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Doc. 17.-Major-Gen. McClernand's report.

Detailing the march of the Thirteenth army corps from Milliken's Bend to Vicksburgh, Mississippi, etc.1

headquarters Thirteenth army corps, battle-field, near Vicksburgh, Miss., June 17, 1863.
Lieutenant-Colonel J. A. Rawlins, Assistant Adjutant-General, Department of the Tennessee:
Colonel: I have the honor to submit the following report of the principal operations of the forces with me, since the thirtieth of last March, in compliance with orders from department headquarters. [55]

These forces consist of a portion of the Thirteenth army corps, and comprise four divisions, organized as follows:

Ninth division--Brigadier-General P. J. Osterhaus commanding:

First Brigade--Brigadier-General T. T. Garrard commanding, consisting of the Forty-eighth and Sixty-ninth Indiana, One Hundred and Twentieth Ohio, One Hundred and Thirteenth Illinois, and Seventh Kentucky.

Second Brigade--Colonel L. A. Sheldon (Forty-second Ohio) commanding, consisting of the Sixteenth, Forty-second, and One Hundred and Fourteenth Ohio, Fifty-fourth Indiana, and Twenty-second Kentucky.

Artillery--First Wisconsin and Seventh Michigan batteries.

Cavalry--Companies A and K Third Illinois cavalry.

Tenth division--Brigadier-General A. J. Smith commanding:

First Brigade--S. G. Burbridge commanding, consisting of the Sixteenth, Sixtieth, and Sixty-sixth Indiana, Eighty-third and Ninety-sixth Ohio, and Twenty-third Wisconsin.

Second Brigade--Col. W. J. Landrum (Nineteenth Kentucky) commanding, consisting of the Nineteenth Kentucky, Seventy-seventh, Ninety-seventh, One Hundred and Eighth, and One Hundred and Twentieth Illinois, and Forty-eighth Ohio.

Artillery — Chicago Mercantile and Seventeenth Ohio batteries.

Cavalry — A company of the Fourth Indiana cavalry.

Twelfth division--Brigadier-General A. P. Hovey commanding:

First Brigade--Brigadier-General G. F. McGinnis commanding, consisting of the Eleventh, Twenty-fourth, Thirty-fourth, and Forty-sixth Indiana, and Twenty-ninth Wisconsin.

Second Brigade--Colonel J. R. Slack (Forty-seventh Indiana) commanding, consisting of the Forty-seventh Indiana, Twenty-fourth and Twenty-eighth Iowa, and Fifty-sixth Ohio.

Artillery — Peoria light artillery, Second and Sixteenth Ohio, and First Missouri batteries.

Cavalry--Company C First Indiana cavalry.

Fourteenth division--Brigadier-General E. A. Carr commanding:

First Brigade--Brigadier-General W. P. Benton commanding, consisted of the First U. S. infantry, Eighth and Eighteenth Indiana, and the Thirty-third and Ninety-ninth Illinois.

Second Brigade--Brigadier-General M. K. Lawler commanding, consisting of the Eleventh Wisconsin, and Twenty-first, Twenty-second, and Twenty-third Iowa.

Artillery--First Indiana battery.

Cavalry--Companies E and F Third Illinois cavalry.

Detachments of the Second and Third Illinois and Sixth Missouri cavalry, also formed part of my immediate command.

March from Milliken's Bend to Port Gibson.

After several fruitless attempts to penetrate the State of Mississippi above Vickburgh, and to turn the rear of that city, it became a question of the highest importance, whether a point be. low on the Mississippi River, might not be reached, and a way thus opened to the attainment of the same end.

My corps, happily, was in favorable condition to test this question. It was inspired by an eager desire to prove its usefulness, and impatiently awaited an opportunity to do so. Sharing in this feeling, I was more than rejoiced in permission to essay an effort to cross the peninsula opposite Vicksburgh, from Milliken's Bend to New-Carthage.

Accordingly, on the twenty-ninth of March, I ordered Gen. Osterhaus to send forward a detachment of infantry, artillery, and cavalry to surprise and capture Richmond, the capital of Madison Parish, La: On the morning of the thirtieth, Colonel Bennett, with the Sixty-ninth Indiana, a section of artillery, and a detachment of the Second Illinois cavalry, took up the line of march in execution of this order. By two o'clock P. M. he had marched twelve miles over a miry road and reached the bank of Roundaway Bayou, opposite Richmond.

Artillery first, and infantry next, opened fire upon the small force garrisoning the town, and immediately dislodged it. A portion of the cavalry dismounting from their horses, sprang into the small boats brought along on wagons, and paddling them across the bayou with the butts of their carbines, hastened to occupy the town. Hot pursuit of the fugitive enemy was soon after made by another portion of cavalry, who swam their horses over the bayou. Seven of the enemy were wounded, four of whom fell into our hands.

This spirited and successful attack was consummated under my own observation, and effectually cut off the supplies which were wont to be transported through Richmond from the rich tracts traversed by the Tensas River and Bayou Macon to Vicksburgh.

On the night of the third a bridge two hundred feet in length, made of logs taken from houses, was thrown across Roundaway Bayou at Richmond, by the pioneer corps, under Capt. Patterson. This was the work of twenty-four hours, and a way being thus opened, the remainder of General Osterhaus's division was rapidly moved forward and so disposed as to cover and hold the only practicable land route between Milliken's Bend and Smith's plantation, two miles north of New-Carthage.

Meantime, many obstacles were overcome — old roads were repaired, new ones made, boats constructed for the transportation of men and supplies ; twenty miles of levee sleeplessly guarded day and night, and every possible precaution used to prevent the rising flood from breaking through the levee and engulfing us.

Other obstacles were also encountered. Harrison's rebel cavalry, supported by a detachment of infantry, were active and vigilant to oppose our advance, but after having been repeatedly repulsed, [56] on the fourth fled across Bayou Vidal, and returned to their camp at Perkins's plantation, on the Mississippi, six miles below Carthage.

On the same day, embarking in a skiff at Smith's plantation, and accompanied by General Osterhaus and a few members of our respective staffs, I made a reconnoissance, terminating only a half-mile from Carthage and the river, and in full view of both. We discovered the country to be deluged from Smith's plantation, where Bayous Vidal and Roundaway unite, and whence they communicate by a common channel with the Mississippi to Carthage. Also, that the levee extending from Bayou Vidal to Carthage and the Mississippi was broken and crossed by rapid currents at three different places. Upon our approach to the last crevasse, a half-mile from Carthage, we were fired upon by the enemy, and our skiff stopped, but not until we had ascertained that steamers could pass from the Mississippi to Smith's plantation, and that by such means our forces could be transferred from Smith's to the Mississippi shore.

Having thus determined this important point, on the fifth a flat-boat was wrested from the enemy on Bayou Vidal, eight miles below Smith's, and brought to the latter place. On the sixth, after the boat had been hastily prepared to receive them, a party with two mountain howitzers were embarked and moved forward to dislodge the enemy at Carthage.

