Memphis, Tenn., June 15, 1864.
SIR: I have the honor to report, through you to my immediate commander, that, in pursuance
of orders, I left camp on the 1st instant with 510 men, fully mounted, armed, and equipped,
commanded by twenty-five officers, and accompanied by two ambulances and three wagons,
uniting with the rest of the Second Brigade on the Germantown road about six miles from
Memphis. We advanced to Collierville the same day, encamping there at sundown amid a great
rain-storm, the first of an almost continuous shower for the rest of six days. Our march from
thence to La Fayette, Salem, Ruckersville, and Ripley, from the 3d to 7th, was uninterrupted save
by the rains and the necessity of searching in all directions for forage. From there on, from other
causes, however, much of the marching was required to be done by night, and the camps
necessarily taken wherever chance decided.
On the afternoon of the 7th, when we had advanced about two miles beyond Ripley, and
while the brigade was going into camp, Company C, of this regiment, was ordered to the front,
by the brigade commander, for forage, and an expectedly became engaged with an enemy of
very considerable strength, and which I have reason to believe was a column of rebel cavalry
hastening to join the main force, which we met on the 10th. Captain Wilson and Lieutenant
Lynch, of Company C, at once charged the enemy gallantly with their company-first mounted
and then dismounted, and drove in the squadrons which had been sent against them. On coming
in sight of the main body, my men formed a line and alone maintained the fight until re-enforced
by squadrons of the Fourth Iowa Cavalry and Companies E and F of this regiment, under
Captains Spencer and Crail, respectively. It having been determined by the general commanding
division not to give battle at this time, Company C was ordered to retire, and a portion of the line
on the right of Companies E and F retiring they also were withdrawn, after having been under a
severe fire for half an hour. A new line was formed half a mile nearer camp, and maintained until
after dark, when all the line returning to camp, the enemy passed, seemingly more desirous to
unite with his own army than to annoy us at that time. The loss of my companies here was:
Company C, 1 horse wounded; Company E, 1 man wounded, 3 horses killed and 2 horses
wounded; Company F, 1 man killed and 1 horse killed. In all, 1 man killed, 1 man wounded, 4
horses killed and 3 horses wounded.
After this, on the 8th and 9th, we advanced with the rest of the cavalry toward Guntown or
Baldwyn. The want of sufficient forage began to affect our horses very perceptibly, and the
difficulty in obtaining the small amount in the country about us was now increased by the
presence of the enemy. On the morning of the 9th a foraging party of this command was fired
into by a guerrilla band concealed in the brush. Private George W. Rhoads, Company B, mortally
wounded. He died the same day, and was buried on the line of march. His horse, equipments, and
arms were saved. The last forage of any kind whatever this command received or obtained was at
Stubbs' plantation on the evening of the 9th. On the morning of the 10th we left camp at about 7
a.m., this regiment following immediately after the wagons and led horses, &c., of the First
Brigade Cavalry, which brigade had the advance. At about six miles from Stubbs' plantation we
crossed a swamp, or bayou, very difficult of passage, and which was not bridged. A man on
horseback found great difficulty in getting over, and one horse of this command was suffocated
in the mud. When approaching Brice's Cross-Roads, at 11 a.m., this command went into line of
battle, by battalion, on the right of the main road, and soon after the artillery opened in front. We
then advanced beyond Brice's (such, I understand, is the name of the corners near the field of
battle) the distance of about 500 yards, and, as ordered, I placed one battalion in line, mounted,
on the right of the road (leading to Guntown), and one battalion, also mounted, under Major
Jones, on the left of the road, and sent two squadrons, under Captain Brown, to the front on the
road a mile, as a picket. I at once made communication by patrol with the right flank of the First
Brigade, and soon after the battalion under Major Jones was ordered to close up on Colonel
Waring's right. By this movement my command was separated and the line interrupted until the
gap was filled by a portion of the Fourth Iowa Cavalry. The cavalry was then dismounted and the
horses at once sent to the rear. By pickets and skirmishers I was informed of the advance upon
our front of a heavy column of the enemy, and soon after the battalion under Major Jones,
composed of Companies F, G, H, and I, came under fire and held the enemy in check for from
three-quarters to an hour. Company I, under Captain Stanton, was the most exposed of my
squadrons. The Fourth Iowa Cavalry was also engaged at this time. On the left of this brigade the
enemy was driven back three different times, and several of his officers were killed while urging
their men forward; two are known to have fallen on the field. Occasional firing occurred also on
the right wing of my command, and they were also subjected at this time to a severe shelling
from the rebel batteries. The bombs exploded among my men, but fortunately inflicted no
permanent injury, although several men were temporarily disabled from the dirt and rubbish
thrown upon them. My chief trumpeter's horse was here shot from under him, and I lost his
services for the rest of the expedition. The First Brigade was at this time retired from their
position and this necessitated a similar movement by my squadrons on the left, who at once,
however, formed another line with the Fourth Iowa Cavalry. At this juncture my whole
command was relieved by regiments of infantry, and were retiring when the infantry became
engaged. We formed a new line immediately in their rear rather than in appearance leave them in
an emergency. After the order being received for us to retire to our horses, this regiment did so in
the best order, mounting by companies and forming a column of squadrons. The contest in the
field and in line lasted but a short time after this, and the enemy was hotly pressing his victory.
The infantry was filing past us in great numbers, the train was turned to the rear, and it became
necessary for us to take a second position, mounted, to protect the retreating column. A column
of squadrons was again formed facing the enemy, who failed to attack with small-arms, but
finally opened upon this regiment a heavy cannonade of round shot and shell. These fell around
my men, wounding a number, but causing not the least disorder. By order we moved farther to
the rear, something near half a mile, and again formed in squadrons faced to the enemy, who
kept at a distance and used the artillery only. Our own artillery was being retired and did not
protect us, and after holding our position for some time we were ordered to retire, which we did
in the best order, not an officer or soldier being out of his place. Night soon closed in and we
rested at Stubbs' plantation for the first time. The greatest difficulty was found in recrossing the
bayou, or swamp, in our rear, and in it were caught most of the artillery and trains of the army.
Arriving at Stubbs' plantation, on our camping-ground of the night previous, we rested from
about 11 p.m. to 2 a.m., when we again moved toward Ripley, holding the rear. After daylight
two squadrons were sent by me to the rear a mile, and a line formed by battalion to support them,
when the few infantry who had not already past us were brought up and sent forward. Just after
this the enemy began to assail us with great determination, and it was only by the greatest energy
and courage my squadrons, Companies L, M, and A united, under Captain Brown, and Company
B, under Captain De Huff, were able to hold the bridge leading to Ripley. They did so, however,
until relieved by the Fourth Iowa Cavalry, who now took the rear. In this defense Company L
had 1 man wounded, Company A 1 man wounded, and Company B 3 horses shot. My regiment
now accompanied General Grierson to Ripley, by his personal orders. Arriving at Ripley, the
distance of about a mile, I found the infantry filling the streets of the town, some moving one
way and some another, and at once was notified that the enemy was about to attack on the left
and to prepare for him. I formed in a column of squadrons, faced to the rear immediately, and at
the same time was ordered to support the Fourth Iowa Cavalry, then in action. Deploying a
battalion into line, I ordered it to the rear, and at the same time pushed another battalion in
column to hold the road of retreat for the other troops. My advance in line was under severe fire
and over fields broken by high fences and deep ditches, but officers and men were cool and kept
a good and steady line. The enemy was checked and the position held until his object attained
General Grierson ordered me to retire. To retire at this point was a matter of no little difficulty,
for the enemy, having no resistance elsewhere, were flanking us as well as pressing from the
rear. Their fire was redoubled as we moved again upon the road. I, in this stand, lost Lieutenant
Miller, Company D, who fell mortally wounded, bravely fighting and facing the foe, also
Corporal Gilchrist, Company C, killed, with other wounded mentioned in accompanying report. I
think it can be claimed with justice that by this effort of my command much relief was given to
our fellow-soldiers of the Fourth Iowa Cavalry, and to the infantry regiments who were retiring
from Ripley, and I have the satisfaction of knowing that the enemy did not escape without
punishment. His flag was seen to fall three times under our fire, and many of his men were killed
and wounded. The column passing on without stopping, my orders required me to continue on,
making such resistance as possible to hold the enemy in check. To hold the rear of a rapidly
retreating column against a superior and assailing enemy now became the task of my regiment,
and resulted in considerable loss to us. Companies I and K were thrown to the rear and taken
command of by Major Jones. A column of the enemy advancing through the surrounding
thickets came upon them while they were gallantly holding another regiment at bay, charging
them suddenly; after much resistance, by overpowering numbers, captured most of those who are
reported in the accompanying tables. Some squadrons of the Fourth Iowa Cavalry aided my
command at this time, and may have shared in the loss. The enemy, mounted on much freshet
horses than ours, felt confident of capturing or routing the whole column. The confusion he was
able to create was slight and of short duration; platoon after platoon was thrown out right and left
along our road, and facing to the rear presented front to the rebels. The nature of the ground
aided, as the road led along a ridge with hills and gullies on either hand. This method of defense
was continued throughout the morning and afternoon. A cavalry force of our men and an infantry
command finally appeared in our rear and gave my regiment temporary relief, but the enemy still
pressing, the cavalry failed to hold their place, and a portion of the infantry [was] thrown into
confusion and captured. Colonel Thomas, commanding the infantry, applied to me for relief, and
I immediately formed another battalion line, supporting it with several squadrons placed at
advantageous points. The infantry left passed through my line, and I was once more contending
with the advance of the enemy. The duty was severe, and, in view of what had already been
performed, somewhat unexpected, but as it had been assumed to help them it was persevered in
without complaint as long as strength was left to resist. I was finally relieved by the Fourth Iowa
Cavalry, and they by the Second New Jersey. After this this command was not again under fire.
The rest of this day the column advanced without food or rest, except a short halt at evening,
when, the enemy approaching, the column was again put in motion and the march continued
through the night and next morning to La Fayette. Halting here until noon we proceeded to
Collierville, where we met re-enforcements and obtained some forage. At dark we were again
marched in advance of the First Brigade, the infantry following in rear to Germantown, at which
point the First Brigade took the advance and proceeded to camp. We followed soon after,
marching all night and bivouacking at White's Station at daylight. Here this regiment was
required to furnish 100 of the best of its already exhausted horses to return on duty to
Collierville; with the remainder I arrived here the same day at sunset. The 100 men detached
have since come in.
I refer to the accompanying tables for a more definite statement of my losses in this most
unfortunate expedition, in which my command labored so hard and fought so well.
My officers and men behaved universally so well that I cannot make much distinction among
them, but for their aid in getting a new line to face the enemy at one particular emergency I deem
Captain Curkendall and Lieutenant McKee worthy of particular notice. Major Jones was
constantly at his post and did all a brave and good officer could. If occasion offers I hope to
bring the merits of others of these brave men more prominently forward than I can do now.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Lieut. A. HODGE,
Actg. Asst. Adjt. Gen., Second Brigade, Cavalry Division.
Memphis, Tenn., July 4, 1864.
SIR: I have the honor to make the following report of the part taken by the Fourth Iowa
Cavalry Regiment in an expedition commanded by General Sturgis, from Memphis, Tenn., to
Guntown (or Tishomingo Creek):
The regiment marched from Memphis June 1, 1864. June 7 had a heavy skirmish at Ripley,
Miss.; lost 1 man prisoner and several slightly wounded. June 9 camped at Stubbs' plantation.
June 10 marched at 4 a.m. At 11 a.m. the advance encountered the enemy, under command of
General Forrest, near Tishomingo Creek. The infantry and artillery were five or six miles in the
rear. I was ordered to take the regiment to the front dismounted. I formed my line near Brice's
Cross-Roads. The enemy was in very thick brush. I could not tell the exact position of the
enemy's line. My line was not parallel with that of the enemy, but at an angle of nearly 45
degrees, the left being near the enemy. I had moved forward but a short distance when the enemy
fired a volley into Company C, on the left, by which Lieutenant Dillon and many others of the
company were severely wounded. The left of the regiment was obliged to fall back. I then
formed the regiment from the right parallel with the enemy's front. As I heard the enemy
advancing through the brush I ordered the regiment to lie close to the ground. They charged us
twice in this position, but were driven back with heavy loss. We lay here about two hours within
sixty yards of the enemy, the brush being so thick that we could not see them. The infantry now
came up, but they had been so hurried through the heat that only a small part of the command
was able to keep up. On their arrival I was ordered back to the horses, and the regiment mounted
and formed in close column, squadron front, waiting orders. I soon saw our men coming in full
retreat, the enemy close in their rear. The enemy had captured two pieces of artillery, which had
been sent forward, and turned them on us, and I was now in range of their fire, and entirely cut
off from the ford above the bridge by the retreating teams, which had for some cause continued
to move toward the front. The bridge was blockaded with broken-down teams, and the steep
banks of the creek in my immediate rear rendered it impossible to cross with horses. I ordered
the men to dismount and rush for a little eminence in our front, and never have I seen a military
command executed as quickly; every man saw the situation and acted accordingly. We held the
entire force of the enemy from this point for more than thirty minutes. The bridge was cleared
and every horse crossed over the creek, while we kept up a continual fire on the enemy, keeping
them back till all our infantry that was in sight had crossed the creek and we were nearly
surrounded. The regiment then retreated across the creek and mounted the horses. Everything
now seemed in confusion. I formed the regiment in close column. The Third and Fourth Iowa
Cavalry were all the troops I saw intact. The other troops were rushing past in confusion. I soon
received orders from Colonel Winslow, commanding our brigade, to pass the retreating column
as fast as possible until I reached its head, and then stop every man. I did not succeed in passing
all the troops until we arrived at Stubbs' plantation, where I formed my men and commenced
halting the troops. I soon received orders to let them all pass. The Third and Fourth Cavalry
remained at this place until about 3 a.m. June 11, when most of the troops had passed. The
artillery and wagons had mostly been abandoned some miles back in a bad swamp. Soon after
moving out the enemy came up, and we had a hard fight all the way back, the enemy charging
our rear often. At Ripley the enemy came in on different roads and made a great effort to break
our rear by repeated charges. The regiment was all engaged in Ripley. I formed a line across the
town and fell back slowly and in good order, although we were pressed hard at some points.
When we came to the timber on the north side of the town six companies took the road leading
north. We came in on this road when we were advancing. The other six companies followed the
command which took the road leading west from town. Soon after leaving Ripley the enemy
succeeded in breaking through some companies of the Third and Fourth by a charge on the flank
through the timber, but were soon checked by Companies D and G of the Fourth, commanded by
Captain Abraham and Lieutenant Keck. Had not the enemy been checked at this point we must
have lost the most of our command. Our rear companies rushed past the column in great
confusion, followed by the enemy, who were yelling like demons. When I saw the rear give way
I pushed forward until I found a place where I could form two companies, but it was with the
greatest difficulty that the line could be held against our own troops, which were rushing past in
such disorder. The enemy came on with colors flying, and but few yards in rear of our men. The
two companies met them with a volley, their colors went down, men and horses were piled upon
each other, the road was blockaded; never did I see men and officers stand a charge more
gallantly than did these two companies. Two of their number fell dead, but the lesson taught the
enemy was a good one, for they were very careful how they again charged our rear. The day was
very hot. The soldiers had eaten nothing since the morning of the 10th. They had been marched
up five or six miles on the double-quick to the fight, and were soon defeated and turned on the
retreat. They were without rations; many had thrown away or destroyed their arms, and all the
infantry near the rear had reduced their clothing as much as possible, hoping to keep in advance
of the rear guard; but the general in command was leading the retreat so rapidly that I was
obliged to leave hundreds every mile who were unable longer to keep up. Our horses, too, were
fast giving out, and I could not get more than ten men from a company with horses able to
overtake the command after stopping to check the advancing rebels. With such a small force it
was not safe to remain far from the main column, so about 2 p.m. I started for the front. We were
then leaving men very fast, who could keep up with ordinary marching, but were unable to keep
up while marching as fast as we were. I asked General Sturgis if he would not march the column
slower, as it was impossible to keep a well-organized rear guard while it was marching so
rapidly, as we were losing all our infantry who were unable to keep up. The general ordered a
halt, and we had a little rest. It was near night, and Colonel Kargé, commanding Second New
Jersey Cavalry, was sent to take the rear, but he soon sent word that the enemy were pressing
him, and the march was at once resumed and continued all night.
We arrived at Collierville, Tenn., about 10 a.m. of June 12. To this place the railroad was in
running order and 2,000 troops had arrived there from Memphis with supplies for men and
horses. The dismounted men and what infantry had succeeded in getting through were taken to
Memphis on the cars. About 12 o'clock the six companies which were cut off at Ripley came in,
under command of Captain Woods, and reported that the enemy had not troubled them after
leaving Ripley. We considered ourselves perfectly safe here with the re-enforcement of fresh
troops from Memphis, but the general did not so consider it. Soon after sundown we received
orders to march. We left Collierville about 9 p.m., and arrived at White's Station, seventeen
miles, before daylight. This was the third night without sleep, and my men and horses were very
tired. About sunrise I received orders to send 250 men back to Collierville to protect a train
which was going to Collierville for a lot of our infantry who had come in soon after we left. I
sent all the men and horses that were able to go, under command of Captain Huff, of Company
I have no means at the present time of knowing the exact number of killed, wounded, and
missing in my command, but it was heavy.
I am sorry to have to say that the officers and men of my command have no confidence in the
general commanding the expedition.
I should be happy to mention in this report the names of all the officers and men who are
entitled to special notice, but in so doing I should have to name most of my command. The
battalion commanders, Captain Woods, Captain Dee, and Captain Abraham deserve much credit
for their personal bravery on the field before the retreat, and the prompt manner in which they
handled their commands in guarding the rear after the retreat; also Lieutenant Woodruff, acting
adjutant of the regiment, for his promptness in clearing the bridge over Tishomingo Creek and
removing our horses from immediate danger.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Major, Commanding Regiment.
Adjutant-General of Iowa.
MEMPHIS, TENN. July 2, 1864--2 p.m.
The Board met pursuant to adjournment.
The members of the Board and the recorder present.
The proceedings of yesterday's session Were read and approved.
The examination of Brig. Geo. S. D. STURGIS continued.
Question. On assuming command did you announce your staff in orders, and who composed
Answer. I did, sir. It was composed of Capt. W. C, Rawolle, additional aide-de-camp and
acting assistant adjutant-general; Capt. W. S, Belden, Second Iowa Cavalry, aide-de-camp;
Lieut. E. Calkins, Seventh Indiana Cavalry, aide-de-camp; Lieut. S. Oakford, Nineteenth
Pennsylvania Cavalry, aide-de-camp.
Question. Were you furnished with a roster of your brigade and regimental officers?
Answer. No, sir; I was not.
Question. Did you require and did you receive daily reports from your regimental and
brigade commanders of the condition of the command?
Answer. No, sir; I did not. I made my headquarters habitually with Colonel McMillen, who
commanded the infantry, and much of the detail of the campaign was transacted verbally; and if I
had it wouldn't have been practicable to get them, and I didn't want them.
Question. How many wagons composed the train, how was the train made up, and under
whose charge was it?
Answer. The supply train was composed of 181 wagons, and some of the regiments were
furnished with two wagons to a regiment and others with none. Those of the regiments who
arrived just previous to the departure of the expedition left without wagons, as the brigade
commander, Colonel Wilkin, reported to me, and I formed an estimate of the number of wagons
along the road at about 250. There may have been a few more or less. To get rid of as many of
them as possible, I distributed five days' rations, one day's march beyond Ripley, and sent back
forty-one wagons. Lieutenant Shattuck, acting quartermaster, had charge of the supply train. He
was a very well-meaning man, I presume, but not a man of much force of character, and on that
account, and because he complained of not being very strong, I allowed him to return to
Memphis with the forty-one wagons, and I directed Lieutenant Stratton, commissary of
subsistence, to take charge of the train in his stead. Lieutenant Stratton was a stranger to me,
though I thought him a man of some executive ability from what I had seen of him on the former
trip, but I don't think I made much improvement by the exchange. During the retreat I placed the
whole wagon train in charge of Captain Buckland, of Colonel McMillen's staff, telling him that I
hardly hoped to save the train, but if I could he was the only man that I knew of that could do it.
Question. Were foraging parties sent out by your order, or by subordinate commanders?
Answer. They may have been sent out by subordinate commanders independently of my
orders, but I ordered that it should be done.
Question. Were they accompanied by cavalry?
Answer. They consisted entirely of cavalry and of mounted men not cavalry.
Question. While on the march was your column protected by flankers of mounted men?
Answer. No, sir; except by foraging parties on the march down; they were deemed sufficient
protection. On the retreat flankers moved on the flanks of the column.
Question. When and where did Colonel Karge rejoin your command?
Answer. He rejoined on the 8th of June, at Ripley, a brigade which I had left at Ripley until
he should come up.
Question. What was Grierson's effective force at the commencement of the engagement?
Answer. About 3,000 men.
Question. On arriving at the scene of the engagement did you consider the line chosen by
General Grierson the best that could have been selected?
Answer. I did not consider that General Grierson had the privilege of selecting any position,
as we were going to meet the enemy, and this was where we found him. There was nothing left
but to attack him wherever he should show himself, for if we stopped our animals would starve,
and this I had told to my brigade commanders two nights before. Apart from the fact that the
enemy occupied the position, it was in my opinion the best position at least within ten miles,
because it was at the cross-roads which we must pass or retreat, and I deemed it easier to hold the
cross-roads than to take them from the enemy.
Question. Was the ground on which you found General Grierson engaged clear or wooded,
even or rough country?
Answer. It was uneven, hardly amounting to what would be called a rough country, and
densely wooded for about three-quarters of a mile in front on all the roads, beyond which was an
open belt extending across all the roads for about a quarter of a mile. The enemy occupied the
wood beyond the open belt and we the wood on this side, so that our position was pretty strong,
except that it could be easily turned.
Question. How far from General Grierson's line was the head of your infantry column when
you first heard that he was engaged?
Answer. I presume it was four miles and a half from the head of the cavalry column and two
miles from its rear when the cavalry was attacked.
Question. In what order was the infantry marching at that time?
Answer. Marching in the usual order; but on that day Colonel Hoge's (the Second) brigade
was in the advance; Colonel Wilkin's brigade next; Colonel Bouton's (the colored brigade) was
last, and with the wagons. The infantry column and the wagon train I estimated as ordinarily
occupying about four miles of road.
Question. How long was the infantry column at the time of the engagement, and was it well
closed up?
Answer. My remembrance is that when I asked Colonel McMillen at this time how he was
getting along he replied that his column was well closed up and the column occupied about four
miles and a half.
Question. What was the character of the ground at the head of the infantry column at the time
of the attack?
Answer. It was wooded and level, with open fields occasionally. There were no swamps nor
springs in the immediate vicinity.
Question. Were the enemy in motion when the collision first occurred with Grierson, or did
he find them waiting for him?
Answer. My impression is that he found them waiting for him, but the reports which I have
submitted to-day at headquarters will explain that better than I can.
Question. What was the condition of the roads at that time?
Answer. The roads were heavy on account of the rains, and bad for the wagons. All the low
places in the roads being rendered worse by the rains, but for marching they were generally
pretty fair.
Question. Were the men brought into action on the double-quick, or in what time did they
march into action, and in what condition?
Answer. They did not come into action on the double-quick, and I had specially ordered that
they should not come up on the double-quick, because the day was very oppressive, though I
repeatedly sent word to Colonel McMillen to make all haste. They marched into action in
ordinary time. The infantry looked in good spirits, and we gave three cheers as they came up. I
can hardly say how long they had marched without resting. They were two hours or two hours
and a half in making the four miles, and I do not know what time was given them for resting.
Question. Did you investigate General Grierson's complaint that he was short of
Answer. I did not; there was no possible time for it. I knew subsequently that regiments of
cavalry had almost their full number of rounds of ammunition. For instance, the Second New
Jersey Cavalry, which had been engaged on the left, the Fourth Missouri, also the Third Iowa,
which regiments on this account did the principal work in guarding the rear on the retreat.
Question. Did General Grierson retire from the fight with or without your order?
Answer. General Grierson importuned me a great deal, while his cavalry was engaged, to
hurry up the infantry, as his men were tired and exhausted, having been fighting since 10 o clock.
I told him repeatedly that we must hold that position; that we could do it, and that the infantry
would be up any moment, and that he must have patience. He retired, with my sanction, as soon
as replaced by the infantry for the purpose of getting his command together. As I said yesterday,
the cavalry on the left (Colonel Waring's) retired. I do not know by whose orders.
Question. What became of Colonel Waring's cavalry after that?
Answer. At the next place I saw it it was in the open field near the bridge, where the
reorganization was supposed to be going on.
Question. What order did you make for the safety of the trains
Answer. When I went to the rear to provide, amongst other things, for the safety of the train,
the train had been reported to me, on inquiry, to be one mile and a half in rear, and on arriving at
the bridge, about a half to three-quarters of a mile in rear of the line, I met the head of the train,
to my surprise. The whole column appeared to have made a general move to get up. I then
directed an aide-de-camp, Lieutenant Calkins, to see that the train was turned around and held
ready to move to the rear in case that it became necessary.
Question. When the retreat actually took place did or did not the train obstruct the retreat?
Answer. It did not obstruct the retreat proper, nor would it have done so on ordinary roads
and in ordinary weather. But the road became jammed with those flying from the field, the
teamsters became panic-stricken, and the moment they had any trouble with the wagons they
jumped down and cut out a mule and let the wagon stand, which soon blocked the road. I had
strong hopes, and ordered it parked on the first open ground that could be found beyond the
white house, a mile and a half in rear of the battle-field, and where I hoped to be able to make a
stand, with a view to issuing rations and ammunition and then destroying the train, thinking we
could hold the enemy in check until night and then do it. But the enemy pushed us so hard that I
was obliged to move the train on again, with the hope of parking it farther on that night. This was
the main train; at this time some of the wagons were stuck near the battle-field.
Question. How far from the line of battle was the train captured?
Answer. It was not captured at all in a proper sense of the word. It was left standing, a wagon
here and a wagon there, or wherever the teamsters would desert it, for ten miles, especially in the
bottom of the Hatchie, which was a very bad place.
Question. Did or did not your train fall into the hands of the enemy?
Answer. I presume it did, as we did not bring it away. Many of the wagons were burned by
orders. I ordered that they should be burned wherever they obstructed the road.
Question. How many wagons did you return to Memphis?
Answer. None that I know of; I think none.
Question. During the retreat to Collierville were the regiments restored to good order, or did
they retreat in confusion?
Answer. No, sir; the regiments were restored to order at Ripley by 7 o'clock the next
morning. The brigades were reorganized and restored to a respectable condition.
Question. Were you closely pursued on the retreat, and with what results?
Answer. The column moved out of Ripley on the retreat, on the Salem road, at 7 o'clock on
the morning of the 11th, preceded by the cavalry. I moved out myself to the infantry. All was
quiet in the rear as far as we could hear. When we had got half a mile probably from town we
began to hear the firing of the enemy at the rear, but it was distant and desultory and the column
moved on in good order. The rear of the infantry column was pretty heavily attacked at Ripley,
as I learned afterward by the report of officers. From time to time the word came to me that the
rear was being strongly pressed, and I would re-enforce it with such companies or parts of
regiments as I could find had ammunition, and once they pressed so strongly that I ordered a
brigade of infantry to form line, which was not done, however, because Colonel McMillen
reported, after trying, that he found it impossible to do so for the want of ammunition. All that
we could do therefore to protect thereat was to keep the column so moving that the enemy could
not accumulate upon it.
Question. How many guns did you lose?
Answer. Fourteen in all. We had sixteen guns and four mountain howitzers. I think the
ammunition train was lost in a body with the exception of one wagon.
Question. On what day of the month did you personally arrive at Memphis?
Answer. I think on the night of the 13th.
By Brigadier-General BUCKLAND:
Question. Did you organize a pioneer corps, or was there one connected with your
Answer. One was organized by Colonel McMillen, at my request, from the Ninth Minnesota,
where I learned there was a company of artisans especially suitable for that duty.
Question. Did you know before you reached Collierville, on the retreat, that a portion of the
infantry column had left Ripley by a different road from that which you took
Answer. I did not; but on leaving Ripley I requested Colonel McMillen to leave a staff
officer, which he did, to intercept Colonel Wilkin in case he should arrive, as we did not know
what had become of him, and direct him on the road the column had taken. He did not see
Colonel Wilkin, and until he (Wilkin) arrived at White's Station we were at a loss to know what
had become of him.
Question. When the infantry went into the engagement did they form on the same line that
had just been occupied by the cavalry?
Answer. Colonel McMillen was directed to relieve the cavalry, and the exact part of the
woods that the cavalry occupied at that time, whether on the farther edge of the timber or farther
this way, I cannot tell.
Question. Was the force of which you were placed in command, in your opinion, efficiently
organized, with proper proportions of different arms of the service, also with respect to arms,
ammunition, supplies, and transportation?
Answer. I think so, with the exception of the forage, and with that, probably, the best was
done that could have been done.
Question. In your opinion was there anything in the manner of the organization of the
expedition calculated to impair its chances of success?
Answer. The command was made up of old troops and newly arrived troops and
detachments, all of which went to make up 8,000 in numbers, but which, from the very manner
in which it was made up, was not therefore really equal to anything like 8,000 men.
Question. What is your estimate of the force of the enemy in cavalry, infantry, and artillery?
Answer. From the opinions of my principal officers and from information received from
ladies of intelligence (rebel ladies) on our return I think the enemy had about 20,000 men.
Question. General, at the time you were first advised that General Grierson was engaged by
the enemy what was the nature of the ground on which the head of the infantry column stood?
Answer. It was a level farm, with woods and open fields; no peculiarities about it at all that I
can remember.
Question. Was there any obstacle at that point to the safe formation of a line of battle?
Answer. No, sir; nothing.
Question. In the circumstances in which your army was then placed did you consider it safer
to attack the enemy in his own position than to await his attack in a position chosen by yourself?
Answer. That is what I thought at that time. When I received information from General
Grierson of the skirmish I had no idea that we had anything in front but the enemy's cavalry. All
of my information led to that conclusion, and General Grierson himself supposed them to be only
600 strong after he had been fighting them some time. So I did not think of forming a line of
battle at all, but supposed the cavalry could drive the enemy away without trouble. It was only
after receiving the last message from General Grierson, while on the way up to him, asking me
for a brigade of infantry, that I thought at all of looking at the ground with a view to taking
positions in case we should be driven back. When I made up my mind at Ripley not to return, but
to go forward, then I determined to attack the enemy wherever I could find him, because if I
stopped I was ruined. My animals would be exhausted, and the only hope was to get as rapidly as
possible to Tupelo, where there was corn, and if I formed line of battle, on receiving word from
General Grierson, and the enemy had not chosen to attack me, I would have been forced to have
attacked him under precisely the same circumstances, with my animals still more reduced.
Question. When you first came up to General Grierson, from what you could see and from
the firing, how many of the enemy did there appear to be in your front?
Answer. It didn't impress me as being a large force, judging from the firing, and I really felt
that when the infantry got up we could hold our own with them.
Question. Did you have scouts in front in the course of the expedition, and did you receive
information from them concerning the enemy's force and movements?
Answer. The scouts were unable to bring me any information because the enemy were
hanging so continually about, so I depended more upon the information I had started with, and
keeping my command together and ready for any emergency, than upon any information I could
pick up. I was informed before leaving Memphis that I would find no enemy north of Okolona in
force, and would encounter no considerable force until I got in the vicinity of Columbus or
Macon, if even there. As this information was acquired through regularly organized spies and
scouts I felt that it was the best information I could act upon. I therefore acted upon that in the
absence of any other.
Question. On what day did you receive from the ladies you mention information that the
enemy's force consisted of 20,000 men?
Answer. I think it was at Collierville on the 12th; this was on my return.
Question. What, in your opinion, was the real cause of the disaster at Brice's Cross-Roads?
Answer. I think the disaster was the result of undertaking an altogether impracticable
expedition. Whatever number of men make up an expedition the enemy are perfectly acquainted
with the details of it in thirty-six hours after it leaves Memphis, and as we have to travel at least
100 miles over a desert we are forced to arrive in a manner broken down and with the animals
weakened, to reach a point where the enemy can concentrate as much force as he pleases by
railroad, and where he can put himself in position and destroy you in detail in spite of all you can
do. If you go forward he will overwhelm you with numbers; if you do not you starve, and if you
go back he will destroy you, because you have to retreat over a desert.
The Board then adjourned at 5.30 o'clock to meet at 2 p.m. Monday, the 4th of July.
Brigadier-General Volunteers, President.
Major and Asst. Adjt. Gen. Volunteers, Recorder.
MEMPHIS, TENN., July 7, 1864--2 p.m.
The Board met pursuant to adjournment.
Present, Brigadier-General Buckland, Col. J. B. Moore, and the recorder.
Absent, Colonel Kappner, sick, and excused from appearing by the Board.
The minutes of the preceding meeting read and approved.
Col. D. C. THOMAS duly sworn and examined.
Question. State, your name, rank, and regiment. How long have you been in the service, and
what position did you hold on the late expedition?
Answer. De Witt C. Thomas; colonel Ninety-third Indiana Infantry Volunteers; I have been
in the service a few days over three years; I commanded my regiment a large portion of the time
on the late expedition. On the retreat from Ripley to Collierville I commanded the largest part of
the First Brigade, that part which came in on the Salem road.
Question. In your opinion, were there any unnecessary delays on the march of the expedition
from the railroad near La Fayette to Ripley?
Answer. I only recollect of one that I thought was unnecessary. This was at La-mar on the
second day out from La Fayette. We staid there one whole day. This day the weather was clear
all day. A portion of the train did not arrive until 7 o'clock on the morning of this day, having
camped the night before some two or three miles back.
Question. After leaving Ripley, was there much difficulty in getting the trains along at any
place, except Hatchie bottom?
Answer. There was one other place, about four miles beyond Ripley, where the road crossed
a creek, over which the crossing was very bad, where we were delayed some three or four hours
on the second day out from Ripley. This bad place was about one mile beyond our camp of the
previous night and about eleven miles from the Hatchie bottom.
Question. Was anything done toward repairing this bad place before the column reached it?
Answer. There was some dirt and brush thrown in, which made the road worse than it was
before. We were delayed there three or four hours until some plank were procured and the bridge
Question. How far was your camp of that night (the 9th)from the Hatchie bottom?
Answer. It was about two miles this side. We got into camp pretty late that night.
Question. What time did you march on the morning of the 10th?
Answer. We started about 6 o'clock.
Question. What was the extent of very bad road in the Hatchie bottom?
Answer. It was a quarter of a mile over the worst part of the road; seventy or eighty rods, as
near as I could judge.
Question. Was this a continuous mud-hole, or was it broken?
Answer. It appeared to be a sort of a quicksand, with soft places where the mud was deeper
and softer than in others. I judge of the length of this had road from the fact that on the retreat
there were two pieces of artillery, two caissons, four am-balances, and, I think, an army wagon,
with their teams all stuck in this bottom, and they did not extend half way across it.
Question. Was the column delayed in crossing the Hatchie bottom?
Answer. It was not, though I learned afterward that the train had an awful time getting
through there.
Question. Had anything been done toward improving this piece of road when you passed it?
Answer. There were a few brush in one place, and that is all I noticed. No one was working
there then.
Question. What is the distance from the camp at Stubbs' to Brice's Cross-Roads?
Answer. I call it between eleven and twelve miles. Mr. Stubbs told me, as we returned, that it
was thirteen miles.
Question. Where were you when you first received orders to advance and go into action?
Answer. Some two or two and a half miles this side from the cross-roads.
Question. How long had your regiment then marched without resting?
Answer. We had marched about one mile and a half--about an hours time. We were marching
slow on account of the heat.
Question. Did you halt after that before going into battle?
Answer. We halted once about 100 yards this side of the cross-roads for the men to examine
their pieces and lead. We halted about five minutes at that time. The men were very much
exhausted. One officer of my regiment was sunstruck while standing there, and from the remarks
of my officers at least forty men must have fallen out from exhaustion before reaching there. At
that time we were ordered forward Captain Buckland, of Colonel McMillens staff, ordered me to
move forward at a double-quick, as our advance had been attacked by the enemy and their left
had been turned. I ordered our men to take a long, quick step in order to keep up with the
regiment next in advance. To do this the left of my regiment was obliged to move at a doublequick.
Question. State the orders you received and what occurred after that?
Answer. I followed the One hundred and fourteenth Illinois up to the cross-roads, but did not
receive any orders till reaching there, when Colonel McMillen met me and assigned my regiment
to a position directly on the right of the Guntown road, my left resting on the road about 300
yards in advance of the cross-roads. I occupied the extreme right of the infantry line. I relieved
the Third Iowa Cavalry. Colonel Noble, of the Third Iowa, remarked as he passed out that he had
received no fire there at all, but that I would have a hot time of it pretty soon. We threw out three
companies of skirmishers, two forward and one to the right. In a few minutes my company of
skirmishers on the left was pressed so hard that they fell back to the line. I then discovered that
the enemy were working around to my left. I sent my adjutant to observe the distance between
me and the One hundred and fourteenth Illinois. He reported it to be 150 yards. About fifteen
minutes after getting into position I discovered the enemy advancing in solid line directly upon
me, overlapping my line considerably at each end, and driving back my skirmishers and partly
turning my right. First I was in doubt as to whether they were the enemy or not, from hearing my
lieutenant-colonel order the men not to fire as they were our own men, and because the majority
of them wore blue coats and pants. My first impression was that they were some of our own
cavalry, and in consequence they had opened fire and given us a volley before I knew who they
were. My lieutenant-colonel was mortally wounded and my adjutant killed at this time, and my
other losses were heavy. I immediately opened fire and drove the enemy back a little, but they
were turning my right and left flanks so that I was obliged to retire, each wing forming a convex
line. I then fell back in line fighting for fifty yards, and reformed my line. I charged on the
enemy, and they drove me back. I fell back gradually to the crossroads, fighting all the while,
and having reform my line eleven times, as the enemy, having a longer line, was continually
turning both my flanks. At the cross-roads the Ninth Minnesota came to my assistance on my
right, and together we drove the enemy back till I had regained my original position. The enemy
then fell back and I saw nothing of them in my front for a few minutes. I staid there a quarter of
an hour, resting my men. I was then ordered back, I should say, at about 4 o'clock, to take a
position on the left and rear of the Second Brigade, on the left of the main road about a quarter of
a mile back from the cross-roads. I was then attacked in force, and was ordered to fall back to the
rear of the fence at the road. At this time the Ninety-fifth Ohio was there; also a detachment of
the Tenth Missouri Cavalry, dismounted. While we were in that position we were attacked and
drove them back. At this time Adjutant Abel, of Colonel McMillen's staff, ordered me to fall
back in as good order as possible, the enemy then coming in on our rear from the right. The road
approaching Brice's Cross-Roads bears nearly to the east until it crosses the creeks and just
beyond it it turns toward the south, so that the enemy threatened to cut off our retreat by coming
in on our right. I retired across the field and over the bottom, across the inside of the angle made
by the road (it was about three-quarters of a mile), till I struck the road again on a little ridge this
side of the creek, where I found a colored regiment in position.
The Board adjourned at 6 p.m. to meet at 2 p.m. to-morrow.
MEMPHIS, TENN., July 8, 1864-2 p.m.
The Board met pursuant to adjournment.
Present, the members of the Board and the recorder.
Examination of Col. D. C. THOMAS continued.
Question. Did you form a line on that ridge?
Answer. No, sir; we did not. We formed a line three-quarters of a mile this side of there, on
the ridge to the left of the white house. I do not know by whose directions. Colonel Wilkin wan
the first I noticed forming there. It was formed by the First Brigade.
Question. How soon after you arrived there were you attacked by the enemy?
Answer. I don't think it was over three minutes.
Question. How much of a stand did you make there?
Answer. We staid there about half an hour. Some of my drummer boys were burning wagons
and cutting loose the mules at that place. One section of Mueller's battery was in position there
on the right by the white house, supported by the Seventy-second Ohio. We were fighting nearly
all of the time we were there. We were again flanked by the enemy, both right and left.
Question. When you retired from that position did you do so with or without orders?
Answer. We retired without orders, and there were no commanding officers in sight to give
us orders.
Question. At the time you fell back from that position where were the colored troops?
Answer. These troops were falling back at the time I saw them. Getting back at this time was
a regular stampede; there appeared to be no system about it at all. Up to this time the troops had
been kept in pretty good order.
Question. Was there any cavalry in line on the flanks when you were in this last position?
Answer. There were none; I could have seen them if they had been very near. Back of where
our line was formed was open ground.
Question. When you were flanked by the enemy at this position did they also come up in
force in the center?
Answer. They did, but not in such force as on the flanks. I think we could have held this last
position if we could have been supported on the flanks.
Question. Did you make any other stand between that point and Ripley?
Answer. My regiment did not.
Question. Do you think it was possible to have got the artillery and train through the Hatchie
Answer. It would have been impossible without cutting a new road. I think a new road might
have been cut. A citizen acquainted with that locality, who is now acting us a guide for Major-
General Smith on his present expedition, informed me since we returned that there was another
and a better road crossing the creek a few rods above where we crossed.
Question. How many rounds of ammunition did your men have when they went into the
Answer. They had forty-five rounds. When I started from Memphis we had fifty rounds. On
the morning of the 10th a citizen, General Sturgis' guide, remarked to me, in a laughing manner,
that we would smell a fight before night, as the enemy were in strong force in our front. Shortly
after, I asked General Sturgis if there was any enemy in our front, when he replied there was not
any in front. I, however, had time that morning to have the cartridge-boxes inspected, and I
ascertained from that that my men had forty-five rounds.
Question. State what you learned from the people on the road in regard to the position and
strength of the enemy.
Answer. At Ripley, going out, a lady whom I took to be a very intelligent person, Mrs.
Faulkner, wife of Colonel Faulkner, of the rebel service, informed me, in laughing manner, in
answer to my question as to where Forrest was, that Forrest had gone away from there with two
divisions to re-enforce Johnston, but had returned again and that we would have plenty to do in a
few days. I asked her if she knew of the number of men that Forrest had, and she said he had
some 28,000. On my return she had breakfast prepared, and she called me in and I took breakfast
with her. She wanted to know if I did not find her words very nearly correct.
Question. Did you inform General Sturgis of this matter?
Answer. I did, on the afternoon of the same day that I heard it. He and I both treated the
matter lightly.
Question. What efforts were made, if any, to procure forage during the expedition?
Answer. I never knew of any arrangements being made about forage. What forage we got
was picked up by the drivers of the teams, and the quartermaster-sergeant. When we abandoned
our teams, there was in our wagons enough forage to feed our horses two nights. At the white
house, two miles this side of the battleground, I saw plenty of forage. There was plenty also at
Stubbs' ; old corn, and blades of fodder. Between Ripley and La Fayette there was no forage.
There appeared to be plenty between Ripley and the cross-roads.
Question. State any facts not already stated, which in your opinion had an influence in
causing the disaster at Brice's Cross-Roads.
Answer. I think the commencement of the disaster was caused by the men being so much
exhausted. In the second place, by the commanding officers of the expedition leaving the field
without giving any instructions to brigade and regimental commanders. Third, if on falling back
had all been notified to form line at the first frame house this side of the cross-roads, and if the
cavalry had been halted and used upon the flanks, there would have been an opportunity of
saving a portion of the ammunition, and giving the train time to retreat. This line could have
been held till dark. The infantry lost a great many prisoners, because they were in the rear,
without any ammunition, from Ripley, coming this way. The cavalry were engaged at Ripley,
which protected the retreat of the infantry for about a mile from there. The cavalry were then
driven by the enemy, and went to the front of the infantry. In consequence of this the rebels
charged in on my command, which was a part of the First Brigade, and the men being very much
exhausted and out of ammunition, I lost a great many prisoners. I then requested Lieutenant-
Colonel Noble, of the Third Iowa Cavalry, to station his companies in such manner as to protect
my rear, which he accordingly did, and I went and reported this matter to General Sturgis. I
asked him who had command of the cavalry that, was protecting the rear? He answered that it
didn't make much difference; there would be a hell of a stampede soon, or words to that effect. I
replied that there was no necessity of a stampede; that I had taken the responsibility of ordering
Lieutenant-Colonel Noble, with the Third Iowa Cavalry, to protect the rear, which he was then
doing. General Sturgis remarked that I must be mistaken, as the Third Iowa was in the front. I
assured him to the contrary, as I had just placed them in the rear. He then informed me that
Colonel Winslow had charge of the rear, and he sent for him, again assuring me that it was not
necessary to do anything; that there would be a hell of a stampede, and every man would have to
take care of himself. While his messenger was gone for Colonel Winslow, he said, "Colonel, you
have no command, and I have no command; I propose that we take the Nineteenth Pennsylvania
Cavalry, and take some by-road and make our escape." Colonels McMillen, Hoge, and Bouton
were there; also Lieutenant-Colonel Eaton. General Sturgis asked Colonel McMillen what he
thought about it; to which he replied, that he was willing to do whatever I said. I told him that I
didn't consider there was any danger of a stampede if the matter was properly managed, and
expressed my determination to stay with my men. When Colonel Winslow reported, General
Sturgis said to him, "I thought you were in charge of the rear, to which he replied, that he had
been the night before, but didn't understand that he was to be that day. General Sturgis then
asked him if any of the cavalry had ammunition; to which he replied, that the Second New Jersey
and a part of the Ninth Illinois had. General Sturgis then told him to place those regiments in the
rear, which was done, and Colonel Karge's Second New Jersey Cavalry took charge of the rear.
After that we had no trouble to speak of, nor any danger of a stampede.
Question. At what time were the men placed on short rations, and what measures were taken
to procure a supply of meat or other provisions?
Answer. On the 7th of the month, at Ripley, the rations were reduced to one-half rations of
bread and one-quarter rations of meat. The brigade commanders organized foraging parties. The
foraging party of our brigade (the First) secured some eight or nine beef-cattle; among them
three or four large steers. Citizens who owned the cattle made application to have them released.
General Sturgis released the cattle. After that, General Sturgis issued orders that there should be
no foraging. If any man was caught foraging his colonel or commanding officer should be held
responsible, and would be reported to Washington for dismissal. This order was issued on the
morning of the 8th.
Question. Do you know of any general officer or brigade commander having been
intoxicated at any time during the expedition?
Answer. Not after we left La Fayette.
Question. Did you see any of the above-named officers drink any intoxicating liquors on the
day of the battle?
Answer. I saw General Sturgis and Colonel McMillen take a drink of whisky before
breakfast. I saw no other instances during the day.
Question. Did you see any of the officers above referred to intoxicated at La Fayette or
before reaching there? and if so, name them.
Answer. I saw one officer whom I thought was intoxicated at the point where we
disembarked from the cars. This was Colonel McMillen. He was then commanding the First
Brigade, to which my regiment was attached.
Question. To what degree was he intoxicated, and was it so as to unfit him for duty?
Answer. He was so much so that to prevent exposure I got his aides-de-camp to get him to a
house and place him in bed that night, and I took command of the brigade until the next morning.
Question. While Colonel McMillen was in this condition was he in a position to be observed
by other officers and the men of the command?
Answer. He was, at one time. In attempting to get from the cars he fell to the ground and had
to be assisted to rise.
At 6 p.m. the Board adjourned to meet at 2 p.m. to-morrow.
MEMPHIS, TENN., July 9, 1864--2 p.m.
The Board met pursuant to adjournment.
Present, all the members, together with the recorder.
The minutes of the preceding session were read and approved.
Lieutenant-Colonel KING duly sworn and examined.
Question. State your name, rank, and regiment. How long have you been in the service, and
what position did you occupy on the late expedition under General Sturgis?
Answer. John F. King; lieutenant-colonel One hundred and fourteenth Illinois Infantry
Volunteers; I have been in the service since September, 1862; on the late expedition I
commanded my regiment.
Question. In your opinion were there any unnecessary delays on the march of the expedition?
Answer. From the information I gained from those connected with the train, I think the
expedition could have reached Brice's Cross-Roads two days sooner than it did, if we had been
supplied with forage.
Question. State what you know in regard to the supply of forage for the expedition.
Answer. All I know is from the complaints I heard made. Captain Fitch, commanding Battery
E, First Illinois Light Artillery, told me at Ripley, on the morning of the 8th, that his animals
could not go on without forage. I also heard Captain Mueller, of Mueller's battery, make similar
complaints at the same time and place. I saw but very little forage along the road. I saw some
growing corn and wheat along the road, but not much. Forage for my teams was obtained by my
quartermaster sending a man out to pick up a sack of corn occasionally. This I said nothing
about, for I understood it to be in violation of General Sturgis' orders.
Question. State at what time you marched on the morning of the 10th of June, and give the
incidents of that day's march.
Answer. I moved out from Stubbs' plantation about 8 o'clock in the morning. I was attached
to the First Brigade. The Ninety-fifth Ohio had the right of the brigade. Captain Fitch's battery
with four guns was next, and Captain Mueller's battery with two guns next, and I followed the
batteries. The rest of the brigade was in this order: Ninety-third Indiana, Ninth Minnesota,
Seventy-second Ohio. When we reached the white house belonging to Doctor Ames (which I
think was about three miles from Brice's Cross-Roads) we then received orders. Captain
Buckland, of Colonel McMillen's staff, told me that they were fighting in front, and said that
Colonel McMillen would give a hundred dollars to have his brigade up there, and ordered me to
keep well closed up to the battery. My regiment being a little behind I ordered them to doublequick,
which they did for about 300 yards at that time. I kept on to the battle-ground, marching in
quick time and double-quick in about equal proportion. While marching from Ames' to Brice's
Cross-Roads, I saw a great many men who had fallen out by the way on account of the heat.
Many of them said that they belonged to Colonel Hoge's brigade. When I formed my first line of
battle, I think 100 men had fallen out, over one-quarter of my command. I halted at the crossroads
not over two minutes, and halted again about 100 yards beyond there on the Guntown road,
just long enough to form line, and then went right into the position assigned me by Colonel
McMillen. My men had loaded about half a mile back from the cross-roads. The position
assigned me was to the left of the Guntown road and about 300 yards in advance of the crossroads,
my right resting about 150 yards from the Guntown road and my line running parallel to
the Baldwyn road. On the left I could see no troops. The brush was very thick where my line was
formed, and on all sides of us. I relieved a line of dismounted cavalry. I don't know what troops
they were. I advanced my line about fifty yards beyond where they were. As I was going into this
position, Colonel McMillen informed me that there were two lines of our troops in my front, and
instructed me to be careful about firing on that account. I relieved, as I understood it, one of
those lines. I was informed at this time by a cavalry staff officer that there was a line of
skirmishers in my front, and he also told me to be careful about firing. I gave instructions to all
my line not to fire, as we had skirmishers in front. At this time I heard several of my men say
that they were scrunch exhausted that they could not lead. It turned out that there was no line of
skirmishers in front. While in that position my officers and myself could occasionally see men
moving in our front, some of them dressed in blue clothes and some in butternut. Some of my
officers and men persisted in wanting to fire, saying that if they were our men they had no
business to be wearing butternut clothes. Some of my men did fire, in violation of orders, but
only a few shots. In a few minutes a rebel line advanced in plain sight, and I then opened fire. At
the same time they opened heavily on us. The firing between the two lines continued as much as
ten or twelve rounds, and I had a number of men wounded, and some killed. The enemy then fell
back. They advanced again, and I repulsed them the second time. Soon after this they
commenced to flank me on the right, so I swung back the right, and gave them a volley which
repulsed them. They then commenced to turn the left; the firing commenced again on my right
and in my rear. I then gave the order to fall back, and we formed a second line. The firing was
still coming in on my flanks, and I fell back again, firing occasionally until we got to the crossroads.
At this time my men were in considerable confusion and very much exhausted. I here
formed about thirty yards in front of the artillery, which was in position, by Colonel McMillen's
orders. When I formed there there were quite a number of troops on my left. A number of the
men told me that they belonged to the Eighty-first Illinois. The artillery was in position in rear
of the Baldwyn road; I think there were two sections; one piece was firing down the Guntown
road. My regiment extended across the Guntown road and in front of a gun, so that I had to break
files on the right each time that the gun was fired. After they had fired a few rounds the Ninetythird
Indiana fell back and took a position on my right, and were immediately moved by the
flank to the left and rear of Brice's house. After this time I received no orders. The artillery
limbered to the rear; I do not know by whose orders. One section of what I supposed to be
Captain Chapman's battery moved off to my right and down the Pontotoc road. The troops at this
time all seemed to be falling back. I fell back to the right of the Guntown road, in order to protect
this section of artillery. I formed my regiment about sixty yards to the right of the Guntown road
and in rear of the Pontotoc road and my right resting on the latter. The enemy were then coming
in line by Brice's house, skirmishers £u advance, in superior numbers to mine. All of the rest of
our troops had fallen back, from all that I could see. I there gave the enemy two or three rounds. I
again fell back some sixty yards and formed, my right resting some 100 yards in rear of the
Pontotoc road. I fired probably a couple of rounds, and I again fell back some eighty or ninety
yards and was in the act of forming again my sixth line, when Captain Johnson said to me, "If we
remain here five minutes longer we are all gone up." I then moved by the left flank behind a rail
fence, thickly interspersed with vines, bushes, &c., in the nearest direction to the Ripley road,
crossing the Tishomingo, west of the bridge. I fell back within a quarter of a mile of Ames'. I
there struck the main column as it was falling back. I moved down to the road and there saw
General Sturgis, Colonel McMillen, and Colonel Wilkin. I here received orders from Colonel
Wilkin to form on the left of the Ninth Minnesota, it forming east of the road, its right resting on
the road. We held this new position until we were ordered to fall back. We fell back from 300 to
500 yards, and formed again to the west of the road immediately in the edge of the timber, there
being an open field in our front. The colored troops formed in our front in the open field were
very heavily pressed. The colored troops fell back to our rear. We repulsed the enemy, and held
this position some fifteen minutes. It was then after sundown. At the time I saw General Sturgis,
Colonel McMillen, and Colonel Wilkin together at the white house, Colonel McMillen told
Colonel Wilkin to hold the rear until it got dusk, and he would go ahead and reorganize and form
a line on a chosen position to protect us. By order of Colonel Wilkin we then moved to the
Hatchie Swamp. Finding the road blockaded with artillery, ambulances, and wagons stuck in the
mud and receiving no orders in regard to the disposition of the train, we remained here until
between 12 and 1 o'clock at night, when the artillery, ambulances, and train were abandoned, by
whose orders I know not. Colonel Wilkin heard of a ridge road, a better and shorter road to
Ripley, and we started in on it about 600 yards the other side of the Hatchie Swamp. It was a
dark road and the night was dark, and Colonel Wilkin was fearful of getting lost, so we returned
to the other. We proceeded to Ripley, arriving at Ripley at 7.30 or 8 o'clock the next morning.
One battalion of the Fourth Iowa Cavalry covered our retreat for three miles before we got to
Ripley, and also until we arrived at Ripley. We remained in Ripley a short time, trying to find
General Sturgis or Colonel McMillen or some of their staff for the purpose of getting orders, but
none of them were there. We took, on leaving Ripley, the right-hand road, which led in the
direction of La Grange, while the rest of the infantry and cavalry had taken the left-hand road,
leading through Salem. As we were leaving Ripley there were two regiments of colored troops
formed in line on our left. A portion of the cavalry (I think the Fourth Iowa) passed us, saying
that we must look out for ourselves, that they could not protect the rear any longer, as they were
out of ammunition. We marched that day and evening until 11 o'clock, and we then bivouacked
until morning. During that night the Fifty-fifth U.S. Colored Troops, under Captain Reeve, came
up and joined us. From there to Collierville we came across the country roads, passing Davis'
Mills, and had fighting more or less all the time, arriving at Collierville about 9 or 10 o'clock on
the morning of the 13th. We remained there until noon.
Question. Were there any rebel forces at Ripley when you passed through?
Answer. There were. They were fighting with our cavalry. Colonel Wilkin proposed to stop
there, reorganize, and fight them, but could get no orders, and so we went on. We heard at
Collierville that the rebel General Buford and his staff had been in that town that morning. When
the cars met us, two or three miles this side of Collierville, we were then fighting with the rebel
Question. How many rounds of ammunition did the troops in your column have when they
arrived at Ripley on the retreat?
Answer. I would say six or eight rounds. When Captain Reeve came up with the Fifty-fifth
U.S. Colored Troops his men had from forty to fifty rounds. Some of the troops threw away a
good many cartridge-boxes, and my men picked them up.
Question. What, in your opinion, was the cause of the disaster at Brice's Cross-Roads?
Answer. First, exhaustion of the men; second, the bad management of the commanding
officers; third, the superior number of the enemy, and I do not think our lines were properly
connected in our first line of battle, which gave the enemy an opportunity to flank our regiments
and break our lines.
Question. Do you know of any general officer or brigade or regimental commander having
been intoxicated during the expedition?
Answer. I do not.
At 6 p.m. the Board adjourned till 2 p.m. 11th of July, 1864.
MEMPHIS, TENN., July 25, 1864--2.30 p.m.
The Board met pursuant to adjournment. Present, all of the members and the recorder.
The minutes of the two preceding sessions were read and approved.
Col. E. F. WINSLOW duly sworn and examined.
Question. State your name, rank, and regiment; the length of time you have been in the
service, and the position you occupied on the late expedition under General Sturgis.
Answer. E. F. Winslow; colonel Fourth Iowa Cavalry; I have been in the service since
November 23, 1861; on the late expedition I commanded the Second Brigade of the Cavalry
Question. How were you supplied with forage on the expedition?
Answer. We had very little. We often had to march farther to secure forage after we got into
camp than we had marched during the day. After we left the railroad we did not have over half
Question. At what point did you first hear of the enemy being in force in your front?
Answer. My command met at Ripley what was reported to be Bell's brigade, and skirmished
with them. It was just at sundown, and they retired in the night. This was on the 7th of June.
Question. Did you learn anything more in reference to the enemy before you got to Brice's
Cross Roads?
Answer. I did not.
Question. At what time in the day did you encounter the enemy at Brice's Cross-Roads?
Answer. My command was ordered into position at 12 o'clock.
Question. Had there been any fighting by Waring's brigade previous to that?
Answer. There had been. I heard Waring's guns for about an hour previous to that.
Question. Describe the position of your first line of battle, and the character of the ground.
Answer. I sent the Tenth Missouri and Seventh Illinois Cavalry on the right-hand or Pontotoc
road. They were mounted. The Third Iowa Cavalry and two battalions of the Fourth Iowa
Cavalry were dismounted and placed in position across the Guntown road, their left connecting
with Colonel Waring's right, and their right about fifty yards south of the Guntown road. The
ground was somewhat undulating, but thickly covered with small oak timber. There was no
cleared land immediately in front of my line. I could not see the enemy until we got very close to
them, where was open ground about a quarter of a mile in front of our line.
Question. How long did you maintain your position on that line?
Answer. I should judge it to be three-quarters of an hour. Colonel Waring's brigade then fell
back about 400 yards, and I was obliged to withdraw my line on the left to connect with his.
Before I discovered that Colonel Waring had fallen back the enemy had got between his line and
the left of mine, and I lost some 8 or 10 men wounded in consequence. We held this last line for
an hour or an hour and a half until relieved by the infantry.
Question. Were you attacked by the enemy in much force before the infantry came up?
Answer. Not in sufficient force to drive us from our position. I could not tell how strong the
enemy was, because we could not see any of them.
Question. What orders did you receive, and what did you do after the infantry came up?
Answer. Just before the infantry arrived I received information from General Grierson that
the infantry Was arriving. When the head of their column came in sight I received orders from
General Grierson to withdraw my men and mount them. I waited in person until two infantry
regiments had arrived and had taken positions which I pointed out to them, directing the Third
and Fourth Iowa to retire and mount as speedily as possible. I went to the rear and reported to
General Sturgis, who was about 200 yards in the rear of Brice's house, and told him what I had
done. He said that was right, and that the cavalry had already done all the infantry labor which he
should require of them, and wished them then to perform their legitimate duty on the flanks,
where they belonged. I then went to the front. My men were just withdrawing from the bushes
and there was no firing. Colonel McMillen was present superintending the movements of the
infantry. When my men had got about twenty yards in rear of the infantry line the enemy and our
men commenced firing very fiercely. I directed my men to remain in position where they where,
and informed Colonel McMillen that I would not withdraw them until further orders, as he was
evidently severely attacked. I sent an aide to General Sturgis, informing him of the circumstances
and asking further instructions, and received orders to retire at once and mount my men. I again
went and reported to General Sturgis and General Grierson, who were together. They asked if
my men were retiring, and seemed impatient for them to come. Presently they came out and I
mounted them as soon as possible. General Sturgis then asked me if I could send any men to the
right. I told him that I had two regiments there already. He wished to know if they could help the
infantry. I told him that I could dismount 150 men with carbines if he said so. He instructed me
to do so, and I immediately caused it to be done, instructing them to hold that position as long as
possible. Four companies of the Fourth Iowa Cavalry had been sent back to the train before the
infantry came up, by order of General Grierson. The Third Iowa Cavalry was mounted and
formed in a field on the south of the road, about one-third of a mile in rear of creek. About this
time General Sturgis came up to where I was, and remarked that Colonel McMillen was driving
the enemy. He then rode off. This was about a mile in rear of the cross-roads. Two minutes after
General Sturgis left one of the enemy's shells struck within fifty feet of where I was. I then
discovered that our infantry had been driven back. In a few minutes afterward everything
commenced going by me to the rear--artillery, train, ambulances, and men--all mixed up
together. I then went back to the creek to see what had become of my command. I found that the
Fourth Iowa Cavalry had dismounted and occupied a little hill near the bridge, to protect the
withdrawal of their horses across the creek, which done they mounted and followed the Third
Iowa. At the time I got back to the creek the most of our forces had fallen back this side of the
creek in a great deal of confusion. Finding that the army was retiring in this manner, I directed
the head of my column to proceed slowly to the rear, on a line parallel with the retreating
column. I proceeded back to a point about one mile and a half from the creek and formed my
command in form of squadron on the south side of the road in a field. The enemy soon
commenced to shall us, and I was then directed by General Grierson to move according to my
own discretion, which I did. I reported to General Sturgis about four miles this side of the creek.
I reported my command in good shape and asked for orders. He directed me to go to Stubbs' and
stop the retreating column, which I did. General Sturgis arrived there a few minutes after I did
and told me to open the lines and direct everybody to push for Ripley as fast as possible. I
remarked to him that that would oblige the abandonment of the train and all the artillery, which
could not be got through the swamp. He said that the artillery and train had already gone to hell,
and that if they got through the swamp they could not eventually be saved, because there was no
forage for the animals. He requested me to take the rear of the column and remain there until the
larger part of it had passed by. I halted my command from 9 till 2.30 o'clock and then took the
rear of the column to Ripley.
Question. In your opinion, could the retreating column have been rallied at that point and the
trains and artillery saved?
Answer. I think they could, and think that was the only place where it could have been done.
Question. What efforts were made to make a stand at Ripley?
Answer. I was in the rear, and had considerable fighting with the enemy. Two negro
regiments were also in position. The balance of the column had passed by before we got there,
and I don't know where they went to.
Question. To what causes do you attribute the defeat of our forces at Brice's Cross-Roads?
Answer. I think that the main cause was the exhaustion of the infantry when it arrived on the
field of battle. I think the position was a good one for infantry but not for artillery. I think there
was a far better position about two miles this side of the creek, where, if the infantry had been
halted and the cavalry had fallen back to the creek, we undoubtedly would have beaten them. I
do not think that over three-fifths of the infantry got into the fight on account of exhaustion.
