War of the Rebellion: Serial 024 Page 0104 WEST TENN. AND NORTHERN MISS. Chapter XXIX.

Search Civil War Official Records

and relieved the skirmishers of the Fifth Iowa. I deployed Company A on the left and Company B on the right of the main road leading to Iuka, holding Companies G and I as a reserve, under command of Captain Rice. I drove back the enemy's pickets without much firing, excepting on one occasion, when he had taken refuge in a house on the road, where a brisk skirmish ensued; but we soon forced him to leave his shelter, and continued to advance under a brisk fire. The enemy's cavalry attempted a charge, but, seeing me prepared to receive him with a reserve and flanking companies rallying, he promptly fell back. I again deployed and advanced, and soon came upon the main force, posted about 40 yards above a ridge, covered with timber and thick undergrowth, his artillery being in position int he road in front. A few shots were fired by my skirmishers, but the enemy held his fire. At this time I had advanced to the top of the ridge in the road and discovered the position of the enemy. At this instant Company B drew the fire of the whole rebel line on the right and fell back and rejoined the regiment. Company A rallied on the right, an captain Rice brought up his reserve, and after getting into position near the top of the ridge these companies gave him their entire fire, and almost instantly drew the fire of their artillery and two regiments of infantry. My troops were so protected by the ridge that their fire took no effect. I gave them a few more shots, when Captain Robinson reported the enemy flanking him on the left and Captain Rice discovered him on the right. Seeing our battery in position and line of battle formed in my rear I gave the order to retire, and soon after received orders to rejoin the regiment and await orders. Soon after rejoining the regiment Colonel Boomer went to the left, leaving Adjutant Schoenen and myself on the right. The battle soon opened with great fury. The four companies on the left, with the colors, were here detached by the colonel (as I afterwards learned) and moved forward, under his and Major Konieszeski's command, in support of the battery. I remained in position until the advance of the enemy had turned our left, which placed me and my right under a destructive cross-fire from the rear, left, and front. The battery had been carried, and one of the caissons came down on my left and threw that part of my line into confusion. Seeing that I was being flanked on the left and that it was impossible to rally the left of my line, which had become disordered, I ordered my command to fall back to the field a short distance below my first line. This movement was quickly executed and in good order, when I again formed in line of battle near the edge of timbers. I then, by order, moved back my line about 150 or 200 yards and took position on the right of the Tenth Missouri, awaiting the approach of the enemy, where I remained until the close of the engagement. I was ordered then to remain on arms, which I did until next morning. About 7 o'clock in the evening I was here rejoined by the remnants of Companies E, F, and H, bearing the colors, in charge of Lieutenant Wheeler and Lieutenant Charles F. Brown, regimental quartermaster. From the opening to the end of the engagement my command was constantly under a galling and destructive fire, and my loss in killed and wounded was severe.

Permit me further to report that the officers and men under my command, with scarcely an exception, during the whole engagement conducted themselves with rare coolness and true soldierly bearing; but Capts. John Welker, T. M. Rice, and William M. Robinson, and Lieutenant F. G. Schoenen, acting adjutant, and Lieutenant C. F. Brown, regimental quartermaster, with many others, are deserving a special notice. Their conduct was truly brave, gallant, and noble. If space would