Col. Friend S. Rutherford, Ninety-seventh Illinois Infantry, Second Brigade.
Champion's Hill, near Edwards Depot, Miss., May 17, 1863.

DEAR SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part my command took in the battle commonly known as Champion's Hill:

During the early part of the day little was done save to change position, in pursuance of orders, as emergency seemed to demand, part of the time in front and part of the time in reserve. Near 3 p.m., when the advance was ordered, my command was directed to support the Chicago Mercantile Battery. My regiment was placed in the rear of the battery, on a sloping hill, exposed to the enemy's battery, which fired ricochet shot. The battery was ordered to change its position; but no orders were communicated to me to withdraw, and my command was for three-quarters of an hour exposed to the enemy's fire without being able to do the enemy any harm. When our position was made known to General Smith, we were ordered to withdraw and take a less dangerous position.

Our loss on this occasion was 4 wounded.

Permit me to say, on behalf of my men, that I look upon their conduct under this hail of cannon-shot as a severe test of their bravery. Not a man left the ranks, save the wounded, until by my orders.

Most respectfully, your obedient servant,

Colonel, Comdg. Ninety-seventh Regiment Illinois Volunteers.

Comdg. Second Brigade, Tenth Div., Thirteenth Army Corps.

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