previous next

[704] three hundred and fifty or four hundred. The casualties — killed, wounded, and missing — being two hundred and seventy-seven (277).

Very respectfully,

Your obedient servant,

Daniel Ruggles, Brigadier-General, commanding Second Division. Captain John A. Buckner, A. A. General.

Report of A. A. General J. A. Buckner.

Headquarters in the field, Corinth River ten miles from Baton Rouge, August 9, 1862.
General: In compliance with your request, I have the honor to submit the following report of the late engagement at Baton Rouge, so far as the First brigade of First division was concerned, after its commanders, Brigadier-General Helm, and subsequently Colonel Thomas Hunt, were wounded, and I had the honor to receive the command at your hands. The enemy had been repulsed from one of his encampments, and the different regiments constituting the First brigade were drawn up in line in one of his camps, not, however, fully deployed. After moving the two regiments on the left of the brigade, by the flank to the left, the whole were formed in line of battle, and were ordered to advance. The movement was spiritedly made up to the second encampment, through a somewhat sharp volley of musketry, in as good style as the broken and confined limits of the ground would admit, and immediately the enemy was hotly and determinedly engaged. After a few volleys, I ordered the brigade forward, which order was being promptly obeyed by the Fourth and Fifth Kentucky, the other regiments being just in the act of advancing, when I received, from General Clark, the order to face about and retreat. This order was then given by myself and General Clark's aids. The troops fell back reluctantly, and not in very good order, the General himself and a number of others being wounded in the retreat. I immediately reported to you to know whether you had ordered the retreat, and was informed that you had not. The Second brigade of this division was then ordered by yourself to advance. It went up in good style, Captain Hughes, commanding Twenty-second Mississippi regiment, leading them gallantly. By your presence and assistance, the first brigade was rallied and led by yourself, in person, to the same position from which it had fallen back, when it joined with the Second brigade, and moved conjointly through the second encampment, driving the enemy before them through the third and last of their camps to the river, under cover of their gunboats. This being accomplished, which was all that was expected of the land force, the Arkansas failing to make her appearance, nothing remained but to destroy what had been captured (inasmuch as no arrangement had been made for bearing it off, though the battle-field Was in our possession sufficiently long), and retire from the range of the enemy's batteries on the river. Accordingly, you gave me the order to withdraw the division out of range of the fire of the fleet, to await the movements of the gunboat Arkansas. This was done in good order, though with some degree of reluctance, the cause of the movement not being fully understood. Your order to fire the enemy's tents and stores was well executed, Their loss must have been very heavy in Quartermaster and Commissary supplies, and particularly so in Sutlers' stores, considerable quantities of new goods and general equipments being burned. The position in which you left me near the house where General Clark lay wounded was held more than two hours after the main body of the troops were withdrawn, with a section of Semmes' battery, and the remnant of the Seventh Kentucky regiment, Colonel Crossland commanding, as support. Learning that Cobb's battery had left its position and been ordered to the rear, the section, with its support under my command, was removed to occupy the better position left by Captain Cobb, at which point it remained a half hour, and would have remained the whole evening, but for the erroneous information of the enemy's advance in force being given by a surgeon who was moving rapidly to the rear. Leaving pickets at this point, just in the edge of town, I withdrew the artillery and its support slowly back to the point at which you found me. A flag of truce was hoisted early in the evening by the enemy, and on being met by an officer whom I sent to the front, the privilege of bearing off the dead and wounded was requested and granted for four hours by yourself, upon condition that the agreement be reduced to writing. No communication being received in writing for some time, twenty minutes longer were given, shortly after the expiration of which time a note was received, signed by the commanding officer at Baton Rouge, disclaiming the flag of truce.

I cannot conclude my report without speaking of the cool courage and efficient skill with which Brigadier-General Charles Clark led his command into the action, and the valuable assistance rendered him by his Aids, Lieutenants Spooner and Yerger; of the efficiency of Major H. E. Topp, of the Thirty-first Mississippi, in leading his regiment; of Major Brown, Chief Commissary of the division, whose fearless exposure of himself where the contest was hottest, in urging on the troops to a charge; of Captain J. H. Miller, commanding Fourth Kentucky regiment, who displayed conspicuous gallantry in leading his regiment; of Colonel Crossland, commanding Seventh Kentucky regiment, whose regiment, after being in front and assisting in bearing the brunt of the battle, remained upon the field while the shells from the enemy's gunboats were falling thickly around them; and of the valuable service rendered me by Major C. Wickliffe, of the Fifth Kentucky, towards the close of the engagement, where his constant presence at the head of his regiment, inspired confidence and

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Baton Rouge (Louisiana, United States) (3)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
August 9th, 1862 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: