in check I determined to hold the position selected to the last extremity with the infantry. While the enemy were feeling their way slowly, two companies of the Twenty-sixth Louisiana were ordered to cross Chickasaw Bayou and take position in the timber ont eh bank, in order to fire ont he flank of the enemy's column as it advanced to attack our position. Under cover of a heavy fire of artillery the Abolitionists advance to the attack between 3 and 4 o'clock. Their column of attack consisted (as I subsequently ascertained from prisoners of the Twenty-second Kentucky, Sixteenth and Forty-Second Ohio, with an adequate support. They made repeated efforts to dislodge our forces but were as often driven back, and night found us not only in possession of our position but of considerable ground in front. The Abolition general ([M. L.] Smith) was wounded int his skirmish and the enemy severely punished.
I cannot close the account of this day's operations without paying a deserved tribute to the memory of the lamented and gallant Paul Hamilton, your late assistant adjutant-general. Without his assistance I do not believe we could have held our position against the overwhelming odds brought against us. He was ever at the point of danger cheering, animating, and directing our officers and men; his appearance seemed to have an electric effect upon all who saw him,a nd he inspired all around him with a portion of his own gallant spirit.
About dark the wearied troops under my command were relieved by the Twenty-eight [Twenty-ninth] Louisiana, Colonel [Allen] Thomas commanding. After being relieved you were kind enough to place me in command of the right wing of your lien of defense.
Early on the morning of the 28th ultimo it became evident the enemy intended making a demonstration on Blake Levee, which was in the lie assigned me, and I received instructions from you to hold it at all hazards. The position wa one well calculated to be successfully held by a small force against large odds. The levee followed the bank of Thompson's Lake until it approached Chickasaw Bayou, when it turned almost at right angels from the lake (the bed of which just at this point happened to be dry at this place and time) and followed the bank of Chickasaw Bayou. Just within the angel where the levee made the turn was a slash, or pond of water, from knee to waist deep. In the dry bed of this lake near the turn of the levee the timber had been cut down, forming an abatis difficult, but not impossible, to pass. The levee was defended in the morning by one company of the Twenty-sixth Louisiana (which was subsequently withdrawn) and seven companies of the Forty-sixth Mississippi, under Lieutenant Colonel [W. K.] Easterling. A portion of them were deployed as skirmishers at the bend of t levee and along the branch of it that ran along the Chickasaw Bayou. The skirmishers of the enemy occupied that part of the levee that was ont eh bank of Thompson's Lake, and also all the dry ground int he angle of the levee. heavy skirmishing continued from early in the morning until about 8 a. m. A section of Napoleon guns from Company A, my light artillery regiment, under Lieutenant Frank Johnston, wa in position so as to command the turn of the levee and that portion of its slope next to Thompson's Lake, and also the narrow trip of timber land between the levee and the lake. Three guns of Captain [Robert] Bowman's battery were so posted as to play on the enemy in case they should dislodge our skirmishers and turn the angle of the levee.
About 9 a. m. the enemy opened on our troops with a battery which they had brought from the Yazoo along the levee, and soon afterward I discovered a column of attack formed in the timber consisting of three