1866 Report of the Adjutant General of the State of Iowa, pages 184-193
TENTH INFANTRY HISTORY OF THE REGIMENT
Head-quarters 10th Iowa Infantry, V. V.,
Camp near Goldsboro, N. C., March 30th, 1865.
N. B. Baker, Adjutant-General of Iowa:
Sir: I have the honor to submit to you a summary of the principle events connected with the history of the 10th Iowa Infantry, from its organization to the present time.
Participating in the memorable campaigns of the Armies of the Mississippi and the Tennessee, and present on most of the battle-fields that have so numerously dotted the map of the Western and Middle departments, the Tenth, although apparently heretofor not represented in the usual written regimental reports made to the Adjutant-General of the State, may, without assumption, aspire to share in the honors awarded to the proudest of her contemporaries.
The regiment was organized at Camp Fremont, Iowa City, the place of rendezvous, in August, 1861. Of the nine full companies that assembled at the rendezvous, the counties furnished as follows: Warren two, Polk one, Jasper one, Powesheik one, Tama one, Greene one, Washington one, and Boone one. The tenth company, K, for the most part from Polk, did not fill up to the minimum until the regiment reached St. Louis, where the company was mustered Sept. 28th, 1861. The nine companies were mustered into service Sept. 6th, 1861.
The field officers were; N. Perczel, Colonel; Wm. E. Small, Lieut.-Col., and J.C. Bennett, Major.
On the 24th September, the regiment embarked at Davenport on board the transports for St. Louis, arriving there on the 27th. Here with all dispatch the regiment was armed, clothed, and equipped, anticipating a rapid movement up the Missouri to the vicinity where Muligan had so recently met with disaster.
On the 1st of October, however, we proceeded to Cape Giradeau to re-enforce and aid in fortifying that point, which was threatened by the rebels under Hardee and Pillow.
While here an expedition, consisting of the 10th Iowa and a section of Taylor's Chicago Battery to co-operate with a force sent from Bird's Point, was ordered to Bloomfield, Missouri, to look after the rebel Gen., Jeff. Thompson, who it was reported was there in force. The expedition resulted in the dispersion of the rebel force; and we returned to Girardeau. During the time we were stationed at Cape Girardeau, the regiment was engaged in erecting fortifications and perfecting its discipline.
On the 12th November, we were ordered to Bird's Point. The vicinity of Bird's Point was the theater of the operations of Thompson, and other rebel leaders. Expeditions from time to time were sent out of other rebel bands, who were assiduously sustaining the rebel cause, and annoying our troops. The 10th Iowa performed a full shareof this duty, going frequently to Charleston, Bertrand, and other points of rendezvous of the rebels.
On the 8th of January, 1862, a night attack on a rebel camp near Charleston was projected under the command of the enterprizing Colonel of our regiment. Proceeding cautiosly in the direction of the reported camp, a volley was poured into our ranks by the enemy placed artfully in ambuscade. The rebels were soon dispersed, not, however, without a loss to us of 5 killed and 10 wounded.
The most vigilant guard and picket was performed by the regiment, up to the time of our departure to New Madrid, March 4th, 1862.
The loss to the regiment while at Bird's Point by discharge and death, in consequence of the prevalence of measles, under the unfavorable circumstances of exposure to cold and wet weather, was very material, amounting to ninety-six.
On the 12th March, we arrived at New Madrid, via Saxton, Missouri, which was captured on the 13th and 14th, resulting in the evacuation of Island No. 10; and by a flank movement of the forces at New Madrid on Tiptonville, Tenn., on the 7th and 8th of April, the brilliant achievment of the capture of between five and six thousand prisoners, so lately the force at Island No. 10, was effected.
On the 10th of April, 1862, the forces at New Madrid, styled the Army of the Mississippi, embarked on board transports, and moved down the Mississippi. Arrived at Oceola, Ark., in the vicinity of Fort Wright, the troops disembarked. Meanwhile a constant shelling was kept up between the gun-boats and mortors of our fleet and fort.
The Army of the Mississippi, however, was destined for another field of operations. Ordered on board the transports the army proceeded up the Mississippi, Ohio, and Tennessee rivers to Pittsburg Landing [Shiloh], and disembarked at Hamburg, a short distance up the river, on the 21st April, 1862. Thence we marched to Corinth, taking our place in the line investing that position.