Upon the approach of the boat the enemy hastily evacuated Carthage and took refuge a mile and a half below, among a number of buildings on James's plantation. Rapidly disembarking, the party pursued and again dislodged him, killing a rebel lieutenant and taking possession of the buildings.

On the seventh, Gen. Osterhaus pressed his advantages by sending forward artillery and shelling the woods beyond Bayou Vidal, in the neighborhood of Dunbar's plantation, and dislodging the enemy's sharp-shooter's.

In turn, on the eighth, the enemy took the offensive and sought to dislodge the detachment at James's. For this purpose he opened two twelve-pound howitzers upon it, but after an hour had been spent in fruitless endeavors again fell back to Perkins's.

On the eighth, Lieut. Stickel, with a company of the Second Illinois cavalry, while scouring the country westward toward the Tensas, fell in with a recruiting party of the enemy, and succeeded in capturing three officers and one private.

Having been considerably strengthened by reenforcements supposed to have been sent from Grand Gulf, on the east bank of the Mississippi, the enemy on the fifteenth sought to reinstate his line between Perkins's and Dunbar's — the latter place being eight miles from Perkins's, and the same distance from Smith's. For this purpose he divided his force, directing one portion across Mill Bayou against our rear in the neighborhood of Dunbar's and the remainder against the detachment at James's.

Our pickets near Dunbar's upon the approach of the enemy fell back upon their reserves, who being rapidly reinforced promptly attacked and forced the enemy to recross Mill Bayou, taking two prisoners; our own loss being one man killed and one wounded, of the Second Illinois cavalry. Thus failing at this point, that portion of the enemy operating in front of James's retreated.

Up to this time I had been restrained from throwing any considerable portion of my forces upon the river, for want of any other means than a few skiffs and small boats; and because, in the absence of gunboats to protect them, while limited by the flood to the occupancy of the Mississippi levee, they would have been exposed to destruction by the gunboats of the enemy, then supposed to be cruising near New-Carthage.

To supply the means of moving my forces from Smith's to Carthage and across the Mississippi to some point from which operations could be directed against Vicksburgh, and also to afford them needed protection against river attack, I ventured earnestly to urge the pressing and transcendent importance of forwarding steam transports and gunboats from their moorings above Vicksburgh below to Carthage.

Happily, on the seventeenth, my recommendation was responded to by the appearance of five transports and seven gunboats, and on the twenty-second by three more transports, all of which had run the blockade.

A number of barges having started in tow of the transports and been cut loose on the way, were caught and brought to by parties from Gen. Osterhaus's division, who went out in skiffs for that purpose. Nor should I omit to add that during the advance of my forces from Milliken's Bend, they subsisted in large part upon the country through which they passed, and seized and sent back as a forfeiture to the United States a large quantity of cotton owned by the rebel government.

The increased facilities afforded by the transports and barges alluded to, hastened the removal of the Ninth division from Smith's to Carthage.

The Fourteenth division followed from Milliken's Bend to the same place; also, the Tenth division to Smith's, and a part of it to Carthage. The rest of the Tenth division rested near Smith's until a land route had been opened ten miles from there to Perkins's. The Twelfth division, which only arrived at Milliken's Bend on the fourteenth, followed to Smith's, and was followed from there to Perkins's by the rest of the Tenth, a large part of the trains of the whole corps, and afterward by the Seventeenth and Fifteenth army corps.

The last five miles of the route from Smith's to Perkins's, was obstructed by numerous bayous. To accelerate the general movement, Gen. Hovey undertook the experiment of overcoming these obstacles. In order to do so, he constructed near two thousand feet of bridging out of material created for the most part on the occasion. This he did within the short space of three days and nights, thus extending and completing the [57] great military road across the peninsula from the Mississippi River above to the Mississippi River forty miles below Vicksburgh. The achievement is one of the most remarkable occurring in the annals of war, and justly ranks among the highest examples of military energy and perseverance.

On the twenty-second, receiving a communication from Admiral Porter, informing me that he would attack the enemy at Grand Gulf on the following morning, and requesting me to send an infantry force to occupy the place when he had silenced the enemy's guns, I directed Gen. Osterhaus immediately to embark his division on all available boats, and to cooperate with the gunboats in carrying into effect the purpose mentioned.

In prompt execution of my order, General Osterhaus embarked his division during the night of the twenty-second, but Admiral Porter informing me in the morning, that the enemy was in much stronger force than he first supposed, and that more extensive preparations on the part of our land and naval forces were required than could be immediately made, the comtemplated attack was postponed.

On the twenty-third, accompanied by General Osterhaus, I made a personal reconnoissance of the enemy's works and position at Grand Gulf, on board the gunboat General Price, which had been kindly placed at my disposal for that purpose by Admiral Porter, and found them very strong. On the twenty-fourth in obedience to my order, General Osterhaus sent a detachment of the Second Illinois cavalry, under Major Marsh, and the Forty-ninth Indiana, and the One Hundred and Fourteenth Ohio infantry, together with a section of artillery, all under command of Colonel Kaigwin, to reconnoitre the country between Perkins's and the month of Bayou Pierre, and to examine into the practicability of expediting the general movement by marching troops across the country to the mouth of that stream. The expedition was frequently interrupted by rebel cavalry, but not until reaching a point on the west side of Bruin's Lake did it meet any considerable resistance.

Here the cavalry of the enemy, six or seven hundred strong, with several pieces of masked cannon, drawn up in line of battle on the opposite side of Choctaw Bayou, made a resolute stand. A desultory fight, however, of four hours served to dislodge him and leave us master of the field. Thence the detachment continued its march to Hard Times, fifteen miles below Perkins's, and three miles above Grand Gulf. Thence the cavalry marched across Coffee Point to D'Schron's plantation, three miles below Grand Gulf, and on to a point opposite Bruinsburgh, the landing for Port Gibson, twelve miles below Grand Gulf, thus demonstrating the existence of a practicable land route from Perkins's to a point opposite Bruinsburgh. The whole or a portion of the Seventeenth army corps, afterward followed to D'Schron's, and so the Fifteenth, as far as Hard Times.

Having concentrated my whole corps at Perkins's, on the twenty-eighth, without wagons, baggage, tents, or officers' horses, which were left behind for want of transportation, the whole of it except the detachment at Hard Times and two regiments ordered to remain at Perkins's as a garrison, embarked on steamers and barges including the gunboat General Price, for Grand Gulf. Arriving at Hard Times that evening, they rested there during the night on boats and on shore.

On the morning of the twenty-ninth the gunboats steamed three miles down the river to Grand Gulf, and closely approaching, the enemy's batteries opened fire upon them. The Ninth, Tenth, and Twelfth divisions of my corps followed on transports, casting anchor in full view of the Gulf, and holding themselves in readiness to push forward and disembark the moment the enemy's water-batteries should be silenced and a footing for them thus secured. General Carr's division remained at Hard Times, waiting for the return of transports to bring them on too.

At the termination of a daring and persistent bombardment of five and a half hours, the principal batteries had not been silenced, several of the gunboats had been crippled, and all of them were drawn off.

