Lieut. Col. John E. Tourtellotte, Fourth Minnesota
Infantry, First Brigade
SIR: I have the honor to report that on April 23 last, my regiment, together with other parts of the army, started from Milliken's Bend, La., on an expedition to the rear of Vicksburg, Miss., where we are now lying. To reach this place we marched via Richmond, Hard Times Landing, La. (where we crossed and went down the stream of the Mississippi River 10 miles, landing on the Mississippi side at Bruinsburg), Port Gibson, Miss., Hankinson's Ferry, on the Black River, Rocky Springs, Utica, Raymond, Clinton, Jackson, Champion's Hill, near Bolton, Edwards Station, crossing the Black River near ------- plantation, and arriving in front of the enemy's works in rear of Vicksburg, on May 21. To accomplish this we have marched a distance of more than 200 miles.
[only portion related to Champion Hill included]
May 14, on the road from Clinton to Jackson, and when about 2 miles from the latter place, we met the enemy in strong force, and immediately formed line on the right of the road. Soon, however, the regiment was ordered to take position on the left of the road, with its right resting thereon, and to support the Seventeenth Iowa in charging the rebel lines. The enemy fled before the charge, and the regiment, with the others of General Quinby's division, entered the town. Loss of the regiment was 2 wounded.
May 16, at Champion's Hill, near Bolton, Miss., we came up to the line formed by Generals Hovey's and Logan's divisions, who were already engaging the enemy. My regiment was placed on the right of a battery as a support therefor. Almost immediately, however, by order of General McPherson, my regiment was ordered to hasten forward and assist the right of General Logan's division, which was reported to be hard pressed. The men threw their knapsacks and blankets from their shoulders and dashed forward in the direction indicated at the double-quick step up the hill, into the woods, and upon a body of the enemy, of whom my regiment captured and sent to the rear 118.
Directly, finding myself some distance in front of, and unsupported on either side by, the line formed by the remainder of the troops, and finding that the enemy was massing a heavy force in front, I sent my adjutant to General McPherson to report our situation and ask for instructions. Almost at the same time the enemy opened upon us with artillery. I caused the men to lie down, where they remained, sheltered by the crest of the hill, until I received orders to draw the regiment back, so as to connect with the right of such troops as I found first in my rear. This was executed, and the regiment formed on the right of Colonel Leggett's brigade, of General Logan's division. Here we remained about an hour, when the line of march to the front was again resumed, when I joined my regiment to the balance of Colonel Sanborn's brigade.
My loss in the regiment was Captain Thompson and Private [Michael] Dolan, of Company E, both wounded, the captain severely.
It shall be a matter of pride with us that not only were
we present, but assisted in accomplishing this expedition.
J. E. TOURTELLOTTE,
Capt. L. B. MARTIN,
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