Day 1 - 5 December 2009
Upon arriving in Elmore City Friday night, the local citizens
seemed somewhat happy to see us. One of the local gentlemen came forth and mentioned that a small group of Confederates were
somewhere west of the town and have been pillaging and harassing the town for the past couple of weeks. We had told the towns
people that we will go out to have a look.
After a couple of miles down the road to the west of the town, we found
the Rebs at camp. After camp was set up, pickets were sent out in a spread formation about 50-75 yards to the south, west,
and north of our camp. At around 10am Saturday morning, the enemy was spotted moving towards us from the west. The camp was
called to arms as we made ready to stop the Confederates from pillaging and harassing the town once and for all.
moved in two formations, one to the top of the hill and one sweeping along the southern side of the hill. We heard a shot
from the top of the hill but we couldn't identify if it was friendly or the enemy's. So we proceeded with extra caution as
we moved closer towards the enemy's last known position.
One of our forward scouts reported seeing a small force along
the road ahead. We moved into a position for an ambush, but the confederate soldiers stopped at the top of the road. They
began to take up defensive positions as we figured that our blue uniforms exposed us in the tan colored tall grass. The order
was given for our sharpshooters to open fire.
The enemy returned fire but our covered position stopped their bullets
from creating any injuries. Our rounds were doing about the same to them. We needed to move in closer, so we sent our soldiers
in pairs to the next forward location, under cover fire. A few were lost in moving the men forward, as was the communication.
Captain Frazier ordered a runner to the forward positions with a message to keep a good hot fire on the enemy until the rest
can get online.
We could see the enemy climbing the hill to try and out flank us or to get a better aim at our positions
below the hill. We haven't seen or heard from the men sent up the hill, as the fight was heating up below. We needed to move
our men forward or this fight would soon be over.
In perfect timing, our boys at the top quickly moved into position,
using the cover of rocks to stop the enemy from positioning themselves to a better advantage point. They held the Confederates
at bay while we moved in to the next forward position. Captain Frazier and Sgt. Hucker were wounded in moving to the forward
lines. We had three wounded and two killed in the days fight as the white flag of truce was flown by Capt. Frazier. The agreement
was made that the enemy return to their camp, and leave this area immediately.
The men returned back to camp to re-supply
and clean their weapons. Pickets were posted in rotations as the men began to prepare their meals. A group of men were sent
into town to see about getting some more supplies and food as we decided to stay for awhile to make sure the enemy had left
as instructed in the truce agreement. Scouts were once again sent out to keep an eye on enemy activity. They returned to camp
after a couple of hours reporting that the enemy has not left, but rather moving towards our position in mass, along the northern
edge of the hill.
The order was given to take up defensive positions around the camp on the north and western sides.
The men on the west were ordered to hold fire until they came to the opening in the fence line, as were the men on the gate
to the north. As planned, the confederates came in two formations to those locations.
The western men opened fire as
the enemy began to cross the opening in the fence line. I, commanding the western side, sent a runner with a request for a
large number of reinforcements to help defend my area as we were outnumbered. As my small number of reinforcements arrived,
the enemy was just beginning to overwhelm our western defenses. We were forced to redeploy to a position northeast of our
camp and make a counter attack from there. We had to do this on what supplies we had on us, which wasn't very much. Pvt. Ethan
Wilson was captured.
We began the counter attack at dusk. Two men were sent to move in as close as they could, and open
fire from the trees when the fight started. We sent two additional men around to the west in plain view of the enemy. Our
intentions were to make the enemy believe that the Federal forces were moving to the open fields to the northwest of our captured
camp. The rest of the men moved along the fence line to the east, using the dense trees and brush to cover our movements,
as Pvt. Ben Wilson and I stayed and watched the enemy movements.
When it was clear that the enemy thought the attack
was coming from the west, Pvt. B. Wilson and I rejoined Captain Frazier and reported that the main body was deployed to the
western side of camp, and a small number of Confederate soldiers remain in front of us. Our men that moved in earlier were
spotted and the engagement began. The boys that moved to the west began to use the fire and maneuver tactic to throw off the
enemy thinking we had more men out there. Captain Frazier moved the men forward as Pvt. Wilson and I continued hooking to
the south to make an attack.
As Captain Frazier made his push on the camp, we could see the enemy falling back under
the pressure. With darkness falling, the only way to tell where we were, was to look at the muzzle flashes. We could see them
in our camp due to the fires, which made it easier to pick our targets. In force, we pushed into and past our camp, causing
the Confederates to leave in mass. We took 3 prisoners and rescued Pvt. Ethan Wilson from captivity. As we secured the camp,
the prisoners were taken to a tent for holding with four guards posted in rotation and six men, armed with pistols and muskets,
went out to keep the pressure on the enemy.
With the enemy pushed back, and the camp secured and back in our hands,
we began to prepare meals, rotate the prisoner guard, and rotate watches around the camp while other men either huddled around
the fire for warmth or laid their weary heads for rest. We had only hoped that the enemy has had enough of the days fight,
and they to did as we were doing for the remainder of the night.
Day 2 - 6 December 2009
morning came, we had awaken to a cold windy air. Reports came in with, all men accounted for, no prisoner attempted escape
and are accounted for, and no movement reported from any of the outposts.
Captain Frazier and I had discussed options
on what we should do about the Confederates in this area. One suggestion was to let them come attack us, and this time, we'll
have better defensive positions. Another suggestion was to pack up camp and move ourselves into the town, the third was to
pack up and move to town, but move in and attack the Confederate camp in force. We had both decided that the third option
would be better, now what to do about the prisoners.
I went over and talked with the prisoners and had told them that
they had the option to fight with us and leave the Confederate army for good, and they will be released upon the end of the
battle. As Confederates usually do, they turned down the option. I had made a mention that the rest of the regiment was on
the way, and will be arriving in under an hour. Should they choose to fight on our side, then they will be allowed to be released
after the battle is done. They asked to have a minute to discuss the option amongst themselves. They chose to fight with us.
our camp began to move into the nearby town, our boys began to prepare for the fight ahead. We marched out in a loose column
formation towards the enemy camp, and along the way, we ran into their forward flankers. The men took cover in the ditches
and returned fire as more Confederates came over the top of the road in front of us. As they lined up in a loose line of battle,
we could see that they receive some help over night. We now were up against three companies to our one consolidated company.
Captain Frazier was killed in the fight leaving me in command. I sent a runner to the town to use the telegraph requesting
more support to this location immediately. We are now inside the town making fortifications for our defense. The enemy has
not attacked or shown any signs of moving.
The townspeople are not happy that we have brought the fight into their
town. But we had no choice. I just hope they don't bring up artillery anytime soon. This town is small and wouldn't take much
to demolish it. Reinforcements are on the way, but no time was given as to their arrival. We'll be ok unless the enemy
figures out that they can split up and hit us from three sides and overrun this town. All the men are in the highest rooms
in the buildings of this town. With luck, we'll be able to hold off attacks until our help arrives from the railroad at Maysville.
2nd Detachment / Company E.
77th Pennsylvania Infantry