astrous defeat of the rebel army under General Pemberton. In this bloody engagement General Carr's DIVISION, of which the Twenty-SECOND Iowa formed a part, was in the reserve, in maneuvering to outflank the enemy and cut off their retreat, we captured nearly 200 prisoners, who were compelled to fall into our hands, being unable to follow their comrades, who terror-stricken and demoralized, were fleeing in every direction.
On the next day we came in contact with the enemy, posted in a well fortified position near Black River Bridge. The SECOND Brigade, commanded by General Lawler, made an assault upon their works, and at the point of the bayonet drove them from their position, completely routing the flower of the rebel army and putting them to flight.
In this charge the Twenty-SECOND Iowa held a prominent position the brigade taking nearly 3,000 prisoners, and ending the most decisive battle of the campaign. As soon as it was ascertain that the main army were falling on to Vicksburg, we crossed the river and advanced toward the city.
The next day we came in contact with the rebel pickets, drove them into their works, and, after a stubborn artillery fight of several hours, we laid siege to the rebel stronghold.
On May 22, in accordance with an order issued by General Grant, the whole line made an assault upon the enemy's works. The position to be gained by the SECOND Brigade was a strong one-a fort surrounded by a ditch 10 feet deep, 6 feet wide, the walls being 20 feet high; the front subject to an enfilading fire of musketry and artillery front almost every direction. Taking our position on the night of May 21, we lay on our arms and patiently awaited the hour to come.
At 10 o'clock on the morning of the 22nd, when the appointed time had arrived the Twenty-SECOND Iowa deployed two companies (A and B) as skirmishers and advanced, followed by the other regiments of the brigade to the front determined to dislodge the enemy of die in the attempt. Onward they went through the most galling fire of musketry, grape, and canister, until retarded by an almost impassable abatis. This driving the enemy from the rifle-pits in front, and planting the Stars and Stripes on the ramparts. About FIFTY men of the Twenty-SECOND scaled the walls and entered the fort, driving the enemy before them and taking 15 prisoners. There being a series or rifle-pits in the rear, it was impossible to hold it with such an inadequate force under a terribly destructive fire, and they withdrew, with a loss of nearly half their number killed, wounded, or captured. Knowing unless we would be supported properly re-enforcements we would have to fall back, we held our position until nightfall, when failing to receive-re-enfocements, we retired under cover of the night, with a loss of 164 killed, wounded, and MISSING.
In this desperate charge the Twenty-SECOND Iowa had the advance, and won new laurels to add to those already won by the brave soldiers of Iowa. I would be with seeming injustice that I would attempt to make any distinctions among men who on that memorable day behaved so nobly, advancing apparently to certain destruction or death. None faltered in their duty, but exhibited a degree of gallantry unprecedented in the history of American soldiery. To particularize among those brave men would be invidious.
Again we took our position in front, and began the work on intrenching and throwing up siege-works. For forty-seven days and nights we lay in the rifle-pits, during which time we had approached the distance