was pierced for ten guns and shielded a long line of rifle-pits. Had the enemy been well established in position, and had we been unaided by the gunboats, the enemy's position would have been strong; but the gunboats had an enfilading and reverse fire upon that line, and hence it was untenable.
I have said that Post Arkansas is on the left bank of the river. By land it is 5 and by water 12 miles from Fletcher's Landing, on the right bank. At the fort the river turns abruptly to the left and runs up for a distance of 3 miles to the southeast, nearly parallel to its own channel below the fort so that from Fletcher's, on the right bank, to Smith's, on the right bank, across the bend, is only a distance of 3 miles, and it is 3 miles from Smith's to the fort.
I was directed by General McClernand to send two regiments with a section of artillery across the bend, to prevent re-enforcements being sent to the fort by the river and cut off a retreat by that route. Having obtained permission to do so I ordered Lindsey's brigade, composed of the Third Kentucky, Forty-ninth Indiana, and One hundred and fourteenth Ohio, with a section of 10-pounder Parrotts commanded by Lieutenant Wilson of the Chicago Mercantile Battery, and Captain Kirbride's cavalry company, to land at Fletcher's and push across to Smith's. I instructed Colonel Lindsey to throw out vedettes toward the point opposite the fort, and act as circumstances required. On the 10th instant I sent him two 20-pounder Parrotts, under Captain Foster of the First Wisconsin Battery, permission of Major-General McClernand having first been obtained.
While at the mouth of White River I respectfully suggested that we should occupy the right bank of the river, opposite the fort, in order to secure a cross-fire with the gunboats on the fort. This suggestion me with the approval of the commanding general, but was abandoned in consequence of objection made by General Sherman that a battery established at that point would endanger his troops when they turned the enemy's left. It will hereafter appear that during the battle of the 11th instant Colonel Lindsey did advance his brigade to that position, and by the fire of his artillery caused serious damage to the enemy, as Captain Blackburn of General Churchill's staff and other prisoners subsequently admitted. The opportune appearance of this brigade contributed materially to the result of the day.
Detained at Fletcher's on the night of the 9th instant I did not reach the place of debarkation below the fort till 9 a.m. on the morning of the 10th instant. The corps of Major-General Sherman, which had arrived on the night previous, was already forming; but, thanks to the energy of my division commanders and their subordinates, my corps marched at noon to take up position on Sherman's left.
At Notrib's I met the head of Steele's division returning from the supposed direction of the Little Rock road. The rear of his column did not get back until after daylight on the morning of the 11th instant. At Notrib's staff officer from General McClernand met me and conducted my command through the woods to the position then occupied by General Sherman, east of the fort. General McClernand soon rode up and directed General Sherman's corps to push rapidly toward the enemy's left, while I attacked the fort on the south and east, and extended my line to the left, within supporting distance of Sherman.
I at once went forward and made a reconnaissance of the ground to be occupied by me as soon as General Sherman advanced. The day and night also passed away and daylight found us occupying the same relative positions as on the afternoon before.