War of the Rebellion: Serial 077 Page 0111 Chapter LI. EXPEDITION INTO MISSISSIPPI.

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Numbers 5. Report of Colonel De Witt C. Thomas, Ninety- THIRD Indiana Infantry.


June 16, 1864.

SIR: I have the honor to make the following report of the part taken by my regiment at the battle of Brice's Cross Roads:

On the morning of the 1st of June I left Memphis with the brigade, composed of the Seventy- second Ohio, Ninety- fifth Ohio, One hundred and fourteenth Illinois, Ninety- THIRD Indiana (my regiment), and at the depot we were joined by the Ninth Minnesota, who were temporarily attached to the brigade.

There was nothing worthy of note occurred except the incessant rain and the almost utter impossibility of moving through the road, until the 10th of the month. About 11 o'clock word came to me that it was necessary for me to move up at quick time; that the cavalry had been engaged and the enemy had turned their left flank. This was about three miles from the field of battle. As soon as I received the word I ordered my men to close up and prepare their guns for action, supposing, of course, the cavalry had met a superior force and had been driven back; and I also heard that the One hundred and thirteenth Illinois had been moved forward on the double- quick, taking position which checked the enemy somewhat. When I got within one mile, and a half of the battle ground I found the cavalry in considerable confusion at a bridge, trying to reorganize. Passing on to the battle- field, I found Colonel McMillen taking charge of the infantry as it came in, and placing it in position. He told me to take the position on the right of the road leading to Guntown, which I did, he staying until I was in position. He also told me to hold the position at all hazards, which I attempted to do. When in position I threw out Company E as skirmishers in front of the line. In a few minutes we received a fire, and upon looking up I saw men advancing upon my line, dressed in our uniform and carrying the Union flag, but firing upon us as they advanced. Some of my men, upon receiving the fire, commenced firing upon them. Myself and Lieutenant- Colonel Poole, stopped the firing, supposing, of course, it was our own men, when they (the rebels) poured into my ranks a murderous fire, thinning my ranks at a fearful rate. I then gave the command to my men "to fire. " Then commenced one of the hardest contested battles I have ever witnessed; the enemy flanking me every few moments and my men charging their front, contesting for every foot of ground. At this time I threw Companies A and F to the right as skirmishers to protect my flank, and also threw back the right wing to change my front; Companies A and F fell back to the line, losing fearfully. here Lieutenant- Colonel Poole, Adjutant Moody, and Lieutenant Mooney and Captain Courvoisier were also badly wounded.

After my line was formed I pressed forward again upon the enemy, drove them some considerable distance, ad was again outflanked and had to again give back, which I did by retreating and firing, changing my front as often as it was necessary to prevent my men from being surrounded. I kept retreating and fighting until I got back to the frame house in the forks of the road. Finding the enemy were following us up very close, and the battery being in danger, I moved my men forward again, and with the assistance of the Ninth Minnesota Regiment was enabled to gain the ground first occupied by me in the beginning


Survived his wounds.