at once determined to report this to Colonel Deas, then in command of our brigade, and with his concurrence to remain in the position until Shaver's brigade should approach, and then move in co-operation with it. I was ordered by Colonel Deas to do so. Watching the road narrowly, I discovered a column of at least two regiments approaching by the designated road. On viewing them minutely, aided by Major Munford, of General Johnston's staff, I found them to be Federal troops. They halted immediately in my front, advanced to the fence and some houses, and opened a severe fire upon us.
Feeling assured that the regiments of our brigade on our right had advanced, or would do so, I resolved to charge the enemy and drive them from the fence and houses just mentioned, provided I could get any support on my left that would prevent their flanking me. the gallant Colonel Forrest offered his support. The charge was made and the enemy driven from the position. The position of the cavalry, however, on my left, in a tangled wood, prevented their sending the assistance which they would otherwise have done. The regiment on my right did not fire a gun while I remained in the position. We, however, maintained it long enough to fire about 10 rounds, suffering at the same time the most terrific fire from the enemy in our front and from both flanks of his column. He also turned his artillery upon the houses about which were sheltered.
Having only about 200 men left, and seeing that they must all be sacrificed if I remained, without gaining any material advantage, I withdrew them to a wood in rear of a field and awaited orders. Finding no one to whom I could report, and the men being quite exhausted, I moved back to the enemy's camp, near where we had entered it in the forenoon. This was about 4 p.m. Colonel Coltart was able to join us at that place, and ordered the regiment a few hundred yards farther back, where we spent the night.
Monday morning [April 7] Colonel Coltart's condition compelled him to leave the regiment for Corinth. The regiments of our brigade having been scattered, I was ordered by General Withers to report to Brigadier-General Chalmers. We went into battle in his brigade. Attacks of sickness, extreme exhaustion, and in some cases a want of moral courage had reduced our number to less than 150 men. With these we went into battle, but with very little efficiency, owing to the physical exhaustion of the men and the condition of our arms.
After retiring from the last engagement of the day previous I had ordered the men to unload their pieces, which had not been discharged, and the unexpected rain of the night previous had wet the loads so that many of them could not be fired. I had not a ball-screw in the regiment and could not extract them. Owing to these circumstances my men were exceedingly dispirited, though they obeyed every order, and the most of them did the best they could.
After engaging the enemy twice I reported the condition of my men and arms to General Withers, who ordered me to retire with them and remove the impediments of the guns as best I could. I ordered the guns unbreeched and cleaned, which was promptly done, and I reported for orders.
By this time, however, the firing had ceased along the whole line, or nearly so, and our forces were being withdrawn. I was ordered into a line of battle fronting the enemy's camp, where I remained until the troops moved toward Corinth, and was among the regiments that brought up the rear of the column.
The commissioned officers of my regiment, with two or three excep-