the Eighteenth Michigan Infantry (much reduced), Captain Moore commanding. They were joined by a number of men from the One hundred and second Ohio and Thirteenth Wisconsin. Before this detachment started, I notified commanding officers of the forts and along the line of works what was to be done. I directed all the artillery within canister range of the rifle-pits to be shotted with canister and trained upon the rifle-pits, with instructions to open and fire with the greatest possible rapidity as soon as the little charging column should make its appearance. The guns of Fort Numbers 2 I ordered to be loaded with shell and to open upon the right of the enemy's pits at the same time. The breast-works were lined with men, who, as soon as the enemy (if the movement was successful) should appear above his rifle-pits, were to pour a withering fire of musketry. I organized a supporting column about 500 strong, which was joined by the picket force and about 50 cavalry, under Lieutenant-Colonel Thornburgh, and instructed them to move out from the works as soon as the movement should be discovered. Everything being in readiness, Captain Moore moved out at our extreme right, deployed his men under cover of the river bank, moved quietly up to the open ground, and with a yell, which was answered by every man along our entire line of works, charged the flank and rear of the enemy's pits. The enemy, surprised and panic-stricken by this impudent movement, rushed from the pits only to encounter a most terrible and well-directed fire of shell, canister, and musketry. Large numbers were killed or wounded, while others threw down their arms, and waving their hats in token of surrender, ran toward our advancing column. The little band swept almost the entire length of the first line of the enemy's rifle- pits up to the very teeth of his main works, where the captain (his command being reduced one half by guard for prisoners) halted and commenced slowly retreating, covered by the supporting column on his left. The enemy made no attempt to charge in turn, and he returned to the fort, having thoroughly cleared this line of the enemy's works, captured 120 men, including 5 commissioned officers; killed or wounded a very large number, with only a loss of 3 men, slightly wounded. This affair, though of short duration, was in its results most important to us. It drove the enemy from a strong and important position, which he was not able to reoccupy, and inspired the garrison with great confidence.
During the night, while the enemy was established himself, as above described, along our front, he was not idle upon our left flank. He established a battery of eight guns upon the bank of the river about 1,500 yards from our main works, protected somewhat by a belt of timber and some broken ground at that point. He also threw up a line of rifle-pits connecting this battery with the line above mentioned, thus completing the chain and thoroughly enveloping us. The battery at the point just indicated could command with ease our pontoon bridge, almost its entire length being exposed to its fire. It would also cover, at a distance of less than 600 yards, any gun- boat which might come to our assistance. I had, however, during the night (being apprised that the enemy was establishing this battery) sent a section of Battery A, First Tennessee Artillery, under, Captain Beach, to the north side of the river, with directions to throw up a small earth work opposite the enemy, enfilading his rifle-pits and partially enfilading his battery and harass him as much as possible. Lieutenant-Colonel Thornburgh, my chief of cavalry, superintended the establishment of this section and indicated the ground it should occupy. As soon as the fog lifted this section began to play upon the enemy most successfully, prevent-