of General Hardee's command. The regiment entered the engagement exceedingly wearied and without breakfast. I was ordered, on leaving this city, the 3rd instant, to bring up the rear of the brigade and take charge of the baggage train. The miserable condition of the roads caused an almost incessant bogging of the overloaded wagons. It was therefore late at night when we reached Monterey, where we were joined by Colonel Coltart, who for the first time took command. We were scarcely quiet in our bivouac when we were disturbed by a heavy shower. The following night was spent in the same manner and with less rest.
On the 5th we reached our line of battle in front of the enemy's camp. After having rested in place a few hours we were ordered on picket duty. The night was spent without sleep.
Returning to the line of battle a little after daylight, we were ordered forward without a moment's halt. On reaching the scene of action the regiment was momentarily thrown in rear of our brigade by the troops on our left precipitately rushing in before us while we were crossing a marsh. A perplexing confusion ensued, which it was evident could only be remedied by moving up on the right of our brigade, which was done without an order from General Gladden, as we were unable to obtain one. We occupied the only available space in the line and in a few moments were hotly engaged, contributing a full share to the driving back of the enemy. When the charge was made upon the lines and into the camp of the enemy the Twenty-sixth was among the first to penetrate them. Passing through the camp, we were halted in rear of the tents along a line of fence immediately beneath the path of a terrific cannonading between our own and the enemy's batteries. Here Major John S. Garvin was wounded by an exploding shell.
After remaining in this position for nearly an hour, and having regained our proper position in our own brigade, we were ordered forward, and again engaged the enemy about 500 yards in advance of the position just mentioned. The conflict was severe for a short time, when the enemy, falling back, moved to our left. The regiment made a corresponding movement to prevent his flanking us. Here we were exposed to a heavy fire from the enemy's batteries and small-arms, without being able to return it, owing to the position of one of our own batteries, which had fallen back from the higher ground in advance of us and taken position immediately in our front.
After remaining fifteen or twenty minutes in this position we again moved to the right, and advancing to the margin of an open field, found ourselves again in the midst of a severe conflict.
Here Colonel Coltart was wounded and the regiment suffered seriously. The colonel being compelled to retire and Major Garvin having been disabled, I was left without the aid of any field officer. Our firing was continued briskly until the colonel returned, having had his wound dressed. He was able to remain but a few moments. Seeing the exhausted condition of the regiment, he ordered, or rather advised, me to withdraw it from the field. I resolved, however, to continue as long as the remainder of the command was able to contribute anything to what I regarded as an approaching triumph. The enemy's fire having ceased for the time, the regiment was ordered to rest in place for a few minutes, after which I determined to advance.
Just at this time, however, I was officially informed that General Shaver's brigade was to come by the road which lay beyond the open field immediately in my front and parallel with its eastern margin. I
35 R R-VOL X