No. 297. Report of Lieutenant Colonel John C. Fiser,
Seventeenth Mississippi Infantry, of the battle of Malvern Hi..
HDQRS. SEVENTEENTH MISSISSIPPI VOLUNTEERS, July 5, 1862.
SIR: I have the honor to make the following report of the action of the Seventeenth Mississippi Regiment, engaged on the evening of July 1 near Meadow farm:
In pursuance of orders the regiment was moved down on the right into the woods and then took position and awaited orders. During the time shot and shell fell among my command, proving very destructive. Two orders reached the command to move out in support of General Wright's brigade, then engaged with the enemy, which was promptly done, and executed in splendid order and without the least confusion.
Colonel W. D. Holder, while gallantly leading his men into action through a shower of grape and shell, fell severely wounded, hence the command devolved upon me, this being at a time when the command was forming a line immediately after crossing a very difficult ravine.
The command moved and dressed to the colors promptly and in order. I ordered the command to forward, which it did without wavering, although in the thickets of the fire, to the brow of the hill. I halted my command, finding my front masked by several regiments, extending from right to left. At this point I ordered Captain Govan, commanding Company B, to act as field officer and assist in the command of my regiment, which I can say he did with coolness and gallantry.
From this point I moved my command to the right, endeavoring to get a chance at the enemy without being masked by friends. Finding that impossible, on account of the scattered fragments of regiments, and night coming on, I ordered my men to lie down for protection from the grape and canister, which was raking the field in front and the air above.
Night coming on, and the firing of small-arms having ceased, I withdrew my command from the field in splendid order and files well dressed, with regiments of the brigade.
I must further state that my position on the left was hazardous; several regiments came near firing into my rear. I exerted myself to prevent different regiments from firing into each other, which, I am sorry to say, was done on several occasions, but none of this brigade.
I am indebted to Captain Moreland, acting major, for his gallantry and valuable assistance rendered me throughout the engagement.
I take pleasure in saying that Adjutant Sykes was at his post and rendered my valuable assistance.
I cannot close without thanking Assistant Adjutant-General Inge, whom I found, on reaching the field, nobly discharging his duty in directing regiments into battle.
I am, colonel, with high regard, your friend and obedient servant,
JNumbers C. FISER,
Lieutenant Colonel, Commanding Seventeenth Mississippi Volunteers.
Colonel WILLIAM BARKSDALE,
Commanding Third Brigade.
48 R R-VOL XI, PT II