Mile Creek-at times a considerable stream with steep banks-but now with only about 2 1/2 feet of water, and affording an excellent cover for the enemy. With all these advantages of position in his favor, our skirmishers advanced steadily to the attack, the line also advancing as follows: The Twenty-THIRD Indiana on the right, the Forty-FIFTH Illinois, the One hundred and twenty-fourth Illinois, and the Twentieth Illinois. The Thirty-first Illinois was still marching by the flank on the right through the woods. The Twenty-THIRD Indiana, being in advance of the line, were suddenly attacked by the unseen foe.
Lieutenant-Colonel Davis, finding his command exposed without support, withdrew, and formed on the right of the Twentieth Illinois. The enemy, rushing forward, encountered the Forty-FIFTH Illinois, thinking they were alone, and attempted to cut them off, but Colonel McCook, of the Thirty-first, had, unperceived by the enemy, moved upon their flank, and opened fire upon them with such effect that they were driven from the right, and massed their forces in the center, evidently endeavoring to cut through, but here they were opposed by the Twentieth Illinois, Lieutenant-Colonel Richards commanding, on the left of the brigade, and the Twentieth Ohio, Colonel Force commanding, on the right of the SECOND, who maintained their positions under a galling fire nearly two hours. Among the bravest of the brave who fell at this point was Lieutenant Colonel E. Richards, commanding the Twentieth Illinois. This regiment, their ammunition nearly expended, and one-THIRD of their number killed and wounded, was relieved by the Eighth Illinois, who proved themselves worthy successors of the Twentieth Illinois.
The line from the Twentieth Ohio, on the right of the SECOND Brigade, to my right, now the Thirty first Illinois, sustained the attack of the whole of the enemy's forces. The line was ordered forward and charged, which they did handsomely, completely routing the enemy, who fled precipitately through Raymond, leaving their dead and wounded on the field. General Gregg sent in a verbal request, under a flag of truce, for permission to carry off his wounded, which was not granted. I was now ordered to form column by regiments and move to Raymond as rapidly as possible. Arriving there, we were halted.
Too much praise cannot be awarded to the men and officers of the First Brigade, as well as the Twentieth Ohio, of the SECOND Brigade, and the Eighth Illinois, of the THIRD Brigade, who were under my observation, for their gallant conduct in this engagement.
Among the many brave men who were wounded, I regret the loss, temporarily, of Colonel McCook's valuable services, and trust that he will soon be able to resume his duties. Colonel Maltby, of the Forty-FIFTH Illinois, although so unwell that he was obliged to ride in an ambulance, as soon as the enemy was known to be in force to dispute advance, mounted his horse and assumed command of his regiment. Lieutenant-Colonel Davis, of the Twenty-THIRD Indiana, handled his regiment admirably, SECONDED by his adjutant, Lieutenant Gleason.
To my staff, Captain [Wimer] Bedford, assistant adjutant-general; Captain [Milton H.] Lydick, Lieutenants [Syria M.] Budlong and [Joseph W.] Miller, I am much indebted for the efficient manner in which my orders were executed.
The casualties of this engagement have been already reported.
Bivouacked near Raymond. Moved with the DIVISION on the 13th, and bivouacked at Clinton.
On the 14th, moved with DIVISION on the Jackson road. The Seventh DIVISION became engaged with the enemy near Jackson, and, in pursu-