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Doc. 180.-battle of Port Gibson, Miss.

General Grant's despatch.1

Grand Gulf, via Memphis, May 7.
To Major-General Halleck, General-in-Chief:
we landed at Boulingsburg, April thirtieth, moved immediately on Port Gibson, met the enemy, eleven thousand strong, four miles south of Port Gibson, at two o'clock A. M., on the first instant, and engaged him all day, entirely routing him, with the loss of many killed and about five hundred prisoners, beside the wounded. The enemy retreated toward Vicksburgh, destroying the bridges over the two forks of the Bayou Pierce. These were rebuilt, and the pursuit was continued until the present time. Beside the heavy artillery at this place, four field-pieces were captured, and some stores, and the enemy was driven to destroy many more. The country is the most broken and difficult to operate in I ever saw. Our victory has been most complete, and the enemy is thoroughly demoralized.

Very respectfully,

U. S. Grant, Major-General Commanding.

General Carr's report.

headquarters Fourteenth division, May 6, 1863.
General orders, No. 32.
I desire to congratulate the officers and soldiers of this division on the brilliant and successful manner in which they performed their duty in the different conflicts of the late battle near Port Gibson.

At the end of a tiresome night-march the Second brigade, under Colonel Stone, being in the lead, came upon the enemy at one o'clock in the morning, posted in a strong position, with artillery, immediately formed into line, and Captain Griffith's First Iowa battery, with the assistance [568] of three pieces of Klaus's First Indiana, fought him for over an hour, and finally, at three o'clock, drove him away, when we lay down to take our first rest since three o'clock the preceding morning.

At half-past 6 we renewed the conflict. The two batteries made terrible havoc with the enemy. The First brigade, under Brigadier-General Benton, was deployed in the ravines and underbrush on the right, and advanced gallantly to flank the enemy and take his guns.

When they engaged him on the right the Second brigade engaged him on the left. The Twelfth division was advanced to support, and with a rush the enemy was routed from his position.

The Eighteenth Indiana, Colonel H. D. Washburne, has the distinguished honor of capturing a regimental flag, on which were inscribed the names of four battle-fields; and with the Ninety-ninth Illinois, Colonel G. W. K. Bailey, and some of the Thirty-fourth and Forty-sixth Indiana, of capturing two of the enemy's guns. This success was the result of the splendid fighting of the whole division, which provided the opportunity.

After the enemy took up his new position, the Second brigade was very severely engaged on the left of our line for a long time, and behaved with distinguished gallantry. It subsequently took up a position across the valley in the timber very near the enemy, where two regiments, the Twenty-first and Twenty-third Iowa, remained till after dark.

The First brigade went to the relief of General McGinnis's brigade, and the Eighth Indiana distinguished itself by driving the enemy from a strong position and taking it for themselves.

Coming from Missouri, where you had endured great hardships during the last winter, you were honored by being placed at the head of the grand army of the Mississippi, and you have proved yourselves well worthy of that honor.

You have encountered and defeated the same men against whom we have so long contended in Missouri and Arkansas, and you have added another wreath to those you won at Blackwater, Blackwell's Station, Fredericktown, Pea Ridge, Round Hill, Hartville, Haines's Bluff, and Post of Arkansas ; and I am sure you will go on with your glorious achievements till tile demon of rebellion shall be destroyed, and our land shall once more rejoice in the blessings of peace and prosperity.

While we mourn our fallen comrades, we cannot forget that they have offered up their lives for the noblest of purposes — that of preserving to their country a Government at once free and stable, which shall give, in conjunction with the largest liberties to the citizen, the greatest security for his life and property.

To their friends and to our wounded comrades we tender our sympathies, and hope that time and the thoughts of what they suffer for will soothe their pain and sorrow.

The loss of the First brigade was — killed, twenty-six; wounded, one hundred and forty-three. That of the Second--killed, fifteen; wounded, seventy-nine. Total, two hundred and sixty-three.

This comprises only men put hours du combat; scratches not reported.

Where all have done their duty it is invidious to make distinctions ; but the conduct of some individuals seems to merit special mention, even at the risk of leaving out deserving men whose names have not been reported to me. These shall receive their due credit as soon as I am informed of their merits.

Brigadier-General W. P. Benton distinguished himself for daring, gallantry, and good management, during the whole battle. Indiana continues to be glorified by her sons. Colonel C. S. Harris, Eleventh Wisconsin, though he had been obliged to give up the command of his brigade on account of illness, was on the field and shared the dangers.

Colonel W. M. Stone, Twenty-second Iowa, who succeeded to the command of the Second brigade, took his place with the extreme advance-guard at night during the advance on the enemy, exposed himself freely, and exerted himself so much that he became completely exhausted in the afternoon, and was obliged to relinquish the command to Colonel Samuel Merrill, Twenty-first Iowa, for about an hour. By his bravery and admirable management of his brigade he reflects new honor on his noble State.

