War of the Rebellion: Serial 007 Page 0206 OPERATIONS IN KY., TENN., N. ALA., AND S. W. VA.Chapter XVII.

Search Civil War Official Records

us. Immediately the fire was returned from our line with spirit, and it continued steadily to approach the enemy's works, firing continually upon them as fast as any one of them could be discovered behind the embankments. As near as I can judge, we maintained our position under this most galling fire of rifle, shot, and shell for an hour. I had in the mean time ascertained that six pieces of artillery were planted immediately in our front and within short range of us, and that, besides these, one battery on the hill to the west and another to the westward commanded the point we were assaulting. I therefore thought it useless to hold the men under it longer, and reluctantly ordered the line to retire 40 paces down the hill and await orders from General McClernand, to whom I at once reported (orally) as above. The whole line, under my orders, retired as commanded, without confusion and in good order, and awaited my return from reporting as above mentioned.

During this engagement, and while leading his regiment in the most gallant and daring manner, Colonel Morrison was seriously, but not dangerously wounded.

I cannot give you any estimate of the killed and wounded in the Forty-ninth and Seventeenth, but know it was considerable.* In my own regiment there was 1 man killed, to wit, Private W. G. Logan, Company A, and 8 men wounded.

In this action I may be allowed to say that all the officers and men behaved with great gallantry under a most galling fire. As soon as I reported the condition of the defenses upon the hill, which were discovered by me, General McClernand directed me to retire to a position of safety down the hill-side, and there occupy it until further orders. This was done by the whole command in the best order possible and without any confusion.

I had almost omitted to say that while engaged in the attack the Forty-fifth Regiment, Colonel Smith, was sent to support the right (Forty-ninth), and also behaved in a highly creditable and gallant manner. Of this, however, I had not received notice until I found them on the right in action.

In the mean time the other three regiments of the Second Brigade had removed farther away to the east, on a range of hills which encompassed the enemy's fortifications, and here, towards night-fall, the Forty-eighth Regiment was ordered to join them, which we did, and formed in the same order that we had the night before, viz: Eleventh and Twentieth on the right and the Forty-fifth on the left of the Forty-eighth Regiment. This position was within range of rifle-shot from the enemy's embankments, and during the whole of this night (13th) the regiment remained under arms with skirmishers deployed, suffering intensely from the rain and sleet and cold, and but little from the enemy's shot, from which we were only protected by an intervening elevation, behind which we formed.

During February 14 the Forty-eighth Regiment remained in the same position, subject to and within easy range of the enemy's cannon, from which during the day shot and shell were often discharged at the point immediately to our front. So completely were we subjected to the fire from these cannon and from their sharpshooters, that no one could show himself without shots being aimed at him.

The evening of the 14th found us so much exhausted from continual and incessant watchfulness and exposure during the preceding days and nights that the men were but poorly prepared for another night like the previous one; still the officers and men, with a spirit of heroism

---------------

* See p. 182.

---------------