gade was formed across the road and engaged with the skirmishers and artillery of the enemy. My brigade was immediately formed in his rear. As soon as formed Brigadier-General Little ordered me to take command of the two regiments of the left wing, to wit, the Thirty-sixth Mississippi and the Thirty-seventh Alabama, and support General Hebert's left wing, who had become hotly engaged, stating that he (General Little) would in person take command of the two regiments of the brigade that would support the right of the brigade already in action. In obedience to orders I moved the two regiments to the left of General Hebert's brigade, my left resting on the skirts of an old field, and moved rapidly across a hollow. Upon arriving near the top of the hill, within 30 or 40 paces of their line, the enemy with three regiments rose and poured a volley upon us. Though the fire was terrific the fatality was not great, they overshooting us, owing to the cover of the hill. We returned their fire, advancing slowly, the enemy stubbornly disputing every foot of the ground.
After a fight of three-quarters of an hour it began to grow dusky from the smoke and coming twilight. By pressing and cheering the men on we had driven the enemy to the brink of the hill, where they obstinately disputed every inch of the ground. Here, noticing that General Hebert's brigade had ceased firing, I went down his line and requested Colonel Colbert to give one more volley to the front, to demonstrate that we were there in force, when the Thirty-sixth Mississippi and the Thirty-seventh Alabama, with fixed bayonets and a cheer, charged, capturing several prisoners, from whom we learned that the regiments we fought were the Fifth Iowa, Third Michigan, and First Missouri. The enemy now gave way and fled in confusion from the side of the hill and the old field, when the fighting ceased a little after night.
I now received an order from Brigadier-General Hebert to get my two regiments, which had been placed on the right of his brigade, and form my line to the left of his command and on continuation of the line of battle which had just been fought, where we rested upon our arms until near daylight, when we commenced the retreat.
I regret the necessity which demanded the separation of my brigade, as it placed two regiments of my command entirely beyond my view and control.
I deem it but simple justice to notice the cool gallantry and daring of Colonel Dowdell, commanding the Thirty-seventh Alabama, who was slightly wounded but did not leave the field. He was most gallantly assisted by Lieutenant-Colonel Greene, who was in the thickest of the fight and very severely wounded near its close, and by Major Slaton, who acted bravely and nobly.
Colonel Witherspoon, of the Thirty-sixth Mississippi, managed his regiment with courage and discretion. Lieutenant-Colonel Brown behaved gallantry and Major Yates heroically and nobly.
The officers of the line vied with each other in pushing forward the line of battle, and the men conducted themselves with the coolness and valor of veterans, though for the first time under fire.
Lieutenant McDonald, of my staff, was cool, courageous, and efficient. His horse was shot under him.
Lieutenant Worthington, C. S. Army, acted gallantry, cheering the men on regardless of personal danger.
Lieutenant Ferrell's horse was shot early in the action. Lieutenant Davis acted with daring and heroism.