a heavy fire of the enemy's artillery and infantry, which took such fatal effect as to cause a momentary wavering in the ranks. The gallantry, decision, and firmness of Lieutenant Colonel R. C. Tyler, who now, with drawn pistol, restored order and pressed forward his regiment, merits the highest commendation.
In the first position taken by the left wing the Fifteenth Regiment Tennessee Volunteers occupied the ground first taken by Colonel Blythe's regiment, and the Second Regiment Tennessee Volunteers was posted in rear of Polk's battery, in front of which the enemy seemed to have reassembled. The Fifteenth Regiment Tennessee Volunteers then advanced some 200 yards under heavy fire, where Lieutenant Colonel R. C. Tyler, after having his horse shot three times and receiving a wound himself, was compelled to leave the field.
Captain Polk's battery was now suffering severely from the fire of the enemy's musketry and artillery. The Second Regiment Tennessee Volunteers seemed to be reduced to one-half its number, its lines broken and driven back, and my attention was called to the necessity of moving if forward, to support in a better manner to the necessity of moving it forward, to support in a better manner the battery of artillery. I twice formed it into line for the purpose of moving it up to the battery, and each time, at the very commencement of the movement, the lines were broken from the unsteadiness of the men under fire.
At this time it was reported to me that Captain Polk had his leg broken, more than half the battery was disabled, and but one gun was being discharged. I ordered the battery withdrawn, and again forming the Second Regiment Tennessee Volunteers I attempted to lead them past the battery, but only succeeded in advancing them to the position they had previously occupied, when I was disabled by a wound from further duty on the field.
Briefly, I am able to say that Colonel Blythe's Regiment Mississippi Volunteers, the Fifteenth Regiment Tennessee Volunteers, and a part of the Second Regiment Tennessee Volunteers, with Polk's battery made a desperate stand and fought heroically. I have since learned that a portion of the Second Regiment Tennessee Volunteers and Colonel Blythe's regiment, with a view to restore the proper connections, which I understood was subsequently accomplished.
From unavoidable necessity, my labors during the heat of the action were mainly confined to the extreme left of the brigade. I have to regret that, from orders apparently given to the subordinates of my command, I was prevented from bringing the whole brigade together handsomely into action. To this object all my efforts had been most zealously and carefully directed. Had I accomplished my purpose, I am convinced I would now have to report much more satisfactory results.
After I was wounded the command of the brigade devolved upon Colonel Preston Smith, to whom you are referred for a report of the subsequent action of this brigade and the casualties which occurred therein, which were no doubt very heavy.
Major C. G. Rogers, assistant adjutant-general; Captain William T. Blakemore, aide-de-camp; Captain D. L. Moore, a volunteer aide, and Captain John H. Anderson, of the Tenth Regiment Tennessee Volunteers, who escaped with me from Fort Donelson, were with me on the