War of the Rebellion: Serial 077 Page 0287 Chapter LI. EXPEDITION TO TUPELO, MISS.

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HDQRS. SECOND Brigadier, THIRD DIV., 16TH ARMY CORPS,

In the Field, near La Grange, Tenn., July 22, 1864.

SIR: In relation to the part taken by the Second Brigade in the later engagement at Old Town Creek, Miss., on the 15th instant, I have the honor to make the following report:

We had camped on the north side of Old Town Creek, when, about 5 p. m., the enemy attacked the rear of the column, and from a high hill, some three-quarters of a mile upon the opposite side of the creek, commenced shelling our camp. I received orders to move out the infantry of my command, consisting of the Fourteenth Iowa, Captain William J. Campbell commanding; Twenty-seventh Iowa, Captain Amos M. Haslip commanding; Thirty-second Iowa, Major Jonathan Hutchinson commanding; and Twenty-fourth Missouri, Major R. W. Fyan commanding, to meet him. I immediately marched out upon the road leading back toward the creek, and was ordered to deploy my command upon the right of the Thirty-THIRD Regiment Wisconsin Infantry, in a field of growing corn upon the right of the Tupelo road. I had hardly deployed the Fourteenth and Twenty-seventh Iowa Infantry, when I received orders to move forward in line in double- quick time. Sending a staff officer to bring forward the other two regiments, I threw out a line of skirmishers in front, and obeyed the order with all possible promptitude. The line scaled the fence, waded a stream nearly waist deep in water and mud, through the thick brush and timber; waded the second stream, as deep as the first and on through the belt of timber to the edge of a large field of growing corn, where it came in full sight of the rebel line, which, with its battle-flags waving in the sunlight, was boldly and firmly advancing, pouring in a destructive fire. I at once withdrew the skirmishers to the main line, and ordered it to fire and advance. The whole line poured in a volley, raised a shout, scaled the fence, and pressed steadily forward in the open field, firing as they advanced. The ground was rough and ascending; the day was very hot. By the time the line had reached the center of the field many had dropped on the ground from heat and exhaustion, unable to rise; not a few had borne back wounded. The ranks had been somewhat thinned, and the rebel line in front, in excellent position, yet held form and kept up a continuous and severe fire. Perceiving that I might be easily flanked upon the right should my line be much farther advanced, I sent a staff officer to find out where and why the order two regiments of my command had been detained, and to bring them forward on the right with all possible dispatch. By this time the enemy began to waver and fall back, when our men raised another cheer and pushed onward up the hill, firing rapidly, and, the field proved, as we advanced over it, with excellent effect. The enemy failed to reform his line, but kept up quite a sharp fire until driven over the hill. My line steadily advanced to the farther side of the field, over another fence, up through the broken timber to the crest of the hill, when the firing ceased, and I ordered the line to halt. Skirmishers were thrown out, and the exhausted but triumphant line permitted to sit down and rest. The other two regiments now came up, who were deployed upon the right, breaking somewhat to the rear. The enemy were driven beyond sight and no more firing occurred, except a few desultory shots from the pickets. I held this position until sundown, when I was ordered to move to the left and some 500 yards to the rear, where I lay all night, the left of my line resting across the Tupelo road. About sunrise next morning it was reported that the enemy was moving in upon the eft and formed line about 200 yards from and nearly parallel to the