Submitted by Chandice Johnson, who transcribed it from the original.
I. JACKSON, MISSISSIPPI, EXPEDITION, JULY 5 20, 1863
Report of Col Cyrus Hall Fourteenth Illinois Infantry, commanding Fourth Bri gade
HDQRS. FOURTH BRIG., TWELVETH DIV., THIRTEENTH A. C.,
Near Jackson Miss., July 20, 1863
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report to you as follows concerning my operations since leaving Vicksburg, Miss.:
On the 5th instant, acting under orders from Brig. Gen. J. G. Lauman, we started at 8 a. m. in the direction of Black River. Nothing noteworthy occurred after passing Big Black River on the 7th instant, until the 12th, when I, with my brigade, having been on duty as train guards at Dixon's, about 5 miles west of Jackson, was ordered to report to Brig. Gen. A. P. Hovey, commanding 12th Division, Thirteenth Army Corps, which, you are aware, I did about 9 p. m.
On the 13th instant, I was ordered into position on the ground east of the New Orleans and Jackson Railroad. My command here was composed of the Fourteenth Illinois Infantry, Lieut. Col. John J. Jones; the Fifteenth Illinois Infantry, Lieut. Col. James Rany; Forty sixth Regiment Illinois Infantry, Col. Benjamin Dornblaser; Seventy sixth Illinois Infantry, Col. Samuel 1. Busey; Company K, Second Regiment, Illinois Artillery, Captain Rodgers, and Seventh Ohio Battery, Capt. Silas A. Burnap. I immediately prepared a line of pits in my front, cleared the ground, and made every arrangement to receive any enemy that might appear.
On the morning of the 15th instant, I was ordered by Brigadier General Hovey to send a scouting party as far east of Pearl River. To this duty I assigned Lieutenant Reid, of the Fifteenth Illinois Infantry, by whom it was performed in a very able and satisfactory manner, finding the enemy in force on the west side of the river, with one company thrown forward to the edge of the swamp on the west side. After making known to General Hovey the facts in the case, I was ordered to take three of my regiments and make a dash upon the enemy. I accordingly took the Fifteenth, Forty sixth, and Seventy sixth Illinois, and made a rapid move toward the river, being supported by the Thirty second Illinois, Fifty third Indiana, and Thirty third Wisconsin, commanded by Colonel Bryant, of the Fifth Brigade.
On the evening of the 16th, it became apparent to some of the officers of my command that the enemy was evacuating Jackson, which fact I communicated to Brigadier General Hovey about 10 o'clock.
The spirit manifested by both officers and men during the short siege was highly commendable, obeying with alacrity every order and executing the work assigned them with zeal and enthusiasm.
To Col. Benjamin Dornblaser, Forty sixth Illinois Infantry, Capt. R. P. McKnight. assistant adjutant general of this brigade, and Capt. David S. Pride, division picket officer, I am indebted for valuable information, obtained by reconnoitering the enemy's works. Casualties, none.
I am, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant, CYRUS HALL, Colonel Commanding Brigade
Capt. JOHN E. PHILLIPS, Assistant Adjutant General
II. HARRISONBURG, LOUISIANA, EXPEDITION, SEPTEMBER 1 6, 1863
Report of Col Cyrus Hall Fourteenth Illinois Infantry, commanding Brigade
HDQRS. SECOND BRIG., FOURTH DIV., 17TH ARMY CORPS, Near Natchez Miss. September 7, 1863
CAPTAIN: In compliance with an order from division headquarters, dated September 7, 1863, I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by my command (consisting of the Fourteenth, Fifteenth, Forty sixth, and Seventy sixth Regiments Illinois Infantry, and Captain Powell's company (F), Second Regiment Illinois Artillery, the battery belonging to General Ransom's command, but detatched for the expedition) in the late expedition to Harrisonburg, La.: I received orders on the morning of the 1st instant to cross the river (Mississippi) with my command, which orders were complied with, and I encamped upon the west bank of theriver, near Vidalia, for the night. I started on the morning of the 2d instant, at daylight, on the road leading to Trinity, the Third Brigade being in advance of my command. I reached the ferry at Cross Bayou about 5 p. m., and by 9 o'clock had succeeded in crossing my entire command to the west side, at which time and place I went into camp. On the next day (3d instant) I started for Trinity; reached the river (Black) at 11 a. m. At 3.20 p. m. I received orders from Brigadier General Crocker to cross the river with my two largest regiments and Powell's battery, leaving the remaining portion of my command on the east side of the river; at 4:45 p. m. the detatchment was in motion, and, passing through the town, marched to a point about 1 mile west of the town, where I encamped. On the succeeding morning (4th instant) I started at daylight, taking the Alexandria road. I reached the junction of the Harrisonburg road at 8:30 a.m., where I found the Third Brigade, under the command of Brig. Gen. W. Q. Gresham, in line of battle. I was then ordered by Brigadier General Crocker to take position on the left of the Third Brigade, which I did, and remained in that position until ordered by General Crocker to take up a line of march and follow the Third Brigade in the direction of Harrisonburg. This I did, reaching Harrisonburg between the hours of 12 and 1 p. m., at which place we remained until ordered to return at 4 p. m. to the Junction, where I encamped. Early next morning (5th instant) I started, and, reaching Trinity, crossed Black River, and was resting in camp at 10.30 a. m. Here I was rejoined by two regiments of my command which had been left to guard the pontoons and the crossing. At 1 p. m. I was again on the road, marching that afternoon to Cross Bayou, and ferrying over by 9 p. m. At that time I went into camp, remaining until morning (6th instant), when I again moved eastward, reaching the river (Mississippi), the infantry crossing and moving out to the camps before dark, the baggage following as fast as the limited transportation would permit. The command had thus made a march of 88 miles in five days, without loss of life or limb. Two of the brass guns captured at Harrisonburg were brought in through the exertions of Captain (then Lieutenant) Gilman, of the Fifteenth Illinois Infantry, acting provost marshall of this brigade, for which he is deserving much credit. The health of the command was excellent, and the men in good spirits and elated by the success of the expedition.
