War of the Rebellion: Serial 037 Page 0137 Chapter XXXVI. ENGAGEMENT AT BIG BLACK RIVER BRIDGE MISS.

Search Civil War Official Records

Iowa Volunteers, colonel Merrill, was ordered to charge with the Twenty-THIRD, the Eleventh Wisconsin Volunteers following close upon them as a support, and the Twenty-SECOND Iowa, colonel, William M. Stone-which had in the mean time crossed the field ant taken position on the river bank on the right of the Eleventh Wisconsin-were ordered to move out into the field and act as a reserve force. Two guns of the Peoria Battery, and 20-pounder Parrott, belonging to the First Wisconsin Battery, were in position in the field, actively at work upon the enemy and doing good service. In addition, orders had been sent to the Forty-NINTH and Sixty-NINTH Indiana Volunteers-two regiments which had been sent form Osterhaus' DIVISION to mu support. Orders were further given that the men should reserve their fire until upon the rebel works. Finally the regiments that were to lead the charge were formed, with bayonets fixed, in the edge of the woods on the river bank. All things being in readiness, the command "forward"was give by Colonel Kinsman, and at once his noble regiment sprang forward to the works. The twenty-first, led on by Colonel Merrill, moved at the same instant the Eleventh Wisconsin, colonel Harris, closely following. Through a terrible fire of musketry from the enemy in front and a galling fire from his sharpshooters on the right, these brave men dashed bravely on. Kinsman fell, dangerously wounded, before half the distance was accomplished. Struggling to his fee, the staggered a few paces to the front, cheered forward his men, and fell again, this time to rise no more, pierced through by a SECOND ball. Colonel Merrill, the brave commander of the Twenty-first Iowa, fell wounded early in the charge, while gallantly leading his regiment against the enemy. Immediately Lieutenant-Colonel Glasgow placed himself at the head of the Twenty-THIRD, and Major Van Anda led on the Twenty-first. Undismayed by the loss of their colonels, and by the perfect hail storm of bullets pounder into them with destructive effect, the men of the Twenty-THIRD and Twenty-first Iowa and the Eleventh Wisconsin Volunteers pressed onward, nearer and nearer, to the rebel works, over the open field, 500 yards, under a wasting fire, and up to the edge of the bayou. Halting here only long enough the bayou filled with water, fallen timber, and brush, on to the rebel works with the shout of victors, driving the enemy in with confusion form their breastworks and riffle-pits, and entering in triumph the rebel stronghold. Hurrying forward the Forty-NINTH and Sixty-NINTH Indiana and Twenty-SECOND Iowa Volunteers, I sent the two Indiana regiments to the support of my left, and ordered the Iowa regiment to move against the support of my left, and ordered the Iowa regiment to move against the extreme left of the enemy's works, where they, several hundred strong, still held out, while the Eleventh Wisconsin Volunteers was directed to occupy the ground between the enemy and the bridge, and directed to occupy the ground between the enemy and the bridge, and thus cut off their retreat. The movement was successful. The rebels broke and fled before the Twenty-SECOND Iowa, and fell an easy prey into the hands of the Eleventh Wisconsin Volunteers. Those of the rebels who were not captured hastened to make good their retreat over the bridge. As the result of this successful charge, we MAY with justice claim that it gave our army entire possession of the enemy's extended lines of works, and with them their field artillery (eighteen