War of the Rebellion: Serial 077 Page 0268 KY., SW. VA., TENN., MISS., ALA., AND N. GA. Chapter LI.

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Numbers 11. Report of Colonel Joseph J. Woods, Twelfth Iowa Infantry, commanding THIRD Brigade.


Memphis, Tenn., July 23, 1864.

I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of the THIRD Brigade in the late expedition in Mississippi:

This brigade moved from La Grange, Tenn., with the Right Wing of the SIXTEENTH Army Corps, on the morning of the 5th day of July, and entered Pontotoc, Miss., on the evening of the 11th of July, and again marched from that place on the morning of the 13th of July. Up to this time had not been engaged with the enemy.

On the afternoon of the 13th of July we were on the march from Pontotoc to Tupelo in the following order: The Thirty-fifth Iowa in advance, and immediately behind the brigade train of the Second Brigade; the Thirty-THIRD Missouri in front of the supply train, the Seventh Minnesota and Twelfth Iowa on the flanks of the train. At 3 p. m. a volley was fired into the brigade train of the Second Brigade and immediate in front of the Thirty-fifth Iowa. That regiment was immediately formed in line of battle and skirmishers thrown forward, but the force which fired from this point, and which seems to have been a small one, fled. Soon after this first volley the enemy opened in heavy force on the right flank of the Seventh Minnesota and Twelfth Iowa, who soon became hotly engaged with the enemy. After a sharp fight we not only repulsed the enemy, but drove him from the field. During this action Surg. L. B. Smith, of the Seventh Minnesota, and excellent officer, was killed. The Seventh Minnesota had 1 officer killed and 14 men wounded. In the Twelfth Iowa Captain C. L. Sumbardo, a good officer, was wounded, and that regiment had also 1 man killed, 11 men wounded, and 1 man missing. The same day the Thirty-THIRD Missouri had 2 men wounded. Total loss this day, 1 officer killed, 1 officer wounded, 1 man killed and 27 men wounded and 1 man missing.

On the morning of the 14th of July this army had taken a position near Tupelo, Miss. The brigade was disposed in the following order; On the right the Thirty-fifth Iowa, then the Thirty-THIRD Missouri, then the Twelfth Iowa, the left of the Twelfth Iowa resting on the Pontotoc road. The Seventh Minnesota was placed in reserve in rear of the line. At 9 o'clock the enemy in heavy force advanced upon our line, and attacked us warmly with artillery and musketry. Our men without once wavering returned the fire. A fierce engagement was kept up for three hours, when our whole brigade charged the enemy, driving him from the field and getting possession of his killed and wounded, prisoners, and 1 stand of colors, which fell into the hands of the Thirty-THIRD Missouri. We remained in our advanced position until it became evident the enemy was not likely to attack soon again, when we returned to our original position. During this attack the Twelfth Iowa exhausted their ammunition. The Seventh Minnesota relieved them until in turn the ammunition of the Seventh Minnesota became exhausted. During this action the twelfth Iowa had an excellent officer, Lieutenant A. A. Burdick, killed. The Twelfth Iowa lost during the day 6 men killed and 39 men wounded. The Seventh Minnesota lost 7 men killed, 1 officer wounded, and 33 men wounded. The Thirty-THIRD Missouri lost 1 officer wounded, 1 man killed, and 17 men wounded. The Thirty-fifth Iowa lost 3 men killed and 33 men wounded.