The report of the number names of officers and men remaining in will be transmitted as soon as reports and camp, and the cause of their so doing, can be had of regimental commanders.
I have the honor to be, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel Commanding Brigade
C apt. W. H. F. RANDALL, Asst Adjt Gen. Fourth Div. Seventeenth Army Corps
III. MERIDIAN, MISSISSIPI, EXPEDITION
Report of Col Cyrus Hall Fourteenth Illinois Infantry, commanding Second Brigade of expedition to Meridian
HDQRS. 2D BRIG., 4TH DIV., SEVENTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
Camp Hebron Miss. March 9, 1864
SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by my command in the recent expedition to Meridian and Enterprise:
My brigade, composed of the Fourteenth, Fifteenth, and Seventy sixth Illinois Infantry Regiments, left Camp Hebron on the morning of the 3d of February and marched to Black River, where a halt of two hours was made, after which I crossed the river and marched to Amsterdam, where my command encamped for the night.
The next morning, February 4, my brigade was in advance of the Seventeenth Army Corps, a small detatchment of cavalry forming the advanced guard, which, upon reaching the famous battle ground of Champion's Hill, was suddenly assailed by a superior force of the enemy and somewhat rudely handled. General Crocker here' ordered me to deploy my leading regiment (the Fifteenth Illinois Infantry) as skirmishers, and move carefully forward, and if possible develop the position and purpose of the enemy. After advancing thus for a short distance, my skirmishers became earnestly engaged with the enemy, who disputed every inch of ground with ability and determination. I then brought up the Fourteenth and Seventy sixth Illinois Infantry Regiments and formed them on the right and left of the Clinton road, in easy supporting distance of the line of skirmishers. In this order I moved my command forward until we arrived at the forks of the road west of Baker's Creek, where the enemy opened upon us with two pieces of artillery, using shot and shell with great accuracy. The Twelveth Wisconsin (of the Third Brigade, Brig. Gen. W. Q. Gresham commanding) came forward to assist the Fifteenth Illinois Infantry, whose stock of ammunition was growing short, and in passing an open field in the rear of the line of skirmishers became exposed to the enemy's fire, one shot from the enemy's guns proving fatal to 3 men of the regiment. A solid shot passed through the ranks of the Fourteenth Illinois Infantry, fortunately doing no damage with the exception of wounding 1 man slightly. The line of skirmishers was pushed forward to Baker's Creek, closely followed up by my brigade in line of battle. Here we encamped for the night, having driven the enemy for a distance of 7 miles over a very rough and broken country, which afforded several very favorable positions for the enemy, from which it was very difficult to dislodge them. Notwithstanding the disadvantages under which we labored, such was the skill and adroitness of the officers and men of the Fifteenth Illinois Infantry that but 1 officer and 2 men were wounded during the day. From information obtained from prisoners and from unmistakable evidences left upon the field, the loss of the enemy was very severe.
Our march after this until we arrived at Meridian was a very pleasant one. The heavy rain on the morning of our arrival at Meridian had but little effect upon the troops, owing to the foresight of our commanding general in permitting us to occupy the houses of the citizens of Meridian.
From Meridian we proceeded to the town of Enterprise, on the Mobile and Ohio Railroad, where I was charged with the destruction of the railroad north of town, which was done in a most thorough manner, every tie being burned and every rail bent for a distance of 6 miles.
After remaining at Enterprise until the morning of the 19th, we commenced our return march, striking the road traveled in going to Meridian, 3 miles west of Oktibbeha Creek. Thence returning by way of Decatur, Hillsborough, Canton, &c.
On the 1st day of March, my command left Canton, marching 8 miles and camping on Rick's plantation, where it did not leave until 12 o'clock on the morning of the 2d, during which time we witnessed the performances of the enemy's cavalry, which was pressing our cavalry in the rear sharply. I placed my entire command in line of battle, and disposed of the two pieces of artillery left with my brigade by order of Brigadier General Crocker and awaited their approach, but they came not. After exchanging a few shots at long range the artillery limbered up, and the entire brigade moved off as usual. Heavy skirmishing was kept up until we reached Lexington, near which place we found the column halted. Having closed up upon the column, we remained about four hours, during which time the enemy came up in large numbers on our flanks. I again placed my two guns in position and gave them a few shells, which sent them in every direction at the top of their speed. Here the enemy withdrew, and as far as I know did not fire another gun upon any of our forces.
My command arrived at Hebron, Miss., on the 4th day of March, having been absent thirty days. Executed a march of 350 miles without having a single case of sickness of a serious character in the entire command.
Of the officers commanding regiments in this brigade I cannot speak too highly. Col. George C. Rogers, Fifteenth Illinois Infantry, was wounded by a spent ball at Baker's Creek, while receiving instructions from me as to the disposal of his regiment for the night. I would most respectfully and earnestly call the attention of the commanding general to Lieutenant Allison, of Company H, Fifteenth Illinois Infantry, who lost one hand and part of the other at the battle of the Hatchie, and was again severely wounded in the leg in the engagement at Champion's Hill. His gallantry and soldier like qualities are highly commended by his regimental commander. During this expedition the officers and men, with but very few exceptions, behaved remarkably well. A list of casualties has already been transmitted to your headquarters.
