again, as on the preceding evening, which was executed promptly, and, by direction of General Pillow was again placed under the command of Colonel William E. Baldwin, Fourteenth Mississippi Regiment, acting brigadier-general. I made a report to him of the casualties of that day while in activity, but as he has been prohibited from making a statement to the War Department of this Government, as likewise General Buckner, I hereby append substantially the same, of that day's proceedings, which was confined particularly to the Twentieth Mississippi Regiment.
Being the only field officer present, I was in command, and greatly assisted by Captain H. Cantey, Company A, and Captain C. K. Massey, Company D, who were selected voluntarily by the officers of the regiment to assist in field duty, there being some difficulty as to seniority of captains. Adjt. I. M. Couper was also very efficient and rendered valuable assistance. Asst. Surg. T. B. Elkin was present and rendered every assistance in his power to the wounded.
Aggregate engaged.................................... 500
That being the number returned by the commanding officers of companies on Sunday, February 16, the day we were surrendered. Afterwards many of them reported that they had several to escape.
On the morning of Saturday, February 15, when marched out to attack the enemy, we were third in the order of advance. The enemy's pickets and sharpshooters commenced firing upon us soon after the order to advance, and by the time we had gained 300 yards we were under a brisk fire, which came from a hill in front covered with timber.
By order from General Pillow the regiment was formed on the left of the road, perpendicular to the road, in the woods, immediately behind a fence, with an open field in front. Subsequently I received an order from the same source to wheel the regiment to the right through the field, behind the line of fence, parallel to the road. This movement subjected us to a cross-fire, and very much exposed us to the enemy on both sides, under cover of the woods. I had this fact represented to General Pillow, who ordered me back to our first position.
At this time the five left companies were actively engaged on the hill, and, not hearing the command, did not obey with promptness. The destruction in their ranks at that time demonstrated the fierceness of the conflict and their unflinching bravery.
I would mention especially Lieutenant R. W. Paine, of Company H, who fell at this time a martyr to his country's cause. Here also was wounded Captain D. T. Patterson, Company K. Lieutenant O. R. Eastland, of Company F, was badly, perhaps mortally, wounded. He refused to be carried from the field, and exclaimed, "Never mind me, boys; fight on! fight on!" Lieutenant J. H. Barbee, Company H, was wounded and forced to retire.
Captain W. A. Rorer, commanding Company b; Lieutenant W. R. Nelson, commanding Company G; Lieuts. T. B. Sykes, Conway, Murff, Roberts, W. S. Champlin, commanding Company E, and Lieutenant Harrison, are all deserving of honorable mention for their conduct at this place.
To enumerate all the officers and privates who were deserving of notice for their gallantry throughout the day would be to return a list of all who were on the field, and I would refer you to the foregoing list, but as fortune had thrown the left of the regiment in a more fiercely.