in line of battle beyond their encampments and marched forward to a field, where we halted, to allow our brigade commander to form his line. We were then moved about 100 yards and again ordered to advance, which we did, to the edge of a field [about 400 yards wide, the enemy occupying the opposite side], halted, and ordered to lie down. We lay here about fifteen minutes, when we were ordered to fall back into a ravine about 40 yards in our rear, where we were again ordered to lie down.
We remained here about fifteen minutes, when General Hindman came up and ordered us to charge and take one of the enemy's batteries stationed on an elevated portion of ground on the edge of the above-mentioned field. [Our ammunition at this time was almost expended, which fact I reported to General Hindman. His reply was, "You have your bayonets."] We were then formed and put in motion and advanced to the edge of the field, when this regiment [Seventh Arkansas], being in advance of the other portion of the brigade, was halted and the men caused to lie down for a few moments, when, the other regiments coming up, we were again ordered to charge, which we did, across the open field for 400 yards in the face of a murderous cross-fire, and drove the enemy in confusion from their position. We were halted in the woods beyond, on the ground just occupied by the enemy, when, after forming, we again laid down and rested for a short time. We advanced against the foe about 100 yards, when the retreating Tennesseans again completely ran over us, throwing our regiment into confusion. They were in such great haste to get behind us that they ran over and trampled in the mud our brave color-bearer. Happily for us and our country we possessed a brave and gallant lieutenant-colonel, who, aided by the company officers, for the second time that day rallied and formed our broken and disordered ranks. We halted here a little time, when, the enemy gaining somewhat the rear on our right, we were marched to the rear about 200 yards, and then by the left flank till we reached a ravine, where we were formed, and after replenishing our ammunition we were moved in line of battle to the right against the enemy, who in large force were posted behind some temporary works made of logs and supported by a battery of field pieces. We moved steadily on and never faltered until we had gained the road on which their guns were brought to bear, when we, being on the left, discovered that should we advance we could be flanked by the battery, halted; but the order being given "Forward," the brave boys of the gallant Seventh never wavered, but moved with steady tread, led by our brave and gallant commander, into the arms of death.
After getting across the road and in front of the enemy's position we formed and charged home, but unfortunately at this critical time, when within 30 yards of the enemy's cannons' mouth, Lieutenant. Col. John M. Dean, our brave commander, fell dead, shot by a Minie ball through the neck while gallantly leading us to the charge. He died as a brave man and soldier would wish, "with his feet to the foe and his face toward heaven."
The troops then halted and opened a tremendous fire on the foe, when one of the most terrific fights of the field ensued. When I was informed of the fact that I was in command I found I was greatly deficient in officers, owing to the great havoc made by the enemy's guns, also that my entire support on the right, or the other portion of the brigade, had fallen back. I determined to retreat, and watching my opportunity, when the infantry, who were firing by battalions, had delivered a volley and the artillery had fired, I ordered a retreat, and happily brought off,