Question. Do you know of any general officer or brigade or regimental commander being
intoxicated on the day of the battle?
Answer. I do not.
Question. What conversation had you with General Sturgis after the retreat had commenced
about trying to stop it?
Answer. About four miles this side of the creek I expressed to General Sturgis some surprise
that there had not been an attempt made to stop the rout. He said that himself and other officers
within his reach had made every exertion to reorganize the command, but that the troops were
without discipline, and, although good soldiers when successful, when unsuccessful they were
perfectly worthless. He said that they were nothing but a mob.
Question. Did you see any infantry that appeared to be organized during the retreat on the
night of the 10th?
Answer. No, sir; I did not.
Question. How near to the cross-roads was the train brought up during the fight?
Answer. I think the main part of the train was brought up within three-quarters of a mile of
the cross-roads, and a large portion of it was brought up nearly if not quite to the cross-roads.
Question. Was that a proper position for the train under the circumstances?
Answer. I do not think it was a proper position under any circumstances. I think that was one
cause of losing the train.
Question. From Ripley to Collierville what part of the column were you in?
Answer. I was at the rear all of the time.
Question. How far did the enemy follow you this side of Ripley?
Answer. They followed us in force about five miles. At that point they made a dash on us and
took a good many prisoners. After that they only followed us with a few men.
Question. Did you receive any orders from General Sturgis about conducting the rear after
leaving Stubbs' plantation?
Answer. I never received any orders from him, either in person or otherwise, in regard to any
movement whatever after leaving Stubbs'. The only time that I saw General Sturgis was about
ten miles this side of Ripley as he was passing to the front. He then gave me no orders.
Question. At what time did you arrive at Collierville on the retreat, and what time did you
leave there, and what were the reasons for leaving at that time?
Answer. We arrived there at noon on the 12th and left at dark. Two thousand fresh infantry
arrived there about 3 o'clock in the afternoon on the cars from Memphis, the train also bringing
ammunition, forage, and rations. I was informed by Generals Sturgis and Grierson that we would
remain there all night, for the purpose of resting and covering the retreat of such infantry as
might be coming in. The command moved by order of General Sturgis about dark to White's
Station, seventeen miles, reaching there about daylight; in consequence of which movement 200
horses of my command were rendered unserviceable. I know of no reason for that march. Two
hundred and fifty of my command were ordered back to Collierville the next morning to protect
the retreat of such infantry as might come in.
At 6 p.m. the Board adjourned to meet at 2 p.m. to-morrow.
COLLIERVILLE, July 2, 1864.
GENERAL: I have the honor to report that at 3 this a.m. I sent out a detachment of twenty
men from the Seventh Indiana Cavalry southward on the Byhalia road, at a point at about ten
miles south of my camp. They were attacked by a force of rebel cavalry, variously estimated at
from 100 to 300 men, who drove in our cavalry to within one mile and a half of my camp. As
soon as I was informed of the enemy's approach I moved out with 250 of my regiment to a
bridge one mile and a half from camp, where I halted and sent out a small detachment of the
Seventh Indiana Cavalry, under command of Capt. John M. Moore, with the design to draw them
into an ambush. Upon the advance of the cavalry the enemy retreated in haste in the direction of
Byhalia. It is my opinion that with 200 good cavalry the enemy could be bagged.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel, Commanding.
Major-General WASHBURN.
Memphis, Tenn., July 27, 1864.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to make the following report of the part taken by my division on
the late expedition to Tupelo, Miss.:
I left La Grange on the morning of the 5th instant with my command, which was composed
of the following brigades and batteries: First Brigade, Colonel McMillen, Ninety-fifth Ohio
Volunteer Infantry; Second Brigade, Colonel Wilkin, Ninth Minnesota Volunteer Infantry; Third
Brigade, Colonel Woods, Twelfth Iowa Volunteer Infantry; Fourth Brigade, Colonel Ward,
Fourteenth Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry (this brigade was a detachment from the Seventeenth
Army Corps, temporarily assigned to my command); Second Iowa Battery, Lieutenant Reed
commanding; First Illinois, Company E (one section), Lieutenant Cram, and a battery (four
Rodman's) belonging to Company M, First Missouri, but manned by Captain Mueller's company,
Sixth Indiana Battery. We arrived at Pontotoc on the 12th instant, and on the morning of the 13th
moved toward Tupelo. The colonel commanding brigade of colored troops, which was in rear of
my division, about nine miles of Tupelo, sent word to me that he was threatened by a large force
of the enemy. I directed Colonel Ward, whose brigade had been marching on the right flank of
the train, to place one regiment in the rear so that he might be better able to render assistance to
the negro brigade. At the same time I ordered Colonel Woods to place two of his largest
regiments on the right flank of the train. The column proceeded in this manner some three miles,
when an attack was suddenly made on the train for nearly its entire length. The attacking force,
as I have since learned, consisted of four brigades of cavalry. This attack was soon repulsed,
Colonel Ward's brigade taking the chief part in the fight and capturing a rebel flag. As soon as
the enemy was repulsed I again started the column on, keeping the wagons ahead of the main
column, when, finding that the enemy were moving rapidly at some distance on my right flank
toward my front, I proceeded toward the head of the column for the purpose of making
arrangements to protect the wagon train. I had just arrived at the head of the Ninth Minnesota,
which had been sent forward to protect the train, when a furious attack was made on the column
a short distance to the rear. I immediately halted that regiment and faced it toward the enemy,
and directed skirmishers to be deployed. At the same time the balance of the brigade was halted
by Colonel McMillen and faced toward the enemy, and the order given to charge. The enemy
was driven in confusion. I then brought up the Eleventh Missouri to Colonel McMillen's support,
but before they arrived in position the rebels had disappeared and the fight was over. Colonel
McMillen and his command displayed great gallantry in so quickly repulsing this attack. As soon
as our wounded had been picked up I again moved on and arrived at the camp about dark.
The next morning the general commanding the expedition indicated to me the position he
wished my division to occupy, and I placed the troops of my command as follows: Colonel
Woods' brigade on the left, its left resting on the Pontotoc road and connecting with the right of
the Third Division; Colonel Ward's brigade on the right of Colonel Woods'; Colonel McMillen's
brigade on the right of Ward's, and Colonel Wilkin's brigade in reserve. The Second Iowa
Battery was placed on the left of Colonel Ward's brigade, and commanded the Pontotoc road and
the open field on the right of that road. Captain Mueller's battery was placed on the right of
Colonel Ward's brigade and the section of Company E, First Illinois Battery, on the right of
Colonel McMillen's brigade. The enemy commenced the attack at about 7.30 o'clock in the
morning, coming down in line of battle along our front and opposite our left, moving in an
irregular mass. I directed the fire to be retained until they approached quite near, and then opened
on them with shell, canister, and musketry. The fight continued for about two hours and a half,
when, finding that they would not approach any nearer ore' lines, I ordered the Third Brigade to
charge on them. This was very gallantly done, and the enemy driven from the field with heavy
loss. I had two field officers and several men sunstruck during the charge, and the enemy, having
fallen back to their led horses, disappeared from our front. I did not attempt to pursue them any
farther, as my command was well nigh exhausted with the march of nineteen miles and the
fighting of the day before; in fact, it would have been useless to pursue mounted infantry with
troops on foot under any circumstances.
On the morning of the 15th the enemy again appeared in our front. I awaited their attack, but
finding that they were not disposed to approach within musket shot, with the exception of their
skirmishers, I moved upon them and drove them about two miles, when they again took to their
horses and fled. I then followed the Third Division, which had already moved out on the
Ellistown road. A brigade of cavalry formed the rear guard. I arrived at the camp on Old Town
Creek, and was there met by a staff officer of the general commanding the expedition, who
directed that my division should pass by the Third and encamp in advance of them. Just as my
rear brigade had crossed the creek and passed through the bottom on the north side of it, several
shells were suddenly dropped into the camp by the enemy, who, it seems, had driven in our
cavalry the moment the infantry had crossed the creek. I was directed by Major-General Smith to
take a brigade and drive the enemy back. I moved the First Brigade immediately back, forming
them in line of battle. I attacked the enemy and drove them about two miles. Colonel McMillen's
brigade behaved most gallantly, and were led by him, he riding in advance of them and cheering
them on. After the enemy had been driven, I withdrew my troops and ordered them into camp,
leaving the position to be held by Colonel Moore, commanding the Third Division.
I cannot speak too highly of the conduct of both officers and men in the several engagements.
I regret to have to report the loss of Colonel Wilkin, of the Ninth Minnesota, commanding
Second Brigade, who, although he had been with the command but a short time had already
endeared himself to both officers and men by his high-toned bearing and gentlemanly conduct.
I inclose herewith a sketch of the battle-field and reports of brigade commanders.
A list of casualties has already been forwarded to you.
I am, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Brigadier-General, Commanding.
Capt. J. HOUGH,
Asst. Adjt. Gen., Right Wing, Sixteenth Army Corps.
Memphis, Tenn., July 24, 1864.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to submit the following statement of the part taken by this
command in the late expedition to Tupelo, Miss., under Maj. Gen. A. J. Smith, commanding
Right Wing, Sixteenth Army Corps:
The troops were embarked on cars at the depot of the Memphis and Charleston Railroad on
the morning of the 22d of June, and proceeded to Grissom's Bridge, where they camped for the
night, and the following day marched to Moscow, where they remained several days, and moved
to La Grange. On the 5th instant we left the latter place, camping for the night at Davis' Mills,
and the following day took up the line of march in a southeasterly direction toward the Mobile
and Ohio Railroad, reaching the vicinity of Pontotoc, Miss., without incident worthy of note, on
the morning of the 11th instant. Here the enemy was supposed to be in some force, and this
brigade was deployed, with its left resting on the main road, and moved for some distance in line.
Ascertaining that the enemy had abandoned the place, and that General Grierson was already in
possession of Pontotoc, the brigade was moved by the left flank through the town and camped on
a small stream near it, where it remained until the morning of the 13th instant, when we again
moved in the direction of Tupelo. During the afternoon of this day I was furiously assailed near
Camargo Cross-Roads, on the right flank, taking my troops by surprise. The Seventy-second and
Ninety-fifth Ohio and One hundred and fourteenth Illinois Infantry were quickly formed in line,
gallantly charging the enemy and driving him in confusion from the field. In this engagement (as
I afterward learned with the whole of Bell's rebel brigade) I was promptly assisted by the Second
Iowa Battery, Lieutenant Reed commanding, whose promptness and gallantry cannot be too
highly praised. I am also indebted to Colonel Wilkin, then commanding the Second Brigade, for
prompt assistance in sending to my relief the Ninth Minnesota Infantry, who did effective
service. The officers and men of that portion of my command engaged deserve commendation
for the gallantry with which they met the enemy and the handsome manner in which he was
repulsed and driven. My loss in this affair was about 35 officers and men killed and wounded.
The brigade then moved to Harrisonburg, near Tupelo, and camped for the night.
The next morning, the 14th instant, the troops were under arms at 3 a.m., my brigade in
reserve on the extreme right and rear of our position, and, with the exception of the Tenth
Minnesota Infantry, it was not engaged in the battle on that day.
On the morning of the 15th the regiments composing the brigade were moved about the field
into various positions, and although at times subjected to a heavy artillery fire from the enemy,
were not brought into immediate contact with him.
In the movement northward from Tupelo, on the 15th instant, my brigade had the rear of the
entire infantry column, and was the last to leave the battle-field. We marched some five miles
without molestation to Town Creek, where we found the train parked and the column halted.
The rear regiment of my brigade had just crossed the creek, when a sharp attack was made upon
the cavalry rear guard, which was driven hastily and in confusion from the field and through my
ranks, the enemy advancing rapidly in large force, planting a battery, the shell from which
reached the train. I at once formed the Seventy-second Ohio, Ninety-fifth Ohio, One hundred and
fourteenth Illinois, and Ninety-third Indiana Infantry in line, put Battery E into position, and by
direction of Brig. Gen. J. A. Mower, commanding division, charged the enemy, who was then
within close range, driving the cavalry in great confusion before him. The Tenth Minnesota
Infantry, being in advance, did not reach the point of formation in time to charge with us, but
afterward joined us on the field. Notwithstanding the confusion occasioned by a large number of
led horses and demoralized cavalrymen passing through my ranks, the heavy artillery fire of the
enemy, and a stampeded train, my line did not for a moment falter, but more as rapidly and
regularly forward as the nature of the ground over which we passed would permit. Getting
through the cavalry and seeing nothing but the enemy before us, the order to charge was given,
and, with a loud cheer, my men dashed forward, driving the enemy, who was in superior force
and commanding position, from the field.
I cannot praise too highly the conduct of the officers and men of the regiments making the
charge. They all nobly and bravely performed their duty. Capt. B. C. Berry, commanding One
hundred and fourteenth Illinois Infantry, received a wound which compelled him to retire from
the field. Maj. Eugene A. Rawson, commanding Seventy-second Ohio Veteran Infantry, received
a wound from which he has since died. In the death of Major Rawson the army and the country
have sustained an irreparable loss. Young, accomplished, and possessed of that chivalrous nature
which leads to deeds of high daring, he gave promise of rising to positions of honor and
usefulness. The idol of his regiment and beloved by this entire command, his death has caused a
void which will never be filled. He fell at the head of his command in the fierce tempest of
battle, leaving an example worthy the emulation of the bravest, and a name which his country
and friends will be honored in cherishing. To Capt. S. N. Shoup, who succeeded Captain Berry
in command of the One hundred and fourteenth Illinois Infantry, and Captain Snyder, who
assumed command of the Seventy-second Ohio Infantry after Major Rawson was wounded, too
much praise cannot be awarded for their personal gallantry and the able, effective manner in
which they handled their commands. Capt. James Kilbourne, Ninety-fifth Ohio Infantry, on the
skirmish line, and Capt. S. Elliott, Ninety-third Indiana Infantry, were conspicuous for their
efficiency and daring.
From this time until we reached our camps at Memphis, on the 22d instant, nothing of special
interest occurred. The march home was fatiguing, owing to the heat, dust, and scanty supply of
water and provisions.
Capt. J. Fernald, Seventy-second Ohio Infantry, picket officer; Lieut. O. H. Abel, acting
assistant adjutant-general; Lieuts. J. Barber, Ninety-fifth Ohio Infantry, and T. Livings, Ninetythird
Indiana Infantry, aides-de-camp; Lieutenant Hosmer, One hundred and thirteenth Illinois
Infantry, acting assistant inspector-general, composing the staff of this brigade, deserve special
mention for their uniform devotion to duty and the coolness and bravery with which they
conducted themselves in action. It affords me pleasure to recommend them for favorable notice,
and as officers worthy of promotion.
My casualties are as follows: 1 commissioned officer killed, 6 wounded; 15 enlisted men
killed, 71 wounded, and 5 missing in action, a detailed report of which has already been
I am, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel Ninety-fifth Ohio Infantry, Commanding.
Capt. J. B. SAMPLE,
Assistant Adjutant-General.
Memphis, Tenn., July 23, 1864.
COLONEL: In obedience to your order of the 22d, I have the honor to submit the following
statement of the part taken by my regiment in the late expedition to and from Tupelo:
We left Memphis, Tenn., on the 25th of June and arrived at La Grange on the 27th, nothing
worthy of note transpiring on the way. On the 5th of July we again moved onward, making easy
marches. We arrived at Pontotoc on the 11th, my men being greatly improved in both health and
spirits. On the morning of the 13th we again took up the line of march toward Tupelo, my
regiment being in the rear of the brigade. About noon the brigade was halted until the entire
wagon train had moved past, when we again moved forward, my regiment being placed in the
rear of the Second Iowa Battery, with orders from you to support it. The brigade receiving a
spirited attack on the right flank, and the battery in imminent peril, the advance of the enemy
being within a few rods, my regiment was formed in the rear of the battery, the men forming in
fine order and good time. The farther advance of the enemy was checked by the time I had my
line formed by the energetic action of the battery itself. We were then ordered forward to the
support of the Seventy-second and Ninety-fifth Ohio Regiments, who were hotly pressed by the
enemy. Arriving on the ground we were ordered, in connection with the other two regiments, to
charge, which was done in gallant style, and the enemy was driven from the field, our loss being
3 killed and 10 wounded. We then moved forward until near Tupelo, where we went into camp
for the night. During the operations of the 14th my regiment was not brought into action, but was
held in reserve. Being somewhat exposed to the enemy's artillery we lost, by the explosion of
one of their shells, 2 men killed and 1 wounded severely. During the operations of the morning
of the 15th my regiment was not brought into immediate action, but, upon leaving the ground
with the Ninety-third Indiana, composed the rear guard of the infantry force. About 5 o'clock in
the afternoon an assault was made by the enemy on the rear of the column. Our brigade, except
the Tenth Minnesota, was ordered to charge them, which was done, and the enemy, who had a
largely superior force, was driven back near a mile in perfect rout. During this charge my
regiment, occupying an exposed position in the line, suffered severely, 7 men being killed and 15
wounded; most of them very severely wounded. I was here myself wounded, and for the balance
of the expedition the command devolved upon Capt. Samuel N. Shoup, after which the regiment
was not engaged in any operations of particular note.
In conclusion, I wish to bear testimony to the gallant bearing of both officers and men.
Although the personal bravery and efficiency of many is worthy of special mention, yet where all
so nobly did their duty to particularize would be unjust.
I have the honor to remain, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Captain, Commanding.
Comdg. First Brigade, First Division, Sixteenth Army Corps.
Memphis, Tenn., July 25, 1864.
SIR: I have the honor to make the following report of the part taken by the Ninety-third
Regiment in the late expedition:
On the morning of the 22d of June left Memphis by railroad to Grissom's Bridge and
encamped. On 23d marched to Moscow. Left Moscow 28th; marched to La Grange, Tenn. Left
La Grange on the 5th of July, marching in a southerly direction, passing through Ripley, and
arrived at Pontotoc on July 12 in the morning and encamped.
On the morning of the 13th resumed our march in a northeasterly direction. In the afternoon,
hearing heavy firing in our rear, my regiment being in advance of the brigade, we were ordered
forward to guard Third Division train. Two companies detailed to guard our brigade train
marched about five miles, when we found Third Division in line of battle. Here parked the train;
reported to Maj. Gen. A. J. Smith for orders. Ordered to form line in support of Third Indiana
Battery on the extreme right of the line, where we remained until daylight of the 14th, when
ordered by General Mower to move in rear of the Sixth Indiana Battery, with my left resting on
the road. We remained in this position until ordered by Colonel McMillen to support
Waterhouse's battery, where we remained about one hour under a heavy fire of the enemy; then
ordered by Colonel McMillen across the road, on the extreme right of the road, where we
remained until the fire of the enemy ceased, without a chance to fire a gun at the enemy. In the
afternoon we were ordered, with the Tenth Minnesota, under the command of Lieutenant-
Colonel Jennison, to guard the train. We took our position south of the train in the woods; sent
two companies on picket and remained during the night of the 14th.
On the morning of the 15th the enemy advanced and skirmishing commenced by our pickets,
under command of Lieutenant Noel, Company I, supported on the right by the Ninth Illinois
Cavalry, when the enemy were driven back; when ordered by Colonel McMillen to change our
position to that occupied by us in the morning, where we formed on the right of the Second
Brigade, with orders, if heavy firing was heard in our front, to move and support Waterhouse's
battery, where we remained until ordered to the extreme front, and took our position on the left
of the brigade, when we fixed bayonets and ordered, in case the enemy charged our lines, to
move across the road, and hold the road at all hazards. Sent two companies out as skirmishers,
under command of Capt. William Lamb, Company K, when the enemy opened fire on us with
shell, without doing any damage, when I was ordered to withdraw from the field. Captain Berry,
commanding One hundred and fourteenth Illinois, and myself were ordered to protect the rear,
my regiment being in the extreme rear, three companies marching in rear of Waterhouse's
battery, the remainder of my regiment marching in two ranks on each side of the battery, in
which position we continued until we arrived at Old Town Creek, my men overmuch fatigued, it
being very hot and dusty. The first intimation we had of the enemy was a shell bursting in the
rear of our regiment, when we immediately formed in the forks of the road, the Fourth Iowa
Cavalry falling back and passing through our line, saying that they did not fight on foot, when
we were ordered forward, crossing Old Town Creek four times before meeting the enemy, which
we found on the right of the road in a stubble field, when we were ordered to charge, which we
did, driving the enemy before us, passing over the enemy's dead and wounded on the field. Being
considerably in advance of the line, I discovered the enemy on our left flank and in front of the
One hundred and fourteenth Illinois. I ordered an oblique fire to the left, the enemy falling back
on the road, posting themselves behind a fence in our front, when we charged them and drove
them from their position, killing and wounding numbers of them and taking a few prisoners,
which were taken charge of by the Third Iowa Cavalry, the enemy retreating in utter confusion,
breaking their guns, pursued by our regiment until ordered to halt by General Mower, at the crest
of the hill, no enemy to be seen----our loss being 6 men slightly wounded and 6 sunstruck--when
we were ordered into camp by Colonel McMillen, where we arrived at dark, both officers and
men being worn down with fatigue, all having done their duty well.
On the morning of the 16th took up line of march for La Grange, by the way of Salem,
nothing of importance occurring. We arrived at La Grange on the 21st and took the cars for
Memphis in the afternoon. Arrived at Memphis on the 22d.
I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,
Captain, Comdg. Ninety-third Indiana Volunteer Infantry.
Comdg. First Brig., First Division, Sixteenth Army Corps.
Memphis, Tenn., July 22, 1864.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to make the following report of operations of this brigade during
the late expedition:
The brigade left La Grange, Tenn., on the 5th instant, then being under command of Col.
Alexander Wilkin, Ninth Minnesota Infantry Volunteers, and continued on during the very hot
On the 13th instant, while on the march from Pontotoc to Tupelo, word was brought forward
to Colonel Wilkin that the rear had been attacked, and that the enemy were passing by our
brigade and occasionally firing upon it and the brigade teams from a cross-road. He immediately
deployed the Eleventh Missouri Volunteers and Forty-seventh Illinois Volunteers, and with them
held the road until the train had passed. Meantime, the remainder of the brigade had been formed
in line of battle, on an open field to the left of the road and facing to the rear. This done under
orders from General Mower, and shortly after moved back on the road some distance, and
remained until the train had all passed, when we were ordered to proceed on the march. After
going about a mile and a half or two miles we heard heavy firing in the front, and soon learned
that the First Brigade had been attacked. We pushed ahead, passing the ambulances containing
wounded brought up from the rear. The Second Iowa Battery had been in the advance, and were
now playing upon the rebels as rapidly as their guns could be loaded, and, as afterward
ascertained, did good execution. Orders soon came for one regiment of the Second Brigade to
enter the wood on the right of the First Brigade. The Ninth Minnesota formed line and entered
the wood through a corn-field, but before they had taken their position a force was seen coming
around between us and the First Brigade, and so much dressed like our own men our fire was
reserved some time, as it was impossible to distinguish them. Satisfied that they were rebels,
Colonel Wilkin directed the Ninth to fire, and so completely surprised were the enemy that they
fled in the utmost confusion, leaving many killed and wounded on the field. The Forty-seventh
Illinois was now brought up, formed on the right of the Ninth Minnesota, and together advanced
until the halt was ordered and they returned. The detachment of the Fifth Minnesota and Eighth
Wisconsin had been ordered to support the Second Iowa Battery, and did so until word was
brought from the First Brigade that they needed assistance, when they were sent ahead, and
rejoined us on the march. They were not placed forward, as the enemy had retreated when they
were brought up. The Eleventh Missouri Infantry were held back as a reserve until General
Mower ordered them into the woods in rear of the Ninth Minnesota and Forty-seventh Illinois,
but by the time they had taken their position these regiments were retiring, and the Eleventh was
ordered to join them.
Nothing further occurred until the next day, when the battle of Harrisburg was fought. The
Second Brigade was held as a reserve, and formed in two lines immediately in rear of the Fourth
Brigade and in a valley. We were, while there, under a heavy fire from the guns of the enemy,
their shell, canister, &c., passing over the advanced forces and exploding around us. The Fortyseventh
Illinois and Eleventh Missouri were ordered out on the right of the train to protect it
from an attack on that side, and remained in that position until the following day. It was after
placing these two regiments in position that Colonel Wilkin went forward to attend to the half of
the brigade, and was killed upon reaching the right of his line, a minie-ball passing through his
body from the left side to the right. Upon hearing of his death, I assumed command of the
brigade, and after throwing out skirmishers in front of the corral, and my line on the right of the
teams, I rode forward in time to take out the Ninth Minnesota and detachments of Fifth
Minnesota and Eighth Wisconsin, when the rebels were driven back. We remained in our
position that night, a night attack being expected. The Second Iowa Battery, Lieutenant Reed
commanding, had been placed in an exposed position during the entire battle, but had kept up
their fire and held their position during the hottest of the firing in a manner most praiseworthy
and highly commendable.
The morning of the 15th, while making preparations to march, the enemy were seen to be
advancing, and, by order of General Mower, the Fifth Minnesota and Eighth Wisconsin and
Ninth Minnesota were thrown out to the earth-works on the left of the Third Brigade, the
detachments occupying the works, while the Ninth was thrown to the left and rear of them,
protecting the left flank. Our skirmishers on the extreme left were not driven in, but were under
very heavy fire. Those immediately in front were driven in and some sharp firing was kept up
until the charge was ordered, when the rebels fled and only an occasional shot was fired.
Meantime, the remainder of the brigade had been ordered forward and placed in position with the
brigade. One section of the Second Iowa Battery was brought forward also, and shelled the
rebels in their retreat. After remaining here some time, we were ordered to take up the line of
march; nothing further occurred during our march to La Grange.
The behavior of both officers and men of this brigade was soldierly, and all orders were
obeyed cheerfully and promptly. Much praise is due to them, and especially to the Second Iowa
Battery, Lieutenant Reed commanding, for the manner in which his battery was handled and with
good effect during the entire engagement.
Killed, wounded, and missing, 35.
I am, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel, Comdg. Second Brig., First Div., Sixteenth Army Corps.
Capt. J. B. SAMPLE,
Asst. Adjt. Gen., First Division, Sixteenth Army Corps.
Memphis, Tenn. July 23, 1864.
I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of the Third Brigade in the
late expedition in Mississippi:
This brigade moved from La Grange, Tenn., with the Right Wing of the Sixteenth Army
Corps, on the morning of the 5th day of July, and entered Pontotoc, Miss., on the evening of the
11th of July, and again marched from that place on the morning of the 13th of July. Up to this
time had not been engaged with the enemy.
On the afternoon of the 13th of July we were on the march from Pontotoc to Tupelo in the
following order: The Thirty-fifth Iowa in advance, and immediately behind the brigade train of
the Second Brigade; the Thirty-third Missouri in front of the supply train, the Seventh Minnesota
and Twelfth Iowa on the flanks of the train. At 3 p.m. a volley was fired into the brigade train of
the Second Brigade and immediately in front of the Thirty-fifth Iowa. That regiment was
immediately formed in line of battle and skirmishers thrown forward, but the force which fired
from this point, and which seems to have been a small one, fled. Soon after this first volley the
enemy opened in heavy force on the right flank of the Seventh Minnesota and Twelfth Iowa,
who soon became hotly engaged with the enemy. After a sharp fight we not only repulsed the
enemy, but drove him from the field. During this action Surg. L. B. Smith, of the Seventh
Minnesota, an excellent officer, was killed. The Seventh Minnesota had I officer killed and 14
men wounded. In the Twelfth Iowa Capt. C. L. Sumbardo, a good officer, was wounded, and that
regiment had also 1 man killed, 11 men wounded, and 1 man missing. The same day the Thirtythird
Missouri had 2 men wounded. Total loss this day, 1 officer killed, 1 officer wounded, 1
man killed and 27 men wounded and 1 man missing.
On the morning of the 14th of July this army had taken a position near Tupelo, Miss. The
brigade was disposed in the following order: On the right the Thirty-fifth Iowa, then the Thirtythird
Missouri, then the Twelfth Iowa, the left of the Twelfth Iowa resting on the Pontotoc road.
The Seventh Minnesota was placed in reserve in rear of the line. At 9 o'clock the enemy in heavy
force advanced upon our line, and attacked us warmly with artillery and musketry. Our men
without any wavering returned the fire. A fierce engagement was kept up for three hours, when
our whole brigade charged the enemy, driving him from the field and getting possession of his
killed and wounded, who lay thick upon the field. We also captured at this time several
prisoners, and 1 stand of colors, which fell into the hands of the Thirty-third Missouri. We
remained in our advanced position until it became evident the enemy was not likely to attack
soon again, when we returned to our original position. During this attack the Twelfth Iowa
exhausted their ammunition. The Seventh Minnesota relieved them until in turn the ammunition
of the Seventh Minnesota became exhausted. During this action the Twelfth Iowa had an
excellent officer, Lieut. A. A. Burdick, killed. The Twelfth Iowa lost during the day 6 men killed
and 39 men wounded. The Seventh Minnesota lost 7 men killed, 1 officer wounded, and 33 men
wounded. The Thirty-third Missouri lost 1 officer wounded, 1 man killed, and 17 men wounded.
The Thirty-fifth Iowa lost 3 men killed and 33 men wounded.
On the morning of the 15th of July the Thirty-third Missouri and Seventh Minnesota were in
line on the right of the Pontotoc road, the Twelfth Iowa and Thirty-fifth Iowa on the left of said
road, all behind temporary breast-works. In this position the brigade was ordered to remain
concealed and to reserve their fire until the enemy arrived to within fifty yards of our lines. The
enemy advancing opened a warm fire on us, but at length it becoming evident that he would not
charge our lines or advance to the prescribed distance, a charge was ordered by the general
commanding the division. The men charged with a will, when the enemy fled precipitately.
During the action we lost from the Twelfth Iowa, 1 man killed and 2 men wounded; in Seventh
Minnesota, 1 officer killed and 4 men wounded; in the Thirty-third Missouri, 1 man killed and 14
men wounded; in the Thirty-fifth Iowa, 1 man killed. The heat was intense and there were some
cases of sunstroke.
During these various actions the regimental commanders, Colonel Hill, Thirty-fifth Iowa;
Colonel Marshall, Seventh Minnesota; Lieuten-ant-Colonel Heath, Thirty-third Missouri; and
Lieutenant-Colonel Stibbs, Twelfth Iowa Volunteers, displayed the utmost coolness and bravery,
and discharged all their duties with alacrity. In this they were well sustained by the field and line
officers of their command, whilst the men proved themselves worthy of the highest praise for
their heroic conduct. Acting Brigade Surg. S. W. Huff was very faithful and efficient in his
duties with the wounded.
I return my thanks to the members of my staff, Lieuts. H. Hoover. N. E. Duncan, R. M. Reed,
and L. F. Creitz for the aid they rendered me in the performance of their duties, though at times I
was deficient in aid on the field in consequence of staff officers being physically unable to
perform the needed services.
During these various actions the brigade lost: Officers--killed, 3; wounded, 3. Enlisted men--
killed, 21; wounded, 167; missing, 3. Total loss, 197.
At 2 p.m. of the 15th of July the brigade moved out on the Ellistown road, going into camp at
5 p.m., about six miles from the battle-field. With no further engagement with the enemy we
arrived at La Grange, Tenn., July 21, 1864.
Besides this loss in the above actions the following casualties occurred during the expedition:
July 8, in Thirty-third Missouri, 1 enlisted man wounded by accident (since died); in Thirty-fifth
Iowa, 1 enlisted man wounded by accident; July 20, in Seventh Minnesota, 1 man wounded by
accident, and 1 man missing on the march since July 11.
Respectfully submitted.
Colonel, Commanding Brigade.
Capt. J. B. SAMPLE,
Asst. Adjt. Gen., First Division, Sixteenth Army Corps.
La Grange, Tenn, July 21, 1864.
LIEUTENANT: I have the honor to make the following report of the action taken by the
Twelfth Regiment Iowa Infantry Veteran Volunteers in the actions near Tupelo, Miss., on the
13th, 14th, and 15th instant:
On the 13th instant, at about 2 p.m., while marching as guard for the supply train and support
for Mueller's Sixth Indiana Battery, we were heavily attacked on our right flank by Mabry's
Mississippi brigade, at a point on the road where the timber and underbrush were so dense as to
make it almost impossible to maneuver the men. Having learned by my flankers the point at
which the enemy were striking, I moved my command so as to meet their front fairly, and then as
nearly as possible concealed my men in the brush and awaited the attack. We allowed the enemy
to advance without firing a shot until within twenty paces, when we suddenly poured a sweeping
volley full in their ranks. This threw them into confusion, and after a sharp fight of twenty
minutes we drove them from our front with heavy loss. Their colors were left on the ground, but
we failed to secure them as we were compelled to march to support the battery. They were
subsequently picked up by the Fourteenth Wisconsin Infantry. Our loss during this action was 1
man killed, 1 officer and 11 men wounded, and 1 man missing.
On the morning of the 14th instant, at Tupelo, in accordance with instructions from your
headquarters, I posted my command on the right of the Pontotoc road, forming the extreme left
of the First Division, and was supported by the Seventh Minnesota Infantry. In front of and
running parallel with our line was a heavy rail fence, which we threw down in such a manner as
to form a good protection against small-arms. My regiment was the first to receive the enemy's
attack, and we held our position, under a heavy fire, for about two hours, when our ammunition
became exhausted; we were ordered to the rear, and our place taken by the Seventh Minnesota
Infantry. Companies E and H having been furnished with ammunition were allowed to remain at
the front, and were thus kept constantly engaged during the entire action. After a rest of about
forty-five minutes, and receiving a fresh supply of ammunition, we again moved forward and
took position in front, where we remained until ordered to charge, when we moved forward on
the double-quick, driving the enemy from our front and capturing a number of prisoners. Our
loss during the day was 1 officer and 6 men killed and 39 men wounded. We consumed during
the engagement over 100 rounds of ammunition per man. The men of my command behaved
nobly, and as an evidence of the cool, deliberate, and accurate manner in which our fire was
delivered, t would refer you to the great number of the enemy's dead that were strewn in front of
the line occupied by my regiment. Lieut. A. A. Burdick, acting regimental quartermaster, who
was killed, had been ordered to the rear with his train; but after seeing his wagons properly
parked, he came to the front and volunteered to assist in bringing forward ammunition. While
thus engaged he was struck by a shell and instantly killed.
On the morning of the 15th instant my regiment was assigned a position to the left of the
Pontotoc road, and formed the left center of the brigade line. We had a substantial breast-work of
cotton bales formed in our front, which served as an admirable protection against the enemy's
sharpshooters. We took full part in the fight and charge of the day, losing 1 man killed and 3
Our loss during the three days' fighting was 1 officer and 8 men killed, 1 officer and 54 men
wounded, and 1 man missing.
My command numbered in the first day's fight 295 muskets, on the second day 250, and on
the third day about 200.
I cannot consistently make particular mention of any members of the regiment as every man
was at his post and all conducted themselves in a creditable manner.
I inclose herewith a list of the casualties for the three days.
I am, lieutenant, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Lieut. Col., Comdg. Twelfth Iowa Veteran Volunteer Infty.
Lieut. H. HOOVER,
Actg. Asst. Adjt. Gen., Third Brig., First Div., 16th Army Corps.
La Grange, Tenn., July 21, 1864.
SIR: I have the honor of submitting the following report of the operations of the Thirty-fifth
Regiment Iowa Volunteer Infantry for July 13, 14, and 15:
The regiment being in the advance of the brigade on the 13th, I was ordered to guard the
Second Brigade teams. At 4.30 p.m. we received a volley of musketry from the enemy on our
right flank. I immediately halted the regiment and formed in line of battle, and sent forward a
line of skirmishers some 500 yards in advance of the regiment. The enemy had retreated. After
waiting some fifteen minutes I returned to the road and started on with the tram. I was
immediately ordered by General Mower to fall back and occupy my former position in the
timber. In a few minutes I was ordered to move down the road about half a mile. Soon after I
received orders to move up the road as guard to the Sixth Indiana Battery. No casualties during
the day.
On the 14th I was ordered to take position on the right of the brigade to support the Second
Iowa Battery; we occupied this position until 9.30 a.m., when we received a severe fire from the
enemy. Then I received orders to advance in line of battle on the enemy. After advancing some
500 yards we halted, where we found many dead and wounded rebels, also a large number of
arms, which we destroyed. At 10.15 a.m. I received orders to move off by the left flank and retire
to our former position, leaving companies K and C as skirmishers. Killed, 4; wounded, 22.
On the 15th I received orders to take a position on the left of the Twelfth Iowa in rear of a
barricade thrown up by the Third Division. Remained in this position till 9.30 a.m., when we
were ordered to fix bayonets and charge the enemy, which was done in earnest by the men and
officers, but no enemy was found in force. After advancing some three-quarters of a mile I was
ordered to halt and rest the men. At 11 a.m. I was ordered to retire and take my regular position
in the brigade. Killed, 1; wounded, 10. The following is the list of casualties for the 13th, 14th,
and 15th of July, 1864.
Your obedient servant,
Colonel, Commanding Regiment.
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
La Grange, Tenn., July 22, 1864.
LIEUTENANT: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part performed by the
Seventh Regiment Minnesota Infantry Volunteers in late actions near Tupelo, Miss.:
About 3 p.m. on the 13th the enemy attacked the right flank of our column on the Pontotoc
and Tupelo road. The Seventh Minnesota was engaged successfully in repelling this attack. We
were marching by the left flank on the right of the road, covering the supply train. The left two
companies, Captains Kennedy and Stevens, opposite head of supply train, kept on with the train
as it was hurried forward. The remaining eight companies were formed in line near the road,
taking cover momentarily behind a fence, and opened fire on the enemy. Captain O'Donnell, of
General Mower's staff, rode up and ordered the regiment to advance and drive the enemy back.
This was promptly done, the line charging at double-quick across an old field. The ground was in
part covered by bushes that marked the course of a dry brook. We dislodged the enemy on the
left from cover of this copse and on the right from a hill that commanded the road, and drove him
out of range of the road into the woods beyond the field. Captain O'Donnell at one time ordered
the right of the line to fall back, but subsequently advanced it again. We held our advanced
position until the train passed and we were ordered to return and move on to Tupelo. The enemy
had entirely withdrawn from our front before we returned to road. The regiment and the service
sustained a heavy loss in the death of Surg. Lucius B. Smith, who was instantly killed by the first
volley from the enemy. We lost 14 men wounded in this affair.
On the morning of the 14th, when the battle opened at Harrisburg, my regiment, except two
companies, was placed in the second line, in the edge of the woods on the west front of our camp
or army position. My right two companies (Captain Banks and Lieutenant Hoag) were placed in
the first line, on the left of Twelfth Iowa, the left of both lines resting on the Pontotoc and Tupelo
road, the right joining the Thirty-third Missouri and Thirty-fifth Iowa (which lay at right angles
fronting north-northwest). With the Twelfth Iowa Captain Banks' and Lieutenant Hoag's
companies were advanced to the fence, on rise of ground a few rods in front of original position,
and engaged the enemy, who in heavy force and with terrible fire was advancing upon us. These
companies fought throughout the day with the gallant Twelfth Iowa. When the ammunition of
the first line was exhausted my eight companies (the second line)advanced and relieved them.
Many of the noble boys of the Twelfth Iowa remained on the line, whose fire, added to my full
line, swelled the volume of musketry on our side. Within fifteen minutes after my line opened
fire that of the enemy perceptibly slackened, but did not for a moment intermit during the full
hour that we fought them. My men went in with forty rounds of ammunition. When this began to
fail I got up a fresh supply. The miserable quality of the powder caused the guns to foul, so that
many became unserviceable, the balls sticking half way down. We had fired fifty to sixty rounds
when the Twelfth Iowa and my two right companies in turn relieved us. We retired not over five
rods. Soon after we charged forward across the field with the Twelfth Iowa, the latter obliquing
to the left, my line to the right. The enemy's dead were strewn thick on the field before us. His
line had fallen back, and after we had advanced a third of a mile, and remained perhaps an hour,
we returned. We built a better breast-work, which did us good service the next day, out of the old
fence behind which we had fought. Two companies, B and F, were sent out in our front half a
mile as a picket. These were relieved at night by Companies D, A, and C. The remaining
companies occupied the line of breast-works the remainder of the day and night of the 14th and
during the attack of the 15th, constituting the first line of our brigade. When the enemy drove in
our cavalry the morning of 15th and advanced upon us we were ordered to fix bayonets and
reserve fire until the enemy should get within fifty yards, then to rise up, fire, and charge upon
him. The enemy came to the crest of the ridge, 200 yards in front of us, from under cover of
which and the woods on our right and the trees bordering the road on our left, for about threequarters
of an hour, he poured a heavy fire upon us. The men lay close to the ground behind our
low breast-works and were protected. It became evident that the enemy would not advance
farther, and we were ordered, with the entire brigade, to charge out on him. This was done with a
shout, but the enemy got out of the way faster than we could pursue. The line halted half a mile
out, and Companies E and I of my regiment advanced as skirmishers. Lieutenant Hardy,
commanding Company E, a most gallant fellow, was killed in this skirmish line. The enemy had
withdrawn, and we were ordered to join the column that had then taken up the line of march on
the return. The regiment was not again under fire. The fire of my right companies, E and I, cut
down a flag of the enemy that was picked up by the Thirty-third Missouri, the latter first passing
over the ground to my right where the flag lay.
I gladly testify to the firmness and courage of every officer and man of the regiment. My
acknowledgments are specially due Lieutenant-Colonel Bradley, Major Burt, and Adjutant
Trader (the latter disabled by sunstroke in the charge on 14th) for gallant and efficient service on
the field. Surgeons Ames and Mattock were active and faithful in performance of their
appropriate duties. Regimental Quartermaster Bolcorn brought forward ammunition, rendering
every necessary service in his line. Chaplain Edwards was diligent in caring for the wounded.
A report of casualties has heretofore been furnished you, viz, 2 officers and 7 men killed, 52
enlisted men wounded (1 since died), and 1 missing in action. On outward march, July 11,1 man
was missing, and on return march, July 20, 1 man severely wounded by accidental discharge of
gun, making total casualties on expedition 64.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel, Commanding Seventh Minnesota Infantry.
Lieut. H. HOOVER,
Actg. Asst. Adjt. Gen., Third Brig., First Div, 16th Army Corps.
La Grange, Tenn., July 21, 1864.
SIR: I have the honor to make the following report of the part taken by the Thirty-third
Missouri Infantry in the skirmish of the 13th instant and the battles of the 14th and 15th instant,
at and near Tupelo, Miss.:
On the morning of the 13th the regiment was ordered to move in rear of Thirty-fifth Iowa,
and was followed by the Seventh Minnesota and Twelfth Iowa, the two latter being disposed
upon the flank of the general supply train. During the forenoon the train of Third Brigade was
ordered to move between the Thirty-fifth Iowa and Thirty-third Missouri, and I received orders
to hold my regiment in readiness to repel an attack of the enemy upon the right flank. Shortly
afterward an attack was made upon the Thirty-fifth Iowa in front of me, and that regiment
charged the enemy at once, driving him from the position he had assumed. Immediately
afterward another body of the enemy attacked the Seventh Minnesota and Twelfth Iowa directly
in my rear, but not apparently in great force. I immediately ordered Company C, Captain
Campbell, out to skirmish the woods upon the right flank, and while arranging to meet an attack
on my line, or to move back to support, if necessary, the regiments of the brigade engaged, I
received orders from Colonel Woods, commanding brigade, to move forward at once with the
train, this order being succeeded directly by an order to move double-quick and get the train as
far on as possible. I had moved less than half a mile when orders overtook me to halt by the
roadside and allow the train to pass, this order being succeeded by another to move back doublequick
to the aid of the brigade. This last order was countermanded before there was time to
execute it, and I was again ordered to move forward. Arriving at a line of battle composed of
troops of the Second Brigade, I was ordered by General Mower, commanding division, to move
into position on the right of Second Brigade. Afterward, when the column again moved forward,
I was ordered to report back to Third Brigade. No further attack was made during the march
upon my portion of the line. Casualties reported this day: Wounded, 1; missing, 1; total, 2.
On the morning of 14th instant, at about 7 o'clock, I received orders to form the regiment in
rear of Seventh Minnesota, at right angles with the line of that regiment, and act as a reserve. At
about 8 o'clock the enemy made a general attack upon our lines, moving a strong line to attack a
commanding position on my right, held by the Fourth Brigade, evidently designing to turn our
right and gain possession of the main road in our rear. My line was at right angles with the line
of Fourth Brigade, and completely enfiladed the advancing force of the enemy, which was
permitted to come within short range, when I opened fire from cover simultaneously with Fourth
Brigade, my men lying flat upon the ground and suffering but slight loss. The enemy was
effectually broken by the concentrated fire, and fled in confusion, our fire following them for
from 500 to 700 yards. In a very few minutes a new and much stronger line was observed
forming in front of the same position, and notwithstanding this line was within short range of our
artillery and constantly shelled from the time it was developed, it completed its formation and
advanced to the assault in gallant style. As before, our musketry fire was held until the enemy
came to within 200 or 300 yards, when several volleys were delivered with excellent effect,
followed by a general charge of our entire line. The enemy's last line was destroyed, and he
retreated in the greatest confusion, leaving his dead and wounded on the field. In this charge
Capt. William J. McKee, commanding Company D, was ordered to deploy his company as
skirmishers to cover a gap left between the Twelfth Iowa and Thirty-third Missouri, and came
upon a party of the enemy's sharpshooters, whom he charged and drove from cover, killing and
wounding several of them, and capturing a rebel color (supposed to have belonged to the Sixth
Mississippi), which the enemy were endeavoring to recover from the hand of their dead color
bearer. Casualties of the regiment: Killed, 1; wounded, 18; total, 19.
On the morning of the 15th I received orders to form the same front as on the 14th, but about
100 yards to the left of my previous position, and to reserve fire until the enemy arrived within
fifty yards. At about 9.30 a.m. the cavalry, who had been skirmishing in our front, retired to the
rear of our lines, followed by the enemy's skirmishers, who took advantageous positions at 75
and 100 yards, and kept up a continual fire upon such of our men as were exposed, their main
line advancing to position for a charge under their cover. At this moment a heavy volley from the
Fourth Brigade, which occupied the same position to my line as on the previous day, gave
warning of our strength and position to the enemy, who immediately commenced to withdraw
his main line, at the same time advancing his skirmishers, who opened a hotter fire than before.
Perceiving that the main line would not come to within the prescribed distance (fifty yards), I
immediately ordered three sharpshooters from each company of the regiment to reply to the
enemy's skirmishers (whose fire had already killed and wounded 7 of my men), and thus
succeeded in a few moments in silencing and driving them back, killing and wounding more than
double the number I had lost. As the enemy's skirmishers retired a general charge of our line was
ordered, and the enemy driven from the field in great confusion, after suffering heavy loss.
Casualties in the regiment: Killed, 1; wounded, 14; total, 15 (2 wounded since died).
Recapitulation: Killed, 2; wounded, 33; missing, 1; total, 36.
I desired especially to commend the indomitable cheerfulness and gallantry of both officers
and men during the entire expedition, enduring the hardships of a most fatiguing march, five
days of the time upon one-third rations, and making charges upon double-quick for several
hundred yards under a broiling midday sun. Their gallantry in battle also deserves especial
mention, for they faithfully obeyed every order, not least among which was that to reserve their
fire when their comrades were falling among them from the cowardly fire of the enemy's lurking
sharpshooters. Every officer present did his whole duty.
In order that credit may fall where it is due, I give the name and command of each: Maj.
George W. Van Beek, Adjt. S. Edward Day, Surg. A. T. Bartlett, operating surgeon at division
hospital; Asst. Surg. M. Kile, on duty with Thirty-fifth Iowa; Quartermaster L. Armstrong, in
charge of train and ammunition; A. J. Campbell, captain Company C, commanding company;
William J. McKee, captain Company D, commanding company; George H. Tracy, captain
Company I, commanding company; Elias S. Schenck, captain Company K, commanding
company; Henry Rose, captain Company H, commanding company; Henry H. Knowlton, first
lieutenant Company K, commanding Company B; Henry Cochran, first lieutenant Company H,
commanding Company A; Thomas Rutledge, first lieutenant Company G, commanding
company; Charles L. Draper, first lieutenant Company E, commanding company; Edgar L.
Allen, second lieutenant Company F, commanding company; Isaac S. Coe, first lieutenant
Company I, slightly wounded on 14th instant, but rejoined his company before the charge was
made; Commissary Sergt. J. William Wells, active in supplying ammunition. Every noncommissioned
officer and private present with the regiment during the battles did good and
meritorious service. Several cases of sunstroke occurred during the battles of 14th and 15th,
which prostrated the sufferers during the remainder of the march.
For a full list of casualties, I would refer you to the list sent in immediately after the fights.
I am, sir, your obedient servant,
Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding Regiment.
Actg. Asst. Adjt. Gen., Third Brigade, First Division.
Memphis, Tenn. July 30, 1864.
MAJOR: I have the honor to make the following report of the action, marches, and part taken
by the troops of the Third Division, Sixteenth Army Corps, in the late expedition to Tupelo;
In compliance with orders from the general commanding Right Wing, Sixteenth Army Corps,
as fast as the troops of the division were paid, I moved them by rail to Moscow, Tenn., and
encamped near the river. On the 27th of June the command was marched to La Grange, Tenn., a
distance of eleven miles, and agreeable to orders encamped near Wolf River, at which place we
remained till the evening of 5th of July, when the command was marched to Davis' Mills, a
distance of six miles, starting early on the morning of the 6th instant, preceded by the First
Division, Sixteenth Army Corps, for Pontotoc, Miss. While there the command was almost
constantly kept under arms on account of the enemy firing upon the pickets. Left Pontotoc,
Miss., for Tupelo on the 13th instant. Upon arriving at Tupelo, Miss., First and Third Brigades,
commanded, respectively, by Col. C. D. Murray, of the Eighty-ninth Indiana Infantry
Volunteers, and Col. E. H. Wolfe, of the Fifty-second Indiana Infantry, were encamped in line
of battle on the left of the Tupelo road, the Second Brigade, commanded by Col. James I.
Gilbert, of the Twenty-seventh Iowa Infantry Volunteers, being encamped in the rear and on the
left flank of the supply train as guard for the train.
On the morning of the 14th of July, heavy firing having been heard on the picket-posts, I
ordered a line of skirmishers to be formed in front of my command. At 7 a.m., after drawing in
our skirmishers, the enemy appeared in considerable force in front of the First Brigade, Third
Division, Sixteenth Army Corps, commanded by Col. C. D. Murray, of the Eighty-ninth Indiana
Infantry Volunteers, with the unmistakable intention of capturing the batteries and driving our
line of battle in perfect disorder. The enemy were permitted to advance in solid columns upon
our line through an open field. Our lines being concealed from their view by the brow of the hill,
we were not discovered until the enemy had reached a point about twenty paces distant, when the
troops of the First Brigade, Third Division, Sixteenth Army Corps (composed of the One
hundred and twenty-second Illinois Infantry Volunteers, commanded by Col. J. I. Rinaker; the
Eighty-ninth Indiana Infantry Volunteers, commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Craven; the Fiftyeighth
Illinois Infantry Volunteers, commanded by Captain Heelan the Twenty-first Missouri
Infantry Volunteers, commanded by Lieut. Col. Edwin Moore; the One hundred and nineteenth
Illinois Infantry Volunteers, commanded by Col. Thomas J. Kinney), sprang to their feet, and,
with a yell like that of demons, rushed forward, pouring into the ranks of the advancing foe a
desperate volley of musketry, causing them to flee in the utmost disorder, exclaiming, "My God!
my God!" The Third Indiana Battery, commanded by Lieutenant Burns, which was posted on the
right of the First Brigade, and Battery G. Second Illinois Light Artillery, together with the Fiftysecond
Indiana Infantry Volunteers, and the One hundred and seventy-eighth New York Infantry
Volunteers, commanded by Col. E. H. Wolfe, of the Fifty-second Indiana Infantry Volunteers,
did admirable execution by the right and left oblique firing, causing the enemy to beat a hasty
retreat in the utmost confusion. For about three hours the enemy kept shelling my lines, but was
vigorously replied to by the batteries above mentioned, and with the effect of silencing one of his
batteries, and compelling another to move out of range, which rendered their fire comparatively
harmless. After pursuing the retreating enemy to the foot of the hill in front of our position, my
lines halted, and for a few moments continued firing upon the scattered fugitives. They were
then, after all resistance had ceased on the part of the enemy, ordered to march back to their
original position in line of battle, which they did in good order. Too much praise cannot be
awarded to Col. J. I. Rinaker and the officers and men of the One hundred and twenty-second
Illinois Infantry Volunteers for the gallant manner in which they met the fire of the advancing
foe. The above-named regiment being posted on the right of the First Brigade, Third Division,
Sixteenth Army Corps, and immediately on the left of the First Division, Sixteenth Army Corps,
by cross-firing on the columns advancing in front of the First Division, Sixteenth Army Corps,
dealt a deadly and murderous fire. For the balance of the day the enemy left us undisturbed until
10 p.m., when, after driving in our pickets, a considerable force of the enemy came charging in
on the left of the Third Brigade, evidently with the design of driving us from our eminence. The
One hundred and seventeenth Illinois Infantry Volunteers, commanded by Col. R. M. Moore, of
the Third Brigade, by order of Col. E. H. Wolfe, commanding brigade, moved by the left
oblique, and in this attack bore a most important part, and to them due credit should be awarded
for the prompt manner in which they met and repulsed the enemy on that occasion. The Second
Brigade, commanded by Col. James I. Gilbert (composed of the Fourteenth Iowa Infantry
Volunteers, commanded by Capt. William J. Campbell; the Twenty-fourth Missouri Infantry
Volunteers, commanded by Maj. R. W. Fyan; the Twenty-seventh Iowa Infantry, commanded by
Capt. Amos Haslip; and the Thirty-second Iowa Infantry Volunteers, commanded by Maj.
Jonathan Hutchison), being held in reserve, were not engaged until about 10 p.m., when heavy
skirmishing was heard on the left of the Third Brigade. The brigade was pushed forward in quick
time, and deployed under a severe fire of the enemy, driving them and occupying the original
position, said position being held for the remainder of the night.
On the 15th instant, at 10 a.m., I was ordered to abandon my position and move my
command on the Tupelo road in the direction of Ellistown. In the afternoon, while halting west
of Old Town Creek, the enemy appeared, and taking possession of a commanding position,
commenced shelling our train. I immediately ordered Col. James I. Gilbert with his brigade to
recross the creek, which order was promptly obeyed. The line scaled a fence, waded a stream,
nearly waist deep, of water and mud, through the thick brush and timber; waded a second stream,
as deep as the first, to the edge of a large field of growing corn, where they came in full sight of
the rebel line, which, with its battle-flags waving in the sunlight, was boldly and firmly
advancing, pouring in a destructive fire. The day being very hot, many of the men dropped by
sunstroke, but by vigorous exertions of the gallant brigade commander, James I. Gilbert, the
enemy was driven from his position with a loss of many killed and wounded. The Third Brigade,
commanded by Col. E. H. Wolfe, of the Fifty-second Indiana Infantry Volunteers, was ordered
across the creek to the support of the Second Brigade, where it took position on a ridge and on
the right of the Second Brigade, where it remained until 6 o'clock next morning. The enemy not
reappearing, I was ordered to withdraw my command and take my position in the column en
route for Ellistown.
On the 17th instant left camp near Ellistown for La Grange, arriving there on the 21st instant,
passing through New Albany and Salem. On the 22d instant I was ordered to proceed to
Collierville, where my command took the cars for Memphis, Tenn., arriving the same day,
distance marched by the command being 276 miles.
To all officers and men of the command I desire to return my heartfelt thanks for the able
manner and soldierly conduct exhibited during this expedition. To Col. C. D. Murray,
commanding First Brigade; Col. James I. Gilbert, commanding Second Brigade; and Col. E. H.
Wolfe, commanding Third Brigade, I have to express my warmest thanks and admiration for the
gallantry displayed on the field and on the march. To Lieut. James B. Comstock, acting assistant
adjutant-general of the Third Division, Sixteenth Army Corps, specially I would say he has my
heartfelt thanks for the heroic manner in which he conducted himself; ever present in the thickest
of the fight, rendering all the assistance in his power to effect the object of the day. To Lieut.
Charles H. Sweeney, Lieut. Henry C. Raymond, and Lieutenant Dustin, of my personal staff, I
tender my sincere thanks for the able manner in which they discharged their duties.
A list of the casualties of my command has been furnished to the major-general
I have the honor to be, major, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel Twenty-first Missouri Infty. Vols., Commanding Division.
Assistant Adjutant-General, Right Wing, Sixteenth Army Corps.
Memphis, Tenn., July 24, 1864.
SIR: I have the honor to make the following report of the part taken by the Second Brigade in
the late battle with the enemy, on the 14th instant, near Tupelo, Miss.:
About 6 o'clock on the morning of the 14th I was notified by the general commanding that
the infantry of my brigade, consisting of the Fourteenth Regiment Iowa Volunteer Infantry,
commanded by Capt. William J. Campbell; the Twenty-fourth Missouri Volunteer Infantry,
commanded by Maj. Robert W. Fyan; the Twenty-seventh Regiment Iowa Volunteer Infantry,
commanded by Capt. Amos M. Haslip; and the Thirty-second Regiment Iowa Volunteer
Infantry, commanded by Maj. Jonathan Hutchison, would be held in reserve, and upon it would
devolve the duty of protecting the train parked on the left of the Pontotoc and Tupelo road. The
Third Indiana Battery, Lieut. R. Burns commanding, had been already ordered into position in
the front. My line was formed upon the left flank of the train, in the following order, from right
to left: Twenty-fourth Missouri, Twenty-seventh, Fourteenth, and Thirty-second Iowa. I
immediately ordered the regiment on the left to change front to the rear, cautioning the others to
be prepared for the same movement, and threw out a heavy line of skirmishers, extending from
the flank entirely to the rear of my line and the train. About 7 a.m. I was ordered by Colonel
Moore, commanding Third Division, to send forward two regiments of my command to support
the right of his division, then heavily pressed by the enemy. I immediately sent forward the
Twenty-fourth Missouri and Twenty-seventh Iowa, under command of Major Fyan of the
Twenty-fourth Missouri. About 8 a.m. I was ordered by General Smith to move the residue of
my command across the Tupelo road and form line upon the right flank of the Eleventh Missouri
which was promptly executed under quite a severe artillery fire from the enemy. This position
was held until 12 m., when I was ordered to move across the field and hold my command in
support of the left of the front line. At 5.30 p.m. a column of the enemy was reported advancing
upon our left, and I was ordered to deploy my brigade upon the extreme left of the front line. I
immediately executed this order, occupying an excellent position just behind the crest of a high
hill, which commanded the whole field; I threw out a line of skirmishers upon the next hill in
advance. Just after sunset, no enemy appearing, I was ordered to leave a heavy picket and
withdraw the main line into camp half a mile to the rear. About 9 o'clock in the evening my
pickets commenced skirmishing with the enemy. Without awaiting orders, I immediately ordered
the command under arms, and rode out to ascertain the strength of the attack. Finding the pickets
were driven in and that a heavy column of the enemy were advancing to force our position on the
line, I ordered up my command in quick time, deployed under a severe musketry fire from the
enemy, marched rapidly forward, driving the enemy, and occupied our original position upon the
left of the advanced line. This position was held during the night without further attack.
On the morning of the 15th my command was withdrawn and ordered to take up the line of
march on the Ripley road.
The officers and men throughout the entire command conducted themselves in a highly
creditable manner. I desire especially to mention the excellent service of the Third Indiana
Battery. Lieutenant Burns with his command, consisting of four guns (two 12-pounder
Napoleons and two 6-pounder James rifled), was posted in front of the First Brigade, Third
Division. About 6 o'clock in the morning, when the enemy first appeared in heavy force, the
battery shelled them with much effect. Soon afterward one gun, a 6-pounder James rifled, under
charge of Lieut. Philip McPherson, was ordered into position upon the right of the First Brigade.
The enemy now advanced in strong force and charged our lines in that part of the field, when all
four pieces from the battery opened upon them with great rapidity, and, as the field proves, with
telling effect. Lieutenant McPherson was seriously wounded whilst performing his duty at his
post. Lieutenant Burns, commanding the battery, cannot receive too much praise for his good
conduct on the field.
Appended is the list of casualties.
I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant,
Colonel, Commanding Brigade.
Actg. Asst. Adjt. Gen., Third Division, Sixteenth Army
In the Field, near La Grange, Tenn., July 22, 1864.
SIR: In relation to the part taken by the Second Brigade in the late engagement at Old Town
Creek, Miss., on the 15th instant, I have the honor to make the following report:
We had camped on the north side of Old Town Creek, when, about 5 p.m., the enemy
attacked the rear of the column, and from a high hill, some three-quarters of a mile upon the
opposite side of the creek, commenced shelling our camp. I received orders to move out the
infantry of my command, consisting of the Fourteenth Iowa, Capt. William J. Campbell
commanding; Twenty-seventh Iowa, Capt. Amos M. Haslip commanding; Thirty-second Iowa,
Maj. Jonathan Hutchison commanding; and Twenty-fourth Missouri, Maj. R. W. Fyan
commanding, to meet him. I immediately marched out upon the road leading back toward the
creek, and was ordered to deploy my command upon the right of the Thirty-third Regiment
Wisconsin Infantry, in a field of growing corn upon the right of the Tupelo road. I had hardly
deployed the Fourteenth and Twenty-seventh Iowa Infantry, when I received orders to move
forward in line in double-quick time. Sending a staff officer to bring forward the other two
regiments, I threw out a line of skirmishers in front, and obeyed the order with all possible
promptitude. The line scaled the fence, waded a stream nearly waist deep in water and mud,
through the thick brush and timber; waded the second stream, as deep as the first, and on through
the belt of timber to the edge of a large field of growing corn, where it came in full sight of the
rebel line, which, with its battle-flags waving in the sunlight, was boldly and firmly advancing,
pouring in a destructive fire. I at once withdrew the skirmishers to the main line, and ordered it to
fire and advance. The whole line poured in a volley, raised a shout, scaled the fence, and pressed
steadily forward in the open field, firing as they advanced. The ground was rough and ascending;
the day was very hot. By the time the line had reached the center of the field many had dropped
on the ground from heat and exhaustion, unable to rise; not a few had been borne back wounded.
The ranks had been somewhat thinned, and the rebel line in front, in excellent position, yet held
firm and kept up a continuous and severe fire. Perceiving that I might be easily flanked upon the
right should my line be much farther advanced, I sent a staff officer to find out where and why
the other two regiments of my command had been detained, and to bring them forward on the
right with all possible dispatch. By this time the enemy began to waver and fall back, when our
men raised another cheer and pushed onward up the hill, firing rapidly, and, the field proved, as
we advanced over it, with excellent effect. The enemy failed to reform his line, but kept up quite
a sharp fire until driven over the hill. My line steadily advanced to the farther side of the field,
over another fence, up through the broken timber to the crest of the hill, when the firing ceased,
and I ordered the line to halt. Skirmishers were thrown out, and the exhausted but triumphant line
permitted to sit down and rest. The other two regiments now came up, who were deployed upon
the right, breaking somewhat to the rear. The enemy were driven beyond sight and no more
firing occurred, except a few desultory shots from the pickets. I held this position until sundown,
when I was ordered to move to the left and some 500 yards to the rear, where I lay all night, the
left of my line resting across the Tupelo road. About sunrise next morning it was reported that
the enemy was moving in upon the left, when I moved again to the left and formed line about
200 yards from and nearly parallel to the Tupelo road. No enemy, however, appeared, except a
few pickets, and about 6.30 a.m. I was ordered to move my command across the creek and take
up the line of march upon the Tupelo road. The enemy left 17 dead bodies upon that part of the
field over which my two regiments passed.
