Sunday, December 5, 2010

September 25th, 1862

Iuka Mississippi, Sept. 25th ,1862

Dear Mary,
I take my pen this afternoon to address you a few lines, I wrote you a few days ago giving you a partial account of our march to and occupation of this place. Nothing of interest has transpired since we came here, only the paroling of the rebel prisoners, which took place day before yesterday. Our stay here I presume will short, everything transportable that is of value to us or the enemy is being removed to Corinth. A lot of prisoners was taken there yesterday and there is a long train of cars here now for transporting our wounded. Iuka is not a very important point, as a military post and I presume it will be evacuated and burned. It was reported yesterday that there was fighting going on at Boliver, (Bolivar) between Breckenridge and Van Dorn and our forces. Our forces had been driven within their entrenchments and were being reinforced. Some 8 or 10 thousand had left Corinth for that place. A thousand rumors concerning the rebel forces that left here is in circulation. One is that Price has been reinforced and is going to come back. Last night it was rumored that 15,000 of his Calvary was already within our lines. It is my opinion that if there are any rebels near here, it is only a feint to keep our troops from going to Boliver. Just now a soldier who came to guard the train from Corinth reports that there has been no fighting at Boliver. So it goes, we never know what to believe.
Yesterday my Knapsack and writing material came to hand all safe. The mail also came, I got a letter from Mr. Hendricks of Iowa, but nary one from Mollie or any of the Ohio friends. I did feel somewhat disappointed as I had received no letter for nearly two weeks, but maybe they will come thicker and faster when they begin again. I have a portfolio to carry my pens, pencils, paper, and stamps in, and I had no way to carry it but in my knapsack, and when we are ordered off in a hurry as we were last time, we are obliged to leave our knapsacks behind, and then we can’t write till we return or our knapsacks are sent to us, unless we chance to write on spare scraps of paper as we did here. So today, having some spare time I concluded to provide against such emergencies, I procured some strong cloth and made me a sort of sack just large enough to hold the portfolio, one side of the sack I have left longer than the other and have cut a slit in it long enough to put my head through. It hangs suspended from my neck, down over my right breast and is held in position by two neatly worked button holes, attached to the suspenders buttons of my pants. I know you would smile to see the incomparable exquisiteness of the needlework, (and it wouldn’t make me feel bad to see you smile). I also patched the elbows of my shirt this forenoon, I have been going rather ragged for some time. The Capt. Promised to get me some new clothes last week, but was called away in such a hurry, he didn’t get to do it.
I forgot to mention in the proper place that the rebel general Little was killed and Colonel Chambers of the 16th Iowa, and the Col. Of the 26th Missouri were severely wounded. Direct your letters as heretofore. Give my love to Edgar, kiss Elmer and remember your Charlie

(General Little)


  1. "I regret to report the severe wounding of Colonel Chambers by gunshot wounds in the shoulder and neck, toward the close of the action. He was taken prisoner at the time of receiving the wounds, but was left by the enemy in the hospital at Iuka."

    I have the honor to enclose herewith a list of the killed, wounded and missing of the Sixteenth Iowa Infantry at the late action near Iuka, as complete as it can be made at this time, summing up, killed 14, wounded 48, missing 14.+ The regiment went into the battle with about 350 men, exclusive of details made to take care of the wounded.

    Very respectfully your obedient servant, ADD. H. SANDERS,
    Lieut. Col. Comd'g Sixteenth Iowa Infantry.

  2. It was Col. Boomer of the 26th Missouri:
    "Companies A and B of the 26th Missouri were thrown out as skirmishers, and the report was sent to General Hamilton that the rebels were in full force in two lines of battle

    Colonel Boomer, of the 26th, was impatient to meet the enemy and asked permission to send the regiment in advance to meet the Confederates.

    The right wing of the regiment under Lieut.-Colonel Holman was ordered to press forward, and had gone but a short distance when Price’s artillery opened a terrific fire upon it, when it was ordered to fall back to the rear. The right wing of the 26th was not further engaged during the battle.

    The brigade was ordered into position, and the left wing of the 26th Missouri and the 5dth Iowa Infantry were rushed up to support the 11th Ohio Battery. The rebels determined to force our line and moved into the desolating fire that met them with unfaltering courage. As they came within close range, that single battery, the 11th Ohio, opened on them with grape and canister. The guns were worked with great rapidity, and at each discharge gaps opened in the dense ranks, but they closed up again and the hostile line swept steadily forward. At length the 48th Indiana pressed by three times its number – its gallant commander cut down – fell back in disorder. This left the 11th Ohio death-dealing battery exposed, and with an exultant shout the enemy sprung upon it. The Confederates received the battery’s canister and grape without flinching, and swept over it and captured it; but not till every officer, and nearly every gunner was killed or wounded, and not a horse left standing.

    Our forces rallied, and sent the rebels back to cover. Maddened by their loss the rebels rallied, and with yells precipitated themselves upon the Union force and recovered the battery, but they were met with such an overwhelming fire that they were unable to take the battery away. Around these guns the battle raged with awful fury. Every flank movement of the enemy was promptly stopped, and they were compelled to fight it out in front, and from five o’clock till dark, the 5th Iowa, and 11th and 26th Missouri held that single road. During the night, the Confederates evacuated the place, leaving many of their wounded behind them, and their dead were interred by the Union burial parties.

    Colonel Boomer, while leading the left wing of the 26th Missouri, was wounded by a rifle ball, in the left lung, and carried off the field. The other officers wounded in this engagement were Captain R. C. Crowell, Captain B. D. Dean, (in three places,) Lieutenant Denny and Lieutenant Maupin. Lieutenant Crowe had seven bullet holes in his blouse. First Sergeant Alonzo Bliss and Second Sergeant"

    Taken from Rootweb history of the 26th Missouri