War of the Rebellion: Serial 077 Page 0244 KY., SW. VA., TENN., MISS., ALA., AND N. GA. Chapter LI.

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Numbers 2. Report of Lieutenant Colonel John J. Jones, Forty- sixth Illinois Infantry.


Vicksburg, Miss., July 11, 1864.

LIEUTENANT: I have the honor to submit the following report of my command in the recent engagements near Jackson, Miss.:

At 3 o'clock on the morning of July 1, [2] 1864, under orders from Brigadier General E. S. Dennis, the Forty-sixth Regiment Illinois Veteran Volunteer Infantry took up line of march toward Jackson, Miss.

On the afternoon of the 5th the enemy contested our advance and finally made a stand some three miles and a half this side of Jackson, using three pieces of artillery. The Forty-sixth Regiment Illinois Volunteers was here ordered to the front, and moved rapidly forward, in advance of every other regiment, across an open field, and to the left of Bolton's battery, in line of battle. Here we were subjected to a severe shelling, but the regiment moved forward with a firm tread, showing no inclination to swerve or falter. When the timber was reached, beyond which the enemy was posted, a halt of some minutes was made, when we again moved forward by order of Colonel Dornblaser, commanding brigade, crossed a belt of timber, thick with underbrush, and traversed with a creek, with steep banks and very difficult of passage, yet when the open field was reached beyond the line was quickly closed up, and again the regiment presented an unbroken front. Here another halt was made, when Bolton's battery was ordered by Colonel Dornblaser to cut a road through the timber we had just passed. In a few minutes the battery was successfully brought to our front and took position on an eminence and opened a vigorous fire of shell upon the enemy, who had taken position on an eminence beyond near the Canton road. After some twenty minutes it was ascertained that the enemy were giving back. The regiment was now again ordered forward, followed by Bolton's battery. The line was well the point was reached just occupied by the enemy. This regiment was three-fourths of a mile in advance of any other, and the only one opposed to the enemy's front. A halt was called and a few minutes developed the fact that the enemy had retreated on the Canton road. When the balance of the command came up we marched into Jackson and went into camp.

The regiment, with the balance of the command, marched from Jackson at 4 p. m. on the 6th instant, the Forty-sixth Illinois the advance infantry regiment, arriving near the Canton road at about 5 p. m. The word was brought back that the enemy had made a vigorous attack on our advance cavalry and were pushing us steadily back. The Forty-sixth Regiment was now ordered forward at a quick step. Already the booming of rebel cannon chimed in with the rattle and road of small-arms. Throwing forward Companies A and B as skirmishers, the regiment rapidly advanced, under a heavy fire of shell, shot, and musketry, was made. Here we lay till night-fall, our skirmishers vigorously engaged. Captain Joseph Clingman, of Company A, was here severely wounded while nobly discharging his duty, commanding his company on the skirmish line, and was succeeded by Captain Thomas Wakefield, who up to this time had acted as major. As darkness drew on (leaving a heavy picket-line) we were drawn back a short distance and lay on our arms.

At 4 o'clock the morning of the 7th the regiment was ordered forward. We advanced but a short distance before the regiment was warmly