Lauman, and then followed with the train and artillery, bringing up the remainder of my force and forming it on the east side. The cavalry had been sent in advance by Major-General Hurlbut.
I then received instructions from Major-General Hurlbut to move rapidly and cautiously to the Hatchie, at Davis' Bridge, and to hold and occupy the ground at the crossing.
On my reaching the front Colonel Morgan, Twenty-fifth Indiana, reported to me a rebel force occupying a house on the left of the road about 400 yards in advance. The Twenty-fifth was in line of battle, with the center in the road. I sent Colonel Davis, Forty-sixth Indiana [Illinois], to move on the right, and Colonel Hall, with the Fourteenth, to the left.
As soon as this disposition was made a section of Captain Bolton's battery, under command of Lieutenant James, was brought up, and shelled the house and barn in a most effective manner, driving out the rebel picket, which fled to the woods on the left. Colonel Morgan's skirmishers advanced and occupied the house and reported the hill clear of the enemy.
The line of battle was now moved steadily forward over most difficult and dangerous ground, traversed by deep hollows and ravines and covered with dense woods and thickets. The road was narrow and difficult. The remainder of my force was held in reserve and marched on the road. We moved in this manner about 2 miles, meeting with no enemy. We had now reached some large open fields cut up by deep gullies and ravines, and in front of us about three-fourths of a mile was a high ridge, with a cluster of houses called Metamora. The cavalry had reached this point and had fired a few shots in a skirmish. They soon reported an advance of the enemy, both of infantry and artillery. I ordered my line to push rapidly forward and take position on the hill of Metamora. The batteries were ordered up and my reserve regiments thrown out in line, the Fifteenth Illinois on the left to support and strengthen the left flank the Fifty-third Indiana on the right flank. The enemy had opened on us grape, canister, and shell.
At this time Major-General Ord and Major-General Hurlbut came up and I reported to them the disposition of my command. It was reported to me that rebel cavalry were moving to my right, and I sent one company of the Fifth Ohio Cavalry in that direction to guard that position. Major-General Ord now directed me to move up Colonel Scott's two regiments to some thick woods on the right of my line on the hill of Metamora. The movement was effected in good order and in a very short time my whole command was in line on the high ridge of Metamora.
The batteries during this time had got into position-Bolton near the road and Burnap on the right-and were doing most efficient service. The firing at first was very spirited from the rebel batteries, but it gradually slackened, and it was evident that they were being disabled by the telling shots from our side.
General Ord now directed me to advance my whole line. The movement was executed rapidly and in excellent order. The Fourteenth and Fifteenth Illinois were on the left of the road and all the other regiments on the right. The regiments on the right of the road first drew the enemy's fire and became hotly engaged about half a mile from the river. The action became very hot, but our men pressed them steadily, and in a short time they gave way and took shelter behind houses and fences, abandoning four pieces of artillery which had been silenced by our batteries. The left now struck the enemy's line, and the roar of