nity to sleep. We lay that night upon our arms in the trenches. We confidently expected at the dawn of day a more vigorous attack than ever; but in this we were entirely mistaken. The day advanced and no preparations seemed to be making for a general onset; but an extremely annoying fire was kept up from the enemy's sharpshooters throughout the whole length of the entrenchments from their long-range rifles. While this mode of attack was not attended with nay considerable loss, it nevertheless confined the men to their trenches and prevented their taking usual rest.
So stood the affairs of the field until about 3 p. m., when the fleet of gunboats in full force advanced upon the fort and opened fire. They advanced in the shape of a crescent, and kept up a constant and incessant fire for one hour and a half, which was replied to with uncommon spirit and vigor by the fort. Once the boats reached a point within a few hundred yards of the fort, at which time it was that three of their boats sustained serious injuries from our batteries and were compelled to fall back. The line was broken and the enemy discomfited on the water, giving up the fight entirely, which he never afterwards renewed.
I was satisfied from the incidents of the last two days that the enemy did not intend again to give us battle in our trenches. They had been fairly repulsed with very heavy slaughter upon every effort to storm our position, and it was but fair to infer that they would not again renew the unavailing attempt at our dislodgment when certain means to effect the same end without loss were perfectly at their command. We were aware of the fact that extremely heavy re-enforcements had been continually arriving day and night for three days and nights, and I had no doubt whatever that their whole available force on the Western waters could and would be concentrated here if it was deemed necessary to reduce our position. I had already seen the impossibility of holding out for any length of time with our inadequate numbers and indefensible position. There was no place within our entrenchments but could be reached by the enemy's artillery from their boats or their batteries.
It was but fair to infer that while they kept up a sufficient fire upon our entrenchments to keep our men from sleep and prevent repose, their object was merely to give time to pass a column above us on the river, both on the right and the left banks, and thus to cut off all our communication and to prevent the possibility of egress. I then saw clearly that but one course was left by which a rational hope could be entertained of saving the garrison or a part of it-that was to dislodge the enemy from his position on our eft, and thus to pass our people into enemy from his position on our left, and thus ot pass our people into the open country lying southward towards Nashville. I called for a consultation of the officers of divisions and brigades to take place after dark, when this plan was laid before them, approved, and adopted, and at which it was determined to move from the trenches at an early hour on the next morning and attack the enemy in his position.
It was agreed that the attack should commence upon our extreme left, and this duty was assigned Brigadier-General Pillow, assisted by Brigadier-General Johnson, having also under his command commanders of brigades Colonel Baldwin, commanding Mississippi and Tennessee troops, and Colonel Wharton and Colonel McCausland, commanding Virginians. To Brigadier-General Buckner was assigned the duty of making the attack from near the center of our lines upon the enemy's forces upon the Wynn's Ferry road. The attack on the left was delayed longer than I expected, and consequently the enemy was found in position when our troops advanced. The attack, however, on our part was