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haved very handsomely. I left at Carrion Crow Bayou, to hold that position, three regiments of the Third division, namely, the Eleventh Indiana, Twenty-ninth Wisconsin, and Twenty-fourth Iowa, with one section of artillery. It was fortunate that I did so, for, while the fight was proceeding with General Burbridge's command, Colonel Bayler, of the First Texas mounted rifles, swept round on our left, and attacked the camp at Carrion Crow Bayou, but they were driven off with a loss of three killed; we lost none. I refer particularly to the report of General Burbridge for the names of those deserving honorable mention. On the fourth instant the enemy sent in a flag of truce, proposing to give up such of our wounded as they had, not having the means to take care of them. I sent for and received forty-seven. They refused to give up our wounded officers, among them Colonel Guppy, of the Twenty-third Wisconsin, a most gallant and meritorious officer; though wounded, I am pleased to learn that his wound is not severe, and that all our prisoners are being well treated. As to the force of the enemy engaged, opinions are conflicting; but, from the best data I have, I judge them to have been from six to seven thousand, the whole under the command of BrigadierGeneral Green. Respectfully yours,
C. C. Washburn,
Major and Assistant-Adjutant-General.
WISCONSIN "STATE JOURNAL" ACCOUNT.
Kiw-Osuim, Li., Not. 9, 1S68.
I returned yesterday from Opelousas, and hasten to give you the details of a contest at Bayou Bourbeaux, about nine miles this side of that village, which took place on the third of November, involving, as you will see, very important results to the.Twenty-third Wisconsin. My description, being largely that of my own personal hazards and experience, must be taken for what it is worth in a purely military sense, as I do not pretend to give an accurate account of movements on the field, or the reasons for them.
We reached Opelousas after dark, on the night of the thirty-first of October, stopping with Major-General Washburn, who received us with great kindness, and on the first of November, fell back with the whole army—the Thirteenth and Nineteenth corps—to Carrion Crow Bayou, about twelve miles. The brigade of Colonel Owen, (General Burbridge's old brigade,) in which were the troops I was assigned to pay, was at Bear's Landing, eleven miles in advance of Opelousas, and came in on another road, camping at Bayou Bourbeaux, three miles nearer Opelousas than the balance of the corps. Impatient to see the "boys" of the Twenty-third, I went out the same night to their camp, and was most kindly and hospitably received by officers and men.
Indeed, what is the use of talking about rank or dignity when one gets among old friends and neighbors, so far from home? It was late at night before we could get through the warm greetings and answer the innumerable questions about the loved ones at home, from highest to lowest in the regiment
On the second, was waked at four o'clock. The long-roll was beat, and the men fell into their places in line of battle. An hour after, it proved to be a picket skirmish, and the men proceeded to get their breakfasts.
The camp was on the margin of a most beautiful prairie, the right wing resting upon the woods, the left projecting about twenty rods into the prairie, with woods in the rear, and the whole fronting the north-west, or Opelousas. The prairie rose with a very gentle swell in front about three quarters of a mile, where the descent was from us. The forests here are thin lines of trees, following the windings of the bayous through the prairies, and are rarely above eighty rods through, maintaining the line with singular regularity. The trees are mainly live-oak — an evergreen, draped in the everlasting Spanish moss — and it is rare that there is" any undergrowth. The prairies thus cut up or detached by the lines of trees are from three to six miles in length, and from two to four in width. They are as green and fresh as our prairies at home in mid-summer. This particular spot was called Buzzard Prairie.
About ten o'clock the long-roll again beat, and the men of the Twenty-third fell in and marched to the right of the line about a mile, and took position near a slight ravine, where tliey remained drawn up for some hours. I went out at twelve M. and found one of the First Louisiana cavalry had been killed and four wounded. The skirmish was over, and the forces returned to camp. As an election was to be held in the Twenty-third next day, I gave out tickets I had procured printed in New-Urleans; and Colonel Guppy had requested of General Burbridge lighter duty next day for his men, if possible, so as to allow of their voting and receiving their pay.
