Report of Brig. Gen. Alvin P. Hovey, U. S. Army, Commanding Twelfth Division.
MAY 19-JULY 4, 1863.--The Siege of Vicksburg, Miss.
O.R.-- SERIES I--VOLUME XXIV/2 [S# 37]
HDQRS. TWELFTH DIVISION, THIRTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
Vicksburg, Miss., July 5, 1863.
Lieut. Col. WALTER B. SCATES,
COLONEL: In compliance with orders, I have the honor to make the following report of the operations of the forces under my command before Vicksburg:
My first brigade, commanded by Brigadier-General McGinnis, arrived before the outer works of Vicksburg on the 20th day of May. On the 22d, that brigade was ordered by Major-General McClernand to support General Osterhaus' division on the extreme left, in an attack upon the city, which was to be simultaneous along the whole line. I was personally ordered to take charge of the batteries in front of Osterhaus' and my own command. Those placed in battery were Captain Foster's 20-pounder Parrotts (First Wisconsin), Lanphere's 10 pounder Rodmans (Seventh Michigan), and the Second Ohio, under command of First Lieut. Augustus Beach, and Sixteenth Ohio Battery, under command of First Lieutenant Twist. During the attack these batteries did admirable execution, and fully sustained their part of the charge. The position of the defenses, with abatis filling the approaches, prevented General Osterhaus' forces from making a successful charge, and my brigade, supporting his forces, was not seriously engaged. The brigade at this time, owing to the sickness of General McGinnis, was commanded by Col. William T. Spicely.
On the 24th of May, my second brigade, under command of Col. James R. Slack, arrived from Black River Bridge, having been relieved by Brigadier-General Osterhaus. Colonel Lindsey, of the Ninth Division, with his brigade, was temporarily assigned to my command. At that date I commanded the extreme left of the continuous line of our forces, Colonel Lindsey's brigade on my right, Colonel Slack's in the center, and General McGinnis's brigade on the extreme left.
Receiving orders on the 23d to prepare for a siege, my threes commenced the work with spirit, and during the whole period prosecuted their labors with success, pressing our rifle-pits to within a few yards of the enemy's fortifications. During this period, Capt. George W. Schofield placed his battery (First Missouri) in position, and with much labor succeeded in procuring four 24-pounder siege guns from Haynes' Bluff, which did great execution during the siege. The strain upon my forces was extreme. For more than forty days they were under constant fire, casualties happening daily in the midst of their camps; men were killed and wounded in their beds, at the table, in the rifle-pits, and yet, during all this long period, there was no murmur, no complaint. They were veterans and determined to succeed.
On the 4th day of July, 1863, the city surrendered, and on the 5th, without time for a glimpse at the prize, my division was ordered by Maj. Gen. E. O. C. Ord, who had succeeded to the command of the Thirteenth Army Corps, to pursue the retreating forces of General Johnston.
Officers and men displayed great firmness, coolness, and bravery during this ever-memorable siege, and I cannot discriminate among them.
* * * * * * * * * *
Killed, 19; wounded, 76; total, 95.
No report having been received from Colonel Lindsey, I am unable to report his casualties.
I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,
ALVIN P. HOVEY,
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