War of the Rebellion: Serial 024 Page 0656 WEST TENN. AND NORTHERN MISS. Chapter XXIX.

Search Civil War Official Records

detached from my command by the order of the day for the 29th and placed under the immediate command of General Morgan, in the center.

The regiments under my command were drawn up in two lines of battle, about 150 feet apart, the Thirteenth Illinois holding the right front and the Fifty-eighth Ohio in the rear. The Thirty-first Missouri occupied the left front, with the Twenty-ninth in rear. The right company of the Twenty-ninth Missouri and the left company of the fifty-eighth Ohio formed the rear guard. When the signal of attack was given the brigade rushed with impetuosity to the attack and pressed over every obstacle and through a storm of shell and rifle-bullets, and carried the first and second ranges of rifle-pits with an irresistible charge.

At this point I observed the rapidly-thinning ranks of that portion of my brigade which made the assault under my command, and turned nd saw the column from the center of General Morgan coming up over the first range of rifle-pits. Encouraged by this support my gallant troops pushed still farther and to within a short distance of the enemy's last intrenchments. Some reached the foot of these formidable works only to pour out their live sat their base, and among them I must not omit to mention the brave Lieutenant-Colonel Dister, of the Fifty-eighth Ohio, who is said to have fallen dead upon their breastworks. This gallant officer was conspicuous for his efforts to urge forward and encourage his men through the entire charge. Colonel Fletcher, of the Thirty-first Missouri, it is ascertained, was so badly wounded that he fell into the hands of the enemy. It is useless to apply words to eulogize the heroism of those who thus shed their blood for their country.

Major Jaensch, of the Thirty-first,w as also killed int he assault, and Lieutenant-Colonel Simpson, of the same regiment, whose report* of the transaction is herewith transmitted, has omitted (from motives of modesty, which only add to the luster of his courage) to allude to a slight wound received in his head. Colonel Cavender, of the Twenty-ninth Missouri, proved himself worthy of the soldier's reputation gained by the scars of Wilson's Creek and Shiloh, and retired from the bloody field only when further efforts were unavailing. Lieutenant-Colonel Gorgas, of the Thirteenth Illinois, displayed admirable coolness and courage, and showed himself well worthy to lead the regiment of the lamented Wyman, who fell ont he day previous. It is impossible for me to allude to other instances of individual courage.

The list of casualties in the regiments under my command, embracing nearly one-third of the number who went into the field, attests the courage and obstinacy with which they struggled for victory, and which natural obstacles alone placed beyond our grasp.

I only feel it necessary to state that in retiring from the field I passed out of the enemy's works at a point opposite to the left of General Morgan's center, and found the banks on which the rifle-pits of the enemy were situated were approached by a broad and easy road, and that the bayou was bridged precisely at this pint, and from thence out to the position of General Morgan was a broad and unobstructed road. It was unfortunate that our reconnaissance had not disclosed this fact before the assault, as it is possible that, by taking advantage of it in time and pressing the assault at a point comparatively so accessible with greater number, a different result might have been attained.

Respectfully,

FRANK P. BLAIR,

Brigadier-General, Commanding First Brigadier, Fourth Div.

Captain MONTGOMERY, Assistant Adjutant-General.

---------------

*Not found.

---------------