Returning to Hard Times, the Ninth, Tenth, and Twelfth divisions disembarked, and together with the Fourteenth division, crossed over the point opposite Grand Gulf that evening and night to D'Schron's. The same night the gunboats, transports, and barges ran the blockade at Grand Gulf, and landed at D'Schron's.

If the attack upon Grand Gulf had succeeded, it would have secured either or both of two objects. First, a base for operations against the rear of Vicksburgh; second, safety in reinforcing General Banks at Port Hudson; but failing, it became important to gain a footing at some other favorable point. The reconnoissance made by my cavalry, in pursuance of Major-General Grant's order, indicated Bruinsburgh to be the point. Hence, embarking on the morning of the thirtieth my corps immediately proceeded to that place, and disembarked before noon.

Only halting long enough to draw and distribute three days rations, at four o'clock all my corps, except the cavalry on the opposite side of the river, took up the line of march agreeably to Major-General Grant's instructions, for the bluffs some three miles back. Reaching the bluffs some time before sunset, and deeming it important to surprise the enemy if he should be found in the neighborhood of Port Gibson, and if possible to prevent him destroying the bridges over Bayou Pierre, on the roads leading to Grand Gulf and to Jackson, I determined to push on, by a forced march, that night as far as practicable.

battle of Port Gibson.

About one o'clock, on the morning of the first of May, upon approaching Magnolia Church, thirteen miles from Bruinsburgh, and four miles from Port Gibson, General Carr's division leading the advance was accosted by a light fire of the enemy's infantry, and soon after by the fire of his [58] artillery. Harris's brigade, the command of which had devolved upon Colonel Stone, of the Twenty-second Iowa, in consequence of the illness of the former, was immediately formed in line of battle. Griffith's and Klaus's batteries brought up and the enemy's fire briskly replied to and silenced. The division rested upon its arms at Shaiffer's plantation during the short remnant of the night.

Coming up about day-dawn in the morning, I learned from a fugitive negro, that the two roads diverging at Shaiffer's led to Port Gibson-one to the right by Magnolia Church, and the other to the left, passing near Bayou Pierre, where it is spanned by a rail and earth road bridge; also that the greatest distance between the roads was only some two miles; that the space between and for miles around was diversified by fields, thick woods, abrupt hills, and deep ravines, and that the enemy was in force in front and intended to accept battle. Immediately proving the general correctness of this information by further inquiry and by personal reconnoissance, I determined to advance my forces upon the chord of the rude ellipse formed by the roads, resting my reserve back near the fork of them.

After the smoke of the previous engagement and the glimmering of the rising sun had ceased to blind our view, I ordered General Osterhaus to move his division on the road to the left to relieve a detachment of General Carr's division, which had been sent to watch the enemy in that direction, and to attack the enemy's right. The object of this movement was to secure whatever direct advantage might result from attacking the enemy's line at a point supposed to be comparatively weak, and to make a diversion in favor of my right preparatory to its attack upon the strong force understood to be in its front.

The first brigade of General Osterhaus's division hastening forward in execution of this order, at half-past 5 A. M. encountered the enemy in considerable force a short distance from Shaiffer's house. The position of the enemy was a strong one, and he seemed determined to maintain it, yet after a hard struggle for more than an hour he was forced to yield it and seek temporary safety at a greater distance, under cover of ravines and houses.

The splendid practice of Lanphere's and Foster's batteries disabled two of the enemy's guns, and contributed largely to this success.

Communicating with General Osterhaus, I offered him reenforcements, but his second brigade having now come up, he declined them until more urgent occasion should arise. Thus strengthened he pressed forward, until insurmountable obstacles in the nature of the ground and its exposure to the fire of the enemy arrested his progress and proved the impracticability of successful front attack. It was now two o'clock P. M., and about this time General J. E. Smith's brigade of General Logan's division came up, and attempting to carry the enemy's position, by such an attack, failed to do so, thus demonstrating the correctness of General Osterhaus's admonition upon that point.

A flank movement had been resolved on by General Osterhaus, to accomplish the same object. With a view to deceive the enemy, he caused his right centre to be threatened, and taking advantage of the effect, rapidly moved a strong force toward his extreme right, and personally leading a brilliant charge against it, routed the enemy, taking three pieces of cannon.

A detachment of General Smith's brigade joined in the pursuit of the enemy, to a point within a half-mile of Port Gibson.

At a quarter-past six o'clock A. M. when sufficient time had elapsed to allow Osterhaus's attack to work a diversion in favor of my right, I ordered General Carr to attack the enemy's left. General Benton's brigade promptly moved forward to the right of the main road to Port Gibson. His way lay through woods, ravines, and a light canebrake, yet he pressed on until he found the enemy, drawn up behind the crest of a range of hills, intersected by the road. Upon one of these hills, in plain view, stood Magnolia Church. The hostile lines immediately opened on each other, and an obstinate struggle ensued. Meanwhile Stone's brigade moved forward on and to the left of the road into an open field, and opened with artillery upon the enemy's left centre.

The action was now general except at the centre, where a continuation of fields extending to the front of my line for more than a mile separated the antagonists. The enemy had not dared to show himself in these fields, but continued to press my extreme right with the hope, as I subsequently learned, of crushing it and closing his concave line around me.

General Hovey came up at an opportune moment and reporting his division to be on the ground, I immediately ordered him to form in two lines near the fork of the two roads, and to hold it there for further orders. About the time it had been thus formed, General A. J. Smith's division came up, and General Hovey was ordered to advance his division to the support of General Carr's. In the execution of this order General McGinnis's brigade moved to the right front in support of Benton's, encountering the same obstacles that had been overcome by the latter. Colonel Slack's brigade moved by the flank near the main road, and without much difficulty gained its proper position to the left of McGinnis.

During the struggle between Benton's brigade and the enemy the former moved to the right to secure its flank, and left a considerable gap between it and Stone's. This gap was immediately filled up by a portion of Hovey's division, upon its arrival upon the ground assigned to it. The enemy's artillery was only one hundred and fifty yards in front, and was supported by a strong line of infantry which it was reported had just been reenforced, and was the occasion of the shouting of the enemy distinctly heard about this time. [59]

To terminate a sanguinary contest which had continued for several hours, General Hovey ordered a charge, which was most gallantly executed, and resulted in the capture of four hundred prisoners, two stands of colors, two twelve-pounder howitzers, three caissons, and a considerable quantity of ammunition. A portion of General Carr's division joined in this charge. About this time I heard that Major-General Grant had come up from Bruinsburgh, and soon after had the pleasure of meeting him on the field.

Determined to press my advantages, I ordered Generals Carr and Hovey to push the enemy with all vigor and celerity. This they did, beating him back over a mile, and frustrating all his endeavors to make an immediate stand. For particular mention of the regiments, companies, officers, and men who distinguished themselves in this daring charge, I would refer to the reports of these Generals.

