In the mean time the Ninth Ohio, Second Minnesota, Tenth Indiana, and Fourth Kentucky Regiments had kept up an unceasing fire upon the ranks of the enemy, who now began slowly to fall back before our advancing forces. A portion of the enemy halted at a fence, with the evident intention of making a stand, when Colonel McCook commanded a "charge bayonet," which command was instantly repeated by Lieutenant-Colonel Kise, of the Tenth Indiana, and was splendidly executed by both regiments. The enemy now gave way and fled in every direction in the utmost confusion, being hotly pursued by all your forces in the field.
In accordance with your order I started off to the left of the road through the fields and woods, with the Tenth Indiana and Fourth Kentucky Regiments, in pursuit of the retreating enemy. I proceeded in this way until I struck the lower Fishing Creek road, about one mile from the main road leading to the enemy's fortifications. I turned and proceeded down the road until I formed a junction with your column, and remained with you until we came in sight of the enemy's breastworks, where I halted my brigade until you had arranged your batteries upon the hills commanding the rebel camp. After the artillery had shell the enemy's works for some time I received your order to move with my brigade to Russell's house, on the north bank of the Cumberland River, and prevent a flank movement of the enemy, and gain an eminence which commanded the ferry at a point where the river divides the enemy's camp. I immediately occupied the place specified in your order with the Tenth Indiana, Fourth Kentucky, Fourteenth Ohio, and Tenth Kentucky Regiments. Captain Kenny's battery of artillery shortly afterwards came by your order and took position on the hill at Russell's house with my brigade. Colonels Steedman and Harlan, of the Fourteenth Ohio and Tenth Kentucky Regiments, had, after a forced march of 18 miles in six hours, overtaken us at the point where your column halted for the purpose of shelling the enemy. I very sincerely regret that you were deprived of the services of these two gallant regiments in the battle. Their reports,* which I herewith transmit to you, will fully explain why they were not with me on the morning of the engagement.
At 10 o'clock on the night of the 19th I ordered the gallant colonel Harlan, with his regiment, to advance and take possession of a hill half a mile from Russell's house, which overlooked the camp of the enemy, and to hold it at all hazards, and directed him at daybreak on the following morning to take possession of the enemy's works if it were ascertained that they had evacuated them. At 3 o'clock on the morning of the 20th you directed me to send another regiment to the support of Colonel Harlan on the hill. I sent forward Colonel Steedman, of the Fourteenth Ohio Regiment. At daylight Colonels Harlan and Steedman, with their regiments, took possession of the enemy's fortifications, the rebels having deserted them during the night. In a very short time afterwards the Tenth Indiana and Fourth Kentucky Regiments moved up into the deserted entrenchments. My brigade, after reaching the enemy's camp, took possession of twelve pieces of artillery, a large quantity of arms of every description, ammunition, commissary and quartermaster's stores, horses, wagons, &c., all of which the enemy had abandoned in their flight. The panic among them was so great that they even left a number of their sick and wounded in a dying state upon the river bank.
*Steedman's not found.