the direction of Jackson, in the immediate vicinity of which we arrived in good fighting condition on the morning of the 10th, notwithstanding the excessive heat, dusty roads, and scarcity of water. In the evening we were ordered to file to the right, in the direction of the Raymond road, and report to General A. J. Smith. This order being promptly executed, General Smith ordered me to form on his right, perpendicular to his line, in which position we remained till morning, when General Lawler, of the SECOND Brigade, threw forward a strong line of skirmishers, feeling the woods in front, which resulted in a spirited skirmish with some loss on both sides.
In the afternoon we changed front forward on the tenth company of the Fourth Battalion of the SECOND Brigade. Early on the morning of the 12th, after opening sharply with both batteries, the entire lines, covered by a cloud of skirmishers, with strong supports, were advanced across the open field in our front to the woods occupied the evening before by the enemy. This point gained, we were within some 800 yards of the intrenchments of the enemy covering Jackson. It now became our turn to employed the friendly spade and pick, which we did most vigorously, day and night, till within forty-eight hours we were quite as well prepared to repel a sortie as he was an assault; and, like him, secure in our earthworks, we could laugh to scorn his ineffectual fusillades and cannonades. Strengthening our works and steadily advancing our line of skirmishers, protected by rifle-pits, we patiently abided our time, with the fullest confidence in our commanders, ready and willing to dig or assault as they might choose to order. On the morning of the 17th, we found the works in our front abandoned, and by daylight our pickets had advanced and occupied them.
In obedience to orders, on the afternoon of the 18th, we marched 5 miles out on the Mississippi Central Railroad, and commenced its destruction, which the men did with a right good will, and most thoroughly, leaving nothing but the road-bed, upsetting the track by main force of muscle. They made bonfires of the cross-ties and roasted rails. By sunset on the evening of the 19th, the road was thus destroyed to Byram Station, 10 miles south of Jackson. On the 20th, we retraced our steps to the vicinity of Jackson, and by the peep of day on the following morning we were on the march, heading once more for Vicksburg, where we arrived on the 24th, with the loss of 1 man, by disease, 4 killed in battle and 32 wounded, a full list of the names and rank of whom is attached. *
My entire command was the veteran survivors of Port Gibson, Champion's Hill, Big Black River Bridge, and Vicksburg, and to do their whole duty as officers and soldiers was matter of principle, which first transformed them from citizens to volunteer soldiers, confirmed and strengthened by discipline and habit. Under circumstances, it is not only a delicate but an embarrassing task to comply with orders directing a special mention of those who distinguished themselves.
Brigadier-General Lawler, commanding the SECOND Brigade, with a clear head and comprehensive mind, combined with the tack of an experienced officers, and a stranger to personal fear, was always at the post of duty.
Colonel David Shunk, of the Eight Indiana Volunteer Infantry, Commanding First Brigade, was particularly distinguished by taking the advance of his line of skirmishers and himself first examining the con-
39 R R-VOL XXIV, PT II