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Blakeley

April 2-9, 1865


2nd Brigade, 2nd Division, 16th Army Corps
Military Division West Mississippi
February 1865 to August, 1865.

Brig. Gen. Kenner Garrard


Second Brigade
Brig. Gen. James I. Gilbert

117th Illinois, Col. Risdon M. Moore
27th Iowa, Maj. George W. Howard
32d Iowa, Lieut. Col. Gustavus A. Eberhart
10th Kansas (four companies), Lieut. Col. Charles S. Hills
6th Minnesota, Lieut. Col. Hiram P. Grant

No. 55.--Reports of Brig. Gen. Kenner Garrard, U. S. Army,
commanding Second Division,
of operations April 3-9.

HDQRS. SECOND DIVISION, SIXTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
Near Blakely, Ala., April 11, 1865.

COLONEL: In anticipation of a detailed report of the capture of Fort Blakely, I have the honor to report that on the 9th instant I advanced my lines, carried the works, captured 21 guns, 4 mortars, and 1,524 enlisted men, and 100 officers, including 2 brigadier-generals, one of them, Brigadier General Liddell, commanding East District of the Gulf. My loss was 41 killed and 123 wounded. I cannot speak too highly of the conduct of my officers and men, who most gallantly executed all orders given them, notwithstanding the serious obstacles in their front. Three officers, Col. Charles L. Harris, Eleventh Wisconsin Volunteers, commanding Third Brigade; Col. John I. Rinaker, One hundred and twenty-second Illinois, commanding First Brigade, and Col. Thomas J. Kinney, One hundred and nineteenth Illinois Volunteers, I would earnestly recommend for promotion as brigadier-generals. The two brigade commanders in the assault commanded most efficiently and gallantly their brigades, and Colonel Kinney had command of the advance regiment of his brigade in the charge, and enjoys the reputation of being the first man of his regiment on the rebel works. I sincerely trust that the soldierly and noble conduct of these officers will be recognized and rewarded by the Government by bestowing upon them a rank most meritoriously earned.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
K. GARRARD,
Brigadier-General, Commanding Division.

Lieut. Col. JOHN HOUGH,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Sixteenth Army Corps.

The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series I--Volume XLIX--In Two Parts. Part 1--Reports, Correspondence, etc. Page 247 - 248

HDQRS. SECOND DIVISION, SIXTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
Near Blakely, April 11, 1865.

COLONEL: I have the honor to make the following report of the part taken by my division in the siege and capture of Fort Blakely:

On the 3d instant, in obedience to orders from General Canby's headquarters, I moved to this point and took position on the left of General Steele's command, with a view to commence the siege and to complete the investment. Owing to the nature of the ground and want of information it was several days before my line was extended to Bay Minette. My orders were to co-operate, advising and consulting with General Steele. On the 9th instant, the morning after the capture of Spanish Fort, General A. J. Smith, commanding corps, visited my headquarters and instructed me to assault Fort Blakely at the earliest practicable moment, and for that purpose he would order up to my assistance McArthur and Carr, and all the artillery I wanted. I would here express my thanks to him for his generous conduct, though I was fortunate enough not to be compelled to avail myself of his kind offer of more troops. During the morning I placed in position on my extreme left, to guard my lines from the fire of gunboats, Hendricks' and Cox's batteries, of the First Indiana Heavy Artillery, consisting each of four 30 pounders. Three of these pieces were turned on the enemy's line until 5 p.m., when they ceased by my orders. At 3 p.m. on my extreme right I placed in position behind my rifle-pits Mack's Black Horse Battery of six 20-pounders, with orders not to fire except when the enemy opened, and then to silence his guns; that I did not wish a bombardment, but wanted my lines in their advance protected. Similar orders were given to the other batteries under my command, viz, Rice's Seventeenth Ohio Battery (four Napoleons), Lowell's Second Illinois Battery (four 10-pounder Parrotts), and Ginn's Third Indiana Battery (four 10-pounder Parrotts). At 2 p.m. I sent for my brigade commanders--Brig. Gen. J. I. Gilbert, commanding Second Brigade; Col. C. L. Harris, Eleventh Wisconsin Volunteers, commanding Third Brigade, and Col. J. I. Rinaker, One hundred and twenty-second Illinois Volunteers, commanding First Brigade--and gave them the following orders. Brigadier-General Veatch, commanding First Division, Thirteenth Army Corps, was present at the interview. I directed them to move their commands into the trenches, placing one-half in the rifle-pits of the skirmishers and one-half in those of the reserves. That at 5.30 p.m. a single line of skirmishers should advance, and as soon as it appeared that they were advancing with success that a second line of skirmishers should follow, and when the first line reached the enemy's works then the main line should charge. I was induced to adopt this plan owing to the terrible obstructions in my front and to avoid loss of life, and hoped to silence the enemy's guns and drive off their sharpshooters before I exposed a large mass of my men to the enemy's fire. My brigades were in line from right to left in the following order: Gilbert, Harris, and Rinaker. As the right of Rinaker's and left of Harris' lines were the most advanced, I ordered that at this point the attack should commence and be taken up to the right and left as rapidly as possible. Rinaker's advance was the One hundred and nineteenth Illinois, Col. T. J. Kinney commanding; Harris', part of the Eleventh Wisconsin, One hundred and seventy-eighth New York, and Fifty-eighth Illinois; and Gilbert's was the Tenth Kansas, Lieut. Col. Charles S. Hills commanding, and one company of the Twenty-seventh Iowa. At the appointed time under a brisk fire from all of the artillery, the first line moved, then the second, then the artillery ceased firing, and I saw our men on the enemy's works. I immediately ordered a cheer and a charge. This cheer was taken up on the right of my division, and as I advanced in the charge I looked to the right and saw our whole army in front of Blakely, most gallantly taking up my movement. My division carried the enemy's works, capturing 100 officers, including 2 brigadier generals, and 1,524 enlisted men, and 4 sets of colors, 21 pieces of artillery, and 4 mortars. My loss, I am most happy to report, owing to my plan of attack, was very small, only 2 commissioned officers killed and 7 wounded; 39 enlisted men killed and 117 wounded.

