Reports of Brig. Gen. John C. Moore, C. S. Army, Commanding Brigade.
MAY 19-JULY 4, 1863.--The Siege of Vicksburg, Miss.
O.R.-- SERIES I--VOLUME XXIV/2 [S# 37]

HEADQUARTERS MOORE'S BRIGADE,
May 21, 1863.

Major MEMMINGER,
Assistant Adjutant-General.

        SIR: I have the honor to report the following casualties in my command during the day: Killed, 6; wounded, 12.
        I had four guns disabled by the enemy's artillery, viz: One 18-pounder; one James, rifled; one Napoleon, 12-pounder, and one Parrott, 10-pounder. I hope to be able to have the two first mentioned and, perhaps, the Napoleon gun in working order by to-morrow morning. The enemy's fire has been exceedingly galling during the day; in some instances their shots passed entirely through the parapets, killing and wounding men on the inside. They have been able to concentrate the fire of three batteries, at widely distant points, on the same work. One of the most important works on my line has been without a gun in working condition since about 10.30 a.m.
        The enemy has indicated no design of assaulting in my front during the day. Yesterday troops were massed and moved forward a short distance, but seemed deterred by a few well-directed shots. I fear the move has been deferred indefinitely.

Very respectfully,
JNO. C. MOORE,
Brigadier-General.


HEADQUARTERS MOORE'S BRIGADE,
May
27, 1863.

Major CROOM,
Assistant Adjutant-General.

        SIR: I hope that I am not an alarmist, yet I cannot help feeling uneasy about the right of my line. All who have seen the position must acknowledge it to be the weakest in our whole line. The enemy occupies with his artillery a position with extended works as strong as ours. He has thrown up works for some twenty or twenty-five guns, all bearing on my right. Many of his guns are of much heavier caliber than ours. If an assault is made again, I shall expect him to open with all his pieces, as he can keep up the fire without danger to his own troops until they come almost up to our works. I have had two or three works thrown up, just in rear of my line, and have had some hope that I would get guns of heavy caliber to place in them. I see but little prospect of getting them. If it is intended to give me any, I beg that it will not be put off until it is too late. The troops I have now are just sufficient to fill the trenches.

I am, major, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JNO. C. MOORE,
Brigadier-General.

[ Indorsement. ]

HEADQUARTERS DIVISION,
Near Vicksburg, May 28, 1863.

        With our present means, I do not see that anything more can be done to support General Moore than has already been effected. The Seventeenth Louisiana Regiment is now occupying the trenches recently thrown up on either side "Cox House" battery, and two regiments from General Bowen's division are in reserve, to support either Baldwin's Ferry or Jackson roads. As to the position of the batteries recently erected in rear of the original works, if heavy guns cannot be procured for them, we will have to remove the light guns back to these batteries so soon as we see they cannot be worked in the advanced batteries; besides, the enemy is getting so close, our light guns are about as effective as heavy ones.

Respectfully submitted.
JNO. H. FORNEY,
Major-General.


HEADQUARTERS MOORE'S BRIGADE, FORNEY'S DIVISION,
Vicksburg, July 8, 1863.

Maj. S. CROOM,
Assistant Adjutant-General.