I have the honor to be, captain, very respectfully your obedient servant,
Colonel Commanding Brigade
Capt. C. CADLE, Jr.,
Assistant Adjutant General
IV. VICKSBURG TO YAZOO CITY, MISSISSIPPI, EXPEDITON, JULY 4 21, 1864
Report of Brig Gen. John McArthur U. S. Army, commanding expedition
HEADQUARTERS POST AND DEFENSES,
Vicksburg Miss. May 25, 1864
COLONEL: I have the honor to submit the following report of the Yazoo expedition:
In obedience to instructions from the major general commanding the district I left Vicksburg, Miss., on the morning of the 4th of May, in command of an expedition, consisting of the Forty sixth and Seventy sixth Infantry, Colonel Dornblaser commanding; the Elleventh, Seventy second, and One Hundred and twenty fourth Illinois Infantry, Colonel Coates commanding; Company L, Second Illinois Light Artillery, and the Seventh Ohio Battery, Captain Bolton, chief of artillery, commanding; First Kansas Mounted Infantry, detachments of the Fifth and Eleventh Illinois Cavalry, and Third U. S. Cavalry, African descent, Colonel Osband, Third U. S. Cavalry, African descent, commanding, and proceeded in the direction of Messinger's Ford, thence northwest through Oak Ridge and Mechanicsburg, visiting Scott's Ferry, at Big Black, destroying the same, intercepting the wagon train of two regiments that had crossed to this side to re inforce the forces that were immediately on my front. I then started in the direction of Benton, having constant skirmishing, the cavalry, however, pushing the enemy sufficiently rapid that no delay was experienced until we reached Benton, where they made a stand, resisting the efforts of my cavalry to dislodge them until the arrival of the infantry, when, after a short and spirited skirmish, they retreated, closely followed for six miles north to Benton. Seeing pursuit in that direction fruitless, I then returned to Benton. From information received from intercepted dispatches from General. Adams, together with intellegence gained from other sources, I found that the enemy were concentrating all their available forces on my front, and had already succeeded in crossing two more regiments, and that General Adams had arrived and assumed command, thereby accomplishing the principal object of the expedition. I abandoned the idea (as communicated to you by way of Yazoo City) of crossing the Big Black and moving on Canton, and contented myself with destroying the ferry at Moore's Bluff and directing General Ellet, of the Mississippi Marine Brigade, to remain at Yazoo City, whither I sent my wagon train and sick and wounded, and awaited at Benton the completion of the "concentrated measures" (see General Adams' dispatches) to. drive us from Yazoo. [Note: copies of Gen. Adams' dispatches have not been found.] After waiting two days, and seeing no serious designs in carrying out their intention, I moved toward Vaughan's Station, on the Mississippi Central Railroad, the enemy contesting every advantageous position until we reached Luce's plantation, where they endeavored to test our strength, but were soon driven from their position, my cavalry and artillery behaving handsomely and fighting keenly. Meeting with no more serious opposition we destroyed the railroad station at Vaughan's, following the road to Big Black, destroying the trestle work in such a manner as will render it useless for some time to come, returning to Yazoo City, and thence by the valley road to Vicksburg, where we arrived on the morning of the 21st instant.
Our loss in killed during the entire expedition was 2 commissioned officers, 1 non commissioned officer, and 2 privates; in wounded, 14 privates comparatively light with that of the enemy, who were severely punished wherever they attempted to stand.
Results: A wholesome fear on the part of the enemy, from painful experience, that we have sufficient force at this point to move into the interior when desired the effect of which will, in my opinion, be the withdrawal of their forces west of the Mississippi Central Railroad, if not of Pearl River; also compelling them to concentrate on the fron at that time instead of sending them north as they might have done; the destruction of the railroad communication with Canton; the vast advantage it has been to the new recruits of the command, of which we have a large proportion, increasing their morale and giving them a prestige that cannot be overestimated to troops first brought under fire. All of which is attributable to the commanding officers of brigades, and in fact throughout the whole command my thanks are due to all, as well as to my staff, for alacrity and spirit displayed in the execution of every order, "Excelsior" seeming to the motto of every portion of my command.
I desire, before closing my report, to call attention to Brigadier General Ellet, commanding Marine Brigade, for his kindness and assistance in doing everything he could to make the expedition successful.
Accompaning my report I send you a sketch [not found] of the entire route of the expedition, which was made by Mr. Fiedler, engineer, who was employed especially for the purpose of making a military map of this part of the country.
I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,
Lieut. COL. H. C. RODGERS,
Assistant Adjutant General District of Vlcksburg
Report of Col Benjamin Dornblaser Forty sixth Illinois Infantry, commanding brigade
HEADQUARTERS FIRST BRIGADE, YAZOO EXPEDITION, Vicksburg, Miss., May 22, 1864.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by this brigade in the Yazoo expedition:
At 5 a. m. of the 4th instant, the First Brigade, consisting of the Forty sixth Illinois Infantry, Lieut. Col. John J. Jones commanding, and the Seventy sixth Illinois Infantry, Col. Samuel 1. Busey commanding, left camp and proceeded via Jackson road to Hebron, Mechanicsburg, and Benton, which we reached on the 7th. The enemy seemed disposed to dispute our possession of the place. The First Brigade, marching in the rear, was ordered up, leaving two companies with the train, and formed by your order in a field east of the town and in the rear of the One Hundred and Twenty fourth Illinois Infantry, of the Second Brigade. The enemy, however, soon fled before our advance, and left our troops in quiet possession of the place.
On the morning of the 8th General McArthur went to Yazoo City to communicate with General Slocum, at Vicksburg, leaving me in command during his absence. At about 2 p. m. of the 9th a scout reported the enemy advancing in large force on the Lexington road. I at once formed my brigade and Bolton's battery on that road, and requested Colonel Coates, of the Second Brigade, to form it on the Canton road, which was promptly done. Major Mumford, with his Fifth Illinois Cavalry, dismounted, passed around my left, deployed as skirmishers, and drove the enemy across the old Lexington road, from which a few well directed shots from Bolton's battery drove them pell mell into the timber beyond the field. Major Cook, of the Third U. S. Cavalry (colored), with a portion of his command, also drove to the shelter of the woods a small force of the enemy who were advancing, via Pickett's plantation, toward the right of my brigade. After posting a strong picket I ordered the troops to camp.
