Admiral Porter's Fleet Passing the Red River Dams at Alexandria
During the retreat of the Union Army after its defeat at Mansfield, Admiral Porter's fleet became trapped above the Red River rapids at Alexandria, La. because the water level in the river had dropped. The army came to the navy's aid by constructing several dams on the river raising the water level high enough to float the fleet over the rapids. The Ninety Sixth Ohio participated in the construction of the dams that saved the fleet.
Organization of the Ninety Sixth Ohio Volunteer Infantry Reports or Correspondence Related to the Ninety Sixth Ohio Volunteer Infantry
Department of the Gulf, Maj. Gen. N. P. Banks. Thirteenth Army Corps, Maj. Gen Edward O. C. Ord. Forth Division, Brig. Gen. Thomas E. G. Ransom. First Brigade, Col. William J. Landram. 96th Ohio, Col. Joseph W. Vance. (WR XLVI: 194) March Grant takes command of all Union armies March 9 Duty at Du Crow's Point, Texas, to March 1-6. Moved to Algiers, La., Red River Campaign March 10-May 22. 14-26. Advance from Franklin to Alexandria 31 Roster for March 31, Thirteenth Army Corps, Forth Division, Col William J. Landram. Second Brigade, Col Joseph W. Vance. 96th Ohio, Lieut. Col. Albert H. Brown.(WR XLVI: 169) Attached to 1st Brigade, 4th Division, 13th Army Corps, Army of the Tennessee and Army of the Gulf.
Roster for April 30. Department of the Gulf. Thirteenth Army Corps. Maj Gen,. John McClernand, Fourth Division, Col. William J. Landram. Second Brigade, Col. Job R. Parker, 96th Ohio, Lieut. Col. Albert H. Brown. (WR XLVI: 172-3)
Itinerary of the Fourth Division, April 1-May 25
April 1.--This division encamped at Natchitoches.
April 6 and 7.--Marched from Natchitoches to Pleasant Hill.
April 8.--At 3 a.m. the First Brigade marched out on the Shreveport road toward Mansfield, La., to the support of General lee's cavalry division, 7 or 8 miles distant. commenced skirmishing with the enemy at Bayou De Paul and followed him up as he fell back to Sabine Cross Roads, when the brigade was halted about 2 p.m. and was afterwards reinforced by the arrival of the Second Brigade. About 4 p.m. the enemy made an attack and a severe engagement followed, and being pressed by superior numbers the division was compelled to fall back. A retreat being ordered, the division arrived at Grand Ecore on 11th.
April 21.--Moved from Grand Ecore.
April 23.--Skirmished with the enemy at Cane River Crossing.
April 25.--Arrived at Alexandria
May 13.--Joined in the retreat of the army from Alexandria
May 20.--Crossed the Atchafalaya and marched to the mouth of Red River.
May 22.--Marched from thence to Morganza.
May 25.--Embarked at Morganza and proceeded to Baton Rouge, La.
(WR XLVI: 294)
Skirmish at Bayou de Paul, Carroll's Mills, April 8. Battle of Sabine Cross Roads Mansfield April 8.
Report of Colonel. William J. Landram, Nineteenth Kentucky Infantry. commanding fourth division, of engagement at Sabine Cross Roads.
Hdqrs. Fourth Div., Thirteenth Army Corps, Grand Ecore, La., April 12, 1864.
Captain: On the 6th instant this division marched from Natchitoches, La., in rear of the cavalry of Brigadier General lee a distance of 16 miles in the direction of Pleasant Hill, and encamped in a dense wood near a bayou. On the 7th instant the command marched 19 miles, and encamped at Pleasant Hill. at 11 p, m. of the 7th, I received orders, of which the following are copies:
Headquarters U. S. Forces Western Louisiana, April 7, 1864. Brig. Gen. T. E. G. Ransom, Commanding Detachment Thirteenth Army Corps: General: The commanding general directs that a brigade of infantry be sent to General lee, to be with him by daylight to-morrow morning. You may use your discretion as to sending a brigade or division. The spirit of the order will doubtless be better carried out by sending a division. Send, therefore, a brigade or division to report to General lee at or before 5 a. m. on tomorrow (Friday), 8th instant. Respectfully, W. B. Franklin. Major General.
Headquarters Detachment Thirteenth Army Corps, Pleasant Hill, La, April 7 1864--10.20 p.m. Col. W. J. Landram, Commanding Fourth Division: Colonel: In obedience to the enclosed order you will move at 3 a. m. tomorrow with the First Brigade of your division, and report to General lee, 8 miles in front, at daylight or as soon thereafter as possible. By order of Brig. Gen T. E. Ransom: C. E. Dickey, Captain and Assistant Adjutant General.
In obedience to these orders I moved with the first Brigade of my division at the time specified, and reported to Brigadier General lee very soon after daylight. By order of General lee I followed his advance beyond the creek a short distance, and was ordered to take the front and drive the enemy, with which the cavalry was then skirmishing. The sixteenth Indiana dismounted, and probably some other regiment of General lee's command, and assisted in skirmishing for several miles. General Lee then directed that I relieve all of his command with my infantry and drive the enemy as rapidly as possible, at the same time ordering his cavalry to the right and left of the road to protect my blanks, which was done. The timber on each side of the road was heavy and dense, which rendered it very difficult to move in line, and the marching was tedious and tiresome to the men. the enemy contesting every foot of the ground as we advanced. All the houses near the road were abandoned, and we saw frequent evidences of large camps which had been recently deserted. The enemy were thus driven 9 miles or more beyond the camp of General lee, making an obstinate resistance the whole time. The credit of this advance is due to the Twenty third Wisconsin, nineteenth Kentucky, Seventy Seventy Illinois and Sixty Seventh Indiana regiments Volunteer Infantry. Lieut Col L R. Webb of the Seventy Seventh Illinois and accomplished gentleman and a gallant officer was killed while commanding his regiment in the advance. the number of casualties was not large only a few wounded.
