2nd Brigade, 2nd Division, 16th Army Corps
Military Division West Mississippi
February 1865 to August, 1865.
Brig. Gen. Kenner Garrard
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
GENERAL ORDERS No. 26.
HDQRS. SECOND DIV., 16TH ARMY CORPS,
Near New Orleans, La., February 26, 1865.
I. In obedience to General Orders, No. 22, headquarters Military Division of West Mississippi, dated February 22, 1865, the following is fixed as the amount of transportation allowed to the regiments of this division, based upon the aggregate present in each regiment: One hundred and nineteenth Illinois, 439 aggregate, 2 wagons; One hundred and twenty-second Illinois, 425 aggregate, 2 wagons; Eighty-ninth Indiana, 447 aggregate, 2 wagons; Twenty-first Missouri, 488 aggregate, 2 wagons; Twenty-seventh Iowa, 489 aggregate, 2 wagons; Thirty-second Iowa, 409 aggregate, 2 wagons; Fifty-eighth Illinois, 228 aggregate, 1 wagon; Tenth Kansas, 214 aggregate, 1 wagon; One hundred and seventeenth Illinois, 481 aggregate, 2 wagons; One hundred and seventy-eighth New York, 253 aggregate, 2 wagons; Fifty-second Indiana, 309 aggregate, 2 wagons; Thirty-fourth New Jersey, 628 aggregate, 3 wagons.
II. The camp equipage will be reduced in obedience to the order referred to above. All surplus Government property should be transferred to the depot and finally disposed of at this place rather than stored, as most of the regiments go out of service before next fall. It is essential to the interests of the men that the records of the regiments and companies should be at all times with their commands, and as it will be impossible to carry the large desks in use, these records should be retained in some convenient form for transportation though the desks are left. The surplus wagons and mules will be transferred to the division quartermaster after our arrival near Mobile.
By order of Brig. Gen. K. Garrard:
J. B. SAMPLE,
Major and Assistant Adjutant-General.
NOTE.--Until further orders no change will be made in the allowance of orderlies as regulated from these headquarters. Besides the wagons allowed at brigade headquarters one more will be retained for the proportion of enlisted men on duty at each brigade.
The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series I--Volume XLVIII, Part 1, Page 983.
SPECIAL ORDERS No. 21.
HDQRS. SIXTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
Dauphin Island, Ala., March 17, 1865.
II. The organization of the Second Division, Sixteenth Army Corps, announced in Special Orders, No. 60, current series, from headquarters Military Division of West Mississippi, is hereby modified as follows:
First Brigade, Col. J. I. Rinaker, One hundred and twenty-second Illinois Volunteer Infantry, commanding: Twenty-first Missouri Volunteer Infantry, Eighty-ninth Indiana Volunteer Infantry, One hundred and nineteenth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, One hundred and twenty-second Illinois Volunteer Infantry.
Second Brigade, Col. J. I. Gilbert, Twenty-seventh Iowa Infantry Volunteers, commanding: Sixth Minnesota Volunteer Infantry, Tenth Kansas Veteran Volunteer Infantry, Twenty-seventh Iowa Volunteer Infantry, Thirty-second Iowa Volunteer Infantry, One hundred and seventeenth Illinois Volunteer Infantry.
Third Brigade, Col. C. L. Harris, Eleventh Wisconsin Veteran Volunteer Infantry, commanding: Eleventh Wisconsin Veteran Volunteer Infantry, Thirty-fourth New Jersey Volunteer Infantry, Fifty-second Indiana Volunteer Infantry, Fifty-eighth Illinois Veteran Volunteer Infantry, One hundred and seventy-eighth New York Volunteer Infantry.
By command of Maj. Gen. A. J. Smith:
Major and Assistant Adjutant-General.
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 II--Correspondence. Page 16
GENERAL ORDERS No. 8.
HDQRS. SIXTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
Dauphin Island, Ala., March 17, 1865.
Each division commander will see that his command is provided with 300 spades or shovels, 300 axes, and 90 picks for intrenching purposes. One wagon to each brigade will be allowed for the transportation of these tools. Two wagons to each brigade will also be allowed for the transportation of additional ammunition. Division commanders will cause the cartridge-boxes of the troops to be filled at once, and an additional supply of forty boxes to each brigade drawn. All men serving with their regiments must be armed, and returns will be immediately sent in for the necessary arms and accouterments.
By command of Maj. Gen. A. J. Smith:
Major and Assistant Adjutant-General.
