War of the Rebellion: Serial 037 Page 0267 Chapter XXXVI. THE SIEGE OF Vicksburg, MISS.

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ordered upon my right, and my line of skirmishers connected with him and the forces of General McPherson, 1 1/2 miles to my left. Captain Barrett was placed in battery by Major Taylor, chief of artillery of the Fifteenth Army Corps, in my front and center, supported by two companies from the FIFTY-FIFTH Illinois.

As nigh fell, I ordered the FIFTY-fourth Ohio, with three companies from the One hundred and twenty-seventh Illinois as a reserve, to deploy far to my left, with a view of connecting with General Rannson's picket. Colonel Giles A. Smith meanwhile had advanced and relieved my pickets on the right. Thus we remained resting on our arms till daybreak, when, by orders from General Sherman, I threw the pickets, as skirmishers, forward within close range of the enemy, advancing the brigade in line of battle on either side of what is called the Graveyard road, leading to what was supposed to be a sally-port in the fortifications, the right wing, Eighty-THIRD Indiana and One hundred and twenty seventh Illinois with its left, the left wing, FIFTY-FIFTH Illinois and FIFTY fourth Ohio with its right, upon the road till we reached the crest of a hill 500 yards from the enemy's works, company B First Illinois Artillery, captain Barret, in position in front, still supported by details from the FIFTY-FIFTH Illinois.

At 9 a. m., the signal being given by Battery A, five shots were fired to get range, when a vigorous fire was opened along the line, skirmishers and sharpshooters pouring in most destructive volleys from sheltered points along the range of hills and close under the parapets.

At 11 o'clock the following order was received from department headquarters, viz:

Corps commanders will push forward carefully, and gain as close position as possible to the enemy's works, until 2 p. m. ; at that hour they will fire three volleys of artillery from all the pieces in position. This will be the signal for a general charge of all the army corps along the whole line. When the works are carried, guards will be placed by all DIVISION commanders to prevent their men from straggling from their companies.

By order of Major-General Grant,&c.

At 1 o'clock I assembled my pickets, calling in the FIFTY-fourth Ohio. A reconnaissance of the ground over which I should pass had developed the fact that it would be impossible to advance my whole brigade in line of battle, the hills and knobs being exceedingly precipitous, intersected by ravines in three direction, the bottom treacherous, filled with sink holes, concealed by dried grass and cane; the whole covered by abatis of fallen timber form a dense forest cut six months or more ago, affording spikes and cherverax de frise most difficult to surmount. The roadway alluded to is cut and filled, slightly winding upon a ridge nearly perpendicular to my line of battle, and at its point of intersection fore I placed my right wing, Eighty-THIRD Indiana and One hundred and twenty-seventh Illinois command of Colonel Spooner its senior officer, in whose ability and dauntless courage I repose fullest confidence on the right of the road, with instructions to press forward as rapidly as possible, and in such order as he could best get over the ground. I of his line of skirmishers, and Captain Moore, company D, to the FIFTY fourth Ohio, brigade officer of the day, to aid him, I formed the FIFTY FIFTH Illinois with its right upon the road; the FIFTY-fourth Ohio on line with the FIFTY-FIFTH, with orders to guide upon it; and the FIFTY-seventh Ohio immediately in the rear but not in reserve.

At the appointed hour the signal was given, and at the command