party. After proceeding about 3 miles we overtook the last-mentioned companies and two companies of Fremont Hussars, led by Major Kielmansegge, who took command of the whole party, and ordered me to remain on the spot with my command and to place a double picket guard about 50 yards on my right in the woods. Company F, Lieutenant Fischer, and Company G, Captain Wilhelmi, then went off in different directions, while Major Kielmansegge with his cavalry proceeded south along the road.
After about half an hour part of the foraging expedition, both cavalry and infantry, returned, with their wagons laden, on their way back to camp. After having passed my command some 500 yards the Fremont Hussars came galloping back, crying, "They are coming; they are coming;" upon which they fell back. I then formed my company across the road, and Major Kielmansegge, coming up, ordered me to post my command in the lane. The enemy soon approached in full charge and I ordered my company to fire, which caused much confusion in their ranks and made them fall back.
While my men were loading again I threw down the fence, intending to take shelter behind it in case my little command of 31 men should be pressed too severely. The enemy increased in numbers and continued to press forward, and Major Kielmansegge, seeing that we were about to be surrounded, ordered me to retreat. After my command had given fire once more they sought shelter behind the fence which I had previously thrown down, but in the combat which ensued they were soon almost annihilated. The few who remained unwounded were shot down in the attempt to join Company F and the cavalry, who were in the rear. Seeing my whole company either dead or wounded I also tried to reach our troops, but was soon overtaken and surrounded by cavalry, one of whom shot me in the left shoulder, and then fired four more shots at me, but without success. Just as I was giving myself up as lost Company F sallied out of the woods. I ordered them to fire, regardless of the danger of being hit myself. This they did, causing my pursuers to fall back, by which means they saved my life. I then joined Company F, who were likewise soon overpowered by great numbers and compelled to retreat into the bushes. The pain of my wound rendered it impossible for me to follow them and I sank exhausted near the road. While I was lying in the bushes Company F was completely cut down and routed and a company of the enemy's cavalry halted in the road within a few paces of me. I heard them saying that a body of cavalry was approaching them, and they were undecided whether they were our troops or their own. Finding them to be Union troops they fled. Our troops coming up to the rescue I joined their ranks, and was conducted into camp.
I saw the rebels cutting Private Wurges, of my company (H), over the head with a bowie-knife after he had surrendered, and heard the rebels crying out, "D-n you, we want no prisoners."
I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Second Lieutenant, Company H, Seventeenth Regiment Mo. Vols.