War of the Rebellion: Serial 036 Page 0152 Mississippi, WEST TENNESSEE, ETC. Chapter XXXVI.

Search Civil War Official Records

series of works for artillery and two lines of breastworks the inner one about half a mile in length, the outer about 1 mile-both resting their extremities upon Big Black, and forming the segment of a rude circle. Outside of the latter was a deep, miry slough, the approach to which, from the line of my advance, was across a field connecting with others that widened on the right and left.

General Carr's DIVISION, having entered the wood mentioned, was immediately formed in obedience to my order; General Lawler's brigade on the right, resting its flanks near Big Black, and General Benton's brigade on its left and to the right of the railroad. A section of Foster's battery and two regiments of General Osterhaus' DIVISION were ordered to the right and rear of Lawler, to support him and counteract any approach through the forest to the opposite bank of the river. Osterhaus' DIVISION was ordered to form to the left of the road; Lindsey's brigade in front, and the remaining two regiments of Garrard's brigade obliquely on the left and rear of Lindsey's, to counteract any movement in that direction.

Two sections of Foster's battery were brought forward, and while being posted in the center of the two DIVISIONS, under the personal direction of General Osterhaus, was opened on by the enemy's artillery. General Osterhaus and Captain Foster were both wounded, 1 man killed, and a limber box exploded by a shell. The command of the DIVISION, by my order, was immediately devolved upon General Lee.

A brisk action had continued for a half hour or more, when General Smith's DIVISION came up and was ordered by me to extend and support my left, in which direction it was reported that the enemy were moving in large numbers. After this disposition had been made, my right center and left engaged the enemy with increased effect, and General Lawler, aided by this diversion, and availing himself of information obtained by Colonel [J. J.] Mudd, chief of cavalry, of the practicability of making a near approach, under partial cover, on the extreme right, dashed forward under a heavy fire across a narrow field, and with fixed bayonets y's works, capturing many prisoners and routing him.

The feat was eminently brilliant, and reflects the highest credit upon the gallant officers and men of Generals Lawler's and Osterhaus' commands who achieved it. It was determinate of the success of the day. Fleeing toward a steamer forming a bridge across the Big Black near the railroad bridge, most of the enemy escaped to the commanding bluff on the opposite side, while others, hotly pressed by Benton's and the right of Lindsey's brigade, were cut off from that escape, and driven to the left and down the river upon the left of Lindsey's and the front of Burbridge's brigades, and fell into their hands.

A victory could hardly have been more complete. The enemy burned the bridge over which he had passed, two other steamers, and the railroad bridge. About 1,500 prisoners and - stand of arms fell into our hands, eighteen pieces of cannon, and a considerable quantity of ammunition and cotton. A number of the enemy were found dead upon the field, but nothing more is certainly known of his loss in killed and wounded.

The loss on our part was limited to my own forces, which alone were engaged. The NINTH DIVISION lost 10 killed, 19 wounded, and 1 MISSING; the Fourteenth DIVISION 19 killed, 223 wounded, and 1 MISSING; making in all 273. * Among the killed is Colonel Kinsman, Twenty-THIRD Iowa,


*But see revised statement, Part II, p. 128.