At this point I fell in with my command and moved with it.
Bivouacked on the north fork of Bayou Pierre, near the Grindstone Ford. The suspension bridge at this place, which had been fired and nearly destroyed by the enemy, was promptly repaired, through the energy of the DIVISION commanding, and made ready of the crossing of troops by 4 o'clock of the morning of the 3rd, at which time, having the advance, I crossed with my command. We moved up the opposite slope by flank until we reached the residence of an intelligent planter, who assured us that there was no enemy in the vicinity, they having all passed the day before. I had not moved far before a field piece posted in a commanding position, and masked by the heavy woods which covered the summit of the hill, opened fire with shell. I immediately deployed into line on both sides of the road, throwing forward a heavy line of skirmishers. While in line, 3 men of the Twenty-THIRD Indiana were wounded by a shell. Cavalry were at this time sent forward to reconnoiter. Receiving orders, I also moved forward in line to the summit of the hill, without any further resistance.
The cavalry returning, reported the enemy in full retreat. A halt was now ordered to rest the men, who were exhausted by the fatiguing march in line up a steep ascent, broken by deep ravines, and in many places through dense growths of cane. Having thrown out pickets while resting my command, brisk firing was heard on my left, in the direction of the post stationed on the road leading to the residence of Alfred Ingraham. I ascertained that our pickets were attacked, and immediately ordered the Thirty-first Illinois, Colonel McCook commanding, to their support, where they soon became sharply engaged. Being in heavy timber, it was impossible to estimate the number of the enemy, who were thought to be in force. As a precautionary measure, I ordered the Forty-FIFTH Illinois, Colonel Maltby, on the left, and the Twenty-THIRD Indiana, Lieutenant-Colonel Davis, on the right, to the support of Colonel McCook, and, after a spirited skirmish, succeeded in dislodging the enemy, who hastily retreated on the Grand Gulf and Vicksburg road, leaving their dead on the field. Our casualties were 2 slightly wounded.
We halted for a short time near the residence of Professor Ingraham, where on the following day Major-General McClernand had his headquarters. In pursuance of orders from Major-General McPherson, I moved toward Grand Gulf, and reached the intersection of the main road from Grand Gulf to Vicksburg, where I received orders to join the DIVISION, moving toward Hankinson's Ferry, on the Big Black. I arrived there, after a fatiguing march of 19 miles, at 11 p. m.
Bivouacked near Hankinson's Ferry three days, giving the men ample time to rest and clean themselves, which they needed very much after the severe marches in the heat and dust, which at times was suffocating. Nearly one-THIRD of the command at this time had no shoes, having worn them out on the march, and in consequence were very foot-sore. This, together with their want of supplies, which at times were very short, were subjects of pleasantries with the men, who consoled themselves with the prospect of a fight every other day to make amends for their privations.
I'm compliance with orders, when about 3 miles from Raymond, about 10 a. m. of the 12th, I formed in line on the right of the road, moving the Thirty-first Illinois by the flank to protect the right of the brigade, and throwing forward to the right and front a heavy line of skirmishers. The enemy's advance were discovered posted in a ravine, protected by the dense timber and undergrowth, and also by a branch of Fourteen-