Jackson, Miss., July 17, 1863.
CAPTAIN: On the 16th instant, being in command of the skirmishers of the First Division,
Sixteenth Army Corps, I was ordered by Major-General Parke, commanding Ninth Army Corps,
to which this division is attached, to move on the enemy's works along our entire front, for the
purpose of ascertaining their strength, position, and localities of their batteries.
The following disposition was made of the troops under my command: The Sixth Iowa
Infantry, on the right, deployed as skirmishers parallel to the Jackson and Canton Railroad, about
the length of four companies from the junction of the Livingston road and the Jackson and
Canton Railroad, then making an acute angle with the Jackson and Canton Railroad, running
southwesterly, the right resting on the Jackson and Vicksburg Railroad.
The Ninety-seventh Indiana, on the left, deployed as skirmishers along the Livingston road,
forming a right angle with the line on the Jackson and Canton Railroad, reaching to the Canton
road. The entire line was supported on the right by the Forty-eighth Illinois Infantry, on the left
by the Fortieth Illinois Infantry, and in the center by the Forty-sixth Ohio Infantry.
At the signal designated at 11 a.m. by the general commanding, Colonel Catterson, of the
Ninety-seventh Indiana, whom I placed in command of the line left of the Jackson and Canton
Railroad, moved forward briskly over the crest behind which they lay, down the slope of the
ravine immediately in their front, and up the crest of the opposite slope. The whole line from the
first (the ground being open fields) was exposed to a galling fire of musketry from the parapet of
the enemy's works, and, when fairly exposed, descending the first slope, the batteries of the
enemy commenced playing with terrible effect. The Fortieth Illinois, commanded by Lieutenant-
Colonel Smith, of the Forty-sixth Ohio Infantry, observing the Ninety-seventh Indiana clearing
the ravine, gallantly followed them at a close supporting distance, and, under an intense
musketry and cannonading, took position in the bottom of a ravine along a fence, and held the
line till the Ninety-seventh Indiana were compelled to fall back to them from the crest they had
gained. This line was maintained till late in the afternoon, when the two regiments, finding that
the enemy were trying to throw several regiments on their right flank, fell back to their old line
along the Livingston road. The fire to which both of these regiments were exposed was
exceedingly severe. The conduct of the officers and men commands the highest praise.
The end accomplished by this part of the reconnaissance was the discovery of a two-gun
battery between Colonel Withers' house and the Canton road, a line of rifle-pits about 200 yards
in front of their main works, crossing the Canton road and protected by a rough abatis, two guns
enfilading the Livingston road, and a three-gun battery in the northwest salient commanding the
natural glacis or slope, extending from their main work to the intersection of the Livingston road
and Jackson and Canton Railroad.
I assumed command of the line formed by the Sixth Iowa Infantry, and at the designated
signal the men dashed forward with a shout, met the line of the enemy's skirmishers and pickets,
drove them back, capturing some 18 or 20, and killed as many more. Clearing the timber, they
rushed out into the open fields, across the railroad, over the fence, up a gentle slope, across the
crest, down into the enemy's line, where two field batteries of four guns each, fronting west,
opened a terrific cannonading. The enemy were driven from two pieces at the point of the
bayonet, our men literally running them down. In rear of the batteries two regiments were lying
down, supporting the gunners, and at our approach they opened along their line, causing most of
the casualties that occurred in this gallant regiment. With such impetuosity did the line go
through the field, that the enemy, so completely stunned were they, would have precipitately fled
had they not been reassured by a large gun battery, nearly 600 yards to our right, which enfiladed
the railroad and line of skirmishers. Startled at this unexpected obstacle, which was now in full
play, throwing its whirlwind of grape and canister about us until the corn fell as if before an
invisible reaper, I ordered the bugler to sound the "lie down." The entire line fell in the corn
rows, and I had an opportunity to look around, knowing my men were safe. On my right,
extending across the railroad, the enemy had a battery of three iron guns. I judged them to be,
from their size, 32-pounders, although they may have been only 10 or 20 pounder Parrotts. To
my right and front I saw two more guns projecting through embrasures in direct range, and in my
front was a field battery of four guns, two of which the gunners had fled from and my men were
lying around them. In their rear I saw two flags and a line of men, I supposed about two
regiments; on my left was another field battery and another line of men. To pass through the
batteries, cross the regiments in our front, ascend the hill, and get inside of their main works was
more than I could accomplish with the slender but gallant line lying on my left and right, and
feeling that I bad obtained all the information I could, I ordered the "rise up" and "retreat," which
I must confess was done in the most admirable manner under the fire of at least three regiments
and seven guns, three of those enfilading my line. But few of those who had so gallantly charged
the battery got back. I cannot speak in too extravagant terms of the officers and men of the Sixth
Iowa on this occasion. They obeyed my commands with a promptness and rapidity I hardly could
have expected from them on a parade. If they challenged my praise at the impetuosity of their
advance, which I found so rapid as to cause me to fear that I could not keep up with them, they
awakened the profoundest admiration at the coolness with which they retired, returning the
incessant firing of the enemy as they slowly fell back. The Forty-eighth Illinois, commanded by
Lieutenant-Colonel Greathouse, handsomely supported the right of the line and held the ground
gained at a severe loss. Major Stephenson, of the Forty-eighth, was severely wounded while
aiding in securing our new position.
Colonel Sanford, commanding the Fourth Brigade, elicited my warmest praise for his
conduct on the field in my aid, and commands my thanks for his generous conduct in invariably
assisting me, by advice or re-enforcements from his gallant command, along the line of
skirmishers since our arrival before Jackson.
The Forty-sixth Ohio Infantry, commanded by Colonel Walcutt, failed to get the notice to
support the center till we had advanced. He, however, hastily advanced and arrived on the field
as we were retiring, and generously assisted us in every way, relieving our tired and wounded
men and covering our weakest points.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Col., Comdg. Skirmishers, First Division, Sixteenth Army Corps.
Jackson, Miss., July 18, 1863.
SIR: I respectfully make the following report of the operations of this command since leaving
Oak Ridge, Miss, on the evening of the 4th instant, and our arrival at Hill's house, on the Big
On the evening of the 5th instant, this regiment was ordered to Jones' Ford, on the Big Black,
to effect a crossing, in conjunction with the Forty-eighth Illinois Infantry. I was instructed that
the stream was not more than 3 feet deep, and that infantry could easily cross. The guide sent
with the command, not knowing the route, led us, from about 6 p.m. till about 11.30 p.m.,
through field, forest, creeks, over highland and lowland, a distance of from 8 to 10 miles,
whereas it was but 2 miles, and that by a good road the greater portion of the way. There I met
Colonel Sanford, the brigade commander, who had awaited our coming over two hours, when we
started an hour before and should have been across by that time. He, not finding us there,
supposed he had been misguided, and did not undertake to cross. On arriving, we immediately
sent some men 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, and 3 men placed in them, and started over.
The stream being so swift, and not having oars or poles, they were swept down the stream, and
immediately a fire opened upon us from the opposite shore. The command fell back from the
exposed position, and two companies thrown along the shore soon silenced the firing.
Colonel Sanford, deeming the thing impracticable without boats or pontoons, withdrew part
of the command, sent word back to the general commanding to that effect, and ordered me to
picket the river for 2 miles up and down the stream. I had the boat brought; up, and Private
[William] Miller, Company H, volunteered to take some men across, and had made successfully
three trips, concealing the men a short distance below our position under the opposite bank. The
squad on the west bank, waiting to get into the boat, to cross, were discovered by the enemy
about daylight, and a fire along the entire bank opened. I withdrew everything from that point,
pushed three companies above, and attacked them so as to cover the recrossing of my men on the
other side. The ruse succeeded. Not knowing of their whereabouts, the enemy, seeing us Pall
back, and hearing the fire above, followed and kept up an incessant musketry. While this was
continuing, Private Miller, Company H, went back and forth and reconvened the men he had
crossed, with a very slight loss. I withdrew everything but a line of skirmishers, which replied so
well to the firing of the enemy as to induce them to believe we would endeavor to force that
point, and caused them to withdraw from above, and permitted our forces to effect a crossing.
The Forty-eighth Illinois relieved us, continued to attract the attention of the enemy, and in
the afternoon Colonel Sanford quietly withdrew the regiment, and the brigade went above and
crossed on a flat. The next morning the Fourth Brigade was ordered to the front, and this
regiment supported the Forty-eighth Illinois Infantry in driving the rebels from their camp, near
Queen's Hill, from which they fled so precipitately as to leave nearly all their camp and garrison
equipage, a large number of small-arms, commissary stores, and their sick. A few prisoners were
captured, belonging, respectively, to the Sixth Texas Cavalry, Walker's [?.] cavalry, and
Jackson's cavalry. The night of the 7th we camped between Queen's Hill and Clinton. The 8th
and 9th instant we marched with the division to within 4 miles of Jackson and bivouacked.
Friday, July 10, Sanford's brigade took the advance, and this regiment furnished the skirmishers
covering the right of the division. On passing around to the north of Jackson, the brigade was
ordered back, the skirmishers withdrawn, and another brigade thrown to the front, and again,
when within 3 miles of Jackson, the brigade was ordered to the rear as a reserve, and about 4
p.m. the brigade was moved to the front again. Two companies of the Sixth were ordered by
Colonel Sanford to deploy as skirmishers, and I took charge of them. I pushed them across the
Jackson and Canton Railroad, by direction of Colonel Sanford, so that our left just touched the
lunatic asylum, and then I changed direction, and moved up beyond the line of the Ninth Army
Corps, about a halt' mile toward Jackson, on the Canton road.
The enemy lay in ambush north of the Petrie house, but were driven out by the skirmishers,
and never stopped till they got inside their works, which were visible from the Petrie house. Here
I received word that a line which protected our right flank, under Major Giesy, had been ordered
back by General Smith, and I halted the men, and directed Adjutant Ennis to take command and
hold that line until I could see Major Giesy. He declined remaining, as his orders were
peremptory, and I sent an orderly to Adjutant Ennis to fall back slowly, and I rode back at full
speed to get permission from the general to remain where we were. I saw him, and he informed
me that Colonel Sanford had deployed my regiment so as to cover the front of the division, and
directed me to connect the line left of the Jackson and Canton Railroad with that on the right, and
to take charge of the skirmishers, and that the several brigades would support me, push up the
Jackson and Canton Railroad, keeping my lines at right angles with that road.
In accordance with these instructions, I moved the line until the enemy made a stand on our
left, when I massed Companies D and F and charged them, driving them through the woods into
their own works. They fired several houses to prevent our attacking their works. Having gained a
good position on the left, I halted it till the right should connect, as we had separated in making
the charge. I found the right had been halted by order of Colonel Sanford, and, connecting the
two lines by pickets, we lay in that position till the next morning, when we received orders to
advance, changing direction to the left. The line moved under a very sharp fire, until I found it
impossible to get the rebels from in front of our center without massing and charging again.
Companies K, E, and B were put in line, and, with a yell and bayonets fixed, they drove them out
of the ditch they held, killing and wounding quite a number. The ground gained was held, and
after forty hours of the most arduous labor the regiment was relieved by another line.
On the morning of the 16th instant, Major-General Parke directed me to assume command of
the skirmishers and push them so as to feel strongly the enemy's line at every point in our
immediate front. The left I placed in charge of the colonel of the Ninety-seventh Indiana, and
assumed command of the line formed by the Sixth Iowa, supported by Sanford's brigade. At the
designated signal, the line pressed forward, capturing some prisoners (so impetuously did they
go), killing quite a number, clearing the forest, railroad, fences, corn-fields in their front, driving
the enemy into their works. On arriving about 100 yards from their main works, we were opened
upon by a battery of siege guns, enfilading our line, and a battery of brass howitzers in our
immediate front, supported by three regiments of infantry. Under this terrific fire it was
impossible to make the works, so I ordered the "lie down" to be sounded until I could reconnoiter
in person.
After convincing myself that the works could not be captured--that I had all the information
the general desired from this reconnaissance--I ordered the men to rise and fall back in the
woods, which they did in good order, and held the woods till next morning, when the line entered
the place.
To Major Miller and Adjutant Ennis I am under obligations for their conduct and support at
the different times they participated in the above operations. Captains Minton and Bashore and
Lieutenant Holmes are particularly worthy of notice in the last action, and there is no officer of
my command but that in some way has rendered himself worthy of honorable mention at some
one of the affairs during our advance on Jackson.
Below I have the honor to submit the casualties of the command since leaving Oak Ridge.
I am, very respectfully, yours,
Colonel, Commanding.
Lieut. E. B. HARLAN,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
Memphis, Tenn., February 2, 1863.
[Maj. Gen. U.S. GRANT:]
GENERAL: The Eighty-seventh Illinois Infantry will arrive here today. The Tenth Missouri
Cavalry is all here but one company. The Second Wisconsin Cavalry from Helena, and a
battalion First Missouri Cavalry are here. The Fifteenth Regulars from Columbus are here. The
First Regulars from Corinth are under orders, and will be here in a day or two. I have ordered the
Thirty-fourth Wisconsin (en route) to be stopped at Columbus, and that portion of Thirty-fifth
Iowa there to go to Tuttle, at Cairo. I think I shall send the Tenth Cavalry, Colonel Cornyn, to
Dodge, at Corinth, but Dodge is nearly starved for forage, and I may want the regiment here, for
I learn of something every day that confirms the indications that Van Dorn is ready to move on
this road as soon as these divisions of Logan's and Quinby's get away. Undoubted information of
yesterday says Van Dorn has returned from Tupelo, and moved across Yalabusha, at Grenada,
with considerable artillery, moving on railroad, which is running to Coffeeville. Repairs on
railroad were about complete to Oxford.
General Stanley reports to me to-day that a noted secessionist near his camp said yesterday
that no great resistance would be offered at Vicksburg, but that the rebel army would overrun
West Tennessee and Kentucky as soon as your forces were diverted down the river. I do not give
much credence to such a report, but I have little doubt Van Dorn, with all his cavalry and a
division of infantry, will move on this railroad. If he comes, I hope to make him sick of the
Quinby seems averse to going down the river, and wished me to speak to you about it. He
must tell you his own reasons. I found, much to my surprise, yesterday, an order from your
headquarters directing Captain [Asher R.] Eddy to sell all the cotton in Government possession,
and it was advertised to be sold to-day. Believing you have not understood the matter fully, I
ordered a postponement of sale until you could investigate and decide. It will not do to sell the
cotton and pay to the owners 25 cents per pound, the price to be paid by speculators. If the
Government has any claim on the cotton, it owns its full value, If the owners can establish their
claims, it will not be for a fraction of the value, but for it all. Either the cotton is liable to
confiscation and belongs entirely to the Government, or it must all be given to the owners. 1
mean all the value of the cotton. Some of the claims have been established beyond cavil, and it
was to avoid any trouble to you that I have had the sale postponed. If the Government will make
a rule to buy all the cotton, taking it out of traders' hands entirely, then it will be fairly entitled to
what profit can be made between purchase and sale; but the seizure of the cotton gives the
Government no right to a profit or to take the profits by force out of the legitimate traders' hands.
Hoping you will soon be here to examine these matters in person, I am, most respectfully,
P. S.--Have just received a note from Hurlbut, saying he leaves Cairo for Memphis to-night.
February 3, 1863--6 a.m.
Maj. Gen. C. S. HAMILTON,
Commanding District of West Tennessee, Memphis, Tenn.:
Island No. 10 is attacked by rebel cavalry and artillery, numbering 3,000 or 4,000. W. C.
Hanford, executive officer U.S. gunboat New Era, reports so in person. One hundred and fifty
men of the Thirty-fifth Iowa leave immediately on tow-boat Stephen Bayard and 400 by steamer
Emma, to re-enforce the small garrison. I send also ammunition for the two guns reported as
serviceable on the island. Will you permit the withdrawal of our troops from Union City to take
the rebels in the rear? I want cavalry badly to occupy Hickman and Clinton. Can we not get
them from Saint Louis? Another gunboat, in addition to the New Era, would be of great service
to prevent the occupation of the island by the rebels.
Columbus, Ky., February 5, 1863---2 p.m.
Maj. Gen. C. S. HAMILTON,
Commanding District of West Tennessee, Memphis, Tenn.:
Returned last night from Island No. 10. Was unable to find any trace of the rebel force
reported by the gunboat officer, William C. Hanford. Only small bands of rebel guerrillas are
swarming around.
I ordered that seven guns be immediately unspiked and properly remounted, for the defense
of the island, and balance, seventy-two guns, with carriages and other valuable ordnance stores,
be shipped to Memphis.
Colonel Bissell left yesterday on the Sam. Young, with a portion of the ordnance stores. The
rest will follow as soon as I can get from Memphis or Saint Louis a boat with a sufficiently
strong forecastle for the shipment.
Shall I send more guns from here also, beside the seventy-two above mentioned?
The Thirty-fifth Iowa is back, and already at Cairo, except two companies, left temporarily at
Island No. 10.
I have sent reports by Major [John R.] Edie and Colonel Bissell. Everything is right here. At
Fort Donelson the rebels were handsomely whipped, as telegraphed yesterday, by Major
[Thomas J.]Newsham. At Trenton were killed, wounded, and captured 34 of [W. A.] Dawson's
guerrilla band; 26 horses and 28 stand of arms taken.
Colonel Wood commanded our forces.
HDQRS. FISK'S DIV., Helena, Ark., February 10, 1863.
Maj. Gen. SAMUEL R. CURTIS, Saint Louis:
MY DEAR GENERAL: Your valued favor of the 3d instant is received. I thank you for its
kind words of encouragement, and your counsel touching prudence, courage, and faith.
Personally I was not at all pleased with the change, though temporarily, which has transferred me
from your command, yet I know it to be best that all the forces below Cairo be under one
command until the Mississippi River is again open to the commerce of the Northwest, and I wish
very much you had command of the down-river expedition. We require prudent heads in this
campaign. Unless caution prevails, the loss in life will be terrible. We ought not to be
slaughtered when a little time and strategy must give us every rebel stronghold between here and
New Orleans. I saw General Grant when he passed down, a few days since; he seems to
comprehend the great work before us. I hope he will receive the cordial co-operation of all his
subordinates, and that victory may be ours when again we "fall in" before the Gibraltar of
Matters at Helena are considerably mixed. General Gorman by some means has led the
people to believe that he has been quite devoted to the cotton business. I am inclined to think he
is very much misrepresented in this matter. I fear his sons--both of them have resigned and gone
home-- have prejudiced the general by some imprudences. It is very difficult for a man of
General Gorman's temperament to get along smoothly with such a conglomeration as that of
Helena's military cotton and contraband population.
I am sorry to see that certain correspondents for the papers at the North have written in such
strain about the last expedition up White River. It was not the fault of General Gorman that the
rebels had fled from Saint Charles and Devall's Bluff. If the rascals would not stay and be
whipped handsomely, we were not to blame. The joint expedition into Arkansas, as arranged by
Generals McClernand and Gorman and Admiral Porter, one party to go up the Arkansas and the
other one to go up the White River, was a good project beyond doubt, and had the water in the
Arkansas been of sufficient depth to float the iron-clads, and McClernand been enabled thereby
to go to Little Rock, the people would have said, "How admirably the expedition was arranged!
General Gorman has driven the rebels from White River right into General McClernand's trap!"
The water was not in the Arkansas. We became satisfied that there were no rebels in force above
Des Arc, and came back.
The satisfaction of knowing what was going on in the interior of this State, and making the
demonstration we did, was worth the cost.
General German's very peculiar manner and method of "doing things" has not made him
popular with the officers of this army, and they all, or nearly all, treat him as no superior should
be treated, however great his peculiarities. I have no trouble with the general. I will not have with
him or anybody else. Shall do all I can to sustain him in his movements against the rebels, even
though he does not do it just as I think I would do under the same circumstances. We are all
human, and miserable sinners at that. I desire to do my whole duty; will labor to learn, and will
ask wisdom from Him who holdeth the destinies of nations in His hands.
I have a fine division, composed of Missouri, Iowa, and Wisconsin troops; have four Iowa
infantry regiments--Twenty-fourth, Twenty-ninth, Thirty-third, and Thirty-sixth. My hands,
heart, and head are constantly employed. I am doing all I can to improve the sanitary condition
of the army and the town. If General Grant would give me the command of this post, I would
make a good effort at regeneration and purification. I fear a pestilence, unless "the powers that
be" move vigorously in reform.
I am, faithfully, your friend,
Memphis, Tenn., February 16, 1863.
Lieut. Col. JOHN A. RAWLINS,
Assistant Adjutant-General:
SIR: I have certain information that Van Dorn, with four brigades of mounted men,
commanded by [W. H.] Jackson, [R.] McCulloch, [J. W.] Whitfield, and [F. C.] Armstrong, with
twelve pieces of artillery and a heavy train, is moving by Burleson, in Franklin County,
Alabama, to the east of Bear Creek. I think he proposes to cross at Florence, and to remain in
Middle Tennessee and operate in rear of Rosecrans. I have telegraphed to General Rosecrans and
to the naval officer at Cairo to push a gunboat up.
As I am satisfied this will remove nearly all cavalry from my front, at the suggestion of
General Hamilton, I have ordered Grierson's brigade to cross the headwaters of the Tallahatchee
to the Yalabusha, by way of Pontotoc, cut the wires, destroy bridges, and demonstrate in that
neighborhood, while the Second Iowa Cavalry, Colonel Hatch, pushes night and day toward the
main road between Meridian and Vicksburg, if possible to destroy the bridge across Pearl River,
in rear of Jackson, and do as much damage as possible on that line, returning by the best course
they can make. It appears perilous, but I think it can be done and done with safety, and may
relieve you somewhat at Vicksburg. To cover this movement, I shall at the same time send Lee
toward Holly Springs, to go to the Tallahatchee or to threaten it sufficiently to make them burn
the bridge, and then sweep round toward Panola and Hernando, enveloping [G. L.] Blythe's force
and driving them to the Nonconnah or into the swamp. Dodge's cavalry are in Alabama, hanging
around Van Dorn and de laying him by burning bridges in his front. They have taken several
prisoners right out of his column, which, by [reason] of the miserable roads, is very long.
I shall gradually move out the cavalry now here as soon as the roads permit, and concentrate
force enough to whip Van Dorn as he comes back, if he does come back. At present the roads are
I desire by the expedition of Lee to ascertain the practicability of reaching the opening
through the Yazoo Pass, so as to be ready to clear your ground should you determine to land
The city of Memphis has more iniquity in it than any place since Sodom, but certain
examples are being made which may do good. As soon as McPherson's corps leaves, I shall be
able to keep better order. Your obedient servant,
COLUMBUS, KY., March 4, 1863.
Major-General HURLBUT,
Comdg. Sixteenth Army Corps, Memphis, Tenn.:
I received from Fort Donelson to-day the following telegram:
I do not think this post is in danger. Van Dorn is about the mouth of Duck River, 40 miles
To reach Donelson from that point the rebels would have to go back again to the divide ridge,
and thence follow a zigzag course, with great delay, as they cannot proceed along the river across
the many sloughs at present. My impression is, therefore, that Van Dorn will attempt to cross the
Tennessee to Huntingdon, &c., a la Forrest.
I direct Colonel Moore, at Union City, to send out scouting parties in that direction
frequently. Besides the Fortieth Iowa Regiment, I have sent no other troops away, but hold them
in readiness.
I communicate to General Sullivan above telegram.
Memphis, Tenn., March 14, 1863.
Lieut. Col. JOHN A. RAWLINS, Assistant Adjutant-General:
SIR: Colonel Dougherty, at Paducah, having telegraphed that Fort Heiman was occupied by
rebel forces, I ordered General Asboth, with two regiments and a battery, to disperse any force
there before they obtained a lodgment. I have heard from him at Paducah on his way up. I am
informed by General Rosecrans that he does not think any serious movement is intended there,
but that our expedition will answer a good purpose.
Colonel Hatch, with Second Iowa Cavalry, destroyed the bridge across the Tallahatchee
thoroughly in the face of a considerable force of the rebel cavalry, without loss. Grierson started
from La Grange, and, by forced march, surprised [R. V.] Richardson's camp, near Covington,
killing 25 and capturing 68. The remainder took to the bushes. His camp and camp equipage
were burned. Lieutenant-Colonel Wallace, moving from Germantown for the same purpose,
captured Colonel [R. F.] Looney, Thirty-eighth Tennessee, 3 officers, and several men. Among
the number is the notorious Cushman, who is wounded in the arm.
I have telegraphed to Saint Louis for 1,500 horses to remount the cavalry and get them into
condition for hard service. Lauman's division (Fourth) is now camped along the city lines, about
2 miles from courthouse. No special news of interest in this vicinity. I inclose copies of
telegrams which strongly indicate the abandonment of Vicksburg. I submit them for what they
are worth. It has been my opinion for some days that they will not risk a large army about
Vicksburg, and that you may expect, as soon as foothold for any large force is obtained on the
east side of Yazoo, that they will retire. Fifty desperate men with small boats, it appears to me,
might drop unperceived past Vicksburg to the month of Big Black, and pulling up that stream
through the swamps, now overflowed, could destroy the bridge over it. I do not think they dread
anything in that shape or from that direction, and suggest it at this distance to the consideration
of those who can judge better on the spot.
Your obedient servant,
Near Saint Genevieve, Mo., March 14, 1863.
Headquarters General Grant's Army, before Vicksburg:
SIR: By orders, of which the inclosed is a copy, I am directed to proceed, on the arrival of
transports, to join the forces under Maj. Gen. U. S. Grant. This command consists of a little over
5,000 men, with one battery of rifled 6-pounders and two companies of cavalry, forming my
escort and provost guard. Capt. C. H. Dyer, assistant adjutant-general, who bears this
communication, will present you with the return for the last ten days, and give what other
information may be required. This command is part of the force which has during the past winter
been operating under Brigadier-General Davidson in Southeastern Missouri. It comprises the
whole of his First Division, under Brig. Gen. William P. Benton, five regiments and one battery,
and half his Second Division, three Iowa regiments, under Col. W. M. Stone, Twenty-second
Iowa. The whole will form what I suppose would be a small division in your army, but I do not
like to reorganize, because I would, in forming two brigades, be obliged to reduce General
Benton's command, and I prefer to wait till I am permanently assigned in your army. In the mean
time General Benton's division is thoroughly organized for any immediate service, as is also the
part of the division under Colonel Stone, which really consists of his original brigade. General
Benton's date is April 28, 1862; mine is March 7, 1862. The troops are in fine health and spirits,
and pleased with the prospect of serving under General Grant. Welfley's battery, First Missouri
Artillery, belongs to this command, but has been detached to Cape Girardeau. General Davidson
promised that it should be returned to me, but I think it doubtful whether I get it. I hope the
general will send orders where to report by the return of Captain Dyer.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
LEBANON NO. 2, Tallahatchee River, Miss., March 25, 1863.
Brigadier-General Ross, Commanding Division:
GENERAL: In obedience to orders from Brigadier-General Quinby, communicated to me
through your headquarters, the steamers Citizen and Lebanon have been placed in readiness to
get under way for Helena to-morrow morning at daylight, and the detail of guards for each
steamer ordered and on board.
Will you allow me, general, to suggest that it is hardly prudent to separate this amount of
transportation from my brigade at present. I have just returned to my quarters from an interview
with Acting Commodore Foster and Captain Walke, senior officers of the naval depart merit of
this expedition. I am assured by both of them that unless they receive orders from Admiral
Porter, directing them to remain here and wait re-enforcements of additional iron-clads and
ammunition, they will weigh anchor for the Mississippi River, via Moon Lake, on the 1st
proximo, and quite probably before that date, and they have no expectation of receiving orders to
remain. In the event of their departure, I suppose the army will follow. The transports leaving
here to-morrow morning cannot make the round trip before the 6th of April under the most
favorable circumstances, and some of them will without any doubt put themselves in condition
not to return. My command now crowd the transports assigned me, and the sickness in my
brigade is fearfully increasing. It would be simply murdering my men to crowd them, as it would
be necessary to do should we be ordered away before the return of the boats, and then is it
probable that other transports will be sent into this expedition empty, to take the place of these
which are expected to return with other troops? It seems to me that every foot of transportation
now here should be retained until our situation is better known, or at least until our naval officers
receive orders, or decide to remain here without orders.
Nearly two hundred new-made [graves] at Helena contain the bodies of men of my command
who were murdered outright by crowding them into dirty, rotten transports, as closely as slaves
in the "middle passage." It was a crime against humanity and Heaven, the packing of our brave
soldiers on the White River expedition. You will, therefore, excuse me, general, if I earnestly
protest against any probable repetition of such an outrage upon the gallant men who confidently
believe that I will do all I can to insure their comfort and safety, without prejudice to the good
cause for which they will cheerfully fight.
The company from the Twenty-ninth Iowa, on the Luella, lost all their arms and clothing by
the sinking of that staunch vessel, and one of my best officers, Lieutenant Nash, will doubtless
die from injuries received thereby.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Before Vicksburg, April 2, 1863.
Maj. Gen. STEPHEN A. HURLBUT, Comdg. Sixteenth Army Corps:
GENERAL: I understand that the Fourteenth, Twelfth, Eighth, and Thirty-fourth Iowa
Regiments are under orders to report to me. You may direct the Fourteenth to be left at Cairo,
and the Thirty-fifth, now at Cairo, to come here. The remainder of these regiments send here
Very respectfully,
Memphis: Tenn., April 10, 1863.
Brig. Gen. W. S. SMITH, La Grange, Tenn.:
The time for our projected cavalry movement is rapidly approaching. General Dodge, in
connection with General Rosecrans, is about to move on Tuscumbia. After taking that place,
Rosecrans' cavalry will move rapidly to break the Georgia Central Railroad, under cover of my
infantry brigade at Tuscumbia, and the Marine Brigade, of Ellet, now on their way to report to
As soon as this movement is inaugurated, and the attention of the enemy drawn to that part of
our line, your three regiments of cavalry will strike out by the way of Pontotoc, breaking off
right and left, cutting both roads, destroying the wires, burning provisions, and doing all the
mischief they can, while one regiment ranges straight down to Selma or Meridian, breaking the
east and west road thoroughly, and sweeping back by Alabama. Rosecrans' cavalry will return
through North Alabama, and thus cut the road from Corinth a second time.
My present advices from Rosecrans are that about Wednesday of next week it will be
necessary for Dodge to move. I shall, therefore, expect your cavalry to be got into the best order
possible, both by grooming and care and by rest and feed. Let no exertion be spared in this
matter. I hope to have horses; if not, and there are supplies of horses in Grierson's regiment or
Prince's, have them appraised and bought in for the United States, and turned over to the Second
Iowa. Let no horses be sold or sent out of the command.
I shall send the Seventh Kansas on Sunday to Corinth. I have now 100 horses for them, and
want 60 more. I have telegraphed for Grierson to return at once, and expect him before
Wednesday. Let the horses be all carefully shod.
Final instructions as to the course, &c., will reach you in time.
As this, if accomplished, will be a great thing, I am specially desirous that nothing interfere
with the proper execution so far as the means in our power will admit. The corresponding
movements from this place and Germantown will be directed by myself.
Chalmers has only about 1,800 men and one battery; no infantry. They are at Panola and
Coldwater, near Senatobia. I have requested Prentiss to throw a force in his rear from Helena.
Hope he will do it.
Your obedient servant,
MEMPHIS, TENN., April 26, 1863.
Lieut. Col. JOHN A. RAWLINS, Asst. Adjt. Gen., Dept. of Tennessee:
SIR: I learn from Dodge that he occupied Tuscumbia on 24th, and proposed to take Florence
on 25th. Quite a brisk skirmish on Little Bear Creek. Loss not reported, if any. Johnston sent
word to troops at Tuscumbia that he could not re-enforce. Great consternation from the belief
that Dodge is the head of a column to attack Johnston in flank and rear.
Colonel Streight pushes out to-day on his trip. Dodge feels confident of his position.
The column under General Smith dispersed Chalmers, capturing many small-arms,
principally shot-guns, 230 horses and mules, and a number of wagons of provisions and supplies.
Our troops are now all at their stations. Nothing further from Grierson.
The Second Iowa Cavalry is reported to have destroyed barracks, stores, and railroad at
Okolona and Tupelo and at other points. They are not in yet, and may have some trouble, but
Hatch will take care of himself and his men. Everything, so far as I can learn, is moving well on
this line, though Chalmers may make a dash to pass our railroad or capture a train. The men are
in splendid health. Hospitals much reduced, and room enough for patients from below.
Your obedient servant,
Memphis, Tenn., April 28, 1863.
Lieut. Col. JOHN A. RAWLINS, Asst. Adjt. Gen. Milliken's, La.:
Asboth reported night before last that Cape Girardeau, now garrisoned by McNeil, was
attacked by Marmaduke. I directed him to send two regiments of infantry there from Columbus,
with a section of artillery, and squadron of Fourth Missouri Cavalry, which has been done. They
are to return to Columbus as soon as troops come down from Saint Louis.
I am now temporarily mounting the Sixth Iowa Infantry on horses and mules captured in the
Chalmers expedition, and shall send them, with the Second Iowa Cavalry and Fourth Illinois, to
meet Grierson on his return, and disperse any force that may be gathering to annoy or impede
him. Grierson has the Sixth and Seventh Illinois, and is, I think, strong enough to come through.
Loring has moved to Grenada from Greenwood, but, I think, not in time to interfere with
Your obedient servant,
CAMP OPPOSITE GRAND GULF, May 6, 1863--12 m.
Major-General BLAIR:
DEAR GENERAL: I sent you orders to follow us, leaving two regiments at Richmond and
two at Milliken's Bend, to be relieved by others from Memphis, when these regiments are to
follow and overtake us. General Grant has ordered one brigade of McArthur's division, also, to
remain, and the other to join him. The steamboats here are poor concerns, except the Forest
Queen, and the ferrying across will be a slow process. I would not be surprised if you would
overhaul us before we are all across.
General Grant wants the commanding officer at Milliken's Bend, General Sullivan, I
suppose, to call in all the troops on this road, and occupy the road from my old headquarters to a
point below Warrenton. The road will need a good deal of work. You may send in to Milliken's
Bend all at Richmond, and see that all detachments of my corps either keep along ahead of you,
or return to Milliken's Bend, to be put on that road.
Steamboats, after passing us over to Grand Gulf, will run up to get supplies there, viz, on the
west bank, below Warrenton. You will find plenty of forage along this road, especially this end
of it, viz, from Perkins' to Hard Times. Your map is correct as far as Perkins' place, which is at
the lower end of Bayou Vidal. From Perkins' to this point the road is well marked, following
Lake Saint Joseph, along which you will find some magnificent plantations. At Dr. Bowers' you
can send across the lake in a boat, and procure plenty of beef, hogs, and sheep. Corn is to be
found in all the stables, and from Dr. Bowers' to this place there is growing wheat, oats, and
corn, on which you can feed your horses. The whole distance from Milliken's Bend to Hard
Times plantation is 63 miles; road cannot be mistaken;, better at this end than at yours.
Steele overtook his command, and rode in about an hour ago, and has gone back a mile or so
to give the necessary orders for embarkation. I will cross over to-night, and will try and send you
back all possible orders and information; but in case of accident follow us to Grand Gulf, and
farther, according to the news that meets you there.
Yesterday Grant was at Hankinson's Ferry, 18 miles out of Grand Gulf, on the south side of
Big Black, the enemy facing him on the north bank. No fight since the one near Port Gibson. The
Fourth Iowa Cavalry has just reported to me. It will cross over and join Grant. The other
regiment will remain under General Sullivan, or commanding officer at Milliken's Bend. I am
deeply grieved at the loss of the tug with her precious cargo. We have picked up the barges, and
will save some provisions, but none of the reporters "floated." They were so deeply laden with
weighty matter that they must have sunk. In the language of our Dutch captain, "What a pity for
religion is this war!" but in our affliction we can console ourselves with the pious reflection that
there are plenty more left of the same sort.
Don't hurry your march too much, for I feel certain it will take some days to pass over the
troops now here, and the wagons. Try and arrive in good, compact order, and with as much
provision and ammunition left as possible.
Grant reports plenty of meat and corn on the other side, but salt, coffee, sugar, and bread are
out of the question save in our commissariat.
Knowing, as you must, the actual condition of things behind you, give orders or do all you
can to expedite the new line proposed from my old headquarters to yours at Biggs', and so
around to a point below Warrenton. I want my chief quartermaster and commissary to join me by
that route. You will be delighted with the country along Bayou Saint Joseph. On leaving
Perkins', send a detachment of cavalry with a staff officer ahead to ascertain [what there is to
take you across. If you] be delayed, camp back about Routh's place, which is magnificent, with
plenty of corn-fodder and everything. The house and farm have been plundered sadly, but the
planters had all gone off, and no one left to protect them.
I shall begin to look for you on the third day from this, unless we move far inland. Grant is
now 18 miles northeast of Grand Gulf.
I will keep in mind where you are, and await your junction with anxiety.
With great respect, your friend,
CAYUGA, MISS., May 11, 1863.
Maj. Gen. JOHN A. MCCLERNAND, Comdg. Thirteenth Army Corps:
The battery you were expected to send to Maj. Gen. W. T. Sherman, commanding Fifteenth
Army Corps, in pursuance of the directions of the general commanding, of this date, was the
First Iowa Battery, Captain Griffiths commanding, formerly with General Sherman. You will,
therefore, order the First Iowa Battery, Captain Griffiths commanding, to report immediately to
Maj. Gen. W. T. Sherman. The one you directed to report to him will be returned to you.
By order of Maj. Gen. U.S. Grant:
Assistant Adjutant-General.
JACKSON, MISS., May 14, 1863.
Maj. Gen. WILLIAM T. SHERMAN, Comdg. Fifteenth Army Corps:
Designate a brigade from your command to guard the city. Collect stores and forage, and
collect all public property of the enemy. The division from which such brigade may be selected
will be the last to leave the city. You will direct them, therefore, to commence immediately the
effectual destruction of the river railroad bridge and the road as far east as practicable, as well as
north and south. The Fourth Iowa Cavalry and a brigade of infantry should be sent east of the
river, with instructions for the cavalry to go on east as far as possible.
Troops going east of the river should burn all C. S. A. cotton and stores they find.
Memphis, Tenn., May 25, 1863.
Maj. Gen. U.S. GRANT, in the Field, Vicksburg:
GENERAL: We in the rear, and the country behind us, are watching with unspeakable pride
the glorious track of the Army of the Tennessee. Every sort of congratulation for the glory
already won, and the crowning victory to come. I cannot, with business, fashion, as yet, in the
reality of the past and anticipation of the future. [Sic.]
I send the Luminary, with a full cargo of ammunition, reducing me to 100 rounds per man. I
hope it will not be needed for Vicksburg, but it will be in the future.
Johnston has called off all troops from above. Anticipating this, I had ordered Colonel Hatch,
of the Second Iowa Cavalry, to take all the mounted men outside of Memphis, and look up
Chalmers. I have just heard from their first interview. Hatch found him in Senatobia swamp.
Charged at once; killed 9, and drove the others into Panola, across the Tallahatchee, except such
as fled toward Helena. Chalmers is reported to have had 2,000 regulars and 1,000 conscripts.
Hatch has 1,700--1,200 cavalry and 500 mounted infantry--four mounted howitzers, and one
section of 6-pounders. My cavalry will be at work all the time as far as I can reach.
As yet I have not called up the cavalry from Helena., as Prentiss has some fears for his place.
The entire line here is now quiet.
Your obedient servant,
MEMPHIS, May 29, 1863--8.30 a.m.
Brigadier-General ASBOTH:
Send, with all possible dispatch, the Third Minnesota, Fortieth Iowa, Twenty-fifth and
Twenty-seventh Wisconsin, by steamer to Vicksburg, reporting here for orders. Let them take
five days' rations, 6 wagons to a regiment, and 100 rounds per man. No tents except shelter tents.
Reduce baggage to the minimum.
Abandon Fort Heiman. Send the One hundred and eleventh Illinois to Paducah or Columbus.
Bring away all Government property or stores worth moving. Send all companies of Second,
Fourth, and Fifteenth Illinois Cavalry by land through Covington. Let them rendezvous at Fort
Pillow. Heavy baggage and stores to follow by steamer, under light guard. You must use the
Fourth Missouri and Fifteenth Kentucky for cavalry duty. Send the remainder of Thirty-fourth
Wisconsin to Memphis. Let all this be done promptly.
Drumgould's Bluff, Miss., June 2, 1863.
General U.S. GRANT, Comdg. Dept. of the Tennessee:
GENERAL: Since seeing you on yesterday, the Fifth Illinois Cavalry, 750 strong, have
reached this place, bringing with them carbines for the Fourth Iowa Cavalry, now here. The
Fifth Illinois is armed with carbines, and also the detachment of the Second Illinois, now here.
This gives about 1,200 well-armed cavalry. Colonel Johnson believes, With this force, properly
supported with infantry and artillery, he can destroy the railroad bridge over the Big Black north
of Canton. The plan is to move the whole cavalry force toward Mechanicsburg to-morrow
morning by the three roads I pointed out to you, the main body moving by the central road, with
flanking parties on the right and left hand roads, and at the same time to send Mower's brigade,
with a full battery of artillery, by the Yazoo River to Satartia, to land at that point and push to
Mechanicsburg. This will compel [W.] Adams' cavalry, the only force on this side of Black
River, to cross the Big Black River at Kibby's or Cox's Ferry in order to escape capture, and
prevent them from recrossing that river, while Johnson with his entire force can push forward
and destroy the bridge with little risk or hazard; nor will Mower's brigade, provided with
transports at Satartia convoyed by a gunboat, run any risk, especially if he keep out a few cavalry
on the different roads to advise him of the enemy's movements. As for the cavalry force of
Johnson, it cannot be endangered, as there are so many roads by which he can retreat, and the
enemy having no cavalry force sufficient to cut him off from all of them.
I think this plan is judicious and feasible, and, if you will permit it, I will issue the necessary
orders, and leave one brigade of troops at this point for greater security during the absence of
Mower's brigade, and with the balance of my command return to your lines in rear of Vicksburg
to-morrow. It will be necessary to send Mower the other two sections of Spoor's battery (Iowa
battery), of which he now has one, or I can give him a full battery from those now with me. I
respectfully submit this plan and await your decision.
June 6, 1863.
I. Col. James I. Gilbert, commanding Twenty-seventh Iowa Infantry Volunteers, will at once
proceed with his command, with camp and garrison equipage and transportation, to Moscow,
Tenn., and take post there for the purpose of guarding railroad. He will march across the country,
and, on arriving there, will put out detachments to guard the bridges over Wolf Creek, one-half
mile west, and over Grissom's Creek, 5 miles west of Moscow, keeping open communications
with the detachments.
II. Col. James I. Gilbert, Twenty-seventh Iowa Infantry Volunteers, will turn over to Col.
James M. True, commanding Third Brigade, the refugee fund in his possession, collected by him
at Jackson, Tenn., taking duplicate receipts therefor, one copy of which he will retain, and the
other forward to headquarters, left wing, Sixteenth Army Corps.
By order of James M. True, colonel, commanding brigade:
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
La Grange, Tenn., June 9, 1863.
I. The cavalry of this command is temporarily organized as follows:
First Brigade, Colonel McCrillis, Third Illinois Cavalry, commanding.--Third Illinois
Cavalry, Sixth Illinois Cavalry, and Ninth Illinois Cavalry.
Second Brigade, Col. Edward Hatch, Second Iowa Cavalry, commanding.--Second Iowa
Cavalry, Third Michigan Cavalry, and First West Tennessee Cavalry.
Third Brigade, Colonel Cornyn, Tenth Missouri Cavalry, commanding.--Tenth Missouri
Cavalry, Seventh Kansas Cavalry, battalion Fifth Ohio Cavalry, and battalion Fifteenth Illinois
Fourth Brigade, Lieutenant-Colonel Meek, Eleventh Illinois Cavalry, commanding.--
Eleventh Illinois Cavalry, detachment Sixth Illinois Cavalry, detachment Seventh Illinois
Cavalry, and Second West Tennessee Cavalry.
II. The First, Second, and Fourth Brigades will constitute the First Division, under command
of Col. J. K. Mizner, chief of cavalry of left wing, Sixteenth Army Corps.
III. Colonel Cornyn, Tenth Missouri Cavalry, with the Third Brigade, will report to
Brigadier-General Dodge, as heretofore.
By order of Maj. Gen. R. J. Oglesby:
Major and Assistant Adjutant-General.
CAMP, Walnut Hills, June 16, 1863--8 p.m.
Lieut. Col. JOHN A. RAWLINS,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Department of the Tennessee:
SIR: Last night, in company with Colonel Wilson, I rode up to Snyder's Bluff, and this
morning examined the line of pits and batteries in course of construction. They appear to me well
adapted to the end in view, and will enable the two divisions of Kimball and Smith to hold any
three coming from the north and northeast. I examined, in company with Generals Washburn,
Kimball, and Smith, also Colonel Wilson, the valley of the Skillet-Goliath, and have advised that
General Parke dispose his force along that valley, its center near the church at Milldale, left near
Snyder's, and right up toward Templeton, where I have a strong picket. General Parke had not
arrived at the hour of my starting back (4 p.m.), but I saw steamboats coming, which I think
contained his troops. The accounts of the enemy brought in from the front were very conflicting,
and my inference was that Loring is feeling his way cautiously down with cavalry, and a
moderate force of infantry, as far as Post Oak Ridge. It seems the cavalry pickets drew in from
that point last night, but General Washburn assured me he would replace them to-day. The
Fourth Iowa Cavalry have moved, by my orders, to Wixon's, with orders to watch the approaches
from Bush's and Birdsong Ferries. With arrangements now completed, the enemy cannot come
down the Valley road or the Ridge road via Snyder's. If he comes, he must come across the head
of Clear Creek, debouching near Marshall's. That ground cannot well be obstructed, but it is
advantageous to us, and could be rendered more so by constructing two or three detached forts:
one near Marshall's, another at the point where the Bridgeport road leaves the Benton road, and
another intermediate. If you deem it prudent, I will cause the ground to be more closely
examined, and works laid off and begun. As you know, my corps has done much labor, but I will
do anything and everything in human power to achieve final success.
I am, with great respect, your obedient servant,
Camp near Bear Creek, June 26, 1863.
I. The Fourth Iowa Cavalry will take post on Bear Creek where the Birdsong road crosses it,
and will picket at Hill's, and watch the ferries at Birdsong and Jones', with a cavalry patrol up the
valley of Bear Creek, to communicate with General Parke at Oak Ridge post-office.
II. General Parke will keep a cavalry regiment at the point where the lower Benton road
crosses Bear Creek, with a picket at the forks of the road, and a patrol connecting with the
pickets of the Fourth Iowa at Hill's. All cavalry pickets must keep their horses saddled and their
weapons well in hand, and a surprise will be certain ruin to the officer in charge. These pickets
will be carefully instructed, and the commanders of the cavalry regiments will be responsible.
III. General Tuttle will hold the ridge from Trible's down to Young's, with a regiment of
infantry and section of artillery in the woods back of Young's, so as to have a full view of the
fields down the valley of Bear Creek.
IV. General McArthur will hold the ridge from Straus' back to McCall's, with a brigade on
picket near Fox's. This brigade will send daily and nightly patrols down to the ford at
Messinger's. All roads leading from Black River back to the points named will be obstructed by
felling trees at the narrowest points, and division commanders will keep their pioneer companies
and working parties employed all the time; an hour's time now is worth a day after an enemy
makes his appearance. General McArthur will relieve his brigade at Bear Creek Crossing as soon
as General Tuttle places a regiment at Young's.
V. General Parke will hold Oak Ridge, from Nelly's to the post-office, with [W. S.] Smith's
division, and will order the Milldale forces to be prepared on the shortest notice to move to
McCall's, to which end he will cause a working party, with an intelligent staff officer, to repair
the road from Milldale to Albertson's and Harris'; thence across the valley of Clear Creek to the
school-house, Wixon's, and McCall's. This will give three good roads from Haynes' Bluff to our
key-point at McCall's and Nelly's.
VI. All commanders will aim to keep on hand from three to five days' rations, and at least
100 rounds of cartridges; wagons, as a general rule, should be kept back of Clear Creek, camps
encumbered as little as possible, and troops well at hand. The vast importance of events, now
drawing to some conclusion, bids us guard against supposed combinations of the enemy rather
than the mere appearances. If Johnston attempts to relieve Vicksburg, which he is impelled to do
by honor and the clamor of the Southern public, he will feign at many points, but attack with
vehemence at some one. Let him appear at any point, he must be fought desperately.
Re-enforcements must not be clamored for, but each commander will fight back, along the
ridge he is guarding, stubbornly, reporting facts and not opinions, that the general in command
may draw his own conclusions. The general in command will be found habitually on the ridge
near McCall's, and, in case of temporary absence, will leave word and orders with a staff officer
at his bivouac. Let all guards and sentinels be carefully instructed, all wandering about stopped
and all citizens found away from their homes be arrested and the rear, sent to Haynes' Bluff, or
VII. General Osterhaus, acting in concert with this force, will hold the bridge, and keep his
division well in hand near Bovina, prepared to act decisively on intelligence or the sounds of
battle in the direction of Tiffin's or Fox's plantations.
By order of W. T. Sherman, major-general commanding:
Captain and Aide-de-Camp.
Memphis, Tenn., June 28, 1863.
Lieut. Col. JOHN A. RAWLINS, A. A. G.,
Department of the Tennessee, in the Field:
COLONEL: The rise in the Tennessee, caused by recent rains, and the probable advance of
Rosecrans on Bragg, have caused the recall of the flying parties north of me and west of the
It is reported on pretty good authority that Marmaduke has occupied the crossings of the
L'Anguille River, 35 miles northwest of Helena, and that Price's whole force from Jacksonport is
on its way down, threatening Helena, but, as I think, to come in at or near Milliken's Bend, and
unite with Pemberton's force, escaping from Vicksburg by skiffs, &c., which my scouts inform
me they have prepared for effecting a crossing, joining Johnston.
One of our best spies, just from Jackson, reports that unless Johnston is re-enforced by Kirby
Smith and Price, he will not be in condition to attack General Grant.
The feeling throughout Mississippi is despondent, and they all talk of the line of the
Tombigbee River as the next last ditch.
Vicksburg and Port Hudson seem to be given up by everybody. Nothing now looks dark
except the movement of Lee into Maryland and Pennsylvania. This would seem, from the papers,
to be in very heavy force, and may be productive of very serious consequences.
It is affirmed by the rebels at Jackson that a large part of Hunter's South' Carolina forces are
with Banks.
The damage done by the recent cavalry movement of Mizner has been very serious, and
deprived Johnston of supplies, which are limited enough. The Mississippi militiamen do not
respond well to the urgent calls for them.
I am delayed in striking for Okolona for want of proper ammunition for the revolving rifles
of Third Michigan and Second Iowa. That which has been furnished is too large, and bursts the
barrels. I hope to have it by the time the roads and rivers will permit.
Will you do me the favor of requesting Major-General Washburn to obtain and send forward
reports from my division with you?
Everything is quiet here, my lines not interrupted, and no force nearer than Ruggles at
Okolona. I learn from spies that a heavy force, under General Sherman, moved out to look for
Johnston, but hear of no results.
I have the honor to be, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Camp at Bear Creek, June 29, 1863.
The following modifications of existing orders are made and will be executed at once:
I. General Osterhaus will continue, as heretofore, to hold the fortified position on Black
River, at the railroad bridge, with patrols and guards, watching the river below as far as
Baldwin's, and up as far as Bridgeport; his reserves at Clear Creek, near Bovina.
II. General McArthur will occupy Tiffin in force, with guards toward the Messinger ford,
connecting with Osterhaus on the Bridgeport road, and his main guards occupying the main ridge
up as far as Brant's.
III. Major-General Parke will leave a small guard at Milldale and Templeton's, sufficient to
hold those points, and move all the troops of the Ninth Army Corps to the east side of Clear
Creek, connecting his guards at Brant's with McArthur's, his center near Wixon's and his guards
connecting with General W. S. Smith's, near Mrs. Nelly's.
IV. General Tuttle will hold his present position on the spur leading from McCall's to
Markham's and Young's, and will entrench a position back of Trible's.
V. General W. S. Smith will hold as now his position at Oak Ridge Post-Office, with guards
forward on the two Benton roads, and his right connecting with General Parke, at Mrs. Nelly's.
General Smith, in connection with General Washburn, will effectually blockade all roads and
paths coming from the north and lying between the ridge road and Yazoo Valley road.
VI. General Washburn will hold the fortified position at Haynes' Bluff, with Kimball's
division, and will continue to strengthen the lines on the north front. That being our strongest
front, we should invite attack in that quarter.
VII. This disposition of forces makes a connected line from the railroad bridge to Haynes'
Bluff, by Tiffin, Wixon's, McCall's, Nelly's, and Oak Ridge. Each corps and division commander
will proceed to entrench a position near his key-point, sufficient for two batteries and one
brigade, commanding water, and looking to the east and north. All roads to the rear should be
improved; a double track for wagons made by opening fences and trimming out woods. Lateral
roads should also be looked to, to facilitate concentration and lateral movements. Roads to the
front should be obstructed, except such as are necessary for our guards and our own use. The
commanding general, after careful personal inspection, pronounces the points from which we
have most reason to apprehend danger, to be the two fords at Messenger's, and about a mile
below Birdsong, Wixon's, and Nelly's are the best points for concentration, and the ridges by
Fox's and Markham's the best lines of operation.
VIII. All the cavalry not absolutely needed for orderlies and patrols will be massed under
command of Colonel Bussey, Third Iowa, on Bear Creek, from Young's up to Harris', and is
charged specially to watch the lower Benton road and the ford below Birdsong.
IX. All commanders of corps and divisions, and the chief of cavalry, will report by letter or
staff officer daily to the commanding general at his bivouac near Tuttle's.
By order of Maj. Gen. W. T. Sherman:
Camp near Baker's Creek
( Champion's Hill), Miss., July 24, 1863.
I. 1. Lieut. Col. J. Condit Smith will proceed to Messinger's Bridge, on Big Black, and
prepare for the crossing of this corps to the west bank during to-morrow. He will see that the
bridge is kept clear, and that all wagons are moved on the west bank so as to leave the road open.
2. He will call upon the commanding officer there for a sufficient detail to guard the bridge
and to carry out this order. He will construct in the cornfield on the east bank a large corral, in
which to collect horses, mules, &c, now in the possession of soldiers and officers belonging to
this army, which have been plundered and taken from the inhabitants of the country.
3. He will appoint suitable officers or agents of the quartermaster's department to take, by
force if necessary, all horses ridden by any officer or soldier of this army not entitled by law to
be mounted, and collect out of the wagons all articles of furniture, chairs, tables, books, papers,
&c.--anything not belonging to the usual equipment of an officer or soldier. He will take steps to
do this effectually and expeditiously, so as not to delay the passage of the bridge by the troops.
Officers having escorts, mounted orderlies, or servants, will keep them near their persons, or, if
required to detach them, will give them a written paper designating their office. Such horses will
not be disturbed, but all else will be taken, and the horses, mules, &c., turned into the corral for
4. A board of survey, to consist of Colonel Walcutt, Forty-sixth Ohio; Major Giesy, Fortysixth
Ohio; and Captain Harland, Sixth Iowa, will assemble at the corral thus provided near the
bridge at 8 a.m., July 26, to hear and determine all rights to horses, mules, or other property
claimed as private, and their decision shall be final, and property thus pronounced by said board
of survey as private shall be restored to the claimants, and the remainder will be taken
possession of by the quartermaster and properly branded and accounted for. A schedule or
inventory thereof will be made out and filed at these headquarters, and the property will be taken
up on the quarterly returns and accounted for as if purchased. Should useless property be thus
acquired, the same board of survey may order it burned, or sent to Vicksburg for sale for the
benefit of the United States.
5. Should sick men be conveyed in carriages, buggies, or vehicles other than the usual army
wagons or ambulances, they must be taken out, and the carriages, buggies, &c., disposed of
according to this order, and colonels and surgeons of regiments will send back promptly to
Messinger's their proper ambulances, to take to camp the sick thus conveyed. No excuse will be
received for the passage of any unauthorized vehicle until its title is ascertained in the manner
herein set forth.
By order of Maj. Gen. W. T. Sherman:
Assistant Adjutant-General.
Vicksburg, Miss., August 3, 1863.
VII. Col. Alexander Chambers, commanding Third Brigade, Sixth Division, will order the
Thirteenth Regiment Iowa Infantry, under command of Col. John Shane, to embark on the
steamer Champion No. 3, and proceed at 4 o'clock to-morrow morning to Yazoo City, under
convoy of the U.S. S. Rattler, to occupy that place during the attempt to raise the vessel De Kalb,
and to render the navy such assistance as may be necessary. Ten days' rations and 100 rounds of
ammunition per man will be taken. The selection of this [regiment.] is made on account of its
discreet and competent commander.
By order of Major-General McPherson:
Assistant Adjutant-General.
CAMP ON BIG BLACK RIVER, August 4, 1863.
Lieut. Col. JOHN A. RAWLINS,
Asst. Adjt. Gen., Dept. of the Tennessee, Vicksburg, Miss.:
SIR: I have the honor herewith to transmit for the action of the general-in-chief the
proceedings of a general court martial in the case of Private James O] Tebow, Sergeant [Henry]
Blanck, and Captain [William B.] Keeler, of Company A, Thirty-fifth Iowa. These constitute one
case, all involving the burning of a cotton-gin during our march from Jackson back to our camps
on Big Black.
The amount of burning, stealing, and plundering done by our army makes me ashamed of it. I
would quit the service if I could, because I fear that we are drifting to the worst sort of
vandalism. I have endeavored to repress this class of crime, but you know how difficult it is to
fix the guilt among the great mass of all army. In this case I caught the man in the act. He is
acquitted because his superior officer ordered it. The superior officer is acquitted because, I
suppose, he had not set the fire with his own hands, and thus you and I and every commander
must go through the war justly chargeable with crimes at which we blush.
I should have executed the soldier on the spot, and would have been justified, but he pleaded
his superior orders, and now a volunteer court-martial, tainted with the technicalities of our old
civil courts, absolves the officer on the old pleas, good when all men were held responsible alone
for the acts done by their own hands. I believe there is a remedy; General Grant can stamp the act
as a crime, and can pronounce the officer unworthy a commission in the Army of the United
States. This will in a measure relieve our General Government of the obloquy attached to such
acts of vandalism, and this would form a good occasion for a general order announcing to all that
our province is to maintain good law, and not to break it. The burning of this building in no way
aided our military plans. No enemy was within 50 miles. A major riding behind his regiment is
not the man to know the policy of the General Government of the United States. I have issued
orders again and again on this subject, but our commands change so often that time is not
afforded to prohibit all sorts of misdemeanors to each new command, nor is it necessary. This
major had no reason to presume that he, in the presence of his regimental, brigade, and division
commanders, should judge of the policy of the Government, and I was close at hand and he knew
it. He knew that he had no right to order this burning, or, if ignorant, he is Unworthy a
I ask that he be dismissed summarily and in disgrace. Not that I would visit upon him
undeserved punishment, but that the United States authorities should wash their hands of the
obloquy attached to such wanton acts of destruction.
I am, &c.,
Camp near Big Black, August 6, 1863.
I. The brigade of Colonel Sanford, of the Fourth Division, Fifteenth Army Corps, will move
to Oak Ridge Post-Office and take post there, taking tents, sick, and all its transportation,
General Ewing will also designate a four-gun battery to accompany this brigade. The
commanding officer of this brigade will make his morning reports to, and receive instructions, as
heretofore, from, his division commander.
II. The cavalry of this corps, viz, the Third and Fourth Iowa and Fifth Illinois, under the
command of Colonel Winslow, of the Fourth Iowa, will start on Monday next, provided with
four days' rations, and completely equipped in all respects for service, on an expedition
concerning which the commanding officer will receive minute and full instructions. The corps
quartermaster, Lieut. Col. J. Condit Smith, will turn over to the brigade quartermaster of Colonel
Winslow the sum of $3,000 for the use of this expedition, taking receipts therefor.
By order of Maj. Gen. W. T. Sherman:
Assistant Adjutant-General.
HDQRS. FIFTEENTH A. C., Camp on Big Black, August 8, 1863.
Col. E. F. WINSLOW, Fourth Iowa Cavalry:
SIR: In pursuance of Special Orders, No. 156, of the 6th instant, you will take command of
the cavalry forces designated in these orders, and start on the 10th instant for the north. You will
strike for the lower Benton road, and follow it to Mechanicsburg and thence to Yazoo City.
There you will find a gunboat and a supply of provisions, with which you can replenish. After a
short rest, keeping very quiet as to your destination, proceed to Lexington, and thence strike the
Great Central Railroad, and ascertain, if possible, if the locomotives and cars belonging to the
road are still above Grenada. At our last accounts there were between Grenada and Water Valley
an immense number of locomotives (70) and nearly 500 cars. If you find any locomotives below
Grenada, you will endeavor to have them and all cars sent up to and above Grenada, and you will
proceed to that place with your cavalry. General Grant has ordered a force from Memphis to
meet you at or near Grenada. Communicate with them as soon as possible, and with your joint
forces use all possible efforts to get these cars and locomotives into Memphis. I take it for
granted that parties are now employed in repairing the track out from Memphis, and that you will
find everything done on that end of the road. You know that we have so crippled the road from
Canton, south, that no railroad stock can be carried off by the enemy, and, therefore, we have no
interest in destroying it, and, therefore, you will confine your labors and efforts to save it by
moving it toward and into Memphis. You will find plenty of engineers and conductors whom
you can employ, or, if necessary, use force to compel them to work their engines and trains.
I am satisfied all of Jackson's cavalry is at or near Brandon, east of the Pearl. If any
detachments have been made, they are toward Natchez. The Memphis forces will, of course,
drive out of that neighborhood all of Chalmers' men and other detachments of guerrillas more
intent on collecting conscripts than in fighting. No matter which force you meet, attack promptly
and resolutely, and so handle your forces that they cannot count your numbers. Do not stay in
Grenada, but occupy the bank of the Yalabusha, the other side of Grenada., till you are in
connection with the Memphis forces, after which act according to your judgment. You carry
money with you, as it is now to the interest of our Government that all plundering and pillaging
should cease. Impress this upon your men from the start, and let your chief quartermaster and
commissary provide liberally and fairly for the wants of your command by paying. Union people
and the poorest farmers, without being too critical as to politics, should be paid for their corn,
bacon, beef, and vegetables. But where the larger planters and farmers have an abundance to
spare, you can take of the surplus, giving in all such cases a simple receipt, signed by your chief
quartermaster and commissary; also, when your horses break down, you can take a remount,
exchanging the broken-down animals, and giving a certificate of the transaction, fixing the cash
difference in value to boot. Deal firmly but fairly with the inhabitants. I am satisfied a change of
feeling is now going on in this State, and we should encourage it. Much importance is attached to
this branch of the subject, and you will see that every officer and man is informed of it. Punish
on the spot and with rigor any wanton burning of houses or property without your specific
orders. If at Grenada you find the Memphis force fully competent to the task of saving the
railroad stock enumerated, you can return via Yazoo City, but if there be any doubt, remain with
them and go on into Memphis and return to my command by the river. On your application, the
quartermaster, Captain Eddy, will furnish boats.
Report to me by letter as often as possible, either by the route you go or around by way of
Memphis. I inclose you the best map we are able to compile; add to it as you progress, and on
your return I shall expect it to be well filled with roads and names of localities not now on it.
With great respect,
November 5, 1863.
Twentieth Iowa:
MAJOR: As early in the morning as the wind will permit, you will proceed with your
regiment, on board the schooner Emma Amelia, to Point Isabel, and occupy that place. You will
secure your position by strong pickets, and use every precaution to prevent surprise, collecting
all possible information of the enemy, and send the same to these headquarters. In order to keep
up communication with this island, Major Carpenter, assistant quartermaster, will furnish a small
boat and oars, to be kept under your charge. You will treat the people kindly, excepting those
against whom you may have positive information or suspicions of communicating with or aiding
the enemy. All such you will take prisoners.
Collect all the means of transportation, horses, mules, cattle, and such property as may be
useful or necessary for the public service, and have the same turned over to the proper officers.
You will, under no circumstances, permit thieving, pillaging, or any depredations on the part of
your troops, but will be careful to maintain proper discipline among them. There is a quantity of
commissary stores on board the boat, for which you will cause your quartermaster to receipt to
Capt. E. M. Emerson, commissary of subsistence of the division.
If all your command cannot be placed on the boat at once, you will use all possible dispatch
in returning the boat and carrying over the rest, and, as soon as all are over, return the boat to
Major Carpenter, assistant quartermaster.
You will be very economical of the water you may find on the island, as it will be very
By order of Maj. Gen. N. J. T. Dana:
Assistant Adjutant-General.
BRAZOS SANTIAGO, November 5, 1863.
Commanding First Brigade:
GENERAL: The Twentieth Iowa Infantry, Major Thompson commanding, has been ordered
to proceed at an early hour in the morning to Point Isabel.
The major-general commanding directs that you move with your brigade at daylight in the
morning to the point on the Rio Grande where the road from Boca Chica to Brownsville
approaches nearest to or strikes the Rio Grande. It will be unnecessary to leave any troops at
Boca Chica, and the regiment now there (Thirty-fourth Iowa, supposed to be) will be moved
forward also.
You will collect all means of transportation, horses, mules, cattle, or whatever may be
necessary or useful for the public service, but will treat the people you may meet kindly,
allowing no pillaging or depredations to be committed by the men, and maintaining strict
discipline amongst them, and enforcing obedience to orders.
I am, sir, your obedient servant,
Assistant Adjutant-General.
November 22, 1863.
Maj. Gen. N. P. BANKS,
Commanding Department of the Gulf, in the Field:
GENERAL: The news of the, occupation of Corpus Christi was brought night before last by
the steamer Hussar, and was duly communicated by letter to the General-in-Chief by the mail
steamer Washington, which sailed yesterday morning.
The steamer Saint Mary's passed by the bar yesterday morning, and news reached me at 10
a.m. from her that you had captured the garrison at Aransas Bay. I at once telegraphed to Fort
Jackson, and had a telegraphic dispatch, announcing the success to General Halleck, placed on
Captain Dunham being convalescent, and recommended to go north by the medical officers, I
had sent him on the Washington, charged with duplicates of your dispatches by the last steamer,
and a short report on the occurrences of the week to the General-in-Chief and Adjutant-General.
The steamer Corinthian sails to-day, taking two Iowa regiments, 600 men.
The Saint Mary's will be sent to-morrow with about the same number and the transportation.
I have ordered the purchase of three prize schooners for running stores to Aransas, and hope to
get them off today laden with subsistence and ammunition.
I have ordered--have had a standing order with the quartermaster's department to get
possession of any steamer and sailing vessels coming into port which can be used, and have
dispatched them as fast as procured. The Nathaniel P. Banks was so strained getting around to
Brashear that it was not deemed safe to send her to Texas. She will be used between this and
Yesterday I received very direct information that the rebels in Mobile were moving troops to
Pollard and Bonsecours Bay, intending to attack Pensacola in both directions. I immediately
wrote to General Asboth, warning him, and sent by the steamer George Peabody, which will
probably reach him in time to prevent surprise. I have already informed you by the Scott of
General Lee's handsome operation in capturing the Sixth Texas (rebel) Cavalry. It was a dashing
and successful affair; only 25 escaped. Twelve officers and 100 men were captured. Plaquemine
is now well fortified, and secure. Green has undoubtedly affronted [confronted] the Mississippi
River, and no doubt intends to occupy a point to blockade the river. If the occupation should be
at all serious, I shall send up a force to co-operate with the navy in capturing him. This can be
done without interfering with the transportation of troops to your re-enforcement.
I would now recommend raising the embargo on Berwick Bay, as much suffering is caused
by it within our lines on the Teche, and, if properly watched, no mischief call result from a
judicious granting of passes for proper persons, and supplies to the people. Now we have to feed
starving people from the army supplies, who could and would procure for themselves, if
permitted. I intend to send, by next opportunity after the Saint Mary's, the Twenty-second
Regiment, Corps d'Afrique, to Texas, as Major Houston represents the services of colored
regiments much needed there.
NOON, 22d.--Your dispatch of 17th, dated off Aransas Pass, has just been received. I shall at
once communicate with Admiral Porter and Commodore Bell on the subject of gunboats for
Berwick Bay. If they cannot furnish any, I will make two for that service. I fear we shall have to
do this, from the results we have had from former applications.
1 have nothing new to communicate from up the river, although the telegraph is working well
to Port Hudson, and General Andrews has instructions to report frequently. From this silence, I
suppose there has been as yet nothing serious at Morganza.
Very respectfully, I am, general, your most obedient servant,
Brigadier-General, and Chief of Staff.
On Board the McClellan, off Pass Cavallo, November 28, 1863.
Major-General WASHBURN,
Commanding, &c., Matagorda Island:
GENERAL: Your dispatch of this date was received at 4.30 p.m. this day. It is probable the
Saint Mary's can land her rations to-night or in the morning. We will send you the boats you
want immediately from the McClellan and the gunboats, probably five or six. There are also
boats with the Matamoras and the Planter on their way to you. The Matamoras has five days'
supplies for 3,500 men, and, unless some accident should intervene, must soon reach you. A
signal officer is on board, and has instructions to report to you as soon as possible.
There are two 20-pounder Parrotts on field carriages and two on siege carriages at Aransas.
These can be brought up immediately by boats or by land. They are equally effective with the 30
pounder Parrotts, which will be sent you as soon as possible from New Orleans. You may rely
upon 20 pounder Parrotts producing as much effect as 30-pounders for your operations. There
are no gunny-bags here; what were on board were left at Brazos. I will send some to you from
New Orleans immediately. The navy will supply you with boat howitzers.
