extended from the left of the Seventy-second Regiment to the flat at the creek, bearing somewhat to the right, I ordered the Seventy-second to change front, so as to form a line parallel to the ravine extending down to the flat, Company B forming an angle across the head of the ravine. In this position our line was maintained for more than two hours under a deadly fire from the enemy. Officers and men behaved with great coolness and bravery, keeping up a constant stream of fire upon the enemy. He several times recoiled and rallied, but did not advance his line after the action commenced until we were ordered to fall back upon the Purdy road, which we did in good order.
Lieutenant-Colonel Canfield, in command of the Seventy-second Regiment, was mortally wounded early in the engagement and was carried from the field. Major Crockett had been taken prisoner on the Friday previous, which left the Seventy-second Regiment without any field officers, except myself. The captains of Companies A and B, and quite a number of the other company officers, were sick and unable to go into the action, consequently I remained on the right of the brigade and took command of the Seventy-second Regiment, having full confidence that Colonels Sullivan and Cockerill would maintain their parts of the line, which they did gallantly until the regiment on the left of my brigade gave way and we were ordered to fall back.
In this action the Seventy-second had the lieutenant-colonel mortally wounded (since dead), Captain Wegstein, company H, and 10 non-commissioned officers and privates, killed, and 3 officers and 65 non-commissioned officers and privates wounded; the Forty-eighth Regiment, 8 privates killed and a large number wounded; the Seventieth Regiment, 5 privates killed and about 20 wounded. The enemy's loss was very heavy in front of this brigade. Eighty-five bodies of the enemy were counted along and at the foot of the ravine flanked by the Seventy-second Regiment, among which was the body of Colonel Mounton, of the Eighteenth Louisiana Regiment,, as I learned from a wounded enemy found at our camp on our return. Large numbers of dead bodies were found on the enemy's line opposite our front, to the left of the 85, in the ravine. I think I may safely put the number killed by my brigade in that action at 200. The number of wounded must have been immense.
We formed line again on the Purdy road, but the fleeing mass from the left broke through our lines,and many of our men caught the infection and fled with the crowd. Colonel Cockerill became separated from Colonel Sullivan and myself, and was afterwards engaged with part of his command at McClernand's camp. Colonel Sullivan and myself kept together and made every effort to rally our men, but with very poor success. They had become scattered in all directions. We were borne considerably to the left, but finally succeeded in forming a line and had a short engagement with the enemy, who made his appearance soon after our line was formed. The enemy fell back, and we proceeded to the road, where you found us. At this point I was joined by Colonel Cockerill, and we there formed line of battle, and slept on our arms Sunday night. Colonel Sullivan, being out of ammunition, marched to the Landing for a supply,and while there was ordered to support a battery at that point. The next morning he joined me, and we rallied all the men we could, and advanced,under your directions, to McClernand's camp. At that point we were again brought into action at a critical time and under heavy fire. The manner in which my brigade came into line and fought was observed by you, and therefore I need not describe it.
In this action the Seventy-second lost 1 sergeant and 1 private killed