War of the Rebellion: Serial 024 Page 0790 WEST TENN. AND NORTHERN MISS. Chapter XXIX.

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might at the same time demand a similar investigation. It seems, moreover, that previous applications for a court have not been entertained, and no especial reason is seen why one should now be ordered, especially as Colonel Garland admits that "most of the witnesses are scattered," and others, the "most important," are no longer alive.

Respectfully returned to the Secretary of War.

By order:

C. H. LEE,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

MARCH 12, 1864.

Above indorsement approved.

J. A. S.,

Secretary.

Number 41. Report of Colonel James Deshler, C. S. Army, commanding Brigade.

UNITED STATES MILITARY PRISON, Camp Chase, Ohio, March 25, 1863.

CAPTAIN: In compliance with instructions from the general commanding division I have the honor to furnish the following report of the part that my brigade took in the action with the enemy, under General McClernand, at Arkansas Pst on the 9th, 10th, and 11th of January:

On Friday evening, January 9, about 2 p.m., I received a circular from division headquarters directing me to hold my brigade in readiness for active service at a moment's notice, with three days' cooked rations, and in about fifteen or twenty minutes afterward was directed by yourself to form my brigade as soon as possible and to place it in position in the lower rifle-pits, about 2 miles from the fort, down the river. I caused the cartridge-boxes of the men to be filled [the wet weather and bad condition of many of my cartridge-boxes had forced me to keep the ammunition packed up] and immediately started as ordered, but before reaching the upper rifle-pits received an order from one of the general's staff to take position in the latter, as the enemy were supposed to be already landing in large force in the immediate vicinity of the lower pits.

On arriving at the upper line of rifle-pits I placed my brigade in position, the right resting upon the bank of the Arkansas River and the left prolonged toward a swamp, the general line being convex to the front, that being the line upon which the engineer officer had traced the ditch, though it was quite far from being completed.

As the enemy made no demonstration on that evening other than firing a few shell from gunboats I made as good use of the time as possible in completing and strengthening the trench, and also extending it farther to my left, to the point where the right of Colonel Dunnington's brigade rested. I also cut down the timber in front of my position so as to make an abatis; in this way we worked during the entire night. The want of tools, axes, spades, &c., was a very serious drawback to this work.

Captain Hart's Arkansas battery of six guns was posted with my right regiment, the guns being placed in the intervals between the companies.