No. 11. Report of Colonel Jacob G. Lauman, Seventh Iowa Infantry.
HEADQUARTERS SEVENTH IOWA VOLUNTEERS, Bird's Point, Mo., November 10, 1861.
GENERAL: I herewith hand you the report of the movements of my regiment, with the official list of killed and wounded, at the battle of Belmont, as follows:
On the 5th instant I received your order to hold my regiment in readiness to march at 4 p.m. on the following day, with 24 hours' rations in haversacks. It was dark, however, before we embarked on the steamer Montgomery, and we soon after got under way. We proceeded but a short distance down the river when we tied up for the night.
Early on the morning of the 7th proceeded on our way, and soon after landed on the west bank of the Mississippi, about 3 miles above Belmont, which is opposite Columbus, Ky. We immediately formed in line in the corn field on the bank of the river about 8.30 o'clock, and were soon after ordered by you to form on the left of McClernand's brigade, which had already crossed the field. At this time I was joined by Colonel Dougherty, with the Twenty-second Illinois. We remained in this position until Taylor's battery had disembarked and taken their position, when we received orders to march, which we did in the following order: The First Brigade, consisting of three regiments of infantry and Taylor's battery; then followed the Second Brigade, consisting of eight companies of my regiment and seven companies of the Twenty-second Illinois, Colonel Dougherty in command of the brigade; two companies of my regiment and three companies of Colonel Dougherty's having previously been detached to guard the boats, and the cavalry were sent in advance scouting. In this order we marched a mile or so, when we formed in line of battle in front of a corn field, the battery taking position in the field.
We remained in this position but a short time, when we advanced in line of battle across a dry slough and immediately in front of heavy timber. Here I received orders to throw forward two companies as skirmishers, which I complied with by sending Company A, commanded by Lieutenant De Heus, and Company F, Captain Kittredge, from my right wing. I soon after sent forward Company B, Captain Gardner, from my left wing. These companies were not long in engaging the rebels, whom they found in force in front and to the left of our position, and the heavy and continued firing convinced me that we now had work to do. I therefore dispatched Lieutenant-Colonel Wentz to ascertain the force of the enemy and their exact position, but before he had time to return I received, through your aide, Rawlins, an order to advance to their support, which I did, bringing my men under fire at double-quick time. From this until about 11 o'clock we fought the rebels slowly but steadily, driving them before us at every volley.
Our advance at this point was slow, in consequence of the obstructions in our way, caused by felling timber and underbrush, but we crept under and over it, at times lying down to let the fire of the artillery and musketry pass over us, and then up and onward again until we arrived at the field to the left of the rebels' camp. There we were joined by our skirmishers, and succeeded, after a severe struggle, in driving back the enemy and forming our lines immediately. We poured volley after volley on the retiring foe across the field in our front and the battery which was stationed at the head of the encampment on our right. Our fire