The gunboats will open at daylight to-morrow morning. A copy of your sketch has been
furnished to Captain Strong, who will keep constant communication with you either by boats or
by signal telegraph. Undoubtedly either to-night or to-morrow morning you will have smooth
water, so as to make your communications constant. Send a strong force as quickly as you can on
the other side of the fort to cut off their communications. Do not be in any hurry to reduce the
fort, as time is in your favor and against the enemy. Captain Strong will receive instructions to
open upon the camp of the enemy as indicated in your sketch.
The Hussar carried down to Aransas last night 250 men, with orders to join you. The
Twenty-second Iowa, 200 strong, are at Aransas also. There are four companies, 200 strong, at
Brazos, who Will return in the Alabama, which went down day before yesterday. The Saint
Mary's has 800, and two companies of the Twentieth Iowa are also at Brazos, making altogether
1,550 men who will immediately join your forces. The Scott also has 400 men, who were landed
at Aransas City night before last at dark, and must join you by to-morrow. You should
communicate, if possible, with the Matamoras and the Planter, that are upon the bay, inside.
The 20-pounder Parrotts, on siege carriages, are on board a sloop at Aransas. The Crescent is
ordered to Aransas, to send forward the two schooners there, and the howitzers by the bay. If the
Matamoras gets up to you, you will send her back for whatever may be needed. The floating
battery, which Mr. Comstock reports as near the fort, is a poor attempt at an iron-clad. It has no
guns and can do no harm.
Captain Strong has all the points suggested in your letter, and will put them in execution,
communicating with you as soon as the weather will permit. He is confident his guns, if the sea
is so he can approach, will reach the fort and camp of the enemy, and will furnish you with one
or two 30-pounder Parrotts and men to man them.
With much respect, &c.,
Major-General, Commanding.
September 29, 1863--8 p.m.
SIR: The advanced force stationed at Bayou Fordoche was attacked about noon to-day on all
sides simultaneously by General Green, with probably three brigades. The cavalry escaped, but
the Nineteenth Iowa and Twenty-sixth Indiana, amounting to about 500 men, with two guns,
were captured. They are reported to have made a gallant defense and to have suffered greatly. I
have taken some prisoners, including a colonel.
N. J. T. DANA,
Chief of Staff.
Morganza, La., September 30, 1863.
COLONEL: I have the honor to report that I assumed command of the detachment here at
noon on the 28th instant, Major-General Herron leaving at that time. The troops were stationed at
this point on the river, with an advanced detachment 7 miles out on the direct road to the
Atchafalaya River, being the nearest place where water could be obtained. This detachment was
composed of a part of the Nineteenth Iowa Infantry, commanded by Captain Adams, 320 men; a
part of the Twenty-sixth Indiana Infantry, Lieutenant-Colonel Rose, 346 men, one section of
Battery E, First Missouri Light Artillery, Second Lieut. E. S. Rowland, 28 men; detachments of
Sixth Missouri, Second and Thirty-sixth Illinois Cavalry, under Major Montgomery, 160 men.
The whole being under command of Lieut. Col. J. B. Leake, Twentieth Iowa Infantry.
Lieutenant-Colonel Leake's instructions from Major General Herron were to keep the country
well reconnoitered; to keep his cavalry constantly out; to push daily reconnaissances toward the
Atchafalaya, where a considerable force of the enemy were posted, and frequently to push his
advances up to the river, and annoy the enemy's pickets and drive them in. The morning after I
assumed command (yesterday), I dispatched a courier with an escort to Lieutenant-Colonel
Leake, with orders, &c.; two wagons loaded with knapsacks belonging to his command were
sent out with a small infantry guard.
The weather had been stormy during the preceding afternoon and night, and the rain was still
drenching and the road bad. Soon after noon, a messenger came back from the wagons, with
information that the road was in possession of a strong force of the rebels, about halfway to
Lieutenant-Colonel Leake's camp, that the guard had skirmished with them, and had held their
ground, but that heavy infantry firing was heard on the road in their front, supposed to be
Lieutenant-Colonel Leake clearing the road. I immediately ordered Colonel Black, Thirtyseventh
Illinois Infantry to march with his regiment to open the communication, and to assume
command of his own and Lieutenant-Colonel Leake's troops and be governed by circumstances,
pursuing the enemy and punishing him as much as possible.
The road was bad and heavy for marching, and the rain was drenching, and when Colonel
Black had proceeded 3 miles, he met Major Montgomery with his cavalry detachment, and from
him and stragglers he learned that the enemy had attacked Lieutenant-Colonel Leake's command
on all sides at once; had surprised him by coming through the cane and corn fields of the
country, as well as by the-road, and by first opening the attack in the rear, and being dressed in
United States uniforms.
Major Montgomery's command checked the enemy, and escaped with the loss of 5 men
missing, and brought off 6 prisoners; but as the enemy was pushed in between his force and the
infantry, he failed to effect a junction, but supposed the infantry force had been captured.
Colonel Black took a strong position in line of battle, and remained there till after dark,
when, at 7 o'clock, an officer bearing a flag of truce from the enemy made his appearance with
the following dispatch:
September 29, 1863.
Major-General HERRON,
Or Commander of Forces at Morganza :
GENERAL: I send to you a flag of truce by Captain Bresux, the object of which he will
explain. Considering it an act of humanity, the brigadier-general commanding has instructed me
to send you this message: That you have many wounded and dead, which he cannot bury or care
for, and, if it meets with your approval, hostilities will be suspended for twenty-four hours, to
allow you to take care of the wounded and dead. The general also instructs me to say that he has
left four surgeons and steward to attend on them.
By order of Brig. Gen. Thomas Green:
Very respectfully,
Captain, Commanding Post.
Brownsville, Tex., October 15, 1863.
GENERAL: I have the honor to submit to you a report of the part taken by my regiment in
the engagement at Stirling's farm; fought on the 29th of September, 1863, in Point Coupee
Parish, Louisiana.
On the 5th day of September, the Second Division, Thirteenth Army Corps, commanded by
Major-General Herron, of which command the Nineteenth Iowa formed a part, embarked on
board transports, and proceeded up the river to disperse a force under General Taylor, which was
then on the west side, below the mouth of Red River, seriously threatening the navigation of the
Mississippi. On the 8th day of September, the division was halted near Morganza, La.; landed,
and proceeded to the interior; met the enemy's pickets about 2 miles from the river, drove them
in, and drove the rebels back 10 miles across the Atchafalaya. I was left with my regiment and
two pieces of artillery to protect the transports at the river. The division returned to the transports
on the 11th.
On the l2th, the Nineteenth Iowa, Twenty-sixth Indiana, and two pieces of artillery, the
whole under command of Lieutenant Colonel Leake, of the Twentieth Iowa, were ordered out to
feel the enemy. We met the enemy's pickets ---- of a mile from the river, drove them in, and soon
found the enemy in considerable force. We skirmished with them, and drove them back across
the Atchafalaya. We then fell back to Stirling's farm, 7 miles in the interior from where the
transports lay. From this point our advance and pickets skirmished almost daily with the advance
of the enemy.
On the 29th, the enemy, having received re-enforcements, turned our right, and attacked us in
the rear, cutting off our retreat. He at the same time attacked us on the front. My regiment was
first called into action, met the enemy boldly, and, at short range, delivered a deadly volley:
which compelled him to tall back. He, however, rallied again in overwhelming force, and, after a
firm and desperate struggle, in which we were well supported by the Twenty-sixth Indiana, we
were completely overpowered and compelled to surrender; many of our men, however, refusing
to give up until the guns were taken from their hands by the rebels. The rebels were commanded
by General Green in person, and consisted of three brigades--in all, a force of 5,000 men. Our
entire force there was about 500 men. My regiment had only about 260 men in the action, many
having been left sick in convalescent camps at Carrollton, La. They were not on the expedition.
The fight was short but deadly, considering the numbers engaged, the cane and high weeds
concealing the lines until they approached within pistol-shot. Many of our men escaped, and
came straggling into camp for two days afterward.
In the action we had 2 officers and 8 enlisted men killed; wounded, 1 officer (since dead) and
16 enlisted men, and 11 officers and 203 en listed men taken prisoners. The loss in the Twentysixth
Indiana was not so much as ours. The enemy's loss was 50 killed in the field and many
more wounded.
Great credit is due to the officers and men of my regiment, who fought bravely and
desperately against fearful odds. The rebel officers acknowledged it was to them a dearly bought
victory, and were much chagrined at finding so small a capture after so vigorous a resistance.
I was not in the engagement, having been ordered to New Orleans a few days prior. The
regiment was at the time commanded by the senior captain, William Adams, Company E, who
was taken prisoner.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Major, Commanding Nineteenth Iowa Volunteer Infantry.
Adjt. Gen. N. B. BAKER,
Davenport, Iowa.
September 1.--Division in camp at Carrollton, La., and there remained until September 4.
when it was reviewed by Maj. Gen. U.S. Grant, and ordered to be prepared to march
September 5.--Embarked on transports, leaving the Thirty-eighth Iowa Infantry and all the
sick, convalescents, and sufficient men to guard the camp and property, behind. It moved without
tents, knapsacks, or woolen blankets, and sailed up the river, arriving at Morgan's Bend on the
7th instant. A detachment of cavalry (about 200), under Major Montgomery, accompanied the
September 8.--In the morning, the cavalry and Second Brigade were ordered out on a
reconnaissance toward the Atchafalaya River, under command of Colonel Day, who met the
enemy's pickets, and afterward found the enemy in some force, and, after some light skirmishing,
drove them across the Atchafalaya River, and fell back 3 miles until morning.
September 9.--The First Brigade, under Major General Herron, started out and joined
Colonel Day, when Major General Herron proceeded in force to the Atchafalaya to reconnoiter;
arrived about 4 p.m., and immediately began skirmishing with the enemy. Having ascertained
position, &c., and orders being not to bring on an engagement, retired to the Mississippi.
Marched 30 miles. Lost 1 killed, and 1 officer and 2 men wounded.
September 12.--The cavalry force was ordered to the front to keep a close watch on the
enemy, and the Nineteenth Iowa, Twenty-sixth Indiana, and a section of Battery E, First
Missouri Light Artillery, were sent out some 7 miles in front, to strongly picket the country and
support the cavalry, all commanded by Lieut. Col. J. B. Leake, Twentieth Iowa, where all
remained, as ordered by department headquarters, watching and harassing the enemy. The rest of
the division present on the expedition lay on the levee of the Mississippi, without tents, blankets,
or change of clothing, with nothing transpiring of importance, until the 28th instant, when,
Major-General Herron having received a leave of absence, Major-General Dana was assigned to
the command of the division.
September 29.--In the morning, the enemy, having crossed the river in force, surrounded
Colonel Leake's command, and, after a desperate engagement, captured the largest portion of his
men, with the section of artillery. Our loss is: Commissioned officers killed, 2; wounded, 4.
Enlisted men killed, 11; wounded, 30; missing, about 350. It is impossible to obtain correct
reports of the missing, as parts of each regiment are in Carrollton, and all regimental and
company books are there.
September 30.--Division still at Morgan's Bend.
September 1.--Brigade yet encamped at Carrollton, La., but in readiness to move on short
September 5.--Orders received to embark immediately, in the lightest possible marching
order, leaving all baggage and transportation. The Thirty-eighth Iowa Volunteer Infantry, being
unfit for active field service, was ordered into convalescent camp at Carrollton. Left Carrollton at
3.30 p.m., and arrived at Port Hudson, La., at 8 a.m. on the 6th. Remained here until about
midnight, and went from thence to McCollum's Landing.
September 10.--Brigade moved out to Atchafalaya River, 12 miles. Remained there until 3
a.m. of the 11th, and arrived at Morganza at 3 p.m., the transports having moved up during the
night to this place.
September 12.--At 4 p.m. troops embarked and the transports dropped down to McCollum's
September 14.--Lieut. Col. J. B. Leake was placed in command of a detachment from the
division, comprising the Twenty-sixth Indiana Volunteer Infantry, one section of Battery E,
detachment of mounted infantry from Twentieth and Thirty-fourth Iowa and Thirty seventh
Illinois, of the First Brigade, and ordered to proceed to the vicinity of Atchafalaya Bayou, to
watch the movements of the enemy, the balance of the brigade remaining at McCollum's
Landing until the 20th; then embarked and moved up to Morganza; there disembarked and
bivouacked on the banks of the river.
September 27.--Steamer Brown arrived with the baggage of the command. Health of the
troops generally good.
September 1.--Brigade in camp at Carrollton, near New Orleans, La.
September 4.--Corps reviewed by Maj. Gen. U.S. Grant.
September 6.--Brigade embarked for up the Mississippi, by order of Major-General Herron,
arriving at McCollum's Landing, near Port Hudson, La.
September 8.--The Ninety-first and Ninety-fourth Illinois, and Twentieth Wisconsin Infantry,
Battery B, First Missouri Artillery, was ordered out on a reconnaissance by General Herron
toward Atchafalaya River, under command of Colonel Day. When the command arrived at the
wood, about 10 miles out, skirmishing commenced between Major Montgomery's cavalry (which
formed part of the expedition) and the enemy, with cavalry, artillery, and infantry, back and
across the river, some 5 miles in all. At 9 o'clock the force arrived at the river, when, few shells
being thrown across, the enemy replied quite sharply. Seeing the enemy posted on the other side
of the river, which was unfordable, after a short artillery practice the command was withdrawn,
to await orders and the advantage of daylight.
September 9.--Colonel Day was joined by the First Brigade. Major-General Herron arriving,
assumed command of forces. Capt. Joseph A. James, Company B, Ninety-first Illinois, was
slightly wounded by a piece of shell; also several men. One corporal killed on picket.
September 10.--Forces marched back to McCollum's Landing.
September 12.--The Nineteenth Iowa was ordered out in the advance, 7 or 8 miles, where it is
September 20.--The division moved to Morganza, La., 3 miles above McCollum's Landing,
and went into camp.
September 26.--Colonel Bertram, with 100 men of the Twentieth Wisconsin Infantry, went in
search of guerrillas up the river, on board tin-clad No. 8, and captured 2 prisoners, a safe, with
about $4,800 Confederate States money, and a few shotguns and muskets.
September 29.--The Nineteenth Iowa and Twenty-sixth Indiana, of the First Brigade, were
attacked by General Green's forces, C. S. Army, and nearly all captured, with a heavy loss in
officers and men. There are at Carrollton some 10 officers and 350 men. Owing to the absence of
the officers of the regiment, no correct report can be made.
September 30.--All the remainder of the brigade in camp at Morganza, La.
Camp McBride, La., October 2, 1863.
MAJOR: I have the honor herewith to tender a full report of the action on September 29 at
the Fordoche Bridge and Mrs. Stirling's place, on the Fordoche, 6 miles from Morganza.
At midnight on September 26, a communication was addressed to Colonel [J. P.] Major,
commanding Major's brigade (encamped on Big Cane), to send one of his best regiments to
Lyons' Ferry, on the Atchafalaya, on the following day (the 27th), and to cross at that ferry and
march to Livonia by the night of the 28th, and on the morning of the 29th to move up to the
Fordoche, near the bridge on the Morganza State road This order was promptly complied with,
Colonel Major sending Phillips' regiment, commanded by Major [George M.] Frazer, of the
Arizona battalion.
On the 27th, the necessary orders were issued to the several commands to make preparations
on the 28th for an advance upon the enemy The means of crossing the Atchafalaya consisted at
this time of two small ferry-flats, carrying together 18 horses or 80 footmen.
The crossing commenced at 3 p.m. on the 28th, Waller's and Rountree's battalions leading
with their horses, followed by Semmes' battery, all of which were successfully crossed before
dark. Speight's and Mouton's brigades of infantry were next in order, the Fourth, Fifth, and
Seventh Regiments Texas Mounted Volunteers (dismounted) crossing last. All were safely
landed on the east bank of the Atchafalaya about I a.m. on the 29th. The rain commenced falling
at dark on the evening of the 28th, and continued with only temporary cessation until the night of
the 30th.
At daylight on the morning of the 29th, the troops were ready for the march. Colonel Henry
Gray, commanding Mouton's brigade, was ordered to take up his line of march (Speight's brigade
having been added to his command, together with 15 mounted men from Waller's battalion,
under command of Lieutenant [R. N.] Weisiger) by a trail through the swamp, which intersected
the Morganza State road some 4 miles from that place, and between the enemy's forces at
Morganza and their advance at Mrs. Stirling's and the Fordoche Bridge. Colonel Gray was
ordered to attack the enemy's advance at once on reaching the intersection of road, which he did
by ordering Speight's brigade, under command of Lieutenant Colonel [J. E.] Harrison, to the
attack(see accompanying reports). The balance of the troops, consisting of Waller's and
Rountree's battalions of cavalry, Semmes' battery, the Fourth, Fifth, and Seventh Regiments
Texas Mounted Volunteers (dismounted), took up their line of march by the main State road to
Fordoche Bridge, which point was reached about 11 o'clock. An advance of cavalry was sent
forward to the bridge, and were fired upon by the enemy's pickets at that place. Skirmishing
continued here for half an hour, when the firing was heard from the rear at Mrs. Stirling's. With
one section of the battery, under command of Lieutenant [J. A. A.] West, and the Fourth and
Fifth Regiments, I deployed through a plowed field, and opened with the artillery upon the
quarters at Mr. Catlett's, where a portion of the enemy's cavalry were stationed, and at the same
time ordered Major [H. H.] Boone, with the two sections of battery and the Seventh Regiment, to
move rapidly down the road to the bridge, all of which was done, the dismounted men of the
Fourth and Fifth moving at a double-quick across the plowed field to the quarters, but the
enemy's advance of cavalry had fallen back to their headquarters, 1 mile farther on, at a Mr.
Norwood'a house. The sections of artillery united at the bridge, and the whole command
proceeded with great rapidity toward the house. Majors Boone and Rountree made a dashing
charge upon the enemy's cavalry, drawn up in line of battle near the house, and scattered them
with such effect that they were not seen afterward, having retreated through a lane and turn rows
to a road leading around the rear of plantations, which was unknown to me.
During these transactions, the firing from the rear had continued with slight interruption, and
Major Boone was ordered to take his own command and Rountree's battalion and charge the
enemy at Mrs. Stirling's, which he did most gallantly, charging the enemy's battery and receiving
two severe wounds. This charge closed the fight, the enemy surrendering in detachments as they
retreated and were overtaken by our troops.
The result of the victory consists of 433 non-commissioned officers and privates and 29
officers prisoners, two 10 pounder Parrott guns in fine order, with caissons complete, 2 new
ambulances and 1 hospital wagon, new, filled with medical stores, and 2 stand of regimental
colors belonging to the Nineteenth Iowa and Twenty-sixth Indiana Volunteers. Many small-arms
and accouterments were saved, and every man with an inferior weapon was supplied with a good
and efficient one.
Maj. W. L. Robards, chief of ordnance, was with me on the field and doing all to secure the
fruits of the victory that could be done.
The wounded were sent rapidly to the rear, under the direction of Chief Surg. George
Cupples, who had made every preparation, and by his active supervision saved the lives and
conduced greatly to the comfort of the wounded. Too much praise cannot be awarded to him for
his efficiency.
After burying the dead, the line of march was taken up for Morgan's Ferry, Colonel [Henry]
Gray, with Mouton's brigade, having been called in, and Phillips' regiment of cavalry sent
forward toward Morganza to repulse and check the enemy should they attempt to advance. The
artillery reached the bank of the Atchafalaya at 7 p.m., and commenced crossing. Owing to the
state of the banks, and that only one ferry-flat could be used, it was nearly daylight before their
crossing was completed. Many of the infantry and dismounted men fell by the roadside,
completely exhausted; but all were safely crossed the morning of the 30th. A small steamboat
having arrived, was used in crossing the infantry.
I cannot award too much praise to the troops under my command for their rapid movements
under the discouraging effects of a heavy rain and roads knee-deep in mud, and their willingness
and enthusiasm to attack the enemy.
Col. Henry Gray, with his command, proceeded to the point designated in his orders with all
the speed possible, having to pass through the swamp by a trail which was pointed out to him by
Lieutenant [E. A.] Carmouche and Private Newsome, whose services were invaluable as guides.
Colonel Gray was also accompanied by General [J. L.] Lewis as volunteer aide, rendering him
efficient service.
To Lieutenant-Colonel [J. E.] Harrison, commanding,, Speight's brigade, and Colonels [J.
W.] Speight and [F. H.] Clack and Major [John W.] Daniel, who led their commands most
gallantly to the attack, all honor is due; and to the officers of their several commands, who
displayed great coolness in the action. Many of their men had never been under fire before, but
moved like veterans up to the enemy under a heavy fire, and succeeded in driving them from
house to house up to the levee, when Major [H. H.] Boone's charge was made.
The heavy loss sustained by Speight's brigade shows the desperate nature of the conflict, and
it is not out of place to mention here, even where all distinguished themselves, the gallant
bearing and activity of Lieutenant [John B.] Jones, assistant adjutant-general of Speight's
The charges made by Majors Boone and [L. C.] Rountree stand forth to be recorded in the
annals of history. The lamented Lieut. W. F. Spivey, of Company I, Rountree's battalion, was
killed in the charge. We deplore his loss, he being one of the most energetic officers in the
brigade, and of tried courage and discretion.
Col. A. P. Bagby, of the Seventh Texas Mounted Volunteers, in command of Green's
brigade, brought his men most handsomely to the charge, and kept them in hand ready for any
emergency, and by his activity rendered most efficient service.
Col. J.P. Major's command, consisting of two regiments and the Pelican Battery, were
stationed on the west bank of the Atchafalaya, to protect the crossing and act as a reserve in case
of necessity. Colonel Major accompanied and gave great assistance to me, acting in his usual
gallant style, and to his staff officers I am indebted for prompt action when called upon.
My own personal staff, Lieutenant [E. R.] Wells, acting assistant adjutant general; Captain
[C. B.] Sheppard, aide-de-camp; Captains Calvitt and [Leander] McAnelly, volunteer aides-decamp,
were active and efficient and rendered me excellent service.
The gallant dead have proven their devotion to our cause, and the wounded in their silent
sufferings have shown that fortitude which a good cause alone could have endued them with.
Notwithstanding the severe march, the troops are ready and anxious to again meet the
invader upon our soil.
Below I respectfully submit a statement of the losses sustained in the action.
I am, major, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Brigadier-General, Commanding.
Asst. Adjt. Gen., Sub-District Southwestern Louisiana.
Carrion Crow Bayou, November 2, 1863.
GENERAL: We have had a pretty lively time to-day. The enemy made a determined attack
this morning upon our cavalry, killing 1 man and wounding 2 others. General Burbridge at once
rallied, and pursued them. They formed in line, about 1,000 strong, on the same ground they
formed upon the day you entered Opelousas. They were driven away, and took refuge in the
woods. Maneuvering for a long time to draw them out, we failed to do so, and finally
commenced to fall back. They then swung round, and formed a line in the prairie on our left, and
charged down, about 1,500 strong.
Twice they attempted a charge, and as often the plain was swept by our artillery, and they
retired, and finally, about 3 p.m., withdrew altogether. I think their move to-day was to endeavor
to develop our strength.
I directed as little to be exposed to view as possible. After they made their last and most
formidable display, I ordered a part of the troops here up, but they had only moved a mile or two
when it became apparent that they would not be wanted, and they returned to camp. I shall
expect fighting every day that I remain here, and probably we may have to meet their entire force
if we stay long enough for them to concentrate it. I do not apprehend that we shall need any help,
though I wish we had more cavalry.
Should you send out to the Mermenton, would it not be advisable to send a good force?
They, no doubt, think that we are covering a move in that direction, and as soon as they know
that troops are going that way, they, very likely, will dispatch the force now in our front across
by the direct road from Opelousas to the Mermenton Crossing, and if our force there should be
small, they might be handled roughly.
If you do not make that move, but will send here Colonel Mudd and his cavalry, Colonel
Lucas with his mounted infantry, and any other cavalry you can scare up, we will make a strong
effort to capture some of their force before we leave here.
I had a captain of the Twenty-fourth Iowa Infantry shot to-day under circumstances of great
atrocity. He was out with a foraging party west of here, and saw a party of men in the prairie,
about half a mile away, dressed in blue uniforms. He supposed them to be our soldiers, and rode
alone toward them, and the parties were seen to salute each other as he came near them, and the
first knowledge he had that he was approaching enemies was given by a rifle-ball through his
heart. They robbed him of his clothing, watch, and pistol, and fled.
I presume the enemy has come back to his old camp this side of Opelousas. There is little
chance to catch any of his men, unless we can get in his rear. If I had 2,000 cavalry, I believe that
I could make a move at night that would entrap some of them, but, knowing the country as they
do, and with fleet horses, the chance is not the best.
Respectfully, yours
Major-General FRANKLIN,
Commanding Forces in the Field.
Vermillion Bridge, November 7, 1863.
MAJOR: I inclose herewith report of Brigadier-General Burbridge in regard to the battle of
Grand Coteau on the 3d instant; also of Lieutenant-Colonel Robinson, commanding Second
Louisiana Cavalry, and statements of Captain Sims, Sixty-seventh Indiana, and Lieutenant
Gorman, First Louisiana Cavalry, who were wounded and taken prisoners, but who were
supposed to be privates, and were delivered over under a flag of truce with other wounded.
On the 27th instant [ultimo] the First Division of this corps, under Brigadier-General Lawler,
moved from Opelousas back to New Iberia, with a view of being where they could be moved
rapidly to Brashear City, should circumstances require it; that left at Opelousas the Third
Division, under General McGinnis, and one brigade of the Fourth Division, under General
Burbridge, at Barre's Landing, 8 miles east of Opelousas and east of the Bayou Teche, near its
junction with the Courtableau.
On the morning of the 1st instant, by order of Major-General Franklin, the troops of the Third
Division were ordered to march and encamp at Carrion Crow Bayou, while General Burbridge
with the troops under his command were ordered to march down the Teche and cross it, and
move via Grand Coteau, where the road from Vermillion to Opelousas crosses Muddy Bayou,
about 3 miles from Carrion Crow Bayou, in the direction of Opelousas, and go into camp there
on the north side of the bayou. Colonel Fonda, with about 500 mounted infantry, was also
ordered to encamp near him. The troops all moved, and went into camp as ordered. The
Nineteenth Corps on the same day moved back to Carrion Crow Bayou, and on the following
day to Vermillionville, leaving the Third and First Brigades of the Fourth Division of the
Thirteenth Corps to hold the position before named. The position of the troops on the morning of
the 3d instant was then as follows: Brigadier-General Burbridge, with one brigade of the Fourth
Division, about 1,200 strong, with one six-gun battery of 10-pounder Parrotts, and Colonel
Fonda, with about 500 mounted infantry and a section of Nims' battery, on the north side of
Muddy Bayou, and the Third Division, General McGinnis commanding, 3,000 strong, with one
battery, at Carrion Crow Bayou, 3 miles in the rear of General Burbridge. The two bayous before
named run in an easterly direction, nearly parallel with each other, and along the stream there is a
belt of timber about 150 yards in width, while between the two is smooth, level prairie. To the
right of General Burbridge's position was an extensive and dense tract of woods, while on his
front and left the country was high, open prairie.
About 9 o'clock of the morning of the 3d, I received a note from General Burbridge, saying
the enemy had shown himself in some force. I immediately ordered out the Third Division, and
just as I got them into line I received another note from General Burbridge, saying that the
enemy had entirely disappeared. Ordering the division to remain under arms, I rode rapidly to the
front, and learning from General Bur-bridge and Colonel Fonda that all was quiet, and that such
troops of the enemy as had shown themselves had all fallen back, I started to return to my
headquarters near the Third Division. When I arrived about midway between the two camps, I
heard a rapid cannonade. Sending two members of my staff to the rear to bring up the Third
Division, I rode back to the front, and, crossing the bayou and passing through the timber to the
open ground, I soon discovered that we were assailed with terrible energy by an overwhelming
force in front and on both flanks. Many of the troops had broken and were scattered over the
field, and the utter destruction or capture of the whole force seemed imminent. The attack on the
right through the woods was made by infantry, and though our troops fought most gallantly on
that wing, were obliged to give way before overwhelming numbers. Here it was that we lost most
of our men in killed and wounded.
The Twenty-third Wisconsin, Colonel Guppey commanding, Ninety-sixth Ohio, Lieutenant-
Colonel Brown commanding, Sixtieth Indiana, commanded by Captain Goelzer, and Seventeenth
Ohio Battery. [Captain] Rice commanding, fought with the greatest desperation, holding the
enemy in check for a considerable length of time, but for which our entire train with our artillery
would have been captured. As it was, General Burbridge was enabled to bring off every wagon
and all Government property, with the exception of one 10-pounder Parrott gun, which was
captured just as it was crossing the bayou, the horses having been shot.
The bringing off of the section of Nims' battery, commanded by Lieutenant Marland, after
the regiment sent to its support had surrendered, extorted the admiration of every beholder.
While the fight was proceeding, the Third Division came up on the double-quick, but by the
time they had reached the middle of the prairie, and 1 miles from the scene of action, General
Burbridge's command had been driven entirely out of the woods, while the rebel cavalry, in great
force, charged through the narrow belt of timber on the left, and were coming down on his rear.
By this time the Third Division had come within range, formed in line, and commenced shelling
them, which immediately checked their farther advance, while General Burbridge, who had
again gotten his guns into position, opened a raking crossfire upon them, when the whole force
of the enemy retreated to the cover of the woods. Our whole force was deployed in line of battle,
and moved as rapidly as possible through the woods, driving the enemy out of it, who retreated
rapidly. I moved the troops up on their line of retreat about 1 miles, while the cavalry pursued
about 3 miles. My men having been brought up at a double-quick, were very much exhausted,
and it was not possible to pursue farther.
Our losses are 26 killed, 124 wounded, and 566 missing. The loss of the enemy in killed was
about 60; number of wounded not known, as they carried all but 12 off the ground, but wounded
officers who were taken prisoners represent the number of wounded as being very large. We took
65 prisoners.
Brigadier-General McGinnis, being very ill, was not able to be on the field. The troops of the
division behaved admirably, under the command of Brigadier-General Cameron, of the First, and
Colonel Slack, of the Second Brigade. The action of General Burbridge was gallant and judicious
from the time I first saw him until the close of the engagement. The conduct of the Sixty-seventh
Indiana Infantry was inexplicable, and their surrender can only be attributed to the incompetency
or cowardice of the commanding officer. They had not a single man killed. Our mounted force,
under Colonels Fonda and Robinson, though very small, behaved very handsomely.
I left at Carrion Crow Bayou, to hold that position, three regiments of the Third Division, viz,
the Eleventh Indiana, Twenty-ninth Wisconsin, and Twenty-fourth Iowa, with one section of
artillery. It was fortunate that I did so, for while the fight was proceeding with General
Burbridge's command, Colonel [George W.] Baylor, of the First Texas Mounted Rifle [Second
Regiment Arizona Brigade,] swept round on our left, and attacked the camp at Carrion Crow
Bayou, but they were driven off, with a loss of 3 killed. We lost none. I refer particularly to the
report of General Burbridge for the names of those deserving honorable mention.
On the 4th instant the enemy sent in a flag of truce, proposing to give up such of our
wounded as they had, not having the means to take care of them. I sent for and received 47. They
refused to give up our wounded officers, among them Colonel Guppey, of the Twenty-third
Wisconsin, a most gallant and meritorious officer. Though wounded, I am pleased to learn that
his wound is not severe, and that all our prisoners were being well treated.
As to the force of the enemy engaged, opinions are conflicting, but, from the best data I have,
I judge them to have been from 6,000 to 7,000, the whole under the command of Brigadier-
General Green.
Respectfully, yours,
Major-General, Commanding.
Flagship McClellan, off Aransas Pass, Tex., November 18, 1863.
GENERAL: I left Brownsville on the 13th, for the purpose of moving against the passes
above Brazos Santiago. We completed the embarkation of troops at Brazos Island on the 15th,
and sailed on the morning of the 16th for Corpus Christi. The troops on board were the
Thirteenth and Fifteenth Maine, Thirty-fourth and Twenty-sixth Iowa, and the Eighth Indiana
Regiments, and one battery of artillery, numbering in all about 1,500 men. We reached Corpus
Christi the day before yesterday (16th), at 1 o'clock. We expected to be able to cross the bar at
Corpus Christi with the Matamoras, one of the boats brought from the Rio Grande, and drawing
3 feet of water, but we found the passage was impracticable, the bar being covered by only 2
feet. We were, therefore, compelled to land our troops upon the coast. The disembarkation was
superintended by Brigadier-General Ransom (who commanded the troops during the day), and
was commenced immediately upon our arrival, and occupied the night. The troops, after landing,
commenced a movement toward the upper end of the island, a distance of 22 miles. This march,
performed immediately after effecting a most difficult landing by means of boats through the
surf, reflects great credit upon the officers and troops engaged. The enemy was completely
surprised by our arrival, having no intimation of our presence until the morning, when we
presented ourselves. After skirmishing a couple of hours on the island, and some most effective
and well-directed artillery fire from the gunboat Monongahela, the enemy surrendered.
Lieutenant-Colonel - was in command, and we captured altogether 9 officers, 90 men, three
heavy siege guns, a quantity of most excellent small-arms, 80 or 90 good horses, a schooner,
nearly new, and considerable minor land and water transportation.
We shall move to-morrow against Pass Cavallo, the most important pass on the coast except
Galveston. We shall have a sharper contest there than at Aransas, but are confident of success.
The success of our expedition will very likely transfer our operations to the coast. The best
line of defense for Louisiana, as well as for operations against Texas, is by Berwick Bay and the
Atchafalaya. To operate promptly and effectively on this line, we need light-draught sea boats,
drawing 6 or 7 feet of water. A supply of these will be a measure of great economy to the
Government. Larger ships are in great peril constantly, from their inability to escape the
"northers" by entering the bays. We lost one excellent steamer, the Nassau, on the bar at Brazos
from this cause. The steamers Saint Mary's, Clinton, Crescent, and others of that class, have been
of the greatest service, and to them we owe the success of our expedition. It is of the utmost
importance that this number should be increased. We need very much light-draught gunboats on
the Atchafalaya, as, if this line is well protected from Berwick Bay to the Red River, the enemy
necessarily is thrown back from the Mississippi.
Admiral Porter informs me that he had received your orders to send boats down, but that he
was unable to enter the Atchafalaya from Red River, owing to the low stage of the water, and
that his boats could not pass by sea into Berwick Bay with safety. I am quite confident that
watching for fair weather, all his boats can be bouyed around with the assistance of steamers.
The distance is only 40 miles and the sea is often quite smooth. We have frequently sent river
boats around in that way. I respectfully request your attention to this subject.
I have the honor to be, with much respect, your obedient servant,
Major-General, Commanding.
Maj. Gen. H. W. HALLECK,
General-in-Chief, U. S. Army, Washington, D. C.
November 7, 1863---8 p.m.
GENERAL: I have just received your dispatch of 10.30 a.m. of to-day. Brigadier-General
Ransom has arrived, and I had intended to have relieved General Vandever and to have put him
in his place, but I must for the present leave him here to push matters on.
The Twentieth are still on board the Scott, and I will remain here long enough to-morrow to
see that they are sure to be landed, and to see that other things are so far progressed that General
Ransom can understand them, but shall leave some time to-morrow.
Vandever's brigade, except the Fifteenth Maine, is on the march to Brownsville. The
Twentieth Iowa, of Dye's brigade, is at Point Isabel. The Twentieth Wisconsin, of the same
brigade, will march to-morrow for Brownsville.
I see no way immediately of sending the articles I have named in connection with the Scott,
except on lighters which we expect from you by way of the mouth of the river. Will they be in
danger by that route?
I shall send the Saint Mary's to Brashear at noon to morrow. The Clinton and the Crescent
will leave next day, unless otherwise directed.
I have the honor to remain, very respectfully,
N. J. T. DANA,
Major-General BANKS,
November 15, 1863--7 a.m.
GENERAL: I received last night your dispatch of 9 a.m. yesterday, and just before that I had
written you by the sergeant commanding the escort which was furnished to Governor King.
Nothing has occurred since then. The troops sent from here are the Thirteenth Maine, Thirtyfourth
Iowa, and Battery F, First Missouri Light Artillery (six pieces), which, with the Fifteenth
Maine, make about 1,100 men, 100 more than I understood you to have prepared.
The Twentieth Iowa is also at Point Isabel, 300 strong. I mention these things because you
say in your communication "the Thirteenth Maine will probably be here to-night, and I think you
should forward immediately the other regiments," and I am uneasy for fear you may be
expecting more troops from here than I understood you to direct. I will wait to hear from you
further before sending more.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
N. J. T. DANA,
Major-General BANKS,
Brazos Island.
Brownsville, November 16, 1863--7 p.m.
GENERAL: I have just received your dispatch of 2.30 p.m. of yesterday. This afternoon
dispatches arrived here through Mr. Pierce, consul at Matamoras, from Mr. Kimmey, consul at
Monterey, addressed to you, which I have taken the liberty of opening, owing to the supposition
that they probably contained information from Eagle Pass or Franklin which ought to be acted on
without delay. I inclose the packages.
In replying to Mr. Kimmey, I told him we were buying all the horses and mules which were
presented, and would buy not less than 2,000 of both. I also informed him that if his mails were
sent to our care at this place, via Brazos, we would deliver them to Mr. Pierce. I have sent
Lieutenant Cushing into the interior of Mexico, 30 miles from Matamoras, to procure horses and
mules; he will be gone two days. The fortifications were commenced to-day, and will be pressed
forward I have sent into the interior 30 miles for some cotton which was reported as
approaching the river above here, and I also expect a couple of lots in from a point 70 miles from
here on the King's ranch road. The teamsters came to ask permission to bring it in, and security
that they might sell it. I offered them to pay their freight money ($4 per hundred) on their
delivery of it if they would bring it in of their own accord. They consented, and have gone for it.
The Thirty-fourth Iowa captured and delivered 39 bales on their march down to Point Isabel. I
have ordered a cavalry picket of 50 men, 40 miles from here, on the Corpus Christi road, beyond
the Arroyo Colorado, at the point where the road crosses it at Taylor's Ferry. Also a picket at
Rancho Rucia, on the Rio Grande, 27 miles above here, where the road to Las Animas leaves the
river. Both pickets are ordered to keep out vedettes, and scout the country, &c. We shall keep our
picket line vigilant and strong enough.
I have the honor to remain, with much respect, your obedient servant,
N. J. T. DANA,
Major-General BANKS,
Commanding Department of the Gulf.
Fort Esperanza, December 1, 1863.
GENERAL: I wrote you a brief dispatch yesterday morning, informing you of the fall of this
fort. The boat I intended to send it upon (the Crescent) I was afterward compelled to take to send
to Aransas Pass for supplies, and to order up the light-draught boats there to enable me to move
All the boats there, with one or two exceptions, are helpless for want of coal, as you will see
by the inclosed note of Ensign Grinnell. The Crescent has just returned, and the Saint Mary's,
with troops and rations, is in the offing, and I hope will be able to cross the bar to-day. I have
determined to move up the Matagorda Peninsula to the mouth of the Brazos River. There are two
forts there which must be taken. If I have good luck, I will have that pass in one week. That will
be my base of supply from which to move to Houston and Galveston. By the time that pass is in
my possession, I shall hope to receive re-enforcements that will enable me to leave the coast and
march on Houston. The latter point, I think, should be captured before moving against Galveston.
The pass here is nearly 2 miles wide, and it is going to be a difficult job to ferry my wagons and
artillery over to the peninsula, but it can be done. While waiting here for supplies yesterday, I
thought it best to make a small demonstration) toward Lavaca. We formed, and drove a company
of mounted men, who were doing picket duty about 3 miles from here, in the direction of
Lavaca. It is my intention to run the transports as far up Matagorda Bay as I can, to land supplies
and troops, but, before doing so, I thought it best to have a gunboat reconnoiter for rebel boats. I
requested Captain Strong to send up his lightest draught boat, which he very readily did. She has
not returned. Up to this time, no troops have joined me since I left Mustang Island. I have
detailed the Twenty-third Iowa, Colonel Glasgow, to garrison this post. My whole force with me
is about 2,800, including the Twenty-third Iowa, but, with what are on the Saint Mary's and on
the way by land, I expect my force will be increased to 4,000 and upward.
After writing you yesterday morning, my advance crossed over and took possession of a fort
on Bayncos Island. One 24-pounder field gun was found in position, with about 100 rounds of
ammunition, all in good order. Two other guns had been taken away. All the guns but one 24-
pounder siege gun in Fort Esperanza were spiked. Five magazines were blown up, and two
remain in good condition, with a good supply of ammunition. The ammunition for the large gun
was not destroyed. It is needless for me to make any suggestions in regard to a supply of coal. A
light-draught boat here now, with a supply of fuel, would be worth millions.
1 am, general, your obedient servant,
Major-General BANKS,
Commanding Department of the Gulf.
Fort Esperanza, Tex., December 6, 1863.
MAJOR: I herewith inclose reports of Brig. Gen. T. E.G. Ransom, commanding Third
Brigade, Second Division, and Col. H. D. Washburn, commanding First Brigade, First Division,
Thirteenth Army Corps, detailing the action of their respective brigades in the reduction of this
fort. I refer to these reports as containing most of the details pertaining to the expedition, and for
the names of such persons as deserve specially to be honorably mentioned. On the 21st ultimo, I
arrived at Aransas Pass, with the Thirty-third Illinois and part of the Eighteenth Indiana, on
board steamer Clinton. On the 22d ultimo, I received your order to take command of an
expedition up the coast, for the purpose of capturing this fort. On the same day, I proceeded to
Saint Joseph's Island, and landed the troops and stores on board the Clinton by 12 m. On the 23d,
I pushed forward same day to head of Saint Joseph's Island, 18 miles distant, having previously
sent General Ransom in the advance, with instructions to bridge, if possible, the pass between
Saint Joseph's and Matagorda Islands. On arriving at this pass (called Cedar Bayou), I discovered
that to bridge would be impossible. With a width of nearly 300 yards, a strong current, and
exposed to the terrible winds that here prevail, I saw that our only chance to get over was to
ferry. Fearing that such would prove the case, I brought along on my wagons four yawl boats. By
lashing together, I was able to take over my troops, wagons, and artillery. My horses and mules
were swum across. On the 24th, a terrific norther sprung up, rendering it impossible to cross the
pass, but on the following morning, the gale having subsided, the force commenced to cross, and
by midnight were all over, and the rear went into camp, about 8 miles up the coast, at 3 a.m. On
the 26th, marched over 20 miles, and encamped 10 miles from the fort, and on the 27th, at 11
a.m., came within range of the guns of the fort. Spent the rest of the day reconnoitering the
position, the gunboats which were to co-operate not having come up. I soon discovered that the
fort was a large and complete work, mounting heavy guns, and that all approaches were well
The country around was a level plain, and their outworks, which were of a most complete
character, extended across from the Gulf to a lagoon connecting with the back bay. On the night
after our arrival, a fierce norther sprung up, causing my men to suffer greatly, and rendering the
prosecution of operations exceedingly disagreeable. The norther continued for two days,
rendering it impossible for the gunboats to render us any assistance. I applied for launches, with
which I intended to land troops on Bayucos Island and cut off their communication with the main
[land], but the gale prevented their being furnished until too late.
The force within the fort was from 700 to 800, all of whom escaped under cover of night,
excepting 6 belonging to their rear guard. The rebels left 1 man on the ground killed. If they had
any wounded, they took them away. We lost 1 killed and 2 wounded. Lieutenant Fifer, gallant
young officer of the Thirty-third Illinois, was severely wounded in the breast. For a description
of the fort, and the captures therein, I refer to the report of Captain Baker, engineer. We also
captured a small fort on Bayucos Island, with one 24-pounder field gun. I cannot express in too
strong language my admiration of the conduct of the officers and men engaged in this expedition.
We left the foot of Saint Joseph's Island without transportation of any kind, except twelve
wagons, which were used for transporting supplies. With this small train I had to supply 2,800
men, together with the animals belonging to the train, and horses for two batteries, nearly 60
miles from my base of supply.
The weather much of the time was very inclement, water very bad, and fuel scarce, but I
never heard a complaint or murmur of any kind. The troops accompanying me were as follows,
viz: Eighth Indiana Infantry, commanded by Major Kenny; Eighteenth Indiana, Lieutenant-
Colonel Charles; Thirty-third Illinois, Col. C. E. Lippincott; Ninety-ninth Illinois, Colonel
Bailey; Seventh Michigan Battery, Lieutenant Stillman, composing First Brigade; Twenty-third
Iowa, Colonel Glasgow, of the Second Brigade, First Division, Thirteenth Army Corps, all
commanded by Col. H. D. Washburn; and the Thirty-fourth Iowa, Lieutenant-Colonel Dungan;
Fifteenth Maine, Colonel Dyer; Thirteenth Maine, Colonel Hesseltine, and Foust's (Missouri)
battery, of the Second Brigade, Second Division, Thirteenth Army Corps, commanded by
Brigadier-General Ransom. It affords me great pleasure to state that the conduct of Brigadier-
General Ransom and Col. H. D. Washburn, commanding brigades, was most prompt, gallant,
and efficient, and deserves the highest praise. The navy has shown every disposition to cooperate
in the most prompt manner, and to Captain Strong, of the Monongahela, commanding
the fleet, and Captain Lamson, of the Granite City, I am under many obligations. Their failure to
take part in the attack on the fort was attributable solely to the gale which at the time prevailed.
Assistant Adjutant-General.
SALURIA, Tex., December 3, 1863.
MAJOR: I beg leave to submit the following report of the part taken by the First Brigade,
First Division, Thirteenth Army Corps, in the reduction of Fort Esperanza, on Matagorda Island:
At midnight, November 25, I had succeeded, after much difficulty, in getting the whole of
my force across Cedar Bayou, upon the island, and marched immediately to join General
Ransom, some 8 miles in advance. After a few hours, rest, we moved up the island, making a
very hard march through the sand of 23 miles; camped for the night, and moved in the morning
for this place, my brigade, by your order, moving along the beach. About 12 o'clock we had
advanced to the light-house, and in close proximity to the enemy's works. The main portion of
the command was halted, and, by your order, I proceeded with one company from each of my
regiments, under the command of Capt. Ira Moore, Thirty-third Illinois, a most excellent officer,
supported by the Thirty-third Regiment Illinois Infantry, to reconnoiter, and endeavor to find the
strength and position of the enemy. Moving cautiously up the beach, we soon drove in the
enemy's picket, and our advance was safely lodged in a range of sand hills, within 300 yards of
the outer work of the enemy--a heavy earthwork, extending from the bay to a lagoon running
from the bay on the mainland side of the island. The work was regularly laid out, about 15 feet in
thickness, and from 10 to 15 feet in height.
The enemy now opened upon us from Fort Esperanza with his 128-pounder and 24s,
throwing shells, but with little or no effect. Having found out the position and apparent strength
of the enemy, by your order I withdrew my advance. During the night, a heavy norther coming
on, we were unable to do much the 28th. The night of the 28th, Captain McCallister, of the
Eighth Indiana, and Captain Hull, of the Ninety-ninth Illinois, both of whom had had
considerable experience in that line in the rear of Vicksburg, with a fatigue party from each of
the regiments in the brigade, under cover of the darkness, dug a rifle-pit from the sand hills on
the beach occupied by us the first day, and running parallel with the enemy's works, 210 yards in
length, sufficient to cover a regiment. Sergeant Goodlander, of Company F, Eighth Indiana, with
a small detail from the different regiments, was ordered to move at early dawn in advance of our
rifle pit, and endeavor to gain a position on the outer edge of the enemy's works. The Eighth
Indiana was also moved out, and ordered to lie down in the open prairie, in order to take
advantage of any lodgment our advance might make. Captain Hull, of the Ninety-ninth,
volunteered, and accompanied the advance. The morning was bitterly cold, and our men suffered
severely. Our advance moved up slowly and cautiously, took position on the outside of the work,
the inside being controlled by the enemy in the sand hills between the work and the main fort,
driving in a small picket force on the inside, the force for protection of the work having been
driven by the weather to the sand hills. They endeavored to rally and drive our men back, but in
vain. The Eighth Indiana was immediately sent forward in small detachments, so as to avoid the
fire of the heavy guns of the fort, and gained a safe footing in our rifle-pit and on the enemy's
work. Finding ourselves more successful than I had dared to hope, I returned to the main portion
of my brigade, and immediately sent Colonel Lippincott with his regiment to the front, with
instructions to take command of the force in front, and to advance as fast as prudence would
allow, and to get, if possible, a position where our artillery might be made effective. Colonel
Lippincott moved promptly with his command, and I soon had the pleasure of hearing from him
that he had secured a good position for our artillery.
Adjt. W. W. Zener, of the Eighteenth Indiana, now on my staff, was ordered to bring up two
pieces of the Seventh Michigan Battery, under command of Lieutenant Stillman, which he
accomplished with dispatch The pieces were brought up and placed in battery under a heavy fire
from the fort, fortunately not very accurate, and we soon had the pleasure of seeing our shells
dropping in the enemy's stronghold, and driving them from their guns. Colonel Lippincott had
very judiciously disposed of the two regiments, and had, previously to the arrival of the artillery,
advanced several companies into the sand hills in our front, driving back the enemy nearer his
main work. I also ordered possession to be taken of an old work several hundred yards in our
front, and to the left and rear of the fort, which was gallantly done by Captain McCallister,
Eighth Indiana, with his company. This enabled us to move our advance on the right nearer the
fort. In the meantime I had ordered Lieutenant-Colonel Charles, Eighteenth Indiana, to move his
regiment to the support of the Eighth and Thirty-third, in doing which he passed under a heavy
fire of the fort, but fortunately for him the enemy threw nothing but solid shot, which, from their
size, were easily avoided, and he gained his position with the loss of but 1 man.
Night coming on, found four companies of the Eighth Indiana and five companies of the
Thirty-third Illinois in the sand hills near the fort (725 yards, as shown by measurement). Two
companies of the Eighth Indiana held the old work to our front. The balance of three regiments
held the outside of the new work. The men, although the night was raw and cold, remained upon
the field and in their position. A fatigue party was detailed from the reserve regiments, and
proceeded to move the four pieces of the Seventh Michigan Battery to the work occupied by our
troops, and, by filling the ditch, placed them in a fine position. I also ordered a portion of the
Eighteenth Indiana, under Captain Lowes, to reenforce Captain McCallister, as I believed that to
be an important point. The Ninety-ninth Illinois and Twenty-third Iowa, who were held in
reserve, were to move at daylight to our position, while a general advance of the whole brigade
was to take place. These arrangements were hardly completed when, about 12:30 o'clock, an
explosion of gunpowder in the fort warned us that the enemy were on the move. I immediately
ordered an advance of the skirmishers, and found that the enemy had fled, leaving behind him his
stores and ammunition and the personal baggage of the officers. They had, however, piled a large
quantity of cotton around the different magazines, after having scattered gunpowder around in
different places.
The advance pushed on to the ferry, but were too late; the enemy had cut the rope, allowing
the floating bridge to swing around upon the shore. They had also attempted to destroy it by
piling cotton upon it and firing it, but our men were too close, and put out the fire. Six of the 8
men left by the enemy to fire the trains were captured.
At daylight I moved a small force across to McHenry Island, and took possession of a small
earthwork containing one 24-pounder gun, considerable ammunition, and some garrison
equipage. In Fort Esperanza we found one 28-pounder columbiad and seven 24-pounder siege
guns. Two of the magazines were saved. Considerable camp and garrison equipage was in the
fort, but, owing to the danger from the explosion, we failed to save it.
My total loss was 1 man killed and 10 wounded, among the latter Lieut. George H. Fifer,
acting aide-de-camp, a gallant and brave officer, who fell, severely wounded, during our first
reconnaissance. My officers and men behaved gallantly, showing that they had lost none of that
coolness and bravery evinced by them upon the battle-fields of Pea Ridge, Fredericktown, Port
Gibson, Champion's Hill, Black River Bridge, Vicksburg, and Jackson.
Colonel Lippincott, of the Thirty-third Illinois, rendered me great assistance in the advance
upon the enemy's works, and displayed both courage and judgment.
Major Kenny, of the Eighth Indiana, though lately promoted to the position, proved by his
courage and coolness that he was well worthy of the same.
Lieutenant-Colonel Charles, of the Eighteenth Regiment Indiana Volunteers, brought his
regiment in fine style and good order through a heavy fire from the fort to the support of the two
advance regiments.
Colonel Bailey, of the Ninety-ninth Illinois, and Colonel Glasgow, of the Twenty-third Iowa,
who were held in reserve, were both anxious to be moved to the front, and, more by accident
than anything else, were thrown into the reserve. Both regiments had already established their
reputation as veterans in the well-fought fields of Mississippi. I am greatly indebted to Captain
McCallister, Eighth Indiana, and Captain Hull, Ninety-ninth Illinois, for their assistance in the
digging and laying out of their rifle-pit and placing of the battery.
Lieutenant Stillman, commanding Seventh Michigan Battery, rendered very efficient aid in
discomfiting the enemy. Two guns of his battery were worked right under the fire of the guns of
the fort.
My own staff discharged their duties with fidelity, courage, and ability. They are as follows:
Maj. I. H. Elliott, Thirty-third Illinois, inspector and chief of staff; Capt. S. H. Dunbar, Eighth
Indiana, acting assistant adjutant-general; Capt. John Ruess, Eighth Indiana, acting assistant
commissary of subsistence; Lieut. and Adjt. W. W. Zener, Eighteenth Indiana, aide-de-camp and
provost-marshal; Lieut. G. H. Fifer, Thirty-third Illinois, aide-de-camp; Lieut. J. G. Sever,
Ninety-ninth Illinois, ordnance officer. Maj. Joseph H. Ledlie, Ninety-ninth Illinois, senior
surgeon, was detailed on operating board.
I would also make especial mention of Sergt. John Goodlander, of Company F, Eighth
Indiana, and Private Addison Hallenbeck, Company K, Eighteenth Indiana, who were the first to
mount the enemy's works the morning of the 29th. In mentioning the above, I would not have it
understood that any of my officers or men failed to do their duty, and their whole duty.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel, Comdg. First Brig., First Div., Thirteenth Army Corps.
December 1, 1863.
GENERAL: I have the honor to submit to you an account of the part taken by my regiment in
the expedition against Texas, which was under command of Major-General Banks and started
from New Orleans on the 24th October, 1863.
On the 23d, my regiment embarked on the steamer General Banks. The entire fleet consisted
of sixteen vessels and three gunboats, all loaded with troops, provisions, and munitions of war.
On the 27th, the fleet sailed through the Southwest Pass, and came to anchor outside the bar.
Went to sea on the 29th. On the 30th, we encountered a severe storm from the north. Our ship
being overloaded, as well as old and frail, labored and strained alarmingly. The sea striking very
heavily under the guards and fan-tail, threatened to tear off the latter, rendering it necessary, in
order to save life, to lighten the ship. This was at once done by heaving overboard 11 mules, one
battery wagon, forage, &c., after which she rode easier, but her leakage constantly increased,
requiring the unremitting working of the pumps.
On the 31st October, our fuel was nearly exhausted, and we were taken in tow by the Empire
On the 1st day of November, we came in sight of land, and at 6 p.m. came to anchor off the
bar at the island of Brazos.
On the 2d November, we were the first of the fleet to cross the bar, and about noon effected a
landing. The Nineteenth Regiment was the first command landed, and its colors the first that
floated on the breeze of that desolate island. I was at once ordered out; moved 6 miles to the
front, and held the advance for three days, until a large part of the force was landed and came up.
On the 6th of November, our orders were to move forward, and, after two days' march up the
Rio Grande, crossing the battle-fields of Palo Alto and Resaca de la Palma, we entered
Brownsville, Tex., on the 7th, without opposition.
The enemy had a small force, which evacuated the place on our approach. Previously,
however, they fired the barracks of Fort Brown and many private buildings, which were
smoldering ruins when we took possession of the town. We captured a large amount of cotton,
and stopped a large trade going on between Mexico and the so-called Confederate States.
Col. William McE. Dye, of the Twentieth Iowa, commanding our brigade (Second Brigade,
Second Division, Thirteenth Army Corps), was made commander of the post, and his brigade
went into barracks in the town, where we still remain.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Major, Commanding Nineteenth Iowa Infantry
Adjutant-General of Iowa.
December 1, 1863.
GENERAL: I have the honor to submit to you an account of the part taken by my regiment in
the expedition against Texas, which was under command of Major-General Banks and started
from New Orleans on the 24th October, 1863.
On the 23d, my regiment embarked on the steamer General Banks. The entire fleet consisted
of sixteen vessels and three gunboats, all loaded with troops, provisions, and munitions of war.
On the 27th, the fleet sailed through the Southwest Pass, and came to anchor outside the bar.
Went to sea on the 29th. On the 30th, we encountered a severe storm from the north. Our ship
being overloaded, as well as old and frail, labored and strained alarmingly. The sea striking very
heavily under the guards and fan-tail, threatened to tear off the latter, rendering it necessary, in
order to save life, to lighten the ship. This was at once done by heaving overboard 11 mules, one
battery wagon, forage, &c., after which she rode easier, but her leakage constantly increased,
requiring the unremitting working of the pumps.
On the 31st October, our fuel was nearly exhausted, and we were taken in tow by the Empire
On the 1st day of November, we came in sight of land, and at 6 p.m. came to anchor off the
bar at the island of Brazos.
On the 2d November, we were the first of the fleet to cross the bar, and about noon effected a
landing. The Nineteenth Regiment was the first command landed, and its colors the first that
floated on the breeze of that desolate island. I was at once ordered out; moved 6 miles to the
front, and held the advance for three days, until a large part of the force was landed and came up.
On the 6th of November, our orders were to move forward, and, after two days' march up the
Rio Grande, crossing the battle-fields of Palo Alto and Resaca de la Palma, we entered
Brownsville, Tex., on the 7th, without opposition.
The enemy had a small force, which evacuated the place on our approach. Previously,
however, they fired the barracks of Fort Brown and many private buildings, which were
smoldering ruins when we took possession of the town. We captured a large amount of cotton,
and stopped a large trade going on between Mexico and the so-called Confederate States.
Col. William McE. Dye, of the Twentieth Iowa, commanding our brigade (Second Brigade,
Second Division, Thirteenth Army Corps), was made commander of the post, and his brigade
went into barracks in the town, where we still remain.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Major, Commanding Nineteenth Iowa Infantry
Adjutant-General of Iowa.
October 1.--The division was stationed at Morganza, La., until the 11th instant, when it
embarked on transports and sailed for Carrollton.
October 12.--Arrived at Carrollton about 10 a.m., and went into camp, where it remained
until the 22d instant, busily engaged in fitting out for a campaign in a new field.
October 21.--The Thirteenth and Fifteenth Maine Infantry were attached to the division by
order of Major-General Banks, and the First Texas Cavalry, First Engineers, and Sixteenth
Infantry, Corps d'Afrique, were ordered to report to Major-General Dana, commanding the corps
and division, though not attached to the division.
October 23.--The division embarked on transports, and dropped down the river.
October 25.--Sailed for the mouth of the Rio Grande.
October 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, and 31 found them still in the Gulf, on board boats, en route to
their destinations.
November 1.--This division, under the immediate command of Major-General Dana, was on
transports, lying off the coast, awaiting an opportunity to land, a storm raging at the time.
November 3.--Commenced landing by lighters and small boats on Brazos Island, consuming
several days, and losing two steamers and two schooners in so doing.
November 6.--The Second Brigade, excepting the Twentieth Iowa, marched on, and occupied
Brownsville. On the same day, the Twentieth Iowa occupied Point Isabel. The First Brigade,
excepting the Fifteenth Maine, which remained at Brazos, marched on same day toward
Brownsville, encamped on the Rio Grande, and marched into Brownsville on the 8th. The First
Texas Cavalry marched in detachments, as their horses were unloaded, for same point--a long
and tedious process, consuming several days. The First Engineers and Sixteenth Infantry, Corps
d'Afrique, left at Brazens.
November 13.--The Thirteenth Maine Infantry marched from Brownsville to Point Isabel.
November 14.--The Thirty-fourth Iowa and Battery F, First Missouri Light Artillery,
marched from Brownsville to Point Isabel, and the Fifteenth Maine, having crossed to Point
Isabel from Brazos, the Twentieth and Thirty-fourth Iowa, the Thirteenth and Fifteenth Maine,
and Battery F were placed under command of Brigadier-General Ransom, and proceeded up the
coast by vessel, and landed on Mustang Island.
November 16.--Marched up the island, captured a small fort, with heavy guns, prisoners, &c.,
and proceeded to Saint Joseph's Island.
November 28.--Attacked a fort of the enemy, compelling them to abandon and destroy
everything in it. This portion of the division is still absent, and no further reports have been heard
from them.
November 20.--The First Texas Cavalry, the Thirty-seventh Illinois, and a section of Battery
B marched on Ringgold Barracks, some 200 miles above the Rio Grande, where a force of rebels
were said to be; and are at this date, November 30, still absent. The remainder of the troops are at
Point Isabel and Brazos Island, engaged in fortifying and holding those posts. Health of the
troops generally good. A large amount of cotton and valuable stores have been captured and
turned over to the proper departments, for which the various staff reports will account.
November 3.--The Nineteenth Iowa, Thirteenth Maine, and Battery B, First Missouri Light
Artillery, landed on Brazos Island, and the two regiments proceeded to the Boca Chica, where
the Nineteenth Iowa encamped. The Thirteenth Maine crossed and moved down the coast to the
mouth of the Rio Grande, and encamped.
November 4.--Received orders to land the brigade, and move at once with four days' rations
to Brownsville, and occupy the place. The brigade commander landed with the Ninety-fourth
Illinois, leaving orders to have the rations loaded and sent after him. Moved on the road to
Brownsville, by way of the Rio Grande, passing the Nineteenth Iowa at the Boca Chica, who
were ordered to wait for the artillery and rations, and come on with them. Found the Thirteenth
Maine at the mouth of the Rio Grande, without rations, and also that the Twentieth Iowa and
Twentieth Wisconsin had failed in the attempt to land, having drowned 3 or 4 men in the
breakers and lost a number of arms, accouterments, knapsacks, &c. Pushed on for Brownsville,
leaving the Thirteenth Maine to come on as soon as rations could be procured, and arrived in
front of Brownsville with the Ninety-fourth Illinois, about 125 men, on the evening of the 5th.
November 6.--Moved in at 10 a.m. and took possession. At 4 p.m. the Thirteenth Maine
arrived, and two pieces of Battery B.
November 7.--The Nineteenth Iowa arrived, and the Twentieth Wisconsin on the 10th. The
Twentieth Iowa has not been heard from officially since landing. The Thirteenth Maine left this
place on the 13th instant for Point Isabel, and has not been heard from officially since.
November 21.--One section of Battery B accompanied a scout to Ringgold Barracks.
December 19.--Left New Iberia, La., for Berwick Bay, La., arriving there on the evening of
the 21st; distance marched, about 60 miles.
December 22, 23.--Crossed Berwick Bay, and took cars for Algiers, La., where we are still in
camp, excepting the Thirty-fourth Indiana Infantry and four companies of the Forty-sixth Indiana
Infantry, which have embarked for Texas.
Lavaca, November 30, 1863.
Brig. Gen. H. P. BEE:
SIR: Acting in accordance with your instructions to me on the 21st instant, I left Hawley's
dredge-boat on Aransas Bay on the 22d, leaving under a flag of truce your communication to the
officer commanding the naval and land forces of the United States Army at Aransas Pass.
On arriving within probably a mile of the nearest vessel of the Federal fleet, I stopped, and
waved my flag repeatedly to attract the attention of their outposts. After the lapse of two or three
hours, I saw, nearing me, a small boat, containing an officer and 5 men. Although they had no
white flag flying, still I determined to await their approach, being very anxious to get an answer
to your communication. As soon as the boat reached me, I made known my business, and handed
the officer my documents.
I was at once placed under guard, and the Federal boat returned to the island, coming back
again in an hour, with instructions to take myself and party, consisting of 2 citizens, within the
As soon as we reached Aransas City, I was conducted to the headquarters of the officer
commanding the troops at that point. I was here informed that I would be detained until General
Banks, whose headquarters were on Mustang Island, about 5 miles distant, could receive your
communication and act upon it. This gave me an opportunity of seeing very distinctly their entire
force, and forming some idea of the object of the very active movements that were going on. I
soon came to the conclusion that an expedition was being organized to attack our fortifications at
Saluria, which conclusion was verified during the evening.
This expedition consisted of five infantry regiments--the Thirty-third and Ninety-ninth
Illinois, the Eighth and Eighteenth Indiana, and the Twenty-third Iowa--not averaging over 500
men each. Accompanying these troops there were, as near as I could learn, eight pieces of
artillery. This brigade was commanded by Colonel [Henry D.] Washburn, acting brigadiergeneral.
The expedition was directed by General [Cadwallader C.] Washburn, who commands, I
understand, one division of the Thirteenth Army Corps, U.S. Army.
General Washburn marched on Saluria the same evening that I landed on the island, the 22d
instant. About two hours after my landing, I was taken by Colonel [Nathan A.M.] Dudley,
inspector-general of the Thirteenth Army Corps, U.S. Army, to Mustang Island, when the
colonel informed me I would be detained there three or four days for prudential motives.
Quarters were assigned me on one of their transports.
I was detained within the Federal lines four days, during which time, being restricted only by
the limits of the transport on which I was quartered, I had an opportunity of gaining considerable
information respecting General Banks' expedition against our State.
Until the 25th, the five regiments that marched against Saluria and two companies of negroes
that remained on Mustang [Island] comprised General Banks' entire command this side of
Brownsville. On the evening of the 25th, however, a vessel arrived from New Orleans, I think,
with two regiments of infantry--the Twenty-first and Twenty-second Iowa; they also averaged
only about 500 men each. This comprised General Banks' entire command on the islands of
Mustang, Saint Joseph, and Matagorda. When I was released, on the evening of the 26th instant,
he had outside four heavy ships of war--the McClellan, his flag-ship; the Monongahela, their
heaviest armed ship; the Granite City, and the Thomas Scott. Inside of the bar, there were six
transports drawing under 8 feet water, all armed but one, their armament consisting of 12-
pounder Dahlgren howitzers and 20-pounder Parrott guns. There were four of each kind; two of
the Parrott guns, however, were in battery on land, two small earthworks having been thrown up
as soon as the island was captured. One of the transports was the Matamoras, from the Rio
Grande, one of the boats owned by Messrs. King & Kennedy, of Brownsville; all of their boats
excepting one are in the hands of the Federals. The Matamoras is still commanded by her same
captain, Dalzell.
While writing here of the Rio Grande, I will mention that the chief of General Banks' staff
told me several times that all cotton in Matamoras would be seized and held by the Federal
As nearly as I could judge from my conversations with General Banks' staff officers and
officers of the line, the primary object of this expedition is to completely blockade our coast by
capturing our passes and fortifying them. After this is accomplished, they expect, with the
assistance of their forces in Arkansas and Louisiana, to invade the State and hold it, as they do
other portions of our Confederacy. I was told by one of the above officers that they expected
more troops daily--a sufficient number to defeat the army of 20,000 that they understood we had
in Texas.
Believing this to be about the amount of information I gained during the four days that I was
detained within the Federal lines, I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
First Lieutenant, and Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
June 15, 1863--2.30 p.m.
His Excellency Governor KIRKWOOD,
Iowa City, Iowa:
The movements of the rebel forces in Virginia are now sufficiently developed to show that
General Lee with his whole army is moving forward to invade the States of Maryland and
Pennsylvania, and other States. The President, to repel this invasion promptly, has called upon
Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and West Virginia for 100,000 militia for six months, unless
sooner discharged. It is important to have the largest possible force in the least time, and if other
States would furnish militia for a short term, to be credited on the draft, it would greatly advance
the object.
Will you please inform me immediately what number, in answer to a special call of the
President, you can raise and forward of militia or volunteers, without bounty, for six months,
unless sooner discharged, and to be credited on the draft of your State?
Secretary of War
DAVENPORT, IOWA, June 15, 1863.
(Received 8.35 a.m.)
Governor and adjutant-general not returned from Vicksburg. Have telegraphed your dispatch
to Memphis. This State has few militia organizations. Three or four six-months' regiments could
be raised in twenty days. One battalion of cavalry here ready for field excepting horse
June 16, 1863--2.56 a.m.
Secretary of War:
It is impossible to say with certainty how many men can be raised in a short time among a
population as sparse as ours. If you deem it advisable to call for six-months' men from this State,
let me know how many you want and within what time you want them, and I will do my best,
Camp on Big Black, September 5, 1863.
SIR: Inclosed please find report of Col. E. F. Winslow, Fourth Iowa, of the results of his
expedition to Grenada, Memphis, and back to camp.
His movement was skillful and eminently successful. It would have been better that he
should have destroyed the locomotives and cars left at Winona, but my instructions to him, based
on those of General Grant to me, were to run the cars beyond Grenada and into Memphis. The
destruction of the bridges of the Yalabusha at Grenada made that impossible, and then it was too
late to bring up the cars from Winona. These can be of little use to the enemy, as they cannot
come below Durant, the road being useless thence to Jackson.
I am, &c.,
Major-General, Commanding.
Assistant Adjutant-General, Vicksburg, Miss.
Camp on Black River, August 8, 1863.
Fourth Iowa Cavalry:
SIR: In pursuance of Special Orders, No. 156, of the 6th instant, you will take command of
the cavalry forces designated in these orders, and start on the 10th instant for the north.
You will strike for the lower Benton road, and follow it to Mechanicsburg, and thence to
Yazoo City. There you will find a gunboat and a supply of provisions, with which you can
After a short rest, keeping well quiet as to your destination, proceed to Lexington, and thence
strike the Great Central Railroad and ascertain if possible if the locomotives and cars belonging
to the road are still above Grenada. At our last accounts there were between Grenada and Water
Valley an immense number of locomotives (70) and near 500 cars.
If you find any locomotives below Grenada, you will endeavor to have them and all cars sent
up to and above Grenada, and you will proceed to that place with your cavalry. General Grant
has ordered a force from Memphis to meet you at or near Grenada. Communicate with them as
soon as possible, and with your joint force use all possible efforts to get these cars and
locomotives into Memphis.