I have to express my warmest thanks and admiration to both officers and men of the
Fourteenth and Twenty-seventh Iowa for the gallantry which they displayed throughout the long
charge up hill, under a severe fire, driving the enemy with heavy loss nearly three-quarters of a
mile from a strong covered position; and to Lieutenant Donnan, of my staff, especially, I would
say he has my heartfelt thanks for the heroic manner in which he conducted himself, ever present
in the thickest of the fight, rendering all the assistance in his power to effect the grand object
which was so well achieved.
I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant,
Colonel, Commanding Brigade.
Actg. Asst. Adjt. Gen., Third Division, 16th Army Corps.
Camp near Memphis, Tenn., July 30, 1864.
COLONEL." I have the honor to report the part taken by the Fourteenth Iowa Volunteer
Infantry in the battles of Tupelo and [Old] Town Creek, Miss., on the 14th and 15th days of July,
1864, with a list of casualties which occurred during the two engagements.
At the battle of Tupelo, on the 14th instant, my regiment being with the brigade which had
been assigned to duty as train guard, therefore, was not in the engagement during the day, but
being in range of the rebel guns my loss was 1 man killed and 2 wounded. At dark we had gone
into camp in the edge of a swamp near where we had been stationed during the day. In a few
minutes after the rebels made an advance, my regiment was ordered out with the rest of the
brigade to help drive them off, which was soon done. During this advance my loss was 1 man
wounded. We formed line where part of our troops had been stationed during the day, and
remained until morning without further annoyance.
On the 15th instant we marched from the battle-field at Tupelo to [Old] Town Creek, eight or
ten miles distant, and were about going into camp when the rebels made a rush forward, driving
our rearguard of cavalry into the camp of infantry, then planted a battery and at once commenced
shelling our camp. In a few minutes I received orders to have my regiment formed for immediate
action. This being done, the brigade was moved out and formed into line of battle in a swamp,
and then advanced, wading [Old] Town Creek, which was about two feet deep. After passing
through the swamp and creek we reached a corn-field, and there met the enemy. Our boys moved
forward with a yell, which gave the rebels such a shock that their lines were at once broken, and
their men so terrified that their officers could not rally them to make a stand, although trying it
several times. The rebels were driven off in about half an hour, and the field left in our
possession. During this engagement many of my men, who were already much fatigued by the
march of the day and the excessive hot sun, were overcome with heat and dropped out of ranks,
the charge being over three-quarters of a mile in length and through a corn-field, but nearly all
came up and joined their respective companies as soon as circumstances would permit.
In this engagement the regiment lost 2 killed and 15 wounded, making a total loss in the two
days' battle of 3 killed and 18 wounded.
The officers and men of this regiment who were in each engagement have my warmest
thanks for the manner in which they conducted themselves during the battles and on the march
during the whole expedition. It is hard to compliment without doing injustice to some where
every one is trying to do his duty.
The following is a list of casualties.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Captain, Commanding Fourteenth Iowa Volunteer Infantry.
Comdg. Second Brigade, Third Division, 16th Army Corps.
In the Field, near La Grange, Tenn., July 21, 1864.
LIEUTENANT: I have the honor to report the part taken by the Twenty-seventh Regiment
Iowa Volunteer Infantry in the engagement at Tupelo, Miss., July 14, 1864.
At 7 a.m. the regiment was ordered to the front to report to Major Fyan, Twenty-fourth
Missouri Infantry. I had moved up, reported, and taken position in line of battle immediately in
the rear of the advance line, when I was ordered by Colonel Moore, commanding division, to
move by the right flank to support the right. I immediately complied with the order. We
remained in this position a half hour, when I was ordered by General Smith to move to the rear to
support the left. I moved to comply with the order, and when back a quarter of a mile was met by
an officer of Colonel Moore's staff, who halted my command and ordered me to move to the
right of the wagon train. About 1 p.m. I moved with the brigade to the left of the wagon train,
where we remained until 4 p.m., when I was ordered by Colonel Gilbert, commanding brigade,
to move to the support of the left of the advance line. In this new position we remained until
sunset, when I moved again to the left of the train and camped in line of battle. At 9 p.m. I
moved in the right center of the brigade to our former position, left advance line, where we
remained during the night of the 14th. The men made the fight bravely and well.
The following is a list of casualties.
Captain Company A, Commanding Regiment.
Lieut. W. G. DONNAN,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
In the Field, La Grange, Tenn., July 21, 1864.
LIEUTENANT: I have the honor to make the following report of the part taken by the
Twenty-seventh Regiment Iowa Volunteer Infantry in the engagement at Old Town Creek, Miss,
July 15, 1864:
We had encamped for the night after a fatiguing march from Tupelo, Miss. The enemy
approached on the Tupelo road, following and skirmishing with the main column. When near
Old Town Creek they (the enemy) commenced shelling our camp. We were ordered out and
formed in line of battle. We waded the waist-deep creek and on the double-quick crossed a cornfield,
driving the enemy in stronger force and from a good position, under a scorching sun, for
over a mile. Reaching the hill from which he had shelled our camp we were halted and soon
received re-enforcement of two regiments on our right. My position during the engagement was
the extreme right of the Second Brigade, commanded by Col. James I. Gilbert.
I cannot too highly speak of the courage and discipline of both officers and men, who after
having hardly any rest the night before and marching all day still showed that discipline when
called upon which is so essential to the good of the service.
I append the following list of casualties.
Captain Company A, Commanding Regiment.
Lieut. W. G. DONNAN,
Actg. Asst. Adjt. Gen, 2d Brig, 3d Div, 16th Army Corps.
La Grange, Tenn., July 21, 1864.
SIR: In relation to the part taken by my command in the action of the 14th instant, at Tupelo,
Miss., I have the honor to report that at 6 a.m. I formed my command in line of battle, on the left
of the Fourteenth Iowa Infantry. Shortly after I received orders to change front, faced to the rear,
throwing a line of skirmishers about 100 yards in advance, covering the right and front of my
line. The enemy having pressed our line in front (the Twenty-seventh Iowa and Twenty-fourth
Missouri Infantry), we moved forward to its support, leaving the Fourteenth and Thirty-second
Iowa Infantry on the line where first stationed, the enemy shelling us very severely. At 7.30 a.
In., the enemy threatening our left, I received orders to move by the left flank across the Tupelo
road, and form on the right of the Eleventh Missouri infantry, the Fourteenth Iowa Infantry
forming on my right. This order was executed under a heavy fire of artillery. At 8.30 a.m. I was
ordered to rejoin my brigade, which was stationed on the extreme right of the original line
occupied by my command. At 5 p.m. I was ordered to the front, taking position on the extreme
left of our line, and on the left of the Fourteenth Iowa Infantry. Skirmishers were thrown out,
covering the front of my regiment. Considerable skirmishing was kept up along our line until
dusk, when our main line was withdrawn to the rear. At 8 p.m. the skirmishers were partially
driven from their position by an advancing line of the enemy, when my regiment was ordered to
form on its original position, occupied previously at 5 p.m., on the left of the Fourteenth Iowa
Infantry, which it did under a galling fire of musketry, driving the enemy from his position in
front of our line. We continued to hold the position until the morning of the 15th instant, when
we were withdrawn, preparatory to marching.
The officers and men conducted themselves in a creditable manner. I herewith inclose a list
of casualties.
Major, Commanding Thirty-second Iowa Infantry.
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, Second Brigade.
La Grange, Tenn., July 21, 1864.
SIR: In relation to the part sustained by my command in the engagement at Old Town Creek
on the 15th instant, I have the honor to report that during the march between Tupelo and Old
Town Creek my command was put in charge of part of the train, moving with them and going
into camp at 4 p.m. on Old Town Creek. At 5 p.m., the First Division having passed in advance,
the enemy obtained possession of a position that commanded our camp. They planted a battery
and immediately commenced shelling us, the shells striking with accuracy and precision. I was
ordered to move out by the right flank, crossing Old Town Creek, formed in line of battle and
moved forward, taking position on the right of the Fourteenth Iowa Infantry, who, in connection
with the Twenty-seventh Iowa Infantry, had changed the battery and had taken position on the
ridge, which position was held till the morning of the 16th instant, when we moved forward with
the command.
The officers and men conducted themselves with characteristic courage.
Major, Commanding Thirty-second Regiment Iowa Infantry.
Lieut. W. G. DONNAN,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, Second Brigade.
La Grange, Tenn, July 21, 1864.
In compliance with orders received this date, I beg leave to hand you the following report of
the part taken by the Twenty-fourth Missouri Volunteer Infantry in the battle of the 15th instant:
On the afternoon of the 15th instant, when encamped about seven miles north of Tupelo, the
enemy threw into our camp, unexpectedly, shells. By order of Colonel Gilbert, our brigade
commander, my regiment was immediately formed in line and marched toward the enemy, but
was held with the Thirty-second Iowa in reserve and formed in the rear of the advanced line of
the brigade at the base of a hill perpendicular to the road. We remained in this position a short
time, when we were ordered to advance by Colonel Gilbert. I moved my regiment by the right
flank to the road, marched along the road in direction of the enemy, and were formed in line of
battle about three-quarters of a mile in advance of our former position. At this point we
remained, having had no engagement with the enemy, except an occasional shot by our
skirmishers, until sundown, when we fell back by order of Colonel Gilbert, brigade commander,
one-quarter of a mile and remained in line of battle during the night.
During the above engagement our casualties were none.
No complaint was heard through my regiment, but a desire to meet on the morrow the
already vanquished foe.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Major, Commanding Twenty-fourth Missouri Volunteer Infantry.
Actg. Asst. Adjt. Gen., 2d Brig., 3d Div., 16th Army Corps.
Memphis, Tenn., July 29, 1864.
LIEUTENANT In compliance with orders from headquarters Third Division, Sixteenth
Army Corps, July 28, 1864, I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by
my command during the late expedition to Tupelo, Miss.:
In obedience to Special Orders, No. 63, paragraph VI, headquarters Right Wing, Sixteenth
Army Corps, Memphis, Tenn., June 23, 1864, my command, after having been paid off,
proceeded by train to Moscow, on the 23d. When near La Fayette a party of guerrillas fired into
the train, killing and wounding several. Some of the men who jumped or fell off the cars were
captured and afterward murdered. Their bodies were recovered by a party of the Second Iowa
Cavalry and recognized by Lieutenant McDonald, One hundred and seventy-eighth New York
Volunteers. At Moscow the brigade remained until the 27th, when it took up the line of march
for La Grange, which was reached the same day.
On July 5, at 4 p.m., left La Grange for Pontotoc; arrived there July 11. While there my
command was almost constantly kept under arms on account of the enemy firing at intervals into
the pickets. Left Pontotoc for Tupelo on 13th. Upon arriving there on the same day the command
went into camp, with the exception of the One hundred and seventeenth Illinois, which was
placed in position on a high and commanding ridge on the extreme left of the Third Division.
At daybreak on the morning of the 14th, when our pickets were attacked, my command was
ordered to take position in order of battle on the ridge above referred to, to connect on my right
with the First Brigade, Third Division, and on my left with a brigade of colored troops. At 7 a.m.,
after driving in our skirmishers, the enemy appeared in considerable force in front of the First
Brigade, with the unmistakable intention of carrying the batteries. A well-directed fire from the
right oblique by part of my command (Fifty-second Indiana and One hundred and seventy-eighth
New York Volunteers), and a terrible cross-fire of shell, case, and canister by Battery G, Second
Illinois Artillery, must have contributed considerably in throwing the enemy into confusion and
compelling him to beat a hasty retreat. For about three hours the enemy kept shelling my lines,
but was vigorously replied to by Battery G, Second Illinois Artillery, with the effect of silencing
one of his batteries (smooth-bores) and compelling another one (rifled guns) to move out of our
range, which rendered their fire Comparatively harmless. For the balance of the day the enemy
left us undisturbed until 10 p.m., when, driving in the pickets, a considerable force came
charging in on my left, evidently with the design of driving us from our eminence, the key to the
whole battle-field. The brigade of colored troops and the Second Brigade, Third Division (on left
of colored troops), having left their positions in the evening my command was first to meet the
enemy, whose fire for fifteen or twenty minutes was very determined, but meeting with still
more determination he soon gave way. In this night attack the One hundred and seventeenth
Illinois bore the most conspicuous part, and I accord to this regiment all credit for the prompt
manner in which they met and repulsed the enemy on that occasion.
On the 15th, at 10 a.m., I was ordered to abandon my position and move my command to the
Tupelo road, from where it marched toward Ellistown, escorting the train. In the afternoon, while
halting west of Old Town Creek, the enemy appeared unexpectedly, and, taking possession of a
commanding position, commenced shelling our train. At 5 p.m. my command was ordered to
recross Old Town Creek and take position on a ridge on the right of the Second Brigade, Third
Division, where it remained until next morning at 6 a.m., when, the enemy not reappearing, I was
ordered to withdraw and take my place in the column en route for Ellistown. In the evening of
the same day, while in camp near Ellistown, the enemy attacked our cavalry pickets, and a
section of Battery G, Second Illinois Artillery, being ordered out by Col. David Moore,
commanding Third Division, Sixteenth Army Corps, fired a few rounds at the enemy, with what
effect is unknown. On the 17th left camp near Ellistown for La Grange, arriving there on the
21st, having passed through New Albany and Salem. On the 22d I was ordered to proceed to
Collierville, where my command arrived and took the cars on the 23d, leaving for and reaching
Memphis same day. Distance marched from Moscow to Tupelo and back to Collierville, 276
The casualties on Memphis and Charleston Railroad on June 23, 1864, when the train was
fired into near La Fayette, Tenn., are as follows: Killed, 5; wounded, 2.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel, Commanding Third Brigade.
Actg. Asst. Adjt. Gen., Third Division, 16th Army Corps.
Memphis, Tenn., July 25, 1864.
SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by this brigade in the
late expedition to Tupelo, Miss., under command of Maj. Gen. A. J. Smith:
On the 18th day of June, 1864, I moved from Memphis with the Sixty-first and Sixty eighth
U.S. Colored Infantry, and Battery I, Second U.S. Colored Artillery (Light), by military railroad
to a point four miles west of La Fayette, Tenn., where the troops were disembarked and marched
to La Fayette Station, at which point my command was disposed of so as to guard the railroad
bridges, &c., four miles west and one mile east, and camped at this place until June 28, 1864.
On June 27, 1864, I brought out from Memphis the Fifty-ninth Regiment U. S. Colored
Infantry via railroad to Moscow, Tenn.
I moved with my command to La Grange, Tenn., June 28 and 29, a part being transported by
railroad and the remainder marching. My brigade, as here organized, consisted of the Fifty-ninth
U.S. Colored Infantry, Maj. James C. Foster commanding; Sixty-first U.S. Colored Infantry, Col.
F. A. Kendrick commanding; Sixty-eighth U.S. Colored Infantry, Col. J. B. Jones commanding;
Battery I, Second U.S. Colored Artillery (Light), Capt. Louis B. Smith commanding. Total
strength, 1,835 enlisted men and 64 commissioned officers; total aggregate, exclusive of brigade
staff; 1,899; the men in light marching order, with rubber blankets only, and supplied with forty
rounds of ammunition in boxes.
On the 3d day of July I received my transportation via rail from Memphis, which enabled me
to make a supply train for my brigade of twenty-six wagons, which I loaded with 100 rounds per
man reserved ammunition, nine days' rations, and nine days' grain and forage for stock. In
compliance with orders, I moved with my brigade at 4 p.m., July 5, to Davis' Mills, Miss., six
miles distant, where we went into camp at dark.
July 6, moved at 4 a.m., marching in rear of column, guarding general supply train, in which
order, with very little changes, we marched to Pontotoc, Miss., which point we reached by easy
marches July 11, 1864, passing through Ripley and New Albany.
On the 12th day of July was in camp at Pontotoc, south of town, near the Okolona road.
About 2 p.m. ten or fifteen bushwhackers approached my camp and fired on some men picking
berries, wounding a private belonging to Fifty-ninth U. S. Colored Infantry. Sent company C,
Fifty-ninth U.S. Colored Infantry, commanded by Capt. H. Fox, and drove them off without
On July 13 the column moved at 4 a.m., going eastward on Tupelo road. At about 6 o'clock,
in compliance with orders from Captain Hough, I threw forward the Sixty-first U. S. Colored
Infantry to occupy the ridge south of Pontotoc, occupying ground vacated by the Third Division
in moving out, and guarding the approach on Okolona road. A few moments after 7 the advance
of the enemy's column came up on this road, and became engaged with the advanced guard of
the Sixty-first Regiment, consisting of Company A, Captain Jean commanding, but were soon
repulsed with loss of 2 men. The entire column, including supply train, having now gotten under
way, I moved out with my brigade, Colonel Herrick with a portion of the Seventh Kansas.
Cavalry being in rear as rear guard to column. My column was only well out of town before the
cavalry in rear were attacked, apparently in strong force. The rear of my column was about two
miles out from Pontotoc, when Colonel Herrick sent me word that they were coming too fast for
him, and he must have help. Company A, Sixty-first U. S. Colored Infantry, had at this time been
back with the cavalry, skirmishing with the enemy's advance for nearly a mile. Seeing a desirable
location close at hand, I ordered Colonel Kendrick, commanding Sixty-first U. S. Colored
Infantry, to ambush them with two companies, which was done with perfect success, under the
direction of Lieutenant-Colonel Foley, of that regiment. The enemy's column coming within
twelve paces of this ambush received a well-directed volley, which emptied 15 or 20 saddles and
threw his column back in confusion. About a mile farther on I ambushed them again with partial,
but not so complete success. About five miles from Pontotoc, as the rear of my column had
passed down a hill and forded a small stream, he came forward suddenly in heavy force, and
driving the cavalry forward on my flank, planted a battery on the hill and commenced shelling
my column furiously, doing, however, but little damage. I moved forward under this fire until I
gained the ridge on opposite side of bottom, where I put my battery in position and answered
them at about 800 yards range. I threw the Fifty-ninth U. S. Colored Infantry in line on right of
the battery and the Sixty-first on the left, holding the Sixty-eighth in reserve. The enemy
approached this time very slowly, and only engaged it at long range. As the train was moving on
so as to open quite a gap, I sent forward the Sixty-eighth to close on the train, soon followed by
the Sixty-first Regiment and one section of battery, finally withdrawing the other section of the
battery and one wing of the Fifty-ninth Regiment, having the other wing concealed by thick
brush to ambush them as they advanced. The enemy quickly approached this line by moving
forward in heavy force through a corn-field, feeling their way with scattering shots until within
fifteen yards, when they were met by a deadly volley, quickly followed by others, which seemed
to tell on them with terrible effect, throwing them back in confusion. This line was now
withdrawn. In retiring it was fired upon from both flanks, which fire was promptly returned. At
this point I discovered a heavy column of the enemy moving rapidly forward on my right flank,
showing three battle-flags, which information I immediately sent forward by an orderly to
General Mower. About one mile from this ridge I again formed line, but the enemy not coming
to engage me for some time I withdrew all but seven companies of Sixty-first Regiment, which
were advantageously posted, and soon engaged the enemy closely and successfully. At this point
I discovered a column on the left flank. The column on the right also developed greater strength
than before, which information I immediately sent forward to General Mower by my adjutant,
stating that if the train was not moved quickly forward it would be attacked. This message had
scarcely reached General Mower when the attack on train was made. From this point I continued
forming lines and holding the enemy in check, and ambushing him at every favorable point,
using the Fifty-ninth and Sixty-first Regiments, holding the Sixty-eighth in reserve on account of
its being a new regiment and inexperienced in field service, until just dark, when within about
four miles of Tupelo, the Fifty-ninth and Sixty-first had become so fatigued and completely worn
out that I was compelled to put two companies in ambush of Sixty-eighth, relieving them at a
little distance with two more companies. These four companies reserved their fire until the
enemy were close on them, and delivered it with good effect and retired in good order. At this
point I was relieved by Lieutenant-Colonel Burgh, with one battalion of Ninth Illinois Cavalry
and one battalion of Second Iowa Cavalry, who held the enemy in check, so as to allow my
column to move on to camp unmolested except by a few shells at long range. The rear of my
column reached camp about 9 p.m., and went into camp in open field near supply train. Our
casualties, as far as could be ascertained, this day were 1 killed, 7 wounded, and 9 missing. As
my men fell back several times through thickets, deployed as skirmishers under pretty severe
fire, I presume most of the missing were killed, and their fate not known to their comrades.
Fighting in the manner I did, with my men concealed and under cover, I was able to punish the
enemy pretty severely and suffer comparatively no loss. The cavalry in our rear, under Colonel
Herrick, fought with bravery and determination, but was unable to hold the enemy in check when
he came on with such impetuosity and such superiority of numbers.
On July 14, soon after daylight, in compliance with orders from Captain Hough, I formed my
brigade in line on ridge, about 1,200 yards from old field, where supply train was corralled, my
right connecting with the left of Colonel Wolfe's brigade and fronting in a southerly direction.
During the main engagements this day only the extreme right of my main line, consisting of
Sixty-first Regiment, was engaged. My skirmishers' line was vigorously engaged full half the
day. My line was continually under fire from the enemy's artillery during the main engagement,
and suffered considerably from the effect of shells, especially the Sixty-first on the right. Twice
in the afternoon I took forward a portion of Battery I, Second U, S. Colored Artillery (Light), and
shelled the enemy's cavalry and sharpshooters out of the timber in our fronts, where they were
lodged in considerable force. At about 7 p.m. I withdrew my line to a ridge some 700 yards to
our rear, skirting a strip of timber, leaving a heavy skirmish line on the ridge, where my line had
been formed during the day. This line became engaged soon after dark, and at about 9.30 p.m.
was advanced upon by the enemy in force and driven back nearly to the ridge on which my
brigade lay. I immediately threw my brigade forward and charged up the hill, firing, with fixed
bayonets, repulsing the enemy and driving them from our front, and occupied our former line at
about 10 p.m. I should judge the enemy suffered considerable loss from this repulse, as they
were carrying off their killed and wounded with ambulances nearly all night.
On July 15, at about 9 a.m., in compliance with orders, I withdrew to the old field in bottom
where the supply train had been corraled, the line I left being held by cavalry. My brigade was to
follow the Third Division and guard supply train. My train, Battery I, and Fifty-ninth Regiment
had moved out and Sixty-first was just moving when the cavalry was driven from their position
and forced back to the timber. I received orders to bring back the Sixty-first and hold them and
the Sixty-eighth in readiness to meet any movements of the enemy. The enemy still advancing
and driving in the cavalry, I formed Sixty-first and Sixty-eighth Regiments in line next to timber,
and advancing through it in line of battle some 300 to 400 yards, found the enemy occupying
ridge where my line had rested previous to its being attacked the night before. I immediately
charged, firing, with fixed bayonets, forcing the enemy from this ridge and driving them back
800 or 900 yards and beyond my old line, punishing them severely. This charge was made in
splendid style by Sixty-first and four companies of Sixty-eighth. After occupying this position a
short time, I withdrew to ridge near the timber. After about an hour, as the enemy did not again
show themselves in force, I moved out, in compliance with orders, on Ellistown road and
camped on Old Town Creek, some five miles from the battlefield.
On July 16 marched at 5 a.m. in center of column, guarding ambulance and supply train, in
which general order of march we moved to La Grange, Tenn., which point we reached about 6
p.m. July 20, passing near Ellistown, through New Albany and Salem, Miss. Sending my wagon
train and artillery horses by State Line road, and transporting troops by railroad, my brigade
arrived in Memphis on the night of 22d and morning of 23d of July.
I think the officers and men of my command are deserving of credit for the manner in which
they discharged their duties during the entire expedition. Though not heavily engaged during the
main battle of the 14th they faithfully executed every order, and met whatever force opposed
them with a will and determination highly commendable.
I think the work done by my brigade in rear of column, on the 13th, was a severe test of the
soldierly qualities and power of endurance of my men. We moved at 4 a.m., marched about
twenty miles, went into camp at 9 p.m.; were seventeen hours under arms without rest. Some of
my command was under fire over half the time and was in line of battle an average of over ten
times. During the day my column was full three hours under fire of artillery in rear or on flanks,
and moved steadily with men closed in ranks without wavering.
Our casualties were as follows.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel, Commanding Brigade.
Actg. Asst. Adjt. Gen., U. S. Colored Troops.
Memphis, Tenn., July 25, 1864.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report that in pursuance of the orders of Maj. Gen. C. C.
Washburn, commanding District of West Tennessee, dated June 18, 1864, I concentrated the
effective portion of my command, numbering about 3,200 men, on the line of the Memphis and
Charleston Railroad, in the vicinity of La Grange, Tenn., about June 28, 1864, subject to the
orders of Maj. Gen. A. J. Smith, commanding Right Wing, Sixteenth Army Corps.
On the 5th instant, leaving one regiment to guard La Grange till troops should come for that
purpose from Memphis, I moved south-easterly toward Ripley, Miss,, my advance guard
repeatedly skirmishing with small parties of rebel cavalry.
I arrived at a point three miles northeast of Ripley on the afternoon of the 7th, when I was
rejoined by the regiment which had been left as guard at La Grange on the 5th. At that point I
found one brigade of the enemy, which was driven from our front in one hour's fighting by one
regiment without loss; the enemy left 4 dead in our hands.
Marching on the next day, the 8th, wherever it was practicable I moved the main portion of
my command upon the left flank of the infantry and was constantly skirmishing with the enemy.
Reaching Pontotoc on the morning of the 11th, we found McCulloch's rebel brigade
occupying the town, with at least a brigade in reserve upon a hill south of the town. While the
enemy were engaging the Seventh Kansas, which formed the advance guard of the infantry, I
moved in upon the east side of town and compelled the enemy to evacuate precipitately and in
some confusion, leaving several dead and wounded in our hands.
The next day we remained at Pontotoc, and I sent the Third Iowa Cavalry, Colonel Noble,
and the Ninth Illinois Cavalry, Lieutenant-Colonel Burgh, upon a reconnaissance, the Third upon
the Houston road and the Ninth upon the Okolona road. Soon after passing the pickets the Ninth
became briskly engaged with Lyon's (rebel) brigade, and drove it about two miles. Our loss in
this engagement was 1 killed and 7 wounded.
On the morning of the 13th we resumed the march toward Tupelo, reaching that point about
noon, having skirmished with and drove the enemy almost the entire distance. During this day
they left 7 dead in our hands.
On the 14th, during the engagement at Tupelo, my command was disposed on the right and
left, one brigade being occupied in picketing, demonstrating, and skirmishing on each flank.
Detachments were employed at times as dismounted skirmishers in front and center, and the
different portions of my command, especially the Ninth Illinois Cavalry, were several times very
sharply engaged by the enemy.
On the 15th, on the march toward Ellistown, while my command was much divided and
employed as advance, flank, and rear guard, the last, composed of parts of three regiments, was
very vigorously attacked near [Old] Town Creek by Buford's division of the enemy. I was with
the rear guard in person, and was following the main column, gradually falling back from one
position to another, when I suddenly discovered, at 5 p.m., that I was closed up upon the wagon
train, which was in park with the command in camp, directly in my front. As I had received no
notification of this halt, the enemy was unfortunately allowed to approach to a good position
within easy artillery range of the train. The rear guard was obliged to fight without room for
maneuvering, and a number of shot and shell were thrown by the enemy directly into the wagon
park. To add to the difficulties of the situation, these troops had previously expended the most of
their ammunition during the constant skirmishing of that day. After nearly a half hour's delay,
however, during which they held their position, they were re-enforced by infantry, when the
enemy was driven back with heavy loss. From this point to La Grange, which was reached on the
20th, the march was without remarkable incident.
During the whole expedition my command was employed in picketing for the infantry,
artillery, and train, in front, flanks, and rear, in addition to its regular patrolling and picket duty.
My men are much exhausted, but owing to the slow rate of march the horses are in fair condition.
Ten miles of the Mobile and Ohio Railroad was very thoroughly destroyed between Verona and
Saltillo, a number of heavy bridges and trestle-work being cut away and burned.
My loss in officers is 1 killed and 2 wounded; in enlisted men, 7 killed, 55 wounded, and 4
For more minute details I respectfully refer to the reports of my subordinate officers,
herewith inclosed.
Twenty-seven of my loss are in the Ninth Illinois Cavalry.
I am, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Capt. J. HOUGH,
Asst. Adjt. Gen., Right Wing, Sixteenth Army Corps.
Memphis, Tenn., July 23, 1864.
CAPTAIN: Detachments from each regiment of this command, 1,325 men, moved at 9 a.m.
on the 24th of June, reaching the ponds near Collierville the same day, having in charge train of
wagons belonging to the army.
The command arrived at Moscow on the evening of next day, and remained in bivouac near
Wolf River until the evening of the 26th, when it moved eastward, the Third Iowa remaining one
day longer at Moscow and rejoining command at Saulsbury, which point was reached on the
morning of the 28th.
Remained in bivouac at Saulsbury, nine miles in advance of the army, until 6 p.m. of July 5,
when, by direction of the general commanding division, we moved on the Ripley road seven
miles south of Saulsbury, where we halted until noon of the following day.
Reported to General Grierson with the brigade on the evening of the 6th instant, on the La
Grange and Ripley road; and following the Third Brigade, encamped on night of the 7th three
miles from Ripley.
Taking the advance we passed through Ripley early next morning, and encamped at sundown
one mile south of Orizaba, having had some skirmishing with a small force of the enemy. The
Third Iowa, Lieutenant-Colonel Noble commanding, made a reconnaissance toward Kelly's
Ford, finding some force of the enemy near that point. Followed the Third Brigade during the
next day, and encamped at New Albany until the morning of the 10th, when the command taking
the advance of the cavalry (Fourth Iowa, Lieutenant-Colonel Peters commanding) in front
marched to Cherry Creek, driving before us some force of the enemy's cavalry. On the morning
of the 11th moved into and encamped at Pontotoc, Third Brigade in front. At daybreak on the
13th instant, taking the advance of the army, and driving steadily the enemy's cavalry before us,
we marched to Tupelo, Third Iowa having the lead. While balance of command halted to feed,
Major Williams with his regiment, Tenth Missouri, and two companies of Third Iowa, entered
the town at noon, finding no enemy. The several regiments were immediately employed in
picketing the position and in destroying the railroad north and south of town. About 4 p.m. a
detachment of the Fourth Iowa, under Lieutenant-Colonel Peters, went to the rear of the army to
aid in repelling attacks of the enemy's cavalry on our trains, and were severely engaged for some
hours; encamped at Tupelo.
During the battle on the 14th the brigade was assigned position on the right flank and rear,
and performed picket duty for the army. Just before dark Major Duffield, Third Iowa, with four
companies of his regiment and four companies of the Fourth Iowa, made a reconnaissance to the
front and found the enemy in force, strongly posted behind temporary breast-works.
On the morning of the 15th the army commenced moving toward Ellistown, and my
command was sent to reconnoiter in front of Harrisburg. The enemy was found in large force,
and after a brisk skirmish lasting two hours, by order of general commanding division, I retired
to the infantry line, about one-half mile in my rear. I was then ordered to guard the left flank and
rear while the infantry engaged the enemy, who had advanced upon our lines in front. When the
infantry retired my brigade was ordered to take the rear of the army. On reaching [Old] Town
Creek my rear was fiercely and very suddenly assaulted by a strong body of the enemy. Our
position was held until re-enforced by the infantry, when the two arms uniting charged upon and
drove the enemy entirely off the ground. We bivouacked on the north side of [Old] Town Creek.
On the morning of the 16th we moved at daylight in rear of Third Brigade, and encamped that
night two miles north of Ellistown. On the 17th we had the advance of the army, and, passing
through New Albany, encamped on the Holly Springs road, four miles northwest of first-named
place. No firing during the day. On the 18th we moved to Vaughn's Ford, on Tippah River, and
encamped. On the 19th we marched to and encamped at Salem, and on the following day reached
La Grange about noon. The command arrived at Memphis on the 23d, having in charge the army
wagon train and artillery.
Although not permitted to take part in the heaviest fighting during the expedition, my
command was constantly on duty of an arduous nature, which was always performed with
cheerfulness and alacrity.
While officers and men all did their duty, I would mention Lieutenant-Colonel Noble,
Lieutenant-Colonel Peters, and Major Williams, commanding regiments; Captains Brown and
Abraham, commanding batteries; Lieutenant Gilpin and Sergeant-Major Kanada, as deserving
special notice for the promptness and efficiency with which they performed the duties devolving
upon them during the expedition.
The command marched a distance of 350 miles, a great part of the way being over a very
broken and barren country affording but little forage or water. With great difficulty the animals
were supplied with about three-quarters rations of forage, consisting principally of wheat and
oats in sheaf. For the more minute details of the expedition I refer you to the accompanying
reports of my regimental commanders
I desire the general commanding division to give much credit to Lieutenant Colonel Noble
and Major Duffield, Third Iowa Cavalry; Major Pierce, Fourth Iowa Cavalry, and Lieut. A.
Hodge, acting assistant adjutant-general, for their coolness and courage under fire, and for
valuable aid rendered me on several occasions.
Respectfully submitted by your obedient servant,
Colonel, Commanding.
Asst. Adjt. Gen., Cavalry Division, Sixteenth Army Corps.
Memphis, Tenn., July 24, 1864.
LIEUTENANT: In pursuance of orders I have the honor to report as to the part taken and
losses incurred by this regiment in the late expedition under Maj. Gen. A. J. Smith: That it left
this camp on the 24th of June, consisting of 374 men and 21 officers, and having four 6-mule
teams loaded with forage, ammunition, and baggage.
On the 25th we reached Moscow, Tenn., and remained there until the 28th, receiving pay,
procuring rations, &c.
On the 28th we moved to Saulsbury, Tenn., at which point we remained until July 5, 1864,
without further incident worthy of note than an attack of the enemy upon our picket on the
Ripley road, comprised of Companies D and E of this regiment, then under command of
Lieutenants Niblack and Duffield. The enemy attacked with a force of over 100, and although
the companies resisting did not number over fifty men, they advanced upon the aggressive party
and compelled him to leave the field with a loss of 5 killed and wounded. Our loss, 1 wounded.
Although this skirmish was of very minor importance in the presence of so large an army, yet I
am highly gratified with the conduct of the officers and men, who, on a small picket post, learned
the rebels from the first that on this expedition it was our intention neither to stop nor to retire,
but to advance always.
At Saulsbury, on the 4th of July, I was joined by a detachment of the regiment, numbering
102 men and 5 officers, making my strength 476 enlisted men and 26 officers.
On the 6th and 7th we advanced on toward Ripley, reaching within four miles of that place
on the latter day, when the enemy was met and driven by the troops of the Third Cavalry
On the 8th, advancing through Ripley, this regiment was, under the orders of the general
commanding the division, sent on a reconnoitering expedition toward Kelly's Mill, the main
column marching to Orizaba. I proceeded with a heavy advance guard about four miles in the
direction required, meeting within half a mile of the point of departure a very considerable
breast-work on the brow of a hill, very difficult of approach, but which the enemy vacated on the
approach of two flanking companies, thrown out on either hand, they being also intimidated no
doubt by the appearance of our other troops on the main road. The road to Kelly's Mill was much
traveled by cavalry, as were the many cross-roads which intersected it frequently. Having
become satisfied that the rebel force was in good position at Kelly's Ford, to the number of at
least 1,000, and that more were upon my flanks, as instructed I returned leisurely to camp,
although as soon as we began to retire we were assailed upon the flank by a party of the enemy.
We killed 1, wounded 1, and took 1 prisoner, receiving no loss in return. I am gratified to state
that on reporting to the general, that my action on this duty met his full approval.
On the 9th we reached New Albany, crossing the Tallahatchie.
On the 10th our column advanced on the road toward Pontotoc, the Fourth Iowa Cavalry
having the advance of the column. The Fourth having met the enemy in some force and driven
him from a hill, to ascend which, dismounted, was most exhausting on that very warm day, my
command was ordered to their relief, thereby taking the advance. The enemy still showed
resistance, but was constantly driven by the advance guard, consisting of Companies I and M,
under Captain Johnson of Company M, until we reached the intersection of the Ripley and
Pontotoc road with that which we were upon, when the infantry came up and we encamped. The
horse of Thomas Brown, private, Company M, and who himself afterward fell at Old Town (or
Tishomingo) Creek, was killed while driving the enemy on this day.
On the 11th of July we marched to Pontotoc.
On the 12th, under the instructions of General Grierson, with my command I advanced on the
Houston road, while the Ninth Illinois Cavalry proceeded on the road to Okolona, the enemy, as
it was supposed, being in position at a short distance from our pickets. My column was fired
upon as soon as it proceeded beyond the picket-post from a force posted on a high hill beyond a
creek running at its base. Dismounting a battalion and putting them on the right of the road, I
pushed forward the main column and succeeded in getting possession of the hill without loss, but
with great physical labor to the dismounted men on account of the heat of the weather and the
roughness of the ground. General Grierson came up at this time, and under his direction a picket
was posted, securing this hill, a battalion strong, under the immediate command of Capt. John
Brown. Remaining at this point something over an hour, under the direction of the general I now
advanced on a crossword from the Houston to the Okolona road. It was soon evident that the
enemy was in position on the Okolona road at the intersection of the road upon which I then was,
the Ninth Illinois Cavalry having driven him back from some of his first positions, but not
dislodging him from this. I continued to advance until my advance guard came under the volleys
of the intrenchments, when dismounting my entire command and learning the enemy was
preparing to advance, I had already begun to move forward to meet him, when, by the general
commanding, I was ordered to cross to the Okolona road by my left flank. I did this in safety,
although at some risk, and thence proceeded to camp. During this day Sergeant Delay, while
laying down the fence for his squadron, was accidentally wounded in the leg.
On the morning of the 13th, with two battalions of my regiment, I was given the advance of
the army, which proceeded toward Tupelo. The other battalion, which was on picket as
heretofore mentioned, was instructed to keep its post until the rear of the army had passed
through Pontotoc. On account of the distance of this post from the town of Pontotoc, and the fact
that the picket on the Okolona road did not act in harmony with my companies, but retired
sooner, the enemy were enabled to get between the main army (retiring) and Captain Brown.
Seeing the line of the enemy, some 300 strong, in his rear, this officer, with his usual coolness,
determined to charge through them and break through to the army. Forming his battalion in
column on the brow of the hill and calling upon every man who could keep his saddle to follow
him, he led the charge. Our men, cheering, firing, and thundering down the hill with so much
audacity, surprised the rebels, who at once broke and fled in apparent amazement. The battalion
(composed of Companies A, I, K, and L) met with no loss, but the situation was one of a more
difficult nature than it should have been thrown into, as I submit it was, unnecessarily. The
battalions in advance had constant skirmishes with the enemy in considerable force from
Pontotoc to the road leading from the Pontotoc and Tupelo road to the road to Okolona, at which
point the enemy disappeared from our front, leaving the advance to Tupelo uninterrupted. To this
place two of the squadrons proceeded, under the immediate command of Captain Grail, with
other troops under the command of Major Williams. The rest of the command, reaching Tupelo,
rested until night-fall, when an attack on the train occurring they were moved toward the rear,
but again returned and encamped on Younger's plantation, the enemy having retired. During the
advance on Tupelo the enemy lost by this regiment 6 killed and 1 mortally wounded. Our loss,
On the morning of the 14th the enemy commenced the advance upon our picket, placed on
the Pontotoc road beyond Harrisburg. This picket was composed of Companies E, F, and H, of
the Third Iowa Cavalry, and L, M, and -------- , of the Fourth Iowa Cavalry, under the command
of Captain Grail, of this regiment. They held the skirmish line of the enemy for some time in
check, and, although under a heavy fire, closely observed and reported the movements of the
enemy, falling back only when our line of battle had been formed and orders so to do had been
received from the general commanding. Two of the enemy were killed by this picket. The loss in
the regiment was 2 men wounded in Company H. While the battle was going on at the front with
the Tenth Missouri Cavalry, Fourth Iowa Cavalry, and Seventh Kansas Cavalry this regiment
was in position to guard the right flank, maintaining two picket-posts, and patrolling every hour
to the Ellistown road, a distance of one mile and a quarter. This important duty, although it
removed us from the scene of immediate conflict, was one felt to be of great responsibility, as it
certainly was of constant labor, and requiring untiring vigilance. On the afternoon of this day
four companies of the Fourth Iowa Cavalry, with Companies D, H, K, L, and M, of this
regiment, under command of Major Duffield of this regiment, were ordered to the front to
reconnoiter the enemy's position. This duty occupied this detachment during the day, developing
a heavy force of the enemy still in position. The maneuvering of this force lasted Until after dark,
the enemy showing himself in line and opening with artillery. The loss of this regiment was 4
wounded, 2 desperately, Sullivan, of Company M, losing an arm from a cannon-ball, and Bard,
of Company M, being pierced through the breast; 6 horses also were wounded. The companies of
the Third Iowa maintained the rear as the reconnoitering party retired, and Companies D, L, and
M were left on picket in the face of the enemy. In this fight this regiment had seven companies
on picket and patrol.
On the morning of July 15 our brigade made a second reconnaissance of the enemy's lines in
front, under the immediate direction of Colonel Winslow, and in regard to which, it having been
under his own eyes, I do not deem necessary to report further than that this command advanced
to the lines of the enemy, who were still in force and in position, skirmishing with them
successfully until orders were received to retire, which they did in good order, and as it is
deemed having fully performed the arduous duty assigned them. It was apparent that the enemy's
intention was to draw the cavalry into a general engagement, far enough from the main line of
the army to enable them to flank on our left with a superior force, which was openly being
moved for that purpose, and which, with the enemy's forces in our front, became engaged with
the infantry lines and artillery on the withdrawal of our brigade. After the reconnaissance this
regiment first formed in line of battle on the left flanks of the infantry line, and afterward formed
in line to guard the rear and support the left flank near Tupelo, which position was held until the
army moved out on the Ellistown road, the Fourth Iowa Cavalry having the extreme rear. The
regiment met with a loss on this morning of several wounded men and some horses, stated in the
accompanying report. Advancing on the Ellistown road, G and F were detached to guard this
road until the Fourth Iowa Cavalry came up, when they united with the latter command in
resisting the advance of the enemy, who now began to follow our column closely and in force.
These companies did not join me again until we had arrived at Old Town (or Tishomingo) Creek,
at which point, the train having been placed in corral beyond the creek and the infantry having
been also passed over, I was ordered to take my command to the rear and form it on the edge of
the woods to support the Fourth Iowa Cavalry. I was given to understand that I would have time
to water my command at the creek, and I think it was not expected by my commanding officer
that the enemy would approach for at least an hour. I proceeded to the rear, however, at once,
attempting to water but a small part of my regiment, and had only time to dismount my men and
get them into battalion lines on either side of the road and beneath a commanding hill, when the
enemy opened upon them with shell and canister, and a heavy musketry fire. One battalion of the
Fourth Iowa Cavalry was also in position, partly in advance of me, and with them and my
regiment the enemy was held in check, although the circumstances made the assault of the rebels
very much like a surprise. Our brigade commander was present in the midst of the fire, and by
his brave and skillful conduct advanced our lines up the hill and held the ground we were
required to, until an infantry support coming the rebel position was charged with cheers, their
battery silenced by our guns across the creek, and the enemy for the third time in two days
signally defeated. Endeavoring to do my duty with my whole command, who were under a fierce
fire and bravely contesting their ground with a superior force of the rebels, I wish to express my
high admiration of the colonel who commanded me, and of Colonel McMillen, who with his
noble infantry came to our support. Although my men charged with the infantry until exhausted
and after many were out of ammunition, I feel at liberty, without boasting, to say that few
charges during the war could have exceeded this in firmness, spirit, and brilliancy. It was a
triumphant vindication of the valor of these regiments from the stigma of defeat on the l0th of
June, and must have forever crushed from those rebels' hearts the hope of another victory. Major
Duffield, Captain Crail, and Captain Brown, commanding battalions, and Captain McCrary and
Captain Johnson, deserve particular mention by me for their services at all times during this
expedition and particularly on this field. Our loss in this engagement was 1 killed--Thomas
Brown, Company M--and 5 wounded.
Camping beyond the creek for the night, the next day (the 16th) we marched to Ellistown,
where Company A was ordered to the rear for picket duty and arrived at its post just in time to
meet the last general advance of the enemy. The company maintained its post against superior
numbers bravely until supported by the Seventh Kansas Cavalry and a brigade of infantry, when
the enemy having finally retired, it rejoined the regiment with the loss of 1 horse killed. Moving
thence by New Albany and Salem, we arrived at La Grange without further incident or loss, save
1 horse in Company M killed by guerrillas.
My command arrived at this camp on the evening of the 23d, having with the rest of the
brigade conducted the train and some batteries from La Grange to this place. It is estimated that
the command has traveled from 350 to 400 miles on this expedition.
Until after we left Saulsbury on the 5th of July our rations of forage supplied by railroad
were fair, but from that time until our return to La Grange on the 20th it became necessary to
subsist on the country. This was found very difficult, and for much of the time the command was
in whole or in part poorly fed. Wheat in the sheaf was often the only support of the horses for
days. Again, an abundance of sheaf oats or old corn could be found for one feed, hardly ever
more than enough for two feeds in succession, while during the 13th, 14th, and 15th a large part
of the horses may be said to have been scarcely fed at all. These facts, considered in connection
with the intense heat of the weather, the dustiness of the roads, and the severe labor required of
us will account for the great deterioration of my horses. It is hoped, however, that proper rest and
food will soon restore most of the animals to service.
By the expedition the spirit of my regiment has been elevated, and it is hoped that the
satisfaction felt by the soldiers of the entire brigade may be still further enhanced by the approval
of its esteemed commanders. I transmit a tabular statement of losses as required.
Colonel, Commanding..
Lieut. A. HODGE,
Actg. Asst. Adjt. Gen., 2d Brig., Cav. Div., Memphis, Tenn.
Near Memphis, Tenn., July 23, 1864.
COLONEL: Agreeable to your order of the 20th instant, I have the honor to submit the
following report:
The Fourth Iowa Cavalry left their encampment near Memphis on the 24th day of June
ultimo, numbering 625 enlisted men and 23 officers. The regiment continued their march on the
line of the Memphis and Charleston Railroad, reaching Saulsbury on the evening of the 28th.
The regiment remained at this point, doing picket duty, until the morning of the 5th instant, when
they marched in the direction of Ripley, near which place, on the 7th instant, they supported the
Second Iowa in a brisk skirmish for about two hours.
On the 8th the regiment moved at daylight and made Orizaba.
On the 9th we marched to New Albany.
On the 10th we left New Albany at daylight, in the advance, and marched to within seven
miles of Pontotoc. During the day we had a brisk skirmish for about three hours, in which we
killed 1 and wounded 3 of the enemy, captured 1 horse and equipment and 10 stand of smallarms.
On the 11th we reached Pontotoc about noon and remained there until the morning of the
13th, when we marched at daylight and reached Tupelo about 3.30 p.m., and immediately went
to work to destroy the railroad in that vicinity. In about an hour I received an order to move back
on the Pontotoc road and assist the infantry then being engaged with a strong force of the enemy.
The Second and Third Battalions having been sent down the railroad to destroy the same, I
immediately marched with the First Battalion, and on arriving upon the battle-field was assigned
a position on the left flank, where we received the compliments of the rebels in the shape of
shells from one of their batteries for about an hour without the loss of a single man. After the
battle was over I was ordered to hold the rear of the column back to Tupelo. On the march back
the enemy pressed us heavily at times, and on one occasion brought their artillery to bear upon
us. We reached our bivouac about 11 o'clock in the evening with the loss of 1 man wounded.
During the night of the 13th four companies of the regiment were ordered to the front as
pickets, and in the morning took part in the general engagement of that day, sustaining a loss of 6
men wounded. The remainder of the day the regiment was engaged in guarding and supporting
positions on the right and left flank and rear. In these movements we lost 1 man killed and 4 or 5
On the morning of the 15th the regiment moved out in rear of the brigade on the Pontotoc
road, and took part in the engagement that followed, with a loss of 2 men wounded. Later in the
day we were ordered to take the rear of the army on the line of march toward Saltillo. During the
afternoon the enemy were frequent and obstinate in these attacks, and followed our column
closely until they were repulsed and driven back at the battle of [Old] Town Creek. In this last
engagement a portion of the regiment was warmly engaged and inflicted a severe punishment
upon the enemy, firing from twenty-five to forty rounds to the man in the short space of tune the
battle lasted. This was the last engagement of the expedition.
The regiment reached La Grange on the 20th instant, and their camp near Memphis on the
23d making thirty days on the expedition, and marching a little over 300 miles. During most of
the time we were able to procure about two-thirds rations of forage for our horses, mostly sheaf
oats, wheat, and rye, with an occasional feed of corn. Our total loss in men has been 1 killed and
15 wounded. Loss of horses, killed and abandoned, 16.
In closing this report, I desire to express my many obligations to Maj. A. R. Pierce, for his
promptness, energy, and good judgment, and to all the officers and men of the regiment for their
cheerful acquiescence and ready obedience to orders, their prompt response to all orders when at
times it seemed that their physical energies had been taxed to their utmost tension.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding Fourth Iowa Cavalry.
Commanding Second Brigade, Cavalry Division.
Memphis, July 24, 1864.
COLONEL: In compliance with your order of the 21st instant, I have the honor to submit the
following report of the operations of the Tenth Missouri Cavalry on late expedition under Maj.
Gen. A. J. Smith:
The detachment of the effective men of the regiment, composed of 7 commissioned officers
and 222 men, left camp at Memphis on the 24th of June, and joining with the brigade marched,
via La Fayette, Moscow, and La Grange, to Saulsbury, where it arrived on the 28th of June and
remained in camp until the 5th of July, when the march was continued with the brigade on the
Ripley road.
On the 7th instant, while the Third Brigade was engaged with the enemy near Ripley, the
regiment was put into position, but, the enemy retiring, was not engaged.
On the 8th instant marched in advance of brigade, occupying Ripley without opposition,
thence moved out on the Baldwyn road to the Ellistown road and down Ellistown road to
Orizaba. From the time of leaving Ripley had light skirmishing with the enemy, losing 2 horses;
enemy's loss unknown.
On the 9th instant marched to New Albany.
On the 10th marched with the brigade on the Pontotoc road. About noon received orders to
take my regiment and follow a party of the enemy, about 600 strong, which had left our front,
and pass on to the Tuscumbia and Pontotoc road. On reaching that road I discovered a large force
of the enemy going toward Pontotoc; had passed only a short time before, which fact I reported
on rejoining the column.
On the 11th marched to Pontetoc, where encamped until the 12th instant, when marched with
the brigade on the Tupelo road. When about five miles from Tupelo, the command being at a
halt, I was ordered to take my regiment with two companies of the Third Iowa Cavalry, under
Captain Crail, and proceed to Tupelo. Taking possession of that place without opposition,
picketed the town, and placed obstructions on the railroad track, and, when joined by brigade,
assisted in destroying the track.
On the 13th instant was stationed on the right flank of the army, and picketed and patrolled
the roads leading to Ellistown road until relieved by the Third Iowa Cavalry, under Lieutenant-
Colonel Noble.
On the 14th instant marched with the brigade on the Pontotoc road. On passing the picket my
regiment was deployed as skirmishers on the right flank, my left resting on the road. Moved
forward with brisk skirmishing until reaching a main road leading across the road on which our
men were advancing, when I received orders to halt, and shortly afterward to retire slowly; when
I had no sooner commenced retiring than the enemy advanced in force. My men displayed great
steadiness, falling back regularly. On reaching the infantry lines received orders to proceed to
Tupelo and picket the roads leading south. Shortly after taking position my pickets on the Verona
road were suddenly charged by the enemy and driven in, but the men were soon rallied by
Lieutenant Studdard and reoccupied their post. About 3 o'clock moved with the brigade in rear of
the army. On reaching [Old] Town Creek the enemy made a heavy attack on our rear. The road
being occupied by led horses my regiment did not get to the rear in time to figure in the chase.
Camped on the creek.
On the 15th marched with the brigade to Ellistown, and on the 16th to New Albany. Arriving
at New Albany I was ordered to picket the roads leading north and south. Remained in position
until the rear guard came up, when I was relieved by the Second Iowa Cavalry and joined the
command in camp on the Salem road.
On the 17th marched as advance guard and camped on the Tippah River.
At 3 a.m. of the 18th I received orders from the general commanding to move with dispatch
to La Grange to have provisions forwarded to the army and to cover all roads leading south from
La Grange, so as to intercept any train that may have started for the army. On arriving at Salem I
divided my command, sending one company on the Ripley road to proceed to the Ripley and
Saulsbury road, one company to go north on the Spring Hill road, and with the remainder of the
command I proceeded by the Meridian road, all to concentrate at Davis' Mills. I struck the rear of
a train about three miles south from Davis' Mills; communicated my orders to the major
commanding escort to train and then proceeded to La Grange.
Remained at La Grange until the 21st, when marched with brigade as an escort to train and
artillery to Memphis, arriving at 9 a.m. on the 24th instant.
The regiment on expedition marched 360 miles.
From the time of leaving the railroad until the return to La Grange, we had only about twothirds
rations for our horses, the principal forage being wheat and rye, with about one feed a day
of old corn or oats.
Loss of men on the expedition was 1 missing; loss of horses--killed, wounded, and
abandoned--was 15.
I desire to return thanks to the officers and men under my command for prompt discharge of
duty and fortitude in bearing hardships and privations.
Captains Neet and McGlasson are particularly noteworthy for prompt assistance rendered at
all times.
I desire particularly to recommend Sergt. E. Bates Kanada, acting adjutant of detachment, for
efficient discharge of duty.
Attached you will find statement of losses of men, horses, arms, &c.
I am, colonel, your obedient servant,
Major, Commanding.
Comdg. Second Brig., Cavalry Div., Sixteenth Army Corps.
Memphis, Tenn., July 24, 1864.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report that in accordance with orders from division
headquarters, a detachment of Third Brigade, consisting of the Second Iowa Cavalry, left La
Grange, Tenn., 5th of July, 1864, and marched southeast, camping four miles and a half from La
Grange, near Woodson's plantation.
July 6, detachment marched on Ripley road, skirmishing lightly all day, camping for the
night fourteen miles and a half from Ripley.
July 7, continued on Ripley road, skirmishing to within three miles and a half of Ripley, at
which place Lieutenant-Colonel Hyams, of Bell's brigade of rebels, was posted with 500 men in
strong position on the side of a hill, their place of concealment being hidden by trees and
underbrush. In this position they were attacked by six companies of the Second Iowa Cavalry
dismounted, who charged them in a splendid manner across an open field and drove them from
their position, killing 11 and wounding 25, and losing none. The officers and soldiers engaged in
this skirmish deserve great praise for the alacrity with which they charged the enemy in this
position and for the firm manner in which they held their lines under repeated volleys from the
enemy's guns. At this place the Ninth Illinois Cavalry joined the command, which camped for
the night.
July 8, marched through Ripley, skirmishing on Pontotoc road; camped for the night eight
miles from Ripley.
July 9, continued on Ripley road, crossing Tallahatchie River at Williamson's Mill, camping
for the night at New Albany.
July 10, marched toward Pontotoc and camped seven miles from town.
July 11, marched into Pontotoc, skirmishing, killed and wounded several of the enemy;
camped for the night, one battalion of Second Iowa, commanded by Major Moore, picketing in
line of skirmishers in front of division of infantry.
July 12, remained in Pontotoc all day, patrolling roads in different directions. The Ninth
Illinois Cavalry, commanded by Lieut. Col. H. B. Burgh, being sent out on the Okolona road on
a reconnaissance, found the enemy in force, and fought them in a splendid manner for several
hours, when they fell back in good order, having discovered what was desired and punished the
enemy severely; night camped at Pontotoc.
July 13, marched to Tupelo and camped, picketing roads east and south of town and having
destroyed from six to ten miles railroad track on Mobile and Ohio Railroad.
[July 14], brigade, except detachments on picket duty, placed in position on left flank of line
of battle, skirmished some during the day without important results. Night left detachments of
Second Iowa and Ninth Illinois on picket duty, and camped as on the previous night.
July 15, Second Iowa and Ninth Illinois Cavalry skirmished with the enemy on left flank
without discovering any large force. Second Iowa sent to extreme flank, Ninth Illinois Cavalry to
hold the old line on hill southeast from Harrisburg, skirmished until about 12 o'clock noon, at
which time they were relieved by a negro brigade and sent to the front of General Mower's
division, at which place four companies (one company having no sabers) charged the enemy
down a narrow road from one-half to three-quarters of a mile, driving the enemy in a most
gallant manner, and losing First Lieutenant McMahon, who had the advance (Company H) and
several men, after which the brigade moved out on Ellistown road, camping five miles from
July 16, brigade marched to Ellistown and camped.
July 17, brigade ordered to act as rear guard, skirmished with the enemy in the morning, who
fell back and made no further demonstration during the day. Night camped at New Albany.
July 18, marched on right flank of column all day and camped on Tippah Creek, seven miles
from Salem.
July 19, marched to Salem and camped for night. 20th, marched to La Grange and camped.
21st, marched to Collierville and camped. 22d, marched to Memphis to old camp.
A detachment of the Third Illinois Cavalry, which accompanied the brigade, did good service
as flankers, &c., and were for several days rear guard for the entire command.
During the scout the brigade has been out of camp twenty-eight days, has marched 325 miles,
killed and wounded an unknown number of the enemy, and lost in killed, wounded, and missing
as follows.
I have the honor to remain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel Second Iowa Cav., Comdg. Third Brig., Cavalry Div.
Assistant Adjutant-General.
Collierville, Tenn., July 31, 1864.
GENERAL: I have the honor to report that in accordance with orders from brigade
headquarters I left camp at Memphis, Tenn., with the effective force of the regiment, on the 23d
of June, 1864.
Marched to Grand Junction, Tenn., where I remained until the 5th of July, when I joined the
brigade and moved southward toward Pontotoc, via Ripley, Miss., to join expedition under
General A. J. Smith. Encountered the enemy near Ripley on the 7th of July, under Lieutenant-
Colonel Forrest (First Mississippi [Sixteenth Tennessee] Cavalry), posted in a strong position on
a hill covered with thick underbrush. Being in the advance I was ordered to dislodge them. The
regiment was dismounted and moved to the front.. After a few minutes' sharp firing I ordered the
charge. This was made across an open field and up a steep hill-side. The position was carried and
the enemy driven in confusion from the field, leaving 10 dead but carrying off the wounded. Our
loss 4 men slightly wounded.
Both officers and men displayed great gallantry and vied with each other to be foremost in
the charge. Captain Stiles, commanding Second Battalion, and Lieutenant Watson, Company I,
were a host in themselves and deserve special mention. At Pontotoc, Miss., on the 11th of July,
after slight skirmishing, Captain Bandy, with two companies (K and M), charged and drove the
enemy from the town.
During the battle of Tupelo, Miss., July 14 and 15, the regiment was engaged in watching the
flanks, with but slight skirmishing.
Returned to Memphis on the 22d of July. Distance marched, 350 miles.
The superiority of the Spencer carbine as a cavalry arm was clearly demonstrated.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Major Second Iowa Cavalry, Commanding Regiment.
Washington, D. C.
Camp Lookout, Tenn., July 30, 1864.
SIR: In compliance with the Army Regulations, I herewith transmit a report of a skirmish had
Sunday, 24th instant, by a squad of sixteen men of my command with thirty guerrillas, twenty
miles east of Memphis, on the Memphis and Charleston Railroad, near our camp, in which I had
3 men wounded--Captain Wolf, of Company I, and Privates Leonidas Brown severely, and John
Diltz slightly, and 4 taken prisoners, viz, Sergt. James Thompson, Privates John Duncan,
William Hall, and F. M. Brown, with a loss to the guerrillas of 2 killed and 3 wounded; among
the latter was their chief.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding Detachment.
[ AUGUST, 1864.]
LIEUTENANT: I have the honor to report for the information of the colonel commanding
brigade that on the morning of the 29th ultimo this regiment, together with the other regiments of
the brigade, embarked on the cars at the Memphis and Charleston Railroad depot in Memphis,
Tenn., and proceeded by rail to La Grange, Tenn.; arriving at the latter place about 3 o'clock the
same day the regiment bivouacked south of the town.
On the afternoon of the 30th I moved out from La Grange with my command, taking my
proper place in the brigade column, moving in a southerly direction toward Holly Springs, Miss.
Nothing of importance transpired until the night of 7th instant while the troops were bivouacked
near Waterford, Miss. At about 10 p.m. heavy cannonading was heard in the direction of the
Tallahatchie River.
On the morning of the 8th I was ordered to take the road with my regiment, moving it in rear
of the other regiments and battery of the brigade. Moving in this order my regiment reached the
Tallahatchie River at about 5 p.m. and crossed the river, under a scattering fire of the enemy, on
driftwood lodged against the railroad bridge. After crossing the river I was directed to move with
my command. I then passed the position held by the Thirty-fifth Iowa Infantry, and was posted in
line with my right resting on the Oxford and Holly Springs road, about twenty-five yards in rear
of the One hundred and fourteenth Illinois Infantry, which occupied the left of the brigade line.
We remained in this position until about 6 a.m. of the 9th, when the brigade was put in motion
and moved by the flank about one-third of a mile, when it was formed into column by regiments,
my regiment being placed in rear of the One hundred and fourteenth Illinois, with the Tenth
Minnesota Infantry in my rear deployed in column by wing. From this brigade column a line was
formed and the troops again deployed into column. Heavy skirmishing was kept up by our
cavalry, which had crossed earlier in the morning and deployed on our flanks. The enemy
continued his artillery firing, begun with the advance of cavalry, and was replied to by a few
shots from our own guns. My regiment, formed in the column as above stated, maneuvered and
advanced with the brigade, the enemy retiring from his strong position as we advanced after
gaining the hill occupied by the enemy. The night of the 8th the brigade was bivouacked, my
regiment on the right of the One hundred and fourteenth Illinois, and the Tenth Minnesota
Infantry on my right. We remained in this position until the morning of the 21st. Nothing of
importance transpired while we remained in this bivouac. I would only mention the fact that
heavy rains fell every day, making the roads impassable and uncomfortable for the men. A great
part of the time my men were furnished with but a half ration of salt meat, and for a few days
they were without meat of any description, it being impossible to procure any from the country
and none being furnished by the commissary of subsistence. On the 21st instant the troops were
again put in motion, my regiment moving in order with the other troops of the brigade, taking the
Oxford road. In the afternoon of the 22d we were halted near Oxford and moved back toward the
Tallahatchie River. We reached our old camp near the Tallahatchie River about 1 p.m. of the 23d
and went into bivouac. At about 3 o'clock of the same afternoon heavy skirmishing was heard
near our camp on the Oxford road. The brigade was formed, and I was ordered to advance
directly forward in line. My line being parallel with the Oxford road I advanced directly to the
right of that road, regulating my movements by those of the One hundred and fourteenth Illinois
Infantry on my left. Seeing this regiment move by the flank I at once made a flank movement,
and by the right flank followed the One hundred and fourteenth Illinois about one-fourth of a
mile, when a line was again formed. From this line the brigade moved by the left flank to the
Oxford road, where I was directed to form a line with my regiment and the Tenth Minnesota
Infantry for the protection of a cross-road. This line was hardly formed until I was again ordered
to move forward. The brigade was halted about half a mile beyond Abbeville, where it remained
in the road until near sundown, when we returned to camp, the enemy being driven off by the
troops in our advance. On the 25th I moved my command, in its proper place in the brigade, on
the Holly Springs road; bivouacked near Waterford for the night. Morning 26th, 8 a.m., moved to
this place, arriving at noon.