During the siege of Corinth, and the reconnoissance daily made as we approached the place, frequently resulting in sharp skirmishes and charges, the regiment performed the duties assigned it satisfatorily to its vigilant and experienced commander, Colonel Perczel, who warmly commended its conduct, particularly in the skirmish in front of Farmington, May 26th, 1862.
Corinth was evacuated May30th, 1862, and we pursued the enemy to Booneville, Miss. Returning, we camped on Clear Creek, near Corinth, on the 15th June. On the 29th, we marched to Ripley forty miles distant, and returned to camp on Clear creek, July 6th. Moved to Jacinto on the 29th, in the vicinity of which place we remained until the 18th September.
Meanwhile the rebels had driven our force from Iuka, and were occupying that place with a considerable army under Price and Van Dorn. On the 19th September, the force, under the command of Gen. Rosecrans, moved toward Iuka on the Jacinto road, designing to co-operate with Gen. Grant moving on the road from Burnsville.
At the battle of Iuka, fought by Rosecrans on the evening of the 19th, the rebels precipitating their column on his partially formed lines before Gen. Grant came up, the 10th Iowa occupied a rising ground on the left in the first line. In defense of this postion was also placed a section of artillery, under the command of Col. Perczel. The rebel attack on this position was made with spirit, but was repulsed with loss. Unlike the attack on the right, it was not renewed, and we occupiedour place in the line until darkness put an end to the battle. Owing to the advantageous position of the regiment, our loss was light, amounting only to six wounded. The rebels retreated during the night; we pursued them the next day until evening, and then returned to Jacinto.
In the first day's engagement, in the memorable battles of Corinth, on the 3d and 4th of October, the brigade to which the Tenth was attached, (2d brigade, 3d division, Army of the Mississippi,) was a part of the day posted near the old rebel fortifications between the Chewalla and Kirby roads. In the afternoon, we were moved down the Kirby road near town; thence were ordered across a ravine through an almost impenetrable undergrowth of cane and wild vines to the M. and O. railroad. Emerging from the thicket we found ourselves confronted by a rebel battery, supported by a force of infantry. Here we came in contact with the rebel skirmish line; a number of whom, taken by surprise by the rapidity and suddenness of our advance, were taken prisoners. The rebels opened upon us a brisk fire of grape and canister, from which we were partially sheltered by a cut in the railroad. To capture the battery in a place where we could not have removed it in the face of a superior force would have been folly to attempt. By movement to the left, we returned to our former postion on the Kirby road. This apparently rash attack had the effect of detering the rebels from making any further attempt, on this day, to swing their left aroung on the Kirby road.
In the second day's engagement, we occupied the extreme right of the first line. The rebels, reinforced by the division of Lovell, attacked our lines with the utmost impetuosity. The line to the left of us had given way, and for awhile the regiment stood alone. The rebels meanwhile were rapidly bearing around upon our right flank. In this emergency, we were ordered to about face and retire to the second line. This was done in good order, our men frequently facing to the enemy and returning the fire, which was poured into our receding ranks. Forming on the second line, we soon after moved forward in the grand charge that decided the fortune of the day in our favor. The rebels were pursued to the Hatchie river, where they encountered Gen. Ord's command, and they bore off to the left upwards towards Ripley. We followed in pursuit to near that place and then returned to Corinth via Rienzi. The loss of the regiment at the battles of Corinth was three killed and thirty-six wounded.
On the first on November, 1862, our division left Corinth, marching to Grand Juntion, thence to Davis Mills. From this place, a reconnoissance was made by General Sullivan, commanding brigade, to Holly Springs, the rear-guard of the rebels retiring as we entered the place. The place was occupied a short time, and we returned to Davis Mills.
Nov. 22d, we marched to Moscow, Tenn.; and Dec. 12th, we commenced moving with Gen. Grant's army, via Holly Springs, down the Central Miss. Railroad to Yaconapatalfa, twelve miles south of Oxford, Miss., and sixty miles south of Grand Junction.