Returning to bring up the narrative of other operations: General Smith's division came up to Shaiffer's about seven o'clock A. M., and just before General Hovey moved to the support of General Carr. The four divisions of my corps were now upon the field, three of them actually engaged and the fourth eager to be. The last was immediately moved into the field, in front of Shaiffer's house, and together with a portion of Osterhaus's division held the centre, and at the same time formed a reserve.

The second position taken by the enemy on my right front was stronger than the first. It was in a creek bottom, covered with trees and underbrush, the approach to which was over open fields, and ragged and exposed hill slopes. Having advanced until they had gained a bald ridge overlooking the bottom, General Hovey's and Carr's divisions again encountered the enemy's fire. A hot engagement ensued, in the course of which, discovering that the enemy was moving a formidable force against my right front with the evident design to force it back and turn my right flank, I ordered General Smith to send forward a brigade to support that flank. Burbridge's brigade rapidly moved forward for that purpose. Meanwhile General Hovey massed his artillery on the right and opened a partially enfilading and most destructive fire on the enemy. The effect of these combined movements was to force the enemy back with considerable loss upon his centre.

Here with a large concentration of forces, he renewed the attack, directing it against my right centre. General Carr met and returned it, both with infantry and artillery, with great vigor. At the same time Landrum's brigade of General Smith's division, reinforced by a detachment from General Hovey's division, forced its way through cane and underbrush and joined in Carr's attack. The battle was now transferred from the enemy's left to his centre, and after an obstinate struggle he was again beaten back upon the high ridge on the opposite side of the bottom, and within a mile of Port Gibson.

General Stevenson's brigade of General Logan's division came up in time to assist in consummating this final result. The shades of night soon after closed upon the stricken field which the valor of our men had won and held, and upon which they found the first repose since they had left D'Schron's Landing twenty-four hours before.

At day-dawn, on the morning of the second, Smith's division, leading the advance, and followed by the rest of my corps, triumphantly entered Port Gibson, through which place and across the south branch of Bayou Pierre the enemy had hastily fled the night before, burning the bridge across that stream in his rear.

This, the battle of Port Gibson or Bayou Pierre, was one of the most admirably and successfully fought battles, in which it has been my lot to participate since the present unhappy war commenced. If not a decisive battle, it was determinate of the brilliant series of successes that followed. It continued twelve hours, and cost us eight hundred and three men killed and wounded; of which the Ninth division lost thirty-seven killed and one hundred and seventy-six wounded; the Tenth division, two killed and sixteen wounded; the Twelfth division, forty-two killed and two hundred and sixty-six wounded; and the Fourteenth division, forty-two killed and two hundred and twenty-two wounded, making the aggregate above named, including eight reported missing.

The loss of the enemy was three stands of colors, four pieces of cannon, three caissons, a quantity of ammunition, a number of small arms and ammunition-wagons, and five hundred and eighty prisoners. His loss in killed and wounded is not known, but it must have been considerable.

Remaining at Port Gibson, on the second of May my corps assisted in constructing a bridge across the south branch of Bayou Pierre, under the direction of Lieutenant-Colonel Wilson, Engineer and Aid-de-camp on Major-General Grant's staff; reconnoitred the country east and north of that stream, and skirmished with a detachment left by the enemy on the north side of it, to watch our movements.

On the night of the second the fugitive enemy was met by reenforcements reported to be on their way from Grand Gulf and Vicksburgh, and communicating their fears to the latter, the whole fled across Big Black. The panic also extended to the garrison at Grand Gulf, only seven miles from Port Gibson, who spiked their guns and hastily abandoning the place, also fled across the same river. Next day a naval force took possession of the place without resistance.

On the same day Brigadier-General Lawler, having reported to me for duty under Major-General Grant's order, was assigned to the command of the Second brigade of General Carr's division.

March from Port Gibson to Champion Hill.

On the third, agreeably to your instructions, my corps, save Lawler's brigade, which was left behind temporarily to garrison Port Gibson, marched on the Raymond road to Willow Springs; on the sixth to Rocky Spring; on the eighth to Little Sand; and on the <*>inth to Big Sand. [60]

General Osterhaus led the advance from Little to Big Sand, and upon arriving at the latter creek, immediately threw a detachment of infantry, preceded by the Second Illinois cavalry, over it, toward Hall's Ferry, on Big Black. Finding a detachment of the enemy in front of the ferry, a company of cavalry, under Lieutenant Stickel, dashed forward and dispersed it before it had time to form, killing twelve men, and capturing thirty prisoners.

Resuming its march on the eleventh, my corps moved to Five-Mile Creek, and on the tenth to Fourteen-Mile Creek. During the last thirteen days it subsisted on six days rations, and what scanty supply the country in the immediate vicinity of the road afforded; was wholly without tents and regular teams, and almost without cooking utensils; yet was cheerful and prompt in the discharge of duty.

General Hovey's division led the advance to Fourteen-Mile Creek, followed by General Carr's and General Osterhaus's. General Smith's division, moved by the way of Hall's Ferry on Big Black River, and leaving a detachment there to guard that crossing, passed on to Montgomery's bridge on Fourteen-Mile Creek, three miles below the point of General Hovey's approach.

An outpost of the rebel force at Edwards's Station, concealed in the thick woods and underbrush lining the creek, was first encountered by General Hovey's advance-guard, consisting of a detachment of the Second Illinois cavalry, under Lieutenant-Colonel Bush, and soon after by his artillery and infantry, which were boldly advanced across the open fields for that purpose. Overcoming the resistance of the enemy and driving him from his cover, General Hovey pushed forward a portion of his command beyond the creek, and secured the crossing.

My loss in this skirmish was four men wounded. The loss of the enemy is unknown, but must have been greater. On the same day General Sherman seized the crossing of Turkey Creek, a few miles to the right, and General McPherson, after a sharp skirmish, seized Raymond, still further to the right.

The flight of the enemy from Raymond left the way open to Jackson, the capital of Mississippi, and General Grant determined to march his army in that direction. This involved a change in the direction of his movements. Up to this time Edwards's Station, to which I had been leading the advance, was the objective point. Here it was known the enemy had concentrated a considerable force, and intended to accept battle when offered. Jackson now became the objective point.

On the night of the twelfth, I was ordered by Major-General Grant to move on the following morning on the north side of Fourteen-Mile Creek to Raymond. At this time my corps rested within four miles of Edwards's Station, with an outpost only three and a picket only two miles from that place. The outpost of the enemy had been driven back from the creek, and he was fully advised of the fact and of our proximity.

The movement ordered was a delicate and hazardous one, but was calculated to deceive the enemy as to our design. To insure it against casualties as far as possible, I ordered General Hovey to advance his division early on the morning of the thirteenth a mile on the main road to Edwards's Station, and form it in line of battle across the road.

The movement was happily executed, and had the effect to throw the enemy upon his defence against apprehended attack. Meanwhile General Osterhaus's and Carr's divisions crossed the creek, and filing by the flank to the rear, and under cover of Hovey's line, crossed Baker's Creek a mile eastward, on the road to Raymond, and halted. Hovey's division followed in successive detachments, under cover of the woods. The movement was discovered by the enemy too late to allow him to prevent or embarrass it. His attack upon the rear-guard was hesitating and feeble, and was promptly and completely repulsed. All were now safely beyond Baker's Creek.