I take it for granted that parties are now employed in repairing the track out from Memphis,
and that you will find everything done on that end of the road.
You know that we have so crippled the road from Canton south that no railroad stock can be
carried off by the enemy; and therefore we have no interest in destroying it, and therefore you
will confine your labors and efforts to save it, by moving it toward and into Memphis.
You will find plenty of engineers and conductors whom you can employ, or, if necessary, use
force to compel them to work their engines and trains.
I am satisfied all of Jackson's cavalry is at or near Brandon, east of the Pearl. If any
detachments have been made they are toward Natchez. The Memphis forces will, of course,
drive out of that neighborhood all of Chalmers' men and other detachments of guerrillas, more
intent on collecting conscripts than on fighting.
No matter which force you meet, attack promptly and resolutely, and so handle your forces
that they cannot count your numbers. Do not stay in Grenada, but occupy the bank of the
Yalabusha, the other side of Grenada, till you are in connection with the Memphis forces, after
which act according to your judgment.
You carry money with you, and it is now to the interest of our Government that all
plundering and pillaging should cease. Impress this on your men from the start, and let your chief
quartermaster and commissary provide liberally and fairly for the wants of your command by
Union people and the poorer farmers, without being too critical as to politics, should be paid
for their corn, bacon, beef, and vegetables, but where the larger planters and farmers have an
abundance to spare you can take of the surplus, giving in all such cases a simple receipt, signed
by your chief quartermaster and commissary. Also, when your horses break down, you can take a
remount, exchanging the broken-down animal and giving a certificate of the transaction, fixing
the cash difference in value--the boot.
Deal firmly but fairly with the inhabitants. I am satisfied a change of feeling is now going on
in this State, and we should encourage it. Much importance is attached to this branch of the
subject, and you will see that every officer and man is informed of it.
Punish on the spot and with rigor any wanton burning of houses or property without your
specific orders. If at Grenada you find the Memphis force fully competent to the task of saving
the railroad stock enumerated you can return via Yazoo City; but if there be any doubt remain
with them and go on into Memphis and return to my command by the river. On your application
the quartermaster, Captain Eddy, will furnish boats. Report to me by letter as often as possible,
either by the route you go or around by way of Memphis. I inclose you the best map we are able
to compile. Add to it as you progress, and on your return I shall expect it to be filled with roads
and names of localities not now on it.
With great respect,
Major-General, Commanding.
MEMPHIS, TENN., August 22, 1863.
DEAR SIR: I have the honor to report that with my command I arrived here this evening,
having been thirteen days from camp.
I captured a down train at Durant, 14 miles east of Lexington; burned a piece of trestle 5
miles below that place, and moved directly on Grenada with all engines, cars, &c., arriving there
at 7 p.m., 17th instant. I was obliged to leave all rolling stock collected (17 engines and about
100 cars) at Winona, 20 miles below Grenada, as the enemy had destroyed a bridge just above
Found Lieutenant-Colonel Phillips, with 1,500 cavalry, had reached G[renada] about four
hours in advance of my coming, having driven out Slemons (with, say, 600 men), but not before
the railroad bridges had both been destroyed by fire.
Lieutenant-Colonel Phillips, fearing an attack from Jackson, had set fire to all the engines
and cars in Grenada, about 30 and 200, respectively.
I remained in Grenada one day, and with the whole command moved northward via Panola
and Coldwater, separating from Colonel Phillips at a point 10 miles north of Panola.
Found the crossing at the Coldwater in possession of a force of the enemy under Colonel
Blythe, but he was speedily driven out.
I had not a day's rations when we left Yazoo City, yet we made a very favorable impression
south of Grenada.
Lieutenant-Colonel Phillips had instructions directly antagonistic to those in my possession.
I shall have the honor to make an official report at once, and send or carry it to you.
Very truly, I have the pleasure of being your obedient servant to command,
Colonel, Commanding Cavalry Forces.
Major-General SHERMAN,
Commanding Fifteenth Army Corps.
Memphis, Tenn., August 23, 1863.
CAPTAIN: In accordance with instructions, the forces under my command, consisting of the
Third Iowa, Fourth Iowa, and Fifth Illinois Cavalry Regiments, 800 men, left camp on Big Black
River, at 5 a.m., 10th instant, and halted at 1 p.m. 8 miles below Mechanicsburg, 18 miles from
camp, until 5 o'clock next morning, when we moved through Mechanicsburg to the plantation of
Mr. Roach, and halted at noon, being then 9 miles from Yazoo City, which place was reached at
8 o'clock on the morning of the 12th instant.
The gunboat, transports, and troops had left this place early on the 11th instant, and after
waiting in bivouac until the morning of the 14th I decided, in opposition to the voices of officers
commanding the regiments, to push forward without further delay, and accordingly moved at
4.30 for Lexington via Rankin.
We bivouacked at 10 p.m. on Harlan's Creek, 30 miles from Yazoo City, 8 miles from
Lexington, and entered Lexington at 8 a.m., where the Third Iowa, Major Noble, with Lieutenant
Jones, acting assistant commissary of subsistence, was left to procure rations, while the main
force pushed forward to Durant, 14 miles, and captured at noon a train of cars just from Grenada.
Captain Peters was immediately placed in charge of the engine, and proceeded 5 miles below
Durant and burned a bridge on the track.
I learned that there was one engine and about ten cars below Du-rant, also that the railroad
bridge over Big Black had just been repaired, the captured train being the first one ordered over
Resting till 6 p.m., when the Third Iowa came up, the column was moved to West's Station,
going into bivouac at 11 p.m. on Jordan's Creek, 24 miles via Durant and 20 miles direct from
Lexington. At this point some engines and cars were found, and with the train from Durant,
forwarded to Vaiden, 12 miles, arriving at 11 o'clock, the 16th, where the cavalry was delayed
until 5 p.m. to make up trains.
Reaching Winona, 12 miles, at daybreak, the 17th, it was found that the enemy, who now
appeared in front, had destroyed a small bridge above town; therefore I decided to leave the
trains, now composing 13 engines and 60 cars, and push forward into Grenada, where I heard of
some force of the enemy being posted.
I had caused to be burned a bridge below West's Station, one below Vaiden, and two below
and near Winona, that the trains could not be carried off if we should be forced to abandon them
Under my instructions I expected to return to Winona, and run the trains to Grenada. Leaving
Winona at 7.30 a.m., the column reached Duck Hill Station, 12 miles, at 11 o'clock, and was
halted to feed and rest at Jackson's Creek, 11 miles from Grenada, till 3 p.m., then moved to that
place, arriving at 7.
From Winona to Grenada, 25 miles, the advance, Third Iowa, was briskly skirmishing, and at
Payne's plantation, 5 miles from Grenada, we came upon quite a force posted behind Berry
Creek, which, however, was speedily forced to abandon the position, retreating eastward.
Upon arriving at Grenada, I found Lieutenant-Colonel Phillips, Ninth Illinois Mounted
Infantry, with two brigades, 1,500 men. The railroad bridge over the Yalabusha having been
burned by the enemy, Colonel Phillips, hearing nothing of our advance, and fearing an
immediate attack from Jackson's cavalry, set fire to the long trains of cars and engines which he
found there.
His arrival about noon had been followed by the burning of the bridges and the retiring of the
enemy (at 4 o'clock), after several hours skirmishing, with little or no loss on either side.
Colonel Phillips had retired most of his troops north of the river, intending to move
northward at once, believing General Ruggles would intercept him at or near Panola.
The whole command being without rations, I decided to remain one day and procure them,
and placing the Third Iowa in charge of the town, with Major Noble as provost-marshal, I caused
the fires on the bridges to be extinguished and prevented the extension of a conflagration which
threatened to destroy the town, two large blocks having already been burned. Keeping the entire
command, except provost guard, picket, and commissary details, on the north side of the river, I
had the condition of the trains examined into, and herewith I submit a statement showing the
number, condition, &c., of all rolling stock on the Mississippi Central and Mississippi and
Tennessee Railroads.
At 4.30 a.m. the 19th instant, the entire force moved northward, via Oakland, to Panola,
where the Tallahatchie was crossed during the evening of the 20th instant after a slight skirmish
with some guerrillas.
On the 21st the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Phillips moved east toward Tchulahoma,
while my proper command marched to the crossing of the Coldwater.
At this point the enemy was found in some force, posted on the opposite bank of the river.
Directing Major Noble, with 75 men of the Third Iowa, to occupy their attention in front, I sent
Major Farnan, Fifth Illinois, with three companies of his own and two companies of the Third
Iowa Regiment (supported by four companies of the Fifth Illinois), all dismounted, with
instructions to cross the river lower down half a mile, and get in the rear of the enemy, if
possible. Through the indiscretion of some of his command the alarm was given ere this was
done, and the enemy in front retreated with some loss, just as the flanking party came in sight.
During this time there was continued skirmishing in our rear and on both flanks, several hundred
men being in that direction.
Repairing the boat we crossed and encamped at dark 4 miles from the river, and arrived at
Cane Creek, 4 miles from Memphis, at noon the 22d instant, having marched 265 miles, with
loss as follows:
Third Iowa, 4 privates wounded, not dangerously; Fourth Iowa, 4 privates and 1 sergeant
missing; Fifth Illinois, I private killed and I wounded seriously.
There were captured and paroled 55 prisoners of war, and I brought to this point 25 railroad
engineers and mechanics, thus damaging the enemy much, as this latter class of persons are not
numerous in Mississippi.
The regiments which I have the honor to command did not commit any excesses; did not
enter one house from camp to Grenada, except on duty, and the property was respected, while
the inhabitants were kindly, firmly, and fairly treated by the entire command.
Very few able-bodied citizens were in the country, and there was little hope, apparently, of
success of the Confederate cause.
A large amount of growing corn was everywhere seen and some beef cattle, but bacon is
quite scarce. In the central portions of the State considerable wheat has been harvested.
I could not have returned via Yazoo City without undoing the good conduct and feeling
created, because of the scarcity of provisions, and on account of condition of my command as
regards rations, health, and ammunition, and with consideration for the horses, many of whom
became temporarily unserviceable from sore backs, &c., I deemed it best to return via this city. I
had every reason to believe that a portion of Jackson's cavalry would endeavor to prevent my
return southward.
Nothing could be done toward running the railroad stock toward Memphis because of lack of
means of repairing bridges over the Yalabusha, Tallahatchie, and Coldwater Rivers.
At Grenada there had been burned by Colonel Phillips a large mill with a quantity of flour
sufficient for our entire force, though his division was out of food.
I take pleasure in stating that the cavalry as a whole did everything which could be asked,
and would mention particularly the valuable services of Captain Peters, Fourth Iowa Cavalry;
Lieut. D. E. Jones, acting assistant quartermaster of the expedition, and the gallant conduct of
Major Noble and Major Farnan.
Trusting my conduct and operations will meet your approval, I have the honor to be, your
obedient servant to command,
Colonel, Commanding Cavalry Forces.
Capt. R. M. SAWYER,
Assistant Adjutant-General, 15th Army Corps.
Grenada, Miss., August 17, 1863--5 p.m.
SIR: I have to report that in obedience to your order I joined the column from La Grange, at
Oxford, and found that brigade under command of Major Coon, Second Iowa Cavalry. I moved,
without instructions, to Water Valley, being joined 5 miles south of Oxford by the First Brigade
of Cavalry, Lieutenant-Colonel Wallace commanding. The command not having been designed
for me, I had no instructions whatever, either as to the object or destination of the expedition,
though I was the ranking officer; but gathering the object of the expedition from Major Coon's
and Lieutenant-Colonel Wallace's instructions, I moved to Water Valley, where I found that all
the rolling stock of the railroad had been moved toward Grenada. I moved very rapidly on
Grenada, Major Coon's brigade in advance. Brisk skirmishing commenced and was kept up from
a point 8 miles north of Grenada, until I arrived at the Yalabusha River at Grenada. When within
4 miles of Grenada a dense smoke was seen rising from the town, which we afterward found to
be the railroad bridges burning. At the river, Chalmers' forces contended the crossing with
artillery, and a severe skirmish ensued. The regiments fighting us were Slemons' regiment,
McCulloch's regiment, McGuirk's regiment, and Stocks' regiment, with three pieces of artillery.
We found both bridges burned. I captured north of the Yalabusha River 6 engines and 20 cars. At
Grenada, I captured 51 engines and about 500 cars. Owing to the destruction of the bridges, and I
not being able to learn of ally force from below, as was anticipated, I destroyed these engines
and cars, together with a quantity of ordnance stores and commissary stores in the depot, as the
destruction of the bridges by the enemy would prevent my running them up the road. I captured a
train of 6 wagons with teams belonging to the Confederate Government; also about 50 prisoners,
among them Maj. P.M. Leath, chief quartermaster of Chalmers' division; and with him I captured
$5,700 Government (Confederate) funds. My loss is 2 men wounded; the enemy had several
killed and wounded.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding.
Commanding Left Wing, Sixteenth Army Corps.
Pocahontas, Tenn., September 3, 1863.
SIR: I have to report that in pursuance of orders from the commanding officer of the Second
Brigade, Second Division, Left Wing, Sixteenth Army Corps. I left my camp on the night of the
12th ultimo in command of 330 men of the Ninth Illinois Infantry Regiment, mounted, with
orders, copies of which are herewith sent, marked A and B, but when ready to march a telegram
was sent to me from brigade headquarters directing my march, a copy of which telegram is
herewith sent, marked C, and in accordance with that dispatch I moved toward Salem; thence
crossing the Tippah River at Buck's Springs; thence through Hickory Flats to Rocky Ford,
crossing the Tallahatchie River at that place on the night of the 13th ultimo, moving at 4 a.m. of
the 14th ultimo toward Oxford, where I arrived at 2 o'clock.
At Oxford I found detachments of the Second Iowa Cavalry, Third Michigan Cavalry, and
Eleventh Illinois Cavalry, the aggregate of which was 520 men, all under the command of Maj.
D. E. Coon, Second Iowa Cavalry.
I was without orders or instructions in regard to the object of the expedition, but Major Coon
furnished me with those supplied him, a copy of which is herewith sent, marked E, and from
those instructions I believed the success of the expedition would depend on the rapidity of
movement, and at once moved toward Water Valley.
About 6 miles south of Oxford I was joined by the First Brigade of cavalry under Lieutenant-
Colonel Wallace, with an aggregate of about 750 men with four 12-pounder mountain howitzers,
who I also found my junior in rank, which placed me in command of the expedition, and that
without further instructions than those kindly furnished by Maj. D. E. Coon already referred to.
I arrived with my, advance at Water Valley at 11 a.m. on the 15th ultimo. At this place my
advance captured a train of 6 wagons, 6 mule teams, four of which wagons I burned; the other
two I directed Major Coon to use for transportation for his command. The crossing of the
Yoknapatafa River, 6 miles north of Water Valley, being very difficult, the boat being very small
and the river quite high and very rapid, I did not get all my command across until near 5 p.m. I
moved from Water Valley to Coffeeville, thence toward Grenada. We met 8 miles north of
Grenada a force of the enemy estimated at about 600. Constant skirmishing was kept up from
this point until we arrived at the Yalabusha river at Grenada, though we advanced rapidly. Six
miles north of Grenada I captured a train of 20 cars and 6 locomotives. With these I left a guard
and ordered them to be run to Grenada when I arrived at that place.
When I arrived at a point about 4 miles north of Grenada I saw a dense smoke rising from the
direction of the city, which afterward I found to be occasioned by the burning of the two railroad
bridges over the Yalabusha River at that place. When within a half mile of the river the enemy
contested my advance vigorously, but were driven across the river. At 2 p.m., the Second
Brigade, Major Coon commanding, was ordered to attack the enemy at the upper ferry, and two
guns of the four attached to Lieutenant-Colonel Wallace's brigade I ordered forward, and also
three companies of the Ninth Illinois Cavalry, of Colonel Wallace's brigade, as a support to
cooperate with Major Coon's brigade. The greatest part of the enemy's forces were in position on
the south side of the river at the upper ferry, and had in position in field fortifications three
pieces of artillery, one a rifled gun, while the supports were protected by rifle-pits. I ordered
Lieutenant-Colonel Wallace to move to the right 2 miles below, and, if possible, effect a crossing
and attack the enemy on their left flank and rear, whilst at the same time I ordered Major Coon to
attack as vigorously as possible, to insure the success of the First Brigade, under Lieutenant-
Colonel Wallace, in effecting a crossing below, by keeping the forces of the enemy engaged at
the upper ferry. Having no guides, and not aware of the direction of the roads, I had a regiment
from Major Coon's brigade left at the forks of the road at Statem's [?] Station, 2 miles north of
the river.
Lieutenant-Colonel Wallace having gained the ferry without opposition, I found the enemy
giving way very rapidly and moving toward their right, when I ordered a prompt advance, and
sending several dismounted companies over on the boat, I also ordered that a regiment of cavalry
should be sent across, swimming the river if it could not be forded. The enemy retreated from the
city in a southeast direction. Having gained the city, I sent an order to Major Coon to burn all
cars, car or railroad shops and buildings, and also destroy all engines. I ordered Lieutenant
Cardy, of the Third Michigan, to count the cars and locomotives, and report the number to me.
This he did, reporting the number of engines at 51, and the cars at about 500 (including box,
platform, and passenger); much the greater number of these were destroyed by fire.
I had also burned several buildings in which was stored large quantities of commissary
stores, and in the cars a considerable quantity of ordnance stores. I had ordered all my force,
except the picket, the provost-marshal's guard, and the detail ordered for the purpose of
destroying the cars, engines, and shops, to recross the river and encamp for the night, which
recrossing was effected by 8 p.m. This was done that in case of an attack I would have the
advantage of position, and I could follow the next day in pursuit of the enemy and a large train of
wagons sent out on my approach to the city, and could follow without much loss of time.
After I had commenced the destruction of property, and had partially succeeded, I could learn
nothing positive in regard to a force of ours being near us from below, and did not learn anything
positive or reliable until the arrival of the advance of Colonel Winslow's column, at about 9.30
p.m. The order for the destruction of cars and engines was countermanded by Colonel Winslow
on his arrival. Colonel Winslow assumed command and ordered my command to remain at
Grenada during the 17th [18th] ultimo.
At 4.30 a.m. of the 18th [19th] ultimo the column left Grenada, proceeding to Oakland,
thence to Panola, thence toward Senatobia 12 miles, where my command turned to the right, and
I marched through Luxahoma and Bucksnort to Wall Hill, where I sent the First Brigade, under
Lieutenant-Colonel Wallace, toward Collierville. With the Second Brigade I moved to Holly
Springs, thence to Lamar, where I ordered the detachments of the Second Iowa Cavalry, Third
Michigan Cavalry, and Eleventh Illinois Cavalry, under Major Coon, to move toward La Grange
whilst I moved via Spring Hill and Saulsbury to Pocahontas, where I arrived at 9 a.m. of the 23d
During this expedition nearly 60 locomotives were captured and partially destroyed, and over
500 cars were captured and destroyed. I also burned two large steam-mill, in which was stored
several thousand sacks of meal and flour; several machine-shops, the depot buildings and
warerooms, as also a considerable quantity of commissary stores stored therein. Up to 8 p.m. I
could learn nothing of a Federal force from below which was reliable, but was informed by one
or two citizens that a force of ours had captured a train at Durant Station and another at Vaiden
Station, but could learn nothing further. Other citizens stated that after the capture of the train at
Vaiden, Jackson overtook our forces and retook the train. I had learned that a wagon-train of near
100 wagons had left Grenada, the rear of the train leaving the city about 2 p.m. of the same day
on which I arrived. This train was loaded with commissary and ordnance stores, and moved
toward West Point, Miss. It was my intention to follow after and capture the train the next day,
but at 9 p.m., the brigade from Yazoo City having arrived, and the commanding officer assuming
command, I was ordered to remain at Grenada during the next day and succeeding night.
I have to express my regret that, for the good of the service, the instructions from Major-
General Hurlbut were not carried out completely, but before this could be done another officer
assumed command who acted under different instructions. My reason for this regret is that the
railroad is in running order from Panola to Grenada, 42 miles; on this portion of the road is an
engine and three or four cars in running order. The Mississippi Central Railroad from the Yohna-
pata-fa River to Grenada, a distance of 36 miles, is in good condition, and one engine and six
or seven cars thereon are also in running order. These Colonel Winslow forbade the destruction
of, although I had almost effected the destruction before he arrived. From Grenada to Canton,
with slight repairs, the Mississippi Central Railroad could be put in running order, and all the
engines and cars captured by the brigade from Yazoo City, under Colonel Winslow, with a very
few of those which I captured, were left in running order; and for shipments of corn and wheat,
of which there is an immense quantity in that portion of Mississippi, these engines and cars will
be of immense benefit to our enemies.
During the expedition I captured 58 prisoners, 18 of whom were paroled; the others were
brought in. A list of those paroled is herewith sent, marked Exhibit E; a list of those brought in,
marked F. Several hundred horses and mules were also brought in, of which no full report has
been made to me by brigade commanders, but which I ordered them to have regimental
commanders turn over to the quartermasters of their respective posts.
In accordance with the instructions I brought in several hundred negroes. From the
quartermaster of General Chalmers' staff I took $5,630, Government (Confederate) funds. From
other parties captured several thousand dollars were taken, all of which was turned over to the
provost-marshal at Pocahontas; receipts marked H. I send herewith the reports of brigade
commanders, marked G, to which I would refer as to statements of captured property. A list of
the wounded and prisoners lost by my command not having been furnished me by brigade
commanders, I am unable to make any report in regard thereto.
I am under great obligations to the officers of my command for their compliance with all
orders and their prompt discharge of duties. To Major Coon I must award great praise for the
energy with which he moved his command and his management of them on the field. The
enlisted men of the command exhibited a true and soldierly bearing and conduct, undergoing
great fatigue and hardship, the last few days of the expedition subsisting on green corn instead of
bread, without murmur or complaint.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding.
Lieut. R. K. RANDOLPH,
Actg. Asst. Adjt. Gen., Second Brigade.
Pocahontas, August 12, 1863.
Lieut. Col. J. J. PHILLIPS,
Commanding Ninth Illinois Infantry:
Have your regiment in readiness to move at noon with six days' rations.
Colonel, Commanding.
Germantown, August 25, 1863.
SIR: I have to make the following report in regard to the recent scout and raid on Grenada,
In compliance with orders from Col. E. Hatch, commanding Second Cavalry Brigade. La
Grange, Tenn., I started at 5 a.m. of the 13th of this month, with 200 men of the Second Iowa
Cavalry, and on arriving at Wolf River was joined by a detachment of 200 men of the Third
Michigan Cavalry, and 100 men of the Eleventh Illinois Cavalry, making in all 500 wellmounted
men. Leaving the Wolf, we passed through Salem, thence to the Tippah River, which
we forded, though the water was very high, by emptying all the contents of the wagons and
ambulances into an old scow, which we found near by, and ferrying them across by means of a
rope which we had taken along.
This difficult fording place was passed just before dark, when we moved on some 2 miles
and camped for the night.
At daylight of the 14th we moved on the road toward Hickory Flats, at which place we
arrived at 9 a.m. Not finding the Ninth Illinois Mounted Infantry, as instructions stated, moved
on to Rocky Ford, at which place we arrived at 3 p.m.
At 5 p.m. all were over the Tallahatchie, and after two hours' march we made Pegee's
plantation, a distance of 5 miles, and camped for the night.
At daylight moved on the Oxford road, and at 10 a.m. arrived in that place. The excessive
heat rendering it necessary for a long halt, we gathered corn about the town and fed and rested
the animals until 2 p.m., when you arrived and I reported to you for orders.
At 2 p.m. we moved on Water Valley road and camped 6 miles below for the night, hoping
that before morning we might hear from the First Brigade, which was to meet us at Oxford.
During the night, however, the First Brigade reported, Lieutenant-Colonel Wallace commanding.
At sunrise of the 16th we moved on the Water Valley road, reaching the Yoh-na-pata-fa
River at 10 a.m., found a good ferry-boat in good order, and immediately commenced crossing.
Some 5 prisoners were caught by the advance at this place, who gave information of a wagon
train of some six wagons that had passed the ferry but an hour before us.
When some four companies of cavalry and infantry were over they were sent in pursuit; they
overtook them at Water Valley. The result of the capture was six heavy wagons and six six-mule
teams fully equipped and in running order. By your order I turned one full team over to the Third
Michigan Cavalry, one to the Ninth Infantry, and one to the Second Iowa Cavalry. There being
no use for the remaining three wagons they were ordered to be burned and the mules turned in to
the regiments to supply the place of worn-out animals.
At 6 p.m., after a delay of near six hours, in consequence of the First Brigade having failed to
close up, we moved out on the Coffeeville road. After a march of two hours a most terrific rainstorm
set in, accompanied by one continual flash of lightning. It was with the utmost difficulty
that we continued the march; the rain fell in torrents, making the road nearly impassable in the
blackness of the night.
It would have been impossible for man or beast to have marched but for the continual flash
of lightning which kept us in the road a part of the time.
It was so difficult to keep the road that many a horse, rider and all, tumbled into the ditch,
where they would struggle for some time before they could extricate themselves.
At 12 o'clock midnight we reached the old battle-ground of Coffeeville, when we became
tired of the slow progress making, and concluded to halt awhile for the clouds to move off that
there might be a little more light. After an hour's halt we moved on, and after a mile's travel were
overtaken by yourself, who directed that we halt until morning.
Soon after sunrise of the 17th we moved on toward Coffeeville, where we arrived in an hour
afterward. Here we captured some 3 prisoners, and after a few minutes' halt moved out on the
Grenada road. The advance struck the enemy's pickets about 2 miles below the town, where they
captured a soldier belonging to McCulloch's command.
When 6 miles below Coffeeville I saw a locomotive moving up the road slowly and ordered
the advance to send some men in its rear, hoping that they might reach the track in time to
prevent its return by throwing obstructions upon the track. But, unfortunately, the movement was
discovered in time for the engine to escape, not, however, without receiving some fifty shots
from our carbines, which was the only means left for halting it. One car was found here loaded
with car equipments which were left by the company.
The locomotive was undoubtedly after this car, as no other business was apparent.
From this on skirmishing was continuous all the way to Grenada. When within 8 miles of
Grenada we discovered a large number of cars and locomotives, which we afterward learned
amounted to 6 locomotives and 25 cars, all in good order.
When within 4 miles of Grenada we discovered a heavy column of smoke which we took to
mean destruction of some kind, and immediately took a gallop that we might get to the place as
soon as possible.
At three-fourths of a mile of town our advance came upon a heavy force, as they thought, and
called for assistance, when I dismounted one battalion of the Third Michigan Rifles [Cavalry]
and one battalion of the Ninth [Illinois] Infantry, deploying them on either side of the road as
skirmishers, and pushed forward.
To make the command entirely safe from any show of ambuscade, I sent a company of
sabers on each flank to feel the timber all through, and see the enemy driven out.
We had not advanced more than one-half a mile when they opened upon us with 6 and 10
pounder artillery.
This did not check our movements, however, until we had driven them all over the river.
Here they exhibited a strong determination to resist us.
In an hour we succeeded in bringing two of our 12-pounder howitzers to bear upon them,
when nothing more was to be heard from them.
As soon as it was practicable to cross I took some 200 men and went into town at about 3.30
p.m., and immediately commenced the destruction of the cars and locomotives.
They were so closely packed together as to make a small town of themselves. The amount of
rolling stock here was immense. I immediately detailed parties to count the cars and locomotives
while other squads were setting the fires.
Soon after the fires were set an engineer came to me and reported a Federal force below, and
that they were trying to save the property, while citizens reported that there could be no truth in
the statement, as they were informed that the Federals had captured a train at Durant, some ways
below, but that Jackson's cavalry had recaptured the train and driven the Federals away.
Having much doubt as to which was true, I reported to you for further instructions, when you
decided that it was impossible to get the rolling stock off with the force we had were the bridges
perfect, and that the bridges having been so perfectly destroyed, and there being certainty of
assistance from below, we had better complete the destruction and return home.
The destruction resulted, as near as I could estimate, as follows: Sixty locomotives (40 in
good running order), and some 500 cars of all kinds, coaches, sleeping cars, freight cars, flats,
&c. Some few of these were not completely destroyed, but very few were left that were not
There were two depots, one a very fine one, destroyed; also two large machine-shops,
containing a large amount of machinery; also two large steam flouring mills, containing each not
less than 1,000 sacks of flour and meal. There were some ten flats loaded with army wagons--the
number I did not learn--which were all burned.
At sundown the destruction was thorough and complete, and in obedience to your orders, I
moved my brigade across to the north side, after having procured forage out of different cribs in
town. In obedience to your instruction, I remained in bivouac during the 18th.
At daylight of the 19th, we started on our return north, passing through Oakland, Panola,
Bucksnort, Wall Hill, Holly Springs, Lamar, and La Grange, which latter place I reached on
Sunday, the 23d, after an absence of eleven days.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Major, Second Iowa Cavalry, Comdg. Second Brigade.
Chattanooga, Tenn., September 27, 1863.
SIR: I respectfully submit the following as my report of the movements of this brigade from
McMinnville to this point:
On the night of the 12th of September, 1863, I received orders from Maj. Gen. Gordon
Granger to march the Tennessee troops to Jasper, Tenn., leaving the Fifth Iowa Cavalry at
McMinnville and Stokes' cavalry at Tracy City. Accordingly early on Sunday morning, 13th,
tents were struck and line of march taken up and reached Beersheba Springs, on Cumberland
Mountains, that night and rested until morning.
September 14, 5 a.m., line of march resumed by way of Therman, and camped that night 9
miles short of Therman and rested until next morning.
September 15, 5 a.m., line of march resumed by way of Therman, in Sequatchie Valley, and
thence down the valley to Cheeksville, and there camped for the night.
September 16, 5 a.m., line of march resumed for Jasper, which point, with my command, I
reached at noon, and then went into camp, as ordered. The average distance of march each day
was about 20 miles. The road was extremely dusty and in many places water was very scarce,
and the troops and stock suffered considerably. No accidents or casualties occurred on this march
worthy of note.
September 17, remained in camp all day and night.
September 18, at 10 a.m., received orders from Maj. Gen. G. Granger to march my command
to mouth of Battle Creek. The line of march was immediately taken up and mouth of Battle
Creek reached at noon same day, and rested there that night; however, the transportation was all
the time busily engaged in bringing in forage and supplies. During that night an order was
received from Maj. Gen. G. Granger directing me to march my command to Wauhatchie.
Accordingly early on next morning I took up the line of march for that point.
September 19, marched on until night at or near Gardenhire's Old Ferry, near Running Water,
and then halted to get something to eat, feed and rest the teams. At 11 o'clock that night orders
were received from Major-General Granger to move my command directly on to Chattanooga.
September 20, 1 a.m., line of march resumed for Chattanooga and Chattanooga reached with
my infantry at noon same day. When near Chattanooga I received orders from Maj. Gen. G.
Granger to march my command to Rossville, Ga. My transportation was unable to get across the
point of the mountain until night, the road having been all day so blockaded with other trains that
it was difficult to get them along at all. At night I was ordered by Major-General Rosecrans to
occupy with my force a position near the bridge across Chattanooga Creek, at the steam tannery,
and to halt all officers and soldiers coming into Chattanooga below the rank of major-general,
and to forward the wounded and transportation into Chattanooga. Accordingly I ordered Colonel
Cooper, commanding Sixth [Tennessee] Regiment, with his command to take position at said
bridge, and to halt all such persons as directed. Colonel Shelley, commanding Fifth [Tennessee]
Regiment, with his command was located at the cross-roads at the point of the mountain on the
south side, and Colonel Cross with his command [Third Tennessee] was located at Gillespie's, on
the Rossville road; the whole night was employed in executing said orders, and by next morning
I had halted and encamped, of different corps and divisions, between 8,000 and 12,000 officers
and soldiers, who were on next morning all thrown to the front again.
Thus my command rested until Monday evening at dusk, when I received orders to leave the
First Middle Tennessee Battery (Captain Abbott) and one regiment in a commanding position at
the cross-roads, and proceed with the other two regiments down the Chattanooga Valley road,
and join Brigadier-General Mitchell, commanding cavalry (a distance of about 5 miles). This I at
once did, and informed General Mitchell of my arrival. Here my men rested until about 2 a.m.,
September 22, when I received orders from Major-General Rosecrans to return with my
command and reoccupy my old position, with all but one regiment, which I was ordered to throw
on the mountain at Summertown. I accordingly ordered Colonel Cross, commanding Third
Regiment, with his command to Summertown, on Lookout Mountain, with proper instructions,
and Colonel Cooper with his command was marched to the cross-roads, near where the battery
and Colonel Shelley's regiment were. All this was accomplished before daylight.
On Tuesday morning, September 22, about 8 o'clock, orders were received from Major-
General Rosecrans to send all the transportation and First Middle Tennessee Battery into
Chattanooga, and, in the event I was attacked by the enemy, to contest the ground inch by inch
and foot by foot, and to fall back across the mountain and cross the river at Brown's Ferry, where
a steamboat would be in waiting.
Accordingly, I immediately sent the transportation and battery as ordered. I was also ordered
to send three companies upon the railroad along the river at the point of the mountain, which I
did from Colonel Shelley's regiment; and the Sixth Regiment, Colonel Cooper's, and five
companies of Fifth Regiment, Colonel Shelley's (two other companies having been left at
Carthage, and not yet having arrived), I had drawn up in line of battle at the cross-roads awaiting
the enemy's attack.
At about noon the enemy, with one regiment of skirmishers and sharpshooters, supported by
three regiments of infantry or mounted infantry, and with artillery and cavalry, attacked my line.
The attack was made principally upon the Sixth Regiment (Colonel Cooper). The command of
Colonel Shelley (five companies) was immediately upon the right of Colonel Cooper and
connecting therewith.
The engagement lasted about one hour and a half, when the contest in numbers being so
unequal, I ordered my command to slowly fall back to a more favorable position on the first
bench on the point of the mountain, which was done in good order, and the enemy declined to
pursue. This contest was severe, and my command, officers and men, all behaved well, and
fought gallantly, and deserve much praise.
The casualties were as follows :
Here my command remained, holding the point of the mountain that evening, night, the next
day (23d), and that night, until orders were received to march off the point of the mountain with
two regiments, and to leave one regiment on the point of the mountain as a picket. This order
was received from Major-General Rosecrans at about 2 o clock on morning of 24th of
On the evening of the 23d, a considerable force of the enemy appeared on the mountain near
Summertown, and demanded a surrender of Colonel Cross and his command. This information
was immediately dispatched to me by Colonel Cross, upon receiving which I ordered Colonel
Cross not to comply, but to fight the enemy stubbornly. Accordingly the enemy attacked Colonel
Cross and his command, which was resisted, and the enemy repulsed. This was in the evening
and prior to the order to march the Third Regiment from the top of the mountain.
The casualties of Colonel Cross in this engagement were as follows: Private Alexander C.
Walker, of Company. F, wounded with a minie ball in the thigh; Company G lost 4 men missing,
to wit, Corpl. William Hickman and Privates James M. Hair, Alexander Hair, and James A.
Jenkins; Company B lost, missing, 9 men, to wit, Sergt. J. A. Brown, Corpl. Thomas D. Woods,
and Privates John Baley, Callaway Beets, Wiley Parker, Foster E. Brown, John McClannahan,
four of whom have since returned, but without arms or accouterments, to wit, John Baley,
Callaway Beets, Wiley Parker, and John McClannahan; and W. G. Anderson, of Company A,
was left sick upon the mountain.
The Third and Fifth Regiments were marched off the point of the mountain into Chattanooga
between the hours of 2 o'clock and sun-up on the morning of the 24th instant to present camp in
Chattanooga. Colonel Cooper, Sixth Regiment, who was, with his command, left on the point of
the mountain as a picket, was flanked and attacked by a superior force of the enemy early in the
morning of September 24, but resisted the attack stubbornly until compelled to yield the ground
and march his command to my present encampment, which he successfully did, losing I man,
missing, to wit, Private John Harris, of Company B.
In the engagement on Tuesday my whole command, officers and men, acted well, gallantly,
and bravely. Major Gamble, of Sixth Regiment, had a minie-ball hole shot through his hat, the
ball cutting the skin on the top of his head, but he remained on the battle-ground throughout.
Two companies of Colonel Shelley were left at Carthage and three were on the railroad.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Brigadier-General, Commanding, &c.
Lieut. Col. C. GODDARD,
Asst. Adjt. Gen., Dept. of the Cumberland.
Big Black River, Miss., October 1, 1863.
CAPTAIN: In accordance with instructions from Maj. Gen. W. T. Sherman, with
detachments from the Fourth, Fifth, and Eleventh Illinois, Fourth Iowa, and Tenth Missouri
Cavalry Regiments, in all 900 men, with two mountain howitzers, I moved over Big Black River
at Messinger's Ford, on Sunday, 27th ultimo, at 4 p.m., and bivouacked at Clark's, 4 miles from
Brownsville, until 4 o'clock next morning, when the column moved toward that place, driving
out about 50 of Whitfield's cavalry. Pushing direct for Vernon, we reached General Whitfield's
camp at the church, 3 miles south of Vernon, only to find he had moved before daylight toward
Livingston and Jackson.
Surrounding Vernon, we entered that place at 10 a.m. and moved forward to Beatty's Bluffs,
where the command was halted until 6 o'clock and fed. Having ascertained that there was no ford
or ferry at that point, and that I could in no way cross the command, I marched to Moore's Ford
and encamped 1 miles toward Benton, leaving one regiment and one howitzer to guard the
At 4 o'clock next morning, the enemy vigorously attacked this detachment with four pieces
of artillery, supported by dismounted cavalry. The howitzer was speedily disabled, and after
feeling the enemy for an hour, I directed the column toward Benton and encamped at Short
Creek, 2 miles below Yazoo City, having halted to feed at Benton. Marched next day to
Satartia, communicating with the infantry near Mechanicsburg, and to-day reached camp at 2
From Brownsville to Beatty's Bluffs I assumed the offensive, and vigorously attacked every
force we met, pushing the various parties toward Livingston and Canton, running down and
capturing 8 of the enemy.
Upon learning I could cross at Beatty's Bluffs, I deemed it prudent to gain the ford at
Moore's, and the result proved my conclusions to be correct, for the enemy had ample time to
concentrate all his forces.
From Moore's Bluffs I moved leisurely to camp, bringing in 100 horses, 50 mules, 8
prisoners of war, and 1 ambulance, having destroyed 50 stand of arms taken from the enemy in
the different skirmishes. My loss was 2 men taken prisoners while out of ranks.
Brigadier-Generals Whitfield and Cosby were hovering on my right flank all day on Monday,
but because their forces were somewhat scattered, dared not attack, and continually retreated
from every attempt at following, moving toward Livingston and Canton. I estimate their
combined force, from information deemed reliable, at 2,000 cavalry and ten pieces of artillery,
while their horses are in fine condition.
The command marched 14 miles Sunday, 42 Monday, 25 Tuesday, 23 Wednesday, and 22
Thursday; total in ninety-six hours, 126 miles. There is a bridge at Scott's Crossing, 6 miles west
of Vernon, but no ford between that point and Moore's Bluffs, northwest of Canton 7 miles.
The whole command acted with vigor and gallantry, crowding the enemy impulsively
whenever found, driving him continually, the column not halting from Brownsville to Vernon.
Trusting this report of operations will be satisfactory, inasmuch as I have obeyed my
instructions to the best of my ability, I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,
Colonel Fourth Iowa Cavalry, Commanding.
Capt. R. M. SAWYER,
Asst. Adjt. Gen., 15th Army Corps, Iuka, Miss.
Maysville, Ala., November 5, 1863.
MAJOR: I have the honor to report that on the 23d of September I was ordered by the
commanding general of the department to proceed to Washington, Tenn., with my command,
numbering about 2,000 effective men, for the purpose of guarding the fords along the Tennessee
River for a distance of some 50 miles. The roads leading to the different fords and ferries were in
many cases 5 miles apart. Between these points there were practicable fords almost every half
mile. It was impossible to patrol along the bank of the river between these roads, and to go from
one to the other required us in many instances to make a détour of 10 and even 15 miles.
It was at one of these intermediate points that the enemy, dismounting his men, crossed and
established himself on the north bank of the river, with a force far superior to mine, commanded
by Major-General Wheeler. I immediately informed General Rosecrans of the fact, who ordered
me to gather all the cavalry and mounted men and pursue the enemy, who had crossed the river
for the purpose of making a raid in the rear of our lines.
Learning the enemy was crossing Walden's Ridge opposite Smith's Cross-Roads, I collected
together the First and Second Brigades of my division, commanded respectively by Colonels
Minty and Long, and Captain Stokes' Board of Trade battery, and ascended the mountain some 5
miles south of Smith's Cross-Roads, directing Colonel Miller, commanding brigade of mounted
infantry, to join me on top of the mountain that night; but he did not join me until next morning,
when I resumed the march, entering the Sequatchie Valley at Pitt's Cross-Roads. Learned here
that the enemy had divided his force, one portion under General Wharton ascending the
Cumberland Mountains at Pikeville, while the remainder, under General Wheeler, had passed
down the valley, and would ascend the mountain at Dunlap, concentrating at some point beyond
the Cumberland Mountains and then move on McMinnville. I also found here that the enemy had
some fourteen hours the start of me. I took the intermediate road, Robinson's Trace, and,
although the mountain was very bad to ascend at this place, I succeeded in getting up my entire
command that night. Next morning, after marching some 10 miles, I struck Wharton's trail where
he came into the Robinson Trace. I did not meet any of his force, except some stragglers, until I
arrived at the descent of the mountain, where he had left some sharpshooters to oppose my
advance. I dismounted part of the Fourth Michigan, it being in the advance, and drove them
before me, they leaving 5 of their dead and 1 wounded on the field.
After descending the mountain I found the country rocky and brushy, no place for cavalry to
operate. As soon as I could get my infantry down the mountain I dismounted them, sending them
so as to completely surround their force, holding my cavalry as a support. In this way I had
Colonel Crews' Texas brigade completely surrounded in a space not over 10 acres, my men
under cover and his exposed. My men poured several volleys into them, but by this time it had
become so dark we could not tell friend from foe. Under cover of darkness they broke through
my lines, my men not firing for fear of shooting each other. The fight lasted for a couple of hours
after night, the remainder of Martin's division coming to Crews' support.
My loss was 46 killed and wounded. The enemy's loss is not definitely known. We found
some 10 of their dead close by the road, and a good many of their wounded scattered along the
road in houses. I pushed on after them early next morning, and could not ascertain their loss. I
left instructions with the citizens to collect them and give them all proper attention. I saw nothing
of the enemy until within a couple of miles of McMinnville, where some of his scouts fired into
On arriving at McMinnville I found that the garrison had surrendered without making any
resistance. The enemy sacked the place, destroying a great deal of public and private property,
and left in the direction of Murfreesborough. I was also informed by an intelligent Union man
that he counted 4,000 of the enemy, and saw enough more that he was unable to count to make
up fully 6,000.
After leaving McMinnville I became satisfied, from the time occupied by his force in passing
a given point, he had between 5,000 and 6,000 men, my own force at this time numbering about
3,500 effective men. I had not marched more than 2 miles on the Murfreesborough road until I
came upon his rear guard, posted in the edge of a woods, who commenced skirmishing with my
advance. Being satisfied that the guard intended to detain us so that the main body could march
unmolested, I ordered Colonel Long to send a regiment ahead to make a saber charge. The
Second Kentucky, Colonel Nicholas commanding, with Colonel Long at their head, made a most
gallant charge of some 5 miles, breaking through his lines, killing and wounding several of his
men, capturing 11 prisoners, and driving the remainder into the main column, compelling him to
turn round and give me fight.
When I arrived with the main column I found the enemy drawn up in line of battle in the
edge of a woods, a large field between us, with high fences intervening. I dismounted my
infantry, and with my artillery drove them out of the woods, he forming in another thick jungle a
short distance in the rear. The fight lasted for two hours, until after dark, when I camped in the
field. Here, again, I was unable to ascertain the number of his killed and wounded, but left
instructions for the citizens to collect them. I learned that it was the intention of the enemy to
take Murfreesborough and then go to La Vergne, destroying the railroad between these two
points, and that he had sent squads of men who were familiar with the country to destroy
telegraphic communication between Murfreesborough and Nashville, which they succeeded in
doing. I tried to get a dispatch through to the commanding officer at Murfreesborough to hold
out until I could get there, but the courier could not get through.
At Readyville I crossed over on to the Liberty pike, so as to get between them and La
Vergne, and also to prevent them from ambushing me on the road. By this move I drove them off
in the direction of Shelbyville. I found every person at Murfreesborough in great consternation,
and overjoyed to see us. They were momentarily expecting an attack from the enemy, and felt
that their force was too weak to repel him. I found here an officer of the Engineer Department
who was very kind and energetic, giving me all the assistance in his power. Through the want of
proper attention to duty on the part of the assistant quartermaster and commissary of subsistence,
I was unable to procure anything for my men and horses until nearly morning (although I had
marched 41 miles that day and my men had had no rations for five days), greatly retarding my
march. The next night I camped 2 miles beyond Guy's Gap.
From this point I sent my scouts in different directions, who brought prisoners from the
enemy's camp. General Mitchell, with the First Cavalry Division, came up with us here.
Next morning I was ordered by him to march on the road to Farmington, south of Duck
River. About 3 miles from Shelbyville I found Davidson's division encamped on Duck River,
some 2 miles north of the road. The brigade of mounted infantry being in the advance, and
seeing the enemy's ranks in confusion, I ordered them to charge on horseback. They drove the
enemy a short distance into a cedar thicket, and I then dismounted them. At the same time I
ordered Colonel Long's brigade to the front, and, headed by Colonel Long, it made a most gallant
saber charge, driving the enemy 3 miles, killing and capturing a great many rebels. The enemy
made another stand in a cedar thicket, where it was impossible for the cavalry to operate in. I
sent the mounted infantry to the front as soon as possible, when they dislodged the enemy, who
again made a stand on the main road, and were driven from this point, falling back toward
Farmington, skirmishing as they retreated.
About three-fourths of a mile from Farmington I found him posted in force in a dense cedar
thicket. I at once dismounted my infantry, deploying them on each side of the road. When I
attacked Davidson's division in the morning, breaking through it, part of his column went to the
right. Fearing that it would turn my flank I sent back instructions to Colonel Minty, whose
position was in the rear of the column, to move to the right and anticipate them.
I supposed that Colonel Minty had carried out my instructions, but when I arrived at
Farmington I learned from one of my staff officers, much to my chagrin and surprise, that
Colonel Minty was not with me. The absence of Colonel Minty and some 500 men left at
Murfreesborough, having been dismounted during the march, left me but about 1,500 effective
Finding the enemy vastly superior to me, I left one regiment of cavalry to protect my rear,
holding the other two regiments as a support to the infantry, the country being impracticable for
the cavalry to operate in. The enemy's battery was posted in the cedar thicket some 400 yards
distant from me, pouring into me a heavy fire of grape, canister, and shell, and made one or two
charges on my men, at the same time attempting to turn both of my flanks. At this critical
moment I ordered Captain Stokes forward with his battery to operate upon the enemy. He could
only find position for one piece, which was in full view of their battery, and not over 350 yards
distant. They turned their fire from the infantry on to Captain Stokes' battery, mowing down his
horses and men. The captain sighted his own piece, and in three shots he disabled one of their
pieces, blowing up a caisson, and throwing their ranks into confusion.
At this moment, my infantry making a charge, broke through the enemy's line, scattering
them to the right and left, capturing four guns, some wagons, and several prisoners. The enemy
then being in an open country, I ordered Colonel Long to the front to make a saber charge, but
they had the roads barricaded so as to render it impossible. It now getting dark, I went into camp
near Farmington.
Had Colonel Minty, with his brigade, been there at the time the enemy broke, I should have
thrown him on the left flank, and as things turned out since, I would have captured a large
portion of his command, together with all his artillery and transportation. I learned here that I
fought General Wheeler with his entire command.
That night after the fighting had ceased, Colonel Minty with his brigade came up, stating that
he had no orders to march with me. From this, together with a disposition manifested during the
whole expedition to frustrate my designs in a covert manner, I deprived him of his command and
sent him to the rear. I sent my scouts out in different directions that night, and learned that a
large portion of the enemy had gone toward Pulaski. Being satisfied that they were making for
the Tennessee River, and that the portion cut off would join them by other roads, I the next
morning pursued them on the Pulaski road, reaching that point that night. I found to-day that
their retreat instead of a march was a rout. Their rear guard left Pulaski as I came in sight of the
On this days march I found that the night before a portion of those cut off came into the road
ahead of us at Lewisburg. On the march the next day, another portion came into the road 6 miles
south of Pulaski. I found that their men were deserting and scattering over the country, and
learned of a great many wounded being left along the road and through the country.
The enemy left some two or three regiments at Sugar Creek, a strong position, to oppose my
advance; but instead of fighting them at long range as they expected, I ordered a saber charge.
The Fifth Iowa, Lieutenant-Colonel Patrick commanding, being in the advance, made a most
gallant charge, breaking through their lines, killing 10, wounding 9, capturing some 70 prisoners,
and scattering the remainder to the mountains.
From this on I met with only a few stragglers on the road. When within 8 miles of the river,
although my horses were very tired, I galloped most of the way to the river, and there found that
the enemy had crossed at a ford but little known of, and just above Elk River, where 12 could
cross abreast. I went into camp at Rogersville, General Mitchell, with the First Division, coming
up that night; and from that point I was ordered with the remainder of the cavalry to Stevenson,
via Huntsville.
On arriving at Huntsville, General Mitchell, learning that the rebel general Roddey was
passing in the direction of Winchester, went in pursuit of him, but he escaped toward Athens. I
was then ordered to Winchester, and thence to this place. I have since learned that General Lee,
with 5,000 men, reached Courtland the same day that Wheeler crossed the river. Roddey, with
about 1,800 men, had crossed to the north bank of the river at Guntersville, both he and Lee
being ordered to join Wheeler, but the latter was driven out of the State and across the river
before a junction could be effected. I have since learned that at Farmington the enemy left on the
field 86 of their dead and 137 wounded, while many of their wounded were taken up by citizens
through the country, of which I have no account.
The loss of the enemy from the time they crossed the river near Washington until they
recrossed near Elk River, judging from the difference in the length of time their column
[consumed] in coming in and going out, and other satisfactory evidence, I am fully satisfied is
not less than 2,000 men. One entire regiment, the Fourth Alabama, deserted and scattered
through the mountains.
My loss during the entire trip was 14 killed and 97 wounded. I regret to report the death of
the gallant Colonel Monroe, of the One hundred and twenty-third Illinois, who fell while bravely
leading on his regiment at the battle of Farmington.
It is hard to distinguish individual cases of bravery and gallantry, when all, both officers and
men, did so nobly. Notwithstanding the fatigue and severe hardships under which the men
suffered--having but three days' rations in twenty days, many of them nearly naked, and several
times exposed to a cold, drenching rain--yet they never complained, but were always cheerful
and ever ready to perform all duties required of them.
I am, sir, your obedient servant,
Brigadier-General, Commanding.
Assistant Adjutant-General.]
October 7 [6], 1863--8.30 p.m.
[GENERAL:]After a march of 35 miles to-day, succeeded in coming up with the enemy at
Wartrace. Fight lasted about one hour, enemy at last retreating in the direction of Shelbyville.
Followed some 3 miles, when, darkness coming on, force was recalled and had to return here for
something to eat.
Found railroad bridge at Wartrace destroyed, and preparations made to destroy the town.
Force of enemy estimated at over 2,000.
Colonel Fifth Iowa Cavalry.
Major-General ROSECRANS.
Camp near Maysville, Ala., October 22, 1863.
SIR: In accordance with directions from division headquarters, I have the honor to make the
following report of the part taken by my command in the recent pursuit of Wheeler's rebel
While encamped near Winchester, Tenn., having received very positive information that the
enemy intended to destroy our line of railroad communication between Nashville and
Chattanooga, I moved with my command (Fifth Iowa Cavalry) to the support of the forces
stationed at Elk River Bridge, judging that to be one of the most exposed points on the line.
Upon my arrival (October 5, 1863, at 10 a.m.), I communicated with Major-General Granger
for orders. At 5 p.m. I received an order from General Rosecrans to collect all the cavalry at
Murfreesborough and elsewhere to pursue Wheeler and Forrest; to keep on their flank and join
General Crook.
By 10 p.m. one battalion of the Third Ohio Cavalry, Major Howland commanding, from
Decherd Station, was reported for the march.
At daylight on the 6th, I moved up the railroad, passing Tullahoma at 12 m., and reaching
Duck River Bridge at 3 p.m. At this point I found Colonel Coburn, with an infantry force, who
reported the enemy at Wartrace, burning the bridge, destroying railroad track, &c., and requested
me to move on, stating that he would follow with infantry by railroad.
At 5 p.m. attacked and drove the enemy from the burning bridge; pushed him through the
town of Wartrace, attacked the main body, consisting of General Martin's division, drawn up in
force beyond a creek and ravine, dislodged and pursued him till after dark, killing and wounding
some 30; of my command 1 killed and 1 wounded.
Returned to Elk River at 11 p.m. for forage and rations. Found that Major-General
Butterfield had arrived in the meantime with a considerable force of infantry and assumed
command. Here I was joined by Colonel Galbraith, with six companies of the First Middle
Tennessee Cavalry.
October 7.--Under orders from General Butterfield, I moved on Shelbyville in co-operation
with two other columns, moving upon different roads, the report having reached General
Butterfield that the enemy was occupying the town in force.
On my arrival at Shelbyville, 12 m., I learned that part of General Crook's command had
already passed through, was up with the enemy, and skirmishing when last heard from.
Communicated with General Butterfield, whose column had not yet arrived, and as soon as
relieved from his command moved on toward Farmington, joining the main cavalry command
trader General Crook near that point about 10 p.m., Colonel Galbraith's command having been
left at Shelbyville by order of General Mitchell.
October 8.--By direction of the general commanding, I followed in rear of the column with
my command, camping at night near Pulaski, where, by Special Field Orders, No. 1, from
division headquarters, the First and Third Brigades were consolidated and placed under my
October 9.--Brigade leading column, Fifth Iowa Cavalry in advance, came up with enemy's
skirmishers about 10 a.m.. and soon found the enemy in some force (supposed to be Kilpatrick's
brigade), with temporary barricade erected on west side of Sugar Creek. By a well-executed
saber charge of the Fifth Iowa Cavalry, 85 prisoners were captured, 13 of the enemy killed, a
number wounded, and the remnant of his force dispersed in all directions.
On our side 1 man wounded. Camped near Rogersville, Ala., after having pursued the enemy
to and beyond Elk River and finding that his force had succeeded in crossing the Tennessee at a
ford. Of the operations of my command from the 10th instant to the present time I deem it
unnecessary to speak. Owing to the length and rapidity of our marches my horses are much
jaded, and will require some considerable time and rest before they will again be fit for active
I am, sir, your obedient servant,
Colonel Fifth Iowa Cavalry, Commanding.
Second Cavalry Division, Brownsborough, Ala.
Tullahoma, October 10, 1863.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report the following occurrences connected with the Third
Brigade, First Division, Reserve Corps, during the late raid of General Wheeler upon the line of
railroad guarded in part by this brigade.
The line at Murfreesborough was untouched. At Stone's River Bridge, on the 5th of October,
the rebels having surrounded the stockade, it was surrendered and the bridge was destroyed.
The stockade at Christiana was also, the same day, surrounded by a large force and was
surrendered; both places fell before 2 p.m. on the 5th. The force against them was overwhelming;
supposed to amount to 15,000 mounted men, under General Wheeler, with some twenty pieces
of artillery.
During the forenoon of the 5th of October an order came from General Gordon Granger to
evacuate Fosterville and Christiana and take the force to Murfreesborough. The train started for
this purpose from Wartrace took on the company at Fosterville and proceeded part of the way to
Christiana, when it was ascertained that the place was surrendered. The train immediately
returned to Wartrace with the company of the Eighty-fifth Indiana stationed at Fosterville.
In the afternoon of the 5th of October, another order was received from General Granger to
evacuate Wartrace and bring the force to Duck River Bridge. This order was promptly obeyed,
and at 7 p.m. Colonel Baird arrived at Duck River Bridge with eight companies and one piece of
artillery. Here he assumed command of the post. Soon after or before this two Pennsylvania
regiments reported at Duck River Bridge and went into camp.
In the meantime, Manchester and the McMinnville road had been evacuated by General
Granger's order, and at Tullahoma the news had been received of cannonading in the direction of
Murfreesborough and that the enemy had crossed the railroad and gone toward Shelbyville in
large numbers; that Colonel Galbraith had evacuated Shelbyville, being driven from it, and
joined Colonel Baird at Wartrace.
Soon after the dispatch from Colonel Baird arrived that the road had been evacuated, a
dispatch was received by me from Major-General Hooker to go to the assistance of Christiana
with two good regiments, which place had already been captured several hours.
I answered that I would send such a force forward as I could, that I would have done so
before, but not a train had gone north that day.
The Sixty-sixth Ohio had been waiting several hours at that time to go, by my order. The
small part of the Seventh Ohio in Tullahoma, numbering nearly a hundred men, was also then
ordered to get ready, which was done at once. This was 7 p.m. After this, at 12 o'clock
(midnight), another dispatch was received from General Hooker to the senior officer of the
Twelfth Corps at Tullahoma, directing him to take two good regiments and to go to Christiana
and attack the enemy at daylight. This dispatch stated a train would come to Tullahoma for the
troops. The whole force at Tullahoma would not have made two good regiments.
About 1 a.m., October 6, the train came from Normandy, and some 300 of the Sixty-sixth
Ohio and 100 of the Seventh Ohio, with one gun of the Ninth Ohio Battery, were started at once
on the train.
On arriving at Duck River, the whole line having been evacuated to Murfreesborough, and
being in possession of the enemy, probably, it was not deemed advisable to advance with a train
before the country had been examined in advance by cavalry, the road in the direction of
Christiana running through woods and hills, and there being many curves in it with places
favorable for ambushes.
Colonel Baird had some 15 mounted men, and Colonel Galbraith about 200. They were at
once ordered to advance in the direction of Wartrace, and scout the country toward Shelbyville.
They started separately, and nothing was heard from them till almost noon of the 6th, when a
note was received from Colonel Baird at Wartrace that there were no rebels then there, but that
Colonel Galbraith had not scouted any road toward Shelbyville and said he would not. I then
ordered the few mounted men yet in camp to proceed at least 7 miles in the direction of
Shelbyville on all roads, and return with all speed.
This they did, and on reporting no force in that direction, I deemed it safe to go as far as
Wartrace and send Colonels Baird and Galbraith ahead to scour the country.
The train started with the parts of regiments Seventh and Sixty-sixth Ohio. The piece of
artillery could not be got on the new train which we were obliged to take. The train proceeded to
within half a mile of Wartrace, when a citizen coming out informed me that the rebels were in
possession of the town, and that it would be unsafe to take the train in. It was stopped, the citizen
dismounted, and a messenger was sent to ascertain the truth of the statement. He returned, stating
that he had been fired at. On inquiring for Colonels Galbraith and Baird, I was informed that they
had gone some two hours westward.
It then occurred to me that they might have been captured or cut off from Duck River, as they
could have returned in much less time than that to Duck River. I could not believe that they
would have abandoned the neighborhood of Wartrace voluntarily, and feared they might have
been surrounded or cut off. (In point of fact, they, feeling anxious about the force toward
Shelbyville, had gone in that direction, and were then near that town, and on their return to
Wartrace were met by the enemy's pickets and compelled to return to Duck River Bridge.) With
these uncertainties before me, and not knowing anything whatever of the country or the road, and
having the amplest information that General Wheeler was on the road or near it with a force
numbering from 10,000 to 15,000, I thought it unwise to unload the men from the train and await
the coming of the enemy. I had every reason to believe the enemy to be in force, since only
twenty-six hours before he had been about 16 miles north on the railroad, and would probably
come in the direction of Wartrace. In addition, I did not consider the holding the road at that
place of paramount importance, there being but a small bridge a mile south on Garrison's Creek.
The important point being Duck River Bridge, I felt sustained in this conclusion by the fact that
Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger had himself, by ordering its evacuation the day before, held it to be a
comparatively unimportant point. His order was to hold Duck River Bridge at all events. With
Colonels Baird and Galbraith gone, and my command away, I felt that Duck River Bridge would
be very unsafe as against the force which General Wheeler might at any hour bring against it. I
resolved at once to return without running the risk of a contest, which might result in the loss of
my command, of Colonels Baird's and Galbraith's mounted men, and Duck River Bridge besides,
the force being thus separated miles apart.
To get from the train was at once to assume the whole responsibility, for then the forces
would be effectually divided, with no hope of uniting before both places could be attacked. I
decided to take care of the main point, the creek bridge being a slight loss, while if the large
bridge at the river fell the damage would be almost irreparable.
The command returned to Duck River Bridge, taking along a company of the Eighty-fifth
Indiana, which had just marched up to Garrison's Creek Bridge by my order, to guard it.
On arriving at Duck River, Colonels Baird and Galbraith had not been heard from. I ordered
the men to remain in the cars to await the arrival of the first mounted men who should appear. In
about two hours Colonel Lowe, with the Fifth Iowa and part of the Third Ohio Cavalry, reported
and were at once, without waiting, moved on the Wartrace road. The train again started, and
moved up to within half a mile of the Garrison Creek Bridge, when it was seen to be on fire and
in possession of the enemy. The men were at once ordered out, formed, and advanced. On our
approach the enemy fled.
The cavalry passed the infantry at the bridge, and pursued them through Wartrace and in the
direction of Shelbyville. One man was mortally wounded. The pursuit was continued till dark.
The forces returned and encamped for the night at the bridge.
The rebel force, I am informed by citizens and prisoners, was General Martin's division, with
three pieces of artillery, which advanced from the northeast on the Fairfield road, and Roddey's
brigade, which came from the northwest, the whole numbering some 2,000 men.
From information obtained and from the fact that Martin's and Roddey's forces met at
Wartrace, I believe they intended to strike for Duck River Bridge, otherwise they would have
destroyed the railroad north of Wartrace, where larger bridges than that at Garrison's Creek were
left unharmed, but finding large re-enforcements arriving, the old guard having been quite small,
destroyed the bridge and went on to Shelbyville.
Soon after our return to the bridge from the pursuit of the enemy, it then being dark, several
other regiments arrived from the south by the trains. Of the approach of these men I had received
no information. Nor had I any reason to expect them, in view of the unusual delays of trains for
some thirty-six hours past, no train having come from any point south of Tullahoma for about
that time, and there was not a spare man north of it.
I at once returned to Duck River Bridge, reported to Major-General Butterfield, who was
there, and was put in command of the forces there, and requested to remain till the danger of
attack had passed. This I did, and returned to this post, my headquarters, where I found all quiet.
I will add that the delay occasioned by the loss of the bridge was not a moment, since it was
finished six hours before that on Stone's River.
Of the conduct of the officers and men of the Seventh and Sixty-sixth Ohio Regiments I can
speak in terms of the highest commendation. They obeyed all commands to form and advance
upon the enemy with promptness, activity, and order.
I have been the more explicit in my report of this small affair from the fact that some
dissatisfaction was expressed at first at the evacuation of the railroad by Colonel Baird in the first
instance, and on account of my return to Duck River Bridge.
I believe the exercise of a sound discretion required the prompt evacuation of the road when
it was done, and that a like discretion governed the movements made by myself. And I submit,
with un-hesitating confidence, this statement of facts to the sober judgment of the candid and the
Colonel, Comdg. Third Brig., First Div., Reserve Corps.
Capt. S. B. MOE,
Asst. Adjt. Gen., First Division, Reserve Corps.
October 12, 1863.
GENERAL: I have the honor to submit the following report relative to the surrender of the
post of McMinnville, Tenn.:
In compliance with an order issued by Maj. Gen. G. Granger, I moved my command from
Nashville, Tenn., on the 9th day of September, and arrived at McMinnville on Tuesday, the 15th
September; reported to Maj. A. B. Brackett, Fifth Iowa Cavalry, then in command of the post.
On Saturday, the 26th September, Major Brackett left the post under orders, as I understand,
placing myself in command of the post.
Immediately upon assuming command of the post I made a thorough examination of the
town and means of defense in case of an attack.
I found several long rifle-pits on the east and southwest sides of the town, at about the
distance of half a mile from the center or courthouse. They undoubtedly had been prepared for a
large force, brigade or division. I only having about 400 effective men--infantry--I could not see
that they would be of any use to me, or that I could use them in any way to my advantage
whatever, with so small a force, as I had seven different roads to picket, the quartermaster's and
commissary stores to guard, as well as a provost guard, which, in all, took 130 men daily on
duty, also a railroad bridge with a guard of 1 commissioned officer, 1 sergeant, and 15 men.
Immediately upon assuming command of the post, I sent a telegram to Governor Johnson,
asking him to send me the Third Tennessee Cavalry. He replied that he could not spare them
from Nashville.
On the 28th instant, I telegraphed to the commander of the post at Murfreesborough to send
me 200 cavalry. He replied he had no cavalry to send.
On the 30th September or October 1, I telegraphed Brig. Gen. R. S. Granger for cavalry, and
he replied that he had no cavalry to send, and for me to impress horses and mount men for
scouts, being all the time threatened by guerrillas.
On the 2d of October, I issued an order and impressed between 40 and 50 horses, mounted a
like number of men, and sent out two scouting parties of 20 men each, one under Lieutenant
Farnsworth, on the Sparta road, to go 6 or 7 miles, and the other, under Lieutenant Allen, on the
Pikeville road, to go the same distance. Both lieutenants reported to me at about 11 p.m. that they
had executed their orders, and that there was no enemy in front.
However, in the meantime, a large number of citizens came into McMinnville, Tenn., direct
from Sequatchie Valley, among whom was Judge John C. Gant, of Cleveland, Tenn., who
reported the enemy to have crossed the Tennessee River above Washington, from 5,000 to
10,000, and moving down the valley. Considering the reports of these citizens reliable, I
concluded to burn the quartermaster's and commissary stores, and evacuate the place on the
morning of the 3d.
About sundown on the same evening, Captain Blackburn, with Company A, Stokes' cavalry,
came in and reported he had just come on the road from Tracy City to McMinnville, and stated
positively that there were no enemy in force this side of Tennessee River. Upon being
interrogated he stated the same again and again.
Again, at 8 o'clock in the evening, Judge Gant came into my room and I sent for Captain
Blackburn and Lieutenant Heath. Captain Blackburn could not [come], but sent Lieutenant
Heath. Judge Gant on one side of the table stating that the rebels had crossed the Tennessee
River in force, Lieutenant Heath on the other side stated most positively that there was no enemy
in force this side of the Tennessee River, and offered to pledge his right arm that there was none.
Deeming it most proper to take the statement of commissioned officers in preference to that
of citizens, I came to the conclusion to not burn the stores, but remain quiet and await further
On the 29th or 30th instant, I ascertained how many men Surg. St. J. W. Mintzer, in charge of
general hospital, had for duty. I had what old arms were at the post repaired and armed 50 of
them and gave them ammunition, and on the morning of the fight sent a commissioned officer to
take charge of them.
On the morning of the 3d, at 8 o'clock, I sent out a scout, under Lieutenant Farnsworth, of 24
men on the Pikeville road, with orders to go 10 or 12 miles. Himself and command were cut off
and failed to give me any information.
At 10.30 o'clock I ordered out Lieutenant Allen with 20 men on the same road; he had passed
my pickets between one-fourth and one-half mile, and reported the enemy in force. I
immediately drew up my command, consisting of about 270 men, together with 50 convalescents
whom I had armed; this 50 men were ordered to guard two roads leading by the hospital to the
center of the town. Companies B, D, and G were thrown to the immediate front in the suburbs of
town, Company C ordered to go on the Sparta road, entering town. Companies E and A were
placed so as to guard the Manchester and Woodbury roads, and also held in reserve, in case the
enemy should succeed in making their way into the center of town, to hold them in check until
the whole force could be rallied together, when it was my intention to put the men in houses and
fight in that position.
While in this position we were attacked by their advance, and skirmished with them one and
a quarter hours. While skirmishing they moved up a heavy force to the right and left of the town,
surrounding us, and put their artillery in position (eight pieces). They then sent in a flag of truce
demanding verbally the immediate and unconditional surrender of the place, which I refused and
sent the flag back, stating I would not surrender until the demand was properly made, and not
then until I was compelled to do so. In about half an hour the flag again returned borne by
Colonel Hodge, commanding Kentucky brigade, with an order or demand in writing for the
immediate and unconditional surrender of the post with the entire garrison. I herewith give a
copy of the order.
October 3, 1863.
Commanding at McMinnville:
MAJOR: I have the honor of stating to you that we are here in force with four divisions of
cavalry and artillery, and demand the immediate and unconditional surrender of the post of
McMinnville, with the entire garrison.
Respectfully, yours, &c.,
Major-General, C. S. Army.
Seeing that I was surrounded by a greatly superior force, and the enemy's artillery in position,
after a conference with a portion of my officers, all deeming it useless to contend longer with so
large a force, and in order to save life and the effusion of blood, I surrendered the post, asking
the protection of my officers and men, both in person and private property. The same being
granted, we made a formal surrender to Major-General Wheeler, C. S. Army. I lost 7 men killed
and 31 wounded and missing. The enemy admit a loss of 23 killed and about twice that number
From a personal examination of the defenses around and about McMinnville, I could not see
in what way the rifle-pits would be of any service to me with so small a force, neither could I see
in what way I could improve the defenses of the place.
I have managed this thing to the best of my ability, and have done what I believed to be the
best under existing circumstances.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Major Fourth Tennessee Infantry.
Brig. Gen. R. S. GRANGER,
Commanding at Nashville, Tenn.
Stevenson, Ala., October 12, 1863.
