No. 36. Report of Colonel David P. Grier, Seventy-seventh Illinois Infantry, commanding First Brigade, of operations March 17-April 9.
HDQRS. FIRST Brigadier, THIRD DIV., 13TH ARMY CORPS,
Near Blakely, Ala., April 11, 1865.
CAPTAIN: In obedience to orders received from division headquarters I have the honor to submit the following report of the movements of the brigade under my command since leaving Fort Morgan to the present time:
On the 16th of March, 1865, I received orders to move with my command at daylight on the morning of the 17th. In obedience to this order I started at 4 a.m. and marched about eleven miles. On the 18th marched about fifteen miles. On the 19th succeeded in marching about six miles, having been engaged most of the day in building corduroy roads. On the 20th remained in camp awaiting the arrival of our train, which had been detained by the bad roads. On the 21st we broke camp and started forward during a terrible rain-storm, which commend of my command. On the morning of the 22nd I placed all my command at work building corduroy roads, and marched at 2 o'clock in the afternoon; went into camp late at night with the division train, having marched about three miles, and brought through the whole train over roads that might be considered impassable. On the 23rd I moved at 6 a.m., still having the train of the division under my charge, and at 4 p.m. reached Fish River with the train. My command camped on the south bank of the river until the afternoon of the 25th, when we moved forward, still having the division train under my charge. On account of the bad roads the train was then compelled to corral it about two miles in rear of the balance of the division. On the morning of the 26th I moved at daylight, and at 5 p.m. camped about one mile and a half from Spanish Fort. At 8 o'clock on the morning of the 27th I received orders to form my brigade and to move forward and take position on the right of the First Division, Thirteenth Army Corps. I immediately formed in column by regiments, the Twenty-eighth Illinois in front, Seventy-seventh Illinois, Ninety-sixth Ohio, and Thirty-fifth Wisconsin immediately in rear, and deployed four companies from the first three regiments as skirmishers. I advanced my line in this order about half a mile, when I deployed my column into line, withdrew the four companies, and deployed the Ninety-sixth Ohio as skirmishers. My whole line then advanced, passed over troops of some division formed in rear of some works, and had proceeded but a short distance when my skirmishers discovered the skirmish line of the enemy advancing over the brow of the hill immediately in advance. We at once opened fire on them, and they hastily retreated to their works, firing but very few shots. The Ninety-sixth Ohio then advanced about 100 yards in front of the hill on which the Seventh Massachusetts Battery was afterward placed. I then moved my brigade and placed it in camp under the brow of the same hill. My brigade remained in this position for two or three days, when I was directed by the division commander to form two lines.
In obedience to this order I moved the Ninety-sixth Ohio and Thirty-fifth Wisconsin about 500 yards to the rear. The next day after moving