No. 52.-report of Brig. Gen. Patton Anderson, C. S. Army, commanding First Brigade, of engagement at Farmington, Miss., May 9.
Captain: I have the honor to transmit herewith my official report of the action near Farmington on the 8th and 9th instant, with the reports of my subordinate commanders and an informal list of casualties. A list of the casualties in the new form will be transmitted as soon as the necessary reports of the regimental commanders can be made. I am, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
headquarters First Brigade, Reuggles' Division, Second Army Corps, Army of the Mississippi, Corinth, Miss., May 15, 1862.Captain: I have the honor to submit this my report of the part taken by the brigade under my command in the affair with the enemy at Farmington on the 9th instant: By a circular order from division headquarters the brigade was put in readiness on the night of the 8th to move to the front at an early hour on the morning of the 9th. I was directed by the brigadiergeneral commanding the division to march my command to a field some half a mile beyond the breastworks, to form the brigade in close column by divisions, and to await further orders. At the same time I was informed that it was the purpose of the commanding general that we should move out on the lower Farmington road until the enemy should be found, and then to encounter him; also that BrigadierGeneralWalker, commanding Third Brigade, Ruggles' division, with, among other troops, one regiment of infantry (Thirty-seventh Mississippi Regiment, Colonel Benton commanding) and one section of artillery Lieutienant Vaught commanding, belonging to my brigade, would deploy his column as soon as Bridge Creek was crossed, and that my command, consisting of the Twenty-fifth Louisiana, Colonel Fiske the Thirty-sixth Mississippi, Colonel firown; the Florida Battalion, Lieutenant-Colonel Clack, and four pieces of the Washington Artillery, Captain Hodgson, would follow closely his movements, and be ready to support him at any point of the field where occasion might require. My disposition was in columns by platoons, right in front. In this manner we moved to within half a mile of Farmington, advancing slowly and cautiously, being regulated in this by Brigadier-General Walker's line in front. After a halt of about half an hour, by General Ruggles' order we moved up into the village and halted for some time about 100 yards in rear and on the left of General Walker. By order from the same authority I then formed the brigade on General Walker's left, which was now advancing. The four pieces of artillery under Captain Hodgson were ordered to follow at convenient distance in the rear of my center. General Walker's brigade being in motion at the time, I was ordered to form upon its left and some hundred yards in advance, which compelled me to execute the movement at a double-quick, which, however, was completed just in time to engage the enemy's skirmishers as they were retiring down the slope of an open plain and entering a thick wood beyond. I deemed it necessary to press on without hesitation and push the enemy from his cover as well as to gain a less exposed position for our own troops. The nature of the ground on my right had proved impracticable and a short delay was occasioned by the effort of the Twenty-fifth Louisiana and the Thirty-sixth Mississippi Regiments to pass the obstacles. The latter regiment had only arrived a few days previous, and had enjoyed none of the privileges of drill and instruction. To prevent further delay and confusion, I ordered forward the balance of the brigade, and instructed Colonel Brown to form his regiment in rear of my center and to follow on closely until an opportunity was presented of regaining his position in line. On ascending to the top of the hill in an open field we received a heavy fire from the enemy's skirmishers in the thick wood not 100 yards in front, and just at this moment the Orleans Guards [Ducatel's] Battery was coming into position immediately in my center for the purpose of shelling the wood. As the officer in charge informed me that this was by General Ruggles' order, whom I saw present about this time, I directed the  brigade to take cover behind the remains of an old fence near the brow of the hill and a few paces in rear of the battery, the right wing of the Twenty-fifth Louisiana extending to the right of the battery. In this position we could occasionally pick off a sharpshooter as he would uncover himself in the woods, but it was too exposed to justify its occupation for any length of time. Many of my men were being wounded and several killed. I requested the battery to cease firing, that I might charge the wood. In the mean time the Thirty-sixth Mississippi, Colonel Brown, had regained its position in line, but many of its members were now straggling to the rear from under the sharp fire of the enemy's skirmishers. I endeavored, with some success, to rally them, and immediately ordered a charge. It was gallantly responded to by the Twenty-fifth