War of the Rebellion: Serial 021 Page 0091 Chapter XXVII. VICKSBURG, MISS., AND BATON ROUGE, LA.

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ordered to proceed to the extreme left of the line to observe and endeavor to prevent any attempt to outflank us in that direction.

At a little after daylight, during the prevalence of a thick fog, the order was given to advance. The line proceeded but a few hundred yards before it encountered a brisk fire from the enemy's skirmishers, strongly posted on our extreme right, in some houses surrounded by trees and picket fences. Almost simultaneously a battery of the enemy opened on our line from the same direction. Semmes' battery was ordered forward to an indicated position to drive off the skirmishers and silence the enemy's battery, and the whole line moved rapidly forward, firing and cheering. The effect was instance; the enemy's skirmishers fled, and his battery was compelled to change position and seek shelter under the guns of the arsenal to prevent being captured, where it remained, continuing to fire on our advancing line. Semmes' battery took position on the right of the division, to keep up the engagement with the battery of the enemy. Colonel Thompson's brigade continued to advance under an occasional fire across an open field and through some corn fields, just beyond which they encountered a heavy fire from the enemy, strongly posted in a wood. Here the contest was warmly maintained on both sides for a considerable time, during which the first division succeeded in entering a regimental camp on our right. The enemy was finally driven back into and through another camp immediately in our front. The enemy at this period were strongly re-enforced, and a heavy battery a little to the left of the center opened an oblique fire on both brigades. About the same time the enemy attempted to break our center by pushing a column between the two brigades. This movement being discovered, Semmes' battery was ordered forward and opened on this column at short range with grape and canister with marked effect, for a few rapid discharges scattered the enemy and drove him back in confusion. A similar attempt was made on the right of the division, which was defeated with equal success by a timely and well-directed fire from the Thirty-fifth Alabama and Sixth Kentucky Regiments. The two brigades, which from the nature of the ground had become separated, were ordered in advancing to gain ground to the left and right respectively, in order to subject the enemy's position in front to a converging fire. In executing this movement the First Brigade met a portion of the First Division falling back in some disorder. Colonel Thompson halted and was attempting to reform them, when he was informed by a mounted officer that the order was for the whole line to fall back. In obedience to this supposed order he fell back a short distance, but soon reformed his line and charged the enemy under a galling fire. Unfortunately, while leading his men in this charge, Colonel Thompson fell severely wounded and was borne from the field; and about the same time Colonel Allen also fell dangerously wounded while leading, with un-surpassed gallantry, his brigade against a battery of the enemy. These circumstances prevented the further prosecution of this movement. About this time the major-general commanding, arriving upon this part of the field, directed the final charge upon the enemy, which drove him in confusion through his last regimental encampment to the river under the protection of his gunboats. His camps, containing a large quantity of personal property, commissary stores, and clothing, were destroyed.

Finding it fruitless to remain longer under the fire of the gunboats, and disappointed in the expected co-operation of the Arkansas, the exhausted troops were withdrawn in good order to the suburbs of the town, the Seventh Kentucky Regiment and a section of Semmes' artil-