walk, as usual.
The skirmish at Young's Point, above described, was our first, and the general officers passed many compliments upon our coolness and bravery, but owing to Col. Culberson's mistakes, we were pronounced badly drilled, and ordered to drill four hours per day, which order we were endeavoring to obey when on the morning of the 19th we were notified that the enemy was in a few hundred yards of us; and the 18th Reg't. alone was ordered out to meet them.
We crossed a bayou a hundred yards in our front, which ran parallel with their line, which was eight hundred yards from the bayou. Their left rested on another bayou, which ran square into the one described above, forming a right angle at their confluence. Our Reg't. filed left up the bayou, immediately after crossing. As soon as our line became parallel with theirs, they opened fire with their batteries. We went in this direction, until we reached a skirt of timber, we then filed right, followed that direction until the head of the line came upon a ravine, running parallel with both the first bayou, described, and the Federal line; and between the two, we again filed right, marching in files of four, which brought our line again parallel with theirs.
In the meantime, they had posted their skirmish line upon this ravine, which was lined with underbrush and switch cane. As soon as our line was well stretched along the ravine, and forty yards from it, they opened a heavy skirmish fire upon us, killing and wounding a few. We charged them immediately, and drove them back to the main line. We then took cover under the brush of the ravine, and Maj. Robertson, a staff officer, went back to the bridge for orders; he returned and we marched in retreat across the first bayou, described here. We were protected somewhat by the levy, where we remained a couple of hours.
All the while, from the time we crossed the bayou first, we were under heavy cannon, in addition; in addition we had the small arms playing on us awhile. We lost a number of men from the Reg't. in killed, wounded and missing. One missing from our Company, was Gus Newberry. Capt. [Thomas R.] Bonner's Company (C), were nearly all missing, but came in one by one, until very near all returned. When we left our last position, we were ordered to burn the bridge. Had I been the Gen., with the light before me, that I now have, I would have fought them there. But I suppose Gen. Walker knew more of their resources and position, than the common soldier.
Our retreat was in the direction of Delhi, a depot on the road from
Vicksburg to Monroe; to which place, the wounded of the Milligan Bend
of the 7th of June, described above, were moved and being moved. There
were a number of those wounded, and the manner in which they were moved,
may be of interest to some who may read this. The distance that they
were to be moved, was about fifteen miles. Eight men were detailed to
one wounded man, he was placed upon a litter, which is a light frame
work, the side pieces being long enough that cloth is tacked from one
to the other, that a man may lie upon it, then extend two feet at either
end, beyond the cloth, so that these pieces serve as handles, something
like a hand barrow; then two cross pieces to keep the cloth in proper
place -- the whole thing being set upon four legs, like a bedstead.
Then four men carried it by the four handles, and the other four
carried two guns each, occasionally exchanging.