On the morning of the 12th I was ordered by General McArthur to remain at Benton to guard the approaches by the Lexington road, with the First Brigade and one section of Bolton's battery, whilst he, with the other troops, went to Moore's Ferry, on the Big Black, via the Canton road, on a reconnaissance, returning the same day. At 5 a. m. on the 13th the expedition started for Vaughan's Station, on the Mississippi Central Railroad, the First Brigade in the advance. The cavalry advance encountered the enemy at Luce's plantation, five miles southeast of Benton. I ordered the Seventy sixth Illinois forward to support a section of artillery commanded by Lieutenant Nichols, who, together with a line of skirmishers from the Seventy sixth Illinois Infantry, drove the enemy from their position. The column then moved forward, in its regular order of march, along the road about one mile and a half, when the enemy was again found posted in a strong position, with three pieces of artillery. I at once pushed my brigade forward to an open field, forming the Seventy sixth on the left, and the Forty sixth Illinois Infantry on the right of the road, throwing forward two companies each as skirmishers, while at the same time Lieutenant Nichols,with a section of artillery posted on the right of the road near the timber, opened a vigorous and well directed fire upon the rebels' battery, which was soon silenced and compelled to retreat. I then moved forward in line of battle, with skirmishers well advanced, expecting to encounter the enemy at any moment, fully a mile, to the plantation houses, where I halted to await orders. The general commanding, finding the enemy gone, permitted the troops to rest and refresh themselves after their weary march. After a halt of an hour and a half the column again moved forward to within two miles of Vaughan's Station, and encamped for the night, the enemy making but a feeble resistance to our advance.
On the 14th we moved via Deasonville to Benton, and on the 15th to Yazoo City, where we remained until the morning of the 18th, when we proceeded, via Liverpool, Satartia, and Haynes' Bluff, to camp at Vicksburg, where we arrived at 10 a. m., having marched over 200 miles.
The only casualty I have to report in my command is that of Sergeant Eells, Company D, Forty sixth Illinois Infantry, who was killed on the morning of the 14th, while acting as a scout, for which he was well suited, and in which capacity he had rendered much valuable service.
Although the march was a long one, and rendered wearisome by the heat and dust, but very few complaints were heard, and whenever a fight was expected every man was found in his place ready and eager for the fray.
The officers of this command, including my personal staff, are entitled to great praise for the able and prompt discharge of every duty devolving upon them.
I have the honor to be, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
B. DORNBLASER, Colonel Comanding Brigade
Capt. W. H. F. RANDALL, Assistant Adjutant General
V. EXPEDITION TO PEARL RIVER, MISSSIPPI, JULY 2 10, 1864
"General Dennis' Expedition"
HEADQUARTERS SEVENTY SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEER INFANTRY, VICKSBURG, MISS, JULY 13.
I send a brief description of the expedition to Jackson, Mississippi, which left this city on the morning of the first instant, and returned on the evening of the ninth instant, under command of Brigadier General E. S. Dennis, commander of the First division of the Seventeenth Army Corps, and a complete list of the losses in different companies during the engagement on the morning of the seventh instant, at a point some three miles west of Jackson, known as "Cross roads," or rather where the Canton road intersects the main Jackson road. On the evening of June thirtieth, orders were received at the headquarters of the different regiments composing the force to make the necessary arrangements for a move the next morning at two o'clock; and when the specified time arrived, everything was in readiness, and a start effected. Although the day was exceedingly warm and dusty, we marched to Big Black river, where we went into camp for the night, with the expectation of resuming our journey at an early hour next morning; but not so. Morning came, but no orders, in consequence of which we lay in camp all day and the second night, our delay being to await the construction of the pontoon bridge across the river, and to attend to the drawing of rations and forage; but early on the morning of third instant we took our position in ranks., and "marched, slowly on" until we arrived at Champion Hills, a place which will long be remembered by friends of many brave who now lie in sweet repose, filling the graves of true soldiers, who have fallen battling for their country's rights and the protection of their old emblem and protector, the Stars and Stripes, under which they have won many hard fought battles. Here we went into camp, to spend another night under the grand canopy of Heaven. Next morning we moved by the "break of day," and made fine progress, it having rained the night previous, which tended to recreate and enliven our little army, as it had been very warm and dusty the preceding three days; and at two o'clock P. M. we were encamped in the suburbs of Clinton, a small town on the Vicksburg and Jackson railroad. Here we had made ample arrangements for doing our rations justice, when the advance, a detatchment of cavalry, was attacked, and a general move was the, result. Eatables of every description, which had been served in the most luxuriant style, were put aside, and a line of battle formed, but to no avail, as the enemy retreated upon our making arrangements to meet them; consequently we retired, spending the balance of our hours of rest in peace. Morning came, and we advanced as per orders, at seven o'clock, but proceededed only a short distance when this regiment was ordered to the rear, the train having been attacked by a squad of rebel cavalry, and for the remainder of the day we acted in the capacity of rear guard, but did not encounter any enemy, they having gone to their advance to support a battery which was operating against our front. After one o'clock the enemy fell back in the direction of Canton, learning that Colonel Coates' Second brigade, First division, would effect a flank movement on them.
Previous to our entering Jackson, a flag of truce was sent out by the citizens with a request that we should not shell the city, reporting no enemy there, so we marched through their once prosperous but now desolate capital, with banners flying, filling the air with the melodious sounds of martial music, amidst the prolonged cheers of the men, and arrived at the river on the southeast of the city, where we went into camp.
Here we remained until four o'clock next day, when the bugle was sounded to depart, the direction or destination being unknown to any but the commanders, and in a few moments all were on the move in the direction of what was termed "home," but alas! we proceeded but a short distance, the Seventy sixth infantry, being in the advance, when we came to a "halt." Artillery was now put in position, cavalry thrown out as skirmishers, and the lines established by the infantry everything in position, and the ball opened. Heavy firing from both sides was kept up until the shades of darkness set in, when both armies retired, our men taking position and lying on their arms until the coming morn, and long ere the sun ascended from behind the hills of the far distant east, the skirmishing commenced. Heavy firing, both from artillery and musketry, was kept up continually until seven o'clock, neither party seeming to gain any advantage, until finally the Second brigade, of the gallant old Fourth division were ordered to advance, the Seventy sixth Illinois infantry in front as skirmishers, and the Forty sixth Illinois infantry as support. And advance they did until the entire line was within some seventy five yards from the enemy, who lay in one position, which they had established the previous evening, under cover, lying on the edge of a body of heavy timber, while, on the contrary, our lines were exposed to their whole fire, being in an open field which inclined toward them. In this position the two regiments lay for five hours, until the entire train had passed, without the loss of a wagon, and it has been ascertained that this command saved all from destruction by their gallant and desperate fighting. Too much credit and praise cannot be attributed to the officers and men, and permit us to say that no braver ever entered the field of battle. Strange as it may seem, the Seventy ninth [sic] [Seventy sixth] did not lose an officer, and had twenty one on the field, but lost about one hundred men out of three hundred and seventy five. Lieutenant Colonel C. C. Jones had his horse shot four times while riding along the lines, the last shot proving fatal, but he never retired from the field, although his leg was somewhat fractured by the falling of his horse.