On the third, at two o'clock A.m., an order came to Captain Bull, chief of the pickets and outposts, to go at once to the picket-line and change the countersign, as one or two deserters had gone over to the enemy. He got back to camp about four o'clock. The long-roll again beat, and the troops fell in and stood in line until about six, when they got their breakfast About nine o'clock the Seventeenth Ohio battery went out on the prairie and shelled the woods on the left for half an hour, about fifty rebel cavalry having shown themselves on that side. The line of battle was re-formed, and so remained until the action took place at a later hour. During all this time, and until the final clinch, we all supposed it to be a mere guerrilla annoyance, that no serious attack was contemplated —• and felt quite as safe as if in the streets of Madison. The voting went on, and was nearly completed in most of the companies, and four of them were sent in from the line and paid.
Ahout half-past eleven, Colonel Guppy ordered dinner prepared for his men, with a good cup of coffee for each, saying jocosely he could not ask his regiment to fight first-class on an empty stomach. He had his own dinner also prepared, and \vhile we were partaking of it was in particularly good spirits. When nearly through, we heard sharp picket-firing far on the right, and in a few moments the roar of the battery, pitching shells into the woods. He left the table hurriedly, saying there might be something serious up, and went over to his men, who had just swallowed their coffee.
As I stepped out of the tent, an orderly galloped up to the Colonel, and the regiment immediately moved off to the right. The roar of musketry and the cannon rapidly increased in volume, and the smoke drifted down upon us from the battery, about one hundred rods distant At this time. General Washburn and staff galloped by near where I was standing, and went into the line of fire. The battery suddenly changed from shells to canister, and the musketry broke out in great volumes of sound, completely overpowering the noise of the cannon. I kept an anxious look upon the line of the Twenty-third as it pushed rapidly forward along the margin of the prairie, finally breaking into a double-quick — formed suddenly — a terrible shout c.'ime back—a burst of smoke, and the regiment disappeared from the scene.
I turned about and instantly ordered my safe and army-chest loaded into an army-wagon, with whatever else could be tumbled in, and to leave the field, and my ambulance to be ready for instant departure. My associate, Major Brigdon, paying the second regiment to the right, I. knew must be lost unless I could get him and his clerk into the ambulance, and I ran up the line, and fortunately was enabled to attract his attention in time. As I turned to make for the ambulance, I saw a vast line of cavalry sweeping down upon the camp, which had not an armed man in it — saw them gobble up the pickets, and come on with the velocity of the wind. Our mule-team was put to its highest speed, and fortunately made the woods, here about eighty rods across, before they could come up; but they sent their compliments in the shape of a shower of bullets.
As we emerged on the south side, the prairie was a moving spectacle of teams and stragglers, going at the highest speed. On our left hand, about a hundred rods distant, stood a huddle of soldiery in apparent disorganization — the debris of the brigade—all, indeed, that remained of it— about three hundred in number. The road we had taken led round an old field having a sod fence, near a mile out in the prairie, around which it turned at a sharp angle toward the south, compelling us to travel about a mile and a half to make half that distance in a straight line; and the rebel cavalry pressing behind, struck across this line to head off the train, instead of following us directly in rear. When we saw
that cloud break out of the woods into the field, it certainly looked as if the chances for going to Dixie were of the first class. It was the most exciting, not to say exhilarating, race I ever got caught in. Looking over into the field from the ambulance to see if there was a chance, we saw a battery gallop furiously up, and without waiting to unlimbcr even, twice poured a storm of shells into the advancing columns, and we had the satisfaction of seeing men and horses tumble in heaps. It was certain that without infantry support the cavalry would ride over the battery, and we were lost; but as the column of cavalry dashed madly forward and came in range, the guns vomited among them a storm of canister, and a regiment of infantry, which had been lying flat upon the ground invisible to us, jumped up and greeted them with a shower of bullets. They turned tail-to in a moment, what were left, and we had the consolation of seeing the tallest kind of a race, in which we were not partners. This check saved the train. The guns we are so much indebted to were Nimms's Massachusetts battery. It did wonders that day.
