Numbers 74. Report of Colonel Leander Blanden, Ninety-fifth Illinois Infantry, of operations March 27-April 9.
HDQRS. NINETY-FIFTH Regiment ILLINOIS VOL. INFANTRY,
April 15, 1865.
SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of the Ninety-fifth Regiment Illinois Volunteer Infantry during the siege of Spanish Fort, Ala.:
On the morning of March 27 when the brigade line of battle was formed I threw out my skirmishers and immediately moved my command forward, skirmishing briskly with the enemy and driving him back toward his works. At noon of the same day I had advanced to within 300 yards of his main line and took position nearly in front of what is known as the Red and White Forts, under a heavy fire of musketry and artillery. My skirmishers were active during the remainder of the day, and at dusk I set my men at work building my first line of works, and on the 28th occupied them with my regiment. I then commenced running a sap from my works across a ravine in my front, and on the 29th my rifle-pits were completed on the opposite ridge, where my sharpshooters (now advanced to within 150 yards of the forts) silenced his heavy guns. My command after this was kept busily employed day and night advancing our rifle-pits under the fire of the rebel sharpshooters and on the 8th instant my trenches were within twenty-five yards of the opposing line. During the bombardment by our artillery on the 8th instant my command (except heavy details which were busy in front) remained in camp, no order to the contrary having been received, until the rapid firing commenced on the extreme right of our whole line, held by the Third Brigade. In accordance with orders I then formed my command in line and moved at once into my advanced rifle-pits, holding my men in readiness for any movement. After remaining in this position about one hour I was ordered to move my regiment around to support of Colonel Geddes' brigade (Third), which was then charging the enemy's works. This order was executed promptly, and I arrived at the point designated in time to co-operate. I remained there in position until late in the evening of the 8th, when orders were received to move back to my rifle-pits, and I accordingly moved my regiment to that point on the double-quick. On arriving there I immediately led my regiment over my own rifle-pits, and charged over the Red and White Forts, tearing away the chevaux-de-frise in our course. At this time there were no other Federal forces preceding me, and I ordered my command forward toward the bay and halted until the regiments of the brigade came up to the place where the brigade line was first formed after the general charge into the works of the enemy. In accordance with orders then received I moved forward to within a short distance of Fort Alexis, taking possession of the same and placing proper guards over the guns. In compliance with orders, I afterward marched my command back to camp, arriving about 4 a.m. the morning of the 9th, having captured during the movement 2 commissioned officers and 30 privates. The following are the casualties that occurred in my command during the siege of the fort.* In concluding this report I deem it due to the officers and enlisted men of my com-
*Nominal list (here omitted) shows 1 man killed and 1 officer and 26 men wounded.
18 R R-VOL XLIX, PT I