War of the Rebellion: Serial 024 Page 0784 WEST TENN. AND NORTHERN MISS. Chapter XXIX.

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About dusk the enemy's gunboats commenced bombarding the fort and shelled our position generally, continuing for about three hours, sweeping our position in front and rear with an enfilading fire from the right; fortunately doing us but little damage, save to artillery horses. The command, although unprotected, maintained its position during this trying ordeal with firmness. The work on the defenses was diligently prosecuted throughout the night and the next morning, until we had to resume arms to receive the attack of the enemy; but on account of the scarcity of tools we made but little progress, and the works thus hastily and imperfectly constructed afforded but little protection to the troops and particularly from an enfilading fire.

Sunday, the 11th, about sunrise, Dawson's regiment with four pieces of Hart's battery were ordered from my right to the left of the line. I directed Lieutenant-Colonel Anderson to cover the interval thus made, by taking ground to the right with his regiment by extending intervals, which consequently rendered this part of the line rather scattering. About noon the gunboats again opened fire on the fort, gradually approaching. Within three-quarters of an hour after this the enemy's batteries and sharpshooters opened a brisk fire on our entire line. Lieutenant McIntosh, in charge of a section of Hart's battery, commenced firing as soon as he could do so with effect, and on several occasions drove the enemy's sharpshooters from under cover of some buildings several hundred yards in front of his position, as well as otherwise generally annoying the enemy until all his ammunition was blown up by a shell from one of the enemy's batteries in front. The commanders of regiments were instructed to reserve their fire, with the exception of a few sharpshooters in each company, until the enemy should advance to within fair range.

About half n hour after the enemy's batteries opened on our front there was heavy and rapid firing on the left, which induced me to believe that the enemy was attempting t turn our left flank. Just at this time I received a message from Colonel Deshler calling on me for re-enforcements, and having been previously instructed by Brigadier-General Churchill, commanding, to furnish re-enforcements-when called upon by Colonels Deshler and Dunnington-if practicable, the enemy up to this time having made no serious demonstration of an immediate advance on this part of the line, I ordered the alternate companies of the Twenty-fourth and Twenty-fifth Texas Cavalry [dismounted], together with two companies of the Sixth Texas Infantry, under Lieutenant-Colonels Swearingen and Neyland and Major Phillips respectively, to repair to the left and report to Colonel Deshler. While this movement was being executed and the remainder of the brigade were at tempting to fill up the intervals made by the detached companies ordered to the left, the enemy's infantry advanced in force toward our line, and notwithstanding our line was very much weakened they were promptly and handsomely repulsed. Soon after this the enemy again attempted to charge our intrenchments and were again promptly repulsed. During the whole of this time their gunboats and batteries were playing upon our position. About 4 o'clock p.m. Colonel Dunnington, commanding the fort, called on me for a re-enforcement of 100 men, and although one-half of my command was already detached, deeming the holding of the fort of vital importance to us, I directed Lieutenant-Colonel Anderson to throw the two right companies of his regiment into the fort. While this was being executed two gunboats passed the fort, delivering their fire immediately opposite. The fort and the two guns on this part of the line being silenced, the enemy's batteries and gunboats had complete command of the position, taking