It was with a sense of terrible oppression about the heart that I looked over at the little group of the brigade, standing where they were when we emerged from the woods, only organized and in line — and thought of so many friends and acquaintances in the Twenty-third that I had twenty minutes before seen disappear in a cloud of smoke on the other side of the line of forest That some had fallen was certain—while the brigade had dwindled down a handful. Who were lost? I felt little consoled at the regiments of reserves hastening to their relief. It was too late. The battle was over ; the firing had ceased, and at the distance of a mile and a quarter the rebels were plundering the camp. As they fell into line, however, they advanced into the woods, and the rebels took to their heels, not having time to destroy one half of what had been left on the ground.
We waited over an hour in the road for news to come in. I found it impossible to procure a horse, or I should have gone back at once. First came a rumor that the brigade was all gobbled, though part of it was in plain sight; then that the Twenty-third Wisconsin, Sixtieth and Sixtyseventh Indiana, and Ninety-sixth Ohio had all been killed or captured. Finally I met a Twenty-third straggler, who reported the regiment destroyed, who was soon followed by an orderly, who stated that the regiment—what was left, seventy-three in number—were in the old camp, and then came the imperturbable Dwight Tredway, Quartermaster of the Twenty-third, with that perpetual smile on his face, looking for his trains, without the slightest trace of alarm or excitement From him we learned that about ninety of the boys were left, and subsequently the number increased to about a hundred — that Colonel Guppy was wounded and a prisoner, Captain Sorenson the same; that Captain Bull was taken prisoner; that the brave and daring soldier, Alonzo G. Jack, and some others wero killed, and so of a long list of neighbors and friends.
I started at once for the field, but meeting General Washburn, was informed that the whole force was ordered back to Carrion-Crow Bayou, and that it was useless to proceed, as they would leave before I would reach the old camp, so we fell back to headquarters to wait for them. It was long after dark before they arrived. I stood upon the bridge full two hours waiting for them. They came up joking and laughing, in no way dispirited or depressed at the terrible ordeal they had passed; and then there was such a handshaking with all of them as I never had before. They supposed ns lost. They had stood on higher ground than the camp — had seen the cavalry rush down upon it before we were aware of it, and had fairly given us over to the chances in Dixie—and their joy was in proportion at seeing us safe, while mine was equally great at finding so many unhurt, and so comparatively few killed and wounded.
This battle opened by a sudden attack of two thousand five hundred rebel infantry upon the Sixtieth Indiana and Ninety-sixth Ohio in the woods, which soon broke and fell back, when the rebel cavalry charged upon the battery, (Scventeeth Ohio,) and captured two guns, one of which was retaken. The charge of the Twentythird Wisconsin was to save the balance of the battery, and it saved it; but was itself speedily overwhelmed, and compelled to retreat. General Burbridge gives it this credit, and of saving what was left of the brigade. It checked the advance long enough to allow a retreat, and certainly it was not in mortal power, under such a fire, to have done more.
The brigade went into the fight with one thousand and ten men, and came out with three hundred and sixty-one. The Twenty-third went in with two hundred and six muskets and twenty officers, and came out with ninety-eight men. Being now reduced to a mere company, the authorities in Wisconsin ought, if possible, to secure its return to the State, to recruit up its wasted strength. No braver men ever went upon a battle-field, and, although one of the later regiments, it yields to none in the service it has rendered.
The rebel loss was far more severe. Green and Taylor united their forces for the dash, and, from the best sources of information attainable, they brought into the field two thousand five hundred infantry, four thousand cavalry or mounted men, and one battery. Eighty of them lay dead directly in front of our first line of battle in the woods, and how many others fell, our forces had not counted at the time of leaving. Wounded prisoners were exchanged next day, and the rebels reported their loss at about one hundred and ninety killed, from four hundred to five hundred wounded, and about one hundred prisoners. As their attacking force came up eight lines deep, the bullets must have told terribly upon them.