After continued fighting for five hours, orders came to fall back, and it was with the greatest difficulty that this regiment escaped capture, as they were compelled to leave all the dead and seriously wounded on the field, being obliged to crawl some two hundred yards under a heavy and galling fire, after which they re formed the line and crossed a large opening some two miles in width, under a constant fire of grape, canister, and musketry, when we rejoined our command in good order, receiving the compliments of the General and his staff, who had given us up as lost.
After leaving the field of action we moved in the direction of the train, but were harrassed in the rear by the cavalry of the enemy, who made three unsuccessful charges on a section of Bolton's Chicago battery, but were successfully repulsed on each occasion, with a comparatively small loss on our side, but heavy on the enemy's, the battery pouring a murderous fire of grape, canister, and shell into their ranks as they advanced, with the Eleventh Illinois infantry as support, who at no time were idle. After this repulse we had no more serious trouble, but still an attack was hourly expected on the train, which at this time was perfectly safe.
In this manner we reached Baker's Creek, about one and a half miles east of Champion Hills, where we camped for the night, after a hard day's work, the men and animals being completely fatigued and worn out, having been destitute of any food of importance for the past day, and the heat being very oppressive, in consequence of which there were several cases of sunstroke, one of which proved fatal. Time rolled on, and by four o'clock the next morning our noble little band could be seen wending their way in the direction of Black River, where we arrived in the evening, after a long and arduous march, at which place we lay until four o'clock on the afternoon of the ninth instant, when our last day's march began, and by the dead hour of midnight we were once more within the walls of this ill fated city.
Suffice it to say, that it is thought by all parties interested, that we achieved everything anticipated, having drawn forces from an important point of the enemy's, thereby gaining advantages in other sources and by destroying a bridge over Pearl River, at Jackson, which was partially completed. Still, the general supposition is that it was not the intention of General Dennis to engage the enemy as he did, knowing their forces outnumbered ours, having some three thousand five hundred cavaly and mounted infantry, while our entire force of effective men did not exceed two thousand, but to attract their attention so that our train could be put past danger. I must not close without speaking of our noble brigade commander, Colonel Dorublazer [sic] [Dornblaser], Forty sixth Illinois infantry, his staff, Colonel Busey, commanding seventy sixth, and Lieutenant Colonel Jones, commanding forty sixth, who at all times were to be found with their commands in the discharge of their duties. Also to the minor officers of the brigade, who can be numbered only among the best, and as an honor to the service of the United States. Long may they survive among the "roaring cannon and clashing of arms," is the prayer of many a noble heart under their commands, and may their heads be crowned with laurels ere this "cruel war is over."
VI. EXPEDITION TO CLINTON, LOUISIANA, AUGUST 24 29, 1864
Report of Col Benjamin Dornblaser Forty sixth Illinois Infantry, commanding First Br9ade
HDQRS. FIRST BRIG., SECOND DIV., 19TH ARMY CORPS,
Morganza La. August 29, 1864
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report that in compliance with orders, this brigade embarked on steamers on the night of the 23d instant and proceeded to Port Hudson, La., where it disembarked. On the evening of the 24th instant, at 5 p. m., the column moved out in the direction of Clinton, La., the First Brigade in advance, supplied with five days' rations and one ammunition wagon to each regiment. The command marched all night, only resting at intervals to enable the column to close up, and arrived at Clinton at noon of the 25th. Small scouting parties of the enemy only were encountered, who fled at our approach. The troops rested until 4 p. m. of the 26th, when the return march was commenced, arriving at Port Hudson on the morning of the 28th, and Morganza on the morning of the 29th. Port Hudson is distant twenty five miles from here, and from Port Hudson to Clinton the same. The march was a very hard one, and the losses sustained by the brigade were caused principally by men becoming exhausted by the way and being captured by the enemy, who followed in our rear. The following are the losses of the brigade: Eleventh Illinois, 3 missing; Forty sixth Illinois, 2 missing; Seventy sixth Illinois, 1 missing [see Diary]; Thirteenth Missouri, 2 missing.
Respectfully, your obedient servant
Colonel Commanding Brigade
Capt. W. E. KUHN, Actg. Asst Adjt Gen. Second Division 19th Army Corps
VII. BLAKELY, ALABAMA, APRIL 9, 1865
Reports of Brig Gen. Christopher C. Andrews commanding Second Division of operations March 20 April 9.