GENERAL: In obedience to the inclosed (following) order I left this place at 10 a.m.,
October 6.
Stevenson, Ala., October 6, 1863.
Major-General BUTTERFIELD:
GENERAL: You will proceed without delay to Decherd and assume command of the
Twelfth Corps and of all the troops in that district, and, after leaving a sufficient number to
protect the bridges and stations along the line of railroad, proceed at once with the residue to
disperse and destroy any rebel force you may find along the road between Duck River and
You will move in the most expeditious manner, making use of the trains and all other means
in your power. If, on reaching Tullahoma, you should find the enemy to be in the vicinity of
Duck River, I suggest that you send two regiments to Manchester and two to Shelbyville, with
instructions for them to take a strong position and hold it until they shall be required by you for
other service. Your main column should advance on the line of the railroad until you fall in with
our troops from the opposite direction. Direct your cavalry to keep you advised of the rebel
movements, and send here for supplies. Let me hear from you as often as practicable. Please
inform me of the general and field officers of the Twelfth Corps you may find absent from it.
One division of the Twelfth Corps is already under orders to march to Tullahoma.
Keep the track clear that the cars may run without interruption between you and here, and see
that the telegraph operators and their assistants are kept at their duties day and night. With the
proper use of the cars it is believed that you will be able to throw forward your force faster than
the enemy can march along the road. At all events, let no one rest until our communications are
I arrived at Cowan at 12 m., Decherd at 1 p.m., having previously telegraphed commanding
officers at those points to have all their available force ready to march with three days' rations
and 60 rounds of ammunition, after leaving a sufficient number to protect the bridges and
Captain Edgarton's battery was en route from Stevenson by train to join me, in accordance
with your orders. The forces at the points named were ready to move as ordered, waiting
transportation at the depots. Every available train was made use of, and, at 5 p.m., I had 1,500
infantry at Duck River Bridge in time to learn that the enemy, variously estimated at from 2,000
to 8,000, with artillery, had entered Wartrace, sacked it, and burned the bridge over Garrison's
Fork of Duck River, at about 3 p.m., without opposition.
From the conflicting rumors, my ignorance of the country, and of the character and reliability
of the officers in command a£ Duck River and vicinity, I was unable to determine satisfactorily
the whereabouts and numbers of the enemy. Although so large a force was reported, Colonel
Coburn, with a train containing the Seventh and Sixty-sixth Ohio Regiments, immediately in the
vicinity of Garrison's Fork Bridge, had, without firing a shot, ordered the abandonment of the
stockade and backed the train to Duck River without actually being attacked by more than 15 or
20 of the enemy, who burned the stockade and destroyed the bridge. This conduct seems to me
inexplicable. I have not his report, which I directed him to make to show any reason for this
misconduct. Had he disembarked his infantry and made a reasonable fight, his action would have
delayed the enemy until the arrival of re-enforcements, saved the bridge, and resulted in a severe
punishment to the enemy for his audacity. I regret to be compelled to recommend that this officer
be dismissed the service.
Colonel Baird, with a force at Wartrace, abandoned that position without firing a gun. His
assigned reason for this will be found in the inclosed document, marked A.
The arrival and reports of Colonel Lowe's Cavalry (Fifth Iowa), with Colonel Galbraith's
regiment, late at night led me to believe that the enemy had encamped for the night near
Shelbyville, in force between 2,000 and 3,000, with two batteries. I determined to move and
attack him at daylight, should a sufficient force of infantry arrive by the trains, as I had ordered,
to enable me to do so in compliance with your instructions, which required no delay in opening
the road.
The telegraph operator at Tullahoma was for two or three hours of the night asleep or absent
from his post. The trains in consequence could not be moved as anticipated, and I was compelled
to countermand orders I had issued to Lowe's cavalry and the infantry until the arrival of the
trains. The battery arrived about midnight at Normandy, the nearest point where it could be
Colonel Lowe reported his cavalry much exhausted and without food from the operations of
the day, as he had made a long march and engaged the enemy during the day. Feeling it useless
to take the infantry from line of the road without a positive knowledge of the enemy's
whereabouts, I directed a reconnaissance, which reported him encamped 1 mile beyond
Shelbyville, on the Unionville road (a.m. of the 7th). Instantly all my available force, after
leaving the proper guards and pushing General Ruger's brigade on the railroad, to lose no time in
opening communications, were ordered to march on Shelbyville for the attack. We were too late.
Arriving there we found that General Crook (cavalry) had been driving the enemy all the
forenoon. I considered it useless to pursue with infantry. I turned over Colonel Lowe's command
to General Crook, by whom Colonel Galbraith's regiment was left at Shelbyville, where they
now are.
I then proceeded to comply with my instructions to open communication, moving the
infantry to Wartrace, Bell Buckle, Christiana, and Fosterville, with orders to push out a column
to Stone's River and Murfreesborough until our troops should be met cording in the opposite
direction, repairing the road and telegraph wherever injured. Two regiments of my command
pushed up to the banks of Stone's River near the burned bridge there, arriving on the 8th instant,
before a single officer or soldier had attempted to push beyond the bridge (destroyed at Stone's
River) in our direction to open communications.
The reasons for the neglect of what seems a most apparent duty, I cannot conceive. General
Geary had sent two regiments to guard and assist the working party at Stone's River Bridge.
On the 6th, finding Garrison's Fork Bridge destroyed, I telegraphed to Lieutenant-Colonel
Hunton, First Michigan Engineers, at Elk River, to move up by rail with all materials to replace
the bridge. This officer moved up as ordered with his command, early on the 7th. Two regiments
from my column were left to guard and assist him. The promptness, energy, and capacity
displayed by this officer and his regiment were most praiseworthy. Working day and night, he
completed the bridge shortly after daylight on the 9th, pushed on with his train and worked up a
mile of new track to replace that destroyed by the enemy south of Stone's River, in advance of
the repairs to that bridge, which had been destroyed on the 5th, one day before the bridge at
Garrison's Fork. Comment is unnecessary. All repairs having been completed. I received your
dispatches of Roddey's movements, and pushed for Cowan with a force and opened the tunnel,
re-establishing communication fully by rail and telegraph.
I received your order, directing me to turn over the command to General Slocum and return,
which was complied with upon his arrival at Murfreesborough on the 9th, at 4 p.m.
Edgarton's battery was returned to Stevenson, Colonel Given's (One hundred and second
Ohio) detachment to Cowan. I inclose reports concerning the surrender and abandonment of
Christiana, Stone's River Bridge, Cowan (tunnel), and Wartrace, made under my direction by the
officers who sign them respectively. The summary of the damage done by the enemy will be
found in those reports, except Garrison's Fork Bridge and the culverts near Wartrace, under
Colonel Coburn, who has not made a report as directed.
Your attention is called to the report of the actions of Colonel Given and his command at
Cowan; they reflect no credit upon his sagacity or ability. The officer in command at the tunnel,
Lieutenant Cairns, of the Twenty-eighth Kentucky, abandoned his position without firing a shot,
leaving the enemy to obstruct the tunnel unmolested. I have ordered his arrest, and recommend
his discharge.
I received valuable assistance from Mr. Beggs, railroad agent, who remained with me
constantly, without sleep or food, for nearly two days, full of energy and activity, in the
discharge of the duties connected with the railroad department in moving troops and matériel.
Capt. R. H. Hall, Tenth U.S. Infantry, aide-de-camp, and Capt. H. W. Perkins, aide-de-camp,
were indefatigable in the discharge of their duties, which, literally, as in your order, permitted no
one to rest until communication was restored.
I am indebted to Temple Clark, esq., late captain and assistant adjutant-general, for valuable
The dispatching of the trains after the line was completed was dilatory and unsatisfactory.
When the tunnel and telegraph line at Cowan were obstructed, information received rendered it
necessary to hold an engine to dispatch for tools to clear out the tunnel and re-open
communication. The train dispatcher, named Tyler or Yates, addressed the dispatch marked C to
Mr. Beggs. How this person expected to clear the road and open the telegraph sitting in his office
at Nashville does not appear clear to me. I have to request that he may be admonished by proper
authority for his impertinence under such circumstances, in presuming to question or comment
upon my right or authority to take any steps necessary to restore communication.
On my return from Murfreesborough trains were delayed from one to three hours at each
station for orders, oftentimes, as it seemed, causing unnecessary delay. The first two through
trains of supplies from Nashville, with mails, were held one hour nearly at Anderson coming
north for orders, while there was not a train or engine on the road to prevent our running into
Major-Generals Slocum and Howard suggested to me the necessity of a change in the system
of dispatching trains. I concur entirely, and would recommend additional locomotives be put on
the road.
I am informed that engines of the Ohio, 4.10 gauge, can quickly be altered to run here. I
would respectfully suggest that the commanding general ask the Secretary of War to take the
necessary number of these engines from the Ohio roads and send them on this line.
The necessity of another wire for telegraphic purposes, with a double set of operators, was
very forcibly impressed upon me during these operations.
I had neglected to mention the pillaging done by the enemy at Shelbyville, of which Colonel
Galbraith will make a report.
We picked up 6 or 8 prisoners, stragglers from the enemy.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Maj. Gen., Chf. of Staff, Temporarily Comdg. 12th Corps, &c.
Cox's Cross-Roads, via La Grange, October 14, 1863.
(Received headquarters Memphis, 15th.)
SIR: I struck the enemy near Ingram's Mill, south of Byhalia, about 3 p.m. on the 12th
instant, fought them two hours, drove them from their position, and followed till 9 o'clock that
On the 13th, I moved out at daybreak, and struck the enemy's pickets in the first mile, and
skirmished continually from that time till within 2 miles of Wyatt, when I came in sight of their
artillery, about three-quarters of a mile ahead. I ordered Colonel Phillips' brigade forward at a
gallop, and charged down to the town of Wyatt. The artillery barely escaped. The enemy held the
town with their whole force, sent their horses across the river, and fought stubbornly, holding
every log-house and gully.
After hard fighting, from 3.30 to 9.30 p.m., I succeeded in driving the enemy into the river.
They could not destroy the bridge. I sent a battalion across the river this morning about 5 miles,
but found no force of the enemy. I then recrossed the river, destroyed the bridge, and formed a
junction with General Sweeny at this place. I should have pursued farther, but I have only 23
rounds of ammunition per man, and only 40 rounds of artillery ammunition.
Colonel, Commanding.
Major-General HURLBUT.
Memphis, Tenn., October 17, 1863.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of this division
since the 4th instant:
For several days previous to that time I had been apprised that the enemy was making
preparations to attack the Memphis and Charleston Railroad at some point not then known to me.
On the 2d instant, in anticipation of this, I ordered a battalion of the Sixth Illinois Cavalry to
Olive Branch, a battalion of the Seventh Illinois Cavalry to Quinn and Jackson's Mill, on the
Coldwater, and a battalion of the same regiment to Mount Pleasant. I also ordered Colonel
McCrillis to send one battalion to Early Grove and one battalion to Lamar.
On the 4th instant, I received more definite information of his intentions, that he designed to
cross the Coldwater and make the attack on some point between Memphis and La Grange, either
La Fayette, Collierville, or Moscow. I immediately ordered Colonel McCrillis to move at once
with his entire command to Lockhart's Mill, south of Mount Pleasant, on the Coldwater. I also
directed the force at Quinn and Jackson's Mill to be re-enforced by the remainder of the Sixth
and Seventh Illinois Cavalry, withdrawing the force from Olive Branch.
On the night of the 5th instant, the enemy, estimated at 1,600, attacked Colonel McCrillis at
Lockhart's Mill, and was repulsed. The enemy then moved off in the direction of Hudsonville,
attempting a flank movement. McCrillis immediately dispatched the Sixth Tennessee Cavalry in
that direction, and on the 6th instant moved with his command toward La Grange. The enemy
then fell back toward Salem.
On the night of the 6th instant, in compliance with orders from Major-General Hurlbut, I
went to La Grange and commenced massing the cavalry at that place.
On the morning of the 7th instant, I directed Colonel McCrillis to move on to Salem, and if
he found the enemy there to attack him vigorously.
The next morning I moved down to Lamar with the Sixth Illinois Cavalry, and there met the
Seventh Illinois and Seventh Kansas Cavalry, which had been ordered to that point.
That night I learned that McCrillis, having been joined by Lieutenant-Colonel Phillips (Ninth
Illinois) infantry, had been fighting at Salem.
On the morning of the 9th, we pushed rapidly for Salem, expecting to find McCrillis and
Phillips in that vicinity. While on the march I received a communication from Brigadier-General
Sweeny, stating that he had sent two regiments of infantry and a section of artillery to Davis'
Mills, 10 miles from Salem, which would support me if necessary.
With this assurance, I moved on to Salem, struck their pickets, and there received
information that McCrillis and Phillips had been compelled to fall back, owing to the superior
force of the enemy and the fact that they were out of ammunition. I also learned that the enemy
was considerably re-enforced during the preceding night. Ordering the skirmishers forward, with
instructions not to bring on a general engagement there, I sent a dispatch to Colonel Rice,
commanding the brigade at Davis' Mills, asking him to move up at once, as I intended to make
the attack as soon as he did so. I did not deem it prudent to attack unassisted, as I had only 750
men and no artillery, while the enemy was estimated at not less than 3,000, with nine or ten guns.
We skirmished with the enemy for three hours, when, instead of re-enforcements, I received
a dispatch from General Sweeny, stating that McCrillis and Phillips had fallen back to La
Grange, and advising me to move back in that direction. Had the promised re-enforcements
arrived, as I confidently expected, I am of the opinion that we could have defeated the enemy at
Salem and prevented any movement against the railroad.
Finding that I must depend upon my own command exclusively, I moved back to La Grange
to collect the whole command together and move in force. I was then advised that General
Sweeny intended to move on Salem with infantry and artillery, and I was directed to co-operate
with him.
On the 10th instant, I organized the entire division, including the Ninth Illinois Infantry, into
two brigades, commanded respectively by Lieutenant-Colonels Phillips and Moyers, the whole
numbering about 2,200 men and eight guns.
In compliance with orders from General Sweeny, moved out from La Grange on the morning
of the 11th toward Salem to cover the movement of General Sweeny's infantry. The First
Brigade, under Lieutenant-Colonel Phillips, on reaching Salem found the Third Michigan
Cavalry there, and learned the enemy had left Salem, going toward Holly Springs. Was then
ordered by General Sweeny to cover his front toward Holly Springs.
On nearing Holly Springs and learning the enemy had made an attack on Collierville,
marched one brigade by way of Hudsonville toward Mount Pleasant. Lieutenant-Colonel
Phillips, seeing the importance of moving on the south side toward Quinn's Mill, had taken this
line of march, destroying the bridges on Coldwater and filling the fords with timber.
At 9 o'clock on the morning of the 12th, struck the enemy's rear at Quinn and Jackson's Mill,
8 miles south of Collierville, my command having marched--the main column--52 miles in
twenty-four hours, steadily driving the enemy's rear 9 miles. Three miles south of Byhalia came
upon the enemy, under General Chalmers and General [Colonel] Richardson, posted in a strong
position on hills, with a swamp in front, with two 6-pounder guns in their center, commanding
the road. Our men drove in the enemy's skirmishers out of the swamp, when the enemy opened
from his artillery and line.
About 3 p.m. Lieutenant-Colonel Phillips deployed his men on the right and center, moving a
howitzer battery to the front, and opened with shell on log-houses occupied by the enemy. The
enemy charged the center spiritedly, and were met by the Seventh Illinois Cavalry and Ninth
Illinois Infantry, repulsed, and driven back. Instructing Colonel Phillips, whenever he was ready,
to charge the enemy's left, drew the attention of the enemy on our left by a rapid fire with
howitzers. Colonel Phillips then charged with the Seventh Illinois and Seventh Kansas Cavalry,
supported by the Sixth Illinois Cavalry. The enemy broke in confusion, mounting their horses,
and were rallied about 2 miles from their first position. Pursued steadily until 9 p.m. toward
Hernando, fighting with his rear. Moved out in the morning before daylight, Colonel Phillips in
advance, and struck the enemy's rear guard 1 mile from camp, driving him toward Wall Hill.
Learned his guns passed in the night and were about four hours ahead, going toward Wyatt;
pushed on rapidly, fighting the enemy, charging the last 8 miles, when the enemy were found in
force at Wyatt, a deep ditch surrounding the town, a bridge immediately in the rear, his artillery
massed near the road leading to the bridge. Colonel Phillips immediately deployed his brigade to
the front, and, swinging his left on the center, pushed back the enemy's right, closing in on the
river so as to enfilade the road leading to the bridge. He then threw forward his right, and sent
the Seventh Kansas Cavalry forward as skirmishers to take possession of some log-houses
occupied by the enemy, when the enemy attacked that regiment in force, driving it back on the
reserves. Colonel Moyers then moved up the Third Michigan and Sixth Tennessee Cavalry on
the right of Colonel Phillips' brigade, extending my line by the right flank, throwing the Ninth
Illinois Cavalry, with eight guns, into the gap in the center caused by this movement, opening
with the guns on the houses occupied by the enemy and shelling the bridge. The enemy made a
slight demonstration on my right and charged in force on the left, the howitzers playing on them
with canister. The charge was received by the Ninth Illinois Infantry, Sixth Illinois Cavalry, and
a battalion of the Third Michigan Cavalry, splendidly covered by a belt of timber and ditches.
The enemy were repulsed with great loss. The enemy, finding the right had taken a piece of
timber on their left, sent the Second Missouri (Confederate) Cavalry to dislodge our men.
This regiment, though fighting tenaciously, was repulsed. The enemy made two more
charges on our left, the last a desperate one, and were, as before, driven back with loss, leaving
in their last charge 15 dead on the field. Night had then closed in dark and rainy; our artillery
continued to play on the bridge. I ordered the right to close on the enemy, the enemy's volleys
doing us no damage in the dark, our men firing at the flash. About 9 o'clock the Ninth Illinois.
Seventh Kansas, Third Michigan, and Sixth Tennessee charged the town, led by Colonel Phillips,
driving the enemy in confusion into the river and over the bridge en masse, the Ninth Illinois
Infantry pouring volleys into them. We crossed the bridge with the enemy.
In the morning pushed forward, finding no enemy; believed they had fled to Oxford.
Having but 23 rounds of ammunition left to the man, and being 45 miles from my supplies, I
deemed it prudent to give up the pursuit.
We captured 50 prisoners, with 5 commissioned officers, including their captain of artillery
and captain and adjutant-general of General [Colonel] Richardson, 200 stand of arms, and 2
ammunition wagons.
The town of Wyatt was burned by the men, being mostly log-houses, used by the enemy for
defense. Our loss will scarcely exceed 60 in killed and wounded.
The entire command behaved finely. Of Lieutenant-Colonel Phillips and Lieutenant-Colonel
Moyers, I cannot say too much. They did all I could wish, and the regiments under them behaved
nobly. Lieutenants Pike, Belden, McClure, and Callon nearly all had horses shot under them and
did their duty bravely and cheerfully. The Seventh Kansas, Sixth and Seventh Illinois, Third
Michigan, and Ninth Illinois Cavalry were conspicuous. The Seventh Kansas Cavalry dashed at
the enemy splendidly, and Colonel Phillips (Ninth Illinois) infantry conducted themselves with
their usual gallantry.
Not having received the reports of the brigade commanders, I am unable to make a full report
of casualties.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel 2d Iowa Cav., Comdg. Cav. Div., 16th Army Corps.
Assistant Adjutant-General, Cavalry Division.]
Memphis, Tenn., October 12, 1863.
MAJOR: In obedience to orders dated headquarters District of Memphis, October 10, 1863, I
proceeded at dark on that day to march to Hernando, Miss., with four companies of the Second
Iowa Cavalry. I arrived at a point 1 mile distant from that place at 2 o'clock in the morning of the
11th, where we remained until daylight. Captain Moore, with his company, then marched rapidly
through the town, with directions to picket the roads and establish a chain of guards on the south
side of the town and prevent the egress of all persons. Captain Eystra's company was divided, 20
men sent to the east and 20 men to the west side of town. Twenty men of Captain Horton's
company guarded the north side of town.
In this manner all of the approaches were picketed and a continuous line of sentinels
established around the town. Company F and 20 men of Company A were then moved into town
and divided into squads of 5 men. Every house was carefully searched and all the men brought to
the public square, where the guide furnished me designated Dyer, Kizzie, and Bryant as 3 of the
4 parties whom I was instructed to arrest. They were arrested and brought to the city, and
delivered to a guard at district headquarters. The fourth party I was instructed to arrest, Dr.
Atkins, was not in the town; he lives 4 miles south of it, and I was informed by several citizens
that the day before he started for Coldwater Crossing, and was not at home. I also arrested,
brought to Memphis, and turned over to a guard at district headquarters 6 other persons, who
appeared to be suspicious characters. Upon the return the command was followed by a party,
perhaps 30, of the enemy, who attacked our rear guard at a point 4 miles north of Hernando. The
10 men of F Company composing the rear guard quickly dispersed them.
Returned to camp at 4 p.m. without further molestation.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Lieut. Col. Second Iowa Cavalry, Comdg. Regiment.
Asst. Adjt. Gen., Dist. of Memphis, Tenn.
Big Black River, Miss., October 21, 1863.
COLONEL: I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of the cavalry
under my command during the late reconnaissance toward Canton:
The command moved over bridge at Messinger's at 6 a.m. 15th instant, and passed Queen's
Hill Church, where Lieutenant-Colonel Wallace, with Fourth and Eleventh Illinois Regiments,
were left, with orders to report to Major-General McPherson. The main force passed Bolton, and
thence to the left into Brownsville, where the advance had a brisk skirmish with 50 rebel cavalry,
driving them through and out of town at once.
Halting for orders, the command of Colonel Wallace rejoined the column, and horses were
fed. Pursuant to instructions from Major-General McPherson, upon arrival of infantry I moved
out toward Livingston and Clinton at 4 p.m., finding the enemy's advance l mile from town,
which was promptly attacked by Captain Peniwell, Fifth Illinois Cavalry, and chased about 1
mile, he being supported by Fifth Regiment Illinois Cavalry coming forward at a gallop. At forks
of the road, 2 miles from Brownsville, the advance was met by a heavy column of the enemy and
driven back upon head of the column in confusion, while I formed the advance regiment to repel
the enemy, at the same time ordering into position the other regiments. The enemy came
forward in column and line, attacking desperately, but, after a severe fight of fifteen minutes,
they were repulsed and followed 2 miles, leaving 3 dead on the ground, besides having quite a
number wounded. Returned after dark and encamped 1 mile from the town.
On 16th instant, moved toward Clinton, finding the enemy in force about 4 miles from
B[rownsville] with cannon. The brigade of General Maltby being brought forward, they were
forced to abandon their position after an hour's severe cannonading, and were again found 1 mile
farther toward Clinton by the cavalry.
In obedience to orders, I left the Tenth Missouri Cavalry, Major Benteen, with General
Maltby, and with four regiments moved to Treadwell's, near Clinton and Vernon Cross-Roads,
again finding enemy with cannon securely posted in a splendid position, with the infantry. My
command was encamped for the night, and the Fifth Illinois Cavalry, Major Farnan, posted on
road to the left, where he captured 1 lieutenant and 11 men of Texas cavalry doing picket duty.
At daylight 17th instant, with three regiments, I moved to the left and, going within 3 miles
of Vernon, passed again toward the right, taking the advance of General Leggett's brigade and
the army to Robinson's Mills, 3 miles from Livingston, where we again met the enemy in force
and with two pieces of cannon. They retreated before the firing of three guns from General
Leggett's command and the advance of the cavalry. The mill and wagon shop being burned by
Colonel Coolbaugh, we encamped for the night near by, and next morning I moved forward 1
miles, finding enemy with three pieces of cannon and a large force of cavalry well posted.
Pursuant to orders, I remained in position until noon, and then commenced moving slowly
after the infantry, which had meantime gone toward Clinton. Before leaving the mills, the enemy
had appeared in large force in front and on my left flank, having in plain view, at 10.30 a.m.,
more cavalry than was under my command, this at a distance from their artillery and evidently
well supported. The enemy in force followed my column to a point 3 miles from Clinton,
continually attacking my rear guard, and appearing in large numbers on both flanks. Reached
Clinton at 6.30 p.m., having marched 17 miles during continued volleys. Having the rear of the
column into camp on the 19th, we were occasionally annoyed but lost no men on this day.
The command lost during the reconnaissance as follows: Fourth Iowa Cavalry, 2 men killed,
1 man missing. Fourth Illinois Cavalry, 4 men wounded.
Fifth Illinois Cavalry, 2 men wounded, 1 man missing.
Tenth Missouri Cavalry lost 2 men wounded, while 50 horses were killed or wounded.
Total: Killed, 2; missing, 2; wounded, 8.
During the skirmish near Brownsville, 15th instant, the Fifth Illinois Cavalry, though well
commanded by Major Farnan, was put in much confusion by the severe volleys of the enemy,
and I believe but for the efforts of myself, Lieutenant Hodge, and Major Mumford would have
been driven from the ground with much loss. For ten minutes the enemy and our troops contested
the same spot of ground. The command was under fire of the enemy's cannon on the expedition
for more than two hours, all the time in good range.
The command expended 70 rounds howitzer ammunition, and about 60,000 rounds
ammunition for small-arms.
I think the enemy must have lost during the expedition at least 100 men killed, wounded, and
prisoners, of whom we captured 1 lieutenant and 15 men. At Robinson's Mills, I regret to say, the
center of my column was somewhat confused by the conduct of curious personages, who fled to
the rear when the situation became uncomfortable because of enemy's shells. They gave selforiginated
orders while going to the rear.
On 16th, the Tenth Missouri Cavalry was under fire of enemy's cannon for six hours. With
general remark that the officers of the force did their duty(while I would particularly notice
Lieutenant-Colonel Wallace, Majors Farnan, Benteen, Townsend, and Spearman as being
valuable and gallant officers),
I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,
Colonel, and Chief of Cavalry.
Lieut. Col. W. T. CLARK,
Asst. Adjt. Gen., 17th Army Corps, Dept. of Tenn.
Camp, August 12, 1863.
Maj. Gen. U. S. GRANT,
Comdg. Dept. of the Tennessee, Vicksburg, Miss.:
The telegraph wire was put up to Haynes' Bluff and out on the Ridge road as far as Neely's at
the time General Parke was there. I advise that it be extended 1 mile to Oak Ridge Post-Office
where I have two regiments, commanded by Colonel Corse, Sixth Iowa. It may so happen that
telegraphic communication with that point will be of advantage, and therefore I think it
advisable.. had several persons in yesterday from as far as Brandon. Johnston has gone east,
doubtless to explain matters. He still commands, and enjoys the confidence of the army and
people. Hardee commands the camp at Morton. A court of inquiry is to examine Pemberton's
case at Montgomery. Wirt Adams' and Starke's cavalry are west of Pearl River, and have
behaved so that I have forbidden any more rations being issued to people east of Black. I have
also put a picket of one regiment of infantry at Amsterdam, and sent the Second Wisconsin
Cavalry, belonging to McPherson, with his approval, to Red Bone, Church, to watch the
crossings at Baldwin's, Hall’s, and Hankinson's.
It is represented that Chalmers is coming south, toward Brandon, with his cavalry, burning
cotton and gathering conscripts and negroes as he comes along. I suppose the enemy has
established telegraphic communication between Brandon and Panola, but this will be broken by
Colonel Winslow's cavalry, which I suppose to be now well toward Grenada. His orders are to
communicate as often as possible with me or you direct. If he writes to you, please let me have
the substance, that I may keep pace with his movements. I take it for granted he will reach
Memphis before his return.
A man, residing near Bolton, who is, I think, in our interest, reports to me that he knows the
enemy's cavalry, 8,000 strong, are to cross Pearl River to-day, in spite of the protestation of all
the people. Of course, they have no 8,000 cavalry, but doubtless they wish to counteract the
backsliding of the people of Mississippi. Instead of checking such a tendency they will expedite
it by their cavalry.
La Grange, August 18, 1863. (Received 3.30 p.m.)
Assistant Adjutant-General:
SIR: My brigade proper (consisting of the Sixty-second Illinois, Forty-ninth Illinois, Fiftieth
Indiana, and Twenty-seventh Iowa, together with Vaughn's and Kidd's batteries) numbers--
marching strength--2,300, with ample transportation. The two negro regiments and the One
hundred and eighth Illinois have 1,100 effective force, with deficient transportation.
Very respectfully,
Colonel 62d Illinois, Comdg. 3d Brig., 3d Div., 16th A. C.
La Grange, Tenn., August 18, 1863.
Lieut. Col. H. BINMORE,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Memphis, Tenn.:
SIR: I am ready to move immediately. The regiments of my brigade are stationed, Sixtysecond
Illinois at La Grange, Twenty-seventh Iowa at Moscow, Fiftieth Indians at Collierville,
and Forty-ninth Illinois at Germantown. Can I not retain Vaughn's battery in my brigade?
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel, Commanding Brigade,
Memphis, Tenn., August 20, 1863.
The cavalry of the Sixteenth Army Corps is hereby reorganized, as follows:
First Brigade, Col. J. K. Mizner, Third Michigan Cavalry, commanding, headquarters
Corinth, Miss.: Third Michigan, Seventh Kansas, Tenth Missouri, Fifth Ohio, First Alabama.
Second Brigade, Col. L. F. McCrillis, Third Illinois Cavalry, commanding, headquarters L. F.
Grange, Tenn.: Third Illinois, Ninth Illinois, Eleventh Illinois, First West Tennessee, Second
West Tennessee.
Third Brigade, Col. Edward Hatch, Second Iowa Cavalry, commanding, headquarters
Germantown, Tenn.: Second Iowa, Fourth Illinois Sixth Illinois, Seventh Illinois Third U. S.
The Fifteenth Kentucky, Fourth Missouri, and battalion Second Illinois will remain as they
now are until further orders.
Immediately upon the receipt of this order the different regimental commanders will report
with their commands for duty to the brigade commanders to whom they are assigned.
Commanders of brigades and detachments are particularly enjoined to be prompt in the
transmittal of their tri-monthly and monthly returns to these headquarters.
The surgeons quartermasters, and inspectors of the several brigades and detachments will
send their reports promptly to the chiefs of their several departments at these headquarters.
By order of Brig. Gen. B. H. Grierson:
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
Memphis, Tenn., August 26, 1863.
I. In pursuance of instructions this day received from the major-general commanding the
Department of the Tennessee, Brig. Gen. Alexander Asboth will proceed forthwith to Vicksburg,
Miss., reporting in person to Maj. Gen. W. T. Sherman, commanding Fifteenth Army Corps, for
assignment to command.
IV. Public transportation will be furnished without unnecessary delay by Capt. J. V. Lewis,
assistant quartermaster of transportation, by river to Vicksburg for the following regiments,
composing the command of Col. E. F. Winslow: Third Iowa Volunteer Cavalry, Fourth Iowa
Volunteer Cavalry, Fifth Illinois Volunteer Cavalry.
By order of Maj. Gen. S. A. Hurlbut:
Assistant Adjutant-General.
CORINTH, August 20, 1863.
Maj. Gen. S. A. HURLBUT,
Commanding Sixteenth Army Corps:
Germantown, August 25, 1863.
Brig. Gen. B. H. GRIERSON,
Commanding Cavalry, Sixteenth Army Corps:
GENERAL: I have camped the brigade 1 miles from Germantown, northwest, one-fourth of
mile from Wolf River, 1 mile north of railroad, on what is known as the Nasborah tract. No
instructions have been turned over to me.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Col. Second Iowa Cavalry, Comdg. Third Brigade Cavalry.
Memphis, Tenn., August 26, 1863.
I. In pursuance of instructions this day received from the major-general commanding the
Department of the Tennessee, Brig. Gen. Alexander Asboth will proceed forthwith to Vicksburg,
Miss., reporting in person to Maj. Gen. W. T. Sherman, commanding Fifteenth Army Corps, for
assignment to command.
IV. Public transportation will be furnished without unnecessary delay by Capt. J. V. Lewis,
assistant quartermaster of transportation, by river to Vicksburg for the following regiments,
composing the command of Col. E. F. Winslow: Third Iowa Volunteer Cavalry, Fourth Iowa
Volunteer Cavalry, Fifth Illinois Volunteer Cavalry.
By order of Maj. Gen. S. A. Hurlbut:
Assistant Adjutant-General.
August 26, 1863.
Col. E. HATCH,
Comdg. Third Cavalry Brigade, Germantown, Tenn.:
Send the Second Iowa Cavalry, with camp and garrison equipage, to this point. They will still
report to you.
August 28, 1863.
Major-General SHERMAN:
Send flag of truce to the southern lines and inquire if General S. D. Lee has been exchanged.
I have received no notice of the fact. Order all the camp and garrison equipage, men, &c., of the
Third Iowa Cavalry to Helena. I stopped the six companies that went with Colonel Winslow
there to get the regiment together. One brigade of cavalry, 2,200 strong, besides Winslow’s
command, will come here from West Tennessee. I have also 3,000 horse equipments ordered,
which will enable us to mount that number of infantry.
August 28, 1863.
General GRANT,
Vicksburg :
Glad you are back. Will order the Third Iowa Cavalry to Helena; also will send the flag of
truce out. Captain Audenried, Colonel Coolbaugh, and others have just gone into Vicksburg.
They wanted much to go out along with the next flag. If you think it proper, please notify them
to come out, as I will start the flag for Canton at or after noon to-morrow.
Camp on Black River, August 30, 1863.
From and after September 1 the following disposition of the divisions of this corps is
1. The First Division will hold the position at the railroad bridge, with patrols, scouts, &c.,
visiting the country down as far as Hall's Ferry. Division drill, with infantry and artillery, on
Tuesdays, subject to inspection by the commanding general, at 4 p.m.
2. The Second Division will guard the Black River at Amsterdam and Bridgeport, and
otherwise act as a general reserve, keeping up easy communication with Bovina, Tiffin, and
Wixon's. Division drill of artillery and infantry on Wednesdays, subject to general inspection, at
4 p.m.
3. The Third Division will guard the line of Bear Creek, with one brigade at Oak Ridge.
Headquarters near Tribble's, and scouts scouring the country between the Yazoo and Black
Rivers. Drills by brigades or division on Thursdays, subject to inspection without previous
notice, at 4 p.m.
4. The Fourth Division will guard the Big Black from Bridgeport up to the mouth of Bear
Creek. Headquarters near Messinger's. Division drills on Fridays, ready for inspection by the
commanding general, at 4 p.m. The Fourth Brigade, Fourth Division, having only two regiments,
is hereby broken up, on the 1st of September, and a the following assignments made, to take
effect as soon as that brigade is relieved at Oak Ridge by one from the Third Division: The Sixth
Iowa to the Second Brigade; the Forty-eighth Illinois to the Third Brigade.
5. Until the return to this command of the many general officers belonging to it, the senior
officer present for duty will command the several divisions and brigades, and will be held
accountable for the drill, instruction, and records. Besides the daily guard-mounting and parade,
the roll-calls prescribed by Regulations, and drills heretofore ordered, division commanders will
give special attention to the arms, ammunition, and equipments of their commands, and see that
all things material to the service are now procured. A system of book instruction should be
instituted in all the brigades, that the officers and men now on duty may become qualified to
impart proper instructions to all recruits and conscripts to which we are entitled to fill our ranks.
We have now passed safely the hot and sickly season of Mississippi, and can safely go to work.
By order of Maj. Gen. W. T. Sherman:
Assistant Adjutant-General.
NASHVILLE, August 30, 1863--1.30 a.m.
The Fifth Iowa Cavalry cannot be spared from Murfreesborough; instead of taking it away, I
need two more regiments to send forward your beef and other supplies and do the escort duty
absolutely required. All the supplies for Murfreesborough and Fayetteville are hauled from
Nashville and Shelbyville in wagons. Your line of communications is all important and must be
kept open, and cavalry, as you know, is hourly needed. Could I get equipments and horses I
could mount infantry to perform this duty, but as it is I must do the best in my power. No cavalry
equipments have arrived; whose fault is it? The necessary orders will be given to McCook on his
arrival at Huntsville. You must see that supplies are sent to him and Morgan.
August 30, 1863.
Major-General GRANGER, Nashville:
The general commanding thinks it will not be necessary for you to send the Fourth Tennessee
Cavalry to Carthage. That post is of but Little importance now, and can either be held by a small
detachment from Gallatin or abandoned. The Lebanon country ought to be cleared out if it is not
done already. He thinks you had better send the Fifth Iowa Cavalry to or toward McMinnville.
Send McCook to close in from Huntsville this way, so as to protect this line of railroad. Relieve
the command at Cowan at once, and direct Steedman to occupy it. There are 700 convalescents
there, many of whom can be used as a garrison force, at all events for defense in case of attack.
We are crossing the river. Have laid a pontoon-bridge and crossed nearly two divisions without
opposition. I am nearly recovered.
Brigadier-General, Chief of Staff.
Camp Sherman, Miss., September 1, 1863.
I. In compliance with General Orders, No. 69, from headquarters Fifteenth Army Corps, the
undersigned assumes command of the Fourth Division.
II. The organization known as the Fourth Brigade of this division having been dissolved, in
accordance with the same order, the Sixth Iowa Infantry and Forty-eighth Illinois Infantry
Regiments will report, respectively, to the commanders of the Second and Third Brigades, on
being relieved at Oak Ridge by Brigadier-General Buckland.
By order of Brig. Gen. J. M. Corse:
Assistant Adjutant-General.
STEVENSON, ALA., September 2, 1863.
Maj.. Gen. GORDON GRANGER, Nashville:
Colonel Shelley telegraphs his arrival at McMinnville with Third and Sixth East Tennessee
and Stokes cavalry. The general commanding desires you to send a first-rate officer there to
command the post; thinks you had better send Colonel Lowe with the Fifth Iowa Cavalry.
Assistant Adjutant-General.
NASHVILLE. September 3, 1863--12 p.m.
If Fifth Iowa Cavalry is taken from Murfreesborough, the whole line of railroad from La
Vergne to Tennessee River is left without a mounted man. Guerrilla parties and bands of thieves
are organizing in all quarters. It certainly is not judicious to strip the railroad entirely of cavalry.
The new cavalry organizing here is of little or no account. If Colonel Lowe goes to McMinnville
he will be junior to General Spears. These matters demand your serious consideration.
STEVENSON, ALA., September 3, 1863--11.30 p.m.
Major-General GRANGER,
You must take care of McMinnville. It is too, important for us to lose; see to that. As for
Iowa cavalry, I don t see but what a part of it should, by a steady system of patrols, accomplish
all you wish, and the remainder can go to McMinnville. Where is the Eleventh Kentucky, lately
at Carthage? Can't you have boats bring away stuff from Carthage? Why not put Carthage under
Paine? You must also establish a regular system of patrols for the troops on lines of railroad.
Have them go through by-paths at irregular hours.
Memphis, Tenn., September 4, 1863.
Commanding Second Iowa Cavalry Volunteers:
You will, until further orders, send out daily from your command scouting parties on the
Pigeon Roost road, Horn Lake and Hernando roads, respectively, for the purpose of
reconnoitering the country between Memphis and Hernando. You will use your own discretion
as to the strength of the parties, the time of day at which they move, and the route to be followed
in any particular case, acting upon the information you may receive from time to time. Any
important result attained or information received will be immediately reported direct to these
By order of Brig. Gen. James C. Veatch:
Assistant Adjutant-General
NASHVILLE, September 5, 1863.
Chief of Staff:
The Twenty-second Michigan left this morning for Stevenson. The One hundred and eighth
Ohio leaves for the same point to-morrow morning by railroad. Whitens brigade marches
Money (7th) for Stevenson from Estill Springs. I will be down on Monday. How are things
progressing? The Fifth Iowa Cavalry and Abbott's battery leave Murfreesborough for
McMinnville to-morrow.
Major General
September 16, 1863--9 p.m.
DEAR RAWLINS: I saw Mr. Sargent this afternoon, and learned from him the purport of
your dispatch concerning the cavalry and the satisfaction given him by Colonel Binmore.
It seems, from all I can learn by conversing with General Grierson and Colonel Binmore, that
it was agreed by General Grant and General Hurlbut that the Fourth Illinois Cavalry, Eleventh
Illinois, and Tenth Missouri Cavalry should go.
This arrangement don't seem to meet the case at all, for, in the first place, you get no colonel
who is worth more than Mudd, Clark Wright, or Mussey--in fact, none of these regiments have a
colonel-so that your cavalry simply becomes an armed mob with no one to control it. None of the
three regiments selected are in anything like a creditable state of organization, discipline, or
In the second place, my understanding of the case was that you wanted a cavalry commander
quite as badly as the cavalry itself, and I have only to say on that head that I always thought
Hatch Grierson's superior, and to-day I became thoroughly convinced that my judgment was
properly founded. I inspected the Second Iowa this afternoon, and I say to you what I said to
Hatch, that, though it is not all that cavalry should be, it is by far the best cavalry regiment in the
Department of the Tennessee; and what is more, Hatch is the best officer and ought to be sent
down. From what Sargent said, you probably take the same view of the case, and therefore wish
Hatch's regiment to be sent. Hurlbut (who, by the way, between me and you, is small enough to
be envious and jealous of General Grant) knows fully the worth of Hatch's regiment, and will
retain it here unless you order it down.
I don't like this "part of the machine." We have too many generals engaged in semi-civil
affairs, to the utter neglect of their military duties. I have not yet seen a general but he was
commanding a "post," or "district,' or a "city." I have reviewed and inspected nearly all of the
Sixteenth Army Corps, and have not yet seen any part of the troops on the parade ground
commanded by a general. This may be a little surprising to you, but is nevertheless true. These
distinguished gentlemen should be required to assume command of their men as their first duty,
and dispose of civil and trade business afterward. They should be held responsible for the
discipline, order, and instruction of their troops, and give their first attention to these matters
rather than devote their undivided time to cotton, Confederates, and corruption. I tell you, sir, the
Government of the United States cannot be upheld in purity and honesty by hands that lay aside
the sword for instruments of trade and peace. We want soldiers, not traders; generals, not
governors and civil agents. A few hundred thousand bayonets led by clear heads and military
rules can crush the rebellion, but a million without military generals can do nothing except by
main strength and awkwardness. The system of occupying undisputed territory is all wrong. We
must put our armies in the field and compel our generals to lead them against the enemy, and if
they fail from ignorance put them aside. I am disgusted with the whole system.
Pardon this hasty note, and believe me, devotedly, your friend,
September 15, 1863.
Received at this place, of Capt. G. C. Graves, Second Iowa Cavalry, under flag of truce, a
sealed communication indorsed Headquarters Sixteenth Army Corps, Official Business, and,
addressed "Commanding Officer Confederate Forces, Panola, Miss."
Captain Graves desires me to state that he proceeded with flag of truce as far as Coldwater
River, where he was met by the Confederate pickets and by them ordered back to this point,
which statement I hereby make.
I am the officer duly authorized by the commanding officer of this district to receive said
Major, and A. A. A. G., General Chalmers' Staff.
La Grange, Tenn., September 16, 1863.
First Brigade, Second Division:
The Second West Tennessee Infantry (African descent) will proceed to Moscow in the
morning to relieve the Seventh Iowa Volunteers, which will be stationed at this place. The camp
and garrison equipage will be taken, by rail.
By order of Brig. Gen. T. W. Sweeny, commanding:
Captains, and Assistant Adjutant-General.
Memphis, Tenn., September 16, 1863.
Maj. D. E. COON,
Commanding Second Iowa Cavalry:
You will until further orders send out daily strong patrols to reconnoiter the country between
Memphis and White's Station, along the line of the military railroad. Any important information
elicited or results attained will be reported direct to these headquarters.
By order of Brig. Gen. James C. Veatch:
Assistant Adjutant-General.
Crawfish Spring, September 17, 1863.
Maj. Gen. G. GRANGER:
The general commanding suggests that the garrisons and posts in your district can be further
reduced, and that you can bring to the front as follows:
From Fort Donelson and Clarksville, one regiment infantry; from Nashville, one regiment
cavalry; from Stewart's and Brown's Creeks, one battalion of infantry; from Murfreesborough,
one regiment infantry and one battalion of cavalry; from the ten regiments of infantry now at
Caperton's Ferry, Stevenson, Bridgeport, and Jasper, three regiments infantry; total, five and a
half regiments infantry, one regiment and battalion of cavalry--the Caperton Ferry force be
withdrawn, the bulk of the Stevenson force posted at Bridgeport, and the Jasper force distributed
between that place and Battle Creek. The force at Gallatin should furnish two companies to re-
enforce the garrison at Carthage. As soon as Burnside joins us most of the force at McMinnville
can be spared; certainly the Fifth Iowa Cavalry can be brought to the front. If you know of any
points which can be safely cut down more, do so. The War Department has ordered Hurlbut's
and Sherman's corps to cross over to the Tennessee, which will thoroughly protect our right and
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Brigadier-General and Chief of Staff.
September 18, 1863.
I. The commanding officer Fifth Illinois Cavalry will detail from his command 100 men and
4 officers, well armed and mounted, for a scout of 15 miles and return, to report to Captain
Woods, at these headquarters, to-morrow morning at 3.30 o'clock.
II. Captain Woods, Fourth Iowa Cavalry, will take command of a scouting party of 200 men,
to report to him at these headquarters to-morrow morning at 3.30 o clock, and sweep up along
west side of Black River, 2 miles above Birdsong's Ferry, thence to camp by way of Oak Ridge.
Colonel, Commanding.
Corinth, September 20, 1863.
Colonel BINMORE,
Assistant Adjutant-General:
The general knows better than I what number of troops can be spared. I think troops had
better be sent by brigades, leaving out the mounted infantry and the very weak regiments. Rice's
brigade, headquarters at La Grange, would take Seventh Iowa, Sixty-third Indiana, Second Iowa,
and Fifty-second Illinois; total, 1,836. Mersy's brigade, headquarters at Pocahontas, Twelfth,
Eighty-first, and One hundred and twenty-second Illinois; total, 1,286. Bane's brigade,
headquarters here, Thirty-ninth Iowa, Fiftieth, Fifty-seventh, and One hundred and twentieth
Illinois; total, 1,266. The last return will show how many troops I will have left.
The road is not very secure now, and I do not like to say that I can spare any troops at all, but
will do as well as I can with what I may have. I would recommend that Bane's brigade be first
chosen, because it is all here together. It is immaterial as to the others, which should first be
chosen. Mersy would not go with his brigade unless his animals should be turned over to
another regiment. Batteries are attached to each brigade, and could be easily spared by us.
My last and most reliable news indicates that Roddey has gone to Decatur with his whole
force, and that there is a force of 4,000 at Pontotoc, with eighteen pieces of artillery, besides
1,500 lately gone east from Okolona, making 5,500 now threatening the railroad. There has also
an additional force lately crossed the Tennessee to assist Newsom, making his force over 1,000.
Memphis, Tenn., September 23, 1863.
Maj. D. E. COON,
Commanding Second Iowa Cavalry Volunteers:
MAJOR: Information has been received that a considerable force of rebels is at or near
Coldwater, moving in the direction of La Fayette. You will immediately send out a strong
reconnoitering party on the Pigeon Roost road to ascertain the facts in the case. You will report
the result of the scout immediately at these headquarters.
By order of Brig. Gen. James C. Veatch:
Major and Assistant Adjutant-General.
Camp on Big Black, September 26, 1863.
I. Colonel Winslow will organize a force of about 1,000 men to move via Brownsville,
Vernon, and Benton, and to return via Yazoo City and Mechanicsville, to start to-morrow
Special instructions to be given the commander, who will report in person to the
commanding general.
II. General Buckland will send two regiments of infantry forward on the Benton road to await
the arrival of the cavalry.
III. General Corse will send a brigade of infantry, with three days rations, to-morrow to the
church on the Jackson road. When the cavalry passes there, they will follow to Brownsville, to
remain until time is allowed for the cavalry to reach Vernon, when they will return to camp and
follow the motions of their division.
IV. This move is designed to clear our north front before moving up the river, and during the
time it occupies camps will be disposed as follows: General Tuttle's headquarters, where these
headquarters now are, and the camp of the Fourth Iowa Cavalry near by; General Buckland's,
brigade at Oak Ridge; Colonel Geddes' brigade at or near Tribble’s; General Mower's brigade at
railroad bridge, and all the cavalry, except Fourth Iowa, at Messinger’s.
V. Colonel Winslow, Fourth Iowa Cavalry, is announced as chief of cavalry, and his orders
will be obeyed by all the cavalry forces now attached to this command.
VI. No cavalry will accompany the movement up the river, except the detachment of
Thielemann's cavalry attached to the Second Division.
By order of Maj. Gen. W. T. Sherman:
Assistant Adjutant-General.
Memphis. Tenn., September 26, 1863.
Assistant Adjutant-General, Sixteenth Army Corps:
COLONEL: Scouting party sent to Coldwater on the evening of the 24th instant have
returned and report no rebel troops of any consequence on that line. This party went out from
Colliersville; party sent from La Fayette same time have not yet reported.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel Second Iowa Cavalry, Commanding
September 27, 1863.
I. The following will be the order of march of this command: Fifth Illinois Cavalry
Regiment, Tenth Missouri Cavalry Regiment, Eleventh Illinois Cavalry Regiment, Fourth Iowa
Cavalry Regiment. Regiments will pass from front to rear alternately each succeeding day as a
The commanding officer of each regiment will report with his command to the colonel
commanding at Messinger's Ford at 3.30 p.m. to-day promptly.
Lieutenant-Colonel Wallace and Major Seley will each detail one surgeon, with instruments
and medicine, to accompany the expedition.
II. Commanding officer of each regiment will guard well his flanks after the command passes
the infantry at the church, and will act as circumstances may direct in every emergency.
Colonel and Chief of Cavalry.
On Board Steamer Luminary, September 29, 1863.
Colonel OLIVER,
Commanding Second Brigade:
You will at once embark your command as follows: One hundred and thirty-seven men Sixth
Iowa and transportation, One hundred and third Illinois and transportation, Fortieth Illinois and
transportation on steamer Diana; Forty-sixth Ohio and transportation, and Company I, First
Illinois Light Artillery, and transportation, on board steamer Groesbeck; the Fifteenth Michigan
and transportation on board steamer Lancaster.
As soon as your command is embarked you will proceed without delay to Griffith's Landing,
where you will proceed with your transportation to haul fuel to the bank of the river and there
remain until the rest of the command arrives.
By order of Brig. Gen. John M. Gorse:
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
Memphis, Tenn., October 3, 1863.
A. A. G., Dist. of Memphis, Memphis, Tenn.:
MAJOR: About 2 p.m. on yesterday a force of about 25 guerrillas attacked a wood train just
outside my pickets, capturing, as near as I can ascertain, 1 driver, 1 negro, and 4 mules. On being
notified of the state of affairs I at once ordered two companies of the Twenty-first Missouri
Infantry deployed as skirmishers, and moved forward to Nonconnah Creek. Meantime I sent
officer of Second Iowa Cavalry for all his available force, which was sent me. This I ordered to
dash forward on Horn Lake road, several miles beyond the creek, and scour the woods on their
return, thereby hoping to get them (the enemy) between the two lines. The cavalry returned,
reporting no enemy. The infantry reported that they arrived at the creek about an hour after the
enemy had crossed, as they were informed by citizens. They saw abundant signs of horsemen
being on this side the creek. The enemy left 1 mule, 1 saddle; also 1 shotgun.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel, Commanding Fourth Brigade.
Memphis, Tenn., October 4, 1863.
Assistant Adjutant-General, Sixteenth Army Corps.
COLONEL: This cutting of the wire looks very much like an attack on the roads somewhere
to-night. Had I not better take the Second Iowa Cavalry and move out? It will require a special
order, as that regiment is now picketing this place and is under the orders of General Veatch.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel, Commanding Division,
Lieutenant and Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
Memphis, Tenn., October 4, 1863--10.45 p.m.
Commanding Cavalry Division, Memphis, Tenn.:
SIR: By direction of Major-General Hurlbut I have consulted Brig. Gen. J. C. Veatch upon
the subject of yours of this p.m. Brigadier-General Veatch deems it impracticable to move the
Second Iowa as a regiment, but suggests apart might go with the Third U. S. Cavalry. I remain in
the office for future advice from you. The question presented to General Veatch was whether he
could cover his line if the Second Iowa move off.
I have the honor to be, general, very respectfully, you obedient servant,
Assistant Adjutant-General.
La Grange, Tenn., October 6, 1863.
Seventh Iowa Infantry:
You will have your command ready to move at a moment's notice supplied with three days'
rations, and 40 rounds ammunition.
By order of Brig. Gen. T. W. Sweeny, commanding:
Captain and Assistant Adjutant-General.
DUCK RIVER, October 6, 1863.
The Fifth Iowa Cavalry, the Seventh and Sixty-sixth Ohio, are moving on Wartrace. Our
scouts are out and have not returned.
Colonel, Commanding.
Memphis, Tenn., October 7, 1863.
Second Iowa Cav., Comdg. Cav. Div., Moscow, Tenn.:
The enemy were heard of south of Pocahontas at 10 last night. The Ninth Illinois were sent
out. Use your best discretion in following with your cavalry, and communicate with General Carr
at Corinth. The Corinth cavalry are all out east and south, and consequently did not come to La
Memphis, Tenn., October 7, 1863.
List of regiments, batteries, detachments, &c., composing the present command of Maj. Gen.
W. T. Sherman, who have arrived or will arrive at Memphis from Vicksburg, Miss.:
First Division, Fifteenth Army Corps, Brig. Gen. P. J. Osterhaus commanding: Twentyseventh
Missouri Infantry, Twenty-ninth Missouri Infantry, Thirty-first Missouri Infantry,
Thirty-second Missouri Infantry, Thirteenth Illinois Infantry, Seventeenth Missouri Infantry,
Third Missouri Infantry, Twelfth Missouri Infantry, Seventy-sixth Ohio Infantry, Twenty-fifth
Iowa Infantry, Thirty-first Iowa Infantry, Twenty-sixth Iowa Infantry, Ninth Iowa Infantry,
Fourth Iowa Infantry, and Thirtieth Iowa Infantry.
Attached: First Iowa Battery, First Missouri Horse Artillery (one battery), and Fourth Ohio
Second Division, Fifteenth Army Corps, Brig. Gen. Morgan L. Smith commanding: Sixth
Missouri Infantry, Eighty-third Indiana Infantry, Eighth Missouri Infantry, Thirteenth U.S.
Infantry, One hundred and sixteenth Illinois Infantry, Fifty-fifth Illinois Infantry, Fifty-fourth
Ohio Infantry, Fifty-seventh Ohio Infantry, One hundred and twenty-seventh Illinois Infantry,
Fourth Virginia Infantry, Thirty-seventh Ohio Infantry, Thirtieth Ohio Infantry, and Fortyseventh
Ohio Infantry.
Attached: Company A, First Illinois Light Artillery; Company B, First Illinois Light
Artillery; Company H, First Illinois Light Artillery, and Companies A and B, Sixteenth Illinois
(Thielemann's) Cavalry.
Fourth Division, Fifteenth Army Corps, Brig. Gen. J. M. Corse commanding: Twenty-sixth
Illinois Infantry, Fortieth Illinois Infantry, Forty-eighth Illinois Infantry, Ninetieth Illinois
Infantry, One hundred and third Illinois Infantry, Sixth Iowa Infantry, Fifteenth Michigan
Infantry, Twelfth Indiana Infantry, Ninety-seventh Indiana Infantry, Ninety-ninth Indiana
Infantry, One hundredth Indiana Infantry, Forty-sixth Ohio Infantry, Seventieth Ohio Infantry,
and Fifty-third Ohio Infantry.
Attached: Company F, First Illinois Light Artillery: Company I, First Illinois Light Artillery,
and Cogswell's battery, Illinois Artillery.
Second Division, Seventeenth Army Corps, Brig. Gen. John E. Smith commanding: Fiftyninth
Indiana Infantry, Forty-eighth Indiana Infantry, Eighteenth Wisconsin Infantry, Sixty-third
Illinois Infantry, Fourth Minnesota Infantry, Seventeenth Iowa Infantry, Tenth Missouri Infantry,
Eightieth Ohio Infantry, Fifty-sixth Illinois Infantry, Fifth Iowa Infantry, Twenty-sixth Missouri
Infantry, Ninety-third Illinois Infantry, Tenth Iowa Infantry, and Company E, Twenty-fourth
Missouri Infantry.
Attached: Sixth Wisconsin Battery; Twelfth Wisconsin Battery; Company M, First Missouri
Light Artillery, and Company F, Fourth Missouri Cavalry.
Assistant Adjutant-General.
Washington, D.C., October 7, 1863--8.45 a.m.
Governor JOHNSON,
Nashville, Tenn.:
What news have you from Rosecrans' army, or in that direction beyond Nashville?
DUCK RIVER, October 7, 1863--8.15 a.m.
Major-General HOOKER:
My column now starts for Shelbyville from here--Fifth Iowa Cavalry and two of Geary's
regiments. The main column will start as soon as the train gets me to Wartrace. It will not
diverge from the line to Murfreesborough, except to find the enemy. General Ruger brings me
reports from refugees coming into Tullahoma that their force divided in two columns at
McMinnville, one attacking Murfreesborough, where it was repulsed, the other being the one
near us, which is now supposed to have moved toward Fayetteville and may threaten Decherd or
Cowan. I left the battery and a sufficient force at Tullahoma; also at Elk River. I trust for no
more delays now.
Wartrace was evacuated by order of G. Granger from Chattanooga by telegraph, directing all
the forces to move to Duck River bridge and hold it. The delay in train it has been impossible to
I will investigate the matters spoken of in your dispatch.
Send up provisions.
STEVENSON, October 7, 1863--8.45 a.m.
I have received no orders for stores from Tullahoma. What troops want them?
Captain and Commissary of Subsistence.
Washington, October 8, 1863.
Maj. Gen. A. E. BURNSIDE,
Comdg. Dept. of the Ohio, Cincinnati, Ohio:
The General-in-Chief directs that you will at once put en route for the headquarters
Department of the Cumberland the Tenth Michigan Cavalry, now at Grand Rapids, Mich., to
report to Major-General Rosecrans for duty.
By command of Major-General Halleck:
Assistant Adjutant-General.
[Similar instructions were given on same date to Major-General Pope to send Eighth Iowa
Cavalry to same destination. ]
Iuka Hotel, Miss., October 10, 1863.
Maj. Gen. W. T. SHERMAN,
Memphis, Tenn.:
GENERAL: Lieutenant-Colonel Gage, the inspector of this division, visiting Memphis on
some official business, I improve the occasion of saying a word on the artillery of my command.
As you will know, it consists:
First Missouri Horse Artillery, Captain Landgraeber, four 12-pounder howitzers (one section
badly used): First Iowa Light Artillery, Captain Griffiths, two 12-pounder howitzers (pretty
good) and two 6-pounder guns; Fourth Ohio Battery, Captain Froehlich, two 20-pounder Parrotts
(new); two 3-inch James rifles (unserviceable); two 12-pounder howitzers (badly used).
While I was at Corinth I saw a battery splendidly fitted out, four 3-inch wrought-iron, and
two 12-pounder Napoleons, and it struck me that if this Corinth battery was not destined to take
the field at once the transfer of the above material to my command would increase the efficiency
of my artillery very much. In that case I would propose to give up all the guns of Griffiths'
battery and arm it with the four 3-inch wrought-iron pieces and exchange the worthless James
rifled guns of Froehlich's battery for the two Napoleons.
the armament of the artillery would be then as follows: First Missouri Horse Artillery, four
howitzers; First Iowa Battery, four 3-inch rifles; Fourth Ohio Battery, two howitzers, two
Napoleons, two 20-pounder Parrotts. Total, six 12-pounder howitzers, four 3-inch rifles, two
Napoleons, and two 20-pounder Parrotts.
To transfer the Corinth battery in toto is not very practicable, as I understood General Carr to
say that most of the men forming it were detailed from infantry regiments. All the infantry of my
division have new guns of caliber .58, with the exception of ten pieces in the Thirtieth Iowa, but
I hope that Colonel Gage will succeed in getting them exchanged.
I leave the above suggestions to your kind consideration, and remain, general, with great
respect, your most obedient servant,
Brigadier-General of Volunteers.
October 10, 1863.
In compliance with General Orders, No. 276, from the War Department, I have the honor to
report that on the 5th instant I assumed command on board Government transport steamer South
Wester, W. H. Blake master, bound from Vicksburg, Miss., to Memphis, Tenn. The trip was
made in four and a half days, with great difficulty in obtaining fuel. Having no coal and the wood
being so green the boat could not make sufficient steam. The passengers on board consisted of
citizens, officers, and soldiers, all orderly and well disposed. There were no arms in the hands of
the soldiers, who were mostly furloughed men joining their regiments in General Sherman's
corps, and now in Tennessee. When within 5 or 6 miles of Helena, Ark., the boat was fired into
by guerrillas on the Mississippi shore. Robert T. Wilson, sutler of the Seventeenth Illinois
Infantry Volunteers, was shot through the head and killed on the 9th instant. The guerrillas shot 2
rounds and some scattering shots. They were variously estimated at from 30 to 40 in number. On
the trip up Alexander J. Ballentine, of the Twenty-third Iowa Infantry Volunteers, died of
chronic diarrhea. Great care was manifested and taken in guarding and watching against accident
and fire, night and day, both by the military--officers and soldiers--and the officers and crew of
the boat. The officers and soldiers were formed into three reliefs, commanded by officer of the
day and two lieutenants of the guard.
Very respectfully,
Captain Company F, 78th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, Comdg.
P. S.--Since arriving at the port of Memphis it is discovered that L. M. Hall, civilian, a
passenger on board, is missing, and has not been seen by any person on board since the guerrillas
fired into the boat.
A. L. W.
Memphis, October 10, 1863.
Lieutenant-Colonel HEPBURN,
Commanding Second Iowa Cavalry Volunteers'
COLONEL: By direction of Major-General Hurlbut, you will send four companies of your
command, in charge of a competent officer, to Hernando, starting at dark this evening. The
movement will be made with the utmost dispatch and secrecy. Arriving at Hernando the town
will be surrounded and every man in it arrested, and certain persons will be brought in as
prisoners, who will be pointed out by the guide who will be sent to you. Any other upon whom
any suspicion may rest of being connected with the guilty parties will also be arrested. The
officer will return with his command with all convenient speed. He will be careful that he suffers
no damage to be done to the persons or property of peaceable citizens. He will carefully note all
movements of the enemy if any be discovered, and will guard well against contact with any
superior force. There is no objection to your commanding the expedition in person if you think
By order of Brigadier-General Veatch:
Major and Assistant Adjutant-General.
La Grange, Tenn., October 10, 1863.
Lieut. D. T. BOWLER,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General:
Lists of infantry regiments to accompany expedition: Seventh Iowa Volunteer Infantry,
Second Iowa Volunteer Infantry, Fifty-seventh Illinois Volunteer Infantry, Fifty-fifth Illinois
Volunteer Infantry, One hundred and twentieth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, and Eighty-third
Indiana Volunteer Infantry or Fifty-seventh Ohio Volunteer Infantry.
General Sweeny says that he had directed Colonel Rice to assume command of the infantry
brigade, to be composed of the above regiments. The circular was issued to this command entire.
Assistant Adjutant-General.
STEVENSON, October 10, 1863--8 p.m.
Brigadier-General GARFIELD:
General Butterfield just in. He reports that Sherman, a railroad man, and a prisoner of
Wheeler's for two days, reports that the rebel cavalry which crossed the river above numbered
about 8,000, and that while with the rebel forces he heard the officers state that they regarded the
position of the army at Chattanooga as impregnable; that they were afraid to attack it, and
resolved to starve it out by cutting the communications from Chattanooga to Louisville, and that
before my command could reach here. At McMinnville this column divided; one under Wheeler
moved in the direction of Shelbyville, and that under Forrest, in the direction of
Murfreesborough. After the destruction of Stone's River bridge they made for Unionville,
followed by Mitchell. Wheeler's column was followed by Crook, re-enforced by Lowe, Fifth
Iowa, and all followed in the pursuit in the direction of Fayetteville, our forces all the time
engaged successfully with high hopes of destroying their entire forces. The last news from this
column was night before last. I place full reliance in the above, except as it regards the number of
the enemy and of Forrest's presence. I think the whole column did not exceed 4,000, and all
under Wheeler.
With regard to what is called Roddey's command, I know that it numbers not less than 1,000
men; that they encamped about 1 miles from the tunnel last night, and I have had 500 infantry
after them to-day, but were not able to come up with them. I feel strong at all the vulnerable
points on the road. Not knowing the direction of their movement, I have enjoined vigilance on
the part of all. This column is without artillery.
Major-General, Commanding.
Chattanooga, October 10, 1863--9.45 p.m.
Major-General HOOKER,
The general commanding directs me to ask in what direction is it supposed that Roddey's
force moved.
Major and Aide-de-Camp.
HDQRS. 1ST BRIG., 2D DIV., 16TH A. C.,
In the Field, October 11, 1863.
Reveille will be beaten at 3 o'clock. The command will be ready to march at 4 o'clock. The
order of march will be as follows: Advance, Fifty-fifth Illinois Infantry, then Fifty-seventh
Illinois Infantry, Tannrath's section of artillery, Second Iowa Infantry, Seventh Iowa Infantry,
Welker's and Kidd's artillery, Fifty-seventh Ohio Infantry; One hundred and twentieth Illinois
Infantry in rear of wagon train and rear guard.
By order of E. W. Rice, colonel commanding:
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
Memphis, Tenn., October 11, 1863.
Lieutenant-Colonel HEPBURN,
Second Iowa Cavalry:
You will have your command ready for action by the first break of day to-morrow morning.
They will not move, however, unless some orders reach you or some emergency arises.
Iuka, Miss., October 12, 1863.
Commanding Officer Twenty-sixth Iowa Infantry:
COLONEL: You will march with your regiment to Burnsville, and encamp in a suitable
location (not exceeding 3 miles from here) on the north side of railroad track, your position to be
selected with a view to easy defense.
The object of your being stationed is to protect the railroad against all and every danger from
the enemy between this point and the guards stationed by General Matthies. You will place
strong guards at all bridges, trestle-works, culverts, and crossings, and at all points where, in
your judgment, cause for suspicion exists. At the long bridges at the west end of the district to be
guarded by you, you will place strong detachments permanently, and select the camping-ground
for the remainder of your command with special reference to prompt support in case of need.
Communication must be kept up with the line of guards west of you and with this post.
By order of Brig. Gen. P. J. Osterhaus:
Very respectfully,
Assistant Adjutant-General.
Big Black River, Miss., October 14, 1863.
I. The order of march for to-morrow will be as follows: Fifth Illinois Cavalry, Fourth Iowa
Cavalry, Tenth Missouri Cavalry, Fourth Illinois Cavalry, and Eleventh Illinois Cavalry.
Commanding officers of regiments will report in person to the colonel commanding at
Messinger's Ford, at 5 o'clock promptly.
Colonel, Commanding.
Cherokee, Ala., October 21, 1863.
MAJOR: In consequence of your orders of last morning not to move forward, I deemed it
prudent to withdraw the small force which I left after yesterday's engagement at Cane Creek, in
the expectation to close up on them by this morning. I only left two companies of cavalry as
picket at the creek. About noon the commanding officer of this picket sent me word that he was
hard pressed by a large rebel mounted force. I ordered the division to fall in at once, and
advanced a part of Second Brigade and one section of Missouri Horse Artillery to support the
retreating picket. When I came up with these troops to the advance infantry picket, I met the
retiring cavalry and the rebel mounted infantry hard on them. I ordered Col. J. A. Williamson,
commanding Second Brigade, to deploy one battalion of infantry on each side of the main road
and then advance; the remainder of Second Brigade was to follow in supporting distance.
The First Brigade, General Woods commanding, and batteries were placed so that they could
be thrown forward on either flank. The two leading regiments of the Second Brigade advanced
steadily and forced the rebels to fall back into an open field on the east side of the timber. I then
brought the whole of the Second Brigade up; while I ordered them to deploy, the enemy made an
impetuous charge, and for a short time succeeded in occupying the skirt of the timber again.
Colonel Torrence, of the Thirtieth Iowa Infantry, was killed there at the head of the regiment.
This advantage lasted but a very short time, when the brave men of the Second Brigade drove
them back across the open field I mentioned above.
Forced back in front, the enemy pushed his cavalry forward around my left, but the Twentyninth
and Thirty-first Missouri Infantry, and a part of the Twelfth Missouri Infantry, of First
Brigade, was soon brought into position and in readiness to repulse any attempt of the enemy. I
now advanced the Fifth Ohio Cavalry and Third Regulars on the right, and a section of First
Missouri Horse Artillery took position abreast of Second Brigade on the east skirt of the timber.
The artillery dislodged, by very good practice, the enemy, who had formed again out of range of
the artillery, and occupied several plantation houses, about 500 yards in my front. Seeing the
effect of this section, the second section of First Missouri Horse Artillery was ordered forward
and caused the rebels to yield their position again. The movement of the cavalry on the right and
the advance of the whole line of infantry caused the enemy to abandon his attempts on my left.
They withdrew rather promptly out of the [range of the] artillery and infantry and the flanking
maneuver of the cavalry. Following them up by advancing both my lines of infantry and the
artillery, preceded by the cavalry, I drove the rebels for about 5 miles, when night set in and I
withdrew my command, leaving only very strong pickets on the ground we had taken from the
Only the Second Brigade, under Colonel Williamson, Landgraeber's battery, and the Fifth
Ohio Cavalry, and Third U.S. Cavalry, participated in the fight, and they all did their whole duty.
The casualties are, since yesterday's report, 8 killed and 24 wounded. Some prisoners were
made, and I learn that the enemy had quite a number of casualties.
The force attacking us was several thousand strong, mostly infantry and cavalry.
I inclose nominal list of killed and wounded, as far as ascertained to-night.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Brigadier-General of Volunteers.
Maj. W. D. GREEN,
Assistant Adjutant-General.
Many of the wounds are of very severe character; four capital operations of the lower
extremities have already been performed.