        SIR: I have the honor to make the following report of the part taken by my brigade during the siege of Vicksburg:
        The brigade during this time was composed of the Second Texas, Thirty- fifth and Fortieth Mississippi, the Thirty-seventh, Fortieth, and Forty-second Alabama, Sengstak's and Tobin's light batteries, and a portion of Landis', Ridley's, Davidson's, and Wall's batteries; in all, nineteen guns. An 18-pounder, a 30-pounder Parrott, and a Whitworth gun were placed during the siege in rear of my line, and commanded by Captain [J. J.] Cowan.
        On the evening of May 17, we were ordered to fall back from the position we occupied with the brigade and two batteries on the Warrenton road, and took position in the trenches near Vicksburg, the right resting on the Jackson railroad and the left extending to near what is known as the Jackson road. We found the trenches and redoubts in a very imperfect state, the trenches being too narrow and shallow. By working at night with the small number of tools in our possession, we soon greatly improved them; also constructed approaches which seem to have been overlooked or deemed unnecessary.
        On the morning of May 19, the enemy engaged and drove in our pickets. At about 11 a.m. their skirmishers and artillery appeared in front of our intrenchments. From this time to the close of the siege (forty-seven days) our men were confined to the trenches night and day under a fire of musketry and artillery, which was often kept up during the whole night as well as the day. Only those who were a near witness of the siege of Vicksburg will ever have a true conception of the endurance and suffering of these men, who stood at their post until overpowered, not by the enemy, but by the wants of nature. Those who only think and read of the siege, and those who witnessed and shared its trials, may perhaps form widely different conceptions of its nature. Some idea may be formed of the artillery fire to which we were exposed, when I state that a small party sent out for that purpose collected some two thousand shells near and in rear of the trenches occupied by our brigade. This was soon after the siege began, and was but a portion of those that failed to explode.
        On arriving in our front, the enemy began at once to place their guns under cover and to construct rifle-pits.
        No attempt was made to carry our lines by assault until May 22. On the morning and afternoon of that day, they made determined assaults, but were gloriously repulsed. Their greatest efforts were made against that portion of the line occupied by that veteran and gallant regiment, the Second Texas. This regiment was nobly supported by the Forty-second Alabama, occupying the trenches on their right, and the Thirty-seventh Alabama on the left. Tobin's and other guns did good service. They were easily repulsed in the morning, but in the afternoon charge they were more determined, coming up and even into the outer ditch of the Second Texas redoubt. The Second Texas captured two stand of colors. Having failed to carry our works by assault, the enemy now appeared to determine not to attempt it again, but to take us by regular approaches, or by starving us out, which latter they doubtless regarded the most certain and agreeable mode, as they did not assault again, even after they had constructed three lines of intrenchments in front of a great portion of our line, and had sapped to within 30 feet of the Second Texas work and constructed rifle-pits to within 30 paces of the same.
        From May 22 to the close of the siege (July 4), the history of each day was generally but that of the preceding.
        I cannot speak too highly of the conduct of the officers and men. None ever endured such hardships with more cheerfulness. When their allowance was reduced to nearly one-fourth rations, some complaints might have been heard, not that more was not issued, but that we had it not to give. By this time their minds and bodies seemed exhausted, and many remained at their post in the trenches who were fit subjects for the hospitals. Only those who have tried it can tell the effects produced on men by keeping them forty-seven days and nights in a narrow ditch, exposed to the scorching heat during the day and the often chilly air and dews of night.
        In compliance with instructions received during the early part of the siege, we used our ammunition with a strict regard to economy. This enabled the enemy to approach more rapidly and with greater impunity than they otherwise could have done. They had two or three times as many guns as we, and generally of much heavier caliber. Many of their shots passed through and through our parapets. Being very near our works, their sharpshooters and artillery rendered it frequently impossible to fire more than a few rounds during the day, for if our cannoneers were not shot down or pieces disabled, their artillery soon filled the embrasures with earth, so that the guns could not be used until night enabled us to repair the work.
        Our loss in killed and wounded was as follows: Killed, 72; wounded, 385; total, 457. A number of the wounded have died in hospital and are not included in the killed above reported. List of killed and wounded has been furnished.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JNO. C. MOORE,
Brigadier-General.

ADDENDA.

HEADQUARTERS MOORE'S BRIGADE, FORNEY'S DIVISION,
Vicksburg, July 2, 1863.

Major CROOM,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Forney's Division.

        MAJOR: I have the honor to report that I have consulted with my regimental commanders as to the condition of their troops to undergo the fatigues of the marches, &c., necessary to a successful evacuation. There was but one opinion expressed, which coincides with my own. Inclosed you will find a statement of that opinion.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JNO. C. MOORE,
Brigadier-General, Commanding Brigade.

[Inclosure.]

MOORE'S BRIGADE,
In the Trenches, July 2, 1863.

Brig. Gen. John C. MOORE,
Commanding Moore's Brigade, Forney's Division:

        GENERAL: In reply to your inquiry as to the condition of our troops, and their ability to make the marches and undergo the fatigues necessary to accomplish a successful evacuation, we beg leave respectfully to state that we have given the subject the most careful consideration.
        In our opinion, the physical condition and general health and strength of our men are not such as to enable them to make the marches and undergo the fatigues necessary to accomplish the successful evacuation of Vicksburg. We do not deem it necessary to set forth the causes of this condition of our men further than by a simple allusion to their long confinement and cramped inaction in the trenches, the state of almost incessant alert, night and day, in which the men have been since the commencement of the siege, together with other various fatigues, privations, and exposures to which they have been unavoidably subjected.

We have the honor to be, general, most respectfully, Your obedient servants,
WILLIAM S. BARRY,
Colonel, Commanding Thirty-fifth Mississippi Infantry.

J. F. DOWDELL,
Colonel, Commanding Thirty-seventh Alabama.

W. B. COLBERT,
Colonel, Commanding Fortieth Mississippi.

ASHBEL SMITH,
Colonel, Commanding Second Texas Infantry.

JNO. H. HIGLEY,
Colonel, Commanding Fortieth Alabama Regiment.

THOS. C. LANIER,
Lieutenant-Colonel, Comdg. Forty-second Regt. Alabama Vols.

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