War of the Rebellion: Serial 003 Page 0333 Chapter X. ENGAGEMENT AT BELMONT, MO., ETC.

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The regiment was ordered to cross over the river at Columbus, Ky., at 9 o'clock on the morning of the 7th of November, 1861, and on its arrival on the Missouri shore was ordered into line of battle by Brigadier-General Pillow. The regiment took its position on the extreme right, its left resting on Colonel Tappan's Arkansas regiment. We remained in this position for nearly an hour, when the enemy attacked us in strong force. Colonel Russell (then commanding the brigade) gave us the order to charge, which was promptly obeyed, and we drove them back 30 or 40 yards. Finding that our new position was not a good one we fell back to our original position, which we held for three or four hours afterwards. During the time that we held this point my men got out of ammunition. I had sent for some twice, but the only kind that I got was them minie cartridge, a cartridge too small for the muskets used by my men. When the minie cartridges gave out we had to retreat to the bank of the river, where we obtained a full supply of the musket cartridge. We again formed line and attacked the enemy, when he commenced to retreat to his gunboats.

Having made my report immediately after the engagement, and not having a copy of the same, I am unable to give you a full report.*

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


Colonel Twelfth Tennessee Regiment.

Major-General POLK.

Numbers 20. Report of Colonel John V. Wright, Thirteenth Tennessee Infantry.


Columbus, Ky., November 8, 1861.

On yesterday morning at 9 o'clock, in obedience to orders, I caused my regiment to be formed, and marched rapidly to a position in front of headquarters of Brigadier-General Pillow. From thence I was ordered on board the steamer Prince, and conveyed across the river to the Missouri shore, where I was met by General Pillow, who ordered me to form my line as rapidly as possible on the extreme left and immediately to the left of Watson's Battery of artillery. This last order was promptly obeyed by marching the regiment to the distance of three-quarters of a mile to a position where we found the battery already posted. I was ordered by General Pillow in person to detach from my command a company to be sent to the left, and posted on a road leading down the river. I accordingly, through Lieutenant-Colonel Vaughan, detached Company A, under the command of Lieutenant Matt. Rhea, for that purpose. I was then ordered by General Pillow to hold my position, and if the firing on the right (which had already commenced) should continue for any considerable time to move my regiment up to the right. My regiment was posted on an open field near the edge of the woods, and on ground considerably elevated. It was about 10 o'clock in the morning when I took my position on the field, and had been there but a short time until was actively engaged by the enemy, who were posted behind the woods in my front. Though only about 80 yards, in front of me, the obstructions were so numerous that the enemy could not be seen. My men returned the fire almost immedi-


*Not found.