Surg. Fourth Iowa Inf., Surg. in Chf., First Div., 15th A. C.
Bridgeport, Ala., December 15, 1863.
MAJOR :I have the honor to report on the operations of my division consequent on your
order (received in camp, Cherokee Station, Ala.) to push the enemy's forces then in my front
toward and into Tuscumbia, without, however, going beyond that place.
Before entering on the narrative, however, I beg leave to refer the general to my reports on
previous engagements with the enemy on October 20 and 21, copies of which I now inclose. The
very signal repulse of the enemy's attack on our position at Cherokee, October 21, made him
extremely careful, and all the information we could receive showed that he was receiving
considerable re-enforcements, and occupied a very strong position on both sides of Cane Creek.
In compliance with your orders we left camp in the lightest possible marching order at 3
a.m., October 26, and arrived at the cemetery near Barton's Station (Memphis and Charleston
Railroad) at 4.30 a.m.
The rebel pickets stationed there fled very hastily on our approach and gave the alarm in their
As it was too dark to push my advance forward and endeavor to intercept them, I awaited
daybreak, and then deployed the First Brigade (Brigadier-General Woods commanding) behind a
slight elevation in the ground to the right and left of the graveyard mentioned above, and placed
the First Missouri Horse Artillery (Captain Landgraeber) in the cemetery itself. The cavalry--
Fifth Ohio, and Third Regulars--were formed on both wings of the First Brigade, while the
Second Brigade (Col. J. A. Williamson commanding) was kept in reserve in column near
Barton's Station.
The distance between my front line and the enemy's position was from 800 to 1,000 yards.
(The cavalry engagement, reported on the inclosure marked A, was fought on the same ground.)
The enemy's position was on a pretty steep ridge and well masked by timber, While my troops
occupied the open fields, which extended, almost prairie-like, all the way from Cherokee Station
to the hills in possession of the enemy. A "wet weather" branch of Cane Creek flows at the foot
of the hills. The first rays of the rising sun gave us some light as to the enemy's forces.
He opened on us with artillery (rifle pieces) planted on the hill in my immediate front, and
deployed a large column of cavalry on my right. The skirmishers of the First Brigade engaged
those of the rebels in front and exchanged a brisk fire, while I dispatched Colonel Heath to the
right, with part of the Fifth Ohio Cavalry and two battalions of infantry of First Brigade. My
instructions to the former were not only to check the advance of the enemy on that flank, but to
attempt to gain his flank in turn; to the latter, to support the movements of the cavalry.
The heavier metal of the enemy's artillery, against which the 12-pounder howitzers of
Landgraeber's battery at about 1,000 yards were inadequate, caused me to order one section of
20-pounder Parrotts, of Fourth Ohio Battery, to relieve Landgraeber's pieces.
Under cover of the Parrotts, the whole line of General Woods was ordered to advance; I also
brought forward the Second Brigade, and deployed it on the left of First Brigade.
The extreme left flank was guarded by the Third U.S. Cavalry. General M. L. Smith's
division had, in the meantime, come up to Barton's Station, and acted as reserve. Landgraeber's
battery followed the advancing infantry, and was brought into action on the right, exposing, with
the Parrotts in the center, the enemy's artillery to a cross fire. The skirmishers on the right (Third
and Twelfth Missouri) advanced gallantly over the undulations of the ground, and the Fifth Ohio
Cavalry pressed the rebels back into the timber, bringing them under the fire of my artillery. The
rebels, both artillery and cavalry, yielded after a weak resistance, and hastily retired to Cane
Creek. Cane Creek is a pretty deep stream. A muddy, swampy bottom skirted the same on our
side, while the opposite bank, Which was occupied by the rebels, rises gently, and offered a
splendid field for maneuvering his large cavalry forces. Our infantry pushed forward as fast as
the very bad, rough, and muddy nature of the ground admitted. Dismounted rebel cavalry held on
my right the skirt of timber along Cane Creek. Five of their pieces (mostly rifled) opened on my
infantry as soon as it debouched, but their defense was by no means equal to the impetuous
advance of my infantry, who hardly awaited the arrival of artillery and cavalry, but plunged into
and forded Cane Creek, and, delivering a furious fire, made the enemy's artillery limber to the
rear, and the dismounted cavalry look for their horses.
They retreated very rapidly, not, however, without showing, as a matter of form, a rear guard
of about 200 cavalry, but at a very safe distance. Our cavalry, ordered forward again, drove these
observing squads before them, and kept them at a very lively gait, the infantry skirmishers
following in almost double-quick time. We came to Little Bear Creek without a halt of any
consequence. This creek is only 4 miles from Tuscumbia, and, once in our possession, gave us
control of that town. The creek runs in a narrow bed of rock, and the banks are very abrupt and
The Tuscumbia road, over which we were marching, crosses the creek and ascends the
opposite cliffs through a very narrow gap. The defile thus formed is rendered, in a military point
of view, more available by the semicircle formed by Bear Creek, which is bordered on the west
bank by an open plateau, thus giving an opportunity to a defender on the eastern bank for a wellsecured
movement against the flank of any column attempting to cross by the main road.
When I reached this plateau on the west bank of the creek, I saw the enemy's entire force in
line of battle on the high prairie on the opposite bank; he opened with his rifled guns at once, and
his practice at a distance of at least 2,500 yards was perfect, but he had omitted to avail himself
of the ground on my right and thus to threaten my flank. As soon as my infantry came up, I
ordered skirmishers to be thrown across the creek on that exposed flank with instructions to
guard it against an apprehended attack. My infantry was formed across the plateau and a cheval
of the road. The skirmishers thrown across the creek were supported by the Third and Twentyseventh
Missouri Infantry, which regiments occupied the high bank along Little Bear Creek,
forming an obtuse angle with the main line, and were covered by a narrow skirt of timber. All
these preparations were completed while the enemy continued his artillery practice on my
deploying infantry. I had to await the arrival of the Parrotts of the Fourth Ohio Battery (Captain
Froehlich) to attend to them. When they arrived they participated in the artillery duel.
Landgraeber's howitzers were unlimbered on the right in support of the skirmishers whom I had
put across the creek.
The enemy, seeing too late his neglected opportunity on his left (my right), made a most
vigorous effort to redeem this fatal mistake; a full brigade of cavalry (commanded, as I learned
afterward, by Forrest) was formed, and, advancing against our skirmishers, drove them back to
the timber skirting the creek.
Their leader, rendered sanguine by the retreat of the skirmishers, ordered them to charge; I
could distinctly hear his command. They approached the creek at a furious gallop, when
Lieutenant-Colonel Meumann, commanding Third Missouri Infantry, opened on them, delivering
a fire by rank, volley after volley, with admirable regularity, into the gray cloud below. This fire
scattered them in every direction.
They lost their leader in this fire, and Landgraeber's battery assisted handsomely in keeping
them at a proper distance. It was now too late (5 p.m.) to undertake anything decisive, and, in
compliance with Major-General Blair's orders, we bivouacked a little in rear of our position, a
strong line of pickets holding the ground we had gained.
On the morning of the 27th of October, I received the general's order to delay my attack until
a brigade of the Second Division, which was to cross the creek farther up, in order to get on the
enemy's left flank, could co-operate with me; the Third Regular Cavalry was detailed to assist in
this flank movement. We consequently took up our position of last night, excepting that the
Parrott section of Fourth Ohio Battery (Captain Froehlich) was ordered to the right, with
Landgraeber's battery of howitzers, while four 20-pounder Parrotts, of the Second Division, took
the position occupied by Captain Froehlich's guns the day previous.
The enemy's line likewise appeared in the same order as yesterday. We, however, soon
observed a commotion on their left, and it did not last long until I heard musketry fire in that
direction. I immediately ordered my batteries to open and my whole line of infantry to advance.
The practice of the Parrotts was brilliant, and the rebel sharpshooters along the creek in front
gave way before the fire of my skirmishers. The fire on my right became very brisk and
approached very steadily. The enemy, seeing his left flank exposed, repeated his maneuver of
Cane Creek, that is, he retreated, pursued vigorously by the Fifth Ohio Cavalry (Colonel Heath),
which I had ordered forward. A rebel force seemed inclined to make a stand on the west side of
Tuscumbia, and formed in front of some high timber; the Fifth Ohio Cavalry formed and
advanced through the open fields on both sides of the Tuscumbia road, supported by one section
6-pounder field pieces of Griffiths' (First Iowa) battery. The rebels, however, disappeared and we
pushed on, Tuscumbia being in our possession by 11 o'clock. In all these engagements both
officers and men behaved most gallantly. Our losses were very slight; for the latter I refer to the
nominal lists which I forwarded some time ago.
On the 28th of October, we left Tuscumbia for Cherokee, at 6 a.m., in compliance with
orders received.
In order to facilitate this movement, I ordered Colonel Heath to advance toward the enemy,
which he did, but finding no enemy, he remained in Tuscumbia until noon, when he followed the
The rebels, finding out that they were not pursued, turned round and made their appearance
again near Cherokee Station, on October 29, exhibiting a very respectable strength, but at great
distance. I made my arrangements to receive them, leaving my right on a very steep hill, thickly
timbered, and protecting my camp en echelon. I was, however, unable to entice the rebels within
range, and toward evening they fell back. Next morning we left for Chickasaw Landing (on
Tennessee River), where we arrived, after a very tedious march over exceedingly bad roads, on
31st of October. Rebel cavalry followed us very closely, but without molesting us in any way.
Colonel Heath's cavalry was sufficient to hold them in check. On the morning of November 4,
the First Division (the last of your corps) crossed the Tennessee River.
I am, major, respectfully, your obedient servant,
Brig. Gen., U.S. Vols., Comdg. First Div., 15th A. C.
Maj. R. M. Sawyer,
Headquarters Fifteenth Army Corps.
Cherokee, Ala., October 22, 1863.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to transmit you the following report of the part taken by my
regiment in the engagement of yesterday:
We formed in line of battle at the earliest intimation of the presence of the enemy, and, by
order of General Osterhaus, we moved forward in line of battle, our left resting on the road near
the open field, at the end of the woods. We engaged the enemy, and briskly returned their fire,
holding the position for more than an hour, when we advanced across the fields, still occupying
the right, but had no more engagements with the enemy.
The following is a full list of our casualties: John B. Fidlar, second lieutenant, D Company,
gunshot wound in left forearm; Lewis Hill-yard, private, D Company, contusion in left shoulder;
Charles L. Renz, private, E Company, flesh wound in left leg below the knee. All of which is
respectfully submitted.
By order of D. J. Palmer, lieutenant-colonel commanding:
A. A. A. G., Second Brig., First Div., 15th A. C.
Bridgeport, Ala., December 19, 1863.
GENERAL: In consequence of our being constantly on the wing for the past sixty days, I
have not been able to report you promptly the part: taken by my regiment in the engagements of
last month. On Sunday evening, October 25, at Cherokee, our division received marching orders
for 4 a.m. next day, and accordingly the division moved at the hour indicated in the direction of
Tuscumbia, in light marching order, and in fine fighting condition. The First Brigade, Brig. Gen.
C. R. Woods commanding, had the advance; and ours, the Second Brigade, Col. James A.
Williamson commanding, the rear. General Osterhaus' orders were very imperative and strict
concerning the tactical arrangement of battalions, as the enemy, but some 3 miles in front of us,
was composed entirely of cavalry, and equal fully in numerical strength.
About 2 miles from camp we met the enemy's skirmishers, and here formed our line of battle,
the First Brigade on the right and the Second on the left, with one of the other divisions of our
corps as reserve. My position was on the extreme left, and, in accordance with orders, I formed a
square to repel cavalry, first, however, having covered my front properly with skirmishers. Our
skirmishers pushed the enemy so vigorously and our lines followed so promptly that after a short
resistance he fell back to another position some 4 miles to his rear, and made another stand. The
same disposition was again made by our division, the same sharp, short fighting, with the same
result--the hasty retreat of the enemy.
We continued this skirmishing during the entire day, and renewed it on the 27th, literally
fighting them from Cherokee to Tuscumbia. We entered the town at 3 p.m. on the 27th.
Sergt. Nehemiah M. Redding, of Company D, was killed while skirmishing on the 26th. I
have no other casualties to mention.
Officers and men behaved handsomely.
Very respectfully, general, your obedient servant,
Colonel, Comdg. Twenty-fifth Iowa Volunteers.
Adjt. Gen. N. B. BAKER,
Davenport, Iowa.
OCTOBER 22, 1863.
General HURLBUT, Memphis:
It is universally believed here that Wheeler, Roddey, and Forrest are on this side the
Tennessee, between Tuscumbia and Decatur.
A pretty heavy force is directly ahead of my advance. Osterhaus yesterday had a pretty
severe fight, losing 8 men and 20-odd wounded. Colonel Torrence, Thirtieth Iowa, is killed.
Iuka, Miss., October 22, 1863.
DEAR GENERAL: I thank you for the budget of news, which is most serviceable, as we can
approximate the truth. Of course, here I am balked by Bear Creek, which is a worse break than
was represented to me. I have my three leading divisions across Bear Creek, and all hands are
busy at the bridge and trestles. The enemy skirmished briskly the day before yesterday and
yesterday. We have lost killed and about 35 wounded in all. Among the dead is Colonel
Torrence, Thirtieth Iowa.
I think it well established that both Lee, who came from Jackson, Clinton, and Canton, with
about 4,000 good cavalry, is to my front with Roddey's brigade, and I think also that Wheeler's
cavalry has been driven out of Tennessee, and is now resting between here and Decatur. If all
this cavalry turns on me I will have a nice time, but can't help it, and if Porter gets me up some
boats to East-port I will checkmate them. The Tennessee is in very fine boating order for 4 feet,
and I expect daily a boat up from Cairo; also a ferry boat.
I have had the river examined well, and am more than satisfied we cannot ford even on the
shoals. Of course, I don't believe the report you sent of the capture of Banks and fifteen
regiments. Dick Taylor was somewhere west of the river, between Alexandria and Shreveport.
That is ground familiar to me, and I know Dick Taylor cannot get to the east side of the
Mississippi with anything like an army. After the capture of Vicksburg we relaxed our efforts
and subsided. The secesh, on the contrary, increased theirs amazingly. The rascals displayed an
energy worthy a better cause; but so it is. But when they come to the pinch they don't fight equal
to the numbers. Chalmers' dispatch is a sample. He captured the camp of the Seventh Illinois, off
on Hatch's expedition. Nothing else of moment, but he may again attempt the road; but Hurlbut
has plenty to checkmate him, if he don't attempt to follow, but anticipate him and interpose
between the railroad and Tallahatchie. I propose to finish the bridge and prepare to move on to
Tuscumbia, but in the end may actually cross at Eastport. My orders are fully comprehended in
thus drawing from Rosecrans the cavalry that have heretofore bothered him. I had a regiment at
Eastport. A party crossed over who saw no one, but heard the river was patroled so as to report
all our movements.
I will fortify this place somewhat, so that if the enemy's cavalry attempts to operate against it
they will catch more than they bargain for. Corinth is too formidable a place for them to dream
of an attack, but you should keep a couple of regiments disposable to take the offensive.
I am much obliged for all information, and will impart all positive information to you. Keep
me well advised from day to day of Fuller's approach.
I have one brigade at Barnesville, two here, and three divisions front of Bear Creek.
I am, &c.,
Major-General, Commanding.
MEMPHIS, TENN., October 22, 1863.
(Received 12.45 p.m., 27th.)
Major-General HALLECK,
General Sherman telegraphs that Wheeler's cavalry is on the south side of the Tennessee, and
cut off by high water from Bragg. He urgently asks for a steam ferry-boat. A pretty heavy force
is opposing his advance. Osterhaus had a pretty severe fight yesterday, losing 8 killed and 20
wounded. Colonel Torrence, Thirtieth Iowa, is killed. Dodge telegraphs from Corinth that Pickett
went to Grenada to check McPherson's movement from Vicksburg. Few troops on Mobile and
Ohio Railroad. Davis reviewed Bragg's troops on the 11th and 12th, and has gone back to
Richmond. Chalmers is south of Tallahatchie, recruiting for another move on railroad.
(Same to Grant.)
CORINTH, October 23, 1863.
Major-General HURLBUT,
I heard from Spencer three days out. All right. I hope Sherman's advance will draw their
attention from him. Sherman has lost about 40 killed and wounded skirmishing. Colonel
Torrence, Thirtieth Iowa, killed. Have sent a man to Jackson. Did not know we had troops there.
Where is McPherson?
Maysville. October 29, 1863--8 p.m.
Second Brigade:
COLONEL: It is reported that General Wheeler is about crossing to this side of the river, in
your vicinity. Keep patrols going so as to keep you informed of any movement; also ascertain
whether the river is fordable at any point.
Have your dismounted men sent from Stevenson to Nashville to report to Major Baird, Fifth
Iowa Cavalry, who will be there in a few days. He started yesterday with old horses.
By command of Brigadier-General Crook:
Memphis, Tenn., November 5, 1863.
GENERAL: Your orders contained in letter of 31st October, this day received, have been
anticipated so far as it was practicable with present force.
No troops have as yet arrived from Arkansas, and therefore I have no movable column at
I have ordered Stevenson, in the event of an attack in force, to draw in everything to Corinth
as far as Moscow, and for that purpose directed him to keep a train and two engines.
Chalmers attacked Collierville day before, yesterday, and was repulsed and pursued by
Colonel Hatch with the Second Iowa, Sixth and Seventh Illinois. I filled the Germantown and
Collierville garrison with the Twenty-fifth Indiana Infantry.
The enemy's loss was serious in killed and wounded. Brigadier-General George, of
Mississippi Militia, and 8 officers captured at Collierville. Hatch followed to Chulahoma. Mizner
was ordered from La Grange to their flank and rear, but has not been heard from.
This morning at 3 a.m. the enemy, about 1,000 strong, pushed in 5 miles east of Saulsbury
and commenced destroying track; damage not ascertained. Hatch and Mizner are ordered to push
in upon them. I think the road is badly broken, but cannot yet tell. Corinth must take care of itself
in that case until re-enforcements from Steele arrive. I fear McPherson will scarcely get Tuttle's
division up for want of fuel.
Your obedient servant,
November 3, 1863.
The enemy in force, under Chalmers, attacked this place about 12 o'clock to-day and were
badly whipped by 3 o'clock. They are in full retreat, and my sabers are charging them.
Brigadier-General George is in our hands, and a number of other prisoners. Losses on both sides
not yet ascertained. There are no troops at Germantown. We are short of ammunition. Will report
further soon. The line is all right east.
Colonel, Commanding.
Major-General HURLBUT.
Collierville, Tenn., November 9, 1863.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report the part taken by the Third Brigade Cavalry, Sixteenth
Army Corps, in the attack on Collierville, November 3, 1863, by the Confederate General
Chalmers, in command of seven regiments and six pieces of artillery.
On the morning of the 3d of November, Collierville was occupied by eight companies of the
Seventh Illinois Cavalry, and two iron howitzers, in command of Lieutenant-Colonel Trafton,
with outpost 8 miles south on Coldwater. I was at Germantown with eight companies of the
Sixth Illinois Cavalry, four mountain howitzers of the First Illinois Light Artillery, 450 men of
the Second Iowa Cavalry, and a section of mountain howitzers, commanded by Lieutenant Reed,
Second Iowa Cavalry. Eight companies of this brigade were guarding trestle-work and bridges
from Memphis 40 miles east.
At 8 o'clock in the morning it was reported the pickets were fighting at Coldwater, and
shortly afterward that the enemy were crossing at Quinn and Jackson's Mill. I immediately
ordered Lieutenant-Colonel Trafton to throw the forces at Collierville into the stockade,
strengthen the pickets, and dispute the ground as long as possible in front, and also ordered the
Second Iowa to move rapidly toward Collierville; to halt in timber 1 mile from town; to make no
show of force until the enemy were in town, or they heard the howitzers in the fort, then to move
rapidly forward and come into position north of the railroad, with the left of the Second Iowa
resting on the stockade, the regiment dismounted.
When about 4 miles from Collierville, moving rapidly, a message reached me that the enemy
were close in on the town, and reports of artillery firing rapidly reached us. I immediately moved
forward at a gallop, the Second Iowa going in at a run in columns of fours, moved quickly by the
right flank to the railroad, and prepared to fight on foot, their howitzers in the center. The enemy
moved a brigade to engage the Second Iowa Cavalry, one regiment dismounted as skirmishers on
both flanks of a regiment mounted, led in person by General George. Mounted and dismounted
men of the enemy came forward in fine style, the howitzers of the Second Iowa Cavalry firing
rapidly. The regiment, lying on the ground, waited until the enemy's cavalry were within 50
yards, sprang to their feet, and, with cheers, poured in a severe fire from revolving rifles. A few
men reached the guns; among them General George and 2 officers. The repulse was thorough.
Nearly at the same moment a brigade charged our left and rear. In anticipation of this, I had
ordered the Sixth Illinois Cavalry to move rapidly in rear of our line, pass the stockade, come
right into line, and charge, which was promptly done by Major Whitsit, commanding. The charge
of the enemy was received, broken, and repulsed.
The First Illinois Light Artillery coming into position at a gallop on a ridge east of town
under heavy fire, losing one-half their horses killed and wounded, opened with canister, driving
back the enemy's right. Our lines were then formed to resist what had the appearance of an
assault directly in front; the Second Iowa and Seventh Illinois on the right, and the Sixth Illinois
Cavalry and First Illinois Light Artillery on the left. The enemy advanced to within 500 yards
firing; after waiting some time, and seeing the enemy declined a farther advance, I ordered the
entire line forward, four companies of the Second Iowa Cavalry sabers charging, when the
enemy made a weak resistance, falling back rapidly toward Coldwater. As soon as I could
mount, the Second Iowa pursued them rapidly, making the 8 miles to Coldwater in one hour and
a quarter. Here the enemy, having a position almost impregnable, kept up a severe fire until an
hour after dark, when the firing ceased. We were not able to force a crossing until the next
morning, when I pushed after the enemy as far as Chulahoma, 35 miles south, and finding no
possibility of engaging him north of the Tallahatchie, returned to camp at Collierville. After the
resistance on Coldwater, the enemy's retreat became a perfect rout. During the attack at
Collierville the enemy attempted, in small parties, to burn trestle-work and cut the telegraph
wires, but they were defeated in every instance. The wire was only cut from chance balls at
Collierville and readily repaired.
We captured 50 prisoners, 7 commissioned officers, and have found quite a number of
small-arms. Our loss in killed, wounded, and missing will not exceed 60 men. Our force engaged
at Collierville was about 850 men. The enemy have left dead and wounded for more than 30
miles on their line of retreat, also broken wagons and ambulances. The Seventh Illinois was
commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Trafton, the Second Iowa by Lieutenant-Colonel Hepburn,
Sixth Illinois by Major Whitsit, four guns First Illinois Light Artillery by Lieutenant Curtis, two
howitzers by Lieutenant Reed, Second Iowa Cavalry. The guns in the stockade were ably served
by Lieutenant Wainwright, Seventh Illinois Cavalry. All obeyed my orders cheerfully and
promptly, and fought their men with credit to themselves.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel Second Iowa Cavalry, Comdg. Third Brigade.
Capt. T. H. HARRIS,
Asst. Adjt. Gen., Sixteenth Army Corps.
Collierville, Tenn., November 5, 1863.
SIR: On Saturday, the let instant, I had two companies, viz, M and B, in all about 50 men, on
picket at Quinn and Jackson's Mill. Just before dark a courier came in stating that they were
attacked from across Coldwater. In about three hours afterward another courier reported that the
enemy, about 150 in number, had retreated, and that all was quiet. The next morning I sent a
scouting, party across Coldwater about 6 miles from the mill; they returned, having found no
trace of the enemy. The next morning, the 3d, a courier came stating the pickets were surrounded
by a large force of rebels; another soon followed saying they were advancing in force to this
place. I immediately sent reconnoitering parties on all the roads, and Company L on the Quinn
and Jackson's Mill road, with instructions to delay their approach as much as possible. They met
them about 4 miles out and skirmished, then falling back slowly toward camp. A little before 11
o'clock they came in sight of our inner pickets and were fired on by them, which delayed them
for a short time; about this time the Second Iowa Cavalry came up and took position on right and
left flanks; the action was now very warm and lasted about three hours, the Sixth Illinois Cavalry
and a battalion of the Second Tennessee having meantime come up and joined in the
engagement. The enemy were repulsed with considerable loss to them.
The next morning, 4th, we started a little after 3 a.m. in pursuit; followed them as far as
Chulahoma; learned they had crossed the Tallahatchie at Berlin. To-day returned to camp.
Our loss in the engagement was as follows: At the picket post, at Quinn and Jackson's Mill,
on the morning of the 3d, 2 men mortally wounded, 2 severely, and 26 missing (among the latter
was First Lieut. Joseph O'Kane, of Company B); in camp 1 man wounded; making, in all, a total
of 31 killed, wounded, and missing. We had also 3 horses killed and 6 wounded.
I would mention with pleasure the services of Company L in delaying the approach of the
enemy, as well as in killing and wounding several of their officers and men in their approach on
the place.
Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding Regiment.
Commanding Brigade.
November 18, 1863.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report that, under orders from Col. W. W. Lowe, temporarily
commanding Second Cavalry Division, dated November 13, 1863, instructing me to thoroughly
scour the country situated between the Memphis and Charleston Railroad and the Tennessee
River from Whitesburg to opposite Decatur, and drive out or capture the marauding rebel bands
known to be roving over that country, pressing horses, mules, cattle, sheep, hogs, wheat, &c.,
and running them across the river for Confederate use; to capture and destroy all boats and
ferries on the river from Whitesburg to Decatur; to break up or capture a band of rebels,
supposed to be encamped near the Tennessee River, about the mouth of Limestone Creek, and to
destroy or render unserviceable a grist and saw-mill in that vicinity and in the service of the
rebels, I left camp early on the morning of November 14, with detachments from the Fifth Iowa,
Fourth United States, Seventy-second and Seventeenth Indiana--in all, 400 men, and moving by
a circuitous route across the mountains, leaving Huntsville to the right, reached Whitesburg at 5
p.m., capturing 2 Confederate soldiers after a lively chase of some 4 miles, a drove of 29 young,
fat hogs, and the ferry-boat which had just come over for them. Learning that the island above
was used as a rendezvous for captured stock, I detached Lieutenant McCamant, Fifth Iowa
Cavalry, and 24 men to proceed with the ferry-boat and search it thoroughly. He returned about
midnight with 25 head of horses and mules. The ferry-boat was then destroyed.
November 15, broke camp at daybreak and moved down the river some 3 or 4 miles below.
Captain Bowman, Fourth United States, was detached with 150 men to make a detour northward,
by way of Madison Station, down the Memphis and Charieston Railroad, and to secure a position
in the rear of Limestone Creek, guarding the roads leading out by way of Mooresville and the
point opposite Decatur, on this side the river; while I, with the remaining command, moved on
down by way of Triana to the mouth of Limestone Creek.
At Triana, captured a sergeant (Confederate States Army), but found the ferry-boats (two of
them) on the opposite side of the river, and saw rebels apparently guarding them; also learned
that all boats below were, by Confederate authority, kept on the opposite side of the river and
sent to this side only on certain preconcerted signals.
Patrolling the banks of the river, a skiff and two canoes were found. The detachment of the
Fifth Iowa Cavalry was called on for volunteers to cross in these and bring off the ferry-boats.
The call was almost unanimously responded to. Quartermaster Sergt. A. T. Phelps, Company G,
and 11 men were selected, who, under cover of 25 sharpshooters selected from the Seventysecond
Indiana, dashed across and brought off both the large boats without loss or accident. The
information that all the boats below were on the opposite side of the river and also that a number
were collected for some purpose over there and secreted up a creek some miles below,
necessitated the idea of organizing a regular boat expedition. Lieutenant Cassell, Company I,
Seventy-second Indiana, and 30 men were selected, and with instructions to capture all boats
where it was practicable and join me with them at the mouth of Limestone Creek, where, should
we be fortunate enough to find the enemy, they could co-operate in the attack from the river side.
The boat party moved out into the stream, just beyond Triana. The advance chased a party of 15
rebels several miles, but their horses were too fleet for ours. Arriving at the mouth of Limestone
[Creek] I found no enemy there; communicated with Captain Bowman, who was already in
position. Learned from him that he had chased a squad of rebels and been fired on in the rear by
a small party, but in both cases the enemy's horses were too fleet. He (Captain Bowman) also
informed me that the day before a squad of 20 and another of 60 rebels had passed down the road
and crossed over the river to Decatur. Shortly after our arrival Lieutenant Cassell and party
arrived with eight boats, some of them being 60 feet long. Having learned that Major Falconnet,
with four companies of rebels, was commanding the post at Decatur, I thought that with the eight
boats now in my possession we could attack the post and bring off the ferry-boat without
incurring too much risk; accordingly, organized an expedition to start from the mouth of
Limestone, which is 5 miles above Decatur, two hours before daybreak the next morning. About
12 midnight the enemy commenced throwing up rockets, and continued some time.
November 16, deeming it advisable to be cautious and reconnoiter before dispatching the
boat party, parties were sent out in all directions. At dawn the rebels opened on us a brisk fire of
small-arms from across the river. A party returning from opposite Decatur brought information
that two pieces of artillery could be seen across the river in position and covering the landing. A
prisoner captured by the same party reported he had been sent over that morning with a small
party; that General Roddey had been sent for, and was to be at Decatur by sunrise; that a portion
of General Lee's command had already arrived, and that they had been intrenching on the upper
and river side of Decatur since midnight. Another party reported seeing the enemy throwing up
Rather amused than otherwise at so unexpectedly stirring up so much trouble for the rebels, I
deemed it not advisable to attempt just at that time capturing that only remaining boat mentioned
in my instructions, and had the boats moved around from under fire of the enemy and up
Limestone Creek, where they were chopped up and burned.
Having destroyed certain portions of the machinery of the mill referred to in my instructions,
and which I found to be in the service of the rebels, grinding corn and sawing lumber to build
boats, the command was divided into three separate detachments, and, with instructions to
concentrate at Huntsville, moved out by different routes, leaving the rebels across the river still
shoveling dirt, according to last accounts.
We had 1 man slightly wounded. No means of ascertaining the loss, if any, of the enemy.
Arriving at Huntsville, the Fourth United States reported having captured on the way 5
Confederate soldiers, 1 of them the notorious Captain Robison.
November 17, arrived in camp here about noon. The country from Whitesburg to Decatur is
bottom lands, exceedingly rich, and in a high state of cultivation; the plantations very large,
generally from 2,000 to 4,000 acres each. The crop of corn is enormous, and horses, mules,
cattle, hogs, and sheep were in abundance as I passed through. Many who had (.heir stock hid
out or run across the river, had just had it returned or brought out, thinking the Yankees all out of
the country. As the result of the expedition, we captured and destroyed 9 ferry-boats, 9
Confederate States soldiers, one (supposed to be) a captain, and one a sergeant, and remounted
the command with from 150 to 200 fine mules and horses, with a loss of 1 man slightly
Respectfully, your most obedient servant,
Major, Commanding Expedition.
Capt. R. P. KENNEDY,
Asst. Adjt. Gen., Second Cavalry Division.
CHATTANOOGA, TENN., November 30, 1863.
Commanding, &c. :
GENERAL: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of the report of Maj. J. M. Young,
Fifth Iowa Cavalry, of his expedition through the country situated between the Memphis and
Charleston Railroad and the Tennessee River, between the 14th and 17th instant. The Major-
general commanding directs that you tender his thanks to Major Young for the brave, energetic,
and prudent manner in which the expedition was conducted.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
WM. D. WHIPPLE. Brigadier-General,
and Assistant Adjutant-General.
Island No. 10, Tenn., November 22, 1863.
SIR: I have the honor to report that in obedience to Special Orders. No. 284, extract 2, on the
morning of the 21st November, 1863, I proceeded with 30 men of my command on the steamer
O'Brien to New Madrid, Mo., and reported to Colonel Harding, commanding that post.
Colonel Harding furnished 50 additional men, and the expedition, now under the command
of Captain Schmitz, Company B, Twenty-fifth Missouri Infantry, started for Tiptonville. On our
way to that place we destroyed two boats, and at Beckham's Landing, Tenn., seized 5 barrels of
salt. We approached the town as quietly as possible, and had it not been for a man who, standing
on the river bank, discovered our approach and gave the alarm, we should have succeeded either
in killing or capturing a party of guerrillas. As it was, landing and making our way into town as
soon as possible, we had the mortification of seeing the party, all on horseback, disappearing
round a bend in the road about 200 yards distant. A volley of bullets was sent after them, with
the effect of killing 1 horse and wounding 1 man.
There were in the place two stores which, having been in the habit of dealing in contraband
of war, Captain Schmitz determined to confiscate their contents, which was accordingly done,
and the articles they contained placed on the steamer O' Brien, which we then sent to New
Madrid, having determined to proceed to Island No. 10 by land through New Madrid Bend. We
remained all night in Tiptonville without being disturbed, and next morning marched unopposed
to the landing opposite Island, No. 10. We saw not a single armed man on our march. The
O'Brien having arrived at the island early in the morning, went immediately on board, and,
landing myself and men on the island, proceeded to New Madrid with Captain Schmitz and his
party. The salt and articles taken from the stores in Tiptonville were left at New Madrid. I seized
one mule in the bend and brought it to the island to make out the number I had been ordered to
seize heretofore.
At the time I made my former report, I supposed 12 mules had been seized, but I was
mistaken; there were 11. The man who notified the guerrillas of our approach is in our hands,
and will be sent to Columbus. Colonel Harding expressed a willingness to furnish us all the
assistance in his power whenever called upon.
I remain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Captain Company H, Thirty-second Iowa Infantry.
Capt. J. HOUGH,
Assistant Adjutant-General.
Collierville, Tenn., December 10, 1863.
GENERAL: I have the honor to report that, in obedience to your orders, I moved with my
brigade, with the exception of the Seventh Illinois Cavalry, on the morning of the 26th of
November ultimo, at daylight. Crossing Wolf River near Germantown we moved in the
direction of Covington, which place we reached on the 28th without meeting any obstacle.
Upon receiving information that Quinn and Sherrar's flouring mill on the Loosahatchie was
keeping guerrillas, I burned it.
From Covington we marched to Stanton's Depot, about 12 miles north of Somerville, thence
to the latter place, which we reached on the 2d instant.
During the entire expedition, which occupied six days, we saw no enemy, except small
squads, which fled at our approach.
The result of the expedition was about 300 head of horses and mules, and 12 or 15 prisoners.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel Second Iowa Cavalry, Commanding Brigade.
Brig. Gen. B. H. GRIERSON.
Moscow, Tenn., December 7, 1863.
SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of my regiment on the
3d and 4th of December, 1863:
Since it became known to me that the road was threatened by a considerable force of the
enemy, I have taken every precaution to guard my position against surprise. To this end the
wagon bridge across Wolf River, on the main Collierville road, about 300 yards southwest from
my camp, being the most practicable approach to this position, has been the object of especial
vigilance The planks of the bridge are put down only when the bridge is in use for legitimate and
authorized crossing.
At 3 p.m., December 3, a small cavalry force made a demonstration on this bridge, dashing
up on the gallop even to the bridge, and firing on the pickets stationed there. I immediately reenforced
the pickets with two companies, and after a few rounds, had been exchanged the
enemy retired. My loss in this affair was two guns, and 1 man severely wounded. That of the
enemy is not known, his dead and wounded, if any, being carried away.
During the succeeding night and the next day I kept my regiment in constant readiness for
attack, and reconnoitered all the approaches to as great a distance as it could be safely done
without the assistance of cavalry. Early in the afternoon of the 4th, observing a dense smoke in
the direction of Grisson's Bridge and La Fayette, I concluded that the enemy had passed here and
gone in that direction. This was likewise the opinion of the officers of the Sixth Illinois Cavalry,
which arrived here at 1.30 p.m., in the advance of Colonel Hatch's cavalry brigade, and
accordingly such of the cavalry as had arrived were proceeding on the road toward Collierville.
The Sixth Illinois and a portion of another regiment had crossed the bridge--the same upon
which the demonstration of the, preceding day had been made--when they fell into an ambuscade
of the enemy a short distance beyond the bridge.
At the sound of the first scattering shots I supported my picket at the bridge with Companies
A and D of my regiment, deploying these companies across the road behind rifle-pits, and in
position to sweep the bridge with their fire. The picket guard, about 50 strong, under Captain
Harris, of my regiment, I posted on the left of the road, in the bottom next the river, in such
position as to secure a cross-fire on the bridge. I ordered Lieutenant-Colonel Foley, of my
regiment, with Companies B and G and portions of two others, to take position on the right of
our line and hold the railroad bridge over Wolf River, a structure of much importance. The
remainder of my regiment I posted in an unfinished fortification, situated on the railroad, 350
yards distant from the wagon bridge, with Major Wiley in command.
Although I was the senior officer present at this time, I did not take command of the cavalry,
being in momentary expectation of the arrival of Colonel Hatch, who was reported to be a short
distance in rear with the remainder of his brigade.
Very shortly after the firing began the cavalry, which had crossed the bridge, retreated in
much disorder. The bridge soon became obstructed with artillery, caissons, and wagons from the
train which had got over, and great numbers of the retreating cavalry plunged headlong into the
river, which, though narrow, is deep and rapid, and many men and horses were thus lost. The
enemy now made a desperate attempt to force a passage of the bridge, but his impetuous charges
were met by the steady and effective fire of the companies posted as I have described.
About half an hour after the fight commenced Colonel Hatch arrived, and almost
immediately fell severely wounded. I thereupon assumed command of all the forces engaged,
which I continued to exercise throughout the engagement. I now withdrew Company D, of my
regiment, and the picket guard from their station at the bridge and ordered them to the fort,
supplying their places with two companies of the Second Iowa Cavalry, who were armed with
revolving rifles. The efforts of the enemy to gain possession of the wagon-road bridge still
continued, and, indeed, did not cease throughout the fight.
Meanwhile, Lieutenant-Colonel Foley, with his detachment, was vigorously attacked by
vastly superior numbers of the enemy, who made desperate efforts to gain the railroad bridge,
probably with the design of destroying it, but all their attempts were bravely and successfully
resisted. By my order the artillery in the fort, manned by details from my regiment, under the
command of Lieutenant Fullen, of the same, was worked throughout the action, and its firing was
very effective, several shells striking the wagon bridge where the enemy were charging, and, I
am informed by a soldier of the Sixth Illinois Cavalry, who was taken prisoner (but effected his
escape during the engagement), that several shells fired from the fort exploded among the led
horses of the enemy, producing a panic. The enemy made a precipitate retreat at ten minutes past
4 p.m., leaving many of his dead and wounded on the field.
The casualties in my regiment are 3 killed and 12 wounded. My men fought in most
instances under cover. The enemy's losses are not known, but must have been very heavy, as he
left 22 killed and 4 wounded on the field, and citizens report that he carried many wagon-loads
of dead or wounded with him on his retreat. In this engagement we took 8 prisoners, 5 of whom
were wounded. Three of the latter died, and the other 2 were sent to Dr. Irwin, chief of hospitals,
at Memphis. The 3 unwounded prisoners were sent to General Tuttle, at La Grange, as I had no
secure place to keep them.
The officers of my regiment, without exception, acquitted themselves with great credit. The
majority of the men were for the first time under fire, but their conduct did not disappoint my
most sanguine anticipations, as, after the first few rounds, they received and returned the enemy's
fire with the steadiness and deliberation of veterans. Among the officers of other regiments who
were distinguished for gallantry were Captain Moore, commanding Rifle Battalion, Second Iowa
Cavalry, and Captain Perkins, of the Ninth Illinois Cavalry, and in command of the howitzers
attached to that regiment, who, by their determined resistance, contributed much to the success
of other arms.
I inclose herewith a sketch exhibiting the principal points referred to in this report.
I have the honor to be, sir very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel Second Regt. West Tenn. Infty., A.D., Comdg.
Assistant Adjutant-General.
La Grange, Tenn., December 8, 1863.
SIR: I have the honor to report that on the morning of the 2d this month the Seventh Illinois
Cavalry started from near Middleton (where we had bivouacked for the night) about l o'clock in
the morning. Our force consisted of Second Iowa, Sixth, Seventh, and ninth Illinois Cavalry
Regiments, under command of Colonel Hatch. The Second Iowa led the advance, the Ninth
Illinois next to them, the Seventh and Sixth in the rear. We moved toward La Grange. About 5
o'clock I heard two or three shots in direction of the advance; shortly afterward a volley, and
from that time till 7 a.m. frequent volleys., About 7 a.m. I heard sharp firing, and soon the report
of artillery followed. At this time I was ordered by Colonel Hatch to the front. I ordered the
regiment forward at a gallop, and on reaching the front was ordered by Colonel Hatch to support
some companies which he had sent to the left flank. I at once moved to the left and advanced to a
position on the left flank of the enemy, where I could command the road leading from Saulsbury
to Ripley, on which I thought probable the enemy might attempt to retreat.
I received orders to remain in this position, till the center advanced. I accordingly sent a
squad of men to a position where they could observe both flanks and the center, with instructions
to report to me any movement of the center. Shortly afterward they reported the center moving
forward. I immediately moved my regiment down the road to rejoin the brigade at the crossroads
just south of Saulsbury, which we did, meeting only a few stragglers in range of our
carbines. We sustained no loss in the engagement.
Lieutenant-Colonel Seventh Illinois Cavalry.
Colonel PRINCE,
Commanding Seventh Regiment Illinois Cavalry.
La Grange, Tenn., December 9, 1863.
COLONEL: I have the honor to make the following report of the part taken by the Seventh
Illinois Cavalry in the action with the enemy at Moscow on the 3d instant:
In accordance with orders from Colonel Hatch, I left La Grange with the regiment about 10
a.m. of the 3d instant, following the Ninth Illinois Cavalry toward Moscow, where we arrived
soon after 12 m. We halted about half an hour there, then started again on the road leading
toward La Fayette. The Sixth Illinois Cavalry was in advance, the Ninth Illinois Cavalry next,
and the Seventh in rear of the Ninth. We had proceeded but a short distance when I heard firing
in the direction of the advance, which soon became quite heavy. The artillery also opened fire.
The Sixth Illinois Cavalry and part of the Ninth had crossed Wolf River Bridge. I started forward
to report to Colonel Hatch for orders, but learned before I got to the advance that he had not
come up vet. I immediately rode back to the regiment and ordered them to"' prepare to light on
foot with all possible celerity." As soon as they were dismounted, I ordered them forward on
double-quick. When we got to the bridge it was so clogged with horses, ambulances, wagons,
and artillery that it was almost impossible to get a man across it. Several of the horses had
broken through the bridge and were fast, and the bridge was so torn up that it was impossible to
clear it. I ordered my men across, and succeeded by jumping our horses, crawling under wagons
and ambulances, &c., in getting about 50 men across. About 25 men swam across. Several were
knocked off the bridge into the river in trying to cross. I found it impossible to get any more men
across without their swimming, which so injured their ammunition as to nearly render it useless.
At this time the artillery of the Sixth was in a critical position. It had very little support and was
entirely exposed to the enemy, who were coming upon it with a charge.. The artillery was
stationed at the west end of the bridge, and my object in rushing my men over there was to save
it. Consequently, when I saw the enemy coming upon it, I ordered my men to fire and charge,
which they did with a hearty good will.
I will venture to say there was never a braver charge made by a handful of men than was
made by the few men I had with me against the overwhelming odds; the enemy could not stand
it; they gave way, but soon rallied again and came pressing down on us from both flank and the
front. Still my men stood by the artillery, resolved to die by it rather than see it captured. The
artillery itself had all this time been dealing out grape and canister to them by mouthfuls. The
artillerymen of the. Sixth deserve great credit for the way they fought there. The contest over the
battery lasted nearly an hour, and was sometimes almost hand to hand; in fact, some of our men
were knocked over by the butts of the enemy's guns. The bridge had during this time become
cleared, and the artillerymen ran their pieces back across the river, and what men I had there
followed them. All our regiment except what got across the river, were deployed on the right. I
immediately, after recrossing, ordered them to the left to try and secure the led horses of the
Sixth, which were still across the river. They succeeded in securing part of them; many of these
were already killed or captured. About this time the Second Iowa Cavalry came up and engaged
in the action.
Colonel Hatch had come up soon after the action commenced, but was severely wounded
soon after his arrival.
Our line was now formed on the east side of the river, and pressed down to the river. The
enemy gave way and fell back. About this time Morgan's brigade of infantry came up and
crossed the bridge. I ordered our brigade of cavalry "to horse," and the cavalry, with the
howitzers, followed them. The infantry drew up in line about half a mile from the bridge, but my
brigade passed on after the retreating rebels About 3 miles from Moscow we found the enemy
had taken the Mount Pleasant road. I ordered the Seventh Illinois Cavalry to reconnoiter that
road for a mile or two and then rejoined the column, which moved on toward Collierville, where
we were instructed by Colonel Hatch to go that night. The regiment had gone but a short distance
when I heard sharp skirmishing in that direction, and ordered the Second Iowa to move to their
support, which they did. But the Seventh Illinois routed and was pursuing what proved to be a
strong rear guard of the enemy left on the road. I immediately ordered both regiments to their
places in the column, and proceeded to Collierville, where we arrived about 10 o'clock at night.
I would mention G Company, of the Seventh Illinois Cavalry, as displaying great courage
and determination in the contest over the artillery at the bridge, where a few of them defended
and held their position against an odd tenfold. Captain Stiles, of said company, was severely
wounded there, and 1 of his men killed and 6 wounded.
Our casualties in the fight were 1 man killed and l0 wounded, including Captain Stiles, above
Lieutenant-Colonel Seventh Illinois Cavalry.
Colonel PRINCE,
Seventh Illinois Cavalry.
Island No. 10, Tenn., December 4, 1863.
SIR: I have the honor to report that, on the morning of November 30, 1863, I sent into New
Madrid Bend a party of 40 men, under the command of O. A. Lesh, first lieutenant Company H,
Thirty-second Iowa Infantry, with instructions to conscript all able-bodied men subject to
military duty, in accordance with General Orders, No. 68, headquarters Sixth Division, Sixteenth
Army Corps, November 26, 1863. The party made quite an extensive scout through the bend and
returned in the evening to the island, with 29 conscripts. That night the guerrillas conscripted
quite a number of men, and seized really horses and mules.
On the 2d and 3d of December, I proceeded again into the bend, and procured 6 more
conscripts, 50 horses and mules, 4 wagons, and 16 harnesses, somewhat worn; also several old
saddles and bridles, and 15 blacks.
The conscripted white men, numbering, altogether, 35, were examined by the post surgeon,
and 28 of them were pronounced able for duty. Those rejected by him I have permitted to return
home. Ten have already volunteered and joined the two companies posted here.
There is a large quantity of corn in the bend, which ought to be taken possession of for the
benefit of the Government. The bend is pretty effectually cleared of male inhabitants, as the
guerrillas have taken all we left', so that this grain is wholly uncared for and will probably be
destroyed by the secesh, unless soon seized by the Government. If we had any means to get it
across the river. I should commence bringing; it to the island at once, and save what I could of it,
but as the O'Brien has been ordered to Cape Girardeau, I expect to obtain but little, if any.
I remain, very respectfully, your obedient servant.
Captain Co. H. 32d Iowa Infantry, Comdg. Post.
Capt. J. HOUGH,
Assistant Adjutant-General.
December 29, 1863.
I certify, and am willing to testify under oath, that on the 25th, 26th, and 27th, one or all of
these days, in December, 1863, I sent at least three messages to Lieutenant Roberts, Ninth
Illinois Cavalry, in command at La Fayette, ordering him in positive and unmistakable terms to
destroy all crossings of Wolf River, to prevent the enemy getting over.
The same orders were also sent to commanding officer at Germantown, and all bearing the
signature of W. Scott Belden, lieutenant, and acting assistant adjutant-general, Second Brigade
Cavalry, Sixteenth Army Corps.
Camp near Talbott's Station, Tenn., December 31, 1863.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to make the following report of the action of the 29th near
Mossy Creek:
According to instructions the Second Brigade, Colonel La Grange commanding, was
detached before daylight, leaving the front of the camp covered by the First Brigade, Col. A. P.
Campbell, Second Michigan Cavalry, commanding, of First Division, Col. E. M. McCook,
Second Indiana Cavalry, commanding, with orders to fall back without much resistance from the
vicinity of Talbott's Station, skirmishing with the superior force of the enemy, consisting of two
divisions of cavalry, three brigades each, commanded by Brigadier-Generals Armstrong and J. T.
Morgan, with two batteries of artillery, twelve pieces, the whole commanded by Major-General
Martin. This information I received from a rebel officer taken prisoner during the action.
Three pieces of Lilly's (Eighteenth Indiana) battery were posted on a hill on the south side of
the Morristown road, supported by the First Brigade, First Division of Cavalry.
Col. W. J. Palmer, Fifteenth Pennsylvania Cavalry, with detachments from Tenth Ohio
Cavalry and First Tennessee Mounted Infantry, in all, about 250 men, was directed to fall back
from his camp on mouth of Chucky road to Mossy Creek. About 11 a.m. the enemy advanced in
line of battle dismounted, his line extending from mouth of Chucky road, crossing Morristown
road, to a road leading from east side of Mossy Creek to Dyer's Ferry. The length of this line I
estimated at 2 miles. A section of the Elgin (Fifth Illinois) battery and the One hundred and
eighteenth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, from Mott's brigade, were placed under my orders by
General Sturgis; the former was posted on the mouth of Chucky road, the latter as support for the
three pieces of Lilly's battery, and on its left covered by dense timber. I was instructed to hold
my position and informed that the Second Brigade, First Division, with a section of Lilly's
battery, Colonel La Grange, First Wisconsin Cavalry, commanding, detached to support the
cavalry of the Army of the Ohio, ordered to the vicinity of the Dandridge and Bend of Chucky
road, had been ordered and would soon return to Mossy Creek.
The enemy massed troops on his left (my right), evidently with the intention of charging the
section of the Elgin battery posted on the right. Finding the section so badly served I directed
part of the Ninth Pennsylvania Cavalry, not to exceed 100 men, to take post on the right and
front of this section for its support, in addition to the detachments of Colonel Palmer's already
posted there; at the same time sent to inform General Sturgis of the condition of the right, and
requested another regiment of infantry. The Sixteenth Kentucky Infantry was sent me, and
placed under cover on the right flank to support the section of the Elgin battery.
The enemy was repulsed in his attack upon our right; and in his attack upon Lilly's battery in
the center, his batteries at the same time showering upon both of our batteries shot and shell. He
then attacked our left, and was there also repulsed. The Second Brigade, First Division, Colonel
La Grange commanding, arrived about 2 p.m. and was sent under cover to the right. About 3
p.m. the enemy was seen to be falling back. As soon as I discovered this, and that the lull in the
firing was not caused by a movement of the enemy toward our left, as was reported, I ordered an
advance, the section of Lilly's battery, which had joined with the Second Brigade, throwing shot
and shell into his retreating lines and columns. The pursuit was rapid and continued until dark,
driving the enemy about 4 miles, and beyond the ground occupied in the morning, but on account
of scarcity of water the troops occupied their same camps, leaving our picket line on the ground
from which the enemy was driven. According to instructions from General Sturgis the infantry
and section of the Elgin battery from Colonel Mott's brigade was ordered to return to Mossy
For the details of the operations of the First Division of Cavalry, and the casualties in same, I
refer to the reports of its commander and of his subordinates, and to the report of Colonel Palmer
for the operations of his detachments, all herewith inclosed. The losses of the enemy must have
greatly exceeded that of ours, his lines and columns being exposed to our fire from small-arms
and Lilly's battery, so admirably served. Both in his advance and retreat many of his dead and
wounded were left in the field. I do not think that 100 killed and 400 wounded would bean
exaggerated estimate of his loss.
In closing this report I desire to refer to the services of Col. E. M. McCook, Second Indiana
Cavalry, commanding First Division. The skill with which he disposed of his division on the
field, on this as on other occasions, and energy in the pursuit of the enemy, shows him to be
capable of exercising the command with which he is intrusted. Brigades, regiments, and the
battery of Lilly--officers and men, without exception--performed their duty nobly.
The officers of my personal staff, First Lieuts. C. F. Mardon, Second Iowa Cavalry, and W.
L. Shaw, One hundred and tenth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, aides-de-camp; and of the corps staff,
Captain McCormick, acting inspector-general; Captain Schuyler, provost-marshal; First Lieut.
W. C. Arthur, assistant commissary of subsistence, and Captain Warner, commanding escort,
rendered me great assistance, conveying my orders on the field, as did also my orderlies from
Company D, Fourth Ohio Cavalry. Surg. L. A. James, Fourth Ohio Cavalry, medical director,
faithfully provided for the comfort of the sick and wounded.
I am, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Brigadier-General, U. S. Vols., and Chief of Cavalry.
Capt. W. C. RAWOLLE,
A. A. A. G., Hdqrs. Chief of Cav., Army of the Ohio.
Whiteside's, Tenn., December 3, 1863.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to herewith transmit the following report concerning the part my
regiment took during the capture of Lookout Mountain and Missionary Ridge: On the 23d day of
November, 1863, in pursuance to an order from brigade headquarters, my regiment left its camp
at Whiteside's, Tenn., and proceeded on the Chattanooga road to the front of Lookout Mountain,
near the headquarters of Major-General Hooker, and encamped there for the night.
On the morning of the 24th, the regiment took up its line of march and advanced to Lookout
Creek, in front of the enemy's rifle-pits. Two of my companies were thrown out as skirmishers
by order of Colonel Grose, commanding brigade, while the regiment followed up, crossing a
slough of Chattanooga Creek, to support the skirmishers, who became engaged with the enemy
on the opposite bank of the said creek. Colonel Grose then ordered me to throw up breastworks,
in order to shelter my men from the enemy's fire, which was kept up briskly by the enemy and
vigorously replied to by my men. After engaging the enemy about an hour, Colonel Grose
ordered me to rejoin the brigade. The brigade moved forward, taking a circuitous route, crossed
Lookout Creek, formed a line of battle, and moved forward as fast as the nature of the ground
would admit, driving the enemy before us. After the brigade reached the intrenchments of the
enemy it halted, and, being exposed to a constant fire of the enemy, Colonel Grose ordered me to
change the position of my regiment, and I accordingly moved about 200 yards and took a
position on a ridge, in the rear of the enemy's intrenchments, and threw up breastworks in order
to shelter my men from the fire of the enemy's sharpshooters, two companies being sent out in
the meantime to guard our rear and watch the movements of the enemy. After remaining in this
position until dark, Colonel Grose ordered me to the front to relieve the Fifty-ninth Illinois
Infantry, which had expended its ammunition. I held the position until the regiment exhausted its
ammunition, and was relieved by the Fourth Iowa about midnight.
My regiment had 4 men wounded during the time it occupied the position held previously by
the Fifty-ninth Illinois Regiment, the names of which are annexed to this report.
On the morning of the 25th, my regiment left Lookout Mountain with the brigade, which
crossed Chattanooga Valley and participated in the capture of Missionary Ridge.
My regiment marched with the brigade from Missionary Ridge on the morning of the 26th,
and arrived at Ringgold, Ga., on the 27th. The brigade left Ringgold on the same day on a
reconnoitering expedition, returning to the said place on the evening of the said day, and
remained at Ringgold until the evening of the 30th. Left Ringgold on the night of the 30th, and
encamped on Chickamauga Creek, near the battle-ground.
On the morning of the 1st of December, my regiment followed the brigade and marched to
the battle-ground of Chickamauga, where it assisted in burying the dead, who were left exposed
by the enemy since the battle on the 19th and 20th days of September, 1863.
After remaining on the battle-field nearly all day attending to the duty assigned to my
regiment by Colonel Grose, we were ordered back and arrived at our old camp at Whiteside's,
Tenn., on the evening of the 2d of December.
The conduct of officers and enlisted men of my regiment was all that could be expected.
Orders were obeyed and promptly executed, and order and decorum prevailed during the affair,
officers and men having the utmost confidence in their brigade commander, Col. William Grose.
The following is a list of casualties :
I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,
Captain, Commanding Twenty-fourth Ohio.
Captain WEST,
A. A. A. G., Third Brig.. First Div., Fourth Army Corps.
Lookout Valley, Tenn., November 24, 1863--8.30 p.m.
Major-General HOOKER:
Orderly just brought a dispatch from you. Orderly, horse, and all got in the creek, and the
dispatch is wet and torn, could not clearly read it, but could make out order for destruction of the
bridges over which Geary crossed, and have sent full, positive, and peremptory instructions. I
sent you a report from cavalry sent to Trenton. I had heretofore directed Colonel Nicholas to
picket and patrol all approaches. Will now send him word to keep his whole force out night and
day on the alert until otherwise ordered. I have some companies of the Twenty-fifth Iowa here
(near where we were this morning). I shall hold them here as a reserve to throw to any portion of
the line attacked. Brown's Ferry bridge complete. A corporal brought word to send prisoners to
Chattanooga. Reynolds' dispatch to you said Kelley's. Which shall be done? The bridge over
Lookout, near railroad, is complete for teams.
Very respectfully,
Major-General, Chief of Staff.
Lookout Valley, Tenn., November 24, 1863--10 p.m.
Brigadier-General OSTERHAUS,
Commanding Division:
General Hooker directs that you have your batteries cross Lookout Creek and report to him at
daylight. Have all the ammunition replenished to-night, the animals all well fed early, and
everything in readiness for a good day's work to-morrow. The Twenty-fifth Iowa have been
ordered across Lookout Creek to join their division, moving at daylight.
Very respectfully,
Major-General, Chief of Staff.
Wauhatchie, Tenn., December 15, 1863.
GENERAL: I have the honor to submit to Major-General Hooker commanding, the
following report of the movements of my command in the campaign commencing on the 24th of
November and terminating on the 1st of December, 1863, embracing the victorious actions on
Lookout Mountain, Missionary Ridge, and on Taylor's Ridge, at Ringgold, Ga.:
At 3 o'clock on the morning of the 24th of November, I received the order of Major-General
Hooker to cross Lookout Creek and to assault Lookout Mountain, marching down the valley and
sweeping every rebel from it.
Pursuant to your orders of the 22d November, my lines had been extended so as to cover the
entire position previously maintained by the Eleventh Corps and by my own command, the line
extending from the confluence of Lookout Creek and the Tennessee River on the left to the top
of Raccoon Mountain on the right, the situation gained by the important movement of General
Hooker on the 28th of October, and the action of the same night, in which a portion of tills
division participated, at Wauhatchie.
For the proper protection of these defenses, I disposed 200 of my grand guards, from various
regiments of my First Brigade, along the creek from Wauhatchie Junction to the left of the
Kelley's Ferry road, joined by the Twenty-ninth Ohio, Col. W. T. Fitch, and seven companies of
the Fifth Ohio, Col. J. H. Patrick, on the left, and 130 of the grand guards on the right, with the
One hundred and ninth Pennsylvania, Capt. F. L. Gimber, and the Seventy-eighth New York,
Lieut. Col.-II. Hammerstein, in reserve on the right. The grand guards were under the
supervision of Lieut. Col. E. Powell, Sixty-sixth Ohio Volunteers.
I moved my command, supplied with one day's rations and full complement of ammunition
on persons of the men, in light marching order at daylight to Wauhatchie railroad junction,
where, pursuant to your orders, Brig. Gen. W. C. Whitaker reported to me with six regiments of
his brigade (Second of the-First Division, Fourth Army Corps), numbering 110 officers and
1,355 men. The available force of my division in this column was 141 officers and 2,218 men,
making an aggregate of 251 officers and 3,573 men.
I discovered that during the night the enemy had doubled his pickets along the creek, his line
being numerically stronger than my immediate one by at least one-half, and they-were within 50
yards of each other.
Crossing the railroad at Wauhatchie Junction, my command was marched, under cover of a
belt of timber, to a point back of an old mill, about 2 miles up the creek from its mouth, and
massed behind a hill which effectually screened it from view from the mountain.
At this time drifting clouds enveloped the whole ridge of the mountain top, and heavy mists
and fogs obscured the slope from lengthened vision, and so continued until we reached the
summit, lifting only momentarily at intervals during the assault. So impenetrable was this gloom
around the enemy's localities, that the movement was so favored as to become a complete
surprise to him.
One section of Knap's (Pennsylvania) battery, under Lieutenant McGill, accompanied the
column to the point of massing, but was returned and posted on a hill half way between the old
mill and Bald Hill, under supervision of Maj. J. A. Reynolds, my chief of artillery, as it could
prove of no service on the other side of the creek. The creek being too deep to ford, I sent my
pioneers forward to bridge it, under cover of two companies of the Twenty-ninth Pennsylvania,
who crossed, and were deployed on the other side without opposition. I decided to make my
crossing at this point in preference to Davis' Mill, as originally intended, as I thereby was
enabled to save much time in moving up the mountain. At the same time I sent a small
detachment of the Sixty-sixth Ohio to make a demonstration on the path leading from near Davis'
Mill up the mountain, thereby diverting the attention of the enemy on top in that direction.
Considerable skirmishing occurred, and a large body of their troops was kept there in expectancy
of our main attack at that place. I then assembled my brigade and field officers and enlightened
them with the project before them, with instructions to communicate it to their company officers.
Simultaneous with the crossing of the skirmishers, our picket line, by previous arrangement,
surprised, with sudden movement, the pickets of the enemy in their immediate front, and
captured them without firing. A picket of 42 rebels, with 1 negro, surrendered at the crossing.
Major Reynolds placed the two sections of Battery K, First Ohio Artillery (light 12-pounders),
Lieutenant Sahm, on Bald Hill near the junction of the creek and river, and put two sections of
Battery I, First New York Artillery, on a hill opposite Lookout Point and behind Bald Hill. One
section of 20-pounder Parrotts, of Fourth Ohio Battery, was situated in the gap to the right, and
one section of howitzers, of First Iowa Battery, commanded the approaches to the lower bridge
from the hill on the right of the gap. Two sections of Knap's battery were located on an eminence
to the left of the Kelley's Ferry road on the original line of defense, from which it commanded
the sides of Lookout.
My column was moved to the creek, and began crossing the bridge at 8.30 a.m. with great
celerity. The Second Brigade, Col. G. A. Cobham, jr., in advance, moved rapidly up the hillslope
by the right flank, in a direct line from the crossing to the wall of the crest, followed by the
Third Brigade, Col. D. Ireland, which joined its left.
General Whitaker's brigade then crossed, and closely afterward the First Brigade, Col. C.
Candy. My line of battle, as formed, faced to the front, was Cobham, with two regiments on the
right; Ireland, with four regiments in the center; Candy on the left, in echelon, at about 30 paces
interval to the troops on the right, with his Sixty-sixth Ohio and three companies of the Fifth
Ohio, en echelon, as reserve. This constituted the front, covering the slopes from the mound of
the crest to Lookout Creek. The Eighth Kentucky, Thirty-fifth Indiana, Ninety-ninth and Fortieth
Ohio, respectively, in order from the right of Whitaker's brigade, formed the second line in
support, about 350 yards to the rear of the front line, his right resting opposite Cobham's center.
About 100 yards in rear of the supporting line were placed the Ninety-sixth Illinois and Fiftyfirst
Ohio, also of Whitaker's brigade. This formation, with admirable maintenance of distances,
was observed throughout the movement to the farthest point gained on the mountain, with the
exception of necessary changes in Candy's attitude on the left.
The inclination of the mountain was from north by east to south by west. We swept the
westerly slope from this point about 3 miles south of the dividing ridge between the east and
west sides of the mountain known as Point Lookout.
A heavy line of skirmishers had been advanced, and covered the entire front throughout the
day's movements, and the flanks were so intact that the supporting line was, by this guarded
measure of the front, likewise perfectly secure from hostile demonstration on the part of the
enemy, excepting from sharpshooters on the crest.
At shortly after 9 o'clock, the whole line moved forward, the right held by the Twenty-ninth
Pennsylvania, kept in close contact with the rugged precipice of the summit, the necessity for
which gradually swerved our advance in an oblique direction from the creek, which lengthened
the line for cover on the left, so as to change Candy's formation, a mile after starting, from
echelon to two lines. The left was instructed to govern its movements by those of the front line
on the right, the extreme left resting near the creek, and the guide being the upper curvature of
the mountain.
The right, center, and right of the left brigade made rapid headway over the very steep sides
of the mountain, which sloped throughout its length at nearly an angle of 45°, and breaking into
numerous successive ravines, varying from 50 to over 100 feet in depth, overcame, by
clambering, almost perpendicular ascents and descents, with hands as well as feet, in many
places. As the skirmishers had reported a hostile movement from above toward the flats, I took
measures to obtain mastery of the enemy's rifle-pits at the base of the mountain, not far from the
mouth of Lookout Creek, which resulted in their capture, and thus uncovered the fords where
Colonel Grose's brigade, of Cruft's division, was to cross, as noted in your order, and the one
near the mouth of the creek where Osterhaus was to come up in reserve.
After uncovering the fords, and the troops in reserve seen to have a footing, Candy's brigade
was ordered forward at a "half wheel," and, for a convergence on the offensive point, swept up
the mountain with celerity at an oblique angle to the main line, heading for Point Lookout.
When the right and center had progressed 1 miles, the enemy's pickets were encountered,
and, though they were well covered with natural defenses, my skirmishers at once engaged them
and drove them back upon their main body, which was formed about 1 mile beyond, within a
camp covering the whole plateau in front of the left of my right and my center, formidable in
natural defense and seemingly impregnable with rocks, stone, and earth breastworks, surrounded
with tangled slashings. These were the advanced works of a continuous net-work of
fortifications, rugged, natural and artificial, irregular polygons, of the enemy, within which was
Walthall's brigade of Mississippians, in battle array.
My skirmishers engaged them, and the whole line, with unbroken front and bayonets fixed,
charged on the "double-quick" over obstructions which, without excitement, would have greatly
impeded them. The men were full of animation and enthusiasm, and, regardless of the active
work of the sharpshooters in the gorges and from the crest, in the lucid intervals of the fog drifts,
and of the heavy musketry in front, animated with rallying cheers of officers, they made a sudden
and vigorous assault, Ireland's brigade and Cobham's One hundred and eleventh Pennsylvania
closing in with the enemy, and the Twenty-ninth Pennsylvania, on the right, hurled themselves
upon their flank with furious effort.
Our fire was delivered in continuous volleys while hotly pressing upon and encompassing the
camp, and, with wall of steel, colors and men were over the works and hand to hand disputed the
enemy's possession of them. The ardor of our men surprised and stultified the enemy, and we
punished him severely in his irresolution. Walthall's men offered a sturdy but brief resistance,
and when we closed with them they soon yielded and threw down their arms, pleading for
protection. Our first success was gained in less than fifteen minutes after the lines became
Detachments, starting in flight, were checked by the fire from Reynolds' batteries beyond
Lookout Creek, and they preferred capture to running the gauntlet of shells exploding with such
precision in their retreating path. The whole brigade was ours, and its camp thickly strewn with
rebel killed and wounded, small-arms, and equipage. The One hundred and forty-ninth New
York here took three battle-flags, and the Sixtieth New York one, from the hands of the color
bearers, during the fight. The prisoners were at once dispatched to the rear, to be disposed of by
General Whitaker's command, which had enthusiastically cheered our onslaught and pressed on
in support, eager to participate in it, but as the front had neither faltered nor halted, the
opportunity was not offered. As Cobham's and Ireland's forces could not be weakened by
detaching guards, the prisoners captured had therefore to be disposed of in this manner, and my
wounded left for the attention of the ambulance corps, close in rear of the line.
At this time the rebel signal flag was active on a bench below the pinnacle of the mountain,
but our onward progress soon compelled its withdrawal. All seemed influenced with the
conviction that rapidity of action would conduce to corresponding success, and without halting
upon the site of the victory, like a vast piece of machinery the column pressed eagerly forward in
original formation, Ireland's colors ever in advance of the center. The obstructions now
surmounted at every step, of ravines, precipices, immense bowlders, abatis, slashings, and
carefully-constructed works, plainly showed the place could have been defended to great
advantage by a small determined force, against heavily outnumbering assailants.
They did not intercept the speedy passage of the troops, who impulsively disregarded the
necessary foil which, under ordinary circumstances, could have early exhausted them. With
indomitable perseverance, they were carrying out the order to "sweep every rebel before them,
moving with rapidity."
Sharpshooters were busy in secreted places in front, from which they were dislodged and
mostly captured, and of those on the cliffs many were killed and wounded by sharpshooters on
our side.
Stretching over a large plateau and down the mountain side toward the valley from the base
of the precipitous rampart of rocks, which, like a promontory, bears the cloud-soaring peak of
Point Lookout on its apex, was a systematically-arranged chain of fortifications, outer and inner,
like a honey-comb.
The fortified approaches toward us and on a line with the overhanging ledge of the point
above, were occupied by Churchill's old brigade of Alabamians and Georgians, now commanded
by General Maney.
Perceiving from the first the vital advantage to be gained by keeping my right firm against
the barrier of the mountain top, it was kept solid and closely hugged it. By the peculiar curvature
of the rocks, diverging inwardly toward the point (in a northeasterly direction), my right
(Cobham's) being the inner line, made necessarily more advance distance, with less marching,
than the balance of the line. Every pace of the extreme right had the advantage of progress in a
ratio of nearly 50 per cent. over the center, and double that over the left. I early perceived the
additional point of strength attendant upon this formation, for, whenever the center attacked the
enemy in front, my right was continually on his flank, and outflanked, with withering enfilading
fire, his every position, which combination compelled him to yield with brief resistance as long
as we continued to advance.
General Whitaker maintained his assigned position, following the inclination, his right
resting, as originally, in the rear of Cobham's center, until the latter turned the angle of the ridge,
where the precipice admitted of foot-hold only under most trying labor, when his right guide in
support was Ireland's right in front. It is gratifying to me, and illustrative of the unaccountable
accomplishments capable to determined energy, to observe that, notwithstanding all
embarrassments, my column reached the base of Lookout Point in fine military order, with the
precise formation it had originally shown in rest.
