War of the Rebellion: Serial 003 Page 0297 Chapter X. ENGAGEMENT AT BELMONT, MO., ETC.

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was so hot that the guns were soon abandoned; the enemy, about 800, were fleeing across the field in the greatest consternation. By a flank movement to the right I brought my men into the open space in front of the battery, which was immediately taken possession of, I believe, by Lieutenant De Heus, Company A, whose flag soon seen flying from one of the captured pieces. We were now immediately in the rear of the encampment, and were here joined by a part of Colonel Dougherty's regiment-Twenty second Illinois. The rebels kept up a sharp and galling fire upon us, but a few well-directed volleys induced them to abscond from their camp suddenly. It was here, where the firing was the heaviest, that Lieutenant Wallen, of Company I, seized the regimental colors and bore them aloft in front of the regiment's line, directing the boys' attention to a fine large flag floating over the encampment, decorated with twelve stars, and on the other with the "Harp of Erin" on a green silk ground. They, with loud huzzah, went forward and secured it. It was in making this charge that my horse was shot. I followed the regiment on foot until we reached the lower end of the encampment, where I was supplied with another horse, which had just been captured by one of the men, when, immediately ordering another charge, we drove all the remaining rebels over the bank of the river at this point [some 12 feet high], and dashed up the river road until we came to the log house which constituted the city of Belmont. At this place there was considerable random firing, the rebels firing from cover of trees and the bank of the river; and it was here, while giving Captain Parrott, of Company E, orders to bring off two field pieces which had been abandoned by the enemy, or to throw teem into the river, so as to render them useless against us, that I received a ball through my left thigh, which for a time disabled me, when I was assisted by Captain Parrott to the rear of the tents, where I remained but a short time, as, one of the guns of Captain Taylor's battery coming along, they placed me on it and took me to the rear of the encampment.

In the mean time our men had received orders to burn and destroy the camp and property which had fallen into our hands, and in a short time the destruction was complete. The rebels, however, not being idle, having several large steamers in the river at Columbus, they were loaded down with fresh troops, which were thrown between us and our place of debarkation, so as in a measure to cut off our retreat. Those of them, also, who had been driven from their guns in the early part of the fight, seeing us falling back towards our boats, took fresh courage and commenced closing in on us; and now, as all the Illinois troops had left us or were leaving, except the Twenty-second Illinois, Colonel Dougherty, we were in danger of being surrounded and cut off. I was apprised of this state of affairs by Colonel Dougherty, to whose bravery I bear testimony, and who lost a limb in his endeavors to bring off safely the rear of his brigade, as well as to that of his noble regiment, which fought side by side on that memorable day. I immediately gave orders to my regiment to retire, myself leading the way, but by this time we were subjected to an enfilading fire which caused us heavy loss. The men behaved in the most gallant manner, deliberately loading and firing as they retired, and although every other man was killed or wounded, they scarcely accelerated their step, but coolly and deliberately made their way to the boats.

It was after the retreat had commenced that Lieutenant-Colonel Wentz was killed. He died on the field of battle like a true soldier. He was truly a brave man, and did his duty well and nobly. Lieutenant Dodge, of Company B, was killed, and Lieutenant Gardner, who