HDQRS. SECOND DIVISION, THIRTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
Camp near Escambia River March 26, 1865
CAPTAIN: In compliance with the verbal instructions of the major general commanding, which I had the honor to receive yesterday afternoon, I proceeded to Pollard to day with the Second Brigade of my division. We entered Pollard at 10 o'clock this forenoon, having left our camp on this side of the Escambia at daylight. We met no resistance whatever from the enemy; did not see anything of the enemy, and from all I could learn there is no rebel force anywhere in that neighborhood. The small force that held the place appears to have left and scattered a day or two ago. I found only a small quantity of commissary stores. I caused the railroad track to be torn up for some distance, the railroad bridge to be burned, and the telegraph line to be destroyed. Also took the telegraph operator and his instruments. Three public buildings which had beeen used for military stores and offices I caused to be burned. This was accomplished by 12 o'clock, at which time I started back, arriving in camp by 3 p. m. I would remark that this brigade had made a long march yesterday, having come from Pine Barren Creek to the Escambia, following General Lucas' cavalry rapidly in case it should be needed as a support. Arriving here in camp in the middle of the afternoon, a detail under the direction of Colonel Spicely, the brigade commander, soon prepared a long foot bridge on the railroad trestle over the Escambia, upon which the brigade crossed this morning. We repaired the bridge over the Little Escambia, the plank on which had been entirely taken up and removed. Officers as well as men made the march on foot. In compliance with an order which I left for Colonel Moore, commanding Third Brigade, to be delivered to him to day upon the arrival of that brigade in camp, one regiment, the Eighty third Ohio, was sent across the Escambia about two miles and a half as a reserve in case it should be needed.
Near Blakely Ala. April 10, 1865
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report the part taken by the Second and Third Brigades of my division in the assault yesterday on the enemy's works in front of Blakely Landing:
My division having formed at short notice in my advanced parallel, 500 yards from the enemy's fortifications, moved forward at 5.45 p. m. Precisely at that time Lieutenant Colonel Vifquain, commanding Ninety seventh Illinois Infantry, gave the command, "Forward, Ninety seventh!" at which his regiment sprang with him over the parapet, and with a loud cheer charged in line as skirmishers upon the enemy. This was in front of the Second (Spicely's) Brigade. Upon this the Eighty third Ohio, Lieutenant Colonel Baldwin commanding, advanced with a shout in front of the Third (Moore's) Brigade. Each brigade followed its line of skirmishers after an interval had been gained of about 150 paces, charging in line of battle, the Twenty fourth Indiana, Seventy sixth Illinois, and Sixty ninth Indiana, of Spicely's brigade, following the Ninety seventh Illinois on the right, and on the left the Thirty fourth Iowa, One hundred and fourteenth Ohio, Twentieth Iowa, and Thirty seventh Illinois following the Eighty third Ohio. The line of skirmishers met a sharp fire from the enemy's rifle pits as soon as the movement commenced, but pressed on at double quick. Their bold and steady front was such a warning as made the enemy hasten from his rifle pits to the inside of his breast works. Hundred of the enemy could be seen hurrying thus over their own. obstructions to their redoubts and breast works. My line was such that the center of my right (Spicely's) brigade moved along the Stockton road, but it was known to be perilous on account of torpedoes. The ground along my whole front to the enemy's works is quite uneven and covered with fallen trees. Beside this obstruction there were two formidable lines of abatis, one being within twenty yards of the enemy's guns. The right of Moore's brigade had also to pass three ravines. Numerous rifle pits and detatched breast works also served to increase the obstruction, which has been remarked to be almost insurmountable. Over this rough ground and these elaborately constructed obstacles, in the face of heavy musketry fire from his redoubts, these gallant regiments that I have named, cheered on by their commanders, pressed forward without wavering. I t was a spectacle, indeed, that inspired the most exulting emotions, for no one who saw the troops and knew them could doubt of their triumph. It required from five to ten minutes for the Eighty third Ohio to remove enough of the abatis, referred to as being so close to the enemy's guns at the Stockton road redoubt, to effect a passage. Their colors were planted there, and they removed the abatis before a fearful fire. When room was made for a passage, they rushed triumphantly upon the parapet of the redoubt, Capt. John D. Gary and Private William M. Rooke, of that regiment, being the first who stepped upon the parapet. The Ninety seventh Illinois and the Eighty third Ohio placed their colors upon the redoubt almost simultaneously. The redoubt on my right was taken after a severe fight, in which the Seventy sixth Illinois bore the severest part. My division took the enemy's works opposite its front, extending three quarters of a mile, and including three redoubts. This was done in about twenty minutes. It captured between 1,300 and 1,400 prisoners, including a general officer commanding a division and 71 commissioned officers, 12 guns of different caliber and of more than ordinary value, with considerable ammunition, several hundred stand of small arms, a number of battle flags, and a considerable amount of commissary and quartermaster's stores. The troops that my division confronted were veteran soldiers of the Confederate army, who had been in all the principal battles of the West. I invite attention to the fact that the ground in my front had been extensively mined with torpedoes. Some fatal casualties occurred to my command in consequence of them. Explosions took place and injuries were inflicted after the assault was completed. It required great care in withdrawing the prisoners from the fort to avoid loss of life on account of these torpedoes . . . . The aggregate [of losses) is 33 enlisted men killed, 14 commissioned officers and 188 enlisted men wounded; total, 234. Several of the wounded have since died. .
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Capt. JOHN F. LACEY, Assistant Adjutant General
C. C. ANDREWS, Brigadier General Commanding,
Report of Col Samuel T. Busey Seventy sixth Illinois Infantry of operations April 2
HDQRS. SEVENTY SIXTH ILLINOIS VOLUNTEER INFANTRY,
Blakely Ala. April 11, 1865
CAPTAIN: In compliance with circular from your headquarters, dated April 10, 1865, I have the honor to make the following report:
I arrived with my command near Blakely, Ala., on the morning of April 2; went into camp until evening, when the line advanced, holding my position on the left center of brigade, when I halted where my present camp is situated until the following morning, when two thirds of my command were ordered on duty, the remainder being ordered to arrange a camp and protect themselves, which was necessary, as in my situation we were under a heavy fire from the artillery of the enemy. During the siege we advanced with remainder of brigade several times and had on duty daily 300 men. On the afternoon of the 9th instant orders were received that an advance would be made at 5 o'clock. I took my position in the third parallel on the right center of the brigade, and when ordered advanced, passing the skirmishers at the first abatis, arriving at the enemy's works in advance of any other troops, where we planted our colors (which were almost severed from the staff) fifty yards left of the bastion on our right. After planting our colors on the parapet one of the color guard took them, went to the bastion on our right, walking on the parapet, and while planting them there was knocked senseless by the concussion of a gun fired, falling inside with the colors in his arms, where he was killed by a rebel officer. In the charge my color sergeant and 1 of the color guards were killed and 3 color guards wounded. Although the entire command is deserving of great credit and praise, I claim for my command the honor of first entering the enemy's works and planting our colors thereon, in proof of which I will state that I had 5 killed and 15 wounded, including 2 officers, inside the works. I captured 14 officers, including a brigadier general and colonel, and 400 enlisted men, besides the guns in the bastion. A report has been furnished of losses. All are entitled to much honor for their gallant conduct through the entire affair.
