in turn tried to drive us from the position, but Captain Wheeler, of the First Kentucky, in command of the skirmishers at this point, heroically held his ground. Here Captain Williamson and 17 men of the First Kentucky fell wounded,some mortally.
At this juncture Captain Smith, of the Twentieth Kentucky, commanding the skirmishers on the right, reported that the enemy in large force, supported by a battery, were drawn up in line under cover of the woods immediately in his front. I then ordered Lieutenant-Colonel Hanson to move his command to the support of Captain Smith, and moved the Second Kentucky Regiment, under Lieutenant-Colonel Spencer, in two columns, some 300 yards farther forward, then gave the order to forward, which was done by the whole with alacrity under a heavy fire, in which Lieutenant Beinert, of the Second Kentucky, and Captain Smith and several privates of the Twentieth Kentucky, were wounded. The enemy slowly retreated before our men, and were evidently endeavoring to draw us farther into the woods. By this time we gained a position on the opposite side of a small creek beyond Widow Serratt's house, in the edge of the woods in which the enemy were. Here I sent forward Asst. Adjt. General Wickliffe Cooper, of my staff, to ascertain, if possible, the position of the enemy in front of our right wing. He returned and reported, as did Captain Smith, the enemy in force drawn up in line to receive us. Seeing Captain Loder's battery, of General R. L. McCook's brigade, some quarter of a mile distant, in a commanding position, form which he could secure an enfilading fire upon the enemy's lines, I sent Asst. Adjt. General Wickliffe Cooper to request him to open upon them, which he did with great effect, completely silencing the enemy's fire on the right wing. Not knowing the nature of the grounds now occupied by my command and from which we had driven the enemy,and having no orders to proceed farther than the point already gained, I held my position and awaited further orders.
About 5 p.m. orders came from General Buell for me to hold the ground then occupied by my brigade until after night-fall, then return to camp, leaving one regiment on the ground to deceive the enemy as to the force remaining,which I did, the Thirty-first Indiana remaining on the ground until after midnight.
The heroic conduct of the officers and men of my command on this occasion was not excelled even on the bloody field of Shiloh.
Asst. Adjt. General Wickliffe Cooper exhibited bravery even to rashness.
My aide-de-camp, Lieutenant Seth W. Tuley, also displayed undaunted courage. Sending him to see and report the nature of the attack on our left wing at the most critical moment of the day, he fearlessly rode along the front of our skirmishers when men were falling along the whole line.
Lieutenant-Colonel Hanson, Major Buckner, and Adjutant Brennan, of the Twentieth Kentucky, evinced the greatest bravery, gallantly leading and encouraging their men amid the greatest dangers. Captain Smith, commanding skirmishers of that regiment, did his part nobly.
Captain Joseph T. Wheeler, of the First Kentucky Regiment, commanding the skirmishers on the left, behaved in the most gallant and soldier-like manner, always in the front, leading his men to repel the attacks of the enemy. Where all merit praise, his conduct deserves particular mention.
Captain James T. Williamson, of the same regiment, also behaved nobly. Even while severely wounded, lying on the ground,he still directed the movements of his men.