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 II--Correspondence. Page 16
HDQRS. ARMY AND DIV. OF WEST MISSISSIPPI,
Fort Gaines, Ala., March 18, 1865.
The following movements are ordered to commence to-morrow, the 19th instant:
I. The First and Third Divisions of the Thirteenth Army Corps will continue their march toward East Branch of Fish River, cross that stream as far below as practicable, and proceed to a suitable point in the vicinity and opposite Dannelly's Mills, on the North Fork of Fish River. The men will carry five days' rations in their haversacks, and rations for five more days will follow in the respective division trains. Bridges, corduroys, &c., which may be found, or which it will be necessary to build, must be kept, in order to prevent all delays, in perfect repair, and the commanding officers of the respective columns will therefore leave for that purpose, at any point where it appears advisable, a detachment of pioneers and guards until their troops and trains have passed.
II. The Sixteenth Army Corps will be ready for embarkation, and the divisions, with the exception of the detachments at Cedar Point, will be transferred as fast as transports can be had to Fish River and land at the west side of the North Branch of that stream, near Dannelly's Mills, where the whole army is to be concentrated. The men will carry five days' rations with them. Besides the forty rounds of ammunition in the cartridge-boxes, sixty rounds more in boxes will be taken aboard the transports and securely stored at the place of debarkation until transportation can be procured. On arriving at the indicated point the corps will take a strong defensive position, its right resting on the river, and cover its front with light breast-works. After a careful reconnaissance, and, if possible, after consulting with the commanding general of the Thirteenth Corps, General Smith will order a bridge to be built at a point practicable and suitable for the passage of troops and trains. The bridge will be protected by tetes-de-pont. The respective staff officers will consult with the chief engineer of the army with regard to the bridge, in order to transfer the pontoon and other materials which may be needed for its construction to the selected point.
By order of Maj. Gen. E. R. S. Canby:
P. JOS. OSTERHAUS,
Major-General and Chief of Staff.
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 23.
HEADQUARTERS SIXTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
Dauphin Island, Ala., March 18, 1865.
Brig. Gen. J. MCARTHUR,
Commanding First Division, Sixteenth Army Corps:
The major-general commanding directs that you have your command in readiness to embark on transports at an early hour to-morrow, taking five days' rations, forty rounds of cartridges per man in cartridge-boxes, and sixty rounds per man more will be placed on board the transports and securely stored at the place of debarkation until transportation can be procured. You will take one ambulance to each regiment and the two wagons for ammunition if possible, and a wagon for hospital purposes for the division, the pioneer wagon and the tool wagon for each brigade. Everything else to be left here in charge of men unfit for field service, if sufficient can be found to properly protect the same from being plundered.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Major and Assistant Adjutant-General.
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 26.
No. 1.--Report of Maj. Gen. Edward R. S. Canby, U.S. Army,
commanding Military Division of West Mississippi,
of operations March 17-May 26.
HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF WEST MISSISSIPPI,
New Orleans, June 1, 1865.
SIR: I have the honor to submit for the consideration of the lieutenant-general commanding the army the following report of military operations in this division:
Pending the advance of General Sherman from Atlanta and the invasion of Tennessee by Hood, the available force of the division was employed in cooperative movements to prevent the rebel force of Kirby Smith from crossing the Mississippi; in operations against a part of Hood's communications, and by demonstrations on the Gulf coast to prevent reenforcements being sent to him from Alabama and Mississippi. This led to a dissemination of the disposable force at several points on the Gulf coast and along the course of the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers as high up as Paducah, Ky. As soon as this pressure was removed by the decisive defeat of Hood by General Thomas these detachments were gathered up as rapidly as possible, and prepared for service in another direction. The service then contemplated was a movement from the Gulf coast in co-operation with one which General Sherman had advised, that Thomas had been directed to make, and the force available for this service was about 22,000 men of all arms.
