in rear of McDowell's brigade; Taylor's battery, Captain Barrett commanding, to the right and in advance of the chapel, on the road leading to Corinth; Captain A. C. Waterhouse's battery near the left of the division-four guns on the right bank of Owl Creek and two guns on the left bank of Owl Creek.
The enemy appearing in large masses, and opening a battery to the front and right of the two guns, advanced across Owl Creek. I instructed Captain Waterhouse to retire the two guns to the position occupied by the rest of his battery, about which time the enemy appeared in large force in the open field directly in front of the position of this battery, bearing aloft, as I supposed, the American flag, and their men and officers wearing uniforms so similar to ours, that I hesitated to open fire on them until they passed into the woods and were followed by other troops who wore a uniform not to be mistaken. I afterward learned that the uniform jackets worn by these troops were black. As soon as I was certain as to the character of the troops I ordered the firing to commence, which was done in fine style and with excellent precision. After instructing the battery to be cool and watch all the movements of the enemy, who was throwing large forces into the timber on the left of its position, I went to the position occupied by Taylor's battery and ordered Captain Barrett to open fire with shell, which was done promptly, causing the enemy to take shelter in the timber, under cover of which he advanced to within 150 yards of the guns, when they opened a tremendous fire of musketry, accompanied by terrific yells, showing their evident intent to intimidate our men; but the only effect it had on the men of this battery was to cause them promptly to move their guns by hand to the front and pouring into them a shower of canister, causing both the yelling and the firing of the enemy to cease for a time.
In the mean time the enemy was pushing our force on the left of both of these batteries-Waterhouse's and Taylor's. Seeing Waterhouse's battery limbering to the rear, and fearing the result of a too hasty retreat, I hastened to thee position, and finding him retiring, I at once ordered him to unlimber and contest every foot of ground, while I sent a messenger to find another battery to come to their assistance. My order was promptly obeyed, and they were soon throwing canister among the enemy; but their bravery alone could not drive back the masses who were swarming around their left and pushing back the infantry and opening a flank fire of musketry and a battery, which they had succeeded in planting in the timber in front, they were compelled to retire under a galling fire, leaving three guns and their entire camp and garrison equipage on the field. I take great pleasure them to my entire approbation, and I consider too much praise cannot be bestowed upon them for their gallant conduct on their first battle-field.
I respectfully refer you to the official report of Lieutenant J. A. Fitch, commanding, Captain Waterhouse and Lieutenant Abbott both being severely wounded.
Some time after this battery had retired the infantry support on the left of Taylor's battery, Captain Barrett commanding, had fallen back, and the enemy had planted his flag on the ground occupied by Waterhouse's battery. I deemed it prudent to order Captain Barrett to limber to the rear and retire in good order to a new position, which was accomplished without any confusion, but owing to a number of his
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