Marion Morrison.

A history of the Ninth Regiment, Illinois Volunteer Infantry online

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of the ridge. In the meantime, Gol. Bane's Brigade, and Welker's
Battery came rapidly on the field, unobserved and unknown to the
Rebels. This Brigade was immediately posted as follows : The 50th
111. behind a high grading of the Railroad and to the left of tte^ppen
field, on which the Rebels had formed their line previous to being" driven
back by our Cavalry; the 7th 111. Inft. were moved in the timber,
around to the right of the field, and a little further advanced than the
50th; the 57th 111. were held in reserve. Th^ Cavalry received orders
to fall back rapidly, and in apparent confusion, as soon as the enemy
should appear on the ridge.

This disposition being made of the forces, the 9th 111. Inft. fell back
100 yards, to .a fence overgrown with bushes, and lay concealed behind
it. The Rebels advanced with loud shouts, and planted a 12-pound
Howitzer on the ridge. Our Cavalry hastily retreated, and the enemy
believing victory certain, dashed gallantly ahead, when the 50th and
7th 111. Regiments opened on them a deadly fire. About the same time,
a body of the enemy appeared on the left of the Railroad on the ridge.
They were opened upon by the 9th 111. The contest was not long. In
less than ten minutes, the whole body of the Rebels were in rapid retreat
towards Cane Creek.

The loss of die enemy was, according to their own statement, 17
killed, 50 wounded, and 23 taken prisoners. The 9th 111. lost 5 wounded
and 59 captured (Co. D.) The entire Union loss was 3 killed, 10
wounded, and 75 captured.

Night now coming on, we'bivouacked near the battle-field. On the
18th, after a reconnoisance in front, and finding the enemy in strong
position n^^Cane Creek, our whole force fell back to Bear Creek, and
went into camp.

| On the 19th, Companies E and 1? were sent, as escort to a train, to
Eastport Landing. The rest of the Regiment, with the whole mounted
force, moved circuitously to "Buzzard Roost," and found the enemy,
under Roddy, occupying the same position as on the 17th at Cherokee



Bluff. Our Regiment was again deployed as skirmishers, in the same
manner as before. After fifteen minutes skirmishing, we drove the
enemy from his position, killing, wounding and capturing 13 of them,
and losing none.

We then returned to camp at Bear Creek, taking with us a drove of
cattle and sheep. On the 20th of April, the 7th Kansas Cavalry joined
us, and on the next day the Ohio Brigade, Col. Fuller commanding.
Our entire column moved forward on the morning of the 23d, and
crossed Cane Creek without opposition- the Rebejp having fallen back
to Little Bear Creek. Here General Dodge offered battle, but they
declined, and we bivouacked for the night. -We moved forward again
on the 24th, the enomy continually, falling back, not even making a
feeble resistance at Little Bear Creek, although the position was a very
strong one.

On nearing the town of Tuscumbia, the enemy, under Forrest, left
on the Decatur road. CoL Cornyn was ordered forward after them,
with the 10th Mo. Cavalry, the 7th Kansas Cavalry, and the 1st Ala-
bama Cavalry. Lieut. Col. Phillips, with two companies of Cavalry,
two companies of 9th 111. Inft., viz : A and B, and two guns of Ta'rn-
rath's Battery, was ordered to move up to Florence, and capture the
town. He proceeded to that place with his command. Arriving on
the bank of the river, opposite the town, and observing a small force
of cavalry in Florence, he called to them to send him over a boat, as he
desired to send over a flag of truce. They replied, telling him to go to
that place, where I suppose but few, if any, desire to go. The Col. did
not feel disposed, at least to obey their orders, and thinking he had .
that with which he could enforce obedience to his, he placed his two
rifled guns in position, and* made a second demand for a boat. To this
he received the same reply as before. Immediately 'he opened upon
them with his two-guns, throwing shell into the town. The cavalry on
the other side broke and run. As they passed up the street, a shell
was thrown among them, killing one horse. In a very short time,
white flags were hung out' all over the town. In the meantime, a small
raft had been constructed, on which a flag of truce was sent over, and
the Mayor of the town made a formal surrender. The object of de-
manding the surrender was, not that we might hold the p^ee. but that
We might ascertain whether the enemy had any consideralJRbrce there.
The desired information being gained, the Col. evacuated it. and ra*
turned to the main force again.

