Showing posts with label Skirmishers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Skirmishers. Show all posts

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Dr. Seth Rogers to his daughter Dolly, January 30, 1863

ALBERTI's Mills, 40 miles from FERNANDINA.
January 30, 1863. 

This river is rebellious to the last degree. It is very crooked and sluggish and black and got us aground so many times in the long, sleepless night that rebel pickets might have picked off many of our men and officers. Again and again we had to turn points at right angles and we were never more than two rods from one or the other shore. Often the sides of our boat were swept by the boughs of the mournful looking trees. The shores are generally low and marshy, and the moss droops so low as to give the appearance of weeping willows. It is now eleven, A.M. and we are starting homeward. Oh, it is a queer night, so queer that more than once I laughed outright, when I thought of the curious fact that T. W. H. and I were so industriously trying to get a peep at real rebels, while they would undoubtedly do something to get a peep at us. In my time I have seen considerable mismanagement of one kind and another, but do not remember that I ever dreamed that so much of that article could be employed in one night on board a steamboat. Among the boat's officers there was no mutual understanding, and it is fortunate for us that the rebels did not know it. But at daylight we did reach Alberti's Mills, and then came for me an hour of fitful, dreamy sleep. I had made three vigorous efforts to sleep during the night, but enjoyed the calm moonlight and strange scenery and spice of danger too much for drowsiness. We passed picket fires and felt the possibility that our return might be obstructed, or greatly harassed. Very few officers have voluntarily dared such a responsibility as that resting on our Colonel, but he patiently and vigilantly met all the obstacles and had his pickets and skirmishers so arranged. . . .

Evening and Ben Deford again, thank God!

 I had written thus far when the rebels began firing from the shore and I found myself among our soldiers, who replied with spirit and precision that sent more than one poor fellow to the dust.

Captain Clifton of the John Adams was shot through the head and died instantly. The Major's [J. D. Strong] head escaped by about two inches.

Strange to say no other accidents occurred in this nor in the subsequent firing from the bluffs on the Florida shore. The first attack was from the Georgia bluffs. They were both desperate, but of short duration. One fellow actually jumped on the flat-boat in tow, and was immediately shot by one of our soldiers. I afterwards asked Robert Sutton what he himself was about during the conflict, and found that he was deliberately shooting from the pilot house, with two guns, having a man to load one while he fired the other. But now I will go back to the sunrise. As I was saying, the pickets and skirmishers were so placed that there was no escape for the white families at Alberti’s Mills. The Colonel had gone ashore and a little after sunrise sent for me to go off and take with me some copies of the President's proclamation. I found a little village, all included in the A. estate, and the mansion was occupied by Madame A. and her family. She was a New Yorker by birth and her deceased husband was a native of Philadelphia. Mr. B., former business partner of his - A.'s was at the house on a visit, ill with chronic bronchitis. He, being an important person, must be made prisoner, unless too feeble to be removed from the house. I found, on examination, that he could be taken with us without danger to himself. Madame A. spent much time trying to convince me that she and her husband had been wonderfully devoted to the interests of their slaves, especially to the fruitless work of trying to educate them. The truth of these assertions was disproved by certain facts, such as a strong slave jail, containing implements of torture which we now have in our possession, (the lock I have), the fact that the slaves have “mostly gone over to the Yankees,” and the yet other fact that Robert Sutton, a former slave there, said the statement was false. The statement of a black man was lawful in Dixie yesterday. I called Madame A.'s attention to a former slave of hers, whom she remembered as “Bob,” but never before knew as Robert Sutton, corporal in the army of the United States. Robert begged me to forgive him for breaking through my order that he should not exert himself at all till the danger of inflammation of the brain should be averted. The white bandage about his head was conspicuous at the points of danger through all the twenty-four eventful hours of our expedition. It finally devolved upon him and Sergeant Rivers1 to examine the persons of our six rebel prisoners, for concealed weapons of defense. This last process was so very anti-slavery, that I fancied the rebels enjoyed it somewhat less than I.

I am told that thirteen riderless horses went back to camp after that fight in the woods the other night; that the lieutenant [Jones] in command and five others were killed and many others wounded. Could our party have known the exact state of affairs, the camp might have been destroyed and many prisoners taken. But it was safer and wiser for infantry not to follow cavalry in the night. Our comrades on the Ben Deford greeted us heartily and the Provost Marshal was in readiness to take charge of our prisoners. We shall probably take Mr. B. to Beaufort with us. He is a wealthy and influential rebel and may become a very important hostage when Jeff Davis begins to hang us. We brought off two or three negroes, and rice, corn, sheep and other valuable things, strictly contraband of war. I wanted the Colonel to take a piano already boxed, and in a store-house at the wharf, but we had no room for it. I thought it would especially please Miss Forten to have it in her school.

_______________

1 Prince Rivers.

SOURCE: Proceedings of the Massachusetts Historical Society, Volume 43, October, 1909—June, 1910: February 1910. p. 352-4

Monday, September 21, 2020

Captain Charles Wright Wills: November 22, 1864

Near Griswoldville, November 22, 1864.

Has been a gay day for our brigade. The other two brigades of our division went to work on the railroad this morning, and we on a reconnoisance toward Macon. Found Rebel cavalry at once. My Companies A and B, were thrown out as skirmishers. Forty of us drove at least 400 Rebel cavalry at least four miles, and kept them a mile ahead of the brigade. I think we killed and wounded at least 20 of them. We finally charged them out of a rail barricade and thoroughly stampeded them. It was the richest thing I ever saw. We got highly complimented on the way we drove them. Griswoldville was the point we started for, and having reached it we lay there an hour or so, and were then ordered back to the brigade. We found it in line along an open field, building a rail barricade along the front. We had a nice open field without even a fence on it, full 600 yards wide in our front. We were getting dinner, not dreaming of a fight, when lively musketry opened on the picket line, and in a minute more our pickets came in flying. A fine line of Johnnies pushed out of the woods after them, and then started for us. We commenced throwing up logs in our front and did not fire a shot until they were within 250 yards of us, by which time our works would protect us from musketry. We all felt that we had a sure thing, and had there been but one line of Rebels, we would have let them come up close to us. But, by the time the first line had got within 250 yards of us, three other lines had emerged from the woods, and they had run two batteries out on the field further to our right which opened on us. Our artillery returned the fire, but was silenced almost immediately. We then let loose on them with our muskets, and if we did not interest them, it is queer. One after another their lines crumbled to pieces, and they took the run to save themselves. There was a ravine 50 yards in front of us, and as the Rebels did not dare to run back over that field, they broke for the ravine. It was awful the way we slaughtered those men. Once in the ravine most of them escaped by following it up, the willows and canes screening them. We let a skirmish line into the ravine, which gobbled some 50 prisoners, a number of Africans among them. It was a most complete repulse, and when the numbers alone are considered, a glorious thing for us. Only our little brigade of say 1,100 muskets were engaged on our side and no support was nearer than four miles (and then but one brigade), while the Rebels had four brigades and two regiments, about 6,000 men. But the four brigades were “Militia.” We estimate their loss at 1,000, and I do not think it an overestimate. Ours is 14 killed and 42 wounded in the whole brigade; four killed and seven wounded in the regiment; two in my company; 25 out of 30 Rebel bullets went 20 feet over our heads. Not one of ours went higher than their heads. Gen. C. C. Wolcutt [sic] was wounded much as Colonel Wright was, but more severely. No officers in our regiment were wounded. Two Rebel generals were either killed or wounded—General George, who formerly commanded in north Mississippi, and General Hall or Call. I was never so affected at the sight of wounded and dead before.

