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[63] three miles south-east of Edwards's Station, and General Hovey's division at Midway, under orders to care for the wounded and bury the dead.

The loss sustained by my corps attests the severity of this memorable battle. General Hovey's division lost two hundred and eleven killed, eight hundred and seventy-two wounded, and one hundred and nineteen missing; General Osterhaus's division, fourteen killed, seventy-six wounded, and twenty missing; General Smith's division, twenty-four wounded and four missing; making an aggregate of one thousand three hundred and thirty-four. Of General Blair's loss I am not advised, not having received a report from him.

Besides the capture already mentioned, a large number of small arms were taken. The field was strewn with the dead and wounded of the enemy, and his loss must have been very great.

battle of Big Black River.

At half-past 3 o'clock on the morning of the seventeenth my corps again resumed the advance--General Carr's division leading, and General Osterhaus's closely following on the road to Black River bridge, six miles distant. On the way General Carr's division captured a number of prisoners, which were sent to the rear, and upon nearing a skirt of wood masking the enemy's position, encountered and drove back his picket. Passing to the further edge of the wood, the enemy was discovered in force, strongly intrenched in elaborate defences, consisting of a series of works for artillery and two lines of breastworks, the inner one about a half-mile in length, the outer about a mile; both resting their extremities upon Big Black, and forming the segment of a rude circle. Outside of the latter was a deep miry slough, the approach to which from the line of my advance was across a field connecting with others that widened on the right and left.

General Carr's division having entered the wood mentioned, was immediately formed in obedience to my order, General Lawler's brigade on the right, resting its flank near Big Black, and General Benton's brigade on its left and the right of the railroad. A section of Foster's battery and two regiments of Osterhaus's division were ordered to the right and rear of Lawler to support him, and to counteract any approach through the forest to the opposite bank of the river.

Osterhaus's division was ordered to form to the left of the road, Lindsey's brigade in front, and the remaining two regiments of Garrard's brigade obliquely on the left and rear of Lindsey's, to counteract any movement in that direction.

Two sections of Foster's battery were brought forward, and, while being posted in the centre of the two divisions under the personal direction of General Osterhaus, was opened on by the enemy's artillery. General Osterhaus and Captain Foster were both wounded, one man killed and a limber-box exploded by a shell. The command of the division, by my order, immediately devolved upon General Lee.

A brisk action had continued for a half-hour or more, when General Smith's division came up and was ordered by me to extend and support my left, in which direction it was reported that the enemy was moving in large numbers. After this disposition had been made, my right centre and left engaged the enemy with increased effect, and General Lawler, aided by this diversion, and availing himself of information obtained by Colonel Mudd, chief of cavalry, of the practicability of making a near approach under partial cover on the extreme right, dashed forward under a heavy fire across a narrow field, and, with fixed bayonets, carried the enemy's works, capturing many prisoners and routing him. This feat was eminently brilliant, and reflects the highest credit upon the gallant officers and men of General Lawler's and Osterhaus's commands who achieved it. It was determinate of the success of the day. Fleeing toward a steamer, which formed a bridge across the Big Black near the railroad bridge, most of the enemy escaped to the commanding bluff on the opposite side, while others, hotly pressed by Benton's brigade and the right of Lindsey's, were cut off from that escape, and driven to the left and down the river upon the left of Lindsey's and the front of Burbridge's brigades, and fell into their hands.

A victory could hardly have been more complete. The enemy burnt the bridge over which he had passed, two other steamers and the railroad bridge. About one thousand five hundred prisoners and stands of arms fell into our hands, eighteen pieces of cannon, and a considerable quantity of ammunition and cotton. A number of the enemy were found dead upon the field, but nothing now is certainly known of his loss in killed and wounded.

The loss on our part was limited to my own forces, which alone were engaged. The Ninth division lost ten killed, nineteen wounded, and one missing. The Fourteenth division, nineteen killed, two hundred and twenty-three wounded, and one missing; making in all three hundred and seventy-three killed, wounded, and missing. Among the killed is Colonel Kinsman, Twenty-first Iowa, who fell mortally wounded while leading his regiment in the charge upon the enemy's works.

Driven across the river, the enemy made a feeble stand to cover his trains and retreat upon Vicksburgh, but several hours before sunset was dislodged by my forces, leaving tents and a considerable quantity of clothing and other stores, together with a large number of small arms, a smoking ruin.

During the following night and morning a bridge was thrown across the Big Black by the pioneer corps, under Captain Patterson.

On the morning of the eighteenth I crossed with General Osterhaus's, Smith's and Carr's divisions of my corps, and took up the line of march for Vicksburgh, twelve miles distant. General Smith's division led, followed by Generals Osterhaus's

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