At a point said to be 4 miles from Mansfield, our advance came in sight of a wide opening in the timber in front of a hill of considerable height, on the right, left, and top of which there was considerable timber, but not so thickly set as on the road over which we had advanced. i had made frequent requests, before coming to this point, to have the brigade relieved or allowed to rest, inasmuch as the men were excessively fatigued by the loss of sleep and the difficulty experienced in advancing through the underbrush, which seemed to extend for miles to the right and left of the road, and was informed by General lee that he had sent for the Second Brigade of my division to relieve the first. Believing that the position in my immediate front was too strong to be abandoned by the enemy without a stubborn resistance, I expressed the opinion to General lee that it would be dangerous to send the Nineteenth Kentucky (which was then deployed as skirmishers) through the opening to the top of the hill without a heavy support. By his direction, how every, I ordered the regiment, with the remainder of the brigade in support, to advance, and cover their movement by a fire from two guns of a battery which had been ordered to report to me during the day. the enemy soon disappeared, and I formed line with the brigade on the side and top of the hill. In the mean time Major General banks and Brigadier General Ransom arrived and upon consultation, I believe, it was decided to halt at that point. About one and a half or two hours must have elapsed before my other brigade arrived, during which time the enemy made scarcely any show in front. On our right, parallel with the road. This induced me to commence changing front so as to face them if they came down the road from Mansfield, or advanced in line from a road on or right parallel with the road upon which we had moved, and as fast as they extended their line I extend mine so as to effectually cover my front and right flank. at 3.30 p.m. the enemy placed his line 9said by prisoners to be 8,000 infantry, with a reserve of 12,000 cavalry and infantry) in motion.
My force consisted of following troops: first Brigade, col. Frank Emerson, sixty-seventh Indiana, commanding: nineteenth Regiment Kentucky Volunteer Infantry, Lieut. col. John Cowan commanding; Twenty-third regiment Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, Maj. J. E. Greene commanding; seventy-seventh regiment Illinois volunteer Infantry, Maj. J. A. Burdett commanding; sixty seventh Regiment Indian volunteer Infantry, Maj F A. Sears commanding. Second Brigade, Col J. W. Vance, Ninety Sixth Ohio, commanding: Ninety sixth Regiment Ohio volunteer Infantry, Lieut Col A. H. Brown commanding; Eighty third Regiment Ohio volunteer Infantry, Lieut. Col w. H. Baldwin commanding; Forty Eight regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry, Lieut Col J. W. Lindsey commanding; One hundred and thirtieth regiment Illinois Volunteer Infantry, Major John b. Reid commanding. The entire force numbering 2,413 men.
It would have been impossible at that time to have retired from the position we occupied, and by direction of Brigadier General Ransom, who had arrived upon the field and assisted in person in arranging the line, I assumed the offensive as soon as I saw their whole line advancing, so as to meet them upon better ground and with a better effect. A general engagement ensued, lasting one hour and a half, which was by far the most desperate I ever witnessed. some parts of the line were broken after a short but terrific engagement, but in other parts it remained firm and unbroken until the enemy had flanked my whole force and begun an attack in the rear. Seeing that the capture of the entire force was inevitable unless I withdrew, i ordered the remainder of the shattered regiments to fall back, which they attempted, but were unable to accomplish with entire success.
The list of the killed and wounded of my command cannot be ascertained, inasmuch as the enemy retained possession of the field, but that we suffered severely there can be no doubt. Many brave men fell, but they fell with their faces to the foe. Honored be their memory. That the enemy suffered immensely is known by actual observation and by statements of prisoners captured the day following, who acknowledged they had purchased a victory at a bloody price. Col. J. W. Vance, commanding Second Brigade, fell while gallantly cheering his men, but whether wounded or killed is unknown. Col. Frank Emerson, commanding First Brigade, also fell wounded while nobly performing his duty, and is a prisoner in the hands of the enemy. Major Reid, of the One hundred and thirtieth Illinois, was killed while rallying his men [Major Reid was mustered out August 15, 1865]. Lieutenant Colonel Lindsey, of the Forty eighth Ohio is reported wounded and Major Bering of the same regiment killed [Major Bering was mustered out June 16, 1865]. Lieutenant Colonel Cowan, Nineteenth Kentucky, was conspicuous for the manner in which he managed his regiment directing the fire of his men and preserving up to the order of retreat an unbroken line driving the rebels from his front in three distinct charges and ordering the fire in which the rebel General Mouton was killed while leading a charge carrying a regimental flag. When ordered to withdraw he remarked that he had driven the rebels from his front and if the remainder of the line stood firm he could not be taken. In endeavoring to obey the order he is reported to have been wounded and captured. Major Mann, of the same regiment is reported killed or wounded.
To Major Greene and the officers and men of the Twenty third Wisconsin, for the manly and noble manner in which they supported the battery and held the left of the line until further resistance was impossible, I desire to express my admiration and gratitude. Major Sears and the gallant Sixty seventh Indiana and Major Burdett and the brave men of the Seventy seventh Illinois deserve the highest praise for their conduct. The officers and men of the One hundred and thirtieth Illinois and forty eighth Ohio deserve equal praise. Though the survivors mourn the loss of their gallant field officers, they have the consolation of knowing that they all did their duty. Lieutenant Colonel Brown of the Ninety sixth Ohio, and the men of his regiment, as well as Lieutenant colonel Baldwin and the officers and men of the eighty third Ohio, are entitled to my warmest thanks for their gallantry in holding the right of the line until overpowered by vastly superior numbers. The conduct of the Nineteenth Kentucky was worthy of all praise, and i thank them for their gallantry upon this as upon all other occasions. The Chicago Mercantile battery, lieutenant cone commanding, and the First Indiana battery, Captain Klauss commanding came upon the field about 4 p.m. and delivered a very destructive fire upon the advancing lines of the enemy. The officers and men of these batteries deserve great praise for their coolness and courage. Many of their horses were killed, but they succeeded in getting their pieces into the road when ordered to fall back, and would have saved their guns but for the immense wagon train of the cavalry which blocked up the road I their front and rear. Capt. P. H. White and Lieutenant cone of the Mercantile Battery were captured. Lieutenant Throop and Lieutenant Barr of the same battery were wounded and captured. Lieutenant Rogers, Second New York Veteran Cavalry, with his company was with me during the day and behaved well. Two men of his command were wounded. Brigadier General Ransom commanding detachment of the Thirteenth army Corps, road the entire length of our line cheering the troops and assisting in rallying the men after the lines had been broken. This gallant and able officer was severely wounded while assisting me in trying to reform the line, and after he fell from his horse continued to give directions as to the disposition he desired me to make.