The remainder of our Regiment, and the battalion of the 15th III.
Cavalry, were ordered to move forward, within supporting distance of


Col. Cornyn. We moved forward until near night, and not being able
to reach him, we returned to Tuscumbia, and bivouacked. At 10
o'clock that night, we received orders to move out rapidly and join
Col. Cornyn, as he feared the enemy would come upon him, too strong,
at daylight, his forces being very much exhausted. We reached him,
beyond Leightoa, by 2:30 A. M., on the 25th, and at daylight the whole
force returned to Tuscumbia.

Our Regiment turned over 200 mules to Col. Straight, on the 26th,
to complete the mounting of his force, thus dismounting Companies C,
D, E, O, H and K, of our Regiment,

On the morning of the 27th April, we again moved forward, toward
Decatur, to attract the attention of Forrest, until Col. Streight had
moved entirely around his left flank towards Atlanta. We fc^Jl the
enemy posted at Town Creek, four miles beyond Leighton. Soin^pcket
skirmishing took place before night. We bivouacked near the Creek.
Early on the morning of tlje 28th, the Rebels haying discovered the
position of the dismounted companies of our Regiment, opened upon us
with schrapuel, compelling us to fall back hurriedly out of their range.
The artillery kept up a constant firing all day, and after noon a part of
tlie 81st Ohio and the mounted companies of the 9th 111, crossed over,
at the Railroad bridge, and drove the enemy from their position.

Col. Straight having now completely passed the enemy, our entire
column. moved on the return march, on the morning of the 29th April.
Bivouacked for the night near Little Bear Creek. Reached Big Bear
on the 30th, and were compelled to remain in camp there until the
evening of the 1st of May, when a bridge having been constructed, we
crossed over and proceeded up the Railroad to our old place of camping,
four miles from Big Bear Creek. From there we proceeded on the
main traveled road to Burnsvilie, reaching that place sometime after
riight, and bivouacked. On the morning of the 2d May, Lieut. Col,
Phillips, with the four mounted companies, viz: A, B, I and F, was
ordered to report to Col. Coruyn, commanding cavalry force, for an
expedition to Tupelo. The rest of the Regiment moved forward, at 10
A. M., and reached Corinth by 2 P. M.

During this trip the Regiment was <*at from eamp 18 days, and had
five engagements with the enemy two on the 17th of April, one on the
19th, one on the 27th, and one on the 4th of May. The great object
of this expedition, was to divert the attention of the enemy until CoL
Streight, who was fitting up an expedition for a grand raid into Georgia,
should have time to complete the mounting of his nieiL, and get well
started on his way.


Lieut. Col. Phillips, with the four mounted companies of our Regi-
ment, having been ordered on an expedition to Tupelo, separated from
the remaining companies at Burnsville, on the 2d of May, and proceeded
to Tupelo. Had a skirmish with the enemy there, and rejoined the
Regiment at camp. May 7th.

Quartermaster Korn died of disease May 6th, 1863. Dr. Guelick
and Captain Hawes were detailed on the 7th of May, the former to
Fort Henry, and the latter to Memphis. Dr. Win. A, Allen, 2d Assis-
tant Surgeon, appointed by the Governor of Illinois, reported for duty
on the 12th, and was mustered into the service, to rank from that date.

On the 13th of May, the Regiment moved into the barracks formerly
occupied by the 39th Ohio, one mile sout-east from Corinth.

