War of the Rebellion: Serial 010 Page 0164 KY., TENN., N. MISS., N. ALA., AND SW. VA. Chapter XXII.

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Numbers 29. Report of Captain Robert W. Healy, Fifty-eighth Illinois Infantry.


SIR: On the morning of the 6th of April, 1862, this regiment, under command of. Colonel William F. Lynch, and forming a part of the Third Brigade, Colonel T. W. Sweeny commanding, marched from their camping grounds, numbering 613 men, rank and file. They took position on the main road leading from the Landing, and upon the left of Major-General Wallace's division (supposed). Immediately on reaching their position a battery-supposed to be a Missouri battery, and which this regiment and others were to support-gave way, and retreated under a terrific fire of the enemy, leaving one gun upon the open field. A portion of this regiment, together with a portion of the Seventh Regiment Illinois Volunteers, were ordered to take the gun, which was done under the same heavy fire. The fire of the enemy in that direction then ceased, and for some forty or sixty minutes no sign of them in that direction could be seen.

The Seventh Regiment Illinois Volunteers and this regiment, under orders, then formed a line of battle upon the same open field, facing to the left, from which direction an advance of the enemy could be plainly seen in hot engagement with the Federal forces upon our then front and right. At that time the enemy again appeared in large numbers in the woods across the open field to our right and rear. This regiment, together with the Seventh Illinois Regiment, then changed direction to meet this advance, and were ordered to take possession of a log house and certain cotton bales in the left center of said field. This they did under a galling cross-fire of two field batteries and heavy infantry fire of several regiments of the enemy advancing on our front towards the long house. We held our position some ten or fifteen minutes at and near the log house and cotton bales. At that time the Seventh Regiment Illinois Volunteers fell back to the right and rear, and during the contest upon the open field and the gradual giving way of this regiment a far superior numerical force of the enemy, it was discovered that our force was flanked upon the left and rear, and that a large force of the enemy's infantry and cavalry was closing in upon our right and rear. Colonel Lynch arose in his saddle and gave the order to " cut their way through." At that moment, and amid a most deadly fire of the enemy upon our right and rear, with an advancing enemy upon our front, our line in confusion, a white flag was seen in a regiment upon our left rear, together with one in a regiment upon our rear, apparently being driven toward us. Then a white flag was seen upon the extreme right of our line, which our colonel seeing rode up and with his sword struck it to the ground.* This regiment, with several others, were prisoners in the hands of the rebels.

Original number........................................613

Known to be killed and buried on field Monday morning:

Commissioned officers.....................................2





* Something here omitted in the original report.