I now saw that I could complete the investment of the work and storm and take the city. I ordered Major Ross, commanding Sixth Texas, to move up a wooded ravine and attack the north side. I ordered Colonel Hawkins, commanding First Texas Legion, to move on the jagged slope of the bluffs, clear it of the enemy, swing on his left, and extend the are of a circle formed by Major Ross to the north and west. I ordered Colonel Thomas H. Logwood, commanding Fifteenth Tennessee Cavalry, to move through the upper edge of the city, and Major Jas. G. Thurmand, commanding Fourteenth Tennessee Cavalry (Colonel Neely's right), to move centrally through the city. These officers and their commands promptly and gallantly executed these orders, and in twenty minutes we had completed the circle around the main redoubt and swept the heights above the city except the main redoubt, and had taken the city by storm, except the tier of buildings fronting the river, under the immediate cover of their two gun-boats, in which a number of the enemy had posted themselves and were firing from the windows of the houses.
In driving the enemy from one of these houses the gallant and accomplished gentleman and soldier, Major J. G. Thurmand, fell dead, shot through the head, leading his regiment, the gallant Fourteenth Tennessee Cavalry. He is dead. His deeds place him in the ranks of that honored few whom we delight to recognize as the bravest of the brave.
Two gun-boats now opened their batteries upon us in the city and rained down showers of balls from exploding shrapnels. Captain Thrall now placed in position on one of the streets, in 50 yards of a brick house occupied by the enemy, his piece and opened upon it with terrible effect. I held the city for three hours, destroying quartermaster's stores an cotton, not without, however, a continuous struggle with the enemy's sharpshooters posted in houses, and his gun-boats, until the latter were silenced. Colonel Logwood, having driven the enemy from the upper part of the city by gallant and impetuous charges, had wheeled his regiment upon its left and closed the circle of investment and commanded the sally-port of the main central redoubt.
About 4 o'clock in the evening, General Ross reported to me in the city the progress made against the central redout and the refusal of the enemy to surrender the main redoubt. We concluded that to carry the work by storm would sacrifice too many valuable lives and was not worth the price. Two boats of re-enforcements were approaching the city; our ammunition was nearly exhausted; we had felt the enemy heavily; had damaged him very much; it was nearly night; we determined to withdraw.
We captured mules, horses, clothing, and ammunition, and 17 prisoners.
The loss of my brigade was 37 killed and wounded; of the two brigades, 64.
The enemy's loss, from all I can gather, must have been over 100, though he stated it to the citizens at 243.
The enemy has been compelled to evacuate the city, and it is hoped that he will abandon the idea heretofore entertained of opening the Yazoo River and drawing cotton, negroes, stock, and supplies from its rich valley.
The Fourteenth Tennessee Cavalry was under my immediate observation and it gives me great pleasure to commend the gallantry of both men and officers.