It is proper to say that Captain Nims' battery displayed during the whole fight an example of coolness and true courage unsurpassed in the annals of history. They are entitled to the highest commendations, and although they lost their guns it is due to them to say that they could not have prevented it and that the damage they inflicted upon the enemy was such as to entitle them to the thanks of the whole army.
Major General Banks, major General Franklin and Brigadier General Stone were active in assisting to rally the men amidst the hottest of the fire. Part of the men were rallied and a second line formed near the line of Brigadier General Cameron who had arrived with the Third division Thirteenth army Corps but it was unable to resist the continued assaults of the enemy who pressed upon us with overwhelming numbers. The Nineteenth Army Corps having arrived about sunset checked the further advance of the enemy, and after dark I caused fires to be built a short distance in the rear of the line on both sides of the road and gathered together the shattered remains of my division, which, together with what came in at Pleasant Hill next day, amounted to 1,683 men, who were immediately reorganized and placed on duty.
I thank Lieut. Henry P. Ayres, seventy seventh Illinois acting assistant adjutant general; Lieut. Lieut. Henry P. Ayres, Seventy seventh Illinois, acting assistant adjutant general; Lieut John landram nineteenth Kentucky aide-de-camp; Capt. J. W. Wilkins, One hundred and thirtieth Illinois; Capt. D. C. Holdridge, Twenty third Wisconsin, inspector general and Capt.. R. H. Brock, seventy seventh Illinois for their gallantry and efficiency. They were all prompt and faithful in the discharge of duty. it is impossible to tell who were killed or who were wounded and were taken prisoners, but my total loss in killed, wounded, and prisoners is 73 officers and 1,063 enlisted men, making an aggregate of 1,136. My thanks are due to Rev. James Matthews, chaplain of the nineteenth Kentucky, who gave men valuable information at a critical moment and was active in rallying the men. lieut. George H. McKinney, acting assistant quartermaster, is entitled to praise for care and attention to the division train, none of which was captured. Captain rouse, seventy seventh Illinois acting assistant adjutant general; Captain Vilas, Twenty third Wisconsin, aide de camp; Captain Hogg, forty eight Ohio, acting assistant adjutant general; lieutenant Campbell, Ninety seventh Illinois aide-de-camp and Lieutenant Rike, Forty eight Ohio inspector Second Brigade, were faithful in the discharge of their duties and deserve praise for their conduct.
In this report of the part taken by my division in the battle of Mansfield I have thought proper to be thus particular in specifying the conduct of regiments and officers, inasmuch as the commanders of brigades and most of the field officers of regiments were among the killed or wounded and none are left to make reports. Respectfully, W. J. Landram, Colonel Nineteenth Kentucky, Commanding Division. Capt. Oscar Mohr, Actg. Asst. Adjt. Gen., Detach. Thirteenth Army Corps.
(WR XLVI 290-294)
Casualties [96th Ohio 1 officer and 3 enlisted men killed, 3 officers and 20 enlisted men wounded, 2 officers and 28 enlisted men missing or captured.] (WR XLVI: 259)
Report of Brig. Gen. Thomas E. G. Ransom. U. S. army, commanding detachment of Thirteenth Army Corps, of Operations April 6--8. New York city, June 11, 1864.
Sir: I have the honor to make the following report of the movements of the troops under my command, consisting of the Third division, Thirteenth Army corps, Brig. Gen. R. A. Cameron commanding, and the Fourth division, Thirteenth army corps, Col. W. J. Landram commanding, on the 6th, 7th, and 8th of April, 1864:
On the 6th of April my detachment, having the advance of the infantry column, moved from Natchitoches at 6 a. m. in rear of the Cavalry Division, and being constantly delayed by the baggage train of the latter, went into camp late on Bayou Mayon, having marched 16 miles on the Pleasant Hill road. Moved at 5.30 a.m. on the 7th, the head of the column arriving at Pleasant Hill, 19 miles, the 7th, the head of the column arriving at Pleasant Hill, 19 miles, at p.m., overtaking the cavalry train on the road and Dudley's brigade of cavalry at Pleasant Hill. When these had moved from our camping-ground I went into camp about 4 p.m., though my train and rear guard did not arrive until late at night. At 10 p.m. of the 7th, I received an order, of which the following is a copy:
Headquarters U. S. Forces Western Louisiana April 7, 1864. Brig. Gen. T. E. G. Ransom, Commanding Detachment Thirteenth Army Corps: General: The commanding general directs that a brigade of infantry be sent to General lee, to be with him by daylight tomorrow morning. You may use your discretion as to sending a brigade or division. The spirit of the order will doubtless be carried out by sending a division. Send, therefore, a brigade or division to report to General Lee at or before 5 a. m. on tomorrow (Friday), 8th instant. Respectfully, W. B. Franklin, Major-General.
I immediately sent Col. W. J. Landram, commanding Fourth Division, Thirteenth Army corps, the following order:
Headquarters Detachment Thirteenth Army Corps, Pleasant Hill, la., April 7, 1864--10.20 p.m. Col. W. J. Landram, Commanding Fourth Division, Thirteenth Army Corps: Colonel: In obedience to the enclosed order, you will move at 3 a.m. tomorrow with the First Brigade of your division, and report to General Lee, 8 miles in front, at daylight or as soon thereafter as practicable. By order of Brig. Gen. T. E. G. Ransom: C. E. Dickey. Captain and Assistant Adjutant General.
