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Home > Civil War Sesquicentennial > Thomas Hubbard Transcript

Thomas Hubbard Transcript

Head Quarters
Thirtieth Reg't,
Maine Veteran Vols.,
Alexandria, La  May 1st, 1864

Sir

I have the honor to transmit herewith a list of the killed and wounded and missing lost from this Regiment in the battle of Cane River Crossing, April 23rd, 1864, and to submit the following report of the battle and of the marches which immediately preceded and followed it.  On the 21st of April 1864 the Regiment broke camp at Grand Ecore, La. and reported with the 3rd Brigade of General Emory's lst Div. 19th A.C. to General Birge.  At 5 o'clock P.M. the troops moved from Grand Ecore.   General Birge's command taking the advance of the infantry.  The march was con­tinued until 2 1/2 o'clock A.M. of the 22nd april, when the regiment bivouaced twenty miles S.E. from Grand Ecore, and on the North East Shore of Cane River, which had been crossed at a  point one mile distant from the camp.  At 11 o'clock A.M. of the 22nd the troops of General Franklin's and General Smith's commands, which had marched in the order mentioned, reached a point near the advance, and this regiment moved on.  The march was continued without obstruction from the Enemy, until Seven o'clock P.M.  This regiment which had been deployed on the flanks of the pontoon, supply and ammunition trains, to resist an anticipated attack from the Enemy's cavalry, was then relieved, and made its bivouac at ten o'clock P.M.  The advance was then three miles south of Cloutriville on the N.E. Shore of Cane River.  At Six o'clock A.M. of the 23rd the march was resumed.  At about Seven o'clock A.M. General Emory's Division, which led the advance, approached the crossing and found the Enemy strongly posted on the Southern bank of the river.  Eight pieces of artillery well supported by infantry held the road, while two pieces of artillery and a strong infantry support held a high bluff a short distance west of the crossing and commanded the field over which our advance was to be made.  To turn the flank of the Enemy, dislodge him, and open the road for the movements of our army, General Birge with his command, followed by a part of the 15th Corps under General Cameron, forded Cain river, three miles above the crossing.  This regi­ment formed part of the detached force.  It forded the river in Water from two to three feet deep, climbed a steep bank, advanced in line of battle nearly a mile through hard wood growth in low ground, and halted in the edge of a wood.  Immediately in front was a broad green field.   In the middle of this our Skirmishers were deployed and Exchanged Shots with the Enemy's Skirmishers, in the wood across the field.  After a halt of ten minutes, our line advanced, crossed the field without opposition, forded a narrow but deep and muddy bayou, changed direction with the brigade line to the left, passing through a tangled undergrowth of reeds, vines, and thorn bush­es, moved across two small hills in a southerly direction and halted behind a hedge and a high rail fence where the Skirmishers of the flanking column were protected.  In our front was an open cultivated field a quarter of a mile in width, which Extended to the foot of a high Sandy hill.  The side of the hill was very Steep, and was rendered difficult of approach by a strong rail fence at the foot, and by woods, bushes and large fallow trees which covered the Slope.   Five regiments of rebel infantry were posted on the Summit of the hill, their left was protected by a deep  and impassible swamp, and their right by a deep ravine.  By order of Colonel Fessenden, Commanding the 3rd Brigade, this regiment moved by the left flank to a position in rear of the first fence, and directly in front of the hill, and prepared for a charge.  The orders received were to remove the fence, advance at the order rapidly across the open field, reform lines if necessary under cover of the hill, and finally dislodge the Enemy from its summit at all hazards.  Before the fence was torn down and while as Yet two regiments of the brigade had not gained the designated position in line, an Officer of General Bank's Staff, Lieut. Bube as I am informed) ordered forward the 173rd N.Y. Vols. without communicating with Col. Fessenden, and contrary to his intention.  I immediately led my own regiment forward, and the 162nd followed, though compelled to face by the rear rank to commence the movement in time.  This regiment advanced rapidly over the field, and ascended the hill under a Severe fire from the Enemy.  Its colors reached the Sumit of the hill almost Entirely unsuported by its line, in as much as the men, although they advanced without the Slightest hesitation, and at a run, were impeded by the weight of their Knapsacks and by the fences mentioned before.  The Colors of the 162 N.Y.  Vols. reached the summit of the hill almost simultaniously with those of this Regiment.  The Enemy inflicted a severe loss upon our line during the Entire advance, but did not make an Obstinate resistance as expected upon the hill.  The conduct of this regiment, as well as of the entire 3rd Brigade was all that could be wished.  Yet the harmony of the attack, and the designs of Col Fessenden, were so far frustrated by the untimely excitement and officious interference of the Staff Officer before mentioned, as to hazard the success of the entire Enterprise.  The troops were so much scattered from the same cause, that a halt of twenty minutes was necessary in order to reform the lines upon the hill.  This delay enabled the Enemy to take a second position upon the hill half a mile in our advance.  After reforming, this regiment moved forward with the Brigade, now under the command of Col. Blanchard of the 162nd N.Y. Vols. (Col. Fessenden having been severely wound­ed in the assault).  The Regiment advanced one fourth of a mile through the woods, moved by the flank across a ravine into an open field, received a sharp fire from the Second position of the Enemy, charged up the hill, and carried this position without resistance, moved back to the foot of the hill, and marched one mile South Easterly to the Cane river, at the point where our pon­toons were to be laid.  The loss of the 30th Regiment in this affair, as will appear by the accompanying report, is two officers and ten Enlisted men killed, two officers and Sixty seven Enlisted men wounded, and Seven Enlisted men missing. The conduct of officers and men cannot be too warmly praised.   They formed, advanced, and carried an almost impregnable position, held by Superior numbers, and this under a severe and well directed fire.  The loss of the Enemy was much less than of our troops. So many were conspicuously brave that the mention of their names would form too long a list.  During the night of the 23rd the bridge was laid and trains brought over the river.  On the 24th at 11 A.M. the 30th Regt moved into the Alexandria road, marched twenty miles and Encamped at 9 o'clock P.M. in Bayou Rapide South of Cotile, at 5 1/2 A.M. of the 25th April the Regiment broke camp reported with its brigade to Genl Emory's Div. and marched twenty miles to Alexandria.

I have the honor to be
Very respectfully
Your Obdt. Srvt.
Thos. H. Hubbard
Lt. Col. Comg. 30th Me Vols.