Of the result of the election in the Twenty
third, nothing specific can be stated. The vote for the Union ticket was nearly unanimous; but the poll-lists of part of the companies were lost; and of those saved, there is generally a lack of officers left to make out the certificates. In one company, one inspector was killed, one taken prisoner, with both clerks—leaving but one officer of the board. I advised him to append an affidavit of the facts, but what will be done I do not know.
Both the Thirteenth and Nineteenth Corps had fallen back to Vermillion Bayou, when I left there on Saturday. It is reported that the Thirteenth has been ordered to Memphis; it belongs to Grant's army proper. It is reported also, and believed, that Brownsville, Texas, is in possession of General Banks. If so, my next assignment will take me to the Rio Grando. H. A.
FIGHT AT ROGERSVILLE, TENN.
A NATIONAL ACCOUNT.
Bull's Gap, Tksx., Nov. 11,1888.
More than a month since, the division of reenforcements, under General 0. B. Willcox, entered East-Tennessee, and, with Shackleford's division, moved immediately on the rebels at Blue Spring. After a sharp engagement, the enemy was forced to retire, with severe loss, and our forces moved up the East-Tennessee and Virginia Railroad, Willcox's division stopping at Greenville, the former home of Andy Johnson, and Shackleford's occupying Jonesboro.
Every thing remained quiet until the twentyeighth ult., when Shackleford was flanked by the enemy, and forced to fall back on Greenville. Next day, however, the rebels retreated, and Shackleford moved up to his former position. The enemy's attitude remained threatening, and on the morning of the sixth instant, heavy firing was heard in the direction of Rogersville, a small town situated on the north bank of the Holston River. A detachment of the Third Indiana cavalry was immediately sent out to learn the result, and toward evening sent in a courier with the intelligence that our forces at Rogersville, consisting of the Second Tennessee and Seventh Ohio cavalry, and Second Illinois battery, had been defeated, and that the enemy was reported moving on Bull's Gap, eighteen miles in our rear. Then there was mustering in hot haste, and both divisions were quickly on the road for the Gap. Lick Creek was to be crossed before reaching the Gap, and it was feared the rebels would attempt to destroy the bridge before we could reach it; and to guard against this, the detachment of the Third cavalry that was in the advance, was ordered to fall back to the bridge to hold it. No enemy appeared, and at midnight our column, led by the Sixteenth Indiana, came in sight Rapidly the noble fellows moved on, and soon the Gap was reached, which secured the army from present danger of a rear movement
At an early hour next morning our troops were in position, ready and anxious for the foe approaching; but none appeared, and our scouts soon ascertained that, immediately after the fight, the enemy retreated toward Virginia, having burned up most of the property captured. They also learned that our loss was not so severe as at first reported, and does not, I think, exceed five killed, twelve wounded, and one hundred and fifty prisoners. In addition to this, we lost four guns of the Second Illinois battery and the entire train. It appears that our forces were surprised early in the morning, and almost surrounded before they were aware that an enemy was near. Being greatly scattered, they were unable to fight with any show of success, while the rebels, confident in their overpowering numbers, pushed forward with a valor worthy of a better cause. Twice they charged the battery, and twice they were repulsed with heavy loss; but closing up their heavy ranks, they again returned to the attack. This time our little band was unable to withstand the impetuosity of their charge, and the guns that had held them at bay for more than an hour fell into their hands. Then ensued a scene of the wildest confusion. No way of escape was opened to our men but the river. Into this they plunged, and, although the rebels made every effort to effect their capture, the greater number escaped. A worse whipped set of men are seldom seen. Many had lost their hats, coats, arms, and horses, and all were indignant that they should have been humiliated by a defeat.
RICHMOND "ENQUIRER" ACCOUNT.
Richmond, Not. 18, 1S68.