Colonel, Commanding.]
Lieut. O. H. ABEL,
Actg. Asst. Adjt. Gen., 1st Brig., 1st Div., 16th Army Corps.
Memphis, Tenn., August 30, 1864.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report as follows regarding the operations of the Second
Brigade, First Division, Sixteenth Army Corps, during the late expedition:
For details of the movements of the brigade from the starting of the expedition until the 17th
instant, the date upon which I assumed command. I would respectfully refer to the accompanying
report of Col. J. D. McClure, Forty-seventh Illinois Infantry Volunteers. At the time I was
assigned to its command the brigade was encamped near Abbeville, Miss., where it remained
until the morning of the 21st instant. On that day the command moved to Hurricane Creek, and
on the following to Oxford, countermarching in the evening to the bivouac of the night of the
21st. During these two days no enemy was encountered or incident transpired worthy of special
mention. On the 23d the retrograde march was resumed, and at 12 m. the brigade encamped in its
former location near Abbeville. Immediately upon the arrival of the command in camp I ordered
a picket to be posted to the rear upon the Oxford road. As the detail was moving to the point
designated for its post it was met a few rods from camp by the advance guard of the enemy, who
had followed the rear of the column during the day's march. The officer in command, Lieut. D.
C. Ross, Forty-seventh Illinois Infantry, at once deployed his men as skirmishers and soon
became hotly engaged. Hearing the skirmishing I immediately ordered the command under arms,
deployed a line of skirmishers, covering the front and flanks of the camp, and ordered it forward,
supported by the Fifth Minnesota Veterans. The skirmishing soon became general along the line,
and the enemy, though being driven, developed himself in considerable force. The skirmishers
were re-enforced by four companies of the Fifth Minnesota, the Eighth Wisconsin Veterans,
Forty-seventh Illinois Volunteers, and section of the Second Iowa Battery ordered up, and line of
battle formed. As soon as these dispositions were made an advance was ordered, which was
made at double-quick. The enemy essayed to make a stand, but though in superior force
succeeded only for a moment. A charge was made upon his line, which gave way in confusion
and was driven for more than a mile in disorder, when the pursuit was abandoned, though the
enemy continued to retreat, moving rapidly off to the music of the guns of the Second Iowa
Battery. At sundown the command returned to camp. The enemy suffered much punishment in
this encounter, losing 12 killed, that fell into our hands, many wounded, and some prisoners. The
casualties of my command were 15 wounded, a list of which has heretofore been furnished. On
the 25th instant the brigade marched northward, arriving at Holly Springs on the 26th and at La
Grange on the 29th instant.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel, Commanding.
Capt. J. B. SAMPLE,
Assistant Adjutant-General, First Division.
Memphis, Tenn., August 31, 1864.
SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of operations during the late expedition
into Mississippi, ending on the 26th day of August, 1864, viz:
On the morning of July 31,1864, the Twelfth Iowa, Seventh Minnesota, Thirty-third
Missouri, and Thirty-fifth Iowa, of this brigade, embarked on the cars, by order of Maj. Gen. A.
J. Smith, and moved to Davis' Mills, Miss. August 5 [1], marched, by order of Brig. Gen.
Edward Hatch, via Lamar, to Coldwater River, and on the morning of August 2 marched to
Holly Springs, where the Twelfth Iowa were detailed as provost guards. On the morning of
August 5 the remaining three regiments moved by railroad, by order of Brig. Gen. J. A. Mower,
to Waterford. August 7 the Seventh Minnesota and Thirty-fifth Iowa moved to the Tallahatchie
River to protect the pioneer corps in constructing a bridge. They found the enemy's pickets on
the north side of the river, whom they attacked and drove across the river, capturing the flat-boat
used as a ferry, and established pickets on the south side of the river. Their position was shelled
for a short time during that night. Next morning the two regiments crossed over and work began
on the bridge. On the 7th the Sixth Indiana Battery reported, and on the 8th the Thirty-third
Missouri and battery moved to the Tallahatchie. On the 9th the brigade moved into camp on the
south side of the Tallahatchie. During the skirmishing on the 7th, 8th, and 9th the Seventh
Minnesota had 3 men wounded, 1 severely. On the 10th of August the Twelfth Iowa rejoined the
brigade. On the 21st the brigade moved to Hurricane Creek, and on the 22d to Oxford and back
to camp on Hurricane Creek, and on the 23d returned to the camp on the Tallahatchie. The
Thirty-third Missouri lost 1 man, missing, this day, supposed to be captured. On the 25th
marched to Waterford and on the 26th marched to Holly Springs. The Twelfth Iowa were again
detailed as provost guard.
I am, sir, very respectfully your obedient servant,
Colonel, Commanding the Brigade.
Capt. J. B. SAMPLE,
Assistant Adjutant-General.
Holly Springs, Miss., August 26, 1864.
SIR: I have the honor to submit herewith the report of operations of this command as per
instructions received from headquarters:
The regiment moved from camp at Memphis, July 31, per railroad, disembarked at Davis'
Mills, and went into camp. August 1, the command moved to Coldwater and camped. August 2,
moved to Holly Springs and camped till August 5, when the regiment moved by rail to
Waterford. August 7, in obedience to orders from Colonel Woods, commanding brigade, the
regiment marched for the Tallahatchie River. When within one mile and a half of the river,
Lieutenant-Colonel Brown, commanding Twelfth Missouri Cavalry, reporting his advance
skirmishing with the enemy, Company B, Thirty-fifth Iowa, under command of Capt. William
M. Stewart, was immediately ordered to deploy as skirmishers and advance to the bank of the
river, the enemy retiring in such haste as to be unable to destroy the boat used in crossing.
Company I, Thirty-fifth Iowa, commanded by Lieut. Jackson A. Evans, was ordered to cross the
river and hold the south bank of the river, together with one company from the Seventh
Minnesota Infantry, the regiment encamping in the woods three-quarters of a mile from the river.
Between 10.30 and 11 p.m. the enemy opened fire upon our line with two pieces of artillery
posted a short distance from the bank of river, undercover of which they charged twice upon the
companies posted upon the south side of the river, but were gallantly repulsed, with no loss upon
our side. The wagons were immediately ordered to the rear under a sufficient guard and the
regiment held under arms. No further demonstration being made, and deeming it prudent to
withdraw the company, they were ordered to recross the river at 4.30 a.m. August 8. At daylight
the regiment was ordered to cross the river and deploy as skirmishers, while the division pioneer
corps constructed the bridge, bivouacking upon the bayou south side of the river till ordered into
camp at noon August 10, where it remained till August 21, when it moved to the south side of
Hurricane Creek. August 22, moved to Oxford and returned to Hurricane Creek. August 23,
moved to and occupied the old camp south of the Tallahatchie. August 25, moved to Waterford.
August 26, moved to Holly Springs and camped. Casualties during the entire expedition, none.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel, Commanding Thirty-fifth Iowa Infantry.
Actg. Asst. Adjt. Gen., 3d Brig., 1st Div., 16th Army Corps.
Holly Springs, Miss., August 27, 1864.
MAJOR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the action, marches &c., of the
Third Division, Sixteenth Army Corps, during the late expedition to Oxford, Miss., and return:
On the morning of the 4th instant, agreeable to orders from the major-general commanding, I
commenced moving my command to Holly Springs, Miss., the infantry by rail, the artillery and
wagons by land. The command was concentrated and encamped at Holly Springs, Miss., on the
8th instant. Here we remained in camp until the 10th instant, doing fatigue and picket-guard
duty, when the Third Brigade, of the Third Division, commanded by Col. E. H. Wolfe, of the
Fifty-second Indiana Infantry Volunteers, was ordered to move forward to the Tallahatchie River
to report to Brig. Gen. J. A. Mower for orders. On the morning of the 11th instant I moved the
One hundred and nineteenth Illinois Infantry Volunteers, commanded by Col. Thomas J. Kinney,
and the Eighty-ninth Indiana Infantry Volunteers, commanded by Lieut. Col. Hervey Craven, to
take post at La Grange, Tenn., at which place they remained until the evening of the 16th instant.
On the 17th instant, at 7 a.m., I moved with the First and Second Brigades of my command to
Waterford Station, Miss., a distance of eight miles, and encamped near ford. On the 18th instant
moved the command across the Tallahatchie River and encamped near Abbeville, Miss. On the
19th instant the Third Brigade, of the Third Division, commanded by Col. E. H. Wolfe, of the
Fifty-second Indiana Infantry Volunteers, was moved forward to Hurricane Creek, which point
was reached after marching through a drenching rain and over an almost impassable road. Here
the Third Brigade remained encamped until the 21st instant, when the whole division moved to
within two miles of Oxford, Miss. Here the command was about-faced and line of march taken in
direction of Holly Springs, Miss., at which place the division arrived on the 26th instant, and at
which place it is now encamped. It would be proper here for me to state that the Third Brigade,
under the command of Col. Edward H. Wolfe, of the Fifty-second Indiana Infantry Volunteers,
and while under the direction and command of Brig. Gen. J. A. Mower, on the 12th instant, was
ordered to march south from Abbeville, Miss., and when near Hurricane Creek the enemy
opened fire on his command from the opposite side of the creek with four pieces of artillery and
continued shelling his line for one hour or more, when they were finally flanked and driven off
by the cavalry, his brigade at the same time crossing the creek and occupying the field. At 10
p.m. the brigade returned to camp near Abbeville, Miss. No infantry was, however, engaged at
this time. The command being out of forage for the stock, and also meats, foraging parties were
detailed and sent out, and while out were attacked and light skirmishing ensued. The following
list will comprise the casualties in the command during the expedition :
I am, very respectfully,
Colonel Fourteenth Iowa, Commanding Division.
Asst. Adjt. Gen., Right Wing, Sixteenth Army Corps.
LA GRANGE, August 15, 1864.
Cavalry have returned from Lamar. Enemy moved off on Salem road last night, two
regiments strong. Our men killed 1 horse and wounded 4 rebels, 2 mortally, who were left there.
The Fourth Iowa Cavalry came up from Holly Springs. Are repairing the telegraph. The enemy
did no damage to the road; only cut the telegraph.
Colonel, Commanding Post.
Lieut. C. H. TOWNSEND.
Holly Springs, Miss., August 27, 1864.
LIEUTENANT: I have the honor to report the part taken by the Second Brigade in the late
expedition to Oxford, Miss., under command of Maj. Gen. A. J. Smith.
My command, consisting of the Fourteenth Iowa Infantry, Capt. W. J. Campbell
commanding; Twenty-fourth Missouri Infantry, Maj. R. W. Fyan commanding; Twenty-seventh
Iowa Infantry, Capt. A. M. Has-lip commanding; Thirty-second Iowa Infantry, Lieut. Col. G. A.
Eberhart commanding, and Third Indiana Battery, First Lieut. Thomas J. Ginn commanding, left
Memphis, Tenn., on the 4th of August. The infantry were transported by railroad eighty miles to
Holly Springs, Miss., arriving on the evening of the same day. The battery and wagons of the
command moved out by the wagon road, and rejoined the command August 6; distance, fifty
miles. The command remained at Holly Springs on picket duty until the morning of the 17th of
August, when it moved out on the Oxford road and marched nine miles to Waterford. August 18,
crossed the Tallahatchie River and marched to Abbeville; distance, ten miles. Here the command
lay in camp until August 21, when it moved forward, crossed Hurricane Creek, and camped
about one mile beyond. August 22, moved a mile or two toward Oxford, when, about 12 m., the
command was countermarched and returned to Hurricane Creek; distance marched, five miles.
August 23, moved to Tallahatchie River, six miles. A forage detail from the brigade had a brisk
skirmish with the enemy, and succeeded in routing him, with the loss of 1 man, believed to be
captured. The command remained in camp until August 25, when it crossed the Tallahatchie
River and marched to Waterford, nine miles. August 26, marched to Holly Springs, where the
command is now in camp.
I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant,
Colonel, Commanding Brigade.
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General. ]
Holly Springs, Miss., August 26, 1864.
LIEUTENANT: I have the honor to transmit the following as the report of the Fifty-second
Indiana Volunteers:
We arrived at Holly Springs, from Memphis, by rail on the 7th of August, remaining in camp
until the morning of the 10th, when, in company with the brigade, we marched to Waterford. On
the 11th resumed our march to Abbeville, arriving there at 2 p.m. On the 13th, the enemy having
driven in our pickets, our brigade advanced on the Oxford road to Hurricane Creek, where the
enemy was posted in strong position on the opposite hills. My regiment formed its line, as
directed, at right angles with and the left resting on the road, supporting the Second Iowa Battery
(in position on the road). While in this position we were under a heavy artillery fire. A force
under General Hatch having turned the enemy's left he fell back from his position. My regiment
was ordered to move by the left flank (left in front)across the road, and in this position advanced
across the creek, forming on the left of a brigade from First Division. We advanced in line
through a dense wood and underbrush about half a mile. It was now quite dark, and the enemy
having disappeared from our front, we moved by the right flank back to the road, taking up our
line of march for Abbeville, arriving there about 11 p.m. Remaining in camp until the 19th, on
which day we moved with the brigade to Hurricane Creek, crossing the creek and encamping in
line of battle on the crest of the hill. 21st, we marched again toward Oxford, camping about four
miles from Oxford in open fields. 22d, were in line to resume our march to Oxford, but the
expedition being ordered back, we did not move in that direction, but marched to Hurricane
Creek, camping on the north side. 23d, marched to Abbeville. 24th, regiment guarded forage
train out four miles. 25th, marched to Waterford. 26th, marched to Holly Springs. The following
is the list of casualties since leaving Memphis:
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Captain, Fifty-second Indiana Vols., Comdg. Regiment.
Actg. Asst. Adjt. Gen., 3d Brig., 3d Div., 16th Army Corps.
La Grange, Tenn., August 30, 1864.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report that in compliance with orders from Brig. Gen. B. H.
Grierson, commanding Cavalry Corps, District of West Tennessee, I moved out from this place
on the 1st instant, having ordered concentration of this division at Holly Springs, Miss. Having
opened communication with Holly Springs by railroad, according to instructions, and pursuant to
further orders from Maj. Gen. A. J. Smith, commanding Right Wing, Sixteenth Army Corps, to
whom I had been ordered to report, I moved out at daylight on the morning of the 8th instant
with my command, increased by Colonel Noble's brigade, Second Division, Cavalry Corps, and
two brigades of General Mower's division, to the Tallahatchie River, where the enemy was found
in some force, and manifesting a disposition to dispute the passage. I ordered Colonel Hill,
commanding Thirty-fifth Iowa Infantry, to open on the enemy's sharpshooters, and Colonel
Winslow, commanding Second Division, Cavalry Corps, at the same time to charge, and, if
possible, carry the railroad bridge. At the same time two guns of the Tenth Missouri Cavalry
were brought up and opened on the enemy's rifle-pits, and under cover of this fire the Thirty-fifth
Iowa Infantry rapidly crossed the river. As soon as the enemy was driven from his position,
Colonel Noble, with the Third and Fourth Iowa Cavalry, charged over the railroad bridge.
Colonel Herrick's brigade (First Brigade, First Division), dismounted, supported the Thirty-fifth
Iowa Infantry. As soon as the enemy was driven back, the engineer corps of General Mower's
division threw a bridge across the river, finishing it the same evening. Early next morning I
advanced and found the enemy occupying the heights beyond the river. Opening on him with
artillery and throwing a regiment on each flank, he was readily driven from his position.
Skirmishing continued for eight miles, when, at Hurricane Creek, he made a stand, having a
strong position on the other side, but was driven from it by a charge of Colonel Winslow's
division. This charge being made on foot, the enemy succeeded in mounting his horses and
making good his escape. The pursuit continued to Oxford, where the enemy again made a stand
and got his artillery into position. Ordering two regiments, under Lieutenant-Colonel Jenkins,
Seventh Kansas Cavalry, to move to his rear and attack sharply, and having waited a sufficient
length of time for Lieutenant-Colonel Jenkins to attack, I ordered Colonel Coon, Second Iowa,
commanding the Second Brigade of this division, to charge the town. The enemy broke, leaving
his caissons and camp equipage, and made good his retreat before the troops sent to his rear
struck him, except in a weak attack on his flank. I followed him south of Oxford until night put
an end to the pursuit. Hearing nothing of the enemy next morning, I moved back to Abbeville.
On the 13th instant, in compliance with orders from Brigadier-General Mower, I moved my
command toward Hurricane Creek, where General Forrest had taken up a strong position on the
south side, with earth-works. Col. M. H. Starr, Sixth Illinois Cavalry was ordered to take his
regiment and the Ninth Illinois Cavalry and move on the enemy's left flank, crossing the creek
two miles below, while Colonel Herrick was ordered to move his brigade across the stream two
miles above and attack the enemy on his right flank. The Second Iowa Cavalry moved on the
main road occupied by the enemy, and in advance of the infantry under General Mower. Both
Colonels Starr and Herrick met the enemy in force before reaching the creek. Colonel Starr in
three or four hours' severe skirmishing drove the force in front of him across the creek, and
pressing it back on the main force captured the enemy's earth-works. In the mean time the
Second Iowa Cavalry had driven the enemy's skirmishers across the creek, when a battery of
General Mower's division opened, which was quickly replied to by the enemy. This artillery
firing continued an hour or more. During this time Colonel Herrick with heavy skirmishing, had
driven the force in front of him the creek, when they opened on him across with artillery.
Colonel Herrick having no artillery advanced no farther, but held his ground until afterward
ordered to fall back. Colonel Starr still pressing the enemy closely, he finally gave way and
rapidly retreated to Oxford. The infantry were not engaged. Colonel Starr's loss in this
engagement was 6 killed and 14 wounded. General Mower then ordered me to move back to the
Tallahatchie River, which I did that night. On the 19th instant I received orders from Brigadier-
General Grierson to move with my command in the direction of Oxford. 1 moved forward, with
light skirmishing, and encamped on the south side of Hurricane Creek, when I was directed to
await further orders. On the morning of the 22d instant, in obedience to orders from Brigadier-
General Grierson, I marched to Oxford on the Wyatt road. On the same day I returned with my
command to Hurricane Creek by the same road, and on the 23d instant moved back to the
Tallahatchie River. On the 25th instant I marched to Cox's Cross-Roads, and on the 26th instant
to a point four miles west of Holly Springs. On the 27th instant I moved to Holly Springs, and on
the 28th instant arrived at La Grange with my command.
The behavior of this command on the expedition, with a few exceptions, was all that I could
wish. I append a list of casualties during the expedition: Killed, 12; wounded, 37; missing, 35;
total, 84.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Asst. Adjt. Gen, Cavalry Corps, Dist. of West Tennessee.
Germantown, Tenn., September 1, 1864.
GENERAL: I have the honor to make the following report of the part borne by the Second
Iowa Cavalry during the late expedition of General A. J. Smith:
In obedience to orders from Col. D. E. Coon, commanding Second Brigade, First Division,
Cavalry Corps, I left Collierville, Tenn, on the 2d of August, 1864, marched to Holly Springs,
Miss., and joined the brigade. General E. Hatch, commanding Cavalry Corps, crossed the
Tallahatchie River on the 9th, and moved toward Oxford, Miss., Col. Winslow, commanding
Second Division, in advance. The enemy were found in force near the town. Colonel Winslow's
division was thrown on right and left flank, giving the Second Iowa the advance on the road. In
obedience to orders from General Hatch, I dismounted the First and Second Battalions,
commanded by Major Schnitzer and Captain Goodrich, to support a battery. The rebels, under
Chalmers, had now fallen back to the south side of town, leaving one grin, with slight support, in
position near the court-house. Major Moore, commanding Third Battalion, charged the town,
driving the enemy and capturing I caisson.
The entire command returned to the Tallahatchie on the 10th. General Hatch moved again on
Oxford road with First Division on the 13th, the First Brigade on the left, the Sixth and Ninth
Illinois, of Second Brigade, under Colonel Starr, on the right flank, Second Iowa, supported by
one brigade of infantry with two guns, on the main road. Companies B and I were sent on the
advance. They soon struck the rebel pickets and drove them for three miles, when they
encountered a brigade of the enemy dismounted, from whom they received a heavy fire,
throwing the advance into some confusion, but they were soon rallied. I dismounted the regiment
and moved promptly to their support. After a sharp engagement of twenty minutes they were
driven back upon their main line on the south side of Hurricane Creek. From this position they
opened on us with two batteries. The infantry now came up, and our guns replied with shot and
shell. The fighting was after this principally confined to the right flank. After a severe
engagement Colonel Starr turned Chalmers' left and compelled him to retire. My loss was 5 men
wounded and 2 taken prisoners. The regimental standard was badly torn by shell. During the
next three days' skirmishing I lost 2 men killed, 4 wounded, and 3 missing. Total of casualties, 2
killed, 9 wounded, and 5 missing.
Returned to camp at Germantown on the 2d of September, 1864. Distance marched, 200
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Major Second Iowa Cavalry, Commanding Regiment.
Washington, D. C.
Holly Springs, Miss., August 27, 1864.
CAPTAIN: In obedience to the directions of the general commanding I have the honor to
make the following report of the part taken by this division in the present expedition from the
time I assumed command (August 17) up to this date:
For the report of the doings of the division prior to my taking command I must refer you to
the reports of the brigade commanders, which I transmit herewith.
August 17, assumed command of the division, by order of Maj. Gen. A. J. Smith, relieving
Col. E. F. Winslow, who from physical disability was unable to accompany the expedition. The
command was then at Holly Springs, and consisted of the First Brigade, 1,274 strong, Lieut. Col.
Joseph C. Hess, Nineteenth Pennsylvania Cavalry, commanding; the Second Brigade, 1,150
strong, Col. John W. Noble, Third Iowa Cavalry, commanding. The First Brigade was composed
of the Fourth Missouri Cavalry, Nineteenth Pennsylvania Cavalry, Second New Jersey Cavalry,
Seventh Indiana Cavalry, and First Mississippi Mounted Rifles; the Second Brigade, of the Third
and Fourth Iowa Cavalry and Tenth Missouri Cavalry. With the division I had six pieces of
artillery-four 12-pounder mountain howitzers of the Fourth Missouri Cavalry, and two 6-pounder
rifles of the Tenth Missouri. August 18, with this force I left Holly Springs at 4.30 p.m., and
marched to Kelaugh's farm, some thirteen miles distant, arriving there at midnight. Owing to the
heavy condition of the roads my train did not get up until the next morning. August 19, after
feeding all the grain I had, I broke camp at 9 a.m. and moved forward to Abbeville, seven miles,
and went into camp. August 20, remained in camp at Abbeville during the day. August 21,
moved the command at 6 a.m. and marched one mile south of Hurricane Creek, and went into
camp on the left of the army. August 22, left camp at 6 a.m., moving across the country to the
left; struck the Rocky Ford road; moving on that some distance, I found it intersected the main
Oxford road at an acute angle, and my instructions being to come in on the east of Oxford, I
again moved across the country to the left and struck a plantation road, leading from the Rocky
Ford to the Pontotoc and Oxford road; moving on the former some distance, I came into the latter
about four miles east of Oxford. Observing signs of the enemy here, I sent the Fourth Missouri
Cavalry, under Captain Knispel on some four miles in the direction of Pontotoc; but he returned
without hearing of any force of the enemy, bringing with him 2 prisoners. Upon reaching
Oxford, I was directed by General Grierson to supply my command with rations to include the
26th instant, and to return to Abbeville, there to repair the bridge across the Tallahatchie and to
await further orders. August 23, the bridge having been repaired during the night by details from
the Second Brigade, I was ordered to cross the river and to await further orders on the north side;
at noon I received orders to go into camp. August 24, remained in camp two miles north of the
Tallahatchie. August 25, broke camp at 8 a.m. and marched to Holly Springs, arriving there at 2
p.m. (distance sixteen miles), and went into camp on the Salem and New Albany roads east of
the town. August 26, in camp east of Holly Springs.
My horses are much worn down, having been fed for the last ten days on green corn. Many
of them are foundered by the injudicious manner in which they have been fed. There is little or
no sickness in the command.
The losses are as follows, viz: First Brigade, 2 missing (Privates Firestone and Dilday,
Company E, First Mississippi Mounted Rifles); Second Brigade, I wounded (Corpl. J. K. P.
McCallum, Company E, Third Iowa Cavalry, in the right arm, severely, August 8).
Respectfully submitted.
Colonel Second New Jersey Cavalry, Comdg. Division.
Asst. Adjt. Gen., Cavalry Corps, Dist. of West Tennessee.
Holly Springs, Miss., August 26, 1864.
LIEUTENANT: In accordance with the direction of the colonel commanding, of this date, I
have the honor to report that this command left Memphis, Tenn., for the present expedition on
the 4th and 5th days of August, with 1,280 officers and men and 1,357 horses and mules. The
Fourth Iowa, moving on the 4th, reached Holly Springs by way of Quinn's Mill on the 6th, and
the Third Iowa and Tenth Missouri by the same route on the 7th, the distance being fifty-one
miles. Forage sufficient to supply the command was obtained along the road. No other incident
occurred during this march than the loss by the Third Iowa of 11 horses during the night of the
6th (1 man was wounded by the enemy, who succeeded in stealing away by by-paths and
through cornfields) without the regiment being able to retake the property. The command on the
morning of the 8th left Holly Springs at 3.30 o'clock, leaving behind all wagons and
unserviceable men and horses, and marched to the Tallahatchie River, eighteen miles, by 10 a.m.
Dismounting the brigade and preparing to fight on foot, I advanced at 11 a.m. against the enemy,
who were in force at the railroad bridge across the river, with the Third Iowa and Tenth
Missouri, the Third Iowa in advance. The day was very warm; the ground a river bottom broken
with creeks and bayous, and covered with the debris of fallen trees hid amid the tallest weeds.
The skirmishing was for a time warm, but our men advancing boldly, and the section of artillery
under Lieutenant Treece, of the Tenth Missouri, opening with promptness and effect, the enemy
retired, and the Third Iowa Cavalry crossed the Tallahatchie. Withdrawing all but a picket, we
camped on the north side of the river during the night. Our loss was 1 man wounded. The
morning of the 9th we moved out at 2 a.m., crossing the bridge constructed by our troops during
the night and gaining the advance of the army. This brigade, with which was now united the
Seventh Indiana Cavalry, moved against the enemy, who was in position about two miles from
the river. The Fourth Iowa Cavalry, dismounted, moved forward on the left under cover of the
woods; the Tenth, dismounted, on the center and in front of their section of artillery; the Seventh
Indiana, dismounted, on the right, the Third Iowa remaining mounted in line in rear of the
artillery. The enemy opened upon our lines with five pieces of artillery, and the engagement
continued until we gained possession of his position at 11 a.m. The Third Iowa Cavalry was now
thrown in advance, and skirmished with the enemy to Hurricane Creek, a distance of about six
miles, where the rebels again took position and opened their battery. Dismounting the Third Iowa
and Tenth Missouri and advancing in line, the enemy was put to flight. I at this time ordered up
the Seventh Indiana Cavalry with the intention of charging the retreating battery of the enemy,
but the order was countermanded by my superior officer. The enemy seemed to flee precipitately
and, I think, was demoralized. We were relieved at this point by the First Division, and
proceeded with them to Oxford, eight miles. On the road a rebel, armed and mounted, was
captured by myself and staff officers. Two prisoners were taken at the affair on Hurricane Creek
by the Tenth Missouri. On the 10th we marched from Oxford to Abbeville, some twelve miles.
On the 11th there were sent back from this brigade fifty-six sick men and sixty disabled animals,
including twenty men and twenty horses from the Seventh Indiana Cavalry. This detachment was
under charge of Captain Neet, Tenth Missouri Cavalry. Our train reached us at this point, and in
the evening the brigade was ordered to Waterford, twelve miles, which place was reached at 2
a.m., and at 6 a.m. of the same morning we marched for Holly Springs, which point we reached
at noon, eight miles. The brigade remained at Holly Springs until the 18th, sending patrols to
Salem, Hudsonville, and on the New Albany road daily, averaging a march, with foraging, &c.,
of about five miles per diem for the whole command. At 5 p.m. of the 18th we marched toward
Tallahatchie River, thirteen miles, and on the 19th we moved on toward Abbeville, beyond the
river, eight miles. On the 20th regimental reports exhibited the strength of the command at 1,137
officers and men and 1,195 horses and mules. At 4 p.m. of the 20th the brigade marched to
Hurricane Creek, except the Third Iowa, which reported the next day; six miles. We were in
camp on the 21st, and on the 22d at 5.30 a.m. we marched on the left flank of the army,
advancing on Oxford, arriving at that town at 11 a.m., and, without halting, proceeded back to
the Tallahatchie River by Wyatt's Ferry road, arriving at 4 p.m., having marched in the day
twenty-five miles. The bridge being down over the Tallahatchie it was repaired by this brigade
by 12 o'clock at night, the men and officers working with great zeal, in hope that the corps would
aid at least in punishing the enemy, then reported to have made a daring raid upon Memphis. On
the 23d we moved two miles and went into camp. On the 24th we remained in camp. On the 25th
we marched to Holly Springs, eleven miles, arriving at which point four squadrons went on
picket, 150 men on patrol of six miles out, and twenty men and an officer to bear dispatches to
Waterford. On this (the 26th) 100 men have patrolled six miles and back, and forty men and
officers sent out on other special duty.
This in a hasty summary of the services of the brigade made here in the field. It is but proper
to add that it furnishes but a very imperfect idea of the faithful services of the men and officers
of the brigade. For many days rained hard, and at other times the weather has been oppressively
hot. The enemy, though not strong, has been vigilant, and required constant watchfulness on our
part; but all duties have been met, and the spirit of all is as good to-day for service as when we
left camp. Our horses have had for the most part enough forage, and had it not been for the heat
and some long marches, would have suffered little. The horses of the battery have suffered most,
as the toil they have had to undergo has been greater than animals can stand, with no other forage
than green corn, at this season. A tabular statement accompanies this as required. The number of
miles marched direct is 215; adding the many scouts, independent expeditions, patrols, &c., not
enumerated, and the command may be said to have marched at least 250 miles.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel, Commanding.
Lieut. N. M. SMITH,
Actg. Asst. Adjt. Gen., Second Division, Cavalry Corps.
Lieutenant and Actg. Asst. Adgt. Gen., Second Brigade.
Colonel, Commanding.
August 1.--The Twentieth Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry embarked [at Brazos Santiago,
Tex.] on board U.S. transport Suwanee at 1 p.m. for New Orleans.
August 6.--Arrived at New Orleans; Ninety-fourth Illinois rejoined brigade same day.
August 7.--Second Brigade embarked for Dauphin Island, Mobile Bay, Ala.; Ninety-fourth
Illinois on transport Kate Dale; Twentieth Wisconsin Infantry, with headquarters, on steamer
Suwanee; Twentieth and Thirty-eighth Iowa on propellers Marine, Josephine, and Patroon.
August 8.--Arrived off Fort Gaines, Mobile Bay, and anchored.
August 10.--The troops went on gun-boats; landed on Mobile Point, Ala.
August 12.--Moved camp to the south beach and commenced active operations in the
reduction of Fort Morgan.
August 22.--Commenced a general bombardment on Fort Morgan at sunrise, and kept up a
continual fire for twelve hours. At 10 p.m. the fort was discovered on fire.
August 23.--At 2.30 p.m. Fort Morgan surrendered to the army and navy. Nothing has
transpired since the surrender of Fort Morgan. No men lost during the siege of Fort Morgan. The
Twentieth Wisconsin Infantry had 2 men wounded by the enemy, and the Twentieth Iowa
Infantry 2 wounded by our own shells.
Morganza, La., September 14, 1864.
GENERAL: I have the honor to make the following report of the part taken by this regiment
in the siege and capture of Fort Morgan, Ala.:
On the morning of the 7th of August the regiment embarked on transports for Mobile Bay.
The 9th we entered the bay. On the 10th we landed on Mobile Point. On the 11th moved up to
within two miles and a half of the fort, within easy range of the enemy's guns. We took our part
in the planting of the batteries and in the rifle-pits. During the bombardment, Company C, Capt.
Mark L. Thomson, Lieutenants Lytle and Johnston manned one of the mortar batteries, and
received the personal thanks of General Granger for the gallant manner in which they handled it.
The enemy shelled our camp several times during the siege, doing no damage, however. Our
loss during the entire siege was 1 man, Private Nelson Benedict, Company I, slightly wounded in
side with piece of shell.
The fatigue duty was very heavy, but the men bore it patiently, knowing that their labors
would result in the capture of the fort and garrison, which was consummated on the morning of
the 23d of August, 1864.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Captain, Commanding Twentieth Iowa.
Brig. Gen. N. B. BAKER,
Adjutant-General State of Iowa.
AUGUST 22, 1864.
Maj. Gen. A. J. SMITH,
Commanding Forces in the Field:
Forrest left Hernando this morning and will cross the Tallahatchie at Panola. They are
retreating as fast as their jaded horses will allow. He will probably cross during the night. If not
intercepted at Panola he should be caught between Yocona and Tallahatchie. Supposing that you
have sent part of your cavalry up to Holly Springs I order them back south of the river by the
bearer of this. I hope to have the cars running to Holly Springs by the time you are out of rations.
General Smith failed to move to Panola, as all my dispatches ordered him to do, but sent me
the following dispatch, to wit:
ABBEVILLE, MISS:, August 24, 1864.
Maj. Gen. C. C. WASHBURN:
On arriving at Oxford yesterday morning, Brigadier-General Hatch was detailed to proceed
to Panola and destroy the railroad from that point south along the line. Then we heard of
Forrest's raid to Memphis, but could not believe it. I soon received your dispatches of the 21st,
and was induced to believe from your last telegram and information received at Oxford that
Forrest would retreat through Holly Springs. I at once ordered the Second Division of Cavalry to
this point, with instructions to Hatch to return to Abbeville and join the Second Division, and
proceed at once toward New Albany and intercept Forrest. I arrived with the infantry command
about 10 a.m. to-day, and find the river booming and our bridge broken down. There is no forage
between here and Oxford, and I have to send on the north side of the river for it. Recent rains in
this region have made the roads almost impassable. I hope to communicate by telegraph by 12 m.
The date of the foregoing dispatch is evidently incorrect, as my three dispatches of the 21st
were delivered to General Smith on the morning of the 22d, as appears from the official report of
the bearer of the dispatches. At that time General Smith was at Oxford with his entire command,
except the cavalry under General Hatch, referred to in his dispatch, which was between Oxford
and Panola.
I append hereto a map showing the topography of the country. There were but two lines of
possible retreat for the enemy, one via Holly Springs and the other via Panola. The Tallahatchie
was very high and impassable, except upon the bridge at Panola. Had my orders been obeyed, as
you will see by reading them, Forrest would have found himself penned up between the
Coldwater and the Tallahatchie, and escape would have been impossible. That Forrest should
have left our immediate front at Oxford and made this move on Memphis without its being
discovered by our large cavalry force in his immediate vicinity is somewhat strange.
The results of the raid in casualties foot up a loss of 1 officer killed, 6 wounded, and 4
captured; enlisted men, 14 killed, 59 wounded, and 112 missing. The loss of the enemy in killed
was 22, and they left about 15 so badly wounded on the field that they could not be carried away,
and we captured in addition 25 prisoners. Forrest made a forced march both in advancing and
retreating, and he cannot have ruined less than one-half his entire mount by the expedition. The
whole affair was an utter failure on his part, and would have resulted in disposing of him forever
but for reasons I have named.
Our troops all behaved well. The provost guard (Eighth Iowa Infantry Volunteers),
Lieutenant-Colonel Bell commanding, acted with great bravery and promptitude, and the
enrolled militia of Memphis turned out with great alacrity and did excellent service. To
Brigadier-General Buckland, commanding District of Memphis, and Brigadier-General Dustan,
enrolled militia, my thanks are due for their prompt and valuable assistance.
I will add that the impression generally prevailing that Memphis is a fortified city is far from
correct. The only defense to the city, with its large amount of Government stores and supplies, is
Fort Pickering, situated on the river-bank just below the city, which commands the city, but
cannot properly be said to protect it. The picket-line around the city is from eight to ten miles in
length, rendering it impossible with an ordinary garrison to concentrate' at any one point
sufficient force to present an obstacle to a sudden cavalry dash such as the one just experienced.
There has been no time during the occupation of the place by our forces when the city might not
have been entered by a body of rash cavalry riding down our pickets as in this instance.
I have ordered the immediate construction at all the salient points in the outskirts of the city
of earth-works of sufficient strength to assist materially in defense against similar raids in future.
I have the honor to be, colonel, your obedient servant,
Major-General, Commanding.
Asst. Adjt. Gen., Department and Army of the Tennessee.
Memphis, Tenn., August 24, 1864.
MAJOR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the affair of Sunday, the 21st
Before it was fairly light I was awakened by the sentinel at my residence by loud raps at the
front door, with the exclamation, "General, they are after you?" I jumped out of bed and asked
from the window, "Who are after me?" and was answered, "The rebels." At the same time I
heard musket shots in different directions. I dressed myself as speedily as possible, and ran to the
barracks on the corner of Third and Jefferson streets, where I found the soldiers had been
alarmed and were collecting in the street. I directed them to form in line as soon as possible, and
then ran to the headquarters of the Second Regiment Enrolled Militia to order the alarm gun
fired. At the corner of Third and Court streets I met Captain Tuther and Lieutenant Williamson,
of my staff, who informed me that the enemy had made a demonstration at my headquarters, but
upon being fired at by the sentinel at the door, killing 1 horse, retired to Main street. Whilst I was
giving directions for the firing of the alarm gun, General Dustan, of the militia, came up with my
headquarters guard, and assisted in firing the gun. About the same time Lieutenant-Colonel Bell,
commanding Eighth Iowa, came out from the regimental headquarters across the street, his
companies being stationed in barracks in different parts of the city. The alarm gun was speedily
fired, and the officers and soldiers in the neighborhood soon rallied, to the number, I should
think, of 150. Just at this time Colonel Starr, of the Sixth Illinois Cavalry, informed me that
General Washburn's headquarters were in possession of the enemy, and that the general was
undoubtedly captured. Scattering shots of musketry were constantly heard in different directions.
My staff and orderlies soon rallied around me, our horses were brought, and I immediately
ordered General Dustan, of the militia, to take charge of a detachment of the Irving Block guard,
from One hundred and thirteenth Illinois Infantry, and proceed to Main street, east of General
Washburn's quarters, and at same time directed Lieutenant Colonel Bell to take what men he had
got together and proceed directly down Third street and attack the enemy at General Washburn's
headquarters, which was speedily done, myself and staff following Colonel Bell. But the enemy,
as soon as they discovered this movement, retreated toward the Hernando road in great haste,
pursued by General Dustan and Colonel Bell. It was supposed that General Washburn had been
captured and carried off. Having no information as to the whereabouts, strength, or designs of the
enemy, I returned to my headquarters and took immediate measures to rally and organize all the
troops within reach. I sent Captain Tuther to watch and report operations of the enemy in the
direction of the Hernando road, and other officers in other directions. Surgeon Rice was sent to
see whether Colonel Kappner, commanding Fort Pickering, had notice of the presence of the
enemy, About this time a prisoner was brought to me, from whom I learned that Forrest in
person was on the Hernando road with a large force. I had given orders for the concentration of
the troops stationed north and east of the city. Surgeon Rice soon returned with the gratifying
intelligence that General Washburn had made his escape and was safe in the fort. I immediately
dispatched Lieutenant Williamson to inform the general that the enemy had retired from the city
and to receive his orders. General Washburn soon made his appearance and assumed general
direction of affairs. Soon after, by his direction, I proceeded to the front on the Hernando road,
but before I reached the scene of action fighting had ceased, the enemy having retired, pursued
by the cavalry. Various rumors were afloat as to the strength of the enemy, but it was ascertained
beyond doubt that General Forrest was in command. Dispositions were therefore made to meet
an attack from any direction. Colonel. Moore, of the Twenty-first Missouri Infantry, volunteered
his services, and I gave him command temporarily of all the forces on and near the Hernando
road. Captain Tuther had rendered important service in rallying the One hundred and thirtyseventh
Illinois, which had been thrown into confusion and scattered by the enemy charging
through their camp. Colonel Hoge, commanding First Brigade, though most of his troops were
absent on detached service, had reached the Hernando road with Company G, Second Missouri
Artillery, in position. This battery, and also the section of Seventh Wisconsin Battery, which the
enemy ran over but did not capture, did excellent service. Colonel Buttrick, commanding Fourth
Brigade, had also arrived at the Hernando road; also the Fortieth Wisconsin, Colonel Ray. The
principal part of the fighting was done by the troops under Colonel Bell, of the Eighth Iowa,
composed of a part of his own regiment and a detachment of the One hundred and thirteenth
Illinois. Being satisfied that no further attack would be made in that direction, I returned to the
city to look after other troops. I found the militia out in strong force in good spirits, and ready to
assist in the defense of the city, under the command of their deservedly popular general, C. W.
Dustan. The alacrity with which the militia of Memphis turned out on this occasion abundantly
proves the propriety and wisdom of the organization. Officers and men of the command, with
very few exceptions, exhibited great coolness and bravery. The Eighth Iowa, which was on
provost duty, scattered through the city, fought bravely wherever the enemy appeared. The track
of the raiders was marked wherever they went with their dead horses and men. An attack was
made on the Irving Block prison, but the guards bravely stood their ground, and soon drove the
enemy away. Many officers temporarily in the city and others on detached service, promptly
volunteered their services. The clerks and orderlies about my headquarters, and many citizens
not liable to militia duty, and unarmed soldiers repaired to the armories of the militia, procured
arms, and joined the ranks. By 9 a.m. it was ascertained that Forrest was in full retreat,
principally on the Hernando road. He failed entirely in the object of his expedition. He
undoubtedly expected to capture General Washburn, General Hurlbut, who was temporarily in
the city, and myself, and thereby create such confusion as to enable him to march into the city
with his main force. His plan was well laid and the moment propitious. The morning was
exceedingly foggy, and the state of the atmosphere such that the report of small-arms, and even
artillery, was heard but a short distance. Although later in the morning six pieces of artillery on
the Hernando road fired about thirty rounds each, the report was not heard at General
Washburn's or my headquarters. The parties sent into the city were led by officers and others
well acquainted with the city. They rode through the picket-line and camps capturing and killing
what they could as they went, but making no halt until they reached those points in the city. They
passed through the Seventh Wisconsin Battery camp, killing 1 officer and several men and
capturing some, but without disturbing the guns or ammunition, and these same guns were
afterward turned upon them. The principal depredations were committed at General Washburn's
headquarters and the Gayoso House, where they expected to find General Hurlbut, and at the
Eclipse stable on Main street, where they took quite a number of horses.
I have the honor to forward herewith the reports of subordinate commanders, showing the
part taken by their respective commands, to which reference is respectfully made.
Appended is a consolidated statement of casualties, showing a total loss of officers---killed, l;
wounded. 6; missing, 4; total 11. Enlisted men--killed, 14; wounded, 59; missing (supposed to be
prisoners), 112; total, 185. Total, 196.
My thanks are due to the officers of my staff; to General Dustan, commanding the militia; to
Colonel Moore, Twenty-first Missouri, who volunteered his services, and to the officers and men
of my command generally, for their prompt and efficient services.
All of which is respectfully submitted.
Brigadier-General, Commanding.
Maj. W. H. MORGAN,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Dist. of West Tennessee.
Memphis, Tenn., August 22, 1864.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to submit the following report of my command of the part taken
by them in the action of yesterday, the 21st instant:
Immediately after the alarm was given I ordered my entire command to assemble at the camp
of the One hundred and twentieth Illinois Infantry, which is situated at the junction of Poplar and
Alabama streets, supposing that the enemy would return that way. As soon as Battery G, Second
Missouri Artillery, came up I placed a section so as to command Poplar street, and also one on
Alabama street to command it. I then picketed all the approachable roads, remaining there until I
heard that the enemy were retiring on the Hernando road, when I at once moved my column in
that direction. The force consisted at this time of detachments of the One hundred and eighth,
One hundred and thirteenth, and One hundred and twentieth Regiments Illinois Infantry; Seventh
and Eleventh Missouri Infantry; Fortieth Wisconsin Infantry; Company G, First Illinois Artillery,
and Company G, Second Missouri Artillery, with foul' rifled guns, caliber 3.67. On my arrival on
the Hernando road, near the camp of the Seventh Wisconsin Battery, I assumed command of all
the forces in that vicinity, which consisted of numerous detachments---one section of Seventh
Wisconsin Battery, Thirty-ninth Wisconsin Infantry, Forty-sixth Iowa Infantry, and One hundred
and thirty-seventh Illinois Infantry. The detachments from various regiments were placed as a
support to the section of the Seventh Wisconsin Battery and Company G, Second Missouri
Artillery, on the right of the Hernando road. The One hundred and thirty-seventh Illinois were
placed to support the section of Company G, Second Missouri Artillery, on the left of the
Hernando road. The Thirty-ninth Wisconsin Infantry and Forty-sixth Iowa Infantry were about
400 yards on the right. Shortly after this the Fortieth Wisconsin Infantry came up. I then ordered
the Forty-sixth Iowa Infantry to take a position about 200 yards in advance of the artillery, on the
right of the road, and to throw out skirmishers, and the Thirty-ninth Wisconsin on a line with the
Forty sixth Iowa, on the left of the road, with instructions to throw out skirmishers. I then sent a
section of Company G, Second Missouri Artillery, under command of Captain Arthur, forward
on the Hernando road, with the detachment of various regiments, under the command of
Lieutenant-Colonel Sidwell, One hundred and eighth Illinois Infantry, as a support, and the
Fortieth Wisconsin Infantry forward as a reserve. While I was advancing I received an order
from Brigadier-General Buckland in person to withdraw the troops, fearing that the enemy might
get on our left. I then fell back about half a mile on the Hernando road and remained there until
about 1 p.m., when I received orders to return to camp.
I have every reason to believe that the firing of Company G, Second Missouri Artillery, was
very effective, and I consider them to be a very fine organization. All the troops behaved well. I
did not see in a single instance anything like cowardice. All of my staff (including Lieutenant
Dachsel, Company G, First Illinois Artillery, who was acting as aide) were with me during the
entire engagement and rendered very effective service.
Below please find a list of casualties.
I have the honor to be, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant.
Colonel, Commanding.
Capt. A. G. TUTHER,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, District of Memphis.
Memphis, Tenn., August 24, 1864.
In compliance with instructions from headquarters District of Memphis, I have the honor to
report the part taken by my command in the action of August 21.
When the first alarm was given by the enemy firing on the streets, my command turned out
promptly from their several barracks throughout the city and skirmished with the enemy
wherever they could find him, killing and wounding several and taking 6 prisoners. Lieut. D.
Stearnes, with the headquarters guard, numbering twenty men, attacked a force of the enemy
who were attempting to release the prisoners in Irving Block, and, in connection with the prison
guard, drove them off. A few minutes afterward I arrived at my headquarters. Adjutant Campbell
had already ordered Company C and the headquarters guard to report at regimental headquarters.
In compliance with General Buckland's order, I pursued the enemy with the headquarters guard,
commanded by Lieutenant Stearnes, and Company C, commanded by Lieutenant Boyer, leaving
Major Stubbs and Adjutant Campbell to assemble the balance of the regiment. Crossing Beale
street I was joined by Company F, commanded by Lieutenant Irwin, which increased my
commanded to seventy men. With this force I pushed briskly forward after the enemy, who were
retiring on the Hernando road. On arriving at the mouth of a lane, I sent forward a line of
skirmishers, under Lieutenant Stearnes, and advanced in line of battle for some distance, when
the skirmishers were driven in. Sergeant Ostrander and Privates A. M. Walling, Charles Smith, I.
E. Newman, and Perry Clark watched their opportunity and fired a volley on the flank of the
enemy, killing the rebel Captain Tundy, and wounding several others; then by making a circuit
safely joined the command. At this time General Dustan came up and assigned to my command
fifty of the One hundred and thirteenth Illinois Infantry, commanded by Lieutenant Chatfield. I
then moved forward some distance, halted and formed line of battle. Believing that the enemy's
force was not much superior to my own, I then advanced in line of battle through the orchard on
the left side of the road and into the woods a short distance beyond, when we met the enemy, and
the firing commenced on both sides about the same time. A brisk, spirited, and severe
engagement ensued. I soon found that the enemy's force greatly outnumbered mine, and as I had
not seen any of our forces up to this time, except one company of cavalry, I sent an officer to
Major Stubbs with orders to bring up the balance of the regiment. I held this position for some
time, but owing to the fog and the nature of the ground I was compelled to fall back some
distance to prevent being flanked. I succeeded in gaining a position some 500 yards in the rear,
where I could better watch the movements of the enemy, with a loss of several wounded, among
them Lieutenant Irwin, mortally. After remaining here some time, and having sent twice for the
remainder of the regiment without receiving any reply, I started back myself, leaving Captain
Geddes in command. I had not gone far when I met Adjutant Campbell, who reported about 400
men from the provisional encampment to me, with orders from General Washburn to fall back. I
formed these troops on the right of a line of battle, which had by this time been formed. I then
ordered my former command back, and formed them on the right of the men from the
provisional encampment. I then reported to General Buckland for orders, and was ordered to
report to Colonel Moore, Twenty-first Missouri, who ordered me to remain where I then was.
Soon after I received an order from General Buckland to report my command at his headquarters
in the city.
During the engagement the troops under my command, one and all, behaved gallantly.
Captain Geddes, who is on detached service, joined my command at the first, and throughout the
engagement did good service. Captain Rombauer, First Illinois Artillery, tendered me his
services, and, being mounted, rendered me valuable service. By the death of Lieutenant Irwin,
who fell bravely leading his company, the regiment loses a good soldier, a pleasant companion
and excellent man.
Annexed is a full list of casualties.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Lieut. Col. Eighth Iowa Infantry Vet. Vols., Comdg. Regt.
Capt. A. G. TUTHER,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
Memphis, Tenn., August 23, 1864.
LIEUTENANT: On 21st August, at 11.30 a.m., being ordered by Colonel Winslow,
commanding Second Division, Cavalry Corps, to immediately collect all the cavalry I could and
pursue the enemy, supposed to be retreating on Hernando road, I immediately moved on to
Hernando road and collected all the detachments of cavalry available from the different roads on
which they had been sent, amounting to 650 men. Moved out on the Hernando road until near
Nonconnah Creek, where the column was halted and delayed by a flag-of-truce party then in
conference with the enemy; was ordered to fall back within the picket-lines, and there remained
until the flag-of-truce party returned, and was then ordered to pursue. This, caused a delay until
between 4 and 5 p.m. I here received notice that rations and forage would be forwarded, the men
or horses having had nothing to eat for near twenty-four hours. I moved forward on Hernando
road until near dark, when I received a dispatch from headquarters district, ordering me to
"withdraw my force from sight of enemy," and stating that "forage and rations would be
forwarded at once." This determined me to halt and await the rations, and resume the pursuit as
soon as the moon arose, supposing by this time my men and animals would be fed. About 11
p.m. Lieutenant-Colonel Hepburn passed with flag of truce, and informed me that rations and
forage for my men and horses were not coming forward, but had been sent back, and would not
come forward to me unless I sent back an escort. I immediately sent back an escort, with
instructions to bring up the rations and forage at once, expecting to find them at the picket-lines;
instead, the party had to proceed six miles farther to camp and found the wagons unloaded. I
remained here until 7 a.m. August 22, and determined to move forward without either. Just as I
was starting I was informed that 500 rations and a load of forage were on the road. I ordered
these to follow me, and after proceeding five miles halted and awaited the arrival of the rations
and forage, and fed the men and horses, there being about one meal for the men and one feed for
the horses. I then pushed forward to Hernando, arriving there between 1 and 2 o'clock, finding no
enemy, excepting some scouts who had been seen in our front frequently in the morning and
forenoon. I there learned that the rebel force had commenced crossing the Coldwater, on the
Panola road, the evening before, and that the rear guard, one regiment, with General Forrest in
person, had left at 9 a.m., proceeding on the same road. Their men had had no subsistence for
days and were being hurried back where supplies could be obtained. From all the information I
could obtain I am of opinion that their column of attack that moved on Memphis on the morning
of the 21st of August numbered about 2,500 men. I think not more. The country being worse
than destitute of subsistence for men, and hearing nothing of rations being forwarded, I
determined to return from this point; moved back about midway between Hernando and
Memphis, halted, fed the horses, and remained until near daylight this morning, and moved back
to camp.
The detachments composing the command were from the Third Iowa Cavalry, Fourth Iowa
Cavalry, Tenth Missouri Cavalry, and Seventh Illinois Cavalry.
I have to regret the circumstances which rendered the attempted pursuit so barren of results.
I remain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Lieut. Col. Third Iowa Cavalry, Comdg. Detachments Cavalry.
Lieut. C. H. TOWNSEND,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, Dist. of West Tennessee.
Memphis, Tenn., August 25, 1864.
CAPTAIN: In compliance with orders from district headquarters I have the honor to submit
the following report of the action of this command during the rebel cavalry raid into this city on
Sunday last:
I was awakened by Colonel Starr, Sixth Illinois Cavalry, at the instant of the entrance of the
rebels, and at the earliest possible moment repaired to the armory of the Second Regiment
Enrolled Militia, where, by direction of Brigadier-General Buckland, whom I found at that point,
I caused the gun used as a signal of alarm for the militia to be fired. This firing alarmed the
raiders and, I am informed, greatly hastened their withdrawal. Still under direction of the general
commanding district, I moved in charge of some sixty men of the One hundred and thirteenth
Illinois Regiment (guard at the Irving Military Prison) and some eighteen or twenty men
detached from the command, militia, &c., in the direction of the picket-line on Hernando road, in
pursuit of the enemy, who were beating a hasty retreat from the dangerous locality to which they
had penetrated. Finding Lieutenant-Colonel Bell, of the Eighth Iowa Infantry, at the lines and
engaged with the enemy I turned over the men I had been conducting to him and returned at once
to the armories of the militia. I found the men assembled in unexpectedly large numbers and in
excellent spirits. The First Regiment Enrolled Militia was moved out on the Hernando road and
held in reserve of the regular forces then fighting. The Second and Third Regiments were placed,
by companies, guarding the bridges on Gayoso Bayou from Monroe street north to the
Mississippi River. At noon the enemy had disappeared and my command was dismissed.
Here, captain, I desire to call the attention of the general commanding to the prompt manner
in which this organization responded to the call for duty upon this as well as the two subsequent
calls, their ranks being more numerous in each call. The earnestness of purpose and gallant
bearing with which each officer and soldier hastened to his post is a guaranty that when the time
comes the 2,000 stout hearts and strong arms of the members of the First Brigade of Enrolled
Militia of the District of Memphis will do their entire duty in the defense of the post.
It is proper before closing this report to state my obligations to the members of my staff for
their promptness and activity in conveying orders and the performance of their other duties.
I have the honor to be, captain, your obedient servant,
Brig. Gen., Comdg. Enrolled Militia, Dist. of Memphis.
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, District of Memphis.
Memphis, Tenn., September 12, 1864.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report that the main body of the patrol on the Hernando road
have returned. They state that upon coming to a bridge about the end of their patrol (twelve
miles) the advance guard became engaged, and at the same time their whole body, with the
exception of the rear guard, was attacked on both flanks by a strong body of rebels, numbering
from 150 to 200; that upon finding the enemy too strong, they broke for a swamp and made the
best of their way to the Pigeon Roost road, hearing the rebels say, "Never mind boys, we will
wait for them, they will be back again presently," and by that road came into camp. They lost 4
men, of whom 2 are reported killed and 2 missing, and 1 man and 3 horses wounded. I have sent
out 150 men of the First Brigade to learn what they can in regard to the movements of the
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel, Commanding.
Assistant Adjutant-General, Cav. Corps, Dist. of West Tenn.
Johnsonville, Tenn., October 14, 1864.
MAJOR: In accordance with Special Orders, No. 156, extract V, headquarters District of
West Tennessee, September 30, 1864, I embarked with my command (which consisted of the
One hundred and thirteenth and One hundred and twentieth Illinois Infantry, Sixty-first U.S.
Colored Infantry, and Company G, Second Missouri Light Artillery) on transports, on the
evening of 30th September. Reached Cairo with two of transports about 1 a.m. 2d of October, the
transport Kenton being behind, and embarked at 10 a.m. on the transports City of Pekin and
Aurora. Took on forage and coal, according to instructions, and left Cairo for Tennessee River at
12 p.m. 2d of October. Arrived at Paducah at 11 a.m. of the 3d, remaining there an hour, and left
for Johnsonville. Arrived at Johnsonville at 11 a.m. 4th of October, took on board 30,000 rations,
and started for Perryville at 2 p.m.; reached there at 8 p.m.; anchored in the stream. General
Washburn, who was on board, sent a courier from there on the morning of the 5th to
communicate with General Hatch; started for Clifton at 3.40 p.m.; arrived at Clifton at 7.15 p.m.;
remained on board until 8 a.m. next morning. The transports were used for crossing cavalry, and,
in accordance with General Field Orders, No. 1, headquarters Forces in the Field, Clifton, Tenn.,
October 6, 1864, I marched my command at 3 o'clock on the Eagle Creek pike; went into camp
at Throgmorton's Mills, a distance of nine miles from Clifton, about 8 p.m. Marched at 6 a.m.
next morning, the 7th, with Second Iowa Cavalry in our rear, as rear guard; arrived at Creek 48
[Forty-eight-mile Creek] at 3 p.m.; camped there for the night.
At 10 a.m. of the 8th instant I received a communication from General Washburn to
countermarch my command back to Clifton, embark on transports at once, and proceed up the
river to Eastport, and move rapidly out to the line of railroad near Iuka, and break the road and
destroy bridges so as to hold any trains that might be east of the break; after doing this to hold
Eastport until I heard from him, which would probably be three days. At the same time a squad
of thirty disabled cavalry, commanded by Lieutenant McMillin, Twelfth Missouri Cavalry,
reported to me. I at once moved my command back to Clifton, and by a forced march reached
there, a distance of twenty-three miles, at 8.30 p.m. same evening. I was unable to get the
transports over till 9 a.m. of the 9th instant, on account of the fog; got all on board and steamed
up the river at 1 p.m.; laid up all night at Coffee Landing; got under way at 7.10 a.m. the 10th
instant. On nearing Eastport the gun-boat Key West went above the landing, and seemed to be
satisfied that there was no enemy near; at least, in a few moments Captain King motioned me to
land my troops, which I immediately did, in the order as will be shown by General Orders, No. 3,
from these headquarters, October 10, 1864, a copy of which is attached, marked Exhibit A.
Lieutenant Lytle and Lieutenant Boals, of my staff, as soon as they could land their horses,
started out to reconnoiter, and about 500 yards from the landing came up to the pickets of the
enemy, returned shots with the pickets, and in ten minutes after the batteries opened on the
transports a masked battery on the hill at Eastport (I think it was a battery of at least six rifled
guns), and shortly after a battery of three rifled guns at Chickasaw, opened on us. When the first
shot was fired from their batteries I was just leaving the gun-boat Key West, where I had been to
have a final consultation with Captain King, before marching for the railroad. I immediately
went on shore and had a line of battle formed. At this time the enemy had got a perfect range of
the transports, every shot doing more or less execution. One of the gun-boats, the Undine, had
become partially disabled and was dropping down the river, and the Key West following her,
Captain King saying that we must get the transports away at once, he going with them. At this
time I made up my mind that to be left there, without any covering from the gun-boats, and in the
position I was in, with a superior force of the enemy in my front and a deep river directly in my
rear, would be sheer folly, and I told Lieutenant Lytle, of my staff, to have the troops brought on
board. I then went on board the transport City of Pekin, and took my station on the hurricane
deck, where I could see and control the movements of embarking. Just at this time a shell from
the enemy struck a caisson of the battery on board the Kenton, exploding it and setting fire to the
boat. Immediately after this a caisson exploded on the Aurora, setting fire to her, and also cutting
her steam-pipe. A scene of confusion then began. The boats, in spite of all I could do, backed
out, parting their lines, leaving about two-thirds of the command on the shore. Fortunately after
great exertion the flames on board of the Aurora and Kenton were extinguished. As soon as I
could have a boat manned I sent Lieutenant Boals, of my staff who was with me, on shore, with
instructions to the troops to keep along down the river-bank, keep in good order, and they would
all be taken on board. I landed twice with the boat I was on, and feel confident that I got all on
board that were not badly wounded or were not already in the hands of the enemy. After this I
started down the river and laid up all night at Coffee Landing; left there for Clifton at 7.40 a.m.
next morning, the 11th. After consulting with Captain King, whose boats were almost out of fuel,
I came to the conclusion to return to Johnsonville, arriving here at 8.10 p.m. same day.
I am very sorry to have to report the loss of the four guns of the battery; had the boats not
taken fire and been disabled I never should have abandoned them. None of the caissons, and but
very few of the horses, had been taken ashore.
I cannot close without mentioning Lieutenant-Colonel Foley, Sixty-first U.S. Colored
Infantry, who was in command (Colonel Kendrick being quite sick); his conduct was that of a
true and brave officer; no one could have done better under the circumstances; also Captain
Woodruff' and Lieutenant Lytle, of my staff, who were always where they were most needed,
and were instrumental in saving a number of men.
Lieutenant Finney, acting assistant quartermaster, ever since the expedition started, has
rendered the most efficient service in his department; also Lieutenant Boals, ordnance officer,
has not only done the duty devolving on his office, but has been very efficient otherwise.
Attached please find, marked Exhibit B, a list of casualties of the command.
All of which is very respectfully submitted.
I am, major, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel, Commanding
Savannah, Ga., December 26, 1864.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report on the part taken in the campaign against the rebel
army of General Hood and in the march through the State of Georgia, terminating in the capture
of Savannah.
When we left our camps at East Point to follow General Hood, the Fifteenth Army Corps had
just been reorganized and consisted of--Infantry: First Division, Brig. Gen. C. R. Woods
commanding, 6,155 men; Second Division, Brig. Gen. W. B. Hazen commanding, 5,426 men;
Third Division, Brig. Gen. John E. Smith commanding, 5,653 men; Fourth Division, Brig. Gen.
J. M. Corse commanding, 6,100 men; total infantry, 23,334 men. Artillery: Battery H, First
Illinois Artillery, Captain De Gress commanding, four 20-pounder Parrotts; Twelfth Wisconsin
Battery, Captain Zickerick commanding, four 3-inch Rodmans; First Iowa Battery, Captain Gay
commanding, four 3-inch Rod-mans; Fourth Ohio Battery, Captain Lademann commanding, two
20-pounder Parrotts and two light 12-pounders; Battery A, First Illinois Artillery, Lieutenant
Wilcox commanding, four light 12-pounders; Battery F, First Illinois Artillery, Captain Burton
commanding, four light 12-pounders; Battery F, Second Missouri Artillery, Lieutenant Echte
commanding, four light 12-pounders; Battery H, First Missouri Artillery, Captain Welker
commanding, six light 12-pounders; Battery B, First Michigan Artillery, Captain Arndt
commanding, four 3-inch Rod-roans; Sixth Wisconsin Battery, Lieutenant Simpson
commanding, four light 12-pounders; total number pieces, 42. Of these forces, however, only the
divisions of Woods and Hazen were assembled at East Point.
