a brigade across the bayou, which would occupy two hours; that within thirty minutes thereafter he would have possession of the heights, to a moral certainty.
I received orders from the general commanding to halt the brigade, and, subsequently, to render General morgan any assistance that he might ask for. General morgan finally told me that he was going to storm the heights without waiting for the bridge to be completed. he requested me to support the storming party with what force I had. On being informed that Thayer's brigade was at hand and that Hovey's would soon be up, he gave some orders to Thayer in regard to the route which his brigade should take and sent a guide to lead him. After Thayer had passed with the Fourth Iowa Infantry, Colonel Williamson, General Morgan asked me how many troops I had. I told him Thayer's brigade; one of his regiments, however, the Twenty-sixth Iowa, was detached to cut a road, but that I did not know whether any of Hovey's had arrived or not. he then asked me to turn part of the troops a little farther to the right. I therefore directed Colonel Charles H. Abbott, of the thirtieth Iowa Infantry, a little to the right, supposing the object of this was to facilitate the crossing of the troops over the bayou by preventing them from all huddling into the same place. At the time I did not know that there was any dry crossing and I presume General Morgan was not aware of the fact. The troops that I directed tot he right it seems did not get across the bayou, but General Thayer went gallantly on with the Fourth Iowa, and, instead of being a support to the storming party, was soon in the advance, and entered the enemy's second line of rifle-pits nearly as soon as any. I gave no orders on the field that day except at the suggestion of General morgan, save that I followed up the movement, encouraging the men while they were advancing and endeavoring to check them when they fell back.
General Hovey's brigade did not get up to the front in time to take part in the assault, but was up very soon after it was over and took position to the left of the bayou, which had been occupied by Blair's brigade previous tot he assault, awaiting orders to storm the enemy's position, which his whole command, I am told, was anxious to do.
Although Blair was detached from my command, it would perhaps not be improper for me to report in regard tot he part taken by his brigade in the assault. Two of his regiments. Manter's and Schadt's, Thirty-second and Thirtieth Missouri, were detached to support Morgan's batteries. His line was formed in the woods between Thompson's Lake and Chickasaw Bayou, a short distance behind the bayou that connects these two. Between his line and this bayou was an entanglement formed by cutting down small cotton trees, leaving the trees entwined among the stumps. The bed of the bayou was about 100 yards wide, quicksand, and about 15 feet wide water 3 feet deep. The bank on the opposite side was steep and obstructed by abatis, crowned by a line of rifle-pits. Ont he slope above this was still another line of rifle-pits, and above this on the plateau was the county road, the earth being thrown on the lower side, forming a parapet which covered batteries and sharpshooters. Batteries were also placed on the heights to the right and left, which enfiladed the rifle-pits and the road.
General Blair led his brigade with intrepidity in the face of all these obstacles; leaving his horse floundering int he quicksands of the bayou, and passing over the two lines of rifle-pits, nearly reached the foot of the parapet. Here he turned and was the storming party from the center of General Morgan's division coming over the first line of rifle-pits. His troops fell fast around him, and among others was Lieutenant Colonel P.