on the right by the road leading from Origen Sibley's, and a general advance was ordered. My front was the division of Brigadier-General Veatch in center, General Benton's division on the right, connecting with the command of Major General A. J. Smith, and Colonel Bertram's brigade on the left, swinging around to rest on the Blakely river, with a double line of battle formation and a strong advanced skirmish line. In advancing the main line was halted in the edge of the woods, up to which and for 1,000 yards in his front the enemy had felled all standing timber, and the skirmish line thrown forward under cover of the fallen trees until 500 yards from the works. Fort Alexis was the work of the enemy in my left front, the middle bastion being opposite my center, and the Red Fort on my right, from which and from the rifle-pits were kept up against my lines a well-directed fire of musketry and artillery, with a loss to my command of seventy-seven killed and wounded that day.
During the night and next day batteries were thrown up and lines of approaches established, the enemy opening some small mortars and sustaining his musketry and artillery fire. On the 30th Brigadier-General Veatch's division was withdrawn and ordered with supplies to Major-General Steele, its place in the line being supplied by Colonel Marshall's brigade, of McArthur's division, Sixteenth Army Corps, which being afterward returned to its command, the gap in the line was filled by extending General Benton's left. In this front and on Colonel Bertram's left mortar batteries were established, two 8-inch mortars in each battery, and in the work thrown up by Seventh Massachusetts Battery, on my right center, were placed four 8-inch howitzers. These mortars and howitzers were part of siege train belonging to First Indiana Heavy Artillery, and from the positions taken were served with effect. The howitzers were, however, withdrawn, the parapet of battery being too thin to withstand the heavy fire they provoked. On the 2nd Mack' battery (Eighteenth New York Artillery), of six 20-pounder Parrotts, was assigned position in advance of the line of batteries on my left center 700 yards from the enemy's works. Fourst's battery (F, First Missouri Light Artillery), which had done excellent service on Colonel Bertram's right, was withdrawn, being out of ammunition, and four guns from the Seventh Massachusetts Battery put in its place. Batteries for four 10-inch mortars, in charge of detachments of Sixth Michigan Heavy Artillery, and for the four 8-inch howitzers, were place in the left and center of Colonel Bertram's front on the line of rifle-pits for the reserve of the skirmish line, and for two 30-pounder Parrotts, in the line of batteries on my right center, to the left of the battery first occupied by the Seventh Massachusetts Light Artillery. Four guns of the fourth Massachusetts Artillery replaced in the Seventh Massachusetts Battery the guns which had been put into Fourst' battery, the balance of the fourth Massachusetts being withdrawn to camp. On the 4th all these batteries, with the 8-inch mortars and light guns of Benton's division, Twenty-first and Twenty-sixth New York Artillery, opened fire, continuing a bombardment, under the orders of the major-general commanding, from 5 o'clock to 7 p. m., at the rate of three minutes' interval for each gun, and during the night at thirty minutes' interval, the enemy not replying except from his water battery. On the 5th, in honor of national victories, 100 shorted guns were fired along the line. On the 6th the two 8-inch mortars in the front, originally occupied by Veatch, were withdrawn and placed on the right of the line, to the left of the light batteries of Benton's division, and on the next day five 8-inch howitzers, manned by the artillerists of Foust's battery, with two 30-pounder Parrotts of First Indiana Heavy Artil-