicksburg, marching a distance of 17 miles with a most intense heat and
suffocating dust all day.
On the 21st, I moved my command into line of battle in front of the enemy's works and
deployed a line of skirmishers in front, and remained in this position till the morning of the 22d.
A general assault having been ordered upon the enemy's works at 10 a.m. this day, I spent the
night of the 21st, in connection with the lamented Colonel Boomer, commanding the Third
Brigade, reconnoitering for the best approaches for infantry to the enemy's works in our front.
It was ascertained that we could approach to within about 80 yards under cover of the hills
and form without great exposure to the men, and early on the morning of the 22d I moved my
command into this position, and formed in line of battle on the left of the Third Brigade. Colonel
Boomer had some doubts as to his ability to carry the works in his front, and as the works left in
my front could not be held, if carried, while those on my right were in possession of the enemy, I
transferred to him, for the purpose of this assault, the Fifty-ninth Indiana Regiment, and
deployed the Eighteenth Wisconsin along our whole front as skirmishers.
These dispositions being made, the commanders of regiments were ordered to advance upon
the works immediately upon the movement commencing on our right. For some reason the
troops on our right did not move, and I retained the same position with some loss till about 3
o'clock, when I received an order from General McPherson, through General Quinby,
commanding division, to move at once and vigorously upon the works. A staff officer was
dispatched immediately to the regimental commanders to communicate this order, but before he
had succeeded in doing so it was countermanded, and I was ordered to move with all my
command, not deployed as skirmishers, to the left, to support Major-General McClernand. I
immediately moved my command (with the exception of the Eighteenth Wisconsin, deployed as
skirmishers) from its position, some 2 miles to the left, and was there ordered by General Quinby
to support Burbridge's brigade, then engaged in front of the enemy's works. I immediately moved
forward for that purpose, under the direction of a staff officer, and was led up through a ravine
that was raked to a considerable extent by musketry and artillery to a point a few yards in rear of
the line of this brigade. I was informed by General Burbridge that the position close to the
enemy's works was not so exposed as the ravine, and he desired me to form nearer or in front of
his line. I formed my brigade--Fifty-ninth Indiana on the right, Forty-eighth Indiana to its left,
and the Fourth Minnesota to the left of the Forty-eighth. This position seemed very much
exposed, and I lost several men during the formation.
My command was exceedingly exhausted, having had no rest the night of the 19th, marching
nearly 20 miles the 20th, moving into camp the 21st, and having been under fire or marching all
this day to the time I moved to this position, and one or two of the regiments having already lost
30 men during the day. As soon as my line was formed, General Burbridge's line gave way and
his troops left the ground, with the exception of one regiment, which remained in support of the
Fifty-ninth Indiana.
The enemy was largely re-enforced, and fired rapid and destructive volleys into my
command, which were promptly returned, but the enemy, having so high and strong works in
front, it cannot be expected with much effect. Once or twice the enemy came over his works in
large numbers and formed on my right, with the evident design of turning my right flank, but
was promptly driven back by my command with much slaughter.
I held this position for about two hours and until dark, and having no support, and seeing no
reason why a position should be held at such sacrifice which, if lost, could be recovered at any
time by a line of skirmishers, unless the enemy should choose to fight us outside of his works,
which could hardly be expected, however much desired, and there being no general officer upon
the ground, I ordered the position abandoned and my command to march back to the hill on the
right of the railroad bridge, and there form and rest for the night. In failing back, Colonel
Tourtellotte, Fourth Minnesota, took from the ground a piece of artillery that was in position
within a few yards of the enemy's works when my command went upon the ground and left there
by the brigade then in position.
The casualties in my command during this engagement, as the official lists will show, are
greater than in all the balance of the campaign, and it seems to me all for no good. Success was
no better than defeat, unless an assault was to be ordered, and I have not learned that such a thing
was thought of, and, if thought of, would have been preposterous unless made by both brigades
and in a most vigorous manner, and I can but feel that there was official misrepresentation or
misconduct that led to this matter which requires investigation.
I am impelled to say this much in my report of this engagement by eloquent voices coming
from the tombs of many of the most brave of my command, fallen in that fruitless struggle under
the enemy's works.
On the morning of the 23d, I moved my command forward about 400 yards, and formed,
with one regiment on my left in rear of the right of General Burbridge's brigade, and two
regiments in prolongation of his right, which position was occupied but a few hours, when my
command moved back to the ground it left on the morning of the 22d, where it now remains.
Accompanying this report are full lists of the casualties of my command in the several and
respective engagements of this campaign.
The conduct of all the officers and men of my command during the entire campaign has been
more than satisfactory--it has been most gallant and praiseworthy. There has been no shirking
and no desire to shirk on the part of either officers or men, and I have not found or even heard of
a man out of his position in battle or on the march. I know not how soldiers could do more.
Capt. L B Martin, assistant adjutant-general, and Lieutenants [John S.] Akin and [James H.]
Donaldson, aides-de-camp, have conducted themselves in the most gallant and faithful manner
and deserve special mention.
The living are rewarded by the consciousness of having done all that human nature is capable
of to suppress a most wicked rebellion and to preserve order and good government for
themselves and posterity. But alas, for the patriotic and gallant dead; no language of mine can do
justice to their virtues. May some Macauley or Bancroft recite in interesting narration their
hardships, endurance, patriotism, valor, and achievements, and some modern Homer or Virgil
live to sing them in heroic verse.
Colonel, Commanding.
Lieut. Col. W. T. CLARK,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Seventeenth Army Corps.
Walnut Hills, Miss., May 24, 1863.
SIR: In order to make a connected history of events preceding the final issue of this
campaign, I avail myself of this the first leisure hour to give substantially the Operations of the
Fifteenth Army Corps since the movement began.
General Grant's orders for an advance by way of Grand Gulf were dated April 20, 1863, and
gave McClernand's corps the right, McPherson's the center, and mine the left, the movement
being by the right flank.
I had made all preparations for the movement, when, on the 26th, I received General Grant's
letter from Smith's plantation, near Carthage, describing the road as so very difficult that he
ordered me to delay until the roads improved or the system of canals, then in process of
construction, could be finished.
Subsequently, on April 28, I received his letter, fixing the time when he proposed to attack
Grand Gulf, and saying that a simultaneous feint on the enemy's batteries on the Yazoo, near
Haynes' Bluff, would be most desirable, provided it could be done without the ill-effect on the
army and the country of the appearance of a repulse. Knowing full well the army could
distinguish a feint from a real attack by succeeding events, and assured the country would in due
season recover from the effect, I made the necessary orders, and embarked on ten steamboats my
Second Division (Blair's), and about 10 a.m. on April 29 proceeded to' the mouth of the Yazoo,
where I found the flag-boat Black Hawk, Captain Breese, U.S. Navy, with the Choctaw (just
arrived) and De Kalb, iron-clads, with the Tyler and several smaller wooden boats of the fleet all
ready, with steam up, prepared to co-operate in the proposed demonstrations against Haynes'
Bluff. Captain Breese fully comprehended the purpose of the movement and managed the fleet
We at once proceeded up the Yazoo in order, and lay for the night of April 29 at the mouth of
Chickasaw, and early next morning proceeded up within easy range of the enemy's batteries. The
Choctaw led, followed by the De Kalb, she by the Tyler, she by the Black Hawk, and the fleet in
order behind.
The Choctaw at once engaged the batteries at very fair range, and the De Kalb maneuvered
so as to use her batteries with as little risk to her unarmored part as the circumstances warranted.
The Tyler and Black Hawk also came into action, and for four hours a very pretty demonstration
was kept up, when the boats engaged were called out of range. The Tyler had received one shot
and the Choctaw some fifty, but, strange to say, no men were hurt. Waiting till toward evening, I
ordered the division of troops to disembark in full view of the enemy and seemingly prepare to
assault, but I knew full well that there was no road across the submerged field that lay between
the river and the bluff. As soon as the troops were fairly out on the levee, the gunboats resumed
their fire, and the enemy's batteries replied with spirit. We could see them moving guns, artillery,
and infantry back and forth, and evidently expecting a real attack. Keeping up appearances till
night, the troops were re-embarked. During the next day similar movements were made,
accompanied by reconnaissances of all the country on both sides of the Yazoo.
While there, I received General Grant's orders to hurry forward toward Grand Gulf.
Dispatching orders to the divisions of Steele and Tuttle at once to march for Grand Gulf via
Richmond, I prolonged the demonstration till night, and quietly dropped back to our camp at
Young's Point. No casualties were sustained save a slight wound from a splintered rail by a man
of the Eighth Missouri.
Reaching Young's Point during the night of May 1, the next morning Blair's division broke
camp and moved up to Milliken's Bend. At the same time Steele's division marched from
Milliken's Bend and Tuttle's from Duckport, Blair's division remaining as a garrison till relieved
by troops ordered from Memphis.
The march from Milliken's Bend to the plantation of Hard Times, on the west bank of the
Mississippi, 4 miles above Grand Gulf, occupied until noon of May 6, distance 63 miles. We
crossed over the river during the night of the 6th and day of the 7th, and on the 8th marched 18
miles out to Hankinson's Ferry, across the Big Black, relieving Crocker's division, of
McPherson's corps. At noon of the 10th, by order of General Grant, the floating bridge across the
Black was effectually destroyed, and the troops marched forward to Big Sandy.
On the 11th, we marched to Auburn, and on the morning of the 12th, at Fourteen-Mile Creek,
first met opposition. The Fourth Iowa Cavalry, Lieutenant-Colonel Swan commanding, leading
the advance, was fired on as it approached the bridge across the creek. One man was killed and
the horse of Major Winslow was shot under him.
Lieutenant-Colonel Swan dismounted the men, armed with carbines (about 100), and began
to skirmish with the enemy, which afterward proved to be Wirt Adams' cavalry, but the bushes
were so dense that nothing could be seen but the puffs of smoke from their guns. The bridge also
was burning. Arriving at the head of the column, I ordered Landgraeber's battery forward to give
the bushes a few quick rounds of canister, and Woods' brigade, of Steele's division, to cross over,
its front well covered with skirmishers. This disposition soon cleared the way, and the pioneer
company was put to work to make a crossing in lieu of the burned bridge.
This affair delayed us about three hours, when we crossed over just in time to see the
enemy's cavalry disappear over the hill. General Grant in person was with my column at the
time, and ordered me to encamp there one division (Steele's) on the Edwards Depot road and the
other (Tuttle's) toward Raymond. While there we heard that the enemy had met General
McPherson near Raymond and was defeated.
Next morning we marched to Raymond and passed on to Mississippi Springs, where we
surprised a cavalry picket, capturing them; and on the following day, namely, May 14, pushed on
to Jackson by the lower road, McPherson's corps following the Clinton road. We communicated
during the night, so as to arrive at Jackson about the same hour.
During the day it rained in torrents, and the roads, which had been very dusty, became
equally muddy ; but we pushed on, and about 10 a.m. were within 3 miles of Jackson. Then we
heard the guns of McPherson to the left, and our cavalry advance reported an enemy to our front,
at a small bridge at the foot of the ridge, along which the road we traveled led.
The enemy opened on us briskly with a battery. Hastily reconnoitering the position, I ordered
Mower's and Matthies' brigades, of Tuttle's division, to deploy forward to the right and left of the
road, and Buck-land's to close up. Waterhouse's and Spoor's batteries were placed on
commanding ground and soon silenced the enemy's guns, when he retired about half a mile into
the skirt of woods in front of the intrenchments at Jackson. Mower's brigade followed him up,
and he soon took refuge behind the intrenchments.
The stream, owing to its precipitous banks, could only be passed on the bridge, which the
enemy did not attempt to destroy, and forming the troops in similar order beyond the bridge, only
that Mower's brigade, from the course he took in following the enemy, occupied the ground to
the left of the road and Matthies' brigade to the right, the two batteries in the center, and
Buckland's brigade in reserve.
As we emerged from the woods, to our front and as far to the left as we could see, appeared a
line of intrenchments, and the enemy kept up a pretty brisk fire with artillery from the points that
enfiladed our road. In order to ascertain the nature of the flanks of this line of intrenchments, I
directed Captain Pitzman, acting engineer, to take a regiment of the reserve, namely, the Ninetyfifth
Ohio, and make a detour to the right to see what was there. While he was gone, Steele's
division closed up. About 1 p.m. Captain Pitzman returned, reporting that be had found the
enemy's intrenchments abandoned at the point where they crossed the railroad, and he had left
the Ninety-fifth Ohio there in possession. I at once ordered General Steele to lead his whole
division into Jackson by that route, and as soon as I heard the cheers of his men, Tuttle's division
was ordered in by the main road. The enemy's infantry had escaped to the north by the Canton
road, but we captured about 250 prisoners with all the enemy's artillery (eighteen guns), with
much ammunition and valuable public stores.
Disposing the troops on the outskirts of the town, in obedience to a summons from General
Grant, I met him and General McPherson at the hotel near the State-house, and received orders to
at once occupy the line of rifle-pits, and on the following day to destroy effectually the railroad
tracks in and about Jackson, and all the property belonging to the enemy. Accordingly, on the
morning of May 15, Steele's division was set to work to destroy the railroad and property to the
south and east, including Pearl River Bridge, and Tuttle's division that to the north and west. This
work of destruction was well accomplished, and Jackson, as a railroad center or Government
depot of stores and military factories, can be of little use to the enemy for six months.
The railroads were destroyed by burning the ties and warping the iron. I estimate the
destruction of the roads 4 miles east of Jackson, 3 south, 3 north, and 10 west.
In Jackson the arsenal buildings, the Government foundry, the gun-carriage establishment,
including the carriages for two complete six-gun batteries, stable, carpenter and paint shops were
destroyed. The penitentiary was burned, I think, by some convicts who had been set free by the
Confederate authorities; also a very valuable cotton factory. This factory was the property of the
Messrs. Greene, who made strong appeals, based on the fact that it gave employment to very
many females and poor families, and that, although it had woven cloth for the enemy, its
principal use was in weaving cloth for the people; but I decided that machinery of that kind could
so easily be converted into hostile uses that the United States could better afford to compensate
the Messrs. Greene for their property, and feed the poor families thus thrown out of employment,
than to spare the property. I therefore assured all such families if want should force them they
might come to the river, where we would feed them till they could find employment or seek
refuge in some more peaceful land. Other buildings were destroyed in Jackson by some
mischievous soldiers (who could not be detected) which was not justified by the rules of war,
including the Catholic church and Confederate Hotel--the former resulting from accidental
circumstances and the latter from malice.
General Mower occupied the town with his brigade and two companies of cavalry, and
maintained as much order as he could among the mass of soldiers and camp-followers that
thronged the place during our short stay there; yet many acts of pillage occurred that I regret,
arising from the effect of some bad rum found concealed in the stores of the town.
On the morning of the 16th, I received a note from General Grant, written at Clinton,
reporting the enemy advancing from Edwards Depot, and ordering me to put in motion one of
my divisions toward Bolton, and to follow with the other as soon as I had completed the work of
destruction ordered.
Steele's division marched at 10 a.m., and Tuttle's followed at noon. As the march would
necessarily be rapid, I ordered General Mower to parole the prisoners of war, and to evacuate
Jackson as the rear of Tuttle's division passed out. I paroled these prisoners because the wounded
men of McPherson's corps had been left in a hospital, in charge of Surgeon Hewitt, to the mercy
of the enemy, who I knew would re-enter Jackson as we left. The whole corps marched from
Jackson to Bolton, nearly 20 miles, that day, and next morning resumed the march by a road
lying to the north of Baker's Creek, reaching Bridgeport, on the Big Black, at noon. There I
found' Blair's division and the pontoon train. The enemy had a small picket on the west bank in a
rifle-pit commanding the crossing, but, on exploding a few shells over the pit, they came out and
surrendered--a lieutenant and 10 men. The pontoon bridge was laid across, under the direction of
Captain [H. C.] Freeman, and Blair's and Steele's divisions passed over that night, Tuttle's
following next morning.
Starting with the break of day, we pushed rapidly, and by 9.30 a.m. of May 18 the head of the
column reached the Benton road, and we commanded the Yazoo, interposing a superior force
between the enemy at Vicksburg and his forts on the Yazoo. Resting a sufficient time to enable
the column to close up, we pushed forward to the point where the road forks, and sending
forward on each road the Thirteenth Regulars to the right and the Eighth Missouri to the left,
with a battery at the forks, I awaited General Grant's arrival. He came up very soon, and directed
me to operate on the right, McPherson on the center, and McClernand on the left. Leaving a
sufficient force on the main road to hold it till McPherson came up, I pushed the head of my
column on this road till the skirmishers were within musket-range of the defenses of Vicksburg.
Here I disposed Blair's division to the front, Tuttle's in support, and ordered Steele's to follow a
blind road to the right till he reached the Mississippi. By dark his advance were on the bluffs, and
early next morning he reached the Haynes' Bluff road, getting possession of the enemy's outer
works, his camps, and many prisoners left behind during their hasty evacuation, and had his
pickets up within easy range of the enemy's new line of defenses, so that by 8 a.m. of May 19 we
had compassed the enemy to the north Of Vicksburg, our right resting on the Mississippi River,
with a plain view of our fleets at the mouth of the Yazoo and Young's Point, Vicksburg in plain
sight, and nothing separated us from the enemy but a space of about 400 yards of very difficult
ground, cut up by almost impracticable ravines, and his line of intrenchments. I ordered the
Fourth Iowa Cavalry to proceed rapidly up to Haynes' Bluff and secure possession of that place,
it being perfectly open to the rear. By 4 p.m. the cavalry was on the high bluff' behind, and
Colonel Swan, being assured that the place had been evacuated, dispatched Captain Peters to go
in and secure the place.
I inclose Colonel Swan's report, with one from Lieutenant Clark, from which you will see
that the Fourth Iowa Cavalry first got possession of the enemy's battery (evacuated, of course,
when we were in full possession of the Benton road) and delivered it over, with its guns,
magazine (filled), and material, to the gunboat De Kalb, at the time (4 p.m. May 19) lying 2
miles below in Yazoo River. Also on that day communication was opened with our fleet at
Young's Point and the mouth of the Yazoo, and bridges and roads made to bring up ammunition
and provisions from the mouth of Chickasaw, to which point supply boats had been ordered by
General Grant. Up to that time our men had literally lived upon the country, having left Grand
Gulf May 8 with three days' rations in their haversacks, and received little or nothing till after
our arrival here on the 18th.
The several corps being in position on the 19th, General Grant ordered a general assault at 2
p.m. At that hour Blair's division moved forward, Ewing's and Giles Smith's brigades on the right
of the road, and Kilby Smith's brigade on the left of the road; artillery disposed on the right and
left to cover the point where the road enters the enemy's intrenchments. Tuttle's division was
held on the road; Buckland's brigade deployed in line to the rear of Blair, and the other two
brigades in the road under cover.
At the appointed signal the line advanced, but the ground to the right and left of the road was
so impracticable, cut up in deep chasms, filled with standing and fallen timber, that the line was
slow and irregular in reaching the trenches. The Thirteenth Regulars, on the left of Giles Smith,
reaching the works first, planted its colors on the exterior slope. Its commander, Captain
Washington, was mortally wounded, and 5 other officers were wounded more or less severely.
Seventy-seven out of 250 are reported killed or wounded. Two other regiments reached the same
position about the same time--the Eighty-third Indiana, Colonel Spooner, and the One hundred
and twenty-seventh Illinois, Colonel Eldridge. They held their ground, and fired upon any head
that presented itself above the parapet, but it was impossible to enter. Other regiments gained
position to the right and left close up to the parapet, but night found them outside the works,
unsuccessful. As soon as night closed in, I ordered them back a short distance, where the shape
of the ground gave them partial shelter, to bivouac for the night.
The 20th and 21st instant were consumed in perfecting our system of supplies, opening
roads, and putting our artillery in new and more commanding positions, but we could see the
enemy similarly employed. During these days our pickets were kept up close, and the enemy was
kept uneasy by the appearance of assault at several points.
On the 21st, General Grant issued his orders for a general assault by all the army at 10 a.m.
on the 22d, the assault to be rapid by the heads of columns. I placed Blair's division at the head
of the road, Tuttle's in support, and left General Steele to make his attack at a point in his front
about half a mile to the right. The troops were grouped so that the movement could be connected
and rapid. The road lies on the crown of an inferior ridge, rises over comparatively smooth
ground along the edge of the ditch of the right face of the enemy's bastion, and enters the parapet
at the shoulder of the bastion. No men could be seen in the enemy's works, except occasionally a
sharpshooter would show his head and quickly discharge his piece. A line of select skirmishers
was placed to keep them down; also a volunteer storming party of about 150 men, carrying
boards and poles to cross the ditch. This, with a small interval, was followed by Ewing's brigade;
his by Giles Smith's, and Kilby Smith's bringing up the rear of Blair's division.
All marched by the flank, following a road selected the night before, by which the men were
partially sheltered until it was necessary to take the crown of the ridge and expose themselves to
the full view of the enemy, known to be lying concealed behind his well-planned parapet. At the
very minute named in General Grant's orders, the storming party dashed up the road at the
double-quick, followed by Ewing's brigade, the Thirtieth Ohio leading. The artillery of Wood's,
Barrett's, Waterhouse's, Spoor's and Hart's batteries kept a concentric fire on the bastion, which
was doubtless constructed to command this very approach.
The storming party reached the salient of the bastion and passed toward the sally port, when
rose, from every part commanding it, a double rank of the enemy, that poured on the head of the
column a terrific fire. It halted, wavered, and sought cover. The rear pressed on, but the fire was
so terrific that very soon all sought cover.
The head of the column crossed the ditch of the left face of the bastion and climbed upon the
exterior slope, where the colors were planted, and the men burrowed in the earth to shield
themselves from the flank fire. The leading brigade of Ewing being unable to carry that point, the
next brigade of Giles Smith was turned down a ravine, and by a circuit to the left found cover,
formed line, and threatened the parapet about 300 yards to the left of the bastion, and the brigade
of Kilby Smith deployed on the off slope of one of the spurs, where, with Ewing's brigade, they
kept up a constant fire against any object that presented itself above the parapet.
About 2 p.m. General Blair reported to me that none of his brigades could pass the point of
the road swept by the terrific fire encountered by Ewing's, but that Giles Smith had got a position
to the left, in connection with General Ransom, of McPherson's corps, and was ready to assault.
I ordered a constant fire of artillery and infantry to be kept up to occupy the attention of the
enemy in our front. Under these circumstances Ransom's and Giles Smith's brigades charged up
against the parapet, but also met a staggering fire, before which they recoiled under cover of the
At the same time, while McPherson's whole corps was engaged, and having heard General
McClernand's report to General Grant read, that he had taken three of the enemy's forts, and that
his flags floated on the stronghold of Vicksburg, I ordered General Tuttle to send directly to the
assault one of his brigades. He detailed General Mower's, and while General Steele was hotly
engaged on the right, and I could hear heavy firing all down the line to my left, I ordered their
charge, covered in like manner by Blair's division, deployed on the hillside, and the artillery
posted behind parapets within point-blank range.
General Mower carried his brigade up bravely and well, but again arose a fire more severe, if
possible, than that of the first assault, with exactly a similar result. The colors of the leading
regiment, the Eleventh Missouri, were planted by the side of that of Blair's storming party, and
remained there till withdrawn after nightfall by my orders.
McClernand's report of success must have been premature, for I subsequently learned that
both his and McPherson's assaults had failed to break through the enemy's line of intrenchments,
and were equally unsuccessful as my own.
At the time we were so hotly engaged along the road, General Steele, with his division, made
his assault at a point about midway from the bastion and Mississippi River. The ground over
which he passed was more open and exposed to the flank fire of the enemy's batteries in position,
and was deeply cut up by gullies and washes; still, his column passed steadily through this fire
and reached the parapet, which was also found to be well manned and defended by the enemy.
He could not carry the works, but held possession of the hillside till night, when he withdrew his
command to his present position. These several assaults, made simultaneously, demonstrated the
strength of the natural and artificial defenses of Vicksburg, that they are garrisoned by a strong
force, and that we must resort to regular approaches.
Our loss during the day was severe, and the proportion of dead to wounded exceeds the
usual ratio. The loss in my corps for the attack of May 22 will not fall much short of 600 killed
and wounded.
Our skirmishers still remain close up to the enemy's works, while the troops are retired a
short distance in the ravines, which afford good cover. Strong working parties are kept employed
in opening roads to the rear and preparing covered roads to the front. By taking advantage of the
shape of the ground, I think we can advance our works to within 100 yards of the redoubt which
commands the road, after which the regular sap must be resorted to. Captain Jenney, engineer of
my staff, has organized the parties, and will set to work immediately at two distinct points, one in
Blair's and the other in Steele's front.
Our position is now high, healthy, and good. We are in direct and easy communication with
our supplies, and the troops continue to manifest the same cheerful spirit which has characterized
them throughout this whole movement.
I have as yet received no detailed reports of my division commanders. Indeed, our means of
transportation have been so limited and our time so constantly employed that but little writing
has been done; but as soon as possible I will supply you with accurate reports of all the details of
events herein sketched, with names of killed and wounded, and the names of such officers and
men as deserve mention for special acts of zeal and gallantry.
I have sent in about 500 prisoners, with lists of their names, rank, regiments, &c., and now
inclose the papers relating to those paroled at, Jackson, Miss.
I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,
Major-general, Commanding.
Lieut. Col. JOHN A. RAWLINS,
A. A. G., Dept. of the Tennessee.
Walnut Hills, Miss., May 23, 1863.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report the part taken by my command in the movement that
has resulted in the investment of Vicksburg up to the present time.
We left our camp at Duckport, La., on the Mississippi River, on the morning of May 2, with
three days' rations, and proceeded to Richmond, La., by way of the new road down Willow and
Walnut Bayous. Owing to the bad state of the roads, we made but 8 miles the first day, and
bivouacked on the margin of Willow Bayou.
May 3, we marched 15 miles to Richmond.
May 4, we marched to Smith's plantation, 18 miles.
May 5, we reached Perkins' plantation, 12 miles, at noon. There we drew two days' rations
and bivouacked for the night.
On the 6th, we marched 13 miles, and bivouacked, after crossing the pontoon bridges, at the
outlet of Lake Saint Joseph.
May 7, we marched 7 miles, to Hard Times Landing, and during the afternoon and night
crossed the troops and ambulances on transports to Grand Gulf, Miss.
May 8, we left Grand Gulf, without transportation, loaded all the ambulances with what
ammunition they could carry, and marched 15 miles to Willow Springs.
May 9, we spent the forenoon in foraging, finding an abundance of beef-cattle, sheep, hogs,
corn, molasses, &c., and three mills in the neighborhood, which we immediately put in
operation, grinding corn for the troops. At 4 p.m. we marched to Rocky Springs, 8 miles, where
we bivouacked until the morning of the 11th.
May 11, we marched 13 miles to the forks of the road where the Clinton road bears to the
left. On that day we passed through the camp of the corps which had preceded us, and at night
bivouacked with the First Division of this corps in the advance.
May 12, we marched 7 miles, crossing Fourteen-Mile Creek.
May 13, this division taking the advance, marched via Raymond to a plantation 1 mile west
of Mississippi Springs, where we encountered the enemy's pickets. After a brisk firing for a few
minutes between them and my advance guard, I ordered the leading brigade, General Mower
commanding, to deploy on the right of the road, and the next, General Matthies commanding, on
the left, holding the other, General Buckland's, in reserve. In this position we advanced about
one-fourth of a mile, and, finding no enemy in force, bivouacked for the night, my advance guard
occupying Mississippi Springs.
May 14, I filed the troops into the road at daylight, and, after marching about 1 mile,
encountered a small party of the enemy, which were driven before us by our advance guard,
skirmishing at intervals until we were within 2 miles of Jackson, where we encountered a
heavier force with artillery, which immediately opened on us. I ordered the Second Iowa Battery
into a commanding position, with General Mower's brigade to support it on the right of the road
and Waterhouse's battery on the left, with General Matthies' brigade to support.
After a brisk cannonading for half an hour, the enemy's battery was silenced, when I ordered
an immediate advance in line, General Buckland's brigade in reserve. We drove the enemy
before us until the artillery from the works around Jackson opened a brisk fire upon us.
After reconnoitering the position for a short time, by direction of General Sherman, the
Ninety-fifth Ohio Regiment was sent to reconnoiter to the right, and entered the enemy's works
at a point where the railroad enters the town; and, after waiting for General Steele's advance to
come up to the same point, they advanced to the rear of the guns that were playing on us and
captured ten of them, together with all the gunners, about 150 in number. We then marched into
the town without further opposition.
The loss of this division up to this time was 5 killed and 21 wounded. May 15, in accordance
with directions of the major-general commanding the corps, General Mower's brigade was
placed on duty as provost-guard, and General Mower commanding post. General Buckland's
brigade was employed in destroying the railroad running west and General Matthies' brigade the
one running north from that place.
May 16, we left Jackson at 12 m. for Vicksburg, marching to Bolton, 20 miles, the rear of my
command arriving there at 2 a.m. next day.
May 17, we started at 4.30 a.m. and marched to Bridgeport, on Big Black River, 13 miles.
May 18, we crossed Big Black River on the pontoon bridge, and arrived at night near the
position now occupied by my command, in the rear of Vicksburg. In disposing the forces of this
corps, my command was selected by the major-general commanding as the reserve division of
the corps, and consequently did not participate in the attack made on the 19th instant.
May 20 and 21, I occupied the same position as at the present, with the exception of a
reconnaissance made by General Matthies' brigade on the 19th in the direction of Chickasaw
Bayou, for the purpose of opening communication with the Yazoo River. Finding no force of the
enemy in that vicinity, the brigade returned on the morning of the 20th instant.
In the charge made on the morning of the 22d instant, my division took no part, but word
having been received in the afternoon that the forces on the left were in the enemy's works,
General Mower's brigade was ordered to charge the fortifications in our front, which it did in
most gallant style, the Eleventh Regiment Missouri Volunteers leading. The ground being so
uneven, and the fire of the enemy well concentrated and heavy, they were compelled to fall back
without being able to make a lodgment in his works, although Colonel Weber and quite a
number of his men reached the ditches, from which they found it impossible to drive the enemy.
The brigade was withdrawn at night in good order.
The officers and men of the Eleventh Missouri and the Forty-seventh Illinois Regiments
behaved with signal courage and gallantry, these two being the only regiments that were under
the heaviest fire.
Brig. Gen. Joseph A. Mower led the charge in person, and displayed great coolness and
bravery. Colonel Weber, of the Eleventh Missouri, also distinguished himself for the same
qualities, leading the charging column. Lieutenant-Colonel Baker also behaved gallantly.
I wish particularly to call attention to the conduct of Sergt. John Watts, of Company A,
Forty-seventh Illinois Regiment, who, when his captain and second lieutenant had deserted them,
rallied the men as they hesitated under a terrific fire, and by waving his hat and cheering
succeeded in moving them forward in gallant style, himself leading. I most respectfully
recommend that the captain of the company, John T. Bowen, be dismissed, and Sergeant Watts
commissioned to fill the place.
I tender my thanks to Brigadier-Generals Buckland, Mower, and Matthies for the zeal,
efficiency, and military ability displayed by them throughout the entire march: also to my
personal staff, Maj. J. D. McClure, chief of staff; Capt. J. B. Sample, assistant adjutant-general;
Capt. N. T. Spoor, chief of artillery, and Lieut. C. J. Dickey, assistant commissary of musters and
acting aide-de-camp, for zeal and efficiency on the march and during the engagements. I would
also make most honorable mention of Capt. A. C. Waterhouse, Company E, First Illinois
Artillery; Lieuts. J. R. and C. F. Reed, Second Iowa Battery, and the other officers and men of
those two batteries, for coolness and bravery under fire.
The killed, wounded, and missing of this command to this date, as per my official statement
of casualties, are as follows: Killed, 27; wounded, 206, and missing, 43.
I have the honor to be, most respectfully, your obedient servant
Brigadier-General, Commanding.
Capt. R. M. SAWYER,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Fifteenth Army Corps.
August 9, 1863.
GENTLEMEN: In accordance with General Orders, No. 64, Headquarters Fifteenth Army
Corps, I herewith submit my condensed report of the different engagements, and the part my
regiment has taken in them.
I left Duckport, La., on the 2d day of May, with five days' rations in my men's haversacks
and wagons, and one hundred rounds of ammunition per man, two wagons being allowed for
transportation. I left Grand Gulf on the 8th of May, without transportation or rations. On the
third day after leaving Grand Gulf, I received three-fifths rations of crackers for my men (having
been four days without bread). From that time until I arrived at Clinton, on our return from
Jackson, I did not receive any rations from the Government, but had to rely upon the country for
provisions, which you, gentlemen, have a good idea as to the amount we received.
We arrived at Jackson on the 14th day of May, my men being very much fatigued (it having
rained all day incessantly). Our brigade (the First, General Buckland commanding), being in the
reserve, formed line of battle in the rear of the Second (General Mower's). When we received the
fire of the enemy, the Second Brigade was deployed to the right and left of the road, the First
Brigade coming up in the center to the support of Waterhouse's battery. My regiment being in
column, and in direct range of the enemy's battery, suffered considerably from the shells.
Although they were exploding incessantly for over an hour, my men and officers stood like old
veterans, the shell doing execution at every explosion. (I make this remark on account of this
being the first fire my regiment was under.)
My loss in killed and wounded in this engagement was 3 killed and 7 wounded. One of my
men had his leg taken off by a shell, and was left at Jackson, and is now at Richmond, Va.
We arrived at Vicksburg on the evening of the 18th. My regiment took position on the main
Vicksburg road, and held the position until I was relieved by General Ransom (of General
McPherson's corps) at midnight.
On the 19th, our division acted as a reserve to General Blair's division. At 2 o'clock we
moved forward on the road leading to the large bastion in front of the Fifteenth Army Corps,
under a very heavy fire of musketry, grape, &c. I took position on the crest of the hill next in
front of the bastion on the left of the road, and on the left of the One hundred and fourteenth
Illinois Regiment, its right resting on the road, my left extending to the right of General
McPherson's corps. While getting into this position, I had 1 man killed and 2 wounded.
About 11 or 12 o'clock the night of the 19th, I was notified by an officer from the brigade in
my front, belonging to General Blair's division, that they were moving out, and ordered me to
place outpickets in my front next the intrenchments, which I did, and continued so to do until the
morning of the 22d, when I was ordered to report to the brigade in the rear, it having withdrawn
the evening previous from my right.
On the morning of the 22d, I again moved forward immediately in a hollow in the rear of my
position on the 19th. Laid there one night and day, when our brigade was moved to the rear of
Waterhouse's and Second Iowa Batteries, when I furnished from one to two companies a day as
sharpshooters and 150 men as diggers.
My loss in killed and wounded at Vicksburg was 3 killed and 13 wounded.
On the morning of the 22d of June, I took up line of march for Little Bear Creek, and on the
4th of July I was again on the move for Jackson, via Messinger's Ford. Crossed the river in the
evening of the 6th. My regiment was sent forward as skirmishers, accompanied by two
companies from the brigade. After firing a few shots, the enemy disappeared.
Arrived at Jackson on the 10th. Formed a line of battle in an open field in the rear of
Waterhouse's battery. While in this position the batteries in the large bastion on the Jackson road,
and especially the big gun, troubled us a great deal, and also the unexploded shell fired at
Waterhouse's battery, by striking in and around my regiment, but the men, as before, at Jackson,
stood firm and unflinching.
I held this position until the evening of the 15th, when the First Brigade was ordered to
relieve a brigade of General Osterhaus' division on the right, which was done at 9 p.m. same
evening. The next morning General Sherman ordered our pickets to advance on the enemy's
works, he having information that the enemy were evacuating. We soon found that this was not
the case. Company E, Captain McGrayel, of my regiment, participated in the advance and
acquitted himself with great credit. The position my regiment occupied was very much exposed,
but the men and officers sustained themselves as heretofore with great credit.
My loss at this fight at Jackson was 1 killed and 3 wounded; making a total since crossing the
Mississippi of 30 wounded and 7 killed.
Colonel, Commanding Ninety-third Indiana.
General EWING,
Colonels WILLIAMS and BLOOD.
Walnut Hills, Miss., June 1, 1863.
SIR: I have the honor to submit the following reports:
1. From the day the brigade left Duckport, La., until the day of the commencement of the
siege of Vicksburg.
In obedience to orders of division headquarters, this brigade, formed by the Eighth, Twelfth,
and Thirty-fifth Regiments Iowa Infantry, left camp, Duckport, La., May 2, at 9 a.m. Owing to
the bad state of the road, our movement was much delayed that day. We bivouacked 10 miles
from Richmond.
Reached Richmond May 3, at 4 p.m., leaving camp on the 4th, at 6 a.m. Nothing impeded
our march, the roads being good. We reached Hard Times Landing May 7, at 10 a.m.
After a short delay at that place, the Eighth Iowa Infantry was transported on a gunboat, and
the Twelfth and Thirty-fifth Iowa on a small transport boat, across the Mississippi River to
Grand Gulf, Miss. Remained in camp until May 8, at 11 a.m., and, after drawing three days'
rations, we marched without interruption. We made camp 10 miles from Grand Gulf.
Advanced to Rocky Springs on May 9 ; rested over on Sunday, the 10th ; bivouacked on the
11th, 9 miles from Edwards Depot; bivouacked on the 12th in line of battle; passed Raymond at
4 p.m.; formed line of battle 3 miles east of Raymond, the brigade on the left of the Second Iowa
Battery; advanced in the whole line in good order, and bivouacked for the night 3 miles west of
Mississippi Springs.
May 14, at 5 a.m., the brigade advanced toward Jackson, following the Second Brigade.
The most drenching rain, which poured down on our men and flooded the roads, made this
last march very fatiguing. Sharp firing was heard during this march toward our left. The men felt
cheerful, and soon reached an elevation 3 miles west of Jackson, where, by order of Major-
General Sherman, the brigade was placed on the left of Captain Waterhouse's battery. Changed
this position again, by order of General Tuttle, and was formed on the left of the Second
Brigade, which was advancing into line of battle on one of the main roads toward Jackson. Here
the brigade was halted, and was ordered by Major-General Sherman into line on the right of the
Second Iowa Battery, which was placed on the left of the main road, near the enemy's works.
Skirmishers thrown out to the front soon entered the rebel rifle-pits, and two companies from the
Eighth Iowa Infantry established a connection with the Ninety-fifth Ohio Infantry, which
occupied the rebel rifle-pits on my left. Several shells, which were thrown from the rebel works
over my line, endangered the lives of Major-Generals Grant and Sherman, whose headquarters
were established in front of a small cottage in the immediate rear of my brigade.
The order of advance was given by General Tuttle to "move on the works." We only
proceeded 50 paces, when the brigade was ordered to march by the right flank on the right of the
road toward town, the enemy having evacuated. The brigade was then ordered by General Tuttle
to occupy the rifle-pits on the southwest side of the town. During the afternoon we captured 12
rebel prisoners.
On Monday (15th), in obedience to orders from division and army corps headquarters, I
moved with my brigade 5 miles on the railroad leading north out of Jackson, and destroyed 3
miles of that road so thoroughly that every tie was burned and every rail bent, so it will require
new material to put that part of the road in operation again. At 8 o'clock we returned to the riflepits
southwest of the town with 15 prisoners, whom I-turned over to the provost-marshal of the
On the 16th, at 11 a.m., we left Jackson, and reached Bolton on the 17th, at 2 a.m. Left camp
at daylight; bivouacked at Bridgeport; crossed the Big Black on the 18th, at 6 a.m., and arrived
on the rebel lines, in rear of Vicksburg, at 4 p.m.
In obedience to orders from Major-General Sherman, the brigade moved (May 19) on the
plantation road leading north from the white house to the Chickasaw Bayou to join Major-
General Steele's forces in that neighborhood, who were to establish a communication between
the Yazoo River Landing and our army.
On my arrival at the old battle-ground at the bayou, I was ordered back to my place of
starting, the above object having been accomplished by Major-General Steele before I reached
The brigade captured 10 rebel prisoners, who secreted themselves in a deserted camp below
the bluffs. In all, 37 prisoners were taken.
Casualties at battle of Jackson.--Stephen Keenan, Company E, Thirty-fifth Iowa, killed;
James H. Byers, Company G, Thirty-fifth Iowa, wounded; Peter Johnson, Company F, Thirtyfifth
Iowa, removed from ambulance on road near Jackson, supposed to be killed, and reported
Casualties May 19, rear of Vicksburg.--James N. Smith, Company C, Twelfth Iowa, killed;
F. C. Cromwell, Company A, Twelfth Iowa, wounded; Daniel E. McCall, Company C, Twelfth
Iowa, wounded slightly on chin while on picket May 27; [Maj. John H.] Stibbs, Twelfth Iowa,
severely wounded by accidental discharge of pistol May 13.
2. From the first day of investment of Vicksburg (May 22 to June 1) this brigade remained in
During the 22d was ordered in the evening of that day to occupy the present position, in the
rear of Waterhouse's, Spoor's, and Wood's batteries; the position being a natural fortification,
which was improved with much labor by the good and willing men of the Third Brigade.
The time from the 23d of May to Tune I was usefully employed to strengthen these works
and to dig approaches toward those of the enemy.
Sir, I take pleasure in mentioning Lieutenant-Colonel Edgington, of the Twelfth Iowa
Infantry, Major Palmer, of the Eighth Infantry, and Major O'Connor, of the Thirty-fifth Iowa
Infantry, for the prompt and energetic manner with which they placed their skirmishers into the
rifle-pits before Jackson, and were the first officers from our army corps which entered that city.
The cheerfulness with which officers and men of this noble brigade endured fatigue, and
marched under so many privations, and the eagerness with which they faced the enemy, cannot
but command the highest praise from all of us.
Casualties May 22.--First Lieut. James C. Maxwell, Company C, Eighth Iowa, slightly
wounded in arm; Corpl. Thomas Harris, Company B, Eighth Iowa, severely wounded on left hip;
Corpl. Amos L. Graves, Company K, Eighth Iowa, severely wounded in left arm; William Eddy,
Company G, Eighth Iowa, severely wounded in left side by the premature explosion of one of
our own shells, and John A. Rowan, Company B, severely wounded in the left leg by premature
bursting of one of our own shells.
Captain, I remain your most obedient servant,
Capt. J. B. SAMPLE,
Assistant Adjutant-General,
Before Vicksburg, Miss., May 25, 1863.
CAPTAIN: I herewith submit a detailed report of the Operations of my brigade, consisting of
the Tenth Missouri, Seventeenth Iowa, Eightieth Ohio, and Fifty-sixth Illinois Infantry, as called
for by Special Orders, No. 92, Army Corps Headquarters, of this date.
The brigade disembarked at Milliken's Bend, La., on the morning of April 18. The same day
two regiments, the Fifty-sixth Illinois and Eightieth Ohio, in command of Colonel Raum, senior
officer, were sent to occupy Richmond, La., and relieve the forces at that point.
On the 20th, I followed with the remainder of the brigade, with instructions to collect forage
there for the passing troops, protect the pontoon bridge over the Roundaway Bayou, explore the
same, reconnoiter the vicinity, and obtain such information as might be of service. I remained
here in the discharge of these duties until the 25th, when I moved to Holmes' plantation, 10
miles. The next day to Smith's plantation, 8 miles, where I remained until the 28th; thence with
the division to Fisk's plantation, 4 miles; thence, April 29, 12 miles, to Perkins' plantation;
thence, April 30, some 20 miles around Lake Saint Joseph, to a point about 3 miles from the
crossing of the river.
During these marches nearly all the camp and garrison equipage of the several regiments was
left behind at different places for want of transportation.
On the morning of May 1, the guns were heard from the battle-field of Thompson's farm, or
Port Gibson, showing a severe engagement in progress. Leaving the Fifty-sixth Illinois, Colonel
Raum, on detail, I moved the other three regiments as rapidly as possible to Hard Times
Landing, opposite Grand Gulf, where they embarked on board gunboats and transports, dropped
down the river to a place called Bruinsburg, or some such name, and immediately took up the
line of march for Port Gibson. When within about 3 miles of the battle-field, I received orders to
that effect, and fell back 1 mile, with my own and three regiments of the Third Brigade, and took
a position for the night, covering a road leading from Grand Gulf.
In the morning, being joined by the whole of the First and Third Brigades, I moved into Port
Gibson, passing the battle-field of the day previous, and resting in town, awaiting the completion
of the pontoon over the Bayou Pierre, the enemy having destroyed the other bridge behind them.
About 4 o'clock the same day, I crossed the Bayou Pierre and marched until late at night, and
encamped near the bridge over the north branch of the Bayou Pierre.
During the night this bridge was made passable by a portion of the Third Brigade, and in the
morning the troops crossed. Advancing about 3 miles, the head of the column encountered a
force of the enemy with artillery, which was at once engaged by the skirmishers of the First
Brigade, Colonel Sanborn, and a portion of the First Missouri Battery, Lieutenant MacMurray. I
was ordered by Brigadier-General Crocker, commanding division, to take a position on the left
of the road, which I did, the Tenth Missouri Infantry, Lieutenant-Colonel Horney, being
deployed as skirmishers, supported by the Eightieth Ohio, Colonel Bartilson, and the
Seventeenth Iowa, Colonel Hillis, in line of battle. The enemy soon abandoned the position, and
the pursuit was at once resumed to Black River, distant 6 miles.
The brigade, with the division, remained bivouacked at this point until the morning of May 9,
when we moved out on the Utica road 10 miles, and encamped.
On the morning of the 10th, we marched 10 miles, to a point 2 miles beyond Utica, and
Again, on the 11th, we marched about 1 mile, and took up a position.
May 12, we advanced about 7 miles toward Raymond, near which place we found Major-
General Logan's division severely engaged with the enemy. The brigade, by direction of
Brigadier-General Crocker, was at once formed in support of several batteries found in position
on the left of the road, but not engaged.
Remaining here a short time, the Eightieth Ohio and Tenth Missouri were ordered to the
support of Brigadier-General Stevenson, preparatory to an advance into town, the former to his
center and the latter to the extreme right wing. Having taken the position assigned, the whole line
of battle moved forward 1 miles, and entered the place, the enemy evacuating without further
opposition, except from his artillery, which did no damage to those of my command. One
lieutenant and a few prisoners were captured by Company A, Tenth Missouri.
The brigade and division encamped near the town, and marched again on the morning of the
13th to Clinton, without opposition, and encamped 1 mile east of that place, on the Vicksburg
and Jackson Railroad.
The march was resumed on the morning of the 14th toward Jackson, the Second Brigade
leading. In view of the probability of soon meeting the enemy, a heavy force of skirmishers from
the Tenth Missouri was thrown forward and deployed with supports. Advancing about 3 miles,
the enemy was discovered in force on both sides of the road, occupying a commanding position,
his right covered by a dense thicket of oak bushes, his center and artillery at Wright's house, with
his left on the continuation of the ridge. The main position at the house was also covered by a
line of infantry formed in the ravine in his immediate front. His artillery commanded the road
and an open country of undulating ridges for 1 miles in the direction of our approach. Upon
discovering the enemy, the Second Brigade was at once deployed, the Tenth Missouri,
Lieutenant-Colonel Horney, to the right of the road, and the Eightieth Ohio, Colonel Bartilson,
and the Seventeenth Iowa, Colonel Hillis, to the left. The First Missouri Battery was now taken
into position and my line changed so as to support it, with the Seventeenth Iowa on the left of the
road, the Eightieth Ohio in the center on the right of the road, and the Tenth Missouri on the right
of the line, the whole supported on the right by the First Brigade, Colonel Sanborn, and on the
left by the Third Brigade, Colonel Boomer. The whole line advanced in a heavy rain and under a
severe fire of artillery and skirmishers to within 500 yards of the enemy's main line, when I
halted under the shelter of an intervening ridge, preparatory to the final charge. Being again
ordered to advance, I commanded my three regiments to fix bayonets, and, at the word, to move
at double quick upon the enemy, which they did in excellent order, sweeping everything before
them and carrying the position. The Sixth Wisconsin battery, Captain Dillon, was quickly
brought to the front, and opened a heavy fire upon the fleeing enemy, who continued his retreat
into and through the town of Jackson, abandoning his artillery as he went.
My loss in this battle--mostly in the charge---amounted in all to 215 killed, wounded, and
missing, out of a force of about 1,000 actually engaged. Lists of the casualties accompany this
The conduct of my officers and men in this action was worthy of all praise, without
excepting any. The brigade bivouacked in the town that night, and in the morning took up the
line of march, with the rest of the division, for Vicksburg. Marched 8 miles to Clinton, where I
encamped, with orders to report to Major-General Grant at that place, which I did, the remainder
of the division moving on.
Early on the morning of the 16th, I received orders from Major-General Grant to move
immediately to join the division. Heavy firing being heard in the direction of Champion's Hill, I
hurried forward with dispatch toward that place, distant 13 miles. Arriving within about 3 miles
of the field of battle, I was met by orders to leave my train parked in guard of a regiment. The
Eightieth Ohio, Colonel Bartilson, was assigned to this duty. The two remaining regiments, the
Tenth Missouri, Lieutenant-Colonel Homey, and the Seventeenth Iowa, Colonel Hillis, continued
to advance by the main road, the Seventeenth Iowa leading, until engaged with the enemy. The
enemy occupied a strong position upon a steep, wooded hill, over which the road ran, flanked by
deep ravines. This point had been sharply contested through the day, and at the time of the
arrival of the regiments of the brigade, was in the act of being retaken by the enemy. Colonel
Hillis, Seventeenth Iowa, encountering the enemy's fire, immediately formed forward into line
and gallantly pressed on. I ordered the Tenth Missouri into line in the same manner and to
advance. These two regiments drove the enemy from the position.
The gallant Lieutenant-Colonel Horney, commanding the Tenth Missouri, while moving his
regiment across the road to the right to uncover the Seventeenth, fell, pierced by several balls,
and the command devolved upon Maj. Francis C. Deimling, who led the regiment with great
bravery through the rest of the fight. In this brief but fierce contest four pieces of artillery, which
had been captured by our forces and again retaken by the enemy, were recaptured by the
Seventeenth Iowa, together with the colors of the Thirty first Alabama (rebel) Regiment. The
position being taken was not again disputed. I estimate the number of prisoners taken by my
brigade at not less than 300.
My loss in this action, in the two regiments engaged, was 103 killed, wounded, and missing,
detailed reports of which are annexed.
