the Twelfth Missouri Volunteers, on the days of battle, March 6,7, and 8, 1862:
Arriving in Bentonville March 6, at about 10 a.m., I was ordered by you to remain in town until receiving further orders. The regiment had their arms stacked in front of a large unfinished frame church. The Second Regiment Missouri Volunteers marched from the south into our road and followed the main army, of which the Twelfth Missouri formed the rear. In the rear of the Second Missouri, and apparently from the same direction, appeared a large body of troops, who after a short time were discovered to be the enemy, how strong I am unable to say. The effective strength of the Twelfth at that day was only some 325 men, as two companies had been ordered off several days previous. The enemy outnumbering us and the other troops in town greatly spread out, his men on both sides of the road and parallel with it, in order to intercept all egress I was then ordered by General Sigel to march in the rear of a company of flying artillery on the same road as our whole army had taken. Shortly after, however, the whole regiment was ordered forward, with the exception of one company, who remained as protection behind the artillery almost the whole day. We had hardly left town when it was taken possession of by the enemy. General Sigel ordered the Twelfth (the only infantry present) to throw out skirmishers on both sides of the road, and to march the balance of the regiment on both sides of the artillery by the flank, fronting outward.
This way we marched without any molestation for several miles, when we were suddenly attacked by a large body of cavalry, who were, after an engagement which to me seemed to last about a quarter of an hour, driven from the field, leaving many of their dead and wounded on the field.
This was the first time the men stood in fire, but all without exception behaved gallantly, pouring in their shot with deliberation and coolness. The enemy, so severely repulsed, withdrew, and we marched forward on our road without any further molestation.
The casualties of the day were 3 wounded. One ambulance, with the driver, was taken, with some sick soldiers of some other regiments. We marched on, and meeting you after a few hours' further march went into camp.
This morning (March 7) the regiment was ordered to follow in its march the Thirty-sixth Illinois Volunteers, and finally, after an hour's march, deployed on a large field, protecting Captain Hoffmann's battery. After a while two companies were ordered to deploy as skirmishers towards the woods, about a quarter of a mile in front of us,to protect some horses and drivers who were sent to recover a cannon which had been lost in a previous engagement of the day, which order was executed in gallant style. The gun was recovered and brought back. We were then several times ordered to change our position, when finally, while the regiment was marching into the timber by the right flank and was about half in the thicket, a large body of the enemy's infantry appeared, which was soon engaged by the regiments' left wing, and after considerable execution driven back.
This ended the second day's engagement as far as this regiment is concerned. After some marching without coming to any other general engagement we, in company with several other regiments, encamped in a large corn field, without fire, water, or food. The casualties of the day were 12 wounded, some of whom severely.
It is great satisfaction that I can bear testimony to the coolness and bravery of all the officers and men under my command during the