On the 10th, at 3 p. m. we arrived on the Jackson and Brownsville road, about 2 miles from the State insane asylum, which is situated on the Jackson and Canton road, about a mile from the city limit on the north. At this point we formed line of battle, threatening the city. The First Brigade of the First DIVISION, Colonel H. Bowman, Thirty-sixth Massachusetts Volunteers, commanding, formed with its right resting upon the Brownsville road. The THIRD Brigade (this command) formed on his left, constituting the extreme left of the line, with its left extending toward Pearl River. My instructions were to throw forward skirmishers to a distance of from 200 to 400 yards in advance of my line of battle, and conform the movements of my skirmishers and line of battle to those of Colonel Bowman's brigade. About 5 p. m. we commenced to advance, the Seventy-NINTH Regiment New York Volunteers, Colonel Morrison commanding, being thrown forward as skirmishers. At first our advance was through an immense plain of tall corn, bordering upon the Jackson and Memphis Railroad. On arriving near the railroad, we encountered the enemy's advanced line of skirmishers, which were rapidly driven by my line of skirmishers, which kept up a constant fire as it advanced. This command arrived first at the railroad, where it halted until the entire line had arrived at that point. We now encountered a dense chaparral of undergrowth, so that I was obliged to advance by right of companies to the front, the line of skirmishers meanwhile thoroughly beating the cover, until we arrived at the Jackson and Canton road, where the line was again formed, and we awaited orders. At this point we discovered the advanced vedettes of a cavalry force of the enemy approaching the city by the Canton road. The vedettes fell back, and it was afterward ascertained that the cavalry force amounted to several thousands. We saw nothing more of it. Again we advanced, swinging our left rapidly round, so as to close, if possible, with our left resting on Pearl River, north of the city, or at least near enough to it to protect our left flank by skirmishers. At dark we arrived upon a road leading from the Canton road to Pearl River, and as this was parallel with our line of approach, and farther progress through the chaparral imprudent, I ordered a halt, with my right resting near the left of Colonel Bowman, and awaited orders, which having received, I threw out pickets and lay on arms till daylight of the 11th, when we reformed and adjusted our line of battle.
At 5 o'clock the whole line advanced toward the city. The SECOND Regiment Michigan Volunteers was now thrown forward as skirmishers and flankers to the front and left. My orders were to conform to the movements of Colonel Bowman's lines of battle and skirmishers on my right, and to advance upon the city until I drew the fire of the e, then put my troops in the most convenient cover, and await orders. We now crossed an open space of nearly a mile in front and to the east of the insane asylum, when we reached a small dry channel of a run, from which there was a steep ascent to a high ridge in our front. On arriving at the top of the ridge, I found my skirmishers receiving and returning a rapid fire from the enemy, who was drawn up in line of battle behind some imperfectly constructed rifle-pits immediately beyond a small ravine that intervened between the high plateau occupied by my skirmishers and the high hill bounding the city on the north, and commanding it as well as the approach from the north and northwest. Here were two guns, 6 or 10 pounders, field pieces, in position behind the rifle-pits and partially protected by an unfinished earthwork. My