After the battle my brigade was ordered to remain to bury the dead, subject to the orders of
Brigadier-General McGinnis, detailed with his brigade on the same duty.
On the 19th, I marched to Black River, joining Colonel Sanborn, with the First Brigade, and
crossed the river during the night at the upper crossing. Before leaving Champion's Hill I was
joined by the Fifty-sixth Illinois, absent on detached service since the crossing of the Mississippi.
At the same point-the Eightieth Ohio was detailed to guard prisoners, and is now absent on that
On the 20th, I moved from my camp near Black River, with the Tenth Missouri, Seventeenth
Iowa, and Fifty-sixth Illinois, to a position in the rear and near Vicksburg, and on the 21st to the
position in front of the enemy's works now occupied by me.
On the 22d, the brigade was moved to the front as support to the First and Third Brigades, of
this division, in the general assault ordered on that day.
Although partially under fire on that occasion, I sustained but small loss, a report of which is
herewith forwarded. Later in the evening I was moved to the left of the line, to report as support
to Brigadier-General Osterhaus. Upon my arrival I received orders to move to the attack of the
enemy's works in his front, which order was almost immediately countermanded, owing to the
lateness of the hour.
Early on the morning of the 23d, I took up a position on the extreme left of our line,
deploying skirmishers in front of the enemy's works and to my left, and at 3 p.m. same day
returned to the position I now occupy.
In concluding this brief summary of the Operations of this brigade throughout so long and
active a period, I cannot withhold a just tribute to the lamented Lieut. Col. Leonidas Horney,
commanding the Tenth Missouri Infantry, who fell, as stated, at Champion's Hill. He was truly a
capable and valiant soldier, and his loss is very deeply regretted. Colonel Hillis, Seventeenth
Iowa; Colonel Bartilson, Eightieth Ohio, and Major Deimling, Tenth Missouri, as will be seen,
have rendered distinguished service in the Operations of the brigade.
I am also much indebted to the services of my personal staff, Capt. W. W. McCammon,
acting assistant adjutant-general, and First Lieut. H. H. Meredith, aide-de-camp.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel Tenth Missouri Infantry, Commanding.
Assistant Adjutant-General.]
Camp on Champion's Hill, Miss., May 17, 1863.
COLONEL: I have the honor of submitting the following report touching the part borne by
my regiment (Seventeenth Iowa Volunteer Infantry) in the engagement before Jackson, Miss., on
the 14th instant:
In compliance with your order, I first formed my line on the left of the railroad, 3 miles west
of Jackson, my right resting on said road, on a parallel with the Eightieth Ohio, which was
formed on the right of the road. The regiment occupied this position at a halt for perhaps twenty
minutes, when you ordered me to move by the right flank across to the right of the road, which
movement I was executing when I was ordered by General Crocker to move by the left flank to
the front, maintaining my right on the left of the dirt road, on a line with the Eightieth Ohio and
Tenth Missouri, they being on the right of said road, which I did. Upon this line I advanced about
1 miles before encountering the enemy.
At this point I met his skirmishers, who reluctantly and slowly fell back as I pressed them
upon their first line, which was composed of the Twenty-seventh [Twenty-fourth] South
Carolina Sharpshooters, immediately in front, and another regiment on their right (my left), the
name of which I have forgotten, formed in a ravine, with heavy underbrush between my line and
theirs, at about 150 yards from my front. At this point the line, of which my regiment was the
extreme left, was halted. You then ordered me to take the ravine, which I did by a bayonet
charge at a double-quick, breaking the enemy's line and pressing him up and over the crest of the
next hill. Having reached this crest, I ordered the regiment to cease firing and commanded a halt.
After having rested here some twenty minutes or more, I was ordered by you to throw forward
one company in front of my line of skirmishers at a double-quick, to investigate the brush and
woods in advance. This duty I intrusted to Company H, Captain Craig, which they did skillfully,
discovering no enemy, as he had fled in great confusion, abandoning his position and camp, fort,
containing four pieces of artillery, which the captain entered and took possession of and held
until ordered forward into Jack son by General McPherson. The captain, therefore, claims the
honor of having first entered the works and taken possession of the guns. Soon after this it was
announced that the enemy had gone and that Jackson was occupied by our troops. This, then,
ended the fight of Jackson, after which we moved forward and bivouacked for the night upon the
premises of a Mrs. Clifton, in the suburbs of the city.
I went into action with 350 men, and lost during the engagement 16 killed, 60 wounded, 3
missing, and I disabled by a shell, making an aggregate of 80 men, or 23 per cent. of my
command. The principal loss sustained was while charging the enemy down the ravine, where
my left wing, being unsupported, was exposed to a severe cross-fire from the right of the
enemy's lines.
I cannot speak in too high terms of praise of the gallantry and zeal displayed by the entire
command. So well did all do their part that none are deserving of special mention, unless it be
Capt. L. W. Huston, who, while suffering from a very painful and severe wound through his left
fore-arm, away from all assistance, seized a gun from one of three rebels and brought the three
into the hospital, and Lieutenant-Colonel Wever, and Captain Walden, who commanded the left
wing, and had his horse killed under him, and Adjutant Woolsey, to all of whom I am indebted
for their coolness and assistance, and take pleasure in commending.
Colonel, Commanding Seventeenth Iowa Volunteer Infantry.
Comdg. Second Brig., Seventh Div., Seventeenth Army Corps.
Before Vicksburg, Miss., May 26, 1863.
CAPTAIN: In compliance with Special Orders, No. 27, from your headquarters, of date May
24, 1863, I herewith submit a report of marches, battles, and other Operations of the Seventeenth
Iowa since leaving Milliken's Bend (April 20) to May 24.
April 20, the regiment left Milliken's Bend at 9 a.m., and marched 12 miles, to Richmond,
La. Went into camp at 3 p.m., and remained until April 25.
At 9 o'clock a.m., marched 10 miles, to Holmes' plantation, and bivouacked.
April 26, at 6 a.m., marched 8 miles, to Smith's plantation, and bivouacked at 12 m., and
remained until April 28.
At 9 a.m. marched 4 miles through mud from 4 to 6 inches deep, and bivouacked near
Colonel Fisk's (rebel) plantation.
April 29, marched 12 miles, and bivouacked at 12 m. at Perkins' plantation.
April 30, at 6 a.m., marched 12 miles, and bivouacked 6 miles from the place of crossing the
May 1, marched 6 miles to crossing; the regiment crossed in a gunboat by 2 o'clock, and
immediately marched (9 miles) out to re-enforce McClernand, who was engaging the enemy near
Port Gibson.
May 2, at 6 a.m., marched 10 miles to Port Gibson, and halted in the town to await the
reconstruction of the bridge across Big Bayou Pierre, which the rebels had burned in their retreat.
At 4 p.m. crossed the bayou and marched 8 miles by 8 o'clock, and bivouacked in a field.
May 3, marched 1 mile to bridge across Little Bayou Pierre and awaited the repairing of it.
The rebels were but a short distance on the other side. We crossed, and shortly afterward our
brigade was ordered into position on the left of the road to Big Black River, the Seventeenth and
Eightieth in line and the Tenth Missouri in advance, skirmishing; but not finding the enemy, we
were shortly ordered forward, and marched 4 miles, and went into camp near Big Black River,
where we remained (occasionally capturing a few rebels while on picket) until May 9.
At 5.30 a.m. same day marched 12 miles on Jackson road, and bivouacked on the crest of a
pine ridge.
May 10, marched 10 miles, and bivouacked in a thick underbrush 3 miles west of Utica.
May 11, marched 2 miles to a more comfortable position.
May 12, marched 9 miles to within 2 miles of Raymond, expecting to join in the engagement
which was progressing. On our arrival my regiment (together with the Tenth Missouri and
Eightieth Ohio, of our brigade) was formed in line of battle on the crest of a hill commanding the
valley in which the battle was raging. While here, the Tenth and Eightieth were ordered forward,
while my regiment was left on the hill for perhaps fifteen minutes, when it was ordered forward
by General Crocker (commanding Seventh Division), and marched 3 miles to a point one-half
mile northwest of Raymond, and bivouacked at 9 p.m.
May 13, marched 10 miles, and bivouacked 2 miles east of Clinton; stormy weather.
May 14, marched 4 miles, and were formed in line of battle, my regiment on the left of the
Jackson road, the right resting against said road, and were ordered forward (through a pelting
rain) in line of battle, and advanced without resistance for perhaps 1 miles, when I encountered
the enemy's skirmishers, and was shortly after hotly engaged, losing 16 killed, 60 wounded, 1
disabled by a shell, and 3 missing; making an aggregate of 80, or 23 per cent. of the number
engaged (350), as per official report.
My skirmishers entered the fortifications (containing four pieces of artillery) and occupied
them until ordered forward into the city. We encamped in the suburbs of the city for the night,
and procured a supply of meal and bacon for my boys, who had been for some days on short
May 15, marched 8 miles to Clinton, and were retained (together with the Tenth and
Eightieth) while the rest of the corps moved forward toward Big Black River.
May 16, marched 12 miles to Champion's Hill, where a desperate battle was being fought;
were double-quicked through dust and a burning sun, and immediately formed in line of battle on
the left of the Vicksburg (dirt) road, from which point I charged the enemy, who were severely
pressing the center of our lines, driving him in confusion before me, completely routing and
scattering his center, and capturing a stand of colors, 175 prisoners, and recapturing four pieces
of artillery which had been previously captured, but retaken by the enemy.
After the battle I rested my wearied boys on the roadsides until 5 o'clock, when we were
ordered into camp.
In the engagement I lost 5 killed, 49 wounded, 1 missing, and 2 disabled; making an
aggregate of 57, or 25 per cent of the number engaged (which was between 200 and 230), as per
official report.
May 17 and 18, engaged in burying the dead and attending to the wounded.
May 19, marched 7 miles to Big Black River, and were formed in line of battle while the
trains were crossing the pontoons, after which l crossed the Big Black and bivouacked 1 mile
May 20, marched 19 miles to within 1 mile of our lines around Vicksburg, and bivouacked at
11 p.m. in a deep ravine with the First Brigade of our division.
May 21, moved out and took position in front of, and about half a mile distant from, the rebel
May 22, at 9.30 a.m., moved forward to within 300 yards of the forts. While in position in a
ravine, 1 captain and 2 men of my regiment were wounded and carried from the field. At about 3
p.m. we moved (3 miles) to the right of the enemy's lines, and bivouacked in a ravine on the left
of the One hundred and eighteenth Illinois. Here we received a two days' supply of rations.
May 23, moved out and took position at 8 a.m. in a ravine in front of the center of the
enemy's right, which we occupied until 3 p.m., when we were moved back (3 miles) to the
position occupied on the 21st, where we now are.
Total distance marched, 191 miles. During the marches from Milliken's Bend the regiment
received less than an average of one-third rations, but, notwithstanding this, it is worthy of note
that during the whole of this trying but brilliant campaign not a murmur was heard in the ranks.
Colonel, Commanding Seventeenth Iowa Volunteers.
Actg. Asst. Adjt. Gen., 2d Brig., 7th Div., 17th Army Corps.
In the Field, in rear of Vicksburg, Miss., May 25, 1863.
CAPTAIN: In compliance with Special Orders, No. 85, Headquarters Seventh Division,
Seventeenth Army Corps, I have the honor to make the following report of the Operations of this
regiment from the time of leaving Milliken's Bend, La., up to and including the 24th instant:
It is necessary to state that up to the 16th instant the regiment was under the command of
Lieut. Col. Leonidas Horney. On that day this officer was instantly killed on the battle-field at
Champion's Hill, and consequently the duty of making a report of the movements and actions of
the regiment while under his command has devolved upon myself.
At 7 o'clock on the morning of Monday, April 20, the regiment, as part of the Second
Brigade, Seventh Division, in pursuance of orders from Major General McPherson, marched
from Milliken's Bend, La., to Richmond, La., about 12 miles distant, at which place it remained
encamped until the morning of April 25, when it marched 10 miles to Holmes' plantation.
Sunday, April 26, marched 8 miles to Smith's plantation. Weather very hot, causing much
suffering among the men. Encamped on Roundaway Bayou near its junction with Bayou Vidal,
at which place we remained until 8 a.m., April 28, when, leaving all camp and garrison equipage,
marched over very bad roads from recent rains 7 miles to Fisk's plantation.
April 29, marched from last-named place, crossing two bayous by means of pontoon bridges,
9 miles to a plantation, name unknown. April 30, drew six days' rations, three of which were
issued to the command, and marched 22 miles to Perkins' plantation, on Lake Saint Joseph, and 2
miles from Hard Times Landing, on the Mississippi River.
May 1, marched 2 miles to Hard Times Landing, and 3 miles down the levee to Bruinsburg
Landing, on the Mississippi River; leaving all public and personal baggage, embarked on board
the gunboat Carondelet, dropped down the river about 4 miles, and landed on the Mississippi
shore. From the time of starting on this day, the action then in progress at Baldwin's Hill being in
full hearing, the regiment was as soon as possible hurried forward in support. Marched 10 miles,
and at 8 p.m. bivouacked for the night.
At 2 a.m. of the 2d we marched for Port Gibson. At 9 a.m. passed over the battle-ground of
the previous day, and at 2 p.m. entered Port Gibson. Remained there two hours, and, passing
over a newly made pontoon bridge across the bayou at town, marched 8 miles to Bayou Pierre,
and bivouacked about 11 p.m.
May 3, started at daybreak, and after marching 1 mile found the advance, under General
Logan, checked by a force of the enemy posted on the hills commanding the road across Bayou
Pierre. After some skirmishing the enemy withdrew his forces, and the regiment, as part of the
division, marched about 3 miles, when, leaving the main road to the right, it turned off to the left
toward Black River, and after advancing about 1 mile the head of column was checked by a force
of the enemy, consisting of the First Missouri (Confederate) Battery, with infantry supports. The
regiment was formed on the road in support of the First Missouri Battery, U. S. Volunteers, and a
brisk artillery skirmish ensued.
About 2.30 p.m., by order of Col. S. A. Holmes, commanding brigade, the regiment was
deployed as skirmishers to the left of the road across -Creek, and through a heavy timber ravine,
the Eightieth Ohio and Seventeenth Iowa Regiments being formed in line of battle about 150
yards to the rear as support. The skirmishers were cautiously advanced until the right rested on
the left of the skirmishers of the First Brigade of this division, and within 300 yards of the
position of the rebel battery. Remained in this position for about one-half hour, when, the enemy
retiring, the regiment was reformed and marched with the brigade and division in pursuit about 6
miles to Black River and bivouacked.
Remained until the 9th instant, when, General Steele's division arriving, we marched 10
miles on the Utica road and encamped. May 10, marched at 10 a.m. 8 miles to a point 2 miles
beyond Utica.
May 11, marched 1 mile and bivouacked.
May 12, at 7 a.m., marched about 7 miles toward Raymond. When within 2 miles of the town
went into position on the left side of the road, in support of the Eleventh Ohio Battery, which
was posted on a ridge about 50 yards to the front. Remained in this position about thirty minutes,
the enemy, under General Gregg, being actively engaged by General Logan's division, when, by
order of General Crocker, commanding the division, the regiment was marched about half a mile
to the front and right, across a small creek, and moved to the right of General Stevenson's
brigade, of General Logan's division, thus occupying the extreme right of the whole first line of
battle. Company A was deployed as skirmishers to the right and front, and the regiment
advanced with the first line about 1 miles to the southern edge of the town, from which the
enemy retired, leaving his dead and wounded, the skirmishers capturing 1 lieutenant and 5 men
of the Tenth Regiment Tennessee Infantry, C. S. Army. Marched through town and bivouacked
about 7 p.m. on the northwestern side of the same.
May 13, marched 9 miles to Clinton, on the Vicksburg and Jackson Railroad, and bivouacked
1 mile east of town, near the railroad.
May 14, the division marched at 6 a.m. on the Jackson road, the Tenth Missouri occupying
the right. At the crossing of the Jackson road by the railroad, Company A, under Capt. C. A.
Gilchrist, was deployed as skirmishers on the right and left of the road, at 5 paces' interval, with
Company D as first reserve on the road, and Company I as a second reserve on the same. The
skirmishers and column advanced about 2 miles, when, at 9 a.m., the enemy was discovered in
force, with infantry and four pieces of artillery, posted on a commanding ridge on the farm of O.
P. Wright, with a line of skirmishers deployed to his front. The regiments of the brigade were
here deployed into line, the Seventeenth Iowa Regiment on the left of the road, their right resting
on the road, the Eightieth Ohio on the right of the road, and the Tenth Missouri Regiment on the
same line and to the right of the Eightieth Ohio. The rain-storm which had been falling during
the morning now increased in violence, during which the pieces of the First Missouri Artillery
were placed in position, three to the right of the house of Mr. Mann, on a ridge and to the left of
a cotton-gin. One piece of the same battery was placed on the road to the left of the house and
garden fence, the Tenth Missouri Regiment being moved to the support of the above-named
three pieces on the right and about 40. paces to the rear, the First Brigade being formed in a
second line and about 50 yards to our rear. During all this time the enemy kept up a brisk fire
with his artillery with shell and solid shot.
At about 11 a.m. the whole line was ordered to advance, and the skirmishers soon engaged
those of the enemy, gradually driving them on their supporting line. The regiments moved
forward, under a heavy fire of artillery, about 400 yards over two ridges, and formed under the
crest of a third ridge, the other regiments of the brigade occupying their same relative positions.
We remained here about fifteen minutes, the enemy continuing his fire. Col. Samuel A. Holmes,
commanding the Second Brigade, now commanded that bayonets be fixed and a charge be made
upon the enemy. The order was obeyed. The troops moved forward at double-quick, cheering
wildly, driving in first the enemy's skirmishers and then their main line, passing over about 500
yards, under a terrific fire of shell, canister, and musketry, to the house of O. P. Wright, in and
behind which, and the hedges, fences, and trees surrounding it, the rebels were hidden and
protected. Here ensued an almost hand-to-hand conflict with the Twenty-fourth Regiment South
Carolina Volunteers, the Tenth Missouri suffering severely from the streams of fire which issued
from behind every object which could furnish a protection to the enemy. We succeeded finally in
dislodging and driving them some 200 yards to the left and toward the main road to Jackson,
when, while reforming our line, a section of the Sixth Wisconsin Battery was rapidly brought
upon the ground (the regiment forming the support to the same on the right) and completed the
rout of the enemy.
The line of the brigade being again formed, advanced to near the brow of a hill in front of the
earthworks on the outskirts of Jackson, from which works a brisk fire of artillery was kept up.
Company F, Tenth Missouri, under command of Capt. Joseph Walker, was now deployed as
skirmishers to the front of the regiment. The enemy soon after deserted their works, leaving four
pieces of artillery unspiked, and retreating through the town, destroying stores, &c. The regiment
advanced in line of battle to the outskirts of the town, and then by the flank to a deserted camp
on the right side of the road, where it bivouacked for the night.
The regiment lost in this action 10 killed on the field and 74 wounded, several of whom have
since died, a list of which is hereto appended, marked A.
During the evening such rations as could be procured were issued to the men, and at 10 a.m.
of May 15 [the regiment] marched back to Clinton, bivouacking on the north side of the town.
On May 16, at 7 a.m., received orders to march, and proceeded westward on the Vicksburg
road, heavy firing being heard to the front. At 11 o'clock, halted at the house of Mr. Edwards,
where we passed the division train, the Eightieth Ohio Regiment being detached from the
brigade for the purpose of rear guard. Resumed the march, the fire becoming heavier, when,
about 2 p.m., crossing the railroad and approaching Champion's Hill, we were hurried forward to
participate in the action, the men throwing off haversacks and knapsacks on the road. Arriving at
the foot of the hill, we rapidly formed line of battle to the left, and charged up the hill over
ground of the roughest and most broken character, meeting and checking the enemy, who was
driving back in disorder and confusion the troops in our advance. We proceeded forward steadily
over the hills and ravines, fighting the enemy, who contested the ground closely, until we arrived
at a fence and open field, across which they fled into the woods beyond, endeavoring to form
there, but by well-directed volleys we dislodged them, and they made no further appearance in
this direction. The Seventeenth Iowa Regiment having all this time engaged the enemy in the
woods on our right and across the Vicksburg road, the regiment was moved by the right flank to
their support, and in executing this movement Lieut. Col. Leonidas Horney, who, up to this
period, had been in command of the regiment, was instantly killed, falling from his horse pierced
with three shots in the breast and head. The command now devolved upon myself, as the only
remaining field officer. The enemy at this time were advancing up the ravine on our now left,
and I directed the fire of the left wing upon them, checking and driving them back. The right
wing of the regiment, under the direction of Capt. Charles A. Gilchrist, of Company A, had
advanced down the slope in support of the Seventeenth lawn, and assisted in defeating the
enemy's intention of recapturing and removing a battery from which they had been driven by the
Eleventh Indiana Regiment, who, in their turn, had been forced to retire and abandon the guns.
The rebels retreating, I formed the regiment upon the Vicksburg road, and, by order of Colonel
Holmes, went into position on the right side of, and at right angles to, said road, deploying
skirmishers to the front and right. The action ceasing, the regiment was marched about 300 yards
to the rear of this position, and bivouacked on the left of the road for the night.
In this action 7 were killed on the field, 36 wounded, and 3 missing, several of whom
subsequently died, a list of which is hereto appended, marked B.
The brigade being ordered by General Grant to remain on the field and assist in removing the
wounded, burying the dead, and collecting the arms and accouterments left on the ground,
remained at this place, performing said duties, until Tuesday, 19th instant, at 12 m., when it
received orders to march to Black River. Marched --- miles to within 1 mile of the river, where
the regiment was posted on the north side of the Vicksburg road, on the right of and supporting a
section of the Twelfth Wisconsin Battery, to cover the crossing of Black River by the division
train and a large body of (say 4,000) prisoners. This was accomplished by 10 o'clock that night,
and the forces on the east side were ordered to cross to the west side of the river, which was
done, and the regiment bivouacked about 11 p.m. 1 mile west of the pontoon bridge, on the left
side of the Vicksburg road.
May 20, started early in the morning, and marched about 10 miles to a position in the rear of
Vicksburg, and in a ravine on the left of the road, bivouacking for the night.
May 21, moved to our present position, 1 mile distant from the last-named bivouac, and in
the evening received orders to issue ammunition to the amount of 100 rounds per man,
preparatory to storming the enemy's works on the morrow.
May 22, at 10 o'clock, moved to the front a quarter of a mile across a ridge swept by the fire
from the rebel forts and sharpshooters, and took a position on the left of the brigade, which was
the reserve of the division in the assault ordered to be made by the whole line at the abovenamed
hour. We occupied this position about one hour, deploying skirmishers to the left and
front on the next ridge, when we advanced across the ridge in front to the ravine beyond, and,
after remaining about the same length of time, received orders to retire to the position last
occupied by us, and remained there about one hour, when orders were received for the First and
Third Brigades to charge the works, and the regiment, with the others of the Second Brigade, to
advance to the brow of the hill in front, and repel any attack which the besieged might make,
should the assault prove unsuccessful; but, before this movement could be executed, the division
was ordered to the left, to support the army corps of General McClernand. The brigade marched
about 2 miles to the left, and reported to General Osterhaus, and bivouacked in a ravine on the
west side of the road for the night.
May 23, at 7 a.m., marched about three-quarters of a mile southward to a ravine, ---- yards
from the works, and deployed the left wing as skirmishers to the left and one company to the
right and front. Remained in this position until 1 o'clock, when, under orders from General
Quinby, the regiment, with the brigade, marched back to the position it now occupies, and has
remained here since.
The only casualties during these two days were 2 men wounded.
In all the actions and skirmishes in which the regiment has been engaged during the past two
weeks, the officers and men seemed to do everything which their duties as soldiers demanded. It
might seem invidious, perhaps, for me to particularize individuals, but justice demands that some
mention be made of several officers and enlisted men whose services deserve special notice.
In the action at Jackson, May 14, Color Sergt. Calvin R. Lingle, although weakened by
disease, displayed undaunted courage and determination to keep the flag to the front, and only
resigned it on the entrance into camp at Jackson. At the action at Champion's Hill, the colors
were borne by Acting Corpl. Martin C. Carmody, who, although badly wounded in the face,
refused to resign his charge, but steadfastly maintained it and his position in the ranks until the
fire ceased. The dauntless courage of both of these men deserves honorable mention.
At the action at Champion's Hill, upon the death of Lieutenant-Colonel Horney, Capt. C. A.
Gilchrist assumed command of the right wing, and while I was engaged on the left, and unaware
of the death of the lieutenant-colonel, rendered such services as deserve my hearty thanks and
In the actions at Raymond, Jackson, and Champion's Hill, and during the Operations in rear
of Vicksburg, the services rendered and coolness displayed while under fire by Adjt. John W.
Boyd, jr., are deserving of much commendation.
Surg. O. B. Payne, as heretofore, was indefatigable in his care and attention to the wounded
of the regiment.
Number engaged at Jackson, 430; number engaged at Champion's Hill, as near as can be
ascertained, say, 325.
Respectfully submitted.
Major, Commanding Tenth Regiment Missouri Infantry.
Actg. Asst. Adjt. Gen., 2d Brig., 7th Div., 17th Army Corps.
Before Vicksburg, Miss., May 25, 1863.
COLONEL: In compliance with an order from Major-General McClernand, I herewith send
you a report of the action of my division from the battle of Port Gibson, on the 1st instant, to the
date of my arrival at the works before Vicksburg, on the 20th instant.
The night after the battle of Port Gibson we slept upon the field; arrived in the town and
bivouacked on the second day, and assisted in building a bridge over Bayou Pierre. We marched
for Willow Springs on the 3d, arriving there the same evening.
On the 6th, encamped at Rocky Springs. On the 7th instant at Big Sandy, where we remained
until the 10th, on which day we marched to and encamped upon Five-Mile Creek.
On the 12th, we marched for Fourteen-Mile Creek, on the Edwards Station road. Here my
division, being in front, encountered the enemy's pickets, who were encamped at Edwards
Station in considerable force. We had marched from 4 o'clock in the morning over a rugged
country, with little or no water, and our only hope was to force the enemy back beyond
Fourteen-Mile Creek. A sharp skirmish ensued, and we drove the enemy back and encamped on
both sides of the creek for the night. Our men enjoyed both the skirmish and the water.
On the 13th, I received orders to cover the flank and rear of the Thirteenth Army Corps in its
march on Jackson. The enemy lay in strong force near the line of our march, and there was
danger of an attack, as we marched by the flank a short distance from their encampment. The
Ninth, Tenth, and Fourteenth Divisions, of the Thirteenth Army Corps, had just passed, and
when in the act of moving my division my pickets were again attacked by what seemed to be a
strong picket guard. I ordered Colonel Slack, commanding Second Brigade, to bring back the
Forty-seventh Indiana, Twenty-eighth Iowa, and Fifty-sixth Ohio, and force the enemy back.
Another brisk skirmish ensued, the enemy fleeing before the Twenty-eighth Iowa, the Fifty-sixth
and Forty-seventh being held in reserve, faced to the flanks of the Twenty-eighth, to meet any
emergency. In the mean time I had ordered my division forward, so as not to have my column
delayed in its march on Jackson. Our losses in these skirmishes were 4 slightly wounded.
On the same night we encamped beyond Fourteen-Mile Creek, at Dillon's Cross-Roads, on
the field of a conflict a few days previous by forces under the command of Major-General
On the 14th, we marched through Raymond in a severe storm, the roads in places having to
be drained by the labor of my pioneers before our wagons could pass, and encamped near a creek
about 4 miles distant from Clinton.
Learning at Raymond that Jackson had fallen and was in possession of our forces, our
direction was again changed toward Vicksburg, and on the 15th we marched to a point near
Bolton Station, and encamped for the night.
On the 16th, my division moved in the direction of Midway, or Champion's Hill, on the
extreme right of the corps, Generals Osterhaus', Carr's, and Smith's divisions moving in the same
direction, on other roads still farther to the south and left. My route lay on the Clinton and
Vicksburg road, nearest to and on the south of the railroad.
During the morning I had thrown forward a part of my escort, under First Lieut. James L.
Carey, First Indiana Cavalry, to make reconnaissances in front of the advance guard and
skirmishers of General McGinnis' brigade.
On arriving near Champion's Hill, about 10 a.m., he discovered the enemy posted on the crest
of the hill, with a battery of four guns in the woods near the road, and on the highest point for
many miles around. At the time I was marching between the First and Second Brigades, so as to
be ready for an attack on either flank. I immediately rode forward and ordered General McGinnis
to form his brigade in two lines, three regiments being in the advance and two in the reserve.
Before my arrival, General McGinnis had formed his three advanced regiments in line of battle,
and had thrown out skirmishers in the front and flank of his command.
The Second Brigade, Col. James R. Slack commanding, was immediately formed on the left
of the First Brigade, two regiments in advance and two in reserve. Skirmishers were at once sent
forward, covering my entire front, and had advanced to within sight of the enemy's battery. They
were directed not to bring on the action until we were entirely ready.
At this point I attempted to communicate with Brigadier-General Osterhaus, but my
messengers, not knowing the country nor his exact locality, were unable to find his division. In
the mean time Major-General Grant had arrived, and with him Major-General McPherson, with
his command. Before proceeding further, it is necessary that the topography of the field should
be described.
Midway, or Champion's Hill, is equidistant from Jackson and Vicksburg, and is near the
Midway Station, on the Vicksburg and Jackson Railroad. It is a high promontory, some 60 or 70
feet above the common level of the country, and covered with woods, the Vicksburg and Clinton
road leading over the crest. To the right and northeast of the hill are undulating fields, and on the
left a woody tangled ravine, through which troops might pass with great difficulty. (See map
accompanying this report.) About half a mile from the point of the hill, General McPherson
formed his line of battle in the open field, facing toward the side of the hill, a distance from the
hill of about 400 yards, his front and the main front of my division being nearly at right angles.
As my division ascended the hill, its line conformed to the shape and became crescent-like, with
the concave toward the hill. As soon as General McPherson's line was ready to take part in the
contest, about 10.30 a.m., I ordered General McGinnis and Colonel Slack to press their
skirmishers forward up the hill, and follow them firmly with their respective brigades. In a few
minutes the fire opened briskly along the whole line, from my extreme left to the right of the
forces engaged under Major-General McPherson, and at 11 o'clock the battle opened hotly all
along the line. The contest here continued for an hour by my forces. For over 600 yards up the
hill my division gallantly drove the enemy before them, capturing 11 guns and over 300
prisoners, under fire. The Eleventh Indiana, Colonel Macauley, and Twenty-ninth Wisconsin,
Colonel Gill, captured the four guns on the brow of the hill, at the point of the bayonet. Colonel
Bringhurst, with the Forty-sixth Indiana, gallantly drove the enemy from two guns on the right of
the road, and Colonel Byam, with his brave and eager Twenty-fourth Iowa, charged a battery of
five guns on the left of the road, driving the enemy away, killing gunners and horses, and
capturing several prisoners.
At this time General McGinnis requested me to permit him to take one section of the
Sixteenth Ohio Battery, commanded by Captain Mitchell, up the hill. The section was taken up,
and after fighting gallantly and firing 16 rounds was withdrawn, the danger of capture being
imminent. Captain Mitchell, who fell during this attempt, will prove a great loss to his friends
and country. First Lieutenant Murdock acted very gallantly during this affair, and deserves much
praise for his coolness and bravery.
In the mean time the enemy, being rallied under cover of the woods, poured down the road in
great numbers upon the position occupied by my forces. Seeing from the character of the ground
that my division was likely to be severely pressed, as the enemy would not dare advance on the
open ground before General McPherson, who had handled them roughly on the right, I ordered
our captured guns to be sent down the hill. A short time afterward I received a request to send
support to General McGinnis, on the right. At this time my whole division, including reserves,
bad for more than one hour been actively engaged, and my only hope of support was from other
commands. Brigadier-General Quinby's division, commanded by General Crocker, was near at
hand, and had not yet been under fire. I sent to them for support, but being unknown to the
officers of that command, considerable delay (not less than half an hour) ensued, and I was
compelled to resort to Major-General Grant to procure the order for their aid. Colonel Boomer,
commanding Third Brigade, of Quinby's division, on receiving the command from General
Grant, came gallantly up the hill; Colonel Holmes, with two small regiments, Tenth Missouri and
Seventeenth Iowa, soon followed. The entire force sent amounted to about 2,000 men.
My division in the mean time had been compelled to yield ground before overwhelming
numbers. Slowly and stubbornly they fell back, contesting with death every inch of the field they
had won. Colonel Boomer and Colonel Holmes gallantly and heroically rushed with their
commands into the conflict, but the enemy had massed his forces, and slowly pressed our whole
line with re-enforcements backward to a point near the brow of the hill. Here a stubborn stand
was made. The irregularity of our line of battle had previously prevented me from using artillery
in enfilading the enemy's line, but as our forces were compelled to fall slowly back, the lines
became marked and distinct, and about 2.30 p.m. I could easily perceive, by the sound of firearms
through the woods, the position of the respective armies. I at once ordered the First
Missouri Battery, commanded by Captain Schofield, and the Sixteenth Ohio Battery, under First
Lieutenant Murdock, to take position in an open field, beyond a slight mound on my right, in
advance of, and with parallel ranges of their guns with, my lines. About the same time Captain
Dillon’s Wisconsin battery was put in position; two sections of the Sixteenth Ohio Battery on the
left, the Wisconsin battery in the center, and Captain Schofield's battery on the right. Through
the rebel ranks these batteries hurled an incessant shower of shot and shell, entirely enfilading
the rebel columns.
The fire was terrific for several minutes, and the cheers from our men on the brow of the hill
told of the success. The enemy gave back, and our forces, under General McGinnis, Colonel
Slack, Colonel Boomer, and Colonel Holmes, drove them again over the ground which had been
hotly contested for the third time during the day, five more of the eleven guns not taken down the
hill falling a second time into our possession.
I cannot think of this bloody hill without sadness and pride. Sadness for the great loss of my
true and gallant men; pride for the heroic bravery they displayed. No prouder division ever met
as vastly superior foe and fought with more unflinching firmness and stubborn valor. It was, after
the conflict, literally the hill of death ; men, horses, cannon, and the debris of an army lay
scattered in wild confusion. Hundreds of the gallant Twelfth Division were cold in death or
writhing in pain, and, with large numbers of Quinby's gallant boys, lay dead, dying, or wounded,
intermixed with our fallen foe. Thus ended the battle of Champion’s Hill at about 3 p.m., and our
heroes slept upon the field with the dead and dying around them.
I never saw fighting like this. The loss of my division, on this field alone, was nearly onethird
of my forces engaged. Of the Twenty-ninth Wisconsin, Twenty-fourth and Twenty-eighth
Iowa, in what words of praise shall I speak? Not more than six months in the service, their record
will compare with the oldest and best tried regiments in the field. All honor is due to their gallant
officers and men; and Colonels Gill, Byam, and Connell have my thanks for the skill with which
they handled their respective commands, and for the fortitude, endurance, and bravery displayed
by their gallant men.
It is useless to speak in praise of the Eleventh, Twenty-fourth, Thirty-fourth, Forty-sixth, and
Forty-seventh Indiana and Fifty-sixth Ohio. They have won laurels on many fields, and not only
their country will praise, but posterity be proud to claim kindred with the privates in their ranks.
They have a history that Colonel Macauley, Colonel Spicely, Colonel Cameron, Colonel
Bringhurst, Lieutenant-Colonel McLaughlin, and Colonel Raynor, and their children's children
will be proud to read.
My brigades could not have been managed with more consummate skill than they were by
Brigadier-General McGinnis and Col. James R. Slack. Their services deserve the highest reward
that a soldier can claim.
My staff, as usual, did their whole duty. Capt. John E. Phillips, assistant adjutant-general, and
First Lieuts. J. T. McQuiddy and J. P. Pope, my aides, were untiring during the whole day, and
by their coolness, promptitude, and energy aided me in every trying emergency. I am also much
indebted to First Lieuts. George Sheeks, acting assistant quartermaster, and W. H. Sherry, and
Second Lieut. T. C. Withers, of the signal corps, for valuable services throughout the day.
It is no easy task to specify individual gallantry, where the field is filled with deeds of fame,
but I cannot forbear giving the full meed to those who have suffered. The division lost, in killed
and wounded, 54 officers--29 in the First Brigade and 25 in the Second.
Col. W. T. Spicely, of the Twenty-fourth Regiment Indiana Volunteers, conspicuous for his
daring gallantry throughout the day, was wounded, but remained upon the field until the victory
was ours. Col. Daniel Macauley, Eleventh Indiana, was wounded through the thighs near the
close of the fight, while leading his noble regiment through the hottest part of the field.
Lieutenant-Colonel Barter, Twenty-fourth Indiana, while bearing the colors of his regiment
forward, was severely wounded. Lieutenant-Colonel Swaim, Thirty-fourth Indiana, was severely
wounded while cheering his men and encouraging them in the performance of their duty. Maj.
Bradford Hancock, Twenty-ninth Wisconsin, was severely wounded while nobly discharging his
duty. The true and trusted Majs. L. H. Goodwin, Forty-seventh Indiana, and Edward Wright,
Twenty-fourth Iowa, were severely wounded, in the thickest of the fight.
Among the dead of the Second Brigade are the honored names of Capt. Silas D. Johnson,
Twenty-fourth Iowa; Capt. William Carbee, Twenty-fourth Iowa; First Lieutenant [Chauncey]
Lawrence, Twenty-fourth Iowa; First Lieut. James F. Perry, Forty-seventh Indiana; Second
Lieut. George W. Manring, Fifty-sixth Ohio; Second Lieut. A. S. Chute, Fifty-sixth Ohio;
Second Lieut. J. J. Legan, and First Lieut. Benjamin F. Kirby, Twenty-eighth Iowa.
Of the First Brigade, Capt. Felix G. Welman fell on the outer edge of the field while being
pressed with overwhelming numbers. He rose from the ranks, was gallant and good, and beloved
by all who knew him. Second Lieut. Jesse L. Cain, of the same regiment, fell, mortally wounded,
at the same time, and died in a few hours afterward. A better man sleeps not upon that bloody
field. First Lieut. J. Ferris, Forty-sixth Indiana, died like a true soldier, with his face to the foe. A
complete list of the killed and wounded accompanies this report.
The effective force of my division, at the commencement, was as follows: First Brigade,
2,371; Second Brigade, 1,809, making a total of 4,180. Of this number our casualties were 211
killed, 872 wounded, and 119 missing; total, 1,202. When it is considered that this loss, being
more than 28.7 per cent., took place in less than four hours, it is believed that few parallels can
be found in the history of the present war. The greatest loss per cent. took place in the Twentyfourth
Indiana, being over 40 per cent., 201 being their casualties out of less than 500 engaged in
the action.
My division captured in the field over 300 prisoners, under fire, and 400 after the conflict
ceased, making a total of 700; besides this, General McGinnis paroled sick and wounded
prisoners and nurses amounting to 569, and buried 221 rebel dead. Colonel Slack also paroled
189 wounded rebels and nurses, making a grand total as follows:
Prisoners taken by division 700
Wounded paroled by General McGinnis 455
Nurses (rebel) paroled by General McGinnis 114
Rebels buried by General McGinnis 221
Rebels paroled by Colonel Slack 189
Total 1,679
Eleven guns were captured before we received support from Quinby's division, and two of
them brought off the field. The second capture of the remaining five guns was the joint labor of
my division and the re-enforcements sent to me from General Quinby's division. Colonel
Macauley has the battle flag of Fowler's battery.
By the aid of Dr. Robert B. Jessup, medical director of my division, and the untiring labor of
Capt. George W. Jackson, with his famous pioneers, comfortable bowers were made, and the
wounded well provided with every necessary and luxury that could be found within their reach.
The medical corps of my division have again distinguished themselves, and deserve special
mention. Dr. T. W. C. Williamson, Twenty-fourth Indiana, was severely wounded while
fearlessly attending to his duties on the field. Dr. J. W. H. Vest, Twenty-eighth Iowa, rendered
most efficient service in rallying the men in his command at a critical moment.
Chaplain Simmons, Twenty-eighth Iowa, and Chaplain Robb, Forty-sixth Indiana, were
found where good men should be--among the wounded and dying, rendering all the consolation
and aid in their power.
On the 17th, my Second Brigade marched to Edwards Station, the First, under General
McGinnis, remaining to care for the dead, wounded, and prisoners.
On the 19th, the First Brigade arrived at Edwards Station, and, with the division, marched to
Black River Bridge.
On the 20th, the First Brigade marched to the Vicksburg fortifications, the Second Brigade
remaining at Black River to guard the bridge.
I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,
Brigadier-General, Commanding.
Asst. Adjt. Gen. on Major-General McClernand's Staff.
Camp at Edwards Depot, Hinds County, Miss., May 18, 1863.
SIR: I herewith submit a report of the part taken by the Second Brigade of the Twelfth
Division, commanded by Brig. Gen. A. P. Hovey, Thirteenth Army Corps, on the 16th instant, at
Champion's Hill, on the Vicksburg and Jackson Railroad, in Hinds County, Mississippi.
My command consisted of the Forty-seventh Indiana Infantry, commanded by Lieut. Col.
John A. McLaughlin; Fifty-sixth Ohio Infantry, commanded by Lieut. Col. William H. Raynor;
Twenty-fourth Iowa Infantry, commanded by Col. Eber C. Byam; Twenty-eighth Iowa Infantry,
commanded by Col. John Connell; and the First Missouri Battery, commanded by Capt. George
W. Schofield.
On the night of the 15th, we encamped on the Jackson and Vicksburg Railroad, near Bolton
In the morning we left camp about 6 o'clock, and moved east about 7 miles, when we
approached very nearly to the enemy, drawn up in line of battle.
In pursuance of orders of Brigadier-General Hovey, I formed the Second Brigade in two lines
to the left of the road, in the field of one Champion, with the artillery in advance. Soon thereafter
I placed my lines of battle in advance of the artillery, and ordered Companies B and G, of the
Forty-seventh Indiana, under command of Capt. John F. Eglin; two companies (A and F) of the
Fifty-sixth Ohio, under command of Capt. Manring, and two companies of the Twenty-fourth
Iowa, under command of Captain ----, as skirmishers, who covered the whole front of the line
and advanced toward the enemy. Skirmishing soon began, and continued for about one hour,
when I advanced the whole line, with the Forty-seventh Indiana on the right and the Twentyeighth
Iowa on the left. The thick growth of underbrush and vines, ravines and hills made it very
difficult to advance, but it was accomplished with little disorder, until we reached the crest of the
hill, where we found the enemy in very heavy force about 200 yards in front of us, and under
cover of a wood beyond a field.
Then the battle began with great fury, our troops advancing for the purpose of driving the
enemy from the cover of the woods, which was done at double-quick and in a most gallant
manner, the men loading and firing as they advanced, and unfalteringly receiving a most deadly
fire from the enemy; yet they pressed forward, as men only can do who are prompted by
intelligent motives of patriotic devotion to a common country, until the rebel force was driven
from the covering and forced to fall back a distance of 200 yards, with terrible loss, the ground
being literally covered with dead and wounded rebels.
In this daring and determined charge all the regiments lost most severely. The Twenty-fourth
Iowa most gallantly charged upon a rebel battery of five guns, and took it at the point of the
bayonet, killing many of the cannoneers and driving the remainder from their guns and some 50
yards to the rear, when a new rebel line, which had not been in action, appeared in treble our
force, and opened a most murderous fire upon our lines, which the unflinching and determined
braves of the Twenty-fourth resisted for fifteen minutes, but, because of the overwhelming force
brought to bear upon them, reluctantly retired from the battery, but kept the rebel reenforcements
at bay by their incessant fire and stubborn resistance. This battery was
subsequently retaken, and is now in our possession.
During this terrific charge, Maj. Edward Wright, of the Twenty-fourth, was wounded in the
abdomen, immediately after which he captured a stalwart rebel prisoner and made him carry him
off the field. The Forty-seventh Indiana, Fifty-sixth Ohio, and Twenty-eighth Iowa were all
engaged at the same time against most powerful odds, which seemed to me to be five times their
number, and held them in check for at least two hours, re-enforcements not reaching us. Our
ranks being badly depleted, I directed the whole command to retire gradually from the field and
take position near the crest of the hill where the rebel lines were first formed, which was done in
good order, at which time a re-enforcement of one brigade came to our support, and after a few
well-directed volleys, with the aid of the batteries, which General Hovey had massed on the
extreme right, the enemy was routed, and fled in great confusion and disorder from the field.
During this engagement, Capt. George Wilhelm, of Company F, Fifty-sixth Ohio, was badly
wounded by a shot through the left breast, and was taken prisoner. After being removed about 6
miles from the field, he was left in charge of a rebel soldier as a guard. The rebel laid down his
gun, for the purpose of taking some observations, when Captain Wilhelm grabbed hold of it and
took his guard prisoner, marched him into camp, and delivered him over to the provost-marshal.
The battery under command of Captain Schofield could not be brought into action until about
3 p.m., because of the enemy occupying a succession of positions where no command could be
obtained of his lines, at which time our advance was made and the enemy driven from cover and
in range of the battery, which dealt him so many terrible and damaging blows simultaneously
with our fire and the fire of the re-enforcements that utter annihilation could only be prevented
by a precipitate flight.
Thus ended this unequal, terrible, and most sanguinary conflict, which, in point of terrific
fierceness and stubborn persistency, finds but few parallels in the history of civilized warfare.
For two long hours my brigade held in check fully three times their number, and I hesitate not in
saying, had they not so gallantly and determinedly resisted, the fortunes of the day might have
been greatly damaged, if not our glorious triumph turned into a defeat. During the progress of the
battle my command took a large number of prisoners, which were handed over to the provostmarshal
without any account being taken of them.
Of the field and line officers I cannot speak in terms of too high commendation, each and
every one discharging his duty with that degree of cool, determined valor which inspired the men
to deeds of daring and wild enthusiasm which scarcely knew what resistance meant. To each and
every one are the thanks of a grateful country due. Maj. L. H. Goodwin, of the Forty-seventh
Indiana, and Maj. Edward Wright, of the Twenty-fourth Iowa, while gallantly leading their men,
were wounded quite seriously, but I am more than grateful to know they are both rapidly
recovering, and will soon be able to resume their respective positions.
To those brave officers and men who fell in that sanguinary conflict, and who resolved to do
or die in defense of and for the perpetuation of the best Government ever known to civilization,
we cannot do more than assure their friends at home that they fell with their faces to the foe, in
defense of the Constitution of a common country.
To my acting assistant adjutant-general, Lieut. H. G. P. Jennings, of the Forty-seventh
Indiana, and to my aides, Capt. H. E. Jones and Lieutenant Gates, of the Fifty-sixth Ohio, and
Lieutenant [Theodore] Shaeffer, of the Twenty-eighth Iowa, are my thanks especially due for
their bravery and efficiency.
Again would I call attention to the daring and chivalric conduct of my orderly, Private
George Phillips, of Company K, Fifty-sixth Ohio. His bravery and efficiency were the
admiration of all who observed his conduct. Promotion is justly his due.
I herewith inclose the reports of the several commanders, giving in detail the part taken by
the respective commands.
The whole number of casualties (detailed lists of which I herewith inclose) is as follows:
Command Killed. Wounded. Missing. Total
47th Indiana 32 91 17 140
56th Ohio 20 90 28 138
24th Iowa 35 120 34 189
28th Iowa 21 62 14 97
1st Missouri Battery .... 2 .... 2
Total 108 365 93 566
I have the honor to be, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Col., Comdg. Second Brig., Twelfth Div., Thirteenth Army Corps.
Assistant Adjutant-General.
Near Vicksburg, May 30, 1863.
DEAR SIR: It affords me great pleasure to send you a report of the part taken by the Twentyeighth
Iowa Volunteer Infantry in the battle of Champion's Hill, May 16, 1863.
Champion's Hill is situated about 9 miles (on the railroad)east of Big Black River, and about
half-way between Bolton and Edwards Stations.
We had been making a feint on Edwards Station on the 12th and 13th, so as to give General
McPherson a better chance to enter Jackson, and on the 15th we marched on the Jackson road as
far as Clinton, where we turned on the Vicksburg road and marched as far as Bolton Station,
where we encamped for the night (our division being in the advance).
The next morning, after marching about 3 miles, we came up with the enemy's pickets at
Champion's buildings, and drove them in. Here the Twelfth Division formed in line of battle, our
regiment taking position on the left of the Forty-seventh Indiana, in the Second Brigade. At 10
a.m., after a short delay, the word "Forward!" was given, and we moved nearly a mile by the
front, firing becoming brisk. Company B, of our regiment, was sent out as skirmishers, and
found the enemy in force on our front and left. We then, by order of Colonel Slack, of the Fortyseventh
Indiana, commanding brigade, passed to the left of the Fifty-sixth Ohio (which placed
us on the extreme left of the division), and engaged the enemy, our left resting on the north of the
Raymond road. There we found the enemy in large force, ready to receive us. After a few
minutes of hard fighting, it became evident that the enemy were trying to turn our left, particular
attention being paid to that particular point. We succeeded in driving them back. About this time
the enemy appeared to be largely re-enforced, and we were compelled to fall back on account of
the murderous flanking fire on our right, to which we were at this time exposed. We then moved
to the right and formed on the Clinton road, where we held them in check until re-enforcements
arrived, when we drove them from the field in confusion.
As to the battle of Port Gibson, the officers and men conducted themselves like veterans.
Our loss in killed, wounded, and missing was severe. Four companies of the regiment came
out of the fight without a commissioned officer. Lieut. John J. Legan, of Company A (Captain
Shutts acting as major), was killed while gallantly leading his men on; Capt. Benjamin F. Kirby,
of Company I, was also killed while doing his duty nobly; Lieut. John Buchanan, of Company H,
lost his arm; Capt. John A. Staley, of Company F, was taken prisoner while crossing the field
north of the Raymond road, gallantly disputing the advance of the enemy. Our greatest loss was
while we were charging across an open field between the Raymond and Clinton roads, and while
we were falling back. Our regiment fell in in good order, considering the ground, and rallied
around the old flag at the first call, and on the second charge, together with the Seventeenth
Iowa, the boys raised the Iowa shout and drove the enemy from the field in confusion.
I append a list of the killed, wounded, and missing.
I remain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
First Lieutenant and Adjutant Twenty-eighth Iowa.
Adjutant-General of Iowa.
