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27th Iowa Top Banner

Old Town Creek

July 15, 1864


2nd Brigade, 3rd Division, 16th Army Corps,
January 1864 to December, 1864.

Detachment Army Tennessee -- Joined from Army Tenn For Red River Campaign

Major Gen. Andrew J. Smith
Brig. General J. A. Mower


Second Brigade
Col. William T. Shaw

14th Iowa, Lieut. Col. Joseph H. Newbold
27th Iowa, Col. James I. Gilbert
32d Iowa. Col. John Scott
24th Missouri, Col. James K. Mills

HDQRS. SECOND BRIG., THIRD DIV., 16TH ARMY CORPS,
In the Field, near La Grange, Tenn., July 22, 1864.

SIR: In relation to the part taken by the Second Brigade in the late engagement at Old Town Creek, Miss., on the 15th instant, I have the honor to make the following report:

We had camped on the north side of Old Town Creek, when, about 5 p.m., the enemy attacked the rear of the column, and from a high hill, some three-quarters of a mile upon the opposite side of the creek, commenced shelling our camp. I received orders to move out the infantry of my command, consisting of the Fourteenth Iowa, Capt. William J. Campbell commanding; Twenty-seventh Iowa, Capt. Amos M. Haslip commanding; Thirty-second Iowa, Maj. Jonathan Hutchison commanding; and Twenty-fourth Missouri, Maj. R. W. Fyan commanding, to meet him. I immediately marched out upon the road leading back toward the creek, and was ordered to deploy my command upon the right of the Thirty-third Regiment Wisconsin Infantry, in a field of growing corn upon the right of the Tupelo road. I had hardly deployed the Fourteenth and Twenty-seventh Iowa Infantry, when I received orders to move forward in line in double-quick time. Sending a staff officer to bring forward the other two regiments, I threw out a line of skirmishers in front, and obeyed the order with all possible promptitude. The line scaled the fence, waded a stream nearly waist deep in water and mud, through the thick brush and timber; waded the second stream, as deep as the first, and on through the belt of timber to the edge of a large field of growing corn, where it came in full sight of the rebel line, which, with its battle-flags waving in the sunlight, was boldly and firmly advancing, pouring in a destructive fire. I at once withdrew the skirmishers to the main line, and ordered it to fire and advance. The whole line poured in a volley, raised a shout, scaled the fence, and pressed steadily forward in the open field, firing as they advanced. The ground was rough and ascending; the day was very hot. By the time the line had reached the center of the field many had dropped on the ground from heat and exhaustion, unable to rise; not a few had been borne back wounded. The ranks had been somewhat thinned, and the rebel line in front, in excellent position, yet held firm and kept up a continuous and severe fire. Perceiving that I might be easily flanked upon the right should my line be much farther advanced, I sent a staff officer to find out where and why the other two regiments of my command had been detained, and to bring them forward on the right with all possible dispatch. By this time the enemy began to waver and fall back, when our men raised another cheer and pushed onward up the hill, firing rapidly, and, the field proved, as we advanced over it, with excellent effect. The enemy failed to reform his line, but kept up quite a sharp fire until driven over the hill. My line steadily advanced to the farther side of the field, over another fence, up through the broken timber to the crest of the hill, when the firing ceased, and I ordered the line to halt. Skirmishers were thrown out, and the exhausted but triumphant line permitted to sit down and rest. The other two regiments now came up, who were deployed upon the right, breaking somewhat to the rear. The enemy were driven beyond sight and no more firing occurred, except a few desultory shots from the pickets. I held this position until sundown, when I was ordered to move to the left and some 500 yards to the rear, where I lay all night, the left of my line resting across the Tupelo road. About sunrise next morning it was reported that the enemy was moving in upon the left, when I moved again to the left and formed line about 200 yards from and nearly parallel to the Tupelo road. No enemy, however, appeared, except a few pickets, and about 6.30 a.m. I was ordered to move my command across the creek and take up the line of march upon the Tupelo road. The enemy left 17 dead bodies upon that part of the field over which my two regiments passed.

I have to express my warmest thanks and admiration to both officers and men of the Fourteenth and Twenty-seventh Iowa for the gallantry which they displayed throughout the long charge up hill, under a severe fire, driving the enemy with heavy loss nearly three-quarters of a mile from a strong covered position; and to Lieutenant Donnan, of my staff, especially, I would say he has my heartfelt thanks for the heroic manner in which he conducted himself, ever present in the thickest of the fight, rendering all the assistance in his power to effect the grand object which was so well achieved.

I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant,

JAMES I. GILBERT,
Colonel, Commanding Brigade.

Lieut. JAMES B. COMSTOCK,
Actg. Asst. Adjt. Gen., Third Division, 16th Army Corps.

The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series I--Volume XXXIX--In Three Parts. Part I--Reports, Page 287 - 288

HDQRS. TWENTY-SEVENTH REGT. IOWA VOL. INFANTRY,
In the Field, La Grange, Tenn., July 21, 1864.

