some of whole have never of service to the Government and seem to think more of their own comfort than the good of their men and the cause for which they entered the field, I would most earnestly recommend that measures be taken to supply their places with those who are present, attentive to duties, and fear not to meet the enemy.
Most respectfully, your obedient servant,
F. S. RUTHERFORD,
Colonel, Commanding Ninety-seventh Regiment Illinois Volunteers.
Colonel W. J. LANDRAM,
Commanding 3rd Brigadier, 1st Div., Right Wing, Army of the Tenn.
Report of Colonel Giles A. Smith, Eighth Missouri Infantry, commanding First Brigade, Second Division, of assault on Chickasaw Bluffs.
HEADQUARTERS FIRST BRIGADE, SECOND DIVISION,
RIGHT WING, THIRTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
January 5, 1863.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to submit a report of the part taken by the First Brigade, Second Division, right wing, Thirteenth Army Corps, in the engagement of December 29, at the bayou near Vicksburg, Miss.:
Early in the Morning of Monday, December 29, I was ordered by Brigadier General A. J. Smith to have the First Brigade in readiness to cross the bayou and gain the hills on the opposite side. Having on the day previous, in company with Lieutenant-Colonel Blood, commanding Sixth Missouri Volunteers, personally reconnoitered the crossing,, I found, with the exception of some fallen timber close down to the bank, a comparatively dry and unobstructed crossing until the opposite bank was gained, which was found to be from 20 to 25 feet high and very steep.
Behind this bank, or levee as it proved to be, were the enemy so securely posted that their existence there in force was not known until the crossing commanded. Behind were guns planted to rake the pass, which was from 60 to 80 yards in length and only wide enough for a regiment to march by the flank.
The Thirteenth U. S. Infantry, Major Chase commanding, and one regiment (the Fifty-seventh Ohio) from General Stuart's brigade were deployed close down to the bank as sharpshooters, under cover of whose fire the crossing was to be made. One company of the Sixth Missouri, with a working party of 20 men, were ordered to cross and try to construct a road up the bank. Company F, Captain Boutell commanding, volunteered for this purpose. Captain Buck, of Company K, also volunteered to take charge of the working party.
As soon as this was effected the Sixth Missouri, Lieutenant-Colonel Blood commanding was to cross. When they gained the opposite bank the Eighth Missouri, Lieutenant-Colonel Coleman commanding, was to follow; then the One hundred and sixteenth Illinois, Colonel Tupper commanding; after which the Thirteenth U. S. Infantry. Sat the signal for crossing, which was heavy firing from General Morgan's division (which was to cross at the same time about three-quarters of a mile to our left), Company F, with the working party, crossed, but found the only effective service they could render was to dig through the bank,