Oofejthe l ; ">th <>f May, Brig. (Jen. Thomas. Adjutant General U. 8.
A misaddressed the soldiers at Corinth, announcing and advocating
the policy of the Government in regard to freeing and arming the
negroes. His remarks met with a hearty approval by nine- tenths of
the soldiers at the military post of Corinth.

May 26th, our Regiment being again all mounted, we were ordered
to report to Col. Cornyn, commander of Cavalry Brigade, at 10
A. M.' Moved immediately thereafter, on the Corinth and Hamburg
road, toward Hamburg Landing. We reached that place and began
to cross the Tennessee River about dark, the 9th 111. crossing over first-
Our Regiment all got over by 2 A. M., of the 27th, and the remainder
of the force by noon of the same day. At 1 P. M., the entire column
moved forward on the road towards Florence, taking the most easterly
route. Halted, for rest and feed, two hours at 1 o'clock, A. M., of the 28th,
and then moved forward again eight miles North-east from Florence.
A detachment of the 7th Kansas Cavalry destroyed two large woolen
factories, four miles from the city. We drove in the videttes of the
enemy, and when we were within one hundred yards of the town, they
opened on us with a battery of two guns, throwing schrapnel with great
accuracy, compelling us to move from the road, by the left flank, into
the timber, to avoid the deadly missiles. Col. Cornyn moved his
howitzers rapidly forward, and soon silenced the Rebel guns.

The 9th 111. was now dismounted and thrown forward as skirmishers.
The 1st Battalion, (Cos. A, B and C,) Lieutenant Ruhland command-
ing, moving forward in column, as reserve. The opposition of the
enemy did not amount to much, and we soon had possession of the town.
Our loss was two wounded, and two captured. TLe enemy lost from
ten to twelve killed and wounded, and sixty to eighty captured. After
searching the town, and destroying all the stores of value to the eaeiny,


we began our return march, taking the most westerly route, so as to
destroy three large cotton mills and two more large woolen mills, all of
which we succeeded in doing without loss to us. At 12 o'clock, mid-
night, we bivouacked until morning. The enemy disputed our entire
advance from Florence to the place of bivouaek, and then ceased to
molest us. We reached the crossing opposite, Hamburg, at 2 A. 31., of
the 30th 3Iay, when we bivouacked until morning.

During the day the enemy appeared ia force in our rear, before we
had even our baggage across, and as Col. Cornyn had moved down to
Savannah to relieve the 15th 111., Lieut. Col. Phillips assumed command,
arid rnoved^out one-half mile from the river and offered battle, when
the Rebels hastily fell back. We succeeded in all getting over by 2
A. 31. of the 31st, without further molestation. In the skirmi|j^on
the opposite side of the river, none of our men were hurt.

lost several in wounded and captured, none are known to have Jpeea
killed. At 7 A! 31.. the 31st, the entire column move toward Corinth,
and we reached camp there at 1 P. 31.

During this expedition, the Regiment was out six days, and engaged
in two skirmishes with the enemy. The object of the expedition seemed
to be the destruction of public property and stores which would be of
advantage to the enemy.

After leaving Hamburg Landing at 1 P. 31., of the 27th 31ay, the
boys were in their saddles, or pack-saddles, as they then were, for about
thirty-six hours almost constantly, except the few hours tliey were in
Florence searching the houses for arms, and destroying stores that might
be serviceable to the enemy. At 12 o'clock, on the night of the 28th,
they halted, until early in the morning, when they were off on the march
again. The result of this raid was 64 prisoners captured, over 200
negroes brought in, a large number of inules and horses captured, and
about $3,000,000 worth of Factory property destroyed.

