order from your aide to take an advanced position on the left of the road. While proceeding to obey the orders, I was informed by Adjutant treaty that I was at liberty to act at my discretion to go to the front if I chose. This proposition met with a hearty response from my men of, "To the front; to the front!" I received orders from General McClernand in person to take the extreme left, and move forward in line of battle. I need not recount to you, who was on the field of battle, the difficulties and dangers of pressing upon the enemy through the ravines and canebrakes and over the hills, where the battle of Port Gibson, or rather Magnolia Hills, was fought.
I may be permitted to say, on behalf of my officers and men, that their endurance, indomitable labors, and patience under suffering can be exceeded by no body of troops. During the day my regiment occupied a prominent position upon the battle-field, and by your orders withdrew to rest for the night when it was no longer Light enough to continue the contest.
The casualties in my command were very Light (being 6 wounded, none killed), considering that we were so much exposed to the enemy's fire. near the close of the day we were exposed to the enemy's battery of two guns (not to exceed 300 yards distance) for some twenty minutes.
It would be futile to discriminate in giving praise to the officers and men of my command during the engagement; every one did his duty faithfully. Lieutenant Martin, though just from a severe attack of illness, was on active duty the whole day; Major Vifquain was also present, and showed his usual energy and bravery. Both these officers were under your observation, and I need not recount to you their conduct.
On the morning of May 2, in pursuance of orders received the previous night, my command was ready to fall in at daylight. At about 7 a. m. we were ordered to take the extreme left, and support the Twenty-THIRD Wisconsin, of General Burbridge's brigade. We formed, and marched in line of battle until we reached the bottom of the valley, immediately in front of the previous day's battle-field, on the left of the road leading to Port Gibson. Here a halt was made until skirmishers of the Twenty-THIRD Wisconsin ascertained that the enemy had retreated in the night, when my command filed into the road by the left flank, and marched into the town of Port Gibson, this regiment being the SECOND into town, the Twenty-THIRD Wisconsin being the first, where we halted for the day.
Most respectfully, your obedient servant,
F. S. RUTHERFORD,
Colonel, Commanding Ninety-seventh Regiment Illinois Volunteers.
Colonel W. J. LANDRAM,
Comdg. 2nd Brigadier, 10th Div., 13th Army Corps, Army of the Tenn.
Number 11. Report of Brigadier General Alvin P. Hovey, U. S. Army, commanding Twelfth DIVISION, including operations since April 14. HDQRS. TWELFTH DIV., THIRTEENTH ARMY CORPS, In the Field, May 8, 1863.
COLONEL: I have the honor to submit the following report, commencing with the landing of the Twelfth DIVISION at Milliken's Bend