Eighty-fourth and One hundred and tenth down to the right, but before they reached the position assigned them the enemy was in full retreat before our brave men, and I at once ordered them across into the woods again.
Under cover of the engagement on our right the enemy had thrown another force into the woods and pressed them down upon our batteries on the left. So rapid was this movement that they passed the line on which the Eighty-fourth and One hundred and tenth were ordered unobserved, making a dash upon the battery so sudden and unexpected as to compel the cannoneers to abandon their pieces. Colonel Candy met the enemy with his regiment with great coolness, his men fighting with commendable bravery. The Seventh and Fifth Ohio were soon supporting him, driving the enemy from their position and retaking the battery. The artillery officers made a strong effort and used great exertions to remove their guns, but, the horses having been killed or disabled, found it impossible.
The enemy had given way along the whole line, but I saw heavy re-enforcements crossing from the town that would have been impossible for us successfully to resist. After consulting General Carroll I ordered the troops to fall back under his direction, with a view of retreating until we should meet the re-enforcements of Generals Kimball and Ferry. General Carroll took command of the covering of the retreat, which was made in perfect order, and, save the stampede of those who ran before the fight was fairly opened, the retreat was quite as orderly as the advance.
The force engaged under my command could not have exceeded 3,000 men. Of the enemy's force my information comes from the prisoners taken by us; none of them estimated it at less than 8,000 men actually in the engagement.
The loss of our artillery we feel almost as keenly as we should to have lost our colors, yet it was impossible to save them without animals to drag them through the deep mud; the men could not do it. While we deeply feel this loss we have the satisfaction of knowing that we have one of theirs, captured by the Fifth Ohio, and driven off in full view of their whole force, 67 prisoners following it to this post.
It will not be expected that I can mention the many gallant acts of the different officers upon that hard-fought field, yet I cannot do justice to my own feelings without remarking that in my opinion braver, more determined, and willing men never entered a battle-field. General Carroll distinguished himself by his coolness and dashing bravery. Upon him I relied, and I was not disappointed. For heroic gallantry I will place Colonel Gavin, Colonel Buckley, Lieutenant-Colonel Creighton, Colonel Dunning, Colonel Thoburn, Colonel Candy, and Lieutenant-Colonel Hayward beside the bravest men of the U. S. Army. The line officers of the different regiments discharged their duties nobly, and deserve special mention of their colonels. Captains Clark, Robinson, and Huntington served their guns with great credit, and deserve particular notice.
To the members of your staff, Lieutenant-Colonel Shriber, Captain Keily, and Captain Keogh, I am under many, very many, obligations for the prompt, efficient, and officer-like manner in which they discharged the duties assigned them. The two latter in the field through the hottest of the engagement, exposed to the enemy's fire from first to last. Captain Keily received a severe wound in the face while urging forward the men, and was carried off the field.
For the casualties of the engagement I respectfully refer you to the