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[308] however, until after the enemy had been driven with heavy loss from the field; Logan's division having penetrated so nearly to the road leading to Vicksburg as to cut off Loring's division from Pemberton, and compel it to retreat deviously southward, evading our left, and narrowly escaping capture, by the sacrifice of all its guns; thus reaching Jackson on the 19th.

The credit of this victory devolves mainly on Hovey and his heroic division, which was for hours closely engaged with superior numbers strongly posted and well covered by the dense forest, who fought gallantly, and repeatedly crowded back our line by the sheer weight of that opposing it. When his infantry had thus been crowded back from the ridge they had carried by desperate fighting, and compelled to abandon 11 Rebel guns they had taken, Hovey massed his artillery, strengthened by Dillon's Wisconsin battery, on elevated ground at his right, and opened on the advancing foe an enfilading fire that arrested and turned them back, under a tempest of cheers from our boys. The loss of this single division was 211 killed, 872 wounded, and 119 missing: total, 1,202-about one-third of its force, and nearly half our entire loss in the battle. But McPherson's corps fought, so far as it had opportunity, with equal gallantry, and was handled with equal skill; Stevenson's brigade making a brilliant charge across ravines, up a hill, and through an open field, capturing seven guns and several hundred prisoners, and thus gaining the road in the Rebel rear, which cut off Loring's retreat, and compelled him to escape as he could.

Before the Rebel defeat was decided, Hovey having repeated his call for reenforcements, Grant ordered McPherson to advance whatever of his corps was still disposable by the left to the enemy's front; and, proceeding himself to observe this movement, he discovered that the Rebels were in fill retreat. On reaching the Raymond road, he saw Carr's and then Osterhaus's division of McClernand's corps, well advanced on the left, and ordered them to pursue the enemy with all speed to the Black, and, if possible, across that river. This pursuit continued till after dark; resulting in the capture of a train of cars loaded with provisions and munitions, but very little else;1 though the Rebels lost considerably in munitions and stores, which they were obliged to abandon to the flames.

Sherman's corps had no part in this engagement, being still on its way from Jackson when it closed; and Ransom's brigade of McPherson's corps only arrived after the enemy had retreated. As but three divisions of McClernand's corps were even constructively present, it is morally certain that this action was fought by fewer men on our side than on that of the Rebels.

Grant reports our loss in this desperate struggle at 426 killed, 1,842 wounded, and 189 missing: total,

1 Grant evidently blames McClernand for lack of energy in this battle; though he says:

The delay in the advance of the troops immediately with McClernand was caused, no doubt, by the enemy presenting a front of artillery and infantry where it was impossible, from the nature of the ground and the density of the forest, to discover his numbers. As it was, the battle of Champion Hills, or Baker's creek, was fought mainly by Hovey's division of McClernand's corps and Logan's and Quinby's divisions (the latter commanded by Brig-Gen. M. M. Crocker) of McPherson's corps.

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