Number 13. Report of Colonel Daniel Macauley, eleventh Indiana Infantry. NEAR WILL SPRINGS, MISS., May 5, 1863
SIR: The following report of the part taken by the Eleventh Indiana in the battle of May 1, near Port Gibson, is respectfully submitted:
We arrived near the battle-field at 6 a. m. on that day, after marching all night, and, before having time to cook breakfast, were sent by General A. P. Hovey to the field to report to General G. M. McGinnis. On an order from him, we stacked arms in shelter of a hill, and awaited the "advance. "
About 8 a. m. I received General McGinnis' order to the Twenty-NINTH Wisconsin Infantry, and advance, as support, 200 yards in the rear of the line formed by the Twenty-fourth, forty-sixth, and Thirty-fourth Indiana Regiments. A deep ravine, choked by an almost impassable canebrake and undergrowth, was before us, through which, with great exertion, we succeeded in forcing our way. Two more of like character were passed, when, by the remaining regiments of the brigade.
In front of my position was a ravine running diagonally to the left and rear, on the far side of it, and a little to the right was stationed a rebel battery, supported by a heavy force of infantry. I was ordered to cross this ravine, making a right half-wheel, and attack, in company with the Forty-sixth had been delayed a little in crossing. I halted and waited a moment for it. We were formed in a road, in front of which was the Thirty-fourth Indiana, lying down; about 100 yards to the right and front was a large house, and immediately beyond it the rebel battery. Resoling to take possession, without further delay, of a part of the rising ground on which was the house and battery, I moved by the right flank over the fence, and with a run and yell the position and battery were ours.
This battery seemed to be a much-disputed point among a number of claimants for the honor of its capture. I find that as our two companies on the right (E and G) neared the guns, the rebels endeavored to turn them on us, but a volley from the companies killed a number of the cannoneers and prevented it. Possession was immediately had, and the guns turned on the enemy.
As, however, by this time the Forty-sixth Indiana was in the field, and the Thirty-fourth Indiana also moving and doing good service so near us, it is almost impossible to decide which of them did not participate in the capture of the battery. The Eleventh in the mean time kept up a constant and rapid fire on the enemy, which continued till he had retreated from all positions in range.
After a halt here of half an hour, I was ordered to advance with the Twenty-fourth Indiana and with two companies thrown out as skirmishers. Ordering Company E, captain Ruckle, and Company G, Captain Caven, forward on that duty, we advanced about half a mile, when rapid firing to the left told us the battle had again commenced. We remained in shelter of a hill, on the right of
Penton's Peoria battery, till ordered forward to take a position on a ridge running nearly perpendicular to our present one, to resist an attack being made by the
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