sumed command, and gaining an open field directly tot he left and rear, and assisted by the company commanders, I succeeded in rallying the regiment, and ordered it to fall back a short distance and take position behind a fence, with the open field between my line and the enemy. In a few moments the enemy appeared in force on the opposite side of the field, with the evident design of charging upon our lines, but receiving a severe enfilading fire from the Seventh Illinois Volunteers, posted on the left behind a fence running perpendicular to my line, and a destructive fire from our lines, they immediately retreated into the woods.
Receiving an order to move the regiment by the right flank, file right, for several hundred yards, I took position on the left of the division, immediately in front of a rebel battery of ten guns, which played upon our lines for an hour with but little damage, although the infantry annoyed us greatly. I was again ordered to the right, to support a battery planted in the open woods. The enemy made a desperate charge upon this battery, but our men, falling back a few yards, rallied, and drove the enemy back with great loss. The Eighth and Eighth and eighteenth Illinois were advancing slowly, and the enemy retiring, when the regiment on my right was driven back, leaving my flank exposed to an enfilading fire from the enemy. Our men, seeing their peril, immediately fell back in disorder, and the company officers lost control of their men from the promiscuous mingling together of the different regiments. After retreating about a mile I succeeded in rallying a portion of the regiment, and took up position on the right of the Fortieth Illinois Volunteers, and remained on the field during the night.
On the morning of the 7th I was again ordered to the right to support a battery, after reaching which I advanced to support a regiment to me unknown. The enemy, seeing re-enforcements coming up, retreated. Taking position immediately the rear of that regiment, Captain Leib's company, B, was deployed as skirmishers. Moving rapidly to the front about 400 yards, and no enemy being discovered, I moved farther to the right,and took position with my right resting on the Purdy road.
While awaiting orders General Crittenden ordered the Eighth and Eighteenth Regiments to take a rebel battery, which some regiment had endeavored to capture, but had been driven back with heavy loss. The men received the order with a cheer, and charged on a double-quick. The enemy, after firing a few shots, abandoned his guns and retreated to the woods. My color-bearer rushed up and planted his colors on one of the guns, and the color-bearer of the Eighteenth took possession of another. There was a portion of a regiment, to me unknown, on the left, but it did not come up until we had possession of the battery. Captain Reed, of the Eighteenth Illinois, Assisted Captain Wilson, of the same regiment and several others, turned the guns upon the enemy, and fired several shots into his ranks with fatal effect, causing him to retreat in disorder, and leaving us in possession of the field. We kept this position until the day was won, and our victorious brigade, having fought valiantly, was ordered to its accustomed camp, under command of Colonel M. M. Crocker, of the Thirteenth Iowa Volunteers, Col. A. M. Hare having been wounded early in the action, and left the field.
Under circumstances so inauspicious I can but say that the conduct of the officers and men of the regiment, except in a few individual cases, was highly satisfactory and commendable. Where all acted the noble pert it were invidious to mention individual daring and courage. Captains Leeper, Company A, and Wheaton, Company E, were se-