cers and men. When the left retired they were flanked and compelled to leave their position. In their rear, on the right of the road, was the regiment of Colonel Powell [Twenty-ninth Tennessee], which had been formed in the rear and ordered forward by me some time before. General Carroll ordered this regiment to face the flanking force of the enemy, which was crossing the road from the left side, which it did, checking it with a raking fire at 30 paces. In this conflict Colonel Powell, commanding, was badly wounded.
The Sixteenth Alabama, which was the reserve corps of my division, commanded by Colonel Wood, did at this critical juncture most eminent service. Having rushed behind the right and center, it came to a close engagement with the pursuing enemy, to protect the flanks and rear of the Fifteenth Mississippi and Twentieth Tennessee, when they were the last, after long fighting, to leave the front line of the battle, and, well led by its commanding officer, in conjunction with portions of other regiments, it effectually prevented pursuit and protected my return to camp.
Owing to the formation and character of the field of battle I was unable to use my artillery and cavalry to advantage in the action. During much of the time the engagement lasted rain was falling. Many of the men were armed with flint-lock muskets and they became soon unserviceable.
On the field and during the retreat to camp some of the regiments became confused and broken and great disorder prevailed. This was owing, in some measure, to a want of proper drill and discipline, of which the army had been much deprived by reason of the nature of its constant service and of the country in which it had encamped.
During the engagement, or just prior to it, the force under General Thomas was increased by the arrival, on a forced march, of a brigade from his rear, which I had hoped would not arrive until the engagement was over. This made the force of the enemy about 12,000 men. My effective force was four thousand. The engagement lasted three hours.
My loss was 125 killed, 309 wounded, and 99 missing, as follows
Killed Wounded Missing
15th Mississippi 44 153 29
20th Tennessee 33 59 18
19th Tennessee 10 22 2
25th Tennessee 10 28 17
17th Tennessee 11 25 2
28th Tennessee 3 4 5
29th Tennessee 5 12 10
16th Alabama 9 5 12
Captain - 1 -
The loss of the enemy, from the best information I have and statements made by themselves, may be estimated at 700 killed and wounded. It was larger than mine from the fact that my regiments on the left, after first being driven back, fired from the cover of woods and fences upon the large numbers advancing upon them through the open field, inflicting heavy loss and sustaining but little.
My command retired to Beech Grove without any annoyance in the rear by infantry or cavalry. On the return, one piece of artillery, of Captain Rutledge's battery, mired down and was left.
To myself, to the army, and to the country the fall of General Zollicoffer was a severe loss. I found him wise in council, heroic in action. He fell in the front, close to the enemy, and they bore off his body. Of