On the 3d of February I was advised from the Headquarters of the Army that my command would be materially re-enforced from the Army of the Cumberland; that my objective point would be Selma or Montgomery, including the capture of Mobile or not, as I might deem best. I was also advised by General Thomas that he would cooperate with a cavalry force. The force sent from the Army of the Cumberland consisted of the infantry divisions under the command of Maj. Gen. A. J. Smith and the cavalry division of Brigadier-General Knipe, and the whole force, considerably augmented by withdrawing from interior and garrison service as many troops as could safely be spared, was organized as follows:
Thirteenth Army Corps, Major-General Granger 18,500
Sixteenth Army Corps, Maj. Gen. A. J. Smith 16,000
Colored Division Brigadier-General Hawkins 5,500
Cavalry Brigade, Brigadier-General Lucas 2,500
Engineer Brigade, Brigadier-General Bailey 1,500
Siege Train, Colonel Hays 1,200
Total effective 45,200
The cavalry force of the division, as well as that sent by General Thomas, was so much reduced by the hard work of the previous three months that only 2,500 were found to be fit for immediate service, and Major-General Grierson was left at New Orleans to prepare, by substitutions and remounts, as large an additional force as possible. This amounted to 4,500 men, making the total force employed in the campaign a little less than 50,000. The unexampled severity of the season had rendered all the land routes absolutely impracticable and the transportation by water so tedious and dangerous that it was not until the middle of March that the force intended for the immediate operation against Mobile and its material was collected at or in immediate route to the designated points of rendezvous. It was then disposed as follows:
The Union army at Mobile Point and Dauphin Island was composed of:
The Thirteenth Army Corps (two divisions and one brigade) 13,200
The Sixteenth Army Corps 16,000
Engineers, artillery, and cavalry scouts and escorts 3,000
Under Steele at Pensacola:
Two brigades of C. C. Andrews division, Thirteenth Corps 5,200
Hawkins' division, colored infantry 5,500
Lucas' cavalry 2,500
Arrangements had previously been made with the commanders of the Mississippi and Gulf Squadrons for efficient aid in transporting and conveying troops and supplies and covering the operations of the army by water, and especially with the commander of the Mississippi Squadron for an efficient co-operation in preventing the rebel force west of the Mississippi River from crossing in any organized or considerable force. Such precautions had also been taken for the security of the points which had been weakened by the withdrawal of troops as to relieve me from the apprehension of any serious disaster during the campaign. The general plan of operations embraced the reduction of the enemy's works on the east side of Mobile Bay, the opening of the Tensas and Alabama Rivers, turning the strong works erected for the defense of Mobile, and forcing the surrender or evacuation of the city; or if this was found to involve too great a delay, a direct movement upon Montgomery, shifting for the subsequent operations of the army the base of supplies from Mobile to Pensacola Bay, and using the railroad from Pensacola to Montgomery for that purpose. In carrying out the first part of this plan the main army, moving by land and water, was to establish itself on firm ground on the east side of Mobile Bay. Steele, with a sufficient force to meet any opposition that could be sent against him, was to move from Pensacola, threatening Montgomery and Selma, and covering the operations of the cavalry in disabling the railroads. This accomplished, he was to turn to the left and join the main force on Mobile Bay in season for the operations against Spanish Fort and Blakely. Minor operations for the purpose of distracting the enemy's attention were to be undertaken at the same time from Memphis, Vicksburg, Baton Rouge, and the west side of Mobile Bay, and it was expected that Wilson's raid would give full employment to Forrest's rebel cavalry.
On the 17th the general movement commenced. Bertram's brigade (Second Division, Thirteenth Army Corps), closely followed by the other divisions of that corps, under General Granger, moved by land, the route turning Bon Secours Bay, crossing the East Branch of Fish River as low down as practicable, and striking the North Branch at Dannelly's Mills. The -- Brigade of the Division, Sixteenth Army Corps, was landed at Cedar Point, on the west side of Mobile Bay, with instructions to occupy Mon Louis Island with as much display of force as possible.
On the 18th as much of the Sixteenth Corps, under Smith, as could be provided with transportation was sent by water, through Bon Secours Bay and Fish River, to Dannelly's Mills, the point of concentration, to hold that point. In the movements by water the army transports were convoyed by the navy, and the lighter vessels of the squadron were used as transports. On the 18th the naval demonstrations were extended up the bay to the neighborhood of Spanish Fort. The favorable weather that attended the commencement of these movements was followed by a terrible storm of wind and rain that made the transportation by land and water so difficult and tedious that it was not until the evening of the 24th that the army was concentrated and its supplies renewed.
On the morning of the 25th the Sixteenth Corps, followed by the Thirteenth Corps, except Bertram's brigade, moved by the direct road from Dannelly's Mills to Deer Park, a distance of eight miles, and halted for the night. Bertram's brigade moved at the same time by the Montrose road and halted at Rock Creek, on the left of the Sixteenth Corps.