The raid of Van Dorn on Holly Springs, which resulted in the destruction of a large amount of stores and the interruption of communication with the base of supplies for our army, occured on the 21st of December. On the 22d, the army left Oxford, taking the road over which we had marched in our advance. Arrived at Lumpkin's Mill, our division (Quimby's) was sent to Memphis in charge of a train of several hundred wagons, for supplies for the army. Loading the train on the 29th, 30th, and 31st, we, on the 1st and 2d of January, went with the train to Lafayette, on the M. & C. R. R., where our army was awaiting the much needed supplies.
Our regiment was then ordered to White's Station, where we remained one month guarding the railroad, and then to the vicinity of Memphis, where we were until March 4th, Quimby's division embarked on board transports, and steamed down the river to Louisiana Bend, and on the 8th returned to Helena, Ark.
The project was now conceived of transporting the army to the rear of Vicksburg via Moon Lake, Yazoo Pass, Coldwater, Tallahatchie, and Yazoo river. This novel and hazardous expedition was undertaken, and large boats were propelled through the toruous windings of the Pass, and narrow streams, to Greenwood's point, over two hundred miles from the Mississippi. The project, however, of reaching Vicksburg by this route was abandoned, and we returned to Helena on the 9th of April, having been seventeen days on the expedition. On the 15th of April we left Helena for Milliken's Bend, arriving there on the 17th.
The 10th and 5th Iowa, 93d Illinois, and 26th Missouri, since leaving Moscow, formed the 3d brigade of the 7th division, 17th A. C. In the campaign commencing at Milliken's Bend, and terminating so gloriously with the capture of Vicksburg, the brigade was, up to the 22d May, under command of Col. Boomer, 26th Missouri; from that time to the fall of Vicksburg, Col. Putnum, 93d Illinois, commanded.
The division moved on the 25th. The march across Milliken's Bend, a part of the way over roads almost impassable, requiring the artillery to double-team at many points, took until the 1st of May. On that day we crossed the river at Bruinsburg, and marched immediatly in the direction of Port Gibson.
At the battle of Port Gibson we were in reserve. On the following day we entered Port Gibson, our regiment being the second regiment in the advance. Without delay a bridge was thrown across the Little Bayou Pierre, and our troops moved on rapidly towards the Big Bayou Pierre, where we arrived at 1o'clock at night. The next morning we learned the enemy had evacuated Grand Gulf, and in the afternoon we skirmished with the rear-guard of their retreating force, and at night encamped on the Big Black. Here we remained until the 7th May.
At the battle of Raymond, May 12th, we were in the second line, and next morning skirmished with the enemy at Miss. Springs.
May 14th, we fought at Jackson. The enemy driven from the city, we occupied it untilnext morning, when we took the road to Vicksburg. Marching through Clinton, we bivouaked seven miles beyond the town for the night, the divisions of Logan and Hovey a few miles further advanced on the road.
The morning of the 16th May beamed upon us brightly. The order of General McPherson complimenting the troops on the success of the campaign thus far, and expressing confidence in the future, animated them and nerved them for the fierce ordeal of battle through which they were shortly destined to pass. The division of Quimby, commanded on this day by Gen. Crocker, moved forward, preceded by those of Logan and Hovey. As we approached the battle-field we saw to our right the lines of Logan going into action, his artillary firing rapidly, the musketry heavy. To our left and left front was Hovey, engaged against heavy odds. The battle raged furiously, and as the shattered ranks of Hovey were receeding before the enemy, massed in this part of the field , the 3d brigade, the nearest of out troops available, was hurried to the crest of the hill to re-enforce the weakened lines of Hovey. Forming quickly, the brigade withstood for two hours the shock of the heavy rebel column. The 10th Iowa on the left of the brigade, its right resting on the road, was in addition exposed to a flank fire by the enemy throwing a force on our left flank, not sufficiently protected.
The brigade maintained its ground nobly, and only when its ammunition expended did it seek the partial shelter of the hill. The gallant stand made by the 3d brigade turned the tide of the battle in the centre; and, the 2d brigade coming up at this time, a charge was made, and the rebels fled from the filed. The loss of the brigade, five hundred in killed and wounded out of thirteen hundred engaged, attested the obstinacy of the contest in this portion of the filed.
