Sunday, October 2, 2011

October 3, 1861 (Thursday): Camp Bartow Attacked

Colonel Nathan Kimball 18th Indiana

Reports of Brig. Gen. Henry R. Jackson, C. S. Army...


   The enemy attacked us at 8 o’clock this morning in considerable force, estimated at 5,000, and with six pieces of artillery of longer range than any we have.  After a hot fire of four and a half hours, and heavy attempts to charge our lines, he was repulsed, evidently with considerable loss.  We had no cavalry to pursue him on his retreat.  The loss on our side has been inconsiderable.  A full report will be given through the regular channels, but for several days my correspondence with General Loring has been interrupted.  The enemy’s force was much superior to ours, but we had the advantage in position.
                                                                                    H. R. JACKSON
                                                                                    Brigadier-General, Commanding.

Official Records, Series I., Vol. 5, Page 230

Jackson was a distant relative of Stonewall Jackson, and graduated with honors from Yale.  He fought in the Mexican War and became a judge and later charge d'affaires in Austria.  He found himself in 1861 serving under Loring and here recounts an attempt by Reynolds Union command to cross the river and attack him, primarily with Kimball's 18th Indiana.  The reports in the O.R. by Reynolds and Jackson are a classic example of how inaccurate after action reports could be.  Reynolds thought he had inflicted at least 300 casualties on Jackson (in reality perhaps 40 killed, wounded, or captured) and describes a leisurely retreat after a successful reconaissance.  Jackson believed he had whipped at least three times his number (the forces were evenly matched) who were on the march with four days rations and had driven them in disorder from the field.  It is an interesting minor affair in terms of position and tactics.  Reynolds got men across a river at night, captured a position for artillery, and then was unable to dislodge the Confederates from what was a formidable position complete with entrenchments.  At the back of a national register application (see link below) are five outstanding black and white photos including two showing the vista from Camp Bartow. 

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