In obedience to orders, the brigade was formed in column under the crest of the hill in rear of and to the left of the rifle pits occupied by our army, and in rear of the brigade commanded by Colonel Baldwin, of the Fourteenth Mississippi, in which position we remained until 5 a. m. The enemy were in position behind the crests of a number of small hills in front and to the right of our rifle pits, and encircling our entire left wing.
At the hour above mentioned, Colonel Baldwin received orders to move in the direction of the enemy and attack them on the right. I was ordered to follow with my command, which order I obeyed, but owing to the ground and timber we were compelled to march by the flank, and had not moved more than 400 yards when the head of the column was fired upon. I immediately sent an order to Lieutenant-Colonel Wells to face his right wing to the right, land wheel it to the right, so that I might occupy a position on Colonel Baldwin's right (the one General Pillow had directed), but by some misunderstanding of the order, or its being miscarried, Lieutenant-Colonel Wells changed his front forward on first company, breaking my line at the left of his regiment. I then ordered Lieutenant-Colonel Lyon, of the Eighth Kentucky, to file right and move by the flank at double-time, which the gallant officer obeyed under a heavy fire of the enemy's musketry. Before they had completed the movement many of his noble men had bravely fallen, but they held their position determinedly, and immediately I ordered Colonel Gregg, of the Seventh Texas, and Lieutenant-Colonel Hamilton, of the First Mississippi, to move their respective regiments at double-quick in rear of and beyond the Eighth Kentucky, which movement those officers executed with as much coolness and their commands in as good order as if they had been on review. I at the same time dispatched an order to Lieutenant-Colonel Wells to occupy the position on the left of the Eighth Kentucky. (I make this explanation to show how the regiments changed position in going into action and that justice may be done to all as near as possible.)
This threw me in line of battle in the following order: The Seventh Texas on the right, First Mississippi second, Eighth Kentucky third, and Third Mississippi on the left and in front of the left of General McClernand's division of the Federal Army. During this entire time the enemy kept up a continuous volley of musketry, with, however, but little effect, most of the balls passing over us. I now ordered the entire command to advance and occupy the crest of the hill, which was executed with a coolness and steadiness that would have done honor to soldiers or a hundred battles. That heroic band of less than 1,500 in number marched up the hill, loading and firing as they moved, gaining inch by inch on an enemy at least four times their number. For one long hour this point was hotly contested by the enemy, and many gallant officers and brave men fell in the faithful discharge of their duty, among whom was the lamented and daring Lieutenant-Colonel Clough, of the Seventh Texas, together with a number of company officers, whose names are mentioned in the list of killed and wounded.
At this moment I was informed by an adjutant that the command was running short of ammunition. I immediately dispatched an aide, Captain Ryan, to General Pillow for re-enforcement, and at the same time ordered Colonel Gregg to move his regiment, farther to the right, to prevent a flank movement I discovered the enemy were attempting to make, and the remainder of my command to charge the enemy's lines, which movements were executed with a spirit and determination that insured success. The enemy's lines gave way, and the rattle of