p. m., arriving opposite Vanderburgh's house about 11 p. m. Here I was detained about two hours by the necessity of clearing away a number of trees felled across the road. During the interval I took the head of the column, as directed by General Smyth, with the first battalion of my regiment, consisting of nine companies. I was followed by a battery of four guns, and then by my second battalion of seven companies, under Major Parrish.
My instructions from General Smith were to proceed with advance guard or flankers until I should pass Colonel Burnham, who with his regiment was near the next cross-roads, and after passing him, he being the most advances of our forces, to throw out three companies deployed as skirmishers across the road, and follow them with the column at a distance of, say, 150 yards, connecting the head of the column with the center of the skirmishers by a file of men at intervals of 10 paces. This had just been accomplished, when General Smith himself, with staff, overtook me, and the whole was immediately put in motion. After proceeding a short distance I was surprised to find a picket guard of a New York regiment, having supposed we had passed all of out own outposts. At the first turn to the right, which occurred within a quarter of a mile after the deployment of m y skirmishers., they began to come in collision with picket guards, who said they belonged to the Fourth Michigan. The road at this point was lined with thick woods ion both sides. At the turn of the road was stationed int he road a picket of, say, 20 men; 30 yards beyond was another of, say, 6 men, and the head of the column had not progressed more than 50 yards past the latter, the skirmishers being ahead and on both flanks entangled among the pickets in the woods on the left, when a regular volley was fired into the second and third companies of my line from immediately behind the fence which lined the woods on my left. The head of the column having now passed the woods on our right, the latter was replaced by open fields, exposing us to the light of the rising moon, while the woods on our left, whence an invisible enemy continued to pour his fire, was in deep shade.
Considerable confusion took place in the column thus suddenly attacked. Nothing was advisable in the woods but the flashes of their guns; but, convinced the firing was the mistake of friends, I rode between my men, who had instantly faced towards the woods whence the firing proceeded, vainly calling upon all parties to cease firing. At this moment my horse was shot and rendered nearly unmanageable, and notwithstanding my exertions, firing commenced among my own men, who could bear it no longer, and continued perhaps for two minutes, when the party in the woods retired. I now ordered my killed and wounded to be carried to the rear and dressed my line, and was endeavoring to reassure all parties, when the parities in the woods, having returned suddenly, threw in another volley from not less then forty pieces, as I should judge, which my men instantly returned without orders, the distance being the width of the road-say 6 yards. This time the firing extended nearly as far back in the road as the rear of my first battalion, producing a panic among the artillery horses, who turned and dashed off to the rear, breaking loose from the guns, and producing great confusion in my second battalion by rushing over them at full speed. A number very shot, and the remainder turned off the road, which soon restored order.
After sending my killed and wounded to the rear, I put my command in the woods which concealed the firing party, whoever they may have been, thoroughly scoured and took possession of it, and with the valuable aid of Adjutant Newlin drew up in line of battle along its front to hold the road, at the same time stationing my second battalion, under