and extending inland in different arms in front if the left of our line. In front of the center of the line was an open field. This strip of high land afforded the only available approach from our landing to the enemy's defenses; and above, the second line of rifle-pits expanded into a dry plateau extending to the swamp on the east and northeast and to the bayou and river on the west and south. This plateau, crossed by the Brownsville and Little Rock road, embraced the enemy's cantonment his principal defenses, and the field of action of this day, which covered a space of about 1,000 yards square.
Having placed in battery, at the request of Admiral Porter, two 20-pounder Parrotts, as already explained, for the purpose of dismounting the gun in the lower casemate, which had seriously annoyed the gun-boats on the previous evening, and all my forces being ready for action, I sent word to the admiral accordingly, and notified him that as soon as he had opened fire I would advance to the attack of the enemy's works; and at 12 m. repeated the same communication.
At 1 p.m the gunboats opened fire, immediately followed by the fire of artillery along the right wing of my line, and soon after by the fire of artillery along the left wing. At the expiration of thirty minutes the infantry were to advance to the charge, and when our men were heard shouting, the gunboats, in order to avoid inflicting injury upon them, were to cease firing.
By 1.30 o'clock Hovey's and Thayer's brigades and Giles A. Smith's and T. K. Smith's brigades, of General Sherman's corps, had crossed in double-quick time a narrow space of cleared ground in their front and gained position in a belt of woods extending irregularly by some 300 yards quite to the enemy's rifle-pits. Checked here for a time by a sudden and severe fire of musketry and artillery from cover of the enemy's works, they boldly resumed and continued their advance, supported by Blair's brigade as a reserve until they had approached within short musket-range of the enemy's lines and found shelter in some ravines lined by underbrush and fallen timber.
In executing this movement General Hovey was wounded by a fragment of a shell, but continued upon the field in the gallant; discharge of duty; General Thayer lost his horse, which was shot under him, and Cols. G. A. Smith and T. K. Smith led their commands in a manner challenging the commendation of their superior officers Wood's and Barrett's batteries also performed valuable service. Hoffmann's battery was advanced within 200 yards of the enemy's entrenchments and poured in a rapid and effective fire from three successive positions. It was now 3 p.m.
The artillery of General Morgan's corps having opened fire about 1 o'clock, as already mentioned, kept it up with telling effect for some time. Lieutenant Webster's 20 pounder Parrotts on the river bank completely enfiladed the two faces of the northeastern bastion, some of their shots penetrating the embrasure of the casemate and contributing, with others from the gunboats, to silence the gun inside of it, also the lighter gun in the northern curtain and the gun en barbette in the southeastern bastion, which appeared to be above the elevation of the gun-boats' fire. These results are not only recounted by General Osterhaus as important in themselves, but as bearing honorable testimony to the skill and efficiency of Lieutenant Webster. Blount's three 10-pounder Parrotts continued to pour a well-directed fire into the enemy's lines until General A. J. Smith's division had passed to the front and neared the enemy's works. It was probably the fire of these guns that ex-