Maj. Francis C. Deimling,
Tenth Missouri Infantry
It is necessary to state that up to the 16th instant the regiment was under the command of Lieut. Col. Leonidas Horney. On that day this officer was instantly killed on the battle-field at Champion's Hill, and consequently the duty of making a report of the movements and actions of the regiment while under his command has devolved upon myself.
[only portions related to Champion Hill are included]
Remained until the 9th instant, when, General Steele's division arriving, we marched 10 miles on the Utica road and encamped. May 10, marched at 10 a.m. 8 miles to a point 2 miles beyond Utica.
May 11, marched 1 mile and bivouacked.
May 12, at 7 a.m., marched about 7 miles toward Raymond. When within 2 miles of the town went into position on the left side of the road, in support of the Eleventh Ohio Battery, which was posted on a ridge about 50 yards to the front. Remained in this position about thirty minutes, the enemy, under General Gregg, being actively engaged by General Logan's division, when, by order of General Crocker, commanding the division, the regiment was marched about half a mile to the front and right, across a small creek, and moved to the right of General Stevenson's brigade, of General Logan's division, thus occupying the extreme right of the whole first line of battle. Company A was deployed as skirmishers to the right and front, and the regiment advanced with the first line about 1½ miles to the southern edge of the town, from which the enemy retired, leaving his dead and wounded, the skirmishers capturing 1 lieutenant and 5 men of the Tenth Regiment Tennessee Infantry, C. S. Army. Marched through town and bivouacked about 7 p.m. on the northwestern side of the same.
May 13, marched 9 miles to Clinton, on the Vicksburg and Jackson Railroad, and bivouacked 1 mile east of town, near the railroad.
May 14, the division marched at 6 a.m. on the Jackson road, the Tenth Missouri occupying the right. At the crossing of the Jackson road by the railroad, Company A, under Capt. C. A. Gilchrist, was deployed as skirmishers on the right and left of the road, at 5 paces' interval, with Company D as first reserve on the road, and Company I as a second reserve on the same. The skirmishers and column advanced about 2½ miles, when, at 9 a.m., the enemy was discovered in force, with infantry and four pieces of artillery, posted on a commanding ridge on the farm of O. P. Wright, with a line of skirmishers deployed to his front. The regiments of the brigade were here deployed into line, the Seventeenth Iowa Regiment on the left of the road, their right resting on the road, the Eightieth Ohio on the right of the road, and the Tenth Missouri Regiment on the same line and to the right of the Eightieth Ohio. The rain-storm which had been falling during the morning now increased in violence, during which the pieces of the First Missouri Artillery were placed in position, three to the right of the house of Mr. Mann, on a ridge and to the left of a cotton-gin. One piece of the same battery was placed on the road to the left of the house and garden fence, the Tenth Missouri Regiment being moved to the support of the above-named three pieces on the right and about 40. paces to the rear, the First Brigade being formed in a second line and about 50 yards to our rear. During all this time the enemy kept up a brisk fire with his artillery with shell and solid shot.
At about 11 a.m. the whole line was ordered to advance, and the skirmishers soon engaged those of the enemy, gradually driving them on their supporting line. The regiments moved forward, under a heavy fire of artillery, about 400 yards over two ridges, and formed under the crest of a third ridge, the other regiments of the brigade occupying their same relative positions. We remained here about fifteen minutes, the enemy continuing his fire. Col. Samuel A. Holmes, commanding the Second Brigade, now commanded that bayonets be fixed and a charge be made upon the enemy. The order was obeyed. The troops moved forward at double-quick, cheering wildly, driving in first the enemy's skirmishers and then their main line, passing over about 500 yards, under a terrific fire of shell, canister, and musketry, to the house of O. P. Wright, in and behind which, and the hedges, fences, and trees surrounding it, the rebels were hidden and protected. Here ensued an almost hand-to-hand conflict with the Twenty-fourth Regiment South Carolina Volunteers, the Tenth Missouri suffering severely from the streams of fire which issued from behind every object which could furnish a protection to the enemy. We succeeded finally in dislodging and driving them some 200 yards to the left and toward the main road to Jackson, when, while reforming our line, a section of the Sixth Wisconsin Battery was rapidly brought upon the ground (the regiment forming the support to the same on the right) and completed the rout of the enemy.
The line of the brigade being again formed, advanced to near the brow of a hill in front of the earthworks on the outskirts of Jackson, from which works a brisk fire of artillery was kept up. Company F, Tenth Missouri, under command of Capt. Joseph Walker, was now deployed as skirmishers to the front of the regiment. The enemy soon after deserted their works, leaving four pieces of artillery unspiked, and retreating through the town, destroying stores, &c. The regiment advanced in line of battle to the outskirts of the town, and then by the flank to a deserted camp on the right side of the road, where it bivouacked for the night.