A correspondent, likely to be well informed, sends us the following detailed account of this operation, which was not only creditable in itself, but has gone far to give a new turn to confederate fortunes in East-Tennessee:
The affair at Rogersville, East-Tennessee, affords some mitigation of the general ignoring of the campaign there. A series of movements of the most unfortunate and disgraceful character, illustrated by the retreat of General Williams, glorious to him and his command, but wholly shameful to those responsible for his exposed position, the only other matter of commendation, justifies this sweeping phrase. A true relation of these will, doubtless, fill a dark page in history. Let us turn to the brighter point, and present to your readers the truth.
A few days since, information of a reliable character was received by General Ransom of the exact position, numbers, and condition of the Yankees at Big Creek, four miles cast of Rogersville. The nearest supporting force being at Greenville, he conceived the idea of cutting them off by a rapid night march of cavalry upon their front and rear. Brigadier-General Jones, accordingly, was directed to put his brigade in motion, so as to bring himself, on Thursday evening, within a night s march, by the south Bide of Holston River, down the valley of Buck
Creek; while Colonel Giltner, commanding Brigadier-General Williams's brigade, was to move from Kingsport and its vicinity, on the north side of the river. During the afternoon of the fifth Colonel Giltner concentrated his command, and went jnto camp at Kingsport, and ordered his force to move at six o'clock P.m. Owing to great difficulty in passing the fords, it was nearly eleven o'clock when the column had passed the river, with a march of twenty-one miles between them and the enemy's camp. The intense darkness of the night, with rain, made the march one of great difficulty and discomfort, but it was cheerfully encountered by officers and men, who seemed to have no doubt of the success which awaited them. At Lyons's Store the head of the column encountered the brigade of General Jones, who was understood to have started forDodson's and Smith's fords, in the Holston, below Rogersville. He, finding great obstacles in the way of his advance, had determined to cross the river at Long's ford, and take the Carter's Valley road to Rogersville, in the! rear of Garrard's camp. This transferred him to the right, instead of the left of the army, and brought him by the north of the Yankee position, instead of by the south, to the rear or west of it. Colonel Giltner had received information of a home guard camp, on the Carter's Valley road, by a citizen, whom he sent at once to General Jones, and by means of his information he was enabled to surprise their camp about daylight, where he captured some thirty or forty prisoners.
At Surgeonsville the enemy's pickets were driven in. Owing to a failure on the part of the advance-guard to charge them promptly, and the delay consequent in bringing up a company to pursue them, they were enabled to escape. Captain Fulkerson, of Colonel Carter's command, being ordered forward, pursued them some three miles, to the farm of Dr. Shields, where he was ordered to halt and hold his position. Colonel Giltner halted the head of his column at Miller's, eight miles from Rogersville, and went forward to reconnoitre the enemy's position. Finding them posted, apparently in force, on the hill beyond Spears's, he waited for his column to close up, and to give time to General Jones to get into position, and rode back to observe the road and ascertain if it was covered from observation by the enemy. Finding it was so, and securing information of General Jones's progress, he ordered the column to advance as soon as the artillery should close up, and rode to the front. Here he found that the force of the enemy had disappeared. Captain Fulkerson had been sent by the right to turn this position, and soon ascertained the fact that they had left this point, and that the way was open. The advance charged down the hill, urged to a sharp trot. A mile in advance, finding thick pine woods, the advance formed as skirmishers, and advanced through the fields to the right of the road, where they soon discovered the enemy's wagons crowded in the main road, while some one of the advance called out that the Yankees were escaping by the ford—Russell's or Chism's ford—in front of the enemy's position. Colonel Giltner at once ordered Colonel Carter's regiment to charge, which they did in the direction of the ford. Owing to the roughness of the ground, only twelve or fifteen reachod the ford, but the regiment was in supporting distance, and the Yankees, seeing their retreat cut off, made no further effort in that direction. They commenced, however, shelling the corn-field in which Carter's men were. Colonel Carter ordered his men to the cover of a precipice, whence he ad'vanced, under cover of a hill, into open