On the 26th the Sixteenth Corps moved upon the same road to the South Branch of Bayou Minette, halting at Cyrus Sibley's Mills, and threatening both Spanish Fort and Blakely. Granger, with Veatch's and Benton's divisions, of the Thirteenth Corps, moved directly for Spanish Fort, crossing the two branches of D'Oive's Creek, and establishing himself on the southeast front of Spanish Fort, and communicating by pickets with the left of the Sixteenth Corps.' Bertram moved up the bay road and halted at the lower crossing of D'Olive's Creek. In these movements no serious opposition was encountered. The rebel force, under General Liddell, was posted to resist the advance, but, being disconcerted by the flanking movements of the Sixteenth Corps, fell back into Blakely and Spanish Fort and destroyed the lower bridge on Bayou Minette, cutting off their own communication between the two places except by water.
On the 27th Garrard's division (Sixteenth Corps) was established in an intrenched camp to cover the right and rear of the army. Smith, with the others, McArthur's and Carr's divisions of his corps was turned to the left to close in upon the enemy's intrenchments. Granger's corps was advanced, Veatch's and Benton's divisions moving directly forward, and Bertram's brigade swinging around to the left and completing the close investment of Spanish Fort by land. In this order Carr's division occupied the extreme right, his right flank resting on Bay Minette, below the bridge, succeeded in order by McArthur's division, of the Sixteenth Corps, Benton's and Veatch's divisions and Bertram's brigade, of the Thirteenth Cops--this last with its left flank resting on the impracticable marsh that bordered D'Olive's Creek. These movements were sharply contested by the rebels at every point, and the number of casualties was considerable, particularly in the Sixteenth Corps, the right of which was exposed to an enfilading fire from the rebel gun-boats and from Batteries Huger and Tracy. On moving from Dannelly's Mills, the temporary depot at that place was broken up, and the supplies and material, except the bridge over Fish River (left for the use of the cavalry that was to come up by land, and guarded by a gun-boat and an infantry battalion), and transferred to the supply vessels. The engineer trains and material were ordered up from Mobile Point, and the whole, under convoy of the navy, were awaiting the completion of the investment for the establishment of a new depot. This was established at Starke's Landing, five miles below Spanish Fort. Wharves were built, roads opened, and the supply of the army secured. As a part of the Sixteenth Corps (the part of its land transportation and the general supply trains) were yet to come up, the corps commanders were instructed to push their works forward as rapidly as was consistent with due care for their men, to take advantage of every opportunity that promised successful and decisive results, but not to attempt an assault without that assurance.
The details of the 28th and 29th are without special interest except the establishment of a battery of eight 30-pounder Parrotts and two Whitworth guns on the bluff of Bay Minette to counteract the effect of the enfilading fire from the rebel gun-boats and batteries.
This was opened with effect on the morning of the 30th, driving off the gun-boats and so far reducing the fire of the batteries (Huger and Tracy) that it gave us no further serious annoyance. Steele, in accordance with his instructions, had moved from Pensacola Bay on the 19th with his infantry and the main body of his cavalry, having previously sent a part of this force by Blackwater Bay to Creigler's Mills and thence by land to strike the Mobile and Montgomery Railroad above the junction at Pollard. The same storms that had impeded the operations of the forces on Mobile Bay delayed the march of Steele's command, but on the 25th the cavalry under Lucas drove the enemy from his intrenchments at Cotton Creek, and later in the day encountered the force of General Clanton in line of battle at Bluff Springs. It was immediately charged, routed, and dispersed with a loss to the enemy of many killed and wounded, 120 prisoners (1 general and 18 other commissioned officers), and 1 flag. Our loss was 2 killed and 4 wounded.
On the morning of the 25th General Andrews was sent to Pollard to cover Spurling's operations. That officer reached Pollard in the afternoon of the same day, having completely accomplished his mission. He cut the telegraph and railroad between Evergreen and Greenville before daylight on the morning of the 24th, capturing the up and down trains (2 locomotives and 14 cars loaded with stores) and 100 officers and men on their way to Mobile. At Sparta he destroyed six more cars and the depot, with a large amount of supplies. Between Sparta and Pollard twenty prisoners were captured in skirmishes, and he reached the latter with his captures without the loss of a man. The whole command was then turned in the direction of Mobile Bay, and after much labor, in consequence of the condition of the roads, Steele reached Weatherford on the 29th and reported his position and wants. He was instructed to move directly upon Holyoke, renew his supplies, and take up the investment of Blakely.
