out suffering any injury; the only casualty sustained by the fire at this point being the loss of a leg by a lieutenant of the One hundred and thirteenth Illinois. We were obliged to cut our road through the forest, which delayed the advance of our artillery to the front until late in the afternoon. The division was led by the First Brigade, Colonel Giles Smith commanding, and Saturday evening occupied the extreme front nearest the fort, extending from the river bank [or near it] around to the right for near three-quarters of a mile. Our advanced pickets ere within 360 or 400 yards of the enemy's works and in full sight of their guns. I was ordered by Major-General Sherman, commanding the corps, to show ourselves in the front, advancing our lines as far as possible to draw their fire. We were replied to by shell and musketry, by which we suffered a loss of 17 men in the Fifty-seventh and Fifty-fourth Ohio and Fifty-fifth Illinois-nearly all these, however, by one shell.
General Sherman directed me to send a regiment as a picket and skirmishers as far around to the right as I could, and reconnoiter the ground and the enemy's position. Colonel Giles Smith discharged this duty with the Fifty-seventh Ohio, working his way unobserved by the enemy almost up to their very works. The general went with me himself to a point outside our extreme line of pickets, and within 400 or 500 yards of the fort selected a point where he ordered the construction of carthworks for the protection of Hart's battery [four 20-pounder Parrott guns], which he then intended to place there in the morning. With a detail of 200 men from the One hundred and twenty-seventh Illinois, under the superintendence of Lieutenant-Colonel Malmborg, Fifty-fifth Illinois, this work was constructed. My entire division was under arms and on duty all that night, which they thought no hardship when they saw their corps general himself in their midst and front, despising his own ease and denying himself rest.
General Morgan's troops having come up to the position assigned to them in general orders and relieved my division, we were ordered about daylight to move to the right to give place for them, and were led by General Sherman in person to the large open field, where the enemy had their cavalry barracks, immediately in front of their intrenchments Quickly observing the position the general ordered me to advance one brigade and deploy it in line of battle across the field. The First Brigade was promptly deployed into line, with Company A, Chicago battery [Captain Wood], on its left, and Company B [Captain Barrett] on the right. The Second Brigade was held at hand [out of sight of the enemy] on our left. Lieutenant Hart's battery of 20-pounder through the woods, affording it an oblique fire [oblique to our line of advance].
The work constructed by General Sherman's order on Saturday night was occupied by Blount's battery of 10-pounder Parrotts [in General A. J. Smith's division.]
At about 1 p.m. January 11 the line was ordered to advance and assault the enemy's intrenchments. We were to advance at the expiration of three minutes after the fire from the batteries had ceased. Before the firing had ceased we discovered a brigade or regiment, forming on the left of General Steele's division, commencing their march. They moved at the double-quick; seeing which I appealed to General Sherman, who stood immediately by our lines, for orders. He commanded the advance at once, and the First Brigade instantly moved forward at the double-quick, followed immediately by the Second Brigade at a distance of 150 yards. When the First Brigade arrived in close range of the rifle-pits it was opened on by a heavy fire from the right and left as well as the front of the intrenchments and by two batteries, one on