Colonel Landram moved with the First Brigade of his division and reported to General lee at daylight on the 8th. Under orders from Major General Franklin, i moved the remainder of the corps forward at 5.30 a. m., and arrived with the advance at Saint Patrick's Bayou, 10 miles, at 10.30 a. m., our march having, as before, been retarded by the cavalry train. General Franklin had previously designated this creek as my camping ground and i accordingly ordered the Third Division and the Second Brigade of the Fourth Division into camp at 10.45 a. m. Before the order had been complied with a request was received from General Lee for more infantry to relieve that already with him, and General Franklin directed me to send forward the second Brigade, Fourth Division, Col. J. W. Vance commanding, to relieve the First Brigade, who were reported as worn out with hard skirmishing and marching. The Second Brigade moved forward at 11 a. m. and at my request, General Franklin authorized me to go to the front and see that the First Brigade was relieved by the Second. I immediately went forward, and on the road received a dispatch, of which the following is a copy.
12 noon. General Ransom: My men have skirmished and marched through the bushes and the thickets for 8 or 9 miles, making in all a march of 15 or 16 miles. They have no water, and are literally worn out. Can you have them relieved soon? General Lee insists on pushing ahead. W. J. Landram, Colonel, Commanding Fourth Division.
The infantry finding much difficulty in passing the cavalry train, which obstructed the road, i went on in advance of them, and arrived at the front, 5 1/2 miles from Saint Patrick's Bayou, about 1.30 p.m. I found that our forces had just driven the enemy across an open field, and were shelling him from a fine position on a ridge, which colonel Landram occupied with his infantry and Nims' battery about 2 p.m. It was determined to halt here in order to allow the Second Brigade to come up and relieve the first. In company with Brigadier General Stone and lieutenant Higbie, signal officer, I went to the front of the line of skirmishers and carefully reconnoitered the position of the enemy. We were able to perceive two batteries and a large force of infantry in line of battle in the edge of the woods, from one-half to three-fourths of a mile to our front, and also considerable bodies of infantry moving down the road leading to our right and rear.
Hearing of the arrival of Major General Banks and staff upon the field, about 3 p. m. I reported to him and advised him of the position and apparent strength of the enemy, and from him received instructions as to the disposition of my troops then on the field and of those momentarily expected. Upon the arrival of the second Brigade the positions of two of its regiments, the eighty third and Ninety sixth Ohio Infantry, were assigned by Major Lieber, of General Banks' staff, on the opposite flank from that determined on by General Banks and myself, and in a position where I should not have placed them. The infantry on the right of the road occupied a narrow belt of timber dividing two large plantations, and having open through broken ground in front and in the rear cultivated fields, which descended to a small creek, and thence arose to the edge of the timber one-half mile to the rear of our line. Nims' battery was posted on a hill near the road about 200 yards to the left of the belt of timber, and was supported by the Twenty third Wisconsin Infantry, which was on the left and behind the crest of the hill with open fields in front. The Sixty seventh Indiana supported the battery on the right, joined by the Seventy-seventh Illinois, One hundred and thirtieth Illinois, Forty-eighth Ohio, Nineteenth Kentucky, Ninety sixth Ohio a section of mounted artillery, and the Eighty third Ohio, making in all 2, 413 infantry. The cavalry and mounted infantry, under General lee, were posted on the flanks and rear, having colonel Dudley's brigade on the left and Colonel Lucas' on the right, and also skirmishers deployed in front of the infantry. The skirmishing continued throughout the afternoon, becoming sharp on the right about 2.30 p.m. At this time colonel Lucas reported that his skirmishers on the extreme right were driven in, and that a few of his men on that flank were captured. About 4 p. m. the enemy commenced advancing in two lines. We drove back his first line in confusion upon his second, but recovering he again advanced till, unable to endure our heavy fire, he halted about 200 yards from our front, where many of his men laid down and returned our fire. I felt confident that this portion of our line could not be broken, but while moving toward the left flank I was informed that the enemy were pressing our left and that the mounted infantry there were falling back.
At this time Captain White, chief of artillery, reported that the Chicago mercantile Battery, Lieutenant Cone commanding, and the First Indiana Battery, Captain Klauss commanding, had arrived, and I directed him to place them in an advantageous position on the ridge to the east of the road and near a house occupied as General Banks' headquarters, when they opened on the enemy, who had shown himself in strong force on the left. I sent Lieut. G. I. Davis, aide-de-cap, to order lieutenant-Colonel Baldwin, commanding eighty third Ohio, to move his regiment to the support of the Twenty third Wisconsin. He moved promptly, but the Twenty third Wisconsin and the mounted infantry were already driven back and I directed him to support the batteries. Our left flank was now completely turned, and the enemy, having taken Nims' battery, were in strong force on the hill and pouring a destructive fire into the batteries of the fourth Division. I ordered the latter to the rear to a point on the right of the road and sent Captain dickey, my assistant adjutant general, to order Colonel Landram to withdraw his division to the edge of the timber in our rear. Captain Dickey was to send aides to the different regiments to give them the orders direct in case he should not find Colonel Landram, but while in the performance of this duty this gallant officer fell senseless from his horse, mortally wounded. Owing to the loss of Captain dickey before he had communicated my orders, some of the regiments did not receive them till they were surrounded and their retreat cut off while they were gallantly fighting as the troops arrived, reforming the line in the edge of the woods, when I was severely wounded in the knee and carried to the rear. I found the woods and road filled with mounted men, flying in confusion from the field.
I desire here to bear witness to the gallantry of Brigadier General Stone who was on the left of the line with General Lee. he used the small force of infantry to the best advantage in bravely but unsuccessfully endeavoring to repulse the overwhelming force of the enemy. Colonel Landram, commanding fourth Division, was conspicuous and everywhere present encouraging all by his own gallant conduct and judicious dispositions of his men. His efforts were ably seconded by Colonel Vance, ninety sixth Ohio infantry, commanding Second Brigade who was killed and by Colonel Emerson of the Sixty seventh Indiana Infantry commanding first Brigade, who was wounded and taken prisoner. I was an eye witness of the bravery and soldierly bearing of lieutenant Colonel Cowan and Major Mann, of the Nineteenth Kentucky, lieutenant colonel Baldwin, Eighty third Ohio, major Bering, forty eighth Ohio, Major Reid, One hundred and thirtieth Illinois, and know the gallantry with which their men repulsed the enemy in his first attack. The Twenty third Wisconsin, major Greene commanding, sixty seventh Indiana, major Sears commanding and the Seventy seventh Illinois, major Burdett commanding are reported to me by Generals Stone and lee to have acted nobly, meeting steadily the assaults of a very superior force of the enemy. I desire here to thank the officers of my staff, Dr. P. H. White, surgeon-in-chief, Captain Buel, aide-de-camp, Capt. P. H. White, chief of artillery, lieutenant Tredway, aide-decamp, Lieutenant Davis, aide-de-camp, Lieutenant Richardson, acting inspector-general, and Lieutenant-Colonel hatch, assistant quartermaster, all of whom performed their whole duty and rendered me valuable assistance. Lieutenants Ayres and Landram, of Colonel Landram's staff, were also distinguished for praiseworthy conduct.