The regiment lost in this action 10 killed on the field and 74 wounded, several of whom have since died, a list of which is hereto appended, marked A.
During the evening such rations as could be procured were issued to the men, and at 10 a.m. of May 15 [the regiment] marched back to Clinton, bivouacking on the north side of the town.
On May 16, at 7 a.m., received orders to march, and proceeded westward on the Vicksburg road, heavy firing being heard to the front. At 11 o'clock, halted at the house of Mr. Edwards, where we passed the division train, the Eightieth Ohio Regiment being detached from the brigade for the purpose of rear guard. Resumed the march, the fire becoming heavier, when, about 2 p.m., crossing the railroad and approaching Champion's Hill, we were hurried forward to participate in the action, the men throwing off haversacks and knapsacks on the road. Arriving at the foot of the hill, we rapidly formed line of battle to the left, and charged up the hill over ground of the roughest and most broken character, meeting and checking the enemy, who was driving back in disorder and confusion the troops in our advance. We proceeded forward steadily over the hills and ravines, fighting the enemy, who contested the ground closely, until we arrived at a fence and open field, across which they fled into the woods beyond, endeavoring to form there, but by well-directed volleys we dislodged them, and they made no further appearance in this direction. The Seventeenth Iowa Regiment having all this time engaged the enemy in the woods on our right and across the Vicksburg road, the regiment was moved by the right flank to their support, and in executing this movement Lieut. Col. Leonidas Horney, who, up to this period, had been in command of the regiment, was instantly killed, falling from his horse pierced with three shots in the breast and head. The command now devolved upon myself, as the only remaining field officer. The enemy at this time were advancing up the ravine on our now left, and I directed the fire of the left wing upon them, checking and driving them back. The right wing of the regiment, under the direction of Capt. Charles A. Gilchrist, of Company A, had advanced down the slope in support of the Seventeenth lawn, and assisted in defeating the enemy's intention of recapturing and removing a battery from which they had been driven by the Eleventh Indiana Regiment, who, in their turn, had been forced to retire and abandon the guns. The rebels retreating, I formed the regiment upon the Vicksburg road, and, by order of Colonel Holmes, went into position on the right side of, and at right angles to, said road, deploying skirmishers to the front and right. The action ceasing, the regiment was marched about 300 yards to the rear of this position, and bivouacked on the left of the road for the night.
In this action 7 were killed on the field, 36 wounded, and 3 missing, several of whom subsequently died, a list of which is hereto appended, marked B.(*)
The brigade being ordered by General Grant to remain on the field and assist in removing the wounded, burying the dead, and collecting the arms and accouterments left on the ground, remained at this place, performing said duties, until Tuesday, 19th instant, at 12 m., when it received orders to march to Black River. Marched --- miles to within 1 mile of the river, where the regiment was posted on the north side of the Vicksburg road, on the right of and supporting a section of the Twelfth Wisconsin Battery, to cover the crossing of Black River by the division train and a large body of (say 4,000) prisoners. This was accomplished by 10 o'clock that night, and the forces on the east side were ordered to cross to the west side of the river, which was done, and the regiment bivouacked about 11 p.m. 1 mile west of the pontoon bridge, on the left side of the Vicksburg road.
In the action at Jackson, May 14, Color Sergt. Calvin R. Lingle, although weakened by disease, displayed undaunted courage and determination to keep the flag to the front, and only resigned it on the entrance into camp at Jackson. At the action at Champion's Hill, the colors were borne by Acting Corpl. Martin C. Carmody, who, although badly wounded in the face, refused to resign his charge, but steadfastly maintained it and his position in the ranks until the fire ceased. The dauntless courage of both of these men deserves honorable mention.
At the action at Champion's Hill, upon the death of Lieutenant-Colonel Horney, Capt. C. A. Gilchrist assumed command of the right wing, and while I was engaged on the left, and unaware of the death of the lieutenant-colonel, rendered such services as deserve my hearty thanks and approbation.
In the actions at Raymond, Jackson, and Champion's Hill, and during the Operations in rear of Vicksburg, the services rendered and coolness displayed while under fire by Adjt. John W. Boyd, jr., are deserving of much commendation.
Surg. O. B. Payne, as heretofore, was indefatigable in his care and attention to the wounded of the regiment.
Number engaged at Jackson, 430; number engaged at Champion's Hill, as near as can be ascertained, say, 325.
F. C. DEIMLING,
Capt. WILLIAM W. McCAMMON,
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