No. 222.-report of Capt. W. L. Harper, Jefferson (Mississippi) artillery.
Oamp, near Corinth, Miss., April 10, 1862.Sir: I have the honor to report the share taken by the battery under my command in the battle near the Tennessee River on the 6th and 7th instant: Moving off under your orders in rear of the advance line, as the fire of the skirmishers became sharp I continued to make the best progress I could, with weak and hungry horses, across the ridges of timbered land that separated our position from the enemy's camp. In conjunction with the Arkansas batteries, on my left, we frequently halted upon eminences where the guns could be used to advantage in case of need; but our infantry continuing to press the enemy back, we had little else to do but make the best progress possible across ground frequently difficult for artillery. It was the impediment of the ground that threw me too far to the right just as the enemy's batteries began to thicken around us, and separated me from my command the first of the day. Hurrying up, however, I was ordered by General Hindman to open on the Yankee camp on the left of Captain Swett's battery, then playing upon it. I suppose the thunder of our guns contributed toward the result that followed, for they were soon seen double-quicking toward the opposite side of the lines of tents, and our own infantry charging at the same moment compelled us to cease firing. I then placed the battery in position on the opposite side of the camp, awaiting another opportunity for action, our infantry being stationed in front and for the time at rest. Renewing my efforts to find my brigade, I sent a sergeant more than a mile to the left, inquiring of every officer that passed, but could in no way obtain any satisfactory information. Nothing was now left but to throw myself in wherever a chance offered. This the enemy soon gave me, for, having been shelled out of their camp, they seemed to think the same means would dislodge us. They opened a brisk cannonade with two batteries-one upon the front and the other upon the right oblique; their balls ranging well, but aim too high. In conjunction with a Georgia battery we returned their fire with so much effect that in the space of twenty minutes they either would not or could not sustain the contest, and I ordered a cessation of fire when their smoke no longer indicated their position. It was now I foresaw a heavy struggle on the right. Many regiments of our infantry, supported by cavalry, were seen moving by the right flank in the woods in front of us, with a purpose, manifestly, to press the enemy in that quarter. 1 determined at once to support them. Moving to the right as faix as the camp extended, I was ordered by Col. D. W. Adams to fol  low the direction taken by the infantry, which I did by crossing a, deep hollow and making the best of my way up the opposite hill. Here I fortunately met General Cheatham and requested him to assign me a position. His command at this moment was at a halt. The enemy had a battery vigorously engaged with one of ours on our left oblique. He being directly in front, his position was about 400 yards across an open field, and his pieces could be distinctly seen glittering in the sun. The general ordered me to the front and to open fire immediately. I cannot repress the belief that now ensued an artillery duel equal inl interest to anything of the kind during the whole course of the action. As well as I could judge they had five guns; we four. As soon as the contest began all parties seemed to silently await the result. We had some advantage of the ground, the curve of the surface being nearer us, thereby causing their shot to ricochet over us, while ours might fall directly among them. I attributed our miraculous escape either to this circumstance or the habitual high shooting of the enemy, for their missiles passed, with a perfect range, over us at from 5 to 20 feet high. We soon made him restless in that position, and our gunners had more than once to change the direction of their aim. They, however, showed a perseverance to dislodge us as daring as unexpected, for, running a piece around and coming upon our right oblique, they opened upon us from about 150 yards distance. I ordered every gun at once to bear upon this one, and a few rounds soon stopped its mouth. A few more rounds were then discharged to the front, but their fire was by this much slackened, and soon ceased altogether. It was now time for the infantry to take up the fight, which they did by charging right through our battery, compelling us to cease firing. I then gave the order to retire more to the rear, to avoid the hailstorm of balls that soon fell around from the heavy volleys of opposing musketry, as well as to allow time for the men to rest after such hard work. The list of casualties in this day's operation I am glad to say, was small in proportion to the numbers engaged. I had 70 men exposed to fire, 8 of whom were wounded, some severely, but none dangerously; 3 horses were also killed. I cannot mention any individual instances of gallantry where all seemed to deserve notice. Every man stood manfully to his post, and the gunners worked their pieces with admirable coolness, sometimes waiting to be told they were wasting time. Inclosed you will find the operations of the battery on Monday, under orders of First Lieutenant Darden, upon whom the command devolved after my wound disabled me. I have the honor to be, yours, respectfully,