The Chicago Mercantile Battery, Lieutenant Cone commanding, and the First Indiana Battery, Captain Klauss commanding, went promptly into action and behaved with gallantry. When the second line was broken, notwithstanding their great loss in men and horses, they would have brought off their guns in safety had it not been that our line of retreat was blocked up by the train of the cavalry. Captain White, chief of artillery, was in this battle, as in all others, distinguished for coolness and excellent judgment. He was captured with lieutenant cone while endeavoring to save the battery. I regret to find it my duty to record the disgraceful conduct of l
Lieutenant Colonel Lindsey, of the Forty eighth Ohio Infantry, who I saw at some distance in the rear of his regiment lying behind a fallen tree, while his veteran regiment was in the thickest of the fight under the lamented Major Bering. The conduct of the troops under my command was all that I could ask. They repulsed a superior force in their front, but for the movement of a large body of the enemy upon our left flank, which could not be prevented by the force at our command, would have held the first line, and with the assistance of General Cameron's (Third) division could have checked the enemy till the arrival of the Nineteenth Corps.
Soon after I was wounded General Cameron arrived with the Third division, and took command of the detachment of the Thirteenth army Corps. For further details of the battle and for the particulars of the casualties you are respectfully referred to his report and that of colonel Landram. My thanks are due to both of these distinguished officers for the valuable assistance and hearty co-operation in my plans which they uniformly rendered me while under my command, and for the able manner in which they conducted the affairs of their respective divisions in camp, on the march, and in battle.
I have the honor to be, major, very respectfully, your obedient servant, T. E. G. Ransom, Brigadier General of Volunteers. Major Wickham Hoffman, assistant Adjutant General.
(WR XLVI: 264-8)
Report of Capt. Joseph Leonard, Ninety sixth Ohio Infantry, of engagement at Sabine Cross Roads. Hdqrs,. Ninety sixth regiment Ohio vol. Infty., Grand Ecore, La., April 12, 1864.
Sir: I have the honor to report that this regiment, under the command of Lieut. Col. A. H. Brown, left Natchitoches at 7.15 a.m., April 6, by order of colonel Vance, commanding Second Brigade, our position immediately behind the eighty third Regiment Ohio volunteer Infantry, which was the first regiment of our brigade, the first Brigade of our division being in advance; marched 16 miles and went into camp at 4.30 p.m. in pine woods. Left camp April 7, at 6 a.m., our regiment in front of the division, by order of colonel Vance, commanding Second Brigade, the Third division, Thirteenth army Corps, in advance; reached Pleasant Hill and went into camp at 2 p.m. having marched 19 miles. Left camp at Pleasant Hill at 6 a.m. the morning of the 8th, our regiment in rear of brigade, by order of colonel Vance; marched 5 miles; were halted, and our regiment ordered to remain behind and guard the ammunition train and Mercantile Battery, and advance with them when ordered forward.
About 12 m. the regiment was ordered to the front by Captain dickey, assistant adjutant general to General Ransom. after advancing rapidly about 4 miles, an order came for the rear from Captain White, chief of artillery on General Ransom's staff, to halt the regiment and guard the battery as ordered by General Ransom. Upon the return of Captain Dickey from ordering up the eighty third Ohio Volunteer Infantry we moved forward again under his orders, he assuring Lieutenant colonel Brown that Captain White was acting under former orders and for us to be in front at the earliest moment practicable. arriving in front we were assigned our position by General Ransom in person, upon the left of the nineteenth Kentucky Volunteer Infantry. In about twenty minutes the eight third Ohio Volunteer Infantry arrived and was put in position on our right with the Sixteenth Indiana Cavalry [mounted infantry] in front. After remaining in that position a very few moments after the arrival of the eighty third Ohio volunteer Infantry we were ordered by General Ransom in person to advance, with skirmishers in front, to a fence in front of the cavalry. a few moments after our arrival at the fence the enemy in immense numbers made their appearance in our front. The regiment at once opened fire upon them, and after two attempts on their part to carry our position, drove them entirely from the field before us.
In about fifteen minutes, and when the enemy had disappeared from our front, we were ordered to fall back by Colonel Vance, commanding Second Brigade, and had moved in good order about 150 yards to the rear, when a large body of the enemy that had turned the right flank of our first line were seen advancing rapidly to intercept us. The regiment at once formed a line to confront them, delivered an effective volley, and was reloading, when an aide-de-camp gave peremptory orders to withdraw beyond the enemy's advancing flank at double-quick, as the regiments on our left had already been cut off. This movement was carried out in as good order as the uneven ground would admit of, though for the entire distance we were exposed to an enfilading fire.
At the crest of the fill we faced about on the line separating the cleared land and timber, and as Colonel Vance had received a severe wound in the breast and fallen into the enemy's hand, lieutenant colonel Brown assumed command of the brigade. Under his direction the further progress of the enemy was stubbornly disputed, and a battery considerably advanced from our lines, having become unserviceable and its safety endangered by the enemy's near approach, was successfully removed under cover of our fire.
It being evident that the rebels were advancing in heavy force on our right, the brigade was formed by lieutenant colonel Brown in the immediate presence of Major General Banks and Franklin, and by their consent moved to the new point of danger. Here we advanced in line of battle, with skirmishers in front, but the enemy had already gained the cover of the thick underbrush, and from their ambush threw a heavy fire into our front and left. This was followed on their part by a vigorous charge, and their longer line considerably outflanking ours we were forced to retire from the field. Joseph Leonard Captain, commanding. Lieutenant Ayres, Acting Assistant Adjutant General
(WR XLVI 301-303)
Note: The table above shows the strength of the 96th at 199 men on April 12. The 57 men killed, wounded or captured on the 8th represented 1/3 of the regiment.
