Ohio, and FIFTY-sixth Illinois Infantry, as called for by Special Orders, Numbers 92, Army Corps Headquarters, of this date.
The brigade disembarked at Milliken's Bend, La., on the morning of April 18. The same day two regiments, the FIFTY-sixth Illinois and Eightieth Ohio, in command of Colonel Raum, senior officer, were sent to occupy Richmond, La., and relieve the forces at that point.
On the 20th, I followed with the remainder of the brigade, with instructions to collect forage there for the passing troops, protect the pontoon bridge over the Roundaway Bayou, explore the same, reconnoiter the vicinity, and obtain such information as might be of service. I remained here in the discharge of these duties until the 25th, when I moved to Holmes' plantation, 10 miles. The next day to SMITH's plantation, 8 miles, where I remained until the 28th; thence with the DIVISION to Fisk's plantation, 4 miles; thence, April 29, 12 miles, to Perkins' plantation; thence, April 30, some 20 miles around Lake Saint Joseph, to a point about 3 miles from the crossing of the river.
During these marches nearly all the camp and garrison equipage of the several regiments was left behind at different places for want of transportation.
On the morning of May 1, the guns were heard from the battle-field of Thompson's farm, or Port Gibson, showing a severe engagement in progress. Leaving the FIFTY-sixth Illinois, Colonel Raum, on detail, I moved the other three regiments as rapidly as possible to Hard Times Landing, opposite Grand Gulf, where they embarked on board gunboats and transports, dropped down the river to a place
called Bruinsburg, or some such name, and immediately took up the line of march for Port Gibson. When within about 3 miles of the battle-field, I received orders to that effect, and fell back 1 mile, with my own and three regiments of the THIRD Brigade, and took a position for the night, covering a road leading from Grand Gulf.
In the morning, being joined by the whole of the First and THIRD Brigades, I moved into Port Gibson, passing the battle-field of the day previous, and resting in town, awaiting the completion of the pontoon over the Bayou Pierre, the enemy having destroyed the other bridge behind them.
About 4 o'clock the same day, I crossed the Bayou Pierre and marched until late at night, and encamped near the bridge over the north branch of the Bayou Pierre.
During the night this bridge was made passable by a portion of the THIRD Brigade, and in the morning the troops crossed. Advancing about 3 miles, the head of the column encountered a force of the enemy with artillery, which was at once engaged by the skirmishers of the First Brigade, Colonel Sanborn, and a portion of the First Missouri Battery, Lieutenant MacMurray. I was ordered by Brigadier-General Crocker, commanding DIVISION, to take a position on the left of the road, which I did, the Tenth Missouri Infantry, Lieutenant-Colonel Horney, being deployed as skirmishers, supported by the Eightieth Ohio, Colonel Bartilson, and the SEVENTEENTH Iowa, Colonel Hillis, in line of battle. The enemy soon abandoned the position, and the pursuit was at once resumed to Black River, distant 6 miles.
The brigade, with the DIVISION, remained bivouacked at this point until the morning of May 9, when we moved out on the Utica road 10 miles, and encamped.
On the morning of the 10th, we marched 10 miles, to a point 2 miles beyond Utica, and encamped.
Again, on the 11th, we marched about 1 mile, and took up a position.