Old grey-haired and weakly-looking men and little boys, not over 15 years old, lay dead or writhing in pain. I did pity those boys, they almost all who could talk, said the Rebel cavalry gathered them up and forced them in.

We took all inside our skirmish line that could bear moving, to our hospital, and covered the rest with the blankets of the dead. I hope we will never have to shoot at such men again. They knew nothing at all about fighting, and I think their officers knew as little, or else, certainly knew nothing about our being there. About dark we moved back to this place, two miles from the battle field. The Johnnies drew off before we did, I think.

SOURCE: Charles Wright Wills, Army Life of an Illinois Soldier, p. 322-4

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Official Reports of the Campaign in North Alabama and Middle Tennessee, November 14, 1864 — January 23, 1865: No. 160. Report of Col. David Moore, Twenty-first Missouri Infantry, commanding First Brigade, of operations December 15-16, 1864.

No. 160.

Report of Col. David Moore, Twenty-first Missouri Infantry, commanding First Brigade,
of operations December 15-16, 1864.

HEADQUARTERS FIRST BRIGADE, SECOND DIVISION,               
DETACHMENT ARMY OF THE TENNESSEE,  
In the Field, Tenn., December 22, 1864.

LIEUTENANT: I have the honor herewith to report the following as the part taken by the First Brigade in the battle of the 15th and l6th instant, before Nashville, Tenn.:

On the morning of the 15th instant, agreeable to orders, the brigade marched out in front of our works and formed line of battle in the center of the division, the Third Brigade on my right, and the Second Brigade on my left. About 10 a.m. we advanced in line with the division, having thrown a strong line of skirmishers to the front. We advanced steadily, our skirmishers soon coming in contact with those of the enemy, and driving them steadily backward until our line reached a large house, about a mile from the place of starting. Artillery was moved forward and put in position on the right of my brigade. The One hundred and nineteenth Illinois Infantry was posted on the right of and supporting the artillery. This regiment, with the Eighty-ninth Indiana and One hundred and twenty-second Illinois, formed the front line, while the Twenty-first Missouri was placed a short distance in the rear as a reserve. A heavy artillery fire was opened from the Ninth Indiana Battery and the Second Illinois, Battery G, upon the enemy in our front, the men being ordered to lie down in the ravine. Late in the afternoon we again advanced in line with the division, our skirmishers going up close to the enemy, and the artillery continued to play with effect upon the enemy until about 5 p.m., when the enemy fled, the skirmishers of the One hundred and twenty-second Illinois capturing one battle-flag. The enemy having fled from their position, we were ordered to go into camp for the night.

In the morning of the 16th we advanced with the division, our skirmishers soon coming in contact with those of the enemy. We moved forward by order, and took position on the left of the division near some works which the enemy had abandoned. The Ninth Indiana Battery being near the center of my brigade, was moved forward to a house on the crest of the hill, from which position they opened a terrific cannonade upon the enemy's lines, which was continued for several hours. The officers and men of that battery displayed the greatest coolness and courage during the conflict, although often subjected to the most terrific fire of shot and shell from the enemy's batteries. I would here call your especial attention to Lieut. Samuel G. Calfee, who was in command of the Ninth Battery, as a most worthy, brave, and efficient officer. About 4 p..m. a charge was ordered, and to bring my brigade into proper position it was necessary to describe a half wheel to the right. This was quickly done--the One hundred and nineteenth Illinois on the right, the Eighty-ninth Indiana in the center, and the One hundred and twenty-second Illinois on the left, and the Twenty-first Missouri in reserve. When the command was given to charge, the men, with a cheer which rent the heavens, precipitated themselves upon the enemy's batteries and intrenchments, receiving a heavy fire of shot and shell from the front and at the same time a heavy cross-fire from the enemy's works on my left. As the brigade neared the line of works the firing for a few moments was very heavy, but the enemy soon broke and fled in wild confusion, leaving behind him his batteries and many of his men in our hands. Colonel Kinney, of the One hundred and nineteenth Illinois, following the retreating enemy, captured prisoners at every step, and finally overtook and captured one 10 pounder Parrott gun, one Rodman, two Napoleons, and two 12-pounder howitzers. The Eighty-ninth Indiana and One hundred and twenty-second Illinois charged to the left after crossing the breast-works, following the stream of fugitives, overtaking and capturing many prisoners, also two Napoleon guns, with horses and equipments complete. Two guns (Napoleons) of the battery which was firing upon our lines from the front were captured by the brigade in the first part of the charge. The brigade captured near the foot of the hill one major-general (E. Johnson). He was captured by Private John Wagner, Company H, and Private H. Daugherty, Company C, One hundred and nineteenth Illinois, and William Cully, Company H, Eighty-ninth Indiana. He was taken to the rear by the two men last named and delivered to Captain Whitaker, of the One hundred and seventeenth Illinois. These men also captured at the same time General Johnson's private papers and headquarters records, as well as the headquarters wagons and ambulances. The brigade captured in this charge, 1 Parrott gun, 1 Rodman, 6 Napoleons, and 2 howitzers, 13 wagons, 3 ambulances, 15 caissons and limbers, and near 400 prisoners, among whom were the major-general above named and Colonel Voorhies, of the Forty-eighth Tennessee, also a large number of other officers.

Col. Thomas J. Kinney, commanding One hundred and nineteenth Illinois, is a brave and gallant officer, and well deserves the confidence of all. His officers and me, acquitted themselves with great credit. Lieut. Col. Hervey Craven, commanding Eighty-ninth Indiana, is cool, courageous, and prompt, and, in common with all his officers and men, displayed the greatest gallantry during the engagement. Lieut. Col. James F. Drish, commanding the One hundred and twenty-second Illinois, with commendable energy and unflinching courage, led his gallant regiment on to the charge in a style unsurpassed, creditable alike to him and them. Lieut. Col. Edwin Moore, commanding Twenty-first Missouri, did not participate in the charge, his regiment being held in reserve. To speak of individual instances of personal bravery would require too much time, or do injustice by naming some and leaving others unnoticed; suffice it to say, all did their duty fearlessly, nobly, and well.

I cannot say precisely how many prisoners were captured by my brigade, for the reason that they were sent back in squads as fast as captured and delivered to the first officer who could be found in charge of prisoners. But of the capture of the artillery, wagons, &c., and also Major-General Johnson, I have positive proof. The number of prisoners will not fall far short of 400.

I would call your especial attention to the officers of my personal staff. Lieut. Samuel D. Sawyer, acting assistant adjutant general, who charged with the command and had his horse killed under him, but was immediately remounted, and rendered me most important service in directing the movements of the troops. I would recommend him as a brave and gallant officer and one worthy of promotion. Lieut. John J. Chubb also charged forward with the command with great coolness and courage. He is a gallant and efficient officer, deserving of promotion. Lieutenant Converse was so unwell as to be unable to participate in the charge. The horses of nearly all my staff officers were killed during the engagement, the horse of Lieutenant Converse having been killed the first day.

The engagement resulted in the total rout of the enemy, and a complete and glorious victory for Union and liberty.

To the officers and men of my command I tender my profound thanks; I am proud of them and their achievements. To the commanding general I tender my acknowledgments; I am proud to be commanded by him.

I inclose a list of casualties in the First Brigade during the engagement.*

I am, lieutenant, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
D. MOORE,              
Colonel Twenty-first Missouri,           
Comdg. First Brig., Second Div., Detach. Army of the Tennessee.
Lieut. JAMES B. COMSTOCK,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
____________________

* Embodied in table, p. 101.