Smith's division, with batteries Sixth and Twelfth Wisconsin, had ever since spring been
guarding the railroad from Tilton to Allatoona, and the Fourth Division (General Corse), with
Batteries B, First Michigan, and H, First Missouri, had been ordered to Rome on September 26,
to watch and guard against rebel movements.
On October 5 a portion of the rebel army was threatening Allatoona Pass, where large army
supplies had been collected and stored. They were guarded by a light garrison from-General
Smith's division, under the immediate command of Colonel Tourtellotte, Fourth Minnesota
Infantry. The rebel General French commanded the expedition against Allatoona, and
anticipating an easy capture, demanded the unconditional surrender of the garrison, but General
Corse, who, on the first intimation of the state of affairs, had hurried to the scene of danger with
re-enforcements and assumed command of the post, replied to the rebel general's demand in
laconic style. The answer and the heroic defense of General Corse and Colonel Tourtellotte were
officially reported, and I beg leave to refer to those documents.
After the brilliant episode at Allatoona the troops of Generals Smith's and Corse's divisions
remained undisturbed in their cantonment, while those of Woods' and Hazen's divisions, with
which I left East Point on the 4th of October, moved north toward Kingston and Rome, following
substantially roads parallel to the railroad. We reached Marietta on October 5, and leaving that
point the evening of the 8th marched via Big Shanty, Allatoona, Kingston, and Rome, arriving at
the latter place October 12. While passing through Allatoona one brigade of General Hazen's
division was placed on the railroad train, with orders to report to General Corse at Rome, which
place seemed at the time to be the objective point of General Hood's combinations. The
movements of our armies, however, soon developed the fact that the rebel general, while
threatening with small detachments along the railroad between Rome, Resaca, and Dalton,
pushed his main column farther north behind the protecting mountain chains which diverge from
the mountainous region of Chattanooga.
We hastily drew three days' rations at Rome, and on the evening of next day (October 13) the
divisions of Generals Woods and Hazen (the latter leaving, however, one brigade at Rome) took
up the line of march for Calhoun, Resaca, and Snake Creek Gap, in front of which we arrived on
the morning of the 15th of October. The enemy held a position in the gap with a small force, but
after a short resistance fell back through the gap and into the valleys on both sides of Taylor's
Ridge. A most complete blockade of the very narrow pass through Snake Creek Gap delayed our
pioneers comparatively but a short time, and before midnight the Fifteenth Army Corps was all
through and in camp on the west end of the gap, with orders to advance early in the morning in
pursuit of the enemy.
At 7 a.m. on October 16 General Woods' division left camp, the Twenty-ninth Missouri
Infantry leading, and struck the rebel pickets at Villanow. They retired constantly before the
lively advance of our skirmishers, until they reached their supports behind strong breastworks in
Shifts Gap. This very narrow, rugged mountain pass winds along very steep slopes between two
ridges, which form a kind of a saddle. The rebels were intrenched on both ridges. Those on the
nearest ridge held the direct attack of the Twenty-ninth Missouri in check. I, therefore, after
reconnoitering the ground, ordered General Woods to send a demonstrating detachment on the
left flank of the enemy, while around the right a stronger force was to get in the rear of them. The
Twenty-sixth Iowa was detailed for the latter duty, and the commanding officer executed his
instructions so well that when the order to attack was given most of the rebel infantry fell into
our hands; those on the farther ridge retired suddenly. The possession of this pass gave us the
road to La Fayette and the rich country of the Chickamauga Valley, which furnished us the most
needed means of subsistence to both men and animals. The brigade of General Hazen, left
behind at Rome, joined the division again at the gap. After the forcing of Shifts Gap the rebels
made no attempt to check the advance of our column, and fell back on all roads leading south in
the direction of Gaylesville and beyond Little River. We followed them as closely as possible,
the Fifteenth Corps on the extreme right of the pursuing army, until we reached Little River near
its junction with Chattooga River on October 21. There bridges were built across Little River and
a tête-de-pont capable of holding a full brigade. The troops were put in camp with a view of
remaining a few days, while a column of cavalry was sent beyond the river toward Gadsden, in
order to ascertain the exact whereabouts of the enemy and the movements to be expected on his
part. This cavalry reconnaissance returned on the morning of October 23, reporting the enemy in
force under General Wheeler in an intrenched position at Blount's place, near King's Hill.
Instructed by the major-general commanding the Army of the Tennessee to proceed to the point
indicated, to try the strength of the position and the numbers of the defenders, I left on the same
afternoon for Blount's place with Woods' and Hazen's divisions and Batteries B, First Michigan
and First Iowa, reaching Leesburg just before night. A few rebel cavalry were stationed there as
pickets; they, of course, scattered on our approach. Very early on the 25th we took up the line of
march again to King's Hill. A small cavalry force opposed our advance for a few minutes, but
fell back to their intrenched position at Blount's place, from the front of which the cavalry had
returned two days ago. The works were of a very temporary character and only thinly manned.
We hardly had commenced to deploy when they left their works under the fire of our
skirmishers. The enemy had no infantry and no artillery at Blount's place, but the citizens and
negroes assured us that his main force was some four or five miles beyond in Turkeytown
Valley. I consequently marched on, preceded by one regiment of cavalry of General Garrard's
command who had just closed up on my troops. The Gadsden road, on which we were
advancing, on entering Turkeytown Valley, separates into two wide and good roads, which run
through the whole length of the valley along the eastern and western slopes, and at the other end
they unite again. I rallied my command at the northern end, near the forks of the road, sending
some cavalry ahead to find out whether the report of the enemy being in the valley was correct.
They had passed almost through the valley when the enemy opened with artillery. I at once
ordered General Woods to their support. He advanced on the left road, while General Hazen with
two brigades was to take the right road; the remaining brigade of General Hazen was kept in
reserve. I found the rebels occupying an eminence at the southern end of the valley, with a force
of about 2,000 men and two pieces of artillery. They proved to be dismounted cavalry under
General Wheeler. They were intrenched and had complete sweep of the open grounds in their
front. While a strong line of General Woods' skirmishers stretched across the whole width of the
valley and two pieces of Captain Arndt's battery (B, First Michigan) engaged the attention of the
rebels, General Hazen's advance on the right-hand road was hardly observed. As soon as he
closed on Woods' right I ordered him to push a strong column under cover of the woods along
Lookout Slope to get, if possible, on the left flank of the rebel line. Col. Theodore Jones was
detailed for the execution of the order. He advanced very promptly and came within very short
range of the enemy without being hardly noticed. Simultaneously with the general attack Colonel
Jones charged up and fired his volleys into the rebel lines, who broke and retired very
precipitately from their works. The absence of our cavalry prevented the taking of many
prisoners. The information received, however, from those who fell into our hands and from the
citizens was not very definite in regard to General Hood's movements. All agreed that his army
had left Gadsden and moved in a western direction. The exact whereabouts could not be
ascertained. Rumor placed them near the Tennessee River. I had hardly dislodged the rebels
when I received the general's order not to go any farther, and consequently fell back with the
infantry, General Garrard having promised me to picket during the night the ground taken from
the enemy.
Next day we marched to our old camp, on Little River, where we arrived on the afternoon of
October 26, having marched forty-eight miles in exactly forty-eight hours. We remained in camp
till the 28th of October, and in a few days all officers and men whose term of service had expired
or were unable to march were sent to the rear, together with all surplus baggage and
transportation. At the same time the artillery was reduced to the ratio of one battery to a division,
and as I was assured that the divisions of Generals Smith and Corse would join the corps, the
following batteries were ordered to remain with the corps: Battery H, First Illinois Artillery,
Captain De Gress, four 20-pounder Parrotts; Twelfth Wisconsin Battery, Captain Zickerick, four
12-pounder light guns; Battery B, First Michigan Artillery, Captain Arndt, four 3-inch Rodmarts;
Battery H, First Missouri Artillery, Captain Welker, six light 12-pounders. The others, namely,
Battery A, First Illinois Artillery; Battery F, First Illinois Artillery; Battery F, Second Missouri
Artillery; Sixth Wisconsin Battery, Fourth Ohio Battery, and First Iowa Battery were sent to
Chattanooga and Nashville. Materially lightened up we left Little River for the vicinity of the
railroad bridge across Chattahoochee River on the morning of the 29th, crossing the Coosa River
on a pontoon bridge at Cedar Bluff. As the Fifteenth Army Corps was the last to cross that
stream the bridge was destroyed after our passage. The route indicated for the corps formed the
right of the marching columns and led through Cave Spring, Cedartown, Yellow Stone, thence
crossing the Dugdown Mountain, New Babylon, Powder Springs, and Vining's Station on the
Georgia railroad. On November 5 we reached that point without having met with any other
opposition than a few cavalry at Cedartown. I beg leave to refer to the accompanying map
exhibiting the line of march.
The pursuit of General Hood had been given up at Little River, and we now received orders
to prepare for another long and difficult march. The refitting, the supplying with rations, the
paying off of the troops, and other administrative business connected with our army, was, under
your orders, expedited as much as possible, and when, on November 12, the order was given to
destroy the railroad, which was the opening act preparatory to the expected march through
Georgia, the command was in complete trim.
The effective strength at that time was--
Infantry: First Division, Brig. Gen. C. R. Woods commanding, 4,376 men; Second Division,
Brig. Gen. W. B. Hazen commanding, 3,808 men; Third Division, Brig. Gen. John E. Smith
commanding, 3,659 men; Fourth Division, Brig. Gen. J. M. Corse commanding, 3,710 men; total
infantry, 15,553 men. Artillery: Battery H, First Illinois Artillery, Capt. F. De Gress, four 20-
pounder Parrotts; Twelfth Wisconsin Battery, Captain Zickerick, four light 12-pounders; Battery
B, First Michigan Artillery, Captain Arndt, four 3-inch Rodmans; Battery H, First Missouri
Artillery, Lieut. J. F. Brunner, six light 12-pounders; total pieces, 18.
Having no cavalry attached to the corps and being placed on the flank, I had, with the
permission of the major-general commanding Army of the Tennessee, ordered the Twenty-ninth
Missouri Infantry, Colonel Gage commanding, to be mounted. The experiment was very
satisfactory, and the commanding officer deserves credit for his zeal and energy in protecting
and assisting subsequent movements of the corps. The railroad was most effectually destroyed in
the afternoon of the 12th and during the following night.
On the morning of the 13th we left in two columns for White Hail (Atlanta), General Hazen
by Turner's Ferry, General Woods by the pontoon near the railroad bridge. The Third and Fourth
Divisions (Generals Smith and Corse) received orders to leave their different stations on the
railroad and to join the corps at Atlanta. General Smith's division arrived on November 14,
splendidly equipped in everything. General Corse's division, on account of its great distance,
could not reach Atlanta as soon, but the energetic commander assured me that he would try to
make the junction after the first day's march.
I remain your obedient servant,
Major-General, U. S. Volunteers.
Assistant Adjutant-General.
Cartersville, Ga., November 10, 1864.
CAPTAIN: I herewith forward the official report of Col. Clark R. Wever of the affair at
Resaca on the 12th and 13th ultimo. His report should have occupied the entire time of the
investment of that place by the forces of General Hood, and the capture of the garrison at Tilton.
The command of the District of Etowah having devolved upon Brig. Gen. John E. Smith, by
his direction I assumed command of the Third Division on the 2d of October. Colonel Wever
reported at Resaca on the morning of the 1st of October, and I left him in command of the
brigade. After the repulse of the enemy at Allatoona and his movement northwest, and his
passage of the Coosa River, I became satisfied that Resaca would be attacked. I instructed
Colonel Wever to strengthen the works at that place by the erection of palisades, and to keep the
Fifty-sixth Illinois, Seventeenth Iowa, and Tenth Missouri Battalions ready to re-enforce him at a
moment's notice. It had been my intention to leave seventy men to garrison the block-house at
Tilton, and bring the balance of the Seventeenth Iowa to Resaca. This idea was abandoned,
however, upon consultation with General Smith, who arrived at Cartersville, the headquarters of
the division, on the 10th of October. Feeling extreme anxiety for the safety of Resaca, I
requested General Sherman to re-enforce the place, which he concluded to do, and issued orders
to that effect on the morning of the 12th, directing that a brigade of the Army of the Tennessee
should report to General Smith for that purpose. Having been relieved from the command of the
division by General Smith, I started by railroad to Resaca on the morning of the 12th, General
Smith having ordered that the brigade in question report to me. Upon arriving at Kingston I met
Lieutenant-Colonel Clark, assistant adjutant-general of the Department and Army of the
Tennessee, and Brigadier-General Ransom, commanding the Seventeenth Army Corps, who
informed me that the brigade would be taken from the Seventeenth Army Corps. It was not until
3 p.m. that the troops arrived, and then but one regiment, to wit, the Tenth Illinois, under the
command of Colonel Tillson. With them I started to Calhoun by railroad, losing some time north
of Adairsville repairing the track, which had been torn up by a party of the enemy, which had
crossed the Oostenaula for that purpose. At Calhoun obstructions had been piled upon the track,
and the enemy had just left a short time before my arrival, having stated to citizens that Resaca
had been captured. From Calhoun I sent the trains back to Kingston, and also sent two officers
and thirty men to garrison the block-houses at the bridges south of Calhoun.
The troops marched from Calhoun to Resaca. I arrived there in advance of them at 2.30 a.m.
of the 13th instant, and assumed command of the forces, consisting of the Eightieth Ohio, Fiftysixth
Illinois, two companies of battalion Tenth Missouri, of Second Brigade, Third Division,
Fifteenth Army Corps, commanded by Colonel Wever; Fourth, Sixth, and Seventh Kentucky
Cavalry, being the Third Brigade, of the First Cavalry Division, commanded by Colonel
Watkins; and the Tenth Illinois, commanded by Colonel Tillson. I found three trains of cars at
Resaca loaded; a large amount of commissaries on them; sent them to the south side of the river,
as also the wagon trains and cavalry horses. At 4 p.m. the troops were in position ready for the
enemy. Little more remains to be said, further than that considerable skirmishing was kept up
during the day, the enemy not having attacked our line in force at any point. An unusual degree
of confidence pervaded both officers and men during the investment of the place. A few of the
enemy's skirmishers occupied a hill, from which they harassed Colonel Watkins' command. Two
of his companies charged and drove the enemy from their position in gallant style.
I herewith inclose a copy of the official report of Lieut. Col. S. M. Archer, Seventeenth Iowa
Veteran Volunteer Infantry, commanding at Tilton, from which it will be seen that after seven
hours' resistance and the loss of 22 wounded he surrendered the garrison to General Stewart, of
the rebel army. It seems that block-houses are but little protection against heavy field artillery,
and that the garrison at Tilton was completely at the mercy of the assailants. While it is a matter
of regret to learn that our comrades in arms capitulated to the enemy, no reflections can be cast
upon the officers and men of the Seventeenth Iowa at that post, but, upon the contrary, great
credit is due them for their pertinacious resistance to an overwhelming force. Much credit is due
Colonel Wever for his energy in pushing the defenses at Resaca and his unhesitating refusal to
surrender his small force to Hood's whole army, and to Colonel (now Brevet Brigadier-General)
Watkins, for the promptness displayed in re-enforcing Resaca from Calhoun.
I am unable to give the casualties of Colonel Watkins' and Colonel Tillson's commands
during the affair, neither of said officers having had time to make a report, in consequence of
moving with the advance of the army when it left Resaca in pursuit of Hood.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Brevet Brigadier-General.
Capt. S. M. BUDLONG,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
Resaca, Ga., October 23, 1864.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of my command
in the late raid of General Hood's army upon this point and intermediate points between this
place and Dalton, Ga,.:
In connection I would state that in compliance with orders from Bvt. Brig. Gen. Green B.
Raum, I assumed command of the Second Brigade, Third Division, Fifteenth Army Corps, on the
1st instant, headquarters at Resaca, Ga. The garrison at that post consisted of the Eightieth Ohio
Infantry, Lieut. Col. P. Metham; two companies of the Tenth Missouri Infantry, Capt. J. W.
Strong; two companies Seventh [Sixth?] Kentucky Cavalry, Captain Coffman, and a garrison
battery of four guns, commanded by Lieut. Samuel Winsor and manned by details from the
brigade. The garrison at Tilton, six miles distant, was composed of the Seventeenth Iowa Veteran
Infantry, commanded by Lieut. Col. S. M. Archer, and numbering 290 muskets. At a point
midway two companies of the Tenth Missouri, guarding a construction camp, occupied a small
stockade. The Fifty-sixth Illinois Infantry, Lieut. Col. J. P. Hall, were stationed at Calhoun and
Adairsville. From the date, at which I assumed command until the action on the 12th and 13th
instant information was received daily from citizens and other sources that Hood's army was
moving northward, and in anticipation of an attack either upon this point or some point occupied
and held by my command, every available means was made use of to strengthen our position so
as to make the most obstinate resistance possible with the force at hand. At Resaca new rifle-pits
were made, the old ones deepened and repaired, and rude palisades set around the works until we
considered them quite formidable. I also directed Lieutenant-Colonel Archer to strengthen the
works at Tilton, at the same time ordering him to select seventy men to garrison the block-house
at that point, and hold the balance of his command in readiness to move at a moment's notice in
the event of a probable attack in force upon Resaca. Captain White was also ordered to be in
readiness to move to Resaca. I telegraphed for permission to call in all of the garrison at Tilton
except seventy men, and in reply was notified by General Raum that "the post at Tilton must be
held," but at, the same time received instructions to bring in Captain White's command in the
event of an attack, and also to bring in the Fifty-sixth Illinois Infantry from Calhoun and
Adairsville. I kept scouts in Snake Creek Gap and beyond. Nothing more than small parties of
the enemy's cavalry were discovered until the evening of the 11th instant, when I received
information through citizens that Wheeler's cavalry and a heavy force of infantry were camped
on John's Creek, upon gaining which I ordered the troops from Calhoun and Adairsville to come
immediately to Resaca. They arrived about 12 o'clock that night. I concluded not to bring in the
detachment at the construction camp until satisfied that we were positively menaced by a large
force, as they were guarding a very large supply of bridge and other valuable timber. On the
morning of the 12th instant a reconnaissance returned from John's Mountain and reported the
enemy advancing in force. Soon after the road and telegraph were cut about two miles above
Resaca. I at once sent a courier to Captain White, ordering him in, but the rebels were already
between him and Resaca, and the courier could not reach him. I had directed Captain Coffman to
send a company out on the Villanow road and reconnoiter. They soon encountered the rebel
advance and skirmished with it, falling slowly back to our picket-line, three-quarters of a mile
out on the Villanow road, and at the crossing of Sugar Creek they held the enemy in check until a
company of the Fifty-sixth Illinois came to their assistance and deployed as skirmishers. The
firing became quite brisk at this time, and deeming it prudent to keep the enemy beyond the
creek as long as possible, I sent Lieutenant-Colonel Hall with four additional companies of his
regiment (Fifty-sixth Illinois), instructing him to skirmish with and, if possible, develop the
strength of the enemy. The left of Colonel Hall's line rested on the Oostenaula, his right beyond
the Villanow road. The remaining five companies of his regiment were posted as reserves to
cover the skirmishers in case they were compelled to retire, at the same time keeping a vigilant
eye against flanking movements. The enemy could now be seen planting a battery on the bald
hill to the westward, and I ordered Lieutenant Winsor to shell them, but the attempt was
unsuccessful, as the distance was too great for his guns. He then turned his attention to a column
of infantry which could be seen covering the railroad about a mile above town. The firing was
brisk, and at times quite heavy, increasing continually until 4.30 p.m., when Colonel Hall
informed me that a flag of truce was approaching. I sent Capt. W. W. McCaramon, acting
assistant adjutant, General, to confer with the bearer. The captain soon returned in company with
Lieutenant-Colonel Hall, bringing the following communication, viz:
In the Field, October 12, 1864.
To the Officer Commanding at Resaca, Ga.:
SIR: I demand an immediate and unconditional surrender of the post and garrison under your
command, and should this be acceded to, all white officers and soldiers will be paroled within a
few days. If the place is carried by assault no prisoners will be taken.
Most respectfully, your obedient servant,
To this I replied as follows:
Resaca, Ga., October 12, 1864.
General J. B. HOOD:
Your communication of this date just received. In reply I have to state that I am somewhat
surprised at the concluding paragraph, to the effect that "If the place is carried by assault no
prisoners will be taken. In my opinion I can hold this post; if you want it come and take it.
I am, general, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,
Commanding Officer.
Colonel Hall delivered my answer, returned to his command, the truce ended, and the fight
was resumed. At this juncture, Colonel Watkins arrived on the opposite side of the river from
Calhoun with about 500 cavalry, swelling the garrison to 1,200 men. As the road bridge, which
had been carried away by the drift wood was unfinished, I directed him to dismount, cross his
men on the railroad bridge, and push them forward as skirmishers from the right of Colonel
Hall's line to the river on our right, which was at once executed. The Eightieth Ohio and
detachment of Tenth Missouri occupied the rifle-pits at the fort. I had 40,000 rations in the
commissary department, a portion of which was conveyed to the forts and the remainder so
arranged as to be burned at once, if it should become necessary. Anticipating the approach of our
army from below, I kept the construction detachment at work upon the road bridge, to facilitate
the passage of troops. The enemy discovering this, opened fire upon the workmen and compelled
them to abandon the work. I then ordered them to construct a pontoon bridge above the railroad.
When night came on I drew in the skirmishers to the old line of rebel works from 300 to 500
yards distant from the forts. At 9 p.m. the pontoon bridge was completed. At this time heavy
musketry could be heard in the direction of the construction camp midway between Resaca and
Tilton. Here a most desperate resistance was made for five hours, until Captain White had fallen
wounded, and his gallant little band, overpowered by thousands, was forced to yield. No change
was made in the disposition of the troops, except relieving a portion of Colonel Watkins' men by
details from the Eightieth Ohio, until 2.30 a.m., of the 13th, when General Raum, arriving from
Kingston with 350 men of Tenth Illinois Infantry, took command.
In conclusion, I must say too much praise cannot be bestowed upon the heroic little garrison
for their indefatigable labors upon the works, which they endured without a murmur, and for the
bravery and perfect system displayed upon the skirmish line. No particular body of troops can
claim distinction, for all did their duty and their whole duty as veteran soldiers. To Lieutenant-
Colonels Hall and Metham I am especially indebted for valuable assistance rendered. Lieutenant
Winsor served his guns in a most creditable manner, having but just arisen from a sick bed.
My more than thanks are due to my staff officers for their kindness, consideration, and
fidelity in the discharge of their duties, particularly Capts. W. W. McCaramon and Samuel
For casualties I refer you to the accompanying reports.
I am, very respectfully,
Colonel Seventeenth Iowa Infantry.
Capt. S. M. BUDLONG,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
TILTON, GA., October 16, 1864.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to submit the following report of the engagement of my
regiment (Seventeenth Iowa Veteran Volunteer Infantry) at Tilton, Ga., on the 13th of October,
At 7 o'clock on the morning of the 13th my pickets on the railroad between Resaca and this
place were fired upon. They immediately deployed and skirmished with the enemy as they fell
back to the blockhouse into which I at once placed as many men as could conveniently man the
loop-holes, and disposed of the rest in the pits on either side, at the same time sending out
Companies A and B as skirmishers on the left of the railroad toward the Connesauga and on the
road in the direction from which the first demonstration was made upon us. They had been
deployed but a few minutes when they were charged by the rebels, forced back to the blockhouse,
and very soon we were surrounded by a very heavy force of skirmishers, who secreted
themselves behind trees, logs, and our partially destroyed huts. A brisk fire was maintained on
both sides for four hours, during which time the rebels gained no ground, and were punished
considerably, while my loss was but 3 or 4 men from chance shots into the ditch or through loopholes.
At 11 o'clock the following was received, under flag of truce, by me:
Near Tilton, Ga., October 13, 1864
To the Officer Commanding U. S Forces at Tilton:
SIR: I have ample force to take the garrison at Tilton. To save loss of life I demand an
immediate and unconditional surrender. If this demand is complied with all the white troops and
their officers shall be paroled within a few days, and the negroes shall be well treated. If refused
I will take the place and give instructions to take no prisoners.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Lieutenant-General, C. S. Army.
To this demand I replied: "I will not surrender; if you want my garrison you will have to take
it." I at once notified the command that there would be no surrender, which was applauded by
all. During the truce the rebels posted themselves more advantageously, and as soon as their
bearer of truce had passed out of danger, commenced a very brisk fire. I exhorted my men to
waste no ammunition, of which I had but 27,000 rounds at the commencement. Sharpshooting
was kept up until 1 p.m., and I was congratulating myself that the enemy, having no artillery at
hand, would soon abandon the place, knowing that charging would result disastrously to them,
when a cannon-ball passed over the house, and it was discovered that three guns were in position
on the crest of the hill, distant about 275 or 300 yards southwest of us. Twenty-one shots were
fired from these guns (12-pounder howitzers) at intervals of about two minutes, doing no further
injury to us than a few slight wounds, a part of the roof torn off, and the protection to the
entrance shattered. Discovering that we would not yield, but on the contrary poured volley after
volley into them as their guns were wheeled into position, they introduced three 24-pounder
Napoleons, and opened a terrific fire upon us. Every shot that struck the block-house sprung and
shattered its timbers and shook the building as if it were a reed. The roof was soon demolished
and its timbers so much strained that the dirt covering rained down on us in torrents. We endured
this, still hoping for assistance from some quarter, until 2.30 o'clock. The last and forty-seventh
shot fired (24-pounder shell) entered a loop-hole and exploded in the center of the room,
prostrating half the men and enveloping us in a smoke so dense that no one could see his
comrade. Failing to receive assistance, and conscious of the fact that two or three more shots
would reduce the house and crush my men, that the pits were gradually being brought under
enfilading range, and having but ten or eleven rounds of ammunition left, I surrendered the
garrison, satisfied with having detained the rebels seven and a half hours. My force consisted of
280 muskets and about 20 extra duty and other disarmed men. Captain Horner (Company G) and
31 men made their escape before we were surrounded, and 8 men were left with the wounded.
The Confederate loss was very severe, particularly among their artillerists.
I was taken to Dalton, and on the morning of the 14th myself and Adjt. F. Woolsey were
paroled in consideration of the gallant defense of my post (so reads the indorsement of my
parole). In conclusion, 1 am in duty bound to say that Adjutant Woolsey, Lieut. C. W. Woodrow,
and Lieut. Theodore Tomson, who were with me in the blockhouse, exhibited the most perfect
self-control and coolness, and rendered me most invaluable assistance, while in the pits outside
the same gallant conduct was displayed among both officers and men which has heretofore
characterized them in action. Colonel Wever was absent (commanding at Resaca) during the
engagement, and was at the same time confronted by the rebel General Lee's army corps.
Accompanying I send list of casualties.
I am, captain, very respectfully,
Lieutenant-Colonel, Comdg. Seventeenth Iowa Vet. Vols.
Capt. W. W. McCAMMON,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
Rome, Ga., October 27, 1864.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to make the following report of this division since the 25th day
of September, 1864, at which time two brigades of the division were lying at East Point, Ga.,
with the troops of our corps and department; the Third Brigade, Col. Richard Rowett
commanding, garrisoned Rome, Ga.:
On the 26th of September ultimo, in pursuance to orders from Major-General Howard, I
moved that portion of the division at East Point to Rome, Ga., via Atlanta, where we obtained
transportation, and arrived at Rome on the 27th of September at 2 a.m. The Special Order, No.
217, headquarters Department and Army of the Tennessee, directed that on reaching Rome I
should unite the division and be prepared to act against any force that might attempt to threaten
Bridgeport from the direction of Gadsden. Verbal instructions from General Sherman, received
while passing through Atlanta, indicated in addition that the division was placed at Rome in
observation, ready at all times to strike in any direction the enemy might be discovered taking.
The commanding officer at Rome was relieved on the 29th, and I assumed command at once,
bending all energies to organizing, drilling, and equipping the command for rapid work. The
First Alabama Cavalry, Col. George E. Spencer commanding, was ordered to report to me, and
the Ninth Illinois Mounted Infantry, Lieut. Col. S. T. Hughes commanding, which came from
East Point with us, together furnished an excellent mounted brigade for offensive operations and
reconnaissances. The lines were sealed against citizens, the earth-works overhauled and new
ones commenced, and such disposition made of the troops as would insure safety and comfort to
the command. On the 29th a telegram was received from General Sherman intimating that Hood
was crossing the Chattahoochee in the direction of Blue Mountain, and directed me to watch well
for the appearance of infantry in or about Cedartown. Spies and scouts were sent out in every
direction, frequent reconnaissances made with the cavalry, but no positive information gained of
the enemy, except the whereabouts and movements of their cavalry, and that Hood had crossed a
part if not all of his force over the Chattahoochee.
I ascertained on the 2d instant that the enemy's cavalry had destroyed the railroad at or near
Big Shanty; that Wheeler was at Villa-now and had sent a detachment to assault Dalton, which
sent in a summons to surrender, but did not wait to attack. Later in the day a train was captured
near Acworth and the road torn up three miles south of Allatoona, and on the following day
(October 3) General Sherman ordered me to suspend a movement I contemplated, stating that
Hood was gradually developing his plans, which were of a very extensive character. At noon on
the 4th instant they were sufficiently discovered to induce General Sherman to signal from
Kenesaw (telegraph communication having been destroyed) that Hood was moving on
Allatoona, thence to Rome. Large fires were discovered from the Allatoona heights along the
track toward Big Shanty. In short there remained no doubt of Hood's entire army being near the
railroad north of Kenesaw. My command was in readiness to move in the morning, either on
Wheeler, if he should attempt to pass south or to the assistance of General Raum at Cartersville
or Allatoona, in case those places were threatened. At the request of General Raum for reenforcements
I telegraphed to Kingston for cars, intending sending a brigade to Cartersville to be
placed at his disposal, but another signal from General Sherman directing me to move with my
whole command changed the programme, and I immediately got ready to move to Allatoona
with the division as soon as the cars should arrive from Kingston. The train, in moving down to
Rome, threw some fourteen or fifteen cars off the track, and threatened to delay us till the
morning of the 5th instant, but the activity of the officers and railroad employes enabled me to
secure a train of twenty cars about 7 p.m. of the 4th. Onto them I loaded three regiments of
Colonel Rowett's brigade and a portion of the Twelfth Illinois Infantry, with about 165,000
rounds of ammunition, and started for Allatoona at 8.30 p.m., where we arrived at I a.m. on the
morning of the 5th instant, immediately disembarked, and started the train back, with injunctions
to get the balance of the brigade and as many of the next brigade as they could carry and return
by daylight. They unfortunately met with an accident that delayed them so as to deprive me of
any re-enforcements until about 9 p.m. of the 5th.
In justice to Messrs. Drake and Hughes, gentlemen stationed at Kingston, connected with the
railroad, I would state that the late freshets had carried away the bridge at Resaca about the time
the railroad was destroyed south of Allatoona, leaving between the two points but two
locomotives and but very few cars; that the road had been washed so as to cause the track to
spread frequently, and that they and their employes were in nowise responsible for the accident
that delayed me and finally deprived me of the much-needed re-enforcements. The ammunition
being unloaded and the train sent back for re-enforcements, accompanied by Colonel
Tourtellotte, the post commandant, I rode around and inspected the ground, and made such
disposition of the troops as in my judgment was necessary to hold the place until daylight. I then
learned from Colonel Tourtellotte that the garrison embraced the Fourth Minnesota Infantry, 450
men, Maj. J. C. Edson commanding; Ninety-third Illinois Infantry, 290 men, Major Fisher
commanding; seven companies Eighteenth Wisconsin Infantry, 150 men, Lieutenant-Colonel
Jackson commanding; Twelfth Wisconsin Battery, 6 guns, Lieutenant Amsden commanding,
furnishing a force of 890 men, commanded by Lieut. Col. J. E. Tourtellotte, Fourth Minnesota
Volunteer Infantry. I took with me of Rowett's brigade, of this division, eight companies Thirtyninth
Iowa Infantry, 280 men, Lieutenant Colonel Redfield commanding; nine companies
Seventh Illinois Infantry, 267 men, Lieutenant-Colonel Perrin commanding; eight companies
Fiftieth Illinois Infantry, 267 men, Lieutenant-Colonel Hanna commanding; two companies
Fifty-seventh Illinois Infantry, 61 men, Captain Van Steenburg commanding; detachment of
Twelfth Illinois Infantry, Adams' brigade, 155 men, Captain Koehler commanding; total 1,054,
making an aggregate of 1,944.
Even at this early hour (2 a.m.) a brisk fire was maintained on the skirmish line, and Colonel
Tourtellotte was compelled to send the Eighteenth Wisconsin Infantry out to re-enforce the
outposts, and before dawn I found it necessary to throw a battalion of the Seventh Illinois
Infantry out in support, as the enemy pressed warmly at all points from the south toward the
depot. At daybreak, under cover of a strong line of skirmishers, I withdrew the forces from the
town to the summit of the ridge on either side of the railroad cut. About 6 a.m. the troops were in
the following position, viz: The Seventh Illinois Infantry and Thirty-ninth Iowa Infantry in line
of battle facing west, on a spur that covered the redoubt immediately on the hill over the cut; one
battalion of the Ninety-third Illinois in reserve, the other in line of skirmishers moving along the
ridge in a westerly direction, feeling for the enemy, who was endeavoring to push a force around
our right flank; the Fourth Minnesota, Fiftieth and Twelfth Illinois Infantry were in the works on
the hill east of the railroad cut; the balance of the command were out on skirmish and outpost
duty. Under a brisk cannonade, kept up for near two hours, with sharp skirmishing on our south
front and on our west flank, the enemy pushed a brigade of infantry around north of us, cut the
railroad and telegraph wire, severing our communication with Cartersville and Rome. The
cannonading and musketry had not ceased, when at 8.30 a.m. I received by flag of truce, which
came from the north on the Cartersville road, the following summons to surrender:
AROUND ALLATOONA, October 5, 1864.
Allatoona :
SIR: I have placed the forces under my command in such position that you are surrounded,
and to avoid a needless effusion of blood, I call on you to surrender your forces at once and
unconditionally. Five minutes will be allowed you to decide. Should you accede to this, you will
be treated in the most honorable manner as prisoners of war.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, yours,
Major-General, Commanding C. S. Forces.
To which I made the following reply:
Allatoona, Ga., October 5, 1864--8.30 a.m.
Maj. Gen. S. G. FRENCH,
C. S. Army, &c.:
Your communication demanding surrender of my command I acknowledge receipt of, and
would respectfully reply that we are prepared for the "needless effusion of blood" whenever it is
agreeable to you.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Brigadier-General. Commanding U. S. Forces.
I then hastened to my different commands, informing them of the object of the flag and my
answer, and the importance and necessity of their preparing for hard fighting. I directed Colonel
Rowett to hold the spur on which the Thirty-ninth Iowa Infantry and Seventh Illinois Infantry
were formed, sent Colonel Tourtellotte over to the east hill with orders to hold it to the last,
sending to me for re-enforcements if needed. Taking two companies of the Ninety-third Illinois
down a spur parallel with the railroad and along the brink of the cut, so disposed them as to hold
the north side as long as possible. Three companies of the Ninety-third, which had been driven in
from the west end of the ridge, were distributed in the ditch south of the redoubt, with
instructions to keep the town well covered by their fire and watch the depot where were stored
over a million rations. The remaining battalion, under Major Fisher, lay between the redoubt and
Rowett's line, ready to re-enforce wherever most needed. I had hardly issued these incipient
orders when the storm broke in all its fury on the Thirty-ninth Iowa and Seventh Illinois. Young's
brigade of Texans, 1,900 strong, had gained the west end of the ridge and moved with great
impetuosity along its crest till they struck Rowett's command, where they received a severe
check, but undaunted, they came again and again. Rowett, re-enforced by the Ninety-third
Illinois and aided by the gallant Redfield, encouraged me to hope we were all safe here, when I
observed a brigade of the enemy, under command of General Sears, moving from the north, its
left extending across the railroad. I rushed to the two companies of the Ninety-third Illinois,
which were on the brink of the cut running north from the redoubt and parallel with the railroad,
they having been re-enforced by the retreating pickets, and urged them to hold on to the spur, but
it was of no avail. The enemy's line of battle swept us back like so much chaff and struck the
Thirty-ninth Iowa in flank, threatening to engulf our little band without further ado. Fortunately
for us Colonel Tourtellotte's fire caught Scars in the flank, and broke him so bad as to enable me
to get a staff officer over the cut, with orders to bring the Fiftieth Illinois over to re-enforce
Rowett, who had lost very heavily. However, before the regiment sent for could arrive, Sears and
Young both rallied and made their assaults in front and on the flank with so much vigor and in
such force as to break Rowett's line, and had not the Thirty-ninth Iowa fought with the
desperation it did, I never would have been able to have brought a man back into the redoubt. As
it was, their hand-to-hand struggle and stubborn stand broke the enemy to that extent he must
stop to reform before undertaking the assault on the fort. Under cover of the blow they gave the
enemy, the Seventh and Ninety-third Illinois, and what remained of the Thirty-ninth Iowa, fell
back into the fort. The fighting up to this time (about 11 a.m.) was of a most extraordinary
character; attacked from the north, from the west, and from the south, these three regiments
(Thirty-ninth Iowa, Seventh Illinois, and Ninety-third Illinois Infantry) held Young's and a
portion of Sears' and Cockrell's brigades at bay for nearly two hours and a half. The gallant
Colonel Redfield, of the Thirty-ninth Iowa, fell shot in four places, and the extraordinary valor of
the men and officers of this regiment and of the Seventh Illinois saved to us Allatoona.
So completely disorganized were the enemy that no regular assault could be made on the fort
till I had the trenches all filled and the parapets lined with men. The Twelfth Illinois and Fiftieth
Illinois arriving from the east hill enabled us to occupy every foot of trench, and keep up a line of
fire that, as long as our ammunition lasted, would render our little fort impregnable. The broken
pieces of the enemy enabled them to fill every hollow and take every advantage of the rough
ground surrounding the fort, filling every hole and trench, seeking shelter behind every stump
and log that lay within musket-range of the fort. We received fire from the north, south, and west
face of the redoubt, completely enfilading our ditches, and rendering it almost impracticable for
a man to expose his person above the parapet. An effort was made to carry our works by assault,
but the battery (Twelfth Wisconsin) was so ably managed and so gallantly fought as to render it
impossible for a column to live within 100 yards of the works. Officers labored constantly to
stimulate the men to exertion, and most all that were killed or wounded in the fort met this fate
while trying to get the men to expose themselves above the parapet, and nobly setting them the
example. The enemy kept up a constant and intense fire, gradually closing around us and rapidly
filling our little fort with the dead and dying. About 1 p.m. I was wounded by a rifle-ball, which
rendered me insensible for some thirty or forty minutes, but managed to rally on hearing some
person or persons cry, "Cease firing," which conveyed to me the impression they were trying to
surrender the fort. Again I urged my staff, the few officers left unhurt, and the men around me to
renewed exertion, assuring them that Sherman would soon be there with re-enforcements; the
gallant fellows struggled to keep their heads above the dish and parapet in the face of the
murderous fire of the enemy now concentrated upon us. The artillery was silent for want of
ammunition, and a brave fellow, whose name I regret to have forgotten, volunteered to cross the
cut, which was under fire of the enemy, and go to the fort on the east hill and procure
ammunition. Having executed his mission successfully he returned in a short time with an armload
of canister and case-shot. About 2.30 p.m. the enemy were observed massing a force behind
a small house and the ridge on which the house was located, distant northwest from the fort
about 150 yards. The dead and wounded were moved aside, so as to enable us to move a piece of
artillery to an embrasure commanding the house and ridge. A few shots from the gun threw the
enemy's column into great confusion, which being observed by our men, caused them to rush to
the parapet and open such a heavy and continuous musketry fire that it was impossible for the
enemy to rally. From this time until near 4 p.m. we had the advantage of the enemy, and
maintained it with such success that they were driven from every position, and finally fled in
great confusion, leaving their dead and wounded, and our little garrison in possession of the
The hill east of the cut was gallantly and successfully defended by Colonel Tourtellotte, with
that portion of the Third Division, Fifteenth Army Corps, that fell back from the town early in
the morning. Not only did they repulse the assaults made upon them, but rendered me valuable
aid in protecting my north front from the repeated attacks by Sears' brigade. Colonel Tourtellotte
and his garrison are deserving of the highest praise, and I take special pleasure in recommending
that gallant officer for promotion. Col. Richard Rowett, Seventh Illinois Veteran Volunteer
Infantry, commanding Third Brigade of this division, manifested such zeal, intrepidity, and skill
as to induce us all to feel that to his personal efforts we owed in an eminent degree the safety of
the command. Twice wounded he clung tenaciously to his post, and fully earned the promotion I
so cheerfully recommend may be awarded him.
The gallant dead, whose loss conveys grief to so many households, have left an imperishable
memory, and the names of Redfield, Blodgett, and Ayers must prove as immortal as the holy
cause for which they sacrificed their lives. I saw so many individual instances of heroism that I
regret I cannot do them justice and render the tribute due each particular one. I can only express
in general terms the highest satisfaction and pride I entertain in having been with and amongst
them on that occasion.
I respectfully call your attention to the accompanying reports of regimental and detachment
commanders, also the tabular statement of losses.
We buried 231 rebel dead, and captured 411 prisoners, 3 stand of colors, and about 800 stand
of arms.
Amongst the prisoners brought in was Brigadier-General Young, who estimated the enemy's
loss at 2,000 killed, wounded, and missing.
To my personal, staff, Capt. M. R. Flint, First Alabama Cavalry, and Lieut. A. P. Vaughan,
Fifty-second Illinois Infantry, I tender my heartiest thanks and congratulations for their
remarkable bravery and efficient services during the entire engagement; also to Lieut. William
Ludlow, chief engineer, Twentieth Army Corps, who sent to Rome to superintend the works
there, arrived as we were leaving and volunteered as an aide for the expedition. He rendered with
the other gentlemen above mentioned valuable services and manifested a personal courage and
zeal deserving high prose.
Brigadier-General, Commanding.
[Capt. L. M. DAYTON,
Aide-de-Camp, Military Division of the Mississippi.]
Rome, Ga., October 10, 1864.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to submit, in compliance with circular from your headquarters
of this date, the following report of the part taken by the regiments of this command in the
engagement at Allatoona, Ga., October 5, 1864, and also of the marches connected with the
Although this command, in obedience to orders from General Corse, commanding division,
was in readiness to move the night of the 4th instant, the train that was to convey this brigade to
Allatoona, owing to an accident, did not arrive at this place until nearly 9 p.m. the 6th instant,
and then there were only seven cars--three box cars, two platform cars, and two cabooses. Two
companies of the Seventh Iowa Infantry were immediately embarked, with the Fifty-seventh
Illinois Infantry of the Third Brigade, and forwarded to the break in the railroad. On the return of
the train at 12 m. the remainder of the Seventh Iowa Infantry, Maj. Samuel Mahon commanding,
and four companies of the Fifty-second Illinois Infantry, under command of Maj. W. Boyd, were
sent forward. At 3 p.m. the train returned and the remaining five companies of the Fifty-second
Illinois Infantry, Lieut. Col. E. A. Bowen commanding, and five companies of the Sixty-sixth
Indiana Infantry, Capt. D. M. Jordan commanding, were immediately embarked. I accompanied
this train, leaving Captain Morris, Sixty-sixth Indiana Infantry, to bring forward the remainder of
the Sixty-sixth Indiana and the Second Iowa Infantry, Capt. John A. Duck worth commanding. I
reached the break in the road at 5 p.m. and found that the Seventh Iowa Infantry and the four
companies of the Fifty-second Illinois Infantry, under command of Maj. W. Boyd, of the latter
regiment, had embarked on the train from Kingston; as I had previously ordered, and were on
their way to Allatoona. At 9 p.m. the remainder of the brigade reached me from Rome, and after
waiting until 11.30 p.m. the train returned from Cartersville to convey the remainder of my
command there. I immediately embarked and pushed forward as rapidly as possible, reaching
Cartersville at daybreak. After stopping a moment to confer with General Raum, commanding at
Cartersville, I pushed forward again until a break in the road was reached. This was soon
repaired, as well as the telegraph line, and the train moved forward, reaching Allatoona about 10
a.m. Here I found the Seventh Iowa and the four companies of the Fifty-second Illinois, who had
reached the place the evening before. I remained at the place with the command until the 7th
instant, when, in obedience to orders from General Corse, commanding division, the command
prepared to move back to Cartersville. At 3 p.m. the command was on the road leading to
Cartersville, which place was reached about 5.30 p.m., the command encamping south of the
town. The 8th instant, at 10 a.m., the command moved forward on the road leading to Kingston,
which place was reached at 5 p.m.; distance marched, eleven miles. The 9th instant the command
moved at daylight on the road leading to Rome, arriving here at 12 m., marching a distance of
fourteen miles.
I have no casualties to report, as none of my command was engaged with the enemy.
I have the honor to be, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding Brigade.
Capt. L. H. EVERTS,
Assistant Adjutant-General.
Rome, Ga., October 15, 1864.
SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by the Seventh Illinois
Veteran Volunteer Infantry in the battle at Allatoona Pass, October 5, 1864:
In compliance with orders from Col. R. Rowett, commanding Third Brigade, Fourth
Division, Fifteenth Army Corps, on the 4th of October, 1864, I had my command in readiness to
move at a moment's notice. At about 6 p.m. I was ordered to proceed to the railroad depot to get
aboard the train and to leave one company (D) to report for duty to Major Johnson, commanding
post of Rome. The remaining nine companies, numbering 291 muskets and 8 musicians, got on
board the train with the Thirty-ninth Iowa Infantry, Fiftieth Illinois Infantry, two companies of
the Fifty-seventh Illinois Infantry, and the Twelfth Illinois Infantry, under command of Brig.
Gen. J. M. Corse, [and] left Rome at about 9 p.m., and arrived at Allatoona a little after midnight.
After disembarking I was ordered to take my position on the left, of the railroad south of the
depot. About 2 a.m. I was ordered to form line of battle some 200 yards in front of my former
position, with the right of my command resting on the railroad. At about 3 a.m. I received orders
to move my command on the right of the railroad, with the left resting on the railroad and the
right resting on some buildings. A little after daybreak I received orders from Col. R. Rowett to
throw two companies as skirmishers in front of my command and to retire slowly to the fort on
the hill, leaving one other company in town to cover the retreat of the skirmishers if necessary. I
was then ordered to take possession of a line of rifle-pits near the Cartersville road, with my right
resting on that road and joining with the Thirty-ninth Iowa Infantry. At about 8.30 a.m. the
enemy advanced against our lines on the Cartersville road; I therefore sent for my skirmishers
(three companies), which were still on the right of the railroad and in town, They arrived as the
enemy was charging our lines most furiously, and enabled, by their timely assistance, a portion
of the Thirty-ninth Iowa to regain possession of a line of rifle-pits from which they had been
driven after a long-contested struggle. The right of the line gave way before a vastly superior
force, which movement compelled my command to abandon their rifle-pits and retreat to the fort.
With a portion of it I fled into the rifle-pits around the fort and another portion entered into the
fort, where the fighting was kept up until 2.30 p.m., when the enemy retreated.
The losses sustained by my regiment are as follows: 37 killed, 66 wounded, most of them
dangerously, and 38 missing.
I would here remark that all officers and men of my command did their duty well; not one
left his post as long as it could be held.
Inclosed is a complete list of casualties in my command.
All of which is respectfully submitted.
I have the honor to be, most respectfully, your obedient servant,
Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding Regiment.
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, Third Brigade.
Rome, Ga., October 17, 1864.
SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by the Seventh Illinois
Infantry in the affair of October 13, 1864:
In compliance with orders from Lieut. Col. F. J. Hurlbut, commanding Third Brigade, Fourth
Division, Fifteenth Army Corps, moved my command, in company with the rest of the brigade,
at 5 o'clock on the 13th instant, in the direction of Cave Spring, taking the right of the brigade,
Company E, Seventh Illinois, being detailed as advance guard. At a distance of two miles and a
half from Rome my advance drove in the outpost of the enemy. I deployed two companies (E
and F) of my command as skirmishers, and afterward my whole command, and, with the
assistance of one [section] of artillery, drove the enemy from his position behind a temporary
breast-work of rails. My skirmishers were then withdrawn, with the exception of two companies,
and the column moved forward. At the distance of about one mile and a half from his first
position, the enemy having planted a battery in a commanding position across an open field, and
my whole command being again deployed as skirmishers, succeeded in driving him from his
position. In this manner the enemy were driven from one position to another, my regiment,
together with the Thirty-ninth Iowa Infantry on my left, advancing in line as skirmishers for a
distance of about eight miles farther, when I was ordered by the lieutenant-colonel commanding
brigade to withdraw my regiment and take up the line of march toward Rome, where I arrived
with my command at 8 o'clock the same evening.
All of which is respectfully submitted.
Very respectfully,
Lieutenant-Colonel Seventh Illinois Infantry, Commanding.
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
Rome, Ga., October 15, 1864.
CAPTAIN: I would most respectfully report that on the 4th instant I received orders from
Col. R. Rowett, then commanding brigade, to report with my command (Fifty-seventh Illinois
Infantry)at the railroad depot, which I did about 7 p.m.., but owing to the scarcity of cars could
not get off but two companies, A and B, on first train with the balance of the brigade, but was
ordered to remain and come on next train, which did not arrive, owing to a break in the railroad
seven miles from here, till about 7.30 a.m. on the 5th. The Fifty-seventh Illinois was immediately
run down to the break, when the train returned for detachment of Seventh Iowa and Fifty-second
Illinois (six companies of Seventh Iowa and four of Fifty-second Illinois). Soon as they arrived
and were reloaded on train east side of break I ordered conductor to move with all possible
dispatch to Cartersville, and from there to near the Allatoona Iron Works, where the whole
command were unloaded and moved directly to Allatoona, arriving about 8 p.m., several hours
after the fighting had ceased, and, on reporting to the general commanding, learned that every
field officer belonging to the command had either been killed or wounded. He at once placed me
in command of the brigade, but as there was no fighting after my arrival I can do but little more
than forward you the reports of the several regimental commanders, which, in my opinion, are
very complete of themselves.
The Twelfth Illinois Infantry was temporarily attached to the brigade, but on its return
rejoined its own brigade, and no official report has been received from it by me.
During the night of the 5th that part of the Fifty-seventh Illinois, Fifty-second Illinois, and
Seventh Iowa which had arrived with me were engaged in digging rifle-pits, and on the morning
of the 6th, there being no signs of the enemy, details were made and sent out to bury the dead,
bring in the wounded, and pick up the fire-arms lying scattered over the field. This occupied the
entire day and a part of the 7th.
The command moved from Allatoona at about 2.30 p.m. on the 7th, marched to Cartersville
that night; next day, the 8th to Kingston, where one company from Fifty-seventh Illinois was left
in charge of prisoners captured at Allatoona, balance of the brigade returning to Rome next day,
9th, arriving at about 12 m., each regiment going directly to camp.
Accompanying this I forward a list of casualties.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Lieut. Col. Fifty-seventh Illinois Infantry, Comdg. Brigade.
Capt. L. H. EVERTS,
Asst. Adjt. Gen., Fourth Division, Fifteenth Army Corps.
Savannah, Ga., January 3, 1865.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report the part taken by the Third Brigade, Fourth Division,
Fifteenth Army Corps, under my command, from immediately after the Allatoona battle to the
occupation of Savannah.
Pursuant to General Orders, No. 7, received from division headquarters, I moved the brigade
on the 13th October, 1864, across the Etowah River on the Cave Spring road at 5 a.m., the
Seventh Illinois Infantry in advance, followed by the Thirty-ninth Iowa Infantry, Fiftieth Illinois
Infantry, and Fifty-seventh Illinois Infantry, and Battery B, First Michigan Artillery. After
advancing about four miles my advance encountered a picket-post, which fled at once upon
being fired upon. After advancing about half a mile I threw forward two companies of the
Seventh Illinois Infantry, armed with Henry rifles, as skirmishers, and just after passing the fivemile
post skirmishing became very brisk, when I threw forward the balance of the Seventh
Illinois Infantry as skirmishers, and drove the enemy's skirmishers some distance, when they
took up a very strong position on the crest of a hill, behind works made of rails, and the road
strongly barricaded. One section of Battery B, First Michigan Artillery, was at once got into
position, when, after firing three or four rounds, the enemy entirely disappeared. At this point the
mounted troops, under command of Colonel Spencer, came up and took position on either flank.
The command then pushed forward, meeting with but slight resistance, though skirmishing
nearly all the way, the enemy halting their line at every good position, but to no purpose, for we
readily drove them at every point. Just beyond what is called the forks of the road (Coosaville
and Cave Spring), after passing through the timber into the clearing, I found the enemy off a
little to the right, near a church, posted in some force, with two pieces of artillery. Deployed
Seventh Illinois and Thirty-ninth Iowa Infantry as skirmishers, with Fiftieth and Fifty-seventh
Illinois Infantry as support. Our skirmishers here labored under many disadvantages across the
open field, some places quite swampy and wet, all the while under the enemy's fire, who were
well covered on the crest of a hill. Here the fighting was more severe than at any other point
previous, but the men moved gallantly forward, and soon drove the enemy, who were seen to fly
in confusion. Just after passing the church the enemy's shell for a short time was very accurate,
and annoyed our advance very much, particularly the right. Here, unfortunately, the Ninth
Illinois Mounted Infantry got out of ammunition just as I was [about] to throw them forward,
which I believe would have succeeded in capturing both pieces of artillery and many prisoners.
After passing the church about half a mile the road turns directly to the left, a short distance from
which we soon found the enemy again in position, but soon routed him, driving him before us
until, when within about one mile from the cross-roads, one of which leads directly to the
crossing on the Coosa, I encountered their artillery again, this time opening upon us with a fourgun
battery at long range, and making some very close shots, though fortunately doing no
particular harm. Here I ordered forward one regiment from the Second Brigade, which I posted
on the left of the Third Brigade, sending Colonel Spencer around to the right to strike the road
leading to the pontoons, thereby cutting off their retreat in that direction, hoping to be able to
capture the entire battery or a portion at least, but before this could be brought about I received
orders to return at once to Rome. I immediately called in the cavalry, after which my infantry
skirmish line, reformed the brigade, and at about 4.30 o'clock commenced the retrograde
movement, and arrived at Rome at about 8.30 p.m., ordering the regiments and battery to their
camps. The last place we engaged their artillery was on quite a hill in an open field, where we
had a good view of them with a glass. I observed that they were all dressed in dark clothes--I
should think nearly or quite as dark as ours. They had a small battle-flag or guidon on the field
near their guns, which was red entire, with a black or very dark cross in the center. From the best
information I could get the force we met consisted of Armstrong's brigade of cavalry, with four
pieces of artillery, no infantry having been seen at any point during the day. The point at which I
was ordered back is a little more than eleven miles from the Etowah crossing, making the entire
march about twenty-three miles, and I here wish to state that after skirmishing nearly all the way
for seven miles, and the entire command marching most of the way, either in the timber--many
places where the undergrowth was very dense---or through the fields of corn or weeds and grass,
any or either of which is very fatiguing, not one single word of complaint was heard, but on the
contrary every officer and man seemed not only willing but anxious to do his whole duty,
obeying every order with that promptitude which characterizes a good soldier. Our losses were
as follows: 1 non-commissioned officer and 5 privates wounded.
Loss of the enemy not known, but from reports received from citizens along the road think it
must be much greater than our own. Quite early in the day one rebel was found mortally
wounded, who said that 6 or 7 others wounded had just passed him going to the rear. From the
15th of October until the 1st of November my command was occupied in strengthening and
adding to the defenses of Rome, Ga. Having received orders from the general commanding the
division on the 1st of November to prepare for an active campaign, every exertion was used to
place the command in readiness. Orders were received on the morning of the 10th to have my
command ready to move on the Kingston road at 4 p.m., accompanying the supply train to a
point four miles out and encamp for the night. Accordingly at 3.30 p.m. I ordered my command
to move in the following order: Seventh Illinois Veteran Volunteer Infantry, 10 commissioned
officers and 263 enlisted men; Thirty-ninth Iowa Infantry, 10 commissioned officers and 263
enlisted men; Fiftieth Illinois Veteran Volunteer Infantry, 4 commissioned officers and 307
enlisted men; Fifty-seventh Illinois Veteran Volunteer Infantry, 14 commissioned officers and
420 enlisted men, accompanied by Battery H, First Missouri Light Artillery, and moved out four
miles and encamped for the night. At 6.30 a.m. the 11th moved forward, following closely the
First Alabama Cavalry and the Ninth Illinois Mounted Infantry; reached Kingston at 12 m. and
camped two miles from Cassville. On the 12th broke camp at 4 a.m., and passing Cassville and
Cartersville camped a little south of Allatoona. Started on the 13th at 7 a.m., passed Big Shanty,
camped that night near Kenesaw Mountain, and reached the Chattahoochee River on the 14th.
I have the honor to be, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Lieut. Col. Fifty-seventh Illinois Infantry, Comdg. Brigade.
Capt. A. W. EDWARDS,
Actg. Asst. Adjt. Gen., 4th Division, 15th Army Corps.
Rome, Ga., October 10, 1864.
GENERAL: I write to inform you of the loss the country and our regiment have sustained in
the death of Lieut. Col. James Red field; First Lieut. Oliver C. Ayers, Company A; First Lieut.
Andrew T. Blodgett, Company B; First Lieut. Newton P. Wright, Company E, and Second Lieut.
John P. Jones, Company A. These fell in battle at Allatoona, Ga., on the 5th instant. Eight
companies of the regiment were in the engagement, a total of 284 men. There was left 119,
making a loss of 165 men or nearly three-fifths of the regiment. The entire force on our side was
1,800, that of the enemy 7,000. Our forces were commanded by Brig. Gen. J. M. Corse. They
arrived at 10 p.m., expecting that the enemy would not attack, knowing they (we) were reenforcements.
In this we were deceived. They attacked in the morning at 7 a.m. General Corse
had time only to hastily dispose of his little force when they came up with massed columns. The
Thirty-ninth Iowa was placed at the forks of a road 300 yards from the fort, where the heaviest
column of the enemy charged. It was important to hold this position and check the enemy. This
they did twice, although terribly cut to pieces. The third time the enemy was in such force as to
be irresistible, and the remainder of our regiment fell back contesting every foot of ground to the
fort. General Corse and the veteran troops who witnessed the heroism and determination of the
Thirty-ninth on that day say they have never before seen such fighting. They pronounced it
Chickasaw Bayou continued for five hours. It was during this time that the above-named
officers, except Lieutenant Blodgett, were killed. He was one of the four officers who succeeded
in reaching the fort, and was shot while carrying a message from General Corse to Colonel
Rowett. There were ten of our officers in the engagement; 5 were killed and 2 wounded and
captured, leaving but three with the command. It gives me great pleasure to testify to the
heroism, valor, and gallantry of these officers. I have seen them before when in discharge of their
duties and under fire, and can say of them that in every emergency they displayed coolness and
determined courage. As officers they had the respect and confidence of the command. As men
they had won, by their geniality of disposition and uniform courtesy of manner, the kindest
regards and affections of their officers and men, so that we can feelingly exclaim, "Their places!
who can fill them?"
I will send you a list of the casualties as soon as they are officially returned, with a report of
the general commanding, if possible to obtain a copy.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Major Thirty-ninth Iowa Infantry.
General N. B. BAKER,
Adjutant-General of Iowa.
Kingston, Ga., October 9, 1864.
LIEUTENANT: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by the
Thirty-ninth Iowa Infantry in the engagement at Allatoona, Ga., on the 5th day of October, 1864,
the march pursuant thereto, together with a tabular list of the casualties sustained:
The regiment, consisting of eight companies, numbering 280 men, and commanded by Lieut.
Col. James Redfield, left Rome, Ga., at 8 p.m., October 4, 1864, and proceeded by rail to
Allatoona, Ga., a distance of thirty-five miles, arriving at 1 a.m., October 5. At daybreak were
thrown into line 200 yards west of depot, but were immediately after ordered into position 300
yards farther west and 400 yards west of main fortification on Cartersville road; here a
disposition was made of the forces, as it seemed certain that the main attack would come from
this direction. Companies B and C, of the Thirty-ninth Iowa, were thrown forward as skirmishers
on the left of the line, and Companies A, F, and I were sent forward 300 yards to the right and
front of the main line to hold the crest of a hill and discover any movements which the enemy
might contemplate on our right flank, while Companies E, G, and K were in the center holding
hastily constructed rifle-pits, with orders to maintain their position at all hazards. This was the
disposition of the companies of the regiment at the time that General Corse sent to the rebel
General French his refusal to surrender the town and his command. The engagement opened at 9
a.m. between our skirmishers and those of the enemy. The latter immediately threw forward
heavy bodies of infantry, but were held in check for some time by our advanced companies, and
it was in the attempt of the enemy to drive back our right that Lieut. O. D. Russell, Company C,
received a painful wound in the breast while firmly maintaining his position. After an obstinate
resistance of an hour these companies were compelled to retire, which they did, stubbornly
contesting every inch of ground and punishing the enemy terribly at every step of his advance.
At this juncture of affairs the brave and gallant Lieut. Col. James Redfield fell pierced through
the heart by a musket-ball while enthusiastically encouraging his command to stand firm and
hurl back death and defiance at the enemies of our country. Almost simultaneously the brave and
courteous Lieut. O. C. Ayers received the fatal shot while nobly discharging his duty. The
advanced companies having retired to the crest of a hill in rear of the rifle-pits continued to pour
a murderous and destructive fire into the ranks of the enemy with telling effect, causing him to
stagger and waver. At length, however, the enemy threw a heavy force round our right flank, and
pouring a deadly enfilading fire rendered our position, upon the crest of a hill, entirely untenable
and compelled our forces to retire within the main works, 400 yards in rear of our advance line,
leaving only the three companies in the rifle-pits to contest the advance of the enemy, and these
companies, having received orders to hold the works at all hazards, did not feel warranted in
quitting them without orders, and the enemy, emboldened by our weakness, massed a heavy
column on the Cartersville road, leading to the fort, and charging us on the double-quick passed
the works, and turning upon our men in the rifle-pits, killed, wounded, or made prisoner every
man remaining but nine. It was in this charge that the colors of the regiment were captured, but
not until the entire guard were killed or wounded, these brave boys suffering themselves to be
bayoneted rather than surrender the colors which had been placed in their hands, and the
companies which had them in charge were captured, killed, or wounded. Finding that by
remaining longer I would subject myself and the handful of men with me to needless capture
without being able to effect any results, I fell back to the fort. Here the men of the command
fought with the same determination and enthusiasm that had characterized their conduct on the
open field. Here that brave, gallant, and lamented young officer, Lieut. A. T. Blodgett, fell,
inspiring the men by his gallant and noble conduct, of which he was the very embodiment. The
fighting continued desperate and bloody, the spirits of the men rising as the fight progressed,
until 3 p.m. we had the satisfaction of seeing the rebel host leaving in utter rout and the hard
fought field was ours.