SIR: I have the honor to report that on April 23 last, my regiment, together with other parts of
the army, started from Milliken's Bend, La., on an expedition to the rear of Vicksburg, Miss.,
where we are now lying. To reach this place we marched via Richmond, Hard Times Landing,
La. (where we crossed and went down the stream of the Mississippi River 10 miles, landing on
the Mississippi side at Bruinsburg), Port Gibson, Miss., Hankinson's Ferry, on the Black River,
Rocky Springs, Utica, Raymond, Clinton, Jackson, Champion's Hill, near Bolton, Edwards
Station, crossing the Black River near -- plantation, and arriving in front of the enemy's works in
rear of Vicksburg, on May 21. To accomplish this we have marched a distance of more than 200
miles. At Smith's plantation, some 25 miles from Milliken's Bend, all of my regimental teams,
six in number, excepting one, were ordered back to Milliken's Bend, from which place they were
used in carrying ammunition for the use of the Seventeenth Army Corps, and were so employed
for several days. When relieved from such duty they were for some days unable to cross the
Mississippi River, so that during the entire march from Smith's plantation, La., April 26, to --
plantation, on the Black River, May 17, the only Government transportation of any kind with the
regiment was 2 ambulances, 1 medicine wagon, and 1 six-mule team. The men carried their
knapsacks, blankets, rations, and 60 rounds of ammunition. The six-mule team carried a few
boxes of ammunition, the blankets and provisions of officers, and such supplies for the men as
the regimental quartermaster was able to secure along our route. On said march we have drawn
rations from Government as follows: We took with us five days' rations from Milliken's Bend.
On or about May 1 we drew four days' rations of hard bread alone. May 4 we drew three-fifth
rations of hard bread, sugar and tea for five days, beyond which time, up to May 17, all rations
used by the regiment, and all forage used by regimental horses and mules, were secured by the
regimental quartermaster in the country through which we passed. The rations procured by the
quartermaster for the regiment consisted chiefly of-sugar, molasses, salt, corn meal, and bacon.
On May 17, the five regimental teams left behind overtook us, bringing five days' part rations
of hard bread, flour, sugar, and coffee.
May 23, we drew full rations for the first time since leaving Milliken's Bend.
We met the enemy, for the first time on this expedition, on the 3d instant, about 10 miles
from Port Gibson, on the road to Hankinson's Ferry. Here the regiment was formed in line of
battle on the right of the road, and advanced in this manner for some distance under a brisk fire
of the enemy's artillery. The regiment received no injury. The enemy hastily retiring, we
advanced by the flank to Hankinson's Ferry, on the Black River, remaining at that place for
several days.
May 12, we heard heavy firing in front, and on arriving near the town of Raymond, the
regiment formed in line of battle on the left of General Logan's division, which was already in
line. In this position we remained an hour, as support for a battery of artillery, under a rapid and
well-directed fire of a rebel battery. That evening we passed through and encamped near the
May 14, on the road from Clinton to Jackson, and when about 2 miles from the latter place,
we met the enemy in strong force, and immediately formed line on the right of the road. Soon,
however, the regiment was ordered to take position on the left of the road, with its right resting
thereon, and to support the Seventeenth Iowa in charging the rebel lines. The enemy fled before
the charge, and the regiment, with the others of General Quinby's division, entered the town.
Loss of the regiment was 2 wounded.
May 16, at Champion's Hill, near Bolton, Miss., we came up to the line formed by Generals
Hovey's and Logan's divisions, who were already engaging the enemy. My regiment was placed
on the right of a battery as a support therefor. Almost immediately, however, by order of General
McPherson, my regiment was ordered to hasten forward and assist the right of General Logan's
division, which was reported to be hard pressed. The men threw their knapsacks and blankets
from their shoulders and dashed forward in the direction indicated at the double-quick step up
the hill, into the woods, and upon a body of the enemy, of whom my regiment captured and sent
to the rear 118.
Directly, finding myself some distance in front of, and unsupported on either side by, the line
formed by the remainder of the troops, and finding that the enemy was massing a heavy force in
front, I sent my adjutant to General McPherson to report our situation and ask for instructions.
Almost at the same time the enemy opened upon us with artillery. I caused the men to lie down,
where they remained, sheltered by the crest of the hill, until I received orders to draw the
regiment back, so as to connect with the right of such troops as I found first in my rear. This was
executed, and the regiment formed on the right of Colonel Leggett's brigade, of General Logan's
division. Here we remained about an hour, when the line of march to the front was again
resumed, when I joined my regiment to the balance of Colonel Sanborn's brigade.
My loss in the regiment was Captain Thompson and Private [Michael] Dolan, of Company E,
both wounded, the captain severely.
May 21, we formed line in front of the enemy's works in rear of Vicksburg.
On the morning of the 22d, at 10 o'clock, by order from General Grant, an assault was
ordered upon the fortifications around Vicksburg. My regiment, with the Forty-eighth Indiana for
reserve and support, was ordered to charge upon one of the enemy's forts just in front as soon as
I should see a charge made upon the fort next on my right. All preparations were made, and we
were waiting for the signal to advance, when I was directed not to advance until further orders.
While awaiting such orders, our brigade was directed to proceed to the support of General
Burbridge's brigade, of General McClernand's army corps, on our left. The Forty-eighth Indiana
and Fourth Minnesota Infantry were moved into position in front of the rebel works, where
General Burbridge was already engaged. No sooner had we taken such position than General
Burbridge withdrew his brigade from the action.
Under a direct fire from the fort in front, and a heavy cross-fire from a fort on our right, the
regiment pressed forward up to and even on the enemy's works. In this position, contending for
the possession of the rebel earthworks before us, the regiment remained for two hours, when it
became dark, and I was ordered by Colonel Sanborn to withdraw the regiment.
Noticing a field piece, which had been lifted up the hill by main strength, and had apparently
been used by General Burbridge in attempting to batter down the walls of the fort, but which he
had left behind when he withdrew his brigade, I sent Company C to draw the piece from the
ground and down the hill. This being safely executed, I moved the regiment by the left flank
from their position and down the hill. We bivouacked about 80 rods from the place of action.
In this action the regiment suffered severely, losing some of its best officers and men--12
were killed and 42 were wounded. A list of their names is hereto attached.
The next morning we were formed in line to support the right of General Burbridge. No
engagement coming on, we moved in the afternoon to the position occupied on the 21st.
During the whole of this expedition, through many embarrassments, drenching rains, muddy
roads, without rations, without shelter, carrying heavy loads, and several times under heavy fire
from the enemy, the regiment have deported themselves to my entire satisfaction. I hope and
believe that their conduct has been satisfactory to yourself and to others still higher in authority. I
might mention worthy names, but that would be clearly wrong when all, or nearly all, have
attempted to do their whole duty.
It shall be a matter of pride with us that not only were we present, but assisted in
accomplishing this expedition.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding Regiment.
Capt. L. B. MARTIN,
A. A. A. G., First Brig., Seventh Div., Seventeenth Army Corps.
Before Vicksburg, Miss., May 24, 1863.
CAPTAIN: In compliance with Special Orders, No. 27, from your headquarters, I herewith
submit the following report of the part taken by my regiment, Seventeenth Iowa Volunteer
Infantry, in the battle of Champion's Hill, Miss., on the 16th instant:
I arrived in the vicinity of the hills on which the battle was being fought about 2 p.m., and
without having time to rest my men (who had that day marched 12 miles through dust and a
burning sun with knapsacks on their backs) was ordered forward at a double-quick. I established
my line at a point midway up and on the north side of the bill, my right resting on the left of the
Vicksburg road, in the rear of the Ninety-third Illinois (Colonel Putnam), which was severely
pressed by the enemy's massed forces. In doing this my men suffered from the fire intended for
the Ninety-third. As soon as my line was formed, Colonel Putnam moved his regiment out by the
right flank, and left me fronting the enemy direct, some 40 or 50 yards only intervening. This
position I held under a well-directed fire, which my gallant fellows returned with interest, for
about fifteen minutes, when I ordered an advance, which was executed with a heroism that I am
proud of. This caused the enemy to give way, but he soon rallied, and again gave way, and in this
way I advanced, driving him slowly, inch by inch, from the ravines and ditches in which he had
effected a lodgment, up one declivity and down another, and finally onto the summit of the ridge
along which the road runs, and charged him down the slope on the other (south) side, retaking
four pieces of artillery, [J. F.] Waddell's Alabama battery. This battery had been taken earlier in
the engagement by the Eleventh Regiment Indiana Volunteers, but this splendid regiment had
again to yield it, the enemy having massed his forces against it.
After this charge, I commanded a halt and rectified my line, which had been somewhat
deranged. All being quiet at this moment on my front, I ran back a short distance to get a horse
(mine having been shot early in the engagement), but, being overcome by excessive labor and
heat, I fell by the way, and by the time I returned to my regiment, which was in a few minutes, it
had made another gallant charge, under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Wever, routing the
Thirty-first Alabama Regiment.
In this charge a great many prisoners were taken, including the colors, color-bearer, and
guard of that regiment, which colors are now in my possession. The enemy again rallied, but by
this time the gallant Tenth Missouri was in position on my right, and we gave him two more
charges, which put him in perfect rout. This then ended the fight, so far as we were concerned,
and, I think, entirely. My regiment then, wearied and worn, with thinned ranks, rested on their
arms until ordered into camp. It is worthy of note that in this engagement the regiment charged
the enemy successfully five times, under the most galling fire from musketry and shell, and that
over ravines and ditches that are very difficult of passage, and which afforded him excellent
In conclusion, I feel that my command did their whole duty, and are worthy of all
commendation. To my lieutenant-colonel (Wever) and adjutant (Woolsey) I am greatly indebted
for their daring and assistance during the engagement. Both of these officers had their horses
shot under them early in the fight.
I cannot forbear mentioning in this connection, specially for great bravery, First Lieut. C. W.
Woodrow, Company K; Second Lieut. George W. Deal, Company G; Second Lieutenant Tower,
Company B (whose gallantry resulted in the loss of his leg); First Sergeant [Evan E.] Swearngin,
Company F, and Private [Albert G.] Trussel, Company G, who captured the colors and colorbearer
of the Thirty-first Alabama. In the engagement I had but nine companies, one company
(E) having been left back at Jackson on duty.
My loss in killed, wounded, &c., is 57 (25 per cent. of the number engaged), as per list of
casualties, which I send with this report. We captured 175 prisoners, mostly Alabama and
Missouri troops.
Colonel, Commanding Seventeenth Iowa Volunteers.
A. A. A. G., 2d Brig., 7th Div.
In the Field, near Vicksburg, Miss., May 25, 1863.
CAPTAIN: Pursuant to Special Orders, No. 85, Headquarters Seventh Division, dated May
24, 1863, please find inclosed copy of report of Colonel Boomer, forwarded at Hankinson's
Ferry, on the Big Black, May 4.
May 9, this brigade was ordered to march, and moved on with the division through Rocky
Springs ; also, on the 10th, through Utica, and on the 11th moved but 2 miles on the road toward
On the 12th, hearing firing in front, we pushed forward rapidly, and upon coming to the
ground was ordered to remain in reserve, and deployed into line at 5 p.m. on the west side of the
road, in good position, supporting two batteries there in position. At 7 p.m. was again ordered
forward to Raymond: and went into position on the southwest side of the town.
At 11 a.m. on the 13th, was ordered forward in advance on the road to Jackson, 1 mile north
of Raymond; reached the forks of the road; hearing firing on the road turning eastward, reported
to the division commander, who ordered this brigade forward to clear the road. Moved up
briskly, deploying two companies of the Tenth Regiment Iowa Infantry as skirmishers, under
command of Major McCalla, who pushed them on by our cavalry pickets and opened fire on the
enemy, concealed in the timber, crossing the road 200 yards beyond our line; at the same time
deployed into line of battle two regiments, the Fifth Iowa on the left of the road and the balance
of the Tenth Iowa on the right, the Ninety-third Illinois and Twenty-sixth Missouri being in
reserve. Found nothing but a line of the enemy's skirmishers, who fled after delivering their fire.
At this moment received orders from division commander, recalling skirmishers and ordering
this brigade to take the other road bearing more northward, which was done immediately, and
two companies of the Fifth Iowa Infantry deployed on the front and flanks. We pushed forward
rapidly, passing through Clinton at 3 p.m., capturing several prisoners, telegraphic dispatches,
rebel mail, &c. Halted about 1 mile northeast of town, on the Jackson road.
On the 14th, was again ordered to move, and at 11 a.m. was ordered into position on the left
of the line of this division, formed in two lines, the Fifth Iowa on the right in the first line, and
the Ninety-third Illinois on the left, supported by the Tenth Iowa, and the Twenty-sixth Missouri
supporting the Fifth Iowa. The aggregate effective force of the brigade was then 1,700 men, in
round numbers. Deployed one company of the Ninety-third Illinois Infantry on the left and front
as skirmishers, and moved forward as ordered, receiving a scattering volley from the enemy,
who were immediately routed by our skirmishers and fled in confusion. Having advanced about
one-half a mile, we were ordered to halt. Our skirmishers here brought in a few prisoners and
passed them to the rear. Resting about fifteen minutes, we were again ordered forward, and
pushed on steadily into the city by 3 p.m., with out delivering our fire, the line being gradually
wheeled to the right as we moved, crossing the railroad track, and the entire brigade line,
flanking the enemy's earthworks, was halted, with the right resting upon the railroad depot. Was
ordered to bivouac on the north side of the railroad.
The loss in this engagement was 3 killed and 4 wounded in the Ninety-third Illinois, and 4
wounded in the Fifth Iowa.
The command, being entirely out of provisions, was ordered to forage in the town, and
procure three days' subsistence that night.
On the 15th, was again ordered to march. Turning backward, the brigade was marched 4
miles west of Clinton, on the Vicksburg road. Thence, on the 16th, we pushed steadily onward
until 12 m. Was ordered into position by the division commander on the south side of the road at
Champion's Hill and in the rear of General Hovey's division, then fiercely engaged with the
enemy. We moved steadily forward in two lines about 700 yards, when orders were received to
halt, and move by the right flank across the main road to the balance of the Seventeenth Army
Corps, which was being done when the orders were again countermanded, and Colonel Lagow,
of Major-General Grant's staff'. brought orders from General Grant for us to move instantly to
the support of General Hovey's division, then being forced back by a superior force of the
enemy. This brigade was instantly faced about, and moved by the left flank, double-quick, up the
hill, through a scorching fire, the Ninety-third Illinois being in advance, followed by the Tenth
Iowa, Twenty-sixth Missouri, and Fifth Iowa. Pushing forward until the whole line was on the
summit of the ridge, the brigade was ordered to move by the right flank and commence firing,
which was done steadily, the Ninety-third Illinois and Tenth Iowa moving down into the hollow,
and, having the men of General Hovey's division constantly passing through their ranks, became
exposed to the murderous fire from the left flank, which was turned by the enemy. They fell back
slowly to the brow of the hill, near the position first taken, and held it, pouring in their fire until
their cartridges were exhausted and they were relieved by the Seventeenth Iowa.
The enemy by this time being checked, were breaking and commenced their retreat. The
Twenty-sixth Missouri, upon being faced to the front, commenced firing. They, being in plain
view of the enemy, were also exposed to the flanking fire, and were ordered to change front to
the rear on first company, which was done steadily, and gave the regiment a position somewhat
sheltered by a gully in the side of the hill, from which they kept up a constant fire upon the
enemy, materially aiding the two regiments of our left in checking them. Their position again
becoming exposed to a flank fire, they were ordered to fall back under the crest of the hill, a few
yards distant, again changing front, which position they held until their cartridges were
exhausted and they were ordered to the rear for ammunition, and formed on the right of the
Ninety-third Illinois and Tenth Iowa. The Fifth Iowa, upon facing to the front, charged down the
hill and up to the crest of the next one beyond, from which position they poured in a constant fire
at short range on the faltering battalions of the enemy, when Lieutenant-Colonel Sampson,
commanding the regiment, observing that our left was being turned by the enemy, ordered his
regiment to fall back to the crest of the next ridge, which position he maintained until the close
of the action; then withdrew and took up position on the left of the brigade, replenishing
cartridges. Our loss in this action was very severe.
O Officers. A Aggregate
M Enlisted Men.
--Killed-- -Wounded- Missing.
Command. O M O M O M A
93d Illinois 1 37 6 107 1 10 162
5th Iowa 2 17 3 72 .... .... 94
10th Iowa 3 33 6 125 .... .... 167
26th Missouri 2 16 3 66 .... .... 87
Total 8 103 18 370 1 10 510
The officers and men of this command all behaved with extraordinary coolness and courage
under circumstances the most trying. I cannot, therefore, consistently mention the names of one
before another, but was greatly indebted to all the regimental commanders for their assistance in
this terrible ordeal. We took 150 prisoners from the enemy and turned them over to the provostmarshal.
At 6 p.m., the enemy being routed, we again moved forward 3 miles and halted for the
On the 17th, moved forward again at 8 a.m., and reached Big Black River about noon.
On the 18th, crossed the river, and pushed on toward Vicksburg 6 miles.
On the 19th, moved on again and took position at noon in front of the enemy's works, the
right of this brigade touching the left of General Logan's division; advanced at 2 p.m. under a
terrible storm of shell from the enemy's batteries, and took position half a mile nearer their
works, losing but 2 men of the Twenty-sixth Missouri killed and 3 of the Ninety-third Illinois
On the 20th, this brigade moved forward in line three-quarters of a mile, occupying a new
position immediately in front of our former position, to the left of and supporting De Golyer's
On the 21st, pushed a strong force of skirmishers in advance a quarter of a mile, covering our
line and joining right and left with our supports. Lost there 1 man killed and 2 wounded, from the
Twenty-sixth Missouri Regiment, our whole line being constantly exposed to the enemy's fire.
On the 22d, a charge was ordered by the whole line at 10 o'clock. This brigade moved
forward about a quarter of a mile at 8 a.m., formed in the hollow, slightly protected from the fire
of the enemy, each regiment in column, closed by division, the Ninety-third Illinois on the right,
Tenth Iowa next, Twenty-sixth Missouri next, and the Fifth Iowa on the left. At 10 o'clock we
pushed forward to the crest of the next hill, but were met by a terrible storm of grape, canister,
and musketry, and the ground being almost impassable from gullies, covered by a heavy abatis
of fallen trees, underbrush, vines, &c., the whole position enfiladed by the guns of the enemy, the
brigade commander ordered a halt for a few moments. In gaining this position our loss was: Fifth
Iowa, 1 killed and 2 wounded, and Tenth Iowa, 2 men killed and 1 officer and 13 men wounded.
Total, 3 killed and 16 wounded.
Receiving renewed orders to charge, preparations were immediately made and the charge
ordered, when an aide from the division commander arrived, countermanded former orders, and
ordered us to the support of General McClernand's corps on the left. Arriving at 4 p.m., this
brigade was ordered to report to General Carr, which it did, and he immediately ordered the
brigade to charge the enemy's intrenchments on the third range of hills in our front and about 120
rods distant. The brigade was formed in two lines parallel with each other and about 50 yards
between, Fifth Iowa on the right and front, Ninety-third Illinois on the left and front, supported in
rear by the Tenth Iowa, Twenty-sixth Missouri supporting the Fifth Iowa. The advance was
immediately ordered, and the line moved steadily forward at common time, all the while exposed
to a most deadly fire from the whole line of the enemy's works--right, left, and front. We passed
the first and principal ridge and halted in the hollow beyond, partially under cover of the second
ridge, to correct alignment, and the position of the Fifth Iowa was changed by the left flank to the
left of the Ninety-third Illinois, for the purpose of being more central to the position to be
charged. At this moment the brigade commander, Col. George B. Boomer, was instantly killed
by a musket ball from the enemy, and Col. Holden Putnam, of the Ninety-third Regiment Illinois
Infantry, assumed command, and immediately ordered the advance made, as we had approached
the works thus far. At this moment Major McCalla, of the Tenth Iowa, said, in the presence of
the troops, that Colonel Boomer's last words were to let the rifle-pits alone. As I was acting
directly under orders from Colonel Boomer, and had received orders from no other commander,
also perceiving that the enemy had advanced on my left and torn down a flag of ours, previously
placed upon their works, I deemed it advisable to, and did, send Lieutenant Stoddard, aide-decamp,
to General Carr, to know if he wished me to move upon the works, and afterward received
orders from one of General Carr's aides to remain in position until dark, and then withdraw to the
position where we first formed our line. After dark we withdrew our troops in good order and
brought away our killed and wounded.
During the night we held the position where the line was first formed, and remained in that
position under a heavy fire of the enemy until the 23d, at 3 p.m., when we were ordered to return
to the position now occupied, forming the left of the Seventeenth Army Corps, the men being
nearly exhausted by the hard fighting of the 22d and watchfulness of the following nights.
All of which is respectfully submitted.
Colonel, Commanding Brigade.
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
Demopolis, Ala., August 1, 1863.
SIR: I have the honor, in obedience to the instructions of the lieutenant-general commanding
to submit the following report of the action of the Second Brigade at the battle of Baker's Creek
on May 16 last:
About 11 o'clock on the morning of May 12, the forces of the enemy attacked my pickets---
composed of three companies of infantry and a, section of artillery, commanded by Major [W.
C.] Parker--some 4 miles south of Edwards Depot. The enemy opened upon us with skirmishers
and artillery. I had possession of the creek where the road crosses leading to Port Gibson. I held
them in check at this point for an hour or more, when we had to fall back slowly to the reserve
(in order to keep them from flanking us), which was some 2 miles south of Edwards Depot.
There I put my infantry and artillery in position, and telegraphed to General Bowen my idea of
the enemy's movements. General Bowen dispatched me to hold the enemy in check, if possible,
until night, then, if I could do no more, to burn the commissary stores then at the depot, and fall
back to the bridge on Big Black. I called upon General Bowen for the wagon trains of both
brigades, and I would save the stores that night. He did so, and by daylight next morning we had
everything out of the depot--about seventy-five wagon loads. At the time General Bowen started
the wagons to me he telegraphed me to hold my position; that General Green would be ordered
to my support at once. Accordingly, at daylight General Green arrived, followed by Colonel [F.
M.] Cockrell's brigade, also Generals Loring's and Stevenson's divisions. They formed line of
battle 2 miles south of Edwards Depot.
About 12 o'clock, General Loring ordered me to take a battalion of sharpshooters: then
commanded by Captain [W. S.] Catterson, move to the front and press the Federal pickets, and
ascertain whether or not the enemy were there in force. I did so, and drove in the enemy's
pickets, but soon had to fall back myself, for I was satisfied, from the force they brought up, that
their whole force was there. I reported the same to Generals Green and Bowen.
About 12 o'clock on the 15th, we were ordered to move out on the road leading from the
depot to Clinton. We followed the Clinton road until after crossing Baker's Creek. We then took
a neighborhood road through some plantations, and about 11 p.m. bivouacked for the night and
threw out skirmishers.
About sunrise the 16th, a skirmish commenced with General Grant's and General
Pemberton's troops. I was ordered by General Green to call my men in line and move by the right
companies to the rear, which we did, first and last, to the distance of about a mile. We halted,
about-faced, and moved to the front some 600 yards and halted in the timber. I occupied the right
of Green's brigade. General Green sent me word that General Loring was preparing for a charge,
and did not want his brigade to be behind in the charge. We remained in this position, I suppose,
about an hour. By this time the enemy had attacked General Stevenson, on our left. We were
then moved by the left flank at a double-quick nearly three-fourths of a mile; were then put in
line of battle and moved to the front 200 or 300 yards before we commenced firing. There
Colonel Cockrell met me with his saber in hand, and exclaimed he was very glad to see me, for
he had been under a desperate fire. I immediately ordered a charge, which my men obeyed as
promptly as I ever saw troops in my life. We drove the enemy about a half or three-quarters of a
mile through a corn-field and across some deep ravines before they brought us to a stand. This
was under a desperate fire. They occupied one ridge and I another, with a deep, narrow ravine
between us. There they shot my horse three times, and he lay down and died like a soldier. Three
times I tried to drive them from their position, but my men were not able to ascend the hill on
which the enemy's line was formed.
At different times my adjutant came to me to know what we were to do for ammunition. I
told him to take the ammunition from the dead and wounded that lay on the field. My loss here
was upward of 100 men.
We held our position until we were forced for the want of ammunition to fall back. This, I
think, was about 3 o'clock. I then saw General Green. He said that the orders were to fall back
beyond Baker's Creek, below the bridge over which we had crossed in going out the night
before. We did so, and formed in an open field, to hold the crossing until General Loring could
cross. The enemy crossed the creek above where we did, and commenced a heavy cannonade
upon us, and soon drove us from our position, though in the mean while we replenished our
ammunition. We then took the road toward Edwards Depot and Big Black Bridge. I got there
about I 1 o'clock, and crossed the river to my wagon train.
Just after sunrise the 17th, I was ordered by General Green to put my men under arms and be
ready to move to the east side of the river. In a few minutes I started. General Green
accompanied me. The firing was then going on between the men who occupied the ditches that
night and the enemy's skirmishers. We crossed over the bridge and moved up the river about half
a mile. Here General Green halted and ordered me to move 400 or 500 yards higher up the river,
and take my position in some rifle-pits next to the river, on the left of the line of battle, which we
did at once. We commenced a heavy skirmish with the enemy. Here my horse received a very
bad wound in the face, which brought him to the ground. I then went in the ditches myself. We
skirmished with the enemy for about an hour before they made the charge. They formed their
men on the river in the timber where we could not see them. They brought their men out by the
right flank in column of fours about 140 yards in front of my regiment at a double-quick, Colonel
[W. 11.] Kinsman's regiment (Twenty-third Iowa, General Lawler's brigade) leading the charge.
I then opened a most terrific fire upon them, and kept it up until the brigade had passed out of my
sight behind a grove of timber that stood immediately on my right. They moved so as to strike
the ditches occupied by General Vaughn's brigade, so I am informed. I do not know whose
troops were there, but it was immediately on the right of Green's brigade. After they had passed
me, I listened for our men to open a heavy volley on my right and drive the enemy back. Upon
not hearing any firing on the right, I directed Lieutenant-Colonel [George W.]Law to mount his
horse and go to General Green and know whether the center were holding their position or not.
Colonel Law returned in a few minutes, and said that General Green ordered me to fall back. I
did so at once. After I had got back below the bend of the river, I discovered that they had
crossed the ditches and were between me and the bridge. My lieutenant-colonel, being mounted,
thought he could make his escape, and did so with the loss of the left arm. I told my men to
swim the river. They all took the river except about 90 officers and men. One or two of my men
were drowned in trying to swim the river. The officers and men who could not swim pleaded so
hard for me to stay with them that I gave way to them, and we were all captured. I remained with
the enemy three days and made my escape. I cannot give any account of anything that transpired
after this until after the fall of Vicksburg.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel First-Missouri Cavalry.
Major [R. W.] MEMMINGER,
Camp, in rear of Vicksburg, Miss., May 26, 1863.
SIR: I have the honor to submit the following field report of the operations of my brigade
from the date I assumed command of it at Port Gibson, Miss., May 2, 1863, to the present time.
In it I have included the distances marched, the time in which the march was made, the battles
fought, the number killed and wounded, the number of prisoners taken, the number of cannon,
small-arms, and other stores, with kind and quantity of all property. For a report of the operations
of the brigade from the date of its departure from Milliken's Bend to May 2, 1863, you are
respectfully referred to the report of Col. C. L. Harris, Eleventh Wisconsin Volunteers,
accompanying this, and to the able report of Col. William M. Stone, Twenty-second Iowa
Volunteers, which is already in your possession.
On May 2, at Port Gibson, Miss., in accordance with General Orders No. 15, from division
headquarters, I assumed command of the Second Brigade, composed then of four infantry
regiments and a battery, viz, the Twenty-first, Twenty-second, and Twenty-third Iowa, and
Eleventh Wisconsin Volunteers, and the First Iowa Battery, with an aggregate effective force of
2,300 men. The brigade, with the exception of the Eleventh Wisconsin Volunteers, marched for
Willow Springs early May 3, the Eleventh Wisconsin, Col. C. L. Harris commanding, having
been left behind to hold Port Gibson until further orders.
On arriving at the south fork of Bayou Pierre, I received orders to discontinue my march to
Willow Springs, and was instructed by the brigadier-general commanding the division to report
my brigade at the crossings of Bayou Pierre, to watch the line of the bayou, the new bridge
constructed over it, to protect the rear of and hold the town of Port Gibson, with all of which I
fully complied. Posting two regiments, the Twenty-second and Twenty-first Iowa Volunteers,
and two pieces of artillery at the railroad and suspension bridges over the bayou, and the
Twenty-third Iowa, the Eleventh Wisconsin Volunteers, and four pieces of artillery in the town
of Port Gibson, we remained in quiet occupation of the above line until Monday [Tuesday], May
5, subsisting upon the country. In the mean time our army transportation was pushed forward.
The rebel wounded at Port Gibson and near the battle-field were paroled, and our own
wounded removed to the general hospital. When everything had been brought up from
Bruinsburg, I moved with my command, in obedience to orders, to join the division on the
Willow Springs road, bringing up with me all the stragglers from the advance army corps, over
one thousand stand of small-arms and fifteen barrels of powder, a portion of the spoils of victory
at Thompson's Hill. The brigade reached Willow Springs at 9 p.m., and encamped at the
On the 6th, orders were received to send a regiment back to Port Gibson to protect our
ambulance corps from a raid of rebel cavalry reported in that vicinity. Accordingly, the Eleventh
Wisconsin Volunteers, Colonel Harris, was started at once on the road to Port Gibson; but before
reaching that place the colonel learned that our ambulances were coming up, and that there was
nothing on that road in their rear to tempt an attack from the enemy. He therefore returned,
rejoining the brigade in the afternoon of the day he started.
May 7, the brigade marched for Big Sandy Creek, 4 miles beyond Rocky Springs, on the
Jackson road, arriving there by 10 a.m. We immediately took position in a cleared field on the
hills above the creek, on the right of the main road and on the left of the First Brigade, throwing
out a strong picket force, and making every preparation for an attack.
Here we remained in camp until 10 o'clock May 10, when we abandoned our position on Big
Sandy, and marched for Five-Mile Creek, on the Cayuga road, arriving there at noon of that day.
We encamped and remained until May 12.
May 12, we moved to Fourteen-Mile Creek, on the Auburn and Edwards Station road,
arriving shortly after the pickets and a small party of the enemy's cavalry had been routed by the
advance of Hovey's division, and driven over that stream. In anticipation of an attack from the
enemy in force, we went into position on the left of our line, in the edge of the cleared field next
the creek, which position we held tin-disturbed during the night.
On the 13th, making a flank movement to the right, we marched toward Raymond,
encamping for the night within 4 miles of that place, and near the battle-field of the day previous.
May 14, we moved through Raymond to within 7 miles of Jackson, Miss.
May 15, Jackson having been occupied by our troops the evening before, we countermarched
through Raymond, in the rear of Edwards Station, halting and occupying a strong position for the
night at Hawkins' plantation, 3 miles this side of Raymond, where we held ourselves in readiness
to march to the support of Osterhaus' division in case it should be attacked, of which there was
some apprehension.
Nothing unusual, however, occurred, and on the 16th, early in the morning, the brigade
resumed its march for Edwards Station. This day our army fought and won the battle of
Champion's Hill.
I submit below the official report of the Second Brigade, Carr's division, Thirteenth Army
Corps, in the battle of Champion's Hill.
At 10 a.m. heavy artillery and skirmish firing was heard in our front. The Ninth Division,
General Osterhaus', and the Tenth, General Smith's, came upon the enemy strongly posted on a
range of hills bordering Baker's Creek. Osterhaus' division drew up in position in the first large
cane-field on the east side of the hills; Carr's division was posted an a reserve, close column by
division, a few hundred yards to the rear in the same field; Benton's brigade on the right, and my
brigade on the left of the road. Here we remained, resting on our arms during the forenoon and
until 2 o'clock in the afternoon, when orders were received to move up to the corner of the field,
leaving one regiment, the Eleventh Wisconsin Volunteers, as a support to the First Wisconsin
and Seventh Indiana [Michigan] Batteries, which were in position in the center of the clearing.
Shortly after this I was ordered to move forward my command and occupy the ground
between the left of the First Brigade and General Smith's right, my right resting at the forks of
the road. Instructions were given me to open communication with General Smith, keep it open
during the engagement, and to anticipate any movement the enemy might make with a view to
turn our left. To communicate with General Smith a company of skirmishers were sent forward,
who soon succeeded in reaching his right.
Shortly afterward, the enemy engaged the Sixteenth Kentucky [?] and one other regiment,
belonging to Osterhaus' division, which had been sent out as skirmishers in advance of my
brigade: The firing was spirited from both artillery and infantry, and compelled these regiments
to give way and fall back toward a small field on our extreme left.
To support these regiments and to check the enemy's advance, I moved my whole command
down to the field, sending forward the Twenty-second Iowa (Colonel Stone) in the advance to
annoy the enemy and attract his attention while the remainder of the brigade was getting into
position. As we emerged from the woods into the field, the enemy opened fire upon us with
musketry and a battery posted on a hill near the farm-house, subsequently used as a hospital,
bursting several shells in close proximity to the head of the column, but doing no damage. The
Peoria Battery was quickly brought forward to the rising ground in the center of the field, and,
having opened on the enemy, soon silenced his battery and compelled him to withdraw it in
haste. An advance of my whole line was then made, upon which the rebels broke and fled,
pressed by the brigade as rapidly and closely as a proper precaution and the conformation of the
ground would permit.
The two skirmishing companies of the Twenty-second Iowa, and those also of the Twentyfirst
and Twenty-third Iowa Regiments, succeeded in capturing and bringing in large numbers of
prisoners and small-arms in abundance.
The enemy, after his flight commenced, did not attempt to make any determined stand; but
while our skirmishers were advancing through the cleared field in the rear of the hospital, he
opened fire upon them with two pieces of artillery, posted on a high hill to our left and in
General Smith's front. Immediately ordering up the Peoria Battery, it took position in the field,
and opened a fire on the rebel guns so accurate and severe that it again silenced them, killing the
horses of one piece, and as our advance was close upon them, they were compelled to abandon it,
and it was soon after taken possession of by the Eighth Illinois, Stevenson's brigade, Logan's
division. We continued in pursuit, without further incident of importance, until we received
orders from you to abandon it and move up on the Edwards Station road to join the First Brigade,
which we did, overtaking it at the station, and going into camp there for the night.
Although my brigade was not permitted to take a very prominent part in the battle of
Champion's :Hill, still, enough was done to enable me to prove my men and satisfy myself
thoroughly of their valor and soldierly qualities.
Lieutenant Fenton, of the Peoria Battery, and his men deserve credit for the good service they
rendered in twice silencing the enemy's guns.
On the morning of the 17th, by 3.30 a.m., Carr's division was again on the road in pursuit of
the enemy, Benton's brigade having the advance.
We came upon the enemy at Big Black Bridge, strongly posted behind skillfully constructed
rifle-pits, extending across a neck of land formed by the Big Black River, his flanks well
protected by this stream, and having in his front in addition to the rifle-pits, a bayou filled with
brush and fallen trees. This, combined with the fact that there were cleared fields of from 400 to
600 yards in width along his whole front from bend to bend of the stream, rendered his position
really formidable and difficult of approach, subjecting a clearing party, it would seem, to almost
certain destruction at the commencement of the contest.
To support Benton's brigade, orders were received to form the brigade in two lines on both
sides of the road, the artillery in the center. Shortly afterward I received orders to change
position, and by an oblique movement to the right occupy the ground on the right of Benton's
brigade, and meet a movement the enemy were reported to be making in that direction with a
view to flank us.
This order having been executed, I was instructed by the brigadier-general commanding the
division to move forward slowly and cautiously with my command, and develop and press back,
if possible, the enemy's left.
Accordingly, I ordered Col. C. L. Harris, Eleventh Wisconsin Volunteers, who held the left
of our new position, to move his regiment forward through the woods in his front, his
skirmishers covering his advance, and the Twenty-third Iowa, Colonel Kinsman, to follow him at
a distance of 100 yards as a support. At the same time I advanced the Twenty-first Iowa
Volunteers, Col. Samuel Merrill, into the cleared field skirting Big Black River, with instructions
to move forward on a line with the Eleventh Wisconsin. The Peoria Battery was left in position
on the rising ground in the edge of the field, and the Twenty-second Iowa in rear as a reserve and
Meanwhile there had commenced a spirited artillery engagement between the battery of
Benton's brigade and the enemy's cannon in position behind their works. The skirmishers of the
First Brigade were actively engaged, and those of the Eleventh Wisconsin Volunteers, which
regiment advanced steadily forward through the timber to the field in front of the enemy's works,
and distant from them about 400 yards. Here I ordered it to halt, and move down to the right
through the field skirting the river, and take position in the woods and brush lining this stream.
This movement Colonel Harris promptly executed, reaching the position designated without
serious loss, though exposed to a heavy fire from the enemy's sharpshooters.
The Twenty-third Iowa, Colonel Kinsman, having come up after the Eleventh Wisconsin,
was ordered to make a similar movement to the right, and to move up under cover of the river
bank and take position on the right of the Eleventh Wisconsin and as close as possible to the
enemy's works, and the Twenty-first Iowa, Colonel Merrill, to take position on the bank between
these two regiments. I also directed the Peoria Battery to take position in the open field in front
of the left of the enemy and to open an enfilading fire on their center batteries, with which the
battery of Benton's brigade was engaged. At the same time the Twenty-second Iowa, Colonel
Stone, was ordered to move forward on the left of the field to within supporting distance. These
orders were quickly responded to, and the position thus occupied by the brigade continued to be
held without material variation.
During the greater part of the forenoon heavy but ineffectual musketry firing was kept up by
the enemy upon my men, briskly responded to by our sharpshooters. Late in the forenoon,
finding it impossible to press farther forward along the river bank toward the enemy, as I had
intended, Colonel Kinsman, Twenty-third Iowa Volunteers, proposed to charge at once the
enemy's works and drive them out at the point of the bayonet, and asked my consent to the same.
Foreseeing that a charge by a single regiment, unsustained by the whole line, against
fortifications as formidable as those in his front, could hardly be successful, at the same time I
gave my consent to his daring proposition I determined that there should be a simultaneous
movement on the part of my whole command. Accordingly, the Twenty-first Iowa Volunteers,
Colonel Merrill, was ordered to charge with the Twenty-third, the Eleventh Wisconsin
Volunteers following close upon them as a support, and the Twenty-second Iowa, Col. William
M. Stone--which had in the mean time crossed the field and taken position on the river bank on
the right of the Eleventh Wisconsin--were ordered to move out into the field and act as a reserve
force. Two guns of the Peoria Battery and one 20-pounder Parrott, belonging to the First
Wisconsin Battery, were in position in the field, actively at work upon the enemy and doing good
service. In addition, orders had been sent to the Forty-ninth and Sixty-ninth Indiana Volunteers--
two regiments which had been sent from Osterhaus' division to my support early in the forenoon-
-to send forward at once two companies as skirmishers to attract the attention of the enemy from
the movement on the right, and as soon as the charge should be commenced to move promptly
forward to its support. Orders were further given that the men should reserve their fire until upon
the rebel works.
Finally the regiments that were to lead the charge were formed, with bayonets fixed, in the
edge of the woods on the river bank. All things being in readiness, the command "forward" was
given by Colonel Kinsman, and at once his noble regiment sprang forward to the works. The
Twenty-first, led on by Colonel Merrill, moved at the same instant, the Eleventh Wisconsin,
Colonel Harris, closely following. Through a terrible fire of musketry from the enemy in front
and a galling fire from his sharpshooters on the right, these brave men dashed bravely on.
Kinsman fell, dangerously wounded, before half the distance was accomplished. Struggling
to his feet, he staggered a few paces to the front, cheered forward his men, and fell again, this
time to rise no more, pierced through by a second ball.
Colonel Merrill, the brave commander of the Twenty-first Iowa, fell, wounded early in the
charge: while gallantly leading his regiment against the enemy.
Immediately Lieutenant-Colonel Glasgow placed himself at the head of the Twenty-third,
and Major Van Anda led on the Twenty-first. Undismayed by the loss of their colonels, and by
the perfect hailstorm of bullets poured into them with destructive effect, the men of the Twentythird
and Twenty-first Iowa and the Eleventh Wisconsin Volunteers pressed onward, nearer and
nearer, to the rebel works, over the open field, 500 yards, under a wasting fire, and up to the edge
of the bayou. Halting here only long enough to pour into the enemy a deadly volley, they dashed
forward through the bayou, filled with water, fallen timber, and brush, on to the rebel works with
the shout of victors, driving the enemy in with confusion from their breastworks and rifle-pits,
and entering in triumph the rebel stronghold.
Hurrying forward the Forty-ninth and Sixty-ninth Indiana and Twenty-second Iowa
Volunteers, I sent the two Indiana regiments to the support of my left, and ordered the Iowa
regiment to move against the extreme left of the enemy's works, where they, several hundred
strong, still held out, while the Eleventh Wisconsin Volunteers was directed to occupy the
ground between the enemy and the bridge, and thus cut off their retreat. The movement was
successful. The rebels broke and fled before the Twenty-second Iowa, and fell an easy prey into
the hands of the Eleventh Wisconsin Volunteers. Those of the rebels who were not captured
hastened to make good their retreat over the bridge. As the result of this successful charge, we
may with justice claim that it gave our army entire possession of the enemy's extended lines of
works, and with them their field artillery (eighteen pieces in all)., a large quantity of
ammunition, thousands of small-arms, and 3,000 prisoners.
By our brigade were captured 1,460 small-arms, several hundred accouterments, chiefly
collected by the Eleventh Wisconsin Volunteers, 1,120 prisoners, and 4 stand of colors.
It is, perhaps, worthy of remark that more men were captured by my brigade than I had men
in the charge; but this brilliant success was not accomplished without considerable loss; 14 killed
and 185 wounded in the space of three minutes, the time occupied in reaching the enemy's
works, attest the severity of the fire to which my men were subjected. An official list is herewith
submitted, and also a drawing of the ground over which the charge was made.
Officers and men, almost without exception, behaved with the greatest gallantry; their
conduct reflects credit upon themselves and the noble cause in which they are engaged. Among
the many who behaved efficiently and bravely I take pleasure in mentioning the following:
Col. C. L. Harris, Eleventh Wisconsin Volunteers, led his regiment gallantly during the
whole battle, and by his coolness and good judgment rendered valuable service.
Col. Samuel Merrill, Twenty-first Iowa Volunteers, deserves particular mention for his
bravery and the gallant manner in which he led his regiment to the charge.
Col. William M. Stone, Twenty-second Iowa Volunteers, though suffering severely from
disease, was present in the field, sharing its dangers, and has my thanks for the promptness with
which he moved his command against the left of the enemy's works.
Lieut. Col. S. L. Glasgow, of the Twenty-third Iowa Volunteers, and Maj. S. G. Van Anda, of
the Twenty-first Iowa Volunteers, who assumed command of their respective regiments after the
fall of their colonels, deserve the highest praise, and are entitled to great credit for the activity,
courage, and skill which they displayed during the hottest part of the engagement. They had the
honor of leading their regiments into the enemy's works.
Maj. Arthur Platt, Eleventh Wisconsin Volunteers, Major Atherton, Twenty-second Iowa
Volunteers, and Major Clark, of the Twenty-third Iowa Volunteers, freely exposed themselves
and did their duty nobly.
The line officers of the different regiments, almost to a man, displayed great personal
courage, and handled their companies with much ability; their good conduct greatly assisted the
Captain Houston, Company A, Captain Brown, Company I, and Lieutenant Rawlings,
Company F, of the Twenty-third, with their commands, broke the enemy's line in a swamp at the
edge of the timber, and poured an enfilading fire into the ditches that routed the rebels in
confusion. Lieutenant Rawlings, Company F, Twenty-third Iowa, captured the colors of the
Sixty-first Tennessee, wresting them from the rebel color-bearer. Captain Houston, of Company
A, Twenty-third Iowa, captured the colors of the Twenty-first Arkansas.
Corpl. John W. Boone, color-bearer of the Twenty-third, fell, severely wounded, Corpl. J. T.
Shipman grasped them [the colors] and bore them gallantly to the front and through the whole
Captains Crooke, Harrison, Boardman, Swivel, Watson, Voorhees, and Jones, of the Twentyfirst
Iowa, gallantly led their companies against the enemy's intrenchments. Lieutenant Howard,
Twenty-first Iowa, acting adjutant, was among the first in the charge, and, while manfully doing
his duty and cheering on his men fell, mortally wounded. Lieuts. W. A. Roberts, [George H.]
Childs, [Jr.] Dolson, McDonald, Bolton, Dickinson, and Bates, of the Twenty-first Iowa, were
conspicuous in the fight and behaved in a manner worthy of all praise.
Capts. D. E. Hough, Company A, and Chrystie, Company H, and Lieutenant Freeman,
Company A, of the Eleventh Wisconsin Volunteers, were dangerously wounded while engaged
in skirmish duty before the charge. All the officers and men of this gallant regiment behaved
nobly, and are brave and reliable. Wisconsin may well be proud of her Eleventh Regiment.
The Peoria Battery, Lieut. Frank B. Fenton, did good service. Lieutenant Fenton and his men
deserve much praise for the cool and effective manner in which they served their guns, and for
the promptness with which they moved their battery up to the enemy's works and opened on
them as soon as their retreat commenced.
Special and honorable mention should be made of A.M. Lyon, esq., sutler of the Twentythird
Iowa, a brave old man, who took a gun at the commencement of the battle, went into the
ranks, fought nobly, and fell, mortally wounded.
The death of Colonel Kinsman, of the Twenty-third Iowa Volunteers, whose brave and
gallant conduct is t he theme of universal praise, fills the hearts of all who knew him with
poignant sorrow. A splendid soldier, perfect gentleman, and a finished scholar, endowed in the
highest degree with the noblest qualities of true manhood, his loss cannot prove less to his State
and country than a public calamity to the officers and soldiers of his command, who had learned
to love and respect him with an earnestness and devotion rarely equaled. His loss is irreparable,
but he fell as the true soldier wishes to fall--in the moment of victory, when his country's flag
waved in triumph over the stronghold of rebel treason, and died as the true soldier wishes to die,
with Christian resignation and fortitude.
To my staff much praise is due for the promptness they displayed in carrying my orders to
different parts of the field during the progress of the battle.
Capt. E.G. White, Twenty-second Iowa Volunteers, assistant inspector-general of the
brigade, deserves special praise for his coolness and bravery, and for valuable services rendered
in reconnoitering the enemy's position.
Capt. Bluford Wilson, assistant adjutant-general, and First Lieut. R. E. Jackson, Eleventh
Wisconsin Volunteers, acting aide-decamp, exposed themselves freely and rendered me good
Finally, I cannot close this report without expressing my admiration for the brave men in the
ranks, to whose steadiness and determined courage is in a great measure due the glory of the
brilliant and decisive victory of Big Black Bridge. To them I return my warmest thanks. A
grateful country will see that their services are appropriately rewarded.
The remainder of the 17th instant and the day after the battle was spent in collecting up the
arms and accouterments left on the battlefield by the enemy, in taking care of our wounded,
burying our dead, and in recruiting our broken ranks. The Twenty-third Iowa Volunteers, which
had borne so distinguished a part and suffered so severely in the charge, was placed as a guard
over the captured prisoners, and, by order of Maj. Gen. U.S. Grant, has since gone north with
them, thus losing to me for the time being the services of this command.
On the evening of the 18th, all transportation belonging to the army in front, captured smallarms,
and artillery having passed over Big Black, I crossed the brigade, and sending forward the
Twenty-second Iowa Volunteers as a protection to the advance of the train, I encamped with the
remainder of my command on the bank of the river for the night.
Marching early the 19th instant, I arrived in the rear of Vicksburg and rejoined the division in
the afternoon of that day. During the remainder of the 19th instant and all day of the 20th, my
brigade acted as a reserve to the troops of Smith's division, operating against the fortifications of
At night of the 20th, orders were received to move forward and take the advance, relieving
Landram's brigade, of Smith's division, which was quietly and quickly done under cover of the
darkness. As soon as I had taken the advance, to protect my ranks from the enemy's
sharpshooters rifle-pits were put in course of construction.
This work progressed favorably during the 21st. Two pieces of artillery, belonging to the
Peoria Battery, were also brought up and planted on our right, in line with the pits.
Late in the evening of the 21st, orders were received to charge the enemy's works at 10 a.m.
on the 22d instant, this to be a part of a simultaneous movement of our whole army upon the
rebel fortifications.
For an account of the operations of this brigade on May 22, you are respectfully referred to
the official report of the Second Brigade, Fourteenth Division, Thirteenth Army Corps, May 22,
By daylight on the morning of the 22d instant, my brigade, consisting of the Eleventh
Wisconsin and the Twenty-first and Twenty-second Iowa Volunteers, had moved forward and
occupied the ravine immediately in front of and about 100 yards from the rebel fortifications.
The Ninety-seventh Illinois, Lieutenant-Colonel Martin, placed temporarily under my command,
was stationed in the ravine in the rear of the Eleventh Wisconsin Volunteers. Here they were
sheltered by the brow of the hill, on the top and a little to the rear of which the enemy's works
were constructed.
This position they continued to occupy without change until the hour (10 a.m.) appointed for
the charge arrived. Promptly at the hour my line was formed for the assault, the Twenty-second
Iowa, Col. William M. Stone, occupying the right; the Eleventh Wisconsin, Colonel Harris, the
left, with the Twenty-first Iowa, Major Van Anda, supporting the Twenty-second, and the
Ninety-seventh Illinois the Eleventh Wisconsin. Colonel Stone led his regiment against the
enemy's fort directly in our front; the Eleventh Wisconsin, Colonel Harris, charged toward the
rifle-pits to the left of the fort, the two supporting regiments closely following. As soon as they
reached the crest of the hill, a terrible fire from the enemy in front and on both flanks swept the
ground and did fearful execution. Officers and men fell on every side; but, with a courage that
could not be daunted, the Twenty-second and Twenty-first Iowa on the right, and the Eleventh
Wisconsin and a portion of the Ninety-seventh Illinois on the left, moved upon the enemy’s
works. Reaching them, the width and depth of the ditch in front of the works, combined with the
heavy fire poured into them by the rebels, checked the main advance of the Twenty-second and
Twenty-first Iowa; a few brave men, however, leaping into the ditch, clambered up the sides of
the fort, rushed into it, engaging in a hand-to-hand conflict with the rebels occupying the outer
wing of the fort, overcame them, killing many and compelling the remainder to surrender. Thus a
portion of their works were in our possession, with the flag of the Twenty-second Iowa planted
upon the walls. Those men of the Twenty-first and Twenty-second who did not go into the fort
sheltered themselves in the ditch in its front and the gullies washed on the sides of the hill, and
opened a vigorous and effective fire upon the rebels.
