War of the Rebellion: Serial 077 Page 0272 KY., SW. VA., TENN., MISS., ALA., AND N. GA. Chapter LI.

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Numbers 14. Report of Colonel William R. Marshall, Seventh Minnesota Infantry.


La Grange, Tenn., July 22, 1864.

LIEUTENANT: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part performed by the Seventh Regiment Minnesota Infantry Volunteers in late actions near Tupelo, Miss.:

About 3 p. m. on the 13th the enemy attacked the right flank of our column on the Pontotoc and Tupelo road. The Seventh Minnesota was engaged successfully in repelling this attack. We were marching by the left flank on the right of the road, covering the supply train. The left two companies, Captains Kennedy and Stevens, opposite head of supply train, kept in with the train as it was hurried forward. The remaining eighth companies were formed in line near the road, taking cover momentarily behind a fence, and opened fire on the enemy. Captain O'Donnell, of General Mower's staff, rode up and ordered the regiment to advance and drive the enemy back. This was promptly done, the line charging at double-quick across an old field. The ground was on part covered by bushes that marched the course of a dry brook. We dislodged the enemy on the left cover of this copse and on the right from a hill that commanded the road, and drove him out of range of the road into the woods the field. Captain O'Donnell at one time ordered the right of the line to fall back, but subsequently advanced it again. We held our advanced position until the train passed and we were ordered to return and move on to Tupelo. The enemy had entirely withdrawn from our front before we returned to road. The regiment and the service sustained a heavy loss in the death of Surg. Lucius B. Smith, who was instantly killed by the first volley from the enemy. We lost 14 men wounded in this affair.

On the morning of the 14, when the battle opened at Harrisburg, my regiment, except two companies, was placed in the second line, in the edge of the woods on the WEST front of our camp or army position. My right two companies (Captain Banks and Lieutenant Hoag) were placed in the first line, on the left of Twelfth Iowa, the left of both lines resting on the Pontotoc and Tupelo road, the right joining the Thirty-THIRD Missouri and Thirty-fifth Iowa (which lay at right angles fronting north-northwest). With the twelfth Iowa Captain Banks' and Lieutenant Hoag's companies were advanced to the fence, on rise of ground a few rods in front of original position, and engaged the enemy, who in heavy force and with terrible fire was advancing upon us. These companies fourth throughout the day with the gallant Twelfth Iowa. When the ammunition of the first was exhausted my eight companies (the second line) advanced and relieved them. Many of the noble boys of the Twelfth Iowa remained on the line, whose, fire, added to my full line, swelled the volume of musketry on our side. Within fifteen minutes after my line opened fire that of the enemy perceptibly slackened, but did not for a moment intermit during the full hour that we fought them. My men went in with forty rounds of ammunition. When this began to fail I got up a fresh supply. The miserable quality of the powder caused the guns to foul, so that many became unserviceable, the balls sticking half way down. we had fired FIFTY to sixty rounds when the Twelfth Iowa and my two right companies in turn relieved us. We retired not over five rods. Soon after we charged forward across the field with the Twelfth Iowa, the latter obliquing to the left,