On the 30th Veatch's division (Thirteenth Corps) was withdrawn from the line of investment (its place temporarily supplied by Marshall's brigade, of McArthur's division, Sixteenth Corps) and sent to Holyoke to convey supplies for Steele and hold that position until the junction was effected. Pressed by the condition of the roads and the want of subsistence, Steele marched on the afternoon of the 31st to Stockton, where partial supplies were obtained, and on the morning of the 1st of April continued his march, Spurling's cavalry being in advance. Before reaching the forks of the road leading to Holyoke the latter encountered a strong force of cavalry and infantry, which was immediately charged and driven, with a loss to the enemy of 1 flag and 75 prisoners. The remainder of the cavalry under Lucas and the colored division were moved up rapidly to the support of Spurling, and the enemy was forced to abandon his strong position at O. Sibley's, and was driven into his works at Blakely by the cavalry.
Early iu the morning of the 2d a strong attack was made on the positions we had gained on the previous evening, but was handsomely repulsed by the colored troops, and Andrews' division having now come up, our hold upon it was established. As Steele had already been instructed that his command was to be employed in the investment of Blakely, he considered it advisable to hold the ground that he had gained and report his position and prospects. He was directed to go on with the investment. Veatch was ordered in from Holyoke to report to him, and Garrard to support him if it should be necessary.
On the 3d Garrard was ordered in to complete the investment on the left, and Lucas' and Johnson's cavalry brigades were charged with the duty of covering the rear of the army.
On the 4th the lower bridge on Bayou Minette was re-established, opening a direct communication between the two wings, and by the afternoon of the 5th Spanish Fort and Blakely were both included in the same general line of investment. In the meantime the works against Spanish Fort had been diligently pushed forward, although sharply contested by the enemy at all points; the trenches and parallels widened and emplacements ordered on the 3d, prepared for the troops in preparation for an assault; siege guns and material were brought up from the rear, and batteries established in every effective position. On the 4th of April there were in position against Spanish Fort thirty-eight siege guns (including six 20-pounder rifles and sixteen mortars) and thirty-seven field guns, and against Batteries Huger and Tracy eight 30-pounder Parrott and two Whitworth guns. The fire was opened from all these at 5 and continued until 7 p.m. As the enfilading batteries were not yet ready, and the difficulties of the roads were such that the supply of ammunition could not be kept up, the fire of the batteries was reduced on the 5th, 6th, and 7th, but the other work was steadily carried on. I had anticipated that the investment of Spanish Fort by water would have been effected by the navy, but the shoal water and obstructions on Blakely Bar prevented this. Every exertion was therefore made to secure the control of Blakely River by the army and complete the isolation of the fort. For this purpose batteries for heavy guns were prepared on the east side of Bay Minette north of the bayou, and preparations made for a boat expedition to cut the tread way between Spanish Fort and Fort Tracy, the final bombardment and assault to be preceded by the destruction of the tread way to cut off the escape of the garrison. The assistance required from the navy was promptly tendered by the admiral, but the launches were at Ship Island and Pensacola, and, although sent for, could not be got up in season. Disappointed in this expectation and at the suggestion of A. J. Smith, and on account of the progress made on his right, the time for the bombardment was anticipated and ordered for 5.30 p.m. of the 8th. At this time there were in position against Spanish Fort fifty-three siege guns (including ten 20-pounder rifles and sixteen mortars) and thirty-seven field pieces. Of these, ten siege rifles and five siege howitzers on our left center enfiladed the enemy's left and center, and five siege howitzers close in on our extreme right enfiladed his center. The Bay Minette battery against Huger and Tracy consisted of two 100-pounder and four 30-pounder rifles. One of the batteries, No.--, against Spanish Fort was armed with navy guns and manned by officers and sailors of the squadron, volunteers for this service. The fire of these guns was opened at the appointed time and continued until dark, the troops being in the trenches and prepared to improve any advantage that might be gained. Under cover of the bombardment two companies of the Eighth Iowa, supported by the remainder of the regiment and closely followed by the other regiments of Geddes' brigade, of Carr's division, effected a lodgment on the left of the enemy's line and gained a position from which about 200 yards of his intrenchments could be enfiladed with a musketry fire. This was soon taken, and with it about 200 prisoners, and the captured guns turned upon the enemy.