On the left, the Eleventh Wisconsin Volunteers, Colonel Harris, with portions of the Twentysecond
and Twenty-first Iowa Volunteers, which had become detached from their commands,
and Ninety-seventh Illinois, succeeded in crossing the brow of the hill, under shelter of which
their line had been formed; but, unfortunately, between them and the enemy's pits in their front
was a deep and hitherto concealed ravine, filled with abatis. Into this Colonel Harris moved with
his command, but beyond it, owing partly to the difficulty of the ravine itself, partly to the
concentrated fire of the enemy, and partly to a want of sufficient support, he found it impossible
to advance. Disposing of his men in the bottom and along the sides of the ravine as best he could,
he halted and bravely held his ground.
In the mean time Landram's brigade had moved forward to my support, and as it came up
into the ravine the Nineteenth Kentucky was ordered to move over the bill to the assistance of
the Eleventh Wisconsin Volunteers, which, under the leadership of the major commanding, they
promptly did, losing, however, many men in the passage, among whom, I regret to say, was their
gallant major.
The Seventy-seventh Illinois moved up to the right to the support of the Twenty-second and
Twenty-first Iowa. Facing the fire of the enemy, they advanced upon the rebel fort, and planted
their banner on its walls beside those of the Twenty-second Iowa. The One hundred and thirtieth
Illinois halted in the ravine as a reserve; but while my command was being strengthened, as
above, the enemy were not idle. Heavy re-enforcements had been drawn from their right and
massed in my front behind their works.
As my men were already much exhausted, and as the re-enforcements sent them were light,
farther advance under the circumstances was deemed impracticable, and orders were accordingly
issued directing the men of the two brigades to hold the ground already gained, and this with the
hope that re-enforcements might soon be forwarded, with whose aid they might assault the rebel
works with a certainty of success. No re-enforcements, however, could be spared us during the
forenoon, and until late in the afternoon our position remained the same as in the morning. All
the efforts of the enemy to dislodge or drive us back were unavailing. At sunset, however, a
determined rush was made by the rebels to regain possession of their work, which, in
consequence of the exhaustion of the men holding it, was successful.
Falling back a few rods from the rebel works until they obtained the protection of the crest of
the hill, my men halted and opened such a fire upon the enemy as effectually checked their
advance and compelled them to remain close under the protection of their works. A heavy fire
was kept up from both sides until dark, when, by mutual consent, it ceased.
At 8 p.m. I received orders to withdraw my men and occupy the same ground I held the
evening before the charge, which was promptly done, after bringing off all my wounded, with
the exception of those in the ditch immediately under the rebel works.
The loss of the brigade in the course of the day's fighting was very heavy. Out of the three
regiments composing it, 375 were killed, wounded, and missing. An official list is herewith
Among the killed I regret to name Lieutenant-Colonel Dunlap, of the Twenty-first Iowa,
who, though quite lame from a wound in the foot received in the battle near Port Gibson, still
managed to make his way to the advance of his regiment soon after the charge, where he was
almost immediately killed by a shot through the head.
Among the wounded was Col. William M. Stone, of the Twenty-second Iowa, who received
a ball through the arm soon after the flag of his regiment was planted on the walls of the rebel
fort; also Lieutenant-Colonel Graham, of the same regiment, who was wounded and taken
prisoner with several others in the evening, when the enemy regained possession of their works.
It is useless to undertake to make mention of all who distinguished themselves for bravery
and gallant conduct. All officers and men did their duty nobly, and by their coolness and courage
added new honors to those won at Port Gibson, at Champion's Hill, and Big Black. Sergt. Joseph
E. Griffith, Company I, Twenty-second Iowa Volunteers, distinguished himself particularly in
the charge on the fort, and is the only survivor but one of the men who took it in the morning.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Brigadier-General, Commanding.
Capt. C. H. DYER,
Assistant Adjutant-General.
May 18, 1863.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report the position of the Twenty-first Iowa Volunteer
Infantry, in the memorable battle of Black River, May 17, 1863.
The Twenty-first was formed in line of battle on the right, and immediately in front of the
enemy's fortifications, with the gallant Twenty-third Iowa Regiment on our right. Important
maneuvering and skirmishing took place from this position until late in the forenoon, when
orders were received to charge and carry the enemy's intrenchments at the point of the bayonet.
The order was obeyed. The right moved out of the woods in good order and charged on the run
across the open plain in front of the enemy's works, a distance of about 800 yards, driving the
enemy in utter confusion from their breastworks and rifle-pits and entering in triumph the
stronghold of the rebels. The enemy was strongly posted on our right, as well as in front. The
bullets came in showers from the flanks, and, combined with those coming from the horde of
rebels in the rifle pits in front, made an awful hailstorm, through which it seemed a miracle that a
single man passed uninjured. Colonel Merrill, commanding the regiment in the first part of the
charge with devotion and bravery, tell, severely wounded, while gallantly leading his regiment
against the enemy.
The Twenty-first captured a great many prisoners. This brilliant charge proved very
destructive to the regiment, and our loss was very heavy. An official list is herewith transmitted.
Officers and men, with but one or two exceptions, behaved coolly and bravely, and their conduct
reflects great credit upon themselves and their State, and creates a feeling of pride and gratitude
on the part of their friends.
I cannot, of course, make mention of all those who distinguished themselves on that battlefield,
as that would be to copy the roll of all present. Maj. S.G. Van Ands received the highest
credit for the coolness and bravery with which he conducted the charge, the left being in front,
through the storm of leaden hail. Much of the success of the charge is owing to his gallant
conduct and daring example. Captain Harrison was one of the first officers on the enemy's
works. Captains Swivel, Voorhees, Watson, Boardman, and Crooke behaved with great coolness.
Lieutenants Roberts, Childs, and Dolson received the praise of all who saw their bravery.
Lieutenant Howard, of Company B, acting adjutant, received a mortal wound while gallantly
performing his part in this gallant charge.
We lost many of our bravest men, but it was a great undertaking, and the object
accomplished was the most important of the war.
To Captain Wilson and Lieutenant Jackson, of the staff, too much praise cannot be given.
Their conduct was brave and noble, and they are held in the highest respect by every officer and
soldier of the command for the faithful manner in which they performed their duties.
I am, captain, your most obedient servant,
Lieutenant-Colonel Twenty-first Iowa.
Captain WILSON,
Assistant Adjutant-General.
On Board Steamer Luminary, May 19, 1863.
COLONEL: When we arrived within 15 miles of Greenville by way of river, and 7 across the
land, our advance boat, the Crescent City, was fired into several times from the Mississippi side,
wounding 9 men seriously and 5 slightly of the Third Iowa.
We immediately landed all of our troops, and pushed forward our cavalry to the point from
which we noticed the battery had been planted, but when the cavalry came up the battery had
We immediately started in pursuit, and chased them about 9 miles, but could not keep up
with them, not knowing the country as well as they did, and finally were compelled to give up
the chase without accomplishing the purpose of our landing.
There are several points above Greenville which the enemy have pierced, making
embrasures, and from one of these he made his attack on us. If a strong force of cavalry could be
sent to land above Greenville, I think there would be no difficulty in taking this battery, but they
are so well mounted that it is folly for infantry to pursue them. They had four pieces of artillery.
We have just arrived at Young's Point, and are awaiting orders. We are now proceeding to Grand
Very respectfully, yours,
Assistant Adjutant-General.
BIG BLACK, June 22, 1863.
A dispatch from Bridgeport, come in at this moment, reports that 125 men of the Fourth Iowa
Cavalry, stationed near Messinger's, were attacked by 500 rebel cavalry and badly cut up, and
about 40 men of the Iowa cavalry were either killed, wounded, or captured; also one small gun
was taken by the enemy. Our cavalry were blockading the road when they were surprised.
General GRANT.
BIG BLACK, June 22, 1863.
Colonel Wright, commanding the Missouri cavalry now opposite Bridgeport, [reports] in
relation to the fight this p.m. as follows:
The fight of the Fourth Iowa was near the junction of Bridgeport and Vicksburg and Jones'
Ferry roads. Four companies of Fourth Iowa were blockading Vicksburg and Jones' Ferry road
when some 600 or 800 rebels charged on them. The rebels crossed the river at Jones' or Birdsong
crossing. My men have reconnoitered 2 miles up the river, and found all quiet at present. My
impression is that the rebels have recrossed the river. I anticipate no trouble to-night, but may
have tomorrow. I shall be on the alert.
June 22, 1863.
CAPTAIN: Your favor of this p.m., including duplicate telegram from General Grant, is just
received (5.20). My telegram in relation to a rebel attack on some four companies of Iowa
cavalry north of Bridgeport is undoubtedly received by you. I sent the whole of the Sixth
Missouri Cavalry (200 strong) to Bridgeport Ferry, with orders to reestablish connection with the
forces north of that point and with the advancing column of General Sherman.
Big Black is fordable now at many places between Bridgeport and Birdsong Ferries, and
there is no doubt that the above-mentioned rebel force availed itself of these practicable
crossings and dashed on our small force, which, perhaps, had not taken all the precautionary
measures to guard against such surprise.
It will be very important to have the now broken-up station re-established by another stronger
force. The cavalry at Bridgeport and here is too small to withstand an energetic attack or to
extend still more the line of guard assigned to me, i.e., from Bridgeport to Baldwin's Ferry.
The patrol sent out yesterday to connect with Colonel Bush have returned. They had to go as
far as Hankinson's Ferry before they found the colonel. They did not meet any signs of an
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Brigadier-General, Commanding.
Capt. S.S. SEWARD,
Aide-de-Camp, Thirteenth Army Corps.
BIG BLACK, June 23, 1863.
A large body of cavalry appeared in front of position across Big Black, on and near Smith's
General GRANT.
Camp Keigwin, June 26, 1863.
GENERAL: In receipt of your favor of to-day. I fully appreciate your opinion relative to the
intentions of General Johnston, and, notwithstanding there is no sign of an immediate attack, my
guards and precautions will be kept up as strictly as possible, to give me timely warning of any
change that may take place.
A few minutes ago I returned from Baldwin's Ferry and from the picket beyond, connecting
my vedettes there with those at Hall's Ferry. I found everything quiet, and the arrangements there
satisfactory. The standing pickets and vedettes are regularly, and at least three times a day and
night, visited by a system of patrols along the river bank and the public road.
There are three stationary vedettes north of the bridge here to Bridgeport Ferry--at Brooks',
Crooker's, and Hooker's plantations, and besides a patrol, under a very energetic officer. All
these points, and all others on the river, are visited several times in twenty-four hours.
The blockade is getting as perfect as it can be made. I instructed Colonel Wright, at
Bridgeport Ferry, to make the closest connection with the Fourth Iowa, and gave him a copy of
such parts of your kind letter as will enable him to render the fullest co-operation to execute your
If you have a draughtsman with your headquarters, and would be kind enough to have me a
copy made of a map exhibiting the roads and principal points in the section north of Bridgeport,
it would be a very great help to me, and in an emergency would render my command more
With great respect, I am, general, your most obedient servant,
Brigadier-General, Commanding.
Commanding Fifteenth Army Corps.
JUNE 29, 1863.
General McArthur's [troops] are exchanging shots with rebels across the river at Messinger's
Ford, and my pickets at Bridgeport have been also fighting since 10 a.m. No attempt made, as
yet, by enemy to cross the river. My pickets are still on the river bank.
Major-General GRANT,
(Through General Ord.)
May 25, 1863.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report the action taken by the Twenty-first Regiment Iowa
Volunteers in the battle on the 22d of May, 1863, in the rear of Vicksburg.
The Twenty-first Regiment received orders to be ready to charge on the enemy's works at 10
a.m. At the hour precisely, I formed the regiment in the rear of the gallant Twenty-second Iowa,
within 20 rods of the enemy's rifle-pits. In this position we were partially covered from the
enemy's fire by the hill immediately in front of their works. I then gave orders to fix bayonets,
and charge by the left flank over the hill and into the enemy's rifle-pits. During this charge, the
fire of the enemy from both flanks, as well as the front, was terrific. Many of our officers and
men fell on every side, but with a determination that knew no fear, the enemy's works were
gained, and they were routed from their stronghold. This position we held till after dark, pouring
continually a destructive fire into their ranks. Being unable to hold our position longer, we
withdrew under cover of darkness, carrying with us many of our killed and wounded. The loss of
our regiment in this terrible struggle was severe; many of our officers were either killed or
wounded. An official report is herewith furnished you.
Lieut. Col. C. W. Dunlap was shot through the head and instantly killed. He was wounded at
the battle of Port Gibson and was unable to keep up with the regiment, but came up after the
charge. In the death of this brave soldier and gallant officer the regiment has sustained an
irreparable loss. Our total loss is 12 killed, 80 wounded, and 13 missing--supposed to be killed or
taken prisoners. Of the officers and men of my command in this terrible charge, I can only say
that every man did his duty. Capt. J. M. Harrison, of Company C, was seriously wounded while
at the head of his company, cheering on his men. Lieut. W. A. Roberts, acting adjutant, was
dangerously wounded while driving the enemy from their works. Lieut. S. Bates, Company I,
was left on the field, and has since been taken prisoner. Capt. D. Greaves was seriously wounded
while leading his company over the brow of the hill in the face of the enemy's fire. Lieut. G. H.
Childs, jr., was wounded in the breast at the head of the regiment, his company being on the
right. Many other officers were wounded. How any man ever returned alive from that terrible
fire I cannot imagine.
Company A, Captain Jones, and Company B, Captain Crooke, were sent out as
sharpshooters, and did effective service.
Hoping the conduct of the Twenty-first Regiment Iowa Volunteers in this battle will meet the
approbation of the general commanding the brigade, I remain, captain, your obedient servant,
Major, Commanding Twenty-first Regiment.
Capt. B. WILSON,
Asst. Adjt. Gen., Second Brigade, Fourteenth Division.
May 27, 1863.
SIR: I have the honor to transmit to you the action of the Twenty-second Regiment Iowa
Volunteers in the memorable contest with the enemy upon their defenses in the rear of Vicksburg
on the 22d instant.
At 4 a.m. the regiment took position opposite the enemy's works preparatory to the charge,
where we were sheltered by the crest of a hill, and Companies A and B deployed as skirmishers.
We lay upon our arms until 10 a.m., the appointed hour for the charge, when we formed in line
of battle on the summit of the hill and immediately pressed forward.
From our first appearance upon the hill we were exposed to a terrible fire from the enemy,
concealed within their forts and rifle-pits. The men maintained their line and advanced like
veterans to the ravine in front of the enemy's works, and made a charge upon the fort situated to
our right.
While here, we were exposed to a murderous fire from the front and an enfilading fire from
the right and left, the enemy's works being so constructed as to effect this result. The column
pressed forward, stormed the fort, took possession of the same and its inmates, and held it until
We maintained our position during the day, receiving and returning the fire, they concealed
in their forts and other defenses, we in a great measure without any shelter. A continuance of the
contest was deemed unadvisable, and we retired under cover of the night.
All the officers and men engaged behaved like true American patriots, and displayed so
much gallantry that it might seem invidious for me to mention any in particular; yet 1 cannot
refrain from mentioning the daring exploit of Sergt. J. E. Griffith, of Company I, who, with 12
men, scaled the enemy's works, entered the fort, and killed or captured all the enemy within, and
then escaped, the only survivor of the daring feat. I present his conduct for your consideration,
and earnestly recommend his promotion as a reward for his valor.
Our loss in killed is severe, and I have to regret the loss of Capt. James Robertson and Lieut.
M. A. Robb, who fell while gallantly leading their men to the charge.
All discharged their duty well and proved themselves worthy of being called defenders of our
Union, and entitled to the gratitude of the country. Unsuccessful through no fault of theirs, they
showed themselves patriots, obeyed orders with alacrity, and rushed into the storm of deadly
missiles without faltering.
Col. W. M. Stone was wounded in the early part of the charge, and Lieutenant-Colonel
Graham taken prisoner about dark, when the enemy retook the fort. I have, therefore, the honor
of making this report.
A list of the killed and wounded is hereto attached.
Very respectfully,
Major, Commanding Regiment.
Capt. B. WILSON,
Assistant Adjutant-General.
Vicksburg, Miss., August 3, 1863.
SIR: In compliance with your order, I have the honor to submit the following report of the
part taken by the Twenty-second Regiment Iowa Infantry in the late campaign in this State:
In the battle of Port Gibson, on May 1, the Twenty-second Iowa played a conspicuous part
throughout the entire engagement, and retired from the field on the evening of the same day,
after a hard-fought battle of twenty hours under a burning sun, throughout which time they were
exposed to the fire of the enemy; and notwithstanding the fatigues to which the men were
subjected the day previous, and the loss of sleep during the whole night, they unflinchingly bore
the hardships, and gave true evidence to the world of their gallantry, endurance, and bravery on
the field of duty. When it was announced that the enemy were retreating and falling back in the
direction of Vicksburg, the Twenty-second Iowa was among the first to march forward in
pursuit. After a long and tedious march through dust, mud, rain, and the extreme heat, for several
days in rapid succession, we came in contact with the enemy, posted in a strong position on
Champion's Hill, where on that memorable day was fought the bloodiest battle of the war, ending
in the most disastrous defeat of the rebel army under General Pemberton. In this bloody
engagement General Carr's division, of which the Twenty-second Iowa formed a part, was in the
reserve. In maneuvering to outflank the enemy and cut off their retreat, we captured nearly 200
prisoners, who were compelled to fall into our hands, being unable to follow their comrades,
who, terror-stricken and demoralized, were fleeing in every direction.
On the next day we came in contact with the enemy, posted in a well-fortified position near
Black River Bridge. The Second Brigade, commanded by General Lawler, made an assault upon
their works, and at the point of the bayonet drove them from their position, completely routing
the flower of the rebel army and putting them to flight.
In this charge the Twenty-second Iowa held a prominent position, the brigade taking nearly
3,000 prisoners, and ending the most decisive battle of the campaign. As soon as it was
ascertained that the main army were falling on to Vicksburg, we crossed the river and advanced
toward the city.
The next day we came in contact with the rebel pickets, drove them into their works, and,
after a stubborn artillery fight of several hours, we laid siege to the rebel stronghold.
On May 22, in accordance with an order issued by General Grant, the whole line made an
assault upon the enemy's works. The position to be gained by the Second Brigade was a strong
one---a fort surrounded by a ditch 10 feet deep, 6 feet wide, the walls being 20 feet high; the
front subject to an enfilading fire of musketry and artillery from almost every direction. Taking
our position on the night of May 21, we lay on our arms and patiently awaited the hour to come.
At 10 o'clock on the morning of the 22d, when the appointed time had arrived, the Twentysecond
Iowa deployed two companies (A and B) as skirmishers and advanced, followed by the
other regiments of the brigade, to the front, determined to dislodge the enemy or die in the
attempt. Onward they went through the most galling fire of musketry, grape, and canister, until
retarded by an almost impassable abatis. This obstacle overcome, they gained the top of the hill,
gathered around, driving the enemy from the rifle-pits in front, and planting the Stars and Stripes
on the ramparts. About fifty men of the Twenty-second scaled the walls and entered the fort,
driving the enemy before them and taking 15 prisoners. There being a series of rifle-pits in the
rear, it was impossible to hold it with such an inadequate force under a terribly destructive fire,
and they withdrew, with a loss of nearly half their number killed, wounded, or captured.
Knowing unless we would be supported properly by re-enforcements we would have to tall back,
we held our position until nightfall, when, tailing to receive re-enforcements, we retired under
cover of the night, with a loss of 164 killed, wounded, and missing.
In this desperate charge the Twenty-second Iowa had the advance, and won new laurels to
add to those already won by the brave soldiers of Iowa. It would be with seeming injustice that I
would attempt to make any distinctions among men who on that memorable day behaved so
nobly, advancing apparently to certain destruction or death. None faltered in their duty, but
exhibited a degree of gallantry unprecedented in the history of American soldiery. To
particularize among those brave men would be invidious.
Again we took our position in front, and began the work of intrenching and throwing up
siege-works. For forty-seven days and nights we lay in the rifle-pits, during which time we had
approached the distance of half a mile, to within 20 feet of the rebel works, and began mining.
We could not advance much farther without bringing on a general engagement, which the rebel
army avoided by an unconditional surrender to General Grant on July 4.
In this siege the Twenty-second Iowa, by their great endurance and undaunted courage, have
won the brightest name on record. Their works in the rear of the Gibraltar of the Southern
Confederacy will stand not as the monument of human ambition, but of never-dying fame, to the
brave soldiers of Iowa.
On July 5, we marched in pursuit of Johnston's army, at Jackson, Miss., and, after a siege of
nearly two weeks of that place, the enemy evacuated, and we returned to Vicksburg.
Thus ended the most brilliant campaign in modern times; the most important in its results.
The opening of the Mississippi--the Father of Waters--from its source to the Balize to the
commerce of the world will infuse confidence and strength in the American people that will one
day hurl like a mighty avalanche against the abettors of this cursed rebellion, and their hated
emblem of treason will trail in the dust.
Respectfully submitted.
C. N. LEE,
Captain, Commanding Regiment.
Col. W. M, STONE.
AT McCALL'S, June 23, 1863--11 a.m.
DEAR GENERAL: Parke, with Smith's division and one brigade of his Yankee troops, is on
the river road from Neily's to Post Oak Ridge, with orders to feel forward to the bridge across
Bear Creek, 6 miles beyond Post Oak Ridge. My cavalry is now down at Little Bear Creek, on
the Birdsong road. Tuttle's division is close up to the cavalry, and McArthur's is near here, and
we are waiting for his troops to come up. I will put them on the Birdsong road. Parke and I can
communicate by the ridge from McCall's to Neily's. After nooning I propose to go forward to the
Big Black. I hear nothing of Johnston at all; no trace of him or signs of his approach. The
country is ill-adapted to large masses. It is cut up by impracticable ravines, and all the roads are
on narrow ridges, where a regiment will find difficulty in forming a front. A small force can
oppose a large one, and as to getting at Johnston unless he crosses to this side of Big Black, I
think it cannot be done. If he crosses Big Black and comes by any road, I shall, of course, meet
him and oppose him, calling for all the help I may deem necessary. If he crosses Big Black, I
think this is the place to fight him. Order Osterhaus to be certain to blockade all roads from Big
Black toward Vicksburg, between Clear Creek and this road. After satisfying myself that there is,
or is not, a purpose on his part to cross over, I will communicate the fact; but, no matter what his
strength, he must come by narrow roads, and I have as many men as can be handled on such
grounds. If I conclude he does not design to come in by Birdsong Ferry or the ford above, I will
blockade it, so as to force him to come on the main ridge within striking distance of Haynes'
Bluff, so that we won't care if he comes or not.
Yesterday four companies of my cavalry (Fourth Iowa) had gone to Big Black River on the
road to obstruct it. They had felled many trees, and must have been off their guard when their
pickets came in from three directions, giving notice of the approach of the enemy. Quite a fight
ensued, in which our men got the worst, and were forced to fly. As soon as the news reached
camp, Colonel Swan went to the ground with his regiment, and found 8 dead, 12 wounded, and
about 20 missing. From the people he heard the attack came from Wirt Adams' cavalry, which
had gone off in the direction of Mechanicsburg. Colonel Swan buried the dead, and brought off
all the wounded except one, who was left well cared for at a house. He could hear of but about
12 prisoners in the hands of the enemy, so that he expects some 8 more will have gone down to
Osterhaus, and will come in to-day.
The party lost that 2-pounder gun we captured at Jackson, but before abandoning it they
disabled it by taking out the breech-pin. The fact of our coming out today is attributed by the
secesh to our purpose to punish the perpetrators of this action.
I will send you positive intelligence to-night if Johnston be coming or not this side of Big
Black River. On the best evidence now procurable, he is not coming this way, or at this time.
I take it for granted you do not want me to attempt to follow him across that river unless after
a defeat. If he comes to this side, I can hold him till re-enforced, and then I know we can whip
him. In the mean time look out toward Baldwin's and Hankinson's, though I do not believe he
will put himself in such a pocket.
Yours, truly,
Major-General, Commanding Expedition.
General GRANT.
Bear Creek, June 24, 1863.
Not the sign of an enemy from Post Oak Ridge Post-office to Bird-song Ferry. Every point
has been examined to-day, and nothing seen. No sign of an intention to cross anywhere near Bear
Creek. I hear Port Hudson is taken; please telegraph me the whole truth. The bearer of this note
will wait an answer at the Bluff. I am now with General Parke, at Post Oak Post-office, but will
return to my extreme right, near Young's.
Major-General GRANT.
GENERAL: Agreeably to your orders, I proceeded with my command, on the afternoon of
the 19th instant, toward and within 3 miles of Haynes' Bluff, and sent forward Capt. J. H. Peters,
with 25 men, to reconnoiter.
Arriving there at 4 p.m., found the position evacuated, with the exception of 7 men, who
were posted as guards over a magazine. He took them prisoners, with their arms, and signaled
the gunboat De Kalb, which was about 2 miles below the Bluff; she came up, and he placed the
prisoners aboard. On arriving at the Bluff, Lieutenant Clark, Company B, was dispatched below
the Bluff to signal the gunboat. His signal was not observed by those on board. On his return to
the Bluff, Captain Peters hoisted a signal, and the boat moved up the river. He also proceeded to
Snyder's Bluff, and found the place evacuated. The enemy left nine large guns, all of them
dismounted, and a considerable amount of fixed ammunition. The magazines were not disturbed.
He also found a hospital this side the Bluff, containing about 50 sick. Most of the enemy's tents
were left on the ground.
Very respectfully, &c.,
Lieutenant-Colonel Fourth Iowa Cavalry.
Commanding Fifteenth Army Corps.
Near Vicksburg, May 25, 1863.
MAJOR: I have the honor to report that the brigade under my command left Grand Gulf,
Miss., on the 8th instant, and marched with the rest of the division to Hankinson's Ferry, a
distance of 18 miles, where we took position to cover the ferry, and remained until 12 m. on the
10th instant, during which time the pioneer corps of the division destroyed the boat bridge across
Big Black. Encamped on the night of the 10th instant on Big Sandy.
About 10 o'clock on the 11th, reached the crossing of Fourteen-Mile Creek, where the
cavalry ran into an ambuscade, and lost several men, killed and wounded. Immediately, by order
of Major-General Sherman, moved up with my brigade, five regiments of infantry and the First
Missouri Flying Battery, and took position in front of the cavalry. After throwing five or six
shells into the woods, I ordered the Seventeenth Regiment Missouri Volunteers, Maj. Francis
Romer commanding, to cross the creek in line of battle, preceded by two companies as
skirmishers, on the right of the road, and the Third Regiment Missouri Volunteers, Lieutenant-
Colonel Meumann commanding, and Thirty-first Regiment Iowa Volunteers, Col. William
Smyth commanding, on the left of the road. About twenty minutes were consumed in getting the
regiment over the creek, owing to the difficulty of crossing. By this time the skirmishers of the
Seventeenth Missouri were hotly engaged with the enemy, who were concealed in the dense
underbrush. The Twelfth Regiment Missouri Volunteers, Col. Hugo Wangelin commanding, was
ordered across on the right of the Seventeenth Missouri, to support it.
The skirmish lasted about half an hour, only the skirmishers of the Seventeenth Missouri
being engaged.
Loss of the Seventeenth Missouri, 4 killed and 5 wounded, as per inclosed list; Thirty-first
Iowa, Christian Jehl, wounded; Landgraeber's Flying Battery, John Bower killed, making 5
killed and 6 wounded. Of the enemy, 2 killed and 1 wounded were left on the field. Encamped
about 2 miles from the crossing of Fourteen-Mile Creek.
On the 13th, passed 4 or 5 miles beyond Raymond, and encamped on the Jackson road.
On the 14th, entered Jackson, Miss., and encamped on the edge of the city.
On the 15th, my whole brigade was engaged in destroying the Southern Railroad, by tearing
up the track and burning the iron on piles of ties. Some 5 miles of track were destroyed,
including the large bridge across Pearl River, twenty barrels of tar being placed upon it and fired.
Several hundred yards of trestle-work and a large wooden bridge across a ravine were also
destroyed on the west side of Pearl River; also a cotton factory, two foundries, and an extensive
work-shop, used by the rebels in the manufacture of caissons and gun-carriages, together with
twelve new caissons, and a large amount of Confederate cotton.
Left Jackson at 9 a.m. on the 16th instant, and encamped at Bolton Station, on Vicksburg
On the 17th instant, moved forward and crossed Big Black at 11 p.m.
On the 18th, moved forward and arrived at Walnut Hills, near Vicksburg, about 4 p.m., and
found the enemy (five or six regiments, with artillery) strongly posted. My brigade was deployed
on the right of the Third Brigade, General Thayer, and skirmishers thrown forward, who engaged
the enemy until dark, without loss.
On the morning of the 19th, found that the enemy had evacuated their position in our front,
and fallen back toward Vicksburg, leaving their camps and camp equipage, which fell into our
hands. I immediately moved forward my brigade, and occupied a hill 500 or 600 yards from the
enemy, a deep and broken valley intervening. Found the enemy strongly posted, with from
twelve to seventeen siege guns in position, covered by strong earthworks, and commanding our
position. I ordered the Twenty-fifth Iowa on to the brow of the hill, to silence the enemy's guns,
and ordered Landgraeber's flying battery (four guns) to move forward on the Ridge road, no
other road being practicable at the time. The battery came over in most gallant style, the horses at
their utmost speed, a distance of more than half a mile, under a tremendous fire from the enemy's
batteries on our left, and a galling fire from their sharpshooters in the rifle-pits, with a loss of
only 4 horses killed. The battery being placed in position behind the crest of the hill, together
with the sharpshooters, soon drove the enemy from their guns. On the night of the 20th, having
procured a few spades and shovels, I ordered the Seventy-sixth Regiment Ohio Volunteers,
Lieutenant-Colonel Woods commanding, to throw up rifle-pits on the brow of the hill, to protect
his men, which was done, and the men have been constantly employed in extending and
strengthening them. The Twelfth Missouri also moved forward and took possession of extensive
rifle-pits on the low ground on our right, extending to the Mississippi River, driving the enemy
out, with 1 officer killed and several enlisted men wounded.
On the 21st, continued to strengthen my position on the hill, the First Brigade relieving me in
the occupation of the rifle-pits on the extreme right.
On the 22d, was ordered to the left, near the position of the Third Brigade, for the purpose of
making a charge on the enemy's work, leaving one regiment to occupy the position.
Owing to the difficulty of moving my brigade so as to prevent the enemy from seeing our
movements, several hours were consumed in reaching our position, and having reached the rear
of the position where the charge was to be made, it was necessary to press over several pieces of
open ground within close range of the enemy's rifle-pits, part of the road being swept by artillery.
Fifty or sixty men and officers were killed and wounded in gaining our position. The Twentyfifth
Iowa, Colonel Stone commanding, being in the advance, suffered severely, but as soon as it
gained the ravine one wing was thrown forward as skirmishers, and succeeded in a great measure
in keeping down the fire of the enemy.
In the mean time, however, the Twelfth Missouri crossed into the ravine, and lost heavily in
killed and wounded. The other regiments lost but few. So soon as the troops could be got in
position, the charge was ordered, the Twelfth Missouri leading, preceded by the Third Brigade in
line. The ground being broken and obstructed by ravines, brush, and logs, it was impossible to
move forward with any regularity. The Twelfth Missouri, Col. Hugo Wangelin commanding,
moved forward over the crest of the hill in gallant style, exposed to a withering fire, but were
repulsed before the other regiments of the brigade could reach the top of the hill. The four right
companies, having more favorable ground to move upon, reached a covered position near the
foot of the enemy's breastworks, and were obliged to remain until dark before they could be
recalled. Company F, on the left wing, had all but 9 men killed and wounded. The regiment went
into the charge about 360 strong, and lost 11 officers and 97 men killed and wounded during the
day. The Twenty-fifth Iowa, deployed as skirmishers, did good execution and lost severely.
Inclosed I send a consolidated list of killed and wounded, taken from the regimental reports up to
the 25th instant. It is due to the men of this brigade to say that during all the hardships of the long
and tedious march from Grand Gulf to Jackson, and thence to our position in rear of Vicksburg,
they were cheerful, and did their duty well, although a great portion of the time they were
without rations, and had to live on meat alone, as a considerable portion of the hard bread issued
on the road proved to be moldy and unfit to eat. The officers and men, during all the skirmishes
on which they have been engaged, have done their duty well and faithfully, and deserve the
highest praise.
I have to regret the loss of Major Lightfoot, Twelfth Missouri, killed in the charge of the 22d,
whilst gallantly leading his men into action. Major Lightfoot was a gentleman of high
attainments, and a brave, gallant, and faithful officer. Captain Denny, Captain Andel, Adjutant
Kasten, and Lieutenant Eggart, of the same regiment, all brave and gallant men, fell whilst in the
discharge of their duty.
Left Milliken's Bend, May 2, and reached Hard Times Landing, 1 p.m. on the 6th instant.
Crossed over to Grand Gulf, Miss., on same evening, where we remained during the 7th, and left
for Jackson and Vicksburg as above stated. Nothing of importance occurred on the march from
Milliken's Bend to Grand Gulf.
I am, captain, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,
Colonel, Commanding Brigade.
Assistant Adjutant-General.
WALNUT HILLS, MISS., June 15, 1863.
MAJOR: I have the honor to inform you that about 11 o'clock last night a fleet of skiffs
passed up from Vicksburg around the point. Owing to the darkness, it was impossible to tell how
many there were. As soon as it was reported to me, I sent 50 additional men over to the gunboat
Cincinnati, and opened with a 12-pounder howitzer on the point opposite, with spherical case
and shell, supposing that those on watch at the gunboat and mortars, seeing the direction of my
fire, would be on the lookout. After firing five shots, I ordered the fire to cease. After waiting
about ten minutes, a working party of the Twenty-fifth Iowa, near the river, commenced firing
with musketry. I then ordered the entire battery of Landgraeber to fire, Colonel Stone from near
the river directing the fire, which was kept up until the boats got out of reach in the direction of
Whatever the enemy's intention was, they were foiled, as they evidently turned round as soon
as I commenced firing. I think the object of the expedition was to blow up the Cincinnati, as the
enemy kept up a continuous fire from one heavy gun on the Cincinnati from 3 o'clock in the
afternoon until about 11 o'clock, at which time the skiffs left Vicksburg, and then turned their
fire on the mortar-boats. Hereafter I will throw shell in the direction of the point of land, as a
signal for the Navy to be on the lookout.
Since the foregoing was written, a lieutenant of the 50 men sent to the Cincinnati last night
reports that the officer of the guard there informed him that three large boats came up near the
gunboat, when, being hailed, the reply was that "they belonged to the mortar-boats"; that the
boats thereupon kept the gunboat between them and the guard, and struck out into the middle of
the river and in the direction of Vicksburg. The tug had been near the gunboat earlier in the
evening, but had some time before the approach of these three boats gone up the river.
I am, major, very respectfulIy, your obedient servant.
Colonel, Commanding Second Brigade.
P. S.--I shall order the guards at the Cincinnati to fire hereafter at all boats approaching at
night, except the tug.
Camp near Bear Creek, Miss., July 27, 1863.
SIR I have the honor to make the following report of the part taken by the Second Iowa
Battery in the campaign just ended:
On May 2, I left my encampment at Duckport, La., and marched with the Second Brigade,
Third Division, Fifteenth Army Corps, to which I was then attached, to Grand Gulf, where I
crossed the river and moved with the brigade toward Jackson, Miss. On approaching that place,
on May 14, being near the head of the column, I was ordered by General Mower to move to the
front and engage a battery of the enemy, which had opened from a position commanding a
bridge and its approaches. I succeeded in getting a commanding position, and engaged the enemy
briskly for twenty minutes, when he withdrew his battery. Advancing immediately in rear of the
line of infantry, I was ordered to place the battery in position near a house on the right of the
road, and from this position I opened a brisk fire in the direction of the town of Jackson, which I
continued but for a few moments, when I ceased, by order of General Tuttle. I soon afterward
moved forward with the division to the town, where I remained until the 16th instant. In this
affair my loss was 1 man severely wounded.
On the 16th instant, I moved back with the division in the direction of Vicksburg, and on the
20th instant I occupied a position near the center of General Blair's line. This position I occupied
until June 5, when I was advanced to another, much nearer the enemy's lines.
On May 21, 22, and 23, from our first position, a vigorous fire was kept up on the enemy's
lines. At one time on the 22d I was ordered by Major Taylor, chief of artillery, Fifteenth Corps,
to advance two of the guns to a position outside of the intrenchments. For timely and vigorous
assistance in getting these guns to this new position (for they had to be moved by hand) I am
indebted to Colonel Judy, of the One hundred and fourteenth Illinois Infantry, who gallantly
came to my assistance with a squad of his men at a time when my own men were almost
exhausted with their exertions. Soon discovering that the position was very much exposed, and
that I could accomplish nothing by holding it, I asked and obtained permission to withdraw my
On the night of May 23, by order of Maj. Ezra Taylor, chief of artillery Fifteenth Army
Corps, I detached Second Lieut. Charles F. Reed, with one section of the battery, to accompany
the brigade of General Mower on the expedition to Mechanicsville. He was absent until June 3.
On May 27, Major Taylor turned over to me and ordered me to man one 30 pounder Parrot
gun. With this gun I was enabled to do a great deal and very effective service. I worked it until
June 22, when, with the division, I moved to the vicinity of Big Bear Creek, where I remained
until July 4, when, with the division, I moved again toward Jackson.
In the siege of that place I took no very active part, as I only got into position on the night of
the evacuation by the enemy.
I append a list of casualties in the battery during the whole campaign killed and 6 wounded.
I am: sir, with respect, your obedient servant,
First Lieutenant, Commanding Second Iowa Battery.
Lieut. N. E. DUNCAN,
Actg. Asst. Adjt. Gen., Third Brig, Third Div., Fifteenth A. C.
May 30, 1863.
SIR I have the honor to report, for the information of the general commanding the brigade,
the number of casualties in the Eighth Iowa Infantry from the 6th up to the 23d of May, 1863,
including the taking of Jackson, Miss., and the assault on the rebel works in the rear of
Vicksburg on the 22d instant. Lieut. James C. Maxwell, Company C, wounded in left arm
slightly; Corpl. Thomas Harris, Company B, wounded in left hip severely, and Corpl. Amos L.
Graves, Company K, wounded in left arm slightly. The cool, unflinching behavior of both
officers and men of my regiment under a very heavy artillery fire, both at the taking of Jackson
and during the assault on the 22d, was witnessed by our commanding general; I shall,
consequently, make no remarks on the subject, but, trusting to his just appreciation of what
constitutes good soldiers, I remain, with great respect, your obedient servant,
Colonel Eighth Iowa Infantry.
Lieut. N. E. DUCAN,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
July 6, 1863.
COLONEL: I have the honor to submit the following report of the action of the Third Iowa
Infantry on board the steamer Crescent City, May 18, 1863, with guerrillas, and the part taken by
it during the siege of Vicksburg:
The regiment left Memphis, Tenn., May 17, 1863, in company with the other regiments
composing the First Brigade, Fourth Division, Sixteenth Army Corps. Nothing of interest
occurred until about I p.m. of the 18th, when we were fired upon by guerrillas from the left bank
of the river, near Island No. 82, and about 3 miles above the town of Greenville, Miss. The
Crescent City, on which the regiment was embarked, was at the time about 1 mile in advance of
the fleet. The enemy opened on the boat, when within 150 yards of the shore, with three pieces
of artillery and a heavy fire of musketry. Two companies, who were on guard at the time,
promptly returned the fire, but so sudden and unexpected was the attack, and so short its
duration, that the regiment had but a poor opportunity to do much execution until the boat had
got beyond musket range. We had one section of [A.] Schwartz's battery on board, one piece of
which was used with good effect on the battery on shore. We were at the time under the convoy
of one of the boats of the Mosquito fleet, which came up to our assistance, but not until the
enemy were in full retreat. In this affair we lost 14 men wounded, a list of whom you will find
appended. On the morning of the 19th, the regiment disembarked at Young's Point, and started
toward the interior, but were immediately ordered back to re-embark for Snyder's Bluff, where
we landed on the morning of the 20th. Here we remained until the 24th, when we received
marching orders, and with the rest of the brigade proceeded to the rear of Vicksburg, and took
position on the left of the besieging line, and became part of the investing force. From this time
up to the surrender of the place, on the 4th of July, the regiment took part in all the siege
operations carried on in our front. The duty now was of the most arduous character, and
calculated to put to the severest test the bravery and fortitude of the men. I shall only instance a
few of the most important operations in which the regiment was engaged during the siege.
On the night of the 1st of June, Companies F and G were supporting a section of the Fifth
Ohio Battery, which had been posted early in the evening in an advanced position. The enemy
had detected the movement, and about 11 o'clock made a sortie in considerable force, to capture
the guns and their small support. Our men were on the alert for them, and twice repulsed them;
the last time when they had got up within 10 feet of the guns, which played havoc in their ranks
with canister. On the evening of the 4th of June, a portion of the regiment on picket duty on the
left of the brigade line, consisting of parts of Companies A, B, D, F, and H, with 20 men and 1
commissioned officer of the Thirty-third Wisconsin Regiment, numbering in all about 150, were
ordered to advance and drive the enemy from his line of rifle-pits on the crest of a ridge south of
the Hall's Ferry road and about 300 yards in our front. At the signal, the men rushed forward
with a deafening cheer, under a heavy fire of musketry and artillery, and in less than fifteen
minutes we had gained the crest and driven the enemy from their pits and into their works
beyond, from which five pieces of artillery continued shelling us for about half an hour; but from
the advantageous position we had gained, their missiles fell harmless, owing to the fact that the
enemy's aim was too high. We lost but 2 men wounded in the engagement. On the night of the
24th of June, 200 men of the regiment were sent to the trenches, under the command of Maj. G.
W. Crosley, as a working party. On their arrival at the trenches, about 10 p.m., the guards were
stationed in advance of the rifle-pits to guard the working party, which was engaged in digging a
sap toward the main fort in our front. The night was dark, and a slight rain falling just as the men
had got fairly to work, the guard in front were fiercely attacked and driven in, and the enemy
advanced in force and demanded a surrender. Our men seized their arms, sprang to their places in
the trenches, and delivered a terrific fire, causing the enemy to falter and then fall back about 75
yards, from which they continued to fire with both musket and artillery for about three-fourths of
an hour, our men responding with energy, and getting the last shot. Our loss was 1 man killed
and 2 slightly wounded. The enemy's loss, as we afterward ascertained, was 15 killed and
wounded, including the colonel commanding, who was killed.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel Third Iowa Infantry.
Col. N. B. BAKER,
Adjutant-General of Iowa.
VICKSBURG, MISS., July 6, 1863.
MAJOR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by the First
Brigade, Third Division, Seventeenth Army Corps, consisting of the Twenty-third Indiana
Volunteer Infantry, Twentieth, Thirty-first, Forty-fifth, and One hundred and twenty-fourth
Illinois Volunteer Infantry, in the siege of Vicksburg, from the 4th of June (the date at which I
was assigned to its command) to the 4th of July, 1863, inclusive:
Until the 25th of June, nothing occurred to call the brigade from its regular routine of (duties-
-picketing, sharpshooting, and working the trenches being the duties to which it was assigned,
and at which it was engaged night and day. By the annexed list of casualties, you will see that I
lost only an occasional man while in the discharge of these duties, though during the whole time
bivouacked within short musket range of the enemy's works.
As the trenches progressed, I advanced my sharpshooters, thus protecting as much as
possible those at work in the trenches. After running the main trenches up to the enemy's works,
I was ordered to withdraw 15 paces and open a sap to the left, running nearly parallel with the
enemy's works. The saps and trenches were constructed under the direction of Captain
Hickenlooper, of General McPherson's staff. While in the discharge of this duty, a mine was
opened at the mouth of the main trench, penetrating the enemy's fort, known as Fort Hill, and on
the 25th of June I was ordered to hold my command in readiness to charge and take said Fort
Hill as soon as the mine should be sprung, to hold the breach made by the explosion at all
hazards, and, if practicable, to charge over and drive the enemy from his works.
At 3.30 p.m. of said day my command was in readiness, the Forty-fifth Illinois being in the
front, supported by the other regiments of the brigade, and Lieut. H. C. Foster, of the Twentythird
Indiana, with 100 men, being placed in the left-hand sap before spoken of, with orders to
charge with the Forty-fifth Illinois, provided they attempted to cross the enemy's works. At 4.30
o'clock the mine was sprung, and before the dirt and Smoke was cleared away the Forty-fifth
Illinois had filled the gap made by the explosion and were pouring deadly volleys into the
enemy. As soon as possible, loop-hole timber was placed upon the works for the sharpshooters,
but the enemy opened a piece of artillery at very close range on that point, and the splintering
timbers killed and wounded more men than did balls, and I ordered the timbers to be removed.
Hand-grenades were then freely used by the enemy, which made sad havoc amongst my men,
for, being in the crater of the exploded mine, the sides of which were covered by the men,
scarcely a grenade was thrown without doing damage, and in most instances horribly mangling
those they happened to strike. The Forty-fifth Illinois, after holding the position and fighting
desperately until their guns were too hot for further use, were relieved by the Twentieth Illinois.
During this time hand-grenades were freely used on both sides, Private William Lazarus, of
Company I, First U.S. Infantry: being detailed to throw them, who, after throwing about twenty,
was mortally wounded, after which a detail of 3 men from the same command were detained for
that duty. The Twentieth Illinois was relieved by the Thirty-first Illinois, and they in turn by the
Fifty-sixth Illinois, of the Third Brigade, but their ammunition being bad they were unable to
hold the position, and were relieved by the Twenty-third Indiana. The Seventeenth Iowa, of the
Third Brigade, then relieving the Twenty-third Indiana, and the Thirty-first Illinois relieving
them, held the position until daylight, when the Forty-fifth Illinois believed them and held the
position until 10 a.m. the 28th. The One hundred and twenty-fourth Illinois then relieved the
Forty-fifth Illinois, and held the position until 5 p.m. of the same day, when I received orders to
withdraw to the left-hand gap, where I maintained the position until the surrender on the 4th of
July, when, by order of Major-General Logan, my brigade, led by the Forty-fifth Illinois, was
honored with the privilege of being the first to enter the garrison, and the flag of the Forty-fifth
the first to float over the conquered city.
The troops under my command, though for forty-eight days and nights under a harassing fire
of musketry and artillery, and constantly subject to duty the most exhausting and fatiguing, bore
their part with a courage and patience and persistent energy never excelled.
I might with justice and truth name many instances of great personal bravery upon the part of
officers and men, but I should not know where to stop naming when all did their duty so bravely.
It is proper, perhaps, that I should especially name Lieut, J. W. Miller, of the Forty-fourth
Illinois, who, as one of my staff, was assigned to the immediate command of the pickets and
sharpshooters, and in the discharge of this responsible duly was, during the whole siege, in the
most exposed position, almost without sleep or rest, exhibiting a personal courage and physical
endurance seldom asked for or found in any officer. Inclosed find a tabular list of the killed and
wounded. I have the satisfaction of reporting none missing.
Very respectfully,
Maj. R. R. TOWNES,
Assistant Adjutant-General.
Vicksburg, Miss., August--, 1863.
SIR: In accordance with Special Orders, No. 159, August 4, 1863, from Headquarters
Seventeenth Army Corps, I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of the
Third Brigade, Sixth Division, from the commencement of the siege of Vicksburg to the date of
its fall, July 4:
The Third Brigade, composed of the Eleventh, Thirteenth, Fifteenth, and Sixteenth Iowa
Volunteers, and being then as now under my command, was at the time of the investment of
Vicksburg stationed at Grand Gulf as the temporary garrison of that post, where it performed
much efficient service in forwarding supplies to the army then investing Vicksburg. While in
command of that post I also caused an important bridge over the Big Black River to be
destroyed, in order to prevent any sudden incursion of the enemy from that point. This duty was
executed by the Eleventh Iowa Volunteers, under command of Lieutenant-Colonel Abercrombie,
assisted by the gunboat Louisville.
My command, previous to its forming the temporary garrison of Grand Gulf, had been
engaged in guarding a portion of the road from Milliken's Bend to Hard Times Landing.
In compliance with orders received from Brigadier-General McArthur, commanding the
Sixth Division, at 10 p.m. of May 19, I embarked my command on transports at midnight of the
same day and proceeded at once up the river.
On the afternoon of the 20th, I disembarked at a landing on the Louisiana shore, 2 miles
below Vicksburg, and marched to Young's Point, 4 miles distant, where the command was
immediately embarked on two transports.
Early in the morning of the 21st, I proceeded to Haynes' Bluff. Remaining there a few hours,
in obedience to orders from General McArthur, I returned to Young's Point. Disembarking here,
and being hastily supplied with two days' rations, I returned to the landing below Vicksburg
previously mentioned. From thence I proceeded by transports to Warrenton; disembarked;
marched 4 miles on the road toward Vicksburg, and bivouacked for the night.
Early on the 22d, I moved forward, and at about 9 a.m. discovered the enemy's pickets on the
extreme right of their defenses. Five companies of the Sixteenth Iowa Volunteers, under the
command of Captain Smith, were detached to drive them in, which was successfully
accomplished, the companies remaining in front of the enemy's batteries and being engaged with
their skirmishers during the entire day. At the same time I sent the remaining five companies of
the Sixteenth, under the command of Major Purcell to the right, to cover the entire front of my
advance, and proceeded along the direct road from Warrenton to Vicksburg, which runs nearly
parallel with the rebel line of defenses.
About 11 a.m. I took up my position within range of four rebel batteries on the right of the
enemy's works. Here I remained during the day under fire from the batteries, and with companies
from the Eleventh, Thirteenth, and Sixteenth Iowa Volunteers engaged constantly along the lines
with the enemy's sharpshooters. There I succeeded in driving them to the protection of their
works, my skirmishers getting within 40 yards of the batteries.
The evening of the same day, in consequence of orders received, I abandoned the position,
marched 4 miles toward the center of our lines, and bivouacked for the night.
Early on the 23d, moved nearer to the center, and at noon halted near the headquarters of the
Thirteenth Army Corps.
