On the 10th instant, having received information that a new line of communication from Young's Point had been opened, and that the route I was protecting was abandoned, I moved my brigade, under the orders of General McArthur, encamping SUCCESSIVELY AT Perkin'S PLANTATION, lake Saint Joseph Grand Gulf, bower Creek, MISS., big Sandy, Powell's plantation and reached Raymond, MISS. At 8 a. m. on the 16th instant. I was delayed at this point until 9 a. m. by General Blairs' DIVISION, which had come in by the Cayuga road and occupied the road north of me, in the direction of Bolton. At Raymond I could distinctly hear the firing at Champion's Hill, and would have pressed forward in tailed until near 1 p. m. by the orders of General McArthur, and was then, at my earnest request, permitted to move forward, on leaving the Fourteenth Wisconsin Infantry to strengthen the garrison at Raymond, and the Eleventh Illinois Infantry to strengthen the garrison at Raymond, and the Eleventh Illinois Infantry to take care of my train, reducing my infantry force to three regiments. With my remaining force I pressed forward in the direction of the heaviest firing, and arrived at the battle-field just at the close of the desperate fighting which had already given us the victory. I reported to General McPherson, and moved, under his orders, with the SEVENTEENTH Army Corps, in the pursuit of the retreating enemy.
At noon on the 17th, I reached the Big Black River, and at once commenced the construction of a floating bridge, which I completed and commenced crossing my command upon at 8 o'clock on the morning of the 18th, and encamped the same night three-fourths of a mile from the earthworks of the enemy in the rear of Vicksburg.
On the morning of the 19th, I advanced a strong line of skirmishers, which at once engaged the enemy's skirmishers, and drove them back to their works. I then cautiously advanced my line, under cover of the ravines, to the crest of a hill within 500 yards of the enemy's works, without loss.
At 2 p. m. general assault by the Seventh Army Corps having been ordered, I advanced my brigade in two lines as rapidly as possible toward the enemy's works, under a terrific fire of musketry in my front and an enfilading artillery fire on my left flank. After advancing 200 yards, with severe loss, to the first line, I found the ravines in my front, which I had not had time to reconnoiter, impassable for troops, and the expected support on my flanks failing to come up I threw my troops under cover of the ravine in their vicinity. The Ninety-FIFTH Illinois, colonel Humphrey commanding, reached a ridge within 100 yards of the enemy's works, and, though exposed to an enfilading fire of artillery, maintained that position until night, when I withdrew them to a safer position.
Early in the action Colonel Humphrey was severely wounded in the foot, but would not leave the field. His loss was much heavier than of any other regiment of my command. I have maintained my command, with some slight changes, on the ground gained on that day up to the present, constructing rifle-pits and constantly advancing my sharpshooter to position where they can harass the enemy.
On the 22nd instant, in compliance with the order for a simultaneous assault at 10 a. m., I move by command, under cove of my sharpshooters, through a network of ravines filled with fallen timber and shooters, through a network of ravines filled with fallen timber and canebrakes to a point within 60 yards of the enemy's works, massing my troops as well as the nature of the ground would admit. Colonel Giles A. Smith's brigade of General Sherman corps took position at the same time on my right, and the two brigades moved together to the