War of the Rebellion: Serial 021 Page 0068 W. FLA., S. ALA., S. MISS., LA., TEX., N. MEX. Chapter XXVII.

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the participacy of the Sixth Regiment Michigan Volunteer Infantry in the action before Baton Rouge on the morning of the 5th instant:

The camp of the regiment was at the junction of the Clay Cut and Jenkins' roads, on the extreme right of the line. A section of Brown's battery was in position on the former road a little in advance, and supported by Companies A, B, and F, under the command of the veteran Captain John Corden, of Company F, acting lieutenant-colonel. At the commencement of the action Companies I, H, G, and K, under my command, assisted by Acting Major Captain Bassett, were ordered by General Williams to go to the support of the Twenty-first Indiana, which was then in position in front of the Magnolia Cemetery. Soon after taking this position we were assailed by a furious fire of the enemy, who found cover under a fence a little in advance and to the right of the road leading by the south side of the cemetery. Their fire was briskly returned by the men under my command, an, as the boards of the fence offered but slight resistance to our rifle balls, the attacking party was severely punished and soon retired. I then received an order to support Nims' battery, which position I occupied during the remainder of the engagement. The part of the regiment left with Captain Corden repelled an attack of a far superior force, driving the enemy, taking 20 prisoners, 50 stand of arms, and one rebel flag of the Fourth Louisiana, and most nobly discharged the duty to which they had been assigned.

I particularly desire to notice the cool intrepidity and daring courage of Lieutenant Howell, of Company F, and Acting Adjutant Lieutenant A. J. Ralph, who by their gallant conduct aided greatly in infusing an unyielding spirit into the minds of the men.

Company C, Captain Spitzer, occupied a picket line in advance of the camp of my regiment, and first engaged the advance of the force sent against it. Owing to dense for prevailing at the time Captain Spitzer was unable to distinguish the enemy until they were close upon him. He, however, gave them a warm welcome, and, aided by his very efficient second lieutenant (Thompson), his first lieutenant being sick, held them well in check, and, when compelled to retreat, rallied handsomely on the main body. Company D, under command of Lieutenants Clarke and Ellis, was occupying outposts at the Perkins and Bernard plantations, and did not arrive in time to participate in the action, though they rallied on the main body by the route prescribed for them in the shortest possible time.

Captain Soule, with his company (I), was greatly exposed while doing duty as skirmishing party. The wounds of the brave captain and his second lieutenant (Fassett) and the list of the killed of his company fully attest their indomitable courage.

It is difficult to give especial praise where all behaved so well, though justice requires particular mention of the fearless conduct of Lieutenant Howell, of Company F, and Sergeant Thayer, of Company A, in their gallant defense of Brown's battery after being themselves wounded. You are referred to abstract marked A for a list of killed, wounded, and missing.*

Very respectfully,


Captain and Actg. Col. of the Sixth Regt. Mich. Vols.


Col. 30th Mass. Vols., Comdg. Rigth Wing Army, Baton Rouge, La.


*Embodied in revised statement, p. 51.