War of the Rebellion: Serial 037 Page 0132 Mississippi, WEST TENNESSEE, ETC. Chapter XXXVI.

Search Civil War Official Records

ing Thirteenth Army Corps, placed in command of the NINTH DIVISION, general Osterhaus being by a wound temporarily incapacitated to command. I found, on reaching the field, just east of the Big Black River, the SECOND Brigade of the DIVISION deployed in line before the enemy's works. Two regiments of the First Brigade were on its left and rear; a section of Foster's battery was on the right, playing on the enemy's works. Two regiments of the First Brigade had been directed by General McClernand to the right of the DIVISION to support General Carr, who was in position at that point. In front of us was a long line of earthworks, filled with guns, and distant from our deployed line a quarter of a mile. Between our line and the works was a slough or bayou, 12 or 15 feet across and difficult of passage. An advance over this ground, level and everywhere commanded by the enemy's guns, was almost impracticable. I deployed two companies of the SECOND Brigade as skirmishers, directing their advance through a point of wood some distance to our left, to reconnoiter the left flank of the works opposed to us. At the same time I brought forward the two regiments of the First Brigade, directing their advance behind this flanking line of skirmishers. At this time General Burbridge, of Smith's DIVISION, came up with his brigade to support our left, and advanced rapidly behind and to the left of the First Brigade. Soon a determined attack was made by Carr on the enemy's left his troops carrying their works. At the same time I ordered a general and rapid advance, and the SECOND Brigade entered the works just as the enemy was leaving them. The two companies of skirmishers deployed on my left had meanwhile advanced, and, as our line moved forward, charged at double-quick, cutting off an entire regiment of the enemy, who laid down their arms and surrendered. At this surrender was being made, some mounted officer from Smith's DIVISION rode through our line and received it from the rebel colonel the credit of this happy capture, however, clearly pertains to these companies. Which by their daring, energy, and activity, effected it. The works of the enemy were held by this DIVISION. The enemy had abandoned eighteen pieces of light artillery, with caissons, ammunition,&c., and retreated rapidly over the Big Black River, burning the fort and railroad bridge. During the afternoon and night, by order of the commander of the corps, this DIVISION constructed a floating bridge over the Big Black, and at 8 a. m. the day following commenced the passage of the stream. Captain Patterson and his pioneer corps rendered efficient service in the construction of the bridge. The stream being crossed, general Osterhaus resumed command of the DIVISION. During the day of the 17th, I judge that DIVISION captured 1,500 prisoners.

I am, captain, your obedient servant,

A. L. LEE,


Captain J. W. THOMPSON,

Acting Assistant Adjutant -General, NINTH DIVISION.