and proceeded down the Mississippi to the foot of Island No. 1, and lay to for the night on the Kentucky shore, 11 miles above Columbus, as previously instructed by you. Posting a strong guard for the protection of the boat and those that followed to the same point, I remained until 7 o'clock the following morning. At that hour, preceded by the gunboats Tyler and Lexington, and followed by the remainder of the transports, I proceeded down the river to the designated landing, on the Missouri shore, about 2 1/2 miles, in a direct line from Columbus and Belmont.
By 8.30 o'clock the rest of the transports had arrived, and the whole force was disembarked, and marching beyond a collection of corn fields in front of the landing, was formed for an advance movement, and awaited your order. I ordered Dollins' and Delano's cavalry to scour the woods along the road to Belmont, and report to me from time to time. The remainder of my command followed the cavalry, the Twenty-seventh in front, the Thirtieth next, supported by a section of Taylor's battery next; succeeded by the Seventh Iowa, Colonel Lauman, and the Twenty-second Illinois, Colonel Dougherty, who had been assigned by you to that portion of the command. When the rear of the column had reached a road intersecting our line of march, about 1 1/2 miles from the abatis surrounding the enemy's camp, the line of battle was formed on ground which I had previously selected; the Twenty-seventh on the right and the Thirtieth on its left, forming the right wing; a section of Taylor's battery was disposed on the left of the Thirtieth and 200 feet in rear of the line; Thirty-first formed the center, the Seventh and Twenty-second forming the left wing, masking two sections of artillery.
By this time Dollins' cavalry was skirmishing sharply with the enemy's pickets to the right and in advance of our line, the enemy in the mean time having shifted the heavy fire of his batteries at Columbus from our gunboats to our advancing line, but without serious effect. With your permission I now ordered two companies from each regiment of my command to advance, instructing them to seek out and develop the position of the enemy, the Twenty-second and Seventh pushing forward similar parties at the same time. A sharp firing having immediately commenced between the skirmishing parties of the Thirtieth and Thirty-first, and the enemy, I ordered forward another party to their support, rode forward, selected a new position, and ordered up the balance of my command, the Twenty-seventh, to pass around the head of a pond, the Thirtieth and Thirty-first with the artillery crossing the dry bed of the same pond in their front. On their arrival I reformed the line of battle in the same order as before, expecting that the Seventh and Twenty-second would have perfected a line sufficient to inclose the enemy's camp on all sides accessible to us, thus enabling us to command the river above and below him, and to prevent the crossing of re-enforcements from Columbus, insuring his capture as well as defeat.
The Thirtieth and Thirty-first and the artillery moving forward promptly relieved the skirmishing parties, and soon became engaged with a heavy body of the enemy's infantry and cavalry. This struggle, which was continued for half an hour with great obstinacy, threw our ranks into temporary disorder, but the men promptly rallied under the gallant example of Colonels Fouke and Logan, assisted by Major Brayman, acting assistant adjutant-general of my brigade; also by Captain Schwartz, acting chief of artillery, Captain Dresser, of the artillery, Lieutenant Babcock, of the Second Cavalry, and Lieutenant Eddy, of