No. 47. Report of Lieutenant Colonel Samuel P. Jennison, Tenth Minnesota Infantry, of operations March 25-April 9.
HEADQUARTERS TENTH MINNESOTA INFANTRY,
Near Fort Blakely, Ala., April 12, 1865.
LIEUTENANT: I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of my regiment before Spanish Fort, Ala.:
My command left Fish River March 25, 1865, with the rest of the brigade. On the morning of the 27th, having passed somewhat beyond or to the north of Spanish Fort, on the road to Blakely, I was ordered to form in line of battle upon the left of the Ninety-thrid Indiana Infantry, facing the west, to cover my front with a strong skirmish line, and conform to the movements of the regiment on my right. We were then advanced about half a mile, when it was found that by the convergence of our lines of advance we were lapping the brigade on our right. We were moved to the left, and then forward until I came to the position occupied by Reed's Station Iowa Battery. I halted in rear of this battery and reported the fact to the colonel commanding brigade, who directed me then to remain. Later in the day, when it became apparent that the enemy would not accept battle outside of his works, I was directed to move forward and intrench myself on the right of the Second Brigade. I went to my assigned position about 4 p.m., procured axes and spades, and commenced to throw up works in plain view of the enemy and within 500 yards of their northeast bastion. Part of my front was claimed to plant the Second Iowa Battery. I therefore placed four companies in the front line and entrenched the other companies in rear of the battery. This position we occupied as our camp for twelve days, within which my command threw up a breaks-work which resisted the penetrative power of an 8-inch columbiad at point-blank range, covered themselves against splinters of the enemy's shell, assisted to drive forward a sap within seventy-five yards of the enemy's works, built a second parallel and nearly completed a third, constructed substantial works for sixteen siege guns and for lighter pieces, felled the heavy pine timber to give ranger to artillery upon about forty acres, and expended 23,000 rounds of cartridges in skirmishing. I was present in the advanced parallel with six companies of my regiment the night of the evacuation of the fort by the enemy, and observed the advance of a brigade of the Third Division, Sixteenth Army Corps, which was made at midnight on the 8th instant. Although that advance men no resistance whatever, and I might from my advanced position have preceded all the troops into the fort, I thought best not to experiment without orders, and accordingly remained until directed by the colonel commanding to advance into the fort. Of the duty peculiar to a siege I think no equal number of men ever did more, or better, or more willingly than the regiment I have the honor to command.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
S. P. JENNISON,
Lieutenant Colonel, Commanding Tenth Minnesota Infantry Volunteers.
Lieutenant THEODORE LIVINGS,
Actg. Asst. Adjt. General, First Brigadier, First Div., 16th Army Corps.