upon our front lines by the enemy. Owing to the small number of men present with the regiment, the large number of sick, and those detailed on special duty, my regiment numbered in line on the morning of the 6th, officers and men, only 250 men. Being on the left of the brigade, we were posted about 1 mile in front of our camp, near the right of an open field, which was immediately in rear of a portion of the camp of General Prentiss, which was at that time occupied by the enemy.
I a short time after taking our position the enemy opened a heavy fire of artillery upon us which proved to be a fire for the purpose of covering a rapid movement of their troops across the field diagonally on our left. They were moving across for the purpose of flanking our left. They soon, numbering about two small regiments and moving in close column, doubled on the center at a double-quick. My regiment opened fire upon them obliquely, and drove the column back with tremendous loss. About the same time we were attacked by a cross-fire of artillery and musketry from our and right and were gallantly sustained in our stand by on effective piece of artillery, under command of Lieutenant Edwards, of the Missouri battery. The enemy, unable to drive us from our position, withdrew and moved behind the field to our left, which movement was counteracted by an admirable order of our commanding officer, by moving our brigade some 500 or 600 yards to the left. The Thirty-fist Indiana, held as a reserve to the brigade, immediately in rear and to the left of my regiment, was moved over to the brink of a hill, and sustained a destructive contest with a large force of the enemy for two hours. The firing was kept up continually during that time, maintaining our ground and resisting every attack and attempt of the enemy to repulse us.
Many of my best men fell, killed and wounded, and the gallant Captain Morton, of Company A, received at this place a fatal wound whilst he was in front of his company, setting them a daring example, which he was ever ready to manifest in the presence of the enemy. We had been constantly engaged for five hours. All of the ammunition in the cartridge-boxes of my men was exhausted to the second round, and the enemy made a renewed attack upon our whole line, which was met with determined resistance on the part of our troops at this place. We were ordered to draw back, and did so, under your eye, slowly and without confusion. My regiment was again ordered into line in the rear of the heavy and light artillery, which opened fire upon the enemy so severely and unexpectedly, and which was kept up unceasingly until night closed the struggle of the day, in which your whole brigade had acted a conspicuous and gallant part.
About 4 o'clock p.m. Sunday, owing to the withdrawal of Lieutenant-Colonel Bristow and the wounding of Major Wall, of the Twenty-fifth Kentucky, that command was turned over to me, and the gallant officers and men of that regiment acted with the same unabated courage and bravery that had characterized them during the whole day.
We were moved to the front of the line of artillery above alluded to, and bivouacked during the night in the rain, weary and worn, and without food or protection from the heavy rain that fell upon us. Without sleep, we arose with the dawn, and I found that my regiment, in killed, wounded, sick,and disabled, had been reduced to less than half of the small number of men who had occupied the ranks on the day and night of the 6th.
About 10 o'clock on the 7th we were led near the extreme right of our forces, and participated in a desperate charge of one column upon
16 R R-VOL X