Captain George S. Marshall, Acting Adjutant-General First brigade, and Captain L. 11. Whittlesey, Eleventh Wisconsin, Acting Assistant Adjutant-General Second brigade, distinguished themselves during the whole battle, and exposed themselves freely.

The regiments and batteries all showed great gallantry, and their commanders good management. The list is as follows:

Eighth Indiana, Colonel David Shunk.

Eighteenth Indiana, Colonel H. D. Washburne.

Thirty-third Illinois, Colonel C. E. Lippincott.

Ninety-ninth Illinois, Colonel G. W. K. Bailey.

First Indiana battery, Captain Klaus.

Eleventh Wisconsin, Lieut.-Col. C. A. Wood.

Twenty-First Iowa, Colonel Samuel Merrill.

Twenty-second Iowa, Major Jos. B. Atherton.

Twenty-third Iowa, Lieutenant-Colonel S. L. Glasgow, with its gallant young commander, behaved admirably.

First Iowa battery, Captain H. H. Griffith.

Major Thomas J. Brady commanded the skirmishers of the First brigade.

Private Noah Havens, company K, Eighteenth Indiana, made a reconnaissance within the enemy's lines in the night.

Major L. H. Potter, with four companies of the Thirty-third Illinois infantry, engaged the enemy on the left in the morning, holding him in check until the arrival of Osterhaus's division.

Captain Charles, company H, Eighteenth Indiana, was the first man to jump on the enemy's guns.

Lieutenant D. F. Adams, Adjutant Eighteenth [569] Indiana, passed twice through the hottest of the enemy's fire to conduct reinforcements.

Private Amos Nagle, company K, Eighteenth Indiana, captured color-bearer with flag bearing inscriptions of four battles.

Captain J. C. Dinsmore, Ninety-ninth Illinois, seized one of the enemy's twelve-pound howitzers, turned it, and fired at him his own charge.

Lieutenant-Colonel Dunlap, Twenty-first Iowa, commanded the skirmishers, and Major Van Anda, of the same regiment, commanded the support of the howitzer in advance of the Third brigade.

Company B, Twenty-first Iowa, Capt. Crooke, received the first fire of the rebel picket, and returned it with great coolness.

Sergeant B. Kinst, company E, Twenty-first Iowa, captured a rebel orderly carrying despatches.

Sergeant Wm. R. Liebert, First Iowa battery, who was mentioned for gallantry and good conduct at Pea Ridge, was (with his piece) on advance-guard during the night-march, behaved with the greatest coolness and spirit, and was seriously wounded.

In conclusion, I would say that you have done valuable service to your country; your friends at home will be proud of your achievements, and expect that when you again meet traitors in arms you will give as good an account then as you did on the battle-field near Port Gibson, Mississippi.

E. A. Carr, Brigadier-General Commanding. C. H. Dyer, Assistant Adjutant-General.

Brigadier-General Hovey's report.

headquarters Twelfth division, Thirteenth Army Corps, in the field, May 8, 1863.
Lieutenant-Colonel W. B. Scates, A. A. General:
sir: I have the honor to submit the following report, commencing with the landing of the Twelfth division at Milliken's Bend on the fourteenth of April, and terminating with the battle of Port Gibson, on the first day of May. Marching over heavy roads from the Bend on the sixteenth, under orders to leave our camp and garrison equipage behind, we arrived at Dawson's Farm on the Roundaway Bayou, on the second day. On the eighteenth marched to the mouth of Gilbert's Bayou, with directions to make a reconnoissance in the direction of the Mississippi River, and ascertain whether a practicable route could be found. Descending the bayou, I met General Osterhaus coming up from the river on the same business, and on comparing notes, the route was deemed practicable and so reported to Major-General McClernand. In four days from that date, my division, with the aid of Captain Petterson's Pioneers, built four bridges, over about one thousand feet of water, and cut two miles of road through the woods, thus opening up the great military route through the overflow land from Milliken's Bend to the Mississippi River below Vicksburgh. During the severe task, many of my men worked for hours up to their necks in water, and I take this occasion to thank them for the devotion and energy there displayed. To Captain George W. Jackson, Thirty-fourth Indiana, and his pioneer corps, praise is particularly due for the performance of this herculean task.

On the twenty-eighth we embarked on steamers for the purpose of aiding in the attack on Grand Gulf; and on the twenty-ninth, witnessed the brilliant assault of the gunboats upon that place. As it was expected at the time that a battle would take place at Grand Gulf, the horses of all officers, excepting those commanding divisions, and all kinds of transportation, were left behind. Subsequent events made this very onerous upon the officers and upon the command. On the thirtieth we again disembarked at Bruensburgh Landing, Mississippi, below Grand Gulf, and at three o'clock P. M., took up our line of march for Port Gibson. The order of march by divisions being: Carr's, (Fourteenth,) Osterhaus's, (Ninth,) Hovey's, (Twelfth,) Smith's, (Tenth.) The organization of the Twelfth division at that time was:

First brigade, General George F. McGinnis commanding--Twenty-fourth Indiana, commanded by Colonel W. T. Spicely; Forty-sixth Indiana, commanded by Colonel T. H. Bringhurst; Eleventh Indiana, commanded by Colonel D. Maculey; Twenty-ninth Wisconsin, commanded by Colonel Charles R. Gill; Thirty-fourth Indiana, commanded by R. A. Cameron; Sixteenth Ohio battery, Captain J. A. Mitchell; Second Ohio battery, First Lieutenant Aug. Beach.

