Some 200 yards behind this marker was an earthen redoubt that protected the Federal defenses and the Star Fort. The redoubt was commanded by Colonel Richard Rowett and manned by the 39th Iowa, 7th Illinois, five companies of the 93rd Illinois Regiment and one 12 lb. Napoleon cannon. Many of the troops, including the entire 7th Illinois Regiment, were equipped with Henry Repeating rifles.
Confederate Brigadier General Francis M. Cockrell's Missouri Brigade and Brigadier General William H. Young's Brigade of Texas and some North Carolinians stormed the redoubt at 10:20 a.m.
"The fighting immediately became furious. Solid shot and shells, grape and canister from double-shotted cannon, and a hailstorm of bullets were rapidly and accurately poured into the ranks of the Confederates as they recklessly advanced ... notwithstanding their fearful losses at every step, they still advanced, faster and faster ..." Harvey M. Trimble, 93rd Illinois Regiment
The struggle for Rowett's Redoubt included fierce hand-to-hand fighting with clubbed muskets, fists, swords, and even rocks as the Confederate assault swept over the defensive position. The surviving Federal troops, about 200 men, fled to the Star Fort dragging the Napoleon with them.
After the fighting ended that day, Federal Lieutenant William Ludlow described the scene at Rowett's Redoubt. He wrote, "The trench was crowded with the dead, blue and homespun, Yank and Johnny, inextricably mingled in their last ditch. Our heroes, ordered to hold the place until the last ... had died at their posts. As the rebel line ran over them, they struck up with bayonets as the foe struck down, and rolling in the embrace of death, we found them in some cases mutually transfixed."
Our company [Company G] went over the works — the only bayonet fight we ever were in during the war — God grant that we may never witness another scene like that." Private B.F. Murdock, 6th Missouri Regiment
[Caption of photo on left:] A.R. Waud sketch of the assault on Rowett's Redoubt highlighting Sergeant John M. Raglund of Missouri capturing the flag of the 39th Iowa Regiment.
[Caption of left photo on upper right:] Soldiers of the 7th Illinois with their Henry repeating rifles in this Mathew Brady photograph.
[Caption of right photo on upper right:] Colonel Richard Rowett (Courtesy of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library).
Two Southern Generals
Brigadier General William H. Young
Educated at Washington College, Tennessee, McKenzie College, Texas, and the University of Virginia, William Hugh Young recruited his own company for Confederate service. Elected captain and promoted to colonel after the Battle of Shiloh, he fought with great gallantry at Perryville, Mufreesboro, Vicksburg, and Chickamauga. He was wounded at each of the latter three battles. He lost most of his foot at Allatoona and spent the remainder of the war as a prisoner at Johnnson's Island. He became a prominent lawyer and real estate operator and died in 1901.
Brigadier General Francis M. Cockrell
A native of Missouri, Cockrell studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1855. He fought with the Missouri militia and rose through the ranks to colonel. He commanded the Missouri brigade at Vicksburg where he was captured and then paroled. He was appointed brigadier general on July 18, 1863. He suffered severe wounds at Franklin, Tennessee, on November 30, 1864 and was captured in Mobile in the spring of 1865. President Theodore Roosevelt appointed him to the Interstate Commerce Commission. He died in 1915.