ing officers of division and brigade have my hearty congratulations for the manner in which they directed this engagement, and I most humbly ask their pardon if I have committed one of the blunders to which military men are subject, by taking the enemy's works with a skirmish line when the intention was only to feel of his lines and learn their strength. But it seemed to me to be the only way to save the lives of my men and add one more victory to the invincible Sixteenth Army Corps, and particularly to the Second Division, which never was drilled in the art of feeling an enemy's lines without taking it in out of the cold.
I am, sir, your obedient servant,
THOMAS J. KINNEY,
Colonel, Commanding 119th Illinois Infantry Volunteers.
Lieutenant S. D. SAWYER,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
P. S. - A list of casualties was forwarded to you on last evening, to wit: 2 killed, 14 wounded, 1 of which has died.
T. J. K.
Numbers 58. Report of Lieutenant Colonel Joseph G. Best, Twenty-first Missouri Infantry, of operations March 22-April 12.
HDQRS. TWENTY-FIRST MISSOURI INFTY. VETERAN VOLS.,
Mobile, Ala., October 31, 1865.
COLONEL: In compliance with your request I have the honor to make the following report of operations of this regiment:
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March 22 * * * the regiment proceeded per steamer to join the army on the west side of Fish River, Alabama, near its mouth, at which place it arrived and went into [camp] on the 24th day of March. On the 25th and 26th of March it moved with the army to within three miles of Spanish Fort, where the Second Division, Sixteenth Army Corps, threw up fortifications facing to the rear. Remained there until April 3 when the division moved to and began operations against Fort Blakely, Ala. It took part in the many skirmishers in the approach and siege of Fort Blakely and lost several men killed and wounded and on the 9th of April did their whole duty in the charge on and capture of the fortifications and their rebel defenders. In the capture of that place two of the color-bearers were killed,but the colors were successfully planted on the works before that of any of the many others that were fully as anxious as the Twenty-first to have their flag first. The loss of the regiment was about equal to that of the whole brigade, it being on the extreme left of the army, which was not equal to the front of the enemy's works, causing a cross-fire of artillery and musketry to be given it from the enemy's right. After the capture of the fort the regiment marched about four miles and a half to brigade headquarters, having in charge and reporting over 500 rebel prisoners, officers and enlisted men, among them two rebel generals.
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Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JOSEPH G. BEST,
Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding Regiment.
Colonel SAMUEL P. SIMPSON
Adjutant-General of Missouri.