War of the Rebellion: Serial 036 Page 0598 Mississippi, WEST TENNESSEE, ETC. Chapter XXXVI.

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which had formed its fine on my immediate left. The SECOND Brigade, instead of advancing, sent one company of skirmishers to the front. The Eighty-THIRD Ohio, on my right, also sent five companies of skirmishers to support my right. I had formed my regiment, without any serious loss, within about 250 yards of the fort, and my men were doing excellent execution in keeping the rebel sharpshooters and artillerists well behind their intrenchments. A few hours later General Benton's brigade came to my support, and, forming in my rear about 100 yards, I had the satisfaction of seeing my regiment relieved by two companies of the Ninety-NINTH Illinois Regiment. Returning to the rear at about 2 a. m. on the 21st instant, rested during that day.

On the 22nd, at 8 a. m., I received your orders to prepare for a charge on the rebel forts at 10 a. m., General Benton's brigade to take the advance, our brigade to support and assist him. I formed my line of battle a little to the right of my position of the 19th, in rear of the chimneys already mentioned, supported by the Twenty-THIRD Wisconsin Regiment; the Eighty-THIRD, which was to have formed on my right, more than 100 yards below, in ravine. At the proper hour General Benton's brigade charging, I advanced my regiment with terrific cheering across the hill in front of men, and up to the brow of the next hill, where I was ordered by the right flank forward, following the Eighty-THIRD Ohio and SIXTEENTH Indiana Regiments through a ravine to the front, marching some 150 yards, when your ordered me to the right on the double-quick, to protect the charging column from a flanking fire on that side. I immediately faced my regiment about, and, left in front, filing to the left, I ascended a hill on your immediate right. Checked for but a moment by a heavy fire of musketry in our progress, we pushed forward, and selecting safe positions for my men, I immediately ordered them to fire by the rear rank, soon silencing the fire in front and on our right.

Shortly afterward I was re-enforced by the Eighty-THIRD Ohio, which I directed to form on my left, and some companies of the Twenty-THIRD Wisconsin, which did excellent service on my right, and soon not a rebel would show the tip of his finger above the fort. Yet, unfortunately, I received orders to withdraw my regiment and also the Twenty-THIRD Wisconsin for the support of our SECOND Brigade, on the left of the Jackson road. Marching down the hill by the right flank, I had hardly proceeded a hundred steps up the ravine when a shower of balls hailed over our heads, sent after us from the forts we had silenced; yet we had our orders, and on we went until, close to our destination, we were ordered back to our former position. My men went to work again with their old ardor, but the rebels had got bold, and not being supported on my left, as I should have been, we were exposed to a damaging cross-fire, losing several of our best men. For about three hours the musketry fire, interspersed with grape, raged incessantly across the hill, when at last the FIFTY-NINTH Indiana, Colonel Alexander commanding, came to my support. I cannot speak in too high terms of his regiment. They occupied the position of the Eighty-THIRD Ohio Regiment, and though losing about 50 men is less than half an hour by exposing themselves too much, I think it is to a great extent owing to their assistance and bravery that our retreat and that of other regiments on our left was not entirely cut off, for twice, once on our right and once on our left, carrying the Stars and Bars with them, the rebels attempted a charge, but were repulsed instantly. At about dusk, Colonel Alexander informed me that he had orders from his brigade commander to withdraw his regiment as quickly as possible.