Major J. H. HAMMOND, Chief of Staff:
SIR : On the 1st instant, while pressed by many arduous duties, I was requested to report to the commanding general the operations of my division during the affair of the 27th, the action of the 28th, and the battle of the 29th ult.
I had not received the report of subordinate commanders, nor had I time to review the report I have the honor to submit.
Herewith I have the honor to forward these reports, connected with which I will submit a few remarks.
Brigadier-General Blair speaks of having discovered, while on his retreat from the enemy's works, a broad and easy road running from the left of my position to the enemy's lines. The road is neither broad nor easy, and was advanced over by De Courcey when leading his brigade to the charge. The road General Blair speaks of is the one running from Lake's Landing and intersecting with the Vicksburg road on the Chickasaw Bluffs. Its existence was known to me on the 28th ult., but it was left open intentionally by the enemy, and was commanded by a direct and cross fire from batteries and rifle-pits. The withdrawal of his brigade from the assault by Colonel De Courcey was justified by the failure of the corps of A. J. Smith, and the command of Colonel Lindsey, to advance simultaneously to the assault. Both had the same difficulties to encounter-- impassable bayous. The enemy's line of battle was concave, and De Courcey advanced against his centre--hence he sustained a concentric fire, and the withdrawal of Steele from the front of the enemy's right on the 28th ult. enabled the enemy on the following day to concentrate his right upon his centre.
I regret to find, from the report of Brigadier-General Thayer, some one regiment skulked; this I did not observe, nor is it mentioned by General Blair, though his were the troops which occupied that portion of the field. As far as my observation extended, the troops bore themselves nobly; but the Sixteenth Ohio Infantry was peerless on the field, as it had ever been in camp or on the march. Lieutenant-Colonel Kershner, commanding, was wounded and taken prisoner. He is an officer of rare merit, and deserves to command a brigade. Lieutenant-Colonel Dieter, commanding the Fifty-eighth Ohio, was killed within the enemy's works; and Lieutenant-Colonel Monroe, Twenty-second Kentucky, was struck down at the head of his regiment.
I again express my profound acknowledgments to Brigadier-Generals Blair and Thayer, and Colonels De Conrcey, Lindsey, and Sheldon, brigade commanders. Also to Major M. C. Garber, assistant quartermaster; Captain S. S. Lyon, acting topographical engineer; Lieutenant Burdick, acting ordnance officer; Lieutenant Hutchins, acting chief of staff; Lieutenants H. G. Fisher and Smith, of Signal Corps; Lieutenant E. D. Saunders, my acting assistant adjutant-general; and Lieutenants English and Montgomery, acting aides-de-camp, for the efficient services rendered me.
Nor can I close this report without speaking in terms of high praise of the meritorious and gallant services of Captains Foster and Lamphier. Their batteries silenced several of the enemy's works, and throughout the operations rendered good service. My sincere acknowledgments are also due to Captain Griffith, commanding First Iowa Battery, and Captain Hoffman, commanding Fourth Ohio Battery.