We here made three different charges upon the enemy, driving them back every time. Here, noticing a large force of the enemy flanking us on the right, I ordered the brigade to fall back, which we did, to the Bark road. Proceeding to the first encampment, we replenished our ammunition.
I here besought the brigade to again drive back the ruthless enemy of our freedom. With a triumphant cheer they moved on. When we had advanced about 200 yards we met cavalry in the lead, artillery next, and infantry last, fleeing in panic and perfect confusion. The brigade, by order, laid down in the ravine. By the heroic exertions and cool determination of the field and staff officers they remained perfectly steady until the masses had passed by them. The enemy pursued to within 100 yards of our line. Our brigade rose, advanced about 30 paces, and poured a deadly and effective volley into them. We then charged on them, driving them in confusion before us, recapturing two pieces of the Washington Artillery and capturing five of the enemy's pieces, and pursuing them to within 300 yards of the river bank.
After remaining a few minutes, with no enemy in sight, upon looking to the right a large force of the enemy was seen flanking us. It was in this charge that I had my second horse wounded.
I ordered the brigade to fall back to the left and rear, and took position on the brow of the hill.
From here, under the eye and orders of Major-General Hardee, who inspired every confidence, twice again we drove back the legions of the enemy. This was within 400 or 500 yards of the river, on the Bark road, the enemy disappearing under the river bank each time they were driven back and we falling back under cover of the hill. They making their appearance at three different points, we sallied upon them. I think they concluded we had 5,000 instead of 1,100 men, and gave up taking the Bark road, they not knowing it was the same troops charging on them each time from the ravine under the hill.
From here we again advanced to an old field, but met no enemy. We laid down in ambush in a line with the fence until orders were, coming from General Hardee, to fall back on the Bark road, and deploy the brigade on each side to protect the falling back of the artillery, infantry,&c. We then left the field, with no enemy between us and the river, as far as could be seen. This ended the action with the brigade.
Where all acted so gallantly I do not like to make distinctions, but deem it my duty to mention the cool courage and self-possession of Colonels Dunlop and Merrick, Lieutenant-Colonel Riley, Major Mangum, Captain Edmonson, and many of the officers of the First Missouri Regiment, and refer with pride to the cool, daring courage of Captains Ray, Rayburn, Bowen, and Taylor; Lieutenants Talbert, Mobley, and Adjutant Donelson; Sergeant Henwood and Private A. S. Pass. Sergt. McGehee Dandridge fell, shot dead, on the last charge, having heroically performed his duty on both days of the 6th and 7th.
The accompanying report of the two artillery companies in the brigade are referred to for the part taken by them in the action.
For aggregate number carried into action by each regiment of the brigade, the number killed and wounded, reference is made to the annexed statement.*
*Nominal list shows 2 officers and 36 men killed, 9 officers and 127 men wounded, and 8 men missing.