War of the Rebellion: Serial 036 Page 0181 Chapter XXXVI. GENERAL REPORTS.

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of his rifle-pits; but whether the interior of the works had been reached, or merely the ditch, I did not understand. A part of the language of the officer bringing the report was that "our flag is planted on the enemy's works. " At 11. 46 an officer arrived and said that the fort first referred to was ours, and asked you to order that it should not be further fired upon. You seemed incredulous, and sent me to Colonel Landram, who was in a very advanced position, to ascertain as far as possible the exact state off the case. I found that officer, and, upon delivering my message, received from him, in addition to his confident opinion that the fort was ours, a note from Lieutenant-Colonel Graham, of the Twenty-SECOND Iowa, with the remark that the "note was written inside the fort. " This note, the contents of which I do not remember with sufficient accuracy to repeat, I delivered to you, believing fully that the fort was in our entire possession.

3. Although from the great length of the line occupied by the Thirteenth Corps, and the number of forts on the enemy's line, the attack seemed desperate, yet it was my belief that with the aid of re-enforcements the position might be fully carried. On this point General Landram said at 1,50 p. m., "If General Osterhaus, on my left, will press forward, I think the works can soon be cleared. "

4. The position occupied by you during the day was a commanding knoll, about 600 yards from the enemy's works, and upon which a battery of 30-pounder Parrotts had been planted. From this point all your line could be seen, except a part of General Smith's command, which formed your extreme right, and which, though near, was partially hidden by the foliage of trees and the extreme unevenness of the ground. Your post of observation owed its entire safety to the slight parapet in front, as many of the enemy's bullets went far beyond us into the woods, and men were continually being wounded all about you. The distance from the above point to General McPherson's headquarters, where General Grant was located, was, in my judgment, 1 1/2 miles; and although General Grant's position enjoyed some advantages in point of altitude, yet I cannot believe that this or any other place afforded nearly so good a view of the Thirteenth Corps as the one you occupied.

5. Boomer's brigade arrived at 5 o'clock, and was sent to the front. Twenty minutes afterward a regiment arrived, and was held for some time in reserve near headquarters. This regiment may have been part of the SECOND Brigade, of Quinby's DIVISION. The DIVISION of General McArthur arrived at 10 a. m. the day following.

6. The dispatches sent from time to time during the day to General Grant were less sanguine of success and less positive in regard to what had been already accomplished than my own opinion, and, as I believed, the opinion of the majority of your officers.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

F. H. MASON,

Late Captain and Aide-de-Camp.

9. -Letter of A. A. Blount, late captain SEVENTEENTH Ohio Volunteer Artillery.

SPRINGFIELD, OHIO, September 5, 1863.

Major General J. A. McClernand:

GENERAL: Your favor of August 23 is received, requesting me to state what I know about any of the colors of the Thirteenth Army Corps having been planted upon the enemy's forts during the assault on May 22 upon the defenses of Vicksburg. In reply, I would state that I saw the colors of the Seventy-seventh Illinois Regiment planted upon the parapet of one of the enemy forts, as also were the colors of the Twenty-SECOND Iowa Regiment, and that the men of the latter regiment occupied one side of the fort, which was divided by a traverse. I heard General Carr give orders to his artillery not to fire upon that fort, as it was in our possession. The regimental flag of the Seventy-seventh Illinois remained upon the parapet of the same regiment could not be brought away, and was covered with earth in the ditch. I saw upon another fort directly in front of my battery the colors of the Eighty-THIRD Ohio Regiment, and I think those of the SIXTEENTH Iowa. There were colors of other regiments planted upon the extreme slope of the parapet and upon the crest of the glacis of other forts, where our men remained from eight to ten hours. It was the universal opinion of officers and men that had we sufficient force the fort occupied by our men could have been held.

Respectfully, you obedient servant,

A. A. BLOUNT,

Late Captain SEVENTEENTH Ohio Volunteer Artillery.

Other letters in my possession might be added, but they would extend this communication too much. Those already given will abundantly suffice for the purpose in hand. They not only prove all I have denied or affirmed, but they prove more. They prove the promptness