The Second Texas at the Battle of Farmington
The Percurement of Knapsacks and Equipment
By Pvt. Bill Graswich; Co. I, 9th Texas Infantry, RRB

The following Federal units have been identified as having fought at the Battle of Farmington, Mississippi on May 9, 1862, in which the 2nd Texas Infantry was able to procure many knapsacks, blankets, rifles, food stuffs, clothing, etc.

FEDERAL INFANTRY REGIMENTS

ILLINOIS

8, 10,16,22,26,27,42,47,51

WISCONSIN

7,8

MICHIGAN

15

IOWA

5, 10 (AND 2ND LIGHT ART.)

 


Report of Brig. Gen. Patton Anderson, C. S. Army, of skirmish at Farmington, Miss., May 9.

Corinth, Miss.,

May 15, 1862.

Captain: I have the honor to submit this my report of the part taken by the brigade under my command in the affair with the enemy at Farmington on the 9th instant:

By a circular order from division headquarters the brigade was put in readiness on the night of the 8th to move to the front at an early hour on the morning of the 9th. I was directed by the brigadier-general commanding the division to march my command to a field some half a mile beyond the breastworks, to form the brigade in close column by divisions, and to await further orders. At the same time I was informed that it was the purpose of the commanding general that we should move out on the lower Farmington road until the enemy should be found, and then to encounter him; also that Brigadier-General Walker commanding Third Brigade, Ruggles’ division, with, among other troops, one regiment of infantry (Thirty-seventh Mississippi Regiment, Colonel Benton commanding) and one section of artillery, Lieutenant Vaught commanding, belonging to my brigade, would deploy his column as soon as Bridge Creek was crossed, and that my command, consisting of the Twenty-fifth Louisiana, Colonel Fisk; the Thirty-sixth Mississippi, Colonel Brown; the Florida Battalion, Lieutenant-Colonel Clack and four pieces of the Washington Artillery, Captain Hodgson, would follow closely his movements, and be ready to support him at any point of the field where occasion might require. My disposition was in columns by platoons, right in front. In this manner we moved to within half a mile of Farmington, advancing slowly and cautiously, being regulated in this by Brigadier-General Walker’s line in front. After a halt of about half an hour, by General Ruggles’ order we moved up into the village and halted for some time about 100 yards in rear and on the left of General Walker. By order from the same authority I then formed the brigade on General Walker’s left, which was now advancing. The four pieces of artillery under Captain Hodgson were ordered to follow at convenient distance in the rear of my center. General Walker’s brigade being in motion at the time, I was ordered to form upon its left and some hundred yards in advance, which compelled me to execute the movement at a double-quick, which, however, was completed just in time to engage the enemy’s skirmishers as they were retiring down the slope of an open plain and entering a thick wood beyond. I deemed it necessary to press on without hesitation and push the enemy from his cover as well as to gain a less exposed position for our own troops. The nature of the ground on my right had proved impracticable, and a short delay was occasioned by the effort of the Twenty-fifth Louisiana and the Thirty-sixth Mississippi Regiments to pass the obstacles. The latter regiment had only arrived a few days previous, and had enjoyed none of the privileges of drill and instruction. To prevent further delay and confusion, I ordered forward the balance of the brigade, and instructed Colonel Brown to form his regiment in rear of my center and to follow on closely until an opportunity was presented of regaining his position in line. On ascending to the top of the hill in an open field we received a heavy fire from the enemy’s skirmishers in the thick wood not 100 yards in front, and just at this moment the Orleans Guards [Ducatel’s] Battery was coming into position immediately in my center for the purpose of shelling the wood. As the officer in charge informed me that this was by General Ruggles’ order, whom I saw present about this time, I directed the brigade to take cover behind the remains of an old fence near the brow of the hill and a few paces in rear of the battery, the right wing of the Twenty-fifth Louisiana extending to the right of the battery. In this position we could occasionally pick off a sharpshooter as he would uncover himself in the woods, but it was too exposed to justify its occupation for any length of time. Many of the men were being wounded and several killed. I requested the battery to cease firing, that I might charge the wood.

In the mean time the Thirty-sixth Mississippi, Colonel Brown, had regained its position in line, but many of its members were now straggling to the rear from under the sharp fire of the enemy’s skirmishers. I endeavored, with some success, to rally them, and immediately ordered a charge. It was gallantly responded to by the Twenty-fifth Louisiana and the Florida Battalion, as also by a larger portion of the Thirty-sixth Mississippi. The wood was gained without any difficulty and the enemy was pushed rapidly through an open field beyond.

In this charge he had several killed, and we took 8 prisoners (3 wounded) and a quantity of knapsacks, blankets, &c.; also a few stands of arms. His surprise and hasty flight was evidenced by the manner in which these things were scattered through the woods and half cooked breakfasts that lay around. Hogs and mutton, just butchered and not yet dressed, could be seen in many places.

As we reached the open field beyond the woods during the pursuit was checked by the opening of Robertson’s battery on our left, which swept; the field the full length of our front, dealing death and dismay in the ranks of the enemy’s cavalry, a squadron of which had the temerity to attempt a charge upon our line. At one time they were in easy range of our infantry, which might have added to the number of empty saddles but for an impression that got abroad along the line that it was our own cavalry, which impression was confirmed by an order coming from the right not to fire upon them. Being engaged personally at the time in bringing into line the Thirty-sixth Mississippi, I did not hear the order, and only learned of it when I had inquired why my command had cease (l or failed to fire. By this time the column had fled beyond range. I pressed forward through the open field in front and charged into the wood beyond. I had not advanced far, however, when a citizen approached me and said it was impossible for the brigade to get through a morass immediately in front; that he had informed General Ruggles of the fact, and that he (General Ruggles) had sent him to me with the information. As I had seen General Ruggles on the field the moment before entering the wood, I concluded to speak with him on the subject, not, however, until a couple of staff officers had gone forward to reconnoiter the morass. I found General Ruggles near by in the open field, and he confirmed what the citizen had told me, and directed me to hold the brigade in the wood where it was until the result of a reconnaissance then being made could be ascertained, when he would give me further orders. After remaining in that position some half hour he ordered me to withdraw into the open field near where he then was, which being accomplished, he directed me to march back to a point a short distance in the rear of Farmington, halt, and communicate with him through a staff officer.

In the mean time I directed Lieutenant-Colonel Clack to detail an officer and two men to repair to a gin-house near by, in which was stored unginned cotton, as also several bales already packed; to take an estimate of the quantity, quality, and value of the same, together with machinery, &c., and to burn and destroy the same, reporting in full to me as soon as we returned to Corinth. Colonel Clack was also directed to detail an officer with sufficient force to take charge of and bring off the knapsacks, blankets, clothing, &c., which had been left by the enemy in his flight. As my command filed by on their return to Farmington I observed Lieutenant Browne, with a detail of 20 men, collecting these articles, many of which had already been scattered and carried off by troops in passing. Having no wagons at hand, I directed Lieutenant Browne to take the most valuable articles, such as blankets, overcoats, knapsacks, &c., and bring them off the field, but to prevent stragglers from lingering around the place in search of plunder; to gather all the valueless stuff, such as old underclothes, &c., and burn them. Both Captain Macmurdo’s and Lieutenant Browne’s reports are herewith transmitted.

On reaching the point in the rear of Farmington indicated by the division commander I communicated with General Ruggles through Lieutenant James, of my staff, who soon returned with orders for me to resume my position within the trenches at Corinth, where my command arrived about sundown.

Accompanying this report will be found a list of casualties in my command, showing a loss of 3 killed, 49 wounded, and 1 missing. As this list does not, however, embrace the information desired in every particular by a recent circular from general headquarters, I have this day required a report from regimental and battalion commanders in conformity therewith, which will be transmitted at The earliest practicable moment.

It is proper for me to state that the troops of my command, with inconsiderable exceptions, bore themselves on this occasion in a manner highly creditable to themselves and their regimental commanders. None of them except the Florida Battalion and the Washington Artillery ever having been under fire before, it could hardly be expected that a few would not shrink from the first volley of a concealed foe. The Twenty-fifth Louisiana Regiment, though recently raised and arrived since the battle of Shiloh, behaved like veterans, maintaining their line unbroken, and always moving forward with spirit and alacrity whenever ordered to do so. Great credit for this state of things in a new regiment is due to the discipline as well as the gallantry displayed by the officers of the regiment, both field and company.