LIEUTENANT: I have the honor to make the following report of the part taken by the Twenty-seventh Regiment Iowa Volunteer Infantry in the engagement at Old Town Creek, Miss, July 15, 1864:

We had encamped for the night after a fatiguing march from Tupelo, Miss. The enemy approached on the Tupelo road, following and skirmishing with the main column. When near Old Town Creek they (the enemy) commenced shelling our camp. We were ordered out and formed in line of battle. We waded the waist-deep creek and on the double-quick crossed a corn-field, driving the enemy in stronger force and from a good position, under a scorching sun, for over a mile. Reaching the hill from which he had shelled our camp we were halted and soon received re-enforcement of two regiments on our right. My position during the engagement was the extreme right of the Second Brigade, commanded by Col. James I. Gilbert.

I cannot too highly speak of the courage and discipline of both officers and men, who after having hardly any rest the night before and marching all day still showed that discipline when called upon which is so essential to the good of the service.

I append the following list of casualties.(*)

AMOS M. HASLIP,
Captain Company A, Commanding Regiment.

Lieut. W. G. DONNAN,
Actg. Asst. Adjt. Gen, 2d Brig, 3d Div, 16th Army Corps.

The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series I--Volume XXXIX--In Three Parts. Part I--Reports, Page 290 - 291

HDQRS. SECOND BRIG., THIRD DIV., 16TH ARMY CORPS,
Holly Springs, Miss., August 27, 1864.

LIEUTENANT: I have the honor to report the part taken by the Second Brigade in the late expedition to Oxford, Miss., under command of Maj. Gen. A. J. Smith.

My command, consisting of the Fourteenth Iowa Infantry, Capt. W. J. Campbell commanding; Twenty-fourth Missouri Infantry, Maj. R. W. Fyan commanding; Twenty-seventh Iowa Infantry, Capt. A. M. Haslip commanding; Thirty-second Iowa Infantry, Lieut. Col. G. A. Eberhart commanding, and Third Indiana Battery, First Lieut. Thomas J. Ginn commanding, left Memphis, Tenn., on the 4th of August. The infantry were transported by railroad eighty miles to Holly Springs, Miss., arriving on the evening of the same day. The battery and wagons of the command moved out by the wagon road, and rejoined the command August 6; distance, fifty miles. The command remained at Holly Springs on picket duty until the morning of the 17th of August, when it moved out on the Oxford road and marched nine miles to Waterford. August 18, crossed the Tallahatchie River and marched to Abbeville; distance, ten miles. Here the command lay in camp until August 21, when it moved forward, crossed Hurricane Creek, and camped about one mile beyond. August 22, moved a mile or two toward Oxford, when, about 12 m., the command was countermarched and returned to Hurricane Creek; distance marched, five miles. August 23, moved to Tallahatchie River, six miles. A forage detail from the brigade had a brisk skirmish with the enemy, and succeeded in routing him, with the loss of 1 man, believed to be captured. The command remained in camp until August 25, when it crossed the Tallahatchie River and marched to Waterford, nine miles. August 26, marched to Holly Springs, where the command is now in camp.(*)

I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant,

JAMES I. GILBERT,
Colonel, Commanding Brigade.

[Lieut. JAMES B. COMSTOCK,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General. ]

The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series I--Volume XXXIX--In Three Parts. Part I--Reports, Page 381.

HEADQUARTERS SECOND BRIGADE, SECOND DIVISION,
DETACHMENT ARMY OF THE TENNESSEE,
Eastport, Miss., January 9, 1865

LIEUTENANT: In relation to the reconnaissance made to-day by my command toward Iuka, I have the honor to report:

In compliance with orders from General Garrard, commanding Second Division, I moved the infantry and one section of the battery of my command at 7 a.m. January 9, 1865, out on the Iuka road. I proceeded some four miles without molestation, when my advance was fired upon by the pickets or scouts of the enemy. After exchanging a few shots they fled, turning off on the Bear Creek road, some mile and a half this side of Iuka. I advanced without further trouble, entering the village about 10 a.m., capturing one prisoner, who claimed to be a commissary sergeant of Roddey's command; that he was on duty at Corinth and came to Iuka on a visit. Some of the citizens report Forrest's command in camp a few miles west from Iuka, and Hood at Corinth, but the greater number claim that Hood has gone south from Corinth. Stewart's infantry was the last to pass through Iuka on last Thursday. The opinion seems to prevail that a part, at least, of Forrest's command is on the opposite or south side of Bear Creek. I think there is no doubt that Hood's command is moving south from Corinth as speedily as possible. After allowing the men time to make coffee, I returned, without the slightest interference, to camp, arriving about 3 p.m.

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

JAMES I. GILBERT,
Colonel Twenty-seventh Iowa, Commanding Brigade.

Lieut. JAMES B. COMSTOCK,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.

The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series I--Volume XXXIX--In Three Parts. Part I--Reports, Page 290 - 291