No. 81.-report of Col. Thomas D. Sedgewick, Second Kentucky Infantry, commanding Twenty-Second Brigade, of operations May 28.
headquarters Twenty-Second Brigade, June 15, 1862.Sir: I herewith have the honor to submit a report of the action of the Twenty-second Brigade, of the Fourth Division, before Corinth, Miss., May 28: In compliance with orders from General Nelson, at 8.30 a. m. on the morning of the 28th I moved my brigade forward to the advance of the division. Having gained a point some three-fourths of a mile in advance of our intrenchments, I disposed of my command in the following order: The Second Kentucky Regiment, under LieutenantColonel Spencer, and the Twentieth Kentucky, under Lieutenant-Colonel Hanson, in line of battle, formed the first line; the First Kentucky, under Major Cahill, formed in line 70 yards in rear and opposite the interval between the two regiments of the first line, and the Thirty-first Indiana Regiment, under Lieutenant-Colonel Osborn, 100 yards in rear of the second line, formed in double column at half distance. Throwing forward two companies from each regiment as skirmishers, the whole under Lieutenant-Colonel Carey, the order to advance was given. They had proceeded scarcely 50 yards before they were opened upon by the enemy's pickets, who were posted in a thicket upon our left and in a dense woods and swamp in front of our right. Our skirmishers advanced slowly, driving the enemy before them, those on the right gaining the edge of the woods in front, those on the left gaining the thicket in which the enemy were posted and through which a small road led directly to the bridge across Bridge Creek. This point was of the utmost importance to the enemy, and was held by him with great tenacity. The two companies from the Twentieth Kentucky, under Major Buckner, and Company B, of the Second Kentucky, under Captain Baldwin, here engaged the enemy, who were in much larger force, and  after a determined fight of a half hour's duration drove him back about 50 yards and gained possession of the main road leading from Farmington to Corinth, upon which road was situated the bridge about half a mile in advance toward Corinth. The two companies under Major Buckner deployed in an open field on the left of the road, and Company B, of the Second Kentucky, in the thickets skirting the road on the right, and although meeting with a terrific resistance, pressed forward and gained possession of the end of the bridge, the enemy taking up their position some fifty yards distant on the opposite side of Bridge Creek. In gaining this position Lieutenant Parrish, commanding Company A, Twentieth Kentucky Regiment, with about 30 men, encountered over 100 of the enemy in a body, and after a severe struggle drove them across the creek on the left of the bridge. The position at the bridge I ordered them to hold at all hazards. The enemy speedily reformed his forces and advanced in good order, fully intent on regaining possession of the bridge. They delivered a well-directed volley into the ranks of Captain Baldwin's company (B), wounding 3 men severely. His men never flinched, but returned the fire with such spirit as to cause the enemy to again fall back. In the mean time I had ordered Lieutenant-Colonel Hanson to advance his regiment (Twentieth Kentucky) across an open field on the right, some 500 yards from the bridge, and take position in the woods and swamp to the support of the skirmishers on that wing, who, under Captain Wheeler, of the First Kentucky, had advanced and were then hotly engaged. Here, too, the work was warm. The enemy in force were gradually driving the skirmishers back, when Lieutenant-Colonel Hanson, getting his regiment into position, opened such a destructive fire upon them that they withdrew. Seeing our forces at the bridge on his left sorely pressed at this juncture, he moved two companies, under Captain Morris and Lieutenant Wolcott, to their support. At this time I moved forward the rest of the brigade, which until now had been held in reserve, and also had Captain Mendenhall's battery brought into position, so as to command our entire front. The Second Kentucky Regiment, under Lieutenant-Colonel Spencer, I placed within supporting distance of the forces engaged at the bridge, sending forward two companies from the regiment to the support of those already at that point. The First Kentucky was moved forward to the support of the battery; the Thirty-first Indiana placed in position to prevent my left flank being turned. The intensity of the fight at the bridge still seeming to increase, I sent forward Asst. Adjt. Gen. Wickliffe Cooper to ascertain the position of the forces engaged. He returned, and reported the enemy making desperate efforts to turn our left flank and regain possession of the bridge. I immediately ordered forward two companies of the Thirty-first Indiana to re-enforce