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[374] right bank of Owl Creek, and two guns on the left bank of Owl Creek.

The enemy appearing in large masses, and opening a battery to the front and right of the two guns advanced across Owl Creek, I instructed Capt. Waterhouse to retire the two guns to the position occupied by the balance of his battery, about which time the enemy appeared in large force in open field, directly in front of the position of this battery, bearing aloft, as I supposed, the American flag, and their men and officers wearing uniforms so similar to ours, that I hesitated to open fire upon them until they passed into the woods, troops wearing an uniform not to be mistaken. I afterward found that the uniform-jackets worn by these troops were black. As soon as I was certain as to the character of the troops, I ordered firing to commence, which was done in fine style, and with excellent precision. After instructing this battery to be cool, and watch all the movements of the enemy, who was throwing large masses of his men into the timber to the left of its position, I went to the position occupied by Taylor's battery, Capt. Barret commanding, and ordered him to open fire with shell, which was done promptly, causing the enemy to take shelter in the timber; under cover of which he advanced to within one hundred and fifty yards of their guns, when they opened a tremendous fire of musketry, accompanied with terrific yells, showing their evident intent to intimidate our men. The only effect it had was to cause them promptly to obey the order given by me to move their guns by hand to the point, and pour in a shower of canister, causing both the yelling and the firing of the enemy to cease for a time. In the mean time the enemy was pushing our forces on the left of both of these batteries — Waterhouse's and Taylor's. Seeing Waterhouse's battery limbering to the rear, and fearing the result of a hasty retreat, I hastened to their position, and finding them resting, I at once ordered them to unlimber and contest every foot of ground, while I sent a messenger to find another battery to come to their assistance. My order was promptly obeyed, and they were soon throwing canister among the enemy. But their bravery alone could not drive back the masses who now swarmed on their left, pushing back the infantry on the left and opening a flank fire of musketry and battery, which they had succeeded in planting in the timber; they were compelled to retire under a galling fire, leaving their guns and entire camp and garrison equipage in the field. I take great pleasure in stating that the conduct of this battery was such as to entitle them to my entire approbation, and I consider too much praise cannot be bestowed upon them for their gallant conduct upon this their first battle-field. Some time after this battery had retired, and the infantry support on the left of Taylor's battery had fallen back, and the enemy had planted his flag on the ground occupied by Waterhouse's battery, I deemed it prudent to order Capt. Barret to limber to the rear, and retire in good order to a new position, which was accomplished without confusion; but owing to a number of his horses being shot, he was obliged to leave two of his caissons on the field, one of which he has recovered. Instructing Capt. Barret to take up a new position near the left of the First brigade in the First division, (Gen. McClernand's,) and taking the responsibility of ordering two guns of Schwartz's battery to form on their left, (Major Schwartz being wounded,) I had not long to wait before I opened fire again, silencing a battery which the enemy had opened with terrific effect. After five hours fighting in these two positions, losing one man killed and several wounded, our ammunition became exhausted, and I instructed them to retire out of range and get a new supply, after which one section engaged the enemy for an hour and a half, driving him to the cover of the timber. . . . I can state that from my personal observation on the ground in front of this battery during the engagement, I am satisfied the enemy's mortality list has been greatly increased by their being there.

I have to report that Capt. Silverparre's battery of four twenty-four pounder Parrott guns has not yet been able to report to this field, owing to some deficiency in his horses and other equipments. I understand, however, that he had done good service near the Landing on the evening of the sixth inst.

I deem it my duty to make honorable mention of the services rendered by company A, Chicago light artillery. How well they conducted themselves during the fight, I refer you to the General himself, who assures me he never saw guns better served.

I have also to mention Capt. Bouton's battery, which I found on Sunday, the sixth, anxious to distinguish themselves, and as good fortune would have it, I got them a good position near Col. McArthur's division, when they did most excellent service in driving the enemy from a very commanding position, both officers and men behaving like veterans.

I have the honor to be very respectfully,

Your obedient servant,

Ezra Taylor, Major and Chief of Artillery.

Report of Colonel Ransom.

headquarters Eleventh infantry. Second brigade, First division Illinois Volunteers, camp at Pittsburgh, Tenn., April 13, 1862.
sir: I have the honor to make the following report of the movements of my command on the sixth and seventh inst.:

At seven A. M. on the sixth inst., my command, consisting of two hundred and twenty-five enlisted men and fourteen commissioned officers (one company being absent on picket duty) formed the right of the brigade — the Twentieth Illinois regiment being on my left. We moved with the brigade to a position in rear of the right of the camp of Gen. Sherman's division, but immediately changed to a position in the centre of said camp, when we formed in line of battle — the right of my regiment resting near and supporting a battery of artillery on the hill at my right.

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