War of the Rebellion: Serial 024 Page 0296 WEST TENN. AND NORTHERN MISS. Chapter XXIX.

Search Civil War Official Records

Numbers 61.

Report of Lieutenant Colonel Frederick J. Hurlbut, Fifty-seventh Illinois Infantry.

I received orders to form at 4.20 a. m. At 4.40 o'clock the men were formed on the color-line, ready for marching orders. About 5.30 o'clock orders came for the regiment to move, which was promptly done. Adjutant reported 310 men when in line. Being the first in line, we moved to Corinth at the head of the head of the brigade. On arriving at Corinth our position was changed to the left of the brigade. Marching on to the battle ground we were moved from the road west in company with the Seventh Illinois to the railroad west, took up a position on the brow of a hill, left resting on railroad, and right connected with a regiment already formed on the brow of hill (think Fifteenth Michigan). As soon as the line was formed sent out Company G and Company K, with instructions to Company G to feel of the position and report. Captain soon reported the rebels formed in line of battle in advance. Moving to front, skirmishers were ordered to hold their position as long as possible. Fire soon reformed in line, reporting that the column was moving to the right. We were supported on left, across railroad, by the Twenty-first Missouri, who, being attacked, fell back. I then ordered the left wing, which had an oblique front in that direction, to open fire, which was promptly done. The regiment on our left again rallied, when heavy firing opened on our front and right. Men were ordered down and to hold their fire until the enemy appeared. Soon appearing on the right of the column under cover of a hill, so that I could not use my men advantageously, the left was ordered to flank fire on enemy approaching west of railroad, right to open fire oblique to right. Firing soon became heavier on right of column, the regiment on right falling back, and the regiment having retired, we were receiving flank fire front the enemy from the left. The regiment still retaining its first position, the right of the line soon gave way, seeing the artillery a safe distance to the rear and no support on our right from infantry. The enemy appearing and moving upon our right by column by regiment I ordered men to the rear, fearing being outflanked on the right, the support on the left having already fallen back.

General McArthur being on the ground I reported to him immediately as to reforming the line and position to be taken up. While forming line, Colonel Baldwin changing the rallying point to the rear, I rallied the regiment, distributed ammunition, and sent an officer to bring in any stragglers which might be missing. We were ordered to move to east by left flank, and formed on left of Seventeenth Wisconsin, who had already taken up position facing northeast. We soon formed on their left, being supported on left by Seventh and Fiftieth Illinois. General McArthur being on the ground and the ranking officer, I reported to him and took instructions. His orders were to throw out skirmishers, draw their fire, and hold their position as long as possible; when driven in, to open fire with artillery and at his command to charge the enemy, which was done, driving the enemy at his command about half a mile, through the camp of the Twenty-first Missouri.

The enemy being re-enforced by the Third Brigade,which had met us in the forepart of the day's engagement, we were obliged to fall back previous to the charge being made, and while the line was being