War of the Rebellion: Serial 077 Page 0698 KY., SW. VA., TENN., MISS., ALA., AND N. GA. Chapter LI.

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ing him from getting any more guns into position or using those already in battery upon our bridge. I immediately, upon the heels of the successful sortie upon our right, ordered Colonel Doolittle to send out the Fourteenth U. S. Colored Infantry to charge this battery, and sent a detachment of 500 men as a support to our advance line of rifle-pits upon the left, between which and the enemy there had been heavy skirmishing all the morning. I directed Captain Beach to open rapidly upon the battery, and Captain Naylor, of the Stone River, to move up and engage it also. I ordered a section from Fort Numbers 2 to a small earth-work upon our left, with directions to open upon the enemy as soon as Captain Beach's battery from the north side of the river should be heard from. It was impossible for the enemy to remain in their works under this galling cross-fire. Under cover of it the Fourteenth charged in splendid style, captured the battery, made 14 prisoners, and killed and wounded a large number of men. They spiked 2 guns, but it was impossible to remove them, and the enemy rallying and coming upon them in largely superior numbers, they were forced to retire. This they did in good order, bringing off their prisoners without having a single man captured. Our loss during the sortie in killed or wounded was 52; that of the enemy was much greater. The artillery practice of Captain Beach's section was capital. One of his shells exploded a caisson in the enemy's battery, killing 14 men. The fire from our gun-boats was both accurate and severe, and the loss of the enemy must have been very heavy. The action of the colored troops, under Colonel Morgan, was everything that could be expected or desired of soldiers. They were cool, brave, and determined, and under the heaviest fire of the enemy exhibited no signs of confusion. The effect upon our troops of these two brilliantly successful sorties, coming in such quick succession, was most cheering.

During the 28th re-enforcements arrived rapidly and were assigned positions in the works. There was heavy firing all day along our entire line, but no attempt on the part of the enemy to make an assault. About 12 m. I ordered Captain Naylor, of the gun-boat Stone River, to run the enemy's battery, and taking a position above to operate upon his rear with his long range guns. This was done without injury to the vessel. About 3 p. m. U. S. steamer General Thomas made its appearance and joined the Stone River. I soon after sent orders to the boats to engage the enemy's river battery, assisted, as they would be, by Captain Beach, from the north side of the river, and the section upon the left flank of our works. On this occasion, as on the previous one, the fire of Beach's battery was very fine, throwing shells directly into the enemy's works, dismantling two of his guns, killing or wounding many, and so distracting him that his shots at the gun-boats were wild. Under cover of this severe cross-fire they dropped down the river until immediately opposite, and less than 500 yards from the enemy's works opened with their broadside guns. Their guns were most admirably served, on shell from the Stone River exploding a caisson and killing 17 men. It was impossible for men to withstand this attack. They deserted their guns, a portion of them retreating to their main line, while many of them rushed down the bank and sought the protection of the trees at the water's edge. The guns of the boats, double shotted with canister, were turned upon them at a distance of scarcely 300 yards, and poured in a terrible fire. Many bodies were afterward found in the river. The enemy's loss in this short engagement, lasting only about half an hour, was very severe. The casualties upon the wooden gun-boats, although they were hit a number of times, were