On the 3d of June, 1863, the Regiment received orders to be ready
to move on the next morning, at 8 o'clock, with camp and garrison
equipage. 3Ioved on the 4th, in accordance with the above order, in
a North-west direction. * Passed through Cherwalla, and bivouacked for
the night about ten miles west of it. The Tuscumbia and Hatchie
Rivers had to be bridged, in order to cross the artillery and infantry.
The entire Brigade were moving with us. These streams were bridged,
the forces crossed, and we arrived at Pocahontas by 4 P. 31., on the
5th of June, and bivouacked in the town for the night. On the 7th,
the Regiment moved into camp one-fourth mile north of the town.

On the 8th of Jane, Lieut Col. Phillips, with Companies A, B., JE 5


F, Gr and I, moved south on a scout, and returned on the 9th, at 1 P.. M^
bringing in a drove of cattle and sheep. The remaining companies of
the Regiment went as' an escort to a train of wagons, as far as the bridge
on Tuscumbia Creek.

On the llth of June, Capt. Keeffner, with Companies A, C/,33, H
and I, moved North-west on a scout, and returned in the evening,
having marched 40 miles, bringing in three- prisoners.

The Regiment, accompanied by one section of Tamrath's Battery,
moved south or* the Ripley road, on the 12th of June, at 1 P >M., and
' bivouacked for the night within ten miles of Ripley, Moved forward
early on the morning of the 13th, and took possession of Ripley without
opposition. The town was searched, but nothing of a contraband nature
, except a number of negroes, who were confiscated for the
G overoment. Moved on in the direction of New Albany.
At Qrizabo, the* flankers on our left encountered a few Rebel soldiers r
and after driving them off, burned the place, as it contained Rebel stores;
and was a place of rendezvous for them. While stopping* to feed, about
four miles South of Ripley, a family moving to Ripley came along.
Their wagons and carriage were searched, and a Rebel mail was found
in the old lady's carpet-sack. Their horses and mules were all confis-
cated, except one old team of mules which they were- allowed to keep..

The Regiment then proceeded to New Albany, reaching that place
about 4 P. M. Finding the town nearly deserted by citizens, and used
as a general Headquarters for guerrillas, and a supplying point for them,,
it was entirely destroyed, after any stores of value that could be. carried
away were taken.

We then moved back toward Ripley, on a different route from the
one by which we had entered, going three miles and bivouacking for
the night.

At 1 o'clock, A. M. r June 14th, Lieutenant Krebe and escort came
into our bivou&ck "from Pocahontas, with orders from Col. Mersy, for
us to return as rapidly as possible to camp at Pocalioatas, as the enemy
were planning to capture us. We moved at 2 A. M. Reached Ripley
at breakfast time, and camp at Pocahontas at 8 P. M. At daylight
this morning, the enemy, 1500 strong, reached our last night's bivouack.
But fortunately we were safe out of their reach. It was fortunate for
us, for our force numbered but 300 men with two pieces of artillery.

The Regiment was out three days on tlris- expedition. It captured,
and brought in, about 25 Rebel soldiers, 50 contrabands, and 100 head
of horses and mules. It marched over one hundred miles.

On the 17th of Juixe, the Regiment again moYed southward,. a& 8-


P. M., with six days 'rations. The night was rainy and intensely dark.
One section of Tamrath's Battery was with us, under Lieut. Bruner.
Marched all night in the dark and rain. It was such bad traveling,
that we only moved twelve miles by sunrise of the 18th. Halted and
fed at old " Secession Hopkins'," where the Regiment had already fed
four times. Reached Ripley at 1 P. M., and found no enemy, but
were told that 1,500 Rebels were moving around, to get between us
and Pocahontas. We moved back two miles, and halted to feed. Here
we weite joined by 125 men of the 5th Ohio Cavalry, Major Smith
commanding, and 180 of the 18th Missouri Mounted Infantry, com-
manded by Lieut. Col. Sheldon. Our whole force now numbered a
little over 600 : 5th Ohio Cavalry 125, 18th Missouri Mounted Infan-
try 180, Section of Battery 50, 9th 111. Mounted Inft. 275. TotalMSO.