On the afternoon of the same day returned to the position on the left which I had occupied on
the 22d. Here I performed picket duty until the 26th, in a position much exposed to the fire of
both the enemy's batteries and sharpshooters.
On the 26th, being relieved by troops under the command of Brigadier-General Lauman, I
again moved toward the center, and the same evening bivouacked near the headquarters of the
Seventeenth Army Corps.
Early on the morning of the 27th, the brigade being assigned a position in the Black River
Expeditionary Corps, under command of Maj. Gen. F. P. Blair, the line of march was taken up,
and I joined the expedition at Benton's Cross-Roads. On the morning of the 20th, arriving at
Mechanicsburg (my brigade being in advance), I found a detachment of the Fourth Iowa Cavalry,
which had just been engaged by the enemy and driven into town. Passing through the town, I
placed three regiments (the Eleventh, Thirteenth, and Fifteenth Iowa) in line of battle (the
Sixteenth Iowa being held in reserve), and, with skirmishers thrown out on the front and flanks,
advanced up the hill held by the enemy, who, after a few shots, fell back. The entire brigade
pursued them for 2 miles beyond Mechanicsburg, the enemy making repeated stands, but always
giving way as soon as a regiment was thrown into line of battle to attack them. Having followed
them for 2 miles, they made a more decided stand than they had before done, and brought up a
battery to their assistance. A section of artillery (Company C, First Missouri Light Artillery)
which accompanied my command at once opened on them and caused them to retreat very
rapidly. Having no cavalry, we pursued them no farther, but bivouacked on the field that night.
At 7 a.m. on the 30th, the march back to the main army was commenced, and, taking the
Yazoo Valley road, 1 reached Snyder's Bluff late in the evening of the 31st after an extremely
fatiguing and severe march.
On June 4, I moved to a point near the headquarters of the Seventeenth Army Corps, and
there, on June 6, Col. Alexander Chambers, Sixteenth Iowa Volunteers (having returned to the
command from leave of absence), assumed command of the brigade. The command being
encamped in an inconvenient locality, was, on the 11th, moved back about a mile, where it
remained until the 23d, sending heavy details of both fatigue men and sharpshooters into the
trenches both night and day, where, it is believed, they did much effective service. Nine days of
this time the Eleventh Iowa Volunteers was stationed 4 miles in the rear of the brigade, doing
picket duty on the Bridgeport and adjacent roads.
On June 20 (the day of the general cannonading), three regiments of the brigade (the
Thirteenth, Fifteenth, and Sixteenth) were placed on the left of Brigadier-General Ransom's
brigade, in order to co-operate in any movement that might be required. No movement of the
infantry taking place, however, the command returned to camp in the evening.
On the 23d, the brigade moved 12 miles to the rear, near Strauss' plantation, on the road to
Jackson, one regiment (the Thirteenth Iowa) being sent 4 miles to the front, to picket the roads
leading to Messinger's and Birdsong Fords.
On the 27th, the remainder of the command moved to Fox's plantation, 4 miles distant from
Messinger's Ford, where the brigade was employed in doing heavy picket duty on four roads
leading across the Big Black River.
Remained there until the evening of July 3; then moved to Messinger’s Ford, one regiment
(the Sixteenth Iowa Volunteers) being posted on the immediate bank of the river, and the other
three on a hill about half a mile back, in support of the Tenth Ohio Battery, then attached to the
Early in the morning of July 4, a detachment, consisting of Company G, Eleventh Illinois
Cavalry (General McArthur's body guard), and four companies of the Sixteenth Iowa Volunteers,
crossed Big Black River for the purpose of clearing the road to Cowan's house, a point some 2
miles from the river. Half a mile from the crossing they encountered the enemy's skirmishers,
whom they drove before them in a slight skirmish until they reached the point designated. The
enemy now retired rapidly, and the detachment having orders to proceed no farther, placed
pickets on the two roads leading from Cowan's, and, with the main body near the house, held the
position until about noon, when the enemy appeared in force with artillery, cavalry, and infantry,
and opening fire on the detachment, compelled them to fall back to the river, and, finally, in the
afternoon to recross it. The Tenth Ohio Battery opened on the enemy as soon as the detachment
fell back, and, it is thought, did considerable execution. On the evening of the same day we
received the news of the surrender of Vicksburg, and at the same time Brigadier-General
Lauman relieved the brigade with his own troops.
I cannot close this report without bearing testimony to the alacrity, cheerfulness, and gallant
bearing which has been shown by the officers and men of the command through all the various
and trying scenes of the late campaign. In long marches, under the heat of a burning Southern
sun, in skirmishes with the enemy at all points of the line of investment, and with Johnston's
troops at the rear, in the rifle-pits in front of Vicksburg, either with rifle in hand as sharpshooters
or with spade throwing up additional works, but one feeling appeared to animate them, and that
was the desire to do their whole duty.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel Eleventh Iowa Volunteers, Commanding.
Lieut. Col. W. T. CLARK,
Assistant Adjutant-General.
Near Fox's Plantation, June 29, 1863.
SIR: I have the honor to transmit herewith the following report of the action of my command
this day at Messinger's Ferry:
In accordance with your orders and instructions, received of Col. Alexander Chambers, I
marched at 10 a.m. with four companies Eleventh Iowa Infantry, viz, Companies F, G, H, and I;
a small squad of the Eleventh Illinois Cavalry (General McArthur's body guard in part), and two
pieces of the Tenth Ohio Battery, under Lieutenant Newcomb, to Big Black River, near the old
Messinger's Ferry. On our arrival we found the enemy's cavalry pickets posted behind an old
corn-crib near the crossing on the eastern side of the river, and also in the timber beyond and to
the left of the corn-crib, in numbers nearly equal to our own force. Our cavalry and Company F,
of the infantry, were deployed as skirmishers at once near the bank of the river, and our artillery
planted on the hill, about one-third of a mile to the rear of the infantry, and after some
skirmishing, with the aid of well-directed shots from the artillery, we drove the enemy back from
their first position, and I saw nothing of them after 4 p.m. At 5 p.m. I sent back all our force,
save two companies of infantry, to induce the enemy to cross over to us if possible, having first
concealed the two companies, but in vain. At 6 p.m. we returned to camp without any loss. The
officers and men of my command all behaved well.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
Major, Commanding.
Lieut. O. D. KINSMAN,
Actg. Asst. Adjt. Gen., Third Brig., Sixth Div., Seventeenth A. C.
Fox's Plantation, Miss., July 1, 1863.
SIR: As commander of the detachment sent out by order of Colonel Chambers to Messinger's
Ferry, at Big Black River, on the morning of June 30, I beg leave to make the following report,
The detachment consisted of four companies of the Thirteenth Iowa, viz, A, B, F, and H, and
a section of the Tenth Ohio Battery, under command of Lieutenant Zane, and proceeded as
follows: An advance guard of 20 men from Company A, under Lieutenant Platner, and a rear
guard of 15 men from the same company, under command of Lieutenant Kepler.
We left camp at 1 a.m. After passing our advance pickets, we moved very cautiously,
expecting to find the enemy at any moment, and arrived on the hill about 150 yards beyond the
second creek we passed. I ordered the advance guard to deploy as skirmishers to the left of the
road, with their right resting on the same, and one platoon of Company F to the right, with their
left on the road and connecting with skirmishers on the left, the battery remaining at this point to
prevent the rebels from hearing us, had there been any. The rear guard also remained with the
artillery. The skirmishers moved forward slowly, with the main force following at a proper
distance, until we arrived on the bluff overlooking the river, and about 500 yards from it, and
halted while the skirmishers moved on, who, not seeing anything of the enemy, took up their
position on the banks of the river. I sent Company H to the road on our left as pickets, to prevent
surprise or a flank movement of the rebels from the direction of Jones' Ford. The battery was
now brought forward and planted on the bluff commanding the river for a mile or more above
and below the ford. All things being now arranged, and it just getting daylight, we proceeded, in
accordance with orders, to throw up blind earthworks, consisting of a fort of a semicircular form,
with three embrasures, with rifle-pits extending from each flank about 4 or 5 rods each.
Could see nothing of the enemy until about noon, when a small squad made their appearance
on the hill beyond the river, the distance of l miles from us, and then disappeared, not making
any demonstration whatever toward us. We saw nothing more of them until about sundown,
when we could see two or three watching us from an old cabin beyond the river. There was no
firing done all day, not being in musket range, and I did not deem it expedient to use the artillery
on so small a squad. We remained until after dark, and then withdrew without accident.
Very respectfully,
Major Thirteenth Iowa Infantry, Commanding Detachment.
Lieut. O. D. KINSMAN,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
Camp near Fox's Plantation, June 28, 1863.
SIR: In obedience to orders received from Col. Alexander Chambers, Sixteenth Iowa
Infantry, commanding Third Brigade, I proceeded, on the morning of the 27th, with the Fifteenth
Regiment Iowa Infantry, to Messinger's Ferry, on Black River, with instructions to obstruct the
ford at that point, and also to remove within our lines Mrs. Messinger and family, together with
all other persons upon the place not too ill to be moved. On arriving at Messinger's, Brigadier-
General McArthur, who, with Colonel Chambers, was with the expedition, sent a portion of his
escort company, under Lieutenant. Tripp, across the river to examine the country and disperse a
squad of rebel cavalry which was observed on the opposite side, the crossing being protected by
two companies of the regiment (D, First Lieutenant Buchanan, and E, Captain Rogers),
Company K, Captain Hedrick, being at the same time sent about one-half mile up, and Company
C, Captain Miller, about the same distance down the river. The few rebels, some 15 or 20, as far
as could be seen, immediately disappeared, and on the return of Lieutenant Tripp, Company G,
First Lieutenant Bye, was ordered to obstruct the ford, Company I, Captain Reid, being detailed
to protect the working party. The bottom of the river being extremely soft, and there being no
trees of any size for some distance to be used for the purpose, the obstruction at that point was
deemed impracticable, especially as it was found that for a long distance the river could be
crossed with little difficulty, and the working party was withdrawn.
Mrs. Messinger and family, together with four other families of white persons on the place,
numbering in all 14 persons, and the colored people, were removed and brought within our lines,
the rear guard, under Captain Edwards, leaving there only 3 black persons, who were unable to
travel; four wagon loads of property being also brought.
On the departure of the regiment for camp, which we reached about 8 p.m., a small squad of
rebels again made their appearance on the opposite side.
In addition to this report, I inclose herewith, for the information of the brigade commander, a
slip from the Vicksburg Sun, of May 4, 1861, which paper was found at the residence of Colonel
Messinger, with the extract inclosed marked.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Lieut. O. D. KINSMAN,
Actg. Asst. Adjt. Gen, Third Brig., Sixth Div., Seventeenth A. C.
CAMP NEAR VICKSBURG, Miss., August 7, 1863.
SIR: In accordance with Special Orders, No. 7, Headquarters Third Brigade, I submit the
following report as to the operations of the Fifteenth Regiment Iowa Volunteer Infantry from the
commencement of the siege of Vicksburg to July 4:
On April 26, the regiment moved from Milliken's Bend to Holmes' plantation, Louisiana, the
march being an exceedingly disagreeable one.
On May 13, we arrived at Hard Times Landing; thence proceeded across the river and
encamped at Grand Gulf remaining there until the night of May 19, when we were ordered to
proceed immediately to Young's Point, which we reached at about 12 m. May 20.
Marching across the point, the regiment embarked on the Crescent City, and arrived at
Haynes' Bluff on the 21st, remaining there until 3 p.m., when we returned to Young's Point, and,
marching to a point nearly Opposite Warrenton, embarked for that place; upon reaching which a
line of march was taken up for the rebel lines, and at about 10 a.m. on the 22d we arrived in front
of the rebel works, some distance to the left of the position occupied by the Thirteenth Army
Here we were severely shelled by the enemy, without loss on our part, and that night moved
toward the position occupied by the larger portion of Major-General McPherson's corps, and on
the 23d were ordered to resume the old position on the left.
After picketing here in an exposed position for several days, on the 26th the Fifteenth was
relieved by a regiment of General Lauman's division, and was marched to General McPherson's
headquarters, from which, on the morning of the 27th, it moved as a part of the expedition of
General Blair, which was ordered to scour the country in the direction of Yazoo City.
Mechanicsburg was reached at noon on the 29th, where we were deployed in line of battle to
meet the enemy, who opposed our progress. The enemy retreating, the regiment bivouacked
about 1 miles beyond the town, and at 7 a.m. on the 30th we moved toward Haynes' Bluff,
arriving there on the night of May 31, after a wearisome and extremely severe march.
On June 4, we were moved to a point near Major-General McPherson's headquarters, where
we remained until the 23d, furnishing heavy details for fatigue parties to dig rifle-pits and erect
fortifications, and every evening sending a detachment of sharpshooters to the front, who
frequently engaged portions of the enemy with much effect.
On the 23d, we were moved 12 miles to the rear, and on the 27th to Fox's plantation. This
regiment, immediately on its arrival, being sent on a scout to Messinger's Ferry, was stationed
near the ferry and Black River, in view of Johnston's army at the time of the surrender of
Vicksburg on July 4.
The men of this regiment have endured the hardships of these severe marches and the trials
of the campaign without a murmur. Whether at work in the trenches or acting as sharpshooters,
they have evinced an alacrity, zeal, and courage which deserves full commendation, and in every
movement I have had the full co operation of every officer of the command.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel, Commanding Fifteenth Iowa Infantry.
Lieut. O. D. KINSMAN,
A. A. A. G., Third Brig., Sixth Div., Seventeenth A. C.
Near Big Black River, Miss., July 5, 1863.
SIR: I have the honor to report that, in accordance with orders from Col. A. Chambers,
Sixteenth Iowa Infantry, commanding Third Brigade, Sixth Division, I took four companies from
the Fifteenth Iowa Infantry, at 5 p.m., the 3d instant, went to the fortifications on the bill near
Messinger's Ford, finding Company G, Fifteenth Iowa Infantry, on duty guarding or picketing
this point. From there moved to Messinger's house, the One hundred and fourteenth Illinois
Infantry, Colonel Judy commanding, arriving at the same time. From there patrolled the road up
to a point at or near Bear Creek Ford. Darkness overtaking us there, I returned with the command
by way of Messinger's and the fortifications, relieving Company G, Fifteenth Iowa Infantry,
and, taking them with my command, reported to my regiment at Bear Creek, en route to
Messinger's Ford, at 9.30 p.m. same evening, not having seen any indications of the enemy on
the entire route.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Lieutenant-Colonel Fifteenth Iowa, Volunteer Infantry.
Lieut. O. D. KINSMAN,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, Third Brigade.
Near Messinger's Ford, Miss., July 4, 1863.
SIR: In pursuance of an order received from Colonel Chambers, commanding the Third
Brigade, on July 2, I left camp at 11.30 p.m., with my company and one piece of the Tenth Ohio
Battery, and proceeded out on the Messinger's Ford road about 3 miles, to within one-half mile
of the ford, and there remained till daylight, when I moved down to the ford, and found the
enemy's pickets and scouts on the opposite bank. I ordered the gun to give them a shell. The shell
had the desired effect, sending men and horses flying--men in one direction and horses in
The piece being ordered back at about 10 a.m. on yesterday, at about 3 a.m. the enemy, about
100 strong, passed up the river on the opposite bank, but not quite in range of our muskets. We
remained here until dark, and then returned, in accordance with orders, to the regiment.
Very respectfully,
Captain Company G, Fifteenth Iowa Volunteer Infantry.
Lieut. O. D. KINSMAN,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
CAMP NEAR VICKSBURG, August 7, 1863.
SIR: In compliance with Special Orders, No. 7, demanding a report of the operations of this
regiment "from the commencement of the siege of Vicksburg to the date of its fall, July 4, 1863,"
I have the honor to make the following report:
When Vicksburg was first invested by our troops, in May, the Sixteenth Regiment Iowa
Infantry was with its brigade at Grand Gulf.
May 19, we received orders to embark on transports to go up the river, our supposed
destination Vicksburg, and the embarkation was made that night. At this time Colonel Chambers
was absent and I was sick in bed. The regiment started off under the command of Major Purcell.
It went to Haynes' Bluff, and afterward returned to Warrenton, below Vicksburg, where it
disembarked on the night of May 21.
On the 22d, it moved out and occupied a position on the left of the investing line. That day
the regiment was engaged in continuous skirmishing with the enemy, and was complimented on
having performed brave and efficient services, fortunately without any loss of men on our part.
On the 23d, I joined the regiment, finding it near the center of the line, and at once took
command. That afternoon the brigade was moved to the left, at one time on the march subject to
the fire of a rebel battery.
We remained in this position until the 26th instant, always expecting and ready for action,
but never called upon.
On the morning of May 26, the brigade started toward the center again, and that evening
encamped near General McPherson's Seventeenth Army Corps headquarters.
Early the 27th, we started for Mechanicsburg with the understood object of intercepting the
rebel General Johnston. The march was hot and dusty.
On the morning of the 29th, we arrived at Mechanicsburg, the enemy being reported a short
distance beyond. The Sixteenth Regiment being in the rear in this day's march, it was left for a
time at Mechanicsburg as a reserve, while the other regiments proceeded on. We were soon
ordered to join them, and eventually, with them, thrown into line of battle; but no enemy
appearing, changed our position and went into camp 2 or 3 miles from Mechanicsburg, where we
remained till next morning.
On the 30th, we started on our return, marching through the Yazoo Valley, and arriving at
Haynes' Bluff' the afternoon of the 31st. Went into camp several miles beyond; toward
Remained in this camp till June 4, when we proceeded to join our corps, at the center of the
investing forces, encamping that afternoon on a ridge covered with a dense canebrake.
This camp proved unhealthy, and on the 12th we were moved about a mile farther back to
better quarters. During this interval our regiment did heavy fatigue duty, much of it at night in
the works. All calls upon the regiment were not only promptly but cheerfully responded to,
officers and men exhibiting hearty and patriotic enthusiasm in the great object of taking
Vicksburg. But they were not called on while in this camp, or at any other time during the
investment, to actually engage with the enemy.
We remained in the rear camp till June 23, employed as before, at times on heavy fatigue
On the 20th, a general bombardment being made on Vicksburg, we were marched to the
front, and took a position near General Ransom's brigade, but our services not being called for,
we returned to our camp that p.m.
On the morning of June 23, we started on a march in the direction of Big Black River, as part
of a force to repel any attempted rebel re-enforcements to Vicksburg. March hot and dusty, but
men in excellent spirits.
Remained in the camp we made that evening till the 27th, when we moved a few miles
farther on, and encamped near Fox's plantation, about 4 miles from Messinger's Ford, on Black
On the 28th, our regiment was ordered to proceed to Jones' Ferry, a couple of miles above
Messinger's, to destroy the ford, &c. They had a little skirmish with a small body of rebels,
supposed to be outposts of a larger three across the river, and returned that evening.
On the night of July 3, the brigade was moved to Messinger's Ford. The Sixteenth being in
advance, was encamped near the ford, while the other regiments took a position nearly a mile in
the rear.
On the morning of the 4th, by order of Colonel Chambers, commanding brigade, I sent four
companies, under Captain Smith, senior captain of the regiment, and a company of cavalry,
across the river, with directions to clear a road about 2 miles back to a position stated. Major
Purcell shortly afterward joined the regiment, and, following the detachment across the river,
relieved Captain Smith of his command. They had skirmishing with the enemy, and were finally
driven back to the river. During the afternoon Major Purcell deemed it advisable to recross the
river with the four companies of infantry, the cavalry having already returned, and no other
movement from our camp was made that day.
On the afternoon of the 4th, we received the gratifying news of the surrender of Vicksburg.
During the interval covered by this report we had no men killed. Private William Vontrees,
of Company K, was shot in the leg by a rebel sharpshooter while with others viewing a rebel
battery. His leg was amputated, and he afterward died in the division hospital. First Lieutenant
Purcell, of Company C, was slightly wounded by a piece of shell in the skirmish of May 22.
Have no men to report as missing during this interval.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding Sixteenth Iowa Infantry.
Lieut. O. D. KINSMAN,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, Third Brigade, &c.
June 28, 1863.
SIR: I have the honor to report to you the result of the expedition of six companies of the
Sixteenth Regiment Iowa Volunteer Infantry to Jones' Ford.
We left camp, according to orders, about 6 a.m.; marched direct to Messinger's Ferry. When
near this place, I found the enemy occupied the opposite side of the river with a force of from 40
to 50 cavalry. The negroes on the Messinger farm reported to me that the enemy were making
preparations to plant a battery on the opposite side of the river. I took some pains to satisfy
myself as to this, but saw nothing that would justify such a report. I found a negro to guide us to
Jones' Ford, and marched for that place, leaving one company to keep the enemy from crossing
at Messinger's Ferry. We found Jones' Ford about 2 miles above Messinger's. I found that we
could do nothing in the way of obstructing this ford. It is not possible to cross this ford with
artillery or wagons without first expending such an amount of labor as would make a crossing
anywhere on the river near this ford. I therefore ordered my command back, and, when we
arrived at Messinger's place, I found that during my absence the enemy had thrown out
skirmishers, and opened a brisk but harmless fire on the company left by me, which was returned
with spirit by this company.
Having complied as nearly as possible with the instructions received, I gave orders to return
to camp, where we arrived at 6 p.m. Justice to my command makes it my duty to report-to you
that parties from other commands, under command of commissioned officers, did, during the
day, enter the Messinger house and take articles of furniture and clothing. Having had orders not
to allow my command to disturb anything on this place, I thought it best to inform you of this, so
that you would be able to find out, it' necessary, those who are guilty.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Captain, Commanding Sixteenth Iowa Volunteer Infantry.
Commanding Third Brigade, Sixth Division.
VICKSBURG, MISS., August 11, 1863.
COLONEL: In compliance with extract 7, Special Orders, No. 159, from your headquarters, I
have the honor to report that this brigade (except the Eightieth Ohio Volunteers) took position as
part of the besieging force against Vicksburg on the 20th day of May, 1863.
During the assault on the morning of the 22d of that month, this brigade was in the reserve,
and was not immediately engaged with the enemy; a few casualties, however, occurred. Late in
the evening of that day the brigade was ordered to report to General Osterhaus, to support him in
a movement upon the enemy. The day being far spent, the position to which he assigned the
brigade was not taken until the morning of the 23d. At 1 p.m. of that day, the brigade, in
pursuance of orders, returned to its encampment with the division.
On the 4th day of June, the Eightieth Ohio Volunteers rejoined the brigade, having been
detached to escort prisoners to Memphis. From the 23d day of May until the capitulation the
brigade furnished the advance line of pickets and skirmishers every alternate forty-eight hours.
Heavy details for fatigue duty were made from time to time for the construction of earthworks,
rifle-pits, roads, &c.
On the 25th of June, in pursuance of directions from General Smith, commanding the
division, I had the Seventeenth Iowa and Fifty-sixth Illinois Volunteers, under command of Col.
Clark R. Wever, to report to Major-General Logan. During part of the night of that day those two
regiments occupied the partial breach made in the enemy's works by the explosion. The two
regiments lost 54 officers and men killed and wounded on that occasion. The Eightieth Ohio
Volunteers during that day and the Tenth Missouri Volunteers during the night were in position
at Battery Archer. The brigade marched into the city on the evening of the capitulation, and the
Fifty-sixth Illinois Volunteers, Eightieth Ohio Volunteers, and two companies of the Tenth
Missouri Volunteers, on the night of that day, composed a part of the guard along the rebel
In conclusion, I will add that during the siege, on all occasions, the officers and soldiers of
this brigade conducted themselves with just determination, and have reflected credit upon
themselves, our common country, and the cause which we have espoused.
I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel, Commanding Brigade.
Lieut. Col. W. T. CLARK,
Assistant Adjutant-General.
June 26, 1863.
LIEUTENANT: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part borne by the
Seventeenth Iowa Infantry in front of the rebel fort (Hill) on Jackson road, on the night of the
25th of June, 1863:
At 3 o'clock of that day I was directed by Col. Clark R. Wever, commanding detached
regiments, to place my regiment in the gap running parallel with the enemy's line, which I
accordingly did, and remained in this position till 10.30 p.m., when I received an order from
Colonel Wever to relieve a detail of the Fifty-sixth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, then occupying
the breach made by General Logan in Fort Hill. I moved my regiment through the gap that ran
from the white house to the breach, and halted when my right was within a few yards of its
entrance. I made the necessary detail of 70 men, and relieved a small detachment of men from
the Thirty-first and Fifty-sixth Illinois Regiments. It was then 11 o'clock, and I could only judge
of the position we were expected to take by the glare of the bursting shells which were constantly
thrown over the broken parapet by the enemy, and behind which he seemed safely lodged. I put
as many men as could fire to advantage upon the broken wall that separated me from the enemy,
and directed the balance of my men to load for them. In this way we were enabled to keep up a
constant fire. I relieved this detail in an hour with another relief of 70 men, and they, in their
turn, were relieved.
During the three hours that the Seventeenth Iowa occupied the breach, the entire battalion (by
relief) were engaged in successfully foiling, with musketry alone, the rebels in their attempts to
occupy the crater of the blown-up fort, whilst they were incessantly throwing grenades (6 and 10
[pounder] shells) in our midst, which, instead of intimidating our men, served to make them fire
more rapidly and fight with greater determination.
At 2 a.m. of the 26th, we were relieved by the Thirty-first Illinois, and returned to the gap
first occupied, where we remained until 12 m., when we returned to camp.
Inclosed find list of casualties.
Very respectfully,
Major, Commanding Seventeenth Iowa Infantry.
Actg. Asst. Adjt. Gen., Second Brig., Third Div., Fifteenth A. C.
Before Vicksburg, Miss., May 25, 1863.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to submit, through you, to the colonel commanding this brigade,
the following report of the part taken by this regiment in our recent marches and engagements:
On the 25th of April, 1863, we left Milliken's Bend, La., reaching Surget's plantation after
two days' march, a distance of 30 miles, where we remained one day, and on the 28th resumed
the march, reaching Perkins' Landing, below Carthage, on the 29th. The bad condition of the
roads from Milliken's Bend to Perkins' Landing, and our limited means of transportation,
rendered it necessary to send back teams each night to bring forward supplies, which we were
compelled to leave behind each morning. Marching over bad roads, under a scorching sun, and
with heavy knapsacks, after so long inactivity, exhausted many of my men, whom I also
managed to bring forward each night in ambulances.
On the 30th, we marched from Perkins' Landing to Hard Times Landing (distance 18 miles),
and mustered on the night of the 30th.
On the 1st of May, I took my regiment on board the gunboat Pittsburg, crossed the
Mississippi River to Bruinsburg, Miss., and marched the same day 9 miles into the interior, in the
direction of Port Gibson, which place we reached at noon on the 2d of May, and camped on
Willow Bayou, 8 miles distant, same night.
On the 3d, after crossing Willow Bayou, our advance was checked by a battery of the enemy
in front. Our brigade was formed in line of battle on right of the road, my regiment supporting
the Tenth Iowa Infantry, deployed as skirmishers in our front. Intelligence of the flight of the
enemy was soon brought us, and we resumed our line of march, reaching Big Black same night.
On the 5th, made reconnaissance with my regiment, in company with the Tenth Iowa
Infantry, three companies of cavalry, and two pieces of artillery, the whole under command of
Colonel Boomer. My regiment being in advance after crossing the stream, I threw out two
companies as skirmishers, and pushed them forward, supported by my regiment, some 5 miles in
the direction of Vicksburg, until I came upon the enemy in force, occupying a high range of hills
in our front, when 1 was ordered to fall back, and recrossed Big Black to our former camp. The
reconnaissance was entirely successful and satisfactory, without a single casualty.
On the 9th, we resumed the march in the direction of Jackson, Miss., reaching Raymond on
the 12th.
On the 13th, resumed march on road leading through Clinton, and my regiment being in
advance, I threw forward four companies as skirmishers, who in a few miles came upon the
pickets of the enemy, and, after a sharp skirmish, drove them from their position. I continued to
advance my skirmishers until they reached and occupied Clinton, about 4 p.m., when we halted
for a few hours, and camped at night from latter place about 2 miles, on the road to Jackson.
On the 14th, marched at 8 a.m., and, after a few miles' march in a drenching rain, were
brought to a halt by the enemy in front, who were found in force occupying the height about 3
miles from Jackson. Our brigade was in a few minutes ordered forward into position under fire
of the enemy's guns, and formed in two lines of battle on left of the road, my regiment occupying
the right of the front line, the Twenty-sixth Missouri in my rear, and the Ninety-third Illinois on
my left. As soon as formed we were ordered forward, and advanced in perfect order, under a
brisk fire from the enemy's sharpshooters, until they abandoned their position and fell back. We,
however, continued to advance in line of battle, the enemy fleeing before us, until we reached the
railroad depot at Jackson. I am happy to bear testimony to the universal good conduct of both
officers and men in our advance upon Jackson, and to report a loss of but 4 men wounded.
On the 15th, at 8 a.m., we took up our line of march in the direction of Vicksburg, making 15
miles on the first day, and on the 16th, at about 11 a.m., had our advance again checked by the
enemy in force in our front. Preparations were immediately made for battle, and in a few
minutes, everything being in readiness, we awaited the advance of the enemy upon our line. The
enemy, however, having massed a heavy force to our left, caused our line in that direction to give
way, and our brigade was ordered with all possible haste to their support. We came up to the
immediate scene of action, marching by the left flank at double-quick, under the protection of a
high ridge, over which our overpowered forces, with broken ranks, were already retreating. The
imminent peril of the moment caused us to be ordered immediately forward upon the enemy. We
came into order of battle on the run, and poured over the bridge, shouting defiance to the enemy,
and under a heavy fire, in which many of my men were killed and my horse shot under me,
owing to which I was compelled to abandon him, and continue the remainder of the day on foot.
We planted our colors, and took our position rapidly behind the crest of the next slight eminence
that put down from the main ridge on the right, forming an excellent parapet. Here we fought,
loading and firing rapidly, every officer and soldier at his post, shouting and cheering each other,
and almost entirely silencing the fire of the enemy along our front. He then moved to the left, and
concentrated his force and fire upon the more exposed portion of the line higher up on the ridge,
and succeeded in forcing back the regiment on our left. We still maintained our position, every
man standing firm. In a short time the lieutenant-colonel of the Ninety-third Illinois (the
regiment immediately on our left) succeeded in rallying a few of his men, and returned to our
left. Here we remained fighting until I was informed from three different sources that the enemy
was passing completely around our left. I went to that portion of the line, saw them, and
ascertained that their fire would very soon completely command our position from the flank and
rear. I then ordered the regiment to retire to the next ridge.
In falling back, the bearer of the banner became exhausted, and it became separated from the
colors. Captain Tait, of the left company, placed it in the hands of a corporal of his company, and
not seeing the colors, he rallied the greater portion of the three left companies under a galling fire
from the flank, moved them to the rear, and was about to rejoin the regiment, when a general, not
of our division, ordered him to the support of a battery farther in the rear. I moved the regiment a
short distance to the rear, refusing the left, in order to avoid the flank fire of the enemy, and
reformed the line. Here, although the enemy, encouraged by his apparent success, pushed
forward, we held him at bay, the men loading and firing, while their comrades were continually
falling around them, with a coolness and deliberation almost incredible, determined to yield
their position only with their lives. Every officer at his post, some cheering the men, others
opening the cartridges and tearing them to facilitate loading. Here our ammunition was
exhausted, and some fired away what they could obtain from the cartridge-boxes of the dead and
wounded lying around them. I still held the regiment about thirty minutes after being unable to
fire, the enemy being too much exhausted to press us. I then moved back into an open field,
where General Logan had a supply of ammunition along his line, and refilled the cartridgeboxes.
Before this was completed, our artillery commenced firing grape and shell over our heads,
and we were unable to return without being in immediate range of our guns. But we soon saw the
enemy fleeing from the field, not one having reached the line where we made our determined
We can make no distinction for heroism and skill among officers when all were so
conspicuous, but I cannot forbear to remember the eminent assistance I received in the most
trying moments from Adjutant Marshall and Captains Lee and Pickerell.
I went into this battle with an aggregate of 350 officers and men, and lost 19 killed and 75
On the evening of the 16th, after the battle, we marched 2 miles, and camped for the night;
on the 17th marched 5 miles, and camped on Big Black; on the 18th crossed Big Black, and on
the 19th arrived before Vicksburg.
We were soon assigned a position, where we remained for the day, and on the 20th advanced
our lines nearer the enemy's works; on the 21st continual skirmishing was kept up with the
enemy, and on the 22d again advanced to the range of hills nearest to the enemy's works, on the
left of the large fort commanding the entrance to Vicksburg, my regiment leading and clearing
the way to the latter point, where we were formed in line of battle, my regiment occupying the
right of the front line, the Twenty-sixth Missouri in my rear. Here we remained, beneath a
burning sun, and exposed in a measure to the fire of the enemy, until 3 p.m., in readiness to
charge upon the works of the enemy, during which time skirmishing was continually kept up. In
this position I have to report a loss of 1 man killed and 2 wounded.
At 3 p.m., the division being ordered to reenforce General McCler-nand, on our left, we were
withdrawn from our position, and with our brigade were reported to General Carr at 5 p.m.
Preparations were immediately made by the brigade to charge upon the intrenchments of the
enemy on the third range of bills in our front, and about 120 rods distant. The brigade was
formed in two lines of battle, my regiment again occupying the right of the front line, the
Twenty-sixth Missouri in my rear and Ninety-third Illinois on my left. In a few moments an
advance was ordered, and in the most perfect order, at common time, and with arms at a right
shoulder shift, and exposed to a most galling and deadly fire from the whole line of the enemy's
works--right, left, and in front--we passed the first and principal range of hills, halted in the
ravine beyond, under cover of the second range, dressed my lines, and were in readiness for a
farther advance. Here a new disposition of the troops being found necessary by the brigade
commander to enable him to direct his march to the point desired, my regiment was marched by
the flank to a new position, again exposed to the enemy's fire, where I again dressed my line, and
was in readiness to advance. Just at this juncture our noble and brave brigade commander,
Colonel Boomer, was shot through the head, and instantly expired. This circumstance caused a
momentary delay, and before an advance was effected we received orders to maintain our
position until after dark, and return to our original position under cover of the first range of hills,
which was accordingly done. In this advance I have to report a loss of 2 killed and 17 wounded,
out of an aggregate of 250.
On the 23d, we were ordered back to our former position with our own army corps, where we
still remain.
I cannot close this report without bearing testimony to the uncomplaining and self-sacrificing
spirit that has continually manifested itself among the men of my command during all of our
marches, trials, and sufferings. Many of them without shoes, all frequently without provisions,
except sugar and meat, pushed forward through rain and sunshine, without a murmur or
complaint, willing to endure every hardship and peril for the success of their cause.
Hoping that they may be abundantly rewarded for their sacrifices and labors, I beg leave to
subscribe myself, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding Fifth Iowa Infantry.
Capt. and Asst. Adjt. Gen., Third Brigade, Seventh Division.
Vicksburg, Miss., July 6, 1863.
COLONEL: I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of my
command since coming into this department:
On the 2d of June last, I received orders from Major-General Schofield, commanding
Department of the Missouri, to prepare the infantry and artillery of the Second and Third
Divisions of the Army of the Frontier, then under my command, for immediate transportation to
Vicksburg. The Third Division was encamped some 10 miles from the railroad, at Rolla, Mo.,
and the Second Division at Pilot Knob. The latter was directed to cross the country to Saint
Genevieve and embark, while the troops of the Third Division, after marching to Rolla, went to
Saint Louis by rail.
During the night of the 4th of June, all the troops were embarked on transports, and at once
started down the river. At New Madrid I was joined by the Thirty-eighth Iowa Infantry. My
command then consisted of the First Brigade (Twenty-sixth Indiana, Thirty-seventh Illinois,
Twentieth, Thirty-fourth, and Thirty-eighth Iowa Infantry, with Batteries E and F, First Missouri
Light Artillery), commanded by Brigadier-General Vandever, and the Second Brigade
(Twentieth Wisconsin, Nineteenth Iowa, and Ninety-fourth Illinois Infantry, with Battery B,
First Missouri Light Artillery), commanded by Brig. Gen. W. W. Orme.
On the 13th of June, we arrived at Young's Point, where I received orders to cross the river
below Vicksburg and take up position on the extreme left of the investing line.
Owing to a want of transportation, this was attended with a little delay, but on the morning of
the 15th the troops crossed, and, after reconnoitering the enemy's works and driving in their
pickets, my lines were established within 1,200 yards of the enemy's main line of defense. The
first parallel was opened the following night and preparations made for conducting the siege in
proper form. Considerable difficulty was experienced in collecting engineer tools, and also in
obtaining a supply of ammunition for my light batteries. It is only just to say, however, that this
arose from the caliber of the guns being unsuited to the ammunition in the ordnance depot, and
not from any negligence on the part of the officers of the ordnance department.
The ground in my front, as you are aware, was unfavorable for siege operations, being a level
plateau interspersed with ravines, which afforded little shelter for troops, on account of being
commanded in many places by the guns of the enemy's works. The trenches, however, were
pushed forward as rapidly as possible, and by the 25th were within 600 yards of the enemy's line
of forts. In front of my left center I had established a battery of 42-pounder rifle guns, which
were loaned from the Navy. This battery, under the command of Acting Master [J. Frank] Reed,
of the Benton, did excellent service, and I cannot speak too highly of the bravery and energy of
this young officer. Indeed, during the whole of my operations, I received valuable assistance and
a hearty co-operation from the Navy. During the siege several of the enemy's rifle-pits in my
front were carried by assault, and quite a number of prisoners taken. These have been forwarded,
as directed, to department headquarters.
On the evening of the 3d instant, I received notice that terms of capitulation were being
considered, with orders from the major-general commanding to cease firing, but to be extremely
guarded against a sortie, or attempt of the enemy to cut his way out. My troops were under arms
during the night, but nothing unusual occurred, and at 9 o'clock of the morning of the 4th, my
division being one of the three selected to occupy the city, and the signal agreed upon having
been displayed along the enemy's lint, I marched in and took possession of the works in my
immediate front. Several of these were well built, and from their strength could not have been
carried by assault without heavy loss. Considering the unavoidable delays before mentioned, and
the length of my line (something more than 3 miles), I have reason to be proud of the progress
made by my troops during the short time they were engaged in the siege. Their conduct has been
admirable in all respects.
I am under special obligations to Brigadier-Generals Vandever and Orme, commanding
brigades, to Captains Comstock and Hoeppner, engineers in charge of the works, and to the
several officers of my staff. I inclose herewith a list of casualties which have occurred during the
I remain, colonel, your obedient servant,
Major-General, Commanding.
Lieut. Col. JOHN A. RAWLINS. A. A. G.,
Dept. of the Tennessee.
VICKSBURG, MISS., July 9, 1863.
MAJOR: I have the honor to make the following report of the part taken by the Thirty-fourth
Infantry in the late siege of Vicksburg:
Arrived on the line of encampment below the city on the 14th day of June, 1863. Details
were made at once for fatigue and picket duty. In these details from day to day consisted the
principal work performed by my regiment. One-half my men who were able for duty were on
duty all the time, and not unfrequently I was compelled, in order to fill the details, to send men
who had just been relieved, thus keeping the same men out in the ditches forty-eight hours
without rest. They went un-complainingly, and, from the uniform accounts I have had of their
conduct, they behaved well on picket, and worked faithfully on fatigue. Unaccustomed as they
were to such duty and such a climate, and having to use water of inferior quality, I think they
have exhibited powers of endurance seldom surpassed by men under any circumstances.
Sergeant [David] Finley, of Company E, than whom I never saw a better soldier, received a
sunstroke when on duty, from the effects of which he died this morning. Many others were
overcome by heat and heavy duty, resulting in fever and other diseases, from which they have
not yet recovered. My regiment, as such, was not engaged in action during the siege, but was
frequently taken to the front to support batteries and prevent sorties from the enemy.
On the 29th of June, by order of Major-General Herron, I moved my regiment around on the
levee, to a point immediately on the bank of the river, 3 miles below the city, and took charge of
the picket line between the river and the Big Bayou. Rebel deserters were brought in every day in
large numbers by my pickets and sent at once to brigade headquarters. My casualties during the
siege were 4 killed and I officer and 5 enlisted men wounded.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel, Commanding Thirty-fourth Iowa Infantry
Assistant Adjutant-General.
July 5, 1863.
GENERAL: I have the honor to report to you the part taken by my regiment in the late siege
of Vicksburg.
We landed below Young's Point, La., on the 11th day of June, 1863; marched across the
Point, and crossed the river to Warrenton, Miss., on the 12th.
On the 13th, we marched out 3 miles and bivouacked for the night. On the 14th, we were
assigned position on the right of our (General Herron's) division, and in front of the enemy's
works; since that time we have been actively engaged in filling details for picket and fatigue
duty. Our picket duty was mostly performed from rifle-pits, and there was constant skirmishing
between our advance and that of the enemy in his rifle pits. Under cover of the night we
advanced our lines, and prior to the surrender we had driven the enemy from his advance lines
and occupied them.
Our fatigue duty consisted in digging rifle-pits and planting batteries and siege guns to bear
upon the enemy's works. This was continued and unremitting (well named fatigue duty) until the
morning of the ever-glorious Fourth Day of July, when the glad news came to us that Vicksburg
had surrendered. We were then ordered to join in the march of the triumphant army, which we
did, and now occupy a part of the enemy's works.
There being no general engagement, our casualties were few. Private Thomas Pender, of
Company I, received a slight flesh wound in the thigh.
The promptness and fidelity with which the officers and men of my command performed
their duties, which were indeed onerous, is worthy of commendation, especially Major Bruce,
whose constant and untiring energy is worthy of emulation.
I have, general, the honor to be, your obedient servant,
Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding Regiment.
Brig. Gen. W. W. ORME,
Comdg. Orme's Brigade, Left Division, Army of the Tennessee.
La Grange, Tenn., May 19, 1863.
CAPTAIN: The colonel commanding directs me to say that he has the honor to submit the
following report from the scouts this day:
One company Second Iowa Cavalry found on Ripley road, 10 miles south of this, a party of
rebel cavalry of 60 to 100 men. Had quite a sharp skirmish, in which two of our men were quite
severely wounded. Rebel loss unknown, but supposed to be much greater than ours. The rebels
retired to the southwest. Patrols followed but a short distance farther.
One company (Second Iowa Cavalry) found about 70 of the rebels, supposed to be Mitchell's
men, drawn up in line of battle in a field on t, he right and three-fourths of a mile distant from the
road, 13 miles from this place, on Salem road, 2 miles this side of Salem. On our men deploying
as skirmishers, the rebels withdrew at the trot, not firing a shot, in a westerly direction. The
officer in command of this company reports sending to your headquarters a prisoner just from
About 100 of the Seventh Illinois Cavalry went to Mount Pleasant by the way of Early
Grove. They saw nothing. Heard of 6 men passing one hour in advance of them through Early
Grove, but found or heard nothing of them at Mount Pleasant. They got rumors of 200 rebels at
Alexander's Mills, on the Coldwater, south of Mount Pleasant, but nothing reliable.
No other forces or movements of the enemy are reported.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Lieutenant and Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
Captain HARLAND,
Actg. Asst. Adjt. Gen., First Division, Sixteenth Army Corps.
La Grange, Tenn., May 20, 1863.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report that the scout sent out this morning, consisting of two
companies Second Iowa Cavalry and two companies Sixth Iowa Infantry, found the enemy,
about 300 strong [W. R.] Mitchell's, Sol. [G.] Street's, and others), at Salem. A skirmish ensued
and the enemy fled, and, being freshly mounted, got away from our men. One horse was killed
on the rebel side. No loss on ours.
I am, respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel, Commanding.
Capt. W. H. HARLAND,
Actg. Asst. Adjt. Gen., First Division, Sixteenth Army Corps.
NEAR COLDWATER, May 25, 1863.
GENERAL: I attacked Chalmers' command in the Senatobia Swamp on the morning of the
23d, scattering his forces, drove the main body across the Tallahatchee into Panola, the rest
escaping toward Helena. The enemy left 9 dead on the field. Chalmers' forces, I learn from the
prisoners, consisted of about 2,000 regular troops and about 1,000 conscripts.
I am, general, your most obedient servant,
Colonel, Commanding.
Maj. Gen. S. A. HURLBUT.
LA GRANGE, TENN., May 31, 1863.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report that, complying with orders from General Smith, I left
camp at La Grange, Tenn., on the morning of May 21, 1863, to carry out instructions from
Major-General Hurlbut, to beat up the rebel General Chalmers' quarters and disperse his forces,
collecting stock and provisions and destroying forage. Proceeded with the Second Iowa Cavalry,
Sixth Iowa Infantry, detachments of the Sixth and Seventh Illinois Cavalry, three 2-pounder guns
(First Illinois Light Artillery), and one section of 6-pounders (Cooper's battery), to Mount
Pleasant, thence 2 miles south of Byhalia (Farmington), where I was joined by Colonel
McCrillis' Second Brigade of cavalry, with two howitzers, Colonel McCrillis having driven the
enemy out of Byhallo two hours before. There I found a store had been fired and burned. I
immediately sent my adjutant-general to Colonel McCrillis' command with the order that, if any
outrages of this kind were committed, I should recommend the pay of the troops guilty of them
to be stopped against them.
Having reasons to believe the enemy would offer battle at Cockrum's Cross-Roads, on the
morning of May 22 dispatched Colonel McCrillis' command, by a road to my left, to take the
enemy in flank and rear, while I moved the balance of my command by direct road to Cockrum's.
The enemy's pickets disputed the ground steadily to this point, doing us little damage, except
occasionally killing a horse. The enemy retreated from Cockrum's toward Luxahoma.
Skirmishing continued during the day. Camped that night near Luxahoma, on Jim Wolf Creek.
At daylight, May 23, the enemy attacked my pickets, leading me to believe they would fight
at Luxahoma.
Marched early that morning, skirmishing with the enemy, to Luxahoma. At this point I sent
Colonel McCrillis to feel the enemy toward Senatobia, and inform me if he found them in force.
I moved the main column through Luxahoma, driving an inferior force south, toward Panolo.
Colonel McCrillis reported that he found the enemy in force 4 miles from Luxahoma, in a very
strong position, in the swamps of Senatobia Creek. I immediately sent him orders to press the
enemy slowly, while I pushed around the enemy's right flank to his rear. The road being rough,
after marching 6 miles, I found my artillery could not move rapidly. Retaining the Sixth Iowa to
support it, I pushed all my cavalry rapidly southwest 6 miles farther, reaching the main Senatobia
and Panola road, 6 miles south of Senatobia. Supposing the main body of the enemy had not
escaped from Colonel McCrillis, I pushed the cavalry rapidly toward Senatobia. In the mean time
the enemy, after a sharp skirmish with Colonel McCrillis, had broken and fled rapidly, avoiding
the movement of my main column, of which they were apprised, retreating toward Helena, and
on a road west of the main Panola road, leaving 9 killed in the fight in the swamps about
Senatobia Creek. A few moments after reaching the town it was fired on the windward side.
With great exertions, a portion of the stores were saved and all the dwelling-houses. We were
obliged to pull down five stores in order to save the town. Although active inquiries have been
made, so far the officers have failed to ascertain the perpetrators; and though both men and
officers of Colonel McCrillis' command worked resolutely and cheerfully to extinguish the fire, I
am under the impression the buildings were fired by men of his command, or some citizen scouts
who happened to be with the brigade at the time. Colonel McCrillis did all in his power to
extinguish the fire, and the only buildings lost had been abandoned for months.
Great credit is due to the command of Colonel McCrillis in driving the enemy out of the
swamp at Senatobia, a very strong position.
Camping that night with my artillery and infantry 2 miles south of the town, I pushed
Colonel McCrillis' command south toward Panola, and detachments of the Second Iowa Cavalry
west to the Coldwater, in pursuit of the enemy, who had gone on different roads.
May 24, sent the artillery to Coldwater Station, 10 miles north of Senatobia, with part of the
Sixth Iowa Infantry, using the balance of the command to pick up stock and negroes, most of
which has been run out of the country. Colonel McCrillis reported the following day at
Coldwater Station. He had driven the detachments of the enemy going south over the
Tallahatchee. The detachments sent after the enemy toward Coldwater did not come up with
them, and learning they were retreating in small parties, returned, reporting the following day at
Coldwater Station, bringing in what stock they could find.
The next day. May 26, broke my command up in detachments, sending one column by the
way of Cockrum's Cross-Roads, and near Holly Springs, to La Grange, one by the way of Mount
Pleasant, Collierville, and La Grange, one direct to Collierville, and one to Germantown, with
orders to scour the country for guerrillas. The weather being hot and dusty, I lost many animals,
which I was able to replace, bringing in about 400 mules at the different posts.
The casualties in this scout were 5 men wounded. The cattle driven in by the command were
turned over to Colonel McCrillis at Hernando.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel Second Iowa Cavalry, Commanding Brigade.
Capt. W. H. Morgan,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Cavalry Division.
Camp near Vicksburg, June 2, 1863.
COLONEL: I have the honor to report that Maj. Gen. B. M. Prentiss, on the 23d ultimo, sent
the steamer Pike on an expedition down the river for the purpose of obtaining recruits for the
Second Regiment Arkansas Volunteers, of African descent, under command of Lieut. Col.
George W. De Costa, of that regiment, with detachments of the First Indiana Cavalry and Thirtysixth
Iowa Infantry, and 25 men of the Second Arkansas Regiment, with one howitzer.
The expedition proceeded to a point on the Arkansas side 1 mile from Napoleon, Ark., and
returned on the Mississippi side, making frequent marches into the country; in some instances to
a distance of 6 or 7 miles.
General Prentiss bears testimony to the soldierly conduct of the soldiers, both white and
black, as reported by the commanding officer.
Near Island No. 65 the Pike was fired into by a party of about 150 rebels, and brisk firing
was kept up for some time, the enemy having two pieces of artillery, one of which was silenced
by the howitzer on the Pike.
Captain [Benjamin J.] Waters, of the Second Arkansas Regiment, was severely wounded in
the leg, and 2 colored soldiers were mortally wounded.
The enemy are supposed to have lost 10 or 15 killed and wounded.
The conduct of the colored soldiers was highly creditable, fighting with hearty good will and
doing good service.
The expedition was eminently successful, capturing 75 mules, 8 horses, and subsistence for
the whole force.
