War of the Rebellion: Serial 024 Page 0644 Chapter XXIX. WEST TENN. AND NORTHERN MISS.

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Numbers 13.

Report of Colonel Lionel A. Sheldon, Fifty-second ohio Infantry, commanding First Brigade, of operations December 27-30, 1862.


December 31, 1862.

SIR: I beg leave to make to following report as to the operations of my brigade since the boats:

About 2 p. m. of the 27th instant two of my regiments, to wit, the Sixty-ninth Indiana and One hundred and twentieth Ohio (the One hundred and eighteenth illinois having been detached to guard the boats), moved from the point of debarkation in rear of Lindsey's brigade to the corn field on Mrs. Lake's plantation. At about 10 o'clock the next day I moved the Sixty-ninth to the white house and the One hundred and twentieth to the bayou about 1 miles below. About noon I was ordered to bring up the One hundred and twentieth and take position in rear of Lindsey. I immediately moved forward and came up with Lindsey a little advance of and to the right of the point where a section of Foster's battery was engaged with a battery of the enemy. There I remained some twenty minutes under a storm of shells, but received no injury.

Pursuant to orders I then moved the One hundred and twentieth across the bayou to the left of De Courcy's position to support the Forty-ninth Indiana; the Sixty-ninth I moved to a position on De Courcy's left, on the right of the bayou. The enemy at this point very soon opened on us with infantry, and I advanced two companies of the Sixty-ninth about 150 yards and returned the fire. In the skirmishing which then ensued the Sixty-ninth lost 1 killed and 2 wounded. In the mean time I was ordered to cross the bayou to take command of the Forty-ninth Indiana and One hundred and twentieth Ohio and make a vigorous demonstration on the left to attract attention while De Courcy would make a charge in front. I threw forward a line of skirmishers, presenting a concave front to the enemy works, over which he had his colors hoisted, and opened on him a brisk fire. Then I moved forward the Forty-ninth on the right of my position near to the line of skirmishers with its left well advanced and opened a splendid line of fire at pretty close distance. I did not intend to move forward the One hundred and twentieth until I had well established the Forty-ninth, but being separated from my staff before crossing the bayou I was compelled to give personal attention to everything, and Colonel French, of the One hundred and twentieth, having previously ordered by some one on General morgan's staff to advance on the left of the Forty-ninth, which fact I did not know, moved up unexpectedly to me and opened fire, which disconcerted me in my plans. In advancing amid obstacles in line of battle the One hundred and twentieth became crowded together in the center, and receiving a sharp fire from the enemy for the first time (it being a new regiment) some confusion occurred; but thought the aid of the faithful and well-directed efforts of Colonel French and Lieutenant-Colonel Spiegel order was soon restored and the regiment put into position. The contest was very sharp for about thirty minutes both regiment putting a well-directed fire into the enemy's entrenchments. His flag-staff was shot off and the advanced work cleared of its occupants. I continued to advance until reaching the edge of the bayou, when the enemy opened on us with shell and grape, to we could not reply with any effect. De