Louisiana and the Florida Battalion, as also by a larger portion of the Thirty-sixth Mississippi. The wood was gained without any difficulty and the enemy was pushed rapidly through an open field beyond. In this charge he had several killed, and we took 8 prisoners (3 wounded) and a quantity of knapsacks, blankets, &c.; also a few stands of arms. His surprise and hasty flight was evidenced by the manner in which these things were scattered through the woods and halfcooked breakfasts that lay around. Hogs and mutton, just butchered and not yet dressed, could be seen in many places. As we reached the open field beyond the woods our pursuit was checked by the opening of Robertson's battery on our left, which swept the field the full length of our front, dealing death and dismay in the ranks of the enemy's cavalry, a squadron of which had the temerity to attempt a charge upon our line. At one time they were in easy range of our infantry, which might have added to the number of empty saddles but for an impression that got abroad along the line that it was our own cavalry, which impression was confirmed by an order coming from the right not to fire upon them. Being engaged personally at the time in bringing into line the Thirty-sixth Mississippi, I did not hear the order, and only learned of it when I had inquired why my command had ceased or failed to fire. By this time the column had fled beyond range. I pressed forward through the open field in front and charged into the wood beyond. I had not advanced far, however, when a citizen approached me and said it was impossible for the brigade to get through a morass immediately in front; that he had informed General Ruggles of the fact, and that he (General Ruggles) had sent him to me with the information. As I had seen General Ruggles on the field the moment before entering the wood, I concluded to speak with him on the subject, not, however, until a couple of staff officers had gone forward to reconnoiter the morass. I found General Ruggles near by in the open field, and he confirmed what the citizen had told me, and directed me to hold the brigade in the wood where it was until the result of a reconnaissance then being made could be ascertained, when he would give me further orders. After remaining in that position some half hour he ordered me to withdraw into the open field near where he then was, which being accomplished, he directed me to march back to a point a short distance in the rear of Farmington, halt, and communicate with him through a staff officer. In the mean time I directed Lieutenant-Colonel Clack to detail an officer and two men to repair to a gin-house near by, in which was stored unginned cotton, as also several bales already packed; to take an estimate of the quantity, quality, and value of the same, together with machinery, &c., and to burn and destroy the same, reporting is  full to me as soon as we returned to Corinth. Colonel Clack was also directed to detail an officer with sufficient force to take charge of and bring off the knapsacks, blankets, clothing, &c., which had been left by the enemy in his flight. As my command filed by on their return to Farmington I observed Lieutenant Browne, with a detail of 20 men, collecting these articles, many of which had already been scattered and carried off by troops in passing. Having no wagons at hand, I directed Lieutenant Browne to take the most valuable articles, such as blankets, overcoats, knapsacks, &c., and bring them off the field, but to prevent stragglers from lingering around the place in search of plunder; to gather all the valueless stuff, such as old underclothes, &c., and burn them. Both Captain Macmurdo's and Lieutenant Browne's reports are herewith transmitted. On reaching the point in the rear of Farmington indicated by the division commander I communicated with General Ruggles through Lieutenant James, of my staff, who soon returned with orders for me to resume my position within the trenches at Corinth, where my command arrived about sundown. Accompanying this report will be found a list of casualties in my command, showing a loss of 3 killed, 49 wounded, and 1 missing.1 As this list does not, however, embrace the information desired in every particular by a recent circular from general headquarters, I have this day required a report from regimental and battalion commanders in conformity therewith, which will be transmitted at the earliest practicable moment. It is proper for me to state that the troops of my command, with inconsiderable exceptions, bore themselves on this occasion in a manner highly creditable to themselves and their regimental commanders. None of them except the Florida Battalion and the Washington Artillery ever having been under fire before, it could hardly be expected that a few would not shrink from the first volley of a concealed foe. The Twenty-fifth Louisiana Regiment, though recently raised and arrived since the battle of Shiloh, behaved like veterans, maintaining their line unbroken, and always moving forward with spirit