War of the Rebellion: Serial 024 Page 0061 Chapter XXIX. RECONNAISSANCE, ETC.

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SEPTEMBER 16, 1862.-Reconnaissance from Bursnville toward Iuka, Miss., and skirmish.*

Report of Captain Alexander W. Dees, Third Battery, Michigan Light Artillery.


September 22, 1862.

SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report in regard to the part my battery took in the reconnaissance toward Iuka, Miss., under command of Colonel Mower, commanding Second Brigade, Second Division, Army of the Mississippi, on September 16, 1862:

The force, consisting of three regiments of infantry, two companies of Sharpshooters, several companies of cavalry, and my battery, left Burnsville early in the forenoon. About 6 miles from Iuka the command was met by the enemy's pickets, which were driven in, and the force advanced. Continued reports of musketry were heard to within 2 miles of Iuka, where a line of battle was formed on a hill, commanding the ground for about a mile. In accordance with Colonel Mower's order I placed two of my guns (one 10-pounder parrot and one 12-pounder howitzer) on the brow of the hill, throwing shell to the right, left, and front, where heavy clouds of dust, moving toward Iuka, led me to suppose the enemy to be. The other two guns of the battery were soon after brought in position, and the firing continued for about fifteen minutes. The force now advanced through the open field below the hill, reaching the wood ont he other side, turned to the right; whereupon our infantry and cavalry advancing opened fire on the enemy. The firing was brisk on both sides for a short time, when the colonel commanding, finding the enemy's intentions to flank us on the right, ordered a retreat, which was done in good order. I covered the retreat. The narrow road did not allow me to deploy more than one gun (the howitzer, leaded with canister, and moving by a fixed prolonge). After reaching the above-named hill we again halted, and I was ordered to place the howitzer and one Parrot guns in position on the hill and reopen fire. I again shelled in several directions for a short time, and, everything quiet, I was ordered to cease firing, and Colonel Mower threw out the Sharpshooters as skirmishers in the field below the hill. Opposite our position, on the end of the open field, a distance of about a mile, was a wood. On the advance of our skirmishers the enemy opened a brisk fire form the edge of this wood, whereupon I reopened fire from my 10-pounder Parrot gun, shelling the enemy with such good result that they very soon retreated from the wood, and being ordered to case firing, against the whole force advanced in line of battle. The skirmishers on both sides continued firing for a short time, when, night approaching, the darkness prevented us continuing the fight. It was concluded we should encamp on the battle ground for the fight. It was concluded we should encamp ont eh battle ground for the night; but a deserter coming in from the enemy informed the colonel commanding that General Price was in Iuka with at least 12,000 men, and that he intended to send out a force to flank us during the night; whereupon the colonel commanding ordered the whole command back to Bursnville, which place we reached about 11 p. m.

No casualties whatever occurred in the battery during the fifth. It


*See also Maury's report of battle of Iuka.