War of the Rebellion: Serial 037 Page 0141 Chapter XXXVI. ENGAGEMENT AT BIG BLACK RIVER BRIDGE, MISS.

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Twenty-SECOND who did not go into the fort sheltered themselves in the ditch in its front and the gullies washed on the sides of the hill, and opened a vigorous and effective fire upon the rebels. On the left, the Eleventh Wisconsin Volunteers, colonel Harris, with portions of the Twenty-SECOND and Twenty-first Iowa Volunteers, which had become detached from their commands, and Ninety-seventh Illinois, succeeded in crossing the brow of the hill, under shelter of which their line had been formed; but, unfortunately, between them and the enemy's pits in their front was a deep and hitherto concealed ravine, filled my's pits in their front was a deep and hitherto concealed ravine, filled with abais. Into this Colonel Harris moved with his command, but beyond it, owing party to the difficulty of the ravine itself, partly to the concentrated fire of the enemy, and party to a want of sufficient support, he found in impossible to advance. Disposing of his men in the bottom and along the sides of the ravine as best he could, he halted and bravely held his ground. In the mean time Landram's brigade had moved forward to my support, and as it came up into the ravine the Nineteenth Kentucky was ordered to move over the hill to the assistance of the Eleventh Wisconsin Volunteers, which under the leadership of the major commanding, they promptly did, losing, however, many men in the passage, among whom, I regret to say, was their gallant major. The Seventy-seventh Illinois moved up to the right to the support of the Twenty-SECOND and Twenty-first Iowa. Facing the fire of the enemy, they advanced upon the rebel fort, and planted their banner on its walls beside those of the Twenty-SECOND Iowa. The One hundred and thirtieth Illinois halted in the ravine as a reserve; but while my command was being strengthened, as above, the enemy were not idle. Heavy re-enforcements had been drawn from their right and massed in my front behind their works. As my men were already much exhausted, and as the re-enforcements sent them were Light, farther advance under the circumstances was deemed impracticable, and orders were accordingly issued directing the men of the two brigades to hold the ground already gained, and this with the hope that re-enforcements, however, could be spared us during the forenoon, and until late in the afternoon our position remained the same as in the morning. All the efforts of the enemy to dislodge or drive us back were unavailing. At sunset, however, a determined rush was made by the rebels to regain possession of their work, which, in consequence of the exhaustion of the men holding it, was successful. Falling back a few rods from the rebel works. A heavy fire was protection of the crest of the hill, my men halted and opened such a fire upon the enemy as effectually checked their advance and compelled them to remain close under the protection of their works. A heavy fire was kept up from both sides until dark, when by mutual consent, it ceased. At 8 p. m. I received orders to withdraw my men and occupy the same ground I held the evening before the charge, with was promptly done, after bringing off all my wounded, with the exception of those in the ditch immediately under the rebels works. The loss of the brigade in the course of the day's fighting was very heavy. Out of the three regiments composing it, 375 were killed, wounded, and MISSING. An official list is herewith submitted. *Among the killed I regret to name Lieutenant-Colonel Dunlap, of the Twenty-first Iowa, who though quite lame from a wounded in the

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*Not found; but sec revised statement, p. 161

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