Second brigade, Colonel J. R. Slack commanding--Twenty-fourth Iowa, commanded by Colonel E. S. Byaur; Twenty-eighth Iowa, commanded by Colonel John Connell; Fifty-sixth Ohio, commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel W. H. Raynor; Forty-seventh Indiana, commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel J. A. McLaughlin; First Missouri battery, commanded by Captain Schofield; Peoria light artillery, commanded by Second Lieutenant Fenton.

We continued our march during the night, Near two o'clock in the morning of the first of May, cannonading was heard in our front, which continued several minutes. The column pressed forward, and at daylight reached Centre Creek, about three miles west of Port Gibson. At this point, at five o'clock A. M., my division was ordered to take position, a few hundred yards in advance, upon the right of the road, on the crest of the hills, nearly opposite the Shaffer farmhouse, at that time the headquarters of Major-General McClernand. The first brigade occupied the position in front, nearest the enemy's line, and at right angles to the road, and the second brigade in a similar ridge in the rear of the first brigade.

The lines of each brigade were formed under fire from the enemy, who were being engaged by Brigadier-General Benton, to my left, and near the centre of my line of battle.

At this juncture I received orders from Major-General McClernand to hold my division as a reserve until the arrival of the Tenth division, commanded [570] by Brigadier-General Smith, at which time my whole command was to be in readiness to take part in the action. On receiving this command, I ordered my division to lie down under the cover of the brow of the hills. In less than thirty minutes afterward, General Smith arrived, and the fact was announced to the Major-General commanding. In the mean time the brigade under General Benton was engaged in a severe conflict with the enemy upon our left, and gallantly resisting almost overwhelming numbers. About seven o'clock A. M., aids from Major-General McClernand came rapidly forward, with orders directing me, without the least delay, to support General Benton's line. I immediately ordered Brigadier-General McGinnis to march the infantry of the first brigade, in line of battle, across a deep and rugged ravine, to his support.

All concur in describing this ravine as about forty feet wide, and filled with vines, cane, deep gulches, and exceedingly difficult of passage. The enemy no doubt regarded it as impassable. As soon as the First brigade had commenced moving, I ordered the Second brigade, Colonel Slack commanding, to march by the right flank around the head of the ravine, in support of our forces engaged in the centre. They reached their proper position in line of the division, beyond the ravine, about the same time the left of the First brigade arrived, the right of the First brigade being still engaged in working through the tangled vines and underbrush of the ravine.

As I rode down the road toward the front and middle of my line, I met Captain Klaus, First Indiana battery, who had been gallantly fighting the rebel batteries. The field around him and one disabled gun testified to the nature of the conflict. He at once pointed out the position of the rebel battery, the guns of which, with a line of rebel heads in their rear, were plainly visible. I immediately rode down under cover of the brow of the ravine to the head of the Second brigade, where Colonel Slack and Colonel Cameron of the Thirty-fourth Indiana, were standing. Lieutenant-Colonel Raynor, of the Fifty sixth Ohio, who had been supporting Captain Klaus's battery, here joined us. Here I attempted to communicate with General McGinnis, who was in the rear of his brigade, but the ground was impassable for my aids on horseback, and my voice could not be heard on account of the noise around him. I pointed out the battery first to Colonel Cameron, and told him it must be taken. Colonel Slack claimed the honor for his command, but I settled the matter by directing Colonel Cameron, of the Thirty-fourth Indiana regiment, to make the charge, and Lieutenant-Colonel Raynor, Fifty-sixth Ohio, to support it. I also directed Colonel Slack to hold his brigade ready to move forward at any instant. The distance of the rebel battery from the point of my attack could not have exceeded one hundred and fifty yards. Upon receiving the order to charge, Colonel Cameron commanded his battalion to leap the fence, which, with the Fifty-sixth Ohio, rushed with loud shouts and fixed bayonets toward the rebel battery.

