147 HISTORY OF THE SEVENTY-EIGHTH REGIMENT O.V.V.I.
not marked by an incident worthy of special notice. On the morning of the 5th the Second Brigade led the van, and upon approaching the bridge across Bear creek, the rebels were found to have a battery in position, commanding it. As the troops approached the bridge, a brisk fire was kept up by the rebels, notwithstanding which the Brigade crossed, and forming in battle line in good order, advanced steadily on the battery. Soon after crossing the bridge a cannon shot passed through the Seventy-Eighth regiment, striking private Taylor Geary, of Company G, upon the head, carrying the upper portion of the head away, killing him instantly. It then struck a gun upon the shoulder of private Hiram Fogle, bending the gun and bruising him slightly. Passing on, the shot struck Corporal Joseph Cowan on the top of the head, fracturing the skull, and mortally wounding him. He died the next day. Both good men and true, ever faithful in the discharge of their duties, they were held in high esteem by their officers and fellow soldiers. They fell gloriously, while confronting the cannon mouth, and died as brave men prefer to die – at their post.
Our batteries were soon at work and after a sharp artillery skirmish of nearly an hour, the rebels retreated toward Clinton, and we followed rapidly. The rebels made a stand four miles beyond Clinton, and threw shot and shell into our midst, killing one man of the Seventh Missouri, and wounding several. They were soon driven from their position by our artillery, and fell back to a better piece of ground, a wood, where their entire force of mounted infantry, under General Wirt Adams, formed in battle line, and awaited our approach. Our train was parked, and the troops advanced, deploying to the right of the Jackson road as they reached the open fields, which extended for miles, and afforded a splendid view of both lines. As our line pressed to the right it slowly closed upon the left flank of the rebel line, threatening to turn it, when suddenly General Hurlbut, with the Sixteenth Army Corps, appeared upon their right, and in a twinkling they mounted, and moved like a whirlwind through the yet open space to the south, and escaped. One gun, a fine rifled Parrot, was captured. That was the last we seen of them this side of Pearl River. Resuming our march we reached Jackson. General Force occupied Jackson with the First Brigade the same night. Early the next morning the Seventy-Eighth entered Jackson, served as provost guard, and made their headquarters in the State capitol building. On the 7th we crossed Pearl river, passed through and encamped one mile east of Brandon. On the 8th we reached Morton. After destroying the railroad and depots, together with a large quantity of public stores, we went to Hillsboro, and at that place the Sixteenth Army Corps was fired upon by a band of Mississippi State cavalry, without inflicting any damage to the Corps. A volley from our en scattered them with a loss of thirteen on their side. A Lieutenant of cavalry, (rebel) was shot next morning near our picket line. I can not now detail our march from this point; suffice it to say that we went steadily forward, passing several places where the rebels had commenced to throw up earth works, but after digging awhile they changed their minds, and retreated again. We went so close upon them that their fires were still
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