No. 32 Report of Col. Wells S. Jones, Fifty-third Ohio Infantry, of operations from May 16 to 30.
HDQRS. FIFTY-THIRD REGIMENTS OHIO VOLUNTEERS, Camp near Corinth, June 2, 1862.
GENERAL: I have the honor herewith to submit to you an account of the part taken by the Fifty-third Regiment Ohio Volunteers in the operations of the Third Brigade since may 16, 1862. At time we were encamped at Camp No. 6, and engaged in intrenching. It being considered that we were in danger of an attack from the rebels, during the most of our say there the men slept in line of battle. Our pickets were continually exchanging shots with those of the enemy.
May 17.-Companies G and K, on picket duty, were engaged in a sharp skirmish, driving the rebels across the run to our front and over the hill beyond, maintaining their position until ordered to retire. Their conduct on this occasion elicited commendation from the officer in command.
It may be well to state here that I have always cautioned our pickets never to fire for the mere purpose of killing those of the enemy, but only when ordered to advance or when attacked or to arrest a movement on the part of the rebels, so that we might always be able to judge of the nature of the movements from the firing.
May 19.-We were ordered out on picket with the brigade, and were stationed on the right of the main road leading across the run, sending a company to the right to guard the road there and two companies forward on the main road. We were relieved May 20, and on the 21st advanced to Camp No. 7, and during the afternoon and night threw up intrenchments.
Wednesday, May 28, we were ordered to advance with fixed bayonets. Our position was assigned on the right of the Forty-eighth Ohio Volunteers, acting as a reserve to the Seventh Ohio Volunteers, deployed as skirmishers, and the Seventy-second their support. We advanced rapidly through the woods, the skirmishers driving the enemy through and beyond the open field. By your order I halted in the ravine, the shot and shell from the rebel battery passing over us. One or two of our men were struck by spent musket-balls while here, but nor materially injured. Soon after we advanced to the hill, and during the night and day following up a breastwork. Friday morning we received orders from you to move forward, and immediately started for Corinth. Arriving in sight of the enemy's works, we soon found the rumors of evacuation confirmed, and advancing rapidly, followed on the road taken by a portion of the retreating rebels some distance south of Corinth. Here we were ordered to halt, and soon after returned to our present camp.
My acknowledgments are due to the officers and men of my command for the promptness and willingness they have always shown during the march from Shiloh to Corinth. With few exceptions they have done their whole duty.
We have suffered considerably in the last two or three camp from the scarcity and quality of the water.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, yours, &c.,
W. S. JONES,
Colonel, Commanding Fifty-third Regiment Ohio Vol. Infantry.
Brig. Gen. J. W. DENVER, Comdg. Third Brig., Fifth Div.