closely that a sharp skirmish ensued between him and the two escorts, Captains Foster and Hotaling commanding, and the advance of my DIVISION, which was a portion of the First Brigade. The SECOND Brigade was thrown in advance, and continued the pursuit of the enemy on the Grand Gulf road, taking 154 prisoners during the afternoon.
Late in the afternoon our skirmishers reached Hankinson's Ferry, over Big Black River, while a working party of the enemy were in the act of destroying the bridge. The reserve skirmishers and advance guard of the SECOND Brigade, commanded by Colonel Force, Twentieth Ohio Infantry, crossed the bridge and secured many working implements, which the enemy was forced to abandon in his
On the morning of the 4th, the enemy opened an artillery fire upon the camp of the SECOND Brigade from the opposite side of the river. They would no doubt have effected serious injury upon us but for the admirable manner in which Captains De Golyer, Rogers, and Williams (who had joined the DIVISION on that morning) replied to them. A few well-directed shots from the batteries silenced the enemy's fire, dismounting one gun and killing 2 men.
We bivouacked at Hankinson's Ferry three days, and on the morning of the 7th, in pursuance of orders, I moved on the Clinton road to Rocky Springs, where we remained during the remainder of the 7th and the 8th.
At 12. 30 p. m. on the 9th, we moved forward in the direction of Raymond. I continued the march until the morning of the 12th, halting at night, while nothing of interest occurred.
On the morning of that day my command was ordered to move in advance of General Crocker's DIVISION. At about 9 a. m. the advance of my column discovered the advance pickets of the enemy. General Dennis' (SECOND) brigade being in advance, I caused it to be formed in line of battle across the road, and ordered General Dennis to move forward. The First and THIRD Brigades moved by the flank on the road, in easy supporting distance, nearly 1 1/2 miles, to a commanding position upon the summit of a hill about 2 miles from the town of Raymond. I caused the command to halt.
A reconnaissance was then made by the two escort companies belonging to General McPherson and myself, which proved the enemy was in force in my immediate front. I caused the front of the brigade in line to be well protected with a line of skirmishers, and ordered it of move forward cautiously and ascertain the position of the enemy. Our skirmishers soon became engaged with those of the enemy, driving them beyond the creek which separated our line from that of the enemy.
I was soon satisfied that the enemy were formed in line of battle along the margin of the creek, under the cover of the bank, awaiting our attack. I caused General Smith's brigade to be brought forward advance of the two brigades thus formed, and the engagement soon became general, the enemy having every advantage of position and a knowledge of the ground over which the contest was to take place. The largest portion of the First Brigade was compelled to advance a distance of 400 yards through an open field under a very heavy combined fire of infantry and artillery, and I am delighted to say that every man stepped promptly and majestically forward, and did his duty as a soldier. General Dennis and Smith soon gained the cover of a line of fence and timber quite near the enemy, and kept up a continuous fire upon his lines.
The THIRD Brigade was ordered forward, and placed in line of battle