S. 1. BUSEY,
Colonel Seventy sixth Illinois Volunteer Infantry.
Capt. FRED 1. LEWIS,
Actg. Asst Adjt Gen. Second Brig. Second Div. 13th Army Corps
1. Hon. John Pierrepont Born: London, 1619. Settled near Boston in 1640.
2. James Pierrepont
Son of James Pierrepont. Born: Roxbury, January 4, 1659. Died: November 22, 1714 (buried under the Center Church in New Haven).
James Pierrepont graduated from Harvard College, 1681. Called as pastor of the First Congregational Church, he settled in New Haven, Connecticut, in 1864. Took possession of the Mansion House and land granted by the town in 1686. He was pastor of First Church, New Haven, for thirty years and was also one of the founders of Yale College. Married three times, the last time to Mary Hooker of Hartford, Connecticut. Mary was the granddaughter of the Reverend Thomas Hooker of Hartford. Original portraits, painted in 1711, of Reverend James and Mary Pierrepont, were in the possession of their descendants, the Misses Foster, in the Pierrepont mansion (built in 1767). (Information found in Cynthia Turner Pierrepont's picture album, on copies of these paintings, states that they were at that time at Yale University. For further information, see "My Ancestor," page 101.)
3. James Pierrepont
Son of James and Mary Pierrepont. Born: New Haven, May 21, 1699. Died: January 18, 1776. Married to Anna Sherman.
4. James Pierrepont
Third son of James and Anna Pierrepont. Born: New Haven, January 4, 1761. Died: 1840. First wife: Elizabeth Collins (born September 25, 1755; died July 28, 1815). Second wife: Cm. 1817): Lucy Crossman (died 1835).
5. Leonard Pierpont
First son of James and Lucy Pierrepont. (Note spelling change.) Born: Litchfield, Connecticut, October 28, 1819. Died: 1874. Married: January 28, 1841, to Cynthia Turner (born 1815; died 1905). Leonard and Cynthia Pierpont were the grandparents of Vera Pierpont Foley Hunsaker, who often talked of having gone to visit Cynthia Turner Pierpont. An old picture album, now in Karen Reed's possession, belonged to Cynthia, who is also the Cynthia Turner listed in an old sampler Karen has. The sampler was made in 1825 by Phebe H. Turner, Cynthia's older sister.
Children of Leonard and Cynthia Pierpont
(See diary. Leonard mentions writing to and receiving letters from the other Pierpont children.)
Mary Pierpont. Born: 1849. Married: Henry Hall, 1872. Four children: Bertha (died 1933), Clara Pierpont Hall (died 1922), Pierpont Hall (no information), and Edith Pierpont Hall (died 1945). Edith was Vera Pierpont Foley Hunsaker's cousin. The old bedroom furniture now in Karen Reed's possession belonged to Edith. It is thanks to Edith that the family has these family records.
Lucy Strong Pierpont. Born: 1853. Died: 1917. Married: William Casey Foley (1854 1932), January 23, 1884. Children of Lucy and William Foley: Mary Estes Foley, born October 23, 1885, died 1893; Leonard Burnside Foley, born October18, 1887, died 1964; Vera Pierpont Foley, born March 13, 1893, died 1984 (see number 6 below).
Joseph Newton Pierpont. Married Ester E. Pratt. John Pierpont. Married Mattie U. Foley, February 1885. James Pierpont. Married Bertha A. Yacker, December 1900.
Leonard Pierpont. Born: May 1, 1842. Died: July 17, 1865, at Galveston, Texas (see diary).
Walter Pierpont. Born: September 9, 1843. Died: June 1, 1864, at Ashland, Virginia (see diary entry for June 24, 1864). Walter, who was probably in the 39th Illinois Voluntary Infantry (which was at Ashland with the First Brigade of the First Division of the General Benjamin F. Butler's Army of the James), was the first of the three sons of Leonard and Lucy Pierpont who died in the Civil War.
Edward Sherman Pierpont. Born: November 22, 1844. Died at Blakely, Alabama, on April 9, 1865 (see diary).
6. Vera Pierpont Foley
Born: March 13, 1893. Died: 1984. Married: Everett LeRoy Hunsaker (1887 1966), October 8, 1919.
7. Vera Katherine "Ye Kay" Hunsaker
Daughter of Vera and Everett Hunsaker. Born: 1920. Died: 1987. Married twice. First Marriage to Aaron Merritt Romine (1915 1971); second marriage (1958) to Kenneth Laurence Bower (1919 1985)
Children of Ye Kay and Aaron Romine
Karen Kay Romine. Born: 1941. See number 8 below.
Bill Everett Romine. Born: 1947. See number 9 below.
Stephanie Ann Romine. Born: 1951.
Children of Ye Kay and Kenneth Bower: Laurence Jeffery Bower. Born: 1959. See number 10 below. Diane Lee Bower. Born: 1961.
8. Karen Kay Romine Married Jonathan Thomas Reed (born 1936) in 1958. Children of Karen and John Reed
Tammy Lee Reed. Born: 1959. Married Byron Senter (1956 1985) in 1976. Married Robert James "Jim" Benham (born 1954) in 1981. Children: Billie Jean Benham (born 1974), Jodi Lee Benham (born 1976), and Amy Marie Benham (born 1979).
Becky Sue Reed. Born: 1961. Married John Craig Larson (born 1955) in 1981. Children: Dusti May Larson (born 1977). Baby Larson due January 1989.
