which work they immediately commenced. I now discovered a narrow, winding part up the opposite bank about 1000 yards to the left and sufficiently wide for 2 men to march abreast. I immediately ordered the Sixth to cross, which they did in five style under heavy fire. They formed under the opposite bank, where they were comparatively safe from the enemy's fire. They continued to occupy this position while the working party were trying to get thought the bank.
The enemy were now being heavily re-enforced. A battery of four guns was placed-not over 40 yards from where digging through the levee, and at dark we still bad but the narrow part to go up the bank, the opposite side of which was defended by as many men as could effectively placed behind it, with several regiments lying flat on the ground about 50 yards to the rear. To attempt a charge up such a defended position in two ranks I considered utterly impracticable. I therefore deployed the Eight Missouri to strengthen the Thirteenth U. S. Infantry and Fifty-fourth Ohio Volunteers as sharpshooters, and ordered Lieutenant-Colonel Blood to recrossed, which, under cover of the dark knees, but through heavy firing, he soon accomplished.
Lieutenant-Colonel Blood, of the Sixth Missouri, together with his orders and men (with the exception of the commissioned officers of Company E, who deserted their company, which was gallantly led by Second Sergt. John F. Bailey), displayed the most gallant conduct throughout the whole affair. Lieutenant-Colonel Blood, although considerably injured in the breast by a speak ball, and requiring the assistance of 2 men to help him along, remained in command of his regiment.
Captain Boutell, of Company F, who crossed with the first company, and Captain Buck, Company K, in charge of party, and Lieutenant
-, Company-, are entered to great praise for the gallantry displayed in leading over the first company and working party. The Thirteenth U. S. Infantry, Major Chase commanding, also did goon service as sharpshooters. The Eighth Missouri and One hundred and sixteenth Illinois were at their posts doing whatever they could from their position to keep the enemy from raising sufficiently to shoot over at our men.
Herewith is a full lifts of casualties.*
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
GILES A. SMITH,
Colonel Eight Missouri Vol. Infty., Commanding First Brigadier
Report of Brigadier General David Stuart, U. S. Army, commanding Fourth Brigade and Second Division, of operations December 26, 1862-January 3, 1863.
HEADQUARTERS FOURTH BRIGADE, SECOND DIVISION,
RIGHT WING, THIRTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
In the Field, January 1 [?], 1863.
MAJOR: I have the honor to report the operations of the Fourth Brigade, Second Division, right wing; and of the Second Division for the few hours the command devolved on me after General M. L. Smith was disabled:
I debarked at Johnson's plantation, on the Yazoo, in the afternoon of
* Embodiment in revised statement, p. 625