War of the Rebellion: Serial 024 Page 0274 WEST TENN. AND NORTHERN MISS. Chapter XXIX.

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their heels. Colonel Burke's regiment fought like heroes and disputed every inch of ground as they fell back on my position. I cautioned my men, who were lying on the ground, to reserve their fire until the enemy got within point-blank range, and then fire low and keep perfectly cool. It was a terribly beautiful sight to see the enemy's columns advance, in despite of a perfect storm of grape and canister, shell and rifle ball; still on they marched and fired, though their ranks were perceptibly thinned at every step. The brigade stood firm as a rock, and the men loaded and fired with the coolness and precision of veterans, when all of a sudden the troops on the right of the redan (a brigade of Hemilton's division) gave way and broke. The First Missouri Artillery, in the redan, and the two pieces on the left of the Fifty-second, libeled up and galloped off in wild confusion through our reserves, killing several of our men and scattering the rest. My line remained still advantage of the panic on the right, moved their columns obliquely in that direction and charged up to the redan. Unfortunately the officer in command of the Fifty-second Illinois, Lieutenant-Colonel Wilcox, instead of meeting the enemy boldly, ordered the regiment to fall back without authority, and before I could halt it the regiment broke. The Union Brigade gave way simultaneously with the Fifty-second, but portions of the Second and Seventh Iowa still held their ground and kept the enemy in check until the rest of my brigade was rallied, when I ordered the colors of the Second and Seventh Iowa to fall back and form their regiments on the side hill, out of range of the enemy's fire, which they did almost immediately. I now ordered the line to charge on the enemy, who had by this time gained the crest of the hill in our front. With a shout that was heard through our whole lines the men of the First Brigade rushed upon the enemy. Those who had given way a short time before, being evidently ashamed of the momentary panic that had seized them, seemed determined to wipe out the stain upon their courage by their reckless daring. The foe, reluctant to abandon the advantage he had gained, fought stubbornly for a while, but was finally compelled to give way, retreating in great confusion through the swamps and abatis to the woods, hotly pursued by our men. Here I stopped the pursuit until the batteries on the hill to our left and rear should cease firing, as they shelled the ground directly in front of us. I sent an order to that effect to the officer in command of the battery, and the firing ceased in a short time. I detailed some men of my brigade to work on of the recaptured guns, there being no artillery-men present, and "General Lyon" (the name of gun) did good execution on the flying enemy.

In this charge we retook the redan and the guns that were abandoned by the artillery, 126 prisoners, and 4 stand of colors. Amon the prisoners were 3 colonels, 4 captains, and 3 lieutenant. Thus ended the battle of the 4th.

Of Friday morning the brigade left Camp Montgomery with 77 commissioned officers and 1,021 enlisted men. The Union Brigade joined it that afternoon with 15 commissioned officers and 326 men, making a total of 92 commissioned officers and 1,347 men.

On Saturday night we bivouacked on the field, so warmly contested that day, with a loss of 31 commissioned officers and 386 enlisted men, thus showing a loss of one-third of the brigade during the two days' conflict of the 3rd and 4th.

On Sunday morning we commenced the pursuit of the enemy, and proceeded by the Chewalla road as far as Ruckersville, from which