Chickasaw Bayou wee advanced as rapidly as possible, throwing out a line of skirmishers in front through he woods where the enemy had been encamped. Finding the camps all deserted and the ground strewn with the debris of a retreating and panic-stricken army,t he column passed on toward yazoo River, capturing 9 prisoners and a quantity of army stores. I intended dividing the force and recrossing Chickasaw Bayou into Mrs. Lake's field with tow of the regiment, but finding you were moving down that side of the bayou with a considerable force, by your order the Twenty-third alabama was sent over to you and the other two regiments pushed rapidly to the vicinity of the transports and gunboats. hoping that the enemy would advance to attack your force I formed a line of battle as quickly as possible ont he bank of the bayou, intending to take their column of attack in the flank if it advanced on you; but our expectations were not realized, as the Abolitionists declined the battle, though offered them on an opened field and within a few hundred yard of their boats, and contented themselves with shelling the ground previously occupied by our forces. the forces under my command remained in line of battle until I received orders from you in person to return to camp.
If affords me pleasure to bear testimony to the general good conduct of the officers and men placed by you under my command. A list of casualties will doubtless be furnished by the different regimental commanders. I shall make a separate report of the part taken in the different actions by all the batteries of my light artillery regiment that were on the ground.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. T. WITHERS,
Colonel First Mississippi Light Artillery.
Brigadier General STEPHEN D. LEE, Commanding Brigade.
VICKSBURG, MISS., January 6, 1863.
GENERAL: I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of the five batteries of my light artillery regiment which were on the line of the Yazoo during the recent demonstration of the enemy in that direction:
Having been placed in command of a mixed force of infantry and artillery at Chickasaw Bayou I wa unable to devote myself exclusively to my own batteries, but took advantage f every spare moment at my command to look after their interest and notice the manner in which they were served. A detailed report has already been made of the operations of the infantry and artillery under my immediate command, but it will be necessary to allude to the movements of our infantry in order to explain satisfactorily the part taken in the different action by the light artillery.
The enemy effected a landing at Captain [W. H.] Johnston's plantation on friday morning, the 26th ultimo, and by 12 o'clock a considerable force had advanced into Mrs. Lake's field, in front of our position at Chickasaw Bayou. Our force there at that time consisted of the Seventeenth Louisiana, Colonel Robert Richardson; the Twenty-sixth Louisiana, Lieutenant Colonel [Winchester] Hall; two companies of the Forty-sixth Mississippi, under Captain [J. B.] Hart, and Captain [J. L.] Wofford's battery. The Twenty-sixth Louisiana, the two companies of the Forty-sixth Mississippi, and a 12-pounder howitzer under Captain Wofford, we
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