On this trip there was a collision between the boat that we were on and one returning that had been up with a load of soldiers. It being empty, the guard ran over ours, and wounded one man severely and several slightly.
[The 18th Texas Infantry was assigned to harass Union forces on the Western side of the Mississippi River in support of Confederate defense of Vicksburg. (Davis 1999)]
On the day we landed off Tensas Bayou, June 4, 1863, the other Brigades who had preceded us made an attack upon the Federal gun boats in the Mississippi River, below us, with little effect, or damage, to either party.
The morning of June 5th, we took up the line of march in a northeasterly direction through the Palmetto swamp, cutting a road as we went. On the afternoon of June 6, at 3:00 o'clock, we arrived at Richmond, La. Soon we received orders to cook three days rations and be ready to move in a few hours. We moved off at dark, in the direction of Vicksburg. Our Brigade, commanded by Gen. Hawes, passed Gens. McCullouch's and Randall's Brigades; marched all night, and until 10:00 o'clock a.m. on the 7th, when the object of our march was disclosed. We were drawn up in order of battle in front of Young's Point on the Mississippi River, five miles above Vicksburg, on this side. At which place there was a very large camp of Federals (which were convalescents I have since learned). We advanced cautiously, driving their skirmish line before us to within a few hundred yards of the camp, when Gen. Hawes espied some gunboats in the river and ordered a retreat, which was done, after a great many awkward and confused commands from Col. [David B.] Culberson to his Regt. After we had gained the woods, the gunboats shelled at a terrible rate in the direction of our retreat, but with no damage. The day was extremely warm, and the men suffered severely from heat. Had only one man wounded, captured eight prisoners.
The order of the day was for us to attack at this point, and Gen. McCullouch's Brigade to attack four miles above at Molligan's [Milliken's] Bend, and Gen. Randall's Brigade was held in reserve to support either. After our retreat, it was found necessary to reinforce Gen. McCullouch who had made a very unpropitious assault, in which he lost many of his best men, and accomplished nothing.
Col. [John H.] Burnett's Reg't. associated with some Cavalry, made a simultaneous attack at Lake Providence, -- their loss, if any, was slight. After resting a while, we began to retrace out steps in the direction of Richmond, traveled until night, halted at sun up, having gained our point, after marching two days and nights without sleep, and maneuvered in line of battle several hours; and besides, our rations, like all other three day rations, grew short. There are bounds to human power, which was proven in this instance -- the enemy's scouts approached within a short distance of where we had halted to rest -- we were aroused, thrown in order of battle, and required to remain in place, either sitting or standing; but notwithstanding the danger, a majority of the soldiers were asleep in a few minutes. A scout of our Cavalry was sent out to ascertain their object and force, but returned without information. We yet had four miles to go, to reach our supplies, and the officers seeing the complete exhaustion of the men, ordered the train back to haul the most of the army to camp. I failed to wake up and get a position in a wagon, and had to