I cannot close this report without giving expression to the heartfelt grief which pervades all
breasts for the loss of our valiant dead, yet we have the consolation of knowing that they all fell
nobly battling in defense of the country, and so long as brave and gallant conduct continues to
excite emotions in the breast of man the names of Lieutenant-Colonel Redfield, Lieutenant
Blodgett, Lieutenant Ayers, Lieutenant Wright, Lieutenant Jones, and the noble dead who fell
under them, will ever be remembered. To the wounded we would say your wounds are sacred,
received in a holy cause; to you we extend a soldier's sympathy and assure you that you shall
never be neglected or forgotten; and to the living who passed through that terrible ordeal
unharmed I would say your deeds will live after you, and your names will be remembered in
history; and although, where all did so well, to particularize would seem invidious, I cannot
refrain from making mention of the conduct of Lieut. W. C. Ghost, acting adjutant of the
regiment, who continued to ride the entire length of the line under a murderous fire, encouraging
the men by his words and inspiring them by his noble daring; also the entire color guard, and
especially the color-sergeant, Charles Armstrong, who so gallantly defended his flag.
Subjoined is a list of the casualties of the regiment in the engagement: Commissioned
officers-Killed, 5; wounded, 1; missing, 2; total, 8. Enlisted men--Killed, 28; wounded, 61;
missing, 68; total, 157. Aggregate, 165.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Captain, Commanding.
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
Memphis, Tenn., November 3, 1864.
SIR: In compliance with your instructions I have to report in regard to the affairs of the 1st
instant, in which the Tenth Missouri Cavalry met with a considerable loss, that on that day the
patrol, required by special instructions, was detailed from said regiment and consisted of forty
men and two commissioned officers. The officers were Lieutenant Norman and Lieut. Miles
Reilly. Having crossed Wolf River the patrol drove three scouts of the enemy to Union Depot
and beyond, arriving at the depot between 9 and 10 o'clock. At this point Lieutenant Norman,
being unable to learn anything of the enemy in force, took fifteen men and proceeded to patrol
toward Somerville, leaving twenty-five men at Union Depot under Lieutenant Reilly, who was
particularly cautioned to be on the alert, and not allow himself to be surprised. After Lieutenant
Norman had been gone some time (it was about 11.30 o'clock) a band or company of rebels
suddenly appeared on Lieutenant Reilly's right flank as he was in line, and charging upon him
with shots and yells put him to flight. There were not over fifty or sixty rebels, according to the
best information I can get, and there was no cause for Lieutenant Reilly leaving his post. His
men have heretofore proved themselves brave soldiers, and they were well armed and in line.
Their officer fled and carried his men with him. The rebels pursued and captured the most of this
party. At once investing themselves in the clothing of the men captured, the enemy turned in
pursuit of Lieutenant Norman and his party. The lieutenant returning was warned of the fact that
Lieutenant Reilly had left Union Station, and the rebels were there. He left the main road with
the intention of crossing at an upper ford of Wolf River, but had gone but a little way when the
rebels came in sight, but being in our uniform, our party retained its fire. The enemy charged,
and although some shots were given in return, it was not until Lieutenant Norman had reached
the adjoining woods that he was able to make any resistance. At this point he dismounted his
men and did the best he could to hold his ground, but the enemy now numbering between 80 and
100, the lieutenant retreated and succeeded in getting off some of his men, but very few of his
horses, &c. The alarm reached me at camp about I o'clock, and taking with me seventy-five men
of the Tenth Missouri, I went at once to the scene of the skirmish, ordering seventy-five more to
follow from the Fourth Iowa. I picked up a number of stragglers and some horses, but could find
nothing of the enemy, who had fled with his prisoners several hours before, moving toward La
Grange. After crossing over the country to the La Grange road, as night was setting in and I
deemed further pursuit hopeless, I returned.
I inclose a statement of the losses in detail.
Lieutenant Norman did all he could, but there is no question but that had Lieutenant Reilly
held his ground he could have soon overcome the small force assailing him. Lieutenant Reilly is
a prisoner.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel, Commanding.
Col. J. KARGE,
Commanding Cavalry Corps.
Memphis, Tenn., November 13, 1864.
COLONEL: I have the honor to report that in pursuance of your orders I proceeded, with 500
men, properly officered, from this brigade, out on the Germantown road on the morning of the
9th instant, at 4 o'clock, and on arriving at White's Station was joined by 500 men from the First
Brigade, under command of Captain Fernald. Those of this brigade were under command of
Major Spearman. Proceeding at once to Germantown, we found a picket of the enemy, which we
drove in, capturing 2--1 wounded and left at the village. From the man captured I learned that the
picket was that of the command of Colonel Denis (rebel), who had his headquarters below the
Coldwater, in Mississippi, on the Pigeon Roost road. His force is one regiment and two
battalions, in complete organization. They are the Mississippi Reserve Corps. Have not left
Mississippi until week before last, when ordered up to burn the railroad between Moscow and
White's Station, which was done between the 1st and 6th instant. The road is much injured. The
whole of this force will not exceed 1,000, is armed with muskets, and has but little disposition to
meet us out of Mississippi, at least. I advanced to Collierville and camped over night a mile
beyond. Started the next morning at 4 o'clock and passed through La Fayette and Moscow. The
bridge at Moscow was in good order. The river was high over the banks. I met many persons
from La Grange and beyond, and became satisfied that there was no enemy at La Grange or as
far out as Pocahontas. I therefore turned to the northwest, crossing the north fork of Wolf on a
bridge made by our troops when last at Moscow, and came west on the lower La Grange road,
called the old Raleigh road. I ascertained there was no force at Somerville, and little, if any, at
Jackson; that Forrest was at Johnsonville, about to cross over; that Hood was crossing near
Tuscumbia. I camped near Moscow, at night, at a man's named Scott. Just as we were going into
camp Lieutenant Swift, of the rebel service, was arrested. I have good reason to believe Scott to
be a strong rebel sympathizer, and took from him what property my command needed to feed the
men and horses.
On Friday morning I again marched at 4 o'clock, capturing some straggling rebel soldiers on
the road, and reached neighborhood of Raleigh at sunset, when we camped, and moved out the
next morning at 4 o'clock, crossed Wolf River by the ferry by noon, and came into camp on the
afternoon of Saturday. I met with no loss.
The following are the names of prisoners: Virginias H. Swift, lieutenant, Fifteenth Tennessee
Cavalry; D. W. Jamieson, private, Company A, Twelfth Tennessee Cavalry; E. A. Smith, private,
Company C, Second Missouri Cavalry; G. P. Hart, private, Company D, Twelfth Tennessee
Cavalry; N. M. Vaughn, private, Company A, First Mississippi Reserve Corps; W. L. Sawyer,
citizen, captured in the act of guarding E. A. Smith (above) to escape.
The command marched 125 miles; found the country abounding in forage. The weather was
pleasant. Neither men nor horses suffered much.
Very respectfully,
Colonel, Commanding.
Colonel KARGE,
Comdg. Cavalry Corps, District of West Tennessee.
Memphis, Tenn., November 11, 1864.
Actg. Asst. Adjt. Gen., Cavalry Corps, Memphis, Tenn.:
MAJOR: Agreeable to the orders of Colonel Kargé, of the 10th instant, I have the honor to
report that I ordered out a scouting party on the evening of the 10th instant, with orders to
examine minutely the premises indicated in Colonel Kargé's orders and other places in that
vicinity. The result was the capture of 5 prisoners, supposed to be robbers. I ordered them sent to
the Irving Block. Inclosed I send Captain Hufi's report of his doings.
Your obedient servant,
Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding Detachment Brigade.
Memphis, Tenn., November 11, 1864.
I submit the following report regarding my proceedings last night: I moved at 7 p.m. from
regimental headquarters on the old Raleigh road. When about three miles and a half from the
pickets I crossed over to the Germantown road. Came back to within half a mile of the house
designated in your order. Dismounted one platoon of men and sent them around in rear of the
house. I then charged up in front with the other platoon. The rebels, six in number, attempted to
escape by the rear, when the dismounted men fired upon them; they then turned to the front,
when we fired upon them. Seeing they were surrounded they ran into the house, except one, who
made his escape. I then ordered those men out of the house and proceeded to search it; found one
gun and one Colt revolver. I brought the men to camp and by your order sent them to the Irving
Block prison.
Respectfully, yours,
Captain, Fourth Iowa Cavalry, Commanding Scouts.
Lieutenant-Colonel PETERS.
TUPELO, MISS., May 13, 1864.
Maj. Gen. S. D. LEE:
Following just received:
NEAR MEMPHIS, May 13, 1864.
(Via Holly Springs.)
Federals all returned to Memphis and vicinity; four regiments at White's Station. Good many
Red River troops landing at Memphis. Lines closed permanently after the 15th. Two furloughed
regiments, Second Iowa and Third Michigan, have returned to Memphis considerably recruited.
Still impressing horses in Memphis.
Henderson Scouts.
Cairo, Ill., April 30, 1864.
Maj. Gen. C. C. WASHBURN,
Commanding District of Memphis:
GENERAL: I expected before this to have received reports from you, but I am informed by
Colonel Harris that you had not received General McPherson's orders. I am instructed by Major-
General McPherson to exercise general supervision of all movements against Forrest. Hence it
was of prime necessity that I should hear from you. I am in the dark as to your movements and
plans, except as I hear of them through third persons. In stopping the Fourth Iowa Cavalry you
have exceeded your authority, and probably crippled General Slocum. Nothing but the most
extreme necessity will justify this course. So I am informed you have sent for the cavalry from
Vicksburg. This, unless you have private orders authorizing such jurisdiction, is an usurpation,
and that too upon an officer very much your senior. Every effort is being made to send down to
you the troops of your command and the returning veterans of Mower's division. I shall continue
to urge the horses and material forward as fast as can be done, so that the cavalry, now
disorganized, may be filled up for the campaign. I would advise you not to put too much
confidence in the cavalry at present about Memphis. From the breaking up of regimental
organizations, the Smith retreat, and the carelessness of officers, they are far from being in a
good condition for an active campaign. As soon as the veterans return I wish the best regiments
supplied with the Spencer carbine, which has been promised and I suppose will be there. You
will send me, as soon as you possibly can, a detailed statement of your acts since taking
command, and your plans for action; also your present effective force of all arms. Advise me
constantly, day by day, of movements and of what you learn from scouts, and hereafter send no
telegrams direct to my superior officers. Send your information here and I will have it
telegraphed, if advisable to be done. I shall be pleased to give you at all times every assistance
practicable, and will sustain you frankly in all energetic measures for the public good. Do not
move against Forrest at any distance from Memphis without sufficient force to beat him if you
bring him to action. Of the amount of that force I will not assume to determine, as my opinion, in
that question, has been called in question. If you do go, or have gone when this reaches
Memphis, the officer whom you leave in charge must look with special care to the south
approaches to Fort Pickering.
I am, general, with great respect, your obedient servant,
Major-General, Commanding.
Memphis, Tenn., May 6, 1864.
(Via Cairo, Ill., 11 a.m. 8th. Received 2 p.m.)
Maj. Gen. H. W. HALLECK,
Chief of Staff:
The Ninth Iowa Cavalry, 1,000 strong, fully mounted, armed, and equipped, have been six
months at Benton Barracks, doing nothing. I request that they may be sent here.
Memphis, Tenn., May 6, 1864.
Lieutenant-Colonel CALDWELL,
Third Iowa Cavalry Veteran Volunteers:
COLONEL: You will immediately organize a force of 250 men mounted and armed, with
five days' rations, to be ready to move at daylight to-morrow morning. Let the commanding
officer of the force report at these headquarters this afternoon for instructions.
Moscow, May 7, 1864.
Major-General WASHBURN:
I have the honor to report my arrival at Moscow all right with provision train. Have not heard
from General Sturgis.
Major Eighth Iowa Infantry, Commanding Train.
Memphis, Tenn., May 14, 1864.
Maj. W. H. MORGAN,
Assistant Adjutant-General:
MAJOR: In obedience to your order of this date, I have the honor to report that the effective
mounted force of my command is about 3,000. The numbers have been diminished since the
10th instant by the prevalence of the distemper among the new animals of the Third and Fourth
Iowa Cavalry.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
Memphis, May 14, 1864.
This report is manifestly incorrect. I sent out with Brigadier-General Sturgis full 3,400
mounted men, leaving me here from 400 to 500 odds and ends mounted. Since then the Third
Iowa Cavalry has come with a large number of horses. Making all due allowances for excessive
mortality, there should be at least 4,000 horses here for service; where are they?
By order of Major-General Washburn:
Assistant Adjutant-General.
Memphis, Tenn., May 16, I864.
Brig. Gen. W. Sooy SMITH,
Chief of Cavalry, Military Division of the Mississippi:
GENERAL: In answer to your request of the 2d instant, I saw Lieutenant Williamson
concerning the correspondent "Barr," but he remembered nothing of it. Lieutenant Metcalf, of
my staff, however, remembers the circumstances. He states that the man's name was Barr, and he
is quite certain that he never reported, in accordance with his parole. I herewith inclose reports of
the unserviceable horses, condemned and turned over in this command during the months of
February, March, and April of this year. This does not, however, include the old regiments of the
division, as they are nearly all absent on furlough. These are commencing to return however. The
Third and Ninth Illinois have just returned, and the Sixth and Second Iowa will be here in a week
or ten days; a part of these come mounted, and a part not. I could readily use 3,000 horses to
mount men of this command who are now dismounted. I instructed the Second Iowa, Sixth and
Seventh Illinois, to make requisitions for Spencer carbines; I cannot say whether they have done
so or not. If not, I will forward them immediately upon their return. I should have at least 3,000
of these arms forwarded, subject to my order, at once. It would save great delay in the fitting out
of this command. Cannot some arrangement be made to this end? I would willingly receipt for
the arms myself, and afterward secure the requisitions of the regiments to which they are issued.
I trust something will be done to furnish me with horses and arms without delay. This command
can then be placed in elegant condition.
Forrest has passed south, and, as near as I can ascertain, is near Tupelo, Miss. His force while
in Tennessee was about 7,000 effective men, besides between 1,500 and 2,000 conscripts,
inferiorly armed, and somewhat disorganized. I am informed that the Third Michigan and
Seventh Kansas have been ordered to rejoin this command, but do not know when they will
arrive. They are said to be armed and mounted.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Memphis, Tenn., May 24, 1864.
Washington, D. C.:
SIR: I beg leave through you to call the attention of the War Department to the condition of
my command. While I have nearly 8,000 men for duty, I have less than 4,000 serviceable horses.
The veteran regiments of this division, which have served efficiently as cavalry for over two
years and a half, are returning to the field disarmed and dismounted. The entire absence of
cavalry arms in the ordnance depots of this department precludes the possibility of their being
armed, unless the arms are forwarded from Washington. Repeated estimates and requisitions
have been made for horses, but without avail. I respectfully request that immediate measures be
taken to arm, mount, and equip the Sixth, Seventh, and Ninth Illinois, and Second Iowa Cavalry,
of this division, at the earliest possible moment. I further recommend that the Spencer carbine be
issued to these regiments, and feel willing to hold myself personally responsible for their proper
and efficient use. For the character and past services of these regiments I beg leave to refer you
to the official reports from these and the several headquarters of the Department of the
Tennessee for the past two years. The good of the service demands that these regiments be
placed upon a footing that will enable them to take the field. With these additions to the mounts
and equipment of this command, I would feel myself able, willing, and anxious to perform any
duty, no matter how hazardous, which may be blocked out by my superiors.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Vicksburg, May 30, 1864.
Major-General WASHBURN,
Commanding District of West Tennessee, Memphis, Tenn.:
SIR: Your dispatch of the 25th instant has just been received. Five regiments of Illinois
militia have been ordered to Columbus, Ky., five to Memphis, and all of the Iowa militia to
Helena. About 4,000 troops from Missouri have been ordered to Memphis, and I have also
ordered to that place nine companies of the Thirteenth Illinois Cavalry now at Alton, Ill. They
can be used as infantry until supplied with horses. The new troops are to be employed for
garrison purposes, all the troops not so employed or necessary to be organized into brigades or
divisions, are prepared and held for service in the field. The special instructions heretofore given
and General Orders, No. 7, incorrectly announced as General Orders, No. 6, authorize you to
employ the resources on either bank of the river whenever necessary, but it is to be kept
constantly in view that the object of the Government is to organize speedily as large a force as
possible for operations west of the Mississippi, and that all side issues are to be avoided, and the
troops kept well in hand for this purpose. The protection of General Sherman's rear is of course
to be watched and guarded as fully as possible.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Major-General, Commanding.
Memphis, Tenn., June 22, 1864.
Col. D. E. COON,
Commanding Third Brigade:
COLONEL: You will organize the effective force of the Second Iowa Cavalry, to start at 9
o'clock to-morrow morning, as escort for train. The officer will report promptly, with his
command, at 9 o'clock, at headquarters General A. J. Smith, on Poplar street. You will send with
this force sufficient wagons to carry the reserve supply of ammunition for your brigade. Let the
ammunition be sent out by railroad, and carry forage in wagons to terminus of railroad. Let an
officer be left to attend to sending out the ammunition.
By order of Brig. Gen. B. H. Grierson:
Assistant Adjutant-General
MEMPHIS, TENN., June 23, 1864.
Colonel WARING, White's Station:
Colonel Coon can send a detachment, say 100 men, with yours. So instruct him by my
orders. Send your ambulances and train with Second Iowa. Spring Hill is between Germantown
and Collierville. Forest Hill is the place meant, in vicinity of the female college.
Memphis, Tenn., June 23, 1864.
Col. E. F. WINSLOW, Commanding Second Brigade:
COLONEL: By direction of General A. J. Smith you will have your entire effective
command in readiness to move at 9 o'clock to-morrow morning. If the Third Iowa has not been
paid, but can receive pay so as to leave to-morrow afternoon, it can remain until that time. Take
your ammunition train. Let the officer who goes in command report to General Smith's
headquarters, on Poplar street, promptly at 9 o'clock to-morrow morning. Organize the force that
you leave behind, place them under command of the ranking officer, and instruct him to make
details daily for picketing the different approaches to Memphis. Six men and one noncommissioned
officer on each road, as heretofore; the whole under charge of a commissioned
officer, who will report daily for instructions to Maj. J. L. Atwood, general field officer of the
day, at headquarters District of West Tennessee.
By order of Brig. Gen. B. H. Grierson:
Assistant Adjutant-General
10. Memphis, Tenn., July 27, 1864.
The following-named officers are announced as upon the staff of the major-general
commanding, and will be respected and obeyed accordingly: Maj. G. M. Staples, surgeon
Fourteenth Iowa Infantry, medical director; Capt. John Hough, assistant adjutant-general
volunteers, assistant adjutant-general; Capt. J. J. Lyon, Twenty-fourth Missouri Volunteers,
judge-advocate; Capt. William S. Burns, Fourth Missouri Cavalry, acting assistant inspectorgeneral;
First Lieut. J. W. Wright, Second Iowa Cavalry, acting assistant quartermaster; Second
Lieut. John B. Pannes, Seventeenth New York Volunteers, acting ordnance officer.
Memphis, Tenn., July 31, 1864.
Col. William T. Shaw, Fourteenth Iowa Infantry, senior officer, is hereby assigned to and
will at once assume command of the Third Division, Sixteenth Army Corps, relieving Col. D.
Moore, Twenty-first Missouri Volunteers.
By order of Maj. Gen. A. J. Smith:
Assistant Adjutant-General.
MEMPHIS, TENN., August 2, 1864.
Colonel COON,
Collierville :
The artillery and train will arrive at Collierville to-night or in the morning, in charge of
Fourth Iowa Cavalry. You will leave one regiment of your command to relieve the Fourth Iowa,
and escort the train in company with the negro brigade to Holly Springs. Answer by telegraph.
The Sixth Illinois will encamp to-night at crossing of Cold-water on Pigeon Roost road.
Moscow, August 5, 1864.
Major-General WASHBURN:
A scouting party of seventy-five men from my regiment came on a rebel force north of
Somerville, on the Hatchie, at Solomon's Mills, said to be 800 strong, with two small pieces of
artillery. I have not force enough to spare from this post to move there. I can get no co-operation
from La Grange. A small force of 250 went out from La Fayette in same direction, at same time,
and have not been heard of since Wednesday noon. Can anything be done?
Colonel Forty-fifth Iowa Infantry, Commanding Post.
New Orleans, August 7, 1864.
I. The following-named regiments will be immediately held in readiness to embark on the
transports Patroon, Josephine, and Saint Charles, at Carrollton, La., at 8 a.m. this day. They will
proceed with the utmost dispatch to Dauphin Island. On their arrival they will be reported to Maj.
Gen. Gordon Granger for duty:
:Ninety-fourth Illinois Regiment Volunteers, Twentieth Wisconsin Regiment Volunteers,
Twentieth Iowa Regiment Volunteers, Thirty-eighth Iowa Regiment Volunteers.
By command of Major-General Banks:
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
August 7, 1864.
Lieut. H. HOOVER,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General:
SIR: We have reached the Tallahatchie and have two companies across holding the ferry
boat. Since dark the enemy have re-enforced their picket heavily with the apparent intention of
disputing the crossing of the cavalry and the construction of the bridge. I would respectfully
suggest that we be supplied with a proper amount of artillery, as the indications are that the
enemy will have artillery in the morning. Our loss so far, 1 killed and several wounded.
I have the honor to be, respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel, Commanding.
HERNANDO ROAD, August 21, 1864--2.30 p.m.
Maj. Gen. G. C. WASHBURN:
Forrest, with his whole force, according to all information I can get, is just beyond
Nonconnah Creek, in front. Lieutenant-Colonel Hepburn is now in conference with him at his
line under flag of truce.
Lieutenant-Colonel Third Iowa Cavalry, Commanding Cavalry.
Moscow, August 22, 1864.
Maj. Gen. C. C. WASHBURN,
Memphis, Tenn.:
SIR: I have reliable information that Forrest addressed 6,000 troops at Oxford on last
Wednesday, saying he had information daily as to the condition of Memphis; that he would lead
them into the city, and after that come up the road and take up all the Union troops at the
different stations; that the rebels then left cheering and went through Panola County, De Soto,
and Hernando. The messenger would have arrived in this vicinity on Friday night, but was
arrested and only got here last night. He says Buford is in front of General Smith and intends to
get in his rear. Will any other disposition of the troops on this road need to be made, or have you
any information to corroborate the report that Forrest will come this way?
Colonel Forty-fifth Iowa.
Memphis, Tenn., August 23, 1864--7.30 a.m.
[Lieut. C. H. TOWNSEND,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General :]
LIEUTENANT: I have just reached camp. I followed the road traveled by Forrest in retreat
from Memphis as far as Hernando. On account of non-receipt of rations I was delayed in pursuit
and compelled to return. Forrest's command commenced crossing the Coldwater on day before
yesterday evening. The last regiment left yesterday at 9.30 a.m. He is falling back on the
Senatobia road toward Panola road.
Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding Detachment
No. 115. New Orleans, La., September 1, 1864.
6. The four companies of the First Indiana Artillery and Company A, Second Illinois
Artillery, are hereby relieved from duty with the U.S. forces at Mobile Bay, and will proceed
without delay to this city, reporting upon arrival to Brig. Gen. Richard Arnold, chief of artillery,
Department of the Gulf. The Indiana artillery will take with them all their siege equipments
complete, with the exception of eight 10-inch mortars, old pattern, which, with their beds,
platforms, and implements, will be turned over to the ordnance officer at Fort Morgan. The chief
quartermaster of this division will cause the necessary transportation to be furnished as early as
7. The three companies of the Seventy-fourth U.S. Colored Infantry, now on duty at Mobile
Point, Ala., will return to Ship Islands Miss., as soon as the necessary transportation can be
furnished. The chief quartermaster of this division will cause transportation to be furnished as
early as practicable.
8. The following-named regiments are hereby relieved from duty with the U.S. forces at
Mobile Bay, and will proceed without delay to this city, reporting upon arrival at these
headquarters: Twentieth Iowa Infantry, Thirty-fourth Iowa Infantry, Thirty-eighth Iowa Infantry,
Sixty-seventh Indiana Infantry, Ninety-sixth Ohio Infantry, Seventy-seventh Illinois Infantry.
The chief quartermaster of this division will cause the necessary transportation to be furnished as
early as practicable.
By order of Maj. Gen. E. R. S. Canby:
Major and Assistant Adjutant-General.
Mobile Point, Ala., September 2, 1864.
I. Agreeably to instructions from General Bailey, commanding the forces at Mobile Point,
Ala., the undersigned hereby assumes command of this the Second Brigade.
II. First Lieut. C. S. Lake, adjutant Twentieth Iowa Infantry, will perform the duties of
assistant adjutant-general of the brigade.
Colonel Twentieth Iowa.
COLUMBUS, OHIO, September 13, 1864.
(Received 12 m.)
Maj. Gen. H. W. HALLECK,
Chief of Staff:
The time of the One hundred and thirty-third Illinois, at Rock Island, has expired, and that of
the Forty-eighth Iowa will in a few days. This will leave only the One hundred and ninety-
.seventh Pennsylvania---a new regiment--and not a sufficient guard for the large number of
prisoners at Rock Island. I have no troops available to re-enforce them.
NASHVILLE, TENN., September 16, 1864.
Capt. J. E. JACOBS, Assistant Adjutant-General, Atlanta:
As far as we can learn no officers of the cavalry were captured by Wheeler in his late raid.
Lieutenant-Colonel Eifort, Second Kentucky, was killed; Colonel Brownlow, First Tennessee,
wounded through both thighs; Capt. W. H. Evans, Eighth Iowa, arm, and Lieut. J. A. Gray,
Eighth Indiana, leg severely; Capt. A.M. Green, Sixth Kentucky, slightly by spent ball. Official
report not yet come in. Brigadier-General Croxton was in immediate command of the cavalry
Major and Assistant Adjutant-General.
KINGSTON, September 17, 1864.
(Received 8.30 p.m.)
Captain BUDLONG:
I have just received orders from Major-General Steedman to order Eighth Iowa to report to
General Croxton at Franklin, Tenn. The Fifth Iowa leaves 2 o'clock in the morning.
Patterson's Cross-Roads, September 21, 1864.
Asst Adjt. Gen., Hdqrs. Department of the Cumberland:
MAJOR: Everything is quiet on the picket-line on Camp Creek; the enemy's cavalry has
made no advance since that reported from here last evening. I inclose report from Mr. Aldridge,
who resides about one mile south of Camp Creek, on road to Sideling, as noted on sketch by
Major Young, Fifth Iowa Cavalry, furnished to the general commanding. I purpose posting the
re-enforcements from Garrard's division, at or near A. Campbell's, or Dry Pond, to support the
Second Brigade at Owl Rock Church, or Third Brigade at Mount Gilead Church. General
Kilpatrick represents that it is about three miles from Mount Gilead to the point where General
Howard's right commences to be thrown back to Doctor Wilson's, which, if the picket-line was
thrown forward, would enable him to post his First Brigade on the branch of the creek, between
Second and Third Brigades, north of William Campbell's. Having destroyed the bridges and
obstructed the fords and banks by fallen trees, would make the hill sufficiently strong to hold it
against cavalry. General K. has sent scouts eight miles below Campbellton on right bank of
Chattahoochee. The report of pontoon bridge being there is not correct. I will see General
Howard on my return tomorrow.
I am, major, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Brigadier-General and Chief of Cavalry.
East Point, Ga., October 3, 1864.
Ill. The Fifteenth Army Corps will march precisely at 5 a.m. to-morrow in the following
order: First, advance guard, to be furnished by First Division; second, First Division, including
Battery F, Second Missouri Light Artillery, Fourth Ohio Battery, First Iowa Battery; third,
Second Division, including first section Battery H, First Illinois Light Artillery, Battery A, First
Illinois Light Artillery; fourth, headquarters of Fifteenth Army Corps and of divisions behind
ambulances and ammunition of Second Division; fifth, rear guard of one brigade, to be furnished
by the Second Division. The ambulances and ten wagons infantry ammunition will follow their
respective divisions. The bulk of the trains will follow the Seventeenth Army Corps, and division
commanders will detail the necessary guards to accompany these trains.
As this corps will march nearest to the enemy, commanding officers will exert all means to
keep the column well closed up and ready for any emergency, and not permit straggling under
any pretense whatsoever.
A strong line of flankers will be thrown out, principally on the left flank.
Pickets will be relieved when the whole corps is on the line of march.
By order of Maj. Gen. P. Joseph Osterhaus:
Assistant Adjutant-General.
CARTERSVILLE, October 4, 1864.
General JOHN E. SMITH:
The enemy, in heavy force, has struck the railroad, and has destroyed several miles from
Acworth south. One hundred and twenty-five feet of the Resaca and Chattahoochee bridges have
been washed away. Wheeler has been demonstrating near Tilton and Dalton with, say, 200 men.
General Sherman has ordered General Corse to re-enforce this division. I have ordered that the
advance be sent to Allatoona and part of the troops to Resaca. Fears for the safety of 4,000 head
of cattle being entertained I sent Colonel Heath from here and the Tenth Iowa from Kingston to
Adairsville. Three droves have reached Kingston. Colonel Heath is with the other, four miles
above Adairsville. Everything quiet at Allatoona. Please send construction train to Resaca soon.
There is but one locomotive at my disposal, and it will be used to move General Corse's division.
Brevet Brigadier-General.
Memphis, Tenn., October 5, 1864.
Assistant Adjutant-General, Cavalry Corps :
CAPTAIN: A company from the Third Iowa Cavalry, under Captain Johnson, left camp
yesterday at 4 a.m., and proceeding to Raleigh, on this side Wolf River, returned on the other
side, arriving in camp again at Sunset. By my orders the houses of John Jones, of Carlisle, and of
one Sellers, were destroyed. Jones furnished the men powder to shoot us on Sunday last, has two
sons already in Alton prison, is an avowed rebel, and refuses to take the oath, harbors guerrillas,
&c. Carlisle is a rebel, and harbors guerrillas, and his house has been the resort of Harris, another
of the men who were engaged in the affair of last Sunday. Sellers is the brother-in-law of Gill,
the soldier spy caught Sunday, Gill has been harbored there for weeks past. There are some
seven horse-thieves caught and in camp this morning. They were taken last night by Captain
Joyce with a company composed of men from the Tenth Missouri and Third Iowa Cavalry. The
neighborhoods about our lines, on both sides of Wolf River, are little more than the picketlines of
the spies, scouts, and horse-thieves and smugglers, who carry supplies and information to the
rebel army. They have now received their second warning, and if they do not cease to prey upon
and annoy us I hope the general will drive them beyond a line where they can operate with their
past success.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel, Commanding.
Rome, Ga., October 9, 1864.
Capt. L. D. Bennett will proceed with his Company, D, Thirty-ninth Iowa Infantry
Volunteers, to the bridge on Rome and Kingston Railroad, six miles from this place. Upon
arriving at the point above designated he will establish his camp, fortifying and picketing in the
best possible manner, and immediately make preparations for patrolling the Etowah River,
observing the following general instructions: Pass a patrol of one non-commissioned officer and
three men up the river until they connect with the patrol of Company C, Sixty-sixth Illinois
Volunteers, from above, every two hours, and a similar patrol down the river until they meet
with cavalry or infantry patrols from below. The object of this is to watch for the enemy on
opposite side of river, and if discovered you will communicate the fact to these headquarters,
with the utmost dispatch, and keep him from crossing; also, if possible, notify the force above, in
order that you may co-operate, uniting your forces and preventing the enemy from crossing. It is
advisable that you have an understanding with the officer in command of the company above
named, in order that a system of action may be established. Cavalry patrols will also from time to
time move up and down the river, and you can transmit any information necessary by a courier
therefrom. Provide your command with three days' rations.
By order of John M. Corse, brigadier-general, commanding:
Captain and Assistant Adjutant-General.
In the Field, Ga., October 15, 1864.
I. The command will march in fighting trim in the following order: Second Division with
Battery F, Second Missouri, and Battery H, First Missouri; First Division with Fourth Ohio
Battery and First Iowa Battery; each division followed by ten ordnance wagons and ambulances.
The remainder of ordnance train will fall in rear; also headquarters trains guarded by small rear
guards. General Woods will detail one regiment to guard the ferry roads and other avenues to
this place until relieved.
By order of Maj. Gen. P. Joseph Osterhaus:
Assistant Adjutant-General.
Resaca, October 16, 1864--6.30 p.m.
Capt. L. M. DAYTON,
CAPTAIN: Two of the Seventeenth Iowa prisoners bribed the guard last night between 8 and
9 o'clock some twenty-five miles from Coosaville, traveled all night, and arrived here this p.m.
They report that Stewart's corps, after leaving Dalton on the 14th, marched night and day,
hurrying south, and would reach Coosaville to-night. One of the soldiers says he saw Stewart
several times, and heard him tell a colonel that two corps would go west from Tunnel Hill, his
going south. The troops were living on corn. After carefully examining the men, I give it as my
opinion that they are not mistaken as to Stewart's corps, being with him when he escaped.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Brevet Brigadier-General.
Rome, Ga., October 17, 1864.
You will order Lieut. Col. E. A. Bowen, Fifty-second Illinois Infantry, to cross the
Oostenaula River bridge at 6 a.m. to-morrow sharp with his own regiment, Fifty-second Illinois,
and the Seventh Iowa Infantry, which latter regiment you will instruct to report to him in time for
the movement. The men will be supplied with one day's rations and sixty rounds of ammunition.
Please order Lieut. Col. E. A. Bowen to report in person to these headquarters without delay for
By order of Brig. Gen. John M. Corse:
Captain and Assistant Adjutant-General.
Rome, Ga., October 19, 1864.
Commanding Seventh Iowa Infantry:
MAJOR: You will report at the upper Etowah River bridge with your command and the
Second Iowa Infantry, which will be ordered to report to you, at 7 a.m. to-morrow, the men to be
armed and equipped with one day's rations in haversacks. You will act as guards to forage train.
By order of Lieut. Col. Roger Martin:
Lieutenant and Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
Rome, Ga., October 19, 1864.
Commanding Second Iowa Infantry :
CAPTAIN: You will report with your command to Maj. Samuel Mahon, Seventh Iowa
Infantry, at 6 a.m. to-morrow; men to be supplied with one day's rations and to be armed and
By order of Lieut. Col. Roger Martin:
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
KINGSTON, October 22, 1864.
(Received 10.22 p.m.)
General SMITH:
Last night near a stockade occupied by the Fifty-sixth Illinois one man of that regiment was
killed and one wounded. The patrols from the stockade occupied by the Tenth Iowa, hearing the
firing, went to their assistance; they also had one man killed and one wounded. I have no further
particulars. Major-Generals Mower and Wilson are here on their way to General Sherman.
Colonel, Commanding.
CARTERSVILLE, October 23, 1864.
Maj. Gen. G. H. THOMAS,
Am guarding the country in direction of Cedartown, Cave Spring, headquarters near Van
Wert. Jackson has four brigades of cavalry at Cedartown, I have but very few men to prevent any
attack on the road. Cannot the Ninth Pennsylvania or Fifth Iowa Cavalry be sent at once to join
me? I telegraph to you direct as I cannot learn anything of General Elliott.
In the Field, Gaylesville, A la., October 24, 1864.
General H. W. HALLECK,
Chief of Staff, &c.:
GENERAL: I always designed to canvass the claims to promotion of all aspirants in the
army, so as to save the President the invidious task of judging among so many worthy men, all
of whom can only be known to him by the record. But events and movements have followed
each other so rapidly that my army commanders have not been able to attend to the matter, but
have sent into my office the detached papers of each. These I herewith inclose, indorsed with my
own individual opinion. I have not General Thomas' list, but will instruct him to send it direct
from Nashville, where he now is. If necessary to promote to divisions and brigades the officers
now exercising the rank of major-general and brigadier-general it be necessary to create
vacancies, I do think the exigencies of the country would warrant the muster out of the same
number of generals now on the list that have not done service in the past year.
The following persons should be promoted to the rank of major-general:
Army of the Cumberland: Brig. Gen. T. J. Wood, Brig. Gen. A. Baird. Bvt. Maj. Gen. Jeff.
C. Davis should be fully commissioned. Army of the Ohio: Brig. Gen. J. D. Cox to be majorgeneral.
Army of the Tennessee: Brig. Gen. Charles R. Woods, Brig. Gen. William B. Hazen,
Brig. Gen. John M. Corse, and Brig. Gen. T. E.G. Ransom. All these are actual division
commanders, men of marked courage, capacity, and merit, who are qualified to separate
Among the worthy colonels aspiring to the rank of brigadier-general I can only name Col. J.
A. Williamson, Fourth Iowa; Col. Thomas J. Harrison, Eighth Indiana Cavalry, and Col. R. H. G.
Minty, of Second Michigan Cavalry, who have long and well commanded brigades, and who
seem to have no special friends to aid them to advancement.
I am, with respect, your obedient servant,
NASHVILLE, October 25, 1864--9 p.m.
Major-General SHERMAN:
The following dispatch has been received from General Halleck, which I forward for your
information, and as a part of my report of force in Tennessee and expected to arrive:
The regiments mentioned in my dispatch to General Halleck are the following, which are
now here: One hundred and seventy-third, One hundred and seventy-fourth, One hundred and
seventy-fifth, One hundred and seventy-sixth, One hundred and seventy-seventh, One hundred
and seventy-eighth, One hundred and seventy-ninth, and One hundred and eightieth Ohio, the
Forty-third Wisconsin, Eleventh Minnesota, one-year regiments; the Twenty-ninth Michigan, a
three-years' regiment. All of the above regiments are full, and will average a force of 16,000
men. About 4,000 drafted men, recruits, and convalescents have been sent to the front, and others
are arriving and being sent forward daily.
Of cavalry I have Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh, Twelfth, and Thirteenth Indiana Regiments (new),
formerly belonging to Hovey's command. These regiments will aggregate 4,000, and are being
mounted now. They can be exchanged for the old and exhausted regiments now with the army.
The Seventh Pennsylvania Cavalry and fragments of Long's brigade are now being mounted, and
will be sent to the front as soon as possible. This force will number 1,500 men. I have also the
Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Tenth, and Twelfth Tennessee Cavalry, aggregate strength about
1,800 (but little better than militia), and Croxton's brigade, of the First Cavalry Division,
composed of the First Tennessee, Second Michigan, Eighth Iowa, and Fourth Kentucky Mounted
Infantry, aggregating about 1,200 good and reliable troops, which I should like to keep.
General Rousseau's infantry force is enumerated as follows: Thirteenth Wisconsin,
Eighteenth Michigan, Seventy-third Indiana, One hundred and second Ohio, Seventy-fifth
Pennsylvania, Eighty-third Illinois, and One hundred and fifteenth Ohio, averaging each 250
men. These regiments are garrisoning block-houses on Nashville and Chattanooga, Tennessee
and Alabama, and Memphis and Charleston Railroads, and the posts of Decatur, Huntsville, and
Athens. The Twelfth and Thirteenth (negroes), 1,200 strong, are on the Nashville and
Northwestern Railroad. The Fifteenth and Seventeenth Colored Troops, 1,200 strong, are
guarding quartermaster and commissary depots at this post. The One hundredth (negroes), about
600 strong, are at work on fortifications at Nashville. The Eighth Kentucky, Sixty-eighth
Indiana, and Fifty-eighth and Sixty-eighth New York Regiments, about 1,000 strong, are at
Bridgeport. The One hundred and sixth Ohio Volunteers and Sixth Kentucky Volunteers are at
Cowan, the tunnel, and at Stevenson; average strength of both regiments about 600 men.
Rousseau's artillery runs about as follows: Fragments of five batteries, at Nashville; average
strength, 515 men. The reserve artillery of the Department of the Cumberland, comprising
Batteries F, G, H, and M, Fourth U.S. Artillery, and H, Fifth U.S. Artillery; aggregate strength,
200; and Company E, First Ohio Light Artillery, 115 men. At Clarksville and Fort Donelson,
Battery H, Second Illinois Light Artillery, 125 men; Battery C, Second Illinois Light Artillery,
127 men. At Gallatin, the Thirteenth Indiana Battery, 135. At Johnsonville, Tenn., First Kansas
Battery, 99 men. At Murfreesborough, the Eighth Wisconsin Battery, 142; Twelfth Ohio Battery,
138, and Battery D, First Michigan Light Artillery, 138. At Tullahoma, Second Kentucky
Battery, 91 men. At Stevenson, Ala., Battery K, First Ohio Light Artillery, 116 men. At Decatur,
Battery A, First Tennessee Light Artillery, 113 men; Battery F, First Ohio Light Artillery, 122;
Battery D, Second Illinois, 85 men. At Huntsville, Battery D, First Missouri Light Artillery, 42
men; and at Columbia, Twenty-first Indiana Battery, 111 men.
General Steedman's command is as follows: Eighth Kentucky, Sixty-eighth Indiana, and
Fifty-eighth and Sixty-eighth New York are at Bridgeport and Whiteside's bridge, Tenn,
averaging about 1,000 men; Ninth Ohio Battery, 136 men, and Battery B, First Ohio Light
Artillery, 133 men, at Bridgeport.
The garrison of Chattanooga is composed of five regiments Indiana volunteers, averaging
about 200 men each; an organization of detachments of various Ohio regiments, about 600
strong; Fourteenth and Sixteenth Regiments (negroes), about 1,000, and Regular Brigade, on
Lookout Mountain, about 1,200. With Fourth Corps, and enough of the new regiments to make
up an active force of 25,000 infantry, I will undertake to clear the rebels out of West Tennessee,
and draw off enough of Hood's army from you to enable you to move anywhere in Georgia or
Alabama you may wish without difficulty, and if Hood should follow your army I will destroy
the Mobile and Alabama Railroad so effectually that he will scarcely attempt to repair it again. If
you can possibly spare me the troops I would like to have enough to hold the railroad securely as
far as Knoxville. I believe that the re-enforcements constantly going forward will enable you to
do so. Your letter by hand of Colonel Warner has been received.
Nashville, Tenn., October 26, 1864.
Maj General W. T. Sherman,
Commanding Military Division of the Mississippi:
GENERAL: That you may be informed of what I am doing here toward remounting the
cavalry, and the difficulties which stand in my way, I beg leave to submit the following report of
what has been accomplished and what is in progress:
On my arrival here I took the earliest opportunity to ascertain the condition of things here,
the number of cavalry dismounted, and the means of equipping them again for the field. The
result of my examination was by no means encouraging. I found at the cavalry camp organized
by General Smith, near this place, near 2,000 dismounted men, detachments from many different
regiments; on the line of the Tennessee and Alabama road were some 2,500 of Garrard's cavalry
division dismounted; five new regiments Indiana cavalry--Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh, Twelfth,
Thirteenth--never- mounted, and nearly all of the Fourth Cavalry Division, Army of the
Cumberland, mostly dismounted, and as nearly as I could learn imperfectly armed. On the
whole, 1 computed there were 10,000 of the cavalry in Middle Tennessee, at the least which to
fit them for duty in the field would require remounts, and wholly or in part a new equipment.
Besides which there was, as you know, a considerable force dismounted on the railroads below
Chattanooga, of which I could not learn with any degree of precision the number or condition,
and General Croxton's brigade at this place nearly ready to march. I must say here that the
information afforded by the records found in this office on my arrival here was very imperfect
and unsatisfactory; there was no report or returns from the cavalry of the Army of the Ohio later
than March 30, and none from the Army of the Cumberland later than May 30. Though I have
made application for them, they have not been able to bring them up in General Thomas'
command to a later date than June 20. I never received any from the Army of the Ohio. To equip
this vast host I found absolutely no serviceable cavalry horses, a very meager supply of horse
equipments, and no saddle blankets, some 100 sabers, and no reliable cavalry firearms;
altogether there was not enough of everything to equip, indifferently, one full cavalry regiment. I
immediately addressed myself to urging upon the officials of the ordnance and quartermaster's
departments such measures as seemed to be likely to remedy this condition of things in the hope
that time would be afforded me to so arrange affairs that I should be enabled to send out from the
start complete organizations, thoroughly mounted, armed, and equipped.
The presence of the enemy under General Wheeler, however, who appeared within sight of
Nashville on the 1st of September, interfered with my plans, and made it necessary to send out
every man for whom a horse, a saddle, and a gun could be provided; accordingly, I organized a
battalion of near 1,000 men, composed of detachments from different regiments, and mounted
mostly on unserviceable horses and many of them on mule saddles and armed with infantry
arms, and sent them out under General Croxton, whose brigade, as I have mentioned, was then
here nearly ready to go to the front. Immediately upon the return of these troops, which was not
until the 15th, I dispatched the Ninth Ohio Cavalry to Louisville to draw 500 horse equipments
which I had provided there, enough to equip the regiment, and to bring down 1,000 horses. In the
mean time I got off 400 horses in charge of 247 men of his brigade, for Colonel Watkins at
Calhoun, Ga.; remounted and armed the Sixth Indiana, and a good number of detachments along
the line of the Tennessee and Alabama road, which it seemed desirable to keep in serviceable
condition, in order that we might have early notice, or that, at least, the officer commanding that
district might have the means of keeping himself notified of any movement of the enemy's
cavalry in that direction, which then seemed probably. Croxton was also at Franklin waiting for
horse equipments, to supply some men whom he had been compelled to leave behind on the
Wheeler raid, and horses in place of those which had given out. I had hardly gotten the Sixth
Indiana and some other detachments into shape to send off about 2,000 in all, and Croxton was
ready to march, when Forrest's raid compelled the retention of all these troops in Middle
Tennessee. I was able to bring into the field to co-operate with General Rousseau against Forrest
near 5,000 cavalry. But all of these, except the Sixth Indiana and Ninth Ohio, were so
indifferently organized and officered, being composed of detachments from nearly all the
regiments in the army, raw recruits, stragglers, hospital rangers, &c., that they broke down their
horses, short as the campaign was, and I had to bring them back here to recuperate. Major-
General Thomas gave orders to General Croxton, who, I believe, is now still at Pulaski. I,
however, sent off the Ninth Ohio from Athens, to report to Major-General Schofield
Chattanooga. In addition to the force of cavalry mentioned in default of armed cavalry, I had
furnished horses to General Rousseau to mount five small regiments of infantry, equipping them
with citizen's saddles impressed here in this city. These horses I left at Athens to mount some
dismounted cavalry of Major-General Thomas' command at and near that place.
During my absence with Major-General Rousseau in the pursuit after Forrest, there were sent
to the Ninth Pennsylvania Cavalry, Army of the Cumberland, 300 horses to mount recruits, and
since my return here I have mounted, equipped, and armed, as well as the facilities afforded by
the ordnance depot here permitted, detachments of the Ninth Pennsylvania Cavalry, Ninth Ohio
Cavalry, First Wisconsin Cavalry, Eighth Indiana Cavalry, Fourth Ohio Cavalry, and some
others, over 1,000 in all. There is now at the cavalry camp here a detachment of the Second
Kentucky, mostly non-veterans whose term of service has expired, detachment Fourth Indiana,
which I have permitted to await here de-receipt of an invoice of cavalry arms on the way to them
from Washington, and what is known as the First Battalion Detached Men, composed of odds
and ends from all regiments, organized by General Sooy Smith during his administration, and
which, on account of its character in this respect, I have retained here until I should get off those
detachments which have officers and a semblance of organization. I send 400 of the Fifth Iowa
to Louisville to-morrow for horses; this regiment will number near 700, and, with General
Thomas' approval, I have determined to keep it here for the present. There are three regiments of
the new cavalry belonging to Army of the Cumberland, Ninth, Eleventh, and Thirteenth Indiana,
or rather detachments from these, about 1,200 men in all, now at Louisville; one of them starts
to-morrow, one of them on the 28th, and the third as soon as saddle blankets can be procured.
The saddles which they have drawn there are, I am informed by telegraph, very poor.
The ordnance department is the great difficulty in my way now; today they report to me on
hand at the depot here 5,460 blankets and only 381 saddles; less than ten days ago they had 1,200
saddles and no blankets. In both the depot here and that at Louisville there are not enough
serviceable carbines of any one kind to arm one squadron. There is not enough of all kinds here
to arm more than 300 men. However, I have assurances from the Cavalry Bureau that this shall
be remedied. They telegraph me there are 5,000 horse equipments now on the way to this depot
and Louisville. I hope I shall within a week be able to equip a brigade, if one is sent up, and I
particularly recommend that her after brigades, or at least regiments complete, be sent up. The
practice of sending detachments is a bad one. I respectfully inclose copies of orders issued by
me, or at my suggestion, to which I invite attention, particularly that dismounting the Sixth
Indiana Cavalry; I satisfied myself before recommending this order, of the justice of this course,
and being unable to communicate with you submitted my purpose to Major-General Thomas,
who approved it. I earnestly request that for the sake of the example upon the cavalry generally,
this order may be adhered to. There are, I omitted to mention, in Kentucky seven regiments of
cavalry refitting, under the direction of an officer of Major-General Schofield's staff, to whose
command they belong. In answer to an inquiry of mine I was informed, under date of September
23, that they would be ready to move in four weeks. I have telegraphed to-day to hurry them up.
In conclusion, permit me to say that while so much has not been accomplished as I desired,
or as perhaps you may have expected, I trust the difficulties to which I have alluded and the
frequent interruption to the communications with the army will seem a sufficient excuse.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Brigadier-General of Volunteers, Chief of Cavalry.
Marietta, Ga., October 28, 1864.
Major-General WILSON,
Comdg. Cavalry Corps, Military Division of the Mississippi:
GENERAL: Major Whitaker will hand you reports showing the condition of my command.
Before giving you my opinion on the points mentioned in your communication, or making any
suggestions, let me say, general, that you may safely expect everything from me that energy,
zeal, and a cheerful compliance with all orders can accomplish. A reorganization of our cavalry
in the West has long been needed, and I commence at once with my whole heart to assist you.
The material is good, the discipline bad, yet if carefully organized and well officered your corps
in six months can be made to rival the splendid cavalry of the East in spite of its many victories
and proud reputation. My division, composed of three brigades of three regiments each, has
never yet been all together, and was not at first properly organized. The following is the
organization: First Brigade--Ninth Pennsylvania, Fifth Iowa, and Third Indiana Cavalry
(battalion); Second Brigade--Tenth Ohio, Eighth Indiana, and Second Kentucky (battalion);
Third Brigade---Fifth Kentucky, Third Kentucky, and Ninety-second Illinois Mounted Infantry;
Tenth Wisconsin Volunteer Battery. The Second Kentucky has but 260 men left, Third Indiana
has but 200 men left; the other regiments are good and quite strong; the Second Kentucky and
Third Indiana cannot be counted regiments in a reorganization. I have, therefore, left seven
regimental Ninth Pennsylvania, Fifth Iowa, Tenth Ohio, Eighth Indiana, Fifth Kentucky Cavalry,
Third Kentucky Cavalry, and Ninety-second Illinois Mounted Infantry. The Ninth Pennsylvania
is full and well mounted. I will dismount the Eighth Indiana and Fifth Kentucky; their horses
will, I think, mount the dismounted men of my other regiments. The Fifth Iowa was sent to
Nashville several weeks since to be mounted, and should have returned before this, but yesterday
I received a telegram saying, that it had been ordered to remain at Nashville on duty for the
present. This regiment is one of my best and I cannot afford to lose it. I respectfully request that
the regiment and Colonel Lowe, the colonel who has been absent from his division on duty at
dismounted camp at Nashville for several months, be ordered at once to join me. In reference to
the number of brigades, I much prefer two, provided they are large. Each brigade, I think, should
have five regiments. The great difficulty found in selecting good brigade commanders renders it
quite necessary to have as few as possible. With your permission, I should like to make certain
transfers of regiments, so as to change those now in command. I will push everything forward as
rapidly as possible, and spare no pains to make my division all that you could wish. I shall need
three or four new regiments to complete my organization. I will not apply for any particular ones,
but promise to make all fight you may choose to send me.
With my best wishes for your perfect success, I am with great respect, very respectfully, your
obedient servant,
Brigadier-General Volunteers, Commanding Division.
In the Field, Ala., October 29, 1864--8 p.m.
Lieut. Col. W. T. CLARK,
Asst. Adjt. Gen., Department and Army of the Tennessee:
COLONEL: By direction of Major-General Osterhaus I have the honor to report that the
Fifteenth Corps obtained possession of the bridge across Coosa River at 3.30 p.m. The head of
the column arrived at a point one mile beyond the fork of the road on the Jacksonville road, and
six miles from Cedar Bluff, about dark, where the corps will encamp. It has been detained
greatly by the train of the Seventeenth Army Corps. General Osterhaus has remained at the
bridge until the column crosses, when he expects to see it effectually destroyed.
I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant,
Lieut. Col. 4th Iowa Infty., Actg. Asst. Insp. Gen., 15th Army Corps.
NASHVILLE, TENN., October 29, 1864--9 p.m.
(Received 1.15 a.m. 30th.)
Maj. Gen. H. W. HALLECK,
Chief of Staff:
The following dispatches received to-day are forwarded for your information:
DECATUR, ALA., October 29, 1864.
Major-General THOMAS:
Our skirmishers have just driven the enemy on our front out of their rifle-pits into the woods,
1,800 yards from our works. Our men have possession of these pits, and will occupy them tonight.
Am satisfied that they are gradually withdrawing, and that their main force will encamp at
Courtland to-night. Have sent an additional patrol to Brown's Ferry, and will send a regiment of
infantry in that direction in the morning on gun-boat, if it returns from Whitesburg; if not, will
send them on foot. Sent gun-boat up river, to patrol it more perfectly.
I send, also, the following, dated Centre Star, via Pulaski, 29th, 4 a.m.:
Major-General THOMAS:
Major Root, Eighth Iowa Cavalry, reports the enemy crossing river at the mouth of Cypress
Creek, two miles below Florence. I will move down at once with all the force that can be spared
from guarding river, and try and drive them back.
The Fourth Corps (Stanley's) is at Rossville to-night. Have made arrangements to dispatch it
by railroad to Athens and Pulaski as rapidly as possible. Have also ordered General Hatch, at
Clifton, to re-enforce General Croxton at Florence. With Croxton on the spot to oppose him I do
not think the enemy can cross in very heavy force before Stanley can get into position and be
prepared to meet him.
(Same to Major-General Sherman.)
CHATTANOOGA, October 31, 1864.
Major-General SHERMAN:
General Granger telegraphs from Decatur at 4.30 this p.m. that couriers report enemy's
cavalry at 12 m. to-day on west side of Elk River at ford on Athens and Florence road; that
enemy made his appearance opposite Brown's Ferry at 9 this a.m. and attacked our pickets; also
that General Croxton reports that the enemy has crossed at Bainbridge and captured small
portion of Second Michigan and Eighth Iowa Cavalry. The cannonading last night was at that
place. They are reported crossing in force at Shoal Creek and pressing General Croxton back.
OCTOBER 31, 1864--7 a.m.
I have just communicated with General Croxton's command at Rogersville. He has one
company at that point. Enemy has crossed at Bainbridge and captured small portions of Second
Michigan and Eighth Iowa Cavalry. The cannonading last evening was at that place. They are
reported crossing in force at mouth of Shoal Creek and pressing General Croxton back. Major
Williamson, Tenth Indiana, is between Brown's Ferry and Elk River.
Major Tenth Indiana Cavalry.
PULASKI, TENN., November 1, 1864---8 p.m.
Major-General THOMAS:
I have as yet no dispatches from General Croxton, but his hospital steward just in left his
train this morning on Sugar Creek. He says the train was ordered back to Croxton's camp, on
Four-Mile Creek, ten miles from Florence. The most of the men of the Eighth Iowa and Second
Michigan who were missing have come in. It appears they were attacked in front by two
regiments of infantry and in rear by rebel cavalry. The steward says it was reported that the
rebels had crossed back south of the river.
Nashville, Tenn., November 1, 1864--9.30 a.m.
Major-General ROUSSEAU,
Columbia :
Your dispatch received. Communicate with Stanley, and you and he must keep Hood back
until I can get Schofield up. Croxton and Hatch ought to be able to retard Hood long enough for
Stanley to get troops into position. I have sent you this morning the Fifth Iowa Cavalry and
detachments of other regiments, which will amount to something like 1,000 men. Have just
heard from Croxton; he holds Shoal Creek, seven miles east of Bough's Factory, nine miles north
of Florence.
Major-General, U. S. Volunteers, Commanding
COLUMBIA, TENN., November 3, 1864.
Major-General THOMAS:
A lieutenant of the Tenth Tennessee, carrying your order to General Hatch, has just come in
from Croxton's command. He reports squads of rebel cavalry in and near Lawrenceburg. They
hold the roads between that point and Pulaski turnpike. These squads probably followed Hatch,
and are now north of Croxton. The Fifth Iowa has not yet reported here.
Colonel, Commanding Post.
Atlanta, Ga., November 8, 1864.
Lieutenant-Colonel PERKINS,
Assistant Adjutant-General:
SIR: Lieut. Col. B. H. Showers, [Seventeenth Ohio,] and Lieut. W. D. Hudson, of the
Seventeenth Iowa, came into our lines this morning, having escaped from the enemy, they
having been captured at Tilton last month. They were taken from Tilton to Eufaula, Ala., and
then were being moved to South Carolina, when they escaped at Columbus, Ga. They report the
enemy as moving all stores, supplies, material, &c., from Oxford, Talladega, Montgomery, and
east to Selma and beyond on the lines of communication running to Corinth and Tuscumbia.
There were some troops and considerable fortifications at Montgomery; none of any account at
Columbus; people reported West Point pretty well fortified. From Columbus they went north,
striking West Point road at Newnan. They found two regiments of cavalry here, but they were on
their way to Hood's army. These troops had been gathering cattle, &c., and were driving
everything westward. Cars were running to Newnan, and were mainly employed in taking up the
rails for use on the new lines of communication. They had already taken up some thirty miles of
track. None of the people entertain any other idea but that we were certain to evacuate at Atlanta,
and that General Sherman was certain to oppose Hood with his entire army. General Withers was
in command of Southern Alabama, and he declared that General Sherman was forced to retire
from Northern Georgia. They saw the entire rebel army in its late operations at Resaca and
vicinity--Stewart's, Lee's, and Cheatham's corps. Stewart's assistant adjutant-general claimed
30,000, but there could not have been much more than 20,000 strong. Sixty miles out from
Atlanta there were cattle, hogs, corn, and potatoes in plenty. Between Columbus, Ga., and
Montgomery, Ala., the country was very rich; corn and forage were in the greatest profusion.
Yours respectfully,
Major and Provost-Marshal, Twentieth Army Corps.
WASHINGTON, D. C., June 15, 1864.
Lieutenant-General GRANT,
Bermuda Hundred, Va.:
GENERAL: I inclose herewith a list of regiments and detachments forwarded to the Army of
the Potomac from May 1 to date, making in all 55,178. This is exclusive of those sent to General
Butler. I do not know the amount of its losses but I presume that these re-enforcements will make
that army as strong as at the beginning of the campaign. You will have learned from telegrams
forwarded and official and semi-official statements by the press that General Sherman is
progressing favorably; that General Burbridge has defeated and scattered Morgan's robber band
in Kentucky, but that the expedition sent out by General Washburn, about 9.000 strong, under
General Sturgis, against Forrest was defeated at Guntown, Miss., with great loss. We have as yet
no details and only vague reports of the disaster. The rebels having blockaded the Mississippi
River at Greenville, Miss. General Canby sent General A. J. Smith to attack and disperse these
blockading forces. I have not heard of the result. It is understood that as soon as he accomplishes
this object he is to go to Memphis, organize a proper force, and move against Forrest. It was
fortunate that we wrung some forces out of General Rosecrans to send to Memphis, otherwise
that place would have been seriously endangered by Sturgis' defeat. I think it probable that
Forrest will now move into Middle Tennessee to cut Sherman's communication and capture
some of his depots. I shall therefore order a portion of General Burbridge's forces to Nashville
and Huntsville, if it prove true that Morgan is virtually disposed of and the rumor of a second
invasion of Kentucky proves, as I think it will, unfounded. We are getting the new troops out of
Illinois, Iowa, and Wisconsin as fast as possible. I don't think they will prove efficient or be of
much use before the expiration of their term of service. I have uniformly opposed these short
enlistments as money utterly thrown away. I have no news directly from General Hunter as late
as that received from your headquarters and rebel newspapers. Where he is and what he intends
to do at the present time is merely conjecture. When last heard from he was moving on
Lynchburg, but if it be true that Breckinridge has moved with a superior force by Orange Court-
House on his communications he will hardly be able to reach your army and may be obliged to
fall back to Western Virginia. If, however, Sheridan opens communication with him the problem
may be changed. In ignorance of what instructions he may have recently received from you I
have simply sent him the purport of your telegrams without any orders, leaving him to act as
circumstances may arise or as you may have directed. I learn from General Sigel that he (Hunter)
has ordered re-enforcements from West Virginia, but Breckinridge may prevent their reaching
him. On the whole, I feel, since your last change of base, some apprehension for his safety. But
this is one of the usual contingencies of every campaign where forces move on separate and
distant lines. As nearly all our resources for supplying the losses of our armies in the field are
now exhausted, I have urged the resort to a new draft. I think one will be ordered as soon as
Congress repeals the $300 commutation clause. So long as that exists we cannot get men,
although a draft would bring some money into the Treasury. I will write you in a day or two on
some other matters of importance now under examination in the Executive Bureaus.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Major-General and Chief of Staff.
Saint Paul, Minn., October 10, 1864.
GENERAL: In compliance with directions contained in dispatch of 5th instant, from
department headquarters, I have the honor to make the following report of military operations for
the year ending 1st instant:
Upon the return from the expedition under my command against the hostile Sioux Indians in
September, 1863, I was instructed to dispatch to the South all the force that could be spared from
this district. Orders were accordingly issued to the Seventh, Ninth, and Tenth Minnesota
Volunteers to proceed without unnecessary delay to Saint Louis, and report for duty to the
commanding officer of the Department of the Missouri, and these regiments left this district
accordingly on the 7th and 8th of October following.
The Sixth and Eighth Regiments were retained for the protection of the frontier, the former
being for the most part posted at Forts Snelling and Ridgely, and at the out stations north of the
Minnesota River, to Paynesville, and south to the Iowa line, while the companies of the Eighth
garrisoned Forts Abercrombie, Ripley, and the intervening stations, and performed escort duty to
the trains of public supplies. The Independent Battalion of Minnesota Volunteers, raised and
commanded by Maj. E. A. C. Hatch, having been ordered to report to me for assignment to duty,
was dispatched on 10th of October to Pembina, to hold in check the hostile Sioux who had
retreated for safety into Her Majesty's coterminous possessions, where they could not be
followed by our troops, as I had received stringent orders from General Halleck, through
department headquarters, in no case to cross the boundary line with a military force. About
ninety Sioux men, women, and children came across the boundary and surrendered to Major
Hatch, commanding at Pembina. The battalion, with one section of mountain howitzers of Third
Minnesota mixed battery, went into winter quarters at Pembina, and remained until about the 1st
of May of the present year, when I ordered Major Hatch with his command to relieve the
detachments of the Eighth Regiment Minnesota Volunteers at Fort Abercrombie, and at the
stations of Pomme de Terre and Alexandria, that regiment having been designated as part of the
expeditionary force to join Brigadier-General Sully on the Missouri. The other three sections of
the mixed gun and howitzer battery (Third Minnesota) were stationed respectively at Forts
Ridgely, Snelling, and Ripley.
During the month of September, 1863, Sergeant Edwards, of the First Minnesota Mounted
Rangers, was killed by a party of savages on the road between Lake George and Paynesville.
This was the only outrage committed after the close of the campaign of 1863. In that year within
this district I kept employed during the winter an efficient body of Indians and half-breeds, who
had proved their fidelity to the Government since the outbreak of 1862, as scouts, and so
disposed of them as to secure constant and reliable information of the movements of the hostile
bands from time to time, and of their views and intentions. Knowing there were among the
Sisseton Sioux quite a considerable number who were anxious to make peace with our
Government, I employed with your sanction Rev. Father Andre and J. R. Brown as special
agents on the part of the military authorities to open a communication with them, and endeavor
to detach them, and also well disposed Indians, of other bands, from the hostile combinations.