Before reaching our new antagonist my right encountered the almost perpendicular pyramid
of Lookout Point, and, faithful to the policy of having the tangible rock for the flank to rest upon,
the line obliqued to the right continually. As we rounded the curvature between the lower ridge
and uppermost ledge, this was effected with a steadiness and regularity worthy the highest meed
of praise. It brought us to the most elevated accessible point of the mountain, short of the great
coronal itself.
Before this, however, was completed a rebel regiment was observed making a hasty descent
through a pass from the westerly crest down upon our flank. The Twenty-ninth Pennsylvania
immediately changed front to rear and met them with a full front, and, instead of charging upon
and disordering an important flank, they encountered a line which returned their first and only
volley with interest. Their movement was counteracted beyond hope, and every man of them
surrendered without a second fire.
At this time Major Reynolds again opened with his batteries upon the enemy's fortifications
and created some commotion among them, the missiles flying over our troops into the enemy's
The artillery soon ceased, as Ireland's and Cobham's left, with wild, prolonged cheers,
charged the fortifications held by Maney, as they had done with Walthall's, and who offered a
stout resistance, but only for a brief period, for Ireland pressed them hotly, in the face of their
fierce volleys, at close quarters, while our men fell rapidly, and Cobham poured in his flanking
fire from the ever advanced right with such telling effect that they sullenly fell back from work
to work, driven successively from each strong lodgment by a continuance of pressure on front
and flank. His temporary stands and retrograde movements cost the enemy large numbers in
killed, wounded, and missing, leaving him but a wreck to retreat beyond our reach, while his
own fire dealt severely with Ireland, and overflying shots told considerably upon Whitaker's
ranks in the rear, which kept pace with the advance at the prescribed interval.
During this fight the enemy opened with three pieces of light artillery from the crest, and
during some twenty minutes made every effort to enfilade our lines, but their guns could not be
sufficiently depressed to search our ranks, and their missiles, with very short fuses, burst with
trivial effect over the heads of the First Brigade, which, unseen to them, was sweeping up the
rough declivity just below the plateau on which were the enemy's works, guiding obliquely for
the main point, their right lapping Ireland at nearly right angles and reaching to Whitaker's left.
Being baffled in their intended artillery effect, they hurled shell and hand grenades from the
cliffs among my troops in front and in support, but our men moved so rapidly they were mostly
ineffective. I halted the First Brigade, and held it in reserve, under the inferior slope of the main
hill, as there was no vantage-ground to make them available at this point and period.
Still we pressed the enemy, pushing him with resistless weight and ardor, not affording him
time to recover from the amazement caused him by our rapidity of movement, and his front
wavered more perceptibly in each stand until it increased to terror and flight, while our men
followed with an animation that disdained restraint, and, with the clouds and mist hovering
above us, and fogs darkening the hills below, leaving, as it were, our path a well-defined stratum
between the lowering elements, like a mighty tide of waters driving from its course the
obstructions which, in impeding, served to concentrate their strength, our troops breasted the
dividing point, or salient angie, and, with admirably preserved line, swept, upon the doublequick,
around to the northeasterly slope of the mountain, charging the retreating foe.
This was about 12 m. The movement heretofore made, and now practiced, rendered
untenable, and outflanked respectively, each of the long and complicated lines of works and
rifle-pits which had been evidently constructed with great care, and were of such formidable
nature as to almost defy any attack in front.
General Osterhaus' division and Grose's brigade had crossed Lookout Creek and were now
seen climbing the mountain side, away down to the left. While my troops were engaged upon the
plateau, finding the enemy was massing a heavy line in my front, and on the east side of the
mountain, from the cliff to the valley, I directed Cobham to advance about 700 or 800 yards
around the point so as to command the enemy's flank and render our own impervious. It was
with strenuous effort only that Cobham accomplished this vital movement, as the mountain side
was nearly perpendicular, and he passed his command along a narrow path of the slope at the
base of the final frontlet of rock which arose perpendicularly from 75 to 100 feet to the summit.
The sides were too steep to move in line, and single and double filing were necessary for some
distance from the point around the eastward slope, over a narrow ledge. His right reached the
desired point, his column was closed up, and, with backs firm against the acclivity, his line
presented a hostile front toward Chattanooga Creek. This I instructed to be held at all hazards.
This movement was quickly executed without the least confusion, and in its execution the
enemy's skirmishers were driven from the slope. At the same time Ireland had continued his
attack with running fire upon the enemy in front, charging through the peach orchard, taking the
works encircling it, delivering his fire for a few moments from them, leaping over and attacking
the next with victorious results each time. His right at this time engaged the enemy behind a
stone wall, running parallel with our line from the white house (Craven's), his center divided at
the house directly across their path, and the Sixtieth and One hundred and thirty-seventh New
York dashed through the yard, wherein were two pieces of artillery placed in position, capturing
them and their gunners, throwing the flag of the One hundred and thirty-seventh New York on
the cannon as token of capture, while the One hundred and forty-ninth New York diverged to the
left of the house and actively engaged the enemy, the whole line rapidly capturing prisoners and
keeping up an effective fire. On they went over the successive belts of ramparts inclosing the
level area, which the rebels reluctantly yielded.
When about 500 yards beyond Craven's house, and in front of the mountain road, the enemy,
already reported, appeared in heavy force (afterward learned to be three large brigades of
Walker's and Stevenson's divisions), well covered in the woods and with rocks. Upon this body
the routed rebels rallied. My line, imbued with ardor almost irrepressible, at once engaged them
and found stubborn resistance.
Whitaker's line was halted at the stone wall of Craven's house, and several of his regiments
were formed about 200 yards to the rear and left of it.
A portion of one of his regiments moved up to the support of our extreme left, occupied by
the One hundred and forty-ninth New York, where it was heavily engaged, but was soon
The enemy made several charges within a very short time, and were as often repulsed to their
original line. While Ireland's whole force combated the massed force in front, Cobham, from his
commanding locality, opened an oblique fire on the enemy's flank, which enfiladed their lines so
as to make their situation untenable, when the impenetrable fog, which had for some time
lingered above, settled down upon and below him, and it became impossible for him to direct his
fire upon the enemy unseen without endangering our own men. This fog prevailed during the
balance of the day.
My men on the left were still striving for the old road leading from the mountain into
Chattanooga Valley, with prospect of soon securing it, when, at this time, 12.30 p.m., I received
General Hooker's order to halt upon the crest and to strengthen our position there. We had
progressed a considerable distance beyond the intended point.
With the falling of the fog the enemy ceased firing for a time. Osterhaus now came up on the
left, and I formed a strong line on the ground I had gained from the cliffs toward Chattanooga
Creek, connecting with Osterhaus right, and massed my reserves in their rear upon the crest of
the slope in the rear of the white house. The right of the Third Brigade joined the Second on the
upper crest. Whitaker's brigade was formed in reserve in the position it occupied during the noon
fighting, on a line with Craven's house, and a portion of it in a second line in rear, both in the
captured pits and behind the stone-wall, all covered by the line of Cobham and Ireland, advanced
400 yards beyond the pits and works. The position was strengthened by the immediate
construction of protections of stone and timber.
Cobham cut levels on the mountain side to facilitate the passage of his men. The topmost
peak was closely invested by his left, and several attempts made to find a point of escalade up
the acclivity, but the gloom was so profound that they met with no success.
The ground occupied by our line was very abrupt, the upper cap of the mountain, sloping
from the rocky palisades (occupied by Cobham), merged into a plateau cut into a series of steps
or gradations, each comparatively level (held by Ireland). The rear was guarded by Candy.
Cobham's flag, about noon, floated from the highest accessible point of the mountain gained on
the 24th. The men manifested an eagerness to go forward, and their officers requested to be
permitted to cut off the Summertown road.
From half past 12 to 1 o'clock in the afternoon only desultory firing was kept up by the
enemy, which was unheeded by my men, who were instructed to husband their ammunition. At
about 1 o'clock the enemy made an assault in force upon my left, principally upon the One
hundred and forty-ninth New York, which was strengthened with skirmishers of the One hundred
and second New York, under Captain Stegman, and one regiment of General Whitaker's, which
had formed near the left for support.
My men stood firm, and not a regiment in my front line yielded an inch, but, by some
misapprehension, another regiment, not of my command, retired hastily and thereby invited
redoubled effort on the part of the assailants, which the One hundred and forty-ninth New York
repelled, forcing them back to their cover. Lieutenant-Colonel Randall had striven to rally the
retiring regiment, without success, confident in the steadiness of his own men.
I am proud to say, in this connection, that at no time during the operations did my troops
waver or, in the most trying moments, present any but a redoubtable front, and that the honor, by
the accident of war, fell to my old command of driving, with fierce conflict, the enemy before us
in a most difficult progress of over 4 miles, possessing all his formidable works, taking prisoners,
or disabling all the forces on the mountain side, occupying the entire front to the farthest point
gained, and that they, by chance, did the fighting which gained us the mountain, and held all they
captured until the enemy retired and could no longer be seen in the fog and were disorganized
beyond hostility; and also that the victorious work, so ably progressed with, was not
relinquished, for at no time, until the peak of Lookout, on the morning of the 25th, was ours
beyond hope of rebel recovery, was my entire command relieved from holding station in the
front line of battle.
Such gratulation is substantiated in the exertions of my troops, which exceeded, in
accomplishments, my most extravagant hopes.
The substantial fighting was over when my advance was relieved at 2 o'clock. Ireland's men,
jaded with incessant fighting, were relieved by regiments from Candy's and Whitaker's brigades.
Colonel Creighton, of the Seventh Ohio, now commanded the brigade, Colonel Candy
having a few moments previously been injured by a fall upon the rocks. The three companies of
the Fifth Ohio, under Major Symmes, had been detached to take charge of, and conduct to the
rear, the vast influx of prisoners.
My men had exhausted their original supply of ammunition and had expended a portion of a
second, equally as large, supply hastily taken from the captured cartridge-boxes of the enemy,
but they were at no time straitened for ammunition.
When the Seventh and Sixty-sixth Ohio and Twenty-eighth and One hundred and fortyseventh
Pennsylvania were relieving Ireland, several very heavy volleys from the enemy were
returned by them with interest. An irregular and desultory fire was kept up by the enemy, who
could be seen only at long intervals during the afternoon, but my troops were restrained by their
officers from firing without opportunity, seldom offered, was given to make it effective.
Some of the regiments of my relief, and others on the left, unnecessarily fired continuous
volleys into the fog, without response, save from secreted sharpshooters who were busy in front,
and from the cliffs until after dark.
At 3 o'clock the enemy were observed massing a force under the cliff of the extreme right
held by Cobham. I directed the Twenty-eighth Pennsylvania to dislodge this force, which it did
with intrepid execution.
Being harassed in this counter move by sharpshooters, a portion of the regiment was
detached as sharpshooters, serving with success. It then resumed its place in line for the
remainder of the day.
At 3 o'clock Colonel Grose's brigade entered the captured works, and at 3.30 the Thirteenth
Illinois and Fourth Iowa relieved regiments of Creighton's (First) brigade. The troops of
Whitaker's brigade and several regiments of Osterhaus' division, with Creightons and Ireland's
brigades, relieved each other at different hours of the evening and through the night, at the point
d'appui, about 400 yards in front of Craven's house, each of them sustaining several tours of
The troops relieved were partly placed in a second line, which served in the double capacity
as reserve to the front and as guard against attack in the rear. Others were massed between the
two lines in readiness to be handled in any emergency. The upper line or right (Cobham's)
formed a retrenchment under the cliff, covering the inner line, turning the angle so that it could
act independently of it.
General Carlin reported to me at about 7 o'clock in the evening, when I ordered him to
relieve Cobham. This necessary relief was not afforded, however, until 9 p.m., when his wornout
men descended the uppermost slope of the pyramid they had gained, and bivouacked at its
foot, and, before daylight on the following day, took position on the western slope, faced to the
rear, with skirmishers well out, and left close to the nearest accessible point of the summit, in
readiness for any attack from the approach to the right of Lookout Valley.
The balance of Carlin's command was placed in the column of reliefs some time after dark.
There were several alarms during the night, with no decisive exhibition of hostility, which drew
a number of unnecessary volleys from our troops.
Without fire during the night, the front line suffered considerably from the intensely cold
winds that swept around the mountain sides. My own men, wet to the skin from the rain, without
blankets and in light blouses, experienced intensely the rudeness of the weather, but bore it with
most cheerful fortitude.
The night was one of watchfulness with all that participated in the siege of the rebel
stronghold, and, around the myriads of brightly burning fires, reaching from the deep gorges
below up to the rocky precipice of the pyramid, and only separated from the enemy's camp fire
above by the insurmountable flinty wall, many expressed their impatience for the coming of day
that the attack might be renewed, no thought of aught but victory crowning it finding expression.
General Hooker's orders, to make strong my position during the night, were vigorously
carried out, and his announcement of his having opened communication with Chattanooga, and
that he seriously threatened the enemy's line of retreat, was eminently cheerful.
I had made repeated efforts to get supplies of ammunition up the mountain, as the long
engagements of my troops threatened to exhaust all they had and could procure. My reenforcements
of that nature were brought up in the pockets of men dispatched for that purpose.
With much diligence to the task, with aid of mules, by midnight all my command was supplied
with 100 rounds per man, ready for a vigorous renewal of hostilities. General Whitaker's was
also furnished by me with 25,000 rounds. Also, regiments of Grose's and Catlin's commands.
Before daylight of the 25th, I gave instructions for small reconnoitering parties to gain the
summit with ladders, and to be prepared to plant the colors on the top had the enemy evacuated.
The colors of the Eighth Kentucky, of General Whitaker's brigade, ascended on the eastern side
of the ridge, and of the Twenty-ninth Pennsylvania on the western. They stood upon the summit
about the same time, and the former, having the shorter route, was first unfurled to the breeze
from the gigantic cliffs jutting out in their dizzy altitude from the horizon.
There upon that cloud-soaring citadel floated Cobham's colors and the symbolic flag of the
division, the "White Star," with patriotic devotion and with prowess followed by its
representatives upon the Potomac, Shenandoah, Rappahannock, and Rapidan, in Virginia,
Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee. The enemy had evacuated, as thought probable, during
the night. The enthusiasm, of which General Hooker was an eye-witness, was such as can only
emanate from hearts of patriots, overflowing with gratitude for a great and signal victory, of
which they had been auxiliary to the achievement.
The losses of the enemy in killed, wounded, and prisoners had been severe, but to the dismay
created by the impulsive and rapid successive charges of our men is attributable the fact that our
casualties are comparatively light, in comparison with the length and character of the
engagements. The celerity with which our forces were hurled upon the foe led him, mostly, to
indecisive delivery of fire.
The Eighth Kentucky, of General Whitaker's command, was sent to the summit to
reconnoiter as far as Summertown. They were accompanied by one of my staff officers. On the
top, about 100 yards from the crowning rock of the precipice, around the brow of the mountain,
the enemy had a very heavy line of works facing south, which could have been held against great
odds, even in disputing the crest, after escalade. They had a brigade bivouacked on the descent of
the Nickajack trace, evidently posted there during the day, in expectancy of an attack from that
quarter, produced by the demonstration made below.
The enemy had left their camps, equipage, arms, and stores in profusion, evidencing a hasty
retreat during the night. Many stragglers lingered about their still burning fires. The spoils were
taken charge of by the Eighth Kentucky, which, in conjunction with another regiment of General
Whitaker's command, was left to garrison the mountain.
The position of the enemy had been on the western slope of the mountain; Walthall's and
Maney's brigades, of Walker's division, of Polk's old corps, commanded by Hardee; the former,
in fortifications on the side of the mountain, about 1 miles from our point of crossing; the latter,
in works, under and around the peak.
On the eastern slope, adjacent to the old mountain road, to dispute our passage, were two of
Walker's brigades, strengthened with a portion of Stewart's' command, of Breckinridge's corps.
One brigade of Stevenson's division was stationed in the works on top, to the rear of the point.
Brown's and Cumming's brigades (principally of Vicksburg paroled troops), of the same
division, were fortified about 1 miles from the point, high upon the mountain, overlooking
Chattanooga, and near Summertown. Another of Stevenson's brigades was on the descent of the
Nickajack trace.
My command was engaged at once in burying our own and the rebel dead, and in collecting
the arms, intrenching tools, and other captured property on the slope of the mountain.
To Brigadier-General Whitaker I take great pleasure in tendering, officially, my warmest
acknowledgments for the energetic and soldierly manner in which he and the brave officers and
men of his command fulfilled, with ability worthy emulation, the post assigned them in the
storming of the rebel stronghold. Though not in the front line during the ascent, they steadily
supported it with marked enthusiasm under the raking fire of the enemy and other adverse
circumstances. Their conduct, and that of their leader, is worthy of my hearty official approval,
which is gratefully tendered.
The list of casualties and report of captures will be found appended to this report. The rebel
general, J. H. Lane, of North Carolina, was among the officers killed.
At shortly after 10 o'clock on the morning of the 25th, pursuant to General Hooker's order,
my division, preceded by Osterhaus' and Cruft's divisions, marched down the mountain toward
Mission Ridge, upon the left of which the rebel troops, withdrawn from Lookout and
Chattanooga Valleys during the night, had been placed in position, in extension of the entire
rebel lines, their left resting on the ridge, within 6 miles of Lookout Mountain.
We descended into Chattanooga Valley, and, crossing the road from Chattanooga to
McLemore's Cove, and taking the rebel route of retreat as the road to Rossville, crossed
Chattanooga Creek, where we were detained nearly three hours in reconstruction of the bridge
destroyed by the rebels. The enemy disputed the advance of the column, with artillery from the
gap, for a short time, but he was driven back, and one of his guns captured. When near Rossville
Gap, at about 3 o'clock in the afternoon, my column, by your orders, turned to the left, and
followed the base of Mission Ridge in a northeasterly direction, the ridge running northeast and
The left of our army was then hotly engaged north of us, on the ridge, and the roar of cannon
and of musketry was incessant.
While Cruft was getting a foot-hold to sweep along the crest line, and Osterhaus was moving
down the eastern base, with my own division and five batteries, under Major Reynolds, I
advanced along the western base, parallel to the enemy's front, and toward his right, so rapidly
that we were a considerable distance in advance of Cruft, whose passage on the summit was
contested by the rebels.
Pushing Creighton's and Cobham's brigades forward along the base, in column of regiments,
I placed Ireland in support of the artillery, and opened a battery (Captain Landgraeber's horse
artillery) upon the flank and rear of the enemy's lines, compelling him to fall back, pressed by
Cruft on the ridge and Osterhaus on the other side of it.
Much commotion was now visible among the hostile troops upon the ridge, and pouring into
them a brisk artillery fire, I formed my command in a column of brigades, with Creighton in
front and Cobham in the second line, and scaled the craggy sides of the ridge, moving obliquely
to effect a junction with Palmer's right, which was just gaining the top, half a mile north of me,
and 2 miles from the gap. The men were thoroughly imbued with enthusiasm at the sounds of
battle ahead and in prospect of speedy engagement with the rebels so plainly visible in retreat
upon the ridge. It required considerable effort to restrain our men from dashing forward with
unnecessary velocity. The cheers from above were taken up and reechoed by our men below as
they pressed forward, over ground strewn with arms and equipments of the enemy, to cut off the
rebel retreat now fairly started by the combined pressure of the troops in front and my column,
three-quarters of a mile in advance, upon their flank. Each successive stand they made in front
was shaken in rear by my artillery, our missiles penetrating their lines at different points with
great precision and effect.
Our skirmishers firing upon the flying enemy were followed by Creighton and Cobham up
the steep and cragged sides of the ridge.
The ascent was a work of strong exertion, manfully accomplished amid such cheers as only
attest glorious victory. My line of battle gained the summit. Johnson's division, of the Fourteenth
(Palmer's) Corps, having just attained the adjoining cliff on the left, and my command holding in
abeyance a rebel brigade striving to escape, our junction was complete and the left of the ridge
was ours at 6 p.m., together with Stuard's [?] brigade, of Breckinridge's corps. Success rewarded
the prowess of our whole army, and the entire ridge was ours.
Our combined movements on the left gave us many prisoners and a number of pieces of
artillery. The presence of General Hooker upon the scene gave renewed zest to the outbursts of
enthusiasm indulged in by his victorious right wing.
Pursuant to orders, we descended to the western base of the ridge and bivouacked for the
night in the enemy's winter quarters. Several hundred prisoners were brought in during the night.
Wauhatchie, Tenn., December 3, 1863.
LIEUTENANT: In compliance with circular, dated headquarters First Brigade, Second
Division, Twelfth Army Corps, Ringgold. Ga., November 30, 1863, I have the honor to submit
the following report, viz:
On the morning of the 24th November, in connection with the rest of the Second Division,
the Sixty-sixth Regiment Ohio Volunteers moved to the foot of Lookout Mountain, where line of
battle was formed, with this regiment on the extreme right of the second line, in which way we
moved until the right became engaged at or near the enemy's camp, when it was ordered to move
by the right flank up the mountain and in rear of the Third Brigade, Second Division, and were
held in reserve until the works at or near the white house were taken, when the regiment was
ordered to relieve the One hundred and forty-ninth New York Volunteers, where it remained
until the next morning, when it relieved the Seventh Ohio Volunteer Infantry beyond the white
house. The regiment was not engaged on Lookout Mountain, but had 5 men wounded by stray
On the morning of the 25th, the regiment was ordered to march for Mission Ridge. It moved
out the Rossville road, and arrived at Rossville at 3 p.m., when we were ordered into line, this
regiment holding the right, in which way the regiment moved up and along the foot of the ridge,
sometimes in line and again by flank, until nightfall, the regiment not firing a gun. One man
wounded by premature explosion of shell.
On the morning of the 27th, upon our arrival at Ringgold, we were ordered to move up the
railroad, form line and storm the ridge. The regiment was on the extreme right of the first line, in
which way it advanced up the hill under a galling fire, until our right rested on the left of the
Twenty-sixth Iowa Volunteers. We remained in this position until our ammunition was
exhausted, when I sent word to Colonel Creighton, Seventh Ohio Volunteer Infantry,
commanding brigade. He being wounded, I reported to Colonel Ahl, Twenty-eighth
Pennsylvania Volunteers, who ordered me to fall back slowly to the railroad. The regiment lost
in killed 1 commissioned officer and 4 enlisted men, and 10 men wounded.
The regiment behaved very well indeed while under fire and sustained its well earned
reputation on former fields.
I have the honor to be, lieutenant, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Captain Co. A, 66th Regt. Ohio Vol. Infty., Comdg. Regt.
Lieut. A. H. W. CREIGH,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
Wauhatchie, Tenn., December 1, 1863.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of my regiment
in the movement against Lookout Mountain and subsequent:
On the morning of November 22, I received orders to move my command to the line of
breastworks held by the Twenty-eighth Pennsylvania Volunteers and Fifth Ohio Volunteers. We
bivouacked here until the morning of the 24th, when I received orders to call in my pickets, carry
one day's rations, and, without knapsacks, join the command at division headquarters.
I reported at 5 a.m., and, with the division, was moved to a field between Wauhatchie
Junction and Lookout Creek. It was here explained to the commanding officers that the intention
was to assault Lookout Mountain. The order of attack was formed as follows: The Twenty-ninth
Pennsylvania Volunteers to take the advance and extreme right, next on our left the One hundred
and eleventh Pennsylvania Volunteers, composing the Second Brigade, commanded by Col.
George A. Cobham, jr. The Third Brigade followed the second, the First Brigade on the extreme
The pioneers and a detail from this regiment built a bridge over Lookout Creek at the dam
near Wauhatchie Junction.
General Geary called the brigade and regimental commanders together, and explained to
them his views an a clear and concise manner.
The movement commenced at 7.30 a.m. I sent forward Company C, Capt. J. R. Millison, and
Company E, Capt. F. I. Sorber, as skirmishers, who advanced across the creek, driving in the
enemy's pickets. I then advanced with my regiment until I reached the crest of rocks at the top of
the mountain. The command was then halted and fronted, and the line of battle dressed in the
order before mentioned.
General Whitaker's brigade, of the Fourth Corps, formed a second line at the distance of 300
to 400 yards in the rear of the center of our line. The command "forward" was given by General
Geary, when the line advanced to the front, our skirmishers driving in the enemy's skirmishers.
The side of the mountain is very steep, the angle being little less than 45°, and cut into
ravines from 50 to 100 feet deep, whose sides in many places are almost perpendicular. In spite
of these obstacles, the line advanced with a steadiness and rapidity surprising even to ourselves.
The enemy's skirmishers were now becoming somewhat troublesome, being concealed
behind the immense rocks which covered the side of the mountain.
Captain Millison, commanding the right of my line of skirmishers, was severely wounded in
the arm and right side, and had to be carried to the rear; 2 men were also killed and several
wounded. The order was now given to charge, when the first line advanced at double-quick,
dislodging the enemy from his position; killing and wounding several and capturing many. This
appears to have been a line of the enemy's pickets as seen by the fires on the mountain from our
own camp. Our skirmishers now advanced meeting considerable opposition, but driving those of
the enemy until we came to another heavy line or reserve, when the order was again given to
charge, and again was seen the splendid spectacle of a line extending from the crest to the foot of
the mountain advancing at double-quick, and driving from their strongholds the enemy which
opposed them. This time many prisoners were taken without loss on our side. The enemy began
to annoy us by firing from the crest of rocks and through the gorges on our right flank. Colonel
Cobham directed me if any heavy demonstration was made to change front and repel the attack.
The moment was now at hand; the enemy I new observed pouring a large body of men down
through a pass from the crest above on our flank. I immediately gave the command to "change
front to rear on left company." This movement was executed with remarkable steadiness and
accuracy. This movement appeared to be misunderstood by the men of General Whitaker's
command, who, being 300 or 400 yards distant, could not see the cause of the movement. They
gave us cheers to encourage us. The result showed the utility of my movement, for the enemy,
who expected to attack us in the flank and rear, met our full front well prepared to meet them.
They gave us a scattering volley without serious effect, Which we returned with interest, when
they nearly to a man threw down their arms and took off their hats and held up their hands in
token of surrender. I now ordered my men to cease firing to allow the prisoners to come in,
which they did to the number of about 200 in one body. I directed Sergt. W. H. Moore and 4 men
to take them to the rear, which he did and delivered them to Lieutenant Jessup, Fifth Ohio
Volunteers, and got a receipt.
I now changed front forward the left wing of my regiment, moving the right wing by the left
flank parallel to the crest. The enemy who had been concealed in the gorges and behind the large
rocks appeared to be utterly amazed at the rapidity of our movements, and with consternation in
their looks threw down their arms, by squads of from 5 to 50. Finding it would take too many
men from our own force to take charge of them, we sent them back to the second line, which still
continued within sight in our rear. The movements of General Whitaker's line were very steady,
maintaining a distance of from 300 to 400 yards from ours. I have no means of knowing the
number of prisoners sent to the rear, but for my own regiment, 1 am confident it exceeded my
own force, and believe the number taken by the Second Brigade, under command of Colonel
Cobham, exceeded the number of men in the brigade. The rock at the top of the mountain now
assumed the appearance of a wall, and finding there was no likelihood of attack on the right
flank, I changed front forward the right wing of my regiment, which had been moving by the left
flank, thus sweeping the right flank close to the wall of rocks.
It was impossible for a man to be overlooked, and smart, indeed, must the one be who could
escape by flight; every man of the enemy who was in front of the Second Brigade was either
killed or taken prisoner. The Third Brigade now became engaged with the enemy in their
breastwork, and had some sharp work, but the onward progress of the White Stars was not to be
stopped by any such obstacles. With our three hearty national cheers, and a charge that was
irresistible, they dashed over the work, completely routing the rebel force within.
This could all be seen from our position at the top of the hill, but it must not be supposed we
were idle lookers-on. In front of our brigade the trees had been cut down for several hundred
yards, forming obstructions which, in front of our own works, we had thought impassable, but
with a will and determination to succeed in our object we hardly noticed them; some crawled
under, while others climbed over the bodies of the trees. Prisoners were taken in numbers and
ordered to the rear. A pleasant rivalry was got up between the color bearers of the Twenty-ninth
Pennsylvania Volunteers and the One hundred and eleventh Pennsylvania Volunteers as to which
should get the colors to the point of the mountain first. Owing to the angle of the point, the
Twenty-ninth had the shortest line to travel and their position on the right brought them to the
highest part, and the colors of the Twenty-ninth Pennsylvania Volunteers were the first to reach
the extreme point of the mountain and on the highest point accessible to man, except by some
route then unknown to us. Our skirmishers pushed on, and, with those of the One hundred and
eleventh and Third Brigade, captured two brass pieces of artillery the enemy had posted east of
the point. The enemy in the works on the west of the point were now completely outflanked, and,
perceiving their case hopeless, threw down their arms and surrendered to the Third Brigade.
Colonel Cobham now directed me to move on around the mountain. I found the side too steep to
move in line, and had to march by the flank, in single file, on a small ledge for some distance,
and in no place could more than 2 men move abreast. I met a small body of the enemy's
skirmishers, whom we drove back, capturing 4 of them. After advancing in this manner about
500 yards, I found myself on the flank of a large body of the enemy, who were in line of battle
below me on the slope of the mountain. I immediately made my disposition to fire on their flank,
while our own troops were advancing below me, attacked them in front, but a dense fog just then
arose obscuring objects but a few paces from us, making it impossible for me to know if I was
firing on friend or foe. I employed the time in making footholds in the side of the mountain to
enable three companies to form in line, and building a breastwork of stones in front of my
We were much annoyed by sharpshooters from the top of the mountain who (as the fog
would blow off for a few minutes) fired at us, wounding 1 man severely in the leg and another in
the face. The position was a most trying one; we remained in it until 9 p.m., when we were
relieved by the Thirty-six Ohio [Indiana?] Volunteers, and moved to the slope of the mountain,
where we ate the first meal of the day.
I cannot say too much in praise of the officers and men of my command, for their energy and
perseverance in assisting me to carry out the views of my commanding officers. To Lieut. Col. S.
M. Zulich, who arose from a sick bed to join the expedition, and by his courage and energy
added fresh spirit to all, my thanks are due. Ever at the front, his courage was worthy the
emulation of all.
Captains Millison and Sorber, commanding the skirmishers, deserve especial notice for the
able manner in which they performed this most arduous of all the soldier's duties. Captain
Rickards, Company K; Captain Johnson, Company B, and Lieutenant Coursault, with their
companies, who built the breastworks in our last position, are entitled to much credit for their
Asst. Surg. J. S. Bender and Private William D. Cassidy, who followed closely with the
hospital knapsack, prepared to attend to such cases as required immediate aid, deserve the thanks
of the whole command.
To Col. George A. Cobham, jr., commanding Second Brigade, I return my sincere thanks for
his kind attention, and add my testimony to the many others of his gallant conduct on the field,
and his worth as an officer, devoted to his command and the good of the country.
As it is, to a unity of purpose and a systematic effort in carrying this purpose out we are
indebted for our glorious victory.
I consider the thanks of the division, of the whole country, due to our gallant commander,
General John W. Geary, for the friendly communication of his views and feelings to the brigade
and regimental commanders, so conducive to a perfect harmony of action, making all move in
conformity to his own will. These views, transmitted to the separate commands, imbued all with
the same spirit, and went far to maintain the command in that steadiness of movement which was
the admiration of all who beheld it.
For my regiment I claim the honor of the advance and extreme right of the movement; the
planting the first flag on the point of the mountain at the highest part accessible, except by some
road then unknown to us; the farthest advance around the mountain. The gaining this point by the
Second Division, Twelfth Corps, was really the capture of Lookout Mountain; but had not the
dense fog arose, I believe we could have advanced along the top, outflanking the enemy, while
our troops advanced below until we gained the road and thus cut off their retreat and captured the
artillery and men they had on the summit.
Our losses are light, 1 sergeant and 2 privates killed; Capt. J. R. Millison and 5 privates
My excuse for this lengthy report must be the importance of the subject.
Never, I believe, in the history of the world, has a movement of such magnitude been made,
such difficulties overcome, such indomitable energy shown to overcome and surmount all
obstacles as in the charge and capture of Lookout Mountain. A march in line of battle along the
side of a mountain where the angle is little less than 45°, crossing ravines whose sides seemed
almost impassable--and this for a distance of 3 miles--performing field movements to repel
attacks, and all done, as described by those who were spectators, with a steadiness seldom
attained on level ground, is an achievement for which we may be excused for lauding our general
who directed and our White Star Division which executed it. On the morning of the 25th, 1863,
after moving with the brigade, near the top of the mountain, to guard against attack in the rear,
we were ordered at 9 a.m. to move with the division, and marched to Mission Ridge, where the
enemy were in force contesting the advance of General Sherman's troops. The regiment was
formed into double column on the left of the First Brigade, and marched for 2 miles at the foot of
the ridge. Having arrived near where the enemy were posted, I deployed column and moved in
line obliquely to the right up the ridge. By order of General Geary I detailed Company C, under
Lieut. I. A. D. Blake, to take charge of the prisoners. Having arrived near the enemy in their rear,
they found their case hopeless and threw down their arms, nearly all of the prisoners going into
General Osterhaus' command. We were ordered to rest for the night in a rebel camp. Company C
brought in about 100 prisoners.
On the morning of the 26th, we marched at 9 a.m., passed through the gap in Mission Ridge,
crossed the Chickamauga at 4 p.m., the officers and men crossing on a temporary bridge, the
horses having to swim over. Shortly after dark our advance came in contact with the rear of the
enemy, and had some sharp firing. The command was drawn up in order of battle; the enemy
having been driven off we moved on. At about 9 o'clock our advance again became engaged,
which resulted in the capture of four pieces of artillery and several prisoners from the enemy. My
regiment was drawn up in line across the road, the One hundred and eleventh on our right. The
troops of General Osterhaus' division having gained possession of the ridge in our front, we were
ordered to halt for the night.
On the morning of the 27th, the march was resumed; at daylight, arriving near the town of
Ringgold, heavy skirmishing was heard in our front. We pushed on, passing to the right along the
bank of the East Chickamauga Creek, crossing it on the toll bridge at the town. The enemy were
posted in the gap and on Taylor's Ridge. The First Brigade, of General Geary's command, were
ordered to the left to support a position of General Osterhaus' command, who attempted to take
possession of the hill. The Second Brigade moved to the stone depot, and were ordered by
General Hooker to take position in a small piece of scrubby wood land and bushes on the right of
the depot and beyond the railroad, directing us to lie down and not fire a shot until the enemy
came within short range of us.
In getting to this position we had to pass through a heavy fire from the enemy posted on the
hill. Capt. George E. Johnson was wounded in the hip, and Private Robinson, Company C, had
his knee shattered. The Twenty-ninth Iowa was on my right. The enemy made a charge on them,
driving them back, leaving my regiment's flank exposed. Our position was now critical, and but
for the arrival of our Third Brigade might have been serious. Our artillery, which had been
detained until a bridge could be built over the Chickamauga, now came up, and soon succeeded
in driving the enemy from the gap and ridge, leaving us in possession of the field. Moving to the
left of the railroad, we halted and bivouacked. The One hundred and eleventh Pennsylvania
Volunteers was ordered on picket in the gap.
On the 28th, I was ordered to report with my regiment to Major Reynolds, chief of artillery,
to accompany Knap's battery and train, and gather up the caissons and arms of the enemy left on
the road. After gathering up all on the road for 6 miles, orders came to unload them again and
return to Ringgold, where we arrived at 5 p.m.
On the morning of the 29th, Company E was detailed to take to pieces two steam engines, for
the purpose of hauling them to Chattanooga.
30th, the Second Brigade was ordered on picket beyond the gap; received orders to call in my
regiment and march at 2.30 a.m., leaving our fires (which had been built to deceive the enemy as
to our strength) burning. We marched through the town, and with the division reached
Chickamauga Creek at sunrise on the 1st day of December, and our old camp at 3.30 p.m.,
having been absent from it eleven days, my men without blankets, many almost barefoot. The
weather had been very cold, making ice 1 inch thick in a night.
The conduct of men and officers during the severe labors of the campaign has been all that
could be desired, each one doing all in his power to assist in gaining the glorious results which
have crowned our efforts.
The color bearers of my regiment, Sergt. William Betzold, Company H, and Corpl. Charles
H. Martin, Company F, who so nobly led the advance on Lookout Mountain, are deserving of
special notice.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel, Commanding Regiment.
Assistant Adjutant-General.
December 2, 1863.
CAPTAIN: I herewith send a report of the action of the artillery under my command during
the recent engagements.
In obedience to orders from Brigadier-General Geary, I directed Lieutenant McGill,
commanding Independent Pennsylvania Battery E, to accompany, with one section of his battery,
the troops of the Second Division, Twelfth Corps, at daylight on the morning of the 24th instant
to the crossing of Lookout Creek, near Wauhatchie; also, in accordance with his orders, I took
command of two batteries of the Eleventh Corps, Battery I, First New York Artillery (six 3-inch
guns), Captain Wiedrich commanding, four of which were in position on a hill opposite Lookout
Point, and to the rear of Bald Hill (which is at the junction of the creek with the river), and at
daybreak of the 24th instant placed Battery K, First Ohio Artillery (four light 12-pounders),
Lieutenant Sahm commanding, in position on Bald Hill.
One section of 20-pounder Parrotts, of Captain Froehlich's (Fourth Ohio) battery, was placed
in the gap, to the right of Captain Wiedrich, and one section of howitzers, Lieutenant Williams,
First Iowa Battery, on the hill to the right of the gap, to shell the enemy, who were firing upon
our bridge builders. Between 8 and 9 a.m. the enemy could be seen coming from their camp on
the hillside and getting behind their breastworks and in rifle-pits.
They came in small squads at a time, and I directed a few shells to be thrown at them, and
also at some who had taken position behind the railroad, and were annoying our men who were
constructing the bridge.
I was also desirous of obtaining the correct range in order to shell them effectually in their
rear, should they contest General Geary's advance. At 11 a.m. General Geary's advance came in
sight, the batteries opened at once, exploding shells directly in the rifle-pits and breastworks. The
fire of Batteries K, First Ohio, from Bald Hill, and I, First New York, at this time was excellent.
The enemy made but a short stand, being apparently completely surprised by the movement of
General Geary, many surrendering at once, and others running from their works, retreating
rapidly, at which the batteries threw a few shells. The troops advanced so rapidly I ordered the
batteries to cease firing, but Captain Wiedrich, failing to observe my signal in time, continued his
fire a few moments longer, from which I fear a few of our men were injured.
Our lines continuing to advance, and swinging round the base of the hill, soon drove the
enemy completely beyond our sight and range.
The batteries of General Osterhaus' division returned to their camp early in the evening, but
deeming an attack from the rebels in the rear and an attempt to cross the bridge possible, by
direction of Major-General Butterfield I replaced the section of howitzers, Lieutenant Williams'
battery [First Iowa], in position on the hill in the rear of the bridge to protect it; also, in
accordance with General Butterfield's orders, directed the batteries to cross the creek at daylight
on the morning of the 25th, and reported in person to Major-General Hooker at daybreak. By his
direction I rode to the front of our lines on Lookout to select positions for artillery. Upon arriving
I was informed by General Geary the enemy had left. At 11 a.m. an advance was ordered by
General Hooker, and I directed the batteries to follow. Arriving at Chattanooga Creek, the bridge
having been destroyed, we were detained three hours in its construction. After crossing the creek
General Hooker ordered the artillery to move with General Geary's division, which was to move
up the west side of Missionary Ridge.
I directed Captain Landgraeber's battery (horse artillery) to take the advance, and such was
the rapidity of General Geary's movements, and the impetuosity of his command in the advance,
that the artillery had to trot, and several times force their horses into a gallop--to keep pace with
the advance of his column. The enemy were apparently terror stricken at our approach and
rapidly fled, though twice we came up in time to throw a few shells at their retreating columns.
Once they apparently determined to make a stand on the top of the ridge, but a few well-directed
shells from the battery soon dispersed them.
The advance was continued until uniting with General Palmer's lines just before dusk, when
we were ordered to camp.
Thursday, the 26th instant, the artillery moved to Rossville. Major-General Hooker directed
that one battery move forward with the infantry, the others to remain at Rossville.
In accordance with this order, I directed Lieutenant McGill, commanding Battery E,
Pennsylvania Artillery, to move with his battery. Afterward, fearing that owing to the small
number of horses and their enfeebled condition for want of forage he might not be able to
continue the march, I directed Captain Landgraeber to follow with his battery. We reached
Chickamauga Creek at 4.30 p.m. A foot bridge had been constructed for the infantry but the
artillery could not cross on it, neither could they ford the stream.
Major-General Butterfield informed me pontoons had been ordered up, and expected
momentarily, and directed as soon as the bridge was completed to press forward and join the
The pontoons failed to arrive, and Colonel Buell having to construct a trestle bridge, the
batteries were not able to cross until 8 a.m. of the 27th instant.
They then advanced as rapidly as possible. Arriving at Pea Vine Creek, and hearing firing to
the front, I directed the batteries to follow as rapidly as they could, and rode forward to report to
Major-General Hooker. Arriving at Ringgold, General Hooker directed me to select positions for
the artillery, and post them as soon as they arrived. When they came up I placed one section of
Captain Landgraeber's battery (12-pounder howitzers) near the right of our line and in front of
the gap through Taylor's Ridge to drive back the enemy, who was hotly pressing our right from
his advantageous position.
I next placed one section of Lieutenant McGill's battery (10-pounder Parrotts) to the left of
Captain Landgraeber, with orders to silence the enemy's artillery; also one section of Lieutenant
McGill's battery near the left of our lines, to bear upon a position where the enemy had massed
his troops, and from where he had forced back General Geary's First Brigade with great loss. The
fire of Captain Landgraeber's howitzers was very effective, compelling the enemy to fall back
Lieutenant McGill soon silenced his artillery and compelled him to withdraw, and also drove
back the troops from the left of our lines, thus enabling our infantry to advance and obtain
possession of the ridge.
The batteries, not being engaged at close range, met with no losses in either of the
engagements, though when first taking position at Ringgold many of the enemy's bullets
whistled among them, fortunately doing no injury.
I have therefore no casualties to report, and am unable to give the amount of expenditures, as
the batteries have not sent me their reports.
On the 30th instant, a train of ten wagons and a detail of two companies from General Cruft's
division having reported to me, they were ordered to gather up the artillery carriages left by the
enemy in their hurried retreat. Five caisson bodies and two limbers were collected by them and
sent to Chattanooga.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Major, Chief of Artillery, Twelfth Corps.
A. A. G., Artillery, Dept. of the Cumberland.
Chattanooga, Tenn., November 30, 1863.
SIR: I have the honor to report to Brig. Gen. R. W. Johnson,. commanding First Division,
Fourteenth Army Corps, the operations, of my command from the 24th to the 29th instant,
inclusive. These operations may be subdivided as follows:
The assault and capture of Lookout Mountain, the assault and capture of Missionary Ridge,
and the pursuit of the enemy to Graysville, and thence to Ringgold.
The following named regiments only participated in the active movements: The Second Ohio
Infantry, Col. A. G. McCook commanding; the Thirty-eighth Indiana, Lieut. Col. D. F. Griffin
commanding; the Thirty-third Ohio, Captain Montgomery commanding; the Eighty-eighth
Indiana, Colonel Briant commanding: the Forty-second Indiana, Lieutenant-Colonel McIntire
commanding; the One hundred and fourth Illinois, Lieutenant-Colonel Hapeman commanding,
and the Ninety-fourth Ohio, Major Hutchins commanding.
The Tenth Wisconsin had been detailed to hold the fort south of Crutchfield's house, the
Fifteenth Kentucky was on special duty as town guard, and Battery A, First Michigan Artillery,
remained in camp.
During the night of the 23d, my brigade occupied the inner works from the railroad to the
Before daylight on the 24th, it was moved in front of Fort Negley to support Baird's division,
where it remained till about 2 p.m., when I received orders from General Johnson to take my
command across Chattanooga Creek, and to assist General Hooker, who was then hotly engaged
with the enemy on Lookout Mountain. Chattanooga Creek was not fordable, nor was there a
bridge over it along our entire lines. The enemy was in force and strongly fortified on the south
side. I was confident that any attempt to cross my brigade at any other point than the one finally
selected would prove disastrous, and of course would fail to assist General Hooker. There being
no tools nearer than town, the construction of a bridge would have caused great delay, even if it
could have been used. It seemed to me, and subsequent examination of the ground has verified
the opinion, that the only practicable mode of crossing the creek and assisting General Hooker
was to ferry it at the mouth with boats to be brought from Chattanooga. Fortunately, Col. T. R.
Stanley, chief of river transportation, happened to be at the point selected and promised to
furnish the boats.
Within a short time he had galloped to town and brought down a large flat-boat, with which
my command was ferried over. It was my intention to form a line at right angles to General
Hooker's and to attack the enemy in flank; but before my line was formed I received orders from
General Hooker to report to him in person. He directed me to take my command to the extreme
right of his line at the white house, near the top of the mountain, and to relieve the front line of
General Geary and General Whitaker.
The difficulties of that march are such as I shall not attempt to describe. It was dark when I,
with the head of the column, reached the white house. Before seeing General Geary I placed my
troops in defensive position. Finding General Geary my senior officer in command of that part of
the line, I reported to him. The Thirty-eighth Indiana and Thirty-third Ohio, by his orders, were
placed on the extreme upper slope of the point of Lookout Mountain, the right resting at the foot
of the vertical peak, relieving two of General Geary's regiments. There being no orders from
General Geary for other troops, they retained the first position assigned them till about 8.30 p.m.,
when an officer of the Thirty-first Iowa informed me that the enemy was forming to attack his
regiment on the left flank, and stated that there was a gap in our line on his left. I immediately
placed the Second Ohio, Col. A. G. McCook, on the left of the Thirty-first Iowa, and not a
moment too soon. The regiment had just taken position when it was fiercely attacked at short
range. The Second Ohio, however, repulsed the attack handsomely. But the enemy did not
relinquish his efforts to break the line at that point. I then placed the Forty-second Indiana and
Eighty-eighth Indiana on the left of the Second Ohio.
The enemy again attacked on front of these three regiments, but were repulsed, and firing
ceased about 2 a.m., November 25, when the enemy withdrew. These three regiments all
suffered some loss in this affair. I failed to state above that while waiting for the boats to cross
Chattanooga Creek two howitzers from the Eighth Wisconsin and two Parrott guns from the
Seventh Indiana Batteries were placed near the mouth of the creek, and opened with excellent
effect on the enemy in front of General Hooker. This fire prevented the enemy from reenforcing,
and, as I ascertained next day, inflicted considerable loss upon him. To Captain
Swallow, Seventh Indiana, and the other officers and men engaged, I express my thanks.
On the morning of the 25th, I applied to General Hooker for instructions. He replied that I
was assigned to his command by Major-General Thomas, and that he could not relieve me. At a
later hour he informed me that I was ordered to the Summertown road, at the foot of Lookout, to
await orders from General Palmer, and directed me to get my brigade "out of the way as soon as
possible." Marching down Lookout Mountain to the place designated, I halted for ten minutes,
when Major-General Butterfield informed me that orders had been received directing me to
rejoin General Palmer immediately. Having started to obey this order, I met a staff officer of
General Thomas, who informed me that I was ordered to co-operate with General Hooker. I had
sent, in the meantime, to Generals Johnson and Palmer for instructions, but before a reply was
received had decided to recross Chattanooga Creek and return to the division. After recrossing I
marched over to the Rossville road and down that road about a mile, to the right of the Second
Brigade, First Division, Fourteenth Army Corps. Seeing no signs of General Hooker's force, I
moved back to a point near the Second Brigade, where I received instructions from General
Johnson to prepare to advance against the enemy on Mission Ridge. Forming in two lines, on the
right of the Second Brigade, my second line en echelon to the right, I advanced with the advance
of the Second Brigade. The brush and streams in the wooded valley caused some disorder in the
ranks, but the line continued gallantly forward. On reaching the open ground in front of the line
of rifle-pits at the base of the ridge, the enemy opened on us with artillery, which, however,
seemed only to stimulate our gallant soldiers and to give them the first intimation of what they
were expected to do. The advance was continued without interruption till we reached the base of
the ridge, when the firing from the infantry, as well as artillery, posted on the ridge, became very
animated. After a short pause the whole line charged for the summit of the ridge. But the fire of
the enemy was too heavy; our line halted, and a portion of it retired to the base of the ridge,
where a steady fire was kept up against the enemy.
In front of the left of my brigade was a rifle-pit about half way up the ridge, which was
occupied by the enemy. After a few volleys they were driven from it and it was occupied by the
Forty-second Indiana, One hundred and fourth Illinois, and Eighty-eighth Indiana. The steady
valor of these regiments finally drove the enemy from the ridge, when my whole line advanced
to the summit. It is just to state here that my right was overlapped by the enemy and the
configuration of the ground such as to give him a cross-fire on my right after it had advanced
half way up the ridge.
It was thus necessary to push the left of my brigade to the summit in advance of the right.
Immediately on reaching the summit I detached the Second Ohio to hold a high knob about 300
yards to my right. At this point the greater portion of the Thirty-eighth Alabama (rebel)
Regiment was captured, with the regimental colors. About 300 officers and soldiers with arms in
hand were captured by my brigade on Mission Ridge. Bivouacking for the night on the ridge, my
brigade took the advance in pursuit of the enemy on the 26th, taking the road toward Graysville
and Ringgold. After crossing Pea Vine Creek, about 1 miles to the right of Graysville, there
were reasons to believe the enemy in front, and as it was now dark reconnaissance seemed to be
necessary before pushing my command into the woods. Several prisoners taken there stated that
there were troops about half a mile from me, and camp fires confirmed the report. I did not
suppose the enemy ignorant of our approach, and presumed they were prepared to receive us.
The Forty-second Indiana was advanced nearly to the main road leading from Graysville to
Ringgold, and there I deemed it best to keep it till the remainder of the brigade could come up. In
the meantime, the Second Brigade had advanced on my right and opened fire on the enemy near
or in the road, and the remainder of my brigade, through some misapprehension of orders, had
advanced on the left of the Second; in consequence of which my aides were unable to find it for
some minutes. I then advanced the Forty-second Indiana to the road and beyond, when I changed
front to the left toward Graysville, and moved it toward that place till a column of the enemy was
met. Lieutenant-Colonel Mcintire, commanding, demanded the surrender of the enemy, which
was declined. A few shots passed between them. Supposing the enemy prepared or preparing to
fight, I halted the Forty-second, deployed it as skirmishers and ordered it to maintain its position
till the remainder of the brigade could close up.
This occupied several minutes. The advance was resumed, the brigade in line of battle, but
the enemy had escaped by forcing his men through Chickamauga Creek. In his haste to get away
he abandoned a fine Napoleon gun, which fell into our hands. At Graysville, also, about 40
Georgia Militia were captured, and near 200 muskets. Three commissioned officers of the
Sixteenth South Carolina, and several other prisoners were taken here. Bivouacking at
Graysville, the march to Ringgold was resumed on the 27th. A number of prisoners were taken
on the way. On approaching Ringgold, brisk musketry between General Hooker's command and
the enemy was heard, and, under orders from General Johnson, my brigade was prepared to
advance in line to the support of General Hooker. We were pushed forward as rapidly as possible
till we had crossed the creek, and then received orders from General Hooker through Major-
General Butterfield to take a strong position on the left and remain there till further orders.
Finding such a position along the railroad, I held it all that day and night, next day, and till 1 p.m.
on the 29th, when we were ordered to return to Chattanooga. The skirmishers from two
regiments of this brigade were among the first to reach the summit of Taylor's Ridge, though the
resistance in my front was slight.
In the operations referred to above, this brigade captured 1 lieutenant-colonel, 2 majors, 34
company officers, 479 enlisted men, 1 flag, and 1 piece of artillery.
The casualties are as follows: On Lookout Mountain, 12 killed and 24 wounded; Graysville,
1 killed; on Mission Ridge, 12 killed and 110 wounded. Total, 25 killed and 134 wounded.
Among the wounded officers were Major Carter, Thirty-eighth Indiana, and Captain
Warnock, Second Ohio, both gallant and valuable officers.
It would be invidious to designate any regiment or individual as distinguished for gallantry
where all were gallant. In all my experience I never saw officers and men conduct themselves
with more heroic courage. Though it is perhaps unbecoming in a subordinate to compliment
those above him, or not in his command, I cannot refrain from expressing my admiration at the
conduct of all our troops engaged in assaulting Lookout Mountain and Mission Ridge.
Col. B. F. Scribner, Thirty-eighth Indiana, acted on my staff during the engagements
described, and exercised immediate supervision over the second line. For his valuable assistance
I express my obligations.
To Captain De Bruin, provost-marshal; Capt. J. W. Ford, inspector; Lieut. W. E. Carlin, aidede-
camp; Lieut. J. W. Vance, aide-de-camp, and to Lieut. George H. Devol, aide-de-camp, of my
staff, I am under obligations for their untiring attention to duty.
At Graysville, and again at Taylor's Ridge, Major-General Palmer called for a party of
volunteers to scout the front, and they came forth immediately. A list of their names
accompanies this report. I respectfully recommend that they receive furloughs for twenty days as
a reward for their gallantry and as an incentive to others hereafter.
Private James Belin, Forty-second Indiana, one of these scouts, was captured, murdered, and
robbed by rebel cavalry near Graysville.
Accompanying this are reports of regimental commanders and full lists of casualties.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Brigadier-General, Commanding.
First Division, Fourteenth Army Corps.
Chattanooga, Tenn., November 30, 1863.
CAPTAIN: In compliance with orders, I have the honor to report the movements of the
regiment from the 23d to the 29th instant, inclusive.
On the night of the 23d, I was, by your orders, placed in the outer line of intrenchments,
remaining there all night, moving out and forming line immediately in front of the star fort on the
morning of the 24th, where I remained until about 3 p.m., when, by your order, I moved in
connection with the balance of the brigade across the mouth of Chattanooga Creek and up the
slope of Lookout Mountain to the assistance of Major-General Hooker's troops. Shortly after the
line had been formed near the white house, and at about 8 p.m., you directed me to move with
my regiment to the assistance of the Thirty-first Iowa, at that time severely engaged and
threatened with a flank movement on the left. I immediately did so, taking up a position on the
left and slightly in advance of that regiment. The night-time and the difficult nature of the ground
made it impossible to move in the order I should have wished to, and before an opportunity
offered of throwing forward skirmishers, and hardly had my line been formed, when I was
heavily attacked by a concealed enemy at not to exceed 75 yards. I opened my fire, and, after a
very spirited engagement of twenty or thirty minutes, silenced their fire, not, however, without
having suffered some loss. During the temporary cessation of firing, I directed the men to throw
up works of stone and logs, which was speedily done, and answered, in the subsequent attacks, a
good purpose. By this time the Forty-second Indiana, Lieutenant-Colonel Mcintire, had been
directed by you to form on my left, and, in connection with the Eighty-eighth Indiana,
Lieutenant-Colonel Briant, materially assisted in repulsing every effort of the enemy. We were
attacked vigorously two or three times, and until the enemy evacuated, at between 12 and 2, were
constantly annoyed by their sharpshooters. The mountain side is almost perpendicular, covered
with huge bowlders, fallen trees, and obstacles of almost every nature, and is capable of a very
strong defense, of which fact the enemy availed himself, having thrown up a very strong and
effective line of works, from Which he was finally compelled to fall back.
My loss (as per abstract attached) in this night attack was 2 commissioned officers (Captain
Warnock, Company D, and Lieutenant Emery, Company C) wounded, and 2 non-commissioned
officers and 2 privates killed, and 1 non-commissioned officer and 2 privates wounded, making a
total of 4 killed and 5 wounded.
On the morning of the 25th, I moved by your direction along the face of the mountain to the
Summertown road, descending that until we struck Chattanooga Creek, recrossing at the mouth,
and moving to the right and front of the star fort, where my line was formed on the extreme right
of the brigade, and in that position, at about 4 p.m., moved to the assault of Mission Ridge.
Owing to the numerous obstacles, including a deep creek, my regiment, when it reached the edge
of the timber, was in some confusion, but promptly rallied, and moved steadily but rapidly across
the open space to the enemy's works near the base of the ridge. Here I for the first time
discovered that I was on the extreme right of the whole line, with the enemy's left, including a
section of artillery, overlapping my right at least 75 yards. By your direction one company (A)
was thrown to the right and front as skirmishers, to guard against a flank movement, and, after a
short rest in the enemy's works, I moved forward to the base of the ridge, following the general
movement from left to right. Although the fire was very heavy while executing this movement,
my loss was but slight, owing to the nature of the ground, the enemy in nearly every instance
overshooting us. Up to this point my men had behaved splendidly, not one flinching or running. I
remained at the foot of the ridge for some ten minutes, when, no apparent success having been
met with on the left of me, the enemy made a slight advance from the crest and opened a very
heavy fire, throwing portions of my own and two other regiments into confusion, and causing
some of them to fall back. I attempted to stop it, but only partially succeeding, I deemed it best,
under the circumstances, to order the men around me, composed of members of several
regiments, to fall back to the works near the base of the ridge, which I did, accompanying them
myself. I had my bugler blow "halt" and "to the color," and am proud to state that with but very
few exceptions the men promptly obeyed, and opened a fire that not only checked the advance of
the enemy, but drove them back. At this point I met the general commanding the brigade and
explained what I had done, which he fully justified. In a few minutes we again advanced and
carried the ridge, when, after partially forming my line, I was by your order moved obliquely to
the right and front, occupying an inferior ridge, to guard against any movement on our flank. I
opened up a fire on the enemy, when, after but little resistance, they made overtures to surrender,
and, to the number of at least 250, including 2 lieutenant-colonels, 3 majors, and numerous line
officers, did so. I also captured the battle-flag of the Thirty-eighth Regiment Alabama Infantry.
In this assault my loss was 1 non-commissioned officer and 6 privates wounded, a total of 7
wounded, 1 probably mortally.
On the 26th, we moved in the direction of Graysville, bivouacking at that place that night.
On the 27th, I had the advance on Ringgold, picking up several stragglers with my
On the 28th, remained at that place, and on the 29th reached our old camp.
I cannot close this report without expressing my obligations to Captain Warnock for his
valuable assistance up to the time he was wounded, and hope that his long and faithful services
may meet with their proper reward. He was assisting me, as I had no field officer with me. Color
Corpl. James Ellis, Company E, for coolness and courage in the night attack on Lookout
Mountain, is especially mentioned.
Respectfully submitted.
Colonel Second Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry.
Asst. Adjt. Gen., 1st Brig., 1st Div., 14th Army Corps.
Bridgeport, Ala., December 19, 1863.
GENERAL: For the first time I am now at leisure to make an official record of events with
which the troops under my command have been connected during the eventful campaign which
has just closed.
During the month of September last, the Fifteenth Army Corps, which I had the honor to
command, lay in camps along the Big Black, about 20 miles east of Vicksburg, Miss. It consisted
of four divisions: The First, commanded by Brig. Gen. P. J. Osterhaus, was composed of two
brigades, led by Brig. Gen. C. R. Woods, and Col. J. A. Williamson, of the Fourth Iowa; the
Second, commanded by Brig. Gen. Morgan L. Smith, was composed of two brigades, led by
Generals Giles A. Smith and J. A. J. Lightburn; the Third, commanded by Brig. Gen. J. M.
Tuttle, was composed of three brigades, led by Generals J. A. Mower and R. P. Buckland, and
Col. J. J. Woods, of the Twelfth Iowa; the Fourth, commanded by Brig. Gen. Hugh Ewing, was
composed of three brigades, led by General J. M. Corse, Colonel Loomis, Twenty-sixth Illinois,
and Col. J. R. Cockerill, of the Seventieth Ohio.
On the 22d day of September, I received a telegraphic dispatch from General Grant, then at
Vicksburg, commanding the Department of the Tennessee, requiring me to detach one of my
divisions to march to Vicksburg, there to embark for Memphis, where it was to form part of an
army to be sent to Chattanooga to re-enforce General Rosecrans. I designated the First Division,
and at 4 p.m. the same day it marched for Vicksburg and embarked the next day.
On the 23d of September, I was summoned to Vicksburg by the general commanding, who
showed me several dispatches from the General-in-Chief, which led him to suppose he would
have to send me and my whole corps to Memphis and eastward, and I was instructed to prepare
for such orders.
It was explained to me that in consequence of the low stage of water in the Mississippi, boats
had arrived irregularly and had brought dispatches that seemed to conflict in meaning, and that
John E. Smith's division, of McPherson's corps, had been ordered up to Memphis, and that I
should take that division and leave one of my own in its stead to hold the line of the Big Black. I
detailed my Third Division, General Tuttle, to remain and report to Major-General McPherson,
commanding the Seventeenth Corps, at Vicksburg, and that of General John E. Smith, already
started for Memphis, was styled the Third Division, though it still belongs to the Seventeenth
Army Corps.
This division is also composed of three brigades, commanded by General Matthies, Col. G.
B. Raum, of the Fifty-sixth Illinois, and Col. J. I. Alexander, of the Fifty-ninth Indiana.
The Second and Fourth Divisions were started for Vicksburg the moment I was notified that
boats were in readiness, and on the 27th of September I embarked in person in the steamer
Atlantic for Memphis, followed by a fleet of boats conveying these two divisions. Our progress
was slow on account of the unprecedentedly low water in the Mississippi and the scarcity of coal
and wood. We were compelled at places to gather fence rails and to land wagons and haul wood
from the interior to the boats, but I reached Memphis during the night of the 2d of October, and
the other boats came in on the 3d and 4th.
On arrival at Memphis, I saw General Hurlbut and read all the dispatches and letters of
instruction of General Halleck, and therein derived my instructions, which I construed to be as
follows: To conduct the Fifteenth Army Corps, and all other troops which could be spared from
the line of the Memphis and Charleston Railroad, to Athens, Ala., and thence report by letter for
orders to General Rosecrans, commanding the Army of the Cumberland, at Chattanooga; to
follow substantially the railroad eastward, repairing it as I moved; to look to my own line for
supplies, and in no event to depend on General Rosecrans for supplies, as the roads to his rear
were already overtaxed to supply his present army.
I learned from General Hurlbut that Osterhaus' division was already out in front of Corinth,
and that John E. Smith was still at Memphis, moving his troops and matériel out by rail as fast as
its limited stock would carry them. General J. D. Webster was superintendent of the railroad, and
was enjoined to work night and day and expedite the movement as rapidly as possible, but the
capacity of the road was so small that I soon saw that I could move horses, mules, and wagons
faster by land, and therefore I dispatched the artillery and wagons by the road, under escort, and
finally moved the entire Fourth Division by land. The enemy seems to have had early notice of
this movement, and he endeavored to thwart us from the start. A considerable force assembled in
a threatening attitude at Salem, south of Saulsbury Station, and General Carr, who commanded at
Corinth, felt compelled to turn back and use a part of my troops that had already reached Corinth
to resist the threatened attack.
On Sunday, October 11, having put in motion my whole force, I started myself for Corinth in
a special train, with the battalion of the Thirteenth U.S. Regulars for escort. We reached
Collierville Station about noon--just in time to take part in the defense made of that station by
Col. D.C. Anthony, of the Sixty-sixth Indiana, against an attack made by General Chalmers with
a force of about 3,000 cavalry, with eight pieces of artillery. He was beaten off, the damage to
the road repaired, and we resumed our journey next day, reaching Corinth at night. I immediately
ordered General Blair forward to Iuka with the First Division, and, as fast I got troops up, pushed
them forward of Bear Creek, the bridge of which was completely destroyed, and an engineer
regiment, under command of Colonel Flad, engaged in its repair.
Quite a considerable force of the enemy was assembled to our front, near Tuscumbia, to
resist our advance. It was commanded by General Stephen D. Lee, and composed of Roddey's
and Ferguson's brigades, with irregular cavalry, amounting in the aggregate to about 5,000.
In person I moved from Corinth to Burnsville on the 18th, and to Iuka on the 19th, of
Osterhaus' division was in the advance, constantly skirmishing with the enemy. He was
supported by Morgan L. Smith, both divisions under the general command of Major-General
Blair. General John E. Smith's division covered the working party engaged in rebuilding the
Foreseeing difficulty in crossing the Tennessee, I had written to Admiral Porter at Cairo,
asking him to watch the Tennessee and send up some gunboats the moment the stage of water
admitted, and had also requested General Allen, at St. Louis, to dispatch up to Eastport a steam
ferry-boat. The admiral, ever prompt and ready to assist us, had 2 fine gunboats up at Eastport,
under Captain Phelps, the very day after my arrival at Iuka, and Captain Phelps had a coal barge
decked over, with which to cross over horses and wagons before the arrival of the ferry-boat.
Still following literally the instructions of General Halleck, I pushed forward the repairs of
the railroad, and ordered General Blair, with the two leading divisions, to drive the enemy
beyond Tuscumbia. This he did successfully after a pretty severe fight at Cane Creek, occupying
Tuscumbia on the 27th of October.
In the meantime, many important changes in commands had occurred, which I must note
here to a proper understanding of the case.
General Grant had been called from Vicksburg and sent to Chattanooga to command the
three Armies of the Ohio, the Cumberland, and the Tennessee, and the Department of the
Tennessee had devolved on me, with instructions, however, to retain command of the army in the
At Iuka I made what appeared to me the best disposition of matters relating to the
department, giving General McPherson full powers as to Mississippi, and General Hurlbut as to
West Tennessee, and assigned General Blair to the command of the Fifteenth Army Corps, and I
summoned General Hurlbut from Memphis and General Dodge from Corinth, and selected out of
the Sixteenth Corps a force of about 8,000 men, which I directed General Dodge to organize with
all expedition, and with it to follow me eastward. On the 27th of October, when General Blair
with two divisions was at Tuscumbia, I ordered General Ewing, with the Fourth Division, to
cross the Tennessee by means of the gunboats and the scow as rapidly as possible at Eastport,
and push forward to Florence, which he did, and that same day a messenger from General Grant
floated down the Tennessee, over the Muscle Shoals, landed at Tuscumbia, and was sent to me at
Iuka. He bore a short message from the general to the effect: Drop all work on the railroad east
of Bear Creek; push your command toward Bridgeport till you meet orders, &c. Instantly the
order was executed, and the order of march was reversed and all columns directed to Eastport,
the only place where I could cross the Tennessee.
At first I only had the gunboats and coal barge, but the ferryboat and two transports arrived
on the 31st of October, and the work of crossing pushed with all the vigor possible. In person I
crossed and passed to the head of column at Florence on the 1st of November, leaving the rear
divisions to be conducted by General Blair, and marched to Rogersville and the Elk River. This
was found impassable. To ferry would have consumed too much time, and to build a bridge still
more, so there was no alternative but to turn up Elk River by way of Gilbertsborough, Elkton,
&c., to the stone bridge at Fayetteville; there we crossed Elk and proceeded to Winchester and
At Fayetteville I received orders from General Grant to come to Bridgeport with the Fifteenth
Army Corps, and leave General Dodge's command at Pulaski and along the railroad from
Columbia to Decatur.
I instructed General Blair to follow with the Second and First Divisions by way of New
Market, Larkinsville, and Bellefonte, while I conducted the other two divisions by Decherd, the
Fourth Division crossing the mountains to Stevenson, and the Third by University Place and
Sweeden's Cove.
In person I proceeded by Sweeden's Cove and Battle Creek, reaching Bridgeport at night of
November 13.
I immediately telegraphed to the commanding general my arrival and the position of my
several divisions, and was summoned to Chattanooga. I took the first boat during the night of the
14th for Kelley's, and rode into Chattanooga on the 15th. I then learned the part assigned me in
the coming drama, was supplied with the necessary maps and information, and rode during the
16th, in company with Generals Grant, Thomas, William F. Smith, Brannan, and others to a
position on the west bank of the Tennessee, from which could be seen the camps of the enemy
compassing Chattanooga and the line of Missionary Hills, with its terminus on Chickamauga
Creek, the point that I was expected to take, hold, and fortify.
Pontoons, with a full supply of balks and chesses, had been prepared for the bridge over the
Tennessee, and all things prearranged with a foresight that elicited my admiration. From the hills
we looked down on the amphitheater of Chattanooga as on a map, and nothing remained but for
me to put my troops in the desired position.
The plan contemplated that, in addition to crossing the Tennessee and making a lodgment on
the terminus of Missionary Ridge, I should demonstrate against Lookout Mountain, near
Trenton, with a part of my command. All in Chattanooga were impatient for action, rendered
almost acute by the natural apprehension felt for the safety of General Burnside in East
Tennessee. My command had marched from Memphis, and I had pushed them as fast as the
roads and distance would permit, but I saw enough of the condition of men and animals in
Chattanooga to inspire me with renewed energy.
I immediately ordered my leading division (Ewing s) to march, via Shellmound, to Trenton,
demonstrate against Lookout Ridge, but to be prepared to turn quickly and follow me to
Chattanooga; and in person I returned to Bridgeport, rowing a boat down the Tennessee from
Kelley's, and, immediately on arrival, put in motion my divisions in the order they had arrived.
The bridge of boats at Bridgeport was frail, and, though used day and night, our passage was
slow, and the road thence to Chattanooga was dreadfully cut up and encumbered with the
wagons of the other troops stationed along the road.
I reached General Hooker's headquarters, 4 miles from Chattanooga, during a rain in the
afternoon of the 20th, and met General Grant's orders for the general attack on the next day. It
was simply impossible for me to fill my part in time. Only one division, General John E. Smith's,
was in position. General Ewing was still at Trenton, and the other two were toiling along the
terrible road from Shellmound to Chattanooga. No troops ever were or could be in better
condition than mine, or who labored harder to fulfill their part. On a proper representation,
General Grant postponed the attack. On the 21st, I got the Second Division over Brown's Ferry
bridge, and General Ewing got up, but the bridge broke repeatedly, and delays occurred which no
human sagacity could prevent.
