HDQRS. SECOND Brigadier, FIRST DIV., 13TH ARMY CORPS,
Mobile, Ala., April 22, 1865.
CAPTAIN: In compliance with orders I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of my command during the siege of Spanish Fort and Blakely, Ala.:
The enemy was first encountered in any considerable force on the 26th of March, in the vicinity of Spanish Fort. The lines were formed and the skirmishers advanced, which soon met the enemy's line, when a lively fire at once commenced and continued through the night. Works were thrown up in our front, and troops slept on arms, with the exception of the Eleventh Illinois Infantry, which regiment was advanced about one mile to the front as a support to the skirmishers. On the 27th, the lines being formed, advanced on the enemy's works, who fell back at our approach behind his fortifications, and now commenced the investment and bombardment of Spanish Fort. My command being held as reserve in rear of First Brigade, no part of it was engaged except the skirmishers, which I furnished each alternate day. I remained in this position until the 30th, when my command moved with the division, which was ordered to the support of Major-General Steele at Blakely, Ala., which point was reached at daylight on the morning of the 3rd of April. Here again my command, with the other brigades of the division, was held in reserve, and nothing of any importance occurred until April 9, 1865, when my command accompanied the division to Blakely, Ala., and a report of the operations at that point has already been furnished. I cannot speak in too high terms of praise of the officers and men of my command. Never did men perform a duty assigned them more nobly. The officers, at all times active and energetic, fully sustained their reputation during the campaign just closed so dearly and gloriously earned since the commencement of the war. I must especially mention Colonel Sheetz and Lieutenant-Colonel Wheaton, of the Eighth Illinois Infantry, who gallantly led their men in the charge on the enemy's works at Blakely, Ala., and were among the first to mount the parapet. Captain Alva C. Bishop and Captain Alexander Coleman both behaved with the greatest gallantry. The former, I do not hesitate to say, is one of the bravest and most efficient officers in the service. The latter, after receiving a dangerous wound which disabled him, still waved his sword in defiance and continued to cheer on his men. Sergt. John M. Switzer, Company B, Eighth Illinois Infantry, who is among the bravest of the brave. His enthusiasm was such that he broke from the ranks, rushed forward, and, in company with Lieutenant Colonel Loyd Wheaton, entered the embrasure just as the last gun was fired. The officers of my staff, from the day of leaving Fort Games up to the occupation of Mobile, were untiring in their efforts to aid me. Captain Kuhn, assistant adjutant-general, one among the best officers in the service, efficient in his office, equally so in the field, brave, cool, and determined. I could not too strongly urge his promotion. Captain Mack and Lieutenant Smith, aides-de-camp, did their whole duty, and, with Captain Kuhn, were the first at the head of the reserves to pass the fortifications at Blakely.
I am, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
ELIAS S. DENNIS,
Captain R. G. CURTIS,
Asst. Adjt. General, First Division, Thirteenth Army Corps.