"The regiment returned to Algiers, opposite New Orleans, December 13th, and on the eighteenth embarked for Texas. March 1, 1864, it returned to Algiers and entered upon the Red River campaign under General Banks. The history of this ill-fated campaign cannot be repeated here. General Banks allowed his command to be beaten in detail. The battle of Sabine Cross roads was fought by Landrum's division, numbering about two thousand men. These were compelled to fight the whole rebel army of twenty or thirty thousand men, and the division was nearly annihilated. The Ninety-sixth formed part of this division, and was under command of Lieutenant Colonel Brown; Colonel Vance commanding the brigade. The Ninety-sixth was guarding the wagon train until just before the battle commenced, when it was brought forward and placed in the advanced line where it fought gallantly, holding the enemy in check until almost surrounded, when with the rest of the division it was compelled to retreat. The retreat became a rout; the road being blocked up with army wagons, so that supports could not get up in time to prevent the disaster. The regiment here lost fifty-six men, killed, wounded and missing. Of company A, Barney McCulloch fell into the hands of the enemy; in company B the losses were: Jacob Feaster, wounded (afterwards died); William Kring, wounded; O. L. Wallace, killed, and Samuel Stokes and John C. Tressel, prisoners. The brave Colonel Vance lost his life here. Being in command of the brigade he was not near his regiment when the order for retreat came, and in looking for the Ninety-sixth, as the troops were falling back, he found himself alone and almost surrounded. As he galloped toward the rear he was halted by four rebels who were secreted in a clump of bushes; he defies them and attempts to escape ; they fire, and the riderless horse dashes away. His body was afterward secured and sent to his home in Mt. Vernon for burial. . .Captain Coulter, a brave and valuable officer of the Ninety-Sixth, was wounded in this battle, fell into the hands of the enemy, and subsequently died in a rebel hospital. In the terrible and ever memorable retreat to the Mississippi River, the Ninety-sixth was fighting and skirmishing most of the way." (History of Knox County, Ohio 1881: 324).
Monett's Bluff, Cane River Crossing, Monett's Ferry April 23. Roster for April 30, Thirteenth Army Corps, Forth Division, Col William J. Landram. Second Brigade, Col Job R. Parker. 96th Ohio, Lieut. Col. Albert H. Brown. (WR XLVI: 173) Operations about Alexandria April 26-May 13. May 5-6 Battle of the Wilderness 8-12 Battle of Spotsylvania Construction of Dam at Alexandria April 30-May 10.
Headquarters Nineteenth Army Corps, Simsport La., May 17, 1864.
Major: I have the honor to make the following report in reference to the construction of the dam across Red River, at the foot of the Alexandria falls, for the purpose of releasing that portion of admiral Porter's Mississippi squadron which was unable to pass the falls, owing to the low stage of the water. Immediately after our army received a check at Sabine Cross Roads and the retreat commenced I learned through reliable sources that the Red river was rapidly falling. I became assured that by the time the fleet could reach Alexandria there would not be sufficient water to float the gun boats over the falls. It was evident, therefore, that they were in imminent danger. believing, as I did, that their capture or destruction would involve the destruction of our army, the blockade of the Mississippi, and even greater disasters to our cause, I proposed to Major General Franklin on the 9th of April, previous to the battle of Pleasant Hill, to increase the depth of water by means of a dam, and submitted to him my plan of the same. In the course of the conversation he expressed a favorable opinion of it.
During the halt of the army at Grand Ecore on the 17th of April, General Franklin, having heard that the iron clad gun boat Eastport had struck a snag on the preceding day and sunk at a point 9 miles below, gave me a letter of introduction to admiral Porter and directed me to do all in my power to assist in raising the Eastport and to communicate to the admiral my plan of construction a dam to relieve the fleet, with his belief in its practicability; also that he thought it advisable that the admiral should at once confer with General Banks and urge him to make the necessary preparations, send for tools, &c. Nothing further was done until after our arrival at Alexandria. on the 26th, the admiral reached the head of the falls. I examined the river and submitted additional details of the proposed dam. General Franklin approved of them and directed me to see the admiral and again urge upon him the necessity of prevailing upon General Banks to order the work to be commenced immediately. There was no doubt that the entire fleet then above the rapids would be lost unless the plan of raising the water by a dam was adopted and put into execution with all possible vigor. I represented that General Franklin had full confidence in the success of the undertaking, and that the Admiral might rely upon him for all the assistance in his power. The only preliminary required was an order from General Banks. On the 29th by order of General Franklin, I consulted with General Banks and Hunter, and explained to them the proposed plan in detail. The latter remarked that, although he had little confidence in its feasibility, he nevertheless thought it better to try the experiment, especially as General Franklin, who is an engineer, advised it. Upon this General Banks issued the necessary order for details, teams, &c., and I commenced the work on the morning of the 30th.
I presume it is sufficient in this report to say that the dam was constructed entirely on the plan first given to General Franklin, and approved by him.
During the first few days I had some difficulty in procuring details, &c., but the officers and men soon gained confidence and labored faithfully. The work progressed rapidly, without accident or interruption, except the breaking away of two coal barges which formed part of the dam. This afterward proved beneficial. In addition to the dam at the foot of the falls, I constructed to wing-dams on each side of the river at the head of the falls.
The width of the river at the point where the dam was built is 758 feet, and the depth of the eater from 4 to 6 feet. The current is very rapid, running about 10 miles per hour. The increase of depth by the main dam was 5 feet 4 1/2 inches; by the wing dams, 1 foot 2 inches; total 6 feet 6 1/2 inches. On the completion of the dam, we had the gratification of seeing the entire fleet pass over the rapids to a place of safety below, and we found ample reward for our labors in witnessing their result. The army and navy were relieved from a painful suspense, and eight valuable gun goats saved from destruction. The cheers of the masses assembled on the shore when the boats passed down attested their joy and renewed confidence. To Major General Franklin, who previous to the commencement of the work, was the only supporter of my proposition to save the fleet by means of a dam, and whose persevering efforts caused its adoption, I desire to return my grateful thanks, I trust the country will join with the Army of the gulf and the Mississippi Squadron in awarding to him due praise for his earnest and intelligent efforts in their behalf . . .
