vening between our pickets and those enemy, over several ditches or ravines, and a natural abatis of fallen timber. Having arrived some distance, probably 150 yards, toward the front, we passed the line of the Sixth Iowa, commanded at that point by Captain Clune, deeming it impossible for the skirmishers to take a position in front of our line, because of the rising formation of the open ground in front. Captain Clune said to me that he was, or thought he was, the extreme advance of the line of skirmishers, which statement I am convinced, from what I afterward learned of Colonel Corse, was very correct. Under the supervision of Colonel W. W. Sanford, the brigade commander, we moved beyond this the open ground in the immediate vicinity of the Mississippi Central Railroad, where we were subjected to a galling fire of musketry, shell, round shot, and grape from the enemy beyond the railroad and within their works, from which it was impossible for me but partially to protect the men by having them lie upon their faces. This position we held for a quarter of an hour, awaiting the advance of the skirmish line and the coming of the support I was ordered to expect, but which, for some reason unknown to myself, never arrived in that vicinity.
During our occupation of this point, Major Stephenson was severely wounded while gallantly performing the duty assigned him on the left of the battalion, as well as were some 10 non-commissioned officers and privates, the wounds of two or three of which will probably prove fatal.
Receiving no support, and not discovering that any advance of the skirmishers was being made or contemplated, I established along my front a line of skirmishers, and threw still father to the right and front toward the enemy's works a line of vedettes, when I was ordered by Colonel Sanford to retire my command to a position 50 yards to the rear, and somewhat more protected than the position we then occupied. I remained some time afterward, waiting for the Forty-sixth Ohio to arrive, which, I am informed, they failed to do only because they did not receive the order to advance. Receiving again a peremptory order from Colonel Sanford to retire to the position indicated, I moved the regiment, under a very severe and raking fire of grape, to the ravine, which I afterward ascertained to be 310 yards from the enemy's rifle-pits, about the center of which were three pieces of artillery that from their position were enabled to do terrible execution all along the edge of the timber, and so placed as to entirely and completely command the railroad and all the approaches to the enemy's rifle-pits upon the left. Here I had a conference with Colonel Corse and Major Miller, Sixth Iowa Infantry, who then advanced their skirmishers some distance ahead of the column. Colonel Corse directed me to hold the ground between my line and the railroad until relieved or further orders. I so placed my vedettes as to command the railroad, and threw out flankers beyond and to the right, and requested Captain Clune, Sixth Iowa Infantry, to supervise and regulate the position of those of my skirmishers along his front, which he did, and for which I render thanks.
During our stay at this point we were subject at all times to an incessant fire of grape and canister, that did quite an extensive business-manufacturing and agricultural-in the way of plowing the ground and making scrub-brooms of the timber. I lost in killed and wounded at this point by grape and shell 5 men from the guns upon the right.
At 3 o'clock the skirmishers of the Sixth Iowa retired, relieved by others that took position on the old line, leaving the skirmishers of the Forty-eighth alone in our front. At 3. 15 o'clock, the Twenty-sixth Illi