ploded a caisson within the enemy's entrenchments, killing several men and all its horses.
When the enemy and his works had been visibly damaged by the fire of artillery General A. J. Smith deployed nine regiments of Burbridge's and Landram's brigades, supported by three regiments in reserve, and steadily moving forward, drove the enemy's advance toward the open ground in front of the right of his defenses. Seeking shelter behind a cluster of cabins, Colonel Guppey, with the Twenty-third Wisconsin, was ordered to charge and dislodge him, which he promptly did, forcing him to flee to his entrenchments; after which the same regiments, led by their tried and gallant brigade commanders, under the personal direction of General Smith, continued their advance until they had approached within 200 yards of the fort, when General Smith sent back word that he could almost shake hands with the enemy.
Meanwhile Colonel Sheldon, under General Osterhaus' opportune direction, had ordered up Cooley's battery within 200 yards of the right of the enemy's defenses, and deployed the One hundred and eighteenth Illinois on its right, and massed the One hundred and twentieth Ohio on its left, holding the Sixty-ninth Indiana in reserve. Both infantry and artillery replied to the gallant fire of the enemy until the rifle-pits of the latter in front were nearly cleared. Seizing the opportunity the One hundred and twentieth Ohio dashed forward to carry the east face of the fort, and only failed because superadded to the fosse there was an impassable ravine in their way.
Colonel De Courcy's brigade, which with General Blair's had borne the brunt of the repulse near Vicksburg, was left near the transports to protect them and to guard the approach across the swamp by which General Steele had countermarched, and remained there until about 3 o'clock, when it was ordered up. Having re-enforced General Sherman, at his request, at 3.15 o'clock, by sending the Twenty-third Wisconsin, Nineteenth Kentucky, and Ninety-seventh Illinois from General Smith's division, to take position farther to the right, and the engagement,notwithstanding the guns of the fort had been silenced by the combined fire of my artillery and the gunboats, being sharp and general on both sides, I ordered an assault.
Burbridge's brigade, with the two regiments of Landram's which had been sent to its right, and the One hundred and twentieth Ohio, of Colonel Sheldon's brigade, bearing the brunt, dashed forward under a deadly fire quite to the enemy's entrenchments; the Sixteenth Indiana, Lieutenant Colonel John M. Orr, with the Eighty-third Ohio, Lieutenant-Colonel Baldwich, of Burbridge's brigade, and the One hundred and twentieth Ohio, Colonel D. French, of Colonel Sheldon's brigade, being the first to enter the fort. Presenting himself at the entrance of the fort General Burbridge was halted by the guard, who denied that they had surrendered until he called their attention to the while flag and ordered them to ground arms. Immediately after, meeting General Churchill, commandant of the post, and Colonel Dunnington, of the rebel navy, commanding the fort, he referred the former to me, from whom I received the formal surrender of the post, its armament, garrison, and all its stores.
Farther to the enemy's left his entrenchments were stormed by General Sherman's command, who immediately ordered General Steele, whose zeal and daring added to his previous renown, to push forward one of his brigades along to the bayou and cut off the enemy's escape in that direction.
Colonel Lindsey, as soon as a gunboat had passed above the fort,