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No. 19.-report of Brig. Gen. Thomas J. Wood, U. S. Army, comnmading Sixth Division. .of operations from, April 29 to May 30.

headquarters Sixth Division, Army of the Ohio Camp, Tuscumbia, Ala., June 14, 1862.
Sir: After having bivouacked two weeks on the famous field of Shiloh, with every variety of discomfort that absence of its baggage and transportation in the most inclement weather could produce, my division took its position in the line established in orders from the headquarters Department of the Mississippi, directing the Army of the Tennessee to rest its right flank on Owl Creek, and the Army of the Ohio its left on LickCreek with itsright flank resting on the Fifth (General Crittenden's) Division, its left en echelon in advance of the Fourth (General Nelson's) Division, and its front on what is known in local parlance as the Bark road.

The division remained in this position till April 29. It then moved forward to Lick Creek, a distance of some 3j miles. During the halt in this camp the division constructed the greater part of the corduroy road through the swampy bottom of Lick Creek. Heavy details were employed on this work for three days. Over this road the headquarters Army of the Ohio and the Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Divisions and reserve artillery of this army advanced beyond Lick Creek.

My division crossed the creek on May 3, and falling into the main road leading from Hamburg to Corinth, encamped on this road near the church of Mount Olivet.

On the succeeding day (4th) General Hascall's brigade (Fifth) made a reconnaissance several miles in advance of our position, following the new Farmington road.

On the 5th this brigade was detailed as a working party to repair the main road, on which the division was encamped, and continued on this duty for twenty-four hours. I was relieved by General Garfield's brigade, whose tour of duty lasted a like term. The brigades were attended during their tours of road-making by a section of artillery ann a squadron of Zahm's (Third Ohio) cavalry.

While engaged in repairing the road General Garfield's brigade had a rencounter with the enemy on the 6th, in which an interchange of the fire of small-arms and shells took place, without, however, casualty on our part. Three of the enemy were captured, but whether he suffered any other casualty I have no information.

On the 7th the division advanced and occupied a position behind Chambers Creek, up to which point the road had already been rendered practicable by its labor. In this connection I will remark that the necessity for repairing the roads, which involved much labor, was [706] produced by the deluging rains, which had fallen with great frequency from the battle of Shiloh up to the date at which the advance was begun. The vast amount of water which fell, combined with the peculiar soil of the country, made the roads, with the slightest use, almost utterly impassable.

May 8 was employed in clearing up and establishing the new camp, but on the 9th the road-making was resumed by the Twenty-first Brigade, Colonel Wagner's. During the forenoon of the day the brigade completed the corduroy track already commenced through the bottom of Chambers Creek, repaired the old bridge, built an entirely new and very substantial one, and commenced to lay down an additional corduroy track. While so employed the outposts and vedettes of the squadron of cavalry which was protecting the labors of the brigade, and which were posted beyond Seven Mile Creek, were attacked and driven in. The reports received from the outposts indicated that the enemy was advancing in considerable force. In consequence I ordered Colonel Wagner to post two regiments in line of battle on a strong ridge about 300 yards in rear of Seven Mile Creek, on either side of the road, with the section of artillery disposed between them so as to sweep the passage over the creek and through its quaggy bottom. A third regiment was posted 300 paces in rear of the other two, and the fourth left to continue the work, with orders to move to the support of those in advance should they become hotly engaged. Skirmishers were deployed in the thick underwood of the creek bottom and vedettes posted in advance of the creek. The enemy, apparently satisfied with the demonstration he had already made, attempted no farther advance; but as there was still satisfactory evidence to believe that he had not withdrawn, the dispositions I had ordered Colonel Wagner to make were continued until the afternoon of the following day, when he was relieved by a brigade from a division in General Thomas' corps d'armee.

In the rencounter one of the vedettes was wounded and two horses put hors de combat. Three prisoners were captured by my division in this affair.

During the afternoon of the 10th the division was ordered to move across the country from the main road from Hamburg to Corinth to the road leading from Hamburg to Farmington and occupy a position in rear of Seven Mile Creek to the right of General Nelson's division. The position thus taken was occupied a week. Heavy details were furnished by the division to finish the road across Chambers Creek where the route pursued across the country by the division crosses it, and also to open a road to the front across Seven Mile Creek.