On the same morning General Smith's division, after destroying Montgomery's bridge, hastened back on the south side of the creek, in pursuance of Major-General Grant's order, to Old Auburn, to guard and bring forward to Raymond the army's trains. That night the same division rested at Old Auburn; while the three remaining divisions rested on the Raymond road between Turkey Creek and Raymond.

The morning of the fourteenth found General Osterhaus's division in Raymond, which, in pursuance of Major-General Grant's direction, I ordered to garrison that place. On the same day, in pursuance of like direction, General Carr's and Hovey's divisions marched through Raymond in a heavy rain-storm — the former to Forest Hill Church, within six miles of General Sherman's position, at Jackson — the latter to a creek within four miles of General McPherson's position, at Clinton. This was the most fatiguing and exhausting day's march that had been made.

That night I received a despatch from Major-General Grant, informing me that the enemy had retreated from Jackson, and was probably attempting to reach Vicksburgh in advance of us, and ordering me immediately to move my corps eight miles north to Bolton Station, to frustrate the design. Corresponding orders were immediately issued by me to commanders of divisions, and by nine and a half o'clock on the fifteenth, General Osterhaus's division had seized Bolton Station, capturing several prisoners, and driving the balance of the enemy's picket away. General Hovey's division soon after came up from Clinton, and both divisions were disposed to meet any attack that might come from the enemy known to be in front. During the day an active reconnoissance was pushed by Colonel Mudd, chief of cavalry of my corps, up to the enemy's picket-line, and at some points beyond. General Lee, who had reported for duty that morning, and had kindly volunteered his service as Aidde-camp, until he could be assigned to a command, also displayed great enterprise and daring. In. deed, every effort was made by myself, personally, [61] and by others, to acquire familiar knowledge of the ground and roads for seven miles west to Edward's Station.

It was found three roads led from the Raymond and Bolton road to Edwards's Station-one diverging a mile and a half north of Raymond, a second three miles and a half, and a third seven and a half miles north of Raymond and one mile south of Bolton and the railroad. These roads may be designated as the northern, middle, and southern roads to Edwards's Station, and united some two miles east of that place.

Night found Generals Hovey's, Osterhaus's, and Carr's divisions in the order stated at the entrance of these several roads, prepared to receive a threatened attack, or to move forward upon converging lines against Edwards's Station. General Smith's division came up during the night, and bivouacked north of Raymond, near General Carr's. General Blair's division of General Sherman's corps bivouacked at Raymond.

This disposition of my corps but anticipated events. During the evening of the fifteenth, I received a despatch from Major-General Grant, advising me that the entire force of the enemy at Vicksburgh had probably crossed the Big Black and taken position at Edwards's Station, and ordering me to feel the enemy without bringing on a general engagement, and to notify General Blair what to do.

battle of Champion Hill.

It only remained to execute what has already been intimated. Hence, on the night of the fifteenth, orders were issued by me to commanders of divisions, to move forward on the following morning. General Smith advanced on the southern road at five o'clock A. M., on the sixteenth, followed and supported by General Blair. General Osterhaus, on the middle road at six o'clock, followed and supported by General Carr and General Hovey, at the same hour on the northern road. The starting of the different divisions at different hours, was in consequence of the difference in the distances they had to march, and was designed to secure a parallel advance of the different columns. Each division was instructed to keep up communication with that or those next to it.

Believing that General Hovey's division also needed support, I sent a despatch on the fifteenth to Major-General Grant, requesting that General McPherson's corps, then arrived in rear of General Hovey's division, should also move more forward, and early on the morning of the sixteenth, I rode over to General McPherson's Headquarters and suggested the same thing to him-urging among other things, that if his corps should not be needed as a support, it might, in the event I should beat the enemy, fall upon his flank and rear, and cut him off. Assurances altogether satisfactory were given by the General, and I felt confident of our superiority on the right.

I went forward with the centre, formed by Generals Osterhaus and Carr. At half-past 7 o'clock A. M., when my whole line had approached within five miles of Edwards's Station, General Smith's division on my left, encountered the enemy's skirmishers, who retired. A half-mile further on they encountered the fire of the enemy's artillery, which was briskly replied to until it ceased.

At the moment these demonstrations commenced, there was strong reason to believe (corroborated by subsequent information) that the enemy was moving in large force on the Raymond road with the hope of turning my left flank and gaining my rear; but the sudden appearance of my forces in that direction foiled the design, and threw his right back in some confusion toward his centre and left.

Hearing the report of artillery on the left, General Osterhaus pushed forward through a broad field to a, thick wood which covered a seeming chaos of abrupt hills and yawning ravines. From the skirt of this wood he drove a line of skirmishers, and continuing his advance until he discovered the enemy in strong force, commenced feeling him.

Early notifying Major-General Grant and Major-General McPherson what had transpired on the left, I requested the latter to cooperate with my forces on the right, and directed General Hovey to advance promptly but carefully.

At forty-five minutes past nine o'clock A. M. I received a despatch from General Hovey informing me that he had found the enemy strongly posted in front; that General McPherson's corps was behind him, that his right flank would probably encounter severe resistance, and inquiring whether he should bring on the impending battle.

My whole command was now about four miles from Edwards's Station, and immediately informing Major-General Grant, whom I understood to be on the field, of the position of affairs, I inquired whether General McPherson could not move forward to the support of General Hovey, and whether I should bring on a general engagement? A despatch from the General, dated thirty-five minutes past twelve P. M., came, directing me to throw forward skirmishers as soon as my forces were in hand, to feel and attack the enemy in force, if opportunity occurred, and informing me that he was with Hovey and McPherson, and would see that they fully cooperated.

Meanwhile a line of skirmishers had connected General Osterhaus and Smith's divisions, closing up the narrow space between them. General Blair had moved a brigade further to the right to support the skirmishers and the proximate flanks of Osterhaus and Smith. General Ransom's brigade of the Seventeenth, army corps had beer. ordered to hasten up from the neighborhood o! Raymond, and skirmishing along my left and centre, particularly the latter, was quite brisk.

These measures, in part, had been taken in compliance with General Grant's orders, based on information of which he had advised me, that the enemy was in greatest strength in front of my centre and left, and might turn my left flank and gain my rear. This, doubtless, as already explained, had been the tendency of the enemy [62] early in the morning, but had been counteracted by General Smith's operations. Later information was brought by an aid-de-camp of General Smith, and communicated by me to Major-General Grant, of the absence at that time, of the danger apprehended.

Instantly, upon the receipt of Major-General Grant's order to attack, I hastened to do so-ordering Generals Smith and Osterhaus to “attack the enemy vigorously and press for victory” --General Blair to support the former and General Carr the latter, holding Lawler's brigade in reserve.

