War of the Rebellion: Serial 037 Page 0055 Chapter XXXVI. BATTLE OF CHAMPION'S HILL, MISS.

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manded by Lieutenant Colonel A. McLaughlin; FIFTY-sixth Ohio Infantry, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel William H. Raynor; Twenty-fourth Iowa Infantry, commanded by Colonel Eber C. Byam; Twenty-eighth Iowa infantry, commanded by Colonel John Connell; and the First Missouri Battery, commanded by Captain George W. Schofield.

On the night of the 15th, we encamped on the Jackson and Vicksburg Railroad, near Bolton Station.

In the morning we left camp about 6 o'clock, and moved east about 7 miles, when we approached very nearly to the enemy, drawn up in line of battle.

In pursuance of orders of Brigadier-General Hovey, I formed the SECOND Brigade in two lines to the left of the road, in the field of one Champion, with the artillery in advance. Soon thereafter I placed my lines of battle in advance of the artillery, and ordered Companies B and G, of the Forty-seventh Indiana, under command of Captain John F. Eglin; two companies(A and F)of the FIFTY-sixth Ohio, under command of Captain Manring, and two companies of the Twenty-fourth Iowa, under command of Captain_____, as skirmishers, who covered the whole front of the line advanced toward the enemy. Skirmishing soon began, and continued for about one hour, when I advanced the whole line, with the Forty-seventh Indiana on the right and the Twenty-eighth Iowa on the left. The thick growth of underbrush and vines, ravines, and hills made it very difficult to advance, but it was accomplished with little disorder, until we reached the crest of the hill, where we found the enemy in very heavy force about 200 yards in front us, and under cover of a wood beyond a field.

Then the battle began with great fury, our troops advancing for the purpose of driving the enemy from the cover of the woods, which was done at double-quick and in a most gallant manner, the men loading and firing as they advanced, and unfalteringly receiving a most deadly fire from the enemy; yet they pressed forward, as men only cap do who are prompted by intelligent motives of patriotic devotion to a common country, until the rebel force was driven from the covering and forced to fall back a distance of 200 yards, with terrible loss, the ground being literally covered with dead and wounded rebels.

In this daring and determined charge all the regiments lost most severely. The Twenty-fourth Iowa most gallantly charged upon a rebel battery of five guns, and took it at the point of the bayonet, killing many of the cannoneers and driving the remainder from their guns and some 50 yards to the rear, when a new rebel line, which had not been in action, appeared in treble our force, and opened a most murderous fire upon our lines, which the unflinching and determined braves of the Twenty-fourth resisted for FIFTEEN minutes, but, because of the overwhelming force brought to bear upon them reluctantly retired from the battery, but kept the rebel re enforcements at bay by their incessant fire and stubborn resistance. This battery was subsequently retaken, and is now in our possession.

During this terrific charge, Major Edward Wright, of the Twenty-fourth, was wounded in the abdomen, immediately after which he captured a stalwart rebel prisoner and made him carry him off the field.

The Forty-seventh Indiana, FIFTY-sixth Ohio, and Twenty-eighth Iowa were all engaged at the same time against most powerful odds, which seemed to me to be five times their number, and held them in check for at least two hours, re-enforcements not reaching us.

Our ranks being badly depleted, I directed the whole command to retire gradually from the field and take position near the crest of the