War of the Rebellion: Serial 036 Page 0664 Mississippi, WEST TENNESSEE, ETC. Chapter XXXVI.

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command (the THIRD, FIFTH, and Sixth Missouri, Guibor's and one section of [John C.] Landis' battery) was ordered to be ready to move at a moment's notice. These dispositions can be fully seen on accompanying sketch, marked A. *

About 1 o'clock in the morning the enemy advanced, drove in Green's pickets, and attacked with infantry and artillery. After a sharp contest of an hour and a half, Green repulsed him, driving him back toward Bruinsburg. At sunrise the attack was renewed, and soon the action became general along our entire front. The enemy were gradually extending their lines and threatened completely to envelop us, but the regiments immediately in our front were so repeatedly driven back that their movement was materially delayed. Arriving on the field between 7 and 8 o'clock, and finding our left very much pressed, I called upon the Sixth Mississippi to charge a battery in front of them, to which they nobly responded, and were well SECONDED by the Twenty-THIRD Alabama on their right, but not by the Arkansas troops, to their left. We succeeded, however, in forcing them back some distance, and, leaving orders with Green to hold the position for an hour, I rode back and urged forward Baldwin's brigade, then arriving, to his support. I returned just in time to see the position lost, Green having been pressed gradually back. Ordering Baldwin to take a new line on the Rodney road, I sent Green to the right to re-enforce Tracy, then severely pressed on the Bayou road. The three reserve regiments from Grand Gulf, with [Henry] Guibor's battery and Landis' section of 24-pounder howitzers, having arrived, one regiment (the Sixth Missouri, Colonel [Eugene] Erwin) was sent to the right to re-enforce Green and Tracy, Landis section placed in Baldwin's line (who had no artillery), and the remaining regiments (the THIRD and FIFTH Missouri) moved to the left of the line.

Finding the enemy's right rapidly deploying and occupying a ridge that gave them easy access to the Natchez road, I determined to check their movement, and pushing forward with the THIRD and FIFTH Missouri - detaching them some 300 yards from Baldwin's left - we charged their extreme right DIVISION, composed of one six-gun battery and twelve regiments of infantry. The first line (four regiments) was routed; the SECOND wavered and gradually gave way; the THIRD held its place, and forced us, after a protracted contest, to retire. This desperate move, carried out with a determination characteristic of the regiments making it, saved us from being flanked and captured, and gave us until sunset to prepare for our retreat. About 10 a. m., finding that no real attack was to be made on Bayou Pierre or Big Black, I sent for the First Missouri Infantry and First Missouri Cavalry, dismounted. The former regiment arrived in time to cover our retreat over Bayou Pierre and assist in destroying the bridges; the latter (7 miles distant) did not come up until night.

Ammunition was very scarce, especially in Tracy's brigade, whose ordnance train had not arrived. Nearly all my field artillery had been left at the points to be guarded around Grand Gulf, and my infantry line was much extended, as may be gleaned from the reports of brigade commanders, showing that companies were sent to re-enforce assailed points where regiments were required.

My returns show the following force engaged:

Part of Green's brigade, with Sixth Mississippi and

section of Hudson Battery. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 775

Tracy's brigade and [Joseph W.] Andersen's (Virginia)

battery. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1,516

Baldwin's brigade. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1,614

Part of Cockrell's brigade, with Guibor's and a section

of Landis' battery. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1,259

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Total. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5. 164

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*See opposite PAGE .

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