Their advance was met with grape from the rebel battery, and a shower of ball from the rebel lines. The fire became intense and concentrated, and both regiments, to shield themselves, fell to the ground, whilst the fire continued for two or three minutes longer on both sides. At this juncture I gave the command forward, as loud as I could, and had the gratification of seeing the Thirty-fourth and Fifty-sixth spring to their feet, and with two companies of the Eleventh Indiana, which I knew by their dress, and several other companies of my division, which I could not then distinguish, rush forward to the charge. Again the bright bayonets of the Twelfth division were glittering in the sun; again a wild shout, a shout of triumph, reverberated through the hills. The enemy were beaten back, between two and three hundred taken prisoners; and one stand of colors, two twelve-pounder howitzers. three caissons, and three six-mule teams, loaded with ammunition, was the reward of the chivalrous action. The particular men, or companies, who seized the colors, took the guns and turned them upon the enemy, surrounded and took the prisoners, I cannot tell, as in the hot contest of the moment nothing but momentary daguerrean sketches could have fixed the facts. One thing is certain, the honor of the charge belongs to the Twelfth division. I gave the command, my men obeyed, and made the charge, manned the guns, discharged them at the enemy, took the prisoners, and have the battle-flag of the battery, now in possession of the gallant Colonel Raynor, etc., etc. . . . .

Alvin P. Hovey, Brig.-Gen. Com'g Twelfth Division, Thirteenth Army Corps. J. E. Phillips, A. A. General.

Official report of General Benton.

bivouac in the field, Mississippi, May 5, 1863,
Captain C. H. Dyer, Assistant Adjutant-General Fourteenth Division:
sir: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by the First brigade, Fourteenth division, Thirteenth army corps, department of the Tennessee, in the engagement on the night of the thirtieth ultimo and the first instant, near Port Gibson, Mississippi:

About midnight I received the order of the General commanding the division, to hasten forward the First Indiana battery, which was immediately executed at a full run, arriving on the ground in a few minutes. The battery was at once placed in position, and opened a vigorous fire, which was continued, without intermission, until three o'clock A. M. of the first instant, when the enemy ceased his fire, and we lay upon our arms, awaiting the tardy coming of daylight. In the mean time, the infantry, consisting of the Eighth and Eighteenth Indiana, and the Thirty-third and Ninety-ninth Illinois regiments, had come on the field, and were also lying on their arms in support of the battery. At the earliest [571] dawn all were on the alert, eager for the coming fray. At this juncture, Major-General McClernand came dashing to the front, asking a thousand questions as to the position and strength of the enemy, the roads, and general topography of the ground; and, with matchless energy, proceeded to verify every statement by a personal investigation. About six o'clock A. M. I was ordered to push four companies down a road turning to the left of Schaeffer's house, and directly in the rear of the one in which the previous engagement occurred. I accordingly sent the gallant Major Potter, of the Thirty-third Illinois, with four companies of that regiment, with orders to feel his way down the road cautiously, and hold it until relieved by General Osterhaus's command, which had been ordered up, and then, without further orders, hasten to rejoin his regiment. In a few minutes his skirmishers engaged the outposts of the enemy, who replied sharply, both with small arms and artillery. Owing to the promptness of General Osterhaus, the Major's fight, though spirited, was of short duration, and he, in turn, promptly rejoined his regiment, and shared with it the dangers and glory of the fight on the extreme right.

General Osterhaus having thus secured our rear, by special direction of General McClernand, I ordered the Thirty-third Illinois, commanded by the cool and fearless Colonel Lippincott, to move forward along the high ridge to the west, and carefully explore the ravines intervening between Schaeffer's house and our intended line of battle. At the same time, Captain Klaus was ordered to change the position of one section of his battery to the high ground on the left of the road, and open fire with his whole battery, while the gallant Major Brady, of the Eighth Indiana, commanding my skirmishers, consisting of one company from each regiment, was pressing forward under orders, and the Eighth and Eighteenth Indiana formed forward into line of battle. The Ninety-ninth Illinois was also ordered forward as the reserve of the brigade. In a very short time the battle raged with great fury. Having driven the stubborn enemy, at the point of the bayonet, several hundred yards, from one ravine to another, and completely turned his left flank, I ordered a change of front forward on the tenth company, which was accomplished most handsomely at a double-quick, over the most difficult ground. So promptly was the movement executed, under a galling fire of shell and musketry, that I was at a loss which most to admire, their valor or the efficiency of their drill. In the mean time, “Old rough and ready number two,” Colonel Bailey, commanding the Ninety-ninth Illinois, was ordered forward, which was executed, with cheer on cheer, at a double-quick. Our new line was formed with the Eighth Indiana, Colonel David Shunk, on the right, the Thirty-third Illinois, Colonel Lippincott, Ninety-ninth Illinois, Colonel Bailey, and the Eighteenth Indiana, Colonel Washburne, whose left was resting near the Magnolia Church, and his whole regiment in front of the enemy's battery. Now came the tug of war in good earnest. I soon found that the odds were largely against us, and that the enemy was making a most desperate effort to turn our left flank, thus cutting us off from our support. I immediately despatched Captain Marshall for reinforcements, and did all in my power to stimulate the men to heroic action, and right nobly did they respond. For at least two hours, single-handed, the First brigade fought three brigades of the enemy, giving him volley for volley, with interest.

