again on the 25th, and, having marched a distance of about fifteen miles, went into camp about a mile and a half from Spanish Fort, Ala., on the evening of the 26th. On the morning of the 27th, the order of battle being formed, the brigade in column of battalions occupied the center of division. The formation of the brigade was as follows: In advance the Ninety-first Illinois, followed by the Twenty-ninth Iowa, after which the Fiftieth Indiana Volunteers, and in the rear the Seventh Vermont Veteran Volunteers. The brigade moved forward to within about 600 yards of Fort Alexis, where in easy range of the rebel batteries it maintained its position during the whole day under a heavy fire. The skirmish line advanced to within 350 yards of the rebel works. In the course of the afternoon a detail from the brigade constructed a temporary breast-work in front of the Twenty-first New York Battery, which occupied a position on the right. Immediately after dark the Fiftieth Indiana and the Seventh Vermont having been moved to the rear about 200 yards, the Ninety-first Illinois and Twenty-ninth Iowa began to dig trenches and construct breast-works a little in advance of the ground occupied during the day, and before morning formed a sufficient protection from the enemy's sharpshooters, who had greatly annoyed us. Early in the morning of the 28th they were relieved by the Seventh and Twenty-ninth, who strengthened the works during the day. On the night of the 28th our skirmishers advanced to within 250 yards of the rebel works and dug rifle-pits. From this time until the 30th of March the trenches were occupied alternately by the regiments of the brigade, and the skirmish line was advanced to within 100 yards of the fort. On the 30th the Twenty-ninth Iowa was temporarily detached and placed on picket duty, and on the 1st of April the Seventh Vermont was also detached and placed on engineer duty, thus leaving only two regiments under my immediate command.
On the afternoon of the 1st of April the enemy made a charge on our rifle-pits occupied by the skirmishers and succeeded in capturing Captain R. B. Stearns, Company K, Seventh Vermont, and 21 of his men. the enemy lost a number in killed and wounded. At night the rifle-pits lost during the day were retaken and held by our men. The time between this and the 8th of April was chiefly spent in strengthening works already begun, and building others not immediately connected with the brigade. On the evening of the 8th, in obedience to orders from division headquarters, the advance and reserve skirmishers were doubled, and at about 11.45 o'clock Captain Shepherd, Company F, Ninety-first Illinois, hearing a shouting toward the right, and our guns cease firing, pushed forward over the rebel works with a portion of the skirmishers from the Ninety-first Illinois and Fiftieth Indiana and found that the enemy had evacuated. The works in front of our lines were shortly after occupied by the Ninety-first Illinois Volunteers. The works contained two 64-pounder columbiads, two 12-pounder and one 10-pounder rifled guns, which, in obedience to orders, were turned over on the morning of the 9th to a detachment of the First Brigade, Second Division, Thirteenth Army Corps. At about 1 o'clock on the 9th, the Twenty-ninth Iowa and Seventh Vermont having rejoined the command, the brigade left Spanish Fort, and, arriving at its present camp in the evening, formed on the right of General Hawkins' division, but a successful assault made by the troops of Major-General Steele's command rendered it unnecessary to go into action. Annexed to this report is a list of casualties which have occurred in the brigade, and which I respectfully submit as a part of the same.* I take pleasure in
*Embodied in table, p.112.