HDQRS. SECOND DIVISION, THIRTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
Near Blakely, Ala., April 10, 1865.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report the part taken by the Second
and Third Brigades of my division in the assault yesterday on the
enemy's works in front of Blakely Landing:
My division having formed at short notice in my advanced parallel, 500 yards from the enemy's fortifications, moved forward at 5.45 p.m. Precisely at that time Lieutenant-Colonel Vifquain, commanding Ninety-seventh Illinois Infantry, gave the command, "Forward, Ninety-seventh!" at which his regiment sprang with him over the parapet, and with a loud cheer charged in line as skirmishers upon the enemy. This was in front of the Second (Spicely's) Brigade. Upon this the Eighty-third Ohio, Lieutenant-Colonel Baldwin commanding, advanced with a shout in front of the Third (Moore's) Brigade. Each brigade followed its line of skirmishers after an interval had been gained of about 150 paces, charging in line of battle, the Twenty-fourth Indiana, Seventy-sixth Illinois, and Sixty-ninth Indiana, of Spicely's brigade, following the Ninety-seventh Illinois on the right, and on the left the Thirty-fourth Iowa, One hundred and fourteenth Ohio, Twentieth Iowa, and Thirty-seventh Illinois following the Eighty-third Ohio. The line of skirmishers met a sharp fire from the enemy's rifle-pits as soon as the movement commenced, but pressed on at double-quick. Their bold and steady front was such a warning as made the enemy hasten from his rifle-pits to the inside of his breat-works. Hundreds of the enemy could be seen hurrying thus over their own obstructions to their redoubts and breast-works. My line was such that the center of my right (Spicely's) brigade moved along the Stockton road, but it was known to be perilous on account of torpedoes. The ground along my whole front to the enemy's works is quite uneven and covered with fallen trees. Beside this obstruction there were two formidable lines of abatis, one being within twenty yards of the enemy's guns. The right of Moore's brigade had also to pass three ravines. Numerous rifle-pits and detached breast-works also served to increase the obstruction, which has been remarked to be almost insurmountable. Over this rough ground and these elaborately constructed obstacles, in face of heavy musketry fire from the enemy's breast-works and terrible artillery fire from his redoubts, these gallant regiments that I have named, cheered on by their commanders, pressed forward without wavering. It was a spectacle, indeed, that inspired the most exulting emotions, for no one who saw the troops and knew them could doubt of their triumph. It required from five to ten minutes for the Eighty-third Ohio to remove enough of the abatis, referred to as being so close to the enemy's guns at the Stockton road redoubt, to effect a passage. Their colors were planted there, and they removed the abatis before a fearful fire. When room was made for a passage, they rushed triumphantly upon the parapet of the redoubt, Captain John D. Gary and Private William M. Rooke, of that regiment, being the first who stepped upon the parapet. The Ninety-seventh Illinois and Eighty-third Ohio placed their colors upon the redoubt almost simultaneously. The redoubt opposite my right was taken after a severe fight, in which the Seventy-sixth Illinois bore the severest part. My division took the enemy's works opposite its front, extending three-quarters of a mile, and including three redoubts. This was done in about twenty minutes. It captured between 1,300 and 1,400 prisoners, including a general officer commanding a division and 71 commissioned officers, 12 guns of different caliber and of more than ordinary value, with considerable ammunition,