Ohio)battery, before which the enemy fell back. My command advanced with the brigade slowly, but securing ground as it went, until checked by artillery commanding the road directly in front, strongly supported by infantry. A rapid and heavy fire, principally directed upon mu regiment bu reason of its position, was kept up for several hours, though my skirmishers, by their spirited and effective fire, prevented any movement of the enemy's infantry upon my front. Availing myself of the crest of a ridge, I was able to protect my men so successfully as to lose but 3 men in the course of several hours under grape, canister, and shell, at short range. Among these, however, I regret to name Sergeant [Ernest] Warden, of Company F, a brave, intelligent, and faithful soldier, whose skull was crushed bu a fragment of shell, and whose loss is much to be deplored.
The enemy, though superior in numbers, fell back during the night, an we advanced on the morning of the 17th at the best speed of which the men were capable, passing through Edwards Depot, and reaching Black River in season to charge the left of the enemy's intrenchments at the time they were being most heavily driven on the right, and participating in the capture of the SIXTEENTH [Sixtieth
East Tennessee (rebel) Regiment and some 100 stragglers besides, who fell into the hands of the First Brigade. With renewed satisfaction I am able to say that this success was bloodless, not costing us a man.
Sleeping that night in the intrenchm Black River about 9 a. m. of May 18, and moved directly upon Mount Alban, the Tenth DIVISION in advance. Dividing that point unoccupied, we moved by a circuitous route to the left, and bivouacked that night (18th) about 2 miles from the main forts covering the Vicksburg and Jackson Railroad.
Advancing on the morning of the 19th, line of battle was formed within half-musket shot of the rebel pickets, in an orchard on the left of the Jackson Railroad, and by steady advances gained nearly a mile to the front with severe skirmishing, in which my regiment had to sustain a loss of 29 in killed and wounded, part of which was by artillery from the forts.
On the 20th, the fighting was confined to the pickets, and but one or two slight casualties occurred, General Benton's brigade taking the front to relieve our tired men. In the evening of that day [21st?] it was officially announced took me that a general assault was ordered for 10 o'clock the next morning, May 22, in which the tenth DIVISION, being in reserve, would merely support General Carr, and I was ordered to hold the men in readiness accordingly. At the appointed time I detached the several companies of my command from each other as much as possible, to avoid drawing the enemy's fire while passing over the ridge between me and General Benton, two companies moving around it by the right flank. Having closed on the new line without loss, my regiment occupied the center of the brigade, the Twenty-THIRD Wisconsin in support.
Almost immediately upon the advance of General Benton to the assault, several staff officers came to demand re-enforcements, and within a very few minutes my regiment, being ordered to advance, had closed upon the enemy's works under a destruction fire, planted their colors on the glacis of the fort nearest them, and maintained the same line with the Eighteenth Indiana, the foremost of Benton's brigade, and immediately on their left. By a vigorous fire they for a time prevented any serious reply from the enemy in front, but five companies prevented any serious reply from the enemy in front, but five companies being moved to the right to watch the rifle-pits on that side, were soon