we had a brisk skirmish with one of the enemy's outposts, in which the good conduct of Colonel O'Meara and men of his regiment, the Nineteenth Illinois, deserve especial mention.
We resumed our march on the morning of the 11th instant, and, arriving in front of Jackson at about 2 p. m., moved up on the right of the NINTH Army Corps, driving the rebel pickets and skirmishers within their intrenchments, where they were closely held by a hot fire of our skirmishers, who were advanced to within effective rifle range of the rebel works and well supported.
On the 16th, in obedience to the verbal instructions of General Parke, our line of skirmishers advanced to feel the enemy, draw his fire, and, if practicable, effect an entrance into his works. The movement was most gallantly performed, under the direction of Colonel Corse, of the Sixth Iowa Volunteers, who commanded our line of skirmishers during all our operations before Jackson. The rebels were driven from some of their rifle-pits, and about 20 of them captured under their very guns.
The conduct of the officers and men who participated in this advance cannon be too highly commended. For the particulars of the movement, I beg leave to refer you to a special report, already submitted, accompanied by the detailed report of Colonel Corse, with a full list of casualties.
While our skirmishers held their ground under a hot fire, constantly kept up by the enemy from his line of works and from rifle-pits constructed outside of them for the shelter of his skirmishers, the few intrenching tools we had with us were busily employed by night and by day in the construction of redoubts for our batteries and rifle-pits flanking those redoubts, for the proper covering of infantry supports. Positions for sixteen guns were thus prepared within 600 yards of the rebel works, and a SECOND line, for purposes of defense, was well intrenched by the construction of redoubts and rifle-pits.
On the 12th instant, the four batteries attached to my DIVISION opened upon the city of Jackson and the rebel works surrounding it, apparently with excellent effect, as the shot and shell were seen to fall thick and fast within the intrenchments, from which the rebel infantry field for a time in great consternation. Owing to the shortness in our supply of ammunition for our guns, no further firing was done by our artillery. We waited for the arrival of the ammunition train.
The positions for our artillery were well chosen and well improved, under the direction of Captain Cassell, of the Twenty-sixth Illinois Volunteers, who was detailed to act as my engineer officer. Great credit is due him for his industry, gallantry, and skill.
On the morning after the advance of our skirmishers, it was discovered that the enemy had withdrawn his forces Jackson. Throughout the advance upon the city, and all the operations that ensued, Colonel Loomis, of the Twenty-sixth Illinois Volunteers, commanding the First Brigade, and Colonel Cockrill, Seventieth Ohio Volunteers, commanding the THIRD Brigade, distinguished themselves by their untiring vigilance, their valor, their skill. They were constantly along their front lines and exposed to a hot fire, and much of the time subjected to a fire of shot and shell from the rebel batteries. Their handling of their troops commanded my highest admiration.
In my special report, already referred to, I have taken the liberty to make special mention of the gallant and meritorious conduct of Colonels Corse, Sanford, and Catterson; also of Major Stephenson, Captain Minton, and Lieutenant Holes. I now beg to add to the list the names of Captain T. J. Loudon, acting assistant adjutant-general; Captain Clune,