War of the Rebellion: Serial 024 Page 0766 WEST TENN. AND NORTHERN MISS. Chapter XXIX.

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had the camp-fires been lighted when orders were received to move immediately by another route and by a night march to our original destination. Over marshy ground thickly covered with wood, without a guide, and with the only direction "to take a northwesterly course," we set out. Fortunately the North Star was in full view, and by its aid we were enabled to reach the point indicated after a fatiguing march of more than eight hours. It was after 2 o'clock in the morning when we reached the deserted camp of the enemy.

At daybreak General Steele and staff came up and ordered the brigade to form parallel with the bayou, on which its right then rested, move toward the river, and complete the investment of the enemy's works. Having moved scarcely more than half a mile we met the enemy in force, their works being in full view. The brigade halted, and skirmishers from the Seventeenth Missouri were sent forward to feel for the enemy. They soon became hotly engaged, and the Third Missouri was ordered forward to their support.

Here a brave man, Captain Greene, of the Third Missouri, together with two color-bearers, were instantly killed by the bursting of a shell, and a large number wounded. The enemy having now been unmasked and their position, partially at least, ascertained, a halt was ordered, and nothing further was done until the final dispositions for reducing the post were made.

I had forgotten to state that the Twelfth Missouri was left behind at the landing as a guard for the transports, and that Captain Landgraeber's battery, finding it impossible to follow the brigade in its night march through the swamps and woods, was also left behind.

This brigade occupied the extreme right, and was disposed for the assault as follows: The Seventeenth Missouri, under Colonel Hassendeubel, were deployed as skirmishers in the advance, and were also instructed to watch the right bank of the bayou, to guard against, or at least to give notice of, a flank attack. Colonel Shepard, of the Third Missouri, followed him, supported by the Thirty-first Iowa, under Colonel Smyth. Next, to the left, and in continuation of the line of battle, was the Seventy-sixth Ohio, under Colonel Woods, supported by the Twenty-fifth Iowa, under Colonel Stone.

At a given signal Colonel Hassendeubel advanced with his skirmishers through the woods along the bayou and became hotly engaged. He was attacked on the flank much more violently than was anticipated, and was compelled to divert his whole regiment from its original course to repel this assault, leaving Colonel Shepard in the advance on the original line. The Seventy-sixth Ohio, under Colonel Woods, moved off on the double-quick in gallant style, closely followed by the Twenty-fifth Iowa. This column, moving over open ground and in advance of all others, drew the concentrated fire of the enemy's artillery and rifle-pits; but on they moved, nor stopped until within easy rifle-range of the enemy's works. Colonel Woods' sharpshooters immediately silenced two of the enemy's Parrott guns, and not another shot was fired from them during the action. I wish to call especial attention to the good conduct of this regiment. Though leading the advance, exposed to a concentrated and galling fire, and holding, as I believe, during the entire action, a position considerably in advance of any other regiment, not a man fell out of the ranks; there was no confusion-every man did his duty. By silencing the Parrott guns in front, the advance of the brigade next on the left, Colonel Smyth's, was rendered comparatively safe.

The complications on my extreme right, where the rebels had sta-