War of the Rebellion: Serial 037 Page 0575 Chapter XXXVI. THE Jackson CAMPAIGN.

Search Civil War Official Records

DIVISION on the extreme right, with his line about 1,500 yards from the enemy's works, his skirmishers as near as they could get, and under cover, his supports to skirmishers about 300 yards in rear of them.

On the night of the 11th, about 9 o'clock, he reported his DIVISION in position, stating that it was too dark to find sites for his artillery, which he could do in the morning. Next morning, without orders, and directly in violation of the instructions as to the position he was to take, he advanced upon the enemy's works with Pugh's brigade and one regiment, about 1,000 men in all, a battery and one small regiment following. The point of attack was not selected by any reconnaissance or previous examination. The attack itself was unsupported and unknown by other DIVISION commanders. The ground to bended (I was satisfied at the time) by several thousand of the enemy, and was open to an artillery front and flank fire for 600 yards in front of their works. Of the 880 men in Pugh's brigade, the loss by this attack was 465 in killed, wounded, and MISSING, besides nearly all the men and horses of a section of artillery, which the FIFTY-THIRD Indiana Infantry brought off by hand, and three stand of colors; after which he had to retreat in haste, leaving all his dead and most of the wounded under the enemy's guns. I knew nothing of this attack and disaster until it was reported to me about one hour afterward by a member of your staff, Captain [James C.] McCoy, who had been sent to examine the position taken up by the DIVISION. Captain McCoy stated that General Lauman told him to say to General Ord, "I am cut all to pieces. " I visited his DIVISION immediately. He then reported his total loss about 100. I found the men scattered, except that part which had not been with him, and when I called upon General Lauman to take immediate steps to put the remnant of his command under temporary cover, to call the rolls and gather the stragglers, I found he did not know how to do it, and for fear that the enemy might follow up their advantage, and the right flank being too important to trust in such hands, I relieved him, and placed his DIVISION under the command of Brigadier General A. P. Hovey, who at once placed the cut up part of it in the rear in good position, had the scattered regiments collected, rolls called, and reported casualties. The hill to which Lauman had retired was then occupied by a fresh brigade, who that night erected two batteries, which secured them the position.

A strong party was by your order pushed to the river on the 15th, before which the enemy there in position fled, and my line of trenches and the line of skirmishers were from this day pushed forward, fighting their way toward the enemy's works, intrenching and placing batteries as we advanced. The enemy contested every move we made forward, and when we neared their intrenchments our skirmishers were continually under a sharp and destructive fire, and our artillerists and the officers and men in line picked off. Sallies were made by the enemy upon Generals Smith's, Benton's, and Hovey's fronts, and the right of Osterhaus, all of which sallies were back. General Osterhaus, under orders, placed a battery of 20 pounder Parrotts in good position early, and its weight of metal covered his advance, and, with the determination manifested by his line and skirmishers, soon drove the enemy into their works and kept them there. Our artillery fire was slack toward the last of the attack, batteries being short of ammunition. Had it been possible to have obtained a full supply when we started for Jackson, or had our ammunition train arrived before the night of the evacuation, greater damage could have been done the enemy on that occasion.