HDQRS. 3rd DIV., RIGHT WING, 13TH ARMY CORPS,
Steamer Empress, January 3, 1863.
SIR: On the 1st instant, while pressed by many ardous duties, I was requested to report to the commanding general the operations of my division during the affair of the 27th, the action of the 28th, and the battle of the 29th ultimo. I had not received the reports of subordinate commanders not had I time to review the report I had the honor to submit. Herewith I have the honor to forward those reports, connected with which I will submit a few remarks.
Brigadier-General Blair speaks of having discovered while on his retreat from the enemy's works a board and easy road running from the left of my position to the enemy's lines. The road is neither board nor easy, and was advanced over by De Courcy when leading his brigade to the charge. The road General Blair speaks of is the one running from Lake's Landing and intersecting with the Vicksburg road on the Chickasaw Bluff. Its existence was known to me on the 28th ultimo, but it was left open intentionally by the enemy, and was commanded by a direct and cross-fire from batteries and rifle-pits. The withdrawal of his brigade from the assault by Colonel De Courcy was justified by the failure of the corps of A. J. Smith and the command of Colonel Lindsey to advance simultaneously to the assault. Both had the same difficulties to encounter-impassable bayous. The enemy's line of battle was concave, and De Courcy advanced against his center; hence he sustained a concentric fire; and the withdrawal of Steele from the front of eh enemy's right, on the 28th ultimo, enabled the enemy on the following day to concentrate his right upon his center.
I regret to find from the report of Brigadier-General Thayer some one regiment skulked. This I did not observe, nor is it mentioned by General Blair, thought his were the troops which occupied that portion on the field. As far as my observation extended the troops bore themselves nobly; but the Sixteenth Ohio Infantry was peerless on the field, as it ever has been in the camp or on the march. Lieutenant-Colonel Kershner, commanding was wounded and taken prisoner. He is an officer of rare merit and deserves to command a brigade. Lieutenant-Colonel Dister, commanding the Fifty-eighth Ohio, was killed within the enemy's with, and Lieutenant-Colonel Monroe, Twenty-second Kentucky, was struck down at the heard of his regiment.
I again express my profound acknowledgments to Brigadier-Generals Blair and Thaver, and Colonels De Courcy, Lindsey, and Sheldon, brigade commanding; also to Major General M. C. Garber, assistant quartermaster; Capt S. S. Lyon, acting topographical engineer; Lieutenant Burdick, acting ordnance officer; Lieutenant Burdick, acting ordnance officer; Lieutenant Hutchins, acting commissary of subsistence; Lieuts. H. G. Fisher and Smith, of the Signal Corps; Lieutenant E. D. Saunders, my acting assistant adjutant-general, and Lieutenants rendered me. Nor can I close this report without speaking in terms of high praise of eh meritorious and gallant service of Captains Foster and Lanphere. Their batteries silenced several of the enemy's works and throughout the operations rendered good service. My sincere acknowledgments are also due to Captain Griffiths, commanding First Iowa Battery, and Captain Hoffmann, commanding Fourth Ohio Battery.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
GEORGE W. MORGAN,
Brigadier-General of Volunteers.
Major J. H. HAMMOND, Chief of Staff.