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No. 35.

 

Report of Brig. Gen. Philip H. Sheridan, U. S. Army, commanding Eleventh Division.

OR, Vol. 16, Pt. 1, p. 1081 - 1082

 

HDQRS. ELEVENTH DIV., ARMY OF THE OHIO,

CAMP ON THE ROLLING FORK,

Six miles south of Lebanon, Ky., October 23, 1862.

 

     CAPTAIN: I have the honor to make the following report of the operations of my division in the action of the 8th instant, near Perryville, Ky.:

     In accordance with the instructions of the general commanding I directed Col. Daniel McCook, with his brigade and Barnett's battery, to occupy the heights in front of Doctor's Creek, so as to secure that water for our men. This was done very handsomely after a sharp skirmish at daylight in the morning, giving us full possession of the heights.

     In about two hours afterward the enemy advanced in considerable force through a line of heavy timber on the eastern slope to drive us from this position. I had however in the mean time ordered forward Colonel Laiboldt's brigade and Hescock's battery, so that I felt myself well prepared and strong enough to receive them. I then directed Colonel Laiboldt to advance two of his old regiments and drive the enemy from the timber, at the same time putting the batteries into position. Colonel Laiboldt succeeded in driving the enemy back down the hill and across Chaplin Creek after an obstinate contest, in which the loss was severe on both sides, Captain Barnett, with one section of his battery, and Lieutenant Taliaferro, with one section of Hescock's battery, driving the enemy from every position he took. About this time General McCook, with his corps, made his appearance on my left, the enemy opening on him. I then advanced Captain Hescock's battery to a very good position in front of this belt of timber, where he had an enfilading fire on the enemy's batteries on the opposite side of the valley of Chaplin Creek, advancing at the same time six regiments to support him. The fire of Captain Hescock was here very severely felt by the enemy, who attempted to dislodge him by establishing a battery at short range. But the firing of Hescock's battery was still so severe and his shots so well directed and effective as to force the enemy's battery from its new position in ten minutes.

     The enemy then placed two batteries on my right flank and commenced massing troops behind them, with the apparent intention of making an attack on that point. I then, by direction of Major-General Gilbert, reoccupied the crest of the hill. I had no sooner got into position than the enemy attacked me fiercely, advancing with great determination almost to my very line, notwithstanding a large portion of the ground over which they were advancing was exposed to a heavy fire of canister from both of my batteries. I then directed a general advance of my whole line, bringing up the reserve regiments to occupy the crest of the hill.

     On our advance the enemy commenced retiring rapidly but in good order. I could not follow up this advantage to any great extent, as the enemy were advancing on our left, General McCook's right having been driven back some distance. I then directed the fire of my artillery across the valley on this advance of the enemy, forcing them to retire, thus very much relieving General McCook. This ended the operations of the day, it being then dark and the enemy having retired from the field.

     I cannot speak with too much praise of the good conduct of the officers and men of my whole division, all of whom were engaged. The new troops vied with the old troops of the division in their coolness and steadiness. My brigade commanders, Colonel Greusel, Col. Daniel McCook, and Lieutenant-Colonel Laiboldt, behaved with great gallantry, leading their troops at all times. Neither can I speak too highly of Captains Hescock and Barnett and the officers and men of their batteries.

     I respectfully bring to the notice of the general commanding the excellent conduct of Surgeon Griffiths, medical director of this division, who was untiring in his care for the wounded on all parts of the field; also the following officers of my staff: Captain Beck, aide-de-camp; Lieut. George Lee, acting assistant adjutant-general; Lieut. Van Pelt, division commissary, and Lieutenants Denning and Burton, for their alacrity in bearing orders and other valuable assistance rendered me during the day.

     The total casualties in my division were as follows: Killed, 44; wounded, 274, and missing, 12 - total, 330.  I inclose herewith a list of same, giving names, rank, company, and regiment.

     This report is also accompanied by the reports of brigade and battery commanders.

     I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

P. H. SHERIDAN,

Brigadier-General, Commanding.

 

Capt. J. EDWARD STACY, A. A. A. G., Third Corps.

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