Lieut. Col. Phillips, senior officer present, assumed command 01 the
whole force. We moved back five miles and bivouacked for the night.
Finding no enemy, we moved forward again by daylight of the 19th.
Passed through Ripley at 8 A. M., and New Albany at 2 P. M. Cap-
tured Lieut. Col. McCarly of the 23d Mississippi, below Ripley. Drove
in the videttes of the enemy at New Albany, and moved forward on tha
Pontotoc road. When within six miles of the latter place, Lieut. Col.
Phillips having gone as far as his orders permitted him, moved five
miles West, and then moved North towards Rockford. Marched until
after midnight of the 19th, having to cross a terrible swamp, called the
Octohatchie. We bivouacked for the night on a ridge between Octo-
hatchie and Mud Creek. Moved forward again at 7 A. M., of the 20th,
5th Ohio occupying the rear, and 18th Missouri the advance. While
we were preparing a crossing of Mud Creek, the enemy, 8,000 strong,
under Gen. Ruggles, made a furious attack upon the rear guard, but
were nios.t gallantly met and checked by the 5th Ohio Cavalry. Six
companies of the 9th 111. Inft. were dismounted, and deployed as skir-
mishers. They, and the 5th Ohio Cavalry, held the enemy in check
for two and a-half hours, until the artillery had crossed the several most
wretched fords of Mud Creek. One of the caissons getting stuck in
the mud, we were compelled to leave one half of it there, and as it
completely blocked up the crossing, we had to destroy the five baggage
wagons that were behind it, to prevent their falling into the hands of
the enemy; everything we could possibly save, being brought over the
ford. We fell back rapidly, and got 'possession of Rocky Ford, before
the Rebels got around, and succeded in crossing before they could
niolest us.

Our loss in this engagement, was 5 killed and 18 wounded. The


loss of the enemy could not be definitely ascertained, but was not less
than 200 in killed, wounded and missing.

The place where this battle was fought, was a dense cane-brake.
Men could not see each other move than a few feet. Our men could
hear every command given by the Kebel officers, but could not see the

After getting safely out of that terrible bottom, and crossing the
Tallahatchie at Rocky Ford, we moved through Salem, on the 21st, and
reached camp at Pocahontas, at noon of the 22d June. The Ilegimeut
was out, six days, during this trip. Had to endure some very hard
marching. Marched almost constantly, day and night.

On the 23d of June, 2d Assistant Surgeon Dr. Allen, was ordered to
report at LaGr range, Tenn., by Surgeon Gray, Medical Director left wing
16th Army Corps, and left for that place on the 24th.

On the 6th of July, Companies A, 0, E, F, G, H and I, under the
command of Lieut. Col. Phillips, moved North-west on a scout, and
returned on the 7th at noon, not having found any force of the enemy.

On the 8th of July, the entire Regiment moved North ward, with
three days rations, 35 miles, and returned on the 9th without finding
any force of the enemy. Brought in a number of citizens as prisoners,
with all the horses and mules, of any value, that could be found.
Rabid secessionists 1 followed after, pleading for their animals. Col.
Phillips would tell them that he was a kind-hearted man, had a number
of prisoners, and did not wish to have them walk. Hence, he must
have their horses and mules. He expressed sorrow for the necessity.
It is a question whether that sorrow was very deep down, however, as
he has no mercy on Rebels, and takes all the horses and mules from
them, that he can place his hands upon, without much trouble of

