The 15th Massachusetts Infantry provided an initial scouting patrol on the night of October 20 and the troops for the raiding party the next morning. Five companies, roughly 300 men, were to attack a Confederate camp. Devens positioned his men several hundred yards west of here and sent a messenger to inform General Stone that there was no camp to raid. While waiting for new orders, a small portion of his force engaged Company K of the 17th Mississippi in the battle's opening skirmish.
The 15th Massachusetts was the only Federal unit involved in the three skirmishes that took place in the morning and early afternoon. Around 12:30 p.m., Devens' men were driven from their defensive position behind a heavy fence on the Jackson property. Around 2:00 p.m., Devens withdrew his men to this area and deployed them in the woods on your right, facing the then open field on your left, and deployed at a right angle to the main Federal line, the two wings of that line forming what, from the bluff, would have looked like a backward "L" covering the clearing and the cart path.
Following the 3:30 p.m. repulse of the 18th Mississippi which had advanced across the field between the two wings of the Union position, parts of the 15th Massachusetts eventually re-deployed along the Federal left in preparation for a breakout shortly before dark. With the failure of that attempt, the 15th broke and, like the other Union units, was driven down the slope and into the river.