Sunday, July 10, 2011

Colonel Thomas John Lucas.

Thomas John Lucas.

Birth: September 9, 1826.
Death: November 16, 1908.
Burial: Greendale Cemetery, Lawrenceburg, Dearborn County, Indiana.

Union Civil War General. Served in the Mexican War as a 2nd Lieutenant in Company C 4th Regiment Indiana Infantry mustered in Dearborn County. At the onset of the Civil War was commissioned a Lt. Colonel of the 16th Indiana Infantry on April 23 1861 for 1 year service. After term of enlistment ended the 16th Indiana was reorganized for 3 years with Lucas commissioned a full Colonel by Gov. Oliver Morton of Indiana. The 16th saw much action until the end of the war with Lucas being promoted to Brigadier General by wars end.


Numbers 84. Report of Colonel Thomas J. Lucas, Sixteenth Indiana Mounted Infantry, commanding First Cavalry Brigade, of affair at Henderson's Hill.

Near Alexandria, La., March 23, 1864.

CAPTAIN: In compliance with orders from headquarters Cavalry Division, I reported at 5 o'clock the morning of 21st instant, with the Sixteenth Indian Mounted Infantry, Sixth Missouri Cavalry, Second Louisiana Mounted Infantry, and Battery G, Fifth U. S. Artillery, to Brigadier General A. J. Smith, commanding Red River expedition, for orders, and was by him directed to report to Brigadier-General Mower. General Mower ordered me to place my command in the advance on the Bayou Rapides road, 13 miles beyond Alexandria. I met the enemy in small force, and drove them 7 miles to Henderson's Hill. The Louisiana cavalry (rebel) wee holding the hill, occupying a very strong position. Arrived in front of their position, I was ordered to report one regiment of cavalry and a section of artillery to the general to make a detour and take the enemy in rear, while with the remainder of my command I should occupy their attention and present a front which with the force thrown in rear would prevent their escape.

The Sixteenth Indiana Mounted Infantry, Lieutenant-Colonel Redfield, and a section of Rawles' battery proceeded in accordance with the directions, marching 16 miles to the rear of the enemy, reaching the pickets at about 9.30 p. m. With the remainder of my command I occupied the enemy's attention until Colonel Redfield with his force had entered the rebel camp. Colonel Redfield captured,when near the enemy's camp, a courier with dispatches from General Taylor to Colonel Vincent. The dispatches were sent to General Mower. He successively captured, without firing a shot and without giving general alarm, the picket guarding the camp. A portion of the regiment advanced into the camp, while another detachment was thrown in the direction of General Taylor's army to guard against any attack upon the rear of the command from re-enforcements. A body of the enemy were met, said by prisoners to be the advance of re-enforcement, and driven back. A major, captain on Taylor's staff, 1 lieutenant, and 36 enlisted men were captured here, chiefly from the relieving force.

This body of the enemy was as completely surprised as the other. Captain Doxey, with two companies of the Sixteenth Indiana, had the advance on entering the rebel camp, but infantry was soon deployed on his right, and the mounted and dismounted men advanced in line, capturing almost without resistance the astonished enemy. Four pieces of artillery were captured, two by the monte men as they were being brought into action. I do not know the number of prisoners captured, as they were immediately turned over to the infantry. I suppose 300 officers and men and 400 horses were taken. I am gratified to state that Colonel Redfield's command captured the enemy's famous scout Smith and 15 of his men. At daylight next morning I was directed to make a reconnaissance to Bowles' Ford, where we surprised and captured a picket post of a lieutenant and 6 men. Further on we captured 2 more men. On returning, was directed to move to camp 10 miles from Alexandria, guarding the rear of the infantry. Will report their names at once.
Respectfully, your obedient servant, T. J. LUCAS, Colonel, Commanding First Brigade, Cavalry Division.


Numbers 15. Report of Colonel Thomas J. Lucas, Sixteenth Indiana Infantry, commanding Cavalry Brigade, of affair at Bayou Portage.

