quested Rear-Admiral Porter, commanding the Mississippi Squadron, to advance the gunboats and open fire on the enemy's works for the purpose of diverting his attention while the land forces should gain the positions assigned to them. Promptly complying, the admiral advanced positions assigned to them. Promptly complying, the admiral advanced his boats and opened a terrific cannonade upon the fort, which was continued an hour or more and until after night-fall.
At 10 p.m. Colonel Stewart, chief of cavalry, rejoined me and reported that he had pushed his reconnaissance westerly quite to the enemy's cantonment of log huts and even beyond to the bayou, and that there was nothing in the way of an advance to that point, or, so far as he could judge, beyond. He also brought with him about 100 prisoners, whom, still lingering about the cantonment, he had captured. As General Sherman had not yet advanced to the bayou I hastened Colonel Stewart back to communicate the information he had brought and with an order to General Sherman to lose no time in gaining the bayou. Meanwhile General Steele's division had recrossed the swamp, except a detachment of it left under General Sherman's order to make a feint in the direction of the bridge mentioned.
During the night General Osterhaus bivouacked his division near the landing in a position commanding the neighboring approaching across the swamp and covering our transports against possible attack from the opposite side of the river.
On the night of the 9th Colonel Lindsey's brigade had disembarked 9 miles below Notrib's farm, at Fletcher's Landing, on the right bank of the river in pursuance of General Morgan's order, and marching across a bight of the river had taken position and planted a battery on the bank above the fort, equally cutting off the escape or re-enforcement of the enemy by water. This was accomplished early on the 10th instant and formed an important part of my original plan, for the prompt and skillful execution of which I accord Colonel Lindsey great credit.
Passing a could night without fires and tents, our chilled but faithful men were greeted by a bright and genial sun on the morning of the 11th.
By 10.30 a.m. the two corps were in position and were ready to commence the attack. General Steele's division formed the extreme right of the line of battle, reaching near the bayou. General Stuart's and A. J. Smith's division, Colonel Sheldon commanding, formed the extreme left of the line, resting upon the river, in full view of the fort. Another brigade of the same division, Colonel De Courcy commanding, was held in reserve near the transports, while the remaining brigade of the same division, Colonel Lindsey commanding,w as disposed on the opposite side of the river, as already explained. Company A, First Regiment Illinois Light Artillery, Captain Wood commanding, was posted to the left of General Stuart's division, on the road leading into the post. Company B, of the same regiment, Captain Barrett commanding, was posted in the center of the same division; the Fourth Ohio Battery, Captain Hoffman commanding, in the interval between Generals Stuart's and Steele's divisions, and the First Iowa Battery, Captain Griffith commanding, between Thayer's and Hovey's brigades, of General Steele's division. The First Missouri Horse Artillery, Captain Landgraeber commanding, was in reserve with General Blair's brigade, and the Eighth Ohio Battery was posted in the rear of the center of the general line. Three pieces of the Seventeenth Ohio Battery, Captain Blount commanding, were advanced to an entrenched position in front of Colonel Landram's brigade of General Smith's division, and were supported by the Ninety-sixth Ohio. A section of 20-pounder Parrott