The skirmishing at Big Black was done by all the companies of the regiment, operating at different times. The casualties there occurred early in the morning, while the men were badly exposed to a hidden and well-directed fire from the enemy. Rifle-pits were made soon after, and we were punished no more.
July 12. - The regiment reported to Colonel Corse, Sixth Iowa infantry, then in charge of skirmishers for duty in the front. Here the remainder of the casualties occurred, with the exception of sergeant [John M.] Case and Private [William] Sherman, wounded on the 16th instant. On this day the regiment its real worth, the men exhibiting excellent judgment, coolness, and true bravery. the regiment took part in the charge on the 16th instant, evincing their determination in the cause, with the loss of 2 of our comrades.
I can mention no names; the conduct of each and every officer and man, without one single exception, could not have been better. I can say now that I have none but brave, good, and true men, and I feel proud of my command.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
CHAS. C. WALCUTT,
Colonel Forty-sixth Ohio Volunteer Infantry.
Captain T. J. LOUDON,
Actg. Asst. Adjt. General, First DIVISION, SIXTEENTH Army Corps.
Numbers 60. Report of Colonel Joseph R. Cockrill, seventieth Ohio Infantry, commanding THIRD Brigade. HDQRS. THIRD Brigadier, FIRST DIV., SIXTEENTH A. C., July 19, 1863.
GENERAL: I herewith have the honor to report to you the operations of this brigade on the march from Oak ridge to Jackson, MISS.
On the evening of July 4, we were ordered forward, and arrived at Birdsong Ferry, on Big Black River, on the 5th. The enemy attempted to interrupt the crossing, and fired across the river at our advance guard, but no casualties occurred. we found an old ferryboat, which, after some labor, was made available, and this brigade was crossed over by 3 p. m. of the 6th, and took position on the east bank, followed by the Fourth and First Brigades of this DIVISION. We, with main body of the army, arrived in front of Jackson on the 10th, and, after supporting a brigade of the NINTH Army Corps, in which the troops of his brigade maneuvered in excellent order, encamped close to the enemy's works.
On the 11th, we farther advanced, in pursuance of your order, to the front, about 1,000 yards from the works of the enemy. The enemy cannonaded us severely in the evening, but with small loss to this brigade. We remained in this position until the 13th, when the fire so harassed us that I procured a few picks and spades and intrenched the entire front of my brigade.
On the 14th, I was ordered to fall back about 1 mile and take position with the other troops of the DIVISION. Each day I sent a regiment to the picket line, and they performed their duty in first-class style.
On the 16th, the Ninety-seventh Indiana, Colonel Catterson, was ordered on picket in the front and left of the DIVISION, and, in obedience to orders from headquarters, the picket line was advanced to feel the