Timothy John Reed. Born: 1963. Married Teresa McCurry (born 1965) in 1987. Children: De Ann Lynn Reed (born 1985) and Matthew John Reed (born 1988.
9. Bill Everett Romine Married Karolyn Lee Anderson (born 1951) in 1969. Divorced 1982.
Children: Andrew Blame Romine (born 1973). Nathan Aaron Romine (born 1976.
10. Laurence Jeffery Bower Married Sharon Timn (born 1953) in 1988. Baby Bower due November 1988.
It was in the month of August of the year 1669 that a young man rode along the old post road from Boston to New Haven. He was not an ordinary Puritan traveler of that day. To all appearances he was a clergyman. His appearance was quite different, however, from the bold austerity usually associated with the clergy of that time. He wore a square white ministerial band on his chest. Instead of the usual wig of that day, his long curly hair fell over his shoulders. His forehead was high and broad; his dark eyes beautiful and contemplating. He was journeying towards his life's field of endeavor. He was about to take up his duties as minister of the early colonial church in New Haven, Connecticut. As he rode along on his horse, doubtless, his mind was filled with eager anticipation of his new work. Little did he suppose then that the day would come when his name would be remembered, not only as that of an early colonial minister, but as one of the founders of Yale College. This young minister of the gospel, destined to be the chief founder of Yale, was the Reverend Mr. James Pierpont. He was my ancestor.
A church committee had previously been to Boston, where its members interviewed the young Mr. Pierpont. The men persuaded him to come to New Haven, and, if all was well, become the pastor of the Congregational Church there. The committee heralded him as a "godly man, a good scholar, a man of good parts, and likely to make a good instrument," one who would "desire peace in the church and to rejoice to hear of it, and that there may be no after troubles." This report was well received by the church, which, after the death of the former pastor, the Reverend Mr. John Davenport, had become disheartened and was at a low ebb. Hence, as the young preacher neared the village he was cordially met by a group of sedately garbed deacons who escorted him to the church where he was to preach to its members and to the community for the next forty five years.
We are told that because of his gentleness and amiability, the Reverend Mr. Pierpont won the confidence of the people in his parish. Again, we are told, that he was a man of social graces and force of character, and, that together with these qualities made him one of the leaders of his time. It seems that the establishment of a college in New Haven, had been a part of the plans of his predecessor, John Davenport. A college was deemed by Mr. Davenport an important and necessary institution, Since childhood the people of New Haven had been familiar with the idea of a college. Soon the idea of making a new etfort to establish such a school took possession of Mr. Pierpont's tiflnd thought. He considered it necessary to work out the plan with neighbori,flcommunities. Hence, many a consultation and conference were had with the1ading ministers of the colony. But, throughout, according to accounts, Mr. Pierpont took the lead in all that was done towards establishing the college.
Ten of the principal ministers of the colony were selected "to stand as trustees, or undertakers, to found, erect and govern the college." These trustees held an important meeting in Branford. At this meeting each trustee "brought a number of books and presented them to the body." As each person laid his gift on the table he repeated the word: "I give these books for the foundation of a college in this colony." The books presented in this way amounted to forty volumes. Mr. Pierpont gave six books from his own library. It was thus that the library of Yale college was started, and the school established in the year 1700. The school was temporarily located in Saybrook.
Money, a suitable name for the college, more books for the library, and a permanent location for the school were now the crying needs, and these energetic trustees of long ago set about to supply them. Mr. Pierpont, ever in the lead, remembered a certain Mr. Elihu Yale, the son of one of the early "planters" of the colony. This Mr. Yale, after inheriting a considerable fortune from an uncle in England, went to London to live. To him Mr. Pierpont presented the proposition to name the college after him if he would see fit to grant a liberal sum of money to the cause. Next, in order to increase the library, Mr. Pierpont recommended the appointment of Jeremiah Drummer as London agent in the effort to collect a library. For the permanent location of the college several places were considered, chief of which were Saybrook, Branford, Hartford, and New Haven. Now in the days of John Davenport, the New Haven church had given some land for a college. Finally Mr. Pierpont put forth a special effort to secure from the town another lot as well as a large sum of money from the citizens, thus making New Haven the only logical place for the school. All of these efforts were eventually successful.
At the commencement in the year 1714, the Reverend Mr. Pierpont proudly read to the Trustees a letter received from authorities in Boston. The letter gave the information that a box of books, the first installment of a large donation, had arrived from London, and that they were then on the way to Connecticut. These books were a very great addition to the small library. When the next installment arrived the total number of volumes amounted to the imposing number of seven hundred.
This second installment of books, however, did not come until after Mr. Pierpont's death. Nor was the school actually located in New Haven and named Yale College until after his death. The plans for locating the college in New Haven were so far along and so well organized that the work steadily progressed even though Mr. Pierpont had passed away.
In the year 1718 commencement was held in New Haven. At the time the college building, just completed, was named Yale, in "memory of the man who granted so liberal and bountiful a donation." The commencement exercises were appropriately held in the nearby Congregational church, where the Rev. Mr. Pierpont had preached for so many years. And of singular interest is the fact that Mr. Pierpont's son and namesake, James Pierpont, stood in the pulpit and delivered the salutatory oration. This commencement held in New Haven would have been a proud day for Mr. Pierpont had he been permitted to live but four more years.
Thus it was that my ancestor, James Pierpont, was'. 6' prominent and influential citizen and minister in the early colonial days of New Haven. After his death Cotton Mather said of him: "Mr. Pierpont has left us a few days ago; but left us a fragrant and lasting Memory of a very Meritorious character, every heart there (New Haven) is in his tomb, every tongue his Epitaph." In his book, "The Beginnings of Yale", Edwin Oviatt said, "that no other man has done so much as he (Mr. Pierpont) to found a school of to maintain it during these first thirteen years of repeated discouragements and all but obliteration. He, as no other one connected with the beginnings, of the the future of Yale, was the founder and first pilot." [Author unknown. A photocopy of the original essay has a large "A" in the upper left hand corner. Original punctuation, etc., is preserved in the above transcription.]
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