The loss of the Tenth in the battle of Champion Hills was thirty-four killed and one hundred and twenty-four wounded. Two days after, we crossed Black river, and on the 19th took our position in the line investing Vicksburg.
In the charge of the 22d May, the 3d brigade charged in the morning, the regiments in column by division, opposite our place in line, to the left of Fort Hill. In the evening, our division was sent to the left to re-enforce Gen. McClernand, and a charge was made, in which the 3d brigade suffered serious loss; it was here that the gallant Col. Boomer fell, an officer of first-rate merit. The loss of the regiment during the day was three killed and twenty-four wounded.
We remained in the advance line at Vicksburg until the 22d of June, doing duty in the trenches as sharpshooters, and in the routine of detail supporting batteries as they were moved up in the approaches made on the place.
At this time a brigade was detailed from each division of the investing army, for the defensive line on Black river, to hold in check the rebel Johnston, who, it was apprehended, was endeavoring to relieve the garrison in Vicksburg. The 3d brigade was ordered out to Black river on the 22d, where we remained until after the surrender of Vicksburg.
After the fall of Vicksburg we were sent to Jackson, Miss., whither the rebel Gen. Johnston had retired with a still formidable army. Driven out of Jackson, he retreated towards Meridian, and we returned to Vicksburg on the 19th of July.
Early in September the division left Vicksburg under orders to proceed to Little Rock, Ark., to re-enforce General Steele. Soon after reaching Helena the order was countermanded. General Steele having possession of Little Rock, no re-enforcement was required.
On the 29th of September, our division was ordered to Memphis, there to unite with the 15th Corps, under General Sherman, which was to march across the country to Chattanooga to re-enforce the Army of the Cumberland.
We left Memphis on the 10th of October, and proceeded by railroad to Glendale, Miss., and on the 17th took up the line of march across the country for Chattanooga, via Iuka and Dickson's Station, crossing the Tennessee, at Eastport; thence via Florence, Rogersville, Winchester, Fayetteville, Dechard, and Bridgeport, arriving at Chattanooga Nov. 19th, after a march of thirty-two days.
We remained on the right bank of the Tennessee until the night of the 23d, the battle opening on that day on the right and centre.
At midnight of the 23d, the 15th Corps commenced crossing the river in pontoon-boats. By daylight the passage of most of the corps was effected, and fortified positions taken on the opposite bank. By 10 o'clock, A.M., on the 24th, the pontoon-bridge was thrown across the river. The corps having crossed, it was formed in column and advanced towards Mission Ridge, on the extreme right of the enemy, who, engaged on their left and centre, offered but feeble resistence to our advance. We reached the crest of the ridge without casualty. Here we were ordered to entrench. This order was soon after countermanded, and we moved down the ridge and bivoacked on a road leading from the railroad to the river.
About midday on the 25th, the brigade was formed in line of battle. The 5th and 10th Iowa forming the right wing, and the 93d Illinois and 26th Missouri the left facing Tunnel Hill, and at easy rangefrom the enemy's batteries over the tunnel, and to the right and left. We could see the enemy for two miles filing along the crest of the ridge, and massing at a point opposite our line and near the railroad tunnel. The second shot from their battery plunged into the ranks of our regiment, taking the arm off one man and wounding another. The right wing of the brigadewas now moved in rear of the left, under shelter of a little ridge. We were soon after deployed, and advanced across the filed in line of battle, under a heavy fire from the enemy's batteries, to the base of the ridge. The Tenth was now ordered to the right to a white house blow the tunnel to protect the right flank. The 5th Iowa was deployed as skirmishers; the 93d Illinois and 26th Missouri were ordered up the ridge to re-enforce some troops ordered there earlier in the day, but who were now little able to oppose the enemy, rapidly massing at this point, and, whose object was to keep open an important line of retreat.
The Tenth was soon ordered from the position on the right, and moved to the crest of the ridge, where we formed on the left of the 26th Missouri. Here a deadly contest was maintained against the masses of the enemy, who, continually re-enforced, fought at great advantage. Our line at one time gave way, but was rallied, and again we advanced and drove the enemy from the crest of the ridge. The brigade held its position, the left partially sheltered behind a temporary work of the rebels own construction, for two hours. The efforts of the 2d brigade to re-enforce us at this time were insufficient to maintain our ground against what appeared to be a whole corps of the enemy, and who now, bearing around our right flank, compelled us to abandon the ridge.
