this point I was instructed to command the NINTH and twentieth DIVISIONS to [march] to the right, until we entered the Jackson and Raymond road, and then to move along that road, in order to again a position well to the right.
From the description given me, and the reconnaissance made on the afternoon of the 9th, in addition to the position ascertained by our guide. General Osterhaus and myself felt convinced that we had reached the road disengaged, and so moved on in the direction of Jackson, until our cavalry met the advance pickets of the enemy and drove them in.
Immediately after crossing a bridge, about 1 1/2 miles from the city, general Osterhaus deployed a portion of his DIVISION to the right and front of the road, and advanced to the brow of ridge, driving in the advance guard of the enemy. Overlooking, or higher than the ground between us and the main works, some pieces of artillery were immediately brought in position, and opened of the force in front and on the city.
The First Brigade of my DIVISION advanced along the road, and was deployed to the right and front on the same ridge with General Osterhaus, with battery in position. Learning from our cavalry pickets that a heavy cavalry force of the enemy was on our right, ands endeavoring to get in our right rear, I threw two regiments of the First Brigade perpendicular to our line of battle to protect the right flank, and the whole of the SECOND Brigade, with the Mercantile Battery, were formed in line of battle to the right, between to creek and the crest of the hill then occupied by our troops. My DIVISION was then on the extreme right, and I deemed in necessary, from the reports received, to look well to our right flank. The troops formed in line of battle, and the front were skirmishing during the day, and bivouacked in that position during the night, having a strong picket well in advance.
On the 11th, the enemy's pickets advance early in the morninback, and the brigade maintained its position during the day. Late in the evening the Fourteenth DIVISION, brigadier-General Benton commanding, moved to our right flank, and occupied the front, perpendicular to the line of battle.
Early on the morning of the 12th, my line was advanced, and the flank regiments wheeled into line of battle, when the men went immediately to work constructing rifle-pits.
The establishing of this line was strongly resisted by the enemy, as in drove them from an important position and brought within our lines an abundance of good water. This line was maintained during the remainder of the siege of Jackson, with the enemy's works in plain view, and our pickets so far advanced as to compel the enemy to fall behind their trenches.
During the 13th, 14th, 15th, and 16th, our pickets were constantly skirmishing with those of the enemy.
On the 11th instant, two regiments of the SECOND Brigade(Ninety-seventh and One hundred, and thirtieth Illinois)were ordered to reconnoiter well to our right flank, and found a considerable body of cavalry that, after several well-directed volleys and a handsome charge by our troops were driven from their position. Still farther to the right, and within the timbers, a heavy body of infantry was discovered. Our troops returned to camp without the loss of a man. My SECOND Brigade, with the Mercantile Battery, during the siege was ordered to be held as reserves, and was placed about 100 yards in rear of the line of battle, doing their portion of advance picket duty.
The rebels having evacuated the city and their strong works during