Number 67. Report of Colonel Greenburg F. Wiles, Seventh-eighth Ohio Infantry, SECOND Brigade, THIRD DIVISION, SEVENTEENTH Army Corps. CLINTON, MISS., July 17, 1863.
I have to honor to report that, on the night of the 15th, I received a dispatch from General Sherman to be on the alert, and informing me of movements of the enemy under command of Jackson in this direction.
I immediately made the best disposition I could, with my limited forces, to give the enemy a warm reception. I threw out vedettes of mounted infantry and cavalry on four different roads. The road on which I thought the attack would be made, and on which it was made, and which it was made, and on which it was made, I doubled the picket at 11 o'clock at night, and had the regiment notified to be ready at a moment's warning, and properly patrolled, to get them under arms without delay.
At 3. 45 o'clock on the morning of the 16th, a lieutenant and 5 men tried to capture my outposts, but were in turn all captured and sent in. This having occurred without any firing, the regiment [enemy], not knowing of their capture, advanced in battle line in the large field in front of the pickets post. Our pickets reserved their fire until the enemy were quite close, when they opened on them. As soon as this occurred, I immediately dispatched Captain Wallar, with Company F, to support the pickets. As soon as he found our pickets being driven, he deployed forward, and immediately engaged them and checked their advance. The enemy then undertook to flank us by turning left. I threw forward Company G(being one of my largest companies) to sustain that point, and moved with the balance of the regiment forward to support all. Fearing the pickets on the Vicksburg road would be captured. I dispatched Captain Wilson, with Company A, to that point. At this time the skirmishing was brisk.
After maintaining our position for over three-quarters of an hour, I advanced with skirmish line and drove them back until I regained the position I held at the commencement. I could not advance any farther, as I had no troops under my command except the regiment I commanded, the cavalry force left for my use by General McArthur having been sent to communicate with Colonel Chambers and General McArthur.
The enemy through to surprise us, and failing in that, and re-enforcements having arrived, after cutting the telegraph wires, beat a hasty retreat, carrying off their dead and wounded. The force of the enemy is estimated at 1,500. We have prisoners from three different regiments.
We have no casualties on our side. The enemy is know to have 2 killed.
I wish to make honorable mention, for your consideration, of Captain Wallar, Captain Munson, and Lieutenant Steward; also of Private [Abiram] Johnson, of Company F, who behaved in a gallant manner at the picket line when we captured their advance.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
G. F. WILES,
Lieutenant Colonel, Comdg. Seventy-eighth Ohio Volunteer Infantry.
Lieutenant J. B. WALKER,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.