The loss of the 10th Iowa at the battle of Mission Ridge was eleven killed, thirty-five wounded, and six taken prisoners, out of an aggregate of two hundred and fifty engaged.
The desperate fight on the left, by withdrawing troops from the rebel centre to that point, enabled Gen. Thomas to charge on and carry the rebel centre with comparatively little opposition and loss. We pursued the enemy as far as Grayville on the 26th and 27th, and returned to our camp on the Tennessee river on the 28th November.
On the 4th and 5th of December, we moved to Bridgeport, thence to Larkinsville, Alabama, where we arrived Dec. 26th. On the 9th of January, 1864, we reached Huntsville, and encamped near the city.
On the 28th the regiment was sent on a reconnoissance to Mooresville, Ala., and returned to camp on the 31st.
In the beginning of February, the requisite number to retain the organization of the regiment re-enlisted as veterans, and were mustered into the service on the 30th March.
On the 11th February, a division, composed of regiments from the different divisions of the corps, was sent to Cleveland, Tenn.; the Tenth was one of the regiments, detailed form the brigade to accompany the expedition. We returned to Huntsville on the 5th of March.
On the 30th of April, we were ordered to Decatur, Ala., the brigade having been sent there to relieve troops of the 16th Corps. While at Decatur we were engaged in fortifying the place, important as a crossing of the Tennessee river, and in skirmishing occasionally with Roddy's cavalry.
On the 15th of June, the regiment was ordered to Iowa on veteran furlough.
Returning to the field on the 1st of August, the regiment reported for duty at Kingston, Ga. Shortly after the return of the regiment, we were sent on an expedition against a rebel force at Mill-Place. The rebels left on our approach, and we returned to Kingston.
The rebel General Wheeler had massed a large cavalry force, and was succeeding partially in interupting the railroad communication in North Georgia and Tennessee. An expedition, consisting of troops from various points on the railroad and commanded by Gens. Steadman, Rousseau, Granger, and Milroy, combined to capture the rebel raiders, who thus threatened the lines of supplies for our army. Our regiment was among the number ordered on this expedition. August 15th we proceeded to Chattanooga, thence along the railroadtowards Knoxville, as far as Madisonville, where, ascertaining the enemy had left the vicinity of this road, we returned to Chattanooga. Remaining at this point a few days, Gen. Steadman, on learning the rebels were threatening the road between Murfreesboro and Nashville, proceeded to the former place with several trains loaded with troops. Arriving there with all speed, we were imediatly marched to a station within fifteen miles of Nashville.
Wheeler, although enabled to tear up the railroad at several points, was compelled to give his attention to our cavalry, which pressing him closely, he retired towards Florence, designing to cross the Tennessee river.
The force of General Steadman, concerting with the cavalry, moved rapidly by railroad, via Stevenson, Huntsville, and Athens, to Pulaski, on the Decatur & Nashville R.R. Returning to Athens, we marched by night to Elk river. Here, learning that Wheeler had sought safety on the south bank of the Tennessee, we were ordered to return to Kingston, where we arrived September 15th.
While at Kingston, the 5th Iowa, having been mustered out of service, and the veterans portion of that regiment transfered to the 5th Iowa cavalry, the term of service of the 10th Missouri also expiring, and the 17th Iowa having been for the most part taken prisoners -- the 3d brigade was merged into the 1st and 2d brigades, the 93d Illinois going into the 1st, and the 10th Iowa, and the 26th Missouri, into the second brigade, commanded by Brevet Brigadier-General Raum.
The regiments composing the 3d brigade had been brigaded together for two years, had served together on several of the most important battle-fields of that period, and entertained that mutual respect for each other, which is the quality of brave men. In its praise it is sufficient to say, that the brigade won the encomiums of such commanders as Major-General McPherson.
On the 28th of September, the non-veterans of the 10th Iowa were mustered out of service. Early in October, the regiment recieved about one hundred and fifty recruits, a number a little more than equal to the non-veterans mustered out. During the remainder of the time the regiment was at Kingston, we were doing guard and picket duty at that station, and on the railroad in that vicinity.
