on a commanding eminence in the vicinity of the encampment of the Fifteenth Illinois. The enemy not showing himself, we were ordered forward to form upon a line with the Fifty-second Illinois-perhaps a part of General McClernand's command.
After remaining in this position for a time, keeping skirmishers out the while, we were again ordered back to our former position, but owing to the din of battle part of three right companies failed to hear the order, and remained with the Fifty-second Illinois, and did good service, I learn, acting as skirmishers for General McClernand until late in the evening, when they again joined me. We were again ordered to take position on the left of the Twenty-eighth Indiana, who seemed to be forming upon General McClernand's left, who were forming a new line of battle a little to the rear. We were in line in a very few minutes, when I thought they were flanking us, which intelligence I communicated to my immediate commander, who ordered me to make a movement to the left, with a view to defeat them. The movement was executed handsomely by my men, who deployed as skirmishers, and were making themselves felt in that immediate vicinity, when a heavy column of rebels poured in upon our rear, raking us with a heavy cross-fire and threatening to cut off our retreat entirely. I again gave the order to fall back, which was being executed in good order until we were run into by the retreating artillery, cavalry, and rabble, which very much scattered my command; but by the vigilance of my officers, who rendered me all the assistance in their power, a large portion of
the effective men were rallied and formed in line upon the left of the Seventh Illinois, which was in line upon the left of the heavy siege battery.
Upon the road near this point we spent the night, wet, weary, and hungry; but no compliant escaped the mouth of any officer or soldier, many of whom had received wounds during the day, but refused to quit the field.
Monday morning, April 7, we were held in reserve until late in the day, when we were ordered forward to relieve a portion of General Buell's forces, who were hard pressed. The force we were to oppose was composed of cavalry and infantry in considerable numbers, and an open field was to be passed before we could get in reach of their forces. When we entered this I ordered my command to cross it in double-quick which they did, raising a yell of defiance at the same time, which was taken up by the noble Hoosiers and Suckers on either side of us. After a sharp contest of a few moments' duration the rebels fled, leaving us master of the field. We preserved our lines, threw out skirmishers,and awaited orders. General Grant ordered me to advance, feel my way cautiously, and engage the enemy wherever I might find him. I communicated the order to those on the right and left of me and advanced for some distance, when my skirmishers communicated the intelligence that a six-gun battery was in advance. I ordered a close reconnaissance to be made and posted my men near the brow of a hill, where grape shot could not reach them, and was awaiting further developments, when, to my surprise, Colonel Hines, Fifty-seventh Indiana, was ordered to fall back, leaving me alone with the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Illinois Regiments. I was still awaiting the return of some of my scouts when General Buell ordered me to fall back also which I did, bringing the men off in good order. I then formed upon the Twenty-fifth Indiana and awaited orders, which soon came permitting us at once to return to our encampment.
Captains Dudley C. Smith, Company B; Thomas J. Bryant, Company