War of the Rebellion: Serial 008 Page 0101 Chapter XVIII. NEW MADRID, MO., AND ISLAND Numbers 10, ETC.

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Numbers 10. Report of Colonel John W. Sprague, Sixty-third Ohio Infantry.

HEADQUARTERS SIXTY-THIRD REGIMENT O. V. I., Camp near New Madrid, Mo., March 14, 1862.

SIR: I have the honor to report that the Sixty-third Regiment O. V. I., under my command, in obedience to your order, left camp about 3 o'clock Thursday morning, the 13th instant, and marched about 3 miles to a point, say, southwest of the town of New Madrid, and distant about 1 mile, and was there deployed in line of battle along the road, by your order, as a part of the support of a battery planted by our troops, say, one hundred rods in advance of our line.

Almost immediately after taking this position the guns of our batteries opened fire upon the fort and gunboats of the enemy, to which they replied with shot and shell. As soon as the enemy's gunboats got into their chosen positions it was found that the position of the regiment under my command was exposed to the cross-fire of at least one gunboat and the lower or principal fort of the enemy. By your order I moved my regiment forward about 25 rods in line of battle and halted along the base of a very slight elevation. While this new position did not remove my command from exposure to the cross-fire before mentioned, the elevation before mentioned afforded a partial protection. During the forenoon a few shovels were procured, and in a few hours a afforded increased protection. The fire of the enemy continued during the entire day, with occasional intermissions. At night the fire of the enemy ceased, but about midnight we were visited by a terrific storm of rain, accompanied by thunder and lightning. Our little trench immediately filled with water and all were soaked by the falling rain.

At daylight next morning we were relieved, having occupied the position over twenty-four hours, exposed to a galling fire and the inclemency of the weather.

I have no casualties to report. One man, Private Thomas King, of Company H, Captain Jackson, was sent to the rear, and was afterward seen a short distance from the regiment on his way to rejoin his company, but did not do so; he is still missing.

In conclusion, I beg leave to say that every officer and man under my command behaved with coolness and courage; not a word of complaint was made of hardship or fatigue.

Every order given by me was promptly obeyed and executed, notwithstanding the harassing fire of the enemy.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Colonel Sixty-third Regiment O. V. I.

Colonel J. L. CARBO SMITH,

Commanding Second Brigadier, First Div., Army of the Mississippi.

Numbers 11. Report of Brigadier General Schuyler Hamilton, U. S. Army, commanding Second Division.


SIR: I have to report that February 27, 1862, at Commerce, Mo., I received orders to organize the First Division of this army. The First