SOURCE: The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series I, Volume 45, Part 1 (Serial No. 93), p. 475-7

Official Reports of the Campaign in North Alabama and Middle Tennessee, November 14, 1864 — January 23, 1865: No. 159. Report of Brig. Gen. Kenner Garrard, U. S. Army, commanding Second Division, of operations December 15-16, 1864.

No. 159.

Report of Brig. Gen. Kenner Garrard, U. S. Army, commanding Second Division,
of operations December 15-16, 1864.

HEADQUARTERS SECOND DIVISION, DETACHMENT ARMY OF THE TENNESSEE,  
Camp near Columbia, December 24, 1864.

SIR: I have the honor to make the following report of the part taken by this division in the late battles before Nashville:

On the morning of the 15th instant, at an early hour, the division was moved outside of the works, and formed in line of battle in the following order: On the right, near the Hardin pike, Colonel Wolfe's brigade, composed of the Fifty-second Indiana, Forty-ninth Illinois, One hundred and seventeenth Illinois, One hundred and seventy-eighth New York, and Battery G, Second Illinois; in the center, Col. D. Moore's brigade, composed of the Twenty-first Missouri, Eighty-ninth Indiana, One hundred and nineteenth Illinois, One hundred and twenty-second Illinois, and the Ninth Indiana Battery; and on the left, Colonel Gilbert's brigade, composed of the Twenty-seventh Iowa, Thirty-second Iowa, Tenth Kansas, Fifty-eighth Illinois, and Third Indiana Battery. My instructions required me to keep closed on the Fourth Corps, on my left, and regulate my advance by the right. A strong line of skirmishers was thrown from the division, as follows: In front of Wolfe, a portion of the One hundred and seventeenth Illinois, Lieutenant-Colonel Merriam commanding; in front of Moore, a portion of the One hundred and twenty-second Illinois, Major Chapman commanding; and in front of Gilbert, the Tenth Kansas and Company B, Twenty-seventh Iowa, Capt. W. C. Jones, Tenth Kansas, commanding. The general movement of the day was a grand wheel to the left, and as the division was in the center of the line it was necessary to use the utmost exertion to preserve its proper relation to the two grand wings. After advancing some distance, the skirmish line clearing away all opposition, the line halted in easy cannon-range of the rebel forts. The skirmish line was well advanced, and the Second Illinois and Ninth Indiana Batteries immediately brought into action, under the direction of Captain Lowell, chief of division artillery. These batteries were much exposed to the enemy's guns from the forts, but they maintained their fire, were used with much skill, and by silencing in a great degree the enemy's guns, contributed largely toward the final capture of the forts. The movement of the division being controlled by that of the line on its right, it was not until McArthur's left brigade, under Hill, advanced, that I ordered the charge which was promptly made on the double-quick. In the front of my center there was an angle in the enemy's works, so that when the Fourth Corps charged the works in their front, and I the forts in my front, our lines crossed. To prevent confusion I directed Moore and Gilbert in reserve, and after the fort in front of Wolfe was carried by him, brought them up in line on Wolfe's right. In the general movement of the day the skirmish line was thrown out of position and to the right. At the time of the charge the skirmish line, which originally was in front of my two right brigades, was in front of McArthur's left.

With a view to a clear understanding of the position at the time of the assault, it would be well to state that the rebels had a continuous line of works facing toward Nashville, and extending from toward the Franklin pike over to the Granny White pike. Near the Granny White pike and east of it there was a small redoubt forming an angle with the continuous line, then there was a series of detached works, extending back toward the hills and in the direction of the Hardin pike. The first of these forts was just west of the Granny White pike, and some 600 to 1,000 yards from the small redoubt at the angle. The Fourth Corps passed over the line of works, its right near the angle; Wolfe passed over the redoubt at the angle; and Hill's brigade, McArthur's division, passed over the fort west of Granny White pike. The skirmishers of the One hundred and twenty-second Illinois and One hundred and seventeenth Illinois were in front of Hill, and the One hundred and twenty-second captured the battery flag, but the three guns captured in that fort rightfully belong to Hill's brigade. Wolfe's brigade captured in the redoubt two guns, one disabled, and a third gun some distance in the rear of the redoubt, which the enemy had attempted to carry off.

On the morning of the 16th, at 8 a.m., the division was advanced in line in the direction of the Franklin pike — Gilbert on the right, Moore in the center, and Wolfe on the left. It was soon found necessary to change front forward on the right brigade, in order to face the enemy's line. This was done under heavy artillery fire; and to form connection with McArthur's line, Wolfe was brought up in line in my center and Gilbert moved to the right. A fortified hill in front of my left was carried by the skirmish line and the artillery brought into action. An effective and continuous artillery fire was kept up, and the skirmish line advanced close up to the enemy's works. The Fourth Corps was formed on my left. Noticing, about 4 p.m., a heavy musketry fire on the right of the corps, and believing that the critical point in the battle had arrived, I gave the order for the whole division to charge. This order was most promptly and gallantly obeyed. Gilbert's and Wolfe's brigades moved forward as a unit, and Moore a little retired. The division charged in the face of heavy artillery and musketry fire from the enemy's works, but its advance was so determined and rapid that the enemy was completely routed and driven in confusion from his intrenchments. His works consisted of a strong stone wall capped with earth, having a ditch and abatis in front. The enemy abandoned his artillery. Gilbert passed over and captured 5 guns, with the battery flag; Wolfe, 5; and Moore a battery of 4 guns a little to the left of that portion of the enemy's works carried by his brigade. This battery was captured by the One hundred and twenty-second Illinois, by moving off by the left flank after passing over the enemy's works. In addition to the above-enumerated guns, six more were captured by Moore's brigade. They were on a road just behind the first hills and were taken from the enemy as he was endeavoring to run them off. In the hills quite a number of wagons, limbers, and caissons were captured. During the assault all the artillery of the division, under the direction of the chief of artillery, was massed on the hill where my line had been formed, and was served with great rapidity and effect.

I inclose the report of the chief of artillery, that the major-general commanding the corps may be informed more in detail of the valuable service rendered by that arm in the late battle.*

On this day 20 guns and about 850 prisoners were captured, including Maj. Gen. Edward Johnson and other officers. On both days the first thought of myself and officers was to defeat and pursue the enemy, and I have to regret that proper care was not taken to secure receipt for the three guns on the 15th nor the twenty on the 16th, nor even for the prisoners which were captured; many of these were even taken to the provost-marshal in Nashville and left there without stating to what command they belonged. With the exception of the four guns on the extreme left on the 16th, I was an eye-witness to the fact of the different brigades passing over the batteries reported as captured by them; I also saw the battery on the left during the charge, but passed forward and out of sight of it before the One hundred and twenty-second Illinois captured it. The Fourth Corps, on my left, did not advance until I had carried the enemy's works, and I was, on this account, compelled to hold the Twenty-first Missouri in reserve, in rear of my left brigade, to provide against any attack on my flank; this flank, from the course of the enemy's works, was exposed to and in the charge suffered from a cross-fire.

It is with a feeling of just pride and pleasure that I refer to the good conduct and gallant bearing of the division throughout the two days' engagement. Under the many trying circumstances which surround a battlefield, both officers and men yielded a prompt and cheerful obedience to all orders, and in the assaults they displayed a determination and zeal which gained for them a complete and great victory. Among the many who did nobly I would ask the especial notice of the major-general commanding the corps to Col. James I. Gilbert, commanding Second Brigade, and Col. Edward H. Wolfe, commanding Third Brigade. These officers, for their efficiency as brigade commanders, and their soldierly bearing on the battle-field, I would respectfully recommend for promotion to the rank of brigadier-general.

