War of the Rebellion: Serial 077 Page 0195 Chapter LI. EXPEDITION INTO MISSISSIPPI.

Search Civil War Official Records

came up and laid in the road just on my right. After lying there a few moments they moved forward into the timber and very soon the rebels made a determined attack along our whole line. At that time the firing became very heavy. In a short time the regiments on my left began to give back. Just at this time the Ninth Minnesota gave them a heavy volley and were cheering, and seemed to be driving the enemy, although I could not see them. The regiments on my left began to fall back, and some fifteen minutes afterward the Ninth Minnesota fell back on my right. In the mean time the artillery, which was posted to the left and front of Brice's house, could not fire on account of the infantry coming in so close in front of them. I continued firing with my single piece as I had range directly on the Guntown road. About this time I had instructions from Colonel McMillen to put another piece in position on the road to the right of the cross-roads, I got this piece in position, but the rebels just then attempted to turn our right flank, and they got so near that I could not use this piece, and was obliged to retire it. The rebels at the same time turned both flanks of our line and forced the whole line back. Colonel McMillen then gave me orders in person to hold the cross-roads at all hazards. I could not see the enemy, but judged from their firing that they were very near. I immediately gave them canister with both pieces as fast as I could load and fire. The infantry at this time were about on my flanks, firing and falling back. I held this position at the cross- roads until all the infantry had moved to the rear, and so far as I could see I was left alone. I remained there firing until the enemy commenced to fire on my left and rear from a position in the garden of Brice's house, about seventy-five feet from where I was. I saw it was useless to remain longer and I limbered my two guns to the rear, passing through a field which was on the right of the road as we advanced, and crossed the creek about forty rods below the bridge and came into the road about half a mile from the battle-field. My other section, in charge of a lieutenant, had been withdrawn from the battle-field by Colonel McMillen's orders when the left was turned, and was at this time in advance of me, going to the rear. I was obliged to leave one caisson on the field, the wheel-horses being shot. I did not get into position again. With the exception of the caisson I brought everything away as far as the Hatchie bottom. There I found the road blocked up with the other batteries. I staid there until 1 o'clock in the morning trying, in conjunction with the other captains of batteries, to find or cut some other road through the swamp, and using every endeavor to pass through the swamp. At 1 o'clock in the morning, finding it impossible to get the guns through the swamp, I reported the matter to Colonel Wilkin, who commanded, our brigade. He gave me instructions to spike the guns and destroy everything I could, mounting my men on the horses, and move with the retreating column. I did this, spiking the guns, cutting down the spokes of the wheels, destroying the ammunition, smashing the chests, and burning the equipments. I mounted my men and moved on with the retreating column of infantry to Ripley. From there I moved with the column of cavalry to Collierville.

Question. At what points between the cross-roads and Ripley did you see General Sturgis and Colonel McMillen, or either of them, after the battle?

Answer. After we left the cross-roads I did not see General Sturgis until we got to Ripley; I saw Colonel McMillen about half a mile this side of the second white house this side of the cross-roads. At this time he passed by me on the road. I saw him again on the 11th. I saw him again at Collierville.

Question. Did you see General Sturgis at the cross-roads during the fight?

Answer. I saw him but once during the fight; it was about 4 o'clock, I think.

Question. What sort of a position was that at the cross-roads for using artillery against the enemy?

Answer. It was no position at all. I could not see for any distance. I could not judge the distance the enemy were from me, or whether the ground rose or fell in our front. I could not judge of the effect of our firing, nor tell when we got range.

Question. How many pieces of artillery were at the cross-roads when you were there?

Answer. There were fourteen pieces there.

Question. How many pieces were put into position and used against the enemy?

Answer. Twelve pieces.