Report of Brig. Gen. Hugh Ewing, U.S. Army, Commanding Third Brigade.
MAY 19-JULY 4, 1863.--The Siege of Vicksburg, Miss.
O.R.-- SERIES I--VOLUME XXIV/2 [S# 37]
HDQRS. THIRD BRIG., SECOND DIV., FIFTEENTH A. C.,
Battle-field, near Vicksburg, Miss., May 27, 1863.
Maj. W. D. GREEN,
Asst. Adjt. Gen., Second Division, Fifteenth Army Corps.
SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the march of my brigade from Milliken's Bend to this field, together with the part taken by it in the late actions:
We moved to Sherman's Landing the 9th, assisted in making a road from thence to Bower's Landing, finished it within two days, and on the 13th, being relieved by fresh troops, marched to the lower landing; reached Grand Gulf the evening of the 15th, and encamped on the Raymond road.
On the 17th, at noon, at the junction of the Gibson road, we took 203 prisoners, captured partly by the head of my column, chiefly by several gentlemen of General Sherman's staff, Cols. J. Condit Smith, Morton, and others. They were stragglers of Loring's division, which had taken the Gibson road during the night. Here, receiving orders from General Sherman, we took cross-roads for Bolton, and again, on falling into the track of our army, changed our course for Edwards Station, camping at night on the battle-field of the day before. During the night of the 18th we rejoined our division.
On the morning of the 19th, we took position on the right of the division, resting on General Steele's left, and, at the signal, at 2 p.m., charged the works of the enemy in line of battle, the Thirty-seventh Ohio on the right, the Forty-seventh Ohio on the left, the Fourth West Virginia in the center, and the Thirtieth Ohio in reserve. The left of our line, under Colonels Parry and Dayton, reached the enemy's intrenchments, and the colors of the regiments waved near them until evening. The right, on account of obstacles, was unable to cross the ravine, but covered the left in its advanced position by a heavy fire. Later, the remaining regiments were moved to the left, on the brow of the hill, prepared, on the agreed signal from the brigade on our left, to move over the track of the preceding portion of the brigade, and, joining them, renew the assault. I instructed the artillery to open on the works when our line began to ascend the opposite hill. They, however, opened heavily before the signal was given, and the troops already over, supposing the fire was to enable them to retire under cover, moved back; and' the signal not being given, the charge was not renewed. From this to the 22d my front skirmished along the enemy's intrenchment.
At 10.04 a.m. of the 22d, a storming party, composed of 50 volunteers from each brigade of the division, bearing the colors of my headquarters, and followed by my troops in column, charged down a narrow, deep-cut road upon a bastion of the enemy's works. They were instructed to bear to the left, and cross the curtain if the ditch at the salient could not be bridged. They made a foot-path at the salient, by which Captain [John H.] Groce, commanding, Lieutenant O'Neal, [Private] Trogden, the color-bearer, and others, crossing, climbed half way up the exterior slope, and planted the flag upon it unfurled. The Thirtieth Ohio, next in order, moved close upon the storming party, until their progress was arrested by a front and double flank fire, and the dead and wounded which blocked the defile. The second company forced its way' over the remains of the first, and a third over those of the preceding, but their perseverance served only further to encumber the impassable way. The Thirty-seventh Ohio came next, its left breaking the column where the road first debouched, upon a deadly fire. After the check, a few passed on, but were mostly shot. They fell back, and, with the remainder of the brigade and division, came over a better route.
I formed my troops as they came up on the brow of the hill running from the road to the left, parallel to and 70 yards from the intrenchments. Here we protected our advanced men and wounded until they were gradually withdrawn, and, with a heavy and well-directed and sustained fire, covered the after attempt to charge over the intrench-merits made down the same road by the brigade of General Mower.
At night the wounded, dead, and colors were brought 70 yards back to the hill, where the brigade remains, intrenching and skirmishing with the enemy.
I have the honor to call your attention to the accompanying reports of regimental commanders, and bear testimony to the bravery of the following officers, in addition to those mentioned therein: Colonels Parry and Dayton, of the Forty-seventh Ohio and Fourth West Virginia; Lieutenant-Colonels von Blessing and Hildt, of the Thirty-seventh and Thirtieth Ohio, and Major Hipp, of the Thirty-seventh.
Lieutenants [Emerson P] Brooks and Davis, of the Thirtieth Ohio, badly wounded in the charge of the 22d, deserve especial mention and promotion.
Captain Hayes, of the Thirtieth, killed near the intrenchments at the head of his men, was the model of a Christian soldier. He fell in the front rank of honor, where he lived and still lives. I inclose a list of the volunteer storming party from this brigade, and ask that Captain Groce, who led the division party and was wounded on the parapet, and Lieutenant O'Neal, who charged by his side and was likewise wounded, receive such high promotion as their gallantry merits.
I recommend that First Lieut. J. H. Ralston, of rite Fourth West Virginia Infantry, be reduced to the ranks, for absence without cause on the day of battle, and that Corporals Clendenin or Boley, who saved their colors, be commissioned in his stead.
Dr. [Joseph B.] Potter, brigade surgeon, earned high commendation by untiring attention to the wounded.
Captain [Theodore] Voges was completely successful in forwarding ammunition and supplies.
Captain Loftland, Lieutenants Fisk, McIntyre, and Odell discharged their duties with gallantry and energy.
Captain Cornyn and Lieutenant Headington I have the honor to recommend for promotion, for their gallant conduct in the second charge.
The brigade reached the field from Grand Gulf, by a forced march of 85 miles in three days, the midnight before the battle.
The troops bore themselves throughout with gallantry and spirit. Their general commanding believes that nothing but the broken and entangled nature of the ground over which they charged, with a want of previous knowledge of its condition, prevented them from successfully entering the enemy's works.
Our loss in killed and wounded is as follows :
Engagements Killed Wounded Missing Total Battle of 19th 50 190 6 246 Battle of 22nd 24 116 140 Total 74 306 6 386
A complete list of the killed, wounded, and missing in action, by name, company, and regiment, is herewith inclosed.
I have the honor to be, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
RETURN TO SIEGE OF VICKSBURG OFFICIAL RECORDS PAGE