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Battle of Babylon Hill

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Battle of Babylon Hill

Post  MajorByrd on Sun Jul 06, 2014 11:40 am

Confederate War Department
To Secretary J. Seddon
Richmond, VA
July, 1862


Secretary Seddon


Sir I shall hereby inform you that my Corps delivered a severe blow to the enemy at the Battle of Babylon Hill.

Approaching the small city of Uniontown from the West, I immediately deemed the highground surrounding the city crucial to our efforts.
Baylor's Light Division was ordered to occupy what would turn out to be the center of our line east of Roberts. His efforts were to be closely supported by
Steven's Brigade while Herbert and McKinney were ordered to force Union Infantry off the highground to Baylor's left. Colonel Knight received orders to look for the highest piece of ground and hold on to it until he would receive further orders.

The Light Division and Stevens' Brigade, on crossing the ridge, encountered an enemy force consisting of approximately two batteries and what seemed to be a brigade of infantry. Baylor and Stevens were ordered to contest the enemy deploying to their front. Meanwhile, to the north of Baylor and Stevens, Union infantry had occupied a wooded hill, greatly endangering Baylor's left flank. I feared that this force could deter McKinney and Herbert in their endeavor to secure Baylor's left, since any fighting on our left flank at that point would have to be uphill.

The effort of our center and left were soon to be rewarded. The enemy fell back across the Branch and left the highground and the city of Uniontown under our control. Additional Union forces, namely the Italian Brigade, seemed to have been detered by Colonel Knight's Brigade appearing on a Big Round Hill west of Uniontown. Thereafter precious time was wasted. There had been word of Union reinforcements and I hesitated to commit without prior knowledge of their whereabouts. The Yankees had consolidated on highground east of the Branch and reinforced their position with what artillery remained intact. Considering that we outnumbered the enemy deceisively at that point, maybe we should have pressed them while they were of balance but I was hesitant to put the gains the Corps had made up to that point at risk.

Better council prevailed. Herbert was ordered to maneuver around the enemy flank to occupy higher ground and force a salient then to be pressed by him and McKinney, supported by Baylor. Once the attack was in progress, I got word that "a fresh Union Division" was threatening to flank Colonel Knight on the far right flank, only supported by a Battery so far. The Italian Brigade seemed to have been ordered to support this move and Stevens was immediately dispatched to counter the Roman hordes. With Stevens dispatched to support the right flank, Baylor's Light Division would have to spread out to the south to keep the line intact and was ordered to seize support the attack on the left. Deprived of Baylor's flank support, McKinney and Herbert were ordered back into their original defensive positions. I deemed whatever took place on the right flank more important.

Once I arrived at Colonel Knight's headquarters I witnessed Stevens routing the Italian Brigade and Knight's 4 regiments holding vast against far superior numbers. Together, they managed to crush the enemy's effort on that flank and the battle concluded. The enemy suffered approximately a thousand more casualties and we remained in firm control of Uniontown and the surrounding highground.

I am afraid that I must report the capture of two of our regiments, one from Baylor's Light Division and one from McKinney's Brigade. Since we in return captured a full regiment of Yankee scum, I shall venture to find out if General Georgia is open to an exchange of prisoners. If this endevour fails, I will have to shift regiments between Brigades to balance the loss off those valiant men caught in charges by a superior enemy.

Sir, I consider the Battle a minor success. Minor only because I failed to identify and act upon our initial gains and the resulting superiority. Had the Union managed to occupy the higher ground at the start of the battle, taking it would have probably turned into a bloody mess. The Corps fought most valiantly and I will soon ask of you the assignment of specific rewards to honor their committment at the Battle of Babylon Hill.

I must urge you to reply through secure channels.


Most respectfully
Major General Josef Amadeus Seitzinger
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MajorByrd

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