War of the Rebellion: Serial 077 Page 0209 Chapter LI. EXPEDITION INTO MISSISSIPPI.

Search Civil War Official Records

arrival of the infantry, I rode back to the advance brigade to add my entreaties to those of others to induce the troops to move forward as fast as possible. Reaching the confines of the field I directed my staff to clear the road, which they succeeded in doing with difficulty, and then ordered Colonel Hoge to march forward at double-quick to the cross-roads, a distance of 500 or 1,000 yards, my object being to get through this mass of retreating cavalry with as little depression as possible to my own men, and to inspirit those who were or had been fighting. The head of my column arriving at the cross-roads I was ordered first to relieve Colonel Waring's brigade, nominally in position on the Baldwyn road. This I proceeded to do, and accompanied Colonel Hoge, of the One hundred and thirteenth Illinois, to the point indicated by Colonel Waring as the one where his line had been formed. This regiment was deployed on the right of the Baldwyn road, its left resting on the Baldwyn road. Skirmishers were thrown out and the regiment advanced some FIFTY yards. Two other regiments were then formed on the right of the One hundred and thirteenth, the line extending in semicircular form toward the Guntown road. Chapman's battery was placed in position in the yard of Brice's house, and about this time I was ordered to relieve Winslow's brigade of cavalry with the remaining men of Hoge's brigade, so far as they would go. Winslow occupied a position on the right of the one supposed to have been held by Waring, his line extending across the Guntown road. I directed Colonel Hoge to relieve a portion of Colonel Winslow's line, commencing on his left, with the two remaining regiments of his (Hoge's) brigade, to wit, the Eighty-first and Ninety-fifth Illinois. These two regiments were subsequently moved to the left to connect with the rest of Hoge's brigade, which was then formed in a continuous line, its left resting on the Baldwyn road and its right extending toward the Guntown road, with a full line of skirmishers out. When I formed my line on the right on the Baldwyn road I found no cavalry in position until I struck Colonel Winslow's brigade, with the exception of two battalions of the Nineteenth Pennsylvania Cavalry, drawn up in sham line of battle across the road. One battalion of this cavalry was attached to the Infantry DIVISION and the other was the escort of General Sturgis. My line of battle as established under a heavy fire from the enemy's skirmishers. The skirmishing was continuous from the time my skirmish line was established. Soon after Colonel Hoge's brigade was placed in position, the head of the First Brigade (Colonel Wilkin's) arrived, the Ninety-fifth Ohio, Lieutenant-Colonel Brumback commanding, in advance. This regiment was taken out the Baldwyn road, accompanied by Colonel Wilkin and myself, and placed in position on the left of that road, extending Colonel Hoge's line. I then proceeded to relieve the remaining portion of Colonel Winslow's brigade, placing the One hundred and fourteenth Illinois on the right of Colonel Hoge's brigade, which completed my line to the Guntown road, and the Ninety-THIRD Indiana on the right of the Guntown road. By direction of General Sturgis the Seventy-second Ohio Infantry and a section of Mueller's battery, belonging to this brigade, were put into position on a piece of rising ground some distance to the rear of the cross-roads and on the left of the road near the creek. This left of this brigade, first, Fitch's battery, two guns of which were placed in position at the cross-roads, and the remaining two held in reserve; second, the Ninth Minnesota Infantry, which was also held in reserve near Brice's house. Whilst these dispositions were being made, and before the One hundred and fourteenth Illinois, Ninety-fifth Ohio, and Ninety-THIRD Indiana were fairly in position, and before Colonel Winslow had time to withdraw his men, the enemy, with a laud cheer, made an attack along the whole line and on both flanks. The attack on my right, where I happened to be in person at the time, was so determined that it soon gave back, notwithstanding the efforts of officers and men to regain and hold the ground. The enemy's line-such a line as they had-extended on our right as far as the Pontotoc road, and my regiment on the right of the Guntown road, the Ninety-THIRD Indiana, was driven back to the Pontotoc road. I then ordered up the Ninth Minnesota and sent it down the Pontotoc road, and deployed a company as skirmishers across that road, and formed the remainder of the regiment on the right of the Ninety-THIRD Indiana. I ordered these regiments to charge the enemy, which they did in most gallant style, regaining all the ground we had lost and driving that portion of Buford's DIVISION on our right of the Guntown road from the field. Whilst this was being done, however, all the regiments on the left of the Guntown road were driven back to the vicinity of the cross-roads on confusion. I then turned my attention to the reformation of this portion of my line, and endeavored to get the regiments to move out to their original positions, but neither the most positive orders nor the most urgent entreaties could accomplish that object, the One hundred and fourteenth Illinois being the only regiment that made any effort to regain the lost ground. Failing in this I then attempted to get them in line along the Baldwyin and Pontotoc road, with an angle on the left, so as to throw the line along the Baldwyn and Pontotoc road, with an angle on the left, so as to throw the line in the direction of the Seventy-second Ohio, and moved the artillery out on a line with the infantry, directing the commanding officers of the batteries to sweep the woods with grape and canister. About this time I sent a message to General Sturgis stating that