War of the Rebellion: Serial 077 Page 0294 KY., SW. VA., TENN., MISS., ALA., AND N. GA., Chapter LI.

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Numbers 28. Report of Lieutenant Richard Burns, THIRD Indiana Battery.


Near La Grange, Tenn., July 21, 1864.

LIEUTENANT: In compliance with your order, I have the honor to report as follows, concerning the part taken by my command in the late engagement with the enemy on the 14th, 15th, and 16th instant, near Tupelo, Miss., viz:

On the morning of the 14th instant I was ordered to report with my command, consisting of four guns of the THIRD Indiana Battery, to Colonel Murray, commanding a brigade of the THIRD DIVISION, SIXTEENTH Army Corps. This I did, and was stationed by him in from of his command, near the road leading from Pontotoc, Miss., to Tupelo, Miss. About 6 a. m. of the same day the enemy showed themselves in considerable force in different parts of the country immediately before us, when I began to throw shell at them, principally from two James rifled pieces. This was kept up but a short time, when the enemy in considerable numbers made a charge against our forces in that part of the field. Three of my guns (two 12-pounder smooth-bores and one 6-pounder James rifle) were at this time brought to bear on the columns of the enemy, as they advanced, with as much activity and accuracy as the nature of the ground and other circumstances would permit, and I have reason to believe did good execution against the same and contributed materially toward victory on our side in that part of the field. Immediately before the charge above mentioned, I was ordered to send one gun to the right of Colonel Murray's brigade. Lieutenant Philip McPherson took charge of the same, and stationed his piece (a 6-pounder James rifle) on the road leading from Tupelo to Pontotoc, and used it against the enemy in all possible directions and with creditable effect for about one hour and a half, when his ammunition gave out and he himself was wounded. After the first heavy charge of the enemy, my other guns were used steadily against them wherever there was a chance of doing service until about 9 a. m., when the firing at all point had pretty much ceased. Casualties in the action were: Lieutenant Philip McPherson and 2 privates seriously, and 1 corporal and 1 private slightly, wounded, 2 artillery horses killed, and 1 gun (a 6-pounder James rifle) dismounted by a shot from the enemy's gun.

The part taken in action against the enemy by my command on the 15th instant consisted in firing a few shots from a 12-pounder gun at the enemy, by order of brigade commander, Colonel Gilbert, on the road a few miles out from Tupelo.

Late in the afternoon of the 16th, and just before going into camp, the enemy attacked our forces on the march, in the rear, pretty sharply, when I was ordered with one gun to assist the cavalry in holding the enemy in check. With a 12-pounder smooth-bore I shelled the woods in the rear of the camps of the THIRD DIVISION, SIXTEENTH Army Corps, from a commanding position for about one-half hour, but with what effect is not known.

During the engagement mentioned my battery fired near 500 rounds of ammunition.

My command deserves especial praise for attention to their duties at all times when called upon.


First Lieutenant, THIRD Indiana Battery, Commanding Company.

Lieutenant W. G. DONNAN,

Actg. Asst. Adjt. General, 2nd Brigadier, 3rd Div., 16th Army Corps.