The Florida Battalion, Lieutenant-Colonel Clack commanding, gained fresh laurels in the field by their discipline, valor and promptness; both officers and men fully sustained the high reputation they had won on the bloody hills of Shiloh, never faltering, ever in the van.

A large portion of the Thirty-sixth Mississippi regiment, although never having formed a line of battle or heard a hostile gun before, behaved with that gallantry and spirit which characterized the troops of that chivalrous State on every field. It is not doubted but the reputation of the State will be fully sustained on any future occasion requiring a display of intrepidity and valor.

The Thirty-seventh Mississippi, Colonel Benton, on this occasion was detached from my brigade, and appeared upon the field under the immediate command of Brig. Gen. L. M. Walker, who will report upon their conduct on the occasion. On one portion of the field, however, they came under my immediate observation, and made a most gallant charge on my right, and in conjunction with the Twenty-fifth Louisiana Regiment.

Nothing can be said on this occasion in praise of the conduct of the Washington Artillery, which would add to its well-earned reputation on a former and bloodier field. Suffice it to say they were ever present in the right place at the right time, displaying that skill in the management of their pieces and the practice of their gunners, which always wins fights as well as laurels.

To my personal staff—Capt. W. G. Barth, assistant adjutant-general; First Lieut. W. M. Davidson, aide-de-camp; Second Lieut. John W. James, acting brigade ordnance officer; Capt. Thaddeus Foster, brigade quartermaster, and Edward McDonald, acting brigade surgeon— I am indebted for their prompt and efficient assistance in their respective departments. All my orders were promptly delivered and every assistance was rendered by each of them, which the occasion demanded.

For instances of individual gallantry displayed upon the field by subalterns and men who deserve notice, I respectfully refer to the accompanying reports of regimental commanders, as well as for other details not specified in this report.

I am, captain, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,

Patton Anderson,
Brigadier-General, Commanding.

Capt. Roy Mason Hooe
Assistant Adjutant-General, Ruggles’ Division.


Florida and Confederate [Guards] Battalion,

Camp near Corinth, Miss., May 11,. 1862.

Colonel: In obedience to instructions received on 9th instant from Brigadier-General Anderson, shortly after the retreat of the enemy from their position at and around Farmington, Miss., I selected two men from my company, and placing them under my immediate command in charge of the gin-house, located in the large field just back of the village, awaited the withdrawal of our infantry. As soon as they had all retired on their return to Corinth I set fire to the cotton stored in the gin-house and to three bales lying outside.

The estimated value of gin-house, machinery belonging thereto, cotton gin, and corn-mill, quantity of baled and loose cotton, and name of owner thereof will be found in the statement I have the honor to present herewith.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
G. P. Macmurdo,
Captain Company C.

Lieut. Col. Franklin H. Clack.

 

[Sub-enclosure.]

Statement of estimated value of gin-house and machinery attached, gin and mill, amount of clean and unginned cotton, destroyed by fire [on the] afternoon of the 9th instant, near Farmington, Miss., by orders of Brigadier-General Anderson, commanding First Brigade:

Gin-house and machinery, valued at.............$400
Cotton-gin and corn-mill.............................$300
C
otton unginned, supposed to be equal in quantity to 5 bales of clean cotton.....................$225
Cotton baled (3 bales)....................................$135

Mr. Dick Smith was reported as being the owner of the above-named property. He is at present residing at or near Morris Mills, across the railroad, distant about 8 miles from Farmington and 4 miles from Corinth.

G. P. Macmurdo,
Captain Company C.

 

[Enclosure No. 2.]

Florida and Confederate Guards Battalion,

Camp near Corinth, Miss., May 10, 1862.

