War of the Rebellion: Serial 077 Page 0478 KY., SW. VA., TENN., MISS., ALA., AND N. GA. Chapter LI.

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Numbers 8. Report of Captain Charles R. Riggs, Sixty-first U. S. Colored Infantry, First Brigade Colored Troops.


Camp near Memphis, Tenn., August 23, 1864.

SIR: I have the honor to make the following report of the attack made on the camp and detachment of the Sixty-first U. S. Colored Infantry at about 4 a. m. on the 21st day of August, 1864:

The detachment consisted of 5 officers and 200 enlisted men, of which only one-THIRD were fit for duty. Five minutes from the time the discharging of arms was heard the rebels were in our camp; consequently, there was no chance, although attempts were made, to rally what few men I had. The officers and men were scattered. Many of them had arms and fought desperately on their own account, but after a short and stubborn resistance were compelled to give way to more than ten times their number. One desperate deed of daring deserves especially to be mentioned. First Sergt. Benjamin F. Thacker, who was detailed as recruiting officer of Company I, Second U. S. Colored Artillery (Light), and Lieutenant B. Halley, both of Company K, Sixty-first U. S. Colored Infantry, succeeded in getting around to said battery, and while the rebel column was abreast of it, and one company filling around the north end of the picket-line to get the horses, and within six rods of the guns, they brought a gun into position, charged it with canister, and discharged it mortally wounding one of General Forrest's escort, and throwing the enemy into great confusion. Sergt. B. F. Thacker fought through the entire engagement, and fell seriously wounded on College avenue. Colonel F. A. Kindrick, here under orders, immediately proceeded to the front, and was engaged rallying stragglers, and hurrying with them to the field of action. He was wounded in the head by a minie-ball, the shock being so great as to throw him off his horse, severely injuring him.

The following is the list of casualties in this command: *

I have the honor to be, most respectfully, your obedient servant,


Captain, Commanding Detachment.


Commanding Detachment First Brigade, U. S. Colored Troops.

Numbers 9. Report of Lieutenant Colonel William B. Bell, Eighth Iowa Infantry (unassigned).


Memphis, Tenn., August 24, 1864.

In compliance with instructions from headquarters District of Memphis, I have the honor to report the part taken by my command in the action of August 21.


*Nominal list (omitted) shows 3 enlisted men killed, 1 commissioned officer and 7 enlisted men wounded, and 5 enlisted men missing.