Battle of Greasy Creek

Battle of Greasy Creek

Report of Colonel David W. Chenault

 

IN THE FIELD, May 12, 1863.

SIR: In accordance with your order, I have to report that on Saturday last I moved my regiment from Wolf River early in the morning in the direction of Greasy Creek, on the Cumberland. When near Mr. Alcorn's, some 8 miles from the river, I received orders from you to come up at a double-quick. I did so, and found that you had engaged the enemy, they having divided their forces and moving on two different roads. I immediately ordered Lieutenant-Colonel [J. T.] Tucker, with four companies of my regiment, to support you, and with the rest I pressed upon the enemy on the main Greasy Creek road. I drove the enemy some 3 miles, nor, however, without the loss of one of my most gallant and efficient officers (Capt. Joseph Chenault, of Company B), who was shot through the body, and died almost without breathing again. Capt. A. J. Brunet, of Company C, was also shot through the foot about the same time. This was all my loss on this part of the field. That portion of my command that was sent to your assistance sustained some loss. Corporal [John] McClog was killed, and Orderly Sergeant [B. F.] McCoy was shot through the body and thigh, and had his leg amputated.

Early on the following morning I received an order to move, with four of my companies, to the front, and engage the enemy, which order was executed by Major [James B.] McCreary, who moved down and engaged the enemy about 8 a.m. The remainder of my regiment was ordered in line to the extreme right of the whole command. About this time the enemy opened upon us with their artillery. My men, although they had been under fire eight or ten hours without water or anything to eat, stood firm, and when overpowered and compelled to fall back, did so in good order; and when the command was given to rally and charge, did so with the most perfect coolness and gallantry, and were among the first to charge the enemy, and pursued them in advance of the whole column, until called in by General [John H.] Morgan near the river.

My loss was 1 man killed in Sunday's action and 4 wounded. My loss in both days' action foots up 3 killed and 6 wounded. I have to regret the wounding of Captain [T. B.] Collins, of Company F, who acted most gallantly during the entire day, refusing to leave the field (although shot through the fleshy part of the thigh) until the conflict was closed.

I cannot close this report without expressing my thanks to Colonel Tucker and Major McCreary, who rendered most efficient service. To Adjutant [William L.] Hickman I am also under lasting obligations. In fact, where all did their duty it is impossible to distinguish, and therefore return my thanks to all.

I am, most respectfully, your obedient servant,

D. W. CHENAULT.

Capt. S. P. CUNNINGHAM,


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