War of the Rebellion: Serial 037 Page 0263 Chapter XXXVI. THE SIEGE OF Vicksburg, MISS.

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briefly allude to its principal and most important movements. Early on the morning of Saturday, the 16th instant, I took up my line of march in conjunction with other of your command from Raymond, MISS., to Edwards Station, on the Vicksburg and Jackson Railroad. After proceeding some 9 miles from RaymN in our front encountered the enemy, who retired from one position to another as we advanced on this road.

A road from Bolton, a station on the railroad I have mentioned, intersects the road upon which I was moving, a few miles from Raymond, and troops were also moving upon that road in the direction of Bolton. Sharp skirmish firing was heard on my right and from in the direction of this column, which soon deepened into the roar of heavy volleys of musketry. Soon afterward, by your order, I moved my brigade through the fields on my right, and formed on the left of General Osterhaus's DIVISION, which was then moving up to engage the enemy. As soon as this position was reached, I deployed one company from each regiment as skirmishers, placing Major D. T. Kirby, eight Missouri Infantry, in command of the whole line of skirmishers, with orders to advance, and push the enemy vigorously. I then moved forward, keeping my brigade in close supporting distance, the line of skirmishers steadily during the enemy from every position, and pressing him so closely as to compel him to abandon caissons, ammunition wagons, and large quantities of camp and garrison equipage . The pursuit continued until ravines, and covered with tress and dense underbrush, rendered my farther advance impossible. During the day some 200 prisoners were taken by my command, most of them being stragglers from the enemy.

At daylight the next morning 17th I agin moved froward, the found everywhere evidencing the haste with which the retreat of the enemy had been made, it being strewn with ammunition, muskets, wagons, caissons, and, in a field near the road, eleven pieces of artillery were found, which had been abandoned by the enemy.

By 12 p. m. I had reached Bridgeport, 12 miles distant, on the Black River, on the road leading to Vicksburg. Here a small force of the enemy had intrenched themselves on the opposite bank of the river and opened a sharp fire upon my advance. I immediately deployed skirmishers for the purposehem, but the strength of their position was such as to render them secure from sharpshooters. Captain P. P. Wood, company A, FIRST Illinois Light Artillery, then placed two pieces in position on the bank of the river, and close to their intrenchments, and opened so vigorous a fire upon them as to cut off their retreat and compel them to surrender, they raising the white flag, the officer in command of the rebel force crossing the river in a dugout and delivering his sword to Captain Wood.

A pontoon bridge was immediately constructed, and before dark I had effect the crossing of my command, which I moved out some 2 miles, where we bivouacked for the night.

Early the next morning 18th, I again moved forward, and by 5 p. m. had my bridge in line of battle before the works of Vicksburg.

At 12 midnight, I sent Captain Charles Ewing, FIRST Battalion Thirteenth U. S. Infantry, forward with skirmishers to reconnoiter the ground in my front. He drove in the enemy's pickets and reach within 100 yards of the line of intrenchments, when I ordered them to fall back before daylight some 200 yards, to secure cover from a hill.

At 3 p. m. 19th, after some heavy cannonading. Our whole line was offered to advance. My command moved in the following order: The