brigade was in a few minutes ordered forward into position under fire of the enemy's guns, and formed in two lines of battle on left of the road, my regiment occupying the right of the front line, the Twenty-Sixth Missouri in my rear, and the Ninety-THIRD Illinois on my left. As soon as formed we were ordered forward, and advanced in perfect order, under a brisk fire form the enemy's sharpshooter, until they abandoned their position and fell back. We however, continued to advance in line of battle, the enemy fleeing before us, until we reached the railroad depot at Jackson. I am happy to bear testimony to the universal good conduct of both officers and men in our advance upon Jackson and to report a loss of but 4 men wounded.
On the 15th, at 8 p. m. we took up our line of march in the direction of Vicksburg, making 15 miles on the first, day, and on the 16th, at about 11 a. m. had our advance again checked by the enemy in force in our front. Preparations were immediately made for battle, ad in a few minutes, everything being in readiness, ere awaited the advance of the enemy upon our line. The enemy however,, having massed a heavy force to our left, caused our line in that direction to give say, and our brigade was ordered with all possible haste to their support.
We came up to the immediate scene of action, marching by the left flank at double-quick under the protection of a high rive, over which our overpowered forces, with broken ranks, were already retreating. The imminent peril of the moment caused us to be ordered immediately and poured over the brigade, shouting defiance to the enemy, and under a heavy fire, in which many of my men were killed and my horse shot under me owing to which I was compelled to abandon him, and continue the remainder of the day of the fight, forming an excellent parapet. Here we fought. Loading and firing rapidly, every officer and soldier at his post, shouting and cheering each other, and almost entirely silencing the fire of the enemy along our front. He them moved to the left, and concentrated his force, and fire upon the more exposed portion of the line higher up on the ridge, and succeeded in forcing back the regiment on our left. We still maintained our position, every man standing firm. In a short time the lieutenant-colonel of the Ninety THIRD Illinois the regiment immediately on our left succeeded in rallying a few of his men, and returned to our left. Here we remained fighting until I was informed from three different sources that the enemy was passing completely around our left. I went to that portion of the lin, saw them, and ascertained that their fire would very soon completely command our position from the flank and rear. I then ordered the regiment to retire to the next ridge.
In falling back, the bearer of the banner became exhausted, and it became separated from the colors. Captain Tait, of the left company, placed it in the hands of a corporal of this company, and not seeing the colors, he rallied the greater portion of the three left companies under a falling fire from the flank, moved them to the rear, and was about to rejoin fire from the flank moved them to the rear, and was about to rejoin thee regiment, when a general, not of our DIVISION, ordered him to the support of a battery farther in the rear. I moved the regiment a short distance to the rear, refusing the left, in order to avoid the flank fire of the enemy, and reformed the line. Here, although the enemy encouraged by his apparent success, pushed forward, we held him at bay, the men reloading and firing, while their comrades were continually falling around him, with a coolness and deliberation almost incredible,