Sir: I beg leave to report that, in obedience to a special order received on the field on Friday last, I proceeded with Company B, of the battalion, to collect together and guard the overcoats, knapsacks, oil-cloths, blankets, &c., left by the enemy in their retreat from beyond Farmington. I divided my company into four squads, each in charge of a sergeant, and instructed them to search the woods in the line of retreat and to collect these articles as quickly as possible. I also detailed a guard to protect the large bulk of them near the old gin-house. But few of these articles had been collected by the details, when I received further orders direct from General P. Anderson to save the most valuable, such as blankets, &c., and to leave the remainder. I proceeded forthwith to execute the order, gathering about 150 blankets in one pile and a like number each of oil-cloths, knapsacks, overcoats, &c. these later were set on fire and were burning rapidly when, an aide of General Bragg came up with a detail of wagons and ordered me to extinguish the fire, which was done at once. He then informed me that he had a sufficient detail of men to take charge of the articles, and relieved me from the further execution of your order.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

R. H. Browne,
Lieutenant, Commanding Detail.

Lieut. Col. Franklin H. Clack.


Return of Casualties in Ruggles' division in the engagement at Farmington, Miss., May 9.

First Brigade (Anderson's):

25th Louisiana.....2 Enlisted men killed...3 Officers and 26 Enlisted men wounded.....31 Total
36th Mississippi.....1 Enlisted man killed...1 Officer and 9 Enlisted men wounded...1 Enlisted man missing....12 Total
Florida and Confederate Guards.....8 Enlisted men wounded, 1 mortally.......8 Total
Fifth Company, Washington Battery (Hodgson's)1 Enlisted man wounded.......1 Total


FEDERAL NEWPAPER STORY ABOUT 2ND IOWA AT FARMINGTON MAY 9, 1862 FROM EYE WITNESS

Saturday Morning
May 17, 1862
Part 1

From the 2d Iowa Cavalry
Camp of Hamburg and Corinth Road
Friday, May 9, 1862

Friend Sanders.—Of yesterday’s skirmish, and loss, I wrote you last night , and to night as a faithful chronicler, am compelled to add further to the record, which though of noble deeds, will carry anguish to loving hearts. About noon, orders came to be ready to move at the firing of a single gun. The signal soon came, and in ten minutes the regiment was in column, and on its way to the front. I may mention that most of our force, which had advanced yesterday, had retired back to camp, vacating the ground they had occupied. Yesterday our regiment was a mile and a half beyond Farmington; to day two miles this side of the town. They met Gen. Paine’s Division and three batteries, retreating. Passing this column on coming to an opening a mile wide, on the opposite side of which the rebels had three batteries, they formed into line, Lieut. Col. Hatch commanding with Majors Hepburn, Coon and Lave, commanding respectively the 1st 2d and 3d batteries. The rebels had the range, and their batteries were well manned and playing rapidly on our lines. Gen. Paine rode up and ordered the regiment to “charge” those batteries. The batteries were three-fourths of a mile distant, and formed a line half a mile in length—sweeping with their murderous fire the whole space.

The charge sounded and officers and soldiers swept forward through the leaden tempest! Shot and shell hurtled through the air, or plowed up the ground beneath. The woods flanking the open space were occupied by rebel sharp shooters, and they too poured forth their murderous fire on the rushing line. Though such a fire of iron hail is seldom faced in a charge and horse and man went down by sections, yet onward at full speed charged the 2d Cavalry through canister and grape, to within one hundred yards of the guns, when they were found to be supported by dense lines of infantry. When knowing we were unsupported, the rally was sounded, and we retired, but had the satisfaction of seeing the batteries limber up and cease firing.

The regiment was absent from camp less than three hours. The charge was of short duration, but from the annexed list, which is reliable, Iowa may see whether her glory has been dimmed by the 2d Cavalry—whether another laurel has not been added to her brow—another bright page added to their immortal list—a record made that when Iowa is tried, she is never found wanting.

1st Battalion—Commissary Sergt W. W. Miller, by spent ball in leg, slightly.

Co. K—Killed, none. Wounded, Corpl Elias W. Shephard, in head; Derwin Doner, flesh wound in leg; R. M. Downer, in leg by piece of shell; Fred Lehart, in head; G. R. Bradley, in leg by piece of shell, Abraham Leffler, in head and chest.