To the officers on the division staff I feel under many obligations for their useful assistance to me. Lieut. James B. Comstock. Twenty-first Missouri, acting assistant adjutant-general; Capt. William B. Dugger, One hundred and twenty-second Illinois, provost.marshal; Lieut. Richard Rees, Twenty-first Missouri, acting inspector-general, and Lieut. Sargeant McKnight, One hundred and twenty-second Illinois, acting aide-de-camp, were with me during both days, and by the intelligent and soldierly manner in which they discharged their duties, contributed materially toward the success of the division.

For the detailed action of brigades and regiments and special mention of regimental officers I have the honor to refer you to the reports of the brigade commanders herewith inclosed.

My loss, I am pleased to report, is small, only 4 officers and 160 enlisted men killed and wounded.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
K. GARRARD,
Brigadier-General, Commanding Division.

ASST. ADJT. GEN., DETACHMENT ARMY OF THE TENNESSEE.
_______________

* See Lowell’s report, p. 497.

SOURCE: The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series I, Volume 45, Part 1 (Serial No. 93), p. 472-5

Monday, June 24, 2019

Captain Charles Wright Wills: July 9, 1864

Nine miles from Atlanta, two and one-half miles southwest of railroad crossing,
July 9, 1864.

On the evening of the 7th, just dark, a Rebel battery in a fort which our guns had been bursting shells over all day, suddenly opened with eight 20-pound Parrotts, and for one-half an hour did some of the most rapid work I ever heard. They first paid their attention to our batteries, then demolished some half-dozen wagons and 20 mules for the 4th Division of the 17th Army Corps half a mile to our right, and then began scattering their compliments along our line, wherever I suppose they had detected our presence by smoke or noise. They kept getting closer and closer to us, and finally, a shell burst in front of our regiment. The next one went 50 yards past us and dropped into the 40th Illinois. Neither of them did any damage, and no more came so close. An hour afterward we fell in, and moving a mile to the left and one-half a mile to the front, occupied a ridge which we fortified by daylight, so they might shell and be hanged.

The Rebel skirmishers heard us moving as we came over, and threw more than a thousand bullets at us, but it was so pitchy dark that fortunately they did us no damage. From our colors we can see the fort that fired so the night of the 7th. They are about three-fourths of a mile distant. There have not been any bullets or shells passed over us since we got our works up, though the skirmish line at the foot of the hill, has a lively time. We have it very easy. I was on the 8th in charge of a line of skirmishers on the left of our brigade. The Rebels were seemingly quite peaceable, so much so, that I thought I'd walk over to some blackberry bushes 50 yards in front of our right.

I got about half way out when they sent about a dozen bullets at me. I retired in good order, considering. In the p. m. of the 7th, the skirmishers in front of a brigade of the 20th Corps, and the Rebel line, left their guns, and went out and were together nearly all the afternoon; 13 of the Rebels agreed to come into our line after dark. At the time appointed, heavy firing commenced on the Rebel side, and our boys, fearing foul play, poured in a few volleys. Through the heaviest of the fire two of the Rebels came running in. They said that the 13 started, and that the Rebels opened on them. The rest were probably killed. One of my men has just returned from visiting his brother in the 20th Corps. It is reported there that the 23d Corps crossed the river this p. m. without losing a man. The heavy firing this evening was our folks knocking down some block houses at the railroad bridge. The 4th Corps to-night lays right along the river bank.

SOURCE: Charles Wright Wills, Army Life of an Illinois Soldier, p. 276-7

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Official Reports of the Campaign in North Alabama and Middle Tennessee, November 14, 1864 — January 23, 1865: No. 153. Report of Col. William R. Marshall, Seventh Minnesota Infantry, commanding Third Brigade, of operations December 15-16, 1864.

No. 153.

Report of Col. William R. Marshall, Seventh Minnesota Infantry, commanding Third Brigade,
of operations December 15-16, 1864.


HEADQUARTERS THIRD BRIGADE, FIRST DIVISION,                   
DETACHMENT ARMY OF THE TENNESSEE,  
Near Pulaski, Tenn., December 28, 1864.

CAPTAIN: I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of the Third Brigade, First Division, Detachment Army of the Tennessee, in the battles before Nashville, December 15 and 16, 1864:

The Third Brigade comprised the Twelfth Iowa Veteran Infantry Volunteers, commanded by Lieut. Col. J. H. Stibbs; Thirty-fifth Iowa Infantry Volunteers, Maj. William Dill commanding; Thirty-third Missouri Infantry Volunteers, Lieut. Col. William H. Heath commanding; Seventh Minnesota Infantry Volunteers, Lieut. Col. George Bradley commanding; and Battery I, Second Missouri Light Artillery, Capt. S. H. Julian; the brigade commanded on the 15th, at the opening of the battle, by Col. S. G. Hill, Thirty-fifth Iowa Volunteers.

In obedience to orders from the brigadier-general commanding the division, the brigade moved from its position behind intrenchments for defense of Nashville at 7 a.m. 15th instant, and formed in line of battle, with its left resting on the Hardin pike, connecting with Second Division, the right connecting with Second Brigade of First Division, Colonel Hubbard's. Two companies were deployed forward as skirmishers, covering front of brigade. At 10 a.m. the line advanced, crossing the Hardin pike obliquely to the left, conforming to the movements of troops on our right and left. Our skirmishers, pushing rapidly toward the enemy, were soon briskly engaged, driving the enemy's skirmishers before them. About 11 a.m. we arrived in front of enemy's works, consisting on his extreme left, which was nearly in our front, of a formidable fort defended by a four-gun battery. Captain Julian's battery wheeled into position and opened on the enemy's works at from 1,200 to 1,500 yards distance. A rapid and effective fire from the battery was kept up for more than an hour. The enemy's guns poured a heavy fire into our battery, which was completely exposed in an open field, but without disabling our guns or for a moment interrupting Captain Julian's fire. Later in the day the battery was advanced to cover the charge we made. The infantry of the brigade were kept lying down during this first artillery fire, not being within musket-range of enemy. Our skirmishers got close up to enemy's works, and contributed not a little to the success which crowned the day's operations. The forts on the enemy's left being carried about 4 p.m. by the right of our division, the Third Brigade advanced, under a fierce artillery and musketry fire, and charged a formidable work on the right of the Hillsborough pike, carrying the work at the point of the bayonet most gallantly. It was at the parapet of this work that the gallant and lamented Col. S. G. Hill, commanding the brigade, lost his life. He was shot through the head, and died in a few minutes, without speaking. The service lost in Colonel Hill's death one of its bravest and best officers. The enemy's battery that was in the fort on right of Hillsborough pike was being removed, but we succeeded in capturing two guns and a battle-flag. When we had gained the first fort a terrible fire was poured into us from a second work, 200 yards to the left of Hillsborough pike. I ordered a charge on this second work, and carried it, capturing one piece of artillery, caisson, battery wagon, horses, &c. In the two works we captured about 200 prisoners. When we had gained the second work we pressed on to the left, and got in rear of the enemy, where General Garrard's division and the right of the Fourth Army Corps were pressing them in front. We opened a deadly fire on the enemy's rear, as he broke from his works when charged by General Garrard and Fourth Corps, and could have taken a great number of prisoners, but left them to the troops that came over the works in their front. Night now closed our work, and we were ordered into line a little way east of and parallel to the Hillsborough pike.

The casualties of the brigade on the 15th were, 1 officer killed and 1 wounded, 1 enlisted man killed and 35 wounded.

The battery fired about 1,000 rounds; the infantry expended very little ammunition except on the skirmish line, the heavy work having been done with the bayonet.