that position. I then rode forward to that point myself, and finding that I could not use effectively any larger force of infantry than that already there, I returned, and ordered Captain Mendenhall to open with shell upon the enemy, who had been largely re-enforced. After a few discharges the enemy broke and retreated in disorder, our men, with a yell and a cheer, following them up. They had proceeded but a short distance on the opposite side of the bridge when the enemy's batteries opened upon them with grape and canister, checking their progress and forcing them to retire to their position. The enemy in a short time reappeared and advanced again in good order, and arriving at a point some 50 yards in front of  our lines, poured volley after volley into our ranks; but manfully was the attack repelled. Here the heroic bravery of our Kentucky troops, supported with equal courage by those of our sister State (Indiana), proved more than a match for the boasted chivalry of Louisiana. My brigade was at this time fighting fully 6,000 picked troops of the rebel army. Finding that the enemy were pressing us severely at this moment, I requested Captain Mendenhall to again commence firing. His battery opened in magnificent style and with fearful execution. The enemy withstood the effects of his well-directed shots but for a short time, then wavered, and again fled in great disorder, our men charging across the bridge and after them; but again they rallied and in turn drove our men to their first position. They remained but a short time, however, receiving our terrific volleys of musketry and artillery, when for the last time they turned and precipitately retreated, leaving us masters of the hard-earned bridge. In their retreat one company of the Twenty-first Louisiana Regiment, becoming separated from the regiment, our men succeeded in capturing the first and second lieutenants and a number of privates. Thus closed one of the most desperately-contested fights of the war, considering the numbers engaged. Receiving orders to advance no farther than the ground already gained and occupied, I relieved the ten companies more particularly engaged during the day from the forces in reserve, and placed the rest of the brigade in position to retain the ground gained during the day. At 9 p. m., in compliance with orders from General Buell, I, with those ten companies of wearied men, who had so gallantly fought throughout the entire day, commenced the construction of rifle pits, working incessantly throughout the night. By daylight I had completed a line of pits along our entire front. At 5 a. m. the brigade was relieved by the Nineteenth Brigade, under Colonel Grose, and returned to the intrenchments. The gallantry of the officers and men of my command on that day has rarely been equaled-never excelled. Where all did so well it seems almost useless to particularize, but the conduct of certain officers deserves special mention. Asst. Adjt. Gen. Wickliffe Cooper, as on all occasions before, exhibited the greatest bravery. The coolness and precision with which he made the several reconnaissances ordered by me amid the greatest danger merit the highest praise. My aide-de-camp, Lieut. S. W. Tuley, also behaved in the most gallant manner. Lieutenant-Colonel Hanson, of the Twentieth Kentucky Regiment, displayed great coolness and judgment both in the manner of handling his regiment and in his efforts to assist me in the discharge of my duties. Lieutenant-Colonel Spencer and Major Hurd, of the Second Kentucky Regiment, proved themselves on this occasion, as they have done before, to be the brave, determined officers they are. Major Cahill, of the First Kentucky Regiment, although suffering from the wound received at Shiloh, still discharged his duties as commander of his noble regiment faithfully. Lieutenant-Colonel Osborn, of the Thirty-first Indiana, suffering from a protracted illness, was forced to leave the field before the action commenced. Major Smith then assumed command, and, with his regiment, behaved in the bravest possible manner. Major Buckner, of the Twentieth Kentucky, and Captain Wheeler.  of the First Kentucky, deserve the greatest praise for the manner in which they handled the skirmishers. Captain Baldwin, commanding Company B, Second Kentucky Regiment, with his company, behaved heroically during the entire day. Being the first to arrive at the bridge, he, with two companies, manfully held it against great odds until he was re-enforced. To his efforts I am indebted for the holding of that position during the forenoon of that day. Below you will find a list of killed and wounded in my brigade.1 The loss of the enemy I cannot accurately state, but have been informed by prisoners and reliable persons in Corinth that they lost between 70 and 80 in killed alone. I have the honor to be, with much respect, your obedient servant,