At ten o'clock A. M. General Hovey.resumed his advance, and approaching in plain view of the enemy, disposed his forces for battle along a skirt of wood and across the road of his approach. General McGinnis's brigade was formed on the right and Colonel Slack's on the left. General Logan's division of General McPherson's corps was between the railroad and my right, and about half a mile from the latter.

A mile in front stood a hill some sixty or seventy feet high, covered with thick wood. In this wood the enemy was drawn up in strong force, doubtless augmented by his tendency to his right above noticed. This hill is indifferently called Midway or Champion Hill, from the fact of its being half-way between Jackson and Vicksburgh, and the reputed property of a citizen by the name of Champion. The space between the hill and my right was composed of undulating fields, exposed to the enemy's fire, while the ground to its left and front was scarred by deep ravines and choked. with underbrush, thus making a further advance extremely difficult.

Undaunted the brave men of the Twelfth division pressed on under a galling fire. By eleven o'clock A. M. the engagement became general all along the hostile lines, and continued to rage with increasing fury until twelve o'clock M. Meantime the enemy had been driven back with great slaughter, quite six hundred yards, leaving in our hands three hundred prisoners and eleven pieces of cannon.

Rallying in his desperation. and bringing forward fresh troops, he poured down the road, and with superior numbers renewed the conflict. Not daring to cross the open field in the direction of General McPherson, who had handled him roughly on the extreme right, his main force was directed against General Hovey. A crisis had come. Struggling heroically against the adverse tide, that officer called for the support of a division of General McPherson's corps, hard by, which had not been engaged, but did not get it until his line was being borne back. The support finally came, and was also borne back. Slowly and stubbornly, however, our men retired, contesting every inch of ground lost with death, until they had neared the brow of the hill.

Here, under partial cover, they rallied and checked the advance of the enemy; but a bold and decisive blow was necessary to retrieve the day in this part of the field. This was happily struck by General Hovey. Massing his artillery, strengthened by Dillon's Wisconsin battery, upon elevated ground, beyond a mound to his right, he opened an enfilading fire upon the enemy, which, challenging the cheers of our men, went crashing through the woods with deadly effect. The enemy gave way, and the fortune of the day in this part of the field was retrieved.

Gens. Hovey's and Crocker's divisions pushed forward to the crest of the hill, while General Logan's division, falling upon the flank of the broken foe, captured many prisoners. Five of the enemy's guns that had been captured by General Hovey, and had not been brought off, again fell into our hands. The carnage strewing the field literally stamped Midway as the Hill of Death. General Hovey had lost nearly one third of his men — killed and wounded. It was now about half-past 2 o'clock P. M.

As already mentioned, General Osterhaus's division early advanced to feel the enemy--General Garrard's brigade on the right and General Lindsey's on the left. The sharp skirmish that followed upon the receipt of my orders to attack was pressed until the centres of the opposing lines became hotly engaged. The battle was raging all along my centre and right.

In front of my centre, as well as my right, the enemy appeared in great numbers. Garrard's brigade was hard pressed, and General Osterhaus requested that it should be supported. Support was afforded by Benton's brigade of Carr's division, which promptly moved forward in obedience to my order, and joined the former in the conflict. All of Lawler's brigade of the same division, except a reserve of one regiment, also advanced to support Lindsey's, who had pushed a charge near the mouth of a battery. Lawler's brigade here cast the trembling balance in our favor. Himself narrowly escaping the effect of a shell, his men joined Lindsey's, and both dashed forward, shooting down the enemy's artillery horses, driving away his gunners, and capturing two pieces of cannon.

This success on the left centre, forcing a portion of the enemy to the right, increased the resistance offered to my right centre, and caused it to be continued until the flight of the enemy on my extreme right had communicated its effects to the centre.

The enemy, thus beaten at all points, fled in confusion — the main body along the road to Vicksburgh — a fragment to the left of that road. General Carr's division taking the advance, hotly pursued the former, and Lindsey's and Burbridge's brigades the latter, until night closed in; each taking many prisoners. The rebel General Tighlman is reported to have been killed by a shot from General Burbridge's batteries.

At eight o'clock P. M. General Carr arrived at Edwards's Station, where flames were consuming a train of cars and a quantity of stores, which the enemy had fired. Both, to a considerable extent, were saved by the activity and daring of his men. During the same night General Carr's division was joined by General Osterhaus's. Generals Blair's and Smith's divisions rested some [63] three miles south-east of Edwards's Station, and General Hovey's division at Midway, under orders to care for the wounded and bury the dead.

The loss sustained by my corps attests the severity of this memorable battle. General Hovey's division lost two hundred and eleven killed, eight hundred and seventy-two wounded, and one hundred and nineteen missing; General Osterhaus's division, fourteen killed, seventy-six wounded, and twenty missing; General Smith's division, twenty-four wounded and four missing; making an aggregate of one thousand three hundred and thirty-four. Of General Blair's loss I am not advised, not having received a report from him.

Besides the capture already mentioned, a large number of small arms were taken. The field was strewn with the dead and wounded of the enemy, and his loss must have been very great.

battle of Big Black River.

At half-past 3 o'clock on the morning of the seventeenth my corps again resumed the advance--General Carr's division leading, and General Osterhaus's closely following on the road to Black River bridge, six miles distant. On the way General Carr's division captured a number of prisoners, which were sent to the rear, and upon nearing a skirt of wood masking the enemy's position, encountered and drove back his picket. Passing to the further edge of the wood, the enemy was discovered in force, strongly intrenched in elaborate defences, consisting of a series of works for artillery and two lines of breastworks, the inner one about a half-mile in length, the outer about a mile; both resting their extremities upon Big Black, and forming the segment of a rude circle. Outside of the latter was a deep miry slough, the approach to which from the line of my advance was across a field connecting with others that widened on the right and left.

General Carr's division having entered the wood mentioned, was immediately formed in obedience to my order, General Lawler's brigade on the right, resting its flank near Big Black, and General Benton's brigade on its left and the right of the railroad. A section of Foster's battery and two regiments of Osterhaus's division were ordered to the right and rear of Lawler to support him, and to counteract any approach through the forest to the opposite bank of the river.

Osterhaus's division was ordered to form to the left of the road, Lindsey's brigade in front, and the remaining two regiments of Garrard's brigade obliquely on the left and rear of Lindsey's, to counteract any movement in that direction.

Two sections of Foster's battery were brought forward, and, while being posted in the centre of the two divisions under the personal direction of General Osterhaus, was opened on by the enemy's artillery. General Osterhaus and Captain Foster were both wounded, one man killed and a limber-box exploded by a shell. The command of the division, by my order, immediately devolved upon General Lee.

