musketry showed that it had a heavy force to contend with; but the result was the same. The enemy was driven from his strong positions and the fight became general along the whole line, the rebels fighting behind fences and houses and our forces advancing over and around these obstacles. A rapid movement of the Fourteenth and Fifteenth brought them to the Hatchie, driving the enemy before them and cutting off the retreat of that portion below the bridge. A number of prisoners (over 100 in one body) threw down their arms and surrendered.
The direction in which the enemy fell back caused Colonel Scott's command to move to the right and the Forty-sixth Illinois and Twenty-fifth Indiana closed upon his left. The Fifty-third Indiana moved down the road, all of them pressing the enemy and capturing prisoners. The river and the bridge was gained, but the fight was not ended. The enemy was collecting his forces on the opposite side and getting his artillery in position. General Ord directed me to move my command across the bridge and "to form my regiments in line, the first regiment on the right and the second on the left of the road, far enough to admit another regiment between each of these and the road."
The Fifty-third Indiana was moved across and directed to the right and the Fourteenth Illinois followed and was moved to the left. The Fifty-third had scarcely cleared the bridge when in met a most deadly fire, and in attempting to form in line it was thrown into confusion, the ground rendering it impossible to execute the order. As the river bent sharply to the east at the bridge and the road ran for some distance close to the river bank, leaving scarcely room for a company instead of two regiments, the Twenty-fifth Indiana crossed and met with the same difficulty with the Fifty-third. The galling fire of the enemy and the nature of the ground rendered it impossible to form in line. The Fifteenth Illinois effected a crossing with some difficulty and moved in good order to the left.
At this time General Lauman reached the bridge and several of his regiments crossed the river. One of his regiments (and perhaps more) became massed with mine between the road and their river. The enemy during the whole time kept up a most destructive fire of musketry, grape, and canister, principally directed on the bridge and upon our forced, who were crowded in masses on the right.
General Ord was wounded and taken from the field. All that could be done was to hold the ground. In our present position no advance could be made and we awaited orders. Bolton's and Mann's batteries had crossed the bridge and kept up a vigorous fire on the enemy.
At this time Major-General Hurlbut came to front and took command. By his order I moved the Forty-sixth Illinois, Sixty-eighth Ohio, and Twelfth Michigan across the river and to the left of the road. Here they formed in line with the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Illinois. The Twenty-fifth and Fifty-third Indiana formed on the right near the road. The whole division now moving forward sharp fighting took place on my left, which lasted only a short time when the enemy gave way, and the battle so far as the infantry was concerned had closed. My command moved steadily up on the left of the road, through a large open field, to the top of the ridge in the field. The enemy had retreated to the edge of the woods, and placed a battery there to rake the hill as we advanced. I halted my line in a position to protect it from the artillery of the enemy, and had just given the order to Colonel Hall to watch his opportunity and charge and take their battery at the first moment he found it practicable and was turning to the right to see the