Three times did he form to charge us, and as often was he hurled back discomfited by the well-directed aim of the brave lads of Illinois and Indiana. We had already driven the enemy over the hill-top and through a ravine for a full quarter of a mile, never yielding one inch ourselves. At length the long-looked for succor came. We were all, officers and men, glad to know that it was composed of a part of the veteran troops of the gallant General A. P. Hovey's division, and the sequel proved that we were not mistaken in our estimate of their courage. No sooner had they come upon the ground — before I had fully completed my arrangements — than some one, unknown to me, gave the order “Charge!” which was executed with the wildest enthusiasm, the men of my brigade vying with their friends of Hovey's division as to who should first reach the enemy. The result of this splendid charge was the complete rout of the enemy — the capture of two twelve-pounder howitzers, and, at least, one flag. This was not the work, exclusively, of General Carr's division, or General Hovey's — it was the joint work of both, and in my humble judgment, herein is glory enough, and to spare, for both divisions.

Our whole command are at a loss for words to express our admiration for the noble and gallant bearing of the officers and men of General Hovey's division. To borrow the expression of another when speaking of General Hovey, “there is no discount on his pluck,” while the praises of General McGinnis and Colonel Slack, Colonel Cameron, (Thirty-fourth Indiana,) and Colonel Macauley, (Eleventh Indiana,) and in a word, all of them, were upon the tongues of all, at the same time it is due to the truth of history to state that the Eighteenth Indiana, whose mortality list is larger than any regiment engaged, and the Ninety-ninth Illinois, were in the charge, that Captain Charles of company H, of the former regiment, was the first to jump upon one of the cannons and claim it as his trophy. Amos Neagle, private, company K, also captured the color-bearer and colors of the Fifteenth Arkansas, inscribed with the battle-fields of “Oak Hill,” “Elkhorn,” “Corinth,” and “Hatchie bridge.” All this time, from first to last, the indefatigable First Indiana battery, in charge of the brave Klaus, was pouring shot and shell into the enemy, firing in all one thousand and fifty rounds in point-blank range. The entire line of my brigade was now advanced through the woods, and, moving by the right flank, passed up tho road in quick pursuit of the flying rebels. [572] Arriving in front of the second position taken by the rebels, we were halted to rest.

During the afternoon, at the request of General McGinnis, I ordered the Eighth Indiana to the right of our new line to support the Twenty-ninth Wisconsin, which was being hotly pressed with great slaughter. Well did the old Eighth sustain its high reputation under the lead of the veteran Colonel Shunk. Forming under a heavy fire, within seventy-five yards of the enemy, they at once charged and drove the enemy from the brow of the hill, completely turning the tables on him, and punishing him severely. Indeed, just as the Eighth had exhausted their ammunition they drove the enemy from that part of the field. In the mean time the remainder were ordered forward in support of some batteries on the hill--Captain Klaus having had two pieces disabled and his ammunition exhausted, had been ordered to the rear. Thus we remained until late in the afternoon, when an order was received to go to the support of General Osterhaus, on the extreme left. While in the prompt execution of this order, I encountered one from General Grant to remain where I was for the present, General Osterhaus having driven the rebels. Accordingly the men had just lighted their camp-fires to prepare some supper, when still another order came, sending us back on the field of battle, where we slept on our arms during the night.

When the facts are stated that after two weeks dragging through the mud and crossing bayous in old scows and skiffs, on the morning of the thirtieth ult., at three o'clock, we arose from a sleep that had been disturbed by the bursting shells from Grand Gulf, which vainly endeavored to sink our transports as they defiantly ran the blockade; and in the afternoon, landing below on the Mississippi shore, the first brigade formed at once and pushed four miles back, to gain and hold the hills, while the rest of the troops stopped to draw and distribute their rations, it will be seen that we endured bravely as well as fought bravely. We had left a detail who carried ours upon their backs four miles to us. To see a stout-hearted fellow, trudging along under the broiling sun, with a box of crackers on his shoulders, weighing a hundred pounds, claimed at once your admiration and sympathy. Not waiting for all our rations to come up, we again took up our line of march till about midnight, when the enemy opened on us. We fought him till three o'clock A. M. At six o'clock we went at him again, and fought him all day long, and finally whipped him most handsomely.

During all this time no one faltered, nor did I hear one word of complaint. Under such circumstances, to obey the order literally, to mention all who distinguished themselves, I should be compelled to attach and make a part of this report, already too long, the muster-rolls of my entire brigade.

I have already made honorable mention of Colonel Shunk, Eighth Indiana; Colonel Washburne, Eighteenth Indiana; Colonel Bailey, Ninety-ninth Illinois; Colonel Lippincott, Thirty-third Illinois, and Major Brady, Eighth Indiana, (who commanded the skirmishers,) each and all of whom are brave and competent officers.

I am deeply indebted to my staff-officers for their intelligent bravery and promptness in bearing my orders to all parts of the field--Captain George S. Marshall, A. A. G.; Lieutenant Joe P. Wiggins, Adjutant Eighth Indiana, and acting A. D. C.; Lieutenant Jesse E. Scott, company C, Eighteenth Indiana, and acting A. Q. M; and Lieutenant William Irwin, company A, Eighth Indiana, A. A. C. S.--all of whom were under fire from the beginning to the end.