On the morning of the 16th the Third Brigade, on the left of Colonel Hubbard's — the left of the Third Division — was advanced, covered by skirmishers, from its position during time night toward the Granny White pike, and conforming to the movement of brigades on our right, obliqued and wheeled to the right until it confronted the enemy's strong works across the Granny White pike, at the foot of the Overton (or Brentwood) Hills. My right rested on the pike, connecting with left of Colonel Hubbard's brigade. We pushed forward, under a severe fire of the enemy's artillery and musketry, until partly covered by a fence and stone wall running from the Bradford mansion to the pike. Here we halted until the grand charge in the afternoon. Captain Julian's battery was posted about 400 yards in rear of the infantry, and opened and kept up a heavy fire on the enemy's works. In our immediate front was a four-gun battery. Between 3 and 4 p.m. I observed the right of the division — the First Brigade — advancing to charge the enemy's left, and quickly Colonel Hubbard's brigade, immediately on my right, started on the charge. Seeing that Colonel Hubbard ought to be supported, I ordered the brigade to follow and charge the works in our front. Most bravely did the lines rise, and with cheers, breasting the storm of shot and shell from the four guns in our front, and the fierce musketry fire of the infantry supports of the battery, charge and carry the very strong works on the left of the [Granny] White pike. The splendid Pointe CoupĂ©e Battery of four Napoleon 12-pounders, a great number of small arms, and 300 to 400 prisoners were taken. The gallant Colonel Hubbard, who had gained the enemy's works on the right of the pike before I reached those on the left, was sweeping down toward my front, and claimed part of the guns as his capture. Although there can be no doubt that my brigade first entered the works by the front, I thought it but fair to the ever-gallant Second Brigade, which got the start of us in the general charge and pierced the enemy's line in advance of us, to divide the guns; accordingly, Colonel Hubbard took two and the Third Brigade two. We made a short halt upon gaining the enemy's works, and pressed on up the hills about one mile, pursuing the fugitives, capturing many, until, by command of the general, halted at the base of the steep part of the mountain, and put into position for the night.

In the charge, which was made across an open field about 400 yards wide, that noble and brave young officer, Adjt. S. E. Day, of the Thirty-third Missouri Infantry Volunteers, was mortally wounded; he died in hospital on the 19th instant; Lieutenant Rutledge, of Thirty-third Missouri, was seriously wounded; Captain McKelvy and Lieutenant Potter, of Seventh Minnesota, slightly wounded; 11 men were killed and 89 wounded.

I cannot too highly commend the gallant conduct of all the officers and men of the brigade; no troops ever behaved more gallantly. The Twelfth Iowa had not a single line officer, owing to the recent muster-out of non-veterans, yet their conduct was none the less soldierly and brave.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. R. MARSHALL,             
Colonel Seventh Minnesota,   
Comdg. Third Brig., First Div., Detach. Army of the Tennessee.

Capt. W. H. F. RANDALL, Assistant Adjutant-General.

There were captured by my command in the two days' engagement, 5 12-pounder guns — brass, 1 steel — (exclusive of the 2 Napoleon's conceded to Colonel Hubbard, which would have made the number 7), 5 caissons, 1 battery wagon, about 500 prisoners, and 2 battle-flags.

There was expended, by Captain Julian's battery, 2,000 rounds of 3-inch shell and solid shot; by the infantry, mostly by the skirmishers, about 7,000 rounds of rifle-musket ammunition.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. R. MARSHALL,             
Colonel Seventh Minnesota,   
Comdg. Third Brig., First Div., Detach. Army of the Tennessee.

SOURCE: The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series I, Volume 45, Part 1 (Serial No. 93), p. 460-2

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Official Reports of the Campaign in North Alabama and Middle Tennessee, November 14, 1864 — January 23, 1865: No. 140. Report of Maj. David G. Bowers, Fifth Tennessee infantry, of operations November 22-30, 1864.

No. 140.

Report of Maj. David G. Bowers, Fifth Tennessee infantry,
of operations November 22-30, 1864.

HDQRS. FIFTH REGT. EAST TENNESSEE VOL. INFTY.,       
Nashville, Tenn., December 5, 1864.

SIR: In compliance with circular just received, bearing date of the present instant, I respectfully submit the following report of the operations of the Fifth Regiment Tennessee Volunteers, viz:

On the 22d of November, at daylight, I received orders to march, and took up the line of march from Pulaski, on the Columbia pike, and arrived at Lynnville at 11 a.m., a distance of twelve miles from Pulaski. At Lynnville we went into camp, and remained quiet until 1 p.m. November 23, at which time I received orders from General Cox to report to Colonel Casement, commanding Second Brigade, Third Division, and at the same time received a verbal order to report immediately with my regiment on the pike leading to Columbia. I fell in at the rear of the brigade, and marched until 7 p.m., and then went into camp, having marched a distance of eleven miles. I received orders to be ready to march at 5 o'clock on the morning of the 24th, and took up the line of march at daylight toward Columbia. We arrived at Columbia at 10 a.m. same day, having gone eight miles, and took position to the south of the town, and received orders to construct works of defense. At 2 p.m. I moved to the right and to the southwest of the town, and took position in line of battle, my right resting near the Mount Pleasant pike, and facing to the south. We there constructed a line of breastworks and sent out skirmishers, who engaged the enemy. We remained in that position until 7 p.m. on the 25th, when we received orders to be ready to move at a moment's notice. About 11 p.m. we moved slowly through the town, and crossed the Duck River; moved up the river half a mile, and rested for the night. Captain Sparks and thirty men were on picket, and did not cross the river until the morning of the 27th. On the 26th one man of Sparks' detail was wounded. On the morning of the 26th we moved in position, and there remained until the 29th. At 7 p.m. on the 29th we were ordered into line, and marched out half a mile on the Franklin pike, and took position behind earthworks to the left of the pike. We remained there half an hour, and then took up the line of march for Franklin. We arrived at Franklin at 5 a.m. on the morning of the 30th, having marched twenty-three miles during the night. Captain Ragle, Company K, and thirty men, brought up the rear of the brigade from Columbia, and arrived at Franklin about 9 a.m., having lost one man, who, from fatigue, was left by the way, and probably fell into the hands of the enemy. On the night of the 29th our wagons were attacked by the enemy, and one of them burned or destroyed, containing regimental baggage Part of our baggage, which was sent to Pulaski, by instructions from Colonel Henderson, for want of transportation, was destroyed on the 23d, including part of the regimental and company books and papers.

I am, sir, very respectfully,
DAVID G. BOWERS,          
Major, Commanding Fifth Tennessee Volunteer Infantry.
Capt. C. D. RHODES,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.

SOURCE: The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series I, Volume 45, Part 1 (Serial No. 93), p. 428-9

Official Reports of the Campaign in North Alabama and Middle Tennessee, November 14, 1864 — January 23, 1865: No. 139. Report of Col. John M. Orr, One hundred and twenty-fourth Indiana Infantry, of operations November 28-30, 1864.

No. 139.

Report of Col. John M. Orr, One hundred and twenty-fourth Indiana Infantry,
of operations November 28-30, 1864.

HEADQUARTERS 124TH INDIANA VOLUNTEERS,  
Nashville, Tenn., December 7, 1864.

SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of operations of the One hundred and twenty-fourth Indiana Volunteers since the afternoon of the 28th of November, 1864, at which time my regiment was detached, by order of Col. J. S. Casement, from the brigade, and ordered to the rear to guard the crossing at Rutherford's Creek, near Columbia:

On the afternoon of the 29th I received orders from Major-General Schofield to picket all roads running east for a distance of one mile from the pike, between Rutherford's Creek and Spring Hill, Company B being left on picket on said creek. In compliance with orders, I moved the remainder of the command forward. After moving two or three miles, Company C was ordered by General Ruger to move off the road and into the woods to the support of his own pickets. The company was posted by his assistant adjutant-general, there to await the order of the general. Moving on to Poplar Grove, five companies (D, E, H, I, and K), under command of Lieut. Col. Henry H. Neff, were placed on a road leading east. Companies A, F, and G, under my own immediate command, advanced toward Spring Hill, some one mile and a half or two miles from Poplar Grove. While here cannonading could be distinctly heard in the direction of Spring Hill. Report soon came by courier that the enemy held the pike in my immediate front, and were advancing. Company A was immediately deployed as skirmishers, and advanced upon the enemy. Companies F and G were ordered to blockade the pike. They were then ordered to the front as skirmishers, which order was promptly obeyed, and soon connected their left with the right of the advancing line. Company A soon became hotly engaged with the enemy; Companies F and G were also soon engaged, forcing the enemy to retire, after which I ordered the companies previously stationed on the roads to move forward and join their command. Company A lost one man, seriously wounded through the left lung, who was left at a house near by, and fell into the enemy's hands. From here we moved on toward Franklin, where we arrived at 6 a.m. 30th, here going into position with the brigade. While here Company B joined us from off picket at Columbia, having been detained until the rear of the army had passed; Company C failed to report. It was placed on picket, by order of Brigadier-General Ruger, there awaiting his orders to be relieved, but he failing to give the necessary instructions, the company is supposed to have maintained its position awaiting for orders, but receiving none, was captured by the enemy.

 JNO. M. ORR,          
 Colonel, Commanding.
 Capt. C. D. RHODES,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.

SOURCE: The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series I, Volume 45, Part 1 (Serial No. 93), p. 427-8

Monday, February 4, 2019

Captain Charles Wright Wills: June 15, 1864

June 15, 1864.

This has been a star day, and a better feeling lot of men that compose our brigade will be hard to find, for to-night any way. The morning was occupied in cleaning guns, etc. At 11 o'clock the assembly was sounded, and we moved one and one-half miles, which brought us on the left of the whole army. By 1 p. m. we had our line formed running from right to left, 103d Illinois, 6th Iowa, 46th Ohio, 40th Illinois, with the 97th Indiana deployed as skirmishers. We were in about the center of an open lot of plantations, facing a densely-wooded hill of maybe 300 acres. It was a plumb one-third of a mile to it and already the enemy's sharpshooters were reaching our men from it.

One of Company K’s men was shot here, and one of H’s. At precisely 1 p. m. we started, the men having been notified that they would have to get to that woods as quickly as possible. The Rebels opened pretty lively. Right in front of where I am now writing is a house. On the porch I see 11 children, not over nine years old. All belong to one woman. Haven't seen her, but from what I have seen in this country, wouldn't dispute the man who would tell me she was only 20 years old. This is a great stock country. As we started, the boys raised a cheer that was a cheer, and we went down on them regular storm fashion. A hundred yards before we got to the hill we ran into a strong line of rifle pits swarming with Johnnies. They caved and commenced begging. The pit I came to had about 20 in it. They were scared until some of them were blue, and if you ever heard begging for life it was then. Somebody yelled out “Let's take the hill,” and we left the prisoners and broke. At the foot of the hill we came to a muddy rapid stream, from 10 to 15 feet wide and no crossing, so we plunged in. I got wet to my middle, and many did to their breasts.

The banks were steep and slippery and muddy. Though we all expected a serious fight on the hill, up we went every man for himself, and through to an open field, over which some 200 straggling sandy looking Johnnies were trying to get away, which most of them accomplished, as we were too tired to continue the pursuit fast enough to overtake them. However, the boys shot a lot of them. Well, they call it a gallant thing. We took 542 prisoners, and killed and wounded I suppose 100.

The whole loss in our brigade is not 10 killed and 50 wounded. I only had one man wounded in my company, Corp. E. D. Slater. There were three killed and nine wounded in the regiment.

There were three regiments of Rebels—the 31st, 40th and 54th Alabama. They ought to have killed and wounded at least 500 of us, but we scared them out of it. They shot too high all the time. Osterhaus also had a hard fight to-day, was successful in taking a line of rifle pits. Thomas drove them a mile.

SOURCE: Charles Wright Wills, Army Life of an Illinois Soldier, p. 261-2

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Diary of Captain Luman Harris Tenney: Thursday, March 2, 1865

Commenced to rain early. Our div. in advance. Massed just before reaching S. Reached our old camp at Waynesboro at 3 p. M. The Va. Brigade formed mounted. We formed dismounted. Went out where we could see the rebel line on a hill and in the woods, running almost around W. 2nd Ohio in advance as skirmishers. Forward was given and the 2nd went forward until it carried the woods and the hill, driving the Johnnies pell-mell. I was mounted and went in on the muscle, when the rebs gave way. Took a great many prisoners myself. Captured 1,300 prisoners, 10 guns and 150 wagons and 10 stands of colors. Advance charged through the gap and burned a heavy amount of supplies at Greenville. Gen. Early barely escaped capture. It is a wonder to me how the boys stood it so well. Gen. Custer gave us great credit. Camped just through the gap. Raining.

SOURCE: Frances Andrews Tenney, War Diary Of Luman Harris Tenney, p. 146

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Official Reports of the Campaign in North Alabama and Middle Tennessee, November 14, 1864 — January 23, 1865: No. 116. Report of Col. John Mehringer, Ninety-first Indiana Infantry, commanding Third Brigade, of operations December 15-16, 1864.


No. 116.

Report of Col. John Mehringer, Ninety-first Indiana Infantry, commanding
Third Brigade, of operations December 15-16, 1864.

HDQRS. THIRD BRIG., SECOND DIV., 23D ARMY CORPS, 
In the Field, near Columbia, Tenn., December 23, 1864.

SIR: I have the honor to most respectfully submit the following report of operations of Third Brigade, Second Division, Twenty-third Army Corps, during the action of which it took part in (15th and 16th of December, 1864):

December 15, 1864, at 7 a.m., left camp (north side of Fort Negley, Nashville, Tenn.), and following Second Brigade, Second Division, Twenty-third Army Corps, moved to the right through works on the Charlotte pike; formed line of battle in rear and advanced in support of Second Brigade. When near Hillsborough pike we moved to right and took position upon extreme right of Second Division, in front of Compton's Hill. Soon after crossing the Hillsborough pike the First and Second Brigades were advancing rapidly on the enemy, charging a hill in their front. I received orders to move by the right flank, which the brigade executed very promptly, forming line of battle in a piece of woods some 400 yards to the right of Second Brigade, under orders not to advance until support would arrive. Soon after and before I was supported the enemy advanced on my front and right flank, coming in short range owing to all elevated piece of ground in our immediate front. I at once advanced the brigade in line of battle to the crest of the hill, and ordered fire, which was very promptly executed, and the enemy repulsed, we losing 19 men and 3 officers. During the engagement the officers and men behaved most gallantly, and particularly I would mention the officers of the One hundred and eighty-third Ohio Volunteer Infantry, whose men have never had the opportunity to drill; also the shaft officers of my brigade behaved very gallantly. We barricaded and remained in position until 8 p.m., when we were ordered to move and take position on right of First Brigade, Second Division, Twenty-third Army Corps, where we built works and threw out skirmishers covering our front. December 16, 1864, still in same position, on right of First Brigade, and remain under fire of the enemy until 3 p.m., when a charge was made by part of Sixteenth Army Corps upon Compton's Hill, carrying the enemy's works, when we moved through the enemy's works and camped near Granny White pike for the night.

