War of the Rebellion: Serial 037 Page 0650 Mississippi, WEST TENNESSEE, ETC. Chapter XXXVI.

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with the slender but gallant line lying on my left and right, and feeling that I had obtained all the information I could, I ordered the "rise up" and "retreat," which I must confess was done in the most admirable manner under the fire of at least three regiments and seven guns, three of those enfilading my line. But few of those who had so gallantly charged the battery got back. I cannot speak in too extravagant terms of the officers and men of the Sixth Iowa on this occasion. They obeyed my commands with a promptness and rapidity I hardly could have expected from them on a parade. If they challenged my praise t the impetuosity of their advance. which I found so rapid as to cause me to fear that I could not keep up with them, they awakened the profoundest admiration at the coolness with which they retired, returning the incessant firing of the enemy as they slowly fell back. The Forty-eighth Illinois, commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Greathouse, handsomely supported the right of the line and held the ground gained at a severe loss. Major Stephenson, of the Forty-eighth, was severely wounded while aiding in securing our new position.

Colonel Sanford, commanding the Fourth Brigade, elicited my warmest praise for his conduct on the field in my aid, and commands my thanks for his generous conduct in invariably assisting me, by advice or reenforcements from his gallant command, along the line of skirmishers since our arrival before Jackson.

The Forty-sixth Ohio Infantry, commanded by Colonel Walcutt, failed to get the notice to support the center till we had advanced. He, however, hastily advanced and arrived on the field as we were retiring, and generously assisted us in every way, relieving our tired and wounded men and covering our weakest points. I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Colonel, Comdg. Skirmishers, First DIVISION, SIXTEENTH Army Corps.


Jackson, MISS., July 18, 1863.

SIR: I respectfully make the following report of the operations of this command since leaving Oak Ridge, MISS., on the evening of the 4th instant, and our arrival at Hill's house, on the Big Black:

On the evening of the 5th instant, this regiment was ordered to Jones' Ford, on the Big Black, to effect a crossing, in conjunction with the Forty-eighth Illinois Infantry. I was instructed that the stream not more than 3 feet deep, and that infantry could easily cross. The guide sent with the command, not knowing the route, led us, from about 6 p. m. till about 11. 30 p. m., through field, forest, creeks, over highland and lowland, a distance of from 8 to 10 miles, whereas it was but 2 miles, and that by a good road the greater portion of the way. There I met Colonel Sanford, the brigade commander, who had awaited our coming over two hours, when we started an hour before and should have been across by that time. He, not finding us there, supposed he had been misguided, and did not undertake to cross. On arriving, we immediately sent some men in, and discovered the stream to be so swift and so deep that not only was it impracticable to ford, but impossible for the men to swim across, carrying their arms. A couple of canoes were finally discovered, lashed together, and 3 men placed in them, and started over. The stream being so swift, and not having oars or poles,