War of the Rebellion: Serial 024 Page 0291 Chapter XXIX. CORINTH.

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Numbers 58.

Report of Colonel John V. Du Bois, First Missouri Light Artillery, commanding Third Brigade.


CAPTAIN: On Saturday, October 4, I took command of the Third Brigade. It then consisted of the Seventh, Fiftieth, and Fifty-seventh Illinois Volunteers, and only numbered 57 commissioned officers and 700 enlisted men.

After forming my command in column, supposing I was to act as a reserve, I received orders from General Davies to relieve General McArthur. I found him in line behind some logs, and occupied his position. My right rested near the Purdy road, my left behind General Rosecran's headquarters. Between my second and third regiments the Tenth Ohio Battery was posted.

Soon after occupying this position I sent the Seventh Illinois Volunteers forward in the woods as skirmishers, to support Burke's sharpshooters. When the columns of the enemy advanced these skirmishers were withdrawn and reoccupied their old position. From the firing I knew that my left was only slightly attacked. I therefore withdrew the Fifty-seventh Illinois from the left and with it close the gap across the Purdy road. Soon after this was accomplished the attack began in earnest.

My front was attacked by four regiments, formed with regimental front in column of attack. General Cabell commanded, and his brigade consisted of the Eighteenth, Nineteenth, Twentieth, and Twenty-first Arkansas. Against this force I had only two small regiments of less than 500 men together and one battery. The redoubt on my right was at the same moment gallantly assailed. The Fifty-seventh Illinois Volunteers had a flank fire on this column and no enemy in their front. Everything was going on well when some regiment to my right (supposed to be the Union Brigade) broke in confusion. The Fifty-seventh and Fiftieth Illinois gallantly maintained their old reputation. Rank after rank of the enemy were cut down, when the enemy, who had gained a position in our rear both on the right and the left, opened fire from the hill behind us. I tried to get the men in column but could not make myself heard, and all my aides and orderlies except one were wounded or had lost their horses. These two regiments then fell back in disorder. Colonel Babcock and Lieutenant-Colonel Rowett rallied the Seventh not 30 yards in rear of our old position and drove back the enemy in front, when again this fire from the rear was opened on us, and, to add to the confusion, Lieutenant Chapman, commanding Company B, Second Illinois Artillery, opened on us with his siege gun, killing and wounding several men and officers. For the second break I do not blame the men. All through the town we fought. By this time the regiments were in small squads, commanded by sergeants or lieutenants, Colonel Babcock and Lieutenant-Colonel Swarthout remaining with their colors. When the reaction came the men were easily brought back. They captured many prisoners, and are fairly entitled to the color picked up in front of their line.

Companies B, C, and E, of the Fifty-seventh Illinois Volunteers, captured 3 officers and 119 enlisted men. The major of this regiment is worthy of promotion. The Fiftieth Illinois Volunteers captured 2 com-