War of the Rebellion: Serial 024 Page 0695 Chapter XXIX. VICKSBURG.

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Numbers 35.

Reports of Colonel Allen Thomas, Twenty-eighth Louisiana Infantry, of skirmishes at Chickasaw Bayou.

HEADQUARTERS,

In the Field, January 2, 1863.

GENERAL: Having received orders from you on the morning of the 27th ultimo to move my regiment to your left to prevent the completion of a pontoon about to be thrown across the bayou by the enemy, I advanced my regiment to that point under a very galling fire from the enemy's artillery and sharpshooters. I immediately placed two companies of the Twenty-eighth Louisiana and four companies of the Forty-second Georgia on a mound opposite to and commanding the pontoon. The enemy had here massed a considerable force, whose incessant fire caused us considerable loss. Our force succeeded, however, in holding them in check, preventing the completion of the bridge.

At about 11.30 a. m. I observed the enemy crossing the bayou in large force and forming line of battle with the evident intention of storming our works. At the same time he threw out a force across a fence to your left, opposite my extreme right, for the purpose of turning your flank. I immediately advanced the remaining companies of the Twenty-eighth Louisiana and Forty-second Georgia to my right, compelling the enemy to retire with considerable slaughter.

About this [time] you had completely routed his columns, which had attacked your center. The line which I had been placed in command of was incessantly annoyed by sharpshooters, who were in very easy range, as it was near the woods which he occupied. This caused the loss on our side of a number of brave men, compelling me to keep the men covered by day. At night, however, I succeeded in throwing up temporary breastworks.

The brigade which I had the honor to command, consisting of the Second Texas, Twenty-eighth Louisiana, Fourth Mississippi, Forty-second [Georgia], and Thirty-first Alabama, behaved well, evincing a strong desire to meet the enemy.

My thanks are due to Lieutenant J. G. Clark, who had been ordered to report to me, for efficient service.

All of which, general, I have the honor to submit.

ALLEN THOMAS,

Colonel, Commanding Brigade.

HEADQUARTERS,

In the Field, January 2, 1863.

GENERAL: In obedience to orders I took position on the evening of the 27th ultimo in the advance on Mrs. Lake's place, across Chickasaw Bayou, relieving Colonel Richardson's command, which had been hotly engaged with the enemy.

Early on Sunday morning the enemy opened on my advance, which I had placed in a shallow ravine, the nature of the ground being such as to afford the best protection to the command. My advance succeeded in holding in check for some time a very large force of the enemy, but were finally dislodged and driven in, when advanced my reserve and drove the enemy back. Having received large re-enforcements, the enemy renewed the attack, and after several hours hard fighting, my ammunition being nearly exhausted and the men wearied,