Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 06.djvu/61

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51
Battle of Chickasaw Bayou.

were highly elated by their success and followed rapidly, but a volley from the Twenty-sixth Louisiana (Colonel Hall), near the edge of the lake and in temporary rifle pits, brought them to their usual prudence, and allowed the gallant Twenty-eighth to move in safety. Colonel Hall held his pits in his advanced position against a vastly superior force with great coolness and effect. The enemy also attacked Colonel Morrison at the mound in heavy force, and placed several batteries in position opposite to him, which kept up a continuous fire. The enemy on the evening of the 29th had appeared in considerable force at the levee, and gave me much uneasiness. During the night of the 27th I increased my force at that point, and placed Colonel Withers, First battery, Mississippi artillery, in charge of its defence—he having at his disposal the Forty-sixth Mississippi regiment, Seventeenth Louisiana, and Bowman's battery. This arrangement was made none too soon. Early on the morning of the 28th the enemy appeared in force on the levee with artillery, but was handsomely held in check and driven back by Colonel Withers' command—the Forty-sixth Mississippi and two Napoleon guns under Lieutenant Johnson doing admirable service. On the 28th the enemy, who had landed a small infantry force in front of Snyder's mills, disappeared from that point; only two gun-boats amusing themselves by firing at long range on our works. Their force in front of my position at Chickasaw bayou had greatly increased on the evening of the 28th, and it was evident that my position would be attacked next morning. During the night my command was reinforced by two regiments, and my line of battle fixed. Before daylight on the 29th Colonel Hall's regiment was withdrawn from its advanced pits and the dry crossing left open to the enemy, as it was desired he should attack my position in front. Early on the morning of the 29th the enemy cautiously examined the advanced pits (vacated), not understanding, apparently, why they had been abandoned. He was exceedingly cautious. About 9 A. M. he attempted to throw a pontoon bridge over the lake to my left. This was soon thwarted by a few well directed shots from the section of Wofford's battery and a section of guns commanded by Lieutenant Tarleton, of Major Ward's artillery battalion. As soon as the attempt to pontoon the lake was discovered, my line of battle was pushed to the left by two regiments to throw them in front of the threatened point. The two regiments were the Forty-second Georgia and Twenty-eighth Louisiana. At the same time Colonel Layten's Fourth Mississippi