All labored night and day, and General Ewing got over on the 23d, but my rear division was
cut off by the broken bridge at Brown's Ferry, and could not join me; but I offered to go in action
with my three divisions, supported by Brig. Gen. Jef. C. Davis, leaving one of my best divisions
to act with General Hooker against Lookout Mountain. That division has not joined me yet, but I
know and feel that it has served the country well, and that it has reflected honor on the Fifteenth
Army Corps and the Army of the Tennessee. I leave the record of its history to General Hooker
or whomsoever has had its services during the late memorable events, confident that all will do it
merited honor.
At last, on the 23d of November, my three divisions lay behind the hills opposite the mouth
of Chickamauga. I dispatched the brigade, of Second Division, commanded by General Giles A.
Smith up, under cover of the hills, to North Chickamauga, to man the boats designed for the
pontoon bridge, with orders at midnight to drop down silently to a point above the mouth of
South Chickamauga, then land two regiments, who were to move along the river quietly and
capture the enemy's river pickets; General Giles A. Smith then to drop rapidly below the mouth
of Chickamauga, disembark the rest of his brigade, and dispatch the boats across for fresh loads.
These orders were skillfully executed, and every picket but one captured. The balance of General
Morgan L. Smith's division was then rapidly ferried across, that of General John E. Smith
followed, and by daylight of November 24 two divisions, of about 8,000 men, were on the east
bank of the Tennessee, and had thrown up a very respectable rifle-trench as a tête-de-pont.
As soon as the day dawned some of the boats were taken from the use of ferrying and a
pontoon bridge begun, under the immediate direction of Captain Dresser, the whole planned and
supervised by General William F. Smith in person. A pontoon bridge was also built at the same
time over Chickamauga Creek, near its mouth, giving communication with the two regiments left
on the north side, and fulfilling a most important purpose at a later stage of the drama. I will here
bear my willing testimony to the completeness of this whole business. All the officers charged
with the work were present and manifested a skill which I cannot praise too highly. I have never
beheld any work done so quietly, so well, and I doubt if the history of war can show a bridge of
that extent (viz, 1,350 feet) laid down so noiselessly and well in so short a time. I attribute it to
the genius and intelligence of General William F. Smith.
The steamer Dunbar arrived in the course of the morning, and relieved General Ewing's
division of the labor of rowing across, but by noon the pontoon bridge was down and my three
divisions were across with men, horses, artillery, and everything. General Jef. C. Davis' division
was ready to take the bridge, and I ordered the columns to form in order to take Missionary Hills.
The movement had been carefully explained to all division commanders and at 1 p.m. we
marched from the river in three columns en echelon, the left, General Morgan L. Smith, the
column of direction, following substantially Chickamauga Creek; the center, General John E.
Smith, in column, doubled on the center at one-brigade intervals to the right and rear; the right,
General Ewing, in column at the same distance to the right rear, prepared to deploy to the right
on the supposition that we would meet an enemy in that direction.
Each head of column was covered by a good line of skirmishers with supports. A light,
drizzling rain prevailed, and the clouds hung low, cloaking our movements from the enemy's
tower of observation on Lookout. We soon gained the foot-hills. Our skirmishers crept up the
face of the hill, followed by their supports, and at 3.30 p.m. we gained, with no loss, the desired
A brigade of each division was pushed rapidly to the top of the hill, and the enemy for the
first time seemed to realize the movement, but too late, for we were in possession. He opened
with artillery, but General Ewing soon got some of Captain Richardson's guns up that steep hill,
and we gave back artillery, and the enemy's skirmishers made one or two ineffectual dashes at
General Light-burn, who had swept around and got a farther hill, which was the real continuation
of the ridge. From studying all the maps, I had inferred that Missionary Ridge was a continuous
hill, but we found ourselves on two high points, with a deep depression between us and the one
immediately over the tunnel, which was my chief objective point. The ground we had gained,
however, was so important that I could leave nothing to chance, and ordered it to be fortified
during the night. One brigade of each division was left on the hill, one of General Morgan L.
Smith's closed the gap to Chickamauga Creek, two of General John E. Smith's were drawn back
to the base in reserve, and General Ewing's right was extended down into the plain, thus crossing
the ridge in a general line facing southeast.
The enemy felt our left flank about 4 p.m., and a pretty smart engagement with artillery and
muskets ensued, when he drew off, but it cost us dear, for General Giles A. Smith was severely
wounded and had to go to the river, and the command of the brigade then devolved on Colonel
Tupper, One hundred and sixteenth Illinois, who managed it with skill during the rest of the
At the moment of my crossing the bridge, General Howard appeared, having come with
three regiments from Chattanooga along the east bank of the Tennessee, connecting my new
position with that of the main army in Chattanooga. He left the three regiments (which I attached
temporarily to General Ewing's right), and returned to his own corps at Chattanooga. As night
closed I ordered General Jef. C. Davis to keep one of his brigades at the bridge, one close up to
my position, and one intermediate. Thus we passed the night, heavy details being kept busy at
work on the intrenchments on the hill. During the night the sky cleared away bright and a cold
frost filled the air, and our camp fires revealed to the enemy and to our friends in Chattanooga
our position on Missionary Ridge.
About midnight I received, at the hands of Major Rowley, of General Grant's staff, orders to
attack the enemy at "dawn of day," and notice that General Thomas would attack in force early
in the day. Accordingly, before day, I was in the saddle, attended by all my staff; rode to the
extreme left of our position, near Chickamauga; thence up the hill held by General Lightburn,
and round to the extreme right of General Ewing, catching as accurate an idea of the ground as
possible by the dim light of morning. I saw that our line of attack was in the direction of
Missionary Ridge, with wings supporting on either flank.
Quite a valley lay between us and the next hill of the series, and this hill presented steep
sides, the one to the west partially cleared, but the other covered with the native forest. The crest
of the ridge was narrow and wooded. The farther point of the hill was held by the enemy with a
breastwork of logs and fresh earth, filled with men and two guns. The enemy was' also seen in
great force on a still higher hill beyond the tunnel, from which he had a fair plunging fire on the
hill in dispute. The gorge between, through which several roads and the railroad tunnel pass,
could not be seen from our position, but formed the natural place d'armes, where the enemy
covered his masses to resist our contemplated movement of turning his right flank and
endangering his communications with his depot at Chickamauga. As soon as possible the
following dispositions were made:
The brigades of Colonels Cockerill and Alexander and General Lightburn were to hold our
hill as the key point. General Corse, with as much of his brigade as could operate along the
narrow ridge, was to attack from our right center. General Lightburn was to dispatch a good
regiment from his position to co-operate with General Corse, and General Morgan L. Smith was
to move along the east base of Missionary Ridge, connecting with General Corse, and Colonel
Loomis in like manner to move along the west base, supported by the two reserve brigades of
General John E. Smith.
The sun had hardly risen before General Corse had completed his preparations, and his bugle
sounded the "forward."
The Fortieth Illinois, supported by the Forty-sixth Ohio on our right center, with the Thirtieth
Ohio, Colonel Jones, moved down the face of our hill and up that held by the enemy.
The line advanced to within about 80 yards of the intrenched position, where General Corse
found a secondary crest, which he gained and held.
To this point he called his reserves and asked for re-enforcements, which were sent, but the
space was narrow and it was not well to crowd the men, as the enemy's artillery and musketry
fire swept the approach to his position, giving him great advantage. As soon as General Corse
had made his preparations he assaulted, and a close, severe contest ensued, lasting more than an
hour, gaining and losing ground, but never the position first obtained, from which the enemy in
vain attempted to drive him. General Morgan L. Smith kept gaining ground on the left spur of
Missionary Ridge, and Colonel Loomis got abreast of the tunnel and the railroad embankment on
his side, drawing the enemy's fire, and to that extent relieving the assaulting party on the hill
Callender had four of his guns on General Ewing's hill, and Captain Wood his Napoleon
battery on General Lightburn's, also two guns of Dillon's battery were with Colonel Alexander's
brigade. All directed their fire as carefully as possible to clear the hill to our front without
endangering our own men. The fight raged furiously about 10 a.m., when General Corse received
a severe wound, and was brought off the field, and the command of the brigade and of the assault
at that key point devolved on that fine, young, gallant officer, Colonel Walcutt, of the Forty-sixth
Ohio, who filled his part manfully. He continued the contest, pressing forward at all points.
Colonel Loomis had made good progress to the right, and about 2. p.m. General John E. Smith,
judging the battle to be most severe on the hill and being required to support General Ewing,
ordered up Colonel Raum's and General Matthies' brigades across the field to the summit that
was being fought for. They moved up under a heavy fire of cannon and musketry and joined to
Colonel Walcutt, but the crest was so narrow that they necessarily occupied the west face of the
hill. The enemy at the time being massed in great strength in the tunnel gorge, moved a large
force under cover of the ground and the thick bushes, and suddenly appeared on the right and
rear of this command. The suddenness of the attack disconcerted the men, and, exposed as they
were in the open field, they fell back in some disorder to the lower edge of the field and
These two brigades were in the nature of supports and did not constitute a part of the real
attack. The movement, seen from Chattanooga, 5 miles off, gave rise to the report, which even
General Meigs has repeated, that we were repulsed on the left. Not so: the real attacking columns
of General Corse, Colonel Loomis, and General Smith were not repulsed. They engaged in a
close struggle all day, persistently, stubbornly, and well. When the two reserve brigades of
General John E. Smith fell back as described, the enemy made a show of pursuit, but were
caught in flank by the well-directed fire of one brigade on the wooded crest, and hastily sought
his cover behind the hill. Thus matters stood about 3 p.m.
The day was bright and clear, and the amphitheater of Chattanooga lay in beauty at our feet. I
had watched for the attack of General Thomas "early in the day." Column after column of the
enemy was streaming toward me. Gun after gun poured its concentric shot on us from every hill
and spur that gave a view of any part of the ground held by us.
An occasional shot from Fort Wood and Orchard Knob, and some musketry fire and artillery
over about Lookout, was all that I could detect on our side, but about 3 p.m. I noticed the white
line of musketry fire in front of Orchard Knob, extending farther and farther right and left and
on. We could only hear a faint echo of sound, but enough was seen to satisfy me that General
Thomas was moving on the center. I knew our attack had drawn vast masses of the enemy to our
flank and felt sure of the result. Some guns which had been firing at us all day were silent or
were turned in a different direction. The advancing line of musketry fire from Orchard Knob
disappeared (to us) behind a spur of the hill and could no longer be seen, and it was not until
night closed that I knew that the troops in Chattanooga had swept across Missionary Ridge and
broken the enemy's center. Of course the victory was won, and pursuit was the next step. I
ordered General Morgan L. Smith to feel to the tunnel, and it was found vacant, save by the dead
and wounded of our own and the enemy commingled. The reserve of General Jef. C. Davis was
ordered to march at once by the pontoon bridge across Chickamauga at its mouth, and push
forward for the depot.
General Howard had reported to me in the early part of the day with the remainder of his
army corps (the Eleventh), and had been posted to connect my left with Chickamauga Creek. He
was ordered to repair an old broken bridge about 2 miles up Chickamauga, and to follow General
Davis at 4 a.m., and the Fifteenth Army Corps to march at daylight. But General Howard found
to repair the badge more of a task than at first supposed, and we were all compelled to cross
Chickamauga on the new pontoon bridge at its mouth.
By about 11 a.m. General Jef. C. Davis' division appeared at the depot just in time to see it in
flames. He entered with one brigade and found the enemy occupying two hills, partially
intrenched, just beyond the depot. These he soon drove away. The depot presented a scene of
desolation that war alone exhibits. Corn meal and corn in huge burning piles, broken wagons,
abandoned caissons, two 32-pounder rifled guns with carriages, burned pieces of pontoons,
balks, chesses, &c.--destined doubtless for the famous invasion of Kentucky--and all manner of
things, burning and broken. Still the enemy kindly left us a good supply of forage for our horses;
meal, beans, &c., for our men.
Pausing but a short while we pressed on, the road lined with broken wagons and abandoned
caissons, till night. Just as the head of column emerged from a dark, miry swamp, we
encountered the rear guard of the retreating army. The fight was sharp, but the night closed in so
dark that we could not move. General Grant came up to us then, General Davis still leading, and
at daylight we resumed the march, and at Graysville, where a good bridge spanned the
Chickamauga, we found the corps of General Palmer on the south bank. He informed us that
General Hooker was on a road still farther south, and we could hear his guns near Ringgold.
As the roads were filled with all the troops they could accommodate, I then turned to the east
to fulfill another part of the general plan, viz, to break up all communication between Bragg and
We had all sorts of rumors as to the latter, but it was manifest that we should interpose a
proper force between these two armies. I therefore directed General Howard to move to Parker's
Gap and thence send rapidly a competent force to Red Clay, or the Council Ground, and there
destroy a large section of the railroad which connects Dalton and Cleveland. This work was most
successfully and completely accomplished that day. The division of General Jef. C. Davis was
moved up close to Ringgold to assist General Hooker, if needed, and the Fifteenth Corps held at
Graysville for anything that might turn up. About noon I had a message from General Hooker
saying he had had a pretty hard fight at the mountain pass, just beyond Ringgold, and he wanted
me to come forward to turn the position.
He was not aware at the time that Howard, by moving through Parker's Gap toward Red
Clay, had already turned it so I rode forward to Ringgold and found the enemy had already fallen
back of Tunnel Hill. He was already out of the Valley of the Chickamauga and on ground
whence the waters flow to the Coosa. He was out of Tennessee.
I found General Grant at Ringgold, and, after some explanation as to breaking up the railroad
from Ringgold back to the State line, as soon as some cars loaded with wounded could be pushed
back to Chickamauga Depot, I was ordered to move slowly and leisurely back to Chattanooga.
On the following day the Fifteenth Corps destroyed absolutely and effectually the railroad
from a point half way between Graysville and Ringgold back to the State line, and General
Grant, coming to Graysville, consented that, instead of returning to Chattanooga, I might send
back all my artillery, wagons, and impediments, and make a circuit by the north as far as the
Accordingly, on the morning of November 29, General Howard moved from Parker's Gap to
Cleveland, General Davis by way of McDaniel's Gap, and General Blair, with two divisions of
the Fifteenth Corps, by way of Julien's Gap, all meeting at Cleveland that night. Here another
good break was made in the Dalton and Cleveland road. On the 30th, the army moved to
Charleston, General Howard approaching so rapidly that the enemy evacuated with haste,
leaving the bridge but partially damaged, and 5 car loads of flour and provisions on the north
bank of the Hiwassee. This was to have been the limit of our journey. Officers and men had
brought no baggage or provisions, and the weather was bitter cold.
I half hardly reached the town of Charleston when General Wilson arrived with a letter from
General Grant at Chattanooga, informing me that the latest authentic accounts from Knoxville
were to the 27th, at which time General Burnside was completely invested, and had provisions
only to include the 3d of December; that General Granger had left Chattanooga for Knoxville by
the river road, with a steam-boat following him in the river, but the general feared Granger could
not reach Knoxville in time, and ordered me to take command of all troops moving for the relief
of Knoxville, and hasten to General Burnside. Seven days before we had left our camps on the
other side of the Tennessee, with two days' rations, without a change of clothing, stripped for the
fight, with but a single blanket or coat per man, from myself to the privates included. Of course,
we then had no provisions save what we gathered by the road, and were ill-supplied for such a
march. But we learned that 12,000 of our fellow soldiers were beleaguered in the mountain town
of Knoxville, 84 miles distant; that they needed relief, and must have it in three days. This was
enough, and it had to be done.
General Howard that night repaired and planked the railroad bridge, and at daylight the army
passed the Hiwassee and marched to Athens, 15 miles. I had supposed, rightfully, that General
Granger was about the mouth of Hiwassee, and sent him notice of my orders; that the general
had sent me a copy of his written instructions, which were full and complete, and that he must
push for Kingston, near which we would make a junction. But by the time I reached Athens I had
had time to study the geography, and sent him orders--which found him at Decatur--that
Kingston was out of our way; that he should send his boat to Kingston, but with his command
strike across to Philadelphia, and report to me there. I had but a small force of cavalry, which
was, at the time of my receipt of General Grant's orders, scouting over about Benton and
Columbus. I left my aide, Major McCoy, at Charleston to communicate with this cavalry and
hurry it forward. It overtook me in the night at Athens. On the 2d of December, the army moved
rapidly north toward Loudon, 26 miles distant.
About 11 a.m. the cavalry passed to the head of the column and was ordered to push to
Loudon, and, if possible, save a pontoon bridge across the Tennessee, held by a brigade of the
enemy, commanded by General Vaughn. The cavalry moved with such rapidity as to capture
every picket, but the brigade of Vaughn had artillery in position covered by earth-works, and
displayed a force too respectable to be carried by a cavalry dash, and darkness closed in before
General Howard's infantry got up. The enemy abandoned the place in the night, destroying the
pontoons, running 3 locomotives and 48 cars into the Tennessee, and abandoning a large quantity
of provisions, four guns, and other matériel, which General Howard took at daylight.
But the bridge was gone, and we were forced to turn east and trust to General Burnside's
bridge at Knoxville. It was all important that General Burnside should have notice of our
coming, and but one day of the time remained.
Accordingly, at Philadelphia, during the night of the 2d of December, I sent my aide, Captain
Audenried, forward to Colonel Long, commanding the brigade of cavalry, to explain to him how
all-important it was that General Burnside should have notice within twenty-four hours of our
approach, and ordering him to select the best material of his command to start at once, ford the
Little Tennessee, and push into Knoxville, at whatever cost of life and horse flesh. Captain
Audenried was ordered to go along. The distance to be traveled was about 40 miles, and the road
villainous. Before day they were off, and at daylight the Fifteenth Army Corps was turned from
Philadelphia for the Little Tennessee, at Morganton, where my maps represented the river as
very shallow, but it was found too deep for fording, and the water freezing cold. Width, 240
yards; depth, from 2 to 5 feet. Horses could ford, but artillery and men could not. A bridge was
indispensable. General Wilson, who accompanied me, undertook to superintend the bridge, and I
am under many obligations to him, as I was without an engineer, having sent Captain Jenney
back from Graysville to survey our field of battle. We had our pioneers, but only such tools as
axes, picks, and spades. But General Wilson, working part with crib-work and part with square
trestles, made of the houses of the late town of Morganton, progressed apace, and by dark of
December 4, troops and animals passed on the bridge, and by daybreak of the 5th, the Fifteenth
Corps, General Blair, was over, and Generals Granger's and Davis' divisions were ready to pass;
but the diagonal bracings were imperfect for want of proper spikes, and the bridge broke, causing
delay. I had ordered General Blair to move out on the Maryville road 5 miles, there to await
notice that General Granger was on a parallel road abreast of him, and in person I was at a house
where the roads parted, when a messenger rode up bearing me a few words from General
Burnside, dated December 4. Colonel Long had arrived at Knoxville with his cavalry, and all
was well then. Longstreet still lay before the place, but there were symptoms of a speedy
I felt that I had accomplished the first great step in the problem for the relief of General
Burnside's army, but still urged on the work. As soon as the bridge was mended, all the troops
moved forward. General Howard had marched from Loudon and had found a pretty good ford
for his horses and wagons at Davis', 7 miles below Morganton, and had made an ingenious
bridge of the wagons left by General Vaughn at Loudon, on which to pass his men. He marched
by Unitia and Louisville.
On the night of the 5th, all the heads of columns communicated at Maryville, where I met
Major Van Buren, of General Burnside's staff, announcing that General Longstreet had the night
before retreated on the Rutledge, Rogersville, and Bristol road, leading to Virginia; that General
Burnside's cavalry was on his heels; that the general desired to see me in person as soon as I
could come to Knoxville. I ordered all the troops to halt and rest, except the two divisions of
General Granger, which were ordered to move forward to Little River, and General Granger to
report in person to General Burnside for orders.
His was the force originally designed to re-enforce General Burnside, and it was eminently
proper that it should join in the chase after Longstreet.
On the morning of December 6, I rode from Maryville into Knoxville and met General
Burnside. General Granger arrived later in the day. We examined his lines of fortifications,
which were a wonderful production for the short time allowed in their selection of ground and
construction of work. It seemed to me that they were nearly impregnable. We examined the
redoubt, named Sanders, where, on the Sunday previous, three brigades of the enemy had
assaulted and met a bloody repulse. Now, all was peaceful and quiet; but a few hours before, the
deadly bullet sought its victim all round about that hilly barrier.
The general explained fully and frankly what he had done and what he proposed to do. He
asked of me nothing but General Granger's command, and suggested, in view of the large force I
had brought from Chattanooga, that I should return with due expedition to the line of the
Hiwassee, lest Bragg, re-enforced, might take advantage of our absence to resume the offensive.
I asked him to reduce this to writing, which he did, and I here introduce it as part of my report:
Knoxville, December 7, 1863.
Maj. Gen. WILLIAM T. SHERMAN, Commanding, &c.:
GENERAL: I desire to express to you and your command my most hearty thanks and
gratitude for your promptness in coming to our relief during the siege of Knoxville, and I am
satisfied your approach served to raise the siege. The emergency having passed, I do not deem
for the present any other portion of your command but the corps of General Granger necessary
for operations in this section, and, inasmuch as General Grant has weakened the forces
immediately with him in order to relieve us, thereby rendering the position of General Thomas
less secure, I deem it advisable that all the troops now here, save those commanded by General
Granger, should return at once to within supporting distance of the forces in front of Bragg's
In behalf of my command, I desire again to thank you and your command for the kindness
you have done us.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Major-General, Commanding.
Accordingly, having seen General Burnside's forces move out of Knoxville, in pursuit of
Longstreet, and General Granger's move in, I put in motion my own command to return.
General Howard was ordered to move, via Davis' Ford and Sweet Water, to Athens, with a
guard forward at Charleston, to hold and repair the bridge, which the enemy had taken after our
passage up. General Jef. C. Davis moved to Columbus, on the Hiwassee, via Madisonville, and
the two divisions of the Fifteenth Corps moved to Tellico Plains, to cover a movement of cavalry
across the mountains into Georgia to overtake a wagon train which had dodged us on our way up
and had escaped by way of Murphy. Subsequently, on a report from General Howard that the
enemy held Charleston, I diverted General Ewing's division to Athens, and went in person to
Tellico with General Morgan L. Smith's division.
By the 9th, all our troops were in position and we held the rich country between the Little
Tennessee and the Hiwassee. The cavalry under Colonel Long passed the mountain at Tellico,
and proceeded about 17 miles beyond Murphy, when Colonel Long, deeming his pursuit farther
of the wagon train useless, returned on the 12th to Tellico. I then ordered him and the division of
General Morgan L. Smith to move to Charleston, to which point I had previously ordered the
corps of General Howard.
On the 14th of December, all of my command in the field lay along the Hiwassee. Having
communicated to General Grant the actual state of affairs, I received orders to leave on the line
of the Hiwassee all the cavalry, and come to Chattanooga with the balance of my command. I
left the brigade of cavalry, commanded by Colonel Long, re-enforced by the Fifth Ohio Cavalry,
Lieutenant-Colonel Heath, the only cavalry properly belonging to the Fifteenth Army Corps, at
Charleston, and with the remainder moved by easy marches, by Cleveland and Tyner's Depot,
into Chattanooga, where I received in person from General Grant orders to transfer back to their
appropriate command the corps of General Howard and division commanded by General Jef. C.
Davis, and to conduct the Fifteenth Army Corps to its new field of operations. It will thus appear
that we have been constantly in motion since our departure from the Big Black, in Mississippi,
until the present moment. I have been unable to receive, from subordinate commanders the usual
full detailed reports of events, and have therefore been compelled to make up this report from my
own personal memory, but as soon as possible subordinate reports will be received and duly
In reviewing the facts I must do justice to my command for the patience, cheerfulness, and
courage which officers and men have displayed throughout in battle, on the march, and in camp.
For long periods, without regular rations or supplies of any kind, they have marched through
mud and over rocks, sometimes barefooted, without a murmur. Without a moment's rest, after a
march of over 400 miles, without sleep for three successive nights, we crossed the Tennessee,
fought our part of the battle of Chattanooga, pursued the enemy out of Tennessee, and then
turned more than 120 miles north and compelled Longstreet to raise the siege of Knoxville,
which gave so much anxiety to the whole country. It is hard to realize the importance of the
events without recalling the memory of the general feeling which pervaded all minds at
Chattanooga, prior to our arrival. I cannot speak of the Fifteenth Army Corps without a seeming
vanity, but, as I am no longer its commander, I assert there is no better body of soldiers in
America than it, or who have done more or better service. I wish all to feel a just pride in its real
honors. To General Howard and his command, to General Jef. C. Davis and his, I am more than
usually indebted for the intelligence of commanders and fidelity of commands. The brigade of
Colonel Buschbeck, belonging to the Eleventh Corps, which was the first to come out of
Chattanooga to my flank, fought at the Tunnel Hill, in connection with General Ewing's division,
and displayed a courage almost amounting to rashness. Following the enemy almost to the tunnel
gorge, it lost many valuable lives, prominent among them Lieutenant-Colonel Taft, spoken of as
a most gallant soldier. In General Howard throughout, I found a polished and Christian
gentleman exhibiting the highest and most chivalric traits of the soldier.
General Davis handled his division with artistic skill, more especially at the moment we
encountered the enemy's rear guard, near Graysville, at nightfall. I must award to this division
the credit of the best order during our marches through East Tennessee, when long marches and
the necessity of foraging to the right and left gave some reasons for disordered ranks.
Inasmuch as exception might be taken to my explanation of the temporary confusion during
the battle of Chattanooga in the two brigades of General Matthies and Colonel Raum, I will here
state that I saw the whole, and attach no fault to any one. Accidents will happen in battle as
elsewhere, and at the point where they so manfully went to relieve the pressure on other parts of
our assaulting line, they exposed themselves unconsciously to an enemy vastly superior in force
and favored by the shape of the ground. Had that enemy come out on equal terms, those brigades
would have shown their metal, which has been tried more than once before and stood the test of
fire. They reformed their ranks and were ready to support General Ewing's division in a very few
minutes, and the circumstance would have hardly called for notice on my part had not others
reported for my wing of the army at a distance of near 5 miles, from which could only be seen
the troops in the open field where this affair occurred.
General Jef. C. Davis has sent in no report of casualties in his division, but the loss was
Among the killed were some of our most valuable officers: Colonels Putnam, Ninety-third
Illinois; O'Meara, Ninetieth Illinois; Torrence, Thirtieth Iowa: Lieutenant-Colonel Taft, of the
Eleventh Corps, and Major Bushnell, Thirteenth Illinois Volunteers.
Among the wounded are Brig. Gens. Giles A. Smith, J. M. Corse, and Matthies, Colonel
Raum, Colonel Wangelin, Twelfth Missouri Volunteers; Lieutenant-Colonel Partridge,
Thirteenth Illinois Volunteers; Maj. P. J. Welsh, Fifty-sixth Illinois Volunteers, and Major
McCalla, Tenth Iowa Volunteers.
Among the missing is Lieutenant-Colonel Archer, Seventeenth Iowa.
My report is already so long that I must forbear mentioning acts of individual merit. These
will be recorded in the reports of division commanders, which I will cheerfully indorse, but I
must say that it is but justice that colonels of regiments who have so long and so well
commanded brigades, as in the following cases, should be commissioned to the grade which they
have filled with so much usefulness and credit to the public service, viz: Col. J. R. Cockerill,
Seventieth Regiment Ohio Volunteers; Col. J. M. Loomis, Twenty-sixth Regiment Illinois
Volunteers; Col. C. C. Walcutt, Forty-sixth Regiment Ohio Volunteers; Col. J. A. Williamson,
Fourth Regiment Iowa Volunteers; Col. G. B. Raum, Fifty-sixth Regiment Illinois Volunteers;
Col. J. I. Alexander, Fifty-ninth Regiment Indiana Volunteers.
My personal staff, as usual, have served their country with fidelity and credit to themselves
throughout these events, and have received my personal thanks.
Inclosed you will please find a map of that part of the battle-field of Chattanooga fought on
by the troops under my command, surveyed and drawn by Captain Jenney, of my staff.
I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,
Major-General, Commanding.
Chief of Staff to General Grant.
Wear Bridgeport, Ala., December--, 1863.
GENERAL: The First Division, Fifteenth Army Corps, having been assigned to the
command of Major-General Hooker on the evening of the 23d ultimo, I have the honor to report
on the part taken by the division in the operations in the vicinity of Chattanooga from November
24 to November 27, inclusive.
The actual strength of the division on the morning of November 24, was:
First Brigade, Brig. Gen. C. R. Woods commanding: Seventy-sixth Ohio Infantry, 327 men;
Thirteenth Illinois Infantry, 278 men; Third Missouri Infantry, 217 men; Twelfth Missouri
Infantry, 241 men; Seventeenth Missouri Infantry, 143 men; Twenty-ninth Missouri Infantry,
129 men; Thirty-first Missouri Infantry, 123 men; Twenty-seventh Missouri Infantry, 256 men;
Thirty-second Missouri Infantry, 149 men. Total First Brigade, 1,863 men.
Second Brigade, Col. J. A. Williamson commanding: Fourth Iowa Infantry, 293 men; Ninth
Iowa Infantry, 285 men; Twenty-fifth Iowa Infantry, 307 men; Twenty-sixth Iowa Infantry, 213
men; Thirtieth Iowa Infantry, 199 men; Thirty-first Iowa Infantry, 215 men. Total Second
Brigade, 1,512 men.
Total infantry (aggregate), 3,375 men.
Artillery: First Iowa Battery, 4 pieces, 42 men; Fourth Ohio Battery, 6 pieces, 105 men;
Landgraeber's horse artillery, 4 pieces, 86 men; total, 14 pieces and 933 men.
Pioneer detachment, Captain Klostermann, 70 men.
With this command I reported to you at 7.30 a.m. on November 24, 1863, in compliance with
orders received during the night, and was assigned the position on the left of the lines then
forming opposite the western slope of Lookout Mountain, on and behind the hills and ridges
which are separated from the mountain by Lookout Creek. On my arrival on the ground I found
one Napoleon battery (of the Twelfth Corps) on the hill on the extreme left, in full view and easy
range of the enemy's pickets, which were strung along and behind the railroad embankment on
the eastern side of said creek. Another battery of 3-inch Rodman was in position on the crest of a
ridge immediately in rear of the above hill. I detailed the Fourth Iowa and Thirteenth Illinois
Infantry to support the Napoleon battery, and the Twenty-fifth Iowa to support the Rodman
On the southern slope of the ridge, crowned by the latter battery, I found earth-works thrown
up, and mounted them with two 20-pounder Parrott guns, of Captain Froehlich's (Fourth Ohio)
battery, with the Thirtieth Iowa to support them. The Parrott enfiladed a long series of rebel riflepits
leading from the foot of the mountain to their main camp, which also came under the fire of
the guns.
All the bridges across Lookout Creek having been destroyed by the enemy, the pioneers,
under Captain Klostermann, were ordered forward to construct a bridge across, and the First
Brigade of infantry, commanded by Brigadier-General Woods, protected their work, while one
section of Captain Griffiths' (First Iowa) battery was brought to an eminence commanding the
point selected for the bridge, and also exposing a considerable portion of the railroad, which was
occupied by the enemy's sharpshooters and pickets, to its fire.
The remainder of the Second Brigade, Colonel Williamson commanding, as well as all the
pieces of artillery not mentioned, were kept in reserve, near the earth-works occupied by the
Parrott guns, ready to support and strengthen the attack about to be made on the enemy's
position, and to push on the pursuit whenever the enemy was once started.
Soon after 10 a.m. all preparations for the contemplated attack were finished, bridges built,
&c., and we only awaited the appearance of General Geary's division, which was to come from
the right, attacking the enemy's left flank.
At 11 a.m. we heard General Geary's fire, and our guns opened immediately with great
effect. Their practice was so perfect that, with the assistance of my line of skirmishers, which I
ordered to advance to the bank of the creek, the rebels were soon compelled to yield their line
behind the railroad and their intrenchments on the opposite bank of the creek. They made for a
less exposed position higher up the mountain, but the infantry column of General Woods (First
Brigade of my division), which had crossed the creek under cover of the artillery, pressed the
enemy vigorously, while, with the remaining portion of the Second Brigade, I ascended the
mountain in as direct a line as possible, in order to reach the right of General Woods' brigade and
press the retreating enemy toward him.
In executing this maneuver I captured so large a number of prisoners that I found it prudent
to detail the Ninth Iowa Infantry to bring them to the rear, across Lookout Creek. Another
regiment of the Second Brigade was detailed by you to follow up the railroad, leaving only one
regiment, the Thirty-first Iowa, with me.
I pushed forward, however, and reached the so-called white house (about two-thirds up the
mountain) at a critical moment.
The position near the white house is very important; it is, in fact, the key to the whole
Lookout, commanding alike its eastern and western declivities. On my arrival there, the
commanding officer of a brigade of General Geary's division informed me that he was out of
ammunition, and that he anticipated an attack from the enemy. I at once ordered the Thirty-first
Iowa and the Third and Twenty-seventh Missouri Infantry (the two latter of the First Brigade),
who had just come up, to relieve General Geary's men. This had hardly been done when the
rebels charged with great vehemence, and attempted to regain the numerous intrenchments they
had thrown up all around the white house. They were, however, signally repulsed, and my
regiments held this very important position during the following night. I re-enforced them,
however, during the evening by the Fourth Iowa and Thirteenth Illinois Infantry, who had in the
meantime been relieved from supporting the battery.
During the occurrences on the right of my line, General Woods deployed his regiments,
under the immediate direction of Major-General Hooker, on the slope, covering en echelon all
the ground between the white house and the Chattanooga road at a point where it runs round a
promontory about 250 feet above the level of the Tennessee River.
The enemy, fully aware of the importance of the position gained by us, made several
attempts to dislodge us in the fore part of the night--attempts which were completely frustrated
by the vigilance and valor of my men.
After midnight he abstained from further attacks, and commenced his retreat toward
Missionary Ridge, under cover of a very dense fog. Toward morning I replenished the empty
cartridge boxes of the infantry, and regulated my lines, returning all regiments which had been
on special service the day previous to their proper commands.
At 10 a.m. on November 25, 1863, I received your order to march immediately in pursuit of
the enemy toward Rossville, my division leading. Half an hour afterward we left, descending by
the Chattanooga road, on which my left had rested, into the valley. The few mounted infantry
attached to headquarters as staff guard, and commanded by Capt. W. T. House, scoured the
country in all directions, and soon ascertained that the bulk of the enemy had crossed
Chattanooga Creek, the bridges across which stream had been very recently burned.
Captain Klostermann's pioneers were immediately put to work repairing one of the bridges,
while the leading regiment (Twenty-seventh Missouri) crossed on a hastily constructed footbridge
within easy range of the foot of Missionary Ridge, where, posted in the gap in rear of
Rossville, we found the rebels in position with infantry and artillery, under cover of a narrow belt
of timber. Colonel Curly, commanding Twenty-seventh Missouri Infantry, pushed his
skirmishers forward, and the men advanced briskly in the face of the enemy's musketry, shell,
and shrapnel.
With a view of flanking the enemy's position in the gap, all the infantry of my division was
pushed across the creek, and Brigadier-General Woods, with the First Brigade, was ordered to
take the ridge on the right, while four regiments of the Second Brigade (Colonel Williamson
commanding) ascended the steep (Missionary) ridge on the left of the gap.
The troops of First Brigade had to pass through a very severe artillery fire, but executed their
orders without causing any delay. So, also, did those of the Second Brigade. They met but little
resistance, which proved that the rebels did not at that time anticipate an attack from us in force;
at least they were not prepared to defend this very important position.
Seeing both their flanks and their line of retreat threatened, they hastily evacuated the gap,
falling back toward the center of their line. In executing this movement, however, they had to
leave their artillery, ammunition, several wagons, ambulances, and large amounts of subsistence
stores in our hands. The Twenty-seventh Missouri was immediately ordered to occupy the gap,
while I followed up the enemy as closely as possible to a fork in the road where it divides, one
road leading to Ringgold and the other running north and parallel with the Missionary Ridge.
I sent orders to General Woods and to Colonel Williamson to bring their respective
commands to the road, and, forming in the gap, to await further orders.
Having reported to you the success of the above movements, I received your instructions to
advance along the northern road (toward Chattanooga) after having passed the gap, and to act as
circumstances might demand.
The corps of Generals Sherman and Thomas seemed to have engaged the enemy in full force,
as the firing in that direction was at that time most terrific. I pressed forward as fast as the
column of infantry could move, and had hardly advanced 1,000 yards in a northerly direction
when I observed a strong column of the enemy, preceded by some mounted men, hurrying
toward the gap we had just taken, evidently with the intention of re-enforcing that very important
point. I immediately sent the information to you and to General Cruft, who followed my division
with a division of the Fourteenth Corps, cautioning my command to prepare for making or
repelling an attack as might become necessary.
In order to reconnoiter the ground more thoroughly, which is here very broken, I started
ahead with Captain House's men to an opening where I could make a proper survey.
Having accomplished this, I returned with as little delay as possible, and formed my
command in an oblique line of two échelons, pushing the left (four regiments of Second Brigade)
well forward toward the crest of Missionary Ridge and extending with the right echelon (First
Brigade) well down the slope of the hill. Two battalions of First Brigade followed in reserve
behind the right wing. While making these preparations I could observe the movements of
General Cruft, who had ascended the southern slope of Missionary Ridge from the gap, and had
by this time engaged the rebels. The attack of this general was most opportune, as it concentrated
the whole attention of the enemy in that direction and gave me a chance to prepare a decisive
blow in his flank and rear.
The men of my division advanced splendidly, overcoming all the obstacles which nature and
the enemy had prepared to dispute our ascent. They went up in double-quick time, and the
skirmishers in front of my extreme left, Fourth Iowa Infantry, pushed up to within 50 yards of
the enemy before opening on him. The forward Echelon (Second Brigade) fired a salvo into the
terrified rebels, who at once fell back, hoping to make good their escape. They would have
succeeded in this, but for the funnel which my oblique line formed. The left of the second
echelon (First Brigade) had at this moment just reached the crest of the hill, but, of course, far in
advance of the Second Brigade.
Major Warner, the very able commander of the Seventy-sixth Ohio Infantry, understood the
maneuver completely. He wheeled his regiment to the right, while the two regiments in reserve
did the same, and advancing in one line with the Seventy-sixth Ohio Infantry across the whole
slope of the hill, captured a very large number of the enemy.
Finding their escape impossible, they obeyed my order to lay down their arms almost
instantly, and my division took over 2,000 prisoners, a large number of small-arms, one piece of
artillery (brass 6-pounder).
Maj. James F. How, of the Twenty-seventh Missouri Infantry, who advanced with the
skirmishers in the valley on the right of our line of attack, intercepted and burned a rebel wagon
While we advanced in the manner described, my front line of three battalions was supported
by the remaining battalions of my division, formed in column of divisions. General Cruft, who
had meanwhile come up, formed behind this column.
I cannot close the account of this very successful day without giving proper credit to Captain
Landgraeber's battery of howitzers. The artillery, delayed at Chattanooga bridge, came up in time
to assist in the assault, and Captain Landgraeber threw shell and shrapnel most accurately among
the enemy's column from his position at the foot of the ridge (western slope), considerably
accelerating the surrender of the rebels. The division encamped for the night around the late
headquarters of Generals Bragg and Breckinridge, who barely escaped the fate of so many of
their officers and men by hasty flight.
A division of the Fourth Army Corps occupied a camp in our immediate front. This division
formed part of the army of General Thomas, who had come from Chattanooga.
The order of march for the 26th assigned my division to bring up the rear of your column.
We soon left camp, with the exception of the Thirty-second Missouri Infantry, which had been
detailed, in pursuance of orders received, to collect all arms and prisoners, and to remain in their
present camp until further orders. The marching on this day was exceedingly slow, so much so,
indeed, that it was almost night when my division reached Chickamauga Creek (not over 6 miles
distant from our last camp). Here I made a short halt, until I could ascertain your wishes in
regard to the artillery which was with me, and which could not cross the creek on the temporary
foot-bridge we found there. Immediately on receipt of your orders to that effect, I moved across
the creek, leaving the Twenty-seventh Missouri with the artillery at the foot of the bridge. Before
I left, 2 colonels made their appearance, with orders to construct a bridge across Chickamauga
Creek. Neither of these gentlemen appeared to be impressed with the necessity of pushing this
work forward with all vigor, notwithstanding that in the completion of this bridge lay all our
chances of bringing over our artillery. I mention this because the events of the following day
proved that the delay of our artillery at the bridge was considerably felt. An earlier appearance of
artillery in the next day's fight would have certainly saved many valuable lives.
I reached your headquarters after a march of a few miles, and received your instructions for
next morning, i.e., to leave my bivouac at early daybreak and take the lead of the column again.
The commanding general expressed his opinion that the enemy would probably make a stand at
Ringgold, which town was not over 6 miles from our camp.
November 27, I left my bivouac at half past 5 o'clock. The mounted infantry, under Captain
House, supported by a line of éclaireurs and flankers, of the Seventeenth Missouri Infantry,
Colonel Cramer commanding, advanced rapidly over the very bad roads, exploring well the
adjacent hills and fields. They found all the marks of a retreating enemy, and secured a good
number of prisoners before reaching Chickamauga Creek. The creek runs in a wide semicircle
round the town of Ringgold, emerging in the rear of the place from a gap in the so-called
Taylor's Ridge, a high and very steep ridge, similar in appearance to Missionary Ridge.
The road we marched over led to a pretty good ford, but there was also a covered trestle
bridge to right of town, which had not yet been burned by the enemy. Rebel cavalry, amounting
to not less than 200, were posted at the ford and the bridge. Captain House's mounted men, being
in advance of the infantry, at once engaged the rebels at the ford, who, after discharging their
guns, ran for the town House's men, following them closely, forded the creek and advanced in
the direction of the bridge on the right. The rebels stationed there followed the example of their
friends at the ford and ran for town, both parties vigorously pushed by Captain House's
command of 12 men. When these brave soldiers came to the first houses of the town and the
rebels fairly satisfied themselves of their small numbers, they made a dash out of town and drove
my men back to an eminence near the creek.
During these movements Col. J. F. Cramer urged his regiment (Seventeenth Missouri) and
the Twenty-ninth Missouri (who together form a tactical battalion)forward, and secured the
covered bridge before the rebels could set fire to it.
A considerable delay was occasioned by the circuitous road leading to the bridge before the
infantry could be brought within supporting distance. This delay enabled the enemy to deploy
their rear guard (consisting, in addition to the cavalry mentioned, of a large force of infantry and
a few pieces of artillery) in the gap in rear of Ringgold and on both sides of it on Taylor's Ridge.
The position was very strong and well secured on the right against a flank movement by the
creek, which runs in a very deep bed through the gap. We had, for reasons already mentioned, no
artillery. As soon as Colonel Cramer, of the Seventeenth Missouri Infantry, had crossed the
covered bridge he deployed the right wing of his battalion, and, supported by the left wing, drove
the rebel skirmishers, both horse and foot, through the town into the gap, advancing under cover
of the railroad embankment. The road coming from Chattanooga runs between the foot of
Taylor's Ridge and town, and enters the gap at a rather short curve.
While Colonel Cramer's line of skirmishers drove the rebels back on their main line, and
advanced beyond the railroad, General Woods received orders to deploy the Thirteenth Illinois
and the Third, Twelfth, and Thirty-first Missouri Regiments on the line just vacated by Colonel
Cramer's advancing battalion.
The Seventy-sixth Ohio, also of General Woods' brigade, was detailed to ascend Taylor's
Ridge on the left, with a view of getting on the enemy's flank. This movement was, however,
soon observed by the rebel commander, who appears to have been stationed on the ridge, and I
saw a strong column moving in a direction to check the progress of the Seventy-sixth Ohio
Infantry. Three regiments, the Fourth, Ninth, and Twenty-fifth Iowa Infantry, of Second Brigade,
were accordingly dispatched to support the Seventy-sixth Ohio Infantry. Colonel Williamson
personally took command of this party, and they climbed steadily up the steep slope in two lines.
I retained the Thirty-first Iowa in reserve, detailing, however, two companies from it to
deploy as sharpshooters on the slope at the left of Colonel Cramer's skirmishers, and covering
the ascending battalions.
During all these movements the enemy kept up a most galling fire of artillery and musketry
along the whole line, to which our infantry replied most vigorously and without yielding any of
the ground they gained inch by inch. The enemy's artillery was placed at very short range in the
gap, and partly masked by undergrowth and young pine trees. He fired mostly shell and canister.
Strengthening Colonel Cramer by skirmishers from the Twelfth Missouri Infantry, I sent
orders to that officer to push the left of his line well forward, and at the same time ordered the
Thirteenth Illinois Infantry (which held the extreme right) to advance rapidly over an open field
to a few houses in front. By these movements I concentrated a converging fire on the enemy's
artillery, which I hoped to secure, by driving off the cannoneers and supports.
The Thirteenth Illinois Infantry executed the order in magnificent style; they charged through
a hail-storm of balls, and gained the position assigned to them and held it, although the rebels
poured a most murderous fire into these brave men from the gorge in front and the hill on the
Seeing their artillery, and with it the key of their position, threatened, the enemy rallied a
strong force and dashed from the gorge and down the hill with great energy. He succeeded in
driving in my skirmishers, who fell back on my second line (deployed behind the railroad
embankment). This assault of the enemy was promptly checked by the Third, Twelfth, and
Thirty-first Missouri Infantry regiments, whose well-directed volleys drove the enemy
immediately back again, leaving their dead and wounded on the ground, which was at once reoccupied
by a line of skirmishers. The Thirteenth Illinois remained undaunted, keeping up a
vehement fire.
While the rebels were making this charge in the center, Colonel Williamson, who had
meanwhile almost reached the crest of the ridge, sustained a similar assault by superior forces. I
refer to his account of the occurrences connected therewith.
After yielding to the enemy a short time, the regiments under command of Colonel
Williamson rallied promptly and soon possessed themselves of a position on the ridge in advance
of the one they had occupied before.
These struggles, in the course of which so many deeds of bravery and patriotism were
exhibited, had lasted from 9 a.m. to about 1 p.m., our infantry fighting single handed against the
combined arms of the enemy.
At last, about 1 p.m., Captain Landgraeber reported with his battery of 12-pounder howitzers.
Thanks to the bridge builders, he could not cross Chickamauga Creek until about 9 a.m. I
ordered his right section into action on an open piece of ground in rear of General Woods' (right)
brigade, whence the gorge and the enemy's artillery could be played upon. A section of 2.90
Parrott, belonging to another corps, co-operated with Landgraeber. The firing from these pieces
was excellent; they enfiladed the whole gorge and the line of retreat of the rebels.
The enemy's guns were soon silenced, and an advance along our whole line found the enemy
retreating at all points. Colonel Williamson discovered them in an attempt to burn two bridges
across Chickamauga Creek, and drove them away in time to save the bridges. Your orders were
not to pursue any farther.
We captured during these engagements: First Brigade, as per memorandum, 1,999 officers
and men; Second Brigade (estimated), at least 800 officers and men.
The losses of my division were previously reported in a nominal list. They amount in all
these days to:
Commissioned officers: Killed, 7; wounded, 39; missing, 4. Enlisted men: Killed, 50;
wounded, 296; missing, 40. Total casualties, 50 commissioned officers and 386 enlisted men.
I beg leave to call your attention to the very heavy percentage of losses among the officers,
and I cannot pass over this fact without expressing the highest praise for their energy, valor, and,
in fact, every virtue which honors a good soldier. To name those who behaved most gallantly is
the next thing to an impossibility, as I feel under so many obligations to every one, officers and
men. They all were ready to do their duty, and they did it nobly and well under most trying
circumstances. I did not find any stragglers belonging to my command on any of the four days of
glory and victory. I take great pleasure, however, in recapitulating from the reports of my brigade
commanders the names which they mention. The heroic Colonel Wangelin, of the Twelfth
Missouri, who lost his right arm; Lieutenant-Colonel Partridge, of the Thirteenth Illinois, who
lost his left hand; the lamented Major Bushnell, of the Thirteenth Illinois, who sacrificed his life;
Colonel Cramer, of the Seventeenth Missouri; Colonel Meumann, of the Third Missouri; also
that most excellent officer and chivalrous gentleman, Major Warner, of the Seventy-sixth Ohio
Infantry, and Major Nichols, of the Fourth Iowa Infantry. Also the several gentlemen composing
the brigade staffs are highly commended.
I have some names to add from my personal observation. First and above all, Brig. Gen. C.
R. Woods, commanding First Brigade, who, from his skill and soldierly appearance, was highly
instrumental in achieving my success; Col. J. A. Williamson, commanding Second Brigade;
Capt. W. T. House, of the staff guard, whose zeal and courage was of the greatest assistance to
me; Capt. W. A. Gordon, my assistant adjutant-general; Lieut. A. Ellsworth, aide-de-camp, who
was wounded while bearing dispatches; Lieut. Casimir Andel, acting aide-de-camp. They all did
their whole duty.
For the poor sufferers and the dead we have a deep feeling of sympathy and gratitude, which
the nation doubtless shares.
I inclose the reports of my brigade commanders, General C. R. Woods and Col. J. A.
And have the honor to be, general, your obedient servant,
Brig. Gen. of Vols., Comdg. First Div., 15th Army Corps
Ringgold, Ga., November 28, 1863.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report the part taken by this regiment in the action of
yesterday at this place, as follows:
On reaching the town I was ordered by General Osterhaus to go to the left of the gap of the
mountain and move up on the crest of a ridge running at right angles with the main ridge to the
crest and then wheel to the right. I moved steadily up the mountain, which was high and steep,
with a strong line of skirmishers well to the front, meeting little opposition until near the summit,
when a heavy fire was opened on us. We pressed steadily forward, driving the enemy before us,
and gained the summit of the ridge, so as to see the enemy going down the opposite slope. At
this time the fire on our flanks from the crest of the ridge, which had been annoying us for some
minutes before, became very severe. With both flanks of the regiment bent back to oppose this
flank fire we held the crest of the hill for twenty minutes. During this time the Fourth Iowa,
which had been following us, marching by the flank, came into line on our rear, at my request,
and came to our support. There being none of our troops on our right or left near us or in sight,
the enemy advanced in heavy force on both flanks, and I was obliged to give the order to retire
slowly and fighting, which my regiment did in good order, leaving on the crest Actg. Adjt. Lieut.
John R. Miller and 15 enlisted men killed, and bringing off Capt. Ira P. French and Lieut. S. B.
Wall, mortally wounded. We retired a few yards to a position where we could protect our flanks
and halted. Here Colonel Williamson received orders from General Osterhaus to hold the
position which we then held, which was done by the three regiments forming a crescent-shaped
line, and continually skirmishing with the enemy in front and on both flanks. The ground retired
from was covered by our fire, so that our dead and mortally wounded left were not plundered by
the enemy. The enemy soon retired, and we moved forward and again occupied the ridge. Here
we could see the enemy's train and troops retreating on the road beyond the ridge.
The conduct of officers and men was gallant beyond praise. Captain French was killed
planting the colors. Lieutenant Metzgar was wounded, and Captain Blackburn struck, and 4 of
the color guard and Sergeant Preston, of Company C, were wounded; and Private Joseph W.
Jennings, Company C, killed while carrying the colors. Lieut. and Actg. Adjt. John R. Miller fell
in the front rank with his feet to the foe. Lieutenants Wall and Lemert were both dangerously
wounded while bravely cheering on the men. Our loss was 18 killed and 44 wounded. Our dead
all lay on or near the crest of the mountain.
I beg to refer to Colonel Williamson, commanding Second Brigade, to whom, on his arrival,
I reported for orders, for testimony as to the conduct of my regiment. Our loss was 40 per cent.
of men engaged.
After carrying off our wounded and collecting our dead, I marched down the mountain and
reported for orders, the enemy having disappeared.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
Major, Comdg. Seventy-sixth Regiment Ohio Vol. Infantry.
Capt. C. H. KIBLER,
Assistant Adjutant-General.
Ringgold, Ga., November 28, 1863.
Brig. Gen. C. R. WOODS,
Comdg. First Brig., First Div., 15th Army Corps:
GENERAL: I feel it to be but an act of justice to the Seventy-sixth Ohio Volunteer Infantry,
which was detached from your brigade and fought with mine, to state freely the part it took in the
battle of Ringgold.
When the head of my column arrived at the depot I was ordered by General Osterhaus to
send a regiment to assist the Seventy-sixth in carrying the heights on the left of the gap, through
which the railroad passes. I immediately sent the Fourth Iowa Infantry, which advanced up the
hill with the Seventy-sixth Regiment, under a most galling and well-directed fire from the
enemy's sharpshooters, to within a short distance of the top, when they fixed bayonets and
charged to the summit, where a terrific and almost hand-to-hand engagement ensued. No better
fighting was ever done, nor was fighting ever done under more hopeless circumstances. Finally,
after losing a large per cent of both regiments (especially of the Seventy-sixth Ohio), they were
compelled to retire a few rods on account of a fire on both flanks and having no support, where
they held their position until I brought up two other regiments (the Ninth and Twenty-sixth
Iowa), when they all charged, and carried the crest of the hill.
Too much cannot be said in praise of the regiment. Many instances of individual bravery
might be mentioned if I were acquainted with the parties; as it is, I can only state that Major
Warner did all that a brave and efficient officer could do (at one time seizing the colors from the
fallen color bearer, going to the front and cheering the men forward), and the regiment gallantly
supported him.
J. A. WILLIAMSON. Colonel,
Comdg. 2d Brig., 1st Div., 15th Army Corps.
Camp at Ringgold, Ga., November 28, 1863.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report the action of this brigade in the battles of Lookout
Mountain, Missionary Ridge, and Ringgold, including all its movements from the 24th until the
evening of the 27th instant.
The brigade is composed of the Fourth Iowa Infantry, commanded by Lieut. Col. George
Burton; the Ninth Iowa Infantry, commanded by Col. David Carskaddon; the Twenty-fifth Iowa
Infantry, commanded by Col. George A. Stone; the Twenty-sixth Iowa Infantry, commanded by
Col. Milo Smith; the Thirtieth Iowa Infantry, commanded by Lieut. Col. A. Roberts, and the
Thirty-first Iowa Infantry, commanded by Lieut. Col. J. W. Jenkins. At the hour named in the
order of the night previous the brigade moved, following the First Brigade, to a point in front of
Lookout Mountain, near where the attack was to be commenced, and formed line of battle by
battalions en masse at deploying intervals. Very soon after my line was formed I received an
order from you to send a regiment to support a battery on the hill immediately in front of
Lookout Mountain, and commanding that portion of it when our troops were making the attack.
I detached my right regiment, the Fourth, and sent it to the place designated. Soon after this I
received another order to send one more regiment, to report to yourself, for some purpose
unknown to me. In obedience to the order, I sent you the Twenty-fifth.
The four remaining regiments I held in line until about 11 o'clock, when I received an order
from General Osterhaus to send another regiment to support a battery of Parrott guns
immediately in our front. In obedience to this order, I sent the Thirtieth.
I was then ordered to follow in the direction the First Brigade had taken with my three
remaining regiments, which I did, until I arrived at the crossing of Lookout Creek, at which place
General Osterhaus ordered my rear regiment (the Ninth) to remain and receive all the prisoners
then there and those to be sent back. I crossed the creek with my two remaining regiments, when
General Hooker in person sent another regiment (the Twenty-sixth) down the railroad to support
some troops at a point or gap somewhere toward our left.
I then proceeded up the mountain side with my one remaining regiment (the Thirty-first),
accompanied by General Osterhaus in person, with a part of his staff, and came up with the First
Brigade at a point where troops not belonging to the First Division were in line, engaging the
enemy. At this point I had some doubt as to where I should place my regiment on account of a
dense fog which had settled down on the mountain side and prevented me from seeing the
location of our troops, but soon found the line formed by a part of the First Brigade, and placed
the regiment on the left of it. I was very soon joined by the Ninth and Twenty-sixth, which had
been relieved and sent up to me, and placed them in line. At this place I learned from General
Osterhaus that the Fourth Iowa had been sent forward early in the day, and that they were at that
time somewhere up the mountain side; also that it had behaved well in the morning in driving the
enemy from their breastworks. About 2 p.m. an aide-de-camp from General Hooker ordered me
to relieve a regiment of General Geary's command, which was in the extreme front, under heavy
fire and out of ammunition. I immediately sent my adjutant-general, Capt. George E. Ford, with
the Thirty-first Regiment, to relieve the regiment, which was the --.
While my adjutant was there he found the Fifty-fourth Ohio [?]--also of General Geary's
command--was out of ammunition, and relieved it with the Fourth Iowa, which he found up at
the front.
After these regiments had been eight hours under fire, they sent me word that their
ammunition was nearly exhausted. I immediately informed General Osterhaus of the fact, and
was informed by him that the Twenty-fifth and Thirtieth Regiments of my brigade, which had
been left behind, must relieve them.
Captain Ford then started on foot in search of these regiments, but they had been ordered to
different points, and could not be found, the captain returning after several hours' walk, nearly
worn out by his unceasing exertion in the discharge of his duty.
In the meantime, before Captain Ford returned, I applied to General Geary, asking him to
relieve my regiment, inasmuch as they had relieved his in the first instance. He refused to do it. I
then took some ammunition from the remaining regiments with me to the regiments under fire,
and afterward, at about 1 a.m. went to General Geary and procured 8,000 rounds of ammunition
to replace what had been taken from my regiments.
Soon after 2 a.m., the enemy having previously ceased firing and retreated, General Geary
relieved the Fourth and Thirty-first regiments, and they fell back to their places in line of battle.
Early in the morning of the 25th, the Thirtieth and Twenty-fifth Regiments, having been
relieved by General Butterfield, of General Hooker's staff, reported to me, and took their
positions in line, thus bringing my brigade together for the first time since the morning previous.
About 9 o'clock on the morning of the 25th, my brigade was ordered to march toward
Missionary Ridge. When we arrived near the pass where the enemy made the first stand, I
received an order to take two regiments and ascend the hill in the left of the gap or pass.
I accordingly took the Fourth and Thirty-first and pushed rapidly to the top, meeting with but
little opposition. I pushed my skirmishers forward into the valley, where I expected to find the
enemy, but they had gone. I remained on the top of the ridge for a short time, until the Ninth and
Thirtieth Regiments came up (the Twenty-fifth and Twenty-sixth having been ordered by
General Osterhaus to take a position on the western slope of the ridge to keep back any flanking
force of the enemy which might come from our left), when I went forward to the valley, and then
moved out by the flank, through the gap, down the pass to the open ground, when I was ordered
to make a short halt. While at the halt, 2 men of the Ninth Iowa captured Lieutenant
Breckinridge, a son of Maj. Gen. John C. Breckinridge, of the Confederate Army. In obedience
to orders, I again proceeded up the main road by the right flank, still leaving the Twenty-fifth
and Twenty-sixth in the position which had been assigned them. The road on which I marched
was up on a ridge east of and parallel with Missionary Ridge. I had not proceeded far before I
heard heavy firing toward the front, on the left flank.
I immediately ordered the Fourth Regiment detached, and deployed it as skirmishers on my
left flank, and soon discovered that the enemy occupied that part of Missionary Ridge where I
had been but a short time before, and then moved my brigade forward, in line of battle, obliquely
to the right, closing up on the First Brigade, at the same time bringing my left forward, in line
with General Cruft's division on my left. I then received orders from General Osterhaus to go
rapidly forward in line.
This movement was executed gallantly by the four regiments of the brigade present going
down the side of the ridge we were then on and up the steep ascent of Missionary Ridge, all the
time under a heavy fire from the enemy, but driving them before us.
As I ascended the hill, I was in much doubt and perplexity as to whether I might not be
inflicting severe injury on my own skirmishers, and also on the right of the division on my left.
This uncertainty kept me from reaching the summit as soon as I otherwise might have done;
but, notwithstanding this, I think I may justly claim that one of my regiments (the Fourth)was the
first to reach the top, and that the brigade was there as soon as any other troops.
I took a great number of prisoners, but could not state accurately how many, as I ordered
them to be left behind under a very small guard, while the command pushed forward, and before
I could ascertain the number they were turned over to the officer who seemed to be taking charge
of all prisoners. The brigade captured as large a number as did any other command.
Many instances of personal bravery might be mentioned, but it must be sufficient to say that
all of the regiments did well.
Lieut. W. M. Stimpson, of my staff (of the Thirtieth Iowa Regiment), received a wound in
the head in the beginning of the engagement, but continued to discharge his duty until the end.
The brigade encamped on the field (here the Twenty-fifth and Twenty-sixth came up, having
been relieved) and took care of our wounded, and buried our dead during the night. On the
following morning, after picking up a large number of arms, delivering them to ordnance officer,
I moved forward, following First Brigade, and encamped for the night 4 miles east of
Chickamauga Creek.
On the morning of the 27th, the brigade marched at 5 o'clock toward Ringgold, where it
arrived about 10 o'clock and found the enemy strongly posted on a range of hills, known as
Taylor's Ridge, a short distance to the east of the town. General Osterhaus ordered me to send
one regiment to support the Seventy-sixth Ohio, of the First Brigade, which had been sent with a
view to taking the hill. I immediately ordered the Fourth Regiment forward, instructing its
commander to push forward and render all the assistance possible to the regiment in front, and
then, in obedience to an order from General Osterhaus, I brought forward another regiment (the
Thirty-first), and placed it along the railroad to act as sharpshooters, to cover the advance of the
two regiments sent forward.
Finding that the two regiments sent up were meeting with stubborn resistance, I took two
other regiments (the Ninth and Twenty-sixth) and went forward with them in person, advancing
up the side of the hill (which might be more properly called a mountain) until I came in line with
the Fourth Iowa and Seventy-sixth Ohio on their left.
In the meantime, before I could get the two regiments (the Ninth and Twenty-sixth) up, the
Fourth Iowa and Seventy-sixth Ohio had advanced to the top of the hill, but for the want of
support, after suffering severe loss, had been compelled to fall back a short distance (not more
than 50 or 60 paces from the summit), where they were when I came up.
While I was gaining this position my two remaining regiments, the Twenty-fifth and
Thirtieth, had in obedience to my order gone up to my left and were fast approaching the top,
their skirmishers being not more than 75 paces from the summit, when three regiments (as I am
informed of the Twelfth Army Corps)came up, one on the left of the Twenty-fifth-and one
between the Twenty-fifth and Thirtieth, the other passing through the Twenty-fifth by the flank.
Colonel Stone ordered and begged them to go up on his left, but the officers in command said
they had orders for doing as they did, and persisted in their course.
At this time the fire of the enemy had almost ceased, but they could be plainly seen making
dispositions of their forces to repel the advance of these regiments. Colonel Stone cautioned
them that the enemy would open a destructive fire on them if they went up in the manner they
were going. They replied they would teach "Western troops a lesson," and advanced a short
distance farther, when the enemy opened a terrific fire on them. They stood manfully for a
minute or two, when they gave way, and came down like an avalanche, carrying everything
before them, and to some extent propagating the panic among my regiments.
The fault of these regiments seemed to be more in the way in which they attempted to go up
the hill than in anything else. While Colonel Stone preferred the method of taking it by
skirmishing and cautiously advancing, the regiments above named tried to go up as if on parade
where the men could barely have gone up by clinging to the rocks and bushes. Colonels Stone
and Roberts did all they could to hold their men together, and soon succeeded in restoring order
and confidence, and again went up the hill.
Having no support on the right, and those regiments on the left having given way in
confusion, I found it would be folly to try to carry the hill until I should be re-enforced, and
accordingly made the best disposition of my force to hold the ground already gained, and sent a
messenger to inform General Osterhaus of the fact, and received from him an order to hold my
position and await re-enforcements.
I held my position for a short time. No re-enforcements or support coming to my aid, and
finding that the fire from the enemy had slackened, I again went forward and gained the top of
the ridge and found the enemy retreating, and a strong force farther on burning the railroad
bridge across East Chickamauga Creek.
I immediately went forward, keeping up a heavy fire, and drove them away before they
accomplished their work.
I had the fire put out on the first bridge, and sent Major Nichols, of the Fourth Iowa, and a
small party of men, who volunteered for the service, to put out the fire on the bridge farther on.
This he accomplished, after driving a much larger force than his own away.
I cannot speak too highly of the conduct of Major Nichols throughout all the campaign, and
especially in every action. First Lieut. Charles W. Baker, of Company C, and Second Lieut.
Thomas H. Cramer, of Company K, Fourth Iowa, both distinguished themselves in the front of
the fight, capturing prisoners from the very midst of the enemy. Lieutenant Cramer was instantly
killed, after making a capture of a lieutenant and several men, and Lieutenant Baker mortally
wounded (since dead) while heroically cheering the men on. Maj. Willard Warner, Seventy-sixth
Ohio, and his officers and men won my unqualified admiration.
Many instances of heroic daring and bravery came under my observation, and would be
reported specially if regimental commanders had furnished me the names of the parties.
Capt. George E. Ford, my assistant adjutant-general, was severely wounded in the leg while
trying to prevent the troops on my left from giving way, during the engagement at Ringgold.
Lieut. L. Shields, aide-de-camp, also received a slight wound in the hip at the same time.
I am much indebted to my staff officers--Captain Ford, Captain Darling, and Lieutenants
Shields and Stimpson--for their efficient services.
Accompanying this report you will find list of killed and wounded of the several regiments in
the different engagements.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel 4th Iowa, Comdg. 2d Brig., 1st Div., 15th A. C.
Capt. W. A. GORDON,
Asst. Adjt. Gen., 1st Division, 15th Army Corps.
Lookout Mountain, November 25, 1863.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report that, agreeably to your order, about 7 a.m. of yesterday
the Fourth Iowa Infantry moved forward and took a position on a hill immediately in front of
Lookout Mountain, and near the Tennessee River, supporting the First Ohio Battery [Battery K,
First Ohio Artillery] there planted.
About 11 o'clock, when the engagement became spirited on the right by the personal order of
Brigadier-General Osterhaus, I sent forward 50 of my regiment as skirmishers, under command
of Major Nichols, to the bank of the creek skirting the base of the mountain near the river, and
engaged the attention of the enemy at that point. I also shortly afterward, by further direction of
General Osterhaus, moved the regiment down the hill in advance of the battery, sustaining and
About 4 p.m. I received an order from Colonel --, on the staff of Major-General Hooker, to
report forthwith with the regiment to Brigadier-General Geary, commanding [Second] Division,
[Twelfth] Army Corps.
I thereupon crossed the creek, and under the direction of General Geary, arrived and
ascended the mountain, reaching a position assigned us near the cliffs about dark, and awaited
orders. Soon afterward I relieved the Twenty-fourth [?] Ohio Infantry., who represented
themselves as out of ammunition. Here our right rested on the base of the cliffs connecting onto
the left of the Thirty-sixth Indiana, on line extending directly down the mountain, our left joining
at right angles the right of the Thirty-first Iowa. While here the regiment assisted materially by
its enfilading fire in repulsing two charges of the enemy, and must certainly have inflicted upon
them a severe loss.
About 1 a.m. of to-day we were relieved by the Seventh Ohio. Too much praise cannot be
awarded both officers and men for the coolness, promptness, and firmness with which they
advanced to and held the various positions assigned them, in nearly every case under a heavy
fire. Our loss in the day's engagement was 1 killed and 6 wounded, a list in detail of which is
hereby appended.
I have the honor to subscribe myself, sir, your most obedient servant,
Lieutenant-Colonel, Comdg. Fourth Iowa Infantry.
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
Camp near Ringgold, Ga., November 28, 1863.
LIEUTENANT: I have the honor to report that, about 10 a.m. of yesterday, we arrived at
Ringgold, and were immediately ordered by Col. J. A. Williamson to follow the Seventy-sixth
Ohio Infantry, and move by the right flank in rear of the center of that regiment for the purpose
of supporting it. The Seventy-sixth Ohio at this time was in advance of us, moving to a point at
the base of Taylor's Ridge, a short distance to the east of the town. On arriving at the base of the
hill, I obeyed the order strictly until the regiment was half way up the ascent, when, at the
request of the major commanding the Seventy-sixth Ohio, I brought my regiment into line
immediately in his rear, still moving steadily forward. When near the crest of the hill, the men of
both regiments, from the steepness and ruggedness of the ground and the heaviness of the
enemy's fire, being somewhat deployed, the regiment was ordered to fix bayonets, and charge in
line with the Seventy-sixth. The order was gallantly obeyed; the crest of the hill was taken and
held for about ten minutes, when the enemy, being in heavy force, rallied in our front and
charged upon our right and left flanks simultaneously, at the same time pouring upon us a heavy
direct and enfilading fire. Under these circumstances, having no support, we were compelled to
fall back about 30 yards down the hill, where we succeeded in holding our position until reenforcements
arrived. About 2 o'clock we again advanced and scaled the hill. The enemy,
however, had by this time evacuated his position. Under the order of Col. J. A. Williamson, who
was present, we now moved a short distance along the ridge toward the gap near the town, when
we advanced down the hill and drove the enemy from the railroad bridge, which they were
endeavoring to destroy. While the regiment was putting out the fire on the bridge nearest the gap,
by further order of Colonel Williamson, I sent Major Nichols, with 40 men, to save the railroad
bridge in advance on the road by which the enemy had retreated, which was also in flames.
Both officers and men merit the highest praise for their coolness and bravery during the day's
Our casualties were 7 killed, 24 wounded, and 1 missing. A list in detail is hereto appended.
I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,
Lieutenant-Colonel, Comdg. Fourth Iowa Infantry.
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
Lookout Mountain, Tenn., November 25, 1863.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report that, in obedience to your order, I left camp in front of
Lookout Mountain with the remainder of the brigade, and proceeded with them toward Lookout
Mountain. After crossing Lookout Creek and ascending a part of the hill in my proper position in
brigade column, I was ordered back by Brigadier-General Osterhaus to receive and guard all
prisoners that had been or might be taken by our forces constituting the column assaulting
Lookout Mountain. Upon arriving on the other side of the creek I was ordered by Major-General
Hooker to return and take my position in brigade line of battle. I overtook the remainder of the
brigade before it had reached its position in line of battle, and participated in the engagement
during the afternoon and evening, not changing position while the engagement was going on.
