War of the Rebellion: Serial 021 Page 0065 Chapter XXVII. VICKSBURG, MISS., AND BATON ROUGE, LA.

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teenth Maine and one company of the Twenty-first Indiana, Captain Noblet. At this time I took command of the rear section, and having arrived on this line opened fire with these two guns, the narrow road permitting the use of no more of the battery. Here Lieutenant Allyn, after having two horses shot under him and being twice slightly wounded by my side and suffering from sickness, reluctantly quitted the field. The fight now raged furiously, the enemy pouring on us volleys of musketry, which we returned with shell and canister. Three cannoneers were shot dead and 3 more wounded at these guns, leaving only the two sergeants to work them, and had it not been for the bravery of these two sergeants and the gallant conduct of some of Captain Noblet's company, who in answer to my appeal came forward and acted artillerymen, it is probable that the left flank of our whole line would have been turned. I now dispatched Lieutenant Bruce, with the right and center sections, to a road on our right parallel with the one on which we then were, with instructions to keep the enemy in check on that part of the line.

After a rapid consultation with Captain Noblet I limbered to the rear and moved slowly back with our little band of supporting infantry, at the same time sending orders to Lieutenant Bruce to fall back on line with me. This movement was executed with great order by all concerned, though in the course of it three of my men were wounded (two of them fatally) and four out of eight horses were shot, rendering it necessary to rearrange the teams. We now fell back to the first rise of ground, and here maintained our position till our whole line fell back into a much better position than that first occupied. The enemy showed no further inclination to come within range of our canister, and during the remainder of the day our shell alone were used.

A ride over the field this morning shows the execution done by the handful of men who composed the Sixth Massachusetts Battery. The rebel dead lie thick in front of every position we took, and our own dead and wounded, our broken and disorganized teams, our shattered limbers and shot-pierced carriages bear witness to the accuracy of the enemy's fire.*

In the afternoon our whole battery was in line along the front, which threw four pieces into the left wing. The care of these pieces was intrusted to Lieutenant Bruce, while I retained the section of rifled guns under my command in the right wing. Up to the present time we remain in that position.

I desire to make mention of the following names for especial bravery, gallantry, and good conduct: Second Lieutenant Frank Bruce; Orderly Sergeant Baker; Sergeant Watcher; Corporal Wood, and Private George Andrews. Corporal and Acting Quartermaster-Sergeant Hinneman was faithful in the discharge of the duties of his department, removing the dead and wounded and bringing rations and water to our exhausted men.

I desire to express my appreciation of the service rendered by those men of the Twenty-first Indiana who so bravely took the places of my fallen met at our guns.

I am, sir, with the greatest respect, your obedient servant,


First Lieutenant, Comdg. Sixth Massachusetts Battery.

Acting Assistant Adjutant-General DIMON,

Right Wing Second Brigade.


*Nominal list of casualties omitted; embodied in revised statement, p. 51.