first and FIFTY-THIRD Illinois Infantry, and the FIFTH Ohio Battery, of six guns, crossed the New Orleans and Jackson Railroad at a point about 2 miles south of Jackson and 1 mile the enemy's works. After Crossing, line of battle was formed, skirmishers thrown out, and the line ordered forward. After advancing about one-fourth of mile, the line was halted, the battery placed in position 100 yards in our rear, opened fire with shell, and continued to fire rapidly for about twenty minutes. The enemy replied promptly with two guns, getting our range the first shot. As soon as the battery ceased firing, the line again moved forward. We advanced half a mile through timber and a dense undergrowth, our skirmishers meeting with no opposition. When we came to the edge of an open field, the line was again halted. Here we were joined by the Twenty-eight Illinois Infantry, which took position on our right. General Lauman now came up, and ordered the line forward, the skirmishers keeping well advanced. When about half way across the field, our skirmishers engaged the enemy's pickets. Soon after, their picket reserves were encountered and driven in, and a moment later we came within sight of their works, about 300 yards distant. The enemy now opened fire twelve pieces of artillery, all bearing directly upon our line, and also gave us a heavy fire of musketry. The men answered this greeting with a shout, and rushed forward to the assault. We were met by s perfect storm of grape, canister, and musketry. The timber and brush had been cleaned away in front of the enemy's work's, and an abatis formed, which broke our line and threw the men into groups, thus giving the enemy's artillery an opportunity to work with the most deadly effect. our line rapidly melted away under this terrible fire, and after getting up to within 75 yards of the works, we found ourselves too weak to carry them by assault, and after remaining under this severe fire for twenty minutes, we were compelled to fall back. We brought off our colors safety, and reformed at the point where we had last halted previous to advancing to the assault. We were then ordered back to point where we first crossed the railroad.
The regiment went into action with 223 enlisted men, 15 line and 3 field and staff officers, making an aggregate of 241 rank and file engaging. out of this number we lost 114 killed, wounded, and MISSING. * Part of our wounded and all our dead were lefty on the field. An attempt was made to bring off our killed and under a flag of truce, but it was unsuccessful. After the evacuation of Jackson, a few days subsequent to the fight, we recovered part of our wounded, who had been left in the hospital, but those who were able to be removed had been taken always as prisoners of war. Most of those reported MISSING are know to be wounded.
Of the conduct of bothn during this, the severest conflict in which the regiment has ever been engaged, I cannot speak too highly. All did their duty nobly, and it is impossible to make special mention of any one without doing injustice to others. The inclosed list of killed and wounded will show how the regiment fought better than I have been able to describe it.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
G. W. CROSLEY,
Major, Commanding THIRD Iowa Infantry.
Colonel N. B. BAKER, Adjutant-General of Iowa.
*But see revised statement, p. 547.