The colored population hailed with joy the appearance of the colored soldiers. One hundred
and twenty-five recruits were obtained on the expedition. The regiment is rapidly filling up, and
it is hoped it will be full in a few days.
Your most obedient servant,
Lieutenant-Colonel and Assistant Adjutant-General.
Lieut. Col. JOHN A. RAWLINS,
Assistant Adjutant-General.
NEAR VICKSBURG, MISS., June 17, 1863.
SIR: In obedience to orders, I submit the following report of a skirmish with the enemy on
June 4 between Satartia, on the Yazoo River, and Mechanicsburg:
When our brigade moved from Satartia (being the first troops that arrived and the first to
march into the country from that place), three companies of the Eighth Wisconsin, viz, A, F, and
I, were detailed as an advance guard. From one-half to three-fourths of a mile out, where two
companies of our brigade, one from the Eleventh Missouri and the other from the Forty-seventh
Illinois, were on picket, I was ordered to halt by Captain Stewart, of General Mower's staff. The
officers of the picket guard reported the enemy in the near neighborhood in considerable force,
and in a few moments there was brisk firing on the part of the advance sentinels. Company A, of
the Eighth, was immediately deployed as skirmishers, and sent forward to the line of the
vedettes, and the other companies formed in line in a good position, with skirmishers thrown out
to the right. The enemy advanced, firing with great rapidity, but were checked. At the same time
they advanced on our right, but were repulsed there, as another company, which re-enforced us at
that moment from the brigade, was deployed in that quarter.
Receiving orders to push forward, I advanced, with Companies A and F as skirmishers, as
rapidly as possible, Companies D and I following closely as reserve. From there to
Mechanicsburg (3 miles) there was constant and at times severe fighting, the rebel skirmishers
(five companies strong) halting and making a stubborn resistance behind the crest of hills. At
one such place I sent back for artillery, when one piece of Taylor's Chicago battery was brought
up and threw several shells, dislodging them from a strong position.
Arriving in sight of Mechanicsburg, we discovered the enemy getting a gun in position on the
hill between the town and us, but we came on them so suddenly that, without firing, they
withdrew to the rear of the village, and opened on us from two pieces with shell and grape. Here
I ordered the two reserve companies to the front, and we passed through town, driving the rebel
skirmishers to their main force, estimated at from 1,500 to 2,000, under command of General
Adams, which was in line of battle supporting their artillery. In the ditches in the rear of town we
held the ground for half an hour, when our battery came up and opened on the enemy, silencing
their guns and starting them from their position.
Shortly afterward detachments of the Fourth Iowa and Fifth Illinois Cavalry arrived by
another road, and started in pursuit. Generals Kimball and Mower arrived on the ground, and I
was ordered to call in my men and join the command when the column should come up.
I had only 2 men severely wounded in the skirmish. We wounded 3 and captured 2 of the
rebels before reaching the town, and several on the other side of town.
Respectfully submitted.
Captain Company F, Commanding Advance Guard.
Lieut. E. T. SPRAGUE,
Actg. Asst. Adjt. Gen.. Second Brigade.
Young's Point, La., June 12, 1863.
COLONEL: I have the honor to report that, in accordance with instructions received from
me, Colonel Lieb, commanding the Ninth Louisiana, African descent, made a reconnaissance in
the direction of Richmond on June 6, starting from Milliken's Bend at 2 a.m.
He was preceded by two companies of the Tenth Illinois Cavalry, commanded by Captain
Anderson, whom he overtook 3 miles from the Bend. It was agreed between them that the
captain should take the left side of Walnut Bayou and pursue it as far as Mrs. Ames' plantation,
while Colonel Lieb proceeded along the main Richmond road to the railroad depot, 3 miles from
Richmond, where he encountered the enemy's pickets and advance, which he drove in with but
little opposition, but, anticipating the enemy in strong force, retired slowly toward the Bend.
When about half-way back, a squad of our cavalry came dashing up in his rear, hotly pursued by
the enemy. Colonel Lieb immediately formed his regiment across an open field, and with one
volley dispersed the approaching enemy.
Expecting the enemy would contest the passage of the bridge over Walnut Bayou, Colonel
Lieb fell back over the bridge, and from thence to Milliken's Bend, from whence he sent a
messenger informing me of the success of the expedition, and reported the enemy to be
advancing. I immediately started the Twenty-third Iowa Volunteer Infantry to their assistance,
and Admiral Porter ordered the gunboat Choctaw to that point.
At 3 o'clock the following morning the enemy made their appearance in strong force on the
main Richmond road, driving the pickets before them. The enemy advanced upon the left of our
line, throwing out no skirmishers, marching in close column by division, with a strong cavalry
force on his right flank. Our forces, consisting of the Twenty-third Iowa Volunteer Infantry and
the African Brigade (in all, 1,061 men), opened upon the enemy when within musket-shot range,
which made them waver and recoil, a number running in confusion to the rear; the balance,
pushing on with intrepidity, soon reached the levee, when they were ordered to charge, with cries
of "no quarter!"
The African regiments being inexperienced in the use of arms, some of them having been
drilled but a few days, and the guns being very inferior, the enemy succeeded in getting upon our
works before more than one or two volleys were fired at them. Here ensued a most terrible handto-
hand conflict of several minutes' duration, our men using the bayonet freely and clubbing their
guns with fierce obstinacy, contesting every inch of ground, until the enemy succeeded in
flanking them, and poured a murderous enfilading fire along our lines, directing their fire chiefly
to the officers, who tell in numbers. Not till they were overpowered and forced by superior
numbers did our men fall back behind the bank of the river, at the same time pouring volley after
volley into the ranks of the advancing enemy.
The gunboat now got into position and fired a broadside into the enemy, who immediately
disappeared behind the levee, but all the time keeping up a fire upon our men.
The enemy at this time appeared to be extending his line to the extreme right, but was held in
check by two companies of the Eleventh Louisiana Infantry, African descent, which had been
posted behind cotton bales and part of the old levee. In this position the fight continued until
near noon, when the enemy suddenly withdrew. Our men, seeing this movement, advanced upon
the retreating column, firing volley after volley at them while they remained within gunshot. The
gunboat Lexington then paid her compliments to the fleeing foe in several well-directed shots,
scattering them in all directions.
I here desire to express my thanks to the officers and men of the gunboats Choctaw and
Lexington for their efficient services in the time of need. Their names will be long remembered
by the officers and men of the African Brigade for their valuable assistance on that dark and
bloody field.
The officers and men deserve the highest praise for their gallant conduct, and especially
Colonel Glasgow, of the Twenty-third Iowa, and his brave men, and also Colonel Lieb, of the
Ninth Louisiana, African descent, who, by his gallantry and daring, inspired his men to deeds of
valor until he fell, seriously though not dangerously wounded. I regret to state that Colonel
Chamberlain, of the Eleventh Louisiana, African descent, conducted himself in a very
unsoldierlike manner.
The enemy consisted of one brigade, numbering about 2,500, in command of General [H. E.]
McCulloch, and 200 cavalry. The enemy's loss is estimated at about 150 killed and 300
wounded. It is impossible to get anything near the loss of the enemy, as they carried the killed
and wounded off in ambulances. Among their killed is Colonel [R. T. P.] Allen, Sixteenth
[Seventeenth] Texas.
Inclosed please find tabular statement of killed, wounded, and missing; in all, 652. Nearly all
the missing blacks will probably return, as they were badly scattered.
The enemy, under General [J. M.] Hawes, advanced upon Young's Point while the battle was
going on at Milliken's Bend; but several well-directed shots from the gunboats compelled them
to retire.
Submitting the foregoing, I remain, yours, respectfully,
Brigadier-General, Comdg. District -Northeast Louisiana.
Lieut. Col. JOHN A. RAWLINS,
Assistant Adjutant-General.
Flagship Black Hawk, June 7, 1863.
DEAR GENERAL: Last night, or early this morning, the rebels, supposed to amount to 3,000
or 4,000 strong, attacked Milliken's Bend, and nearly gobbled up the whole party. Fortunately, I
heard of it in time to get the Choctaw and Lexington up there just as the attack commenced. The
rebels got into our camps and killed a good many negroes, and left about 80 of their number
killed on the levee. Our troops (mostly negroes) retreated behind the banks, near the water's
edge, and the gunboats opened so rapidly on the enemy that they scampered off, the shells
chasing them as far as the woods. They got nothing but hard knocks.
The moment I heard of it, I went up in the Black Hawk and saw quite an ugly sight. The dead
negroes lined the ditch inside of the parapet, or levee, and were mostly shot on the top of the
head. In front of them, close to the levee, lay an equal number of rebels, stinking in the sun.
Their knapsacks contained four days' provisions. They were miserable looking wretches. I had
no sooner got there than the dispatch boat brought me a letter from the general commanding
here, informing me that the rebels had appeared near the canal in force. I hurried back, and found
all the vessels having guns ready to receive them, and heard nothing of the rebels. It was a false
alarm, but the steamers had all gone off for Young's Point.
There are about 300 troops here in all, not counting the blacks. I think we should have 1,000
men near the canal and at Young's Point, and I recommend moving everything from Milliken's
Bend to the latter place. We can defend it much better. Those fellows will be scouting about here
for some time, and it is no longer safe to run teams across to the Vessels on the other side. I think
the rebels are in force there. When the brigade comes, I will land them, but I hear they are at
Memphis waiting for troops.
The Twenty-ninth Iowa (I think it was) behaved well today. It stood its ground against great
odds, and kept the enemy out of the camps until the men could form and get into some kind of
I think we want more force here, and everything at Young's Point moved over on the
opposite side of the river, near the mouth of the Yazoo, where there is a good landing.
Very truly, yours,
Acting Rear- Admiral.
General GRANT.
Memphis, Tenn., June 23, 1863.
COLONEL: Ruggles, Inge, Roddey, and Biffle are endeavoring to effect a junction, in force,
from Okolona to Bear Creek, either to attack the Memphis and Charleston Railroad or for some
other purpose. They will have, when united, about fourteen-pieces of artillery and probably from
8,000 to 10,000 men. Chalmers' force is also reported to be under the same orders. Colonel
Phillips, with 700 men, has had a severe skirmish with them below Rocky Ford.
Mizner's command crossed the Tallahatchee at Wyatt, moved down below Panola, burned
the Yockeney Bridge and all the trestles to Senatobia, destroyed the ripe grain (wheat) for miles,
took Panola, destroyed all public (and a good deal of private) property there and at Senatobia,
and, when last heard from, the Second Iowa and Third Michigan were in sharp pursuit of the
party which captured Major Henry and 75 of his cavalry. 1 trust they will be able to strike a
severe blow upon this band. No final report has been had from them.
In the peculiarly exposed condition of this line, I have ordered General Oglesby to send in all
sick from La Grange to this place, and to make Pocahontas and Moscow his points of
concentration. It will not be possible to hold La Grange against an attack in force. The bridges
and the situation of the country make the points selected most vital to the road.
As soon as the men are rested from their trip south, I shall direct an attack to be made by the
entire mounted force, supported by a brigade of infantry, on Okolona. My whole reliance now, to
defend the road, is upon active movements of cavalry. I am weary of looking to Rosecrans. I
think my railroad will be broken up, but there will be a comfortable list of killed and wounded
when the thing is done. I have repeatedly mentioned to the major-general commanding
department that I have not force to hold the line intact. I shall do my best and leave the
consequences where they belong.
Your obedient servant,
Lieut. Col. JOHN A. RAWLINS,
Assistant Adjutant-General.
Memphis: Tenn., June 25, 1863.
SIR: I inclose herewith a telegraphic report of Col. J. K. Mizner's expedition south of
The force consisted of the Third Michigan, Second Iowa, Third, Fourth, and Ninth Illinois
Cavalry, and part of the Eleventh Illinois. It has been a complete and brilliant success.
As soon as men and horses are recruited, and the present heavy rains permit, I shall add
Cornyn's brigade of cavalry from Corinth, and throw them below Okolona, with a view of
dispersing forces there, destroying crops and railroad, and return by Bear Creek, there to join
infantry force from Corinth, and clean out the line of that stream.
The duty devolving on my cavalry is enormous since the abandonment of Jackson.
I respectfully repeat that it is of importance to the safety of my line that General Rosecrans
disperse the cloud of cavalry that hangs on the north and east side of the Tennessee and threatens
my rear constantly. I am not safe without his co-operation; with it, I am.
I have the honor to be, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Col. J. C. KELTON,
Assistant Adjutant-General.
LA GRANGE, TENN., June 26, 1863.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report that, in compliance with orders of Colonel Mizner,
commanding cavalry division, I marched from La Grange at 5 o'clock on the morning of the 16th
of June, camped 8 miles southwest of Holly Springs, at Sims' plantation, meeting small squads of
the enemy's cavalry. A patrol of the Second Iowa Cavalry came upon a company of the enemy at
night, having 2 men wounded by the fire of the rebels.
On the 17th, marched to Wyatt's Ferry, via Cox's Cross-Roads, throwing four companies, by
order of Colonel Mizner, toward Chulahoma, to open communication with First Brigade of
cavalry from Germantown. Near Wyatt's Ferry joined the First Brigade of cavalry; crossed the
ferry that afternoon and night; camped 5 miles south of it.
On the 18th, marched with the cavalry division toward Panola, detaching three companies of
the Second Iowa Cavalry and three companies of the Third Michigan Cavalry, by Colonel
Mizner's order, to report to Major Hudson. From Lieutenant-Colonel Moyers' report, herewith
inclosed, I learn that Major Hudson left the main column moving toward Panola, marched
southwest to the Yockeney, driving the enemy from the railroad bridge, having 1 man wounded,
capturing 2 prisoners, and killing 1 of the enemy. Major Hudson destroyed the bridge and trestlework;
then moving north toward Panola, burning at Pope's Station one flouring-mill, one sawmill,
with a large amount of stock, 50,000 bushels of grain, and 400 bales of cotton, joining the
command at Panola on the night of the 19th. On the afternoon of the 18th, the Third Michigan
Cavalry, having the advance, came on the enemy's outpost at Belmont, 8 miles northeast of
Panola; charged and took 6 prisoners. The reserve gave way and fled in confusion, leaving arms
and blankets ; camped that night near Belmont.
On the morning of the 19th, marched to Panola, where Company E, Captain Latimer, sent
out on patrol southeast of Panola, came upon the enemy in force, held them in check until
evening, and then withdrew to Panola. At 12 o'clock began crossing the Tallahatchee by ferry,
taking with me 1 caisson, 1 forge, 1 battery wagon, 6 boxes of good Springfield muskets, and a
printing-press. Camped 5 miles north of Panola.
On the 20th, marched to Senatobia; there sent four companies north with horses, mules, and
cattle, by Colonel Mizner's order. Then marched to Matthews' Ferry, on the Coldwater,
skirmishing occasionally on the road, reaching that point at dark. The enemy contesting the
crossing, opened fire with part of the Third Michigan Cavalry, silencing the enemy's fire.
Camped that, night in the river bottom.
On the morning of the 21st, the Third Michigan raised the ferry-boat, partially destroyed,
crossed the river in advance, skirmishing with the enemy on the Helena road, driving one party
out of a log house. Marched today 15 miles, and camped.
On the 22d, marched through Hernando toward La Grange; camped 6 miles northeast of the
This morning Company M, of the Second Iowa Cavalry, was sent to the right flank, where
they found in the woods a log house filled with stores (flour, salt, sugar, candles, boots, shoes,
bacon, &c.), which they destroyed.
On the route from Panola to Hernando immense quantities of grain--in buildings, in the stack,
and in the field--were destroyed.
On the 23d, two companies of the Second Iowa and two companies of the Third Michigan
Cavalry were detached south of Germantown to look for the enemy, supposed to be in the
Marched on the 23d to the neighborhood of Mount Pleasant, and camped.
On the 24th, marched to camp.
Many grist-mills, tanneries, and stores were destroyed during the march from Panola to
Annexed please find list of killed, wounded, and missing of Second Cavalry Brigade.
(Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel Second Iowa Cavalry, Commanding Second Brigade.
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
LA GRANGE, TENN., June 25, 1863.
SIR: In relation to the part taken by this regiment in the recent scout, I respectfully submit the
following report:
On the night of the 16th instant, Company F, Captain Reese, was sent from the camp of the
Second Cavalry Brigade, near Holly Springs, Miss., to that place for the purpose of ascertaining
the whereabouts of the Eleventh Illinois Cavalry. Captain Reese returned on the following day,
and, on his way back, came in contact with a party of rebel cavalry numbering about 20, whom a
few shots served to repulse.
Early on the morning of the 18th instant, Maj. J. G. Hudson, of this regiment, with three
companies of his own and three from the Second Iowa Cavalry Regiment, left camp for the
purpose of gaining the rear of the forces at Panola and cutting off their retreat. He also had orders
to destroy all forage, transportation, and other property that could be of use to the Confederate
Government. The major destroyed the railroad bridge across the Yockeney, one flouring-mill,
one saw-mill, one tannery containing a large amount of stock, and about 50,000 bushels of grain;
also about 400 bales of cotton.
Major Hudson had a sharp skirmish at Coldwater Bridge, capturing 2 prisoners and killing I
of the enemy. We had 1 man slightly wounded.
Late in the afternoon of the 19th instant, Company C, which was leading the advance, came
upon the enemy's outpost, 8 miles north of Panola, charged it, and took 6 prisoners. The reserve
gave way and fled in great confusion, leaving arms, blankets, &c., behind in some instances.
On the 20th, Company E, sent out on patrol duty to the east of Panola, came upon a strong
force, whom they engaged, but our force having been found to be insufficient, withdrew without
In the afternoon of the 21st instant, Company A, which was in advance, came upon a force of
rebel cavalry near Senatobia, Miss.; shots were exchanged, and 2 privates of Company A were
When within a few miles of Matthews' Ferry, on the Coldwater. Company I was sent forward
rapidly to save the ferry-boat, if possible. When they had reached the vicinity of the river,
Lieutenant Woodard directed his men to dismount and move forward cautiously to the river
While executing this order they were opened upon from the opposite side by a large force,
which lay concealed near the stream. Corporal Herrick, of Company I, was killed. Companies H
and D were immediately sent forward, and opened fire upon the position which the enemy was
supposed to occupy, with considerable success. Five new graves were found on the following
On the following morning, Company E was sent across and came upon a considerable force
on the Helena road. The enemy took refuge in a log house, and for some little time held our men
in check, but when they discovered a force moving to their rear they fled precipitately, leaving 1
dead upon the field.
At Senatobia, on the 20th instant, Company F, Captain Reese, was sent to La Grange, Tenn.,
in charge of extra animals and contrabands, and arrived safely at this place on the 22d instant. On
the 23d, Captain Caldwell, in command of L and H of my regiment and two [companies] of the
Second Iowa, was sent from near Hernando to Germantown. He has doubtless reported the
Otherwise than in the instances above cited, the Third Michigan Cavalry was constantly with
the Second Brigade, of which it forms a part, marching in the advance on alternate days, from the
16th to the 24th instant, inclusive.
Casualties: Killed, 1; wounded, 5; missing, 3. Prisoners captured from the enemy, 11,
Property destroyed: Mills, 3; tanneries, 2; grain, 100,000 bushels. Horses captured, 57; mules
captured, 175. Total, 232. Names of killed: Corporal [John E.] Herrick, Company I. Names of
wounded: Privates [Martin C.] Garver and [John] Cummins, Company A, [James C.] Ellison,
Company D, and [Charles] Credit and [Henry B.] Palmer, Company E. Missing: Corporal [John
M.] Collins and Privates [Charles] Case and [Alfred D.] Williams, Company L.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding Third Michigan Cavalry.
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
Camp near Meriweather's, 4 miles east of Senatobia, June 26, 1863.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of my command
for the last ten days:
In pursuance of orders from Brigadier-General Chalmers, I had, on Sunday, the 14th instant,
moved my brigade to Hickahaly Creek and encamped on the road to Coldwater, about 1 miles
north of Senatobia.
On Wednesday morning, about daybreak, I received information through Henderson's scouts
that the enemy, 1,200 strong, had passed through Byhalia on Tuesday, and had advanced on a
road which leads in the direction of Holly Springs and Chulahoma, and that they would probably
encamp at Mrs. McCraven's, a point at which the roads leading from Holly Springs and
Chulahoma unite. I immediately sent a staff officer to Colonel [Robert] McCulloch to arrange for
a disposition of our forces, and, in accordance with Colonel McCulloch's suggestion, I prepared
to move my command to a point 1 mile east of Senatobia, at the crossing of the creek of that
name and, on consultation with my colonels, concluded to advance one of the regiments to
Dunn's Mills. This disposition would have enabled Colonel McCulloch (who was near
Luxahoma) and myself to unite in time to meet the enemy, should he develop his intentions to
move westward. While my command was on the march to the new destination, as above stated, I
received a note from Colonel McCulloch, informing me that a column of the enemy near
Chulahoma had been counted, and numbered 1,075, with two pieces of artillery, and that there
was another column of about the same size, and expressing the fear that they would cross at
Wyatt, and suggesting that we both fall back south of the Tallahatchee River. In a few minutes
after this, Colonel McCulloch's aide arrived, stating that Colonel McCulloch had already started
back to Panola, and requesting me to do the same. I at once turned the head of my column in that
direction, and arrived at Panola about 2 o'clock the next morning. The train, however, did not
cross until about noon, owing to the darkness. Immediately on my arrival I sought Colonel
McCulloch, and it was then agreed that we would meet the enemy that morning if he should
appear, as was expected. We did not then know certainly his strength. Captain [Thomas]
Henderson had sent out scouts about sundown on Wednesday evening to ascertain the
movements and number of the enemy, and their report was hourly expected, but was not then
On the roads which, under the agreement between Colonel McCulloch and myself, fell to my
lot to guard, I sent put scouts and pickets, but as the enemy did not appear on either road, nothing
was seen of him by them.
Information was received on Thursday which rendered it certain that the enemy had crossed
at. Wyatt in numbers superior to ours, though his force was not satisfactorily ascertained. It was
agreed, upon another consultation on Thursday evening, that McCulloch should skirmish with
the enemy on his approach, and I should take a position to support him, and that we would make
a fight at Panola, if during the skirmish the enemy should not develop a force too great to be en
In the mean time we concluded to send our train south of Yockeney River, by Rider's Ferry.
About 9 o'clock at night Henderson's scouts reported that the enemy, 2,200 strong, had crossed at
Wyatt, and were then near Belmont, and that their previous failure to report was occasioned by
their having been surrounded by the enemy. About the same time Colonel McCulloch's pickets
were driven in, and some of them captured. About 12 o'clock Colonel McCulloch, who was
unwell, sent for me to visit him. On my arrival, he stated that our information was then certain
that the enemy greatly exceeded us in numbers, and that it was unnecessary to skirmish with him
to make him develop his strength, and that we had better withdraw our pickets as speedily as
possible, and follow our train across the Yockeney. As this suggestion accorded exactly with my
own views of what was right, and also with the views of Colonels [G. L.] Blythe and [John]
McGuirk, I at once expressed my consent to it and prepared to carry it out.
We accordingly left Panola about 2 o'clock on Friday morning, and crossed the whole
command over the Yockeney by 12 o'clock. It was our intention, if pressed on the retreat, to fall
back on Grenada, the point at which we supposed the enemy was striking. Our united force did
not exceed 800, and we were destitute of artillery. The enemy's force was three times as great,
and we then knew they had two guns at least. We hoped, too, we might form a junction with
General Chalmers at or near Mitchell's Cross. Roads. The road by Rider's Ferry could not be
flanked on our right, and for these reasons it was selected as the route for our retreat. I sent one
company to the railroad bridge over Yockeney, which, I supposed was sufficient to protect it
against any small force sent to burn it. Our whole command would have been insufficient to
protect it against all of their force.
I may as well remark here that we had information of the crossing of Coldwater by that
column which was afterward met and dispersed by General Chalmers, and we did not know of
the return of that column until it recrossed the Tallahatchee. Finding that we were not pursued as
soon as we crossed the Yockeney we concluded to move up to Yockeney Bridge with the double
purpose of saving the bridge if we could, and keeping between the enemy and Grenada if he
should advance in that direction. We reached the neighborhood of the bridge about 4 o'clock that
evening, and learned that the enemy had already been there, destroyed a portion of it, and
returned to Panola. The men had been up two nights in succession, and the horses had been
saddled nearly all the time for two nights and three days, and both were completely exhausted,
and it was necessary to rest and feed while the enemy should further develop his intentions.
The next morning scouts under Major [R. A.] McCulloch were sent to Panola to ascertain
more accurately the movements of the enemy, and soon afterward Colonel McGuirk was ordered
to advance with his regiment in the direction of Panola, and, if the enemy were returning, to
follow and annoy him. Colonel McCulloch's command and Blythe's regiment were to remain
near the bridge or further developments. In a short time it appeared to be probable that the enemy
would not advance, and McCulloch and Blythe followed and overtook McGuirk some 8 miles
north of Yockeney, where he had stopped to feed. Before this it had been ascertained that the
enemy had recrossed the Tallahatchee, and McGuirk was ordered to push forward and annoy and
harass the enemy as much as possible. This order he has executed in the most handsome style.
He swam that evening the Tallahatchee at Belmont, came near the enemy at Tyro, and pursued
him to Hudsonville, where, on Sunday evening, he overtook and chastised him handsomely,
killing and wounding several, and capturing 27 prisoners with about the same number of horses
and equipments. This is an extraordinary achievement when it is considered that his command
were in the saddle nearly all day Wednesday; all of Wednesday night till 2 o'clock; was in line of
battle again by daybreak on Thursday morning, and remained in a state of watchfulness and
preparation for battle all day Thursday; were in the saddle nearly all Thursday night and Friday,
resting Friday night on the ground, without tents and with insufficient food, and that the distance
from Yockeney: where he commenced the pursuit on Saturday morning at 10 o'clock, to
Hudsonville, where he fought the enemy on Sunday evening, is near 80 miles.
Blythe's regiment was with McGuirk's until the latter were ordered in pursuit of the enemy.
The former, being very much exhausted, were allowed to bivouac south of the river on Saturday
night, especially as the ferry-boats were understood to be destroyed and no ford was known.
Early next morning, however, that regiment crossed north of the Tallahatchee River, taking
the road to Senatobia, with the intention of engaging or annoying the enemy if any of them
should be in that direction. I accompanied this regiment, and when we arrived near Senatobia we
learned that a party of the enemy were 2 to 3 miles to our left. We immediately turned in that
direction in search of the enemy, but soon ascertained that our information was incorrect.
Hearing of no enemy in our reach, we bivouacked at the nearest place at which rations and
forage could be procured.
The next morning I moved near Coldwater Ferry with a view of crossing the river and cutting
off a party of the enemy which I learned were in the habit of coming from Memphis to the
neighborhood of Hernando. Learning, however, that none such had been in that section since
General Chalmers' engagement with the enemy near Dr. Atkins' on the 19th instant, I moved
Blythe's regiment yesterday to this place, and have ordered McGuirk's to encamp near this place
He will arrive to-morrow.
We retreated from Panola upon the information that the enemy, 2,200 strong, with two
pieces of artillery, had crossed at Wyatt, and that another column had crossed Coldwater near the
depot of that name in time to reach Panola Friday morning, when the attack would have been
made. We did not know where General Chalmers was, further than he went on the preceding
Monday to the neighborhood of Commerce.
Early Wednesday you dispatched a courier to General Chalmers with the information we
then had. You did the same on Wednesday, after we concluded to return to Panola. We hoped
that possibly he might get to Panola by Friday morning, though we did not much expect it. From
prisoners taken since recrossing the Tallahatchee, I learned the forces sent against Panola were
larger than we estimated them. I have examined two of them separately, and they concur in the
statement that there were nine regiments and two fractions. They gave the names as follows, to
wit: Third Michigan, Second Iowa, Third Illinois, Fourth Illinois, Ninth Illinois, Eleventh
Illinois, Fifty-second Wisconsin, part of First Tennessee and part of Second Tennessee, Ninth
Illinois Battery, two pieces Second Iowa Battery, and two pieces Fourth Illinois Battery. These
two prisoners belonged to the Third Michigan, and did not remember the names and numbers of
the other two regiments. Capt. James E. Matthews informed me that the column which crossed
Cold-water at his ferry were counted, and numbered 2,025. It is known that a considerable
number did not go in that direction. I have made this statement because I have heard that a good
deal of unfriendly criticism upon the retreat has been indulged in by that class who have seen
proper to take no other part in this war than to remain at home and to embarrass the operations of
the army by abuse of those who are intrusted with command. I felt great doubts as to the
propriety of retreating without a contest, because I did not know that the information we had was
correct; it appeared to be so then, and has been since confirmed.
It would probably have been better had we retreated by the road leading near the railroad
bridge over Yockeney. If we had, we could have saved the bridge against the party which
actually destroyed it; but if we had gone in that direction, the whole force of the enemy would
have followed, and we could not have saved it from them. It was impossible to save our train by
any other route than the one by which we sent it. I will further add that I telegraphed General
Johnston the route over which we intended to retreat, and his answer did not disapprove it. I will
furthermore add that I did not pretend to exercise any control over the Confederate forces under
Colonel McCulloch; that he and I co-operated as if each had entirely independent commands.
The track of the enemy in this last raid is marked by robbery and arson. They stole every
mule and horse, buggy, carriage, and wagon which they could seize. They carried off every
valuable slave which they could entice or force to accompany them. They burned corn-cribs,
mills, gin houses, fences, blacksmith-shops, and wheat which had been cut and was then in the
shock. In many instances they robbed the citizens of clothing and furniture.
Unless the force is increased in this section I see but little prospect of preventing a repetition
of these raids and their bad effects. Property of all kinds is now utterly insecure north of the
Tallahatchee. I most respectfully suggest that if our forces be not increased in this district, that
most of those we have be employed as guerrillas as far as practicable. That mode of warfare
seems to be more effective when our forces are so inferior in number to the enemy as they are at
In conclusion, I will add that I found Colonel McCulloch active and energetic, easy to cooperate
with, and always anxious to meet the enemy if there should be the slightest chance of
doing good. His suggestions were generally followed, owing to his greater experience in the
cavalry service.
Respectfully submitted.
Brigadier-General, Commanding.
Capt. W. A. GOODMAN,
Assistant Adjutant-General.
June 18, 1863.
GENERAL: I this morning started for Jones' (Birdsong) Ferry, distant 12 miles; good road,
but hilly. While at the ferry with the Major and one company, 120 rebels came from the swamp
above Jones' house, and about 25 men, an advanced guard, exchanged shots with them, our main
body being out of sight and the small party threatened. Major [Cornelius F.] Spearman, senior
cavalry officer, ordered a charge from a favorable position on the right flank.
The yell and rush from an unexpected quarter alarmed the secesh, who fled pursued on rear
and flank. Our successful pursuit was stopped by a deep gully, over which but half a dozen
horses were able to pass. The two advanced companies were dismounted, and advanced in a very
handsome manner into the timber, expecting to find the enemy in the swamps covering the ford,
which is now deep, although good. Finding that it was a flight, pursuit was recommenced and
continued to the Marley Farm, within 13 miles of Mechanicsburg, where many scattered. Our
horses being tired, and we getting into close quarters, we withdrew and returned to camp,
bringing in many cattle and sheep. I ordered Jones' and Harris' corn to be burned, as it was
evidently used for hostile purposes.
I do not know who the enemy were. They moved in good order, were uniformed, and armed
with carbines. All the men and officers who came under my observation behaved as well as men
Last Wednesday 200 rebel cavalry, of-, passed Big Black River at Birdsong Ford; yesterday
27. There is a regular picket stand at the ford.
There are three other fords above Big Black Bridge.
To-morrow, if I am well enough (my horse fell into a wash in the charge, and I was knocked
down and run over), I will go over all the roads between here, Markham's, and Big Black Bridge,
hoping to jump a small party. As the horses are tired, I scarcely expect to reach camp to-morrow.
This regiment has 100 more men for duty than there are horses. The 100 picked men who
reported to Colonel [Thomas] Stephens, Second Wisconsin, have not returned. General Dennis
has one whole company for body guard at Young's Point. I inclose requisition for horses and
request for the company.
I inclose also a table of such distances as I think are reliable.
I am, general, with great respect, your obedient servant,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Fifteenth Army Corps.
Major-General SHERIDAN,
Commanding Fifteenth Army Corps.
June 27, 1863.
CAPTAIN Herewith I transmit the report of Major Parkell of a skirmish which took place on
the 22d instant between a detachment of 130 men under that officer and two regiments of rebel
cavalry, known as Adams' and Starke's.
Immediately upon receiving intelligence that our men had been engaged by the enemy, I
gathered together all the effective men of my command not on duty, numbering about 140 men,
and started to the assistance of Major Parkell. Before I proceeded far, however, I found that his
men had separated, and were constantly coming into camp, either singly or in small squads.
I pushed forward with ambulances to the point at which the skirmish had been, for the
purpose of picking up our dead and all the wounded who had not been taken by the enemy, as
well as to retaliate, if opportunity offered, upon him for the mischief he had done my regiment.
When I arrived at the place where the skirmish occurred, I learned that the rebels had been
gone from the place about an hour. By this time evening was well advanced, and I deemed it
useless to pursue them. I gathered up 6 dead bodies and 3 wounded men. Our total loss has been
given by Major Parkell.
A rebel surgeon, who was attending a major who was wounded in the engagement, says that
there were 600 of the enemy, but Mr. Harris and other citizens who saw them pass and repass
estimate their number at about 1,000.
It is but just to say that I think our men acted in a manner which reflects credit upon
themselves and their regiment, notwithstanding their dispersion and retreat. They fought
obstinately against overwhelming odds, with no avenue for organized retreat left open, and,
when compelled at last to separate, they acted with such self-reliance and decision as enabled the
greater number of them to escape.
The loss in killed and wounded on both sides is, as far as ascertained, about equal, and the
only particular in which the enemy has the advantage of us is in prisoners and the fact that our
men retreated.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Lieutenant-Colonel Fourth Iowa Cavalry, Commanding Regiment.
Capt. R. M. SAWYER,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Fifteenth Army Corps.
June 23, 1863.
COLONEL: I have the honor to submit the following report:
On the morning of 22d, a detachment consisting of 130 men, including officers, were sent
out, under my command, by orders from headquarters Fifteenth Army Corps, with instructions to
blockade the road leading westward from Birdsong Ferry, on Big Black River. I ascertained that
the river was fordable for some distance, and that it would be impossible for us to effect a
blockade at the river. I halted the column on the ridge near Jones' plantation, 1 mile west of the
river, and sent 30 men to examine the ford and to ascertain whether there were any rebels in the
vicinity. Thirty men were placed on picket 1 mile north, on a road leading from the Birdsong
Ferry road to the Benton road and Bush's Ferry, while the remainder commenced blockading the
road near the point where we had halted. We had been at work nearly two hours, and had nearly
completed the blockade at that point, when our pickets on the north road were attacked by a part
of Adams' and Starke's cavalry, numbering nearly 1,000 men. As soon as the firing was heard,
my men were mounted and moved forward on double-quick to the support of the pickets, but had
not proceeded over half a mile when we discovered our pickets falling back, with the rebels close
upon them. We immediately formed in line of battle, disposing of our little force to the best
possible advantage. We fought the rebels nearly an hour, they gradually advancing upon us in
front and on our right flank. We were finally compelled to fall back and take a new position to
the left and a little in rear of our former one. The enemy coming upon us at this time with
overwhelming numbers, and our ammunition being exhausted, we were compelled to retreat.
We were at this time 7 miles from the nearest Federal troops, with the road blockaded in our rear,
Bear Creek and a high bluff' on our left, and the enemy in front and on our right. Our men fell
back gradually a distance of about half a mile, hard pushed by the enemy, who were firing into
our ranks. Finding that it would be only to lose all my men to longer preserve the order of march,
I allowed the men to separate, some taking the direction of our camp and some toward
Bridgeport. The most of them arrived safely in camp, but there are still 32 missing. There were,
however, some l0 or 12 of these taken by the rebels, most of them wounded.
We lost in this fight 8 men killed and 16 wounded---4 of them wounded mortally. The enemy
had 17 killed and 15 wounded, as far as ascertained; among them were I major and 2 captains.
Our men all behaved in the most gallant manner, repulsing the enemy frequently, and holding
their ground until compelled by overwhelming numbers to retreat.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Major Fourth Iowa Cavalry.
Lieut. Col. S. D. SWAN,
Commanding Fourth Iowa Cavalry.
Brooks' Plantation, June 23, 1863--7.30 a.m.
GENERAL: All quiet. The rebels that attacked the Fourth Iowa fell back on the east side of
the river. The loss of the Fourth Iowa was 7 killed, 13 wounded, and 15 missing, and one
howitzer; they took the breech-pin out, however. The loss of the rebels was 7 killed (found on
the ground) and some 12 wounded (found). The party sent out found General Sherman a short
distance this side of headquarters. The general sent me word that by this evening a portion of his
command would be at the junction of the roads near Birdsong Ferry, and the remainder on Bear
Creek. It is full 7 miles from here to camp of the Fourth Iowa. Immediately on the river above is
unprotected, except our forces from here to Birdsong. I have all the roads picketed in every
direction, and with the remainder of command am patrolling. The number of rebels in yesterday's
attack was 600.
I am, respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel Sixth Missouri Cavalry..
Brigadier-General OSTERHAUS,
Commanding Ninth Division.
SAULSBURY July 10, 1863.
COLONEL: The Eleventh Illinois Cavalry, sent out from here this morning, met the enemy
at Bolivar, and engaged them, and drove them across the Hatchie. They were about 80 strong,
supposed to be Richardson's command. We killed 1, wounded several, and captured 1 Captain
and some men. There is no force of the enemy on this side of the Hatchie. Major Funke was in
command of the force from this place. The Second Iowa joined after the fight was over.
Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding Regiment.
Col. Aug. MERSY.
La Grange, Tenn., July 19, 1863.
CAPTAIN: In compliance with orders of Colonel Mizner to proceed to Jackson, there attack
and disperse the Confederate force at that point, then scour the country in that vicinity, returning
to La Grange as soon as possible, left camp on the morning of the 12th of July, with 360 of the
Third Michigan, 300 of the Second Iowa, and 200 of the First West Tennessee Cavalry. Marched
northeast through Bolivar; camped 14 miles from there on the Denmark road, and was joined
there by the Ninth Illinois Infantry, 300 strong. Moved on the morning of the 13th to Denmark.
There learning the enemy were concentrating, and, in compliance with the order of Colonel
Biffle (Confederate commander), posted through the country, all squads and companies and parts
of regiments were to meet at Jackson for organization, pushed on immediately by the
Brownsville road, sending Colonel Hurst with the First Tennessee Cavalry round by the
Woodville road, the only approach to the town where the bridges crossing Forked Deer River
and sloughs were left standing. Companies of the Third Michigan Cavalry, commanded by
Captains Nugent and Dyckman, carried rapidly in a lively skirmish all the bridges but the three
nearest the town (there are sixteen in all). The enemy, having a very strong position, held the last
three bridges until the Ninth Illinois could drive out the enemy's skirmishers on the right, and
two companies of the Third Michigan had crossed the stream well up on the enemy's left. As
soon as our men had opened on the flanks, and one of the Third Michigan guns had shelled the
woods on the right of the bridges, I ordered Captain Nugent and Captain Latimer's companies, of
the Third Michigan Cavalry, to charge and carry the bridges, which was quickly and gallantly
done. Captain Reese and Captain Lattimer, of the Third Michigan, with their companies, quickly
taking possession of a log house on the enemy's left, held them in check until the howitzers of
the Third Michigan had shelled the woods in front. Leaving two companies to guard the bridges,
moved my lines forward, the Ninth Illinois Infantry on the left, the Third Michigan in the center,
with the saber companies of the Second Iowa on the right flank, and the Second Iowa Rifles in
reserve, our skirmishers driving the enemy toward town, where he had taken a strong position,
holding two forts on the south side of Jackson and the curtain connecting them with dismounted
men, with mounted men on the left in line and in force sufficient to overlap my right. The Ninth
Illinois had approached the forts within 300 yards when the enemy poured in a volley too high to
do any hurt. Colonel Phillips took them immediately in a dash so rapid that the rebels had not
time to reload, many throwing down their arms and flying in great disorder. At the same moment
of Colonel Phillips' attack, the enemy's mounted force in large number threatening a charge, I
charged them with the saber companies, riding down and breaking up their line.
The enemy's flight had then become a thorough rout, our mounted rifles and sabers charging
them in every direction. Many of the companies were 6 miles east and north of town, and
scarcely had the Ninth Illinois Infantry rallied on the northwest side of Jackson, and collected its
men, when Biffle (Confederate), with his regiment and one battalion of Roddey's old regiment,
in all 800 strong, approaching on the Trenton road, attacked the Ninth with great spirit, and, by
constantly outflanking Colonel Phillips, compelled him to fall back. Rallying four companies on
his right, of the Second Iowa and Third Michigan, drove the enemy back, holding him in check
until my lines could form in force enough to whip him. Biffle, with his Confederate reenforcements,
had gradually concentrated the broken forces first attacked and scattered,
consisting of Colonels [J. A.] Forrest's, [N. N.] Cox's, and [J. F.] Newsom's regiments, with a
dozen or more detached companies, with the evident determination of driving us back. On my
right were six companies of the Michigan and Iowa Rifles, in the center the Ninth Illinois
Infantry and one howitzer, and on the left six companies of the Second Iowa Rifles. Colonel
Moyers, with a portion of the Third Michigan, was holding in check a force on my right and rear.
At the moment of attack I was obliged to send the First Tennessee Cavalry, about 200 strong, to
cheek Roddey's battalion, which attacked my left and rear. The enemy then attacked with great
spirit, coming on rapidly in the face of sharp firing, forcing the left, and the Ninth Illinois, in the
center, back to a ridge near town. Wheeling my right to the left, I drove out the enemy pressing
the Ninth Illinois. I then advanced the entire line rapidly, driving the enemy from ridge to ridge,
advancing my guns, and shelling the forts and rifle-pits on the north side of the town, killing
many of the enemy. On the right the enemy were broken and flying before Colonel Moyers. It
was then nearly dark. I immediately pursued them on the different roads from 10 to 15 miles.
The night was very dark and foggy, and it was impossible for me to ascertain the direction in
which the enemy had fled--supposed it was the Trenton road. At daylight in the morning learned
they were retreating in detachments toward the Tennessee River, and that [R. V.] Richardson,
with 400 men, was crossing the Hatchie at Estanaula. Sent the First Tennessee Cavalry eastward,
toward Lexington, with orders to return by the way of Mifflin, Montezuma, and Bolivar, or
Montezuma and Purdy the Ninth Illinois Infantry by Bolivar, to Pocahontas; the Third Michigan
by way of Denmark, Darcyville, Wesley's, and Somerville, and the Second Iowa by Estanaula,
Whiteville, and Newcastle.
The women of Jackson, previous to our attack on the town, carried ammunition for the
enemy in a very gallant manner under fire.
During the attack on the town, the enemy barricaded the streets and fired from the windows.
Lieutenant Humphrey, of the Second Iowa, was wounded severely from shots from a window.
On one street, however, two companies of flying rebels were mistaken, in the smoke and dust,
for our men, and were badly handled by a party of the enemy behind a barricade.
Our men having found thirty barrels of whisky, it, gave me as much trouble to save the town
from fire during the fight as it did to whip the enemy, and from the same cause we lost a large
number of prisoners. I saved the town from burning by the greatest exertions, and protected all
the private dwellings. The stores, I regret to say, were plundered by negroes and stragglers
during the fight. In one we found seventeen kegs of powder.
The companies of the Third Michigan, who gallantly carried the bridges, are deserving of
great praise. Lieutenant Wilson, of the Third Michigan howitzers, shelled the rebels out of a
strong position, with credit to his firing. Colonel Phillips fought his men splendidly, advancing at
a double-quick 3 miles, driving: killing, and wounding many of the enemy. The saber companies
of the Second Iowa Cavalry charged with the greatest boldness. After we had obtained a foothold
north of the river, the enemy was driven so rapidly at all points that his fire was not in the least
effective, firing whole volleys over our men.
On my return, Captain Dyckman, of the Third Michigan, with three augers and four axes,
constructed a pontoon at Estanaula, on the Big Hatchie River, 175 feet long, in four hours, over
which we crossed the command, our artillery, and wagons in perfect safety. The enemy had 4:
captains, 3 lieutenants, and 31 men killed, and not less than 150 wounded. We destroyed 300
stand of arms and captured about 200 horses. The conscripts which the enemy had in
confinement were allowed to go before we entered the town, and escaped to their homes; said to
be from 300 to 400. I inclose list of casualties. There are from ten to fifteen slight wounds, not
disabling the men from duty. I have, therefore, not reported these men as wounded.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel Second Iowa Cavalry, Comdg. Second Cavalry Brigade.
Asst. Adjt. Gen., Cav. Div., Left Wing Sixteenth Army Corps.
La Grange, July 24, 1863.
Respectfully forwarded for the information of the general commanding left wing Sixteenth
Army Corps.
The high degree of success attained by this expedition and the great gallantry displayed by
the officers and men of Colonel Hatch's command entitles them to high commendations. The
taking of the bridges and forcing a crossing by the Third Michigan Cavalry, the storming and
carrying the earthworks by the Ninth Illinois Infantry, and the charge of the Second Iowa
Cavalry, gives evidence of the firmness and reliable character of these troops.
Colonel and Chief of Cavalry, Commanding.
LA GRANGE, TENN., July 17, 1863.
SIR: I have to report the following in regard to the recent scout to and skirmish at Jackson,
According to order received on the night of the 11th, my command (the Second Iowa
Cavalry) was in the saddle at 4 a.m. of the 12th. The two 12-pounder howitzers were also in
column and amply provided with all necessary ammunition. Taking the Bolivar road, we were at
12 m. in that place, a distance of 22 miles. After a halt of a few moments, we moved forward
northward, when we soon struck the Big Hatchie River, and on crossing discovered the railroad
bridge across the same and the trestle-work on the north side had been set on fire; the bridge
entirely burned down, and the trestle-work also nearly consumed. On inquiry, learned from a
negro that it was done by [R. R.] White's band of guerrillas, which was then encamped some 8
miles distant. My command having the advance, I moved forward cautiously for some 7 miles,
when two guns were fired in front, and the advance company gave chase to two soldiers (a
patrol), running them into their camp before they could give the alarm. The company in pursuit
came upon them at Clover Creek, near a church, where they were at the time, some 30 in
number, amusing themselves at a game of cards. The scattering of hats, boots, coats, knapsacks,
&c., can be more easily imagined than described. It is sufficient to say that while our men were
giving them two or three shots each from their revolving rifles, they skedaddled, some bootless
and hatless, others braiding their horses by a simple rope halter. We camped that night at Foon's
plantation, on the same creek.
On Monday, the 13th, nothing of interest transpired until orders were received to move three
saber companies to the front, when within 1 , miles of Jackson. The three companies ordered up
were E, L, and M, Capt. William W. Eaton commanding.
By order, I remained some ten minutes for the balance of the command, which were then
waiting for the lead horses to pass a narrow defile on the bridge. As soon as over, my rifles were
formed in squadron column on the right of the Michigan cavalry, but very soon there was a
general strife to see who should be first to charge the town, which was fairly done by the three
companies above mentioned. They charged the town and penetrated it in almost every
conceivable direction. In one instance they were met by a superior force, and the street
blockaded, but by a flank movement to the right and left they succeeded in capturing some 20 of
the enemy's cavalry. In one place the conflict was so close between Company M and a superior
force of Forrest's men that one man, named H. H. Barrier, had a hand-to-hand fight after
exhausting all the weapons in his hands.
At this time Second Lieut. John K. Humphrey was very seriously wounded, and taken to the
nearest house. While this was being enacted to the front, the left flank was furiously attacked by
Colonel Biffle's regiment (Ninth [Nineteenth] Tennessee Cavalry), and on my arrival at that
point I sent an orderly to Lieutenant Belden, directing him to say that should he need assistance
he would send tar me upon that street. At this time the enemy was pressing two companies
advanced as skirmishers very hard, and threatened to drive in our entire left flank. Having sent,
by order of Colonel Hatch, two rifle companies to the front to support the three carbine
companies, I could only dismount two companies (B and F), and send them to the support of the
infantry, the balance of my regiment having been detained at the bridge by led horses and teams.
But in due time the First Battalion, Capt. Charles C. Horton commanding, arrived, when I sent
them to the left of the infantry, that 1 might, if possible, drive in the enemy's right. About this
time Lieutenant Reed, with one howitzer, arrived. I ordered it planted immediately, which was
done, and several shells were thrown into the midst of a squad at a distance of near 600 yards.
The effect was good. The enemy soon left, not being able to keep steady amid the explosion of
Immediately after the rebels had dispersed, a white flag appeared in the road running north,
and waved there for some five minutes, when I directed a mounted orderly to advance with a
white handkerchief and ascertain the cause. In a short time he returned, and reported that the flag
was displayed to protect wounded soldiers in a house near by.
Colonel Hatch then ordered me to collect my men and pursue as fast as possible. In a few
moments all were up, and, throwing out heavy flanking companies. I moved forward as fast as
practicable through thick timber and undergrowth. On advancing some 3 miles, we came to the
conclusion that there had been but a small squad retreating on that road; but owing to the long
march of the day, besides the engagement, which occupied from 12.30 p.m. until 5.30 p.m., we
halted and camped for the night at 7 miles distance from Jackson.
Early in the morning of the 14th, I moved back to Jackson, forming a line of battle facing the
east, where I remained until about 10 a.m., when I received orders to move toward La Grange, on
the road we came.
On the 15th, my men assisted in building a floating bridge over the Big Hatchie at Estanaula,
which was done, and the command crossed over in some eight hours.
On the night of the 15th, we camped 24 miles north of La Grange, reaching camp at the same
place some time before sunset of the 16th.
The entire casualties of this engagement were Second Lieut. John K. Humphrey, Company
M, wounded by musket ball, and also by a spent ball in left shoulder blade, and Second Lieut.
Frank L. Stoddard, Company B, elbow dislocated by being thrown from his mule in the charge,
and 2 men only missing.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Major, Commanding Second Iowa Cavalry.
Adjutant-General State of Iowa.
Statement of Lieut. Samuel Lewis, Sixth Tennessee Cavalry.
GRAND JUNCTION, TENN., October 4, 1863.
