another brigade, the Twentieth continued alone. Approaching an open field and taking a prisoner, apparently stationed as a picket a section of brass field pieces stationed there opened upon us with round shot and canister. The regiment marching steadily on with fixed bayonets, the enemy, after two or three rounds, limbered up and galloped off as we reached the inclosure. Captain William Rogers, of Company A, was struck in his shoulder and obliged to withdraw. No one else was struck.
We were then ordered into the field, in order to take upon the flank a column of the enemy which was expected to retreat in that direction. While the battalion was here lying on the ground sharpshooters kept up a fire upon the field officers. I sent a detachment of Company A, who killed 1, captured 1, and dispersed the rest, and reported that the guns had withdrawn to a camp (camp of the Forty-sixth Ohio) and were then moving into a new position. The battalion was withdrawn from the field and ordered to lie flat upon the upon the ground behind a three-railed fence. A severe and exceedingly well-aimed fire was opened upon us by the guns now placed in the woods across the open field. Muskets and bayonets at all exposed were bent and snapped off; my sword was struck, but the men were so well sheltered that but 1 was killed and 10 were wounded.
The Twentieth forming the extreme right of the army and exposed to be flanked I changed front of the two right companies, making their right rest near a ravine at the rear and their left near the remainder of the battalion, and sent out a party of skirmishers and scouts, under command of First Lieutenant Ayres, now commanding Company A. This party sent in as prisoners 3 officers and 15 men.
Three pieces of artillery brought up by Colonel Whittlesey putting an end to all contest at this quarter, the Twentieth took its place in the division, which was then formed into one line of battle, and thus advanced into the country some distance beyond the outer line of the encampment.
Obtaining permission, I sent Company A, Lieutenant Ayres commanding, a mile in advance, to pick up stragglers of the enemy. He came upon a hospital filled with wounded rebels, attended by five rebel surgeons: saw a detachment of cavalry burning a large subsistence train, and was just deploying into the woods when he was recalled, in consequence of the order for the division to fall back within the lines for the night.
One private slipped out of the ranks unobserved. With this exception every officer and man behaved admirably. Every order was executed as promptly and quietly as upon a parade ground. I can particularize only Major J. N. McElroy, for his valuable assistance in commanding the regiment, and First Lieutenant L. N. Ayres, of Company A, for efficient service in handling skirmishers and scouts.
A list of casualties and prisoners taken is appended.*
I am, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
M. F . FORCE.
Third Brigade, Third Division.
*These lists show 1 man killed, 1 officer and 11 men wounded, and 1 man missing. Also 3 officers and 18 men captured from the enemy. But see revised statement, p. 102