I am also indebted to the gallant Lieutenant William Hill, company B, Eighth Indiana, for acting as Aid temporarily.

Our list of killed and wounded is attached and made a part of this report.

I have the honor to be, Captain, with great respect, your obedient servant,

William P. Benton, Brigadier-General Commanding First Brigade, Fourteenth Division, Thirteenth Army Corps.

Official report of Colonel MacAULEYULEYuleyuley.

headquarters Eleventh Indiana Zouaves, near Willow Springs, Mississippi, May 5.
Captain Jos. H. Livesey, Assistant Adjutant-General, First Brigade, Twelfth Division, Thirteenth Army Corps:
sir: The following report of the part taken by the Eleventh Indiana, in the battle of May first, near Port Gibson, is respectfully submitted:

We arrived near the battle-field at six o'clock A. M., on that day, after marching all night, and, before having time to cook breakfast, were sent by General A. P. Hovey to the field to report to General G. F. McGinnis.

On an order from him we stacked arms in shelter of a hill, and awaited the “advance.” About eight o'clock A. M., I received General McGinnis's order to form line on the right of the Twenty-ninth Wisconsin infantry, and advance as support two hundred yards in the rear of the line formed by the Twenty-fourth, Forty-sixth, and Thirty-fourth Indiana regiments. A deep ravine, choked by an almost impassable canebrake and undergrowth, was before us, through which, with great exertion, we succeeded in forcing our way.

Two more of like character were passed, when, by marching by the left flank, an open space was reached, in which were formed the remaining regiments of the brigade.

In front of my position was a ravine running diagonally to the left and rear; on the far side of it, and a little to the right, was stationed a rebel battery, supported by a heavy force of infantry.

I was ordered to cross this ravine, making a right half-wheel and attack in company with the Forty-sixth Indiana on the other side. The ravine was immediately passed, but the Forty-sixth had been delayed a little in crossing. I halted and waited a moment for it.

We were formed in a road, in front of which [573] was the Thirty-fourth Indiana lying down; about one hundred yards to the right and front was a large house, and immediately beyond it the rebel battery. Resolving to take possession, without further delay, of a part of the rising ground on which was the house and battery, I moved by the right flank, double-quick, up the road, then by the left flank, over the fence, and with a run and yell the position and battery were ours.

This battery seems to be a much disputed point among a number of claimants for the honor of its capture. I find that as our two companies on the right (E and G) neared the guns, the rebels endeavored to turn them on us, but a volley from the companies killed a number of the cannoneers and prevented it — possession was immediately had, and the guns turned on the enemy.

As, however, by this time the Forty-sixth Indiana was in the field, and the Thirty-fourth Indiana also moving and doing good service so near us, it is almost impossible to decide which of them did not participate in the capture of the battery. The Eleventh in the mean time kept up a constant and rapid fire on the enemy, which continued till he had retreated from all positions in range.

After a halt here of half an hour, I was ordered to advance with the Twenty-fourth Indiana, and with two companies thrown out as skirmishers. Ordering company E, Captain Ruckle, and G, Captain Caven, forward on that duty, we advanced about half a mile, when rapid firing to the left told us the battle had again commenced. We remained in shelter of a hill on the right of Fenton's Peoria battery, till ordered forward to take a position on a ridge running nearly perpendicular to our present one, to resist an attack being made by the enemy in force. This was about half-past 11 o'clock A. M.

Having moved, we remained in defence of that ridge till about five o'clock P. M., resisting (luring that time several attacks. I was then ordered by General McGinnis to move forward and support an attack being made by General A. J. Smith's division. I at once moved down in the bottom some two hundred yards to the front and awaited a chance to “get in,” there being here but one road, and it filled with troops at a halt. Remaining here about half an hour, the regiments to the front were brought back, and I was ordered to my recent position on the ridge. The firing in front soon ceased, and we bivouacked for the night.

In conclusion, I would say that where every man did his duty so thoroughly, and fought with so much energy, it is difficult to single out any for special mention, yet the gallant conduct of Captains Ruckle and Caven in the capture of the battery, deserves more than a passing notice.

The regiment entered the fight with four hundred and ninety-one enlisted men, and twenty-eight commissioned officers. It lost one killed, one missing, and twenty-three wounded.

I append a list of the killed, wounded, and missing.

Very respectfully,

Dan. Macauley, Colonel Eleventh Indiana.

Report of Colonel Speigel.

headquarters one hundred and Twentieth regiment Ohio volunteer infantry, in the field, May 2, 1863.
Brigadier-General T. T. Garrard, Commanding First Brigade, Ninth Division:
sir: I have the honor to herewith transmit the following report of the part taken by the One Hundred and Twentieth Ohio volunteer infantry in the action of Thompson's Hill on the first instant, and with it a list of casualties:

About five o'clock A. M. we were ordered to advance and take a position on the right of Lampher's battery, which we accordingly did, under severe fire of the energy's shell, in which position we remained for about half an hour, when we advanced to the ravine, and from there were ordered to advance and form in line of battle in a ravine to the left of the division.