During the occupation of this camp several lessons were given in the division drill, more especially in those tactical movements most likely, in all probability, to be made in actual conflict. The grandguard and outpost service, hitherto sufficiently onerous, became on our near approach to the enemy very heavy. Three regiments bivouacked daily on the line of battle selected some distance in advance of the camp, and thence threw forward the necessary outposts to insure safety against surprise.

During the afternoon of the 17th the division was ordered, with three days cooked rations in the haversacks and the tools transported by the men, to cross Seven Mile Creek and occupy a position on the Purdy and Farmington road. Its right flank rested at the junction of this road with the main Hamburg and Corinth road, and its left on the right flank of General Nelson's division, which was slightly en echelon to the rear. The position was not reached until between sundown and [707] night-fall, and it was hence impossible to dispose the brigades in their proper positions until some time in the night. When the division reached the ground a sharp skirmish was going on between the outposts of General T. W. Shermans division, of General Thomas' corps d'armee, and those of the enemy, while the main body of the division was actively engaged in intrenching itself. Without any knowledge of the ground and with strong indications of an attack in the morning, the division rested on its arms during the night. The division was encamped in two lines; an order of battle considered strong enough to resist any attack which the enemy might make.

On the following morning (18th) the outposts were strengthened and an active skirmish kept up nearly the entire day. Our advanced sentinels were in small-arm range of those of the enemy, and the slightest exposure of the person was sure to be followed by the sharp crack of the rifle.

On the 19th the division gained the front of a brigade disposed in order of battle toward the right, so as to rest its right flank on the main Corinth road, the holding of which, in case of an attack, the division was specially charged with. The remainder of the day was devoted to throwing up a continuous line of intrenchments, consisting of an epaulement, with the ditch inside, to cover the entire space the division has been ordered to hold. The intrenched line was not less than 800 yards in extent, and was thrown up and completed in a few hours.

Several successive subsequent days were devoted to strengthening the position by making a strong abatis in front of the weaker portions of the line. Several hundred yards in front of the general line the main road, turning to the westward, crosses quite an abrupt ridge, which dominates much of the position occupied by my division. It was hence important to hold and occupy this ridge. An intrenchment similar in arrangement to the general line was thrown upon it, and continued, so as to make nearly an inclosed work. By means of the opening made by the extensive abatis formed to strengthen the main line a strong flanking defense was given to the outwork from the batteries on the general line of battle, which assured to it the means of a stout resistance. So long as it could be maintained no advance could be made on the main road, and to have assaulted the general front of the division from any other point would have been a most hazardous and difficult operation. The enemy would have been compelled to cross first the abatis commanded throughout by a heavy fire of artillery and in a considerable portion of its extent by a fire of musketry, and subsequently to cross a broad field swept by a heavy direct and cross-fire both of ar tillery and musketry. By the intrenched line the grand army assembled for the reduction of Corinth protected itself against the danger of a sudden and violent attack, obtained a place d'armees, under whose cover it could arrange its attacks in security, and, most important result of all, secured a safe place of retreat in case of a reverse of any of its attacks. Under this shelter the broken columns could have been reformed and reorganized and returned to the assault under more favorable auspices. The possibility of the disgraceful and destructive routs which so often follow even a partial disaster with troops not perfectly disciplined was thus almost entirely removed. The outwork was oc cupied by the reserve of one of the regiments daily on grand-guard service, and the outposts and deployed sentinels were directed to retire into the work in case of an attack in force. Such an attack the regiment was ordered to resist to the last extremity. A section of artillery was posted in rear of the work, so as to enfilade the main road. In addition [708] to intrenching its own front, my division furnished the details for constructing the parapet with embrasures for one of the batteries of heavy guns.

