on the left, that a large force of the enemy could be distinctly seen advancing on our left flank and rear. Being under the impression that we must be sustained by other forces in that direction, I could not believe it possible that a hostile force could be approaching us from that quarter with impunity, and was not convinced that they were foes till I made a personal observation resulting in the conviction that they were not only foes, but that they were in numbers sufficient to crush us at the first onset.
I immediately dispatched Adjt. B. F. Stone to advise you of the danger and the necessity for prompt preparation to meet the emergency. On his return he reported that he had been unable to find you, but had communicated the facts to your aide, Lieutenant Morse.
In the mean time Captain Buckwalter, of Company A, had reported several regiments of the enemy to be filling up a ravine and approaching us through the woods directly in front. I immediately ordered the skirmishers to be recalled, and prepared to receive the approaching masses with a well-directed fire, which was done to my satisfaction. The first volley drove the enemy back, and was very destructive, as I have since learned from some of my men who visited the field on Sunday, 31st.
A devastating fire now opened from the lines of the enemy, who had already turned our flank. Our ranks were soon thinned by the overwhelming force to which we were opposed, and being too weak for further effectual resistance, no alternative was left but a retirement. This was accomplished with considerable loss under a severe cross-fire from front, flank, and rear. In thus falling back the regiment became somewhat scattered, but the men rallied behind a fence in the edge of the wood to which we retired, and poured a well-directed fire upon the advancing foe, retiring again when too much exposed to another point in rear, where they were covered by re-enforcements, which had come forward; too late, however, to recover the field. Finding further effort with my thinned ranks useless, after having made several rallies, combining with my own forces many from other commands, whom I found isolated, I drew off to join you, which I succeeded in doing just before dark, on the ground occupied by the First Brigade of our division.
All officers and men under my command on that day deserved and won my highest commendation for cheerful obedience and determined resistance under the most trying circumstances. Where all did well it would be useless to attempt personal distinctions. I cannot forbear mentioning, however, the able manner in which I was sustained by Major Hurst and Adjutant Stone. The former had his horse shot under him in the cavalry part of the action, after which he rendered efficient service on foot in rallying and steadying the men.
Company A, under command of Captain Buckwalter, and Company B, under Lieutenant Hinson, are entitled to favorable mention for the skill and promptness with which they responded to the calls for skirmishers on both days. It may not be improper to mention the name of Captain Madeira, of Company H, who at great personal risk brought off the national color when both color-bearers and the entire color-guard had fallen.
I inclose herewith a list of killed, wounded, and missing. The number, compared with the whole strength of the regiment engaged, will show a very large proportion.
The whole number taken into action was 312; number ascertained to be killed, 25; wounded and recovered, 56; wounded prisoners paroled,