War of the Rebellion: Serial 032 Page 0519 Chapter XXXIV. ADVANCE UPON LITTLE ROCK, ARK., ETC.

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Illinois Light Artillery [Vaughn's], afforded material aid to our force on the opposite bank, who were constantly opposed by the enemy. Several hundred rounds were fired, mostly at long range, but with marked good effect. The brigade was in range and exposed to the fire of the enemy's artillery for some time, but sustained no loss therefrom. Two men of Battery A were dangerously wounded by a premature explosion of a howitzer shell from a battery in action near by. The brigade arrived opposite Little Rock at sunset.

Numbers 21. Report of Captain Thomas F. Vaughn, Independent Battery, Illinois Light Artillery, of engagement at Bayou Fourche.


Camp opposite Little Rock, Ark., September 14, 1863.

DEAR SIR: In compliance with the suggestions of Colonel Chetlain, I respectfully make the following statement in regard to the part Battery A took in the battle at Little Rock, Thursday, 10th instant:

The battery left Ashley's Mills at 10 a. m., with the brigade to which it is attached, the Forty-ninth Regiment Illinois Infantry being in advance. We moved up the right bank of the river for about 4 miles. Soon after 2 o'clock, I received an order to move forward the right section to shell the woods and a point of land which made out into the river, which I judged to be about 1 1/2 miles distant, and elevated the piece accordingly 7 1/2 degrees. Finding it fell short, I elevated another degree. This shell did reach. I then turned the elevating screw way down, which is 9 1/2 degrees, the full elevation without sinking the trail; the shell fell short. I was deceived in estimating the distance, but could have placed a shell there had I been allowed to sink the trail, to bring the piece to the proper elevation. We continued moving up by sections to the front, advancing from 500 to 1,000 yards at a time, as the nature of the ground would admit, the left section advancing as the right got into action. The last 2 miles we moved up with great rapidity, and I have reason to believe rendered good service to General Davidson's division (who was engaging the enemy on the left bank of the river), completely breaking up the enemy's line of battle twice, producing disorder, and the tallest kind of skedaddling.

Five commanding officers, 14 non-commissioned officers, and 100 privates were in the engagement; all of whom did their duty most nobly, working their guns with great rapidity and precision. We were about three hours in action, and fired 8 canister, 292 shell, 14 shot; total 314 rounds.

Privates Joseph Vliet and Charles F. Mentemeyer were dangerously wounded by the explosion of a shell fired from a mountain howitzer by a detachment of cavalry, which was placed too near Numbers 1 gun. Mentemeyer died yesterday morning, 13th instant. Vliet still lingers, but there is not the slightest chance for him to recover. This is the first battle in which the battery has been engaged. We were with General Brayman last December in the chase after Forrest, and shelled the rebs at Bolivar, December 25, 1862.

All of which is respectfully submitted.


Captain, Commanding.

Colonel TRUE, Commanding Third Brigade.