About 1 o'clock p.m. both these regiments were moved down to the river to be transported to the Missouri shore. While moving up Front street, the enemy on the opposite bank, having possession of Colonel Tappan's camp, opened a brisk fire on my line with shell and grape, which was continued until the head of my command had reached the lower battery near Major-General Polk's headquarters, when they changed their fire to the boats in waiting to carry us over, throwing shot and shell through and about the transports so frequently as to render it impracticable for us to go on board for some time. Their batteries having been silenced, my command was moved on board of the Kentucky and Charm, and quickly landed on the opposite shore. White my command was being formed, Brigadier-General Cheatham came up from the direction of the firing back in the woods, and ordered me to move the One hundred and fifty-fourth Senior forward in double-quick, as the enemy were driven back by the troops under his command previous to our arrival and were then in retreat. This was done under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Wright, I accompanying them, and sending back Major McNairy to move Colonel Blythe forward, which was done. When about 5 or 6 miles above Columbus I discovered the transports of the enemy along the shore convoyed by two gunboats, and on which their troops were being embarked, they having thrown away everything calculated to impede their flight, the woods and fields being strewn with overcoats, knapsacks, cartridge-boxes, &c.
Major-General Polk, who in company with Brigadier-General Pillow had rejoined Brigadier-General Cheatham near this point, directed me to move the head of my command forward to the river, above the boats of the enemy, and, facing by the rear rank, throw my left below them, thus encircling and preventing them returning into he woods. While executing this order it became necessary to change the movement on account of obstacles, and believing them about to move off, I caused Lieutenant Colonel Wright to move the right wing of the One hundred and fifty-fourth Senior Regiment to the right and below the enemy the left wing and Blythe's regiment being led on to the river above by Brigadier-General Cheatham, and when opposite the transports, and distant some 200 yards, I gave the order to charge, which was most promptly and gallantly done; about one-half of the right wing being led in person by Lieutenant-Colonel Wright, who, finding the enemy hurrying on board, deployed those under his immediate command as skirmishers and opened a galling fire on the enemy.
The remainder of the right wing, by my order, deployed, and fell on their center, and also opened their fire on the crowded and confused mass of the flying enemy. This fire was continued with great effect for more than half an hour. The gunboats of the enemy, having been cut loose from the shore, were moved out in the stream, opened a heavy fire with shell, grape, and canister, sweeping the ground occupied by the command, killing 1 man and wounding 12 others; a detail of which I have heretofore had submitting to you. The troops of the enemy having embarked, they cut their lines steamed beyond the range of our guns. They continued to play on us from their gunboats, which occurring, I ordered the command to retire to cover near by, which was done in good order. Captain Edward Fitzgerald, of Company F, who had been sent with 16 men as skirmishers, rejoined the command, reporting 8 prisoners-1 lieutenant, 1 sergeant, and 6 privates-and having also slain 3 of the enemy. These prisoners, with 4 others captured by the command under Lieutenant-Colonel Wright, were handed over to the proper authorities.