Ninety-seventh Regiment on their ramparts. As a matter of pride, and in justice to my command, I claim the honor of being the first regiment as a regiment inside of the enemy's fort.
In speaking of the conduct of my officers and men I have nothing to say but in praise of those who were present. If any failed or faltered the instances were so few as not to be noticeable by me.
Lieutenant-Colonel Martin in this action, as in the recent battle before Vicksburg, has shown himself to be a brave, daring, and prudent officer.
Adjutant Wifquain, in the absence of Major Horton, whose services were valueless and therefore not wanted upon the field, acted as major, and rendered me great assistance. His conduct was noble and he deserves promotion.
First Lieutenant R. H. Wood, of Company A, in the absence of Captain Willard, did valuable service. At one time during the early part of the engagement he approached to within 200 yards of the enemy's works, near the river, and endeavored to pick the gunners off of a battery firing upon our forces, and remained there until ordered.
Captain Buchanan, of Company B; Lieutenant P. H. Pentzer, in command of Company C; Second Lieutenant H. S. Titus, in command of Company D; Captain Denman, of Company E; First Lieutenant George W. Bolt, in command of Company F; Captain John Trible, of Company G; First Lieutenant James M. Ervin, in command of Company H; Captain Achenbach, of Company I, and Captain B. F. Slaten, of Company K, all rendered efficient service and deserve favorable mention. I should also mention favorably Sergeant Armstrong, acting lieutenant of Company B; First Lieutenant Harding, of Company E; Second Lieutenant Ray, of Company F; First Lieutenant James W. Davis, of Company G, who, after Captain Trible was disabled, took command of the company and did well; First Lieutenant Howard and Second Lieutenant Campbell, of Company I.
Lieutenant C. M. Smith, assistant surgeon, deserves much credit for his fidelity and constant presence with the regiment, and assistance rendered to the wounded. Surg. Samuel Willard and First Asst. Surg. Charles Davis were on duty elsewhere and not under my observation.
I take great pleasure in also speaking of Sergt. Major Levi Davis. He was constantly at his post during the action, and discharged his duty bravely and prudently.
This regiment was under the enemy's fire for two hours and a half, and it is remarkable that the loss in killed was 1 only and 4 wounded.
Captain Trible fell, with a wound in the leg (not dangerous), while leading his company to the left for the purpose of making the charge before spoken of. Corpl. Samuel Matthews, of Company G, was a shot in the head and killed. Allen Joseph, of Company B, was wounded in the lower jaw; jaw broken, but not dangerous. James C. Lamar, private and Henry C. Bond, private of Company C, received a slight wound in the right hand.
Most respectfully, your obedient servant,
F. S. RUTHERFORD,
Colonel, Commanding Ninety-seventh Regiment Illinois Vols.
Colonel W. J. LANDRAM,
Commanding 2nd Brigadier, 1st Div., Right Wing, Army of the Miss.