War of the Rebellion: Serial 037 Page 0564 Mississippi, WEST TENNESSEE, ETC. Chapter XXXVI.

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right was about 200 yards from the enemy's work and my left about 500 yards, while my skirmishers were about 100 yards in front of my line of battle. Here we received the first fire from the enemy's artillery, and halted pursuant to orders. Just after we halted a few minutes, an order came down from the right (by whom given I do not know), "Skirmishers on the left, forward, double quick," and away went my line of skirmishers toward the enemy's works. Momentarily, I waited for the order for the line to move rapidly forward to support the skirmishers, but it did not come. Meanwhile my skirmishers, supposing the line to be right after them, closed to half distance, dashed through the enemy's camp, which was in the ravine in front of their rifle-pits, drove their skirmishers into and then out of their rifle-pits into their line of battle, which also receded half-way up the hill without any more than firing a single random volley. Here my skirmishers looked back for support, and, seeing it was not coming, slowly fell back to the crest of the hill in front of my line, where they commenced and kept up during the entire day and night following a most destructive fire upon the enemy, who had returned to complete his works and mount batteries. At the very moment when the gallant SECOND Michigan Regiment (my skirmishers) were entering the enemy's lines, I received an order to halt were I was, as General Sherman said we had already advanced father than he intended we should at that time, as the right of the investing army had not yet got sufficiently forward. So I rested where I was. I had no doubt then, nor have I now, that if that order had not arrived at that moment, in twenty minutes the First DIVISION would have been in the city, or a least held the heights that command it. To all intents and purposes practical opposition to our advance was at an end at that point.

During the day and succeeding night the enemy succeeded in perfecting his rifle-pits and batteries, so that by the morning of the 12th his works were formidable, indeed, and about 8 o'clock on the morning of the 12th the First DIVISION was relieved by the SECOND DIVISION, and I withdrew my command to the near and in support of Edwards' battery, which was our most advanced battery on the whole line.

During the day and night of the 11th, the SECOND Regiment Michigan Volunteers sustained the hottest skirmishing fire I have ever witnessed, which they returned with telling effect, as was afterward well ascertained. Indeed, so far as that regiment was concerned, it was a battle.

This gallant regiment sustained for twenty hours a continuous fire of infantry and artillery, and repulsed several attempts of the enemy to charge on them.

The accompanying official list of casualties will speak for the truth of the above tribute of just praise.

During the afternoon and night of the 11th, and the morning of the 12th, the entire line in reserve in the woods to rear of the line of skirmishers was enfiladed by the enemy's batteries, throwing solid shot, shell, grape, and canister, from heavy guns put into battery during the day and night.

During the afternoon of the 12th, General Welsh called on me for a regiment to proceed up the Canton road for the purpose of protecting our rear and left flank from a threatened attack from the enemy's cavalry, who were reported in force in that direction.

I sent the One hundredth Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers, Lieutenant-Colonel Dawson commanding, and the regiment remained on