War of the Rebellion: Serial 036 Page 0559 Chapter XXXVI. EXPEDITION TO THE COLDWATER, MISS., ETC.

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Ohio Battery lost 1 man killed and 2 wounded. The FIFTH Ohio Cavalry lost Major Hayes, killed, and Lieutenant [Robert] Major and 3 men, wounded.

The conduct of all, both officers and men, was excellent. I know of no one who failed to do his whole duty. Under a very hot fire of sharpshooters, who aimed principally at officers and mounded men, during the fight of Sunday, the different corps were put in position with the steadiness and good order of veterans. The Fifteenth Ohio Battery, Captain Edward Spear, was splendidly handled, under a withering fire, at not over 50 yards. I cannot refrain from mentioning a gallant act of Private Clayton W. Gonsanley. Private John Maddox was struck down in the act of ramming a shell home. Gonsanley, who was sponging, immediately and without orders sprang across the gun, seized the rammer, sent home the shell, and continued so to work until ordered away, only stopping long enough to move Maddox from under the wheels of the guns. Captain Spear showed daring, skill, and ability, and was well SECONDED by Lieutenant Burdick and all the men.

The cavalry did fine service, being constantly on the move, and especially in the skirmishes at Hernando on Saturday evening and Sunday morning at Perry's Ferry, under the gallant lead of Major Hayes, of the FIFTH Ohio. This fine officer was struck through the pelvis and thigh by a Minie ball at about 8. 30 a. m. on April 19, at the ferry, and died in an ambulance on Tuesday, April 21, at about noon. All was done for him that was possible; but the wound was of such a nature that anything but smoothing his passage to the grave was useless. He is entitled to all the praise that an able, dashing, and brave officer can receive from his companions. His loss was a severe one to the service. All the officers the cavalry did their duty bravely and promptly. In the infantry steadiness and coolness, hard and veteran-like, were the characteristics. Two officers of the Thirty-THIRD Wisconsin, Captain Joseph F. Lindsley, Company H, and Lieutenant Henry S. Swift, commanding Company E, were killed at the ferry while at their posts of duty. Their fellows bear testimony to the fact that they were two of the best officers in the regiment. To praise the living, as they deserve, by special notice, would be to name and praise the whole.

I am under many obligations to Lieutenant Picquet, of the Thirty-SECOND Illinois Volunteers; Lieutenant Duncan, of the FIFTY-THIRD Indiana, and Lieutenant Harris, of the Twenty-eighth Illinois Regiment, Colonel Johnson's aides, who accompanied me; also to my acting adjutant, Lieutenant J. K. Proudfit, and Lieutenant [William J.] Norton, of the Twelfth Wisconsin. They repeatedly made themselves the marks of the enemy's sharpshooters in carrying orders to the command in the swamp. I also thank Colonel Dornblaser and his command, Lieutenant-Colonel Heath, Major Eastman, and Major Wilson, with their commands, who re-enforced my command. They did everything in their power to ease the labors of my tired and foot-sore soldiers, and ably and cheerfully carried out all orders and commands after they joined us.

The expedition is in camp. With the exception of 1 man MISSING and those struck by bullets, it is as intact as when put under my care. In killed and wounded I know the enemy has suffered more than we have, and the captures, at least, are clear profit.

Your obedient servant,


Colonel Twelfth Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry.

Captain W. H. F. RANDALL,

Assistant Adjutant-General.