Grant directing corps commanders to gain as close a position as possible to the enemy's works until 2 p. m. ; at that hour fire three volleys from all their pieces in position, when a general charge of all the corps along the line should be made.
By 2 o'clock, with great difficulty, my line had gained a half mile, and was within 800 yards of the enemy's works. The ground in front was unexplored and commanded by the enemy's works, yet, at the appointed signal, my infantry went forward under such cover as my artillery could afford, and bravely continued a wasting conflict until they had approached within 500 yards of the enemy's lines, and exhaustion and the lateness nterrupted it. An advance had been made by all the corps, and the ground gained firmly held, but the enemy's works were not carried.
A number of brave officers and men fell, killed or wounded, and among the latter General Lee, who had signalized his brief command with equal activity, intelligence, and gallantry. The command of his brigade devolved on Colonel Keigwin, an able and worthy successor.
On the 20th, General Hovey brought up Colonel Slack's brigade, of his DIVISION, from Champion's Hill, and supported General Osterhaus on the left. General Carr supported General Smith on the right. Lively skirmishing continued during the 20th and 21st, and farther approach to the enemy's works was made where it could be done.
On the evening of the 21st, I received an order of the same date from Major-General Grant, in material part as follows:
A simultaneous attack will be made tomorrow at 10 a. m. by all the army corps of this army. During today army corps commanders will have examined all practicable routes over which troops can possibly pass. They will get into position all the artillery possible, and gain all the ground they can with their infantry and skirmishers. At an early hour in the morning a vigorous attack will be commenced by artillery and skirmishers. The infantry, with the exception of reserves and skirmishers, will be placed in columns of platoons, or by a flank, if the ground over which they have to pass will not admit of a greater front, ready to move forward at the hour designated. Promptly at the hour designated all will start at quick time, with bayonets fixed, and march immediately upon the enemy, without firing a gun until the outer works are carried. Skirmishers will advance as soon as possible after heads of columns pass them, and scale the walls of such works as may confront them.
General Carr's DIVISION relieved General Smith's on the same day, and now formed the advance on the right, supported by the latter. On the left, dispositions continued as before. Communicating Major General Grant's order to DIVISION commanders during the same evening, as far as practicable, everything was done calculated to insure success.
On the morning of the 22nd, I opened with artillery, including three 30, six 20, and six 10 pounder Parrotts [in all, thirty-nine guns], and continued a well-directed and effective fire until 10 o'clock, breaching the enemy's works at several points, temporarily silencing his guns and exploding four rebel caissons.
Five minutes before 10 o'clock the bugle sounded the charge, and at 10 o'clock my columns of attack moved forward, and within FIFTEEN minutes Lawler's and Landram's brigades had carried the ditch, slope, and bastion of a fort. Some of their men, emulous of each other, rushed into the fort, finding a piece of artillery, and in time to see the men who had been serving and supporting it escape behind another defense commanding the interior of the former. All of this daring and heroic party were shot down, except one, who, recovering from the stunning effect of a shot, seized his musket and captured and brought away 13 rebels, who had returned and fired their guns. The captor was Sergt. Joseph E. Griffith, of the Twenty-SECOND Iowa, who, I am happy to say,