I have honor to be your obedient servant, J. Bailey, Lieut Col and Actg Mil. Eng. 19th Army Corps. (WR XLVI: 402-404).
Retreat to Morganza May 13-20. Mansura May 16. June 1-3 Battle of Cold Harbor 30 June 11, Thirteenth Army Corps Discontinued.
Department of the Gulf, Maj. Gen Nathaniel P. Banks. Nineteenth Army Corps. Brig. Gen. William H. Emory. Third Division, Brig. Gen. Michael K. Lawler. Third Brigade, Col. F. W. Moore. [also listed as Col. David P. Grier] 96th Ohio, Lieut. Col. A. H. Brown (WR XLVI: 570 and 612)
Defenses of New Orleans, Brig. Gen Thomas W. Sherman District of Baton Rouge Brig Gen William P. Benton. Fourth Division, Thirteenth Army corps Col. David P. Grier. Second Brigade, Col George W. Clark. 96th Ohio, Lieut. Col. Albert H. Brown. (WR XLVI: 615)
Moved to Baton Rouge May 28, and duty there till July 20.
Headquarters U. S. Forces in the Field, New Orleans, La., June 29, 1864--9.45 a.m. brigadier General Benton, Comdg. at Baton Rouge, La.
The Third Brigade of the Third Division of the Nineteenth Army corps, as established by orders, will be composed of six regiments, vis: The eighty-third and Ninety sixth Ohio Volunteers, Sixty seventh Indiana, Thirty fourth Iowa, Seventy seventh and One hundred and thirtieth Illinois. Pleas notify the senior officer of the command enumerated of this organization, and instruct him to expect orders to move to Morganza with the brigade. By command of major General Reynolds: John Levering, Major and Assistant Adjutant General
Moved to Algiers July 20, thence to Dauphin Island, Ala.
New Orleans, La., August 5, 1864. Maj. George B. Drake, Assistant Adjutant General Department of the Gulf:
Major: I have the honor to report the following regiments of this command embarked at Algiers, La., now serving under the order of Major General Granger, viz: Third Brigade, Third division, Nineteenth Army Corps; sixty seventh Indiana Volunteers; Ninety sixth Ohio Volunteers; Thirty fourth Iowa Volunteers; Seventy seventh Illinois volunteers; Third Maryland cavalry, dismounted. aggregate, 1,515. Very respectfully, your obedient servant, J. J. Reynolds, Major General Commanding. (WR LIII: 566)
Maj. C. T. Christensen, Asst. Adjt. Gen., Mil. Div. of West Mississippi:
Major: I have the honor to report the following named regiments of this command as now serving under Major General Granger, viz: sixty seventh Indiana, Ninety sixth Ohio, Thirty fourth Iowa Seventy seventh Illinois; also Third Maryland Cavalry, dismounted. also to report the arrival of the following troops at Morganza, La., since date of last report, viz: Eighth Illinois volunteers, eleventh Illinois Volunteers, Forty sixth Illinois Volunteers, Seventy sixth Illinois Volunteers, Thirtieth Missouri Volunteers, Aggregate present, 2,220; aggregate present and absent, 3,405. Seventh Missouri, two companies; First Kansas, one company; aggregate present, 114; aggregate present and absent, 219. One hundred and sixty first new York. Sixth Michigan under orders to report to chief of artillery at New Orleans. Very respectfully, your obedient servant. J. J. Reynolds, Major General Commanding.
WR LIII: 648)
Special Orders, No. 178. Hdqrs. Nineteenth Army corps, Morganza, La., August 18, 1864.
2. Organization of the infantry of the Third Division, Nineteenth army Corps; First Brigade--Seventh Kentucky Volunteers, Thirty-fifth Wisconsin Volunteers, Forty second Ohio Volunteers, Twenty third Iowa Volunteers, Thirty seventh Illinois Volunteers. Second Brigade--Sixteenth Ohio Volunteers, Twenty fourth Indiana Volunteers, ninety seventh Illinois Volunteers, Twenty second Kentucky Volunteers, Sixty ninth Indiana Volunteers, One hundred and fourteenth Ohio Volunteers. Third Brigade--Third Maryland Cavalry (dismounted), Thirty fourth Iowa Volunteers, Sixty seventh Indiana Volunteers, Eighty third Ohio Volunteers, One hundred and thirtieth Illinois Volunteers, Seventy seventh Illinois Volunteers, Ninety sixth Ohio Volunteers. By command of Maj. Gen. J. J. Reynolds: S. C. Farrington. Captain and Aide-de-Camp. (WR LIII: 759)
Operations in Mobile Bay against Forts Gaines and Morgan August 2-23. Siege and capture of Fort Gaines Mobile Bay August 3-8. Siege of capture of Fort Morgan Mobile Bay August 9-23.
"The regiment went into camp at Morganza ; from there to Baton Rouge, where it remained until the twentieth of July, when it proceeded to Algiers, from which point it embarked and landed on Dauphin's island.- Alabama, August 3, 1864. At this point the Ninety-sixth formed part of the forces in the siege of Fort Gaines up to its capitulation on the eighth of August. It then moved to the rear of Fort Morgan, and engaged in the siege of that fort until its capitulation, August 23." (History of Knox County, Ohio 1881:325).
Moved to Morganza September 1.
Headquarters Nineteenth Army corps, new Orleans, September 6, 1864. Maj. C. T. Christensen, Assistant Adjutant General:
Major: I have the honor to report that the Twenty third Wisconsin and Ninety sixth Ohio Volunteers from Mobile Bay passed up to Morganza this morning. J. J. Reynolds, Major General.