In the Field, near New Iberia, La., November 24, 1863.

SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the operation of the forces under my command during the night of the 22nd and 23rd of November, 1863:

In accordance with verbal instructions from General Lee, I moved across the pontoon bridge with 200 of my brigade at 10 p.m., and struck at the Saint Martinsville road, Colonel Mudd's command joining me about 6 miles from town. I proceeded to the road leading to Dauterive's Landing, where I halted until Colonel Paine's command of 250 men joined me. I sent Colonel Mudd down the road leading to Dauterive's Landing, with instructions to lengthen his lines along the left, skirting the road. On account of the fog, at the fork of the road he took the wrong direction, and reached the lake some 3 miles below the point indicated, failing to connect with me, though I have no doubt he made possible exertion to co- operate with me. Leaving a force sufficient to hold the position at this cross road, the strongest position to be found in that locality.

I proceeded with my immediate command 1 mile farther, and took the road to the right, leading to the bridge across the bayou which connects with Grand Lake. At about half a mile I halted, and thoroughly searched all the dwellings, outhouses, and buildings on two adjoining plantations, which were said to be the lurking places of Major Dupiere and Captain Neville, but to no purpose. They were there during the early part of the evening, but had escaped.

Upon being joined by Colonel Paine's command, and 20 men under a lieutenant of Colonel Mudd's command, I proceeded down the road until near the bayou, when I halted. After sending Colonel Paine across the bridge to take a road leading to the rebel camp, I procured a guide, who showed me a lower road leading to the right of the rebel camp, where I crossed the bayou on a submerged bridge, sending in the meantime a lieutenant and 20 men to search a house on this side of the bayou, where they captured 4 prisoners. It was now daylight, and, hearing a few shots fired, I hurried forward, and found Colonel Paine already in possession of the rebel camp. He had advanced rapidly upon them, capturing a portion of their pickets. The woods were thoroughly scoured in all directions, but, owing to the swamps and the nature of the country, some of them escaped. After burning their camp, I started back toward our camp.

On reaching the road leading to Dauterive's Landing, I found that nothing had been learned at this point from Colonel Mudd, but afterward learned that he had captured Captain [B. D.] Dauterive and 8 others. As it was raining very hard, after sending a party to look for Colonel Mudd, I started for camp, which I reached at 3 p. m., November 23.

We captured 4 officers and about 30 men, a quantity of arms, mostly shotguns, and quite a number of horses. I complied with all of the general's orders, except proceeding to the sawmill, which I deemed unnecessary upon receiving information from the guides.
All of which is respectfully submitted.
T. J. LUCAS, Colonel, Commanding First Brigade, Cavalry Division.


Number 19. Report of Colonel Thomas J. Lucas, SIXTEENTH Indiana Infantry, first Brigade, tenth DIVISION, including operations since April 13. CAMP IN FIELD, near Vicksburg, MISS. May 24, 1863.

SIR: On April 13, we received orders to took two day's rations and prepare to march at a movement's notice. The day passed and no further orders until, next morning, the 14th instant, we were order to strike tents and be ready to fall in. My command was formed at 4 o'clock, and took up our line of march on the road leading from Milliken's Bend to Richmond La. We marched out 4 miles, and encamped for the night at a place called Oak Hill.

Next morning, 15th instant we took up our line of march. Traveled all day until we arrived at Holme's plantation, a distance of about 15 miles, where we remained in camp until Saturday evening, April 21, when we again took up our line of march, and arrived at Smith's plantation about 11 p. m., where we remained until 2 p. m. next day, April 22, when we embarked on transports in Bayon-and ran into the Mississippi River opposite New Carthage. We then ran down as far as Perkins' plantation, where we disembarked, and encamped for the night, remaining there until Tuesday, April 26, when we received orders to embark on transports and barges and prepare for the attack on Grand Gulf, which was opened upon by the gunboats early on Wednesday morning, lasting six hours, when received orders to disembark and take up our line of march for a plantation 4 miles below. Encamped for the night.