A brisk action had continued for a half-hour or more, when General Smith's division came up and was ordered by me to extend and support my left, in which direction it was reported that the enemy was moving in large numbers. After this disposition had been made, my right centre and left engaged the enemy with increased effect, and General Lawler, aided by this diversion, and availing himself of information obtained by Colonel Mudd, chief of cavalry, of the practicability of making a near approach under partial cover on the extreme right, dashed forward under a heavy fire across a narrow field, and, with fixed bayonets, carried the enemy's works, capturing many prisoners and routing him. This feat was eminently brilliant, and reflects the highest credit upon the gallant officers and men of General Lawler's and Osterhaus's commands who achieved it. It was determinate of the success of the day. Fleeing toward a steamer, which formed a bridge across the Big Black near the railroad bridge, most of the enemy escaped to the commanding bluff on the opposite side, while others, hotly pressed by Benton's brigade and the right of Lindsey's, were cut off from that escape, and driven to the left and down the river upon the left of Lindsey's and the front of Burbridge's brigades, and fell into their hands.

A victory could hardly have been more complete. The enemy burnt the bridge over which he had passed, two other steamers and the railroad bridge. About one thousand five hundred prisoners and stands of arms fell into our hands, eighteen pieces of cannon, and a considerable quantity of ammunition and cotton. A number of the enemy were found dead upon the field, but nothing now is certainly known of his loss in killed and wounded.

The loss on our part was limited to my own forces, which alone were engaged. The Ninth division lost ten killed, nineteen wounded, and one missing. The Fourteenth division, nineteen killed, two hundred and twenty-three wounded, and one missing; making in all three hundred and seventy-three killed, wounded, and missing. Among the killed is Colonel Kinsman, Twenty-first Iowa, who fell mortally wounded while leading his regiment in the charge upon the enemy's works.

Driven across the river, the enemy made a feeble stand to cover his trains and retreat upon Vicksburgh, but several hours before sunset was dislodged by my forces, leaving tents and a considerable quantity of clothing and other stores, together with a large number of small arms, a smoking ruin.

During the following night and morning a bridge was thrown across the Big Black by the pioneer corps, under Captain Patterson.

On the morning of the eighteenth I crossed with General Osterhaus's, Smith's and Carr's divisions of my corps, and took up the line of march for Vicksburgh, twelve miles distant. General Smith's division led, followed by Generals Osterhaus's [64] and Carr's, on the Jackson and Vicksburgh road to St. Alban's; and thence by a cross road and Baldwin's Ferry road to Four-Mile Creek, arriving there about sunset, and resting there for the night, four miles from Vicksburgh. Several prisoners and wagons were captured during the march.

General Osterhaus resumed command of the Ninth division on the west bank of the Big Black, and General Lee was assigned the command of the First brigade of that division, during the absence of General Garrard, who had been ordered to report to General Prentiss, at Helena. Early on the morning of the nineteenth, accompanied by my staff, I made a personal reconnoissance to the brow of a long hill overlooking a creek two miles from Vicksburgh. This hill runs north and south, and conforms very much to the line of Vicksburgh's defences, in plain view, on a similar range, a mile west. The creek is, called Two-Mile Creek, because it is only two miles from Vicksburgh. Colonel Mudd came very near being shot by one of the enemy's pickets during the reconnoissance. The intervening space between these two ranges consists of a series of deep hollows separated by narrow ridges, both rising near the enemy's works and running at angles from them, until they are terminated by the narrow valley of Two-Mile Creek. The heads of the hollows and ridges were entirely open; nearer their termination, they were covered with a thicket of trees and underbrush.

At this time the picket and skirmishers of the enemy were in this thicket, watchful to discover and obstruct our advance.

The enemy's defences consisted of an extended line of rifle-pits, occupied by infantry and covered by a multitude of strong earthworks, occupied by artillery, so arranged as to command not only the approaches by the ravines and ridges, in front, but each other.

the siege of Vicksburgh.

Since four o'clock A. M., my command had been under orders to be in readiness to move forward and commence the investment of the city. By half-past 6 o'clock A. M., it came up, and in obedience to my order, formed behind the crest of the hill upon which I had been waiting-General Smith's division on the right of the Vicksburgh road, General Osterhaus's on the left, and General Carr's along the base of the hill as a reserve. Skirmishers were thrown forward, who engaged the enemy's skirmishers, and artillery was opened from the most commanding positions upon the enemy's works, and a body of infantry observed between them and Burbridge's brigade on my right.

In a short time the enemy's skirmishers fell back, and my line advanced across Two-Mile Creek to the hills on the opposite side.

About this time, (half-past 10 o'clock A. M.,) an order come from Major-General Grant, directing corps commanders to gain as close a position as possible to the enemy's works until two o'clock P. M., at that hour to fire three volleys from all their pieces in position, when a general charge of all the corps along the whole line should be made.

By two o'clock, with great difficulty, my line had gained a half-mile, and was within eight hundred yards of the enemy's defences. The ground in front was unexplored, and commanded by his works, yet at the appointed signal my infantry went forward, under such cover as my artillery could afford, and bravely continued a severe conflict until they had approached within five hundred yards of the enemy's lines, and exhaustion and the lateness of the evening intermitted it.

An advance had been made by all the corps and the ground gained was firmly held, but the enemy's works were not carried.

A number of brave officers and men fell, killed or wounded, and among the latter, General Lee, who had signalized his brief command by equal activity, intelligence, and gallantry. The command of his brigade devolved on Colonel Kaigwin, an able and worthy successor.

On the twentieth General Hovey brought up Colonel Slack's brigade of the Twelfth division, from Champion Hill, and supported General Osterhaus's on the left. General Carr supported General Smith on the right. Lively skirmishing continued during the twentieth and twenty-first, and nearer approach to the enemy's works was made, where it could be done. On the evening of the twenty-first I received an order from Major-General Grant of the same date, in material part as follows:

A simultaneous attack will be made to-morrow at ten o'clock A. M., by all the army corps of this army. During the day army corps commanders will have examined all practical routes over which troops can possibly pass. They will get in position all the artillery possible, and gain all the ground they can with their infantry and skirmishers.

At an early hour in the morning a vigorous attack will be commenced by artillery and skirmishers. The infantry, with the exception of reserves and skirmishers, will be placed in column of platoons, or by a flank, if the ground over which they may have to pass will not admit of a greater front, ready to move forward at the hour designated. Promptly at the hour designated all will start, at quick-time, with bayonets fixed, and march immediately upon the enemy, without firing a gun until the outer works are carried.

Skirmishers will advance as soon as possible after heads of columns pass them and scale the walls of such works as may confront them.

General Carr's division relieved General Smith's on the same day, and now formed the advance on the right, supported by the latter. On the left, dispositions continued as before. Communicating Major-General Grant's order to division commanders, during the same evening, as far a. practicable every thing was done calculated to insure success.

On the morning of the twenty-second I opened with artillery, including four thirty, six twenty [65] and six ten-pounder Parrotts; in all, thirty-nine guns, and continued a well-directed and effective fire until ten o'clock--breaching the enemy's works at several points, temporarily silencing his guns and exploding four rebel caissons.

Five minutes before ten o'clock the bugle sounded the charge, and at ten o'clock my columns of attack moved forward, and within fifteen minutes Lawler's and Landrum's brigades had carried the ditch, slope and bastion of a fort. Some of the men, emulous of each other, rushed into the fort, finding a piece of artillery, and in time to see the men who had been serving and supporting it, escape behind another defence commanding the interior of the former.