Their efforts were only partially successful. Some of the chiefs and principal braves appeared at
Fort Abercrombie and signed the conditions of peace which were granted them, but the larger
portion of the friendly disposed Sissetons were prevented from thus surrendering themselves by
the menaces of the bands still determined upon war, and by the representations of the Red River
half-breeds that if they did give themselves up they would all be executed by hanging. A vigilant
watch was enforced along the extensive frontier by the forces stationed for that purpose, but no
raids were attempted by the savages during the winter. On the 17th of May, 1864, a white boy
was killed by a war party on the Watonwan River, and on the following day a soldier of the Sixth
Minnesota Volunteers was wounded not far from the same spot. One of the Indians probably
belonging to the same gang was subsequently killed by two soldiers of the Sixth Regiment near
the Cottonwood River, and the others only escaped by concealing themselves in the almost
impenetrable thickets on the banks of that stream. A foray was made on the 11th of August,
following, on the settlements on the Blue Earth River, and two citizens were killed and one badly
wounded by the savages, who succeeded in effecting their escape, after a hot chase by a
detachment of the Second Minnesota Cavalry. The pursuit was followed up by a number of my
scouts, until the latter found themselves confronted by a force of fifty warriors, who luckily for
the pursuers were for the most part without horses. From conversation with the Indians at a safe
distance the scouts learned that they were of the White Lodge's band of Sisseton Sioux, the
actors in the horrible massacres committed at Lake Shetek in 1862. A strong detachment of
cavalry was sent to' destroy this party as soon as information had been given of their proximity to
the settlements, but some days having intervened no traces could be found of the savages, who
seem to have retreated precipitately to the westward after having been discovered. Three citizen
teamsters were murdered by a party of twenty-one Sioux warriors on the 24th of August, on the
Red River of the North, at a point equal distant between Georgetown and Fort Abercrombie. The
murderers were pursued by Major Adams with a detachment of forty men of his battalion, but
they had too long a start to be overtaken. Other small parties of Indians have infested the frontier
during the summer, but the slender force under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Pfaender
was kept in motion, and with the aid of a few State minute-men called into service by Governor
Miller, has secured the settlers from further molestation up to the present time.
In obedience to your summons, I repaired to the headquarters of the department at
Milwaukee in the latter part of February last, to confer with yourself and Brigadier-General Sully
relative to the military operations of the ensuing season. The plan adopted by you was
communicated to each of us officially, and in accordance with that part of it which required me
to furnish a force from this military district to join General Sully's command on the Missouri, I
issued orders for the concentration near Fort Ridgely on the 28th of May following of the Eighth
Minnesota Volunteers, under Colonel Thomas, of six companies of the Second Cavalry, under
Colonel McLaren, and two sections of the mixed gun and howitzer battery of the Third
Minnesota, under Captain Jones. This force, including about forty scouts, numbered 1,551 men,
all mounted, and Col. M. T. Thomas, of the Eighth Minnesota Volunteers, was placed in
command, with orders to march on the 6th of June to Swan Lake, the locality on the Missouri
River indicated for the junction with Brigadier-General Sully. The route was prescribed by me,
and so well timed was the movement that the co-operating force from this district reached Swan
Lake only a few hours after the arrival of the other brigade, having marched 332 miles from Fort
The operations of General Sully being confined entirely to the limits of his own district, it is
no part of my duty to follow his movements Or detail the part taken by the brigade from this
district in the two successive engagements which resulted in the defeat of the Teton bands of
Sioux with a heavy loss in warriors, and the sacrifice of a very large amount of subsistence,
buffalo robes, cooking utensils, &c. In these conflicts I have good reason for the belief that the
Minnesota troops gallantly performed their part. The Eighth Regiment Minnesota Volunteers is
now on the way to this city en route for the South, in accordance with your directions, and the
other detachments are being stationed for the additional defense of the frontier. The Sixth
Regiment Minnesota Volunteers was, by directions of the War Department, communicated
through you, dispatched to Helena, Ark., from this district on the 14th of June last. The chasm
created by the removal of that regiment from the line of posts north and south of the Minnesota
River, including Fort Ridgely, was but partially and insufficiently filled by two companies of the
Second Minnesota Cavalry, which was all the disposable force at my command for that purpose,
and I felt great anxiety lest a knowledge on the part of the powerful bands of Sioux on the north
of the Missouri that very few troops were left for the protection of so long a line would embolden
them to make a demonstration in force and renew the atrocities of 1862. That this was not done
can be accounted for in no other way than that they had not yet recovered from the demoralizing
effects of the defeats encountered by them during the campaigns of 1862 and 1863. Fort
Wadsworth, so denominated by order of the War Department, is a new post in process of
construction near the head of the Coteau des Prairies, about 190 miles from Fort Ridgely and
seventy-five from Fort Abercrombie. Your directions required me to build the fort on the James
River, if timber sufficient could be found, and if not, to select the nearest practicable site to that
stream. After a full examination of the valley of the James River by Captain Burton, a competent
and judicious officer, Major Clowney, of the Thirtieth Wisconsin Volunteers, who had been
chosen by me to carry out your instructions, became satisfied, as I had previously been from
personal observation, that no wood for a military post could be found on the upper James River.
Following my orders he examined the country near the head of the Coteau des Prairies, and fixed
upon what is represented by all who have seen it to be a very commanding and defensible
position. The work was energetically commenced and prosecuted by Major Clowney, and is
proceeding as rapidly as possible under the direction of his successor, Major Rose, Second
Minnesota Cavalry, who with four companies of that regiment has relieved the four companies
of the Thirtieth Wisconsin Volunteers at that post. The latter command is on its way to this city,
being ordered by you to the South. Fort Wadsworth is one of the most important military stations
of the Northwest. It is to be hoped that your intention to construct a similar large fort at Devil's
Lake can be successfully carried out during the coming year, thus completing the cordon of posts
in the heart of the Indian country. When completed and garrisoned by a strong force they will
exercise a powerful effect on the wild bands of Sioux, who for the past two years have
occasioned so much mourning and alarm among the white border settlers by their ruthless deeds
of massacre and desolation.
In addition to the other duties imposed upon the troops in this district, they have had to act as
escorts to trains of supplies to distant posts, and on one occasion last fall three companies of the
Sixth Minnesota Volunteers were dispatched, as guard to a large provision train belonging to the
U.S. Indian Department, to the Indian reservation on the Missouri. These companies with their
charge left on 15th of November, accomplished the march safely, and returned to this district
about the 1st of January last, having marched nearly 800 miles, without any loss of men or
animals. The extent of the line to be protected from the hostile indians may be estimated at
upward of 400 miles, and a force is also required at Fort Ripley to operate as a check on the
Chippewas, who are uneasy and discontented. Until these Indian difficulties are at an end there
should be, in my judgment, not less than one entire regiment of men and one battery, in addition
to the force required to hold the posts and stations, in order properly to defend the frontier and
repel attack. There are now in this district the regiment of Second Minnesota Cavalry, six
companies of Independent Battalion, one company Veteran Reserve Corps, Third Minnesota
Battery, five companies of U. S. Volunteers and Connecticut cavalry, with detachments of other
rebel deserters and refugees which have been dispatched to this district for service. Many of the
latter are desperate characters, requiring an equal number of men to keep them in subjection and
prevent their desertion. A few men have been on duty in the provost-marshal's department, and
one company of the Independent Battalion is now serving as provost guard under the direction of
acting assistant provost-marshal-general of the State.
In concluding this report I beg leave to call through you the earnest attention of the honorable
Secretary of War to a subject which I have repeatedly presented in my official dispatches to
department headquarters; I refer to the fact that the British Government still permits Her
Majesty's territories to be made the refuge of the murdering bands who disturb the peace of our
frontier, from the pursuit of the troops under my command, and these savages are in constant and
open communication with British traders, who furnish them with ammunition and other articles
with which to carry on the war with our Government without let or hindrance by the local
authorities. Indeed, the half-breed subjects of Her Britannic Majesty traverse our domain in
every direction for purposes of trading and hunting, and are thus directly interested in the
continuance of hostilities between us and the upper bands of Sioux Indians, and it is known that
they foment discontent with the Chippewas with whom they come in contact by representations
that they are defrauded by the United States Government by payment in paper instead of coin, of
the money due them under treaty stipulations. In fact, until some arrangement shall be made
between the two Governments whereby these constant violations of international comity on the
part of Her Majesty's subjects can be arrested, and a sufficient force of troops to guarantee the
neutrality of British soil stationed in the vicinity of the boundary line, it is almost hopeless to
look for a speedy solution of these Indian difficulties. On the contrary, if it can possibly be
effected by the influence of the Red River half-breeds, we may anticipate that the Chippewas
will soon be added to the number of our active enemies. I trust you will agree with me in my
views of the importance to be attached to early action on the part of the United States
Government, and press the subject upon the attention of the honorable Secretary of War.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Brigadier-General, Commanding.
Maj. Gen. JOHN PORE,
Comdg. Department of the Northwest, Milwaukee, Wis.
Helena, Ark., July 31, 1864.
This command is in mourning for four of its most meritorious and gallant officers. On the
morning of the 26th instant Col. W. S. Brooks, in command of detachments of the Fifty-sixth and
the Sixtieth U.S. Colored Infantry, and one section of Lembke's battery, numbering, all told, 368
men and officers, were attacked by overwhelming forces, at least three to one, at Big Creek.
Surrounded and pressed on three sides, the whole command unflinchingly held their ground for
three hours, doing so much damage to the enemy that he was successfully kept at bay. Col. W. S.
Brooks early in the engagement, mounted, marshaling and encouraging his men, at the post of
duty and honor, fell mortally wounded. His honorable career is thus early closed. He entered the
service as a private in the First Iowa Infantry. He was promoted to a lieutenant of the Nineteenth
Iowa. He distinguished himself at the battle of Wilson's Creek, and again at the battle of Prairie
Grove, where he was wounded. He was appointed lieutenant-colonel of his regiment, now the
Fifty-sixth U.S. Colored Infantry, and promoted to be its colonel, in which office he displayed all
the qualities of an excellent officer, the regiment exhibiting daily improvement in knowledge and
discipline under his command. He was enterprising and sought active duty and distinction. And
how shall we mourn the gallant Capt. James F. Lembke? He was a youthful foreigner, but he
became a true American citizen. He enlisted as a private at the breaking out of the rebellion in
Taylor's (Chicago) battery. He fought at Belmont, Donelson, Shiloh, Chickasaw Bayou,
Arkansas Post, and Vicksburg. He was so brave and intelligent that he was made captain of
Battery E, Second U.S. Colored Artillery (light), and came here with orders to enlist and
organize his battery. We have witnessed his success and faithfulness. Early in the action of the
26th instant, at the post of duty, he fell mortally wounded. The Swedes in America have given us
no better soldier. They and we shall cherish his fame. Adjt. Theodore W. Pratt, of the Sixtieth
U.S. Colored Infantry, eagerly volunteered to go with his small detachment as aide-de-camp to
Colonel Brooks. He was a useful and faithful officer. He sought active service and distinction,
and proved his gallantry and devotion. He fell mortally wounded, on the 26th instant, at the post
of duty. Surg. J. C. Stoddard has been known to us as the skillful and faithful surgeon of the
Fifty-sixth U.S. Colored Infantry from its organization. His attention to his duties was
unsurpassed by any of the officers of his department. He was killed while in the act of examining
the wounds of his brave commander.
While this action has filled us with mourning for the four gallant officers who yielded up
their lives, we mourn also for nineteen killed of our brave troops, and sympathize with Lieut. A.
B. Crane, of Company D, of the Fifty-sixth U.S. Colored Infantry, who was severely wounded.
But we rejoice in the glory acquired on this well disputed field by our colored troops. Will they
fight? Ask the enemy.
This little band was rescued by Major Carmichael, who was sent out on a parallel line to cooperate,
and who instantly flew to the relief of the detachment, as soon as he heard the sounds of
battle, seven miles distant, and with his small force of 140 men of the Fifteenth Illinois Cavalry
broke the enemy's line and enabled our forces to assume the offensive and return safely to
Helena, though having to cut their way through the enemy, who repeatedly obstructed their path
with superior numbers. We have paid the last honors to the dead. Their memories will never
By order of Brig. Gen. N. B. Buford:
Assistant Adjutant-General.
Milwaukee, Wis., November 3, 1864.
GENERAL: I have the honor to submit the following report of operations in this department
during the past year:
The two great Indian nations which occupy this military department are the Chippewas, who
inhabit the region between Lake Superior and Rainy Lake River on the east and the Red River of
the North on the west, and the powerful Sioux or Dakota Nation, which, divided into several
strong and warlike tribes, claims and roams over the vast region from the western frontier of
Minnesota on the east to the Rocky Mountains on the west, and from the frontier of Iowa and the
line of the Platte River on the south to the British possessions on the north. There are some small
fragments of tribes on the Upper Missouri who belong to neither nation, but they are few in
number, insignificant in strength or influence, and have always been at peace with the whites.
With the Chippewas there have been no difficulties which have led to hostilities, although there
have been and continue to be the constant misunderstanding, dissatisfaction, and controversy
which naturally arise under our defective Indian system between the Indians on the one side and
Indian agents and traders on the other. So far these difficulties have not culminated in actual
hostilities, but unless the Indian system be remodeled they are likely to do so at any moment.
The war up to this time has been entirely confined to the Sioux Nation. It will be remembered
that the campaign of last year terminated, so far as field operations were concerned, with the
defeat of the Sioux by General Sully near the James River on the 3d of September, 1863. The
high latitude of the theater of war in this department, the immense region of uninhabited country
covered by military operations, and the vast distances from the frontier to be traversed before the
enemy can be reached, of necessity very much shorten the season during which it is possible to
carry on actual field operations.
After reaching the Indian country not more than three months are left in which it is
practicable to keep troops in the field. The operations of last year ended with such defeats of the
Indians occupying the vast regions east of the Missouri River as forced them for a time to take
refuge in the British possessions, and relieved the entire frontier settlements of Minnesota, Iowa,
and Dakota from any danger of Indian hostilities. During last winter, however, the whole Dakota
Nation, from the Rocky Mountains to the Minnesota frontier, and from the Platte River and the
Iowa line to the British possessions on the north, succeeded in combining their various and
scattered tribes for a final effort against the whites, and by the opening of spring had slowly
concentrated their whole force on and near the Upper Missouri, to resist the navigation of the
Missouri River, prevent the passage of emigrants across the great plains, and to deliver, with
their combined forces, a final battle against the United States troops under General Sully. This
Indian force was then estimated by competent authorities, and so reported by me to the War
Department early in the spring, at about 6,000 warriors, and this estimate was subsequently
confirmed by General Sully, after his battles with them near the Little Missouri. It was also
reported at the time, and has been confirmed since by undoubted testimony, that ammunition and
other necessary supplies were brought to the Indian camps during the winter by half-breeds and
traders from the British settlements on the Red River of the North. It is hardly necessary for me
to repeat what I have so often reported, that Indian hostilities in this department have been
fomented and encouraged, and the Indians supplied with the means to continue the war, by the
half-breeds and other British subjects of the Selkirk settlements. As I was satisfied that this
combination of the whole of the numerous and widely dispersed tribes of the Sioux (or Dakota)
Nation, who occupy the vast region north of the Platte, and the northern boundaries of Iowa from
the Rocky Mountains to the vicinity of the Great Lakes, would be the final effort of the great
Indian nation to continue hostilities against the whites, and as I felt sure that if once their entire
force of warriors could be met and defeated, this Indian war in the northwest on any considerable
scale would be closed, preparations for an active campaign during the summer of 1864 were
made during the close of last winter. The plan of operations consisted in putting into the field,
under the command of Brig. Gen. A. Sully, an active column of about 2,500 men, entirely
cavalry, to advance against the Indians wherever they could be found, and deliver battle with
them, and at the same time to follow up the movement of this force with detachments of infantry
large enough to establish strong posts in the Indian country. These posts were so located as to
cover the frontier of Iowa and Minnesota and the frontier settlements of Dakota Territory, at a
long distance; to interpose between the different tribes, so as to prevent concerted action; to
command the hunting grounds of the Indians so that they would be constantly under the
supervision and in the power of the military forces, which by concerted action could easily and
promptly march a heavy force of cavalry upon any portion of the region in which the Indians are
obliged to hunt for subsistence; to command the Indian trails toward the frontier settlements, so
as to detect the passage even of the smallest parties attempting to make raids upon the settlers,
and to follow them up, and so far as military necessities would allow, to protect an emigrant
route from the Upper Mississippi River to the Territories of Idaho and Montana.
The details of this plan of operations were submitted to you and approved in February last,
and immediate preparations made to carry them into execution. General Sully collected the
forces under his command, from the various posts and stations in his district, early in the spring,
and commenced to move up the Missouri River, leaving only such detachments as were
necessary to cover the frontier from small Indian raids during his absence. He was re-enforced by
about 1,500 mounted men from Minnesota, leaving General Sibley with about 700 effective men
to protect the frontier settlements of Minnesota during the summer.
The mouth of Burdache Creek, on the Upper Missouri, was selected as the point where the
Minnesota troops should join the forces of General Sully moving up the Missouri, and the
junction of these forces was made on the 30th of June. The spring rise in the Missouri River did
not come down until very late in the season, and Sully only reached the mouth of Cannon Ball
River, at which point he was to establish a strong post, which was to be his depot of supplies, on
the 7th of July. He established Fort Rice at that point, distant from Sioux City 450 miles, and
garrisoned it with five companies of the Thirtieth Wisconsin Volunteers. The Indians, who had
been concentrated on and near the Missouri River about fifty miles above this post, had
meantime crossed to the southwest side of the river and occupied a strong position in a very
difficult country near the Little Missouri River, due west, and about 200 miles from Fort Rice.
On the 26th of July General Sully marched upon these Indians with the following forces:
Eighth Minnesota Volunteers (mounted) and six companies of Second Minnesota Cavalry, with
four light guns, under command of Col. M. T. Thomas, Eighth Minnesota Volunteers; eleven
companies Sixth Iowa Cavalry, three companies Seventh Iowa Cavalry, two companies Dakota
cavalry, four companies Braekett's battalion cavalry, one small company of scouts, and four
mountain howitzers, all under command of------, numbering in all 2,200 men. A small emigrant
train for Idaho, which had accompanied the Minnesota troops from that State, followed the
movement of Sully's force. At the head of Heart River he corraled his trains, and, leaving a
sufficient guard with them, he marched rapidly to the northwest, to the point where the combined
forces of the Indians were assembled. On the morning of July 28 he came upon them, between
5,000 and 6,000 warriors, strongly posted in a wooded country, very much cut up with high,
rugged hills, and deep, impassable ravines. He had an hour's talk with some of the Indian chiefs,
who were very defiant and impudent, after which he moved rapidly forward against their strong
position. The action for a time was sharp and severe, but the artillery and long-range small-arms
of the troops were very destructive, and the Indians began to give way on all sides. They were so
closely pressed by Sully's forces that they abandoned their extensive camps, leaving all their
robes, lodges, colts, and utensils of every description, and all the winter supply of provisions
which they had been so long collecting. The action resulted in a running fight of nine miles, the
Indians finally scattering completely, and escaping with nothing but their wounded, which,
according to the Indian custom, they carried off, as also as many of their killed as they could.
One hundred and twenty-five dead warriors were left on the field.
I have transmitted heretofore the reports of General Sully and of the various commanders of
his force, as also a statement of the immense quantity of Indian goods and supplies destroyed by
General Sully in the captured camp of the Indians. Finding the country nearly impracticable,
having only a small supply of provisions or means to carry them, and ascertaining that the retreat
of the mass of the Indians was toward the southwest, Sully returned to his train at the head of
Heart River, and resumed his march westward through an unknown and unexplored region
toward the Yellowstone, which he expected to reach near Fort Alexander, at which point it had
been proposed to establish a military post. On the 5th of August he came in sight of the Bad
Lands, which border the Little Missouri on both sides. The country was exceedingly rugged and
difficult, and so cut up with deep perpendicular ravines that it was with the utmost labor and loss
of time that a narrow, winding way between the ravines in places barely ten feet wide was found
for his wagons. I cannot convey a better idea of the country than is contained in the following
extract from Sully's report, which will be full of interest to the scientific world:
I have not sufficient power of language to describe the country in front of us. It was grand,
dismal, and majestic. You can imagine a basin, 600 feet deep and twenty-five miles in width,
filled with a number of cones and oven-shaped knolls of all sizes, from twenty-five to several
hundred feet high, sometimes by themselves, sometimes piled up into large heaps on top of each
other, in all conceivable shapes and confusion. Most of these hills were of a gray clay, but many
of a light brick color, of burnt clay; little or no vegetation. Some of the sides of the hills,
however, were covered with a few scrub cedars. Viewed in the distance at sunset it looked
exactly like the ruins of an ancient city. I regret very much that some gentleman well acquainted
with geology and mineralogy did not accompany the expedition, for we marched through a most
wonderful and interesting country. It was covered with pieces of petrified wood, and on the tops
of some of the hills we found petrified stumps of trees, the remains of a great forest. In some
cases these trees were sixteen to eighteen feet in diameter. Large quantities of iron ore, lava, and
impressions of leaves in the rocks of a size and shape not known to any of us.
In this difficult and almost impassable region a portion of the Indians whom Sully had
defeated on the 28th of July attempted to offer resistance, but were badly defeated, leaving over
100 dead on the field. After this hopeless effort, in which General Sully reports that they
exhibited none of the spirit and audacity which characterized the fight on the 28th of July, the
Indians scattered and broke up their combination entirely. The Tetons separated into small
fragments, fled toward the southwest; the Yanktonais, with other confederated tribes from the
north and east sides of the Missouri, crossed the Missouri River, and retreated rapidly into the
British possessions by way of Mouse River. General Sully followed them nearly to the British
line. Finding the country west of Fort Rice in the direction of the Yellowstone impracticable for
wagon roads, Sully decided not to establish a post so high up on that river, but placed a garrison
at mouth of Yellowstone and another at the trading post of Fort Berthold, lower down on the
Missouri River. These posts, in connection with Fort Rice, will keep open the Missouri River,
render travel along the valley secure, and separate the Indian tribes, so that another concentration
will be impracticable, even should the Indians seek it. Sully returned slowly by way of the
Missouri River valley to Fort Rice. After leaving that post well garrisoned and in good condition,
and sending the Thirtieth Wisconsin Volunteers to the Mississippi to go south to Sherman's
army, Sully came slowly down to Sioux City, where his last dispatches are dated. To Fort
Randall and also to Fort Pierre chiefs of the combined Sioux tribes which he had defeated came
in and asked for peace, acknowledging that they could not fight against the whites, that they had
lost everything, robes, lodges, provisions, &c., and would be in a starving condition. They were
informed by the commanding officers of those posts that the only conditions of peace required
from them were that they would behave themselves and not molest the whites. The Indians were
both surprised and gratified that peace on such easy terms was to be had, and immediately
returned to their tribes to bring in the principal chiefs to meet General Sully at Fort Randall. It is
expected that peace with all the tribes west of the Missouri River, on terms entirely satisfactory
to the Government, will be made this winter; a peace which involves neither presents nor
annuities of any description, but a peace simply based upon good behavior. With the Yanktonais
and other Sioux tribes north and east of the Missouri there will be somewhat longer delay in
coming to satisfactory terms. About half these Indians desire to make peace at once, but there are
many who wish to keep up the war. These last are encouraged in their purpose by half-breeds
and other British subjects, and as they have a safe refuge in the British possessions, and are there
supplied with means to carry on hostilities, it will probably require the hardships and privations
of a winter in those arctic regions to bring them to their senses. They took refuge there after the
battles in a perfectly destitute condition, and are already beginning to rob and plunder, and in
places to commit murder in the English settlements. They will soon become as odious and
dangerous to the British settlements as they have been to our own. By spring most likely
everything will be satisfactorily settled. As matters stand, and are likely to stand this winter,
however, with these Indians, there is no manner of danger to the frontier settlements of
Minnesota or Dakota. The Indians are driven far away, and a cold, barren, and bleak prairie
region, many hundred miles in extent, and impassable in winter, interposes between them and the
frontier settlements. In Minnesota there have been no active operations, there being no hostile
Indians, except a few straggling thieves east of the Missouri River. With the small force under
his command judiciously posted General Sibley has kept everything quiet on the Minnesota
border, nor is there ever again the likelihood of any Indian hostilities from Sioux on the
Minnesota frontier, beyond such small thieving raids as are incident to the situation, and must
always occur so long as there are Indians on our western borders. With these, should they occur,
a small force will be able to deal conclusively.
For details, of which the foregoing report is a brief summary, I have the honor to refer you to
the reports of Generals Sully and Sibley herewith and heretofore transmitted.
In some manner the British Government should either prevent hostile Indians who reside
within the boundaries of the United States from seeking refuge in British territory, or should
secure the United States against the raids of such Indians, or should permit the United States
forces to pursue into British territory all Indians who belong south of the line and who are at war
with citizens of the United States. One of these three demands is certainly reasonable, and will
effect the desired purpose. In the same connection it will be necessary to prohibit half-breeds and
other British subjects from coming into the territory of the United States to trade with Indians,
whether hostile to us or not, who live south of the British line. The hostile Sioux have for the
past two years been supplied with ammunition, provisions, &c., to carry on hostilities against the
United States by British subjects, both in their own territory and in ours. A state of hostility
between the Sioux and citizens of the United States of course throws all the trade with such
Indians into the hands of British traders, hence the anxiety of those traders to prevent peace with
the Sioux Indians.
I have the honor again to ask attention to my letter of February 6, 1864, to the Secretary of
War, on the subject of our Indian system, and to beg, in view of the interests of the Government,
as well as of humanity, that such legislative or executive action be recommended as will as far as
practicable correct the evils therein set forth. I transmit inclosed a copy of that letter and a copy
of trade regulations with Indians, which I have heretofore forwarded, and which I deem
necessary to protect white men and Indians alike against Indian traders. It is my purpose, by
forcing all traders with Indians to locate their trading posts in the immediate vicinity of the
military posts, and nowhere else, to make these military posts the nuclei of extensive Indian
camps, and as far as possible to induce the Indians to make their permanent homes so near to the
posts that they will constantly be under the supervision and control of the garrisons. If there be
no other places to trade except the military posts the Indian will necessarily resort to them, and
will there remain, except when he is engaged in hunting during the summer season. If fair
dealing with the Indians can be enforced there never will be danger of any Indian wars. The
object of these trade regulations is to secure these two results; but unless they are adopted and
enforced by military authority we cannot hope for any permanent peace with the Indian tribes.
The regulations themselves are so full, and their object so manifest, that it is unnecessary to go
further into details concerning them. The only other white men I would permit to have
intercourse with the Indians are the missionaries. I trust that some arrangements will be made
with the authorities of our home missionary societies to furnish to each military post good
practical men, with their families, whose business shall be to teach the Indians the useful arts of
life--the Indian men to cultivate the soil, the Indian women to sew and to do such other work as
they are fitted for, and all to keep themselves clean and decent. These are the first lessons to be
taught to Indians. Religious instruction will come afterward in its natural order. The failure of
our missionaries among Indians is due, I think, mainly to the fact that they have reversed the
proper order of instruction, and have attempted to make the Indian a member of the church while
he was still a wild savage. Of course, if anything is to be gained by it, the Indian will profess his
belief in anything whatever, without the slightest knowledge or concern as to what it all means.
What is needed to civilize or christianize Indians are practical common-sense men, who will first
teach them to be human and to acquire the arts of civilized life; who will educate, as far as can be
done, the children of the Indians, and who will be content to look to the future, and not to the
immediate present, for results. Such missionaries could be of incalculable benefit to the Indian,
and to the Government; and I would recommend that whenever such men are sent to the military
posts on the frontier the Government furnish them with quarters and with rations, at the rate of
two small families for each one of the larger posts, and for one small family for each smaller
post. I have no doubt that these small missions at each post, if conducted by practical and earnest
men, would greatly add to the hope of permanent peace with the Indians, and contribute to a
healthy and increasing improvement in the moral and physical condition of the Indian tribes. The
military commanders will be instructed to give every assistance and encouragement to such
missionaries, and to enjoin upon the officers and soldiers under their command, that they exhibit
toward the missionaries every respect and kindness. The peace which will be made with Indians,
under the instructions I have given to Generals Sully and Sibley, is based simply upon the
understanding that the Indians on the one hand behave themselves and do not molest the whites,
and on the other hand that the whites shall be made to deal fairly with the Indians and not molest
them in any way. The military authorities undertake to enforce good conduct on both sides, and
will have the power, if not interfered with, to do so thoroughly. As such a peace involves neither
annuities nor presents, and holds out no prospect in violating it, except hostilities, it will
probably be lasting. Hitherto it has been the practice to accompany every treaty of peace made
by Indian agents with expensive presents of goods and supplies of various kinds, and the Indians
naturally understand that these are given them as bribes to keep the peace and because the whites
are afraid of them; and, of course, they observe such treaties only as long as they find it
convenient, or until they need a further supply of presents (ammunition, goods, &c.). In fact, it
has been for years a saying with the Sioux along the great mail[ route to California, that
whenever they became poor and needed blankets and powder and lead, they had only to go down
to this great mail and emigrant route, and kill a few white people and there would be another
treaty of peace, which would supply all their wants.
It is beyond question that such a system of treaty-making is, of all others, the most impolitic,
whether negotiated with savage or civilized people, and leads in either case to constant and
increasing hostilities. I intend, in settling a peace with Indians in this department, to do away
entirely with this system, which, aside from its effect in stimulating and encouraging breaches of
treaties of peace, is always attended with fraud upon the Government and upon the Indians.
I shall send up in the spring some companies of cavalry to make a cantonment for the
summer at some point on the lake, and to remain there until the last possible moment in the
autumn, with the view of drawing the various tribes of Indians to that point, and furnishing them
with facilities of trade during the summer and autumn. Such a cantonment kept up for two or
three seasons will have a most beneficial effect upon the Indians, as all whites, except authorized
traders acting under the supervision of the military authorities, will be prohibited from going into
that region. It is proper to remark that extensive strata of excellent coal have been found at Fort
Rice, one vein six feet thick. This coal field extends toward the southwest, and it is supposed
outcrops on the slopes of the Black Hills. How far north it extends is not yet known. The
existence of this great coal field, halfway between the Great Lakes and the Rocky Mountains, is
a fact, the value of which cannot well be overestimated. Aside from furnishing fuel for the
navigation of the upper Missouri River, it is a controlling element in the location of a railroad
across the great plains to the Pacific. Its extent and character will soon be developed by the
troops from Fort Rice and other points on the Missouri River.
I may state finally that the Government may safely dismiss all apprehensions of Indian wars
in the Northwest. Small Indian raids there doubtless will be, as there always have been, for
stealing horses, but no hostilities on any considerable scale are likely again to occur. A small
force, such as is designated in this report, will be quite sufficient to protect the frontier and the
emigration. I only ask now that the military authorities be left to themselves to deal with these
Indians., and to regulate the trading with the Indian tribes without the interposition of Indian
agents, and I will cheerfully guarantee peace with the Indian tribes in this department. The
department has been administered, so far as its relations with the State and other civil authorities
are concerned, in accordance with the views and principles laid down in the accompanying letter
from me to Governor Salomon, of Wisconsin. I am gratified to say that there have been entire
harmony and success. The draft and all other laws of the United States have been promptly and
fully executed in the department, without difficulty or trouble of any kind whatever.
I desire to bear testimony to the hearty co-operation and zeal of the district commanders in
the department in the discharge of the various and perplexing duties which have devolved upon
them. General Sully, commanding District of Iowa and the Indian expedition; General Sibley,
commanding District of Minnesota, and General T. C. H. Smith, commanding District of
Wisconsin, are entitled to my warmest thanks for their valuable services and the cordial good
feeling which they have manifested during their entire term of service in this department. To
General Sully I particularly desire to invite the favorable consideration of the War Department.
His arduous and distinguished services in organizing and conducting the Indian expedition and
treating and dispersing the combined tribes of Indians in two considerable battles at such remote
points and in so difficult a country, and in thus bringing the Indians to the necessity of asking
peace from the Government, entitle him to peculiar consideration, and make it proper for me to
renew the application heretofore transmitted for his promotion. He has earned it fairly, and I trust
and believe that the Government will not hesitate to confer it upon him.
To the reports of Generals Sully and Sibley, and to those of their subordinate commanders, I
refer for details of the various military operations herein sketched, and for a proper
representation of the distinguished conduct of the several officers and of the troops under their
command. I cheerfully indorse their recommendations in behalf of the officers and soldiers in
I am, general, respectfully, your obedient servant,
Major-General, Commanding.
Maj. Gen. H. W. HALLECK,
Chief of Staff of the Army, Washington, D. C.
Camp on Heart River, Dak. Ter., July 31, 1864.
SIR: I have the honor to make the following report of my operations since July 25:
On the 23d of this month I reached this point, having made rapid marches, considering I had
a very large emigrant train under my charge. I had started in a direction west, but on the road,
receiving information that the Indians were on or near the Knife River, I changed my course in a
northerly direction. On my arrival at this point I corralled all my wagons and the emigrant train,
leaving it under charge of Captain Tripp, Dakota cavalry, with a sufficient force to guard against
danger, intending to start with pack-mules, but on opening the boxes I found no saddle-blankets.
This I replaced with gunny sacks. I then found the bands that go over the packs and under the
belly (called cintuas, I believe) instead of being made of webbing or several thicknesses of duck
sewed together, and about six or eight inches wide, were made of hard leather about three inches
wide. The torture to the mules, when these pieces of what ought to be called sheet-iron were
brought tight into their bellies, was such that they were kicking and jumping in all directions and
succeeded in either getting their packs off or breaking the saddle. I therefore had to give up the
pack-mule system, for two days' march with such instruments of torture would completely use up
all my animals. I then pressed into the service all the light private wagons with me, placing in
each four of my best mules and hauling 1,000 pounds each. By throwing away all tents,
everything but provisions and ammunition, I could move rapidly with a very few wagons. About
3 p.m. of the 26th I succeeded in getting off, and about 10 a.m. of the 28th succeeded in reaching
the enemy's camp, about eighty miles' march. All their camp was standing when I reached there,
and they prepared for a fight, no doubt with full confidence of whipping me, for they had twentyfour
hours' notice of my advance, by a party of my scouts falling in with a war party of theirs not
sixteen miles from here. We followed their trail, which led me to the camp. I found the Indians
strongly posted on the side of a mountain called Tahkahokuty Mountain, which is a small chain
of very high hills, filled with ravines, thickly timbered and well watered, situated on a branch of
the Little Missouri, Gros Ventres, latitude 47° 15', as laid down on the Government map. The
prairie in front of the camp is very rolling, and on the left as we approached high hills. On the top
and sides of these hills and on my right, at the base of the mountains, also on the hillocks in front
on the prairie, the Indians were posted; there were over 1,600 lodges, at least 5,000 or 6,000
warriors, composed of the Unkpapas, Sans Arcs, Blackfeet, Minneconjous, Yanktonais, and
Santee Sioux. My force consisted as follows: Eleven companies of the Sixth Iowa Cavalry,
Lieutenant-Colonel Pollock commanding; three companies of the Seventh Iowa Cavalry,
Lieutenant-Colonel Pattee commanding; two companies of Dakota cavalry, Captain Miner
commanding; four companies of Brackett's Minnesota Battalion, Major Brackett commanding;
about seventy scouts, and a prairie battery of two sections, commanded by Capt. N. Pope. This
formed the First Brigade. Ten companies of the Eighth Minnesota Infantry, under command of
Lieutenant-Colonel Rogers; six companies of the Second Minnesota Cavalry, under Colonel
McLaren, and two sections of the Third Minnesota Battery, under Captain Jones, formed the
Second Brigade, under command of Colonel Thomas. The whole of my force numbering on the
field about 2,200 men.
Finding it was impossible to charge, owing to the country being intersected by deep ravines
filled with timber, I dismounted and deployed six companies of the Sixth Iowa on the right and
three companies of the Seventh Iowa, and on the left six companies of the Eighth Minnesota
Infantry; placed Pope's battery in the center, supported by two companies of cavalry; the Second
Cavalry, on the left, drawn up by squadrons, Brackett's Minnesota Battalion on the right in the
same order, Jones' battery and four companies of cavalry as a reserve. The few wagons I had
closed up, and the rear guard, composed of three companies, followed. In this order we
advanced, driving in the Indians till we reached the plain between the hills and mountains. Here
large bodies of indians flanked me. The Second Cavalry drove them from the left. A very large
body of Indians collected on my right for a charge. I directed Brackett to charge them. This he
did gallantly, driving them in a circle of about three miles to the base of the mountains and
beyond my line of skirmishers, killing many of them. The Indians, seeing his position, collected
in large numbers on him, but he repelled them, assisted by some well-directed shots from Jones'
battery. About this time a large body of Indians, who we ascertained afterward had been out
hunting for me, came up on my rear. I brought a piece of Jones' battery to the rear, and with the
rear guard dispersed them. The Indians, seeing that the day would not be favorable for them, had
commenced taking down their lodges and sending back their families. I swung the left of my line
round to the right and closed on them, sending Pope with his guns and the Dakota cavalry (two
companies) forward. The artillery fire soon drove them out of their strong positions in the
ravines, and Jones' battery, with Brackett's battalion, moving up on the right, soon put them to
flight, the whole of my line advancing at the same time. By sunset no Indians were on the
ground. A body, however, appeared on top of the mountain over which they had retreated. I sent
Major Camp, Eighth Minnesota, with four companies or the Eighth Minnesota, forward. They
ascended to the top of the hill, putting the Indians to flight and killing several. The total number
of killed, judging from what we saw, was from 100 to 150. I saw them during the fight carry off
a great many dead or wounded. The very strong position they held and the advantages they had
to retreat over a broken country prevented me from killing more. We slept on the battleground
that night.
The next morning before daylight we started to go round the mountain, as I could not get up
it with wagons and artillery in front. After six miles march, I came in sight of the trail on the
other side the mountain, but could not get to it. One sight of the country convinced me there was
no use trying to follow up the Indians through such a country and find them. I went on top the
hill, and as far as I could see with my glass (some thirty miles) the country was cut up in all
directions by deep ravines, sometimes near 100 feet deep, filled with timber, the banks almost
perpendicular. I therefore thought the next best thing to do was to destroy their camp. This I did,
ordering Colonel McLaren, Second Cavalry, on that duty. I inclose you a report of property
destroyed by him. That afternoon I marched six miles from the battle-ground and camped. About
dark a large body of Indians came on to my pickets and killed two. A command was immediately
sent after them, but they fled in all directions. They made no further demonstrations on my
march to this point, which I reached yesterday, my animals well tired out, having made a march
of over 165 miles in six days, one day being occupied in the fight.
The officers and men of my command behaved well, and all appeared desirous to carry out
my instructions as well as they could.
My thanks are due to the officers of my staff for communicating my orders promptly,
sometimes being obliged to expose themselves very much in so doing--Captain Pell, assistant
adjutant-general; Major Wood, Fifteenth New York Cavalry, chief of cavalry; Captain Marsh,
Sixth Iowa Cavalry, acting assistant inspector-general; Captain Von Minden, Brackett's battalion,
acting topographical engineer; Lieutenant Ellison, Sixth Iowa Cavalry, acting ordnance officer;
Lieutenant Bacon, Dakota cavalry, acting assistant quartermaster; and I was also obliged to
accept the services of Surgeon Freeman, medical director, to carry orders. I shall march toward
the Yellowstone in two days, bearing a little south, and I expect to overtake the enemy again on
my way. I would beg leave also to add that the day after the fight, when I returned to the enemy's
camp, some Indians came forward and planted a white flag on the hill side; some men, however
fired on them and they retreated. I saw the flag too late.
I inclose you the list of killed and wounded, and reports of different commanders.
With much respect, your obedient servant,
Camp on the Yellowstone River, Dak. Ter., August 13, 1864.
SIR: I have the honor to make the following report of my operations since I made my last
report, on the 31st of July, on my return to Heart River, after my fight:
I assembled together all the Indians and half-breed guides I had to consult about my course. I
had not quite six days' full rations on hand, and I must strike the Yellowstone by the most direct
route at the Braseau house, where I had ordered two small steamers to meet me the first part of
August. They all told me it was impossible for wagons to get through the country near the Little
Missouri, without they went south, the route I started on before I was turned to the north by the
report that the Indians were on Knife River. I would thus strike the Yellowstone, near the Powder
River, and it would take me two or three weeks, and then, besides, I could not meet my boats
there. One Indian, however, a Yanktonian, told me he had frequently been across that country on
war parties, and he thought he could take the wagons through by digging some through the hills.
I placed myself under his guidance, and he took me in a west direction for three days along the
Heart River; plenty of good grass and water, but timber scarce; the country filled with extensive
beds of coal, in some places veins ten feet thick. From what I have seen, coal I feel sure, can be
found in all this country, from the Missouri west to the Yellowstone. On the 5th day of August
we came in sight of the Bad Lands, which extend along the Little Missouri, the valley being
about twenty miles across; through the middle of this valley runs the river. When I came in sight
of this country from the top of the table-land we were marching on, I became alarmed, and
almost despaired of ever being able to cross it, and should have been very much tempted, had I
rations enough, to turn back, but, on a close examination of my rations, I found I only had rations
for six days longer, by some mistake of my commissary, I suppose, for he is not with me to
explain, as I left him back at Fort Rice. I therefore had to reduce the bread ration one-third, all
other stores, except meat, one-half, so as to make it last me to the river. We camped that night
with little or no grass, and but a few holes of muddy rain water. I have not sufficient power of
language to describe the country in front of us. It was grand, dismal, and majestic. You can
imagine a deep basin, 600 feet deep and twenty-five miles in diameter, filled with a number of
cones and oven-shaped knolls of all sizes, from twenty feet to several hundred feet high,
sometimes by themselves, sometimes piled up into large heaps on top of one another, in all
conceivable shapes and confusion. Most of these hills were of a gray clay, but many of a light
brick color, of burnt clay; little or no vegetation. Some of the sides of the hills, however, were
covered with a few scrub cedars. Viewed in the distance at sunset it looked exactly like the ruins
of an ancient city. My Indian guide appeared to be confident of success, and trusting to him, I
started next morning, and by dint of hard digging, succeeded by night in reaching the banks of
the Little Missouri, about twelve miles. I regret very much some gentleman well acquainted with
geology and mineralogy did not accompany the expedition, for we marched through a most
wonderful and interesting country. It was covered with pieces of petrified wood, and on the tops
of some of the hills we found petrified stumps of trees, the remains of a great forest. In some
cases these trees were sixteen to eighteen feet in diameter. Large quantities of iron ore, lava, and
impressions in the rocks of leaves of a size and shape not known to any of us. The banks of the
Little Missouri are thickly timbered with cottonwood, and the river resembles very much the
Missouri, on a small scale. We had now reached the river and the middle of the Bad Lands.
Having dug our way down to this point it was now necessary to dig our way out. I therefore
ordered out a strong working party, with four companies of cavalry, under charge of Lieutenant-
Colonel Pattee, Seventh Iowa Cavalry. I remained in camp to allow the animals to rest and pick
up what grass could be found around, there being very little to be found. Some few of the men,
however, without orders, took their horses into the timber beyond the pickets, leaving their
saddles and arms in camp. A small party of Indians crawled up to them, fired on them, creating a
stampede. Most of the men ran away, leaving their horses, and the Indians succeeded in getting a
few away, but three or four men having some courage mounted their horses bareback and gave
chase, causing the Indians to drop all the horses, which were retaken, save one or two. A
company was soon in pursuit, but the Indians escaped through some of the numerous ravines and
forests. As we had saddled and hitched up everything at the first alarm, I broke camp and moved
up the river three miles in the direction of our route, where the grass was said to be better. By
evening the working party under Colonel Pattee returned, having cut three miles of the road. A
part of a company, however, by accident had been left behind. They were surrounded by Indians
and were near being cut off, but by a hasty retreat they succeeded in getting through the deep
gorge, where the road was cut, the Indians firing at them from the tops of the hills. They pursued
them to the river and showed themselves on the top of the high bluffs opposite my camp, firing
into my camp, but a few shells from Jones' battery soon scattered them, and with the exception of
a little picket-firing there was no more trouble that night. I now knew I had come upon the
Indians I fought about a week ago, and in the worst possible section of country I could possibly
wish to encounter an enemy.
My road lay through a succession of mountain gorges, down deep ravines, with
perpendicular bluffs, so narrow only one wagon could pass at a time, intersected with valleys,
down which the Indians could dash onto any point of my train. Stretched out in a single line we
would extend from three to four miles. The large emigrant train I had were ox-teams heavily
loaded, and it was impossible to move them except at a snail's pace; I felt more apprehension for
their safety than for that of my command, for they had with them a large number of women and
children. Therefore I took every precaution for protection as well as for attacking. I distributed
my command along the flanks of the train and a strong guard in rear, with Captain Pope's four
howitzers, with orders for companies to dismount and take the heights at dangerous points,
remaining there till the next company in their rear relieved them. I sent three companies of the
Second Brigade, who had the advance, ahead with a pioneer party, followed by Jones' battery.
Colonel Thomas, with the rest of the Second Brigade, followed on the flanks of the wagons,
while the First Brigade followed guarding the rest of the trains. I accompanied the advance
brigade. I had given orders that at every point, when the nature of the ground would allow it, for
the teams to double up and park as close as they could, so as to close up the rear. After marching
about three miles we came onto the Indians strongly posted in front and on the flanks of a deep
mountain pass. They were dislodged after some little trouble, the shells from Jones' battery doing
good execution, and the advance with other troops pushed on, while the pioneer party made the
road. The Indians attacked me on the flanks and rear at the same time, but on all occasions they
were repulsed with heavy loss by troops near by, and thus we advanced fighting, hunting a road
and digging it out, till we reached a small lake and spring about ten miles from our starting-point,
repulsing the Indians at every point with great slaughter. I speak partly from what I saw, for in
their hasty retreat they had to leave in many instances their dead on the ground; they carried
them off whenever they could. At the spring there was for a short time quite a brisk little
skirmish, the Indians trying to keep us from the only water we had that day, and the day was so
hot that the animals were suffering very much, having had not much to eat for two days. Part of
Colonel McLaren's Second Minnesota had most of the work here. One of his companies in
advance got separated from the rest and surrounded; they however got into a hollow and
defended themselves until relieved by other companies went out from Colonel Thomas'
command. Their loss, however, was slight in comparison to their danger. Unfortunately this day I
lost the services of my guide; he was shot, having ventured too far in the advance. He was the
only one who knew the country over which we were marching.
The next morning we moved forward. The Indians were in front of us appearing as if they
intended to give us battle. Probably about 1,000 showed themselves. I pushed forward Major
House, Sixth Iowa, with two companies of the Sixth Iowa, and Captain Tripp's Dakota cavalry,
and sent forward Major Brackett with one company of his battalion, and Pope's four howitzers,
dismounting the rest of the Sixth Iowa, under Lieutenant-Colonel Pollock, on the right, and three
companies of the Seventh Iowa, under Lieutenant-Colonel Pattee, on the left, to push out and
clear our flanks, and moved forward with Jones' battery and the train, Colonel Thomas, with his
Minnesota brigade, taking care of the rear. We advanced without much trouble, with a little
skirmishing in front, and also an attack in rear. The enemy were repulsed on all sides. It was
evident in spite of all their boasting all fighting was out of them. A few miles brought us to an
open country, and the last we saw of the Indians was a cloud of dust some six or eight miles off,
running as fast as they could. They were better mounted than we were. The men behaved well.
There were many acts of individual bravery displayed. A great deal of ingenuity in many
instances was shown by the men in trapping the Indians who, afraid of our long-ranged rifles and
artillery, kept themselves at a respectful distance. Parties would crawl out behind hills while a
small party mounted would dash onto the Indians, fire and retreat, drawing the Indians into the
ambuscade, when they would succeed in emptying a few saddles and capturing a few ponies. It is
impossible for me to give anything like a report of the number of Indians killed, the fighting
extended over so great a distance, and was a succession of skirmishes; there was certainly over
100 killed. Other officers feel sure that there were double or even treble that number. It is certain,
however, their loss was very heavy. The same Indians I fought before were engaged, besides
Cheyennes, Brulés, Minneconjous, and others from the south. This I got from my own Indians,
who, during the fight, conversed with them from behind the hills. They met me under every
disadvantage on the strongest of positions and were entirely crushed and routed. If I had had
anything to eat and was not encumbered with an emigrant train, and if my animals had not been
without food so many days, I might have overtaken some of them, for they fled in all directions.
I would here state that on crossing the Little Missouri I found the country covered with
myriads of grasshoppers, who had eaten everything. My animals were almost starved. I found
this state of things all the way to the Yellowstone, and I was obliged to abandon and shoot a
number of animals on the road. After marching six miles this day, we came to the place where
the Indians left about thirty hours before my arrival. From the size of their camp, or rather
bivouac, for they had pitched no lodges, I should judge all the Indians in the country had
assembled there. The space they occupied was over one mile long and half a mile wide, besides
which we discovered camps all over the country, close by this spot. I found the lodge trails
turned to the felt in a southwest direction. We still continued our course west by north, and next
day crossed a heavy trail going northeast toward the same point where I first fought them. It was
evidently not all the lodges that went that way. We continued our way across the country to the
Yellowstone, which we reached on the 12th of August, over a section of country I never wish to
travel again; our animals half dead with hunger; the grass entirely eaten off. I should judge it was
never very good grass in the best of seasons. The water we had to drink the worst sort of alkali
water; this told on the animals. Fortunately, we here met the two boats I ordered to get up the
Yellowstone if possible, and the first steamer that ever attempted to ascend this river. These
boats were the Chippewa Falls and Alone, small stern-wheel steamers, the former drawing only
twelve inches light; they each had about fifty tons of freight; very little of it corn. The steamer
Island City, having aboard nearly all my corn, struck a snag near Fort Union and sunk. The
steamers attempted to go above this point, but a rapid shoal rendered it impossible. It was also
fortunate for the boats that we arrived when we did, for the water is falling fast, and it will be
impossible for them to go down the stream over rapids below without the help of our wagons.
Having no grain to recuperate my animals I had to again change my plans.
I intended to again strike across the country northeast, in hopes of reaching the Indians again,
but without any grass for several days this could not be done. I therefore crossed the command
over the river, fording it with my wagons without much difficulty. The building of the post on
the Yellowstone this year I consider not practicable. The loss of one of my boats, the
impossibility of getting boats this late up the river, and the want of grass preventing me from
hauling stores several hundred miles up the river will show you the reasons. I shall follow down
the Yellowstone to its mouth, cross the Missouri and down it to Berthold. I will by this means
have grass and a good road; though I increase my distance over 100 miles. I have the honor to
inclose you the reports of commanders in regard to the part they took in the different skirmishes.
With much respect, your obedient servant,
Fort Berthold, August 29, 1864.
SIR: I started from Fort Union on the 21st and reached this point yesterday. Our march at
first had to be slow on account of our animals, but after marching about seventy miles the grass
improved greatly, and in consequence our animals. It was my intention to come to this point, as I
would here, no doubt, be able to learn something about the Sioux from the Ree Indians. After
marching down the river six days, about eighty miles by land below Union, we came to a place
near the head of the Big Bend, where a very large body of Indians had crossed the Missouri,
about ten days before, and camped there one night. There were very few trails of lodges, but a
very large number of pony tracks, some thousand at least. Their track, after going north,
appeared to turn to the east and cross the Little Knife River, in the direction of Devil's Lake.
These were undoubtedly the same Indians whose trail I mentioned we crossed after our fighting
in the hills east of the Yellowstone, and I had no doubt they were the Yanktonais; this I afterward
found out was the case. They may have gone into the British possessions, for all the Indians well
know we are not authorized to cross the line. The half breeds of the North keep them well posted
in these matters; it is to their interest to draw all the trade to their country. On my arrival at
Berthold I met all the Indians of the Ree, Gros Ventres, and Mandan Nations. They were busy
collecting their corn, of which they have a very large amount. They were all glad to see me, as
they expressed themselves. They now felt as if they were relieved from slavery. They offered
their services to go out with me. A large party of them had started in July to meet me, but found
by my trail I had passed so long ago they went to Fort Rice. These Indians have for years been
friends to the whites; they are industrious and look well off. The Sioux tried hard to get them to
join them. This they would not do, but had to make peace with them, as they are too weak to
contend against this powerful tribe. They ought to be protected, as they afford, in a measure, a
barrier against the Sioux holding all the country near the river. On this account, and as I deemed
it necessary to keep up the communication up the river, I ordered Captain Moreland, with his
company (G, Sixth Iowa Cavalry), to garrison the fort. This post is the best point from which to
supply a post at Devil's Lake.
In conversing with the Rees in regard to the trail I crossed, they all agreed that undoubtedly
the Sioux had gone to the Maison du Chien Butte, and not to the line. The day after I arrived a
Yanktonais Indian arrived, who had married a Ree squaw; he came to see me; I knew him as the
brother of Big Head. He reported that he had just come from the camp of the Yanktonais, at a
lake, the head of the Little Knife River; that there they had met a party of half-breeds of the
North, who had furnished them seven kegs of powder and balls, and that by their invitation they
were then on their way to the British line. He also stated that the Chiefs Black Catfish and
Medicine Bull and some of the head men had told him that they wished to make peace, and
wanted to come in, but were afraid; that they would not have got into this scrape had it not been
for the Unkpapas, and other tribes south; that at the first battle I had they were satisfied the
Unkpapas were better at talking than fighting; that at the next fight they moved out of the way
and then left the rest, going north, while the rest had gone into the Black Hills; also that Two
Bears left to go to Fort Rice. The Indians had lost most of their lodges and baggage, and were in
a very distressed condition. I give you his story for what it is worth; it may be true, but is just as
likely false. However, I gave this Yanktonais a paper, and sent him back to bring in the
Yanktonais to Fort Rice and I would talk with them. I told him I intended to go north after these
Indians, but that I would not go there now after what he said; in fact, it was not in my power to
go as I had not rations enough.
On the 30th I start down the river. I shall march down some distance, and then turn off
toward Devil's Lake, when I shall know if this Indian has told me the truth.
With much respect, your obedient servant,
Fort Rice, Dak. Ter., September 11, 1864.
SIR: I left Fort Berthold the 1st of September, marched down the Missouri to mouth of Snake
Creek. Was glad to get my command away, for I found that whisky there was in abundance. I am
told by reliable persons that the Indians had it in their tents for sale. It is said they get it from the
English half-breeds, who appear to have control of this country. From the mouth of Snake Creek
I struck north toward the Mouse River, and after going in sight of it turned to the southeast to the
Maison du Chien Butte, and there encamped. I sent out parties to examine the country, but no
recent signs of Indians could be discovered. We found thousands of buffalo, good grass, plenty
of water, and some timber--the very country I would go into to hunt for Indians. On top of the
butte you have a fine view of the country for over forty miles. I am now satisfied of the truth of
so much of the Yanktonais' story that I mentioned in my last letter, as to these Indians seeking
safety with their friends in the British possessions. Although I found no recent signs of Indians, I
found the country all around cut up by heavy trains of Pembina carts, about a month old in all
directions. One trail looked quite recent, and I was in hopes of capturing some of these
scoundrels, but did not succeed. We can never expect to have quiet on this frontier till this
unlawful traffic on the part of people from the English possessions is put down. An expedition
into their country would have a very beneficial effect. It would show the Indians that they had
not a safe refuge, and could no longer be supplied with ammunition by people living under the
English flag. They come into our country constantly in parties several hundred strong, well
armed and ready to attack or defend themselves, invite our Indians to resist the Government,
furnish them with arms and ammunition, and when they are pushed by the troops take care of
them over the British line till the troops get out of the way. If we had the troops to remain in this
country this could be, in a great measure, stopped in a short time. Not being permitted to follow
the Indians north of the line, and having nothing to fight in my own country, I took up my line of
march south toward Fort Rice. We found the buffalo so thick at some of our camps I had to send
out men dismounted as skirmishers to drive them off. A great many were killed in this way,
which was lucky, for our fresh meat was about out.
I reached Fort Rice on the evening of the 8th instant; the command arrived next day. I found
the post in a fine state of progress. The four companies of Colonel Dill's command have done an
immense amount of labor in the last two months and have done it well. The post when finished
will be one of the best posts in the West. The men complain greatly that working as they do they
wear out more clothing than their pay amounts to. If I had it in my own power, I would issue
them extra clothing; they deserve it. I here met the lodges of Indians of different bands who took
no part in the war, and by my permission went on a hunt, under charge of fifty of their soldiers
that I appoint from the different tribes of Indians to keep order in their camp. Giving them a
uniform, they appeared to be proud of their position. They also tell me they think all the
Yanktonais will come in before long and make peace; I hope it may be true. I here learned that
Captain Fisk and his emigrant train of 80 or 100 wagons left here about two weeks ago on my
trail to go to the Yellowstone; that he reached here under an escort of a company of cavalry. He
required an escort from the commanding officer here--Colonel Dill, Thirtieth Wisconsin. The
colonel furnished him with an escort of a lieutenant and fifty men, composed of cavalrymen that
I had left here, not in good health and poorly mounted. The lieutenant with fourteen men
returned the day before I arrived with a letter from Captain Fisk, stating that he was about 200
miles west of here (he had left my trail); he was corralled and fortified, and was surrounded by
Indians, and that he must be re-enforced to enable him to go forward, "for to turn back would be
ruinous to him." While here he was cautioned against going west on my trail, both on account of
the danger to so small a force, and of the very great difficulties of their getting through on
account of the country. He laughed and replied that with fifty men he could go anywhere; all he
wanted with fifty men, soldiers, was to quiet the fears of the women and children he had with
In questioning separately the soldiers who returned I found that not over 300 Indians were
there; that they were attacked three days before they made their corral by about sixty Indians,
while the train was stretched out on the road, and two wagons, one of which had upset, were
about two miles in the rear, with a guard of six soldiers. One of these wagons unfortunately
contained arms and ammunition. Six soldiers and two citizens were killed and wagons captured,
and one citizen escaped. They had skirmishes after that, and then they corralled. They were
burning parts of their wagons and feeding the cattle on bread and flour when the party left; they
left hi the middle of a stormy night. Fearing, if this emigrant party remained where they were
long, the Indians would send out runners and collect a party that would clean them out, and
learning that all the party except the captain were anxious to turn back, I thought it my duty to do
all in my power to save them, in spite of the orders I had received about the movement of troops,
on account of the women and children and my soldiers, if no one else, who were innocent of the
folly of so small a party going into an enemy's country, who had lately been badly whipped, and
would do all they could to take revenge if possible. When my troops arrived next day I issued an
order directing Colonel Dill, with 300 of the Thirtieth Wisconsin, 200 Eighth Minnesota, 100
Seventh Iowa Cavalry, all dismounted, and from the Second Minnesota Cavalry, Brackett's
battalion, and Sixth Iowa Cavalry 100 men each, mounted on the best of the horses, with two
howitzers, to go after Captain Fisk and bring back his party. I would have sent only a cavalry
force, but this I could not; my animals were too weak to stand a rapid march, having marched
1,500 miles in the last three months, sometimes with little or no grass, and the worst of alkali
water. All day yesterday was consumed in crossing the troops and wagons, drawing rations, &c.;
this morning early they started. I hope they will be in time to relieve Captain Fisk, if he is in
trouble, for a disaster to him and his party at this present moment would greatly retard my
prospects of making peace with the Indians. They would, of course, take this emigrant train for
part of my command, and if they capture it the evil disposed in the nation would boast of it and
urge the rest to continue the war. I shall send off from here all the troops except a sufficient
number to protect the place, and will remain here some days. I would like to keep the command
up here a few weeks longer, but this is impossible. I have not rations enough; a very large
quantity of what I have is not fit for use. The sinking of two boats and the breaking down of
another, together with the low stage of water, prevented all my supplies reaching here. The
campaign for this summer must therefore close. Winter will very soon set in and with it death to
all my stock, reduced and weak as it is; two or three cold freezing rains or snows on the prairie
would kill them off.
In conclusion I would beg leave to make the following remarks in regard to Indian affairs in
this section of country: The Indian expedition which the general commanding the department
ordered has been a success in every respect as far as it was in the power of any one or any body
of troops to make it so. Circumstances over which no human being had any control prevented it
from being a perfect success in every respect. Had the Missouri River commenced to rise in
April, as it generally does, instead of June, the boats from Saint Louis would have got up to
Sioux City and other points of starting sooner; the command would have been in the field sooner,
boats would not have stuck on sand-bars, freight would not have been unloaded and loaded,
whereby much of the stores was damaged badly. Had not two of the boats sunk and one become
disabled, more supplies would be on hand, and if the usual amount of snow had fallen last winter
the river would have been higher, the Yellowstone would have been navigable, there would have
been grass and water, not alkali, which has helped to kill off many of my animals, the post on the
Yellowstone could have been established. But in spite of all this, the expedition has met the
combined forces of the Sioux Nation at points they chose to give us battle, and in these
engagements completely routed them, destroyed a large portion of their camps and baggage, and
scattered them in all directions, completely breaking up their combination, and proved to them
that in spite of their boasts and threats they were no match for the whites. I think they never will
again organize for resistance against a large body of troops, and I do not therefore think it will
be necessary to have another expedition. Yet, owing to the vast extent of country over which
these Sioux can rove, the peculiar nature of a large portion of the country, such as the Black
Hills, the mountains near the Big Horn, the Bad Lands, extending ten miles and over, on both
sides of the Little Missouri, Gros Ventres, so broken up in places with narrow ravines, hundreds
of feet deep, the sides of which are perfectly perpendicular, it is not only easy then to lose
Indians you may be in pursuit of, but even lose yourself; and then, again, the safe refuge the
Indians have in the British possessions under the protection of the half-breeds of the North, who
urge the Indians to keep up the war, so that they may be benefited by their trade, it will be
exceedingly difficult to bring all the bands of the Sioux to a complete subjection. A peace could
no doubt be made with these Indians, as was made in 1857, by Congress making a heavy
appropriation, promising to feed and clothe these Indians and begging them not to be bad any
more, and there is no doubt such a peace would be just as well kept as the peace already made--
that is, every white man who entered their country would be robbed or killed, without they went
in sufficient numbers to protect themselves. The Indians regard the annuities given by the
Government because they fear them. It will be necessary, however, to garrison posts in the
country, keeping up a sufficient force for a few years not only to guard the posts but to send out
parties to hunt up the Indians.
The matter of the greatest consequence in regard to these posts is the selection of a proper
commander, so few officers in the army, at least in the volunteer service, that have had the
opportunity to become well acquainted with the Indian character. It would be better to have no
garrison at all than to have it commanded by an incompetent officer. The post on the
Yellowstone should be built, but the question is where to place it. In a military point of view,
near the mouth of the Powder River would be a good point, but from what I saw on the
Yellowstone Valley, and from what I am told by those who ought to know, there will be great
difficulty in procuring hay.
All the Indians north of the Missouri, above the Big Bend, could easily be banded together to
assist a body of troops to war against the Sioux. In my opinion it would be policy and economy
for the Government to expend a few thousand dollars and get these Indians into a war with the
hostile portion of the Sioux, and to assist them also with troops, till all the posts are permanently
With much respect, your obedient servant,
Camp No. 34, July 29, 1864.
