REPORT 6

Reports of Lieut. Col. Americus V. Rice, Fifty-seventh Ohio Infantry, commanding regiment and Second Brigade
 

HDQRS. FIFTY-SEVENTH OHIO VOLUNTEER INFANTRY 
Young’s Point, La., March 28, 1863

     COLONEL: Agreeably to your order on March 19, I took command of the Second Brigade, Second Division, Fifteenth Army Corps, it being at the time on the march from Eagle Bend to Steele’s Bayou. I disposed the brigade along Steele’s Bayou and Muddy Bayou to the best possible advantage, where we remained until 12 m. March 21. At this time you returned from a reconnaissance up the bayou, and put the Fifty-fourth and Fifty-seventh Ohio Volunteer Infantry on the steamer Eagle, the Eighty-third Indiana on the Silver Wave, and the One hundred and twenty-seventh Illinois on the Diligent. That evening the brigade arrived at Hill’s plantation, on the Black Bayou.
     On the morning of the 22d, by the order of Maj. Gen. W.T. Sherman, I again assumed command of the Second Brigade. At 8 o’clock, by order of General Sherman, I put the brigade in line of march, following the First Brigade, the Fifty-fourth Ohio Volunteer Infantry in advance. We marched up the east bank of Deer Creek about 10 miles, when I heard brisk firing by the advance guard of the First Brigade, also several shots from the gunboats, some 4 miles ahead, replied to by a battery from the enemy. The Fifty-fourth Ohio, commanded by Maj. C.W. Fisher, after loading, moved forward in quick time till it came up with the First Brigade, which had now fled to the right in an open woods, and formed line of battle with skirmishers in front. I had the Fifty-fourth Ohio immediately join the left of the First Brigade in line of battle, and Major Fisher moved forward his right company as skirmishers, until it arrived in a line with the skirmishers of the First Brigade.
     At this time General Sherman came up, and by his direction the left of the Fifty-fourth was placed in the road along the east bank of Deer Creek. The One hundred and twenty-seventh Illinois, Lieutenant-Colonel Eldridge commanding, came close in support, followed by the Eighty-third Indiana, Captain Myers commanding, and the fifty-seventh Ohio, Captain McClure commanding. The line now moved forward driving the enemy’s skirmishers, with but little resistance, for about 1 mile, when we came to an open field. The enemy had disappeared to the right in the woods. Company A, Fifty-fourth, was sent forward to the houses on the plantation, which we had come to. The Fifty-fourth again moved by the right flank and the rest of the brigade followed. On coming up to the houses, we met the Eighth and Sixth Missouri, and One hundred and sixteenth Illinois, and the gunboats on their retrograde movement, much pleased that we had come to their assistance, for they were in a critical situation, the enemy having surrounded them. The Fifty-fourth Ohio was now sent ahead 1 mile, to relieve six companies of the Sixth and Eighth Missouri, which were guarding the rear gunboats on their way down the creek. The move down the river was continued. General Sherman ordered me to protect the gunboats on their way down. I placed the Fifty-seventh in advance, opposite the Louisville, the Eighty-third Indiana and One hundred and twenty-seventh Illinois in the interior, and the Fifty-fourth came up after the rear of the last boat, marched down the creek 2 ½ or 3 miles, where, by order of General Sherman, I encamped the brigade for the night.
     On the morning of the 23d, we resumed the march, the Second Brigade in advance, the One hundred and twenty-seventh Illinois leading. Marched to Watson’s plantation, some 5 miles, where we encamped till the next morning, waiting for the gunboats to come up.
     On the morning of the 24th , by order of Major-General Sherman, I had the feeble of the command placed on the gunboat Carondelet. At 8 o’clock I again moved forward the brigade, the Eighty-third Indiana in advance, and came to Hill’s plantation at 11 a.m., when I turned over the brigade to you and returned to my regiment.
     Part of the time the weather was very inclement, and thereby the roads rendered exceedingly bad, and the march quite fatiguing to the men. With promptness and alacrity were all commands obeyed by the different regiments, and I have to thank the officers and men of each for their worthy bearing, and for their consideration to me during the time that circumstances gave me command of the brigade.
     I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

A.V. RICE 
Lieut. Col., Comdg. 2d Brigade, 2d Division, 15th Army Corps.

Col. T. KILBY SMITH,
   Comdg. Second Brig., Second Div., Fifteenth Army Corps
 
 

HDQRS. FIFTY-SEVENTH OHIO VOLUNTEER INFANTRY 
Young’s Point, LA., March 28, 1863

     SIR: I have the honor to report the part taken by the Fifty-seventh Ohio Volunteer Infantry in the late expedition to Rolling Fork, Miss.
     By orders from T. Kilby Smith, commanding brigade, I marched the Fifty-seventh Regiment, with two days’ rations in haversacks, at daylight on Tuesday morning, March 17, some 4 miles to the upper landing, and embarked on board the steamer Minnehaha. At 10 o’clock the boat with the fleet moved up the river to Eagle Bend. We remained on board till the morning of the 19th, during which time a foot bridge was constructed over a part of Muddy Bayou and a portion of the country overflowed between Eagle Bend and Steele’s Bayou, the Fifty-seventh performing its part of the work.
     Debarked from the Minnehaha on the morning of the 19th, and soon after dinner (having drawn three days’ rations from Captain [Frank J.] Crawford, acting commissary of subsistence), the same day, marched easterly from Eagle Bend along Muddy Bayou to Steele’s Bayou. At this time, by order of Col. T. Kilby Smith, I was assigned the command of the Second Brigade, and the command of the Fifty-seventh Ohio Volunteer Infantry was turned over to Capt. John McClure.
     I resumed command of the Fifty-seventh on the 24th, the brigade having returned to Hill’s plantation, where we remained until the morning of the 26th. Embarked on board the steamer Eagle, at the landing on Black Bayou, and returned through Steele’s and Cypress Bayous to the Yazoo, thence to Young’s Point, La., where we arrived at 4 o’clock last evening. Immediately debarked, and put the regiment in its quarters on the levee.
     The conduct of officers and men was all that I could desire; though their duties at times were arduous, yet they were performed cheerfully and with a will.
     The report of Captain McClure, who had command of the regiment from the 19th to the 24th, is herewith sumitted.*
     I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
 

A.V. RICE, 
Lieut. Col., Comdg. Fifty-seventh Ohio Volunteer Infantry.

Capt. G. MOODIE WHITE,
        A.A.A.G., Second Brig., Second Div., Fifteenth Army Corps.

*See No. 10, p. 448 

Sources:
Text and Maps:
THE WAR OF THE REBELLION: A COMPILATION OF THE OFFICIAL RECORDS OF THE UNION AND CONFEDERATE ARMIES PREPARED UNDER THE DIRECTION OF THE SECRETARY OF WAR, BY BVT. LIEUT. COL. ROBERT N. SCOTT, THIRD U.S. ARTILLERY AND PUBLISHED PURSUANT TO ACT OF CONGRESS APPROVED JUNE 16, 1880.
The US Government Printing Office
Volume: XXXVI: Pages 430-667
Photographs:
NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER
Washington Navy Yard
805 Kidder Breese Street SE
Washington Navy Yard, DC 20374-5060
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