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[689] in search of a wagon train in direction of Summerfield. Captain Montry, of Company H, was ordered to take charge of Companies H, G, F, and K, for that purpose. Details had been made for picket upon my regiment in the morning, so that my effective force in action consisted of but one hundred and sixty-one enlisted men, and eleven officers. I formed my regiment in single rank, directing the men to reserve their fire until near enough the enemy to be effective. At about five P. M. orders were given to move forward, when within about four hundred yards of the enemy's works the whole line moved forward at double-quick under a severe fire of musketry and artillery. My regiment went through the stockade (or picket works) over the ditch and breastworks in a gallant style, encountering the enemy hand to hand in their works, compelling many to surrender, and the rest to retire in confusion.

The left flank of the Ninety-eighth Illinois and the right flank of the One Hundred and Twenty-third Illinois charging over better ground, were first to enter the enemy's works. The point first struck by my regiment was that fronting the bridge over the ravine on the Summerfield road, and between the two redoubts. After passing the enemy's line of works, the Seventeenth Indiana bore to the right, and the One Hundred and Twenty-third Illinois to the left, thus leaving a large interval to be covered by the Ninety-eighth Illinois. I moved forward as fast as possible towards the city, passing squads of the enemy who had thrown away their guns, and whom I ordered to the rear. The enemy from the lower part of the city and the fortifications on my right, kept up a continuous but harmless fire of musketry and artillery upon my command, whilst I was moving up to a position near the cotton gin in front of the passenger depot. There I rallied my regiment to resist what seemed to be a thousand cavalry charge by the enemy, who were forming near the saltpetre works; soon after this Colonel Vail, who had assumed command of brigade (Colonel Miller being wounded), ordered me to form fronting the city, and hold the regiment ready for any emergency.

Lieutenant Wheelers, Company I, and a squad from the Ninety-eighth Illinois, with squads from the One Hundred and Twenty-third Illinois and the Second brigade, were first to enter the fort in front of the city, and take possession of the four guns therein. Lieutenant Junkins, Company B, and six men from Company B, became separated from this regiment after passing the enemy's line of works, and moved forward and fought with the Seventeenth Indiana.

My regiment remained in line under fire of musketry from the city, until the Fourth division charged into the city, on the Burnville road, went into camp near saltpetre works at ten P. M.

Some seventy or more of the enemy were captured by my regiment in works, and within two hundred yards after passing the same. I ordered all the prisoners to the rear, but on account of the paucity of my command could not spare any men to guard them. I kept my men together until after we went into camp, and did not permit them to straggle or go in search of plunder or captured property in the city, although quite a number of them following the general example did find their way there during the night time. The enlisted men of my regiment fought as they always have, nobly and bravely. The officers, Captain Hoffman, Company B, Captain Flood, Company E, Captain Thistlewood, Company G, Captain Stanford, Company A, Captain Banta, Company I, Lieunant Spurgen, Company K, Lieutenant Junkins, Company B, Lieutenant Boes, Company E, and Lieutenant Wheeler, Company I, all acquitted themselves in a becoming and praise-worthy manner. Captains Hoffman and Flood, senior line officers and acting field officers, were especially useful in that capacity. Captain Thistlewood, of Company E, after being severely wounded in the right leg, kept up with the command for over a mile. Adjutant Adenknoph, whilst bravely encouraging the men on the right flank to charge the enemy's works, fell severely wounded in the left thigh, across the ravine in front of the picket works.

The loss of the Ninety-eighth Illinois is as follows: Enlisted — killed upon the field, nine; mortally wounded, two, both since dead; severely wounded, eleven; slightly wounded, ten ; commissioned officers, severely wounded, two; slightly, three: Total killed and wounded, thirty-nine. Effective force engaged — Enlisted, one hundred and sixty-one; officers, eleven. I do not claim for my regiment the exclusive honor of entering the enemy's works first, but I do claim that the left flank of my regiment were upon the works as soon as the men from any other regiment.

Captain Montry, Company H, in command of the four companies detailed from the Ninety-eighth Illinois, proceeded to Summerfield, driving the enemy's pickets through the town until he came to the enemy in force, supposed to be fifteen hundred or two thousand strong, being a portion of Forrest's command moving towards Marion; not finding any wagon train he returned to camp without loss.

The officers and men of the Ninety-eighth Illinois under my command on the second instant, did their duty cheerfully, manfully, and without once faltering. I only claim for them a fair and equal share of “all the honors and all the glory” attached to the capture of Selma.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

E. Kitchell, Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding Ninety-eighth Illinois.

headquarters Seventeenth regiment Indiana volunteers, April 25, 1865.
Captain T. W. Scott, Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, Second Division Cavalry Corps:
sir — I have the honor to send (in accordance with your order) four rebel flags, marked by whom captured.

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