I received information from the outposts of my division about 10 o'clock Wednesday night (the 21st) that there was a movement on foot by the enemy, and that he was apparently massing troops immediately in their front. I directed Brigadier-General Garfield to visit the outposts and, if possible, satisfy himself of the truth of the report. He returned about midnight satisfied of its general correctness. Supposing an attack early next morning was meditated, preparations were made in advance to meet it. From deserters who came into my outposts the following morning information was received that a very heavy force, estimated by common rumor in the rebel camp at 70,000, had been marched out the previous afternoon and night and that morning, commanded by General Bragg in person, to make a grand attack on our center. This attack was to be preceded by an attack on the right flank of our position. A demonstration on the right during the day, which failed, confirmed the statement of these deserters; and it was subsequently fully corroborated by other deserters from different regiments, who could have had no collusion in regard to their statements. Why the grand attack was not made on the center can never be certainly known, but it is reasonable to conjecture that it was the failure of the movement against the right of our general position. Having completed the task assigned to it in securing our intrenched camp, my division remained in position, quietly awaiting the moment for moving forward to the attack of the enemy in position. A week thus passed by, but that moment never came.

The early morning of the 30th was broken by the loud sound of singular and heavy explosions. The outposts of the most advanced divisions pushed forward to find that the enemy had evacuated his works around Corinth during the night of the 29th, and that the loud explosions arose from his attempt to destroy such of his material as he could not remove.

In concluding the report of the services rendered by my division in driving the enemy from a position which he had selected, as attested by the public press of the rebel States, as also by the official statement of the commander of the forces who lately occupied Corinth, in which to fight the great battle for the control of the Mississippi Valley, I would imperfectly and neglectfully perform the duty of division commander were I to omit to commend to the notice of our common superiors in rank the zeal, alacrity, patient obedience, and fortitude the troops displayed in the performance of every duty imposed on them in the brief but laborious campaign which terminated in giving to us that chosen position. No matter what the duty, whether in the toilsome march over muddy roads; the bivouac, with its attendant discomforts; the construction of channels of communication; the throwing up of intrenchments — a duty in which the spade, pick, and ax replaced the musket-or the resting on their arms both day and night, the same high qualities of the soldier were displayed.

My own thanks are specially due to my brigade commandersGenerals Garfield and Hascall and Colonel Wagner-and to Major Race, chief of artillery, for their valuable assistance, intelligent performance of duty, and prompt obedience throughout all the late operations.

In making up a report of operations in which all have behaved well it is always difficult, and often invidious, to signalize by name officers below the grade of the higher commanders, and only signal gallantry [709] or unusually valuable services would appear to justify such mention. Assured by my own close personal observation that the very valuable services rendered by two regimental officers of my division in the late operations fully warrant a special mention of their names I desire to commend to the notice of the commanding general Col. J. T. Wilder, Seventeenth Indiana, and Lieut. Col. G. P. Buell, Fifty-eighth Indiana Volunteers. Gifted by nature with uncommon capacity for usefulness in such operations as characterized the late campaign, these two officers were zealous at any and all times in the performance of every duty, whether it appropriately belonged to them or not.

I desire also to commend to the approbation of the commanding general the valuable services of the officers of my personal staff-Capt. William H. Schlater assistant adjutant-general; Lieutenants Lennard and Yaryan, of the ihirty-sixth and Fifty-eighth Indiana Volunteers, aides-de-camp, and the officers of my general staff, Division Surgeon Mussey, Captain Myers, quartermaster, and Lieutenant Hunt, Sixtyfifth Ohio, division ordnance officer.

The Third Ohio Volunteer Cavalry was temporarily detached from the division May 3, and did not rejoin it till after the evacuation of Corinth. I am hence unable to report anything of its services in the interval. Doubtlessly they will be fully and properly reported by Colonel Jackson, Third Kentucky Cavalry, who commanded all the cavalry of the Army of the Ohio in the late operations. The detail of cavalry for outpost service with my division came from this regiment during the advance on Corinth, and the duty was signally well performed.

Appended is a list of the casualties of my division. 1

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

th. J. Wood, Brigadier-General of Volunteers, Commanding. Col. J. B. Fry, Assistant Adjutant-General, Chief of Staff.

1 The nominal list shows 11 men wounded, as follows: Fifteenth Indiana, 2; Third Kentucky, 1; Twenty-sixth Ohio, 2; Sixty-fifth Ohio, 2; Thirteenth Michigan, 3; Third Ohio Battery, 1.

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