War of the Rebellion: Serial 036 Page 0629 Chapter XXXVI. BATTLE OF PORT GIBSON, MISS.

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church. I again formed the advance companies in line, and sent an order back for the entire brigade to move forward into line.

The advance howitzer was placed in position in the lane, but while these dispositions were being made, the enemy opened a battery upon us at short range, throwing their shell all around us. Finding myself in the face of the enemy, in a position carefully selected, with a perfect knowledge of the ground, I concluded at once that we had reached the place where the battle of the night was to be fought. The infantry were formed in line, and the batteries ordered in position on the ridge in rear of our advance. In the mean time, the howitzer in the lane, commanded by Sergt. William R. Leibert, was replying to the rebel battery with great spirit and apparent accuracy. Soon our entire battery opened upon the enemy, in conjunction with Captain Klauss' First Indiana, and continued to return the enemy's fire with great rapidity until 2 o'clock in the morning, when the enemy's batteries were driven from the field and silenced, and our men lay down upon their arms to await the coming dawn, when they were to meet the rebel infantry face to face in bloody combat.

This artillery duel was one long to be remembered by those who witnessed int. The fire of the rebel batteries, on account of their knowledge of the ground, was quite accurate, and many of our men and horses were disabled by them. The extreme darkness, the screaming and bursting of shells, and the rattle of grape through fences and timber conspired to render the scene presented by this midnight battle one of the most terrific grandeur.

Soon after sunrise the battle was renewed by the enemy, who held their position during the night. Their batteries opened upon us with great vigor, and their infantry moved forward to the attack. My command was promptly in line, and Captain Griffiths vigorously returned their fire with his admirable battery. Other brigadesere soon engaged on our right and left, and the two contending forces became hotly engaged. Our position being in the center of jour line, I was ordered by General Carr to hold my infantry in readiness to charge the enemy's lines when the decisive moment should arrive, though we were all the time in range of the rebel artillery and musketry.

About 10 o'clock it became evident that the enemy were massing their forces upon our immediate front, as their musketry was increasing in volume and rapidly advancing toward us. At this juncture I moved my brigade forward in double lines of battalions, for the purpose of charging upon the advancing columns of the enemy. We were compelled to cross a deep hollow, thickly covered

on both slopes with underbrush and cane, but my men moved forward with the spirit and steadiness of veteran troops, and with unbroken lines. When the thicket was passed, and as we advanced into the open field close to the enemy's lines, we opened our fire upon them with such rapidity and precision that, unable to resist it, they soon broke and retreated in utter confusion. This ended the battle of the morning. Our victory was complete.

The dead and wounded of the enemy lay thickly scattered over the ground, while their prisoners and small-arms that fell into our hands were counted by the hundreds. We remained but a few minutes on the victorious field. I moved at once in pursuit of the retreating foe, and when about 1 mile from the late field my advance regiment, the Eleventh Wisconsin, covered by two companies of skirmishers from the Twenty-THIRD Iowa, was fired upon from the timber. I saw at once that the enemy had been strongly re-enforced and were determined to make another stand. Their position was well chosen, on a high hill covered with