Night had now fully set in, but Smith was instructed to put his whole force to the work and press it on to completion. A brigade from Veatch's division, then in reserve near Blakely, was ordered by telegraph to report to him, and Granger was advised by telegraph of Smith's progress and instructed to direct the fire and operations on his part so as not to come in conflict with the force at work within the enemy's lines. This work, led by Colonel Geddes and superintended by Generals Carr and Smith, was pushed on diligently and persistently, and soon after midnight all of the works were in our possession. The brigade from Veatch's division was not needed and was sent back by Smith. The immediate fruits of this success were the capture of these strong forts, two miles of intrenchments with all the armament, material, and supplies, 4 flags, and more than 600 prisoners. The major part of the garrison escaped by the tread way to Fort Tracy, and thence to Blakely and Mobile. In this they were materially aided by the darkness and our imperfect knowledge of the interior of their works. In these last operations the force engaged consisted of one brigade (Bertram's) and one division (Benton's) of the Thirteenth Corps, two divisions (McArthur's and Carr's)of the Sixteeth Corps, with their field batteries; the First Indiana Heavy Artillery, except one company; two companies of the Sixth Michigan Heavy Artillery, and one battery from the navy.
From the 6th to the morning of the 9th operations had been steadily carried on against Blakely, meeting with a stubborn resistance from all points of the rebel lines, and particularly on our extreme right,, which suffered severely from an enfilading fire from the rebel/gun-boat's stationed in the mouth of Raft River. With some difficulty in getting up the guns a battery of four 30-pounder rifles was established in a commanding position by the afternoon of the 8th, and in a few minutes after opening its fire drove off the gun-boats severely damaged.
Early on the morning of the 9th, and soon after the fall of Spanish Fort was assured, Smith was ordered to move the First and Third Divisions of his corps to the left of the line at Blakely, Garrard's front, and take measures for the assault of that place. Granger was at the same time instructed to leave Bertram's brigade in charge of the captured works and the prisoners and send Benton's division to Steele's front to take part in any operations that might be undertaken. The battery on Bay Minette, No.--, was re-enforced by four 30-pounder Parrotts, and opened fire on Blakely Landing and the Tensas River (the water communication between Mobile and Blakely). The fire of the battery, No. --, on our extreme right, was also turned on Blakely Landing, and Mack's battery, six 20-pounder rifles, was put in position on the Pensacola road and opened an effective fire on the rebel batteries. Orders had also been given to transfer to the Blakely lines as rapidly as possible the siege guns (twenty-eight) and mortars (sixteen) that would be required if the place resisted an assault. In anticipation an additional bridge had been laid down on Bayou Minette, but the impracticable character of the swamp on both sides of the bayou made the approaches to it so difficult that it proved to be of but little service. In consequence, the divisions of the Thirteenth and Sixteenth Corps did not reach their positions as early as I had anticipated. While waiting their arrival I passed to the right of the line and found that the prospects of a successful assault were promising. The colored division had already gained and held some important advantages on its front; Andrews' and Veatch's divisions were well up with their work, and the resistance of the enemy was less spirited than on previous days. Soon after 4 o'clock Smith had completed his arrangements and telegraphed to me that his two divisions were up and in position. Garrard had notified Steele that he would be ready to advance at 5.30 p.m., and Benton's division was reported to be crossing the bridge near the left of Steele's front. Steele was then instructed to time his movements with those on the left, to advance his line strongly supported, and if possible carry the enemy's works. A little later Benton, who had not yet reached his position, was instructed to turn at once to the left and follow up and support these movements. The line at this time was nearly four miles in length, and the disposition of the troops was as follows: Hawkins' division of colored troops on the right; Andrews' division Thirteenth Corps (two brigades), on the right center; Veatch's division, Thirteenth Corps, on the left center, and Garrard's division, Sixteenth Corps, on the left; one division of the Thirteenth and two of the Sixteenth Corps in support on the right and left. The enemy's line had a development of two miles and a half. It consisted of nine strong redoubts connected by rifle.pits and palisades, and was covered in front by slashings and abatis, and in some places by outworks of telegraph wire and by torpedoes or subterra shells. The advance was made at the appointed time, and was as nearly simultaneous as it could possibly be from the length of the line and the obstructed character of the ground. With a gallantry to which there were no exceptions the troops pressed forward under a heavy fire of artillery and musketry, passing over exploding torpedoes, net-works, and abatis, and assaulted and carried the enemy's works in about twenty minutes, each division carrying the works in its front. The immediate results of this victory were -- flags, all the armament, material, and supplies, and 3,700 prisoners, of whom 3 were generals and 197 commissioned officers of lower grades. The development of our lines at Blakely was four miles; at Spanish Fort three miles and a half; the intervening distance three miles, and from the depot at Starke's Landing to the left at Spanish Fort, four miles. The inner line of communication was about seventeen and the outer line twenty-two miles in length. The country embraced in these lines was broken and rolling, intersected by streams and ravines with abrupt banks, and obstructed by large tracts of impracticable marsh.
