| Battle at La Vergne, Tennessee
Captain William H Squires' Report
|HDQRS. TWENTY-SIXTH OHIO VOLUNTEER INFANTRY,
In Field, near La Vergne, December 28, 1862.
SIR: I have the honor to report the following as the part performed by the Twenty-sixth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, under my command, on the 27th instant:
Between 11 and 12 o'clock I first received orders to form the regiment in line of battle, and deploy my flanking companies as skirmishers. This being executed, and the order to advance being given, my skirmishers were ordered to enter La Vergne at a double-quick. On reaching the edge of the town, the firing on them became very severe, and at this point I received the order to advance my regiment at a double-quick and clear the town. This was performed by the regiment to my entire satisfaction. Having passed the town, the regiment, owing to the dense woods and the difficulty of seeing our proper position, obliqued too far to the left, and a part of it was thrown on the left of the railroad, and encountered considerable opposition from a force of the enemy's cavalry, which were finally driven forward. After dispersing this body of cavalry, I received orders to move over to turnpike, which I did, and was there relieved by the One hundredth Illinois Volunteers, which I was then ordered to support.
I then advanced on line with the Fifty-eighth Indiana to the present point, and, in obedience to orders, was moving my regiment to the rear for the purpose of camping, when I received orders to change front and form on line with the One hundredth Illinois, to cut off the retreat of the enemy's cavalry, which, at this time, were endeavoring to escape by cutting their way through to the turnpike in advance of our forces. This force of the enemy having escaped by passing to the left of the line, I was ordered to camp my regiment.
I regret to report the following loss of enlisted men in my regiment, nearly all of which occurred during the execution of the order to charge through the town, viz: Company A, 1 man wounded; Company B, 2 wounded; Company C, 1 wounded; Company D, 2 wounded; Company F, 1 killed and 2 wounded; Company H, 4 wounded; Company I, 3 wounded; Company K, 2 wounded; total, 17 wounded and 1 killed. In considering the circumstances under which the regiment went into the engagement, to wit, with but 1 acting field officer, 1 acting staff officer, 11 commissioned line officers, and 380 men, under arms, and the fact of the men being heavily laden, their clothes and contents of knapsacks being very wet, I have every reason to be satisfied with their conduct.
I would also report the fact that Captain Ewing, of Company B, and in command of my skirmishers, not having received the order to return to the regiment when relieved by the companies of the One hundredth Illinois, remained in advance of the skirmishers of the One hundredth, and, with the men under his command and the assistance of a few of the skirmishers of the Third Kentucky, saved the bridge a half a mile to our front and on the main pike. Not having received any report from the surgeons in charge of my wounded, I am unable to stat the character of their wounds, though most of them are reported to be severe. In numbers, however, I believe the list of casualties to be perfectly correct.
My company officers deserve my most sincere thanks for their efforts and the success attained in keeping the men well in hand and perfectly cool.
I have the honor to be, yours, very respectfully,
W. H. SQUIRES,
Commanding Twenty-sixth Ohio Volunteer Infantry.
Captain EDMUND R. KERSTETTER.