heavy pressure of the masses of the enemy's infantry, and the fierce assaults of their heavy battery, that further re-enforcements were necessary. I ordered down General Cheatham,with the First Brigade of his division, under command of Colonel Preston Smith. The general, having arrived in advance of his brigade, was directed by me to take the nearest steamer and to move promptly across the river to rally and take command of the portions of regiments within sight on the shore, and to support the flank movement ordered through Colonel Marks. This he did promptly and effectively.
At this juncture the enemy fired our tents, and advancing his battery nearer the river bank opened a heavy fire on the steamers which were transporting our troops in some instances driving shot through two of them at the same time. Their commanding pilots and other officers, nevertheless, stood firmly at their posts, and exhibited a fearlessness and energy deserving of the highest praise. These boats were the Prince, under Captain Butler, who particularly distinguished himself, the Charm, under Captain Trask, and the Hill, under Captain Newell, with the Kentucky, under Captain Lodwick.
I directed Captain Smith's Mississippi battery to move to the river bank, opposite the field of conflict, and to open upon the enemy's positions. I also directed Major A. P. Stewart, in command of the heavy guns in the fort, to open upon the same position, it being now seen that these guns could be used without causing danger to our own troops.
This joint fire was so terrific as to dislodge the enemy, silence his battery, and cause him to take up his line of march his boats. He had scarcely put himself in motion when he encountered Colonel Marks first and afterwards General Cheatham in his flank, with both of whom severe conflicts followed, and by whom he was driven in with great loss.
On the arrival of General Cheatham's brigade, being now satisfied the attack on Columbus for some reason had failed, I took charge of it, together with Captain White's company of Lieutenant-Colonel Logwood's battalion of cavalry, and proceeded with them across the river, having first ordered two regiments of General Cheatham's command and portions of others, to press the enemy to his boats. This order was executed with alacrity and in double-quick time. The route over which we passed was strewn with the dead and wounded of the conflicts of Colonel Marks and General Cheatham, already alluded to and with arms, knapsacks, overcoats, &c.
On arriving at the point where his transports lay, I ordered the column, headed by the One hundred and fifty-fourth senior regiment of Tennessee Volunteers, under cover of a field thickly set with corn, to be deployed along the river bank within easy range of the boats. This being accomplished, a heavy fire was opened upon them simultaneously, ridding them with balls, and, as we have reason to believe, with heavy loss to the enemy. Under this galling fire he cut his lines and retreated from the shore, many of his soldiers being driven over-board by the rush of those behind them. Our fire was returned by the heaviest cannonading from his gunboats, which discharged upon our lines showers of grape, canister, and shell as they retired with their convoy in the direction of Cairo. It being now sunset, and being left in possession of the field, I ordered the troops to retire.
My first acknowledgments for this signal triumph of our arms and