War of the Rebellion: Serial 024 Page 0792 WEST TENN. AND NORTHERN MISS. Chapter XXIX.

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at close range; but owing to the fact that my line terminated in open ground my left flank was entirely exposed, and as we had not a single company in reserve I felt very uneasy about that flank. There being heavy timber and a swamp within rifle-range on my left, I tried to guard the trench from being enfiladed from that quarter by constructing traverses at intervals of about a company front, and by making a wing of about 40 to 45 feet at the left extremity of the trench.

About sunrise I could see the enemy's columns in motion in the vicinity of Garland's brigade camp. They were moving apparently around my left flank, and also seemed to threaten an advance upon Garland's brigade upon my right; however, the heavy growth of timber and brush prevented me from gaining anything but occasional glimpses of their columns. A few minutes after sunrise we could distinctly see what appeared to be several battalions of the enemy marching by a flank through the swamp beyond the bayou, and thus gaining the rear of my left flank. Wishing to meet this movement, and having the rear of my left flank. Wishing to meet this movement, and having no reserve, I was forced to weaken my line by detaching two companies from each regiment, which I deployed as a line of skirmishers along the bayou, commencing where the prolongation of my line intersected it and extending down the bayou. Lieutenant-Colonel Noble, Seventeenth Texas Dismounted Cavalry, commanded this line of skirmishers.

Having reported this movement of the enemy to General Churchill be ordered Captain Alf. Johnson's Texas Cavalry Spy Company, also Denson's and Nutt's Louisiana cavalry companies, all under command of Captain Alf. Johnson, and numbering about 120 men, to report to me. I then had cavalry pickets posted along the bayou from the left of my line of infantry skirmishers to where the bayou joined the river and also had a few pickets thrown out a few hundred yards beyond the bayou and opposite to where the line of cavalry pickets and infantry skirmishers joined, thus preventing the enemy from coming in rear of my left without my knowledge; at the same time General Churchill also directed Lieutenant Colonel A. S. Hutchinson, commanding the Nineteenth Arkansas Infantry, to report to me with six companies of his regiment. I placed this battalion in reserve immediately in rear of the Fifteenth Texas and close to the trench, so as to shelter them as much as possible.

One section of 6-pounders and a section of 10-pounder Parrotts from Hart's Arkansas Battery, under command of Lieutenant E. A. Du Bose and W. T. Tiller, were placed in position in the left center of my brigade, the right piece being on the right of the Tenth Texas Infantry. During the morning thee pieces fired upon the enemy from time to time as their columns showed themselves momentarily through openings in the timber and with marked effect. There was also a little desultory picket skirmishing in front of my line, but there was no demonstration in force on the part of the enemy until a few minutes after 12 m., when the gunboats came up the river to within close range and opened a very heavy fire upon the fort; as on the previous evening, however, most of the shot and shell passed in rear of our line. About 1 p.m. the enemy opened fire upon my line from a number of field batteries posted on some slightly rising ground in my front near Garland's brigade camp. This fire was kept up quite rapidly and continuously, but with scarcely any effect excepting the killing and wounding of some of our artillery horses. How many batteries they had playing upon my line I could not tell owing to the intervening brush and timber, and they seemed to shift their positions frequently;