The next day April, 28, about noon, we re-embarked on the gunboat General Price, and ran down the river to a plantation 10 miles below, on the Mississippi, shore, where we disembarked. About midnight we took up our line of march for Port Gibson, and arrived within 4 miles of Port Gibson on the morning of May, 1 when we found the advance of our army had engaged the enemy., we were immediately ordered into position, which was the reserve of the Thirteenth Army Corps. We had not been long in position until we took a prisoner, he being the first that had been taken. They day was excessively hot, but, notwithstanding, our men stood it bravely. In the afternoon we advanced farther than any other command, but were ordered back to our old position, having 2 men wounded. Night came on, and we were ordered to lie on our arms.

Next morning before daylight we were called up and ordered to fall in line of battle, which we did, and remained so until 7 o'clock of the morning of May 2, when the First Brigade was ordered in the advance, the SIXTEENTH Regiment on the right. We marched thorough the woods for about 2 miles, when we found the enemy had evacuated the town. Orders were given to march the command by the right flank, but owing to some misunderstanding were not carried out. However, out brigade to some misunderstand were not carried out. However, our brigade was first in the town, and planted the first American flag on the courthouse. We found the enemy had destroyed the bridge across the Bayon. A detail was made, and before four hours had elapsed our troops were crossing.

Next morning, May 3, about 7 o'clock we received orders to take up our line of march, which we did, and arrived at the bridge over bayou Pierre, which the enemy had tried to destroy, but failed. We went into camp about 7 o'clock the same evening, and remained until the morning of May 6, when we again took up our line of march, and arrived at Rocky Springs on the afternoon of the 6th, where we remained until the afternoon of the 9th. We again took up our line rived at Big Sandy, encamping for the night.

The morning of the 10th, we started for Cayuga, where we arrived at about 8 p. Mn., and remained until the morning of the 12th, when we took up our line of march for Edwards Depot, and arrived within 5 miles of it, when we drove in the enemy's pickets and encamped for the night.

Next morning 13th, instant, we were ordered back, and marched to Auburn, where we remained until the morning of the 15th, instant, when we again took up our line of march for Raymond, and arrived there about 9. p. m. Encamped for the night.

Next morning,16th instant, we took up our line of march, and came in contact with the enemy's pickets about 6 miles from Raymond. We immediately got into position and opened fire on them with the artillery, driving them before us. A general engagement ensued, which resulted in driving back the enemy.

On the morning of the 17th instant, we were order to advance. We had not gone far when we found the enemy had fallen back on Big Black. We passed through Edwards Depot, and marched on to Big Black, where we arrived at about 12 m/. Formed line of battle this side, and was ordered to advance; we did so. Had not proceeded far when 400 prisoners surrendered to this brigade. The enemy crossed Big Black, destroyed the railroad bridge, and fell back to within 3 miles of Vicksburg, where their works commenced.

On the morning of the 19th, our skirmishers were ordered to the front, where they remained all night. We had I man killed.

On the morning of May 20, the SIXTEENTH Regiment was ordered out as skirmishers. We advanced within 300 yards of the enemy's works. At night was were relieved by General Benton's brigade, general Carr's DIVISION.

On the 21st, we were ordered to rest.

On the morning of the 22nd, a circular was received from General Burbridge, stating that a simultaneous charge would be made around the while line; that General Benton was to charge the enemy's works at 10 o'clock the same morning, and his brigade was to support mine. Ten o'clock arrived. The troops started according to orders; drove the enemy, inside of the fort, and held them three in check until 6 o'clock in the evening, when General Quinby's DIVISION came up to relieve us. We were ordered to fall back. In doing so enemy came out of their little excitement. Their works could not be crossed. We fell back to our old position held in the morning, and remained for the night.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
T. J. LUCAS, Colonel, commanding SIXTEENTH Indian Volunteers.

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