IOWA VOLUNTEER INFANTRY,
DEAR SIR: It affords me great pleasure to send you a report of the part taken by the Twenty-eighth Iowa Volunteer Infantry in the battle of Champion's Hill, May 16, 1863.
Champion's Hill is situated about 9 miles (on the railroad) east of Big Black River, and about half-way between Bolton and Edwards Stations.
We had been making a feint on Edwards Station on the 12th and 13th, so as to give General McPherson a better chance to enter Jackson, and on the 15th we marched on the Jackson road as far as Clinton, where we turned on the Vicksburg road and marched as far as Bolton Station, where we encamped for the night (our division being in the advance).
The next morning, after
marching about 3 miles, we came up with the enemy's pickets at
Champion's buildings, and drove them in. Here the Twelfth Division
formed in line of battle, our regiment taking position on the left of
the Forty-seventh Indiana, in the Second Brigade. At 10 a.m., after a
short delay, the word "Forward!" was given, and we moved
nearly a mile by the front, firing becoming brisk. Company B, of our
regiment, was sent out as skirmishers, and found the enemy in force on
our front and left. We then, by order of Colonel Slack, of the
Forty-seventh Indiana, commanding brigade, passed to the left of the
Fifty-sixth Ohio (which placed us on the extreme left of the division),
and engaged the enemy, our left resting on the north of the Raymond
road. There we found the enemy in large force, ready to receive us.
After a few minutes of hard fighting, it became evident that the enemy
were trying to turn our left, particular attention being paid to that
particular point. We succeeded in driving them back. About this time the
enemy appeared to be largely re-enforced, and we were compelled to fall
back on account of the murderous flanking fire on our right, to which we
were at this time exposed. We then moved to the right and formed on the
Clinton road, where we held them in check until re-enforcements arrived,
when we drove them from the field in confusion.
Our loss in killed, wounded,
and missing was severe. Four companies of the regiment came out of the
fight without a commissioned officer. Lieut. John J. Legan, of Company A
(Captain Shutts acting as major), was killed while gallantly leading his
men on; Capt. Benjamin F. Kirby, of Company I, was also killed while
doing his duty nobly; Lieut. John Buchanan, of Company H, lost his arm;
Capt. John A. Staley, of Company F, was taken prisoner while crossing
the field north of the Raymond road, gallantly disputing the advance of
the enemy. Our greatest loss was while we were charging across an open
field between the Raymond and Clinton roads, and while we were falling
back. Our regiment fell in in good order, considering the ground, and
rallied around the old flag at the first call, and on the second charge,
together with the Seventeenth Iowa, the boys raised the Iowa shout and
drove the enemy from the field in confusion.
I remain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JOSEPH G. STRONG,
N. B. BAKER,
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