No. 75.-report of Col. Morgan L. Smith, Eighth Missouri Infantry, commanding Brigade, of action at Russells house, near Corinth, Miss., May 17.
headquarters First Brigade, Fifth Division, Camp before Corinth, May 19, 1862.Major: I have the honor to report that, in obedience to the order of the commanding general and under his directions, the First Brigade moved at 3 o'clock to take and occupy a position at Russell's house. It was held by a brigade of Mississippi troops, very well commanded. I, in common with others, repeatedly heard some of the officers entreating and ordering their men to hold their ground and not run from the damned Yankees. The plan of attack succeeded admirably. I halted the brigade behind the bridge, which is about three-quarters of a mile from Russell's, and deployed one company of the Eighth Missouri on each side of the road, with orders to advance briskly from tree to tree. As these two companies advanced they were fired on from both flanks as well as in front, and companies were sent to deploy to extend the line until eight companies of the Eighth Missouri and two companies of the Fifty fifth Illinois were deployed. As soon as a favorable position for a buttery was gained the one you ordered forward contributed to your sue cess. The enemy retired sullenly, obstinately contesting the ground. They left 13 dead on the field, including 1 captain, 2 lieutenants, ald were seen to carry away many wounded. There were picked up 14 entirely new rifles, with the Tower stamp, 1861. Some of them, it was found upon critical examination, although loaded, had never beei fired, and a wounded man, who afterward died, said they received them from the boxes two days before, returning at the same time their old ones; also one stretcher for carrying wounded, very much stained with blood. Too much praise cannot be awarded to the officers an(l men of the Eighth Missouri Volunteers and Fifty-fifth Illinois Volunteers for the manner in which they executed your orders. Colonel Stuart, of the Fifty-fifth Illinois, and Lieut. Col. James Peckham, of the Eightl Missouri Volunteers, were active and efficient, and deserve honorable mention. Accompanying this please find list of killed and wounded. The Fiftyfourth Ohio, Col. T. K. Smith, and Fifty-seventh Ohio, Lieut. Col. A. V. Rice, were held in good order, obeyed all orders with alacrity, and were disappointed because they could not become hotly engaged. Your obedient servant,
Respectfully forwarded. I was near at hand and witnessed with great satisfaction the cool and steady advance of this brigade, and bear my willing testimony to the brave conduct of Colonel Smith and the entire brigade, officers and men.
W. T. Sherman, Brigadier-General, Commanding Brigade.