Battle of Corinth
Report of Lieutenant James C. Cameron (Yates Sharpshooters) Sixty-Fourth Illinois Infantry
Corinth, Miss.,October 13, 1862
Captain: The following is a correct report of the proceedings of Companies A, F, and D in the battle of Corinth, October 4:
Pursuant to your order these three companies returned about 2 a.m.to camp, packed the tents, camp equipage, and baggage into wagons, and Captain Stewart then reported to Gen. Rosecrans for orders. He received orders to remain on the ridge where our camp had been until further orders from General Rosecrans. Pursuant to an order from Headquarters of the Army of the Mississippi Captain Stewart detailed 50 men and a commissioned officer to report to Captain Kirby for duty at headquarters.
The detail having finished its duty at headquarters returned to the detachment, which was still awaiting orders. While thus awaiting orders the rebels made the attack on the right wing, charging fiercely up the little rise of ground and sending a deadly shower of bullets from their ranks. The regiment immediately in our front gave way, falling to our rear, leaving us exposed to the enemy; and although we had no orders from our commanding general to fire, we had orders to remain on that ridge until further orders from him; and in order to do so it was necessary that we should keep the enemy at a respectable distance. The three companies stood their ground and fought nobly until ordered by Captain Stewart to fall back a short distance to where the line was being reformed. At this place Captain Stewart was wounded and taken from the field. I, being the next in command, rallied as many men as possible, and at the command forward advanced to the ground occupied by the original line but a little to the left of our former position., and there resisted the second charge of the rebels.
The three companies were badly cut up and somewhat scattered. When the firing ceased I was ordered by Captain Morrill to reform the detachment on the ground where the Sharpshooters Hospital had been and where the balance of the battalion was at the time, which I accordingly did.
First Lieutenant, Comdg. Co A, Yates’ Sharpshooters, Illinois Vols.
Capt. John Morrill
Commanding Yates’ Sharpshooters, Illinois Volunteers
The following is a correct report of the part taken by my command in the battle of Corinth, October 4:
On the afternoon of the 3rd I received a verbal order to have my command fall in under arms and move to the provost marshal’s and under your direction took a position in the rear of General Rosecrans’ headquarters. I remained in this position until after dark, when I was ordered by General MacArthur to deploy a line of skirmishers sufficient to cover his front, advance them well into the wood, and remain until morning. I accordingly deployed three companies, holding three in reserve near my line of skirmishers. I then received orders from General Rosecrans, if agreeable to General MacArthur, to hold and contest the ground as long as I could and then fall back through the lines and go the corral. The left of my line rested on the railroad near the house just north of town and the right connected with the line of the Western Sharpshooters. The line ran in a northeasterly direction.
About 2 o’clock on the morning of the 4th I received orders to send three companies to remove our baggage, camp equipage and stores, and then report to General Rosecrans for orders. About daylight our vedettes were driven in by the enemy. I advanced the line
And engaged their skirmishers, and our scouts reported them as falling back across the railroad to the west side. Soon however, heavy columns of the enemy recrossed the railroad under a scorching fire from the skirmishers on the railroad, and commenced advancing upon us. The men fought well, contesting every inch of ground. Immediately upon the near approach of the enemy a battery in our rear opened fire, creating greater havoc among our skirmishers then the enemy. I ordered my line of skirmishers and reserve to fall back into a ravine under cover from the battery and sent my sergeant-major to have the battery change direction; but before this could be done I found myself flanked and nearly surrounded, and retreated under a heavy fire from the enemy. The line of skirmishers being badly broken under fire from front and rear I was unable to get the men together, and they fought miscellaneously with other regiments during the battle. After the fighting had ceased and the men became rested I collected them together and reported to General Rosecrans. I was ordered to the corral to guard the headquarters teams.
Having heard all reports from line and staff officers, I am happy to say the men behaved nobly and fought well.
The total loss is 11 killed, 44 wounded, and 15 missing.
Captain, Commanding Battalion
Lieutenant Colonel Kennett, Chief of Staff.