and alacrity whenever ordered to do so. Great credit for this state of things in a new regiment is due to the discipline as well as the gallantry displayed by the officers of the regiment, both field and company. The Florida Battalion, Lieutenant-Colonel Clack commanding, gained fresh laurels in the field by their discipline, valor, and promptness; both officers and men fully sustained the high reputation they had won on the bloody hills of Shiloh, never faltering, ever in the van. A large portion of the Thirty-sixth Mississippi regiment, although never having formed a line of battle or heard a hostile gun before, behaved with that gallantry and spirit which characterized the troops of that chivalrous State on every field. It is not doubted but the reputation of the State will be fully sustained on any future occasion requiring a display of intrepidity and valor. The Thirty-seventh Mississippi, Colonel Benton, on this occasion was detached from my brigade, and appeared upon the field under the immediate command of Brig. Gen. L. M. Walker, who will report upon their conduct on the occasion. On one portion of the field, however, they came under my immediate observation, and made a most gallant charge on my right, and in conjunction with the Twenty-fifth Louisiana Regiment.  Nothing can be said on this occasion in praise of the conduct of the Washington Artillery which would add to its well-earned reputation on a former and bloodier field. Suffice it to say they were ever present in the right place at the right time, displaying that skill in the management of their pieces and the practice of their gunners which always wins fights as well as laurels. To my personal staff-Capt. W. G. Barth, assistant adjutant-general; First Lieut. W. M. Davidson, aide-de-camp; Second Lieut. John W. James, acting brigade ordnance officer; Capt. Thaddeus Foster, brigade quartermaster, and Edward McDonald, acting brigade surgeon-I am indebted for their prompt and efficient assistance in their respective departments. All my orders were promptly delivered and every assistance was rendered by each of them which the occasion demanded. For instances of individual gallantry displayed upon the field by subalterns and men who deserve notice, I respectfully refer to the accompanying reports of regimental commanders, as well as for other details not specified in this report. I am, captain, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,
[inclosure no. 1.]
Colonel: In obedience to instructions received on 9th instant from Brigadier-General Anderson, shortly after the retreat of the enemy from their position at and around Farmington, Miss., I selected two men from my company, and placing them under my immediate command in charge of the gin-house, located in the large field just back of the village, awaited the withdrawal of our infantry. As soon as they had all retired on their return to Corinth I set fire to the cotton stored in the gin-house and to three bales lying outside. The estimated value of gin-house, machinery belonging thereto, cotton-gin, and corn-mill, quantity of baled and loose cotton, and name of owner thereof will be found in the statement I have the honor to present herewith. Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Mr. Dick Smith was reported as being the owner of the above-named
He is at present residing at or near Morris Mills, across the railroad, distant about 8 miles from Farmington and 4 miles from Corinth.
[Subinclosure.]Statement of estimated value of gin-house and machinery attached, gin and mill, amount of clean and unginned cotton, destroyed by fire [on the] afternoon of the 9th instant, near Farmington, Miss., by orders of Brigadier-General Anderson, commanding First Brigade:
|Gin-house and machinery, valued at||$400|
|Cotton-gin and corn-mill||300|
|Cotton unginned, supposed to be equal in quantity to 5 bales of clean cotton||225|
|Cotton baled (3 bales）||135|
G. P. Macmurdo, Captain Company C.
[inclosure no. 2.]
oil-cloths, blankets, &c., left by the enemy in their retreat from beyond Farmington. I divided my company into four squads, each in charge of a sergeant, and instructed them to search the woods in the line of retreat and to collect these articles as quickly as possible. I also detailed a guard to protect the large bulk of them near the old gin-house. But few of these articles had been collected by the details, when I received further orders direct from General P. Anderson to save the most valuable, such as blankets, &c., and to leave the remainder. I proceeded forthwith to execute the order, gathering about 150 blankets in one pile and a like number each of oil-cloths, knapsacks, overcoats, &c. These latter were set on fire and were burning rapidly when, an aide of General Bragg came up with a detail of wagons and ordered me to extinguish the fire, which was done at once. He then informed me that he had a sufficient detail of men to take charge of the articles, and relieved me from the further execution of your order. Very respectfully, your obedient servant,