Below I have the honor to attach the list of casualties* which occurred in Third Brigade, Second Division, Twenty-third Army Corps, and also forward history of operations of regimental commanders in Third Brigade.

I have the honor to be, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN MEHRINGER,
 Colonel, Commanding Brigade.
Lieut. S.H. HUBBELL,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
_______________

* Nominal list (omitted) shows 1 officer and 1 man killed and 2 officers and 18 men wounded.

SOURCE: The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series I, Volume 45, Part 1 (Serial No. 93), p. 391-2

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Captain Charles Wright Wills: May 27, 1864

Near Dallas, Ga., May 27, 1864, 8 a. m.

There has been some very heavy fighting on our left this morning, and everywhere along the line. We have been moving in line since 6 o'clock, supporting skirmishers and the 3d Brigade. Have driven the Rebels about three-quarters of a mile. The 14th Corps must have had a severe fight about 6:30. The bullets have whistled pretty thick this a. m.

Skirmish line, 11 a. m. — Osterhaus and Smith (I think), have just had a big fight on our left. At 8:30 I was ordered to take Companies E, K, B and G, deploy them and relieve the 3d Brigade skirmishers. Deployed and moved forward over one-half mile through the very densest brush—couldn't see six feet, expecting every minute to find the 3d Brigade skirmishers, but they had been drawn in, and we were right into the Rebels before we saw them. Three of my company were wounded in an instant and three of K's taken prisoner, but our boys made the Rebels skedaddle, and all of them got away. Twenty-one Rebels came up in rear of Captain Smith and two of his men. Private Benson shot one of them, and Smith roared out for the rest to surrender, which they did. They (Rebels) said they would not have been taken if the Georgia brigade had not fallen back. I think that is doing pretty well for four companies of our regiment, running a whole brigade. Firing is very heavy all around us.

Twelve thirty m. — A chunk of Rebel shell lit 15 feet from me. Lively artillery firing right over head.

Four p. m.—At 2:15, after firing a few shells, the Rebels set up a yell along our whole front. I knew a charge was coming. At 2:30 another yell was much nearer. My men then commenced firing on them, but they came on yelling pretty well, but not as heartily as I have heard. They came jumping along through the brush more then, making the bullets rain among us. I think they could not fly much thicker. My men did nobly,but they were too many for us, and we had to fall back. I heard their officers halloo to them, “to yell and stand steady,” and they were right amongst us before we left. Our line of battle checked them and made them run. I lost A. Huffard — killed; Seth Williams — died in two hours; Wm. Gustine — severely wounded; E. Suydam — ditto; S. Hudson — ditto; H. Stearns — slight wound; J. H. Craig — ditto; F. Cary — ditto; W. Roberts — ditto; W. G. Dunblazier — captured.

Seven p. m. — I tell you this was exciting. My men all stood like heroes (save one), and some of them did not fall back when I wanted them to. The bush was so thick that we could hardly get through in any kind of line. Gustine and Suydam were about 20 feet on my left when they were shot, but I couldn't see them. The Rebels were not 15 feet from them. I had 31 men on the line, and nine killed and wounded, and one prisoner, is considerable of a loss. They took six more of Company K prisoners, but three of them got off. I don't think anyone can imagine how exciting such a fracas as that is in thick brush. As quick as our line started the Rebels running, I went back on the ground, and found a lot of dead and wounded Rebels. Every prisoner of the 20th Georgia had whiskey in his canteen, and all said they had all issued to them that they wanted. I never say such a dirty, greasy, set of mortals. They have had no rest since they left Dalton. On account of my skirmishers losing so heavily, we have been relieved from the line, and are now in rifle pits, and are supporting those who relieved us.

SOURCE: Charles Wright Wills, Army Life of an Illinois Soldier, p. 248-50

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Diary of Captain Luman Harris Tenney: December 22, 1864

Up at 4. Rain froze as it fell. Awfully cold. At 5:30 “To horse” sounded. Soon a yell went up near the 2nd Brig., then a few shots. We were ordered to mount immediately — did it. A line could be seen on a distant hill. A few men came up within a few rods of camp. We moved to the flank, came front into line, my Batt. 1st in advance. Threw out skirmishers. Firing commenced immediately and we advanced, firing. Rebs run. Captured two and killed two. The command proved to be Rosser's Div. which came in from the back road and from the flank. Charged the 2nd Brig. and drove it. Passed to the rear and captured several ambulance horses. Result was 30 men killed, wounded and missing on our side. 22 men captured from rebs and 10 killed. One of H Co. sabre cut, and one horse killed. Moved back and camped at Woodstock. 2nd on picket. Small force of the enemy followed. Skirmished till dark.

SOURCE: Frances Andrews Tenney, War Diary Of Luman Harris Tenney, p. 138

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Official Reports of the Campaign in North Alabama and Middle Tennessee, November 14, 1864 — January 23, 1865: No. 105. Report of Lieut. Col. John E. Cummins, Ninety-ninth Ohio Infantry, of operations December 15-16, 1864.

No. 105.

Report of Lieut. Col. John E. Cummins, Ninety-ninth Ohio Infantry, of operations December 15-16, 1864.

HDQRS. NINETY-NINTH REGIMENT OHIO VOL. INFTY.,
In the Field, December 22, 1864.

SIR: In obedience to orders from brigade headquarters I have the honor to make the following report of the part taken by the Ninety-ninth Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry in the engagement near Nashville, on the 15th and 16th instant:

The regiment moved with the brigade early on the morning of the 15th toward the enemy. Nothing of interest transpired until about the middle of the afternoon, when the regiment moved forward a considerable distance in line of battle, meeting with no enemy until in passing across an open field the enemy appeared on the left flank of the brigade behind a stone wall, and in our front on a high steep hill a small body of infantry with three pieces of artillery. As soon as the rebel battery opened, the men yelled and rushed forward without orders, charging up the hill on a run. The rebels were driven from their position and the artillery captured. The officers and men of this regiment contributed their fair share to the success of this movement. On the top of a hill beyond the one on which the artillery was captured the regiment went into position, with the Third Tennessee on the right and Twenty-fifth Michigan on the left, and remained until after night, when the regiment, by orders, moved to another position and spent the whole night in fortifying.

On the morning of the 16th we found the enemy intrenched on a hill in our immediate front, within rifle-range, and all day shots were being exchanged between the rebels and skirmishers from this regiment. The regiment was also exposed to shots from the enemy's main line of works, but sustained no loss. The regiment was not otherwise engaged during the day.

The following is the list of casualties in this regiment on the 25th instant.

The officers and men of the regiment conducted themselves well, but no opportunity was given for special acts of courage.

Respectfully submitted.
JOHN E. CUMMINS,                       
Lieut. Col., Comdg. Ninety-ninth Ohio Volunteer Infantry.
Capt. T. C. HONNELL,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
_______________

Nominal list (omitted) shows 7 men wounded.

SOURCE: The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series I, Volume 45, Part 1 (Serial No. 93), p. 375-6

Monday, August 13, 2018

Captain Charles Wright Wills: May 15, 1864

May 15, 1864, 1:30 a. m. At 11 p. m. went again on the skirmish line with Captain Post and superintended the construction of rifle pits for our skirmishers. A good deal of fun between our boys and the Rebels talking only 50 yards apart.

Five thirty a. m. — At 3 a. m. moved and are now supporting Osterhaus, who is going to charge the railroad. Will see fighting this morning.

