War of the Rebellion: Serial 037 Page 0022 Mississippi, WEST TENNESSEE, ETC. Chapter XXXVI.

Search Civil War Official Records

rear of Vicksburg, MISS; *2, topography of the battle-field of Big Black River Bridge, May 17. *

I hope to be able to procure also topographical sketches of the battlefield of Champion's Hill and the scene of the operations of the NINTH DIVISION in the rear of Vicksburg, MISS.

Submitting all this to you, I am, colonel, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,

P. J. OSTERHAUS,

Brigadier-General, Commanding.

Lieutenant Colonel WALTER B. SCATES, a. A. G., THIRTEENTH Army Corps.

Numbers 3. Report of Colonel James Keigwin, forty-NINTH Indiana Infantry, first Brigade, including engagement at Big Black River Bridge.

IN THE FIELD, May 18, 1863.

SIR: I have the honor to submit the following as a report of the part taken by the Forty-NINTH Regiment Indiana Volunteer Infantry in the engagements with the enemy on the 16th instant at Champion's Hill and at Big Black Bridge on the 17 the instant:

On the morning of the 16 the, we ordered from our bivouac, and formed a part of the advance guard of the DIVISION. After a march of about 4 miles, we came upon the left of the Seventh Kentucky. Our skirmishers advanced and were soon hotly engaged. I advanced the regiment a short distance, and soon met the enemy in our front, when I opened fire on him, and drove him back a short distance. The ground being very rough, I halted for a short time to reconnoiter the ground in my front. While at this point, I received an order from General Osterhaus to push forward; that he wanted to gain another position. I moved on, and soon found that I was getting so far in advance of the brigade that I might be cut off. I halted, and found that the regiments to my right and left were about 500 yards to my rear. I did not remain here but a short time, when I was ordered back to the battery, to my position in the brigade. As I fell back, the enemy followed a short distance and halted. We remained here a short time, when the brigade, with the Forty-SECOND Ohio, was moved forward to the attack. We moved forward until we came in sight of the open field and got our line formed, when we discovered the enemy approaching across the field. They soon drove our skirmishers in, and commenced the attack. The Forty-SECOND Ohio, on my right, from some cause, gave way, which left into the flank, and some of them got to my rear. My men stood up bravely, and after passing a them on a small elevation and fired a few rounds, when the enemy broke and went back faster than they had approached. This ended. This ended the fighting for the night.

My men during the day fought bravely, and I cannot speak in too high terms of the gallant bearing of both officers and men. I only had seven companies engaged in the fight, and they were small, numbering only 260 men. The other three were detailed in the morning to sup

---------------

*Not found.

---------------