Page 7 – Autobiography – Benjamin Lafayette Smith
         about his farm a little. I laid off and directed the making of some lot and water gates made
         of lathes split out of oak, and dressed with a drawing knife, by fathers yellow negro John
         who did such things on the place. He was also my fathers carriage driver and the foremen
         of his plow hands. As my whole regiment was captured at Fort Donaldson, and sent north to
         prison, and as it was uncertain when they would be exchanged, a good many of those not
         captured joined other commands. In May 1862 I reenlisted in a company that was organized
         at Columbus Miss., Lowndes Riflemen, with John H. Billups as captain, H. B. Whitfield 1st
         Lieut., McKinney Inioce 2nd Lieut. And W. H. Hargrove 3rd Lieut. My brother Sherman
         joined this company with me, and was soon ordered to Baldwin Miss. It with nine other
         companies that were there organized the 43rd Miss, regiment, with Wm Moore of Aberdeen
         as Ccl. Richard Lee of Columbus Lieut. Ccl. and Dr. Richard Harrison of Monroe county
         Maj. Wm Sykes of Monroe Adjt. and Paul Sale of Aberdeen Sergt. Maj. All the officers of
         the regiment were appointed and not elected by the soldiers, as was done at the beginning of
         the war. About the first of August, 1 joined the company at Baldwin. Our regiment was
         attached to Moores brigade, and soon after this the brigade, was ordered to Iuka. A part of
         our command had an engagement with the Federals, and drove them off. We turned and
         marched back to the R.R. at Guntown, remaining there only a few days, preparing to go to
         Corinth. We marched there by way of Ripley, and reached there about 18th of Oct., and
         attacked the enemy driving them in their fortifications. The next day under the command of
         Gen Sterling Price, the whole army stormed the enemy in their breastworks, and made a
         desperate effort to take the town, but failed. Gen Price then retreated with command to
         Waterford Miss., on the Miss Central R.R., now called the I.C.R.R. A good many of the
         13th Miss regiment (Col. Barry’s) was captured on the retreat at Hatchie Creek. We
         remained at Waterford and drilled until about the 1st December and then we were ordered to
         Chickasaw Bayou via Jackson and Vicksburg, the day that Gen Stephen D. Lee whipped the
         enemy so badly there. We reached Vicksburg about sunset and about dark, in a down pour
         of rain, started to march to Chickasaw Bayou, twelve miles distant. I never saw a darker
         night. The hills were very steep, and extremely slippery, so slippery that it was almost
         impossible to keep from falling to the ground occasionally. The whole brigade was muddy
         from head to foot, when it reached there about 12 o’clock at night. It rained on us the
         whole time. We expected the enemy to renew the attack, but they had enough, and had
         departed to parts unknown. We remained there all day and night and next morning marched
         a mile or two distant to a hill, called Snyders Bluff, and camped there all winter. As there
         was no suitable place we did no drilling. Men were detailed every day to go to Vicksburg
         and help fortify it. Our mess constructed a rude shelter of oak boards split out of a nearby
         tree, by our cook, old man Perry. We boarded up the sides which made it comfortable for
         the winter. About the first of May our division-Maurys-composed of ours-Adairs-brigade-
         French’s and others was ordered to Vicksburg to meet Grants army. We took our places in
         the trenches there. He surrounded us with a very large army, and soon began to make
         desperate charges attempting to take our breastworks, but in no instance did any of his troops
         enter our trenches. They made no effort to break our line, but charged the line on our left
         and in sight of us, but were signally defeated in several desperate charges, when our men
         killed a great many. They ceased their charges and left their dead on the field, and their
         bodies began to become so offensive, that we under a flag of truce asked them to remove
         them. Attempts to break our lines in various places, but made signal failures. Grant soon
         determined to stop this foolishness and lie still and starve Pemberton’s army out. While thus