I was in command of my company, and was held back in charge of some prisoners. When the
regiment advanced I moved up into the edge of town. Colonel Breckenridge being informed by a
citizen that the citizens were giving our men whisky, Colonel Breckenridge ordered me to take
some men and proceed to all suspicious places in town and destroy all the whisky I could find;
and while I was searching for whisky, I went into one millinery store belonging to a widow lady,
and found her very much excited about the soldiers carrying out her goods. She demanded of me
a guard. I went to Colonel Breckenridge and related her circumstances to him, and he told me to
give her a guard. I then advanced to the court-house and took charge of the prisoners, with James
J. Smith, lieutenant of the same company. I remained there all night, writing paroles for
prisoners. Next morning I went out some distance north of the courthouse, where the wounded
were, and fell in company with Colonel Hurst. We had a conversation about the way the soldiers
were treating the citizens. He ordered me to go and tell my men not to interrupt anything in town.
As l was returning to my command, I saw Colonel Hatch's men, of the Third Michigan, or the
Second Iowa Cavalry, breaking open store-house doors and carrying out goods of almost every
Lieutenant Company A, Sixth Tennessee Cavalry Volunteers.
Camp on Big Black, July 28, 1863.
SIR: I have heretofore, from day to day, kept the general advised of the progress of events,
even to the conclusion of the campaign; but, that a connected history may be preserved, I will
offer a mere narrative of events, beginning with the 22d day of June, when I was operating with
my corps (the Fifteenth) against the north front of Vicksburg.
General Steele's division (First) was threatening the enemy's extreme left, known as Fort Hill,
resting on the Mississippi River above Vicksburg, and General Blair's division (Second) was
operating against the bastion which guarded against our approach on the Graveyard road.
Our batteries were well advanced and covered with good earthworks, and the saps and
parallels for infantry were up to the very ditch of the enemy, and a party of sappers and miners
were engaged in undermining the chief work to our front.
General Tuttle's division (Third) was divided. One brigade (Mower's) was detached on duty
at Young's Point; the other two were pushing an approach against Vicksburg between Steele and
Thus matters stood on the 22d day of June, when I was summoned to General Grant's
headquarters, and received orders to take two brigades of the Fifteenth Army Corps and three
brigades of the Seventeenth Army Corps, proceed to Bear Creek, an affluent of Big Black, an d
oppose the crossing of General Joe Johnston, then believed to be with an army of adequate size
about to cross Big Black River and make an attempt to raise the siege of Vicksburg. I
immediately put in motion the two brigades of General Tuttle, and made orders for the march of
the three brigades of the Seventeenth Army Corps, commanded by General McArthur. The
former halted the first night near Templeton's, and the latter at Marshall's, on the Ridge road. At
the same time General Parke was ordered to move from Haynes' Bluff toward the same
destination with a part of the troops stationed there. That night I met him at Templeton's, and
directed him to move out on the Ridge road to the Oak Ridge Post-office, leaving a reserve at
Neily's, whilst I should proceed with the rest of the command toward Birdsong Ferry, the point
where it was supposed Johnston designed to cross the Big Black. On the very day that we moved
out from Vicksburg, one battalion of the Fourth Iowa Cavalry, employed in obstructing this road,
encountered the enemy's cavalry coming from the direction of Mechanicsburg, the result of
which has been already fully reported in the letter of Major Parkell, under date of June 23. This
cavalry had not crossed Big Black River, but had returned north toward Mechanicsburg, and a
reconnaissance of the river bank demonstrated the fact that no enemy had crossed over in any
force, or had made any preparations in the way of bridges, fords, or boats.
Nevertheless, from scouts and citizens, I became satisfied that the enemy was on the east side
of Big Black River in considerable force, and that his policy would be to conceal the fact of
crossing, more especially the points of crossing, till the very last moment.
I made all the necessary dispositions to oppose his crossing, but gave preference as a line of
defense to the peculiar spurs and ridges which characterize the peninsula between Big Black and
Yazoo, and directed obstructions and rifle-pits at Oak Ridge, Nelly's, at McCall's, Trible's,
Tiffin, and the railroad bridge, thus making a strong line from the Yazoo at Haynes' Bluff to Big
Black Bridge that would have cost the enemy dear had he attempted to force it. To construct this
line I had ordered General Parke to bring up the balance of the Ninth Army Corps which had
been left at Milldale, and all the cavalry was united under Colonel Bussey and posted on Bear
Thus matters stood when, on the 3d of July, I received, by the telegraph, notice from General
Grant that commissioners had called on him from Vicksburg proposing a capitulation, and giving
me notice to be ready to cross Big Black River and drive Johnston away, &c. I then indicated the
troops I should need for the purpose, viz, in addition to General Parke's corps (the Ninth), the
balance of my own corps (the Fifteenth) and General Ord's (the Thirteenth).
Vicksburg capitulated July 4, and the same night the troops were ordered to march, but it was
not until the night of the 5th that they all reached Big Black. Bridges were constructed at once at
Messinger's and Birdsong--- one, a floating bridge, already existed at the railroad crossing.
On the evening of July 6, General Ord crossed with his corps at the railroad bridge; General
Steele, with the Fifteenth, crossed at Messinger’s, and General Parke at Birdsong.
On the 7th, all marched by separate roads to Bolton, and the following day to Clinton. The
weather was intensely hot, dust stifling, and the enemy made no serious opposition to our
progress. But evidence accumulated at each step that Johnston's army, composed of four strong
divisions of infantry, viz, Loring's, French's, Walker's, and Breckinridge's, with Jackson's
division of cavalry and a large proportion of field artillery, was falling back before us on
Jackson. I first expected him to fight us at Clinton, and afterward on the hill in front of Jackson,
the same where in May last he had encountered General McPherson. Our approach was,
therefore, cautious, the three corps moving by separate roads; Ord on the right, Steele center, and
Parke left.
Nothing worth recording occurred till the head of Steele's column was within 600 yards of
the enemy's line on the Clinton road, when a heavy 6-inch rifle shot warned us to prepare for
serious work. This was about 8 a.m. of July 9. Generals Parke and Ord, having to move across
the fields, required more time to reach their positions, and had to skirmish pretty briskly to drive
the enemy to cover.
Having been in Jackson during our former movement in May, I was somewhat familiar with
the nature of the ground, and on a personal reconnaissance saw enough to convince me that
Johnston was in Jackson with his whole army, and that he had anticipated pursuit and a siege,
and had prepared accordingly.
The parapets we had found in May last had been enlarged and much strengthened, and on the
Clinton and Canton roads two heavy 6-inch rifled guns had been mounted en barbette, and at
many points along the parapet were well-constructed embrasures of sod and cotton bales. The
lines, too, had been much extended, so as to rest on Pearl River, and trees had been felled to
afford good range for his guns, and to obstruct our movements. A map of Jackson, herewith
inclosed, compiled with great care and labor by Captain Jenney, of the Engineers, on my staff,
conveys a better idea of the place than any description l might give.
The moment I became satisfied that the enemy had taken refuge in Jackson for hattie, I
determined to hold him there, whilst by means of cavalry and light columns of infantry I could
fulfill the second part of General Grant's orders, viz, "destroy the Great Central Railroad north
and south, and damage the enemy as much as possible"--not alone for the present, but in all
future operations--and at the same time gradually work round by one flank or the other, threaten
to cross Pearl River, and operate on the enemy's only line of communication to his rear.
General Ord, therefore, extended his lines to the right so as to cross the railroad and threaten
Pearl River, and General Parke his left so as to embrace the railroad north of Jackson and
approach Pearl River on that flank.
Each of these commanders kept one brigade constantly employed in breaking up railroad
track, burning the ties; and bending the iron so as to render it useless in making future repairs. At
the same time Colonel Bussey was dispatched with his cavalry north as far as Canton, 26 miles,
to destroy cars and track, and the cavalry of General Ord's corps, under Major Fullerton, to the
south, to destroy bridges out for 15 miles. At the same time all the troops were employed in
constructing parapets of earth and cotton to cover the guns and rifle-pits and stockades to cover
the men. It was no part of the plan to assault the enemy's works, so that the main bodies of
infantry were kept well in reserve, under cover, whilst the skirmishers were pushed forward as
close as possible, leading to many brisk skirmishes, which usually resulted in the enemy taking
refuge within his works.
On the 12th, whilst General Lauman's division was moving up into position, dressing to his
left on General Hovey, the right of his line came within easy range of the enemy's field artillery
and musketry from behind his works, whereby this division sustained a serious loss, amounting
in killed, wounded, and missing to nearly 500 men. This was the only serious loss which befell
my command during the campaign, and resulted from misunderstanding or a misinterpretation of
General Ord's minute instructions on the part of General Lauman.
By the morning of the 13th of July, the enemy was completely invested in Jackson, and we
were in full and undisputed possession of all the roads leading to the place on the west bank of
Pearl River, and our artillery was within easy range of every part of the city, with the Statehouse
in plain view, but the enemy exhibited an ample force at all points wherever we approached his
parapet, and his artillery replied freely to ours. On starting from Big Black River we carried with
us a good supply of ammunition, sufficient for an open field battle, but not for a siege; and the
moment I saw that a siege was inevitable, I dispatched Captain McFarland, of my staff, back to
Black River, to bring up a supply for such an event, and in the mean time our batteries were
restricted in their use of ammunition so as to reserve at all times a sufficient quantity for an open
field fight or a sally.
During the 12th and 13th, we threw into Jackson about 3,000 rounds, mostly from 10 and 20
pounder Parrotts and 12-pounder Napoleons, all of which did great execution.
General McArthur's division, of McPherson's corps, having been ordered up from Big Black
River, at my request, one brigade was posted at Champion's Hill; the other two, under the
general, reached Jackson on the morning of the 14th. I then only awaited the arrival of the
ammunition train to open a furious cannonade on the town from all points of our line, when I
learned that the enemy's cavalry had gone up Pearl River on the east side, 12 miles, to Grant's
Mills, and crossed over to the west bank. This force was over 3,000 strong, being General
Jackson's entire division. Suspecting his purpose to be an attack on our trains, and apprehensive
for the safety of our ammunition, I ordered back to Clinton, during the night of the 14th, General
Matthies' brigade to reenforce a regiment already stationed there, and by means of the telegraph,
which had been constructed to my camp, put all parties along the road on their guard. One
brigade of the enemy's cavalry approached Clinton on the morning of the 15th [16th], and was
handsomely repulsed by General Matthies. The other brigade made its appearance at Bolton, and
succeeded in capturing 8 wagons belonging to a pioneer company of the Thirteenth Army Corps,
with 83 men, partly stragglers and partly composing this company, but did not attempt to attack
the principal train, which was close by, well guarded by Chambers' brigade.
On the morning of the 15th, I dispatched a good brigade of infantry (Woods'), Landgraeber's
battery of four light guns, and Bussey's cavalry toward Canton, partly to alarm this force of
cavalry operating to our rear, but more especially to destroy the railroad as far out as the bridge
across Big Black River, 40 miles north of Jackson. They encountered Jackson's cavalry in front
of Canton, and drove him through the town and east beyond Pearl River. They then destroyed
cars, locomotives, turn-tables, shops, and every manner of thing pertaining to the railroad in
Canton, with 3 miles of the track, and the cavalry proceeded to the bridge and destroyed it
Whilst this was in progress, the cavalry belonging to Ord's corps went south to Gallatin and
Brookhaven: 60 miles, breaking up the road, destroying cars, and damaging the road in its whole
extent. For the amount of damage thus done I must refer to the reports of the officers charged
with the work, which will accompany this report.
Whilst these expeditions to our right and left were progressing, the main force before Jackson
was strengthening the parapets and rifle-pits, and preparing for a general attack as soon as the
ammunition train should get up from the rear. This did not reach camp till late in the night of the
16th, too late to distribute the ammunition.
During the night, within the town of Jackson, could be heard the sound of wagons, but
nothing that betokened an evacuation, for the picks and shovels were at work until midnight; but
at dawn of day it became manifest that the place was evacuated, and the enemy had withdrawn
across Pearl River. The place was simultaneously entered at several points, a brigade of Potter's
division, Parke's corps, being the first to reach the State-house and plant its colors thereon.
Blair's division was soon on hand, and to it I assigned the charge of the city. All other troops
were kept outside.
The enemy, in retreating, had burned all the bridges, and had placed loaded shells with
torpedoes in the roads leading out from the river. The explosion of one of these wounded a
citizen severely, and another killed a man and wounded two others of Lightburn's brigade. The
enemy had also fired a building containing commissary stores, which extended and consumed
one of the most valuable blocks of the city. He had also during the progress of the siege burned
many handsome dwellings outside and near his line of defenses. Indeed, the city, with the
destruction committed by ourselves in May last and by the enemy during this siege, is one mass
of charred ruins. I soon became satisfied that General Johnston had, by means of the railroad to
his rear, removed in advance nearly all his matériel of war and his impedimenta, and that pursuit
across the reach of land of nearly 90 miles in extent between the Central Railroad and the Mobile
and Ohio road, devoid of water, in the intense heat of a July sun, would be more destructive of
my own command than fruitful in results, and determined to let him go. We had driven him out
of the valley of the Mississippi, and out of his intrenched camp. I then ordered all ordnance to be
collected and destroyed, and put working parties to make more perfect and complete the
destruction of the railroads.
Besides the breaks at the north and south, before recounted, 12 miles north and south of the
town were absolutely destroyed; every tie burned and every rail of iron warped so as to be utterly
About 20 platform cars and about 50 box and passenger cars were burned in the city, and all
the wheels broken. About 4,000 bales or-cotton, used as parapets, were burned. Two heavy rifled
6-inch guns, with an immense pile of shot, shell, and fixed ammunition, were destroyed and cast
into Pearl River.
General Steele, with three brigades of the Fifteenth Army Corps, was sent forward on the
17th to the town of Brandon, 13 miles, where he encountered Jackson's cavalry, already broken
down by its long circuit to our rear and round by way of Canton, and drove him farther east. He
then broke up and destroyed a section of 3 miles of the track, embracing an important culvert.
Having thus driven the enemy forth and ruined the main arteries of travel and communication
in the heart of Mississippi, in pursuance of the instructions of General Grant, I dispatched on the
20th General Parke back to Haynes' Bluff, the point from which he had started, by way of
Brownsville, and on the following day General Ord, with the Thirteenth Army Corps, to
Vicksburg, by way of Raymond. I remained two days longer with my own corps (the Fifteenth),
to complete the destruction of the railroad piers and to regulate somewhat the disordered and
shattered condition of the inhabitants, whose homes hall been ruined by war, and whose supplies
had been utterly exhausted by the demands of two hostile armies. We shared with them freely
our stock of provisions on hand, and, with General Grant's approval, I gave a committee of
respectable gentlemen an order for 200 barrels of flour and 100 of pork. The condition of the
inhabitants of the interior appeals to the humane feelings of all who have beheld the utter ruin
and destruction which has befallen their country.
There being no enemy within reach, and no good military reasons for a longer stay at
Jackson, I moved back quietly to Clinton on the 23d, when again the utter exhaustion of the
provisions of the country compelled me to supply the hospitals of our enemy as well as the
country people. We left in charge of a responsible committee a reasonable supply for thirty days
for 500 persons. In all such cases I took obligations that the provisions thus bestowed by our
Government should be held sacred for the use of the impoverished inhabitants. Herewith I
inclose the bonds and agreements referred to.
On the 24th, we moved to Champion's Hill, and on the 25th recrossed the Big Black and
went into camp at our present healthy and well-chosen positions.
In reviewing the events thus feebly described, it may seem superfluous to call attention to the
fact that the great mass of troops thus called on for action were on the 4th day of July in the
trenches before Vicksburg, where for nearly two months they had been toiling in a hot sun in
close and stifling rifle-pits, and without stopping to indulge for a moment in the natural joy at the
great success which had there crowned their labors, they were required again to march in heat
and dust for 50 miles, with little or no water, save in muddy creeks, in cisterns already
exhausted, and in the surface ponds, which the enemy, in his retreat, had tainted with dead cattle
and hogs; that we crossed Black River by bridges of our own construction, and then had to deal
with an army which had, under a leader of great renown, been formed specially to raise the siege
of Vicksburg, far superior to us in cavalry, and but little inferior in either infantry or artillery;
that we drove him 50 miles and left him in full retreat; that we have destroyed those great arteries
of travel in the State which alone could enable him to assemble troops and molest our possession
of the Mississippi River, and that we have so exhausted the land that no army can exist during
this season without hauling in wagons all his supplies. This seems to me a fit supplement to the
reconquest of the Mississippi River itself, and makes that per-feet which otherwise would have
been imperfect.
The conduct of the troops, so far as fighting is concerned, was all that any commander could
ask, and the sagacity and skill displayed in executing the works before Jackson was a fit sequel
to the lessons learned before Vicksburg; but there was and is too great a tendency to plunder and
pillage, confined to a few men, that reflects discredit on us all.
I would like to speak of the particular merits of many of the officers, but I cannot do so with
justice and fairness to others, unless in possession of all the reports of subordinate commanders,
which I have not yet received. We came together suddenly and have scattered as suddenly, but I
will endeavor to procure, as soon as possible, all the details of the events which I have only
attempted to sketch, and will then submit them with my indorsements.
I have already sent in 669 prisoners, and will send in 95 more, with the proper lists.
Our aggregate loss in killed, wounded, and prisoners will fall below a thousand, whilst the
enemy has lost in prisoners alone more than that number, besides those killed and wounded in
Jackson; and I have good information that the divisions of Breckinridge and Loring, in their
retreat beyond Brandon, had scattered and were straggling to the right and left in search of
provisions and water.
I doubt if the presence oft hostile army will again compel us to visit the interior of this State,
and I know that many of the best inhabitants of the land are now clamorous for peace on terms
perfectly acceptable to all who do not aim at the absolute destruction of this part of the United
I am, with great respect, your obedient servant,
Major-General, Commanding.
Lieut. Col. JOHN A. RAWLINS,
Assistant Adjutant-General to General Grant, Vicksburg.
Near Clinton, Miss., July 22, 1863.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to submit the following report of the action of the forces under
my command during the expedition against Jackson, Miss.:
In obedience to orders from headquarters Expeditionary Army. I left camp near Big Black
River on the morning of the 7th instant, and moved down to Messinger's Ferry, where I found the
Fifteenth Army Corps all over and moving forward on the Bolton road. I moved my command to
the front of the column, and pushed forward to near Jeff. Davis' plantation, when my advance
was fired on by a small force of rebel cavalry. Before I could ascertain their numbers, they
disappeared. I reached Bolton at 1 p.m., and camped for the night.
On the evening of the 8th, I was ordered forward with my command on the road to Clinton. I
had proceeded about 2 miles, when my advance guard (Third Iowa Cavalry, under Major Noble)
encountered the enemy. I ordered the advance to charge them, which they did in fine style,
driving them 3 or 4 miles.
When within 3 miles of Clinton, the enemy were discovered in force, strongly posted in the
woods and behind a fence. I detached a company of the Third Iowa Cavalry and one of the Fifth
Illinois Cavalry, under command of Lieutenant-Colonel Hammond, to move to the right of the
road and flank the enemy, while the advance, supported by Major Scott, pressed forward on the
main road. Colonel Hammond reached the enemy's left and opened fire, which was returned. He
then pressed forward to a fence, which his men threw down under a heavy fire. At this time the
advance charged the enemy with success, driving him from the field.
One mile father on the rebels were again found in line, and driven from the field by Major
Seley, of the Fifth Illinois Cavalry. Colonel Hammond moved forward, at some distance to the
right of the road, to within a mile of Clinton, where General Whitfield's brigade, of Jackson's
cavalry division, was strongly posted in line of battle. After severe skirmishing, the enemy
retired, and were not pursued, it being already dark. I formed my men in line in the edge of the
woods and camped for the night.
On the morning of the 9th, I moved out on the Jackson road 4 miles, where I found the
enemy in position. Skirmishing was kept up for several hours, until the arrival of the Ninth Army
Corps on right flank of the enemy caused him to retire.
On the 10th, I moved to the Livingston road, thence to the vicinity of the insane asylum,
where the enemy were found in force. I sent forward the Fourth Iowa Cavalry, under Colonel
Winslow, and, after some slight skirmishing, my command encamped at the asylum. During this
day a party was sent to Pearl River, which destroyed a portion of the railroad track, cut the
telegraph wires, &c., and returned.
On the 11th, I left camp at 4 p.m. and moved out on the Livingston road 6 miles, thence east
5 miles, to the Jackson and New Orleans Railroad, which point I reached at 10 p.m. I dismounted
the Third and Fourth Iowa Cavalry, and destroyed a half mile of track. At 12 o'clock we
proceeded to within 2 miles of Calhoun, and camped at 2 a.m.
At 6 a.m. of the 12th, I arrived at Calhoun, where I burned 2 locomotives, 25 cars, the depot
(containing 100 bales of cotton), and destroyed the road for half a mile. I moved on toward
Canton, and, when within 2 miles of that place, encountered the enemy, strongly posted in thick
woods near Bear Creek. After a severe skirmish, during which I captured several prisoners, I
learned the enemy's force was much larger than my own, and finding his position very strong, I
determined to give up the attempt to enter the town, and moved to Beattie's Ford, on Big Black,
where I arrived at I p.m. I rested here till 6 o'clock, and moved to Vernon, arriving at 10 p.m.
On the 13th, I marched at 3 a.m., and reached my camp near Jackson at 2 p.m.
On the 14th, I ordered Major Farnan, with the Fifth Illinois Cavalry, to Pearl River, to
examine the ferries and fords. In performing this duty, he encountered a picket at the ferry,
which retired after setting fire to the boat.
On the 16th instant, I moved out on the Canton road, with 1,000 cavalry and Woods' brigade
of infantry, with four pieces of artillery, the whole numbering 2,000 men. We proceeded to the
Grant's Mills Ferry, where we found a small force of the enemy, which retired after skirmishing
with our advance. After burning a large lot of lumber, and destroying the ferry-boat and several
small boats, we proceeded in the direction of Canton, detaching the Fourth Iowa and Fifth
Illinois, under command of Colonel Winslow, to destroy a pontoon bridge over Pearl River, near
Madisonville, while my main force proceeded to Calhoun. Colonel Winslow performed the duty
assigned him, and reached Calhoun at 6 o'clock. While at this place, Colonel Woods' brigade
destroyed a mile of the railroad and burned a bridge.
On the 17th, we left Calhoun at 5 a.m., and proceeded to within 2 miles of Canton, where my
advance guard, commanded by Colonel Stephens, Second Wisconsin Cavalry, found the enemy
in force. The rebel line extended from Bear Creek west on the Beattie's Bluff road as far as we
could see--about a mile--and commanded the Canton road. Two regiments of infantry and one
section of artillery of Colonel Woods' brigade were ordered forward, and took position in the
open fields to the right and left of the road. I soon discovered a large force of the enemy moving
to our left to gain our rear, with the evident intention of attacking our wagon train, which was not
yet parked. This movement came near being successful. I ordered one piece of artillery to the
point threatened, and sent forward down the Livingston road a battalion of the Fifth Illinois
Cavalry, under Major Farnan. This movement checked the enemy's advance in that direction.
The major opened fire at short range and emptied several saddles. The enemy continued to
concentrate within 400 yards of our train, throwing down fences and preparing to charge the
small force opposed to them. At this time the Third and Fourth Iowa Cavalry formed in line and
moved through the open field to the left, while I posted the piece of artillery in the road,
supported by the Seventy-sixth Ohio and Twenty-fifth Iowa, and opened fire with shell at a short
range. The enemy fell back in confusion through the corn-field, but soon rallied and again
advanced. I then ordered the artillery and infantry forward into the field to the left of the
Livingston road, and sent forward skirmishers, who soon encountered the enemy. A few shots
from the gun, and the advance of our cavalry on the extreme left, drove the enemy from the field
in great confusion. He suffered a loss of a number of men, as his ambulances were distinctly seen
by myself moving out toward the scene of the engagement and returning to the Beattie's Bluff
During this time Colonel Woods advanced his infantry to the road, cutting off the enemy's
communication with the force posted on Bear Creek. The force on the left disappeared on a
plantation road leading around to Canton. I now sent forward the Fourth Iowa Cavalry, Colonel
Winslow, to support the flanks of Colonel Woods' infantry, near Bear Creek; at the same time he
moved one battalion on the main road to the end of the lane. The column reached the bridge near
the thick brush on Bear Creek, when the enemy opened fire on the column from two pieces of
artillery, one 6 and one 12 pounder, but without doing any damage. Our column moved back out
of range, and the infantry advanced as skirmishers to find the position of the enemy. Colonel
Woods drove them from their position, which was found to be a very strong one. They destroyed
the bridges, and retired into the town about 6 p.m., our advance being within 1 mile of Canton. I
did not deem it prudent to attempt to enter at so late an hour; we therefore encamped near the
creek and cared for our wounded.
On the morning of the 18th, I entered the town of Canton without opposition, the enemy
having retired to Pearl River during the night. Colonel Woods commenced the destruction of the
railroad at an early hour, and continued the work all day, destroying several miles of the track of
the New Orleans and Jackson and Mississippi Central Railroads. While this work was going on, I
sent a cavalry force, under Colonel Winslow, Fourth Iowa Cavalry, to the railroad bridge over
Big Black, which he burned. He also burned a mile of trestle-work of the road and the depots at
Way's Bluff. At Canton, in connection with Colonel Woods, 1 effectually destroyed the Dixie
Works, an extensive manufacturing establishment used by the Confederate Government; also
thirteen extensive machine-shops and railroad buildings, with a vast quantity of machinery. Five
locomotives and about 40 cars were burned and broken to pieces, and about 100,000 feet of
lumber, designed to be used by the Confederate Government in the construction of wagons, guncarriages,
and other purposes, were burned.
Having completely destroyed every dollar's worth of public property found in the place, I
retired across Bear Creek, where we camped for the night. During my stay in Canton I kept a
strong guard around the town, and cavalry patrol through the streets, which effectually protected
the citizens from any depredations whatever. My cavalry captured and turned over to Colonel
Woods about 15 prisoners of war. I also paroled about 50 convalescent soldiers found in the
town and vicinity.
On the 19th, I returned, without incident, to Jackson. My whole command have been in the
saddle every day for a month past; have endured many privations and hardships without
I take great pleasure in reporting a decided improvement in the discipline of my whole
command. Regimental and company officers have been attentive to their duties.
I cannot make distinctions where all have performed their duties well, but justice requires
that I acknowledge the important service rendered me by Lieut. Col. J. H. Hammond, assistant
adjutant-general on the staff of General Sherman, in the engagement with Whitfield's brigade, on
the 8th. Capt. H. D. B. Cutler, acting assistant adjutant-general, and Lieut. D. E. Jones, acting
assistant quartermaster, of my staff, also deserve mention for valuable service rendered during
the campaign.
I have the honor to be, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel, Commanding Cavalry Forces.
Capt. R. M. SAWYER,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Fifteenth Army Corps.
July 15, 1863.
GENERAL: A man has just come into our lines from the rear, named A. Leroy Carter,
representing himself to be of the Third Iowa Infantry, and just escaped from Jackson's cavalry.
This man states that he has been a prisoner since January 4, and detained because he was caught
plundering. He has since been kept under guard, and attached to the blacksmith or farrier's
department for Jackson's division. He says his regiment is in Lauman's division, and recognized
some of his old friends prisoners in Jackson. So much for his reliability. Now for his story. He
says Jackson's division of cavalry left Jackson last night, crossed the river, went up the opposite
bank about 14 miles, and recrossed on a trestle-bridge about 4 miles above Grant's Ferry. During
their halt he escaped and rode into our lines. He says Jackson is headed this way, and the idea
among the men was that he would attack our rear, so that they could make a sortie
simultaneously on our front. Certainly a bold scheme. I have had one or two reports from the
front this morning that the enemy's force was increasing. Would it not be well to let Bussey and
the brigade hunt this party up?
He gives the following list and strength of regiments; Cosby's brigade-volunteer regiment,
400; First Mississippi, 400; Fourth Mississippi, 200; Starke's regiment, 800; Witt Adams' 1,000.
Ross' detachment--Sixth Texas, 350; Bridges' battalion, 200. Whitfield's brigade--Ninth Texas,
300; Third Texas, 400, and Texas Legion, 180. Total, 4,230.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Major-General SHERMAN.
Vicksburg, Miss., July 24, 1863.
SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the march to and the battle at Jackson,
Miss., by the brigade under my command, consisting of the Forty-seventh Indiana Infantry,
commanded by Lieut. Col. John A. McLaughlin; Fifty-sixth Ohio Infantry, commanded by Col.
William H. Raynor; Twenty-fourth Iowa Infantry, commanded by Lieut. Col. J. Q. Wilds;
Twenty-eighth Iowa Infantry, commanded by Col. John Cornell; Eighty seventh Illinois Infantry,
commanded by Lieut. Col. John M. Crebs; one section of First Missouri Battery, commanded by
Lieut. C. M. Callahan, and the Second Ohio Battery, commanded by Lieut. A. Beach:
We took up our line of march from the battle-field at Vicksburg on the 5th day of July, the
day after the surrender, and, after a five days' very fatiguing march, without anything particularly
marked in our course, except much suffering with the extreme heat, we reached the
neighborhood of the rebel fortifications at Jackson.
On the 9th of July, we took up our line of march and advanced toward the enemy's line.
When within 2 miles of the enemy, the advance of the First Brigade encountered the rebel
pickets, immediately after which the action commenced.
General Hovey, commanding, directed me to form my brigade to the left of the Raymond
road and forward the whole column, which was speedily executed, and we advanced to Lynch's
Creek. Here I advanced two companies of the Forty-seventh Indiana Infantry as skirmishers
across the creek. As soon as they crossed the creek, the enemy opened fire upon them, to which
the skirmishers spiritedly replied, and, after a contest of about thirty minutes, drove the enemy
from the field. While the skirmishers were contesting the ground, I advanced the whole
command over the creek and formed directly on the bank. We advanced no farther that night, the
men lying upon their arms all night, with a strong picket line in front.
On the morning of the 10th instant, I advanced a line of skirmishers, consisting of one
company from each regiment, and my brigade in line in the rear across a field, but met no
obstacle until we reached the high ground through the woods in advance of the field, when the
rebel pickets were again encountered, but, after a few well-directed volleys from my line of
skirmishers, the enemy was sent howling behind their fortifications.
During the advance of the line, Lieutenant Harper, then in command of the Second Ohio
Battery, shelled the woods in our front, and contributed greatly to drive the enemy back. The
whole line was immediately advanced to within 500 yards of the enemy's works, where we
formed a line, threw out a line of skirmishers covering my whole front, and at once began
constructing intrenchments. In the afternoon of the advance of my line, in pursuance to the order
of Brigadier-General Hovey, I ordered up Lieutenant Callahan, with his section of artillery, who
took position in the Raymond road, and opened on the rebel line with very fatal effect.
During the next seven days the siege continued, the men of my command digging and
intrenching, the sharpshooters in advance striking, wounding, and killing all who exposed their
persons to the unerring aim of our riflemen, until the morning of the 17th, when it was
announced by our pickets that the rebels had evacuated during the night. I sent forward a line of
skirmishers, who soon verified the truth of the conjecture by taking possession of the enemy's
works and raising the Stars and Stripes thereon.
During the whole time of the siege the officers and men conducted themselves with great
bravery and skill, living three days on less than fourth rations. They endured all without a
murmur, and witnessed the culmination of their hopes by the surrender of the last fortified city
in the State of Mississippi and the almost literal annihilation of the rebel army in the Southwest.
The whole number of killed and wounded is as follows: Forty-seventh Indiana Infantry, 1
killed and 4 wounded; Fifty-sixth Ohio Infantry, 5 wounded; Twenty-fourth Iowa Infantry, 1
killed and 4 wounded; Twenty-eighth Iowa Infantry, 1 wounded; Eighty-seventh Illinois
Infantry, 3 wounded; making in all, killed and wounded, 19, detailed reports of which are
herewith submitted.
I have the honor to be, sir, very respectfully, yours,
Col., Comdg. Second Brig., Twelfth Div., Thirteenth Army Corps.
Assistant Adjutant-General.
Near Jackson, July 20, 1863.
SIR: In compliance with orders from General Hovey, I herewith send you a statement of the
operations of the First Brigade, Fourth Division, Sixteenth Army Corps, since the 5th day of
July, 1863.
I left Vicksburg on the morning of the 5th of July, 1863, and marched to Clear Creek and
encamped, from which place we marched the 7th to near Bolton. The 8th we marched about 3
miles, and encamped until the morning of the 9th. On the 9th, we marched to the town of
Clinton, and encamped until the morning of the 10th. On the 10th, we arrived in the vicinity of
Jackson, and on the 11th were ordered into line on General Hovey's right.
I encamped on the night of the 11th on the west side of the railroad running south from
Jackson, and on the morning of the 12th my brigade was ordered into line of battle on the east
side of the railroad, my left resting on the road on General Hovey's right, my line of battle
running obliquely southeast, or back from General Hovey's. About 10 o'clock, General Lauman
came up and ordered my line changed so as to form a square or right angle line with General
Hovey's right, which order I obeyed, and, after some artillery firing, was ordered forward by
General Lauman. My line consisted of the following regiments, to wit: the Twenty-eighth
Regiment Illinois Volunteer Infantry (which had been ordered to report to me for duty) on the
right, commanded by Major Rhodes; the Forty-first Regiment Illinois Infantry Volunteers on the
right center, commanded by Lieut. Col. John H. Nale; the Third Regiment Iowa Infantry
Volunteers on the right left center, commanded by Col. Aaron Brown; the Fifty-third Regiment
Illinois Volunteer Infantry on the left, resting on railroad, commanded by Col. S.C. Earl. Col. J.
B. Moore, of the Thirty-third Wisconsin Infantry, was ordered to the right by General Lauman,
to make a reconnaissance in the direction of Pearl River.
I was ordered by General Lauman to move my line forward cautiously, which order I
obeyed. After passing a small creek, lined with timber and dense underbrush, my command
arrived in the open field, when I halted and had my line dressed up. I did not like the looks of the
ground. There was a corn-field in front, beyond which there was a skirt of timber, and beyond
that the timber had been felled. The fences had been laid down, and the corn cut down, except a
strip immediately in front of my line. I ordered one of my aides to request General Lauman's
presence on the ground, as I did not like the appearance of the field, and I did not intend to
advance farther without orders. During the time General Lauman was coming up, my skirmishers
on the right fell back, and when the general came up he ordered the skirmishers to be pushed
forward to the distance of 300 or 400 yards, and then gave the order to my brigade to "forward,"
which order was obeyed. As soon as the line had crossed the field and had got fairly into the
timber, the enemy opened a murderous fire on my whole line, but the men and officers pressed
forward until they got within 120 yards of the enemy's breastworks, when they took shelter
behind the fallen timber, but the fire was so murderous that what officers and men were left fell
back, the firing lasting about one hour.
I should have stated that the Twenty-eighth Illinois Infantry belongs to the Third Brigade,
Fourth Division, and I have not had any report from the commanding officer of that regiment.
The losses of the regiments are as follows, to wit: Third Iowa Infantry lost 114 men,
including officers, in killed, wounded, and missing; the Forty-first Illinois lost, men and officers
killed, wounded, and missing, 136; and the Fifty-third Illinois, total loss, 134. The Fifth Ohio
Battery was brought up during the action, and lost 9 men in killed, wounded, and missing, and
had two guns disabled. Colonel Earl, of the Fifty-third Illinois, was killed; Colonel Brown, of the
Third Iowa, was severely wounded in the thigh; and Lieutenant-Colonel Nale, Forty-first Illinois,
was stunned by a spent ball, and had to leave the field. I had about 880 men (including officers)
engaged, and of that number 465 were killed, wounded, and missing.
Officers and men behaved very gallantly. No troops could have done better. All acted nobly,
for which they have my thanks and the thanks of a grateful country.
All of which is respectfully submitted.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Col. 41st Illinois Infty., Comdg. 1st Brig., 4th Div., 16th A. C.
Assistant Adjutant-General.
NEAR VICKSBURG, MISS., July 26, 1863.
COLONEL: I have the honor to submit the following report of the conduct and loss of the
Third Iowa Infantry in the assault upon the enemy's works at Jackson, Miss., on July 12, 1863:
About 9 o'clock on the morning of the 12th, the Third Iowa, Forty-first and Fifty-third
Illinois Infantry, and the Fifth Ohio Battery, of six guns, crossed the New Orleans and Jackson
Railroad at a point about 2 miles south of Jackson and 1 mile from the enemy's works. After
crossing, line of battle was formed, skirmishers thrown out, and the line ordered forward. After
advancing about one-fourth of a mile, the line was halted, the battery placed in position 100
yards in our rear, opened fire with shell, and continued to fire rapidly for about twenty minutes.
The enemy replied promptly with two guns, getting our range the first shot. As soon as the
battery ceased firing, the line again moved forward. We advanced half a mile through timber and
a dense undergrowth, our skirmishers meeting with no opposition. When we came to the edge of
an open field, the line was again halted. Here we were joined by the Twenty-eighth Illinois
Infantry, which took position on our right. General Lauman now came up, and ordered the line
forward, the skirmishers keeping well advanced. When about half way across the field, our
skirmishers engaged the enemy's pickets. Soon after, their picket reserves were encountered and
driven in, and a moment later we came within sight of their works, about 300 yards distant. The
enemy now opened fire with twelve pieces of artillery, all bearing directly upon our line, and
also gave us a heavy fire of musketry. The men answered this greeting with a shout, and rushed
forward to the assault. We were met by a perfect storm of grape, canister, and musketry. The
timber and brush had been cleaned away in front of the enemy's works, and an abatis formed,
which broke our line and threw the men into groups, thus giving the enemy's artillery an
opportunity to work with the most deadly effect. Our line rapidly melted away under this terrible
fire, and after getting up to within 75 yards of the works, we found ourselves too weak to carry
them by assault, and, after remaining under this severe fire for twenty minutes, we were
compelled to fall back. We brought off our colors safely, and reformed at the point where we had
last halted previous to advancing to the assault. We were then ordered back to the point where
we first crossed the railroad.
The regiment went into action with 223 enlisted men, 15 line and 3 field and staff officers,
making an aggregate of 241 rank and file engaged. Out of this number we lost 114 killed,
wounded, and missing. Part of our wounded and all our dead were left on the field. An attempt
was made to bring off our killed and wounded under a flag of truce, but it was unsuccessful.
After the evacuation of Jackson, a few days subsequent to the fight, we recovered part of our
wounded, who had been left in the hospital, but those who were able to be removed had been
taken away as prisoners of war. Most of those reported missing are known to be wounded.
Of the conduct of both officers and men during this, the severest conflict in which the
regiment has ever been engaged, I cannot speak too highly. All did their duty nobly, and it is
impossible to make special mention of any one without doing injustice to others.
The inclosed list of killed and wounded will show how the regiment fought better than I have
been able to describe it.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Major, Commanding Third Iowa Infantry.
Col. N. B. BAKER,
Adjutant-General of Iowa.
Vicksburg, July 26, 1863.
CAPTAIN: In reporting the doings of this brigade in the recent expedition of our army
against Jackson, I shall necessarily be confined to the time I have been in command of it. Since
Saturday morning, the 18th instant, up to this time, the brigade has been under command of
Brigadier-General Lawler, who on that morning relinquished the command to me, and started for
his home on a leave of absence.
For information as to the action of the brigade prior to the time alluded to, I respectfully refer
you to the report of Lieutenant-Colonel Whittlesey, of the Eleventh Wisconsin, herewith
On Friday morning, the 17th instant, it was ascertained that Jackson was evacuated, and a
portion of our forces marched in and occupied the city. At that time this brigade was in the
position they had occupied for several days previous, near the enemy's fortifications on the west
side of the city. Here we remained until Saturday morning, when we changed our camp about 1
mile to the rear. In the afternoon we marched out to the Mississippi Central Railroad, south of
the city, where, in connection with the First Brigade, we succeeded in destroying about 5 miles
of railroad. This feat we accomplished by Sunday evening, when we laid upon our arms until
Monday, and then returned to our camp on the Raymond road. On Tuesday morning we started
for Vicksburg. By easy marches, we reached our old camp in the rear of the city on Friday
morning, where we rested for about an hour. We then received orders to move to a new camp,
and were directed to go down the Warrenton road to find it. After marching a distance of about
10 miles, over a broken country and under a burning sun, we succeeded in reaching our present
camp on the river bank in front of Vicksburg, and about 1 miles from where we started in the
Thankful that it is as well for us as it is, and being always ready to obey orders, and to do our
full share "in putting down this unholy rebellion," we are now resting contented from long
marches and months of unremitting toils and dangers.
I herewith transmit reports of regimental commanders of the killed and wounded, which
embrace all the casualties in the brigade in our late expedition.
I am, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel Twenty-second Iowa, Commanding Brigade.
Capt. C. H. DYER,
Assistant Adjutant-General.
[July 24, 1863.]
Left Vicksburg on the morning of July 5, 1863, with 82 enlisted men and 7 field, staff, and
commissioned officers. Encamped on Big Black River, 14 miles distant, where 1 man died from
disease, and 5 enlisted men and 1 commissioned officer returned to Vicksburg on account of
July 6.--Proceeded to Edwards Station, having frequent skirmishes with the enemy, and
encamped for the night.
July 7.--Proceeded, with frequent skirmishing, to Clinton, 8 miles distant.
July 8.--Took up line of march, driving the enemy before us, with frequent skirmishes, to
their intrenchments at Jackson, before which place we camped in front of the enemy.
July 9.--Skirmishing all day with the enemy, with the loss of 1 man wounded.
July 10.--Skirmishing as before.
July 11.--Advanced near the works of the enemy, and threw up breastworks. Heavy
July 12.--Constant skirmishing from this date until the evening of the 16th, when the enemy
evacuated Jackson.
July 17.--We entered Jackson and took possession of the works.
July 18.--Started out to tear up the track and destroy bridges on the Jackson and New Orleans
Railroad, which we continued until the morning of the 20th, when we commenced our return to
Vicksburg, where we arrived and went into camp July 24.
Respectfully submitted.
Major, Commanding Twenty-third Iowa Infantry Volunteers.
First Lieut. W. E. HOUSTON,
Acting Adjutant.
VICKSBURG, MISS., July 26, 1863.
LIEUTENANT: For the information of the colonel commanding the brigade, I have the
honor to submit the following report of the operations of the Eleventh Wisconsin Infantry in the
late march and attack on Jackson, Miss., and their subsequent movements up to this date:
On the morning of July 5, conformably to orders issued the day previous, we marched from
our old camp and trenches in rear of Vicksburg at 6 a.m. out on the Jackson road to Clear Creek,
near Black River, marching about 10 miles that day under a clear burning sun, but, fortunately,
finding good water at our camp.
July 6.--We marched at 4 a.m., crossing the Big Black 1 miles from our camp on Clear
Creek, and proceeded some 4 miles to a plantation near Edwards Depot, where we lay upon our
arms for the night. The weather was very hot, which, with poor water combined, caused some
suffering among the troops.
July 7.--We broke camp at 7 a.m.; marched about 8 miles, camping near the forks of the
Raymond and Clinton roads. At 5 a.m. we formed line of battle, and bivouacked for the night.
July 8.--We marched at 6 p.m.; proceeded 4 miles and camped.
July 9.--Marched at 6 a.m.; passed through Clinton to within 8 miles of Jackson.
July 10.--Marched at 5 a.m., and arrived before Jackson at 9.30 a.m., where we rested till
evening, and then moved into position in the line, about 1,600 yards from the enemy's works.
July 11.--In the morning, Company B, of the Eleventh, together with one company each from
the Twenty-first and Twenty-second Iowa Infantry, were thrown forward as skirmishers, the
whole under the command of Captain Remick, Company B, Eleventh. Advancing across an old
field, some 300 yards in width, they came to the woods in our front, and developed a force of the
enemy, estimated at about 800 strong, who attacked our skirmishers in front and on the right
flank, and repulsed them with a loss to my command of 2 killed and I severely wounded. We,
however, held possession of a house and out-buildings between our front and the enemy, and
from that point kept his skirmishers well back under shelter of the woods that covered the ground
between us and the enemy's works.
July 12.--The brigade was formed for an advance in the following order: A line of
skirmishers and supports, under the immediate command of the brave Major Houston, of the
Twenty-third Iowa Infantry; a line of battle, composed of the Eleventh Wisconsin and Twenty
second Iowa, under my command, and a third line of reserves, comprising the Twenty-first and
Twenty-third Iowa, under command of Brigadier-General Lawler. The object of the advance was
to obtain possession of the woods in our front. The troops moved up in beautiful order, and
obtained possession of the woods without resistance, the enemy retiring at our advance. We thus
gained a position some 600 yards nearer than the one occupied the day previous.
July 13.--The enemy shelled us vigorously, bursting a number of shells just in rear of my
regiment, but without damage, except the wounding of a couple of artillery horses, belonging to
Captain Davidson's battery: which was posted immediately on my left.
July 17.--I was ordered by General Lawler to move forward and occupy the works of the
enemy in front of the Second Brigade, he having abandoned Jackson the night previous. This I
did, remaining on duty there during the day and until relieved by order of General Lawler, when
I returned to camp.
July 18.--Marched at 7 a.m. to a new camp, 2 miles distant, and at 2 p.m. moved down to the
railroad near Byram, and began destroying the track of the Mississippi Central Railroad, as
July 19.--Destroyed railroad track.
July 20.--Marched from our bivouac, near Byram, to our new camp near Jackson, a distance
of 6 miles.
July 21.--Marched at 7 a.m. to Raymond, 14 miles.
July 22.--Marched at 6 a.m. 10 miles, camping on Baker's Creek.
July 23.--Marched at 5 a.m. to within 7 miles of Vicksburg.
July 24.--Marched to our old camps in rear of Vicksburg, thence to camp just below the city,
via Warrenton road, a distance of about 10 miles, where the regiment is now encamped.
I append herewith a list of the killed and wounded of my command, before referred to.
All of which is respectfully submitted.
Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding.
Lieut. A. ADAMS,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
Near Jackson, Miss., July 20, 1863.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report that, pursuant to Special Orders, No. 14, Headquarters
Expeditionary Corps, July 14, 1863, and written instructions from the major-general
commanding, of date of July 15, 1863, I started with my command at daylight on the 16th
instant, toward the Canton road. Having struck that road, I advanced about 10 miles, to near
Grant's Ferry, on Pearl River, where Colonel Bussey, with his cavalry, overtook me. On the east
side of the river, at this ferry, the enemy had a picket post of 20 or 30 men, with an outpost on
the west side. After a little firing, the outpost withdrew to the east side of the river. I advanced
some skirmishers to the ferry, who soon drove off the enemy; whereupon I caused the ferryboat
and two canoes to be destroyed. The troops then proceeded to Calhoun Station, on the Jackson
and New Orleans Railroad, about 16 miles from Jackson, having first struck the railroad at that
place. Here I caused about 1 mile of track and a bridge, situated 1 miles south, to be destroyed,
piling up a good' portion of the iron on the ties, and setting fire to them. Although the men were
tired and worn out, I worked them until 9 p.m., and the next morning from the earliest dawn until
6 a.m.
On the morning of the 17th, we advanced on the Canton road to a point about 3 miles from
Canton. A small cavalry force was here seen on our left, near a road leading to Livingston,
observing our movements; and at the same time clouds of dust on our front indicated the vicinity
of a large body of cavalry. In connection with Colonel Bussey, I made dispositions in a good
position on a hill facing the enemy, to meet an attack which was then threatened on our right.
While this was doing, there was a rapid movement of the enemy's cavalry in the direction of the
Livingston road toward our left and rear, with the apparent intention of attacking and cutting off
our train. This was met by the prompt advance of the Seventy-sixth Ohio Volunteers (Lieut. Col.
W. B. Woods commanding), then guarding the rear, and of the Twenty-fifth Iowa Volunteers, by
the shifting of a piece from the First Missouri Horse Artillery (Lieut. Louis Voelkner
commanding), and by a flank movement of part of Colonel Bussey's command. A few shells
turned the enemy's advance to the right-about. In the mean time skirmishing commenced on our
right and center, and continued till the enemy withdrew. Thereupon I advanced skirmishers of
the Thirty-first Iowa Volunteers (Maj. Theodore Stimming commanding) to the Canton road, on
our right, who took possession of buildings of a plantation near the junction of the Beatty's Bluff
and Canton road. Surmising that the enemy had withdrawn the greater part of his force toward
Canton, the Twelfth Missouri Volunteers (Col. Hugo Wangelin) and a cavalry force were sent
forward to reconnoiter. They advanced less than a mile to near Bear Creek, where they were met
by musketry from the opposite side of the creek and severe fire of two cannon, one a rifled 6-
pounder and the other a 12-pounder smooth-bore, posted on the opposite bank, near the end of
the bridge. The infantry advanced to the creek bank, but could not cross, because of the
destruction of the bridge and the obstruction of the crossing. Owing to the steep banks and the
mud of the creek, the advance was delayed for some time. The woods were so dense and the
ground so difficult to reconnoiter that I could not plant my cannon so as to reach and silence the
enemy's. Leaving the Twelfth Missouri Volunteers and the Seventeenth Missouri Volunteers
(Maj. F. Romer commanding) to guard the front and occupy the enemy, I threw the Third
Missouri Volunteers (Lieut. Col. Theodore Meumann commanding) through the woods to the
right, with directions to cross the creek by any practicable mode and advance as skirmishers to
the road occupied by the enemy. I sent the Twenty-fifth Iowa Volunteers (Col. George A.
Stone)to support the Third Missouri, in case it was too severely pressed. The latter regiment
crossed the creek and soon engaged the enemy's skirmishers; they kept advancing through a
corn-field toward the road. I then ordered the Twelfth Missouri to cross by wings under and to
the right of the bridge, which was done. They enemy fell back as the Third Missouri advanced,
and hastened in the direction of Canton. I occupied the creek bank next to Canton, and caused a
bridge to be constructed. This was finished by dark.
I am informed that the enemy's force was 2,000, with two pieces of artillery.
In the skirmishing in forenoon, 2 men in the Seventy-sixth Ohio Volunteers were slightly
wounded. The Twelfth Missouri lost, in skirmishing on Bear Creek, 5 in killed and wounded.
The Third Missouri, in advancing through the corn-field on the Canton side of Bear Creek, had 2
men mortally wounded. I append a list of their names, &c.
