War of the Rebellion: Serial 103 Page 0289 THE MOBILE CAMPAIGN.

Search Civil War Official Records

one regiment in reserve. Two additional parallel lines, with approaches, were constructed under an unceasing fire from the enemy's sharpshooters and occasional fire from their gun-boats and batteries, which occasional fire from their gun-boats and batteries, which annoyed me very much, killing and wounding more or less of the command each day. During the night of the 8th and the morning of the 9th I had pushed my skirmish line forward and constructed a new line of rifle-pits 140 yards in advance of the command on my right and about 100 yards in advance of General Andrews' line, on my left. The fire of the enemy's sharpshooters and skirmish line occupying rifle-pits inside their first line of abatis was very sharp and spiteful during the morning of April 9, until about noon, when they suddenly became quiet. Word of this change reached me by Lieutenant-Colonel Merriam,commanding Seventy-third U. S. Colored Infantry, and the lamented Major Mudgett, Eighty-sixth U. S. Colored Infantry, (killed later in the day), sending to me a statement of the fact and asking permission to feel the enemy. I immediately ordered one officer and thirty select men from each of my regiments in readiness to advance on the enemy's skirmish line. I also ordered the section of the Fourth Massachusetts Battery stationed on my line to fire a few shots with a view to ascertain if the enemy's guns were still in position in my front. No reply was elicited from the enemy. I was starting to the front intending to advance my skirmish line supported by the selected men above referred to, when Major-General Osterhaus, chief of staff to Major-General Canby, came on to my lines and went forward with me. After examining the ground he directed that half of the men already selected get into a ravine immediately in front of my right regiment, deploy, and advance to a crest held by my skirmish line, and at a given signal they with the remainder of this select party (who were to spring out of their rifle-pits on the left of my line) were to charge, and, if possible, capture the enemy's line of abatis and the rifle-pits occupied by their sharpshooters and skirmish line. This was done in the most gallant manner by Captain Jenkins, Eighty-sixth U. S. Colored Infantry, and Captain Brown, Seventy-third U. S. Colored Infantry (who was mortally wounded), assisted by the skirmish line commanded by Captain Greenwood, Eighty-sixth U. S. Colored Infantry. The enemy immediately opening a heavy artillery and musketry fire on me, I ordered five companies forward to intrench immediately in rear of the enemy's abatis. This movement on my part was followed up by the Second Brigade on my right, and the work of entrenching had been progressing under heavy fire forty minutes, when cheering on my left notified me that General Andrews' division was moving forward. Still ignorant of whether this was an assault on the enemy's main works or merely a following up of the movement already made by me, I sent a staff, officer to my left to report if their advance continued beyond the first line of abatis and parallel with my advance, who immediately signaled that General Andrews' division was advancing to assault the main works. I immediately ordered the entire brigade to charge. About the same time the Second Brigade on my right advanced their entire line, and the general assault commenced, resulting in the capture of the enemy's entire line assault commenced, resulting in the capture of the enemy's entire line of works in my front containing seven pieces of artillery, many small-arms, and prisoners. To the Seventy-third U. S. Colored, Infantry belongs the honor of first planting their colors on the enemy's parapet. Many of the enemy garrisoning these works threw down their arms and ran toward their right to the white troops to avoid capture by the col-

19 R R-VOL XLIX, PT I