War of the Rebellion: Serial 024 Page 0691 Chapter XXIX. VICKSBURG.

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bank were covered with timber, which had been felled, making a formidable obstruction to the advance of a column. Par of the land inside the levee at and near the turn wa covered with water from knee to waist deep. A portion of our troops were deployed as skirmishers at the bend of the levee and on that portion of this that ran along the bayou. The enemy occupied that part of the levee that ran along the lake and al the dry ground inside the bend of the levee. heavy skirmishing continued until about 9 a. m., when the enemy opened on our troops with a battery which they had brought from their boats along the levee. Finding they could not damage our skirmishers, protected as they were by the high levee, they turned their fire on Lieutenant Johnston's section of Napoleons nd kept it up as a rapidly as possible for several hours. Lieutenant Johnston was ordered not to return their fire, but to shelter his men as well as possible and await the advance of the enemy. Several time the enemy attempted to advance their skirmishers, but were driven back by Lieutenant Johnston's guns.

Between 9 and 10 a. m. I discovered a heavy column of attack, consisting of three regiments, formed in their timber between the levee and the lake. They threw forward their skirmishers and endeavored to advance, but the well-directed spherical-case from the napoleons soon threw them into confusion and they retired out of range. This column threatened our position for five or six hours, but the difficulties of the ground and the terrible fire f artillery, which had accurately acquired their range, seemed to deter them. It was subsequently ascertained from Colonel [thomas C.] Fletcher, of the Thirty-first Missouri, who was taken prisoner, that his regiment formed the head of the column, and that the main force of the enemy in front of our position were concentrated behind this leave. They wee held in check al day long by the Forty-sixth Mississippi, Lieutenant Johnston's section, and Captain Bowman's battery.

About 11 a. m. the Twenty-eighth [Twenty-ninth] Louisiana, under Colonel [Allen] Thomas, which had relieved the Seventeenth Louisiana the evening before, after gallantly holding the position across the lake near Mrs. Lake's field against great odds, was forced to retire to our regular lines. The enemy soon advanced their artillery to the timber skirting McNutt's Lake, and the firing became general along the center and left of our line. Two of Captain Wofford's guns, under Lieutenant Weems, were posted in the road near the right of our center. About 250 yards farther to the left was posted a section of Company E, under Captain [N. J.] Drew, and the other section of Company E was posted at the Indian mound, about three-quarters of a mile farther to the left. The enemy concentrated on these batteries a terrible fire of artillery and reined a perfect shower of Mine balls on them from the woods on the opposite bank of McNutt's Lake. Our batteries were not idle, but slowly and deliberately returned the fire. They were instructed not to waste a single round of ammunition. The heaviest fire seemed to be concentrated on Captain Wofford's four guns, and nobly did he and his gallant officers and men sustain themselves. one wheel of one of his pieces was destroyed by a Parrott shell and another was seriously damaged, and his loss of men was very heavy, yet they never faltered. Night found the survivors at their posts.

I regret that I cannot report as favorably of the section under Captain Drew. with as gallant a body of men as eve lived, and who had often been under fire before, here without orders moved one of his pieces from its position and left the field himself. His other piece was disabled