Soon after, in conjunction with the One Hundred and Eighteenth Illinois volunteers, we advanced briskly to a position behind a fence fronting the enemy, in support of the Forty-ninth Indiana, which was deployed as skirmishers on the edge of the woods. Soon after Colonel Kigwin, of the Forty-ninth Indiana, informed me that he was ordered to the right on a line with his position, and at the same time I received orders to cover his old position with skirmishers. I then advanced companies A and C as skirmishers, and D, I, and B as supports. At half-past 7 A. M. I was ordered to recall all but one of the companies. I moved as ordered, somewhat to the right, in advance of our line, to relieve the Forty-second Ohio. The enemy's shell, grape-shot and bullets flew thick and fast around us, but the brave and gallant boys moved briskly on until we arrived in front of the Forty-second Ohio close to the ravine, moving parallel with the enemy's strongest position. I then engaged the enemy for about twenty minutes, without being able to do him much harm, being continually under cover on the opposite bank of the ravine. I then advanced as skirmishers some of the best shots from all companies down into the ravine, with orders to advance, closely supporting them with the remainder, keeping up a constant fire toward the top of the opposite bank. When nearly down the ravine I discovered the exact position of the enemy's advance toward my left on the opposite bank. I then charged upon them with the regiment and quickly drove them from the bank to the knoll, where they rallied and made a stand, which only increased the determination of my brave boys. Rushing up the bank we drove them from behind the knoll, taking eight prisoners. When I had obtained possession of the knoll I did not deem it prudent to follow any further, being at least three hundred yards in advance of any of our troops, and in danger of meeting the enemy's entire right wing, massed behind a number of old buildings directly in front of me. I deployed my regiment on the knoll, in order to push the retiring force and hold the position against a more formidable attack. As soon as the retiring enemy had regained the main body, [574] the attack was renewed with redoubled fierceness, but, meeting with such continued and well-directed volleys from us, he fell back under cover of the houses again.

I then continued to fight the enemy, who was concealed behind logs, fences, and houses, and some perched upon the tree-tops, until my ammunition was beginning to run out, and many of the guns became unfit for use, when I was relieved by Colonel Bennett, of the Sixty-ninth Indiana, and ordered to retire. I then fell back to the second ravine in the rear of me, replenishing the empty cartridge-boxes with ammunition from the boxes of their comrades who were killed and wounded. I remained in that position until late in the afternoon. I saw the charge made on the left, when I quickly formed my regiment, marching it toward the charging column, in order to support them, if necessary, but before reaching them the enemy fled in confusion. A glorious victory was won ; the One Hundred and Twentieth had nothing more to do but to exult, to cheer, and be merry, and that, I assure you, was done.

I cannot close this report, General, without saying that the men of the One Hundred and Twentieth have not only justified their former reputation, but even have excelled it. They have displayed gallantry and bravery on that day which will never be forgotten by their country. To the line-officers, all of whom stood bravely up to the work,,I am much indebted for their aid and courage in promptly carrying out every order given. Lieutenant-Colonel Beckman has shown himself worthy of the position he holds; while promptly assisting in manoeuvring the regiment, his encouraging and cheering words were always heard along the lines. Major Slocum, while with me in the morning, showed that coolness and courage for which he is well known in the army; and while detailed to take charge of the skirmishers of the left flank of the division, did his full duty, to the entire satisfaction of the General commanding the division. Adjutant Sherman, young in years, has truly shown himself a veteran on the field. He possesses all the elements necessary to qualify him for the position he holds. Brave and cool, he became courageous and dashing when the occasion required it.

Both officers and men have my sincere thanks for their cheerful cooperation on the field of Thompson's Hill.

I have the honor to be, General,

Your obedient servant,

M. M. Speigel, Col. Com'g One Hundred and Twentieth Regiment, O. V. I.

Congratulatory order from General Grant.

headquarters army of the Tennessee, in the field, Harkinson's Ferry, May 7.
Soldiers of the Army of Tennessee:
Once more I thank you for adding another victory to the long list of those previously won by your valor and endurance. The triumph gained over the enemy near Port Gibson, on the first, was one of the most important of the war. The capture of five cannon and more than one thousand prisoners, the possession of Grand Gulf, and a firm foothold on the highlands between the Big Black and Bayou Pierre, from whence we threaten the whole line of the enemy, are among the fruits of this brilliant achievement.

The march from Milliken's Bend to the point opposite Grand Gulf was made in stormy weather, over the worst of roads. Bridges and ferries had to be constructed. Moving by night as well as by, day, with labor incessant, and extraordinary privations, endured by men and officers, such as have been rarely paralleled in any campaign, not a murmur or complaint has been uttered. A few days' continuance of the same zeal and constancy will secure to this army crowning victories over the rebellion.

