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[153]

In accordance with order, on the morning of Thursday, the thirteenth instant, I moved the left wing of my brigade, consisting of the Fourteenth Iowa, Colonel Shaw, and Twenty-fifth Indiana, Colonel Veatch, from their encampment toward the enemy, who were entrenched about a mile distant therefrom.

The advance was made steadily, and in as good order as the nature of the ground would admit of, until we reached the ravine at the base of the hill on which were the enemy's fortifications. Here we halted until the line could be formed, when the Fifteenth Indiana, under Col. Veatch, moved steadily up the hill toward the intrenchments, under a most galling fire of musketry and grape, until their onward progress was obstructed by the fallen timber and brushwood. Having, however, succeeded in obtaining an advantageous position, they held it unflinchingly for more than two hours, and until ordered to fall back out of the range of the enemy's fire. The loss of this regiment in killed and wounded was very severe. The Fourteenth Iowa advanced at the same time, and took position on the right and across a ravine, and did good execution. Whilst these two regiments were taking the above positions, the Seventh Iowa infantry, under Lieutenant-Colonel Parrott, came up in fine style and took position in the centre, between the Twenty-fifth Indiana and the Fourteenth Iowa.

The First regiment of sharpshooters, Western division, Lieutenant-Colonel B. S. Compton, were posted on the hill to the extreme right, except a detachment of about sixty, who were deployed as skirmishers, and rendered most effective service in that capacity, and proving by their deadly aim that they are a most valuable arm of the service. We held this position until night, when we fell back to the position occupied in the morning. On the following day, we remained in camp skirmishing with the rebels during the day and night.

On Saturday, the fifteenth instant, at about two o'clock, I received your order to advance with my whole brigade, and assault the heights on the left of the position attacked on the previous Thursday. The brigade was promptly in motion, in the following order:

The Second Iowa, Col. Tuttle, led the advance, followed by the Fifty-second Indiana, (temporarily attached to my brigade,) who were ordered to support them. This regiment was followed closely by the Twenty-fifth Indiana, the Seventh Iowa, and the Fourteenth Iowa. The sharpshooters were previously deployed as skirmishers on our extreme right and left. Colonel Tuttle led the left wing of his regiment in line of battle up the hill, supported by the right wing advancing at a distance of about one hundred and fifty yards in the rear. So soon as he came within range of the enemy's fire, he led his men forward, without firing a gun, up to and charged into the rebel works, driving the enemy before him, and planting his colors on their fortifications. He was closely followed by the other regiments in the order of advance above named. The enemy were closely pursued, and driven behind their inner works. Night coming on, we held the position we had gained, and remained under arms until morning, intending at the dawn of day to recommence the attack. In this engagement the Second Iowa suffered terribly. Captains Slaymaker and Cloutman fell just as they entered the enemy's fortifications. Cloutman was instantly killed, and Slaymaker died gallantly shouting to his men to go forward and consummate the work.

In the morning, as day dawned, we were attracted to the inner fortifications by the sound of a bugle, and saw the rebels displaying a white flag. I instantly despatched Lieutenant-Colonel Parrott to ascertain the intent of it, who reported that an officer wished to see me. I repaired to the spot, and received from him offers of capitulation, which I at once forwarded to you. The result is well known.

It would afford me much pleasure to particularize the various instances of personal bravery displayed on the occasion by officers under my command; but when all behaved so well, it would be invidious to particularize. But I cannot refrain from mentioning, in this connection, the bravery of Colonel Tuttle, Lieutenant-Colonel Baker, and Major Chipman, (who received a severe wound in the thigh,) of the Iowa Second; Colonel Veatch and Lieutenant-Colonel Morgan, of the Indiana Twenty-fifth, and Colonel Shaw, of the Iowa Fourteenth; also Lieutenant-Colonel Parrott and Major Rice, who led the Iowa Seventh, and to whom I return my warmest acknowledgments for the gallant manner in which they led their regiment in the engagement on the thirteenth and fifteenth instant. They did all that men possibly could do, and well sustained the reputation of the Iowa Seventh.

For the kindness, attention, and skill manifested by the surgeons and assistant-surgeons toward the unfortunate wounded for so many consecutive hours, I return my most sincere thanks.

The total loss in killed and wounded is as follows:

Second regiment Iowa infantry volunteers, killed, 41; wounded, 157; total, 198.

Twenty-fifth regiment Indiana volunteers, killed, 14; wounded, 101; total, 115.

Seventh regiment Iowa infantry volunteers, killed, 2; wounded, 37; total, 39.

Fourteenth regiment Iowa infantry volunteers, killed, 3; wounded, 23; total, 26.

Birge's sharpshooters, killed, 1; wounded, 3; total, 4.

Recapitulation.--Killed, 61; wounded, 321; missing, 1; total, 383.

I herewith append the reports of the colonels of regiments attached to my brigade, to which I invite your particular attention. With sentiments of high regard,

I remain respectfully,

Your obedient servant,

J. G. Lauman, Colonel Commanding Fourth Brigade, Second Division.
To Brigadier-General C. F. Smith, Commanding Second Division.


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