War of the Rebellion: Serial 037 Page 0016 Mississippi, WEST TChapter XXXVI.

Search Civil War Official Records

in another direction. They were perseveringly followed by Colonel Lindsey and General SMITH, whose DIVISION fell in with Colonel Lindsey's brigade during the pursuit. Thousands of the enemy were found scattered everywhere, and fell into our hands as prisoners of war. In one instance, Colonel Lindsey, with the SIXTEENTH Ohio and Twenty-SECOND Kentucky Infantry alone, took more prisoners than the whole number of his brigade combined; also a number of cannon and small arms became ours. We pressed the enemy to Edwards Station, where our army corps bivouacked for the night.

At 4 o'clock next morning (May 17) the line of march was taken u again, general Carr; s DIVISION leading. Our onward march was not interfered with until the head of the column debouched from a piece of timber land, about 2 miles east of the Big Black River Railroad Bridge. General Carr's DIVISION at once deployed on the right of the road, while I executed the order to deploy my DIVISION on the left of the road, connecting with General Carr. I ordered Colonel Lindsey(SECOND Brigade)forward, and he deployed into line as soon as the terrain permitted this maneuver to be executed, while the First Brigade (General Garrard's), deployed by battalion in mass, formed the SECOND line. Advices from the left informed me that large numbers of the enemy were on that flank, and I accordingly had the First Brigade change front to the left, so that it formed an obtuse angle to the line of SECOND Brigade. Skirmishers thrown out in front and flank engaged the enemy at once. We advanced over the open ground to within 500 yards of the enemy's works protecting the Big Black River Railroad Bridge. Before attempting a farther advance against the fortifications, which appeared to be very extensive and very strongly garrisoned, I ordered the First (Foster's)Wisconsin Battery forward. My first intention was to plant it at the salient point formed by the lines of the SECOND and First Brigades, but a closer survey of the grounds and the enemy's works caused me to bring this heavy battery to the right of the SECOND Brigade, and near the railroad, where it had a direct fire on the strongest part of the enemy's works, and on that point where the greatest masses of the enemy appeared to concentrate.

My movements must have attracted the attention of the enemy. He opened a heavyre we had the piece in battery, and while I was directing Captain Foster where to plant his first piece, the first shell exploded in our midst, disabling Captain Foster and myself and exploding the limber-box of the piece. I was on the field but a short time, during which the gallant men of Foster succeeded in bringing their pieces in position, while the enemy played on them most terribly. I was compelled to yield the command of the NINTH DIVISION to General A. L. Lee, and it is to his report I refer for the part taken by the command in the storming and taking of the Big Black River fortifications, with all their cannon, ammunition, and several thousand prisoners.

For the number of killed and wounded for these two days(16 and 17 the) I refer to the nominal list accompanying this report. *

PART III. -Elated by these glorious victories, the men hastily threw a bridge over the Big Black River in the evening and night of the 17 the, and early in the morning the NINTH DIVISION crossed the river and followed the enemy, who had gained more than twelve hour's time over us by burning the railroad bridge, and thus causing our delay until a new one could be built. Every step forward showed the utter confu


*Embodied in revised statements, pp. 7,128.