More difficulties and privations are before us; let us endure them manfully. Other battles are to be fought; let us fight them bravely. A grateful country will rejoice at our success, and history will record it with immortal honor.

U. S. Grant, Major-General Commanding.

Jackson appeal account.

Some of the particulars of the affair near Port Gibson, that occurred on Friday last, have reached us, after pertinacious inquiries made in every direction to ascertain the result, and we regret our report cannot, in truth, be so favorable as have been those of other operations in this department.

There is no doubt but that the Federal forces landed at Bruinsburgh, below the mouth of Bayou Pierre, were much larger than had been reported; that they excelled General Bowen's command at least five to one is not doubted. The few prisoners taken from the enemy — only some eight or ten--estimate the force engaged at twenty thousand, and claim that the reserve on the river-bank was equally as great. To oppose these, General Bowen had in the fight two brigades. With such a disparity in numbers, of course a confederate victory was next to an impossibility.

General Bowen's object in leaving his position at Grand Gulf, on the south side of the Big Black, and crossing Bayou Pierre, was, we presume, to hold the enemy in check, and prevent their advance into the country and upon Port Gibson, until reenforcements, then known to be on the way, could arrive. The movements of the Federals, however, were rapidly made, and in great force. The forces met about midnight on Thursday, day, some two or three miles from Port Gibson, and the fight raged almost uninterruptedly until toward evening on Friday, when General Bowen gave the order to fall back across Bayou Pierre, which movement was effected, and the bridges behind the retreating forces destroyed. Of course, this step involved the loss of Port Gibson, which was occupied by the Federals the same night. Such of our sick and wounded in the hospitals as were able to walk had timely warning, and crossed the bridges before they were fired. The remainder fell into the hands of the enemy, who, we are informed, found extensive hospital arrangements ready prepared. [575]

On Saturday the enemy continued to advance in such numbers that it was deemed best to retire across the Big Black. Saturday night the works at Grand Gulf were abandoned, after dismounting and destroying the guns, and on Sunday the army crossed the Big Black, at Hankinson's Ferry, where it was met by reenforcements strong enough to make further retreat unnecessary, and prevent a passage being effected by the enemy. This, we believe, is the present position of our forces on the Big Black, and, as any further advance of the enemy against Vicksburgh will be contested by greatly increased forces, derived from no matter where, and aided by all the artificial defences that science can add to a naturally strong position, a delay of active hostilities must ensue that will enable our generals to make such further arrangements as may be required.

We have made every effort to obtain some intelligence of the loss on both sides, but have been unable to do so. Yesterday morning nothing more was known at Vicksburgh than here. Both armies suffered severely. The general estimates of the Army Sunday noon were that our loss was one thousand killed, wounded, and prisoners ; that of the enemy about four thousand. Our killed and severely wounded were left upon the field. (On Saturday the enemy refused to allow a party sent out under a flag of truce to bury the dead to cross their lines for the purpose, saying that their own details were attending to that duty, and that the wounded were cared for. They secured some hundreds of prisoners, most of whom were sick or disabled.

The engagement was a long and bloody one, and gallantly did our boys for hours repel the hordes concentrated against them. Whatever of advantage the enemy gained was dearly bought. It was only when our little band was worn out by fatigue, and their ammunition exhausted, that they fell back, which was done in comparatively good order, and the army saved to win honors elsewhere, which they are now prepared to do whenever the enemy see fit to advance against the stronghold at Vicksburgh.

On Sunday morning, a bridge having been thrown across Bayou Pierre, a Federal cavalry force crossed, and gave some little annoyance to the rear of our column moving across Big Black. Nothing serious, however, occurred, as the enemy generally kept at a respectful distance.

As we look upon it, the position at Grand Gulf was only of strategic importance so long as the Big Black was navigable. The defences, such as they were, were only constructed after the enemy had succeeded in getting some of his craft between Port Hudson and Vicksburgh, when it was apprehended they might possibly get transports through the canal. At that time the Black was navigable as high up as the railroad bridge, and to obstruct the passage of a force to the rear of Vicksburgh by that route the place was occupied. The river has now fallen, and a division of our forces for holding Grand Gulf is no longer necessary. Its abandonment will enable our generals to concentrate their strength, whenever necessary, to repel the invaders. Whether the latter will advance against Vicksburgh, or attempt to move inland to some point, where they imagine communication can be cut off, remains to be seen. Military opinions differ as to what may be reasonably expected, but watchful eyes are upon them. Our opinion is, a great battle will yet be fought in open field, upon which the fate of Vicksburgh may, to some extent, depend. When it does occur, we shall entertain no fears as to the result.2

1 this battle is also known as the battle of Thompson's Hill. See General Grant's report of the siege and reduction of Vicksburgh, volume VII. rebellion record.

2 Further accounts of this battle will be found in the Supplement.

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