War of the Rebellion: Serial 103 Page 0172 KY.,S. W. VA., TENN., N. & C. GA., MISS., ALA., & W. FLA.

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some minutes before the troops, either on the right or left, had reached them. They captured at this point quite a number of prisoners, 1 battle-flag, 1 30-pounder and 1 20-pounder Parrott gun, and 2 12-pounder brass howitzers in position; also 1 7-inch gun which had not yet been mounted. As soon as the Eighth Illinois had gotten inside the works I ordered Colonel Sheetz, commanding, to throw out skirmishers and advance with his command to the river. They had proceeded but a short distance when I received an order from the general commanding the division, for them to fall back, and as soon as the Eighth Illinois Infantry was seen on the enemy's works I received positive orders to halt the Eleventh and Forty-sixth Illinois Infantry, now 300 yards from the rebel line, and had it not been for these orders hundreds of prisoners that were captured by other commands would have fallen into my hands. Some time after this I was ordered to advance the Eighth Illinois to the river, and Colonel Sheetz, commanding, at once took possession of and placed guards over all the property at that point, consisting of artillery, muskets, mortars, a great quantity of ammunition for small-arms, a magazine containing a large amount of artillery ammunition, and much other property, consisting of wagons, mules, ambulances, tents, &c. All of this property was guarded by the Eighth Illinois Infantry until 2 a.m., when my entire command was ordered by superior authority to return to camp. At the same time that the Eighth Illinois Infantry was ordered forward, I instructed Colonel Coates, commanding the Eleventh, and Colonel Dornblaser, commanding the Forty-sixth Illinois Infantry, to send their respective commands through the woods in search of prisoners. These two regiments, with the exception of two companies of the Forty-sixth and one company of the Eleventh Illinois Infantry (which were engaged in guarding prisoners and cutting a road through the rebel works), at once started out, and these two regiments, together with the Eighth Illinois Infantry, succeeded in capturing 264 prisoners, which were delivered to Major Lewis, provost-marshal of the division. Too much praise cannot be bestowed upon the officers and men in acknowledgment of their valuable services on this occasion. Of Colonel Sheetz, of the Eighth Illinois, I cannot say too much. He gallantly led his regiment and was among the first to mount the parapet. Lieutenant-Colonel Wheaton,* of same regiment, gallantly performed his part, and, in company with Sergeant Switzer, of his command, entered one of the embrasures but a few seconds after the last shot had been fired from the rebel gun. Colonels Coates, of the Eleventh, and Dornblaser, of the Forty-sixth Illinois Infantry, moved up with their respective commands and performed the part assigned them, to my entire satisfaction; and, last, though not least, I would speak of the enlisted men. Their eagerness to press forward was only equaled by the desire of their officers to have them do so, and though the enemy stood manfully to their works, it was impossible to resist their terrible onset. Let us shed a tear of regret over the graves of those who have fallen and have a tender care for those who still live, but suffer in their country's cause. The above, together with the report of Colonel Sheetz, commanding the Eighth Illinois Infantry (which is inclosed#), I have the honor most respectfully to submit for the consideration of the general commanding.

ELIAS S. DENNIS,

Brigadier-General, Commanding.

Captain R. G. CURTIS,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

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*Awarded a Medal of Honor.

#See p. 175.

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