During the siege operations more than 2,500 yards of parallel and 1,500 of sap were opened, twenty-six batteries for heavy guns were constructed, traverses and shot-proof shelters provided for the troops, wharves and bridges were built, roads opened, and the supplies, guns, and siege material transported from four to twenty miles. In these labors the troops were so constantly employed night and day that the regular reliefs could not always be observed, and in more than one instance the officers and non-commissioned officers kept watch while the guards of the trenches slept. The zeal and alacrity, readiness of expedient and device with which all difficulties were encountered and overcome, and the cheerful spirit with which they were borne are not less worthy of commendation than the gallantry uniformly exhibited in combat. In this credit the troops whose duties did not bring them into actual collision with the enemy are equally entitled to share.
Batteries Huger and Tracy still held out, and until they were reduced Blakely River could not be opened for the navy and for the army transports. In anticipation of this contingency Spurling's cavalry had already been sent up the river to collect boats to pass troops over to the island to cut off communication between the forts and Mobile. Lucas with his cavalry had also been sent to Claiborne with a battery of rifled guns to block the navigation of the Alabama River and cut off the retreat from Mobile by that route. On his march to Claiborne he struck and dispersed the Fifteenth Confederate Cavalry, capturing 2 flags, 2 officers, and 72 enlisted men.
On the 10th additional batteries for heavy guns bearing on Huger and Tracy were established on the east shore of Bay Minette, and a beat expedition for a night attack on Tracy was organized, but at 10 o'clock of that night both works were abandoned by their garrisons and their magazines blown up. Before daylight of the 11th the preconcerted signal indicating the commencement of the evacuation of Mobile was given from the marsh in front of that city. Arrangements were at once made to bring up to Blakely the supplies for the force to be sent to Montgomery and for the occupation of Mobile. On the afternoon and night of the 11th Granger, with the First and Third Divisions of the corps, marched to Starke's Landing, where he embarked, and on the morning of the 12th, under convoy of the navy, crossed to the west side of the bay, landed at Catfish Point, five miles below Mobile, and occupied the city at noon of that day. The losses sustained during the campaign were:
C Captured or missing.
Officers - Enlisted Men
K W C K W C Thirteenth Corps 26 1 68 474 26 Sixteenth Corps 3 26 65 436 7 Steeles command 6 15 25 270 Cavalry Brigade 1 5 8 24 2 First Indiana Heavy Artillery. 1 1 18 Total 10 72 1 167 1,222 35 Grand total (*) *1,508
* Included in this are 46 Killed and 246 wounded while under Steele's command at Blakely.
The loss of the enemy in killed and wounded was not fully ascertained. Partial records captured at Blakely account for 73 killed and 320 wounded at that place and Spanish Fort, but the reports do not include the operations of Steele's forces on the march or the preliminary operations at Spanish Fort and Blakely, and no report is made of the losses at Spanish Fort during the bombardment of the 4th, at the capture on file 8th, or during the assault of Blakely on the 9th. It probably exceeded one-half of our own loss. The number of prisoners originally reported was nearly 6,000, but the number accounted for by the provost-marshal-general was 4 generals, 304 commissioned officers of lower grades, and 4,616 enlisted men; total, 4,924. The other results were the capture of -- flags, 231 pieces of artillery, and a large quantity of army material and naval stores, the details of which are given in the reports of the heads of the staff departments serving with the army.
