until the gunboats had come within effective range, and then at a signal every gun was fired-twelve in number. This fire told with great effect, penetrating the iron sides of the boats. The firing now became terrific, sixth was reported throwing curvated shot, which passed over our works, exploding in the air just above. After some time one of the boats was seen to pull back, probably disabled by our shot. The others continued to advance, keeping up a rapid fire.
Our batteries were well served and responded with great effect, disabling, at it was believed, two more of the gunboats. The engagements lasted until 4.10, the gunboats having approached to within 300 or 400 yards of our guns, when they withdrew from the contest. Our batteries were uninjured and not a man in them killed.
The repulse of the gunboats closed the operations of hte day, except a few scattering shot along the land defenses. It was evident, however, from the movements of numerous bodies of troops around our lines, that the enemy had resolved to invest us, and, when prepared, to attack us in overwhelming numbers or press us to a capitulation by cutting off supplies and re-enforcements.
Generals Floyd, Pillow, and Buckner met in council soon after dark; I was present. After an interchange of views it was decided to attack the enemy on his v,d) right the enemy might be thrown back and an opportunity secured to withdraw in safety our forces; that possibly greater advantages might be gained by the attack, which, if well followed up on our part, would result in disaster to the invaders.
This being decided upon, the brigade commanders were at once sent for, and the positions for their respective commands in the order of attack assigned. Brigadier-General Pillow was to direct the movement against the right of the enemy; Brigadier-General Buckner that against his right center, advancing along the Wynn's Ferry road. A few regiments were to remain to guard the lines.
About 5 o'clock next morning (the 15th) the left wing, under General Pillow, moved to the attack. Brisk fires were opened and kept up by the enemy and responded to with spirit from our lines, his men generally overshooting, while ours were constantly warned to aim low.
The enemy's fire after some time extended towards their extreme right, indicating a design to turn our left. To meet this, a body of troops under Brigadier General B. R. Johnson made a flank movement and met the foe. After a long struggle the enemy finally gave way, at first falling back slowly. Our troops pressed forward, and about 9.30 o'clock his right wing was in and charged with effect on the retreating enemy. Six field pieces were captured at different points, and at a later hour of the day brought within the line of entrenchments. Our success against the right wing was complete.
I now accompanied General Pillow across the field to the point of attack assigned to General Buckner's division. On our arrival there his division was in rear of the lines of infantry covers, the general and his officers encouraging the troops to renew the attack on the enemy, who still held position in their front. General Buckner stated that he had, soon after the firing of General Pillow's forces was heard, opened on the enemy with artillery, and followed it up by sending forward two of his best regiments tot he assault; that they moved from the infantry covers with spirit and advanced steadily and in order against the enemy.