fire was given. The boys gave them such a dose of blue pills that they sickened at the stomach, and changed their course toward the left of our brigade and warmly engaged the Forty-first. At this time General Hurlbut came up and ordered me to take my command and march by the left flank to support the Forty-first: that I would be led by a guide to the proper position. We started immediately following the guide. I marched in advance of my regiment, with the guide, to the place pointed out as our line of battle. By some means, in our march down, the three left companies had outmarched the others and got into position before the others arrived. I sent Lieutenant Rider, of Company K, to tell Lieutenant-Colonel Ross to bring forward the remainder of the regiment to its place in line, which was done in good order, and we engaged the enemy in real good earnest, every officer and man, with one or two exceptions, doing their whole duty. Here we continued between on and two hours, the enemy pouring a most galling shower of balls the whole time. There being no support on the left whatever, the enemy attempted to turn our left flank. Being informed of this fact, I directed Company B to direct its fire obliquely to the left, which for the time being drove them back. At this time the regiment in front of ours and to our right gave way and ran, many of them through our lines. This I feared would cause my men to break,, but it had no such effect; they closed up and continued the deadly strife.
In a few minutes I was notified we were getting out of cartridges. I rode along the line, and the report was, "We are out of cartridges." I then ordered my command to fix bayonets, being determined to fight them in every way possible. Here, seeing we were neither supported right nor left, and to charge the enemy up the steep hill would be to rush my command into certain destruction, I therefore, as the only means left us to prevent our falling into the enemy's hands, gave the order to fall back over the hill, and, well knowing that my place at such a time was in the rear of the last man, I remained until all had left and then followed them, the enemy's line being within 40 feet of me. I was soon wounded in the left shoulder; saw the adjutant, and directed him to inform Lieutenant-Colonel Ross that he must take command of the regiment. The lieutenant-colonel had fallen, mortally wounded, a minute before, but I knew it not. My loss in officers was so great that it was difficult to rally and form the regiment.
I am aware that I subject myself to the criticism of military men by changing my position without an order from my superior officer, knowing it to be the duty of every officer to remain with his command where he is put until he is ordered from there by the proper officer-believing as I did, for good reasons, that our situation had been overlooked or our brigade commander had fallen, having received no orders during the whole contest.
There are many individual cases of merit that I would be glad to mention, but they being so numerous I cannot do it only at the expense of being too tedious. There is one case, however, so peculiar in itself that I will be pardoned for giving it Charles Rogers, a corporal in Company C, a member of the color guard, was severely wounded, the ball striking in above the shoulder, passing deep through the back of the neck, coming out at the point of the opposite shoulder, fell on the field, and was taken prisoner,was placed under guard of a single sentinel, and when the enemy had to retreat he seized the sentinel's gun, wrested it form him, made him a prisoner, and marched him into camp.
This closes the matter of the first day's engagement.
I learned from my company officers after the battle that they col-