Early in the morning of the 18th, I moved my command into Canton. The whole infantry
force was occupied during the day in destroying railroad tracks, iron, buildings, &c. There were
destroyed 5 locomotives, 30 cars of all kinds, 2 turn-tables, 13 railroad buildings, including
engine-house for 7 engines, with repair shops, filled with fine machinery, attached; 1 machineshop,
depots, offices, &c.; 300 feet of trestle and bridge work, and 2 miles of rails burned and
bent. Much more of the track was torn up.
The works and materials in the Dixie Works were effectually destroyed, but the building was
so connected with a block of buildings that its destruction would have involved the destruction of
the whole. Colonel Winslow, of the cavalry, who had been sent out with part of the cavalry force
to destroy the railroad bridge over Black River, returned after night, with the report that he had
effectually accomplished that work.
At 7 p.m. the troops were marched out of Clinton about 2 miles, and bivouacked.
On 19th, marched to Grant's Ferry, and on 20th returned to Jackson. During the expedition
12 prisoners were taken. I attach a list of their names, regiments, &c. I respectfully request that
some disposition may be made of them.
I am, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel Seventy-sixth Ohio Volunteers, Commanding Brigade.
Capt. R. M. SAWYER,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Fifteenth Army Corps.
P. S.--Some sick and wounded prisoners taken in the town were paroled by Colonel Bussey.
The above report does not include the operations of the cavalry, concerning which Colonel
Bussey will report in detail.
Near Messinger's Ferry, July 25, 1863.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report that on the 5th day of July, 1863, at daybreak, I started
from camp near Vicksburg, with my brigade, in the direction of Messinger's, on the Big Black
River, which we crossed about dark on the 6th. The march was continued toward Jackson, via
Bolton and Clinton, on the Bridgeport road.
We arrived in the neighborhood of Jackson, and rear of the enemy's works, at 8.30 a.m. of
the 10th, and took position on the right of the road, near -'s house. My brigade continued to
occupy this position, which was the second line of the Fifteenth Army Corps, for some days.
On the 12th, during a general cannonading, 2 men were killed and 2 wounded, all of the
Twenty-fifth Iowa Volunteers, by the explosion of a shell in camp.
On the 13th, 2 enlisted men, of the Third Missouri Volunteers, were killed in camp by a solid
On the 16th, I marched my brigade to Canton, Miss., returning on the 20th.
On the 23d, we left the vicinity of Jackson, and, on the 25th, arrived at Messinger's
plantation, on the west bank of Big Black River. I annex a list of the killed and wounded above
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel Seventy-sixth Regt. Ohio Vol. Infantry, Comdg. Brigade.
Assistant Adjutant-General.
July 25, 1863.
SIR: I have the honor to report the part taken by my command in the late movement on
Jackson by the forces under Major General Sherman.
My division moved from before Vicksburg on the 22d day of June, 1863, and, on the 24th,
took position on the plantation of Mr. Trible, near Little Bear Creek, on the roads leading to
Messinger's and Bird-song Ferries, on the Big Black River, advancing one regiment on each road
as an outpost, and threw up breastworks on the high ground in Mr. Trible's field and running
across the road. We remained in this position until after the fall of Vicksburg, on the 4th of July.
On the evening of that day, we marched to Messinger's Ford, and, after building a bridge across
Big Black River, succeeded in crossing. About 4 p.m. on the 6th of July, I crossed my division,
with Colonel McMillen's brigade in advance. On reaching the high ground, we were met by the
enemy's skirmishers, but, on my advancing, they gave way with but little opposition, but
continued light skirmishing all the way from there to the junction with the Bridgeport road, 3
miles, where we bivouacked for the night.
The next day being General Blair's day to have the advance of the corps, he marched on
toward Jackson, before which place we arrived on the 10th, without anything particularly worthy
of note transpiring.
My command being in the rear, by regular succession, on the day of arrival was designated as
the reserve division of the corps, in which position it remained until the 15th, when I moved to
the front and relieved General Osterhaus' division, where we remained until after the evacuation,
on the 17th. During the last few days of the siege my skirmishers were severely engaged several
times, in which they behaved well.
After the evacuation, I was ordered to send all of my division not otherwise engaged with
General Steele in pursuit of Johnston, and to destroy the railroad to Brandon. I accordingly sent
four regiments, under command of Colonel Geddes, of the Eighth Iowa, whose report is inclosed.
I also inclose a list of casualties in the two brigades that accompanied me. The Second Brigade,
having been detached and sent to Young's Point, was not with the division.
I am, &c.,
Brigadier-General, Commanding.
Capt. R. M. SAWYER,
Assistant Adjutant-General.
NEAR MARKHAM'S, July 28, 1863.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by the brigade
under my command in the recent expedition to Jackson, Miss.:
The First Brigade, consisting of the Seventy-second and Ninety-fifth Ohio Volunteer
Infantry, the One hundred and fourteenth Illinois, and Ninety third Indiana Volunteer Infantry,
and Company E, First Illinois Light Artillery, took up the line of march on the 4th of July, at 4
p.m., encamping that night near Messinger's. The next morning it moved to Messinger's Ford,
and, in connection with the division pioneer corps, Captain Young, built a bridge over the Big
Black. On the morning of the 6th instant, four companies were thrown across the river, with
instructions to advance as skirmishers to the foot of the hill beyond. About 3 p.m., by direction
of the general commanding the division, one regiment (the Ninety-third Indiana, Colonel
Thomas commanding) was ordered over to support the skirmishers, with orders to advance and
occupy the crest of the hill, the remainder of the brigade following almost immediately. Some
opposition was made by the enemy's pickets, but the point was gained without difficulty. I then
marched the brigade by the flank, the Seventy-second Ohio in advance, to the main (Bolton)
road, reaching it late in the evening. There was almost continuous skirmishing from the time we
crossed the river until we reached the Bolton road, and great credit is due the companies and
regiments engaged. Several prisoners were taken by my advance.
From this point it marched with the army, via Bolton and Clinton, to Jackson, Miss., arriving
at the position assigned it on the morning of the 10th instant. It remained in reserve until the
morning of the 15th, when it marched to the front and relieved a brigade belonging to General
Osterhaus' division.
On the 16th, in compliance with an order from division commander, I ordered my line of
skirmishers to feel the enemy's works. It soon became hotly engaged, and was obliged to halt,
fully demonstrating the fact that the enemy was still in there. In this attack the brigade suffered a
loss of 1 killed and 11 wounded: Early on the morning of the 17th instant, I received information
that Jackson had been evacuated, and without delay advanced my skirmishers and occupied the
enemy's works in my front, being among the first to reach the city.
On the 18th, the One hundred and fourteenth Illinois and the Seventy-second Ohio Volunteer
Infantry, with Waterhouse's battery, marched in the expedition to Brandon, under command of
Colonel Geddes, of the Eighth Iowa, who, I suppose, will report the part taken by them in the
engagement at that place.
In the mean time the Ninety-fifth Ohio was used as a rear guard on the main Clinton road,
and the Ninety-third Indiana were destroying railroad in the city.
On the 23d, the brigade marched with the corps to which it is attached for its present camp,
reaching this vicinity on the evening of the 25th instant. I cannot speak too highly of the
endurance, spirit, and courage of the troops comprising my command, officers and men having
acquitted themselves nobly.
I am, &c.,
Colonel, Commanding First Brigade.
Capt. J. B. SAMPLE,
Assistant Adjutant-General.
NEAR MARKHAM'S, July 30, 1863.
COLONEL: I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of this
regiment, which composed a part of the brigade under your command, in the expedition to
Brandon, Miss., July 19, 1863:
Making no mention of the march, I would state that the part taken by the regiment was
unimportant. When the line of battle was formed, and skirmishers thrown forward from the
Eighth Iowa and One hundred and fourteenth Illinois, I was ordered forward to support those
regiments on the left of the road. The ground over which my command had to advance in battle
order was very rough and traversed by deep cuts, yet the advance was in good order and my line
was not once broken. After advancing in support for about 1 mile, I was ordered to fill the
interval between the Eighth Iowa and One hundred and fourteenth Illinois, when the line again
advanced, but met no enemy, he having taken advantage of a hard rain-shower to retreat. Upon
arriving at Brandon, my regiment was thrown forward to support the skirmishers in the eastern
limits of the town, when we bivouacked for the night.
On the following day, the 20th, in accordance with your orders, I proceeded to the railroad
depot, and took part in destroying the track. The march back to Jackson was very severe on my
men, as it was made in the heat of the day and was very rapid. Officers and men of my regiment
all behaved nobly and did their duty to the letter. There were no casualties in this regiment.
I have the honor to be, colonel, your very obedient servant,
Capt., Comdg. Seventy-second Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry.
Col. J. L. GEDDES,
Eighth Iowa Volunteers.
July 29, 1863.
SIR: I have the honor herewith to submit the following report of the operations and casualties
in the Third Brigade in the campaign to Jackson, Miss.:
We left our camps in the vicinity of Trible's and Young's July 4; crossed the Big Black River
at Messinger's July 6, following the First Brigade at supporting distance. We continued to
advance until, on the 10th, we halted near Jackson, in rear of our batteries.
On the 11th, Lieutenant Dugan, acting assistant quartermaster of the brigade, while out with
a foraging party, was attacked by the enemy's cavalry and received two wounds, and most of his
party were captured. We remained in the position taken on the 10th without further casualties,
although many of the enemy's shells fell among us, until the 15th, when we moved to the right
and front, the division relieving the division of General Osterhaus.
On the following day, in pursuance of orders, we advanced our skirmishers and met a warm
reception from the enemy. We had several wounded, 1 mortally. The following night we labored
all night, placing the Second Iowa Battery in position and in improving the infantry defense.
On the morning of the 17th, it was found that the enemy had evacuated the place, and that
afternoon we moved north of the Clinton road.
On the 18th and 19th, the Thirty-fifth Iowa was engaged in destroying the railroad in
Jackson; on the 20th, was sent as guard to prisoners to Clinton, where it joined the brigade on the
On the 18th, the Eighth and Twelfth Iowa, under Col. J. L. Geddes, of the Eighth Iowa, in
conjunction with other forces, started on an expedition to Brandon.
On the 19th, they had a short engagement with the enemy, in which Sergeant [John] Duncan,
Eighth Iowa, was killed and a few men wounded. They assisted in destroying several miles of
railroad track and the railroad buildings in Brandon, and returned on the 20th.
On the 23d, the brigade took up its line of march, and arrived at its present camp July 26.
During this campaign, as always heretofore, Col. J. L. Geddes, Eighth Iowa, showed the true
characteristics of the soldier. He is an excellent and worthy officer, faithful and energetic in the
performance of his duties. Lieutenant-Colonel Edgington, commanding Twelfth Iowa, was
prompt and efficient in the performance of his duties, showing he was worthy to command. Col.
S. G. Hill, Thirty-fifth Iowa, was attentive, and showed a determination to do his duty, while
Lieutenant [David W] Reed was always on hand when required. Lieut N. E. Duncan, acting
assistant adjutant-general, and Lieutenant [William A.] Morse, acting aide-de-camp, were always
prompt in the discharge of the duties devolving on them. Without further particularizing, the
officers and men performed their duties in a commendable manner. Surgeon [Sanford W.] Huff,
chief surgeon of the brigade, was always attentive to the sick and wounded, as were all the other
surgeons connected with the brigade.
Yours, very respectfully, &c.,
Col., Comdg. Third Brig., Third Div., Fifteenth Army Corps.
Capt. J. B. SAMPLE,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Third Division
JACKSON, MISS., July 21, 1863.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report, for the information of the general commanding, the
part taken by the force under my command in the expedition to Brandon, Miss., which left
Jackson, Miss., July 18, 1863, consisting of the Eighth and Twelfth Iowa, Seventy-second Ohio,
and One hundred and fourteenth Illinois, with Captain Waterhouse's battery.
Crossing Pearl River on the night of July 18, my command bivouacked about 1 miles from
the river, on the road to Brandon.
On the morning of the 19th, I resumed the march, forcing the enemy's pickets to retire as we
advanced. On arriving within 3 miles of Brandon, and as the head of column was debouching
from a wood, the enemy opened fire from a battery of three guns planted immediately in the road
and distant about 1 mile, at the same time making cavalry demonstrations on my flanks. Forming
the Twelfth Iowa, under Lieutenant-Colonel Edgington, on the right, the Eighth, under Major
Stubbs, and the One hundred and Fourteenth, under Lieutenant-Colonel King, on the left of the
road, with the Seventy-second Ohio, under Captain Snyder, in close support, I ordered the
advance, at the same time a strong line of skirmishers was deployed well to the front. The
brigade moved forward for half a mile under a very severe and continuous fire.
Previous to the advance of the line, I ordered one gun of Captain Waterhouse's battery to take
position in the road, and another in a corn-field on the right, but the distance was so great that
their fire could barely reach the point where the enemy's battery was located, while their rifled
guns threw shot and shell into my position with great accuracy. The deep dikes running parallel
to our front effectually prevented the advance of the artillery with the general line, consequently
it had to retain its first position, but still continued a brisk fire on the enemy's battery, which had
the effect of dividing their fire as the infantry advanced.
The advance was made through an open field in admirable order; not a man wavered, each
regiment marching in line of battle with as much precision as if on review, and the coolness and
efficiency displayed by regimental commanders on the occasion renders them much credit. After
engaging the enemy nearly two hours, they were driven from their position, retiring through
Brandon in an easterly direction, with a loss of 31 killed and wounded and 40 prisoners. My
brigade immediately occupied the town.
On the morning of the 20th, the brigade was ordered to take part in destroying the railroad
running east from Jackson, toward Meridian. After destroying about 2 miles of the track,
including depot and a large quantity of cotton, my command was ordered by General Steele to
take up line of march back to Jackson, which place we reached about 8 p.m., after a very severe
and fatiguing march.
I am, sir, &c.,
Col. 8th Iowa Infty., Comdg. Brigade in Expedition to Brandon.
Capt. J. B. SAMPLE,
Assistant Adjutant-General,
July 27, 1863.
SIR: Report of Twelfth Iowa Infantry in campaign commencing July 4 and ending July 25,
July 4.--Marched at 4 p.m. toward Big Black River. Halted about a half mile from
July 6.--Marched at 4 p.m.; crossed Big Black River at Messinger's over a bridge constructed
by our troops. Halted about 4 miles east of Big Black River at I a.m. on 7th.
July 7.--Marched about 10 a.m. Halted at 2 p.m. on Jeff. Davis' plantation. Marched at 4
p.m., and halted at creek near Bolton Station. Bivouacked in corn-field.
July 8.--At 7 a.m. moved about a mile, and halted at 4 p.m. Marched through Bolton, taking
road east of railroad for Clinton. Reached Clinton at 1 a.m. on the 9th.
July 9.--Marched at 9 a.m., passing north of Clinton. Halted about 1 p.m., and bivouacked
about 4 miles from Jackson on the Clinton road.
July 10.--Moved to within 2 miles of Jackson, being stationed in reserve.
July 11.--Sent out foraging party. Had 3 teams and 9 men captured by rebel cavalry about 5
miles from camp. One man escaped ; 2 of the wagons and contents were burned, 1 wagon being
recaptured by our force.
July 12.--Twelfth Iowa ordered out as guard to foraging train for army corps, consisting of
about 50 wagons. Returned in the evening.
July 13.--Moved to position in reserve.
July 15.--Marched at 7 p.m. to the right and front, taking the place of Osterhaus' division.
July 16.--Skirmishing in front. Regiment formed in line in intrenchments. Two companies
out as skirmishers.
July 17.--This morning our skirmishers advanced into the rebel works, Jackson being
evacuated. In the evening moved to new position on the left, near the deaf and dumb institute.
July 18.--Marched about 6 p.m., having orders to proceed to Brandon, Miss., on the railroad
from Jackson to Meridian. Crossed Big Black River on a pontoon bridge. Halted about 1 mile
east of river.
July 19.--Marched at 7 a.m., Twelfth Iowa in advance of column. Company B detailed as
skirmishers. About 5 miles from Brandon, cavalry fell back on skirmishers. Artillery fired couple
of shells in the woods in advance, when we again moved forward to an open clearing, corn-fields
on each side of the road, when, after proceeding about 800 yards, saw signs of the enemy in
front. Regiment formed in line of battle on the right of the road, the Eighth Iowa on the left,
when the enemy commenced firing from artillery posted in and near the road, other regiments
coming up as support. The Twelfth moved forward, Company I being detailed as skirmishers.
Moved slowly through very difficult ground, the field being intersected by deep ditches, which
were bordered by briars and bushes, and 8 or 10 feet deep. Forced to halt, as a heavy rain-storm
fell, drenching the men, who stood in ranks till it subsided, when we again advanced, the
enemy's artillery and our own exchanging shots over us as we advanced. Coming to an open
field, the other regiments halted, and the Twelfth Iowa advanced to a wood where the rebel
battery had been planted, and passed through the dense thicket with difficulty, going through a
rebel camp which bore marks of a hasty retreat, one ambulance being left behind and some
provisions in their camp.
After going through the wood about half a mile, regiment halted in the road for ten minutes,
and then proceeded to Brandon, which our skirmishers (Company I) had already entered and
taken possession of. Found the town deserted by the rebels, three regiments of cavalry and three
guns being reported as passed through in advance of us. Bivouacked in Brandon.
July 20.--Marched, 6 p.m., and proceeded to railroad station, where we assisted in destroying
3 miles of railroad and railroad buildings, after which marched back to Jackson, arriving at camp
about 9 p.m.
July 23.--Had orders to march at 3 p.m. to Vicksburg. Marched through Clinton, and halted
about 2 miles beyond, about 9 a.m.
July 24.--Marched about daylight; passed south of Bolton Station, crossing the Champion's
Hill battleground. Halted on Champion's Hill, near Baker's Creek.
July 25.--Marched at 6 a.m., going north of railroad and crossing Big Black River at
Messinger's Ford, reaching camp in evening between Markham's and Young's.
All of which is respectfully submitted.
By order of Lieutenant Colonel Edgington, commanding Twelfth Iowa:
Acting Adjutant.
Col. J. J. WOODS,
Commanding Third Brigade.
July 28, 1863.
SIR: I have the honor to make the following report of the operations and casualties of the
Thirty fifth Regiment Iowa Volunteer Infantry, from July 4, 1863, in the expedition from this
place to Jackson, Miss., and return:
We left camp at Young's plantation July 4, at 3 p.m., by order of General Sherman. While the
regiment was resting, at 5 p.m., William B. Everett, private of Company A, was shot by the
accidental discharge of a gun in the hands of one of his companions. He died at 11 p.m. of the
wound. We crossed Big Black River at Messinger's Ferry, 5 p.m., July 6, with the Third
Division, Fifteenth Army Corps.
Arrived near our batteries while they were engaging the enemy at Jackson, July 10, 1863.
Here we were considerably exposed to the fire from the enemy's artillery, but fortunately no
casualties. Sergeant [John] Phillips and 9 men, under the command of Lieut. William M. Dugan,
Company K, acting assistant quartermaster, were to-day captured, and Lieutenant Dugan
severely wounded by the enemy while 4 miles away from camp, foraging. The enemy also
burned two of our wagons and carried off the mules.
On the 15th, we were ordered to the right, to relieve part of General Osterhaus' command.
After Jackson was evacuated, we encamped near the fort on the Clinton road, and were
engaged destroying the railroad in Jackson until the 20th. At 4 p.m. we started for Clinton with
545 rebel prisoners in charge, which we delivered to General McArthur, in Clinton, on the 21st.
Arrived in our present camp July 25, 1863.
List of casualties in the regiment:
Colonel, Commanding Thirty-fifth Iowa Volunteer Infantry.
Lieut. N. E. DUNCAN,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
Jackson, Miss., July 19, 1863.
SIR: I have the honor to forward herewith the report of Colonel Corse, of the Sixth Regiment
Iowa Volunteers, who commanded the skirmishers of the First Division in their advance upon
the rebel works near this city on the 16th instant.
The report, accompanied by a full list of the killed, wounded, and missing, is so complete as
to leave nothing to add, except an expression of pride in the gallant officers and men of the
several regiments engaged, who, with daring that could not be excelled, dashed forward under a
heavy fire of artillery and small-arms, and captured rebel prisoners under their very guns. The
conduct of Colonels Corse, Sixth Iowa, Catterson, Ninety-seventh Indiana, and Sanford, Fortyeighth
Illinois, deserves especial commendation.
Major Stephenson, of the Forty-eighth Illinois, and Captain Minton, of the Sixth Iowa, both
severely wounded, behaved with conspicuous gallantry, as did Lieut. George W. Holmes,
Company A, Sixth Iowa, who went forward under a murderous fire and carried Captain Minton
off the field.
Very respectfully, your most obedient servant,
Brigadier-General, Commanding First Division.
Lieutenant-Colonel BOWEN,
Assistant Adjutant-General and Chief of Staff.
Jackson, Miss., July 20, 1863.
SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by the First Division,
Sixteenth Army Corps, in the advance upon Jackson, and the operations before the rebel works
previous to their evacuation by the enemy:
On the 4th instant, we broke camp at Oak Ridge Post-Office, where we had previously
constructed strong intrenchments, in anticipation of the advance of the rebel army under General
Joseph E. Johnston, who was reported moving to the relief of Vicksburg. We moved forward,
crossed Bear Creek, near Young's, and encamped near Mrs. Hill's, 1 mile west of Big Black
River, advancing a strong picket to the crossing of the river at Birdsong Ferry.
On the morning of the 5th instant, the enemy, concealed under thick cover on the opposite
bank of the stream, opened a brisk fire upon our picket. Supports were speedily thrown forward
and placed under cover, and a spirited fire opened on the enemy, which was kept up during the
whole day on the 5th. On the night of the 5th, Colonel Sanford was sent with his brigade (the
Fourth) to effect a crossing at a ford reported practicable, 2 miles below Birdsong Ferry. After a
sharp skirmish with the enemy, the ford was reached, but, owing to a rise in the river of 4 feet, it
was found entirely impracticable. Simultaneously with this effort, a battery was placed in
position and fire opened upon the enemy at a ford half a mile above Birdsong Ferry. Our infantry
then advanced to this ford, which was also found impracticable.
On the 6th instant, a ferry-boat was found 3 miles below the ferry that had been scuttled and
sunk. This we raised, and brought up to the crossing during the day and night of the 6th.
On the morning of the 7th, our forces having effected a crossing below at Messinger's, the
enemy suddenly let go, and offered us no further resistance.
During the 7th and 8th, we ferried over my entire division, infantry and artillery, together
with our ammunition train. Our transportation and supply trains moved down and crossed at
On the 9th, we resumed our march, and reached Robertson's, near Queen's Hill and Jeff.
Davis' plantation.
On the 10th, we reached a point 4 miles northwest of Jackson, where we had a brisk
skirmish with one of the enemy's outposts, in which the good conduct of Colonel O'Meara and
the officers and men of his regiment, the Ninetieth Illinois, deserve especial mention.
We resumed our march on the morning of the 11th instant, and, arriving in front of Jackson
at about 2 p.m., moved up on the right of the Ninth Army Corps, driving the rebel pickets and
skirmishers within their intrenchments, where they were closely held by a hot fire of our
skirmishers, who were advanced to within effective rifle range of the rebel works and well
On the 16th, in obedience to the verbal instructions of General Parke, our line of skirmishers
advanced to feel the enemy, draw his fire, and, if practicable, effect an entrance into his works.
The movement was most gallantly performed, under the direction of Colonel Corse, of the Sixth
Iowa Volunteers, who commanded our line of skirmishers during all our operations before
Jackson. The rebels were driven from some of their rifle-pits, and about 20 of them captured
under their very guns.
The conduct of the officers and men who participated in this advance cannot be too highly
commended. For the particulars of the movement, I beg leave to refer you to a special report,
already submitted, accompanied by the detailed report of Colonel Corse, with a full list of
While our skirmishers held their ground under a hot fire, constantly kept up by the enemy
from his line of works and from rifle-pits constructed outside of them for the shelter of his
skirmishers, the few intrenching tools we had with us were busily employed by night and by day
in the construction of redoubts for our batteries and rifle-pits flanking those redoubts, for the
proper covering of infantry supports. Positions for sixteen guns were thus prepared within 600
yards of the rebel works, and a second line, for purposes of defense, was well intrenched by the
construction of redoubts and rifle-pits.
On the 12th instant, the four batteries attached to my division opened upon the city of
Jackson and the rebel works surrounding it, apparently with excellent effect, as the shot and shell
were seen to fall thick and fast within the intrenchments, from which the rebel infantry fled for a
time in great consternation. Owing to the shortness in our supply of ammunition for our guns, no
further firing was done by our artillery. We waited for the arrival of the ammunition train.
The positions for our artillery were well chosen and well improved, under the direction of
Captain Cassell, of the Twenty-sixth Illinois Volunteers, who was detailed to act as my engineer
officer. Great credit is due him for his industry, gallantry, and skill.
On the morning after the advance of our skirmishers, it was discovered that the enemy had
withdrawn his forces from Jackson.
Throughout the advance upon the city, and all the operations that ensued, Colonel Loomis, of
the Twenty-sixth Illinois Volunteers, commanding the First Brigade, and Colonel Cockerill,
Seventieth Ohio Volunteers, commanding the Third Brigade, distinguished themselves by their
untiring vigilance, their valor, and their skill. They were constantly along their front lines and
exposed to a hot fire, and much of the time subjected to a fire of shot and shell from the rebel
batteries. Their handling of their troops commanded my highest admiration.
In my special report, already referred to, I have taken the liberty to make special mention of
the gallant and meritorious conduct of Colonels Corse, Sanford, and Catterson; also of Major
Stephenson, Captain Minton, and Lieutenant Holmes. I now beg to add to the list the names of
Capt. T. J. Loudon, acting assistant adjutant-general; Captain Clune, of the Sixth Iowa, division
inspector; and Lieutenants Campbell (Seventieth Ohio) and Nell (Forty-sixth Ohio), aides-decamp,
all of whom discharged their duty with great gallantry, bearing my orders through the
thickest of the fire, and frequently remaining in the most dangerous and exposed positions, to
report anything of note that they might be able to observe.
It is sufficient praise to the officers and men of my command to say that, when pelted with
shot, shell, canister, and bullets, I have never seen either officer or man falter or quail.
Please find herewith inclosed the reports of brigade and regimental commanders,
accompanied by complete lists of casualties.
Very respectfully, your most obedient servant,
Brigadier-General, Commanding First Division.
Lieut. Col. N. BOWEN,
Assistant Adjutant-General.
CAPTAIN: In accordance with circular from headquarters, I have the honor to submit the
following report of operations of this regiment and casualties to same since July 4, 1863:
We left our bivouac at Oak Ridge July 4, at 6 p.m. Marched to Bear Creek; night intensely
July 5.--Started from bivouac about 10 p.m. Were halted about 1 mile, and lay on arms in the
July 6.--At 10 p.m. moved on to within about half a mile of Big Black. Sent Company K. to
Birdsong Ferry, to establish a crossing. They worked all night.
July 7.--Started about 5 a.m. Marched to Birdsong Ferry, where the regiment was engaged all
day, and until about 11 p.m., in ferrying the division teams, ammunition wagons, batteries, and
ambulances. Started immediately on as rear guard. Came up with brigade about 9 a.m. of the 8th.
Marched again at 2 p.m., regiment being deployed as skirmishers in front of division. The last
three days the regiment was constantly on most arduous duty; nevertheless seemed to sustain the
march equal to any.
July 9.--Marched to within 2 miles of Jackson, and were drawn up in line of battle, and lay
on our arms.
July 11.--Marched to north side of Jackson. Changed our position to Asylum road, and about
1,000 yards from enemy's intrenchments. Here we lay for three days, constantly engaged in
digging intrenchments and skirmishing under heavy fire from enemy's artillery and skirmishers.
Water very scarce and brackish.
July 16.--Reported with regiment to Colonel Corse, of Sixth Iowa, for picket skirmishers. At
3 p.m. each company was sent away under direction of an enlisted man. Before they had their
positions they were attacked by a brigade of infantry, covered by heavy fire of artillery, along
our whole front. Guides became confused, and we had to find our positions ourselves, which we
did, repulsing the enemy. They kept up a heavy fire upon us during the early part of the night,
which slackened up about midnight, when the enemy evacuated Jackson.
Our officers and men behaved so well, could hardly make exceptions by singling out
individuals to commend, unless to the memory of our brother officer, the lamented Captain
Dugger, who was struck down by a shell whilst striving to gain his position in the thickest of the
attack. List of casualties:
All of which I have the honor to submit.
I have, captain, the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding Twenty-sixth Illinois Regiment.
Actg. Asst. Adjt. Gen., First Brigade, Smith's Division.
Near Jackson, Miss., July 21, 1863.
SIR: In obedience to instructions from division headquarters, I have the honor to submit the
following report of the doings of my brigade from the 4th of July to the 17th of July, 1863:
Brigade marched from Oak Ridge the evening of the 4th. Marched 8 miles, and camped for
the night on Hill's plantation, 2 miles west of the Big Black.
On the morning of the 5th, by order of General Smith, moved two regiments to the Big
Black, where we found the enemy to dispute our crossing. Skirmishing during the entire day,
resulting in the killing of 1 man and wounding 10. At 8 p.m., by order of General Smith, my
brigade moved forward for the purpose of crossing the river at Jones' Ferry. At 9 moved forward,
One hundred and third Illinois in front. Finding the water too deep, we had to fall back under
cover of the timber. Felled timber to make a crossing. Failed in that, and rested until morning.
On the morning of the 6th, constructed a floating bridge, which we completed at 2 p.m. At 7
o'clock the Fifteenth Michigan, Fortieth Illinois, and Forty-sixth Ohio were crossed, and moved
out to Bird-song plantation, and camped for the night:
On the evening of the 7th, marched in direction of Jackson. Arrived near Jackson the evening
of the 9th, and drove in the enemy's pickets.
On the evening of the 11th, took my position as a reserve in rear of the First and Third
Brigades, each day sending one regiment to the front as skirmishers until the morning of the
16th, when General Smith ordered our lines advanced, the Ninety-seventh Indiana, of Cockerill's
brigade, and Sixth Iowa, of Sanford's, as skirmishers, with the Fortieth Illinois and Forty-sixth
Ohio, of my brigade, as support. The Fortieth Illinois was pushed forward in the advance, and
approached within 400 yards of the enemy's fortifications under a most galling fire. The utmost
enthusiasm and gallantry was exhibited by all the officers and men in my brigade that were under
the fire, and I here take occasion to congratulate both officers and men of the entire brigade for
their noble and gallant conduct during the struggle, from the time we approached the enemy's
works until the day we drove them from their stronghold and forced them to retire, routed and
I am, your most obedient servant,
Colonel, Commanding Second Brigade.
Capt. T. J. LOUDON,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
NEAR JACKSON, MISS., July 19, 1863.
SIR: In accordance with your directions, I herewith transmit a detailed account of this
regiment from the 4th of July instant to the 12th instant, when Lieut. Col. W. Smith, Forty-sixth
Ohio Volunteers, was detailed to take command of the regiment.
On the 4th, the regiment, together with the whole brigade, marched from Oak Ridge. Arrived
at Big Black on the morning of the 6th, where two companies (A and H) were thrown forward as
skirmishers. Found the rebels in considerable force on the opposite side of the river. Those
companies were relieved, later in the day, by Companies I and K. The four companies kept up a
busy fire all the time, but had no one either killed or wounded. During the day the regiment, by
details, was engaged, under direction of Lieutenant-Colonel Babcock, in building rafts to cross
the brigade, and the regiment crossed the river in the evening of the 6th. About dark of the same
day, the regiment, together with the Fifteenth Michigan and Forty-sixth Ohio, marched to
Birdsong plantation, the two latter regiments in advance. However, this regiment, being in the
rear, in crossing a deep ditch or gully got separated, and the two leading companies (B and G)
were the only companies that kept with the advance of the column. Finding that they were lost,
the remaining eight companies bivouacked for the night and rejoined the command on the
morning of the 7th. On the afternoon of the same day the regiment, with the division, took up the
line of march, and arrived, without incident worthy of note, about noon in sight of Jackson.
On the 9th, marched in line of battle, and encamped at night near the lunatic asylum,
Companies G and H being in advance as skirmishers.
On the evening of the 11th, the regiment relieved the Sixth Iowa, and were posted in a line of
nearly a mile as skirmishers, where it remained until the evening of the 12th, during which time
the casualties were as follows :
The regiment was relieved on the evening of the 12th by the Forty-sixth Ohio.
On the 13th, we again went upon picket, relieving the Ninety-seventh Indiana, and were
relieved on the 14th by the Ninety-ninth Indiana.
During the afternoon of the 15th, the regiment was engaged destroying about 1 mile of the
Mississippi Central Railroad, burning the ties and heating and bending the rails.
On the 16th, the regiment was ordered to support the Ninety-seventh Indiana in an advance
upon the rebel works. Advanced about 200 yards, under a murderous fire of shot, shell, and
grape from three or four rebel batteries, firing from as many different directions, to a fence,
where the most of the Ninety-seventh Indiana were lying. The men were all ordered to lie down,
while the rebels continued throwing shells, &c., instantly killing Private Isaac W. Jones,
Company K. The casualties during the day, beside this 1 man killed, were:
(Not signed.)
Col. S. G. HICKS,
Commanding Brigade.
NEAR JACKSON, MISS., July 20, 1863.
CAPTAIN: In obedience to instructions from your headquarters, I have the honor of
submitting the following report of casualties in my regiment since the 4th day of July, and
mention of the conduct of my men before Jackson:
The following are the casualties in the skirmish at Big Black on the morning of the 5th of
July and before Jackson:
The skirmishing at Big Black was done by all the companies of the regiment, operating at
different times. The casualties there occurred early in the morning, while the men were badly
exposed to a hidden and well-directed fire from the enemy. Rifle-pits were made soon after, and
we were punished no more.
July 12.--The regiment reported to Colonel Corse, Sixth Iowa Infantry, then in charge of
skirmishers for duty in the front. Here the remainder of the casualties occurred, with the
exception of Sergeant John M.] Case and Private [William] Sherman, wounded on the 16th
instant. On this day the regiment proved its real worth, the men exhibiting excellent judgment,
coolness, and true bravery. The regiment took part in the charge on the 16th instant, evincing
their determination in the cause, with the loss of 2 of our comrades.
I can mention no names; the conduct of each and every officer and man, without one single
exception, could not have been better. I can say now that I have none but brave, good, and true
men, and I feel proud of my command.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel Forty-sixth Ohio Volunteer Infantry.
Capt. T. J. LOUDON,
Actg. Asst. Adjt. Gen., First Division, Sixteenth Army Corps.
NEAR JACKSON, Miss., July 20, 1863.
COLONEL: As to the part taken by the Ninety-seventh Regiment Indiana Volunteers in the
advance upon Jackson, Miss., I have the honor to submit the following report:
Up to the morning of July 16, the Ninety-seventh Regiment had borne an unimportant part,
with the exception of light skirmishing on the picket line, which resulted in the killing of 1 man
and wounding of 1 officer and 5 men, all of which came under your immediate notice, and of
which it is unnecessary to say more at present.
On the morning of the 16th, pursuant to an order from you, I proceeded with my regiment to
relieve the One hundredth Indiana Regiment, then on picket duty on your front, and posted my
men immediately, my right occupying a small grove near the railroad, extending my line as far
east as the Canton dirt road, thus covering a scope of country nearly three-quarters of a mile in
extent. At 10.30 o'clock, I was notified by Colonel Corse, of the Sixth Iowa Regiment, then in
command of all pickets on our division front, that at 11 o'clock there would be an advance of our
entire line, in order, if possible, to ascertain whether the enemy still held their works in force, at
the same time notifying me that the Fortieth Illinois Regiment, under command of Lieutenant-
Colonel Smith, of the Forty-sixth Ohio Regiment, would support me. As I had but half an hour to
prepare for the advance, I proceeded at once to instruct my officers in the signal for our advance,
which was accomplished just as the signal was given. 1 looked around me for my support, but,
owing to the brief notice Colonel Smith had received, it was not there. But, as I said, the signal
had already been given, and all that remained for me to do was to obey my orders to ascertain if
the enemy still occupied their works in force. How well that was done let the sequel show.
My line of skirmishers, as now posted, were about 700 yards from the rebel fortifications,
with a broad open field in front of my right, thus exposing it to the enemy's fire at the first step
forward. In front of my left was a thick wood, in which was posted the Twentieth Mississippi
Regiment as sharpshooters, thus not only exposing my entire line to a murderous fire from the
enemy's artillery, but to the continued fire of two regiments of infantry, posted as skirmishers;
but notwithstanding all the disadvantages we labored under, not an officer or man wavered, but
moved forward under the galling fire of six batteries, showering upon us a perfect storm of grape
and canister, solid shot, and shell, till within from 200 to 300 yards of the enemy's works, while
my extreme left was within less than 100 feet of their battery on the left, from which point they
were able to completely silence two of their guns. Having proceeded thus far, and being well
satisfied that the object of my advance had been accomplished, and that to proceed farther would
be death to every man, as a continual blaze of fire was streaming from the enemy's works all
along their line, and having no support thus far, I felt that I could do nothing more than halt, and,
if possible, hold my present position. At this time I saw, for the first time, my support coming in
on my extreme right, moving forward under a most terrible fire, and occupying a ravine near the
railroad. At 3 p.m. a heavy force of the enemy met and drove back the force on the west of the
railroad, thus leaving my right entirely exposed and outflanked by nearly 200 yards. My support
had also fallen back to the dirt road running parallel to my line, and as my ammunition had all
been exhausted, the right wing was ordered to fall back to the road, which was done and held
permanently. In the mean time the left wing had been supplied with ammunition, and advanced
still nearer the enemy's works, which position they left only to occupy the enemy's work, which
was done at daylight on the morning of the 17th.
During the entire engagement both officers and men behaved with the most daring gallantry,
and to enumerate the conduct of those who distinguished themselves on this occasion would be
to name in detail every officer and man in my command. I must say, however, that I cannot find
words to express my admiration of the conduct of Lieut. Col. A. G. Cavins, in command of the
right wing, and Captain (Acting Major) Death who was wounded while so gloriously leading the
left forward through a perfect storm of iron hail.
Casualties on the 16th :
Killed and wounded previous to the 16th:
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel, Commanding Regiment.
Commanding Brigade.
Jackson, Miss., July 9, 1863.
SIR: I respectfully make the following report of the operations of the Fourth Brigade since
leaving Oak Ridge, Miss., on the evening of the 4th instant:
On the evening of the 6th, this command was ordered to Jones' Ford, on the Big Black River,
to effect a crossing, in conjunction with other troops of the division, who were to cross higher up.
I was instructed That the stream was not more than 3 feet deep, and that infantry could easily
cross at the ford. The guide sent with the Sixth Iowa, having lost the road, led them wandering
through the country, and they did not arrive at the crossing place until 11.30 p.m., having
marched a distance of 10 miles. Upon the arrival of the Sixth Iowa, preparations were made at
once to cross. Men were immediately sent in, and discovered the stream to be so swift and so
deep that not only was it impracticable to ford, but impossible for the men to swim across
carrying their arms. A couple of canoes were finally discovered, lashed together; 3 men were
placed in them and started over. The stream being so swift, and they not having oars or poles,
were swept down the stream, and immediately a fire was opened upon us from the opposite
shore. The command then fell back from the exposed position, and two companies from the
Sixth Iowa thrown along the shore soon silenced the firing. Deeming the crossing to be
impracticable without boats or pontoons, I withdrew the Forty-eighth Illinois from the river, and
they bivouacked for the night. Ordered the Sixth Iowa to picket the river for 2 miles up and
down, and sent word back to the general commanding as to what disposition I had made of my
command. During the night Colonel Corse undertook to get some men across, and had made
three successful trips when the squad on the west bank, waiting to get into the boat, were
discovered by the enemy, and a fire along the entire bank opened, in which the Sixth Iowa
suffered some loss. We continued skirmishing with the enemy all the next day, thereby keeping
their attention from above, and enabling Colonel Cockerill to effect a crossing. We crossed
immediately after Colonel Cockerill's brigade; bivouacked that night about 2 miles from the
river, near Birdsong house.
The next morning the command was ordered to the front about 2 miles. In making this
movement we discovered a rebel camp near Queen's Hill, from which they had fled so
precipitately as to leave nearly all their camp and garrison equipage, a number of small-arms,
their stores, and sick. A few prisoners were captured.
The night of the 7th, we camped at Colonel Robinson's; on the Clinton road.
On July 10, my command took the advance, the right of the division. On passing around to
the north of Jackson, the brigade was ordered back and another brigade thrown in front, and
when within 3 miles of Jackson the brigade was ordered to the rear as a reserve. At about 4 p.m.
the brigade was again thrown to the front, and formed in line of battle, the Sixth Iowa occupying
the right of the line. Two companies of the Sixth Iowa were deployed as skirmishers, and
Colonel Corse took command of them. The lines were then advanced to the Livingston road, and
the remainder of the Sixth Iowa were then deployed as skirmishers to cover the entire front of the
division, connecting with the two companies previously deployed on the left. Colonel Corse then
assumed command of the whole line of skirmishers, and continued in command until our
occupation of Jackson, and I respectfully refer you to his report as to the duty performed by the
brigade as skirmishers.
On the morning of the 16th instant, by direction of Maj. Gen. J. G. Parke, the skirmishers
were ordered to advance and feel strongly the enemy's line at every point in our immediate front.
The Sixth Iowa were then on duty as skirmishers. At the request of Colonel Corse, commanding
line of skirmishers, I placed the Forty-eighth Illinois to support the right of the line, and
accompanied them myself. At the designated signal, the Sixth Iowa pressed forward along the
entire line, capturing some prisoners, killing quite a number, and driving the enemy into their
works. The Forty-eighth Illinois followed them up closely on the right, ready to support the line.
On getting into the open field, clear of the timber, we were opened upon by a terrific artillery
fire, enfilading the line, and also by three regiments of infantry in the enemy's rifle-pits. Seeing it
was impossible to make the enemy's works without a stronger line and support, I ordered the
right to fall back to the cover of the timber. The left of the line (where Colonel Corse was in
person) also about this time fell back under a heavy and galling fire of artillery and musketry.
The entire line fell back in good order, and held the woods until relieved by the Twenty-sixth
Illinois. Too much praise cannot be accorded the officers and enlisted men of this command for
the gallant manner in which they advanced and held the line under the terrific fire. Every officer
and man conducted himself so well that it is hard to particularize them by name. To Col. John M.
Corse, Sixth Iowa Volunteer Infantry, great credit is due for the efficient and prompt movements
of our skirmishers. He was constantly moving along the entire line from the first day we
advanced on Jackson until we occupied the place, and to him is due all the credit for pushing
forward and maintaining our line of skirmishers so close to the enemy's works. Major Miller and
Adjutant Ennis, of the Sixth Iowa, for their conduct and support at the different times they
participated in the above operations, merit a great deal of commendation. Captains Minton and
Bashore, and Lieutenant Holmes, of the Sixth Iowa, are particularly, mentioned as being worthy
of notice in the last action. To Lieut. Col. Lucien Great-house, commanding Forty-eighth Illinois
Volunteers, for the gallant manner in which he commanded the regiment, I must return thanks;
also to Maj. W. J. Stephenson, who was severely wounded. Captain Galbraith, Lieutenants
Keneipp, Walker, Mercer, and Hemler, of the Forty-eighth Illinois, for their gallantry, coolness,
and excellent management of their commands while enduring a scathing fire of shot and shell
from the enemy's batteries, are worthy of honorable mention; and to the entire command, both
officers and enlisted men, too much praise cannot be awarded for the gallant manner in which
they conducted themselves on all occasions.
I append herewith a list of all the casualties occurring in this brigade.
Respectfully submitted.
Colonel Forty- eighth Illinois Vol. Infantry, Comdg. Fourth Brig.
Capt. T. J. LOUDON,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
JACKSON, MISS., July 17, 1863.
LIEUTENANT: In accordance with orders from Col. W. W. Sanford, commanding Fourth
Brigade, First Division, Sixteenth Army Corps, I have the honor to submit to you the following
report of the march of the Forty-eighth Illinois Infantry from Oak Ridge to Jackson, Miss.:
Regiment left Oak Ridge, Miss., July 4, p.m.; arrived at 8 p.m. near Big Black River, and
bivouacked; 7 p.m., July 5, marched to join the Sixth Iowa Infantry, to effect a crossing of Big
Black River. The enemy occupied the opposite bank in some force, and the current being too
strong and deep for this, we bivouacked upon the bank, and relieved the Sixth Iowa on skirmish
duty at 8 a.m., July 6; 3 p.m., same day, the regiment crossed Big Black River and bivouacked
on opposite side, upon the bluff.
July 7, moved in advance. Being joined by the column, in the afternoon we moved forward
and encamped on Queen's Hill.
July 8, p.m., regiment moved from Queen's Hill, and arrived and bivouacked at a point 9
miles from Jackson, Miss., whence we moved upon the right of the road and occupied the
Griffith premises, July 9, p.m.
July 10, moved by left flank in the vicinity of Potter's house, where, and at other points, the
regiment remained skirmishing with the enemy's pickets, and living on very moderate quantities
of hard tack, until the a.m. of July 16, when this regiment moved with others of the First
Division, and advanced toward the enemy's works, a report of which is herewith transmitted.
Very respectfully,
Lieutenant-Colonel Forty eighth Illinois Infantry, Comdg. Regt.
Lieut. E. B. HARLAN,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
Jackson, Miss., July 17, 1863.
LIEUTENANT: In accordance with the order of Col. W. W. Sanford, commanding Fourth
Brigade, First Division, Sixteenth Army Corps, I have the honor to submit to you the following
report of the part taken by the Forty-eighth Illinois Infantry in the skirmish affair of the 16th
At 10.45 a.m. I was ordered to move my command, to be in readiness at 11 a.m. to support
the right of the line of skirmishers of the Sixth Iowa Infantry. I formed the regiment, and moved
by the right flank in columns of wings, and arrived at 11 o'clock at a point in rear of the second
company from the right of the line of skirmishers referred to. Immediately upon my arrival, the
“advance" was sounded on the left of the skirmish line, where I imagined Colonel Corse, Sixth
Iowa, to have been. I formed a line of battle immediately, parallel to the skirmish line, under an
infantry fire of the enemy, and moved to the front to support the skirmishers, who had advanced
over the rifle-pits occupied by our picket line, and forward through the space formerly
intervening between our pickets and those of the enemy, over several ditches or ravines, and a
natural abatis of fallen timber. Having arrived some distance, probably 150 yards, toward the
front, we passed the line of the Sixth Iowa, commanded at that point by Captain Clune, deeming
it impossible for the skirmishers to take a position in front of our line, because of the rising
formation of the open ground in front. Captain Clune said to me that he was, or thought he was,
the extreme advance of the line of skirmishers, which statement I am convinced, from what I
afterward learned of Colonel Corse, was very correct. Under the supervision of Col. W. W.
Sanford, the brigade commander, we moved beyond this to the open ground in the immediate
vicinity of the Mississippi Central Railroad, where we were subjected to a galling fire of
musketry, shell, round shot, and grape from the enemy beyond the railroad and within their
works, from which it was impossible for me but, partially to protect the men by having them lie
upon their faces. This position we held for a quarter of an hour, awaiting the advance of the
skirmish line and the coming of the support I was ordered to expect, but which, for some reason
unknown to myself, never arrived in that vicinity.
During our occupation of this point, Major Stephenson was severely wounded while gallantly
performing the duty assigned him on the left of the battalion, as well as were some 10 noncommissioned
officers and privates, the wounds of two or three of which will probably prove
Receiving no support, and not discovering that any advance of the skirmishers was being
made or contemplated, I established along my front a line of skirmishers, and threw still farther
to the right and front toward the enemy's works a line of vedettes, when I was ordered by
Colonel Sanford to retire my command to a position 50 yards to the rear, and somewhat more
protected than the position we then occupied. I remained some time afterward, waiting for the
Forty-sixth Ohio to arrive, which, I am informed, they failed to do only because they did not
receive the order to advance. Receiving again a peremptory order from Colonel Sanford to retire
to the position indicated, I moved the regiment, under a very severe and raking fire of grape, to
the ravine, which I afterward ascertained to be 310 yards from the enemy's rifle-pits, about the
center of which were three pieces of artillery that from their position were enabled to do terrible
execution all along the edge of the timber, and so placed as to entirely and completely command
the railroad and all the approaches to the enemy's rifle-pits upon the left. Here I had a conference
with Colonel Corse and Major Miller, Sixth Iowa Infantry, who then advanced their skirmishers
some distance ahead of the column. Colonel Corse directed me to hold the ground between my
line and the railroad until relieved or further orders. I so placed my vedettes as to command the
railroad, and threw out flankers beyond and to the right, and requested Captain Clune, Sixth Iowa
Infantry, to supervise and regulate the position of those of my skirmishers along his front, which
he did, and for which I render thanks.
During our stay at this point we were subject at all times to an incessant fire of grape and
canister, that did quite an extensive business--manufacturing and agricultural--in the way of
plowing the ground and making scrub-brooms of the timber. I lost in killed and wounded at this
point by grape and shell 5 men from the guns upon the right.
At 3 o'clock the skirmishers of the Sixth Iowa retired, relieved by others that took position on
the old line, leaving the skirmishers of the Forty-eighth alone in our front. At 3.15 o'clock, the
Twenty-sixth Illinois Infantry reported to relieve the Forty-eighth Regiment. I assisted Captain
Dugger to put his men along the front, to relieve the advance skirmishers, and retired my men to
the column. Having posted his men, I was moving with Captain Dugger to the right of the
column when he was struck dead by a shell that exploded over us. I mention this fact to clear any
doubt that may have existed regarding the proper deportment of this officer, and to intimate that
the inability of his men to hold the ground (for I learn that it was reclaimed by the enemy during
the afternoon) was probably due to the death of Captain Dugger, whom they thought their proper
commanding officer.
Being properly relieved, I retired to my old camp, in accordance with orders given me.
All the officers and men under my command conducted themselves bravely and becomingly,
and all are certainly deserving of commendation. I have particularly to return thanks to
Lieutenant Keneipp, in charge of skirmishers, and Captain Galbraith and Lieutenants Walker,
Mercer, and Hemler for their gallantry, coolness, and excellent management of their commands
while enduring a scathing fire of shot and shell from the enfilading batteries upon the front and
Hoping that this may prove satisfactory, I have the honor to be, lieutenant, most respectfully,
yours, &c.,
Lieutenant-Colonel Forty-eighth Illinois, Commanding Regiment.
Lieut. E. B. HARLAN,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.