Report of Lieut. Col. Luther H. Whittlesey, Eleventh Wisconsin Infantry

Report of Lieut. Col. Luther H. Whittlesey, Eleventh Wisconsin Infantry.

VICKSBURG, MISS., July 26, 1863.
LIEUT.: For the information of the colonel commanding the
brigade, I have the honor to submit the following report of the
operations of the Eleventh Wisconsin Infantry in the late march and
attack on Jackson, Miss., and their subsequent movements up to this date:

On the morning of July 5, conformably to orders issued the day
previous, we marched from our old camp and trenches in rear of Vicksburg
at 6 a.m. Out on the Jackson road to Clear Creek, near Black River,
marching about 10 miles that day under a clear burning sun, but,
fortunately, finding good water at our camp.

July 6.–We marched at 4 a.m., crossing the Big Black 11/2 miles from
our camp on Clear Creek, and proceeded some 4 miles to a plantation
near Edwards Depot, where we lay upon our arms for the night. The
weather was very hot, which, with poor water combined, caused some
suffering among the troops.

July 7.–We broke camp at 7 a.m.; marched about 8 miles, camping
near the forks of the Raymond and Clinton roads. At 5 a.m. we formed
line of battle, and bivouacked for the night.

July 8.–We marched at 6 p.m.; proceeded 4 miles and camped.

July 9.–Marched at 6 a.m.; passed through Clinton to within 8 miles
of Jackson.

July 10.–Marched at 5 a.m., and arrived before Jackson at 9.30
a.m., where we rested till evening, and then moved into position in the
line, about 1,600 yards from the enemy’s works.

July 11.–In the morning, Company B, of the Eleventh, together with
one company each from the Twenty-first and Twenty-second Iowa
Infantry, were thrown forward as skirmishers, the whole under the
command of Capt. Remick, Company B, Eleventh. Advancing across
an old field, some 300 yards in width, they came to the woods in our
front, and developed a force of the enemy, estimated at about 800
strong, who attacked our skirmishers in front and on the right flank,
and repulsed them with a loss to my command of 2 killed and 1 severely
wounded. We, however, held possession of a house and out-buildings
between our front and the enemy, and from that point kept his
skirmishers well back under shelter of the woods that covered the ground
between us and the enemy’s works.

July 12.–The brigade was formed for an advance in the following
order: A line of skirmishers and supports, under the immediate
command of the brave Maj. Houston, of the Twenty-third Iowa Infantry;
a line of battle, composed of the Eleventh Wisconsin and Twenty-second
Iowa, under my command, and a third line of reserves, comprising the
Twenty-first and Twenty-third Iowa, under command of Brig.-Gen.
Lawler. The object of the advance was to obtain possession of the
woods in our front. The troops moved up in beautiful order, and
obtained possession of the woods without resistance, the enemy
retiring at our advance. We thus gained a position some 600 yards
nearer than the one occupied the day previous.

July 13.–The enemy shelled us vigorously, bursting a number of shells
just in rear of my regiment, but without damage, except the wounding
of a couple of artillery horses, belonging to Capt. Davidson’s
battery, which was posted immediately on my left.

July 17.–I was ordered by Gen. Lawler to move forward and occupy
the works of the enemy in front of the Second Brigade, he having
abandoned Jackson the night previous. This I did, remaining on duty
here during the day and until relieved by order of Gen. Lawler,
when I returned to camp.

July 18.–Marched at 7 a.m. To a new camp, 2 miles distant, and at
2 p.m. Moved down to the railroad near Byram, and began destroying
the track of the Mississippi Central Railroad, as ordered.

July 19.–Destroyed railroad track.

July 20.–Marched from our bivouac, near Byram, to our new camp
near Jackson, a distance of 6 miles.

July 21.–Marched at 7 a.m. To Raymond, 14 miles.

July 22.–Marched at 6 a.m. 101/2 miles, camping on Baker’s Creek.

July 23.–Marched at 5 a.m. To within 7 miles of Vicksburg.

July 24.–Marched to our old camps in rear of Vicksburg, thence to
camp just below the city, via Warrenton road, a distance of about 10
miles, where the regiment is now encamped.

I append herewith a list of the killed and wounded of my command,
before referred to.*

All of which is respectfully submitted.

Lieut.-Col., Commanding.

Lieut. A. ADAMS,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-Gen.

Source: Official Records
[Series I. Vol. 24. Part II, Reports. Serial No. 37.]

About Chris

I am a high school history teacher in Colorado and am finishing my masters in history from APU. My book The 11th Wisconsin in the Civil War: A Regimental History was published by McFarland & Co. in 2008.