Co. L—Killed, none. Wounded, Corpl M. V. Hubbard, in head; G. W. Kelso, in the thigh, Missing James Raymond.

Co. E—Wounded, Lewis Kephart, in hand; Bugler, Wm. Dunderdale, in head; Corpl W. Aldrich in head slightly; Sergt J. W. Jennings, in hand.

Co. M—Wounded. Nathan Smith, in the foot, amputated below the knee; Sylvester L. Hazen, in shoulder, slightly; J. S. Breedan, in leg; John Parker, wounded and missing.

Continued… 

Saturday Morning
May 17, 1862
Part 2

3d Battalion.—Co. I and D, all safe.

Co. F—Wounded, Labon J. Parks, in breast severely; Wm. Bailey, in thigh and rectum, severely; Sergt James Fought, in thigh, slightly; Sergt. Daniel Okeson, missing.          

Co. B—Killed, John Burgh, (missing yesterday and supposed killed.) Wounded, J. S. Brush, in right shoulder, severely; W. M. Freeman, in breast by shell; Corp Wilker, missing; Cloud H. Brock, in arm, severely; Daniel Craft, in side, slightly.

2d Battalion—Co. A.—Killed, Sergt Frederick L. Ayer. Wounded, J.B. Gaddis, in arm and side, slightly; B. F. Wagoner, in shoulder slightly; Otis Legg, in side, slightly.

Co. H—Killed, Lt. Benjamin F. Owen. Wounded, Corp Haskins, in leg, slightly; A. V. Reeves, in thigh, slightly; A. N. Detwiler, in breast, slightly.

Co. G—Wounded, Capt Wm. Lundy, in the head, slightly; Sergt L. H. Waterman in hip dangerously; Corp J. T. Haight, arm and side; Anderson Heinly, severely through from side to side.

Co. C.—Wounded, Capt Henry Egbert, in thigh, by piece of shell; James Armstrong, through both hips and bladder (poor fellow, as I now write, just midnight, I hear his constant groans; brave man, I fear he must die;) Wm. Gordon, right heel—amputation below knee; James Taylor, through the shoulder severely.

Total—2 killed, 30 wounded, 1 wounded and missing, and 3 missing.

Captain Lundy, Lieuts Schnitger, C. C. Horton, Co. A, and Chas. Moore, Co. K, had their horses shot from under them. Ninety-seven horses were killed and disabled, and nearly as many more wounded. A shell divided Lt. Col. Hatch’s heavy brass stirrup; another passed so close to Capt. Kendrick’s head, as to deafen one side, and numerous sabers, scabbards and revolvers show the scars of cannon shot, shell and bullets. The surgeons had all the wounds dressed before night and the sufferers with the exception of one or two, are quiet and doing well.

No Churches or Schools

Our excellent correspondent “Diff” has on several occasions referred to the absence of schoolhouses in the slave States, which he has visited, and the consequent illiterate condition of the people. A correspondent thus alludes to the same subject:

“On coming to Rolla, I was struck with the fact that there was neither church nor school-house in that town. From there to Springfield, a distance of one hundred and twenty miles, in which there are farming neighborhoods settled over twenty years, I saw but one church—a half finished building, commenced by the southern Methodists, and afterwards abandoned—and not a single school-house.—At Springfield there were indications of moral religious and intellectual culture, (churches and academies, temporarily abandoned during the possession of the town by the rebels, some of them destroyed,) but from Springfield to Cassville, there was not a church or school-house to be seen. In Cassville, I think, there must have been some obscure place used for religious purposes, but it was not visible, nor distinguishable from the other houses. From Cassville to this town, no church or schoolhouse has met my eye. In Galena, the county seat of Stone County, there is no such structure. In Forsythe there is the same destitution of any outward signs of religion or education. Is it any wonder that in such a region the rebellion should find adherents among an ignorant and prejudiced population?”

The New Rebel Flag—Imagine a red handkerchief with a broad white bar stretching diagonally across it from one corner to the other, and a similar bar crossing the first from the opposite corners, with a blue shield at the point of intersection, on which a yellow spot represents the sun, and you have the flag.


