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[457] Tennessee, deployed to the right into a large corn-field, and on the low ground to the north of the city. Colonel Coates ordered company A out to meet them and check them as much as possible, while he sent to the Eighth Louisiana for reinforcements. We went out on the run. The men deployed in the outskirts of the town, getting behind the fences and buildings for protection. But we found two regiments most too heavy for our company, and fell back from one street to the other, the boys giving them the best they had. Prisoners taken say that they suffered severely coming through the town. We were driven back till on a line with headquarters, when we made a stand, having the advantage of a strong position, and having been reinforced by a detachment from the Eighth Louisiana, A. D., about one hundred and fifty strong, determined to hold it to the last. Company A being stationed to the best advantage, I went to headquarters to see what was going on there. Colonel Coates was in the street giving orders as cool as though nothing unusual was going on. The bullets were flying around him as thick as hail. The enemy had taken possession of the houses on both sides of the street above headquarters, and were firing from the windows and doors. The pillars in front of the building used for headquarters (formerly a bank) were speckled with the marks of bullets. It seems almost a miracle that the Colonel was not struck a dozen times. Hte escaped with only a couple of holes through his coat, and a slight scratch on the face. He was standing on the steps in front of headquarters, or in the street, all the time during the fight. About three o'clock the Colonel told Adjutant Dean and myself to take what men we could get together, go around to the left of the town and attack them on the flank, to make a diversion if possible from that part of the city. We took a few of company A that were the nearest, (the whole company being out skirmishing where they had been all day,) and a small squad from the Eighth Louisiana, with an officer from the same regiment. We went around to the left, attacking them on the flank and rear, yelling at the same time like so many Indians. Captain Kenyon (of the Colonel's staff, and Captain of company K, Eleventh Illinois,) took about twenty men that had been cut off from the fort while out skirmishing in the morning, and driven back into town, and attacked them on the right about the same time. The enemy thinking no doubt that we had been reinforced, started for the hills, every man for himself. We followed them as close as we thought advisable, considering our small force. Lieutenant Brewster moved up Main street with a twelve-pound rifled gun, which had been sent to us from one of the gunboats, with men to work it, (the captain of the gun had deserted it at the commencement of the fight, leaving it in the hands of the enemy; our men charged up the street and retook it.) From that time to the close of the fight, Adjutant Dean and Lieutenant Brewster handled the gun, sending to the gun boat for a new squad of men to work it, doing good execution. We had no idea of driving the enemy out of the town when we made the demonstration. We were expecting reinforcements from Liverpool; which had been sent for, and we wanted to keep them busy until they arrived.

As soon as the enemy retreated out of the town, those attacking the fort gradually fell back, till out of cover of the bluffs, when they broke and ran, our boys having opened a heavy fire upon them. Thus ended our fight at Yazoo City.

A second flag of truce was sent on the sixth instant, from Brigadier-General Richardson to Colonel Coates, stating that he had sent an ambulance surgeon and ambulance corps to bury his dead, and take care of the wounded, and proposing to Colonel Coates that each of them send a commissioner between the picket-lines to effect an exchange of prisoners, etc. The first point was answered that his dead had been decently buried, his wounded properly and tenderly cared for, consequently no necessity for his surgeon, etc., and declined receiving them. To the second proposition, would answer, that a cartel had been agreed upon, in which certain parties and places were named for such exchange, and as neither Brigadier-General Richardson, confederate States army, nor Colonel Coates, United States volunteers, were named as such parties, nor Yazoo City the point for such exchange, would respectfully decline your proposition.

The gist of the joke in this last was, that at that time we had none of his men as prisoners!

I don't hanker after any more street-fights. Our entire loss is about one hundred and twenty-five. The Eleventh lost ten killed, including one commissioned officer, and thirty-five wounded and missing. Company A lost five wounded and one missing. He was probably wounded and taken prisoner. Three of them were from Stephenson County. Sergeant C. H. Lutz in the wrist, Samuel Stoner in the leg, and L. Iman in the shoulder. They have been sent to St. Louis, together with “Joe” Pratt. They were all doing well when they left here. [Iman since reported dead.--Ed. Jour.]

The morning after the fight orders came from Vicksburgh to embark immediately for that place. We left Yazoo City on the morning of the seventh, arriving there on the ninth.

I have endeavored to give you a short sketch of the fight. You know my fondness for letter-writing, so it is entirely unnecessary for any apologies. Had it not been for the coolness and bravery of Major McKee, who had command in the fort, also Major Cook, First Mississippi cavalry A. D., who had command of a detachment from this regiment, and the determination of Colonel Coates to hold the place as long as he had a man to fight with, this letter would probably have been written in Libby prison and to a different metre. We learned by a gunboat officer who arrived here yesterday morning from Yazoo City, that the enemy reported having lost over four hundred killed, wounded, and missing.

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