All of this daring and heroic party were shot down except one, who, recovering from the stunning effect of a shot, seized his musket, and captured and brought away thirteen rebels, who had returned and fired their guns. The captor was Sergeant Joseph Griffith, of the Twenty-second Iowa, who, I am happy to say, has since been promoted. The colors of the Thirteenth Illinois were planted upon the counterscarp of the ditch, while those of the Forty-eighth Ohio and Seventy-seventh Illinois waved over the bastion.

Within fifteen minutes after Lawler's and Landrum's success, Benton's and Burbridge's brigades, fired by the example, rushed forward and carried the ditch and slope of a heavy earthwork, and planted their colors on the latter. Crowning this brilliant feat with a parallel to Sergeant Joseph Griffith's daring, Captain White, of the Chicago Mercantile battery, carried forward one of his pieces, by hand, quite to the ditch, and double-shotting it, fired into an embrasure, disabling a gun in it ready to be discharged, and scattering death among the rebel cannoneers. A curtain connected the works forming these two points of attack.

Men never fought more gallantly; nay, more desperately. For more than eight long hours they maintained their ground with death-like tenacity. Neither the blazing sun nor the deadly fire of the enemy shook them. Their constancy and valor filled me with admiration. The spectacle was one never to be forgotten.

A portion of the United States infantry under Major Malony, serving heavy artillery, added to their previous renown. Neither officers nor men could have been more zealous and active. Being in the centre, they covered, in considerable part, the advance of Benton's and Lawler's brigades, and materially promoted their partial success.

Meantime Osterhaus's and Hovey's forces, forming the column of assault on the left, pushed forward under a severe fire upon a more extended line until an enfilading fire from a strong redoubt on their left front, and physical exhaustion, compelled them to take shelter behind a ridge. Here they could distinctly hear the words of hostile command. Their skirmishers, however, kept up the conflict.

Alarmed for his safety, and the assault of the corps on my left having failed, the enemy early hastened to mass large numbers from his right and left in my front. Thus reenforced, he renewed his efforts with increased effect. All my forces were now engaged. Failure and loss of my hardwon advantages became imminent.

Advising General McArthur (who was on his way from Warrenton) of the state of affairs, I requested reinforcements and notified Major-General Grant of the fact. At eleven o'clock A. M. I also informed him that I was hotly engaged; that the enemy was massing upon me from his right and left, and that a vigorous blow, by Gen. McPherson, would make a diversion in my favor. Again, at twelve M., that I was in partial possession of two forts, and suggested whether a vigorous push ought not to be made all along our lines.

Responsively to these despatches, Major-General Grant directed me to communicate with General McArthur; to use his forces to the best advantage, and informed me that General Sherman was getting on well. This despatch was dated half-past 2 o'clock P. M., and came to hand half-past 3 o'clock P. M. About the same time I received information that General Quimby's division was coming to my support.

Hastening to acknowledge the receipt of this welcome intelligence, I replied that I had lost no ground; that prisoners had informed me that the works in which I had made lodgments were commanded by strong defences in their rear, but that with the divisions promised, I doubted not that I would force my way through the hostile lines, and with many others, I doubt it not yet.

But obstacles intervened to disappoint. General McArthur's dvision being several miles distant, did not arrive until next day. Colonels Boomer's and Sandburn's brigades, of General Quimby's division, moving in the direction of my position, and in view of the enemy, prompted the latter to concentrate additional forces in my front,. and to make a sortie, which was promptly repelled. Coming up late in the evening, much exhausted, night set in and terminated the struggle before either of these brigades could be fully applied; indeed, before one of them was entirely formed. Colonel Boomer fell early after his arrival while leading his men forward, lamented by all. About eight o'clock P. M., after ten hours continuous fighting, without food or water, my forces withdrew to the nearest shelter, and rested for the night, holding by a strong picket most of the ground they had gained.

My loss during this memorable day, comprised full three fourths of my whole loss before Vicksburgh. My whole loss was one thousand four hundred and eighty-seven, of which General Osterhaus's was thirty-five killed, two hundred and thirty-three wounded, and one missing; General Smith's, sixty-nine killed, four hundred wounded, and thirty missing; General Hovey's, forty-two killed and wounded; and General Carr's one hundred and nine killed, and five hundred and sixty-eight wounded.

To say that the Thirteenth army corps did its whole duty manfully and nobly, throughout this arduous and eventful campaign, is only to say [66] what historical facts abundantly establish. They opened and led the way to the field of Fort Gibson, and had successfully fought that battle for several hours before reenforcements came. They led the way to Champion Hill, and bore the brunt of that battle. Unassisted they fought and won the battle of Big Black. They made the first if not the only lodgment in the enemy's works at Vicksburgh, retaining their advantage longest, withdrawing last, and probably sustaining the greatest loss.

That their officers are subject to no just reproach is equally true. On the contrary, that my officers, generally, have borne themselves faithfully and gallantly, is attested by conspicuous and incontrovertible facts. Their success is a conclusive testimonial of their merit.

While referring to the reports of division, brigade and regimental commanders for particular notice of the officers of their commands most distinguishing themselves, it is proper as commander of the corps, that I should recommend Brigadier-Generals Hovey, Carr, and Osterhaus, for promotion; also, Colonels Slack, Stone, Kaigwin, Landrum, Lindsey, and Mudd. The skill, valor, and services of those officers entitle them to it.

Not having received the reports of Generals Blair, Smith, and Quimby, I have been unable to furnish a more particular account of the operations of these commands.

To the members of my staff I am largely indebted for zealous and valuable assistance. Colonel Mather, acting chief of staff of artillery and of ordnance; Colonel Mudd, Chief of Cavalry; Lieutenant-Colonel Pardee, acting Inspector-General; Lieutenant-Colonel Warmoth, Aid-de-camp; Lieutenant-Colonel Scates, A. A. General, and Major Butler, Provost-Marshal-all have been active and eminently useful in their respective spheres of duty.

Lieutenant-Colonel Warmoth, while by my side, during the assault of the twenty-second ultimo, was severely wounded. Lieutenants Haine, Chief Engineer of the corps, McComas, Jayne, and Mason, have commended themselves by ability, activity, and diligence. Lieutenant-Colonel Taggart, Chief Commissary, and Lieutenant-Colonel Dunlap and Captain Garber, Quartermasters, have administered their affairs with an energy and success commanding my hearty approbation. Major Forbes, Medical Director, has done every thing that could be expected of an officer of rare talent, intelligence, and various experience in his department.

Sympathizing with the General commanding the noble army of the Tennessee in the loss of so many brave men, killed and wounded, I cannot but congratulate him in my thankfulness to Providence upon the many and signal successes which have crowned his arms in a just cause.

John A. Mcclernand, Major-General Commanding Thirteenth Army Corps.

1 see page 687 Docs., Vol. VI. R. R.

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