taken by the Twenty-first Indiana Volunteers on August 5, 1862, in the battle of Baton Rouge, I have the honor to report:
That at about 2 o'clock in the morning a party of scouts of the enemy, mounted, supposed to be 20 in number, made their appearance at picket post No. 5, held by Company I, Captain R. Campbell, Twenty-first Indiana Volunteers, on the Greenwell Springs road, about 1 mile in advance of the camp of the Twenty-first Indiana Regiment. Captain Campbell had also as support and to act as messengers two men of Magee's cavalry. By order of Captain Campbell they went went forward to ascertain the force present. In a few minutes they returned, reporting that by a sudden dash into their number they had succeeded in scattering all but one, whom they took prisoner. Company F, Captain F. W. Noblet, was detailed to go to the support of captain Campbell early in the night. At about 3 o'clock in the morning the enemy's advance guard reached this station, when the first firing want done, the rebels retreating. Soon after a large force appeared, when Captain Campbell dispatched a messenger to the headquarters of the regiment to inform Lieutenant-Colonel Keith of the certainty of an attack. Brisk firing began by the enemy at about 4 o'clock, which was returned with spirit by the two companies named, who retired in the order of skirmishers, deployed on both sides of the road. Colonel Keith immediately sent out Company A, Charles D. Seely, first Lieutenant, in command as an advance guard, to feel for the enemy, while our regiment, composed of
, was forming. As the gray of the morning approached we marched down the Greenwell Springs road some 600 yards we found an open space to our right, and hearing firing in that direction we moved out under cover of some undergrowth and formed in line of battle. Company c, under command of First Lieutenant William Baugh, was sent to the right to ascertain the position of the left wing of the enemy. Justs then Company A, Lieutenant Seely, was opened upon by a desperate fire from a whole regiment in ambush, when he rallied upon the battalion. Immediately after the whole left wing of the enemy delivered a most destructive fire upon our right, killing instantly Charles D. Seely, first lieutenant Company A; Orderly Sergt. J. A. Bovington, Company A; Corpl. Isaac Knigh, Company A; H. T. Bachelor, Company A. Also killing 3 of the skirmishers deployed by Company c; wounding Major Hays badly in the foot. We returned their fire with deadly effect, which parted center and threw large forces upon our flanks. At this time, some distance to our left, a regiment of the enemy had advanced to a point beyond our rear, and fearing a flank movement on their part, and desiring to draw out the forces in our front from cover, we retired back some few hundred yards, where we made a stand to await their approach.
We succeeded in our last design, though did not move upon our front, but took a corn field to our left, which is immediately back of the cemetery, east of our camp. We immediately changed our position to the front of the cemetery, where we took position, and in a few minutes, through the slight picket fence on the front of the cemetery, we saw them coming. At the sight of us they opened a heavy fire, but with little effect, for we laid flat down upon the ground. We returned their compliments with the most terrible slaughter to them, and here the general fight began. The contest at this point was a hot one, and they fought with not only bravery but perfect desperation. Finally, however, they gave way, and reformed off to our left. When their last movement was discovered our regiment was broken into column