heavy fire of artillery and small-arms, and captured rebel prisoners under their very guns. The conduct of Colonels Corse, Sixth Iowa, Catterson, Ninety-seventh Indiana, and Sanford, Forty-eight Illinois, deserves especial commendation.
Major Stephenson, of the Forty-eight Illinois, and Captain Milton, of the Sixth Iowa, both severely wounded, behaved with conspicuous gallantry, as did Lieutenant George W. Holmes, Company A, Sixth Iowa, who went forward under a murderous fire and carried Captain Minton off the field.
Very, respectfully, your most obedient servant,
WM. SOOY SMITH,
Brigadier-General, Commanding First DIVISION.
Assistant Adjutant-General and Chief of Staff.
HDQRS. FIRST DIVISION, SIXTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
Jackson, MISS., July 20, 1863.
SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by the First DIVISION, SIXTEENTH Army Corps, in the advance upon Jackson, and the operations before the rebel works previous to their evacuation by the enemy:
On the 4th instant, we broke camp at Oak Ridge Post-Office, where we had previously constructed strong intrenchments, in anticipation of the advance of the rebel army under General Joseph E. Johnston, who was report moving to the relief of Vicksburg. We moved forward, crossed Bear Creek, near Young's and encamped near Mrs. Hill's, 1 mile WEST of Big Black River, advancing a strong picket to the crossing of the river at Birdsong Ferry.
On the morning of the 5th instant, the enemy, concealed under think over on the opposite bank of the stream, opened a brisk fire upon our picket. Supports were speedily thrown forward and placed under cover, and a spirited fire opened on the enemy, which was kept up during the whole day on the 5th. On the night of the 5th, Colonel Sanford was sent with his brigade(the Fourth) to effect a crossing at a ford reported practicable, 2 miles below Birdsong Ferry. After a sharp skirmish with the enemy, the ford was reached, but, owing to a rise in the river of 4 feet, it was found entirely impracticable. Simultaneously upon the enemy at a ford half a mile above Birdsong Ferry. Our infantry then advanced to this ford, which was also found impracticable.
On the 6th instant, a ferry-boat was found 3 miles below the ferry that had been scuttled and sunk. This we raised, and brought up to the crossing during the day and night of the 6th.
On the morning of the 7th, our forces having effected a crossing below at Messinger's, the enemy suddenly let go, and offered us no further resistance.
During the 7th and 8th, we ferried over my entire DIVISION, infantry and artillery, together with our ammunition train. Our transportation and supply trains moved down and crossed at Messinger's.
On the 9th, we resumed our march, and reached Robertson's, near Queen's Hill and Jeff. Davis' plantation.
On the 10th, we reached a point 4 miles northwest of Jackson, where