May 18, we crossed Big Black River on the pontoon bridge, and arrived at night near the position now occupied by my command, in the rear of Vicksburg. In disposing the forces of this corps, my command was selected by the major-general commanding as the reserve DIVISION of the corps, and consequently did not participate in the attack made on the 19th instant.
May 20 and 21, I occupied the same position as at the present, with the exception of a reconnaissance made by General Matthies' brigade on the 19th in the direction of Chickasaw Bayou, for the purpose of opening communication with the Yazoo River. Finding no force of the enemy in that vicinity, the brigade returned on the morning of the 20th instant.
In the charge made on the morning of the 22nd instant, my DIVISION took no part, but word having been received in the afternoon that the forces on the left were in the enemy's works, General Mower's brigade was ordered to charge the fortifications in our front, which it did in most gallant style, the Eleventh Regiment Missouri Volunteers leading. The ground being so uneven, and the fire of the enemy well concentrated and heavy, they were compelled to fall back without being able to make a lodgment in his works, although Colonel Weber and quite a number of his men reached the ditches, from which they found it impossible to drive the enemy. The brigade was withdrawn at night in food order.
The officers and men of the Eleventh Missouri and the Forty-seventh Illinois Regiments behaved with signal courage and gallantry, these two being the only regiments that were under the heaviest fire.
Brigadier General Joseph A. Mower led the charge in person, and displayed great coolness and bravery. Colonel Weber, of the Eleventh Missouri, also distinguished himself for the same qualities, leading the charging column. Lieutenant-Colonel Baker also behaved gallantly.
I wish particularly to call attention to the conduct of Sergt. John Watts, of Company A, Forty-seventh Illinois Regiment, who, when his captain and SECOND lieutenant had deserted them, rallied the men as they hesitated under a terrific fire, and by waving his hat and cheering succeeded in moving them forward in gallant style, himself leading. I most respectfully recommend that the captain of the company, John T. Bowen, be dismissed, and Sergeant Watts commissioned to fill the place.
I tender my thanks to Brigadier-Generals Buckland, Mower, and Matthies for the zeal, efficiency, and military ability displayed by them throughout the entire march; also to my personal staff, Major J. D. McClure, chief of staff; Captain J. B. Sample, assistant adjutant-general; Captain N. T. Spoor, chief of artillery, and Lieutenant C. J. Dickey, assistant commissary of musters and acting aide-de-camp, for zeal and efficiency on the march and during the engagements. I would also make most honorable mention of Captain A. C. Waterhouse, Company E, First Illinois Artillery; Lieutenants J. R. and C. F. Reed, SECOND Iowa Battery, and the other officers and men of those two batteries, for coolness and bravery under fire.
The killed, wounded, and MISSING of this command to this date, as per my official statement of casualties, are as follows: Killed, 27; wounded, 206, and MISSING, 43.
I have the honor to be, most respectfully, your obedient servant
J. M. TUTTLE,
Captain R. M. SAWYER,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Fifteenth Army Corps.