On the 3d of October, we moved to Cartersville, the 3d division having been ordered to concentrate there, preparatory to the great march which the army under Gen. Sherman was soon to make. The army was now actively engaged getting in readiness for that "change of base" from Atlanta to Savannah, one of the most remarkable military movement recorded in history.
On the 12th our division (Gen. John E. Smith) moved from Cartersville, and arrived at Atlanta on the 14th. The 14th, 17th and 20th corps were already at Atlanta, and on the 15th October the army of Sherman left Atlanta. The 14th and 20th corps took the road to Milledgeville. Thence their route to Savannah lay between the Savannah and Ogeechee rivers. The 15th and 17th corps marched via Jonesboro, McDonough, Hillsboro and Clinton to Gordon Junction. The limits of a brief history of the 10th regiment will not admit of a detailed account of the march of the army to Savannah.
The bold design of an army abandoning its only base of supplies, and marching for three hundred miles through a hostile country where river were to be crossed in the face of a vigilant enemy, and battles to be fought and victories won, ere the "new base of supplies" could be obtained, was executed with a success unparalleled even in the annals of the present war, or in the former achievements of the commander. Not a single peice of artillary was lost, and of the numerous transportation of the army, the loss of wagons was so small in number as to be unworthy of note. The 10th Iowa, as part of the 3d division 15th Corps, marched, after the passage of the Ogechee, to near Eden, twenty miles from Savannah. Here we crossed the Ogeechee, and on the 10th December the division arrived at the outer works of the rebel fortifications around Savannah, at a point on the Savannah and Ogeechee canal.
The rebels opened a brisk fire upon us from a work on the opposite side of an impassable swamp. During the night, we threw up a breastwork close to our line of sharpshooters, who were on the edge of the swamp, and a part of the regiment was sent forward on the line of sharpshooters. In the morning we opened on the rebels from a battery on the left of the regiment, and a rapid shelling was kept up. The rebels also threw grape and canister from some guns they had planted in the night near the swamp.
During the day we were ordered farther to the right, the place occupied by our division having been assigned to a pert of the 17th Corps, who had arrived on the line. On the 12th, we were ordered to the extreme right, and posted on the road leading to Fort McAllister, to prevent the enemy from re-enforcing that fort. On the 13th, Fort McAllister was taken by the 2d division, 15th A. C., and the communication with the fleet opened. We remained in this position until the occupation of the city by our forces on the 21st December, when we camped a short distance from the city.
The march from Atlanta to Savannah, and the taking of that important Southern city, is an epoch in the history of this war. The Confederacy has been severed in twain by a victorious army. The soldier who for the last four years has directed his vision Southward, where battles were to be fought, and campaigns endured, may, as he contemplates Savannah, indulge that reasonable hope that a campaign or two Northward, will terminate the war, and establish the Union more perfectly, all disturbing elements being so adjusted that in future the tranquillity of the States will not be endangered.
Jan. 9th, the brigade moved from Savannah, and crossed the river into South Carolina, under orders, for Pocotaligo. Entering the State with predelictions of not the most favorable character, the march to Pocotaligo was not of a tendency to secure a more favorable estimate of the advantages of the state for campaigning, than was entertained for its political status. The rains were incessant, and in consequence of swamps and the flat surface of the country, the roads were covered in many parts to a considerable depth of water. Nevertheless, the soldiers endured the march without a murmur, and we arrived at Pocotaligo on the 23d.
The 17th Corps had preceded us, and we awaited the arrival of the remaining division of the 15th Corps until the 30th, during which time we were recieving supplies for the coming campaign, via Beaufort.
On the 30th January, the 3d division moved from Pocotaligo. The route of the 15th Corps was between the Coosawhatchie and the Combahee rivers. On the 4th February, we crossed the Salkahatchie, a tributary of the Combahee, at Beauford's bridge. On the 5th we effected the passage of the Little Salkahatchie. The rebels were intrenched on the oposite side of the swamp, with a force of twelve hundred infantry. The 2d brigade, 3d division, being in advance, the 10th Iowa was was deployed as skirmishers; wading the streams and swamps, the rebels were quickly driven from their intrenchments. The loss of the regiment amounted to two but slightly wounded.
