May 7, we marched 7 miles, to Hard Times Landing, and during the afternoon and night crossed the troops and ambulances on transports to Grand Gulf, MISS.
May 8, we left Grand Gulf, without transportation, loaded all the ambulances with what ammunition they could carry, and marched 15 miles to Willow Springs.
May 9, we spent the forenoon in foraging, finding an a abundance of beef-cattle, sheep, hogs, corn, molasses, &c., and three mills in the neighborhood, which we immediately put in operation, grinding corn for the troops. At 4 p. m. we marched to Rocky Springs, 8 miles, where we bivouacked until the morning of the 11th.
May 11, we marched 13 miles to the forks of the road where the Clinton, road bears to the left. On that day we passed through the camp of the corps which had preceded us, and at night bivouacked with the First DIVISION of this corps in the advance.
May 12, we marched 7 miles, crossing Fourteen-Mile Creek.
May 13, this DIVISION taking the advance, marched via Raymond to a plantation 1 mile WEST of Mississippi Springs, where we encountered the enemy's pickets. After a brisk firing for a few minutes between them and my advance guard, I ordered the leading brigade. General Mower commanding, to deploy on the right of the road, and the next, General Matthies commanding, on the left, holding the other, General Buckland's, in reserve. In this position we advanced about one-fourth of a mile, and, finding no enemy in force, bivouacked for the night, my advance guard occupying Mississippi Springs.
May 14, I filed the troops into the road at daylight, and, after marching about 1 mile, encountered a small party of the enemy, which were driven before us by our advance guard, skirmishing at intervals until we were within 2 1/2 miles of Jackson, where we encountered a heavier force with artillery, which immediately opened on us. I ordered the SECOND Iowa Battery into a commanding position, with General Mower's brigade to support it on the right of the road and Waterhouse's battery on the left, with General Matthies' brigade to support.
After a brisk cannonading for half an hour, the enemy's battery was silenced, when I ordered an immediate advance in line, General Buckland's brigade in reserve. We drove the enemy before us until the artillery from the works around Jackson opened a brisk fire upon us.
After reconnoitering the position for a short time, by direction of General Sherman, the Ninety-FIFTH Ohio Regiment was sent to reconnoiter to the right, and entered the enemy's works at a point where the railroad enters the town; and, after waiting for General Steele's advance to come up to the same point, they advanced to the rear of the guns that were playing on us and captured ten of them, together with all the gunners, about 150 in number. We then marched into the town without further opposition.
The loss of this DIVISION up to this time was 5 killed and 21 wounded.
May 15, in accordance with directions of the major-general commanding the corps, General Mower's brigade was placed on duty as provost guard, and General Mower commanding post. General Buckland's brigade was employed in destroying the railroad running WEST and General Matthies' brigade the one running north from that place.
May 16, we left Jackson 12 m. for Vicksburg, marching to Bolton, 20 miles, the rear of my command arriving there at 2 a. m. next day.
May 17, we started at 4. 30 a. m. and marched to Bridgeport, on Big Black River, 13 miles.