War of the Rebellion: Serial 037 Page 0012 Mississippi, WEST TENNESSEE, ETC. Chapter XXXVI.

Search Civil War Official Records

Numbers 2Report of Brigadier General Peter J Osterhaus, commanding NINTH DIVISION, Thirteenth Army Corps, including operations May 2-23. HEADQUARTERS NINTH DIVISION,

Big Black River Railroad Bridge, Mississippi, May 26, 1863.

PART I. The day after this battle [Port Gibson, May 1] the NINTH DIVISION, together with Tenth, TWELFTH and Fourteenth DIVISIONS, of the Thirteenth Army Corps, marched to {Fort Gibson, waiting there for the construction of a bridge across Bayou Pierre.

On May 3, the line of march was taken up again for Willow Springs, and the corps went into camp at the forks of the roads to Jackson, Vicksburg, and Grand Gulf.

On the morning of the 5th, my command was ordered to proceed on the Jackson road. Being in the front, the SECOND Illinois Cavalry was attached temporarily to it. We had passed Rocky Springs and Big Sandy Creek when my advance was halted by a from a rebel picket. I ordered the SECOND Illinois Cavalry to attack, which they did boldly, Lieutenant Stickel dashing on the enemy, who proved to be in number superior to his company: but his attack was so energetic and quick that the rebels could not find time to time. The lieutenant and his men were among them with drawn sabers and drove them for 5 miles, killing and wounding 12 and taking some 30 prisoners.

This is without one of the most brilliant cavalry engagements of the war, and Lieutenant Stickel deserves the highest praise for skill and bravery shown.

My DIVISION encamped on both sides of the Big Sandy Creek, covering all the roads leading to Big Black River ferries and to the enemy's line in front and flank.

The whole army corps came up during the next few days, and after having had the honor of a review by Generals Grant and McClernand on May 9, we again moved forward on the 10th enemy's lines. The whole Thirteenth Corps marched on the Jackson road, and when on Five Mile Creek was ordered into bivouac, the Forty NINTH and Sixty-NINTH Indiana being thrown forward as advance guard beyond Auburn (old) to the fork of the roads to Edwards Station and Raymond. My scouts brought information of the enemy's cavalry appearing near Fourteen-Mile Creek, and we consequently marched for that point on May 12, general Hovey's DIVISION leading. This general's approach compelled the rebel force to yield their position to us. They fell back on the Edwards Station road, while our corps received the general's order for the next morning to march toward Raymond, but, if possible, on a road hiding this movement of the corps from the observation of the enemy. Such a road was found and made practicable by the corps of pioneers attached to the army corps. Soon after midnight my DIVISION was at Raymond, where I received orders to garrison the place. I took such measures as secured it against any surprise of the enemy. All the other United States forces concentrated here advanced farther on the Jackson road. I had to remain at the post of Raymond only until 4 a. m., May 15, when the general commanding the army corps ordered my DIVISION, except two regiments-the FIFTY fourth Indiana and the One hundred and twentieth Ohio Infantry, which were to be left as garrison-to march toward Bolton Station, on the Jackson and Vicksburg Railroad.