War of the Rebellion: Serial 024 Page 0655 Chapter XXIX. VICKSBURG.

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with the enemy in front of the white house. I immediately withdrew, and was ordered to report to General Morgan by General Sherman, who ordered me to advance my brigade to a position on the right of his center. I proceeded to execute the order, and led up the Thirteenth Illinois in the direction indicated, but soon found that I was exposing my men to the fire of our own batteries as well as those of the enemy, and was ordered by General Morgan to retire the regiment and take position ont he left, across the bayou, int he heavy timber facing the right of the enemy. My instructions were to reconnoiter the position of the enemy on this side and prepare to assist in storming his works. The day was so far spent that I was unable to make any reconnaissance. My troops rested upon their arms without fires, and with a very imperfect knowledge of my position I felt it proper to double my pickets.

On the morning of the 29th, when about to make a thorough reconnaissance, I received orders from General Morgan to bring my entire force across the bayou and in rear of his center to aid in resisting an attempt of the enemy to assault his right. This was, however, frustrated before the movement was completed, and I again resumed my position on the left, and in obedience to orders made a personal reconnaissance of the enemy's position in my front, and afterward threw out skirmishers (one battalion of the Thirteenth Illinois) to feel the enemy and observe the ground over which we were directed to charge. it was exceedingly difficult. The works of the enemy on their right were more formidable than from any other approach. Almost every gun and rifle-pit bore upon us and many enfiladed our line of battle. The natural obstructions were certainly as great as from any other direction, and we had not the advantage of as thorough and complete a reconnaissance of the ground, nor had we the facilities of a pontoon bridge to cross the bayou in our front, which was deep and the bottom of it nothing but a treacherous quicksand. The enemy had improved their naturally strong position with consummate skill. The bed of the bayou was perhaps 100 yards in width, covered with water for a distance of 15 feet. On the side of the bayou held by my troops (after emerging from the heavy timber and descending a bank of 8 or 10 feet in height) there was a growth of young cottonwoods, thickly set, which had been cut down by the enemy at the height or 3 or 4 feet and the tops of these saplings thrown down among these stumps so as to form a perfect net to entangle the feet of the assaulting party. Passing through this and coming to that part of the bayou containing water, it was deep and miry, and when this was crossed we encountered a steep bank on the side of the enemy at least 10 feet high, covered with a strong abatis and crowned with rifle-pits from end to end. Above them was still another range of rifle-pits, and still above a circle of batteries of heavy guns which afforded a direct and enfilading fire upon every part of the plateau, which rose gently form the first range of rifle-pits tot he base of the embankment which formed the batteries. These formidable works, defended by a strong force of desperate men such as held them on the 29th, would seem to require almost superhuman efforts to effect their capture.

The force under my command in this assault consisted of four regiments of infantry-the Thirteenth Illinois, commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Gorgas; the Twenty-ninth Missouri, Colonel John S. Cavender; the Thirty-first Missouri, Colonel T. C. Fletcher, and the fifty-eighth Ohio, Lieutenant-Colonel Dister. Two regiment which formed part of my brigade, to wit, the Thirty-second Missouri, commanded by Colonel F. H. Manter, and the Thirtieth Missouri, Lieutenant Colonel Otto Schadt, had been