I am extremely gratified to be able to speak in the highest terms of praise of my whole division, and am indeed proud to be the commander of so noble a body of soldiers. Among the many who distinguished themselves I desire to invite special notice to my three brigade commanders and to Col. T. J. Kinney, One hundred and nineteenth Illinois Volunteers, and Lieut. Col. Charles S. Hills, Tenth Kansas. The two last-mentioned officers had command of the skirmishers in front of their brigades, and for their special gallantry and good conduct well merit promotion. To my three brigade commanders -- Brig. Gen. James I. Gilbert, Cols. Charles L. Harris, Eleventh Wisconsin Volunteers, and John L Rinaker, One hundred and twenty-second Illinois Volunteers I am greatly indebted for their efficiency in the management their brigades and for the prompt and cheerful execution of all my orders. I would earnestly recommend that their good service be recognized by their promotion. First Lieut. Angus R. McDonald, Eleventh Wisconsin,, especially distinguished himself at the parapet and received one gunshot wound and two from the bayonet. To my staff I am under many obligations for their zealous, efficient, and intelligent discharge of the duties intrusted to them and would be much gratified to see officers of such merit and fine soldierly qualities encouraged and rewarded by being brevetted. The following is a list of their names: Maj. James B Sample, assistant adjutant-general; Maj. Robert W. Healy, Fifty-eighth Illinois, acting inspector.general; First Lieut Alexander H. McLeod, One hundred and fortieth New York Volunteers, aide-de-camp; First Lieut. Sargeant McKnight, One hundred and twenty-second Illinois, aide-de-camp; First Lieut. Richard Rees, Twenty-first Missouri, acting assistant inspector-general, and First Lieut. George W. Fetterman, Fifteenth U.S. Infantry, commissary of musters; also First Lieut. Thornton G. Capps, One hundred and twenty-second Illinois Volunteers, provost-marshal. Inclosed I have the honor to transmit the reports of my brigade commanders and a list of casualties, (*) and also a report of guns captured. (+)

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
K. GARRARD,
Brigadier-General, Commanding Division.

Lieut. Col. J. HOUGH,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Sixteenth Army Corps.

The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series I--Volume XLIX--In Two Parts. Part 1--Reports, Correspondence, etc. Page 248-250

GENERAL ORDERS No. 36.
HDQRS. SECOND DIV., I6TH ARMY CORPS,
Near Blakely, Ala., April 12, 1865.

The general commanding the division desires to express his heartfelt thanks to the brave officers and men of his command for their heroic and noble conduct in the battle of the 9th instant. To your gallantry in action, your daring advance over terrible obstacles, and your cheerful and prompt obedience to orders, is due the fall of Fort Blakely.

K. GARRARD,
General, Commanding Division.

The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series I--Volume XLIX--In Two Parts. Part 1--Reports, Correspondence, etc. Page 250

No. 59.--Report of Brig. Gen. James L Gilbert, U.S. Army,
commanding Second Brigade,
of operations April 3-9.

HDQRS. SECOND BRIG., SECOND DIV., 16TH ARMY CORPS,
Fort Blakely, Ala., April 10, 1865.

