No. 119.-report of Col. Benjamin C. Grider, Ninth Kentucky Infantry.
April 8, 1862.General: I have the honor to submit to you my report of the part taken by the Ninth Regiment of Kentucky Volunteers in the battle of Chickasaw Bluffs, fought on Monday, April 7, 1862. We were landed from the steamboat John J. Roe the night before, about 11 o'clock, and marched a short distance to a part of the battle-field of the day before, where, without blankets or overcoats, we slept on our arms, in a heavy rain, very near to the enemy. About day, without breakfast, we were marched to the scene of action, the firing commencing just as we started. On arriving we were formed on the left of one line of your Eleventh Brigade, and just in the rear of and in position to protect the two batteries of the division (Captains Mendenhall's and Bartlett's), then in action in the center of our line. A portion of your brigade being drawn up a short distance in front of us, we were ordered to here remain and defend the batteries till further orders, which we did for an hour or more, the shot and shell of the enemy passing over and falling among us thick and fast. We then received an order from you to advance and form on the left of the front line of your brigade, then preparing to move into action in the center. At this moment, it becoming apparent that the enemy in force, and with great probability of success, were trying to turn our left, General Crittenden just as I was moving off under your orders, rode up to me and ordered me to follow him, left in front, which I did in doublequick. He led us to the left, and ordered me to form in the edge of a road, in front of a very dense chaparral, and stand till he could bring the Fifty-ninth Ohio, Colonel Fyffe, to form on my right. I had scarcely got them into line, which I did quickly, when General Buell came up and ordered me to move forward at once and quickly. I gave the order, and it was most promptly obeyed. The very thick growth of timber and underbrush of course threw them into much disorder, which was greatly increased by reaching a small branch, over shoe-top deep in mud and water, in the center of a hollow running nearly parallel with our line. While crossing this we were fired into by the enemy, about double our numbers, lying concealed on the ascent from the hollow, and less than 10 paces from us. We saw no one until we were notified of their presence by a most deadly and terrific fire. Some of our men and officers recoiled, but at once recovered; a few left the field; the large majority stood firm, returned their fire, advanced upon them,  and fought like brave men, driving them before us, and killing and wounding them in large numbers. They retired slowly and sullenly, fighting over and disputing well every inch of ground, taking advantage of every tree, thicket, log, or other protection, till they reached a small field beyond the woods, a distance of 300 yards. Through this they retreated in haste to the opposite fence and into a thin wood of large timber beyond, being driven entirely off the field, to which they never returned. We followed till they were out of our sight, and until we observed a body of cavalry on our left and a little to our rear. But for this we should have charged, and could have easily taken a section of artillery, about 250 yards to our right; but we did not regard it safe to leave the cavalry in our rear, and we returned to the wood and rested there, as we could not, of course, advance, having the artillery and cavalry as above described. We remained here a short time, when we were fired into by the artillery of the enemy and our own also, the latter killing 3 of our men and wounding several. From this we returned to the edge of the road, where we had started from, and found the Fifty-ninth Ohio there drawn up. Our loss was heavy in this fight, and was the principal one sustained by us during the day. From an examination made of the wounded and prisoners and of the persons of the dead, we ascertained that we had fought the Kentucky regiment commanded by Joseph H. Lewis, of Glasgow, Ky., and a Mississippi regiment, and perhaps some Arkansas troops. We took several prisoners, among them a captain and lieutenant. We now formed with the Fifty-ninth Ohio, and after throwing out skirmishers we advanced in line, on the left of the Fifty-ninth Ohio, into the woods where we had fought, and wheeled to the right, thus throwing the Ninth Kentucky into the field above alluded to, and causing it to pass through the same into a woods to the right of it. We found no enemy, but, keeping out skirmishers to our left, we found small bodies, perhaps their skirmishers, and had for a time some desultory firing, in which we lost 1 killed and several wounded, all from the Ninth Kentucky, as it was next to the enemy. Continuing but a short distance we came upon and captured a section of the enemy's artillery, supported by a body of his infantry, but were forced to abandon it, mostly on account of a fire from another section farther on in advance of us, and also by a fire from one of our own batteries in the rear. We returned to the road again, but to a point on it to the right of where we had first been. After remaining a short time we returned and captured the section of the enemy's battery which we had just abandoned, our battery having ceased to fire on that point, and the other section of the enemy's battery having been in the mean time silenced, and, as I have since learned, taken by the Thirteenth Kentucky, Col. E. H. Hobson, and Eleventh Kentucky, Col. P. B. Hawkins. We this time held it. We here lost 2 or 3 men killed and a number wounded by a discharge from one of the guns and the infantry fire. The battle had now ceased, except to our right, where we marched and met with you in person, but got into no other engagement, as the day was now ours, and the enemy retreating before other forces. Our loss, as far as we have been able to ascertain it, is as follows: (The lieutenant-colonel was absent, sick in Nashville; major absent on detached duty, and no field officer present but myself.) I had 23 officers of the line and my adjutant present, of whom 4 captains were wounded, 2 dangerously; 3 lieutenants were killed and 3 wounded. Total officers killed and wounded, 10; non-commissioned officers and  privates killed, 14; wounded, 67, of whom about one-half are dangerously wounded. Permit me to add that most of my officers and men behaved well, maintaining bravely and nobly the honor of their native StatesKentucky and Tennessee--in which the regiment was formed. Many of them acted like heroes, and more determined bravery and coolness could not be exhibited. I mention with pleasure and pride, as principal among them, Adjt. J. H. Grider; Captains Austin, Cram, Bailey, Bryan, Vetter, Coyle, Chinowth, and Harling; Lieutenants Reed, Moore, Tate, Stout, Jenkins, Underwood, Clarke, Faulkner, and Smith Pipkins. Some of them were not commissioned, as they had but recently been elected to the offices, but were acting in them, and steps had been taken to procure commissions. Lieutenant Tate, when killed, and Captains Cram and Austin and Lieut. Warner Underwood, when wounded, were in advance of their men, calling on them to follow, while the other officers named were at all times at their places, or in advance of and encouraging and rallying the men by precept and example. Asst. Surg. John A. Lindsay did his part nobly and bravely, not only in his profession, but often took the field and the places of killed, wounded, or missing officers, and was of very great service. Most respectfully submitted.