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[190]

In this manner we reached Baker's Creek, about one and a half miles east of Champion Hills, where we camped for the night, after a hard day's work, the men and animals being completely fatigued and worn out, having been destitute of any food of importance for the past day, and the heat being very oppressive, in consequence of which there were several cases of sunstroke, one of which proved fatal. Time rolled on, and by four o'clock the next morning our noble little band could be seen wending their way in the direction of Black River, where we arrived in the evening, after a long and arduous march, at which place we lay until four o'clock on the afternoon of the ninth instant when our last day's march began, and by the dead hour of midnight we were once more within the walls of this ill-fated city.

Suffice it to say, that it is thought by all parties interested, that we achieved everything anticipated, having drawn forces from an important point of the enemy's, thereby gaining advantages in other sources and by destroying a bridge over Pearl River, at Jackson, which was partially completed. Still, the general supposition is that it was not the intention of General Dennis to engage the enemy as he did, knowing their forces outnumbered ours, having some three thousand five hundred cavalry and mounted infantry, while our entire force of effective men did not exceed two thousand, but to attract their attention so that our train could be put past danger.

I must not close without speaking of our noble brigade commander, Colonel Dorublazer, Forty-sixth Illinois infantry, his staff, Colonel Busey, commanding seventy-sixth, and Lieutenant-Colonel Jones, commanding forty-sixth, who at all times were to be found with their commands in the discharge of their duties. Also to the minor officers of the brigade, who can be numbered only among the best, and as an honor to the service of the United States. Long may they survive among the “roaring cannon and clashing of arms,” is the prayer of many a noble heart under their commands, and may their heads be crowned with laurels ere this “cruel war is over.”


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