War of the Rebellion: Serial 010 Page 0228 KY., TENN.,N. MISS., N.ALA., AND SW., VA., Chapter XXII.

Search Civil War Official Records

camp, whereupon I ordered my men to hold themselves in readiness to march at a moment's notice, and in less than five minutes after receiving your order my regiment was on the march to the battle-field. Reaching there between 9 and 10 o'clock a.m., it took a position ordered by Colonel Veatch in person. A regiment posted about 200 yards in front of our line gave way under the enemy's fire and retreated through my line, which was lying down. As soon as it passed my men rose, dressed their line, and immediately commenced pouring a destructive fire upon the enemy. The regiment posted on our right having given way, and the enemy keeping up a hot fire along my whole front and raking cross-fire upon my right flank, killing and wounding over one-half of my right companies, badly cutting up my other companies, and 8 of my line officers, 2 color bearers, and the major wounded, I deemed it my duty, without further orders, to withdraw my command, which I did, to a position beyond the brow of the hill, where I again formed them by command of Colonel Veatch.

Finding no support to my right or left I fell back to the foot of the hill, here finding the Forty-ninth Illinois, commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Pease, at whose request I assumed command of both regiments and moved them by a right flank and established a line of battle on the ground which had been occupied by a portion of General McClernand's division, and in front of where Taylor's battery was then planted. The enemy appearing in large force on the ground over which we had just retreated I was ordered to withdraw my troops, in order that the battery could open upon the enemy, which I did, the Forty-ninth deploying to the left and my men to the right of the battery. Forming my command again in the rear of a fence fronting the enemy, I ordered them to lie down and be prepared to resist any attack the enemy might make upon the battery.

Having succeeded in driving the enemy over the brown of the hill, the First Brigade of General Sherman's division appearing upon the ground for the purpose of following up the enemy in their retreat, I formed my command on the left of this brigade and moved up in line within 200 yards of the enemy, when a brisk and destructive fire was opened upon our whole line. Planting our colors in front of our line of battle, I ordered my command to shelter themselves behind trees and logs as best they could within short range of the enemy, and kept up a constant fire until after the regiment on our right had given way and fallen back across the ravine, when I ordered my men to fall back into the ravine, and moving them by the left flank, I took them out of the range of the enemy's guns.

In this last engagement Captain Young, of Company G, who had succeeded in rallying a larger number of men after the first engagement than any other captain, and who heroically told me he would stand by me and the colors until the last man was killed, fell, shot through the mouth, and was carried off the field.

Fresh re-enforcements now arriving, and my own men, having been compelled to fall back from those two fierce engagements, had become somewhat scattered. It being now 1 o'clock, my ammunition exhausted, the men tired and hungry, and myself exhausted, having lost my horse in the first engagement and compelled to go on foot the balance of the time, and finding myself writhing one-half mile of my regimental encampment, I marched my men to it and got dinner for them. Calling my men into line immediately after dinner I formed them upon the right of the brigade commanded by Colonel C. C. Marsh, at his request, in front of and to the left of my camp, where we again met the enemy