ground. Throwing down the fences, ho dismounted and charged the enemy's gun, near the Russell House. The enemy abandoned one gun, carrying off their horses and some wagons. Meanwhile, another small regiment dismounted and charged through the fields between the gun and the retreating enemy, who, however, turned down the river road. Another gun now opened to the left, on a high hill south-west of William Lyons's house, west of Big Creek. Colonel Carter's regiment started to the left of the Russell house, crossing the creek to attack it. Almost as soon as they could traverse the distance, they charged and took it; not, however, until one gun of Lowry's battery had been put in position and fired several shots. A small body of the enemy appearing in the fields to the right, a few shots from another gun posted in the abandoned camp of the Second Louisiana were fired, and the enemy disappeared in the woods, to the rear of the fields, west of Big Creek. Just then a heavy discharge of musketry was heard in the rear, which was at once recognized as the attack from General Jones, and a cheer went up from both columns. Colonel Giltner had, by this time, brought up his reserves, who charged down the river road, and down the lane between tho Relay and McKinney farms, where the Yankees were attempting to escape by a private ford. Here they overtook two of the guns of the enemy, and took a largo number of prisoners; a large number having previously laid down their arms in the woods to the right of the road, and in front of the lane last mentioned. While this was going on in front. General Jones had moved down the Carter Valley road to the left of the enemy's camp, to the intersection with the main road, a mile east of Rogersville, where he despatched a detachment of Witcher's battalion, and perhaps Dunn's, to take the town, occupied by a small force. These captured, perhaps, one hundred prisoners, and killed some five or six Yankees and renegades. The body of the command turned up the main road a short distance, to the road leading out toward the Relay and McKinney farms, and intersecting the river road. The enemy being drawn from their camp by the front attack, here encountered the command in their rear, and, after several sharp volleys, yielded themselves to their fate. Tho results of this victory have been detailed with sufficient accuracy, and need not be recapitulated. The change of plans on the part of General Jones is considered, by those acquainted with the country, as leaving open the avenues of escape through
which the greater part of the enemy got away. This, however, was probably for good reasons. The most unfortunate part of the affair was the return of the army that night to camp, by order of General Jones, against the earnest remonstrance of Colonel Giltner. This resulted in the escape of many prisoners, and the loss of any material results beyond the captures. Subsequent intelligence shows that four men, pursuing tho retreating Yankees within a few miles of Greensville, captured a wagon which had escaped by Chism's Ford, and carried dismay into the oamp of the Yankees at Rheatown and Greenville; and that while the confederate cavalry was hastening to secure its communications, the Yankees were stampeding through Greenville — horses, cattle, artillery, wagons, men and officers blockading the streets, filling the sidewalks into tho very doors of the houses, a dismayed and disorganized mob. On they went even to Russellville, twenty-five miles, galloping bareheaded through the streets, and crying that ten thousand confederates were upon their heels. I need not comment upon a result so common in this war, so disgraceful to the Yankee soldiers and the confederate general.
OPERATIONS IN WEST-VIRGINIA.
GENERAL KELLEt'9 DESPATCH.
Clarksburoh, November 8, 1863.
To Governor Boreman:
General Averill attacked General Jackson's forces at Mill Point, Pocahontas County, on the fifth instant, and drove him from his position with trifling loss. Jackson fell back to the summit of Droop Mountain, when he was reenforced by General Echols with Patten's brigade, and one regiment from Jenkins's command. The position is naturally a strong one, and was strengthened by breastworks commanding the road. General Averill turned the enemy's left with his infantry, and attacked him in front with cavalry dismounted.
The victory was decisive, and the enemy's retreat became a total rout, his forces throwing away their arms and scattering in every direction.
The cavalry pursued till dark, capturing many prisoners and a large quantity of arms, ammunition, etc.
The enemy's wounded have all fallen into our hands. Our loss in killed and wounded is about one hundred. B. F. Krllev,
GENERAL AVERILL'S DESPATCH.
Nbar Fallirg Springs, ) Wkst-viroisia, November 7, 1S63. f
Brigadier-General Kelley, Commanding Department; On the fifth instant I attacked Jenkins in front
of Mill Point, and drove him from his position,
with trifling loss on either side.