War of the Rebellion: Serial 036 Page 0624 Mississippi, WEST TENNESSEE, ETC. Chapter XXXVI.

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overwhelmed the enemy. General Hovey, no doubt, ordered his men to charge, and they did so most gallantly; but Benton's brigade, coming from the timber to the right of the road, was first at the guns.

A member of the Eighteenth Indiana (Benton's brigade) took a flag and carried it in his bosom during the day. AZ member of the Ninety-NINTH Illinois (Benton's brigade) turned one of the guns, and fired the charge the enemy had left in it.

My men were first at the guns, captured a flag, and their charge from the flank prevented the enemy from carrying the guns off.

Referring to the battle of Black River Bridge, the report states as follows:*

General Carr's DIVISION, having, entered the wood mentioned, was immediately formed, in obedience to my order: General Lawler's brigade on the right, resting its flank near Big Black, and General Benton's brigade on its left and to the right of the railroad.

General McClernand gave me no order to form line, nor any intimation how or where to form it, and, as far as I can recollect, he did not give me a single order of any kind whatever on that battle-field, until after the enemy's works were taken. I formed line, as a matter of course, on coming in contact with the enemy, and made the best disposition I knew how.

General McClernand did not come to the front till the commanding general came up, which, as the general may remember, was but a few moments before the charge. .

This battle was fought and won by my DIVISION, with the following assistance: The Chicago Mercantile Battery and two pieces of the First Wisconsin, 20-pounders, actively engaged, and two regiments from Osterhaus' DIVISION, passively engaged as a support to Lawler's brigade, all under my command. Osterhaus' DIVISION was formed on the left of the road, but did not get within musket range.

I do not wish to take from the well-earned credit of other DIVISIONS or their commanders, but have in my report taken paints to mention them with praise whenever I could find an appropriate opportunity, but I must stand up for the noble troops whom I have had the honor to command, and see, as far as I am able, that their services are duly appreciated. In spite of some disagreeable occurrences in my military intercourse with General McClernand, I have always tried to show him the respect due to my commanding officer, and to carry out his orders and views in good faith and to the best of my ability, as well as to do everything in my power for the interest of the service, and I cannot understand why he should show partiality to other commanders or troops, who certainly need no borrowed glory. Though I was the senior brigadier in his command, and SECOND in rank to himself, no one would suspect it from the order in which DIVISIONS and generals are mentioned in various parts of the report, and in his recommendations for promotion, General McClernand places me SECOND, which is, I suppose, intentional. He has a right, of course, to make recommendations of whom and in what order he pleases, but, having performed my duty to the best of my ability. I hope that the deciding authority will be satisfied with my conduct, and not think it best to promote any one over me.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Brigadier-General U. S. Volunteers.

Lieutenant Colonel John A. RAWLINS, A. A. G., Hdqrs. DEPT. of the Tenn.


*See p. 152