manding Fourth DIVISION, SIXTEENTH Army Corps, of my intention. The skirmishing soon became very sharp, and for an hour the conflict was entitled to the name of battle. The enemy battled several houses in our front, and opened upon us with canister, grape, shell, and musketry. Slowly and steadily we drove them before us into their works, and were soon enabled to plant a section of the First Missouri Battery, lieutenant Callahan commanding, on the Raymond road, about 500 yards from the enemy's battery. In about one hour and a half after the commencement of this affair, we had occupied the woods beyond the open ground in our front and within short range of the enemy's works. Here Iible farther without exposing my right to a raking fire from the enemy's works, which were within 500 yards of my line.
During this time General Lauman met with severe loss on my right from a fire from the batteries and rifle-pits of the enemy. Major-General Ord relieved him, and I was ordered to take command of his DIVISION. At the time I assumed command, I found Colonel Bryant's and Pugh's brigades of this DIVISION extending in a single line of battle on the right on and at right angles with the railroad. I moved them to a point between the forks of the Gallatin and Raymond roads, placing them in a more compact position-Colonel Bryant's brigade in front and Colonel, Pugh's in the rear, leaving one regiment, twelfth [Thirty-THIRD] Wisconsin, colonel Moore commanding, to guard a high prominence on the right of the road, until Colonel Hall's brigade should arrive. That brigade arrived during the night, and at 4 o'clock the next morning it was camped on the intended position.
In pursuance of orders, on the morning on the 15th I ordered Colonel Cyrus Hall, commanding Fourth Brigade, to make a reconnaissance in force to Pearl River. The enemy had been discovered on the opposite bank in considerable force, and it was believed we mighty chastise them for venturing beyond their breastworks. The reconnaissance was successfully made, but the enemy fled upon the approach of our skirmishers. Colonel Haal's report gives a more full description of this movement. I cannot but regard it, with the line of works made in that direction of the next day, as being highly conducive to the evacuation of Jackson. The enemy perceived our intention to flank them on the right, and, from statement made by rebel prisoners, this had a decided effect in causing the evacuation.
During the siege two sections of Forster's battery, one commanding the railroad and one on the high prominence to the right of the road, did fine execution by throwing their 20-pound shot and shell into the enemy's works and to the heart of the city. All my batteries, in turn, did fine execution, and the officers commanding them, as well as their men, deserve praise.
The advanced position to the Twelfth DIVISION, on the 12th instant, made it necessary that works of some kind should be thrown up for their protection. Accordingly, colonel Slack and Spicely soon placed their commands comparatively out of danger, by erecting high breastworks, which were a complete shield against their fire of small-arms.
For six days the fire of artillery and small-arms was incessant along the line. On the 16th, I was informed by Colonel Hall about midnight that, from indications and sounds, he believed that the enemy were evacuating their works. Colonel Spicely also sent me the same information, which was immediately sent to corps headquarters.
A little before sunrise on the 17th, colonels Spicely and Slack's pickets advanced to the works of the enemy on the right, and took pos-