On the 12th of July, the Regiment again moved in a North-west
direction, with five days rations. Joined Col. Hatch's force from La
Grange, North of Bolivar, and the combined force moved to Jackson,
and on the loth engaged a Rebel force there, under Forrest, Newsom,
and Bifile. Our Regiment was dismounted as skirmishers. After
brisk firing for one-quarter of an hour, we dislodged them. The cavalry
then moved over the river and took the flank of the skirmish line.
The right wing of our Regiment were recalled from their position on
the South side of the creek, and placed in reserve of the left wing.
We then moved rapidly forward, until within a few hundred yards of
their fortifications, when we made a ch'arge upon their works and drove
them out, by a charge from our skirmish line. We moved forward,


thinking that they had left. But when in the suburbs of the North
side of the town, the Rebel cavalry ca*n?e charging down on us from the
North-east and East parts of the town. We quickly formed in line
facing them, and went into them with a fierceness that they could not
long stand. In about fifteen minutes they were driven entirely from
the field, and we advanced to their position. We captured a goodly
Dumber of horses and muskets they were compelled to leave. One
Rebel Captain was found dead on the field. A prisoner who was cap-
tured, said he was a notorious guerrilla chieftain, and hated by their
own men. Said there would not be much sorrow for his death. The
fighting in all lasted about two and a-half hours.

We captured about 70 prisoners, 80 of whom were paroled, the re-
mainder were brought into camp. Our loss was one killed and six
wounded. The enemy's loss in killed and wounded, was about two
hundred. The Regiment returned to camp about 1 P. M., of the 15th,
having been out four days.

On the 18th, six companies, under command of Lieut. Col. Phillips,
started on a scout about dark, after a party of guerrillas who had made
a dash upon some of the Home Guards at Middleton, killing and taking
prisoners several of them. They pursued them all night, in the direc-
tion of Bolivar, but could not find them. Returned to camp about noon
the next day.

On the 20th of July, the Regiment moved South, accompanied by
two guns of Tamrath's Battery. At Hopkins we were joined by the
llth 111. Cavalry, commanded by Major Kerr. Moved on to within
three miles of Ripley, a.nd bivouacked at the forks of the Nubbin Ridge
and Ruckersville road. Two companies of Cavalry and two companies
of Mounted Infantry were sent towards Ripley to reconnoiter. Dis-
covering no enemy, they soon returned. On the 21st, the command
moved back seven miles to Ruckersville, and there awaited orders from
Corinth. We moved forward again on the 22d, at 3 A. M. Halted at
Ripley two hours. Captured two prisoners, and then moved back to
camp at Pocahontas. *

The Regiment moved North-west, at daylight on the 26th of July,
with eight days rations. It joined Col. Hatch's command, North of
Bolivar, at 8:oO P. M., of the same day. After the Regiment was
formed, before marching, a brief prayer was offered by the writer, who
was then present with the Regiment. Bivouacked for the night, ten
miles North of Bolivar. On the 27th, Lieut. Col. Phillips was ordered
to the command of a Brigade, consisting of the 9th III. Inft. and 3d
Michigan Cavalry, and Captain Gr. G. Lowe took command of the


Regiment. We joined Col. Prowitt's command at Lexington, Tenn.,
on the 28th. Passed through Clarksville, a Union town, to-day. Had
captured a goodly number of mules and negroes, and about 100 prisoners
up to this date. Among the latter were two Colonels. Passed through
Huntingdon on the 29th. A strong Union town. While stopped here,
two daughters of Col. Hawkins of the 2d West Tennessee Cavalry,
.(loyal,) paraded the streets, carrying the stars and stripes. This was
cheering to our boys. We lay over most of the 29th at Macedonia.
Moved to Trenton on the 31st. Passed through a very rough country,
and in a poor state of cultivation. From Trenton we proceeded South,
towards Jackson, passing through Jackson on the 1st of August, and
reaching camp at Pocahontas on the 3d of August, about 8 P. M.

The Regiment was out, during this scout, nine days. Did cot have
any engagements with the enemy.

On the 6th of August, Companies A, C, D, E, Gr, H, I and K, under
command of Lient. Col. Phillips, moved North-west of Bolivar, and
returned on the 7th, without finding any forces of the enemy.

On the 12th of August, at 10 P. M., the Regiment moved South,

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Online LibraryMarion MorrisonA history of the Ninth Regiment, Illinois Volunteer Infantry → online text (page 6 of 10)