I have the honor to append a list of casualties in this regiment during the action.
Both men and officers did their whole duty as soldiers and men.
I am, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel, Commanding Ninth Iowa Infantry.
A. A. A. G., 2d Brig., 1st Div., 15th Army Corps.
November 26, 1863.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report that, in pursuance to your order, I left Lookout
Mountain with the remainder of the brigade about 9 a.m. on the morning of November 25, 1863,
and proceeded toward Missionary Ridge. After crossing Chattanooga Creek, I went into brigade
line in my proper position and proceeded over the ridge, skirmishing slightly with the enemy
while crossing. After crossing the ridge I moved by the flank to the left until I arrived at the
traveled road running north and south, up which road I proceeded through a gap in the ridge to
an open field, where, in obedience to your order, I rested for a short time. Again, in obedience to
your order, I moved by the flank to the front with the rest of the brigade. After traveling about 1
mile the enemy was discovered by his fire into our left flank, and as speedily as possible I
fronted toward the left and advanced skirmishers. As there were other regiments advancing
toward a front that ran perpendicularly with mine, it became necessary to move again by the
right flank, and I continued to advance obliquely to the right, skirmishing with the enemy
continually and conforming my movements with the battalions on my right and left. After
advancing some distance obliquely I moved straight toward the front, until the enemy was
discovered upon the summit of the ridge in an intrenched position. With the remainder of the
brigade, I engaged the enemy here, and after exchanging fire with him for nearly an hour, I
charged with the remainder of the brigade and drove him from his position. My regiment
captured about 100 prisoners, and nearly the same number of arms and accouterments.
Where all did their whole duty it would be improper to make invidious distinctions by
mentioning one more than others. All, both officers and men, stood to their places nobly, and
advanced with ardor whenever ordered toward the enemy. I have the honor to append list of
casualties in this regiment during the engagement.
I am, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel, Commanding Ninth Iowa Infantry Volunteers.
A. A. A. G., 2d Brig., 1st Div., 15th Army Corps.
Ringgold, Ga., November 28, 1863.
LIEUTENANT: I have the honor to report that, in obedience to your order, I left camp in the
vicinity of Chickamauga Creek, Ga., at 5 a.m. yesterday morning, and advanced south with the
remainder of the brigade. I followed the Twenty-sixth Iowa in the position in brigade column,
crossing the bridge and going through the town of Ringgold under fire from both the artillery and
infantry of the enemy. I halted by your order in the center of the town for about five minutes,
after which proceeded to the foot of Taylor's Ridge, and after forming the line began to ascend
the hill under a heavy fire from the enemy posted on the summit.
Arriving near the crest of the hill I found there but two regiments, lying directly under the
summit, in immediate proximity to the enemy, who were posted in overpowering numbers upon
the summit. I advanced the colors of the regiment to a line with the colors of the two regiments
there posted, and arranged my command as a support to the two regiments already there.
I remained for two hours engaging the enemy, being partially sheltered by the crest of the
hill. Soon after I arrived at the summit, the enemy attempted to dislodge us by a flank movement
down a ridge to the right. I changed the front of four companies toward the right, and compelled
the enemy to retire from our flank with some loss.
After attempting a number of times to dislodge us, the enemy left the hill I occupied together
with the Fourth Iowa and Seventy-sixth Ohio Infantry Volunteers.
Passing over the hill I advanced to the front in company with the Fourth Iowa Infantry
Volunteers until I reached a creek which it was impossible to cross, pursuing the retreating
enemy and skirmishing with them continually. I advanced for about one-half a mile on a road
running between the base of the ridge and creek, but was unable to cross, and in obedience to
your order I returned to the railroad at the mouth of the gap in the ridge.
The courage and endurance of the men was put to the severest test, but there were no signs of
faltering or flinching, and all are worthy of commendation as cheerfully obeying all orders.
I append a list of casualties in the regiment during the engagement.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel, Commanding Ninth Iowa Volunteers.
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, Second Brigade.
Lookout Mountain, Tenn., November 25, 1863.
LIEUTENANT: I have the honor to make the following report of the part taken by my
regiment yesterday in the action of Lookout Mountain:
I formed line of battle at 5 a.m. and followed the First Iowa and First Missouri batteries until
I had reached a point just opposite the point of rocks on Lookout Mountain, when Captain
Gordon, assistant adjutant-general, First Division, Fifteenth Army Corps, ordered my regiment
forward to support the First New York Battery, situated almost under the point of rocks.
I remained in this position till dark, and, on account of our secure locality in the rifle-pits,
and the enemy being unable to depress his guns sufficiently to reach us, suffered no loss.
At dark I had orders from Captain Gordon to leave one company with the battery and report
myself with the remainder of the regiment to Major-General Butterfield for special duty. I
accordingly left one company (Company F, Captain Allen) as ordered, and at once reported with
the nine remaining companies to General Butterfield, and from him had orders to take a position
on the extreme right of the army to prevent any attempt the enemy might make during the night
to turn the right flank of the army, and in case of no attack, to join my brigade at daylight next
I therefore proceeded to the right of our lines, took a position, made a personal
reconnaissance of the ground both on my front and right, and no attack being made, I reported
the regiment to the colonel commanding the brigade the next morning.
I have no casualties to report in killed, wounded, or missing.
Very respectfully, &c.,
Colonel, Commanding.
A. A. A. G., 2d Brig., 1st Div., 15th Army Corps.
Missionary Ridge, Tenn., November 26, 1863.
LIEUTENANT: I have the honor to make the following report of the part taken by my
regiment in the action yesterday on Missionary Ridge:
As we approached the ridge and the skirmishers had just commenced the engagement, I
proceeded, in accordance with orders from General Osterhaus, to take position on the left of the
division to repel a cavalry attack feared coming in our left rear. Finding that one division of the
Fourth Army Corps were in my front, and that no danger need be apprehended from a cavalry
attack from that direction, I sent word to General Osterhaus, and was then ordered by him to
guard the pass between Missionary Ridge and some other ridge on the right, where the enemy
was intending to escape.
I picked up 27 prisoners here and had them turned over to General Carlin's brigade.
At 8 p.m., by orders from aide-de-camp, Lieutenant Darling, I rejoined the brigade.
I am, lieutenant, very respectfully, yours,
Colonel, Commanding.
A. A. A. G., 2d Brig., 1st Div., 15th Army Corps.
Near Ringgold, Ga., November 28, 1863.
LIEUTENANT: I respectfully submit the following report of the part taken by my regiment
in the engagement with the enemy yesterday on Taylor's Ridge, near Ringgold, Ga.:
Our brigade approached Taylor's Ridge, marching by a right flank, and, therefore, regiments
were compelled to change front forward into line of battle (perpendicularly to the line of
approach) in succession, and my regiment being the left one, I came into line last. The ground
over which I had to pass to reach the point where I had to ascend the hill was entirely open and
in complete view and commanded by the enemy's sharpshooters, and the fire here was very
annoying, but, as we passed it on the double-quick, I lost but two men here.
Arriving at the hill I immediately formed line of battle, the Thirtieth Iowa, Colonel Roberts,
being on my right, and commenced to ascend the hill. The fire here from the enemy was very
severe indeed, he having in addition to a direct fire one from my right and left oblique, thus
commanding us from three directions, our front and each flank. Yet, notwithstanding his
stubbornness, we drove the enemy's skirmishers back to the crest of the hill, and steadily
advanced to within about 100 yards of the top of the hill, the Thirtieth Iowa in plain view from
my position, and fully as far advanced.
I was just completing my arrangements for an advance on the run to a favorable position
about 25 yards farther up the hill, when three regiments (I was informed, of the Twelfth Army
Corps) came up, one on my left, one between me and the Thirtieth Iowa, and the other passing
through a part of my regiment. I spoke to one of the officers of the center column, ordering him
to go up the hill on my left, but he refused so to do, and when asked by what authority he went
up where he did, replied he was so ordered. The fire of the enemy now almost ceased, and I
could very distinctly notice a fresh column of the enemy passing to a point commanding my left,
and there formed. Anticipating from the lull that the enemy would soon open a sharp fire on the
three advancing regiments, I at once cautioned my men not to fall back if those three regiments
should be driven down.
All at once, when the regiments mentioned above had advanced above me some 25 yards, the
enemy opened on them from three points as terrific a musketry fire as I ever witnessed. They
stood manfully for a minute or two, and then came rushing down the hill pell-mell, like, I might
almost say, a whirlwind, right through and over my regiment, and the Thirtieth Iowa, shouting"
the enemy have flanked us and are coming."
In vain I endeavored to check them, or to prevent most of my men from being carried down
with them. They carried everything before them in a perfect panic.
My color bearer, a few of my officers and men, and myself, now being left in a position
where we were in danger of being captured by the enemy, now advancing down the hill, I
ordered them back to the next ravine, and proceeded to collect my men. I reformed the regiment
at the fence, within range of the enemy, and then with the Thirtieth Iowa again advanced up the
hill, and gained the top without any more trouble.
I regret more than I can express in words the necessity of most of the regiment having to fall
back, but I do not believe a regiment of regulars could have withstood the stampede of those
regiments that passed above me, and had they not come near us, I know in 30 minutes I should
have gained the hill.
The casualties are as follows: Killed, none; wounded, 29; missing, none. Of the wounded 7
were officers.
Very respectfully, lieutenant, yours, &c.,
Colonel, Commanding.
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
Near Ringgold, Ga., November 29, 1863.
SIR: In accordance with your order of the 28th instant, I have to report that my command
was ordered to be ready to move at 6 a.m. on the morning of the 24th instant, and were formed in
line of battle in Lookout Valley with the balance of the brigade, and when the advance was made
and the charge ordered on Lookout Mountain, they advanced with the balance of the brigade to
the crossing of the creek, and were then ordered by General Hooker to file to the left up the
railroad to support the force stationed at the cut on the line of the road, where we remained until
ordered by the brigade commander to rejoin the balance of the brigade, then advancing across the
point of Lookout Mountain. After advancing to the crest of the hill, were placed in line of battle
with the balance of the brigade, and remained in that position during the night, which was very
dark, foggy, and rainy, and while remaining in line of battle were ordered to advance a line of
skirmishers for observation, and while advancing the skirmishers to the necessary position,
Lieut. Col. T. G. Ferreby was severely wounded in the left leg and carried from the field, and
two of the skirmishers were slightly wounded upon the evacuation of Lookout Mountain.
On the morning of the 25th instant, we were ordered to march, with the balance of the
brigade, to Missionary Ridge, and when nearing the ridge were ordered by General Osterhaus in
person to file to the left and advance through the timber to prevent a flank movement of a
regiment of the enemy's cavalry. We remained in the position assigned us by General Osterhaus
in person until ordered by the brigade commander to rejoin the balance of the command. We
then filed up through the defile in the ridge and took the position assigned us on the right of the
summit of the ridge, and followed our advancing line until darkness put an end to the battle and
the enemy had fled in confusion from the field. In this day's operations we lost no men, either in
killed, wounded, or missing.
On the 26th instant, we marched from Missionary Ridge to the camp, about 4 miles from
Ringgold, and the morning of the 27th the command advanced to Ringgold and were at once
ordered to charge the enemy strongly posted on Oak Ridge, a very strong position in the rear of
the town. The brigade to which we belong charged up the hill as rapidly as the nature of the
ground would permit, and taking position as near the top of the ridge as-the constant and severe
fire of the enemy would permit, maintained the position thus taken until the enemy fled from the
field, and the Fourth, Ninth, and Twenty-sixth Iowa Infantry advanced and took possession of
the field, in connection with the Seventy-sixth Ohio, of the First Brigade, of the same division.
The regiments above alluded to maintained their position through a severe and galling fire
without flinching, while the troops to the left of us broke badly and fled in confusion from the
field, and left our left exposed to a flanking fire from the enemy. During this day's operations the
regiment had 1 captain and 2 lieutenants wounded, 3 privates killed and 7 wounded.
After the enemy had fled from the field the regiment, in connection with the Ninth Iowa,
pursued the enemy to the creek beyond the ridge, and were pursuing them farther when ordered
by General Osterhaus to return to town. While pursuing the enemy from the field we were
constantly picking up straggling prisoners, but deeming them of so little account no
memorandum of the number was kept, but as fast as taken were turned over to other commands
having prisoners in charge.
During the three days in which we were engaged, the men and officers of my command did
all that was asked of them with cheerfulness, and endured the hardships and privations without a
murmur, and in all places acquitted themselves with credit to the command to which they belong,
and to the State that sent them to the field.
All of which is respectfully submitted.
Colonel, Comdg. Twenty-sixth Regiment Iowa Infantry.
Commanding Brigade.
Ringgold, Ga., November 28, 1863.
LIEUTENANT: I have the honor to report the part my regiment took in the engagements of
the 24th, 25th, and 27th.
On the morning of the 24th, I was ordered to follow the Ninth Iowa Volunteers, which I did
for the distance of about 1 mile. Here we remained until 1 p.m., when, by order of Colonel
Williamson. I moved my regiment forward to the works to support one section of the Fourth
Ohio Battery (Parrott guns). Here I remained until 5 p.m., when I was ordered by General
Osterhaus to report with my regiment to General Butterfield, who ordered me to report to
General Geary on the side of Lookout Mountain. At 8 p.m. I reported to General Geary for
orders, and was ordered to relieve the Twenty-eighth Pennsylvania Volunteers, which was done.
About 11 p.m., after posting sharpshooters on the right and left of the point (mountain), I ordered
my regiment to rest for the night. No casualties.
On the morning of the 25th, I received orders to join my brigade, which I did about 9 a.m.,
when I was again ordered to follow the Ninth Iowa Volunteer Infantry. After crossing Mission
Ridge and moving by the right flank through the gap, I was again ordered to halt, for a short
time. I was again ordered back through the gap out up the ridge on the right of Mission Ridge,
still on the left of the Ninth Iowa Infantry Volunteers. We had proceeded in this manner about
one-half mile from the gap, when I was cautioned by General Osterhaus to be prepared for an
attack from the left. I was here ordered to halt and send forward my skirmishers, which I did. I
was then ordered to move my regiment by the left flank, in line with and on the left of the Ninth
Iowa Volunteers. I moved in this manner until within about 300 yards of the enemy, who was
strongly posted on Mission Ridge. Here I was ordered to move my regiment forward doublequick
until within about 75 yards of the enemy. Here I halted, and my regiment was hotly
engaged with the enemy for about twenty minutes, when the enemy broke, leaving some 20
killed and wounded and 25 prisoners in our hands. I sent the prisoners to the rear of my regiment,
and moved by the right flank, following the Ninth Iowa Volunteers, along the ridge until ordered
into camp by Colonel Williamson. Casualties, 1 killed and 4 wounded.
On the 27th, reached Ringgold at 10 a.m. Passed through Ringgold and formed in line of
battle in rear of the Ninth Iowa Volunteers, at the foot of the ridge on the left of the town. I was
then ordered to move to the left of the Ninth Iowa Volunteers, and then by the flank advancing
up the ridge, and soon became hotly engaged with the enemy. My regiment was here ordered to
halt, but seeing that I was exposed to a cross-fire from the enemy, I again moved forward to a
more secure and advantageous position, when I again ordered my regiment to halt, and kept up a
brisk fire with the enemy--who was strongly posted behind hastily constructed works of logs and
stones--about one hour, when I had to cease firing on account of the Twenty-eighth Pennsylvania
Volunteers and Seventh Ohio Volunteers passing through my regiment. They advanced some 20
paces in front of my regiment, when they broke under a heavy fire from the enemy, passing
through my regiment in great confusion, causing my regiment to break and fall back. I rallied my
regiment and formed line at the railroad, and again moved forward to the ridge, and passing over
the ridge, finding that the enemy had retreated, I moved my regiment to the railroad, where I
received orders to move to camp.
Both officers and men acted very bravely until thrown into confusion by the retreat of the
Twenty-eighth Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers and Seventh Ohio Regiment. I could have
easily held my position if my regiment had not been thrown into confusion by those regiments.
Casualties in this day's engagement were 2 killed and 21 wounded.
I am, lieutenant, your obedient servant,
Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding.
Lieutenant SHIELDS,
A. A. A. G., 2d Brig., 1st Div., 15th Army Corps.
Camp near Ringgold, Ga., November 29, 1863.
SIR: I have the honor to make the following report of the operations of this regiment at the
battles of Lookout Mountain, Mission Ridge, and Ringgold:
On the morning of the 24th instant the regiment fell into line in obedience to orders, and
about noon crossed [Lookout] Creek, and moved up the western slope of Lookout Mountain in
support of the First Brigade of this division and other troops, who were engaging the enemy on
that side of the mountain. After reaching the first line of the enemy's works, which had already
been taken, the regiment moved round to the left near the white house, where it remained for an
hour or more under a scattering fire from the enemy, which it was impossible to return, and
which severely wounded a sergeant of Company F. Soon after, the regiment was ordered to join
the brigade lower down the hill, where it lay till 3 p.m., when it moved to the front, along the
eastern slope of the mountain, immediately south of the white house. The regiment took a
position on the side of the mountain, extending obliquely from the line on our right toward the
road leading to the top of the mountain, the left of the regiment thrown forward so as to be within
a few rods of the enemy's line. The enemy poured a heavy fire upon the regiment from the
moment it passed the white house, and by the time it reached its position and commenced firing,
4 men had been wounded, one mortally and all severely. The firing was heavy along the whole
line for two hours, and upon our left it was terrific till the enemy fell back and took a new
About 10 p.m. the officer commanding Company B, on the left (Captain Speer). informed me
that the enemy were moving in force to the left, and throwing forward a force apparently to flank
us. I immediately dispatched the intelligence to General Geary, and asked to have additional
troops sent to our left. In accordance with the request, the Second Ohio and Forty-second Indiana
were immediately sent, and had scarcely formed when the enemy opened upon them and upon
our entire line a terrific fire, which continued for two hours with the most persistent energy. Our
troops gallantly repelled the attack and held the position, although the enemy made three
desperate attempts to force them back. About 12 o'clock the firing ceased, and the troops lay
upon their arms till 5 a.m., when the regiment was relieved and rejoined the brigade in its
position of the evening before, having been fourteen hours in the front and at lest nine hours
under the severest fire. About 10 a.m. of the 25th instant the regiment moved with the brigade
from the position on Lookout Mountain, along the Rossville road toward Mission Ridge. Near
the foot of the ridge it was deployed into line of battle on the left of the road, and advanced to the
top of the ridge without finding any enemy, except a few skirmishers, who made hasty retreat.
On arriving at the top of the ridge the regiment moved by the flank into the road, and, after a
brief delay, along the Graysville road. The skirmishers soon discovered, and opened fire upon,
the enemy upon the left of the road, and the regiment, facing to the left, advanced to the attack
in line with the Ninth Iowa on our left. The enemy was posted on the top of Mission Ridge,
behind temporary breastworks, and our line advanced to the attack from a ridge lying parallel to
Mission Ridge on the east, and separated from it by a deep ravine. Our line charged down the
hill, through the ravine, and up the side of Mission Ridge upon the enemy, who kept up a steady
fire until our line was within a few rods of him, when he gave way and retreated in disorder
along the top of the ridge to the north. Our men followed closely and kept up their fire till the
enemy, surrounded on all sides by the advancing Union forces, was compelled to surrender.
About 10 a.m. of the 27th instant the regiment entered the town of Ringgold with the brigade.
The enemy was firing as we entered the town, and, in obedience to orders, this regiment took a
position behind the embankment of the railroad on the north of the depot and fronting the
mountain from which the enemy was firing. Soon after, in obedience to orders direct from
General Osterhaus, the regiment moved up and took a position near the foot of the mountain to
the right of the brigade, and opened fire, which it continued till about 1 p.m., when, in obedience
to further orders from General Osterhaus, it moved in line of battle directly up the face of the
mountain, reaching the top as the balance of the brigade followed the enemy down the opposite
side of the mountain.
I have to say for the regiment which I had the honor to command in these several
engagements, that both men and officers who were present behaved with great gallantry, and
fully sustained the proud reputation which the Iowa soldiers have won upon so many battlefields.
Appended is a list of the casualties of the regiment during the three battles.
Yours, &c.,
Lieutenant-Colonel, Comdg. Thirty-first Iowa Infty. Vols.
Lieutenant SHIELDS,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
Graysville, Ga., November 28, 1863.
SIR: I have the honor of submitting the following report of the part taken by the Second
Brigade in the attack upon the rebel forces on the 24th and 25th instant, together with a list of
The position of the brigade was upon the right of the division, and numbered 920 effectives,
commanded by Brig. Gen. John M. Corse. The brigade advanced about 2 p.m. on the 24th, and
took possession of the first range of hills in front of Missionary Ridge with but little resistance,
the enemy, some 200 or 300 strong, retiring hastily and in disorder behind his batteries on the
main ridge. In the evening the enemy threw a few shots from his guns, which by the prompt
arrival of Richardson's battery, under the command of Lieutenant Callender, were soon silenced,
leaving the brigade to rest for the night in quiet.
At 7 a.m., 25th, General Corse gave orders for the Fortieth Illinois, Major Hall, and
Companies A, F, and B, of the One hundred and third Illinois, under Major Willison, to be
deployed as skirmishers, with the Forty-sixth Ohio, under my command, in reserve, for the
purpose of charging the enemy intrenched on the ridge between us and Tunnel Hill. This charge
the general led in person, driving the enemy before him and finally from his works to the
protection of his guns on the opposite hill. After the brigade had taken position on this ridge, our
eager general gave orders to charge the enemy's battery on Tunnel Hill. Three lines of
skirmishers were deployed in the following order: Fortieth Illinois, Major Hall; one wing of the
One hundred and third Illinois, under Major Willison; one wing of the Forty-sixth Ohio, under
Captain Ramsey, with the remainder of the brigade organized as reserve, under my command.
This charge, too, was led by our gallant general. The advance was sounded, and the several lines
rushed over the brow of the hill under a most terrific fire. Being in easy canister and musket
range, it seemed almost impossible for any troops to withstand it, but so eager were the men to
take the new position that they charged through it, all with a fearlessness and determination that
was astonishing. In this charge, our brave general fell badly wounded. Once only did the line
waver, and that was when he was being borne from the field, but they were soon rallied. Every
effort was made to reach the enemy's works, and only after repeated efforts had failed did the
main portion of the men retire upon the ridge; some of the men yet remained in clusters on the
opposite slope during the entire day, doing the enemy much damage; a few even reached the
enemy's works, but were killed. Finding it impossible to accomplish the desired result, I ordered
the regimental commanders to reorganize their men as fast as they returned under the crest of the
hill About 3 p.m., the enemy having repulsed the troops on our right, after their long and gallant
struggle, showed himself in large numbers, both on my right and front, with bayonets fixed, with
the evident intention of charging the retreating troops and my little band. Then it was that the
Second Brigade did its work. In an instant every man was at his post and poured into the enemy
volley after volley, that sent him running to his works. That this firing punished the enemy good
is evidenced by the haste in which those coming upon us went back, and from the fact that his
guns, even his muskets, did not fire a shot for at least thirty minutes after I had given my men the
order to "cease firing." In this fight Lieutenant-Colonel Miller, Sixth Iowa, behaved with marked
bravery. The fighting continued in a greater or less degree until dark, when we were relieved by
detachments from the Fifty-seventh Ohio and Sixth Missouri, under Lieutenant-Colonel Mott, of
the former regiment. Lieutenant Callender, in command of Richardson's battery, and his men
exhibited great skill and promptness in handling their pieces and rendering us much service. I
must say of General Corse that he is one of the bravest and best men I ever saw, and an officer of
distinguished ability. He enjoys the highest confidence and respect of every man in his brigade,
and that he is not dangerously wounded, and will soon return to us, is our greatest satisfaction.
Too much praise cannot be bestowed upon all the officers and men for their gallantry during
the entire engagement. I find it impossible to mention their names; it would be too voluminous.
We had no lurkers; on the contrary, each man endeavored to outdo the other. Captain Allison,
Sixth Iowa, Captain Walsh, One hundred and third Illinois, and Adjt. George Gorman, Fortysixth
Ohio, were killed, almost under the enemy's guns. The personal staff of General Corse,
Major Ennis, Captain Upton, Lieutenant Wilkinson, Lieutenant Grimes, Lieutenant Watson, and
Captain Pratt, were in the thickest of the fight, bravely doing their duty. Major Ennis was
wounded in the first charge and taken from the field.
Our loss during the battle was as follows: Thirty-five killed and 186 wounded ; total, 221.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel Forty-sixth Ohio, Commanding Brigade.
Assistant Adjutant-General.
Graysville, Ga., November 28, 1863.
SIR: I have the honor of submitting the following report of the part taken by the Second
Brigade in the attack upon the rebel forces on the 24th and 25th instant, together with a list of
The position of the brigade was upon the right of the division, and numbered 920 effectives,
commanded by Brig. Gen. John M. Corse. The brigade advanced about 2 p.m. on the 24th, and
took possession of the first range of hills in front of Missionary Ridge with but little resistance,
the enemy, some 200 or 300 strong, retiring hastily and in disorder behind his batteries on the
main ridge. In the evening the enemy threw a few shots from his guns, which by the prompt
arrival of Richardson's battery, under the command of Lieutenant Callender, were soon silenced,
leaving the brigade to rest for the night in quiet.
At 7 a.m., 25th, General Corse gave orders for the Fortieth Illinois, Major Hall, and
Companies A, F, and B, of the One hundred and third Illinois, under Major Willison, to be
deployed as skirmishers, with the Forty-sixth Ohio, under my command, in reserve, for the
purpose of charging the enemy intrenched on the ridge between us and Tunnel Hill. This charge
the general led in person, driving the enemy before him and finally from his works to the
protection of his guns on the opposite hill. After the brigade had taken position on this ridge, our
eager general gave orders to charge the enemy's battery on Tunnel Hill. Three lines of
skirmishers were deployed in the following order: Fortieth Illinois, Major Hall; one wing of the
One hundred and third Illinois, under Major Willison; one wing of the Forty-sixth Ohio, under
Captain Ramsey, with the remainder of the brigade organized as reserve, under my command.
This charge, too, was led by our gallant general. The advance was sounded, and the several lines
rushed over the brow of the hill under a most terrific fire. Being in easy canister and musket
range, it seemed almost impossible for any troops to withstand it, but so eager were the men to
take the new position that they charged through it, all with a fearlessness and determination that
was astonishing. In this charge, our brave general fell badly wounded. Once only did the line
waver, and that was when he was being borne from the field, but they were soon rallied. Every
effort was made to reach the enemy's works, and only after repeated efforts had failed did the
main portion of the men retire upon the ridge; some of the men yet remained in clusters on the
opposite slope during the entire day, doing the enemy much damage; a few even reached the
enemy's works, but were killed. Finding it impossible to accomplish the desired result, I ordered
the regimental commanders to reorganize their men as fast as they returned under the crest of the
hill About 3 p.m., the enemy having repulsed the troops on our right, after their long and gallant
struggle, showed himself in large numbers, both on my right and front, with bayonets fixed, with
the evident intention of charging the retreating troops and my little band. Then it was that the
Second Brigade did its work. In an instant every man was at his post and poured into the enemy
volley after volley, that sent him running to his works. That this firing punished the enemy good
is evidenced by the haste in which those coming upon us went back, and from the fact that his
guns, even his muskets, did not fire a shot for at least thirty minutes after I had given my men the
order to "cease firing." In this fight Lieutenant-Colonel Miller, Sixth Iowa, behaved with marked
bravery. The fighting continued in a greater or less degree until dark, when we were relieved by
detachments from the Fifty-seventh Ohio and Sixth Missouri, under Lieutenant-Colonel Mott, of
the former regiment. Lieutenant Callender, in command of Richardson's battery, and his men
exhibited great skill and promptness in handling their pieces and rendering us much service. I
must say of General Corse that he is one of the bravest and best men I ever saw, and an officer of
distinguished ability. He enjoys the highest confidence and respect of every man in his brigade,
and that he is not dangerously wounded, and will soon return to us, is our greatest satisfaction.
Too much praise cannot be bestowed upon all the officers and men for their gallantry during
the entire engagement. I find it impossible to mention their names; it would be too voluminous.
We had no lurkers; on the contrary, each man endeavored to outdo the other. Captain Allison,
Sixth Iowa, Captain Walsh, One hundred and third Illinois, and Adjt. George Gorman, Fortysixth
Ohio, were killed, almost under the enemy's guns. The personal staff of General Corse,
Major Ennis, Captain Upton, Lieutenant Wilkinson, Lieutenant Grimes, Lieutenant Watson, and
Captain Pratt, were in the thickest of the fight, bravely doing their duty. Major Ennis was
wounded in the first charge and taken from the field.
Our loss during the battle was as follows: Thirty-five killed and 186 wounded ; total, 221.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel Forty-sixth Ohio, Commanding Brigade.
Assistant Adjutant-General.
Near Chattanooga, Tenn., November 29, 1863.
LIEUTENANT: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part borne by the
Seventeenth Iowa Infantry during the engagement of the Fifteenth Army Corps at Mission Ridge,
on the 24th and 25th of November, 1863:
On the morning of the 24th, at 12.30 o'clock, in accordance with orders previously received, I
moved my right to the Tennessee River, near the mouth of the West Chickamauga, and rested in
line in rear of the Fifth Iowa Infantry, until about 3.30 a.m., when I embarked in small pontoon-
boats, landing the regiment near and below the mouth of East Chickamauga Creek, where I
formed a line in a corn-field, under cover of a hill. Rested here until 7 a.m., when my regiment,
with the brigade, was marched by the left flank about half a mile in the direction of Mission
Ridge, where the brigade was formed in column of regiments, the Seventeenth Iowa in the rear.
My regiment (with the brigade)was then moved by the left flank to the rear of the Third Brigade,
when arms were stacked and the men allowed to rest. At about 1 p.m. my regiment, in common
with the whole division, was placed into close column by division, and moved toward Mission
Ridge, the Seventeenth Iowa in advance of the Second and following the Third Brigade.
In this order we moved through a swamp and close underbrush, about three-fourths of a mile,
to the railroad, when I was ordered by Colonel Raum (commanding Second Brigade, Third
Division, Fifteenth Army Corps) to move my regiment by the right flank and form in rear of the
First Brigade, which succeeded in reaching the top of the ridge. Here I rested in line until it was
almost dark, when the brigade was moved to the rear about three-fourths of a mile and
bivouacked for the night.
At 10 o'clock on the morning of the 25th, I was ordered by Colonel Raum to move by the left
flank toward Tunnel Hill. We were halted in an open field and the brigade formed in line in front
of a rifle-pit occupied by a portion of the Fourth Division (the Seventeenth Iowa on the right of
the brigade, its right resting on the railroad), stacked arms, and the men rested here until 2.30
p.m., when the brigade was formed into close column, by division, in two lines (the Seventeenth
Iowa forming the right of the first line), and moved forward to support the Third Brigade
(Matthies'), which was at this time closely contesting with the enemy a narrow ridge to the left of
Tunnel Hill When within about 300 yards of the base of the-hill, I was ordered by Colonel
Raum to move by the left flank and follow the Eightieth Ohio up the road that runs along a rocky
ledge perpendicular with the hill occupied by the Third Brigade. Here we met a heavy fire from a
battery that the enemy had planted on a hill to our right, but reached the base of the hill without
casualty. I was here ordered by Colonel Raum to form on the right of the Eightieth Ohio along a
rail fence in near of the Ninety-third Illinois, about three-fifths of the distance from the base to
the top of the ridge, and await further orders.
I found General Matthies here (wounded), and conferred with him in regard to the position of
his brigade. I learned the enemy was heavily posted upon our front and right, but that a portion of
the Fifth Iowa was deployed to the right as skirmishers. General Matthies stated that his men
were nearly out of ammunition. I saw his acting assistant adjutant-general, who told me they had
ammunition sufficient to last fifteen minutes, and I immediately sent my adjutant (Lieutenant
Woolsey) to Colonel Raum, who was with the reserve (Tenth Missouri and Fifty-sixth Illinois),
about 200 yards in our rear, with a statement of the situation of the Third Brigade, and asking for
Colonel Raum came up and ordered me to advance. By this time a large number of men had
fallen back from the regiment immediately in front of the Seventeenth Iowa, breaking through its
lines. When I had advanced half way up the hill, the whole right of the Third Brigade gave way
and fell back through the Seventeenth Iowa and Eightieth Ohio. We had now reached the crest of
the hill, and I discovered a heavy force of the enemy on my right, quite close, the left of their line
coming up in our rear on a double-quick. Seeing that we were outflanked and outnumbered, I
ordered my regiment to fall back, which they did, retreating down the line toward the left. Here
the whole line (including a portion of the Third Brigade, which had remained on the hill) gave
way and retreated in confusion across the corn-field to the next ridge. I rallied my men here, and
sent to Colonel Raum to inform him of the whereabouts of my regiment. I was soon after notified
by Lieutenant Nichelson (acting assistant adjutant-general, Second Brigade, Third Division,
Fifteenth Army Corps) that Colonel Raum was wounded, and, being the ranking officer of the
brigade, I directed Major Skeels (who had rallied the Eightieth Ohio) to form his battalion on the
left of the Seventeenth Iowa.
I reported to General John E. Smith (commanding Third Division, Fifteenth Army Corps),
who ordered me to form the brigade upon the ground it occupied before moving to the support of
the Third Brigade. Here we bivouacked for the night.
I wish to make special mention of the gallant conduct of Adjutant Woolsey (whose coolness
and efficiency upon the field are unsurpassed) and First Lieut. George W. Deal, of Company G,
to both of whom I owe many thanks for valuable assistance rendered.
Accompanying this I send list of casualties.
Very respectfully,
Colonel, Commanding Regiment.
A. A. A. G., 2d Brig., 3d Div., 15th Army Corps.
Camp near Chattanooga, Tenn., November 29, 1863.
SIR: I have the honor to report the part taken by my regiment in the recent movement of the
Fifteenth Army Corps in an engagement at Missionary Ridge.
At 12.30 of the morning of the 24th instant, in pursuance of orders from division
headquarters, the Tenth Regiment Missouri Infantry, as a part of the Second Brigade, Third
Division, Fifteenth Army Corps, moved from the present camp to the Tennessee River, near the
mouth of West Chickamauga Creek. About 4.30 a.m. the regiment commenced crossing the river
in pontoon-boats, and finished about dawn, and took position in line in rear of the other
regiments of the brigade on the river bottom. About 7 a.m., by order of Col. G. B. Raum,
commanding brigade, I moved the regiment by the right flank to the right, and formed along the
line of rifle-pits, facing down the river, and commenced deploying three companies as
skirmishers to the front of said position. Before this movement was completed it was
countermanded by same authority, and the regiment was marched by the left flank and formed in
front of the brigade (it being ployed into column of regiments, and held as reserve to the First
Brigade deployed in rear of a line of rifle-pits facing toward the Missionary Ridge).
At noon the regiment, in common with the other regiments of the division, was ployed into
close column by division, and marched to the front toward Missionary Ridge. On arriving at the
crossing of the railroad, and at the foot of the ridge, it marched by the left flank and took position
in line of battle in rear of the Third Brigade. About sundown the regiment (and brigade)was
ordered down the ridge and took position in a piece of woods on the left of the road to the river,
and about half a mile from the foot of the ridge, where it bivouacked for the night.
Between 10 and 11 o'clock of the 25th instant, the regiment, by order of Col. G. B. Raum,
marched from the last-mentioned position and formed on the left of the brigade, in front of a line
of earthworks, occupied by a part of the Fourth Division, Fifteenth Army Corps, at the foot of
Missionary Ridge, and at right angles to the same, facing toward Chattanooga. About 1 p.m. the
brigade was ployed into close column by division, in two lines, the Tenth Missouri Infantry
being on the left of the second line, and in that formation advanced about 500 yards, when it was
moved by the left flank around the rocky base of a ridge (under an extremely heavy fire of shell
and spherical case-shot from a rebel battery on Tunnel Hill), and along a road near the foot of a
hill parallel with and to the left of Tunnel Hill, it there being formed on the left of the Fifty-sixth
Regiment Illinois Infantry, as a part of the reserve to the Third Brigade, where it was exposed to
a heavy fire from the crest of the ridge. The Third Brigade, and the Seventeenth Iowa and
Eightieth Ohio Regiments, of the Second Brigade (the last named regiments forming the first
reserve line), being pressed by the enemy in heavy force, were compelled to retire down the hill
upon the Tenth Missouri Infantry, which advanced across a fence and took position to cover their
retreat and check the pursuing enemy. About this time I was informed that Colonel Raum was
wounded and wished to see me in the road to the rear of my regiment. I went to him, and was
informed by him that he understood that Colonel Wever, next in rank, was also wounded, and
ordered me to take command of the brigade. I immediately returned to my regiment and turned
over the command of the same to Lieut. Col. Christian Happel, and assumed command of the
I ordered the Tenth Missouri to commence firing upon the advancing enemy, which they did,
and soon compelled the rebels to retire to the crest of the hill out of range, when I ordered the
regiment to cease firing to avoid further injury to the wounded lying on the hillside. I thus held
the position until informed by Lieutenant-Colonel Happel that the enemy was rapidly flanking us
on our right, when I ordered the Tenth Missouri (the Eightieth Ohio and the Fifty-sixth Illinois
regiments being formed in their rear) to retire by the left of companies to the ravine, to the rear of
the position then occupied. They having done so, I reformed the two last-mentioned regiments to
the left of the Tenth Missouri Infantry, and ordered details from the three regiments, under a
commissioned officer, to proceed to the battle-field in front, and bring off as many of the
wounded as possible. While this was being done, I deployed two companies of the Tenth
Missouri as skirmishers on the summit of the ridge to my front and right, and formed the Fiftysixth
Illinois and Eightieth Ohio Regiments in line in rear of a fence at the foot of the same, with
the remaining eight companies of the Tenth Missouri as reserve, to repel an anticipated attack
from the enemy. Soon afterward I received an order from General J. E. Smith that as soon as I
had removed the wounded from the battle-field I should march the brigade to the earth-works, in
front of which it had formed in the morning, and bivouac for the night. As soon as the officer in
command of the details had reported that all the wounded had been removed who could possibly
be taken off with safety to the details, I ordered Lieutenant-Colonel Metham, of the Eightieth
Ohio, to remain with his regiment and guard the wounded until taken to the division hospital by
the ambulances, and then marched the Fifty-sixth Illinois and Tenth Missouri Infantry to the
point designated by General Smith, where I reported to Col. C. R. Wever, of the Seventeenth
Iowa Regiment, who, being the ranking officer, took command.
On the morning of the 26th, the regiment with the others of the brigade and division started
in pursuit of the enemy, crossing the Chickamauga Creek on a pontoon bridge near its mouth,
and marched about 12 miles and bivouacked. At 8 a.m. of the 27th, marched 6 miles to
Graysville, Ga., where the division remained for the day and night.
Being without rations, on the 28th instant, the division received orders to return to the present
camp, and at 12 o'clock started, the Second Brigade being the rear guard of the ammunition
trains of the Second, Third, and Fourth Divisions, Fifteenth Army Corps. We marched until 7
p.m., and bivouacked about 3 miles north of Chickamauga Station.
At 6 a.m. of to-day (29th), the division returned to the present camp, reaching the same about
10 a.m.
I desire to acknowledge the valuable services of Lieutenant-Colonel Happel, of this regiment,
at all times during the action, and testify to his bravery and coolness under fire. What I have said
of Lieutenant-Colonel Happel is applicable in the same degree to Major Walker, who was
seriously wounded.
My thanks are due to Surg. P. J. Payne for his skill and care in attending on the wounded and
During the period in which I was in command of the brigade I was much indebted to the
following members of the brigade staff: To Capt. W. W. McCammon and Lieut. C. W. Woodrow
during the action, and to them and Lieutenant Nichelson, while reforming the brigade, I owe my
sincere thanks.
I am, sir, very respectfully, &c.,
Colonel, Commanding Tenth Regiment Missouri Infantry.
A. A. A. G., 2d Brig., 3d Div., 15th Army Corps.
Near Chattanooga, Tenn., November 29, 1863.
SIR: I have the honor to report that, in obedience to Special Orders, No. --, the Third Brigade
was in readiness, and moved in the night of the 23d and 24th in the rear of the First Brigade to
the river bank; commenced crossing the Tennessee River in boats. Arriving on the south side, I
formed the brigade on the right of the First Brigade, then already at work on their rifle-pits, on
the crest of the hill and to the right in the corn-field, facing south, except the Fifth Iowa, which
was formed in right angles to the rear, facing west, so as to serve a good protection on that flank.
By order of General Smith, I wheeled my brigade to the right to a continuation of ridges toward
the south, which brought me facing west, and my left connecting with the First Brigade; here I
commenced to intrench. The Fourth Division (General Ewing's) had arrived on the south side of
the river, and was forming in front of my brigade. General J. E. Smith ordered me to form in the
rear of the left of the First Brigade, so as to be in my place in the order of march toward
Missionary Ridge. The order for this movement was received between 2 and 3 p.m., and the
brigade formed, in obedience to Special Orders, No. --, in close column by divisions, right in
front, in the rear of First Brigade. The whole, by command of Brig. Gen. John E. Smith, was set
in motion, advanced toward Missionary Ridge, and after very little delay, arrived at the crest of
the hill. There I was ordered to form in two lines facing south. After a reconnaissance of our
position by the general commanding division, I was ordered to intrench my command. Shortly
after, however, this order was countermanded, and I was ordered to move my brigade down the
ridge and form on the left of the Second Brigade, also moving down. Being a cloudy afternoon, it
soon became dark. I was then ordered to bivouac in column by regiments, my left resting on the
road, leading from the railroad to the river, my brigade facing south. The Fifth Iowa Infantry was
thrown out as rickets parallel with the road, and well advanced to the front and racing west.
On the 25th instant, about 11 a.m., I received orders from General John E. Smith,
commanding division, to move my brigade to the rear of the right wing of General Ewing's
division. My acting assistant adjutant-general, R. A. McKee, was sent at once to find where my
position would be. Marched by the left flank toward the railroad in the following order: Ninetythird
Illinois, Twenty-sixth Missouri, and Tenth Iowa. On reaching the point on the railroad
where the Fifth Iowa was on picket I relieved the same, according to orders received, placing that
regiment on my right. I marched the whole brigade by the front, facing west, until I arrived at
some underbrush below the open field. Here I halted. Lieutenant McKee returned with the orders
from General Ewing to report to Colonel Loomis and form in the field along the fence facing
Tunnel Hill and rest there. Hardly had my line formed, the left wing of which (Ninety-third
Illinois and Twenty-sixth Missouri) being in shelter behind a little ridge, when the enemy's
batteries opened on my right wing, which compelled me to move the same in rear of the left
wing. Colonel Loomis then went to General Ewing for instructions, and returning, said, The
order for you is to move your brigade up and take that white house," pointing to a house that was
standing below and in front of Tunnel Hill. My line was instantly formed and the "Old Ironsides"
moved up to work. The enemy's batteries opened on us from three points, Tunnel Hill and the
hills on the right and left of it. We had lost but 2 men as yet. A ditch running through the center
of the field caused some trouble in crossing. The enemy now had a good range on us; the men
were put on the double-quick, and we gained the foot of the ridge. The white house was on fire.
A road leads along the foot of the hill toward the white house. Here my brave men rallied at
once. I ordered the Fifth Iowa to take possession of the white house and grounds, with
instructions to secure the front and flanks well by skirmishers. I sent the Tenth Iowa to the right
with orders to secure the right flank. The Twenty-sixth Missouri and Ninety-third Illinois
remained in the road 20 yards to the rear, to the left of the right wing. The white house was now
in flames. The incessant fire of musketry and artillery from the hills forming a half circle around
me, made this a hot place. Colonel Putnam said the regiments on the hill had sent down for reenforcements;
with them they could hold the hill. I ordered Colonel Putnam to move up
cautiously, and sent Lieutenant McKee back across the field to report that the white house was
set on fire by the enemy and was in flames; that I held that ground; that I had sent one regiment
up the hill to re-enforce the Twenty-seventh Pennsylvania, the commanding officer of which
thought he could hold it (the hill). Batteries plowed the ground around us. I ordered the Twentysixth
Missouri to occupy the place when the Ninety-third Illinois had left, it being less exposed,
and the Fifth and Tenth Iowa to keep close to the hill. Lieutenant McKee returned with the order
to hold that hill if possible, and that another brigade was coming up to our assistance. I ordered at
once the Twenty-sixth Missouri to advance up the hill and form in rear of the Ninety-third
Illinois; next the Tenth Iowa to form on the right of Ninety-third Illinois; sent my aide, Lieut.
John Wright, to the colonel of Fifth Iowa to advance his skirmishers well to the front and right
flank. These dispositions made, I ascended the hill, and on arriving there found the position as
follows: Tenth Iowa on the left, Ninety-third Illinois and Twenty-sixth Missouri center, part of
Twenty-seventh Pennsylvania between the Fifth Iowa and Ninety-third Illinois, to the extreme
right a heavy skirmish line of the Fifth Iowa Infantry. I was turning round to caution my men to
fire low and sure. I was struck by a bullet in the head, which felled me to the ground. I regained
consciousness in a few minutes, sent for Colonel Dean, of the Twenty-sixth Missouri, he being
senior officer on the hill, turned over to him command of the brigade and orders I had received,
showed him the position of the brigade, the safest route to fall back on, also the line of troops
advancing to our assistance, and left the field for the hospital.
The long list of casualties will show the loss of many a brave and noble patriot. The loss of
Holden Putnam, colonel Ninety-third Illinois, is felt severely by us all. With the colors in his
hand, in front of his gallant regiment, defying the enemies of his country and cheering on his
men, he was shot through the head and died instantaneously. Not often has it been the lot of one
brigade to stand the brunt of battle as much as this. I name Iuka, Champion's Hill, Vicksburg,
and Missionary Ridge.
Total loss of brigade in killed, wounded, and missing, 314.
Assistant Adjutant-General.
Larkinsville, Ala., December 29, 1863.
COLONEL: I have the honor to forward to you a report of the part taken by the Fifth Iowa
Infantry, in the recent engagement near Chattanooga, Tenn.:
We marched from camp on the north side of the Tennessee River, at 2 a.m. of the 24th day of
November, crossed the river in boats, the last of the regiment making the opposite side of the
river at daylight, were placed in position on a knoll, fortified a line equal to the front of the
regiment, were moved into a second position, and fortified the second line. At 1 p.m. we were
thrown into column by division, with the rest of the division, and moved forward in the direction
of the north hill of Mission Ridge, passed over a field and through a skirt of timber about 2
miles, much of which was covered with deep mud and water. Arriving at the foot of the hill were
marched by the flank to near its summit, where we formed the regiment in line, with the brigade
in column by regiment; remained here for one-half hour, when I was ordered to detail one-half of
each company to fortify the summit of the hill; detail was made and men commenced work. We
were then ordered to fall in, take arms, and were marched hurriedly down the hill in the direction
we had come up. Marched 1 mile, halted for three-fourths of an hour, when we were again
marched back to the foot of the hill and halted near the railroad, where our forces were throwing
up fortifications, where we remained until 1 a.m. of the 25th, when the whole regiment went on
picket, the line arranged as skirmishers. We remained on picket until 12 m. of that day, at which
time I was ordered to assemble the regiment (double-quick), and form it in line of battle on the
right of our brigade. This done we moved forward in line from the Knoxville railroad through a
narrow skirt of timber to an open field fronting Tunnel Hill; here we were ordered to fix
bayonets and lie down. Our broad saber bayonets glittering in the sun made an excellent mark for
the enemy's artillery. They opened on us from a battery on the next point to the right of Tunnel
Hill, brought a second battery into position as rapidly as possible on the sink of the ridge
between the two hills, and opened upon us from this also. The first shot struck close to my line,
ricocheted and skipped over the men; the second struck directly in the ranks of the regiment on
my left, several others plowed the ground immediately in our front and rear; so we were moved
out of the line by the left flank, and placed in rear of the Tenth Iowa, and out of range of the
enemy's shots; remained here about fifteen minutes, when we were again moved forward on to
the line to the right of the brigade. The whole line was then moved forward across the open field
in the direction of Tunnel Hill, under the redoubled firing of both batteries before mentioned.
The air seemed filled with shot and shell, but the line advancing at a quick, and occasionally
breaking into the double-quick steps, the shots passed over their mark. About 100 yards below
the white house near the railroad tunnel, which was burned during the action, we came within
range of the enemy's musketry. We were now advanced double-quick. At a fence near the house
spoken of above, we found the remnants of a line that had preceded us; passing this line we took
a position along a small hollow in the side of the hill to the left of the burning house. The Tenth
Iowa was brought around and formed on our right. I was now ordered to send out a company as
skirmishers to be deployed to our front and left. Sent Company G, which immediately became
hotly engaged with the enemy. Was next ordered to send two companies to take possession of
the outhouses near the burning house, clear out the enemy from the railroad, and watch his
movements in that direction. I sent two companies from the right, under Lieutenant-Colonel
Sampson. He took his position, when the Tenth Iowa was removed toward the left of the brigade.
I now, in compliance with orders, sent another company to re-enforce my skirmishers on the
front and left, also re-enforced Lieutenant-Colonel Sampson with two more companies, who was
maintaining himself in the position assigned him. To my left was a part of a Pennsylvania
regiment, and it seemed to me to their right a space of at least 50 yards, without any line, the
enemy's firing increasing in volume and rapidity, and seeming to be advancing in that direction. I
became uneasy for my skirmishers, and sent out two more companies to strengthen them. As
they were moving forward to deploy, the enemy in overwhelming numbers came rushing down
the hill, seemingly completely overpowering the main line to the left. At the same time
Lieutenant Wright (aide to General Matthies) came running toward me saying, "Retreat!"
Finding that my weak line (my regiment was now nearly all deployed as skirmishers)was
opposed by a force which it would be perfect madness to think of contending with, I gave the
order to retreat, but the enemy was now upon us demanding our surrender, and I regret to say
many of my men were compelled to submit, including most of the color company and color
guard. The colors also fell into their hands. Those who escaped did so through a shower of balls,
and yells from the enemy to halt. I went into the action with 227 men and 21 officers, including
field and staff. My loss is 2 commissioned officers wounded and 8 missing, including major and
adjutant; 2 enlisted men killed, 20 wounded, and 74 missing. Total killed, wounded, and missing,
What remained of the four right companies were rallied by Lieutenant-Colonel Sampson on
the edge of the hill and brought inside of our breastworks, where I was reforming the rest of the
regiment and brigade. (General Matthies being wounded during the engagement, I was left in
command of the brigade.) I then placed him in command of the regiment, which remained inside
of the works that night, and on the 26th and 27th marched in pursuit of the enemy as far as
Graysville, Ga., and returned to camp on the north bank of the Tennessee River, on the 28th.
I cannot feel justified in closing this report without bearing testimony to the uncomplaining
manner in which my brave men have performed the hard labor and endured the severe
deprivations of the campaign just closed, especially during the last week of November, following
immediately upon the long, fatiguing march of over 200 miles. They were up at midnight of the
23d fortifying, and maneuvering for battle all day of the 24th. Our picket guard, in the face of the
enemy, on the night of the 24th, fighting desperately, and under most unfavorable circumstances
on the 25th; pursuing the enemy on the 26th and 27th (without rations or blankets, shivering
around their camp fires during the nights and marching through rain and mud during the days),
and returning to camp (22 miles) on the 28th. All this in the dead of winter, and without a
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel Fifth Iowa Infantry.
Adjutant-General of Iowa.
Report of Charles Pierson, scout.
I left the headquarters of General Chalmers at Ingraham (1 mile south of Byhalia) on
Monday, 12th October; reached Memphis Wednesday, 14th. The enemy have at Memphis the
One hundred and nineteenth Illinois Infantry, five companies One hundred and seventeenth
Illinois Infantry, Twenty-first Missouri, Twenty-fifth Indiana Infantry, an African regiment of
infantry, one battery of light artillery (white), four batteries heavy artillery (colored), and the
Second Iowa Cavalry.
I learned that Fuller's brigade, composed of the Twenty-seventh, Thirty-ninth, Forty-third,
and Sixty-third Ohio Infantry, which has long been quartered at Memphis, was under marching
orders. Colonel Hatch, chief of cavalry, Sixteenth Army Corps, was in Memphis Monday, 19th;
total force, 3,500.
The garrison at Germantown on Monday, the 19th, was the Fifty-second Illinois Infantry and
a few cavalry; total force, 500.
The force at Collierville, same date, six companies of Sixty-sixth Indiana Infantry and two
battalions of the Seventh Illinois Cavalry; total force, 800.
The force at La Fayette, same day, two companies Sixty-sixth Indiana Infantry and one
battalion Seventh Illinois Cavalry; 300.
Force at Moscow, same day, the Second (native colored) Tennessee and a few white troops;
800 men.
Force at La Grange, Second and Seventh Iowa Infantry and the One hundred and eighth
Illinois Infantry, the Third and Ninth Illinois Cavalry, and the Fourteenth Indiana Battery, four
guns; total of 2,000 men.
At Grand Junction, Tuesday, 20th, the Sixth Tennessee Cavalry; about 700 men.
At Saulsbury, same day, One hundred and twenty-second Illinois Infantry, Seventh
Tennessee Cavalry (Colonel Hawkins); total of 800 men.
At Middleton, same day, one regiment infantry, no cavalry; 400 men.
At Pocahontas, Eighty-first Ohio Infantry, Twelfth Illinois Infantry. Ninth Illinois Mounted
Infantry; total, 1,000 men.
At Chewalla, same day, five companies Seventh Illinois Mounted Infantry and one other
regiment unmounted infantry; about 600 men.
At Corinth the garrison on Wednesday, the 21st, was Fiftieth and Fifty-seventh Illinois
Infantry, five companies Seventh Illinois Infantry, Sixth Illinois Cavalry, Third Michigan
Cavalry, Seventh Kansas (Jayhawkers), the Fourteenth Ohio Battery, Captain Madison's battery
(heavy), one company First Missouri Artillery, two African regiments infantry, two companies
African artillery; a total of about 2,500 white troops and about 1,800 colored.
The whole force of the enemy under Sherman is six divisions, viz: Corse's, Osterhaus', W. S.
[John E.?] Smith's, Morgan L. Smith's, Quinby's old division, and one other, about 25,000 men
in all. This force is now between Iuka and Bear Creek. The enemy are building the railroad as
they advance. The destination of this force is reported to be Northern Alabama. Among the
regiments composing this force are:
Illinois: Ninety-third, Ninety-seventh, One hundred and sixth, Sixty-first, Sixty-third, Fiftyfourth,
One hundred and fourteenth, Sixty-seventh, Fifty-fifth, Fifty-sixth, Forty-third and two
Indiana: Twelfth, Ninety-fifth, Ninety-seventh, One hundredth, Eighty-seventh.
Wisconsin: Twenty-third, one battery.
Iowa: Fifth, Tenth, Seventeenth, Sixth.
Minnesota: Fourth, Fifth.
Michigan: Twelfth, Fifteenth, two batteries.
Missouri: First, Twenty-first, Twenty-seventh, Sixth, Eighth, one battery, Tenth Missouri
Nebraska: First.
Ohio: Thirtieth, Thirty-seventh, Forty-seventh.
Regulars: Fifteenth and Thirteenth.
All the above are infantry unless otherwise designated.
Official copy.
Assistant Adjutant-General.
Chattanooga, November 3, 1863.
Brig. Gen. A. C. GILLEM,
The First Regiment Colored Troops, from Elk River, will be ordered to report to you for duty
on the Northwestern Railroad. A regiment of cavalry 1,100 strong, now marching from
Louisville, will also be sent to you for guard duty. The general commanding wishes you to assist
the colonel of this regiment (Eighth Iowa Cavalry) in disciplining his regiment and perfecting it
in drill, as it is but recently organized. All the troops on the Northwestern Railroad are under
your command while engaged on that work, and the general expects you to control them and
enforce discipline.
By order of Major-General Thomas:
Assistant Adjutant-General.
COLLIERVILLE, November 4, 1863.
Major-General HURLBUT:
I am directed by Colonel Hatch to report to you that he is in the vicinity of Quinn's Mill, on
the Coldwater; that the enemy, about 3,000 strong, confront him from the opposite side of the
river. Colonel H. has about 1,400 men. He does not think it wise to move his command far from
the line of the railroad. I have couriers by which I can rapidly transmit any communication you
may desire to make.
Lieut. Col. Second Iowa Cavalry, Comdg. U. S. Forces.
Memphis, Tenn., November 4, 1863.
Lieutenant-Colonel HEPBURN,
Second Iowa Volunteer Cavalry, Collierville, Tenn.:
Inform Colonel Hatch that Mizner is in rear of the enemy, and must find out if they have
made a stand. McCrillis is somewhere on the left and will join Hatch or Mizner. Let him hold
them until he finds they are shaken from either side and then attack and endeavor to open
communication with Mizner and McCrillis.
Memphis, Tenn., November 5, 1863.
Lieutenant-Colonel HEPBURN,
Second Iowa Cavalry, Collierville, Tenn.:
Send the following to Colonel Hatch:
If you are sure the enemy has fled for the Tallahatchie, turn on Richardson and cut up his
force. You need not follow Chalmers. Richardson will try to cross the railroad into West
Winchester, Tenn., November 8, 1863.
III. Paragraph II, Special Orders, No. 77, dated headquarters chief of cavalry, Burke's house,
July 7, 1863, organizing a third brigade in the Second Cavalry Division, is hereby revoked. The
regiments composing the brigade are assigned as follows: Fifth Iowa Cavalry to First Brigade,
Second Division Cavalry; Tenth Ohio Cavalry to Second Brigade, Second Division Cavalry;
First Middle Tennessee Cavalry to First Brigade, Second Division Cavalry.
IV. Wilder's brigade, heretofore known as First Brigade, Fourth Division, Fourteenth Army
Corps, having been transferred by Special Field Orders, No. 278, Extract IX, dated headquarters
Department of the Cumberland, October 18, 1863, to the cavalry command, is hereby assigned to
the Second Division Cavalry, Brigadier-General Crook commanding, and will be numbered
Third Brigade, Second Cavalry Division.
By command of Brigadier-General Elliott:
Assistant Adjutant-General.
COLLIERVILLE, November 9, 1863.
General HURLBUT,
A Scotchman by the name of Gordon, connected with the commissary department, has just
arrived from Okolona. He is a deserter. He states that there is a small force of cavalry about
Tupelo. Loring's troops have gone to Canton. Chalmers is at Oxford. The rebels are building the
railroad from Okolona to Tupelo, and are repairing the railroad from Oxford to the Tallahatchie.
Has heard of no movement on Corinth or any place on this line. Rations of meat for about 2,000
men are shipped every week from Meridian to Okolona.
Colonel Second Iowa Cavalry, Comdg. Third Brigade.
Chattanooga, Tenn., Nov. 10, 1863.
IV. Maj. Gen. L. H. Rousseau, U.S. Volunteers, is assigned to the command of the District of
Nashville, including the defenses of the Louisville and Nashville Railroad to the Kentucky line,
the Northwestern Railroad from Nashville to the Tennessee River, Nashville and Chattanooga
Railroad to Duck River, the Nashville and Decatur Railroad to Columbia, and the posts of
McMinnville, Clarksville, Fort Donelson, and Nashville; headquarters of the district at Nashville.
V. The defenses of the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad from Duck River to Bridgeport
will be under the command of Major General Slocum,-as long as a portion of the Twelfth Army
Corps is retained on that road; headquarters at Tullahoma.
VIII. The following reorganization of the Second Division, Cavalry command, is announced:
The First Brigade will be commanded by Col. W. W. Lowe, Fifth Iowa Cavalry, and will be
composed of: Seventh Pennsylvania Cavalry, Fourth Michigan Cavalry, Fourth U.S. Cavalry,
Fifth Iowa Cavalry, Third Indiana Cavalry Battalion.
The Second Brigade will be commanded by Col. Eli Long, Fourth Ohio Cavalry, and will
consist of: First Ohio Cavalry, Third Ohio Cavalry, Fourth Ohio Cavalry, Tenth Ohio Cavalry,
Second Kentucky Cavalry.
The Third Brigade will be commanded by Col. J. T. Wilder, Seventeenth Indiana Volunteers,
and will consist of: Seventeenth Indiana Volunteers, Seventy-second Indiana Volunteers, Ninetyeighth
Illinois Volunteers, One hundred and twenty-third Illinois Volunteers, Ninety-second
Illinois Volunteers.
The commanding officers of the several regiments enumerated will report to their respective
brigade commanders herein designated. The brigade commanders will report to Brig. Gen. G.
Crook, U.S. Volunteers, commanding division.
IX. The Fifth Tennessee Cavalry will proceed without delay to Nashville, Tenn., to
reorganize and complete its muster.
By command of Major-General Thomas:
Major and Assistant Adjutant-General.
Pulaski, Tenn., November 23, 1863.
Col. M. M. BANE,
Commanding Third Brigade:
COLONEL: Frequent and serious complaints by citizens are made to these headquarters in
reference to pillaging and outrages committed by the troops of your command, and especially by
the officers and men of the Thirty-ninth Iowa Volunteers. Mrs. Wilkinson, residing at Morris'
Mills, has to-day made a bitter complaint against some of the men of the above-named regiment,
who took her bedclothes, chickens, and stock, and conducted themselves in a shameful manner.
Sufficient orders have been issued to stop such disgraceful proceedings, and you will
immediately make a strict examination into the matter and obtain the name of the officer
(supposed to be Captain Bennett, Thirty-ninth Iowa Volunteers) in command of these men at the
time, and make a full statement of the facts to these headquarters, with as little delay as possible,
in order that the guilty parties may be punished, and a stop put to proceedings that are a disgrace
to the service.
By order of T. W. Sweeny, brigadier-general commanding:
Captain and Assistant Adjutant-General.
Record of events on the return of the Second Division, Sixteenth Army Corps, commanded
by Brig. Gen. Thomas W. Sweeny, for the month of November, 1863.
In compliance with orders from headquarters Left Wing, Sixteenth Army Corps, the troops of
this division, under command of Brig. Gen. T. W. Sweeny, moved from their respective stations,
on the Memphis and Charleston Railroad, on or about the 31st of October.
The First Brigade, Col. E. W. Rice (Seventh Iowa Infantry) commanding, and Third Brigade,
Col. M. M. Bane (Fiftieth Illinois Infantry) commanding, being transported by cars to Iuka,
Miss., 71 miles, and the Second Brigade, Col. August Mersy (Ninth Illinois Infantry)
commanding, marching to the same place, leaving Pocahontas, Tenn., on October 30.
November 1 to 5 the troops of the division were arriving at Iuka, and two or three regiments
and a part of the train moved to East-port, Miss., 8 miles distant. All arrangements for the march
being completed at Iuka, the division (Brigadier-General Sweeny commanding) commenced
moving on the morning of November 6, arriving at Eastport, Miss., on the Tennessee River, the
same day, and immediately commenced crossing the river on transports (ready for that purpose),
which was continued during the entire night.
November 7, the division having crossed the river by noon of this day, and two brigades
pushed forward with train, the rear of column (one brigade) moved from opposite Eastport,
Miss., at I p.m., to Brush Creek, Ala., 8 miles distant, where headquarters of the division were
established for night bivouac.
November 8 moved at daylight, and bivouacked about dark at Little Cypress Creek, 18 miles
November 9 the division moved at sunrise, marching in a northeast direction on military
road, and bivouacked a little before sunset on a plantation 20 miles from Little Cypress Creek.
November 10, at 6 a.m., moved, marching northeast, through Lauderdale County, Ala., to
Sugar Creek, Tenn., arriving at 5 p.m., 20 miles distant, where it bivouacked.
November 11 the division marched from Sugar Creek at sunrise, and reached Pulaski, Tenn.,
at 4 p.m., 18 miles.
Total distance from La Grange, Tenn., to Pulaski, Tenn., 162 miles; distance marched 87
miles. Two regiments of mounted infantry (Seventh and Ninth Illinois Volunteers) were kept in
advance and on the flanks of the column during the entire march.
Since arriving at Pulaski, Tenn., and up to the present date [November 30], the division has
been engaged in repairing and guarding the Nashville and Decatur Railroad.
CORINTH, December 1, 1863.
(Received 2d.)
Major-General HURLBUT:
General Stevenson has at Corinth the One hundred and eighth, One hundred and thirteenth,
One hundred and twentieth Illinois Regiments, all small: First Alabama and First West
Tennessee Infantry (African descent), and Kidd's battery. At Pocahontas Colonel Geddes has
Eighth Iowa and five companies Thirty-fifth Iowa, \ a small detachment Third Illinois Cavalry,
and one company home guards, and Sixth Indiana Battery. At Middleton there are five
companies Thirty-fifth Iowa Infantry, and battalion Sixth Tennessee Cavalry. At Saulsbury there
are five companies infantry. A copy of Mizner's dispatch 2 p.m. has been received by General
Colonel and Assistant Inspector-General.
December 5, 1863.
General TUTTLE,
La Grange:
Courier arrived from Collierville in the night. Enemy burned La Fayette, but did not capture
the post. They have fallen back on Collierville. Grissom's Bridge is burnt. I have ordered Mizner
to remain at Saulsbury or Grand Junction. Negro scout I sent out last night reports the enemy
camped near Mount Pleasant. I am sending out what cavalry I have here to reconnoiter. An
attack is feared at Collierville. Send patrols of Seventh Illinois and Second Iowa to this point. Is
there any news from Corinth? I will dispatch General Hurlbut this morning.
December 19, 1863.
Brig. Gen. J. H. WILSON,
General Grant's Staff, Chattanooga:
Please cause the following regiments to report to me here immediately, for orders to join in
our movements: Second Tennessee (Lebanon), Third Tennessee Cavalry, Fifth Kentucky,
Twenty-eighth Kentucky Mounted Infantry; last three regiments now at Nashville. Fourth
Tennessee Cavalry, at Murfreesborough, and the Eighth Iowa Cavalry, now on the Northwestern
Railroad, should also be placed subject to my orders.
Brigadier-General, Chief of Cavalry.
COLLIERVILLE, December 22, 1863--9 a.m.
Assistant Adjutant-General:
The Second Iowa, Sixth and Ninth Illinois Cavalry are on the road to La Grange, 1,050
strong, with eight guns.
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General
Pulaski, Tenn., December 25, 1863.
Commanding Sixteenth Army Corps:
DEAR SIR: My command is stretched from Columbia to Decatur rebuilding this railroad,
and have built some very large and important bridges. We are not troubled much with guerrillas;
have had a few fights with mounted infantry, in which we have captured 342 prisoners, including
32 officers. All my old regiments have re-en-listed and are going home. I have not got more than
three regiments but what will re-enlist three-fourths or more of their veterans. It runs through the
command like wild-fire. The Ohio brigade are all in and will go in a body. The Second Iowa
have already gone.
I desire that a reorganization of my command should be made. Major-General Sherman said
he would have you issue the order, making a large division and assigning me the command. This
will place General Sweeny in command of his old brigade--the First. Please issue the orders as
soon as convenient after General Sherman's arrival.
My force for sixty days will be very small.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
La Grange, Tenn., December 25, 1863--5 p.m.
Commanding Seventh Illinois Cavalry, Somerville, Tenn.:
COLONEL: Your dispatch by Lieutenant Maxwell is just received. Your opinion as to the
enemy trying to cross between here and Pocahontas is, I think, correct. You will move your
command immediately toward New Castle and from thence to Middleburg; or, if that should be
impracticable, you will move southeast toward Van Buren. You must keep between this line of
railroad and the enemy, and upon no condition allow them to pass you. I do not wish you to fight
a superior force, but merely hold them in check, and keep me advised, that the infantry may be
disposed in such a manner as to meet them and support you. In case you are hard pressed, you
will fall back on Grand Junction or Saulsbury. I think Saulsbury will be the better point. They
may attempt to cross the road still farther east, near Middleton.
Major Burgh, with the Ninth Illinois, 300 strong, and four pieces of artillery, left here at 9
o'clock a.m. to join you via New Castle. You will endeavor to communicate with him.
A battalion of the Second Iowa, 160 strong, is at Van Buren. Communicate with him also.
Hold your command well in hand, and communicate with me often by couriers.
Major Burgh is ordered to report to you.
Memphis, Tenn., December 25, 1863.
Commanding Seventh Illinois Cavalry:
I send you the Ninth Illinois Cavalry, under Major Burgh. I have Morgan's brigade at Grand
Junction, with train of cars to move in any direction.
I have sent a battalion of the Second Iowa, 160 strong, from Saulsbury to Van Buren and
Middleburg. You will fall back on Grand Junction, and not allow the enemy to push you toward
Somerville, and then strike off to the left. Keep me well posted and watch them in all directions.
I will re-enforce you at any point you may need it. My opinion is they wish to cross the railroad
near Saulsbury.
December 27, 1863.
Brigadier-General GRIERSON:
The two couriers that started from here at 9.50 p.m. reached Bolivar at 3 a.m. this morning.
They attempted a crossing in a dug-out, leading their horses. The boat capsized and horses were
drowned. They made a second attempt, and came near drowning themselves. Came on foot back
to Middleburg, where they pressed mules and came in. The two that started at 10.50 p.m. have
not been heard of. The river is very high and wide. They saw nothing.
Major Second Iowa Cavalry.
December 30, 1863--9.30 a.m.
Forrest and Chalmers left here 3 p.m. yesterday. Chalmers was camped at Byhalia yesterday,
and came here to consult Forrest. They both left about 3 p.m. There is every indication that they
have or will attack the railroad. The conscripts are reported to have been sent to Oxford; but can
get nothing reliable. Shall make for the railroad as fast as possible. Will cross at the ford on the
Holly Springs and Mount Pleasant road. Heavy firing was heard in the vicinity of Quinn and
Jackson's Mill or Collierville last night; they think at Collierville.
Major, Second Iowa Cavalry, Commanding.