NEAR FARMINGTON, May 9, 1862. Major-General HALLECK 

[SIR :] The enemy, 20,000 strong, drove in our pickets beyond Farmington and advanced against the brigade, occupying the farther side of the creek, in front of my camp. The brigade held on for five hours, until, finding them heavily pressed in front and on the flanks, and that I could not sustain them without passing the creek with my whole force, which was contrary to your orders and would have drawn on a general engagement, I withdrew them to this side in good order....Our loss was considerable, though I cannot yet tell how great. The enemy, being much exposed, suffered very severely, one of his batteries being completely disabled and his infantry line driven back several times. My command is eager for the advance. 

JNO. POPE, Major General. 


No. 59. -- Report of Capt. E. Camille Mire, Eighteenth Louisiana Infantry, of engagement at Farmington, Miss., May 9.

HDQRS. EIGHTEENTH REGIMENT LOUISIANA VOLS.,

Near Corinth, Miss., May 10, 1862.

SIR: I have the honor to report, in pursuance of orders, Lieut. Col. A. Roman's regiment, Eighteenth Louisiana Volunteers, of which I am in temporary command, took up its line of march to the front at 8 a.m. 9th instant with the Second Brigade, Major Gober commanding. My command did not meet with the enemy until about 1 p.m. This was in a wood beyond Farmington, near the bottom of Seven Mile Creek and near----- house, afterward used as a hospital. While ---- halted in line of battle, with my left resting about 50 yards from this wood, I was ordered to march by the left flank into this wood, after <ar10_822> throwing out skirmishers in a direction to the right. The ravine which I was ordered to follow led to the left, and after following it about 50 yards the head of the column found itself in ambuscade, and after the exchange of a few shots was compelled to retire. After forming line, by orders marched by the flank into the wood, and filing to the left debouched into an open field, where I was ordered to support a battery. In a half hour marched again and reached the Seven Mile Creek Bottom, when I received orders to retire to Farmington and return to camp, which last I reached about 7 p.m.

My loss in this engagement was 1 killed and 14 wounded. Most of the wounds were slight.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

E. CAMILLE MIRE,
Captain, Commanding Eighteenth Regiment Louisiana Vols.

Capt. ROY MASON HOOE,
Assistant Adjutant-General. 28


APRIL 29-JUNE 10, 1862--Advance upon and siege of Corinth

No. 57. -- Report of Maj. D. Gober, Sixteenth Louisiana Infantry, 
commanding Brigade, of engagement at Farmington, Miss, May 9.

HDQRS. 2D BRIG., RUGGLES' DIV., ARMY OF THE MISS.,

Corinth, Miss., May 10, 1862.

SIR: I have the honor to report to you the part taken by this brigade in the engagement of the 9th instant, at Farmington:

Soon after reaching the deserted village of Farmington I was ordered by one of General Ruggles' staff officers--Capt. R. M. Hooe---to develop the line of battle rapidly along the road through the village to the left of the First Brigade. Almost immediately after getting into line I was ordered forward to engage the enemy, a few of whose scouts were to be seen on the hill some half a mile beyond, near the Seven Mile Creek. After passing nearly through the fields toward the thick woods beyond I halted the brigade and ordered a section of Ducatel's battery forward to an eminence commanding the enemy's position, and directed its fire (canister) on their cavalry scouts, some 30 or 40 of whom were then within full view and range, and scattered them. I then ordered forward sharpshooters to take possession of the woods, but found that the enemy's skirmishers had already occupied the position and were pouring a destructive fire into our ranks, causing the line to give way, but I soon rallied it and moved forward, driving the enemy before us through the woods into an old field beyond, where they rallied for a short time. A section of Robertson's battery here took a position to our left and opened fire upon the enemy, and it being without support, I took to its relief the Eighteenth Louisiana Regiment, then with the Eleventh and Sixteenth Louisiana, the First Brigade being on our left, drove the enemy from his position in confusion into the woods and pursued him <ar10_821> for about a mile, but without overtaking. I was then ordered to fall back on Farmington.

It is proper to remark that the Nineteenth Louisiana was not engaged, by reason of being in the trenches.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

D. GOBER,
Major, Commanding Second Brigade, Ruggles' Division.

Capt. ROY MASON HOOE,