War of the Rebellion: Serial 036 Page 0710 Mississippi, WEST TENNESSEE, ETC. Chapter

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tain DeGolyer, by his daring intrepidity, put one of his guns in position within 150 yards.

Lieutenant H. C. Foster, Twenty-THIRD Indiana, in command of the skirmishers, was untiring during the siege. Both by day and night he was at his post, and many of the rebels are indebted to him for their final account.

At 10 a. m. of the 22nd a general assault was ordered. In compliance with this order to move in quick time with fixed bayonets, and not to fire until the enemy's works were reached, at 10. 15 a. m., as soon as the batteries had ceased firing, I ordered the Twenty-THIRD Indiana and Twentieth Illinois to move down, under cover of the wood, by the flank, and, when the salient of Fort Hill was reached, to file to the right, under the dead space of the parapet, this seeming to be the most practicable way of reaching the rifle-pits. But the Twenty-THIRD, after filing off the length of the regiment, found it impossible to proceed, owing to the nature of the ground. A deep ravine was revealed in their front, covered with a heavy abatis, and in which they were exposed to a galling fire, which they were not permitted to return. They sheltered themselves by the inequalities of the ground, and were ordered to retire by companies.

Finding this way impossible, the Twentieth was ordered to proceed on the road and gain the curtain of the left salient on our front, supported by the Forty-FIFTH Illinois in reserve. This point was gained under a heavy fire from the enemy, but the ditch and parapet was too high, and the effort was ineffectual. The Twentieth Illinois was ordered to get under cover of a ridge on the opposite side of the road and wait for further orders. In the mean time the assault had failed, not for want of support but the impossibility of getting over the obstructions on the right of Fort Hill, and the ditch and parapet in front on the road being too high, which would have kept the men so long under fire that they would have inevitably been sacrificed without accomplishing the object. About 2 p. m. the same day, in pursuance of orders from DIVISION headquarters, I made a SECOND attempt to assault the enemy's works from the front, on the main road. Although there is not a regiment in the brigade that I have not the fullest confidence in, yet as the Forty-FIFTH Illinois had not been under fire, and knowing that they would go wherever I ordered and where it was possible to go (their conduct since is ample testimony), I ordered them in advance, to be immediately supported by Colonel Force, Twentieth Ohio, of the SECOND Brigade, who was assigned to me for that duty (under the previous instructions, to move forward with fixed bayonets, and not fire until they had gained the enemy's works). The order was given to advance, and they were soon exposed to the fire of the whole of the rebel line, killing and wounding many at the head of the column (among them Major L. H. Cowen, who was in command of the regiment), when they filed off under cover of the ridge occupied by the Twentieth Illinois. The Twentieth Ohio was not ordered forward, as I became satisfied that the obstacles could not be overcome without sacrificing probably my whole command. It was here Captain Bedford, my assistant adjutant-general, was severely wounded by my side while assisting me in the discharge of my duties. The Twentieth and Forty-FIFTH Illinois remained in their position on the opposite side of the road, in front of the principal curtain of the fort, twenty-four hours, when they were withdrawn. Since then a regular system of approaches has been commenced. The command has been constantly on duty, when not in the rifle-pits, throwing up works to be used for attack or defense, as occasion might require.