SIR: I have the honor to report the operations of eleven companies of the Sixth Iowa
Volunteer Cavalry on the 28th and 29th of July, 1864 (Company K having been left in garrison
at Fort Randall Dak. Ter.), in connection with the battle with the Indians at Tahkahokuty. On the
morning of the 28th instant the two brigades took up the line of march from their camp (No. 32)
and Big Knife River, in a direction west of north. The First Brigade, consisting of the Sixth Iowa
Volunteer Cavalry, three companies of the Seventh Iowa Volunteer Cavalry, Brackett's Battalion
of Minnesota Cavalry, two companies of Dakota cavalry, the Prairie battery, and one company of
Indian scouts, being in advance. About 11 a.m. the guides announced that they had discovered
Indians in large numbers at a place called Tahkahokuty, directly in our front, and at a distance of
but a few miles, as reported by them, but which eventually proved to be at least ten miles away.
The position occupied by the Indians consisted of a ridge of buttes, varying from 400 to 800
feet in height, the sides of which were covered with timber and large rocks. Deep, wooded
ravines almost inaccessible to cavalry protected nearly the whole front of these buttes. South of
this position were lower ranges of buttes, over which it was necessary to pass to reach the almost
impregnable position occupied by the enemy. These lower ranges were broken, uneven, and
Upon the announcement of the presence of Indians in our front the line of battle was
immediately formed by the general commanding, the Seventh Iowa Volunteer Cavalry being in
the center, the Sixth Iowa Cavalry on the right, and the Eighth Minnesota Infantry on the left, the
Prairie battery, supported by Company M, Sixth Iowa Cavalry, and the Indian scouts advancing
in the interval between the Sixth and Seventh Iowa Cavalry. One battalion, composed of
Companies A, G, L, and D, of the Sixth Iowa Volunteer Cavalry, was commanded by Capt John
Galligan, Company A; one battalion (Companies B, E, and F) by Capt. D. C. Cram, Company B;
and one battalion (Companies C, H, and I) by Major House. Company G was thrown in advance
of the line of skirmishers. Strong parties of Indians came out well mounted (some of them on
American horses) and attacked us from eight to ten miles from their position in the bluffs. Six
companies, viz, A C, D, H, I, and L, were dismounted and deployed as skimishers on the right,
Company G dismounted and skirmishing hi the advance, three companies (B, E, and F)
remaining mounted, and used as a reserve, under command of Capt. D. C. Cram. After
advancing and skirmishing about three miles the Indians gathered in large numbers on and near a
high butte in front of our left. The Prairie battery took position, and after firing a few rounds
dislodged and scattered them. We continued to advance for about two miles farther, constantly
skirmishing and driving the enemy before us, when they again massed in large numbers on our
right front. A part of the Minnesota battery, supported by Company E, Sixth Iowa Cavalry, was
placed in position on our right, and after a few rounds scattered them, they moving still farther to
our right near the high bluffs which extended some distance in that direction. A charge was here
made upon them by Brackett's Battalion of Minnesota Cavalry, and they were again driven more
to our front, gradually falling back to their strongest position in the range of bluffs before
indicated. Our line continued to advance, but by direction of the general commanding was not to
move in advance of the Seventh Iowa Cavalry on our left, but was to present a connected and
continuous line. We were delayed for an hour or more awaiting the advance of the Seventh Iowa
The artillery and cavalry were thrown forward on the right and left, driving the enemy up in
the bluffs. Our line again advanced and reached and took possession of the bluffs about sunset,
the artillery having shelled the enemy from their shelter in the woods and behind the rocks on
the sides of the bluffs in our front. But one casualty occurred in the regiment: one man in
Company M, Sixth Iowa Cavalry was severely but not dangerously wounded. The day was
excessively hot. The men were dismounted and carrying their arms and ammunition (weighing
about twenty-five pounds), and the Indians being well mounted, were able generally to move out
of the range of our rifles. It is impossible to give with any degree of certainty the number of
Indians killed; many, however, were seen to fall from their horses, and several were known to
have been killed. We encamped about two miles north of the battle-field, and the next morning
started in pursuit of the Indians toward the Little Missouri River, but after marching about two
hours were obliged to turn back, having found it impossible to move any farther with wagons in
that direction. Upon returning to the battle-field four companies were detailed to destroy property
taken from the Indians. A vast amount of property consisting of lodges, poles, and dried meat
was destroyed. Both officers and men behaved well throughout.
I have the honor to remain, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Lieut. Col. Sixth Iowa Cavalry Commanding Regiment.
Asst. Adjt. Gen., Northwestern Indian Expedition.
Camp No. --, August 9, 1864.
SIR: I have the honor to report that on the morning of the 8th instant the Sixth Iowa
Volunteer Cavalry moved from the camp on the Little Missouri River into the position assigned
it as the right column of the First Brigade of the Northwestern Indian Expedition. Immediately
after moving into position, and before crossing the river, Indians in large numbers were seen in
front and on the right and left of the column; heavy firing was also heard in front. My command
was immediately moved forward, closing up to the rear of the Second Brigade, which was that
day in advance. I dismounted Companies D and L, deploying them as skirmishers on the right of
the column. On the range of high buttes running along the right of the deep ravine through which
the column and train were obliged to advance, parties of Indians appeared continually on the
flanks, but finding no part of the train unguarded kept mostly out of range of our guns. In this
manner we continued to advance for about four miles until we approached two high buttes
between which our route was, and from which the enemy had been dislodged by the troops in the
advance. The train with the brigade in advance was corralled here and troops stationed on the
heights. While the advance had moved forward to secure a position in front, the troops stationed
on the heights on the right flank were relieved by Companies C and I, of my command. A part of
Company M was also left as a support to a piece placed in position on the right flank of the
column by Captain Pope from his battery. The column again moved forward, large numbers of
Indians appearing on the flanks and passing around the rear, only coming within range of our
carbines occasionally, generally secreting themselves when within range in ravines and behind
buttes. The rear was frequently threatened, but nothing more than skirmishing took place there.
The command continued to march in this manner until about 5 p.m., when we arrived at a small
lake where we were ordered to bivouac.
We were allowed but a short rest, however, the Indians appearing in large numbers suddenly,
covering the buttes in every direction and entirely surrounding the command. Companies A, C,
E, G, I, and L were immediately moved out on foot to support the pickets; except coming near
enough to exchange a few shots no direct attack was made. Private Alfred J. Nicholson,
Company H (which company formed a part of the rear guard), while in rear of his company a
few yards, was wounded in the hip by an arrow, inflicting a flesh wound, not dangerous. No
other casualties occurred during the day. Six or eight Indians are believed to have been killed
during the day, but being on the flank and in rear of the column, no definite statement can be
made. Companies A and H were on guard during the night. Companies C, D, F, and L were
placed directly in rear of the pickets and near them as a support in case of an attack. The
remainder of the regiment slept on their arms. At daybreak on the morning of the 9th Indians in
large numbers were discovered occupying the buttes around camp, and particularly in front.
Large numbers of them were gathered on every butte or hill near our camp. A hurried meal was
soon dispatched and the First Brigade moved in position as the advance brigade. The Indians
were gradually moving nearer camp and had already exchanged several shots with the pickets,
becoming very insolent and taking possession of every position in our front that would afford
them any protection from the artillery. Company C was dismounted, and Company I mounted,
were moved forward as a part of the advance guard. One battalion, Companies A, D, G, and L
(Capt. John Galligan, Company A, acting major) were now dismounted and moved in front of
the right of the brigade as skirmishers. I was then ordered to move forward and drive the Indians
from the front and take possession of two high buttes about one mile in advance and which were
covered with Indians. The command was given and the six companies last named moved forward
at double-quick time, driving the Indians from the buttes and ravines, scattering them wherever
they attempted to make a stand, and continuing at this pace made a charge of over two miles in a
very few minutes without halting. I was here halted by orders of the general commanding until
the column and train came up. The Indians evidently not expecting so rapid an advance, were
dismayed and disheartened, and fleeing in every direction disappeared almost entirely from our
front, the few remaining keeping at a respectful distance and giving us no farther opportunity of
engaging them. No casualties occurred during the day, although several bodies of Indians were
closely engaged, but were mostly surprised in ravines, and were too much alarmed to fire with
any certain aim, and the only damage received from their fire was the loss of two horses in
Company I. Thirteen Indians were known to have been killed, and a number of others were seen
to fall, many of them being placed on ponies and carried away by their comrades. Both officers
and men behaved well during the entire engagement.
I have the honor to remain, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant.
Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding Regiment.
Asst. Adjt. Gen. Northwestern Indian Expedition.
Camp No. 36, August 2, 1864.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report that on the 28th of July, 1864, the command broke
camp on a branch of Knife River at an early hour and marched in a northwestern direction. My
battalion was marching in rear of the left column of the First Brigade. At about 10 a.m.
information was brought in by the guides that a large body of Indians had been discovered a few
miles directly in our front. I was ordered to move my men to the head of the left column. After
marching a short distance the Indians appeared in large numbers in front, and I was ordered to
dismount my men and deploy them in front as skirmishers. My formation was in the center, the
Sixth Iowa Cavalry being on my right and the Eighth Minnesota on the left. As soon as the
formation was completed the whole line commenced advancing, and after marching from one
and a half to two miles a still larger number of Indians could be seen maneuvering on the base of
a large and abrupt range of wooded hills a few miles in front. They soon advanced to meet our
line, which continued steadily to advance, and a scattering fire was commenced, the first volley
being fired at an Indian who appeared in front brandishing a war club and apparently directing
the movements of the others, this being the opening fire of the fight. The fire then became
general and continued with intervals along our whole line. Although my men had never before
been under fire, they continued to advance steadily and deliberately and met and repelled the
charges made by the Indians from time to time with great firmness and composure.
The advance continued in this way about one hour when the Eighth Minnesota, being
severely pressed, fell back, leaving my left entirely unsupported and a large break in the line.
This I attempted to obviate for some time by extending my intervals and allowing my left to
bend slightly to the rear, until a battery and its supports taking up their position on our left, I
reformed my line and continued to advance. At this time a battery with its support took up its
position on our left and a force of cavalry on the right, and advancing in front of our line drove
the Indians out of our reach, when we ceased firing and followed in rear of the cavalry to the foot
of the bluffs.
The whole fight lasted about six hours, during which time the Indians were driven a distance
of about ten miles.
It is to be regretted that because of the nature of the ground and the Indian way of fighting
much of our fire was wasted. The ground over which we advanced was very uneven, and the
Indians would gather behind knolls and in ravines on our front and fire upon us and scatter away
on their swift-footed ponies.
Too much praise cannot be given to officers and men of my command for the calm bearing
and good judgment evinced upon all occasions and under all circumstances.
My troops took no part in any action on the 29th. As to casualties I am happy to state that I
lost no men either in killed or wounded.
Lieutenant-Colonel Seventh Iowa Volunteer Cavalry.
Assistant Adjutant-General.
Camp No. 36, August 2, 1864.
SIR: I have the honor to report that in the battle of the 28th of July, 1864, my command was
held in reserve for a time in rear of the battery of the First Brigade until a space occurred in the
skirmishers on the left between the Eighth Minnesota Infantry and Seventh Iowa Cavalry, when I
was sent with Company A, of my command, to occupy said space. When, after driving the
Indians for some two miles, a large quantity of Indians appeared on the hill in front of us, when
we charged up the hill and fired several volleys at short range, with good effect, when Captain
Pope with his battery, Company B, of my command, Company M, Sixth Iowa Cavalry, and the
Nebraska scouts, came promptly to my support, which caused the Indians to retreat. I then, with
Company A, Dakota cavalry, passed to the left of a hill, which was in our front, when the
battery, with Company B, of my command, went to the right, when after a little skirmishing the
Indians went up the mountains, which were in front of the command. We then halted and soon
after returned and camped with the rest of the command on the battle-field. At all early hour
next morning, after ascertaining that it was impossible to follow the Indians farther with any
prospect of success, I went to the Indian camp with both companies of my command, in
accordance with orders, for the purpose of destroying the property of said Indians, and although
several other companies were at work destroying the property of the Indians, my two companies
destroyed some 700 skin lodges, a large quantity of buffalo robes, camp equipage, and
The casualties in my command was only I soldier, of Company A, slightly wounded. In
conclusion, I beg leave to state that in my opinion great wisdom was displayed in the conducting
of said battle by our most worthy general.
I am, sir, your most obedient servant,
Captain, Commanding Dakota Cavalry.
Commanding Expedition.
Camp on Heart River, August 1, 1864.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report that, in the late fight with Indians at Tahkahokuty, on
Thursday, July 28, I was ordered to take position with my battery in advance and fifty yards in
rear of the line of skirmishers in front, with orders to fire when I got within range. I advanced
slowly to within about 900 yards of the Indians, when I ran one piece forward in front of the
skirmish line and fired three rounds of spherical case-shot, killing five or six and wounding
several Indians. I was then ordered to move to the left, with instructions to head them off and
drive them toward the right. I advanced at a full run, supported by four companies of cavalry,
sending one section of the battery and two companies of cavalry on each side of the high butte to
the left of our line of battle, wheeling and firing as often as I got within range. The line of
skirmishers was a mile in rear of the battery. We succeeded in clearing the knolls on the left and
driving the Indians into the ravines under the mountains. I shelled them out of there and forced
them into the hills where it was impossible to follow with either artillery or cavalry. We moved
again to the left, hoping to find an opening to get the battery on top of the hills, but unfortunately
did not succeed in finding a road.
It is impossible to say how many Indians were killed in this movement as the dead were
carried off as soon as they fell; but from what I saw and from information since received, I think
the number will not fall below 30 killed and wounded; my loss was nothing.
Great praise is due the detailed men on duty with the Prairie battery for their coolness and
prompt obedience of orders; and it may not be improper here to mention Captains Miner's and
Tripp's companies of Dakota cavalry, Captain Williams' company of the Sixth Iowa Cavalry, and
the Nebraska scouts, who gave me all the assistance in their power and were very efficient.
I am, captain, with great respect, your obedient servant,
Captain, Commanding Prairie Battery.
Assistant Adjutant-General.
July 29, 1864.
I have the honor most respectfully to report that, in accordance with Special Orders, No. 62,
headquarters Northwestern Indian Expedition, Camp No. 34, July 29, 1864, I proceeded to the
Indian camp with four companies of Second Minnesota Cavalry, Major Rice commanding, and
two companies of Dakota cavalry, Captain Miner commanding; four companies of the Sixth
Iowa and three companies Eighth Minnesota Infantry, under Major Camp. On arriving at the
camp a few straggling Indians were seen lurking about the bluffs. I immediately dismounted and
deployed Company G, Second Minnesota Cavalry, who skirmished through the timber and
remained in a position to protect the working parties. I commenced by disposing of the various
forces so as to destroy with the least delay the vast quantities of goods left in the timber and
ravines adjacent to the camp. The men gathered into heaps and burned tons of dried buffalo meat
packed in buffalo skin cases, great quantities of dried berries, buffalo robes, tanned buffalo, elk,
and antelope skins, household utensils, such as brass and copper kettles, mess pans, &c., riding
saddles, dray poles for ponies and dogs.
Finding that one day was too short a time to make the destruction complete, I ordered the
men to gather only the lodge poles in heaps and burn them, and then deployed the men and fired
the woods in every direction; the destruction was thus complete, and everywhere was manifest
the rapid flight of the Indians, leaving everything, even their dogs and colts tied to the pickets. In
skirmishing the timber dead Indians were found killed by exploding shells. After a thorough
examination of the camping-ground, and by judging from the amount of lodge poles burnt, I
should judge the camp to have numbered 1,400 lodges. I would report that after the work of
destruction commenced the Indians carried a white flag on the bluff close to the camp. As I could
not interpret the meaning at this particular time, I did not feel called upon to report the fact to
you until I had accomplished the object and carried out Order No. 62.
I have the honor to be, most respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel Second Minnesota Cavalry.
Capt. JOHN; H. PELL,
Assistant Adjutant-General.
SAINT JOSEPH, July 26, 1864.
COLONEL: I have just received intelligence that the rebels, nearly 500 strong, entered
Shelbina to-day; tore up the railroad track, burned two trains of cars, and caused much other
destruction. I move the First Iowa eastward to-morrow morning from Cameron and ascertain
extent of damage. The storm is upon us in its fury, and every loyal man in this district must
spring to arms and put this thing down quickly. As nearly as I can judge we have near there
3,000 well armed and mounted veteran rebels this side the river. Is there an abundance of arms at
Saint Louis
Col. O. D. GREENE,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Saint Louis.
Salina, Kans., August 5, 1864.
SIR: In accordance with Special Field Orders, No. 6, dated headquarters Department of
Kansas, at Fort Larned, July 31, 1864, extract III, I proceeded with my battalion, consisting of a
detachment of cavalry from Company H, Seventh Iowa, Second Lieutenant Ellsworth in
command; a detachment from Company L, Eleventh Kansas Cavalry, Second Lieut. William
Booth in command; a detachment from the Fourteenth Kansas State Militia, and a detachment
from the Fifteenth Kansas State Militia, numbering in all ninety-two men, in a northerly
direction. We camped at night on Ash Creek, about nine miles from Fort Larned. August 1, we
broke camp early and proceeded in northerly direction toward the Smoky Hill. After marching
about ten miles we reached Walnut Creek, upon which we camped. It being twenty-five miles
from here to the Smoky Hill, I deemed it not prudent to proceed any farther this day, especially
as our guides said there was no water on the entire route. While encamped upon Walnut scouts
were sent up and down the creek a distance of ten or fifteen miles. No Indians were seen, but
indications that a large body had been here were apparent, but nothing recent. August 2, started
this morning about 6 o'clock, throwing out flankers on each side to discover if possible any
Indians that might be prowling around, but none were discovered on the entire march. We
crossed the Smoky Hill about nine miles above the mouth of Big Creek. We stopped on Smoky
Hill to graze and examine the river. No signs were discovered that indicated the presence of
Indians. Learning from our guide that Big Creek was a great resort for Indians, I determined to
proceed there, a distance of nine miles, to camp for the night. On approaching the creek scouts
were sent forward to discover if Indians were present. Here again we found the remains of scamp
of a large body of Indians; we judged from 400 to 600. They had apparently left in a hurry, as
some of their pack-saddles, the remains of old tents, some hatchets, &c., were left scattered
around the camp. They had evidently had a lot of stock, as the grass in the vicinity was cropped
very short. I think from appearances that this camp had been left, but a few days before our
arrival. Possibly it might have been deserted while we were at Smoky Hill Crossing, from which
it is a distance about sixty miles. This body of Indians had gone in a northerly direction. Having
rations for only three days I deemed it not prudent to follow this trail. We camped on Big Creek,
three miles above its mouth. August 3, broke camp about 6 o'clock and proceeded down the
north bank of Smoky Hill toward the crossing. After leaving this creek we came into large herds
of buffalo, which had tramped the country so much that it was impossible to tell a buffalo trail
from an Indian trail. We camped to-night on the Smoky Hill, about sixteen miles from the
crossing. No sign of Indians here. The buffalo had fed the grass so close that nothing was left for
our horses. August 4, started this morning at daylight, as our horses were fasting (the last of our
corn was fed last night). After marching five or six miles we found good grass and stopped to
graze our animals. We reached Smoky Hill Crossing about 12 m. Here I received Special Field
Orders, No. 7, dated headquarters Department of Kansas, Cow Creek Station, August 3, 1864,
extract III. In accordance with said order I left Lieutenant Ellsworth at this station with his
detachment and proceeded with the balance toward Salina, which place we reached August 5,
1864, at 6 p.m.
I think from present indications the Indians are upon the Saline, Solomon, and Republican
Rivers, as the buffalo are plenty upon these streams, and they depend entirely upon them for a
living. Undoubtedly they are encamped upon some one of these streams.
All of which is respectfully submitted.
Captain Company L, Eleventh Kansas Volunteer Cavalry.
Maj. Gen S. R. CURTIS.
Fayette, Mo., August 4, 1864.
CAPTAIN: Yesterday morning after a slight skirmish I routed a band of guerrillas near
Fayette, and pursued them until dusk, a distance of fifteen miles, capturing horses, arms,
clothing, &c. Our forces consisted of detachment of the First Iowa Cavalry and Ninth Cavalry
Missouri State Militia.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Major Ninth Cavalry Missouri State Militia.
Asst. Adjt. Gen., Dist. of North Missouri, Saint Joseph, Mo.
Brazos Santiago, Tex., August 15, 1864.
MAJOR: I have the honor to submit the following report of affairs at this post from August 4,
the date of my last report, up to the present time:
Nothing worthy of note occurred until the 9th of August save occasional skirmishing
between our cavalry pickets and those of the enemy. On the 9th a fatigue party, consisting of
seventy-five men of the Eighty-first Corps d'Afrique Engineers, was sent over to Point Isabel,
distant about five miles, for the propose of procuring lumber: At about 12 p.m. they were
attacked by a force of about 150 cavalry. The fatigue party had been sent armed as a precaution
in case of an attack, and some sharp skirmishing ensued, in which 2 of the enemy were killed and
several wounded, without any loss to our side. Captain Jordan, Ninety-first Illinois, who was in
command, seeing that he was outnumbered and fearing for the safety of the steamer Hale, which
had transported the fatigue party to the Point and was lying at the wharf, withdrew his men to the
boat and returned to Brazos. The above facts having been reported, also that there were several
small boats at the point which, though in poor condition, could be fitted up and would fall into
the hands of the enemy, a detachment of the Ninety-first Illinois and Nineteenth Iowa was sent
over for the purpose of routing the rebels and destroying the boats. The detachment was under
command of Capt. William W. Shepherd, Ninety-first Illinois, and landed without difficulty, the
enemy firing a number of shots at so long a distance as to be of no effect. Upon the advance of
Captain Shepherd the enemy fled, and as there were no means of pursuit the boats were
destroyed and detachment returned.
I have received information from Mr. Pierce, consul at Matamoras, to the following effect:
The entire force of the enemy, consisting of about 900 cavalry, have left Brownsville, with the
exception of about eighty men who are guarding the place. They are under the immediate
command of Ford and are scattered in small camps over the country between this place and
Brownsville. They have no artillery and their horses are in poor condition. They are busy laying
a plot by which to capture some of the colored troops at this post in order to be revenged for the
loss inflicted upon them at Point Isabel. I cannot see how ally such plot can be successful, as the
colored troops are no more or hardly as much exposed as the white. There is a three of the enemy
which has not yet been in Brownsville; it consists of about 400 cavalry and is stationed above
Laredo on the river. This, together with the force under Ford, mentioned above, comprises the
entire force of the enemy, as near as I can learn, in this part of the country. Mr. Pierce is of the
opinion that Ford rather fears than designs an attack, as his men have a wholesome fear of
artillery. I take pleasure in reporting to you that there is a marked improvement in the discipline
and general conduct of the First Texas Cavalry, concerning which I advised you in my last
report. No more desertions have occurred since then, and I am in hopes that all the disorderly and
unreliable men of the command were those who have left.
The health of the troops under my command is fair, although the want of fresh vegetables is
felt in no small degree. Two-thirds of the men in hospital are afflicted with the scurvy.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. M. DAY,
Colonel, Commanding U.S. Forces, Brazos Santiago, Tex.
Assistant Adjutant-General, Department of the Gulf.
Little Rock, Ark., August 4, 1864.
Brig. Gen. J. R. West, U.S. Volunteers, will proceed with all the available cavalry of this
district in pursuit of the enemy's, reported to be on Little Red River, and will pursue them until
they are captured or dispersed.
By order of Brig. Gen. E. A. Carr:
Assistant Adjutant-General.
Saturday, August 6, 1864.--Left Huntersville, opposite Little Rock, at 7.30, Second Brigade,
Colonel Stuart, having moved with train at 6. Road runs down river three or four miles, then
turns to the left and north, and crosses railroad to Devall's Bluff in a few rods. Pickets at turning.
Passed broken-down wagon at railroad-cause, tongue broken; load transferred. Overtook train
two miles and a half south of Bayou Metoe, train stalling badly, owing to the weakness of mules,
one wagon unloaded. Pushed on to Bayou Metoe, twelve miles, where found bridge useless,
flooring removed. Some buildings of heavy timbers near by with which it might be repaired.
Artillery was crossing at rude string piece bridge, three-quarters mile above. Horses were taken
out of the artillery, and guns run across by hand. Train same way when it came up. Bank easy
slope, ten feet high. Ford, saddle skirt deep, a few rods above. When the train came up, pushed
on with the command, leaving Third Missouri Cavalry as train guard. Road good to Bayou Two
Prairies, five miles. Crossed it by ford; deep on left bank. Bridge just below might be repaired.
Went on to Austin (or Oakland Post-Office), eight miles. Good road most of way. Some swampy
tracts; carts passed by daylight. Went into camp at Austin. Trains could not get up, but went into
camp five miles below. Steam grist-mill at Austin makes thirty barrels a day. Forty men of
Twenty-second Ohio Mounted Infantry joined us by Brownsville road near Austin.
Sunday, August 7.--Lieutenant-Colonel Calkins, with 250 Third Wisconsin and 50 U.S.
Regulars, pushed on at early dawn to Stony Point, eight miles north, with instructions to drive
the enemy, if found and not too strong, beyond Stony Point.
N. B.--Found Capt. W. C. Robinson, Company C, Glenn's regiment, Third Brigade (rebel),
Arkansas, wounded and paroled here, from Helena fight, in July, 1863; is badly wounded in hip
and will die.
Train and guard getting up at 11.30 o'clock, after delay by reason of tongue breaking, and
teams weak; moved on at 12.12. Made Cypress Bottom Bayou at 1.45 o'clock; bridge in decent
order; declivity to the bottom somewhat steep from the south, gradual slope up from the bottom
northward. Road muddy but not bad. Went on to Jackson's farm, seven miles from Austin, and
waited half an hour till train closed up, then to Stony Point, three-quarters of a mile more, where
found Lieuten-ant-Colonel Calkins' command. He had seen no rebels. Pushed on to Bull Bayou,
one mile farther, and went into camp. Some picket-firing. Just as advance neared Bull Bayou the
rebels ran and tried to tear up flooring of the bridge, but had not time to do much damage.
Colonel Geiger', with First Brigade, reported at 6 o'clock, having come up from Devall's Bluff,
and went into camp on north side bayou. Reports a fight with Jackman and 300 or 400 men at
Hickory Plains to-day. A few rebels killed and taken prisoners. Major Snelling, with 250 Tenth
Illinois joined from Lewisburg as we came to camp. A reconnaissance of Third Wisconsin
developed a few rebels, fugacious, and firing on north side bayou. Learned that Jackman passed
north from Hickory Plains, about two miles beyond bridge, this morning, having come out from
neighborhood road near Franklin's Mill, used by rebels for grinding, on creek four miles south of
east from Jackson's road down the bottom.
Monday, August 8.--Second Brigade moved at early dawn; First Brigade with train at 8
o'clock. Caney Creek, five miles north of Bull Bayou, dry. Quarles' Bridge, over Bayou Des Are,
three miles further, in decent order. Third Michigan held bridge and pushed on direct road
toward Searcy; Colonel Stuart with rest of brigade crossed two miles and a half above, and came
down on Searcy from west. No rebels in Searcy. Reported by all the inhabitants that the enemy
passed through the road traversed to-day in great haste last night, traveling northward, Searcy
pretty much deserted; no buildings destroyed. From Searcy went up to Little Red River Landing,
two miles and a half. Road descends all way, timbered and fields, easily defended from an attack
from north. Went into camp on Little Red, on south side. Stuart came up soon after and crossed
the ford, going into camp in open fields beyond. Water very low in the Red; rough rocky bed to
stream; banks thirty feet high; even. From September to June this stream is navigable to White
River boats, very low during June, July, and August. Road from Searcy, four miles east, leads to
Prospect Bluffs; good ford. The rebels under McCray and Jackman all crossed the ford before
light this morning, hastening north. From information received from inhabitants they were about
800 strong. They went twelve miles northeast, on the Grand Glaize road, and stopped at
Stephens' Creek. Shelby is reported to be crossing, or to have crossed, the White at Augusta with
intent to join them.
Tuesday, August 9.--Moved, with Geiger's (First) brigade leading, with two 12-pounder
howitzers. A detachment Eleventh Missouri Cavalry, under Captain Kauffman, of 120 men, left
at daylight to reconnoiter ahead all day, if not attacked. After crossing the Little Red the road
runs northward for one mile and a quarter, then turns east, and passing over a high and good but
stony road descends a steep declivity 100 feet high to the Overflow--name given to a creek
which bounds on the west the swamps of the Mingo. About six miles from the landing a road to
the left leads toward Grand Glaize, and to the right to Prospect Bluffs, three miles. After leaving
the Overflow the road runs through the heavy bottom lands of the Mingo Swamps eight miles, to
Glaize Creek, all timbered, with little underbrush; must be bad in wet weather. The Mingo is not
much of a creek, though bad crossing on account of the deep mud; narrow. Stuart's brigade
remains at bridge. First encamps at headquarters, two miles and a half below, on road to
Augusta. After crossing bridge at Glaize road leads down directly east on a tongue of land to a
point of land opposite Augusta, seven miles from bridge; also turns to left and leads three miles
northeast to the White River, then turns down the bank two miles to a ferry called Hatch's,
whence it is two miles to Augusta. Likewise on this last road another to the left, about two miles
from the bridge, leads to Grand Glaize and Denmark. The whole land below the bridge is
canebrake, with heavy bottom growth. The road toward the point narrow, with several sloughs
with steep banks-corduroy crossings--in bad order. After leaving the Overflow there are very few
habitations and clearings. After crossing the Glaize Creek only two habitations, one three miles
below the bridge on right-hand side and one five miles and a half below on left hand, and on the
run bank (Chambers'). The banks of this tongue of land are low on the south side and bluff on the
north side; sand spit opposite Augusta; run about twelve yards wide. Detachment of Third
Michigan, Captain Latimer, seized ferry-boat at Hatch's in the p.m.; got it across under cover of
their rifles, with a fight across the stream with a body of rebels, and after night-fall took it down
below Augusta, together with a skiff. Went down and reconnoitered point, but had no means of
crossing. Saw rebel pickets rushing about on our arrival. From a lagoon, about three-quarters of a
mile long, on the road to the point, transferred a dug-out down and across the point three miles,
and launched it below Augusta. Sent three men therein to Devall's Bluff with dispatches after
Wednesday, August 10.--Seven o'clock moved Third Michigan down to point opposite
Augusta. Crossed sergeant and seven men on the ferryboat half a mile below, who came up and
drove out few rebel pickets, then in evening brought up boat and crossed whole regiment, with
two mountain howitzers of Tenth Illinois Cavalry, and sent ferry-boat up to ferry, two miles
above. Third Michigan picketed strongly on road going out. Strong detachments from Second
Brigade went northward toward Grand Glaize and Denmark to develop the enemy in that
direction, with instructions to return not later than 10 o'clock to-morrow. Colonel Smart reports
destruction of salt-works, three miles and a half southwest item Glaize bridge, last night; 11
kettles, 60 evaporating vats, and 8 prisoners. Capacity about two bushels a day. Only works
about here. In Augusta Shelby reported to have gone north with his command, which was
encamped four miles off on Sunday. Calling in his commands and intending to drive McCray at
Jacksonport, where he has a pontoon bridge across the Big Black, moved back headquarters and
First Brigade to the Glaize bridge.
Thursday, August 11.--Ferry-boat having been taken up to Hatch's the Eighth Missouri
crossed there; Ninth Iowa moved down on Ferry road and camped on bank of river one mile
above ferry; Eleventh Missouri and First Nebraska camped at place where the road strikes river.
Horses eat corn; no forage to be had. Shelby reported concentrating, to attack on east side of
White, and no sign of the boats from Devall's Bluff yet. The Eighth is recrossed and boat sent
down to Augusta for the Third Michigan to recross on. Very heavy rain storm commenced at 12
and lasted all day. The scout from north returned, having been to Denmark and gaining no
tidings of the enemy save that McCray had rushed across the river to Jacksonport and joined
Shelby there.
Friday, August 12.--Moved back from river with First Brigade. The Third Michigan crossed
unopposed at Augusta. Joined at Glaize bridge and command took up march for Searcy; reached
it at 3 and went into camp on south side, with pickets at fords above and below. Sent guides and
three men Eighth Missouri through to General Steele, with messages at evening.
Saturday, August 13.--Detachment of fifty men Eighth Missouri Cavalry, Captain McAdoo,
sent northward by Denmark road at early day. Fell in with rebels eight miles out; had a skirmish,
and sent back for re-enforcements. The Third U.S. Cavalry, 250 men, were sent to his assistance
with instructions to develop the enemy. The supply train and worn-out horses sent back toward
Devall's Bluff, with 125 sick and thirty escort. Moved out of camp toward Searcy. The First
Brigade went into line of battle, and with skirmishers out between camp and Searcy. Moved at 1
o'clock through Searcy, on the Sugar Loaf Springs road, eleven and a half miles to Goad's, at
intersection of this with the old military road from Little Rock to Batesville. Road leaves Searcy
Valley on left, winds up and crosses a stony, rough divide with open oak woods. Several
plantations on the road. The road lies on the rough hill for about five miles. Crossed Panther
Creek six miles from Searcy. Camped at Goad's Ford; found five wagon loads of old corn near
camp. Sent pickets to Hilcher's Ferry, ten miles on the Little Red. Lieutenant Guirado, aide-decamp,
and twelve men sent after the Third United States from the landing at 10 o'clock, with
instructions to have them return via Hilcher's Ferry. Messengers arrived at 6 p.m. from Third
United States; had joined the Eighth Missouri and advanced, but found no enemy. Sent party to
Hilcher's Ferry, and thence to Fairview, to communicate with Third United States.
Sunday, August 14.--Lay in camp all day. Some picket-firing on the Searcy road, and a body
of fifty reported. Sent out a scout who scattered them in direction of Little Red. Surgeon Foote,
with escort of Ninth Iowa, reported having come up the White River in steamer Celeste, sent
from Devall's Bluff in response to dispatch sent from Augusta. The boat landed him above the
Red River, and he came through the country till he struck our trail. Reports tumbling into a party
last night of five or eight rebels, who fled, firing. Boat arrived up at Friday eve, twenty-five
miles below Augusta by the river, which there makes a great bend. A messenger from Captain
McAdoo was fired on between here and Searcy to-day by two men. Lieutenant Guirado, with
escort, came in at close of day from McAdoo, via Hilcher's Ferry. Reports no rebels discovered
by that command as far as Fairview.
Monday, August 15, 6 o'clock.--Broke camp at early hour and moved back to Searcy, leaving
Eleventh Missouri at Goad's, to await coming up of the Third United States from Searcy to
Bayou Des Arc, where First Brigade diverged toward Hickory Plains, and Second and
headquarters went on and into camp at Bull Bayou. First Brigade was ordered to Devall's Bluff
by best road.
Tuesday, August 16.--The general commanding and staff, with Twenty-second Ohio
Mounted Infantry (forty men), left Bull Bayou at 5 o'clock and pushed on to Brownsville, where
took cars for Little Rock. Colonel Stuart, with Second Brigade, went on to Bayou Metoe, and
camped; repaired the bridge, and on the 17th marched on to the Rock. The train sent from Searcy
with the sick put into Brownsville in distress, owing to the weakness of the mules, and the men
were transferred to Devall's Bluff by cars. Colonel Geiger's command arrived safe.
From Little Rock to Austin, twenty-five miles; Austin to Searcy Landing, twenty-six miles
and a half; Searcy Landing to Augusta, twenty-five miles; Augusta to Searcy, twenty-five miles;
Searcy Landing to Goad's, eleven miles and a half; Goad's to Searcy, nine miles; Searcy to Little
Rock, fifty miles; total 172 miles.
Major Eleventh Missouri Cavalry, Volunteer Aide-de-Camp.
Salina, August 7, 1864---4 p.m.
SIR: I have the honor to forward a dispatch just received from Smoky Hill Crossing
concerning the stampeding of the horses of Company H, Seventh Iowa Cavalry, stationed at that
point. I learn from the dispatch bearer, who was one of the herders, that the Indians numbered
from fifteen to seventeen. They came from toward the Arkansas River, but might have come
from up the Smoky Hill and simply secreted themselves below the ranch to enable them to
stampede the stock up the river. The Indians fired upon the herders with arrows mostly; one only
fired with a fire-arm. The number of horses taken is from forty to forty-five, with five mules
belonging to the Kansas Stage Company. After the Indians had driven the stock about a half a
mile they appeared to be in no hurry. The soldiers from the ranch pursued them on foot as far as
was any use, firing upon them with their carbines, but had accomplished nothing when the
messenger left. I shall send a scout up the Saline River to-morrow morning, as I think there is
more possibility of finding them on that stream than on the Smoky Hill. I shall go with the scout
myself and acquaint myself with the country and gain such knowledge of the whereabouts of the
Indians as possible. I would like to have enough men to make a thorough search of this country,
but you are aware, general, that my company is but partially mounted and poorly armed to hunt
Indians, having only carbines. I would like to have revolvers or sabers, or both. I have no
transportation. It is my opinion that the Indians are determined to take all the stock in this part of
the country and mount themselves well before fighting much. The people here are alarmed about
their stock. They are trying to raise a squad to pursue the Indians up the Smoky while I go up
Saline River.
All of which is respectfully submitted.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Capt. Co. L, Eleventh Kansas Vol. Cav., Comdg. Post at Salina.
Maj. Gen. S. R. CURTIS.
SMOKY HILL CROSSING, August 7, 1864--9 a.m.
SIR: We have had all our horses stampeded this morning except two, which the herders rode.
They were taken at 7 a.m. while out herding. There were about fifteen Indians in number, as near
as I could judge. The horses were run directly up the Smoky.
Sergeant, Company H, Seventh Iowa Cavalry, Comdg. Detachment.
Salina, August 11, 1864.
SIR: I have the honor to report the result of a scout made by myself and twenty enlisted men
of my command up the Saline River, a distance of thirty-five or forty miles.
Sunday evening, August 7, 1864, I received a dispatch from Smoky Hill Grossing stating that
the horses of H Company, Seventh Iowa Cavalry, had been stampeded and run off by a party of
Indians. The dispatch stated that the stock had been ran north. I immediately determined to
proceed up the Saline River and intercept, if possible, the thieving redskins. We started Monday
morning with four days' rations; having no transportation we could carry no more. We proceeded
up the south bank of Saline River, throwing out flankers on each side to discover, if possible,
traces of prowling bands of Indians. We marched this day about twenty-three miles and camped
about a mile from the river to keep away from the timber, to guard against Indians stampeding
our stock. Tuesday morning we continued up the river to the mouth of Elkhorn Creek, which we
crossed and proceeded up the west bank. This creek heads in toward the Smoky Hill and affords
a good place for Indians to resort to, as it is surrounded by high hills, is well watered, and has
good grass for that country. We followed this creek to its head, scouting on both sides, but
discovered no traces of Indians. We camped on the head of this stream Tuesday night.
Wednesday morning we started south and struck the head of Clear Creek, a branch of Smoky
Hill, which we examined thoroughly but discovered nothing. We then turned east and came upon
the headwaters of Mulberry Creek, which stream we followed to Salina, where we arrived
Thursday evening, August 11, 1864. The heads of the streams that run into the Saline and Smoky
Hill Rivers afford a good place for Indians to rendezvous previous to making a descent upon any
point east of them. I don't think there is or has been any Indians on the south side of Saline River
within thirty-five miles of this place. I find upon my return that a messenger came into this post
on Monday evening (as per report) from the north side of Saline River, with a report that four
men had been killed by Indians. The facts you will find in my report as stated by Sergeant
Reynolds, Seventh Iowa Cavalry, who accompanied the scouting party.
All of which is respectfully submitted.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Capt. Company L, Eleventh Kansas Vol. Car., Comdg. Post.
Major-General BLUNT.
(Copy to Major-General Curtis.)
FORT LEAVENWORTH, KANS., November ---, 1864.
SIR: In compliance with your communication of October 31, 1864, I herewith transmit my
report of expedition after hostile Indians:
I left Fort Leavenworth, Kans., on the 11th of August, 1864, with two pieces of artillery and
thirty-five men for Omaha, Nebr. Ter. At Plattsmouth I was ordered to disembark on account of
the low stage of water and proceed by land to Fort Kearny, Nebr. Ter. I left Plattsmouth August
17, traveling on what is called the ridge road, but water is so scarce the animals had to be
watered with buckets; wood is also scarce, but grass is good. About forty miles west of
Plattsmouth I saw the first indications of alarm amongst the settlers on account of the Indian
troubles. I met about 200 men, women, and children leaving their houses and their all behind
them for fear of their hostilities. I advised them to return, but their terror was too great to allow
them to do so. I found the houses on the road all deserted and the fences carried away by passing
trains. Those people were, in my opinion, very foolish for leaving, as there was not an Indian to
be seen in that section of the country. If they had stopped, collected together, and built a fort on
some stream and placed their families there, there would have been no occasion for their leaving
and having their property destroyed. I arrived at Junction Branch, on the Platte River, August 22,
1864. Here the three roads from Plattsmouth join--the river road, the ridge road, and the lower
road. Here I would note and recommend the lower road as much preferable for traveling to either
of the other two. At this point, forty miles east of Kearny, there is an abundance of wood and a
plentiful supply of good water and grass. August 24, arrived at Fort Kearny, having traveled the
distance of 212 miles in seven days. Here I found Major-General Curtis and Brigadier-General
Mitchell organizing and making arrangements for an expedition against hostile Indians.
I left Fort Kearny September 1 with the command for Plum Creek, thirty-five miles west of
Kearny; arrived there at sundown that evening. The road is level along the Platte Bottom, with
good grass and water. About half a mile east of Plum Creek are the graves of eleven men,
murdered by the Indians on the 8th of August, and the remains of a train they had burned. The
number of guns having been increased to five pieces, by one from Saint Joseph, and two at
Kearny, two pieces were ordered to report to Captain Gore, commanding General Curtis' escort.
One piece was ordered to report to Colonel Livingston, commanding First Nebraska Veteran
Volunteer Cavalry, and I was ordered to report to Colonel Summers, commanding Seventh Iowa
Cavalry, with two pieces and a detachment of sixteen men. September 3, left Plum Creek and
marched in a southwest direction about forty miles, and camped on the Republican River. No
wood on the line of this day's march, but good grass and water when we reached the Republican.
Crossed the river next morning; crossing bad in consequence of quicksands. Saw where a party
of Sioux Indians had camped about ten days previous. Scouts were immediately sent out, but
failed to discover in what direction they had gone. We then marched up a cañon for about two
miles in length, in some places so narrow that a wagon had scarcely room to go through. The
hills around here are barren of everything but buffalo grass, which is of a whitish color. This
grass is good for horses, but so short that considerable time is required to collect a sufficient
supply for any considerable number of animals. September 4, we encamped on a creek called
Crooked Nose by the Indians; good grass, wood, and water here. Pawnee Indians who
accompanied the command as guides and scouts killed some buffalo. As yet we had not
discovered any of the hostile Indians. September 5, marched at 7 a.m., having sent out a pioneer
party to make crossings for the wagons and artillery. Camped on the Beaver Creek that night,
which is a nice stream with plenty of wood, water, and grass. While here Maj. R. H. Hunt was
sent out with a detachment of cavalry and one piece of artillery to look out for Indians.
September 6, moved to Prairie Dog Creek; here Maj. R. H. Hunt and his command joined us,
having during the previous evening and to-day traveled over 100 miles of the country, but saw
no Indians. He found an Indian pony, and saw other signs of them, without discovering them.
September 7, reached Solomon's Fork. It is a splendid stream, good wood, grass, and water; from
here Captain Wilcox, Seventh Iowa Cavalry, was sent out with his company on scout, and here
the command was divided, General Curtis taking the First Nebraska Veteran Volunteer Cavalry,
one company Nebraska militia, and a detachment of the Eleventh Ohio Cavalry and one
company Eleventh Kansas Cavalry; General Mitchell taking the Seventh Iowa Cavalry and two
pieces of artillery and Indian scouts. September 8, General Curtis marched east, and General
Mitchell west, to whose command I was attached. We marched up Solomon's Fork about twenty
miles; here we encamped waiting the return of Captain Wilcox's command, which joined us that
evening; he saw no Indians, but saw signs; found the place where a large body of them had
encamped but a short time previous. Captain Wilcox reports to have seen wagon tracks and white
men's footprints in the sand. September 9, marched in the direction of Medicine Lake, which is
about forty miles south of Cottonwood Springs. One of the scouts reported this a favorite place
for Indians. September 10, started out at 4 a.m., marched in a northwesterly direction about forty
miles, and camped on Prairie Dog Creek, about thirty-six miles above, where the command had
previously crossed; good grass, wood, and water. September 11, marched to Beaver Creek,
traveling in a northwest direction. September 12, encamped on Crooked Nose Creek; saw a few
buffalo, did not kill any. The horses were now getting into a poor condition from the necessarily
long marches and the want of corn. The want of picket-ropes was greatly against the cavalry,
who had none, and was soon apparent on their animals. They took their horses out to graze for
two or three hours in the evening after they came into camp from a hard day's march, then tied
them up to a rope stretched from one wagon wheel to another for the night; this was all they got
until next evening. I had lariats for all my horses, and they were all the time in a serviceable
condition. September 13, marched to Republican River and camped just below the mouth of
Medicine Lake Creek. Captain Murphy, of Seventh Iowa Cavalry, was ordered out from this
point with his command on scout. September 14, moved camp to Medicine Lake Creek. It is a
stream about ten yards wide, with about four feet depth; the banks high, rocky, and precipitous;
good fish in this river. Laid over here until the 14th, until Captain Murphy's command joined us,
and to give the horses rest. Captain Murphy joined us 14th with his command; saw no Indians on
his scout. September 15, started on march very early this morning; had marched about ten miles
when the scouts came charging back, and reported Indians in our front. The general ordered a
charge, but as soon as we came in sight of the supposed Indians they turned out to be an
independent company of Colorado rangers, hunting Indians like ourselves. September 16,
camped on Medicine Lake. This is a favorite place for Indians to winter their stock. We saw a
great many cottonwood trees that had been cut down by the Indians, the bark of the small limbs
being eaten by their ponies when the grass is covered with snow. The lake is small,. with high
hills around it. The stream that runs from the lake runs in a southeast direction, until it empties
itself into the Republican. There is good wood, grass, and water at the lake, and all along the
stream. September 17, marched to Fort Cottonwood, Nebr. Ter.; arrived at that post about 10
p.m. The country to the back of Cottonwood is barren. Remained here until September 19.
Marched at sundown up the river. I was taken sick and did not accompany the command.
September 20, remained at Cottonwood sick. A party of eight soldiers was sent out to-day to
look for plums for sick in hospital; while on this duty they were surprised by a party of Indians
sixty to seventy in number; four of them were killed, and their bodies found next day mangled in
a horrible manner; the remainder made their way back to camp. This occurred about three miles
from camp, and the men belonged to the Seventh Iowa. The commanding officer sent out a
company in wagons to follow their trail until the next day, but the country became so broken
they had to return, unable to proceed; they were unsuccessful. If they had been mounted they
would certainly have overtaken them. This company found three ponies dead where the soldiers
encountered the Indians the day previous, and it is almost certain some of the Indians were
killed. General Mitchell returned with his command to Cottonwood September 26. The artillery
was left at Cottonwood; I took charge, and remained with the same; and had the horses all
reshod. A great many reports reach us of depredations committed by the Indians. Troops are
stationed all along the line from Plum Creek to Julesburg, at distances of fifteen miles apart,
chiefly to escort the mail. October 12, received orders from Colonel Livingston, commanding
Sub-District of Nebraska, to turn over the guns and equipments in my possession to the
commanding officer at Fort Cottonwood, and to report with my detachment to my company
headquarters, Fort Leavenworth, and started at 4 o'clock that evening, and reached Gillman's
Ranch, fifteen miles east of Cottonwood, where we encamped for the night. October 13, met the
coach about 10 a.m. Were told by the passengers that the Indians attacked them the evening
previous about sundown, wounding one soldier and one civilian passenger; that afternoon saw an
Indian standing on a hill, and in about ten minutes after we first observed him about fifty or sixty
Indians came charging out of the hill toward us. I immediately ordered the wagons to halt,
brought the men into line, nineteen in number, when the Indians, seeing our force, halted for
about five minutes, and then charged back to the hills. There were but seven revolvers amongst
the whole party, and without other arms we retired to an old stable on the road and quite near to
us. Here remained all night ready to defend ourselves if attacked. About 10 o'clock that night
four soldiers of the First Nebraska Veteran Volunteer Cavalry came galloping down the road,
and reported that the Indians had attacked a detachment of their company who were in the hills
on scout after Indians, and advised us to keep a strict watch and be ready, as there was great
danger. The soldiers were on their way to Plum Creek for re-enforcements. We passed the night
without any attack, and on October 14 reached Plum Creek, and found all the troops out after the
Indians, with one piece of artillery. October 15, reached Fort Kearny and remained there until the
20th. Here we drew muskets and ammunition sufficient for our protection and defense, and
started for Fort Leavenworth on the 20th. Found all the ranches on the Little Blue burned, and to
the best of my opinion the owners of these ranches are with the Indians. There was plenty of
wood and water on my route between Kearny and Fort Leavenworth. Made the trip in eight days
and a half, arriving at the fort on the evening of the 28th of October, 1864.
In my judgment the best time and manner to hunt Indians is to start about the middle of May,
leave all wagons behind, take mules and pack them; a mule will carry from 250 to 300 pounds;
then they can go over the same ground that the Indians do, get on their trail and follow it up until
they are caught. In the summer of 1860 four companies of the Fourth [First] U.S. Cavalry,
commanded by Major Sedgwick, started from Fort Riley, Kans., after Kiowas, but could not
overtake the Indians on account of their being encumbered with wagons; so they left their
wagons at Fort Larned and started with pack-mules. The result was that the Indians were
overtaken in twenty-five days on the headwaters of the Smoky Hill River, and gave them a
severe thrashing.
As to the utility of artillery my opinion is not favorable. The Indians fight so scattered and
are so seldom found in solid bodies, that artillery cannot be effective. The least possible
incumbrance is necessary to rapid movements; and the arrangements which facilitate such
movements will most nearly approach success.
The country through which we passed this summer has a great sameness. This country has a
greater altitude than here, and in the highlands is comparatively barren. No grass, wood, or water
is to be found of any consequence, except on the creek bottoms, and back from there nothing
grows but buffalo grass. The land is also very broken, with deep ravines leading into the streams;
and in traveling through the country it is necessary to take one of the ridges to get to the streams.
The expedition, although not encountering Indians in numbers, nor accomplishing any great
defeat or startling surprises, is not without its effect. The expedition itself will show the
determination of the Government to punish them for thieving and murder. And our movements,
although rapid, failing to discover them, show how much they were in fear of us, as the country
through which we passed was almost cleared of them; they receded as we advanced, and, on the
whole, the expedition will have a moral and I trust a lasting influence.
I have the honor to be, captain, your obedient servant,
1st Lieut. Co. M, 16th Kans. Vol. Cav., Comdg. Detach. of Post Arty.
Capt. D. J. CRAIGIE,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Dist. of North Kansas.
SAINT JOSEPH, August 23, 1864.
I have the honor to report successful expeditions against the guerrillas of this district.
Detachments of the Seventeenth Illinois Cavalry Volunteers, Ninth Cavalry Missouri State
Militia, Third Cavalry Missouri State Militia, First Iowa Cavalry Volunteers, and Sixth Cavalry
Missouri State Militia Veterans, aided by militia on duty in the river counties, have during the
past week vigorously pursued and fought the guerrillas under Perkins, Holtzclaw, Cy. Gordon,
Taylor, and other guerrilla chieftains. Thirty-five bushwhackers have been killed. We have lost 2
men killed and 8 wounded. Our parties have taken no prisoners, and are still in the chase.
Major-General ROSECRANS,
Saint Louis.
Fort Riley, Kans., August 18, 1864.
MAJOR: I am just in receipt of intelligence from Salina, that on the 16th instant seven men
of Company H, Seventh Iowa Cavalry, en route to Smoky Hill Crossing, were attacked by a
party of Indians estimated from 100 to 300. Four of the party were killed, the other three made
their escape and came into Salina. Messenger with dispatches for Fort Larned was turned back.
These dispatches were to direct the commanding officer at Fort Larned to concentrate his force
as much as possible, and intercept a party of Indians moving south from the Fort Kearny and
Denver road; probably it was some of the same party that attacked and killed the men of
Company H, Seventh Iowa Cavalry, on the 16th instant. I have written several communications
to the general since the 10th instant, urging him if possible to send me more troops, and horses to
mount the few I have. I have as yet received no response, and have just learned that the general is
absent in Nebraska. Please inform me what I may rely upon in regard to troops and horses. I am
entirely powerless to do anything more than to try and hold a few points on the mail route for
want of force, and I am informed by Major Fillmore that the term of service of five companies of
the First Colorado Cavalry, now on duty in this district, will expire by the 7th of September.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
Asst. Adjt. Gen., Dept. of Kansas, Fort Leavenworth.
Salina, August 17, 1864.
SIR: Six men left this place yesterday morning belonging to Company H, Seventh Iowa, for
Fort Ellsworth. They got to Elm Creek about 4 p.m., when they were attacked by from 100 to
300 Indians, 4 of whom were killed, the other two got away. The messenger sent from here
arrived at Woodward's ranch and returned with two men, coming in from the battle-field. I have
just sent a detachment of ten men, under Lieutenant Booth, up the Republican, which took all the
horses fit for duty, but I will send the dispatches through as soon as possible. Lieutenant
Helliwell has not arrived here yet. As soon as he gets here I shall go out with all the available
forces, as there is undoubtedly a large body of Indians between the Smoky Hill and Saline
Yours, truly,
First Lieutenant, Commanding Post.
Devall's Bluff, August 25, 1864--2 p.m.
MAJOR: I desire to communicate in a few brief lines the military condition of affairs in this
locality as far as they are known to me. I do this because there are at present no means open for
communication between Little Rock and this place. I learned yesterday morning from a reliable
source that the rebels had completed pontoons over the Arkansas above the post, and were to
cross day before yesterday; that their plan was to attack Little Rock, Devall's Bluff, and the
railroad simultaneously. I was unable to communicate this intelligence to General Steele on
account of the telegraph lines being down. At 12.30 yesterday news by messenger reached me
that Shelby had come down from the north with 2,000 men, artillery and a train, and attacked the
hay stations, fifteen miles out. Guarding these stations from eight to fifteen miles out were posts
of two companies of infantry at each post. The Fifty-fourth Illinois Veteran Volunteer Infantry
was on this duty. Colonel Mitchell, commanding, concentrated six companies at one post and
made some resistance. He was finally taken with his force. Our loss in prisoners thus taken must
be about 400 or 500. My force here had lately been weakened to re-enforce Pine Bluff, and I
have only 600 infantry, one battery of six pieces, and from 800 to 1,000 cavalry. On learning of
this attack, however, I sent out all the available cavalry at hand under Colonel Geiger,
commanding Third Brigade. He took with him 750 men, moved out promptly, and began to
engage the enemy's skirmishers only a few minutes after Colonel Mitchell had been taken.
Geiger had the Eighth Missouri, Ninth Iowa, and about 150 men of the Eleventh Missouri. He
engaged the enemy about two hours. The enemy then began to fall back toward the north, and
inclining this way, upon which Geiger fell back to prevent his getting between this place and
him. Our loss in that fight was 6 killed and 42 wounded. The fight took place upon the open
prairie and was a gallant affair. I yesterday sent down to Saint Charles and requested that a gunboat
be sent up. I expect it to arrive soon. There are about 1,500 troops at Saint Charles which I
wish were here. I am certainly weak, even to hold this place against a serious attack of superior
numbers. I ought to be able to move out and whip completely any such force an Shelby has. We
are working constantly. I have armed the quartermaster's employés. A loyal person took pains to
travel in some distance to inform me that Price's movement toward Pine Bluff was a feint; that he
would probably attack Little Rock.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Brigadier-General, Commanding.
Assistant Adjutant-General, New Orleans.
Have had no communication with Little Rock since day before yesterday.
Devall's Bluff, August 24, 1864.
Col. W. F. GEIGER, Commanding Third Brigade:
COLONEL: You will send a scout of 200 men, with four days' rations, in direction of
Arkansas Post, to start immediately. The officer in command will report at these headquarters for
By order of Brig. Gen. C. C. Andrews:
First Lieut., Third Michigan Cavalry, Actg. Asst. Adjt. Gen.
Before noon Colonel Geiger was excused from sending this scout till morning, on account of
expectation of the regiments being paid.
Colonel Geiger was very prompt in moving off, taking with him the Eighth and Eleventh
Missouri and the Ninth Iowa Cavalry. About fifteen minutes after the first messenger arrived
another of the First Nebraska arrived with intelligence similar to the first, and subsequently for
an hour or two enlisted men and citizen employés came in every half hour or so, confirming the
intelligence. Each one reported the enemy's force from 2,000 to 2,500, and altogether superior to
the detachments guarding the hay contractors. They represented that they had been only a little
more than an hour coming in. At about 2 o'clock a messenger brought me a communication from
Col. G. M. Mitchell, commanding Fifty-fourth Illinois Infantry Veteran Volunteers, and the other
troops guarding haymakers, of which the following is a copy:
General ANDREWS:
I am surrounded by a large number of cavalry from the north of the railroad. Ashley's Station
surrendered, and hay burned. I have concentrated six companies at this station and will fight to
the last; send help if possible. The enemy have two pieces of artillery.
Colonel, Commanding.
P. S.--I have heard nothing of the two companies at the stockade. I rode up to Myers' Pass
and the fight took place in my absence.
August 24, 1864.
Col. W. F. GEIGER,
Commanding Brigade:
COLONEL: A messenger who left Ashley's Station an hour and a half ago reports that a
column of cavalry, apparently 2,000, were moving upon and had attacked Ashley's Station. It
had a wagon train and was coming from the north. Move out with what force you can take for
observation at least. Interpose assistance to our forces if you can.
Brigadier-General, Commanding.
In twenty minutes I was on the march with detachments Eighth Missouri Cavalry, 360, Ninth
Iowa, 210, and Eleventh Missouri, 120, and moved as rapidly as the condition of my horses
would permit in the direction of Ashley's Station. When within one mile and a half of Jones' hay
station I heard cannonading which appeared to be at the station, and I saw heavy columns of
smoke arising which I supposed was burning hay. I resumed my march to a rapid trot, threw out
my skirmishers, and deployed the Eighth Missouri Cavalry as I marched. When within a quarter
of a mile of Jones' Station the cannonading ceased, and seeing a line of about 2,000 of the
enemy's cavalry drawn up on the north side of the railroad, I ordered Lieutenant-Colonel
Stephens to cross the railroad with the Eleventh Missouri and move on the enemy's left flank,
while the Eighth Missouri attacked him in front, keeping the Ninth Iowa as a reserve. The enemy
immediately opened a heavy fire of musketry, which was replied to by our carbines. The fighting
continued about two hours, during which time my line advanced steadily while that of the enemy
retired slowly, but in good order. The enemy made two or three attempts to charge my left flank,
but were repulsed each time. I had now driven the enemy back into the timber, where I
discovered two lines of dismounted men, who appeared to be endeavoring to outflank me on the
left, and get between my force and Devall's Bluff. Night coming on, I withdrew my forces, and
returned to Devall's Bluff, arriving at 9 p.m., having marched thirty miles and fought two hours
after 2 p.m. with horses that had just returned from a hard scout without having feed for two
days. My loss in killed and wounded were: Eighth Missouri Cavalry, killed, 6; wounded, 38;
missing, 1. Eleventh Missouri Cavalry, killed, 3; wounded, 5. Both officers and men behaved as
soldiers should. Had my horses been in such a condition that I could have charged the enemy I
might have punished him more severely. Of Colonel Mitchell I know nothing. The officer in
charge of my skirmishers said he saw the enemy hurrying the prisoners toward the timber as he
Commanding Brigade.
Lieut. Col. W. D. GREEN,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Department of Arkansas.
Little Rock, Ark., October 15, 1864.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report that pursuant to verbal instructions from the
department and district commanders, I left this point on the 27th of August with 600 cavalry, to
re-enforce a command of 800 men under Lieut. Col. C. S. Clark, Ninth Kansas Cavalry, reported
as engaged on the day previous with the enemy at Cypress Bayou, four miles north of Austin.
Same day at noon found Colonel Clark encamped two miles this side of Austin. He had pursued
Shelby's rear guard to Bull Bayou, engaging them there, killing 10 and losing 2 men. Colonel
Clark reported to me that not hearing of any support coming to him and being out of rations he
had fallen back to the point where I found him. Marched to Austin, Colonel Clark's command
uniting with mine. Was then joined by two sections of the Fifth Ohio Battery and the Fortieth
Iowa Infantry, Colonel Garrett, escorting subsistence train. Issued rations that afternoon; left the
train, infantry, and one section of the battery at Austin; marched with the remainder same
evening to Bull Bayou. Enemy had left there the preceding day. August 28, received
communication at 5 a.m. from the district commander that Colonel Geiger, with his cavalry, was
en route from Devall's Bluff, and that I would be co-operated with by a force to be sent up White
River. Marched to Searcy same day. August 29, remained at Searcy; was joined by Colonel
Geiger at 3 p.m. with 800 cavalry. August 30, train with supplies, escorted by 100 infantry,
reached Searcy this afternoon, and advice from district commander that 600 infantry had been
sent on the 28th of August up White River to Grand Glaise. Issued rations same day. August 31,
sent back train and escort; marched with command to Grand Glaise; a most fatiguing march,
thirty-five miles, and roads very bad. Found no steamers; captured 6 prisoners, a rebel
quartermaster, and appropriated his black-smith-shop, tools, and shoes. Had sent a party to
Augusta Landing to communicate with the boats and tell them where I was.
September 1, at 10 a.m. party sent to Augusta Landing returned and reported no boats;
satisfied myself that the river was too low for boats to reach Grand Glaise, and from
appearances, as four days had elapsed since they were reported to me by the district commander
as having left Devall's Bluff, I concluded that the undertaking to co-operate with me by the river
had been abandoned on account of the low stage of water. Moved same day to Fairview;
captured two scouts and learned that all Shelby's force had crossed White River. The miserable
condition of the cavalry and artillery horses satisfied me that the enemy could and had marched
three miles to my two. Abandoned the idea of a successful pursuit, and concluded to return to
Little Rock. September 2, marched by the old military road to Hilcher's Ferry, crossed the Little
Red, and continued toward Austin. September 3, resumed march. At 7 a.m., within three miles of
crossing of Bull Bayou, received a communication from the district commander, to the effect that
the force sent up White River on the 28th ultimo had returned, but that another force of 1,200
men was to be sent to Grand Glaise. The low stage of the river and the exhausted condition of
my animals convinced me that nothing could result from this movement continued to Austin.
September 4, left detachments of Eighth Missouri, Tenth Illinois, and Ninth Iowa Cavalry at
Austin, to remain there and observe any return of the enemy. Ordered remainder of the force to
march to Little Rock. Moved in person to Brownsville, and received orders from the district
commander to return with my whole force, as the rebels were threatening to cross the Arkansas.
Notified him of the disposition of my force, which he approved. Returned same day to Little
Upon this expedition, as upon a previous one made earlier in the month, the miserable plight
of animals that had at any time for months back only been partially foraged, and sometimes left
entirely without any rendered any rapid movement an impossibility. The enemy was better
mounted and had forty-eight hours' start. The longer such pursuit was continued the more
hopeless it became.
I am, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Brigadier-General, Commanding.
Capt. C. H. DYER,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Dist. of little Rock.