HDQRS. FIRST DIVISION, THIRTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
Mobile, April 18, 1865.
MAJOR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by this command in the assault upon Blakely, Ala., April 9, 1865:
At 5 p.m. of the 9th instant, I received an official note from Captain J. F. Lacey, of General Steele's staff, saying that the entire skirmish line in front of Blakely would advance at 5.30 p.m., and that Major-General Steele wished me to advance and enter the enemy's works if possible. My division occupied one brigade front on the line of investment, the left extending a few rods south of the road leading from Sibley's Mills to Blakely, and joining Garrard's right, extending to and joining General Andrews' left. I immediately placed the Second Brigade, Brigadier-General Dennis, on the front line, and brought up the Third Brigade, Lieutenant-Colonel Kinsey, One hundred and sixty-first New York, commanding, to support it. The First Brigade, Brigadier-General Slack, was held in reserve. A section of the Seventh Massachusetts Battery, Captain Storer, was all the artillery I had in position. After a very sharp artillery fire from our line the forward movement commenced. The Eighth Illinois Infantry, Colonel Sheetz, advanced as skirmishers, followed by the Forty-sixth Illinois Infantry, Colonel Dornblaser, on the right, and the Eleventh Illinois, Colonel Coates, on the left. The enemy's main works were about 600 yards from our skirmish line. His skirmishers were well advanced and covered by a strong line of rifle-pits. As the Eighth Illinois advanced it received a very hot fire from the skirmish line, but with shouts and cheers it pressed forward over the rough ground and obstructions of fallen, timber, captured the rebel skirmishers, and pressed forward through the double line of abatis to the enemy's main work. A rebel battery on the right of the Sibley road fired canister with great rapidity as the line approached. The right of the line reached this battery, and instantly mounting through the embrasures, its four guns were silenced and captured. The whole regiment dashed over the works led by their gallant officers, and captured 300 prisoners, and pressing forward were the first troops that reached the landing. The Eleventh and Forty-sixth Illinois quickly followed, and were halted and formed inside the works. The whole brigade deserves the highest credit for the splendid manner in which the charge was executed. No regiment could have done better than the Eighth Illinois. It was among the first, if not the very first, to plant its colors on the rebel works. My command captured 300 prisoners, two Parrott guns, two 12-pounder howitzers, one 8-inch columbiad, and 500 stand of small-arms, a large amount of ammunition and ordnance stores, all of which were left on the ground when the command was ordered back to camp at 12 o'clock at night. The Seventh Massachusetts Battery, Captain Storer, rendered the most efficient aid by its rapid and well-directed fire. The supporting brigades and reserves were ready to move in a moment, and were impatient to move forward. Brigadier-General Dennis and staff merit strong approbation for their gallant conduct. My loss was 13 killed and 64 wounded.
I have the honor to be, major, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JAMES C. VEATCH,
Major F. W. EMERY,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Thirteenth Army Corps.