troops, the very broken ground and thick timber exposing them only to very short range of infantry.
We advanced until we came to a clearing again in the timber. Here the road on which General Hovey was advancing runs into the road I was fighting on, and here the enemy made a most desperate attempt to prevent the junction of the DIVISIONS. We could see his columns advancing in great numbers, and I considered it prudent to strengthen my line by adding the Forty-SECOND Ohio Infantry to the First Brigade, and the One hundred and fourteenth Ohio Infantry(both of the SECOND Brigade)to support the artillery(one section)in lieu of two companies of the Forty-NINTH Indiana, which I ordered to join their regiment in front.
Fearing the enemy might try to benefit by the open ground on my left flank, described above, and the backward position of General SMITH, I made a reconnaissance in that direction, and found large numbers of them(infantry and artillery)massed on a commanding elevation, apparently in expiration of General SMITH's attack. Occasionally the enemy threw in the direction of march.
In order to secure my flank, and co-operate with General SMITH, I ordered Colonel Linsdsey, with the two remaining regiments of his brigade(Sixteenth Ohio and Twenty-SECOND Kentucky Infantry), to take a position in the edge of the timber and open fire against the enemy's position. These two regiments were by no means adequate to repel or resist the numerous force of the enemy, and I therefore applied to Major-General McClernand for reenforcements from General Carr's DIVISION, which was in my rear, and on the ground occupied until lately by the SECOND Brigade. A regiment was ordered to the support of Colonel Lindsey, and this excellent officer deployed his line and attacked the enemy vigorously. Debouching from timber, he charged the retreating infantry to the very muzzle of the battery covering them.
The promised support was not yet on hand to follow up this attack; therefore the colonel ordered his regiment to fall back into timber again and await re enforcements.
I refer to the colonel's report, and take great pleasure to commend the action of that meritorious officer. The direction of the enemy's retread on that flank was such that he fell(rather unexpectedly to both parties)on the left of the First Brigade, which was advancing and fighting on the main road under General Garrard. Though I had advised this officer of the operations on the left, the information could not be communicated in time to the troops on his left, therefore the appearance of the enemy on their flank stopped for some time the advance of our troops.
General McClernand, who saw the effect of this presumed flank attack, immediately strengthened General Garrard's position by two regiments of General Carr's DIVISION. At the same time General Lawler's brigade (also of General Carr's DIVISION)was to support Colonel Lindsey. The enemy, becoming convinced of the small force under from colonel, had opened a raking artillery fire on him. A few rounds from General Lawler's were enough to silence his guns and compel him to remove them to safer quarters. Thus strengthened on all sides, the whole line advanced, and after a short but very brisk fire the enemy, already nearly broken by the severe assaults made by my troops, yielded his position.
The main army of the enemy made for Big Black River Railroad Bridge, but a large body of his right wing tried to make good its retreat