Minnesota, most gallantly, at the double-quick, but not without the loss of the life of captain Moores, one of the choice officers of the service, and 1 private; and of Captain Clubb, assistant quartermaster, who was a volunteer aide-de-camp, and 4 privates of the Fourth Minnesota, wounded. Night approaching the troops returned and took up the position first occupied in the morning.
At 2 a. m. of the 4th the Fifth Iowa was called in, and the brigade altered its position. At dawn the cannonading announced the beginning of another sharp contest. It was grand. The different calibers, metals, shapes, and distances of the guns caused the sounds to resemble the chimes of old Rome when all her bells rang out. In one hour it was interspersed with one continuous roar of musketry. It was soon ascertained that the enemy were gaining upon us. The First Brigade was given to understand that they had no reserve; that not one foot of ground must be yielded. The Missouri battery had been detached from the brigade. The Fifty-ninth Indiana was assigned a special duty in supporting the --- Battery [M, First Missouri Light Artillery], which it faithfully performed. At about 9 o'clock the line of battle was formed, the Twenty-sixth Missouri on the right, next the Fourth Minnesota, next the Eleventh Ohio Battery, next the fifth Iowa, and next the Forty-eight Indiana. the battle raged with great fury. In front of us we saw regiment after regiment give way. Our whole front moved forward with the accuracy, precision, and steadiness of a review. Every man exhibited the resolve that not one foot of ground should be lost. The Forty-eighth Indiana was the first actively engaged, when the gallant Lieutenant-Colonel Rugg was first partially disabled by a severe would in the foot, and soon after totally by his horse being killed. My aide-de-camp, Lieutenant J. W. Archer, of the Fifty-ninth Indiana, was at the moment invited by the senior captain, which was unanimously confirmed by the officers, to assume the command. He did not hesitate, and the regiment preserved its steadiness and moved forward to victory. The Eleventh Ohio Battery took up a commanding position and opened an effective fire. The enemy were soon within range of the rifles of the Fourth Minnesota, the Fifth Iowa, and the Forty-eighth Indiana. Two of the regiments that had been thrown into disorder in advance of us rallied under our protection, and were soon proudly advancing.
At about 11.30 the enemy, with a desperation seldom paralleled, broke into the city. He was met with a valor as steady as his desperation. His slaughter was immense. No success followed the spasmodic efforts. They recoiled and the repulse was complete. The First Brigade was thus saved from a hand-to-hand fight, but their readiness was eager.
The gallant bearing of Colonels Sanborn, Matthies, and Alexander, Lieutenant-Colonels Rugg and Holman, and Lieutenant Neil, commanding the battery, fills me with admiration.
My staff officers, Captain J. P. Foley, assistant adjutant-general; Lieuts. J. W. Archer and L. B. Martin, of the Fourth Minnesota, aides-de-camp, conducted themselves so as to deserve particular mention both days for conduct and courage.
All the officers and men did their entire duty, and for the victory I call on all the brigade to unite with me in attributing it to Almighty God, who ruleth in the heavens and the earth.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
N. B. BUFORD,
Captain R. M. SAWYER,
Asst. Adjt. General, Third Division, Army of the Miss.