War of the Rebellion: Serial 077 Page 0105 Chapter LI. EXPEDITION INTO MISSISSIPPI.

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probable capture. As the enemy on our right was being driven back by the Ninth Minnesota and Ninety- THIRD Indiana, I directed Captain Fitch to put one section of his battery in position on the Guntown road the regiments on the left and left center gave back in considerable confusion, the rebels following them in force up to the road over which we had advanced, and from which they were kept by the Seventy- second Ohio and Mueller's battery posted in our rear. I endeavored, a idea by my staff, to rally the different regiments and get them to advance to their original position, but filed, succeeding, however, in forming a line along the Baldwyn road and at right angles with it, parallel to the Fulton road, in which position I fought until again flanked on the left and greatly exposed to a capture of the troops engaged. At this time I sent word to General Sturgis that I was hard pressed and that unless relived soon, I would be obliged to abandon my position. I was informed that he had nothing to send me, and that I must use my discretion as to holding my position. It had been evident for some time that the troops could not remain that position long, as the enemy were fast closing around us. I, therefore, determined to retire, and in order to do so directed Captains Fitch and Chapman to open a rapid fire with grape and canister along the roads and through woods in our immediate front, and to maintain it until the infantry were well under way, and that I would from another line a short distance in the rear to keep the enemy from the cross- roads until they could get their pieces away.

This new line was a prolongation of that occupied by the Seventy- second Ohio Infantry, and was formed by that regiment, the Ninety- fifth Ohio Infantry, and about 200 dismounted men of the Tenth on the field, and rendered valuable and gallant service in assisting to hold the enemy in check until the retreating column had passed. The main portion of the First and Second Brigades, which had been hotly engaged with the enemy for nearly three hours, now retired under cover of this new line, and continued to march by the flank to the rear. Just after crossing a small stream about a quarter of a mile in the rear of the cross- roads I met the FIFTY- fifth U. S. Infantry (colored), Major E. M. Lowe commanding. I posted his regiment on the left of the road, with instructions to hold his position until the troops then engaged should retire, when he could bring up the rear. A short distance farther to the rear I met Colonel Bouton with the FIFTY- ninth U. S. Infantry (colored) and Lamberg's section of artillery, in a god position on the right of the road. I remained with him until the other regiments of his brigade, which had been posted near the creek referred to above, fell back, and ordered it into line on his left, directing Colonel Bouton to hold the enemy in check as long as possible in order to give the retiring column time to take up a new position in the rear, which was done on a ridge near a white house about one and a half or two miles from the battle- field. This line was formed by portions of the First and Second Brigades, the whole under command of Colonel Wilkin, and Colonel Bouton was informed by Lieutenant Barber, of my staff, that he could fall back and take up a new position in the rear of this line, my object being to retire by successive lines. In the mean time the wagon train and artillery were moving to the rear as fast as possible. When Colonel Bouton fell back the enemy followed him up in heavy force, and the line established at the white house soon fell back to another position in the rear, when a stand was made and the enemy repulsed. In this affair the Ninth Minnesota again took a con-