No. 33 Report of Col. Joseph R. Cockerill, Seventieth Ohio Infantry, of operations from May 15 to 30.
GENERAL: I desire to submit a report of the operations of the Seventieth Regiment Ohio Volunteers since you assumed command, on the 15th of May, at Camp No. 6. We completed an excellent work at this camp, and the men performed their duties with courage and alacrity. On the 17th ultimo General Sherman, with a large part of the division, attacked the enemy's outpost at Russell's, and after a sharp skirmish drove them off, and held this important position. This regiment was not in this fight, as we were ordered to remain and man the works. On Monday, the Seventieth, Forty-eighth, and Fifty-third performed the division advance guard and picket duty. These troops were under my immediate command,and visited from time to time by yourself. All the troops and pickets, though in the direct front of the enemy, and firing almost incessantly, behaved finely, and deserve great credit for their coolness and bravery.
On the 21st ultimo the above division was moved to the front, and occupied Camp No. 7, at Russell's, the enemy's pickets being driven back. We stood to arms nearly the entire day, sending strong working parties to assist in placing the guns in position. Late in the afternoon all hands went to work, and quickly there arose a splendid line of field works, and at 10 o'clock the men were completely in trenched. During the time we remained in this camp we were several times called to arms, and my regiment always responded with alacrity, and all the companies sent on picket duty performed their parts admirably.
On the morning of the 28th ultimo the Second and Third Brigades of the division were ordered forward, and in your brigade my regiments was placed in advance. We formed line of battle about
three-quarters of a mile from our camp, in the edge of the wood, an open field and house in front and another wood and ridge beyond. This wood was filled with a large force of the enemy, who kept up an incessant fire. Our artillery poured several shots into the wood and somewhat silenced the fire of the enemy. The Seventieth now advanced. Companies A, F, and B were thrown forward 100 yards as skirmishers, under the superintendence of the major, who took them across the field and double-quick, and with loud hurrahs into the wood on the ridge, and drove the enemy into the fields and wood toward his intrenchments. Immediately in rear of this advance guard came the Seventieth Regiment, at quick-time, and all skirmishing companies and the entire regiment swept across the field in fine style, and manifested great bravery and undaunted resolution. We formed in line of battle, and while in this position had 1 man wounded. We stood to arms during the day, exposed to ball and bullet occasionally, as the enemy opened fire upon us. During the night all hands went to work, and in the morning a most formidable field work covered our front. Our men labored with good will and have become proficient in the building of field works. Much firing was kept up in front on the 29th, and on the 30th we learned that the enemy had fled, and then came the order, "All hands to Corinth." We marched about half a mile south of the town, and after remaining several hours returned to camp.