War of the Rebellion: Serial 103 Page 0214 KY.,S.W.VA.,TENN.,N. & C.GA.,MISS.,ALA., & W.FLA.

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and losing 61 killed and wounded. The regiment was followed very closely by the balance of the brigade, but were not surpassed, although we opened the way. As a matter of pride to my regiment I desire the brigade commander to give us credit for that. Of course the honor of one soldier is the honor of the army, but what is claimed by other regiments I, when in my right, have also the right of claiming it. The affair was brilliant and a complete success. My regiment captured 1 battle-flag, 1 headquarters flag (French's division), and another battle-flag (Missouri brigade, General Cockrell's).* With the exception of Second Lieutenant S. W. Jones, Company C, all my officers were present and behaved nobly. All deserve credit, but more particularly Captain S. R. Howard, Company I, he having been a work almost day and night as assistant to the officer who had charge of the trench-work in front of the brigade.

I have the honor to remain, captain, yours, very respectfully,


Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding Ninety-seventh Illinois Volunteers.

Captain F. T. LEWIS,

Actg. Asst. Adjt. General, Second Brigadier, Second Div., 13th Army Corps.

No. 33. Report of Lieutenant Colonel Francis A. Sears, Twenty-fourth Indiana Infantry, of operations April 2-9.


Blakely, Ala., April 10, 1865.

SIR: I have the honor to report the part taken by the regiment under my command in the operations against Blakely, Ala.:

On the afternoon of the 2nd instant, the enemy having been driven inside their works, we advanced and took position in front of and about one mile distant from their main works. The line being established, work was immediately begun upon the trenches under the supervision of the colonel commanding the Second Brigade. Nearly one-half of my command was constantly on duty, either in the trenches or on the skirmish line. Officers and men vied with each other in vigorously prosecuting the work assigned them. When the assault was determined of veteran soldiers. In consequence of the nature of the ground over which we passed a perfect line was not maintained. The enemy had placed every obstacle in the way of our advance. Trees felled with branches outward, and torpedoes planted in the supposed path an assaulting column would take, and the sharp fire of musketry, shell, and canister, which the enemy kept up, were not sufficient to deter the regiment from its impetuous advance. Where all performed their duty so well I deem it invidious to particularize. I have to report the loss of the gallant Captain Merchant, commanding Company D, who fell mortally wounded. In him the regiment lost an able and brave officer, who fell nobly performing his duty. His loss to us is irreparable. He is a loss to the service, of which he was an ornament. He is a loss to his country, for which he died. As near as I can ascertain, Sergt. William P.


*Nominal list (here omitted) shows 9 men killed and 6 officers and 45 men wounded.