opened on our left by forces supposed to be under command of General Buell. Our brigade was immediately formed in line of battle, my regiment upon the extreme left,in an open field, and marched rapidly on what I supposed to be the center of the enemy. About 6.30 o'clock a. m. we threw out skirmishers in advance, and
received the first fire of the enemy. From this point we passed through a small woodland ravine into an open field, and at a double-quick rushed rapidly forward to a slight depression, where our men were halted to support one of our batteries, which was playing with deadly effect upon one of the rebel batteries. At this point we again threw out skirmishers, who fired with terrible effect upon the officers and men who were manning the rebel batteries. The enemy being again driven back, our brigade was thrown in advance of our artillery into a narrow skirt of woods between two fields. Here we were halted a short time, and the shell and shot of our battery and the battery of the enemy rained thick and fast above and around us. Again the enemy slowly retired in order, and we were pressed rapidly through another field, halted, threw out skirmishers, and a stubborn conflict ensued.
About 11 o'clock a. m. three gallant officers of my regiment-Lieutenant-Colonel Gerber, Captain McGuffin and Lieutenant Southwick-fell. Captain Spicely, Captain Bolton, Lieutenant Smith, Lieutenant Butler, and several non-commissioned officers and privates were wounded. Out Skirmishers and battery again forced the rebel forces back, and our brigade followed rapidly into the woods, and a terrible conflict of musketry ensued, which continued for several hours, the enemy contesting every inch, but retiring before us. During the day every company of my regiment was deployed as skirmishers and did good service. They were generally under the superintendence of Captain Spicely, who acted as major until the fall of Lieutenant-Colonel Gerber. From that time Captain Spicely acted as lieutenant-colonel and Adjutant Barter as major of the regiment. I cannot speak too highly of their effective services on that occasion. They were cool, brave, and determined, and had the
full confidence of the men. Captain Spicely,through wounded and stunned by a ball on the temple, continued on the field the whole day and performed the full duties of a true soldier.
I say, with a pride I cannot conceal, that the Twenty-fourth never faltered nor gave one inch from the first change in the morning until the enemy gave way in the evening. In an exposed condition in the open field, over hill, valley, and woodland for more than 3 miles, assailed by every missile known in modern war, their march was on ward, with loud cheers and full confidence in victory. The conduct of my officers and men meets with my unqualified approbation.
I herewith transmit a list of the killed and wounded of my regiment.* Permit me, through you, to tender to Colonel Morgan L. Smith my thanks for the cool, brave determined, and effective manner in which he managed our brigade during that glorious and trying day.
I am, sir most respectfully, your obedient servant,
ALVIN P. HOVEY,
Colonel Commanding Twenty-fourth Regiment Indiana Vols.
Lieutenant D. C. COLEMAN,
Actg. Asst. Adjt. Gen., First Brigade, Third Division.
*Embodied in revised statement, p. 102.