cheering the men to the work. He did his duty gallantly and died as becomes a brave, true man.
For about two hours we held the greatly superior forces of the enemy in Check at this point, when, the left having given way, or ammunition being nearly spent, and many of the pieces becoming so hot that the men's hands were blistered in handling them and the powder exploded while charging them, besides the men being very much exhausted, Colonel Sweeny very reluctantly gave the order for us to retire. At this time word came of the death of General Hackleman, and, Colonel Sweeny taking command of the brigade, I assumed command of the regiment.
We fell back to the first fort, procured a supply of ammunition, and night coming on, the men laid down to rest. During the night my command was moved three times, depriving them of all sleep.
On the morning of the 41th we had in action 2 field officers, 8 captains, 4 first lieutenants, 7 second lieutenants, 68 non-commissioned officers, and 214 privates. My orders were not to until the enemy should approach within very short range. I accordingly restrained my men, who were exposed to a murderous fire, until the rebels were within 20 yards of my right flank, when I ordered them, "Up and give it to them," which they did with energy and effect. By this time the artillerymen had deserted their guns in the redoubt on our right, the line of reserves stationed in my rear had felled back, and our troops on my right had entirely given way. The rebels were swarming into the redoubt through the road between it and the old house on the opposite side and had filled the yard of that house. I accordingly ordered my regiment to fall back. I rallied a portion of them at the brick house, about 15 rods in the rear, and fired upon the advancing rebels until they began thrusting their guns through the windows, when we fell back to the little group of houses on the rise of the ground. My right rallied here, and charging back upon the enemy, we retook the battery in the redoubt and the section of 10-pounder Parrott guns on its left. I was the first man within the redoubt. Captain S. S. Dunn, of Company F, was the first who mounted the works and the colors of this regiment were the first within the fortifications. Yourself, sir, assisted by Captains Boyd, Barto, and Newton, and Sergeant Wood (an old artillerist), of this regiment, turned one of the Parrott guns upon the enemy, doing terrible execution.
My regiment captured 81 prisoners, among them 1 captain, 1 colonel, 2 lieutenants, and 1 stand of colors.
With scarcely an exception the officers and soldiers of my command behaved as becomes officers and soldiers, and when all did well I cannot specially commend any particular one.
My regiment lost on the 3d: Killed, 1 commissioned officer and 1 enlisted man; wounded, 1 first lieutenant, 2 sergeants, 3 corporals, and 16 enlisted men; missing, 1 man. Our loss on the 4th was 1 sergeant and 3 privates killed; 1 captain, 2 second lieutenants, 3 sergeants, 5 corporals, and 28 enlisted men wounded.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JOHN S. WILCOX,
Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding Fifty-second Illinois Volunteers.
Captain J. LOVELL,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Second Division.