No. 30. Report of Colonel William T. Spicely, Twenty-fourth Indiana Infantry, commanding Second Brigade, of operations April 2-9.
HDQRS. SECOND Brigadier, SECOND DIV., 13TH ARMY CORPS,
Blakely, Ala., April 11, 1865.
SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by the Second Brigade, Second Division, Thirteenth Army Corps, in the operations before Blakely, Ala.:
On the morning of the 2nd day April, 1865, my command arrived in front of the enemy's works at this place and bivouacked for a short time awaiting orders. After a careful reconnaissance of the ground around this place, I received orders from the general commanding Second Division to move my command forward and take position in line on the left of Brigadier-General Hawkins' division of colored troops. This order was promptly executed by placing the Twenty-fourth Indiana Volunteers, commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Sears, on the right and joining General Hawkins' left; the Sixty-ninth Indiana Battalion, Lieutenant-Colonel Perry commanding, on the left and joining the right of Colonel Moore's (Third) brigade; the Seventy-sixth Illinois Volunteer Infantry occupying the left center of the line, Colonel Busey commanding, and the Ninety-seventh Illinois Infantry Volunteers, Lieutenant-Colonel Vifquain commanding, occupying the right center. As soon as the line of investment was completed, the order was given to the various commanders to intrench themselves as soon as possible and place the men under cover from the enemy's fire, and soon the sound of spade and shovel was heard along the line, and from the evening of the 2nd until the evening of the 9th instant this work was pushed forward by officers and men of my command both by night and by day, and in that short space of time, with but few tools at our command with which to work, and the men at all times subjected to a galling fire of shot and shell from the enemy's works, over 3,000 yards of entrenchments and earth-works were completed. In the prosecution of this work the zeal displayed by the men in its vigorous prosecution is worthy of mention.
On the 9th instant, at 5.30 p.m., I received orders from Brigadier General C. C. Andrews, commanding Second Division, to place my command in the front parallel of entrenchments, and to deploy one regiment as skirmishers, and to immediately advance upon the works of the enemy. It required but a few moments to form the line. The Ninety-seventh Illinois, commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Vifquain, supported by the Twenty-fourth Indiana, Seventy-sixth Illinois, and Sixty-ninth Battalion Indiana Volunteers, were deployed as skirmishers. These arrangements for the assault were hardly complete when the gallant Vifquain with his brave boys of the Ninety-seventh with cheers dashed forward, driving the enemy's line of skirmishers inside of their works. His command was closely followed by the rest of my command, and the contest for a time seemed to be who should arrive in the enemy's works first. The dash was no sudden and impetuous that it was almost impossible to determine who arrived first. But the honor of first entering the works is justly due to the Ninety-seventh Illinois on the left, and to the Seventy-sixth Illinois, led by the gallant Busey, on the right; the Twenty-fourth and Sixty-ninth Indiana at or about the same time, with
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