War of the Rebellion: Serial 024 Page 0690 WEST TENN AND NORTHERN MISS. Chapter XXIX.

Search Civil War Official Records

immediately advanced from our lines to hold the enemy in check until adequate arrangement should be made to resist them. The infantry were formed along the road leading from Mrs. Lake['s residence tot eh swamp, awaiting the approach of the enemy. The preferred, however, to keep at a distance, and their guns being of greater range than ours Captain Wofford was ordered forward with his howitzer, and by a few well-directed spherical-case shot caused them to retire in some confusion to the cover of the timber. This movement gave us possession of Mrs. Lake's corn-cribs, which had been commanded by the enemy's sharpshooters, and they were fired by Captain Wofford, in obedience to orders, to prevent the corn falling into that hands of the enemy. During the execution of these movements the gunboats kept up an incessant fire on our troops. Our forces held possession of Mrs. Lake's residence, gin, and quarters during the night, the Twenty-sixth Louisiana being relieved by the Seventeenth Louisiana.

On the morning of the 27th a section of Captain Wofford's battery was advanced from our lines and one gun posted so as to command the road leading from Mrs. Lake's residence back to the swamp and the other at the gin-house.

About 10 a. m. the enemy advanced on our position in two directions. Discovering that the force advancing along the road in rear of Mrs. Lake's residence consisted of infantry, artillery,and cavalry and largely outnumbered ours, and learning from a reliable source that a considerable force was advancing on our right flank, the howitzer posted at Mrs. Lake's residence was ordered to open on the enemy, which it did with effect, checking their advance. The enemy soon placed a section of guns in battery and a brisk artillery duel took place, under cover of which our infantry and howitzer at the gin were withdrawn and our force concentrated near Mrs. Lake's residence. As soon as this object was accomplished the howitzer under Lieutenant [W. A.] Lockhart was withdrawn, as we had no ammunition to expend in artillery duels. As the ground was difficult to retire over with artillery under fire Captain Wofford was ordered with his howitzer across the lake to our regular line of defense and the infantry posted to hold the enemy in check, which was successfully done, though the enemy made several attempts in strong force to drive us from our position. Night found us masters of the ground and the enemy severely punished. The Abolition general (Smith) was wounded during the evening's skirmish.

During the evening the enemy attempted to carry Blake's Levee, on our right, but wee repulsed by a section of Napoleon guns, under Lieutenant Frank Johnston, of Company A.

Early ont eh morning of the 28th the Abolitionists made another demonstration against Blake's Levee. This levee was a very important position, for once in the possession of the enemy it enabled them to flank us and gain a footing in the hills. I received orders from Brigadier-General Lee to hold it to the last extremity. The levee was defended by seven companies of the Forty-sixth Mississippi (afterward increased to nine companies), Lieutenant Colonel W. K. easterling commanding; one company of the Twenty-sixth Louisiana (afterward withdrawn); Captain Bowman's battery, and Lieutenant Johnston's section of Napoleons. The position was naturally very strong. The levee was some 12 to 15 fee thigh and wide enough on top for a good wagon road. It ran along the bank of deep lake until it approached Chickasaw Bayou, when it turned almost at right angles and followed the bank at Chickasaw Bayou until it reached the high ground. The lake gave out a short distance from where the levee made the turn. Its old bed and