during the night of the 6th and day of the 7th, and on the 8th marched 18 miles out to Hankinson's Ferry, across the Big Black, relieving Crocker's DIVISION, of McPherson's corps. At noon of the 10th, by order of General Grant, the floating bridge across the Black was effectually destroyed, and the troops marched forward to Big Sandy.
On the 11th, we marched to Auburn, and on the morning of the 12th, at Fourteen-Mile Creek, first met opposition. The Fourth Iowa Cavalry, Lieutenant-Colonel Swan commanding, leading the advance, was fired on as it approached the bridge across the creek. One man was killed and the horse of Major Winslow was shot under him.
Lieutenant-Colonel Swan dismounted the men, armed with carbines (about 100), and began to skirmish with the enemy, which afterward proved to be Wirt Adams' cavalry, but the bushes were so dense that nothing could be seen but the puffs of smoke form their guns. The bridge also was burning. Arriving at the head of the column, I ordered Landgraeber's battery forward to give the bushes a few quick rounds of canister, and Woods' brigade, of Steele's DIVISION, to cross over, its front well covered with skirmishers. This disposition soon cleared the way, and the pioneer company was put to work to make a crossing in lien of the burned bridge.
This affair delayed us about three hours, when we crossed over just in time to see the enemy's cavalry disappear over the hill. General Grant in person was with my column at the time, and ordered me to encamp there one DIVISION (Stele's) on the Edwards Depot road and the other (Tuttle's) toward Raymond. While there we heard that the enemy had met General McPherson near Raymond and was defeated.
Next morning we marched to Raymond and passed on to Mississippi Springs, where we surprised a cavalry picket, capturing them; and on the following day, namely, May 14, pushed on to Jackson by the lower road, McPherson's corps following the Clinton road. We communicated during the night, so as to arrive at Jackson about the same hour.
During the day it rained in torrents, and the roads, which had been very dusty, became equally muddy; but we pushed on, and about 10 a. m. were within 3 miles of Jackson. Then we heard the guns of McPherson to the left, and our cavalry advance reported an enemy to our front, at a small bridge at the foot of the ridge, along which the road we traveled led.
The enemy opened on us briskly with a battery. Hastily reconnoitering the position, I ordered Mower's and Matthies' brigades, of Tuttle's DIVISION, to deploy forward to the right and left of the road, and Buckland's to close up. Waterhouse's and Spoor's batteries were placed on commandinn silenced the enemy's guns, when he retired about half a mile into the skirt of woods in front of the intrenchments at Jackson. Mower's brigade followed him up, and he soon took refuge behind the intrenchments.
The stream, owing to its precipitous banks, could only be passed on the bridge, which the enemy did not attempt to destroy, and forming the troops in similar order beyond the bridge, only that Mower's brigade, from the course he took in following the enemy, occupied the ground to the left the road and Matthies' brigade to the right, the two batteries in the center, and Buckland's brigade in reserve.
As we emerged from the woods, to our front and as far to the left as we could see, appeared a line of intrenchments, and the enemy kept up a pretty brisk fire with artillery from the points that enfiladed our road. In order to ascertain the nature of the flanks of this line of intrenchments, I directed Captain Pitzman, acting engineer, to take a regiment
48 R R-VOL XXIV, PT. I