Thence we marched to Bamberg, a station on the Augusta and Charleston railroad, twenty miles west of Branchville, and thence to Orangeburg, crossing the South Edisto near Blackville, and forcing the passage of the North Edisto not far from Orangeburg. The railroads in the vicinity of Branchville and Orangeburg were destroyed for many miles.
On the 17th February, the 15th and 17th Corps entered Columbia after some skirmishing as we approached the place. The rebels also disputed the passage of the Saluda and Broad rivers, with, however, a very inadequate force. The fall of Columbia resulted in the capture of a large amount of ordinance and ordinance stores. The 10th Iowa lost one man killed by the accidental explosion of a shell while on detail destroying the captured ammunition. Details were made from the regiments for the destruction of public property, which was effectively accomplished by the 20th. From Columbia the 15th Corps moved northward, passing twenty miles west of Camden, and crossing the Wateree near Liberty Hill; thence we moved via Flat Rock to Cheraw, on the Great Pedee, where our division arrived March 4th. Here we captured several pieces of ordinence and a large amount of public stores, and destroyed a large quantity of cotton.
On the 12th of March we reached Fayetteville, on the Cape Fear river, via Laurel Hill, the terminous of a railroad connecting with Cape Fear River, not far from Willmington. At Fayetteville the arsenal and public stores were destroyed, and on the 16th we took the road to Goldsboro. On the 19th, our regiment skirmished at the cross roads near Cox's bridge on the Neuse river, driving the rebels to the bridge, which was fortified on the opposite side and defended by artillery. Early in the morning of the 20th the 2d brigade, 3d division, moved towards the bridge under the orders to destroy it. As we approached, the rebels opened a brisk fire of artillery at grape distance. After an animated contest we accomplished the destruction of the bridge.
The Tenth lost in the action one man killed and four wounded. Meanwhile, on the 19th, a sanguinary battle was fought between the left wing of the army -- the 14th and 20th Corps -- and the rebels under Jo. Johnston, forty thousand strong. The right wing -- 15th and 17th Corps -- on the 20th moved to the left, forming an alignment with the 14th and 20th Corps, and inclosing the rebels between our lines and the Neuse river.
Heavy skirmishing was kept up between the opposing forces during the afternoon and night of the 20th, and all day and night of the 21st, our troops pressing the rebels and closing in upon them. Meantime measures were taken to secure the crossings of the Neuse by a force sent around to the rear, and thus cut off the enemy's lines of retreat. Before this, however, could be effectively done, the rebels succeeded in effecting their retreat during the night of the 21st, crossing the Neuse near Dentonville. The 15th Corps entered Goldsboro on the 22d, and we are now encamped two miles from the town. The army has, since leaving Savannah, accomplished a march of five hundred miles, in the inclement season of the year, subsisting the greater part of the time off the country.
Here, as we have the means of obtaining supplies in abundance from the seaboard, it is ordered we rest. The soldiers have endured the hardships and privations of the march like heroes; many of them, as they entered the camp here, were without shoes and alomost naked; yet, not a word of complaint was heard. The consciousness of having been of a number of that army which within the last four months has traversed over eight hundred miles of hostile territory, with results so magnificent, is a proud satisfaction, sufficiant to sustain them; and, when, agreeably with the genius of our commander, the order is "Forward," it will be obeyed without a murmur.
Summed up, the aggregate distance traveled by the regiment is eight thousand on hundred and seventy-five miles; and we have served in ten states of the Confederacy. The regiment has been in eighteen engagements, besides skirmishes of less note. It is worthy of remark that up to the date of the battle of Mission risge, not a man of the 10th Iowa had been taken prisoner on the battle field. Total casualties of the regiment in battle were fifty-seven killed; two hundred and forty-two wounded; died of wounds, thirty-nine; discharged for wounds, nineteen. Present strength of the regiment is twenty-two officers and four hundred and fifty-six men.
I am, Sir, very respectfully,
Your obedient servent,
WM. H. SILSBY,
Lieut. Colonel Com'd'g Regiment