New Orleans, September 6, 1864. Col. J. J. Guppey, Comdg. Third Brigade, Second division, 19th Army Corps:
Colonel: The major general commanding directs that you will sail with the Twenty Third Wisconsin and Ninety Sixth Ohio so soon as you have taken the transportation of the latter regiment on board, coaled, &c., reporting to General Lawler at Morganza. He also directs that you will detail one lieutenant to remain at Algiers in charge of enlisted men and transportation of regiments en route from Mobile Bay and to await their arrival. he will report to these headquarters for instructions S. C. Farringotn Captain and Aide-de-Camp (WR LIII: 77).
September 2 Sherman Captures Atlanta Raid to Greenville Farms September 4. October 31 Department of the Gulf, Maj. Gen Stephen A. Hurlbut. Nineteenth Army Corps. Maj. Gen. Joseph J. Reynolds. Third Division, Brig. Gen. George F. McGinnis. Third Brigade, Lieut. Col. A. H. Brown. [also listed as Col. David P. Grier] 96th Ohio, Maj. Joseph Leonard (WR LIII: 361) November 8 Lincoln Re-elected Consolidated to 4 Companies November 18, 1864.
"On the first of September it moved back to Morganza, Louisiana: thence on November 1st, to the mouth of Waite River, Arkansas. By Special Order No. 21, the regiment was consolidated on the eighteenth of November, into four companies, and a company of about seventy-four men transferred from the Forty-Second to the Ninety-Sixth, making five companies, designated as the Ninety-Sixth battalion, Lieutenant Colonel Brown, commanding." (The History of Knox County, Ohio 1881: 325).
"The regiment had now, by continual losses, become so reduced in numbers that a consolidation became necessary, and was effected under a general order from Major General Reynolds, commanding the Department of the Gulf. At the request of the officers, and as a special honor to the regiment, it was consolidated into the Ninety-Sixth Battalion, and not with any other regiment. This was the only instance in that department of any such favor being accorded. Soon after this the regiment (now the Ninety-Sixth Battalion) was ordered down the river, and to Mobile, and was engaged in the capture of Forts Gaines, Morgan, Blakely and Spanish Fort, resulting finally in the capture of Mobile." (History of Logan County, Ohio 188 :318).
Attached to 2nd Brigade, 4th Division, 13th Army Corps.
Attached to 3rd Brigade, 3rd Division, 19th Army Corps, Dept. of the Gulf.
December 8 Special Orders No. 205. Hdqrs. Mil. Div of West Mississippi. New Orleans, La., December 5, 1864.
6. The following organization of the Reserve corps of the Military division of West Mississippi is hereby announced:
A--Infantry: First Brigade, Brig. Gen. M. K. Lawler commanding: Twenty eight Illinois volunteers, Twenty ninth Illinois Volunteers, Ninety ninth Illinois volunteers, Forty seventh Indiana Volunteers, Twenty first Iowa Volunteers, Twenty ninth Wisconsin volunteers. Second Brigade, Brig Gen E. S. Dennis commanding: Eighth Illinois volunteers, Eleventh Illinois Volunteers, Forty sixth Illinois Volunteers, Seventy sixth Illinois Volunteers, Thirtieth Missouri Volunteers, Twenty third Wisconsin volunteers. Third Brigade, Brig. Gen C. C. Andrews commanding: Ninety seventh Illinois volunteers, Twenty fourth Indiana Volunteers, sixty seventh Indiana Volunteers, sixty ninth Indiana Volunteers, thirty fourth Iowa volunteers, Thirty eighth Iowa Volunteers, Forty eighth Ohio Volunteers, Eighty third Ohio Volunteers, One hundred and Fourteenth Ohio volunteers. Fourth brigade, Col. McE. Dye commanding: Thirty seventh Illinois volunteers, Twentieth Iowa Volunteers, Twenty third Iowa Volunteers, One hundred and sixty first New York Volunteers, Ninety sixth Ohio volunteers, Thirty fifth Wisconsin volunteers. The headquarters of these brigades are in the field, and commanders will hold their troops in readiness to move at any moment and in any direction required. Until a permanent commander is assigned the commanding officer of each brigade will report direct to and receive orders from these headquarters. The brigade staff will consist of and is limited to one assistant adjutant general (a captain), one assistant quartermaster (a captain), one commissary of subsistence (a captain), one acting assistant inspector general (a field officer), personal aides-de-camp, of the number and rank allowed by law, mounted orderlies, one non-commissioned officer and nine privates. All detached officers and men will at once join their regiments, and the necessary details for brigade headquarters, except personal aides, will be made from the brigade. . . .
By order of Maj. Gen. E. R. S. Canby: C. T. Christensen Lieutenant Colonel and Assistant Adjutant General (WR LIII: 765).
General Orders No. 1. Hdqrs. 4th Brig., Reserve Corps, Mil. Div. of West Mississippi, Devall's Bluff, Ark., December 14, 1864.
I. the following extract from Special orders, No. 205, from headquarters Military division of west Mississippi, is hereby published for the information of the command:
The following organization of the Reserve Corps of the Military Division of West Mississippi is hereby announced:
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Fourth Brigade, Col. W. McE. Dye, commanding: Thirty seventh Illinois Volunteers, Twentieth Iowa Volunteers, Twenty-third Iowa Volunteers, One hundred and sixty first New York Volunteers, Ninety sixth Ohio volunteers, Thirty fifth Wisconsin volunteers.
II. In pursuance of the foregoing extract the designation of this organization is hereby changed from First Brigade, Third division, Nineteenth Army Corps, to Fourth Brigade, Reserve Corps, Military Division of West Mississippi, and the undersigned, being the senior officer present, assumes command of the same. Charles Black, Colonel Thirty seventh Illinois Infantry (WR LIII: 854).
December 15-16 Battle of Nashville 21 Sherman Reaches Savannah and Completes March to the Sea 31 Organization of troops: Division of West Mississippi, Maj. Gen. Edward R. S. Canby, U. S. Army, Commanding, Reserve Corps, Maj. Gen Joseph J. Reynolds. U. S. Forces at Mouth of White River, Brig. Gen George F. McGinnis. 96th Ohio (five companies), Lieut. Col. Albert H. Brown (WR LIII: 973). Moved to Mouth of White River November 1, and duty there till February 4, 1865
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