Nine a. m. — The skirmishers are fighting briskly. Osterhaus' artillery is on both sides and behind us. Sherman has just passed us to the front. When we first came here about daylight the Rebels charged our folks on the hill ahead, but were repulsed without our assistance. McPherson is now passing. Osterhaus gained that hill last night by a charge, losing about 200 men in the operation. From a hill 50 yards from our position I can see the Rebel fort at Resaca and Rebels in abundance. It is not a mile distant.

One thirty p. m. — Our artillery is beginning to open on them. One man was killed and two wounded within 40 yards of the regiment by Rebel sharpshooters.

Seven p. m.—No charge yet to-day, but has been heavy fighting on the left. I have seen, this evening, Rebel trains moving in all directions. We have a good view of all their works.

SOURCE: Charles Wright Wills, Army Life of an Illinois Soldier, p. 241-2

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Official Reports of the Campaign in North Alabama and Middle Tennessee, November 14, 1864 — January 23, 1865: No. 102. Report of Col. Charles S. Parrish, One hundred and thirtieth Indiana Infantry, of operations December 15-16, 1864.

No. 102.

Report of Col. Charles S. Parrish, One hundred and thirtieth Indiana Infantry, of operations December 15-16, 1864.

HEADQUARTERS 130TH INDIANA INFANTRY VOLUNTEERS,    
Columbia, Tenn., December 22, 1864.

SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by my command during the operations of the 15th and 16th instant:

On the morning of the 15th I was ordered into line a few rods outside of the works surrounding Nashville, supported on the right by the Twenty-fifth Regiment Michigan Infantry, on the left by the Sixth Tennessee Infantry. After marching some four miles toward the Hardin pike and crossing the same, formed in line of battle and commenced moving down a steep hill toward the enemy's line; when near the foot of the hill the enemy were observed in the act of planting artillery on a hill directly in our front, which soon opened on the line of the First Brigade, when, without any definite orders for that purpose, the whole line commenced moving rapidly and with enthusiasm toward the rebel guns. Owing to the rapid and difficult marching during the morning the line was not kept very perfect, yet the crest of the hill was gained and the pieces — three in number — captured by the First Brigade and a small number of dismounted cavalry. During this affair the following enlisted men of my command were killed and wounded.*

I was then ordered forward to the next hill, and ordered to throw up works, which was done, and skirmishers thrown out At 10 p.m. was ordered to report with my command to Captain Milholland, and by him instructed to throw up another line of works fronting directly toward the south, supported on the left by the One hundred and twenty-ninth Regiment Indiana Infantry Volunteers Second Brigade, Second Division, and on the right by the One hundred and twenty-eighth Regiment Indiana Volunteers, [Third] Brigade, Third Division, Twenty-third Army Corps. I remained in this position within range of the enemy's guns until late in the afternoon of the 16th instant, when ordered to move; marched three miles in line of battle; crossed the Granny White pike, and camped on the farm of W. McCormack Lea, where we remained until the morning of the 17th of December.

All of which is respectfully submitted.

C. S. PARRISH,        
Colonel, Commanding 130th Indiana Volunteer Infantry.
 Capt. T. C. HONNELL.
_______________

* Nominal list (omitted) shows 1 man killed and 9 wounded.

SOURCE: The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series I, Volume 45, Part 1 (Serial No. 93), p. 372-3

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Captain Charles Wright Wills: May 14, 1864

May 14, 1864.

Reveille at 3 a. m. and an order has just come to leave all our knapsacks and move at 7 a. m. Great hospital preparations are going on in our rear. I think we are going to take the railroad and Resaca. Large reinforcements came last night. Could hear the Rebels running trains all night.

Ten-thirty a. m. — Have moved forward about four miles. Saw General Kilpatrick laying in an ambulance by the roadside. He was wounded in the leg this morning in a skirmish. Met a number of men — wounded — moving to the rear, and a dozen or so dead horses, all shot this morning. Quite lively skirmishing is going on now about 200 yards in front of us.

One forty-five p. m. — Moved about 200 yards to the front and brought on brisk firing.

Two thirty-five. — While moving by the flank shell commenced raining down on us very rapidly; half a dozen burst within 25 yards of us. The major's horse was shot and I think he was wounded. In the regiment one gun and one hat was struck in my company. Don't think the major is wounded very badly.

Three thirty p. m. — Corporal Slater of my company just caught a piece of shell the size of a walnut in his haversack.

Four p. m. — Colonel Dickerman has just rejoined the regiment. We would have given him three cheers if it had not been ordered otherwise.

Five p. m. — Have moved forward about a mile and a real battle is now going on in our front. Most of the artillery is farther to the right, and it fairly makes the ground tremble. Every breath smells very powderish. A battery has just opened close to the right of our regiment. I tell you this is interesting. Our regiment is not engaged yet, but we are in sight of the Rebels and their bullets whistle over our heads. The men are all in good spirits.

Eight p. m. — A few minutes after six I was ordered to deploy my company as skirmishers and relieve the 1st Brigade who were in our front. We shot with the Rebels until dark, and have just been relieved. One company of the 12th Indiana who occupied the ground we have just left, lost their captain and 30 men killed and wounded in sight of us. The Rebels are making the axes fly in our front. The skirmish lines are about 200 yards apart. I have had no men wounded to-day. Dorrance returned to the company this evening.

SOURCE: Charles Wright Wills, Army Life of an Illinois Soldier, p. 239-41

Friday, May 25, 2018

Diary of 2nd Lieutenant Luman Harris Tenney: Monday, August 22, 1864

Breakfast at a house near camp. Went over and saw Lt. Cole, a division Q. M. Went to the Ferry, drew forage for animals. 2nd Ohio was on picket last night, deployed as skirmishers, 2 miles west of Charlestown. At daylight attacked by the rebels. Capt. Denning, the brave man, and Henry Drake, the noble and true soldier, mortally wounded, poor men. All forces fell back. Went out with forage in P. M. I feel it almost a duty to return to some of the dangers of the officers of the line.

SOURCE: Frances Andrews Tenney, War Diary Of Luman Harris Tenney, p. 128

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Diary of 2nd Lieutenant Luman Harris Tenney: December 16, 1863

Long, Normaldorf and I went ahead and lay down by a fire. Went back early to command and took breakfast on popcorn, rather weak subsistence. Our brigade in rear. Remained two hours after command left. Rebels soon commenced work and we fell back and soon took positions. 7th O. V. C. in rear. Rebels came out, skirmishers dismounted and reserve mounted in line of battle. 7th fell back and the rebs charged. 2nd Ohio formed on a hill in time to check rebs. Howitzer fired several shots. Continued to fire back to two miles of cross roads and went into camp.

SOURCE: Frances Andrews Tenney, War Diary Of Luman Harris Tenney, p. 101

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Diary of 2nd Lieutenant Luman Harris Tenney: October 14, 1863

Up and breakfasted before sunrise. Skirmishing commenced before fairly on the road. 2nd called to the front, Co. C as skirmishers on left of the road in open field. Ordered to gain a piece. Deployed and advanced. When 10 rods from the woods, opened upon us. Boys dropped behind apple trees and fence and replied, waiting for skirmishers on the right. Bullets whistled close, when Battery on right opened a way to our rear and fired near us. Fell back behind the fence till they came up, then advanced into the woods. Could hear their train and sent word twice, but the right didn't advance soon enough. Had several good shots. Sergt. Bail wounded in the thigh. Good boy. Soon mounted and advanced within two miles of B. Dismounted and double-quicked two miles, to take a battery. Got out of the way. Spit blood. Played out. Camped four miles back. Rest was sweet.

SOURCE: Frances Andrews Tenney, War Diary Of Luman Harris Tenney, p. 93