The subsequent operations will be briefly stated: Bertram's brigade, of the Thirteenth Corps, was charged with the duty of holding the works and collecting the captured property on the east side of Mobile Bay. The Sixteenth Corps was put in march for Montgomery on the 14th. Grierson, with 4,000 effective cavalry, was sent on the 17th on Smith's right flank, to cover as much ground as possible and break up all communications between Johnston's and Taylor's armies. Benton was sent with his division to close up the Tombigbee River, and in conjunction with the navy to prevent the egress of the rebel gun-boats. Steele with his original infantry force and some artillery was sent by water to Montgomery, convoyed by the navy, and the remainder of the cavalry force was organized into a brigade under. West for operations west of the Tombigbee. Steele and Smith had Montgomery, Grierson with the cavalry was at Eufaula, Union Springs, and Benton was in position, when further operations were stayed by the armistice, but as soon as this was terminated orders were given to resume them throughout the division. The notice to Taylor was accompanied by an offer of terms which were accepted and the articles signed at Citronelle on the 5th [4th] of May, Admiral Thatcher acting for the navy and arranging for the surrender of the rebel naval forces. The Sixteenth Corps and Grierson's cavalry, the whole under A. J. Smith, were left to occupy Middle and Southern Mississippi and Alabama Steele's and Benton's commands were brought back and preparations commenced for operations west of the Mississippi. While these were progressing I was instructed by the lieutenant-general that the main expedition against the Trans-Mississippi Department would move from the Arkansas, and that I would co-operate with an expedition moving by water against Galveston. This was subsequently abandoned, and by direction from the same authority an expedition of 12,000 men was fitted out and sent under Steele to the Rio Grande. In the meantime proposals looking to the surrender of the Traus. Mississippi Army and Navy were made to me, and on the 26th of May the surrender was concluded by the convention of that date, Captain Greene, the senior officer, representing the U.S. Navy at the conference. Troops were immediately sent to occupy the surrendered territory, but before they had reached their destinations the rebel forces, with the exception of a few organizations, had passed beyond the control of their officers and dispersed to their homes, taking with them a large part of the property that had been surrendered.
In these operations, as well as during the whole period of my command in the Southwest, I was materially aided by the zealous and efficient co-operation of the naval forces of the West Gulf and Mississippi Squadrons, and a more effective acknowledgment than mine is due to Admiral Farragut, Commander Palmer, Admiral Thatcher, successive commanders of the West Gulf, and Admirals Porter and Lee, of the Mississippi Squadron, and to their subordinates in both squadrons.
An important aid was also rendered by the powerful and effective cavalry raid of Major-General Wilson, which completely paralyzed rebel forces that would otherwise have re-enforced Mobile. I can add nothing to the well-earned reputation of Granger, Steele, Smith, and Grierson, except to say that the work committed to them was well done, and I adopt as my own the commendation bestowed by them upon their division, brigade, and other subordinate commanders. The same remarks apply to the engineer and artillery commands under Bailey and Hays, which, although sharing to a smaller extent in the most striking events of the campaign, contributed in full proportion to its results, and are fully entitled to share in whatever credit may be accorded to it.
The supply departments under their respective chiefs and subordinates were ably administered, and, under difficulties of season and climate that were without precedent for many years, accomplished all that was required of them. To Major-General Osterhaus, Brig. Gens. G.L. Andrews, Totten, and Comstock, Lieutenant-Colonels Christensen, Wilson, Sawtelle, and Hinsdill, Major Clinton, Captains McAlester, Eaton, and Barrett, and their subordinates, of my immediate and personal staff, my thanks are particularly due. The reports of corps and other commanders and the returns and maps (*) are transmitted herewith.
Very respectfully, sir, your obedient servant,
ED. E. S. CANBY,
Major-General of Volunteers, Commanding.
CHIEF OF STAFF, HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY,
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 91-100.
Maj. Gen. E. R. S. CANBY,
Commanding, &c., Mobile:
GENERAL: Suitable acknowledgment of the great services rendered to the country by your command has been delayed because when the intelligence reached Washington the public mind was overwhelmed with grief for the loss of their great and good President, Abraham Lincoln, and filled with horror at the atrocity of the crime that cut him off. Now that your work is consummated by the surrender of General Taylor and his forces, it is my pleasing duty to present to you, and to your gallant officers and brave army, the thanks of the President, of the people, and of this Department, for the valor, energy, and military skill displayed in the siege and reduction of the city of Mobile, the pursuit and capture of the enemy's army, and in all the operations of your campaign.
These operations were accompanied by circumstances of difficulty and discouragement, and without the aid and support enjoyed by forces less remote from the great depots of supply. But the brilliant success of your achievements has exercised an influence that cannot be overestimated in breaking the rebel power, destroying all hopes, and bringing their cause to ruin. The extensive preparations and vigorous defense of Mobile show that the rebel chiefs regarded it as their last refuge. To express the sense of your important service and give just tribute to the patriotic services rendered to the country by you and your army is the object of the accompanying order. The occasion is also proper to signify the confidence and approval of the Department for the wisdom, firmness, vigilance, and integrity that have distinguished your administrative service ever since its onerous and harassing duty was cast upon you. It gives me pleasure to say that no officer enjoyed more highly than yourself the personal esteem and confidence of the late President, Mr. Lincoln, and that to his latest moment he watched the operations of your army with great interest.
With great regard, I am, your friend,
EDWIN M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.
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 103-104.