men, and,as soon as they could ascertain our position, joined me with a large portion of their commands. In this engagement our loss was very heavy. Lieutenant Henry L. Brickett, commanding Company C, was mortally wounded, and died in a few minutes, refusing to be carried from the field. Lieutenant Jesse Patterson, of Company G, was mortally wounded, and died in a few hours. Both of these were noble men, faithful officers, and brave soldiers. Lieutenant Fellows, of Company H, and Second Lieutenant Darling, of Company B, were severely wounded while bravely encouraging their men. Sixteen of our dead were taken from this bloody field.
By the time I had rallied my battalion and placed it in order Colonel Hall, of the Fourteenth Illinois, on our right, had, succeeded in halting and collecting his regiment,, and upon consultation we thought it advisable to withdraw our men and shelter them from the heavy fire of the enemy until we could communicate with you for further orders. I notified your aide, Lieutenant Bruner, of our position, when we directly received your order to come to the assistance of General McClernand's division on the right. By your order I took position on the brow of the hill on the right of the Fourteenth Illinois, and threw forward pickets on the side of the opposite hill, to observe the movements of the enemy. Here we remainder until we received your order to advance to the hill on the left, but it soon became necessary to change our position, as directed by you, to the timber skirting the field occupied by the cavalry camp, to protect another flank movement of the enemy, in heavy force, both on the right and left, supported by a large force of cavalry on the right, attempting to get into our rear.
Here we took our position and threw out pickets in front, in charge of Captain Rheinlander, to draw the fire of the enemy and ascertain their advancing position. While the heavy firing was going on on the right, our regiment lay well concealed directly in front of the approaching columns of the enemy. While you sent the Fourteenth Illinois around to their flank, and just as our pickets had well attracted their fire, we moved around quietly from the enemy's front to support the Fourteenth Illinois, which was pouring its well-directed volleys on their flanks. We had just taken an excellent position, where we must certainly, with the aid of the Fourteenth Illinois, have driven the enemy back or cut them off in this locality, when the tide of battle, which had been raging with such ferocity for eight continuous hours on the left and center, gave way, and our receding troops came back and passed the road directly in our rear, while the enemy followed them very closely, pouring in a deadly fire on the retreating masses. I was cut off from you by this receding movement, and as I could receive no orders from you. I saw nothing left for me to do but reluctantly to withdraw from the advantageous ground occupied, and do all I could to check the enemy's advance by throwing my regiment in the rear of our forces receding from the center and fall back in order. The regiment executed this movement with steadiness and courage, and though exposed to a very severe cross-fire I brought it off without wavering and unbroken, and assisted with my force in forming the line of broken regiments and detachments to stay the enemy's advance nearer toward the Landing, which point they seemed determined to reach.
It was in this last cross-fire that one of our bravest young officers. Sergt. Major William Jones, fell, severely wounded. He had acted with great courage and firmness at the storming of Fort Donelson, and during the whole of this day he was always active and fearless in assisting me in every command.