possession of the whole line of the enemy's works, they retreating across the Big Black River and setting fire to the bridge.
As it now became necessary to build abridge before we could cross, we remained encamped in the enemy's works until the next day, Monday, May 18, when we moved forward at about 11 a. m., brigade again taking the advance. We proceeded very cautiously, apprehending an attack every moment, never dreaming the enemy could have abandoned, without another effort, the exceedingly advantageous position and fortification afforded by the natural conformation of the ground.
We soon learned from negroes there was no enemy between us and Mount Alban, a small place about half-way between Black River and Vicksburg, which information we found correct. About half a mile beyond Mount Alban we found a bridge so burned and broken as to be impassable. Examination showed it would cause considerable delay to repair it so that artillery could pass over in safety. We therefore made a considerable detour to the left, taking a route through the country which in the course of a couple of miles struck the Baldwin's Ferry road, which was the route we were seeking. Proceeding slowly and cautiously, l we encamped that night about 2 1/2/miles from the enemy's works in rear of Vicksburg.
Tuesday morning. May 19, we again moved toward the fortifications, until, when within 1 1/2 miles, their skirmishers began to appear. I immediately formed my four regiments in line of battle on the right of the Vicksburg road, the SIXTEENTH Indiana and Eighty-THIRD Ohio in front, supported by the Sixty-seventh Indiana and Twenty-THIRD Wisconsin, and covered by the crest of the hill, the SEVENTEENTH Ohio Battery. I threw out a heavy force of skirmishers under command of Major Redfield, SIXTEENTH Indiana, who gradually drove back the enemy skirmishers until finally I advanced my brigade to a ravine running at right angles with the railroad, and in the rear of the hill on which is the cotton-gin. As the enemy were driven father in, we advanced until within about 400 yards of the forts.
On the 20th, received orders to be in readiness to charge the enemy's works at 2 p. m. At the given signal the brigade, with tremendous cheering, rushed over the crest of the hill in front of them, and, taking a moment's breathing time, commenced the ascent of the next hill. Finding it unadvisable to advance in line of battle, on account of the greater exposure, I ordered the regiment forward by companies as skirmishers, in which way we succeeded in finally driving the greater part of the enemy's sharpshooters within the intrenchments, my men lying immediately under the works, and effectually silencing the enemy's artillery. We maintained that position, keeping up a constant fire at every head that showed itself, until 10 o'clock at night, when we were relieved by General Benton's brigade. It was fully 2 a. m. on the 21st before I succeeded in withdrawing all my men. During all that day (21st)my men rested, occupying themselves in putting their arms in thorough order.
On the morning of the 22nd, I received orders to prepare for an assault on the enemy's works at 10 a. m., to support General Benton's brigade. At the hour designated I had my four regiments arranged in order, the Sixty-seventh Indiana occupying the road passing down the hill to the right of the burnt chimneys; the Twenty-THIRD Wisconsin immediately in its rear ; the SIXTEENTH Indiana on the hillside of the ravine to the right, and in front of said road, supported by the Eighty-THIRD Ohio. I advanced the regiments, with a yell and a rush, over the hill into the last ravine, and immediately commenced advancing up the hill upon
3 R R-VOL XXXIV, PT. II