Downing’s Civil War Diary.–Alexander G. Downing.

Saturday, 4th—During the night all was quiet and our brigade fell back to the last line of fortifications which, extending almost around the town, had been built in the last few days. Here we lay in line of battle all night. The rebels commenced to throw shells into town this morning at daylight. I was still on guard with the teams and we had to get out of that place in double quick. The rebels threw some ten or twelve shells before our battery in Fort Robinet could get the range of them, but when they did, they opened on them some sixty-four-pounders and soon put the rebel’s battery out of commission. I was relieved and went to join the regiment, which had been advanced to support a battery. About 10 o’clock the rebels made a charge upon Fort Robinet, to our right, and tried to break our lines at that point but failed. This charge was made by a Texas cavalry, dismounted; they came clear over into the fort, driving some of our artillerymen from their guns, but they were soon overpowered, some being killed and some taken prisoner. The colonel of the regiment planted their flag on our fort, but he was almost immediately killed. The rebels’ dead just outside of the fort lay three or four deep and the blood ran in streams down the trenches. The rebels finally withdrew about 4 p. m., leaving their dead and wounded. The Iowa Brigade was placed to the left of Fort Robinet, in support of a battery, but did not become engaged during the day. Some of our forces started after the fleeing rebels. We received orders to be ready to march in the morning, and have to lie in line of battle all night.


Diary of Alexander G. Downing; Company E, Eleventh Iowa Infantry

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