Very soon after daylight of the morning of the 4th I, by your order, moved the Tenth Missouri Regiment into position on the left of the Twelfth Wisconsin Battery as a support for a battery. Immediately in front of the center of our regiment were posted the sixth guns of the Sixth Wisconsin Battery on the crest of a sharp ridge, and immediately to their left, on the same ridge, and nearly in front of the left wing of our regiment, was posted a battery of the First Missouri Artillery, behind a slight earthwork. These last batteries were supported by heavy forces of infantry in front of us. At about 8 o'clock the enemy commenced advancing with heavy masses of infantry to attack the positions and batteries in front of our position, and the conflict soon became terrific. Our guns were well handled, and produced terrible destruction in the enemy's ranks with shot and shell; but they advanced steadily forward, shooting and bayoneting our gunners at their guns, and finally remounted all the infantry support in front of our position (capturing the batteries) and drove them back on the lines of the Tenth Missouri Regiment in perfect disorder and rout, and it was only by fixing bayonets and threatening to bayonet those who attempted to force through our lines that were able to prevent being overborne and trampled under foot by horses, infantry, and artillery in their fight. As soon as our front was clear of and uncovered by our retreating forces we opened fire from our who line on the exultant enemy, who were rushing forward in large masses, flushed and velling at their success, but a few rounds drove them back under vower of some buildings and earthworks on the crest of the hill, from which they poured in on us a very deadly fire, thinning our ranks fearfully. We repeatedly drove them by our fire behind the crest of the hill out of our sight, but as soon as our fire was discontinued they would rush up again and renew the combat, and maintain possession of our batteries, until finally, by your order, I ordered the regiment to make a charge with the bayonet at double-quick time, which was performed with as much precision as if on drill, the boys going at them with a yell and routing them from the hill at all points and recapturing six guns belonging to the Sixth Wisconsin Battery, which the enemy had been unable to take off or even injure, as our fire made the attempt rather dangerous. We manned a part of the guns and drove the retreating enemy the benefit of what ammunition was left on the ground. The foe again and again attempted to advance on our position, but each time gave back under our line, and finally changed the direction of their main attack, and soon began to move out of the woods to our left some 200 yards in heavy force down the railroad. We opened an oblique fire to the left on them which did good execution, but they advanced steadily forward to our breastworks on the left, but were repulsed and driven back, when we again gave them a parting salute, and thus ended the battle.
Where the conduct of both the officers and soldiers of the regiment was so conspicuously gallant and every movement performed with the precision of veterans, I deem it unnecessary to particularize as to individuals, but cannot close this report without tendering my acknowledgments to Adjutant Deimling for his valuable aid and assistance throughout the day, and his coolness under fire deserves honorable mention. To Surgeon Payne I also tender my thanks in behalf of the wounded. He exhibited his usual daring and fearless discharge of duty in the field.
Major, Commanding Tenth Regiment Missouri Infantry.
Colonel SAMUEL A. HOLMES.