gradually and unobstructedly down to the creek, which in its course receded from our line. In front of Crittenden the ground was thickly wooded for nearly a mile along a gentle spur, and then opened into a cleared space, which extended all the way down from the Farmington and Purdy road in front of Nelson's left in a gradual slope for more than a mile to the woods bordering Bridge Creek. Off to the left and front of Crittenden the ground was much more irregular, and after crossing some large open fields in front of Pope it was densely wooded along Phillips' Creek. The enemy occupied the woods in our front with strong lines of skirmishers on both sides of the creeks, and from this time until the evacuation skirmishing, mingled occasionally with artillery, was almost incessant along the whole front.
On the 18th Crittenden moved forward some 400 yards into the woods on his front. Nelson moved half a mile into the woods in front of his right. Batteries were established to sweep the open depression between Nelson and Crittenden, and Wood, with a part of his division, occupied the timbered spur in front of his right. All of these positions were intrenched.
On the 21st Colonel Sedgewick's brigade, of Nelson's division, with a battery of artillery, made a reconnaissance near Serratt's house. The enemy was found in considerable force at the creek, and a spirited skirmish ensued, in which Sedgewick had 26 men wounded, 3 mortally.
On the 27th McCook's division, which had been held in reserve, was moved in front of Wood and Sherman, and after some skirmishing drove the enemy across Bridge Creek. At the same time a heavy battery was established on high ground on the right, to enfilade the valley of Bridge Creek and the road on from Serratt's house.
On the 28th three of my divisions were advanced. McCook, with Rousseau's brigade leading, drove the enemy from and occupied Serratt's Hill. This secured to us a commanding and very important position less than a thousand yards from the enemy's works. It was, I presume, the nearest point occupied by any of the force in front of Corinth previous to the evacuation. Nelson drove the enemy from Bridge Creek and occupied that line, 1,300 yards from the enemy's works, and Crittenden advanced three-quarters of a mile to support him. Wood's division retained its original position. These movements were attended with sharp skirmishing pretty much all day, but without much loss on our side. Colonel Sedgewick's brigade, of Nelson's division, carried the bridge across Bridge Creek, on the Farmington road, which was defended by artillery and infantry, and repulsed three attempts of the enemy to recover it. All the positions taken during the day were intrenched during the night. The distance from my left flank to my right, which was now entirely in front of T. W. Sherman's division, and within half a mile of the Corinth and Purdy road, was in a direct line two miles and two-thirds.
There was some skirmishing on the 29th. On the evening of that day I advised General Halleck of my purpose, with his approval, to crowd the enemy back and cross Bridge Creek with two and perhaps three more divisions, and suggested that General Pope should be prepared to advance also. He replied that General Pope was of opinion that he could not advance without bringing on a general attack, and he deemed it best, therefore, that Pope should hold on to his position until we felt the enemy more on the right and center. I accordingly gave specific instructions for the advance of my troops on the following morning. About 2 o'clock next morning I received dispatches from General Halleck and General Pope, informing me that the enemy