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Doc. 8.-fight at Milliken's Bend, Miss. Account by an eye-witness. Milliken's Bend, June 13. First allow me to describe the ground occupied by our troops. The camp is along the bank of the Mississippi River, and at this point the levee is not more than one hundred and fifty yards from the river. The encampment is between the levee and the river. Breastworks have been thrown up on the right and left, and a few rifle-pits dug along the levee; and this constituted our defensive work. The levee is about eight feet high at this point, and back of it is a plantation covered with hedges, fruit and ornamental trees, in the immediate vicinity of our camp and to the rear. For some days previous to the attack we had known that a force of rebels were in the vicinity, estimated from one thousand five hundred to ten thousand strong. The colored troops were only partially organized regiments and had all been armed within a week to meet this emergency. With such raw material you
e lines had been cut, the despatch was not received. Gen. Schenck testifies distinctly that I did not disobey any of his commands. In the same order above quoted, Gen. Schenck further says: I doubt the propriety of calling in McReynolds's brigade at once. If you should fall back to Harper's Ferry, he will be in part on your way, and cover your flank. But use your discretion as to any order to him. In the exercise of this discretion, I ordered Col. McReynolds, on Saturday morning, June thirteenth, to join me at Winchester. At this time there was no information of the approach of Lee's forces, nor any thought of evacuating the post. The object was to concentrate, in order to repel an attack either of the forces under Imboden, Jones, and Jenkins, or of Stuart's cavalry, then expected to appear in the valley. Colonel McReynolds left Berryville on the morning of the thirteenth, and, by a circuitous route of thirty miles, reached Winchester about ten o'clock that night. In the me
oser and closer to them. In some places we have got our batteries to within three hundred yards of them, and it is really terrible to peep through the embrasures of one of them, and almost look down the throats of the enemy's missiles, so close to us in front. Thus matters continued until yesterday, when the Commanding General, deeming the time had arrived to give the rebels another strong dose, gave the order for one more simultaneous attack. It was as late as ten P. M., of Saturday, June thirteenth, that General Augur, who had just returned from the headquarters of General Banks, told his staff that they were to be in motion at three A. M. of the next day. We all immediately hurried off to snatch a few hours' rest, and when I awoke at three o'clock, I found the General and his staff already at breakfast. In half an hour afterward they were all off to the field, whither I speedily followed them. Before dawn the most terrific cannonading commenced along our whole line that
e executive committee, dated June seventeenth, that all our stores had been safely removed to this city from Acquia, by means of our transport the steamer Elizabeth, and that we had furnished substantial food to over eight thousand sick and wounded soldiers at Lodge No. 5, of the Commission, situated at Sixth Street wharf, where all of the transports brought the inmates of the corps hospitals on their way to the general hospitals of this District. This work of transportation began Saturday, June thirteenth, and continued unceasingly until Monday night, the fifteenth. Coffee, bread, hot beef-soup, lemonade, were provided in quantities to meet the demands of all, and on the arrival of the boats, each invalid was questioned as to his wants, and his wishes complied with. The continuous labor of these two days severely taxed the strength of those engaged in it. While a portion of our force was thus occupied in removing the stores, and another portion in dispensing refreshments to the
ading became general, and continued till night. The distinguishing feature of the fighting now is the heavy artillery--ten-inch columbiads and ten-inch mortars being constantly engaged along the lines. The shelling continued all night. Saturday, June 13.--Early in the morning there was very heavy firing along the lines, and the town was under a terrible cross-fire for about two hours, and the air was filled with shells and missiles of all kinds. After this heavy spell ceased, the firing bsition. Day pleasant. About four o'clock this evening our mortar opened, which has just been put into position; it attracted the entire line of the enemy's guns; they all opened upon her, and the firing was, for about two hours, very heavy. June 13.--The morning beautiful. I have just finished my breakfast of half rations coarse cornbread and a slice of raw bacon, with a cup of bean coffee. Regiment moved this morning, and relieved Green's brigade in the ditches. No loss in regiment to-
tilities, for the purpose of burying the dead, which was granted. About three o'clock P. M., the truce ceased, and the enemy, in heavy force, made a furious attack upon the First Alabama, which was gallantly repulsed. From this time till June thirteenth, heavy skirmishing was constantly kept up, the men were behind the breastworks night and day, and one could scarcely show his head an instant without being made the mark of a sharp-shooter. Many were sick from exposure to the sun and other ries, and advancing their parallels. The gun and mortarboats kept up a continual fire by night and day, more, it would seem, for the purpose of exhausting the garrison by wakefulness than from any hope of direct advantage. Saturday, the thirteenth of June, a communication was received from General Banks, demanding the unconditional surrender of the. post. He complimented the garrison and its commander in high terms. Their courage, he said, amounted almost to heroism, but it was folly for t