I have the honor to make the following report of the part taken by my command in the siege, charge, and capture of Fort Blakely, Ala.: My brigade consisted of the Sixth Minnesota Infantry, Lieut. Col. H. P. Grant commanding; Tenth Kansas Veteran Infantry, Lieut. Col. Charles S. Hills commanding; Twenty-seventh Iowa Infantry, Maj. G. W. Howard commanding; Thirty-second Iowa Infantry, Lieut. Col. G. A. Eberhart commanding, and One hundred and seventeenth Illinois Infantry, Col. R. M. Moore commanding. Aggregate effective force, 1,995. On the afternoon of April 3 my command moved into position in front of the rebel works, holding the center of General Garrard's division, which was upon the left of General Steele's command. I immediately threw out a strong skirmish line, which advanced in gallant style under brisk fire 200 yards, driving in the rebel skirmishers, and then threw up a strong line of intrenchments, with a loss of three men wounded. This line was held until the evening of the 6th, when my skirmish line was again advanced 300 yards. Continued skirmishing occurred, with brisk artillery fire from the enemy. On the evening of the 7th the enemy made a sortie upon the advance line, but were handsomely repulsed without loss to us. My whole number of casualties up to the afternoon of April 9 was 7 enlisted men, 2 mortally wounded, since dead, and 5 wounded. At 3 p.m. April 9, in obedience to orders from General Garrard, I moved my command to the reserve intrenched lines preparatory to charging the enemy's works. The Tenth Kansas and Company B, Twenty-seventh Iowa, occupied the picket-line as skirmishers; the Twenty-seventh Iowa, One hundred and seventeenth Illinois, and Companies D, H, and K, of the Thirty-second Iowa, in order from right to left, formed the advance line; the Sixth Minnesota and the other seven companies of the Thirty-second Iowa formed the reserve. At 5.39 p.m. a rapid and severe artillery fire commenced, which was soon followed up by a general advance and charge. My main line of battle was 1,100 yards distant from the rebel fortifications; the intervening ground was covered with timber felled in every possible direction, torpedoes planted in front of the works, wire stretched from stump to stump, a double line of abatis, and in rear of all a very strong line of fortifications. At the command to advance the line raised a shout, pressed rapidly forward, reached and carried the enemy's works, and pursued the disconcerted enemy to the river-bank, capturing 9 pieces of artillery and 573 prisoners, and in fact every rebel in our front, although the enemy's gun-boats lay in the Tensas River only a few rods in advance. Leaving a picket of 300 men the command returned with its prisoners to camp. Officers and men throughout the entire command did their duty and did it well. The Tenth Kansas, a little band of heroes, rushed forward as into the jaws of death, with a determination to conquer or die. Company B, Twenty-seventh Iowa, acted with the same valor. Too much praise cannot be bestowed upon them. I am at a loss for words to express my admiration for them and their gallant officers, and when I say that Lieutenant-Colonel Hills is worthy to command such men language is exhausted in his praise. Major Hutchison, of the Thirty-second Iowa, also distinguished himself both in the assault and in the capture of prisoners. My list of casualties is comparatively light, being 27, of which are 8 enlisted men killed and 19 wounded (2 commissioned officers and 17 enlisted men).

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JAMES I. GILBERT,
Brigadier-General, Commanding.

Maj. J. B. SAMPLE,
Asst. Adjt. Gen., Second Division, Sixteenth Army Corps

The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series I--Volume XLIX--In Two Parts. Part 1--Reports, Correspondence, etc. Pages 255 - 256.

Numbers 61. Report of Major George W. Howard,
Twenty-seventh Iowa Infantry,
of operations April 9.

HEADQUARTERS TWENTY-SEVENTH IOWA INFANTRY,
Blakely, Ala., April 11, 1865

LIEUTENANT: I have the honor to make the following report of the part taken by the Twenty-seventh Iowa Infantry in the charge and capture of Blakely, Ala., April 9, 1865:

At 3.30 p.m. the regiment moved toward the enemy's works, taking position on the right of the Second Brigade, Second Division, Sixteenth Army Corps, in line of entrenchments 250 yards in the rear of the line of skirmishers. Company B was immediately ordered to report to Lieutenant-Colonel Hills as skirmishers. We remained in this position until 5.30 p.m., when the entire line advanced. The regiment moved rapidly forward, not being able to preserve a good line, however, because of fallen timber. When we reached the line of entrenchments from which the skirmishers had advanced when the charge was ordered, a temporary halt was made. Resting but a moment in these entrenchments, we again advanced with rapidity and carried the enemy's works without serious resistance. When the works were carried we again formed line and rapidly pursued the disconcerted foe to Blakely. Here was a large number of the enemy which we assisted in capturing. The enemy's gun-boats were lying in the Tensas River immediately and only a few rods in our advance. From this position we returned to camp without necessary delay, Companies E, K and G as guards of prisoners. Company B returned to camp during the evening. The conduct of both officers and men on the occasion was, so far as my knowledge extends, unexceptionable and commendable. The following is the list of casualties: Sergt. Robert T. Jackson, Company B, wounded severely in the face and neck; Private Albert Tennis, Company C, wounded severely in right hand.

Very respectfully,

GEO. W. HOWARD,

Major, Commanding.

Lieutenant W. G. DONNAN,
Actg. Asst. Adjt. General , Second Brigadier , Second Div., 16th Army Corps

The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series I--Volume XLIX--In Two Parts. Part 1--Reports, Correspondence, etc. Pages 256 - 257.